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Elinor Wyllys by Susan Fenimore Cooper

Part 3 out of 5

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"To tell the truth, I sat down and cried; for I am high-spirited,
and I could not bear the thoughts of such a mortification. But
Anne is an excellent manager, you know, Jane--"

"Yes, I remember her."

"Anne had a plan that carried all off triumphantly. She proposed
to me, to persuade the other three 'evening bells,' that to do
honour to the pic-nic, we should be dressed alike, in a sort of
uniform. Well, of course, the others agreed; but then, how to
find the five dresses alike! Of course, we couldn't wear anything
made in Saratoga. The poet had entreated us, in a sonnet, to be
all dressed in white; so we fixed upon white batiste--but, how to
get them, was the question."

"I am all curiosity--" said Elinor.

"Oh! it was beautifully done,--Anne proposed we should all write
an advertisement for a trusty escort to New York, and post it up
on the curtains of the ladies' drawing-room. What fun we had,
while we were writing the advertisements! We took an opportunity,
when we and our beaux had the drawing-room to ourselves, to vote
the gentlemen out of it. After a while, they went; but, what do
you suppose the wretches did, Mr. Hazlehurst?"

"Nothing ungallant, I trust."

"Yes; to spite us, they crowded to the windows on the piazza,
till we dropped the blinds. Well, for a time, we thought we were
safe; but suddenly Anne Hunter shouted out, and there comfortably
seated in a tree close to the end window, where the blind was
broken, we saw one of the young gentlemen with a note-book in his
hand! We vowed we wouldn't be defeated, so we pinned up our
pocket-handkerchiefs together, and, fortunately, they covered the
peep-hole; and so we shut him out, at last."

"Your perseverance, under such obstacles, was truly surprising,
Miss Taylor;" said Hazlehurst.

"Was it not? We soon wrote our advertisements. Mine was very
short: 'Wanted, an agreeable youth, as escort between this and
New York, apply this evening, at five o'clock.' Some were very
long and ridiculous; one was in verse. Well, after we had written
them, we opened the doors and windows, and the young gentlemen
flocked in again. Then we went in procession, and pinned them up
on the curtains. Such a time as we had--talking and giggling--we
were in such a gale, that, at last, some of the married ladies
came out to see what was the matter. But, the best fun of all,
was choosing our escorts; a great many offered, and then we
examined them."

"I hope they had suitable qualifications for the office."

"Oh, yes.--I took Mr. Hunter, Anne's brother. Well, sure enough,
we all set out together, the next morning; staid one day in the
city; and, Thursday morning, we re-appeared with the dresses. Of
course, Anne and I had taken the opportunity to get a fresh
supply, besides the white batiste. We had a most delightful
pic-nic. I forgot to say, that Anne's escort, the Marquis
Foletti, was missing; she had to do without him--she gave him up
for lost, or absconded, and we allowed her to choose another
beau--when suddenly, just as we were mourning over the Marquis,
he appeared on the ground, and threw himself on his knees, and
made us laugh more than ever. Anne had chosen him, because he had
the handsomest moustaches at Saratoga; but he could not speak
English very well, and had got on board the wrong boat. What
times we had! Jane, I wish you had been there!"

"Your faithful esquires were rewarded, no doubt, by the gallantry
of the deed itself, Miss Taylor," said Harry.

"Of course; but we nevertheless gave them, besides, full
permission to say and do just what they pleased, all that
day--and you can't think how much nonsense we talked. Each
gentleman took the advertisement of the lady he had escorted, and
pinned it over his heart. There were several foreigners there,
and you can't think how they enjoyed it; they had never had such
a frolic with young ladies before, and they thought it
delightful; though, to be sure, they got at last to be rather too
free; and then we had to put a stop to it."

Elinor looked at Jane, to see if she seemed to sympathize in
Adeline's story; but her cousin's beautiful face was still bright
with the glow of pleasure from meeting her friend; no other
thought or feeling was to be traced there.

"I don't believe they have any such fun in Paris, Mr.

"Not exactly.--They have a pleasantry of their own, however,
which is quite agreeable."

"I don't think I should like it. They say, a young lady dares not
speak to gentlemen, nor walk with them, nor have the least bit of
a flirtation. How stupid it must be!"

"But the French girls do talk to gentlemen, I assure you,"
replied Jane, "only they are not intimate with everybody. The
young men are very attentive, too; they treat young girls with
much more respect, Louisa says, than in America."

"Who cares for respect! I want to laugh and amuse myself, and
have my own way," exclaimed Adeline.

"It is growing quite warm here--you will find it pleasanter in
the drawing-room, Miss Taylor;" said Elinor, not caring to listen
any longer to Jane's giddy friend.

"Well, if you please, I'll run up to Jane s room, and look at the
fashions--I am dying to see some of her capes and collars.
By-the-bye, I had forgotten two very important things. Here is a
note for your aunt, Miss Elinor; some private communication from
Ma; the coachman will take the answer. And then, I came over to
ask you all to drink tea with us, this evening, very sociably;
nobody but your own family and three or four friends!"

The invitation was accepted, as a matter of course.

"Good morning, Mr. Hazlehurst; I expect to be shut up with Jane,
for three hours to come; I have really talked myself out of
breath; but that is always the way, with me, as you know, of
old." And the two girls, hand-in-hand, ran lightly up stairs,
where Elinor, making an excuse of Mrs. Taylor's note, left them
to a confidential tete-a-tete.


"A soldier may be anything, if brave;
So may a merchant if not quite a knave."

"Trade his delight and hope; and, if alive,
Doubt I have none, that Barnaby will thrive."

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Hope" lines 201-210.
George Crabbe (English poet, 1754-1832), "Posthumous Tales: VIII
Barnaby; the Shopman" lines II.3-4}

WE have really been very remiss in omitting so long to notice the
rapid strides with which Mr. Pompey Taylor had advanced on the
road to fame and fortune, during the two years in which we have
lost sight of him. He might have addressed, to the reader, the
remark that the Emperor Napoleon applied to his secretary, after
the conquest of Prussia and Austria: "J'ai fait des progres
immenses depuis que Bourienne {sic} m'a quitte!"

{"J'ai fait des..." = I have made immense progress since
Bourienne left me! Louis-Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
(1769-1834) was a French diplomat who served as Napoleon's
private secretary during his invasion of Egypt}

It is a rule, in composition, it was so, at least, when people
wrote by rule, to compare the little with the great. If we were
to follow the direction, it would be easy to prove that these two
individuals, the conqueror, Napoleon, and the speculator, Taylor,
were not too widely separated for many points of resemblance to
be traced between them. Ambition was the ruling passion of both;
and both were alike insatiable. Bonaparte added kingdom to
kingdom; Taylor, house to house; the emperor might believe
himself equal to ruling half the world; the merchant felt capable
of owning the other half. The one raised army after army; the
other fitted out vessel after vessel. The energies of both were
inexhaustible, and both aimed at an ever-receding goal; while
each, in his own way, soon reached a height never dreamed of by
the mothers who rocked their cradles. Nor would it be justice to
Mr. Taylor, to suppose, that the love of money, alone, was the
main-spring of his actions; he, too, was spurred on by the love
of glory; dollars and cents were not the end, with him; he looked
upon his thousands, in gold and paper, as Napoleon did upon his
thousands in flesh and blood--they were but the instruments which
were to open the road to fame. The man of commerce, and the man
of war, were alike lavish of their treasures, when the object of
their lives was in view. If one was the boldest of generals, the
other was the most enterprising of merchants; and Fortune
favoured the daring of both. In short, Mr. Taylor was no common,
plodding trader, content with moderate gains and safe
investments, and fixing his hopes on probabilities--he pursued
traffic with the passion of a gambler, united to the close
calculation of a miser; and yet, he spent freely what he had
acquired easily.

There are merchants, who, by their education, their integrity,
their talents and their liberality, are an honour to the
profession; but Mr. Pompey Taylor was not of the number. We have
all heard the anecdote of the young man addicted to the sin of
swearing, whose conversation, during dinner, was taken down in
short-hand, and, when read afterwards, shocked the individual
himself. Could the thoughts and words of Mr. Taylor, during a
single day, have been as fairly registered, perhaps he himself
would have been astonished to find how very large a portion of
them were given to gain and speculation, in some shape or other.
At social meetings, whether dinners or evening parties, he seldom
talked long on any other subject: he has been known to utter the
word 'stocks,' just as he entered a church, on Sunday; while a
question about certain lots was the first sentence which passed
his lips, as he crossed the threshold on his way out. Eating his
meals under his own roof; walking down Broadway to Wall-Street,
every morning, at nine o'clock, and back again every afternoon at
three; still the echo of Mr. Taylor's thoughts and words was
'dollars,' 'stocks,' and 'lots'--' lots,' 'stocks,' and
'dollars.' He had a value for everything in dollars--his jokes
turned upon stocks--and his dreams were filled with lots. Let it
not be supposed, however, that Mr. Pompey Taylor was born with
the phrenological organ of the love of money more strongly
developed than other human beings. By no means. He was endowed by
nature with faculties and feelings as varied as other men. But,
from the time he could first walk and talk, precept and example
had gradually turned all his faculties in one direction; for,
such had been the opinions and views of his father and elder
brothers; and there was no other impulse in his nature or
education, sufficiently strong to give a different bent to his
energies. Under other circumstances, Pompey Taylor might have
been a quick-witted lawyer, a supple politician, a daring
soldier, or, with a different moral training, he might have been
something far superior to either; but the field of commerce was
the only one that opened to him, at his entrance into life; and
it was too well adapted to the man, such as nature and education
had made him, to be neglected. He found full scope, in such a
sphere, for all his energies of body and mind--he delighted in
its labours and its rewards.

