Infomotions, Inc.Elinor Wyllys, Volume 1 / Cooper, Susan Fenimore, 1813-1894

Author: Cooper, Susan Fenimore, 1813-1894
Title: Elinor Wyllys, Volume 1
Date: 2000-06-20
Contributor(s): Swanwick, Anna, 1813-1899 [Translator]
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Identifier: etext1927
Language: en
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
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Elinor Wyllys

by Susan Fenimore Cooper

October, 1999  [Etext #1927]


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

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





ELINOR WYLLYS: OR, THE YOUNG FOLK OF LONGBRIDGE. A TALE.

BY AMABEL PENFEATHER.

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




"Familiar matter of today;
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, and may be again."
WORDSWORTH

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




IN TWO VOLUMES,
VOL. I.

EDITED BY J. FENIMORE COOPER




EDITOR'S PREFACE.

THERE is so much of mystification resorted to, at the present
time, in the publication of books, that it has become proper that
the editor of Elinor Wyllys should explain what has been his own
connection with this particular work.

The writer of this book is a valued female friend, who had a
right to ask, and did ask, its editor's advice and assistance, in
presenting it to the public. This advice and assistance have been
cheerfully afforded, though neither has properly extended to the
literary character of the work. As the author has not wished to
appear, the name of the editor has been used in obtaining the
copy-right, and his assistance given in forwarding and returning
proof-sheets. Over a few of the last, the editor has cast an eye;
but, believing the author of the book to be fully competent
herself, to superintend her own work, as it has gone through the
press, this supervision on the part of the editor has been very
slight.

The editor has great confidence in the principles, taste, and
intelligence of the real author of Elinor Wyllys. She has seen
much of that portion of the world with which a lady becomes
acquainted, and has seen that much under the most favorable
circumstances. As usually happens in such cases, her book will be
found free from exaggerations of every sort; and will be more
likely to be well received by persons of her own class, than by
those who are less familiar with its advantages. Imagination,
feeling, sound principles, and good taste, are all to be found in
this book, though in what degree, the public will necessarily
decide for itself.

J. FENIMORE COOPER.

Philadelphia, Oct. 8, 1845.



PREFACE

IT will be well, perhaps, that the reader bear in mind, while
running over the following pages, that many passing observations,
many trifles, which naturally find their way into any sketch of
social life, refer chiefly to things and notions in favour some
ten years since; a period which is certainly not beyond the
memory of man, but very possibly beyond the clear recollection of
some young lady reader, just within her teens. New opinions, new
ideas, new fashions have appeared among us since then, and made
their way perceptibly. Twenty years' possession constitutes a
legal title, if we may believe the lawyers; but a single season
is often sufficient for a new fancy--fancies of a serious nature
too, sometimes--to take full possession of the public mind, and
assume arbitrary control of the premises for the time being, at
least.

It will be more honest to confess, at once, before the reader
undertakes the first chapter, that the tale now before him is a
first appearance in print--a first appearance, too, of one who,
even now that the formidable step is taken, feels little disposed
to envy the honours of authorship. Writing may be a very pleasant
pastime; but printing seems to have many disagreeable
consequences attending every stage of the process; and yet, after
all, reading is often the most irksome task of the three. In this
last case, however, the remedy is generally easy; one may throw
aside the volume, and abuse the author. If there are books which
MUST be read, stupid or not, owing to the claim of some great
name on the binding, the present story is not one of the number;
and perhaps the perfect liberty enjoyed by the reader under such
circumstances--to like or dislike independent of critics, to cut
every leaf, or skip a dozen chapters at a time without fear of
reproach--will incline him to an amiable mood. It is to be hoped
so; it will be unfortunate if, among many agreeable summer
excursions both on terra firma and in the regions of fancy, the
hour passed at Longbridge should prove a tedious one: in such a
case the fault will belong entirely to the writer of the
narrative, for there are certainly some very pleasant and very
worthy people among the good folk of Longbridge.

---------, August, 1845.



ELINOR WYLLYS.

CHAPTER I,

"Enter the house, pr'ythee."--
ROGERS.

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: Genevra" line
19. Samuel Rogers befriended James Fenimore Cooper and his family
during their visits to England in 1826-33}

HAD there been a predecessor of Mr. Downing in the country, some
five-and-twenty year since, to criticise Wyllys-Roof, the home of
our friend Elinor, his good taste would no doubt have suggested
many improvements, not only in the house itself, but also in the
grounds which surrounded it. The building had been erected long
before the first Tudor cottage was transported, Loretto-like,
across the Atlantic, and was even anterior to the days of Grecian
porticoes. It was a comfortable, sensible-looking place, however,
such as were planned some eighty or a hundred years since, by men
who had fortune enough to do as they pleased, and education
enough to be quite superior to all pretension. The house was a
low, irregular, wooden building, of ample size for the tastes and
habits of its inmates, with broad piazzas, which not only
increased its dimensions, but added greatly to the comfort and
pleasure of the family by whom it was occupied.

{"Downing" = Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852), noted American
rural architect and landscape gardener; "Loretto-like" = after
Loreto, in Italy, where, according to tradition, a brick Holy
House was miraculously conveyed through the air by angels in
1294}

The grounds were of the simplest kind. The lawn which surrounded
the house was merely a better sort of meadow, from which the
stones and briars had been removed with more care than usual, and
which, on account of its position, received the attention of one
additional mowing in the course of the summer. A fine wood, of a
natural growth, approached quite near to the house on the
northern side, partially sheltering it in that direction, while
an avenue of weeping elms led from the gate to the principal
entrance, and a row of locusts, planted at equal distances, lined
the low, rude stone wall which shut out the highway. One piazza
was shaded by noble willows, while another was faced by a row of
cherry trees, flanked by peach and pear. Fruit trees, although so
common and so lavish of their blessings in this climate, are
often gathered about American country-houses, instead of being
confined to gardens devoted to the purpose, as in Europe; a habit
which pleasantly reminds us that civilization has made a recent
conquest over the wilderness in this new world, and that our
forefathers, only a few generations back, preferred the trees of
the orchard to those of the forest, even for ornament. Fruit
trees are indeed beautiful objects when gay with the blossoms of
spring, or rich with the offerings of summer, and, mingled with
others, are always desirable about a dwelling as simple and
unpretending in its character as Wyllys-Roof. Beneath the windows
were roses and other flowering shrubs; and these, with a few
scattered natives of the soil--elm, hickory, sycamore, and tulip
trees--farther from the house, were the only attempts at
embellishment that had been made. The garden, surrounded by a
white paling, was thought an ornamental object, and lay within
full view of the drawing-room windows; and yet it was but a
mixture of the useful and the beautiful, in which the former
largely predominated. As a kitchen-garden it was certainly
excellent; but the narrow flower-borders, which surrounded the
ample beds of melons and strawberries, asparagus and
cauliflowers, would have appeared meanly furnished in the eyes of
a flower-fancier of the present day. There was not a hybrid among
them, nor a single blossom but what bore a plain, honest name;
and although there were lilies and roses, pinks and violets in
abundance, they would probably have been all rooted out by your
exclusive, fashionable gardener of the last summer, for they were
the commonest varieties only. There were but two walks on the
lawn; one of these was gravelled, and led to the garden-gate; the
other was a common foot-path leading to the river, where the
gentlemen of the family kept their boats, and where the cattle,
who often grazed on the lawn, went to drink. The grounds were
bounded on one side by a broad river, on the other by a
sufficiently well-travelled highway. What particular river and
highway these were, through what particular state and county they
ran, we do not think it incumbent on us to reveal. It may easily
be inferred, however, that Wyllys-Roof belonged to one of the
older parts of the country, at no great distance from the
seaboard, for the trees that shaded the house were of a growth
that could not have been reached by any new plantation in a
western settlement.

{"particular state..." = Longbridge, we learn, has steamboat
connections to New York City, while steamboat connections to
Philadelphia are from nearby Upper Lewiston; in the course of the
story, one of the first railroads in America comes through town;
this suggests, if anywhere, New Jersey. Judicial matters take
place in Philadelphia, which would seem to place Longbridge in
Pennsylvania. It is not clear, however, that the author had any
specific location in mind}

The interior arrangements of Wyllys-Roof corresponded very
naturally with the appearance of things outside. The ceilings
were low, and the apartments small and numerous; much room had
been thrown into broad, airy passages, while closets and
cupboards abounded. The whole of the lower floor had originally
been wainscoted, but Miss Agnes Wyllys was answerable for several
innovations in the principal rooms. When Mr. Wyllys decided to
make his country-place a permanent residence, his daughter, who
was at the head of his establishment, fancied that the furniture
they had brought from their house in town could not be
advantageously disposed of, without cutting folding-doors between
the drawing-rooms. It was fortunate that a couple of adjoining
rooms admitted of this arrangement, for at that day, two
drawing-rooms of equal size, united by wide folding-doors, were
considered a necessary of life to all American families "on
hospitable thought intent." It seems to have been only very
recently that any other arrangement has been found possible, an
important discovery, which, like many others that have preceded
it, was probably the happy effect of necessity, that mother of
invention. Mr. Wyllys having cut through the partition, was next
persuaded to take down the wainscoting, and put up in its place a
French paper, very pretty in its way, certainly, but we fear that
Miss Agnes had no better reason to give for these changes than
the fact that she was doing as her neighbours had done before
her. Miss Wyllys was, however, little influenced in general by
mere fashion, and on more important matters could think for
herself; this little weakness in favour of the folding-doors may
therefore be forgiven, and justly ascribed to the character of
the age in which she lived and gave tea-parties.

{"on hospitable thought intent" = John Milton (English poet,
1608-1674), "Paradise Lost", Book V, line 332}

For several years after they removed permanently to Wyllys-Roof,
the family, strictly speaking, consisted of Mr. Wyllys, his
unmarried daughter, and the usual domestics, only. They were
seldom alone, however; they had generally some friend or relative
with them, and in summer the house was often filled to
overflowing, during the whole season, with parties of friends, or
the different branches of a large family connection; for the
Wyllyses had their full share of that free spirit of hospitality
which seems characteristic of all classes of Americans. After a
time, however, another member was received into the family. This
was the orphan daughter of Mr. Wyllys's eldest son, an engaging
little girl, to whom her grandfather and aunt were called upon to
fill the place of the father and mother she had lost. The little
orphan was too young, at the time, to be aware, either of the
great affliction which had befallen her, or of her happy lot in
being committed to such kind guardians, in merely exchanging one
home for another.

The arrival of the little Elinor at Wyllys-Roof was the only
important event in the family for some ten or twelve years; the
Wyllyses were not much given to change, and during that period
things about them remained much as they have just been described.
We defer presenting the family more especially to the reader's
notice until our young friend Elinor had reached her seventeenth
birth-day, an event which was duly celebrated. There was to be a
little party on the occasion, Miss Agnes having invited some
half-dozen families of the neighbourhood to pass the evening at
Wyllys-Roof.

The weather was very warm, as usual at the last of August; and as
the expected guests were late in making their appearance, Mr.
Wyllys had undertaken in the mean time to beat his daughter at a
game of chess. Elinor, mounted on a footstool, was intent on
arranging a sprig of clematis to the best advantage, in the
beautiful dark hair of her cousin Jane Graham, who was standing
for that purpose before a mirror. A good-looking youth, whom we
introduce without farther ceremony as Harry Hazlehurst, was
watching the chess-players with some interest. There were also
two ladies sitting on a sofa, and as both happened at the time to
be inmates of Wyllys-Roof, we may as well mention that the
elderly gentlewoman in a cap was Mrs. Stanley, the widow of a
connection from whom young Hazlehurst had inherited a large
property. Her neighbour, a very pretty woman, neither young nor
old, was Mrs. George Wyllys, their host's daughter-in-law, and,
as her mourning-dress bespoke her, also a widow. This lady was
now on a visit to Wyllys-Roof with her young children, whom, as
she frequently observed, she wished to be as much as possible
under the influence of their father's family.

Mr. Wyllys's game was interrupted for a moment, just as he was
about to make a very good move; a servant came to let him know
that a drunken man had been found under a fence near the house.
The fellow, according to Thomas's story, could not be roused
enough to give a straight account of himself, nor could he be
made to move.

"Is it any one you know, Thomas?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"No, sir, it's no one from hereabouts. I shouldn't wonder if he
was a sailor, by the looks of his trowsers and jacket. I guess it
is some loafer on his way to Longbridge."

What could be done with him? was the question. The ladies did not
seem to like the idea of having a drunken man, whom no one knew,
brought into the house at night.

"I dare say it is the same person I heard asking the way to
Wyllys-Roof this morning, when we stopped at the turnpike-gate,"
observed Mrs. Stanley. "He looked at the time as if he had been
drinking."

Elinor suggested that possibly it might be some old sailor, who
fancied he had a claim upon Mr. Wyllys's kindness--Mr. George
Wyllys having died a commander in the navy.

Harry volunteered to go out and take a look at him, and the party
in the drawing-room awaited the result of this reconnoitring
{sic}. At the end of five minutes Hazlehurst returned with his
report.

"As far as I can judge by the help of moonlight and a lantern, it
is no very prepossessing personage. He swore at me roundly for
disturbing him, and I take it the fellow is really a sailor. I
asked him what he wanted at Wyllys-Roof, but we could not make
anything out of him. To keep him from mischief, we locked him up
in one of the out-houses. It is to be hoped in the morning he
will be sober enough to tell his errand."

The matter thus settled, nothing farther was thought of it at the
time, and in another moment the game of chess was won, and the
flower secured in a becoming position. Mrs. Stanley had been
watching Elinor's movements with a smile.

"You are an expert hair-dresser; the flowers are much prettier as
you have arranged them," said the lady to her young friend.

"Is it not a great improvement? They looked heavy as Jane had
arranged them before--I have taken out more than half," replied
Elinor.

Mrs. George Wyllys looked up from the newspaper she was reading,
and suggested a change.

"I think the clematis would look better on the other side."

"Do you really think so, Aunt Harriet? I flattered myself I had
been very successful: it strikes me that it looks very well."

"What is it that looks so well, ladies?" said Mr. Wyllys, rising
from the chess-table and drawing near the young people. "The
flower? Yes, the flower and the face are both very pretty, my
dear. What is it? a honeysuckle?"

"No indeed, grandpapa," answered Elinor, "it is a clematis--this
is a honeysuckle, a monthly honeysuckle, which Jane had twisted
with it; but to my fancy the clematis is prettier alone,
especially as it is so precious--the very last one we could
find."

"Why don't you put the honeysuckle in your own hair, Nelly? it is
a very pretty flower. Being queen of the evening, you should
certainly wear one yourself."

"Oh, I never wear flowers, grandpapa; I cannot make them look
well in my hair. This bouquet must proclaim my dignity to-night."

"It is pretty enough, certainly, my child, for any dignity--"

"Is it not rather large?" said Harry. "Why, Elinor, you have
smothered my humble offering in a whole wilderness of sweets!"

"Not quite as bad as that," said Elinor, smiling--"I only put
with yours, a few Aunt Agnes and Miss Patsey gave me--look at
Jane's if you wish to see a bouquet of a reasonably fashionable
size."

"Bouquets are worn very large this summer," said Jane Graham, in
a languid tone, resting her beautiful eyes on the bunch in her
hand.

"Fashion even in flowers!" exclaimed Mr. Wyllys.

"So it would seem," replied Elinor, smiling.

"And, pray," said Harry, taking a rose from a vase near him, "if
a friend were to offer a flower for your belt, since you will not
place one in your hair, would fashion permit it to be worn?"

"I don't believe it would, Nelly," said her grandfather.

Elinor looked just a little embarrassed, and a little pleased.

"Thank you," she said, taking the rose Harry offered; and while
securing it in her sash, she felt that she coloured. But the
flush was scarcely observed on a cheek as dark as hers.

"Well, Agnes, it is high time your friends came, unless they
expect a rout," said Mr. Wyllys, stepping towards a window to
look out. "Who are we to have?"

{"rout" = a large evening party}

"Your new neighbours, sir, the Taylors; your old friends, the
Hubbards, Van Hornes, Bernards--"

"I hope you will like the Taylors, Agnes; but I don't know much
about them. I am glad you thought of asking them this evening,
for he brought me a letter, you remember, from New York."

{"letter" = a letter of introduction}

"As there is a young lady in the family, and a son just grown up,
I thought they might like to dance," replied Miss Agnes. She then
turned to Mrs. Stanley, and asked that lady, who lived in New
York, if she knew anything of these new neighbours of theirs.

"I never heard of them," replied Mrs. Stanley. "But they may be
very important people, and make a great deal of noise, for all
that; as I only see my old friends, and live so quietly myself, I
don't even know the names of half the people who pass for
fashionable."

"I never suspected our new neighbours of being fashionable,"
replied Mr. Wyllys; "but I hope they will turn out pleasant,
sensible people, for your sake, ladies; and, then, if Taylor is a
chess-player, that will leave nothing farther to be desired."

"Here comes somebody, at last!" exclaimed Mrs. George Wyllys,
hearing a carriage. "The Van Hornes, I suppose."

"I beg your pardon," said Hazlehurst, who was standing near the
window, "that is the Taylor equipage; why the 'tastiness' of the
Taylor barouche is visible even by moonlight."

{"barouche" = four-wheeled carriage with room for four passengers
inside}

The party in the carriage, consisting of father and mother, son
and daughter, soon alighted, and appeared in the drawing-room.
They were introduced by Mr. Wyllys, and received politely by his
daughter and her niece.

"I am gratified, sir," said the tall and thin Mr. Taylor, with a
pompous tone, "in having so early an opportunity of making our
ladies mutually acquainted."

"We shall hope to see your family often, Mr. Taylor," replied his
host. "You must not forget that we are near neighbours; and we
country folk think a great deal of neighbourhood, I assure you."

"Yes; of course the restraints of society must be much greater in
a city, than in a more sparsely settled section."

"I hope your new purchase suits you on farther examination. The
farm is certainly a very good one; but the house, I should think,
must want repairs."

"It does, sir; I calculate to build, however, next year. The
present dwelling is much too small."

"The house might suit us, I think," observed Mrs. Taylor, who,
with Miss Agnes, had taken a seat, while the young people were
standing, chatting, near them. "If husband would put up a
back-building, we should have room enough."

Miss Wyllys remarked, that even a small addition, often increased
very much the convenience of a house.

"Certainly, madam; but I apprehend, if I had added wings and a
back-building to the premises, as I first intended, Mrs. Taylor
would still have found the house not sufficiently spacious. Now
our young ladies and gentlemen are growing up, we must have, more
room for company."

"Well," added his wife, "I expect to see a good deal of tea and
dinner company, next summer, with the house as it is."

"The young people will be much obliged to you for your kind
intentions, Mrs. Taylor; ours is not a very gay neighbourhood,"
said Miss Wyllys.

"So I should conclude," remarked Mr. Taylor.

"I don't know, Agnes," said her father; "if you include
Longbridge in the neighbourhood, I think we may call ourselves a
gay set."

"True, sir," said Miss Agnes; "but as we seldom go there
ourselves in the evening, it had not struck me in that light. But
very possibly, Mrs. Taylor and her young ladies may be more
enterprising than Elinor and myself."

"Four miles, madam," interposed Mr. Taylor, "with a good vehicle
and good horses, is no great distance. Longbridge seems to be in
a very flourishing condition, sir;" turning to Mr. Wyllys.

"Yes, the place is looking up; they are very busy just now. They
are building a good deal, this summer."

"I observed several tasty mansions, in what may be called the
suburbs; in particular a brick edifice, being erected, I
understand, by Joseph P. Hubbard."

"The brick house near the bridge? Yes, it will be the largest
about here. Hubbard is building it more to please his daughters
than himself, I fancy."

"It promises a great display of taste--I observe he has reserved
half his lot, in front of the mansion, for a park."

"Hem--Yes, there will be just half an acre in it. Does Hubbard
call it a park?" asked Mr. Wyllys, with an amused expression
about his eyes.

"I applied the term myself," replied the knowing Mr. Taylor. "I
was altogether much pleased with the appearance of your village,
sir. It has a lively business for such a small place--things
really look quite citified there. If I had seen Mr. Hubbard's
mansion, before concluding my bargain for my present location, I
think I should have made him an offer."

"I am very glad you did not, husband. I was brought up on a farm,
Miss Wyllys, and I am very happy that we have got in the open
country. Besides, Mr. Hubbard's house will be too large for
comfort."

"Ha, ha!" faintly laughed Mr. Taylor; "you seem to like room out
of doors better than within, Mrs. Taylor."

At this moment two persons walked quietly into the room, and were
received very kindly by Miss Wyllys and Elinor. One was a woman
of about forty, plainly, but neatly dressed, with a pleasing
face, remarkable for a simple expression of common sense and
goodness. Her manners corresponded perfectly with her appearance;
they were quiet and pleasant. The lad who accompanied her was a
boy of sixteen, small, and slightly made, with good features, and
an uncommonly spirited and intelligent countenance. They might
very naturally have been taken for mother and son; but they were,
in fact, brother and sister.

"Well, Charlie, my lad," said Mr. Wyllys, placing a hand on the
boy's shoulder, "I hear the important matter is at last under
full consideration."

"Yes, sir; my friends have all but consented; even sister Patsey
is coming round. It will be all settled next week, I hope."

"I wish you joy of your success, Charlie," cried Hazlehurst.

"Not yet, if you please, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Miss Patsey
Hubbard, smiling good-naturedly. "It is only a conditional
consent, Charles, you must remember." Then turning to Mr. Wyllys,
she added--"All our friends seem to agree with you, sir, and Miss
Wyllys: my uncles think Charles ought to show what he has done to
some experienced painters, and have their opinions. We feel very
anxious on the subject."

"Remember to persevere, young man, if you once begin," said Mr.
Wyllys.

"No danger but I shall, sir," said the boy rather proudly.

"I fear, Charles, that half the fault of your obstinacy is thrown
upon my shoulders," said Elinor. "Those Lives of the Painters
were an unfortunate present; they seem quite to have turned your
head; I am afraid Miss Patsey will not soon forgive me."

{"Lives of the Painters" = probably Giorgio Vasari (Italian
writer, 1511-1574), "Lives of the Most Excellent Architects,
Painters and Sculptors" (1550, rev. 1568), a famous and often
reprinted series of biographies of Italian artists, also
frequently cited as "Lives of the Artists."}

"I can't thank you enough for them, Miss Elinor--you don't know
what pleasure I have had with them."



CHAPTER II.

"We'll measure them a measure, and begone."

{William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", I.iv.10}

The arrival of guests again called the ladies away; they were
followed by others, until the drawing-room was half-filled with
the young people of the neighbourhood, and their parents. Mrs.
Stanley was soon talking with Patsey Hubbard, whom she liked
particularly. The tall and thin Mrs. Bernard, and her friend, the
short and fat Mrs. Van Horne, were regretting with Mrs. George
Wyllys, that she should think the air of Longbridge did not agree
with her children; and lamenting that she should not remain at
Wyllys-Roof until November, according to her first intention.
Charlie was deep in a volume of fine engravings. Young Taylor was
standing; in a corner, looking handsome, but awkward, and out of
place. Mr. Taylor, the father, was aiming at making himself
'affable' to everybody he knew; he liked to be called the
'affable' Mr. Taylor. The last of the party to arrive, were Mr.
and Mrs. Clapp; a couple, who were by no means equally liked by
their hosts. The husband was a Longbridge lawyer, whose views and
manners were not much admired at Wyllys-Roof; and he would
probably never have found his way there, had he not married one
of their old friends and favourites, Kate Hubbard, a younger
sister of Miss Patsey's--one who from childhood had always been
welcome among them. William Cassius Clapp had curly hair, bright
black eyes, and pink cheeks--and, consequently, was generally
thought an Adonis: his wife was a diminutive little creature,
quite pretty, and very amiable; a sort of mixture of Miss Patsey
and Charlie, without the more striking qualities of either. Some
of her friends had thought her thrown away upon Clapp; but she
seemed perfectly satisfied after five years' experience, and
evidently believed her husband superior in every way to the
common run of men. Holding it to be gross injustice towards the
individuals whom we bring before the reader, to excite a
prejudice against them in the very first chapter, we shall leave
all the party to speak and act for themselves; merely
endeavouring to fill the part of a 'faithful chronicler,'
ourselves.

Mr. Taylor had been looking, with a mixed expression of surprise
and curiosity, at the person he had heard addressed as Miss
Patsey Hubbard, when the lady remarked his manner, and, smiling
quietly, she bowed to him. The bow was returned; and Mr. Taylor
crossed the room, to renew an acquaintance with the woman, who,
three-and-twenty years before, had refused to become his wife.
Mr. Pompey Taylor had, however, risen too much in the world,
since then--according to his own estimation, at least--he had
become too rich and too prosperous, not to look back with great
equanimity, on what he now considered as a very trifling
occurrence. While he was addressing Miss Patsey in his most
polished manner, just marked with an extra-touch of 'affability,'
for her especial benefit, he could not but wonder that her
countenance should still wear the same placid, contented air as
of old; it seemed, indeed, as if this expression had only been
confirmed by time and trials. He began to think the accounts he
had occasionally heard, of his old flame, must have been
incorrect; it was scarcely possible she should look so calm, and
even cheerful, if her father, the Presbyterian minister, had
actually left her not only penniless, but burdened with the
support of a bed-ridden step-mother, and a house full of younger
brothers and sisters. We leave him to satisfy his curiosity as
well as he could.

When was there ever an evening too warm for young people to
dance! Elinor's friends had not been in the room half an hour,
before they discovered that they were just the right number to
make a quadrille agreeable. They were enough to form a double
set; and, while they were dancing, the elder part of the company
were sitting in groups near the windows, to catch the evening
air, and talking over neighbourly matters, or looking on at their
young friends.

"Don't you think Elinor very graceful?" exclaimed Mrs. Van Horne
to her friend, Mrs. Bernard. "I like to watch her, while she is
dancing; her movements are all so pleasing and easy, never, in
the least, exaggerated--but, it is in her very nature; she has
always been the same, from a little creature."

"Yes," replied Mrs. Bernard; "but it is a pity her face should be
so ugly; for she has rather a pretty figure--"

"Do you think her really ugly? She does not strike me, as so very
plain--there is nothing repulsive in her face. I have known girls
called pretty, who had something far nearer coarseness in their
features. It is true, I have been accustomed to see her from the
time she was four years old; and, I know, she is always thought
very plain by strangers."

"Why, my dear Mrs. Van Horne, she has not one feature that can be
called good; and her eye-brows are so heavy, and her complexion
is so thick and dark, too!"

"Yes, it is true, she is very dark; and that is a pity; if she
were only fairer, her features would appear to greater
advantage."

"Just look at her now," said Mrs. Bernard, "as she is standing by
her cousin, Jane Graham, who is dancing with your son. Was there
ever a greater contrast?"

"But Jane is so remarkably pretty--"

"Certainly, she is a perfect little beauty; and that is one
reason, perhaps, why Elinor strikes us as so plain; she is so
much with her cousin--"

"Well," said Mrs. Van Horne, "if you are going to quarrel so
much, with my little friend's face, we had better find something
else to talk about; for she is a very great favourite of mine."

"And justly--I dare say.--But, I am a great admirer of beauty,
you know; and I cannot keep my eyes off Jane's lovely face."

The conversation then turned upon the Hubbards.

"Charlie, it seems, is actually going to be a painter," observed
Mrs. Bernard. "Miss Patsey tells me, he is so bent on it, that
she thinks there is no use in opposing it any longer; though, Mr.
Clapp says, it is a wretched plan."

"I hope Charles may succeed; he is a fine boy; and I shall be
very sorry, for Patsey's sake, if he turns out badly. She is very
anxious about him, I know."

"They have been so fortunate, with the rest of the family, that,
I hope, they will be able to keep Charlie straight. I see Miss
Patsey is talking to Mrs. Taylor; they are old friends, perhaps.
Do you know anything about these Taylors?"

"Nothing but what my husband told me. He is a merchant in New
York, and very rich;--made his money quite lately; and the
business-men think a good deal of him."

"He seems to have a great deal to say for himself. Have you
called on Mrs. Taylor?"

"We were there yesterday. She is a quiet, plain woman. The young
man is good-looking, but very shy and awkward. The daughter seems
very lively."

"Yes, and she is quite pretty, too. She will be a belle, I dare
say."

"I hope Mrs. Taylor will send her younger children to Patsey's
school."

"I wish she may; it will be a good thing for Miss Patsey, and
make up her dozen. You know, she will not take more than twelve,
as she keeps the largest room in the house for her mother."

"How kind and faithful Patsey has been to her step-mother! Just
as she is, though, to everybody else; and she does it all in such
a quiet, consistent way. I am glad to see her here to-night--she
enjoys a little society, once in a while; and yet no one can
persuade her to go out, except Miss Wyllys."

"She has come in honour of her pupil's birthday, I suppose. You
know, Elinor Wyllys was her first scholar. By-the-bye, do you
know what I heard, the other day? They say, in Longbridge, that
Mr. Hazlehurst is engaged to one of the young ladies here;
though, to which, my informant did not say."

"There is no truth in it, you may be sure--they are too much like
brother and sister, to think of it. Besides, Mr. Hazlehurst is
going abroad, shortly."

"I did not know that. Where is he going?"

"He told my son, yesterday, that he was going to Europe, for two
years, to take care of his brother, Mr. Robert Hazlehurst, who
has never recovered from the fall he had last winter; and the
physicians have ordered him to travel."

At that moment the ladies were joined by Miss Agnes.

"I hear, Miss Wyllys," said Mrs. Bernard, "that Mr. Hazlehurst is
going to Europe. He will be very much missed, at Longbridge."

"Yes, we shall miss him, here, very much," replied Miss Wyllys;
"Harry has been with us more than ever, this summer. But, his
brother is not in a state to travel alone, nor fit to take care
of his wife and children, who go with him; and, although the plan
is a sudden one, and interferes with Harry's law-studies, yet his
friends all think a visit to Europe may be a great advantage to
him."

The ladies agreed that it was a very good arrangement, and some
inquiries were made as to Mr. Robert Hazlehurst's health; and a
discussion of bruises and falls, nerves and dyspepsia, followed.

Soon after, the quadrille broke up.

"Well, Miss Jane," cried Mrs. Bernard, as several young people
drew near, "I hear that your sister, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, is
going to Europe; if I were you, I would not be left behind."

"I should like to go very well," said the beauty, in a languid
tone; "but, I shall be at school, in New York, next winter."

"Oh, that is a pity! I am sure, you could learn all you want to
know, much better, in Paris. Don't you think she ought to go, Mr.
Hazlehurst?"

"Certainly, ma'am; everybody should go to Paris, if they have a
chance."

"Miss Jane would be such a charming addition to your party.--Two
young people together, you would enjoy yourselves more, and make
it pleasanter for your friends."

Young Hazlehurst made a civil bow to the lady; but he looked as
if he had an opinion of his own on the subject, for comical
expression crossed his face at the moment. Jane had turned in
another direction, and was slowly lisping an answer to a very
animated question of Miss Adeline Taylor's.

"Yes; I was at Mrs. G-----'s school, last year; and, I am going
there again."

"Well, I positively think I must go there, too, for my last
winter. Mrs. G-----'s school is all the fashion, now. All the
young ladies she turns out, are very lively. Miss Hubbard, the
great belle, was there, you know, before she came out. Don't you
think it would be an excellent plan, Mr. Hazlehurst, for your
cousin and me to be chums? I declare, I wish you were going, too,
Miss Wyllys."

"Thank you. I have never been to school, in my life; and it is
rather late, to begin now."

"Never been to school! What dull times you must have had at home!
You don't know what fine fun we have, at school; it is next to
going into company. I wouldn't stay at home, for the world. Why
didn't you go?"

"Well, I really don't know why. Perhaps, I should have wished to
go, if I had thought it as pleasant as you seem to do, Miss
Taylor."

"And pray, if I may ask, what made it so very pleasant?" asked
Harry Hazlehurst. "I should like to be initiated into the
delights of a young ladies' boarding-school. Of course, they must
be very different from the rude enjoyments of collegians."

"Oh! it would take me a year, to tell you all about it."

"I shall be most happy to listen all the evening. But, let me
find you a chair, before you commence; you must be tired of
standing," said Harry, with a view to taking a seat himself.

"Me? Oh, no; I never sit down, at a party; I always stand. You
lose half the fun, by sitting down." And, having secured Harry's
attention, the half-fledged belle turned to another youth, within
hailing distance. "Now, what do you think Mr. Hazlehurst has
given me to do, for the next hour, Mr. Van Horne?"

"I am sure, I don't know. Is it something very difficult?
Listening to his pretty speeches, perhaps," said the other.

"Oh dear, no! I don't believe Mr. Hazlehurst can make a tender
speech; I don't believe he has got any heart," said Miss Adeline,
looking an attempt at archness.

"And, pray, what makes you think so, Miss Taylor? Do you judge
from my savage expression?"

"Well, perhaps, you have one;" said the young lady, looking up
bewitchingly. "I suspect, though, you take very good care of it,"

"But this is not fair; you are abusing me, instead of giving us
the delights of your school, as you promised."

"Oh, I had forgotten that. But, I should think, you might guess
what fun we have--a set of wild girls together."

"How should I know anything about it? Pray, be more explicit."

"Well, in the first place, we make a point of getting up an
excitement, at least once a week."

"Like our unruly spirits at college, you break the windows, and
roll cannon-balls, I suppose."

"How you talk! No, indeed. Our last excitement was about the coat
of our Professor of Mathematics. It was such a quizzical cut, we
told Mrs. A., it was morally impossible for us to attend to the
lesson, and study the problems, as long as the man wore it."

"It was unpardonable, in a professor of mathematics, to wear a
coat that was not cut according to rule."

"Now wasn't it? Well, you may be sure, we can always pitch upon
something for an excitement, whenever we're in the humour for it.
And then, we have secrets to tell about our beaux--and we quiz
the new scholars--and we eat candy--and we torment Mrs. A-----;
but, I shan't tell you any more, now; for I must go out on the
piazza, and have a walk--it looks so sweet, out there. You shall
have the rest of the story, if you'll come."

And away tripped the young lady, followed, of course, by the
gentlemen.

Mr. Taylor, who had been moving about the room, making himself
popular by a very bland smile, and, what he considered very
courtly manners, still had time to keep one eye upon his son, who
after an awkward fashion, seemed devoting himself to one or two
of the ladies, and the other, upon his daughter. "Adeline will
make herself conspicuous," thought the gratified father.

"Liny seems to enjoy herself," was the observation of her mother,
who had been sitting quietly at her daughter's elbow, listening
to the conversation just related.

"Two conquests!" thought the young lady herself.

"A lively girl!" was the opinion of young Van Horne.

"Fair game!" said Harry to himself.

While some of the young people were flirting, others dancing, Mr.
Taylor and Mr. Clapp, whose acquaintance had commenced on board a
steamboat that very morning, were walking together up and down
the hall, which they had pretty much to themselves. They touched
on business, which was pronounced very active; and on politics,
which were declared to be particularly dull, just then: Mr.
Clapp, indeed, thought the people much too quiet--shamefully
blind to their own interests, which always demanded what he
called a state of healthful excitement--meaning an unreasonable
excitement upon any subject whatever. There can be no doubt that
Mr. Clapp honestly believed such a state of agitation far more
conducive than quiet to his own interest; for he was quite a
fluent speaker, and very ambitious of a seat in the State
Assembly. He belonged to that school of republicanism, which so
completely identifies the individual with the mass, that it
cannot conceive of any independent opinions, tastes, or
principles; and, very possibly, he persuaded himself the good of
the nation, as well as his personal advantage, required a fresh
brand to be thrown upon the Longbridge council-fire. Having
exchanged opinions with Mr. Clapp upon politics and the market,
Mr. Taylor proceeded to make some observations and inquiries
about the company; he evidently felt some curiosity regarding his
new neighbours, while his companion seemed well disposed to give
him all the information he desired.

"Mr. Wyllys is a man of large property, I conclude," said the
merchant.

Mr. Clapp named the number of thousands usually given to their
host; the amount was much lower than Mr. Taylor had supposed. He
had already discovered that Mr. Wyllys was highly respected by
the Longbridge community in general, and he had taken it for
granted that he must be the richest man in the neighbourhood; but
he now found that this was far from being the case. Mr. Wyllys,
though in easy circumstances, could not command half as much
money as several business men about him.

"THERE is a good fortune for you," said Mr. Clapp; "the lady on
the sofa; her property does not lie here, though. The real estate
is mostly in Carolina and Philadelphia. Did you see the young
gentleman who has just gone out on the piazza with your
daughter--Mr. Hazlehurst? At the demise of the widow, it all goes
to him; but in the mean time he has only two thousand a year--it
will be full twenty, altogether, if well managed," said Mr.
Clapp, running his fingers through the black locks which his wife
thought so handsome.

{"fortune" = short for a woman of fortune; an heiress}

"Mrs. Stanley is the old lady's name, is it not? The young
gentleman is her grandson, I conclude."

"Not at all; only a nephew by marriage," replied the lawyer,
pulling up his collar. "He may feel much obliged to Mr. Stanley
for feathering his nest so well. But Hazlehurst is a very good
fellow; I always liked him from the time he was a little shaver."

"The testator had no children of his own to inherit, I suppose,"
remarked Mr. Taylor.

"No sir; the only child of the first wife died just before his
father--the lady in the other room had no family. Mr. Stanley had
not a single near relation in the world; he bequeathed fifty
thousand dollars to an Orphan Asylum, and left his widow a
life-estate in one-half the remainder; which, at her death, goes
in a lump, real estate and personals, to young Hazlehurst, who is
the son of an old friend, and a nephew by marriage."

{"personals" = personal property}

"Some four hundred thousand dollars, I think you said; that would
make a fine capital for a young man to open business with!"

"But show me the young man who, with four hundred thousand to
begin with, will not spend it instead of making more! No, sir;
give me a man with small means and a sharp wit for his stock in
trade, rather than a hundred thousand down; ten to one the first
winds up the better man by a good round sum. I should not wonder
at all to find myself a richer man than Harry Hazlehurst by the
time I am fifty."

"What splendid operations he might engage in, though!"

"If he wanted to, he could not touch the money now; it is all in
the widow's hands until he is five-and-twenty, excepting the
allowance of two thousand a year which she gives him, now he is
of age."

After a little more conversation of the same nature--in which the
Van Hornes and the Bernards came in for their share of the
appraisal, Mr. Clapp concluded by the offer of an introduction.

"Shall I introduce Mrs. Stanley to you? I am very well
acquainted. I was raised in the same part of the country she came
from. She is a very agreeable lady in conversation."

