A Celebration of Women Writers


Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 by Laura E. Richards (1850-1943) and Maud Howe Elliott (1854-1948), Assisted by Florence Howe Hall (1845-1922). Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915.
Volume I, Volume II, Index.


Large-Paper Edition

JULIA WARD HOWE
1819-1910
IN TWO VOLUMES
VOLUME I


[Frontispiece]



Mrs. Howe, circa 1861


[Title Page]

 

JULIA WARD HOWE
1819-1910

BY

LAURA E. RICHARDS
AND MAUD HOWE ELLIOTT

ASSISTED BY

FLORENCE HOWE HALL

With Portraits and other
Illustrations

 

 


VOLUME I

 

BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
1915


COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY LAURA E. RICHARDS AND MAUD HOWE ELLIOTT

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published December 1915


TO
HENRY MARION HOWE


CONTENTS

I. ANCESTRAL 3
II. LITTLE JULIA WARD. 1819-1835 15
III. "THE CORNER." 1835-1839 41
IV. GIRLHOOD. 1839-1843 56
V. TRAVEL. 1843-1844 79
VI. SOUTH BOSTON. 1844-1851 101
VII. "PASSION FLOWERS." 1852-1858 136
VIII. LITTLE SAMMY: THE CIVIL WAR. 1859-1863 173
IX. NO. 13 CHESTNUT STREET, BOSTON. 1864 194
X. THE WIDER OUTLOOK. 1865 213
XI. NO. 19 BOYLSTON PLACE: "LATER LYRICS." 1866 235
XII. GREECE AND OTHER LANDS. 1867 260
XIII. CONCERNING CLUBS. 1867-1872 283
XIV. THE PEACE CRUSADE. 1870-1872 299
XV. SANTO DOMINGO. 1872-1874 320
XVI. THE LAST OF GREEN PEACE. 1872-1876 339
XVII. THE WOMAN'S CAUSE. 1868-1910358


[Page]

ILLUSTRATIONS.

MRS. HOWE, circa 1861 (Photogravure )
  From a photograph by J. J. Hawes
Frontispiece
SAMUEL WARD
  From a painting in the possession of his grandson, Henry Marion Howe
16
JULIA RUSH WARD
  From a painting in the possession of her granddaughter, Mrs. Henry Richards
16
"THE CORNER": THE HOUSE BUILT BY MR. WARD IN 1835 AT THE CORNER OF BOND STREET AND BROADWAY 22
JULIA, SAMUEL, AND HENRY WARD, circa 1825
  From a miniature by Miss Anne Hall
30
JULIA WARD, AET. 22
  From the bust by Clevenger now in the Boston Public Library
68
SAMUEL G. HOWE IN DRESS OF A GREEK SOLDIER
  From a drawing by John Elliott
74
MRS. HOWE IN 1847
  From a painting by Joseph Ames
126
SAMUEL G. HOWE, circa 1859
  From a photograph by Black
174
MRS. HOWE, circa 1861
  From a photograph
186
THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
  Facsimile of the first draft
190
MRS. HOWE IN LAWTON'S VALLEY, circa 1865
  From a painting
236
THE CHILDREN OF SAMUEL G. AND JULIA WARD HOWE, 1869-1874 296
SAMUEL G. HOWE, WITH HIS GRANDCHILD, ALICE RICHARDS, 1873 340
"GREEN PEACE"
  From a photograph taken in 1875
354

 


JULIA WARD HOWE


JULIA WARD HOWE

CHAPTER I

ANCESTRAL

 

These are my people, quaint and ancient,
Gentlefolks with their prim old ways;
This, their leader come from England,
Governed a State in early days.
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
I must vanish with my ancients,
But a golden web of love
Is around us and beneath us,
Binds us to our home above.

JULIA WARD HOWE.

OUR mother was once present at a meeting where there was talk of ancestry and heredity. One of the speakers dwelt largely upon the sins of the fathers. He drew stern pictures of the vice, the barbarism, the heathenism of the "good old times," and ended by saying with emphasis that he felt himself "bowed down beneath the burden of the sins of his ancestors."

Our mother was on her feet in a flash.

"Mr. So-and-So," she said, "is bowed down by the sins of his ancestors. I wish to say that all my life I have been bouyed up and lifted on by the remembrance of the virtues of mine!"

These words are so characteristic of her, that in beginning the story of her life it seems proper to dwell at some length on the ancestors whose memory she cherished with such reverence.

The name of Ward occurs first on the roll of Battle Abbey: "Seven hundred and ten distinguished persons" accompanied William of Normandy to England, among them "Ward, one of the noble captains."

Her first known ancestor, John Ward, of Gloucester, England, sometime cavalry officer in Cromwell's army, came to this country after the Restoration and settled at Newport in Rhode Island. His son Thomas married Amy Smith, a granddaughter of Roger Williams. Thomas's son Richard became Governor of Rhode Island and had fourteen children, among them Samuel, who in turn became Governor of the Colony, and a member of the Continental Congress. He was the only Colonial governor who refused to take the oath to enforce the Stamp Act. In 1775, in the Continental Congress, he was made Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, which from 1774 to 1776 sat daily, working without intermission in the cause of independence. But though one of the framers of the "Declaration," he was not destined to be a "signer." John Adams says of him, "When he was seized with the smallpox he said that if his vote and voice were necessary to support the cause of his country, he should live; if not, he should die. He died, and the cause of his country was supported, but it lost one of its most sincere and punctual advocates."

The correspondence between Governor Ward and General Washington has been preserved. In one letter the latter says: "I think, should occasion offer, I shall be able to give you a good account of your son, as he seems a sensible, well-informed young man."

This young man was Samuel Ward, Lieutenant-Colonel of the First Rhode Island Regiment, and our mother's grandfather. 1

In Trumbull's painting of the Attack on Quebec in 1776, there is a portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, a young, active figure with sword uplifted. His life was full of stirring incident. In 1775 he received his commission as Captain, and was one of two hundred and fifty of the Rhode Island troops who volunteered to join Benedict Arnold's command of eleven hundred men, ordered to advance by way of the Kennebec River to reinforce General Montgomery at Quebec. In a letter to his family, dated Point-aux-Trembles, November 26, 1775, Captain Ward says: "We were thirty days in the wilderness, that none but savages ever attempted to pass. We marched a hundred miles upon shore with only three days' provisions, waded over three rapid rivers, marched through snow and ice barefoot, passed over the St. Lawrence where it was guarded by the enemy's frigates, and are now resting about twenty-four miles from the city to recruit our worn-out natures. General Montgomery intends to join us immediately, so that we have a winter's campaign before us. But I trust we shall have the glory of taking Quebec!"

The young soldier's hopes were vain. He was taken prisoner with many of his men while gallantly defending a difficult position, and spent a year in prison. On his release he rejoined the army of Washington and fought through the greater part of the Revolution, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was at Peekskill, Valley Forge, and Red Bank, and wrote the official account of the last-named battle, which may be found in Washington's correspondence.

During the terrible winter at Valley Forge, Lieutenant-Colonel Ward obtained a month's furlough, wooed and married his cousin, Phœbe Greene (daughter of Governor William Greene, of Rhode Island, and of the beautiful Catherine Ray, 2 of Block Island), and returned to the snows and starvation of the winter camp. Our mother was very proud of her great-grandmother Catherine's memory, treasured her rat-tail spoons and her wedding stockings of orange silk, and was fond of telling how Benjamin Franklin admired and corresponded with her. Some of Franklin's letters have been preserved. He speaks of his wife as the "old lady," but says he has got so used to her faults that they are like his own – he does not recognize them any more. In one letter he gives the following advice to the lovely Catherine: "Kill no more Pigeons than you can eat. Go constantly to meeting or to church – till you get a good husband; then stay at home and nurse the children and live like a Christian."

Some years after the Revolution, Colonel Ward was in Paris on a business errand. He kept a record of his stay there in a parchment pocket-book, where among technical entries are found brief comments on matters of general interest. One day the Colonel tells of a dinner party where he met Vergniaud and other prominent revolutionists. He was surprised to find them such plain men: "yet were they exceeding warm." On December 29, 1792, he notes: "Dined with Gouverneur Morris. Served upon plate – good wines – his Kitchen neither french or English, but between both. Servants french, apartments good.... I have visited the halls of painting and sculpture at the Louvre. The peices [sic ] are all called chef d'oeuvres by connoisseurs. The oldest are thought the best, I cannot tell why, though some of the old pieces are very good. Milo riving the oak is good...."

He went to the theatre, and observed that the features which appeared to him most objectionable were specially applauded by the audience.

Briefly, amid items of the sale of land, he thus notes the execution of Louis XVI:–

"January 15th. The convention has this day decided upon two questions on the King; one that he was guilty, another that the question should not be sent to the people.

"January 17th. The convention up all night upon the question of the King's sentence. At eleven this night the question was determined – the sentence of death was pronounced. 366 death – 319 seclusion or banishment – 36 various – majority of 5 absolute – the King caused an appeal to be made to the people, which was not allowed; thus the convention have been the accusers, the judges, and will be the executors of their own sentence – this will cause a great degree of astonishment in America....

"January 21st. Went to the Pont Royal to pass it at nine o'clock. Guards prevented me from going over. I had engaged to pass this day, which is one of horror, at Versailles, with Mr. Morris. The King was beheaded at eleven o'clock. Guards, at an early hour, took possession of the Place Louis XV, and were posted in each avenue. The most profound peace prevailed. Those who had feeling lamented in secret in their houses, or had left town. Others showed the same levity or barbarous indifference as on former occasions. Hichborn, Henderson, and Johnson went to see the execution, for which, as an American, I was sorry. The King desired to speak. He had only time to say he was innocent, and forgave his enemies. Santerre ordered the [executioner] to dispatch him. At twelve the streets were again all open."

There is a tradition that when Colonel Ward quitted Paris, with a party of friends, the carriage was driven by a disguised nobleman, who thus escaped the guillotine.

Our mother remembered him as a "gentleman advanced in years, with courtly manner and mild blue eyes, which were, in spite of their mildness, very observing."

She inherited many traits from the Wards, among them a force and integrity of purpose, a strength of character, and a certain business instinct which sometimes cropped up when least expected, and which caused some of her family to call her the "banker's daughter."

Those were also solid qualities which she inherited from the Rhode Island Greenes. Greenes of Warwick, Greenes of East Greenwich; all through Colonial and Revolutionary history we find their names. Sturdy, active, patriotic men; Generals, Colonels, and Governors of "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," chief among them Governor William Greene, the "War Governor," and General Nathanael Greene of glorious memory.

Our liveliest association with the name of Greene is the memory of Mrs. Nancy Greene, first cousin of our grandfather Ward and daughter-in-law of the General who died in Middletown, Rhode Island, in 1886, at the age of one hundred and two. This lady was dear to our mother as the one remaining link with her father's generation. A visit to "Cousin Nancy" was one of her great pleasures, and we children were happy if we were allowed to accompany her. The old lady sat erect and dignified in her straight-backed chair, and the two discoursed at length of days gone by. To Cousin Nancy "Julia" was always young, though the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was already written when the old lady charged her to "cultivate a literary taste." On another occasion – it was one of the later visits – she said with emphasis, "Julia, do not allow yourself to grow old! When you feel that you cannot do a thing, get up and do it! " Julia never forgot this advice.

Cousin Nancy never read a novel in her life, as she announced with pride. She wished to read the "Annals of the Schönberg-Cotta Family" but, finding it to be a work of fiction, decided not to break her rule. She was a fond and pious mother; when her son needed chastisement, she would pray over him so long that he would cry out, "Mother, it is time to begin whipping!"

If Julia Ward was part Ward and Greene, she was quite as much Cutler and Marion; it is to this descent that we must turn for the best explanation of her many-sided character.

When she said of any relation, however distant, "He is a Cutler!" it meant that she recognized in that person certain qualities – a warmth of temperament, a personality glowing, sparkling, effervescent – akin to her own. If in addition to these qualities the person had red hair, she took him to her heart, and he could do no wrong. All this, and a host of tender associations aside, the name of Cutler meant to her; yet it may be questioned whether any of these characteristics would have appeared in the descendants of Johannes Demesmaker, worthy citizen of Holland, who, coming to this country in 1674, changed his name to Cutler for convenience' sake, had not one of these descendants, Benjamin Clarke Cutler, married Sarah (Mitchell) Hyrne, daughter of Thomas Mitchell and Esther (or Hester) Marion.

To most people, the name Marion suggests one person only, – General Francis Marion of Revolutionary fame; yet it was the grandfather of the General, Benjamin Marion, of La Rochelle, who was the first of the name to settle in this country, coming hither when the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes drove the Huguenots into exile. Brigadier-General Peter Horry, 3 friend and biographer of General Marion, quotes the letter which told Benjamin of his banishment:–

 

Your damnable heresy well deserves, even in this life, that purgation by fire which awfully awaits it in the next. But in consideration of your youth and worthy connections, our mercy has condescended to commute your punishment to perpetual exile. You will, therefore, instantly prepare to quit your country forever, for, if after ten days from the date hereof, you should be found in any part of the kingdom, your miserable body shall be consumed by fire and your impious ashes scattered on the winds of heaven.

      (Signed)RE ROCHELLE.

 

Within the ten days Benjamin Marion had wound up his affairs, married his betrothed, Judith Baluet, and was on his way to America to seek his fortune. He bought a plantation on Goose Creek, near Charleston, South Carolina, and here he and his Judith lived for many peaceful years in content and prosperity, seeing their children grow up around them.4

Gabriel Marion, the eldest son of Benjamin, married a young woman, also of Huguenot blood, Charlotte Cordés or Corday, said to have been a relative of the other Charlotte Corday, the heroine of the French Revolution. To this couple were born six children, the eldest being Esther, our mother's great-grandmother, the youngest, Francis, who was to become the "Swamp Fox" of Revolutionary days.

Esther Marion has been called the "Queen Bee" of the Marion hive; she had fifteen children, and her descendants have multiplied and spread in every direction. She was twice married, first to John Allston, of Georgetown, or Waccamaw, secondly to Thomas Mitchell, of Georgetown. The only one of the fifteen children with whom we have concern is Sarah Mitchell, the "Grandma Cutler" of Julia Ward's childhood. This lady was married at fourteen to Dr. Hyrne, an officer of Washington's army. Julia well remembered her saying that after her engagement, she wept on being told that she must give up her dolls.

Dr. Hyrne lived but a short time, and four years after his death the twenty-year-old widow married Benjamin Clarke Cutler, then a widower, Sheriff of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, and third in descent from John Demesmaker, 5 before mentioned, sometime physician and surgeon.

Our mother was much attached to "Grandma Cutler," and speaks thus of her in a sketch entitled "The Elegant Literature of Sixty Years Ago"; "Grandma will read Owen Feltham's 'Resolves,' albeit the print is too small for her eyes. She knows Pope and Crabbe by heart, admires Shenstone, and tells me which scenes are considered finest in this or that of Scott's novels. Calling one day upon a compeer of her own age, she was scandalized to find her occupied with a silly story called 'Jimmy Jessamy.'"

Mrs. Cutler had known General Washington, and was fond of telling how at a ball the Commander-in-Chief crossed the room to speak to her. Many of her letters have been preserved, and show a sprightliness which is well borne out by her portrait, that of a charming old lady in a turban, with bright eyes and a humorous mouth.

A word remains to be said about General Francis Marion himself. This hero of history, song, and romance was childless; our mother could claim as near relationship to him as could any of her generation. She was extremely proud of this kinship, and no one who knew her could doubt that from the Marions she inherited many vital qualities. One winter, towards the end of her life, there was a meeting at the Old South Church at which – as at the gathering described at the beginning of this chapter – there was talk of ancestry and kindred topics. The weather was stormy, our mother well on in the eighties, but she was there. Being called on to speak, she made a brief address in the course of which she alluded to her Southern descent, and to General Francis Marion, her great-great-uncle. As she spoke her eyes lighted with mirth, in the way we all remember: "General Marion," she said, "was known in his generation as the 'Swamp Fox'; and when I succeed in eluding the care of my guardians, children and grandchildren, and coming to a meeting like this, I think I may be said to have inherited some of his characteristics!"


CHAPTER II

LITTLE JULIA WARD

1819-1835; aet. 1-16

 

FROM MY NURSERY: FORTY-SIX YEARS AGO

When I was a little child,
Said my passionate nurse, and wild:
"Wash you, children, clean and white;
God may call you any night."

Close my tender brother clung,
While I said with doubtful tongue:
"No, we cannot die so soon;
For you told, the other noon,

"Of those months in order fine
That should make the earth divine.
I've not seen, scarce five years old,
Months like those of which you told."

Softly, then, the woman's hand
Loosed my frock from silken band,
Tender smoothed the fiery head,
Often shamed for ringlets red.
Somewhat gently did she say,
"Child, those months are every day."

Still, methinks, I wait in fear,
For that wonder-glorious year –
For a spring without a storm,
Summer honey-dewed and warm,
Autumn of robuster strength,
Winter piled in crystal length.

I will wash me clean and white;
God may call me any night.
I must tell Him when I go
His great year is yet to know –
Year when working of the race
Shall match Creation's dial face;
Each hour be born of music's chime,
And Truth eternal told in Time.

J. W. H.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WARD had ten children, of whom seven lived to grow up. The fifth child and son was Samuel, our mother's father, born in Warwick, Rhode Island, May 1, 1786. When he was four years old, the family moved to New York, where the Colonel and his brother established themselves as merchants under the firm name of Samuel Ward & Brother.

The firm was only moderately successful; the children came first. With his narrow income it was not possible for the father to give his boy the college education he desired; so at fourteen, fresh from the common schools, Samuel entered as a clerk the banking house of Prime & King. While still a mere lad, an old friend of the family asked him what he meant to be when he came to man's estate.

"I mean to be one of the first bankers in the United States!" replied Samuel.

At the age of twenty-two he became a partner in the firm, which was thereafter known as Prime, Ward & King.

In a memoir of our grandfather, the partner who survived him, Mr. Charles King, says:–

"Money was the commodity in which Mr. Ward dealt, and if, as is hardly to be disputed, money be the root of all evil, it is also, in hands that know how to use it worthily, the instrument of much good. There exist undoubtedly, in regard to the trade in money, and respecting those engaged in it, many and absurd prejudices, inherited in part from ancient error, and fomented and kept alive by the jealousies of ignorance and indigence. It is therefore no small triumph to have lived down, as Mr. Ward did, this prejudice, and to have forced upon the community in the midst of which he resided, and upon all brought into connexion with him, the conviction that commerce in money, like commerce in general, is, to a lofty spirit, lofty and ennobling, and is valued more for the power it confers, of promoting liberal and beneficent enterprises, and of conducing to the welfare and prosperity of society, than for the means of individual and selfish gratification or indulgence."

SAMUEL WARD
From a painting in the possession of his grandson
Henry Marion Howe
JULIA RUSH WARD
From a painting in the possession of her granddaughter
Mrs. Henry Richards

Mr. Ward's activities were not confined to financial affairs. He was founder and first president of the Bank of Commerce; one of the founders of the New York University and of the Stuyvesant Institute, etc., etc.

In 1812 he married Julia Rush Cutler, second daughter of Benjamin Clarke and Sarah Mitchell (Hyrne) Cutler. Julia Cutler was sixteen years old at the time of her marriage, lovely in character and beautiful in person. She had been a pupil of the saintly Isabella Graham, and her literary taste had been carefully cultivated in the style of the day. One of her poems, found in Griswold's "Female Poets of America," shows the deeply religious cast of her mind; yet she was full of gentle gayety, loved music, laughter, and pretty things.

During the first years of their married life, Mr. and Mrs. Ward lived in Marketfield Street, near the Battery. Here four children were born, Samuel and Henry, and the two Julias. She who was known as "the first little Julia" lived only four years. During her fatal illness her father was called away by urgent business. In great distress of mind, he arranged that certain tokens should inform him of the child's condition. A few days later, as he was riding homeward, a messenger came to meet him and silently laid in his hand a tiny shoe: the child was dead.

Not long after this, on May 27, 1819, a second daughter was born, and named Julia.

Julia Ward was very little when her parents moved to "a large house on the Bowling Green, a region of high fashion in those days." 6 Here were born three more children: Francis Marion, Louisa Cutler, and Ann Eliza. For some time before the birth of the last-named child, Mrs. Ward's health had been gradually failing, though every known measure had been used to restore it. There had been journeys to Niagara and up the Hudson, in the family coach, straw-color outside with linings and cushions of brilliant blue. Little Julia went with her mother on these journeys; the good elder sister, Eliza Cutler, was also of the party; and a physician, Dr. John Wakefield Francis, who was later to play an important part in the family. Julia remembered many incidents of these journeys, though the latest of them took place when she was barely four years old. She sat in a little chair placed at the feet of her elders, and she used to tell us how, cramped with remaining in one position, she was constantly moving the chair, bringing its feet down on those of Dr. Francis, to his acute anguish. In spite of this, the good doctor would often read to her from a book of short tales and poems which had been brought for her amusement, and she always remembered his reading of "Pity the sorrows of a poor old man," and how it brought tears to her eyes.

At Niagara Falls she asked Dr. Francis, "Who made that great hole where the water came down?" and was told "The great Maker of all!" This puzzled her, and she inquired further, but when her friend said, "Do you not know? Our Father who art in heaven!" she "felt that she ought to have known, and went away somewhat abashed." 7

She remembered a visit to Red Jacket, the famous Indian chief, at his encampment. Julia was given a twist of tobacco tied with blue ribbon, which she was to present to him. At sight of the tall, dignified savage, the child sprang forward and threw her arms round his neck, to the great discomfiture of both; baby as she was, Julia felt as once that her embrace was unexpected and unwelcome.

Sometimes they went to the pleasant farm at Jamaica, Long Island, where Lieutenant-Colonel Ward was living at this time, with his unmarried sons, and his two daughters, Phœbe and Anne.

Phœbe was an invalid saint. She lived in a darkened room, and the plates and dishes from which she ate were of brown china or crockery, as she fancied her eyes could not bear white. Anne was equally pious, but more normal. She it was who managed the farm, and who would always bring the cheeses to New York herself for the market, lest any of the family grow proud and belittle the dignity of honest work.

It is from Jamaica that Mrs. Ward writes to her mother a letter which shows that though the tenderest of mothers, she had been strictly imbued with the Old Testament ideas of bringing up children.

 

DEAREST MOTHER, – ...I find myself better since I came hither.... Husband more devoted than ever; children sweet tho' something of a drawback on my recovery.... Thus in one page, you have the whole history of my present life, reading and thinking only excepted, which occupy by far the greatest portion of my time.... I was obliged to whip Julia yesterday afternoon, and have been sick ever since in consequence of the agitation it threw me into.... I felt obliged to try Solomon's prescription, which had a worse effect on me than on her.... I think it is the last time, however, blow high or low, for she is as nervous as her mama was at her age, at the sight of a rod, and screamed herself almost to death; indeed her nerves were so affected that she cannot get over it and has cried all to-day, trembling as violently as if she had the ague all the time I whipped her and could not eat.

 

Julia was to retain through life the memories of the dear mother so early lost. She remembered her first sewing-lesson; how being told to take the needle in one hand she straightway placed the thimble on the other. She remembered her first efforts to say "mother," and how "muzzer" was all she could produce, till "the dear parent presently said, 'if you cannot do better than that, you will have to go back and call me "mamma."' The shame of going back moved me to one last effort, and, summoning my utmost strength of tongue I succeeded in saying 'mother.'" 8

All devices to restore the young mother's failing strength were in vain: soon after giving birth to the fourth daughter, Ann Eliza, she died.

Her life had been pure, happy, and unselfish; yet her last hours were full of anguish. Reared in the strictest tenets of Evangelical piety, she was oppressed with terror concerning the fate of her soul; the sorrows of death compassed her about, the pains of hell gat hold upon her. It is piteous to read of the sufferings of this innocent creature, as described by her mourning family; piteous, too, to realize, by the light of to-day, that she was almost literally prayed to death. She was twenty-seven years old when she died and had borne seven children.

Mr. Ward's grief at the death of his beloved wife was so extreme as to bring on a severe illness. For some time he could not bear to see the child who, he thought, had cost her mother's life; and though he gathered his other children tenderly around him, the little Annie was kept out of sight.

By and by his father came to make him a visit and heard of this state of things. Going to the nursery, the old gentleman took the baby from its nurse, and carrying it into the room where his son sat desolate, laid it gently in his arms. From that moment the little youngest became almost his dearest care.

He could not live with his sorrow in the same dwelling that had contained his joy. The beautiful house at Bowling Green was sold, with the new furniture which had lately been ordered to please his Julia, and which the children never saw uncovered; and the family removed to Bond Street, then at the upper end of New York City.

"Mr. Ward," said his friends, "you are going out of town!"

Bond Street in the twentieth century is an unlovely throughfare, grimy, frowzy, given over largely to the sale of feathers and artificial flowers; Bond Street in the early part of the nineteenth century was a different affair.

The first settler in the street was Jonas Minturn, who about 1825 built No. 22. Mr. Ward came next. The city was then so remote, one could hardly see the houses to the south across the woods and fields.

The Ward children saw the street grow up around them; saw the dignified houses, brick or freestone, built and occupied by Kings, Halls, Morgans, Grinnells, most of all by Wards. Mr. Ward was then at No. 16; his father, the old Revolutionary soldier, soon came to live at No. 7, with his daughter Anne; his brother Henry was first at No. 14, then at No. 23; while his brother John was to make No. 8 a dwelling beloved by three generations.

Julia did not remember in what year her father bought the tract of land at the corner of Bond Street and Broadway. At first a large part of it was fenced in, and used as a riding-ring by the Ward boys. There was also, either here or at No. 16, something in the way of a garden, which she thus recalls in an address on horticulture, given in her later years:–



"THE CORNER"
The house built by Mr. Ward in 1835 at the corner of Bond Street and Broadway

"My earliest horticultural recollections go back to an enclosure, usually called a yard, in the rear of my father's house in New York. When my brother and I were turned out to play there, we might just as well have picked the bugs off the rosebushes as the buds, of which we made wicked havoc. Not knowing what to do with the flower border, we barbarized instead of cultivating it. Being of extremely inquiring minds, we picked the larkspurs and laburnums to pieces, but became nothing the wiser for the process. A little daily tuition might have transformed us into a miniature Adam and Eve, and might have taught us some things that these old friends of ours did not know. But tuition to us then meant six or eight daily hours passed in dry conversation with the family governess or French master. No one dreamed of turning the enamelled pages of the garden for us. We grew up consequently with the city measure of the universe – your own house, somebody else's, the trees in the park, a strip of blue sky overhead, and a great deal of talk about Nature read from the best authors. Much that is most beautiful in the works of all the poets was perfectly unintelligible to us, because we had never seen the phenomena referred to; or if we had seen them, we had not been taught to observe them. You will ask where we passed our summers? In travelling, or at the seashore, perhaps. But we took our city measure with us, and were never quite at home beyond its limits."

She adds: "I state these facts only to show how much of the world's beauty and value may be shut out from the eyes of a human being, by even a careful education! This loss cannot easily be remedied in later years. I myself had reached mature life before I experienced the deep and calm enjoyments of country life. The long, still summer days, the open, fragrant fields, the shy wild blossoms, the song of birds; these won me at last to delight in them – at first they seemed to me only a void. It was a new gospel that the meadows taught me, and my own little children were its interpreters. I know now some country craft, and could even trim fruit trees and weed garden beds. But I have always regretted in this respect the lost time of youth. When I made acquaintance with Nature, I was too old to learn the skill of gardening. Year after year in the savage island of Newport, where labor is hard to hire, I have passed summers ungladdened by so much as a hollyhock, and the garden I at last managed to secure owes nothing to my skill or knowledge."

The truth is, people were afraid of the open air in those days. Julia and her sisters sometimes went for a drive in pleasant weather, dressed in blue pelisses and yellow satin bonnets to match the chariot; they rarely went out on foot; when they did, it was in cambric dresses and kid slippers; the result was apt to be a cold or a sore throat, proving conclusively to the minds of elders how much better off they were within doors.

Julia's nursery recollections were chiefly of No. 16 Bond Street. Here the little Wards lived a happy but somewhat sober life, under the watchful care of their father, and their faithful Aunt Eliza, known in the family as "Auntie Francis."

The young mother, in dying, had commended her children specially to the care of this, her eldest sister, whose ability had been tried and proven from childhood. In 1810 her father, Benjamin Clarke Cutler, died suddenly under singular and painful circumstances. Her mother, crushed by this advent, took to her bed, leaving the care of the family to Eliza, then fifteen years of age. Eliza took up the house-mother's burden without question; nursed her mother, hubanded the narrow resources of the household, brought up the four children with a strong hand. "There were giants in those days."

Nothing could daunt Eliza Cutler's spirits, which were a perpetual cordial to those around her. She was often "borrowed" by one member and another of the family; she threatened to hang a sign over her door with the inscription, "Cheering done here by the job by E. Cutler." Her tongue could be sharp as well as merry; witness many anecdotes.

The housekeeper of a certain millionnaire, calling upon her to ask the character of a servant, took occasion to enlarge upon the splendors of her employer's establishment. "Mr. So-and-So keeps this; Mr. So-and-So keeps that:– "

"Yes! Yes!," said Mrs. Francis; "it is well known that Mr. So-and-So keeps everything, except the Ten Commandments!"

"Oh! Mrs. Francis, how could you?" cried the poor millionnaire when next they met.

In 1829 Eliza Cutler married Dr. John Wakefield Francis, the historian of Old New York, the beloved physician of a whole generation. He was already, as has been seen, a member of the Ward household, friend and resident physician. His tremendous vitality, his quick sympathies, his amazing flow of vivid and picturesque language, made him the delight of the children. He called them by singular pet names, "Cream Cheese from the Dairy of Heaven," "Pocket Edition of Lives of the Saints," etc., etc. He sang to them odd snatches of song which were to delight and exasperate later generations:–

"To a woodman's hut one evening there came
  A physician and a dancing-master:
The wind did blow, io, io,
  And the rain poured faster and faster."

Edgar Allan Poe said of Dr. Francis that his conversation was "a sort of Roman punch, made up of tragedy, comedy, and the broadest of all possible farce."

In those days, "The Raven," newly published, was the talk of the town. Dr. Francis, meeting Poe, invited him to come to his house on a certain evening, and straightway forgot the matter. Poe came at the appointed time. The Doctor, summoned to the bedside of a patient, left the drawing-room hastily, and in the anteroom ran into a tall, cadaverous figure in black. Seizing him in his arms, he carried him into the drawing-room and set him down before his wife. "Eliza, my dear – the Raven!" and he departed, leaving guest and hostess (the latter had never heard of "The Raven"!) equally petrified.

Mrs. Francis adored her husband, yet he must sometimes have tried her patience sorely. One evening they had a dinner party, eighteen covers, a state occasion. Midway in the repast the Doctor rose, and begging his guests to excuse him and his wife for a moment, led her, speechless with amazement, into the next room. Here he proceeded to bleed her, removing twelve ounces of blood; replying to her piteous protestations, "Madam, I saw that you were on the point of apoplexy, and I judge it best to avert it."

In strong contrast with "Uncle Doctor" was "Uncle Ben," the Reverend Benjamin Clarke Cutler, for many years rector of St. Anne's Church, Brooklyn. This uncle was much less to Julia's taste: indeed, she was known to stamp her childish foot, and cry, "I don't care for old Ben Cutler!" Nevertheless he was a saintly and interesting person.

He was twelve years old at the time of his father's tragic death, and was deeply influenced by it. His youth was made unhappy by spiritual anguish, duty to his widowed mother and the call to the ministry fighting within him. The latter conquered. In his twenty-first year he drew up, signed, and sealed "An Instrument of Solemn Surrender of Myself, Soul and Body, to God!" This document was in the form of a testament, in which he solemnly ("with death, judgment and eternity in view") gave, covenanted, and made over himself, soul and body, all his faculties, all his influence in this world, all the worldly goods with which he might be endowed, into the hands of his Creator, Preserver, and Constant Benefactor, to be his forever, and at his disposal. He goes on to say: "Witness, ye holy angels! I am God's servant; witness, thou, Prince of Hell! I am thy enemy, thy implacable enemy, from this time forth and forevermore."

That this covenant was well kept, no one who reads his memoirs and the testimony of his contemporaries can doubt.

There are many anecdotes of Uncle Ben. Once, during his early ministry, he was riding in a crowed stagecoach. One of the passengers swore profusely and continuously, to the manifest annoyance of the others. Presently Dr. Cutler, leaning forward, addressed the swearer.

"Sir," he said, "you are fond of blasphemy; I am fond of prayer. This is a public conveyance, and for the remainder of our journey, as often as you swear aloud, I shall pray aloud, and we will see who comes off best." The swearing stopped!

In his later years, he met one day a parishioner clad in deep mourning for a near relative. The old clergyman laid his hand on the crape sleeve. "What!" he said sternly. "Heathen mourning for a Christian saint!"

But of all the uncles (and there were many) the beloved Uncle John Ward was always first. Of him, through many years Julia's devoted friend and chief adviser, we shall speak later on.

We have dwelt upon the generation preceding our mother's, because all these people, the beautiful mother so early lost, so long loved and mourned, the sternly devoted father, the vivacious aunts, the stalwart uncles, were strong influences in the life of Julia Ward.

The amusements of the little Wards were few, compared with those of children of to-day. As a child of seven, Julia was taken to the opera, and heard Malibran, then Signorina Garcia, a pleasure the memory of which remained with her through life. About this time Mr. Ward's views of religious duty deepened in stringency and in gloom. There was no more opera, nor did Julia ever attend a theatre until she was a grown woman. In Low Church circles at that time, the drama was considered distinctly of the devil. The burning of the first Bowery Theatre and of the great theatre at Richmond, Virginia, were spoken of as "judgments." Many an Evangelical pastor "improved" the occasions from the pulpit.

The child inherited a strong dramatic sense from the Marion Cutlers. She had barely learned to read when she found in an "Annual" a tale called "The Iroquois Bride," which she dramatized and presented to the nursery audience, with herself for the bride, her brother Marion for the lover, and a stool for the rock they ascended to stab each other. The performance was not approved by Authority, and the book was promptly taken away.

Her first written drama was composed at the age of nine, but even the name of it is lost.

Mr. Ward did not encourage intimacies with other children. He felt strongly that brothers and sisters were the true, and should be the only, intimates for one another; indeed, the six children were enough to make a pleasant little circle of their own, and there were merry games in the wide nursery. Sam, the eldest born, was master of the revels in childhood, as throughout his life. It was his delight, in the early morning, to wrap himself in a sheet, and bursting into the room where the little sisters slept, leap from bed to bed, announcing himself as a ghost come to haunt them; or, when the three ladies, Mrs. Mills, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Francis (otherwise known as Julia, Louisa, and Annie) were playing with their dolls, to whisper in their ears that they must on no account venture near the attic stairs, as an old man in red was sitting there. Of course the little Fatimas must needs peep, and the old man was always there, a terrible figure, his face hidden. In "Bro' Sam's" absence it was Marion who played the outlaw and descended like a whirlwind upon the unhappy ladies, who were journeying through dense and dreadful forests.

Mrs. Mills, Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Francis were devoted mothers, and reared a large families of dolls. They kept house in a wide bureau drawer, divided into three parts. Our Aunt Annie (Mrs. Adolphe Mailliard) writes: "Mrs. Mills' (Julia) dolls were always far more picturesquely dressed than ours, although I can say little for their neatness. Oh! to what numberless parties they went, and how tipsy they invariable got! I can see distinctly to-day the upset wagon (boxes, on spools for wheels), and the muddy dresses, for they always fell into mud puddles."



JULIA, SAMUEL, AND HENRY WARD, circa 1825
From a miniature by Miss Anne Hall

Marion was as pious as he was warlike. His morning sermons, delivered over the back of a chair, were fervent and eloquent; he was only seven years old when he wrote his Cousin Henry Ward, who was ill with some childish ailment:–

"Do not forget to say your prayers every morning and evening. I hope that you trust in God; and, my dear cousin, do not set your mind too much on Earthly things! And my dear cousin, this is the prayer."

Follows the Lord's Prayer carefully written out. On the next page of the same sheet, the eight-year-old Julia adds her exhortation:–

"Dear Cousin, I hope that you will say the Prayer which my Brother has written for you. I hear with regret that you are sick, and it is as necessary as ever that you should trust in God; love him, dear Henry, and you will see Death approaching with joy. Oh, what are earthly things, which we must all lose when we die – to our immortal souls which never die! I cannot bear the thought of anybody who is dying without a knowledge of Christ. We may die before to-morrow, and therefore we ought to be prepared for death."

This was scarcely cheering for Henry, age ten; as a matter of fact, he was to have half a century in which to make his preparations.

Some of the nursery recollections were the reverse of merry. When Julia was still a little child, the old housekeeper died. The children loved her, and Auntie Francis did not wish them to be saddened by the funeral preparations; she gave them a good dose of physic all around and put them to bed for the day.

Julia was a beautiful child, but she had red hair, which was then considered a sad drawback. She could remember visitors condoling with her mother on this misfortune, and the gently lady deploring it also, and striving by the use of washes and leaden combs to darken the over-bright locks. Still, some impression of good looks must have reached the child's mind; for one day, desiring to know what she really was like, she scrambled up on a chair, then on a dressing-table, and took a good look in the mirror.

"Is that all? " she cried, and scrambled down again, a sadly disappointed child.

Her first lessons were from governesses and masters; when she was nine years old, she was sent to a private school in the neighborhood. She was placed in a class with older girls, and learned by heart many pages of Paley's "Moral Philosophy"; memorizing from textbooks formed in those days a great part of the school curriculum. She did not care especially for Paley, and found chemistry (without experiments!) and geometry far more interesting; but history and languages were the studies she loved. She had learned in the nursery to speak French fluently; she soon began the study of Latin. Hearing a class reciting an Italian lesson, she was enchanted with the musical sound of the language; listened and marked, day after day, and presently handed to the amazed principal a note correctly written in Italian, begging permission to join the class.

At nine years old she was reading "Pilgrim's Progress," and seeking its characters in the people she met every day. She always counted it one of the books which had most influenced her. Another was Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which she read at seventeen. 9

She began at an early age to write verse. A manuscript volume has been preserved in which some of these early poems were copied for her father.

The title-page and dedication are here reproduced:–

Poems
Dedicated to
Samuel Ward esq
By His
affectionate daughter
Julia Ward.
LET ME BE THINE!
Regard not with a critic's eye.
New York                1831.

To Samuel Ward.

Beloved father,

Expect not to find in these juvenile productions the delicacy and grace which pervaded the writings of that dear parent who is now in glory. I am indeed conscious of the many faults they contain, but my object in presenting you with these (original) poems, has been to give you a little memorial of my early life, and I entreat you to remember that they were written in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth years of my life.

Your loving daughter
JULIA.

 

The titles show the trend of the child's thought: "All things shall pass away"; "We return no more"; "Invitation to Youth" (1831!); "To my dear Mother"; "Mine is the power to make thee whole"; "To an infant's departing spirit"; "Redeeming Love"; "My Heavenly Home," etc., etc.

At Newport, in 1831, she wrote the following:–

MORNING HYMN

Now I see the morning light,
Shining bright and gay.
God has kept me through the night;
He will, if He thinks it right,
Preserve me through this day.

Let thy hold Spirit send
Of heavenly light a ray;
Thy face, oh! Lord, I fain would seek,
But I am feeble, vain and weak;
Oh, guide me in thy way!

Let thy assistance, Lord, be given,
That when life's path I've trod,
And when the last frail tie is riven,
My spirit may ascend to heaven,
To dwell with thee, My God.

We cannot resist quoting a stanza from the effusion entitled "Father's Birthday":–

Louisa brings a cushion rare,
Anne Eliza a toothpick bright and fair;
And O! accept the gift I bring,
It is a daughter's offering.

Julia's mind was not destined to remain in the evangelical mould which must have so rejoiced the heart of her father. In 1834, at the ripe age of fifteen, she describes her

"Vain Regrets

written on looking over a diary kept while I was under serious impressions":–

Oh! happy days, gone, never to return
At which fond memory will ever burn,
Oh, Joyous hours, with peace and gladness blest,
When hope and joy dwelt in this careworn breast.

The next poem, "The Land of Peace," breaks off abruptly at the third line, and when she again began to write religious verse, it was from a widely different standpoint.

It may have been about this time that she tried to lead her sisters into the path of poesy.

Coming one day into the nursery, in serious mood, she found the two little girls playing some childish game. Miss Ward (she was always Miss Ward, even in the nursery!) rebuked them for their frivolity; bade them turn their thoughts to graver matters, and write poetry.

Louisa refused point-blank, but little Annie, always anxious to please, went dutifully to work, and produced the following lines:–

He feeds the ravens when they call,
And stands them in a pleasant hall.

"Mitter Ward" (to give him his nursery title) treasured these tokens of pious and literary promise. He even responded in kind, as is shown by some verses which are endorsed:–

"From my dearest Father.
                  JULIA EUPHROSYNE WARD [sic ]."

His letters are full of playful affection. He would fain be father and mother both to the children who were now his all. Under the austere exterior lay a tenderness which perhaps they hardly comprehended at the time. It was in fact this very anguish of solicitude, this passionate wish that they should not only have, but be everything desirable and lovely, that made him outwardly so stern. This sterner note impressed itself so deeply upon the minds of his children that the anecdotes familiar to our own generation echo it. We see the little Julia, weary with long riding in the family coach, suffering her knees to drop apart childwise, and we hear Mr. Ward say: "My daughter, if you cannot sit like a lady, we will stop at the next tailor's and have you measured for a pair of pantaloons!"

Or we hear the child at table, remarking innocently that the cheese is strong; and the deep voice replying, "It is no more so than that expression, Miss!"

The family was still at 16 Bond Street, when all the children had whooping-cough severely, and were confined to the house for many weeks. Mrs. Mailliard writes of this time:–

"I remember the screened-off corner of the dining-room, which was called the Bower, where we each retired when the spasms came on, and the promises which we vainly gave each other each morning to choke rather than cough whilst Uncle Doctor made his visit to the nursery; for the slightest sound from one of us provoked the general order of a dose all round."

It was after this illness that Julia Ward first went to Newport. A change of air was prescribed for the children, and they were packed off to the farmhouse of Jacob Bailey, two or three miles from the town of Newport. Here they spent a happy summer, to be followed by many others. They slept on mattresses stuffed with ground corncobs; the table was primitive; but there was plenty of cream and curds, eggs and butter, and there was wonderful air. The children grew fat and hearty, and scampered all over the island with great delight.

(But when they went down to the beach, Julia must wear a thick green worsted veil to preserve her ivory-and-rose complexion.)

"Little Julia has another freckle to-day!" a visitor was told. "It was not her fault, the nurse forgot her veil!")

Julia recalled Newport in 1832 as "a forsaken, mildewed place, a sort of intensified Salem, with houses of rich design, no longer richly inhabited." She was to watch through many years the growth of what was always one of the cities of her heart.

But we must return to Bond Street, and take one more look at No. 16. The Wards were soon to leave it for a statelier dwelling, but many associations would always cling about the old house. Here it was that the good old grandfather, Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Ward, used to come from No. 7 to talk business with his son or to play with the children. Our mother had a vivid recollection of once, when still a little child, sitting down at the piano, placing an open music-book on the rack (though she could not yet read music), and beginning to pound and thump the keys with might and main. The Colonel was sitting by, book in hand, and endured the noise patiently for some time. Finally he said in his courtly way, "Is it so set down in the book, little lady?" "Yes, Grandpapa!" said naughty Julia, and went on banging; the Colonel, who indeed had little music, made no further comment. But when a game of "Tommy-come-tickle-me" was toward, the children must step in to No. 7 to share that excitement with their grandfather, since no cards were permitted under Mr. Ward's roof.

The year of the first Newport visit, 1832, was also the terrible "cholera year." Uncle Ben Cutler, at that time city missionary, writes in his diary:–

"The cholera is in Quebec and Montreal. This city is beginning to be alarmed; Christians are waking up. My soul, how stands the case with thee?"

And later:–

"I am now in the midst of the pestilence. The cholera, the universal plague, arrived in this city four weeks ago. It has caused the death of over nine hundred persons. This day the report of the Board of Health was three hundred new cases and one hundred and thirty deaths."

Many parts of the city were entirely deserted. Dr. Cutler retained through life the vivid recollection of riding down Broadway in full daylight, meeting no living soul, seeing only a face here and there at an upper window, peering at him as at a strange sight.

Newport took the alarm, and forbade steamboats from New York to land their passengers. This behavior was considered very cold-blooded, and gave rise to the conundrum: "Why is it impossible for Newporters to take the cholera? Answer: Because they have no bowels."

Grandma Cutler was at Newport with the Wards and Francises, and trembled for her only son. She implored him to "flee while it was yet day." "My most precious son," she cried, "oh, come out from thence! I entreat you; linger not within its walls, as Lot would have done, but for the family angels that drew him perforce from it!"

The missionary stood firm at his post, and though exhausted by his labors, came safe through the ordeal. But Colonel Ward, who had not thought fit to flee the enemy, – it was not his habit to flee enemies – was stricken with the pestilence, and died in New York City, August 16. His death was a grievous blow to Mr. Ward. Not only had he lost a loving and beloved father, but he had no assurance of the orthodoxy of that father's religious opinions. The Colonel was thought in the family to be of a philosophizing, if not actually sceptical, turn of mind; it might be that he was not "safe"! Years after, Mr. Ward told Julia of the anguish he suffered from this uncertainty.

It is with No. 16 Bond Street that we chiefly associate the sprightly figure of "Grandma Cutler," who was a frequent visitor there. The affection between Mr. Ward and his mother-in-law was warm and lively. They had a "little language" of their own, and she was Lady Feltham (from her fondness for Feltham's "Resolves," a book little in demand in the twentieth century); and he was her "saucy Lark," or "Plato." Mrs. Cutler died in 1836.


CHAPTER III

"THE CORNER"

1835-1839; aet. 16-20

 

But well I thank my father's sober house
Where shallow judgment had no leave to be,
And hurrying years, that, stripping much aside,
Turned as they fled, and left me charity.

J. W. H.

THE house which Mr. Ward built on the corner of Bond Street and Broadway was still standing in the middle of the nineteenth century; a dignified mansion of brick, with columns and trimmings of white marble.

In her "Reminiscences," our mother recalls the spacious rooms, hung with red, blue, and yellow silk. The yellow drawing-room was reserved for high occasions, and for "Miss Ward's" desk and grand piano. This and the blue room were adorned by fine sculptured mantelpieces, the work of a young sculptor named Thomas Crawford, who was just coming into notice.

Behind the main house, stretching along Broadway, was the picture gallery, the first private one in New York, and Mr. Ward's special pride. The children might not mingle in frivolous gayety abroad, but they should have all that love, taste, and money could give them at home; he filled his gallery with the best pictures he could find. A friend (Mr. Prescott Hall), making a timely journey through Spain, bought for him many valuable pictures, among them a Snyders, a Nicolas Poussin, a reputed Velasquez and Rembrandt. It was for him that Thomas Cole painted the four pictures representing "The Voyage of Life," engravings from which may still be found in old-fashioned parlors.

Some years later, when the eldest son, Samuel, returned from Europe, bringing with him a fine collection of books, Mr. Ward built a library specially for them.

This was the house into which the family moved in 1835, Julia being then sixteen years of age; this was the house she loved, the memory of which was dear to her through all the years of her life.

The family was at that time partriarchal in its dimensions: Mr. Ward and his six children, Dr. and Mrs. Francis and their four; often, too, "Grandma Cutler" and other Cutlers, not to speak of Wards, Greenes, and McAllisters. (Louisa, youngest of the Cutler sisters, one of the most beautiful and enchanting women of her time, was married to Matthew Hall McAllister.) One and all were sure of a welcome at "The Corner"; one and all were received with cordial urbanity, first by Johnson, the colored butler, later by Mr. Ward, the soul of dignified hospitality.

Another inmate of the house during several years was Christy Evangelides, a Greek boy, orphaned in a Turkish massacre. Mr. Ward took the boy into his family, gave him his education and a start in life. Fifty years later Mr. Evangelides recalled those days in a letter to his "sister Julia," and paid beautiful tribute to his benefactor.

To all these should be added a host of servants and retainers; and masters of various kinds, coming to teach music, languages, even dancing, for the children were taught to dance even if they never (or very seldom) were allowed to go to dances. Many of these teachers were foreign patriots: those were the days when one French émigré of rank dressed the hair of fashionable New York, while another made its salads, the two going their rounds before every festivity.

Julia's musical education began early. Her first teacher was a French artist, so irritable that the terrified child could remember little that he taught her. He was succeeded in her tenth year by Mr. Boocock, a pupil of Cramer, to whom she always felt that she owed a great deal. Not only did he train her fingers so carefully that after eighty years they still retained their flexibility, but he also trained and developed her inborn taste for all that was best in music.

As she grew toward girlhood, the good master found that her voice promised to be a remarkable one, and recommended to her father Signor Cardini, formerly an intimate of the Garcia family, and thoroughly versed in the famous Garcia method. Under his care Julia's voice developed into a pure, clear mezzo-soprano, of uncommon range and exquisite quality. She felt all through her life the benefit of those early lessons.

When she was eighty years old she attended a meeting of the National Peace Society at Park Street Church, Boston. The church was packed with people. When her turn came to speak, the kindly chairman said:–

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now to have the great pleasure of listening to Mrs. Howe. I am going to ask you all to be very quiet, for though Mrs. Howe's voice is as sweet as ever, it is perhaps not quite so strong."

"But it carries!" said the pupil of old Cardini. The silver tone, though not loud, reached the farthest corner of the great building; the house "came down" in a thunder of applause. It was a beautiful moment for the proud daughter who sat beside her.

Music was one of the passions of her life. Indeed, she felt that it had sometimes influenced her even too much, and in recording the delight she took in the trios and quartets which Mr. Boocock arranged for her, she adds: "The reaction from this pleasure, however, was very painful, and induced at times a visitation of morbid melancholy, which threatened to upset my health."

She felt that "in the training of young persons, some regard should be had to the sensitiveness of youthful nerves, and to the overpowering response which they often make to the appeals of music...

"The power and sweep of great orchestral performances, or even the suggestive charm of some beautiful voice, will sometimes so disturb the mental equilibrium of the hearer as to induce in him a listless melancholy, or worse still, an unreasoning and unreasonable discontent." 10

In a later chapter of her "Reminiscences," she says: "I left school at the age of sixteen, and began thereafter to study in good earnest. Until that time a certain over-romantic and imaginative turn of mind had interfered much with the progress of my studies. I indulged in day-dreams which appeared to me far higher in tone than the humdrum of my school recitations. When these were at an end, I began to feel the necessity of more strenuous application, and at once arranged for myself hours of study, relieved by the practice of vocal and instrumental music."

These hours of study were not all passed at home. In 1836 she was taking certain courses at the boarding and day school of Mrs. E. Smith, then in Fifth Avenue, "first house from Washington Square."

The Italian master was a son of the venerable Lorenzo da Ponte, who in his youth had written for Mozart the librettos of "Don Giovanni" and "Le Nozze di Figaro."

Four languages, English, French, German, and Italian, Julia learned thoroughly; she spoke and wrote them throughout her life correctly as well as fluently, with singularly pure accent and inflection, and seldom or never was at a loss for a word; nor was she less proficient in history. For mathematics she had no gift, and was wont to say that her knowledge of the science was limited to the fact that four quarts made a gallon: yet the higher mathematics had a mysterious attraction for her, as an unexplored region of wonder and romance.

She was always a student. When she began the study of German, she set herself a task each day; lest anything should interfere to distract her mind, she had herself securely tied to her armchair, giving orders that she was on no account to be set free before the appointed hour.