{"phrenological" = from the pseudo-science of phrenology, which
interpreted character by feeling the bulges on the human head}

Mr. Taylor had forgotten, if he had ever known the fact, that the
best pleasures of this world even, are those which money cannot
purchase, the severest wants those which it cannot supply. He had
no conception of any consideration equal to that which riches
give. Beauty unadorned was no beauty in his eyes; and he chiefly
valued talent as a means of making good investments and wily
speculations. He looked upon Science as the hand-maiden of
Commerce; Armies and Navies existed only to defend a nation's
wealth, not its liberties, or its honour. The seat of his
patriotism was in his pocket; and the only internal improvement
in which he was interested, was that which opened new facilities
for acquiring money. It is surprising how totally such a mind
becomes unfitted to enjoy and admire any great or noble quality
in the abstract; in spite of a quick wit and keen organs, such
men become the most one-sided beings, perhaps, in the whole human
family. To moral beauty Mr. Taylor seemed quite blind; his mental
vision resembled the physical sight of those individuals whose
eyes, though perfect in every other respect, are incapable of
receiving any impression of an object tinged with blue--the
colour of the heavens. Even the few ideas he had upon religious
subjects partook of the character of loss and gain; the simple
spirit of true piety could never enter into a mind in the state
of his. And yet, Mr. Taylor was looked upon as a happy man.
Fortunate he certainly was, for wealth and luxury had risen
around him almost as readily as if possessed of Aladdin's lamp.
Had he been actually in possession of this gift of the genii, he
could scarcely have found a wish to gratify, as money had already
provided him with all it can supply in this country, and the
pursuit of wealth itself was his delight. Deprived of this,
Othello's occupation were gone.

{"Othello's occupation were gone" = William Shakespeare,
"Othello", III.iii.358}

Justice to Mr. Taylor would require that we should follow him to
the counting-house, for it was there that he appeared in the most
brilliant light. His talents were undoubted; his sagacity, his
skill, and his daring were great; and his undertakings were
generally successful. Thus far all appeared very well; but those
who looked closer into the matter would have found that his
integrity was anything but unimpeachable, his love of money far
surpassing his love of truth and justice. This part of his career
must be left, however, to other hands; it is only what he was in
social and domestic life, that the merchant appears among our
Longbridge friends.

The first few months after he had removed to New York, the utmost
extent of Mr. Taylor's ambitious dreams had been the possession
of a brick house in Broadway, on a lot of ground twenty-three
feet by seventy. According to the favourite rule of New York
architecture, the rule of three, the building was to be three
stories high, and three windows wide. But the end of the first
ninety days in Wall-Street, brought an accession of several
thousands, and the brilliant promise of so many more, that this
plan was enlarged several inches each way. As every succeeding
season brought an increase of wealth and ambition, the projected
dwelling grew at last to be taller and broader by several feet,
until, at length, it had reached the limits which magnificence
usually attains on the island of Manhattan. Had Mr. Taylor built
his house in Philadelphia, or almost any other American town, he
might have laid rather a broader foundation for his habitation;
but New York houses, as a rule, are the narrowest and the tallest
in the land. Some of those three-story dwellings, however,
whatever may be their architectural defects, contain inmates who
are as much to be desired for friends as any others in the world.
But to return to Mr. Taylor's new house; we have said that it was
one of the proud few which could boast its four stories and its
four windows. He was perfectly satisfied with the result when
finished, for his house from the garret to the cellar was a
faithful copy of one opposite to him, which had been built some
months earlier, and was pronounced the house of the season.

The American people may have been perfectly original in their
constitution, but in most other respects they are particularly
imitative. An observer, at a first glance, wonders that so much
cleverness should be wasted in mere imitation; but it is, after
all, the simple result of the position of the country. An
intelligent people, we are furnished by books with more ideas
than we have models on which to shape them. In an old state of
society, there is always a class who labour after originality,
and are proud to be called eccentric; but a young nation, cut off
from the rest of the civilized world, must necessarily be
imitative in its character until it has arrived at maturity. This
spirit of imitation, to a certain extent an advantage, is, to be
sure, often carried to a laughable extent when it loses sight of
common sense. People seem to forget the fact that propriety must
always be the first step to true elegance. As a proof of it, we
see men who appear to have consulted their neighbours' tastes,
habits, and means, instead of their own, in building the house
they themselves are to inhabit; like Mr. Taylor, without any very
good reason, they imitate their opposite neighbour. Again, it is
surprising to see what time and toil are spent in following every
variation of fashion in dress, by many women who certainly can
ill afford it; we do not mean fashion in its general outlines,
but in its most trifling details. If one could watch the progress
of an idle fancy of this nature, from the moment it springs from
the caprice of some European elegante, with more time and money
than she knows how to throw away, until it becomes a necessity to
an American housemaid, earning a dollar a week--we have no doubt
the period would be found surprisingly short.

{"elegante" = a fashionable lady (French)}

The habit of imitation just alluded to, is more striking perhaps
in architecture than in anything else, for in that shape it is
always before our eyes; and no place in the country is more
marked with it than New York. In no town in he world are there as
many dwellings so much alike; and this fact is not the result of
necessity, or of any plan of architectural unity--it is not that
the plan first hit upon proved to be the most rational, or best
suited to the spot and its inhabitants--but it is chiefly the
consequence of a spirit of imitation.

To return to our story: this new house of Mr. Taylor, this
successful imitation of his opposite neighbour, had been opened
the first of May, the general moving day in New York. It was
fitted up in the richest manner, young Taylor having received
carte blanche from his father to purchase handsome furniture in
Paris. Rosewood and satin, gilt bronzes and Sevres vases, were
all of the best kind--and Mr. Taylor was perfectly satisfied with
the effect of his two drawing-rooms. It was determined they
should be shown off during the following winter, by a succession
of dinners and parties. He had already tried his hand at
entertaining; after having eaten a dozen great dinners with
different commercial notabilities, he had given one himself just
before leaving town. The affair, a man-dinner, of course, had
gone off brilliantly--thanks to his beautiful porcelaine de
Sevres, his candelabras and his epergnes, his English plate and
English glass; all of which showed off to great advantage the
best of the good things abounding in the New York market, cooked
by a Frenchman, and washed down by wines from the most famous
vineyards of France, Germany, and Spain. His entertainment was
pronounced as handsome as any given that winter in town; and Mr.
Taylor determined that it should be only the first of a long

{"general moving day" = in New York City, at this time, leases
for the rental of houses generally expired on May 1; "porcelaine
de Sevres" = expensive chinaware from the French town of Sevres;
"epergne" = an elaborate bowl used as a table centerpiece

His country-house rivalled his establishment in town. By his
first plan, he had intended that it should equal that of Mr.
Hubbard, at Longbridge; but eighteen months had made a material
change in his affairs, which produced corresponding alterations
in the building. First one large wing was added, then another;
Mr. Hubbard's house had but one Corinthian portico, Mr. Taylor's
had two. He was born in a house which had been painted only on
one front, and he was now of the opinion of the old tar, who
purchased a handsome jacket like his commanding officer, but
ordered the back as well as the front to be made of satin, and
meeting the admiral, pulled up his coat-tails to show that there
was "no sham." Mr. Taylor could not outdo the plate-glass, and
mahogany doors of Mr. Hubbard's house, but he had great
satisfaction in showing him his portico on the south front, and
in proving there was no sham. When the wings were added, they
were completely surrounded on three sides by a colonnade. Mr.
Taylor having happened, just at the moment, to make thirty
thousand dollars by one successful speculation, he sent orders to
the master-builder for a double set of columns; and as a
consequence, the colonnade was so very conspicuous that it became
the pride of the neighbourhood. Mr. Taylor, himself, was so much
struck with the first view, when completed, that he decided to
name the place "Colonnade Manor." There is no accounting for
taste in names, we suppose, any more than in other matters. Like
No. five hundred and ----- Broadway, Colonnade Manor was
furnished with rosewood and satin from Paris.

Mrs. Taylor, good soul, entered very little into the spirit of
this magnificence. She still sat in her nursery with her younger
children as much as possible, darning all the stockings of the
family; an occupation which Adeline thought very ungenteel, for
she never condescended to use her needle at all. To make Mrs.
Taylor a fine lady had been one of the least successful of Mr.
Taylor's efforts; she was much too honest by nature to assume a
character for which she was so little qualified. There was but
one way in which she could succeed in interesting herself in all
the parade which gratified Mr. Taylor's taste; she found it gave
pleasure to her husband and children, and she endeavoured to make
the best of it. She wore the fine dresses purchased for her by
Adeline, and drove out once in a while in her handsome carriage,
to pay at least a few of the many visits urged by Mr. Taylor.
Among the new acquaintances she had made in the last ten years,
there were few Mrs. Taylor liked as well as Miss Wyllys; and Miss
Agnes, in her turn, respected all that was honest and
straight-forward in the character of her new neighbour; indeed,
the whole family at Wyllys-Roof very much preferred her to the
more pretending husband and daughter. The note, of which Adeline
was the bearer, was an application to Miss Wyllys for advice in
some domestic difficulty. It ran as follows:


"You have been so kind to me, ever since we moved into your
neighbourhood, that I hope you will excuse me for asking your
assistance, this morning. I have been a good deal plagued in my
kitchen ever since we came into the country this spring. My cook
and chamber-maid, who are sisters, are always finding some excuse
for wanting to go to the city; and last night they got a letter,
or pretended to get one from New York, saying that their father
was very sick; and as I didn't know but it might be true, I
couldn't refuse them, and they have gone for a week--though I
won't be sure it was not for a mere frolic. As it happened, Mr.
Taylor and Adeline came back from Saratoga, last night, and
brought a house-full of company with them; an old friend of mine
whom I had not seen for years, and some new acquaintances of
Adeline's. To make matters worse, my nurse, a faithful, good
girl, who has lived with me for years, was taken sick this
morning; and John, the waiter, had a quarrel with the coachman,
and went off in a huff. You know such things always come
together. So I have now only the coachman and his daughter, a
little girl of twelve, in the house; happily they are both
willing, and can do a little of everything. If you know of
anybody that I can find to take the place of cook, or housemaid,
I shall be truly obliged to you for giving the coachman their
names and directions.

