Spring came on apace, and spring in
New York had many beautiful features then. The
Battery, the Bowling Green, City Hall Park, with its
fountain, the College grounds, Trinity and St. Paul’s
churchyards, and the squares coming into existence
farther up-town. Trees and grass and flowers
delighted the eye, and lilacs made the air fragrant.
All up the country ways there were patches of wild
honeysuckle, pinxter flowers, as it was
The little girl had so many things
to distract her attention that she wondered how grown-up
people could be so tranquil with all their knowledges
and their cares. She began to realise the great
difference in tastes and characteristics, though she
would not have quite comprehended that long word.
Perhaps Ben, being in the midst of stories and books,
and hearing so much talk about the great men of the
day, roused the same train of thought in her, though
I think hero-worship came natural to her. The
Dean girls read the sweet pretty domestic stories with
great relish. Miss Macintosh, Mary Howitt, and
even Jane Austin were their delight. Hanny and
Daisy were deeply interested in history. And during
the last year some very spirited stories had been written
on the Mexican war, and all the struggles of a few
years before. The wealth and splendour of Montezuma
and his sad ending, the wonders of that land of ancient
romance, were rendered more real on account of the
present struggle that Hanny and her father had followed
closely. She kept in touch with all the generals.
The hero of Monterey, General Worth, General Scott’s
entry into the city of Montezuma, General Watts Kearny,
who led his men a thousand miles through the desert
to seize Santa Fe, and hold New Mexico, and his brilliant
young nephew, Philip, who was the first man to enter
the gate of San Antonio, and who lost his left arm
at the battle of Churubusco. Little did she dream,
indeed, who could have dreamed then, that he was to
be one of the heroes of another war, nearer and more
dreadful to us!
Then there was a great celebration
over the final victory. City Hall was crowded.
There were some magnificent fireworks and much rejoicing.
And though there were questions for diplomacy to adjust,
we had gained California and New Mexico; and both
were destined to have a great bearing on the future
of the country.
When Hanny could spare time from this
exciting topic and her lessons, there was little Stevie,
who was the sweetest and most cunning baby alive,
she was quite sure. He could run all over, and
say ever so many words. The hard ones he had
to shorten, so he called the little girl Nan, and
Dolly and Stephen caught it up as well. When they
came over to First Street, the neighbourhood paid
him the highest honours. All the children wanted
to see him, and walk up and down with him. He
was so merry, laughing at the least little thing,
and chattering away in his baby language, with a few
words now and then in good English. And, oh,
delight! his hair curled all over his head, and had
a golden gleam to it. Certainly, as a baby, he
was a tremendous success.
But the crowning point of this May
was Hanny’s birthday party. She was twelve
years old. Dolly and Margaret came down to spend
the day and help. Oddly enough, Hanny knew very
few boys. First, she thought she would only have
a girls’ party. But there was Charlie, and
some of her schoolmates had brothers; and Jim said
he knew two splendid boys in school that he would
like to ask; and when they counted them up, they found
there were plenty enough.
They played games, of course, pretty
laughable things that had not gone out of fashion.
And the supper-table was a feast to the eye as well
as to the appetite. Toward the last, there were
mottoes, and they had a good deal of fun in exchanging.
Doctor Joe was as merry as any boy, in fact, he laid
himself out, as people say, to make the party a success,
for Hanny would have been a timid little hostess.
Dolly and Margaret were not much behind.
After they went upstairs some one
proposed the Virginia Reel. The older ones were
not long in taking their places.
“Come,” said Doctor Joe
to Daisy Jasper. “It’s very easy.
You will have to learn some time.”
“Will I surely have to?”
and she gave an arch little smile.
“Yes. You are to learn
all the things girls do, even if you can draw portraits,
which every girl can’t do.”
“Oh, no,” when she saw
that he was in earnest; “I am afraid. And
then, I ”
“You are not to be afraid.”
He put his arm about her and gently drew her out.
“You are to be my partner.”
Hanny stood second in the row, looking
so bright and eager that she was absolutely pretty.
And Jim’s chum, the handsomest lad in the room,
had chosen her. When she saw Daisy, she wanted
to run down and kiss her, she was so delighted.
What with braces, and several appliances,
Daisy now had only one shoulder that was a little
high; and as she had grown stronger, she could get
about without much of a limp. She was quite tall
for her age, and every gesture and motion was very
graceful, in spite of the misfortune. She sometimes
danced at school.
Dolly struck up some merry music,
and Stephen called off. How prettily they balanced
and turned, and joined hands left and right, and marched
down and up again, and then the first couple chassed
down the middle! When it was Hanny’s turn,
she came down looking like a fairy, and smiled over
to her friend.
