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dinner the company was, of course, very small. I condoled with our host on the disappointment, of which his share was so much the largest he replied, with great good-nature and politeness, that, for himself, it was nothing; but that he was sorry for the disappointment of the strangers who had come to see Kirmes. At first there were not above ten people in the room besides our own party: two of them were country girls in their gowns of bright pink Swiss cotton, gay cotton handkerchiefs pinned tight over the shoulders, and little caps fixed on the very top of the head by a sort of gilt clasp. I have nothing to tell you about beauty and grace, except that they had neither; and that this was not less true of all who followed them they had, however, cheerfulness, and perfect absence of affectation, which are always agreeable. The kind and familiar deportment of their superiors inspires them with such confidence, that they never seem to conceive that their innocent pleasures can excite disgust or ridicule; and you may be sure they take care not to do any thing which may drive away those who share in their amusements. No time was to be lost, so these


two maidens began to waltz with their partners, and were joined by two young men, who thought dancing together better than standing idle. Presently, the venerable priest came in, to witness and sanction the enjoyments of his children; shook hands with some of the old people; patted the heads of the little ones; and greeted and smiled on all. At length, having stood for a short time in one corner of the room, looking on with a calm and paternal smile, he retired.

I remarked a young man in a smart uniform, who stood looking down, from the utmost height of his handsome figure, upon the scene around: his air of negligent superiority, mixed with a dash of conceit and contempt, were worthy of another ball-room than that of Plittersdorf. He was a private of the lifeguards, on furlough from Berlin; and he, doubtless, thought that his gay regimentals and Berlin breeding were not lightly to be bestowed on these country girls ever, he condescended to dance.

'exclusive,' and our only one;

at last, how

This was our

for the man

whose birth and rank in the army might have

fitted him to fill that station, was, unfortunately, disqualified for it by an excellent understanding, and by the best heart and the simplest and truest character in the world: so, leaving to the gay guardsman full possession of the part, he early joined the homely dance with the farmer's wife. The Bürgermeister danced with his own wife; and our jolly host from Bonn, amid much merriment, led out a portly dame, whose figure was pretty well suited to his own: the old people, meantime, enjoyed themselves over their wine, which here costs about twopence halfpenny a bottle. I remarked one very respectable-looking couple sitting together, and presently saw the old man rise and carry a glass of wine to a young man who seemed much heated by the dance: he received it with a bow, and then a cordial shake of the hand; after which they drank together. "That," whispered my neighbour, “is the old man's future son-in-law: he is dancing with the daughter."

Such was the scene of the ball-room: all was hearty enjoyment; but I saw not the slightest approach to rudeness, indecorum, or

drunkenness it was the merriment of people who feel that others have a good opinion of them, and an interest in their comfort.

I am afraid that I have tired you with my minute details of the humble joys of Kirmes; but remember, my dear, that the pleasures of the rich are things of every day occurrence, but the pleasures of the poor are worth recording from their very rarity. To conclude: we left the ball-room, and drove home through pouring rain, and were safely housed before nine o'clock in the evening, just as you would begin to think of dressing for your ‘juvenile ball,' at which I cordially wish you half as much pleasure, as the Rheinland girls, in their pink cotton gowns, enjoy at Kirmes.

Your affectionate

Bonn, 1827.





BEING on my return to England from a distant quarter of the globe, our ship was suddenly becalmed near the Equator. Day after day, and night after night, we lay wishing, hoping, praying for a breeze: the ocean around us, far as the horizon, presented a dull, glassy, uniform surface, only heaving at intervals, and reminding the looker-on of the deep breathing of some huge animal. The sky had a gray, silvery lustre, reflecting and increasing the heat of the sun, but dimming the cheerful brightness of his rays.

I was the only passenger, that is, the only idler on board; therefore, I was most frequently at the taffrail, watching for the smallest

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