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Memoirs of a Highland Lady
Chapter XV. 1815-1817


WE put all our home affairs in order for our long absence, and then we set out for Edinburgh. My father had taken there the most disagreeable house possible; a large gloomy No. 11 in Queen Street, on the front of which the sun never shone, and which was so built against behind that there was no free circulation of air through it. It belonged to Lady Augusta Clavering, once Campbell, one of the handsome sisters of the handsome Duke of Argyll, who had run off from a masquerade with a lover who made her bitterly repent she ever took him for a husband. It was comfortable within, plenty of rooms in it, four good ones on a floor, but they did not communicate. The drawing-room was very large, four windows along the side of it. There were, however, no convenient rooms for refreshments for evening parties, so during our stay in it nothing could be given but dinners, and very few of them, for none of us were in very good-humour. It was well for me that my little bedroom was to the sunny and quiet back of the house, and on the drawing- room floor, for I had to spend many a week in it. A long illness beginning with a cold confined me there during the early part of the winter, and when I began to recover I was so weakened that dear and kind Dr Gordon, who had attended me with the affection of a brother, positively forbade all hot rooms and late hours. It was a sentence I would have wished him to pronounce, for I was sick of those everlasting gaieties, and with his encouragement and the assistance of a few other friends I was making for myself, I was able to find employment for my time infinitely more agreeable than that round of frivolous company.

We had two pieces of family news to raise our spirits. Uncle Edward and Annie Grant were married —not to each other! He in Bombay, now a Judge of the Sudder, had married a Miss Rawlins, the daughter of an old Madras civilian, a highly respectable connection; and she in Bengal, had become the wife of Major-General N--, commanding at Cawnpore, a King's Cavalry officer. I have quite forgot, I see, to mention that when we left London she had gone on a visit to Mrs Drury, the sister of Mr Hunter, husband of one of the Malings. Mrs Drury took such a fancy to her that she would not part with her, at least not to a house of business. She proposed to my father to equip her for India. She went out with Miss Stairs, sister to Lady Bury and Mrs Vine, and she was received by Mrs Irwine Maling, from whose house she married.

We were inundated this whole winter with a deluge of a dull ugly colour called Waterloo blue, copied from the dye used in Flanders for the calico of which the peasantry made their smock-frocks or blouses. Everything new was "Waterloo," not unreasonably, it had been such a victory, such an event, after so many years of exhausting suffering; and as a surname to hats, coats, trousers, instruments, furniture, it was very well —a fair way of trying to perpetuate tranquillity; but to deluge us with that vile indigo, so unbecoming even to the fairest! It was really a punishment; none of us were sufficiently patriotic to deform ourselves by wearing it. The fashions were remarkably ugly this season. I got nothing new, as I went out so little, till the spring, then white muslin frocks were the most suitable dress for the small parties then given. There was a dearth of news, too, a lull after the war excitement; or my feeling stupid might make all seem so. I know my memory recollects this as a disagreeable winter. The lawyers were busy with a contemplated change in the Jury Court. Trial by jury in civil cases had not, up to this date, been the custom in Scotland. In penal cases the Scotch jury law so far differed from the English that a majority of voices convicted the prisoner; unanimity was unnecessary; and this, which many sagacious lawyers considered the better rule, was not to be interfered with, it was only to be extended to civil cases. The machinery of the Courts of Justice had of course to be slightly altered for this change of system. If I remember rightly, two new Barons were required, and a Chief Baron, whom we had never had before. Sir William Shepherd, from the London Bar, was sent in this capacity to set it all going. His very English wife came with him, and amused us more than I can tell with her cockneyisms. He was very agreeable. It may seem beyond the range of a girl of my then age to have entered into so grave a subject, but this sort of topic was becoming my business. I wrote quickly and clearly, and seldom made mistakes; my father, though he had a clerk, frequently found it suit him to employ me as his more private secretary. I even helped him to correct the press for some of his pamphlets, sought out and marked his references, and could be trusted to make necessary notes. I delighted in this occupation, and was frequently indulged in it both in town and country at such odd times as help was wanted. Indeed from henceforward I was his assistant in almost all employments—work much more to my mind than that eternal "outing."

