Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/154

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134
OUR PHILADELPHIA

I do not doubt that because of the stumbhng blocks in my path, I learned more about them than the Philadelphia girl whose path was rose-strewn. Were history my mission, it would be amusing to trace these traditions to their source—first through the social life of the Friends who, however, are so exclusive that should this part of the story ever be told, whether as romance or history, it must come from the inside; and then, through the gaieties of the World's People who flatter themselves they are as exclusive, and who have the name for it, and whose exclusiveness is wholesale license compared to that of the Friends:—through the two distinct societies that have lived and flourished side by side ever since Philadelphia was. But my concern is solely with the gaieties as I, individually, shared in them. Now that I have outlived the discomforts of the experience, I can flatter myself that, in my small, insignificant fashion, I was helping to carry on old and fine traditions.


II

The most serious of these discomforts arose from the question of clothes, a terrifying question under the existing conditions in the Third Street house, involving more industrious dress-making upstairs in the third story front bedroom than I cared about, and a waste of energies that should have been directed into more profitable channels. I sewed badly and was conscious of it. At the Convent, except for the necessity of darning my stockings, I had