"Adeline is to have a little party this evening; she met several
of our Longbridge friends on board the boat yesterday, and took
that opportunity of asking them, as she is very anxious to make
the house pleasant to her company. I dare say she has already
invited all your family, and I shall be very sorry if you are not
able to come, for we always miss you more than any others of our

"Hoping you will excuse the trouble I give you, I remain, dear

"Very respectfully and truly yours,


Miss Wyllys had no sooner read the note, than, full of sympathy
for Mrs. Taylor's difficulties, she held a consultation with her
female factotum, Elinor's nurse, or Mammy as she was called. All
the men, women, and children in the neighbourhood, who might
possibly possess some qualifications for the duties of cook,
chamber-maid, or footman, were run over in Miss Agnes' mind; and
she succeeded at last, by including one superannuated old woman,
and another child of ten, in making out a list of some dozen
names for her neighbour's benefit. The whole morning was spent by
the coachman, scouring the country with the Taylor barouche and
horses--for no time was to be spent in changing harness--in
pursuit of Dianthy This, and Araminty That. Mrs. Taylor, of
course, awaited his return with trembling anxiety; the Saratoga
party had gone off to fish, escorted by Mr. Taylor and a younger
daughter; Adeline having taken that opportunity to go to see
Jane, excusing herself from accompanying the fishing set, on
account of the arrival of this very intimate friend of hers. The
mistress of the house, after having administered a dose of
medicine to the sick nurse, and sent the little girl of twelve to
make the beds and sweep, gave one melancholy look at things in
the kitchen, and then remembered that she could no longer leave
this particular old friend of her's alone in the drawing-room.
While talking over past times, Mrs. Taylor chose a rocking-chair
commanding a view of the approach to the house: just at the
moment when she began to fear the horses had run away, killed the
coachman, and broken the carriage, she saw the barouche driving
up the avenue, but, alas, sans cook! She kept her seat
womanfully, and heard out the end of a long story which the old
friend was relating about a family of relations. But at length
Mrs. Taylor found that the moment for action had come; and giving
her friend the choice of her own knitting-work, or a walk in the
garden with her youngest child, a pretty prattling little boy,
she excused herself for a few moments, under pretext of looking
after the sick nurse. The old friend was quite a talkative
person, and one to whom a listener was very necessary; she
preferred the little boy to the knitting-work, and set out to
look at-the garden.

Mrs. Taylor instantly disappeared in the direction of the

"Well, John!"

"Well, marm, I couldn't pick up nobody, for love or money."

"Didn't Miss Wyllys know of any one in the neighbourhood?"

"Yes, marm; I have got a list here; but some of 'em had got
places already; there was two that was sick; one, Araminty
Carpenter, I guess, would have suited Mrs. Taylor very well, for,
I know the young woman's father; but she has gone over to
Longbridge, to work at the Union Hotel, for a week. There was one
name written so I couldn't make it out; and two of 'em I couldn't
find; folks couldn't tell me where they lived. There is a young
thing down at the Mill, who looks handy, but doesn't know
anything of cooking; but, I engaged her to come to-morrow, and
Mrs. Taylor can see if she suits."

"Why didn't you bring her with you at once, John?"

"She couldn't come, no ways, till to-morrow; she was washing;
and, if she left the work, there was no one to do it."

Let it not be supposed that Mrs. Taylor sunk under these
difficulties. The fishing-party returned; and, by means known
only to herself, the coachman, and the little girl of twelve, a
dinner, much as usual, was provided for her guests, who were left
in happy ignorance of the desertion in the kitchen.

It must be surprising, to those unaccustomed to such things, to
observe with what courage and cheerfulness the mistress of an
American family encounters the peculiar evils of her lot--evils
undreamt of by persons in the same station in any other part of
the world. Her energies seem to rise with the obstacles that call
them out; she is full of expedients--full of activity; and,
unless fairly worn out by exertion for which she has not the
physical strength, always manages to keep up appearances, and
provide for the comfort of her household, until her troubles are
surmounted, for the time being, and she gathers strength, in a
moment of respite, for fresh difficulties, when they present
themselves. Even her husband and sons are seldom aware of her
toils and vexations. Many people are ignorant of the number of
virtues that are included, at such moments, in that of
hospitality; could a plain, unvarnished account, be made out, of
the difficulties surmounted, at some time or other, by most
American matrons, the world would wonder at their fortitude and
perseverance. Not that difficulties like those of our friend,
Mrs. Taylor, are of constant duration, but they occur oftener
than the uninitiated are aware of. Yet even obstacles like these
seem never to interfere with that constant intercourse, from
tea-parties to visits of weeks, which are exchanged between all
American families and their friends. But then no people in the
world are more truly hospitable--none are more social in their
feelings, than the inhabitants of these United States.


"Come, come; deal justly with me; come,
Come; nay, speak!"

"Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my
young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in the pantry, and
everything in extremity."
Romeo and Juliet.

{William Shakespeare, "Hamlet", II.ii.275-276; "Romeo and
Juliet", I.iii.100-102}

OF course, nothing interfered with the party at Colonnade Manor.
Thanks to Mrs. Taylor, the coachman and the little girl of
twelve--quite a womanly, precocious, little thing,
by-the-way--all went off very well. Some curious person,
uninitiated in similar domestic mysteries, may wish to know how
things were managed at such a trying crisis. Well, in the first
place, Mrs. Taylor congratulated herself that her guests had been
asked to 'spend the evening,' and not invited 'to tea.' This was
a piece of good luck, which diminished her cares, and prevented
the deep mortification she must have felt had the tea and coffee
been cold. The coachman, of course, officiated as footman; a duty
to which he was already somewhat accustomed. The little girl of
twelve began the evening as ladies'-maid, appearing in the
dressing-room in that capacity, helping the ladies to take off
their shawls and smooth the folds of their dresses, before they
made their entrance in the drawing-rooms. The company soon
collected--about fifty or sixty persons, altogether--and in party
dress; each having been invited quite sociably, by Miss Adeline.
They were not at all surprised to see each other, however, for
they had often already practised the same agreeable deception,
themselves. The company once assembled, the little girl of twelve
rolled up her sleeves, and took her station in the pantry, where
she replenished the cake-baskets, the lemonade and
sangaree-glasses handed about by her father, the coachman. A
supper table was already spread in the dining-room; it had been
very prettily ornamented with flowers by Adeline, and her
Saratoga friends; and a plentiful supply of fruits, ices,
jellies, syllabubs, creams, and other delicacies for a light
supper, had been prepared, in the course of the morning, by Mrs.
Taylor and her coadjutors, the coachman and the little girl of
twelve. The talkative old friend had been admitted behind the
scenes so far, as to learn that the mistress of the house would
be obliged to make all the good things herself; and she had shown
that, besides telling a long story, she could make very excellent
sponge-cake; for, unfortunately, it was discovered that it would
be necessary to increase the supply of that delicacy. Adeline did
her share; while her Saratoga friends were taking a morning
siesta, with a novel in their hands, she had made the syllabub,
and prepared the fruit. These arrangements having been made, the
little girl of twelve had received orders to station herself near
at hand, where she could be sent of {sic} errands up and down
stairs. The coachman was told to take his place by the
side-table, ready to be called upon, if necessary. Mrs. Taylor
herself--alas! that we should be obliged to reveal the fact,
expected to slip out of the drawing-room at about half-past ten,
and superintend the delicate operation of removing the jellies
from their moulds; this would require ten minutes to do, and she
hoped to make her exit and ingress unnoticed; a matter easily
managed, in summer, when the doors and windows are all open, and
couples arm-in-arm, are loitering about, in and out in all
directions. This task performed, when she had returned to the
public notice, some ten minutes after having seen everything in
its place, the coachman was expected to appear at the
drawing-room door, with composed manner, to announce that supper
was ready--a fact she was prepared to hear with the expression of
sublime indifference, required by etiquette. From that moment,
everything would become easy; for, of course, the gentlemen
would, as usual, take care of the ladies first, and then help
themselves. The gallant way in which these light, standing
suppers are always managed, among us, is, by-the-bye, a pleasant
and sensible arrangement; nothing better could be devised, under
the circumstances. The plan of operations thus sketched, we may
as well say, at once, that everything succeeded to admiration.

{"sangaree" = a cold drink of flavored, diluted wine; "syllabub"
= a drink of milk and wine}

The evening was pronounced very pleasant; and, as several of our
friends were present, we shall follow them. There was a great
deal of talking and laughing; a reasonable quantity of
flirtation; and, once or twice, some romping in the corner of the
room where Miss Adeline happened to be at the time. Among those
who had excused themselves from accepting the invitation, were
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, who disliked the idea of going so
far, and Mr. and Mrs. Graham, the lady being detained at home by
a headach {sic}, the gentleman by a particular dislike to Mr.
Taylor, who, he thought, had behaved in an ungentlemanly manner
about a mortgage, in which they both happened to be interested.
Mr. Graham was a man of a violent temper, and unsocial habits,
generally taking little pains to conceal his feelings; and
accordingly, his manner to Mr. Taylor was anything but
flattering, though their acquaintance, at best, was but trifling.
Mrs. Graham also disliked the whole family; and yet the intimacy
between Jane and Adeline was allowed to continue, as a sort of
matter of course, between school companions.

Miss Wyllys accompanied her niece to the party--she generally
made it a point to go with Elinor; for, she had old-fashioned
notions on the subject, and thought that the presence of their
elders was an advantage and a protection that well-educated young
girls have a right to expect from their friends. She seldom spoke
on the matter, however, but contented herself with giving, what
she thought, a good example. Both Miss Agnes and Elinor were
rather surprised to find that Jane's partiality for her giddy
friend Adeline, had not been in the least diminished, by her
visit to Europe. Miss Wyllys disapproved of the intimacy; but, as
Jane's mother had no objections, she herself could say nothing.
The two young ladies were a great deal together, in the course of
the evening, as became bosom-friends after a long separation.
Mrs. Taylor's old friend, the talkative lady, was introduced to
several of the elder portion of the company, and was thus happily
provided with listeners. Miss Adeline's fashionable acquaintances
from Saratoga, were also supplied, each with a couple of
attendant beaux, upon whom to try the effect of their charms.
Everything thus happily arranged, Miss Adeline proposed a 'march'
which was managed as usual. Young Van Horne, who had some musical
capabilities, was placed at the piano, and played Washington's
March, when the young people paired off in a line, and began to
walk, moving in time up and down the two drawing-rooms, through
the folding-doors--each gentleman, of course, offering his arm to
a lady; chaque chacun, avec sa chacune. Adeline was not quite
satisfied with her cavalier, Charlie Hubbard; she did not care
much about him, at any time; and, on the present occasion, he
seemed less interested in listening to her own conversation, than
in watching the movements of some one else; who it was, she could
not say. She reproached him with this inattention.

{"chaque chacun, avec sa chacune" = each one with his own

"I declare, I don't believe you hear half I say. I never saw
anybody like you."

"Charlie blushed a little, rallied, and devoted himself more
exclusively to the duty of being entertained. After the second or
third turn in the march, Adeline discovered Hazlehurst, who,
instead of being in motion with the rest, was leaning in a
door-way. As she passed him, she snapped her embroidered
handkerchief in that direction, and summoned him to join the
'promenade.' Harry excused himself by saying, he was afraid he
could not find any one to walk with him.

