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fat boy who had been on his legs was walked off first without any ceremony. When they were all gone, poor Mrs. Alicumpaine dropped upon a sofa and said to Mrs. Orange, “ These children will be the death of me at last, ma'am, they will indeed!”
“ I quite adore them, ma'am,” said Mrs. Orange, “but they do want variety."
Mr. Orange got his hat, and Mrs. Orange got her bonnet and her baby, and they set out to walk home. They had to pass Mrs. Lemon's Preparatory Establishment on their way.
"I wonder, James dear,” said Mrs. Orange, looking up at the window, “ whether the precious children are asleep!” “ I don't much care whether they are or not, myself,” said Mr. Orange. James dear!” “ You dote upon them, you know," said Mr. Orange. “That 's another thing."
"I do!” said Mrs. Orange, rapturously. “O, I do!” “ I don't,” said Mr. Orange.
"But I was thinking, James love," said Mrs. Orange, pressing his arm, " whether our dear good kind Mrs. Lemon would like them to stay the holidays with her.”
“ If she was paid for it, I dare say she would,” said Mr. Orange. “ I adore them, James,” said Mrs. Orange ; “but SUPPOSE we pay her then!”
This was what brought that country to such perfection, and made it such a delightful place to live in ; the grown-up people (that would be in other countries) soon left off being allowed any holidays after Mr. and Mrs. Orange tried the experiment; and the children (that would be in other countries) kept them at school as long as ever they lived, and made them do whatever they were told.
Thrice prudent sovereigns, we made
- a "gingham check.”
DOTTY DIMPLE MAKING A CALL.
- so I
NE day Aunt Louise proposed that Dotty Dimple and Jennie Vance
should call upon a little girl who was visiting at Dr. Gray's. “O yes,” said Dotty, “we truly must go to see Dovey Sparrow ; she has such frizzy curls, and she can play five tunes on the piano. But, auntie, how do they make calls ?”
“O, all sorts of ways,” replied Miss Louise, with a twinkle in her eye. “Sometimes we take our cards, but I should hardly think it necessary for very young people to do so. Then we just touch the lady's hand, and talk about the weather, and in three minutes we go away."
“I've seen calls a great many times,” said Dotty, thoughtfully, “and I know we could make one, — Jennie and I ; Prudy need n't go a step.”
She did not feel quite sure that her auntie was not making sport of her, for Miss Louise had sometimes a very sober way of saying funny things. But Dotty took Jennie Vance into the green chamber that afternoon, and repeated what she had heard regarding the making of calls.
“ Dovey came from Boston, and we never saw her only in church, so I s'pose we must carry cards, Jennie. I know my auntie would be glad to lend me her silver card-case, she wishes me to be so polite ; but I don't dare ask her, guess
I 'll borrow it 'thout saying anything." “ Has n't anybody else got a gold one that I could borrow?” said Jennie, looking rather unhappy as the beautiful toy dropped into Dotty's pocket.
“ O, it's no matter about you,” returned Miss Dimple, with a peep at the mirror ; " you 'll be with me, and I 'll take care of you. Do tell me, Jennie, does my hat look polite? I mean is it style enough ?”
“It's as style as mine," replied Jennie, gazing into the glass with Dotty. “Why, we look just like each other, — only you 're so pretty, and your sack is silk and mine 's cotton-wool!”
“Well, you don't care,” said Dotty, graciously ; " you 're just as good as I am, if you only behave well. You must n't run out your tongue, Jennie, - it looks as if you were catching flies. And you should n't sneeze before people, — it's rude."
“ I heard you once, Dotty Dimple, and it was at a party too!”
“O, then, 't was an accident; you must 'scuse me if I did. And now,” added Dotty, giving a final touch to the red tassels in her gaiters, -"now I want you to notice how I act, and do just the same, for my mother has seen the governor, and yours has n't.”
“Well, my mother went to New York once," exclaimed Jennie, determined not to be crushed ; “and she has two silk dresses and a smellingbottle !"
“ Poh ! Susy 's always had some nightly-blue-sirreup, and Prudy's been out West. Just as if I'd tell about that! There now, do you know how to behave when anybody induces you to strangers ?”
