one of those bustling centres of activity which the press of the community agreed to describe as "a metropolis"; but this river of industrialism was spanned by no social bridge connecting Hill Street and its wistful relicts with the statelier dignities and the more ephemeral gaieties of the opposite side. To be really "in society" one must cross over, either for good and all, or in the dilapidated "hack" which carried Gabriella to the parties of her schoolmates in West Franklin Street.
For in the middle 'nineties, before social life in Richmond had become both complicated and expensive, it was still possible for a girl in Gabriella's position--provided, of course, she came of a "good family"--to sew all day over the plain sewing of her relatives, and in the evening to reign as the acknowledged belle of a ball. "Society," it is true, did not reach any longer, except in the historic sense, to Hill Street; but the inhabitants of Hill Street, if they were young and energetic, not infrequently made triumphant
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