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PARTIES OF PLEASURE.

What is a party of pleasure ? That all parties are made up with a view to pleasure, might be very reasonably supposed, did we not sometimes hear the complaints that are made beforehand, both by those who have to provide entertainment for their guests, and by those who partake of such entertainment. Parties given at home, judging from the manner in which they are spoken of, may therefore be generally considered as parties of duty-parties that must be given, in order to keep up some acquaintance, to maintain some appearance, or in some other way to answer a particular end, which is not always a very pleasant one, however important it may be considered by those whom it most concerns.

A party of pleasure then, strictly considered as such, is most frequently something out of the ordinary line of duty-something undertaken for the express purpose of giving pleasure, and that not to one individual only, but sometimes to a great many. A party of duty, if not altogether agreeable, might perhaps answer the purpose for which it was intended; but a party of pleasure, if by any chance it should fail in enjoyment, might become a very pitiful affair indeed. Nay, worse than that—it might become actually a party of pain, and the numbers col. lected together for the purpose of being happy, might increase each others unhappiness to an amazing extent.

“But how should that be?” exclaimed a young lover of pleasure who listened to the foregoing sentence, “unless there came a rainy day, or something of that kind; and even then a party might have capital fun, if they were all of the same mind."

“Ah! now," said his mother, "you have hit upon the right idea. It is this being all of one mind which makes in reality a party of pleasure. I have known the best party spoiled by one wanting to go one way, and one another, and so on, each thinking they knew best, and thinking differently from the rest. In this manner the time has been wasted, while servants and carriages were kept waiting, and sharp words and angry looks took the place of what ought to have been good-humour, and general enjoyment.”

“Then you think,” said Henry Gray, the inquiring boy who had just spoken, " that in parties of pleasure, one person ought to take the lead, and direct everything."

Certainly,” replied Mrs. Gray, " if that person is one not only capable of judging how far the undertaking is practicable, and likely to give pleasure, but also of entering into other people's feelings, so far as to understand what will please them."

"Ah! that is the part I should like !” exclaimed Henry, jumping from his seat, and clapping his hands. “If only Papa would leave all that to me, when we go into Derbyshire, how I should like it !”

Mrs. Gray laughed heartily at the fancied capabilities of her boy; and by way of convincing him of the difficult task he appeared so willing to undertake, she asked him in the first place, how he would manage to please his Aunt Fletcher, a lady remarkable for her habit of converting molehills of inconvenience into mountains of impossibility.

“Oh, never mind Aunt Fletcher;" replied Henry. “Nobody can please her. I should never attempt that.”

“And your cousin Charles,” said Mrs. Gray, “over whom she exercises all the care of a mother. How do you think he would be made happy under your direction?"

Charles is a very odd fellow," replied Henry, looking as if he could have said more, had he chosen. “I don't think I should trouble myself much about him either.”

“And your sister ?” asked Mrs. Gray, "you know she is so delicate, and cannot bear much fatigue.”

“ What, little Jessy ?” exclaimed Henry, laughing at the idea of her being consulted at all. "Jessy might be left behind at the hotels. She would be sure to find somebody to be kind to her.

“ You have still your father and me to dispose of,” said Mrs. Gray.

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