In July we returned to the Doune. We had not many visitors, so far as I recollect. The country was filled with half-pay officers, many of them returned wounded to very humble homes in search of a renewal of the health they had bartered for glory. A few of these had been raised to a rank they were certainly far from adorning; very unfit claimants got commissions occasionally in those war days. Lord Huntly had most improperly so advanced one or two of his servants' sons, and in the German legion there had been two lieutenants who began life as carpenter's apprentices to Donald Maclean. One of these, Sandy Macbean, who lived the rest of his days at Guislich under the title of the Offislier, attended the church very smart, and dined once every season at our table as was now his due, had helped to alter the staircase with the same hands that afterwards held his sword.

Kinrara was very full this season, and very pleasant. The charming Duchess, whose heart was in the Highlands, had left orders to be buried on the banks of the Spey in a field she had herself planted out. Lord Huntly planted a few larch round the enclosure, but Lady Huntly laid out a beautiful shrubbery and extended the plantation, making paths through it. The grave was covered by a plain marble slab, but behind this rose a stunted obelisk of granite, having on its front by way of inscription the names of all het children with their marriages; this was by her own desire. Her youngest son, Alexander, died unmarried before herself; Lord Huntly she left a bachelor. Her four younger daughters had all made distinguished connections; the eldest, and the best bred amongst them, showed to less effect among the list of great names, but then she had two husbands to make up for their being commoners. The first, Sir John Sinclair of Murkie, was her cousin; they had one child only, the merry sailor son whom every one was fond of. The second husband was a Mr Palmer of Bedfordshire. The second daughter was Duchess of Richmond, the third Duchess of Manchester, the fourth Marchioness of Cornwallis, the fifth Duchess of Bedford. When the Duchess of Manchester was driven from the house of the husband she had disgraced, she left behind her two sons, and six daughters placed by their father under the care of a governess to be superintended by the Dowager Duchess; the boys were at Eton. The eldest of these girls, however, Lady Jane Montague, had almost always lived with her other grandmother, the Duchess of Gordon. She it was who danced the Shean Trews, and trotted over to the Doune on her pony as often nearly as she stayed at home. My father and mother were dotingly fond of her, for she was a fine natural creature, quite unspoiled. When our Duchess, as we always called her, died, Lady Jane was not happy at home with her younger sisters and their governess; she went to live with her aunt the Duchess of Bedford, and was shortly announced to be on the point of marriage with the second of the Duke's three sons by his first wife— Lord William Russell. Next we heard she was very ill, consumptive—dying—and that kind aunt took her to Nice, and attended her like a mother till she laid her in her grave. It was a grief to every one that knew her, particularly those who had watched the fair show of her childhood.

The second of these deserted girls was now of an age to be introduced into society, and Lord and Lady Huntly brought her with them to Kinrara. No, it was the third, Lady Susan, a beautiful creature; the second, Lady Elizabeth, was just married to a handsome Colonel Steele, with whom she had become acquainted through her governess. It was on Lady Susan's account that Kinrara was made so particularly agreeable. There were plenty of morning strolls and evening dances, a little tour of visits afterwards, all ending in her engagement to the Marquis of Tweed- dale, a man liked I believe by men, and it was said by some women—of extraordinary taste, to my mind; for, thick-set and square-built and coarse-mannered, with that flat Maitland face which when it once gets into a family never can be got out of it, he was altogether the ugliest boxer or bruiser-looking sort of common order of prize-fighter that ever was seen out of a ring. Yet he had a kind manner and a pleasant smile, and he made a tender husband to this sweet gentle creature, who accepted him of her own free will and never regretted the union.

