Society at Amherst, Folder 3: Page 4

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the diversion of refreshments, -- with a refreshment table, -- as it was then called,
a most simple but tasteful affair, the a pyramid of wild flowers in the
centre usually attracting the most attention, leaving the repast but of rather secondary
importance. The matter of one's escort to the table was rather distinguish-
ing; one felt especially honored for the year if the President or one of the
honor-men among the seniors complimented one in this signal manner:
these honor men being the monitors of the classes and those of high appoint-
ments for Commencement day.

President Hitchcock was strongly in favor of
early hours, so that we all felt like intruders if we lingered at his later
long after ten oclock at his parties; though our gentle host on this
occasion seemed to ignore his hygienic principles, still greeting his guests
with unaffected cordiality, overlooking and gently tolerant of the late, mad hour! Mrs Hitchcock
impressed her sweet vivacious nature upon every one, her smiles were revelations,
not masks. Her dainty caps trimmed in pink were according to the fashion of the
day quite large, and half concealing her soft curls lent a deeper color to her
own fresh cheeks and heightened an impression of youthfulness in her appearance
quite unbelievable to a present day woman, who would flee a cap as she would
her first wrinkle and mount any device instead, in the mode of puff or cushion.
Mrs Hitchcock was mentally alert upon every subject topic of the time; she drew and
painted, with natural ease and freedom in an untrained way, beside closely following
every pursuit and interest of her distinguished husband. She was a woman not
only sweet but stimulating, earnestly recognizeing [sic] life and its meaning, yet un-
daunted by its possibilities. I must speak of an amursing [sic] little episode in a
lecture course of the President's as characterist [sic] of his chivalric devotion to
her. He was lecturing upon the now so well known bird-tracks of the Connecticut
valley. These lectures were in a bare but decent hall in the third story of Sweet-
sirs [sic] block---now Jackson and Cutler's--- a cheerless place lighted with whale oil
lamps and furnished forth with wooden benches of racking discomfort.