"How can you talk so! There is Miss Wyllys, I declare; I had not
seen her before."--And Adeline crossed the room to a window where
Elinor was sitting quietly as a looker-on, having just escaped
from a long conversation with the talkative old friend.

"Now, Miss Wyllys, I am sure you must wish to promenade!"

"Would you like to walk?" quietly asked Hazlehurst, who had
followed Miss Taylor.

"No, indeed," said Elinor, smiling and shaking her head
good-naturedly. "I have had one long walk, already, this
afternoon, and much prefer sitting still, just now."

"You should follow Jane's example; you see, she is promenading,
and, I dare say, she took the walk with you, too," said Adeline.

"Did you ever know Jane take a long walk, when she could help
it?" asked Elinor, smiling. "I had really rather sit still, Miss

Adeline, finding that on this occasion she could not succeed in
setting all her friends in motion, which she generally
endeavoured to do, returned to the ranks; leaving Elinor to do as
she chose. Hazlehurst took a seat by her, and made some inquiries
about several of their old acquaintances in the room.

"Don't you think those two young ladies both very pretty, Mr.
Hazlehurst," said Dr. Van Horne, approaching the spot where Harry
was standing near Elinor, after having given up his chair to one
of the Saratoga belles, when the march was finished.

"Which do you mean, sir?" asked Harry.

"Miss Taylor and Miss Graham, who are standing together near the

"Yes," replied Hazlehurst, "Miss Taylor is even prettier than I
had supposed she would be."

"She will not compare, however, with Miss Jane. To my mind, Miss
Graham answers the idea of perfect beauty. In all your travels,
did you meet with a face that you thought more beautiful?"

"I believe not," said Harry, laconically, and slowly colouring at
the same time.

"Is it Jane you were speaking of, Doctor?" inquired Elinor,
turning towards him. "Don't you think she has come back twice as
beautiful as she was last year? It is really a pleasure to look
at a face like hers."

"I am afraid, it will prove rather a dangerous pleasure, Miss
Elinor, to some of the beaux, this winter."

"No doubt she will be very much admired; but she takes it all
very quietly. I don't believe your great beauties as much
disposed to vanity as other people."

"Perhaps not;" replied the doctor, drawing near her. "A great
deal depends on education. But what do the travellers tell you
about the sights they have seen, Miss Elinor?"

"Oh, we have only gone as far as the first chapter of their
travels," she replied. "They have not half said their say yet."

"Well, I should like to have a talk with you on the subject, Mr.
Hazlehurst. I was in hopes of meeting your brother here,
to-night, but he has not come, I find; I shall have to bore you
with my questions, unless you want to dance this jig, or whatever
it is, they are beginning."

"Not at all, my dear sir; I shall be glad to answer any questions
of yours."

"Thank you. Suppose we improve the opportunity, Miss Elinor, and
give him a sharp cross-examination; do you think he would bear

"I hope so," said Elinor, smiling quietly, as if she felt very
easy on the subject.

"Don't trust him too far. I dare say you have not been half
severe enough upon him," said Dr. Van Horne, who had a very high
opinion of Harry. "But to speak seriously, Mr. Hazlehurst, I
don't at all like a notion my son Ben has of going to Europe."

"What is your objection?"

"I doubt if it is at all an advantage to send most young men to
Europe. I've seen so many come back conceited, and dissatisfied,
and good-for-nothing, that I can't make up my mind to spoil Ben
by the same process. He tries very hard to persuade me, that
now-a-days, no doctor is fit to be trusted who has not finished
off in Paris; but we managed without it thirty years ago."

"You must know much more than I do on that subject, doctor," said
Hazlehurst, taking a seat on the other side of Elinor.

"Of course, I know more about the hospitals. But as I have never
been abroad myself, I don't know what effect a sight of the Old
World has on one. It seems to me it ruins a great many young

"And it improves a great many," said Hazlehurst.

"I am by no means so sure of that. It improves some, I grant you;
but I think the chances are that it is an injury. We have
happened to see a great deal, lately, of two young chaps, nephews
of mine, who came home last spring. Three years ago they went
abroad, sober, sensible, well-behaved lads enough, and now they
have both come back, worse than good-for-nothing. There was
Rockwell, he used to be a plain, straight-forward, smooth-faced
fellow; and now he has come home bristling with whiskers, and
beard, and moustaches, and a cut across the forehead, that he got
in a duel in Berlin. Worse than all, his brain is so befogged,
and mystified, that he can't see anything straight to save his
life; and yet, forsooth, my gentleman is going to set the nation
to rights with some new system of his own."

"I know nothing of the German Universities, doctor, from my own
observation; but I should think it might be a dangerous thing to
send a young man there unless he was well supplied with sound
common sense of his own."

"Well, there is Bill Hartley, again, who staid all the time in
Paris. He has come back a regular grumbler. If you would believe
him, there is not a single thing worth having, from one end of
the Union to the other. He is disgusted with everything, and only
last night said that our climate wants fog! Now, I think it is
much better to go plodding on at home, than to travel for the
sake of bringing back such enlarged views as make yourself and
your friends uncomfortable for the rest of your days."

"But it is a man's own fault, my dear sir, if he brings back more
bad than good with him. The fact is, you will generally find the
good a man brings home, in proportion to the good he took

"I'm not so sure of that. I used to think Rockwell was quite a
promising young man at one time. But that is not the question.
If, after all, though it does sharpen a man's wits, it only makes
him discontented for the rest of his life, I maintain that such a
state of improvement is not to be desired. If things are really
better and pleasanter in Europe, I don't want to know it. It
would make me dissatisfied, unless I was to be a renegade, and
give up the country I was born in; would you have a man do that?"

"Never!" said Harry. "I hold that it is a sort of desertion, to
give up the post where Providence has placed us, unless in
extreme cases; and I believe a man can live a more useful and
more honourable life there than elsewhere. But I think travelling
a very great advantage, nevertheless. The very power of
comparison, of which you complain, is a source of great
intellectual pleasure, and must be useful if properly employed,
since it helps us to reach the truth."

The doctor shook his head. "I want you just to tell me how much
of this grumbling and fault-finding is conceit, and how much is
the natural consequence of travelling? Is everything really
superior in Europe to what we have here?"

"Everything? No;" said Harry, laughing. But you would seem to
think a man dissatisfied, doctor, if he did not, on the contrary,
proclaim that everything is immeasurably better in this country
than in any other on the globe. Now, confess, is not that your
standard of patriotism?"

"Ah, you are shifting your ground, young gentleman. But we shall
bring you to the point presently. Now tell us honestly, were you
not disappointed with the looks of things when you came back?"

"If by disappointed, you mean that many things as I see them now,
strike me as very inferior to objects of the same description in
Europe, I do not scruple to say they do. When I landed, I said to

"'The streets are narrow and the buildings mean;
Did I, or fancy, have them broad and clean?'"

{George Crabbe (English poet, 1754-1832), "Posthumous Tales: Tale
VI--The Farewell and Return", Part II, lines 79-80}

"I feared so!" and the doctor looked much as a pious Mahometan
might be supposed to do, if he were to see a Frank seize the
Grand Turk by the beard. "I should have thought better of you,"
he added.

{"Frank" = a European Christian; "Grand Turk" = Ottoman Emperor}

"My dear sir," said Harry, laughing, "how could I help it! I must
defend myself from any desire to be disappointed, I assure you.
On the contrary, I wish very sincerely that everything in my
native country were as good as possible in its way; that the
architecture of the public buildings were of the noblest kind;
the private houses the most pleasant and convenient; the streets
the best paved, and best lighted in the world. But I don't
conceive that the way to bring this about is to maintain le
pistolet a la gorge, that perfection has already been attained in
all these particulars. To speak frankly, it strikes me as the
height of puerility to wish to deceive oneself upon such
subjects. On the contrary, I think it is the duty of every man,
so far as he has the opportunity, to aim at correct notions on
everything within his reach."

{"le pistolet a la gorge" = the pistol to the throat (French)}

"Well," remarked the doctor, "you only confirm me in my opinion.
I shall be more unwilling than ever to let Ben go; since even
you, Harry Hazlehurst, who are a good deal better than most young
men, confess the harm travelling has done you."

"But, my dear sir, I confess no such thing. I'm conscious that
travelling has been a great benefit to me in many ways. I shall
be a happier and better man for what I have seen, all my life, I
trust, since many of my opinions are built on a better foundation
than they were before."

"If I were you, I would not let him say so, Miss Elinor. His
friends won't like to hear it; and I, for one, am very sorry that
you are not as good an American as I took you for."

"It is quite a new idea to me, doctor," said Hazlehurst, "that
mental blindness and vanity are necessary parts of the American
character. We, who claim to be so enlightened! I should be sorry
to be convinced that your view is correct. I have always believed
that true patriotism consisted in serving one's country, not in
serving oneself by flattering one's countrymen. I must give my
testimony on these subjects, when called for, as well as on any
other, honestly, and to the best of my ability."

"Do you know, doctor," said Elinor, "poor Harry has had to fight
several battles on this subject already. Mrs. Bernard attacked
him the other evening, because he said the mountains in
Switzerland were higher than the White Mountains. Now we have
only to look in a geography to see that they are so."

"But one don't like to hear such things, Miss Elinor."

"Mrs. Bernard asked him if he had seen anything finer than the
White Mountains; what could he say! It seems to me just as
possible for a man to love his country, and see faults in it, as
it does for him to love his wife and children, without believing
them to be the most perfect specimens of the human family, in
body and mind, that ever existed. You will allow that a man may
be a very good and kind husband and father, without maintaining
everywhere that his wife and daughters surpass all their sex, in
every possible particular?"

"You will not, surely, deny, doctor," said Hazlehurst, "that it
is reasonable to suppose that Europe possesses some advantages of
an advanced state of civilization, that we have not yet attained
to? We have done much for a young people, but we have the means
of doing much more; and it will be our own fault if we don't

"We shall improve, I dare say."

"Do you expect us to go beyond perfection, then?"

"I can't see the use of talking about disagreeable subjects."

"But even the most disagreeable truths have their uses."

"That may be; and yet I believe you would have been happier if
you had staid at home. While he was away from you, Miss Elinor, I
am afraid he learned some of those disagreeable truths which it
would have been better for him not to have discovered."

Harry stooped to pick up a glove, and remained silent for a

Shortly after, supper was announced; and, although the coachman
was not quite as much at home in the pantry as in the stable, yet
everything was very successfully managed.

