Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

(Continued from page 56.)

“No matter what you intended,” interrupted CHAPTER IV.

the lady. “Please tell me, sir, at once, if I A NEW-YORK PARTY.

am to have the new damask hangings, and the "This furniture looks dreadful shabby, my Paris mirrors, I have been wishing for so long ?" dear!” observed the Honorable Mrs. Fortescue, “Indeed, my dear, I should like to oblige as she surveyed her drawing-room, and then you," said Mr. F.; “ but consider the amount ! turned to her husband, who was quietly seats One thousand dollars! The loss I have susing himself in a luxurious fauteuil, for his tained by that confounded bank, together with afternoon's nap.

the expenses of your daughter's education, and " It was new only last year,” replied her various other things, have completely drained good man, yawning.

me. Where am I to get the money ? Couldn't "But only look at this velvet. It is quite you put off having these things for a little worn out; and the corners of the divans are while longer, till I can look about me ?" peeping through in every direction. I do “And have some one else snap them up in wish

the mean time, hey! Mrs. Livingston is to “Have less company, and there will be less have a party soon, and I shouldn't wonder that wear and tear.”

she took a fancy for the draperies, especially if “Less company! what are you thinking of,

she heard I was after them; and I declare I Mr. Fortescue? I have parties only once a won't be rivaled by anybody. I have set my fortnight; and there's Mrs. Lennox, who is heart upon having my rooms look perfect at my not half as rich as you are, gives routs almost approaching fête; and it will spoil all the pleaevery night. I'm sure I'm as youthful as she sure, if I give it with this shabby old furniis, and hold out as many attractions to my visitors."

Poor Mr. Fortescue, finding it of no avail to The Hon. Mr. Fortescue shrugged his shoul- / argue with his obstinate lady, at length agreed ders.

to accede to her wishes, although he told her “What do you mean by that, sir ?" demand at the same time, that it might be his ruin. ed the angry lady, who had noticed the motion,

He would be obliged to borrow the money upon and supposed it an indication of contempt for

good security, and, in failure of payment, would herself. “This is all I get for condescending

| have to sacrifice property to double the amount to bestow my hand upon a pettifogging lawyer, 1 His worldly-minded partner saw only the bright whose rise in life is owing solely to my money,

prospect of eclipsing Mrs. Livingston and gainand my family's influence."

ing the splendid ornaments, and, satisfied with “My dear, I did not intend”_cominenced her success, left her better half to his arm-chair the husband, in a tone of apology.

| and an hour's quiet. VOL. I.


Bright blazed the lamps in the splendid man- sions, whose round face appeared to great adsion, where the fashionable world were assem- vantage, adorned on each side with a crimson bled to pass the night: the young in folly, the old rose in full bloom. in cards. There were the Stanbrooks, the Len- ' " And the divine Laura, where is she ??? noxes, the Lindsays, the Morgans, (with seven “Expiring in agony, beneath the excruciatdaughters,) the Van Vlecks, and the Van Vlocks, ing perseverance of Dandy Meek's attentions." and many other Vans; the McPhersons, and “Pshaw !" the McTiers, and many other Macs. In short, "Did you know that Dechau has been robbed?" this was a select party. None of your mixed "Gracious, no! You always have some news. setsaristocrats and plebeians—but the very | When did it happen ?" quintessentiality of New York fashion. First " About two hours ago." let me introduce the seven Miss Morgans :-) “How much did he lose ? Tall, fair and spare, nearly all of one height, " Ten pounds of French rouge." resembling sun-flowers in full bloom; and as “How was it discovered ?! the flower turns to meet the orb of day, so “By examining Mrs. Langdon's face." they turned gladly to meet any orbs which “ You incorrigible! Mrs. Langdon don't might incline in their direction. Unhappily, rouge.” they had as yet sighed, gazed, and languished “What'll you bet ?! in vain!

“ You forget, sir,” said Mrs. Lennox, haugh“Angels and ministers of Love, defend us!" tily, " that ladies don't bet." whispered Beaumont to young Fitzallen; “if “ Pshaw !-well, I'll give you a dozen pair of here aint the seven weird sisters! How now, I gloves, if Mrs. Langdon's cheeks are colored by ye lovely, enchanting dames! Whate'er ye do, nature." oh, haunt me not! Presto!” he suddenly ex- “Done!" echoed Fitzallen. "I'm witness. claimed, “ Celestina has her eye upon me : I'm But how to ascertain the point ?" a doomed man—I'm an atom-a grain-an “Promise not to betray me, and I'll prove animalcule-I'm-I'm invisible ;" and skip- | it." ping behind Fitzallen, he bade him stand the A thousand honors bright were pledged fire until he effected his escape.

