Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/52

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After some further encomiums on the widow Crandon, and on everything connected with the party, Mrs. Honeywood took her leave, first offering seats in her carriage to the Miss Telfords, which offer they accepted.

Mrs. Derrington rather thought she would take up the Cotterells.

The next of the guests who had been at Mrs. Cotterell’s party was Miss Rodwell; and she also gave an account of it.

“Mrs. Cotterell and her daughter are rather presentable, and they are visited to a certain degree,” said Miss Rodwell; “and I understand that Mrs. Pelham Prideaux does think of calling on them. I knew that I should meet many of my friends, or of course, I could not have risked being there myself. But, under any circumstances, the company was too large to be select. A party can not be perfectly comme il faut, if it numbers more than fifty. Mrs. De Manchester says, that to have the very cream and flower of New York society, you must not go beyond thirty. And, though an Englishwoman, I think, in this respect, she is right.”

“The Vanbombels, to be completely select, invite none but their own relations,” observed Mrs. Derrington.

“And for the same reason,” rejoined Miss Rodwell, “the Jenkses invite none of their relations at all. But who do you think I saw last evening? Poor Crandon, absolutely! I wonder where Mrs. Cotterell found her? She must have been invited out of compassion; it certainly could not have been for the purpose of ornamenting the rooms. Most likely Mrs. Cotterell did not know that poor Crandon is so entirely passé, nobody minds cutting her in the least. There she was rigged out in that old dingy red velvet that everybody was long ago tired of seeing. It is now quite too narrow for the fashion, and looks faded and threadbare. She had taken off the white satin trimming that graced it in its high and palmy days, and decorated it scantily with some coarse brownish, blackish lace. And then her head, with its forlorn ringlets, streaming down with the curl all out, and a queer yellowish-white hat, and a meagre old feather to match! Such an object! I wish you could have seen her! But, poor thing, I could not help pitying her, for she looked forlorn, and sat neglected, and was left to her-