'AT HOME' AT OLD JOLYON'S
THOSE privileged to be present at a family festival of the Forsytes have seen that charming and instructive sight--a upper middle- class family in full plumage. But whosoever of these favoured persons has possessed the gift of psychological analysis (a talent without monetary value and properly ignored by the Forsytes), has witnessed a spectacle, not only delightful in itself, but illustrative of an obscure human problem. In plainer words, he has gleaned from a gathering of this family--no branch of which had a liking for the other, between no three members of whom existed anything worthy of the name of sympathy--evidence of that mysterious concrete tenacity which renders a family so formidable a unit of society, so clear a reproduction of society in miniature. He has been admitted to a vision of the dim roads of social progress, has understood something of patriarchal life, of the swarmings of savage hordes, of the rise and fall of nations. He is like one who, having watched a tree grow from its planting --a paragon of tenacity, insulation, and success, amidst the deaths of a hundred other plants less fibrous, sappy, and persistent --one day will see it flourishing with bland, full foliage, in an almost repugnant prosperity, at the summit of its efflorescence.
On June 15, 1886, about four of the afternoon, the observer who chanced to be present at the house of old Jolyon Forsyte in Stanhope Gate, might have seen the highest efflorescence of the Forsytes.
This was the occasion of an 'At Home' to celebrate the engagement of Miss June Forsyte, old Jolyon's granddaughter, to Mr Philip Bosinney. In the bravery of light gloves, buff waistcoats, feathers and frocks, the family were present--even Aunt Ann, who now but seldom left the corner of her brother Timothy's green drawing-room, where, under the aegis of a plume of dyed pampas grass in a light blue vase, she sat all day reading and knitting, surrounded by the effigies of three generations of