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Elinor Wyllys by Susan Fenimore Cooper

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music-master says he has no doubt but I can play well enough to
give lessons, if I go on as well as I have in the last year; I
practise regularly every day. Mother bids me say, that now she
feels sure of my education for the next three years, one of her
heaviest cares has been taken away: she says too, that although
many friends in the parish have been very good to us, since my
dear father was taken away from us, yet 'no act of kindness has
been so important to us, none so cheering to the heart of the
widow and the fatherless, as your generous goodness to her eldest
child;' these are her own words. Mother will write to you herself
to-morrow. I thank you again, dear Miss Wyllys, for myself, and I
remain, very respectfully and very gratefully,

"Your obliged servant and friend,


This last letter seemed to restore all Elinor's good humour,
acting as an antidote to the three which had preceded it. The
correspondence which we have taken the liberty of reading, will
testify more clearly than any assurance of ours, to the fact that
our friend Elinor now stands invested with the dignity of an
heiress, accompanied by the dangers, pleasures, and annoyances,
usually surrounding an unmarried woman, possessing the reputation
of a fortune. Wherever Elinor now appeared, the name of a fortune
procured her attention; the plain face which some years before
had caused her to be neglected where she was not intimately
known, was no longer an obstacle to the gallantry of the very
class who had shunned her before. Indeed, the want of beauty,
which might have been called her misfortune, was now the very
ground on which several of her suitors founded their hopes of
success; as she was pronounced so very plain, the dandies thought
it impossible she could resist the charm of their own personal
advantages. Elinor had, in short, her full share of those
persecutions which are sure to befall all heiresses. The peculiar
evils of such a position affect young women very differently,
according to their various dispositions. Had Elinor been weak and
vain, she would have fallen into the hands of a fortune-hunter.
Had she been of a gloomy temper, disgust at the coarse plots and
manoeuvres, so easily unravelled by a clear-sighted person, might
have made her a prey to suspicion, and all but misanthropic. Had
she been vulgar-minded, she would have been purse-proud; if
cold-hearted, she would have become only the more selfish. Vanity
would have made her ridiculously ostentatious and conceited; a
jealous temper would have become self-willed and domineering.

Change of position often produces an apparent change of
character; sometimes the effect is injurious, sometimes it is
advantageous. But we trust that the reader, on renewing his
acquaintance with Elinor Wyllys, will find her, while flattered
by the world as an heiress, essentially the same in character and
manner, as she was when overlooked and neglected on account of an
unusually plain face. If a shade of difference is perceptible, it
is only the natural result of four or five years of additional
experience, and she has merely exchanged the first retiring
modesty of early youth, for a greater portion of self-possession.

In the first months of her new reputation as an heiress, Elinor
had been astonished at the boldness of some attacks upon her;
then, as there was much that was ridiculous connected with these
proceedings, she had been diverted; but, at length, when she
found them rapidly increasing, she became seriously annoyed.

"What a miserable puppet these adventurers must think me--it is
cruelly mortifying to see how confident of success some of them
appear!" she exclaimed to her aunt.

"I am very sorry, my child, that you should be annoyed in this
way--but it seems you must make up your mind to these
impertinences--it is only what every woman who has property must

"It is really intolerable! But I am determined at least that they
shall not fill my head with suspicions--and I never can endure to
be perpetually on my guard against these sort of people. It will
not do to think of them; that is the only way to keep one's
temper. If I know myself, there never can be any danger to me
from men of that kind, even the most agreeable."

"Take care," said Miss Agnes, smiling, and shaking her head.

"Well, I know at least there is no danger at present; but as we
all have moments of weakness, I shall therefore very humbly beg
that if you ever see me in the least danger, you will give me
warning, dear Aunt; a very sharp warning, if you please."

"In such a case I should certainly warn you, my dear. It strikes
me that several of your most disagreeable admirers--"

"How call you call them ADMIRERS, Aunt Agnes?"

"Well, several of your pursuers, then, are beginning to discover
that you are not a young lady easily persuaded into believing
herself an angel, and capable of fancying them the most
chivalrous and disinterested of men."

This was quite true; there was a quiet dignity, with an
occasional touch of decision in Elinor's manner, that had already
convinced several gentlemen that she had more firmness of
character than suited their views; and they had accordingly
withdrawn from the field.

"Suppose, Elinor, that I begin by giving you a warning, this
morning?" continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

"You are not serious, surely, Aunt?" replied Elinor, turning from
some music she was unpacking, to look at Miss Wyllys.

"Yes, indeed; I am serious, so far as believing that you are at
this moment exposed to the manoeuvres of a gentleman whom you do
not seem in the least to suspect, and who is decidedly

"Whom can you mean?" said Elinor, running over in her head the
names of several persons whom she had seen lately. "You surely do
not suspect--No; I am sure you have too good an opinion of him."

"I am very far from having a particularly good opinion of the
person I refer to," said Miss Agnes; "I think him at least,
nothing better than a fortune-hunter; and although it is very
possible to do many worse things than marrying for money, yet I
hope you will never become the wife of a man whose principles are
not above suspicion in every way."

"I am disposed just at present, I can assure you, dear Aunt, to
have a particularly poor opinion of a mere fortune-hunter."

"Yes; you do not seem to feel very amiably towards the class,
just now," said Miss Agnes, smiling.

"But who is the individual who stands so low in your opinion?"

"It is your opinion, and not mine, which is the important one,"
replied Miss Agnes.

"Ah, I see you are joking, Aunt; you half frightened me at first.
As far as having no fears for myself, I am really in an alarming

"So it would seem. But have you really no suspicions of one of
our visiters of last evening?"

Elinor looked uneasy.

"Is it possible," she said, lowering her voice a little, "that
you believe Mr. Ellsworth to be a common fortune-hunter? I
thought you had a very different opinion of him."

"You are right, my child," said Miss Agnes, apparently pleased by
this allusion to their friend; "I have, indeed, a high opinion of
Mr. Ellsworth; but he was not our only visiter last evening,"

"Is it Mr. Stryker? I have half-suspected some such thing myself,
lately; I cannot take credit for so much innocence as you gave
me. But it is not worth while to trouble oneself about Mr.
Stryker; he is certainly old enough, and worldly-wise enough to
take care of himself. If he actually has any such views, his time
will be sadly thrown away. But it is much more probable that he
is really in love with Mrs. Creighton; and it would be very
ridiculous in me, to imagine that he is even pretending to care
for me, when he is attached to some one else."

"He may flirt with Mrs. Creighton, but, if I am not mistaken, he
intends to offer himself before long to Miss Wyllys; and I
thought you had not remarked his advances."

"I fancy, dear Aunt, that men like Mr. Stryker seldom commit
themselves unless they feel pretty sure of success."

The conversation was here interrupted, Elinor was engaged to ride
with Mr. Wyllys, who now returned from the reading-room for his
grand-daughter. Mrs. Creighton was also going out with her
brother, and proposed the two parties joining; an invitation
which Mr. Wyllys had very readily accepted. The horses were
ordered, Elinor was soon equipped, and on joining Mrs. Creighton
at the door, she was assisted to mount by Mr. Ellsworth. Mr.
Stryker had also been invited to ride with them by the pretty

It was a lovely morning, and they moved off gaily on one of the
roads leading to Saratoga Lake; Elinor enjoying the air and the
exercise, Mr. Ellsworth at her side, doing his best to make his
society agreeable, Mrs. Creighton engaged in making a conquest of
the two gentlemen between whom she rode. Yes, we are obliged to
confess the fact; on her part at least, there was nothing wanting
to make up a flirtation with Mr. Wyllys. The widow belonged to
that class of ladies, whose thirst for admiration really seems
insatiable, and who appear anxious to compel all who approach
them to feel the effect of their charms. Elinor would have been
frightened, had she been aware of the attack made that morning by
Mrs. Creighton, on the peace of her excellent grandfather, now in
his seventy-third year. Not that the lady neglected Mr.
Stryker--by no means; she was very capable of managing two
affairs of the kind at the same moment. All the remarks she
addressed particularly to Mr. Wyllys, were sensible and
lady-like; those she made to Mr. Stryker, were clever, worldly,
and piquant; while the general tone of her conversation was
always a well-bred medley of much fashionable levity, with some
good sense and propriety. Mr. Stryker scarcely knew whether to be
pleased, or to regret that he was obliged to ride at her side. He
had lately become particularly anxious to advance in the good
graces of Miss Elinor Wyllys, for two reasons; he had lost money,
and was very desirous of appropriating some of Elinor's to his
own use; and he had also felt himself to be in imminent danger of
falling in love with Mrs. Creighton, and he wished to put it out
of his own power to offer himself to her in a moment of weakness.
Much as he admired the beauty, the wit, and the worldly spirit of
the pretty widow, he was half-afraid of her; he judged her by
himself; he knew that she was artful, and he knew that she was
poor; for her late husband, Mr. Creighton, during a short married
life, had run through all his wife's property, as well as his
own, and his widow was now entirely dependent upon her brother.

The attention of the two gentlemen was not, however, entirely
engrossed by Mrs. Creighton. Mr. Stryker was by no means willing
to resign the field to his rival, Mr. Ellsworth; and Mr. Wyllys
was not so much charmed by the conversation of his fair
companion, but that his eye could rest with pleasure on the
couple before him, as he thought there was every probability that
Elinor would at length gratify his long-cherished wish, and
become the wife of a man he believed worthy of her. As the party
halted for a few moments on the bank of the Lake, Mr. Wyllys was
particularly struck with the expression of spirit and interest
with which Elinor was listening to Mr. Ellsworth's description of
the lakes of Killarney, which he had seen during his last visit
to Europe; and when the gentleman had added a ludicrous account
of some Paddyism of his guide, she laughed so gaily that the
sound rejoiced her grandfather's heart.

