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THE TROW & SMITH MOTTECHKI KAODEHRA
BOOK MANUFACTURING CO.,
46, 48, 50 Greene St., N. Y.
: CFL07 WHY
THE figure of a brilliant, vivacious, and graceful woman of fashion, when we meet with it in the sober paths of history, acts as one of the lights in the picture. It is not only the sparkling point itself that charms the eye, but the depth of contrast with which it relieves the masses of shade, and clears up the misty vista. Crowds of human creatures, especially when they are dead and past, mass themselves up like trees, with an instinctive huddling together and interlacing of passions and interests. The loftier figures, which stand well apart from the throng, are too much raised above it, in most cases, to throw much light on anything but the upturned heads, the eyes of eager attention, hope, or despair, with which the multitude regards its masters, The statesmen, the great soldiers, the great poets, throw only such lights as this from above upon the expectant mass below them. But there are actors less splendid, who thread out and in through the obscure crowd, leaving each a track among the nameless throng, by
VOL. CIV.NO. DOXXXIII.**
means of which we can distinguish the antique, disused garments, the forgotten habits, the ancient forms of speech. Through the opening ranks it is a pleasure to watch the light soul tripping in airy, oldfashioned measures to the quaint strains that are heard no longer, to observe the dim partners in its dance which it selects from the crowd, to see it clasping visionary hands, and exchanging shadowy embraces with the half-seen creatures upon whom it casts a little of its own light. That light may be but the glow-worm glitter of a bright conversational superficial soul-it may be only the shimmer of a court suit of cloth-of-goldbut we follow it with an interest which is often above its deserts; for so much as human instrumentality can, it opens the common ranks to us, and makes our ancestors visible, not in the grave shape of their wars and their systems, but in their form and fashion as they lived.
This office is not one which is specially reserved to women. Far