- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
December 23

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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53

December 23. This week I have been to several dinner parties--one very excellent at the house of Professor Longfellow and his handsome, delightful wife. Longfellow is an
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agreeable host, and gave us American wines, sherry and champagne. The latter is especially good; it is made from the Catawba grape at Cincinnati. Then we dined at the home of a Swedenborgian, a professor; and further, I have been at a "bee!" And if you would know what this creature is in society here, then behold! If a family is reduced to poverty by fire or sickness, and the children are in want of clothes or anything else, a number of the ladies of the neighborhood who are in good circumstances immediately get together at some place and sew for them. Such a sewing assembly is called a bee! And now there was a bee at the house of Mrs. Sparks, the wife of the president of the university, to sew for a family who had lost all their clothing through fire, and I was invited to be present at it. The bee-hive was fine, busy, and gay, and had, if not honey, remarkably good milk and cake to offer the working bees, among whom I took my place, but not to do very much.


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