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[116] give? Anything, even my box of Paris finery, which I have just opened, with great edification. Oh, what headdresses! what silks! what a bonnet, what a mantelet! I clapped my hands and cried glory for the space of half an hour, then danced a few Polkas around the study table, then sat down and felt happy, then remembered that I had now nothing to do save to grow old and ugly, and so turned a misanthropic look upon the Marie Stuart garland, etc., etc. You have certainly chosen my things with your own perfect taste. The flowers and dresses are alike exquisite, and so are all the things, not forgetting Dudie's little darling bonnet. But I fear that even this beautiful toilette will hardly tempt me from my nursery fireside where my presence is, in these days, indispensable. I have not been ten minutes this whole day, without holding one or other of the children. I have to sit with Fo-fo on one knee and Dudie on the other, trotting them alternately, and singing, “Jim along Josie,” till I can't Jim along any further possibly. Well, life is peculiar anyhow. Dudie does n't go alone yet — heaven only knows when she will. Sunday evening. I wore the new bonnet and mantelet to church, to-day:--frightened the sexton, made the minister squint, and the congregation stare. It looked rather like a green clam shell, some folks thought. I did not. I cocked it as high as ever I could, but somehow it did plague me a little. I shall soon get used to it. Sumner has been dining with us, and he and Chev have been pitying unmarried women. Oh, my dear friends, thought I, if you could only have one baby, you would change your tune.... Heaven grant that

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