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Old 09-06-2017, 05:04 AM   #1
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Cobb, Irvin S.: Europe Revised. v1. 06 Sep 2017

Europe Revised
A TRAVEL BOOK BY IRVIN S. COBB (1876–1944)

This book was first published in 1914. Text is in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life + 70” or less, and in the USA.

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Here is a travel book guaranteed to be full of humor, and quite devoid of educational bits. The reader will learn much about European travel as it was experienced by Mr. Cobb in the early twentieth century, but must look elsewhere to find historical, architectural, and artistic tutelage. In spite of being dated now, a century later, the book is still amusing; and the author’s rather prickly American chauvinism did sometimes mellow into admiration and compliments for the foreign lifestyles he encountered.

* * * *
Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb (June 23, 1876 – March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, editor, and columnist from Paducah, Kentucky who relocated to New York in 1904 for the remainder of his life, writing for the New York World, The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, and other newspapers and magazines. Cobb wrote more than 300 short stories and 60 books (most of these being collections of his stories and articles). Some of his works were adapted for film.

An excerpt:
Spoiler:
Speaking of bathing reminds me of washing; and speaking of washing reminds me of an adventure I had in Vienna in connection with a white waistcoat—or, as we would call it down where I was raised, a dress vest. This vest had become soiled through travel and wear across Europe. At Vienna I intrusted it to the laundry along with certain other garments. When the bundle came back my vest was among the missing.

The maid did not seem to be able to comprehend the brand of German I use in casual conversation; so, through an interpreter, I explained to her that I was shy one white vest. For two days she brought all sorts of vests and submitted them to me on approval—thin ones and thick ones; old ones and new ones; slick ones and woolly ones; fringed ones and frayed ones. I think the woman had a private vest mine somewhere, and went and tapped a fresh vein on my account every few minutes; but it never was the right vest she brought me.

[ … ]

I do not know what he prayed for, but I prayed for my vest.

I never got it though. I doubt whether my prayer ever reached heaven—it had such a long way to go. It is farther from Vienna to heaven than from any other place in the world, I guess—unless it is Paris. That vest is still wandering about the damp-filled corridors of that hotel, mooing in a plaintive manner for its mate—which is myself. It will never find a suitable adopted parent. It was especially coopered to my form by an expert clothing contractor, and it will not fit anyone else. No; it will wander on and on, the starchy bulge of its bosom dimly phosphorescent in the gloaming, its white pearl buttons glimmering spectrally; and after a while the hotel will get the reputation of being haunted by the ghost of a flour barrel, and will have a bad name and lose custom. I hope so anyway. It looks to be my one chance of getting even with the owner for penalizing me in the matter of baths.

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Text was obtained from gutenberg.org. Illustrations by John T. McCutcheon (1870–1949) have been omitted due to copyright restrictions. Transcription errors were corrected; punctuation, diacritics, and italics formatted; chapter heads cross-linked to Table of Contents. Embedded fonts used for titling. .

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Read this, and see what Great-Grandma and Grampa had to put up with when they went a-touring!
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