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the truth; and, if a moment's pain be thus given, the passing cloud breaks almost as soon as it is perceived ; Do ten pests are suffered to gather in the distance, and the heiress constantly congratulates herself that she chose not the handsomest, the cleverest, or the most fashionable, but the most truthful, of her “wooers."

Of these wooers I have but little to say, Captain Nesbitt is on the point of marriage with a middleaged widow of good fortune ; he was successful in impressing her with the belief that he must ultimately inherit his uncle's property; but she was more cautious than ladies of fewer years and less experience might have been, and made so many in. quiries about the state of health of the old gentleman, that his nephew was obliged to improvise an

apoplectic fit for him! This intelligence caused the
widow to fix the day; but she is providing a very
limited trousseau, since she anticipates the “melan-
choly pleasure" of giving large orders, in the course
of a few weeks, at one of the " Mansions of Grief”
in Regent Street !
- Talbot and Stratford seldom meet; indeed, if one
becomes introduced into a family, the other almost
invariably ceases to visit there. However, there are
two points in which they show great sympathy and
congeniality of mind. They particularly dislike to
hear of the failure of a new piece at the theatre ;
and there is no work for which they feel such un-
mitigated detestation, as one which still engrosses
much of the public notice—the tragedy of the “Rus
sian Brothers !"



“If you don't like it, let it alone,” is a very ex- perhaps more pleasantly, filled ! Society is impacellent and pithy aphorism, when the advice can be tient of strictures, and has no leaning towards the followed.

reading of homilies. It is a system in which no In politics now, your non-interventionists aro Lent is recognized, and the mad revellers of the having the game mostly to themselves, and, as we Carnival do not chose ashes for their adornment. write, are spending the money contributed by the So says the mere observer; and yet one cannot sovereign people for the specific purpose of law { always follow the advice so complacently offered. making, in very flourishing, and, for the most part, The rector's wife found it so, when she would gladly eloquent, denunciations of a course no one ever in have stepped aside for the retirement of her home, tended to pursue ; enlivened or relieved by an occa the simple round of domestic joys and pleasures. sional pause to pass the appropriations of the afore Her son-for the nursery had its cradle now; her said funds to their own especial pocket-money. pretty Etta, full of all winning, childish ways-her

In fashion, moreover, the system answers very} husband, with his ever-affectionate mamer, and well. There is that recent innovation, the vest, with their united tastes, gave all that she could wish of its close fitness to an elegant figure, the coquettish interest and variety to her life. Particularly when roll of the collar, the jaunty pockets, the richly jew. she found so little pleasure in the formal visiting elled or enamelled buttons. What right has Prudery which she was expected to pursue. The frigid to deny its assumption by our sex, or to urge that it morning calls; the tea-drinkings, rarely enlivened is unfeminine to imitate any garment that has been by music or rational conversation, and never by sacred to the wardrobe masculine heretofore? Are dancing; but, nevertheless, the weary round must not the close corsages still left to choice? Has any { be gone through, or offence would be given; and, one denied the shrinking conservative free election? where the congregation was so large, invitation fol

And society, with its sparkling current of wit, and lowed invitation with never-ceasing regularity. The beauty, and style; who has a right to point out the Christmas week at Mrs. Lovel's had been an oasis quicksands of wasted time, and the wreck of repu in her social existence. Her host and hostess, in tation, the detraction and sarcasm that barbs the themselves delightful, had gathered a pleasant circle arrows of repartee, the selfishness that lurks under about them, and, in this charming domesticated intithe blandest proffers of service, or the honeyed flat macy, each seemed to contribute their utmost to the teries that fall so soothingly on the ear of the general enjoyment. Mrs. Stone had particularly novice? If the cavillers have looked beneath the liked Miss Lovel, and Dr. Howell and his young Eurface, and cannot have the heart or conscience to wife, the last a niece of their host, and, when they remain one of the gay throng, society will not miss separated, had said that she hoped to meet them their withdrawal! Their places can be easily, and often, as they were both residents of the city. She

had breathed a congenial atmosphere, more like * See “Lady's Book” for January, 1862.

