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[327]

The dancing continued with little interruption until nearly 2 A. M. We were told that it is often continued till daylight. From time to time an attack was made upon the two tables. But the enjoyment of the good things provided was quite moderate compared with the cramming of a first-class party in Boston or New York. The guests were of many shades, as to color, although the greater number would have passed for white people, anywhere. Some of the handsomest among them were very dark. One young man reminded us of Edwin Booth in “Othello.” ... None of these people look like the mulattoes in the North. The features and the fibre appear finer, and the jet-black hair often suggests an admixture of Indian blood. The difference of social position shows itself in the manners of these people. The cruel colorphobia has never proscribed them. They have no artificial sense of inferiority, but take themselves as God made them, and think that if He is content with their complexions, mankind at large may be so.

We were much pleased with our party, and with the simple and unaffected gayety of our guests. It was really a party in the open air, one whole side of our ballroom being unenclosed, save by the infrequent colonnade. We looked from the dancers to the stars, and back again to the dancers. It was all fairylike and dreamlike. The favorite “dansa” much resembles, not a ballet, but a stage dance, such as is introduced in the course of the drama. The beer flowed, and the couples flew. One innovation we introduced, a Virginia reel, which the clever clarinet-player caught and accompanied.

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