Forster's brilliant social comedy is a witty observation of the English middle classes as they holiday abroad in Florence. One of these tourists is Lucy Honeychurch, a young girl whose 'undeveloped heart' is awakened by her experiences in Italy and by her encounter with the unconventional George Emerson. Lucy finds herself torn between un-English passion and stifling Victorian propriety, personified in her pretentious fiance. Cecil Vyse and her dismal cousin Charlotte, until she learns to follow the power of her own heart. It was pleasant to wake up in Florence, to open the eyes upon a bright bare room, with a floor of red tiles which look clean though they are not. with a painted ceiling whereon pink griffins and blue amorini sport in a forest of yellow violins and bassoons. It was pleasant, too, to fling wide the windows, to lean out into sunshine with beautiful hills and trees and marble churches opposite, and close below, the Arno, gurgling against the embankment of the road. An electric tram came rushing underneath the window. No one was inside it, except one tourist. but its platforms were overflowing with Italians, who preferred to stand. Then soldiers appeared - good-looking, undersized men - wearing each a knapsack covered with mangy fur, and a great-coat which had been cut for some larger soldier. Before them went little boys, turning somersaults in time with the band. One of the little boys fell down, and some white bullocks came out of an archway. Over such trivialities as these, many a valuable hour may slip away, and the traveller who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto, or the corruption of the Papacy, may return remembering nothing but the blue sky and the men and women who live under it. So it was as well that Miss Bartlett should tap and come in, and having commented on Lucy's leaving the door unlocked, and on her leaning out of the window before she was fully dressed, should urge her to hasten herself, or the best of the day would be gone. By the time Lucy was ready her cousin had done her breakfast, and was listening to the clever lady among the crumbs. A conversation then ensued, on not unfamiliar lines. Miss Bartlett was, after all, a wee bit tired, and thought they had better spend the morning settling in. unless Lucy would at all like to go out? Lucy would rather like to go out, as it was her first day in Florence, but, of course, she could go alone. Miss Bartlett could not allow this. Of course she would accompany Lucy everywhere. Oh, certainly not. Lucy would stop with her cousin. Oh, no! that would never do. Oh, yes! At this point the clever lady broke in. "Being English, Miss Honeychurch will be perfectly safe. Italians understand. A dear friend of mine, Contessa Baroncelli, has two daughters, and when she cannot send a maid to school with them, she lets them go in sailor-hats instead. Every one takes them for English, you see." Miss Bartlett was unconvinced by the safety of Contessa Baroncelli's daughters. The clever lady then said that she was going to spend a long morning in Santa Croce, and if Lucy would come too, she would be delighted. Lucy said that this was most kind, and at once opened the Baedeker, to see where Santa Croce was. "Tut, tut! Miss Lucy! I hope we shall soon emancipate you from Baedeker. As to the true Italy - he does not even dream of it. The true Italy is only to be found by patient observation." This sounded very interesting, and Lucy started with her new friend in high spirits. Italy was coming at last. Miss Lavish - for that was the clever lady's name - turned to the right along the sunny Lung' Arno. Then Miss Lavish darted under the archway of the white bullocks, and she stopped, and she cried: "A smell! a true Florentine smell! Every city, let me teach you, has its own smell." "Is it a nice smell?" said Lucy, who had inherited from her mother a distaste to dirt.