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to all present, and they came to the conclusion that, whatever doubt had existed before, there was certainly none now with regard to their positive engagement. “It’s not every one that’s so easily consoled,” said Mrs. Folger, as they once more readjusted the quilt; “though I have heard of people who were married within a year. Mr. Alger, you know; it was only six months after his wife died.” Mrs. Smith winced a little, but did not betray her uneasiness. Her second wedding-day had occurred just nine months from the first day of her widowhood. “By the way,” said Miss Martin, suddenly, “who do you think I saw to-day, Harriet?—Adeline Mitchell, your particular friend,” for all present were aware of the new antagonism. “Ah!” said Harriet, with a most contemptuous wreathing of her thin lips. “Yes; and she had on the sweetest new silk dress. I wonder who made it!” “It’s likely that people who can afford new silk dresses every fall, have them made in New York. I do like to see people get above themselves now and then l’” There was plainly no hope that the “breach of peace” could ever be closed. Adeline Mitchell's extravagance created quite a diversion from Mrs. Jackson. Miss Martin stitched away industriously with terribly long “needlefulls” of thread. Mrs. Folger now and then had a little chase for the unfortunate thimble, and Mrs. Smith, as usual, talked a great deal and sewed very little. As the days were very short, lights were introduced soon after Miss Martin's arrival, when a new difficulty ensued. There were but two flat-bottomed candlesticks in the house; these Hannah had that morning rescued from the threatened oblivion of the “closet under the stairs,” and had spent much time and labour in polishing. Two lights were not sufficient, and the expedient of a lamp set upon a large plate was mentioned. The plate would not do, there was too mnch danger of its upsetting. At length, Miss Martin suggested that the little tea-tray would be just the thing; and this, when tried, was found to answer admirably. “Now, Harriet, I’ll take your place, and you give us a tune. I haven't heard a bit of music this age. Do you know a piece called “Flow Gently, Sweet Afton?” asked Mrs. Smith. “I haven't played it I can't tell the time when,” responded the fair musician; “but I’ve got a beautiful new thing called Norma,” she added, taking up a simple arrangement of the Druid's march in that celebrated opera. “Norma!—I suppose that's a girl's name,” said Mrs. Folger, complacently. “Well, let's have that, then,” continued Miss Martin. Harriet forthwith commenced in a loud, dashing style, in which forte and piano, diminuendo and crescendo passages were so mingled, as to be entirely undistinguishable. Mrs. Folger nodded her head to keep time, while Mrs. Smith, glad of an excuse for open idleness, laid down her needle and rested her elbow on the quilt-frame to listen, while Miss Martin's notes of admiration, as “Ain’t that a sweet strain?”—“Don’t that put you in mind of “Bonaparte crossing the Rhine?’” were continued at intervals. Animated by such “distinguished applause,” Harriet played still more loudly as she neared the conclusion; but alas for the
The twins, favoured by the noise, and animated by a purely feminine instinct, discovered that under the quilt was a capital place for playing “keep house,” and had accordingly emigrated thither from the window-seat, where they had formerly resided. As they crept carefully under the opposite side, they were, at first, undiscovered; but growing more venturesome, Susan, who was a little the tallest, tried if she could “stand up straight” under the centre of the quilt.
Most unfortunate undertaking!—for, her head came in contact with the tea-tray; the lamp which it bore was upset; and, at the same moment, her sister, in trying to move one of the supporting chairs, brought the whole establishment once more to the carpet.
Harriet sprang from the piano, and snatched the lamps; one of the heavy candlesticks struck Sarah Ann in its descent; while Susan, completely enveloped, thought she was smothering in the centre of the quilt, and screamed in harmony. Of course, for a moment or two, there was total darkness, and when Hannah opened the door to announce tea, the whole room was a scene of unprecedented confusion.
RS. SMITH was a member of the Congregational church, which numbered but a few. The Episcopalians were the aristocrats of the town,
- ~~ Al- at least, they were so called by all the rest, though the Presbyterians had the finest church, and the highest steeple; and the organ in the Lutheran church was far the best. The Congregationalists, therefore, came some way behind, and numbered but three wealthy men in their society; though Elder Whiting was a man of great influence, and Deacon Morrison would have been if he could. However, Mr. Townsend found his time and patience fully taxed to keep his congregation in order, small as it was; and his wife did much to assist him by her gentle and popular manners, and great tact—that woman’s talent.
It was in the afternoon after Mrs. Harden's quilting, Miss Martin had commenced an engagement of three days at Mrs. Smith's, and the two ladies were deep in the mysteries of “ripping and turning.” Suddenly a knock at the front door startled them, and Mrs. Smith hurried into an adjoining room to give a few preliminary instructions to the girl, who was going through the hall.
“If it's Miss Barnard,” said Mrs. Smith, “show her into the parlour and roll up the curtains; tell her I’ll be in in a second. However, it may be only Mrs. Morrison, and she may come right into the sitting-room—I won't change my cap for her. Oh! and Susan, if it’s old Mrs. Shoefelt, just tell her I’ve run out, and you don’t know when I’ll be in. I did run out of the sittingroom,” said the conscientious lady, as she applied her ear to the key-hole. Now, it so chanced, that the visitor was neither of the above mentioned ladies, and Susan was at a loss how to dispose of her; but not noticing the girl's hesitation, and seeing the sittingroom door ajar, Mrs. Townsend solved the difficulty by walking directly in, as she heard Mrs. Smith was at home. Miss Martin rose, in a flutter of consequence, to see her. “Mrs. Smith would be in in half a minute;—would Mrs. Townsend be so good as to excuse the looks of the room. Dressmakers made so many “chips; but it was “clean dirt, after all. Mrs. Townsend smiled very kindly, and replied—“We all know what dressmaking is,” and then hoped that she had not interrupted them as Mrs. Smith entered the room, That lady was all smiles and cordiality. Again and again her visitor was urged to stay to tea, at least to take off her bonnet and sit an hour or two; but, after repeated refusals, the conversation took another turn. “I suppose you’re out making calls, then?” said Miss Martin, affably. Miss Martin was also one of Mr. Townsend's charge, and consequently took the visit partly to herself. “Yes,” was the reply, “I have just come from Mrs. Jackson’s.” “Now, do tell me,” said Mrs. Smith, “what's your opinion