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bag,” said Pauline whose ideas were all of an neck, and gave him half a dozen of her warmest expensive kind.
kisses. “We shall see,” said Hesse. “I think I shall “ It is my uncle," she explained to the others. keep my costume as a surprise — except from you, “We did n't expect him till to-morrow; and is n't Cousin Julia. I shall want you to help me, but it too delightful that he should come in time to see none of the others shall know anything about it us all in our dresses !" till I come down-stairs."
Then she drew him this way and that, introducThis was a politic move on the part of Hesse. ing him to all her particular friends, chattering, She was resolved to spend no money, for she knew dimpling, laughing with such evident enjoyment, that her winter had cost more than Uncle had such an assured sense that it was the pleasantest expected, and more than it might be convenient thing possible to have her uncle there, that every for him to spare; yet she wished to avert dis- one else began to share it. The other girls, who, cussion and remonstrance, and at the same time with a little encouragement, a little reserve and to prevent Mrs. De Lancey from giving her a annoyed embarrassment on the part of Hesse, new dress, which was very often that lady's easy would have voted Uncle “a countrified old quiz,” way of helping Hesse out of her toilet difficulties. and, while keeping up the outward forms of civility, So a little seamstress was procured, and Cousin would have despised him in their hearts, infected Julia taken into counsel. Hesse kept her door by Hesse's sweet happiness, began to talk to him carefully locked for a day or two; and when, with the wish to please, and presently to discover on the evening of the party, she came down how pleasant his face was, and how shrewd and attired as “My great-grandmother," in a short- droll his ideas and comments; and it ended by all waisted, straight-skirted white satin ; with a big pronouncing him an “old dear.” So true it is that ante-revolutionary hat tied under her dimpled genuine and unaffected love and respect carry chin; a fichu of mull, embroidered in colored weight with them for all the rest of the world. silks, knotted across her breast; long, white silk Uncle was immensely amused by the costumes. mittens, and a reticule of pearl beads hanging He recalled the fancy balls of his youth, and gave from her girdle, - even Pauline could find no fault. the party some ideas on dress which had never The costume was as becoming as it was queer; occurred to any of them before. He could not at and all the girls told Hesse that she had never all understand the principle of selection on which looked so well in her life.
the different girls had chosen their various charEight or ten particular friends of Pauline and acters. Grace had arranged to meet at the De Lanceys', “That gypsy queen looked as if she ought to and all start together for the ball. The room be teaching a Sunday-school,” he told Hesse afterwas quite full of gay figures as “ My great-grand- ward. “ Little Red Riding Hood was too big for mother” came down ; it was one of those little her wolf. And as for that scampish little nun of moments of triumph which girls prize. The door- yours, I don't believe the stoutest convent ever bell rang as she slowly turned before the throng, built could hold her in for half a day.” to exhibit the back of the wonderful gored and “Come with us to Mrs. Shuttleworth's. It will plaited skirt. There was a little colloquy in the be a pretty scene, and something for you to tell hall, the butler opened the door, and in walked a Cousin Marianne about when you go back," urged figure which looked singularly out of place among
Mrs. De Lancey. the pretty, fantastic, girlish forms,- a tall, spare, “Oh, do, do!” chimed in Hesse. “It will be elderly figure in a coat of old-fashioned cut. A twice as much fun if you are there, Uncle ! carpet-bag was in his hand. He was no other than But Uncle was tired by his journey, and would Uncle, come a day before he was expected. not consent; and I am afraid that Pauline and His entrance made a little pause.
Grace were a little relieved by his decision. False “What an extraordinary-looking person !” whis- shame and the fear of “people” are powerful pered Maud Ashurst to Pauline, who colored, hesi- influences. tated, and did not, for a moment, know what to do. Three days later, Hesse's long, delightful visit Hesse, standing with her back to the door, had seen ended, and she was speeding home under Uncle's nothing; but, struck by the silence, she turned. A meaner nature than hers might have shared “ You must write and invite some of those fine Pauline's momentary embarrassment, but there young folk to come up to see you in June,” he was not a mean fiber in the whole of Hesse's frank, told her. generous being
“ That will be delightful,” said Hesse. But “Uncle ! dear Uncle !" she cried ; and, running when she came to think about it later, she was not forward, she threw her arms around the lean old so sure about its being delightful.
