Chapter VI.

“What say’st thou? Wilt thou go along?” Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI, IV.v.25}

JANE GRAHAM joined Elinor at Wyllys-Roof, after having made her parting curtsey to Mrs. G —. Her parents lived at Charleston; but as her constitution was delicate, and required a more bracing air than that of Carolina, Jane had been more than once, for a twelvemonth at a time, entirely under Miss Wyllys’s charge, and was seldom absent from Longbridge for more than a few months together. It was now settled that she was to remain with Elinor until the autumn, when her parents, who were coming north for a couple of months, were to carry her back to Charleston. Miss Adeline Taylor, of course, found it impossible to remain longer at school, when Jane, her bosom-friend, had left it. She, too, returned to her family in the country, prepared to enliven the neighbourhood to the best of her ability. The intimacy between these two young ladies was only riveted more closely by the necessity of living under different roofs; Adeline, indeed, protested that she found the separation so distressing, that she thought it would be an excellent plan, to divide the winter together, between Charleston and New York; Jane to pass the first three months with her, and she, in her turn, to accompany her friend to Charleston, later in the season. But Jane thought her mother would now wish to have her return home as soon as possible, as it was already nearly a year since she had seen her family. This affair, however, was not quite decided; Adeline declaring that she could not bear to give up the idea, hinting that there were all-important reasons for their remaining together during the next winter.

Elinor often wondered that her cousin should find so much pleasure in this intimacy with Miss Taylor, whom she was far from liking herself; and she could not help thinking that Adeline was more persevering in pursuit of Jane, than was agreeable. The dislikes of young girls of seventeen are seldom violent, however, whatever their likings may be. She made the best of it, and the three girls were often together.

One evening, when they had been drinking tea at Mrs. Taylor’s, Elinor was much struck with a change in Jane’s manner, which she had already observed several times of late, when they had been in society together. As they were coming home, and alone together in the carriage, she spoke to her cousin on the subject.

“How gay you were to-night, Jane! I never saw you in better spirits.”

“Was I? Well, I’m very tired now; it is almost too much for me, Elinor, to be so lively.”

“Was it an effort? Did you not feel well?” inquired Elinor.

“I felt very well, indeed, before we went; but it tires me so to be animated.”

“If it fatigues you to go out, my dear Jane, we had better stay at home next time we are asked; but I thought you wished to go this evening.”

“So I did. It does not tire me at all to go out; there is nothing I like so much as going to parties. If one could only do as they pleased — just sit still, and look on; not laughing and talking all the time, it would be delightful.”

“That is what I have often done at parties,” said Elinor, smiling; “and not from choice either, but from necessity.”

“Do you really think that a person who is engaged ought not to talk?”

“No, indeed;” said Elinor, colouring a little, as she laughed at the inquiry. “I meant to say, that I had often sat still, without talking, at parties, because no one took the trouble to come and speak to me. Not here, at home, where everybody knows me, but at large parties in town, last winter.”

“Oh, but you never cared about being a belle. Adeline says everybody knows you are engaged, and it is no matter what you do or say. But Adeline says, to be a belle, you must laugh and talk all the time, whether you feel like it or not; and she thinks you need not be particular what you talk about, only you must be all the time lively. The young men won’t dance with you, or hand you in to supper, unless you entertain them. Adeline says she is too high-spirited to sit by, moping; and so am I, too, I’m sure!”

“But Jane, you are so very pretty, there is no danger of your being overlooked.”

“No, indeed, you are mistaken,” said Jane, with perfect naivete. “I was at two or three small parties, you know, in New York, while I was staying with Mrs. Stanley, this spring; well, I missed more than half the quadrilles, while those fat Miss Grants, and the Howard girls, were dancing all the evening. Adeline says it is all because I was not lively. They don’t think anything of you unless you are all the time talking, and laughing, and moving about; and it does tire me so — I’m almost sick of it already. I’m sure I shall never be able to be lively at Charleston, in warm weather. I shan’t be a belle, Elinor, I’m afraid!” said the young beauty, with something like a sigh.

“Poor Jane!” said Elinor, laughing, though she really felt provoked with Adeline for giving her cousin such notions; Jane looked half worn-out with the evening’s exertions. “And I believed, all the time, that you were in such good spirits! Charlie and I were looking at you with surprise; we thought Mr. Van Horne, and John Bernard must be telling you something very amusing, you were laughing and talking so much.”

“No, indeed; it was I, who was trying to amuse the gentlemen.”

But Jane was not destined to try the effect of the Charleston climate upon the energies of a belle. Her parents arrived in New York, where she met them. She found letters there from her sister, Mrs. Robert Hazlehurst, to her mother and herself, strongly urging the propriety of Jane joining their party, for the last year of their European visit. Mrs. Hazlehurst thought travelling would be of great service to her sister, in every respect; it would, probably, restore her health entirely; in Paris she would take lessons from the best masters, if she wished it — besides enjoying the advantages of seeing the Old World; at the same time that, in her sister’s family, she would be as well taken care of, as if at her father’s house, or at Wyllys-Roof. It was an opportunity which might not occur again, and Mrs. Hazlehurst wrote so urgently, that her parents consented to the arrangement, provided Jane, herself, liked the idea. An old friend of the family, Mrs. Howard, was to sail next month for France, and would willingly take charge of Mrs. Graham’s daughter during the voyage: everything was settled, it only remained for Jane, herself, to decide. She was far less anxious, however, to see the wonders of Europe, than many other young persons would have been. Elinor congratulated her warmly upon her good fortune, and dwelt upon the pleasure she would, no doubt, enjoy; still, Jane appeared rather indifferent to the plan, and it would probably have been abandoned, had it not been for two circumstances. Her father thought the voyage and change of air might have a happy effect on her health, and improve it permanently; and, at the same time, Miss Adeline Taylor threw the whole weight of her influence into the scales; she had a long private interview with Jane, which seemed to decide the matter. The arrangements were made, and the first of September, Jane, accompanied by her parents, Miss Agnes, and Elinor, went on board the Hâvre packet, and was placed under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Howard. Though the separation took place under such happy auspices, there were some tears shed, of course. Elinor felt quite sad at parting from her young friend, to whom she was warmly attached; but time and tide soon separated the cousins, and the last farewell, and waving of handkerchiefs, were exchanged.

