Society at Amherst, Folder 3: Northampton Millinery

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A few of our ladies fired to a more fastidious taste, bought their best
bonnets at Mrs Osbern's in Northampton, sometimes venturing as high a price as
six 5 dollars, enamoured by the foreign touch to momentary forgetfulness of the missionaries.
These works of art were carefully packed in really huge bandboxes of those days,
made of high colored paper and ornamented with with [sic] most tropical scenes and ex-
aggerated flowers unknown to any botany. Thise [sic] treasures were carefully committed
to the sincerest protection of Brown, the always-driver of the daily four-horse stage
coach that ran betwen Amherst and Northampton, which left us quite early in the
morning and brought up with cracking whip in front of the Post Office promptly at
five in the afternoon. Brown delived [sic] these boxes with a positively tender hand -- touch
unrewarded by the scene behind closed doors, -- the tilting and trying of this foreign
bit of millinery so tragically disturbing to any woman of taste and ambition!
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Lectures, how we loved them! and throve on them! We did not have many, but the profess
ors in turn gave us of their best; Wise men from Europe now and then. X John Lord with
his wizardry of style and manner, who could pursuade [sic] against one's better reason. *1
Though now we cry enough, -- and draw nearer the fire with our books almost abhoring
a lecture, for are we not "letured" [sic] to death? But then, we were young and Professor
Sheppards lectures on botany in the basement of the old chapel, on Summer mornings, were
graceful in style and matter, and the "young ladies" liked them because it was a pleasa
pleasant pastime to attend them escorted by some attractive Senior before whose class
they were given. The walk and the escort and the lecture had a refinement of morning-
glow quite fascinating to remember. Though a blur of values clouded my young brain whn [sic] I
found toward the last of tae [sic] course that the charming beaux mostly got out of the window
and took their botany "au naturel , gracefully disposed on the grass under sky and trees. As the years have passed and I have
been often bored and could not get out, their habit has seemed increasingly enviable!