Elinor had long since regained her former cheerfulness. For a
time, Harry's desertion had made her sad, but she soon felt it a
duty to shake off every appearance of gloom, for the sake of her
grandfather and aunt, whose happiness was so deeply interwoven
with her own. Religious motives also strengthened her
determination to resist every repining feeling. The true spirit
of cheerfulness is, in fact, the fruit of two of the greatest
virtues of Christianity--steadfast faith, and unfeigned humility;
and it is akin to thankfulness, which is only the natural
consequence of a sense of our own imperfections, and of the
unmerited goodness of Providence.

"We have had a charming ride, Miss Wyllys!" said Mrs. Creighton,
as the party returned to the hotel.

"Very pleasant," said Elinor.

"Delightful!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth. "I hope we shall have such
another every day."

"Then I must try and find an animal, with rather better paces
than the one which has the honour of carrying me at present,"
said Mr. Stryker.

"But Mrs. Creighton has been so very agreeable, that I should
think you would have been happy to accompany her on the worst
horse in Saratoga," observed Mr. Wyllys.

"Only too agreeable," replied Mr. Stryker, as he helped the lady
to dismount, while Mr. Ellsworth performed the same service to


"I do beseech your grace, for charity,
If ever any malice in your heart
Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly."
Henry VIII.

{William Shakespeare, "Henry VIII", II.i.79-81}

ONE evening, about a week after the arrival of the Wyllyses,
there was a dance at Congress Hall, where they were staying. Mrs.
Creighton, with her brother, who were already engaged to meet
some friends there, urged Elinor very much to join them; but she
declined, not wishing to leave Jane. Mr. Ellsworth, who had been
very devoted, of late, seemed particularly anxious she should go.
But although Elinor's manner betrayed some little embarrassment,
if not indecision, as the gentleman urged her doing so, still she
persisted in remaining with her cousin.

{"Congress Hall" = the most fashionable hotel in Saratoga Springs
-- built in 1811, the original building burned in 1866}

"Well, I am sorry we cannot persuade you, Miss Wyllys; though I
dare say you will have a very pleasant evening in your own

"We must put, off our game of chess until to-morrow, Mrs.
Creighton," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, unfortunately for me; for I have fully determined to beat
you, sir, at our next trial. Well, Frank, we cannot stay here all
the evening; I dare say, our friends, the Stevensons, are looking
for us in the ball-room already."

"Mrs. Creighton is a very pretty woman," observed Mr. Wyllys, as
he seated himself at the chess-board, opposite his daughter,
after the brother and sister had left the room.

"Yes, a very pretty woman; and she always looks well in her
evening-dress," replied Miss Agnes.

Elinor devoted herself to Jane's amusement. Ever since they had
been together, she had given up a great part of her time to Mrs.
Taylor, whom she was very anxious to cheer and enliven, that she
might persuade her to throw off the melancholy and low spirits,
which her cousin seemed purposely to encourage. The sick baby was
better, and Elinor was in hopes that before they parted, she
should succeed in awakening Jane to a somewhat better frame of
mind. She was very desirous that the time they were together
should not be lost; and her kindness was so unwearied, her manner
was so affectionate and soothing, and the advice she sometimes
allowed herself to give, was so clear and sensible, that at last
Jane seemed to feel the good effects of her cousin's efforts.

After Mr. Ellsworth and his sister had left the room to join the
dancers, Jane suddenly turned to Elinor, with tears in her eyes.
"How kind you are!" she said. "I daresay you would like to go
down-stairs;--but you are too good to me, Elinor!"

"Nonsense, Jenny; I can't help it if I would. Do you think I
should enjoy dancing, if I knew you were sitting alone in this
dark corner, while grandpapa and Aunt Agnes are playing chess!
You are looking a great deal more woe-begone than you ought to,
now baby is so much better."

"You spoil me," said Jane, shaking her head, and smiling with
more feeling than usual in her unexpressive face.

"I shall spoil you a great deal more before we get through. Next
week, when Mr. Taylor comes, I intend to talk him into bringing
you over to Wyllys-Roof, to pay a good long visit, like old

"I had much rather think of old times, than of what is to come.
There is nothing pleasant for me to look forward to!"

"How can you know that, Jane? I have learned one lesson by
experience, though I am only a year older than you, dear--and it
is, that if we are often deceived by hope, so we are quite as
often misled by fear."

"I believe, Elinor, you are my best friend," said Jane, holding
out her hand to her cousin.

"Oh, you have more good friends than you think for, and much good
of every kind, though you will shut your eyes to the fact."

"It may be so," said Jane; "I will try to follow your advice, if
I can."

"Try hard, then," said Elinor, "and all will go well. And now,
shall I sing you the song Mrs. Creighton cut short?"

She began to sing "Auld Lang Syne;" but the song was interrupted
before she had finished the second verse. Several persons were
heard approaching their room, which was in a retired, quiet part
of the house; the door soon opened, and in walked Robert

"Well, good people," he exclaimed, "you take the world as quietly
as anybody I know! We supposed, of course, you were at the ball,
but Elinor's voice betrayed you. This way, Louisa," he said,
returning to the door, after having shaken hands with Mr. Wyllys
and Miss Agnes.

"How glad I am to see you!" exclaimed Elinor--"you are as good as
your word; but we did not expect you for several days;" and Jane
and herself went to the door to meet Mrs. Hazlehurst.

"And, pray, what reason had you to suppose that we should not
keep our word?" said the latter, as she appeared.

"We thought Harry would probably detain you," said Elinor.

"Not at all; we brought him along with us."

"That was a good arrangement we had not thought of," observed
Miss Agnes.

Harry entered the room. He was not entirely free from
embarrassment at first; but when Mr. Wyllys met him with
something of the cordial manner of old times, he immediately
recovered himself. He kissed the hand of Miss Agnes, as in former
days, and saluted Elinor in the same way, instead of the more
brotherly greetings with which he used to meet her of old.

"And here is Jane, too, Harry," said Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had
just embraced her sister. "You have been so long away, that I
dare say you have forgotten half your old friends."

"Not at all," said Harry, crossing the room to Jane. "I think
myself a very lucky fellow, at finding them all collected here
together, for my especial benefit. I met Mr. Taylor for a moment
in New York," he continued, addressing Jane.

"Did he say when he was coming for me?" replied Mrs. Taylor,
offering her hand to her kinsman.

"He told me that he should be at Saratoga very shortly."

"I have a letter for you in my trunk, Jane," said Mrs. Robert

"Don't you think our invalid much better, already, Louisa?" asked

"Yes; she does credit to your nursing."

"No wonder," said Jane; "for during the last month I have been
petted all the time--first by Mrs. Taylor, then by Aunt Agnes and

"It's very pleasant to be petted," said Harry; "that's precisely
what I came home for. I give you my notice, Louisa, I expect a
great deal from you in the next three months."

"Is that the length of your holiday?" inquired Miss Agnes.

"So says my master, Mr. Henley. I understand," he added, turning
to Elinor, "that you have all the agreeable people in the country
collected here."

"There are some thousands of us, agreeable and disagreeable,
altogether. They say the place has never been more crowded so
early in the season."

"So I'm told. I was warned that if I came, I should have to make
my bed in the cellar, or on the roof. Are Ellsworth and Mrs.
Creighton at this house, or at the other?"

"They are staying at the United States. They are here this
evening, however, at the dance."

{"United States" = the other major hotel in Saratoga Springs,
less fashionable at this time than Congress Hall}

"Indeed!--I have half a mind to take Ellsworth by surprise. Will
they admit a gentleman in travelling costume, do you think?"

"I dare say they will; but here are your friends, coming to look
for you."

At the same moment, Mr. Ellsworth and Mrs. Creighton joined the

"How d'ye do, Ellsworth?--Glad to see you, my dear fellow!" cried
the young men, shaking each other violently by the hand.

"How do you do, Mr. Hazlehurst?" added the lady, "Welcome back
again. But what have you done with your sister-in-law?--for I did
not come to call upon you alone. Ah, here you are, Mrs.
Hazlehurst. My brother observed you passing through the hall, as
you arrived, and we determined that it would be much pleasanter
to pass half an hour with you, than to finish the dance. We have
been wishing for you every day."

"Thank you. We should have set out before, if we had not waited
for Harry. Elinor tells me half Philadelphia is here, already."

"Yes; the houses have filled up very much since I first came; for
I am ashamed to say how long I have been here."

"Why, yes: I understood you were going to Nahant."

"We ought to have been there long ago; but I could not move this
obstinate brother of mine. He has never found Saratoga so
delightful, Mrs. Hazlehurst," added the lady, with an expressive
smile, and a look towards Elinor. "I can't say, however, that I
at all regret being forced to stay, for many of our friends are
here, now. Mr. Hazlehurst, I hope you have come home more
agreeable than ever."

"I hope so too, Mrs. Creighton; for it is one of our chief duties
as diplomatists, 'to tell lies for the good of our country,' in
an agreeable way. But I am afraid I have not improved my
opportunities. I have been very much out of humour for the last
six months, at least."

"And why, pray?"

"Because I wanted to come home, and Mr. Henley, my boss, insisted
upon proving to me it would be the most foolish thing I could do.
He was so much in the right, that I resented it by being cross."

"But now he has come himself, and brought you with him."

"No thanks to him, though. It was all Uncle Sam's doings, who
wants to send us from the Equator to the North Pole."

"Are you really going to Russia, Hazlehurst?" asked Mr.

"Certainly; you would not have me desert, would you?"