{“Hâvre packet” = scheduled passenger ship to Le Havre, the principal Atlantic port of arrival in France}

Elinor had placed in Jane’s hands a small package, and a letter, for Harry. The last we do not think ourselves privileged to open; but the little box we know to have contained a purse of her own knitting, and a lock of hair, which was sent at the special request of Harry, as he intended to have it placed in a ring by a Paris jeweller. Jane’s baggage contained, moreover, in addition to her own paraphernalia, several articles that one would not expect to find among a young lady’s trunks and hat-boxes. She, carried with her a barrel of buckwheat, a keg of cranberries, and a couple of jars of ginger — dainties for which, it appeared, some American friends of the Hazlehursts had sighed, even amid all the delicacies of Paris.

In a few weeks, the family at Wyllys-Roof had the pleasure of hearing of Jane’s safe arrival in Paris. The good news came through Harry, and we shall give his letter, since it was the last Elinor received from him in some months.

Place Vendôme, October,18 — .


“You will be glad to hear that Jane passed the barriers, this morning, with the Howards. She has just finished a letter to Mrs. Graham; and, as she dislikes writing so much, has given me leave to announce her arrival to all at Wyllys-Roof. As Jane enters Paris on one side, I leave it in the opposite direction, for, the day after to-morrow, I am off for Constantinople; a movement which will, no doubt, astonish you, though, I am sure, you will wish me joy of such pleasant prospects. This letter will probably be the last you will hear of me, for some time; not but what I shall write as usual, but these long overland mails, through countries where they suspect revolution or plague, in every letter, often fail to do their duty. In fact, I delayed my journey a week or two, expressly to see Jane, and have a good supply of Longbridge news before setting out. Everybody tells me, I must expect to lose more than half my letters, both ways. This is bad enough, to be sure; but a journey to Greece and Constantinople, would be too full of delights, without some serious drawback. I believe Jane is more tired by answering our questions, and hearing what we have to tell her, than by her voyage. I cannot help wishing, my dear Elinor, that it were you who had arrived in Paris, instead of our pretty little cousin. How I should delight in showing you my favourite view, the quais and the island, from the Pont Royal — the Louvre, too, and the Madeleine. As for Jane, she will, doubtless, find her chief pleasures at Delilles’, and the Tuileries — buying finery, and showing it off: it has often puzzled me to find out which some ladies most enjoy.

{“barriers” = gateways leading into Paris, where travellers’ papers were examined}

“We are to be a party of four of us, on our eastern expedition. In the first place, Ellsworth, whom you may have seen; a very clever fellow, and brother-in-law to poor Creighton. By-the-bye, Mrs. Creighton is still here, and has been living, very quietly, with her brother, since her husband’s death; she is now going to the Howards, who are her connexions, I believe; so says Louisa, at least. Ellsworth, you know, poor fellow, lost his wife about a year ago; he has left his little girl with her mother’s friends, and has come abroad for a year or two. Having been in Europe before, he was very glad to make one, in our party to the East, where he has not yet been. I mention him first, for he is the most agreeable of our set. There is not much to be said on the chapter of young Brown; and, I must confess, that I don’t quite agree with Col. Stryker, in the very good opinion he evidently entertains of himself. By-the-bye, American Colonels are as plenty, now-a-days, as the ‘Marquis’ used to be, at Versailles, in the time of the Grand Louis. Some simple European folk, actually believe that each of these gentry has his regiment — — -in the garrison of ‘Nieu Yorck,’ I suppose; it would puzzle them, I think, to find the army, if they were to cross the Atlantic; I don’t remember to have seen one of Uncle Sam’s soldiers for five years before I left home.

{“Grand Louis” = French King Louis XIV (1638-1715), known as “Louis the Great”}

“Many thanks, dearest Elinor, for the contents of your box; you cannot doubt but they will accompany your preux chevalieron his pilgrimage. This Eastern movement has been such a sudden one, that I have still a thousand things to do, which will oblige me to make my letter shorter than I wish. Ellsworth is waiting for me, at this moment. We expect to be gone six, or, possibly, eight months. I shall write again from Marseilles; and, I hope, the letter from thence will reach you. Pull Bruno’s ears for me, and don’t let him forget his master; which will be one way, my dear, kind, Elinor, of obliging you to remember that individual also. Best respects to Mr. Wyllys and Aunt Agnes, with much love for yourself, dearest Elinor, from

Your affectionate, present and futur,

H. H.

P. S. — Many remembrances for Mrs. Stanley, if she is with you; I wrote to her last month.”

{” preux chevalier“ = valiant knight; ” futur“ = future (French)}