Page:Letters of Life.djvu/136

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tallica! prejudice tinsl ii wen- still in force, it may

be thought Btrange that my father, with hia high stand- ing for piety, Bhoald bave given it hia sanction. Bnt I was Indulged in it, probably, from the suggestions of my mother. She reasoned thai the exercise was health- ful, and the accomplishment conducive to ease and courtesy of manner. Like Addison, she thought a " lady should learn to dance, in order to know how to sit still gracefully." But the argument by w r hich she chiefly prevailed was the isolation of my brotherless and sisterless estate, and innate fondness for solitary musing, which required stronger aid in the full develop- ment of social feeling, lest the love of a happy home becoming too intense, should make a selfish character. My sweet sister-mother did not use her eloquence in vain, and her grave husband, who had for years borne the title of Deacon, though without the office, con- sented that his child should attend a dancing school. As I had adopted the rule to endeavor to excel in what- ever I attempted to do, his sacrifice of sentiment, if in- deed it was one, was sometimes compensated when he came to escort me home in the evening, and lingered among the spectators, by hearing w r hat is so agreeable to parental ears, a daughter's praise.

Our first teacher was a Frenchman, whose previous history not even Yankee perseverance could elicit. He bore the sobriquet of Colonel, and was disturbed at the name of Bonaparte. It was inferred that he had been

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