ousted even from this last barren rock of refuge by those whose fathers or grandfathers had, out of the humblest beginnings, made their own huge fortunes. The fall of this class, as a class, was not to be regretted; for its individual members did not share the general fate unless they themselves deserved to fall. The descendant of any old family who was worth his salt, still had as fair a chance as any one else to make his way in the world of politics, of business, or of literature; and according to our code and standard, the man who asks more is a craven.
However, the presence of the great families undoubtedly gave a pleasant flavor to the gay social life of New York during the early years of the century. It had a certain half-provincial dignity of its own. The gentlemen still dressed, with formal and elaborate care, in the costume then worn by the European upper classes,a costume certainly much more picturesque, if less comfortable, than that of the present day. The ladies were more apt to follow the fashions of Paris than of London. All well-to-do persons kept their own heavy carriages, and often used them for journeys no less than for pleasure drives. The social season was at its height in the winter, when there was an uninterrupted succession of dinners, balls, tea-parties, and card-parties. One of the great attractions was the Park Theater, capable