This was characteristic of her through life. The chain of habit once formed was never broken, and study was meat and drink to her. Her "precious time" (which we children saucily abbreviated to "P.T.") was as real a thing to us as sunrise: we were not to break in upon it for anything short of a fire – or a cut finger!

Many years later, she laid down for the benefit of the younger generation these rules:–

"If you have at your command three hours per diem, you may study art, literature, and philosophy, not as they are studied professionally, but in the degree involved in general culture.

"If you have but one hour every day, read philosophy, or learn foreign languages, living or dead.

"If you command only fifteen or twenty minutes, read the Bible with the best commentaries, and daily a verse or two of the best poetry."

In the days when Julia was going round the corner to Mrs. Smith's school, Sam was newly returned from a long course of study and travel abroad, while Henry and Marion were at Round Hill School under the care of Dr. Joseph Green Cogswell and Mr. George Bancroft. The former was a beloved friend of the Ward family, and often visited them. We have pleasant glimpses of the household at this time, when the lines of paternal guidance, though still firmly, were somewhat less rigidly drawn.

Breakfast at "The Corner" was at eight in winter, and at half past seven in summer, Mr. Ward reading prayers before the meal, and again at bedtime. He would often wake his daughters in the morning by pelting them with stockings, crying, "Come, my rosebuds!"

The young people were apt to linger over the breakfast table in talk. It this were unduly prolonged, Mr. Ward would appear, "hatted and booted for the day," and say, "Young gentlemen, I am glad that you can afford to take life so easily. I am old, and must work for my living!"

Dinner was at four o'clock, supper at half past seven.

At table, Julia sat beside her father; he would often take her right hand in his left, half unconsciously, and hold it for some time, continuing the while to eat his dinner. Julia, her right hand imprisoned, would sit dinnerless, but never dreamed of remonstrating.

She had a habit of dropping her slippers off while at the table. Mr. Ward one day quietly secured an empty slipper with his foot, and then said: "My daughter, I have left my seals in my room. Will you be so good as to fetch them for me?" A moment's agonized search, and Julia went, "one shoe off and one shoe on," and brought the seals. Nothing was said on either side, but the habit was abandoned.

Mr. Ward's anxious care for his children's welfare extended to every branch of their conduct. One evening, walking with Julia, he met his sons, Henry and Marion, each with a cigar in his mouth. He was much troubled, and said: "Boys, you must give this up, and I will give it up too. From this time I forbid you to smoke, and I will join you in relinquishing the habit."

He never smoked again; nor did the boys – in his presence!

Three lads, young, handsome, brilliant, and eminently social as were the Wards, could not be kept out of society. They were popular, and would fain have had Julia, the only one of the three girls who was old enough, share in their pleasures; but this might not be. Mr. Ward had money and sympathy to spare for every benevolent enterprise, but he disliked and distrusted "society"; he would neither entertain it nor be entertained by it. Our mother quotes an argument between him and his eldest son on this point:–

"'Sir;' said my brother, 'you do not keep in view the importance of the social tie.'

"'The social what?' asked my father.

"'The social tie, sir.'

"'I make small account of that,' said the elder gentleman.

"'I will die in defence of it!' impetuously rejoined the younger.

"My father was so amused at this sally that he spoke of it to an intimate friend: 'He will die in defence of the social tie, indeed!'"

Julia's girlhood evenings were mostly spent at home, with books, needlework, and music, varied by an occasional lecture or concert, or a visit to some one of the uncle's houses in the street, which ought, one would think, to have been called "Ward Street," since at this time almost the whole family connection lived there.

Much as Julia loved her home, her books and music, she longed for some of the gayety which her brothers were enjoying. "I seemed to myself," she says, "like a young damsel of olden times, shut up within an enchanted castle. And I must say, that my dear father, with all his noble generosity and overweening affection, sometimes appeared to me as my jailer."

Once she expostulated with him, begging to be allowed more freedom in going out, and in receiving visits from the friends of her brothers. It may have been on the occasion when he refused to allow the late Louis Rutherford, of venerated memory, to be invited to the house, "because he belonged to the fashionable world."

Her father told her that he had early recognized in her a temperament and imagination over-sensitive to impressions from without, and that his wish had been to guard her from exciting influences until she should appear to him fully able to guard and guide herself.

Alas! The tender father meant to cherish a vestal flame in a vase of alabaster; in reality, he was trying to imprison the lightning in the cloud. When our mother wrote the words above quoted, on the power of music over sensitive natures, she was recalling these days, and perhaps remembering how, denied the society of her natural mates, her sixteen-year-old heart went out in sympathy and compassion to the young harper who came to take part in the trios and quartets, and who fell desperately in love with her and was summarily dismissed in consequence.

Yet who shall say that the father's austere régime did not after all meet a need of her nature deeper that she could possibly have realized at the time; that the long, lonely hours, the study often to weariness, – though never to satiety, – the very fires of longing and of regret, were not necessary to give her mind that temper which was to make it an instrument as strong as it was keen?

The result of this system was not precisely what Mr. Ward had expected. One evening (it was probably after the marriage of his eldest son to Emily Astor, when he joined perforce in the festivities of the time) he did actually take Julia to an evening party. She did not dance, but she was surrounded by eager youths all the evening, and when her father summoned her to go home, she was deep in talk with one of them. There was no disobeying the summons; as she turned to take her father's arm, Miss Julia made a little gesture of farewell, fluttering the fingers of her right hand over her shoulder, to cheer the disconsolate swain. Mr. Ward appeared unconscious of this, but a day or two later, on leaving the room where Julia was sitting, he said: "My daughter, – " and fluttered his fingers over his shoulder in precise mimicry of her gesture.

Another anecdote describes an occasion singularly characteristic of both father and daughter.

Julia was nineteen years old, a woman grown, feeling her womanhood in every vein. She had never been allowed to choose the persons who should be invited to the house: she had never had a party of her own. The different strains in her blood were singularly diverse. All through her life, Saxon and Gaul kept house together as peaceably as they might, but sometimes the French blood boiled over.

Calling her brothers in council, she told them that she was going to give a party; that she desired their help in making out lists, etc., but that the occasion and the responsibility were to be all her own. The brothers demurred, even Sam being somewhat appalled by the prospect; but finding her firm, they made out a list of desirable guests, of all ages. It was characteristic of her that the plan once made, the resolve taken, it became an obsession, a thing that must be done at whatever cost.

She asked her father if she might invite a few friends for a certain evening: he assented. She engaged the best caterer in New York; the most fashionable musicians; she even hired a splendid cut-glass chandelier to supplement the sober lighting of the yellow drawing-room.

The evening came: Mr. Ward, coming downstairs, found assembled as brilliant a gathering as could have been found in any other of the great houses of New York. He betrayed no surprise, but welcomed his guests with charming courtesy, as if they had come at his special desire; the music sounded, the young people danced, the evening passed off delightfully, to all save the young hostess. She, from the moment when the thing was inevitable, became as possessed with terror as she had been with desire. She could think of nothing but her father's displeasure, of the words he might speak, the glances he might cast upon her. During the whole evening, the cup of trembling was at her lips.

The moment the last guest had departed, the three brothers gathered round her. "We will speak to him!" they cried. "Let us speak to him for you!"

"No!" said Julia, "I must go myself."

She went at once to the room where her father sat alone. For a moment she could find no words; but none were needed. Gravely but kindly Mr. Ward said he was surprised to find that her idea of "a few friends" differed so widely from his own; he was sorry she had not consulted him more freely, and begged that in the future she would do so. Then he kissed her good-night with his usual tenderness, and it was over. The matter was never mentioned again.

The Wards continued to pass the summers at Newport, but no longer at good Jacob Bailey's farmhouse. Mr. Ward had bought a house in town, which a later generation was to know as "The Ashurst Cottage," on the corner of Bellevue Avenue and Catherine Street.

Here the severity of his rule relaxed somewhat, and the pretty house became the centre of a sober hospitality. Indeed, Newport was a sober place in those days. There were one or two houses where dancing was allowed, but these were viewed askance by many people.

One evening, a dancing party was given by a couple on Bellevue Avenue. They had a manservant named Salathiel, a person of rigid piety. When supper-time came, Salathiel was not to be found. The other servants, being questioned, said that he had rushed suddenly out of the house, crying, "I won't stay to see those people dancing themselves to hell!"

Though Julia might not dance, except at home, she might and did ride; first, with great contentment, on a Narragansett pacer, "Jeanie Deans," later on a thoroughbred mare, a golden bay named Cora. Cora was beautiful but "very pranky." After being several times run away with and once thrown off, it was observed by her sisters that Julia generally read her Bible and said her prayers before her ride: she has herself told us how, after being thrown off and obliged to make her way home on foot, she would creep in at the back door so that no one might see her.

She calls the "cottage" a "delightful house," and speaks with special pleasure of its garden planted with roses and gooseberry bushes by Billy Bottomore, a quaint old Newport sportsman, who took the boys shooting, and showed them where to find plover, woodcock, and snipe. Billy Bottomore passed for an adopted son of old Father Corné, another Newport "character" of those days. This gentleman had come from Naples to Boston, toward the end of the eighteenth century, as a decorative artist, and had made a modest fortune by painting the walls of the fine houses of Summer Street, Temple Place, and Beacon Hill. He chose Newport as his final home, because, as he told Mr. Ward, he had found that the climate was favorable to the growth of the tomato, "that most wholesome of vegetables." The Ward boys delighted in visiting Father Corné, and in hearing him sing his old songs, French and Italian, some of which are sung to-day by our grandchildren.

Father Corné lived to a great age. When past his ninetieth year, a friend asked him if he would not like to revisit Naples. "Ah, sir," replied the old man, "my father is dead!"

Our mother loved to linger over these old-time figures. The name of Billy Bottomore always brought a twinkle to her eye, and we never tired of hearing how he told her, "There is a single sister in Newport, a sempstress, to whom I have offered matrimony, but she says, 'No.'" The single sister finally yielded (perhaps when Billy inherited old Corné's money) and he became a proud and happy husband. "She keeps my house as neat as a nunnery!" he said. "When Miss E., the housekeeper, died, she nursed her and laid her out, and when Father Corné died, she nursed him and laid him out – "

"Yes, Billy," broke in our Aunt Annie, "and she'll lay you out too!" – which in due time she did.

He congratulated Julia on having girl-children only.

"Give me daughters!" he cried. "As my good old Spanish grandfather used to say, give me daughters!"

"Of this Spanish ancestor," our mothers says, "no one ever heard before. His descendant died, without daughter or son, of cholera in 185-."

We forget the name of another quaint personage, a retired sea-captain, who once gave a party to which she was allowed to go; but she remembered the party, and the unction with which the kindly host, rubbing his hands over the supper table, exclaimed: "Now, ladies and gentlemen, help yourselves sang froidy! "

The roses and gooseberry bushes of the Newport garden once witnessed a serio-comic scene. There was another sea-captain, Glover by name, who had business connections with Prime, Ward & King, and who came to the house sometimes on business, sometimes for a friendly call. He was a worthy man of middle age and unromantic appearance; probably the eighteen-year-old Julia, dreamy and poetic, took no more notice of him than civility required; but he took notice of her, and one day asked her to walk out in the garden with him. Wondering much, she went. After some desultory remarks, the Captain drew a visiting-card from his pocket, wrote a few words upon it, and handed it to his young hostess. She read:–
"Russell E. Glover's
 heart is yours!"


CHAPTER IV

GIRLHOOD

1839-1843; aet. 20-23

 

The torch that lit these silent halls,
Has now extinguished been;
The windows of the soul are dark,
And all is gloom within.

But lo! it shines, a star in heav'n,
And through death's murky night,
The ruins of the stately pile
Gleam softly in its light.

And it shall be a beacon star
To cheer us, and to guide;
For we would live as thou hast lived,
And die as thou hast died.

JULIA WARD, on her father's death, 1839.

IN Julia's childhood her brother Sam was her ideal and her idol. She describes him as a "handsome youth, quick of wit and tender of heart, brilliant in promise, and with a great and versatile power of work in him." He had early shown special proficiency in mathematics, and to the end of his life rejoiced in being one of the few persons who clearly understood the function called "Gamma." His masters expected great things from him; but his brilliant and effervescent spirit was forced into the Wall Street mould, with kindly intent but disastrous effect. His life was checkered, sun and shadow; but from first to last, he remained the delight of all who knew him. Sam Ward; Uncle Sam to three generations, his was a name to conjure with: the soul of generosity, the essence of wit, the spirit of kindliness. No one ever looked in his face, ever met the kindling glance of his dark eyes, ever saw the sunshine break in his smile, without forgetting all else in love and admiration of one of the most enchanting personalities that ever brightened the world.

Sam Ward returned from Europe in 1835, and took up his residence under his father's roof. In 1838 he married Emily, daughter of William B. Astor. The wedding was a grand one. Julia was first bridesmaid, and wore a dress of white moiré, then a material of the newest fashion. Those were the days of the ferronière, an ornament then so popular that "evening dress was scarcely considered complete without it." 11 Julia begged for one, and her father gave her a charming string of pearls, which she wore with great contentment at the wedding.

The young couple took up their residence with the family at "The Corner," the Francises having by this time moved to a house of their own.

With all these changes, little by little, the discipline relaxed, the doors opened wider. The bridal pair, fêted everywhere, must, in their turn, entertain their friends; and in these entertainments the daughters of the house must have their share.

Julia Ward was now nineteen, in the fulness of her early bloom. Her red-gold hair was no longer regarded as a misfortune; her gray eyes were large and well opened; her complexion of dazzling purity. Her finely chiselled features, and the beauty of her hands and arms, made an ensemble which could not fail to impress all who saw her. Add to this her singing, her wit, and the charm which was all and always her own, and we have the Diva Julia, as she was called by some who loved her. Her sisters, also, were growing up, each exquisitely attractive in her way; they became known as the "Three Graces of Bond Street." Louisa was like a damask rose, Annie like a dark lily; dark, too, of eyes and hair were Sam and Marion, while Henry was fair and blue-eyed.

At this distance of time, it may not be unpardonable to touch briefly on another aspect of our mother's youth; indeed, it would hardly be candid to avoid it. From the first she seems to have stirred the hearts of men. Her masters, old and young, fell in love with her almost as a matter of course. Gilded youth and sober middle-age fared no better; her girlhood passed to the sound of sighing.

"My dear," said an intimate friend of the three, speaking of these days, "Louisa had her admirers, and Annie had hers; but when the men saw your mother, they just flopped! "

Among her papers we have found many relics of these days, from the faded epistle addressed, "à Julie, la respectée, la choisie, l'aimée, la chérie," to the stern letter in which Mr. Ward "desires not to conceal from the Rev. Mr. — the deliberate and dispassionate opinion, that a gentleman whose sacred office commanded ready access to his roof, might well have earlier ascertained the views of a widow'd Father on a subject so involving the happiness of his child."

The unhappy suitor's note to Miss Julia is enclosed, and Mr. Ward trusts that "the return will be considered by the Rev. Mr. — as finally terminating the matter therein referred to."

Julia had for her suitors a tender and compassionate sympathy. She could not love them, she would not marry them, but she was very sorry for them, and – it must be admitted – she liked to be adored. So she sang duets with one, read German with another, Anglo-Saxon with a third; for all, perhaps, she may have had something the feeling of her "Coquette et Tendre " in "Passion Flowers."

Ere I knew life's sober meaning,
  Nature taught me simple wiles,
Gave this color, rising, waning,
  Gave these shadows, deepening smiles.

More she taught me, sighing, singing,
  Taught me free to think and move,
Taught this fond instinctive clinging
  To the helpful arm of love.

The suitors called her "Diva," but in the family she was "Jules," or "Jolie Julie." The family letters of this period are full of affectionate cheerfulness.

When "Jolie Julie" is away on a visit, the others send her a composite letter. Louisa threatens to shut her up on her return with nothing to read but her Anglo-Saxon grammar and "Beowulf." ("If that does not give you a distaste for all wolves," she says, "not excepting those Long fellows, 12 I do not know what will!")

Annie tells of opening the window in Julia's room and of all the poetical ideas flying out and away.

Emily, her brother's wife, describes Mr. Ward sighing, "Where is my beauty?" as he sits at the table; and the letter closes with a lively picture of the books in the library "heaving their dusty sides in sorrow for her absence."

In describing life at "The Corner," we must not forget the evenings at No. 23, Colonel Henry Ward's house. Uncle Henry and his namesake son (the boy who was to "see death approaching with joy"!) were musical. When Mr. Ward permitted (in his later and more lenient days) an informal dance at "The Corner," the three girls sent for Uncle Henry as naturally as they sent for the hair-dressing and salad-making émigrés; and the stately, handsome gentleman came, and played waltzes and polkas with cheerful patience all the evening.

On Sunday the whole family from "The Corner" took tea with Uncle Henry, and music was the order of the evening. Mr. Ward delighted in these occasions, and was never ready to go home. When Uncle Henry thought it was bedtime, he would go to the piano and play the "Rogue's March."

(Twice flogged for stealing a sheep,
Thrice flogged for desartion!
If ever I go for a soldier again,
The devil may be my portion!
We hear the fife shrill through the lively air!)

"No! no, Colonel!" Mr. Ward would cry. "We won't march yet; give us half an hour more!" And in affectionate mischief he would stay the half-hour through before marshalling his flock back to "The Corner."

A stern period was put to all this innocent gayety by the death of Mr. Ward, at the age of fifty-three. His life, always laborious, had been doubly so since the death of his wife. Stunned at first by the blow, his strong sense of duty soon roused him to resume his daily responsibilities – with a difference, however. Religion had always been a powerful factor in his life; henceforth it was to be his main inspiration, and he found his chief comfort in works of public and private beneficence.

An earnest patriot, he was no politician; but when his services were needed by city, state, or country, they were always forthcoming. Throughout the series of financial disasters beginning with Andrew Jackson's refusal to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States, and culminating in the panic of 1837, Mr. Ward acted with vigor, decision, and sagacity. His denunciation of the removal of the public deposits from the Bank of the United States by the famous Specie Circular as "an act so lawless, violent, and fraught with disaster, that it would and must eventually overthrow the men and the party that resorted to it," was justified, literally and entirely.

The crisis of 1836-37 called for all the strength, wisdom, and public spirit that the men of the country could show. Mr. Ward labored day and night to prevent the dishonor of the banks of New York.

"Individual effort, however, was vain, and the 10th of May saw all the banks reduced to suspend specie payments; and upon no man did that disastrous day close with deeper mortification than upon him. Personally, and in his business relations, this event affected Mr. Ward as little possibly as any one at all connected with affairs; but in his estimation, it vitally wounded the commercial honor and character of the city. He was not, however, a man to waste, in unavailing regrets, hours that might be more advantageously employed to repair the evil, and he therefore at once set about the arrangement of measures for inducing and enabling the banks to resume at the earliest possible moment." 13

This was accomplished within the year. About the same time the Bank of England sent to Prime, Ward & King a loan of nearly five million dollars in gold. Mr. King says, "This extraordinary mark of confidence, this well-earned tribute to the prudence and integrity of the house, Mr. Ward did not affect to undervalue, and confirming, as it did, the sagacity of his own views, and the results which he had so confidently foretold, it was not lost upon the community in the midst of which he lived."

Our mother never forgot the afternoon when Brother Sam came into her study on his return from Wall Street and cried out to her:–

"Julia, men have been going up and down the office stairs all day long, carrying little wooden kegs of gold on their backs, marked 'Prime, Ward & King' and filled with English gold!"

That English gold saved the honor of the Empire State, and the fact that her father procured the loan was the greatest asset in her inheritance from the old firm.

Mr. Ward did not see the kegs, for he was in bed, prostrated by a severe fit of sickness brought on by his labors for the public honor. The few years that remained to him were a very martyrdom, his old enemy, rheumatic gout, attacking him more and more fiercely; but his spirit was indomitable. He labored almost single-handed to establish the Bank of Commerce, and became its first president, stipulating that he should receive no compensation. What he did receive was his death-warrant. The dampness of the freshly plastered walls of the new building brought on in the spring of 1839 two successive attacks so severe that he could not rally from them. Still he toiled, giving all his energies to perfect and consolidate the enterprise which he believed would be of lasting benefit to his beloved city.

In October of the same year came another financial crisis. The banks of Philadelphia and the Southern States suspended specie payments, and every effort was made to induce the New York banks to follow suit. Mr. Ward was ill at Newport, but hearing the news he hurried back and threw himself into the conflict, exhorting, sustaining, encouraging.

A friend protested, warning him of the peril to his enfeebled health of such exertions. "I should esteem life itself not unworthily sacrificed," said Mr. Ward, "if by word or deed, I could aid the banks in adhering faithfully to their duty."

For nearly two weeks he labored, till the work was done, his city's honor and fair fame secure; then he went home literally to die, departing this life, November 27, 1839.

Julia was with him when he died, his hand in hers. The beauty of his countenance in death was such that Anne Hall, the well-known miniature painter, begged permission to paint it, and his descendants may still gaze on the majestic features in their serene repose.

Our mother writes of this time: "I cannot, even now, bear to dwell upon the desolate hush which fell upon our house when its stately head lay, silent and cold, in the midst of weeping friends and children."14

Her love for her father was to cease only with her life. She never failed to record his birthday in her diary, with some word of tender remembrance.

Shortly before Mr. Ward's death, Sam and his wife had moved to a house of their own. The five unmarried children would have been desolate, indeed, if left to themselves in the great house: but to the joy and comfort of all, their bachelor uncle, John Ward, left his own house and came to live with them. From this time until his death in 1866, he was a second father to them.

Uncle John! The words call up memories of our own childhood. We see a tall, stalwart figure, clad in loose-fitting garments; a noble head crowned by a small brown scratch wig; a countenance beaming with kindliness and humor. A Manila cheroot is between his lips – the fragrance of one never fails to call up his image – and he caresses an unamiable little dog which he fondly loves. He offers a grand-niece a silk dress if she will make it up herself. This was the "Uncle John" of No. 8 Bond Street, one of the worthies of Wall Street, and uncle, by courtesy, to half New York.

In his youth he had received an injury which deprived him of speech for more that a year. It was feared that he would never speak again; one day his mother, trying to help him in some small matter, and not succeeding to her mind, cried, "I am a poor, awkward, old woman!"

"No, you are not! " exclaimed John Ward; and the trouble was over.

His devotion to his orphan nieces and nephews was constant and beautiful. He desired ardently that the three girls should be good housekeepers, and grudged the amount of time which one of them at least devoted to books and music. To them also he was fond of giving dress-materials, with the proviso that they should make them up for themselves. This they managed to do, "with a good deal of help from the family seamstress."

When Julia published her first literary venture, a translation of Lamartine's "Jocelyne," Uncle John showed her a favorable notice of it in a newspaper, saying: "This is my little girl who knows about books, and writes an article and has it printed, but I wish she knew more about housekeeping."

"A sentiment," she adds, "which in after years I had occasion to echo with fervor."

While Sam was her ideal of youthful manhood, Henry was her mate, the nearest to her in age and in sympathy. The bond between them was close and tender; and when in October, 1840, he died of typhoid fever, the blow fell on her with crushing severity.

"When he closed his eyes," she says, "I would gladly, oh, so gladly have died with him!" And again, "I remember the time as one without light or comfort."

She turned to seek consolation in religion, and – naturally – in that aspect of religion which had been presented to her childish mind as the true and only one. At this time a great Calvinistic revival was going on in New York, and a zealous friend persuaded Julia to attend some of the meetings. In her anguish of grief, the gloomy doctrines of natural depravity, of an angry and vengeful Deity, of a salvation possible only through certain strictly defined channels, came home to her with terrible force. Her deeply religious nature sought the Divine under however portentous an aspect it was presented; her poet's imagination clung to the uplifted Cross; these were days of emotion, of fervor, of exaltation alternating with abasement; thought was to come later.

While under these influences, Julia, now at the head of the household, enforced her Calvinistic principals with rigor. The family were allowed only cold meat on Sunday, to their great discomfort; the rather uninviting midday dinner was named by Uncle John "Sentiment"; but at six o'clock they were given hot tea, and this he called "Bliss." Pious exhortations, sisterly admonitions, were the order of the day. "The Old Bird" – this nom de tendresse had now superseded "Jolie Julie," and was to be hers while her sisters and brothers lived – hovered over the younger ones with maternal anxiety. In the poems and letters of this period, she adopts unconsciously the phraseology of the day.

Being away on a visit, she writes to her sisters: "Believe me, it is better to set aside, untasted, the cup of human enjoyment, than to drink to the bitter dregs, and then seek for something better, which may not be granted to us. The manna fell from heaven early in the morning, those who then neglected to gather it were left without nourishment; it is early in life's morning that we must gather the heavenly food, which can alone support us through the burden and heat of the day."

The emotional fervor of this time was heightened by a complication which arose from it. A young clergyman of brilliant powers and passionate nature fell deeply in love with Julia, and pressed his suit with such ardor that she consented to a semi-engagement. Fortunately, a visit to Boston gave her time to examine her feelings. Relieved from the pressure of a twofold excitement, breathing a calmer and a freer air, she realized that there could be no true union between her and the Rev. Mr. —, and the connection was broken off.

The course of Julia's studies had for some years been leading her into wider fields of thought.

In her brother's library she found George Sand and Balzac, and read such books as he selected for her. In German she became familiar with Goethe, Jean Paul, and Matthias Claudius. She describes the sense of intellectual freedom derived from these studies as "half delightful, half alarming."

Mr. Ward one day had undertaken to read an English translation of "Faust" and came to her in great alarm. "My daughter," he said, "I hope that you have not read this wicked book!" She had read it, and "Wilhelm Meister," too (though in later life she thought the latter "not altogether good reading for the youth of our country"). Shelley was forbidden, and Bryon allowed only in small and carefully selected doses.

The twofold bereavement which weighed so heavily upon her checked for a time the development of her thought, throwing her back on the ideas which her childhood had received without question; but her buoyant spirit could not remain long submerged, and as the poignancy of grief abated, her mind sought eagerly for clearer vision.

In the quiet of her own room, the bounds of thought and of faith stretched wide and wider. Vision often came in a flash: witness the moment when the question of Matthias Claudius, "And is He not also the God of the Japanese?" changed from a shocking suggestion to an eternal truth. Witness also the moment when, after reading "Paradise Lost," she saw "the picture of an eternal evil, of Satan and his ministers subjugated, indeed, by God, but not conquered, and able to maintain against Him an opposition as eternal as his goodness. This appeared to me impossible, and I threw away, once and forever, the thought of the terrible hell which till then had always formed part of my belief. In its place I cherished the persuasion that the victory of goodness must consist in making everything good, and that Satan himself could have no shield strong enough to resist permanently the divine power of the divine spirit."



JULIA WARD, AET. 22
From the bust by Clevenger now in the Boston Public Library

New vistas were opening everywhere before her. She made acquaintance with Margaret Fuller, who read her poems, and urged her to publish them. Of one of these poems, Miss Fuller writes:–

"It is the record of days of genuine inspiration, – of days when the soul lay in the light, when the spiritual harmonies were clearly apprehended and great religious symbols reanimated with their original meaning. Its numbers have the fulness and sweetness of young love, young life. Its gifts were great and demand the service of a long day's work to requite and to interpret them. I can hardly realize that the Julia Ward I have seen has lived this life. It has not yet pervaded her whole being, though I can recall something of it in the steady light of her eye. May she become all attempered and ennobled by this music. I saw in her taste, the capacity for genius, and the utmost delicacy of passionate feeling, but caught no glimpse at the time of this higher mood.... If she publishes, I would not have her omit the lines about the 'lonely room.' The personal interest with which they stamp that part is slight and delicate....

"S. MARGARET FULLER.

"I know of many persons in my own circle to whom I think the poem would be especially grateful." 15

 

On every hand she met people, who like herself were pressing forward, seeking new light. She heard Channing preach, heard him say that God loves bad men as well as good; another window opened in her soul. Again, on a journey to Boston, she met Ralph Waldo Emerson. The train being delayed at a wayside station, she saw the Transcendentalist, whom she had pictured as hardly human, carrying on his shoulder the child of a poor and weary woman; her heart warmed to him, and they soon made acquaintance. She, with the ardor of youth, gave him at some length the religious views which she still held in the main, and with which she felt he would not agree. She enlarged upon the personal presence of Satan on this earth, on his power over man. Mr. Emerson replied with gentle courtesy, "Surely the Angel must be stronger than the Demon!" She never forgot these words; another window opened, and a wide one.

Julia Ward had come a long way from old Ascension Church, where Peter Stuyvesant, in a full brown wig, carried round the plate, and the Reverend Manton (afterwards Bishop) Eastburn preached sermons "remarked for their good English"; and where communicants were not expected to go to balls or theatres.

The years of mourning over, the Ward sisters took up the pursuits natural to their age and position. Louisa was now eighteen, very beautiful, already showing the rare social gift which distinguished her through life. The two sisters began a season of visiting, dancing, and all manner of gayeties.

The following letter illustrates this period of her girlhood:–

 

To her sisters

BOSTON (1842),
Friday, that's all I know about to-day.

MY DEAREST CHICKS, –

Though I have a right to be tired, having talked and danced for the two last nights, yet my enjoyment is most imperfect until I have shared it with you, so I must needs write to you, and tell you what a very nice time I am having. Last night I went to a party at Miss Shaw's, given to Boz and me, at least, I was invited before he came here, so think that I will only give him an equal share of the honor. I danced a good deal, with some very agreeable partners, and talked as usual with Sumner, Hillard, 16 Longo, 17 etc. I was quite pleased that Boz recognized Fanny Appleton and myself, and gave us a smile and bow en passant. He could do no more, being almost torn to pieces by the crowd which throngs his footsteps, wherever he goes. I like to look at him, he has a bright and most speaking countenance, and his face is all wrinkled with the lines, not of care, but of laughter. His manners are very free and cordial, and he seems to be as capital a fellow as one would suppose from his writings. He circulates as universally as small change, and understands the art of gratifying others without troubling himself, of letting himself be seen without displaying himself – now this speaks for his real good taste, and shows that if not a gentleman born and bred, he is at least a man, every inch of him.

...I have had hardly the least dash of Transcendentalism, and that of the very best description, a lecture and a visit from Emerson, in both of which he said beautiful things, and to-morrow (don't be shocked!) a conversation at Miss Fuller's, which I shall treasure up for your amusement and instruction. I have also heard (don't go into hysterics!) Dr. Channing once. It was a rare chance, as he does not now preach once in a year. His discourse was very beautiful – and oh, such a sermon as I heard from Father Taylor! I was almost disposed to say, "surely never a man spake like this man." And now good-bye. I must shut up the budget, and keep some for a rainy day. God bless my darling sisters. Love to dear Sam and Uncle. Your

DUDIE.

 

In these days also she first met her future husband.

Samuel Gridley Howe was at this time (1842) forty-one years of age; his life had been a stirring and adventurous one. After passing through Brown University, and the Harvard Medical School, in 1824 he threw in his lot with the people of Greece, then engaged in their War of Independence, and for six years shared their labor and hardships in the field, and on shipboard, being surgeon-in-chief first to the Greek army, then to the fleet. It was noted by a companion in arms, that "the only fault found with him was that he always would be in the fight, and was only a surgeon when the battle was over." He eventually found, however, that his work was to be constructive, not destructive.

The people were perishing for lack of food; he returned to America, preached a crusade, and took back to Greece a shipload of food and clothing for the starving women and children. Having fed them, he set them to work; built a hospital and a mole (which stands to this day in Ægina), founded a colony, and turned the half-naked peasants into farmers. These matters have been fully related elsewhere. 18

Returning to this country in 1831, he took up the education of the blind, which was to be chief among the multifarious labors of his life.

When Julia Ward first met him, he had been for nine years Director of the Perkins Institution for the Blind, and was known throughout the civilized world as the man who had first taught language to a blind deaf mute (Laura Bridgman).

Up to this time a person thus afflicted was classed with the idiots, "because," as Blackstone says, "his mind cannot be reached." This dictum had been recently reaffirmed by a body of learned men. Dr. Howe thought otherwise. Briefly, he invented a new science. "He carefully reasoned out every step of the way, and made a full and clear record of the methods which he invented, not for his pupils alone, but for the whole afflicted class for which he opened the way to human fellowship.... His methods have been employed in all subsequent cases, and after seventy years of trial remain the standard."19

Hand in hand with Dorothea Dix, he was beginning the great fight for helping and uplifting the insane; was already, with Horace Mann, considering the condition of the common schools, and forging the weapons for other fights which laid the foundations of the school system of Massachusetts. Later, he was to take up the cause of the feeble-minded, the deaf mute, the prisoner, the slave; throughout his life, no one in "trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity" was ever to call on him in vain.

His friends called him the "Chevalier"; partly because the King of Greece had made him a Knight of St. George, but more because they saw in him a good knight without fear and without reproach. Charles Sumner was his alter ego, the brother of his heart; others of his intimates at that time were Longfellow, George Hillard, Cornelius Felton, Edward Cleveland. This little knot of friends called themselves "The Five of Clubs," and met often to make merry and to discuss the things of life.

This summer of 1842 was spent by Julia Ward and her sisters at the cottage in the neighborhood of Boston, in company with their friend Mary Ward.20 Here Longfellow and Sumner often visited them, and here Julia first heard of the Chevalier and his wonderful achievement in educating Laura Bridgman. Deeply interested, she gladly accepted the offer of the two friends to drive her and her sisters over to the Perkins Institution. She has described how "Mr. Sumner, looking out of a window, said, 'Oh! here comes Howe on his black horse.' I looked out also, and beheld a noble rider on a noble steed."



SAMUEL G. HOWE IN DRESS OF A GREEK SOLDIER
From a drawing by John Elliott

The slender, military figure, the jet-black hair, keen blue eyes, and brilliant complexion, above all the vivid presence, like the flash of a sword – all these could not fail to impress the young girl deeply; the Chevalier, on his part, saw and recognized the Diva Julia of his friends' description. She has told us "how acquaintance ripened into good-will" between the two.

The Chevalier, eager to push the acquaintance further, went to New York to call on the Diva and her family. In a private journal of the time we find the following glimpse of the pair:–

"Walked down Broadway with all the fashion and met the pretty blue-stocking, Miss Julia Ward, with her admirer, Dr. Howe, just home from Europe. She had on a blue satin cloak and a white muslin dress. I looked to see if she had on blue stockings, but I think not. I suspect that her stockings were pink, and she wore low slippers, as Grandmamma does. They say she dreams in Italian and quotes French verses. She sang very prettily at a party last evening, and accompanied herself on the piano. I noticed how white her hands were."

During a subsequent visit to Boston in the winter of 1842-43, Julia Ward and Dr. Howe became engaged. The engagement was warmly welcomed by the friends of both.

Charles Sumner writes to Julia:–

 

"Howe has told me, with eyes flashing with joy, that you have received his love. May God make you happy in his heart, as I know he will be happy in yours! A truer heart was never offered to woman. I know him well. I know the depth, strength, and constancy of his affections, as the whole world knows the beauty of his life and character. And oh! how I rejoice that these are all to mingle in loving harmony with your great gifts of heart and mind. God bless you! God bless you both! You will strengthen each other for the duties of life; and the most beautiful happiness shall be yours – that derived from inextinguishable mutual love, and from the consciousness of duty done.

"You have accepted my dear Howe as your lover; pray let me ever be

"Your most affectionate friend,
"CHARLES SUMNER."

"P.S. Sir Huldbrand has subdued the restless Undine, and the soul has been inspired into her; and her 'wickedness' shall cease."

 

Longfellow's letter to Dr. Howe also has been preserved among the precious relics of the time.

 

MY DEAREST CHEVALIER, –

From the deepest dungeons of my heart, all the imprisoned sympathies and affections of my nature cry aloud to you, saying "All hail!" On my return from Portland this afternoon, I found your note, and before reading it I read in Sumner's eyes your happiness. The great riddle of life is no longer a riddle to you; the great mystery is solved. I need not say to you how very deeply and devoutly I rejoice with you; and no one more so, I assure you. Among all your friends, I am the oldest friend of your fair young bride; she is a beautiful spirit, a truth, which friendship has learned by heart in a few years. Love has taught you in as many hours!

Of course you seem to be transfigured and glorified. You walk above in the June air, while Sumner and I, like the poor (sprites) in "Faust," who were struggling far down in the cracks and fissures of the rocks, cry out to you, "O take us with you! take us with you!"

In fine, my dear Doctor, God bless you and yours. You know already how much I approve your choice. I went to your office this afternoon to tell you with my own lips; but you were not there. Take, therefore, this brief expression of my happiness at knowing you are so happy; and believe me

Ever sincerely your friend,
LONGFELLOW.

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 20, 1843.

 

At the same time Diva writes to her brother Sam:–

"The Chevalier says truly – I am the captive of his bow and spear. His true devotion has won me from the world, and from myself. The past is already fading from my sight; already, I begin to live with him in the future, which shall be as calmly bright as true love can make it. I am perfectly satisfied to sacrifice to one so noble and earnest the day dreams of my youth. He will make life more beautiful to me than a dream....

"The Chevalier is very presumptuous – says that he will not lose sight of me for one day, that I must stay here till he can return with me to New York. The Chevalier is very impertinent, speaks of two or three months, when I speak of two or three years, and seems determined to have his own way: but, dear Bunny, the Chevalier's way will be a very charming way, and is, henceforth, to be mine."

It was not to be supposed that the Chevalier would wait longer for his bride than was absolutely necessary. The wedding preparations were hurried on, most of them being made by Sisters Annie and Louisa, as Julia could not be brought down from the clouds sufficiently to give them much attention. It was hard even to make her choose her wedding dress; but this was finally decided upon, "a white embroidered muslin, exquisitely fine, to be worn over a satin 'slip.'"

The wedding, a quiet one, took place at Samuel Ward's house, on April 23, 1843, and four days later, Chevalier and Diva sailed together for Europe.


CHAPTER V

TRAVEL

1843-1844; aet. 24-25

 

                  ...I have been
In dangers of the sea and land, unscared;
And from the narrow gates of childbed oft
Have issued, bearing high my perilous prize
(The germ of angel-hood, from chaos rescued),
With steadfast hope and courage....

J. W. H.

IN the forties it was no uncommon thing for a sister or friend of the bride to form one of the wedding party when a journey was to be taken; accordingly Annie Ward went with the Howes and shared the pleasures of a notable year. She was at this time seventeen; it was said of her that "she looked so like a lily-of-the-valley that one expected to see two long green leaves spring up beside her as she walked."

Horace Mann and his bride (Mary Peabody, sister of Mrs. Nathaniel Hawthorn) sailed on the same steamer; the friends met afterward in London and elsewhere.

The first days at sea were rough and uncomfortable. Julia writes to her sister Louisa:–

"I have had two days of extreme suffering, and look like the Chevalier's grandmother. To-day I am on deck, able to eat soup and herring, with grog in small doses. Husband very kind, takes good care of me. I am good for nothing, but try to be courageous. Mr. and Mrs. Mann are very loving; she wears a monstrous sunbonnet; he lies down in his overcoat.... Brandy and water are consoling; Dr. won't give us much, though.... I could not get off my boots until last night, I was so ill; I slept all the time, and forgot that Annie was on board.... When you do get married, don't leave in four days for Europe.... Don't forget cake for my orphans.... Mrs. Mann wrote to me yesterday, and recommended lemonade. I wrote back to her, and recommended leeks and onions...."

And again, several days later:–

"Although the ship is very tipsy, and makes my head and hand unsteady, I am anxious to write to you that you may see what a brave sailor I am become, for to write at sea one must be quite well. I am ashamed to have written you so sea-sick a letter near Halifax, but I was then just out of my berth, and very miserable. Since that time, I have not once laid by – we have had some rough days, but I have always held up my head, and eaten my dinner, 'helping myself sangfroidy ' to all manner of good things. At first, I could not do without brandy and water, but in a little while I ceased to require it; now I go tumbling about all over the ship, singing at the top of my voice, teasing Chevalier, and comforting the sea-sick.... I live on deck, rain or shine. Annie stays too much in the cabin, which is strewn with sick ladies, and grannies of the other sex, and which ever resounds with cries of 'Mrs. Bean! Mrs. Bean! soda water! Mrs. Bean, soup! Mrs. Bean, gruel with brandy in it! Mrs. Bean, hold my head! Mrs. Bean, wag my jaws!' Mrs. Bean is the stewardess, and an angel....

"Saturday morning. We are now in sight of land and in smooth water.... Annie and I were getting very much used to the ship, and are just in fine trim for a long voyage. I even miss the rolling and pitching which we have had until to-day, and which made it necessary to walk with great circumspection. You would have laughed to have seen us, going about like tipsy witches. I have had various tumbles. I confess that when the ship rolled and I felt myself going, I generally made for the stoutest man in sight, and pitched into him, the result being various apologies on both sides, and great merriment on the part of the spectators – a little of the old mischief left, you see. The old cow began to smell the land yesterday, she reared and bellowed, and butted at the butcher when he went to milk her. This is her third voyage. I cannot tell you how good my husband is, how kind, how devoted.... "

Arriving in London, they took lodgings in upper Baker Street.

This first visit to London was one which our mother always loved to recall. Not only had the pair brought letters to many notabilities, but Dr. Howe's reputation had preceded him, and every reader of Dickens's "American Notes" was eager to meet the man who had brought a soul out of prison.

Julia writes her sister Louisa (June 17):–

"I have said something, – I can hardly say enough, of the kindness we have received here. London seems already a home to us, and one surrounded by dear friends. Morpeth and his family, Rogers, Basil Montagu, and Sir R. H. Inglis have been our best friends. Sydney Smith also has been kind to us; he calls Howe 'Prometheus' and says that he gave a soul to an inanimate body. For four mornings, we have not once breakfasted at home. Milnes gave us one very nice breakfast; among the guests was Charles Buller, celebrated here for his wit and various endowments. The two handsomest women I have seen are Mrs. Norton and the Duchess of Sutherland – the former of these rather a haughty beauty, with flashing eye and swelling lips, and dress too low for our notions of propriety – this is common enough here...."

The Doctor was lame (the result of an accident on shipboard), and the Reverend Sydney Smith, one of their earliest visitors, insisted on lending him his own crutches. The Doctor demurred: he was tall, while Canon Smith was short and stout. The crutches were sent, nevertheless. They could not be used, and were returned with many thanks; not so soon, however, but that the kind and witty Canon made of the incident a peg on which to hang a jest. He had lost money by American investments; in a letter published in a London paper, after reflecting severely upon the failures of some of the Western States to pay their debts, he added: "And now an American doctor has deprived me of my last means of support!"

Sydney Smith proved genuinely kind and solicitous. He writes to the Doctor:–

"You know as well as I do, or better, that nature charges one hundred per cent for a bad leg used before the proper time, and that if you use it a day sooner than you ought, it may molest you for a month longer than you expect. This being; [sic ] if your ladies will trust themselves to me any day, I shall have great pleasure in escorting them in their sight-seeing, and will call upon them with my carriage, if that be possible."

He did take them about a great deal; they dined with him, and passed more than one delightful evening at his house.

Another of their early visitors was Charles Dickens. Not only did he invite them to dine, but he took them to all manner of places unfamiliar to the ordinary tourist: to prisons, workhouses, and asylums, more interesting to the Chevalier than theatre or picture-gallery.

There were even expeditions to darker places, when Julia and Annie must stay at home. Dr. Howe's affair was with all sorts and conditions of men, and the creator of Joe and Oliver Twist, the child of Marshalsea, could show him things that no one else could. The following note, in Dickens's unmistakable handwriting, shows how these expeditions were managed, and how he enjoyed them:–

 

MY DEAR HOWE, – Drive to-night to St. Giles's Church. Be there at half-past 11 – and wait. One of Tracey's people will put his head into the coach after a Venetian and mysterious fashion, and breathe your name. Follow that man. Trust him to the death.

So no more at present from

THE MASK.

Ninth June, 1843.

 

Horace Mann was of the party on most of these investigations.

Besides dinners and evening parties, there were breakfasts, with Richard Monckton Milnes (afterward Lord Houghton), with Samuel Rogers, – who gave them plovers' eggs, – and with jovial Sir Robert Harry Inglis, who cut the loaf at either end, giving the guests "a slice or a hunch" at their desire.

This meal, our mother notes, was not "a luncheon in disguise," but a genuine breakfast, at ten or even half-past nine o'clock.

She writes to her sister Louisa:–

"People have been very kind to us – we have one or two engagements for every day this week, and had three dinners for one day, two of which we were, of course, forced to decline. We had a pleasant dinner at Dickens's, on Saturday – a very handsome entertainment, consisting of all manner of good things. Dickens led me in to dinner – waxed quite genial over his wine, and was more natural than I ever saw him – after dinner we had coffee, conversation and music, to which I lent my little wee voice! We did not get home until half-past eleven.... Annie has doubtless told you how we went to see Carlyle, and Mrs. was out, and I poured tea for him, and he handed me the preserves with: 'I do not know what thae little things are, perhaps you can eat them – I never touch them mysel'.' This naturally made me laugh – we had a strange but pleasant evening with him – he is about forty, looks young for that, drinks powerful tea, and then goes it strong upon all subjects, but without extravagance – he has a fine head, an earnest face, a glowing eye.... Furthermore, we have walked into the affections of the Hon. Basil Montagu, and Mrs. Basil – furthermore, Annie and I did went alone to a rout at Mrs. Sydney Smith's, and were announced. 'Mrs. 'Owe hand Miss Vord' – did not know a soul, Annie frightened, I bored – got hold of some good people – made friends, drank execrable tea, finished the evening by a crack with Sir Sydney himself, and came off victorious, that is to say alive. Sir S. very like old Mrs. Prime, three chins, and such a corporosity!...

"Saturday, June 2nd. We have been too busy to write. We dined on Wednesday with Kenyon – present Dickens's wife, Fellows, Milnes and some others – Milnes a pert little prig, but pleasant. À propos, when he came to call upon us, our girl announced him as 'Mr. Miller' – our conversation ran upon literature, and I had the exquisite discrimination to tell him that except Wordsworth, there were no great poets in England now. Fortunately, he soon took his departure, and thus prevented me from expressing the light estimation in which I hold his poetry. On Thursday Morpeth gave us a beautiful dinner – thirteen servants in the hall, powdered heads, Lady Carlisle very like Morpeth – Lady Mary Howard not pretty; Duchess of Sutherland, beautiful, but like Lizzie Hogg. They gave us strawberries, the first we have tasted, green peas, pines, peaches, apricots, grapes – all very expensive. We stayed until nearly twelve – they were very gracious – Annie and I are little people here – we are too young (?) to be noticed – we are very demure, and have learned humility. Chev receives a great deal of attention, ladies press forward to look at him, roll up their eyes, and exclaim, 'Oh! He is such a wonner!' I do not like that the pretty women should pay him so many compliments – it will turn his little head! He is now almost well, and so handsome! the wrinkles are almost gone – Yesterday, Sir Robert Inglis gin us a treat in the shape of a breakfast – it was very pleasant, albeit Sir R. is very pious, and a Tory to boot. We had afterward a charming visit from Carlyle – in the evening we went to Landsdowne House, to a concert given by the Marquis – heard Grisi, Lablache, Mario, Standigl, were much pleased – I was astonished, though, to find that our little trio at home was not bad, even in comparison with these stars. They have, of course, infinitely better voices, but hang me if they sing with half the enthusiasm and fire of our old Sam and Cousi, or even of poor Dudy. Grisi's voice is beautifully clear and flute-like – Mario sings si-be-mol and natural with perfect ease. I was most interested in the German Standigl, who sang the 'Wanderer ' with wonderful pathos. Lablache thundered away – I must see them on the stage before I shall be able to judge of them. After music we had supper. Willie Wad 21 was indefatigable in our service. 'Go, and bring us a great deal more lemonade!' these were our oft-repeated orders, and the good Geneseo trotted to the table for us, till, as he expressed it, 'he was ashamed to go any more.' Lansdowne is a devilish good fellow! ho! ho! He wears a blue belt across his diaphragm, and a silver star on his left breast – he jigs up and down the room, and makes himself at home in his own house. He is about sixty, with Marchioness to match; side dishes, I presume, but did not inquire. I have just been breakfasting at the Duke of Sutherland's superb palace. I will tell you next time about it. Lady Carlisle says I am nice and pretty, oh! how I love her!...."

In another letter she says:–

"I take some interest in everything I see – especially in all that throws light upon human prog. The Everetts 22 have given us a beautiful and most agreeable dinner: Dickens, Mrs. Norton, Moore, Landseer, and one or two others. Rogers says: 'I have three pleasures in the day: the first is, when I get up in the morning, and scratch myself with my hair mittens; the second is when I dress for dinner, and scratch myself with my hair mittens; the third is when I undress at night, and scratch myself with my hair mittens.'..."

Beside this feast of hospitality, there was the theatre, with Macready and Helen Faucit in the "Lady of Lyons," and the opera, with Grisi and Mario, Alboni and Persiani. Julia, who had been forbidden the theatre since her seventh year, enjoyed to the full both music and drama, but "the crowning ecstasy of all" she found in the ballet, of which Fanny Elssler and Cerito were the stars. The former was beginning to wane; the dancing which to Emerson and Margaret Fuller seemed "poetry and religion" had lost, perhaps, something of its magic; the latter was still in her early bloom and grace.

Years later, our mother suggested to Theodore Parker that "the best stage dancing gives the classic, in a fluent form, with the illumination of life and personality." She recalled nothing sensual or even sensuous in the dances she saw that season, only "the very ectasy and embodiment of grace." (But the Doctor thought Cerito ought to be sent to the House of Correction!)

Among the English friends, the one to whom our parents became most warmly attached was Lord Morpeth, afterwards Earl of Carlisle. This gentleman proved a devoted friend. Not only did he show the travellers every possible attention in London, but finding that they were planning a tour through Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, he made out with great care an itinerary for them, giving the roads by which they should travel and the points of interest they should visit.

Very reluctantly they left the London of so many delights, and started on the prescribed tour, following in the main the lines laid down by their kind friend.

 

To her sister Louisa

Sunday, July 2.

...We are in Dublin, among the Paddies, and funny enough they are. There are many beggars – you cannot get into the carriage without being surrounded with ragged women holding out their dirty hands, and clamouring for ha'pence – we have just returned from Edgeworthtown; on our way, we walked into some of the peasants' huts. I will tell you about one – it was thatched, built very miserably, had no floor except the native mud; there was a peat fire, which filled the house with smoke – before the fire lay the pig, grunting in concert with the chickens, who were picking up scraps of the dinner, which consisted of potatoes and salt – three families live in it. Two sets of little ragamuffins are sitting in the dirt. Ch. bestows some pence: "God kape your honour – God save ye, wherever you go, and sure and it's a nice, comfortable looking young woman you have got with you, an uncommon pretty girl" (that is me). Don't they understand the matter, eh? We passed three delightful hours with Miss Edgeworth, in the library in which she wrote all her works – she was surrounded by a numerous and charming family, among others, the last of her father's four wives, whom she calls mother, although the lady must be some ten years her junior. She is herself a most vivacious little lady, about seventy-five years old, but gay and bright as a young girl – she seemed quite delighted with Ch., and conversed with him on many topics in a very animated manner. She has very clear and sound views of things, and takes the liveliest interest in all that goes on around her and in the world. One of her younger brothers (with a nice Spanish wife) has a nest of very young children, in whom she delights as much as if she had not helped to bring up three sets of brothers and sisters, She said to me: "It is not only for Laura Bridgman that I wanted to see Dr. Howe, but I admire the spirit of all his writings." She gave him some engravings, and wrote her name at the bottom.... At one o'clock, we went to luncheon which was very nice, consisting of meat, potatoes, and preserves.... She made us laugh, and laughed herself. They were saying that American lard was quite superseding whale oil. "Yes," said she, "and in consequence, the whale cannot bear the sight of a pig." Her little nephew made a real bull. He was showing me his rat trap, "and," said he, "I shall kill the rat before I let him out, eh?"...