that of her own home, and her new friends promised VOL. XLV.-4

to see her frequently. She returned to — Place, go."-(No wonder, with the multitude of feet that invigorated and refreshed by change of scene and trod the way to Dr. Stono's study, where he was society, and quite prepared to do all that was right never secure from interruption.)—“When you have and proper in her difficult position as the rector's it taken up-I suppose you will begin to clean in wife, to bear the affronts of Mesdames Jenkins and April—you must go over it carefully, and darn all Skimpton with sweetness as well as composure, and the thin places, being particular to use worsted of try, if possible, to regain the good-will of the offend. the same color in every thread. Just now I obed parties.

served the hall door open, just before you came over; It is the work of Sisyphus to keep up a large it was when Dr. Jackson was let in, you remember: round of acquaintances in a city. No sooner do Mary often leaves the door open for ten minutes you begin to congratulate yourself that you have together. She is a careless creature; I would never nearly paid a list of owing visits, than you find half put up with her. Any one might have gone into of them already returned by people that have more your parlors, and carried off dear knows what all. leisure or fewer acquaintances than yourself, and But, as I intended to say, the oilcloth seems to have the toilsome labor is to be recommenced. Mrs. worn very badly. You should have chosen one of Jones reminds you that you have owed her neigh- } the last year's patterns. The colors have had timo bor, Mrs. Smith, a call since before Christmas. Mrs. to dry in, and it wears twice as well. I never chose Brown's gray beaver recalls her sister-in-law, Mrs. a fashionable oilcloth for that reason." Green, and her friend, Mrs. White, to your recollec Mrs. Skimpton seemed to forget that she had tion. Mrs. Thompson offers to go with you, and urged Mrs. Stone to this particular purchase, assurreturn visits in her set, which you had overlooked ing that "stone colors wore better than any others, when you were in that neighborhood; and, though and were the most fashionablo for entrances now.” you are fully aware that neither Mrs. Smith, Mrs. However, she had condescended to offer her adWhite, nor Mrs. Green care one whit to see you, or vice once more, and Mrs. Stone saw in it an omen would do more for your memory than a ceremonious of good. Mrs. Skimpton had used her eyes in all call of condolence on surviving relatives, you are her late visits at the rectory, but had closed her lips equally sure of their displeasure and its gossiping in & painful, but, nevertheless, firm silence with effects of unpopularity, if you do not keep up the regard to what she saw. But Mrs. Stone asking acquaintance.

her advice about the baby's cloak, in the commenceTherefore, as we have said before, Mrs. Stone ment of her call, had somewhat molified her; the could not "leave it alone,” much as she “ did not fair had been numbered with "accomplished eflike it.” “ Popularity was a duty with her," said forts," and their unusual success, realizing nearly Mrs. Skimpton, the first visit she paid to the offend two thousand dollars, and a vote of thanks from the ed lady, with all sincere desires for pacific measures, committee to herself, for her active superintendence, and a consequent humility of deportment.

had made her more than usually forgiving. Besides, “Her husband's usefulness depended on it, unity withholding advice was really too great a self-denial, in church measures depended on it," she urged still involving a miracle of self-control, particularly with more vehemently, emphasizing her remark with a the constant opportunities her neighborship to Mrs. decided tap of her gold thimble upon the work-table Stone presented. before her. “For the good of the church, every { Miss Angelica Tuttle also renewed her visits when clergyman's wife ought to sacrifice her own private she heard the Lovels had become friends of Mrs. views to popularity !"

Stone ; for she had always wished to be intimato Poor Mrs. Stone! How little she had realized the { with them, not that she exactly liked their society, vast responsibility thrown upon herself by her hus but that it was considered exclusive—a far greater band's acceptance of the call of St. John's Parish! { charm than a lavish display of wealth and luxury.