Mr. Taylor had not the least objection to make the acquaintance
of any human being enjoying an estate of four hundred thousand
dollars. He assented, and following Mr. Clapp into the
drawing-room, the introduction took place without farther
preface. Mrs. Stanley had been conversing with Miss Patsey and
Elinor; she was rather taken by surprise when Mr. Clapp,
advancing before her, said, with a flourish, "Mr. Taylor, Mrs.
Stanley." Both the gentlemen were received by her with as much
quiet coolness as was consistent with civility to her friend's
guests. She had lately been often annoyed by Mr. Clapp's
officious attentions, and was at a loss to account for them,
until she remembered he might be wishing to obtain a share in the
management of her affairs.

Having succeeded in bringing about the introduction, Mr. Clapp
turned to Elinor.

"I hear strange stories in Longbridge about you, Miss Wyllys,"
said Mr. Clapp.

There was as yet no individual in the little world known to
Elinor, more trying to her temper than the husband of her friend,
Kate Hubbard. There was a smirking impertinence in Mr. Clapp's
manner, of which it seemed impossible for him to divest himself,
for it was often most conspicuous when he wished to make himself
most agreeable; and no wonder this was the case, for it was a
quality natural to him. The simple feeling of genuine respect and
deference, so grateful to the heart where sincerely felt, was one
he had never had the happiness to know. On the present occasion
Elinor was not a little provoked with him, and something of the
feeling might have been traced in her expression. We have heard
of brilliant black eyes, that never appeared more beautiful than
when flashing with passion. Those of our friend Elinor were small
and grey; indignation, therefore, may not have been so becoming
to them.

"Scarcely worth remembering, I fancy," she replied; and then made
some observation about Mrs. Hubbard, to turn the conversation.
The raillery and pleasantry of a man with no more tact, or true
delicacy, than William Cassius Clapp, was more than even Elinor's
sweet temper could have borne.

Mr. Wyllys had taken a seat near Mrs. Taylor.

"We have not seen all your young people yet, I believe, Mrs.
Taylor."

"Oh, no, sir--I have six at home, besides the two here. Thomas
and Adeline are my eldest; the rest are hardly old enough to go
out; to parties--though Pompey is nearly fifteen."

"You must bring Mr. Pompey, too, next time. Your eldest son tells
me he has just left Yale."

"He graduated last month. I want him to stay at home now until
winter, and then go into business. But his father has taken a
nation of having him go to Europe for six months. Thomas does not
care so much about it; but husband has a great opinion of a
European journey--he talks some of going himself. Some young men
go a whaling to see the world; but Mr. Taylor thinks Thomas had
better have a chance to go to Paris."

"He will probably find Paris the pleasantest trip of the two,"
said Mr. Wyllys, smiling. "Young Hazlehurst is going abroad, too;
he sails next week, with his brother. What is the name of Harry's
packet, Nelly?" asked her grandfather, taking the young girl's
hand affectionately, as she passed.

Elinor named the vessel; and, from Mrs. Taylor's answer, it
appeared, the young men were to sail in the same ship.

"I am glad to hear that your grandson is going to France, sir; it
will be more sociable, for Thomas to have somebody he knows, in
Paris."

"They will probably meet there. Harry is not my grandson,
however."

"I beg your pardon; but, I understood, that the pretty young
lady, with the white flower in her hair, and the young gentleman
talking to my daughter Adeline, were your grandchildren."

"Oh, no; Miss Graham is my great-niece; and, as for Harry, if I
remember right, he is no relation at all; though, we call him
cousin. I have a house full of little grandchildren, here, just
now, from Baltimore; but they are too young to be out of the
nursery, at this hour. Does Miss Taylor sing?"

"No, sir; Adeline performs on the piano; but she has not any
voice for music; which, I am very sorry for, as I like to hear
young people sing."

"Perhaps, then, you would like to hear my grand-daughter; she
sings me a song every evening, after tea," said Mr. Wyllys, who,
indeed, seemed to think something was wanting to an evening, in
his own house, unless Elinor gave him a little music, of which he
was passionately fond; though, like most American gentlemen, of
his age, he had no knowledge of the art, and no other guide than
a good ear, and good natural taste. Elinor's voice was a full,
sweet contralto, which had been cultivated under the best masters
in Philadelphia; and, as she never attempted what she could not
perform with ease and grace, her music always gave pleasure. One
or two of the other ladies followed her, at the piano--Mary Van
Horne, and a friend who had come with her; but their performance
was very indifferent. It was rarely that one heard anything
approaching to really good amateur music, in this country,
fifteen years ago, at the date of Elinor's seventeenth birthday.

A light supper, and a Virginia reel, concluded the evening; when
the party broke up.

"I hope you are jealous, Elinor," said Harry Hazlehurst, as he
returned into the house, after having attended Miss Adeline
Taylor to the carriage.

"Jealous!--Of what, pray?"

"Of the heart and affections of your humble servant, to be
sure.--You must have observed the snare that Miss Taylor laid for
them." 

"Nonsense.--Good night!" and Elinor accompanied her aunt and
cousin up stairs.



CHAPTER III.

"Her playmate from her youth."
ROGERS.

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: Genevra" line
55}

ELINOR had been in her room for some minutes, and was standing in
thought, before an open window, when she turned toward a little
table near her, and, opening a Bible, drew from it a letter. She
raised it to her lips, and, moving toward a light unfolded the
sheet. Tears soon blinded her sight; she was much agitated; then,
becoming calmer, she continued to read. It was a letter of some
length, and every line seemed deeply interesting to the reader.
Once she paused, as if struck by some new thought, and then,
again, she read with some anxiety. She had just finished the last
words, when her door opened, and Miss Agnes entered the room.

"Be calm, my dear child," said her aunt; "it is indeed a precious
letter, and one which we both value highly; your feelings are
only natural, dearest; but do not indulge them to excess." Miss
Wyllys, by her gentle, caressing manner, succeeded in calming
Elinor, when, urging her not to sit up later, she left her niece
for the night.

When Miss Agnes was gone, Elinor fell on her knees, with the
letter still in her hand. She remained some time, apparently in
prayer, and then rising calmly, she folded the sheet, and laid it
on the Bible; and, before her head touched her pillow, the letter
was again removed, and placed beneath it.

We have not the slightest wish to beguile the reader into
believing that Elinor had a mysterious lover, or a clandestine
correspondence; and we shall at once mention, that this letter
was one written years previously, by the mother she had lost; and
her good aunt, according to the direction, had placed it in her
niece's hands, on the morning of her seventeenth birthday.

When Mr. Wyllys went down to breakfast, the next morning, he
inquired if their drunken visiter {sic--the Cooper family's usual
spelling of the word}, of the previous night, had shown himself
again.

"I have just been out, sir, to look after him," said Harry, "and
the fellow does not seem to have liked his night's lodgings. He
broke jail, and was off before any of the men were up this
morning; they found the door open, and the staple off--he must
have kicked his way out; which could easily he done, as the lock
was old."

Elinor suggested that it was, perhaps, some one who was ashamed
of the situation in which he had been found.

"More probably he was too much accustomed to a lock-up house, to
find it pleasant. But if he really had any business here, we
shall hear of him again, no doubt," said Mr. Wyllys. The affair
thus disposed of, the conversation took another turn.

Mr. Wyllys, Elinor's grandfather, was decidedly a clever man. He
had held a high position, in his profession, until he withdrew
from it, and had, at one time, honourably distinguished himself
as a politician. He was well educated, and well read; his
library, at Wyllys-Roof, was, indeed, one of the best in the
country. Moreover, Mr. Wyllys was a philosopher, a member of the
Philosophical Society of Philadelphia; and the papers he read,
before that honourable association, were generally much admired
by his audience. It is even probable that Mr. Wyllys believed
himself endowed with a good stock of observation and experience
in human nature; but, in spite of all these advantages, we cannot
help thinking that, although well-versed in natural philosophy,
this excellent gentleman proved himself quite ignorant of boy and
girl nature. Even his daughter, Miss Agnes, feared her father had
been unwise and imprudent on an occasion which she considered of
great importance.

A great deal might be said in favour of Harry Hazlehurst. Few
young men, of his age, were more promising in character and
abilities. He was clever, and good-tempered; and, with all the
temptations of an easy fortune within his reach, he had always
shown himself firm in principles. There was one trait in his
character, however, which had already more than once brought him
into boyish scrapes, and which threatened, if not corrected, to
be injurious to his career through life. He was naturally
high-spirited; and, having been indulged by his mother, and
seldom controlled by his male guardian, a brother some ten years
older than himself, Harry was rather disposed to be self-willed,
and cherished some false notions regarding independence of
character. His friends hoped, however, that as he grew older, he
would become wiser. Something of this feeling had been mixed up
with the motives which had lately led him to take a decided step
for the future.

>From a boy, Harry had been more or less the companion and
play-fellow of Elinor Wyllys and Jane Graham, whom he looked upon
as cousins, owing to a near family connexion. He had always felt
very differently, however, towards the two girls. Jane, a little
beauty from her birth, had been an indolent and peevish child,
often annoying Harry by selfish interference with their plans and
amusements. Elinor, on the contrary, had always been a favourite
playmate. She was an intelligent, generous child, of an
uncommonly fine temper and happy disposition. As for her plain
face, the boy seldom remembered it. They were both gay, clever
children, who suited each other remarkably well, in all their
little ways and fancies. Now, within the last year, it had struck
Harry that his brother Robert and his sister-in-law, Mrs.
Hazlehurst, were very desirous of making a match between Jane
Graham and himself. He had overheard some trifling remark on the
subject, and had suffered an afternoon's very stupid teasing and
joking, about Jane, from a talkative old bachelor relation. This
was quite sufficient to rouse the spirit of independence, in a
youth of his years and disposition. When, at length, he heard a
proposition that Jane should accompany them abroad, he went so
far as to look upon it as something very like manoeuvring {sic}.
HE was not a man to be led by others, in the choice of a wife.
Jane might be a beauty--no doubt she was--but he had no such
extravagant admiration for mere beauty. There was Elinor, for
instance; she was a very different girl, though without any
beauty; she was just the kind of person he liked. She was so
warm-hearted and generous in her feelings--without a bit of
nonsense; she was so clever--could catch a thought in a moment,
and always understood and enjoyed a good thing. Then her manners,
too, were charming, so simple and natural; while Jane had no
manners at all. Then, everybody said she was remarkably graceful,
in a perfectly natural way;--how well she rode! Jane was even
afraid to mount. And how pleasantly Elinor sang--and he was so
fond of music. Jane would do very well to sit and look at all day
long; but, for walking, talking, riding, singing--ay, for
thinking and feeling, Elinor would make precisely such a
companion as a man of sense would wish for. By dint of dwelling
on Elinor's good qualities, and on what he fancied the plans of
his brother and sister-in-law, he came to the conclusion that the
only thing to be done, under the circumstances, by a man of any
character--by a man who had an opinion of his own, was to go
immediately to Mr. Wyllys, and request his permission to address
Elinor.

Harry was a great favourite with his uncle--from a child the
young man had always given this title to Mr. Wyllys--and he had
more than once expressed to his daughter, a wish that Hazlehurst
and Elinor might, some years thence, take a fancy for each other.
In the mean time he seemed to look upon them as children, and
left matters to take care of themselves. Harry's proposal was,
therefore, quite unexpected at the moment, and took him by
surprise; he seemed to think Hazlehurst decidedly too young, at
present--he had not yet acquired his profession. This little
difficulty in the opening of the affair, merely served to rouse
Harry's eloquence; and as his youth was really the only objection
against him, he succeeded, before long, in obtaining Mr. Wyllys's
cheerful consent to his endeavouring, during the next two months,
to interest Elinor in his behalf.

Miss Agnes, when informed of what had passed, was quite startled;
she thought both parties too young to take so decided a step. But
her father had given his formal consent, and she could not
seriously oppose it; especially when she remembered that she,
also, had more than once indulged the idea that some five or six
years later, Harry would make a very good husband for her adopted
daughter.

No one in the family was more surprised at Harry's advances than
Elinor herself. They had been so much together, ever since she
could remember, and had always been such good friends, in an
open, brother-and-sisterly way, that even in the last year or
two, when indistinct ideas of love and matrimony had
occasionally, like distant events, cast their shadows before,
Harry had never once presented himself to her fancy in the light
of a suitor. It required a day or two for her to comprehend the
full meaning of Harry's proceedings; she could say neither yes,
nor no. This hesitation, very much increased Hazlehurst's
perseverance; but her aunt, who looked on anxiously, had
stipulated that nothing decided should be required of her, until
Harry left them.

In the mean time, a day or two had been sufficient for Mr. Wyllys
to become not only reconciled to the idea, but so well pleased
with the appearance of things, that he amused himself with
looking on at Harry in his new character of a lover; and
generally once a day, had some little joke at the expense of
Elinor's embarrassment. But now, the two months had passed; Harry
was to sail the next week for France--and Elinor, the morning
after her birth-day, was to give a decided answer.

It was no longer very difficult to foresee that this answer would
be favourable. In fact, Harry, who was thoroughly gentlemanly by
nature and habit, had made his attentions just what they ought to
have been under the circumstances; and, with the full approbation
of her own friends, and all Harry's good qualities appearing in
their best light, the two months had proved sufficient to direct
Elinor's childish affection for him into another and a deeper
channel. The letter she had received on the night of her
birth-day, caused a moment's indecision when, the next morning,
after breakfast, as Mrs. Stanley and Mrs. George Wyllys left the
room, her grandfather playfully asked her "what they should do
with Harry?"

But she scarcely knew in what shape to express the thought that
arose in her mind, and the feeling merely gave an additional
touch of embarrassment to her manner, which was only looked upon
as quite natural at the moment.

"I shall think myself very badly treated, Elinor," said Harry,
observing her hesitation, "if you turn me off like a common
acquaintance, after we have been the best friends in the world
for nobody knows how long."

"Well, Nelly," said her grandfather, "what is it, my child? Shall
we tell Harry to go to Paris and cultivate his moustaches, and
forget everything else?"

"Oh, no;" said Elinor, smiling as she held out her hand to
Hazlehurst, though without looking up: "pray, don't come back a
dandy!"

The affair was settled. The young people parted with the
understanding that when Hazlehurst returned from Europe, and had
acquired his profession, they were to be married; and Harry went
to Philadelphia, to join his brother, and make the last
arrangements for their voyage.

Jane, too, left Elinor a few days later; and Miss Wyllys, who had
charge of her--as Mr. and Mrs. Graham lived in Charleston--placed
her at one of the fashionable boarding schools of New York. Miss
Adeline Taylor had, in the mean time, informed her parents that
she had changed her mind as to the school which was to have the
honour of completing her education: she should NOT return to Mrs.
A-----'s, but go to Mrs. G-----'s, which was a more fashionable
establishment. Not that she had anything to complain of at Mrs.
A-----'s; but she thought the young ladies at Mrs. G-----'s
dressed more elegantly, and besides, she felt the impossibility
of remaining separated from Jane Graham, her new bosom friend.
These two young ladies had met twice previously to the evening
they had passed together at Wyllys-Roof; Adeline had upon one
occasion been in the same boat with Jane, going and coming,
between New York and Longbridge, and she had already done all in
her power towards getting up a desperate intimacy. Her mother, as
a matter of course, did not interfere with the young lady's
preference for Mrs. G-----'s school--why should she? It was
Adeline's affair; she belonged to the submissive class of
American parents, who think it an act of cruelty to influence or
control their children, even long before they have arrived at
years of discretion. As for Mr. Taylor, he had discovered that
the daughters of several fashionable families were at Mrs.
G-----'s, and was perfectly satisfied with the change; all he had
to do was, to make out the cheques in one name instead of
another. Adeline managed the whole affair herself; and having at
last been to a young party, for which she had been waiting, and
having satisfied some lingering scruples as to the colours of the
silk dresses which composed the winter uniform of the school, and
which she at first thought frightfully unbecoming to her
particular style of beauty, Miss Taylor one morning presented
herself at Mrs. G-----'s door, and was regularly admitted as one
of the young band in fashionable training under that lady's roof.
Jane, it is true, did not show quite as much rapture at the
meeting as Adeline could have wished; but, then, Miss Taylor had
already discovered that this last bosom-friend was of a calmer
disposition than the dozen who had preceded her.

Harry had not been a day in Philadelphia, before he announced to
his brother, his engagement with Elinor; for he was much too
frank by nature to have any taste for unnecessary mystery.

"I have a piece of news for you, Robert," he said, as he entered
the drawing-room before dinner, and found his brother lying on a
sofa. 

"Good news, I hope," replied Mr. Robert Hazlehurst.

"May I not have my share of it?" asked Mrs. Hazlehurst, whom
Harry had not observed.

"Certainly; it is a piece of good fortune to your humble servant,
in which I hope you will both be interested."

"Why, really, Harry," said his sister-in-law, "there is a touch
of importance, with a dash of self-complacency and mystery in
your expression, that look a little lover-like. Have you come to
announce that you are determined to offer yourself to some belle
or other before we sail?"

"The deed is already done," said Harry, colouring a little; as
much, perhaps, from a mischievous satisfaction in the
disappointment he foresaw, as from any other feeling.

"No!" said his brother, turning towards him with some anxiety.
"Offered yourself--and accepted, then; or, of course, you would
not mention it."

"Pray, tell us, Harry, who is to be our new sister," said Mrs.
Hazlehurst, kindly, and with some interest.

"I have half a mind to tease you," he replied, smiling.

"I never should guess," said Mrs. Hazlehurst. "I had no idea you
were attached to any one--had you, Robert?"

"Not I! It must be somebody at Longbridge--he has been there more
than half his time lately. Come, tell us, Harry, like a man; who
is it?" asked Robert Hazlehurst, naturally feeling interested in
his younger brother's choice.

"No one precisely at Longbridge," said Harry, smiling.

"Who can it be?--And actually engaged?" added Mrs. Hazlehurst,
who saw that Harry would not explain himself without being
questioned.

"Engaged, very decidedly, and positively, I am happy to say. Is
there anything so very wonderful in my having declared an
attachment to Elinor; I am sure I have liked her better than any
one else all my life."

"Engaged to Elinor!" exclaimed Robert Hazlehurst, much relieved.
"I am delighted to hear it. It is a wiser step than one would
always expect from a young gentleman of your years."

"Engaged to Elinor! I wish you joy with all my heart," repeated
his sister-in-law. "It had not occurred to me to think of any one
so near and dear to us already; you could not have done better,
Harry," she added, with a perfectly frank, open smile.

To tell the truth, Hazlehurst was not a little surprised, and
rather mortified by this decided approbation--since it proved he
had been unjust, and that he had deceived himself as to what he
had supposed the wishes of his brother, and the plans of his
sister-in-law. He did not, however, for an instant, regret the
step he had taken; his regard for Elinor was too sincere to allow
of any other feeling than that of satisfaction, in remembering
their engagement. But it had now become a matter of indifference
whether Jane were to join the European party or not.

On the appointed day, the Hazlehursts sailed. They went abroad
with more advantages than many others, for they carried with them
good sense, good principles, and a good education, and were well
prepared to enjoy the wide field of observation that lay before
them. There was every reason to hope, from the encouraging
opinions of his physicians, that Mr. Robert Hazlehurst's health
would be entirely restored by travelling; his wife looked forward
to the excursion with much pleasure, and Harry was delighted with
the plan. They had an old family friend in Paris, an excellent
woman, who was in every way qualified to redeem the promises she
had given, of soon making them feel at home in France. Madame de
Bessieres was the widow of a distinguished emigre, and had passed
a long exile with her husband in America. They had been for years
near neighbours of Mr. Wyllys, and this gentleman had had it in
his power, at different times, to render services of some
importance to his French friends. Madame de Bessieres and her
family were grateful for these acts of kindness: she had known
the young people at Wyllys-Roof, and felt an interest in them
all; for their own sakes, as well as from a sincere respect and
regard for Mr. Wyllys and his daughter, this lady was anxious to
show the Hazlehursts every friendly attention in her power. Under
these agreeable auspices, the party left home, expecting to be
absent for a couple of years.



CHAPTER IV.

"Farewell, my lord! Good wishes, praise, and prayers,
Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret."
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "1 Henry VI", V.iii.173-174}

THE arrival of letters from Harry, often accompanied by something
pretty or useful, as a souvenir for herself, were the principal
events of the next winter, to Elinor. Several months of the cold
weather were passed, as usual, by Mr. Wyllys and his family, in
Philadelphia; and Miss Agnes thought it time that her niece
should make her appearance in society. But Elinor found less
pleasure, than most girls, in the gay world. She was seldom
appreciated, in mixed company; she was too young, at that time,
and too modest, for her intelligence to be generally known or
cared for; while her personal appearance exposed her to be
entirely overlooked and neglected by strangers; it had indeed
occasionally been the cause of mortifications, more deeply felt
by Miss Agnes, than by Elinor herself. People talk so lightly, in
what is called general society; heartless remarks are uttered
with so much careless indifference on all sides, that it was not
surprising some unkind observations should have reached her ear.
It was not until the season that she had been introduced into a
larger circle, that Elinor became better aware of her
disadvantages in this respect. She had been so tenderly loved and
watched over by her grandfather and aunt; she was so generally
liked by those who had been hitherto her companions, that she had
not been aware of all the consequences of her position. She knew
that her appearance was not attractive, while her young friends
were more or less pretty; still, she had thought but little on
the subject, until her introduction into a larger circle led her
to remark the great importance which the world attaches to mere
beauty, in women, at least. But, with this reflection, came also
the gratifying recollection of Harry's regard for her; and it
served indeed to increase very much her attachment to him, by
giving it an additional feeling of gratitude.

Harry's letters were kind and affectionate, and Elinor thought
them very amusing. It was impossible that an intelligent,
well-educated young man, suddenly transported from the New, to
the Old World, should not find a great deal to say; and Harry
told his adventures very agreeably. His letters to Elinor were
almost as straight-forward and matter-of-fact, as they might have
been if she had already become his wife. His brother's health was
improving; so much so, that they were talking of leaving Mrs.
Hazlehurst, and her children, in Paris, while Harry and the
invalid made a six weeks' excursion to England. Madame de
Bessieres had been all kindness, and they were delighted with the
society they met at her house. "Madame de Bessieres remembers you
perfectly," said Harry, in one of his letters, "and as she is
sure, under Aunt Agnes' care, you must have grown up with all the
good and agreeable qualities that she loved you for when a child,
she agrees with your humble servant, in thinking him a very lucky
fellow, and very prudent, in having secured you before he left
home. She is really a most excellent and charming woman, as kind
as possible to Louisa. Her American friends have every reason to
be satisfied with her recollections of them, especially Mr.
Wyllys and Aunt Agnes, whom she evidently appreciates. Her
nephew, young de Guivres, and I, are very good friends already,
and often take a gallop together in the Bois de Boulogne. It is a
settled thing, Elinor, dear, that I am to bring you to France,
one of these days; that is to say, if you have no objections;
which, of course, you will not have. Tom Taylor is here still,
and his progressive steps in civilization are quite amusing, to a
looker-on; every time I see him, I am struck with some new
change--some fresh growth in elegance. I was going to say, that
he will turn out a regular dandy; but he would have to go to
London for that; he will prove rather a sort of second-rate
petit-maitre a la Parisienne; which is entirely a different
creature. It would do your heart good to see Robert; he eats like
a ploughman, if ploughmen ever devour poulets a la Marengo, or
ortolans a la Provencale. I wish I could give as good an account
of Creighton, who arrived in the last packet; poor fellow, he has
not revived at all, and, I fear, will never be better. His wife
is with him; as pretty and agreeable as ever. I hope Bruno
behaves well, and remembers that it is now his chief duty to
devote himself to your service."

{"petit-maitre a la Parisienne" = a ridiculously pretentious
dandy, Parisian-style; "poulets a la Marengo" = chicken Marengo,
a recipe supposedly invented by Napoleon's chef after the Battle
of Marengo in 1800; "ortolans a la Provencale" = ortolans (a
variety of bunting) in the style of southern France (Provence)
(French)}

This was the last letter Elinor received in Philadelphia, for
early in the spring the family returned to the country. She was
never happier than at Wyllys-Roof, and resumed with delight
occupations and amusements, which would have appeared very
insipid to many elegant belles whom she left behind her--since
the mornings were to be passed without visiting or shopping, the
evenings without parties or flirtations. In a quiet country
house, with no other young person in the family, there was of
course, at Wyllys-Roof, very little excitement--that necessary
ingredient of life to many people; and yet, Elinor had never
passed a tedious day there. On the longest summer morning, or
winter evening, she always found enough to occupy her time and
attention.

To her, Wyllys-Roof was home; and that is a word of a broader and
more varied meaning in the country than in a town. The cares, the
sympathies of a country home, embrace a wide circle, and bring
with them pleasures of their own. People know enough of all their
neighbours, to take part in any interesting event that may befall
them; we are sorry to hear that A., the shoemaker, is going to
move away; we are glad to find that B., the butcher, has made
money enough to build a new house. One has some acquaintance with
everybody, from the clergyman to the loafer; few are the faces
that one does not know. Even the four-footed animals of the
neighbourhood are not strangers: this is the Doctor's
Newfoundland dog; that is some old lady's tortoise-shell cat. One
knows the horses, as well as the little urchins who ride them to
water; the cows, and those who milk them. And then, country-folks
are nature's freeholders; they enjoy a full portion of the earth,
the air, the sky, with the thousand charms an ever-merciful
Creator has lavished on them. Every inanimate object--this hill,
that wood, the brook, the bridge, C.'s farm-house, and D.'s
barn--to the very highway, as far as eye can reach, all form
pleasing parts of a country home. In a city, on the contrary, we
live surrounded by strangers. Home is entirely restricted to our
own fire-side. One knows a neighbour's card, perhaps, but not his
face. There may have been a funeral or a wedding next-door, and
we learn it only from the morning paper. Then, even if a fixture
oneself, how is it possible for human sensibilities to cling very
closely to the row of brick houses opposite, which are
predestined to be burned or pulled down in a few years? Nor can
one be supposed to look with much pleasure at the omnibus horses,
or half-starved pigs that may belong to one's street. No doubt,
that with hearts warm and true, we may have a FIRESIDE in town;
but HOME with its thousand pleasant accessories--HOME, in its
fullest meaning, belongs especially to the country.

Elinor was a country girl, born and bred. Though banished from
Chesnut {sic} Street, she would have been well satisfied with the
usual occupations of a country life, varied only by quiet walks
with her aunt, rides with her grandfather, chatty meetings with a
few young companions, or long visits from old friends, whose
names and faces had been familiar to her all her life. The first
few weeks after her return to Wyllys-Roof, she had, of course,
more than usual to see and hear. Elinor had been absent from home
but a few months; yet, even in that short space, she found
changes had occurred in the neighbourhood--varied, as usual--some
of a sad, some of a pleasant nature. Miss Agnes and her niece
found one place vacant among those whom they were in the habit of
seeing often; the father of a family who lived within sight of
their own windows, had died suddenly, and left a widow and
children to struggle with the world: but they were neither
friendless nor repining, and submitted with humble resignation to
their severe affliction, prepared to meet with faith and hope the
additional cares and toils allotted to them. One of Elinor's
young friends, too, was lying on a sick-bed at Longbridge--a
beautiful girl of her own age wasted by consumption; but she was
calm and peaceful, though without hope this side the grave. We
shall scarcely forgive ourselves for making even a distant
allusion to one portion of Elinor's pleasures and labours,
although more especially connected with home; since none could
perform their religious duties with less ostentation, with more
single-hearted sincerity--none could more carefully follow the
precept, to "give with simplicity," than Miss Wyllys, and the
niece she had educated.

{"Chesnut Street" = Chestnut Street, a fashionable street in
Philadelphia}

Of course, the ladies had immediately resumed their intercourse
with their old friends; and they had many neighbourly visits to
pay. Not your formal, fashionable morning calls, lasting just
three minutes, when you are so unfortunate as to find at home the
individual you are paying off; no, indeed; good, honest visits of
nearly an hour's length, giving time to exchange many kindly
inquiries as to the health of all the members of the family, the
condition of the garden, and promises of the crops; and even
occasionally allowing Mr. Wyllys to take a look at some addition
to the live-stock, in the shape of calves, colts, or pigs. Then,
Mrs. Bernard had just moved into a new house, whose comforts and
conveniences must certainly be shown by herself, and appreciated
by her friends. Then, Elinor had to kiss, and make acquaintance
with several tiny pieces of humanity, in white frocks and lace
caps--little creatures born during the past winter; of course,
the finest babies one could wish to see, and the delight of their
parents' hearts. Then, Alida Van Horne was going to be married;
as Elinor was to be her bridesmaid, a great deal of talking and
consulting took place on the occasion, as matter of course. But,
although her time was fully occupied in many different ways, no
day was too pleasant or too busy for more than one thought to be
given to Harry Hazlehurst.



CHAPTER V.

"Anch' io son pittore!"
CORREGGIO.

{"Anch' io son pittore" = "I too, am a painter!" (Italian).
Antonio Allegri da Correggio (Italian painter, 1494-1534),
exclamation on viewing Raphael's "St. Cecilia" at Bologna (1525)}

THERE was one subject, in which the family at Wyllys-Roof felt
particularly interested just then, and that was, Charlie
Hubbard's picture. This piece was to decide finally the question,
whether Charlie should be an artist, or a merchant's clerk; a
question which he himself considered all important, and which
caused much anxiety to his friends.

The house in which the Hubbards lived was a grey, wooden cottage,
of the smallest size; curious gossips had, indeed, often wondered
how it had ever been made to contain a large family; but some
houses, like certain purses, possess capabilities of expansion,
quite independent of their apparent size, and connected by
mysterious sympathies with the heads and hearts of their owners.
This cottage belonged to the most ancient and primitive style of
American architecture; what may be called the comfortable, common
sense order--far superior, one might suppose to either Corinthian
or Composite, for a farm-house. The roof was low, and unequally
divided, stretching, on one side, with a long, curving slope,
over the southern front; which was scarce seven feet high:
towards the road the building was a little more elevated, for a
dormer-window gave it the dignity of a story and a half. Not only
the roof, but the walls--we have classical authority for wooden
walls--were covered with rounded shingles, long since grey, and
in spots, moss-grown. Twice the cottage had escaped a more
brilliant exterior; upon one occasion it had been inhabited by an
ambitious family, who talked of a coat of red paint; fortunately,
they moved away, before concluding a bargain with the painter.
Again, when the Hubbards took possession of the 'old grey house,'
a committee of ladies actually drove over from Longbridge, with
the intention of having it whitewashed; but, the experienced old
negro engaged to clean generally, gave it as his opinion, that
the shingles were not worth the compliment. The windows were very
small; more than half the glass was of the old, blue bull's-eye
pattern, no longer to be found at modern glaziers, and each heavy
window-shutter had a half-moon cut in its upper panel, to let in
the daylight. When we add, that there was a low porch before the
door, with a sweet-briar on one side, and a snowball on the
other, the reader will have a correct idea of the house inhabited
by our friends, the Hubbards.

{"Corinthian or Composite" = two of the classical orders of
architecture, based on the style of column used. The "Composite
order," however, was something of a Cooper family joke, first
used by James Fenimore Cooper in "The Pioneers" (1823) to
describe a pretentious building of no particular style at all.
The Coopers, father and daughter, were contemptuous of buildings
that pretended to be Greek temples}

The cottage stood within a little door-yard, near the gate which
opened on the lawn of Wyllys-Roof; and, immediately opposite the
place recently purchased by Mr. Taylor. Here the family had lived
for the last twelve years; and, from that time, Miss Patsey had
been obliged to struggle against poverty, with a large family of
younger brothers and sisters, dependent, in a great measure, upon
her prudence and exertions.

Mr. Hubbard, the father, a respectable Presbyterian minister, had
been, for half his life, in charge of a congregation in
Connecticut, where, by-the-bye, Mr. Pompey Taylor, at that time a
poor clerk, had been an unsuccessful suitor for Patsey's hand.
After a while, the family had removed to Longbridge, where they
had lived very comfortably and usefully, until, at length, the
minister died, leaving his widow and seven children entirely
unprovided for. Happily, they possessed warm friends and kind
relatives. The old grey house, with a garden and a little meadow
adjoining, was purchased for his brother's family by Mr. Joseph
Hubbard, known to the young people as Uncle Josie: he was a
merchant, in easy circumstances, and cheerfully gave the thousand
dollars required. The cottage was furnished by the minister's
congregation. Many useful presents were made, and many small
debts forgiven by kind neighbours. With this humble outfit the
family commenced their new career. Mrs. Hubbard, the second wife,
and mother of the three younger children, had lost the use of one
hand, by an attack of paralysis. She had always been a woman of
very feeble character; and although treated with unvarying
kindness and respect by her step-children, could do little
towards the government or assistance of the family. It was Patsey
who toiled, and managed, and thought for them all. With the aid
of two younger sisters, mere children, at first, and an old black
woman, who came once a week to wash, all the work was done by
herself, including baking, ironing, cooking, cleaning, &c.; and
yet Patsey found time to give up four hours a day to teaching a
class of some dozen children, belonging to several neighbouring
families. This school furnished the only money that passed
through her hands, and contributed the only regular means of
support to the family. They received, however, much kind
assistance, in many different ways; indeed, otherwise, it would
have been scarcely possible to keep a fireside of their own.
There had been, in all, nine children; but the eldest son, a
missionary, died before his father; the second had already gone
to Kentucky, to seek his fortunes as a physician; he had married
young, and, with children of his own to support, it seemed but
little he could do for his step-mother; he sent for a younger
brother, however, engaging to provide for him entirely. Another
son was educated by his rich Longbridge relative, kind Uncle
Josie; another uncle, a poor old bachelor, known to the
neighbourhood as Uncle Dozie, from a constant habit of napping,
did his utmost, in paying the school-bills of his niece
Catherine. In the course of a few years, Uncle Josie's protege
became an assistant in the school where he had been educated;
Kate Hubbard, Uncle Dozie's favourite, married a quick-witted,
but poor, young lawyer, already introduced to the reader, by the
name of Clapp.

Still, there remained in the family two younger daughters, and
Charlie, besides Miss Patsey and Mrs. Hubbard. By the exertions
and guidance of Patsey, the assistance of friends, and their own
good conduct, the young people, in due time, were all growing up,
endowed with good principles, good educations, and with
respectable prospects opening before them. At the period of our
narrative, the third daughter hoped shortly to become an
under-governess in the school where she had been educated; and
Mary, the youngest of the family, had such a decided taste for
music, that it was thought she would have no difficulty in
supporting herself, by giving lessons, in the course of two or
three years. Of all the family, Charlie was the one that caused
his friends the most anxiety. He was a fine, spirited,
intelligent boy; and Uncle Josie had promised to procure a
situation for him, with his son-in-law, a commission-merchant and
auctioneer, in New York. This plan was very pleasing to Mrs.
Hubbard and Miss Patsey; but, unfortunately, Charlie seemed to
have no taste for making money, and a fondness for pictures and
pencils, that amounted almost to a passion. Here was an
unexpected obstacle; Charlie was the pet and spoiled child of the
family. All the rest of the young people had been quite satisfied
with the different means of support that had offered for each;
and they had followed their respective careers with so much quiet
good sense, that Charlie's remonstrances against the
counting-house, and his strong fancy for an artist's life, was
something quite new, and which Miss Patsey scarcely knew how to
answer. There was nothing in the least poetical or romantic about
Patsey Hubbard, who was all honest kindness and straight-forward
common sense. She had no feeling whatever for the fine arts;
never read a work of imagination; scarcely knew one tune from
another; and had never looked with pleasure at any picture, but
one, a portrait of her own respected father, which still occupied
the place of honour in their little parlour, nearly covering one
side of the wall. This painting, to speak frankly, was anything
but a valuable work of art, or a good likeness of the worthy
minister. The face was flat and unmeaning, entirely devoid of
expression or relief; the body was stiff and hard, like
sheet-iron, having, also, much the color of that material, so far
as it was covered by the black ministerial coat. One arm was
stretched across a table, conspicuous from a carrot-coloured
cloth, and the hand was extended over a pile of folios; but it
looked quite unequal to the task of opening them. The other arm
was disposed of in some manner satisfactory to the artist, no
doubt, but by no means easy for the spectator to discover, since
the brick-coloured drapery which formed the back-ground to the
whole, certainly encroached on the side where nature had placed
it. Such as it was, however, Miss Patsey admired this painting
more than any she had ever seen, and its gilt frame was always
carefully covered with green gauze, no longer necessary to
preserve the gilding, but rather to conceal its blackened lustre;
but Charlie's sister belonged to that class of amateurs who
consider the frame as an integral part of the work of art. It
was, perhaps, the most promising fact regarding any future hopes
of young Hubbard's, as an artist, that this same portrait was far
from satisfying his taste, uncultivated as it was. Charlie was,
for a long time, so much ashamed of his passion for drawing, that
he carefully concealed the little bits of paper on which he made
his sketches, as well as the few old, coarse engravings he had
picked up to copy. But, one day, Miss Patsey accidentally
discovered these treasures between the leaves of a number of the
Longbridge Freeman, carefully stowed away in an old chest of
drawers in the little garret-room where Charlie slept. She found
there a head of Washington; one of Dr. Blair; a view of Boston;
and an old French print called L'Ete, representing a shepherdess
making hay in high-heeled shoes and a hoop; there were copies of
these on bits of paper of all sizes, done with the pen or
lead-pencil; and lastly, a number of odd-looking sketches of
Charlie's own invention. The sight of these labours of art, was
far from giving Miss Patsey pleasure, although it accounted for
the surprising disappearance of her writing-paper, and the
extraordinary clipping, she had remarked, of late, on all notes
and letters that were left lying about, from which every scrap of
white paper was sure to be cut off. She spoke to Charlie on the
subject, and, of course, he had to confess. But he did not
reform; on the contrary, matters soon grew worse, for he began to
neglect his studies. It happened that he passed the whole summer
at home, as the school where his brother had been assistant, and
he himself a pupil, was broken up. At last, Miss Patsey talked to
him so seriously, about wasting time on trifles, that Charlie,
who was a sensible, warm-hearted boy, and well aware of the
exertions his sister had made for him, promised amendment, and
actually burnt all his own sketches, though the precious
engravings were still preserved. This improvement only lasted a
while, however, when he again took to drawing. This time he
resolutely respected Miss Patsey's paper, but that only made
matters worse, for he became more ambitious; he began to sketch
from nature; and, having a special fancy for landscape, he used
to carry his slate and arithmetic into the fields; and, instead
of becoming more expert in compound interest, he would sit for
hours composing pictures, and attempting every possible variety
in the views of the same little mill-pond, within a short
distance of the house. He soon became quite expert in the
management of his slate and pencil, and showed a good deal of
ingenuity in rubbing in and out the white shading on the black
ground, something in the manner of a stump-drawing; but, of
course, these sketches all disappeared before Charlie went to
take his regular lesson in book-keeping, from the neighbour who
had promised to keep him in practice until the winter, when he
was to enter the counting-house.

