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HE curtain rises on an excessively comfortable scene the dining-room of a house that ranks midway between farm homestead and country mansion, and that consequently, after the manner of such houses, combines the comforts of the one with many of the luxuries of the other.
At the head of the table an elderly lady is seated. She is engaged in carving a chicken, and pressing a "bit of the breast, or a wing, say," simultaneously upon every other member of the company; which consists, firstly, of her eldest daughter-to give due precedence to the ladies-Miss Prescott, known as "Di" to her intimates, by reason of her god-parents having, in a thoughtless hour, elected to name her "Dinah." The supper which graces the table is in celebration of the return of this young lady from a six-weeks' sojourn in the great metropolis.
While Di is appeasing her hunger, and before I