Elinor Wyllys by Susan Fenimore CooperOr, the Young Folk of Longbridge

{This e-text was prepared from the first edition of Susan Fenimore Cooper’s “Elinor Wyllys: or, The Young Folk of Longbridge” (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846). “Elinor Wyllys” was also published in England (London: Richard Bentley, 1845), but has otherwise not been reprinted. {Text and note are by Hugh C. MacDougall (jfcooper@wpe.com). Notes are enclosed in
This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

{This e-text was prepared from the first edition of Susan Fenimore Cooper’s “Elinor Wyllys: or, The Young Folk of Longbridge” (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846). “Elinor Wyllys” was also published in England (London: Richard Bentley, 1845), but has otherwise not been reprinted.

{Text and note are by Hugh C. MacDougall (jfcooper@wpe.com). Notes are enclosed in curly brackets { }; these include identification of epigraphs and other quotations and allusions, explanations of obsolete word usage, and translations of foreign words and expressions. Quotations from Shakespeare are cited to the Riverside Edition (adopted as standard for the MLA-approved Cooper Edition of the works of James Fenimore Cooper). Spelling and punctuation, including the author’s idiosyncratic use of colons and semi-colons, inconsistent use of single quotation marks for “thoughts,” and combinations of dashes with other punctuation, have not been changed (except for occasional silent insertion of missing quotation marks). First instances of some unusual spellings (whether or not in accordance with the author’s usual practise), and obvious typographical errors, are followed by {sic} to indicate that there has not been a mistake in transcription. Because of the limitations of the .TXT format, italicized foreign words (mostly French) are transcribed in ordinary type, and accents are omitted; words italicized for emphasis, or to emulate dialect or incorrect pronunciation, are transcribed as capitals.}



{Pseudonym of Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894), daughter of James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)}



“Familiar matter of to-day;
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, and may be again.”

{William Wordsworth, English poet (1770-1850), “The Solitary Reaper” lines 22-24}



CHAPTER I {would be CHAPTER XXIV, if numbered from beginning of Vol. I}

“But there is matter for another rhyme; And I to this would add another tale.”

“And how do Miss and Madam do;
The little boy, and all?
All tight and well? and how do you, Good Mr. What-do-you-call?”

{William Wordsworth (English poet, 1770-1850), “Poems of the Imagination: Hart-Leap Well” lines 95-96. William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), “The Yearly Distress, or, Tithing Time at Stock in Essex” lines 33-36}

It is to be feared the reader will find fault with this chapter. But there is no remedy; he must submit quietly to a break of three years in the narrative: having to choose between the unities and the probabilities, we greatly preferred holding to the last. The fault, indeed, of this hiatus, rests entirely with the young folk of Longbridge, whose fortunes we have undertaken to follow; had they remained together, we should, of course, have been faithful to our duty as a chronicler; but our task was not so easy. In the present state of the world, people will move about–especially American people; and making no claim to ubiquity, we were obliged to wait patiently until time brought the wanderers back again, to the neighbourhood where we first made their acquaintance. Shortly after Jane’s marriage, the whole party broke up; Jane and her husband went to New-Orleans, where Tallman Taylor was established as partner in a commercial house connected with his father. Hazlehurst passed several years in Mexico and South-America: an old friend of his father’s, a distinguished political man, received the appointment of Envoy to Mexico, and offered Harry the post of Secretary of Legation. Hazlehurst had long felt a strong desire to see the southern countries of the continent, and was very glad of so pleasant an arrangement; he left his friend Ellsworth to practise law alone, and accompanied Mr. Henley, the Minister, to Mexico; and from thence removed, after a time, to Brazil. Charlie had been studying his profession in France and Italy, during the same period. Even Elinor was absent from home much more than usual; Miss Wyllys had been out of health for the last year or two; and, on her account, they passed their summers in travelling, and a winter in the West-Indies. At length, however, the party met again on the old ground; and we shall take up the thread of our narrative, during the summer in which the circle was re-united. It is to be hoped that this break in the movement of our tale will be forgiven, when we declare, that the plot is about to thicken; perplexities, troubles, and misfortunes are gathering about our Longbridge friends; a piece of intelligence which will probably cheer the reader’s spirits. We have it on the authority of a philosopher, that there is something gratifying to human nature in the calamities of our friends; an axiom which seems true, at least, of all acquaintances made on paper.

“{Minister” = a diplomatic rank below that of Ambassador–a Minister heads a Legation, an Ambassador an Embassy; prior to the Civil War, the United States was not considered an important enough country to send or receive Ambassadors. “Secretary of Legation” = a diplomat serving under a Minister. “A philosopher” = Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1618-1680), French author famous for his maxims or epigraphs: “Dans l’adversite de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons quelque chose qui ne nous deplait pas” = In the misfortune of our best friends, we find something which is not displeasing to us. Maxim No. 99, later suppressed. By the 1840s, a well known expression}

We hear daily that life is short; and, surely, Time flies with fearful rapidity if we measure his course by years: three-score-and-ten, the allotted span of man, are soon numbered. But events, thoughts, feelings, hopes, cares, are better marks for the dial of life, than hours and minutes. In this view, the path of life is a long road, full of meaning and of movement at every step; and in this sense only is time justly appreciated; each day loses its insignificance, and every yearly revolution of the earth becomes a point in eternity.

The occurrences of the three years during which we have lost sight of the Longbridge circle will speak for themselves, as our tale is gradually unfolded. It is evident, however, at the first glance, on returning to the old ground, that the village itself has undergone some alterations. Though belonging to a part of the country occasionally accused of being “unenterprising,” it had not proved insensible to the general movement felt throughout the republic, in those halcyon days of brilliant speculation, which commenced with the promise of good fortune to all, and ended by bringing poverty to many, and disgrace to others. A rail-road now runs through the principal street, and the new depot, a large, uncouth building, stands conspicuous at its termination, looking commercial prosperity, and internal improvement. Several new stores have been opened, half-a-dozen “tasty mansions”–chiefly imitations of Mr. Hubbard’s–have been built, another large tavern has been commenced, and two additional steamboats may be seen lying at the wharf. The value of property in the village itself, is said to have doubled, at least; new streets are laid out, and branch rail-roads are talked of; and many people flatter themselves that Longbridge will figure in the next census as a flourishing city, with the full honours of a Corporation, Mayor, and Aldermen. In the population, corresponding changes are also perceptible; many new faces are seen in the streets, new names are observed on the signs; others again are missed from their old haunts, for there is scarcely a family in the place, which has not sent its representation westward.

{“those halcyon days” = i.e., before the economic Panic of 1837, and the seven-year depression that followed}

Most of our old acquaintances, however, still remain on the spot, this pleasant afternoon in June, 183-. There stands Mr. Joseph Hubbard, talking to Judge Bernard. That is Dr. Van Horne, driving off in his professional sulkey. There are Mrs. Tibbs and Mrs. Bibbs, side-by-side, as of old. Mrs. George Wyllys has moved, it seems; her children are evidently at home in a door-yard on the opposite side of the street, adjoining the Hubbard “Park.” On the door of that bright-coloured, spruce-looking brick house, you will see the name of W. C. Clapp; and there are a pair of boots resting on the window-sill of an adjoining office, which probably belong to the person of the lawyer, himself. Now, we may observe Mrs. Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard flitting across the street, “fascinating and aristocratic” as ever.

{“sulkey” = light two-wheeled carriage, seated for one person; usually spelled “sulky”}

Let us leave the village, however, for the more immediate neighbourhood of Wyllys-Roof; in which, it is hoped, the reader will feel more particularly interested. There stands the little cottage of the Hubbards, looking just as it did three years since; it is possible that one or two of the bull’s-eye panes of glass may have been broken, and changed, and the grey shingles are a little more moss-grown; but its general aspect is precisely what it was when we were last there. The snow-ball and the sweet-briar are in their old places, each side of the humble porch; the white blossoms have fallen from the scraggy branches of the snow-ball, this first week in June; the fresh pink buds are opening on the fragrant young shoots of the sweet-briar. There is our friend, Miss Patsey, wearing a sun-bonnet, at work in the garden; and if you look through the open door of the house, you will see beyond the passage into the neat little kitchen, where we catch a glimpse of Mrs. Hubbard’s white cap over the back of her rocking-chair. It is possible that you may also see the merry, shining, black face of a little handmaiden, whom Miss Patsey has lately taken into the family; and, as the tea-kettle is boiling, and the day’s work chiefly over, the little thing is often seen at this hour, playing about the corners of the house, with the old cat. Ah, there is the little minx!–her sharp ears have heard the sound of wheels, and she is already at the open gate, to see what passes. A wagon stops; whom have we here? Little Judy is frightened half out of her wits: a young man she does not know, with his face covered with beard, after a fashion she had never yet seen, springs from the wagon. Miss Patsey turns to look.

“Charlie!”–she exclaims; and in another moment the youth has received the joyful, tearful, agitated embrace of his mother and sister. The darling of their hearts is at home again; three years since, he left them, a boy, to meet dangers exaggerated tenfold by their anxious hearts; he returns, a man, who has faced temptations undreamed of by their simple minds. The wanderer is once more beneath their humble roof; their partial eyes rest again on that young face, changed, yet still the same.

