She studied my tastes, piqued and amused me, challenged frankness by frankness, and did not conceal the good opinion of me she brought with her, nor her wish to please.
She was curious to know my opinions and experiences.
Of course, it was impossible long to hold out against such urgent assault.
She had an incredible variety of anecdotes, and the readiest wit to give an absurd turn to whatever passed; and the eyes, which were so plain at first, soon swam with fun and drolleries, and the very tides of joy and superabundant life.
This rumor was much spread abroad, that she was sneering, scoffing, critical, disdainful of humble people, and of all but the intellectual.
1 had heard it whenever she was named.
It was a superficial judgment.
Her satire was only the pastime and necessity of her talent, the play of superabundant animal spirits.
And it will be seen, in the sequel, that her mind presently disclosed many moods and powers, in successive platforms or terraces, each above each, that quite effaced this first impression, in the opulence of the following pictures.
Let us hear what she has herself to say on the subject of tea-table-talk, in a letter to a young lady, to whom she was already much attached:—
I am repelled by your account of your party.
It is beneath you to amuse yourself with active satire, with what is vulgarly called quizzing.
When such a person as ——chooses to throw himself in your way, I sympathize with your keen perception of his ridiculous points.
But to laugh a whole evening at vulgar nondescripts,—is that an employment for one who was born passionately to love, to admire, to sustain truth?
This would be much