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[110]

I received the silver.... The soup-ladle is my delight, and I could almost take the dear old coffee-pot to bed with me.... But here is the most important thing.

My tragedy is left behind! ... My house ... in great confusion, carpets not down, curtains not up, the devil to pay, and not a sofa to ask him to sit down upon....

She now felt sadly the need of training in matters which her girlhood had despised. (She could describe every room in her father's house save one--the kitchen!) The Doctor liked to give weekly dinners to his intimates, “The five of Clubs,” and others. These dinners were something of a nightmare to Julia, even with the aid of Miss Catherine Beecher's cookbook. She spent weeks in studying this volume and trying her hand on its recipes. This was not what her hand was made for; yet she learned to make puddings, and was proud of her preserves.

Speaking of the dinner parties, she tells of one for which she had taken special pains, and of which icecream, not then the food of every day, was to form the climax. The ice-cream did not come, and her pleasure was spoiled; she found it next morning in a snowbank outside the back door, where the messenger had “dumped” it without word or comment. “I should laugh at it now,” she says, “but then I almost wept over it.”

Everything in the new life interested her, even the most prosaic details. She writes to her sister Louisa: “Our house has been enlivened of late by two delightful ”

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