Mrs. Skimpton held her hand to the light, and Miss Little, who was now devoting all her energies took up the stitches of the thin place she was darn- } in behalf of the “Female Auxiliary Society, for the ing. Mrs. Skimpton considered economy a chief" } Evangelization of Southern Italy," condescended to virtue, and therefore mended the stockings of the call and solicit the aid of the rector's wife in this household; she could not trust it to any one else; } important undertaking; and, as the summer adand the parlor window-seat was therefore frequently vanced, there was a truce at least to hostilities. adorned with a heaped-up willow basket of ungrace Mrs. Stone began to be sorry that she had troubled ful hose.

her husband with any of the past discomforts, and “ Speaking of that reminds me," she continued to think she "might be happy yet.” though what was the train of association Mrs. Stone } Autumn came, with the return of the birds of in vain attempted to discover “that the reason I passage, the opening and cleaning of houses, the advised you to have the Venetian pattern on the putting down of carpets, and the putting away of stair-carpet, is that the threads are so much closer, brown Holland covers. Mrs. Stone had paid a and it wears longer. But I noticed, the last morn short visit to her own home, and found much to ing I called at your house, that it is beginning to occupy her in housekeeping on her return. She

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looked over the card-basket in dismay, at the accu- of Sidney Smith's celebrated retort, “ Madam, the mulation not only of cards, but notes of inquiry, and Fegee's are at your own door!" If she accepted notification, and invitation, that awaited response: the membership and managership at all, it was as

“The Union Benevolent would hold a meeting for “a sacrifice" to the Moloch of “popularity," which, the election of officers on October 14th.”

gaunt and spectral, over rose before her. Besides, “The Evangelical Society had chosen her as she had opened Mrs. Howell's note first, and menSecretary."

tally resolved to go. Could not that be considered “The Treasurer of the Seaman's Friend' would “ a previous engagement ?" We cannot much wonbe obliged for her aid to assist in soliciting sub- į der at Mrs. Stone's affirmatory decision; neverthescriptions."

less, as often as a thought of it came to her mind, it "A special meeting of the Directors of the House was accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling of of Industry' was earnestly requested.”

disquiet, not very unlike a conscientious scruple, “Mrs. Tuttle's compliments, and would Mrs. which destroyed all the pleasure of anticipation. Stone fix a day for visiting the • Foster Home ?!" } But, seeing that " Harry" was comfortably asleep,

Mrs. Jenkins solicited a subscription for the } and charging the careful nurse with two unneces-silver pitcher about to be presented, as a mark of} sary cautions at least, kissing Etta's rosy cheek, respect, to the lady of “our lamented pastor," the } turned towards the light, as she lay with one little widow of Dr. Naylor's predecessor,

arm embracing the rounds of her crib-Mrs. Stone “Mrs. Smith's, compliments, and would Mrs. descended to the parlor, to await her husband's leiStone be so good as to look over the pamphlets re sure as escort. But, in the hall, she was met by lating to the shocking atrocities of the Thugs of Mrs. Skimpton's maid Eunice, who shared in many India, and return them as soon as possible ? Mrs. of the peculiarities of her mistress, either from na8. would be pleased if Mrs. Stone could prepare & tural sympathy or the power of association. “Mrs. short and pithy abstract of them for the next week's Skimpton had sent over to see if she should call and Church Witness.'"

take her to Miss Little's, where the committee met; Mrs. Jones would call an afternoon early next { she thought Dr. Stone might be engaged, as there week, to finish visiting the district assigned to her was a light in the study, and she knew Mrs. Stone in the Dorcas distribution. “Mrs. Jones was sure would not like to be disappointed in going." Mrs. Stone would feel it a great privilege to become The sharp eyes of Eunice seemed to pierce the acquainted with some of the pensioners of this unhappy lady through and through, as she said, in admirable church institution."

a faltering tone, that it would not be possible for subscription was solicited by the committee her to go to Miss Little's that evening. She was appointed to report on the expediency of establish sure a full report of her toilet would be given to ing a “ Church Home" for colored orphans.

