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plight of all, perhaps, was that of the ladies who had written these saucy things, at Mrs. Longman's request, without an idea of the possibility of such a catastrophe as they witnessed. At first, they stood it pretty well; but I saw them grow redder and redder; and they looked, at last, as if the candles burned blue, and they saw evil spirits. Poor Mrs. Longman was sick abed the next day. – A capital story, is it not? O, there's Mr. Henry. He likes a good story; I must tell it to him.” And away she went, to tell it to the rest of the
company. “ Did you,” said Edward, “observe Mrs. Manners' eyes -- how they wandered, while she was telling that story? They were in search of the next person to whom she intended to relate it. She reminded me of a person whom you meet on his way to a steam-boat, or rail-car, whose face says, all the time, 'I fear I shall be too late. She told the story well, and she is very sensible; but what a pity that she loves admiration so much! Did you see her take notice of herself, and adjust her sleeves as she passed the pier glass? But she does not patronize; so I forgive her.”
“ It is not fair," said Amy, “ to stand here criticising others, instead of being agreeable yourself, as you promised you would.”
“I am taking the part of listener,” said Edward, “which is always acceptable, if it is done well.”
“A warm evening," said a young lady who
“Quite warm," replied Edward.
Delightful party, is it not ?” “O yes, of course.” “ How beautifully the bride looks!” “ Yes, she is beautiful.”
“Don't you think brides always look handsome?"
Certainly.” “ Is not her dress superb ? ” “I suppose so.”
“I hear that Mr. Roberts is a delightful man: is he not?"
“ Yes; I am much attached to Mr. Roberts."
“I never talk with him, I hear he is so learned. I never talk with philosophers; I am afraid of them. Is Mrs. Roberts blue?”,
“What do you call blue?”
“O, a lady that reads reviews, understands the onomies, the ologies, physics, metaphysics, &c. &c.”
Here the lady laughed. Before Mr. Selmar could answer her question, she tried another subject.
“ Have you been to the centre-table and seen the caricatures ?”
“No; I do not like caricatures, unless they are very good.”
“Don't you? I think they are beautiful; perhaps you do not like parties.”
“ Not much."
“ You don't say so; I think they are beautiful; there is nothing I admire so much. 0, hush ; Miss Treville is going to sing. I am so fond of music - my favorite song, too."
After beating time through one bar with her pretty fan, she entered into a loud, whispering conversation with a young beau who stood next to her, which she continued through the remainder of the
song. “Do you know, Mr. Selmar,” said the young lady, “that Miss Sidney is going to marry Mr. Wright?" “No, I did not."
Why, all the world are talking about it,” said the
young “Are they?”
“yes; and they wonder such a should marry such a woman, to whom he will always have to play second fiddle.”
“What do you suppose is the reason, Mr. Selmar," said the belle, “that ordinary men
so often take a fancy to these very fine wo
“I suppose," answered Edward, “ they have the organ of marvellousness very large, and, for this reason, are liable to be smitten with what is to them most mysterious, and altogether beyond their comprehension.”
“How severe you are this evening !” said the belle, laughing
“But how, in such a case, do you account for the lady's choice?" asked the beau.
“ That is a question too deep for my philosophy,” replied Edward.
She then resumed her gossip with the beau, in an affected whisper.
“Do you know," said she, “that Miss Belmont, the authoress, is here?”
“O no; I should like to see a live authoress of note. I have never seen a first-rate specimen. Where is she?"
“There she is, by Mrs. Lovell, dressed in blue.”
“That's right, shows her colors, so that they who have not courage to meet her may have a chance to run away, and live to fight another day.”
" It seems to me that she looks quite like other folks."
“ Yes; no one would think that she was any thing remarkable."
“I dare say she is much overrated," said the belle.
“ This is very natural," answered the beau. " It is so unusual for us Americans to have a live curiosity of our own; most of those we have are stuffed, and came from foreign parts."
Both laughed at this jeu d'esprit, and even Edward smiled.
“I mean," said the lady, “to be introduced to her."
“Do you? Why, what will you say to her ?”
“O, 1 don't intend to talk with her ; I only want to be able to say that I have been introduced to her.”
“She is not half so imposing in her appearance as the lady who is standing near her."
“ No; she has nothing of the true haut ton."
Very true: just compare her with Mrs. Lovell, who stands by her. Miss Belmont looks as if she forgot she was in company."
“Don't you think she is graceful ?” said Mr. Selmar.
Why, yes, rather graceful,” replied the belle. “I think there is great dignity in her simplicity,” added Mr. Selmar.
« Now I notice it, she is rather dignified.”