"It is really mortifying to hear a man like Dr. Van Horne, fancy
it patriotic to foster conceited ignorance and childish vanity,
on all national subjects," exclaimed Harry, as he took his seat
in the carriage, after handing the ladies in. "And that is not
the worst of it; for, of course, if respectable, independent men
talk in that tone, there will be no end to the fulsome,
nauseating, vulgar flatteries that will be poured upon us by
those whose interest it is to flatter!"

"I heard part of your conversation, and, I must confess, the
doctor did not show his usual good sense," observed Miss Agnes.

"You are really quite indignant against the doctor," said Elinor.

"Not only against him, but against all who are willing, like him,
to encourage such a miserable perversion of truth. Believe them,
and you make patriotism anything, and everything, but a virtue."


"Why, how now, count? Wherefore are you so sad?"
SHAKSPEARE. {sic--this is the Cooper family's usual spelling of
the name}

{William Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing", II.i.289}

"WELL, Jenny, you are going to leave us to-day, it seems," said
Mr. Wyllys, the next morning, at breakfast. "I am sorry for it;
but, I suppose your mother has a better right to you than we

"I promised mamma I would not stay after to-day, sir. Aunt Agnes
is to carry me over to Longbridge, before dinner."

"You must come back again, as often as you can, child. It always
seems to me, that Harry and you belong here, as much as you do
anywhere else. How long do you suppose your mother will stay at

"We are going to New York next week. Father wishes to be in
Charleston early in October."

"I can't bear to think of your going so soon. If you are once in
Carolina, I suppose, we shan't see you again until next June;
but, mind, you are to pass all next summer with us," said Elinor.

"That is to say, Nelly, if she has no more important engagement,"
added Mr. Wyllys, smiling.

"Even a very important engagement need not interfere," said Miss
Agnes. "We shall be very happy, Jane, to see any Charleston
friend you may see fit to bring with you."

"I don't think there is the least danger that any Charleston
friend will come with me;" said Jane, blushing a little.

"Have you selected a friend from some other place, Jenny?" asked
her uncle.

"Oh, no, sir!" was the answer; but her colour continued to rise,
and she appeared a little uneasy. As for Harry, he had taken no
part in the conversation, but seemed very busy with his knife and

"Pray remember, Jane," said Elinor, "I am to have timely notice
of a wedding, in my capacity of bridesmaid."

"Who knows, Nelly, but you may call upon Jane first. You have
fixed upon your friend, I take it; eh, Harry?"

"I hope so;" Hazlehurst replied, in a low voice, and he drank off
a cup of hot coffee with such rapidity, that Miss Wyllys looked
at him with astonishment.

Elinor made no answer, for she was already at the other end of
the room, talking gaily to her birds.

As Harry rose from table and walked into the next room, he tried
to feel very glad that Jane was to leave them that day; he sat
down, and took up a paper; but, instead of reading it, silently
followed a train of thought by no means agreeable.

In the course of the morning, according to the arrangement which
had been made, Harry drove the ladies to Longbridge. He thought
he had never passed a more unpleasant morning in his life. He
felt relieved when Elinor, instead of taking a seat with him,
chose one inside, with her aunt and Jane; though his heart smote
him whenever her sweet, cheerful voice fell upon his ear. He
tried to believe, however, that it was in spite of himself he had
been captivated by June's beauty. Was he not, at that very
moment, carrying her, at full speed, towards her father's, and
doing his best to hope that they should meet but once or twice
again, for months to come? Under such circumstances, was not a
man in love to be pitied? For some weeks, Hazlehurst had not been
able to conceal from himself, that if he occupied the position of
the lover of Elinor, he felt like the lover of Jane.

As he drove on, in moody silence, the party in the carriage at
length remarked, that he had not joined in their conversation at

"Harry does not talk so much as he used to;" observed Miss
Wyllys; "don't you think he has grown silent, Jane?"

"Perhaps he has," she replied; "but it never struck me, before."

"Do you hear, Harry?" said Elinor; "Aunt Agnes thinks the air of
Paris has made you silent. It ought surely to have had a very
different effect."

"This detestable road requires all a man's attention to keep out
of the ruts;" he replied. "I wish we had gone the other way."

"If Aunt Agnes has no objection, we can come back by the river
road," said Elinor. "But your coachmanship is so good, you have
carried us along very smoothly; if the road is bad, we have not
felt it."

Harry muttered something about holes and ruts, which was not
heard very distinctly.

"Out of humour, too; very unusual!" thought Miss Agnes. There was
a something unnatural in his manner, which began to give her a
little uneasiness; for she saw no good way of accounting for it.

The ladies were driven to the door of the Bellevue Hotel, where
the Grahams had rooms. They found several visiters with Mrs.
Graham, among whom, the most conspicuous, and the least
agreeable, were Mrs. Hilson and her sister, both redolent of
Broadway, elegant and fashionable in the extreme; looking, it is
true, very pretty, but talking, as usual, very absurdly.

Mrs. Graham had scarcely kissed her daughter, before Mrs. Hilson
gave Elinor an important piece of information.

"I am so delighted, Miss Wyllys, to hear this good news--"

"My cousins' return, do you mean? Did you not know they had

"Oh, yes; we heard that, of course, last week; but I allude to
this morning's good news, which I have just heard from this
fascinating little creature;" added the lady, catching one of
Mrs. Graham's younger children, as it slipped past her.

Elinor looked surprised, when Mrs. Hilson condescended to

"Mrs. Graham is to pass the winter in New York, I hear."

"Indeed!" exclaimed Elinor, turning with joyful eagerness towards
Mrs. Graham. "Are you really going to stay so near us?"

Mrs. Graham was thus obliged to inform her friends of the change
in her plans; she would, of course, have preferred waiting until
alone with Miss Agnes and Elinor, to do so; but, Mrs. Hilson's
officiousness obliged her to say something immediately. One, of
her children, a little boy, had been suffering with some disease
of the spine, during the last year, and a consultation of
physicians, held the day before, in New York, had decided that a
sea-voyage, or a long journey, was more than the poor little
fellow could bear, in the present state of his health, as he had
been much worse, during the last three months, since the Grahams
had been at Longbridge. It was therefore settled that Mrs.
Graham, Jane, and the younger children, were to remain in New
York, while the boy was under the care of Dr. S-----, in whom his
parents had great confidence. Mr. Graham and his oldest boy were
to pass part of the winter on their plantation, and then return
to his family.

Miss Wyllys and Elinor, though regretting the cause, were, of
course, much pleased with this arrangement; Jane, too, appeared
perfectly satisfied.

"I should not be surprised, Miss Graham," continued Mrs. Hilson,
"if some of your New York admirers had bribed Dr. S-----; I'm
sure, we are very much obliged to him for having detained you. I
hope you will be somewhere near us, in the city. Emmeline is to
pass part of the winter with me; and, I dare say, you will be
very intimate. I wish, Mrs. Graham we could persuade you to come
to our boarding-house. Mrs. Stone is really a fascinating lady,
herself; and she always manages to have a charming clique at her
house.--Quite exclusive, I assure you."

"I hope to find more private lodgings--I have too many little
people for a boarding-house."

"Not at all. Mrs. Stone could give you an excellent nursery. She
has several lovely little darlings, herself. Her little Algernon
would make a very good beau for your youngest little Miss. What
do you say, my dear," catching the child again; "won't you set
your cap for Algernon?"

The little girl opened her large, dark eyes without answering.
Mrs. Hilson, and her sister now rose to take leave of Mrs.
Graham, repeating, however, before they went, the invitation they
had already given, to a ball for the next week. It was to be a
house-warming, and a grand affair. The ladies then flitted away
on tip-toe.

The door had scarcely closed behind them, before Mrs. George
Wyllys, who had been sitting as far from them as possible, began
to exclaim upon the absurdity of the whole Hubbard family.

"They are really intolerable, Agnes;" she said to her
sister-in-law. "They attack me upon all occasions. They brought
Mrs. Bibbs and Mrs. Tibbs to see me, and joined me in the street,
yesterday: they are almost enough to drive me away from
Longbridge. I can't imagine what makes them so attentive to
me--plain, sober body, as I am--what can they aim at?"

"They aim at universal fascination, I suppose;" said Elinor,

"And must we really go to this house-warming?" asked Mrs. Wyllys.

"Elinor and I have already accepted the invitation;" said Miss
Agnes. "My father wished us to go, for he really has a great
respect for Mr. Hubbard."

"Well, I can't say that the gentlemen strike me as so much
superior to the ladies of the family. 'Uncle Josie' seems to
admire his daughter's nonsense; and 'Uncle Dozie' never opens his

"There is not a shade of fascination about them, however," said

"I grant you that," said Mrs. Wyllys, smiling. "I shall decline
the invitation, though, I think."

"That you can do very easily;" said Miss Agnes.

The ladies then followed Mrs. Graham to an adjoining room, to see
the little invalid, and talk over the new arrangement for the

It was fortunate for Harry, that they had left the drawing-room
before he entered it; for he no sooner appeared at the door, than
the same little chatter-box, who had betrayed the change in her
mother's plans to Mrs. Hilson, ran up to him to tell the great
news that they were not going back to Charleston, but were to
stay in New York all winter, 'mamma, and Jane, and all of them,
except papa and Edward.' The varying expression of surprise,
pleasure, and distress, that passed over Hazlehurst's face, as he
received the intelligence, would have astonished and perplexed
Miss Agnes, had she seen it. He had depended upon Jane's absence
to lighten the course which he felt it was his duty to pursue;
and now she was to be in New York! Of course, she would be half
her time with Elinor, as usual. And, if he had already found it
so difficult, since they had all been together, to conceal the
true state of his feelings, how should he succeed in persevering
in the same task for months?

He determined, at least, to leave Longbridge, for a time, and
remain in Philadelphia, until the Grahams were settled in New

The same evening, as the family at Wyllys-Roof, and himself, were
sitting together, he announced his intention.

"Can I do anything for you, in Philadelphia, Elinor?" he asked;
"I shall have to go to town, to-morrow, and may be detained a
week or ten days."

"Are you really going to town?--I did not know you were thinking
of it. I wish I had known it this morning, for I am very much in
want of worsteds for the chair-pattern Jane brought me; but,
unfortunately, I left it at Aunt Wyllys's. Did you say you were
going to-morrow?"

"Yes, I must be off in the morning."

