Society at Amherst - Folder 2 - page 9

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repast. After this hospitality was disposed of, Mrs Sweetser revelled in the
proud handing about of curios and Syrian relics sent over to her by her niece,
now the wife of the Reverend Daniel Bliss, the President of the Protestant
College at Beirut Syria.

Our own bijouterie seemed familiar to stupidity, and commonplace indeed, beside
these musky specimens of Arabs and Turks; inlaid coffee cups, exquisite scent
bottles holding attar of rose, fans of peacock feathers, lentils, and husks--
"Such as the swine did eat!" according to the enthusiastic description of
our faithful enthusiastic hostess. Friendly talk was the only entertainment offered, except
perhaps just at the end of the evening the open piano suggested a little mu-
sic as desirable, and voices somewhat decadent, sang sweetly, though with a
timid tremulo, : "Are we almost there? Said the dying girl", -- "Coming through
the rye" -- etc, or a resident basso of solemn mien, with a tone really below
any pitch known to musical necessity, was prevailed upon after the habitual
prolonged urging, to give us -- "Rocked in the cradle of the deep"; the refrain
being held with such sustained power I am sure the glasses in the corner
cupboards tinkled from the jar.

By this time music was in the air, and aroused
to an almost vivacious gaiety, all stood about the piano and sang together,
"Lest auld acquaintance be forgot", "America", and "Scotland's burning!"
We were all in a glow when we went out for our wraps at last. I can never
forget Deacon Sweetser's final beaming gallantry, as he stood at the top of
his high terrace steps, holding an oil lantern in the air for our safety, --
at that time the only beacon of the night known in all Amherst. Those lan-
terns, and lantern-bearers! What chapters could be written of them! Steven-
son alone could hope to do them justice!

After such an experience as this, as a young girl I used to wonder, as I re-
moved my simple adornments, why in the many noon hours of a Sabbath, I had sat