HE WENT FIRST TO LONDON; THEN TO PARIS.
He passed the autumn and winter in London; in Paris he spent a wonderful spring and summer.
London stupified him; Paris intoxicated him. The oppressive burden of a foggy winter was followed by the easy cheerfulness of summer days.
As different as the towns were the people who lived in them; with the English he conversed in their short concise language, in which it is so easy to think; with the French he chatted. During this year he learned sufficient of both languages to make himself understood and to read a newspaper or a book.
He admired London; he fell in love with Paris. —
His life was now very different.
Until now he had stayed chained to his desk for most of the day, now the morning saw him set out, usually not to return before the evening. From the very beginning he told himself: You have only this one year in which to see, to hear and to learn . . . Each day of this year is a precious gift of freedom which must not be wasted.
So he lived freely like the bird which nests where its fancy takes it, and of ten changed his lodgings to find new impressions in new surroundings. His suitcase was quickly packed and a room with bed, table and chair could be found anywhere.