Fitzallen rubbing his hands in great glee. "Poor Mrs. Morgan! she don't know how “Come with me, then, and be silent," said to manage, or she wouldn't parade out all her | he, offering his arm to the lady. They crossed daughters at once," said Mrs. Lennox to Mrs. the room where the unconscious victim of McPherson. “Poor thing, she seems distressed their attack was sitting, watching the moveabout procuring them partners. Fitz," she ments of the dancers. whispered, as she passed that young gentle- “My dear Mrs. Langdon!” said the exquiman, "incline thy gentle heart to pity. Glor- site, bowing respectfully; "never saw you vina has singled you out-you really must looking so handsome. You absolutely rival the dance."

flowers in beauty and bloom.” As he spoke, " I'm ti-r-ed,” drawled the beau, without he turned to a vase on the table, near. “By moving an inch.

the way, I wonder if these flowers are real ? “Pho! pshaw! nonsense! Well, if you're Yes, genuine, 'pon honor.” He stooped over to non compos, where are all the Astor House replace the vase, and in so doing, dexterously beaux ? Where's Major Gorman ???

spilled half the water it contained, upon the "In bed."

face of Mrs. Langdon. Snatching his perfum• What's the matter with him ??

ed handkerchief from his pocket, he rushed up "Lost his senses.”

to the lady, and, making many apologies for "Good gracious! how long since that hap his awkwardness, commenced wiping off, with pened ??

no gentle hand, the dew-drops he had scattered. "Since dinner!” replied Beaumont, with a “Your cheek, madam; allow me; a leaf has shrug.

fallen upon it." “Oh, you audacious," laughed the lady, tap- Fitzallen, unable to contain himself longer, ping him with her fan. “You are incorrigi- burst into a loud laugh, while Mrs. Lennox, ble. Apropos, where is your star of worship | who really pitied the unfortunate object of this to-night ?"

trial, suppressed her own mirth, and offered as"Eclipsed by the full moon,” replied Beau- sistance in removing the effects of Beaumont's mont, pointing to a lady of considerable dimen- / rudeness. Little mischief was done by the water ; but, alas for beauty! that it must fade! crowd, had found refuge in the music-room, We dare not examine too closely the tell-tale where, placed in a conspicuous position, the handkerchief. Suffice it to say, that when all splendid harp of Miss Angelina was now sendeyes were diverted from their coterie, he slowly ing forth its dulcet sounds. drew it from his pocket, and flourished it in Here Cornelia Stanbrook-the observed of all triumph before the eyes of Mrs. Lennox. observers—had collected around her a select She lost the gloves.

group of distinguished gentlemen, whom, by “Now, you have discovered one work of art, the brilliancy of her sallies, her splendid beauty I suppose you will soon find another,” said Mrs. and graceful ease, she chained to her side.Lennox. “I shouldn't wonder if you accused The belle, the beauty, the heiress, feared neithat beautiful girl yonder of wearing false curls. | ther competition nor rivalry. Refreshments Did you ever see anything more natural than were now brought in, and the gentlemen bethose ringlets ?

came busy in attention to their fair partners. "False, I'll be bound,” replied Beaumont; Frederick Howard, who, through the flattering " and, if you'll give me leave, I'll prove it.” notice of the Stanbrook family, as well as his ,“ You cannot you dare not.”

own merits, had become a favorite in society, “I can, and dare, and will, as soon as the was standing with the famous poet H******, waltz commences for which I have engaged conversing with Laura, when some commotion her."

in the room announced that another performer Mrs. Lennox fixed her attention upon the was about to try the harp, and, at this moyoung lady and her long glossy ringlets, while ment, his eye fell upon a lady, who, having Beaumont busied himself in some mysterious been surrounded by a group of the literati, had arrangement of his vest buttons, unperceived hitherto escaped his notice. Her dress was by his companions. When the waltz com- studiously plain, yet elegant and becoming. menced, away the couple flew, while all stood Her hair dark, and disposed in the Grecian admiring the ease and grace of the one, and style about a head, whose classical contour inthe beauty of the other, whose hair in particu- stantly struck the beholder with admiration. lar was generally extolled. Suddenly the shin- Her eyes were of that changeable color which ing mass seemed to be inextricably entangled appears gray, blue or black, in peculiar lights, in the dress of the lady's partner, and, shocking and generally allowed to be the most expressive. to relate, a few of the envious ringlets remained | Her eye-brows were arched and well defined, in his possession, twined like tendrils around a and the long lashes which half concealed her button of his vest. They paused for the lady eyes, except when raised, fell upon a cheek of to recover her breath. The hero retired with that deep rich color, which is the sure indicathe stolen signal of success.

