FEW Americans have ever visited Europe more often purely for pleasure than William Randolph Hearst, and few Americans have derived more pleasure from their trips. Constantly staying at the most luxurious hotels, financially able to gratify any whim of the moment, he gave free rein in Europe to his double passion for spending and for getting. Beautiful, costly, or unusual objects aroused in him an insatiable zeal for ownership. Pictures, statuettes, vases, and even mummies followed him back across the Atlantic to adorn his home at No. 123 Lexington Avenue, once owned by President Chester Arthur. The sellers of these objects often had to wait long for the payment of their bills; sometimes this was because Hearst did not happen to have the ready cash upon his person, but more often it was simply because they were tradesmen, and it had always been the tradesman's duty to await the nobleman's leisure in such matters.
Only in England was Hearst unhappy. There he was deliberately snubbed by the "best families" and in countless ways that the British know so well how to use he was made to feel that he was only a counterfeit aristocrat. The whole country seemed to him a kind of Harvard on a large scale and with more rigorous laws. On one occasion he is said to have been arrested for some minor escapade, and to have been much irritated by the London bobby's strange insensitiveness to offers that any New York policeman would have welcomed with alacrity. His earlier Anglomania gave way to a permanent Anglophobia, first publicly expressed at the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901 when