There is nothing like a long absence from home Hesse drove over with Uncle to the station to to open one's eyes to the real aspect of familiar meet her guests. They took the big carry-all, things. The Sparlings-Neck house looked wo- which, with squeezing, would hold seven ; and a fully plain and old-fashioned, even to Hesse, when wagon followed for the luggage. There were five contrasted with the elegance of Madison Avenue,- girls coming; for, besides Pauline and Grace, Hesse how much more so, she reflected, would it look to had invited Georgie Berrian, Maud Ashurst, and the girls!
Ella Waring, who were the three special favorites She thought of Uncle's after-dinner pipe,- of among her New York friends. the queer little chamber, opening from the dining- The five flocked out of the train, looking so room, where he and Aunt chose to sleep,- of the dainty and stylish that they made the old carry-all green-painted woodwork of the spare bedrooms, seem shabbier than ever by contrast. Maud Ashand the blue paper-shades tied up with a cord, which urst cast one surprised look at it and at the old Aunt clung to because they were in fashion when white mare; she had never seen just such a carshe was a girl ; and for a few foolish moments she riage before ; but the quality of the equipage was felt that she would rather not have her friends soon forgotten, as Uncle twitched the reins, and come at all, than have them come to see all this, they started down the long lane-like road which and perhaps make fun of it. Only for a few mo- led to Sparlings-Neck and was Hesse's particular ments; then her more generous nature asserted delight. itself with a bound.
The station and the dusty railroad were forgot“How mean of me to even think of such a ten almost immediately,-lost in the sense of comthing !” she told herself, indignantly; "to feel plete country freshness. On either hand rose ashamed to have people know what my own home tangled banks of laurel and barberries, sweet-ferns is like, and Uncle and Aunt who are so good to and budding grape-vines, overarched by tall trees, me. Hesse Reinike, I should like to hire some and sending out delicious odors; while mingling one to give you a good whipping! The girls shall with and blending all came, borne on a shoreward come, and I'll make the old house look just as wind, the strong salt fragrance of the sea. sweet as I can, and they shall like it, and have a “What is it? What can it be? I never smelt beautiful time from the moment they come till anything like it !” cried the girls from the city. they go away, if I can possibly give it to them.” “Now, girls,” cried Hesse, turning her bright
To punish herself for what she considered an face around from the driver's seat, “this is real, unworthy feeling, she resolved not to ask Aunt to absolute country, you know, none of the makelet her change the blue paper-shades for white believes which you get at Newport or up the curtains, but to have everything exactly as it usu- Hudson. Everything we have is just as queer and ally was.
But Aunt had her own ideas and her old-fashioned as it can be. You wont be asked to pride of housekeeping to consider. As the time a single party while you are here, and there is n't of the visit drew near, laundering and bleach- the ghost of a young man in the neighborhood – ing seemed to be constantly going on, and Jane, well, yes, there may be a ghost, but there is no the old house-maid, was kept busy tacking dim- young man. You must just make up your minds, ity valances and fringed hangings on the sub- all of you, to a dull time, and then you 'll find that stantial four-post bedsteads, and arranging fresh it 's lovely." muslin covers over the toilet-tables. Treasures “ It's sure to be lovely wherever you are, you unknown to Hesse were drawn out of their recep- dear thing !" declared Ella Waring, with a little tacles,– bits of old embroidery, tamboured table- rapturous squeeze. cloths and “crazy quilts," vases and bow-pots of I fancy that, just at first, the city girls did think pretty old china for the bureaus and chimney- the place very queer. None of them had ever pieces. Hesse took a long drive to the woods, and seen just such an old house as the Reinikes' before. brought back great masses of ferns, pink azalea, The white wainscots with their toothed moldings and wild laurel. All the neighbors' gardens were matched by the cornices above, the droll little cuplaid under contribution. When all was in order, boards in the walls, the fire-boards pasted with gay with ginger-jars full of cool white daisies and pictures, the queer closets and clothes-presses ocgolden buttercups standing on the shining mahog- curring just where no one would naturally have any tables, bunches of blue lupines on the mantel, looked for them, and having, each and all, an odd the looking-glasses wreathed with traveler's joy, shut-up odor, as of by-gone days -- all seemed very and a great bowl full of early roses and quan- strange to them. But the flowers and the green tities of lilies of the valley, the old house looked elms and Hesse's warm welcome were delightful; cosy enough and smelt sweet enough to satisfy the so were Aunt's waffles and wonderful tarts, the most fastidious taste.
strawberries smothered in country cream, and the cove oysters and clams which came in, deliciously “I never had so good a time; never ! declared stewed, for tea; and they soon pronounced the visit Ellen. “And, Hesse, I do think your aunt and “a lark," and Sparlings-Neck a paradise.