Charlie finds the three last years have passed lightly over his mother and his sister; theirs are the same kindly faces, the same well-known voices, the best loved, the most trusted from childhood. After the first eager moments of greeting are over, and the first hurried questions have been answered, he looks about him. Has not the dear old cottage shrunk to a very nut-shell? He opens the door of the school-room; there are its two benches, and its humble official desk, as of old; he looks into the little parlour, and smiles to think of the respect he felt in his childish days for Miss Patsey’s drawing-room: many a gilded gallery, many a brilliant saloon has he since entered as a sight-seer, with a more careless step. He goes out on the porch; is it possible that is the garden?–why it is no larger than a table-cloth!–he should have thought the beds he had so often weeded could not be so small: and the door-yard, one can shake hands across it! And there is Wyllys-Roof, half hid by trees–he used to admire it as a most venerable pile; in reality it is only a plain, respectable country-house: as the home of the Wyllyses, however, it must always be an honoured spot to him. Colonnade Manor too–he laughs! There are some buildings that seem, at first sight, to excite to irresistible merriment; they belong to what may he called the “ridiculous order” of architecture, and consist generally of caricatures on noble Greek models; Mr. Taylor’s elegant mansion had, undeniably, a claim to a conspicuous place among the number. Charlie looks with a painter’s eye at the country; the scenery is of the simplest kind, yet beautiful, as inanimate nature, sinless nature, must ever be under all her varieties: he casts a glance upward at the sky, bright and blue as that of Italy; how often has he studied the heavens from that very spot! The trees are rich in their summer verdure, the meadows are fragrant with clover, and through Mr. Wyllys’s woods there is a glimpse of the broad river, gilded by the evening sun. It is a pleasing scene, a happy moment; it is the first landscape he ever painted, and it is home.

Then Charlie returns to his mother; he sits by her side, she takes his hand in her withered fingers, she rests her feeble sight on his bright face; while Miss Patsey is preparing all the dainties in the house for supper.

“Well, little one, what is your name?” said Charlie, as the black child passed him with a load of good things.

“Judy, sir,” said the little girl, with a curtsey, and a half-frightened look at Charlie’s face, for the young artist had chosen to return with moustaches; whether he thought it professional or becoming, we cannot say.

“We shall be good friends I hope, Judy; if you mind my sister better than you ever did anybody else in your life, perhaps I shall find some sugar-plums for you,” said Charlie, pleased to see a black face again.

Mrs. Hubbard remarked that, upon the whole, Judy was a pretty good girl; and the child grinned, until two deep dimples were to be seen in her shining dark cheeks, and the dozen little non-descript braids which projected from her head in different directions, seemed to stand on end with delight.

“And so Mr. Wyllys and the ladies are not at home. I wish I had known of their being in New-York; I might at least have seen them for a moment, yesterday.”

“I wonder Mrs. Hilson did not mention their being in town.”

“Julianna never knows what she is talking about. But I am glad to hear good accounts of them all.”

“Yes; Miss Wyllys has come home from the West-Indies, much better.”

“Is it really true that Miss Elinor is going to be married shortly?”

“Well, I can’t say whether the story is true or not. She seems to have many admirers now she has become an heiress.”

“But I don’t understand how she comes to be such a fortune.”

{“a fortune” = short for a woman of fortune, an heiress}

“I don’t understand it myself; Mr. Clapp can tell you all about it. You know most people are a great deal richer now than they were a few years ago. I heard some one say the other day, that my old pupil’s property in Longbridge, is worth three times as much now, as it was a short time since.”

“Is it possible Longbridge has improved so much?”

“And then your old play-fellow has had two legacies from relations of her mother’s; everybody in the neighbourhood is talking of her good-luck, and saying what a fortune she will turn out. I only hope she will be happy, and not be thrown away upon some one unworthy of her, like her poor cousin; for it seems young Mr. Taylor is very dissipated.”

Charlie probably sympathized with this remark, though he made no reply.

“Mr. and Mrs. Tallman Taylor are in New-York now, I hear, just come from New-Orleans. The family from Wyllys-Roof have gone over to see them,” added Miss Patsey.

“Yes, so I understand. They will be here before long, I suppose.”

“Not immediately; for they are all going to Saratoga together. Dr. Van Horne thought Miss Wyllys had better pass two or three weeks at the Springs.”

“That is fortunate for me–I shall see them the sooner; for I must be at Lake George before the first of July. I have an order for three views of the Lake, which I have promised to send to England early in the fall.”

Here Charlie entered into some details of his affairs, very interesting to his mother and sister; and they seemed to be in a very satisfactory condition, according to his own modest views. After a while the conversation again returned to their Longbridge friends.

“Did you know that Mr. Hazlehurst is coming home too, this summer?” asked Miss Patsey.

“Yes; he wrote me word he hoped we should meet before long. How did that affair with Mrs. Creighton turn out?”

“We did bear they were engaged; but it could not have been true, for the lady has been in Philadelphia, and he in Brazil, for some time, you know. I used to ask about such matters once in a while, on purpose to write you word. But I had no great opportunity of hearing much about Mr. Hazlehurst; for after that unhappy business at Wyllys-Roof, there was, of course, a great coolness; for some time I never heard his name mentioned there, and Mr. Wyllys seldom speaks of him now.”

“Are they not reconciled, then?”

“Not entirely, I am afraid; but you know they have not met for three years.”

“I shall hardly know myself at Wyllys-Roof, without seeing Mr. Hazlehurst and Miss Graham there.”

“You will find a great change in that respect. Mrs. Taylor has not been here since her marriage; Miss Van Alstyne seems to have taken her place; she is a very pleasant young lady. When the family is at home now, there seems often to be some strange gentleman with them.”

“Fortune-hunters, I suppose,” said Charlie, with some indignation. “Well, the course of true love never has, and never will run quite as it ought, I suppose. And how do all the Longbridge people come on?–How is Uncle Josie?”

“Very well, indeed; just as good as ever to us. You must go to see him to-morrow.”

“Certainly;–and what is Uncle Dozie about?”

“At work in the vegetable-garden, as usual. He sent me a fine basket of salad, and radishes, and onions, this morning.”

“Clapp has got into a new house I see.”

“Yes; he is in very good business, I believe; you saw Catherine, you say?”

“Yes, for a minute only. I ran in to kiss Kate and the children, while they were harnessing a horse for me at the tavern. Kate looks very well herself. The children didn’t remember much of Uncle Charlie; but they are pretty, healthy little things, nevertheless.”

The grandmother assented to the commendation of her daughter’s family; she thought them remarkably fine children. “Catherine was a very fortunate woman,” she said; “Mr. Clapp was a very superior man, so very clever that he must do well; and the children were all healthy–they had gone through the measles wonderfully, that spring.”

Charlie had not quite as elevated an opinion of his brother-in-law as the females of the family; he allowed his mother’s remark to pass unnoticed, however.

“And so Mr. Taylor has given up Colonnade Manor,” he continued.

“Yes; he has just sold it to Mr. de Vaux, a friend of Mr. Wyllys,” replied Miss Patsey.

“Why did he sell it, pray?”

“Well, the young ladies liked better to live about at hotels and boarding-houses in the summer, I believe; they thought it was too dull at Longbridge. Mr. Taylor didn’t care much for the place: you know there are some people, who, as soon as they have built a house, and got everything in nice order, want to sell; it seems as if they did not care to be comfortable; but I suppose it is only because they are so fond of change.”

We may as well observe, by way of parenthesis, that this fancy of getting rid of a place as soon as it is in fine order, would probably never occur to any man but an American, and an American of the particular variety to which Mr. Taylor belonged.

“I don’t wonder at his wanting to get rid of the house; but the situation and the neighbourhood might have satisfied him, I think,” said Charlie, as he accepted Miss Patsey’s invitation to eat the nice supper she had prepared for him.

As he took his seat at the table, Mrs. Hubbard observed, that he probably had not seen such short-cake as Patsey made, in Rome–to which Charlie assented warmly. He had wished one evening, in Florence, he said, for some of his sister’s short-cake, and a good cup of tea of her making; and the same night he dreamed that the Venus de Medicis had made him some. He was ashamed of himself for having had such a dream; but it could not be helped, such was the fact.

{“Venus de Medicis” = Famous nude statue of the Goddess Venus–a 1st Century BC copy of a lost Greek statue by Cleomenes of Athens–in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence}

Mrs. Hubbard thought no woman, Venus or not, ought to be ashamed of making good short-cake; if they were bad, that would be a different matter.

“Well, Charlie, now you have seen all those paintings and figures you used to talk so much about, what do you think of them?–are they really so handsome as you expected?” asked his sister.

“They are wonderful!” exclaimed Charlie, with animation; putting down a short-cake he had just buttered. “Wonderful!–There is no other word to describe them.”

Mrs. Hubbard observed, that she had some notion of a painting, from the minister’s portrait in the parlour–Charlie took up his short cake–she thought a person might have satisfaction in a painting; such a picture as that portrait; but as for those stone figures he used to wish to see, she could not understand what was the beauty of such idol-like things.

“They are not at all like idols, mother; they are the most noble conceptions of the human form.”

How could they look human? He himself had told her they were made out of marble; just such marble, she supposed, as was used for tomb-stones.

“I only wish you could see some of the statues in Italy; the Laocoon, Niobe, and others I have seen. I think you would feel then what I felt–what I never can describe in words.”

{“Laocoon” = A famous Greek statue, in the Vatican at Rome, of a Trojan priest and his two sons being crushed by serpents. “Niobe” = a famous statue, in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (a Roman copy of a lost Greek original attributed to Scopas), of Niobe — in Greek mythology the daughter of Tantalus whose children were slaughtered by Zeus and who was transformed into a weeping image of stone}

Mrs. Hubbard said the names sounded very heathen-like to her ears; she had never seen a statue, of any description whatever; she didn’t think she could have any satisfaction in looking at one. If they had any colour to them, and were dressed up in uniforms, and handsome clothes, like the wax-figures of General Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Lord Nelson, she had once seen, they would be worth looking at, perhaps.