{"Dr. Blair" = possibly Robert Blair (Scottish poet, 1699-1747),
author of "The Grave"; or James Blair (1656-1743), founder of the
College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. "L'Ete" =
summertime (French); "stump drawing" = probably from "stump", a
pencil-like drawing implement of rolled paper or of rubber, used
to smooth or rub in dark lines}

At last, however, Charlie determined to have an explanation with
his mother and sister; he made a clean breast as to the misdoings
on the slate, and boldly coming to the point, suggested the
possibility of his being able to support himself, one day, as an
artist, instead of a commission merchant. Poor Miss Patsey, this
was a sad blow to her! It had been her cherished ambition to see
Charlie an upright, prosperous merchant; and now that his
prospects were brightening, and a situation was provided for him,
that he should be only a painter! She had a very low opinion of
artists, as a class, and she would almost as soon have expected
Charlie to become a play-actor, or a circus-rider. When the boy
found that both Uncle Josie and Uncle Dozie thought his idea a
very foolish one, that Miss Patsey was very much distressed, and
Mrs. Hubbard could not be made to comprehend the difference
between an artist and a house-painter, he again abandoned his own
cherished plans, and resumed his commercial studies.
Unfortunately, one day, Elinor was choosing a book as a present
for her old play-fellow, at a bookstore in Philadelphia, when she
laid her hand on the Lives of the Painters. These volumes finally
upset Charlie's philosophy; he immediately set to work to
convince Miss Patsey and Uncle Josie, by extracts from the
different lives, that it was very possible to be a good and
respectable man, and not only support himself, but make a
fortune, as an artist. Of course, he took care to skip over all
unpleasant points, and bad examples; but when he came to anything
creditable, he made a note of it--and, one day, pursued Miss
Patsey into the cellar, to read to her the fact that Reubens had
been an ambassador.

{"Reubens" = Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), famous Flemish
painter, who served as a diplomat in Spain from 1626-30}

Miss Patsey confided her anxieties to Mr. Wyllys, who was already
aware of Charlie's propensities, and, indeed, thought them
promising. He advised Mrs. Hubbard and Patsey, not to oppose the
boy's wishes so strongly, but to give him an opportunity of
trying what he really could do; and as the expense was a very
important consideration with the Hubbards, he made Charlie a
present of a palette and colours, and kindly took him, one day,
to Philadelphia, to see Mr. S-----, who gave him some advice as
to the way in which he should go to work. This assistance Charlie
received, upon condition that he should also, at the same time,
continue his other studies; and in case any two artists that his
friend might consult, should declare, on seeing his work, that he
did not show talent enough to promise reasonable success, he was,
from that time, to devote himself to business. For a while,
Charlie was a great deal happier than a king. He immediately
began a view of his beloved little mill-pond, and then attempted
one of a small sheet of water in the neighbourhood, called
Chewattan Lake. These, after having been touched and re-touched,
he carried, with a portfolio of drawings, to New York, and with a
fluttering heart and trembling hands laid them before two
distinguished artists, Mr. C----- and Mr. I-----, to whom Mr.
Wyllys had given him letters. The decision of these gentlemen was
not discouraging, upon the whole; but they found that he had set
out wrong in the arrangement of his colours, and having corrected
the mistake, they proposed his painting another piece in oils, to
determine whether the faults in the first were the result of
ignorance, or of a false eye for colour; for on this point his
judges disagreed. It must be confessed that Charlie's clouds
might give some idea of such vapours as they may exist in the
moon; but certainly the tints the youth had given them were very
remarkable for an earthly atmosphere.

It was upon this last picture--another view of Chewattan
Lake--that Charles was engaged, heart and soul, when the Wyllyses
returned home. One afternoon, Mr. Wyllys proposed to Miss Agnes
and Elinor, to walk over and call upon Miss Patsey, and see what
their young friend had done.

"Here we are, Charlie, my lad; you promised us a look at your
work this week, you know;" said Mr. Wyllys, as he walked into the
neat little door-yard before the Hubbards' house, accompanied by
the ladies.

Charlie was at work in the vegetable garden adjoining the
door-yard, weeding the radishes.

"Everything looks in very good order here, Charles," observed
Miss Wyllys. "You have not given up the garden, I see, although
you have so much to do now."

"Your beds and your flowers look as neat as possible," said
Elinor; "just as usual. You don't seem to have gone far enough in
your career to have learned that, un beau desordre is the effect
of art," she added, smiling.

{"un beau desordre" = a pleasing lack of order (French)}

"No, indeed; it is to be hoped I never shall, for that would
throw my mother and sister into despair, at once!"

Miss Patsey, who had heard the voices of the party, now came from
the little kitchen, where she had been baking, to receive her
friends.

"Elinor has just remarked that things do not look as if you had
an artist in the house; everything is neat as wax," said Mr.
Wyllys, stepping into the little parlour.

Miss Patsey was beginning to resign herself to hearing Charlie
called an artist, although the word had still an unpleasant sound
to her ear.

"Charles is very good," she replied, "about keeping his things in
their place; he does not make much litter."

After some inquiries about Mrs. Hubbard--who, it seems, was
taking her afternoon nap--Mr. Wyllys asked to see Charlie's work.

"You must let us look at it, Charles," said Miss Agnes; "we have
been waiting, you know, quite impatiently for the last week."

"If we must go up to your STUDIO for it, we'll rest awhile
first," said Mr. Wyllys taking a seat.

"You mortify me, sir," said Charlie, "by using such great words
about my little doings, even in pleasantry. I am half afraid to
show my work; but I will bring it down."

"I hope we shall find some improvement--that is all we can expect
at present, my boy. We don't look for a Claude yet."

{"Claude" = Claude Lorrain (1600-1662), French painter famous for
his landscapes, who was an important influence on the American
Hudson River School}

Charlie blushed, in the excess of his modesty.

"Pray, bring all your sketches, too," said Elinor. "Mary wrote me
you were drawing all winter; you must have a great deal that we
have not seen."

"They are certainly not worth looking at; but such as they are,
you shall see them."

"And don't forget the Arithmetic, too," said Mr. Wyllys, smiling;
"we had better look a little into Compound Interest, of course."

Charlie looked as if that were rather a sore subject, as he left
the room.

While he was gone, a carriage stopped at the little gate. It
proved to be the Taylors; and Mr. Taylor, with his wife, and a
couple of children, walked in. After a general salutation had
been exchanged, and two additional chairs had been brought from a
bed-room, to accommodate such an unusual number of visiters, Mr.
Taylor turned to Miss Patsey, and observed, in a jocular way:

"It is not etiquette, I believe, to call twice in the same day;
but I hope you will excuse us; for on this occasion, Mrs. Taylor
has come to transact a little business."

"As you seem to be engaged, Miss Hubbard, we will put it off
until another time," said Mrs. Taylor.
"
"Just as you please," replied Miss Patsey. "I am always glad to
see my friends."

Mr. Taylor, however, liked quick measures, and never postponed
business if he could help it.

"We came to see you, this afternoon, about our two youngest
children; if you can conveniently take them into your school, it
would suit us very well."

Charlie, at that moment, returned with his picture in one hand,
and a portfolio in the other. He was rather sorry to find the
Taylors there, for he was far from admiring the gentleman. Mr.
Wyllys was really anxious to see the piece, and asked to look at
it at once. The canvass was placed near a window, in the proper
light, and the covering removed. The Wyllyses were immediately
struck with Charlie's rapid improvement; there was indeed, no
comparison between the young man's first attempts at the art, and
this last piece. His friends all congratulated him on his
success, and Charlie was delighted.

"This settles the question, I think, Miss Patsey," said Mr.
Wyllys.

"I suppose so," said Miss Patsey, with a shake of the head, and a
smile. "I think I can see myself that this picture looks more
natural than the first."

"Quite a tasty painting," said Mr. Taylor, stepping up with a
decided air towards the canvass. "I should conclude, however,
that you would find portRATES a more advantageous business."

"I like landscapes best, sir," replied the youth; and turning to
Mr. Wyllys, he added: "Mr. S----- advised me to please myself as
to the subjects I worked upon."

"Certainly," answered Mr. Wyllys; "and you seem to prefer my
mill-pond, Charlie, to the human face divine."

"But, here are sketches of faces," said Elinor, looking over the
portfolio; "very good, too;--this is excellent--grandpapa, do you
know yourself? and Miss Patsey--very good--Aunt Agnes, too! Why,
Charles, you must have drawn all these from memory."

The sketches Elinor was looking at, were roughly done in ink or
lead-pencil; but were generally good likenesses. Mr. Wyllys took
up one, that had not yet been observed by the rest of the party;
he smiled, and passed it to his granddaughter. Elinor coloured,
and her heart beat as she looked at it, for it was a sketch of
Harry. Mr. Taylor was standing behind her, and recognised it
immediately.

"That is Mr. Hazlehurst, if I am not mistaken; and a very good
likeness, Miss Wyllys."

"I suppose, your son and Harry have met, in Paris, Mr. Taylor,"
said Miss Agnes, by way of turning his attention from Elinor.

"Yes, madam, Thomas mentions having had some intercourse with Mr.
Hazlehurst, and observes, that he sees him, almost every day, in
the TULLYREES; which, Thomas says, is the RENDY-VUSS of the
fashionable world, in Paris."

"Will your son return home soon?"

"Why, no; I think not. He went for six months; but he calculates,
now, to stay some time longer. I am told, Mr. Hazlehurst will not
return until next year;--they might make the European TOWER
together. But Thomas seems to like the CAFFIES and the
BULLY-VARDS of Paris, too much to move from that city."

Elinor was going to take another sketch from the table, when
Charlie quickly passed his hand between Mr. Taylor and herself,
and drew the paper away.

"I beg your pardon--but it is a wretched thing; I did not know it
was there," said the youth, hastily.

"Pray, let me look at it," said Elinor, "for, I thought, I
recognised a friend."

"You must not see it, indeed, Miss Elinor; I dare say, you took
it for anybody but the right person;" said Charlie, a good deal
embarrassed, and hurriedly handing Elinor something else to look
at.

She was surprised at his nervous manner, but said nothing more.

"I honestly think, Charlie," said Mr. Wyllys, who had been
examining the landscape, that Mr. C-----, and Mr. I-----, will
tell you to persevere, after this. There is something about the
water, in your picture, that strikes me as unusually good."

"I am very glad to hear you say so; for there is nothing I like
to paint so much as water. I took great pains with that part of
my piece; but it does not satisfy me yet."

"Do you intend to make use of water-colours altogether, in your
paintings?" asked Mr. Taylor.

Charlie looked puzzled, and the merchant repeated his question.

"I should think, you would find water-colours cheaper; but oils
must be more durable. Which are most generally in use among
painters?"

Charlie, understanding the point, at last, explained that
water-colours, and oils, were two entirely distinct branches of
the art.

"Which is your picture, there, done in?"

"I am learning to paint in oils, sir."

"And that porTRATE, overhead, which is your father, I presume; is
that in oils, too?"

"Yes, sir.--There are very few pictures, of that size, in
water-colours, I believe. Here is a miniature, in water-colours,
which Mrs. Van Horne lent me; I am taking a large picture, in
oils, from it."

Mr. Taylor examined the miniature. "It has puzzled me
considerably," he observed, "to know how painters could change
the size of an object, and be correct, without measuring it off
in feet and inches; but, I suppose, that is what you term
perspective."

One is sometimes surprised by the excessive ignorance, on all
matters concerning the fine arts, betrayed in this country, by
men of some education; very clever, in their way, and quite equal
to making a speech or a fortune, any day. In Europe, just
notions, on such matters, are much more widely spread. But, after
all, such a state of things is perfectly natural; we have
hitherto had no means of cultivating the general taste, in
America, having few galleries or even single works of art, open
to the public. With the means, it is probable, that as we grow
older, we shall improve, in this respect. That there is talent,
ay, genius, in the country, sufficient to produce noble works of
art, has been already proved. Nor can it be doubted, that there
is latent feeling, and taste enough, among the people, to
appreciate them, if it were called forth by cultivation. It is
only a brutal and sluggish nation, who cannot be made to feel, as
well as think. The cultivation necessary, however, is not that
which consists in forcing the whole body of the people to become
conceited smatterers; but that which provides a full supply of
models for mediocrity to copy, and for talent to rival. It is
evident, that common sense requires us to pursue one of two
courses; either to give true talent, in every field--in
literature, in music, painting, sculpture, architecture--some
share of the honourable encouragement which is its due, or else
honestly to resign all claim to national merit, in these branches
of civilization; leaving the honour to the individual. As neither
the government, nor men singly, can do much toward encouraging
the arts, this would seem to be the very field in which societies
might hope to produce great results. Would it not be a good
innovation, if those who often unite to present some public
testimonial of respect to an individual, should select, instead
of the piece of plate, usual on such occasions, a picture or work
of sculpture? Either, it is to be supposed, if respectable in its
way, would be a more agreeable offering, to a person of
education, than gold or silver in the shape most modern workmen
give them. Under such circumstances, who would not prefer a
picture by Cole or Wier {sic}, a statue like Greenough's Medora,
Power's Eve, or Crawford's Orpheus, to all the silver salvers in
New York? Who would not prefer even a copy from some fine bust or
head of antiquity, from some celebrated cabinet picture, to the
best medal that has yet been struck in this country?

{"Cole" = Thomas Cole (1801-1848), American painter and founder
of the so-called Hudson River School of landscape painting;
"Wier" = Robert Weir (1803-1889), another American landscape
painter; "Greenough" = Horatio Greenough (1805-1852), American
sculptor, and a close friend of Susan Fenimore Cooper's father;
"Power" = Hiram Powers (1805-1873), another famous American
sculptor; "Crawford" = Thomas Crawford (1813-1857), another
American sculptor, whose statue of Orpheus was purchased by the
Boston Athenaeum; "cabinet picture" = picture exhibited in a
gallery or museum} 

Thoughts like these were passing through Mr. Wyllys's mind, as he
sat looking at Charlie's picture. Mrs. Taylor had, in the mean
time, been making arrangements for her younger children to enter
Miss Patsey's school for the summer. Mr. Taylor having joined the
ladies, something was heard about 'terms,' and the affair
appeared settled. Miss Agnes having mentioned to Mrs. Taylor that
she had intended calling on her, but would now postpone it until
another day, she was so strongly urged to accompany them home,
that she consented to do so, aware that the visit should have
been paid some time before. Accordingly, they all left the
Hubbards together.

It was not often that Miss Patsey's little parlour was so full,
and so much littered, as it had been that afternoon; it generally
looked crowded, if it contained two or three persons besides the
minister's portrait, and was thought out of order, if the large
rocking-chair, or the clumsy, old-fashioned tea-table did not
stand in the very positions they had occupied for the last twelve
years.

Very different was the aspect of things at Mr. Taylor's. Not that
the rooms were imposing, in size, but the elegance of the
furniture was so very striking. Of course, there were two
drawing-rooms, with folding-doors and Brussels carpets; while
everything corresponded to a fashionable model. Mrs. Taylor, good
soul, cared very little for these vanities of life. The
window-blinds, in her two drawing-rooms, were never opened,
except for some occasional morning visiter or evening tea-party;
she herself used what she called the 'living room,' where she
could have her younger children about her, and darn as many
stockings as she chose. The drawing-rooms were opened, however,
for the Wyllyses, who were urged to stay to tea. Miss Agnes
declined the invitation, though Mr. Wyllys and herself remained
long enough to look at the plan of a new house, which Mr. Taylor
was to build shortly; it was to be something quite grand, far
surpassing anything of the kind in the neighbourhood, for Mr.
Taylor had made a mint of money during the past winter.



CHAPTER VI.

"What say'st thou? Wilt thou go along?"
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "3 Henry VI", IV.v.25}

JANE GRAHAM joined Elinor at Wyllys-Roof, after having made her
parting curtsey to Mrs. G-----. Her parents lived at Charleston;
but as her constitution was delicate, and required a more bracing
air than that of Carolina, Jane had been more than once, for a
twelvemonth at a time, entirely under Miss Wyllys's charge, and
was seldom absent from Longbridge for more than a few months
together. It was now settled that she was to remain with Elinor
until the autumn, when her parents, who were coming north for a
couple of months, were to carry her back to Charleston. Miss
Adeline Taylor, of course, found it impossible to remain longer
at school, when Jane, her bosom-friend, had left it. She, too,
returned to her family in the country, prepared to enliven the
neighbourhood to the best of her ability. The intimacy between
these two young ladies was only riveted more closely by the
necessity of living under different roofs; Adeline, indeed,
protested that she found the separation so distressing, that she
thought it would be an excellent plan, to divide the winter
together, between Charleston and New York; Jane to pass the first
three months with her, and she, in her turn, to accompany her
friend to Charleston, later in the season. But Jane thought her
mother would now wish to have her return home as soon as
possible, as it was already nearly a year since she had seen her
family. This affair, however, was not quite decided; Adeline
declaring that she could not bear to give up the idea, hinting
that there were all-important reasons for their remaining
together during the next winter.

Elinor often wondered that her cousin should find so much
pleasure in this intimacy with Miss Taylor, whom she was far from
liking herself; and she could not help thinking that Adeline was
more persevering in pursuit of Jane, than was agreeable. The
dislikes of young girls of seventeen are seldom violent, however,
whatever their likings may be. She made the best of it, and the
three girls were often together.

One evening, when they had been drinking tea at Mrs. Taylor's,
Elinor was much struck with a change in Jane's manner, which she
had already observed several times of late, when they had been in
society together. As they were coming home, and alone together in
the carriage, she spoke to her cousin on the subject.

"How gay you were to-night, Jane! I never saw you in better
spirits."

"Was I? Well, I'm very tired now; it is almost too much for me,
Elinor, to be so lively."

"Was it an effort? Did you not feel well?" inquired Elinor.

"I felt very well, indeed, before we went; but it tires me so to
be animated."

"If it fatigues you to go out, my dear Jane, we had better stay
at home next time we are asked; but I thought you wished to go
this evening."

"So I did. It does not tire me at all to go out; there is nothing
I like so much as going to parties. If one could only do as they
pleased--just sit still, and look on; not laughing and talking
all the time, it would be delightful."

"That is what I have often done at parties," said Elinor,
smiling; "and not from choice either, but from necessity."

"Do you really think that a person who is engaged ought not to
talk?"

"No, indeed;" said Elinor, colouring a little, as she laughed at
the inquiry. "I meant to say, that I had often sat still, without
talking, at parties, because no one took the trouble to come and
speak to me. Not here, at home, where everybody knows me, but at
large parties in town, last winter."

"Oh, but you never cared about being a belle. Adeline says
everybody knows you are engaged, and it is no matter what you do
or say. But Adeline says, to be a belle, you must laugh and talk
all the time, whether you feel like it or not; and she thinks you
need not be particular what you talk about, only you must be all
the time lively. The young men won't dance with you, or hand you
in to supper, unless you entertain them. Adeline says she is too
high-spirited to sit by, moping; and so am I, too, I'm sure!"

"But Jane, you are so very pretty, there is no danger of your
being overlooked."

"No, indeed, you are mistaken," said Jane, with perfect naivete.
"I was at two or three small parties, you know, in New York,
while I was staying with Mrs. Stanley, this spring; well, I
missed more than half the quadrilles, while those fat Miss
Grants, and the Howard girls, were dancing all the evening.
Adeline says it is all because I was not lively. They don't think
anything of you unless you are all the time talking, and
laughing, and moving about; and it does tire me so--I'm almost
sick of it already. I'm sure I shall never be able to be lively
at Charleston, in warm weather. I shan't be a belle, Elinor, I'm
afraid!" said the young beauty, with something like a sigh.

"Poor Jane!" said Elinor, laughing, though she really felt
provoked with Adeline for giving her cousin such notions; Jane
looked half worn-out with the evening's exertions. "And I
believed, all the time, that you were in such good spirits!
Charlie and I were looking at you with surprise; we thought Mr.
Van Horne, and John Bernard must be telling you something very
amusing, you were laughing and talking so much."

"No, indeed; it was I, who was trying to amuse the gentlemen."

But Jane was not destined to try the effect of the Charleston
climate upon the energies of a belle. Her parents arrived in New
York, where she met them. She found letters there from her
sister, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, to her mother and herself,
strongly urging the propriety of Jane joining their party, for
the last year of their European visit. Mrs. Hazlehurst thought
travelling would be of great service to her sister, in every
respect; it would, probably, restore her health entirety; in
Paris she would take lessons from the best masters, if she wished
it--besides enjoying the advantages of seeing the Old World; at
the same time that, in her sister's family, she would be as well
taken care of, as if at her father's house, or at Wyllys-Roof. It
was an opportunity which might not occur again, and Mrs.
Hazlehurst wrote so urgently, that her parents consented to the
arrangement, provided Jane, herself, liked the idea. An old
friend of the family, Mrs. Howard, was to sail next month for
France, and would willingly take charge of Mrs. Graham's daughter
during the voyage: everything was settled, it only remained for
Jane, herself, to decide. She was far less anxious, however, to
see the wonders of Europe, than many other young persons would
have been. Elinor congratulated her warmly upon her good fortune,
and dwelt upon the pleasure she would, no doubt, enjoy; still,
Jane appeared rather indifferent to the plan, and it would
probably have been abandoned, had it not been for two
circumstances. Her father thought the voyage and change of air
might have a happy effect on her health, and improve it
permanently; and, at the same time, Miss Adeline Taylor threw the
whole weight of her influence into the scales; she had a long
private interview with Jane, which seemed to decide the matter.
The arrangements were made, and the first of September, Jane,
accompanied by her parents, Miss Agnes, and Elinor, went on board
the Havre packet, and was placed under the care of Mr. and Mrs.
Howard. Though the separation took place under such happy
auspices, there were some tears shed, of course. Elinor felt
quite sad at parting from her young friend, to whom she was
warmly attached; but time and tide soon separated the cousins,
and the last farewell, and waving of handkerchiefs, were
exchanged.

{"Havre packet" = scheduled passenger ship to Le Havre, the
principal Atlantic port of arrival in France}

Elinor had placed in Jane's hands a small package, and a letter,
for Harry. The last we do not think ourselves privileged to open;
but the little box we know to have contained a purse of her own
knitting, and a lock of hair, which was sent at the special
request of Harry, as he intended to have it placed in a ring by a
Paris jeweller. Jane's baggage contained, moreover, in addition
to her own paraphernalia, several articles that one would not
expect to find among a young lady's trunks and hat-boxes. She,
carried with her a barrel of buckwheat, a keg of cranberries, and
a couple of jars of ginger-dainties for which, it appeared, some
American friends of the Hazlehursts had sighed, even amid all the
delicacies of Paris.

In a few weeks, the family at Wyllys-Roof had the pleasure of
hearing of Jane's safe arrival in Paris. The good news came
through Harry, and we shall give his letter, since it was the
last Elinor received from him in some months.

"Place Vendome, October, 18--.

"MY DEAREST ELINOR:--

"You will be glad to hear that Jane passed the barriers, this
morning, with the Howards. She has just finished a letter to Mrs.
Graham; and, as she dislikes writing so much, has given me leave
to announce her arrival to all at Wyllys-Roof. As Jane enters
Paris on one side, I leave it in the opposite direction, for, the
day after to-morrow, I am off for Constantinople; a movement
which will, no doubt, astonish you, though, I am sure, you will
wish me joy of such pleasant prospects. This letter will probably
be the last you will hear of me, for some time; not but what I
shall write as usual, but these long overland mails, through
countries where they suspect revolution or plague, in every
letter, often fail to do their duty. In fact, I delayed my
journey a week or two, expressly to see Jane, and have a good
supply of Longbridge news before setting out. Everybody tells me,
I must expect to lose more than half my letters, both ways. This
is bad enough, to be sure; but a journey to Greece and
Constantinople, would be too full of delights, without some
serious drawback. I believe Jane is more tired by answering our
questions, and hearing what we have to tell her, than by her
voyage. I cannot help wishing, my dear Elinor, that it were you
who had arrived in Paris, instead of our pretty little cousin.
How I should delight in showing you my favourite view, the quais
and the island, from the Pont Royal--the Louvre, too, and the
Madeleine. As for Jane, she will, doubtless, find her chief
pleasures at Delilles', and the Tuileries--buying finery, and
showing it off: it has often puzzled me to find out which some
ladies most enjoy.

{"barriers" = gateways leading into Paris, where travellers'
papers were examined}

"We are to be a party of four of us, on our eastern expedition.
In the first place, Ellsworth, whom you may have seen; a very
clever fellow, and brother-in-law to poor Creighton. By-the-bye,
Mrs. Creighton is still here, and has been living, very quietly,
with her brother, since her husband's death; she is now going to
the Howards, who are her connexions, I believe; so says Louisa,
at least. Ellsworth, you know, poor fellow, lost his wife about a
year ago; he has left his little girl with her mother's friends,
and has come abroad for a year or two. Having been in Europe
before, he was very glad to make one, in our party to the East,
where he has not yet been. I mention him first, for he is the
most agreeable of our set. There is not much to be said on the
chapter of young Brown; and, I must confess, that I don't quite
agree with Col. Stryker, in the very good opinion he evidently
entertains of himself. By-the-bye, American Colonels are as
plenty, now-a-days, as the 'Marquis' used to be, at Versailles,
in the time of the Grand Louis. Some simple European folk,
actually believe that each of these gentry has his
regiment-----in the garrison of 'Nieu Yorck,' I suppose; it would
puzzle them, to find the army, if they were to cross the
Atlantic; I don't remember to have seen one of Uncle Sam's
soldiers for five years before I left home.

{"Grand Louis" = French King Louis XIV (1638-1715), known as
"Louis the Great"}

"Many thanks, dearest Elinor, for the contents of your box; you
cannot doubt but they will accompany your preux chevalier on his
pilgrimage. This Eastern movement has been such a sudden one,
that I have still a thousand things to do, which will oblige me
to make my letter shorter than I wish. Ellsworth is waiting for
me, at this moment. We expect to be gone six, or, possibly, eight
months. I shall write again from Marseilles; and, I hope, the
letter from thence will reach you. Pull Bruno's ears for me, and
don't let him forget his master; which will be one way, my dear,
kind, Elinor, of obliging you to remember that individual also.
Best respects to Mr. Wyllys and Aunt Agnes, with much love for
yourself, dearest Elinor, from

Your affectionate, present and FUTUR,

H. H.

P. S.--Many remembrances for Mrs. Stanley, if she is with you; I
wrote to her last month."

{"preux chevalier" = valiant knight; "FUTUR" = future (French)}



CHAPTER VII.

"What tidings send our scouts? I pr'ythee, speak."
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "1 Henry VI", V.ii.10}

ABOUT the middle of the following March, the season, by courtesy
called spring, but when winter sometimes reigns de facto, in the
neighbourhood to which Wyllys-Roof belonged, Mr. Wyllys proposed,
one morning, to drive his granddaughter to Longbridge, with the
double object, of making the most of a late fall of snow, and
procuring the mail an hour earlier than usual.

The light cutter slipped through a track in which there was quite
as much mud as snow, and, it seemed, as if most people preferred
staying at home, to moving over roads in that half-and-half
condition: they met no one they knew, excepting Dr. Van Horne.

"I was sure you would be out this morning, Mr. Wyllys," cried the
Doctor, as they met, "your sleigh is always the first and the
last on the road."

"You generally keep me company, I find, doctor. I am going for
the mail. How far have you been, this morning?"

"To Longbridge, sir; but, with this sun, the snow will hardly
carry you there and home again; and yet, I dare say, you will
find something worth having, in the mail, for I saw letters in
your box; and there is a French packet in."

"Indeed! We'll make the best of our way, then, at once;" and,
wishing the doctor good morning, Mr. Wyllys drove off. "We shall
have letters from Paris, I hope, Nelly," said her grandfather.

"Certainly, I hope so," replied Elinor; "Jane's last letter was
shamefully short. I had half a mind not to answer it; and so I
told her; but my scolding has not had time to reach her yet."

"Jenny is no great letter-writer; and she is very busy enjoying
her year in Paris, I suppose. But I shall be glad to have a sight
of Harry's handwriting again. Where was it he wrote from last, in
December?"

"From Beyroot {sic}, sir. He was to be in Paris early in the
spring."

"Well, I hope we shall hear something from him to-day. Before
long, I suppose, we shall have the young gentleman at
Wyllys-Roof, trying to persuade you that he wants your help in
reading Blackstone. But, don't believe him, Nelly; I shan't give
you up for a year to come."

{"Blackstone" = Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), British
jurist whose "Commentaries on the Laws of England" was the
principal text for aspiring young lawyers}

"There is time enough to think of all that," said Elinor,
blushing a little.

"Yes, time enough! and we can judge what sort of a lawyer he will
make, by the way in which he handles the subject. As it is a bad
cause, he ought to find a great deal to say on the occasion.
Suppose he manages the matter so well, as to bring your aunt and
myself over to his side, what would you say?"

"I can only say now, grandpapa, that I cannot bear to think of
the time when I shall have to leave Aunt Agnes and yourself,"
replied Elinor, with feeling. "Pray, don't let us talk about it
yet; I shall be very well satisfied with things as they are, for
a long time to come."

"Well, you may be satisfied to have Harry in Egypt; but I should
like to see him here, once in a while. When is it they are to be
home?"

"The last of the summer, sir. They sail in August, that Louisa
may see Mrs. Graham before she goes south."

"You have had a different sort of a winter, my child, from Harry
and Jane."

"It has been a pleasant winter to me, and to all three, I hope."

"Yes; Jenny has had all the gaiety--Harry all the adventure--and
you, all the sobriety. But it was your own wish, my dear, that
has kept us in the country, this winter."

The last six months had, indeed, passed very differently to the
young people. Jane had been dancing away her evenings on the
parquets of Paris; and dividing her mornings between walks to the
Tuileries, drives to the Bois de Boulogne, and visits to the
shops. As for the lessons which had, at one time, entered into
the plan, they had never been even commenced. Jane was too
indolent to take pleasure in anything of the kind; and her
companions, the daughters of Mrs. Howard, led her into so much
gaiety, that she really seemed to have little time for anything
else. Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst thought, indeed, that her sister was
quite too dissipated; still, Jane seemed to enjoy it so much, she
looked so well and happy, and Mrs. Howard was such an obliging
chaperon, that the same course was pursued, week after week;
although Mrs. Hazlehurst, herself, who had an infant a few weeks
old, seldom accompanied her.

Elinor, in the mean time, was passing the quietest of country
lives at Wyllys-Roof, where the family remained all winter. Even
the letters, which the previous year had given her so much
pleasure, had been wanting during the past season. Jane never
wrote oftener than was absolutely necessary; and only two of
Hurry's letters reached their destination. There was a package
from Europe, however, in the Longbridge Post-Office, on the
morning of the sleigh-drive we have alluded to. It contained a
long letter from Harry, written at Smyrna, announcing that he
hoped to be in Paris some time in March; and one from Mrs.
Hazlehurst, informing her friends of their plans for the
summer--including an excursion to Switzerland--after which they
were to return home late in August.

The very day Elinor received these letters, Harry returned to
Paris. After pitching his tent among Grecian ruins, and riding on
camels over the sands of Egypt and Syria, he had returned to
France through Turkey and Austria; thinking himself a very lucky
fellow to have seen so much of what the world contains, worth
seeing.

He found his brother entirely recovered, as well as he had been
before the accident which had injured him. He was called upon to
admire the little niece born during his absence; she was a sweet
little baby, and Mrs. Hazlehurst had named her Elinor, after her
future sister-in-law--a kind attention for which Harry was much
obliged to her, and which, he declared, would make the child a
favourite with him.

Jane was there, of course, and glad to see Harry, of course.
Hazlehurst had scarcely taken possession of a comfortable
fauteuil in his brother's drawing-room, before the thought
occurred to him, that all the party looked much as usual,
excepting Jane. During the first evening, he became convinced
that she was certainly altered by the air of Paris. How very much
she had improved in appearance and manner! He had never before
thought her so very beautiful as many others had done--but he
must now retract all he had ever said on the subject. He supposed
the good taste with which she was dressed must have some effect;
but it seemed as if her beauty were now in its perfection. When
he last saw her, there was something almost childish in her
appearance and expression, which she had now lost entirely. He
was struck with the air of finish about her whole person, from
the rich glossy lustre on her dark hair, to the pearly tint of
her complexion. She was, indeed, a beautiful creature. What a
sensation such a face must create among the enthusiastic
Parisians! Then, she must have more feeling than he had given her
credit for; she had received him quite kindly, and seemed really
glad to see him again.

{"fauteuil" = armchair (French)}

Daily observation, while living under the same roof, only
confirmed Harry in this new opinion of Jane. He began to admire
the languid grace of her movements; and he discovered that it is
very possible to have too much warmth of manner, and that some
women certainly fatigue one by their animation. He must tell the
family at Wyllys-Roof how much Jane had improved. He found he was
not mistaken in supposing that she must produce an impression
wherever she was seen. Whether they were walking in the Tuileries
of a morning, or went into society in the evening, the effect was
always the same; he saw her everywhere followed by very evident
and open admiration. And no wonder; her beauty threw a charm over
all her actions: it was even a pleasure to accompany her in
shopping excursions--which he used to look upon as the greatest
tax that a lady could impose upon his gallantry; but then, few
persons looked so beautiful as Jane, when selecting a muslin, or
trying on a hat. He soon became proud of a place at her side, and
much more vain of her beauty than she was herself.

"I must let them know at Longbridge," he thought, "what a
sensation Jane is making. She is, indeed, a beauty to be proud
of. I saw nothing like her in Greece. She does credit to the
country." Harry thought it patriotic to admire her, and to lose
no opportunity of enjoying the effect of her beauties among the
gay world of Paris. American patriotism, as we all know, often
takes singular shapes.

Jane and himself became more intimate, and on more friendly terms
than they had ever yet been. She seemed, indeed, to prefer him,
as a cavaliere servente, to any of her other admirers, American
or European. But that might easily be accounted for, on the score
of connexion. Of course, Harry was grateful for this preference,
and after a while he even began to look upon the excessive
devotion of one or two of her admirers, as impertinence on their
part.

{"cavaliere servente" = male escort (Italian)}

About this time--some weeks after his return--Hazlehurst gave
himself very much to the study of aesthetics. The beautiful, the
harmonious, alone attracted him; he could not endure anything
approaching to coarseness. He wandered up and down the galleries
of the Louvre, delighting more in the beautiful faces of the
Italian masters, in the Nymphs and Muses of the old Greeks, than
he had ever done before. He became quite a connoisseur. He had no
taste for the merely pretty; perfect beauty he admired with his
whole soul, but anything short of it was only to be tolerated. He
felt the fact, if he did not reason on the discovery, that beauty
in the very highest degree, carries with it--we do not say the
expression--but the stamp of dignity, and even of intelligence.
Such was the impression produced by Jane's perfectly classical
head and features. It was impossible, as you gazed upon her
smooth polished forehead, and noble dark eyes, to believe her
wanting in character, or intellect. Then, Harry remembered that
talent of the highest order bears a calm aspect; not frothy,
sparkling cleverness, which takes so well with the vulgar; not
wit, exactly; but that result of a well-balanced mind, in which
all the faculties harmonize so well, that they leave no one
particularly prominent. He had been much struck, lately, with
several remarks of Jane's--they showed a depth of observation, a
fund of good sense, which he had not formerly supposed her to
possess; but then, of old, he used to be unpardonably unjust to
Jane. She was certainly improved, too; her friends at Longbridge
would be gratified by the change.

This course of aesthetics gradually carried Harry so far, that
after a profound study of the subject in general, and of Jane's
features in particular, he became a convert to the opinion of the
German philosopher, who affirms that "The Beautiful is greater
than the Good." There have been disputes, we believe, on the
subject of this axiom, some critics giving it a deep mystical
sense, others, again, attempting to explain it in different ways.
Our friend Hazlehurst, though a pretty good German scholar,
seemed disposed to adopt the idea in its simplest interpretation.

{"German philosopher" = I have been unable to identify with
certainty the quotation, though the sentiment suggests Friedrich
Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775-1854)} 

Things were in this train, when the family set out for
Switzerland.



CHAPTER VI {sic}

{should be Chapter VIII}

"Her dress, and novels, visits, and success."
CRABBE.

{George Crabbe (English poet, 1754-1832), "Posthumous Tales: XV
Belinda Waters" line II.31}

LONGBRIDGE was quite a pleasant village, and surrounded by a
pretty country. Like most other American rural towns, it
received, in the warmest months, a large accession to its
population; for it seems to be a matter of course, that everybody
who is able to do so, runs away from brick walls in the months of
July and August, and selects some village in which to rusticate,
and set the fashions, enjoy the dust and the fire-flies, fresh
peaches, and home-made ice-cream.--Longbridge, in addition to the
usual advantages of pure air, and brown fields, in the month of
August, had something of a reputation as a place for bathing; and
its three taverns, and various boarding-houses, were generally
well filled with families from New York and Philadelphia, during
the very warm weather.

Among others, during the season to which we allude, the Grahams
were there, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Hazlehurst
party from Europe; for letters had been received, informing their
friends that they might be expected at any moment. The Wyllys
carriage was now seen at Longbridge every day, either at the
house where their relatives, the Grahams, had taken lodgings for
the season, or before the door of a neat little cottage, recently
purchased by Mr. Wyllys for the widow of his youngest son, Mrs.
George Wyllys. This lady, to whom the reader has been already
introduced, had been left, with four children, almost entirely
dependent on her father-in-law. Her character was somewhat of a
medley. She was a good-hearted woman, attached to her husband's
family, and always asking advice of her friends, particularly Mr.
Wyllys, and Miss Agnes, for whom she had a sincere respect. She
was pretty, lady-like, rather clever, and a pleasant companion to
persons not particularly interested in her welfare. On
indifferent topics she could converse with as much good sense as
the rest of the world; but her own affairs she mismanaged
terribly. All her other good qualities seemed unsettled by a
certain infusion of caprice, and jealousy of influence; and yet
she really meant well, and fancied herself a very prudent woman.
She thought she was capable of making any sacrifice for those she
loved, and therefore believed herself a model in all the
relations of life. As a mother, she had a system of education,
the theory of which was excellent; but there was little
consistency in its practice. As regards money-matters, she talked
and thought so much about economy, that she took it for granted
that she practised it. After having passed the first years of her
widowhood with her own family in Baltimore, she had lately become
convinced that her income was not sufficient to allow her living
in a large town, without running in debt. Mr. Wyllys was
unfortunately too well aware that his daughter-in-law's
difficulties were not the result of Baltimore prices, but of her
own mismanagement. Franklin advises his friends to "take care of
the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves:" but this
rule is by no means infallible. Perhaps there is no species of
extravagance more common, than that often practised by
well-disposed people, which consists of being "penny-wise,
pound-foolish;" they will save a hundred cents on as many
different occasions, and throw away twenty dollars on one object.
It happens that such persons often succeed in persuading
themselves that they are models of prudence, and self-denial.
Such was Mrs. George Wyllys's plan; and, unfortunately, she not
only brought trouble on herself, but was a constant source of
anxiety to her father-in-law, who endeavoured, in vain, to
counteract the evil; but every succeeding year brought a
repetition of the difficulties of the former.