“What do you s'pose ?” replied Jennie, tartly ; “I speak up and say, · Yes, sir !!"
Dotty laughed. She seemed to look down, down on her young friend from a great height.
And shake hands too,” added Jennie, quickly.
No, you give three fingers, that 's all, — just as if you were touching a toad; and you raise your eyebrows up this way, and quirk your mouth, and nod your head. “How do you do, Miss Dovey Sparrow? I'm delighted to meet you, miss! It's a charming day. Are they all well at Boston ?' You 'll see how I do it. Then I shall take out my handkerjiff
, and shake it so the sniff of the nightly-blue-sirreup will spread all over the room. Then I shall wipe my nose this way, and sit down. I've seen great ladies do it a great many times.” “So've I too !” nodded Jennie, overawed.
And,” continued Dotty, “if the people have plants in the window, the ladies say, 'How flagrant!' and if the people have children, they say, • What lovely little dears !' and pat their hair. 'Do you go to school, darling?' says they."
“ They've asked me that over and over,” remarked Jennie.
"And they keep calling everything char-rming, and bee-you-tiful! With such tight gloves on, I know their fingers feel choked."
“Come,” said Jennie," we must go ; and I guess I shall behave just as well as you, for you never made any calls before, your own self !”
The little girls tripped along the green roadside with an air of importance. Dotty felt like a princess-royal till they reached Dr. Gray's, and then her brave heart fluttered so fast that she had a secret longing to run home and get Prudy to help her. But the next minute she tossed her head as loftily as if there were a crown on it, and pulled the bell-wire so hard that Betsey Duffy thought the Doctor was wanted, and ran to the door with her sleeves rolled up to the elbows.
“ La me! If it is n't Mrs. Vance's little dite of a Jinny! And who's this one ? Edward Parlin's child, I should know by the eyes. Folks all well ? "
“ Is Miss Dovey Sparrow at home ?” asked Dotty, with dignity, at the same time opening her card-case with a click.
“ La me! yes, she is, fur 's I know ; walk in, children,” replied Betsey, who had never had time in her hard life to learn grammar.
“Then, if she is, you may give her these,” pursued Dotty, placing in Betsey's hands two cards, one bearing the name “ Louise Preston ”; the other, the words of a memorandum, “ Kerosene oil, vanilla, bar-soap."
Betsey looked at the cards, then at the exquisite Miss Dimple, and suddenly put her checked apron up to her face.
“Will you wait ?” said she, in a stifled voice, “will you wait, young ladies, till I give her the tickets? Or will you please be so good as to walk in now, if you like ?"
Dotty condescended to walk in; and Jennie, her shadow, quietly followed.
About a minute after they had seated themselves in two great chairs, in tripped Miss Dovey Sparrow, blushing and looking as frightened as a wood-pigeon. The roguish Betsey had just told her that these little visitors were the top of the town," and she must “ talk to them as if she was reading it out of a book.”
Meantime Betsey was hiding in the back parlor, with her checked apron over her mouth, forgetting her potato-yeast in her curiosity to watch these little fine ladies.
Dotty rose, stumbled over a stool, shook hands, but forgot to speak. Jennie did the same, with the addition of putting her little finger in her mouth.
“Ahem !” said Dotty, snapping her card-case. “ Yes ’m !” responded Dovey, trembling.
Jennie was on the point of running out her tongue, but stopped herself, and coughed till she choked. It was becoming rather awkward. Dotty wiped her nose nervously, and so did Jennie. Then Dotty folded her arms; Jennie clasped her hands, and both looked out of the window.
Poor Miss Dovey tried with all her might to think of a speech grand enough to make to these wise little guests ; but, alas ! she could not remember anything but her geography lessons.
Dotty was also laboring in vain ; the only thing that came into her head was a wild desire to sneeze. At last, her eye happening to rest on the crimson trimming of Dovey's dress, she was suddenly reminded of turkeys, and their dislike to the color of red. So she cried out in despair, “ Do you keep a turkey at your house?”