[To "Voices from 19th-Century America"]

"Fanny Fern" was Sara Payson Willis (1811-1872), whose father, Nathaniel Willis, founded and edited Youth's Companion. Escaping a bad second marriage, and with two children to support, Sara turned to writing: her first essay appeared in the Olive Branch and was quickly reprinted. She soon became one of the most highly paid authors in 19th-century America; three years after her first essay was published, Payson was hired to write one essay a week for the New York Ledger for the unheard-of sum of $100 per column. Alternately humorous, satiric, and sentimental, her pieces cover the range of 19th-century American life, from the death of children to the delicate subterfuges of a widow eager to remarry.

(My copy is badly foxed and damaged by water; the illustrations have been cleaned up digitally.)


http://www.merrycoz.org/voices/fanny/FANNY00.HTM

Fern Leaves from Fanny's Portfolio, series two (Auburn & Buffalo: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1854)

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[frontispiece]

a cozy cottage among the trees

The Little Brown House

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[half title page]

fern leaves, with title

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[blank page]

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[title page]

THIRTIETH THOUSAND
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FERN LEAVES
FROM
FANNY'S PORTFOLIO.

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SECOND SERIES.
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With Original Designs by Fred. M. Coffin.



AUBURN AND BUFFALO:
MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN.
LONDON:
SAMPSON LOW, SON & CO.
CINCINNATI:
HENRY W. DERBY.
1854.

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[copyright page]

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Published first in England by International Arrangement with the American
Proprietors, and entered at Stationers' Hall.
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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred
and fifty-three,
BY DERBY AND MILLER,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of New York.
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AUBURN:
MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN,
STEREOTYPERS AND PRINTERS.

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[dedication]

TO
MY TRUEST FRIEND,
OLIVER DYER,
WHOSE FRIENDSHIP NEVER FALTERED, IN ADVERSITY;
WHOSE SYMPATHY AND ENCOURAGEMENT CHEERED ME,
WHEN NO BOW OF PROMISE WAS SET IN MY SKY;
This Book is Gratefully Dedicated,
BY
THE AUTHOR.

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[p. 5]

PREFACE.

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To my Readers:

Six months since, I was in a deplorable state of ignorance as to the most felicitous style of Preface; at this lapse of time, I find myself not a whit the wiser. You will permit me, therefore, in pressing again your friendly hands, simply to say, that I hope my second offering of "Fern Leaves" will be more worthy of your acceptance, than the first.

Fanny Fern.

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[p. vii]

CONTENTS.

Shadows and Sunbeams ... 13
Aunt Hepsy ... 36
Thoughts at Church ... 40
The Brothers ... 42
Curious Things ... 48
The advantages of a House in a Fashionable Square ... 49
Winter is Coming ... 59
The Other Sex ... 61
Soliloquy of Mr. Broadbrim ... 63
Willie Grey ... 65
Tabitha Tompkins' Soliloquy ... 82
Soliloquy of a Housemaid ... 85
Critics ... 87
Forgetful Husbands ... 89
Summer Friends ... 91
How the Wires are Pulled ... 92
Who would be the Last Man ... 95
Only a Cousin ... 96
The Calm of Death ... 99
Mrs. Adolphus Smith sporting the Blue Stocking ... 101

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p. viii

Cecile Vray ... 103
Sam Smith's Soliloquy ... 105
Love and Duty ... 110
A False proverb ... 114
A Model Husband ... 116
How is it? ... 118
A Morning Ramble ... 120
Hour-Glass Thoughts ... 123
Boarding-House Experiences ... 125
A Grumble from the (H)altar ... 132
A Wicked Paragraph ... 133
Mistaken Philanthrophy ... 135
Insignificant Love ... 137
A Model Married Man ... 139
Meditations of Paul Pry, jun., ... 141
Sunshine and Young Mothers ... 144
Uncle Ben's attack of Spring Fever, and how Cured ... 146
The Aged Minister Voted a Dismission ... 150
The Fatal Marriage ... 152
Frances Sargeant Osgood ... 157
Best Things ... 161
The Vestry Meeting ... 164
A Broadway Shop Reverie ... 167
The Old Woman ... 170
Sunday Morning at the Dibdins ... 172
Items of Travel ... 175
Newspaper-dom ... 178
Have we any men among us? ... 181
How to Cure the Blues ... 183
Rain in the City ... 185

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p. ix

Mrs. Weasel's Husband ... 187
Country Sunday vs. City Sunday ... 189
Sober Husbands ... 192
Our Street ... 194
When you are Angry ... 199
Little Bessie ... 201
The Delights of Visiting ... 205
Helen Haven's Happy New Year ... 207
Dollars and Dimes ... 212
Our Nelly ... 214
Study Men, not Books ... 218
Murder of the Innocents ... 220
American Ladies ... 224
The Stray Sheep ... 226
The Fashionable Preacher ... 230
Cash ... 233
Only a Child ... 235
Mrs. Pipkin's idea of Family Retrenchment ... 237
A Chapter for Nice Old Farmers ... 239
Madam Rouillon's Mourning Saloon ... 241
Fashion in Funerals ... 243
Household Tyrants ... 245
Women and Money ... 247
The Sick Bachelor ... 249
A Mother's Influence ... 252
Mr. Punch Mistaken ... 257
Fern Musings ... 259
The Time to Choose ... 261
Spring is Coming ... 262
Steamboat Sights and Reflections ... 265

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p. x

A Gotham Reverie ... 268
Sickness in the City and Country ... 269
Hungry Husbands ... 273
Light and Shadow ... 275
A Matrimonial Reverie ... 278
What Love will Accomplish ... 279
Mrs. Grumble's Soliloquy ... 283
Henry Ward Beecher ... 285
An Old maid's Decision ... 289
A Punch at Punch ... 291
Father Taylor, the Sailor's Preacher ... 292
Signs of the Times ... 296
Whom does it concern ... 300
Who Loves a Rainy Day ... 306
A Conscientious Young Man ... 310
City Scenes and City Life, No. 1 ... 312
do 2 ... 317
do 3 ... 322
do 4 ... 326
Two Pictures ... 330
Feminine Waiters at Hotels ... 332
Letter to the Empress Eugenia ... 334
Music in the Natural Way ... 337
For Ladies that go Shopping ... 339
Modern Improvements ... 344
The Old Merchant wants a Situation ... 348
A Moving Tale ... 350
This Side and That ... 358
Mrs. Zebedee Smith's Philosophy ... 361
Opening of the Crystal Palace ... 363

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p. xi

A Lance Couched for the Children ... 369
A Chapter on Housekeeping ... 371
Barnum's Museum ... 373
A Fern Reverie ... 377
Apollo Hyacinth ... 381
Spoiled Little Boy ... 384
A Brown Study ... 386
Incidents at the Five Points House of Industry ... 388
Nancy Pry's Soliloquy ... 396
For Little Children ... 397

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[p. xii]

ILLUSTRATIONS.
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Vignette title.
The Little Brown House, (Frontispiece.)
Mr. Stubbs and His Friends ... 82
The Blue Stocking ... 101
The Aged Minister ... 150
Our Street ... 194
Simon Skinflint ... 300
The May-Day Moving ... 350

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Copyright 1999-2006, Pat Pflieger