Mrg. Skimpton, and it certainly was not one intend. Mrs. Stone spread out the communications in dis- ed for a quiet evening at home, may; she had not yet opened half of them. It is . The bang which the departing Eunice gave the 80 wearisome to commence an accumulated round street door thrilled every nerve with a dread of of duties, when every day has its “sufficient evil !" { "evil to come.” Yet there was Mrs. Skimpton's warning sounding in Sitting with hood in hand, awaiting her husband, her ears, as distinct as when first uttered : “For the Mrs. Stone half resolved not to go; but she was glad good of the church, every clergyman's wife ought to she had not given way to it, when the warm wel. sacrifice her own private views to popularity."

come of Mrs. Howell and Miss Lovel laid all thoughts But there was one invitation she was not at all of Mrs. Skimpton and her displeasure at rest for the disinclined to accept: “Mrs. Howell would see a } evening. There were about twenty present, all intifew friends very socially at tea. She must beg Mrs. mate family friends, except the young bride of Mrs. Stone not to disappoint her.” Miss Little had fixed Howell's cousin, to whom the company was given. on the same evening for a meeting of the managers The entertainment was tasteful, but simple, converof the “Female Auxiliary," at her house. Yes, it sation lively and agreeable. Mrs. Stone forgot her was the same date, “ Thursday, October 11th." “popularity," and seemed to grow young again. Mrs. Stone compared them twice, and then sat in Dancing was proposed at the close of the evening; deep deliberation. She had always liked Mrs. How. { but neither Mrs. Howell nor Miss Lovel played ell; she was sure of meeting a pleasant circle at her quadrilles, and none of the young ladies could be house, like that of Elmwood. Perhaps Miss Lovel { spared from their partners. Mrs. Stone could play would be there; and she should so enjoy her music! at sight; "would she be so very good ?" begged On the other hand, she had never approved of Miss { Jeannie Howell, the doctor's sister. Before her Little's society, thinking the “Evangelization of { marriage, Mrs. Stone had been in general request Southern Italy" a work the ladies of Philadelphia at all their little gatherings as musician, the marked were not specially called to; at any rate, while and excellent time which distinguished her style there was so much ignorance and destitution imme- being so well suited to the lively measures. Cerliately around them. It had always reminded her tainly; Mrs. Stone would be very happy to obligo them. She rose at once, and, going to the piano, with, even in high places, and where it was least ex commenced a favorite set from recollection, every pected”--the italics as pointed as printer's ink could note recalling the pleasant days of her girlhood, and } make them " they had been prospered far beyond the associations which had brightened it. Then their humble deserts and expectations." Mrs. Jeannie Howell placed a new polka before her, and Skimpton, by repeated attacks upon Mary, Mrs. some of the young ladies were soon circling in the Stone's waiter, by special settings forth of her many lively danco. A Schottish followed by Jeannie and delinquencies, with which she seemed unaccountably her brother; none of the others had learned the then acquainted, had induced the rector's wife to disnew figure. Mrs. Stone played this also, still read charge her, and take a sister of Eunice, highly reing at sight, and was warmly thanked for her good commended by herself, in the place. Judith was nature.

indolent and a slattern; but Mrs. Stone did not dare On the whole, it was a delightful evening; and to discharge her, or even complain. She charitably Dr. Stone was pleased by his wife's good spirits, supposed Mrs. Skimpton to be in ignorance of these when she came home escorted by young Mr. How faults; but as Judith, whenever most wanted, had ell. He had been detained on parish business, and “run over to see Eunice a moment,” she had the found it impossible to return for her. “Southern pleasant apprehension of being always under her Italy" did not cross the mind of the rector's wife, neighbor's surveillance. In this she was not misexcept as a geographical existence, until she saw taken; with the range of front windows, and the Mrs. Skimpton going to market the next morning. { full daily report of Judith to her sister, Mrs. SkimpThe new board of managers for the society was re- { ton was in ignorance of very few facts relating to ported in the “Church Witness" the following week. the household economy of the rector. Mrs. Stone saw, with a feeling of relief, that her “I don't see how she can reconcile it to her conname was altogether omitted. She little knew the science,” Mrs. Skimpton remarked to Eunice, as she storm it portended in her horizon.