"Then I must give up my pattern, for the present."

"Is there nothing else I can do for you?"

"Nothing, thank you--unless you bring some new books; which, we
will leave to your taste, to choose."

"Is not this rather a sudden move, Harry?" said Mr. Wyllys, who
had just finished a game of chess with Miss Agnes. "I haven't
heard you mention it before?"

"I intended to put it off; sir; but, on thinking the matter over,
I find I had better go at once."

"I wish you would look about you a little, for lodgings for us;
it is time we secured them. I suppose, you will want us to go to
town early, this winter, Nelly, won't you? It will not do for
Master Harry to be wasting half his time here, after he has once
taken seriously to law; you know he will have two mistresses to
wait upon, this winter."

"It is to be hoped they will not interfere with each other," said
Miss Agnes, smiling.

"That is what they generally do, my dear. By-the-bye, Nelly, I
suppose Louisa will have Jane in Philadelphia, with her, part of
the winter."

"Yes, sir, after Christmas; it is already settled, much to my

"So much the better!" said her grandfather.

"So much the worse!" thought Hazlehurst.

"Your Paris party will be all together again, Harry?" continued
Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, sir;" was Hazlehurst's laconic reply. 'I wish I could
forget it,' thought he. So much had he been annoyed, throughout
the day, that he soon after took up a candle, and, wishing the
family good-night, went to his own room.

"I am afraid Harry is not well," said Miss Wyllys, after he had
left them. "He seems out of spirits."

Elinor looked up from her work.

"Now you speak of it," replied Mr. Wyllys, "I think he does seem
rather out of sorts."

Nothing more was said on the subject; but some unpleasant
thoughts suggested themselves to Miss Wyllys; for, during the
last day or two, Hazlehurst's manner had repeatedly struck her as
unnatural, and she feared that something weighed upon his mind.
As for Elinor, her nature was as far as possible from being
suspicious; and, least of all, would she have mistrusted Harry;
she merely reproached herself for having laughed once or twice,
during the day, at his expense, when he had been very absent. She
remembered he seemed a little annoyed, at the time, though he
never used to mind such things--'I am afraid he thought it
unkind, if he was not well,' she said to herself, and determined
to make amends, the next morning, by presiding at his early
breakfast, before he set out.


"What loud uproar, bursts from that door?"

{Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English poet, 1772-1834), "Rime of the
Ancient Mariner" (VII) line 592}

WE shall follow the example of the good people of Longbridge, its
party-going inhabitants, at least, and discard, for the moment,
all other topics, in order to give due justice to the expected
ball at the Hubbards. It was understood that this house-warming
was to be the most brilliant affair, of its kind, that had taken
place, in the neighbourhood, within the memory of man. Mrs.
Hilson and Miss Emmeline Hubbard had staked their reputations,
for elegance and fashion, upon the occasion. The list of
invitations was larger than any yet issued at Longbridge, and all
the preparations were on a proportionate scale of grandeur.

About ten days before the eventful evening, Mrs. Hilson and Miss
Emmeline were closeted with their intimate friends, Mrs. Bibbs
and Mrs. Tibbs, engaged in drawing up a plan of operations for
the occasion. Probably the 'city-lady,' as Mrs. Hilson always
called herself, had invited the two friends as counsellors, more
with a view of astonishing them by a display of her own views of
magnificence, than from any idea that their suggestions would be
of importance.

Miss Emmeline was seated, pencil in hand, with several sheets of
paper before her, all ready, to take notes of the directions as
they were settled. Mrs. Bibbs and Mrs. Tibbs were placed on a
sofa; and Mrs. Hilson threw herself into a rocking-chair.

"In the first place, Emmeline," said the 'city-lady,' "we must
have boned turkey: put down boned turkey."

"I thought you were going to make out the list of invitations
first," said the sister.

"Just put down the boned turkey, for that is absolutely
necessary; and then we can run over the names."

Miss Emmeline wrote as she was directed. A long list of names was
then put down; there had already been a private family meeting
upon the subject, at which, after many endeavours of Mrs. Hilson
to unite the two advantages of extreme exclusiveism, and the
largest number of invitations ever heard of at Longbridge, Mr.
Hubbard had decided the matter by insisting that his daughters
should ask every person who had ever been a guest at their house
before, and all those from whom they themselves had accepted

"Don't talk to me of fashionable people, and exclusives and
inclusives--I choose to have all my old neighbours, do you hear,
girls, and any one else you please."

This was the only point upon which their father insisted; and as
he left the expense of the arrangements entirely to themselves,
the ladies thought it most prudent not to argue the matter.
Instead, therefore, of aiming at having their party very select,
it was now agreed that it should be very general.

"It will be a regular mob," said Mrs. Hilson, as she finished
reading to her sister scraps of lists of which her lap was full;
"but with so large a visiting circle as ours, it was not to be
avoided, I suppose. Have you put down the boned turkey, Emmeline?
that at least will give to the entertainment an aristocratic
character, at once."

"Yes, to be sure, here it is," said Emmeline, taking up another
sheet of paper. "We must have boned turkey, of course."

Now it so happened that neither Mrs. Bibbs nor Mrs. Tibbs, though
such fascinating ladies, had ever seen, tasted, or heard of boned
turkey before. But, of course, they did not confess such shameful
ignorance. Boned turkey had never yet figured at a party at
Longbridge. We say figured at a party, and we speak advisedly, as
all must know who are aware of the all-important position
occupied at an American party by the refreshments, in the opinion
of both host and guests. The brilliancy of the lights, the
excellence of the music, the wit and gallantry of the gentlemen,
the grace and beauty of the ladies--would be of no avail in
giving fame to a party if the refreshments were not as abundant,
and as varied as possible. It is true these good things are
generally excellent in their way, which is probably one reason
why they receive so much attention. The highest distinction to be
attained in these matters is the introduction of some new
delicacy; next to this, is the honour of being one of the first
to follow so brilliant an example; but, of course, those
unfortunate individuals who have neglected to procure the
favourite dainty of the season, after it has once appeared on
fashionable tables, lose all claim to honourable mention, and
sink beneath notice. In this way, each dish has its day; a year
or two since, Charlotte Russe was indispensable at an
entertainment; last winter Bombes were in high request; and at
the period of the Hubbard house-warming, Boned Turkey had
received the place of honour on the New York supper-tables.
People could neither flirt nor dance, they could talk neither
pure nonsense, nor pure speculation, without the Boned Turkey in
perspective. The fashion had indeed spread so far, that it had at
last reached what Mrs. Hilson generally called her clique.

"Pa thinks we shall have some difficulty in getting boned turkey
at this season; it is rather early; but I am determined to have
it if money can procure it. You know I am very ambitious, Mrs.
Tibbs--I am not easily satisfied."

Mrs. Tibbs, a pretty little woman with light hair, wearing a
fashionable lilac muslin, assented, of course.

"Taking for granted then, that we have the boned turkey, what
shall we put down next?" asked Miss Emmeline. "Terrapin-soup,
pickled-oysters, lobsters, chicken-salad, and anything in the way
of game that can be found in the market; do you think that will
do for the substantial dishes, Mrs. Bibbs?"

Mrs. Bibbs, a pretty little woman with black hair, wearing a
fashionable green muslin, assented, of course.

"I think that will do, Emmeline," said Mrs. Hilson; "a large
supply of each, you know. By-the-bye we must have four dishes of
boned turkey; nothing so mean as to have a small quantity."

Then followed a long list of lighter delicacies; gallons of
ice-cream with every possible variety of flavour; flour and eggs,
cream and sugar, prepared in every way known to New York
confectioners. Kisses and Mottoes were insisted upon. Then came
the fruits, beginning with peaches and grapes, and concluding
with bananas and other tropical productions, until at length even
Mrs. Hilson's "ambition" was thus far satisfied.

{"Kisses and Mottoes" = wrapped candies enclosing short witty
verses or "mottoes"--ancestors of the "fortune cookie"}

"I think our set-out will have quite an aristocratic appearance,
Emmeline; including, of course, the boned turkey. Then we must
have colored candles, they are so much more tasty--all green and
pink. Alonzo will secure the orchestra, the best in the city;
-----'s band. We must have two dressing-rooms in the third story,
one for the gentlemen, one for the ladies--and a little
fainting-room besides; the small east room will do for that--we
can put in it the easy-chair, with the white batiste cover I
brought over from the city, with a pitcher of iced-water, and
restoratives, all ready. It is always best, Mrs. Bibbs, to have a
pretty little fainting-room prepared beforehand--it makes the
thing more complete."

The lady in the green muslin agreed entirely with Mrs. Hilson;
she thought it would be unpardonable not to have a fainting-room.

"The third story will be reserved for the dressing-rooms, the
second entirely devoted to the supper and refreshments, and the
first floor given up to the dancers and promenaders. I declare I
shan't know how to look if we can't procure the boned turkey."

The lady in the lilac muslin agreed that when everything else was
so genteel, it would be unfortunate indeed to fail in the boned

The disposition of the furniture, the variety of lemonades, &c.,
was then settled, as well as other minor matters, when the four
ladies sat down to write the invitations on the very elegant and
fanciful note-paper prepared for the occasion.

"The first thing I shall do, Emmeline, will be to write a letter
expressly to Alonzo, to insist upon the confectioner's procuring
the boned turkey."

We shall pass over the labours of the ensuing week, devoted to
the execution of what had been planned. Various were the rumours
floating about Longbridge in the interval; it was asserted by
some persons that a steamboat was to bring to Longbridge all the
fashionable people in New York; that it was to be a sort of
"Mass-Meeting" of the "Aristocracy." By others, all the fiddlers
in New York and Philadelphia were said to be engaged. In fact,
however, nothing was really known about the matter. Mrs. Bibbs
and Mrs. Tibbs had confided all the details to a score of friends
only, and every one of these had, as usual, spread abroad a
different version of the story. We have it, however, on the best
authority, that every day that week a letter in Mrs. Hilson's
handwriting, directed to the most fashionable cook and
confectioner in New York, passed through the Longbridge
post-office, and we happen to know that they were all written
upon the negotiation for the boned turkey, which at that season
it was not easy to procure in perfection.

