An English literary Woman.
In his new novel of "John Godfrey
," Bayard Taylor
gives a sketch of certain literary ladies of New York; and in his novel "Broken in Harness," Edmond Yates
give this description of one of the same class in England
was a very fair average kind of woman.
A dowdy little person, Mrs. Harding
; the daughter of a snuffy Welsh
rector, who had written a treatise on 'Aorists, ' and with whom Harding
had read one long vacation — a round-faced, old-modish little woman, classically brought up, who could construe Cicero
fluently, and looked upon Horace (Q. Flaccus
, I mean,) as rather a loose personage — In the solitude of Plasy- dwdllem, George Harding
was thrown into the sectary of this young female.--He did not fall in love with her — they were neither of them capable of anything violent of that nature; but — I am reduced to the phraseology of the servants' hall to express my meaning — they 'kept company' together; and when George took his degree, and started in the as leader-writer for the Morning Cracker
(long since defunct), he though the best thing he could do for his comfort was to go for a run to Wales
and Bring back Sophia Evans
as his wife.
This he did; and they had lived thoroughly happy ever since.
believed intensely in the Statesman;
read it every day, from the title to the printer's name; knew the name of every contributor, and could tell who had done what at a glance.
Her great pride in going out was to take one of the cards sent to the office, and observe the effect it made upon the receiving attendant at operas, flower- shows or conversations.
She always took care that the tickets for these last were sent to her; and her head-dress
and black velvet bows, with pearl beads hanging down behind, was well to the fore whenever a mummy was unrolled, the fossil jawbone of an antediluvian animal was descanted on, or some sallow missionary presented himself at Burlington House to be congratulated by hundreds of dreary people on having escaped uneaten from some place to which he never ought to have gone.
"She herself was fond of having occasionally what she called 'a social evening. ' This recreation was held on a Saturday, when there was no work at the Statesman
office, when the principal members of the staff would be bidden, and when the condiments provided would be brown bread and butters rolled into corrects, tea and coffee, the lemonade, while the recreation consisted in conversation (among men who had met for every night during the past twelve months), and in examining photographs of the city of Prague
The ribald young men at the office spoke of Mrs. Harding
as 'Plutarch,' a name given to her one night when Mr. Slater
, the dramatic critic, asked her what novel she was then reading, and she replied, 'Novel, sts!
But they all liked her, notwithstanding; and for her sake and their dear old chief's did penitential duty at the occasional 'social evenings' in Decorum street."