List Of Contents | Contents of Their Pilgrimage, by Charles Dudley Warner
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supernumeraries in a scene at the opera.  Above, in the illuminated
foliage, were doubtless a castle and a broad terrace, with a row of
statues, and these gay promenaders were ladies and cavaliers in an old-
time masquerade.  The gilded kiosk on the island in the centre of the
miniature lake and the fairy bridge that leads to it were outlined by
colored globes; and the lake, itself set about with brilliants, reflected
kiosk and bridge and lights, repeating a hundredfold the fantastic scene,
while from their island retreat the band sent out through the illumined
night strains of sentiment and gayety and sadness.  In the intervals of
the music there was silence, as if the great throng were too deeply
enjoying this feast of the senses to speak.  Perhaps a foreigner would
have been impressed with the decorous respectability of the assembly; he
would have remarked that there were no little tables scattered about the
ground, no boys running about with foaming mugs of beer, no noise, no
loud talking; and how restful to all the senses!

Mrs. Bartlett Glow had the whim to devote herself to Mrs. Benson, and was
repaid by the acquisition of a great deal of information concerning the
social and domestic, life in Cyrusville, Ohio, and the maternal ambition
for Irene.  Stanhope and Irene sat a little apart from the others, and
gave themselves up to the witchery of the hour.  It would not be easy to
reproduce in type all that they said; and what was most important to
them, and would be most interesting to the reader, are the things they
did not say--the half exclamations, the delightful silences, the tones,
the looks that are the sign language of lovers.  It was Irene who first
broke the spell of this delightful mode of communication, and in a pause
of the music said, "Your cousin has been telling me of your relatives in
New York, and she told me more of yourself than you ever did."

"Very likely.  Trust your friends for that.  I hope she gave me a good

"Oh, she has the greatest admiration for you, and she said the family
have the highest expectations of your career.  Why didn't you tell me you
were the child of such hopes?  It half frightened me."

"It must be appalling.  What did she say of my uncle and aunts?"

"Oh, I cannot tell you, except that she raised an image in my mind of an
awful vision of ancient family and exclusiveness, the most fastidious,
delightful, conventional people, she said, very old family, looked down
upon Washington Irving, don't you know, because he wrote.  I suppose she
wanted to impress me with the value of the prize I've drawn, dear.  But I
should like you just as well if your connections had not looked down on
Irving.  Are they so very high and mighty?"

"Oh, dear, no.  Much like other people.  My aunts are the dearest old
ladies, just a little nearsighted, you know, about seeing people that are
not--well, of course, they live in a rather small world.  My uncle is a
bachelor, rather particular, not what you would call a genial old man;
been abroad a good deal, and moved mostly in our set; sometimes I think
he cares more for his descent than for his position at the bar, which is
a very respectable one, by the way.  You know what an old bachelor is who
never has had anybody to shake him out of his contemplation of his

"Do you think," said Irene, a little anxiously, letting her hand rest a
moment upon Stanhope's, "that they will like poor little me?  I believe I
am more afraid of the aunts than of the uncle.  I don't believe they will
be as nice as your cousin."

"Of course they will like you.  Everybody likes you.  The aunts are just
a little old-fashioned, that is all.  Habit has made them draw a social
circle with a small radius.  Some have one kind of circle, some another.
Of course my aunts are sorry for any one who is not descended from the
Van Schlovenhovens--the old Van Schlovenhoven had the first brewery of
the colony in the time of Peter Stuyvesant.  In New York it's a family
matter, in Philadelphia it's geographical.  There it's a question whether
you live within the lines of Chestnut Street and Spruce Street--outside
of these in the city you are socially impossible: Mrs. Cortlandt told me
that two Philadelphia ladies who had become great friends at a summer
resort--one lived within and the other without the charmed lines--went
back to town together in the autumn.  At the station when they parted,
the 'inside' lady said to the other: 'Good-by.  It has been such a
pleasure to know you!  I suppose I shall see you sometimes at
Moneymaker's!'  Moneymaker's is the Bon Marche of Philadelphia."

