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William Dean Howells

Page 1 of 659


by William Dean Howells 

From his place on the floor of the Hemenway Gymnasium Mr.  Elbridge G.
Mavering looked on at the Class Day gaiety with the advantage which his
stature, gave him over most people there.  Hundreds of these were pretty
girls, in a great variety of charming costumes, such as the eclecticism
of modern fashion permits, and all sorts of ingenious compromises between
walking dress and ball dress.  It struck him that the young men on whose
arms they hung, in promenading around the long oval within the crowd of
stationary spectators, were very much younger than students used to be,
whether they wore the dress-coats of the Seniors or the cut-away of the
Juniors and Sophomores; and the young girls themselves did not look so
old as he remembered them in his day.  There vas a band playing
somewhere, and the galleries were well filled with spectators seated at
their ease, and intent on the party-coloured turmoil of the floor, where
from time to time the younger promenaders broke away from the ranks into
a waltz, and after some turns drifted back, smiling and controlling their

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