We found a large house on New 여우알바 York Avenue and filled it with good Virginia servants. Admonished by experience, we secured horses and a careful coachman.

We had come to stay! My husband represented the old district of his kinsman, John Randolph of Roanoke, and his constituents were devoted to him. They would never supplant him with another. Of that we might be sure. God granting life and health, we were going to be happy young people.

The market in Washington was abundantly supplied with the finest game and fish from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and the waters of the Potomac. Brant, ruddy duck, canvasback duck, sora, oysters, and terrapin were within the reach of any housekeeper. Oysters, to be opened at a moment's notice, were planted on the cellar floors, and fed with salt water, and the cellars, as far as the mistress was concerned, were protected from invasion by the large terrapins kept 43 there—a most efficient police force, crawling about with their outstretched necks and wicked eyes.

Such dainties demanded expert cooking. We found in our house a portly family servant, "Aunt Susan," who had been left as caretaker with permission to remain or not as the new tenant should please, or as she herself should please. I fell in love with her on sight and found her willing to engage with me.

"Can you cook, Aunt Susan?" I imprudently inquired.

"No'm, I don't call myself a cook, but I know a hogfish from a yellow-bellied perch, and a canvasback duck from a redhead. I could cook oysters to suit my own white folks."

We had brought with us a number of servants who had lived with us in Virginia. They were free. We never owned slaves; this one free family had served us always.

A serious difficulty immediately arose in the kitchen. Susan felt her dignity insulted. She had supposed I would bring "gentlefolks' servants from the Eastern Sho'." She had not "counted on free niggers to put on airs an' boss her in her own kitchen."

My Virginia servants protested absolute humility and innocence. But that was not all. A French woman, Adele Rivière, was sewing in the nursery, and an Englishman, George Boyd, was coachman. Susan wanted "only one mistress," she had "not counted on working for furriners. By the time she had pleased that Frenchwoman and Englishman and 44 them free niggers" she "wouldn't have enough sperrit left to wipe her foot on the door-mat."

A compromise was effected, however. Susan was to be queen on her own premises; and if she must occasionally "put on airs" herself and "boss" somebody, why she might always "boss" me.

"I think," said my friend Agnes, "you have very neatly arranged to have as much trouble as possible. The question of caste will crop up every hour of the day. If the worst comes to the worst, let them all go except Susan! Harriet Martineau gives fine advice, for an old maid: 'Never nag your servants—but if occasion demands, come down upon them like the day of judgment.'"

"I stand by Susan," I assured her, "whatever she does. I am dreadfully opposed to capital punishment, but if anybody kills a cook, he needn't bring his case to our office."

Susan had offended, by her assumption of superiority, all the members of my household except myself, to whom she was most kind and respectful. The boy James had been brought by his aunts, who promised to train him for my service. He soon developed an ingenuity in teasing the cook amounting to inspiration. Matters between them reached a crisis one morning. I was reading my paper in the office adjoining the breakfast-room when I heard Susan's raucous voice: "What do you mean coming in this kitchen hollerin' out 'Susan, Susan'? Whar's your manners?"

"I loant 'em to de cook dis mornin', Susan—leastways Miss Moss! I always disremembers yo' entitlements." 45
"Well, you just get out of this kitchen! I can send breakfast up on the dumb waiter. You stay in your own place."

"I kin make myse'f skase, Miss Moss, but dat ain't de pint. Cose de dumb waiter can't talk, an' I has to speak about clean plates an'—"

"Get out o' here, I tell you. Clean, indeed! And your face not washed this morning! An' you all pizened up with scent like—"

"Lawd, Miss Moss! Don't say what I'se like! An' what I gwine fling water in my face for? I ain' no house afire."

In a few minutes Susan, her ample figure endowed with a fresh white apron, and her bandanna turban tied to a nicety, presented herself, dropped a courtesy, and said with perfect politeness:—

"Honey, I hate to worry you, but I'm afraid the time has come when you must choose between me and the free nigger. I think too much of myself to mind his impudence, but everything smells and tastes of his strong scents—which I know will never suit you nor the master. I, for one, can't stand 'em."

"Then James must leave at once," said I, firmly. "He knows the perfume is forbidden, and I have myself heard his disrespectful language to you."

But James had no idea of leaving Washington and returning to the position of knife-cleaner in the Petersburg hotel, whence I had taken him. He experienced a total change of heart. He surrendered in magnificent style. I was too skilful a general not to press my advantage. Then and there I confiscated 46 his entire stock of spurious attar of rose. It could not be buried, because the court was paved; it could not be emptied in the waste-water pipes, lest we remember it forever; but I opened the doors of Susan's kitchen range, and laid it, a burnt-offering to her offended dignity, upon the glowing coals. I then went calmly in to my coffee, which had a distinctly Oriental flavor that morning.

Things went smoothly after this. The prevailing spirit of secession found its way only as far as the nursery, when pretty Adele Rivière entered a convent (with but one expressed regret, that the bonnets were so unbecoming), and a dear little genius, Annie Powers, took her place,—coming regularly for fifty cents a day, and making me independent of the elusive dressmakers who lorded and queened it over my unhappy friends.

And just here I feel constrained to apologize to my friend who has, at this moment, this page before him, for recording so many trifling incidents; but in painting a faithful picture of any time, the little lights and shadows cannot be left out. Nothing is unimportant. Even