The eventful evening arrived at length. The fanciful note-papers
had all reached their destination, the pink and green candles
were lighted, the fainting-room was prepared, the kisses and
mottoes had arrived, and though last, surely not least, four
dishes of boned turkey were already on the supper-table. Mrs.
Bibbs and Mrs. Tibbs had gone the rounds with the two ladies of
the house, and admired everything, after which they returned to
the drawing-room. Mrs. Bibbs in blue, and Mrs. Tibbs in pink,
were placed in full array on a sofa. Mrs. Hilson and Miss
Emmeline stationed themselves in a curtseying position, awaiting
their guests. Mr. and Mrs. Clapp, with Miss Patsey and Charlie,
were the first to arrive. Our friend, Patsey, looked pleasant,
good-natured, and neatly dressed, as usual; the silk she wore was
indeed the handsomest thing of the kind she had ever owned--it
was a present from Uncle Josie, who had insisted upon her coming
to his house-warming. Patsey's toilette, however, though so much
more elegant than usual, looked like plainness and simplicity
itself, compared with the gauzes and flowers, the laces and
ribbons of Mrs. Tibbs and Mrs. Bibbs, who were sitting on the
sofa beside her. Presently, a thin, dark, sober-looking young man
walked in at a side-door; it was Alonzo, Mrs. Hilson's husband.
Honest, warm-hearted Mr. Hubbard soon followed, looking as usual,
in a very good humour, and much pleased with the holiday he had
provided for his daughters, and the satisfaction of seeing all
his old friends in his new house, which he had prepared for
himself. If ever there was a man who spoilt his children, it was
Mr. Joseph Hubbard. Had he had sons, it might possibly have been
different; but his wife had been a very silly, very pretty, very
frivolous woman; the daughters resembled her in every respect,
and Mr. Hubbard seemed to have adopted the opinion that women
were never otherwise than silly and frivolous. He loved his
daughters, laughed at their nonsense, was indulgent to their
folly, and let them do precisely as they pleased; which, as he
had made a fortune, it was in his power to do. As for Uncle
Dozie, the bacheler {sic} brother, who had lived all his life
with Mr. Joseph Hubbard, he was already in the drawing-room,
seated in a corner, with folded arms, taking a nap. It was
singular what a talent for napping this old gentleman possessed;
he had been known to doze over a new book, pronounced by the
papers "thrillingly interesting," and "intensely exciting;" he
has slept during a political speech, reported as one continued
stream of enchaining eloquence, delivered amid thunders of
applause; and now, under the blaze of astral lamps, and pink and
green candles, while the musicians were tuning their fiddles, and
producing all sorts of discordant sounds, he was dozing as
quietly as if in his own rocking-chair. Uncle Dozie seldom talked
when he could help it; the chief business and pleasure of his
life consisted in superintending his brother's vegetable-garden;
he had never been known to take a nap among his beets and
cabbages, which he seemed to admire as much. as he did his
nieces. The vegetables, indeed, engrossed so much of his care and
attention, that three times in the course of his life, he had
lost by carelessness a comfortable little independence which his
brother had made for him.

{"astral lamp" = a variety of Argand lamp (the brightest oil lamp
of the period) especially designed to cast its light downward}

The company began to pour in. Mrs. Taylor and the talkative old
friend were among the earliest, and took their seats on the sofa,
near Miss Patsey, Mrs. Bibbs, and Mrs. Tibbs. Adeline, with the
Saratoga fashionables, soon followed; having remained longer in
the dressing-room, in order to wait until each could appear with
a beau to lean on. The Longbridge elite arrived in large numbers;
Uncle Dozie woke up, and Uncle Josie shook hands as his friends
wished him many happy years in his new house. Miss Emmeline and
Mrs. Hilson flitted hither and thither; while the dark and
sober-looking Alonzo occasionally bent his head gently on one
side, to receive some private communications and directions from
his more elegant moiety. No one was received by the ladies of the
house with more fascinating smiles, than a tall, slim Englishman,
with a very bushy head of hair, who had made Mrs. Hilson's
acquaintance at their boarding-house not long since, and being
tired of occupying a third or fourth-rate position in his own
country, was now determined to show off what he thought airs of
the first water, in this. He was just the attendant in whom Mrs.
Hilson gloried.

"I think the West-End is fully represented here, this evening,
Emmeline," said the fair lady as she tripped past her sister,
followed by Captain Kockney, after the rooms were uncomfortably

"Some very pretty women 'ere, Mrs. 'Ilson," observed Captain
Kockney; "that's really a lovely creature just come in, and what
a piece of ugliness it is alongside of her."

"Miss Graham? Yes, she is our great beauty. Shall I introduce

"Not now, for pity's sake; wait till that ugly face has moved out
of sight."

"Do you think Miss Wyllys so very ugly? Perhaps she is; but she
is one of our country neighbours, and I have seen her so
frequently that I am accustomed to her appearance--indeed we are
quite intimate. When one knows her, her conversation is
excessively delightful; though she wants more association with
city-life to appear to advantage."

"Now, pray don't introduce me there, I beg. I saw too many ugly
women the last season I was at 'ome. Our colonel had three
daughters, 'orrid frights, but of course we had to do the civil
by them. It almost tempted me to sell out; they were parvenues,
too--that made the matter worse, you know."

{"parvenues" = upstarts (French)}

"Oh, yes, I hate parvenoos; I am thoroughly aristocratic in my
nature. Indeed, it is a great misfortune for me that I am so, one
is obliged, in this country, to come so often in contact with
plebeians! I am afraid you must suffer from the same cause, while
travelling in the United States."

"What, from the plebeians? Oh, I made up my mind to that before I
came, you know; I believe I shall enjoy the change for a time.
One doesn't expect anything else from you Yankees; and then I had
a surfeit of aristocracy in London, the last season. We had
half-a-dozen crowned heads there; and first one met them
everywhere in town, you know, and then at every country-house."

"How delightful it must be to live surrounded by royalty in that

"There you're quite out. It's a great bore; one has to mind their
p's and q's at court, you know--I never go to Windsor if I can
help, it."

"Well, I should never tire of a court--I am thoroughly patrician
in my disposition. I have a good right to such tastes, Captain
Kockney, for I have a great deal of noble blood in my veins."

"Now, really! what family do you belong to?"

"The duke of Percy; a noble family of Scotland. Pa's name is
Joseph P. Hubbard. Don't you pity people who have no nobility in
their families?"

"'Pon my soul, I don't know how a man feels under such
circumstances. It's a queer sensation, I dare say."

"Dr. Van Horne," continued Mrs. Hilson, to a young man who came
up to make his bow to her, "I have a great mind to ask a favour
of you. Will you undertake to bleed me?"

"I should be sorry if you required my services in that way, Mrs.

"Ah, but it would be a real obligation; I want to get rid of all
but my Percy blood. Perhaps you don't know that our family is
distinguished in its descent?"

"From 'old Mother Hubbard,'" thought young Van Horne; but he
merely bowed.

"Yes, our ancestors were dukes of Percy, who were beheaded in
Scotland for being faithful to their king. It is very possible we
might claim the title of a Scotch Peer." Mrs. Hilson had read too
many English novels, not to have a supply of such phrases at
command. "If you could only find the right vein, I would insist
upon your taking away all but my patrician blood."

"Would not the operation leave you too perfect, Mrs. Hilson?"

"Perhaps it might make me vain. But it could scarcely unfit me
more for living in a republic. How I wish we were governed by a
despot!--don't you?"

"Not in the least,"--'but I wish you were,' the young man added,
to himself, as he moved away towards Jane and Elinor, who were in
a corner talking to his sisters. "All the fools in this country
are not travelled fools, as I wish my father would remember," he
continued, as he edged his way through the crowd.

"And he that aye has lived free
May not well know the misery,
The wrath, the strife, the hate, and all,
That's compassed in the name of thrall."

{I have not identified this verse}

"You have mustered quite a pretty set of little plebeians 'ere
to-night. Now, that's quite a nice-looking little creature
standing by the door," continued Captain Kockney; "what do you
call her?"

"Her name is Taylor--Adeline Taylor; they belong to the
aristocracy too; shall I introduce you?"

"Is she married? If she is, I've no objections; but if she isn't,
I had rather not. It's such a bore, you know, talking to
girls--bread-and-butter misses!"

"How ungallant you are!"

"Ungallant! Why? I suppose you know it's a settled thing that
none of US talk to girls in society. Most of them are so
milk-and-water, and the rest are so deep, they're always fancying
a man means something. Why, last spring we cut Lord Adolphus Fitz
Flummery, of OURS, just because he made a fool of himself,
dangling after the girls."

"But don't gentlemen ever speak to an unmarried lady in England?"

"The saps do--but not your knowing ones. We make an exception
though, in favour of a regular beauty, such as that little girl
on the other side of the room; that Thomson girl, didn't you call

"Miss Graham--you are difficult to please if nothing else will
suit you. But of course it is natural for aristocratic minds to
be fastidious."

"To be sure it is, that's what makes us English aristocrats so
exclusive. If that little Graham girl comes in our way though,
I've no objection to making her acquaintance. And if you have got
a great fortune here to-night, I'll make an exception for
her--you may introduce me. Is there such a thing as an heiress in
the room?"

"An heiress? No, I believe not--but Miss Taylor is quite a

"Is she? Well then, you may introduce me there too. We have to do
the civil to the rich girls, you know; because after a while most
of us are driven into matrimony. That's the governor, I take it,
near the door."

"The governor? Oh, no, our governor does not live at Longbridge."

"Doesn't he? Well, I thought you introduced him just now as the
governor, and I fancied some one called him 'Ubbard; that's the
governor's name, isn't it?"

"No, indeed. That's Pa you are speaking of."

"Just so--that is what I said. You call your paternities PA, do
you?--we always call the old fellows governors, in England."

"Do you call your father Gov. Kockney? I did not know that
governor was an English title; it sounds very plebeian in my

"Now, what DO you mean? ha! ha!--you are delightful. You put me
in mind of a good scene at the drawing-room, last June. Though,
perhaps, you don't know what the drawing-room is?"

"Oh, yes; I know that it means Court. My tastes are so exclusive,
that I may say I have lived in English High-Life from the time I
married, and became intimate with Mrs. Bagman. I feel quite at
home in such scenes, for I read every novel that comes out with
Lords and Ladies in it. What were you going to tell me about

The story was interrupted by Miss Hubbard, who tripped across the
room to carry her sister off with her.

"Now you are not going, I hope? Why not stay 'ere; I am sure this
sofa is the most comfortable thing in the room."

"I must go to receive some friends of mine, come over expressly
from the city."