{"Franklin" = Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), but the expression
is usually attributed to Lord Chesterfield (1674-1773); "penny
wise, pound foolish" = phrase originated by Robert Burton
(1577-1640)}

At present, Mrs. Wyllys was bent upon economy in a cottage, with
new furniture, purchased at a high price, at New York auctions;
and it was in vain to oppose her plan, so convinced was she, that
duty alone could have induced her to leave her own family and old
friends in Baltimore.

"We must make the best of it, Agnes," said Mr. Wyllys, "it will
be pleasant, at least, to have Harriet and her little people near
us--and we may be of use to the children."

Miss Agnes agreed to the first part of her father's remark, but
was far from feeling sanguine as to their being of any advantage
to the children. It was a part of Mrs. Wyllys's system, to
consult her friends far more frequently than was necessary, upon
the education of her family, at the same time that it also
entered into her plan to follow their advice very seldom indeed.

As for Elinor, she was very well pleased with her aunt's arrival
in the neighbourhood; of course, she was too young and
inexperienced to know the exact state of matters, and she was
attached to Mrs. Wyllys, and fond of her little cousins.

One afternoon, Mrs. Wyllys had persuaded Miss Agnes and Elinor to
drink tea with her, and not return home until the evening. The
ladies were sitting together, in Mrs. Wyllys's pleasant little
parlour, engaged with their needles, while the children were
playing under the windows, in the shady door-yard.

"Shall I put the bow on the right or left side, Elinor?" asked
Mrs. Wyllys, who was re-trimming a hat for one of her little
girls.

"It looks very well as you have it now, Aunt;" replied her niece.

"Perhaps it does; there is a stain, however, on the other side,
which must be covered," replied the lady, changing the bow. "This
riband was very cheap, Agnes," she added, showing it to her
sister-in-law. "Only twenty cents a yard. I bought the whole
piece, although I shall not want it until next spring."

"Quite cheap," said Miss Agnes, looking at the riband; "but I
don't know what you will do with so much of it."

"Oh, I shall find some use for it; in a large family, nothing
comes amiss."

A pretty, little girl, about eight years old, ran into the room,
and, skipping up to her mother, whispered, "Here comes a
carriage, mamma, and some ladies."

"Who is it, Elinor?" asked Mrs. Wyllys, of her niece, who was
sitting near the window. 

"The Hubbards," she replied.

"What, Patsey Hubbard?"

"Oh, no; her cousins--very different persons. The Longbridge
Hubbards, whose acquaintance you have not yet made."

Two ladies, radiant with elegance, entered the room, and were
introduced, by Miss Agnes, to her sister-in-law, as Mrs. Hilson,
and Miss Emmeline Hubbard. They were both young; quite pretty;
very fashionably dressed; very silly in their expressions, and
much alike, in every respect.

After a few preliminary speeches, Mrs. Hilson remarked, that she
was very glad Mrs. Wyllys had come to join their rustic circle.

"Thank you," replied the lady; "Longbridge is a favourite place
of mine; but I have not yet seen many traces of rusticity, here."

"Why, no, Julianna," observed Miss Emmeline, "I don't think our
village is at all a rustic place. We have too many advantages of
communication with the city for that."

"It is true," said Mrs. Hilson, "Longbridge has always been a
very aristocratic place. You know, Miss Wyllys," turning to Miss
Agnes, "we have our 'West-End,' and our 'exclusives.'"

{"West End" = from the fashionable West End of London}

"I was not aware of it; but then I am really a rustic," Miss
Wyllys added, smiling.

"Yes, it is unfortunate, you should be so far from the village.
Emmeline and I often pity you, Miss Elinor, for being so far from
genteel society."

"That is scarcely worth while, I assure you, for we have several
pleasant families, within a short distance."

"But only a very small circle, however. Now we have quite a large
set of aristocratic people, in the village. Some of our
inhabitants are very refined, I assure you, Mrs. Wyllys." 

The lady bowed.

"You will find your two next neighbours, Mrs. Bibbs and Mrs.
Tibbs, very fascinating ladies," observed Miss Emmeline. "Mrs.
Bibbs is one of our beauties; and Mrs. Tibbs, our most elegant
dresser."

"Emmeline is going over the Court Calendar, for you, already,"
said Mrs. Hilson, laughing fashionably.

{"Court Calendar" = from the section of British newspapers
devoted to the schedule and appearances of the Royal Family}

"Are these ladies the wives of judges?" inquired Mrs. Wyllys.

"Oh, no; Mrs. Tibbs is the lady of our physician, and Mrs. Bibbs
is a 'marchande,'--she is a very fascinating lady, and has a fine
flow of conversation. She was a great belle, at Saratoga, a year
or two since; you may, perhaps, have met her there?" inquired
Mrs. Hilson.

"Not that I know of; but I have not been at Saratoga for years."

"Is it possible? I cannot live without three weeks at Saratoga,
and a fortnight at Rockaway, every year. Before I ordered my
wedding-dress, I made Mr. Hilson promise I should have my own way
about that. I said to him, one day, 'Alonzo, before the
settlements are drawn up, I shall require you to pledge yourself
to six weeks, every year, between Saratoga and Rockaway.'"

{"settlements" = marriage settlements or pre-nuptial agreements;
"Rockaway" = a fashionable sea-side resort on Long Island, near
New York City}

"You are fond of a gay life, I suppose."

"Very naturally; having lived in the world of fashion from my
cradle, I do not think I could breathe any other atmosphere. It
must be a great change for you, Mrs. Wyllys, from all the
pleasures of a city-life to a small circle like ours."

"A change, certainly; but a pleasant one, I hope."

"It will be a relief to you, to find so much aristocracy among
us. We have a certain clique, that, I think, must satisfy the
most refined taste, and will console you, I hope, for the loss of
genteel society in Baltimore."

"Thank you. I shall scarcely miss any but my friends. I go out
very little."

"I regret to hear that.--We must try to persuade you to change
your determination, and mingle more with society. I feel
confident, that our West-End clique must satisfy the most refined
taste. We expect to have a great deal of gaiety, this fall; but,
just at present, we have a scarcity of beaux."

"What has become of young Mr. Taylor; he was to have been home by
this time. Do you hear anything of him, Miss Wyllys?" inquired
Miss Emmeline.

"His family expect him soon, I believe."

"I hope he will arrive before our summer parties are over. Mr.
and Mrs. Hazlehurst, too, and Miss Graham, when shall we have the
pleasure of seeing them?"

"We expect them every day."

"I hope," said Mrs. Hilson, "they will arrive while I am here,
which will be longer than usual, this season, for they are
painting our suit {sic} of apartments in the city. When I came,
Alonzo told Emmeline to keep me until October, and she has
promised me a round of entertainments, while I am with her; so
that I feel particularly interested in the arrival of your
friends."

"Miss Graham will dash a great deal, no doubt, when she comes
back," said Miss Emmeline; "I quite long to see her. Miss Taylor
must be expecting her impatiently. By-the-bye, I understand, Mr.
Taylor's new furniture is now all arrived. His villa, as well as
his city-house, will be very stylish."

"Mr. Taylor is a very tasty gentleman," observed Mrs. Hilson. "He
seems to be very talented, in every way; formed to figure in
fashionable life, as well as in business. His new house is a
magnificent edifice."

"Your father tells me, he has quite finished his own house, Mrs.
Hilson; you must be glad to get rid of the workmen," remarked
Miss Wyllys.

"Yes--they have been long enough about it; but Pa has
old-fashioned notions about having everything substantial, and
well done; he said Emmeline and I might choose the plan, and have
everything as we liked; but he must have his own time to do it
in. However, it is a delightful mansion, now. It has every
convenience of the most fashionable houses in the city;
plate-glass, and folding-doors, and marble chimneys to the
garret. Just such a house as I should like in New York; though,
to tell the truth, I would not keep house for the world."

"Julianna is so delightfully situated, in her boarding-house,
Mrs. Wyllys, that she has nothing to wish for."

{"boarding-house" = at this period in American history, many
respectable and reasonably well-off people and even families
lived permanently in boarding-houses, rather than maintain a
houseful of servants}

"Yes, we have every luxury of fashionable life, united to a very
aristocratic set of boarders; and Mrs. Stone, herself, is an
extremely fascinating lady. Indeed, I have been spoilt; I don't
think I could endure the drudgery of housekeeping, now; though I
once told Alonzo, if he would give me a four-story house, up
town, with a marble front, I would try."

"You must find the situation of your father's new house
pleasanter than that he has left," observed Miss Agnes.

"By no means.--That is a serious objection to our new mansion.
Standing surrounded by the park, on three sides, removes us so
far from the street."

"I should have thought you would find it pleasant to be removed
farther from the noise and dust. What is your cousin Charles
doing? I suppose you see him often, in town."

"I really do not know what has become of him," said Mrs. Hilson,
languidly; for she always felt rather mortified by any allusion
to her unfashionable relations. "Though Charles is in the city
now, studying painting, yet I never see him. He told Mr. Hilson
that he called sometimes, but I have never seen his card; in a
large boarding-house like ours, with a family of forty or fifty
people, there is often great confusion about visits. But,
Emmeline, we are making a very unfashionable call. I am quite
ashamed, Mrs. Wyllys: but we will relieve you now--I see our
carriage has returned." And after an exchange of curtsies, the
ladies glided out of the room. Miss Emmeline, as she passed,
touched the curly head of one of the children, exclaiming as she
did so, "fascinating cherub!" and then both vanished.

We have said that these two sisters were very much alike. Mrs.
Hilson, however, was the most distinguished of the two, for she
carried the family follies several degrees farther than Miss
Emmeline. Taken altogether, she was an absurd compound.
Personally, she was thoroughly American, very pretty and delicate
in form and features, and thus far appeared to great advantage;
but she had, also, an affected mincing manner, and drawling
voice. Of course, her dress was as Parisian as possible;
everything she wore was a faithful copy from "Le Courier des
Dames." Her feelings and opinions; Mrs. Hilson was proud to call
English in the extreme, for she had chosen to imbibe a great love
of "aristocracy," and many other things which she did not in the
least understand. She had a set of common-place phrases of this
description in constant use, having borrowed them from an
intimate friend, living in the same boarding-house, a Mrs.
Bagman, an Englishwoman, of a very equivocal position. Then, she
read nothing but English novels; these were her only source of
amusement and instruction in the way of books; and as she
followed the example of Mrs. Bagman, in rejecting every tale that
had not its due share of lords and ladies, she called herself
fastidious in the selection. She was a great talker, and not a
day passed but what cockney sentiments fell from her pretty
little mouth, in drawling tones, from under a fanciful Parisian
coiffure. John Bull would have stared, however, if called upon to
acknowledge her as a daughter; for Yankee vulgarity and English
vulgarity are very different in character--the first having the
most pretension, the last the most coarseness.

These ladies had scarcely driven from the door, before Mrs.
Wyllys exclaimed: "Is it possible, Agnes, that these Hubbards are
a good specimen of the Longbridge people!"

"No, indeed; one such family is quite enough for any place."

"How ridiculous they are! How can you tolerate them?"

"Now, pray, Aunt Agnes," said Elinor, "do not say one word in
their favour."

"No; as regards the ladies of the family, one can say little.
They are not perhaps, by nature, as ridiculous as they have made
themselves. Time may do something for them. But their father is a
very worthy, respectable man; you must have seen him at our house
last summer. Don't you remember one day two uncles of Patsey
Hubbard dining with us?"

"Yes, I do remember them; one Charles Hubbard called Uncle Josey
{sic}, and he seemed quite a sensible man; the other fell asleep
I know, the one they called Uncle Dozie."

"The napping uncle is the old bachelor; Uncle Josie is the father
of these ladies."

"He seemed a sensible man; how came he to have such daughters?"

"They are very like their mother, who died a year or two since."

"They are very disagreeable, certainly. How often shall we be
required to encounter this desperate elegance? I almost begin to
repent having fixed myself at Longbridge."

"And between Mrs. Bibbs, and Mrs. Tibbs, too!" said Elinor,
laughing. "However, for your consolation, Aunt, I can assure you
these two ladies are far from being so very 'fascinating' as the
Hubbards. Mrs. Hilson and her sister rise high above the rest of
us in that respect--they are, decidedly, 'our Corinthian
capital.'"

"You will find the Van Hornes, the Bernards, and several other
families, very pleasant neighbours, on farther acquaintance,"
said Miss Agnes. "You have really been unfortunate in this
specimen."

"And where did these ladies contrive to pick up so much
absurdity?"

"With a miserable education to begin with, no other reading than
the worst novels, and the chance association of second-rate
boarding-houses, that point, I think, is easily accounted for,"
said Miss Agnes.

The conversation was interrupted by the hurried return of Mr.
Wyllys, who held a newspaper in his hand.

"They have arrived!" cried Elinor, springing from her chair, as
she saw her grandfather enter the gate.

"Good news!" said Mr. Wyllys, as he joined the ladies. "The Erie
is in, and our friends with her! They must have arrived in the
night, and to-morrow morning we shall have them here."

Of course, all the family were gratified by the good news. Elinor
was quite agitated, though her aunt had the pleasure of seeing
her look very happy.

"Here it is," said Mr. Wyllys, reading from the paper the arrival
of "'the Packet Ship Erie, Capt. Funck, from Havre, consigned to
----- ----- & Co.;' that you won't care about. But here is the
list of passengers: 'Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, and a dozen
Masters and Misses Johnson, from Natchez;'--strangers, you will
say, but here are acquaintances: 'Mrs. Creighton, Mr. Francis
Ellsworth, and servant, of Phil.; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hazleworth,
and family, of Phil.; Miss Graham, of Phil.; Madame Gigot, of
Paris:' wait a moment, Nelly, all in good time. 'Capt. Flint, of
British Army; Achille Bureau, of Paris; T. Davis, of Charleston;
Dr. Brackett, of St. Louis;' and, though last, not least in our
estimation, W. Hazleworth, of Phil.; with seventy-nine in the
steerage.' Of course, for W. Hazleworth, read H. Hazlehurst; they
never spell a name right. We shall have them all here to-morrow I
hope, Nelly."

If Elinor said little, she thought and felt a great deal.

They were still talking over the arrival, when Mrs. Wyllys's
little girl came skipping in, again, and said; "Here comes a
gentleman, mamma." She was followed in an instant, by a young
man, who, in a hurried, eager manner, had kissed the hand of Miss
Agnes, and Elinor's cheek, before either had time to exclaim
"Harry!"

It was, in fact, Hazlehurst, still in his travelling-cap. They
had arrived in the night, he said, and the rest of the party was
to follow him the next day.



CHAPTER IX.

"How taught shall I return?"
CRABBE.

{George Crabbe (English poet, 1754-1832), "Posthumous Tales: VI
The Farewell and Return" line I.62}

OF course, Harry was established at Wyllys-Roof. And, after a few
days passed with her parents at Longbridge, Elinor persuaded Jane
to pay her a short visit.

It is a pleasant moment for people of mature years, when they can
sit idly by, as affectionate observers, while a gay party of
young people, in whom they are interested, are chatting
familiarly together, with the lively tone and light spirits of
youth, free alike from the restraints of childhood, and the cares
of middle age. Every varied shade of character, unconsciously
betrayed by the young group--the playful remark--the just
observation--the pleasing acquirement--an act of good-nature--a
graceful motion--the bright eye and the careless smile--ay, even
the proof of inexperience and want of worldly wisdom--all is
attractive to the partial friends. They feel such a moment to be
the reward of many a previous hour of care and anxiety; it is
their happy privilege to mark each improvement in person, mind
and heart--the fruit of past labours and prayers--the cheering
promise amid the doubts of the future. Happy they, who can look
upon the young people committed to their charge, with the
consciousness that no important duty towards them has been
neglected; happy the young person, who, with a clear conscience
and an open countenance, can meet the approving smile of a
parent; thrice happy the youth, who, having taken a false step at
the beginning of his career, has had the courage and wisdom to
turn, ere too late; that precious approbation of wise and true
friends, may still be fully his; he has turned from danger,
temptation and shame, into the sure and safe path that leads to
everything most to be valued, even in this world.

As for our friends at Wyllys-Roof, the joy of re-union, after a
long absence, gave additional zest to the first pleasant meetings
of the young people, in whom Miss Agnes and Mr. Wyllys were so
warmly interested. Elinor was in gay spirits--even Jane was more
animated than usual, in her expressions and manners. As for
Harry, he was decidedly improved; the last two years had done a
great deal for him. He was now a clever, well-educated, agreeable
young man of three-and-twenty, whose judgment and taste were much
improved by travelling.

"A very good-looking fellow, too, Agnes," remarked Mr. Wyllys.

It was easy to gather, from the natural, healthful tone of his
conversation, that in more important points, while he had gained
much, he had lost nothing by wider observation of the world.

As for Jane, Miss Agnes had not expected much from her, and she
was pleased with the changes she observed. Her young kinswoman's
temper seemed to have become more even than formerly, and she was
quite as much pleased to return to her family, as she ought to
have been. It appeared natural, that everybody who saw Jane
should be satisfied with looking at her. Beauty like hers
disarmed their attempts at severity, and disposed them to
indulgence. It seemed scarcely reasonable to expect any striking
quality, or great virtue, with beauty so rare. But if the
Wyllyses had thought her beautiful before she left them, they
were really astonished to find how much it had been possible for
her to gain in appearance. Her face was now perfectly lovely, in
the finest style of beauty. Miss Wyllys was pleased to find her
manners much improved; a change from the society of Adeline
Taylor, and her lively young friends, to that of older and
better-bred people, had been of great advantage. Jane's labours
of liveliness had annoyed Miss Agnes not a little; and more than
once she had ventured a remark on the subject; but her young
relative had been too well advised, by Adeline and her
school-companions, to believe that Miss Wyllys could possibly
know, as well as themselves, what were the fashionable airs and
graces of the day. Since her visit to Paris, however, Jane's
manner, without her being aware of it herself, had become much
more quiet and natural. During the last twelvemonth, she had not
found it necessary to make perpetual exertions to attract, or
retain admirers. She had learned to look upon the attentions of
society as a matter of course.

The observations of Mr. Wyllys and his daughter were not all
confined to the two young travellers; they watched the graceful
movements of Elinor, and listened with interest to the gay
remarks made in her pleasant voice. She had never been in better
spirits, and was evidently happy. Elinor was really attached to
Jane; and yet, never were two girls less alike, not only in
person, but in mind and disposition. Jane's beauty was a great
charm, in Elinor's eyes. The homeliness of her own features only
increased her admiration for those of her cousin, who had always
filled, with her, the place of a younger sister and pet, although
the difference in their ages was very trifling. If these feelings
were not returned as warmly as they deserved, Elinor had never
seemed to expect that they should be; it was not in Jane's nature
to do so. That Harry's arrival should have made her happy, was,
of course, only natural; she betrayed, at times, a touch of
embarrassment towards him, when Aunt Agnes had smiled too openly,
or Mr. Wyllys had rallied too strongly; but it was graceful, like
every shade in her manner.

Miss Agnes was well aware that the last two years had not been
lost with Elinor, although passed in quiet every-day life. She
knew, from close observation, that the character of her adopted
child had been gradually approaching nearer to all she wished it
to be. As the two young girls sat chatting together, Miss Wyllys
could not but mark the striking difference in their appearance;
but she also felt that if Jane's loveliness were a charm, even to
her, knowing Elinor thoroughly, she loved her far more deeply for
the want of beauty. But, of course, the world would have decided
differently.

The morning after Jane's arrival at Wyllys-Roof, the young people
were engaged in one of the gay conversations we have alluded to,
when Mr. Wyllys called off Hazlehurst's attention.

"Harry, what was that clumsy contrivance about the French horses,
you were describing to Van Horne, last night? I wanted to ask
you, at the time, but you began to talk with Miss Patsey. You
said something about a wooden collar, I think."

Harry changed his seat, for one nearer Mr. Wyllys, and began a
long explanation of the harness used by the French teamsters.

"I have several engravings in my trunks, that will show you my
meaning, sir, better than words can do."

"I should like to see them. But, are these wooden wings to the
collars, as you describe them, used throughout France, or only in
Normandy, and the neighbourhood of Paris?"

"We saw them wherever we went. All the carters and farmers seem
to use them. They have, besides, a great deal of clumsy, useless
ornament, and they contrive to want twice as much tackle as we
do."

The gentlemen continued to discuss the subject of horses and
harness, Harry relating, for Mr. Wyllys's amusement, many
observations he had made, on these matters, in the different
countries where he had been.

Jane had brought down, from her room, an arm-full of pretty
things, evidently Parisian. She had just given Elinor a very
pretty bag, which Miss Agnes was called upon to admire.

"My dear Aunt," cried Elinor, "do look at this; Jane, I think we
must call it a sac--'bag' sounds too heavy. Look at the
material--the finest cachemere. And then the colour, so rich and
so delicate at the same time."

"Yes; it is a very pretty shade of ponceau," said Jane.

{"ponceau" = poppy red (French)}

"And then the shape! so Parisian! And the ornaments--"

"It is very pretty," said Miss Wyllys, after due examination.

"That is the way with everything that comes from Paris," said
Elinor; "it is always so complete; not one part good and others
clumsy--or good in quality, but ugly in form and colour. The
French seem to have an instinct about these things; they throw a
grace about everything."

"Yes; they have a perfect taste," said Jane.

"While I was up-stairs, with Louisa, yesterday," said Elinor, "we
talked over Paris all the morning, Aunt Agnes. I was amused with
a great deal she told me. Louisa says, there is a fitness in all
that a French-woman does and says, and even in everything she
wears--that her dress is always consistent--always appropriate to
the occasion."

"That is true," replied Jane; "their dress is always of a piece."

"And yet, Louisa insists upon it, that they do not bestow more
time and thought upon the subject, than the women of other
countries--and, certainly, not so much money."

"Everything is so easy to be had, and so much cheaper, in Paris,"
said Jane.

"But, she remarked, that they are never ashamed to wear a pretty
thing merely because it is cheap; nor to make themselves
comfortable, by wearing thick shoes in the mud, and a coarse,
warm shawl in a fog."

"We have not much mud or fog to trouble us, in this country;"
said Miss Agnes.

"No, aunt; but we have hard showers in summer, and cold weather
in winter; in spite of which, you know, our ladies must always be
dressed like fairies."

"I have often heard Madame de Bessieres praise the good sense of
her countrywomen, on those subjects," observed Miss Wyllys.

"Louisa maintains that the French-women have a great deal of
common sense; she says, that is the foundation of their good
taste; and, I suppose, after all, good taste is only good sense
refined."

"I suppose it is, my dear. Louisa seems to have come back even
more of a French-woman than you, Jane," observed Miss Agnes.

"Oh! I like the French very well, Aunt Agnes."

"But Louisa is quite eloquent on the subject."

"She was so very fortunate, Aunt, in having so kind a friend in
Paris, as Madame de Bessieres. Louisa describes the de Bessieres
as living in a delightful set of people--she mentioned half a
dozen persons whom she met habitually there, as not only amiable,
and highly accomplished, and well-bred, but high-principled, too.
She says she used often to wish you could know them, Aunt Agnes."

"I can readily believe anything good of the intimate friends of
Madame de Bessieres, for I never knew a woman whose character was
more worthy of respect. It was a great loss to us, when she
returned to France. She was very fond of you, Elinor."

"How kind in a person of Madame de Bessieres' age, to remember
me! I long to see the letter she wrote me; Robert says I shall
have it, certainly, to-morrow, when all their baggage will be at
Longbridge."

"Madame de Bessieres often spoke of you, Elinor," said Jane. "She
bid me ask if you remembered all the pet names she used to call
you, but I forgot to mention it when I wrote."

"Just as you forget many other things, naughty girl; I must say
you are anything but a model correspondent, Jenny, dear."

"Well, I can't help it--I do dislike so to write!"

"You need not tell me that," said Elinor, laughing. "But I do
remember all Madame de Bessieres' kind names very well. It was
sometimes, mon lapin, mon lapin dore, mon chou, ma mere--they all
sounded pleasantly to me, she spoke them so kindly. But sometimes
to vex me, the other children--Master Harry among others--used to
translate them; and, though rabbit, and golden rabbit, sounded
very well in English, I did not care to be called cabbage."

{"mon lapin" = my rabbit; "mon chou" = my cabbage, a term of
endearment; "dore" = golden; "ma mere" = my mother (French)}

"Did you like the young people you met in Paris, Jane?" asked
Miss Wyllys.

"Oh, yes; the young men don't trouble you to entertain them, and
the girls are very good-natured and pleasant."

"Louisa seems to think the French girls are charming--so
graceful, and pleasing, and modest; really accomplished, and well
educated, too, she says--all that young women ought to be."

"Yes, she says that she hopes her little girls will be as well
educated as Madame de Bessieres' grand-daughters," said Jane.

"Well, I hope my little namesake may answer her mother's
expectations. She is a sweet little puss now, at any rate. Louisa
was quite vexed yesterday, with Mrs. Van Horne, who asked her if
the French girls were not all artful, and hypocritical. She
answered her, that, on the contrary, those she saw the most
frequently, were modest, ingenuous, and thoroughly
well-principled in every way, besides being very accomplished.
She laid great stress on one point, the respect invariably paid
by the young to the old, not only among the women, but the men,
too."

"Yes," observed Miss Agnes; "I remember to have heard the same
remark from Madame de Bessieres; she observed, that after having
been in many different countries, she could justly claim for her
own, that in no other was so much deference paid to age as in
France."

"That agrees precisely with Louisa's opinion. She says it is a
striking feature in French society, and appears thoroughly part
of their character--not at all assumed for appearance sake."

"It is a duty too little remembered in this country. It seems to
be only in our very best families that the subject is properly
attended to," said Miss Agnes.

"Louisa likes the manners of the men for the same reason; she
says that in society they are always respectful and obliging,
whatever other agreeable or disagreeable qualities they may have.
She remarked, that she had never met with a rude Frenchman in
society; but she had, repeatedly, met with rude Englishmen, in
very good company."

"What fault, pray, did Louisa find with the Englishmen you met,
Jane?" asked Miss Agnes. 

"There is a certain set, who say and do rude things."

"I should not have thought that;" said Miss Wyllys.

"Oh, they have a way of making themselves disagreeable; now, a
Frenchman never tries to be disagreeable."

"One would think no one would try that," said Elinor.

"The English do, though, I assure you; at least a certain set. I
don't believe any other people do. I remember one evening, Harry
was very angry with a certain Mr. Ellery, son of Lord Greystone,
who used to come to our house quite often last spring. Do you
remember him, Harry?" she added, as Hazlehurst again approached
the table covered with French knicknacks {sic}, where the girls
were sitting.

"Whom were you talking about?" he asked.

"Mr. Ellery;--do you remember his manner?"

"Ellery?--To be sure I do!--Insufferable coxcomb!"

"Pray, what was his great offence?" asked Elinor, laughing.

Harry coloured violently. "Oh, it was his intolerable English
manner. I have known him stretch himself out nearly full length
on a sofa, on which Jane or Louisa was sitting, and stare at
them, with the most sickening expression, for half an hour at a
time."

"Half an hour, Harry! how can you talk so? Half a minute, you
mean."

"Well, until he drove you away, at any rate. I was often
surprised that you could endure it as long as you did. But
happily, Louisa cooled him off after a while; though I had a
strong inclination to undertake the job myself."

"It was much better as it was; it was Louisa's place to do it,"
observed Miss Agnes.

"But I thought you liked the English," said Elinor, with some
surprise. "You were speaking very highly of several of your
English friends, last night."

"I do like the better sort very much. They are fine, manly
fellows, as ever breathed."

"What people did you like best?" asked Miss Agnes.

"A man who does not cherish prejudice, must naturally like the
best qualities and the best individuals of all nations."

"But have you no preference?"

"There cannot be a doubt, that society is more agreeable in
France, in Paris, than elsewhere."

"Are not the French too artificial?"

"I honestly do not think them more so than the English. English
simplicity often has a very artificial twist; with the French it
is just the reverse; art becomes a second-nature, with them."

"We hear the French accused of selfishness--"

"I think you would find both French and English more selfish than
we are. But they have different ways of showing it. The
Englishman is exclusive, and reserved; the Frenchman egotistical.
Reserve may seem dignified; but it often covers a great deal of
cold self-love; while French egotism--not EGOISME--is often
mingled with much naivete and bonhommie {sic}. Both nations,
however, are more selfish than the Italians, or Germans, I should
say."

"Still, you seem to like the French the best of the two."

"Well, the French generally treat Americans more civilly than the
English. John Bull is very fond of giving himself airs of
superiority, after a disagreeable fashion of his own. Now a
Frenchman fancies himself so much more civilized than the rest of
the world, that he has a good-natured feeling towards everybody
but John Bull: he thinks he can afford to be amiable and
friendly."

"If you are speaking of the best people in each country,
however," said Mr. Wyllys; "that is not the surest way of judging
national character. We must take the average."

"I am aware of that, sir."

"At any rate, you don't seem to have liked this Mr. Ellery," said
Elinor.

"Not in the least; I used to think him excessively impertinent,"
exclaimed Harry, and as his choler rose, while certain
recollections passed through his mind, he coloured again. To
change the subject, he took up the bag the young ladies had been
admiring.

"What fanciful name may belong to this piece of finery; for, of
course, it is not a bag?" he asked.

"Oh, it is too useful, not to have a straight-forward, common
name; you may call it a sac, though, if you like. I could not
think of anything more imaginative; can you, Jane?"

"I dare say, there is another name; but I have forgotten it;
everything has a name of its own, in Paris."

"Your table looks like a fancy-shop, Aunt Agnes," continued
Hazlehurst; "gloves, bags, purses, boxes, muslins, portfolios,
and twenty other things, jumbled together."

"What sort of wood is the work-box that you chose for Miss
Patsey?" asked Elinor. "I am very glad you thought of her."

"Harry does not seem to have forgotten any of his friends, while
in Paris," said Miss Agnes.

Hazlehurst looked down.

"It is some dark wood; not rose-wood, however. It is rather
plain; but a serviceable-looking box," he said.

"Just the thing for Miss Patsey," observed Elinor.

"Here, Elinor," said Jane, "is the cape I spoke of;" and she
unfolded a paper, and drew from it a piece of muslin which had
evidently received a very pretty shape, fine embroidery, and
tasteful bows of riband from some Parisian hand. "This is the one
I spoke of.--Is it not much prettier than any you have seen?"

Elinor received the cape from her cousin, who was unusually
animated in its praises; it was held up to the light; then laid
on the table; the delicacy of the work was admired; then the
form, and the ribands; and, at last, Elinor threw it over Jane's
shoulders, observing, at the same time, that it was particularly
becoming to her. Harry seemed determined not to look; and, in
order to resist any inclination he may have felt, to do so, he
resolutely took up a Review, and began turning over its pages.
The young ladies' admiration of the cape lasted several minutes,
and, at length, Elinor called upon the rest of the party to
admire how becoming it was.

"Well, really," exclaimed Harry, looking rather cross, probably
at being disturbed in his reading, "young ladies' love of finery
seems quite inexhaustible; it is sometimes incomprehensible to
the duller perceptions of the male sex."

"Don't be saucy!" said Elinor.

"Why, you can't deny the fact, that you and Jane have been doing
nothing else, all the morning, but tumble over this Paris
finery?"

"I beg your pardon--we have been talking quite sensibly, too;
have we not, Aunt Agnes?"

"Much as usual, I believe, my dear," replied Miss Wyllys.

"Pray observe, that the table contains something besides finery;
here are some very good French and Italian books; but, I suppose,
Jane will say, those you selected yourself."

"I certainly did," said Harry; "and the music, too."

"Well, I have half a mind not to tell you, that we like the books
and the music quite as well as anything here," said Elinor,
colouring; and then, as if almost fearing that she had betrayed
her feelings, she continued, in a gay tone. "But, why are you so
severe upon us this morning?"

"Unpalatable truth, I suppose," said Harry, shrugging his
shoulders.

"Pray, remember, sir, that if finery be thrown away upon the
noble sex, at the present day, it was not always so. Let me refer
you to certain kings, who, not content with studying their own
dresses, have condescended to compose those of their queens, too.
Remember how many great heroes--your Turennes and
Marlboroughs--have appeared in diamonds and satin, velvet and
feathers!"

{"Turenne" = Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne
(1611-1675), a famous French military commander; "Marlborough" =
John Churchill Marlborough, Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), a
famous British military commander}

"But that was two hundred years ago."

"They were heroes, nevertheless; and, I suppose, une fois
caporal, toujours caporal. But, if you prefer something nearer to
our own time, figure to yourself Horace Walpole, and General
Conway, some half-century since, consulting, in their
correspondence, upon the particular shade of satin best suited to
their complexions--whether pea-green, or white, were the most
favourable." 

{"une foi caporal...." = once a corporal, always a corporal
(French); "Walpole" = Horace Walpole (1717-1797), English author;
"Conway" = General Henry Conway (1721-1795), English general and
politician}

Hazlehurst laughed.

"There it is, in white and black!" said Elinor. "Just remember
Goldsmith, strutting about Temple Gardens, in his blush-coloured
satin, and fancying everybody in love with him, too!"

{"Goldsmith" = Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1775), British author;
"Temple Gardens" = in London on the Thames River, next to The
Temple (an ancient English school of law)}

"Quarter! quarter! Nelly," cried her grandfather, laughing.

"True, I must confess," said Harry, smiling; "but that was more
than fifty years ago. The world has grown wiser, now."

"Has it?"

"Look at our sober coats, to-day--the last Paris fashions, too!"

"Yes--but what is the reason?" cried Elinor, laughing herself.
"You have just found out that finery, and a showy exterior, are
of no use to you--they do not increase your influence with the
ladies! We do not value a man more for a showy exterior!"

"I submit," said Harry; but he coloured, and seemed to Miss
Agnes, more embarrassed by Elinor's remark than was necessary. He
threw down his book, however, and crossed the room to take a
place near her.

"What are you going to do this morning?" he said, quietly.

A walk was proposed, and soon after the young people, accompanied
by Bruno, set out together.



CHAPTER X.

"Fashion, leader of a chattering train."
COWPER.

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Conversation" line
457}

MISS PATSEY'S mother was more unwell than usual; and after
breakfast the following morning, Elinor prepared a little basket
of particularly fine peaches, which she proposed carrying to Mrs.
Hubbard, herself. Harry offered to accompany her, and Jane was
persuaded to join them; although in general, she disliked every
kind of motion except dancing.

The travellers had already seen Miss Patsey and her youngest
sister, and they were now so fortunate as to find Charlie at
home. He had come from New York, the evening before, and, of
course, was much pleased to see his young friends; indeed, he
showed so much emotion at the meeting, as to change colour when
he first saw the three cousins enter the little gate.

"Why, Charlie, you have grown in inches; as well as in dignity,
since we parted," said Hazlehurst, shaking him warmly by the
hand.

"I shall never arrive at any great elevation either way," replied
the youth, after shaking hands also with Jane.

"I don't know that; you have grown half a foot since I saw you,
and you have done wonders I hear, as a painter. Mr. Wyllys, and
Elinor, are both great admirers of your pictures."

"Wonders are comparative, you know; I believe I have accomplished
more, for instance, than my mother anticipated, for she thought I
was going to devote myself to signs and window-blinds."

{"window-blinds" = window shades were at this time frequently
decorated with hand painted pictures}

"That is your account of the matter. But don't suppose I have not
learned that Mr. Charles Hubbard is looked upon as one of our
most promising young artists, and that several of his pictures
are thought the best of their kind that have been painted this
side the Atlantic."

"You are very much improved in flattery by a visit to Paris,"
said Charlie, smiling.

"Only sober truth, as you must well know, Mr. Charles Hubbard. I
hope you have something here for us to look at; I am really very
impatient to see some of your pictures. I wish you could have
enjoyed half the fine works of art that I have seen in the last
two years."

Hubbard replied that he had strong hopes of going abroad himself
before long, thanks to the liberality of his uncle, and the
promise of several orders from different gentlemen. Harry
congratulated him warmly, though he regretted that Charlie should
think of leaving home just as he himself returned.

The young 1adies paid their visit to Mrs. Hubbard in her
bed-room, while Harry and Charlie talked over a hundred different
things together; and after engaging Charles to dine at
Wyllys-Roof, they walked home again.

"Miss Patsey's parlour really looks neater and smaller than
ever," observed Harry. "And I don't think I have seen such an
honest, good-natured, pleasant face as her's, since I left
Longbridge. She seems satisfied now, with the idea of Charlie's
being an artist."

"She is resigned to it, rather," said Elinor, "now that the
matter is entirely settled."

"Charlie looks pale," observed Harry; "he has grown though, and
he is no longer so very slight as he used to be."

"He seems to be well," replied Elinor; "but at times his spirits
are not good. He has been much interested in your
movements--quite anxious about your return."

"Charlie is a right good fellow," said Harry; "I was in hopes to
see a great deal of him, this winter." At this moment Jane
dropped a glove; of course Harry picked it up, and he continued
silent after doing so.

"There, you see, is Mr. Taylor's new house," observed Elinor, as
an opening in a grove of young trees allowed a full view of a
house of some size, and very great pretensions.

Jane looked at the home of her friend Adeline with
interest--Harry exclaimed, "What architecture!"

"Don't abuse it," said Elinor, "for I assure you 'Mr. Taylor's
splendid mansion'--'Mr. Taylor's magnificent seat' is very much
admired."

Just as the party reached the piazza of Wyllys-Roof, Mr. Taylor's
barouche drove up to the door, and in an instant Miss Adeline
Taylor had thrown herself, and her fashionable morning-dress,
into Jane's arms.

"I was so glad to find you were staying here!" she exclaimed. "Pa
and I only arrived from Saratoga last night; I did not expect you
for a month to come."

"We had a very short passage for the season," said Jane,
returning the embrace quite cordially.

"We seem to have taken all our friends rather by surprise, Miss
Taylor," said Harry.