| tion of health. Her hand, which she that moAmid the shouts of laughter that ensued, ment raised to replace a rose in her dark hair, music was heard from an adjoining apartment. was extremely small and delicately formed, and Conversation ceased, and all ears were bent to her arm dazzlingly white and round. Her listen

form appeared perfection, developing every “Who is playing ?" asked several voices. grace of nature, and displayed to advantage by

“ It is Angelina Fortescue, practising her her tight-fitting black velvet dress. She wore new harp."

no ornaments, and beauty like hers needed none " Let's adjourn,” said Fitzallen, twirling his to improve it. Howard caught but one glance mustache.

of this interesting stranger, for Mrs. Fortescue, "Is the Stanbrook there ?" inquired Beau- bustling through the crowd, panting with the mont.

excitement of the evening--fretted at many * Cornelia ? Yes; flirting, as usual.” things which had crossed her in the preparaAllons donc! I'll put a stop to that." tions, and the fear that all might not go as she

Mrs. Fortescue had determined to have an wished it-approached the lovely stranger with intellectual as well as fashionable party, and some earnest petition, and completely obscured had therefore invited a few literary gentlemen the vision. and ladies—the stars of the age-who, if they “Fred, how are you, my boy?" exclaimed a did not add to the brilliancy, at least gave a voice at his side. tone and character to the whole, and served as “Plaguy hot and tiresome here, I vow. an offset to the general frivolity of the com- Nothing but dancing, eating and musicing. pany. Many of these, retreating from the Mademoiselle Squallini has given over, I see,


after displaying her long neck, square shoul-! - Italian, I'm confident,” said Miss Mellen ; ders and plump arms and hands to advantage. “ for that handsome Italian Count, with whom Phew! by George, they're going at it again." Cornelia Stanbrook is so much in love, talked Howard grasped his arm.

with Miss Legard half an hour about Venice, “ Tell me, Beaumont, who is that lady?" and Florence, and Doges, and all those sorts of

" By the table? Miss P-- the rich old things; as if they had been intimate with them maid."

from their infancy." " Pshaw! to the left-in the corner.”

"But how oddly she dresses," said Miss La“ That! oh, she's called the fat Miss Seldon. vinia : "no diamonds, nor pearls, nor anything; She's been courting me this two years." and only look at her hair! drawn back on her “ You provoking owl!"

head, like one of those statues at Launitz's.Thank you."

She, no doubt, wishes to imitate Calypso, or " She I mean is in black velvet.”

some other Italian goddess." "Ah, now I see. Why that's the beautiful “Grecian, you mean," said Miss Mellen. Mrs. Jones, the mother of nine grown-up daugh- “ Well, no matter where they lived. They ters: all here, and varied in beauty and dress all look alike in pictures and statues. I wonas tulips in a flower-bed."

der she don't wear a loose white robe, confined "Get away."

| at the shoulder with a cameo, and have her “Certainly, I'm going to worship my star of feet bare, or in sandles, and all that sort of promise. Ah! good evening, Miss Laura, lovely thing." as usual. There, the divine Cornelia is at “Oh, it is very evident that you are influlength at liberty; I must go pay my devoirs. enced by jealousy," said Miss Corrinna Mellen, Au revoir, Fred; come to my rooms to-morrow, who was very anxious to appear a "blue" and I've business of importance with you. A rich a savant, and had been boasting all the evenclient, you comprehend-addio."

ing of her intention to patronize the Legard, And having rattled through his speech, the whom nobody knew. exquisite rattled off, his highly polished French "I have discovered that she has talent, and boots creaking musically at every step.

mean to bring her out," said she. “Of course, " Place that harp farther this way," said as she is a stranger, we must make a party for Mrs. Fortescue to an attendant. "Now, Miss her. She has already an invitation to the Misa Legard ; pardon me for interrupting your con- Stanbrooks' literary soirée ; mine shall follow, versation, but may I entreat you to favor us and I will have Mr. Irving, and Mr. Benjamin, with one song. You who play so beautifully and Mr. Hoffman, the American Walter Scott, on the harp, ought not to refuse. I wish An- and all the lady writers, and we will have mugelina to improve by hearing the best perform- sic too, and all that sort of thing; and-and—" ers. Of course, having been in France and Here she was interrupted by “chut," "chut," Italy so long, you must be perfect."