"Pray, keep me clear of the cits! But now, if you will go, just
leave me your bouquet as a a consolation. Thank you.--Oh, yes,
I'll take good care of it."

"I hope you will, for it's a ten dollar bouquet, and I'm very
proud of it. You must not steal a single flower, mind."

"Mustn't I?--Do you dare me?" and the agreeable Captain began to
pull out several flowers. Mrs. Hilson, however, was hurried away.

Mr. Taylor, Mr. Hubbard, and Alonzo moved towards the sofa where
she had been sitting.

"Do you think that Stewart will be chosen President of the
Franklin Insurance?" inquired Mr. Hubbard.

"I think not, sir--he rather mismanaged the affairs of the
Hoboken Bank. Lippincott will be the President, I take it. He has
magnificent talents for business. You know he has purchased the
thirty lots in 50th street, that were sold at auction,

"A good purchase, I should say."

"How's the Hoboken stock now?" inquired Alonzo. A murmuring about
'five per cent.'--'six per cent.'--'par'--'premium,' followed,
and was only interrupted by the approach of young Van Horne and

"I beg your pardon, Miss Wyllys," said Mr. Hubbard, making room
for her. "Oh, yes, Mr. Van Horne, here is a place for you, and
another couple besides. Whom are you looking for?"

"Charles Hubbard, sir; I want him for a vis-a-vis."

"Charlie is already placed, I see; but here is a gentleman;
perhaps you would like to dance, sir?"--addressing Captain
Kockney, who was still in possession of the sofa and the flowers.
"I hope my daughter has introduced you to some of the young

"Now, really; if I am to dance, I prefer Mrs. 'Ilson."

And, accordingly, the Captain, by no means sorry to be forced to
dance, rose with a victim-like look, half strode, half sidled
towards Mrs. Hilson, and putting his elbow in her face by way of
an invitation, led her to the quadrille. The contrast between
these two couples, placed opposite to each other, was striking,
and yet common enough in a mixed ballroom. Captain Kockney was
desperately nonchalant, his partner full of airs and graces;
their conversation was silly, ignorant, and conceited, beyond the
reach of imagination--such things must be heard to be believed.
Young Van Horne was clever, and appeared to less advantage in
dancing than in most things. Elinor the reader knows already; it
was a pleasure to follow her as she moved about with the happy
grace which belonged to her nature. Her partner, half in joke,
half in earnest, was engaging her interest with his father in
behalf of the visit to Europe. Elinor promised to do all in her
power; and they chatted away cheerfully and gaily, for they were
young and light-hearted; and yet, even in a ball-room, they meant
what they said, and knew what they were talking about, for both
were sensible and well educated. Jane and young Bernard were next
to Mrs. Hilson; Adeline and Charlie Hubbard next to Elinor. Miss
Taylor had declared that she would allow no one but herself to
fill the place opposite to Jane, causing by her decision no
little flirtation, and rattling merriment; but, of course, this
was just what the young lady aimed at. These two pretty,
thoughtless creatures, the belle and the beauty, held a middle
position between Mrs. Hilson and Elinor. Frivolous as they were,
there was more latent good about them, than could be found in the
'city lady,' who was one frothy compound of ignorant vanity, and
vulgar affectation. The class she represented was fortunately as
small in its extreme folly, as that to which Elinor belonged, in
its simple excellence.

Any one, indifferent to dancing or speculation, seeking amusement
as a looker-on, would have been struck, at Uncle Josie's
house-warming, with the generally feminine and pleasing
appearance of the women; there were few faces, indeed, that could
be called positively ugly. Then, again, one remarked, that
puerile as the general tone might be, mixed as the company was,
there were no traces whatever of coarseness, none of that bold
vulgarity which is so revolting.

There was a certain proportion of elderly men collected on the
occasion--they were seen, with a few exceptions, standing in
knots, talking great speculations and little politics, and
looking rather anxious for supper, and the boned turkey. Of the
mothers and chaperons, who filled the sofas, as representatives
of a half-forgotten custom, some were watching the flirtations,
others looking on and enjoying the gaiety of the young people.
Both fathers and mothers, however, were very decidedly in the
minority, and, according to American principles, they allowed the
majority undisputed sway. The young people, in general, held
little communication with their elders, and amused themselves
after their own fashion; the young ladies' bouquets afforded a
favourite subject for small-talk; they were all carefully
analysed--not botanically, but according to the last edition of
that elegant work, the Language of Flowers, which afforded, of
course, a wide field for the exercise of gallantry and

{Probably, Frederic Shoberl (1775-1853), "The Language of
Flowers," (numerous editions, some published by the Cooper
family's regular publisher in Philadelphia)--but there were many
similar books on the "poetic meaning" of different flowers}

Among the dancers, the four young ladies we have pointed out were
acknowledged the most conspicuous. According to Mrs. Tibbs and
Mrs. Bibbs, Jane's was the most beautiful face in the room,
although there were two or three competitors for the title;
Adeline was pronounced the most successful of the rival belles;
Mrs. Hilson the most elegant and airy; Elinor the plainest of the
gay troop. Probably, most of those who thought about the matter,
would have decided as the Longbridge ladies did--although, on the
point of Mrs. Hilson's elegance, many would have protested. There
was one person, at least, who followed Elinor's graceful figure
with partial interest; Miss Agnes found so much that was pleasing
to her, in the fresh, youthful appearance of her adopted
child--in the simple good-taste of her white dress--in the
intelligence and character of her expression--in her engaging
manner, that she forgot to regret her want of beauty; she no
longer wondered, as she had sometimes done, that Harry should so
early have appreciated her niece. Those who knew Elinor
thoroughly, loved her for the excellence of her character;
strangers neglected her for any pretty face at her side; but
every one thrown in her society, must have acknowledged the charm
of her manner. This pleasing manner, however, so frank, yet so
feminine, so simple, yet so graceful, was only the natural result
of her character, and her very want of beauty. She was never
troubled by the fluttering hopes and fears of vanity; she never
seemed to think of effect; when in society, her attention was
always given in the simplest and most amiable way to others.
Forgetful of self, she was a stranger to every forward
affectation, to every awkwardness of mauvaise honte; her good
sense, her gaiety, a sweet disposition, and an active mind were
allowed full play, under no other restraints than those of a good
education; those of principle, and those of youthful, womanly
modesty. Such was Elinor in the eyes of her aunt, but it must not
be supposed that this was the general opinion of Uncle Josie's
guests; by no means; many remarks were made upon Miss Wyllys's
being so decidedly plain; and even her dancing was thought
inferior by some of the company to the more laboured graces of
Mrs. Hilson, or the downright indifference of Adeline: as for
Jane, she unfortunately never danced in time.

{"mauvaise honte" = bashfulness, false shame (French)}

At the proper moment supper was announced--the boned turkey
appeared in full glory. "What is that?"--"Boned turkey"--"Shall I
give you boned turkey?" "I'll thank you for a little boned
turkey"--were sounds heard in every direction. It was very
evident the boned turkey was fully appreciated, and gave great
satisfaction--thus putting the finishing touch to the pleasures
of Uncle Josie's house-warming. We must not forget to mention the
mottoes, which were handed about in silver baskets, for, as
usual, they caused many tender and witty speeches. This was a
part of the entertainment in which Adeline delighted; Jane seemed
quite satisfied with it, and Mrs. Hilson was in her element among
these little bits of pink paper and sentiment.

Before the supper was more than half over, however, the rattling
of spoons and plates, the requests for "boned turkey," and the
flirting over mottoes were suddenly interrupted, and everything
hushed for a moment, by calls for a doctor! "Where is Dr. Van
Horne?" "Have you seen Dr. A?" "There is Dr. B."

"Alonzo, the fainting-room; remember," said Mrs. Hilson.

But it proved to be none of the company who required a physician.
A stranger, a sailor, some one said, who had been for the last
week at a low tavern opposite, had been seized with a fit; Dr.
Van Horne was soon found, and hastened to the relief of the sick
man. The interruption was soon forgotten; the mottoes and boned
turkey were again in demand. Dr. Van Horne did not return,
however; his family went home without him; and Mrs. Clapp, on
looking around for her husband, found that he also had

"I saw Clapp going into the tavern last evening," observed Uncle
Josie. "Perhaps this poor fellow is some client of his; he may
have gone to look after him."

Mrs. Clapp was obliged to ask Uncle Dozie to accompany her home;
and as he was no somnambulist, with all his napping, he carried
his niece safely to her own door.

Miss Wyllys was one of those who left the house immediately after
supper. Adeline and Jane ran up stairs before Elinor and
herself--like the Siamese twins, each with an arm encircling the
other's waist. The close intimacy between Jane and Adeline
continued to surprise Elinor. She began to think there must be
something more than common, something of the importance of a
mystery which drew them so often together, causing so many
confidential meetings. Even when the two girls were in society,
she could not but observe that Adeline often made some allusion,
or whispered some remark that seemed both pleasing and
embarrassing to Jane. Miss Taylor was evidently playing
confidante, and occasionally Jane appeared to wish her less open
and persevering in the affair. As for Mrs. Graham, she was too
much occupied with the care of her younger children to pay much
attention to her daughter's intimacies. She rather disliked
Adeline and all her family, and Mr. Graham had a real antipathy
for Mr. Taylor; still Jane was allowed to do as other young girls
about her, select whom she pleased for her associates. Mrs.
Graham was one of those mothers who devote themselves with great
assiduity to the care of their childrens' {sic} bodies, their
food and raiment, pains and aches--leaving all anxiety for their
minds to the school-mistress, and their characters to themselves.
With the eldest daughter this plan had succeeded very well;
Louisa Graham was clever and well-disposed, and had taken of her
own accord what is called a good turn; and Mr. Robert Hazlehurst
had every reason to congratulate himself upon his choice of a
wife. Mrs. Graham seemed to take it as a matter of course that
the same system would succeed equally well with all her family.
But Jane's disposition was very different from her sister
Louisa's; she had no strength of character, and was easily led by
those about her. The greatest fault in her disposition was
thought by her family to be indolence; but Miss Wyllys sometimes
wished that she had less selfishness, and more frankness.

{"Siamese twins" = Chang and Eng (1811-1874), born joined
together in Thailand (Siam), of Chinese parents, who were
exhibited in America for many years by P.T. Barnum; the condition
was named after them}

Elinor was not a little startled at something which passed in
Miss Hubbard's dressing-room, between Jane and Miss Taylor, and
which she accidentally overheard, before she was aware the
conversation was confidential.

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