Dublin, Tuesday. Went to the Repeal meeting at the Corn Exchange. It was held in a small room in the third or fourth story. "A shilling, sir," said the man at the door to my husband. – "What!" replied he, "do ladies pay?" – "Not unless they'd like to become repealers." We passed up – the gentlemen went on to the floor of the room – we went to the ladies' gallery, a close confined place at one end – we were early, and had good seats, for a time at least – we separated, not anticipating the trouble we should have in finding each other again – for the ladies, comprising orange-women, washerwomen, and I fear, all manner of women, poured in, without much regard to order, decency, and the rights of prior possession – and when O'Connell came in, which was about three quarters of an hour, they pressed, and pushed, and squeezed, and scolded, as only Irishwomen can do... The current of female patriotism bore down upon me in a most painful manner – a sort of triangular pressure seemed applied to my poor body which threatened to destroy, not only my centre of gravity, but my very personal identity. I was obliged, I regret to say, to defend myself as I have sometimes done in a quadrille or waltzing circle in New York – I was forced to push in my turn, though as moderately as I could. This was not my only trouble – in the crowd, I had scraped acquaintance with a respectable Irishwoman, who, after various questions, discovered that I was an American, and imagined me at once to be a good Catholic and repealer – so when O'Connell made some allusions to the Americans, she said so as to be heard by several people, who immediately began to look at me with curious eyes – "You shouldn't disturb her, she's an American," and they would for a time cease to molest me...O'Connell was not great on this occasion – his remarks were rambling and superficial, distinguished chiefly by their familiarity, and by the extreme ingenuity with which the cunning orator disguises the tendencies of the sentiments he vindicates, and talks treason, yet so that the law cannot lay a finger upon him. He had begun his speech when Steele, a brother repealer, entered. He stopped at once, held out his hand to him, saying in a loud tone, "Tom Steele, how d'ye do?" which drew forth a burst of applause. "And is he a good man?" I asked a lady repealer (whether apple-woman or seller of ginger beer, I know not). "Oh, Ma'am, he is the best cratur, the most charitable, the most virtuous, the most religious man – sure, he goes to the communion every Sunday, and never says no to no one."

 

The visit to Scotland was all too hasty, the notes are mere brief jottings; at the end she "remembered but one thing, the grave of Scott. In return for all the delight he had given me, I had nothing to give him but my silent tears."

The end of July found the party once more in England. The following letter tells of the unlucky visit to Wordsworth which our mother (after forty-six years) describes from memory in her "Reminiscences" in slightly different terms.

 

To her sister Louisa

July 29.

... I am very glad to be out of Ireland and Scotland, where we had incessant rains – even the beautiful Loch Katrine would not show herself to us in sunshine. We crossed in an open boat, and had a pony ride of five miles, all in as adominable a drizzle as you would wish to see. The Cumberland Lakes, among which we sought the shrine of Wordsworth, were almost as unaccommodating – in driving to Windermere we got wetted to the skin, and dashed down the steep mountain road in a thick mist, with a pair of horses, so unruly that I supposed the miseries of wet garments would soon be cancelled by that of a broken neck. I prayed to Saint Crispin, Saint Nicholas, and the three kings of Köln, and got through the danger – in the evening we visited Wordsworth, a crabbed old sinner, who gave us a very indifferent muffin, and talked repudiation with Chev. As he had just lost a great deal of money by Mississippi bonds, you might imagine that he felt particularly disposed to be cordial to Americans – not knowing, probably, that New York is not in the heart of Louisiana, he was inclined no doubt to cast part of the odium upon us. Accordingly Mrs. Wordsworth and her daughter sat at one end of the room, Annie and I at the other. Incensed at this unusual neglect, I made several interjections in a low tone for Annie's benefit (my husband allows me to swear only once a week) – at length, good Townsend-on-Mesmerism came to my relief, and kindly talked with me for an hour or more – he is a charming person, and rides other people's horses as well as his own hobby. He dislikes England, and lives principally in Germany. Kind Heaven, at the termination of the evening, sent me an opportunity of imparting a small portion of the internal pepper and mustard which had been ripening in my heart during the whole evening. The mother and daughter beginning to whine to me about their losses, I told them that where one Englishman had suffered, twenty Americans were perhaps ruined. They replied, it was hard they should suffer for the misfortunes of another country. "And why," quoth I, "must you needs speculate in foreign stocks? Why did you not keep your money at home? It was safe enough in England – you knew there was risk in investing it so far from you – if we should speculate in yours, we should no doubt be ruined also." This explosion, from my meek self, took the company somewhat by surprise – they held their tongues, and we departed....

 

From England the travellers had meant to go to Berlin, but the King of Prussia, who eleven years before had kept Dr. Howe in prison au secret for five weeks for carrying (at the request of General Lafayette) succor to certain Polish refugees, still regarded him as a dangerous person, and Prussia was closed to him and his. This greatly amused Horace Mann, who wrote to the Doctor, "I understand the King of Prussia has about 200,000 men constantly under arms, and if necessary he can increase his force to two millions. This shows the estimation in which he holds your single self!"

Years later, the King sent Dr. Howe a gold metal in consideration of his work for the blind: by a singular coincidence, its money value was found to be equal to the sum which the Doctor had been forced to pay for board and lodging in the prison of Berlin.

Making a détour, the party journeyed through Switzerland and the Austrian Tyrol, spent some weeks in Vienna, and a month in Milan, where they met Count Gonfalonieri, one of the prisoners of Spielberg. Julia had known two of these sufferers, Foresti and Albinola, in New York, where they lived for many years, beloved and respected. Hearing the talk of these men, and seeing Italy bound hand and foot in temporal and spiritual fetters, she was deeply impressed by the apparent hopelessness of the outlook for the Italian patriots. By what miracle, she asked herself long afterward, was the great structure overthrown? She adds, "The remembrance of this miracle forbids me to despair of any great deliverance, desired and delayed. He who maketh the wrath of men to serve Him, can make liberty blossom out of the very rod that the tyrant [wields]."

Southward still they journeyed, by vettura, in the old leisurely fashion, and came at last to Rome.

The thrill of wonder that Julia felt at the first sight of St. Peter's dome across the Campagna was one of abiding impressions of her life; Rome was to be one of the cities of her heart; the charm was cast upon her in that first moment. Yet she says of that Rome of 1843, "A great gloom and silence hung over it."

The houses were cold, and there were few conveniences; but Christmas found the Howes established in the Via San Niccolo da Tolentino, as comfortably as might be. Here they were joined by Louisa Ward, and here they soon gathered round them a delightful circle of friends. Most of the forestieri of Rome in those days were artists; among those who came often to the house were Thomas Crawford, Luther Terry, Freeman the painter and his wife, and Törmer, who painted a portrait of Julia. The winter passed like a dream. There were balls as gorgeous as those of London, with the beautiful Princess Torlonia in place of the Duchess of Sutherland; musical parties, at which Diva sang to the admiration of all. There were visits to the galleries, where George Combe was of the party, and where he and the Chevalier studied the heads of statues and busts from the point of view of phrenology, a theory in which both were deeply interested. They were presented to the Pope, Gregory XVI, who wished to hear about Laura Bridgman. The Chevalier visited all the "public institutions, misnamed charitable," 23 and the schools, whose masters were amazed to find that he was an American, and asked how in that case it happened that he was not black!

In her "Reminiscences" our mother records many vivid impressions of these Roman days. She had forgotten, or did not care to recall, a certain langour and depression of spirits which in some measure dimmed for her the brightness of the picture, but which were to give place to the highest joy she had yet known. On March 12, her first child was born, and was christened Julia Romana.

There are neither journals nor letters of this period; the only record of it – from her hand – lies in two slender manuscript books of verse, marked respectively "1843" and "1844." In these volumes we trace her movements, sometimes by the title of a poem, as "Sailing," "The Ladies of Llangollen," "The Roman Beggar Boy," etc., sometimes by a single word written after the poem, "Berne," "Milan."

From these poems we learn that she did not expect to survive the birth of her child; yet with that birth a new world opened before her.

He gave the Mother's chastened heart,
He gave the Mother's watchful eye,
He bids me live but where thou art,
And look with earnest prayer on high.
. . . . . . .
Then spake the angel of Mothers
To me in gentle tone:
"Be kind to the children of others
And thus deserve thine own!"

When, in the spring of 1844, she left Rome with husband, sister, and baby, it seemed, she says, "like returning to the living world after a long separation from it."

Journeying by way of Naples, Marseilles, Avignon, they came at length to Paris.

Here Julia first saw Rachel, and Taglioni, the greatest of all dancers; here, too, she tried to persuade the Chevalier to wear his Greek decorations to Guizot's reception, but tried in vain, he considering such ornaments unfitting a republican.

The autumn found them again in England, this time to learn the delights of country visiting. Their first visit was to Atherstone, the seat of Charles Nolte Bracebridge, a descendant of Lady Godiva, a most cultivated and delightful man. He and his charming wife made the party welcome, and showed them everything of interest except the family ghost, which remained invisible.

Another interesting visit was to the Nightingales of Embley. Florence Nightingale was at this time a young woman of twenty-four. A warm friendship sprang up between her and our parents, and she felt moved to consult the Doctor on the matter which then chiefly occupied her thoughts. Would it, she asked, be unsuitable or unbecoming for a young Englishwoman to devote herself to works of charity, in hospitals and elsewhere, as the Catholic Sisters did?

The Doctor replied: "My dear Miss Florence, it would be unusual, and in England whatever is unusual is apt to be thought unsuitable; but I say to you, go forward, if you have a vocation for that way of life; act up to your inspiration, and you will find that there is never anything unbecoming or unladylike in doing your duty for the good of others. Choose your path, go on with it, wherever it may lead you, and God be with you!"

Among the people they met in the autumn of 1844 was Professor Fowler, the phrenologist. This gentleman examined Julia's head, and made the following pronunciamento:–

"You're a deep one! it takes a Yankee to find you out. The intellectual temperament predominates in your character. You will be a central character like Henry Clay and Silas Wright, and people will group themselves around you."

Now Julia could not abide Professor Fowler.

"Oh, yes!" she snapped out angrily. "They've always been my models!"

"The best things you do," he went on, "will be done on the spur of the moment. You have enough love of order to enjoy it, but you will not take the trouble to produce it. You have more religion than morality. You have genius, but no music in you by nature."

Fifty years later these words were fresh in her memory.

"I disliked Mr. Fowler extremely," she said, "and believed nothing of what he said; nevertheless, most of his predictions were verified. I had at the time no leading in any of the directions he indicated. I had been much shut up in personal and family life; was a person rather of antipathies than sympathies. His remarks made no impression. Yet," she added, "I always had a sense of relation to the public, but thought the connection would come through writing."

Apropos of Mr. Fowler's "more religion than morality," she said: "Morality is a thing of the will; we may think differently of such matters at different times. What he said may have been true."

Then the twinkle came into her eyes: "When Mr. William Astor heard of my engagement, he said, 'Why, Miss Julia, I am surprised! I though you were too intellectual to marry!'"

Another acquaintance of this autumn was the late Arthur Mills, who was through life one of our parents' most valued friends. He came to America with them; in his honor, during the voyage, Julia composed "The Milsiad," scribbling the lines day by day in a little note-book, still carefully preserved in the Mills family.

The first and last stanzas give an idea of this poem, which, though never printed, was always a favorite with its author.

My heart fills
With the bare thought of the illustrious Mills:
That man of eyes and nose,
Of legs and arms, of fingers and of toes.
. . . . . . . . .
To lands devoid of tax
Goeth he not, armed with axe?
Trees shall he cut down,
And forests ever?
Tame cataracts with a frown?
Grin all the fish from Mississippi River?
  (My style is grandiose,
  Quite in the tone of Mills's nose.)
. . . . . . . . . .
Harp of the West, through wind and foggy weather
We've sung our passage to our native land,
Now I have reached the terminus of tether,
And I must lay thee trembling from my hand.
That hand must ply the ignominious needle,
This mind brood o'er the salutary dish,
I must grow sober as a parish beadle,
And having fish to fry, must fry my fish.
Some happier muse than mine shall wake thy spell,
Harp of the West, oh Gemini! farwell!

CHAPTER VI

SOUTH BOSTON

1844-1851; aet. 25-32

 

THE ROUGH SKETCH

A great grieved heart, an iron will,
As fearless blood as ever ran;
A form elate with nervous strength
And fibrous vigor, – all a man.

A gallant rein, a restless spur,
The hand to wield a biting scourge;
Small patience for the tasks of Time,
Unmeasured power to speed and urge.

He rides the errands of the hour,
But sends no herald on his ways;
The world would thank the service done,
He cannot stay for gold or praise.

Not lavishly he casts abroad
The glances of an eye intense,
And did he smile but once a year,
It were a Christmas recompose.

I thank a poet for his name,
The "Down of Darkness," this should be;
A child, who knows no risk it runs,
Might stroke its roughness harmlessly.

One helpful gift the Gods forgot,
Due to the man of lion-mood;
A Woman's soul, to match with his
In high resolve and hardihood.

J. W. H.

The name of Laura Bridgman will long continue to suggest to the hearer one of the most brilliant exploits of philanthropy, modern or ancient. Much of the good that good men do soon passes out of the remembrance of busy generations, each succeeding to each, with its own special inheritance of labor and interest. But it will be long before the world shall forget the courage and patience of the man who, in the very bloom of his manhood, sat down to besiege this almost impenetrable fortress of darkness and isolation, and, after months of labor, carried within its walls the divine conquest of life and of thought.

J. W. H., Memoir of Dr. Samuel G. Howe.

IN September, 1844, the travellers returned to America and set up their residence at the Perkins Institution, in South Boston, in the apartment known as the "Doctor's Wing."

At first, Laura Bridgman made one of the family, the Doctor considering her almost as an adopted child. His marriage had been something of a shock to her.

"Does Doctor love me like Julia?" she asked her teacher anxiously.

"No!"

"Does he love God like Julia?"

"Yes!"

A pause: then – "God was kind to give him his wife!"

She and Julia became much attached to each other, and were friends through life.

Julia was now to realize fully the great change that had come in her life. She had been the acknowledged queen of her home and circle in New York. Up to this time, she had known Boston as a gay visitor knows it.

She came now as the wife of a man who had neither leisure nor inclination for "Society "; a man of tenderest heart, but of dominant personality, accustomed to rule, and devoted to causes of which she knew only by hearsay; moreover, so absorbed in work for these causes, that he could only enjoy his home by snatches.

She herself says; "The romance of charity easily interests the public. Its laborious details and duties repel and weary the many, and find fitting ministers only in a few spirits of rare and untiring benevolence. Dr. Howe, after all the laurels and roses of victory, had to deal with the thorny ways of a profession tedious, difficult, and exceptional. He was obliged to create his own working machinery, to drill and instruct his corps of teachers, himself first learning the secrets of the desired instruction. He was also obliged to keep the infant Institution fresh in the interest and good will of the public, and to give it a place among the recognized benefactions of the Commonwealth."

From the bright little world of old New York, from relatives and friends, music and laughter, fun and frolic, she came to live in an Institution, a bleak, lofty house set on a hill, four-square to all the winds that blew; with high-studded rooms, cold halls paved with white and gray marble, echoing galleries; where three fourths of the inmates were blind, and the remaining fourth were devoting their time and energies to the blind. The Institution was two miles from Boston, where the friends of her girlhood lived: an unattractive district stretched between, traversed once in two hours by omnibuses, the only means of transport.

Again, her life had been singularly free from responsibility. First her Aunt Francis, then her sister Louisa, had "kept house" in Bond Street; Julia had been a flower of the field, taking no thought for food or raiment; her sisters chose and bought her clothes, had her dresses made, and put them on her. Her studies, her music, her dreams, her compositions – and, it must be added, her suitors – made the world in which she lived. Now, life in its most concrete forms pressed upon her. The baby must be fed at regular intervals, and she must feed it; there must be three meals a day, and she must provide them; servants must be engaged, trained, directed, and all this she must do. Her thoughts soared heavenward; but now there was a string attached to them, and they must be pulled down to attend to the leg of mutton and the baby's cloak.

This is one side of the picture; the other is different, indeed.

Her girlhood had been shut in by locks and bars of Calvinistic piety; her friends and family were ready to laugh, to weep, to pray with her; they were not ready to think with her. It is true that surrounding this intimate circle was a wider one, where her mind found stimulus in certain directions. She studied German with Dr. Cogswell; she read Dante with Felice Foresti, the Italian patriot; French, Latin, music, she had them all. Her mind expanded, but her spiritual growth dates from her early visits to Boston.

These visits had not been given wholly to gayety, even in the days when she wrote, after a ball: "I have been through the burning, fiery furnace, and it is Sad-rake, Me-sick, and Abed-no-go!" The friends she made, both men and women, were people alive and awake, seeking new light, and finding it on every hand. Moreover, at her side was now one of the torch-bearers of humanity, a spirit burning with a clear flame of fervor and resolve, lighting the dark places of the earth. Her mind, under the stimulus of these influences, opened like a flower; she too became one of the seekers for light, and in her turn one of the light-bringers.

Among the poems of her early married life, none is more illuminating than the portrait of Dr. Howe, which heads this chapter. The concluding stanza gives a hint of the depression which accompanied her first realization of the driving power of his life, of the white-hot metal of his nature. She was caught up as it were in the wake of a comet, and whirled into new and strange orbits: what wonder that for a time she was bewildered? She had no thought, when writing "The Rough Sketch," that a later day was to find her soul indeed matched with his, "in high resolve and hardihood": that through her lips, as well as his, God was to sound forth a trumpet that should never call retreat.

In her normal health she was a person of abounding vitality, with a constitution of iron: as is common with such temperaments, she felt a physical distaste to the abnormal and defective. It required in those days all the strength of her will to overcome her natural shrinking from the blind and the other defectives with whom she was often thrown. There is no clearer evidence of the development of her nature than the contrast between this mental attitude and the deep tenderness which she felt in her later years for the blind. After the Doctor's death, they became her cherished friends; she could never do enough for them; with every year her desire to visit the Perkins Institution, to talk with the pupils, to give them all she had to give, grew stronger and more lively.

Of the friends of this time, none had so deep and lasting an influence over her as Theodore Parker, who had been a close friend of the Doctor's. She had first heard of him in her girlhood, as an impious and sacrilegious person, to be shunned by all good Christians.

In 1843 she met him in Rome, and found him "one of the most sympathetic and delightful of men"; an intimacy sprang up between the two families which ended only with Parker's life. He baptized the baby Julia; on returning to this country, she and the Doctor went regularly to hear him preach. This she always considered as among the great opportunities of her life.

"I cannot remember," she says, "that the interest of his sermons ever varied for me. It was all one intense delight.... It was hard to go out from his presence, all aglow with the enthusiasm which he felt and inspired, and to hear him spoken of as a teacher of irreligion, a pest to the community."

These were the days when it was possible for a minister of a Christian church, hearing of Parker's dangerous illness, to pray that God might remove him from the earth. To her, it seemed that "truly, he talked with God, and took us with him into the divine presence."

Parker could play as well as preach; she loved to "make fun" with him. Witness her "Philosoph-Master and Poet-Aster" in "Passion Flowers." Parker's own powers of merrymaking appear in his Latin epitaph on "the Doctor" (who survived him by many years), which is printed in the "Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe."

She used in later years to shake her head as she recalled a naughty mot of hers apropos of Parker's preaching: "I would rather," she said, "hear Theodore Parker preach than go to the theatre; I would rather go to the theatre than go to a party; I would rather go to a party than stay at home!"

A letter to her sister Annie shows the trend of her religious thought in these days.

 

Sunday evening, December 8, 1844.

DEAR ANNIE, –

Do not let the Bishop or Uncle or any one frighten you into any concessions – tell them, and all others that, even if you agree with them in doctrine, you think their notion of a religious life narrow, false, superficial. You owe it to truth, to them, to yourself, to say so. I think perfect and fearless frankness one of our highest duties to man as well as to God. Only see how one half the world pragmatically sets its foot down, and says to the other half, "Be converted, my opinion is truth! I must be right and you must be wrong," – while the other half timidly falters a reluctant acquiescence, or scarce audible expression of doubt, and continues troubled and afraid and discontented with itself and others. Let me never think of you as in this ignominious position, dear Annie. Do not think that I misapprehend you. I know you do not agree in doctrine with me, but I know too that you do not feel that you can abandon your life and conscience to the charge and guidance of such a man as Eastburn, or as Uncle Ben. Do not, therefore, be afraid of them, but let their censure be a very secondary thing with you – while your life is the true expression of your faith, whom can you fear? You are accountable to man for the performance of the duties which affect his welfare and well-being – for those which concern your own soul, you are accountable to God alone. A man, though with twenty surplices on his back and twenty prayer books in his hand, can no more condemn than he can save you.... There may be a hell and a heaven, and it may be good for most people, for you and me, too, if you choose to think that is so. But there is a virtue which rises above such considerations – there are motives higher than personal fear or hope – the love of good because it is good, because it is God's and nature's law, because it is the secret of the beautiful order of things, because they are blessed by your virtuous deeds and pure thoughts – because every holy, every noble deed, word, or thought helps to build up the ruins of the world, and to elevate our degraded humanity. Those who propose to you hell and heaven as the great incentives to right, appeal merely to your natural love of personal advantage – those who hold up to you a God now frowning and indignant, now gracious and benignant, appeal simply to your natural cowardice, to your natural love of approbation. Does one love God for one's own advantage? One loves Him for His perfection, and if one loves Him, one keeps His commandments. Abandon, I pray you, the exploded formula of selfishness!.... I think one should be capable of loving virtue, were one sure even that hell and not heaven would be its reward.

The benedictions of the Sermon on the Mount are very simple – no raptures, no ecstasies are promised. Blessed are all that seek the good of others and the knowledge of truth – blessed, simply that in so doing they obey the law of God, imitate His character, and coming nearer and nearer to Him shall find Him more and more in their hearts. One word about Unitarians. It is very wrong to say that they reject the Bible, simply because they interpret it in a different manner from the (so-called) orthodox, or that they reject Christ, because they understand him in one way, and you in another – while they emulate his wonderful life, while they acknowledge his divine mission, and the divine power of his words, why should they be said to despise him?....

 

During the years between 1843 and 1859, her life was from time to time shadowed by the approach of a great joy. Before the birth of each successive child, she was oppressed by a deep and persistent melancholy. Present and future alike seemed dark to her; she wept for herself, but still more for the hapless infant which must come to birth in so sorrowful a world. With the birth of the child the cloud lifted and vanished. Sunshine and joy – and the baby – filled the world; the mother sang, laughed, and made merry.

In her letters to her sisters, and later in journals, both these moods are abundantly evident. At first, these letters are full of the bustle of arrival and of settling in the Institution.

"I received the silver.... The soup-ladle is my delight, and I could almost take the dear old coffee-pot to bed with me.... But here is the most important thing.

"MY TRAGEDY IS LEFT BEHIND!.... My house...in great confusion, carpets not down, curtains not up, the devil to pay, and not a sofa to ask him to sit down upon...."

She now felt sadly the need of training in matters which her girlhood had despised. (She could describe every room in her father's house save one – the kitchen!) The Doctor liked to give weekly dinners to his intimates, "The Five of Clubs," and others. These dinners were something of a nightmare to Julia, even with the aid of Miss Catherine Beecher's cookbook. She spent weeks in studying this volume and trying her hand on its recipes. This was not what her hand was made for; yet she learned to make puddings, and was proud of her preserves.

Speaking of the dinner parties, she tells of one for which she had taken special pains, and of which ice-cream, not then the food of every day, was to form the climax. The ice-cream did not come, and her pleasure was spoiled; she found it next morning in a snow bank outside the back door, where the messenger had "dumped" it without word or comment. "I should laugh at it now," she says, "but then I almost wept over it."

Everything in the new life interested her, even the most prosaic details. She writes to her sister Louisa: "Our house has been enlivened of late by two delightful visits. The first was from the soap-fat merchant, who gave me thirty-four pounds of good soap for my grease. I was quite beside myself with joy, capered about in the most enthusiastic manner, and was going to hug in turn the soap, the grease, and the man, had I not remembered my future ambassadress-ship, and reflected that it would not sound well in history. This morning came the rag-man, who takes rags and gives nice tin vessels in exchange.... Both of these were clever transactions. Oh, if you had seen me stand by the soap-fat man, and scrutinize minutely his weights and measures, telling him again and again that it was beautiful grease, and he must allow me a good price for it – truly, I am a mother in Israel."

 

Much as the Doctor loved the Perkins Institution, he longed for a home of his own, and in the spring of 1845 he found a place entirely to his mind.

A few steps from the Institution was a plot of land, facing the sun, sheltered from the north wind by the last remaining bit of "Washington Heights," the eminence on which Washington planted the batteries which drove the British out of Boston. Some six acres of fertile ground, an old house with low, broad, sunny rooms, two towering Balm of Gilead trees, and some ancient fruit trees: this was all in the beginning; but the Doctor saw at a glance the possibilities of the place. He bought it, added one or two rooms to the old house, planted fruit trees, laid out flower gardens, and in the summer of 1845 moved his little family thither.

The move was made on a lovely summer day. As our mother drove into the green bower, half shade, half sunshine, silent save for the birds, she cried out, "Oh! this is green peace!" The name fitted and clung: "Green Peace " was known and loved as such so long as it existed.

This was the principal home of her married life, but it was not precisely an abiding one. The summers were spent elsewhere; moreover, the "Doctor's Wing" in the Institution was always ready for habitation, and it often happened that for one reason or another the family were taken back there for weeks or months. Two of the six children, Florence and Maud, were born at the Institution; the former just before the move to Green Peace. She was named Florence in honor of Miss Nightingale. The Doctor had ardently desired a son; finding the baby a girl, "I will forgive you," he cried, "if you will name her for Florence Nightingale!" Miss Nightingale became the child's godmother, sent a golden cup (now a precious heirloom), and wrote as follows:–

 

EMBLEY, December 26.

I cannot pretend to express, my dear kind friends, how touched and pleased I was by such a remembrance of me as that of your child's name.... If I could live to justify your opinion of me, it would have been enough to have lived for, and such thoughts, as that of your goodness, are great thoughts, "strong to consume small troubles" which should bear us up on the wings of the Eagle, like Guido's Ganymede, up to the feet of the God, there to take what work he has for us to do for him. I shall hope to see my little Florence before long in this world, but if not, I trust there is a tie formed between us, which shall continue in Eternity – if she is like you, I shall know her again there, without her body on, perhaps the better for not having known her here with it.

 

Letters to her sisters give glimpses of the life at Green Peace during the years 1845-1850.

 

To her sister Louisa

...I assure you it is a delightful but a terrible thing to be a mother. The constant care, anxiety and thought of some possible evil that may come to the little creature, too precious to be so frail, whose life and well-being the mother feels God has almost placed in her hands! If I did not think that angels watched over my baby, I should be crazy about it.

 

To the same

My trouble has been Chev's illness.... He was taken ill the night of his return, and established himself next morning on the sofa, to be coddled with Cologne, and dieted with peaches and grapes, when lo, in an hour more, no coddling save that of (Dr.) Fisher, no diet save ipecac and werry thin gruel – chills, nausea, and blue devils. Bradford to watch by night, Rosy and I by day; Fisher and I sympathizing deeply in holding the head of a perfectabilian philanthropist. I making myself active in a variety of ways, bathing Chev's eyes with cologne water by mistake instead of his brow, laying the pillow the wrong way, and being banished at last in disgrace, to make room for Rosa.

Am I not the most unfortunate of human beings? Devil a bit! I enjoy all that I can – have I not milk for the baby, and the baby for milk? Cannot Julia make arrowroot pudding and cold custard? Can I not refresh myself by looking into Romana's sapphire eyes, with their deep dark fringe? Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Yea, thou, oh Bradford, art the balm, thou, oh Fisher, art the physician! Food also is there for cachinnation, that chief duty of man – Quoth Chev this morning, lifting up his feeble voice and shaking his dizzy head: "Oh, oh, if I had fallen sick in New York, and old Francis had bled me, you would not have seen me again...."

Florence's name is Florence Marion – pretty, n'est-ce pas?....

Farewell, my own darling. Your
JULES.

Well, life am strange! I am again cookless. I imprudently turned old Smith off and took a young girl, who left me in four days. Why? Her lover would not allow her to stay in a family where she did not sit at table with the lady. I had read of such things in Mrs. Trollope, and thought them quite impossible. In the place from which I took her, she had done all the cooking, washing and chamber work of the house – was, in fine the only servant, for the compensation of six dollars a month. But then, she sat at table!!! Oh, ho!

 

To the same

SOUTH BOSTON, April 21, 1845.

...The weather here is so gloomy, that one really deserves credit for not hanging oneself!...I passed last evening with —. Chev was going to a "'versary," left me there at about seven, and did not come for me until after ten. Consequence was, I got heartily tired of the whole family, and concluded that bright people without hearts were in the long run less agreeable than good gentle people without wits – glory on my soul, likewise also on my baby's soul, which I am!

 

To the same 24

SOUTH BOSTON. November, 1845.

MY DARLING WEVIE, –

The children have been so very obliging as to go to sleep, and having worried over them all day, and part of the evening, I will endeavor to give you what is left of it. When you become the mother of two children you will understand the value of time as you never understood it before. My days and nights are pretty much divided between Julia and Florence. I sleep with the baby, nurse her all night, get up, hurry through my breakfast, take care of her while Emily gets hers, then wash and dress her, put her to sleep, drag her out in the wagon, amuse Dudie, kiss, love and scold her, etc., etc.... Oh, my dear Wevie, for one good squeeze in your loving arms, for one kiss, and one smile from you, what I would not give? Anything, even my box of Paris finery, which I have just opened, with great edification. Oh, what headdresses! what silks! what a bonnet, what a mantelet! I clapped my hands and cried glory for the space of half and hour, then danced a few Polkas around the study table, then sat down and felt happy, then remembered that I had now nothing to do save to grow old and ugly, and so turned a misanthropic look upon the Marie Stuart garland, etc., etc. You must certainly chosen my things with your own perfect taste. The flowers and dresses are alike exquisite, and so are all the things, not forgetting Dudie's little darling bonnet. But I fear that even this beautiful toilette will hardly tempt me from my nursery fireside where my presence is, in these days, indispensable. I have not been ten minutes this whole day, without holding one or the other of the children. I have to sit with Fo-Fo on one knee and Dudie on the other, trotting them alternately, and singing, "Jim along Josie," till I can't Jim along any further possibly. Well, life is peculiar anyhow. Dudie does n't go alone yet – heaven only knows when she will. Sunday evening. I wore the new bonnet and mantelet to church to-day:– frightened the sexton, made the minister squint, and the congregation stare. It looked rather like a green clam shell, some folks thought. I did not. I cocked it as high as ever I could, but somehow it did plague me a little. I shall soon get used to it. Sumner has been dining with us, and he and Chev have been pitying unmarried women. Oh, my dear friends, thought I, if you could only have one baby, you would change your tune.... Heaven grant that your dear little child may arrive safely, and gladden your heart with its sweet face. What a new world will its birth open to you, an ocean of love unfathomed even by your loving heart. I cannot tell you the comfort I have in my little ones, troublesome as they sometimes are. However weary I may be at night, it is sweet to feel that I have devoted the day to them. I am become quite an adept in washing and dressing, and curl my little Fo-fo's hair beautifully. Tell Donald that I can even wash out the little crease in her back, without rubbing the skin off....

 

To her sister Annie 25

1846.

My poor dear little Ante-nuptial, I will write to you, and I will come to you, though I can do you no good – sentiment and sympathy I have none, but such insipidity as I have give I unto thee.... Dear Annie, your marriage is to me a grave and solemn matter. I hardly allow myself to think about it. God give you all happiness, dearest child. Some sufferings and trials I fear you must have, for after all, the entering into single combat, hand to hand, with the realities of life, will be strange and painful to one who has hitherto lived, enjoyed, and suffered, en l'air, as you have done.... To be happily married seems to me the best thing for a woman. Oh! My sweet Annie, may you be happy – your maidenhood has been pure, sinless, loving, beautiful – you have no remorses, no anxious thought about the past. You have lived to make the earth more beautiful and bright – may your married life be as holy and harmless – may it be more complete, and more acceptable to God than your single life could possibly have been. Marriage, like death, is a debt we owe to nature, and though it costs us something to pay it, yet are we more content and better established in peace, when we have paid it. A young girl is a loose flower or flower seed, blown about by the wind, it may be cruelly battered, may be utterly blighted and lost to this world, but the matron is the same flower or seed planted, springing up and bearing fruit unto eternal life. What a comfort would Wevie now be to you – she is so much more loving than I, but thee knows I try. I have been better lately, the quiet nights seem to speak to me again, and to quicken my dead soul. What I feel is a premature old age, caused by the strong passions and conflicts of my early life. It is the languor and indifference of old age, without its wisdom, or its well-earned right to repose. Sweetie, was n't the bonnet letter hideous? I sent it that you might see how naughty I could be....

 

The Doctor's health had been affected by the hardships and exposure of his service in the Greek Revolution, and his arduous labors now gave him little time for rest or recuperation. He was subject to agonizing headaches, each of which was a brief but distressing illness. In the summer of 1846 he resolved to try the water cure, then considered by many a sovereign remedy for all human ailments, and he and our mother spent some delightful weeks at Brattleboro, Vermont.

 

To her sister Louisa

August 4, 1846.

DEAREST WEVIE, –

...We left dear old Brattleboro on Sunday afternoon, at five o'clock, serenely packed in our little carriage; the good old boarding-house woman kissed me, and presented me with a bundle, containing cake, biscuits, and whortleberries.... Two calico bags, one big and one little, contained our baggage for the journey. Chev and I felt well and happy, the children were good, the horses went like birds, and showed themselves horses of good mettle, by carrying us over a distance of one hundred miles in something less than two days, for we arrived here at three o'clock to-day, so that the second 24 hours was not completed. Very pleasant was our little journey. We started very early each morning, and went ten or twelve miles to becassim; 26 the country inns were clean, quiet and funny. We had custards, pickles, and pies for breakfast, and tea at dinner. Oh, it was a good time! At Athol, I found a piano, and sat down to sing negro songs for the children. A charming audience, comprising cook, ostler, and waiter, collected around the parlour door, and encouraged me with a broom and a pitchfork. Well, it was pleasant to arrive at our dear Green Peace, or Villa Julia, as they call it. We found everything in beautiful order, the green corn grown as high as our heads, and ripe enough to eat, the turkey sitting on eleven eggs, the peahen on four, six turkeys already growing up, and two broods of young chickens. Peas, tomatoes, beans, squashes and potatoes, all flourishing. Our garden entirely supplies us with vegetables, and we shall have many apples and pears. Immediately upon my arrival, I found the box and little parcel from you. You may imagine the pleasure it gave me to receive, at this distance, things which your tasteful little fingers had worked.... I am rather ashamed to see how beautiful your work is, when mine is as coarse as possible. In truth, I am a clumsy seamstress, but I make good puddings, and the little things I make do well enough here in the country.... August 15th. I have passed eleven quiet and peaceful days since I got so far with my letter. My chicks have been good, and my husband well. My household affairs go on very pleasantly and easily nowadays. My good stout German girl takes care of the chicks and helps a little with the chamber work. My little Lizzie does the cooking, all but the puddings which I always make myself, so I keep but two house servants. The man takes care of the horses, drives and keeps the garden in excellent order. I make my bed and put my room in order as well as I can. I generally wipe the dishes when Lizzie has washed them, so you see that I am quite an industrious flea. I have made very nice raspberry jam and currant jelly with my own hands.... Felton came to tea last evening. He was pleasant and bright. He will be married some time in November. Hillard, too, has been to see me. Yesterday was made famous by the purchase of a very beautiful piano of Chickering's manufacture. The value of it was $450, but the kind Chick sold it to us at wholesale price. It arrived at Green Peace to-day, and has already gladdened the children's hearts by some gay tunes, the rags of my antiquated musical repertory. You will be glad, I am sure, to know that I have one at last, for I have been many months without any instrument, so that I have almost forgotten how to touch one.... My mourning [for a sister-in-law] has been quite an inconvenience to me, this summer. I had just spent all the money I could afford for my summer clothes, and was forced to spend $30 more for black dresses.... The black clothes, however, seem to me very idle things, and I shall leave word in my will that no shall wear them for me....

 

To the same

BORDENTOWN, August, 1846.

...Sumner and Chev came hither with us, and passed two days and nights. Chev is well and good. Sumner is as usual, funny but very good and kind. Philanthropy goes ahead, and slavery will be abolished, and so shall we. New York is full of engagements in which I feel no interest. John Astor and Augusta Gibbs are engaged, and are, I think, fairly well matched. One can only say that each is good enough for the other.

These were the days when Julia sang in her nursery:

"Rero, rero, riddlety rad,
This morning my baby caught sight of her Dad,
Quoth she, 'Oh, Daddy, where have you been?'
'With Mann and Sumner a-putting down sin!'"

 

To her sister Annie

August 17, 1846.

MY DEAR DARLING ANNIE, –

...After seeing the frugal manner in which country people live, and after deriving great benefit from hydropathic diet, Chev and I thought we could get along with one servant less, and so we have no cook. Lizzie 27 cooks, I make the pudding, we have no tea, and live principally upon the vegetables from our garden, hasty pudding, etc. We get along quite comfortably, and I like it very much – the fewer servants one has, the more comfort, I think.... I have plenty of occupation for my fingers. My heart will be much taken up with my babies; as for my soul, that part of me which thinks and believes and imagines, I shall leave it alone till the next world, for I see it has little to do in this.... Good-bye. Your own, own

DUDIE.

 

To her sister Louisa

BOSTON, December 1, 1846.

Dearest old absurdity that you are, am I to write to you again? Is not my life full enough of business, of flannel petticoats, aprons, and the wiping of dirty little noses? Must I sew and trot babies and sing songs, and tell Mother Goose stories, and still be expected to know how to write? My fingers are becoming less and less familiar with the pen, my thoughts grow daily more insignificant and commonplace. What earthly good can my letters do to anyone? What interesting information can I impart to anyone? Not that I am not happy, very happy, but then I have quite lost the power of contributing to the amusement of others....

 

To her sister Annie

1845 or 1846.

...I visited my Mother Otis 28 on Thursday evening, and had a pleasant time. I went alone, Chev being philanthropically engaged – party being over, I called for him at Mr. Mann's but they were so happy over their report that they concluded to make a night of it, and I came home alone. Chev returned at one, quite intoxicated with benevolence....

 

Finding that the isolation of South Boston was telling seriously upon her health and spirits, the Doctor decided on a change, and the winter of 1846 was spent at the Winthrop House in Boston.

 

To the same

Monday morning, 1846.

MY DEAREST, SWEETEST ANNIE, –

...I have neglected you sadly this winter, and heart reproaches me for it.... It has been strange to me, to return to life and to feel that I have any sympathy with living beings.... I have been singing and writing poetry, so you may know that I have been happy. Alas! Am I not a selfish creature to prize these enjoyments as I do, above almost everything else in the world? God forgive me if I do wrong in following with ardor the strongest instincts of my nature, but I have been doing wrong all my life, in some way or other. I have been giving a succession of little musical parties on Saturday evenings, and I assure you they have been quite successful. I have to be sure only my little parlour in the Winthrop House, but even that is larger than the grand saloon at S. Niccolo da Tolentino which managed to hold so much fun on Friday evenings. I have found some musical friends to sing with me – Lizzie Cary, Mrs. Felton, Mr. Pelosos and William Story, of whom more anon.... Agassiz, the learned and charming Frenchman, is also one of my habitués on Saturday evenings, and Count Pourtalés, a Swiss nobleman of good family, who has accompanied Agassiz to this country! I illuminate my room with a chandelier and some candles, draw out the piano into the room, and order some ice from Mrs. Mayer's – so that the reception gives me very little trouble. My friends come at half-past eight and stay until eleven. I do not usually have more than twenty people, but once I have had nearly sixty and those of the best people in Boston. Chev is very desirous of having a house in town, and is far more pleased with my success than I am. My next party will be on the coming Saturday. It is for Lizzie Rice and Sam Guild who are just married. Am I not an enterprising little woman?...Dear Annie, I am anxious to be with you, that I may really know how you are, and talk over all the little matters with you.... I always feel that this suffering must be some expiation for all the follies of one's life, whereupon I will improvise a couplet upon the subject.

Woman, being of all critters the darn'dest,
Is made to suffer the consarn'dest.

 

To her sister Louisa

May 17, 1847.

MY SWEETEST BEAUTIFULLEST WEVIE, –

...I have not written because I have been in a studious, meditative, and most uncommunicative frame of mind, and have very few words to throw at many dogs. It is quite delightful to take to study again, and to feel that old and stupid as one may be, there is still in one's mind a little power of improvement.... The longer I live the more do I feel my utter childlike helplessness about all practical affairs. Certainly a creature with such useless hands was never before seen. I seem to need a dry nurse quite as much as my children. What useful thing can I possibly teach these poor little monkeys? For everything that is not soul I am an ass, that I am. I have now been at Green Peace some six weeks, and it is very pleasant and quiet, but oh! the season is so backward; it is the 17th of May, and the trees are only beginning to blossom. Every day comes a cold east wind to nip off my nose, and the devil a bit of anything else comes to Green Peace. I am thin and languid. I have never entirely recovered from my fever 29 but my mind is clearer than it has ever been since my marriage. I am able to think, to study and to pray, things which I cannot accomplish when my brain is oppressed....

Boston has been greatly enlivened during the past month by a really fine opera, the troupe from Havana, much better than the N. Y. troupe, with a fine orchestra and chorus, all Italians. The Prima Donna is an artist of the first order, and has an exquisite voice. I have had season tickets, and have been nearly every night. This is a great indulgence, as it is very expensive, and I have one of the best boxes in the house, but Chev is the most indulgent of husbands. I never knew anything like it. Think of all he allows me, a house and garden, a delicious carriage and pair of horses, etc., etc., etc. My children are coming on famously. Julia, or as she calls herself, Romana, is really a fine creature, full of sensibility and of talent. She learns very readily, and reasons about things with great gravity. She remembers every tune that she hears, and can sing a great many songs. She is very full of fun, and so is my sweet Flossy, my little flaxen-haired wax doll. I play for them on the piano, Lizzie beats the tambourine, and the two babies take hold of hands and dance. "Is not your heart fully satisfied with such a sight?" you will ask me. I reply, dear Wevie, that the soul whose desires are not fixed upon the unattainable is dead even while it liveth, and that I am glad, in the midst of all my comforts, to feel myself still a pilgrim in pursuit of something that is neither house nor lands, nor children, nor health. What that something is I scare know. Sometimes it seems to me one thing and sometimes another. Oh, immortality, thou art to us but a painful rapture, an ecstatic burthen in this early life. God teach me to bear thee until thou shalt bear me! The arms of the cross will one day turn into angels' wings, and lift us up to heaven. Don't think from this rhapsody that I am undergoing a fit of pietistic exaltation. I am not, but as I grow older, many things become clearer to me, and I feel at once the difficulty and the necessity of holding fast to one's soul and to its divine relationships, lest the world should cheat us of it utterly.

 



MRS. HOWE IN 1847
From a painting by Joseph Ames

 

To her sister Annie

June 19 [1847], GREEN PEACE.

MY DEAREST LITTLE ANNIE, –

...Boston has been in great excitement at the public debates of the Prison Discipline Society, which have been intensely interesting. Chev and Sumner have each spoken twice, in behalf of the Philadelphia system, and against the course of the Society. They have been furiously attacked by the opposite party. Chev's second speech drew tears from many eyes, and was very beautiful. Both of Sumner's have been fine, but the last, delivered last evening, was masterly. I never listened to anything with more intense interest, – he held the audience breathless for two hours and a half. I have attended all the debates save one – there have been seven.

 

To her sister Louisa

July 1, 1847.

MY DEAREST OLD WEVIE, –

I should have written you yesterday but that I was obliged to entertain the whole Club 30 at dinner, prior to Hillard's departure. I gave them a neat little dinner, soup, salmon, sweetbreads, roast lamb and pigeon, with green peas, potatoes au maitre d'hotel, spinach and salad. Then came a delicious pudding and blanc-mange, then strawberries, pineapple, and ice-cream, then coffee, etc. We had a pleasant time upon the whole. That is, they had; for myself it is easy to find companions more congenial than the Club. Still, I like them very well. I had last week a little meeting of the mutual correction club, which was far pleasanter to me. This society is organized as follows: Julia Howe, grand universal philosopher; Jane Belknap, charitable censor; Mary Ward, moderator; Sarah Hale, optimist. I had them all to dinner and we were jolly, I do assure you. My children looked so lovely yesterday, in muslin dresses of bright pink plaid, made very full and reaching only to the knee, with pink ribbands in their sleeves....

How I do wish for you this summer. My little place is so green, my flowers so sweet, my strawberries so delicious – the garden produces six quarts or more a day. The cow gives delicious cream. I even make a sort of cream cheese which is not by any means to be despised. Do you eat ricotta nowadays? Chev gave me a little French dessert set yesterday, which made my table look so pretty. White with very rich blue and gold. Oh, but it was bunkum! Dear old Wevie, you must give me one summer, and then I will give you a winter – isn't that fair? Chev promises to take me abroad in five years, if we should sell Green Peace well. They talk of moving the Institution, in which case I should have to leave my pretty Green Peace in two years more, but I should be sad to leave it, for it is very lovely. I don't know any news at all to communicate. The President 31 has just made a visit here; he was coolly but civilly received. His whole course has been very unpopular in Massachusetts, and nobody wanted to see the man who had brought this cursed Mexican War upon us. He was received by the Mayor with a brief but polite address, lodgings were provided for him, and a dinner given him by the city. But there was no crowd to welcome him, no shouts, no waving of handkerchiefs. The people quietly looked at him and said, "This is our chief magistrate, is it? Well, he is très peu de chose." I of course did not trouble myself to go and see him.... I send you an extract from a daily paper. Can you tell me who is the authoress? It has been much admired. Uncle John was very much tickled to see somebody in print. Try it again, Blue Jacket.

. . . . . . . . . . .

The wayward moods shown in these letters sometimes found other expression. In those days her wit was wayward too: its arrows were always winged, and sometimes over-sharp. In later life, when Boston and everything connected with it was unspeakably dear to her, she would not recall the day when, passing on Charles Street the Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, she read the name aloud and exclaimed, "Oh! I did not know there was a charitable eye or ear in Boston!" Or that other day, when having dined with the Ticknors, a family of monumental dignity, she said to a friend afterward, "Oh! I am so cold! I have been dining with the Tête Noir, the Mer(e) de Glace, and the Jungfrau! "

It may have been in these days that an incident occurred which she thus describes in "A Plea for Humour": "I once wrote to an intimate friend a very high-flown and ridiculous letter of reproof for her frivolity. I presently heard of her as ill in bed, in consequence of my unkindness. I immediately wrote, 'Did not you see that the whole thing was intended to be a burlesque?' After a while she wrote back, 'I am just beginning to see the fun of it, but next time you intend to make a joke, pray give me a fortnight's notice.' It was now my turn to take to my bed."

In September, 1847, a heavy sorrow came to her in the death of her brother Marion, "a gallant, gracious boy, a true, upright and useful man." She writes to her sister Louisa: "Let us thank Him that Marion's life gave us as much joy as his death has given us pain...Our children will grow up in love and beauty, and one of us will have a sweet boy who shall bear the dear name of Marion and make it doubly dear to us."

This prophecy was fulfilled first by the birth, on March 2, 1848, of Henry Marion Howe (named for the two lost brothers), and again in 1854 by that of Francis Marion Crawford.

The winter of 1847-48 was also spent in Boston, at No. 74 Mount Vernon Street; here the first son was born. The Doctor, recording his birth in the Family Bible, wrote after the name, "Dieu donné! " And, his mind full of the Revolution of 1848 in France, added, "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité! "

On April 18 she writes: "My boy will be seven weeks old to-morrow, and ...such a darling little child was never seen in this world before.... I shall have some fears lest his temperament partake of the melancholy which oppressed me during the period of his creation, but so far he is so placid and gentle, that we call him the little saint.... I have seen little of the world since his birth, and thought still less. I shall try to pursue my studies as I have through this last year, for I am good for nothing without them. I will rather give up the world and cut out Beacon Street, but an hour or two for the cultivation of my poor little soul I must and will have...."

 

To her sister Annie

[1848.]

DEAREST ANNIE, –

...My literary reputation is growing apace. Mr. Buchanan Read has written to me from Philadelphia to beg some poetry for a book he is about to publish, and I am going to hunt up some trash for him in the course of the week. I find that my name has been advertised in relation to Griswold's book 32 – people come to ask Chev if that Mrs. Howe is his wife. I feel as if I should make a horribly shabby appearance. Do tell me if Griswold liked the poems....

 

To the same

Sunday, December 15, 1849.

...I do want to see you, best Annie, and to have a few long talks with you about theology, the soul, the heart, life, matrimony, and the points of resemblance between the patriarch Noah and Sir Tipsy Squinteye. Those talks, madam, are not to be had, so instead of the rich crême fouettée of our conversation, we will take an insipid water-ice of a letter together, the two spoons being ourselves, the sugar, ice and lemon representing our three husbands, all mixed up together, the whole to be considered good when one can't get anything better. I will be hanged, however, if you shall make me say which is which.

I pass my life after a singular manner, Annie. I am in the old room, in the old house, even in the old dressing-gown, which is of some value, inasmuch as it furnishes my rent. I am in the old place, but the old Dudie is not in me; in her stead is a spirit of crossness and dullness, insensible to all the gentler influences of life, knowing no music, poetry, wit, or devotion, intent mainly upon holding on to the ropes, and upon getting through the present without too much consciousness of it.... All society has been paralyzed by the shocking murder of Dr. Parkman. There has perhaps never been in Boston so horrible and atrocious an affair. The details of the crime are too heart-sickening to be dwelt upon. There can scarcely be a doubt of the guilt of Dr. Webster – the jury of inquest have returned a verdict of guilty, but he has still a chance for his life, as his trial in court does not come on for some months. The wisest people say that he will be convicted and hanged. I saw Dr. Parkman two or three days before he was missing – he was an old friend of Chev's.... I have not been able to see much company, yet we have had a few pleasant people at the house, now and then. Among these, a Mr. Twisleton, brother of Lord Saye and Sele, the most agreeable John Bull I have seen this many a day, or indeed ever....

 

The winter of 1849-1850 was also spent at No. 74 Mount Vernon Street. Here, in February 1850, a third daughter was born, and named Laura for Laura Bridgman. In the spring, our parents made a second voyage to Europe, taking with them the two youngest children, Julia Romana and Florence being left in the household of Dr. Edward Jarvis.

They spent some weeks in England, renewing the friendships made seven years before; thence they journeyed to Paris, and from there to Boppart, where the Doctor took the water cure. Julia seems to have been too busy for letter-writing during this year; the Doctor writes to Charles Sumner of the beauty of Boppart, and adds: "Julia and I have been enjoying walks upon the banks of the Rhine, and rambles upon the hillside, and musings among the ruins, and jaunts upon the waters as we have enjoyed nothing since we left home."

He had but six months' leave of absence; it was felt by both that Julia needed a longer time of rest and refreshment; accordingly when he returned she, with the two little children, joined her sisters, both now married, and the three proceeded to Rome, where they spent the winter.

Mrs. Crawford was living at Villa Negroni, where Mrs. Mailliard became her companion; Julia found a comfortable apartment in Via Capo le Case, with the Edward Freemans on the floor above, and Mrs. David Dudley Field on that below.

These were pleasant neighbors. Mrs. Freeman was Julia's companion in many delightful walks and excursions; when Mrs. Field had a party, she borrowed Mrs. Howe's large lamp, and was ready to lend her tea-cups in return. There was a Christmas tree – the first ever seen in Rome! – at Villa Negroni; "an occasional ball, a box at the opera, a drive on the Campagna."

