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A Ball At The Palace Of Shoddy

A Ball At The Palace Of Shoddy image
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From the Cornhill Magazine. ""We wero a party of four - two Iadies and two gcullemen - who, in consequecce of receivins; a gold-lettered invitation to Mrs. G 's grand roception, bad, on the appointed evening, proceeded in state to her showy resi dence on the Fifth Avenue, New York - wbioh avenue, by the vvay, is believed by 'the shoddy' to lead to Heaven direct. " Otir 'dressing room' experiences were peculiar, and suggestive of strangc scènes to fo'low ; but being, as we beieved, welt endowed with the repose of the Veré ae Veres, we descended towards the scène of action, with a tranquil consciousness of being in every vvay c-qual to tbe occasion. At the very fout of tho stairway we were accosted by no ess personages than the hostess herself, and her 'grown up' diiughter. The latter looked pale and anxiouw, bat the mother, gorgeous in an intensely blue eilk, and a buge coronet of pink and .miplo artificial tiowers, evidently feit io misgivi-ngs. Both started at us}'. Suddenly a light illumed tho countenance of the eider lady, as he broke forth in a loud, emphatic one, - " Well, 1 declare ! Mrs. D. and Mr. E. ! How do you do f And Miss E. ! Glad to sec you, I'm sure ; but the ights and evei'ytbing dazzles mo so, I dou't hardly kvoic people, Miry, my tesr, this is Mr. E. and Mrs. D., both ;ind friends of your pa, and Mr. E. 's Jaughter.' (Aside to rac :) ' Who did you say the otber gentleman was ? Oh, íes ! Mr. Stephens ! Glad to sec you, ir, you may depend. Young gentlemen nre so scarce. Couldn't hardly got up he party lor it. The war, you see, akes the best of 'em off. Oh, excuse mc - ha! ha! I didn't mean no offeose. 3ut every young gentleman at a party counts one - don't they, Miry?' " 'Lor' ma !' simpered Miss G., blushng violently. Here Mr. Stephens, alvays fcupcrbly master of hiinself, grace'ully hastened to the rescue, and in a moment Myra was laughing the girlish augh which, thank Heaveti ! even hoddy cannot make unmusical. " 'Gracious!' exclaimed the hostess at ast, with an apologetic start, ' I ought 0 take you in. Miry, she added, nodiing her head Ridewie towards us, as he spoke, 'you must introduce them.' '"Oh, mother,' was the soto voce reply, 1 can't. do it - I feel too used up.' " 'Yes, you must,' very austerely. " 'I sban't do it." " Instinctively our devoted band, feelng that this 'introduction' was inevitajle, glanced at each other, to ascertiiin whether any especial peculiarity renered us unpresentable ; but we were 'aultless. " '■Myra Jane' pursued the now irate mother, do as I teil you, miss, and stop )uttiug on airs !' " The refractory daughter wan conuered. ll 'Well, mother, she replied in a stage whisper, 'I'M do it altogether, but can't ntroduce 'em separate.' " Thus encouraged, we humbly followd the young lady, and, after boiug preerted, in a most novel and remarkable manner, to the staring mermaids and lermen, we found oursolves slowly rifting towards an anchorage in the 'littering saloon. " Young faces were there, radiant with ntense enjoyment ; oidor faces, with a tartled puzzied look upon them, as hough the unaccustomed scenu wrought more anxiety than pleasure ; hard 'aces, varnished with a mástic mile ; soft, uninterruptablo faces, which were oither saintly or horribly vicious ; nd faces without any expression at all. " Meanwhile the violins, being tiuder reatment, were rolieving thempelves by undry nielancholy squeak. Groups of entliimen, who sceuied to have recently jeen preseuted with their hands and !eet, were making desperate efforts to ppear at ease. " Negleoted dames were sublime in wretehed ronchalunce. Portly individals. in watcb chains were plancing j nsily at matrona whogo coiffures rivaled ' he Hanging Gardens of Babyion, and ouths and maidens. all, apparently, more or less fcfflicted with the dance of St. Vitus, were cbattcring merrily goüiei'. Of these, I ciin ïtot Hay t hat " Tlieii' voiccs low willi fashion, N t with feeling, soflly froighted All the air about the wimlows With elastic laughter sweet." In truth - 'and pity 'tis trne' - krill notes, positivo guffaws, and giggling responsos rathor predominated over the murmura suggestivo of a pleasant evening at tlie Lady Geraldine's ; and wlien Iho music first floated forth once moro, títere was a rush among the dauceis for 'places,' that would have beun quite impossible in the days "When persons of fashion and tastP, In dresses as stout as chains armurof olil, The parües of Ranelagh graced."


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Michigan Argus