AN ENGLISH COUNTRY TOWN
TO announce too much of what one means to do is the best way not to do it at all." says Tallyrand. We all know how dangerous it is to promise pleasure to others from what has pleased us. Our dearest friend may seem but a dull dog to the stranger to whom we introduce him. The book, the play, the picture, the tour in a new country, the hotel in which we have been comfortable, all these we may praise to another, and he only finds them commonplace or positively disagreeable.
There are, however, two things that I dare announce to the traveller as superlatively beautiful. If he be disappointed the fault is his, and not my praise of them. The pictures of Velasquez in the Prado at Madrid and an English country landscape in May surpass any possible preliminary praise of them. You may announce what you will, but the reality still surpasses the promise.