Julia found a learned Rabbi from the Ghetto, and resumed the study of Hebrew, which she had begun the year before in South Boston. This accomplished man was obliged to wear the distinctive dress then imposed upon the Jews of Rome, and to be within the walls of the Ghetto by six in the evening. There were theatricals, too, she appearing as "Tilburina" in "The Critic."

Among the friends of this Roman winter none was so beloved as Horace Binney Wallace. He was a Philadelphian, a rosso. He held that "the highest effort of nature is to produce a rosso "; he was always in search of the favored tint either in pictures or in living beings. Together the two rossi explored the ancient city, with mutual pleasure and profit.

Some years later, on hearing of his death, she recalled these days of companionship in a poem called "Via Felice," 33 which she sang to an air of her own composition. The poem appears in "Words for the Hour," and is one of the tenderest of her personal tributes:–

For Death's eternal city
Has yet some happy street;
'T is in the Via Felice
My friend and I shall meet.

In the summer of 1851 she turned her face westward. The call of husband, children, home, was imperative; yet so deep was the spell which Rome had laid upon her that the parting was fraught with "pain, amounting almost to anguish." She was oppressed by the thought that she might never again see all that had grown so dear. Looking back upon this time, she says, "I have indeed seen Rome and its wonders more that once since that time, but never as I saw them then."

The homeward voyage was made in a sailing-vessel, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Mailliard. They were a month at sea. In the long quiet mornings Julia read Swedenborg's "Divine Love and Wisdom"; in the afternoons Eugène Sue's "Mystères de Paris," borrowed from a steerage passenger. There was whist in the evening; when her companions had gone to rest she would sit alone, thinking over the six months, weaving into song their pleasures and their pains. The actual record of this second Roman winter is found in "Passion Flowers."


CHAPTER VII

"PASSION FLOWERS"

1852-1858; aet. 33-39

 

ROUGE GAGNE

The wheel is turned, the cards are laid;
The circle's drawn, the bets are made:
I stake my gold upon the red.

The rubies of the bosom mine,
The river of life, so swift divine,
In red all radiantly shine.

Upon the cards, like gouts of blood,
Lie dinted hearts, and diamonds good,
The red for faith and hardihood.

In red the sacred blushes start
On errand from a virgin heart,
To win its glorious counterpart.

The rose that makes the summer fair,
The velvet robe that sovereigns wear,
The red revealment could not spare.

And men who conquer deadly odds
By fields of ice, and raging floods,
Take the red passion from the gods.

Now, Love is red, and Wisdom pale,
But human hearts are faint and frail
Till Love meets Love, and bids it hail.

I see the chasm, yawning dread;
I see the flaming arch o'erhead;
I stake my life upon the red.

J. W. H.

WE have seen that from her earliest childhood Julia Ward's need of expressing herself in verse was imperative. Every emotion, deep or trivial, must take metrical shape; she laughed, wept, prayed – even stormed, in verse.

Walking with her one day, her sister Annie, always half angel, half sprite, pointed to an object in the road. "Dudie dear," she said: "squashed frog! little verse, dear?"

We may laugh with the two sisters, but under the laughter lies a deep sense of the poet's nature.

As in her dreamy girlhood she prayed –

"Oh! give me back my golden lyre!" –
so in later she was to pray –
"On the Matron's time-worn mantle
Let the Poet's wreath be laid."

The tide of song had been checked for a time; after the second visit to Rome, it flowed more freely than ever. By the winter of 1853-54, a volume was ready (the poems chosen and arranged with the help of James T. Fields), and was published by Ticknor and Fields under the title of "Passion Flowers."

No name appeared on the title-page; she had thought to keep her incognito, but she was recognized at once as the author, and the book became the literary sensation of the hour. It passed rapidly through three editions; was, she says, "much praised, much blamed, and much called in question."

She writes to her sister Annie:–

"The history of all these days, belovèd, is comprised in one phrase, the miseries of proof-reading. Oh, the endless, endless plague of looking over these proof-sheets – the doubts about phrases, rhymes, and expressions, the perplexity of names, especially, in which I have not been fortunate. To-morrow I get my last proof. Then a fortnight must be allowed for drying and binding. Then I shall be out, fairly out, do you hear? So far my secret has been pretty well kept. My book is to bear a simple title without my name, according to Longfellow's advice. Longfellow has been reading a part of the volume in sheets. He says it will make a sensation.... I feel much excited, quite unsettled, sometimes a little frantic. If I succeed, I feel that I shall be humbled by my happiness, devoutly thankful to God. Now, I will not write any more about it."

The warmest praise came from the poets, – the "high, impassioned few" of her "Salutatory." Whittier wrote:–

 

AMESBURY, 29th, 12 mo. 53.

MY DEAR FR'D, –

A thousand thanks for thy volume! I rec'd it some days ago, but was too ill to read it. I glanced at "Rome," "Newport and Rome," and they excited me like a war-trumpet. To-day, with the wild storm drifting without, my sister and I have been busy with thy book, and basking in the warm atmosphere of its flowers of passion. It is a great book – it has placed thee at the head of us all. I like its noble aims, its scorn and hate of priestcraft and Slavery. It speaks out bravely, beautifully all I have felt, but could not express, when contemplating the condition of Europe. God bless thee for it!

I owe an apology to Dr. Howe, if not to thyself, for putting into verse 34 an incident of his early life, which a friend related to me. When I saw his name connected with it, in some of the papers that copied it, I felt fearful that I had wounded, perhaps, the feelings of one I love and honor beyond almost any other man, by the liberty I have taken. I can only say I could not well help it – a sort of necessity was before me, to say what I did.

I wish I could tell thee how glad thy volume has made me. I have marked it all over with notes of admiration. I dare say it has faults enough, but thee need not fear on that account. It has beauty enough to save thy "slender neck" from the axe of the critical headsman. The veriest "de'il" – as Burns says – "wad look into thy face and swear he could na wrang thee."

With love to the Doctor and thy lovely little folk, I am

Very sincerely thy friend,
JOHN G. WHITTIER.

 

Emerson wrote:–

 

CONCORD, MASS., 30 Dec., 1853.

DEAR MRS. HOWE, –

I am just leaving home with much ado of happy preparation for an absence of five weeks, but must take a few moments to thank you for the happiness your gift brings me. It was very kind in you to send it to me, who have forfeited all apparent claims to such favor, by breaking all the laws of good neighborhood in these years. But you were entirely right in sending it, because, I fancy, that among all your friends, few had so earnest a desire to know your thoughts, and, I may say, so much regret at never seeing you, as I. And the book, as I read in it, meets this curiosity of mine, by its poems of character and confidence, private lyrics, whose air and words [are] all your own. I have not gone so far in them as to have any criticism to offer you, and like better the pure pleasure I find in a new book of poetry so warm with life. Perhaps, when I have finished the book, I shall ask the privilege of saying something further. At present I content myself with thanking you.

With great regard,
R. W. EMERSON.

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, always generous in his welcome to younger writers, sent the following poem, never before printed:–

If I were one, O Minstrel wild,
  That held "the golden cup"
Not unto thee, Art's stolen child,
  My hand should yield it up;

Why should I waste its gold on one
  That holds a guerdon bright –
A chalice, flashing in the sun
  Of perfect chrysolite.

And shaped on such a swelling sphere
  As if some God had pressed
Its flowing crystal, soft and clear
  On Hebe's virgin breast?

What though the bitter grapes of earth
  Have mingled in its wine?
The stolen fruits of heavenly birth
  Have made its hue divine.

Oh, Lady, there are charms that win
  Their way to magic bowers,
And they that weave them enter in
  In spite of mortal powers;

And hearts that seek the chapel's floor
  Will throb the long aisle through,
Though none are waiting at the door
  To sprinkle holy dew!

I, sitting in the portal gray
  Of Art's cathedral dim,
Can see thee, passing in to pray
  And sing thy first-born hymn; –

Hold out thy hand! these scanty drops
  Come from a hallowed stream,
Its sands, a poet's crumbling hopes,
  Its mists, his fading dream.

Pass on. Around the inmost shrine
  A few faint tapers burn;
This altar, Priestess, shall be thine
  To light and watch in turn;

Above it smiles the Mother Maid,
  It leans on Love and Art,
And in its glowing depth is laid
  The first true woman's heart!

O. W. H.

BOSTON, Jan. 1, 1854.

This tribute from the beloved Autocrat touched her deeply, the more so that in the "Commonwealth" 35 she had recently reviewed some of his own work rather severely. She made acknowledgment in a poem entitled "A Vision of Montgomery Place," 36 in which she pictures herself as a sheeted penitent knocking at Dr. Holmes's door.

I was the saucy Commonwealth:
Oh! Help me to repent.
. . . . . . .
Behind my embrasure well-braced,
With every chance to hit,
I made your banner, waving wide,
A mark for wayward wit.

'T was now my turn to walk the street,
In dangerous singleness,
And run, as bravely as I might,
The gauntlet of the press.

And when I passed your balcony
Expecting only blows,
From height or vantage-ground, you stooped
To whelm me with a rose.

A rose, intense with crimson life
And hidden perfume sweet –
Call out your friends, and see me do
My penance in the street.
. . . . . . . . .

She writes her sister Annie:–

"My book came out, darling, on Friday last. You have it, I hope, ere this time. The simple title, 'Passion Flowers,' was invented by Scherb 37 and approved by Longfellow. Its success became certain at once. Hundreds of copies have already been sold, and every one likes it. Fields foretells a second edition – it is sure to pay for itself. It has done more for me, in point of consideration here, than a fortune of a hundred thousand dollars. Parker quoted some of my verses in his Christmas sermon, and this I considered as the greatest of honors. I sat there and heard them, glowing all over. The authorship is, of course, no secret now...."

Speaking of the volume long after, she says, "It was a timid performance upon a slender reed."

Three years later a second volume of verse was published by Ticknor and Fields under the title of "Words for the Hour." Of this, George William Curtis wrote, "It is a better book than its predecessor, but will probably not meet with the same success."

She had written plays ever since she was nine years old. In 1857, the same year which saw the publication of "Words for the Hour," she produced her first serious dramatic work, a five-act drama entitled "The World's Own." It was performed in New York at Wallack's Theatre, and in Boston with Matilda Heron and the elder Sothern in the leading parts. She notes that one critic pronounced the play "full of literary merits and of dramatic defects"; and she adds, "It did not, as they say, 'keep the stage.'"

Yet her brother Sam writes to her from New York: "Lenore still draws the best houses; there was hardly standing room on Friday night"; and again: "Mr. Russell went last night, a second time, bought the libretto, which I send you by this mail – declares that there is not a grander play in our language. He says that it is full of dramatic vigor, that the interest never flags – but that unhappily Miss H., with the soul and self-abandonment of a great actress, lacks those graces of elocution, which should set forth the beauties of your verses."

Some of the critics blamed the author severely for her choice of a subject – the betrayal and abandonment of an innocent girl by a villain; they thought it unfeminine, not to say indelicate, for a woman to write of such matters.

At that time nothing could be farther from her thoughts than to be classed with the advocates of Women's Rights as they then appeared; yet in "The World's Own" are passages which show that already her heart cherished the high ideal of her sex, for which her later voice was to be uplifted:–

I think we call them Women, who uphold
Faint hearts and strong, with angel countenance;
Who stand for all that's high in Faith's resolve,
Or great in Hope's first promise.
. . . . . . . . .
Ev'n the frail creature with a moment's bloom,
That pays your pleasure with her sacrifice,
And, having first a marketable price,
Grows thenceforth valueless, – ev'n such an one,
Lifted a little from the mire, and purged
By hands severely kind, will give to view
The germ of all we honor, in the form
Of all that we abhor. You fling a jewel
Where wild feet tramp, and crushing wheels go by;
You cannot tread the splendor from its dust;
So, in the shattered relics, shimmers yet
Through tears and grime, the pride of womanhood.
. . . . . . . . . .

We must not forget the Comic Muse. Comparatively little of her humorous verse is preserved; she seldom thought it important enough to make two copies, and the first draft was often lost or given away. The following was written in the fifties, when Wulf Fries was a young and much-admired musician in Boston. Miss Mary Bigelow had invited her to her house "at nine o'clock" to hear him play, meaning nine in the morning. She took this for nine in the evening; the rest explains itself:–

Miss Mary Big'low, you who seem
  So debonair and kind,
Pray, what the devil do you mean
  (If I may speak my mind)

By asking me to come and hear
  That Wulf of yours a-Friesing,
Then leaving me to cool my heels
  In manner so unpleasing?
. . . . . . . . .

With Mrs. Dr. Susan you
  That eve, forsooth, were tea-ing;
Confess you knew that I should come,
  And from my wrath were fleeing!

To Mrs. Dr. Susan's I
  Had not invited been;
So when the maid said, "Best go there!"
  I answered, "Not so green!"

Within the darksome carriage hid
  I bottled up my beauty,
And, rather foolish, hurried home
  To fireside and duty.

It's very pleasant, you may think,
  On winter nights to roam;
But when you next invite abroad,
  This wolf will freeze at home!

While she was pouring out her heart in poem and play, and the Doctor was riding the errands of the hour and binding up the wounds of Humanity, what, it may be asked, – it was asked by anxious friends, – was becoming of the little Howes? Why, the little Howes (there were five now, Maud having been born in November, 1854) were having perhaps the most wonderful childhood that ever children had. Spite of the occasional winters spent in town, our memories centre round Green Peace; – there Paradise blossomed for us. Climbing the cherry trees, picnicking on the terrace behind the house, playing in the bowling-alley, tumbling into the fishpond, – we see ourselves here and there, always merry, always vigorous and robust. We were also studying, sometimes at school, sometimes with our mother, who gave us the earliest lessons in French and music, more often, in those years, under various masters and governesses. The former were apt to be political exiles, the Doctor always having many such on hand, some learned, all impecunious, all seeking employment. We recall a Pole, a Dane, two Germans, one Frenchman. The last, poor man, was married to a Smyrniote woman with a bad temper; neither spoke the other's language, and when they quarrelled they came to the Doctor, demanding his services as interpreter.

Through successive additions, the house had grown to a goodly size; the new part, with large, high-studded rooms, towering above the ancient farmhouse, which nevertheless seemed always the heart of the place. Between the two was a conservatory, a posy of all sweet flowers, the large greenhouse was down in the garden, under the same roof as the bowling-alley.

The pears and peaches and strawberries of Green Peace were like no others that ever ripened; we see ourselves tagging at our father's heels, watching his pruning and grafting with an absorption equalling his own, learning from him that there must be honor in gardens as elsewhere, and that fruit taken from his hand was sweet, while stolen fruit would be bitter.

We see ourselves gathered in the great dining-room, where the grand piano was, and the Gobelin carpet with the strange beasts and fishes, bought at the sale of ex-King Joseph Bonaparte's furniture at Bordentowm, and the Snyders' Boar Hunt, which one of us could never pass without a shiver; see ourselves dancing to our mother's playing, – wonderful dances, invented by Flossy, who was always première danseuse, and whose "Lady Macbeth" dagger dance was a thing to remember.

Then perhaps the door would open, and in would come "Papa" as a bear, in his fur overcoat, growling horribly, and chase the dancers into corners, they shrieking terrified delight.

Again, we see ourselves clustered around the piano while our mother sang to us; songs of all nations, from the Polish drinking-songs that Uncle Sam had learned in his student days in Germany, down to the Negro melodies which were very near our hearts.

Best of all, however, we loved her own songs; cradle-songs and nursery nonsense made for our very selves –

"(Sleep, my little child.
So gentle, sweet and mild!
The little lamb has gone to rest,
The little bird is in its nest, – "

"Put in the donkey!" cries Laura. The golden voice goes on without a pause –

"The little donkey in the stable
Sleeps as sound as he is able;
All things now their rest pursue,
You are sleepy too!)"

Again, she would sing passionate songs of love or battle, or hymns of lofty faith and aspiration. One and all, we listened eagerly; one and all, we too began to see visions and dream dreams.

Now and then, the Muse and Humanity had to stand aside and wait while the children had a party; such a party as no other children ever had. What wonder, when both parents turned the full current of their power into this channel?

Our mother writes of one such festival:–

"My guests arrived in omnibus loads at four o'clock. My notes to parents concluded with the following P.S.: 'Return-omnibus provided, with insurance against plum-cake and other accidents.' A donkey carriage afforded great amusement out of doors, together with swing, bowling-alley, and the Great Junk. While all this was going on, the H.'s, J. S., and I prepared a theatrical exhibition, of which I had made a hasty outline. It was the story of 'Blue Beard.' We had curtains which drew back and forth, and regular footlights. You can't think how good it was! There were four scenes. My antique cabinet was the 'Blue Beard' cabinet; we yelled in delightful chorus when the door was opened, and the children stretched their necks to the last degree to see the horrible sight. The curtain closed upon a fainting-fit done by four women. In the third scene we were scrubbing the fatal key, when I cried out, 'Try the "Mustang Liniment"! It's the liniment for us, for you know we must hang if we don't succeed!' This, which was made on the spur of the moment, overcame the whole audience with laughter, and I myself shook so that I had to go down into the tub in which we were scrubbing the key. Well, to make a long story short, our play was very successful, and immediately afterward came supper. There were four long tables for the children; twenty sat at each. Ice-cream, cake, blanc-mange, and delicious sugar-plums, oranges, etc. were served up 'in style.' We had our supper a little later. Three omnibus loads went from my door; the last – the grown people – at nine o'clock."

And again:–

"I have written a play for our doll-theatre, and performed it yesterday afternoon with great success. It occupied nearly an hour. I had alternately to grunt and squeak the parts, while Chev played the puppets. The effect was really extremely good. The spectators were in a dark room, and the little theatre, lighted by a lamp from the top, looked very pretty."

It was one of these parties of which the Doctor wrote to Charles Sumner: "Altogether it was a good affair, a religious affair; I say religious, for there is nothing which so calls forth my love and gratitude to God as the sight of the happiness for which He has given the capacity and furnished the means; and this happiness is nowhere more striking than in the frolics of the young."

Among the plays given at Green Peace were the "Three Bears," the Doctor appearing as the Great Huge Bear; and the "Rose and the Ring," in which he played Kutasoff Hedzoff and our mother Countess Gruffanuff, while John A. Andrews, not yet Governor, made an unforgettable Prince Bulbo.

It was a matter of course to us children, that "Papa and Mamma" should play with us, sing to us, tell us stories, bathe our bumps, and accompany us to the dentist; these were things that papas and mammas did! Looking back now, with some realization of all the other things they did, we wonder how they managed it. For one thing, both were rapid workers; for another, both had the power of leading and inspiring others, for a third, so far as we can see, neither ever wasted a moment; for a fourth, neither ever reached the point where there was not some other task ahead, to be begun as soon as might be.

Life with a Comet-Apostle was not always easy. Some one once expressed to "Auntie Francis" wonder at the patience with which she endured all the troublesome traits of her much-loved husband. "My dear," she replied, "I shipped as Captain's mate, for the voyage!"

Our mother, quoting this, says, "I cannot imagine a more useful motto for married life."

During the thirty-four years of her own married life the Doctor was captain, beyond dispute; yet sometimes the mate felt that she must take her own way, and she took it quietly. She was fond of quoting the words of Thomas Garrett, 38 whose house was for years a station of the Underground Railway, and who helped many slaves to freedom.

"How did you manage it?" she asked him.

His reply sank deep into her mind.

"It was borne in upon me at an early period, that if I told no one what I intended to do, I should be enabled to do it."

The bond between our mother and father was not to be entirely broken even by death. She survived him by thirty-four years; but she never discussed with any of us a question of deep import, or national consideration, without saying, "Your father would think thus, say thus!" It has been told elsewhere 39 how she once, being in Newport and waked from sleep by some noise, called to him; and how he, in Boston, heard her, and asked, when next they met, "Why did you call me?" To the end of her life, if startled or alarmed, she never failed to cry aloud, "Chev!"

Children were not the only guests at Green Peace. Some of us remember Kossuth's visit; our mother often told of the day when John Brown knocked at the door, and she opened it herself. To all of us, Charles Sumner and his brothers, Albert and George, Hillard, Agassiz, Andrew, Parker were familiar figures, and fit naturally into the background of Green Peace.

Of these Charles Sumner, always the Doctor's closest and best-beloved friend, is most familiarly remembered. We called him "the harmless giant"; and one of us was in the habit of using his stately figure as a rule of measurement. Knowing that he was just six feet tall, she would say that a thing was so much higher or lower than Mr. Sumner. His deep musical voice, his rare but kindly smile, are not to be forgotten.

We do not remember Nathaniel Hawthorne's coming to the house, but his shy disposition is illustrated by the record of a visit made by our parents to his house at Concord. While they were in the parlor, talking to Mrs. Hawthorne, they saw a tall, slim man come down the stairs, and Mrs. Hawthorne called out, "Husband! Husband! Dr. Howe and Mrs. Howe are here!" Hawthorne bolted across the hall and out through the door without even looking into the parlor.

Of Whittier our mother says:–

"I shall always be glad that I saw the poet Whittier in his youth and mine. I was staying in Boston during the winter of 1847, a young mother with two dear girl babies, when Sumner, I think, brought Whittier to our rooms and introduced him to me. His appearance then was most striking. His eyes glowed like black diamonds – his hair was of the same hue, brushed back from his forehead. Several were present on this occasion who knew him familiarly, and one of these persons bantered him a little on his bachelor state. Mr. Whittier said in reply: 'The world's people have taken so many of our Quaker girls that there is none left for me.' A year or two later, my husband invited him to dine, but was detained so late that I had a tête-à-tête of half an hour with Mr. Whittier. We sat near the fire, rather shy and silent, both of us. Whenever I spoke to Whittier, he hitched his chair nearer to the fire. At last Dr. Howe came in. I said to him afterwards, 'My dear, if you had been a little later, Mr. Whittier would have gone up the chimney.'"

The most welcome visitor was Uncle Sam Ward. He came into the house like light: we warmed our hands at his fire and were glad. It was not because he brought us peaches and gold bracelets, Virginia hams (to be boiled after his own recipe, with a bottle of champagne, a wisp of new-mown hay and – we forget what else!), and fine editions of Horace: it was because he brought himself.

"I disagree with Sam Ward," said Charles Sumner, "on almost every known topic: but when I have talked with him five minutes I forget everything save that he is the most delightful companion in the world!"

A volume might be filled with Uncle Sam's mots and jests; but print would do him cold justice, lacking the kindling of his eyes and smile, the mellow music of his laugh. Memory pictures rise up, showing him and our mother together in every variety of scene. We see them coming out of church together after a long and dull sermon, and hear him whisper to her, "Ce pauvre Dieu! "

Again, we see them driving together after some function at which the address of one Potts had roused Uncle Sam to anger; hear him pouring out a torrent of eloquent vituperation, forgetting all else in the joy of freeing his mind. Pausing to draw breath, he glanced round, and, seeing an unfamiliar landscape, exclained, "Where are we?" "At Potsdam, I think!" said our mother quietly.

Hardly less dear to us than Green Peace, and far dearer to her, was the summer home at Lawton's Valley in Portsmouth, 40 Rhode Island. Here, as at South Boston, the Doctor's genius for "construction and repairs" wrought a lovely miracle. He found a tiny farmhouse, sheltered from the seawinds by a rugged hillock; near at hand, a rocky gorge, through which tumbled a wild little stream, checked here and there by a rude dam; in one place turning the wheel of a mill, where the neighboring farmers brought corn to grind. His quick eye caught the possibilities of the situation. He bought the place and proceeded to make of it a second earthly paradise. The house was enlarged, trees were felled here, planted there; a garden appeared as if by magic; in the Valley itself the turbulent stream was curbed by stone embankments; the open space became an emerald lawn, set at intervals with Norway spruces; under the great ash tree that towered in the centre rustic seats and tables were placed. Here, through many years, the "Mistress of the Valley" was to pass her happiest hours; to the Valley and its healing balm of quiet she owed the inspiration of much of her best work.

The following letters fill in the picture of a time to which in her later years she looked back as one of the happiest of her life.

Yet she was often unhappy, sometimes suffering. Humanity, her husband's faithful taskmistress, had not yet set her to work, and the long hours of his service left her lonely, and – the babies once in bed – at a loss.

Her eyes, injured in Rome, in 1843, by the throwing of confetti (made, in those days, of lime) gave her much trouble, often exquisite pain. She rarely, in our memory, used them in the evening. Yet, in later life, all the miseries, little and big, were dismissed with a smile and a sigh and a shake of the head. "I was very naughty in those days!" she would say.

 

To her sister Louisa

GREEN PEACE, Feb. 18, 1853.

MY DEAREST LOUISA, –

I have kept a long silence with you, but I suppose that it is too evident before this time that letter-writing is not my forte, to need any further explanation of such a fact. Let me say, however, once for all, that I do not stand upon my reputation as a letter-writer. About my poetry and my music, I may be touchy and exacting – about my talents for drawing, correspondence, and housekeeping, I can only say that my pretensions are as small as my merits. With such humility, Justice herself must be satisfied. It is Modesty with her pink lining (commonly mistaken for blushes) turned outside. Are you surprised, my love, at the new style of my writing, and do you think I must have been taking lessons of Mr. Bristow? Learn that my eyes do not allow me to look attentively at my writing, and that I give a glance and a scribble, in a truly frantic and indiscriminate manner. Having ruined my own eyes, you see, I am doing my utmost to ruin the eyes of my friends. This is human nature – all evil seeks thus to propagate itself, while good is satisfied with itself, and stays where it is. When I think of this, I ask myself, does not the devil, then, send missionaries? You will agree with me that he at least sends ambassadors. I have passed, so far, a very studious winter. Never, since my youth, have I lived so much in reading and writing – hence these eyes! Of course, you exclaim, what madness! but, indeed, I should have a worse madness if I did not cram myself with books. The bareness and emptiness of life were then insupportable....

Of the nearly eighteen months since my return to America, I have passed fourteen at South Boston. Last winter I was fresh from my travels, and had still strength enough to keep up my relation with society, and to invite people a good deal to my house. But this year I am more worn down, my health quite impaired, and the exertion of going out or receiving at home is too much for me....

I have made acquaintance with the Russell Lowells, but we are too far apart to profit much by it. I cannot swim about in this frozen ocean of Boston life in search of friends. I feel as if I had struggled enough with it, as if I could now fold my arms and go down....

 

To the same

S. BOSTON, Dec. 20, 1853.

MY DEAR SISTER WEVIE, –

I have been of late a shamefully bad correspondent, and am as much ashamed of it as I ought to be. But, indeed, it hurts my eyes so dreadfully to write, and that you may find it difficult to believe, for perhaps you find writing less trying to the eyes than reading. Most people do, but with me the contrary is the case. I can read with tolerable comfort, but cannot write a single page, without positive pain. Well, that is enough about my eyes; now for other things. You say that you tremble to know the result of the Lace purchase. Well, you may, wretched woman. Don't be satisfied with trembling; shake! shiver! shrink into nothing at all! Do you know, Madam, that my cursed bill from Hooker amounted to over $130? The rascal charged me ten per cent, which you and he probably divided together, or had a miscellaneous spree upon. You sent no specification of items. Madam, to this day, I do not know whether the earrings or the lace cost the most. People ask me the price of bertha, flounces and earrings, I can only reply that Mrs. Crawford drew upon me for an enormous sum of money, but that I have no idea how she spent it. Moreover, my poor little means (a favorite expression of Annie Mailliard's) have been entirely exhausted by you and Hooker. My purse is in a dangerous state of collapse – my credit all gone long ago. I want a coat, a bonnet, stockings, and pkthdkfs, but when for want of these things I am cold and snuffly, I go and take out the flounces, look at them, turn them over, and say: "Well, they are very warming for the price, aren't they?" Besides, you send me a bill, and don't send Aunt Lou McAllister any. Who paid for her Malachites? I have a great mind to say that I did, and pocket the money, which she is anxious to pay, if she could only get her account settled, which please to attend to at once, you lymphatic, agreeable monster! About the mosaics, straw for Bonnets, and worsted work, you were right in supposing that I would not be very angry. It was undoubtedly a liberty, your sending them, but it is one which I can make up my mind to overlook, especially as you will not be likely to do it again for some time.

Now, if you really want to know about the lace, I will tell you that I found it perfectly magnificent, and that every one who sees it admires it prodigiously. If this is the case now, before I have worn it, how much more will it be so when it shall show itself abroad heightened by the charms of my person! Admiration will then know no bounds. Newspaper paragraphs will begin thus: "The lovely wearer of the lace is about thirty-four years of age, but looks much older – in fact, nearly as antique as her own flounces," etc., etc. The ornaments are not less beautiful, in their kind. I wear them on distinguished occasions, and at sight of them, people who have closely adhered to the Decalogue all their lives incontinently violate the Tenth Commandment, and then excuse it by saying that Mrs. Howe does not happen to be their neighbor, living as she does beyond the reach of everything but Omnibuses and Charity. So you see that I consider the investment a most successful one, and may in future honor you with more commissions. I even justify it to myself on the ground that the Brooch and earrings will make charming pins for my three girls, while the lace, Mrs. Cary says, is as good as Real Estate. So set your kind heart completely at rest, you could not have done better for me, or if you could, I don't know it. As to my being without pocket handkerchiefs, you will be the first to reply that that is nothing new. Now for your charming presents; I was greatly delighted at them. The Mosaics are perfectly exquisite, the most beautiful I ever saw. The straw is very handsome, and will make me the envy of Newport, next summer. The worsted work appears to me rich and quaint, and shall be made up as soon as circumstances shall allow. For each and all accept my hearty thanks....

 

(No year. Probably from Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to her sister Annie)

Sunday, August 5.

...I went in town [Newport] the other day, and dined with Fanny Longfellow. The L.'s, Curtis, 41 Tommo, 42 and Kensett are all living together, but seem to make out tolerably. After dinner Fanny took me to drive on the Beach in her Barouche. I looked fine, wore my grey grapery with my drapery, and spread myself out as much as possible. Curtis took Julia in his one-horse affair on the Beach. Julia wore a pink silk dress, a white drawn bonnet with pink ribbons, and a little white shawl. Oh, she did look lovely. Mamma was not at all proud, oh, no! Well, thereafter, I dined elsewhere and did not want to tell Dudie where. So when she asked, "Where did you dine yesterday?" I replied: "I dined, dear, with Mrs. Jimfarlan, and her pig was at table. Now, before we sat down, Mrs. J. said to me, 'Mrs. Howe, if you do not love my pig, you cannot dine with me,' and I replied, 'Mrs. Jimfarlan, I adore your pig,' so down we sat." "Oh, yes, Mamma," says Julia, "and I know the rest. When you had got through dinner, and had had all you wanted, you rose, and told the lady that you had something to tell her in the greatest confidence. Then she went into the entry with you, and you whispered in her ear, 'Mrs. Jimfarlan, I hate your pig!' and then rushed out of the house."...I have had one grand tea-party – the Longos, Curtis, etc., etc. We had tea out of doors and read Tennyson in the valley. It was very pleasant.... The children spent Tuesday with the Hazards. I went over to tea. You remember the old beautiful place. 43 We have now a donkey tandem, which is the joy of the Island. The children go out with it, and every one who meets them is seized with cramps in the region of the diaphragm, they double up and are relieved by a hearty laugh.

 

To her sister Annie

October, 1854.

I will tell you how I have been living since my return from Newport. I get up at seven or a little before, and am always down at half-past for breakfast. After breakfast I despatch the chicks to school and clear off the table; then walk in the garden or around the house; then consult with the cook and order dinner, and see as far as I can to all sewing and other work. I get to my own room between ten and eleven, where I study and write until two P.M. Dinner is at half-past two. After that I take all the children in my room. I read to them and fix worsted work for them. I get half an hour's reading for myself sometimes, but not often, the days being so short. Then I walk with dear Julia, the dearest little friend in the world. The others often join us, and sometimes we have the donkey for a ride. I then go in and sing for the children, or play for them to dance, until tea-time. At quarter past eight I go to put Dudie and Flossy to bed. I prolong this last pleasure and occupation of the day. When I come down I sit with idle fingers, unable, as you know, to do the least thing. Chev reads the papers to me. At ten I am thankful to retire. I do not suppose that this life is more monotonous than yours in Bordentown, is it?...

Oct. 19th. I was not able to finish this at one sitting, my best darling. I cannot write long without great pain. I had to go in town on Monday and Tuesday, and yesterday, for a wonder, Baby [Laura} was ill. She had severe rheumatic pains in both knees, and could not be moved all day. We sent for a physician, who prescribed various doses, and told us we should have a siege of it. To-day she is almost well, though we gave her no medicine. She is the funniest little soul in the world. You should hear her admonishing her father not to "worry so about everything." He is obliged to laugh in spite of himself.... I am very poor just now. I furnished my Newport house with the money for my book ["Passion Flowers"]. It was very little – about $200.

 

Spite of the troublesome eyes, and the various "pribbles and prabbles," she was in those days editor-in-chief of "The Listener," a "Weekly Publication." Julia Romana was sub-editor, and furnished most of the material, stories, plays, and poems pouring with astonishing ease from her ten-year-old pen; but there was an Editor's Table, sometimes dictated by the chief editor, often written in her own hand.

The first number of "The Listener" appeared in October, 1854. The sub-editor avows frankly that "The first number of our little paper will not be very interesting, as we have not had time to give notice to those who we expect to write for it."

This is followed by "Selected Poetry, Mrs. Howe"; "The Lost Suitor" (to be continued), and "Seaside Thoughts." The "Editor's Table" reads:–

"It is often said that Listeners hear no good of themselves, and it often proves to be true. But we shall hope to hear, at least, no harm of our modest little paper. We intend to listen only to good things, and not to have ears for any unkind words about ourselves or others. Little people of our age are expected to listen to those who are older, having so many things to learn. We will promise, too, to listen as much as we can to all the entertaining news about town, and to give accounts of the newest fashions, the parties in high life (nurseries are generally three stories high ) and many other particulars. So, we venture to hope that 'The Listener' will find favor with our friends and Miss Stephenson's select public."

This was Miss Hannah Stephenson's school for girls, which Julia and Florence were attending. "The Listener" gives pleasant glimpses of life at Green Peace, the Nursery Fair, the dancing-school, the new baby, and so forth.

Sometimes the "Table" is a rhyming one:–

What shall we do for an Editor's table?
To make one really we are not able.
Our Editorial head is aching,
Our lily white hand is rather shaking.
Our baby cries both day and night,
And puts our "intelligence" all to flight.
Yet, for the gentle Julia's sake,
Some little effort we must make.
We did n't go vote for the know-nothing Mayor,
A know-nothing's what we cannot bear,
We know our lessons, that's well for us,
Or the school would be in a terrible fuss.
. . . . . . . . .
That's all for the present, we make our best bow,
And are your affectionate

Editor Howe.

On January 14, 1855, we read:–

"Last evening began the opera season. Now, as all the Somebodies were there, we would not like to have you suppose, dear reader, that we were not, although perhaps you did not see us, with our little squeezed-up hat slipping off our head, and we screwing up our eyebrows to keep it on. There was a moment when we thought we felt it going down the back of our neck, but a dexterous twitch of the left ear restored the natural order of things. Well, to show you that we were there, we'll tell you of what the Opera was composed. There was love of course, and misery, and plenty of both. The slim man married the lady in white, and then ran away with another woman. She tore her hair, and went mad. One of the stout gentlemen doubled his fists, the other spread out his hands and looked pitiful. The mad lady sang occasionally, and retained wonderful command of her voice. They all felt dreadfully, and went thro' a great deal, singing all the time. The thing came right at last, but we have no room to explain how."

In May, 1855, the paper died a natural death.

 

To her sister Annie

SOUTH BOSTON, Jan. 19, 1855.

MY SWEET MEATEST, –

...First of all you wish to know about the Bonnet, of course. I am happy to say that it is entirely successful, cheap, handsome, and becoming. Boston can show nothing like it. As to the green and lilac, I all but sleep in it. I never wear it, glory on my soul, without attracting notice. Those who don't know me, at lectures and such, seem to say: "Good heavens, who is that lovely creature?" Those who do know me seem to be whispering to each other, "I never saw Julia Howe look so well!" So much for the green bonnet. As for the white one, since I took out the pinch behind, it fits and flatters – to the Opera, I will incontinently wear it. I have been there and still would go. Every woman seen in front, seems to have a cup with a great frill, like that of an old-fashioned night-cap; it is only when she turns sideways that you can see the little hat behind....

Did I write you that I have been to the Assembly? Chev went to the first without me, with his niece, the pretty one, of course, much to my vexation, so I spunked up, and determined to go to the second. A white silk dress was a necessary tho' unprofitable investment. Turnbull had, fortunately for me, made a failure, and was selling very cheap. I got a pretty silk for $17, and had it made by a Boston fashionable dressmaker, with three pinked flounces – it looked unkimmon. Next I caused my hair to be dressed by Pauline, the wife of Canegally. "Will you have it in the newest fashion?" asked she; "the very newest," answered I. She put in front two horrid hair cushions and, combing the hair over them, made a sort of turban of hair, in which I was, may I say? captivating. I was proud of my hair, and frequented rooms with looking-glasses in them, the rest of the afternoon. At the Ass-embly, Chev and I entered somewhat timidly, but soon took courage, and parted company. Little B— (your neighbor of Bond St.) was there, wiggy and smiley, but oh! so youthful!! Life is short, they say, but I don't think so when I see little B— trying to look down upon me from beneath, and doing the patronizing. There was something very nice about her, however, that is, her pearl necklace with a diamond clasp two inches long, and one and a half broad.... Oculist said weakness was the disease, and rest the remedy – oculist recommended veratrine ointment, frequent refreshing of eyes with wet cloth, cleared his throat every minute, and was an old humbug.

They are playing at the Boston Museum a piece, probably a farce, called "A Blighted Being." When I see the handbills posted up in the streets it is like reading one's own name. I must now bid you farewell and am ever with dearest love,

Your affectionate sister and
A BLIGHTED BEING!!!!

 

To the same

SOUTH BOSTON, June 1, 1855.

...Well, my darling, it is a very uninteresting time with me. I am alive, and so are my five children. I made a vow, when dear Laura was so ill, to complain never more of dulness or ennui. So I won't, but you understand if I hadn't made such a vow, I could under present circumstances indulge in the howling in which my soul delighteth. I don't know how I keep alive. The five children seem always waiting, morally, to pick my bones, and are always quarrelling over their savage feast.... The stairs as aforesaid kill me. The Baby keeps me awake, and keeps me down in strength. Were it not for beer, I were little better than a dead woman, but, blessed be the infusion of hops, I can still wink my left eye and look knowing with my right, which is more, God be praised, than could have been expected after eight months of Institution. I have seen Opera of "Trovatore" – in bonnet trimmed with grapes I went, bonnet baptized with "oh d-Cologne," but Alexander McDonald was my escort, Chev feeling very ill just at Opera time, but making himself strangely comfortable after my departure with easy-chair, foot-stool, and unlimited pile of papers. Well, dear, you know they would be better if they could, but somehow they can't – it is n't in them....

 

To the same

SOUTH BOSTON, Nov. 27, 1855.

I have been having a wow-wow time of late, or you should have heard from me. As it is, I shall scribble a hasty sheet of Hieroglyphics, and put in it as much of myself as I can. Mme. Kossuth (Kossuth's sister divorced from former husband) has been here for ten days past; as she is much worn and depressed I have had a good deal of comforting up to do – very little time and much trouble. She is a lady, and has many interesting qualities, but you can imagine how I long for the sanctity of home. Still, my heart aches that this woman, as well bred as any one of ourselves, should go back to live in two miserable rooms, with three of her four children, cooking, and washing everything with her own hands, and sitting up half the night to earn a pittance by sewing or fancy work. Her eldest son has been employed as engineer on the Saratoga and Sacketts Harbor railroad for two years, but has not been paid a cent – the R.R. being nearly or quite bankrupt. He is earning $5 a week in a Bank, and this is all they have to depend upon. She wants to hire a small farm somewhere in New Jersey and live upon it with her children....

 

To her sisters

Thursday, 29, 1856.

...We have been in the most painful state of excitement relative to Kansas matters and dear Charles Sumner, whose condition gives great anxiety. 44 Chev is as you might expect under such circumstances; he has had much to do with meetings here, etc., etc. New England spunk seems to be pretty well up, but what will be done is uncertain as yet. One thing we have got: The Massachusetts Legislature has passed the "personal liberty bill," which will effectually prevent the rendition of any more fugitive slaves from Massachusetts. Another thing, the Tract Society here (orthodox) has put out old Dr. Adams, who published a book in favor of slavery; a third thing, the Connecticut legislature has withdrawn its invitation to Mr. Everett to deliver his oration before them, in consequence of his having declined to speak at the Sumner meeting in Faneuil Hall....

 

To her sister Annie

CINCINNATI, May 26, 1857.
CASA GREENIS.      

DEAREST ANNIE, Fiancée de marbre et Femme de glace,

Heaven knows what I have not been through with since I saw you – dust, dirt, dyspepsia, hotels, railroads, prairies, Western steamboats, Western people, more prairies, tobacco juice, captains of boats, pilots of ditto, long days of jolting in the cars, with stoppages of ten minutes for dinner, and the devil take the hindmost. There ought to be no chickens this year, so many eggs have we eaten. Flossy was quite ill for two days at St. Louis. Chev is too rapid and restless a traveller for pleasure. Still, I think I shall be glad to have made the journey when it is all over – I must be stronger than I was, for I bear fatigue very well now and at first I could not bear it at all. We went from Philadelphia to Baltimore, thence to Wheeling, thence to see the Manns at Antioch – they almost ate us up, so glad were they to see us. Thence to Cincinnati, where two days with Kitty Rölker, a party at Larz Anderson's – Longworth's wine-cellar, pleasant attentions from a gentleman by the name of King, who took me about in a carriage and proposed everything but marriage. After passing the morning with me, he asked if I was English. I told him no. When we met in the evening, he had thought matters over, and exclaimed, "You must be Miss Ward!" "And you," I cried, "must be the nephew of my father's old partner. Do you happen to have a strawberry mark or anything of that kind about you?" "No." "Then you are my long-lost Rufus!" And so we rushed into each other's confidence and swore, like troopers, eternal friendship. Thence to Louisville, dear, a beastly place, where I saw the Negro jail, and the criminal court in session, trying a man for the harmless pleasantry of murdering his wife. Thence to St. Louis, where Chev left us and went to Kansas, and Fwotty and I boated it back here and went to a hotel, and the William Greenes they came and took us, and that's all for the present....

 

To the same

GARRET PLATFORM,      
LAWTON'S VALLEY, July 13, 1857.

...Charlotte Brontë is deeply interesting, but I think she and I would not have liked each other, while still I see points of resemblance – many indeed – between us. Her life, on the whole, a very serious and instructive page in literary history. God rest her! she was as faithful and earnest as she was clever – she suffered much.

...Theodore Parker and wife came here last night, to stay a week if they like it (have just had a fight with a bumble-bee, in avoiding which I banged my head considerably against a door, in the narrow limits of my garret platform); so you see I am still a few squashes ("some pumpkins" is vulgar, and I is n't)...

 

To her sisters

S. BOSTON, April 4, 1858.

...I am perfectly worn out in mind, body and estate. The Fair 45 lasted five days and five evenings. I was there every day, and nearly all day, and at the end of it I dropped like a dead person. Never did I experience such fatigue – the crowd of faces, the bad air, the responsibility of selling and the difficulty of suiting everybody, was almost too much for me. On the other hand, it was an entirely new experience, and a very amusing one. My table was one of the prettiest, and, as I took care to have some young and pretty assistants, it proved one of the most attractive. I cleared $426.00, which was doing pretty well, as I had very little given me.... For a week after the Fair I could do nothing but lie on a sofa or in an easy-chair,...but by the end of the week I revived, and it pleased the Devil to suggest to me that this was the moment to give a long promised party to the Governor and his wife. All hands set to work, therefore, writing notes. With the assistance of three Amanuenses I scoured the whole surface of Boston society.... Unluckily I had fixed upon an evening when there were to be two other parties, and of course the cream of the cream was already engaged. I believe in my soul that I invited 300 people – every day everybody sent word they could not come. I was full of anxiety, got the house well arranged though, engaged a colored man, and got a splendid supper. Miss Hunt, who is writing for me, smacks her lips at the remembrance of the same, I mean the supper, not the black man. Well! the evening came, and with it all the odds and ends of half a dozen sets of people, including some of the most primitive and some of the most fashionable. I had the greatest pleasure in introducing a dowdy high neck, got up for the occasion, with short sleeves and a bow behind, to the most elaborate of French ball-dresses with head-dress to match, and leaving them to take care of each other the best way they could. As for the Governor [Nathaniel P. Banks], I introduced him right and left to people who had never voted for him and never will. The pious were permitted to enjoy Theodore Parker, and Julia's schoolmaster sat on a sofa and talked about Carlyle. I did not care – the colored man made it all right. Imagine my astonishment at hearing the party then and after pronounced one of the most brilliant and successful ever given in Boston. The people all said, "It is such a relief to see new faces – we always meet the same people at city parties." Well, darlings, the pickings of the supper was very good for near a week afterwards, and, having got through with my party, I have nearly killed myself with going to hear Mr. Booth, whose playing is beautiful exceedingly. Having for once in my life had play enough and a great deal too much, I am going to work to-morrow like an old Trojan building a new city. I am too poor to come to New York this spring; still it is not impossible. Farewell, Beloveds, it is church time, and this edifying critter is uncommon punctual in her devotions. So farewell, love much, and so far as human weakness allows imitate the noble example of

Your sister,
JULIA.


CHAPTER VIII

LITTLE SAMMY: THE CIVIL WAR

1859-1863; aet. 40-44

 

There came indeed an hour of fate
By bitter war made desolate
When, reading portents in the sky,
All in a dream I leapt on high
To pin my rhyme to my country's gown.
'T is my one verse that will not down.
Stars have grown out of mortal crown.

J. W. H.

I honour the author of the "Battle Hymn" and of "The Flag." She was born in the city of New York. I could well wish she were a native of Massachusetts. We have had no such poetess in New England.

EMERSON'S Journals.

IN the winter of 1859 the Doctor's health became so much impaired by overwork that a change of air and scene was imperative. At the same time Theodore Parker, already stricken with a mortal disease, was ordered to Cuba in the hope that a mild climate might check the progress of the consumption. He begged the Howes to join him and his wife, and in February the four sailed for Havana. This expedition is described in "A Trip to Cuba."

The opening chapter presents three of the little party during the rough and stormy voyage:–

"The Philanthropist has lost the movement of the age, – keeled up in an upper berth, convulsively embracing a blanket, what conservative more immovable than he? The Great Man of the party refrains from his large theories, which, like the circles made by the stone thrown into the water, begin somewhere and end nowhere. As we have said, he expounds himself no more, the significant forefinger is down, the eye no longer imprisons yours. But if you ask him how he does, he shakes himself as if, like Farinata, –

'avesse l'inferno in gran dispetto,' –
he had a very contemptible opinion of hell."

Several "portraits" follow, among them her own.

"A woman, said to be of a literary turn of mind, in the miserablest condition imaginable. Her clothes, flung at her by the Stewardess, seem to have hit in some places and missed in others. Her listless hands occasionally make an attempt to keep her draperies together, and to pull her hat on her head; but though the intention is evident, she accomplishes little by her motion. She is being perpetually lugged about by a stout steward, who knocks her head against both sides of the vessel, folds her up in the gangway, spreads her out on the deck, and takes her upstairs, downstairs, and in my lady's chamber, where, report says, he feeds her with a spoon, and comforts her with such philosophy as he is master of. N. B. This woman, upon the first change of weather, rose like a cork, dressed like a Christian, and toddled about the deck in the easiest manner, sipping her grog, and cutting sly jokes upon her late companions in misery; – is supposed by some to have been an impostor, and, when ill-treated, announced intentions of writing a book.

 



SAMUEL G. HOWE, circa 1859
From a photograph by Black

 

"No. 4, my last, is only a sketch; – circumstances allowed no more. Can Grande, 46 the great dog, has been got up out of the pit, where he has worried the Stewardess and snapped at the friend who tried to pat him on the head. Everybody asks where he is. Don't you see that heap of shawls yonder, lying in the sun, and heated up to about 212° Fahrenheit? That slouched hat on top marks the spot where his head should lie, – by treading cautiously in the opposite direction you may discover his feet. All between is perfectly passive and harmless. His chief food is pickles, – his only desire is rest. After all these years of controversy, after all these battles, bravely fought and nobly won, you might write with truth upon this moveless mound of woollens the pathetic words from Père La Chaise: Implora Pace."

The trip to Cuba was only the beginning of a long voyage for the Parkers, who were bound for Italy. The parting between the friends was sad. All felt that they were to meet no more. Parker died in Florence fifteen months later.

"A pleasant row brought us to the side of the steamer. It was dusk already as we ascended her steep gangway, and from that to darkness there is, at this season, but the interval of a breath. Dusk too were our thoughts, at parting from Can Grande, the mighty, the vehement, the great fighter. How were we to miss his deep music, here and at home! With his assistance we had made a very respectable band; now we were to be only a wandering drum and fife, – the fife particularly shrill, and the drum particularly solemn.... And now came silence, and tears, and last embraces; we slipped down the gangway into our little craft, and looking up, saw bending above us, between the slouched hat and the silver beard, the eyes that we can never forget, that seemed to drop back in the darkness with the solemnity of a last farewell. We went home, and the drum hung himself gloomily on his peg, and the little fife shut up for the remainder of the evening."

"A Trip to Cuba" appeared first serially in the "Atlantic Monthly," then in book form. Years after, a friend, visiting Cuba, took with her a copy of the little volume; it was seized at Havana by the customs house officers, and confiscated as dangerous and incendiary material.

On her return, our mother was asked to write regularly for the New York "Tribune," describing the season at Newport. This was the beginning of a correspondence which lasted well into the time of the Civil War. She says of it:–

"My letters dealt somewhat with social doings in Newport and in Boston, but more with the great events of the time. To me the experience was valuable in that I found myself brought nearer in sympathy to the general public, and helped to a better understanding of its needs and demands."

 

To her sister Annie

Sunday, November 6, 1859.

The potatoes arrived long since and were most jolly, as indeed they continue to be. Did n't acknowledge them 'cause knew other people did, and thought it best to be unlike the common herd. Have just been to church and heard Clarke preach about John Brown, whom God bless, and will bless! I am much too dull to write anything good about him, but shall say something at the end of my book on Cuba, whereof I am at present correcting the proof-sheets. I went to see his poor wife, who passed through here some days since. We shed tears together and embraced at parting, poor soul! Folks say that the last number of my Cuba is the best thing I ever did, in prose or verse. Even Emerson wrote me about it from Concord. I tell you this in case you should not find out of your own accord that it is good. I have had a rather unsettled autumn – have been very infirm and inactive, but have kept up as well as possible – going to church, also to Opera, also to hear dear Edwin Booth, who is playing better than ever. My children are all well and delightful....

I have finished Tacitus' history, also his Germans.... Chev is not at all annoyed by the newspapers, but has been greatly overdone by anxiety and labor for Brown. Much has come upon his shoulders, getting money, paying counsel, and so on. Of course all the stories about the Northern Abolitionists are the merest stuff. No one knew of Brown's intentions but Brown himself and his handful of men. The attempt I must judge insane but the spirit heroic. I should be glad to be as sure of heaven as that old man may be, following right in the spirit and footsteps of the old martyrs, girding on his sword for the weak and oppressed. His death will be holy and glorious – the gallows cannot dishonor him – he will hallow it....

 

On Christmas day, 1859, she gave birth to a second son, who was named Samuel Gridley. This latest and perhaps dearest child was for three short years to fill his parents' life with a joy which came and went with him. His little life was all beautiful, all bright. We associate him specially with the years we spent at No. 13 Chestnut Street, Boston, a spacious and cheerful house which we remember with real affection. The other children were at school; little Sam was the dear companion of our mother's walks, the delight of our father's few leisure hours. For him new songs were made, new games invented: both parents looked forward to fresh youth and vigor in his sweet companionship. This was not to be. "In short measures, life may perfect be": little Sam died of diphtheritic croup, May 17, 1863.

