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‘ [296] worse there; that the more parties she gives the more she may; that she never saw such unreasonable, ill-bred people as those Americans,’ etc., etc. It was not easy to stop her. But the embarrassment was soon apparent. Lady Downshire, who was a little formal, became very stiff and red, and her daughters, the Ladies Hill, who were very frolicsome, found it hard to stifle their laughter with their handkerchiefs. At last Lady Mornington herself perceived the difficulty, and feeling that it was too late to correct the mistake, she looked all round with a remarkably large and expressive pair of eyes, and simply said,

‘Ah, I see how it is, we will talk of something else.’ We did not, however, stop long, although the old lady did not permit the conversation to be broken up or interrupted; but when we were fairly in the carriage again, to make some other calls, we had a good laugh.

Mr. Ticknor used to describe the following incident as occurring at the same period.

After dining one day at Lord Downshire's he accompanied the ladies to Almack's. On this evening Lady Jersey was the patroness. She was then at the height of beauty and brilliant talent, a leader in society, and with decided political opinions.

Before going to the ball Lady Downshire called at Lady Mornington's, and Mr. Ticknor went in with her and her daughters. While they were there, the Duke of Wellington came in; and, being asked if he was going to Almack's, said ‘he thought he should look in by and by.’

A rule had lately been announced by the patronesses that no one would be received later than eleven o'clock. When the Downshires thought it time to go, the Duke said he would join them there later, on which his mother said to him, ‘Ah, Arthur, you had better go in season, for you know Lady Jersey will make no allowance for you.’ He remained, however.

A short time after the Downshire party had entered the ballroom, and had been received by Lady Jersey, Mr. Ticknor was still standing with her, and heard one of the attendants say to her, ‘Lady Jersey, the Duke of Wellington is at the door and desires to be admitted.’ ‘What o'clock is it?’ she asked. ‘Seven minutes after eleven, your ladyship.’ She paused a moment, and then said, with emphasis and distinctness, ‘Give ’

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