"Oh, no; don't think of it, Mr. Hazlehurst; it must be a very
pleasant life!" exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I only wish, Frank,
that you were enough of a politician to be sent as minister
somewhere; I should delight in doing the honours for you; though
I dare say you would rather have some one else in my place."

"We will wait until I am sent as ambassador to Timbuctoo, before
I answer the question."

"You have grown half-a-dozen shades darker than you used to be as
a youngster, Harry; or else this lamp deceives me," observed Mr.

"I dare say I may have a fresh tinge of the olive. But I am just
from sea, sir, and that may have given me an additional coat."

"Did you suffer much from heat, on the voyage?" asked Miss

"Not half as much as I have since I landed. It appeared to me
Philadelphia was the warmest spot I had ever breathed in; worse
than Rio. I was delighted when Louisa proposed my coming to
Saratoga to see my friends."

"You will find it quite warm enough here," said Mr. Wyllys. "The
thermometer was 92 {degrees} in the shade, yesterday."

"I don't expect to be well cooled, sir, until we get to St.
Petersburgh. After a sea-voyage, I believe one always feels the
cold less, and the heat more than usual. But where is Mrs.
Stanley?--we hoped to find her with you. Is she not staying at
this house?"

"Yes; but she left us early, this evening, not feeling very well;
you will not be able to see her until to-morrow," said Miss

"I am sorry she is not well; how is she looking?"

"Particularly well, I think; she merely complained of a head-ache
from riding in the sun."

"Mrs. Stanley has been very anxious for your return; but she will
be as agreeably surprised as the rest of us, to find you here,"
said Elinor.

"Thank you. I look upon myself as particularly fortunate, to find
so many old friends collected in one spot, instead of having to
run about, and hunt for each in a different place, just now that
I am limited for time."

"You ought to be greatly indebted to Frank and myself, for
breaking our word and staying here; instead of keeping our
promise and going to Nahant, as we had engaged to do," said Mrs.

"Certainly; I look upon it as part of my good luck; but I should
have made my appearance at Nahant, if you had actually run away
from me."

"I shall believe you; for I make it a point of always believing
what is agreeable."

"As I knew Mrs. Hazlehurst and your brother had engaged rooms
here, I hoped you would join us, soon after your arrival," said
Mr. Ellsworth.

"It was much the best plan for you," said Mr. Wyllys.

Harry looked gratified by this friendly remark.

It was already late; and Mrs. Hazlehurst, who had been conversing
in a corner with Jane, complained of being fatigued by her day's
journey, which broke up the party. The Hazlehursts, like Mrs.
Creighton and her brother, were staying at the United States, and
they all went off together.

When Elinor, as usual, kissed Mr. Wyllys before retiring to her
own room, she hesitated a moment, and then said:

"I must thank you, grandpapa, for having granted my request, and
received Harry as of old. It is much better that the past should
be entirely forgotten. Self-respect seems to require that we
should not show resentment under the circumstances," she added,
colouring slightly.

"I cannot forget the past, Elinor. Harry does not stand with me
where he once did, by the side of my beloved grandchild; but we
will not think of that any longer, as you say. I hope for better
things from the future. Bless you, dear!"


"The foam upon the waters, not so light."

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Truth" line 43}

As usual at Saratoga, early the next morning groups of people
were seen moving from the different hotels, towards the Congress
Spring. It was a pleasant day, and great numbers appeared
disposed to drink the water at the fountain-head, instead of
having it brought to their rooms. The Hazlehursts were not the
only party of our acquaintances who had arrived the night before.
The Wyllyses found Miss Emma Taylor already on the ground,
chattering in a high key with a tall, whiskered youth. The moment
she saw Elinor, she sprang forward to meet her.

{"Congress Spring" = principal mineral water source at Saratoga

"How do you do, Miss Wyllys?--Are you not surprised to see me

"One can hardly be surprised at meeting anybody in such a crowd,"
said Elinor. "When did you arrive?"

"Last night, at eleven o'clock. We made a forced march from
Schenectady, where we were to have slept; but I persuaded Adeline
and Mr. St. Leger to come on. You can't think how delighted I am
to be here, at last," said the pretty little creature, actually
skipping about with joy.

"And where is Mrs. St. Leger?"

"Oh, she will he here in a moment. She has gone to Jane's room. I
left her there just now."

The platform round the spring was quite crowded. In one party,
Elinor remarked Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard, escorted
by Monsieur Bonnet and another Frenchman. They were soon followed
by a set more interesting to Elinor, the Hazlehursts, Mrs.
Creighton, and her brother.

"I hope none of your party from Wyllys-Roof are here from
necessity," said Harry, after wishing Elinor good-morning.

"Not exactly from necessity; but the physicians recommended to
Aunt Agnes to pass a fortnight here, this summer. You may have
heard that she was quite ill, a year ago?"

"Yes; Robert, of course, wrote me word of her illness. But Miss
Wyllys looks quite like herself, I think. As for Mr. Wyllys, he
really appears uncommonly well."

"Thank you; grandpapa is very well, indeed; and Aunt Agnes has
quite recovered her health, I trust."

"Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Stryker, offering a glass of the water to
Elinor, "can't I persuade you to take a sympathetic cup, this

"I believe not," replied Elinor, shaking her head.

"Do you never drink it"' asked Mrs. Creighton.

"No; I really dislike it very much."

"Pray, give it to me, Mr. Stryker," continued Mrs. Creighton.
"Thank you: I am condemned to drink three glasses every morning,
and it will be three hours, at this rate, before I get them."

"Did you ever hear a better shriek than that, Miss Wyllys?" said
Mr. Stryker, lowering his voice, and pointing to Emma Taylor, who
was standing on the opposite side of the spring, engaged in a
noisy, rattling flirtation. After drinking half the glass that
had been given to her, she had handed it to the young man to whom
she was talking, bidding him drink it without making a face. Of
course, the youth immediately exerted himself to make a grimace.

"Oh, you naughty boy!" screamed Miss Taylor, seizing another
half-empty glass, and throwing a handful of water in his face;
"this is the way I shall punish you!"

There were two gentlemen, European travellers, standing
immediately behind Elinor at this moment, and the colour rose in
her cheeks as she heard the very unfavourable observations they
made upon Miss Taylor, judging from her noisy manner in a public
place. Elinor, who understood very well the language in which
they spoke, was so shut in by the crowd that she could not move,
and was compelled to hear part of a conversation that deeply
mortified her, as these travellers, apparently gentlemanly men
themselves, exchanged opinions upon the manners of certain young
ladies they had recently met. They began to compare notes, and
related several little anecdotes, anything but flattering in
their nature, to the delicacy of the ladies alluded to; actually
naming the individuals as they proceeded. More than one of these
young girls was well known to Elinor, and from her acquaintance
with their usual tone of manner and conversation, she had little
doubt as to the truth of the stories these travellers had
recorded for the amusement of themselves and their friends; at
the same time, she felt perfectly convinced that the
interpretation put upon these giddy, thoughtless actions, was
cruelly unjust. Could these young ladies have heard the
observations to which they had laid themselves open by their own
folly, they would have been sobered at once; self-respect would
have put them more on their guard, ESPECIALLY IN THEIR
INTERCOURSE WITH FOREIGNERS. It is, no doubt, delightful to see
young persons free from every suspicion; no one would wish to
impose a single restraint beyond what is necessary; but, surely,
a young girl should not only be sans peur, but also sans
reproche--the faintest imputation on her native modesty is not to
be endured: and, yet, who has not seen pretty, delicate
creatures, scarcely arrived at womanhood, actually assuming a
noisy, forward pertness, foreign to their nature, merely to
qualify them for the envied title of belles? There is something
wrong, certainly, wherever such a painful picture is exhibited;
and it may be presumed that in most cases the fault lies rather
with the parents than the daughters. Happily, the giddy, rattling
school to which Miss Emma Taylor belonged, is much less in favour
now, than it was some ten or fifteen years ago, at the date of
our story.

{"sans peur, but also sans reproche" = without fear, but also
without reproach (French); the French national hero Bayard
(1476-1524), is traditionally called "Le Chevalier sans peur et
sans reproche"}

"How little do Emma Taylor, and girls like her, imagine the cruel
remarks to which they expose themselves by their foolish
manners!" thought Elinor, as she succeeded at length, with the
assistance of Mr. Ellsworth, in extricating herself from the

As the Wyllys party moved away from the spring, to walk in the
pretty wood adjoining, they saw a young man coming towards them
at a very rapid pace.

"Who is it--any one you know, Miss Wyllys?" asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"He is in pursuit of some other party, I fancy," replied Elinor.

"It is Charlie Hubbard coming to join us; did we forget to
mention that he came up the river with us?" said Harry, who was
following Elinor, with Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Stryker.

The young painter soon reached them, as they immediately stopped
to welcome him; he was very kindly received by his old friends.

"Well, Charlie, my boy," said Mr. Wyllys, "if Harry had not been
here to vouch for your identity, I am not sure but I should have
taken you for an exiled Italian bandit. Have you shown those
moustaches at Longbridge?"

"Yes, sir;" replied Charlie, laughing. "I surprised my mother and
sister by a sight of them, some ten days since; it required all
their good-nature, I believe, to excuse them."

"I dare say they would have been glad to see you, if you had come
back looking like a Turk," said Elinor.

"I am determined not to shave for some months, out of principle;
just to show my friends that I am the same Charlie Hubbard with
moustaches that I was three years ago without them."

"I suppose you consider it part of your profession to look as
picturesque as our stiff-cut broadcloth will permit," said Mr.

"If you really suspect me of dandyism, sir," said Charlie, "I
shall have to reform at once."