Daisy was a good deal frightened at
first, and would have run away but for Doctor Joe’s
encouraging eyes. However, when her turn came,
she did very well. By this time they were all
so intent upon their own pleasure no one really noticed
her. Oh, how jolly it was!
After that some of the children tried
the three-step polka, and found it very fascinating.
A little after ten, the plates of cream came in, and
at half-past, they began to disperse.
Stevie was asleep upstairs on Nan’s
bed. All the girls had to go and look at him;
and when Dolly picked him up, and bundled his cloak
about him, and put on his cap, he only stretched a
little and settled himself, being as famous a sleeper
as some of his Dutch ancestors. But the girls
had to kiss him; and then he did wake up and laugh
and rub his eyes with his fat fist. Before Stephen
had him settled on his shoulder, he was asleep again.
“Oh!” cried Hanny, “it’s
his first party as well as mine. And when
he gets old enough, I’ll have to tell him all
“Yes,” laughed his father.
“His memory can hardly he depended upon now.”
Jim’s friend came to wish Hanny
good-night, and say that he had enjoyed himself first
rate, quite a boy’s word then.
And he added, “I think your doctor-brother is
the nicest man I ever met. If my mother is ever
ill, I mean she shall have him. He is so sweet
and kindly. And that Miss Jasper is a beautiful
Hanny flushed with delight.
One day, not long afterwards, Mrs.
Jasper took both little girls down to Stewart’s
beautiful store at the corner of Chambers Street and
Broadway. When the ladies were out for a promenade,
they used to drop in and see the pretty articles.
It was the finest store in New York; kid-gloves and
laces were specialties, but there were no end of elegant
silks and India shawls, which were considered family
heir-looms when you became the owner of one.
Some of the more careful business-men
shook their heads doubtfully over the young merchant’s
extravagance, and predicted a collapse presently.
But he went on prospering, and even built another marble
palace, and a marble dwelling-place for himself.
Then the Reeds and the Underhills
were full of interest in their boys who were to pass
examinations for Columbia College. Charles stood
high, but he was rather nervous about it; and Jim
never studied so hard in all his life as the last
three months. When there was any doubt, or even
when there wasn’t, he pressed Joe into service.
However, they both came off with flying colours.
Charles was the best scholar, undoubtedly; but Jim
had a way of making everything tell in his favour.
Miss Lily Ludlow had quite given Jim
the cold shoulder; but now she smiled upon him again.
Her sister had married very well; but Lily had quite
resolved upon a rich husband. Still it would be
something to have the young and good-looking collegian
in her train.
Mrs. Jasper pleaded to take Hanny
with them to Saratoga for a little while; and Margaret
said she and her husband would go up and spend a week
and bring her home. The Jaspers were to stay at
a quiet cottage; and, after much persuasion, Mrs.
Underhill consented, though she had an idea a fashionable
watering-place was hardly proper for little girls;
and her father was very loath to give her up even for
a few weeks.
To tell the truth, the little girl
was rather homesick for a night or two. There
was so much to see, so many drives and all; but she
had never been away alone before. And she did
so miss sitting in her father’s lap, and kissing
him good-night. She was too big a girl of course;
and one time her mother asked her if she meant to
keep up the habit when she was a woman grown!
She had not thought of being grown-up.
And she wished she could stay a little girl forever.
Josie Dean was quite womanly already, and didn’t
want to wear her hair in “pigtails” any
more indeed, quite fretted because her
mother wouldn’t let her put it up. But Tudie
confessed to Hanny “that she should be awful
sorry when she was too big to play with dolls.”
“I put my beautiful doll away
the Christmas Stevie was born,” said Hanny.
“Oh, well, if we had a big brother
married, and a lovely little baby like that, I wouldn’t
mind so much. But Josie is going to study and
teach, and oh, dear! Hanny Underhill,
you’re just the luckiest girl I know.”
And the Deans thought it another piece
of luck that she should go to Saratoga.
They went to Congress Hall, and drank
some of the water that Hanny thought just horrid.
Daisy didn’t like it very much; but it had proved
beneficial the summer before. And they used to
watch the beautifully attired ladies promenade the
long piazza. Such lovely lawns and organdies
and embroidered white gowns; such laces and sashes
and ribbons! Every afternoon they were out in
force. They promenaded up and down the street
too, with dainty parasols, and often times no bonnet,
but a little square of lace with long lappets.
One evening after Margaret and the
Doctor came, they all went in to the hop to look on.