"Well, if I had been in your place, I should have staid in Paris
till the last minute;--though, I dare say, YOU were in a hurry to
get back to Longbridge, Mr. Hazlehurst; no doubt you wanted to
see ME very much. Put I wonder that Jane did not contrive to stay
there."

Harry looked a little embarrassed, and Jane, too, coloured a
little; though there seemed to be no very good reason that either
should do so.

"Did you find Saratoga pleasant, this summer, Miss Taylor?" asked
Elinor, drawing a chair near the bench where the two friends were
sitting, hand in hand.

"Oh, delightful!--Every house full, from the cellar to the
garret. How often I wished for you, Jane! if it was only earlier
in the season I would make pa take us there again, just for the
pleasure of showing off your new French fashions--you would be
the greatest belle of the season."

"We need not inquire who was the belle," said Elinor; "such
important news reaches even sober, home-staying people like us."

"Oh, we had half a dozen belles--all lively, pretty girls. There
was a young gentleman, from Savannah, at Congress Hall, who wrote
some verses about us, and called us the 'Chime of Bells;' it was
a sort of imitation of 'Those Evening Bells,' and was published
in the Saratoga papers. But if Jane had been there, I don't think
we should have stood much chance."

{"Those Evening Bells," popular song by the Irish poet Thomas
Moore (1779-1852), arranged by Sir John Stevenson (1761-1833)} 

"You think the poet would have rung a bob-major, for Jane?"

"Certainly; with her trunks full of things from Paris, she would
have carried all before her."

"I don't think Jane has brought a very large share of finery with
her," said Elinor.

"No, indeed," said Harry; "only five trunks and three boxes,
which I had the honour of getting through the Custom-House."

"But part of it was for her friends," said Elinor.

"You would have needed a large supply, I can tell you, Jane,"
said Miss Adeline, "if you had wanted to out-dash us; for we
determined this season, some half-dozen of us, to out-do the
young ladies who were there last year."

"Did you succeed?" said Hazlehurst.

"To be sure we did. We made a firm resolve not only to change our
dress six times every day, but never to wear the same dress
twice. We drove several families away by that manoeuvre; but you
have no idea what fun it was to us, who entered into the spirit
of the thing. For two days, though, we were in great trepidation.
There were a couple of Baltimore girls there, great dashers, who
would not enter into our agreement; and the spiteful things
actually changed their dress seven times, the two first days."

"Seven changes!" said Elinor; "how did they manage that?"

"Why, they came down to breakfast in a white dress; after
breakfast they would drive in another, of course; then they would
show themselves in the drawing-room, after driving, in a pink
muslin, perhaps; at dinner, they wore another; then after dinner,
they would change again; in the evening they wore party-dresses,
of course; and after they went up stairs, they would visit each
other in what they called dress night-wrappers. Now, wasn't it
mean in them?"

"Very," said Harry, laughing.

"To be sure it was. Changing six times was no more than was
necessary; all we 'evening bells' did, was never to wear the same
dress twice. Would you believe it, after putting such a bold face
on the matter, the third day they disappeared suddenly! We had a
good crow, I can tell you. There was a poor little innocent
there, at the same time, from Boston, who tried to beat us on
another tack, as Lieut. Johnson said; they called her the
blue-bell. Well, she never changed her dress, morning, noon, or
night--and just to spite us. But, dear me, we only laughed--we
didn't care a fig for her; although she was very pretty, she
couldn't get a man to speak to her, excepting one old fossil
Professor, who wore spectacles, and walked up and down with her
on the piazza all the time."

{"Lieut. Johnson" = not identified}

"She was no worthy rival for the Chime of Bells!" said Harry.

"Certainly not. But I can tell you, that after we had been there
a week, two of the Chime were in great danger, and one of them no
less a person than your humble servant; the other was Anne
Hunter--Jane, you remember Anne Hunter, who was at Mrs. G-----'s
with us? Well, Anne and I were in great trouble, one day. Now,
Mr. Hazlehurst, I hope you can keep a secret."

"A lady's secret?--Can you doubt me, Miss Taylor?"

"Well, mind now, you never mention it; but, Anne and I got down
to our last dozen dresses, and we were pledged to stay a week
longer. This was Monday, and on Thursday there was to be a
pic-nic, given expressly to the Chime of Bells. At first, I
thought I was the only one in such a deplorable state; but,
happily, I discovered that Anne, whose room was next to mine, was
no better off. And now, how do you suppose we managed?"

"Pray, what did you do?" said Elinor, laughing.

"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.
Hazlehurst."

"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.



CHAPTER XI.

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

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

{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
series.

{"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
(French)}

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:

"MY DEAR MISS WYLLYS:--

"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
neighbours.

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

"Very respectfully and truly yours,

"HESTER TAYLOR."

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
kitchen.

"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.



CHAPTER XII.

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

"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
(French)}

"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
Taylor."

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
piano."

"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
it?"

"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
fellows."

"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
abroad."

"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
myself,

"'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
improve."

"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
moment.

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."



CHAPTER XIII.

"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
have."

"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
Longbridge?"

"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
fork.

"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
all.

"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
arrived?"

"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
explain.

"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,
laughing.

"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
lips."

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

"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
winter.

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
York.

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
joy."

"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.



CHAPTER XIV.

"What loud uproar, bursts from that door?"
COLERIDGE.

{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
invitations.

"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
turkey.

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
full.

"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
you?"

"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
way!"

"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.
Hilson."

"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
her?"

"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
fortune."

"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
ears."

"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
Court?"

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,
yesterday."

"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
Elinor.

"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
ladies."

"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
flirtation.

{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
disappeared.

"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.

"Don't pretend any longer, Jane, that you didn't know it,"
whispered Adeline, as they were stooping together over a bundle
of hoods and shawls. Jane made no answer. "Now, confess that you
knew he was serious before you left Paris."

"I did not think much of it for some time," said Jane.

"Well, I supposed from your letters that you knew long ago that
he was desperately in love with you. Trust me, we'll settle it
all between us."

"Oh, hush," said Jane, "there is somebody coming--I know it's
wrong--"

"Nonsense--wrong indeed! I should like to know where is the great
harm if he does break his engagement?"

Elinor moved away when she found the conversation was meant to be
private. But she had unintentionally heard enough to make her
anxious for Jane. "Was not Adeline leading her into difficulty?"
She felt uneasy, and thought of nothing else during her drive
home. It would not do to consult Miss Wyllys; but she determined
to speak to Jane herself, the first time she saw her.
Unfortunately, her cousin was going to New York, and nothing
could be done until she returned to pass a fortnight at
Wyllys-Roof before going to town for the winter.



CHAPTER XV.

-------------------------"the reward
Is in the race we run, not in the prize."
ROGERS.

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: A Character"
lines 39-40}

MISS PATSEY had never, in her life, been to a regular ball,
before this house-warming of Uncle Josie's; but not even the
novelty of a ball could keep her in bed an hour later than usual.
Charlie and herself had returned home some time after midnight,
with the Wyllyses; but the next morning she rose with the
chickens, and before the October sun, to pursue, as usual, her
daily labours. It was truly surprising how much Patsey Hubbard
found time to do in a single day, and that without being one of
your fussy, utilitarian busy-bodies, whose activity is all
physical, and who look upon half an hour passed in quiet thought,
or innocent recreation, as so much time thrown away. Our friend
Patsey's career, from childhood, had been one of humble industry,
self-forgetfulness, and active charity; her time in the gay hours
of youth, as well as in the calmer years of mature experience,
had been devoted to the welfare and happiness of her parents, her
brothers and sisters. From a long habit of considering the wants
and pleasures of others first, she always seemed to think of
herself last, as a matter of course. She had had many laborious,
anxious hours, many cares; but it is far from being those who
have the most trouble in this world, who complain the loudest; no
one had fewer wants, fewer vanities, fewer idle hours than Miss
Patsey, and, consequently, no one could be more generally
cheerful and contented. There is nothing so conducive to true,
healthful cheerfulness, as the consciousness of time well-spent:
there is no better cure for the dull spirit of French ENNUI, or
the gloom of English BLUES, than regular, useful occupation,
followed by harmless recreation.

Any one who had followed Patsey Hubbard through the varied duties
of a single day, would have acknowledged that there is no
spectacle in this world more pleasant, than that of a human
being, discharging with untiring fidelity, and singleness of
heart, duties, however humble. The simple piety of her first
morning prayer, the plain good sense of her domestic
arrangements, and thorough performance of all her household
tasks, her respectful, considerate kindness to her step-mother,
and even a shade of undue indulgence of Charlie--all spoke her
character--all was consistent.

Happy was Patsey's little flock of scholars. Every morning, at
nine o'clock, they assembled; the Taylor children usually
appeared in Leghorn gipsies, and silk aprons; the rest of the
troop in gingham "sun-bonnets," and large aprons of the same
material. There were several little boys just out of petticoats,
and half-a-dozen little girls--enough to fill two benches. The
instruction Patsey gave her little people was of the simplest
kind; reading, spelling, writing, and arithmetic, learning a few
simple verses, with sewing and marking for the girls, made up the
amount of it. Most people, in these days of enlightenment, would
have been very much dissatisfied with her plan, for it actually
excluded all the sciences, and all the accomplishments. Patsey
had two reasons for confining herself to the plainest branches of
education only; in the first place, she did not think herself
capable of teaching anything else; and, secondly, she doubted
whether her scholars were capable of learning anything better or
more useful for themselves. Mr. Taylor thought she had very low
views of infant education; and yet, you could not have found
anywhere a set of children, between three and ten, who were more
thoroughly taught what their instructor professed to teach. Happy
would it be for these little creatures, if they never acquired
any worse knowledge than they gained under Patsey's care! She had
an eye to their tempers, their morals, and their manners; she
trained the little girls to be modest and gentle--the little boys
to be respectful and obliging; while she endeavoured to make all
alike honest, open, cheerful, and sincere. Were not these lessons
quite as important to most children, between the ages of three
and ten, as chemistry, astronomy, and natural philosophy?

{"Leghorn gipsies" = fashionable hats (named after Leghorn,
Italy) with large side flaps; "marking" = embroidering
identifying names or initials on linen}

The day following Uncle Josie's house-warming, Miss Patsey
released her little flock an hour earlier than usual; they were
allowed to pass the time playing in an adjoining meadow, until
sent for by their parents. There was to be a tea-party at the
"old gray house" that evening--a very unusual event; ten
invitations had been sent out. The fact is, Miss Patsey had
received a basket of noble peaches, the day before, from one of
her neighbours; and Uncle Josie had already, early in the
morning, sent over a wagon-load of good things to replenish his
niece's larder--the remains of the last night's supper; among
other delicacies there was a bit of boned turkey, for Mrs.
Hubbard's especial benefit. Patsey scarcely knew what to do with
so many luxuries. She sent a basket of fruits and jellies to a
couple of sick neighbours, by Charlie; still, there was more than
her mother, Charlie, and herself, could possibly do justice to in
a week. She determined to give a little tea-party; it was
eighteen months since she had had one, and that had been only for
the Wyllyses. Dr. and Mrs. Van Horne, the Taylors, the Wyllyses,
and the Clapps were accordingly invited; and Patsey proceeded to
burn some coffee, and make short-cake. The little parlour was
more carefully swept and dusted than ever, five additional chairs
were brought in, and a fire was made, on account of Mrs. Hubbard.
Then, about four o'clock, the ladies made their toilette; Mrs.
Hubbard was dressed in a smart new calico, with a cap, made by
Elinor, and was then seated in the best rocking-chair. As for
Patsey, herself, she could not think of wearing the elegant new
dress, Uncle Josie's present--that was much too fine; she
preferred what had now become her second-best--a black silk,
which looked somewhat rusty and well-worn. To tell the truth,
this gown had seen good service; it had been not only turned, but
re-turned--having twice gone through the operation of ripping and
sponging; and doubtful as the fact may appear to the reader, yet
we have Miss Patsey's word for it, that a good silk will bear
twice turning, but then it must be a silk of a first-rate
quality, like her own. It had been, indeed, the standing opinion
of the family for the last five years, that this particular dress
was still "as good as new." As for the changes in fashion that
this black silk had outlived, who shall tell them? It was
purchased in the days of short waists and belts, "gig-ohs," and
"pal-reens," as they were called by the country damsel, whose
scissors first shaped the glossy "gro de nap." Waists, long,
longer, longest, succeeded; sleeves, full, fuller, fullest,
followed; belts were discarded, boddices {sic} began to appear;
still Miss Patsey's silk kept up with the changes, or rather, did
not entirely lose sight of them. If you had seen her at a little
tea-party at Wyllys-Roof, wearing this silk, "nearly as good as
new," with a neat and pretty collar of Elinor's work, you would
have been obliged to confess that her dress answered a rule given
by a celebrated philosopher--you would not have remarked it. Had
you chanced to meet her of a Sunday, in Mr. Wyllys's
carriage--the Wyllyses always stopped on their way to St. John's
Church, at Longbridge, to offer a couple of seats to the
Hubbards, who were set down at the door of their father's old
Meeting-house--had you seen her of a Sunday, with a neat straw
hat, and the black silk gown, you would have been obliged to
acknowledge that her dress had the double merit, by no means
common, of according with her circumstances, and the sacred
duties she was going to fulfil; the devotion of her neighbours
would not be disturbed by admiration of her toilette.

{"burn some coffee" = roast some coffee; "gig-oh" = a puffed
"gigot" or "leg of mutton" sleeve; "pal-reen" = "pelerine", a
cape or mantle; "gro de nap" = "gros de Naples", a weave of silk
with a corded effect (French)}

At five o'clock, Miss Patsey's company began to assemble; the
Wyllyses were the first to appear; then came Mrs. Taylor, Mrs.
Van Horne, and Mrs. Clapp; Adeline excused herself, she thought
it a bore, Charlie was not worth flirting with. The doctor, Mr.
Taylor, and Mr. Clapp, were expected after tea. And a pleasant,
good-natured evening it proved to be. Miss Patsey's coffee was
excellent; the little black girl, engaged for the occasion,
performed her duties to admiration. Mrs. Taylor thought that she
had scarcely passed such a quiet, pleasant afternoon, since the
halcyon days before her husband was a rich man; she was much
interested in discussing with Miss Patsey, and Miss Wyllys, and
Mrs. Van Horne, various recipes for making bread, hoe-cake, and
other good things. As for Elinor, she told Charlie she had left
her work at home, on purpose that she might have time enough to
look over all his sketches--everything he had to show, old and
new. The drawings, and several oil-paintings were accordingly
produced, and looked over by the young people, and Mr. Wyllys,
who had taken a chair by the table, and joined them. Elinor knew
nothing of drawing, but her general taste was good; she asked
many questions about the details of the art, and was amused and
interested by Charlie's remarks.

{"left her work at home" = the knitting or similar hand-work
engaged in by ladies while they conversed}

"Show us everything, Charlie," said Mr. Wyllys. "I befriended
your genius, you know, in the days of the slate and compound
interest; and, of course, I shall think it due to my own
discernment to admire all your works."

"Of course, you are not afraid of my criticisms," said Elinor; "I
don't know enough to be severe."

"People who know little, my child, generally make very severe
critics," said Mr. Wyllys.

"When they know LITTLE, grandpapa; but mine is honest, humble
ignorance. I know nothing at all on the subject."

"Do you remember, Miss Elinor, that Hogarth said anybody
possessing common sense was a better judge of a picture than a
connoisseur?"

{"Hogarth" = William Hogarth (1697-1764), English artist and
printmaker.}

"Did Hogarth say so?--I shall begin to feel qualified to find
fault. That is a very pretty group of children, grandpapa."

"Very pretty;--some of Miss Patsey's little people. And here is
another, quite natural and graceful, Charlie."

"I never see my sister's little scholars but I am tempted to
sketch them. Children are such a charming study; but I am never
satisfied with what I do; a picture of children that is not
thoroughly childlike is detestable. Those are mere scratches."

"What are these faint outlines of figures, with dashes of
colouring here and there?" asked Elinor.

"Oh, those are mere fancies, made entirely for amusement. They
are rude sketches of my own ideas of celebrated pictures that I
have never seen, of course; only as exercises for idle
moments--one way of practising attitudes of figures, and
composition. I keep them more as a lesson of humility than
anything else, for me to remember my own poor conceits when I see
the originals, if that happy day ever come."

"I thought you gave yourself up entirely to landscapes,
Charlie--do you think seriously of pursuing both branches?" asked
Mr. Wyllys.

"No, sir; I give the preference to landscapes; I find, at least,
that field quite wide enough. It seems scarcely possible to unite
both, they are so different in character and detail, and require
such a different course of study."

"That is the great point with you, my boy; you must not waste too
much time upon the ideal portion of the art; you must remember
that the most beautiful ideas in the world will be lost, if the
execution is not in some measure worthy of them."

"I am so well aware of that, sir, that I have done nothing but
study the practical part of my trade for the last three months,
and I feel that it has been of service to me."

"There is water in all your sketches, I believe," said Elinor.
"You must be very partial to it."

"I am, indeed--it is a most delightful study--I should be afraid
to tell you all the pleasure I have in painting water--you would
laugh at me, if I once set off upon my hobby."

"Not at all; you have made me an honest admirer of every variety
of lakes and rivers, since I have seen your pictures."

"When did you first take to water, Charlie?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"Oh, long ago, sir, when I was a little bit of a shaver. Have you
never when a child, Miss Elinor, received great pleasure, perhaps
a lasting impression, from some natural object that you still
remember distinctly?"

"Yes, I know what you mean--I recollect perfectly several things
of the kind. I believe children have more observation, and
feeling for what is beautiful, than is generally supposed."

"It is very probable that most children have similar sensations.
I am glad that you do not laugh at me; there are few persons to
whom I confess my violent partiality for water; most people would
think it ridiculous."

"You are right, Charlie; one can talk to the world in action
only; it never believes the truth in any shape, until forced to
acknowledge it. You are pursuing the right course, however; you
have spoken quite clearly in your view from Nahant--your friends
have every reason to urge you to persevere. But does not Mr.
----- tell you to pay more attention to your foliage and
buildings? you rather neglect them for the water."

"Yes, sir; I am well aware of my defects in that respect, and
next summer I hope to devote a great deal of time to foliage."

The conversation was here interrupted by the arrival of Mr. Van
Horne and Mr. Taylor, followed shortly after by Mr. Clapp.

"You are late, William," said pretty little Mrs. Clapp to her
husband. "Did you leave the children all safe? Did the baby cry
for me?"

"Perfectly safe--all sound asleep," replied Mr. Clapp, passing
his fingers through his curls. But his wife, who knew every
expression of the face she thought so handsome, fancied William
looked pale and uneasy; some business had gone wrong, perhaps.

"Quite a select circle," observed Mr. Taylor, sitting down by
Miss Wyllys, leaning his chair back, and rolling his thumbs, one
over the other.

"I have not had a pleasanter evening in a great while," said Mrs.
Taylor. "It puts me in mind, husband, of old fashioned
tea-parties, when we lived altogether in the country. We used to
go at two o'clock, and stay until sunset. I think such sociable
parties are much pleasanter than late, crowded balls."

"Ha! ha!--that may be your opinion, Mrs. Taylor; a quiet party
does very well where one is intimate, no doubt; but I conclude
that younger ladies, Adeline, and her friends Miss Graham and
Miss Wyllys, would give a different verdict."

"Miss Taylor seems quite partial to large parties," said Elinor,
quietly, for the remark was addressed to her.

"Yes, Adeline and her 'chum' both like plenty of balls and beaux,
I reckon."

"What has become of your patient, doctor?" inquired Miss Patsey.
"The poor man at the tavern--do you think he will get well?"

"I have no doubt the fellow will outlive half-a-dozen such fits.
I left him last night under guard of two men, to keep him from
hanging himself; and this morning, when I went to look after him,
he was off. He was so much better, that he had been persuaded by
some messmate to ship for a cruize--only a three years' whaling
voyage. Regular Jack-tar fashion--a frolic one day, a fit the
next, and off for the end of the world the third."

"He has left Longbridge, has he?" said Mr. Wyllys. "I was just
going to inquire after him, for they have a story going about,
that he used very threatening language in speaking of myself and
Hazlehurst. Did you happen to hear him, doctor?"

"He did use some wild, incoherent expressions, sir, to that
effect, when I was with him; but the threats of a raving man are
not of much consequence."

"Certainly not. But I have no idea who the man can be; I don't
know a single common seaman by sight or name--at least, the only
one I ever knew is long since dead. It is singular that this
fellow should have known my name even; they say he was a stranger
at Longbridge."

"Entirely so, I believe."

"What was his name?"

"William Thompson, they told me."

"If he is a sailor, he probably has a dozen aliases," interposed
Mr. Clapp, who had been listening very attentively.

"By-the-bye, Clapp, they say he included you in his kind wishes."

"Yes, sir, so I understand."

"William, you never mentioned it to me!" said his wife.

"No, my dear; I did not attach any importance to the story,"
replied the lawyer, pulling out his handkerchief with one hand,
and running the other through his hair--looking a little nervous
and uneasy, notwithstanding.

"He did not exactly threaten you, Mr. Clapp, while I was with
him," said the doctor; "he seemed rather to depend upon you as an
ally."

"Still more singular," said Mr. Clapp, with a glance at Mr.
Wyllys.

"That was very strange!" exclaimed his wife--"what could the man
mean?"

"It is by no means easy to explain the meaning of a drunken man,
my dear. It is just possible he may have heard my name as a man
of business. I have had several sailors for clients, and one
quite recently, staying at the same tavern."

"I dare say, if explained, it would prove to be Much ado about
Nothing," said Mr. Wyllys. "Since the fellow was drunk at the
time, and went off as soon as he grew sober, the danger does not
seem very imminent."

{"Much ado about Nothing" = an allusion to Shakespeare's play of
that name}

"Precisely my opinion, sir," said Mr. Clapp.

"Grandpapa, do you remember the sailor who was found near our
house, one night, about two years ago? It was my birth-day, and
we had a little party--have you forgotten?" 

"True, my child; I have never thought of the fellow since; but
now you speak of him, I remember the fact."

"Do you not think it is probably the same person?--you know Harry
had him locked up: perhaps he owes you both a grudge for the
treatment he received at Wyllys-Roof, upon that occasion."

"That accounts for the whole affair, Miss Elinor--you have
cleared up the mystery entirely," said Mr. Clapp, looking much
relieved. He not only appeared grateful to Elinor for the
explanation given, but seemed to extend the obligation to all the
family; for he was particularly attentive to Mr. Wyllys, and Miss
Agnes, during the whole evening--and the next morning, early,
drove out to Wyllys-Roof, expressly to carry some brook-trout,
for Mr. Wyllys's breakfast. The lawyer informed several persons,
who alluded to the story, of this simple explanation, which
seemed to satisfy all who heard it. The whole affair was soon
forgotten, for a time, at least.



CHAPTER XVI.

"Weak and irresolute is man;
The purpose of to-day
Woven with pains into his plan,
To-morrow rends away."
COWPER.

{William Cowper (English poet, 1731-1800), "Human Frailty" lines
1-4}

AFTER an absence of a week, or ten days, Harry returned to
Wyllys-Roof, not at all sorry to hear that he was too late to see
the Grahams, as they were going to New York the next morning. He
was very attentive to Elinor--pointedly so. Once or twice, she
was going to jest with him upon the subject, and inquire the
cause of this studied gallantry; but observing he was still a
little out of spirits, she contented herself with thanking him
for the books he had brought her.

The next day proved so mild, so hazy, and Indian-summer-like,
that Hazlehurst proposed to take advantage of it, to give the
ladies a row on the river. They were out for a couple of hours,
landed on the opposite bank, and paid a visit to their friends,
the Bernards, who lived a mile or two below them. The air was
delightful, the country looked beautiful--fresher, perhaps, than
at midsummer; for the heat was no longer parching, and the
September showers had washed away the dust, and brought out the
green grass again. Harry had become interested in the
conversation, and was particularly agreeable; Miss Agnes was
pleased with his remarks, and Elinor thought she had never passed
a pleasanter morning; she was little aware that it was to be
followed by many anxious, painful days.

They landed, as usual, at the boat-house; and the ladies prepared
to walk slowly across the lawn, while Harry secured the boat and
oars. As they approached the house, they were surprised to see
several of the servants collected on the piazza, listening so
intently to a lad that they did not see the ladies. Old Hetty, a
superannuated negro cook, who had lived all her life in the
family, was wringing her hands and wiping her eyes with her
apron; while Mammy Sarah, Elinor's former nurse, a respectable
white woman, was talking to the boy.

Elinor quickened her pace, and hastened before her aunt, to
inquire into the cause of this distress.

"What is it, Mammy?" she asked, on reaching the piazza. "What is
the matter?"

"Oh, dearie me; Miss Elly, Miss Elly!" exclaimed old Hetty; with
a fresh burst of tears.

"Tell us--Hetty--Mammy--what has happened?" said Miss Wyllys, as
she approached.

"Oh, Miss Aggess, Miss Aggess--dreadful news!" said the old negro
woman, burying her face in her apron.

"My father?" asked Miss Agnes, faintly, and trembling with alarm.

"No, ma'am," said Mammy Sarah, looking very sad, however; "Mr.
Wyllys is very well, and we were hoping he would come in before
you, so that we could get at the truth."

"Let us hear what you have to say, at once, Mammy," continued
Miss Agnes, anxiously.

"Billy, here, has brought bad news from Longbridge."

"Dreadful news!" interposed old Hetty. "Oh, Miss Aggess! Billy
say Miss Jane--"

"What is it?--Speak plainly!" cried Miss Wyllys.

"There's an accident happened to the steamboat," added Mammy.

"B'iler bust--dearie me--Miss Jane's scall to death!" exclaimed
Hetty.

A cry of horror burst from Elinor and her aunt, and they turned
towards Mammy Sarah.

"I hope it isn't quite so bad, ma'am," said Mammy; "but Billy
says the steamboat boiler did really burst after she had got only
half a mile from the wharf."

A second sufficed for Miss Agnes and Elinor to remember Hetty's
fondness for marvels and disasters, and they hoped ardently that
the present account might be exaggerated. They turned to the boy:
"What had he heard?" "Whom had he seen?" Billy reported that he
had seen the boat himself; that he had heard the cries from her
decks, which the people in the street thought had come from some
horses on board, that must have been scalded; that another boat
had gone out to the Longbridge steamer, and had towed her to a
wharf a few rods from the spot where the accident happened; that
he had seen, himself, a man on horseback, coming for the doctor;
and the people told him five horses had been killed, two men
badly hurt, and Mr. Graham's eldest daughter was scalded so badly
that she was not expected to live.

Miss Wyllys's anxiety increased on hearing the boy's story; she
ordered the carriage instantly, determined that under any
circumstances, it would be best to go to Longbridge at once,
either to discover the truth, or to assist Mrs. Graham in nursing
Jane, if she were really badly injured. At this moment, Harry
returned from the boat-house.

"What is the matter?" he exclaimed, springing up the piazza
steps, and looking round upon the sad and anxious faces.

"We have heard bad news from Longbridge," said Miss Wyllys; but
before she could explain herself, old Hetty burst into tears
again, and turning to Hazlehurst, exclaimed:

"Oh, Massa Harry!--dreadful news!--Miss Jane scall to death in
steamboat!"

Miss Wyllys was so much struck with the effect of these words on
Harry, that for an instant she forgot to say "she trusted the
story had been exaggerated." Hazlehurst lost all colour--stood
speechless and motionless for a moment. Elinor was too much
agitated herself to speak. Suddenly, Harry met Miss Agnes' eye;
he turned from her, rushed through the house, and continued
walking rapidly up and down the avenue, apparently forgetful of
everything but his own feelings. Amid all her anxiety for Jane,
Miss Wyllys could not but remark Hazlehurst's manner--he seemed
entirely overcome, by his emotion; and yet he had not asked one
question, nor made one offer to do anything for Elinor, or
herself; and one would have thought it more natural that at such
a moment he should have remained with them, pained and distressed
as they were. Elinor only thought that Hazlehurst's feelings did
credit to his heart; her own was full of grief for the suffering
of her playfellow and companion, whom she had loved almost as a
sister.

Some twenty minutes were passed in this manner by the aunt and
niece, with feelings better understood than described. They were
waiting for the carriage, and nothing could be done in the mean
time; it seemed an age to Elinor before the coachman could be
found, and the horses harnessed. While her aunt and herself were
in tears, pacing the piazza together, they were surprised by the
appearance, on the Longbridge road, of the old-fashioned chair in
which Mr. Wyllys usually drove about his farm. Miss Agnes
distinctly saw her father driving, with a lady at his side. They
were approaching at a very steady, quiet pace. As they entered
the gate, Miss Agnes and Elinor hastened to meet them; they saw
Harry stopping to speak to Mr. Wyllys, and then Miss Wyllys heard
her father's voice calling to herself.

{"chair" = a light, one-horse carriage}

"All safe!" he cried. "It was a misunderstanding; Jane is quite
well; though a poor young woman, bearing the same name, has been
scalded."

"We were in hopes the news had not reached you yet," said Mrs.
George Wyllys, who accompanied her father-in-law. "We were all
dreadfully alarmed, at first, for the accident was very much
exaggerated."

Miss Wyllys and Elinor were too thankful for Jane's escape, to
express anything but the relief they felt on hearing of her
safety.

"No one killed," continued Mr. Wyllys. "They lost a couple of
horses; two of the men were hurt, but not dangerously; and the
new chambermaid, whose name is Jane Graham, had her feet badly
scalded. But there is so little harm done, considering what might
have happened, that we have reason to be very thankful for every
one on board."

"You may imagine how much alarmed I was," continued Mrs. Wyllys;
"for I happened to be sitting at my own window, which overlooks
the river, you know, and I heard the noise and cries from the
boat, and knew the Grahams were on board."

Long explanations followed: Mr. Wyllys had had his fright too. He
had heard at the saddler's, that half Mr. Graham's family were
killed. Now, however, it only remained for them to be thankful
that their friends had all escaped, and to hope Jane's namesake
would soon recover.

"But how long is it since you heard the story? why did you not
send Harry off at once, to get at the truth?" asked Mr. Wyllys.

"We were going ourselves," replied Miss Agnes.

"What has become of Harry?--Where is he?" asked her father.

But Harry had disappeared.

"He was much distressed at the news," said Elinor.

"No wonder; it was a horrible idea. But he should have jumped on
horseback, and rode over to Longbridge to find out the truth."

Elinor looked round once more for Hazlehurst, as they entered the
house; but he was certainly not there.

"And what are the Grahams going to do?" asked Miss Wyllys.

"They are off again this afternoon," replied her father, taking a
seat on the sofa.

Hazlehurst was not seen again all the morning. Dinner came, and
he had not joined the family.

"He is in his room," said Elinor; "I heard him walking as I
passed his door. I am afraid he is not well."

The servant who was sent to let him know that dinner was on
table, returned with the answer, that Mr. Hazlehurst had a bad
head-ache, and begged Miss Wyllys would excuse him.

"That long row in the sun must have given Harry a head-ache, Aunt
Agnes," said Elinor; "I am sorry we went so far."

"Perhaps so," said Miss Agnes; although she did not seem wholly
to be of Elinor's opinion.

"Hazlehurst is no such tender chicken, Nelly; you must not spoil
him, child--do you hear?" said her grandfather, smiling in a way
that made Elinor colour. Miss Agnes was silent during dinner; but
as the whole family had scarcely recovered from the alarm of the
morning, the shade of anxiety on her face was not remarked.

Harry remained in his room. As he had requested not to be
disturbed, he was left alone. Once, however, in the course of the
evening, a knock was heard at his door, and a servant appeared.

"Miss Elinor sends you a cup of tea, sir, and hopes your head is
better," said Thomas.

"Miss Elinor is very good--I am much obliged to her," was Harry's
answer, in a low, thick voice; but the cup of tea remained
untasted, while Hazlehurst resumed his walk across the room.
When, shortly after, Elinor's voice was heard singing her
grandfather's favourite air of Robin Adair in lower tones than
usual, Harry again started from the table, where he had laid pen
and paper preparatory to writing, and striking his hand against
his forehead, he exclaimed:

{"Robin Adair" = Irish folksong, though often identified with
Scotland, with words ca. 1750 by Lady Caroline Keppel; it is the
only specific tune Elinor is ever heard to sing}

"Ungrateful wretch, that I am!"

The next morning Elinor was up early, and taking the garden
basket, she went out to gather all the late flowers she could
find, to fill a jar for the drawing-room--singing gaily, as she
went from bush to bush, and gathering here a sprig of
honeysuckle, there violets or a late rose, blooming out of
season, and a few other straggling blossoms. After loitering
about the garden for half an hour, she returned to the house. She
was surprised to see the coachman, at that early hour, driving up
the avenue in the little wagon used for errands about the
country.

"Where have you been, Williams?" she asked, as he drove past her
towards the stable.

"To carry Mr. Hazlehurst over to Upper Lewiston, in time for the
six o'clock boat, Miss."

Elinor could scarcely believe what she had heard. At the same
moment, Mr. Wyllys stepped out on the piazza.

"What is this, Elinor?" he asked. "They tell me Harry is off; did
you see him this morning?"

Elinor was obliged to say she had not.

"What can it mean! did he get any letters by last night's mail?"

"Not that I know of," said Elinor, much surprised, and a little
alarmed.

They found Miss Agnes in the drawing-room; she, it seemed,
already knew of Hazlehurst's departure. She said little on the
subject, but looked anxious and absent. Elinor scarcely knew what
to think; she was afraid to trust herself to make any inquiries,
preferring to wait until alone with her aunt after breakfast. The
meal passed over in silence. Mr. Wyllys looked uneasy; Elinor was
at a loss to know what to think; neither of the ladies paid much
attention to the morning meal that day.

Miss Agnes rose from table, and went to her own room; Elinor,
neglecting her usual task as housekeeper, hastened to follow her
aunt, her mind filled with indistinct fears and anxieties. Miss
Agnes was walking about her room, looking pained and distressed.
Several letters were lying on a table near her; two were
unopened; one she had been reading.

"Letters!--my dear Aunt, from whom? Tell me, I conjure you, what
you know! Has anything happened to Louisa--to Jane? Did Harry
leave no message for me?" cried Elinor, hurrying towards her
aunt, whose face she watched for an answer to each question, as
she asked it. Miss Wyllys made an effort to compose herself, and
held out her hand to Elinor.

"My dearest Aunt!--pray tell me what distresses you--Ha! Harry's
handwriting!" she exclaimed, as her eye fell on the open letter
by Miss Wyllys--"I know that letter is from Harry; do not conceal
anything; is it for me?"

"This letter is to me, my child," replied her aunt, taking up the
one she had been reading; wishing to give Elinor all the
preparation in her power, for a blow which she knew must fall
heavily, since it was so entirely unexpected.

"But there are two other letters," cried Elinor, "one of them is
for me, I am sure. Let me see it at once, Aunt; you cannot deny
that it is for me--and if it contain bad news, you know that I
can command myself when necessary."

Miss Agnes's hand trembled as she took the letters.

"My child! My beloved Elinor!" she said.

"Dearest Aunt, you torture me! Tell me, I beseech you, what we
have to fear!"

"You shall know all," Miss Agnes replied, seating herself; and
endeavouring to be calm. "You will be much distressed, my child;
but I know that you will be now, what you always have been,
reasonable, and true to yourself--to your grandfather--to me,"
added Miss Wyllys, in a voice almost inarticulate.

A thousand indistinct ideas passed through Elinor's mind with the
rapidity of lightning, while her aunt was speaking; illness of
some absent friend suggested itself--yet who could it be? Not
Harry, surely, for he had gone over to Upper Lewiston that
morning--yet her fears instinctively centred upon Hazlehurst.

"It is something relating to Harry, I am sure," she said. "Is he
ill?--is he in trouble?" she asked in a faint voice, while a
prayer for resignation sprang from her heart, with the words.

"You are right," replied Miss Wyllys, in a faltering voice; and
seating herself by her niece, she continued, "He is well. If he
is in trouble, it is from his own choice. Have you no suspicions,
my dearest child, of what has happened?"

"Suspicions!"--exclaimed Elinor, in astonishment, "what is there
for me to suspect? My dearest Aunt, I am more and more
perplexed--explain it all yourself--who is it you are concerned
for?"

"My only concern is for you, dearest; my only regret, that
trouble should have been brought on you by those dear to you--by
your grandfather, by myself, by your cousins."

"By you!--by my cousins--what cousins?"

"Harry--Jane--Have you remarked nothing?"

"Harry! what can he have done?"

"You must forget him," said Miss Wyllys; and as Elinor looked
eagerly in her aunt's eyes, she read there all that Miss Agnes
had not courage to tell in words.

Half starting from her seat, she exclaimed, "Harry!--and Jane
too!" and as a deadly paleness came over her face, she fell back,
unconscious, on the sofa. Her faintness lasted but a moment; too
short a time, indeed, to allow the impression of what she had
heard to pass from her mind. She burst into tears. "Oh, Aunt
Agnes!--Is it really true?--Can Harry have changed? can he have
been so unkind to me?--And Jane, too!" she exclaimed at
intervals.

Her aunt answered only by her caresses, silently pressing her
lips upon Elinor's forehead.

Elinor threw her arms about Miss Agnes's neck, weeping bitterly.

"But is it really true? Is there not some mistake? Is it possible
he felt so little for me? Oh, dearest Aunt!--and Jane, too!"

Miss Wyllys said that she knew nothing of Jane's feelings; but
that the manner of both Jane and Harry had struck her several
times as singular; though now but too easily accounted for.
During the last ten days, she had begun to fear something wrong.

"Never, for one second, had I a doubt of either!" cried Elinor.
She now dreaded to receive the letter, she had before asked for
so eagerly.

A package had been given by Harry to the chambermaid, that
morning, requesting her to place it in Miss Agnes's hands as soon
as she left her room. It contained three letters. That to Miss
Agnes herself, was full and explicit. He now wrote, he said,
because he felt concealment to be no longer possible, after the
manner in which he had betrayed himself on hearing of the
steamboat accident. He felt convinced that his emotion had been
observed by Miss Wyllys, and he almost hoped the suspicions of
Elinor had been aroused. He hoped it, for he felt that longer
concealment would be unworthy of Elinor, and of himself, since he
had not been able to control his feelings. He acknowledged that a
frank confession was now due to her.

