University of Virginia Library




Most men have two or more souls, and Jem Thalimer was a
doublet, with sets of manners corresponding. Indeed one identity
could never have served the pair of him! When sad—that is to
say, when in disgrace or out of money—he had the air of a good
man with a broken heart. When gay—flush in pocket and happy
in his little ambitions—you would have thought him a dangerous
companion for his grandmother. The last impression did
him more injustice than the first, for he was really very amiably
disposed when depressed, and not always wicked when gay—but
he made friends in both characters. People seldom forgive us
for compelling them to correct their first impressions of us, and as
this was uniformly the case with Jem, whether he had begun as
saint or sinner, he was commonly reckoned a deep-water fish;
and where there were young ladies in the case, early warned off
the premises. The remarkable exception to this rule, in the incident
I am about to relate, arose, as may naturally be supposed,
from his appearing, during a certain period, in one character

To begin my story fairly, I must go back for a moment to our
junior Jem in college, showing, by a little passage in our adventures,


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how Thalimer and I became acquainted with the confiding
gentleman to be referred to.

A college suspension, very agreeably timed, in June, left my
friend Jem and myself masters of our travels for an uncertain
period; and as our purse was always in common, like our shirts,
love-letters, and disgraces, our several borrowings were thrust
into a wallet which was sometimes in his pocket, sometimes in
mine, as each took the turn to be paymaster. With the (intercepted)
letters in our pockets, informing the governors of our degraded
position, we travelled very prosperously on—bound to
Niagara, but very ready to fall into any obliquity by the way. We
arrived at Albany, Thalimer chancing to be purser, and as this
function tacitly conferred on the holder all other responsibilities,
I made myself comfortable at the hotel for the second day and
the third—up to the seventh—rather wondering at Jem's
depressed spirits and the sudden falling off of his enthusiasm for
Niagara, but content to stay, if he liked, and amusing myself in
the side-hill city passably well. It was during my rambles without
him in this week that he made the acquaintance of a bilious-looking
person, lodging at the same hotel—a Louisianian on
a tour of health. This gentleman, whom he introduced to
me by the name of Dauchy, seemed to have formed a sudden
attachment to my friend, and as Jem had a “secret sorrow”
unusual to him, and the other an unusual secretion of bile, there
was of course between them that “secret sympathy” which is the
basis of many tender friendships. I rather liked Mr. Dauchy.
He seemed one of those chivalric, polysyllabic southerners, incapable
of a short word or a mean action, and, interested that Jem
should retain his friendship, I was not sorry to find our departure
follow close on the recovery of his spirits.


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We went on toward Niagara, and in the irresistible confidence
of canal travelling I made out the secret of my fidus achates.
He had attempted to alleviate the hardship of a deck passage
for a bright-eyed girl on board the steamer, and, on going below
to his berth, left her his greatcoat for a pillow. The stuffed
wallet, which somewhat distended the breast pocket, was probably
in the way of her downy cheek, and Jem supposed that she
simply forgot to return the “removed deposite”—but he did not
miss his money till twelve hours after, and then between lack of
means to pursue her, and shame at the sentiment he had wasted,
kept the disaster to himself, and passed a melancholy week in
devising means for replenishing. Through this penseroso vein,
however, lay his way out of the difficulty, for he thus touched
the soul and funds of Mr. Dauchy. The correspondence (commenced
by the repayment of the loan) was kept up stragglingly
for several years, bolstered somewhat by barrels of marmalade,
boxes of sugar, hommony, &c., till finally it ended in the
unlooked-for consignment which forms the subject of my story.

Jem and myself had been a year out of college, and were passing
through that “tight place” in life, commonly understood in
New England as “the going in at the little end of the horn.”
Expected by our parents to take to money-making like ducks to
swimming, deprived at once of college allowance, called on to be
men because our education was paid for, and frowned upon at
every manifestation of a lingering taste for pleasure—it was not
surprising that we sometimes gave tokens of feeling “crowded,”
and obtained somewhat the reputation of “bad subjects”—(using
this expressive phrase quite literally). Jem's share of this odor
of wickedness was much the greater, his unlucky deviltry of
countenance doing him its usual disservice; but like the gentleman


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to whom he was attributed as a favorite protegé, he was
“not so black as he was painted.”

We had been so fortunate as to find one believer in the future
culmination of our clouded stars—Gallagher, “mine host”—and
for value to be received when our brains should fructify, his white
soup and “red-string Madeira,” his game, turtle, and all the
forthcomings of the best restaurant of our epoch, were served
lovingly and charged moderately. Peace be with the ashes of
William Gallagher! “The brains have fructified, and “the
value” has been received—but his name and memory are not
“filed away with the receipt; and though years have gone over
his grave, his modest welcome, and generous dispensation of
entertainment and service, are, by one at least of those who enjoyed
them, gratefully and freshly remembered!

We were to dine as usual at Gallagher's at six—one May day
which I well remember. I was just addressing myself to my
day's work, when Jem broke into my room with a letter in his
hand, and an expression on his face of mingled embarrassment
and fear.

“What the deuce to do with her?” said he, handing me the

“A new scrape, Jem?” I asked, as I looked for an instant at
the Dauchy coat-of-arms on a seal as big as a dollar.

“Scrape?—yes, it is a scrape!—for I shall never get out of
it reputably. What a dunce old Dauchy must be to send me a
girl to educate! I a young lady's guardian! Why, I shall be
the laugh of the town! What say? Isn't it a good one?”

I had been carefully perusing the letter while Thalimer walked
soliloquizing about the room. It was from his old friend of marmalades
and sugars, and in the most confiding and grave terms,


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as if Jem and he had been a couple of contemporaneous old
bachelors, it consigned to his guardianship and friendly counsel,
Miss Adelmine Lasacque, the only daughter of a neighboring
planter! Mr. Lasacque having no friends at the north, had
applied to Mr. Dauchy for his guidance in the selection of a proper
person to superintend her education, and as Thalimer was
the only correspondent with whom Mr. Dauchy had relations of
friendship, and was, moreover, “fitted admirably for the trust by
his impressive and dignified address,” (?) he had “taken the
liberty,” &c., &c.

“Have you seen her?” I asked, after a long laugh, in which
Jem joined but partially.

“No, indeed! She arrived last night in the New Orleans
packet, and the captain brought me this letter at daylight, with
the young lady's compliments. The old sea-dog looked a little
astounded when I announced myself. Well he might, faith! I
don't look like a young lady's guardian, do I?”

“Well—you are to go on board and fetch her—is that it?”

“Fetch her! Where shall I fetch her? Who is to take a
young lady of my fetching? I can't find a female academy that
I can approve—”

I burst into a roar of laughter, for Jem was in earnest with his
scruples, and looked the picture of unhappiness.

“I say I can't find one in a minute—don't laugh, you blackguard;—and
where to lodge her meantime? What should I say
to the hotel-keepers? They all know me? It looks devilish
odd, let me tell you, to bring a young girl, without matron or
other acquaintance than myself, and lodge her at a public

“Your mother must take your charge off your hands.”


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“Of course, that was the first thing I thought of. You know
my mother! She don't half believe the story, in the first place.
If there is such a man as Mr. Dauchy, she says, and if this is a
`Miss Lasacque,' all the way from Louisiana, there is but one
thing to do—send her back in the packet she came in! She'll
have nothing to do with it! There's more in it than I am willing
to explain. I never mentioned this Mr. Dauchy before.
Mischief will come of it! Abduction's a dreadful thing! If I
will make myself notorious, I need not think to involve my
mother and sisters! That's the way she talks about it.”

“But couldn't we mollify your mother?—for, after all, her
countenance in the matter will be expected.”

“Not a chance of it!”

“The money part of it is all right?”

“Turn the letter over. Credit for a large amount on the Robinsons,
payable to my order only!”

“Faith! its a very hard case if a nice girl with plenty of
money can't be permitted to land in Boston! You didn't ask the
captain if she was pretty?”

“No, indeed! But pretty or plain, I must get her ashore and
be civil to her. I must ask her to dine! I must do something
besides hand her over to a boarding-school! Will you come down
to the ship with me?”

My curiosity was quite aroused, and I dressed immediately.
On our way down we stopped at Gallagher's, to request a little
embellishment to our ordinary dinner. It was quite clear, for a
variety of reasons, that she must dine with her guardian there, or
nowhere. Gallagher looked surprised, to say the least, at our
proposition to bring a young lady to dine with us, but he made


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no comment beyond a respectful remark that “No. 2 was very

We had gone but a few steps from Devonshire street when Jem
stopped in the middle of the side-walk.

“We have not decided yet what we are to do with Miss
Lasacque all day, nor where we shall send her baggage, nor where
she is to lodge to-night. For Heaven's sake, suggest something!”
added Jem, quite out of temper.

“Why, as you say, it would be heavy work to walk her about
the streets from now till dinner-time—eight hours or more! Gallagher's
is only an eating-house, unluckily, and you are so well
known at all the hotels, that, to take her to one of them without a
chaperon, would, to say the least, give occasion for remark. But
here, around the corner, is one of the best boarding-houses in
town, kept by the two old Misses Smith. You might offer to put
her under their protection. Let's try.”

The Misses Smith were a couple of reduced gentlewomen, who
charged a very good price for board and lodging, and piqued
themselves on entertaining only very good company. Begging
Jem to assume the confident tone which the virtuous character of
his errand required, I rang at the door, and in answer to our
inquiry for the ladies of the house, we were shown into the
basement parlor, where the eldest Miss Smith sat with her spectacles
on, adding new vinegar to some pots of pickles. Our
business was very briefly stated. Miss Smith had plenty of spare
room. Would we wait a moment till she tied on the covers to
her pickle-jars?

The cordiality of the venerable demoiselle evidently put Thalimer
in spirits. He gave me a glance which said very plainly,


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“You see we needn't have troubled our heads about this!”—but
the sequel was to come.

Miss Smith led the way to the second story, where were two
very comfortable unoccupied bed-rooms.

“A single lady?” she asked.

`Yes,” said Jem, “a Miss Lasacque, of Louisiana.”

“Young, did you say?”

“Seventeen, or thereabout, I fancy. (This was a guess, but
Jem chose to appear to know all about her.)

“And—ehem!—and—quite alone?”

“Quite alone—she is come here to go to school.”

“Oh, to go to school! Pray—will she pass her vacations with
your mother?”

“No!” said Jem, coughing, and looking rather embarrassed.

“Indeed! She is with Mrs. Thalimer at present, I presume.”

“No—she is still on shipboard! Why, my dear madam, she
only arrived from New Orleans this morning.”

“And your mother has not had time to see her! I understand.
Mrs. Thalimer will accompany her here, of course.”

Jem began to see the end of the old maid's catechism, and
thought it best to volunteer the remainder of the information.

“My mother is not acquainted with this young lady's friends,”
he said; “and, in fact, she comes introduced only to myself.”

“She has a guardian, surely?” said Miss Smith, drawing
back into her Elizabethan ruff with more dignity than she had
hitherto worn.

“I am her guardian!” replied Jem, looking as red and guilty
as if he had really abducted the young lady, and was ashamed of
his errand.

The spinster bit her lips and looked out of the window.


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“Will you walk down stairs for a moment, gentlemen,” she
resumed, “and let me speak to my sister. I should have told
you that the rooms might possibly be engaged. I am not quite
sure—indeed—ehem—pray walk down and be seated a moment!”

Very much to the vexation of my discomfited friend, I burst
into a laugh as we closed the door of the basement parlor behind

“You don't realize my confoundedly awkward position,” said
he. “I am responsible for every step I take, to the girl's father
in the first place, and then to my friend Dauchy, one of the most
chivalric old cocks in the world, who, at the same time, could
never understand why there was any difficulty in the matter!
And it does seem strange, that in a city with eighty thousand inhabitants
it should be next to impossible to find lodging for a
virtuous lady, a stranger!”

I was contriving how to tell Thalimer that “there was no objection
to the camel but for the dead cat hung upon its neck,”
when a maid-servant opened the door with a message—“Miss
Smith's compliments, and she was very sorry she had no room to

“Pleasant!” said Jem, “very pleasant! I suppose every other
keeper of a respectable house will be equally sorry. Meantime,
it's getting on toward noon, and that poor girl is moping on ship-board,
wondering whether she is ever to be taken ashore! Do
you think she might sleep at Gallagher's?”

“Certainly not! He has, probably, no accommodations for a
lady, and to lodge in a restaurant, after dining with you there,
would be an indiscreet first step, in a strange city, to say the least.
But let us make our visit to your fair ward, my dear Jem! Perhaps


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she has a face innocent enough to tell its own story—like
the lady who walked through Erin `with the snow-white wand.'”

The vessel had lain in the stream all night, and was just hauling
up to the wharf with the moving tide. A crowd of spectators
stood at the end of her mooring cable, and, as she warped in,
universal attention seemed to be given to a single object. Upon
a heap of cotton-bales, the highest point of the confused lumber
of the deck, sat a lady under a sky-blue parasol. Her gown was
of pink silk; and by the volume of this showy material which
was presented to the eye, the wearer, when standing, promised
to turn out of rather conspicuous stature. White gloves, a pair
of superb amethyst bracelets, a string of gold beads on her neck,
and shoulders quite naked enough for a ball, were all the disclosures
made for a while by the envious parasol, if we except a
little object in blue, which seemed the extremity of something
she was sitting on, held in her left hand—and which turned out
to be her right foot in a blue satin slipper!

I turned to Thalimer. He was literally pale with consternation.

“Hadn't you better send for a carriage to take your ward
away?” I suggested.

“You don't believe that to be Miss Lasacque, surely!” exclaimed
Jem, turning upon me with an imploring look.

“Such is my foreboding,” I replied; “but wait a moment.
Her face may be pretty, and you, of course, in your guardian
capacity may suggest a simplification of her toilet. Consider!—
the poor girl was never before off the plantation—at least, so
says old Dauchy's letter.”

The sailors now began to pull upon the stern-line, and, as the
ship came round, the face of the unconscious object of curiosity


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stole into view. Most of the spectators, after a single glance,
turned their attention elsewhere with a smile, and Jem, putting
his hands into his two coat pockets behind him, walked off
towards the end of the pier, whistling to himself very energetically.
She was an exaggeration of the peculiar physiognomy of
the South—lean rather than slight, sallow rather than pale. Yet
I thought her eyes fine.

Thalimer joined me as the ship touched the dock, and we
stepped on board together. The cabin-boy confirmed our expectations
as to the lady's identity, and putting on the very insinuating
manner which was part of his objectionable exterior, Jem
advanced and begged to know if he had the honor of addressing
Miss Lasacque.

Without loosing her hold upon her right foot, the lady nodded.

“Then, madam!” said Jem, “permit me to introduce to you
your guardian, Mr. Thalimer!”

“What, that old gentlemen coming this way?” asked Miss Lasacque,
fixing her eyes on a custom-house officer who was walking
the deck.

Jem handed the lady his card.

“That is my name,” said he, “and I should be happy to know
how I can begin the duties of my office!”

“Dear me!” said the astonished damsel, dropping her foot to
take his hand, “isn't there an older Mr. James Thalimer? Mr.
Dauchy said it was a gentleman near his own age!”

“I grow older, as you know me longer!” Jem replied, apologetically;
but his ward was too well satisfied with his appearance,
to need even this remarkable fact to console her. She came
down with a slide from her cotton-bag elevation, called to the
cook to bring the bandbox with the bonnet in it, and meantime


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gave us a brief history of the inconveniences she had suffered in
consequence of the loss of her slave, Dinah, who had died of sea-sickness
three days out. This, to me, was bad news, for I had
trusted to a “lady's maid” for the preservation of appearances,
and the scandal threatening Jem's guardianship looked, in consequence,
very imminent.

“I am dying to get my feet on land again!” said Miss Lasacque,
putting her arm into her guardian's, and turning toward
the gangway—her bonnet not tied, nor her neck covered, and
thin blue satin slippers, though her feet were small, showing forth
in contrast with her pink silk gown, with frightful conspicuousness!
Jem resisted the shoreward pull, and stood motionless and

“Your baggage,” he stammered at last.

“Here, cook!” cried the lady, “tell the captain, when he
comes aboard, to send my trunks to Mr. Thalimer's! They are
down in the hold, and he told me he couldn't get at 'em till to-morrow,”
she added, by way of explanation to Thalimer.

I felt constrained to come to the rescue.

“Pardon me, madam!” said I, “there is a little peculiarity in
our climate, of which you probably are not advised. An east
wind commonly sets in about noon, which makes a shawl very
necessary. In consequence, too, of the bronchitis which this sudden
change is apt to give people of tender constitutions, the ladies
of Boston are obliged to sacrifice what is becoming, and wear their
dresses very high in the throat.”

“La!” said the astonished damsel, putting her hand upon her
bare neck, “is it sore throat that you mean? I'm very subject
to it, indeed! Cook! bring me that fur-tippet out of the cabin!


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I'm so sorry my dresses are all made so low, and I haven't a shawl
unpacked either!—dear! dear!”

Jem and I exchanged a look of hopeless resignation, as the
cook appeared with a chinchilli tippet. A bold man might have
hesitated to share the conspicuousness of such a figure in a noon
promenade, but we each gave her an arm when she had tied the
soiled riband around her throat, and silently set forward.

It was a bright and very warm day, and there seemed a conspiracy
among our acquaintances to cross our path. Once in the
street, it was not remarkable that they looked at us, for the towering
height at which the lady carried her very showy bonnet, the
flashy material of her dress, the jewels and the chinchilli tippet,
formed an ensemble which caught the eye like a rainbow; and
truly people did gaze, and the boys, spite of the unconscious look
which we attempted, did give rather disagreeable evidence of being
amused. I had various misgivings, myself, as to the necessity
for my own share in the performance, and, at every corner, felt
sorely tempted to bid guardian and ward good morning; but
friendship and pity prevailed. By streets and lanes not calculated
to give Miss Lasacque a very favorable first impression of
Boston, we reached Washington street, and made an intrepid
dash across it to the Marlborough hotel.

Of this public house, Thalimer had asked my opinion during
our walk, by way of introducing an apology to Miss Lasacque for
not taking her to his own home. She had made it quite clear
that she expected this, and Jem had nothing for it but to draw
such a picture of the decrepitude of Mr. Thalimer, senior, and
the bed-ridden condition of his mother (as stout a couple as ever
plodded to church!) as would satisfy the lady for his short-comings
in hospitality. This had passed off very smoothly, and Miss


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Lasacque entered the Marlboro' quite prepared to lodge there,
but very little aware (poor girl!) of the objections to receiving
her as a lodger.

Mr. —, the proprietor, had stood in the archway as we
entered. Seeing no baggage in the lady's train, however, he had
not followed us in, supposing, probably, that we were callers on
some of his guests. Jem left us in the drawing-room, and went
upon his errand to the proprietor, but after half an hour's absence,
came back, looking very angry, and informed us that no rooms
were to be had! Instead of taking the rooms without explanation,
he had been unwise enough to “make a clean breast” to Mr.
—, and the story of the lady's being his “ward,” and come
from Louisiana to go to school, rather staggered that discreet person's

Jem beckoned me out, and we held a little council of war in
the entry. Alas! I had nothing to suggest. I knew the puritan
metropolis very well—I knew its phobia was “the appearance of
evil.” In Jem's care-for-nothing face lay the leprosy which closed
all doors against us. Even if we had succeeded, by a coup de
in lodging Miss Lasacque at the Marlboro', her guardian's
daily visits would have procured for her, in the first week, some
intimation that she could no longer be accommodated.

“We had best go and dine upon it,” said I; “worst come to
the worst, we can find some sort of dormitory for her at Gallagher's,
and to-morrow she must be put to school, out of the
reach of your `pleasant, but wrong society.'”

“I hope to Heaven she'll `stay put,'” said Jem, with a long

We got Miss Lasacque again under way, and avoiding the now
crowded pavé of Washington street, made a short cut by Theatre


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Alley to Devonshire street and Gallagher's. Safely landed in
“No. 2,” we drew a long breath of relief. Jem rang the bell.

“Dinner, waiter, as soon as possible.”

“The same that was ordered at six, sir?”

“Yes, only more champagne, and bring it immediately. Excuse
me, Miss Lasacque,” added Jem, with a grave bow, “but
the non-appearance of that east wind my friend spoke of, has
given me an unnatural thirst. Will you join me in some champagne
after your hot walk?”

“No, thank you,” said the lady, untying her tippet, “but, if
you please, I will go to my room before dinner!”

Here was trouble again! It had never occurred to either of
us, that ladies must go to their rooms before bed-time.

“Stop!” cried Jem, as she laid her hand on the bell to ring for
the chamber-maid, “excuse me—I must first speak to the land
lord—the room—the room is not ready, probably!”

He seized his hat, and made his exit, probably wishing all confiding
friends, with their neighbor's daughters, in a better world!
He had to do with a man of sense, however. Gallagher had but
one bedroom in the house, which was not a servant's room, and
that was his own. In ten minutes it was ready, and at the lady's
service. A black scullion was promoted for the nonce, to the
post of chamber-maid, and, fortunately, the plantation-bred girl
had not been long enough from home to be particular. She came
to dinner as radiant as a summer-squash.

With the door shut, and the soup before us, Thalimer's spirits
and mine flung off their burthens together. Jem was the pleasantest
table-companion in the world, and he chatted and made
the amiable to his ward, as if he owed her some amends for the
awkward position of which she was so blessedly unconscious.


Page 216
Your “dangerous man” (such as he was voted), inspires, of course,
no distrust in those to whom he chooses to be agreeable. Miss
Lasacque grew, every minute, more delighted with him. She,
too, improved on acquaintance. Come to look at her closely,
Nature meant her for a fine showy creature, and she was “out
of condition,” as the jockeys say—that was all! Her features
were good, though gamboged by a southern climate, and the fever-and-ague
had flattened what should be round and ripe lips, and
reduced to the mere frame, what should be the bust and neck
of a Die Vernon. I am not sure I saw all this at the time. Her
subsequent chrysalis and emergence into a beautiful woman naturally
color my description now. But I did see, then, that her
eyes were large and lustrous, and that naturally she had high
spirit, good abilities, and was a thorough woman in sentiment,
though deplorably neglected—for, at the age of twenty she could
hardly read and write! It was not surprising that she was
pleased with us! She was the only lady present, and we were
the first coxcombs she had ever seen, and the day was summery,
and the dinner in Gallagher's best style. We treated her like a
princess; and the more agreeable man of the two being her guardian,
and responsible for the propriety of the whole affair, there
was no chance for a failure. We lingered over our coffee; and
we lingered over our chassecafé; and we lingered over our tea;
and, when the old South struck twelve, we were still at the table
in “No. 2,” quite too much delighted with each other to have
thought of separating. It was the venerated guardian who made
the first move, and, after ringing up the waiter to discover that
the scullion had, six hours before, made her nightly disappearance,
the lady was respectfully dismissed with only a candle for


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her chamber-maid, and Mr. Gallagher's room for her destination,
wherever that might be!

We dined together every successive day for a week, and during
this time the plot rapidly thickened. Thalimer, of course, vexed
soul and body, to obtain for Miss Lasacque a less objectionable lodging—urged
scarcely more by a sense of propriety than by a feeling
for her good-natured host, who, meantime, slept on a sofa. But the
unlucky first step of dining and lodging a young lady at a restaurant,
inevitable as it was, gave a fatal assurance to the predisposed
scandal of the affair, and every day's events heightened its glaring
complexion. Miss Lasacque had ideas of her own, and very independent
ones, as to the amusement of her leisure hours. She
had never been before where there were shops, and she spent her
first two or three mornings in perambulating Washington street,
dressed in a style perfectly amazing to beholders, and purchasing
every description of gay trumpery—the parcels, of course, sent
to Gallagher's, and the bills to James Thalimer, Esq.! To keep
her out of the street, Jem took her, on the third day, to the riding
school, leaving her (safely enough, he thought), in charge of
the authoritative Mr. Roulstone, while he besieged some school-mistress
or other to undertake her ciphering and geography. She
was all but born on horseback, however, and soon tired of riding
round the ring. The street-door was set open for a moment,
leaving exposed a tempting tangent to the circle, and out flew
Miss Lasacque, saving her “Leghorn flat,” by a bend to the saddle-bow,
that would have done credit to a dragoon, and no more
was seen, for hours, of the “bonnie black mare” and her rider.

The deepening of Miss Lasacque's passion for Jem, would not
interest the reader. She loved like other women, timidly and
pensively. Young as the passion was, however, it came too late


Page 218
to affect her manners before public opinion had pronounced on
them. There was neither boarding-house nor “private female
academy” within ten miles, into which “Mr. Thalimer's young
lady” would have been permitted to set her foot—small as was
the foot, and innocent as was the pulse to which it stepped.

Uncomfortable as was this state of suspense, and anxious as
we were to fall into the track marked “virtuous,” if virtue would
only permit; public opinion seemed to think we were enjoying
ourselves quite too prosperously. On the morning of the seventh
day of our guardianship, I had two calls after breakfast, one from
poor Gallagher, who reported that he had been threatened with a
prosecution of his establishment as a nuisance, and another from
poorer Jem, whose father had threatened to take the lady out
of his hands, and lodge her in the insane asylum!

“Not that I don't wish she was there,” added Jem, “for it is
a very fine place, with a nice garden, and luxuries enough for
those who can pay for them, and faith, I believe it's the only
lodging-house I've not applied to!”

I must shorten my story. Jem anticipated his father, by riding
over, and showing his papers constituting him the guardian of
Miss Lasacque, in which capacity he was, of course, authorized
to put his ward under the charge of keepers. Everybody who
knows Massachusetts, knows that its insane asylums are sometimes
brought to bear on irregular morals, as well as on diseased
intellects, and as the presiding officer of the institution was quite
well assured that Miss Lasacque was well qualified to become a
patient, Jem had no course left but to profit by the error. The
poor girl was invited, that afternoon, to take a drive in the country,
and we came back and dined without her, in abominable
spirits, I must say.


Page 219

Provided with the best instruction, the best of care taken
of her health, and the most exemplary of matrons interesting
herself in her patient's improvements, Miss Lasacque rapidly
improved—more rapidly, no doubt, than she ever could have
done by control less rigid and inevitable. Her father, by the
advice of the matron, was not informed of her location for a year,
and at the end of that time he came on, accompanied by his
friend, Mr. Dauchy. He found his daughter sufficiently improved
in health, manners, and beauty, to be quite satisfied with Jem's
discharge of his trust, and we all dined very pleasantly in “No.
2;” Miss Lasacque declining, with a blush, my invitation to her
to make one of the party.