Mr. Hayne said his wife moaned over the hardness of the chaperones’ seats at St. Andrew's Hall at a Cecilia Ball.1 She was hopelessly deposited on one for hours. '”And the walls are harder, my dear. What are your feelings to those of the poor old fellows leaning there, with their beautiful young wives waltzing as if they could never tire and in the arms of every man in the room. Watch their haggard, weary faces, the old boys, you know. At church I had to move my pew. The lovely Laura was too much for my boys. They all made eyes at her, and nudged each other and quarreled so, for she gave them glance for glance. Wink, blink, and snicker as they would, she liked it. I say, my dear, the old husbands have not exactly a bed of roses; their wives twirling in the arms of young men, they hugging the wall.”
While we were at supper at the Haynes's, Wigfall was sent for to address a crowd before the Mills House piazza. Like James Fitz James when he visits Glen Alpin again, it is to be in the saddle, etc. So let Washington beware. We were sad that we could not hear the speaking. But the supper was a consolation — pâté de foie gras salad, biscuit glacé and champagne frappé.
A ship was fired into yesterday, and went back to sea. Is that the first shot? How can one settle down to anything; one's heart is in one's mouth all the time. Any moment the cannon may open on us, the fleet come in.
1 The annual balls of the St. Cecilia Society in Charleston are still the social events of the season. To become a member of the St. Cecilia Society is a sort of presentation at court in the sense of giving social recognition to one who was without the pale.
SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 30-1