"I know," he said, "that you will reproach me severely for my
want of faith, and I feel that I deserve far more than you will
say. But do not think that I erred from deliberate forgetfulness
of all that I owed to Elinor. I was for a long time unconscious
of the state of my own feelings; and when at length I could no
longer deceive myself, the discovery of my weakness was deeply
painful and mortifying. You know what has been my situation since
last spring--you know to what I have been exposed. Greater
caution might no doubt have been used, had I not been misled by
blindness, or self-confidence, or vanity, call it what you
please. No one can reproach me as severely as I reproach myself.
But although my feelings had escaped my own control before I knew
it, yet I determined from the first that my actions should at
least be worthy of Elinor. I instantly became more guarded. No
human being, I believe, until to-day, suspected my folly. Do not
reproach Jane. The fault is entirely with me; Jane has been
blameless throughout."

He concluded by hoping that his letter would not for a moment be
considered by Miss Wyllys or Elinor, as an attempt to break his
engagement, which he was still anxious to fulfil. But he thought
that, now the explanation had been made, a separation for some
time would be preferable for all parties. He proposed to travel
for six months, and at the end of that time be hoped to have
conquered his own weakness, and to be forgiven by Elinor.

Bitter tears were shed by Elinor, in reading this letter.

The note to herself was short. He had not the courage to repeat
to her directly, what he had said to Miss Wyllys.

"I feel unworthy of you, Elinor, and I cannot endure longer to
deceive so generous a temper as yours. You must have remarked my
emotion this morning--Miss Wyllys now knows all; I refer you to
her. I shall never cease to reproach myself for my unpardonable
ingratitude. But painful as it is to confess it, it would have
been intolerable to play the hypocrite any longer, by continuing
to receive proofs of kindness which I no longer deserve. It is my
hope, that in time you will forgive me; though I shall never
forgive myself.

"H. H."

There are said to be young ladies with hearts so tender, as to be
capable of two or three different love affairs, and an unlimited
number of flirtations, in the course of a twelvemonth; but
Elinor's disposition was of a very different stamp. Her feelings
were all true and strong; her attachment for Harry little
resembled that mixture of caprice and vanity to which some young
people give the name of love. With something of fancy, and a
share of the weakness, no doubt, it was yet an affection to which
every better quality of her nature had contributed its share.
Hazlehurst's determination never to forgive himself for the
sorrow he had caused her, was a just one. His fickleness had
deeply wounded a heart, warm, true, and generous, as ever beat in
a woman's bosom.

Bitterly did Elinor weep, that first day of grief, humiliation,
and disappointment. She did not hesitate, however, for a moment,
as to the course to be pursued, and even felt indignant that
Harry should have believed her capable of holding him to his
engagement, with the feelings he had avowed. She answered his
note as soon as she could command herself sufficiently to write.

"I do not blame you--your conduct was but natural; one more
experienced, or more prudent than myself, would probably have
foreseen it. Had you left me in ignorance of the truth until too
late, I should then have been miserable indeed. My aunt will take
the first opportunity of letting our mutual friends know the
position in which it is best we should continue for the future.
May you be happy with Jane.

"ELINOR WYLLYS."

Elinor, at this moment, felt keenly the disadvantages of
homeliness, which she had hitherto borne so cheerfully, and had
never yet considered an evil. Beauty now appeared to her as a
blessed gift indeed.

"Had I not been so unfortunately plain," thought Elinor, "surely
Harry could not have forgotten me so soon. Oh," she exclaimed,
"had I but a small portion of that beauty which so many girls
waste upon the world, upon mere vanity; which they are so ready
to carry about to public places--through the very streets, to
catch the eye of every passing stranger, how highly should I
prize it, only for the sake of pleasing those I love! What a
happy thought it must be to those blessed with beauty, that the
eyes of their nearest and dearest friends never rest upon them
but with pleasure! How willingly would I consent to remain plain
to ugliness, plain as I am, in the eyes of the world, for the
precious power of pleasing those I love!"

Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes, of course, approved the step Elinor
had taken. They were both deeply pained by Harry's conduct; they
both regretted having allowed the engagement to take place so
early, and at the moment of Harry's absence. Miss Wyllys, indeed,
blamed herself severely for not having used all her influence to
prevent it. With her father, on the contrary, indignation against
Harry was the strongest feeling.

"Heartless young coxcomb!" he exclaimed; "to dare to trifle with
Elinor. I had a good opinion of him; I thought he had too much
sense, and too much feeling, not to appreciate Elinor, though her
face may not be as pretty as some others. Agnes, he must never be
asked to Wyllys-Roof again. I can never forget his treatment of
my grandchild."



CHAPTER XVII.

"May this be so?"
SHAKSPEARE.

{William Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing", III.ii.117}

WHILE the family at Wyllys-Roof were in this distress, Miss Agnes
had received the parting visit of the Taylors. The porticos of
Colonnade Manor rose before closed windows; the house was
abandoned for the winter; while Mr. Taylor and Miss Adeline were
engaged in putting the finishing touch to the elegance of No.
five hundred and -----, Broadway, preparatory to the display of
the winter.

Mr. Taylor was getting at home in New York. The atmosphere of a
large town, thoroughly commercial, was just fitted to his nature.
He had certainly every reason to be satisfied with the rapidity
with which he had mounted towards the top of the Wall-Street
ladder. He was already cheek-by-jowl with certain heavy men of
the place; he walked down Broadway of a morning with "Mr. A. of
the Ocean," and up again of an afternoon with "Mr. B. of the
Hoboken;" he knew something of most of the great men of the
commercial world; and as for the rest of the community, he cared
little enough for them or their interests. His house was as
handsome and as finely furnished as he could wish, his children
were as expensively dressed, as expensively schooled, as any in
the land. He had become accustomed to the first burst of luxury,
and began already to look upon a hundred things as necessaries,
of the uses of which he had been ignorant five years before. He
thought New York a commercial paradise; not only the place to
make a fortune, but the very spot to spend it in. He wondered at
Mr. Hubbard; who could be satisfied to retire from business so
early, and was content to live at Longbridge, the village where
he was born. Mr. Taylor looked upon himself as already a great
man, but he intended to be a greater man still, by a million, or
more.

About a week after the Taylors arrived in town, they gave a
party--quite a small affair, very sociable, some eighty or ninety
people only. The following morning, Mrs. Taylor, fatigued with
the toils and cares of gaiety, went to her own room to refresh
herself by darning more stockings than usual; while Mr. Taylor,
who had laboured hard the evening before by endeavouring to be
very 'affable' to some twenty new acquaintances, sought the
relief of his counting-house. As he walked down Broadway, his
thoughts were divided between two subjects. He had purchased some
lots the previous week, which proved so indifferent a bargain,
that he was anxious to persuade a particular friend to take them
off his hands. He had also just received letter from his son,
lately Tom Taylor, now T. Tallman Taylor, Esquire. The young man
had made very heavy demands upon his father's banker lately. Mr.
Taylor was perfectly satisfied that his son should spend his
money freely, and had given him a very liberal allowance, that he
might be enabled to cut a figure among his countrymen in Paris.
But his progress in acquiring habits of extravagance had become
of late rather more rapid than was desirable. As he was to
return, however, in the course of a few weeks, his father hoped
that he would be able to play the dandy in New York at less cost
than in Paris.

Mr. Taylor's meditations were interrupted by Mrs. Hilson, who
stopped to speak to him as he passed; she wished to inquire if
Miss Adeline were at home, as she was anxious to see her, having
a piece of news to communicate. Having given a satisfactory
answer, the merchant pursued his course towards the regions of
commerce, at one extremity of Broadway, and the city-lady went
her way towards the regions of fashion in the opposite direction.

Mrs. Hilson had already returned to her suite of apartments, and
her intimate friend, Mrs. Bagman. At the boarding-house she
patronised; and every morning between the hours of twelve and
three, she might be seen at the window of the drawing-room, if it
rained, or flitting up and down Broadway if the sun shone,
generally attended by Captain Kockney, the long {sic} Englishman,
whom she took great pleasure in showing off to the public. On the
present occasion she was alone however, and fortunate enough to
find Miss Adeline and the French furniture visible, for it was
the first time she had been in the new house. The rose-coloured
damask, and the pea-green satin of the two drawing-rooms was much
admired, and many compliments were lavished upon the gilt clocks,
the Sevres vases, &c., when Mrs. Hilson remembered she had a
piece of news to share with Miss Taylor.

"And such news--so unexpected to us all; you will be so
surprised! The engagement between Miss Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst
is actually broken off!"

Adeline was not so much astonished as Mrs. Hilson supposed she
would be.

"I am very quick at seeing such things," she said. "I was sure it
would come to that; though Miss Wyllys did not seem to suspect
anything herself. But no wonder--an engagement of two years is
too long for anybody. I am sure that in two years I should get
tired of the handsomest beau in New York."

The ladies had each their surmises as to which of the parties had
taken the first step, and what was probably the cause; but
although Miss Taylor had a pretty correct idea of the state of
things, she did not express her opinion on the subject very
decidedly. Mrs. Hilson soon made her curtsey, expressing the hope
that they should see each other very often during the winter; a
hope which Miss Adeline was determined not to gratify, for Mrs.
Hilson's standing was not sufficiently fashionable to satisfy
her. The visitor had no sooner left the room, than she ran up
stairs to put on her last Paris hat, and her handsomest cashmere,
and then hurried off to Barclay-Street to enjoy a confidential
meeting with Jane.

The young ladies were closeted together for an hour. We have no
authority for revealing what passed, and can only observe that
Jane returned to the drawing-room with a heightened colour, and
there was a certain expression of mystery still lingering about
Miss Adeline's face.

"Have you any commands for Boston, Mrs. Graham?" the young lady
inquired in her usual flippant manner. "I think I shall go there
next week, to pay a short visit to a friend of mine; I wish I
could hear of an escort."

Mrs. Graham thanked her civilly, but declined the offer of her
services.

"Have you really made up your mind to go to Boston?" asked Jane.

"Why, not positively. It depends, as I said before, upon my
finding an escort. I have six pressing invitations from different
quarters, most of them acquaintances that I made last summer at
Saratoga; and I have been hesitating between Albany, Boston, or
Baltimore. I am determined to go somewhere to spend the next
three weeks, till the gaiety begins in earnest, and Tallman comes
back."

"Is your brother expected so soon?" asked Mrs. Graham.

"Yes, he must have sailed now. We heard from him last night; he
will be here next month, I hope, just in time for the first great
parties. What would you advise me to do, Jane, to get rid of the
time until then?"

"I had much rather you would stay at home; if you go, I shall
miss you very much."

"But then we shall have the pleasure of corresponding--I like the
excitement of receiving a good long letter, full of nonsense,
above all things."

"You must not forget to let me know which way you are really
going," said Jane. "I will write, though I can't promise you a
long letter; I never wrote a long letter in my life."

"Well, you must write, at any rate, I shall see you half-a-dozen
times between this and Monday. I rather think I shall decide upon
Boston. Miss Lawrence says there are some delightful young
gentlemen there, and has promised to give me a ball. If I go, I
shall try hard to bring Miss Lawrence back with me. Mind, Jane,
you don't make too many conquests while I am gone. You must
reserve yourself for the one I have recommended to you. Oh,
by-the-bye, Mrs. Graham, I forgot to tell you the news; I am
astonished you have not heard it already."

"Pray, what is it?" asked Mrs. Graham.

"It seems the engagement between Miss Wyllys and Mr. Hazlehurst
has been broken off."

"You are mistaken, surely! We have heard nothing of it, and it is
highly improbable. If there be such a story, let me beg you will
not mention it again, Miss Taylor!"

"Oh, there is no mistake, I'm quite sure. I have heard it three
times already this morning, from Longbridge people; first Mrs.
Hilson told me, and then I met John Bibbs, and Edward Tibbs, who
said the same thing. Mrs. George Wyllys, it seems, contradicted
the engagement openly; Miss Hubbard heard her, and wrote it to
her sister."

"How grieved I should be if this story were to prove true; you
surely never remarked anything, Jane?"

"Elinor seemed to me just as usual; but Adeline thinks there has
been some change," said Jane, a little embarrassed.

"Oh, yes, give me credit for being quick-sighted; I suspected
something the first time I saw them together after Mr. Hazlehurst
came back."

"It is what none of their other friends appear to have done, Miss
Taylor," said Mrs. Graham, a little severely.

"I dare say not; but I am very quick at seeing such things. If
Jane has any mysteries, she had better not pretend to keep them
from me. But it is no wonder that the engagement was broken
off--I don't believe in long engagements. We must not let Jane
drag matters on at that rate when her turn comes;" and then
kissing her friend tenderly, and making a curtsey to Mrs. Graham,
without remarking the disapproving expression of that lady's
face, the lively Adeline left the mother and daughter alone.

"I dislike that Miss Taylor, excessively, Jane," observed her
mother, "she is very disagreeable to me; I wish you would find
some better companion while we are in New York. There are the
Howards, and de Vaux's--very amiable, pleasant girls, and for a
great many reasons far better associates for you."

"But I don't know them so well. Adeline is a great belle, mamma,
as much so as any girl in town."

"She is not at all to my taste, I confess. Your father, too,
dislikes the Taylors very much. The way in which she spoke of
this story about Elinor's engagement was really unfeeling. Not
that I believe it; but breaking off an engagement without good
reason, is no such trifle in my opinion, as it seems to be in
that of Miss Taylor."

Jane looked quite agitated; she blushed so much that her mother
would probably have remarked it, had she not been, at the moment,
stooping over her little invalid boy, who was lying on the sofa
near her.

"Miss Taylor has no claim whatever upon you, that I can see,"
continued Mrs. Graham. "It is true she was kind to you when you
were ill with the whooping-cough at school; but so were your
other companions--and I am sure she has not been half so
considerate and good to you as Elinor, and yet you seem to prefer
Miss Adeline now."

Poor Jane looked down, and coloured still more.

"Adeline would do anything for me, mother," she said, in a low
voice; "You don't know how much she is attached to me; I can't
help liking her," and Jane began to shed a few tears.

"Foolish child!" said her mother, beginning to relent, as she
usually did on such occasions, "I don't wish you to be uncivil to
her; but I should like you to be more with Kate Howard, and Anne
de Vaux;" and the conversation ended, as several others of the
same description had done, by leaving things precisely as they
were before. Mrs. Graham, indeed, looked upon herself as having
showed much decision on the occasion, and acted as a watchful
mother, by having made these objections, fruitless as they proved
to be.

The report that the engagement between Elinor and Harry had been
broken off, was soon known to be correct. It caused some surprise
to all who knew them, and much regret to their friends. Mrs.
Stanley, who felt a warm interest in both Harry and Elinor, was
grieved and disappointed. The Grahams, and Mrs. Robert
Hazlehurst, felt very unpleasantly when the cause of the rupture
came to be suspected. Mrs. Graham was, however, relieved by
finding that there was no understanding between Harry and her
daughter--thus far at least all was right; no explanation had
taken place between them, and Jane even assured her mother that
when in Paris, she had had no idea that Hazlehurst was attached
to her. Still there were many blushes whenever the subject was
alluded to, there were confidential meetings with Adeline, and
other symptoms which left little doubt to her friends that Jane's
feelings were interested. Mrs. Graham was obliged to console
herself with the idea, that the mischief had, at least, been
unintentional on the part of her daughter.

Harry, himself, was much mortified by the reception of Elinor's
note, which, by showing the full consequence of his conduct, made
it appear more culpable in his own eyes than he had yet been
willing to believe it. He even wrote a second time, begging
Elinor to re-consider her decision. Full as his fancy was of
Jane, yet his regard, one might say his affection, for Elinor,
was too well-founded, and of too long standing, for him to endure
quietly the idea of having trifled with her. She remained firm,
however; her second answer was as decided as the first. Harry's
self-reproach was sincere, at least, and he had never before felt
so much dissatisfied with himself.

He was less eager than one might suppose, to profit by his
newly-acquired liberty. He was in no hurry to offer Jane the
attentions which had so lately been Elinor's due. It is true that
his position was rather awkward; it is not every faithless swain
who is obliged to play the lover to two different individuals,
within so short a period, before the same witnesses. At length,
after doing penance for a while, by encouraging humiliating
reflections, some fear of a rival carried Hazlehurst on to New
York, in his new character of Jane's admirer. The first meeting
was rather awkward, and Harry was obliged to call up all his
good-breeding and cleverness, to make it pass off without leaving
an unpleasant impression. "Ce n'est que le premier pas qui
coute," however, as everybody knows. The sight of Jane's lovely
face, with a brighter colour than usual, and a few half-timid and
embarrassed glances from her beautiful dark eyes, had a
surprising effect in soothing Harry's conscience, and convincing
his reason that after all he had not acted so unwisely. He soon
showed himself very much in earnest in seeking Jane's favour;
though he persuaded himself that he must always do justice to
Elinor's excellence. "She is just the woman for a friend," he
observed to himself, "and friends I trust we shall be, when the
past is forgotten. But Jane, with her transcendant {sic} beauty,
her gentle helplessness, is the very creature that fancy would
paint for a wife!"

{"Ce n'est que le premier...." = it's only the first step that
hurts (French)}



CHAPTER XVIII.

"Be patient, gentle Nell, forget this grief."
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "2 Henry VI", II.iv.26}

THE Wyllyses remained later than they had intended in the
country. Elinor, indeed, proposed to her aunt that they should
pass the winter at Wyllys-Roof, but Miss Agnes and her
grandfather were unwilling to do so. The variety of a life in
town would be preferable for her sake to the quiet monotony of a
country winter. They knew she had too much sense to wish to play
the victim; but it was only natural to believe, that in a
solitary country life, painful recollections would force
themselves upon her oftener than among her friends in town, where
she would he obliged to think less of herself, and more of
others.

It had been a great relief to her to find, that Jane had not
acted as unworthily as Miss Agnes had at first feared; in spite
of what she herself had overheard at Miss Hubbard's party, Elinor
threw off all suspicion of her cousin, as soon as she learned
that Jane denied any previous knowledge of the change in Harry's
feelings. Hazlehurst, himself, had said in his letter that she
was blameless.

"Then," she exclaimed, "I shall at least be able to love Jane as
before!" She immediately sat down, and wrote her cousin a short,
but affectionate letter, containing only a slight allusion to
what had passed. Jane's answer, of course, avoided wounding her
feelings, and their intercourse was resumed.

"The time will come, I trust," she thought, "when Harry, too,
will be a friend again." But she felt the hour had not yet
arrived. She could not so soon forget the past. It was no easy
task, suddenly to change the whole current of feeling which had
filled her mind during the last two years. In spite of her
earnest resolutions, during the first few weeks, thoughts and
feelings of the past would recur too often. For some time Elinor
was very unhappy; she felt that the strongest and deepest
affections of her heart had been neglected, rejected,
undervalued, by one whose opinion she had learned to prize too
highly. She wept and blushed to think how much she had become
attached to Harry, since she had looked upon him as her affianced
husband. She could not but feel herself free from all reproach
towards him; it was he who, unsought by her, had wished to draw a
closer tie between them. He had succeeded but too well, and then
he had forgotten her. The temptation which had proved too strong
for him, would not have deserved the name, had the case been
reversed, had she been exposed to it. And yet she did not
reproach him; men think so much of beauty, and she was so very
plain! It was but natural at such a moment, that she should be
oppressed by an over-wrought humility. She accused herself of
vanity, for having at one time believed it possible Harry could
love one like herself. But how happy was Jane!

Her efforts to struggle against low spirits were the greater, for
the sake of her aunt and her grandfather. She made it a duty to
neglect no regular task, and much of her time was occupied as
usual; but the feelings which she carried about to her
employment, were very different from what they had been
heretofore. It was her first taste of sorrow; well might her aunt
deeply reproach Hazlehurst for his versatile conduct towards her
beloved child. Elinor flattered herself that Miss Agnes knew not
half of what she felt. In general she succeeded in being quite
calm, and attentive to others; she was always sweet-tempered, and
unrepining. But she could not read, herself, the expression of
her own countenance, so tenderly watched by her aunt. She was not
aware that the musical tones of her voice were no longer
cheerful; that instead of the gay, easy conversation in which she
used to bear her part, she was now at times absent, often silent;
she whose graceful wit and youthful spirits had been until lately
the joy of her family. Mr. Wyllys's indignation against
Hazlehurst would have been boundless, if he could have seen him
at such moments, as was often now the case, sitting by the side
of Jane, admiring the length of her eye-lashes, the pearly
smoothness of her complexion, and the bright colour of her lips,
as she uttered some very common-place remark. Such had now become
Hazlehurst's daily pleasure, his daily habit.

["versatile" = inconstant, fickle}

Miss Agnes purposely left to her niece, this year, all the
arrangements for their removal to town; and Elinor was obliged to
be very busy. It happened too, quite opportunely, perhaps, that
just at that time Mrs. George Wyllys was coming over oftener than
usual, to consult her father-in-law and Miss Agnes. Against Mr.
Wyllys's advice, she had to withdraw her eldest boy from the
school where he had been first placed, and now a new choice was
to be made. Mr. Wyllys recommended a small establishment in their
own neighbourhood, recently opened by Miss Patsey's brother; he
thought it equally good with the one she had in view, and with
the additional advantage of more moderate terms, and a smaller
number of boys. But Mrs. Wyllys had a great deal to say on the
opposite side of the question; the low price was an objection in
her eyes.

"There, my dear sir, you must allow me to differ from you. I have
always intended to devote a large portion of my means to the
education of my children; economy in such a case, I cannot look
upon as economy at all."

"Certainly, Harriet, you are perfectly right to secure to your
children every advantage in your power. But this is not a case in
point. Thomas Hubbard, you know, was a principal in the very
school which you have in view, and only withdrew last spring on
account of ill health. He still continues the same system, and
has the same masters, with the advantage of only four boys
besides Evert, to occupy his attention."

This was too plain to be contradicted. "But in my opinion, sir, a
large school is very much to be preferred for a boy. I have
thought a great deal on the subject, since Evert has been of an
age to leave me."

"But what are your reasons for preferring a large school to a
small one?"

"I think it a better preparation for their entrance into life.
And then they have the advantage of choosing their intimates from
a larger number of boys; Evert's disposition will make it
particularly desirable for him. I am sure, if he were shut up
with two or three boys only, he would find it so dull that he
would be disgusted."

"Well, my dear, I view the matter in a different light," replied
Mr. Wyllys, who would never allow himself to be silenced, or
forced to advise anything against his conscience; though many men
would have been worried into it by such a woman. Unfortunately,
Mrs. Wyllys was the only guardian of her children, and Mr. Wyllys
was often obliged to see his daughter-in-law act in a manner that
he thought ill-judged; but though very good-natured, he could
never be talked into being a party to such plans. "It is
precisely on account of Evert's high spirits that I should like a
small school for him. He would be less likely to get himself and
others into scrapes; he would be more under his master's eye."

"I think, sir, from the conversation I had with Mr. Stone, he is
just the man to obtain an influence over Evert."

"You would like Hubbard still better, if you knew him."

"I doubt it very much, sir; I am sick of the very name of
Hubbard. Those Longbridge Hubbards are enough to spoil a
paradise."

"Well, Harriet," said Mr. Wyllys, "you seem to have made up your
mind; so have I; now what is to be done?"

"Of course, sir, your opinion has great weight with me; you know
I am always guided by you."

"Then the matter is settled, and Evert goes to Hubbard's."

Mr. Wyllys thought he had succeeded, on this occasion, in gaining
his point, by taking his daughter-in-law at her word; but the
very next morning she drove over to Wyllys-Roof, with a new view
of the subject; and it was not until after half-a-dozen more
conversations, that the matter was finally settled, by Mr. Wyllys
refusing to give any more advice; when his daughter-in-law, of
her own accord, determined to send her boy to Mr. Hubbard's
school. It must be confessed that some women, endowed too with
certain good qualities, are very trying, and possess a most
vexatious vein of caprice. In the mean time the child was taken
sick; he was ill for several weeks, and Elinor assisted in
nursing him.

Independently of these consultations, and cares about her little
cousin, there were other claims upon Elinor's attention at this
time, and those the least romantic in the world. Within the last
few weeks, all the men of Longbridge seemed to have their heads
full of a new rail-road, one of the first that were made in this
country. All the property Elinor had inherited from her father
was in this village, and so placed as to have its value very much
increased by this intended piece of internal improvement. Mr.
Hubbard was one of those most interested in the project, which
was of some importance to Mr. Wyllys, also. The gentlemen had
many meetings on the subject, and Elinor was obliged to hear a
great deal that was going on; which houses were to be pulled
down, which streets widened, what engineer was to be employed,
where the rails were to come from, at what time they hoped to get
the act through the Assembly. Mr. Taylor, of course, was not the
man to allow anything approaching to speculation, to take place
in his neighbourhood without having something to do with it
himself. He came over to Longbridge expressly to help matters on;
and as Colonnade Manor was shut up, Mr. Wyllys, always hospitably
inclined, asked him to his own house for a day or two. With such
a spirit under their roof, little else was heard of besides
stocks and lots, wharves and stores. Elinor's property was known
to be much interested in the affair, and Mr. Hubbard and Mr.
Taylor thought it necessary to congratulate her. Mr. Taylor,
indeed, would have been much shocked had he known how very little
she cared about the matter.

{"a new rail-road" = The Camden and (Perth) Amboy line crossed
New Jersey in 1833, and the Philadelphia and Columbia (Penn.)
line opened in 1834}

"We shall have to consult you, Miss Elinor, in our proceedings,"
said Mr. Hubbard, as they were sitting at the dinner-table;
perhaps you don't know it, but you will be one of our
stockholders, and much interested in our success, I assure you."

"My grandfather tried last night to give me some notions on the
subject, Mr. Hubbard; but I am afraid he was not very
successful."

"Oh, I don't know that," said Mr. Wyllys; "I shall make quite a
business woman of you, yet, Nelly." In fact, her grandfather had
taken the moment to assure Elinor that it was high time she
should have some just ideas on such subjects, and insisted on her
listening to all his explanations, and doing her best to
comprehend them. Elinor tried to be a docile pupil, and really
acquired some useful information, which may appear singular to
romantic young ladies, who set up for broken-hearted; as her only
object, however, was to gratify her grandfather, we hope she will
be forgiven for anything so much out of character in a heroine.

"It is a beautiful speculation, Miss Wyllys," observed Mr.
Taylor. "I suppose you know enough about these things, to be glad
to hear that in a year or two, you will probably realize two
hundred per cent. on your lots in Water-Street, where the depot
is to be built."

"It all sounds very grandly, certainly," said Elinor, smiling.

"We shall make a fortune for you, Miss Elinor," added Mr.
Hubbard. "You will be the great lady of Longbridge."

"I dare say, Nelly, you will find some way of spending the money;
young ladies know very well how to get rid of it, let it come
ever so fast."

"Yes, sir, my daughters are very expert at that; Emmeline thinks
nothing of giving fifty dollars for a flimsy pocket-handkerchief,
and as much for a flighty-looking hat. But I've no objections;
I'll tell you in confidence, that is what we make our money for,
Miss Elinor--for our children to spend," added Mr. Hubbard,
smiling good-naturedly. "I dare say you will find a right use for
some of yours. It will be in good hands, and I hope you may long
enjoy it," said he, making a bow to Elinor, as he drank off a
glass of Madeira.

{"fifty dollars for a flimsy pocket-handkerchief" = this remark
by Mr. Hubbard reflects James Fenimore Cooper's little-known
novelette, "The Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief" (1843),
as do many aspects of the greedy and ostentatious Taylor family
whom Emmeline Hubbard seeks to emulate}

Mr. Taylor, though he joined in the toast with some "affable"
remark, as usual, could not help regretting that so much money,
and consequently the power of making so much more, should not be
in the hands of one who could turn it to better account than Miss
Elinor Wyllys. He had a very poor opinion of Mr. Wyllys's
money-making abilities, and thought him very "unenterprising."
That gentleman, on the contrary, when brought in closer contact
with Mr. Taylor, began to have a clearer insight into his
character, and while he found him uncommonly clever, discovered
that several of his propositions betrayed anything but high
principles. He began to believe that Mr. Graham's dislike was not
ill-founded.

Mr. Hubbard, in the mean time, who had known Elinor from a child,
was thinking how he could say something agreeable about love and
beaux, supposed always to be pleasant subjects to young ladies.
He felt some doubts about hinting at Hazlehurst, for he thought
he had heard the engagement was broken off. Happily for Elinor,
the party rose from table before anything had suggested itself.

At length Mrs. Wyllys's boy recovered, and was sent off to
school; and this rail-road matter was also satisfactorily
settled. As there was nothing more to detain the family in the
country, the Wyllyses went to Philadelphia, and took possession
of their lodgings for the winter.



CHAPTER XIX.

"Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
To go to Paris?"
SHAKSPEARE.

{William Shakespeare, "All's Well That Ends Well", I.iii.218-219}

MISS TAYLOR paid her visit to Miss Lawrence. One morning at
breakfast she informed her parents that she intended to make an
excursion to Boston. "Whom was she going to see?" asked her
father. "Miss Lawrence, a young lady who had passed three days at
the Springs, at the hotel where they stayed, and with whom she
had become very intimate." "How long was she going to be absent?"
inquired her mother. "She thought of remaining a fortnight;
perhaps three weeks, if she found it very pleasant. Mr. Powell,
the young gentleman who was to be her escort, had been introduced
to her the evening previous at a ball, and she thought him
sufficiently fashionable in his appearance, to have the honour of
taking charge of herself and her baggage." Her father observed
that he would bring a supply of money for her, when he came home
to dinner; her mother offered to look over her stockings.
Everything thus settled, the next morning Mr. Taylor and Miss
Adeline drove to the East-River wharf, where the Boston boat lay:
here they met with a slight difficulty; the gentleman engaged as
an escort could not be found; something had interfered with his
journey. Nothing was easier than to pick up another, however. Mr.
Taylor looked about him, saw a face he knew slightly, and
remembered the name that belonged to it.

"Good morning, sir; are you going to Boston, Mr. Hopkins?"

Mr. Hopkins bowed, and declared that he was going to Boston.

"I have a daughter on board, sir; and the young gentleman who was
to be her escort is not here; will you be so good as to look
after her?"

Mr. Hopkins would be very happy to take charge of Miss Taylor.
But Adeline was almost in despair when she saw him. How could one
of the most dashing belles in New York, consent to sit, in view
of all the passengers, side-by-side with such a fat, rusty,
snuffy, little old gentleman, who more green spectacles, and had
a red silk handkerchief spread on his knee? Suppose he should ask
her to walk, how could she pace up and down the promenade-deck
arm-in-arm with such a figure? She, Adeline Taylor, whose
travelling dress was faultless, and who had expected to have a
charming flirtation with Albert Powell! What could she do? The
fates, and the warning bell, decided the question; it was too
late to look out for some better-looking escort. Mr. Taylor had
hardly time to shake hands with his daughter, and jump on the
wharf, ere the whizzing of the steam had ceased, and the plashing
of the wheels was heard. Adeline sank on a bench beside the rusty
old gentleman for a moment, but soon fled to the ladies' cabin
for refuge.

During the whole jaunt, the fat, snuffy Mr. Hopkins was kind and
good-natured to Adeline, whenever she would allow him. He thought
she must be lonely, and she had been obliged to confess that she
knew no one on board; so the old gentleman held it incumbent on
him to be sociable. He took some pea-nuts out of his pocket, and
offered her a handful; he gave her a couple of newspapers to
read; asked her questions about her family, brothers and sisters,
and seemed to look upon her as a school-girl. He was not the
least impressed with her elegance and finery, and quite unaware
of her belle-ship; he even once called her "my dear." Then, the
red silk handkerchief was always either on his knee, or in his
hand! It would he difficult to say whether Adeline would have
survived the mortification of such an escort, had it not been for
two circumstances, which changed the current of her thoughts.
There were several elegantly dressed young ladies on board, and
she soon succeeded in getting up an intimacy with two of them;
they exchanged cards and invitations to each other's houses, and
through the same means Adeline was introduced to a couple of
beaux. Between breakfast and dinner, these new bosom-friends and
herself were inseparable, but, unfortunately, they were only
going half-way. The grief of separation was, however, somewhat
assuaged with Miss Taylor by sea-sickness, which, as every one
knows, is very destructive to sentiment and sensibility. As long
as they were tossing about near Point Judith, the snuffy old
gentleman, who was not in the least sea-sick himself, was very
faithful in his inquiries after Adeline, and proposed several
remedies to her, through the stewardess. At length they reached
Boston. As they drove to the door of Miss Lawrence's father, Mr.
Hopkins asked "how long she intended to remain in Boston?" "About
a fortnight," Adeline replied.

{"Point Judith" = prominent cape on the coast of Rhode Island,
south of Narragansett}

"I shall be going back to New York about the same time, my dear,
and if you have not got some one more to your taste, I'll take
care of you on your way home, with pleasure," said the fat old
gentleman, sprinkling a handful of snuff on Miss Taylor's grey
silk, and brandishing the red handkerchief at the same time.

Adeline's thanks were very faintly uttered; but gratitude is not
a fashionable virtue. It was fortunately so dark that the rusty
old gentleman could scarcely be seen as he took leave of the
elegant Miss Taylor at Mr. Lawrence's door, and thus the young
lady's mortification was over.

At the end of the three weeks, Adeline returned home, bringing
glowing accounts of the delights of Boston, and talking a great
deal about several "delightful young gentlemen," and occasionally
mentioning a certain Theodore St. Leger. She had heard that the
Boston people were all BLUE; but it must be a calumny to say so,
for she had had a very lively time--plenty of fun and flirtation.
Miss Lawrence returned with her, and of course a party was given
in her honour; there were some eighty persons present, all free
from the shackles of matrimony, apparently to give the Boston
young lady an opportunity of meeting a representation of her
peers, the marriageable portion only of the New York community.
The evening was pronounced delightful by Miss Lawrence; but all
the guests were not of the same opinion.

{"BLUE" = literary or learned, from "blue-stocking"}

"What an absurd custom it is, to have these young people
parties," said Harry Hazlehurst, who was on one of his frequent
visits to New York at the time, and was sitting in Mrs. Graham's
drawing-room, with that lady, Jane, and Mrs. Stanley.

"I agree with you; it is a bad plan," observed Mrs. Stanley.

"The first of the kind that I went to, after we came home, made
me feel ashamed of myself; though Dr. Van Horne, I suppose, would
accuse me of high-treason for saying so."

"But most young people seem to enjoy them," said Mrs. Graham.

"It is paying us but a poor compliment to say so. One would think
the young people were afraid to laugh and talk before their
fathers and mothers. I really felt the other night as if we were
a party of children turned into the nursery to play, and eat
sugar-plums together, and make as much noise as we pleased,
without disturbing our elders. It is a custom that appears to me
as unnatural as it is puerile. I hope you don't like it," he
added, turning to Jane.

"I care very little about it."

"I am glad, at least, you do not defend it."

"There are a few families you know, Harry, who never give those
kind of parties," observed Mrs. Stanley.

Hazlehurst's conscience felt a twinge, for he knew she was
thinking of Elinor, whom Miss Wyllys had never allowed to give
these UNMARRIED parties; though she went to other houses, when
asked.

"Miss Taylor had collected a tribe of Europeans of all sorts,
last night; half-a-dozen Englishmen, and a vulgar Frenchman,"
observed Harry, by way of changing the conversation. "I was
surprised when my friend Townsend told me he was invited; he did
not know the Taylors, and only arrived a week since."

"Adeline invited him on purpose; Miss Lawrence is very fond of
foreigners, and you know Mr. Taylor calls on all the strangers
who arrive," said Jane.

Harry's lip curled a little.

"How disagreeable that Captain Kockney is," continued Jane.

"More than disagreeable," replied Harry. "I should not have used
so soft a word. I was not a little amused, by-the-bye, to see how
the fellow cooled off when Townsend and Ellery came in. Your low
set of English have such a thorough awe of those a few degrees
above them."

"That Mr. Kockney is so very forward and vulgar," said Mrs.
Graham, "that I wonder anybody can endure him. I was disgusted
with his manner on board the steamboat from Longbridge, the other
day."

"He is beneath notice," said Harry.

"I am not sure, either, that I like your friend, Mr. Ellery,
Harry."

"Ellery is no friend of mine; but, pray, don't name him in the
same breath with that Kockney."

"Oh, no, Mr. Ellery is a gentleman, evidently; but I don't like
his manners, there is something affected about him."

"Certainly, he knows how to play the coxcomb, and condescends to
do so quite too often. But I hope you like Townsend; he is really
a fine fellow."

"Mr. Townsend has very different manners."

"Yes, he has the best English manner; quite natural, and not
afraid to be civil. It is only the best of the English who are
quite free from nonsense. Ellery aims at effect, half the time;
Townsend has too much sense to do so."

"Well, I really wonder," said Jane, "how Mrs. Hilson can endure
that Captain Kockney."

"The silly little soul knows no better."

"To be sure, she is quite as ridiculous as he is."

"She is really very silly," said Mrs. Stanley. "It is a pity that
good, worthy Mr. Hubbard should have daughters so little like
himself, and so much like their mother."

"She is very pretty, though, and dresses very well," said Jane.
"Would you believe it, mamma, the other day, when she called at
Adeline's she wore a collar precisely like the prettiest of those
I brought from Paris."

"Does she visit a great deal at Mrs. Taylor's?" inquired her
mother.

"Oh, no; Adeline can't endure her. But she cannot get rid of her
entirely, because they meet in the country. Adeline would like to
drop the acquaintance altogether, but she says Mrs. Hilson won't
let her, because Mrs. Taylor's is the only fashionable house
where she visits."

"These Taylors have really done wonders in the last few years,"
said Mrs. Stanley, smiling.

"They have been quite as persevering, I dare say, as Mrs. Hilson
can be. They are a very vulgar, pushing family," observed Mrs.
Graham.

Jane coloured, and Harry feared she would shed a tear or two. She
was quite agitated. "Dear Jane," he thought," what an
affectionate heart she has!" By way of consoling her, probably,
and at the same time obtaining a better view of her downcast
face, he took a seat beside her. He even refrained from making an
observation which he had in petto, upon the volatile character
and manners of Miss Taylor, reserving it for the future;
determining that when they were man and wife, Jane should have
the full benefit of his opinion of her friend.

{"in petto" = in mind}

Let it not be supposed that Harry was too sure of success, in
thus looking forward to his marriage with Jane as no very
improbable event. Since he had appeared in the family as her
suitor, her manner had been encouraging. There were blushes and
moments of embarrassment which looked very favourably; and had he
been obliged to proclaim all his hopes, he would have confessed
that the same flattering signs had been observed by him in Paris,
and had contributed not a little to increase the warmth of his
own feelings. There was now a rival in the field, and one by no
means to be despised; but, although young de Vaux was
good-looking, agreeable, and very much in love, Jane did not seem
disposed to smile upon him. To do her justice, she was no
coquette; she was too indolent by nature, to labour very hard to
secure several conquests at the same time. Miss Graham was very
much admired, however, and was generally proclaimed the beauty of
the season; while Harry soon began to feel the vanity of the
favoured man.

