Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/61

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41
A CHILD IN PHILADELPHIA

hold and their family. I do not believe my Grandmother had an interest in anybody except her children, or in anything except their affairs; though this did not mean that she gave up society when it was to their advantage that she should not. In her stiff silks and costly caps, she presided at every dinner, reception, and party given at home, as conscientiously as, in her sables and demure velvet bonnet, she made and returned calls in the season.

My other memories are of comfortable, spacious rooms, good, solid, old-fashioned furniture, a few more old and some better-forgotten new family portraits on the walls, the engraving of Gilbert Stuart's Washington over the dining-room mantelpiece, the sofa or couch in almost every room for the Philadelphia nap before dinner, the two cheerful kitchens where, if the servants were amiable, I sometimes played, and, above all, the most enchanting back-yard that ever was or could be—we were not so elegant in those days as to call it a garden.


IV

Since it has been the fashion to revive everything old in Philadelphia, most Philadelphians are not happy until they have their garden, as their forefathers had, and very charming they often make it in the suburbs. But in town my admiration has been asked for gardens that would have been lost in my Grandfather's back-yard, and for a few meagre plants springing up about a cold paved square