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•11. They had visited "The Springs,"* Niagara,f*and other prominent and fashionable places of resort; but still they retained the quiet, unostentatious simplicity, which is the offspring and evidence of genuine good sense, and refinement of character.
12. Fanny was yet at school; and Henrietta by no means regarded her own education as complete. About this time, Mrs. Carey, the elder sister of Mr. McGregor, residing in Salem, extended a very cordial invitation to these sisters to visit her during the summer vacation. The invitation was accepted; and all necessary preparations were made for the visit.
13. Salem is seaport town in Massachusetts, of some twenty thousand inhabitants; and, at the time of which we are speaking, it contained many families of great wealth and distinction.
"^ftf Mrs. Carey, though not then wealthy, was yet proud of her ancestry, and held an admitted rank with these families. Her daughters, four in number, were, with one exception, remarkable for the value they set upon "gentility," and their intimate acquaintance with the laws of fashion.
15. The cordial welcome with which Henrietta and Fanny were greeted by their aunt and cousins would have put them at once at ease, if the room had not been made so dark by the Venetian blinds outside and the double curtains within, that they could with difficulty distinguish their cousins from one another, or from their aunt.
16. Coming in from the broad blaze of day, they could scarcely grope their way about the room; and Fanny actu
* The Springs, (Saratoga Springs,) situated thirty-eight miles north of Albany, in New York. It is the most fashionable watering-place in America, and the most in repute for the medicinal virtues of its waters.
t Nl-ag'a-ra (Falls), a cataract between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, having a perpendicular fall of one hundred and sixty feet, and exceeding in grandeur every other cataract in the world. It is supposed, by geologists, to have receded about eight miles from its original site, in consequence of the action of the waters, by which the bed of the river is constantly worn away.
ally stumbled twice over some of the furniture before she found her way to a seat.
17. . Cousin Mary, who was called by her aristocratic sisters r the odd one," coming in a few moments after, drew up the curtain and threw open the blinds. "For," said she, "it is a long time since I have seen these cousins; and I want to know how they look."
18. "O Mary!" exclaimed Antoinette, "it is so ungenteel!" and she immediately replaced the blinds and curtains.
19. Our young friends hoped that, though it was not fashionable to have light in the evening, they might be permitted in the morning to make the acquaintance of their city cousins by daylight.
20. By the aid of music, the evening passed off more socially and agreeably than was anticipated, though Mary would sing some old-fashioned songs, which her sisters pronounced decidedly "ungenteel." »
21- The next morning, as Fanny entered the drawing-room with her hair falling in beautiful, natural ringlets upon her neck, Antoinette exclaimed, as if in deep distress, "Dear me, Cousin Fanny, how ungenteel! Nobody wears curls in summer. Do come up to my room, and let me arrange your head a little, before any body sees you!"'
22. The gentle girl submitted patiently to the silly caprice of her cousin, while, with the help of water and a severe brushing, her beautiful curls were tortured into an unseemly "pug."
23. In the course of the day, Henrietta and Fanny received a number of very agreeable calls from relatives and friends residing in Salem. The easy cordiality and natural unreserve with which they greeted these friends, and the freedom with which they conversed with them, quite shocked the over-delicate sensibilities of Antoinette and her sisters. They mar- . veled that their "country cousins," who had been to Washington and Saratoga, should know so little of «gentility."
24 The next day, it was proposed that they should take a
walk to see the city; and Mrs. Carey requested her daughters to accompany them. But, as Antoinette thought it would be very "ungenteel" for more than one of them to go, it wa3 decided that she only should be their guide.
25. In a few moments, our young friends were equipped; and, after waiting at least an hour in the parlor, they were joined by their cousin, who exclaimed, as she came into the room, "Mercy on us! You surely won't wear the same dresses you wore yesterday? It is very ungenteel to appear twice in the same dress!"
26. "Then we must not go out," replied Henrietta, whose good sense was not, in all cases, to be set aside without a valid reason; "we did not suppose it necessary, in preparing for a visit of a few days only, among near relations, to cumber ourselves with a great variety of dresses."