"I am afraid, Mr. Hubbard, that you have forgotten me," observed
Mr. Ellsworth; "though I passed a very pleasant morning at your
rooms in New York, some years since."

Charlie remembered him, however; and also made his bow to Mrs.
Creighton and Mr. Stryker.

"And how did you leave the Mediterranean, sir?" asked Mr.
Stryker, in a dry tone. "Was the sea in good looks?"

"As blue as ever. I am only afraid my friends in this country
will not believe the colour I have given it in my sketches."

"We are bound to believe all your representations of water,"
remarked Mr. Wyllys.

"I hope you have brought back a great deal for us to see; have
you anything with you here?" asked Elinor.

"Only my sketch-book. I would not bring anything else; for I must
get rid of my recollections of Italy. I must accustom my eye
again to American nature; I have a great deal to do with Lake
George, this summer."

"But you must have something in New York," said Miss Wyllys.

"Yes; I have brought home with me samples of water, from some of
the most celebrated lakes and rivers in Europe."

"That is delightful," said Elinor; "and when can we see them?"

"As soon as they are unpacked, I shall be very happy to show them
to my friends. They will probably interest you on account of the
localities; and I have endeavoured to be as faithful to nature as
I could, in every instance. You will find several views familiar
to you, among the number," added Charlie, addressing Hazlehurst.

"I have no doubt that you have done them justice."

"They are far from being as good as I could wish; but I did my
best. You will find some improvement, sir, I hope," added
Charlie, turning to Mr. Wyllys, "since my first attempt at
Chewattan Lake, in the days of Compound Interest."

"You have not forgotten your old enemy, the Arithmetic," said Mr.
Wyllys, smiling. "I am afraid Fortune will never smile upon you
for having deserted from the ranks of trade."

"I am not sure of that, sir; she is capricious, you know."

"I should think you would do well, Charlie, to try your luck just
now, by an exhibition of your pictures."

"My uncle has already proposed an exhibition; but I doubt its
success; our people don't often run after good pictures," he
added, smiling. "If I had brought with me some trash from Paris
or Leghorn, I might have made a mint of money."

A general conversation continued until the party returned towards
the hotels. They were met, as they approached Congress Hall, by
several persons, two of whom proved to be Mrs. Hilson, and Miss
Emmeline Hubbard. Charlie had already seen his cousins in New
York, and he merely bowed in passing. Miss Emmeline was leaning
on the arm of M. Bonnet, Mrs. Hilson on that of another
Frenchman, whose name, as the "Baron Adolphe de Montbrun," had
been constantly on her lips during the last few weeks, or in
other words, ever since she had made his acquaintance. Charlie
kept his eye fixed on this individual, with a singular expression
of surprise and vexation, until he had passed. He thought he
could not be mistaken, that his cousin's companion was no other
than a man of very bad character, who had been in Rome at the
same time with himself, and having married the widow of an
Italian artist, a sister of one of Hubbard's friends, had
obtained possession of her little property, and then deserted
her. The whole affair had taken place while Charlie was in Rome;
and it will readily be imagined that he felt no little
indignation, when he met a person whom he strongly suspected of
being this very chevalier d'industrie, flourishing at Saratoga,
by the side of his uncle Joseph's daughter.

{"chevalier d'industrie" = con man; swindler; man who lives by
his wits (French)}

Charlie had no sooner left the Wyllyses on the piazza at Congress
Hall, than he proceeded to make some inquiry about this
Frenchman. He found his name down in the books of the hotel, as
the Baron Adolphe de Montbrun, which with the exception of
ALPHONSE for the first name, was the appellation of the very man
who had behaved so badly at Rome. He went to Mrs. Hilson, and
told her his suspicions; but they had not the least effect on the
"city lady;" she would not believe them. Charlie had no positive
proof of what he asserted; he could not be confident beyond a
doubt as to the identity of this person and the Montbrun of the
Roman story, for he had only seen that individual once in Italy.
Still, he was convinced himself, and he entreated his cousin to
be on her guard; the effect of his representations may be
appreciated from the fact, that Mrs. Hilson became more amiable
than ever with the Baron, while she was pouting and sulky with
Charlie, scarcely condescending to notice him at all. Hubbard
only remained twenty-four hours at Saratoga, for he was on his
way to Lake George; before he left the Springs, however, he
hinted to Mr. Wyllys his suspicions of this Montbrun, in order to
prevent that individual's intruding upon the ladies of the Wyllys
party; for Mrs. Hilson delighted in introducing him right and
left. As for her other companion, M. Bonnet, he was known to be a
respectable merchant in New York.

Several days passed, during which our friends at Saratoga, like
the rest of the world there, walked, and rode, and drank the
waters, and seemed to pass their time very pleasantly; although
the ladies did not either dress or flirt as much as many of their
companions, who seemed to look upon these two occupations as the
peculiar business of the place. Jane's spirits improved very
much; there was much curiosity to see her, on account of her
reputation as a beauty; but, like the rest of her party, she was
only occasionally in the public rooms.

"Have you seen the beautiful Mrs. Taylor?"--"I caught a glimpse
of Mrs. Taylor, the great beauty, this morning--"What, the
beautiful Jane Graham that was? is she as lovely as ever?"--were
remarks that were frequently heard in the crowd.

Elinor also came in for her share of the public notice, and the
attention she attracted was, of course, of a directly opposite
character. There happened to be staying at Congress Hall, just
then, a very pretty young lady, from Savannah, who was also
considered a great fortune; she was known as the "lovely
heiress," while Elinor, in contradistinction, was spoken of as
the "ugly heiress."

"Do you know," said a young lady, standing on the piazza one
evening, "I have not yet seen the ugly heiress. I should like to
get a peep at her; is she really so very ugly?" she continued,
addressing a young man at her side.

"Miss Wyllys, you mean; a perfect fright--ugly as sin," replied
the gentleman.

Elinor, at the very moment, was standing immediately behind the
speakers, and Mr. Ellsworth, who was talking to her, was much
afraid she had heard the remark. To cut short the conversation,
he immediately addressed her himself, raising his voice a little,
and calling her by name.

The young lady was quite frightened, when she found the "ugly
heiress" was her near neighbour, and even the dandy was abashed;
but Elinor herself was rather amused with the circumstance, and
she smiled at the evident mortification of the speakers. Never
was there a woman more free from personal vanity than Elinor
Wyllys; and she was indifferent to remarks of this kind, to a
degree that would seem scarcely credible to that class of young
ladies, who think no sound so delightful as that of a compliment.
On the evening in question, the piazzas were crowded with the
inmates of the hotels; those who had feeling for the beauties of
nature, and those who had not, came out alike, to admire an
unusual effect of moonlight upon a fine mass of clouds. Elinor
was soon aware that she was in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Hilson
and her sister, by the silly conversation they were keeping up
with their companions. These Longbridge ladies generally kept
with their own party, which was a large one. The Wyllyses were
not sorry that they seldom met; for, little as they liked the
sisters, they wished always to treat them civilly, on account of
their father. The English art of "cutting" is, indeed, little
practised in America; except in extreme cases; all classes are
too social in their feelings and habits to adopt it. It is,
indeed, an honourable characteristic of those who occupy the
highest social position in America--those who have received, in
every respect, the best education in the country--that, as a
class, they are free from the little, selfish, ungenerous feeling
of mere exclusiveism.

"Oh, here you are, Miss Wyllys!" exclaimed Emmeline Hubbard to
Elinor, who was talking to Mrs. Creighton. "I have been wishing
to see you all the afternoon--I owe you an apology."

"An apology to me, Miss Hubbard?--I was not at all aware of it."

"Is it possible? I was afraid you would think me very rude this
morning, when I spoke to you in the drawing-room, for there was a
gentleman with you at the time. Of course I ought not to have
joined you at such a moment, but I was anxious to give you the
Longbridge news."

"Certainly; I was very glad to hear it: the conversation you
interrupted was a very trifling one."

"Oh, I did not wish to insinuate that you were conversing on a
PARTICULARLY interesting subject. But, of course, I am too well
acquainted with the etiquette of polished circles, not to know
that it is wrong for one young lady to intrude upon another while
conversing with a gentleman.

"If there be such a point of etiquette, I must have often broken
it very innocently, myself. I have never practised it, I assure

"Ah, that is very imprudent, Miss Wyllys!" said the fair
Emmeline, shaking her fan at Elinor. "Who knows how much mischief
one may do, in that way? You might actually prevent a
declaration. And then a young lady is, of course, always too
agreeably occupied in entertaining a beau, to wish to leave him
for a female friend. It is not everybody who would be as
good-natured as yourself at such an interruption."

"I have no merit whatever in the matter, I assure you; for I was
very glad to find that--"

Just at that moment one of Miss Hubbard's admirers approached
her, and without waiting to hear the conclusion of Elinor's
remark, she turned abruptly from the lady, to meet the gentleman,
with a striking increase of grace, and the expression of the
greatest interest in her whole manner.

Elinor smiled, as the thought occurred to her, that this last act
of rudeness was really trying to her good-nature, while she had
never dreamed of resenting the interruption of the morning. But
Miss Hubbard was only following the code of etiquette, tacitly
adopted by the class of young ladies she belonged to, who never
scrupled to make their manner to men, much more attentive and
flattering than towards one of themselves, or even towards an
older person of their own sex.

Elinor, however, had seen such manoeuvres before, and she would
scarcely have noticed it at the moment, had it not been for Miss
Emmeline's previous apology.

Mrs. Hilson soon approached her. "Has Emmeline been communicating
our Longbridge intelligence, Miss Wyllys? Do you think it a good

"I hope it will prove so; we were very glad to hear of it. Mary
Van Horne is a great favourite of my aunt's, and Mr. Roberts, I
hear, is highly spoken of."