Miss Patsey wished to know, if among the statues he had seen, there were any supposed to be likenesses of the great men that we read about in history?

“There are many statues and busts in Italy, that are undeniably portraits of some of the greatest men of antiquity,” he replied.

“Do you suppose they are really like those old Romans? I don’t mean such likenesses as the portrait of our dear father; but still pretty good for those old times?”

“Far better than anything of the kind you ever saw,” replied Charlie, drinking off a cup of tea.

Miss Patsey thought those might be worth seeing. A conversation followed upon the delight Charlie had felt in beholding celebrated places, the scenes of great events in past ages; a delight that an American can never know in his own country, and which, on that very account, he enjoys with a far keener zest than a European. Miss Patsey seemed to enter a little into this pleasure; but, upon the whole, it was quite evident that all the imagination of the family had fallen to Charlie’s share. The young man thought little of this, however: when Judy had carried away the remains of the supper, he returned to his mother’s side, and the evening passed away in that pleasant family chat, so interesting to those who feel alike. Sympathy of the heart is a tie ten-fold stronger than sympathy of the head; people may think alike, and hate each other; while those who feel together, are often led to adopt the same opinions.

When Charlie had read the usual evening chapter in the Bible, and had received his mother’s kiss and blessing, he laid himself down with a thankful heart, in the little garret-room, as in his childish years. The young artist’s dreams that night, were a mingled crowd of fancies; the memories of his boyhood reviving in their old haunts, accompanied by more recent images brought from beyond the Ocean, and linked with half-formed plans and ideas for the future. Among these visions of the night, were two more distinct than the rest; one was a determination to commence, the very next morning, a copy of his honoured father’s portrait, in which the artist’s object was unusual; for it was his chief aim to make it as little like the original before him, as possible. Shall we reveal the fact that another image, wearing a gentler aspect than the stern, rigid features of the minister’s portrait, seemed to flit before the young painter’s fancy, coming unbidden, and mingling more especially with recollections of the past? As a ray of moonlight stole into the low dormer-window, the young man turned on his humble bed, a sigh burst from his lips, followed by the words, “No, no!”

We shall keep the secret.


“Yonder, sure, they are coming.”
As You Like It.

{William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, I.ii.147}

THE weather had been more than usually warm for several weeks, and the morning after Charlie’s return to Longbridge, when the steamboat North America left the wharf at New-York, her decks and cabins were filled by some five or six hundred passengers. There were men, women, and children, of various characters, colours and conditions. The scene on deck was pleasing and cheerful; the day was lovely, the steamer looked neat and bright, and the great majority of the females were gaily dressed in their summer attire; most of the faces looked good-humoured, as if pleased to escape from the heat and confinement of the town, to cooler air, and a sight of the water and green woods. One might have supposed it a party of pleasure on a large scale; in fact, Americans seem always good-natured, and in a pleasant mood when in motion; such is their peculiar temperament. The passengers on board the North America soon began to collect in knots, family-groups, or parties of acquaintance; some chatting, some reading, some meditating. There was one difficulty, however, want of space to move about in, or want of seats for some of those who were stationary.

After the boat had fairly begun her trip, and people had settled themselves as well as they could, according to their different fancies, a pretty little woman appeared at the door of the ladies’ cabin. In her light hair, and somewhat insipid face, encased in an extremely fashionable hat, we recognise Mrs. Hilson. Turning towards a gentleman who seemed waiting near the door for her, she addressed him.

“Now, Monsieur Bonnet, do exert your gallantry, and find me a seat on deck. The cabin is intolerably warm, I cannot stay here;–where are Emmeline and the Baron?”

“You see, Madame,” he said, pointing towards the couple, “Montbrun take a tabouret at once, when we come on board, and Mademoiselle Emmeline now has it. It was very maladroit in me not to keep one for you; I beg a t’ousand pardons.”

{“tabouret” = a stool; “maladroit” = careless (French)}

“Haven’t you got a seat; that is a pity. But I dare say you can easily find one.”

“Vraiment, ma chere Madame EEL-sun, there is no sacrifice I would not make to procure you one. I am desole it should be impossible. I have been looking; but all the tabourets and chair are taken by ladies and gentlemans. You have a drole de maniere of travel in this countree; so many people together, the ladies must be victimes sometime.”

{“Vraiment, ma chere…” = truly, my dear…; “drole de maniere” = funny way (French)}

“Oh, no; you don’t know how to manage, that is all. Has not the Baron a chair?”

“Non, Madame; you see he is debout.”

{“debout” = standing (French)}

“Well, there are some gentlemen seated; I see three or four–one quite near you. Ask him for his chair.”

The Frenchman shrugged his shoulders, and looked bewildered.

“Pray, ask that gentleman for his chair,” repeated the lady, pointing with her parasol to a person sitting at no great distance.

“But, Madame, the gentleman will not know what a charming lady wish for the chair–he will not give it.”

“Oh, no danger; if you tell him it is for a lady, of course he will let you have it. Why, how slow you are about it; you are almost as bad as Captain Kockney, who never did anything when he was asked.”

“Ah, Madame, de graces do not say that!–I go.”

{“de graces” = please (French)}

And Monsieur Bonnet, edging his way here and there behind the ladies, and begging ten thousand pardons, at length reached the person Mrs. Hilson had pointed out to him.

“What did you say?” exclaimed this individual, looking up rather gruffly, at being addressed by an utter stranger.

“Mille pardons, Monsieur,” continued Monsieur Bonnet; “a lady is very much oppressed with fatigue, and send me to beg you will be aimable to give her your chair.”

{“mille pardons” = excuse me; “aimable” = obliging enough (French)}

“What is it?” repeated the man, who looked like an Englishman; “I don’t understand you.”

Monsieur Bonnet again urged his request, in terms still more civil. It would be rendering a very great service to the lady, he said.

“I am not acquainted with the lady; I advise you to look for an empty chair,” replied the other, resolutely turning his face in an opposite direction.

Monsieur Bonnet shrugged his shoulders, and was moving towards Mrs. Hilson au desespoir, when a gentlemanly-looking man, who was seated, reading, not far from the Englishman, rose and quietly offered his bench for the use of the lady. Monsieur Bonnet was, of course, all gratitude, and returned enchante to Mrs. Hilson, who took the matter very quietly; while M. Bonnet seemed surprised at his own success.

{“au desespoir” = in despair; “enchante” = delighted (French)}

The gentleman who had given up his seat, was obliged to continue standing; shutting up his book, he began to look about him, among the crowd, for acquaintances. There was a very gay, noisy party, at no great distance, which first attracted his attention; it consisted of two pretty young women in the centre of a group of men. The shrill voice and rattling laugh of one lady, might be very distinctly heard across the deck; the other was leaning back listlessly in her chair: one of the young men was reading a paper with a sort of family expression, as if the ladies were his near connexions; and, on a chair, at the side of the silent lady, sat an old gentleman, with a very rusty coat, snuffy nose, and a red handkerchief spread on one knee, while on the other he held a pretty little boy, about two years old.

“I tell you I know she was dead in love with him!” cried the rattling young lady, at the top of her voice. Then, observing the gentleman, who was looking in that direction, she bowed with a coquettish graciousness. The bow was returned, but the gentleman did not seem very anxious to approach the party; when the young lady, beckoning with her finger, obliged him to draw near.

“Now, Mr. Ellsworth, you are just the man I wanted. Three of these gentlemen are against me; I have only one on my side, and I want you to help me to fight the battle.”

“Must I enlist, Miss Taylor, before I know whether the cause is good or bad?”

“Oh, certainly, or else you are not worth a cent. But I’ll tell you how the matter stands: you know Helen de Vaux and you were at the Springs, last summer, when she and Mr. Van Alstyne were there. Well, I say she was dead in love with him, though she did refuse him.”

“Was she?” replied Mr. Ellsworth.

“Why, I know she was; it was as plain as a pike-staff to everybody who saw them together. And here, these good folks provoke me so; they say if she refused him she did not care for him; and here is my ridiculous brother-in-law, Mr. St. Leger, says I don’t know anything about it; and my sister Adeline always thinks just as her husband does.”

“That’s quite right, my dear,” said the rusty Mr. Hopkins, taking a pinch of snuff. “I hope you will follow her example one of these days.”

“What are the precise symptoms of a young lady’s being dead in love?” asked the quiet, business-looking Theodore St. Leger.

“Oh, you know well enough what I mean. You may say what you please about Helen de Vaux not caring for him, I know better,” continued the young lady, in a voice that might be heard on the other side of the boat.

“As Miss de Vaux’s mother is on board, suppose you refer the question to her,” said Mr. Ellsworth, in a dry manner.

“Is she?–I hope she didn’t hear us,” continued the young lady, lowering her voice half a tone. “But you need not ask her, though; for I don’t believe her mother knows anything about it.”

“You are going to the Springs, I suppose,” said Mr. Ellsworth, by way of changing the conversation.

“I wish we were! No; Adeline has taken it into her head to be romantic, for the first time in her life. She says we must go to the Falls; and it will be a fortnight lost from Saratoga.”

“But, have you no wish to see Niagara?”

“Not a bit; and I don’t believe Adeline has, either. But it is no wonder she doesn’t care about the Springs, now she’s married; she began to go there four years before I did.”

