The Coast of Bohemia
He exaggerated the importance of the fact with the sensitiveness of a man to whom æsthetic cultivation was all-important. It appeared to him a far greater evil than it was; it was odious to him, like a vice; it was almost a crime. He spent a very miserable time in the Fine Arts Department of the Pymantoning County Agricultural Fair; and in a kind of horrible fascination he began to review the collection in detail, to guess its causes in severalty and to philosophize its lamentable consequences.
In this process Ludlow discovered that there was more of the Fine Arts Department than he had supposed at first. He was aware of some women who had come into the next aisle or section, and presently he overheard fragments of their talk.