Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two: Elysian Prospects >> Page 111

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription ELYSIAN PROSPECTS 111
ners, graceful, and with that tone which shows a thorough familiarity
with all the essentials of high breeding, will be quite sufficient, and it has
been my good fortune through life to have always enjoyed such a circle;
select, though small; polished, though poor, capable of the highest, yet
not repining when denied; being all sufficient in itself. With my precious
books, madam, my daughter's music, and other accomplishments, we
never suffer any lack. Our conversation never becomes vulgar or tedious.
In brief, madam, we are never, at any time, so weary of our own com-
panionship as to feel the want of any other."
And so forth, for a goodly ten minutes, to the confusion of the
great lady.
"Heavens!" she thought to herself, "the woman declaims like a mem-
ber of Congress. She has caught it from her husband, the Colonel, and
Justice of the Peace."
Having given a sufficient sample of the eloquence of these two old
fools, we shall take leave to abridge their speeches hereafter, the reader
supplying, for himself, those characteristics of dilation in which they sev-
erally excel. We shall endeavor to do what the stately Lady Fairleigh for
a long time failed to do proceed to business.
The lady of Rosedale had her role, as well as her style; while her visi-
tor contemplated the acquisition of a servant under the pleasant name
of companion and associate, Mrs. Carter thought only of a husband for
her daughter. It was not enough that Mrs. Carter praised her daughter's
attractions and accomplishments, she felt it her duty to insist upon them,
and to show her perfect fitness to enter any circle of fine society. In doing
this, she wearied and vexed her guest; but the latter persevered, and, by
easy stages and natural degrees, she at length succeeded in bringing about
the subject upon which her heart was set. It was, however, with some
abruptness that the topic was finally broached, and Mrs. Fairleigh suc-
ceeded only by a desperate eagerness, and an unusual elevation of voice.
"But, my dear Mrs. Carter, I have not spoken of your daughter's
charms, attractions and gifts, without an object. She has literally won my
heart, and I have come, if possible, to rob you of her to deprive you for
a season of this treasure."
The ears of Mrs. Carter lifted instantly. Her eagerness to hear, over-
came her habitual eagerness to speak. What would come next? Heavens!
could it be that Rose had been so successful already as to captivate the
young collegiate and heir? And was his mother deputed to ask her hand
in marriage?
Such was the pleasant anticipation of Mrs. Carter, from the opening