uncle are the dearest old people I ever saw!” That There were long drives in the woods, picnics in pleased Hesse most of all. But what pleased her the pine groves, bathing-parties on the beach, still more was when, after the guests were gone, morning sittings under the trees with an interesting and the house restored to its old order, and the book; and when a north-easter came and brought regular home life begun again, Uncle put his arm with it what seemed a brief return of winter, there around her, and gave her a kiss,- not a bed-time was a crackling fire, a candy-pull, and a charming kiss, or one called for by any special occasion, but evening spent in sitting on the floor telling ghost- an extra kiss, all of his own accord. stories, with the room only lighted by the fitfully “A dear child,” he said ; “not a bit ashamed blazing wood, and with cold creeps running down of the old folks ; was she? I liked that, Hesse.” their backs! Altogether, the fortnight was a com- “Ashamed of you and Aunt? I should think plete success, and every one saw its end with not !” answered Hesse, with a fush. reluctance.
Uncle gave a dry little chuckle. “ I wish we were going to stay all summer !” said Well, well,” he said, “some girls would have Georgie Berrian. Newport will seem stiff and been; you were n't,-- that 's all the difference. tiresome after this.”
You 're a good child, Hesse."
In the first part of our visit to Rome I remarked At some distance from the modern portion of the that the ancient city is now many feet below the city, and near the river, is a rounded green hill, level of the present streets. For centuries upon cent, which is called Monte Testaccio. This hill is a very uries, dust and rubbish of various kinds have grad- good example of how the surface of the ground ually accumulated and formed a soil which has can be gradually raised in the course of centuthus slowly piled itself upon old Rome, covering it ries. It is one hundred and sixty-four feet in height. all out of sight, excepting those portions of the It stands near the place where the ancient ruins which were tall enough to keep above this Roman wharves were situated, at which the ships rising tide of earth. In some parts of the city we bringing large jars and other pottery from Spain may yet see the ruins of temples with the lower and Africa unloaded. Such jars as were broken parts of the porticoes imbedded deeply in the were thrown or piled up here; and it is said that, soil, and wherever these old buildings have been at the end of the second century the mound was excavated, the entrances and lower floors are far about eighty feet high. The fragments of these beneath the level of the streets, so that we have jars and of other pottery that was landed here to go down to them by steps. Thus we must have thus gradually formed a little mountain as descend to reach the arena of the Colosseum, high as the top of a tall church-steeple. It has been the whole lower part of this great building hav- cut into in many places and found everywhere to ing been covered up in this way. This is the consist of the same material, and so it may be said reason why we can still see, near the ground, the to be the largest object in the world that is formed great iron bars which held the stones together. In of earthenware. It is long since any broken pottery the Middle Ages, when people used to come and has been added to the pile, and it is now covered take away this iron-work, all the bars which now over with soil, on which the grass grows green and remain were covered up, and thus protected, while luxuriant. of those in the exposed portions of the walls not one There is a church in Rome, called San Clemente, is left. This covering up of old Rome is a great which is, in some respects, an exceedingly curious disadvantage in some respects, for it has made edifice. Here we find four buildings one on top of necessary a vast deal of work and expense in ex- another. The uppermost is the present church, cavating the ruins, but, on the other hand, it has built in the year 1108, and we shall see some interbeen of great advantage in saving and protecting esting decorations of old-fashioned mosaic work on until modern times, not only portions of build- its walls and ceilings. But we shall not spend ings, but great numbers of valuable statues, mo- much time here, for there is another church below saics, and other works of art. In fact, nearly all this, and under the surface of the ground, which the ancient Roman sculptures which we see in we very much wish to see. This is a church of the galleries were preserved in this way, and it the early Christians which was first mentioned in is very fortunate for us that they were ; for, in
the year 392.
During one of the wars of the Midthe mediæval times, every piece of ancient marble dle Ages, the upper part of this building was enthat could be found, no matter how beautifully tirely destroyed and the rest much damaged; and it was sculptured, was either used for building about twenty-four years afterward, the present or burned for lime. It is believed that some church was built over it, and partly on its walls. of the most valuable statues of antiquity were A stair-way now leads down into this old church, thus used to make mortar. Now, the work of ex- and we can wander about the nave and aisles in cavation is going on all the time; the greatest which the early Christians used to worship. On care is taken of the ruins that are thus exposed to the walls are a number of fresco paintings, repreview; and every statue that is found, and even senting Bible-scenes, and instances in the life of St. every broken-off hand or foot, is looked upon as a Clement, for whom the church was named. There treasure. If I could believe that the people of the are also other subjects, and some of these paintings