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[p. 66]

During his six years residence there they kept up much the same style of living as Mrs. Orne describes as at Waltham. Nothing is known of any excursions by water, though the Mystic river provided equal facilities. The pleasure excursions on the Middlesex canal (that skirted the estate) had not then attained the celebrity they did a few years later, but possibly they availed themselves of the opportunity of inland trips.

But the parties and suppers were frequent, as the Welches were very hospitable. Dr. Swan said he once drew Mrs. Welch as his partner at a Medford whist party, and the custom was for the losers to go out at the end of every game. They were winners in eighteen successive games ere they lost and had to retire, and the good doctor did not claim proficiency for himself.

It was said that Mrs. Welch, though uneducated, conversed with much animation, though not very grammatically. She had a high opinion of Bonaparte, whom she called ‘Bony,’ and was always ready to speak in his favor. It must be recalled that the first Napoleon's star was then in the ascendant, and attracted notice in the young American republic. She was of a happy disposition, delighted to make her guests and acquaintances at ease, and was very fond of children. Having lost all but ‘Jack’ she idolized him, and made many presents to those she knew best.

This same little girl was the recipient of a gold locket in which a ruby was set. Its deep, beautiful color attracted her childish curiosity, and she tried what she called ‘a philosophical experiment to extract the color.’ It is needless to say that the pounding of it on a stone was not only ‘unsuccessful’ as to color, but ruinous to the keepsake.

The mistress of the Royall house was fond of rich and fashionable dress, jewels and equipage. While at Medford she gave large parties, and on such occasions the trees about the house and along the walks were hung with parti-colored lamps.

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