stood looking over a tray of clean clothes that had Through cold and snow, Mrs. Stone pursued the just been brought up from the kitchen. “Such weary tenor of her visits and engagements. Often neglect is as bad as downright robbery of the poor : a whole morning was lost by a continual succession } -just hand me that shirt, it wants a buttton on the . of visitors. She was obliged to be ready to receive waistband. Dear knows what would become of my them at an instant's notice. Once she placed it house, if I let things go on so-one, two, three, four, upon record that, from nine in the morning until } five; there's one of these fine napkins wanting, ten at night, there had been visitors in the house; Eunice. Put Miss Jane's clothes in the left-hand but it was not a solitary instance. Thouch able to side of the upper drawer. Doesn't count the wash ? snatch but few moments for housekeeping, it was I shouldn't think she would know when she had a always necessary to provide for dinner company. It clean pocket handkerchief-there-not the other can readily be seen that, with the time occupied in side, and put the stockings in my basket. As long societies and calls, there was little left for the nur as I've kept house-twenty-seven years, next April sery or sowing. It was well her old nurse, Etta's { -I never saw Monday morning without counting nurse, was so entirely trustworthy; after the morn my clothes. A minister's wife ought to set a good ing's bath, accomplished usually before breakfast, { example--there, just look; is not that young Sidney poor Harry saw very little of his mamma. It must Howell ringing over the way? The second time have been the same, if her place had been filled by this week. She's never too busy to see any of that an untrained Irish servant-girl. Sewing she was family, and they Presbyterians ! Well, all isobliged to give out; but here she always made it a my goodness, Eunice, don't fold those pillow-cases so! point to seek those in need of employment, and to I should think you'd been with me long enough to pay them liberally. It was not so much physical know my ways--and he's gone in, of course." fatigue-though this was all Dr. Stone dreaded, as Mrs. Skimpton's chamber commanded a view of he often insisted on her taking a carriage, when he the rector's parlor. Eunice gave one curious look, saw her consulting a formidable list of people who following the example of her mistress, who seated lived at the extremo ends of the city-as the mental herself at the stocking-basket, as her handmaid anxiety or harassment, lest something should bo removed the empty tray. Mr. Howell had gone in, neglected, some unintentional offence given. Scarce and Mrs. Stone just appeared from the back parlor ly a Saturday night but that was shaded by a part to welcome him. In justice to Mrs. Skimpton, we of the week's engagements unfulfilled, and Monday must say that Eunice did not go over to borrow the brought its own duties in addition.

pattern of her sister's cape, ten minutes after, at her Mrs. Skimpton seemed to have passed over her suggestion. neglect of Southern Italy; but Miss Little was still Mrs. Stone was preparing for a tea-party at Mrs. unforgiving. This Mrs. Stone was especially re- } Green's one evening late in February. The long minded of by the second annual report, in which and busy winter was almost through, and she was was stated that, "notrcithstanding the discourage jaded in spirits and weary in body. Etta had been ment and cold neglect which the society had met } attacked with croup frequently of late, causing her