“Have you never been to Niagara, Mrs. St. Leger?” continued Mr. Ellsworth, addressing the elder sister; who, from the giddy, belleish Adeline, was now metamorphosed into the half-sober young matron–the wife of an individual, who in spite of the romantic appellation of Theodore St. Leger, was a very quiet, industrious business-man, the nephew and adopted son of Mr. Hopkins, Adeline’s Boston escort. She had been sitting contentedly beside the old gentleman, for the last half hour, leaving her unmarried sister to entertain the beaux, according to etiquette.

“No, I have never been to the Falls; and all our party but my sister Emma, seemed to think it would be a pleasant jaunt.”

“Mr. Hopkins has entered into an engagement to supply me with at least two beaux at a time, and a regular change all the way to Niagara, or else I shouldn’t have come,” said Miss Emma.

“We are engaged at least by the day, I hope,” interposed one of the attendant young men.

“No, indeed; I should be tired to death of you, for more than an hour at a time. I sha’n’t speak to YOU again, until we have passed West Point.”

“I have had no trouble as yet, my dear, in picking up recruits,” said Mr. Hopkins, whose attention seemed equally divided between his snuff-box, and the little Hopkins, junior, on his knee–his great-nephew.

“If there are two, that’s all I care for; but I hate to have only one person to talk to.”

Mr. Ellsworth bit his lips, to prevent their expressing his opinion, that the young lady must always have a large circle of listeners.

“Have you seen Mr. Wyllys’s party this morning?” inquired Adeline.

“The Wyllyses!–Are they on board?” exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth, with surprise and pleasure. “I thought them at Saratoga by this time.”

“Oh, no; they are somewhere on the other side of the boat; my sister-in-law, Mrs. Taylor’s little girl is with them. By-the-bye, Emma, I am going into the cabin to look after Jane; will you go with me?”

“No, indeed; I hate the cabin of a steamboat!”

Adeline was quite satisfied to leave her sister with the prospect of a good supply of young men to flirt with; though matrimony had changed her in some respects, she still considered it a duty to encourage to the utmost, all love-affairs, and flirtations going on in her neighbourhood. Mr. Hopkins resigned the little boy to his mother’s care; Mr. St. Leger helped his wife through the crowd; and, under cover of the movement made to allow Adeline to pass, Mr. Ellsworth made his escape. His eye had been already directed towards the opposite side of the boat, where he had discovered the venerable, benevolent face of Mr. Wyllys, with three ladies near him. Mr. Ellsworth immediately recognised Miss Agnes, Elinor, and Mary Van Alstyne. It was several minutes before he could edge his way through the crowd, to join them; but when he reached the spot, he was received very cordially by Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, in a friendly manner by Mary Van Alstyne, and possibly there was something of consciousness betrayed by Elinor.

“I thought you already at Saratoga!” exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth.

“We were detained several days, waiting for Mrs. Taylor,” replied Elinor, to whom the remark was made.

“We shall not be at Saratoga until Monday,” added Mr. Wyllys; “we are going to pass a day or two with our friends, the V—–s, at Poughkeepsie.”

“I am very sorry to hear it,” continued Mr. Ellsworth; “I have promised to carry Mrs. Creighton to Nahant, about that time, and shall have my usual bad luck in missing you.”

{“Nahant” = sea-side resort in Massachusetts, then very popular, just north of Boston}

“We must persuade Mrs. Creighton not to run away,” said Mr. Wyllys.

As Elinor stooped at that moment, to untie the hat of the pretty little creature at her side, it was impossible to say whether this intelligence were displeasing to her or not.

“That is Mrs. Taylor’s child, is it not?” observed Mr. Ellsworth, looking at the little girl. “She is very like Mrs. St. Leger.”

“Do you really think so?–we fancy her like her mother,” said Elinor.

“How is Tallman Taylor now?–he was not well when they passed through Philadelphia.”

“He looks badly still,” said Miss Agnes. “He is very imprudent, and distresses Jane very much by his carelessness.”

“Gentlemen never seem to do what is right when invalids,” observed Mary Van Alstyne, smiling. “They are either very reckless, and indifferent to their health, or else over-careful.”

“What do you say, Mr. Ellsworth; is that account true?” asked Miss Wyllys.

“I dare say it is–I have no doubt we are very troublesome to our nurses. But, fortunately, women are endowed with a double stock of patience, to make up for our deficiencies. Is Mr. Taylor on board?–I have not seen him.”

“No; he remained in town to attend to some business,” replied Miss Wyllys. “We have charge of Mrs. Taylor, however, who was very anxious to get into the country, on account of her youngest child.”

“I see, Mr. Ellsworth, that old Ironsides has arrived at Norfolk, bringing Mr. Henley from Rio,” observed Mr. Wyllys.

{“Old Ironsides” = the United States Frigate “Constitution”; in the early 1800s, U.S. naval ships frequently carried diplomats to and from their stations}

“Certainly; she arrived on Tuesday.”

“I saw it in the Globe, last night, grandpapa, Mr. Henley had arrived at Washington. Harry is with him, of course,” said Elinor, in a quiet, natural tone.

“I supposed you knew of their arrival,” observed Mr. Ellsworth. “I have a letter from Hazlehurst in my pocket. He seems to have had quite enough of Rio.”

“Mr. Henley, I understand, is talked of as minister to Russia,” said Mr. Wyllys.

“Yes; I believe that affair is settled.”

“Does Hazlehurst mention whether he is going with Mr. Henley?”

“That may be a state secret,” said Elinor, smiling.

“He has had an offer of the situation, I believe–but does not seem to have made up his mind; he is coming home to look about him, he says, having three months’ vacation at any rate.”

The shrill tone of Miss Emma Taylor’s voice was at this moment heard so distinctly, from the other side of the boat that Mr. Wyllys looked up from his paper, and Mr. Ellsworth smiled. It was very evident the young lady had inherited the peculiar tone of voice, and all the cast-off animation of her elder sister.

“Miss Taylor seems to be in very good spirits,” remarked Mr. Ellsworth.

“Yes; she always talks and laughs a great deal,” replied Mary Van Alstyne.

“They are no longer your neighbours, I understand, sir.”

“No; Mr. Taylor sold Colonnade Manor this spring; De Vaux has purchased it, and changed the name of the place. It is now to be called Broadlawn, which is certainly a great improvement.”

“And where does Mr. Taylor’s family pass the summer?”

“Why, Jane tells me he is building something he calls a cottage, at Rockaway, within a stone’s throw of the principal hotel. They thought Longbridge too quiet.”

Mrs. Taylor’s little girl had, by this, time, become very sleepy, and a little fretful; and Miss Agnes advised her being carried to her mother. Elinor led her away, rather, it is believed, to Mr. Ellsworth’s regret.

It was no easy task to make one’s way among the nurses, and babies, and baskets, filling the ladies’ cabin, which was more than usually crowded. But at length Elinor reached Jane and Adeline, who were sitting together.

A single glance was sufficient to show that a change had come over these two young women, since the giddy days of their girlhood. Jane was pale, but beautiful as ever; she was holding on her knees a sick child, about two months old, which apparently engrossed all her attention. What would be her system as a mother, might be foretold by the manner in which she pacified the little girl Elinor had brought with her.

“Give her some candy, Dinah,” she said to the black nurse; whose broad, good-natured face was soon covered with shining marks of affection, from the hands of the pretty little charge.

Adeline was less changed in her appearance than her sister-in-law; that is to say, she was as pretty as ever, and neither thin nor pale. But there was something in her expression, and a great deal in her manner, that was no longer what it had been of old. That excessive animation which had distinguished her as a belle, had been allowed to die away; and the restless expression, produced by a perpetual labour to make conquests, which was, at one time, always to be traced upon her features, had now vanished entirely. In its place there was a touch of matronly care and affection, more natural, and far more pleasing. She, too, was sitting by the side of her child, driving away the flies from the little thing, who was sleeping in a berth. Adeline Taylor had married well, in the best sense of the word. Not that she deserved much credit for doing so, since she had only accidentally, as it were, become attached to the young man who happened to be the most deserving among her suitors. Chance had had a great deal to with the match, as it has with many matches. She had, however, one merit–that of not rejecting him on account of his want of fortune; although at the time, she might have married a man who would have given her a four-story, four-window house in Broadway. Mr. Taylor had not interfered: she had done as she pleased in the affair. It is true, that her father rather inclined towards the richest suitor; still, he took it for granted, that if Theodore St. Leger had not a fortune at the time, being a merchant, he would, of course, make one in a few years. But Mr. Taylor’s son-in-law was a man of very different character from himself; he was a quiet, prudent, unostentatious young man, of good abilities, who had received by education excellent principles, and moderate views, and who had fallen in love with Adeline’s pretty face. Mr. Hopkins, his uncle and adopted father, was a very worthy man, though a little eccentric, and rather too much given to snuff, and old coats, and red handkerchiefs. No one stood better on Change than John Hopkins, whose word had been as good as his bond, throughout a long life. He was a man of some property too, but he had only given his nephew enough to begin life very moderately. Even with the very liberal allowance which Mr. Taylor freely gave his children, Adeline, when she married, was obliged to live in a much plainer and quieter way than she had done for the last five or six years.

{“Change” = the stock exchange}

Altogether, however, the young couple seemed to agree very well, in spite of the difference in their characters: a pretty, good-natured wife was all the young merchant had wished for; and Adeline was really attached to her husband, whose chief fault seemed to be in his coats, which were rather too much after the fashion of those of Uncle Hopkins.

