Charles Dudley Warner
(September 12, 1829 – October 20, 1900) was an American essayist, novelist, and friend of Mark Twain, with whom he co-authored the novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.
Warner travelled widely, lectured frequently, and was actively interested in prison reform, city park supervision, and other movements for the public good. He was the first president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and, at the time of his death, was president of the American Social Science Association.
When Irene looked out of her stateroom window early in the morning of the twentieth of March, there was a softness and luminous quality in the horizon clouds that prophesied spring. The steamboat, which had left Baltimore and an arctic temperature the night before, was drawing near the wharf at Fortress Monroe, and the passengers, most of whom were seeking a mild climate, were crowding the guards, eagerly scanning the long facade of the Hygeia Hotel.
“It looks more like a conservatory than a hotel,” said Irene to her father, as she joined him.
“I expect that’s about what it is. All those long corridors above and below enclosed in glass are to protect the hothouse plants of New York and Boston, who call it a Winter Resort, and I guess there’s considerable winter in it.”
“But how charming it is—the soft sea air, the low capes yonder, the sails in the opening shining in the haze, and the peaceful old fort! I think it’s just enchanting.”
“I suppose it is. Get a thousand people crowded into one hotel under glass, and let ‘em buzz around—that seems to be the present notion of enjoyment. I guess your mother’ll like it.”
And she did. Mrs. Benson, who appeared at the moment, a little flurried with her hasty toilet, a stout, matronly person, rather overdressed for traveling, exclaimed: “What a homelike looking place! I do hope the Stimpsons are here!”
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