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Here Elizabeth Eliza came to a pause. She had written five different endings, and had brought them all, thinking, when the moment came, she would choose one of them. She was pausing to select one, and inadvertently said, to close the phrase, “you don’t.” She had not meant to use the expression, which she would not have thought sufficiently imposing,—it dropped out unconsciously,—but it was received as a close with rapturous applause.
She had read slowly, and now that the audience applauded at such a length, she had time to feel she was much exhausted and glad of an end. Why not stop there, though there were some pages more? Applause, too, was heard from the outside. Some of the gentlemen had come,—Mr. Peterkin, Agamemnon, and Solomon John, with others,—and demanded admission.
“Since it is all over, let them in,” said Ann Maria Bromwick.
Elizabeth Eliza assented, and rose to shake hands with her applauding friends.
Elizabeth Eliza’s commonplace-book.
I am going to jot down, from time to time, any suggestions that occur to me that will be of use in writing another paper, in case I am called upon. I might be asked unexpectedly for certain occasions, if anybody happened to be prevented from coming to a meeting.
I have not yet thought of a subject, but I think that is not of as much consequence as to gather the ideas. It seems as if the ideas might suggest the subject, even if the subject does not suggest the ideas.
Now, often a thought occurs to me in the midst, perhaps, of conversation with others; but I forget it afterwards, and spend a great deal of time in trying to think what it was I was thinking of, which might have been very valuable.
I have indeed, of late, been in the habit of writing such thoughts on scraps of paper, and have often left the table to record some idea that occurred to me; but, looking up the paper and getting ready to write it, the thought has escaped me.
Then again, when I have written it, it has been on the backs of envelopes or the off sheet of a note, and it has been lost, perhaps thrown into the scrap-basket. Amanda is a little careless about such things; and, indeed, I have before encouraged her in throwing away old envelopes, which do not seem of much use otherwise, so perhaps she is not to blame.
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The more I think of it, the more does it seem to me there would be an advantage if everybody should have the same number to their houses,—of course not everybody, but everybody acquainted. It is so hard to remember all the numbers; the streets you are not so likely to forget. Friends might combine to have the same number. What made me think of it was that we do have the same number as the Easterlys. To be sure, we are out of town, and they are in Boston; but it makes it so convenient, when I go into town to see the Easterlys, to remember that their number is the same as ours.