Neither house went to the Tryst this year, nor to the Meeting. Lady Susan's approaching marriage prevented any public displays from Kinrara, and my father having been called to a distance on business the Doune did not care to exhibit without him.

In November 1816 we travelled back to Edinburgh to take possession of Sir John Hay's house in George Street, an infinitely more agreeable winter residence than Lady Augusta Clavering's very gloomy old barrack in Queen Street. It was an excellent family house, warm, cheerful, and airy, with abundant accommodation for a larger party than ours; but there was the same fault of only one drawing-room and a small study off it. Perhaps my father wanted no space for a ball. The town was much fuller than it had been before, of course gayer, many very pleasant people were added to our society. War was over, all its anxieties, all its sorrows had passed away, and though there must have been many sad homes made for ever, in a degree, desolate, these individual griefs did not affect the surface of our cheerful world. The bitterness of party still prevailed too much in the town, estranging many who would have been improved by mixing more with one another. Also it was a bad system that divided us all into small coteries; the bounds were not strictly defined, and far from strictly kept; still, the various little sections were all there, apart, each small set over-valuing itself and under-valuing its neighbours. There was the fashionable set, headed by Lady Gray of Kinfauns, Lady Molesworth unwillingly admitted, her sister Mrs Munro, and several other regular party-giving women, seeming to live for crowds at home and abroad. Lady Moles- worth, the fast daughter of a managing manceuvring mother, very clever, no longer young, ran off with a boy at college of old Cornish family and large fortune, and made him an admirable wife—for he was little beyond a fool—and gave him a clever son, the present Sir William Molesworth. Within, or beyond this, was an exclusive set, the Macleods of Macleod, Cumming-Gordons, Shaw-Stewarts, Murrays of Ochtertyre, etc. Then there was a card-playing set, of which old Mrs Oliphant of Rossie was the principal support, assisted by her daughters Mrs Grant of Kilgraston and Mrs Veitch, Mr and Mrs Massie, Mr and Mrs Richmond (she was sister to Sir Thomas Liddell, Lord Ravensworth), Miss Sinclair of Murkle the Duchess of Gordon's first cousin and the image of her, Sam Anderson and others. By the bye, Mrs Richmond was the heroine of the queer story in Mr Ward's Tremaine, and she actually did wear the breeches. Then there was a quiet country-gentleman set, Lord and Lady Wemyss, all the Campbells, Lord and Lady Murray, Sir James and Lady Helen Hall, Sir John and Lady Stewart Hay, and so forth. A literary set, including college professors, authors, and others pleased so to represent themselves; a clever set with Mrs Fletcher; the law set; strangers, and inferiors. All shook up together they would have done very well. Even when partially mingled they were very agreeable. When primmed up, each phalanx apart, on two sides of the turbulent stream of politics, arrayed as if for battle, there was really some fear of a clash at times. We were so fortunate as to skim the cream, I think, off all varieties; though my father publicly was violent in his Whiggism he did not let it interfere with the amenities of private life, and my mother kept herself quite aloof from all party work.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh was seldom in any of these sets; he was generally a tradesman of repute among his equals, and in their society he was content to abide. This year the choice happened to fall on a little man of good family, highly connected in the mercantile world, married to an Inverness Alves, and much liked. I don't remember what his pursuit was, whether he was a banker, or agent for the great Madras house his brother George was the head of, but he was a kind hospitable man, his wife Mrs Arbuthnot very Highland, and they were general favourites. He was chosen Provost again when his three years were out, so he received the king, George IV., on his memorable visit, and was made a baronet. Just before him we had had Sir John Marjoribanks of Lees, mercantile too. After him, the Town Council went back to their own degree. The name amongst us for Sir William Arbuthnot was Dicky Gossip, and richly he deserved it, for he knew all that was doing everywhere to everybody, all that was pleasant to know; a bit of ill-nature or a bit of ill-news he never uttered. After a visit from him and his excellent wife—they were fond of going about together—a deal of what was going on seemed to have suddenly enlightened their listeners, and most agreeably. A tale of scandal never spread from them, nor yet a sarcasm. They, from their situation, saw a great deal of company and no parties could be pleasanter than those they gave.

