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me by hands that beggared the painter's art; and then how I stared at the marble busts of heroes and patriots, which had come all the way from Rome, the gift of a gallant officer in the navy. Nor do I forget, amid all this literature and ornament, the simple wine glass, half filled with water, which always modestly stood beside the vases on the mantle piece, with its pure and fragrant offering, a sprig of jasmine, a heath flower, or a rose.
The mother was a fair and nobly formed matron, with an eye sparkling as if in youth, a cheek still round and blooming, and a voice rich and musical. The daughters were passing fair, and sportive as they were beautiful. The eldest was a celestial creature, and her sister a fair vision not less heaven
ly. I well recollect the younger. I fell desperately in love with her, of which passion, however, she was most vexatiously unconscious. But why should I dwell on my own youthful emotions, when 'children of larger growth,' paid daily worship at the feet of Alicia.
The father was a man of the world, and much given to hospitality. His dinners and wines were things delectable. His dining room was the paradise of the village. I never heard of such a thing as
a refusal to partake of his good cheer. The guests were not only punctual but precise, and as they filed up the avenue at the appointed hour, none of them seemed to remember how heartily they had fed before they left home. One peculiar wine, in its peculiar bottles, never coursed round the table without the whole company's joining in full cry.
The long dining table, the lady at the head, the fair daughters opposite each other, the viands, and the well dressed servants, made the tout ensemble highly interesting.
And such rounds of company! such merry meetings among the young folks in the evenings, such music and such mirth, those who saw and heard cannot forget. Pleasure followed the family, and their lives seemed one long holiday. Such a contest was there for a smile, such an ambition among the gentlemen for a look of kindness, that sometimes the jarring of the suitors became a source of merriment, even to the ladies of their love.
Well; the eldest was at last wooed and won by a fortunate youth, and we saw her in the possession of every happiness. But the domestic circle once broken, there seemed left an opening for the intrusion of new and strange visitants. Fate envied the bride,
and she was shrined in a far distant grave. This was not the only event which astonished the friends of the family. Like the cloud rising suddenly in a summer sky, which discharges its thunders and its frightful storms, and then moves on, calamity poured its sorrows upon their heads.
The alleys, and the walks, and the shrubbery, all are gone, and the mansion is in the midst of crowded streets, and the great avenue, is filled with chafferers of small wares, and lined by tenements of brick, and the fair Alicia is the wife of a forester, and full often bends beneath the weight of the fuel gathered for her kitchen fire, happy in the possession even of this last comfort; and her father's head is laid low, brought down to the dust by a broken heart; and the matron is the teacher of a village school.
OF THE OLDEN TIME.
'Come tell us all about the dinner.'
Some years before the time of the American Revolution, between Little Prince and Crown-streets, in Broadway, or as it was called in the time of the colonial government, Broadway-street, there was a well known tavern, located with due reference to the officers who quartered in Fort George, and those who resided in the vicinity of the market place. This antiquated mansion had been erected in the time of Lord Cornbury, and was even then a noted place of resort for the idlers of the garrison, and the ruddy faced burghers of the town.
The front of the mansion was of grey stone, and contained a few irregular windows; some of them were narrow, surmounted with a rude arch, and others, particularly those of the dining room, the very reverse in size and construction, extended
down to the floor, and served to admit the guests from the piazza. From these the North river, destined to become at no distant period the grand highway of an immense country, was distinctly visible.
Two windows reposed upon its antique roof, and made the attic a kind of observatory, where the traveller who had arrived too late to enjoy the privilege of selecting his apartment, had an opportunity of studying the stars, and of arranging in figures best suited to his fancy, those which were shining through its little compartments.
The principal entrance to the house was wide and spacious; so much so, as once to have admitted the aforesaid Lord Cornbury and his favorite steed, when in a frolic he rode into the taproom and demanded a stirrup cup from the astonished host. The tap, contrary to the modern plan, was on the same enlarged scale; and if one horse could have passed through its door, a whole stud could have been comfortable within side. The bar was shining with the golden hues of the French distillers, and the mellow tints of ripened Madeira, nicely corked up, like the wits of Astolpho with due regard to their strength or value, and only waiting to be set loose by the hand of adventurous friendship. About the walls of the room