"Nevertheless, dear Miss Katy, one does not like to offend the Hornets."
"No, one can't. There are those five Misses Hornet--dreadful old maids!--as full of spite as they can live. You may be sure they will every one come, and be looking about to make spiteful remarks. Put down the Hornets, though."
"How about the Mosquitoes!" said the colonel.
"Those horrid Mosquitoes--they are dreadfully plebeian! Can't one cut them?"
"Well dear Miss Katy," said the colonel, "if you ask my candid opinion as a friend, I should say not. There's young Mosquito, who graduated last year, has gone into literature, and is connected with some of our leading papers, and they say he carries the sharpest pen of all the writers. It won't do to offend him."
"And so I suppose we must have his old aunts, and all six of his sisters, and all his dreadfully common relations."
"It is a pity," said the colonel; "but one must pay one's tax to society."
Just at this moment the conference was interrupted by a visitor, Miss Keziah Cricket, who came in with her work-bag on her arm to ask a subscription for a poor family of Ants who had just had their house hoed up in clearing the garden-walks.