Grizzy was now obliged to change the current of her ideas, for the carriage had stopped at Mrs. Bluemits’s.
“It is certain great knowledge, if it be without vanity, is the most severe bridle of the tongue. For so have I heard, that all the noises and prating of the pool, the croaking of frogs and toads, is hushed and appeased upon the instant of bringing upon them the light of a candle or torch. Every beam of reason, and ray of knowledge, checks the dissolutions of the tongue."-JEREMY TAYLOR.
THEY were received by Mrs. Bluemits with that air of condescension which great souls practise towards ordinary mortals, and which is intended, at one and the same time, to encourage and to repel; to show the extent of their goodness, even while they make, or try to make, their protege feel the immeasurable distance which nature or fortune has placed between them.
It was with this air of patronising grandeur that Mrs. Bluemits took her guests by the hand, and introduced them to the circle of females already assembled.
Mrs. Bluemits was not an avowed authoress; but she was a professed critic, a well-informed woman, a woman of great conversational powers, etc., and, to use her own phrase, nothing but conversation was spoken in her house. Her guests were therefore, always expected to be distinguished, either for some literary production or for their taste in the belles lettres. Two ladies from Scotland, the land of poetry and romance, were consequently hailed as new stars in Mrs. Bluemits’s horizon. No sooner were they seated than Mrs. Bluemits began—
“As I am a friend to ease in literary society, we shall, without ceremony, resume our conversation; for, as Seneca observes, the ’comfort of life depends upon conversation.’”
“I think,” said Miss Graves, “it is Rochefoucault who says, ’The great art of conversation is to hear patiently and answer precisely.’”
“A very poor definition for so profound a philosopher,” remarked Mrs. Apsley.