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The Whole Family: a Novel by Twelve Authors
written by "Van Dyke, Henry, 1852-1933"
... allowed our invention so great play in regard to the elder members of our neighbor's family perhaps because we really know something more about them. Mrs. Talbert duly called after We came to Eastridge, and when my wife had self-respectfully waited a proper time, which she made a little more than a week lest she should feel that she had been too eager for the acquaintance, she returned the call. Then she met not only Mrs. Talbert, but Mrs. Talbert's mother, who lives with them, in an anxiety for their health which would impair her own if she were not of a constitution such as you do not find in these days of unladylike athletics. She was inclined to be rather strict with my wife about her own health, and mine too, and told her she must be careful not to let me work too hard, or overeat, or leave off my flannels before the weather was settled in the spring. She said she had heard that I had left a very good position on a Buffalo paper when I bought the Eastridge Banner, and that the town ought to feel very much honored. My wife suppressed her conviction that this was the correct view of the case, in a deprecatory expression of our happiness in finding ourselves in Eastridge, and our entire satisfaction with our prospects and surroundings. Then Mrs. Talbert's mother inquired, as delicately as possible, what denominations, religious and medical, we were of, how many children we had, and whether mostly boys or girls, and where and how long we had been married. She was glad, she said, that we had taken the place next them, after our brief sojourn in the furnished house where we had first lived, and said that there was only one objection to the locality, which was the prevalence of moths; they obliged you to put away your things in naphtha-balls almost the moment the spring opened. She wished to know what books my wife was presently reading, and whether she approved of women's clubs to the extent that they were carried to in some places. She ...

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