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Across The Walnuts And The Wine

Across The Walnuts And The Wine image
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"In aft'.T-chnnei' trtlU Acnacstndthe winO." - ïbnjrm. 'Wiü tlure be any children, I onIer, ainougst us a generntion or two ence ? ' gighed llousewife the other liglit, upon tho occasion of bis last uvenüe party for thosciisnn ; and reallj, rheli I Icokcd abont me, I conld scarccy lecl BStonished at his inquiry. The oom, indeed, was full of children in ene ense, but in ancther thero was not a child to be soeu. It was an assemblage of little iceo and woinen. The dáDoing was as s'ately as n; and cach duodécimo dame had a card in whicli to set dun'o bor engügeinents. I heard one of' them rtfuse a most ga'lant cavalier (n puco vrl'vet and lace) her hand for tlie Lnncers. up:n tLegro;und tliat it had been prcviuucly promised to imother; and jet she dij not diince tliat set. "And sby," said I, "niy liltle lady, did yu not dancawith that gentleman ? 1 ui sure he lookcd very gdod-natured." "Good uature.d ? - ycs," roturned she, shrugging her small shouldeis ''but how unfortuoa'.ely plain !:' ïhis yojng persou was alout eight jeare old. Mr.. ilouse'vife had empowered me to act ns ono of the masters of the j inotiies, - she tenntd it "helping her to keep ordtr'; bt tny post of .tk?.t kind wnuld ha va been a perfict sinecuro "Komping : w::s as littla llkely to take place aniong ihcsc dccorou3 Liliputians, as scalpiug or tho actual cautery. The least approach to t was regar do d witli ineffub.'o disdain. Even awk waren: s was visited wi:h fctic ytniost severity of re raar k by smal! ladies. "lie lmigs i;pon one so,r was llie verdict pasFed on one yourjg beau, who had ust laken to "stickups," ,aud4ibked like a iltTgyman n misiatare. Another was rejected by a sweet little muiden of eleven upon t-hoground that hebad danced witb her tuico airead y. "And are jou so incousíant as all at?" iequired I, deferc-ntially. "No," taid ehe, fiankly ; "I like liini as well as auy in the room. JBut I dou'i like being laughed at; and peoplo do laugh ifone dances more tbau twice wiih the same person." She was actually afraid of "being talkcd about ! " I overheard twojittle femalo dota of eix or seven making conversation. They had got vory friendly, and otie expresscd her hopo that they ebould seo more of one another. "My sister yonder" (pointing to a damsel of eleven) "is at home cvery Wednesday from three to seren. We should be so glad to see you." Ins'.ead of tho indiscriniiuate rush which used to follow tho announoement of supper when wc were young, tbefe dignijied juveniles weot down in couples, and talKcd the same twaddle on thestairs wbich their seniors use - inquiring eedalcly of nne another whether they had been lutely to the theater, or wero going out of town, At tho repast itself, it was thoiight vulgar to admire : as for bur&tiug iiito applause at the sight of any gorgcous aaioty, as youth was surely wout to do, - to have given vvay to snch an impulse would have been considered barbarie. On the other hand, depreeiatory critieitm was as freely exchanged as aniong the most fnshionable grown-up society. I rofessor i'uzzletou'a Bon and heir, aged seven, hnppenod to be my ncighhor. Ho was prosecuting his attentiona to a liltle goldcohaired fairy on the other side of him in a most characteristic manner. Ifaving inhrrited the faculty of analytical investigütion from bis pareu', he was taking tho gilt off the con jurel 's tricks which had just been performed up st:iirs, and preaching to his beloved object upon the text of the hollowtiess of thiogs in general, l'rcseutly he took up a highly ornamentcd cracker, oud in a loud and dislinet voice - the very echo of his falher's lccturc-rocm tune - observed, "Thesa crackers were made at home." I saw the color cerne into Mrs. Housewife's face when, on finding it did not explode, lic added : "Ah, I thought so.r Another yomrg gentleman of somewhat less tender ngo, who, it soeuied to dip, liad fiad quite as much champagne as was good for him, was ceascless in his importunitirs for pert. "Port winc, I ?ay !'' - "Port wine, tcill you P" tho observations he addressed to every waitcr,with incrensing irritation. JNow, in tus ignorance of the tastos oí the rising ereneration, thcir host had provided no port uine, and tl o indighation of lus very respcctablc butler at its beir.g demar:dcd in this public tnanner was n charming speciale. I snw hini growing redder and redder with cach reiteration of the roquest, which lie neverlhelcfs aíTected to ignore. Wlun the ladit's rttired frora Iho tnbio, some of the I ittlti gentlemen remained lo diseuss mattere of general intarest, with their little lcgs as wide apart as thcy would go, and ihoir little thumbs ia the :ir:n-holc3 of their waistc atg, end araong others was my baechat:alian friend, as importunatf! as ever. "They have got no port at this house; think of tbat !" hc cried. Then Houscwifo, wishiog to discover tbc ycuog geiitlcman's rcasou for Dg port, as well perhsps as to remove tliia stigma f rom bid ehuracter for Los(jitality, caused a bottlo of tho dcsired liijoor to bo brought. "N(iv, why wera you so anxious for tliat wiue, iny young friend P" iuquited he. "Wel!, you seo, IVo liad a deal of dancing ; and though your 'Fizz'" (by whicli he meant champagne) "is well onough, thore's uothiug libe port winc to piek a fellow up." From subsequent inquirieg, I discovered Ihat this gentleman had but just arrwed at his teeus ; ho had seen, as the novelista say, otily tliirteeu summera ! Surely Hoosewife'fl remarle upon the probablo extinctiou of tho genus marts officinalit-üw commou ehild as it uted lo be - was not without good groundí. lam bound to ndd, however, that the risiog generatiou are as sharp as needies ; perhap.n thfir braiu, füroed ioto innaatine aeiivity, will often at the peridd when it was wont to beeomo well seasoned aud maturo; but at pieseut their ntell;gence is aeuto. Dunrg the course of that evcnii'g, Professor Puzzloton entortaiued us wiih one of the very best conundrums that I ever heard ia my life It was one of that complieated kind it is tiue, which excitod the wrath of Sidney Smith, who deeinod that a man should bo huriied to fxeeutiou without being permitted to explain the relatioa of his "thiid:l to his ':fourth ; " but it was excellent fur all tliat. 'Iu ]tiyfir-t ifly.scr'nd -;;t : My Uiirú aufl lonrtta I ate." Tho answer to trhich it like Columbus"8 egg problem, vury easy wheu we have learucd wbafc it ia. Intatiale. Our juveniles opplauded s exceedingly, arui quilo appiooiutt'd it; but wliat was still more cürious, when the Professor addcd as a pendant to ihe above, "Undv:r my ftrst my second stood - I thiuk you'll own tbis uitc as good," there was quito a roar of juvenile voices, that haü all guessud right. Let us liopo my grown-up readers have been cqually sagacious.


Old News
Michigan Argus