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his horses, and was universally liked. Dear me! appearances are so deceitful! who do you think he was?"

"I'm sure I can't imagine."

"Well, the next spring she went to a music store in Philadelphia, to buy some guitar strings for Claribel, and who should advance to sell them but the Russian Minister! Mrs. Gnu said she colored——”

"So I've always understood," said Gauche, laughing.

"Fie! Mr. Boosey," continued Mrs. P——, smiling. "But the music-seller didn't betray the slightest consciousness. He sold her the strings, received the money, and said nothing, and looked nothing. Just think of it! She supposed him to be a gentleman, and he was really a music-dealer. You see that's the sort of thing one is exposed to here, and though your friend may be very nice, it isn't safe for me to know him. In a country where there's no aristocracy one can't be too exclusive. Mrs. Peony says she thinks that in the future she shall really pass the summer in a farmhouse, or if she goes to a wateringplace, confine herself to her own rooms and her carriage, and look at people through the blinds. I'm afraid myself it's coming to that. Everybody goes to Saratoga now, and you see how Newport is crowded. For my part I agree with the Rev. Cream Cheese, that there are serious evils in a republican form of government. What a hideous head-dress that is of Mrs. Settum Downe's! What a lovely polka-redowa!"

"So it is, by Jove! Come on," replied the gentlemanly Boosey, and they swept down the hall.-Potiphar Papers.

Aurelia

ALTHOUGH my person is not present at your dinner, my fancy is. I see Aurelia's carriage stop, and behold white-gloved servants opening wide doors. There is a brief glimpse of magnificence for the dull eyes of the loiterers outside; then the door closes. But my fancy went in with Aurelia. With her, it looks at the vast mirror, and surveys her form at length in the Psycheglass. It gives the final shake to the skirt, the last flirt to the embroidered handkerchief, carefully held, and adjusts the bouquet, complete as a tropic nestling in orange leaves. It descends with her, and marks the faint blush upon her cheek at the thought of her exceeding beauty; the consciousness of the most beautiful woman, that the most beautiful woman is entering the room. There is the momentary hush, the subdued greeting, the quick glance of the Aurelias who have arrived earlier, and who perceive in a moment the hopeless perfection of that attire; the courtly gaze of gentlemen, who feel the serenity of that beauty. All this my fancy surveys; my fancy, Aurelia's invisible cavalier.

You approach with hat in hand and the thumb of your left hand in your waistcoat pocket. You are polished and cool, and have an irreproachable repose of manner. There are no improper wrinkles in your cravat; your shirt-bosom does not bulge; the trousers are accurate about your admirable boot. But you look very stiff and brittle. You are a little bullied by your unexceptionable shirt-collar, which interdicts perfect freedom of movement in your head. You are elegant, undoubtedly, but it seems as if you might break and fall to pieces, like a porcelain vase, if you were roughly shaken.

Now, here, I have the advantage of you. My fancy quietly surveying the scene, is subject to none of these embarrassments. My fancy, will not utter commonplaces. That will not say to the superb lady, who stands with her flowers, incarnate May, "What a beautiful day, Miss Aurelia." That will not feel constrained to say something, when it has nothing to say; nor will it be obliged to smother all the pleasant things that occur, because they would be too flattering to express. My fancy perpetually murmurs in Aurelia's ear, "Those flowers would not be fair in your hand, if you yourself were not fairer. That diamond necklace would be gaudy, if your eyes were not brighter. That queenly movement would be awkward, if your soul were not queenlier."

You could not say such things to Aurelia, although, if you are worthy to dine at her side, they are the very things you are longing to say. What insufferable stuff you are talking about the weather, and the opera, and Alboni's delicious voice, and Newport, and Saratoga! They are all very pleasant subjects, but do you suppose Ixion talked Thessalian politics when he was admitted to dine with Juno?

I almost begin to pity you, and to believe that a scarcity of white waistcoats is true wisdom. For now dinner is announced, and you, oh rare felicity, are to hand down Aurelia. But you run the risk of tumbling her expansive skirt, and you have to drop your hat upon a chance chair, and wonder, en passant, who will wear it home, which is annoying. My fancy runs no such risk; is not at all solicitous about its hat, and glides by the side of Aurelia, stately as she. There! you stumble on the stair, and are vexed at your own awkwardness, and are sure you saw the ghost of a smile glimmer along that superb face at your side. My fancy doesn't tumble down-stairs, and what kind of looks it sees upon Aurelia's face are its own secret.

Is it any better, now you are seated at table? Your companion eats little because she wishes little. You eat little because you think it is elegant to do so. It is a shabby, secondhand elegance, like your brittle behavior. It is just as foolish for you to play with the meats, when you ought to satisfy your healthy appetite generously, as it is for you, in the drawingroom, to affect that cool indifference when you have real and noble interests.

I grant you that fine manners, if you please, are a fine art. But is not monotony the destruction of art? Your manners, oh happy Ixion, banqueting with Juno, are Egyptian. They have no perspective, no variety. They have no color, no shading. They are all on a dead level; they are flat. Now, for you are a man of sense, you are conscious that those wonderful eyes of Aurelia see straight through all this network of elegant manners in which you have entangled yourself, and that consciousness is uncomfortable to you. It is another trick in the game for me, because those eyes do not pry into my fancy. How can they, since Aurelia does not know of my existence?

Unless, indeed, she should remember the first time I saw her. It was only last year, in May. I had dined, somewhat hastily, in consideration of the fine day, and of my confidence that many would be wending dinnerward that afternoon. I saw my Prue comfortably engaged in seating the trousers of Adoniram, our eldest boy-an economical care to which my darling Prue is not unequal, even in these days and in this town-and then hurried toward the avenue. It is never much thronged at that hour. The moment is sacred to dinner. As I paused at the corner of Twelfth Street, by the church, you remember, I saw an apple-woman, from whose stores I determined to finish my dessert, which had been imperfect at home. But, mindful of meritorious and economical Prue, I was not the man to pay

exorbitant prices for apples, and while still haggling with the wrinkled Eve who had tempted me, I became suddenly aware of a carriage approaching, and, indeed, already close by. I raised my eyes, still munching an apple which I held in one hand, while the other grasped my walking-stick (true to my instincts of dinner-guests, as young women to a passing wedding or old ones to a funeral), and beheld Aurelia!

Old in this kind of observation as I am, there was something so graciously alluring in the look that she cast upon me, as unconsciously, indeed, as she would have cast it upon the church, that, fumbling hastily for my spectacles to enjoy the boon more fully, I thoughtlessly advanced upon the apple-stand, and, in some indescribable manner, tripping, down we all fell into the street, old woman, apples, baskets, stand, and I, in promiscuous confusion. As I struggled there, somewhat bewildered, yet sufficiently self-possessed to look after the carriage, I beheld that beautiful woman looking at us through the back window (you could not have done it; the integrity of your shirt-collar would have interfered), and smiling pleasantly, so that her going around the corner was like a gentle sunset, so seemed she to disappear in her own smiling; or-if you choose, in view of the apple difficulties—like a rainbow after a storm.

If the beautiful Aurelia recalls that event, she may know of my existence; not otherwise. And even then she knows me only as a funny old gentleman, who, in his eagerness to look at her, tumbled over an apple-woman.

My fancy from that moment followed her. How grateful I was to the wrinkled Eve's extortion, and to the untoward tumble, since it procured me the sight of that smile. I took my sweet revenge from that. For I knew that the beautiful Aurelia entered the house of her host with beaming eyes, and my fancy heard her sparkling story. You consider yourself happy be

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