Any one would have to admit, however, that there is no sharpness in Georgiana’s pleasantry. The child-nature in her is so sunny, sportive, so bent on harmless mischief. She still plays with life as a kitten with a ball of yarn. Some day Kitty will fall asleep with the Ball poised in the cup of one foot. Then, waking, when her dream is over, she will find that her plaything has become a rocky, thorny, storm-swept, immeasurable world, and that she, a woman, stands holding out towards it her imploring arms, and asking only for some littlest part in its infinite destinies.
After the last talk with Georgiana I felt renewed desire to see those Audubon drawings. So yesterday morning I sent over to her some things written by a Northern man, whom I call the young Audubon of the Maine woods. His name is Henry D. Thoreau, and it is, I believe, known only to me down here. Everything that I can find of his is as pure and cold and lonely as a wild cedar of the mountain rocks, standing far above its smokeless valley and hushed white river. She returned them to-day with word that she would thank me in person, and to-night I went over in a state of rather senseless eagerness.
Her mother and sister had gone out, and she sat on the dark porch alone. The things of Thoreau’s have interested her, and she asked me to tell her all I knew of him, which was little enough. Then of her own accord she began to speak of her father and Audubon—of the one with the worship of love, of the other with the worship of greatness. I felt as though I were in a moonlit cathedral; for her voice, the whole revelation of her nature, made the spot so impressive and so sacred. She scarcely addressed me; she was communing with them. Nothing that her father told her regarding Audubon appears to have been forgotten; and, brought nearer than ever before to that lofty, tireless spirit in its wanderings through the Kentucky forests, I almost forgot her to whom I was listening. But in the midst of it she stopped, and it was again kitten and yarn. I left quite as abruptly. Upon my soul, I believe that Georgiana doesn’t think me worth talking to seriously.
July has dragged like a log across a wet field.
There was the Fourth, which is always the grandest occasion of the year with us. Society has taken up Sylvia and rejected Georgiana; and so with its great gallantry, and to her boundless delight, Sylvia was invited to sit with a bevy of girls in a large furniture wagon covered with flags and bunting. The girls were to be dressed in white, carry flowers and flags, and sing “The Star-spangled Banner” in the procession, just before the fire-engine. I wrote a note to Georgiana, asking whether it would interfere with Sylvia’s Greatest Common Divisor if I presented her with a profusion of elegant flowers on that occasion. Georgiana herself had equipped