But if she were a beauty, Adeline was a belle; a pretty, and a
rich belle, moreover, and Miss Taylor's train of admirers was
much larger than that of Miss Graham. So numerous indeed were her
followers, that she was seldom seen alone. If she visited, it was
with an attendant beau; if she were walking in Broadway, she had
generally one on each side of her; and at a party she was always
talking to half-a-dozen young men at a time. Miss Adeline was,
undeniably, a very popular belle. But all this homage was
sometimes attended with difficulties: one morning she wrote an
urgent note to her friend Jane, requesting that she would come to
see her, for she was unwell herself, and wanted advice in a
momentous affair.

The sympathising Jane had no sooner appeared, than Adeline
exclaimed, {sic}

"I am so perplexed, that I really don't know what to do! You must
decide for me."

"How can I help you? What is the matter?" inquired Jane.

"Why you know to-night is Mrs. Thompson's great ball, and I am
going, of course; though I have a very bad cold."

"Yes, you are really quite hoarse."

"No wonder! I have been so pestered by serenades for the last
fortnight, that I have not had one good night's rest. I had to
get up and show myself at the window, until I caught one cold
after another."

"Perhaps you had better not go to-night."

"You may be sure I shan't stay at home unless I have to keep my
bed; I am already engaged for five dances. But just look at the
centre-table."

Jane turned her eyes towards the table, which was covered with
flowers.

"How beautiful they are!" she exclaimed, going to look at them.
"One, two, four, six bouquets!--Where did they all come from?"

"Don't ask me; I am sick of the very sight of flowers!"

"This, with the variegated camellias, is beautiful!"

"Yes, it's pretty enough; but what shall I do with it?"

"Why, take it to the party this evening, of course."

"No, indeed; it came from Mr. Howard, and I can't endure him."

"Which have you chosen, then?"

"That is the very question; I don't know how to settle it."

"Take this one with the passion-flower."

"No, that I shan't; for it was sent just to spite me. Mr. Grant
sent it--and I told him last night that I hated passion flowers,
and everything else that is sentimental. What shall I do?--It is
so provoking!"

"Suppose you put them all in water, and go without any."

"My dear Jane, how you talk! That's what I never did in my life.
Go to a ball without a bouquet!--I can't think of such a thing!"

"We can untie them, and make up one ourselves, taking the
prettiest flowers from each."

"That won't do, either; for it's only the gardeners that can do
up these things decently. I wouldn't, for the world, carry one
that looked as if I had made it up myself."

"Well," said Jane, in despair, "I really don't know what else to
advise."

"I do believe the young gentlemen have leagued together to
provoke me! And this is not all, there are three more in water
up-stairs."

"You might take the first that came; perhaps that would be the
best plan."

"Would you have me take this ridiculous-looking thing, with only
one camellia in it! No, indeed;" and for a moment the two young
ladies sat down by the centre-table, looking despondingly at each
other and at the flowers.

"If I could only take the one I like best, it would be the
easiest thing in the world; but, you know, all the other
gentlemen would be offended then."

"Which do you like best?" asked Jane.

"Why this one, with the white camellias; it came from Theodore
St. Leger; he told me he would send one with white flowers only."
Adeline's colour rose a little as she spoke, and as that was not
a common occurrence with her, it looked suspicious.

"Did Mr. St. Leger dance with you last night?"

"Why, no, child, he never dances; I didn't see him dance, all the
time we were in Boston."

"I thought you liked him," said Jane, with innocent surprise.

"I like him well enough, after a fashion; as well as one can like
a man who never dances, and don't talk much. He is very stupid,
sometimes, and dresses very badly too."

"Is he handsome?" asked Jane.

"No, he is as ugly as he can be; I really think he looks just a
little like that old Mr. Hopkins, his uncle."

"What in the world makes you like him then?"

"I am sure I don't know. But don't fancy I really care about the
man. He is going back to Boston next week, and I don't suppose I
shall ever see him again; but I thought I would take his bouquet,
to-night, because he was so polite to me; and he will be there.
Oh, my dear Jane, talking of Boston, I have hit upon an idea!"

"Well, what is it?"

"I saw a girl at a party there--by-the-bye, it was Theodore St.
Leger's sister--who had her dress trimmed with natural flowers;
that's just the thing for me!" cried Adeline, clapping her hands.
The difficulty thus happily removed, the young ladies ran up
stairs, to determine more fully upon trimming a certain white
crape with the eight bouquets, divided for the purpose. The white
one, the offering of Mr. St. Leger, was reserved for the place of
honour, in Adeline's hand.



CHAPTER XX.

"Thy young and innocent heart,
How is it beating? Has it no regrets?
Discoverest thou no weakness lurking there?"
ROGERS.

{Samuel Rogers (English poet, 1763-1855), "Italy: The Nun" lines
71-73}

SISTERS' children, though bearing different names, and classed by
the world in different families, are generally much more alike
than those of brothers; they are apt to have more habits, tastes,
and feelings in common. And the reason is evident; it is usually
the mother who controls the internal family policy, who gives the
colouring to what may be called the family atmosphere. The father
may pass a statute once in a while, but the common-law which
regulates the every-day proceedings of the little community flows
from the mother; and we all know that the character is moulded
rather by daily practice in trifles, than by a few isolated
actions of greater importance in themselves. The aims and views
which people carry with them through life, generally spring up
from seeds received in the nursery, or at the family fire-side.
Even with men this is the case. The father may inculcate this or
that political creed into his son, he may direct his choice to
this or that profession; but the manner in which the youth
carries out his political principles, the way in which he fills
his profession, will depend on the impulses and motives
cultivated in childhood, and early youth; for it is then that the
character receives its bias. The mother's influence and example
are often to be traced in those minute shades of taste and
opinion, which are the foundation of our partialities, or our
dislikes; and, of course, the daughters of a family, from being
more constantly subject to this influence, imbibe a larger share
of it. It is immaterial whether the mother be aware of the
importance of her duties, of the weight of this responsibility,
or not; for good or for evil, the effect will still be felt,
though varying, of course, in different circumstances.

Elinor had not seen her cousin, Mary Van Alstyne, her mother's
niece, for several years, and she now met her in Philadelphia
with great pleasure. Miss Van Alstyne was some five or six years
older than herself; this difference in years had, indeed, been
the chief reason why they had never yet been very intimate. But
the same distance which separates girls of twelve and eighteen,
is, of course, less thought of at twenty and six-and-twenty, when
both are fairly launched into the world. Mary Van Alstyne and
Elinor found much to like in each other on a closer acquaintance;
and Miss Wyllys observing that the two cousins suited each other
so well, drew them together as much as possible, in order that
Elinor might have some one to fill the empty places of her former
companions, Jane and Harry.

Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst was a near neighbour of the Wyllyses in
Philadelphia; but Elinor had too much dread of meeting Harry, to
go there often; and it was only when she knew that he was in New
York, that she went to his brother's. The change in their
position was too recent to allow of her seeing him with
composure; their family connexion, and the intimate terms upon
which they had hitherto lived, only made their present
estrangement much more awkward than usual. Elinor tried to think
it fortunate that he should now be so often in New York.

The first time he was in Philadelphia after the Wyllyses were
settled there for the winter, Elinor escaped seeing him. As she
came in one morning from a ride with her grandfather, she found
his card on the table. It told the whole story of what had
passed; for she could not remember his having ever left a card at
their house before; he had been as much at home there as herself,
until the last six weeks. The sight of it caused her a very
painful feeling, and did away all the good effect of the pleasant
ride she had just taken on the banks of the Schuylkill. As she
walked slowly up-stairs to change her habit, her eyes filled with
tears; and had she been endowed with the proper degree of romance
for a regular heroine, she would probably have passed the morning
in hysterical sobs. But as she had quite as much good sense, as
fancy and feeling, she was by no means romantic; she had never
fainted but once in her life; and although it must be confessed
she had wept during the last few weeks, yet it was always in
spite of herself, at moments when the tears were forced from her
by some sudden recollection of the past, or some distressing
glimpse of the future. On the present occasion, instead of
encouraging solitary grief, she returned to the drawing-room, and
read aloud to her aunt, who was busy with her needle.

But Harry's second visit to Philadelphia was not to pass without
their meeting. Mr. Wyllys, Miss Agnes, and Elinor were spending
the evening at the house of a friend, when, to the surprise and
regret of all parties, Hazlehurst walked in with one of the young
men of the family, with whom he was intimate. It was the first
time they had met since the alarm on the piazza at Wyllys-Roof.
Poor Elinor, at the first glance, when the door opened, turned
deadly pale, as she always did when agitated. Harry, as he
crossed the room to make his bow to the lady of the house, felt
excessively uncomfortable; when he turned, not a little
embarrassed, towards the rest of the party, he received a slight
and cool movement of recognition from Mr. Wyllys, who was
standing at a corner of the fire-place. Miss Agnes made an effort
to say good evening, in her usual tone; and Harry replied that he
was very glad to find they were to be in Philadelphia for the
winter, words which were as far from the truth as possible.
Elinor would have given much to look and speak as calmly as her
aunt; but she could only bow in silence, for at the moment she
dared not trust her voice. The lady of the house, who knew very
well how to account for a meeting which seemed very ceremonious
between near connexions, who had always been so intimate, did her
best to make matters go off well; and her son, who was also in
the secret, rattled away to Elinor to the best of his ability.
But there was a very perceptible touch of cool disapprobation in
Mr. Wyllys's manner, and a something that was not quite natural,
in the tones of Miss Agnes's voice. Harry felt as if he were
doing penance, and he felt, moreover, as if he richly deserved
it. But the worst was to come. There was another lady present, a
New Yorker, who had lately seen Hazlehurst very often with the
Grahams, in his character of Jane's admirer, and she innocently
asked him when he was going to return to New York. "In a day or
two," he replied. "You will not leave the post vacant very long,
I dare say," observed the lady. Harry's answer was not very
distinctly heard, and he coloured as much as it is in the power
of man to do. The lady happily observed how much he was annoyed,
and changed the conversation. Hazlehurst was not in a mood to pay
a long visit: he soon rose to take leave. Elinor, in the mean
time, made a great effort for self-command. She knew that she was
the injured party, and yet she felt superior to all the
littleness of resentment--she acquitted Harry and Jane of all
intentional trifling with her feelings. The gentle, quiet dignity
of her manner gradually expressed what was passing in her mind.
As Harry passed near her, and bowed, collecting all her
self-possession, she wished him good-evening, with a calm, sweet
voice.

It was now Hazlehurst's turn to be much the most embarrassed of
the two; he bowed, and muttered something about calling, in a
voice much less clear than her's had been; then fairly giving up
the matter in despair, he quitted the ground with another bow. On
leaving the house, he walked rapidly down Walnut-Street, very
much dissatisfied with himself, and out of humour with his
friend, for having brought him into such an awkward scene.

The next day, when Elinor thought over what had passed, she felt
relieved that the first meeting, which she had so much dreaded,
was over; although she knew it must he a long time before she
could see Jane and Harry with perfect composure; she knew there
must be other unpleasant moments in store for her. There was no
danger but that Elinor would do all in her power to subdue her
feelings for Harry, and yet she sometimes reproached herself with
having done too little; her interest in him was still too strong.
She shrunk sensitively from longer encouraging any weakness for
him; it had now become a want of delicacy to do so, it would soon
be almost sinful. She knew that if she did not succeed in the
endeavour it would be her own fault only; for her whole education
had taught her that there was no passion, of whatever nature, too
strong to be conquered by reason and religion, when their aid was
honestly sought.

Miss Agnes, on the contrary, who knew how unexpectedly, and how
deeply, Elinor's feelings had been wounded, was fearful that her
adopted child was making too great an effort for self-control;
with a girl of her principles and disposition there was danger of
this. Elinor, since the first day or two, had sensitively avoided
every approach to the subject when conversing with her aunt. Miss
Agnes knew that time alone could teach her the lesson of
forgetfulness, and she now dreaded some reaction; although
admiring Elinor's courage and resolution, she wished her
occasionally to give a more natural vent to her feelings. It
struck her that the time for one open conversation on the subject
had come, and the result proved that her opinion was correct.
Elinor threw off a constraint that was not natural to her
character, and which had been kept up from an exaggerated sense
of duty. She now spoke with perfect frankness, nothing was
concealed; grief, regrets, struggles, all were confided to her
aunt, whose sympathy was grateful to her, while the advice given
with kindness and good sense, was of real service.

Many young people who knew Miss Wyllys, would have smiled at the
idea of her being a good counsellor on such an occasion, for her
own life, though useful and happy, had been quite uneventful. The
death of her mother, and the marriage of her brothers and sister,
had left her, when still a young and pretty woman, the only
companion and solace of her father. These duties were soon
increased by the charge of her orphan niece, and her time and
attention had since then seemed engrossed by these cares and
pleasures. Miss Wyllys was actually never known to have had a
regular suitor. Whether she might not have had her share of
declared admirers had she chosen to be encouraging, we cannot
say; it is a subject upon which we have no authorities.

Of course Miss Agnes could not be expected to know anything about
love, beyond what she had learned from books, or from
observation. She was, nevertheless, a much better adviser than
many a younger and more experienced friend. Where the head and
the heart are both in the right place, instinct soon teaches us
how to sympathize with our fellows in all troubles that really
belong to our nature.

It appeared to Elinor as if, in future, there would be an
additional tie between her aunt and herself; for she looked
forward to leading a single life, hoping to pass her days like
Miss Agnes, in that sphere of contented usefulness which seemed
allotted to her.

When Elinor had returned to her own room, after the conversation
to which we have alluded, she went to a writing-desk, and drew
from it a letter. It was the same she had received on her
seventeenth birth-day. It was from her mother. During the
lingering illness which caused her death, Mrs. Wyllys, deeply
anxious for the welfare of her orphan daughter, had written
several of these letters, adapted to her child's capacity at
different ages, and placed them in the hands of Miss Agnes, with
the request they might be given to Elinor at the dates marked on
the envelope of each. They had proved a precious legacy for the
young girl, and a guide to Miss Agnes in her education; for the
aunt had never forgotten that she was the mother's representative
only; Elinor having always been taught to give the first place to
her parent's memory. It seemed, indeed, as if her mother's spirit
had never ceased to linger near her, exerting its silent
influence. The letter to which Elinor attached so high a value is
given below.

"Wyllys-Roof, August 13th, 18--.

"MY OWN BELOVED CHILD,

"You will not receive this letter until you have reached the age
of womanhood, years after your mother has been laid in her grave.

"To separate from you, my darling child, has cost your mother a
bitter pang. There is no severer trial of faith to a Christian
woman, than to leave her little ones behind her, in a world
exposed to evil and sorrow; and yet, although so near death
myself, it is my wish that you may live, dearest, to taste all
that is good in life. Few mothers are blessed in death, as I am,
with the power of leaving their orphans to such kind and
judicious guardians as your grandfather and aunt; should they be
spared, you will scarcely feel the loss of your parents. Oh, how
fervent is my prayer that they may live to guard, to cherish you!
And when the task they have so piously assumed is fully
completed, may they long enjoy the fruits of their cares!

"It is with singular feelings that I write to you as a woman, my
child, and appeal to thoughts and sentiments, of which you are at
this moment so utterly unconscious; sitting, as you now are, at
my feet, amid your playthings, too busy with a doll, to notice
the tears that fall upon these last lines I shall ever have it in
my power to address to you. But the hope that this letter may,
one day, long after I have left you, be a tie between us, my
Elinor, is grateful to your mother's heart, and urges me to
continue my task. I have a double object in writing these
letters; I wish to be remembered by you, dear, and I wish to
serve you.

"During the last few months, since my health has failed, and
since you, my child, have been the chief object of interest to me
in this world, I have often endeavoured to pass over in my mind,
the next dozen years, that I might fancy my child, what I trust
she will then be, qualified in every essential point to act for
herself, in the position to which she belongs. I trust that when
this, my last letter, is placed in your hands, you will already
have learned to feel and acknowledge the important truths that I
have endeavoured to impress on you, in those you have previously
received. You are already convinced, I trust, that without a
religious foundation, any superstructure whatever must be
comparatively worthless. I should he miserable, indeed, at this
moment, if I could not hope that sincere, single-hearted piety
will be the chief influence of your life; without it, you could
never know true happiness, or even peace. Rest assured, my child,
that while it sweetens every blessing, it soothes under every
evil. Many have given the same testimony when they stood, like
your mother, within the shadow of death. I have every reason, my
beloved daughter, to hope that under the guidance of an humble,
sincere Christian, like your aunt, you also will arrive at the
same blessed conviction; I know that so long as she lives, her
example, her prayers, her vigilance will never be wanting. I have
every reason to believe that you will be led to seek that which
is never earnestly sought in vain.

"I must be brief, dear child, lest my strength should fail. From
the many thoughts that crowd upon me, I can only select a few,
which my own experience has taught me to value as important. In
the first place, let me warn you never to forget the difference
between Christian education, and all others. Remember that
Christian education has for its foundation the heart-felt
conviction of the weakness of human nature; for a being bearing
the name of a Christian to lose sight of this truth, is the
grossest of all inconsistencies. The great and the learned among
those who are merely philosophers, preach, as though to know what
is good, and to practise it, were equally easy to mankind. But
the Christian alone knows that he must look beyond himself for
guidance, and for support. He knows only too well, that there are
times when the practice of some plain and evident duty, costs his
feeble nature a severe struggle--in no instance will he dare
trust his own strength alone. He knows that even in those cases
where duly is also a pleasure, he must still be watchful and
humble, lest he fall. One would think this truth so obvious, from
daily observation, as to be undeniable; but it is now the fashion
to laud human nature, to paint flattering pictures only. Humility
is thought debasing; but Truth alone is honourable, and Humility
is Truth. You will find the actions of those who acknowledge this
truth, more honourable to the human race, than the deeds of those
who deny it. The true dignity of human nature consists, not in
shutting our eyes to the evil, but in restraining it; which, with
our Maker's help, we may all do, for the blessing of our Creator
is still within our reach, still vouchsafed to the humble
Christian. If such be your views, my daughter, you will be
prepared to find difficulties in acquiring and practising those
virtues which it is the duty of life to cultivate; you will be
prepared to meet those difficulties with the sincere humility of
a Christian, and with Christian exertion.

"My child, love the Truth, and the Truth only.

"Cultivate daily a pious, thankful, humble disposition.

"Love those near you heartily; live for them as well as for
yourself.

"Eschew all envy, and petty jealousies, and rivalries; there is
perhaps no other evil that so often poisons our daily blessings.

"Cultivate your judgment. Never forget the difference between
things of importance and trifles; yet remember that trifles have
also their value. Never lose sight of the difference between form
and spirit; yet remember that in this material world, the two
should seldom be put asunder. The true substance will naturally
have its shadow also.

"Cultivate a sweet, frank, cheerful temper, for your own sake,
and for the sake of those you love.

"Cultivate your abilities in every way that comes naturally
within your reach; it is seldom worth while for a woman to do
more than this. In all you learn, aim at giving pleasure to
others, aim at being useful to them, as well as at improving your
own faculties.

"Enjoy thankfully all the blessings of life; and they are
innumerable.

"There is one subject, of some importance to you individually, my
child, which I have not yet alluded to in either of my letters; I
have purposely deferred it until you will be better fitted to
understand me. You will have one personal evil to contend
against, my dear Elinor; your face will be plain, your features
will be homely, darling. It is a weakness, my child, and yet I
regret you should suffer from this disadvantage; rest assured,
that in every little mortification to which you may be exposed,
your mother, had she lived, would have felt with you. I trust
that this will be the first time your attention will be seriously
fixed upon the subject, and that as a child you will scarcely
have thought upon it. Let us then, dear, look upon the matter
together for a moment, calmly and steadily; we will not blind
ourselves to the advantages of beauty, neither will we exaggerate
the evils of a want of it. You will soon discover, from your own
observation, that beauty in women, as in children, is delightful
in itself; it throws a charm over the words and actions of the
favoured person. In a worldly sense it is also a woman's power;
where other qualifications are equal, you may often observe that
beauty alone confers a striking superiority. In some respects its
advantages are even greater than are usually allowed, in others
again they are far less. Were we to judge by the space it fills
in general observation, and in conversation, we should believe it
the one all-important qualification in women, that nothing else
can be compared with it. But to adopt this opinion would be
grossly to exaggerate its importance. Nor can we believe, on the
other hand, what some prudent writers for the young have
affirmed, that the superiority of beauty is only momentary; that
the eyes tire of a beautiful face which they see daily, that in
all cases it vanishes with early youth. No, my child, I do not
wish you to believe this, for I cannot believe it myself. For
years, the beauty of my sister Elizabeth has been a daily source
of pleasure to me, and I doubt not to others also. My aunt, Mrs.
Graham, though past fifty, is still a handsome woman, and her
appearance must be pleasing to every one who meets her; while, on
the contrary, people still amuse themselves at the expense of
Miss Townley, whose face is strikingly plain. Hundreds of
examples might be cited to prove that the charm of beauty does
not generally vanish so soon, that one does not tire of it so
easily. And then if a woman lose her beauty entirely, still the
reputation of having once possessed it, gives her a sort of
advantage in the eyes of the world. If mere notoriety be an
advantage, and in the opinion of the worldly it is so, the
superiority of beauty over ugliness lasts longer than life; many
women are remembered, who had nothing but beauty to recommend
them to the notice of posterity. But observe, my child, that if
these advantages are evident, they are chiefly of a worldly
nature. A beautiful woman may receive general admiration, and
that homage which gratifies vanity, but she must depend on other
qualities if she wish to be respected, if she wish to be loved
through life. I hope, my child, you will always be superior to
that miserable vanity which thirsts for common admiration, which
is flattered by every offering, however low, however trivial. I
trust that the mere applause of the world will have no influence
upon your heart or your understanding. Remember what it is that
we call the world--it is a ground governed by a compromise
between the weaknesses of the good among us, and the virtues of
the bad; the largest portion of vanity and folly--sometimes even
vice--mingled with the least portion of purity and wisdom that a
community bearing a Christian name will tolerate. You, I trust,
will learn to seek a higher standard.

"If borne in a right spirit, my dear Elinor, the very want of
beauty, or of any other earthly good, may be the means of giving
you the benefit of far higher blessings. If it make you more free
from vanity, from selfishness, it will make you far happier, even
in daily life. It may dispose you to enjoy more thankfully those
blessings actually in your possession, and to make a better use
of them.

"Under this and every other disadvantage, my child, remember two
things: to give the evil its just importance only, and to make a
right use of it.

"I trust that your temper will be such, that you will not for a
moment feel any inclination to repine that others should enjoy a
blessing denied to you, my love. Refrain even from wishing for
that which Providence has withheld; if you have a right faith,
you will be cheerful and contented; if you are really humble, you
will be truly thankful.

"Do all in your power, my Elinor, towards making your home,
wherever it may be, a happy one; it is our natural shelter from
the world. If in public you meet with indifference and neglect,
you can surely preserve the respect of those who know you; and
the affection of your friends may always be gained by those
quiet, simple virtues, within the reach of every one.

"In one way, my dearest child, the want of beauty may affect your
whole career in life--it will very probably be the cause of your
remaining single. If I thought you would be united to a husband
worthy of your respect and affection, I should wish you to marry;
for such has been my own lot in life--I have been happy as a wife
and a mother. But I am well aware that this wish may be a
weakness; the blessings of Providence are not reserved for this
or that particular sphere. The duties and sorrows of married life
are often the heaviest that our nature knows. Other cares and
other pleasures may be reserved for you, my child. In every
civilized Christian community there have always been numbers of
single women; and where they have been properly educated, as a
class they have been respectable--never more so than at the
present day. They often discharge many of the most amiable and
praiseworthy duties of life. Understand me, my child; I do not
wish to urge your remaining single; that is a point which every
woman must decide for herself, when arrived at years of
discretion; but I would have you view a single life with
sufficient favour to follow it cheerfully, rather than to
sacrifice yourself by becoming the wife of a man whom you cannot
sincerely respect. Enter life prepared to follow, with unwavering
faith in Providence, and with thankfulness, whichever course may
be allotted to you. If you remain single, remember that your
peace is more in your own hands than if married--much more will
depend solely on the views and dispositions you encourage. As
appearance has generally so much influence over men, and marriage
is therefore a less probable event to you than to others, my
love, let your mother caution you to watch your feelings with
double care; be slow to believe any man attached to you, unless
you have the strongest proof of it.

"Whatever be your position, never lose sight, even on trifling
occasions, of common sense, and good-feeling. Remember, in any
case, to guard carefully against the peculiar temptations of your
lot, to bear patiently its evils, and to enjoy thankfully its
peculiar blessings.

"There are many things that I should still wish to say to you, my
beloved daughter; and yet I know that the cautions I give may be
unnecessary, while other evils, which I have never feared, may
befall you. My inability to guide you as I wish, my darling
child, directs us both to a higher source of wisdom and love. Let
us both, at all times, implicitly place our trust where it can
never fail, though blessings be not bestowed in the way we fond
creatures would choose."

[Here followed a sentence, in words too solemn to be transferred
to pages as light as these.]

"Love your aunt, your second mother, truly and gratefully. She
has already bestowed on you many proofs of kindness, and she has
always been a faithful friend to your father, and to your mother.
Love the memory of your parents, my child; think of us
sometimes--think of your father--think of your mother. Honour
their memory by a recollection of their instructions, by a
well-spent life. Since your birth, my child, I have scarcely had
a hope or a fear, unconnected with you; if I were to ask to live,
it would be only for your sake, my darling daughter.

"Your mother's tenderest blessing rests upon you, my beloved
Elinor, through life!

"MARY RADCLIFFE WYLLYS"

This letter had been often read and studied by Elinor, with the
gratitude and respect it deserved, as a legacy from her mother;
but lately she had been disposed to enter more fully into the
feelings by which it had been dictated. Every word which applied
to her present situation, sunk deeply into her heart.



CHAPTER XXI.

"Merrily, merrily dance the bells;
Swiftly glides the sleigh!"
Newspaper Verses.

{source not located}

EARLY in December, a new glazed card was to be seen on most of
the fashionable tables in New York. It was of the particular tint
most in favour that season, whether bluish or pinkish we dare not
affirm, for fear of committing a serious anachronism, which might
at once destroy, with many persons, all claim to a knowledge of
the arcana of fashionable life. Having no authorities at hand to
consult, the point must be left to the greater research of the
critical reader. This card bore the name of T. TALLMAN TAYLOR;
but whether in Roman or Italic characters we dare not say, for
the same reason which has just been frankly confessed. It was,
however, a highly fashionable bit of pasteboard, as became the
representative of a personage who returned to New York, claiming
the honours of fashion himself. This was no less a person than
the Son of Mr. Pompey Taylor. But the T. Tallman Taylor, whose
whole appearance was pronounced unexceptionable by the New York
belles, from the points of his boots to the cut of his
moustaches, was a very different individual from the
good-looking, but awkward, ungainly youth, introduced to the
reader two or three years since, at Wyllys-Roof. He had, in the
mean time, learned how to stand, how to sit, how to walk, how to
talk in a drawing-room. He had learned what to do with his cane
and his hat, how to manage his pocket-handkerchief and his
gloves; branches of knowledge which an American who sets about
acquiring them, usually learns quite rapidly. He was also very
much improved in riding and dancing, and was said to fence well.
These, with the addition of a much better French accent, were the
principal changes perceptible to the ladies, who pronounced them
all for the better. Among the young men he was soon found to be
an excellent judge of Chateau Margaux and Rudesheimer; some also
thought him knowing in horse-flesh, while others doubted his
qualifications in that respect. His father, moreover, soon
discovered that he had become an adept in the art of spending
money; among his intimates, cards, and the billiard-table, with
other practices of that description, were hinted at, as the way
in which he got rid of his dollars. But as these were subjects
not mentioned in general society, it was as yet the initiated
only, who were aware of young Taylor's Paris habits of this kind.

{"Chateau Margaux and Rudesheimer" = two famous wines}

His father had, of late years, learned to set too high a value
upon the world, and everything worldly, not to be much gratified
by the change that had taken place in his son. As for Adeline,
she gloried in his six-feet and his black moustaches, his Paris
waistcoat and London boots; while his honest-hearted mother would
have loved him just as much under any other metamorphosis he had
chosen to assume. Such as he was, young Taylor soon became quite
a favourite beau with the New Yorkers, and was invited to most
houses. He proved himself quite a ladies' man; no lazy, grumbling
dandy, but a smiling, assiduous beau. He had not been in New York
a month, before he was known to have sent a number of bouquets to
different belles, and was supposed to have given more than one
serenade to his sister's friend, Miss Hunter.

The last day of December, all New York was set in motion by a
fall of snow, sufficient to allow of pretty good sleighing for
four-and-twenty hours. Like such occasions in general, it became
a sort of holiday. And really, the novelty, the general movement,
the bustle and gaiety, the eagerness to enjoy the pleasure while
it lasts, always render such scenes very enlivening. Every
vehicle with runners, and every animal bearing the name of a
horse, are put in requisition for the day. The dashing sleighs
crowded with gaily dressed people, the smiling faces and flying
feathers of the ladies, the rich cloths and furs, the bright
colours of the equipages, and the inspiriting music of the merry
bells, give to Broadway, at such times, quite a carnival look.
The clear, bracing air disposes people to be cheerful; even the
horses feel the spirit of the moment; they prance their heads
proudly, and shake the bells about their necks, as if delighted
with the ease and rapidity of their motion; sympathizing
foot-passengers stop to give their friends a nod, and follow
their rapid course with good-natured smiles. Young people and
children are collected for a frolic, and family parties hurry off
to drink coffee and mulled wine, to eat plum-cake and waffles at
the neighbouring country-houses. It is altogether a gay, cheerful
sight, enjoyed with all the more zest from its uncertainty.

Hazlehurst was delighted, as he went to his window, the morning
in question, to find the roofs and pavements covered with snow.
For several years he had had no sleighing, and he promised
himself a very pleasant day. Mrs. Stanley was going to remain
quietly at home. He sent to a livery-stable to secure a good
horse and a pretty cutter for himself and immediately after
breakfast hurried off to Mrs. Graham's lodgings, with the hope of
obtaining Jane as a companion. "And who knows," thought he, "what
may happen before evening."

He had just reached Mrs. Graham's door, when a very dashing
sleigh, drawn by four fine horses, drew up from the opposite
direction. Young Taylor was in the coachman's seat; Miss Hunter,
Adeline, and a quiet-looking young man, whom we shall introduce
as Theodore St. Leger, were in the sleigh. Miss Adeline threw off
her over-cloak, and as she gave her hand to Mr. St. Leger, to
jump from the sleigh, called out to Harry in her usual shrill
voice, {sic}

"Good morning, Mr. Hazlehurst, you are exact at the rendez-vous,
for of course you got my note. But you ought to have brought a
lady with you; you mustn't run away with Jane; she is to be of
our party in the sleigh, do you hear?" continued the young lady,
trying hard to look pretty and positive, at the same time. "I
hope you didn't mean to ask her to go with you."

"Yes, I did," replied Harry, rather stoutly. "Miss Graham told me
the other day, she quite longed for sleighing, and made something
very like a promise to go with me if we had any snow."

"Oh, but not to-day; I must have her in the sleigh with me! Now,
Jane, dear," continued the young lady, tripping into the
drawing-room followed by her brother and Harry, "put on your hat
at once, that's a good girl; we wouldn't miss having you for the
world."

Harry had often been provoked with Adeline's constant
appropriation of Jane to herself, when they were together; and he
determined, if he could prevent it, she should not succeed this
time.

"Miss Taylor is very decided," he said, "but so am I. And I think
you must remember you were pledged to me for the first sleighing,
if we were so fortunate as to have any."

"It's no such thing, I'm sure;--is it, Jane?"

"Pray, remember we are two to one, Miss Graham," said young
Taylor, on the other side, in an insinuating voice.

"But we can all go together," said Jane, blushing, and scarcely
knowing what to do.

"If Mrs. Graham were here," added Harry, "I think she would
certainly trust you with me. I have a very good horse, one that I
have driven all along, and he is perfectly safe."

"So are ours, all four of them," said Adeline; "and I'm sure
there must be more safety with four safe horses, than with one!"

"Perfectly safe, Miss Graham, I assure you," added young Taylor.
"Of course I should not press you unless I felt sure you would
run no risk."

"Pshaw!" said Adeline. "Why should we stand here, talking about
the risk and danger, like so many old grey-beards. Put on your
hat, dear, that's a darling, without any more palaver. Anne
Hunter and Mr. St. Leger are waiting for us at the door; you know
we are going to Bloomingdale, to lunch, at Mrs. Hunter's. We
shall have a charming time; and Mr. Hazlehurst is going with us
too. Of course you got my note," she added, turning to Harry.

{"Bloomingdale" = a fashionable and still rural area of Manhattan
Island, though a part of New York City}
 
"No, I did not; but I should have been obliged to decline your
invitation, Miss Taylor," said Hazlehurst, bowing a little
stiffly. "I have made arrangements for going on Long Island."

"Oh, that's a pity; I am really sorry, for I wanted you to be of
our party; only I couldn't have you run away with my friend Jane.
Silence gives consent, Jane. You didn't answer my note, this
morning."

"Perhaps I had better not go at all," said Jane, not a little
perplexed. "Mamma is not at home, and will not know what has
become of me."

"Nonsense, child; Mrs. Graham will know you are in very good
hands. You have been out with me a hundred times before, and you
surely don't think there is any more danger because Tallman is of
the party."

"I hope not," added young Taylor, in an insinuating manner; "I'm
a first-rate whip, Miss Graham."

"Now, just tell the truth; didn't you mean to go with me, before
Mr. Hazlehurst came in?" said Adeline--"no fibbing, mind."

"I only received your note ten minutes since," replied Jane; "but
I did think of going with you."

"I should like to know why you hesitate, then. First come, first
served. Now, the best thing you can do, Mr. Hazlehurst, is to
change your mind, and ask one of the Miss Howards, and join our
party, too. I really wish you would!"

"You are very good," said Harry, coldly; "but I must beg you to
excuse me."

Jane allowed herself to be shawled and cloaked by young Taylor,
and the affair was settled. But Harry thought she did not seem
quite satisfied with herself, for she changed colour several
times, and he even remarked that her fingers trembled as she tied
the strings of her hat. This rather softened his feelings towards
her; but he still felt extremely provoked with the meddling
Adeline, and her officious brother. As he did not wish to play
the worsted man, however, he tried to put a good face on the
matter, and accompanied the party down-stairs, helped the ladies
into the sleigh, wished them a pleasant drive, and went off
himself, at a rapid pace, towards the Long-Island ferry.

He was exceedingly out of humour with Adeline, and reproached
Jane not a little for allowing herself to be so often guided by
her trifling friend. The occurrence of the morning, hastened his
determination to bring matters to a conclusion. That very evening
should decide the point. He must have been more than modest to
have doubted the result; Jane's manner he had long thought just
what he could wish from one so little demonstrative as herself.
Hubert de Vaux, it is true, had been very assiduous of late, but
Jane had never given him any sign of preference, sufficient to
excite Harry's jealousy. Mr. Graham was expected every day from
Charleston, to pass the remainder of the winter with his family;
as he had already given one daughter to the elder Hazlehurst, and
no serious objection could be raised against Harry, his prospects
were very promising. Before long, the gentle, lovely Jane would
be his own; his would be the enviable lot, of carrying off the
beautiful prize.

Hazlehurst had time to make these reflections, and disperse his
ill-humour, before he reached the wharf at Brooklyn. Here he met
Charlie Hubbard, whom he had not seen for some time, not, indeed,
since his rupture with the Wyllyses. Charlie's greeting was not
quite as warm as usual; he did not seem as much pleased at this
unexpected meeting, and the offer of a seat in Harry's cutter, as
one might have supposed. Hazlehurst was so cordial, however, and
urged the young painter so much to take a turn with him on the
Island, that, after a little hesitation, Hubbard accepted.

"Come, Charlie; I am sure you haven't any very good reason for
not making the most of the snow, like the rest of us."

"Perhaps not," said Charlie; and he took his seat with Harry.

Hubbard gave a good account of himself and his family. He had
received several orders; and his pet picture of the moment was
going on finely. His youngest sister was in town, taking music
lessons, to fit her for her future occupation; and he had just
sent Miss Patsey a pair of globes for her school, as a New Year's
gift; the most expensive present, by-the-bye, Charlie had ever
made in his life.

"I feel quite rich," said the young man, "since I pocketed a
hundred a-piece for my two views of Nahant. To be sure, I never
expect to make a fortune; if I can earn enough to support my
mother and sister, and paint only such pictures as I please, that
is all I want of the good things of this world."

"It's all very well to say so now, Charlie, that you have
received your two hundred; but wait till you are the great Mr.
Hubbard, and expect two thousand for your last view of
Coney-Island."

"That day will never come, to me, or to any other man, perhaps,
in this country," replied young Hubbard. "I go to work with my
eyes open, as you well know. My uncles have talked the matter
over with me a hundred times, if they have once; they have showed
me what I could do if I took to making money, and what I could
not do if I took to painting. They have offered to help me on;
Mr. Taylor would take me into his counting-house, to-morrow; and
Hilson offers to make me an auctioneer. But I have chosen my
profession, and I shall abide by it. I have no wish for wealth. I
should never be tempted to sell my soul for money--no, nor my
good name, or my independence: for I do not feel willing to
barter even my time and tastes for riches. I can honestly say,
money has no charms for me. A comfortable subsistence, in a very
moderate way, is all I should ask for."

"I know it, Hubbard, and I honour your decision," said
Hazlehurst, warmly. "It is impossible, however, but that genius
like yours should make its way; and I hope you may meet with all
the success you deserve, even though it bring you more money than
you wish for: one of these days when there is a Mrs. Hubbard, you
may want more than you require now."

A shade of feeling passed over the young artist's fine face, as
Harry carelessly uttered these words; it seemed to spring from
some painful thought. It was unobserved by Hazlehurst, however,
who was not looking at his companion at the moment. Charlie was
soon roused by Harry's inquiries as to his plans for travelling
in Europe. The young men then spent a pleasant hour in discussing
different works of the great masters, which Hubbard, as yet, knew
only from engravings and books. Surrounded by snow and ice, they
talked over the atmospheres of Italy and Greece.



CHAPTER XXII.

"Happy New-Year!"

