We Are Bidden To A Reception At The White
House, And Have Been Vainly Endeavouring To Get Into Some Of Our
Hostess's Smart Gowns; But, Alas!
They are all too short, so we
shall have to be content with our own black foulards.
* * * * *
RIGG'S HOUSE, WASHINGTON, May 2nd.
We had our first experience of drawing-room cars coming down here,
with very comfortable arm-chairs, and one seems to do the journey
of 200 miles easily, in about six hours, through very pretty
country. I never saw such people as Americans for advertising; all
along the line, on every available post or rail, you see, "Chew
Globe Tobacco," "Sun Stove Polish," &c.
We enjoyed the reception at the White House. Our invitation was
from 8 to 10 o'clock P.M.: we arrived before the doors were open,
and had to wait some few minutes in the entrance, which is glazed
in, and where the drums of our ears were sorely tried by a noisy
military band, which when you get into the rooms and at a distance
sounded well, but not just alongside. After depositing our cloaks,
we filed by two and two past the President, shaking hands with him
and the wife of the Secretary of State, who receives when there is
no Mrs. President, and then wandered through the six remaining
rooms, being introduced to several people as Mrs. H - - of
England, and Miss W - - of England, which we thought would not
convey much to their minds excepting that we were two very un-smart
Englishwomen; though we were much consoled about our clothes
which did not look so peculiar, every sort of costume being worn,
even to bonnets.
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