Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/440

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kind of finishing, she, with fear and trembling, on account of her supposed deficiencies, entered a justly celebrated school, she, to her surprise, found no difficulty in ranking with the first.

The late Jeremiah Chaplin, D. D. (a cousin to both of her parents), who was, for several years, President of Waterville College, corrected the first compositions which she ever wrote, which she thought worthy of being seen, and the manner in which he pointed out their beauties, as well as defects, had a lasting and salutary influence.

When about six years old, her father removed from Rowley to Salem, Mass., where she resided, with a few temporary exceptions, till she was married. Since her marriage, except the first four years at Meredith-Bridge, she has resided at Wolfboro’, New Hampshire.


The boy who had been sent for Dr. Plumley now returned, and with a giggle, which his most strenuous efforts could not suppress, told us that the Doctor was close at hand. He then retreated to a part of the room where his mistress could not have an eye on him, and evidently made a violent effort to compose the muscles of his face. When the Doctor’s footsteps were heard in the entry, he braced his whole person and tightly compressed his lips.

Dr. Plumley, it seems, had recently invented an oil for the hair, which he imagined would prove exceedingly efficacious in strengthening the roots, and prevent it from falling off. As time had begun to thin his own locks, he was desirous of personally testing its wonderful qualities. Having previously settled in his mind the improbability of being called to exert his medical skill, he made so copious an application of the unguent as completely to saturate his hair, and then drew on a flannel cap of a pyramidal form to prevent the too speedy escape of the volatile aromatics, which he imagined would strengthen, while the oleaginous part mollified. In his haste, all this escaped his memory, and when, on entering the room, he removed his hat in his usual quick and smart manner, thereby revealing his singular headgear, and made a brisk bow to each of us, the point of his cap nodding in unison, his appearance was so exquisitely ludicrous that my risibility got the better of my gravity, and I was obliged hastily to retreat behind Agnes. In the mean time I stole a glance at the poor boy, who stood convulsed with suppressed laughter, the tears streaming down his cheeks.