"Yes; and he is very rich; too; she has nothing at all herself; I

"Do you know whether they are to live in New York? I hope they
will not go very far from us."

"I suppose they will live in the city, as he is so wealthy; Mary
will have an opportunity of tasting the fascinations of high
life. I shall introduce her to a clique of great refinement at
once. Don't you think Saratoga the most delightful place in the
world, Miss Wyllys? I am never so happy as when here. I delight
so much in the gay world; it appears to me that I breathe more
freely in a crowd--solitude oppresses me; do you like it?"

"I have never tried it very long. If you like a crowd, you must
be perfectly satisfied, just now."

''And so I am, Miss Wyllys, perfectly happy in these fashionable
scenes. Do you know, it is a fact, that I lose my appetite unless
I can sit down to table with at least thirty or forty fashionably
dressed people about me; and I never sleep sounder than on board
a steamboat, where the floor is covered with mattresses. I am not
made for retirement, certainly. Ah, Monsieur Bonnet, here you are
again, I see; what have you done with the Baron?--is not the
Baron with you?"

"No, Madame; he has not finish his cigar. And where is Mlle.
Emmeline?--I hope she has not abandonne me!" said M. Bonnet, who,
to do him justice, was a sufficiently respectable man, a French
merchant in New York, and no way connected with the Baron.

"Oh, no; she is here; we were waiting for the Baron and you to
escort us to the drawing-room; but we will remain until the Baron
comes. I have heard something that will put you in good-humour,
another of those marriages you admire so much--one of the parties
rolling in wealth and luxury, the other poor as Job's turkey."

"Ah, vraiment; that is indeed delightful; cela est fort touchant;
that show so much sensibilite, to appreciate le merite, though
suffering from poverty. A marriage like that must be beau comme
un reve d'Amour!"

{"vraiment" = truly; "cela est fort touchant" = that is very
touching; "beau comme un reve d'Amour" = as beautiful as a dream
of Love (French)}

"You are quite romantic on the subject; but don't people make
such matches in France?"

"Ah, non, Madame; le froid calcul dominates there at such times.
I honour the beautiful practice that is common in votre jeune
Amerique; cela rappelle le siecle d'or. Can there be a tableau
more delicieux than a couple unis under such circonstances? The
happy epoux, a young man perhaps, of forty, and la femme a
creature angelique;" here M. Bonnet cast a glance at Miss
Emmeline; "une creature angelique, who knows that he adores her,
and who says to him, 'mon ami je t'aime, je veux faire ton
bonheur,' and who bestows on him her whole heart, and her whole
fortune; while he, of course, oppressed with gratitude, labours
only to increase that fortune, that he may have it in his power
to make the life of his bien aimee beautiful comme un jour de

{"froid calcul" = cold calculation; "votre jeune..." = your young
America; it reminds one of the golden age; "tableau more
delicieux than a couple unis under such circonstances" = a
prettier picture than a couple united under such circumstances;
"epoux" = husband. "la femme a creature angelique" = the wife an
angelic creature; "mon ami, je t'aime, je veux faire ton bonheur"
= my friend, I love you, I wish to make you happy; "bien aimee
beautiful comme un jour de fete" = beloved as beautiful as a day
of festival (mixed French and English)}

"You are eloquent, Mr. Bonnet."

"N'est ce pas un sujet, Madame, to toucher le coeur de l'homme in
a most delicate point; a man who could be insensible to such
delicacy, to such aimable tendresse, would be no better than one
of your sauvages, one of your Mohicans!"

{"N'est ce pas un sujet, Madame, to toucher le coeur de
l'homme..." = Is this not a subject, Madame, which touches the
heart of man...; "to such aimable tendresse" = to such pleasant
affection (mixed French and English)}

"Well, I don't think so much of it, because it is very common
here; such matches happen every day."

"And who are the happy couple you refer to at present?"

"'Tis a young gentleman of New York city, Mr. Roberts, who is
going to marry a young lady, whose father is a neighbour of

"And what is the sum the young lady has bestowed upon her
grateful adorateur?"

"Oh, the lady has not anything to bestow in this case; it is the
gentleman, who is very wealthy, and doing a very handsome
business in New York."

"Ah," said M. Bonnet, taking a pinch of snuff; "that is not so
interesting I think, as when the mari is the favoured party. The
heart of man is more susceptible of lasting gratitude for un tel

{"mari" = husband; "un tel bienfait" = such a favor (French)}

"The gentleman has all the money, this time; I don't think Mary
Van Horne will have a cent; do you, Miss Wyllys?"

But Elinor was gone. As the Baron appeared, however, Mrs. Hilson
did not regret it.

"Ah, Baron, I thought you were never coming. You ought to be much
obliged to me, for I had just told Monsieur Bonnet, we must not
move till the Baron comes; the Baron will not know where to find


"They sit conferring ------------------."
Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew", V.ii.102}

THE usual evening circle had collected in Miss Wyllys's parlour,
with the addition of Mary Van Alstyne, who had just arrived from
Poughkeepsie, and Mrs. St. Leger. Miss Emma Taylor had gone to a
concert with her good-natured brother-in-law, and a couple of her
admirers. Jane and her sister-in-law, Adeline, were sitting
together in a corner, talking partly about their babies, partly
about what these two young matrons called "old times;" that is to
say, events which had transpired as far back as three or four
years previously. To them, however, those were "old times;" for,
since then, the hopes and fears, cares and pleasures, of the two
friends were much changed.

Among the rest of the party the conversation became more general;
for Elinor had just finished a song, and Mr. Wyllys had just
beaten Mrs. Creighton at a game of chess.

"Mr. Hazlehurst, pray what have you done with my saya y manto?"
asked the pretty widow, taking a seat at the side of Elinor, on a
sofa. "Here have you been, three, four, five days, and I have not
even alluded to it, which, you must observe is a great act of
forbearance in a lady, when there is a piece of finery in

{"saya y manto" = skirt and cloak (Spanish)}

"I am really ashamed of myself for not having reported it safe at
Philadelphia, before. I would not send it to your house, when I
heard you were here, for I wished to deliver it in person; and I
did not bring it with me, because Mrs. Hazlehurst told me it was
too warm for a fashionable lady to wear anything as heavy as
black silk for the next three months."

"Well, of course I am very much obliged to you for the trouble
you have had with it; but I shall defer thanking you formally,
until I find out whether it is becoming or not."

"Do you expect to make a very captivating Spaniard?" asked Mr.

"I shall do my best, certainly; but I shall leave you to decide
how far I succeed, Mr. Stryker. Are the Brazilian women pretty,
Mr. Hazlehurst?--what do they look like?"

"Very like Portuguese," was the answer.

"More than the Americans look like the English?" inquired Elinor.

"Far more," said Harry; "but you know there is less difference
between the climates of Brazil and Portugal, than between ours
and that of England."

"For my part," observed Mr. Ellsworth, "I do not think we look in
the least like the English--neither men nor women. We are getting
very fast to have a decided physiognomy of our own. I think I
could pick out an American from among a crowd of Europeans,
almost as soon as I could a Turk."

"You always piqued yourself, Ellsworth, upon having a quick eye
for national characteristics. We used to try him very often, when
we were in Europe, Mrs. Creighton, and I must do him the justice
to say he seldom failed."

"Oh, yes; I know all Frank's opinions on the subject," replied
Mrs. Creighton: "it is quite a hobby with him."

"What do you think are the physical characteristics of the
Americans, as compared with our English kinsmen?" inquired Mr.

"We are a darker, a thinner, and a paler people. The best
specimens of the English have the advantage in manliness of form
and carriage; the American is superior in activity, in the
expression of intelligence and energy in the countenance. The
English peculiarities in their worst shape are, coarseness and
heaviness of form; a brutal, dull countenance; the worst
peculiarities among the Americans are, an apparent want of
substance in the form, and a cold, cunning expression of
features. I used often to wonder, when travelling in Europe,
particularly in France and Germany, at the number of heavy forms
and coarse features, which strike one so often there, even among
the women, and which are so very uncommon in America."

"Yes; that brutal coarseness of features, which stood for the
model of the old Satyrs, is scarcely to be met in this country,
though by no means uncommon in many parts of Europe," observed

"I was very much struck the other evening, at the dance, with the
appearance of the women," continued Mr. Ellsworth. "Not that they
are so brilliant in their beauty--one sees beautiful women in
every country; but they are so peculiarly feminine, and generally
pretty, as a whole. By room-fulls, en masse, they appear to more
advantage I think, than any other women; the general effect is
very seldom broken by coarseness of face, or unmanageable
awkwardness of form."

"Yes, you are right," said Mr. Stryker. "There is a vast deal of
prettiness, and very little repulsive ugliness among the women in
this country. But it strikes me they are inclining a little too
much to the idea, just now, that all the beauty in the world is
collected in these United States, which, as we all know is rather
a mistaken opinion."

"Certainly; that would be an extremely ridiculous notion."

"You think delicacy then, the peculiar characteristic of American
beauty?" said Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, sir; but I could point out others, too. Brown hair and
hazel eyes are another common feature in American beauty. If you
look over the pretty women of your acquaintance, you will find
that the case I think."

"Like Mrs. Creighton's," said Elinor, smiling.

"No; Josephine's features are not sufficiently regular for a
beauty," said her brother, good-naturedly.

"I shan't get a compliment from Frank, Miss Wyllys," replied the
widow, shaking her head. "I agree with him, though, about the
brown-haired beauties; for, I once took the trouble to count over
my acquaintances, and I found a great many that answered his
description. I think it the predominating colour among us. I am
certainly included in the brown tribe myself, and so are you,
Miss Wyllys."