The music ceased; the band were hurrying away; the people all over the
grounds were rising to go, lingering a little, reluctant to leave the
enchanting scene.  Irene wished, with a sigh, that it might never end;
unreal as it was, it was more native to her spirit than that future which
her talk with Stanhope had opened to her contemplation.  An ill-defined
apprehension possessed her in spite of the reassuring presence of her
lover and her perfect confidence in the sincerity of his passion; and
this feeling was somehow increased by the appearance of Mrs. Glow with
her mother; she could not shake off the uneasy suggestion of the

At the hour when the ladies went to their rooms the day was just
beginning for a certain class of the habitues.  The parlors were nearly
deserted, and few chairs were occupied on the piazzas, but the ghosts of
another generation seemed to linger, especially in the offices and
barroom.  Flitting about were to be seen the social heroes who had a
notoriety thirty and forty years ago in the newspapers.  This dried-up
old man in a bronze wig, scuffling along in list slippers, was a famous
criminal lawyer in his day; this gentleman, who still wears an air of
gallantry, and is addressed as General, had once a reputation for
successes in the drawing-room as well as on the field of Mars; here is a
genuine old beau, with the unmistakable self-consciousness of one who has
been a favorite of the sex, but who has slowly decayed in the midst of
his cosmetics; here saunter along a couple of actors with the air of
being on the stage.  These people all have the "nightcap" habit, and
drift along towards the bar-room--the last brilliant scene in the drama
of the idle day, the necessary portal to the realm of silence and sleep.

This is a large apartment, brightly lighted, with a bar extending across
one end of it.  Modern taste is conspicuous here, nothing is gaudy,
colors are subdued, and its decorations are simple even the bar itself is
refined, substantial, decorous, wanting entirely the meretricious glitter
and barbarous ornamentation of the old structures of this sort, and the
attendants have wholly laid aside the smart antics of the former
bartender, and the customers are swiftly and silently served by the
deferential waiters.  This is one of the most striking changes that King
noticed in American life.

There is a certain sort of life-whether it is worth seeing is a question
that we can see nowhere else, and for an hour Mr. Glow and King and
Forbes, sipping their raspberry shrub in a retired corner of the bar-
room, were interested spectators of the scene.  Through the padded
swinging doors entered, as in a play, character after character.  Each
actor as he entered stopped for a moment and stared about him, and in
this act revealed his character-his conceit, his slyness, his bravado,
his self-importance.  There was great variety, but practically one
prevailing type, and that the New York politician.  Most of them were
from the city, though the country politician apes the city politician as
much as possible, but he lacks the exact air, notwithstanding the black
broadcloth and the white hat.  The city men are of two varieties--the
smart, perky-nosed, vulgar young ward worker, and the heavy-featured,
gross, fat old fellow.  One after another they glide in, with an always
conscious air, swagger off to the bar, strike attitudes in groups, one
with his legs spread, another with a foot behind on tiptoe, another
leaning against the counter, and so pose, and drink "My respects"--all
rather solemn and stiff, impressed perhaps by the decorousness of the
place, and conscious of their good clothes.  Enter together three stout
men, a yard across the shoulders, each with an enormous development in
front, waddle up to the bar, attempt to form a triangular group for
conversation, but find themselves too far apart to talk in that position,
and so arrange themselves side by side--a most distinguished-looking
party, like a portion of a swell-front street in Boston.  To them
swaggers up a young sport, like one of Thackeray's figures in the "Irish
Sketch-Book"--short, in a white hat, poor face, impudent manner, poses
before the swell fronts, and tosses off his glass.  About a little table
in one corner are three excessively "ugly mugs," leering at each other
and pouring down champagne.  These men are all dressed as nearly like
gentlemen as the tailor can make them, but even he cannot change their
hard, brutal faces.  It is not their fault that money and clothes do not
make a gentleman; they are well fed and vulgarly prosperous, and if you
inquire you will find that their women are in silks and laces.  This is a
good place to study the rulers of New York; and impressive as they are in
appearance, it is a relief to notice that they unbend to each other, and
hail one another familiarly as "Billy" and "Tommy."  Do they not ape what
is most prosperous and successful in American life?  There is one who in
make-up, form, and air, even to the cut of his side-whiskers, is an exact
counterpart of the great railway king.  Here is a heavy-faced young
fellow in evening dress, perhaps endeavoring to act the part of a
gentleman, who has come from an evening party unfortunately a little
"slewed," but who does not know how to sustain the character, for
presently he becomes very familiar and confidential with the dignified
colored waiter at the buffet, who requires all his native politeness to

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