“ silence ;" and the tuning of the harp inter “Who is Miss Legard ?" inquired Howard of rupted the conversation. Miss Legard seated

herself at the harp. “A foreigner, I understand. At least she “She must be a foreigner,” thought Howard, has that reputation, although she speaks Eng. " for her perfect self-possession proves it beyond lish fluently."

all doubt.” As he watched her graceful figure “I have heard," observed H******, "many, in tuning the harp and arranging the music, both French and Italians, converse with such something in her air and manner reminded fluency in our language that it was difficult to him of Inez, whose absence-having been dedetect their foreign origin except from their tained by illness—had been a great drawback countenances and manners."

to his present enjoyment. “The latter is an invariable criterion," re- At the very first tones of a voice, clear, rich, marked Mrs. Langdon ; “for foreign ladies are powerful, and well cultivated, everyone yielded always graceful—our countrywomen always to the sensation which music always awakens stiff."

in those capable of enjoying it. The very " What a reflection,” said Laura, smiling. breath seemed suspended, as Miss Legard swept

“The Legard is certainly French,” said La her hands across the strings of the harp, and vinia Fitzallen; “for I heard her chatting away at length, assured that all was right, comwith Monsieur L , and she talks like menced singing to its accompaniment a favorite Levisac's Grammar."

Scotch ballad.


"But why don't she sing French or Italian, upon his bounty, Inez Laurence, has been takor something that we don't understand ?" asked ing lessons of her in music and other things. Miss Mellen, in a whisper. “Pray ask her, She has smuggled herself into society some Mrs. Fortescue. These things are so com- way; and now Colonel Stanbrook carries his mon."

absurd patronage so far as to desire me to noMiss Legard smiled, as, after finishing her tice her, and make parties to show her off! song, this request was made to her. “ With There is a report that she has been lately made pleasure," she replied, turning over the music. independent by the caprice of some old fellow, * What shall it be?" A song from a favorite who disinherited his own relations, and left all opera was proposed, to which the soft modula- his property to her. She lives very genteelly, tions of her voice, and her correct pronuncia- and—” tion of the Italian, gave additional charm. And At this moment Cornelia caught the eye of here let me remark upon the absurdity of her uncle fixed upon her with such a strange young ladies in the present day attempting to expression, and so full of stern reproof, that sing words which they do not understand, and she stopped abruptly in the midst of her speech. cannot even pronounce. They suppose it She had often witnessed his displeasure at her fashionable to sing Italian, and having no know-rude remarks, but she had never seen him look ledge whatever of the language, often utter so indignant before. She dropped her eyes, strange dissonant sounds, at variance with the and was silent. music, or make perfect nonsense of the words; ! Happily, Beaumont's attention had been diand sometimes giving a different meaning to rected towards the object of her raillery, 80 them than was intended by the author. that he did not notice the sudden change in

After this second song, Miss Legard declined her countenance, and, with her usual tact, she doing more until some of the rest of the com- hastened to turn the conversation. pany had performed their part. As few un " Is there any prospect of Ellen Tree's arriderstood the harp, the piano was resorted to, val ??? at which the Misses Fitzallen did justice to “ I hope so; for the Park is most dolefully that well-known duet, " O dolce Concento." dull.”

This was followed by dancing, the band sud- “Pray, get me an ice; I am perishing with denly striking up in the large drawing-rooms the heat." adjoining, and calling off the more juvenile of Off flew Beaumont. the company. Howard joined the circle who, “Got rid of him at last, just as Count Puffer as the room thinned again, gathered around is approaching-of course to solicit my hand the fascinating stranger. Miss Stanbrook, for for the next dance. What a fop that fellow is.” once, felt herself eclipsed; yet, determined not | The next instant she turned, with her most to lose her ground, she beckoned Beaumont to gracious smile, to greet her foreign admirer. her side, who, ever ready to obey a wink or nod As Howard approached the group, in the from the idol of his worship, instantly answered midst of which Miss Legard was seated, Mr. the summons.

| Hamilton, an English gentleman, was remark" What a fuss they are making about her to- ing upon the passion for German and Italian right,” she said in a pettish tone. “One would music, both in England and this country, and think she were a foreign princess, by the adu- deploring the want of musical talent or musical lation she receives. She is neither young nor" enthusiasm, which prevented any of our com

-she was about to say "beautiful,” but her | posers from becoming distinguished in this reconscience would not allow her

spect. * They say she is very clay-ver-, minced | “I imagine," said Miss Legard, “that it is Beaumont.

not so much because they fail in either of these, "Not more so than is necessary in her situa as from the multiplicity of other engagements, tion, and for the occupation in which she is which does not allow of their paying it suffiengaged."

cient attention. Hayden and Mozart made it “What is that?" asked Beaumont, in asto- the business of their lives. The Italians are, nishment.

by nature, musical. Their climate, their se“Why, I have heard that she was governess rene skies, their green valleys and bright flowers to some noble family in Europe, where she -even their indolent livescontribute to the learned all her graces, I suppose. Since her encouragement of, and tend to foster their love return, my uncle's ward, or rather a dependant for, this delightful science. The sweetest voice

« AnteriorContinuar »