Jane’s fate had proved less happy than that of her friend Adeline. Tallman Taylor’s habits of extravagance had led them into difficulties in more ways than one. He had spent far more than his income, and his carelessness in business had proved a great disadvantage to the house with which he was connected. During the last year, matters had grown worse and worse; he had neglected his wife, and lost large sums at the gambling-table. Poor Jane had passed some unhappy months, and traces of sorrow were to be seen on her pale face. Towards the last of the winter, young Taylor had been dangerously ill with a malignant fever prevailing in New Orleans; and as a long convalescence interfered with his dissipated habits, and confined him for some time to his own house, his friends hoped that he would have time and leisure to make some useful reflections. But they were deceived; sickness and suffering only made him more selfish and irritable: poor Jane had already paid a heavy penance for her duplicity, and her obstinacy in marrying him. Mr. Taylor had quarrelled with his partners; and it was the object of his present visit to New York, to persuade his father to make some heavy advances in his behalf, as otherwise he would be ruined. Jane, it is true, knew but little of her husband’s affairs; still, she saw and heard enough to make her anxious for the future, and she gave herself up to melancholy repining, while her manner lost all cheerfulness. Her father’s family were in Charleston, and she had not seen them for more than a twelvemonth; but Mr. Robert Hazlehurst, Miss Agnes, and Elinor had done all that was possible to supply their place, since she had been in their neighbourhood. Adeline, too, was well enough disposed towards her sister-in-law, but she had neither the good sense nor the delicacy of Miss Wyllys and Elinor, and was far less successful in her friendly efforts. The society of her aunt and cousin seemed a relief to Jane; and it was at their request that she was going to pass a fortnight with them at Saratoga, where Miss Agnes had been ordered by her physician.

Elinor, on joining her cousin in the cabin, tried to persuade Jane to have the sick child carried on deck, for the sake of the fresh air, but she did not succeed; and not wishing to leave Mrs. Taylor, she took off her hat, and remained some time in the cabin–a piece of good-nature which Mr. Ellsworth seemed to think ill-timed. As they drew near the Highlands, however, she returned to her seat on deck; for the morning was lovely, and she did not wish to lose the scenery. She found Mrs. Hilson sitting near her aunt.

“Ah, Miss Elinor!–how do you do?” exclaimed the city lady. “It is the first time I have had a chance of seeing you since you returned from the West Indies. You have not been much in New York, I believe, since you arrived?”

“Only for a day or two.”

“And how did you like the West Indies? Is there much aristocracy at Havana?”

“We found it very pleasant there; and the climate was of so much service to my aunt, that I shall always remember Havana with gratitude.”

“You did not go into society, then?”

“0h, yes; we made many pleasant acquaintances.”

“Well, if I go abroad, I hope it will be to England; though I should like very well to visit the stores of Paris.”

“Have you seen your cousin, Charles Hubbard, since he arrived from Italy?” inquired Elinor.

“Yes; he called at our boarding-house. He is at Longbridge now, but he is coming to Saratoga, shortly; for he told me he had engaged to take several views of Lake George.”

“I am sorry be did not come to see us in town; but I am delighted to hear he is going to Saratoga. Grandpapa, Mrs. Hilson tells me Charles Hubbard will be at Saratoga, with us!”

“I am very glad to hear it, my child; I want to see Charlie.”

“Has he brought home many pictures?” continued Elinor.

“I really don’t know; I did not think of asking him.”

“I should suppose you would be anxious to see your cousin’s paintings.”

“Oh, no; portraits are the only pictures that interest me. I always have the ‘Book of Beauty,’ whenever it comes out; you know they are likenesses of the Peeresses of the English Nobility.”

{“Book of Beauty” = “Heath’s Book of Beauty” an annual volume with engravings of famous British women, sponsored by Charles Heath (1785-1848) (London: Longmans, 1833-1847)}

Elinor bowed. “Yes, I have seen the book.”

“I have the ‘Children of the Nobility,’ too, bound in crimson silk; it is a very fascinating collection. My friend, Mrs. Bagman, tells me they are excellent likenesses, particularly the children of his Royal Highness, the Lord-Mayor.”

{“Children of the Nobility” = “Portraits of the Children of the Nobility,” A similar publication, also sponsored by Charles Heath (Longmans: London, 1838)}

Absurd as such a mistake in heraldry may seem, one might vouch for having heard others quite as extraordinary.

“They may be like,” said Elinor, smiling in spite of herself; “but I cannot agree with you as to their beauty. I have seen the volume, and it struck me the artists must have made caricatures of many of the children, who, no doubt, were pretty in reality.”

“I was looking at those engravings only yesterday,” said Mr. Ellsworth, anxious to engage Elinor’s attention; “they almost amount to a libel on childhood; they give the idea of mincing, affected little creatures, at the very age when children are almost invariably natural and interesting. I should quarrel very much with a portrait of my little girl, in the same fashion.”

“But it is very seldom you see portraits of children, that are really child-like,” observed Elinor. “And then what a trial, to paint a pretty, innocent little creature, in full dress, starched and trim!”

“Children are charming subjects when properly treated; I delight in such pictures,” said Mary Van Alstyne.

“You would have been often delighted then, in Italy, Miss Van Alstyne. Raphael’s cherubs are as perfect in their way, as his men and women.”

{“Raphael’s cherubs” = While living in Florence in 1829, James Fenimore Cooper and his family admired the “Madonna del Baldacchino” (sometimes called “La Madonna del Trono”) by Raphael (Italian painter, 1483-1520), at the Pitti Palace, and especially the two singing angels (“perhaps I should call them cherubs) at the foot of the throne. He commissioned the American sculptor Horatio Greenough (1805-1852) to sculpt for him a group called “The Chanting Cherubs,” based the angels or cherubs}

Mrs. Hilson, unwilling to be thrown out of the conversation, again addressed Elinor.

“When you joined us, Miss Wyllys, we were speaking of the fire opposite your hotel. Were you not dreadfully alarmed? I hear you were there; although I did not find you at home when I called.”

“We were disturbed, of course; but I can’t say that we were personally alarmed. The wind, you may remember, carried everything in the opposite direction.”

“Did it? Well, I was too much frightened to notice anything; you know it was in the same block as our boarding-house.”

“Yes; you were nearer the danger than we were.”

“Oh, I was dreadfully frightened. There was one of our ladies wanted to persuade me to look at Trinity Church, lighted up by the fire; I believe she really thought it a fascinating sight. Here comes a gentleman who was staying at your hotel, and has not got over his fright yet; it is one of my escorts–I have two, the Baron and this gentleman; but the Baron is not on deck now–let me introduce you; Monsieur Bonnet, Miss Wyllys. I do believe, Monsieur Bonnet, you were as much alarmed as I was.”

“Alarm–Ah, Madame, I was ebloui by the fire. In all my life, I never saw real incendie before; though, of course, I saw the Panorama of the incendie de Moscou–I was not in Russie with l’Empereur. At the spectacle we have incendies sometimes; but never in the street. Ah, I did not see that house until the roof fall, when light burst through my volets, and I spring to the window.”

{“ebloui” = dazzled; “incendie de Moscou” = the fire which destroyed Moscow in 1812, while it was being occupied by the Emperor Napoleon; “spectacle” = theater; “volets” = shutters (French)}

“I should have thought the noise would have called you out before that.”

“Du tout; when I hear cries, and people marching, I think tout bonnement it was an emeute, and I turn round to finish my sleep; I think myself happy not to belong to the Garde Nationale of New York, and not be afraid of the rappel.”

{“du tout” = not at all; “tout bonnement” = simply; “emeute” = riot; “rappel” = call to arms (French)}

“What did you think it was?”

“An emeute, sans doute, say I to myself. It was un tintamarre epouvantable.”

{“un tintamarre epouvantable” = a frightful uproar (French)}

“Emeute; pray, what is that?”

“Emeute? A little revolution, as we have in Paris constamment.”

“Why, my dear sir, our revolutionary war took place more than fifty years ago. Did you expect to find us fighting now?”

“Certainement; I thought the wheel I hear was cannon. But mon ami Eel-SUN tell me next day, there is incendie every night somewhere in New York. Un drole de divertisement, vraiment. It is a great desagrement, of a city otherwise so beautiful, with so many charming ladies.”

{“un drole de divertisement, vraiment” = truly, a strange form of entertainment. “desagrement” = unpleasant feature (French)}

“Thank you, sir; you are very polite. I believe, Miss Wyllys, that French gentlemen, no matter what they talk about, always find an opportunity to pay a compliment.”

“C’est tout naturel; cela va sans dire; it is only our devoir, Madame, to exprimer to the ladies some of the many agreeable things they inspire.”

{“C’est tout naturel…” = it’s only natural; it goes without saying; it is only our duty, Madame, to express to the ladies… (French)}

“Worse and worse,” said Mrs. Hilson, laughing. “How different you are from Captain Kockney; he never said a civil thing to me, all the time he was in New York.”

“Le capitaine Coquenais was an Anglais, who cannot feel the true politesse Francaise.”

“He used to say it is not aristocratic to be polite to other people; he belongs to the English aristocracy, you know.”

“L’aristocratie! Oh, that is a vile state of things. La vieille aristocratie of France, Madame, was the cause of our revolution. But in France now, and in America, those happy countree, the spirit of aristocracy is extinct.”

“I beg your pardon, Monsieur Bonnet,” said Mrs. Hilson, quite indignantly. “It is true there are many plebeians in this country; but we have also many people of the highest aristocracy.”

“Ah, vous plaisantez avec tant de grace, Madame!”

