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Mr. Bruce
by [?]

Last summer (said Aunt Mary), while you were with your father in Canada, I met for the first time Miss Margaret Tennant of Boston, whom I had for years a great desire to see and know. My dear friend, Anne Langdon, has had from her girlhood two very intimate friends; and Miss Tennant is one, and I the other. Though we each had known the other through Anne, we had never seen each other before.

I was at the mountains, and upon our being introduced we became very good friends immediately; and, from at first holding complimentary and interesting conversations concerning Anne in the hotel parlor, we came to taking long walks, and spending the most of our time together; and now we are as fond of each other as possible. When we parted in September, I had promised to visit her at her house in Boston in the winter; and, when she was ready for it, I was too.

To my great delight, I found Anne there; and we three old maiden ladies enjoyed ourselves quite as well as if we were your age, my dear, with the world before us. Miss Margaret Tennant certainly keeps house most delightfully.

She lives alone in the old Tennant house, in a pleasant street; and I think most of the Tennants, for a dozen generations back, must have been maiden ladies with exquisite taste and deep purses, just like herself; for every thing there is perfect of its kind, and its kind the right kind. Then she is such a popular person: it is charming to see the delight her friends have in her. For one thing, all the young ladies of her acquaintance–not to mention her nieces, who seem to bow down and worship her–are her devoted friends; and she often gives them dinners and tea parties, takes them to plays and concerts, matronizes them in the summer, takes them to drive in her handsome carriages, and is the repository of all their joys and sorrows, and, I have no doubt, knows them better than their fathers and mothers do, and has nearly as much influence over them. Elly, my dear, I wish you were one of the clan; for I’m afraid, between your careless papa and your wicked aunty, you haven’t had the most irreproachable bringing up! But, she is coming to visit me in June, and we’ll see what she can do for you!

One night, while I was there, we were just home from a charming dinner-party at the house of her sister, Mrs. Bruce; and, as it was a very stormy night, we had come away early. Not being in the least tired, we sat ourselves down in our accustomed easy-chairs before the fire, for a talk, and were lazily making plans for the morrow; Miss Tennant telling us she should have the eight young ladies whom she knew best; the Quadrille as she calls them; to dine with us. I must tell you about that party some day, Elly. It was the nicest affair in its way I ever saw, and the girls were all such dear ones! I spoke of the company we had just left, and of my admiration of the Bruce family in general, and Mrs. Bruce in particular, and of my enjoyment of the evening.

“Yes,” said Margaret, “I think Kitty is quite as young as her two daughters, and at their age she was more brilliant than either.” She stopped talking for a moment, and then said, “Girls, are you in a hurry for bed?” (Elly! you ought to be ashamed of yourself for laughing! Just as if Anne Langdon and I were not as young as you and Nelly Cameron. There’s no difference, sometimes, if we are fifty, and you twenty!)

We were not in a hurry, and told her so.

“Then,” said Margaret, “I will tell you a story. Anne knows it, or used to; but I doubt if she has thought of it these dozen years, and I do not think she will mind hearing it again. It is about Kitty and Mr. Bruce, and their first meeting; also divers singular misunderstandings which followed, finally ending in their peaceful wedding in this very room.”