"As far as the colour of my hair goes," replied Elinor, with a
smile which seemed to say, talk on, I have no feeling on the
subject of my plain face. One or two persons present had actually
paused, thinking the conversation was taking an unfortunate turn,
as one of the ladies present was undeniably wanting in beauty. To
encourage the natural pursuit of the subject, Elinor remarked
that, "light hair and decidedly blue eyes, like Mrs. St. Leger's,
are not so very common, certainly; nor true black hair and eyes
like your's, Jane."

"You are almost as much given to compliments, Miss Wyllys, as I
am," said Mrs. Creighton; "I have to say a saucy thing now and
then, by way of variety."

"The saucy speeches are for your own satisfaction, no doubt, and
the compliments for that of your friends, I suppose," replied
Elinor, smiling a little archly; for she had very good reasons
for mistrusting the sincerity of either mode of speech from the
lips of the gay widow; whom, for that very reason, she liked much
less than her brother.

"Do you really think me too severe?--wait till we are better

"I shall always think you very charming," replied Elinor, with
her usual frank smile; for, in fact, she admired Mrs. Creighton
quite as much as the rest of the world. And then observing that
Mr. Ellsworth was listening to their conversation, she turned to
him and asked, if the true golden hair, so much admired by the
Italian poets, and so often sung by them, were still common in

"Judging from books and pictures, I should think it must have
been much more common some centuries ago than at the present day;
for, certainly, there is not one Italian woman in a hundred, who
has not very decidedly black hair and eyes. I remember once in a
translation from English into Italian, I used the expression
'grey eyes,' which diverted my master very much: he insisted upon
it, there was no 'such thing in nature;' and even after I had
reminded him of Napoleon, he would not believe the Emperor's eyes
were not black. He was a thorough Italian, of course, and knew
nothing of the northern languages, or he would have met with the
expression before."

"Let me tell you, Ellsworth," said Harry, after a short pause in
the conversation, "that it is very pleasant to pass an agreeable
evening in this way, chatting with old friends. You have no idea
how much I enjoy it after a three years' exile!"

"I can readily believe it."

"No, I don't think you understand it at all. It is true you were
roving about the world several years, but you were not alone, my
dear sir. You had indeed the advantage of particularly agreeable
companions with you: in Paris you had Mrs. Creighton, and in
Egypt you had your humble servant. And then, in the next place,
your mind was constantly occupied; you lived with the past while
in Italy and Greece, and with the present in Paris. Now, at Rio,
there is no past at all, and not much of a present."

"Is there no general society at Rio?" inquired Miss Wyllys.

"Oh, yes; society enough, in the usual meaning of the word. I was
very fortunate in meeting with some very agreeable people, and
have really a strong regard for Manezes {sic}--a good fellow he
is, and I hope to see him here one of these days. But they were
all new acquaintances. You cannot think how much I wanted to see
a face I had known all my life; I was positively at one time on
the verge of being home-sick."

"You found out that you were more tender-hearted than you had
believed yourself," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"So it seems," replied Harry; a shade of embarrassment crossing
his face as he spoke.

"I should have thought some old acquaintance or other would have
gone straggling towards Rio, in these travelling days," observed
Mr. Ellsworth.

"No, I was particularly unfortunate: once when the American
squadron lay at Rio for some weeks, and I had several friends on
board the Macedonian, I happened at that very time to be absent
on an excursion in the interior. For six months, or so it did
very well; it takes one as long as that to enjoy the lovely
scenery, to say nothing of the novelty; but after admiring the
bay and the Corcovado under every possible aspect, I got at last
to be heartily tired of Rio. I should have run away, if we had
not been recalled this summer."

{"Macedonian" = a United States warship, commanded during the
early 1840s by Commodore William Branford Shubrick (1790-1874), a
life-long close friend of James Fenimore Cooper. Susan Fenimore
Cooper wrote a biography of him in 1876; "Corcovado" = a famous
mountain peak overlooking the bay of Rio de Janeiro}

"You should have fallen in love," said Mrs. Creighton.

"I don't think I succeeded in that; perhaps I did not try very

"But is not the state of society pleasant at Rio?" inquired Mr.

"Not particularly, sir; it is too much like our own for that;
something provincial lingering about it, although they have an
emperor of their own. We cannot do without the other hemisphere
yet, in spite of our self-important airs. We Yankees have coaxed
Time out of a great deal, but he is not to be cheated for all
that. People were not busy for thousands of years in the Old
World, merely to qualify them for discovering America, whatever
some of our patriots may say on the subject."

"Yes, you are right, Harry; I have often wished that our people
would remember what they seem to forget, that Time has a
prerogative beyond their reach. There is a wide difference
between a blind reverence for Time, and an infatuated denial of
his power; and I take it to be one of the duties of your
generation to find out the dividing line in this and other
points, and shape your practice accordingly."

"Yes, sir; it appears to me high time that the civilized world
set about marking more distinctly a great many boundary lines, on
important moral questions; and it is to be presumed, that with so
much experience at our command, we shall at last do something
towards it. It is to be hoped that mankind will at length learn
not always to rush out of one extreme into the other; and when
they feel the evil of one measure, not to fly for relief to its
very opposite, but set about looking for the true remedy, which
is generally not so far off."

"You don't believe in moral homoeopathy?" said Mrs. Stanley.

"Not in the least."

"Well, we are very much obliged to you for getting tired of Rio,"
said Mrs. Creighton; "and thinking that the gay world of
Philadelphia was quite as agreeable as the Imperial Court."

"I take it for granted, however, that it was not exactly the gay
world that you regretted," said Ellsworth.

"Not exactly, no; general society is not sufficiently perfect in
its way among us, for a man to pine after."

"I have often thought," observed Elinor, "that the spirit of mere
dissipation must be less excusable in this country than in
Europe. Society must have so many attractions there--more general
finish--more high accomplishment."

"Yes; we want more of the real thing; we have smatterers enough
as it is," replied Mr. Ellsworth.

"And then the decorations are so well got up in Europe!"
exclaimed Mrs. Creighton. "I must confess myself enough of a
woman, to be charmed with good decorations."

"Something far better than mere decoration; however, is requisite
to make society at all agreeable," continued Mr. Ellsworth.
"There is luxury enough among us, in eating and drinking,
dressing and furniture, for instance; and yet what can well be
more silly, more puerile, than the general tone of conversation
at common parties among us? And how many of the most delightful
soirees in Paris, are collected in plain rooms, au second, or au
troisieme, with a brick floor to stand on, and a glass of orgeat,
with a bit of brioche to eat!"

{"au second, or au troisieme" = on the third or fourth floor;
"orgeat" = a syrup flavored drink; "brioche" = a simple pastry

"Lots and Love--Speculation and Flirtation, are too entirely the
order of the day, and of the evening, with us," said Harry;
"whether figuring on Change, or on a Brussels carpet."

{"on Change" = at the stock market}

"I have often been struck, myself, with the excessive silliness
of the conversation at common parties, especially what are called
young parties; though I have never seen anything better," said

"Those young parties are enough to spoil any society," said

"Perhaps, however, you have too high an idea of such scenes in
Europe, precisely because you have not seen them, Miss Wyllys,"
observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"That may very possibly be the case."

"There are always silly and ignorant people to be met with
everywhere," remarked Harry; "but the difference lies in the
general character of the circle, which is not often so insipid
and so puerile in Europe."

"It is the difference, I suppose, between a puppet-show and
genteel comedy," said Elinor.

"Precisely, Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Ellsworth, smiling.

"We have very pretty puppets, though," observed Mrs. Creighton;
"quite well-dressed, and sufficiently graceful, too; that is to
say, the young lady puppets. As for the gentlemen, I shall not
attempt to defend them, en masse, neither their grace nor their

"You won't allow us to be either pretty or well-dressed?" said
Mr. Stryker.

"Oh, everybody knows that Mr. Stryker's coat and bow are both

"Why don't you go to work, good people, and improve the world,
instead of finding fault with it?" said Mr. Wyllys, who was
preparing for another game of chess with Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst.

"A labour of Hercules, sir!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker, shrugging his
shoulders. "The position of a reformer is not sufficiently
graceful to suit my fancy."

"It is fatiguing, too; it is much easier to sit still and find
fault, sir," observed Robert Hazlehurst, smiling.

"Sauve qui peut, is my motto," continued Mr. Stryker. "I shall
take care of myself; though I have no objection that the rest of
the world should profit by my excellent example; they may improve
on my model, if they please."

{"sauve qui peut" = everyone for himself (French)}

"The fact is, that manners, and all other matters of taste, ought
to come by instinct," said Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst; "one soon
becomes tired of beings regularly tutored on such points."

"No doubt of that," replied Harry; "but unfortunately, though
reading and writing come by nature, as Dogberry says, in this
country, yet it is by no means so clear that good taste follows
as a consequence."

{"Dogberry" = a constable in Shakespeare's comedy, "Much Ado
About Nothing": "To be a well-favor'd man is the gift of fortune,
but to write and read comes by nature." III.iii.14-16}

"Good taste never came by nature, anywhere but in old Greece, I
take it," said Ellsworth. "In a new state of society, such things
must force themselves upon one."

"Certainly," said Mr. Wyllys; "and you young people, who have had
so many advantages of education and leisure, are very right to
give the subject some attention, for the sake of the community in
which you live. Manners in their best meaning, as a part of
civilization, are closely connected at many different points,
with the character and morals of a nation. Hitherto in this
country, the subject has been too much left to itself; but in
many respects there is a good foundation to work upon--some of
our national traits are very creditable."

