Society at Amherst - Folder 2 - page 5

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tasteful affair, a pyramid of wild flowers in the centre usually often attracting
the most attention, leaving the actual repast to somewhat secondary importance.
The matter of one's escort to the table was distinguishing; one felt honored
for the year if the President, or one of the Honor-men among the Seniors, com-
plimented one in this signal manner; these Honor-men being the monitors of the
four classes and those of high appointments for Commencement day.

President Hitchcock was strongly in favor of early hours, so that we all felt
like intruders if we lingered long after ten o-clock at his parties; though our
gentle host on this festive occasion seemed to ignore his hygienic principles,
still greeting his guests with unaffected cordiality and blandly 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 youthful-
ness in her appearance, 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 topic of the time.
She drew and painted with a natural ease and freedom, in an untrained way, beside
closely folowing every pursuit and interest of her distinguished husband. She
was a woman not only sweet but stimulating; earnestly recognizing life and its
meaning, yet undaunted by its possibilities. I must speak of an amusing little
incident in a lecture course of the President's, as characteristic of his chiv-
alric devotion to her. He was lecturing upon the bird tracks of the Connecti-
cut valley, -- now so well known. These lectures were given in a bare but decent
hall in the third story of Sweetser's block --- now Jackson and Cutler's -- a cheer-
less place, lighted with whale oil lamps, and furnished forth with wooden benches
of racking discomfort.