There were very few large balls given this winter. Lady Gray, Mrs Grant of Kilgraston, Mrs Macleod, and a few others retained this old method of entertaining. A much more pleasant style of smaller parties had come into fashion with the new style of dancing. It was the first season of quadrilles, against the introduction of which there had been a great stand made by old-fashioned respectables. Many resisted the new French figures altogether, and it was a pity to give up the merry country dance, in which the warfare between the two opinions resulted; but we young people were all bit by the quadrille mania, and I was one of the set that brought them first into notice. We practised privately by the aid of a very much better master than Mr Smart. Finlay Dunn had been abroad, and imported all the most graceful steps from Paris; and having kept our secret well, we burst upon the world at a select reunion at the White Melvilles', the spectators standing on the chairs and sofas to admire us. People danced in those days; we did not merely stand and talk, look about bewildered for our vis-a-vis, return to our partners either too soon or too late, without any regard to the completion of the figure, the conclusion of the measure, or the step belonging to it; we attended to our business, we moved in cadence, easily and quietly, embarrassing no one and appearing to advantage ourselves. We were only eight; Mr White Melville and Nancy Macleod opposite to Charles Cochrane and me, Johnnie Melville and Charles Macleod with Fanny Hall and Miss Melville. So well did we all perform, that our exhibition was called for and repeated several times in the course of the evening. We had no trouble in enlisting co-operators, the rage for quadrilles spread, the dancing-master was in every house, and every other style discarded. Room being required for the display, much smaller parties were invited. Two, or at most three, instruments sufficed for band, refreshments suited better than suppers, an economy that enabled the inviters to give three or four of these sociable little dances at less cost than one ball; it was every way an improvement. My mother gave several of these small parties so well suited to the accommodation of our house, and at no cost to my father, uncle Edward having sent her for the purpose of being spent in any way she liked upon her daughter, a hundred pounds.

At our little parties Jane came out amazingly; she was never shy, always natural and gay and clever, and though not strictly handsome, she looked so bright, so well, with her fine eyes and her rosy lips, she was in extreme request with all our beaux. To the old set of the two former winters I had added considerably during the course of this more sociable one, and Jane went shares whenever she was seen. She carried one altogether away from me, the celebrated Basil Hall. He had this very year returned from Loo Choo, had published his book, brought home fiat needles, and cloth made from wood, and a funny cap which he put on very good-humouredly, and chop-sticks with which he ate very obligingly; in short, he did the polite voyager to no end. Jane was quite taken with him, so was Jane Hunter; Margaret Hunter and I used to be amused with them and him, and wonder how they could wait on the lion so perseveringly. He was the second son of Sir James Hall, a man not actually crazy, but not ar from it; so given up to scientific pursuits as to be incapable of attending to his private affairs. They were in consequence much disordered, and they would have been entirely deranged but for the care of his wife, Lady Helen. Sir James had lately published a truly ingenious work, an attempt to deduce Gothic architecture from the original wigwams made of reeds. The drawings were beautifully executed, not by himself, I fancy, and by them he showed clearly the fluted pillars of stone copied from faggots of osier, groined arches from the slender shoots bent over and tied together, buds originating ornaments; a fanciful theory maybe, yet with some show of reason in it.

