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LITERATURE, SCIENCE, ART,
VOL. VI. SEPTEMBER–1870.--No. XXXIII.
NEW YORK SOCIETY IN THE OLDEN TIME.
To lament the days that are gone, tual experience. His knowledge of it and believe the past better than the began when the old régime was just present, is a tendency which has been passing away. In the days of his childremarked as far back as the days of hood, the men of the Revolution were Solomon. Say not thou,” says the fast going down to the grave. Of these wise King, “What is the cause that the he knew some in their old age. His former days were better than these? for father's contemporaries, however, were thou dost not inquire wisely concerning somewhat younger, though brought up this.” However this may be, it is a under the same influences. But when propensity, which has always existed, to that generation departed, the spirit compare unfavorably the present with which had aided in forming their charthe distant past. The Golden Age of acters had gone also, dever again to be which poets gang was in “our fathers' felt. To many of these men he looked day, and in the old time before them." up as if they were superior beings;
From this feeling the writer realizes and, indeed, he has felt, in all his pas that he is not free, and, in many re- sage through life, that he has never seen spects, might be inclined to impute his the equals of those who then stood forestimate of the present to the waning ward prominently in public affairs. light in which he sees it. When dealing, The earliest notice we have of cohowever, with facts with which he is lonial society, is in Mrs. Grant's delightwell acquainted, he feels that he cannot ful “ American Lady." She was the be prejudiced ; and in this way it is daughter of a British officer who came that he contrasts the society of the over with troops during the old French present with that which once existed in war, and her reminiscences begin about New York. From his distant home he 1760. Her residence was principally in looks back on the rush and hurry of life Albany, with the Schuyler family. Still, as it now exists in his native city; and, she was brought in contact with the while he realizes its increased glitter leading families of the colony, and as and splendor, he feels that it has de- she was in the habit of often visiting preciated from the dignity and high New York, she learned much of the tone which once characterized it. state of things in that city. She writes
Of the society of the olden time he thus of the old Dutch and colonial can, of course, know but little by ac- families of that day: “They bore about
Entered, in the year 1870. by G. P. PUTNAM & SON, in the Clerk's Ofce of the District Court of the U. S. for the Southern District of x. Y.