This heavy sorrow for a time crushed both these tender parents to the earth. Our father became seriously ill from grief; our mother, younger and more resilient, found some relief in nursing him and caring for the other children; but this was not enough. She could not banish from her mind the terrible memory of her little boy's suffering, the anguish of parting with him. While her soul lifted its eyes to the hills, her heart sought some way to keep his image constantly before her. Her sad thoughts must be recorded, and she took up, for the first time since 1843, the habit of keeping a journal.

The first journal is a slender Diary and Memorandum Book. On May 13, the first note of alarm is sounded. Sammy "did not seem quite right." From that date the record goes on, the agonizing details briefly described, the loss spoken of in words which no one could read unmoved. But even this was not enough; grief must find further expression, yet must be repressed, so far as might be, in the presence of others, lest her sorrow make theirs heavier. This need of expression took a singular form. She wrote a letter to the child himself, telling the story of his life and death; wrote it with care and precision, omitting no smallest detail, gathering, as it were a handful of pearls, every slightest memory of the brief time.

A few extracts show the tenor of this letter:–

 

"MY DEAREST LITTLE SAMMY, –

"It is four weeks to-day since I saw your sweet face for the last time on earth. It did not look like your little face, my dear pet, it was so still, and sad, and quiet. But Death had changed it, and I had to submit, and was thankful to have even so much of you as that still face, for some days. Everybody grieved to part from you, dear little soul, but I suppose that I grieved most of all, because you belonged most to me. You were always with me, from the time you began to exist at all. The time of your birth was a sad one. It was the time of the imprisonment and death of John Brown, a very noble man, who should be in one of the many mansions of which Christ tells us, and in which I hope, dear, that you are nearer to Him than any of us can be....

"You arrived, I think, at three in the morning, very red in the face, and making a great time about it. You were a fine, large Baby, weighing twelve pounds.... I have some of your baby dresses left, and shall hunt them up and lay them with the clothes you have worn lately.... I gave you milk myself.... I used to lay you across my breast when you cried, and you liked this so well that you often insisted upon sleeping in that position after you were grown quite large. It hurt me so much that I finally managed to break you of the habit, but not until you were more than a year old.... I had a crimson merino cloak made for you, trimmed with velvet, and lined with white silk. I bought also a very nice crochet cap, of white and crimson worsted, and in these you were taken to drive with me....

"During this first year of your life I had some troubles, and your Baby ways were my greatest comfort. I used to think: this Baby will grow up to be a man, and will protect me when I am old. For, I thought, dear, that you should have outlived me many years. But you are removed from us to grow in another world, of which I know nothing but what Christ has told me....

"You used to keep me awake a good deal at night, and this sometimes made me nervous and fretful, though I was usually very happy with you. I would give a good deal for one of those bad nights now, though at the time they were pretty hard upon me....

"...Your second summer brings me to the winter that followed. It was quite a gay winter for us at old South Boston. Marie, the German cook, made very nice dishes, and I had many people to dine, and one or two pleasant evening parties. You still slept in my room, and when I was going to a party in the evening, Annie 47 used to bring my nice dress and my ornaments softly out of the room, that I might dress in the nursery, and not disturb your slumbers. I was always glad to get home and undress, and it was always sweet to come to the bed, and find you in it, sound asleep, and lying right across.... I learned to sleep on a very little bit of the bed, you wanted so much of it. This winter, I bought you a pair of snow-boots, of which you were very proud....

"We all got along happily, dear, till early in April (1863), when your father desired me to make a journey with Julia, who needed change of scene a little. So I had to go and leave you, my sweet of sweets....

"We were glad enough to see each other again, you and I, and I felt as if I could never part with you again. But I was only to have you for a few days, my darling....

"Thursday I sat up in your nursery, in the afternoon, as I usually did, with my book – you having your toys. When I had finished reading, I built houses with blocks for you, and rolled the balls and dumb-bells across the floor to you. You rolled them back to me and this amused you very much. I go to sit up in your nursery in the afternoon now, with my book – the light shines in now as it used to do, and I hear the hand-organ and children's voices in the street. It seems to bring you a little nearer to me, my dear lost one, but not near enough for comfort."

The child's illness and death are described minutely, every sympton, every remedy, every anquish noted. Then follows:–

"It gives me dreadful pain to recall these things and write them down, my dearest. I don't do it to make myself miserable, but in order that I may have some lasting record of how you lived and died. You left little by which you might be remembered, save the love of kindred and friendly hearts, but in my heart, dear, your precious image is deeply sculptured. All my life will be full of grief for you, dearest Boy, and I think that I shall hardly live as long as I should have lived, if I had had you to make me happy. Perhaps it seems very foolish that I should write all this, and talk to you in it as if you could know what I write. But, my little darling, it comforts me to think that your sweet soul lives, and that you do know something about me. Christ said, 'This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise': and he knew that this was no vain promise. So, believing the dear Christ, I am led along to have faith in immortal life, of which dear, I know nothing of myself.

"Your little funeral, dear, was bitter and agonizing. The good God does not send affliction without comfort, but the weeping eyes and breaking heart must struggle through much anguish before they can reach it...."

There was no hearse at this little funeral. The small white casket was placed on the front seat in the carriage in which she rode.

"We came near the gate of Mount Auburn, when I began to realize that the parting was very near. I now opened the casket, took your dear little cold hand in mine, and began to take silent farewell of you. And here, dearest child, I must stop. The remembrance of those last moments so cuts me to the heart, that I cannot say one word more about them, and not much about the life of loneliness and desolation which now began for me, and of which I do not see the end. God knows why I lost you, and how I suffer for you, and He knows how and when I shall see you again, as I hope to do so, my dearest, because Christ says we are to live again after this life, and I know that if I am immortal, God will not inflict upon me the pain of an eternal separation from you. So, we shall meet again, sweet Angel Sammy. God grant that the rest of my life may be worthy of this hope, more dear than life itself....

"I must finish these words by saying that I am happy in believing that my dear Child lives, in a broader land, with better teaching and higher joys than I could have given him. I hope that the years to come will brighten, not efface, my mind's picture of him, and that among these, the cipher of one blessed year is already written, in which the picture will become reality, and the present sorrow the foundation of an eternal joy."

The following stanzas are chosen from among many poems on little Sammy's life and death:–

REMEMBRANCE
. . . . . . . . .

So thou art hid again, and wilt not come
For any knockings at the veilèd door;
Nor mother-pangs, nor nature, can restore
The heart's delight and blossom of thy home.

And I with others, in the outer court,
Must sadly follow the excluding will,
In painful admiration, of the skill
Of God, who speaks his sweetest sentence short.

 

At this time she writes to her sister Annie:–

"I cannot yet write of what has come to me. Chev and I feel that we are baptized into a new order of suffering – those who have lost children, loving them, can never be like those who have not. It makes a new heaven and a new earth. The new heaven I have not yet – the blow is too rough and recent. But the new earth, sown with tears, with the beauty and glory gone out of it, the spring itself, that should have made us happy together, grown tasteless and almost hateful. All the relish of life seems gone with him. I have no patience to make phrases about it – for the moment it seems utterness of doubt and of loss.

"No doubt about him. 'This night shalt thou be with me in Paradise' was said by one who knew what he promised. My precious Baby is with the Beautiful One who was so tender with the children. But I am alone, still fighting over the dark battle of his death, still questioning whether there is any forgiveness for such a death. Something must have been wrong somewhere – to find it out, I have tortured myself almost out of sanity. Now I must only say, it is, and look and wait for divine lessons which follow our bitter afflictions.

"God bless you all, darling. Ask dear Cogswell to write me a few lines – tell him that this deep cut makes all my previous life seem shallow and superficial. Tell him to think of me a little in my great sorrow.

"Your loving
"JULIA."

 

She had by now definitely joined the Unitarian Church, in whose doctrines her mind found full and lasting rest; throughout this sorrowful time the Reverend James Freeman Clarke was one of her kindest helpers. Several years before this, she had unwillingly left Theodore Parker's congregation at our father's request. She records in the "Reminiscences" his views on this subject:–

"'The children (our two oldest girls) are now of an age at which they should receive impressions of reverence. They should, therefore, see nothing at the Sunday service which militates against that feeling. At Parker's meeting individuals read the newspapers before the exercises begin. A good many persons come in after the prayer, and some go out before the conclusion of the sermon. These irregularities offend my sense of decorum, and appear to me undesirable in the religious education of my family.'"

It was a grievous thing to her to make this sacrifice; she said to Horace Mann that to give up Parker's ministry for any other would be like going to the synagogue when Paul was preaching near at hand; yet, once made, it was the source of a lifelong joy and comfort.

Mr. Clarke was then preaching at Williams Hall; hearing Parker speak of him warmly, she determined to attend his services. She found his preaching "as unlike as possible to that of Theodore Parker. He had not the philosophic and militant genius of Parker, but he had a genius of his own, poetical, harmonizing. In after years I esteemed myself fortunate in having passed from the drastic discipline of the one to the tender and reconciling ministry of the other."

She has much to say in the "Reminiscences" about the dear "Saint James," as his friends loved to call him. The relation between them was close and affectionate: the Church of the Disciples became her spiritual home.

These were the days of the Civil War; we must return back to its opening year to record and episode of importance to her and to others.

In the autumn of 1861 she went to Washington in company with Governor and Mrs. Andrew, Mr. Clarke and the Doctor, who was one of the pioneers of the Sanitary Commission, carrying his restless energy and indomitable will from camp to hospital, from battlefield to bureau. She longed to help in some way, but felt that there was nothing she could do – except make lint, which we were all doing.

"I could not leave my nursery to follow the march of our armies, neither had I the practical deftness which the preparing and packing of sanitary stores demanded. Something seemed to say to me, 'You would be glad to serve, but you cannot help anyone; you have nothing to give, and there is nothing for you to do.' Yet, because of my sincere desire, a word was given to me to say, which did strengthen the hearts of those who fought in the field and of those who languished in the prison."



MRS. HOWE, circa 1861.

Returning from a review of troops near Washington, her carriage was surrounded and delayed by the marching regiments: she and her companions sang, to beguile the tedium of the way, the war songs which every one was singing in those days; among them –

"John Brown's body lies a-moulding in the grave.
His soul is marching on!"

The soldiers liked this, cried, "Good for you!" and took up the chorus with its rhythmic swing.

"Mrs. Howe," said Mr. Clarke, "why do you not write some good words for that stirring tune?"

"I have often wished to do so!" she replied.

Waking in the gray of the next morning, as she lay waiting for the dawn, the word came to her.

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord – "

She lay perfectly still. Line by line, stanza by stanza, the words came sweeping on with the rhythm of marching feet, pauseless, resistless. She saw the long lines swinging into place before her eyes, heard the voice of the nation speaking through her lips. She waited till the voice was silent, till the last line was ended; then sprang from bed, and groping for pen and paper, scrawled in the gray twilight the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." She was used to writing thus; verses often came to her at night, and must be scribbled in the dark for fear of waking the baby; she crept back to bed, and as she fell asleep she said to herself, "I like this better than most things I have written." In the morning, while recalling the incident, she found she had forgotten the words.

The poem was published in the "Atlantic Monthly" for February, 1862. "It was somewhat praised," she says, "on its appearance, but the vicissitudes of the war so engrossed public attention that small heed was taken of literary matters.... I knew and was content to know, that the poem soon found its way to the camps, as I heard from time to time of its being sung in chorus by the soldiers."

She did not, however, realize how rapidly the hymn made its way, nor how strong a hold it took upon the people. It was "sung, chanted, recited, and used in exhortation and prayer on the eve of battle." It was printed in newspapers, in army hymn-books, on broadsides; it was the word of the hour, and the Union armies marched to its swing.

Among the singers of the "Battle Hymn" was Chaplain McCabe, the fighting chaplain of the 122d Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He read the poem in the "Atlantic," and was so struck with it that he committed it to memory before rising from his chair. He took it with him to the front, and in due time to Libby Prison, whither he was sent after being captured at Winchester. Here, in the great bare room where hundreds of Northern soldiers were herded together, came one night a rumor of disaster to the Union arms. A great battle, their jailers told them; a great Confederate victory. Sadly the Northern men gathered together in groups, sitting or lying on the floor, talking in low tones, wondering how, where, why. Suddenly, one of the negroes who brought food for the prisoners stooped in passing and whispered to one of the sorrowful groups. The news was false; there had, indeed, been a great battle, but the Union army had won, the Confederates were defeated and scattered. Like a flame the word flashed through the prison. Men leaped to their feet, shouted, embraced one another in a frenzy of joy and triumph; and Chaplain McCabe, standing in the middle of the room, lifted up his great voice and sang aloud, –

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

Every voice took up the chorus, and Libby Prison rang with the shout of "Glory, glory, hallelujah!"

The victory was that of Gettysburg. When, some time after, McCabe was released from prison, he told in Washington, before a great audience of loyal people, the story of his war-time experiences; and when he came to that night in Libby Prison, he sang the "Battle Hymn" once more. The effect was magical; people shouted, wept, and sang, all together; and when the song was ended, above the tumult of applause was heard the voice of Abraham Lincoln, exclaiming, while the tears rolled down his cheeks, –

"Sing it again!"

(Our mother met Lincoln in 1861, and was presented to him by Governor Andrew. After greeting the party, the President "seated himself so near the famous portrait of Washington by Gilbert Stuart as naturally to suggest some comparison between the two figures. On the canvas we saw the calm presence, the serene assurance of the man who had successfully accomplished a great undertaking, a vision of health and of peace. In the chair beside it sat a tall, bony figure, devoid of grace, a countenance almost redeemed from plainness by two kindly blue eyes, but overshadowed by the dark problems of the moment....

"When we had left the presence, one of our number exclaimed, 'Helpless Honesty!' As if Honesty could ever be helpless.")

The "Battle Hymn of the Republic" has been translated into Italian, Spanish, and Armenian. Written in the dark on a scrap of Sanitary Commission paper, it has been printed in every imaginable form, from the beautiful parchment edition presented to the author on her seventieth birthday by the New England Woman's Club, down to the cover of a tiny brochure advertising a cure for consumption. It has also been set to music many times, but never successfully. It is inseparably wedded to the air for which it was written, an air simple, martial, and dignified: no attempt to divorce the two could ever succeed.

From the time of writing it to that of her death, she was constantly besieged by requests for autograph copies of part or the whole of the hymn. Sometimes the petitioners realized what they asked, as when Edmund Clarence Stedman wrote:–

"I can well understand what a Frankenstein's monster such a creation grows to be – such a poem as the 'Battle Hymn,' when it has become the sacred scroll of millions, each one of whom would fain obtain a copy of it."

[The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Facsimile of first draft.]

Reasonable or unreasonable, she tried to meet every such request; no one can ever know how many times she copied the hymn, but if a record had been kept, some one with a turn for multiplication might tell us whether the lines put together made up a mile, or more, or less.

She wrote many other poems of the war, among them "The Flag," which is to be found in many anthologies. As the "Battle Hymn" was the voice of the nation's, so this was the expression of her own ardent patriotism:–

There's a flag hangs over my threshold
  Whose folds are more dear to me
Than the blood that thrills in my bosom
  Its earnest of liberty.

And dear are the stars it harbors
  In its sunny field of blue,
As the hope of a further Heaven
  That lights all our dim lives through.

This was no figure of speech, but the truth. The war and its mighty issues filled her heart and mind; she poured out song after song, all breathing the spirit of the time, the spirit of hope, resolve, aspiration. Everything she saw connected itself in some way with the great struggle. Seeing her daughters among their young friends, gay as youth must be gay, even in wartime, she cries out, –

Weave no more silks, ye Lyons looms,
  To deck our girls for gay delights!
The crimson flower of battle blooms,
  And solemn marches fill the night.

Weave but the flag whose bars to-day
  Drooped heavy o'er our early dead,
And homely garments, coarse and gray,
  For orphans that must earn their bread! 48

"The Jeweller's Shop in War-Time," "The Battle Eucharist," "The Harvard Student's Song," all reveal the deep feeling of her heart; we remember her singing of "Left Behind" (set to her own music, a wild, mournful chant) as something so thrilling that it catches the breath as we think of it.

Being again in Washington in the spring of 1863, she visited the Army of the Potomac, in company with the wife of General Francis Barlow, and wrote on her return a sketch of the expedition. She carried "a fine Horace, which repeatedly annoyed me by tumbling in the dirt, a volume of Sully's Memoirs, and a little fag end of Spinoza, being his Tractat upon the Old Testament."

She saw the working of the Sanitary Commission; saw "Fighting Joe" Hooker, who looked like "the man who can tell nineteen secrets and keep the twentieth, which will be the only one worth knowing"; and William H. Seward, "looking singularly like a man who has balanced a chip on the fence, and who congratulates himself upon its remaining there"; saw, too, from the heights above Fredericksburg (within the danger line!), an artillery skirmish.

Departing, she writes:–

"Farewell, bristling heights! Farewell, sad Fredericksburg! Farewell, river of sorrows; farewell, soldiers death-determined, upon whose mournful sacrifice we must shut unwilling eyes. Would it were all at end! The dead wept and buried, the living justified before God. For the deep and terrible secret of the divine idea still lies buried in the burning bosom of the contest. Suspected by the few, shunned by the many, it has not as yet leapt to light in the sight of all. This direful tragedy, in whose third dreary act we are, hangs all upon a great thought. To interpret this, through waste and woe, is the first moral obligation of the situation.... This terrible development of moral causes and effects will enchain the wonder of the world until the crisis of poetical justice which must end it shall have won the acquiescence of mankind, carrying its irresistible lesson into the mind of the critics, into the heart of the multitude."


CHAPTER IX

N0. 13 CHESTNUT STREET, BOSTON

1864; aet. 45

 

PHILOSOPHY

Naked and poor thou goest, Philosophy!
Thy robe of serge hath lain beneath the stars;
Thy weight of tresses, ponderously free,
Of iron hue, no golden circlet bars.

Thy pale page, Study, by thy side doth hold,
As by Cyprigna's her persuasive boy:
Twin sacks thou bear'st; one doth thy gifts infold,
Whose modest tendering proves immortal joy.

The other at thy patient back doth hang
To keep the boons thou'rt wonted to receive:
Reproof therein doth hide her venomed fang,
And hard barbaric arts, that mock and grieve.

Here is a stab, and here a mortal thrust;
Here galley service brought the age to loss;
Here lies thy virgin forehead rolled in dust
Beside the martyr stake of hero cross.

They who besmirched thy whiteness with their pitch,
Thy gallery of glories did complete;
They who accepted of thee so grew rich,
Men could not count their treasures in the street.

Thy hollow cheek, and eye of distant light,
Won from the chief of men their noblest love;
Olympian feasts thy temperance requite,
And thy worn weeds a priceless dowry prove.

I know not if I've caught the matchless mood
In which impassioned Petrarch sang of thee;
But this I know, – the world its plenitude
May keep, so I may share thy beggary.

J. W. H.

AFTER the two real homes, Green Peace and Lawton's Valley, the Chestnut Street house was nearest to our hearts; this, though we were there only three years, and though it was there that we children first saw the face of sorrow. It was an heroic time. The Doctor was in constant touch with the events of the war. He was sent by Governor Andrew to examine conditions of camps and hospitals, in Massachusetts and at the seat of war; he worked as hard on the Sanitary Commission, to which he had been appointed by President Lincoln, as on any other of his multifarious labors: his knowledge of practical warfare and his grasp of situations gave him a foresight of coming events which seemed well-nigh miraculous. When he entered the house, we all felt the electric touch, found ourselves in the circuit of the great current.

So, these three years were notable for us all, especially for our mother; for beside these vital interests, she was entering upon another phase of development. Heretofore her life had been domestic, studious, social; her chief relation with the public had been through her pen. She now felt the need of personal contact with her audience; felt that she must speak her message. She says in her "Reminiscences": "In the days of which I now write, it was borne in upon me (as the Friends say) that I had much to say to my day and generation which could not and should not be communicated in rhyme, or even in rhythm."

The character of the message, too, was changing. In the anguish of bereavement she sought relief in study, her lifelong resource. Religion and philosophy went hand in hand with her. She read Spinoza eagerly: read Fichte, Hegel, Schelling; finally, found in Immanuel Kant a prophet and a friend. But it was not enough for her to receive; she must also give out: her nature was radiant. She must formulate a philosophy of her own, and must at least offer it to the world.

In September, 1863, she writes to her sister Louisa, "My Ethics are now the joke of my family, and Flossy or any child, wishing a second helping, will say: 'Is it ethical, Mamma?' Too much of my life, indeed, runs in this channel. I can only hope that the things I write may do good to somebody, how much or how little we ourselves are unable to measure."

Yet she could make fun of her philosophers: vide the following passage from one of her "Tribune" letters:–

"We like to make a clean cut occasionally, and distinguish ourselves from our surroundings. Else, we and they get so wedded that we scarcely know ourselves apart. Do I own these four walls, or do they own me, and detain me here for their pleasure and preservation? Do I want these books, or do their ghostly authors seize me wandering near the shelves, impanel me by the button-hole, and insist upon pouring their bottled-up wisdom into my passive mind? I once read a terrible treatise of Fichte upon the me and not me, in which he gave so many reasons why I could not be the washstand, nor the washstand I, that I began after a while to doubt the fact. Had I read further, I think I should never have known myself from house-furniture again. Let me here remark that many of these gymnastics of German metaphysics seem to have no other office than that of harmlessly emptying the brain of all its electricity. Their battery strikes no hammer, turns no wheel. Fichte, having decided that he was not the washstand, smoked, took beer, and walked out to meet some philosophic friend, who, viewing himself inclusive, as the Germans say, thought he might be that among other things. Fatherland meantime going to the Devil – strong hands wanted, clear, practical brains, – infinitesimal oppression to be undermined, the century helped on. 'I am not the washstand,' says Fichte; 'I am everything,' says Hegel. Fatherland, take care of yourself. Yet who shall say that it is not a vital point to know our real selves from the factitious personalities imposed upon us, and to distinguish between the symptoms of our fancy and the valid phenomena of our lives?"

The Journal says:–

"At 11.53 (September 24) finished my Essay on Religion, for the power to produce which I thank God. I believe that I have in this built up a greater coherence between things natural and things divine than I have seen or heard made out after this sort by anyone else. I therefore rejoice over my work, ...hoping it may be of service to others, as it has certainly been to me."

Two days later she adds, "I leave this record of my opinion of my work, but on reading it aloud to Paddock, 49 I found the execution of the task to have fallen far short of my conception of it. I shall try to rewrite much of the Essay."

The Journal of 1864 is a quarto volume, with a full page for every day. There are many blank pages, but the record is much fuller than heretofore.

"January 15. Worked all the afternoon at my Essay on Distinction between Philosophy and Religion. Got a bad feeling from fatigue. A sort of trembling agony in my back and left side."

Yet she went to the opera in the evening, and saw "Faust," a "composition with more faults than merits." She concludes the entry with "Dilige et relinque is a good motto for some things."

"Sunday, January 17. It was announced from the pulpit that an Essay on the Soul and Body would be read by a friend at Wednesday evening meeting. That friend was myself, that essay my Lecture on Duality. This would be an honor, but for my ill-deserts. Be witness, O God! that this is no imaginary or sentimental exclamation, but a feeling too well founded on fact."

After the lecture she writes: "Mr. Clarke introduced me charmingly. I wore my white cap, not wishing to read in my thick bonnet. I had quite a full audience.... I consider this opportunity a great honor and privilege conferred upon me."

"January 28. At a quarter before 2 P.M. finished my Essay on Philosophy and Religion. I thank God for this, for many infirmities, some physical, some moral, have threatened to interrupt my work. It is done, and if it is all I am to do, I am ready to die, since life now means work of my best sort, and I value little else, except the comfort of my family. Now for a little rest!"

The "rest" of the following day consisted in paying eight visits between twelve and two o'clock and going to the opera in the evening.

She now began to read her philosophical essays aloud to a chosen circle of friends gathered in the parlor of No.13 Chestnut Street. After one of these occasions she says: "Professor Rogers took me up sharply (not in temper), on my first statement and definition of Polarity. I suffered in this, but was bound to take it in good part. A thoroughbred dog can bear to be lifted by the ear without squealing. Endurance is a test of breeding...."

"May 27, 1864. My birthday; forty-five years old. This year, begun in intolerable distress, has been, I think, the most valuable one of my life. Paralyzed at first by Sammy's death, I soon found my only refuge from grief in increased activity after my kind. When he died I had written two-thirds of 'Proteus.' As soon as I was able, I wrote the remaining portion which treats of affection. At Newport I wrote my first Lecture on 'How Not to Teach Ethics,' then 'Duality of Character,' then my first Lecture on Religion. Returned from Newport, I wrote my second and third essays on Religion. I read the six essays of my first course to a large circle of friends at my own home, not asking any payment. This done, I began to write a long essay on Polarity which is only partially completed, intending also to write on Limitations and the three degrees, should it be given to me to do so. I have read and re-read Spinoza's Ethics within the last thirteen months. His method in the arrangement of thought and motive has been of great use to me, but I think that I have been able to give them an extended application and some practical illustrations which did not lie within his scope."

The next day she writes: "Dreamed of dearest Sammy. Thought that he was in the bed, and that I was trying to nurse him in the dark as I have so often done. I thought that when his little lips had found my breast, something said in my ear, 'My life's life – the glory of the world.' Quoting from my lines on Mary Booth. This woke me with a sudden impression, Thus Nature remembers."

She decided this spring to read some of her essays in Washington. There were various difficulties in the way, and she was uncertain of the outcome of the enterprise. She writes:–

"I leave Bordentown [the home of her sister Annie] with a resolute, not a sanguine heart. I have no one to stand for me there, Sumner against me, Channing almost unknown to me, everyone else indifferent. I go in obedience to a deep and strong impulse which I do not understand nor explain, but whose bidding I cannot neglect. The satisfaction of having at last obeyed this interior guide is all that keeps me up, for no one, so far as I know, altogether approves of my going."

Spite of these doubts and fears, the enterprise was successful. Perhaps people were glad to shut their ears for a moment to the sound of cannon and the crying of "Latest news from the front!" and listen to the quiet words of philosophic thought and suggestion.

Side by side with work, as usual, went play. In January she records the first meeting of the new club, the "Ladies Social," at the home of Mrs. Josiah Quincy. This club of clever people, familiarly known as the "Brain Club," was for many years one of her great pleasures. Mrs. Quincy was its first president. It may have been at this meeting that our mother, being asked to present in a few words the nature and object of the club, addressed the company as follows: "Ladies and Gentlemen; this club has been formed for the purpose of carrying on" – she paused, and began to twinkle – "for the purpose of carrying on! "

She describes briefly a meeting of the club at 13 Chestnut Street:–

"Entertained my Club with two charades. Pan-demon-ium was the first, Catastrophe the second. For Pan I recited some verses of Mrs. Browning's 'Dead Pan,' with the gods she mentions in the background, my own boy as Hermes. For 'Demon" I had a female Faust and a female Satan. Was aided by Fanny McGregor, Alice Howe, Hamilton Wilde, Charles Carroll, and James C. Davis, with my Flossy, who looked beautifully. The entertainment was voted an entire success."

We remember these charades well. The words

"Aphrodite, dead and driven
  As thy native foam thou art..."
call up the vision of Fanny McGregor, white and beautiful, lying on a white couch in an attitude of perfect grace.

We hear our mother's voice reciting the stately verses. We see her as the "female Faust," first bending over her book, then listening entranced to the promises of Mephistopheles, finally vanishing behind a curtain from which the next instant sprang Florence (the one child who resembled her) in all the gayety of her bright youth.

The next day she was, 'Very weary all day. Put things to rights as well as I could. Read in Spinoza, Cotta, and Livy."

It was for the Brain Club that she wrote "The Socio-Maniac," a cantata caricaturing fashionable society. She set the words to music, and sang with much solemnity the "Mad Song" of the heroine whose brain had been turned by too much gayety:–

"Her mother was a Shaw,
  And her father was a Tompkins;
Her sister was a bore,
  And her brother was a bumpkin;
    Oh! Soci – oh! Soci –
    Oh! Soci – e – ty!

"Her flounces were of gold,
  And her slippers were of ermine;
And she looked a little bold
  When she rose to lead the Germin;
    Oh! Soci – oh! Soci –
    Oh! Soci – e – ty!

"For my part I never saw
  Where she kept her fascination;
But I thought she had an aw-
  Ful conceit and affectation;
    Oh! Soci – oh! Soci –
    Oh! Soci – e – ty!"

New interests were constantly arising. In these days Edwin Booth made his first appearance in Boston. Our mother and father went to the Boston Theatre one rainy evening, "expecting to see nothing more than an ordinary performance. The play was 'Richelieu,' and we had seen but little of Mr. Booth's part in it before we turned to each other and said, 'This is the real thing!'"

Then they saw him in "Hamlet" and realized even more fully that a star had risen. He seemed

...beautiful as dreams of maidenhood,
  That doubt defy,
Young Hamlet, with his forehead grief-subdued,
  And visioning eye. 50

Mr. Booth's manager asked her to write a play for the young tragedian. She gladly consented; Booth himself came to see her; she found him "modest, intelligent, and above all genuine, – the man as worthy of admiration as the artist."

In all the range of classic fiction, to which her mind naturally turned, no character seemed to fit him so well as that of Hippolytus; his austere beauty, his reserve and shyness, all seemed to her the personification of the hunter-prince, beloved of Artemis, and she chose this theme for her play.

The writing of "Hippolytus" was accomplished under difficulties. She says of it:–

"I had at this time and for many years afterward a superstition about a north light. My eyes had given me some trouble, and I felt obliged to follow my literary work under circumstances most favorable for their use. The exposure of our little farmhouse [at Lawton's Valley] was south and west, and its only north light was derived from a window at the top of the attic stairs. Here was a platform just large enough to give room for a table two feet square. The stairs were shut off from the rest of the house by a stout door. And here, through the summer heats, and in spite of many wasps, I wrote my five-act drama, dreaming of the fine emphasis which Mr. Booth would give to its best passages and of the beautiful appearance he would make in classic costume. He, meanwhile, was growing into great fame and favor with the public, and was called hither and thither by numerous engagements. The period of his courtship and marriage 51 intervened, and a number of years elapsed between the completion of the play and his first reading of it."

At last the time seemed ripe for the production of the play. E. L. Davenport, the actor manager of the Howard Athenæum, agreed to produce it: Charlotte Cushman was to play Phædra to Booth's Hippolytus. Rehearsals began, the author's dream seemed close upon fulfilment. Then came a slip never fully explained: the manager suddenly discovered that the subject of the play was a painful one; other reasons were given, but none that appeared sufficient to author and actors.

"My dear," said Miss Cushman, "if Edwin Booth and I had done nothing more than stand upon the stage and say 'good evening,' to each other, the house would have been filled."

Briefly, the play was withdrawn. Our mother says: "This was, I think, the greatest 'let down' that I ever experienced. It affected me seriously for some days, after which I determined to attempt nothing more for the stage."

She never forgot the play nor her bitter disappointment.

Many memories cluster about the gracious figure of Edwin Booth. He came often – for so shy and retiring a man – to the Chestnut Street house. We children all worshipped at his shrine; the elder girls worked his initials on the underside of the chair in which he once sat, which was thereafter like no other chair; the younger ones gazed in round-eyed admiration, but the great man had eyes for one only of us all. We gave a party for him, and Beacon Street came in force to meet the brilliant young actor. Alas! The brilliant young actor, after the briefest and shyest of greetings to the company, retired into a corner with eight-year-old Maud, where he sat on the floor making dolls and rabbits out of his pocket handkerchief!

This recalls an oft-quoted anecdote of the time. Our mother wished Charles Sumner to see and know Booth. One evening when the Senator was at the house, she told him of her wish. The next day she writes in her Journal: "Sumner to tea. Made a rude speech on being asked to meet Booth. Said: 'I don't know that I should care to meet him. I have outlived my interest in individuals.' Fortunately, God Almighty had not, by last accounts, got so far."

Sumner was told of this in her presence. "What a strange sort of book," he exclaimed, "your diary must be! You ought to strike that out immediately."

She admired Charles Sumner heartily, but they disagreed on many points. He disapproved of women's speaking in public (as did the Doctor), and – with wholly kind intentions – did what he could to prevent her giving the above-mentioned readings in Washington. She notes this in her Journal.

"I wrote him a very warm letter, but with no injurious phrase, as I felt only grief and indignation, not dis-esteem, towards him. Yet the fact of having written the letter became extremely painful to me, when it was once beyond recall. I could not help writing a second on the day following, to apologize for the roughness of the first. This was a diplomatic fault, I think, but one inseparable from my character. C. S.'s reply, which I dreaded to read, was very kind. While I clearly saw his misapprehension of the whole matter, I saw also the thorough kindliness and sincerity of his nature. So we disagree, but I love him."

Mr. Sumner did not attend the readings, but he came to see her, and was, as always, kind and friendly. After seeing him in the Senate she writes: "Sumner looks up and smiles. That smile seems to illuminate the Senate."

Another passage in the Journal of March, 1864, is in a different note: "Maggie ill and company to dinner. I washed breakfast things, cleared the table, walked, read Spinoza a little, then had to 'fly round,' as my dinner was an early one. Picked a grouse, and saw to various matters. Company came, a little early. The room was cold. Hedge, Palfrey, and Alger to dinner. Conversation pleasant, but dinner late, and not well served. Palfrey and Hedge read Parker's Latin epitaph on Chev, amazed at the bad Latinity."

 

In June 1864, a Russian squadron, sent to show Russia's good-will toward the United States, dropped anchor in Boston Harbor, and hospitable Boston rose up in haste to receive the strangers. Dr. Holmes wrote a song beginning, –

"Seabirds of Muscovy,
  Rest in our waters," –
which was sung to the Russian national air at a public reception.

Our mother for once made no "little verse," but she saw a good deal of the Russian officers; gave parties for them, and attended various functions and festivals on board the ships. On Sunday, June 22, she writes:–

"To mass on board the Oslaba.... The service was like the Armenian Easter I saw in Rome.... It is a sacrifice to God instead of a lesson from Him, which after all makes the difference between the old religions and the true Christian. For even Judaism is heathen compared with Christianity. Yet I found this very consoling, as filling out the verities of religious development. I seemed to hear in the responses a great harmony in which the first man had the extreme bass and the last born babe the extreme treble. Theo. Parker and my dear Sammy were blended in it."

Soon after this the "seabirds of Muscovy" departed; then came the flitting to Newport, and a summer of steady work.

"Read Paul in the Valley. Thought of writing a review of his first two epistles from the point of view of the common understanding. The clumsy Western mind has made such literal and material interpretations of the Oriental finesses of the New Testament, that the present coarse and monstrous beliefs, so far behind the philosophical, æsthetic, and natural culture of the age, is imposed by the authority of the few upon the ignorance of the many, and stands a monument of the stupidity of all.

"Paul's views of the natural man are, inevitably, much colored by the current bestiality of the period. To apply his expressions to the innocent and inevitable course of Nature is coarse, unjust, and demoralizing, because confusing to the moral sense."

"I came to the conclusion to-day that an heroic intention is not to be kept in sight without much endeavor. Now that I have finished at least one portion of my Ethics and Dynamics, I find myself thinking how to get just credit for it, rather than how to make my work most useful to others. The latter must, however, be my object, and shall be. Did not Chev so discourage it, I should feel bound to give these lectures publicly, being, as they are, a work for the public. I do not as yet decide what to do with them."

Returning to 13 Chestnut Street, she found a multiplicity of work awaiting her. Ethics had to stand aside and make way for Poetry and Philanthropy. New York was to celebrate the seventieth birthday of William Cullen Bryant; she was asked to write a poem for the occasion. This she did joyfully, composing and arranging the stanzas mostly in the train between Newport and Boston.

On the day of the celebration, she took an early train for New York: Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was on the train. "I will sit with you, Mrs. Howe," he said, "but I must not talk! I am going to read a poem at the Bryant celebration, and must save my voice."

"By all means let us keep silent," she replied. "I also have a poem to read at the Bryant Celebration."

Describing this scene she says, "The dear Doctor, always my friend, overestimated his power of abstinence from the interchange of thought which was so congenial to him. He at once launched forth in his own brilliant vein, and we were within a few miles of our destination when we suddenly remembered that we had not taken time to eat our luncheon."

George Bancroft met them at the station, carried her trunk himself ("a small one!"), and put her into his own carriage. The reception was in the Century Building. She entered on Mr. Bryant's arm, and sat between him and Mr. Bancroft on the platform. The Journal tells us:–

"After Mr. Emerson's remarks my poem was announced. I stepped to the middle of the platform, and read my poem. I was full of it, and read it well, I think as every one heard me, and the large room was crammed. The last two verses – not the best – were applauded.... This was, I suppose, the greatest public honor of my life. I record it for my grandchildren."

The November pages of the Journal are blank, but on that for November 21 is pasted a significant note. It is from the secretary of the National Sailors' Fair, and conveys the thanks of the Board of Managers to Mrs. Howe "for the great industry and labor in editing the 'Boatswain's Whistle.'"

Neither Journal nor "Reminiscences" has one word to say about fair or paper; yet both were notable. The great war-time fairs were far more than a device for raising money. They were festivals of patriotism; people bought and sold with a kind of sacred ardor. This fair was Boston's contribution toward the National Sailors' Home. It was held in the Boston Theatre, which for a week was transformed into a wonderful hive of varicolored bees, all "workers," all humming and hurrying. The "Boatswain's Whistle" was the organ of the fair. There were ten numbers of the paper; it lies before us now, a small folio volume of eighty pages.

Title and management are indicated at the top of the first column:–

THE BOATSWAIN'S WHISTLE.
-----------------
Editorial Council.
Edward Everett.    A.P. Peabody.
John G. Whittier.    J.R. Lowell.  
O.W. Holmes.      E.P. Whipple.
-----------------
Editor.
Julia Ward Howe.

 

Each member of the Council made at least one contribution to the paper; but the burden fell on the Editor's shoulders. She worked day and night; no wonder that the pages of the Journal are blank. Beside the editorials and many other unsigned articles, she wrote a serial story, "The Journal of a Fancy Fair," which brings back vividly the scene it describes. In those days the raffle was not discredited. Few people realized that it was a crude form of gambling; clergy and laity alike raffled merrily. Our mother, however, in her story speaks through the lips of her hero a pungent word on the subject:–

"The raffle business, is, I suppose, the great humbug of occasions of this kind. It seems to me very much like taking a front tooth from a certain number of persons in order to make up a set of teeth for a party who wants it and who does not want to pay for it."

We should like to linger over the pages of the "Boatswain's Whistle"; to quote from James Freeman Clarke's witty dialogues, Edward Everett's stately periods, Dr. Holmes's sparkling verse; to describe General Grant, the prize ox, white as driven snow and weighing 3900 pounds, presented by the owner to President Lincoln and by him to the fair. Did we not see him drawn in triumph through Boston streets on an open car, and realize in an instant – fresh from our "Wonder-Book" – what Europa's bull looked like?

But of all the treasures of the little paper, we must content ourselves with this dispatch:–

Allow me to wish you a great success. With the old fame of the navy made bright by the present war, you cannot fail. I name none lest I wrong others by omission. To all, from Rear Admiral to honest Jack, I tender the nation's admiration and gratitude.

A. LINCOLN.


CHAPTER X

THE WIDER OUTLOOK

1865; aet. 46

 

THE WORD

Had I one of thy words, my Master,
  With a spirit and tone of thine,
I would run to the farthest Indies
  To scatter the joy divine.

I would waken the frozen ocean
  With a billowy burst of joy:
Stir the ships at their grim ice-moorings
  The summer passes by.

I would enter court and hovel,
  Forgetful of mien or dress,
With a treasure that all should ask for,
  An errand that all should bless.

I seek for thy words, my Master,
  With a spelling vexed and slow:
With scanty illuminations
  In an alphabet of woe.

But while I am searching, scanning
  A lesson none ask to hear,
My life writeth out thy sentence
  Divinely just and dear.

J. W. H.

THE war was nearly over, and all hearts were with Grant and Lee in their long duel before Richmond. Patriotism and philosophy together ruled our mother's life in these days; the former more apparent in her daily walk among us, the latter in the quiet hours with her Journal.

The Journal for 1865 is much fuller than that of 1864; the record of events is more regular, and we find more and more reflection, meditation, and speculation. The influence of Kant is apparent; the entries become largely notes of study, to take final shape in lectures and essays.

"A morning visit received in study hours is a sickness from which the day does not recover. I can neither afford to be idle, nor to have friends who are so."

"Man is impelled by inward force, regulated by outward circumstance. He is inspired from within, moralized from without.... A man may be devout in himself, but he can be moral only in his relation with other men...."

"Early to Mary Dorr's, to consult about the Charade. Read Kant and wrote as usual. Spent the afternoon in getting up my costumes for the Charade. The word is Au-thor-ship.... Authorship was expressed by my appearing as a great composer, Jerry Abbott performing my Oratorio – a very comical thing, indeed. The whole was a success."

No one who saw the "Oratorio" can forget it. Mr. Abbott, our neighbor in Chestnut Street, was a comedian who would have adorned any stage. The "book" of the Oratorio was a simple rhyme of Boston authorship.

"Abigail Lord,
Of her own accord,
Went down to see her sister,
When Jason Lee,
As brisk as a flea,
He hopped right up and kissed her."

With these words, an umbrella, and a chair held before him like a violoncello, Mr. Abbott gave a truly Handelian performance. Fugue and counterpoint, first violin and bass tuba, solo and full chorus, all were rendered with a verve and spirit which sent the audience into convulsions of laughter. – This was one of the "carryings-on" of the Brain Club. After another such occasion our mother writes:–

"Very weary and aching a little. I must keep out of these tomfooleries, though they have their uses. They are much better than some other social entertainments, as after all they present some æsthetic points of interest. They are better than scandal, gluttony, or wild dancing. But the artists and I have still better things to do."

"January 23. It is always legitimate to wish to rise above one's self, never above others. In this, however, as in other things, we must remember the maxim: 'Natura nil facit per saltum.' All true rising must be gradual and laborious, in such wise that the men of to-morrow shall look down almost imperceptibly upon the men of to-day. All sudden elevations are either imaginary or factitious. If you had not a kingly mind before your coronation, no crown will make a king of you. The true king is somewhere, starving or hiding, very like. For the true value which the counterfeit represents exists somewhere. The world has much dodging about to produce the real value and escape the false one."

Throughout the Journal, we find a revelation of the conflict in this strangely dual nature. Her study was, she thought, her true home; yet no one who saw her in society would have dreamed that she was making an effort: nor was she! She gave herself up entirely to the work or the play of the hour. She was a many-sided crystal: every aspect of life met its answering flash. The glow of human intercourse kindled her to flame; but when the flame cooled, the need of solitude and study lay on her with twofold poignancy. She went through life in double harness, thought and feeling abreast; though often torn between the two, in the main she gave free rein to both, trusting the issue to God.

The winter of 1864-65 was an arduous one. She was writing new philosophical essays, and reading them before various circles of friends. The larger audience which she craved was not for the moment attainable. She was studying deeply, reading Latin by way of relaxation, going somewhat into society (Julia and Florence being now of the dancing age), and entertaining a good deal in a quiet way. In February she writes: "Much tormented by interruptions. Could not get five minutes at a time. Everybody torments me with every smallest errand. And I am trying to study philosophy!"

Probably we were troublesome children and made more noise than we should. Her accurate ear for music was often a source of distress to her, as one of us can witness, an indolent child who neglected her practising. As this child drummed over her scales, the door of the upstairs study would open, and a clear voice come ringing down, "B flat, dear, not B natural!"

It seemed to the child a miracle; she, with the book before her, could not get it right: "Mamma," studying Kant upstairs behind closed doors, knew what the note should be.

"Few of us consider the wide and laborious significance of the simplest formulas we employ. 'I love you!' opens out a long vista of labor and endeavor; otherwise it means: 'I love myself and need you.'..."

"Played all last evening for Laura's company to dance. My heart flutters to-day. It is a feeling unknown to me until lately."

Now, Laura would have gone barefoot in snow to save her mother pain or fatigue; yet she has no recollection of ever questioning the inevitability of "Mamma's" playing for all youthful dancing. Grown-up parties were different; for them there were hired musicians, who made inferior music; but for the frolics of the early 'teens, who should play except "Mamma"?

On March 10, she writes: "I have now been too long in my study. I must break out into real life, and learn some more of its lessons."

Two days later a lesson began: "I stay from church to-day to take care of Maud, who is quite unwell. This is a sacrifice, although I am bound and glad to make it. But I shall miss the church all week."

The child became so ill that "all pursuits had to be given up in the care of her." The Journal gives a minute account of this illness, and of the remedies used, among them "long-continued and gentle friction with the hand." The words bring back the touch of her hand, which was like no other. There were no trained nurses in our nursery, rarely any doctor save "Papa," but "Mamma" rubbed us, and that was a whole pharmacopoeia in itself.

At this time she gave her first public lecture before the Parker Fraternity. This was an important event to her; she had earnestly desired yet greatly dreaded it. She found the hall pleasant, the audience attentive. "When I came to read the lecture," she says, "I felt that it had a value."

"All these things in my mind point one way, viz.: towards the adoption of a profession of Ethical exposition, after my sort."

She had been asked to give a lecture at Tufts College, and says of this: "The difficulties are great, the question is to me one of simple duty. If I am sent for, and have the word to say, I should say it."

And again: "I determine that I can only be good in fulfilling my highest function – all else implies waste of power, leading to demoralization."

She declined the invitation, "feeling unable to decide in favor of accepting it."

"But I was sorry," she says, "and I remembered the words: 'He that hath put his hand to the plough and looketh back is not fit for the kingdom of heaven.' God keep me from so looking back!"

The Journal of this spring is largely devoted to philosophic speculations and commentaries on Kant, whose theories she finds more and more luminous and convincing; now and then comes a note of her own:–

"'I am God!' says the fool. 'I see God!' says the wise man. For while you are your own supreme, you are your own God, and self-worship is true atheism."

"It is better to use a bad man by his better side than a good man by his worse side."

"Christ said that he was older than Abraham. I think that he used this expression as a measure of value. His thoughts were further back in the primal Ideal necessity. He did not speak of any personal life antedating his own existence.... In his own sense, Christ was also newer than we are, for his doctrine is still beyond the attainment of all and the appreciation of most of us."

"There is no essential religious element in negation."

"Saw Booth in 'Hamlet' – still first-rate, I think, although he has played it one hundred nights in New York. 'Hamlet' is an æsthetic Evangel. I know of no direct ethical work which contains such powerful moral illustrations and instruction."

"James Freeman [Clarke] does not think much of Sam's book, probably not as well as it deserves. But the knowledge of Sam's personality is the light behind the transparency in all that he does." 52

These were the closing months of the Civil War. All hearts were lifted up in thankfulness that the end was near. She speaks of it seldom, but her few words are significant.

"Monday, April 3.... Richmond was taken this morning. Laus Deo! "

On April 10, after "Maud's boots, $3.00, Vegetables, .12, Bread, .04," we read, "Ribbons for victory, .40. To-day we have the news of Lee's surrender with the whole remnant of his army. The city is alive with people. All flags hung out – shop windows decorated – processions in the street. All friends meet and shake hands. On the newspaper bulletins such placards as 'Gloria in excelsis Deo,' 'Thanks be to God!' We all call it the greatest day of our lives.

"Apples, half-peck, .50."

That week was one of joy and thankfulness for all. Thursday was Fast Day; she "went to church to fatigue Satan. Afterwards made a visit to Mrs. — who did not seem to have tired her devil out."

The joy bells were soon to be silenced. Saturday, April 15, was

"A black day in history, though outwardly most fair. President Lincoln was assassinated in his box at the theatre, last evening, by J. Wilkes Booth. This atrocious act, which was consummated in a very theatrical manner, is enough to ruin not the Booth family alone, but the theatrical profession. Since my Sammy's death, nothing has happened that has given me so much personal pain as this event. The city is paralyzed. But we can only work on, and trust in God."

Our father's face of tragedy, the anguish in his voice, as he called us down to hear the news, come vividly before us to-day, one of the clearest impressions of our youth. Our mother went with him next day to hear Governor Andrew's official announcement of the murder to the Legislature, and heard with deep emotion his quotation from "Macbeth":–

  "Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off," etc.

Wednesday, April 19, was:–

"The day of President Lincoln's funeral. A sad, disconnected day. I could not work, but strolled around to see the houses, variously draped in black and white. Went to Bartol's church, not knowing of a service at our own. Bartol's remarks were tender and pathetic. I was pleased to have heard them.

"Wrote some verses about the President – pretty good, perhaps, – scratching the last nearly in the dark, just before bedtime."

This is the poem called "Parricide." It begins:–

O'er the warrior gauntlet grim
Late the silken glove we drew,
Bade the watch-fires slacken dim
In the dawn's auspicious hue.
Staid the armèd heel;
Still the clanging steel;
Joys unwonted thrilled the silence through.

On April 27 she "heard of Wilkes Booth's death – shot on refusing to give himself up – the best thing that could have happened to himself and his family"; and wrote a second poem entitled "Pardon," embodying her second and permanent thought on the subject:

Pains the sharp sentence the heart in whose wrath it was uttered,
                Now thou art cold;
Vengeance, the headlong, and Justice, with purpose close muttered,
                Loosen their hold, etc.

Brief entries note the closing events of the war.

"May 13. Worked much on Essay.... In the evening said to Laura: 'Jeff Davis will be taken to-morrow.' Was so strongly impressed with the thought that I wanted to say it to Chev, but thought it was too silly."

"May 14. The first thing I heard in the morning was the news of the capture of Jeff Davis. This made me think of my preluding the night before...."

 

Other things beside essays demanded work in these days. The great struggle was now over, and with it the long strain on heart and nerve, culminating in the tragic emotion of the past weeks. The inevitable reaction set in. Her whole nature cried out for play, and play meant work.

"Working all day for the Girls' Party, to-morrow evening. Got only a very short reading of Kant, and of Tyndall. Tea with the Bartols. Talk with [E. P.] Whipple, who furiously attacked Tacitus. Bartol and I, who know a good deal about him, made a strong fight in his behalf."

"Working all day for the Party. The lists of men and women accepting and declining were balanced by my daughter F. with amusing anxiety.... The two sexes are now neck and neck. Dear little Maud was in high glee over every male acceptance. Out of all this hubbub got a precious forty-five minutes with Kant...."

The party proved "very gay and pleasant."

Now came a more important event: the Musical Festival celebrating the close of the war, which was given by the Handel and Haydn Society, at its semi-centennial, in May, 1865. Our mother sang alto in the chorus. The Journal records daily, sometimes semi-daily, rehearsals and performances, Kant squeezed to the wall, and getting with difficulty his daily hour or half-hour. Mendelssohn's "Hymn of Praise" and "Elijah"; Haydn's "Creation," Handel's "Messiah" and "Israel in Egypt"; she sang in them all.

Here is a sample Festival day:–

"Attended morning rehearsal, afternoon concert, and sang in the evening. We gave 'Israel in Egypt' and Mendelssohn's 'Hymn of Praise.' I got a short reading of Kant, which helped me through the day. But so much music is more than human nerves can respond to with pleasure. This confirms my belief in the limited power of our sensibilities in the direction of pure enjoyment. The singing in the choruses fatigues me less than hearing so many things."

After describing the glorious final performance of the "Messiah," she writes:–

"So farewell, delightful Festival! I little thought what a week of youth was in store for me. For these things carried me back to my early years, and their passion for music. I remembered the wholeness with which I used to give myself up to the concerts and oratorios in New York, and the intense reaction of melancholy which always followed these occasions."