{“vous plaisantez….” = You joke so gracefully, Madame (French)}

“It is pleasant, certainly, to me; though some people may not appreciate it. I am a very aristocratic spirit.”

“Ah, sans doute, Madame; you have so much esprit, you laugh at me,” said the Frenchman, who took Mrs. Hilson’s protestation as a joke.

{“esprit” = wit (French)}

“No, indeed; I never was more serious in my life. I should suppose you would have been struck with the high state of aristocracy at our boarding-house, for instance.”

Monsieur Bonnet could only shrug his shoulders, being quite at a loss for the lady’s meaning.

“Yes; I am thoroughly patrician and aristocratic; if we only had a despotic government, to take away all privileges from plebeians, I should be perfectly happy. My language surprises you, I perceive; but it is quite natural that a descendant of a Scotch Baronet, the Duke of Percy, should have similar feelings.”

More and more bewildered, Monsieur Bonnet was reduced to a bow. Happily, as he thought, the warning bell was rung; and the usual cry, “Passengers for West Point please look out for their baggage!” changed the current of Mrs. Hilson’s ideas, or rather the flow of her words.

In another moment, Mrs. Hilson and Monsieur Bonnet, with a score or two of others, were landed at West Point, and the ladies of Mr. Wyllys’s party felt it no little relief to be rid of so much aristocracy.

The boat had soon reached Poughkeepsie, and much to Mr. Ellsworth’s regret, Mr. Wyllys and his family went on shore. Mr. Ellsworth had been introduced to Elinor at Jane’s wedding. He was a man of thirty, a widower, with an only child, and had for several years been thinking of marrying again. After having made up his mind to take the step, he next determined that he would not marry in a hurry. He was not a man of quick passions, and was sometimes accused of being fastidious in his tastes. He thought Elinor’s manner charming, and soon discovered that she had every recommendation but beauty, the want of which was her only drawback; he liked her family, and probably was not sorry to hear that she would have a large property. But, unfortunately, he seldom met Miss Elinor Wyllys; she was a great part of her time in the country, and he knew nobody in the immediate neighbourhood. He had not been asked to Wyllys-Roof; nor was he, a very recent acquaintance, on terms sufficiently intimate, to present himself at the door, bag and baggage, without an invitation. More than a twelvemonth intervened, in the mean time; but he was still thinking enough of Elinor to make him wish for a meeting, when, accidentally, they passed a few days together at Old Point Comfort, and afterwards met again, not exactly by accident it is believed, at the Sulphur Springs, in Virginia. His good opinion of Elinor was not only confirmed by this intercourse, but his admiration very much increased. It was only natural it should be so; the more one knew Elinor, the more one loved her; good sense, intelligence, sweetness of disposition like her’s, united to the simple grace of manner, peculiarly her own, were best appreciated by those who saw her daily. Quite unaware of Mr. Ellsworth’s views, and unconsciously influenced at first, perhaps, by the fact that he was an old friend of Harry’s, she soon liked him as a companion, and received him with something more than mere politeness. “It is always pleasant to meet with an agreeable, gentlemanly, well-informed man,” thought Elinor: a train of reflection which has sometimes carried young ladies farther than they at first intended. Under such circumstances, some ardent spirits would have settled the question during a fortnight passed with the lady they admired; but Mr. Ellsworth, though he thought Elinor’s manner encouraging, did not care to hazard a hasty declaration; he preferred waiting a few weeks, until they should meet again in Philadelphia, where the Wyllyses intended passing the winter. But unfortunately, shortly after the family returned home, Miss Agnes was taken ill, and on her partial recovery, was ordered to a warm climate before the cold weather; and Elinor merely passed through Philadelphia on her way to the West Indies, with her aunt and grandfather. Mr. Ellsworth was, of course, disappointed; he expressed his regrets as warmly as he dared, during a morning visit, in a room half-full of company; and he hinted in terms so pointed at his hopes of a happy meeting in the spring, that Elinor’s suspicions were for the first time excited, while those of Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes were only confirmed. Since then, Mr. Ellsworth and Elinor had only seen each other once, in the street, until they met on board the steamboat, on their way to Saratoga.

{“Old Point Comfort” = a sea-side resort near Hampton, Virginia}


“Who comes here?”
As You Like It.

{William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, II.vii.87 or III.iv.46}

THERE was to be a Temperance meeting at Longbridge, one of more importance than usual, as a speaker of note was to be heard on the occasion.

“Are you ready, Catherine?” inquired Mr. Clapp of his wife, appearing at the parlour-door, holding his hat and cane in one hand, and running the other through his brown curls.

“Wait one minute, dear, until I have put a clean collar on Willie.”

Little Willie, who had been hopping about the room, delighted with the importance of sitting up later than his younger brothers and sisters, was persuaded to stand still for a few seconds, while his mother tied on the clean collar; when Mr. Clapp, his wife, and eldest boy set out for the meeting-house, which they found already half-filled. They were beckoned into a pew near to one already occupied by the Van Hornes, Miss Patsey, and Charlie. As the evening was very pleasant, men, women, and children crowded in, until a large audience was brought together, urged, as usual, by different motives; some came from curiosity, others from always preferring an evening in public to an evening at home; some, from sincere respect for the object of the meeting, many for the sake of the speeches, and many others merely because they were ever ready to follow the general example. Mr. Clapp had no sooner found seats for his wife and child, than he began to look about him; his eye wandered over the heads around, apparently in quest of some one; at length his search seemed successful; it rested on a man, whose whole appearance and dress proclaimed him to be a sailor.

The meeting was opened by prayer, two different ministers officiating on the occasion; one, a venerable-looking old man, offered a simple, fervent, Christian prayer; the second, a much younger person, placing one hand in his waistcoat pocket, the other under the flaps of his coat, advanced to the front of the staging, and commenced, what was afterwards pronounced one of the “most eloquent prayers ever addressed to a congregation.”

The speeches then followed. The first speaker, who seemed the business-man of the evening, gave some account of the statistics of the Society, concluding with a short address to those present, hoping they would, upon that occasion, enrol their names as Members of the Longbridge Temperance Society.

The principal orator of the evening, Mr. Strong, then came forward; he made a speech of some length, and one that was very impressive. Nothing could be more clear, more just, more true, than the picture he drew of the manifold evils of intemperance; a vice so deceitful in its first appearance, so treacherous in its growth; so degrading, so brutalizing in its enjoyments; so blasting and ruinous in its effects–ruinous to body and mind, heart and soul–blasting all hopes for this life and for the next, so long as it remains unconquered. He entreated his friends to count the cost of indulgence in this vice; loss of property, loss of health, loss of character, loss of intellect and feeling, loss of conscience, until roused in those fearful moments of terror and fury, the peculiar punishment of drunkenness. He begged his hearers to look at this evil under all its aspects, from the moment it destroys the daily peace of its miserable victims and all connected with them, until it leaves them, in death, without a hope, exposed to the fearful penalty of sin. As he went on, the heart of many a wretched wife and mother acknowledged the bitter truth of his observations; many a guilty conscience shrunk under the probe. He then made a just and reasonable estimate of the difficulties to be resisted in conquering this evil; he did not attempt to deny that there were obstacles to be overcome; he showed all the force of bad habit, all the danger of temptation–but if there were difficulties in the way, it was equally true that the power to subdue them was fully within the reach of every man. He went on to represent the happy effects of a change from evil to good; a restoration to usefulness, peace, comfort, and respectability, which has happily been seen in many an instance. He concluded by appealing to his hearers as men, to shake off a debasing slavery; as Christians, to flee from a heinous sin; and he entreated them, if they had not done so before, to take, on that evening, the first step in the cheering, honourable, blessed course of temperance.

Mr. Strong’s speech was, in fact, excellent; all he said was perfectly true, it was well-expressed, and his manner was easy, natural, and dignified.

He was followed by William Cassius Clapp; the lawyer had been very anxious to speak at this meeting. Temperance societies were very popular at that time in Longbridge, and he was, of course, desirous of not losing so good an opportunity of appearing before the public on such an occasion; he thought it would help him on in his road towards the Assembly. Running his fingers through his curls, he took his place on the stage, and commenced. He was very fluent by nature, and in animation, in fanatical zeal for the cause, he far surpassed Mr. Strong: any other cause, by-the-bye, had it been popular, would have suited him just as well. In assertion, in denunciation, he distinguished himself particularly; he called upon every individual present to come forward and sign the pledge, under penalty of public disgrace; it was the will of the community that the pledge should be signed, public opinion demanded it, the public will required it; every individual present who neglected to sign the pledge of total abstinence, he pronounced to be “instigated by aristocratic pride,” and would leave that house, stigmatized as “anti-Christian, and anti-republican;” and in conclusion he threw in something about “liberty.”

Mr. Clapp sat down amid much applause; his speech was warmly admired by a portion of his hearers. All did not seem to agree on the subject, however, to judge, at least, by their manner and expression; for, during the delivery of their brother-in-law’s oration, Miss Patsey Hubbard seemed to be generally looking down at the floor, while Charlie was looking up at the ceiling: and there were many others present, who thought Mr. Clapp’s fluency much more striking than his common sense, or his sincerity. It is always painful to hear a good cause injured by a bad defence, to see truth disgraced by unworthy weapons employed in her name. It would have been quite impossible for Mr. Clapp to prove half his bold assertions, to justify half his sweeping denunciations. Still, in spite of the fanatical character of some of the advocates of Temperance, who distort her just proportions as a virtue–lovely in her own true character–yet drunkenness is a vice so hateful, that one would never wish to oppose any society, however imperfectly managed, whose object is to oppose that dangerous and common evil. Let it not be forgotten, however, that total abstinence from spirituous liquors is not the one great duty of man; intemperance is not the only sin to which human nature is inclined.

