Dinner on the Lawn

Cover-Newport Out of SeasonWe think of the days when the hospitable Colonel Malbone reassured his alarmed guests, and had the dinner table moved on to the lawn, and continued the repast in sight of his burning mansion; when Dr. Hunter, a refugee from the Stuart rebellion, went hence as surgeon to the expedition against Crown Point; when Vernon entertained Lafayette, and Lightfoot showed the natives what a scholar and epicure at old Oxford learned; when British soldiers turned the churches into stables, made the State House a hospital, and burned Beavertail lighthouse, and the ‘Isle of Peace’ became a scene of wantonness and devastation; when the petted Africans, of patriarchal slavery, made famous dishes for colonial bon-vivants; and a ship, under full sail before a gentle breeze, run her keel into the strand at noonday, with no living creature on board but a dog, and an untasted breakfast spread in the cabin—a mystery to this hour.

Newport Out of Season, 1858

September 9, 2014