May 1992

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Diary of

Josephine Matilda deZeng

Geneva, New York

About Josephine Matilda deZeng

September 1842

Monday 5th

To-day I went to make calls, but only did part of my duty. I was at the Hopkins, Dwights, Hudsons, Sutherlands, Megraths, Woods, Whitings & Proutys, Dwights & Megraths out. At the Sutherlands I met Mr. Wm. Hopkins. Sarah & I made an engagement to make calls to-morrow.

On my return home met Sue Clark & her Aunt Jane. Mama told me Mr. Gallagher had called during my absence to say the Rainers would be on the Lake after their concert, and he thought I better go to see Hatt P. to have a full benefit. In the evening I went to the Concert with Ed Dox & James. I sat near Miss Lieman & her party, & had a most agreeable time, on my left Miss Meyroth & Mr. Brown seemed enjoying themselves in a quiet flirtation. Sarah & Eliza Sutherland came in with John Whiting & Mr. McKinstry, really I think the Genevese ladies are growing great flirts.

After the concert we went to Miss Prouty's. Mr. Whiting & Mr. McKinstry joined us there and we had a pleasant evening until about eleven when the rich voices of "the Rainers" came stealing over the waters. Oh! it was delightful, one might almost drink down the melody. They sang very many of their songs, and James & Mr. Holly played some duets upon the Flute. They remained at the foot of the garden more than half an hour, but just as they were moving off, to the measure of their own rich music, "The Etheopian Band" struck up one of their "fandangoes" with drums, fifes & trumpets just in front of the house, & we lost all the other. I then concluded it was time to leave.

Tuesday 6th

I sang with Mrs. Kingsland until nearly one o'clock this morning upon those delightful "Norma Songs."

On my return home I met Messrs. Whiting & Ayrault, who asked me to take a "row" in the afternoon, which I of course felt it my duty to accept. I then went in to see Sarah S. about putting off the calling expedition. I found her quite as anxious as myself, as she was to be of the "Lake party."

The afternoon was delightful, and our party very agreeable. There were May T. E., Annie Peyton, Harriet Prouty, Sarah Sutherland & myself—gents—Mr. Walter Ayrault, Mr. Jno. Whiting & Mr. Chas. McKinstry. We were out quite late, & all returned to Mrs. W's to tea except Sarah & Annie. Harriet gave her father his tea & then came in. We had a pleasant evening, childhood's reminiscences, literature, music & poetry, & my guitar having been brought in from the boat, was pressed into service.

Wednesday 7th

This morning I attended to some of my duties, that I have long overlooked, and in the afternoon went with Sarah to make our calls. We went first to the Gallaghers, where we saw Mrs. G., Mrs. Hopkins & Virginia Nicholas. Annie Peyton was also there—spending the day. Sammie was as sweet & entertaining as possible. We then called to see Aunt Sarah, and from there to see Mag DeLancey. She seemed in high spirits, delighted to get back, and quite amused that Josie Swift is engaged. We then went to Mrs. Lawrence Clark's. She & Miss Foote were very agreeable. We met the Megraths there. On coming away Mrs. F. gave me a beautiful lily. We then went to Mrs. Wm. Clark's, she & Mrs. Smith were very agreeable also—talked of their fishing & of music & at last came down to making boys' pantaloons. By this time it was dark, and we concluding we were very hungry, hurried down home.

At the DeLs Miss Munro told me she thought of taking the Culbertson house, which I most assuredly hope she will, they will then be so near. After Ed. & his cousin "the Dr." called. We made him promise to go down to the Dutch Church & watch when it was out, & come home with Annie P. I hope he did, the joke is capital. I only fear Annie will think it is more than a joke, and in her heart imagine the bright blue ribbon has done irretrievable mischief.

Thursday 8th

This morning I was out until twelve o'clock shopping & making calls. I went to see Miss Culbertson & Mrs. Ayrault. I found the latter recovered from her sickness and able to come down stairs. The Culbertsons think quite strongly of giving up their house to the Munros. I do hope it will soon be managed. After dinner I arranged a boquet of most beautiful dahlias that Mr. Jno. Whiting sent me, then practised a little some new songs I had got this morning from Kingsland.

Then Mr. Gallagher called to ask me to take a row with Miss Tillman et al, which I of course consented to do. There were Sarah & Anna Sutherland, Miss Tillman & myself, Mr. Holly and Mr. Gallagher. We had a charming time until just before we got home it began to rain very hard. Mr. Holly & I sang a great many songs, which helped take off the disagreeableness of being caught on the Lake in a shower. I went home to tea with the Sutherlands, & had a very pleasant evening. After tea we had quite a gossip, "talking over the affairs of the whole neighborhood, and all their relations," as Sarah said.— — —

Just as we had started off in the boat this afternoon, on passing Miss DeLancey's garden, Miss Tillman said she saw Ed. DeL. in the garden, & insisted upon his being called to & asked to join us.

He came down but excused himself. Really I think he looked quite handsome, he seemed very animated. I felt as if I could like him today. Oh! I wish I had a quiet contented mind, I know not what I most wish for — — —

Typescript of the diary provided by the Geneva Historical Society.
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