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[212]

Chapter 32: the disappearance of ennui

The Rev. Dr. Prince, of Salem, Massachusetts, who had a vein of old-fashioned eccentricity, used to include among his Sunday petitions the request that “all vacant young ministers might be provided with parishes.” The prayer was in many cases heeded, and it is so, as we know, too frequently to this day; but times have changed, and youthful divines of this class are now punished with vacant pews. More solicitude is now found for the vacant young women, who are, the newspapers constantly tell us, ready to do almost anything to relieve ennui.

Suppose, for instance, that, as often happens, some young woman in what is called “society” wishes to go on the stage. She is, perhaps, a person of great and varied cultivation; has studied half a dozen languages and as many sciences; is intensely interested in photography,

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