Hanny thought the dancing a bewitching sight, and could
have stayed up until midnight watching it. There
were a good many quite famous people whom Dr. Hoffman
knew, and Hanny had seen on Broadway or up at Washington
Daisy was almost in despair at the
thought of Hanny’s return. Dr. Hoffman
had promised to take a brother physician’s practice
when he went away to recuperate, so he felt that he
really could not extend his stay beyond the week.
“Oh, I do wish I had a sister!”
groaned Daisy. “Auntie is very nice, and
mamma is the sweetest mother in the world; but I like
to have some one who thinks real young thoughts.
I don’t want to be grown up and sensible, and
take an interest in tiresome things.”
“Let’s just stay little,”
laughed Hanny. “Twelve isn’t so very
“But being in your ‘teens’
seems on the way to it. You may stay little;
but see how tall I am getting. I grow like a weed.”
Hanny gave a soft sigh. How curious
to want to stay little, and feel sorry you were not
getting big at the same time!
When they returned to the city, Hanny
found that Charles and his mother had gone to the
sea-side, out on Long Island. Mrs. Reed didn’t
seem to get strong. She had thought all along
first she could soon do without Cousin Jane; and to
give her the opportunity Cousin Jane went away on a
little visit. But Mr. Reed sent for her ten days
“I’m never going to be
good for anything again!” Mrs. Reed said fretfully.
“Oh, yes, there are a good many
useful things in the world beside work,” replied
Mr. Reed. “You’ve done your share.
Cousin Jane is splendid to have around. Anyhow,
I think we will keep her for awhile.”
“You just go down on Great South
Bay, and eat fish and clams, and have the sea-breeze,”
advised Cousin Jane. “The Seamens will board
you very reasonably. And Charles looks as if
something of the kind wouldn’t hurt him.
He will have a pretty hard pull in college the first
year, and he ought to have some good backbone to start
It was very extravagant to go away
to board when they were paying house-rent. And
there had been a doctor’s bill, and a nurse for
three weeks, and Cousin Jane
“Never you mind,” said
Mr. Reed, “I’m not anywhere near the poor-house.
I’ve only you and Charles. He is going to
be a credit to us if he keeps his health; but he does
look rather pale and thin. You ought to go for
The Reeds seemed insensibly to have
changed places. It was Mr. Reed who gave the
orders and suggested the plans, and Mrs. Reed who acquiesced.
“You’ve worked steadily
all your life, harder than I ever wanted you to,”
continued her husband. “We had better take
the good of what we have, and let Charles earn his
own money when it comes his time to work. And
if you could improve a little, at least
I think it is your duty to try for both our sakes.
It will be a sad thing if, when Charles takes his
degree, you are not here to congratulate him.”
She was not anxious to die; very few
people are. So she listened, and allowed herself
to be over-ruled. She was really proud of her
son’s manliness, though she would not have admitted
it. They went off to stay a fortnight, and both
improved so much they remained a whole month.
Janey and Polly Odell and another
cousin came to visit Hanny, and had a fine time seeing
the city sights. Then Daisy came home, school
began, and wonderful events were happening all the
The old story of Eldorado repeated
itself. Strange rumours ran about like wildfire
in meadow grass. A Captain Sutter was having his
mill-race on one of the forks of the Sacramento River
deepened and repaired, when a workman accidently discovered
a shining nugget that proved to be gold. Crowds
flocked to the spot: men who had been in the army,
adventurers who had followed Fremont in his prospecting
journeys; and they found gold on every hand.
When Congress opened, President Polk
proudly announced the wealth of our new possessions.
It was Mexico and Peru over again. The Spaniards
had not despoiled the whole earth.
Men talked themselves up to fever-heat.
Why plod along years making a fortune, when here you
could dig it out of the ground in a few months!
As if wealth was the great and only good to mankind.
Now, when one flies across the continent
in a palace-car, it seems strange indeed to think
of the long journey of these pilgrims to the land
of Ophir, as it was called. The overland route,
that across Mexico, or the isthmus, comprised the
sail to Vera Cruz, and then up the Pacific coast,
and was costly. That around Cape Horn took five
months. Yet men were selling their property or
business that they had been years in building up,
leaving their families, and hurrying off, promising
to be back in a few years, millionaires perhaps.
The Underhills were not seized with
the mania. There were several other matters that
occupied their attention. John was to be married
in January, and to go in business with his employer,
who would be his father-in-law. And in December,
two granddaughters were added to the family.
Hanny was quite dazed with the conflicting
claims. Margaret’s little girl had large
dark eyes like Dr. Hoffman, and dark, silky hair; while
Dolly’s daughter was fair. Margaret’s
baby was really beautiful.