Dr Hope was the professor of chemistry, an old admirer of my aunt Mary's, and still the flutterer round every new beauty that appeared. I preferred him to Professor Leslie because he was clean, but not to Professor Playfair; he, old, ugly, and absent, was charming, fond of the young who none of them feared him, glad to be drawn away from his mathematical difficulties to laugh over a tea-table with such as Jane and me. We were favourites too with Dr Brewster, who was particularly agreeable, and with John Clerk, who called Jane, Euphrosyne, and with Mr Jeffrey with whom we gradually came to spend a great deal of time. I had Lord Buchan all to myself though, he cared for no one else in the house. He lived very near us, and came in most mornings in his shepherd's plaid, with his long white hair flowing over his shoulders, to give rue lessons in behaviour. If he were pleased he would bring out some curiosity from his pockets—a tooth of Queen Mary's, a bone of James the Fifth—imaginary relics he set great store by. How many flighty people there were in Scotland! Neither of his extraordinary brothers quite escaped the taint. Lord Erskine and Harry Erskine were both of them excited at times. At a certain point judgment seems to desert genius. Another friend I made this year who remembered to ask about me very lately, Adam Hay, now Sir Adam. He was Sir John Hay's third son when I knew him. John died, Robert the handsome sailor was drowned, so the baronetcy fell to Adam. Are not the memoirs of the old a catalogue of the deaths of many who were young with them? Adam Hay tried to shake my integrity; he advocated, as he thought, the cause of his dearest friend, whose mother, dear excellent woman, having died, their sophistry persuaded them so had my promise. We had many grave conversations on a sad subject, while people thought we were arranging our matrimonial excursion. He told me I was blamed, and I told him I must bear it; I did add one day, it was no easy burden, he should not seek to make it heavier. His own sister, some time after this, succeeded to my place; lovely and most lovable she was, and truly loved I do believe. Adam Hay told me of it when he first knew it, long afterwards, and I said, so best; yet the end was not yet.

We had a visitor this spring, Colonel d'Este, whom we had not seen since the old Prince Augustus days. He was as natural as ever, asked himself to dinner, and talked of Ramsgate. He had not then given up his claim to royalty, therefore there was a little skilful arrangement on his part to avoid either assumption or renunciation. He entered unannounced, my father meeting him at the door and ushering him into the room, my mother, and all the ladies on her hint, rising till he begged them to be seated. Otherwise he conformed to common usage, and perhaps did not observe that we had no finger-glasses; which reminds me that a year or two after when Prince Leopold was at Kinrara, Lord Huntly, precise as he was, had forgotten to mention to his servants that nobody ever washed before royalty, and from the moment that this omission struck him, he sat in such an agony as to be incapable of his usual happy knack of keeping the ball going. Luckily some of the Prince's attendants had an eye to all, and stopped the offending crystals on their way. I don't know what brought Colonel d'Este to Scotland at that time of year, he was probably going to some of his mother's relations in the west. I remember Lord Abercrombie being asked to meet him, and after accepting, he sent an apology; "an unavoidable accident which happily would never be repeated" set us all off on a train of conjectures wide of the truth, the newspapers next day announcing the marriage of this grave elderly friend of my father's.

We left Sir John Hay's house in May; he was coming to live in it himself with his pretty daughters; and we went for three months to the house of Mr Allan the banker, in Charlotte Square, just while we should be considering where to fix for a permanency. Mrs Allan was ill, and was going to some watering-place, and they were glad to have their house occupied. Before we moved we paid two country visits, my father, my mother, and I.

Our first visit was to Dunbar, Lord Lauderdale's, a mere family party, to last the two or three days my father and my Lord were arranging some political matters. They were always brimful of party mysteries, having a constant correspondence on these subjects. My mother had so lectured me on the necessity of being anything but myself on this startling occasion that a fit of Kinrara feel came over me for the first evening. I was so busy with the way I was to sit, and the proper mode to speak the few words I was to say, and the attention I was to pay to all the nods and winks she was to give me, that a fit of shyness actually came on, and my spirits were quite crushed by these preliminaries and the curious state of the household we fell upon. In the very large drawing-room in which the family sat there was plenty of comfortable furniture, including an abundance of easy-chairs set in a wide circle around the fire. Before each easy-chair was placed a stool rather higher than would have been agreeable for feet to rest on, but quite suited to the purpose it was prepared for—the kennel of a dog. I don't know how many of these pets the Ladies Maitland and their mother were provided with, but a black nose peeped out of an opening in the side of every stool on the entrance of a visitor, and the barking was incessant. At this time four daughters were at home unmarried, and two or three sons. One daughter was dead, and one had disposed of herself some years before by running away with poor, silly, and not wealthy Fraser of Torbreck, then quartered at Dunbar with the regiment of militia in which he was a captain. This proceeding of the Lady Anne quite changed the face of affairs iii her father's family.