And the next day:–

"Still mourning the Festival a little. If I had kept up my music as I intended, in my early youth, I should never have done what I have done – should never have studied philosophy, nor written what I have written. My life would have been more natural and passionate, but I think less valuable. Yet I cannot but regret the privation of this element in which I have lived for years. But I do believe that music is the most expensive of the fine arts. It uses up the whole man more than the other arts do, builds him up less. It is more passional, less intellectual, than the other arts. Its mastery is simple and absolute, while that of the other arts is so complex as to involve a larger sphere of thought and reflection. I have observed the faces of this orchestra just disbanded. Their average is considerably above the ordinary one. But they have probably more talent than thought."

On May 31 we find a significant entry. The evening before she had attended the Unitarian Convention, and "heard much tolerable speaking, but nothing of any special value or importance." She now writes:–

"I really suffered last evening from the crowd of things which I wished to say, and which, at one word of command, would have flashed into life and, I think, into eloquence. It is by a fine use of natural logic that the Quaker denomination allows women to speak, under the pressure of religious conviction. 'In Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female,' is a good sentence. Paul did not carry this out in his church discipline, yet, one sees, he felt it in his religious contemplation. I feel that a woman's whole moral responsibility is lowered by the fact that she must never obey a transcendent command of conscience. Man can give her nothing to take the place of this. It is the divine right of the human soul."

The fatigue and excitement of the Festival had to be paid for: the inevitable reaction set in.

"June 3. Decidedly I have spleen in these days. Throughout my whole body, I feel a mingled restlessness and feebleness, as if the nerves were irritated, and the muscles powerless. I feel puzzled, too, about the worth of what I have doing for nearly three years past. There is no one to help me in these matters. I determine still to work on and hope on. Much of the work of every life is done in the dark."

Again: "Spleen to-day, and utter discouragement. The wind is east, and this gives me the strange feeling, described before, of restlessness and powerlessness. My literary affairs are in a very confused state. I have no market. This troubles me.... God keep me from falling away from my purpose, to do only what seems to me necessary and called for in my vocation, and not to produce for money, praise, or amusement."

"Was melancholy and Godless all day, having taken my volume of Kant back to the Athenæum for the yearly rearrangement. Could not interest myself in anything.... Visited old Mrs. Sumner, 53 whose chariot and horses are nearly ready."

At this time there was some question of selling Lawton's Valley for economic reasons. The exigency passed, but the following words show the depth of her feeling on the subject: "If I have any true philosophy, any sincere religion, these must support me under the privation of the Valley. I feel this, and resolve to do well, but nature will suffer. That place has been my confidante, – my bosom friend, – intimate to me as no human being ever will be – dear and comforting also to my children...."

"June 11.... Thought of a good text for a sermon, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation,' the scope being to show that our tribulation, if we try to do well, is in the world, our refuge and comfort in the church. Thought of starting a society in Newport for the practice of sacred music, availing ourselves of the summer musicians and the possible aid of such ladies as Miss Reed, etc., for solos. Such an enterprise would be humanizing, and would supply a better object than the empty reunions of fashion...."

"Wednesday, June 21. Attended the meeting at Faneuil Hall, for the consideration of reconstruction of the Southern States. Dana made a statement to the effect that voting was a civic, not a natural, right, and built up the propriety of negro suffrage on the basis first of military right, then of duty to the negro, this being the only mode of enabling him to protect himself against his late master. His treatment was intended to be exhaustive, and was able, though cold and conceited. Beecher tumbled up on the platform immediately after, not having heard him, knocked the whole question to pieces with his democratic power, his humor, his passion, and his magnetism. It was Nature after Art, and his nature is much greater than Dana's art."

A few days after this she writes: "...Sumner in the evening – a long and pleasant visit. He is a very sweet-hearted man, and does not grow old."

The Musical Festival had not yet exacted full arrears of payment; she was too weary even to enjoy the Valley at first; but after a few days of its beloved seclusion she shook off fatigue and was herself again, reading Kant and Livy, teaching the children, and gathering mussels on the beach.

She flits up to town to see the new statue of Horace Mann, "in order to criticise it for Chev's pamphlet"; 54 meets William Hunt, who praises its simplicity and parental character; and Charles Sumner, who tells her it looks better on a nearer view.

The day after – "we abode in the Valley, when three detachments of company tumbled in upon us, to wit, Colonel Higginson and Mrs. McKay, the Tweedys and John Field, and the Gulstons. All were friendly. Only on my speaking of the rudeness occasionally shown me by a certain lady, Mrs. Tweedy said: 'But that was in the presence of your superiors, was it not?' I replied: 'I do not know that I was ever in Mrs. X's company under those circumstances!' After which we all laughed."

She was at this time sitting to Miss Margaret Foley for a portrait medallion and was writing philosophy and poetry. Family and household matters also claimed their share of attention.

"Finished reading over 'Polarity' [her essay]. Reading to the children, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head' – my little Maud's eyes filled with tears."

"Much worried by want of preparedness for to-day's picnic. Managed to get up three chickens killed on short notice, a pan of excellent gingerbread, two cans of peaches, and a little bread and butter. Went in the express wagon.... At the picnic I repeated my Cambridge poem, ...and read 'Amanda's Inventory' and my long poem on Lincoln's death.... Duty depends on an objective, happiness upon a subjective, sense. The first is capable of a general and particular defination, the second is not."

"In the afternoon mended Harry's shirt, finished Maud's skirt, read Livy and Tyndall, and played croquet, which made me very cross."

"Exhumed my French story and began its termination. Mended a sheet badly torn."

After a long list of purchases –

"Worked like a dog all day. Went into town, running about to pick up all the articles mentioned above.... Came home – cut bread and butter and spread sandwiches till just within time to slip off one dress and slip on another. My company was most pleasant, and more numerous than I had anticipated...."

"Legal right is the universal compulsion which secures universal liberty."

"I feel quite disheartened when I compare this summer with the last. I was so happy and hopeful in writing my three Essays and thought they should open such a vista of usefulness to me, and of good to others. But the opposition of my family has made it almost impossible for me to make the use intended of them. My health had not allowed me to continue to produce so much. I feel saddened and doubtful of the value of what I have done or can do...."

"August 23.... Rights and duties are inseparable in human beings. God has rights without duties. Men have rights and duties. If a slave have not rights, he also has not duties...."

"With the girls to a matinée at Bellevue Hall. They danced and I was happy."

"My croquet party kept me busy all day. It was pleasant enough...."

"...'My peace I give unto you' is a wonderful saying. What peace have most of us to give each other? But Christ has given peace to the world, peace at least as an ideal object, to be ever sought, though never fully attained."

"September 10.... Read Kant on state rights. According to him, wars of conquest are allowable only in a state of nature, not in a state of peace (which is not to be attained without a compact whose necessity is supreme and whose obligations are sacred). So Napoleon's crusade against the constituted authority of the European republic was without logical justification, – which accounts for the speedy downfall of his empire. What he accomplished had only the subjective justification of his genius and his ambition. His work was of great indirect use in sweeping away certain barriers of usage and of superstition. He drew a picture of government on a large scale and thus set a pattern which inevitably enlarged the procedures of his successors, who lost through him the prestige of divine right and of absolute power. But the inadequacy of his object showed itself through the affluence of his genius. The universal dominion of the Napoleon family was not to be desired or endured by the civilized world at large. The tortoise in the end overtook the hare, and slow, prodding Justice, with her loyal hack, distanced splendid Ambition mounted on first-rate ability, once and forever...."

"To Zion church, to hear — preach. Text, 'Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things.' Sermon as far removed from it as possible, weak, sentimental, and illiterate. He left out the 'd' in 'receivedst,' and committed other errors in pronunciation. But to sit with the two aunts 55 in the old church, so familiar to my childhood, was touching and impressive. Hither my father was careful to bring us. Imperfect as his doctrine now appears to me, he looks down upon me from the height of a better life than mine, and still appears to me as my superior."

"A little nervous about my reading. Reached Mrs. [Richard] Hunt's at twelve. Saw the sweet little boy. Mrs. Hunt very kind and cordial. At one Mr. Hunt led me to the studio which I found well filled, my two aunts in the front row, to my great surprise; Bancroft, too, quite near me. I shortened the essay somewhat. It was well heard and received. Afterwards I read my poem called 'Philosophy,' and was urged to recite my 'Battle Hymn,' which I did. I was much gratified by the kind reception I met with and the sight of many friends of my youth. A most pleasant lunch afterwards at Mrs. Hunt's, with Tweedys, Tuckermans, and Laura."

"I see no outlook before me. So many fields for activity, but for passivity, which seems incumbent upon me, only uselessness, obscurity, deterioration. Some effort I must make."

Many efforts were impending, though not precisely in the direction contemplated. First, a new abode must be found for the winter, as the owners of 13 Chestnut Street claimed it for themselves. She and the Doctor added house-hunting to their other burdens, and found it a heavy one. On October 6 she writes:–

"Much excited about plans and prospects. Chev has bought the house in Boylston Place. 56 God grant it may be for the best. Determine to have classes in philosophy, and to ask a reasonable price for my tickets....

"The Sunday's devotion without the week's thought and use is a spire without a meeting-house. It leaps upward, but crowns and covers nothing.

"I have too often set down the moral weight I have to carry, and frisked around it. But the voice now tells me that I must bear it to the end, or lose it forever."

The move to Boylston Place was in November. Early in the month a 'frisking' took place, with amusing results. Our mother went with Governor and Mrs. Andrew and a gay party to Barnstable for the annual festival and ball. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company acted as escort, and – according to custom – the band of the Company furnished the music. For some reason – the townspeople thought because the pretty girls were all engaged beforehand for the dance – the officer in command stopped the music at twelve o'clock, to the great distress of the Barnstable people who had ordered their carriages at two or later. The party broke up in disorder far from "admired," and our mother crystallized the general feeling in the following verses, which the Barnstableites promptly printed in a "broadside," and sang to the then popular tune of "Lanigan's Ball":–

THE BARNSTABLE BALL
A LYRIC
(Appointed to be sung in all Social Meetings on the Cape )

March away with your old artillery;
  Don't come back till we give you a call.
Put your Colonel into the pillory;
  He broke up the Barnstable Ball.

Country folks don't go a-pleasuring
  Every day, as it doth befall;
They with deepest scorn are measuring
  Him who broke up the Barnstable Ball.

He came down with his motley company,
  Stalking round the 'cultural hall;
Could n't find a partner to jump any,
  So broke up the Barnstable Ball.

Warn't it enough with their smoking and thundering,
  Sweeping about like leaves in a squall,
But they must take to theft and plundering, –
  Steal the half of the Barnstable Ball?

Put the music into their pocket,
  Order the figure-man not to bawl,
Twenty jigs were still on the docket,
  When they adjourned the Barnstable Ball.

Gov'nor A. won't hang for homicide,
  That's a point that bothers us all;
He must banish ever from his side
  Such as murdered the Barnstable Ball.

When they're old and draw'd with rheumatiz,
  Let them say to their grandbabes small,
"Deary me, what a shadow of gloom it is
  To remember the Barnstable Ball!"

This autumn saw the preparation of a new volume of poems, "Later Lyrics." Years had passed since the appearance of "Words for the Hour," and our mother had a great accumulation of poems, the arrangement of which proved a heavy task.

"The labor of looking over the manuscript nearly made me ill.... Had a new bad feeling of intense pressure in the right temple."

And again:–

"Nearly disabled by headaches.... Determine to push on with my volume."

"Almost distracted with work of various sorts – my book – the new house – this one full of company, and a small party in the evening."

"All these days much hurried by proofs. Went in the evening to the opening of the new wards in the Women's Hospital – read two short poems, according to promise. These were kindly received...."

The next day she went with a party of friends to the Boy's Reform School at Westboro. "In the yard where the boys were collected, the guests were introduced. Quite a number crowded to see the Author of the 'Battle Hymn.' Two or three said to me: 'Are you the woman that wrote that "Battle Hymn"?' When I told them that I was, they seemed much pleased. This I felt to be a great honor."

The next day again she is harassed with correcting proofs and furnishing copy. "Ran to Bartol for a little help, which he gave me."

The Reverend C. A. Bartol was our next-door neighbor in Chestnut Street, a most kind and friendly one. His venerable figure wrapped in a wide cloak, walking always in the middle of the road (we never knew why he eschewed the sidewalk), is one of the pleasant memories of Chestnut Street. We were now to leave that beloved street; a sorrowful flitting it was.

"Friday, November 3. Moving all day. This is my last writing in this dear house, No. 13 Chestnut Street, where I have had three years of good work, social and family enjoyment. Here I enjoyed my dear Sammy for six happy months – here I mourned long and bitterly for him. Here I read my six lectures on Practical Ethics. Some of my best days have been passed in this house. God be thanked for the same!"


CHAPTER XI

NO. 19 BOYLSTON PLACE: "LATER LYRICS"

1866; aet. 47

 

IN MY VALLEY

From the hurried city fleeing,
From the dusty men and ways,
In my golden sheltered valley,
Count I yet some sunny days.

Golden, for the ripened Autumn
Kindles there its yellow blaze;
And the fiery sunshine haunts it
Like a ghost of summer days.

Walking where the running water
Twines its silvery caprice,
Treading soft the leaf-spread carpet,
I encounter thoughts like these:–

"Keep but heart, and healthful courage,
Keep the ship against the sea,
Thou shall pass the dangerous quicksands
That ensnare Futurity;

"Thou shalt live for song and story,
For the service of the pen;
Shalt survive till children's children
Bring thee mother-joys again.

"Thou hast many years to gather;
And these falling years shall bring
The benignant fruits of Autumn,
Answering to the hopes of Spring.

"Passing where the shades that darken
Grow transfigured to thy mind,
Thou shalt go with soul untroubled
To the mysteries behind;

"Pass unmoved the silent portal
Where beatitude begins,
With an equal balance bearing
Thy misfortunes and thy sins."

Treading soft the leaf-spread carpet,
Thus the Spirits talked with me;
And I left my valley, musing
On their gracious prophecy.

To my fiery youth's ambition
Such a boon were scarcely dear;
"Thou shalt live to be a grandame,
Work and die, devoid of fear."

"Now, as utmost grace it steads me,
Add but this thereto," I said:
"On the matron's time-worn mantle
Let the Poet's wreath be laid."

J. W. H.

"MY first writing in the new house, where may God help and bless us all. May no dark action shade our record in this house, and if possible, no surpassing sorrow."

After the wide sunny spaces of No. 13 Chestnut Street, the new house seemed small and dark; nor was Boylston Place even in those days a specially cheerful cul de sac; yet we remember it pleasantly enough as the home of much work and much play.

"November 19. Had the comforts of faith from dear James Freeman [Clarke] to-day. Felt restored to something like the peace I enjoyed before these two tasks of printing and moving broke up all leisure and all study. Determined to hold on with both hands to the largeness of philosophical pursuit and study, and to do my utmost to be useful in this connection and path of life...."

"Comforting myself with Hedge's book. Determined to pass no more godless days...."



MRS. HOWE IN LAWTON'S VALLEY, circa 1865
From a painting

She began to read Grote's Plato, and the Journal contains much comment on the Platonic philosophy. Another interest which came to her this autumn was that of singing with the Handel and Haydn Society. She and Florence joined the altos, while "Harry," then in college (Harvard, 1869), sang bass. We find her also, in early December, rehearsing with a small chorus the Christmas music for the Church of the Disciples, and writing and rehearsing a charade for the Club.

"December 12. Saw my new book at Tilton's. It looks very well, but I am not sanguine about its fate."

"Later Lyrics" made less impression than either of the earlier volumes. It has been long out of print; our mother does not mention it in her "Reminiscences"; even in the Journal, the book once published, there are few allusions to it, and those in a sad note: "Discouraged about my book," and so forth; yet it contains much of her best work.

"December 16. Sarah Clarke 57 and Foley 58 are to dine with me at 5:30. Went out at 10 A.M. to take Foley to see [William] Hunt, whom we found in his studio in a queer knitted coat. He showed an unfinished head of General Grant, in which it struck me that the eyes looked like the two scales of a balance in which men and events could be weighted."

 

The Journal for 1886 opens with a Latin aspiration: "Quod bonus, felix, faustusque sit hic annus mihi et meis amicis dilectis et generi humano! "

February finds her in New York, going to a "family party at Aunt Maria's. 59 Uncle John came. He was the eldest, my Harry the youngest member. I made a charade, Shoddy, in which Mary [Ward] and Flossy took part. Mary did very well. Flossy always does well. I enjoyed this family gathering more than anything since leaving home. It is so rare a pleasure for me. Family occasions are useful in bringing people together on the disinterested ground of natural affection, without any purpose of show or self-advancement. Relations should meet on more substantial ground than that of fashion and personal ambition. Nature and self-respect here have the predominance. In my youth I had no notion of this, though I always clung to those of my own blood."

From New York she went to Washington, where she gave a series of philosophical readings. Here, while staying at the house of Mrs. Eames, she had a violent attack of malarial fever, but struggled up again with her usual buoyancy.

"February 19. Weather rainy, so stayed at home; eyes weak, so could do little but lie in my easy chair, avoid cold, and hang on to conversation. To-day the President 60 vetoed the bill for the Freedmen's Bureau. The reading of the veto was received by the Senate with intense, though suppressed, excitement. Governor Andrew read it to us. It was specious, and ingeniously overstated the scope and powers demanded for the Bureau, in order to make its withholdment appear a liberal and democratic measure. Montgomery Blair is supposed to have written this veto."

At her first reading, she had "an excellent audience. The rooms were well filled and there were many men of note there.... Governor Andrew brought me in. Sam Hooper was there. I read 'The Fact Accomplished.' They received it very well. I was well pleased with my reception."

The next day she was so weary that she fell asleep while the Marquis de Chambrun was talking to her.

 

"February 23. To-day we learned the particulars of President Johnson's disgraceful speech, which awakens but one roar of indignation. To the Senate at 11.30. When the business hour is over, Fessenden moves the consideration of the House Resolution proposing the delay in the admission of members for the Southern States until the whole South shall be in a state for readmission. Sherman, of Ohio, moves the postponement of the question, alleging the present excitement as a reason for this. (He probably does this in the Copperhead interest.) At this Fessenden shows his teeth and shakes the Ohio puppy pretty well. Howe of Wisconsin also speaks for the immediate discussion of the question. Doolittle, of —, speaking against it, Trumbull calls him to order. Reverdy Johnson pitches in a little. The Ayes and Noes are called for and the immediate consideration receives a good majority. Fessenden now makes his speech, reads the passage from the President's speech, calling the committee of fifteen a directory, – comments fully on the powers of Congress, the injustice of the President and his defiant attitude.... He has force as debater, but no grasp of thought.... In the evening I read the first half of 'Limitations' to a very small circle. A Republican caucus took all the members of Congress. Garrison also lectured. I was sorry, but I did my best and said, 'God's will be done.' But I ought to have worked harder to get an audience."

"February 25.... Rode with Lieber 51 as far as Baltimore. He heard Hegel in his youth and thinks him, as I do, decidedly inferior to Kant, morally as well as philosophically....

"The laws and duties of society rest upon a supposed compact, but this compact cannot deprive any set of men of rights and limit them to duties, for if you refuse them all rights, you deprive them even of the power to become a party to this compact, which rests upon their right to do so. Our slaves had no rights. Women have few."

 

After leaving Washington, she spent several days with her sister Annie in Bordentown, and there and in New York gave readings which seem to have been much more successful than those in Washington. After the New York reading she is "glad and thankful."

The visits in Bordentown were always a delight and refreshment to her. She and her "little Hitter" frolicked, once more two girls together: e.g., the following incident:–

The Reverend — Bishop was the Mailliards' pastor; a kindly gentleman, who could frolic as well as another. One day our Aunt Annie, wishing to ask him to dine, sat down at her desk and wrote:–

"My dear Mr. Bishop,
To-day we shall dish up
At one and a half
The hind leg of a calf – "

At this point she was called away on household business. Our mother sat down and wrote:–

"Now B., if he's civil,
May join in our revel;
But if he is not,
He may go to the devil!"

During the days that followed, Kant and charades divided her time pretty evenly.

"Kant's 'Anthropologia' is rather trifling, after his great works. I read it to find out what Anthropology is."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Good is a direction; virtue is a habit."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Wearied by endless running about to find help for my charade, — having disappointed me. Determine to undertake nothing more of the kind."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The charade (Belabor ), which came off the following evening, was marked by a comic "To be or not to be," composed and recited by her in a "Hamlet costume, consisting of a narrow, rather short black skirt, a long black cloak and a black velvet toque, splendid lace ruff, amethyst necklace. It was very effective, and the verses gave reasonable pleasure."

"March 15.... Went to the Masonic Banquet which was preceded by a long ceremony, the consecration of three new banners. The forms were curious, the music good, the occasion unique. The association appeared to me a pale ghost of knighthood, and the solemnities a compromise between high mass and dress parade. The institution now means nothing more than a military and religious toy."

 

In this year she met with a serious loss in the death of her uncle, John Ward. He had been a second father to her and her sisters; his kindly welcome always made No. 8 Bond Street a family home.

"April 4. The contents of uncle's will are known to-day. He had made a new one, changing the disposition of his property made in a previous will which would have made my sisters and me much richer. This one gives equally to my cousins, Uncle William's four sons; and to us; largely to Uncle Richard, and most kindly to Brother Sam and Wardie. We know not why this change was made, but once made, it must be acquiesced in, like other events past remedy. My cousins are wealthy already – this makes little difference to them, but much to us. God's will be done, however. I must remember my own doctrine, and build upon 'The Fact Accomplished.'"

The passage explains the financial worries which, from now on, often oppressed her. She was brought up in wealth and luxury; sober wealth, unostentatious luxury, but enough of both to make it needless for her ever to consider questions of ways and means. Her whole family, from the adoring father down to the loving youngest sister, felt that she must be shielded from every sordid care or anxiety; she was tended like an orchid, lest any rough wind check her perfect blossoming.

Her father left a large fortune, much of which was invested in blocks of real estate in what is now the heart of New York. Uncle John, best and kindest of men, had no knowledge of real estate and none of the foresight which characterized his brother. After Mr. Ward's death, he made the mistake of selling out the Manhattan real estate, and investing the proceeds in stocks and bonds. Later, realizing his grave error, he resolved to mitigate the loss to his three nieces by dividing among them the bulk of his property.

This failing, the disappointment could not but be a sensible one, even to the least money-loving of women. The Doctor's salary was never a large one: the children must be given every possible advantage of education and society; no door that was open to her own youth should be closed to them; again, to entertain their friends (albeit in simple fashion), to respond to every call of need or distress, was matter of necessity to both our parents: small wonder that they were often pressed for money. All through the Journals we find this note of financial anxiety: not for herself, but for her children, and later for her grandchildren. She accepted the restricted means; she triumphed over them, and taught us to hold such matters of little account compared with the real things of life; but they never ceased to bewilder her.

Yet to-day, realizing of what vital importance this seeming misfortune was to her; how but for this, her life and other lives might have lacked "the rich flavor of hope and toil"; how but for this she might have failed to lock hands with humanity in a bond as close as it was permanent, who can seriously regret Uncle John's devastating yet fruitful mistake?

In April again she writes:–

"Dull, sad and perplexed. My uncle not having made me a rich woman, I feel more than ever impelled to make some great effort to realize the value of my mental capacities and acquisitions. I am as well entitled to an efficient literary position as any woman in this country – perhaps better than any other. Still I hang by the way, picking up ten dollars here and there with great difficulty. I pray God to help me to an occasion or sphere in which I may do my utmost. I had as lief die as live unless I can be satisfied that I have delivered the whole value of my literary cargo – all at least that was invoiced for this world. Hear me, great Heaven! Guide and assist me. No mortal can."

The next day's entry is more cheerful.

"Feel better to-day. Made the acquaintance of Aldrich and Howells and their wives, at Alger's last evening. I enjoyed the evening more than usual. Aldrich has a very refined face. Howells 62 is odd-looking, but sympathetic and intelligent. Alger was in all his glory."

"April 11.... Between a man governed by inner and one governed by outer control, there is the difference which we find between a reptile in a shell and a vertebrate. The one has his vertebrae within to support him, the other has them without to contain him."

"April 19. Very busy all day. Ran about too much, and was very tired. Had friends, in the evening, to meet young Perabo. I did not wish to give a party, on account of Uncle's death, but could not help getting together quite a lovely company of friends. Aldrich and wife were here, Alger, Bartol, Professor Youmans, Perabo, Dresel, Louisa D. Hunt, and others. It was a good time.... Saw my last cent go – nothing now till May, unless I earn something."

"April 20. Began to work over and correct my poem for the Church Festival, which must be licked into shape, for the Gods will give me none other. So I must hammer at it slowly, and a good deal.... To write purely for money is to beg, first telling a story."

In these days the Doctor was very weary through excess of work. He longed for a change, and would have been glad to receive the mission to Greece, of which some prospect had been held out to him. She writes: "Chev full of the Greek mission, which I think he cannot get. I wish he might, because he wishes it. Surely a man so modest and meritorious in his public career might claim so small an acknowledgment as this. But as we are, he represents Charity, I the study of Philosophy – we cannot be more honored than by standing for these things."

It was thought that she might have some influence in obtaining the mission: accordingly she went to Washington, anxious to help if she might. She saw the President of the Senate, who promised support. While there she writes: "Governor Andrew took me to General Grant's, where I saw the General, with great satisfaction. Prayed at bedtime that I might not become a superficial sham and humbug."

Hearing that Charles Sumner had sought her at the house of Mrs. Eames, she sent a message to him by a common friend. She writes: "Sumner cannot make a visit at the hotel, but will see me at the Capital. I know of nothing which exempts a man in public life from the duty of having, in private, some human qualities." Mr. Sumner did come to see her later, when she was staying with Mrs. Eames. She saw Secretary Seward, who was very ungracious to her; and President Johnson, whom she found "not one inclined to much speech." Before the latter interview her prayer was: "Let me be neither unskilful nor mean!"

The visit to Mrs. Eames was a sad one, being at the time of the death of Count Gurowski, a singular man whom she has described in her "Reminiscences"; but she met many notable persons, and had much interesting conversation with her host and hostess. She records one or two bits of talk.

"Mr. Eames saying that Mrs. X was an intelligent but not an original woman, I said: 'She is not a silk-worm, but a silk-wearer!' Nine women out of ten would rather be the latter than the former."

"Mr. Eames saying that he often talked because he could not make the effort to be silent, I said: 'Yes, sir; we know that the vis inertiæ often shows itself in motion.'

"I record these sayings," she adds, "because they interested me, opening to myself little shades of thought not perceived before."

 

"May 27. Boston. My birthday. Forty-seven years old. J. F. C. preached on 'The seed is the word,' and gave a significant statement of the seminal power of Christianity. They sang also a psalm tune which I like, so that the day (a rainy one) seems to me auspicious. I have little to show for the past year's work, having produced no work of any length and read but little in public. The doctrine of the seed does, however, encourage us to continue our small efforts. The most effectual quickening of society is through that small influence which creeps like the leaven through the dough...."

"...Roman piety was the duteous care of one's relatives. It follows from this that the disregard of parents and elders common in America is in itself an irreligious trait, and one which education should sedulously correct."

On May 29 she attended the Unitarian Festival. She recalls the fact that at the last festival she was "tormented by the desire to speak. But I am now grown more patient, knowing that silence also is valuable...."

The Chevalier was not to receive the only reward he had ever sought for his labors. On May 31 she writes: "To-day the blow fell. A kind letter from Vice-President Foster informed me that Charles T. Tuckerman had been nominated for the Greek mission. This gave me an unhappy hour. Chev was a good deal overcome by it for a time, but rallied and bears up bravely. The girls are rather glad. I am content, but I do not see what can take the place of this cherished object to Chev...."

The following verses embody her thoughts on this matter:–

TO S. G. H.

On his failure to receive the Grecian mission which he had been led to think might be offered to him. 1866.

The Grecian olives vanish from thy sight,
The wondrous hills, the old historic soil;
The elastic air, that freshened with delight
Thy youthful temples, flushed with soldier toil.

O noble soul! Thy laurel early wreathed
Gathers the Christian rose and lilies fair,
For civic virtues when the sword was sheathed,
And perfect faith that learns from every snare.

Let, then, the modern embassy float by,
Nor one regret in thy high bosom lurk:
God's mission called thy youth to that soft sky;
Wait God's dismissal where thou build'st His work!

"Divide et impera is an old manim of despotism which does not look as if States' rights pointed in the direction of true freedom."

"It is only in the natural order that the living dog is better than the dead lion. Will any one say that the living thief is better than a dead hero? No one, save perhaps the thief himself, who is no judge."

The Journal is now largely concerned with Kant, and with Maine's work on "Ancient Law," from which she quotes freely. Here and there are touches of her own.

"Epicureans are to Stoics as circumference to centre."

"I think Hegel more difficult than important. Many people suppose that the difficulty of a study is a sure indication of its importance."

In these years the Doctor and our sister Julia were in summer time rather visitors than members of the family. The former was, as Governor Bullock said of him, "driving all the Charities of Massachusetts abreast," and could enjoy the Valley only by snatches, flying down for a day or a week as he could. Julia, from her early girlhood, had interested herself deeply in all that concerned the blind, and had become more and more the Doctor's companion and workfellow at the Perkins Institution, where much of his time was necessarily spent. She had classes in various branches of study, and in school and out gave herself freely to her blind pupils. A friend said to her mother, many years later, "It was one of the sights of Boston in the days of the Harvard Musical concerts to see your Julia's radiant face as she would come into Music Hall, leading a blind pupil in either hand."

Early in this summer of 1866 Julia accompanied the Doctor on a visit to the State Almshouse at Monson, and saw there a little orphan boy, some three years old, who attracted her so strongly that she begged to be allowed to take him home with her. Accordingly she brought him to the Valley, a sturdy, blue-eyed Irish lad. Julia, child of study and poetry, had no nursery adaptability, and little "Tukey" was soon turned over to our mother, who gladly took charge of him. He was nearly the age of her little Sammy: something in his countenance reminded her of the lost child, and she found delight in playing with him. She would have been glad to adopt him, but this was not thought practicable. Julia had already tired of him; the Doctor for many reasons advised against it.

She grieved all summer for the child; but was afterward made happy by his adoption into a cheerful and prosperous home.

This was a summer of arduous work. The "Tribune" demanded more letters; Kant and Maine could not be neglected, and soon Fichte was added to them.

Moreover, the children must have every pleasure that she could give them.

"Worked hard all the morning for the croquet party in the afternoon, which was very pleasant and successful.

"Took Julia to the party on board the Rhode Island. She looked charmingly, and danced. I was quite happy because she enjoyed it."

Early August found her in Northampton, reporting for the "Tribune" the Convention of the American Academy of Science. The Doctor and Julia joined her, and she had "very busy days," attending the sessions and writing her reports.

"Read over several times my crabbed essay on the 'Two Necessities,' which I determine to read in the evening. I have with me also the essay on 'Limitations,' far more amusing and popular. But for a scientific occasion I will choose a treatise which aims at least at a scientific treatment of a great question. This essay asserts the distinctness of the Ideal Order and its legitimate supremacy in human processes of thought. I make a great effort to get its points thoroughly in my mind. Go late to the Barnards'. The scientifics arrive very late, Agassiz gets there at 9. I begin to read soon after. The ladies of our party are all there. I feel a certain enthusiasm in my work and subject, but do not communicate it to the audience, which seemed fatigued and cold; all at least but Pierce, Agassiz, and Davis. Had I done well or ill to read it? ...Some soul may have carried away a seed-grain of thought."

"August 11.... To Mount Holyoke in the afternoon. The ascent was frightful, the view sublime. In the evening went to read to the insane people at the asylum; had not 'Later Lyrics,' but 'Passion Flowers.' Read from this and recited from the other. Had great pleasure in doing this, albeit under difficulties. Finished second 'Tribune' letter and sent it."

Back at the Valley, she plunges once more into Fichte; long hours of study, varied by picnics and sailing parties.

"To church at St. Mary's. X. preached. The beginning of his sermon was liberal, – the latter half sentimental and sensational. 'The love of Christ constraineth us,' but he dwelt far too much on the supposition of a personal and emotional relation between the soul and Christ. It is Christian doctrine interpreted by human sympathy that reclaims us. Christ lives in his doctrine, influences us through that, and his historical personality. All else is myth and miracle. What Christ is to-day ideally we may be able to state, of what he is really, Mr. X. knows no more than I do, and I know nothing.

"Stayed to Communion, which was partly pleasant. But the Episcopal Communion struck me as dismal, compared to our own. It is too literal and cannibalistic; – the symbolism of the eating and drinking is too little made out. Our Unitarian Communion is a feast of joy. The blessedness of Christ's accomplishment swallows up the sorrow of his sacrifice. We have been commemorating the greatest act and fact of human history, the initiation of the gentler morals of the purer faith. We are glad, – not trivially, but solemnly, and our dear Master is glad with us, but not as if he aimed a direct personal influence at each one of us. This is too human and small a mode of operation.

"He is there for us as the sun is there and the brightness of his deed and doctrine penetrates the recesses of our mind and consciousness. But that he knows each one of us cannot and need not be affirmed.

  'The moon looks
   On many brooks:
The brook can see no moon but this.'

So that we see him, it matters not whether he sees us or no.

"Spinoza's great word; – if we love God, we shall not trouble ourselves about his loving us."

"I yesterday spoke to Joseph Coggeshall, offering to give a reading at the schoolhouse, in order to start a library fund. He appeared pleased with the idea. I proposed to ask .50 for each ticket."

"Chev suggests Europe. 'Je suis content du palazzo Pitti.'"

"I cannot study Fichte for more than forty-five minutes at a time. Reading him is not so bad as translating, which utterly overpowers my brain, although I find it useful in comprehending him."

"I begin to doubt the availability of Fichte's methods for me. I become each day more dispirited over him. With the purest intention he is much less of an ethicist than Kant. These endless refinements in rationale of the ego confuse rather than enlighten the moral sense. Where the study of metaphysics becomes de-energizing, it becomes demoralizing. Subtlety used in a certain way unravels confusion, in a certain other way produces it. Kant unwinds the silk-worm's web, but Fichte tangles the skein of silk, – at least so it seems to me.

"Spent most of the afternoon in preparing for a tea party, cutting peaches and preparing bread and butter."

"Read 11th and 12th chapters of Mark in the Valley. At some moments one gets a clearer and nearer perception of the thought and personality of Christ than that which we commonly carry with us."

Early in October came the move "home to Boylston Place, leaving the Valley with great regret, but feeling more the importance of being with the children, as I draw nearer to them."

Our mother had remained after the rest of us, to close the house. In Boston she had the great pleasure of welcoming to this country her nephew, Francis Marion Crawford, then a boy of twelve years. Born and bred in Rome, a beautiful and petted child, he was now to learn to be an American schoolboy. She took him herself to St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire; and for a year or two he spent most of his holidays with us, to the delight of us all.

In this autumn of 1866 she undertook a new task, of which the first mention in the Journal reads: "I will here put the names of some writers of stories whom I may employ for the magazine."

A list of writers follows: and the next day she writes: "I saw J. R. Gilmour and agreed with him to do editorial service for thirty dollars per week for three months."

This magazine was the "Northern Lights." The first number appeared in January, 1867. It contained two articles by Mrs. Howe: the "Salutation" and a thoughtful poem called "The Two R's" (Rachel and Ristori). Later, we find her in the "Sittings of the Owl Club," making game of the studies she loved.

    This owl went to Germany,
      This owl stayed at home;
    This owl read Kant and Fichte,
      This owl read none.
This owl said To-whit! I can't understand
        the dogmatic categorical!"

The "Northern Lights" gleam fitfully in the Journal.

"October 26. To write Henry James for story, Charles T. Brooks for sketches of travel. Saw and talked with Gilmour, who confuses my mind."

"October 29. Chev went with me to Ristori's début, which was in Medea."

"November 3. All of these days have been busy and interrupted. Maggi 63 has been reading Ristori's plays in my parlor every day this week and my presence has been compulsory. I have kept on with Fichte whose 'Sittenlehre ' I have nearly finished. Have copied one or two poems, written various letters in behalf of the magazine, have seen Ristori thrice on the stage and once in private."

"November 10. Finished copying and correcting my editorial for the first number of my weekly. Finished also Fichte's 'Sittenlehre ' for whose delightful reading I thank God, praying never to act quite unworthily of its maxims."

"November 11. Called on Mrs. Charles Sumner, and saw both parties, who were very cordial and seemed very happy."

"November 15. Crackers, .25, eggs, .43, rosewater for Frank Crawford, .48. Very weary and overdone. The twelve apostles shall judge the twelve tribes in that the Christian doctrine judges the Jews.

"I lead a weary life of hurry and interruption."

"November 18. Weary hearts must, I think, be idle hearts, for it is cheery even to be overworked. My studies and experience have combined to show me the difficulty of moral attainment, but both have made me feel that with every average human being there is a certain possible conjunction of conviction, affection, and personality which, being effected, the individual will see the reality of the ethical aspects of life and the necessary following of happiness upon a good will and its strenuous prosecution.

"I began Fichte's 'Wissenschaftslehre ' two or three days ago.

"Gave a small party to Baron Osten Sacken.... Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must, makes the difference between the beggar and the thief."

"November 26. Very unwell; a good day's work; nevertheless."

"November 27. Better. Last week was too fatiguing for a woman of my age. I cannot remember my forty-seven years, and run about too much. The oratorio should, I fear, be given up."

"December 8. I came in from Lexington last night after the reading 64 in an open buggy with a strange driver, a boy of eighteen, who when we were well under way showed me a pistol, – a revolver, I think, – and said that he never travelled at night without one. As the boy's very face was unknown to me, the whole adventure seemed bizarre. He brought me home to my own house.... Am writing on 'Representation.'...Man asks nothing so much as to be helped to self-control."

"December 9. Heard J. F. C. as usual. 'She hath done what she could' – a good text for me at this moment. Independently of ambition, vanity, pride, – all of which prompt all of us, I feel that I must do what my hand finds to do, taking my dictation and my reward from sources quite above human will and approbation."

"December 19.... Vicomte de Chabreuil came. We had a long, and to me, splendid, conversation. Were I young this person would occupy my thoughts somewhat. Very intelligent, simple, and perfectly bred, also a rosso, – a rare feature in a Frenchman."

"December 27. Let me live until to-morrow, and not be ridiculous! I have a dinner party and an evening party to-day and night, and knowing myself to be a fool for my pains, am fain to desire that others may not find it out and reproach me as they discover it.

"Got hold of Fichte a little which rested my weary brain.

"My party proved very pleasant and friendly."

"December 29.... I read last night at the Club a poem, 'The Rich Man's Library,' which contrasts material and mental wealth, much to the disparagement of the former. I felt as if I ought to read it, having inwardly resolved never again to disregard that inner prompting which leaves us no doubt as to the authority of certain acts which present themselves to us for accomplishment. Having read the poem, however, I felt doubtful whether after all I had done well to read it in that company. I will hope, however, that it may prove not to have been utterly useless. The imperfection of that which we try to do well sometimes reacts severely upon us and discourages us from further effort. It should not."

"December 31. Ran about all day, but studied and wrote also.

"Farewell, old Diary, farewell, old Year! Good, happy and auspicious to me and mine, and to mankind, I prayed that you might be, and such I think you have been. To you have brought valued experience and renewed study. You have introduced me to Fichte, you have given me the honor of a new responsibility, you have made me acquainted with some excellent personages, among them Baron McKaye, a youth of high and noble nature; Perabo, an artist of real genius.... You have taught me new lessons of the true meaning and discipline of life, – the which should make me more patient in all endurance, more strenuous in all endeavor. You have shown me more clearly the line of demarcation between different talents, pursuits, and characters. So I thank and bless your good days, looking to the Supreme from whom we receive all things. The most noticeable events of the year just passed, so far as I am concerned, are the following: the invitation received by me to read at the Century Club in New York. This reading was hindered by the death of my brother-in-law, J. N. Howe. The death of dear Uncle John. My journey to Washington to get Chev the Greek appointment. Gurowski's death. Attendance at the American Academy of Science at Northampton in August. The editorship of the new weekly. My study of Fichte's 'Sittenlehre ' and the appearance of my essay on the 'Ideal State' in the 'Christian Examiner.' My reading at Lexington for the Monument Association. My being appointed a delegate from the Indiana Place Church to the Boston Conference of Unitarian and other Christian Churches. My readings at Northampton, Washington, and elsewhere are all set down in their place. The bitter opposition of my family renders this service a very difficult and painful one for me. I do not, therefore, seek occasions of performing it, not being quite clear as to the extent to which they ought to limit my efficiency; but when the word and the time come together I always try to give the one to the other and always shall. God instruct whichever of us is in the wrong about this. And may God keep mean and personal passions far removed from me in the coming years. The teaching of life has of late done much to wean me from them, but the true human requires culture and the false human suppression every day of our lives and as long as we live."


CHAPTER XII

GREECE AND OTHER LANDS

1867; aet. 48

 

OUR COUNTRY

On primal rocks she wrote her name,
Her towers were reared on holy graves;
The golden seed that bore her came
Swift-winged with prayer o'er ocean waves.

The Forest bowed his solemn crest,
And open flung his sylvan doors;
Meek Rivers led the appointed Guest
To clasp the wide-embracing shores;

Till, fold by fold, the broidered Land
To swell her virgin vestments grew,
While Sages, strong in heart and hand,
Her virtue's fiery girdle drew.

O Exile of the wrath of Kings!
O Pilgrim Ark of Liberty!
The refuge of divinest things,
Their record must abide in thee.

First in the glories of thy front
Let the crown jewel Truth be found;
Thy right hand fling with generous wont
Love's happy chain to farthest bound.

Let Justice with the faultless scales
Hold fast the worship of thy sons,
Thy commerce spread her shining sails
Where no dark tide of rapine runs.

So link thy ways to those of God,
So follow firm the heavenly laws,
That stars may greet thee, warrior-browed,
And storm-sped angels hail thy cause.

O Land! The measure of our prayers,
Hope of the world, in grief and wrong!
Be thine the blessing of the years,
The gift of faith, the crown of song.

J. W. H.

IN January, 1867, a new note is sounded.

"In the evening attended meeting in behalf of Crete, at which Chev presided and spoke. Excellent as to matter, but always with a defective elocution, not sending his voice out. He was much and deservedly glorified by other speakers, and, indeed, his appearance on this occasion was most touching and interesting. Phillips was very fine; Huntington was careful, polished, and interesting. Andrew read the resolutions, with a splendid compliment to Chev."

Some months before this, in August, 1866, the Cretans had risen against their Turkish oppressors, and made a valiant struggle for freedom. From the first the Doctor had been deeply interested in the insurrection; now, as reports came of the sufferings of the brave mountaineers, and of their women and children, who had been sent to the mainland for safety, he felt impelled to help them as he had helped their fathers forty years before.

He was sixty-six years old, but looked much younger. When, at the first meeting called by him, he rose and said, "Forty-five years ago I was much interested in the Greek Revolution," the audience was amazed. His hair was but lightly touched with silver; his eyes were as bright, his figure as erect and martial, as when, in 1826, he had fought and marched under the Greek banner, and slept under the Greek stars, wrapped in his shaggy capote.

His appeal in behalf of Crete roused the ever-generous heart of Boston. Committees were formed, and other meetings were held, among them that just described. Governor Andrew's "splendid compliment" to him was given thus:–

"I venture, Mr. Chairman, to make one single suggestion – that if all of us were dumb to-night, if the eloquent voices which have stimulated our blood and inspired our hearts had been silent as the tomb, your presence, sir, would have been more eloquent than a thousand orations; when we remember that after the life-time of a whole generation of men, he who forty years ago bared his arm to seize the Suliote blade, speaks again with the voice of his age in defense of the cause of his youth."

Thirty-seven thousand dollars were raised for Crete, and in March, 1867, Dr. Howe sailed again for Greece on an errand of mercy. The Journal gives an outline of the busy winter:–

"The post is the poor man's valet...."

"January 12. A busy and studious day; had the neighbors in after tea. Want clamors for relief, but calls for cure, which begins in discipline...."

"January 24. N. P. Willis's funeral. Chev came home quite suddenly and asked me to go with him to the church, St. Paul's. The pallbearers were Longfellow, Drs. Holmes and Howe, Whipple and Fields, T. B. Aldrich and I don't know who. Coffin covered with flowers. Appearance of the family interesting; the widow bowed and closely shrouded. Thus ends a man of perhaps first-rate genius, ruined by the adoption of an utterly frivolous standard of labor and of life. George IV and Bulwer have to answer for some of these failures.

"My tea party was delightful, friendly, not fashionable. We had a good talk, and a lovely, familiar time.

"Heard J. F. C. Took my dear Francesco [Marion Crawford] at his request, with great pleasure, feeling that he would find there a living Jesus immortal in influence, instead of the perfumed and embalmed mummy of orthodoxy....

"Of that which is not clear one cannot have a clear idea. My reading in Fichte to-day is of the most confused."

"February 7. Chev came dancing in to tell me that Flossy is engaged to David Hall. His delight knew no bounds. I am also pleased, for David is of excellent blood, the Halls being first-rate people and with no family infirmity (insanity or blindness). My only regret is that it must prove a long engagement, David being a very young lawyer."

"February 14. All's up, as I feared, with 'Northern Lights' in its present form. Gilmour proposes to go to New York and to change its form and character to that of a weekly newspaper. I of course retire from it and, indeed, despite my title of editor, have been only a reader of manuscripts and contributor – nothing more. I have not had power of any sort to make engagements."

The tenth number of "Northern Lights" was also the last, and we hear no more of the ill-fated magazine.

The Journal says nothing of the proposed trip to Greece, until February 15:–

"I had rather die, it seems to me, than decide wrongly about going to Europe and leaving the children. And yet I am almost sure I shall do so. Chev clearly wishes me to go.... Whether I go or stay, God help me to make the best of it. My desire to help Julia is a strong point in favor of the journey. It would be, I think, a turning-point for her."

Later she writes:–

"Chev has taken our passage in the Asia, which sails on the 13th proximo. So we have the note of preparation, and the prospect of change and separation makes us feel how happy we have been, in passing this whole winter together."

The remaining days were full of work of every kind. She gave readings here and there in aid of the Cretans.

"Ran about much: saw Miss Rogers's deaf pupils at Mrs. Lamson's, very interesting.... For the first time in three days got a peep at Fichte. Finished Jesse's 'George the Third.'

"Went to Roxbury to read at Mrs. Harrington's for the benefit of the Cretans. It was a literary and musical entertainment. Tickets, one dollar. We made one hundred dollars. My poems were very kindly received. Afterwards, in great haste, to Sophia Whitwell's, 65 where I received a great ovation, all members greeting me most affectionately. Presently Mr. [Josiah] Quincy, with some very pleasant and complimentary remarks on Dr. Howe and myself, introduced Mrs. Silsbee's farewell verses to me, which were cordial and feeling. Afterwards I read my valedictory verses, strung together in a very headlong fashion, but just as well liked as though I had bestowed more care upon them. A bouquet of flowers crowned the whole, really a very gratifying occasion."

"March 13. Departure auspicious. Dear Maud, Harry, and Flossy on board to say farewell, with J. S. Dwight, H. P. Warner, and other near friends. Many flowers; the best first day at sea I ever passed."

Julia and Laura were the happy two chosen to join this expedition, the other children staying with relatives and friends. From first to last the journey was one of deepest interest. The Journal keeps a faithful record of sight-seeing, which afterward took shape in a volume, "From the Oak to the Olive," published in 1868, and dedicated "To S. G. H., the strenuous champion of Greek liberty and of human rights."

It is written in the light vein of "A Trip to Cuba." In the first chapter she says: "The less we know about a thing, the easier it is to write about it. To give quite an assured and fluent account of a country, we should lose no time on our first arrival. The first impression is the strongest. Familiarity constantly wears off the edge of observation. The face of the new country astonishes us once, and once only."

Though much that she saw during this trip was already familiar to her, there is no lack of strength in the impression. She sees things with new eyes; the presence of "the neophytes," as she calls the daughters, gives an atmosphere of "first sight" to the whole.

In London, she finds "the old delightful account reopened, the friendly visits frequent, and the luxurious invitations to dinner occupy every evening of our short week."

"London. Lunch with the Benzons, whose palatial residence moved me not to envy. This seems an idle word, but I like to record my satisfaction in a simple, unencumbered life, without state of any kind, save my pleasant relations and my good position in my own country. Mrs. Benzon asked me to come alone to dinner in the evening. First, however, I called upon Arthur Mills at Hyde Park Gardens; then upon Mrs. Ambassadress Adams, who was quite cordial; then in frantic hurry home to dress. At Benzon's I met Robert Browning, a dear and sacred personage, dear for his own and his wife's sake. He sat next me at table and by and by spoke very kindly of my foolish verses 66 about himself and E. B. B. I mean he spoke of them with magnanimity. Of course my present self would not publish, nor I hope write, anything of the kind, but I launched the arrow in the easy petulance of those days, more occupied with its force and polish than with its direction."

"To Lady Stanley's 5 o'clock tea, where I met her daughter Lady Amberley and Sir Samuel Baker, the explorer of the sources of the Nile. Dined with the Benzons, meeting Browning again."

"Tea with Miss Cobbe. Met the Lyells. Dined with Males family, Greek, – a most friendly occasion. Afterwards went for a short time to Mrs. —, a very wealthy Greek widow, who received us very ill. Heard there Mr. Ap Thomas, a Welch harper who plays exceedingly well. The pleasure of hearing him scarcely compensated for Mrs. —'s want of politeness, which was probably not intentional. Saw there Sir Samuel and Lady Baker, the latter wore an amber satin tunic over a white dress, and a necklace of lion's teeth."

"April 5. Breakfast with Mr. Charles Dalrymple at 2 Clarges Street, where we met Mr. Grant Duff, Baron McKaye, and others. Tea at Lady Trevelyan's, where I was introduced to Dean Stanley of Westminister.... and young Milman, son of the Reverend H. M. Lady Stanley was Lady Augusta Bruce, a great favorite of the Queen. Dined at Argyll Lodge, found the Duchess serene and friendly; the Duke seemed hard and sensible, Lord Lorne, the eldest son, very pleasant, and Hon. Charles Howard and son most amiable, with more breeding, I should say, than the Duke. Chev was the hero of this occasion; the Duchess always liked him."

During this brief week, the Doctor had been in close communication with the Greeks of London, who one and all were eager to welcome him, and to bid him Godspeed on his errand. His business transacted, he felt that he must hurry on toward Greece. Some stay must be made in Rome, where our Aunt Louisa (now Mrs. Luther Terry) was anxiously expecting the party; but even this tie of affection and friendship could not keep the Doctor long from his quest. On May 1 he and Julia went to Greece, the others remaining for some weeks in Italy.

Sixteen years had passed since our mother's last visit to Rome. She found some changes in the city, but more vital ones in herself.

"I left Rome," she says, "after those days, with entire determination, but with infinite reluctance. America seemed the place of exile, Rome the home of sympathy and comfort.... And now I must confess that, after so many intense and vivid pages of life, this visit to Rome, once a theme of fervent and solemn desire, becomes a mere page of embellishment in a serious and instructive volume."

Here follows a disquistion on "the Roman problem for the American thinker"; the last passage gives her conclusion:–

"A word to my countrymen and countrywomen, who, lingering on the edge of the vase, are lured by its sweets, and fall into its imprisonment. It is a false, false superiority to which you are striving to join yourself. A prince of puppets is not a prince, but a puppet; a superfluous duke is no dux; a titular count does not count. Dresses, jewels, and equipages of tasteless extravagance; the sickly smile of disdain for simple people; the clinging together, by turns eager and haughty, of a clique that becomes daily smaller in intention, and whose true decline consists in its numerical increase – do not dream that these lift you in any true way – in any true sense. For Italians to believe that it does, is natural; for Englishmen to believe it, is discreditable; for Americans, disgraceful."