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constant alarm; and not a day passed but some alterations in St. Stephen's, the last “Church Witfresh domestic trial of temper arose, from the negli- ness," in turn suggested the topics of conversation gence or impertinence of Judith. She was weary until tea came in, with the best china and the new of misapprehension from those around her, of half silver service. Mr. Green, a small, rather retiring real, half imagined slights, and unkind remarks. A gentleman, went around with the tray, and made half finished report of the “Evangelical Society" the same formal inquiry of every lady present, lay on her writing-desk, beside a letter from home “Black or green ?" The toast was uncommonly which she had just received, and watered with her hard, the crumpets crisper than crumpets were ever tears. It was an exertion to dress and go out, still known to be before; but that was in their favor, it was expected of her, and she must make the every one agreed. It was such a relief from the effort; though she would gladly have passed the dire necessity of keeping up a conversation! The evening in a dressing-gown in her own nursery. solemn silence was broken only by the click of teaShe did not anticipate any pleasure from the visit; spoons, or an interjectional “ Thank you," “ If you she knew the stiff and formal circle she would meet, please," " Quite sufficient !" Every lady seemed to and she dreaded lest any should be there that she consider herself fully employed in the onerous task had offended by look, word, or deed. Dr. Stone did of balancing her tea-cup, so as not to deluge her own not seem to notice her dejection when he came in. or her neighbor's dress. His own tranquillity was disturbed. There had been Mrs. Stone enjoyed the respite particularly; she a meeting of the vestry that afternoon. She longed had not been able to extract one gleam of intellito beg him to take her home; she had often checked gence, or to call up one flush of animation from her this impulse ; for she knew she had no right to right-hand neighbor. It was such a relief, as she attempt to influence him, when he was useful and turned to deposit her empty plate on the tray, to satisfied with his choice of duty. As far as it was find herself seized on conversationally, by a lady she possible, she had spared him the knowledge of her had not noticed before; one of those who never own grievances, since her first lesson in “popu- { weary of discussing one theme, and require only a larity."

good listener to be perfectly contented for the evenMrs. Green's guest-chamber, the reception-room, ing. How she had happened to be admitted to Mrs. was filled with square and massive black walnut Green's solemn convocation was a mystery; but furniture. Nothing was out of place; for nothing Mrs. Stone gladly resigned herself to be talked to looked as if it could be moved. There were stone for the remainder of the evening. colored Venetian blinds at the windows; everything Mrs. Campbell was one of those people who, out stiff, formal, and precise. The mistress of the place of mere indiscretion and goodness of heart, make was the presiding genius, as one could see from her more mischief than any other members of society, dress and manner, when she came in to welcome her the professed evil-speaker not excepted. She heard guests. Cold, square, and undemonstrative, the everything, notwithstanding she talked so much; visitors were ladies of her own heart, middle-aged, but she never heard things quite right. In her and many of them in mourning, with black kid repetitions, she always managed to be mistaken gloves, as if it were a funeral, instead of a social either in the words or the circumstances of the gathering—an adornment at once unnecessary, and { occurrence. Her particular forte was telling her in bad taste. Gloves have no place out of a full. acquaintances what others said of them-always dress party, and those mourning ought never to in- from the kindest motives—either to warn them, or trude. They sat in a stiff, unbroken line about the į to show how she had defended them. She always stereotyped parlor, the exact counterpart of hun- { did take the part of the slandered one, the very dreds we pass daily with Venetian blinds at the warmth of her defence often doing more harm than windows. The panel wall-paper, the mirrors, the the passing unkind remark she caught at; for that candelabras, the chairs, the heavy sofas, the “what might have passed unnoticed, but for her zeal, which, not," and the angular gas fixtures, are all there, if of course, fixed it on the memory of the listeners. the blind was but drawn up. The very portraits of “Why, I had no idea that was you, Mrs. Stone ! Mr. and Mrs. Green in the recesses, in their square I was admiring your collar while you were talking gilt frames, would not be amiss in the parlor of Mrs. to Mrs. Lea. It's a lovely collar! I saw one at Brown or Mrs. Jones, having that family resem Levy's, the very mate to it, at four dollars," was blance in coloring and posture which all portraits Mrs. Campbell's first remark, which naturally sugby third-rate artists bear to one another.

gested the second. “I shouldn't have noticed it, They talked of the weather : it was always freely only Angelica Tuttle was with me, and she said-I discussed at Mrs. Green's tea-parties. Then the remember now—that you had one like it. Yes, I ladies who sat next to each other spoke of the recollect; and how provoked I was with her at tho bishop's last charity sermon, and commended his time for calling you extravagant, as I told her it was course, with frequent allusion to Bishop White and none of her business if you chose to pay ten. But his mild paternal sway, the spirit of which, however, she said a minister's wife ought to set an example minds like theirs never could appreciate. The { to the whole parish, Mrs. Skimpton said; and it

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