27. With much difficulty, and with a deep sense of mortification on the part of the "genteel" Antoinette, the matter of dress was finally waived. Another difficulty, however, met them at the door, when Henrietta and Fanny raised their parasols to shield themselves from the burning sun. "Bless me! how very 'ungenteel'!" exclaimed Antoinette; "nobody carries a parasol. Do pray leave them at home. The sunshade only is fit for ladies."
28. The parasols being disposed of, they were soon fairly on their way. But the walk was by no means an agreeable one; for the over-nice Antoinette was so ashamed of her cousins' dresses, though of rich material and of the most approved style, that she hurried them from place to place, as if she did not wish to be seen in their company.
29. A few days after this, an invitation came from Mrs. Ford, a distant relative, 'for a social family visit, with a special request that Mrs. Carey would not be ceremonious, but come fisrly with her whole family.
80. Mrs. Carey and Mary, with their young guests, were much pleased with the idea of accepting the invitation, and of making indeed a "family party "; but the other young ladies were quite shocked at the thought of so many going, — it would be so "ungenteel"!
31. It was Anally arranged, therefore, that Mrs. Carey should go alone in the afternoon, and that Charlotte should follow with the cousins after dark. After much uncivil interference on the part of their "genteel" cousins, Henrietta and Fanny completed their toilet, and, accompanied by the watchful Charlotte, soon reached the house of Mrs. Ford.
32. They were no sooner seated in Mrs. Ford's parlor, than Mary, accompanied by three cousins from another branch of the family, made her appearance. "How shockingly ungenteel, Mary!" exclaimed Charlotte; — '"five from one house! I should have staid at home, if I had supposed you intended to come."
33. "Why did not all the girls come?" interrupted Mrs. Ford. "You young people don't have much of the society of an old woman like me."
34. "O, there are so many of us!" replied Charlotte; it is not genteel for so many to go out together."
35. "I hoped you would come early, too," added Mrs. Ford, ? and give me an opportunity to become acquainted with your cousins."
* 36. "Why, Aunt Ford!" exclaimed Charlotte; "I was quite ashamed to come as early as I did. It is so ungenteel, you know."
37. This was an argument to which Mrs. Ford knew there was no end; as her opponent had but one idea in her head, and that was gentility, or a vague notion of what the fashionable world chooses to call gentility.
Questions. — 1-4. What is said of Mr. McGregor? 5. What, of his wife? 6-9 What, of the two daughters i 10. Where had they passed two winters? What is said of Washington? What, of the Springs? Of Niagara? 12. Who extended an invitation to these Bisters to visit her? 15. How were they greeted by their aunt and cousins? 17-. Why was Cousin Mary called the odd one? 18. Why did not Antoinette wish to have the blinds opened? 20 - 25. What other things can you name which she thought were ungenteel? 31-35. What did Charlotte think was ungenteel? 37 What was the only idea that Charlotte seemed to have in her head? What is true gentility? — What is the character of the composition of this piece? What word in the nineteenth paragraph should be read with the circumflex? Why? Point out the other examples of the circumflex in the piece, &o.
Errors. — AVsunt for ab'spnt; wp-pin'ion for o-pin'ion ; mod'is-ty for znod'es-ty; rob'ry for xoWber-y ; con'fi-dunce for con'fi-dence; strdn'gers/(W strfln'gers.
RULES FOR BEHAVIOR.
1. Never let your mind be absent in company. Command and direct your attention to the present object, and let distant objects be banished from the mind. There is time enough for every thing in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at a/time; but there is not enough in the year, if you attempt two things at a time.
2. Never attempt to tell a story 'with which you are not well acquainted, nor fatigue your hearers with relating little trifling circumstances. , Do not interrupt the thread of discourse by often repeating "says he," or "says I." Relate the principal points with clearness and precision; and you will be' heard with pleasure. .
3. Frequent good company, copy their manners, and imitate their virtues and accomplishments.
4. Never hold any one by the sleeve or the hand in order to be heard through your story; for, if people are not willing to hear you, it would be better to hold your tongue than to hold them.
5. Never whisper in company. Conversation is common stock in which all persons present have a right to claim their share. Always listen when you are spoken to, and never interrupt a speaker.
6. Be not forward in leading the conversation ; this belongs to the oldest persons in the company. Display your learning only on particular occasions. Never oppose the opinion of another, except with great modesty.