Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/91

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91

THE POLICY OF NATIONS.

daughter were in the full bloom of health, and the
hearty welcome given to the strangers by the former
produced upon them an agreeable impression, not
from her handsome face and pleasing figure only, but
from a certain ease of manner, that indicated much
previous intercourse with the higher circles of society.
Oswald was quite taken by surprise. He had counted
not a little upon gaining great credit for himself by a
dexterous covering of the expected awkwardness, and
by kindly condescending to the contracted ideas and the
favorite trivial conversational topics of a family whose
sphere of vision, as he supposed, must be very narrow.
But he soon found that it required all his tact to sus-
tain with equal ease his part in a conversation suited to
the peculiar circumstances under which the acquaint-
ance was formed. Mander, also, the polished man of
the world, who knew how to judge and to appreciate
such manners, he too was surprised not to find here, as
he had expected, either helpless embarrassment, or ex-
cessive civility. After the first greetings, he took an
early opportunity, by an easy turn in the conversation,
to ask the pastor's wife if she could really feel happy
in her present position ? "That is a home question,"
said she, smiling. Women are in some respects more
dependent upon outward circumstances than men. The
places where we grow up, the playmates of our youth,
the social circle in which we rejoiced with those who
rejoiced, and wept with those who wept, the customs,
the forms of early life, remain fixed in our memories,
and maintain longer their influence over our inclinations,
wishes, and hopes, than is usual with man whose calling
and profession is his world, in with all his thoughts,