1850.] AMERICAN NOTE—BOOKS. 383

pose, the women call it), a good, homely dress, proper enough for the fireside, but a strange one to appear in at a theatre. Both these girls appeared to enjoy them- selves very much,—-the large and heavy one in her own duller mode ; the smaller manifesting her interest by gestures, pointing at the stage, and with so vivid a1 talk of countenance that it was precisely as if she had spoken. She was not a brunette, and this made the vivacity of her expression the more agreeable. Her companion, on the other hand, was so dark, that I rather suspected her to have a tinge of African blood.

There were two men who seemed to have some con- nection with these girls, one an elderly, gray-headed personage, well-stricken in liquor, talking loudly and foolishly, but good-humoredly; the other a young man, sober, and doing his best to keep his elder friend quiet. The girls seemed to give themselves no uneasi- ness about the matter. Both the men wore Palo Alto hats. I could not make out whether either of the men were the father of the child, though I was inclined to set it down as a family party.

As the play went on, the house became crowded and oppressively warm, and the poor little baby grew dark red, or purple almost, with the uncomfortable heat in its small body. It must have been accustomed to discomfort, and have concluded it to be the condi- tion of mortal life, else it never would have remained

so quiet. Perhaps it had been quieted with a sleep

ing-potion. The two young women were not negligent of it; but passed it to and fro between them, each willingly putting herself to inconvenience for the sake of tending it. But I really feared it might die in some kind of a fit, so hot was the theatre, so purple with heat, yet strangely quiet, was the child. I was