Lord Lauderdale had rather late in his man-of-fashion life married the only child of one Mr Antony Tod, citizen of London; pretty she had never been; she was a nice little painted doll when we knew her, a cipher as to intellect, but her fortune had been very large, and she was amiable and obedient, and her lord, they said, became fond of her and of all the many children she brought him. He was not vain, however, either of her or of them, he had no reason; so he kept them all living in great retirement at Dunbar, never taking any of them with him to town, nor allowing them to visit either in Edinburgh or in their own neighbourhood, till the elopement of Lady Anne, the only beauty. From that sore time Lady Lauderdale and her remaining daughters lived much more in society. They had begun too to feel their own importance, and to venture on opposing my Lord, for Mr Tod was dead, and had left to each of his grandchildren, Sons and daughters alike, £15,000; the rest to his daughter for her life, with remainder to her eldest son, Lord Maitland. To his son-in-law the Earl Mr Tod left nothing. Here was power to the weaker side, exerted, it was said, occasionally, but they were a united happy family, fondly attached to each other.

The square Maitland face was not improved by the Tod connection, though the family finances benefited by it. Sons and daughters were alike plain in face and short in person. Even Lady Anne, with her really lovely countenance, was a dwarf in size and ill-proportioned; but there was a very redeeming expression generally thrown over the flat features, and they had all pleasant manners. The second day went off much more agreeably than the first, although I had to bear some quizzing on the subject of gambling, and my horror of it. In the morning the young people drove, rode, or walked; before dinner the ladies worked a little, netting purses and knotting bags; the gentlemen played with the dogs. All the evenings were spent at cards, and such high play, brag and loo unlimited. It was nothing for fifty or a hundred pounds to change hands among them. I was quite tLrrified. My few shillings, the first I had called my own for ages, given me for the occasion in a new purse bought to hold them, were soon gone at brag, under the management of Captain Antony Maitland, R.N. He had undertaken to teach me the game, of which I had no knowledge, for we never saw cards at home except when a whist table was made up for Belleville; and as the eternal cry "Anty I Anty I" did not repair my losses, and I sturdily refused to borrow, declining therefore to play, and composing myself gravely to look on, they could hardly keep their countenances; my whole fortune was such a trifle to them. It was not, however, my loss so much as what my mother would say to it that disturbed me. She was very economical in those little ways, and her unwonted liberality upon this occasion would, I knew, be referred to ever after as a bar to any further supplies, the sum now given having been so squandered. I sought her in her room before we went to bed to make the confession, fully believing it had been a crime. The thoughts of the whole scene make me laugh now, though I slept all the better then on being graciously forgiven "under the circumstances."

There was no company, only Sir Philip Dirom, arranging his marriage settlements with Lord Lauderdale, the guardian of the bride, the heiress Miss Henderson. He was a handsome man, gentlemanly, and rather agreeable, not clever in the least, and very vain. He had won honours in his profession—the navy —and his latest acquisition, a diamond star of some order, was the single object of his thoughts, after Miss Henderson's acres. Lord Lauderdale laid a bet that Sir Philip would not be two hours in the house without producing it; nor was he. In the middle of dinner, having dexterously turned the conversation on the orders of knighthood, he sent the servant for it, sure, he said, that some of the ladies would like to see the pretty bauble—one of the principal insignia of the Bath I suppose it was. Lord Maitland received and handed the little red case round with a mock gravity that nearly upset the decorum of the company. How little, when laughing at these foibles, did we foresee that the vain knight's great-niece was to be my cousin Edmund's wife, or fancy that he would be so kind, so generous, to that thoughtless pair!