Mr. Clapp’s speech was the last for the evening.

“I wish you joy, Mrs. Clapp,” said Mrs. Tibbs, leaning forward from the seat behind the lawyer’s pretty little wife, and nodding as she spoke.

“I really congratulate you; Mr. Clapp has surpassed himself; such animation, such a flow of eloquence!” added Mrs. Bibbs.

Kate smiled, and looked much gratified; she evidently admired her husband’s speeches as much as she did his hair.

The moment for enrolling new names had now come; numbers of the audience went forward to sign the Total Abstinence Pledge. There was one worthy woman, a widow, sitting near Miss Patsey, whose only son had, during the last year or two, fallen into habits of intemperance; his attention had quite lately been attracted to the Temperance Societies, he had read their publications, had been struck by a short speech of Mr. Strong on a former occasion; and his mother’s joy may possibly be imagined, as she saw him rise and add his name to the list of members engaging to abstain from intoxicating liquors. There were several others whose hearts were cheered, on the same occasion, by seeing those they loved best, those over whom they had often mourned, take this step towards reformation. Among the rest, a man dressed as a sailor was seen approaching the table; when his turn came he put down his name, and this was no sooner done, than Mr. Clapp advanced and shook him warmly by the hand.

“Who is that man, Catherine, speaking to Mr. Clapp?–he looks like a sailor,” inquired Miss Patsey.

“I don’t know who it is; some client I suppose; William seemed very much pleased at his signing.”

Mr. Clapp, after shaking hands with his friend, the sailor, made his way through the crowd, until he reached the pew where his wife and little boy were sitting. Taking Willie by the hand, he led him to the table, placed the pen in his fingers, and left him to write William C. Clapp, jr. as well as he could–no easy matter, by-the-bye, for the child was not very expert in capital letters. As Willie was the youngest individual on the list, his signature was received by a burst of applause. The little fellow was extremely elated by being made of so much consequence; to tell the truth, he understood very little of what he was about. If respect for temperance were implanted in his mind on that evening, it was also accompanied by still more decided ideas of the great importance of little boys, with the germ of a confused notion as to the absolute necessity of the approbation of a regularly organized public meeting, to foster every individual virtue in himself, and in the human race in general. Miss Patsey very much doubted the wisdom of making her little nephew play such a prominent part before the public; she had old-fashioned notions about the modesty of childhood and youth. The mother, her sister Kate, however, was never disposed to find fault with anything her husband did; it was all right in her eyes. Mr. Clapp himself took the opportunity to thank the audience, in a short but emphatic burst, for their sympathy; concluding by expressing the hope that his boy would one day be as much disposed to gratitude for any public favours, and as entirely submissive, body and soul, to the public will of his own time, as he himself–the father–was conscious of being at that moment–within a few weeks of election.

The meeting was shortly after concluded by a temperance song, and a good prayer by the elder minister.

As the audience crowded out of the door, Mr. Clapp nodded again to the sailor, when passing near him.

“Who is that man, William?” asked Mrs. Clapp, as they reached the street.

“It is a person in whom I am warmly interested–an injured man.”

“Indeed!–one of your clients I suppose.”

“Yes; I am now pledged to serve him to the best of my ability.”

“He looks like a sailor.”

“He is a sailor, just returned from a three years’ whaling voyage. You will be surprised, Catherine, when you hear that man’s story; but the time has come when it must be revealed to the world.”

“You quite excite my curiosity; I hope you will tell me the story?”

“Yes; you shall hear it. But where are your sister and Charles; are they going home with us?”

“No; I am very sorry; but they told me at the meeting they could not stay, as they had come over in Mrs. Van Horne’s carriage. It is a pity, for I had made some ice-cream, and gathered some raspberries, expressly for them; and we have hardly seen Charles since he arrived. But Patsey wants us to spend the day at the grey house, to-morrow, children and all.”

Mr. Clapp assented to this arrangement; although he said he should not be able to do more than go over himself for his family in the evening, on account of business.

Kate had only her husband and Willie to share her excellent ice-cream and beautiful raspberries, on that warm evening; the trio did justice, however, to these nice refreshments; and little Willie only wished he could sign a temperance pledge every evening, if he could sit up later than usual, and eat an excellent supper after it.

After the little fellow had been sent to bed, and his mother had taken a look at her younger children, who were sleeping sweetly in their usual places, the lawyer and his wife were left alone in the parlour. It was a charming moon-light evening, though very warm; and Kate having lowered the lamp, threw herself into a rocking-chair near the window; while Mr. Clapp, who had had rather a fatiguing day, was stretched out on the sofa.

“It is early yet, William; suppose you tell the story you promised me, about your client, the sailor.”

“I don’t much like to tell it, Catherine; and yet it is time you knew something about it, for we must proceed to action immediately.”

“Oh, tell me, by all means; you have really made me quite curious. You know very well that I can keep a secret.”

“Certainly; and I request you will not mention the facts I shall relate, to any one, for some time; not until we have taken the necessary legal steps.”

“Of course not, if you wish it; and now for the story. You said this poor man had been injured.”

“Grossly injured.”

“In what manner?”

“He has been treated in the most unjustifiable manner by his nearest relatives. His reputation has been injured, and he has been tyrannically deprived of a very large property.”

“Is it possible!–poor fellow! Can nothing be done for him?”

“That is what we shall see. Yes, I flatter myself if there is law in the land, we shall yet be able to restore him to his rights!”

“Does he belong to this part of the country?”

“He does not himself; but those who are revelling in his wealth do.”

“What is his name?–Do I know his family?”

“You will be distressed, Catherine, when you hear the name; you will be astonished when you learn the whole story; but the time for concealment has gone by now. Several years ago that poor sailor came to me, in ragged clothing, in poverty and distress, and first laid his complaint before me. I did not believe a word of what he told me; I thought the man mad, and refused to have anything to do with the cause. He became disgusted, and went to sea again, and for some time gave up all hope of being reinstated in his rights; the obstacles seemed too great. But at length a very important witness in his favour was accidentally thrown in his way: at the end of his cruise he came to me again, and I confess I was astounded at the evidence he then laid before me. It is conclusive, beyond a doubt, to any unprejudiced mind,” said Mr. Clapp, rousing himself from his recumbent position.

“But you have not told me the man’s name.”

“His name is Stanley–William Stanley.”

“You said I knew him; but I never heard of him; I don’t know the family at all.”

“Yes, you do; you know them only too well; you will be as much surprised as I was myself–as I am still, whenever I allow myself to dwell on the subject. Mr. Stanley is the cousin-german of your friend, Miss Elinor Wyllys. Mr. Wyllys himself, Mrs. Stanley, the step-mother, and young Hazlehurst, are the individuals who stand between him and his rights,” continued Mr. Clapp, rising, and walking across the room, as he ran his fingers through his brown curls.

“Impossible!” exclaimed Kate, as the fan she held dropped from her hand.

“Just what I said myself, at first,” replied Mr. Clapp.

“But surely you are deceived, William–how can it be?” continued the wife, in amazement. “We always thought that Mr. Stanley was lost at sea, years ago!”

“Exactly–it was thought so; but it was not true.”

“But where has he been in the mean time?–Why did he wait so long before he came to claim his inheritance?”

“The same unhappy, reckless disposition that first sent him to sea, kept him roving about. He did not know of his father’s death, until four years after it had taken place, and he heard at the same time that he had been disinherited. When he came home, after that event, he found that he was generally believed to have been lost in the Jefferson, wrecked in the year 18–. He was, in fact, the only man saved.”

“How very extraordinary! But why has he never even shown himself among his friends and connexions until now?”

“Why, my dear, his habits have been unhappily very bad in every way for years; they were, indeed the cause of his first leaving his family. He hated everything like restraint–even the common restraints of society, and cared for nothing but a sailor’s life, and that in the worst shape, it must be confessed. But he has now grown wiser–he has determined to reform. You observed he signed the temperance pledge this evening?”

“It all sounds so strangely, that I cannot yet believe it, William.”

“I dare say not–it took me four years to believe it.”

“But what do you mean to do? I hope you are not going to undertake a law-suit against two of our best friends, Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst?”

“That must depend on Mr. Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst, themselves. I have undertaken, Catherine, to do my best towards restoring this injured man to his property.”

“Oh, William; suppose this man is in the wrong, after all! Don’t think of having anything to do with him.”

“My dear, you talk like a woman–you don’t know what you say. If I don’t act in the premises, do you suppose he won’t find another lawyer to undertake his cause?”

“Let him have another, then: but it seems too bad that we should take sides against our best friends; it hardly seems honourable, William, to do so.”

“Honour, alone, won’t make a young lawyer’s pot boil, I can tell you.”

“But I had rather live poorly, and work hard all my life, than that you should undertake a dishonest cause.”

“It is all very pretty talking, but I have no mind to live poorly; I intend to live as well as I can, and I don’t look upon this Stanley cause as a bad one at all. I must say, Catherine, you are rather hard upon your husband, and seem to think more of the interests of your friends, than of his own.”

“How can you talk so, William, when you know you can’t think it,” said the wife reproachfully, tears springing to her eyes.

“Well, I only judge from what you say yourself. But in my opinion there is no danger of a law-suit. As Mr. Stanley’s agent, I shall first apply to Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Hazlehurst to acknowledge his claim; and when the evidence is laid before them, I have no kind of doubt but they will immediately give up the property; as they are some of your very honourable people, I must say I think they are bound to do so.”