"That is true, sir," replied Mr. Ellsworth; "and Americans are
naturally very quick in taking a hint, and in fitting it to their
own uses. They are a good-natured, sociable race, too, neither
coarse nor unwieldy in body or mind. All they want is, a little
more reflection on the subject, and a sufficiently large number
of models, to observe, and compare together; for they are too
quick and clever, not to prefer the good to the bad, when the
choice lies before them."

"Remember too," said Mr. Wyllys, "that if you cannot do
everything, you must not suppose you can do nothing."

"There is one point in American manners, that is very good," said
Harry: "among our very best people we find a great deal of true
simplicity; simplicity of the right sort; real, not factitious."

"Sweet simplicity, oh, la!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker. "Well, I am a
bad subject to deal with, myself. I am too old to go to school,
and I am too young yet, I flatter myself, to give much weight to
my advice. Not quite incorrigible, however, I trust," he added,
endeavouring to smile in a natural way, as he turned towards
Elinor and Mrs. Creighton. "I shall be most happy to learn from
the ladies, and try to improve under their advice. Have you no
suggestions to make, Miss Wyllys?"

"I am afraid I could not be of much use in that way."

"There are only a thousand-and-one hints that I should give you,"
said Mrs. Creighton, laughing.

"You must be frightfully particular!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker;
"pray, what is hint No. 1?"

"Oh, I should not have time to make even a beginning; it is
growing very late, and I shall defer your education until the
next time we meet. Mr. Hazlehurst, that is my scarf, I believe,
on your chair."

The party separated; Harry offering his arm to Mrs. Creighton.


You shall not go--a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?"
Winter's Tale.

{William Shakespeare, "A Winter's Tale", I.ii.50-51}

MRS. STANLEY had joined the Wyllyses at Saratoga, a few days
after they arrived, and the meeting between Hazlehurst and
herself had been very cordial. She had always felt a warm
interest in Harry, looking upon him as her husband's chosen
representative, and all but an adopted son; the intercourse
between them had invariably been of the most friendly and
intimate nature.

Mr. Stanley's will had placed the entire control of his large
estate in the hands of his widow, and his old friend, Mr. Wyllys.
Mrs. Stanley, herself, was to retain one half of the property,
for life; at her death it was to be divided in different
legacies, to relatives of her own, and to charitable
institutions, according to her own discretion. The other half was
also to be kept in the hands of the executors until his own son
returned, and had reached the age of five-and-twenty; or, in case
the report of William Stanley's death, which had just reached his
family, were to be confirmed, then Harry Hazlehurst was to take
his place, and receive his son's portion, on condition that his,
Hazlehurst's, second son should take the name of Stanley.
Hazlehurst was a nephew by marriage; that is to say, his father,
after the death of a first wife, Harry's mother, had married Mr.
Stanley's only sister: this lady died before her brother, leaving
no children. At the time this will was made, Mr. Stanley had
given up all, but the faintest, hope of his son's being alive;
still, he left letters for him, containing his last blessing, and
forgiveness, in case the young man were to return. He also
expressed a wish that an easy allowance, according to Mrs.
Stanley's discretion, should be given, after the age of
one-and-twenty, to his son, or to Harry, whichever were to prove
his heir; on condition that the recipient should pursue some
regular profession or occupation, of a respectable character.
Hazlehurst was to receive a legacy of thirty thousand dollars, in
case of William Stanley's return.

Such was Mr. Stanley's will; and circumstances having soon showed
that the report of his son's death was scarcely to be doubted,
Hazlehurst had been for years considered as his heir. As Harry
grew up, and his character became formed, his principles proving,
in every respect, such as his friends could wish, Mrs. Stanley
had made very ample provision for him. The allowance he had
received for his education was very liberal, and during his visit
to Europe it had been increased. At different times considerable
sums had been advanced, to enable him to make desirable
purchases: upon one occasion, a portion of the property upon
which his ancestors had first settled, as colonists, was offered
for sale by a distant relative, and Harry wished to obtain
possession of it; twenty thousand dollars were advanced for this
purpose. Then, Hazlehurst was very desirous of collecting a
respectable library, and, as different opportunities offered, he
had been enabled, while in Europe, to make valuable acquisitions
of this kind, thanks to Mrs. Stanley's liberality. As every
collector has a favourite branch of his own, Harry's tastes had
led him to look for botanical works, in which he was particularly
interested; and he had often paid large sums for rare or
expensive volumes connected with this science. Since he had
reached the age of five-and-twenty, or, during the last two
years, he had been in full possession of the entire half of Mr.
Stanley's property, amounting, it was generally supposed, to some
ten thousand a year. According to a codicil of the will,
Hazlehurst was also to take possession of Greatwood, at his
marriage: this was a pleasant country-house, surrounded by a
place in fine order; but Mrs. Stanley, who preferred living in
town, had already given him possession.

"I wish, Harry, we could keep you at home, now," said Mrs.
Stanley to her young friend, one morning, as he was sitting with
herself, Mary Van Alstyne, and Elinor, in her rooms at Congress
Hall. "I think Mr. Henley could spare you better than we can. Is
it quite decided that you go to Russia?"

"You are very kind to express so much interest in my movements.
But you must permit me to remind you of a piece of advice I have
often received, as a youngster, from your own lips, dear Mrs.
Stanley; and that is, never to abandon merely from caprice, the
path of life I might choose."

"Certainly; but I think you might find very good reasons for
staying at home, now; your affairs would go on all the better for
some personal attention; I should be sorry to have you a rover
all your life, Harry."

"I have no, intention, Ma'am, I assure you, of being a vagrant
all my days. And if there is nothing else to keep me at home, it
is highly probable that I shall be thrown on the shelf before
long by Uncle Sam. When a man has served his apprenticeship, and
is fully qualified to fill his office creditably, he may prepare
to be turned out; and, very likely, some raw backwoodsman, who
knows nothing of the world in general, or of diplomacy in
particular, will be put in his place. That is often the way
things are managed among us, you know.

{Susan Fenimore Cooper is reflecting the views of her father,
based on his experience with American diplomacy in Europe from
1826-33. The United States Foreign Service did not become a fully
professional, career organization until 1946}

"For that very reason, I would not have anything to do with
public life, if I were a young man!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley,
earnestly. "So many men who are ill-qualified for either public
or private confidence, get into office, that I should think no
man of high principles and honourable views, would care to belong
to the body of public servants."

"There is all the more need, then, that every honest man, who has
an opportunity of serving his country, should do so," observed
Harry. "I do not believe, however, that as regards principles,
the public men among us are any worse than the public men
elsewhere," he added.

"Where all are chosen, they ought to be better," said Mary Van

"That I grant," said Hazlehurst; "the choice by election, or by
appointment, might often be more creditable; whenever it is bad,
it is disgraceful to the community."

"Look at A-----, B-----, and C-----, whom you and I happen to
know!" exclaimed Mrs. Stanley.

"No doubt they are little fit for the offices they hold," replied

"The worst of it is this, Harry: that the very qualities which
ought to recommend you, will probably keep you back in the career
you have chosen," said Mrs. Stanley. "Your principles are too
firm for public life."

"I shall try the experiment, at least," said Harry. "Mr. Henley
urges me to persevere, and with his example before me, I ought
not to be discouraged; he is a proof that a public man is not
necessarily required to be a sycophant, and a time-server; that
he is not always neglected because he is an upright man, and a
gentleman. I shall follow his example; and I am convinced the
experiment would succeed much oftener, provided it were fairly

"Mrs. Stanley shook her head. She was a woman of rather a
peculiar character, though very warm in her feelings, and firm in
her principles. She had become disgusted with the world, from
seeing much that was evil and disgraceful going on about her;
forgetting to observe the good as well as the bad. Of late years,
she had withdrawn entirely within a narrow circle of old friends,
among whom the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts held a conspicuous place.
She was disposed to mistrust republican institutions, merely
because she attributed every evil of the society about her, to
this one cause: her opinions on this subject were, however, of no
value whatever; for she knew nothing of other countries, their
evils and abuses. If warmly attached to her friends, she was
certainly too indifferent to the community in which she lived.
She was very decided in all her actions and opinions: thus, for
instance, she would never allow a newspaper, of any character
whatever, to appear in her house--she held every sheet alike, to
be loose in principles, and vulgar in tone; because,
unfortunately, there are many to be found which answer such a
description. An office-holder, and a speculator, she would never
trust, and avoided every individual of either class as much as
possible. Her friends would have wished her more discriminating
in her opinions, but she never obtruded these upon others.
Personally, no woman could be more respected by her intimates;
there was nothing low or trivial in her character and turn of
mind--no shadow of vacillation in her principles or her feelings.
Mrs. Stanley and her young friend Hazlehurst, much as they
esteemed and respected each other, disagreed on many subjects.
Harry made a point of looking at both sides of a question; he was
loyal to his country, and willing to serve it to the best of his
ability--not at all inclined to be an idler, and play the drone
in the bee-hive, whether social or political. Mrs. Stanley had
much regretted his being in any way connected with public life,
but she seldom attempted to influence him.

"What do you say, young ladies?" asked Harry, at length, turning
towards Elinor and Mary Van Alstyne, who had hitherto thought the
conversation of too personal a nature, to speak much themselves.
"Do you think I had better stay at home, and look after the stock
at Greatwood, or go to St. Petersburg, and set up my droschky?"

{"droschky" = a four-wheeled open carriage used in Russia}

"I should never have the least fancy for going to Russia,"
replied Mary; "and, therefore, I am not much disposed to admire
your constancy in adhering to Mr. Henley."

"Oh, go, by all means," said Elinor; "you will see so much! And
be sure you go to the Crimea before you come home."