The other visit was only for the day. We did not even sleep from home, but returned very late at night, for Almondell was twelve miles good from Edinburgh. Harry Erskine had added to a small cottage prettily situated on the river from which he named his retirement, and there, tired of politics, he wore away time that I believe sometimes lagged with him, in such country pursuits as he could follow on an income that gave him little beyond the necessaries of life. He and Mrs Erskine had no greater pleasure than to receive a few friends to an early dinner; they had a large--connection, a choice acquaintance, and were in themselves so particularly agreeable that, company or no, a few hours passed with them were always a treat.

In May we removed to Charlotte Square, a house I found the most agreeable of any we had ever lived in in Edinburgh; the shrubbery in front, and the peep from the upper windows at the back, of the Firth of Forth with its wooded shores and distant hills, made the lookout so cheerful. We were in the midst, too, of our friends. We made two new acquaintance, the Wolfe Murrays next door, and Sir James and Lady Henrietta Ferguson in my father's old house, in which Jane and I were born. Nothing could be pleasanter than our sociable life. The gaiety was over, but every day some meeting took place between us young people. My mother's tea-table was, I think, the general gathering point. In the mornings we made walking parties, and one day we went to Rosslyn and Lasswade, a merry company. Another day we spent at sea.

The Captain of the frigate lying in the roads gallantly determined to make a return to Edinburgh for all the attention Edinburgh had paid him. He invited all left of his winter acquaintance to a breakfast and a dance on board. We drove down to the pier at Newhaven in large merry parties, where now the splendid Granton pier shames its predecessors, and there found boats awaiting us, such a gay little fleet, manned by the sailors in their best suits, and we were rowed quickly across the sparkling water, for it was a beautiful day, and hoisted up upon the deck. There an awning was spread, flags, etc., waving, a quadrille and a military band all ready, and Jane, who was in high good looks, soon took her place among the dancers, having been engaged by the little monkey of a middy who had piloted us over. The collation was below, all along the lower deck; we sat down to it at four o'clock, and then danced on again till midnight, plentifully served with refreshments hospitably pressed upon us by our entertainers. Sailors are so hearty, and every officer of the ship seemed to feel he had the part of host to play. There never was a merrier fete.

Jane always considered this her debut. She was nicely dressed, was very happy, much admired, and danced so well. She and I were never dressed alike; indeed there was then so little resemblance between us that probably the same style of dress would not have become us. Her figure was not good, yet when any one with better taste than herself presided at her toilet, it could be made to look light and pleasing; her complexion was not good either, at least the skin was far from fair, but there was such a bright healthy colour in her rounded cheek, and such a pair of deep blue brilliant eyes, and such a rosy mouth which laughter suited, two such rows of even pearls for teeth, she well deserved her names, Euphrosyne and Hebe; and she was such a clever creature, had such a power of conversation, without pedantry or blueisrn, it all flowed so naturally from a well-stored head and warm honest heart. The little middy's fancy was not the only one she touched that day. We were, like the best bred of the company, in half dress, with frocks made half high and with long sleeves. Jane's frock was abundantly flounced, but it had no other trimming; she wore a white belt, and had a hanging bunch of lilacs with a number of green leaves in her hair. My frock was white too, but all its flounces were headed with pink ribbon run through muslin, a pink sash, and all my load of hair quite plain. A few unhappy girls were in full dress, short sleeves, low necks, white satin shoes. Miss Cochrane, the Admiral's daughter, was the most properly dressed amongst us; she was more accustomed to the sort of thing. She wore a white well-frilled petticoat, an open silk spenser, and a little Swiss hat, from one side of which hung a bunch of roses. She and the dress together conquered Captain Dalling; they were married a few months after.


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