“Certainly, if the evidence is so clear; but it seems to me, from all I have heard since I have been a lawyer’s wife, that evidence never is so very clear, William, but that people disagree about it.”

“Well, I flatter myself that people will be staggered by the proofs we can bring forward; I feel sure of public opinion, at least.”

Kate was silenced; but though she could think of nothing more to urge, she was very far from feeling easy on the subject.

“I hope with all my heart it will be settled amicably,” she added at length.

“There is every probability that it will. Though the story sounds so strangely to you now–just as it did to me, at first–yet when you come to hear all the facts, you will find there is scarcely room for a shadow of doubt.”

“How sorry mother and Patsey will be when they hear it!”

“I can’t see why they should be sorry to see a man reinstated in his rights, after having been deprived of them for eighteen years. If they are not blinded by their partiality for the Wyllyses and Hazlehursts, they cannot help being convinced by the evidence we can show.”

“How old is this man–this sailor–this Mr. Stanley?”

“Just thirty-six, he tells me. Did you remark his likeness to Mr. Stanley’s portrait at Wyllys-Roof? that was the first thing that struck me.”

“No; I hardly looked at him.”

“You must expect to see him often now; I have invited him to dinner for to-morrow.”

“For to-morrow? Well, Uncle Dozie has sent me this afternoon a beautiful mess of green peas, and you will have to get something nice from market, in the way of poultry and fish. Though, I suppose as he has been a common sailor so long, he won’t be very particular about his dinner.”

“He knows what is good, I can tell you. You must give him such a dinner as he would have had at his father’s in old times.”

“Well, just as you please, William; only, if you really care for me, do not let the man deceive you; be sure you sift the matter thoroughly–what you call cross-examine him.”

“Never you fear; I know what I am about, Katie; though if I was to follow your advice in law matters, I reckon we should all of us starve together.”

“I hope it will all turn out well, but I seem to feel badly about it,” said Kate with a sigh, as she rose to light a candle; “only don’t be too hasty–take time.”

“We have taken time enough I think, as it is. We are only waiting now for Mr. Hazlehurst to arrive in Philadelphia, when we shall put forward our claim.”


“They call thee rich.”

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), “Translations of Greek Verses: On A Miser” line 1}

WHEN the Wyllyses arrived at Saratoga, after having paid their promised visit to their friends at Poughkeepsie, the first persons they saw in the street, as they were driving to Congress Hall, were Mrs. Creighton, Mr. Ellsworth, and Mr. Stryker, who were loitering along together. It seemed the excursion to Nahant had been postponed, or given up.

The brother and sister soon discovered that the Wyllyses were among that afternoon’s arrivals, and in the course of an hour or two called at their rooms.

“Here am I, Miss Wyllys,” said Mrs. Creighton, “the best of sisters, giving up my own private plans to gratify this brother of mine, who would not let me rest unless I promised to pass another week here.”

“Josephine makes the most of her complaisance; but I don’t think she was so very much averse to giving up Nahant. I am sure at least, she did not care half so much about going, as I did about staying.”

Mr. Stryker also appeared, to make his bow to the ladies. This gentleman had indeed come to Saratoga, with the express intention of making himself particularly agreeable to Miss Elinor Wyllys. As long ago as Jane’s wedding, he had had his eye on her, but, like Mr. Ellsworth, he had seldom been able to meet her. Mr. Stryker was a man between forty and fifty, possessing some little property, a very good opinion of himself, and quite a reputation for cleverness and knowledge of the world. He was one of those men who hang loose on society; he seemed to have neither relations nor connexions; no one knew his origin: for years he had occupied the same position in the gay world of New York, with this difference, that at five-and-twenty he was known as Bob Stryker; at five-and-thirty he was Colonel Stryker, the traveller; and at five-and-forty he had returned to New York, after a second long absence, as Mr. Stryker, tout court. He prided himself upon being considered a gentleman at large, a man of the world, whose opinion on all subjects was worth hearing. Since his last return from Europe, he had announced that he was looking about for that necessary encumbrance, a wife; but he took good care not to mention what he called his future intentions, until he had actually committed himself more than once. He had several times kindly offered to rich and beautiful girls, to take charge of themselves and their fortunes, but his services had been as often politely declined. He was not discouraged, however, by these repulses; he still determined to marry, but experience had taught him greater prudence–he decided that his next advances should be made with more caution. He would shun the great belles; fortune he must have, but he would adopt one of two courses; he would either look out for some very young and very silly girl, who could be persuaded into anything, or he would try to discover some rich woman, with a plain face, who would be flattered by the attentions of the agreeable Mr. Stryker. While he was making these reflections he was introduced to Elinor, and we are sorry to say it, she appeared to him to possess the desirable qualifications. She was certainly very plain; and he found that there was no mistake in the report of her having received two important legacies quite lately. Miss Elinor Wyllys, thanks to these bequests, to her expectations from her grandfather and Miss Agnes, and to the Longbridge railroad, was now generally considered a fortune. It is true, common report had added very largely to her possessions, by doubling and quadrupling their amount; for at that precise moment, people seemed to be growing ashamed of mentioning small sums; thousands were invariably counted by round fifties and hundreds. Should any gentleman be curious as to the precise amount of the fortune of Miss Elinor Wyllys, he is respectfully referred to William Cassius Clapp, Attorney at Law, Longbridge, considered excellent authority on all such subjects. Lest any one should be disposed to mistrust this story of Elinor’s newly-acquired reputation as an heiress, we shall proceed at once to prove it, by evidence of the most convincing character.

{“tout court” = by itself; “period” (French)}

One morning, shortly after the arrival of the Wyllyses at Saratoga, Mr. Wyllys entered the room where Miss Agnes and Elinor were sitting together, with a handful of papers and letters from the mail. Several of these letters were for Elinor, and as she reads them we shall take the liberty of peeping over her shoulder–their contents will speak for themselves. The first which she took up was written on very handsome paper, perfumed, and in an envelope; but neither the seal nor the handwriting was known to Elinor. It ran as follows:


“It may appear presumptuous in one unknown to you, to address you on a subject so important as that which is the theme of this epistle; but not having the honour of your acquaintance, I am compelled by dire necessity, and the ardent feelings of my heart, to pour forth on paper the expression of the strong admiration with which you have inspired me. Lovely Miss Wyllys, you are but too well known to me, although I scarcely dare to hope that your eye has rested for a moment on the features of your humble adorer. I am a European, one who has moved in the first circles of his native land, and after commencing life as a military man, was compelled by persecution to flee to the hospitable shores of America. Chequered as my life has been, happy, thrice happy shall I consider it, if you will but permit me to devote its remaining years to your service! Without your smiles, the last days of my career will be more gloomy than all that have gone before. But I cannot believe you so cruel, so hard-hearted, as to refuse to admit to your presence, one connected with several families of the nobility and gentry in the north of England, merely because the name of Horace de Vere has been sullied by appearing on the stage. Let me hope–“

Elinor read no farther: she threw the letter aside with an expression of disgust and mortification. It was but one of half-a-dozen of similar character, which she had received during the last year or two from utter strangers. She took up another, a plain, honest-looking sheet.


“If the new store, being erected on your lot in Market Street, between Fourth and Fifth, is not already leased, you will confer an obligation if you will let us know to whom we must apply for terms, &c., &c. The location and premises being suitable, we should be glad to rent. The best of references can be offered on our part.

“Begging you will excuse this application, as we are ignorant of the name of your agent in Philadelphia, we have the honour to be, Madam,

“Your most obedient servants,


“Grocers, Market, between Front and Second.”

A business letter, it appears, to be attended to accordingly. Now for the third–a delicate little envelope of satin paper, blue wax, and the seal “semper eadem.”

{“semper eadem” = always the same (Latin)}


“When shall we see you at Bloomingdale? You are quite too cruel, to disappoint us so often; we really do not deserve such shabby treatment. Here is the month of June, with its roses, and strawberries, and ten thousand other sweets, and among them you must positively allow us to hope for a visit from our very dear friends at Wyllys-Roof. Should your venerable grandpapa, or my excellent friend, Miss Wyllys be unhappily detained at home, as you feared, do not let that be the means of depriving us of your visit. I need not say that William would be only too happy to drive you to Bloomingdale, at any time you might choose; but if that plan, HIS plan, should frighten your propriety, I shall be proud to take charge of you myself. Anne is not only pining for your visit, but very tired of answering a dozen times a day, her brother’s questions, ‘When shall we see Miss Wyllys?’–‘Is Miss Wyllys never coming?’

“I do not think, my sweet young friend, that you can have the heart to disappoint us any longer–and, therefore, I shall certainly look for one of your charming little notes, written in an amiable, complying mood.

“Anne sends her very best love; William begs to be very PARTICULARLY remembered to Miss Elinor Wyllys.

“With a thousand kind messages to your grandfather and Miss Wyllys, I remain as ever, my dear young friend,

“Yours, most devotedly and partially,


{“Bloomingdale” = a fashionable and still rural area of Manhattan Island, though technically part of New York City}

Elinor read this note with a doubtful smile, which seemed to say she was half-amused, half-provoked by it. Throwing it carelessly on the sofa, she opened the fourth letter; it was in a childish hand.


“My mother wishes me to thank you myself, for your last act of goodness to us–but I can never tell you all we feel on the subject. My dear mother cried with joy all the evening, after she had received your letter. I am going to school according to your wish, as soon as mother can spare me, and I shall study very hard, which will be the best way of thanking you. The