“I suppose you will all be off to Saratoga, in a week or two,” said Uncle Joseph Garland to his three nieces, as he sat chatting with them and their mother, one hot day, about the first of July.
“We’re not going to Saratoga this year,” replied Emily, the eldest, with a toss of her head.
“Indeed! And why not, Emily?”
“Everybody goes to Saratoga, now.”
“Who do you mean by everybody, Emily?”
“Why, I mean merchants, shop-keepers, and tradesmen, with their wives and daughters, all mixed up together, into a kind of hodge-podge. It used to be a fashionable place of resort—but people that think any thing of themselves, don’t go there now.”
“Bless me, child!” ejaculated old Uncle Joseph, in surprise. “This is all new to me. But you were there last year.”
“I know. And that cured us all. There was not a day in which we were not crowded down to the table among the most vulgar kind of people.”
“How, vulgar, Emily?”
“Why, there was Mr. Jones, the watchmaker, with his wife and two daughters. I need not explain what I mean by vulgar, when I give you that information.”
“I cannot say that I have any clearer idea of what you mean, Emily.”
“You talk strangely, uncle! You do not suppose that we are going to associate with the Joneses?”
“I did not say that I did. Still, I am in the dark as to what you mean by the most vulgar kind of people.”
“Why, common people, brother,” said Mrs. Ludlow, coming up to the aid of her daughter. “Mr. Jones is only a watchmaker, and therefore has no business to push himself and family into the company of genteel people.”
“Saratoga is a place of public resort,” was the quiet reply.
“Well, genteel people will have to stay away, then, that’s all. I, at least, for one, am not going to be annoyed as I have been for the last two or three seasons at Saratoga, by being thrown amongst all sorts of people.”
“They never troubled me any,” spoke up Florence Ludlow, the youngest of the three sisters. “For my part, I liked Mary Jones very much. She was——”
“You are too much of a child to be able to judge in matters of this kind,” said the mother, interrupting Florence.
Florence was fifteen; light-hearted and innocent. She had never been able, thus far in life, to appreciate the exclusive principles upon which her mother and sisters acted, and had, in consequence, frequently fallen under their censure. Purity of heart, and the genuine graces flowing from a truly feminine spirit, always attracted her, no matter what the station of the individual in whose society she happened to be thrown. The remark of her mother silenced her, for the time, for experience had taught her that no good ever resulted from a repetition of her opinions on a subject of this kind.