The Terrys were at this time living in Palazzo Odescalchi. Our mother observes that "the whole of my modest house in Boylston Place would easily, as to solid contents, lodge in the largest of those lofty rooms. The Place itself would equally lodge in the palace. I regard my re-found friends with wonder, and expect to see them execute some large and stately manoeuvre, indicating their possession of all this space."

It was Holy Week when they arrived in Rome, and she was anxious that the "neophytes" should see as much as possible of its impressive ceremonies. She took them to St. Peter's to see the washing of the pilgrims' feet by noble Roman ladies, and to hear the "Miserere" in the Sistine Chapel. These functions are briefly chronicled in the Journal and more fully in "From the Oak to the Olive."

"Solid fact as the performance of the functions remains, for us it assumes a forcible unreality, through the impeding intervention of black dresses and veils, with what should be women under them. But as these creatures push like battering-rams, and caper line he-goats, we shall prefer to adjourn the question of their humanity, and to give it the benefit of a doubt. We must expect, however, our countrywomen from dear Boston, who were not seen otherwise than decently and in order."

A vivid description follows of the ceremonies of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, ending with the illumination of St. Peter's.

"A magical and unique spectacle it certainly is, with the well-known change from the paper lanterns to the flaring lampions. Costly is it of human labor, and perilous to human life. And when I remember that those employed in it receive the sacrament beforehand, in order that imminent death may not find them out of a state of grace, I thought that its beauty did not so much signify."

In the Journal she writes, April 19, "It is the golden calf of old which has developed into the papal bull."

At a concert she saw the Abbé Liszt, "whose vanity and desire to attract attention were most apparent."

Though the sober light of middle age showed Rome less magical than of old, yet the days were full of delight.

"In these scarce three weeks," she cries, "how much have we seen, how little recorded and described! So sweet has been the fable, that the intended moral has passed like an act in a dream – a thing of illusion and intention, not of fact. Impotent am I, indeed, to describe the riches of this Roman world, – its treasures, its pleasures, its flatteries, its lessons. Of so much that one receives, one can give again but the smallest shred, – a leaf of each flower, a scrap of each garment, a proverb for a sermon, a stave for a song. So be it; so, perhaps, it is best."

"Last Sunday I attended a Tombola at Piazza Navona.... I know the Piazza of old. Sixteen years since I made many a pilgrimage thither, in search of Roman trash. I was not then past the poor amusement of spending money for the sake of spending it. The foolish things I brought home moved the laughter of my little Roman public. I appeared in public with some forlorn brooch or dilapidated earring; the giddy laughed outright, and the polite gazed quietly. My rooms were the refuge of all broken-down vases and halting candelabra. I lived on the third floor of a modest lodging, and all the wrecks of art that neither first, second, nor fourth would buy, found their way into my parlor, and stayed there at my expense. I recall some of these adornments to-day. Two heroes, in painted wood, stood in my dark little entry. A gouty Cupid in bas-relief encumbered my mantlepiece. Two forlorn figures in black and white glass recalled the auction whose unlucky prize they had been. And Horace Wallace, coming to talk of art and poetry, on my red sofa, sometimes saluted me with a paroxysm of merriment, provoked by the sight of my last purchase. Those days are not now. Of their accumulations I retain but a fragment or two. Of their delights remain a tender memory, a childish wonder at my own childishness. To-day, in heathen Rome, I can find better amusement than those shards and rags were ever able to represent."

On May 26 she writes in her Journal:–

"I remembered the confusion of my mind when I was here sixteen years ago and recognized how far more than equivalent for the vivacity of youth, now gone, is the gain of a steadfast standard of good and happiness. To desire supremely ends which are incompatible with no one's happiness and which promote the good of all – this even as an ideal is a great gain from the small and eager covetousness of personal desires. Religion gives this steadfast standard whose pursuit is happiness. Therefore let him who seeks religion be glad that he seeks the only true good of which, indeed, we constantly fail, and yet in seeking it are constantly renewed.... Studios of Mozier and of Rogers – the former quite full. Both have considerable skill, neither has genius. The statues of Miss Hosmer are marble silences – they have nothing to say."

Greece was before her. On June 17 the Journal says:–

"Acroceraunian mountains, shore of Albania. Nothing strikes me – I have been struck till I am stricken down. Sirocco and head wind – vessel laboring with the sea, I with Guizot's 'Meditations,' which also have some head wind in them. They seem to me inconclusive in statement and commonplace in thought, yet presenting some facts of interest. A little before 2 P.M. we passed Fano, the island on which Calypso could not console herself, and no wonder. At 2 we enter the channel of Corfù."

At Corfù a Turkish pacha came on board with his harem, to our lively interest. The Journal gives every observable detail of the somewhat squalid ménage, from the pacha's lilac trousers down to the dress of his son and heir, a singularly dirty baby. She remarks that "An Irish servant's child in Boston, got up for Sunday, looks far cleaner and better."

The pacha looked indolent and good-natured, and sent coffee to her before she disembarked at Syra. Here she was met by Mr. Evangelides, the "Christy" of her childhood, the Greek boy befriended by her father. He was now a prosperous man in middle life, full of affectionate remembrance of the family at 16 Bond Street, and of gratitude to "dear Mr. Ward." He welcomed her most cordially, and introduced her not only to the beauties of Syra, but to its principal inhabitants, the governor of the Cyclades, the archbishop, and Doctor Hahn, the scientist and antiquary. She conversed with the archbishop in German.

"He deplored the absence of a state religion in America. I told him that the progress of religion in our country seemed to establish the fact that society attains the best religious culture through the greatest religious liberty. He replied that the members should all be united under one head. 'Yes,' said I, 'but the Head is invisible'; and he repeated after me, 'Indeed, the Head is invisible.' I will here remark that nothing could have been more refreshing to the New England mind than this immediate introduction to the theological opinions of the East."

A few hours later his Grace returned the visit, seeking in his turn, it would appear, the refreshment of a new point of view.

"We resumed our conversation of the morning, and the celibacy of the clerical hierarchy came next in order in our discussion. The father was in something of a strait between the Christian dignification of marriage and its ascetic depreciation. The arrival of other visitors forced us to part, with this interesting point still unsettled."

Arrived in Athens, the travellers found the "veteran" (as the Doctor is called throughout her book) in full tide of work. The apartment in the pleasant hotel swarmed with dark-eyed patriots, with Cretan refugees, with old men who had known "Xaos" in the brave days of old, with young men eager to see and greet the old Philhellene. Among the latter came Michael Anagnostopoulos, who was to become his secretary, and later his son-in-law and his successor at the Perkins Institution for the Blind. The ladies of Athens came too, full of hospital feeling. There were visits, deputations, committee meetings, all day long, and in the evening parties and receptions.

Spite of all this, her first impression of Athens was melancholy. She was oppressed and depressed at sight of the havoc wrought by Time and war upon monuments that should have been sacred. Speaking of the Parthenon, she exclaims:-

"And Pericles caused it to be built; and this, his marble utterance, is now a lame sentence, with half its sense left out...."

"Here is the Temple of Victory. Within are the bas-reliefs of the Victories arriving in the hurry of their glorious errands. Something so they tumbled in upon us when Sherman conquered the Carolinas, and Sheridan the Valley of the Shenandoah, when Lee surrendered, and the glad President went to Richmond. One of these Victories is untying her sandal, in token of permanent abiding. Yet all of them have trooped away long since, scared by the hideous havoc of barbarians. And the bas-reliefs, their marble shadows, have all been battered and mutilated into the saddest mockery of their original tradition. The statue of Wingless Victory, that stood in the little temple, has long been absent and unaccounted for. But the only Victory that the Parthenon now can seize or desire is this very Wingless Victory, the triumph of a power that retreats not – the power of Truth.

"I give heed to all that is told me in a dreary and desolate manner. It is true, no doubt, – this was, and this, and this; but what I see is, none the less, emptiness, – the broken eggshell of a civilization which Time has hatched and devoured. And this incapacity to reconstruct the past goes with me through most of my days in Athens. The city is so modern, and its circle so small! The trumpeters who shriek around the Theseum in the morning, the café-keeper who taxes you for a chair beneath the shadow of the Olympian columns, the custode who hangs about to see that you do not break the broken marbles further, or carry off their piteous fragments, all of these are significant of modern Greece; but the ruins have nothing to do with it.

"Poor as these relics are, in comparison with what one would wish them to be, they are still priceless. This Greek marble is the noblest in descent; it needs no eulogy. These forms have given the models for a hundred familiar and commonplace works, which caught a little gleam of their glory, squaring to shapeliness some town-house of the West, or Southern bank or church. So well do we know them in the prose of modern design that we are startled at seeing them transfigured in the poetry of their own conception. Poor old age! poor old columns!"

There was a colony of Cretan refugees at Nauplia, another at Argos, both in dire need of food and clothing. The Doctor asked the Government for a steamer, and received the Parados, in which he promptly embarked with wife, daughters, and supplies, and sailed for Nauplia.

The travelling library of this expedition was reduced to "a copy of Machiavelli's 'Principe,' a volume of Muir's 'Greece,' and a Greek phrase-book on Ollendorff's principle." Our mother also took some worsted work, but she suffered such lively torment from the bites of mosquitoes and sand-fleas on her hands and wrists that she could make little use of this. To one recalling the anguish of this visitation, it seems amazing that she could even write in her Journal; indeed, the entries, though tolerably regular, are brief and condensed.

"June 24.... We arrived in the harbor of Nauplia by 7 P.M.... Crowd in the street. Bandit's head just cut off and brought in. We go to the prefect's house, ...he offers us his roof – sends out for mattress.... I mad with my mosquito bites. Mattresses on the floor. We women lie down four in a row, very thankfully...."

At the fortress of Nauplia, she was deeply touched by the sight of a band of prisoners waiting, in an inner court, for the death to which they had been condemned.

"'Do not pity them, madam!' said the major; 'they have all done deeds worthy of death.'

"But how not to pity them," she cries, "when they and we are made of the same fragile human stuff, that corrupts so easily to crime, and is always redeemable, if society would only afford the costly process of redemption!

"As I looked at them, I was struck by a feeling of their helplessness. What is there in the world so helpless as a disarmed criminal? No inner armor has he to beat back the rude visiting of society; no secure soul-citadel, where scorn and anger cannot reach him. He has thrown away the jewel of his manhood; human law crushes its empty case. But the final Possessor and Creditor is unseen."

After Nauplia came Argos, where the Cretan refugees were gathered in force. Here the travellers had the great pleasure of helping to clothe the half-naked women and children. Many of the garments had been made by Florence and her young friends in their sewing circle; the book recalls "how the little maidens took off their feathery bonnets and dainty gloves, wielding the heavy implements of cutting, and eagerly adjusting the arms and legs, the gores and gathers! With patient pride the mother trotted off to the bakery, that a few buns might sustain these strenuous little cutters and sewers, whose tongues, however active over the charitable work, talked, we may be sure, no empty nonsense nor unkind gossip. For charity begins indeed at home, in the heart, and, descending to the fingers, rules also the rebellious member whose mischief is often done before it is meditated. At sight of these well-made garments a little swelling of the heart seized us, with the love and pride of remembrance so dear."

The Journal describes briefly the distribution among the Cretans, "some extremely bare and ragged, with suffering little children. Our calico skirts and sacks made a creditable appearance. We gave with as much judgment as the short time permitted. Each name was called by a list, and as they came in we hastily selected garments: the dresses, however, gave out before we had quite finished.... Ungrateful old woman, who wanted a gown and would hardly take a chemise. Meddlesome lady of the neighborhood bringing in her favorites out of order."

Generous as the supplies from America were, they did not begin to meet the demand. After visiting Crete (in spite – perhaps partly because – of the fact that a high price was set on his head) and the various colonies of refugees, the Doctor felt that further aid must be obtained. Accordingly, the journeyings of the little party after leaving Greece were for the most part only less hurried than the earlier ones, the exception being a week of enchantment spent in Venice, awaiting the Doctor, who had been called back to Athens at the moment of departure.

The Journal tells of Verona, Innsbrück, Munich. Then came flying glimpses of Switzerland, with a few days' rest at Geneva, where she had the happiness of meeting her sister once more; finally, Paris and the Exposition of 1867.

After a visit to Napoleon's tomb, she writes: "Spent much of the afternoon in beginning a piece of tapestry after a Pompeiian pattern copied by me on the spot."

Worsted work was an unfailing accompaniment of her journeyings in those days; indeed, until age and weariness came upon her, she never failed to have some piece of work on hand. When her eyes could no longer compass cross-stitch embroidery, she amused herself with knitting, or with "hooking" small rugs.

Her sketchbook was another resource while travelling. She had no special talent for drawing, but took great pleasure in it, and was constantly making pencil sketches of persons and things that interested her. We even find patterns of Pompeiian mosaic or of historic needlework reproduced in the Journal.

From Paris the travellers hurried to Belgium, and after a glance at Brussels, spent several days in Antwerp with great contentment. Both here and in Brussels she had been much interested in the beautiful lace displayed on every hand. She made several modest purchases, not without visitings of conscience.

"I went to the Cathedral.... I saw to-day the Elevation of the Cross [Rubens] to special advantage. As I stood before it, I felt lifted for a moment above the mean and foolish pleasures of shopping, etc., on which I have of late dwelt so largely. The heroic face before me said, "You cannot have those and these, cannot have Christian elevation with heathen triviality.' That moment showed me what a picture can do. I hope I shall remember it, though I do plead guilty of late to an extraordinary desire for finery of all sorts. It is as if I were going home to play the part of Princess in some great drama, which is not at all likely to be the case."

Yet the same day she went to the beguinage and bought "Flossy's wedding hdkf, 22 frc – lace scarf, 3 fr., piece of edging, 4 fr."

Among the notabilities of Antwerp in those days was Charles Félu, the armless painter. He was to be seen every day in the museum, copying the great masters with skill and fidelity. He interested the Doctor greatly, and the whole party made acquaintance with him. A letter from one of them describes the meeting with this singular man:–

"As we were looking round at the pictures, I noted a curious painting arrangement. There was a platform raised about a foot above the floor, with two stools, one in front of the other, and an easel. Presently the artist entered. The first thing he did, on stepping on the platform, was to kick off his shoes. He then seated himself (Heaven knows how) on one stool and placed his feet in front of him on the other, close before the easel. I was surprised to see that his stockings had no toes to them. But my surprise was much greater when I saw him take the palette in one foot and the brush in the other, and begin to paint. The nicety with which he picked out his brushes, rubbed the paints, erased with his great toe, etc., was a mystery to me.... In a few minutes he put his foot into his pocket, drew out a paper from which he took his card, and footed it politely to papa.... He shaves himself, plays billiards (and well, too), cards, and dominoes, cuts up his meat and feeds himself, etc."

"October 1. By accident went to the same hotel [in Bruges] to which I went twenty-four years ago, a bride. I recognized a staircase with a balustrade of swans each holding a stiff bulrush in its mouth.... Made a little verse thereupon."

From Belgium the way led to London; thence, after a brief and delightful visit to the Bracebridges at Atherstone, to Liverpool, where the China awaited her passengers. The voyage was long and stormy, thirteen days: the Journal speaks chiefly of its discomforts; but on the second Sunday we read: "X. preached a horrible sermon – stood up and mocked at philosophy in good English and bad Christianity. He failed alike of satire and of sense, and talked like a small Pharisee of two thousand years ago. 'Not much like the Sermon on the Mount,' quoth I; not theology enough to stand examination at Andover. Bluejackets in a row, unedified, as were most of us."

On October 25 the travellers landed in Boston, thankful to be again on firm land, and to see the family unit once more complete.

"The dear children came on board to greet us – all well, and very happy at our return."

Thus ends the story, seven months of wonder and of delight.

At her Club, soon after, she gave the following epitome of the trip, singing the doggerel lines to an improvised tune which matched them in absurdity:–

Oh! who were the people you saw, Mrs. Howe,
When you went where the Cretans were making a row?
Kalopathaki – Rodocanachi –
Paparipopoulos – Anagnostopoulos –
Nicolaïdes – Paraskevaïdes –
These were the people that saw Mrs. Howe
When she went where the Cretans were making a row.

Oh! what were the projects you made, Mrs. Howe,
When you went where the Cretans were making a row?
Emancipation – civilization – redintegration of a great nation,
Paying no taxes, grinding no axes –
Flinging the Ministers over the banisters,
These were the projects of good Mrs. Howe
When she went where the Cretans were making a row.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Oh! give us a specimen, dear Mrs. Howe,
Of the Greek that you learned and are mistress of now.
Potichomania – Mesopotamia.
Tatterdemalion – episcopalian –
Megalotherium – monster inferium –
Scoulevon – auctrion – infant phenomenon.
Kyrie ticamete – what's your calamity?
Pallas Athenae Aun,
Favors no Fenian.
Such is the language that learned Mrs. Howe,
In the speech of the Gods she is mistress of now.


CHAPTER XIII

CONCERNING CLUBS

1867-1871; aet. 48-52

 

"Behold," he said, "Life's great impersonate,
      Nourished by labor!
The gods are gone with old-time faith and fate;
      Here is thy Neighbor."

J. W. H. , "A New Sculptor."

AFTER such a rush of impression and emotion, the return to everyday life could not fail to bring about a corresponding drop in our mother's mental barometer. Vexations awaited her. The Boylston Place house had been let for a year, and – Green Peace being also let on a long lease – the reunited family took refuge for the winter in the "Doctor's Wing" of the Perkins Institution.

Again, an extremely unfavorable critique of "Later Lyrics" in a prominent review distressed her greatly; her health was more or less disturbed; above all, the sudden death of John A. Andrew, the beloved and honored friend of many years, saddened both her and the Doctor deeply.

All these things affected her spirits to some extent, so that the Journal for the remainder of 1867 is in a minor key.

"...In despair about the house...."

On hearing of the separation of Charles Sumner from his wife:–

"For men and women to come together is nature – for them to live together is art – to live well, high art."

"November 21. Melancholy, thinking that I did but poorly last evening [at a reading from her 'Notes on Travel' at the Church of the Disciples].... At the afternoon concert felt a savage and tearful melancholy, a profound friendlessness. In the whole large assembly I saw no one who would help me to do anything worthy of my powers and life-ideal. I have so dreamed of high use that I cannot decline to a life of amusement or of small occupation."

"...I believe in God, but am utterly weary of man."

After a disappointment:–

"...To church, where my mental condition speedily improved. Sermon on the Good Samaritan. Hymns and prayers all congenial and consoling. Felt much consoled and uplifted out of all petty discords and disappointments. A disappointment should be digested in patience, not vomited in spleen. Bitter morsels nourish the soul, not less perhaps than sweet. Thought of the following: Moral philosophy begins with the fact of accepting human life."

In November came a new interest which was to mean much to her.

"Early in town to attend the Free Religious Club. Weiss's essay was well written, but encumbered with illustrations rarely pertinent. It was neither religion, philosophy, nor cosmology, but a confusion of all three, showing the encyclopædic aim of his culture. It advocated the natural to the exclusion of the supernatural. Being invited to speak, I suggested real and ideal as a better antithesis for thought than natural and supernatural. Weiss did all that his method would allow. He is a man of parts. I cannot determine how much, but the Parkerian standard, or a similar one, has deformed his reasoning powers. He seeks something better than Christianity without having half penetrated the inner significance of that religion.

"Alcott spoke in the idealistic direction. Also Wasson very well. Lucretia Mott exceptionally well, a little rambling, but with truly womanly intuitions of taste and of morality."

This association of thinkers was afterwards known as the "Boston Radical Club." She has much to say about it in her "Reminiscences.:

"I did, indeed," she says, "hear at these meetings much that pained and even irritated me. The disposition to seek outside the limits of Christianity for all that is noble and inspiring in religious culture, and to recognize especially within these limits the superstition and intolerance which have been the bane of all religions – this disposition, which was frequently manifested both in the essays presented and in their discussion, offended not only my affections, but also my sense of justice....

"Setting this one point aside, I can but speak of the Club as a high congress of souls, in which many noble thoughts were uttered. Nobler than any special view or presentation was the general sense of the dignity of human character and of its affinity with things divine, which always gave the master tone to the discussions."

She says elsewhere of the Radical Club:–

"The really radical feature in it was the fact that the thoughts presented at its meetings had a root; were in that sense radical.... Here I have heard Wendell Phillips, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Weiss and James Freeman Clarke, Athanase Coquerel, the noble French Protestant preacher; William Henry Channing, worthy nephew of his great uncle; Colonel Higginson, Doctor Bartol, and many others. Extravagant things were sometimes said, no doubt, and the equilibrium of ordinary persuasion was not infrequently disturbed for a time. But the satisfaction of those present when a sound basis of thought was vindicated and established is indeed pleasant in remembrance...."

"To Dickens's second reading, which I enjoyed very much. The 'wreck' in 'David Copperfield' was finely given. His appearance is against success; the face is rather commonplace, seen at a distance, and very red if seen through a glass: the voice worn and blasé."

"...Club in the evening, at which my nonsense made people laugh, as I wished...."

"A little intoxicated with the pleasure of having made people laugh. A fool, however, can often do this better than a wise man. I look earnestly for a higher task. Yet innocent, intelligent laughter is not to be despised."

"Was taken with verses in church. They did not prove nearly as good as I had hoped...."

"Made three beds, to help Bridget, who had the washing alone. Read a difficult chapter in Fichte."

"Studied and worried as usual, – Fichte and Greek...."

"Have not been strenuous enough about the Cretan Fair...."

Any lack of strenuousness about the Cretan Fair was amply atoned for.

An "Appeal" was published, written by her and signed Julia Ward Howe, Emily Talbot, Sarah E. Lawrence, Caroline A. Mudge, and Abby W. May.

"What shall we say? They are a great way off, but they are starving and perishing, as none in our midst can starve and perish, and we Americans are among the few persons to whom they can look for help."

In this cry for aid we hear the voice of both parents. The response was cordial and generous. The fair was held in Easter Week, at the Boston Music Hall, and recalled on a smaller scale the glories of the war-time fairs. Of the great labor of preparation, the Journal gives a lively impression; and "speaking for Crete" was added to the other burdens borne by her and the Doctor.

She could not give up her studies; the entries for the winter of 1867-1868 are a curious mingling of Fichte and committees, with here and there a prayer for spiritual help and guidance, which shows her overwrought condition.

Another interest had come to her from the visit to Greece: the study of ancient Greek. Latin had been her lifelong friend, but she had always longed for the sister classic; now the time was ripe for it. She made a beginning in Athens, not only picking up a good deal of modern Greek, but attacking the ancient language with the aid of primer and phrase-book. A valuable teacher was at hand in Michael Anagnos, 67 who was aiding the Doctor as secretary, and preparing himself for the principal work of his life. Anagnos encouraged and assisted her in the new study, which became one of her greatest delights. She looked forward to a Greek lesson as girls do to a ball; in later life she was wont to say, "My Greek is my diamond necklace!"

"January 1, 1868. May I this year have energy, patience, good-will and good faith. May I be guilty of no treason against duty and my best self. May I acquire more system, order, and wisdom in the use of things. May I, if God wills, carry out some of my plans for making my studies useful to others. This is much to ask, but not too much of Him who giveth all."

"January 24. A dreadfully busy day. Meeting of General Committee on Cretan Fair.... Felt overcome with fatigue, and nervous and fretful, but I am quite sure that I do not rave as I used to do...."

"January 26. Some mental troubles have ended in a determination to hold fast till death the liberty wherewith Christ has made me free. The joyous belief that his doctrine of influences can keep me from all that I should most greatly dread, lifts me up like a pair of strong wings. 'I shall run and not be weary. I shall walk and not faint.' At church the first hymn contained this line:–

"'Her fathers' God before her moved' –
which quite impressed me, for my father's piety and the excellence of other departed relatives have always of late years been a support and pledge to me of my own good behavior."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"The thief's heart, the wanton's brow, may accompany high talent and geniality of temperament; but thanks be to God they need not."

"...Wished I could make a fine poetic picture of Paul preaching at Mars Hill. On the one side, the glittering statues and brilliant mythology – on the other, the simplicity of the Christian life and doctrine. But to-day no pictures came."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Got Anagnos to help me read two odes of Anacreon. This was a great pleasure."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Much business – no Greek lesson. I was feeble in mind and body, and brooded over the loss of the lesson in a silly manner. Habit is to me not second, but first nature, and I easily become mechanical and fixed in my routine.... I confess that to lay down Greek now would be to die, like Moses, in sight of the promised land. All my life I have longed for this language...."

"All of these days are mixed of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. I am pretty well content with my work, not as well with myself. I feel the need of earnest prayer and divine help...."

"I had been invited to read the essay to the Radical Religious Club on this day at 10 A.M. I asked leave for Anagnos and took him with me. My dæmon [Socratic] had told me to read 'Doubt and Belief,' so I chose this and read it. I find my dæmon justified. It seemed to have a certain fitness in calling forth discussion. Mr. Emerson first spoke very beautifully, then Mr. Alcott, these two sympathizing in my view. Wasson followed, a little off, but with a very friendly contrast.... Much of this talk was very interesting. It was all marked by power and sincerity, but Emerson and Alcott understood my essay better than the others except J. F. C. I introduced Anagnos to Emerson. I told him that he had seen the Olympus of New England. Thought of my dear lost son, dead in this house [13 Chestnut Street, where the meeting was held]. Anagnos is a dear son to me. I brought him home to dinner, and count this a happy day."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"I have heard the true word of God to-day from Frederick Hedge – a sermon on Love as the true bond of society, which lifted my weak soul as on the strong wings of a cherub. The immortal truths easily lost sight of in our everyday weakness and passion stood out to-day so strong and clear that I felt their healing power as if Christ had stood and touched my blinded eyes with his divine finger. So be it always! Esto perpetua! "

On April 13 the fair opened; a breathless week followed. She was much exhausted after it, but in a few days "began to rehearse for the Festival." 68

"After extreme depression, I begin to take heart a little. Almighty God help me!

"Greek lesson – rehearsal in the evening – choral symphony and Lobgesang."

During the summer of 1868 she had great pleasure in reading some of her essays at Newport, in the Unitarian Church. She notes in her "Reminiscences" that one lady kissed her after the reading, saying, "This is the way I want to hear women speak"; and that Mrs. P— S—, on hearing the words, "If God works, madam, you can afford to work also!" rose and went out, saying, "I won't listen to such stuff as this!"

The parlor readings brought her name into wider prominence. She began to receive invitations to read and speak in public.

Mr. Emerson wrote to her concerning her philosophical readings: "The scheme is excellent – to read thus – so new and rare, yet so grateful to all parties. It costs genius to invent our simplest pleasures."

The winter of 1867-1868 saw the birth of another institution which was to be of lifelong interest to her: the New England Woman's Club. This, one of the earliest of women's clubs, was organized on February 16, 1868, with Mrs. Caroline M. Severance, in whose mind the idea had first taken shape, as president. Its constitution announces the objects of the association as "primarily, to furnish a quiet, central resting-place, and place of meeting in Boston, for the comfort and convenience of its members; and ultimately to become an organized social centre for united thought and action."

How far the second clause has outdone and outshone the first, is known to all who know anything of the history of women's clubs. From the New England Woman's Club and it cousin Sorosis, founded a month later in New York, has grown the great network of clubs which, like a beneficent railway system of thought and good-will, penetrates every nook and corner of this country.

Our mother was one of the first vice-presidents of the Club, and from 1871 to her death in 1910, with two brief intervals, its president. Among all the many associations with which she was connected this was perhaps the nearest to her heart. "My dear Club!" no other organization brought such a tender ring to her voice. She never willingly missed a meeting; the monthly teas were among her great delights. The Journal has much to say about the Club; "a good meeting"; "a thoughtful, earnest meeting," are frequent entries. "Why!" she cried once, "we may be living in the Millennium without knowing it!"

In her "Reminiscences," after telling how she attended the initial meeting, and "gave a languid assent to the measure proposed,: she adds:–

"Out of this small beginning was gradually developed the plan of the New England Woman's Club, a strong and stately association, destined, I believe, to last for many years, and having behind it, at this time of my writing, a record of three decades of happy and acceptable service."

The Club movement was henceforth to be one of her widest interests. To thousands of elder women in the late sixties and early seventies it came like a new gospel of activity and service. They had reared their children and seen them take flight; moreover, they had fought through the war, their hearts in the field, their fingers plying needle and thread. They had been active in committees and commissions the country over; had learned to work with and beside men, finding joy and companionship and inspiration in such work. How could they go back to the chimney-corner life of the fifties? In answer to their question – an answer from Heaven, it seemed – came the women's clubs, with their opportunities for self-culture and for public service.

At first Society looked askance at the movement. What? Women's clubs? They would take women away from the Home, which was their Sphere! Shocking! Besides, it might make them Strong-Minded! Horrible! ("But," said J. W. H. , "I would rather be strong-minded than weak-minded!")

Possibly influenced in some measure by such plaints as these, the early clubs devoted themselves for the most part to study, and their range of activities was strictly limited and defined. This, however, could not last. The Doctor used to say, "You may as well refuse to let out the growing boy's trousers as refuse larger and larger liberty to his growing individuality!" Even so the club petticoats had to be lengthened and amplified.

Our mother, with all her love of study, realized that no individual or group of individuals must neglect the present with its living issues for any past, however beautiful. She threw her energies into widening the club horizon. "Don't tie too many nots in your constitution!" she would say to a young club; and then she would tell how Florence Nightingale cut the Gordian knots of red tape in the Crimea.

Did the constitution enforce such and such limits? Ah! but committees were not thus limited; let a committee be appointed, to do what the club could not! (This was what the Doctor called "whipping the devil round the stump!")

Many and many a reform had its beginning in one of those quiet Park Street rooms of the "N. E. W. C." "When I want anything in Boston remedied," said Edward Everett Hale, "I go down to the New England Woman's Club!"

When the General Federation of Women's Clubs was formed in 1892, our mother served on the board of directors for four years, and was then made an honorary vice-president. She was also president of the Massachusetts State Federation from 1893 to 1898, and thereafter honorary president.

Dr. Holmes once said to her, "Mrs. Howe, I consider you eminently clubable"; and he added that he himself was not. He told us why, when he adopted the title of "Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table." The most brilliant of talkers, he did not care to listen, as a good club member must. Now, she too loved talking, but perhaps she loved listening even more. No one who knew her in her later years can forget how intently she listened, how joyously she received information of any and every kind. She was never tired; she always wanted more. All human experience thrilled her; the choreman, the dressmaker, the postman, the caller; one and all, she hung on their words. After a half-hour with her, seeing her face alight with sympathy, her delicate lips often actually forming the words as he spoke them, the dullest person might go away on air, feeling himself a born raconteur. What she said once of Mr. Emerson, "He always came into a room as if he expected to receive more than he gave!" was true of herself.

To return to the clubs! At a biennial meeting of the General Federation in Philadelphia, she said: "What did the club life give me? Understanding of my own sex; faith in its moral and intellectual growth. Like so many others, I saw the cruel wrongs and vexed problems of our social life, but I did not know that hidden away in its own midst was a reserve force destined to give precious aid in the righting of wrongs, and in the solution of discords. In the women's clubs I found the immense power which sympathy exercises in bringing out the best aspirations of the woman nature.... To guard against dangers, we must do our utmost to uphold and keep in view the high object which has, in the first instance, called us together; and let this be no mere party catchword or cry, as East against West, or North against South. We can afford to meet as citizens of one common country, and to love and serve the whole as one."

She believed firmly in maintaining the privacy of club life. "The club is a larger home," she said, "and we wish to have the immunities and defences of home; therefore we do not wish the public present, even by its attorney, the reporter."

The three following years were important ones to the Howe family.

Lawton's Valley was sold, to our great and lasting grief: and – after a summer spent at Stevens Cottage near Newport – the Doctor bought the place now known as "Oak Glen," scarce half a mile from the Valley; a place to become only less dear to the family. No. 19 Boylston Place was also sold, and he bought No. 32 Mount Vernon Street, a sunny, pleasant house whose spacious rooms and tall windows recalled the Chestnut Street house, always regretted.

Here life circled ever faster and faster, fuller and fuller. Our father, though beginning to feel the weight of years, had not yet begun to "take in sail," but continued to pile labor on labor, adding the new while never abandoning the old. For our mother clubs, societies, studies were multiplying, while for both family cares and interests were becoming more and more complicated. The children were now mostly grown. To the mother's constant thought and anxiety about their teeth, their hair, their eyes, their music, their dancing – to say nothing of the weightier matters of the law – was added the consideration of their ball dresses, their party slippers, their partners. She went with the daughters to ball and assembly; if they danced, she was happy; if not, there was grief behind the cheerful smile, and a sigh was confided to the Journal next day.



THE CHILDREN OF SAMUEL G. AND JULIA WARD HOWE, 1869-1874.
Maud           Laura Elizabeth
Henry Marion
Julia Romana      Florence Marion

Romance hovered over No. 32 Mount Vernon Street. The Greek lessons which were to mean so much to Julia and Laura were brought to a sudden end by the engagement of Julia to the Greek teacher, Michael Anagnos. Florence (who was now housekeeper, lightening our mother's cares greatly) was already engaged to David Prescott Hall; while Laura's engagement to Henry Richards was announced shortly after Julia's.

The three marriages followed at intervals of a few months. Meantime Harry, whose youthful pranks had been the terror of both parents, had graduated from Harvard, and was now, after two years 69 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, beginning his chosen work as a metallurgist.

She wrote of this beloved son:–

God gave my son a palace,
  And a kingdom to control;
The palace of his body,
  The kingdom of his soul.

In childhood and boyhood this "palace" was inhibited by a tricksy sprite. At two years Harry was pulling the tails of the little dogs on the Roman Pincio; at eighteen he was filling the breasts of the college authorities with the same emotions inspired by his father in the previous generation.

"Howe," said the old President of Brown University, when the Chevalier called to pay his respects on his return from Greece, "I am afraid of you now! There may be a fire-cracker under my chair at this moment!"

Once out of college, it fared with the son as with the father. The current of restless energy hitherto devoted to "monkey shines" (as the Doctor called them) was now turned into another channel. Work, hardly less arduous and unremitting than his father's, became the habit of his life. Science claimed him, and her he served with the same singleness of purpose, the same intensity of devotion with which his parents served the causes that claimed them. He married, in 1874, Fannie, daughter of Willard Gay, of Troy, New York.

We love to recall the time at this house on Beacon Hill. We remember it as a cheerful house, ringing with song and laughter, yet with a steady undercurrent of work and thought; the "precious time," not to be interrupted; the coming and going of grave men and earnest women, all bent on high and hopeful errands, all seeking our two Wise Ones for counsel, aid, sympathy; the coming and going also of a steady stream of "lame ducks" of both sexes and all nationalities, all requiring help, most of them getting it; yet, as ever, the father leaving State Charities and Reforms, the mother flying from Fichte or Xenophon, at any real or fancied need of any child. It is thus that we love to think of No. 32 Mount Vernon Street, the last of the many homes in which we were all together.


CHAPTER XIV

THE PEACE CRUSADE

1870-1872; aet. 51-53

 

ENDEAVOR

"What hast thou for thy scattered seed,
  O Sower of the plain?
Where are the many gathered sheaves
  Thy hope should bring again?"
"The only record of my work
  Lies in the buried grain."

"O Conqueror of a thousand fields!
  In dinted armor dight,
What growths of purple amaranth
  Shall crown thy brow of might?"
"Only the blossom of my life
  Flung widely in the fight."

"What is the harvest of thy saints,
  O God! Who dost abide?
Where grow the garlands of thy chiefs
  In blood and sorrow dyed?
What have thy servants for their pains?"
  "This only, – to have tried."

J. W. H.

WHEN a branch is cut from a vigorous tree, Nature at once sets to work to adjust matters. New juices flow, new tissues form, the wound is scarfed over, and after a time is seen only as a scar. Not here, but elsewhere, does the new growth take place, the fresh green shoots appear, more vigorous for the pruning.

Thus it was with our mother's life, as one change after another came across it. Little Sam died, and her heart withered with him: then religion and study came to her aid, and through them she reached another blossoming time of thought and accomplishment. Now, with the marriage and departure of the children, still another notable change was wrought, rather joyful than sorrowful, but none the less marking an epoch.

Up to this time (1871) the wide, sunny rooms of the house on Beacon Hill had been filled with young, active life. The five children, their friends, their music, their parties, their talk and laughter, kept youth and gayety at full tide: the green branches grew and blossomed.

For all five she had been from their cradle not only mistress of the revels and chief musician, but spur and beacon of mind and soul.

Now four of the five were transplanted to other ground. Many women, confronting changes like these, say to themselves, "It is over. For me there is no more active life; instead, the shelf and the chimney corner." This woman, lifting her eyes from the empty spaces, saw Opportunity beckoning from new heights, and moved gladly to meet her. Now, as ever, she "staked her life upon the red."

The empty spaces must be filled. Study no longer sufficed: the need of serving humanity actively, hand and foot, pen and voice, was now urgent.

Her first work under this new impulse was for peace. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 made a deep and painful impression upon her. She had felt a bitter dislike for Louis Napoleon ever since the day when he "stabbed France in her sleep" by the Coup d'État of December, 1851; but she loved France and the French people; the overwhelming defeat, the bitter humiliation suffered by them filled her with sorrow and indignation. In a lecture on Paris she says: "The great Exposition of 1867 had drawn together an immense crowd from all parts of the world. Among its marvels, my recollection dwells most upon the gallery of French paintings, in which I stood more than once before a full-length portrait of the then Emperor. 70 I looked into the face which seemed to say: 'I have succeeded. What has any one to say about it?' And I pondered the slow movements of that heavenly Justice whose infallible decrees are not to be evaded."

Her "Reminiscences" say: "As I was revolving these matters in my mind, while the war was still in progress, I was visited by a sudden feeling of the cruel and unnecessary character of the contest. It seemed to me a return to barbarism, the issue having been one which might easily have been settled without bloodshed. The question forced itself upon me, 'Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters, to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?' I had never thought of this before. The august dignity of motherhood and its terrible responsibilities now appeared to me in a new aspect, and I could think of no better way of expressing my sense of these than that of sending forth an appeal to womanhood throughout the world, which I then and there composed."

This appeal is dated Boston, September, 1870.

APPEAL TO WOMANHOOD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

Again, in the sight of the Christian world, have the skill and power of two great nations exhausted themselves in mutual murder. Again have the sacred questions of international justice been committed to the fatal mediation of military weapons. In this day of progress, in this century of light, the ambition of rulers has been allowed to barter the dear interests of domestic life for the bloody exchanges of the battle-field. Thus men have done. Thus men will do. But women need no longer be made a party to proceedings which fill the globe with grief and horror. Despite the assumptions of physical force, the mother has a sacred and commanding word to say to the sons who owe their life to her suffering. That word should now be heard, and answered to as never before.

Arise, then, Christian women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: "Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Cæsar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

 

The appeal was translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Swedish, and sent broadcast far and wide.

In October our mother wrote to Aaron Powell, president of the American Peace Society: "The issue is one which will unite virtually the whole sex. God gave us, I think, the word to say, but it ought to be followed by immediate and organizing action.... Now, you, my dear sir, are bound, as a Friend and as an Advocate of Peace, to take especial interest in this matter, so I call upon you a little confidently, hoping that you will help my unbusinesslike and unskilful hands to go on with this good work. I wish to avoid occasioning any confusion in the different meetings and organizations of the Woman Suffrage Movement. But I should wish to move for various meetings in which the matter of my appeal, the direct intervention of Women in the Pacification of the World, should be discussed, and the final move of a general Congress promoted. Please take hold a little now and help me. I have wings but no feet nor hands – rather, only a voice, 'vox et praeterea nihil. '"

The next step was to call together those persons supposedly interested in such a movement. In December, 1870, it was announced that a meeting "for the purpose of considering and arranging the steps necessary to be taken for calling a World's Congress of Women in behalf of International Peace" would be held in Union League Hall, Madison Avenue and Twenty-sixth Street, New York, on Friday, December 23. The announcement, which sets forth the need for and objects of such a congress, is signed by Julia Ward Howe, William Cullen Bryant, and Mary F. Davis.

The meeting was an important one: there were addresses by Lucretia Mott, Octavius Frothingham, and Alfred Love, the Peace prophet of Philadelphia; letters from John Stuart Mill, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Howard Furness, who adjures peace-lovers to "labor for the establishment of a Supreme Court to which all differences between nations shall be referred for settlement."

Mrs. Howe made the opening address, from which we quote these words:–

"So I repeat my call and cry to women. Let it pierce through dirt and rags – let it pierce through velvet and cashmere. It is the call of humanity. It says: 'Help others, and you help yourselves.'

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Let the woman seize and bear about the prophetic word of the hour, and that word becomes flesh, and dwells among men. This rapturous task of hope, this perpetual evangel of good news, is the woman's special business, if she only knew it.

"Patience and passivity are sometimes in place for women – not always. I think of this when I go to women, intelligent and charming, who warn me off with white hands, unaccustomed to any graver labor than that of gesticulation. 'Don't ask me to work,' they say; 'I cannot do it. God always raises up a set of people to do these things, like the Anti-Slavery people, and they set to work to do them.' And then I want to say to these friends: 'God can raise you up too, and I hope He will.'

"As for what one can or cannot do, remember that, active or passive, we must work to live. If we have not real labor, we must have simulated exercise. If we have not real objects, we must have fanciful caprices. A little less exertion than keeps us in the padded chair would take us out of it, and send us to try whether nature has made any special exemption in our cases, and whether the paralysis of our life need be traced further outward than our self-centered heart....

"Would that I were still young, as are many of you; would at least that I had followed the angel of my youth as gravely and steadfastly as he invited me; but the world taught, applauded in another direction, and I was at fault. But from this assembly a will might go forth, an earnest will, quick to love, and heavy with meaning. And this will might say to our sisters all over the world, 'Trifle no more.' If women did not waste life in frivolity, men would not waste it in murder. For the tenderness of the one class is set by God to restrain the violence of the other."

The New York meeting was followed by one in Boston. In the spring of 1871 the friends of peace met in the rooms of the New England Woman's Club, and formed an American Branch of the Women's International Peace Association: Julia Ward Howe, president. It took five meetings to accomplish this; the minutes of these meetings are curious and interesting.

Mr. Moncure D. Conway wrote objecting strongly to the movement being announced as Christian: his objections were courteously considered.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Mrs. Howe gave her reasons for making her Appeal in the name of Christianity. She found the doctrine of peace and forgiveness of injuries the most fundamental of the Christian doctrines. She thought it proper to say so, but did not by this prevent the believers in other religions from asserting the same doctrine, if considered as existing in those religions."

Mr. Conway's objection was overruled.

The object of the association was "to promote peace, by the study and culture of its conditions." A "notice" appended to the constitution announced, "This Association proposes to hold a World's Congress of Women, in London, in the summer of 1872, in which undertaking the coöperation of all persons is earnestly invited."

Before continuing the story of this peace crusade, we return to the Journal. The volume for 1871 is fragmentary, the entries mostly brief and far apart. Written and blank pages are alike significant of the movement going on in her mind, the steadily growing desire and resolve to dedicate her life, as her husband had dedicated his, to the highest needs of humanity.

"January 20. Have been ill all these days. Had a divine glimpse this day, between daylight and dusk, of something like this – a beautiful person splendidly dressed entering a theatre as I have often done with entire delight and forgetfulness of everything else, and the restraining hand of Christ holding me back in the outer darkness – the want and woe of the world, and saying, 'The true drama of life is here.' Oh! That restraining hand had in it the true touch, communicating knowledge of human sorrow and zeal for human service. Never may I escape it to my grave!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"I confess that I value more those processes of thought which explain history than those which arraign it. I would not therefore in my advocacy of peace strip one laurel leaf from the graves so dear and tender in our recollection. Our brave men did and dared the best which the time allowed. The sorrow for their loss was none the less brought upon us by those who believed in the military method. It is not in injustice to them that I listen while the Angel of Charity says: 'Behold, I show you a more excellent way.' Again, 'Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as wool.' This treating of injuries from the high ground of magnanimity is the action that shall save the world."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"The special faults of women are those incidental to a class that has never been allowed to work out its ideal."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Must work to earn some money, but will not sacrifice greater ends to this one."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Hear that the Greek mission is given to an editor in Troy, New York. Sad for Greece and for Chev, who longs so to help her."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Civil liberty is that which the one cannot have without the many, or the many without the one. The liberty of the State, like its solvency, concerns and affects all its citizens. Equal sacredness of rights is its political side, equal stringency of duties its moral side. The virtue of single individuals will not give them civil liberty in a despotic state, but the only safeguard of civil liberty to all is the virtue of each individual."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"You men by your vice and selfishness have created for women a hideous profession, whose ranks you recruit from the unprotected, the innocent, the ignorant. This is the only profession, so far as I know, that man has created for women.

"We will create professions for ourselves if you will allow us opportunity and deal as fairly with the female infant as with the male. Where, even in this respect, do we find your gratitude? We instruct your early years. You keep instruction from our later ones.

"French popular authors have satirized American women freely. Let them remember that French literature has done much to corrupt American women. Unhappy Paris has corrupted the world. She is now swept from the face of the earth."

France was constantly in her thoughts.

"The morale of the Commune, that which has commended it to good people, has undoubtedly been a supposed resistance to the return of absolutism, which the Versailles Government was supposed covertly to represent.... No matter what advantage of reason the Commune may have had over the Versailles Government, the Commune committed a civil crime in attempting military enforcement of its political opinions. Such was the crime which our South committed and which we resisted as one defends one's own life. No overt military act of ours gave them the advantage of a casus belli. They differed from us and determined to coerce us forcibly. In that weltering mass of ruin and corruption which was Paris, what lessons lie of the utter folly and futility of mutual murder! What hearts of brothers estranged which time would have harmonized! What hecatombs of weltering corpses poisoning the earth which industry should make wholesome! What women demonized by passion, forgetting all their woman's lore and skill, the appointed givers of life speeding death and reaping the bitter fruit themselves! With this terrible picture before us, let no civilized nation from henceforth and forever admit or recognized the instrumentality of war as worthy of Christian society. Let the fact of human brotherhood be taught to the babe in his cradle, let it be taught to the despot on his throne. Let it be the basis and foundation of education and legislation, the bond of high and low, of rich and poor...."

"May 27. I am fifty-two years old this day and must regard this year as in some sense the best of my life. The great joy of the Peace Idea has unfolded itself to me.... I have got at better methods of working in the practical matters at which I do work, and believe more than ever in patience, labor, and sticking to one's own idea of work. Study, book-work, and solitary thinking and writing show us only one side of what we study. Practical life and intercourse with others supply the other side. If I may sit at work on this day next year, I hope that my peace matter will have assumed a practical and useful form, and that I may have worked out my conception worthily.... I pray that neither Louis Napoleon nor the Bourbons may return to feed upon France, but that merciful measures, surely of God's appointing, may heal her deadly wounds and uplift her prostrate heart. She must learn that the doctrine of self is irreligious. The Commune surely knew this just as little as did Louis Napoleon. I want to keep eyesight enough to read Greek and German, and my teeth for clear speaking and good digestion."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Paul says: 'Ye that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak,' but now we that are weak bear the infirmities of the strong."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Peace meeting at the Club. Read in Greek first part of the eighth chapter of Matthew; the account given of the centurion seems very striking in the Greek. The contrast of his Western mind with the Eastern subtleties of Jew and Greek seems to have struck Christ. He supposed Christ's power over unseen things to be like his own control over things committed to his authority. Then Christ began, perhaps, to see that the other nations of the world would profit by his work and doctrine before his Jewish brethren."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"My first presidency at the New England Woman's Club.... I do not shine in presiding over a business meeting and some others can do much better than I. Still I think it best to fulfil all expected functions of ordinary occasions, living and learning."

"...Negro Christianity. It is something of a very definite and touching character – all forgiving, all believing, making a decided religious impression of its own – the heart so ripe, the intellectual part so little made out, like a fruit which might be all pulp and no fibre."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"On Sunday we bring back the worn and dim currency of our active life to be redeemed by the pure gold of the Supreme Wisdom. I bring to church my coppers and small pieces and take away a shining gold piece. Self is the talent buried in the napkin no matter with how much of culture and natural capacity. Till we get out of self we are in the napkin. Hospitable entertainment of other people's opinions, brotherly promotions of their interests – these acts make our five talents ten in use to others and in enjoyment and profit to ourselves...."

"Christ's teaching about marriage. Its tender and sacred reciprocity. Adultery among the Jews was only recognized as crime when committed by a woman. The right of concubinage was too extensive to bring condemnation for unchastity. The man might not steal another man's wife, but any woman's husband might have intercourse with other women. Christ showed how men did offend against this same law which worked so absolutely and partially against women. An unchaste thought in the breast of the man infringed the high law of purity. This teaching of the tender mutual obligations of married life was probably new to many of his hearers.

"The present style of woman has really been fashioned by man, and is only quasi feminine.

"Peace meeting at Mystic, Connecticut. Spoke morning and afternoon, best in the morning. The natural unfolding of reform. 'His purposes will ripen fast' – Watt's verse. Providence does not plant so as to gather all its crops in one day. First the flowers, then the fruits, then the golden grain.

"John Fiske's lecture, first in the course on the theory of Evolution.... Did not think the lecture a very profitable one, yet we must be willing that our opposites should think and speak out their belief."

 

In the spring of 1872 she went to England, hoping to hold a Woman's Peace Congress in London. She also hoped to found and foster "a Woman's Apostolate of Peace." These hopes were not then to be fulfilled: yet she always felt that this visit with all its labors and its disappointments, was well worth while, and that much solid good came of it, to herself and to others.

We have seen her in London as a bride, enjoying to the full its gayeties and hospitality, as bright a vision as any that met her eyes, with a companion to whom all doors opened eagerly. This was the picture of 1843; that of 1872 is different, indeed.

A woman of middle age, quiet in dress and manner, with a serene and constant dignity; a face in which the lines of thought and study were deepening year by year; eyes now flashing with mirth, now tender with sympathy, always bright with the "high resolve and hardihood" for which, but a few years before, she had been sighing: this was the woman who came to London in 1872, alone and unaided; who, standing before the Dark Tower of established Order and Precedent, might say with Childe Roland, –

"Dauntless the slug horn to my lips I set,
And blew."

She spoke at the banquet of the Unitarian Association. "The occasion was to me a memorable one." She hired the Freemasons' Tavern and preached there on five or six successive Sundays.

"My procedure was very simple, – a prayer, the reading of a hymn, and a discourse from a Scripture text.... The attendance was very good throughout, and I cherished the hope that I had sown some seed which would bear fruit hereafter."

She was asked to address meetings in various parts of England, speaking in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Carlisle, with good acceptance. In Cambridge she talked with Professor J. R. Seeley, whom she found most sympathetic. She was everywhere welcomed by thoughtful people, old friends and new, whether or no they sympathized with her quest.

"June 9. My first preaching in London. Worked pretty much all day at sermon, intending, not to read, but to talk it – for me, a difficult procedure. At 4.30 P.M. left off, but brain so tired that nothing in it. Subject, the kingdom of heaven.... Got a bad cup of tea – dressed (in my well-worn black silk) and went to the Drawing-Room at Freemason's Tavern. God knows how I felt. 'Cast down but not forsaken.'...I got through better than I feared I might. Felt the method to be the right one, speaking face to face and heart to heart."

"June 10. Small beer going out of fashion leaves women one occupation the less. Fools are still an institution; and will remain such." 71

"June 16.... A good attendance in spite of the heat.... Agonized over my failure to come up to what I had designed to do in the discourse."

"June 18.... Saw the last of my dear friend E. Twisleton, who took me to the National Gallery, where we saw many precious gems of art.... At parting, he said: 'The good Father above does not often give so great a pleasure as I have had in these meetings with you.' Let me enshrine this charming and sincere word in my most precious recollection, from the man of sixty-three to the woman of fifty-three."

