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Her Season in Bath A Story of Bygone Days   By: (1830-1899)

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Her Season in Bath

A STORY OF BYGONE DAYS

BY EMMA MARSHALL

AUTHOR OF "BRISTOL DIAMONDS," "THE TOWER ON THE CLIFF," ETC., ETC.

"One loving hour Full many years of sorrow can dispense. A dram of sweet is worth a pound of sour."

SPENSER

LONDON SEELEY & CO., ESSEX STREET, STRAND 1889

[Illustration]

CONTENTS.

I. COIFFEUR

II. THE TIDE OF FASHION

III. ANOTHER SIDE OF THE PICTURE

IV. MUSIC

V. GRISELDA! GRISELDA!

VI. GRAVE AND GAY

VII. THE VASE OF PARNASSUS

VIII. ON THE TRACK

IX. WATCHED!

X. A PROPOSAL

XI. A LETTER

XII. DISCOVERED

XIII. THE PLOT THICKENS

XIV. BRAWLS

XV. CHALLENGED

XVI. IN THE EARLY MORNING

XVII. THE BITTER END

XVIII. IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW

XIX. TEN YEARS LATER 1790

Her Season in Bath

CHAPTER I.

COIFFEUR.

It was the height of the Bath season in 1779, and there was scarcely any part of the city which did not feel the effect of the great tide of amusement and pleasure, which set in year by year with ever increasing force, and made the streets, and parades, and terraces alive with gaily dressed fashionable ladies and their attendant beaux.

The chair men had a fine trade, so had the mantua makers and dressmakers, to say nothing of the hairdressers, who were skilled in the art of building up the powdered bastions, which rose on many a fair young head, and made the slender neck which supported them bend like a lily stalk with their weight. Such head gear was appropriate for the maze of the stately minuet and Saraband, but would be a serious inconvenience if worn now a days, when the whirl of the waltz seems to grow ever faster and faster, and the "last square" remaining in favour is often turned into a romp, which bears the name of "Polka Lancers." There was a certain grace and poetry in those old world dances, and they belonged to an age when there was less hurry and bustle, and all locomotion was leisurely; when our great grandmothers did not rush madly through the country, and through Europe, as if speed was the one thing to attain in travelling, and breathless haste the great charm of travel.

And not of travel only. Three or four "at homes" got through in one afternoon, is a cause of mighty exultation; and a dinner followed by an evening reunion, for which music or recitations are the excuse, to wind up with a ball lasting till day dawn, is spoken of as an achievement of which any gentlewoman, young or old, may feel proud.

The two ladies who were seated with their maid in attendance in a large well furnished apartment in North Parade on a chill December morning in the year 1779, awaiting the arrival of the hairdresser, had certainly no sign of haste or impatience in their manner. The impatience was kept in reserve, in the case of the elder lady, for Mr. Perkyns and his attendant, for Lady Betty had now passed her première jeunesse , and was extremely careful that every roll should be in its right place, and every patch placed in the precise spot which was most becoming. Lady Betty's morning gown was of flowered taffety, and open in front displayed a short under skirt of yellow satin, from which two very small feet peeped, or rather were displayed, as they were crossed upon a high square footstool.

"Griselda, can't you be amusing? What are you dreaming about, child?"

The young lady thus addressed started as if she had indeed been awakened from a dream, and said:

"I beg your pardon, Lady Betty; I did not hear what you said."

"No, you never hear at the right moment. Your ears are sharp enough at the wrong. I never saw the like last evening at Mrs. Colebrook's reunion. You looked all ears, then."

"It was lovely music it was divine!" Griselda said earnestly, and then, almost instantly checking the burst of enthusiasm which she knew would find no response, she said:

"Will you carry out your intention of paying a visit in King Street? Mr. and Miss Herschel receive guests to morrow forenoon... Continue reading book >>




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