THE streets had been cleared of the snow for New-Year's day, by a
thaw, and a hard shower in the night. The sun rose bright and
clear; and, as usual, early in the morning, that is to say
morning in its fashionable sense, the greater part of the male
population of the town were in motion, hurrying in all directions
towards the houses of their female friends and relatives. It
appeared as if the women had suddenly deserted the city, and the
men were running about, half-distracted, in pursuit of them.
After the markets and churches were closed, few indeed were the
females to be seen in the streets; while, on the contrary, troops
of men of all ages, were hurrying over the side-walks of
Broadway, usually enlivened by the gay dresses and bright faces
of the ladies. There were young men running a race against time,
carrying lists in their hands with an impossible number of visits
to be paid during the day; there were boys taking their first
steps in this yearly course of gallantry; there were elderly men
walking more leisurely from one favoured house to another. All,
but a few grumblers here and there, looked smiling and
good-humoured. As the black-coated troop hastened hither and
thither, they jostled one another, now nodding, now shaking
hands; here, old friends passing without seeing each other;
there, a couple of strangers salute one another in the warmest
manner. The doors of the houses seemed to open of themselves; men
were going in, men were coming out. The negroes looked more
lustrous and light-hearted than ever; the Paddies, cleaner and
more bothered; the regular Knickerbockers, to the manner born,
were, of course, in their element.

{"visits" = for men to make short calls at as many homes as
possible on New Year's Day was an old New York City custom;
"Paddies" = Irish; "Knickerbockers" = traditional term for native
New Yorkers}

We have heard nice calculations as to the precise number of
calls, that an able-bodied, well-trained New-Year's visiter can
accomplish between midnight and midnight; allowing, of course, a
couple of hours for the toilette, and a moment to snatch a
mouthful at breakfast and dinner: it is affirmed, however, that
as great generals have passed days of battle without food, so
your chivalrous Knickerbocker should be willing to forego, on
such an occasion, even a sight of the roast turkey and
cranberries. Allowing the individual, however, something to
sustain nature, that he may be the better enabled to perform his
duties, it is supposed that a beau, in good visiting condition,
should pay his court in not more than three hundred, nor less
than fifty drawing-rooms. But, then, to do this, a man must have
method; he must draw up his plan of action before-hand; he must
portion out his districts, as they lie on each side of that
longest of streets, Broadway; he must not only study the map of
the city closely, but he must possess an accurate knowledge of
the localities; he must remember that some houses have stoops of
twelve steps, that some drawing-rooms are not on the first floor.
He must NOT allow himself to be enticed into any flirtation
whatever, beyond a glance or a smile; he must NOT indulge the
hope of calling twice upon the sweet creature he most admires; he
must NOT be tempted to sink, even for a moment, upon the most
comfortable of ottomans or divans; he must NOT return home to
re-adjust his locks, to change either boots, gloves, or
handkerchief. We have heard it asserted, that owing to some
unfortunate weakness of this kind, many a promising youth,
unaccustomed, probably, to the hardships of such visiting, has
been distanced in the gallant race of the day, by more methodical
men--by men who were actually encumbered with over-shoes and
greatcoats!

It is amusing to watch the hurried steps of some experienced
visiter without doors; the decision of his movements, the
correctness of his calculation in passing out of one house into
another; and one is sure to know a raw recruit, by his anxious,
perplexed manner and expression.

The scene within doors is quite as amusing as it is without.
Everything wears a holiday look; it is evidently no common
morning reception; the ladies' dresses look gayer and fresher,
their smiles brighter than usual; the house, the furniture, and
the inmates, all wear their most agreeable aspect. The salver of
refreshments speaks at once the occasion; for there, in the midst
of richer cakes, stands the basket of homely "New-Years'
cookies," bequeathed to their descendants by the worthy vrows of
New-Amsterdam. The visiters appear, first singly, then in
parties. Here comes a favourite partner of the young ladies,
there a mere bowing acquaintance of the master of the house. This
is an old family friend, that a neighbour who has never been in
the house before; here is a near relative, there a passing
stranger. The grey-haired old gentleman who has the arm-chair
wheeled out for him, announces his fiftieth visiting anniversary;
the buckish youth, his grandson, has already made his bow, and
off again; so {sic} finish his gallant duties. Now we have a five
minutes visit from a declared lover; and who follows him? One who
advances slowly and steadily, with a half-inquiring look; the
lady of the house sees him, gives a glance of surprise, is
gratified, accepts the offered hand immediately. That is a
reconciliation; old friendship broken off, now renewed, a
misunderstanding forgotten--that is one of the pleasantest visits
of the day. All come, bow, look, and speak their friendly
good-wishes, and are off again to make room for others.

{"New Years' cookies" = the Dutch in New York had special recipes
for cakes and "cookies" for each major holiday, such as New
Year's Day; vrows" = wives, in old Dutch New York}

Long may this pleasant, cheerful, good-natured, lively custom be
perpetuated among us! As long as the side-walks of Manhattan and
the canals of Amsterdam last, so long may Santa Claus bring his
Christmas gifts to the little folk; and so long may the gallant
Knickerbockers pay to their female friends the homage of a
PERSONAL visit at New-Year's. Cards on every other day in the
year, if necessary; but, on New Year's, carry your good wishes in
person. Should not, indeed, a custom so pleasant spread
throughout the whole country, like crackers, waffles, Dutch
blood, and many other good things brought originally from
Holland?

On the particular New-Year's day at which we have arrived in our
narrative, an individual of the reader's acquaintance, instead of
joining the busy throng of visiters, was seen turning his steps
through a bye-street, towards the Battery. He walked slowly
through Greenwich-Street, apparently busy with thoughts of his
own, and entering the Battery-Gate he continued for some time
pacing the paved walk near the water.

"There is a fellow who seems to have nothing to do to-day," said
a young man to his companion, as they were hurrying across the
Battery from one end of State-Street to the other. "I should like
to hire him as proxy, to show himself in a score or two of houses
in my place. I should hand him over half my list at once, if I
thought the ladies would submit to the exchange; he looks like a
presentable chap, too."

"Why, it is actually Harry Hazlehurst! What can he be doing,
moping about in that fashion?"

"Hazlehurst, is it? Oh, ho!--you have heard the hubbub they have
had at the Graham's, I suppose?"

"Not I--What is it?"

"There was quite a scene there, yesterday; my sister had the news
from Adeline Taylor, a great friend of her's; so it comes very
straight."

"I thought all was going on there as smoothly as possible. I
expected an invitation to the wedding before long."

"To be sure; so did everybody. But it seems the beauty has ideas
of her own. In the first place she refused Hazlehurst, rather to
the astonishment of himself and all his friends, I believe."

"Refused Hazlehurst!--You don't say so!"

"And that is only half the story. She took the same opportunity,
while weeping and trembling, to confide to her mamma that her
heart had been for some time, how long I cannot tell you
precisely, the property of Tall. Taylor."

"What, Tallman Taylor? That is news, indeed--I never should have
dreamt of such a thing."

"Miss Adeline Taylor is the authority. It seems the affair has
been going on, no one knows how long, and Miss Taylor has had the
management of it. These girls are sly minxes; they are not to be
trusted, half of them."

"And what says Taylor to all this?"

"What does he say? Why he is in a sort of ecstasy of despair, I
suppose; for the Grahams won't hear of the match. It was no news
to him; they have been engaged, I tell you, for months,"

At that moment the two young men entered the door of a house in
State-Street. Although their story was, upon the whole, correct;
yet, we happen to be still better informed on the subject, and
shall proceed to account, in our own way, for Hazlehurst's
solitary walk.

When Miss Adeline and her party had returned from sleighing,
Harry went to Mrs. Graham's, and finding Jane alone, he
immediately seized the moment to explain himself, beginning by a
lover-like remonstrance upon her having joined the Taylors,
instead of going with him as she had already promised to do. Jane
was excessively embarrassed. As Harry proceeded, she became more
and more agitated. Her manner was so confused, that it was some
time before Hazlehurst could understand that she wished to refuse
him. Had she not actually wept, and looked frightened and
distressed, he might have given a very different interpretation
to her embarrassment. At length, in answer to a decided question
of his, she confessed her attachment to another person; and,
never was lover more surprised by such an acknowledgement.
Pained, and mortified, and astonished as Harry was, the name of
"Hubert de Vaux!" passed his lips before he was aware he had
spoken.

"Oh, no; no;" said Jane. "I never cared at all for Mr. de Vaux."

Harry's astonishment increased. He could scarcely believe that he
had heard her correctly. To whom could she possibly be attached?

"Oh, I wish I had some one here to advise me! Adeline may say
what she pleases, I cannot conceal it any longer."

Harry listened in amazement.

"Is it possible," he said, at length, "that there is some
difficulty, some embarrassment, that prevents your acting as you
would wish? My dear Jane, confide in me. You cannot doubt that I
love you, that I have long loved you;" and Harry then ran over a
variation of his first declaration. But Jane's trouble seemed
only to increase.

"Oh, stop, Harry; don't talk in that way," she said; "I ought to
have told you before. I wished to tell you when you first came on
to New York, but Adeline said we should risk everything by it."

"What can you possibly risk? What is it you wish to tell me?"

"I was very sorry when you broke with Elinor--I never can have
any other feeling for you than I have always had: I have been for
some time, almost-----engaged--to--to--Mr. Taylor--"

"You-----engaged to Mr. Taylor!"

"No-----not engaged-----only I have not refused him--We know
father and mother dislike Mr. Taylor's family so much--"

It was but natural that Harry should feel indignant at having
been deceived by the under-current of plotting that had been
going on; that he should feel mortified, ashamed of himself, and
disappointed, at the same time; vexed with Jane, and almost
furious against the meddling, officious Adeline, and her
presuming brother. From a long acquaintance with Jane's
character, it flashed upon his mind in a moment, that she must
have been misguided, and gradually led on by others. But the
mischief was done; it was evident that at present, at least, she
cared no more for him than she had always done; while, on the
contrary, young Taylor had insinuated himself into her
affections. He could not endure to think, that while Jane was
indifferent to himself, his successful rival should be one whom
he so much disliked. Yet, such was the fact. It was infatuation
on the part of Jane, no doubt; and yet how often these deceptions
have all the bad effects of realities! He had been silent for
some minutes, while the tears were streaming freely from Jane's
beautiful eyes.

"Oh, if I had not been so afraid that father would never give his
consent, I should not have waited so long. If I only knew what to
do now?"

Harry came to a magnanimous resolution. "I forgive you, Jane," he
said, "the pain you have caused, since I cannot but think that it
is not the fruit of your own suggestions. You could not
deliberately have trifled with me in this way; I owe it, no
doubt, to the goodness of Miss Taylor," he added, bitterly. Jane
made no answer, but continued to weep. Harry felt some compassion
for her, in spite of her unjustifiable conduct towards himself.
In the course of half an hour, she had fallen very much in his
estimation; but he determined to return good for evil, by urging
her to take the only step now in her power--the only one proper
under the circumstances. He begged her, as she valued her future
peace, to reveal everything to her mother; and to be guided in
future by Mrs. Graham. But Jane seemed terrified at the idea.

"Oh," said she, "father will be so angry! And we expect him every
day: Mother, too, I know, will think I have behaved very badly to
you."

It is probable she might not have had the courage to follow his
advice, had not Mrs. Graham accidentally entered the room at the
moment. Her attention was immediately attracted to the unusual
expression of Harry's face, and the tearful, woe-begone look of
her daughter, which she could in no way account for. Harry,
merely answering her inquiries by a bow, arose and left the room,
leaving the mother and daughter together.

Poor Mrs. Graham was little aware of what awaited her. She could
not be called a woman of very high principles, but she had more
feeling, and, of course, more experience than Jane. When she
discovered the true state of things, she was very much shocked.
She had never had the least idea of what had been going on around
her; far from it, indeed, she had never for a moment doubted
that, before long, her daughter would become the wife of young
Hazlehurst.

Little by little she gathered the whole truth from the weeping
Jane. It appeared that the two or three meetings which had taken
place between Jane and young Taylor, just before he sailed, had
been sufficient for him to fancy himself in love with her. He
made a confidante of his sister Adeline, who, as one of the older
class in her boarding-school, considered all love-affairs as
belonging to her prerogative. Her friend, Miss Hunter, was a
regular graduate of the Court of Love, according to the code--not
of Toulouse--but of a certain class of school-girls in New-York.
This young lady had gone through the proper training from her
cradle, having been teased and plagued about beaux and lovers,
before she could walk alone. She had had several love-affairs of
her own before she was fifteen. "All for love," was her motto;
and it was a love which included general flirtation as the spice
of unmarried life, and matrimony with any individual whatever,
possessing a three-story house in Broadway, as the one great
object of existence. Adeline had, of course, profited by such
companionship; and, at the time her brother confessed himself in
love with Miss Graham, after having met once on board a
steamboat, and once at an evening party, she was fully equal to
take the management of the whole affair into her own hands. It is
true, young Taylor had entered into a boyish engagement at
college; but that was thought no obstacle whatever. She delighted
in passing her brother's compliments over to Jane; in reporting
to him her friend's blushes and smiles. With this state of
things, young Taylor sailed for Europe; but Adeline gloried too
much in her capacity of confidante, to allow the matter to drop:
not a letter was written but contained some allusion to the
important subject. In the course of the year she had talked Jane
into quite a favourable state of feeling towards her brother; he
would probably himself have forgotten the affair, had not Miss
Graham arrived in Paris at the moment she did.

They saw each other, of course, and the feelings which Adeline
had been encouraging during the last year, and which otherwise
would have amounted to nothing at all, now took a serious turn.
Young Taylor was very handsome, and astonishingly improved in
appearance and manners. Jane, herself, was in the height of her
beauty, and the young man had soon fallen really in love with
her. Unfortunately, just at the moment that he became attentive
to her, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, who was confined to the house
that winter, had confided Jane to the care of Mrs. Howard, the
lady who had brought her from America. Young Taylor soon found
out that he was rather disliked by Mr. and Mrs. Hazlehurst, and
preferred securing Jane's favour, if possible, without attracting
the attention of her friends. Adeline, on her part, had
discovered that her own family were no favourites with Mr. and
Mrs. Graham; of course she recommended the proper degree of
mystery, under the name of prudence. Young Taylor left Paris for
England, about the time that Harry returned from his eastern
journey; but before parting from Jane, he explained himself; and
if he had not been accepted, he had certainly not been refused.
Thus matters stood when the whole party returned home. Mr. Graham
was known to be a violent, passionate man, and as he had taken no
pains to conceal his dislike to Tallman Taylor's father, the
young people had every reason to believe that he would refuse his
consent. The idea of a clandestine marriage had once occurred to
Adeline, but never with any serious intention of proposing it.
Had she done so, she would not have been listened to. Jane had
not lived so much with Miss Wyllys and Elinor, without deriving
some good from such association; besides, she did not think the
step necessary. She believed that Mr. Graham would give his
consent after a while; and young Taylor was obliged to submit for
the present. As for his college engagement, he had paid it no
more attention than if it had never taken place; it had been long
since forgotten, on his part.

Little by little, Mrs. Graham gathered most of these facts from
her daughter, whose weeping eyes and pale face would have
delighted Adeline, as being just what was proper in a heroine of
romance, on such an important occasion. But Adeline could not
enjoy the sight of all the misery which was the fruit of her two
years' labours, for Mrs. Graham insisted that Jane should see
none of the family until her father had arrived; and knew the
state of things.

Harry Hazlehurst, although not quite as well informed as the
reader, knew essentially how matters stood. He knew at least,
that Jane and young Taylor were all but pledged to each other; he
knew what had been Adeline's conduct--what had been his own
treatment; and as he walked slowly from one end of the Battery to
the other, his reflections were anything but flattering to
himself, or to any of the parties concerned. He blamed Mrs.
Graham for her want of maternal caution and foresight; he blamed
his brother, and sister-in-law, for their blindness in Paris;
Jane, for her weakness, and want of sincerity to himself;
Adeline, for such unjustifiable management and manoeuvring; and
young Taylor, for what he called his "presumption and puppyism."
And to think that he, Harry Hazlehurst, who prided himself upon
being clear-sighted, had been so completely deceived by others,
and what was worse, by himself! He was obliged to remember how
sure he had felt himself of Jane; it was humiliating to think
what a silly part he had been playing. Then came a twinge or two,
from the consciousness that he had deserved it all, from his
conduct to Elinor. He tried to persuade himself that regret that
Jane should fall into hands he fancied so unworthy of her--that
she should be sacrificed to a mere second-rate sort of dandy,
like young Taylor, was his strongest feeling at the time. But he
was mistaken: there was a good deal of the lover in his
recollection of Jane's transcendant {sic} beauty. He hoped that
she would yet be saved from the worst--from becoming the wife of
Tallman Taylor. He felt convinced that Mr. Graham would refuse
his consent to the marriage.

The next day, Harry returned to Philadelphia. The astonishment of
all those interested in himself and Jane, at this rupture, was
very great. If Mrs. Stanley had been grieved at Harry's
difficulties, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst was made quite unhappy by
her sister's conduct. She reproached herself severely for her
blindness; for not having taken as much care of Jane as she ought
to have done under the circumstances. Like all her family, she
disliked young Taylor; who, in fact, had nothing to recommend him
but his handsome face, and his father's money. Miss Wyllys, too,
was much pained by the conduct of one who had been so often under
her care--one, in whose welfare she was so warmly interested. She
received the news in a note from Mrs. Hazlehurst, who preferred
giving it in that form; and as Miss Wyllys was alone with Elinor,
she immediately handed the billet to her niece.

It must be confessed that Elinor's heart gave one bound at this
unexpected news. She was more moved by it than any one; more
astonished that Jane should have refused Harry; that she should
have preferred to him that silly Tallman Taylor; more shocked at
the double-dealing that had been going on; and more pained that
Jane, who had been to her as a sister, should have been so easily
misled. Another thought intruded, too--Harry would be free again!
But the idea had hardly suggested itself, before she repelled it.
She soon felt convinced that Mr. Graham would break off the
engagement between his daughter and Mr. Taylor, and that after a
while her cousin's eyes would he opened to Harry's merits, which
were numberless in her eyes. Miss Agnes strongly encouraged this
opinion; and Elinor fully determined that her aunt's counsels,
her mother's letter, and her own experience, should not be thrown
away; she would watch more carefully than ever against every
fancy that would be likely to endanger anew the tranquillity she
had in some measure regained.



CHAPTER XXIII.

"The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set,
May'st hear the merry din."
COLERIDGE.

{Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English poet, 1772-1834), "Rime of the
Ancient Mariner" (I) lines 5-8}

THE events of the next two months surprised Jane's friends in
Philadelphia, almost as much as her rejection of Harry had done.
Mrs. Hazlehurst, of course, knew what was going on in her
father's house, and from time to time informed Miss Wyllys and
Elinor of what passed. Elinor had written to Jane, but it was a
long time before she received an answer; her cousin appeared
engrossed by her own affairs; as this was common with Jane at all
times, it was but natural that she should be so, at a moment
which was of so much importance to herself. Mr. Graham arrived at
the time appointed; and, of course, he was very much displeased
by the news which awaited him. He would not hear of Jane's
marrying young Taylor, whose advances he received as coldly as
possible, and even forbade his daughter's seeing any of the
Taylor family. Jane was very much distressed, and very much
frightened. As for Miss Taylor, her indignation was so great,
that she determined to pay no respect to Mr. Graham's hostility;
she wrote to Jane a long letter, much in her usual style, giving
very pathetic accounts of Tallman's despair. This letter Jane had
not the moral courage to show to either of her parents; she soon
received another, with a note from young Taylor himself. As she
was reading them one morning, her father unexpectedly entered the
room, and was thrown into a great passion by the discovery. His
temper was violent, and he was subject to fits of passion which
terrified his children; although, in other respects, by no means
an unkind parent. Upon this occasion, Jane was frightened into
hysterics, and afterwards, owing to the agitation which had been
preying on her mind for some months, she was thrown into a low
nervous fever. During the four or five weeks that she was ill,
every morning Miss Taylor called to inquire after her friend,
although she was not admitted. By this conduct, Mrs. Graham's
heart, which was of no stern material, was much softened. At
length she went to the drawing-room to see Miss Taylor, for a
moment. Adeline improved the time so well, that she placed
herself and her brother better with Mrs. Graham than they had
ever yet been. Jane's illness increased; her parents became
seriously alarmed, and Mr. Graham expressed something like regret
that he had been so hasty. His wife often remembered his words
during her daughter's tedious convalescence, which was
interrupted by a relapse. In short, matters began to look less
discouraging for young Taylor's suit. There could be no doubt, at
least, that he was very much in love with Jane: Hazlehurst was
quite mistaken in supposing that the perfection of her profile,
the beautiful shape of her head, the delicacy of her complexion,
or other numberless beauties, could only be appreciated by one
whose taste was as refined as his own: they had produced quite as
deep an effect on young Taylor. During Jane's illness, he had
shown the proper degree of distress and anxiety, all of which was
reported in the most pathetic manner to Mrs. Graham, and
whispered to Jane by Adeline, who, having once been received
again into the house, kept her footing there and managed an
occasional interview with her friend. In short, as we all know,
tyrannical parents are very rare in America; the fault in family
discipline lies in the opposite direction.

His daughter's pale face, his wife's weakness, and Adeline's good
management, and improvement of every concession, at length worked
a change in Mr. Graham. At the proper moment, Tallman Taylor
renewed his offer in the warmest and most flattering terms;
supported by his father, and his father's hundreds of thousands,
he this time received a more favourable answer. Mr. Graham was
one of those men, who have no very high opinion of women; he did
not wish to make his daughter miserable for life; and he thought
she had too little character to conquer the fancy that had filled
her mind, and made her ill. Then, young Taylor was rich, and she
could throw away money on those knick-knacks and frippery, to
which, according to Mr. Graham, women attach such exorbitant
value. If she did not marry him, she would fancy herself a
victim, and miserable; if she did marry him, she would fancy
herself happy: that seemed to him the amount of the matter, and
with these views he at length gave a reluctant consent. Mrs.
Graham had already given hers; Tallman Taylor was certainly not
the son-in-law she would have chosen; but she was farther from
being dissatisfied, than many of her friends thought she would be
under the circumstances. Neither the story of his college
engagement, nor the unpleasant rumours respecting his Paris
career, had reached Mr. or Mrs. Graham; the first was known only
to Adeline and Jane, the last to a few male intimates. The news,
very naturally, caused a good deal of sensation among Jane's
friends in Philadelphia; it was really distressing to Mrs. Robert
Hazlehurst, who looked upon her sister as thrown away, and
reproached herself more than ever for having allowed Jane to go
out so often in Paris with their thoughtless friends, the
Howards. She could not endure to think of young Taylor, as
actually her brother-in-law, the husband of her beautiful sister.
She had not supposed that the matter would be settled in this
way; she had believed her father's opposition too strong to be
overcome.

As for Harry, he, of course, soon heard the news from his
brother. How much of love and of mortification were still
lingering in his mind, we cannot precisely affirm. His feelings
for Jane had certainly altered very much since the discovery of
the double-dealing that had been going on; but weak as she had
proved herself, she was still much too lovely, much too
well-bred, at least, to be bestowed upon one whom he disliked as
much as Tallman Taylor. There seemed to be something of the dog
in the manger, connected with his regret for Jane's fate, since
he had already decided that if she were ever free again, he would
not repeat his offer; she had shown herself to have so little
character, that he would not allow himself to be again influenced
by her beauty, surpassing as it was. In fact, Harry had
determined to give up all idea of love and matrimony, for the
present, at least. He went into society less than of old, and
gave himself up very much to his profession, or other literary
pursuits in which he had become engaged. He had been admitted to
the bar, and had entered into a partnership with his travelling
companion, Mr. Ellsworth; much of his time was now passed at his
brother's house, or at that of his friend. He liked his
sister-in-law, and he found Ellsworth's sister, Mrs. Creighton,
who was at the head of her brother's establishment, a very
agreeable woman; she was very pretty, too, and very clever. The
Wyllyses were already in the country, when the news of Jane's
engagement reached them; the winter had broken up early, and, as
usual, at the first signs of spring they had returned to
Wyllys-Roof. Of course, they regretted Jane's partiality for
Tallman Taylor; to Elinor it appeared almost as unaccountable as
her insensibility to Harry's merits. Mrs. George Wyllys was loud
in her declamations against it; next to the Hubbards, she looked
upon the Taylors as the most disagreeable family of her
acquaintance. She had a great deal to say about the dull, prosy
mother, the insufferable father, the dandy son, and the rattling,
bellish daughter. Miss Patsey, also, had her moments of wonder;
but she wondered in silence; she did not appear to have any
higher opinion of the son, than she had formerly entertained of
the father. With these exceptions, the community of Longbridge in
general, who had known Jane from her childhood, approved highly
of the connexion; both parties were young, handsome, and they
would be rich, all which looked very well at a distance.

Three months of courtship passed over; Jane recovered entirely,
and was as blooming and lovely as ever; young Taylor was all
devotion. The satisfaction of his family at this connexion with
the Grahams was very great; it gratified Mr. Taylor's wishes in
every way. It is true, Miss Graham would not have much fortune
herself, but Tallman had enough to begin life handsomely. He
hoped the marriage would take place soon, as he wished his son,
whom he had made his partner, to take more interest in the
business than he had yet done. In every respect but money, Jane
was just what he would have wished for a daughter-in-law; she was
fashionable, she was beautiful, and the position of her family
gratified his vanity. As for the plain, good-hearted Mrs. Taylor,
she already loved Jane as a daughter; and to her it appeared the
most natural thing in the world, that Tallman should marry his
sister's friend. Adeline, herself, was of course enchanted.

The wedding took place in June. Thanks to Miss Taylor's influence
with the bride, it proved quite a brilliant affair. The ceremony
was performed in the evening, and immediately afterwards the
newly-married couple received the compliments and congratulations
of their friends. Jane was attended, on the occasion, by six of
her young companions; and as many young men, with white favours
in their button-holes, were very busy all the evening, playing
masters of ceremonies, escorting all the ladies as they arrived,
from the door to the spot where the bride was stationed. Jane
looked surpassingly beautiful; it was the general remark, that
she had never appeared more lovely: the ladies pronounced her
dress perfect, and the gentlemen admired her face quite as much.
All agreed that a handsomer couple had not been seen for some
time. It was, indeed, a pretty sight--the beautiful bride, the
centre of a circle of her young friends, all, like herself, in
white, and in full dress; pretty creatures themselves, wearing
pretty ornaments of flowers and lace, pearls and embroidery. We
say they were pretty; there was one exception, however, for
Elinor was there, and many remarks were made on her appearance.

"What a pity that Miss Wyllys should be so plain," observed Mrs.
Creighton, whose husband had been a connexion of the Grahams. "It
is the first time I have seen her for several years, and really I
had forgotten how very plain she is."

"Plain, why she is downright ugly!" exclaimed the youth to whom
she was talking. "It is a sin to be as ugly as that. No wonder
Hazlehurst was frightened out of the engagement; I am only
surprised he ever got into the scrape!"

"But Miss Wyllys is very clever and agreeable, I understand."

"Is she?"--was the careless reply. "I see Hazlehurst is here this
evening."

"Yes, he came on with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst,
and myself."

"Well, he has a fine opportunity of comparing his two lady-loves
together. Upon my word, I never saw a greater contrast. I wish
Miss Wyllys had not accepted the invitation, though; she is
enough to frighten one away from the whole set--and the rest are
very pretty girls, the whole of them."

"Can you point out Mr. Taylor?--Not the groom; I have seen him,
of course; but his father."

"Don't you know the boss? It is that tall, stiff-looking man,
talking to Mrs. Stanley. You see he is trying to look very
amiable."

"Yes--that is he, is it? Much the sort of man I should have
supposed him. And now, which is Mrs. Taylor?"

"Mrs. Taylor--let me see; there she is, in grey satin and
diamonds. I never saw her but once before in my life. She is a
very quiet sort of a body, and keeps out of sight most of the
time."

"Very different from her daughter then, for Miss Taylor always
put herself en evidence, I believe. If one don't see her, they
are sure to hear her."

"To be sure, Miss Taylor is all life and spirits. She is the most
lively, animated girl I ever knew. By-the-bye, I think it an odd
fancy in Hazlehurst to show himself here to-night; for there was
a great fuss last winter, at the blowup--all the town was talking
about it."

"He is a very near connexion, you know; I suppose his absence
would have been more remarked than his being here. Besides, if he
was in love once, he has had time to get over it, in the last six
months. He does not look much as if he wore the willow still."

{"wore the willow" = grieved for the loss of a loved one}

"Hazlehurst is very clever, I am told; I don't know him much,
myself."

"Oh, yes--very clever. But I am not a fair judge, perhaps; he is
my brother's friend, and I may be prejudiced in his favour. How
very warm it is! can't we find a seat near a window?"

The gentleman offered his arm with alacrity, and the speakers
moved away.

The seats they had left were taken by Mrs. de Vaux and Colonel
Stryker: the lady, a middle-aged woman, fashionably dressed; the
gentleman, rather more than middle-aged in his appearance, and
decidedly less so in his dress and manners.

"Young Taylor is a handsome fellow, and looks the bride-groom
very well!" exclaimed Mr. Stryker. "How these Taylors have pushed
upwards; I never heard of them before I went to Europe this last
time, five or six years ago."

"That is just about the moment they first burst upon the horizon.
Mr. Taylor seems determined to make up for lost time. He is very
disagreeable to us ladies; but the gentlemen like him on account
of his cleverness; they say he is a genius in all business
matters."

"To judge by his expression, the man seems ambitious of 'les
succes de salon,' also. Where did he import his manners from, I
wonder?--they have a sort of bright, new look, as if he had not
yet worn the gloss off."

{"les succes de salon" = drawing-room victories (French)}

"Don't laugh at him;--he gives excellent dinners."

"Does he? Can't you introduce me, immediately? 'Ici l'ont fait
noces et festins.' I seem to smell the turtle-soup, already."

{"Ici l'ont...." = wedding feasts and banquets given here
(French)}

"I doubt whether you taste it, nevertheless, until next autumn.
Everybody is going out of town; they say that is the only
drawback to the satisfaction of the Taylors at this wedding."

"What is the drawback, pray?"

"They cannot have as many grand parties as they are entitled to,
on account of the season."

"That must be distressing, indeed, to the brides-maids.
By-the-bye, I see Miss Wyllys is one of them. She is going to
turn out a fortune, I hear;--do you know her?"

"From a child. Last year no one dreamed of her being a fortune;
but within the last few months, Mr. de Vaux tells me, she has
inherited a very handsome property from one of her mother's
family; and, in addition to it, some new rail-road, or something
of that kind, has raised the value of what she owned before."

"What is the amount, do you know?"

"Upwards of two hundred thousand, Mr. de Vaux thinks."

"Miss Wyllys is certainly no beauty; but, do you know, I think
there is something decidedly distinguished in her appearance and
manner! I was only introduced the other day; I did not happen to
know the Wyllyses."

"I have known them all my life, and like them all very much. I
rather wonder, though, at Miss Elinor's being here as
bride's-maid. But it is a reconciliation, I suppose. Perhaps she
and young Hazlehurst will make up again, and we may be invited to
another wedding, before long."

"Perhaps so. How long does it take a young lady to resent an
infidelity? A calendar month, I suppose; or, in extreme cases, a
year and a day. By-the-bye, the pretty widow, Mrs. Creighton, has
thrown off her weeds, I see."

"Yes, she has come out again, armed for conquest, I suppose. What
a flirt she is! And as artful as she is pretty, Mr. Stryker. But
perhaps you are one of her admirers," continued the lady,
laughing.

"Of course, it is impossible not to admire her; but I am afraid
of her," said Mr. Stryker, shrugging his shoulders. "I am
horribly afraid of all pretty widows."

"Mr. Hazlehurst does not seem afraid of her."

"Not a bit--he is there half his time; but then he is young and
venturesome. We old campaigners are more wary."

"He is an old friend of her brother's, I believe; is Mr.
Ellsworth here?"

"Yes, there he is, talking to Miss Wyllys. Perhaps he may
interfere with your prediction about her and my friend
Hazlehurst."

"Possibly; but a-propos of weddings; why don't you marry,
yourself, Mr. Stryker? You have been a delightful beau now, for
how many years?" asked the lady, mischievously.

"Oh, these five lustres, I suppose; for I began early," replied
Mr. Stryker, who had too much worldly wisdom, not to make a merit
of frankness, where he could not help it.

{"lustre" = a period of five years}

"Six, you mean," said Mrs. de Vaux, laughing.

"No, five, honestly counted. I don't know exactly how old I may
be; but the other day I heard a fellow say, 'Stryker can't be
more than five-and-forty;' and I dare say be was right."

"Well, allowing you are only five-and-forty, don't you mean to
marry, one of these days?"

"Certainly."

"Don't you think it time to look about you?"

"High time; but who will have me?" continued Mr. Stryker, with
great complacency of manner.

"Oh, half the young ladies in the room, I dare say; excepting, of
course, those who have refused you already," said Mrs. de Vaux,
mischievously; for it was suspected that Mr. Stryker had met with
several rebuffs. This lady and gentleman in spite of their
smiling countenances and friendly manners, owed each other a
grudge, of old standing. Who does not know that where the spirit
of littleness and vanity is all-powerful, these petty trials and
triumphs are too often the chief spring of action; as was the
case with Mr. Stryker and Mrs. de Vaux. Happy they, who have good
principle and good feeling enough, to cast off folly on so small
a scale!

"Tell me what is your taste, and I will look out for you,"
continued Mrs. de Vaux.

"How kind you are!--you don't include Miss de Vaux, of course;
for she can't endure me. Like all modest men, I require only nine
hundred and ninety-nine perfections in my wife. But then I insist
chiefly on two essentials: she must have money, and she must not
have brothers and sisters; I have an invincible antipathy to
collaterals, whether of blood or connexion."

"Miss Wyllys is the very person for you. Quite a fortune now,
they say; and an orphan, without brother or sister; all you
require. Then, you like her appearance, you say; though she is
plain, she is clever, too, and amiable."

"Of course; all young ladies are amiable, are they not?"

"I only know of one objection--she is too good for you."

"Goodness is not to be despised in a wife. I shall require it
from the future Mrs. Stryker; though not very particular about
the rest of the world. I am much obliged to you, Mrs. de Vaux,
for the suggestion; I'll think of it," said Mr. Stryker,
deliberately crossing one leg over the other, to make himself
comfortable.

"You, who know everybody, Mr. Stryker," said the lady, "pray,
tell me, who is that bright-faced young man, or rather, boy,
standing near Mr. Wyllys and Mrs. Stanley?"

"You wish to mortify me--I never saw the lad before."

"I can answer your question, Mrs. de Vaux," observed Harry, who
had just approached, and made his bow; "that is my friend,
Charlie Hubbard, the artist. Don't you remember the fine view of
Lake Ontario, that was so much admired at the Exhibition, this
spring?"

"Certainly. Is that the young man?--He looks like a genius."

"Rather as a genius should look; your great lions are often very
tame-looking animals," observed Mr. Stryker.

"Hubbard's face only does him justice, however; he is full of
talent," said Harry.

"I Some of his pictures are certainly very fine," observed Mrs.
de Vaux.

"I never saw water like his," continued Hazlehurst; "such
variety, and always true to nature. He almost persuades one to
believe all he says about water: he maintains that it has more
variety of expression than any other inanimate object, and has,
withal, an independent character of its own; he says it is second
only to the human countenance."

"He seems quite an enthusiast," said Mrs. de Vaux.

"Won't he take it all out in talk?" asked Mr. Stryker, drily.

"Look at his view of Hell-Gate on a cloudy evening, and say so if
you can!" exclaimed Harry, warmly.

{"Hell-Gate" = a narrow channel in New York City's East River}

"Well, after all, he says no more for water, than has been said
by the poets of all nature, from the time of the first pastoral;
they tell us that the sun will make a bare old mountain smile,
and the wind will throw the finest forest into a fuss."

"I defy you to prove any fuss upon Charlie's works!"

"Perhaps not--Where is his study? I should like to see what he
has done. Is his pencil always amphibious?"

"Yes; I believe he has never yet painted a landscape, without its
portion of water. If you wish to see his study, you must go soon;
he sails for Italy next month."

"If his partiality for water is really honest, it may help him on
in his profession. Has he a good execution?--that is
all-important."

"Decidedly good; and he improves every day. Execution is really
all-important to Hubbard; for there can be no doubt that he
possesses all an artist's conception."

"I suspect though, his notion about expressive water is not
original. It appears to me, some German or other calls water,
'the eyes of a landscape.'"

"Very possibly; but Charlie Hubbard is not the man to steal other
people's ideas, and pass them off for his own."

"You make a point of always believing the worst of everybody, Mr.
Stryker," said Mrs. de Vaux.

"I wish I could help it." said the gentleman, raising his
eyebrows.

"Suppose, Mr. Hazlehurst, you take him to Mr. Hubbard's studio,
and force him to admire that fine picture of Lake Ontario. I
should like to see it again, myself; and Mr. de Vaux has been
talking of carrying us all to Mr. Hubbard's, some time."

Harry professed himself quite at Mrs. de Vaux's service. Mrs.
Stanley, he said, was going to see his friend's pictures the very
next day. A party was soon arranged, the hour fixed, and
everything settled, before supper was announced. As Mrs. de Vaux
and Mr. Stryker moved towards the door, they were followed by
Mrs. Creighton and Harry.

"Who was the young man you were talking with at supper,
Josephine?" asked Mr. Ellsworth, as he stepped into the carriage
after Mrs. Creighton and Harry, in driving away from the wedding.

"Which do you mean?"

"A mere boy--one of the groomsmen, by the white favours in his
button-hole."

"Oh, that was the groom's brother, Mr. Pompey Taylor, the
younger, a very simple, and rather an awkward young gentleman. I
had the honour of making the acquaintance of all the family, in
the course of the evening. I was quite amused with Mr. Taylor,
the father; he really seems to have as great a relish for the
vanities of life, as any young girl of fifteen." 

"Because they are quite as new to him," said Hazlehurst.

"That is difficult to believe of a clever, calculating man of
fifty," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

"All clever men of fifty are not quite free from nonsense, take
my word for it," said the lady.

"I appeal to Mr. Hazlehurst, who knows Mr. Taylor; as for myself,
I am convinced by the man's manner this evening."

"You are certainly correct in your opinion, Mrs. Creighton. Mr.
Taylor is, no doubt, a clever man; and yet he takes delight in
every piece of finery about his house. He is more possessed with
the spirit of sheer ostentation, than any man I ever met with."

"Ah, you want to save the credit of your sex, by setting him down
as an exception!--that is not fair, Mr. Hazlehurst."

It was a pity that the pretty smile which the lady bestowed on
her brother's friend was entirely thrown away; but the lamp-light
happened to be little more than darkness visible.





End of Project Gutenberg Etext Elinor Wyllys, by Susan Fenimore Cooper
Volume 1


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