Society at Amherst, Folder 3: Page 6

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festival occasions. Theirs was the perfection of manner because no manner at all;
There was a cheeriness and warmth in the hand grasp, quite away from the blase',
limp formula of modern fashionable usage. As it is not in reality as far away as
the annals of Dolly Madison, and as Mrs Stearns still graces the village with genial hospitality
I ought not perhaps to dwell upon personalities, but her shy manner and beautiful
pearls did well grace the youthful beauty of the President, with with [sic] his fairly
celestial smile. In this there was no touch of of [sic] a simper, or of approbativeness,. I
think it came from a rift in heaven. The gallantries of the green crude seniors seemed
rather trite after his invitation to promenade in the grounds in the moonlight.
With their administration came a touch of the world in the general appearance of the
house always so plain and simple before. Very rich odd cabinets and carven chairs, and bric
a brac from the son then living in India, as well as inherited silver of of aristo-
cratic pattern lent an air of elegance quite agraeable [sic] and suitable. The early
hours were however long kept:, the inherited ten-oclock-President-Hitchcock-hour
I believe still lingers in our social atmosphere, rather banefully. For the
witchery of lateness, the the (mellow golden glow of the advancing night, the foam of the beaker, has
alas! no potent charm for our rather heavy-balanced folk. Sometimes funny episodes
might have been chronicled as the result of our early bedtime. As when a wife of one
of our professors, coming uninitiated into our simplicities, lost several of her
guests at her first party, before the leisurely and elaborate supper served after the
manner and hour of her own gay city was entirely offered. Can we blame her as she laughingly asked -- "Had
they to meet a train?" The fascinating aroma of the last drops in the glass, of the
after-supper wit and glow, never seemed to entrance our good, busy, practical folk,
whose duties began in early dawn. There was little social variety fifty years ago.
; never dinners: a rare evening party perhaps, for some college class, and sometimes
the small friendly suppers or "tea parties". When these were too large in number to
permit of seating the guests about the table, a bountiful homely supper would be
handed around on large trays, every one comfortably seated with little tables for the
tea cups, -- that inferno to a man without any lap! with no lap and no tact!
for which the gentlemen with no lap & no tact were as
grateful as beggars --