But in her secret heart the little
girl thought no baby in the world could ever be the
sweet and joyful surprise that Stevie had been, the
Christmas gift to them all. Dr. Hoffman declared
that he was really jealous that she should not transfer
all her affections to his little daughter. “He
should not call her Haneran now.”
“I should hope you wouldn’t,”
declared Hanny, mirthfully. “You ought to
name her Margaret, and we could all call her Daisy.
That’s such a cheerful, pretty name!”
“But she won’t be white
and gold. She would have to be a Michaelmas daisy.
And we couldn’t call her Pearl, with her dark
eyes and hair. Still, I think Margaret one of
the noblest and sweetest of names.”
“I don’t suppose any one
will think Hannah a sweet name,” said the little
girl, rather ruefully. “They all say it’s
a good name. But I don’t want to
be just like Grandmother Van Kortlandt. When I
am real old I would rather be like Grandmother Underhill.”
“Luckily, the names do not endow us with the
In the end, it was Margaret;
and they called her Daisy, much to the little girl’s
delight. When Mrs. Jasper heard of the name, she
sent her a beautiful pair of sleeve-pins. They
were used to pin through the shoulders and sleeves
of babies’ dresses. It seemed then as if
all babies had beautiful fat necks, and pretty dimpled
Dolly’s little girl was called
Annette Dorothea; but her household name was Annie.
Little Stevie had come to grandmother’s
to stay a week or so. He cried a little the first
night for mamma. Hanny begged to have him put
in her bed; and she sat and told him Mother Goose
Melodies until he dropped asleep. He was such
a sweet, cunning roly-poly, that she couldn’t
help kissing him when she came to bed; and she longed
to take him in her arms and hug him up; but she was
afraid he might wake and cry.
The next night he was quite ready
to go to Nan’s bed, and didn’t cry a bit.
Hanny had a delightful time taking
him round among the girls. Her mother said, “You
and your father will have that child spoiled.”
But Hanny might have turned the tables, if she had
seen grandmother when she had to be in school.
As for Grandfather Underhill, he thought
with Hanny there never had been such a smart and wonderful
baby. Jim taught him some rather reprehensible
tricks. He was still full of fun and mischief,
and already had a crowd of admirers in college.
And, oh, how they missed the baby
when he was gone! It didn’t seem as if
one little mite could fill the house; but it was big
and empty now.
John’s courtship had not been
so engrossing as Stephen’s. They had met
Miss Bradley, to be sure; and Mr. Bradley was a well-to-do
man with two sons and one daughter who had been named
Cleanthe, after the heroine of a story Mrs. Bradley
had read in her girlhood. Mr. Bradley had wanted
his daughter called Priscilla, after his mother; and
Mrs. Bradley’s mother’s name was Jemima.
“I did think Mimy and Silly
two of the worst names in the world. And there
isn’t any nickname for Cleanthe,” was Mrs.
Bradley’s explanation when any one wondered
at the name.
Miss Cleanthe was a very nice, well-bred,
rather conventional girl, with none of Dolly’s
dash and spirit. She was a good housekeeper, and
could make all but her best dresses. They were
to take the second floor of Mr. Bradley’s house,
and set up their own home, until they felt rich enough
to indulge in a house owned by themselves.
George came down about this time to
spend a month. He was decidedly tired of farming.
“Of course, if I wanted to marry
and build on the old place, it wouldn’t be so
bad. Uncle Faid keeps in the same rut, and you
can’t shake him out of it. Barton Finch
is the kind of man who begins with a great flourish,
but flats out towards the end. I’m tired
of them all!”
“It will be your turn to marry
next,” said his mother. “And then
I’ll seem quite a young woman with only three
children. I do suppose we’ll go
up to Yonkers some time and spend our old age there;
though I begin to think your father is weaned away.”
George laughed. “Father
seems about half Uncle Faid’s age. And at
eighty, you won’t be as old as Aunt Crete.
If I had lots of money, to do as I liked but
farming so near by doesn’t amount to much.”
The Germans and Swiss had to come
in and show us about market-gardening and floriculture.
George went down-town with Stephen,
and talked with Ben, and listened to the groups on
every corner discussing the golden land. He was
young and strong; why shouldn’t he go and seek
Miss Bradley had a very nice evening
wedding, with dancing and a supper. She was very
well looking, but not as handsome as Margaret, or as
pretty and piquant as Dolly. She did not seem
to come close to their hearts, as Dolly had; though
Mrs. Underhill was very well satisfied, and knew she
would make John happy. John was a sort of solid,
sober-going fellow, quite different from Steve and