Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/189

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169
THE SOCIAL ADVENTURE: THE ASSEMBLY

and being out meant and, therefore, I appreciated the social drawback it must be for me not to be able to go. It explained, as nothing hitherto had, how far I was from being caught up in the whirl, and it is only the whirl that keeps one going in society—that makes society a delightful profession, and I think I realized this truth better than the people so extravagantly in the Philadelphia whirl as to have no time to think about it. All that winter I never got to the point of being less concerned as to where the next invitation was to come from than as to how I was to accept all that did come. There is no use denying that I was disappointed and suffered from the disappointment. One pays a heavier price for the first foolish illusion lost than for all the others put together, no matter how serious they are.


III

When the season was over, I had as little hope of keeping up in other essential ways. If society then adjourned from Philadelphia because the heat made it impossible to stay at home, it was only to start a new Philadelphia on the porch of Howland's Hotel at Long Branch or, as it was just then beginning to do, at Bar Harbor and in the camps of the Adirondacks, or, above all, at Narragansett. "It may be accepted as an incontrovertible truth," Janvier says in one of his Philadelphia stories, "that a Philadelphian of a certain class who missed coming to the Pier for August would refuse to believe, for that year at