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

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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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
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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