Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/229

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199
ANN S. STEPHENS.

for a partner, and I, poor wretch, stood up half pouting with Ebenezer Smith, who distorted his already crooked countenance, with a desperate effort to look interesting, and broke into a disjointed double shuffle every other moment.

The night went on merrily. It seemed as if the warm gingered cider had released the stiffened fingers of our fiddler, for the old-fashioned tunes rung out from his instrument loud and clear, till every nook in the farm-house resounded with them. There was dancing in that long kitchen, let me assure you, reader, hearty, gleeful dancing, where hearts kept time cheerily to the music, and eyes kindled up with a healthier fire than wine can give.

I have been in many a proud assembly since that day, where the great and the beautiful have met to admire and be admired, where lovely women glided gracefully to and fro in the quadrille with so little animation that the flowers in their hands scarcely trembled to the languid motion. But we had another kind of amusement at Julia Daniels’s quilting frolic, and to say truth a better kind—the grace of warm, unstudied, innocent enjoyment, spiced perhaps with a little rustic affectation and coquetry.