Brother and sister – Felix Young and Baroness Eugenia Munster – for the first time in their life come to their mother’s homeland in America. They grew up in Europe, feel Europeans and anxiously await a meeting with the Wentworth family – uncles, cousins and cousins. Felix is the first to get acquainted with relatives, but finds only the younger cousin Gertrude – all went to church, and she, despite the entreaties of the enamored priest Brenda and elder sister Charlotte, stayed at home. Gertrude meets him cheerfully and asks about his family. The late mother of Felix and Eugenia went to Catholicism and married a man who, although he was an American, but from his birth lived in Europe. Native disliked her husband and broke with her all relationships. Evgenia married a German crown prince, but his family wants to terminate this morganatic marriage. Evgenia has not yet given consent to this, so now the issue is
open. From all stories and events, Gertrud’s head goes around, and she, entangled, introduces Felix to the returning native from the church as the crown prince Zilberstadt-Schreckenstein.
Returning to his sister at the hotel, Felix enthusiastically talks about the affectionate reception given to him by his relatives, and Eugenia immediately understands that he fell in love with Gertrude. Felix says that, in addition to the Wentworths, he met with their distant relative Acton, a wealthy, secular, witty gentleman who would surely like Eugene. The next day Eugene comes to the Wentworths with Felix. They meet them cordially and invite Felix and Eugene to stay with them. They provide them with a separate house, where they settle. Wentworths take them very well, but Americans are strangers to all the habits of Europeans, alien to their cheerfulness, love of the new. Only Gertrude reaches out to them, only her attracts everything new, unknown. Wentworthy guess what led Felix and Eugene in their land. Felix – an artist-amateur, he draws with enthusiasm, thanks to his cheerful, sociable nature, easily converges
with everyone and is very pleased with life. Felix suggests Mr. Wentworth to write his portrait, but he does not agree to pose, because posing is a genus of idleness, and Wentworth is the embodiment of Puritan morality. Felix begins to paint a portrait of Gertrude, entertaining her with stories of her adventures and travels. Brand blames her for the fact that she spends too much time with Felix. This upsets the whole family: Wentworth and Charlotte, concerned about Gertrude’s frivolity and strangeness, really want her to marry Brand, who seems to have a beneficial effect on her. Eugene rearranges the furniture in the house, goes to visit Wentworths, starts a Negro cook. She flirks with Acton, more secular and with a broader outlook than the rest, but in his heart he is also an exemplary Boston. Acton is trying to arouse the interest and love of Eugene’s love for the nature of America, for its inhabitants. Eugenia tells him the story of his marriage. Acton asks what she would do if her husband returned to her. She replies that she would have told him; “Now it’s my turn, I’m breaking with you, Your Grace!” She tells Acton that she almost decided to send the paper, which she calls her renunciation, and regain her freedom.
Wentworth asks Felix if he is going to stay in America forever, but Felix has not decided yet. Knowing that Wentworth depresses his son Clifford’s addiction to drinking, Felix suggests bringing him closer to Eugene, in the hope that his passion will help the young man cope with the addiction to alcohol. Wentworth thinks this thought wild: what can a twenty-year-old boy have in common with a thirty-three-year-old married lady? But Eugenia is welcoming Clifford, and he increasingly visits her. Felix finishes Gertrude’s portrait, but they still spend a lot of time together. They often meet Charlotte and Brand, and Felix notices that young people love each other. He shares his observation with Gertrude, and she, having thought, agrees with him. Considering Brand as the bridegroom of a sister, Charlotte suppresses her feelings, and Brand simply does not realize, that in fact he does not like Gertrude, but Charlotte. Felix and Gertrude decide to help Brand and Charlotte sort out their feelings. Felix confesses to Gertrude in love. He dreams of marrying her, but a penniless artist is not a couple to her, and he is afraid of refusal.
Acton introduces Eugene to his mother, and this brings them closer. He tries to understand his feelings, but comes to the conclusion that he is not in love, and most importantly, what motivates him is curiosity. Nevertheless, after a few days on business, he so hurries to see Eugene, that he comes to her at a late hour, than very much surprises her. Seeing that she misses, he invites her to travel together to Niagara. He asks if she sent her renunciation, she promises to answer Niagara. Suddenly, Clifford appears, who allegedly watched Felix’s drawings in his studio. When Clifford leaves, Eugenia says she cured Clifford of drunkenness and for that he fell in love with her. Being a romantic young man, he took it as a rule to come to her at midnight. Acton tells Eugene that everyone thinks Clifford is the groom of his sister Lizzie, and Eugene promises not to encourage his courtship. The next day Clifford tells Acton that he was at Eugene, when he heard footsteps, and, fearing that it was his father, hid in Felix’s studio. Unable to get out to the street, he entered the living room. On the direct question of Acton, whether he is in love with Eugene, Clifford replies that he does not.
Felix tells Eugenia that he has achieved the reciprocity of Gertrude and she is ready to go with him to Europe. Eugenia says that Acton wants to marry her, but she has not yet decided how to proceed, because he will never agree to live in Europe. Felix persuades her to agree to this marriage. Acton does not go to Eugene for several days. Eugenia is paying a visit to Acton’s mother and says that she is going to leave. Leaving her, she sees Acton lying on the lawn under the tree and announces to him about her imminent departure. Acton feels that he is in love with her, and tries to keep her. He once again asks if she sent the paper back to her freedom. She says yes. Acton asks himself, “Is this the lie he wanted to hear,” but does not take any decisive steps. Evgenia invites Clifford to visit her in Europe, and before her departure, to visit her here, but Clifford takes more off seeing his father’s friends than talking to Eugene. She is annoyed: does it really go away with nothing? Prosy Americans do not show such fervor of feelings as it expects from them.
Felix reveals Brand’s eyes to the fact that Charlotte loves him, The priest is stunned. Felix asks Wentworth for Gertrude’s hand, and Brand asks permission to marry them, admiring everyone with his nobility. Clifford makes an offer to Lizzie Acton, and everyone asks Eugene to linger and attend weddings, but she hurries to leave. Felix asks the sister about her relationship with Acton. Eugenia says she refused him. She did not send her consent to divorce and returned to Germany. Acton upsets her departure, but not for long. After the death of his mother, he marries a nice and well-bred girl. Felix and Gertrude live in Europe and only visit their relatives once: they come to the wedding of Brand and Charlotte.