"The Crimea is certainly a temptation," observed Harry. "I beg,
ladies, you will honour me with your commands for St. Petersburg,
some time during the next three months. I refer you to Mrs.
Creighton for a certificate of good taste; her saya y manto is
perfect in its way, I am told."

"Perhaps I ought to have engaged Mrs. Creighton on my side,
before I tried to coax you into staying at home," said Mrs.
Stanley, smiling.

We are obliged to confess that Harry coloured at this remark, in
spite of a determination not to do so; and a great misdemeanour
it was in a diplomatist, to be guilty of blushing; it clearly
proved that Hazlehurst was still in his noviciate. Happily,
however, if the Department of State, at Washington, be sometimes
more particular in investigating the party politics of its agents
in foreign countries, than other qualifications, it is also
certain, on the other hand, that they do not require by any
means, as much bronze of countenance as most European cabinets.

{"bronze of countenance" = unblushingness, brazen lying}

"Oh, Mrs. Creighton strongly recommends me to persevere in
diplomacy," said Harry.

Just at that moment, a note was brought in from this very lady.

"With Mrs. Creighton's compliments," said the man who brought it.

Harry's colour rose again, and for a second he looked a little
embarrassed. Mrs. Stanley smiled, and so did the young ladies,
just a little.

"I will look for the book immediately,'' was Harry's reply; and
turning to the ladies, he communicated the fact, that Mrs.
Creighton had asked for the volume of engravings which he had
shown to Mr. Wyllys, two or three evenings before. The book was
in Miss Wyllys's room, and Elinor went for it.

"Will you dine with us to-day, Harry, or at the other house?"
asked Mrs. Stanley.

{"other house" = i.e., other hotel, Congress Hall and the United
States being the two fashionable hotels in Saratoga Springs}

"Thank you, ma'am; I am engaged to dine with Mr. Henley, who is
only here for the day, and wishes to have a little business-talk
with me. We are to eat a bachelor's dinner together, in his

Elinor returned with the book, and Harry made his bow.

As he left the room, Mary Van Alstyne observed that Mr.
Hazlehurst seemed quite attentive to his friend's sister. "He
admires the pretty widow, I fancy," she said.

"No wonder," said Elinor; "Mrs. Creighton is so very pretty, and
very charming."

"Yes; she is very pretty, with those spirited brown eyes, and
beautiful teeth. She is an adept in the art of dressing, too, and
makes the most of every advantage. But though she is so pretty,
and so clever, and so agreeable, yet I do not like her."

"People seem to love sometimes, men especially, where they do not
LIKE," said Mrs. Stanley. "I should not be surprised, at any
time, to hear that Harry and Mrs. Creighton are engaged. I wish
he may marry soon."

"The lady is, at least, well-disposed for conquest, I think,"
said Mary Van Alstyne.

"She will probably succeed," replied Elinor, in a quiet, natural

Miss Agnes, who had just entered the room, heard the remark, and
was gratified by the easy tone in which Elinor had spoken. Since
Hazlehurst's return, Elinor's manner towards him had been just
what her aunt thought proper under the circumstances; it was
quite unembarrassed and natural, though, of course, there was
more reserve than during the years they had lived so much
together, almost as brother and sister. We are obliged to leave
the ladies for the present, and follow Hazlehurst to his
tete-a-tete dinner with Mr. Henley.

We pass over the meal itself, which was very good in its way; nor
shall we dare to raise the curtain, and reveal certain
communications relating to affairs of state, political and
diplomatic, which were discussed by the minister and his
secretary. Harry heard some Rio Janeiro news too, which seemed to
amuse him, but would scarcely have any interest for the reader.
At length, as Mr. Henley and Harry were picking their nuts, the
minister happened to enquire the day of the month.

"It is the twentieth, I believe, sir; and by the same token,
to-morrow will be my birth-day,"

"Your birth-day, will it?--How old may you be?"

"Twenty-seven, if I remember right."

"I had thought you two or three years younger. Well, I wish you a
long life and a happy!"

"Thank you, sir; I am much obliged to you for the interest you
have always shown me."

"No need of thanks, Harry; it is only what your father's son had
a right to expect from me."

A silence of a moment ensued, when Mr. Henley again spoke.

"You are seven-and-twenty, you say, Hazlehurst?--let me give you
a piece of advice--don't let the next ten years pass without

"I was just about making up my mind, at Rio, to be a gay
bachelor, my dear sir," said Harry.

"Yes; I remember to have heard you say something of the kind; but
take my advice, and marry, unless you have some very good reason
for not doing so."

Hazlehurst made no answer, but helped himself to another supply
of nuts. "More easily said than done, perhaps," he observed.

"Nonsense!--There are many amiable young women who would suit
you; and it would be strange if you could not meet with one that
would have you. Some pretty, lady-like girl. I dare say you know
twenty such, in Philadelphia, or even here, at Saratoga."

"Five hundred, no doubt," replied Harry; "but suppose the very
woman I should fancy, would not fancy me." Whether he was
thinking of his past experience with Jane, or not, we cannot say.

"I don't see that a woman can find any reasonable fault with
you--you do well enough, my good fellow, as the world goes; and I
am sure there are, as you say, five hundred young women to choose
from. In that point a man has the best of it; young girls of a
certain class, if not angels, are at least generally
unexceptionable; but there are many men, unhappily, whose moral
reputations are, and should be obstacles in a woman's eyes."

'A regular old bachelor's notion, a mere marriage of
convenience,' thought Harry, who rather resented the idea of the
five hundred congenial spirits, in the shape of suitable young

"You are surprised, perhaps, to hear this from me," continued Mr.

"No, sir: for I once before heard you express much the same

"Did you?--I don't often think or speak on such matters; but I
remember to have heard you talk about a single life occasionally,
at Rio; and I always intended to give this piece of advice to my
nephews, and to you, Harry. If I were to live my life over again,
I should marry myself; for of late years I have felt the want of
a home, and one can't have a pleasant home without the women."

"There I agree with you, sir, entirely."

"That is more than some gay, rattling young fellows would admit.
Since you think so," continued Mr. Henley, smiling, "perhaps you
have also fixed upon some amiable young girl, who would be a
pleasant companion for you."

Hazlehurst was silent.

"I dare say you have, and I might have spared you the advice. If
that is the case, you must make the most of the next three
months; persuade her to marry you, and we can take her to Russia,
to do the honours for us."

"Things have not gone quite so far as that, yet," said Harry,
just a little embarrassed.

"Well, my good fellow, settle the matter your own way; I have at
least satisfied my conscience, by telling you not to follow my
own bad example," said the minister, as he rose from table.

It seemed that Mr. Henley, like most old bachelors, regretted not
having married; though he thought that his habits had all become
too confirmed, to make it worth while to attempt a change. As a
general rule, it will be found that your decidedly old maid is
contented with her lot, while your very old bachelor is
dissatisfied with his. The peculiar evils of a single life--for
every life must have its own--are most felt by women early in the
day; by men, in old age. The world begins very soon to laugh at
the old maid, and continues to laugh, until shamed out of the
habit by her good nature, and her respectable life. The bachelor,
on the contrary, for a long time finds an ally in the world; he
goes on enjoying the pleasures it offers, until old age makes him
weary of them--and then, as his head grows grey, when he finds
himself going out of favour, he begins to feel the want of
something better--a home to retreat to. He looks about him, and
he finds that his female contemporary has outlived her peculiar
annoyances; "the world forgetting, by the world forgot;" she has
long since found some collateral home; or, in her right as a
woman, has made a home for herself, where she lives as pleasantly
as her neighbours. Perhaps he sets about imitating her example;
but, poor fellow, he finds it an awkward task; he can never
succeed in making his household gods smile with a good will, on a
home where no female voice is heard at the fire-side.

{"the world forgetting...." = Alexander Pope (English poet,
1688-1744), "Eloisa to Abelard" I.207-208: "How happy is the
blameless Vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world

So thought Mr. Henley, and he had been intending to recommend to
Harry to look out for a wife, for some time past. The minister's
ideas on the subject of love and matrimony were, to be sure,
rather matter of fact, and statesmanlike; he would have been
quite satisfied if Hazlehurst had married the first young girl,
of a respectable family, that he met with; the hundredth part of
Mrs. Creighton's attractions he would have thought sufficient.
Harry forgave him, however, for the sake of the kindness intended
by the advice he had given; and the minister had the satisfaction
of seeing his secretary, that evening, at a concert, quite
gallant and attentive to a party of ladies, several of whom were
young and pretty, although one was young and ugly.

"Who is that?" he asked of a friend; "that lady to whom
Hazlehurst is talking? Half the young people here have grown up,
since I was last at home."

"That is Mrs. Creighton."

"No; not Mrs. Creighton; I know her--a charming woman; the lady
on the right."

"That is Miss Van Alstyne. Mrs. St. Leger is next to her; the
young girl before her is Miss Emma Taylor."

"A pretty girl--but noisy, it seems."

"On the next bench, with Ellsworth, are Mrs. Tallman Taylor, the
great beauty, and Miss Wyllys, the heiress."

"Yes, I know the family very well; but I never saw Mr. Wyllys's
granddaughter before."

"She is quite plain," observed one gentleman.

"Very plain," replied the other, turning away.

The evening proved very sultry, and after accompanying the ladies
home from the concert, Mr. Ellsworth proposed to Harry a stroll
in the open air. The friends set out together, taking the
direction of the spring; and, being alone, their conversation
gradually became of a confidential nature. They touched upon
politics, Mr. Henley's character and views, and various other
topics, concluding with their own personal affairs. At length,
when they had been out some little time, Mr. Ellsworth, after a

Book of the day: