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This shows some of the bondage of the old system not generally thought of.
CHAPTER XIV LIFE IN CHARLESTON—PREPARATIONS FOR WAR
WE returned to Charleston, January the 15th, in the midst of the gay season. Of course, I went back to school and had little to do with the gaiety, except to see Della dress for the balls and hear her account of them the next morning.

I had always suffered much from what I know now was dyspepsia, but it had no name then.

I just felt badly at eleven every day if I ate any breakfast. In our family it was considered the proper thing to eat breakfast, and I had always had a fair appetite and ate my plate of hominy and butter, and an egg or a piece of sausage and then a waffle and syrup or honey. That was our regular breakfast; but I began to find, if I ate my plate of hominy, I was perfectly miserable by eleven; and so I ate less and less until I found out the delightful fact that, if I ate nothing, I did not have the misery at eleven. But, when my mother found I was eating no breakfast, she was shocked and distressed and said I could not possibly go to{161} school and study on a perfectly empty stomach. I must eat my hominy—a mother now would say “my cereal.” I said: “Just let me eat a waffle and no hominy.” But the hominy was considered the most

nourishing, easily digested thing, with a soft-boiled egg. As I was always very hungry in the morning, I yielded readily and went on suffering more and more—burning cheeks and flaming eyes and so cross every one was afraid to speak to me from eleven till two. Then it passed off, and I was exhausted and ate a hearty dinner. This went on until I could go no longer. I was too miserable and had to tell mamma and stay in bed. She sent for the family doctor, a white-haired old gentleman, Doctor Peter Porcher. He questioned me and punched me all over with his long forefinger, and then said to me:

“What would you do if you had a horse that was worn out from overwork?”

Very much tried by this question so alien to my condition, I said languidly: “Let him rest, I suppose.”

“Exactly,” said the little doctor. “Exactly, and that is what we must do to your stomach and digestive organs, which are worn out by overwork.{162}”

Then he asked mamma to have two bedroom pitchers of warm water brought, and he made me drink glass after glass of that tepid water, which he handed me himself, until my system was emptied of every particle of undigested food. Then he said to mamma that for three days I must have absolutely nothing but a cup half full of milk filled up with hot water in the morning, nothing more. He patted my hand and said:

“Then you will be quite well and have no more trouble.”

I stayed in bed that day and was so exhausted that I slept and rested and never thought of food; but the next morning, when they brought me my cup of milk and water, I was desperately hungry and very restless. So I sent for mamma and told her that if she kept me in bed I could not possibly endure the three days’ fast, for I thought of nothing but how hungry I was; but, if she let me get up and go to school and study my lessons, I would not mind it so much. Mamma hesitated a little, but knew me so well that she was sensible and gave me permission to get up and dress and go to school; which I did, getting there just in time. I said my lessons and enjoyed myself greatly, the freedom from gnawing distress in my chest mak{163}ing me very gay; and, at the end of the three days, I returned to my natural diet and was in perfect health, and for years free from any kind of indigestion. I just narrate this as an instance of the heroic methods of the past. We were brought up to make light of and endure all pain silently just as long as we could stand it, and then submit to any treatment prescribed by the doctor, however drastic. For years I had suffered daily pain and discomfort, but not severe enough to attract attention to me, as I did not complain, was only miserable and cross, and correspondingly gay as soon as the misery was gone. And now I was well!

In the spring I went to my first child’s party. It was given by the Cleland Hugers in their house in Legare Street for their beautiful son, two years older than myself. Alas, he was one of the first to fall in battle during our war. He and Oliver Middleton were both so beautiful and both fell gallantly fighting when mere boys. But there was no shadow in that bright scene to tell us what was coming. Mamma had a pretty white muslin frock made for me, and my sweet sister took great pleasure in dressing me for the party—a very full, very short skirt barely covering{164} my knees, a long expanse of white stocking, and black slippers. When I stood before the big cheval glass, Della fixing some blue ribbons on my tightly scraped back, tightly plaited hair, I began to cry and exclaimed:

“Della, I am too ugly to live! I can’t go to the party!”

My dear sister expostulated and assured me I looked sweet, and said how pretty my frock was, etc., etc., but it only added fuel to fire; and I cried the more. At last she lost patience and said:

“Well, if you go on crying, you will be a sight with red, swollen eyes and nose”—and I stopped at once, and let her bathe them, and try to remove some of the damage; and I went down.

It was an awful ordeal, for Charley was invited, too, and May, the Irish nurse, was sent to take us; and, when she got to the door, she asked to see Mrs. Huger and commended us specially to her care. Charley had never been to a party before. He looked beautiful in his Scotch plaid kilt mamma had brought from abroad; but he was very frightened and, just as soon as Mrs. Huger released his hand, he found a safe place behind a door where he could see and not be seen, nor be in{165} danger of receiving any attention. Mrs. Huger took me into the dancing-room, and immediately a small boy I knew, who had long golden curls, asked me to go to supper with him. I gladly accepted, for I had had visions of no partner for supper, which was the greatest catastrophe which could happen. So I was quite pleased to accept my very youthful beau; but in a few minutes more the biggest boy in the room came and asked me for supper! And I had to say I was engaged! It was dreadful. I hated my golden curled devoted, with a fierce hatred. And it was worse when supper came, for I suddenly remembered my responsibility about Charley, who had to be provided with supper; and my little partner seemed reluctant to help me look for him. The rooms were crowded and it was dreadful to roam around alone looking for Charley, and when at last I found him behind the door he was crying; but, after I took his hand and led him to the supper-room with its beautiful cakes with a cupid on a wire on top of each, and the dishes of ice-cream and cakes, and silver dishes of candy and kisses, he soon recovered. And I found that my little beau had busied himself, while I was gone, getting three saucers of ice-cream and three slices of cake, so he rose in my{166} estimation; and the party ended most happily. And I found, though I was ugly, boys liked to talk to me and to dance with me, which, after all, was the main thing.

These years were very happy ones. Mamma enjoyed the return to the social life of the city very much after her long experience of country life; and, of course, it was a joy to have her lovely daughter to introduce into society. My sister was absolutely docile and did just what mamma wanted her to do. She never had a wish about her own clothes, and no wonder, for mamma had perfect taste and got everything for her that was beautiful.

About this time I remember two little experiences of my own. My dear sister had always been willing to share her high-post mahogany bed and beautiful room with me; but papa thought I should have my own room, as I was old enough. So the room next to hers was fitted up for me and was just as pretty as could be, with its own tall four-poster and pretty chintz curtains and with the bathroom attached. But still I slept in Della’s room, though I dressed and kept my clothes in my own room. But one day when papa returned from Columbia he asked me if I slept well in my{167} own beautiful bed now; and the truth had to come out that I never had slept there, at which he looked grave and said: “It is my wish that you sleep in your own room.” So that night I did so, and the following night also, and began to think I should end by liking it. It was spring and all the windows were open, and the third night I was awakened by shrieks from Price’s Alley, which ran along beside our garden wall! Screams and cries for help and sounds of blows falling! It was just as distinct as if it had been in the next room. I fled to Della’s room and never again attempted to sleep in my own room. The next morning we heard it was a drunken man beating his wife; some Irish families occupied a house together there. But it was the end of papa’s efforts to make me a self-respecting individual. I stayed with my sister until she was married, and then I took my younger sister, whom I adored, in with me. She was five years younger than myself, but a very different nature, as brave as a lion. Nothing scared her nor made her nervous.

The other experience was, I know, some years later, for I was big enough to have boy, as well as girl friends; and one afternoon mamma told me I could have the open carriage to take some of my{168} friends for a drive. I was much delighted and invited Minnie Hayne and Willie Wilkinson, and Minnie invited another boy. We were having a very nice time, and Minnie was in such a gale of spirits that she began to sing, and the boys joined in, and I began to feel a little nervous for fear we might meet some of my family, when the carriage stopped and Daddy Aleck, the coachman, who always sat as straight as if he had been trained at West Point, turned stiffly round and said:

“Miss Betsy, if unna (you-all) kyant behave unna self, I’ll tek yu straight home! Dis ain’t no conduk fu de Gubner karridge!”

My feelings are better imagined than described. However, it was most successful. The rest of the drive was perfectly proper; and after a while when we got up the road one of the boys brought out a box of sugar-plums, which we ate most noiselessly and discreetly, and we had a delightful drive and mamma never heard of our undue hilarity. These seem very trivial things to record, but young girls are interested in trivial things; and the surge of events toward the great Civil War, which was approaching, was not felt by me at all. I realized more and more the beauty and comfort of my home and surroundings.{169}

I must describe our servants. Nelson was the butler and house-servant. (He was a mulatto, the son of a Mr. Thompson who had been overseer at Chicora before Mr. Belflowers. He was a Northern man, very smart and capable; but after this papa sent him away. Nelson adopted his father’s surname, Thompson.) He was the best, most faithful, intelligent man possible, and we were all devoted to him. Then came William Baron, who was very black and very heavily built, but an excellent servant, with very courteous manners. He took the greatest delight in arranging all the flowers in the house, which I also loved to do; and there was always a race between William and myself as to who should do it. I remember specially one yellow flat bowl on a stand with Greek figures in black chasing round it, a perfectly lovely thing for flowers; and it nearly broke my heart when I found William had changed the flowers in it and arranged them to his mind. William was my brother’s (Colonel Ben Allston’s) body-servant during the whole war.

After the war William Baron became well known in Charleston as a caterer, cook, and provider of elegant entertainments. He took charge of the suppers for the St. Cecilia, which were always very{170} handsome and elaborate and quite a feature. Indeed, William was quite a personage, with grand manners, and perfectly honest. He had but one fault, to look upon the wine when it was red; he habitually took more than was good for him and lived too high, so that his health gave out before he was at all an old man. He always showed enthusiastic pleasure when he met any of the family, but especially my eldest brother to whom he had belonged. Mas’ Ben continued to fill his ideas as to what constituted a gentleman. Whenever my brother came to the city and he knew it, he would send round a dish of delicious chicken salad or a shrimp pie, for which he was famous, or a Charlotte Russe, or some dish that he knew Mas’ Ben specially liked. It was always a pleasure to meet William; his very black, round face shone with delight and every one of his very white teeth showed, as he assured you that “it did his heart good to look upon you and you were looking so fine and so well.”

Then there was Stephen Gallant, who was papa’s special servant and valet, but when there was much company he helped with the waiting, which he understood well. Joe Washington was the cook. He had been trained two years by a{171} man who kept a very fine restaurant, Sam Lee. Ph?be and Nannie were the maids, and Nellie, Nelson’s wife, the laundress, assisted by a young girl. Daddy Moses, William’s father, was brought down from the country to take charge of the yard and be gardener under a white man, Mr. Wubb, who was employed. Harris, a boy in the house, attended the bell and ran errands. They were all good servants and I was fond of all but Stephen, whom I could not bear. He put on great airs because he went with papa to Columbia always, and felt himself superior to the others, who jokingly called him the “little guv’ner,” because he imitated papa’s walk and manner generally, in an absurd way, as he was quite small and very black.

My sister became engaged the year before the war. She had a beautiful engagement ring, a diamond. She also wore always a magnificent ruby which had been left her by Uncle Tom, captain in the navy. One day she was sewing before dinner and had taken off her rings and slipped them into her work-box, 南海桑拿按摩论坛 and when we went in to dinner she left it in the hall. When we came out from dinner and she opened her work-box to get the rings, they were gone! It is a very remarkable thing that the servants were not suspected at{172} all. There was a door in the hall opening on to the driveway, and it was always taken for granted that a thief had slipped in, opened the box, and taken out the only valuables in it and escaped. The police were notified to look out for a sneak-thief, and they reported great activity on their part, ending in nothing. The rings were never heard of again. My sister was much blamed for her carelessness. I know now that poor Stephen took those rings. He was not waiting on table that day, and knew well the value of the jewels and my sister’s habit of slipping them off into her box while she was sewing. He knew about 佛山夜生活网 the approaching war, and he knew they would always command a good sum of money, for the great value of the pigeon-blood ruby had often been discussed. And Stephen was the only one who ran off to the U. S. fleet before the end of the conflict. Soon after my father’s death he took his whole family but one boy, Brutus, put them in a small boat and rowed through the waves from the inlet next to Pawley’s Island and joined the fleet. It must have all been arranged before, for they were on the lookout for the boat and picked them up safely. Of course, this was a great risk, and it seems strange, after braving the waves of the ocean in a small boat, Stephen should have been{173} drowned some years after the war in the Waccamaw River. He had overloaded his boat with rough rice and it sank. His son Brutus, who was with him, escaped 佛山南海桑拿论坛交流 by swimming to shore.

When the family went into the country this year, early in December, my aunt Ann (Uncle Tom’s widow, the buying of whose negroes at her urgent request ruined my father) asked mamma to leave me with her, so that I could continue at school until the holidays and so not lose my place in my classes. So I stayed and went to school from her house. The holidays began December 20. I was to take the steamer Nina, which was the only way to reach Georgetown then except to travel the sixty miles in our own carriage, as my mother always did; but, of course, mamma and the family having gone that way, I had to take the boat. It so happened that the day for the sailing of the Nina was a day of wild excitement, as it was the 20th of December, 1860. The Ordinance of Secession was passed that morning in Charleston, and the 佛山桑拿按摩论坛井空 whole town was in an uproar. Parades, shouting, firecrackers, bells ringing, cannon on the forts booming, flags waving, and excited people thronging the streets. I was to go on board the Nina at nine o’clock and sleep there, as she sailed at an unearthly hour in the morning.{174} My aunt’s coachman was to drive me down, but he came to her and said:

“Miss, I cudn’t possible keep dem horse frum run, wid all dis racket. Dem is jest de trimble en prance een de stable now, en I dasn’t dare tek dem on de street.”

We all knew they were very spirited, overfed horses, and that the man was right. It would be a great risk to attempt to drive them. So it was decided I would have to walk. My two cousins had come to see me off and walked with me—J. Johnston Pettigrew, my great hero and ideal of a man; and Charley Porcher, who was only a 佛山桑拿女qq little older than myself and my great friend. Fortunately my trunk had been sent down in the morning. It had rained and when we got down to the wharf it was wet and muddy, and I had no over-shoes. Without a word of warning, Cousin Johnston picked me up in his arms and carried me all the way to the boat. I was overcome by the struggle within me, mortification that I should be treated like a child when I was fifteen and thought myself grown up, and delight and gratification that Cousin Johnston cared enough for me to do it, and joy that I was in the arms of my adored hero! I never saw Cousin Johnston again. He{175} entered the army at once and, after distinguishing himself in every action and being promoted to be general, he was killed at Gettysburg, a terrible loss to our army, and my first sorrow.

South Carolina having seceded 佛山夜生活888论坛 from the union, military preparations began at once. My brother Ben, who had been educated at West Point and served in the army until three years before, raised and equipped a company of cavalry at his own expense, aided by my father. It was called “Marion’s Men of Winyah.” The whole country was in wild excitement, drilling and preparing for war. Every one volunteered, old, young, and middle-aged. It was hard to keep the boys at school. In the spring every man we knew in Charleston was in one company or another. The Charleston Light Dragoons and the Washington Light Infantry were the favorites, but there were many other companies of great popularity.

One State after another followed South Carolina’s example, and a convention was called at Montgomery, Ala., which elected Jefferson Davis President of the Southern 佛山桑拿按摩站街 Confederacy.

CHAPTER XV BOARDING-SCHOOL IN WAR TIMES
AS soon as war was declared Madame Togno moved her school from Charleston to Columbia, as every one knew it was only a question of time as to when the city would be shelled. She rented Barhamville, a well-known old school a few miles out of Columbia, and in November, 1862, my little sister and myself were sent there. The journey is specially impressed on me, for my eldest sister had talked a great deal of Mary Pringle’s delightful brother, Julius, who had left Heidelberg (where he had graduated and was then taking a law course) as soon as he heard of secession, and had run the blockade to join the Confederate army. She had been at home when he called and I had not, and she talked so much about him that I said, with my sharp tongue: “That seemed a strange way for a girl engaged to 佛山桑拿会所 one man to talk of another, and wondered how her fiancé would like it if he could hear.” She did not in the least mind this, but continued her praise, so that my opposition was roused; and, when, as we were taking the train, with pack{177}ages and much impedimenta, our good Phibby included, for she was to go with us, Della brought up the young man and introduced him to us, I said to her when he went to make some inquiry at the office for her: “So this is your paragon! You certainly shouldn’t choose for me!” However, he was a most attentive companion on the journey, and stood and talked to me all the way to Charleston, where we were to spend a few days before going on to Columbia. Jinty made me very miserable, because I was painfully dignified and speaking in the most correct and careful way, till I saw that while he stood and 佛山桑拿部长qq talked to me, she, on the opposite seat, was shooting peanuts skilfully into his coat-pockets. I could not speak to her and reprimand her, for she would have answered me back promptly, and I was terribly afraid he would turn and see what my little sister was doing. He did not, however, and must have been much amazed later to find his pockets full of peanuts.

Barhamville was much larger than any house madame had ever rented before, and so she had many more boarders, and the character of the school was somewhat altered. She still tried to make French the language of the school, but it{178} was much harder to carry this out. Most of the girls were eighteen or nineteen and knew no French, so that it was impossible for them to converse in it. Finding this the case, madame made a rule that no one should speak at table except to say, “Passez moi le pain s’il vous plait,” and all the other necessary requests for food; for we had two long tables and only one waitress. Madame walked up and down the room while we ate, so as to keep order. Very soon she began to find it very hard to get the good food on which she always prided herself. Tea and coffee had to be left out, and one thing after another, until we ceased to come into the dining-room at all for supper. Two large trays of very dry corn-dodgers were brought into the schoolroom at tea-time, accompanied by two large pitchers of water and a tray of glasses. The girls were all very good and never complained. Every one knew there were privations in their own homes, and felt that madame was doing the best she could for us.

Madame had been fortunate enough to secure very good teachers. Mademoiselle le Prince, the French teacher, was quite a remarkable woman as far as teaching went. Educated at a convent just outside of Paris, she had the best accent, and it{179} was her one idea in life to give a correct and thorough knowledge of French; not only to have her pupils speak it correctly, but to have them write with perfect precision all the difficult terminations of the “participe passé.” She was hated by many girls, she was so cross, but she was a delight to me, for she was the real thing. I spoke French glibly and wrote it in the same easy way, to my own satisfaction, but when I got mademoiselle’s point of view I was heartily ashamed of my French and very soon rectified all that by hard study, to her delight. The teacher of English was the Reverend Mr. Johnson. He helped out his salary, which was inadequate to his needs, by mending shoes, which he did well.

The music teacher, Monsieur Torriani, was also a joy. Thoroughly competent, most appreciative of good work, it was a delight to work for him. My music had become my great pleasure; and, when I took my first lesson from this charming, appreciative Italian, I felt I was going to have a delightful year at school, whatever the privations might be. Madame assigned me two hours for practice, but very soon I felt that was not enough and begged her to let me have another hour. She said it was impossible; there were only three{180} pianos in the school and I already had more than my share of these three. I still worried her, and at last she said: “If you are willing to get up early and practise an hour on the piano in the drawing-room, you may do it; but it will be hard, for it will have to be before the fire is made up.” I accepted with many thanks; and all that winter I got up at six, broke the ice in my pitcher to perform my hasty ablutions, and putting on my cloak took my candle into the drawing-room, and often with tears rolling down my cheeks practised that hour! My hands were so swollen with chilblains that I was ashamed to take my music lesson.

I began to take singing lessons, too, and spent the whole of six months on exercises before I took a single song. I can never forget my delight when Monsieur Torriani applauded my first song—a very high, lovely little song from the opera of “Martha.” “Dormi pur ma, il mio riposo tu m’ai tolto, ingrato cor Buona notte, buon dormir.” I had a very small, sweet voice, with clear, birdlike, high notes, but it seemed so very little, for we had a girl in school with a beautiful big voice, Sallie McCoullough, such a sweet, good, simple girl. If she had been more sophisticated she{181} would have had a happier life. M. Torriani took delight in training and developing her voice, which was quite fit for opera, but she was no actress, and failed to make the success she should have made through that. Dear, big, sweet, simple Sallie! Every one loved her, and when we got her to sing “Home, Sweet Home” and other old songs in the schoolroom in the dusk without accompaniment, we all wept quarts. One day I said to M. Torriani that I was going to stop my singing lessons, that I had no voice and it was only a mortification.

He asked with a great air of respect: “Did you think of going on the stage?”

“Oh, Monsieur Torriani, don’t make fun of me. I am too wretched. I have so little voice, it really is none, and I would so love to sing.”

Then he sobered down and said: “Mademoiselle, you must not stop. Your voice is little but very sweet and vous avez le feu sacré. You cannot stop. You will give more pleasure all your life than many a big voice. You will bring comfort to the sad heart. No, you must not stop, you!”

Then he went on to ask how long I practised at a time, and I told him half an hour. “Oh, nevair,{182} nevair,” he exclaimed, and told me never to practise more than ten minutes at one time, and to spare and protect my “precious little instrument,” as he called it, in every way. Never to talk loud or shout, never under any circumstances to talk in a carriage or car while it was in motion, and many other directions.

Clothes were becoming difficult. You could buy nothing, and it was much colder up here than with us on the coast. We needed cloaks, both Jane and I. So mamma had Maum ’Venia make for us each a coat from the lovely white plains, which was bought for the negroes, with pearl buttons taken from some old coats. They were immensely admired and were so nice and warm. It was just like having a coat made out of the white part of a very fine, soft blanket, and not the least part of the joy of them was that they were very becoming.

It was this winter that my second great friend came into my life, Ruth Nesbitt, from Georgia. She was the loveliest, sweetest girl, a tall, very slender brunette with beautiful brown eyes, and a little tiptilted nose and a large but well-formed mouth full of exquisite little teeth. She was so quiet, so shy, so reserved and stiff. For a long{183} time I could only tell by her eyes that Ruth cared for me. I was greatly surprised when I found myself devoted to her. I cared for so few and was so easily bored. I constantly had girls devoted to me whose advances I barely endured, and now to find a perfectly congenial

companion was too delightful. And to see the color rush over her pretty pansy-looking face, and her bright brown eyes sparkle as I came near was a joy. Travelling was so expensive that we did not go home for the Christmas holidays, and Ruth and I read Dickens out under the trees every day. One sewed while the other read aloud, and it was perfect bliss.