"June 27. Left Leeds at 7 A.M., rising at 4.30.... To Miss [Frances Power] Cobbe's, where met Lady Lyall, Miss Clough, Mrs. Gorton, Jacob Bright, et al. Then to dinner with the dear Seeleys. An unceremonious and delightful meal. Heart of calf. Then to John Ridley's.... Home late, almost dead – to bed, having been on foot twenty hours."

"July 4.... Saw a sight of misery, a little crumb of a boy, barefoot, tugging after a hand-organ man, also very shabby. Gave the little one a ha'penny, all the copper I had. But in the heartache he gave me, I resolved, God helping me, that my luxury shall henceforth to be minister to human misery, and to redeem much time and money spent on my own fancies, as I may...."

She had been asked to attend two important meetings as American delegate: a peace congress in Paris, and a great prison reform meeting in London.

The French meeting came first. She crossed the Channel, reaching Paris in time to attend the principal séance of the congress. She presented her credentials, asked leave to speak, and was told "with some embarrassment" that she might speak to the officers of the society, when the public meeting should be adjourned! She makes no comment on this proceeding, but says, "I accordingly met a dozen or more of these gentlemen in a side room, where I simply spoke of my endeavors to enlist the sympathies and efforts of women in behalf of the world's peace."

Returning to London, she had "the privilege of attending as a delegate one of the great Prison Reform meetings of our day."

In 1843, Julia the bride would not have considered it a privilege to attend a meeting for prison reform. She would have shrugged her shoulders, would perhaps have pouted because the Chevalier cared more for these things than for the opera, with Grisi, Mario, and Lablache: she might even have written some funny verses about the windmill-tilting of her Don Quixote. Now, she stood in the place that failing health forbade him to fill, with a depth of interest, an earnestness of purpose, equal to his own. She, too, now heard the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners.

At one of the meetings of this congress, a jailer of the old school spoke in defence of the system of flogging refractory prisoners, and described in brutal fashion a brutal incident. Her blood was on fire: she asked leave to speak.

"It is related," she said, "of the famous Beau Brummel that a gentleman who called upon him one morning met a valet caring away a tray of neck-cloths, more or less disordered. 'What are these?' asked the visitor; and the servant replied. 'These are our failures!' When I see the dark coach which in our country carries the criminal to his place of detention, I say, 'Society, here are your failures.'"

Her words were loudly applauded, and the punishment was voted down.

The Journal gives her further speech on this occasion: "Spoke of justice to women. They had talked of fallen women. I prayed them to leave that hopeless phrase. Every fallen woman represents a man as guilty as herself, who escapes human detection, but whose soul lies open before God. Speak of vicious, dissolute women, but don't speak of fallen women unless you recognize the fall of man, the old doctrine."

Two days before this she had preached her last sermon in London. The Journal says: "All Sunday at work upon my sermon, the last in London. 'Neither height nor depth, nor any other creature.' The sermon of high and low, and the great unity beyond all dimensions. A good and to me a most happy delivery of opinions and faith which I deeply hold.... So ended my happy ministration in London, begun in fear and anxiety, ended in certainty and renewed faith, which God continue to me."

August found her back at Oak Glen, exhausted in body and mind. She is almost too tired to write in the Journal, and such entries as there are only accentuate her fatigue.

"I am here at my table with books and papers, but feel very languid. My arms feel as if there were no marrow in their bones. I suppose this is reaction after so much work, but unless I can get up strength somehow I shall not accomplish anything. Weakness in all my limbs. Have had my Greek lesson and begun to read the Maccabees and the Apocrypha. I shall probably come up after a few days, but feel at present utterly incapable of exertion. I must help Maud – have helped her with music to-day...."

"Walked about with dear Chev, whose talk is always instructive. Every break in our long-continued habits shows us something to amend in our past lives. What do I see in mine after this long break? That I must endeavor to have more real life and more religion. The passive and contemplative following of thought, my own or other people's, must not de-energize my sympathies and my will. I must daily consult the divine will and standard which can help us to mould our lives aright without running from one extreme to another. My heart's wish would now be to devote myself to some sort of religious ministration. God can open a way for this in which the spirit of my desire may receive the form of his will. I must lecture this winter to earn some money and spread, I hope, some good doctrine...."

 

Such was the beginning of her work for peace, which was to end only with her life. Disappointed in her hope of a world congress, she turned the current of her effort in a new direction. She would have a festival, a day which should be called Mother's Day, and be devoted to the advocacy of peace doctrines. She chose the second day of June; for many years she and her friends and followers kept this day religiously, with sweet and tender observances which were unspeakably dear to her.

In 1876 there was a great peace meeting in Philadelphia. The occasion is thus described by the Reverend Ada C. Bowles: "There were delegates from France, Italy, and Germany, each with a burning desire to be heard, and all worth hearing, but none able to speak English. The audience looked to the anxious face of the President with sympathy; then a voice was heard, 'Call for Mrs. Howe.' Those present will never forget how her presence changed the meeting from a threatened failure to a noble success. The German, Frenchman, and Italian stood in turn by her side. At the proper moment she lifted a finger, and then gave in her perfect English each speech in full to the delight of the delegates and the admiration of all."

The last celebration of her Mothers' Day was held in Riverton, New Jersey on June 1, 1912, by the Pennsylvania Peace Society, in conjunction with the Universal Peace Union. On the printed invitations to this festival we read

"Aid it, paper, aid it, pen,
 Aid it, hearts of earnest men.
      Julia Ward Howe, 1874."
And further on, "Thirty-nine years ago Julia Ward Howe instituted this festival for peace, – a time for the women and children to come together; to meet in the country, invite the public, and recite, speak, sing and pray for 'those things that make for peace.'"


CHAPTER XV

SANTO DOMINGO

1872-1874; aet. 53-56

 

A PARABLE

"I sent a child of mine to-day;
  I hope you used him well."
"Now, Lord, no visitor of yours
  Has waited at my bell.

"The children of the Millionnaire
  Run up and down our street;
I glory in their well-combed hair,
  Their dress and trim complete.

"But yours would in a chariot come
  With thoroughbreds so gay;
And little merry maids and men
  To cheer him on his way."

"Stood, then, no child before your door?"
  The Lord, persistent, said.
"Only a ragged begger-boy,
  With rough and frowzy head.

"The dirt was crusted on his skin,
  His muddy feet were bare;
The cook gave victuals from within;
  I cursed his coming there."

What sorrow, silvered with a smile,
  Slides o'er the face divine?
What tenderest whisper thrills rebuke?
  "The beggar-boy was mine!"

J. W. H.

WE must go back a little to tell another story.

In the winter of 1870-71 the Republic of Santo Domingo sent through its president an urgent request for annexation to the United States. President Grant appointed a commission to visit this island republic, to inquire into its conditions and report upon the question. Of this commission Dr. Howe was one, the others being Messrs. Benjamin Wade and Andrew D. White.

The commissioners sailed on the government steamer Tennessee. At parting the Doctor said, "Remember that you cannot hear from us under a month; so do not be frightened at our long silence."

A week later came reports of a severe storm in the Southern seas. A large steamer had been seen struggling with wind and wave, apparently at their mercy. Some newspaper thought it might be the Tennessee. All the newspapers took up the cry: it probably was the Tennessee; most likely she had foundered and gone down with all on board.

Mindful of the Doctor's warning, our mother tried to disregard these voices of terror. She went quietly about her work as usual, but none the less the days of suspense that followed were "dark indeed and hard to live through." 72

We remember these days well, the resolute cheerfulness, the avoidance of outward sign of anxiety, the sudden lifting of the cloud when the good news came of the steamer's safe arrival.

The prayer of Santo Domingo was not to be answered, spite of the favorable report of the commission: but the Doctor had been so delighted with the island that when, a year later, he was asked to visit it in the interests of the Samana Bay Company, he gladly accepted the commission.

This time our mother went with him, together with Maud and a party of friends. She had been loth to go, for she had already planned her peace crusade in England, but finding how much he desired it, she compromised on part of the time.

They sailed from New York early in February, 1872, in the steamer Tybee. The voyage was rough and stormy. The companion daughter of the time remembers how the wretched little Tybee pitched and heaved; even more vividly she recalls the way in which our mother from the first made society out of the strangely assorted company on board. She was the magnet, and drew them all to her: the group of conventional ladies who had never before been at sea, the knot of naval officers going to join their ship, – among them George W. DeLong, the hero of the ill-fated Jeannette expedition; a colonel, and a judge, the former interested in the Samana Bay Company. She made out of this odd company and the gruff old captain a sort of court which she ruled in a curious way. She did not seem to compel their admiration so much as to compel each to give his best.

The Tybee cast anchor in the harbor of Puerto Plata, and the voyagers saw Mont Isabel towering above them, its foot in the clear beryl water where the palms grew down to the very edge of the yellow sea sand, its head wrapped in the clouds. The Doctor came to the stateroom, crying, "Come up and see the great glory!"

Our mother's delight can be imagined when they sailed into the harbor of Santo Domingo and landed near an immense and immemorial tree, where, they were told, Columbus had landed.

The party lodged in a fine old Spanish palacio, built round a courtyard. It had been originally a convent. The nuns were gone, and their place was now taken by the gay company of American ladies, who possibly gave the sleepy little city more new ideas than it had ever received in so short a space of time. President Baez put the palace at the Doctor's disposal; he was an important person to the President and to the Dominicans, for at that time the hope of annexation had not died out. All the party were treated with extraordinary courtesy. Not only were they given the presidential palace to live in, but a guard of honor was kept in the courtyard. Their horses were lodged, Spanish fashion, on the ground floor. The trampling, the neighing, and the fleas made them rather uncomfortable neighbors. Our mother soon found out that the only way she could see the country, or enjoy its life, was by riding. At first she was a little nervous, but she soon regained her courage and her seat. This was her first riding since the days of Cora, the wicked little mare, when she read her Bible and said her prayers before every ride. She thus describes it:–

"In Santo Domingo, nothing is more charming than the afternoon ride. It is, of course, the great event of the neighborhood. Our cavalcade usually numbers four or five ladies. Sometimes we cross the river in a flat-bottomed boat, which is pulled over by a rope stretched and made fast at either end. We then visit the little village of Pajarita, and trot along under the shade of heavy mango trees. Or we explore the country on this side the river. The great thing to guard against is the danger of rain. This we encountered one afternoon in some severity. Suddenly one of the party cried 'Llava! ' and down came the waters. We were somewhat heated with our ride, and the penetrating rain fell chill upon us. A large tree gave us shelter for a few moments, but we were soon forced to seek more effectual protection. This we found, after some delay, in a boio, or hut, into which horses and riders were dragged pell-mell. The night was closing in, the Chief at home, and presumably anxious, the rain unabating. Which of the tropical spasms would end our far-spent life? Would it be lockjaw, a common result of severe chill in these regions? Would it be a burning, delirious fever with a touch of yellow; or should we get off with croup and diptheria?

"The rain presently stopped, and we returned to the saddle, and then, by easy stages, to the city. On reaching home, we were advised to bathe the chilled surfaces with rum, not the wicked New England article, but the milder product of the country. Of all the evil consequences spoken of as sure to follow such an exposure, fever, lockjaw, and sore throat, we have so far not seen the earliest symptom."

It was Carnival. All the cabinet officers and their wives devoted themselves to the entertainment of the party. The Minister of War, Señor Curiel, a little twinkling fiery man, devoted himself especially to our mother, and was her right hand in the many expeditions she arranged. The Secretary of State, Señor Gautier, a grave person with more culture than most of the Dominicans, was the Doctor's chosen friend. To return the many attentions showered upon them, a ball in the old convent was arranged. The Doctor once said to her, "If you were on a desert island with nobody there but one old darkney, you would give a party." (But it was from Cuba that he wrote, "Julia knows three words of Spanish, and is constantly engaged in active conversation.")

To find herself at Carnival, the leader of a gay party, living in a spacious palace, supported by the guns and the officers of an American warship (the Narragansett, with DeLong and other officers on board), was an opportunity not to be missed. She thus describes the entertainment:–

"Hans Breitmann gife a barty.

"So did we. To see Santo Domingo was little, without seeing the Dominicans also. Some diplomatic overtures were made. Would the first families come and pass an evening with us at the Palacio? Yes, they would. Which were the first families? That would have been for us a point very difficult to determine. The family of the President and those of the heads of departments would certainly stand in that prominence. For the necessary beaux we were referred to a society recently established here, calling itself 'La Juventad,' 'the young people.' This body of philanthropists, being appealed to, consented to undertake the management of our party. The occasion was announced as a bailecita, 'little ball.' We asked them to provide such refreshments as are customary in this place. Thirty dollars' worth of sweet cake and a bottled ocean of weak beer formed the principal items of the bill, as brought to us. The friends came at 5 P.M., to decorate the room with flowers, also to arrange two tables, on one of which las dulces were arrayed, while the other was made to display a suspicious-looking group of glasses. A band, we were told, would be indispensable. We demurred at this, having intended to musicate upon our own grand piano. Hearing, however, that the band could be had for the sum of twelve dollars, we gave in on this point.

"One long room runs the whole length of one side of the palace, and serves us at once for dining and reception room. The long corridor encounters this room at right angles, entirely open to the weather, on one side. These two spaces constitute all our resources for receiving company. We lit them with Downer's best [kerosene] and ranged rows of rocking-chairs, opposite to each other, after the manner of this country, and also of Cuba.

"The company began to arrive at 8 P.M. The young ladies were mostly attired in colored tarlatans, prettily trimmed with lace and flowers. Some of them were not over fourteen years of age. All were quite youthful in their appearance, and unaffected in their manners. The young men, mostly employed in the various shops of the city, were well-dressed and polite. The band was somewhat barbaric in its aspect. A violin, a 'cello, a tambourine, and a clarinet. The clarinet-player was of uncommon size, with wild, dark eyes, which seemed to dilate as he played....

"The dancing continued with little interruption until nearly 2 A.M. We were told that it is often continued till daylight. From time to time an attack was made upon the two tables. But the enjoyment of the good things provided was quite moderate compared with the cramming of a first-class party in Boston or New York. The guests were of many shades, as to color, although the greater number would have passed for white people, anywhere. Some of the handsomest among them were very dark. One young man reminded us of Edwin Booth in "Othello."...None of these people look like the mulattoes in the North. The features and the fibre appear finer, and the jet-black hair often suggests an admixture of Indian blood. The difference of social position shows itself in the manners of these people. The cruel colorphobia has never proscribed them. They have no artificial sense of inferiority, but take themselves as God made them, and think that if He is content with their complexions, mankind at large may be so.

"We were much pleased with our little party, and with the simple and unaffected gayety of our guests. It was really a party in the open air, one whole side of our ballroom being unenclosed, save by the infrequent colonnade. We looked from the dancers to the stars, and back again to the dancers. It was all fairylike and dreamlike. The favorite 'dansa ' much resembles, not a ballet, but a stage dance, such as is introduced in the course of the drama. The beer flowed, and the couples flew. One innovation we introduced, a Virginia reel, which the clever clarinet-player caught and accompanied. The figures much amazed the natives. The dénouement of Mr. Leland's classic ballad was wanting. No

"'Gompany fited mit daple lecks
Till de coonshtable made em shtop';
Yet we may quote further from that high source:–
"'Hans Breitmann gife a barty,
Where ish that barty now?
All goned afay mit der lager pier,
Afay in der Ewigkeit!'"

The Journal gives pleasant glimpses of the Santo Domingo days.

"M. Marne, a Frenchman ninety-seven years old, paid us a visit. Had been secretary of Joseph Buonaparte in Madrid – praised him much. Talked very copiously and not ill. Enjoys full mental and physical activity. Lives at a small village in sight of our windows, but on the other side of the river. Talked much of the Roi Cristophe."

The mention of this old gentleman recalls her visit to a Dominican padre, himself in extreme age, who told her that he had known a negress who lived to the age of one hundred and forty-three; he had confessed and buried her. "She had her teeth and her hair still."

"Not to market to-day, but breakfast early – then all hands to the cathedral to see the high mass performed – to-day in honor of the independence of the island....

"Baez' face, cunning, pretty strong, enjoué, as if he must be, or seem, a bon enfant .... The noise at the elevation of the Host a perfect Babel. Music, 'Ernani,' 'Fra Diavolo,' with some similar things. A single trumpet shrieked at some high moments. The bells rang like a thousand tin pans. Orchestra and chorus not together and both out of tune. The ceremony otherwise perhaps as well as usual. A priest made a brief address in Spanish, praising the day and complimenting the President...."

"Studied Baur, Aristophanes, and 'Etudes sur la Bible.' Music lesson to Maud. O'Sullivan to dine.... Baez sent word that he would visit us between 5 and 6 P.M. We accordingly put things in the best order possible under the circumstances. Ung puo de tualetta for the ladies seemed proper. At dinner received Baez' card with a great dish of fine sapotes. Baez arrived. He speaks French quite tolerably, is affable, and has an intelligent face; in fact looks like a person of marked talent. We talked of things in the United States. He has made fourteen voyages to Europe.... I sang 'Una Barchetta ' for him. He came with one servant, who stayed outside – no ceremony and no escort...."

After the beauty of the place – indeed possibly before it – she valued the opportunity that came to her of preaching. On the voyage to Santo Domingo she had learned of a shepherdless flock of colored Protestants, their minister dead, their "elder" disabled by lameness. Here was an opportunity not to be lost. She engaged to hold Sunday evening services in their church, a small wooden building with a mud floor and a mahogany pulpit. The "Reminiscences" describe these services; the tattered hymn-books whose leaves were turned mechanically while the congregation (few of them whom could read) sang with a will the hymns they knew by heart; the humble, devout people with their attentive faces.

When Holy Week came, the congregation begged her to hold special services. They wished their young people to understand that these sacred days meant as much to them as to the surrounding Catholics. Accordingly she and her companion "dressed the little church with flowers. It looked charmingly. Flowers all along the railing [here follows in the Journal a pen-and-ink sketch], flowers in the pulpit over my head. Church was crowded. Many people outside and at the windows."

She always remembered with pleasure one feature of her Easter sermon, her attempt to describe Dante's vision of a great cross in the heavens, formed of star clusters, each cluster bearing the name of Christ. "The thought," she says, "that the mighty poet of the fourteenth century should have something to impart to these illiterate negroes was very dear to me."

One of the party has an undying impression of this Easter service: the shabby little chapel crowded with dark faces, and the preacher, standing touched by a ray of sunlight, speaking to that congregation of simple black people. In her notes she speaks of these services.

"A pastoral charge bringing me near to the hearts and sympathies of the people. I have preached five times in the little church, including Good Friday and Easter Monday. This service, which has not been without its difficulties, is so much better to me in remembrance than anything else I have done here that I must make a little break and pause before I speak of other things.

"In this pause I remember my prayer at Puerto Plata, that I and mine might come to this new region with a reverent and teachable spirit. That prayer was an earnest one to me. I hope it has, as all prayers should, accomplished its own fulfilment. I have been here among dear people. I find all the human varieties in this society, not digested and harmonized by noble culture, but existing and asking for the centralizing and discriminating agencies which in civilization sort out the different tastes, characters, and capacities, and assign to each its task, giving devotion its wings and crime its treadmill. This little population in a great country, a country in which Nature allows no one to starve, has lived and so shown its right to live and maintain itself. It has accomplished its political division from a state antipathetic to it, having its dark face turned fixedly towards barbarism [Hayti].

"I stood in a little church in the city and island of Santo Domingo, to preach the glad tidings of the gospel of Peace. It was a humble little temple, with a mud floor, and plastered walls, and a roof which scarcely kept out the rain, but it was a place full of comfort to me and to others. The seats and spaces were all filled, for it had no aisles. The small windows and doors were cushioned, so to speak, with human countenances, wearing an expression of curiosity or attention. The way to the church was lined on both sides with the simple people, who held their service at night because the poverty of their attire made them ashamed to hold it by day. And this crowd came together, Sunday after Sunday, because a woman from a distant country stood in that little church to tell them what a woman can tell about the kingdom of heaven."

Loth as she had been to go to Santo Domingo, she was far more loth to leave it; but the time appointed for her peace crusade in London was at hand, and she could tarry no longer. On April 5 she writes:–

"Ah! my time is nearly out. Dear Santo Domingo, how I do love you, with your childish life, and your ancestral streets – a grandam and a babe! To-day I read my last in Baur and Greek for some time, probably, as must pack to-morrow. As at present advised, God grant that we may come here again."

"April 6. Here to-day and gone to-morrow, literally. Mostly packed – have left out my books for a last sweet morsel.... Did not get that sweet morsel. Was busy all day – farewell calls from friends, little talks, and the fear of sitting down and forgetting my preparations in my books. In the evening the Gautiers came and I played for them to dance. So, one last little gayety in common."

"Sunday, April 7. Got up at 4 A.M. Dressed and got off pretty easily.... The parting from Maud was very hard. Oh! when the line was drawn in, and my darling and I were fairly sundered, my old heart gave way, and I cried bitterly....

"Henry Blackwell is a dear, comforting man, most kind and companionable. A woman on board with a wretched baby of six months, he in a muslin gown and nothing else, crying with cold. I got out a cotton flannel dressing-sack, and wrapped him up in it and tended him a good deal....

"May the purpose for which I undertake this painful and solitary journey be ever strong enough in my thoughts to render every step of it pure, blameless and worthy. Great God, do not let me desert thee! For that is the trouble. Thou dost not desert us. I dread unspeakably these dark days of suffering and confusion. To go is like being hanged...."

"Captain said something about my preaching on Sunday, so I have been laying out some points for a sermon.... But it is not very likely that the Captain will really ask me to hold service.

"Talk with purser about Homer. He has a vivacious mind, and might easily learn Greek, or anything else he would have a mind to."

"Sunday. It turned out that the Captain and passengers did wish me to hold a little service to-day, so at 10.30 A.M. I met them in the dining-saloon. I had a Bible, from which I read the 116th Psalm – a prayer followed – then the missionary hymn, 'From Greenland's icy mountains' – then my little sermon, of which I have the headings. I am so very glad to have been able and enabled to do this.

"Began to teach the purser to read from notes with a leaf of music out of some periodical. Copied Baur a little – talked and heard much talk."

"April 17 .... Expect to get in to-morrow, not very late, unless another contrary gale. Frigate birds and petrels yesterday – to-day, whales, blackfish, and an immense number of porpoises. Revelation cannot go beyond human consciousness.

"The Western mind has taken Christ's metaphorical illustrations literally, and his literal moral precepts metaphorically."

"April 18 .... Very thankful to have got through so well so far."

 

As at the beginning of this chapter we took a step backward, so we must now take one forward and speak briefly of the second visit to Santo Domingo in 1874.

The Doctor's health was failing; he had suffered from the winter's cold, and longed for the warm sunshine of the beloved island. Would she go with him? he asked. She should preach to her colored folks as much as she liked.

They sailed together in the Tybee in March. After a brief visit to the capital (where Revolution had been before them, expelling the friendly Baez, and putting in his place a man opposed to the Samana Bay Company), they took up their quarters at Samana, in a little hillside cottage about a mile from the town.

Our mother write in her Journal:–

"March 20. In Santo Domingo as glad as a child.... Went to Garcia's and foolishly bargained for the gold necklace and emerald ring I fancied the last time I was here. The necklace is for Maud."

The love of jewelry was one of the "little passions" of her whole life. Speaking once of this as her "besetting sin," she said: "It is rather respectable to have a besetting sin, as it shows one must have had an ancestor from which it was inherited!" She enjoyed a jewel as she did a flower or a song: she loved to deck her dear ones and herself with trinkets; a jeweller's window was a thing of delight to her, not to be passed without the tribute of a pause and a glance at its treasures. Yet a purchase of this kind seldom failed to bring its retributive pang the day after.

"Was sorry to have made so foolish a use of the money. Resolve never to do so again, unless some new light should make it seem right. God will not have my mind occupied with such nonsense.... Have written my sermon for to-morrow evening."

They spent two months in Samana in almost absolute retirement. The Doctor read "Don Quixote" in Spanish, she Aristotle in Greek and Baur in German. The former "was early and late in the saddle, and dashed up and down the steep hillsides of Samana with all his old fearlessness." The latter followed as she might, "in perils and dangers, in terrors often."

"I had never been a bold rider, and I must confess that I suffered agonies of fear in following him on these expeditions. If I lagged behind, he would cry, 'Come on! It's as bad as going to a funeral to ride with you.' And so, I suppose, it was. I remember one day when a great palm branch had fallen across our path. I thought that my horse would certainly slip on it, sending me to the depths below. That very day, while Dr. Howe took his siesta, I went to the place where this impediment lay, and with a great effort threw it over the steep mountain-side. The whole neighborhood of Samana is very mountainous, and I sometimes found it impossible to obey the word of command. One day my husband spurred his horse and made a gallant dash at a very steep ascent, ordering me to follow him. I tried my best, but only got far enough to find myself awkwardly at a standstill, and unable to go either backward or forward. The Doctor was obliged to dismount and to lead my horse down to the level ground. This, he assured me, was a severe mortification for him." 73

In spite of the permission given, she spoke only a few times in Samana. She tells of an open-air service in which she took part. She arrived late, and found a zealous elder holding forth and "reading" from a Bible held upside down. At sight of her he said, "And now dat de lady hab come, I will obdunk from de place!"

One day she spoke to the pupils of a little school kept by an English carpenter, who studied Greek in order to understand the New Testament, yet allowed his pupils to use the small i for the personal pronoun. The schoolhouse was perched on a hill so steep that she was thankful to mount astride on a huge white steer furnished with a straw saddle, and be led up by a friendly neighbor.

In those days the ill-fated Samana Bay Company, of which the good Doctor and many others had had high hopes, came to an end, and the Dominican Government insisted that its flag should be officially withdrawn. Our mother describes the incident:-

"To town early to be present at the taking down of the Samana Company's flag by the commission sent on board the Dominican war schooner. I went in the boat and found Chev in the custom-house with the commission seated around. A good many of our people present. Chev read his protest, which was strong and simple.... We then went out of the building; the employés of our Company marched up in their best clothes, their hats stuck full of roses, and stood in order on either side the flagstaff. The man ordered by the commission lowered the flag. Just before, Chev got our people to stand in a circle around him, made a lovely little address. The old Crusader never appeared nobler or better than on this occasion, when his beautiful chivalry stood in the greatest contrast to the barbarism and ingratitude which dictated this act. My mind was full of cursing rather than blessing. Yet finding myself presently alone with the superseded flag I laid my hand upon it and prayed that if I had power to bless anything, my prayers might bless the good effort which has been made here."

On April 2 she adds: "The blacks here say that the taking down of our flag was like the crucifixion of our Lord. We are assured that they would have offered forcible resistance, if we had authorized their so doing."

"May 9. The last day of our last week in Samana.... God knows when I shall have so much restful leisure again. My rides on horseback, too, are ended for the present, though I may mount once more to-day or to-morrow. All these pleasures have been mixed with pains – my fear on horseback.... but far more than all, my anxiety about the dearest ones at home. The affairs of the Company, too, have given me many sad thoughts, but in spite of all this the time has been a blessed one. I have improved in mind and body, if not in estate – have had the sweet leisure for thought and study, opportunity to preach the gospel (three times), and most invigorating air and exercise. Over the door of the little parlor here hangs a motto: 'God bless our Home.' I think, indeed, He has blessed this little home, though, at first, when I looked at the motto, I always thought of my own home."

The next day they saw the "last of beautiful Samana for the present," and ten days later found them in New York. Her final word on this brief and lovely episode is given in the Journal for May 24: "My heart sinks whenever Chev says he will never go to Samana again. 'There are my young barbarians all at play.'"


CHAPTER XVI

THE LAST OF GREEN PEACE

1872-1876; aet. 53-57

 

He who launched thee a bolt of fire
Strong in courage and in desire
Takes thee again a weapon true
In heaven's armory ever new.

Still shall the masterful fight go on,
Still shall the battle of Right be won
And He who fixed thee in upper air
Shall carry thy prowess otherwhere.

J. W. H.

AS our father's health failed more and more, his heart turned to the home he had made. He longed for Green Peace; and – the lease falling in about this time – in the spring of 1872 he and our mother and Maud moved thither, and took up their quarters in the "new part," while Laura and her husband came to occupy the old. Here the first grandchild (Alice Maud Richards) was born; here and at Oak Glen the next four years were mainly passed.

The Doctor's ardent spirit longed for new fields of work, new causes to help; the earthly part could not follow. How he struggled, toiling, suffering, fighting the good fight to his last breath, has been told elsewhere: 74 suffice it to say that these years were grave ones for the household, spite of new joys that dawned for all.

The grandchildren opened a new world for both our parents: a world which one was to enjoy for a space all too brief, the other through long years, in which she was to be to the youngest generation a lamp of wisdom, a flame of warmth and tenderness, a fountain of joy.

Among the memory pictures of this time is one of her sitting at her desk, laboring at her endless correspondence; beside her, on the floor, the baby of the period, equally absorbed in the contents of the waste-paper basket.

Or we see the tall figure of the Doctor, stooping in the doorway between the two houses, a crowing child on his shoulders, old face and young alight with merriment. These were Richards grandbabes; the Hall children were the summer delight of the grandparents, as they and their mother usually spent the summer at Oak Glen.

 

"Friday, September 13. Before I open even my New Testament to-day, I must make record of the joyful birth of Flossy's little son [Samuel Prescott Hall].... God bless this dear little child! May he bring peace and love....

"During the confinement I could not think of anything divine or spiritual. It was Nature's grim, mechanical, traditional task. But now that is over, my heart remembers that Life is not precious without God, and the living soul just given stands related to the quickening spirit."



SAMUEL G. HOWE, WITH HIS GRANDCHILD
ALICE RICHARDS, 1873

".... I can get little time for study, as I must help nurse dear Flossy. My mind is strangely divided between my dear work and my dear child and grandchild. I must try to keep along with both, but on no account to neglect the precious grandchild."

"October 1. O year! thou art running low. The last trimester."

"October 2. This day, thirty-two years ago, my dearest brother Henry died in my arms, the most agonizing experience. Never again did Death so enter into my heart, until my lovely son of three years departed many years later, leaving a blank as sad and bitter. Henry was a rare and delicate person.... His life was a most valuable one to us for help and counsel, as well as for affection. Perhaps no one to-day thinks about his death except me, his junior by two years, wearing now into the decline of life. Dear brother, I look forward to the reunion with you, but wish my record were whiter and brighter."

"October 5. Boston. Came up for directors' meeting of New England Woman's Club. Went afterward to Mrs. Cheney's lecture on English literature.... A suggestive and interesting essay, which I was glad to hear and have others hear. It gave me a little pain, that, though she pleasantly alluded to me as one who has laid aside the laurel for the olive branch, she said nothing whatever about my writings, which deserve to be spoken of in characterizing the current literature of the day; but she perhaps does not read or like my work, and besides, people think of me nowadays more as an active woman's woman than as a literary character, as the phrase is. All life is full of trial, and when I hear literary performance praised, and remember my own love for it, and for praise, I think a little how much of all this I have sacrificed in these years for a service that has made me enemies as well as friends. I felt called upon to do this, and I still think that if I made a mistake, it was one of those honest mistakes it is best to make."

 

She was giving Maud music lessons this autumn, reading Plutarch with her, taking her to parties and giving parties for her. Later, we find her holding mission services at Vineyard Haven; addressing the Saturday Morning Club ("Subject – Object: I smile at this antithesis"); delivering a lecture at Albany – with the lecture left behind.

"Got to work at once making abstracts from memory.... Spoke more than an hour.... Got my money – would rather have paid it than have had such an experience. Felt as if my inner Guide had misled and deserted me. But some good to some one may come of what I said and tried to say."

She returned from this trip very weary, only to find "my lecture advertised, not one line of it written – subject, 'Men's Women and Women's Women.' Set to work at once, almost overpowered by the task, and the shortness of the time."

The lecture was finished in the morning, delivered in the afternoon.

"Warm congratulations at the close.... Such a sense of relief!"

On December 19 she notes the departure of "dear Flossy and her dearest little Boy.... House very desolate without them. This boy is especially dear to Doctor Howe and myself."

"December 28. Maria Mitchell's Club lecture to-day was beautiful exceedingly. I might have envied her the steady grasp and unbroken advance of scientific study, did I not feel sure that God gives to each his own work. Mine, such as it is, would be helped and beautified by the knowledge which she imparts so easily, but perhaps all of her that I shall remember and try to follow is her spirit. Her silver hair seems lustrous with spiritual brightness, as do her dark eyes. Her movements are full of womanly grace, not ballroom grace."

 

From now on the movement is sempre crescendo. Work for peace, work for clubs; lecturing, preaching, tending the Doctor in his days of illness; taking the youngest daughter to balls and parties; founding a club for her, too. She felt that the young girls of Maud's age needed the onward impulse as much as their elders; accordingly, in November, 1871, she called together a meeting of young women, and with their aid and good-will formed the Saturday Morning Club of Boston. The energy with which this organization sprang into being showed that the time was ripe for it. That energy, handed on through two generations, is no less lively to-day; the name of the club recalls a hundred beautiful and interesting occasions.

The Journal hurries us on from day to arduous day. Even the aspiration of New Year's Day, 1873, breathes the note of hurry: "Dear Lord, let me this year be worthy to call upon thy name!"

February 5 finds her on another quest: "Mem. Never to come by this route again. Had to turn out at Utica at 4 A.M. Three hours in depot...."

"March 1. Went to Saturday Morning Club. Found that John Fiske had failed them. Was told to improvise a lecture on the spot. Did so...."

"March 5. Went to hear the arguments in favor of rescinding the vote of censure against Charles Sumner...."

[In 1872, Sumner introduced in the Senate of the United States a resolution that the names of battles with fellow-countrymen should not be continued in the Army Register, nor placed on the regimental colors of the United States. This measure was violently opposed; the Legislature of Massachusetts denounced it as "an insult to the loyal soldiery of the Nation, ...meeting the unqualified condemnation of the Commonwealth." For more than a year Sumner's friends, headed by John G. Whittier, strove to obtain the rescinding of this censure; it was not until 1874 that it was rescinded by a large majority.]

"March 10. A morning for work in my own room, so rare a luxury that I hardly know how to use it. Begin with my Greek Testament...."

"March 17. Radical Club.... It was an interesting sitting, but I felt as if the Club had about done its work. People get to believing that talks turns the world; it is much, but it is nothing without work...."

"May 27. Fifty-four years old to-day. Thank God for what I have had and hope to have.... In the afternoon my dear children had a beautiful birthday party for me, including most of my old friends and some of the newer ones. Agassiz came, and his wife; he brought a bouquet and kissed me. I had beautiful flowers.... Poor Chev was ill with a frightful headache. I was much touched by the children's affectionate device and shall remember this birthday."

This was the first of the Birthday Receptions, which were to be our happiest festivals through many happy years.

Monday, June 2, was the day she had appointed as Mother's Peace Day, her annual Peace Festival.

"The day of many prayers dawned propitious, and was as bright and clear as I could have wished."

She was up early, and found the hall "beautifully decorated with many fine bouquets, wreaths, and baskets, the white dove of Peace rising above other emblems." There were two services, morning and evening, and many speakers. "Mr. Tilden and Mr. Garrison both did nobly for me.... Thank God for so much!"

She had the great joy of hearing that the day was celebrated in other countries besides her own. In London, Geneva, Constantinople, and various other places, services were held, and men and women prayed and sang in behalf of peace: this she counted among the precious things of the year, and of several years to come.

"June 6. Quiet at last, and face to face with the eternal Gospel. Weary and confused, anxious to wind up my business well, and begin my polyglot sheet...."

Yet on June 10 she is arriving in New York at 5.40 A.M., bound for a peace meeting.

"June 11. I got two bricks from the dear old house at the corner of Broadway and Bond Street, now all down and rebuilding. Will have one enamelled for myself. Ah, Lord, what a bitter lesson is in this tearing-down! How I was wanting in duty to the noble parent who built this grand home for me! I hope to help young people to understand something of parental love and its responsibilities. But parents also must study children, since each new soul may require a new method."

"June 12. Home very gladly. Helped Maud with her Latin. At 3.30 to rehearse 'Midsummer-Night's Dream.' I Hermia and Snout. At 7.30 the reading, which was the pleasantest we have had."

[These readings were in the vestry of the Church of the Disciples. Mr. Clarke, our mother, Erving Winslow, and others of the congregation took part: we remember the late Professor James Mills Pierce as Orlando in "As You Like It"; his beautiful reading of the part contrasting oddly with his middle-aged, long-bearded personality. Our mother's rendering of Maria in "Twelfth Night" was something to remember.]

"June 17. Up at five to get a boat. Maud and the Lieutenant [Zalinski] rowed me to Fort Independence and back, a most refreshing excursion. Dear Dr. Hedge came out to make a morning visit. I kept him as long as I could. We talked of Bartol, Rubinstein, Father Taylor, and Margaret Fuller, whom he knew when she was fourteen years old. He urged me to labor for dress reform, which he considered much needed. Had preached two sermons on the subject which his dressy parishioners resented, telling him that their husbands approved of their fine clothes. I begged him to unearth these sermons and give them to us at the club. We spoke of marriage, and I unfolded rapidly my military and moral theory of human relations. Thought of a text for a sermon on this subject: 'Arise, take up thy bed and walk.' This because the ills of marriage which are deemed incurable are not. We must meet them with the energetic will which converts evil into good, and without which all good degenerates into evil."

 

July finds her at Oak Glen. She is full of texts and sermons, but makes time to write to Fanny Perkins, 75 proposing "Picnics with a Purpose, sketching, seaside lectures, astronomical evenings." This thought may have been the germ from which grew the Town and Country Club, of which more hereafter.

The writing of sermons seems to have crowded serious poetry out of sight in these days, but the Comic Muse was always at hand with tambourine and flageolet, ready to strike up at a moment's notice. There was much coming and going of young men and maidens at Oak Glen in those days, and much singing of popular songs of a melancholy or desperate cast. The maiden was requested to take back the heart she had given; what was its anguish to her? There were handfuls of earth in a coffin lid, a coffin under the daisies, the beautiful, beautiful daisies; and so on, and so on, ad lachrymam. She bore all this patiently; but one day she said to Maud: "Come! You and these young persons know nothing whatever of real trouble. I will make you a song about a real trouble!" And she produced, words and tune, the following ditty:–

COOKERY BOOKERY, OH!

My Irish cook has gone away
Upon my dinner-party day;
I don't know what to do or say –
  Cookery bookery, oh!

  Chorus:
Sing, saucepan, range, and kitchen fire!
Sing, coals are high and always higher!
Sing crossed and vexed, till you expire!
  Cookery bookery, oh!

She could cook every kind of dish,
"Wittles" of meat and "wittles" of fish,
And soup as fancy as you wish –
  And she is gone away!

She weighed two hundred pounds of cheek,
She had a voice that made me meek,
I had to listen when she did speak –
  Cookery bookery, oh!

My husband comes, a saucy elf,
And eyes the saucepan on the shelf;
Says he, "Why don't you cook yourself?"
  Cookery bookery, oh!

  Chorus:
Sing, saucepan, range, and kitchen fire!
Sing, coals are high and always higher!
Sing, crossed and vexed, till you expire!
  Cookery bookery, oh!

Jocosa Lyra! one chord of its gay music suggests another. It may have been in this summer that she wrote "The Newport Song," which also has its own lilting melody.

Non sumus fashionabiles:
Non damus dapes splendides:

But in a modest way, you know,
We like to see our money go;
Et gaudeamus igitur,
Our soul has nought to fidget her!

We do not care to quadrigate
On Avenues in gilted state:
No gold-laced footmen laugh behind
At our vacuity of mind:
But in a modest one-horse shay,
We rumble, tumble as we may,
Et gaudeamus igitur,
Our soul has nought to fidget her!

When æstivation is at end,
We've had our fun and seen our friend.
No thought of payment makes us ill,
We don't know such a word as "bill":
Et gaudeamus igitur,
Our soul has nought to fidget her!

She always tried to go at least once in the summer to see the old people at the Town Farm, a pleasant, gray old house, not far from Oak Glen.

"In the afternoon visited the poorhouse with J. and F. and found several of the old people again, old Nancy who used to make curious patchwork; old Benny, half-witted; Elsteth, Henrietta, and Harriet, very glad to see us. Julia read them a Psalm, then Harriet and Elsteth sang an interminable Methodist hymn, and I was moved to ask if they would like to have me pray with them. They assented, and I can only say that my heart was truly lifted up by the sense of the universality of God's power and goodness, to which these forlorn ones could appeal as directly as could the most powerful, rich, or learned people."

Later she writes:–

"The summer seems to me to have been rich in good and in interest as I review it. Sweet, studious days, pleasant intercourse with friends, the joy of preaching, and very much in all this the well-being of my dear family, children and grandchildren, their father and grandfather enjoying them with me. This is much to thank God for."

Some of the family lingered on after most of the household impedimenta had been sent up to Boston, and were caught napping.

"Sitting quietly with Chev over the fire after a game of whist with Julia and Paddock, – a hack-driver knocked at the door of our little back parlor, saying that a gentleman was waiting at the front door for admission. I opened the door and found Dr. Alex Voickoff, who had learned in Boston of our being here and had come down to stay over Sunday. The floors of nearly every parlor and bedroom had been newly oiled. We had no spare bedding. I spared what I could from my ill-provided bed – we made the guest as comfortable as we could. The bedding had been sent up to Boston. Hinc illœ lachrymœ."

"November 26. Saw Salvini's 'Othello.' As wonderful as people say it is. The large theatre [the Boston] packed and so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. From the serene majesty of the opening scenes to the agony of the end, all was grand and astounding even to us to whom the play is familiar. The Italian version seemed to me very fine, preserving all the literary points of the original. In fact it seemed as if I had always before heard the play through an English translation, so much did the Italian speech and action light it up."

She found Salvini's "Hamlet" "not so good for him as 'Othello,' yet he was wonderful in it, and made a very strong impression."

She met the great actor, and found his manners cordial, natural, and high-toned." She gave a dinner-party for him, and found him to improve more and more on further acquaintance. He became a valued friend, always greeted with delight.

In December, 1873, Richard Ward, her last surviving uncle, died. He had lived on at No. 8 Bond Street after the death of Uncle John, and had kept up the traditions of that hospitable house, always receiving her most affectionately.

"December 11. Uncle Richard's funeral. A quiet one, but on the whole satisfactory and almost pleasant, he having lived out his life and dying surrounded by his children and other relatives, and the family gathering around his remains wearing an aspect of cordiality and mutual good-will. I put a sprig of white daphne in the folds of the marble drapery of dear father's bust and kissed the bust, feeling that it had taken all of these years to teach me his value and the value of the moral and spiritual inheritance which I had from him and could not wholly waste with all the follies which checker the better intentions of my life. I went to Greenwood and into the vault, and saw the sacred names of the dear and departed on the slabs which sealed the deposit of their remains. It was all like a dream and a sad one."

"December 12. No. 8 Bond Street. I came down here to write the records of yesterday and to-day in this dear old house, whose thronging memories rise up to wring my heart, in the prospect of its speedy dismantlement and the division of its dear contents. Here I came on my return from Europe in 1844, bringing my dear Julia, then an infant of six months. Uncle John had just bought and fitted it up. Here I came to attend Sister Louisa's wedding, Uncle John being rather distant to me, supposing that I had favored the marriage. Here I saw dear Brother Marion for the last time. Here I came in my most faulty and unhappy period. Here, after my first publications; here, to see my play acted at Wallack's. Here, when death had taken my dearest Sammy from me. Uncle John was so kind and merciful at that time, and always except that once, when indeed he did not express displeasure, but I partly guessed it and learned it more fully afterwards. God's blessing rest upon the memory of this hospitable and unstained house. It seems to me as if neither words nor tears could express the pain I feel in closing this account with my father's generation."

 

The most important episode of 1874, the visit to Samana, has already been described. Turning the leaves of the Journal for this year, we feel that the change and break were necessary to her as well at to the Doctor. There were limits even to her strength.

"January, 1874. A sort of melancholy of confusion, not knowing how I can possibly get through with the various requisitions made upon my time, strength, thought, and sympathy. Usually I feel, even in these moods, the nearness of divine help. To-day it seems out of my consciousness, but is not on that account out of my belief...."

"The past week one dreadful hurry. Things look colorless when you whirl so fast past them."

"The month ending to-day seems the most hurried of my life. Woman's Club, Saturday Club, Philosophical group, Maud's music, ditto party, and all her dressing and gayety, beside writing for [the Woman's] Journal,...two lectures [Salem and Weston], both gratuitous, and the care of getting up and advertising Bishop Ferrette's lectures. And in all these things I seem not to do, rather than to do, the dissipation of effort so calls me away from the quiet, concentrated sort of work which I love."

It was time for the Doctor to say "Come!" and to carry her off to those tropical solitudes they had learned to love so well. Yet the departure was painful, for Maud must be left behind. On March 1 we read:–

"Of to-day I wish to preserve the fact that, waking early in painful perplexity about Maud, Santo Domingo, etc., and praying that the right way might open for me and for all of us, my prayer seemed answered by the very great comfort I had in hearing the prayer and sermon of Henry Powers of New York. The decided spiritual tone of the prayer made me feel that I must try to take, every day, this energetic attitude of moral will and purpose, even if I fail in much that I wish to do."

On May 27, she writes:–

"My birthday. Fifty-five years old. Still face to face with the mercies of God in health and sanity, enjoying all true pleasures more than ever and weaned from some false ones. I feel a great lassitude, probably from my cold and yesterday's fatigue. I have not worked this year as I did the year before, yet I have worked a good deal, too, perhaps have tried more to fulfil the duty nearest at hand.... I thank God for my continued life, health, and comfort.... I ask to see Samana free before I go.... 'Thy will be done' is the true prayer."

Samana was not to be free, spite of the efforts of its friends, and she was not to see it again.

The record of this year and the next is a chronicle of arduous work, with the added and ever-deepening note of anxiety; it was only for a time that the visit to Samana checked the progress of the Doctor's physical failure. He was able in the summer of 1874 to write the forty-third report of the Perkins Institution: an important one in which he reviewed his whole work among the blind. He felt that this would probably be his last earthly task; yet the following summer found him again taking up the familiar work, laboring with what little strength was left him, and when eyes and hand refused to answer the call of the spirit, dictating to his faithful secretary. It has been told elsewhere how in this last summer of his life he labored to make more beautiful and more valuable the summer home which had become very dear to him.



"GREEN PEACE"
From a photograph taken in 1875

Returned to Green Peace, he had some happy days in his garden, but for gardener and garden they were the last days. The city had decided to put a street through Green Peace: already workmen were digging trenches and cutting trees. Our mother went to the authorities, and told them of his feeble condition. The work was stopped at once, and not resumed during his lifetime.

Through these years her time was divided between the invalid and the many public duties which had already taken possession of her life. Little by little these were crowded out: instead of lecture or concert came the ever-shortening walk with the Doctor, the evening game of whist or backgammon which lightened a little his burden of pain and weariness.

Yet she was preparing, on January 4, 1876, to keep a lecture engagement of long standing, when the blow fell. He was stricken down, and lay for some days insensible, waiting the final summons.

There was no hope of his recovery; those around him waited patiently, any violence of grief held in check by the silent rebuke of the serene face on the pillow.

The day after his death she writes:–

"I awoke at 4.30, but lay still to bear the chastening hand of God, laid upon me in severe mercy....

"Some good words came to me: 'Let not your heart be troubled,' etc. 'He doth not willingly afflict,' etc.

"Before breakfast went into Chev's room, so sweet and peaceful.... I laid my lace veil, my bridal veil, upon the head of his bedstead.... In place of my dear husband I have now my foolish papers. Yet I have often left him for them. God accept the poor endeavor of my life!"

On the day after the funeral she writes: "Began my new life to-day. Prayed God that it might have a greatly added use and earnestness."

And several weeks later, after the memorial meeting in his honor:–

"Yesterday seems to have filled the measure of the past. To-day I must forward in the paths of the future. My dear love is sometimes with me, at least as an energizing and inspiring influence, but how shall I deserve ever to see him again?"

The paths of the future! She was to tread them with cheerful and willing feet through many long years, never wholly losing the sense of companionship with her good comrade.

She devoted the spring of 1876 to the writing of a brief memoir of him, which was printed in pamphlet form and in raised type for the use of the blind. With the latter object in view the memoir was necessarily brief. The labor of condensing into a small space the record of a long and super-active life was severe, but it was the tonic she needed. The days of quiet at Green Peace, the arduous work, with a page of Greek or a chapter of Baur for relaxation, brought mind and nerves back to their normal condition.

The work speaks for itself. As it is little known to-day outside the schools for the blind, we quote the concluding paragraph:–

"In what is said, to-day, concerning the motherhood of the human race, the social and spiritual aspects of this great office are not wholly overlooked. It must be remembered that there is also a fatherhood of human society, a vigilance and forethought of benevolence recognized in the individuals who devote their best energies to the interests of mankind. The man to whose memory the preceding pages are dedicated is one of those who have best filled this relation to their race. Watchful of its necessities, merciful to its shortcomings, careful of its dignity, and cognizant of its capacity, may the results of his labor be handed down to future generations, and may his name and example be held in loving and lasting remembrance."


CHAPTER XVII

THE WOMAN'S CAUSE

1868-1910

 

Women who weave in hope the daily web,
Who leave the deadly depths of passion pure,
Who hold the stormy powers of will attent,
As Heaven directs, to act, or to endure;

No multitude strews branches in their way,
Not in their praise the loud arena strives;
Still as a flameless incense rises up
The costly patience of their offered lives.

J. W. H.

WE have seen that after the Doctor's death our mother felt that another chapter of life had begun for her. It was a changed world without that great and dominant personality. She missed the strength on which she had leaned for so many years, the weakness which through the past months she had tended and cherished. Henceforth she must lead, not follow; must be captain instead of mate.

In another sense, the new life had actually begun for her some years before, when she first took up public activities; to those activities, she now turned the more ardently for the great void that was left in heart and home. We must now go back to the later sixties, and speak of her special interests at that time.

Looking back over her long life, we see her in three aspects, those of the student, the artist, the reformer. First came youth, with its ardent study; then maturity, with its output of poems, plays, essays. So far she had followed the natural course of creative minds, which must absorb and assimilate in order that they may give out. It is in the third phrase that we find the aspect of her later life, a clear vision of the needs of humanity, and a profound hospitality which made it imperative for her to give with both hands not only what she had inherited, but what she had earned. Having enjoyed unusual advantages herself, the moment she saw the way to give other women these advantages, she was eager to "help the woman-standard new unfurled."

In the first number of the "Woman's Journal," of which she was one of the founders and first editors, she writes (January 8, 1870):–

"We who stand beside the cradle of this enterprise are not young in years. Our children are speedily preparing to take our place in the ranks of society. Some of us have been looking thoughtfully toward the final summons, not because of ill health or infirmity, but because, after the establishment of our families, no great object intervened between ourselves and that last consummation. But these young undertakings detain us in life. While they need so much care and counsel, we cannot consent to death. And this first year, at least, of our Journal, we are determined to live through."

Again she writes of this new departure:–

"In an unexplained hour a new light came to me, showing me a world of thought and character. The new domain was that of true womanhood, woman no longer in her ancillary relation to man, but in direct relation to the divine plan and purpose, as a free agent fully sharing with man every human right and every human responsibility. This discovery was like the addition of a new continent to the map of the world. It did not come all at once. In my philosophizing I at length reached the conclusion that woman must be the moral and spiritual equivalent of man. How otherwise could she be entrusted with the awful and inevitable responsibilities of maternity? The Civil War came to an end, leaving the slave not only emancipated but endowed with the full dignity of citizenship. The women of the North had greatly helped to open the door which admitted him to freedom and its safeguard, the ballot. Was the door to be shut in their faces?"

When this new world of thought, this new continent of sympathy was opened to her, she was nearly fifty years old. "Oh! had I earlier known," she exclaims, "the power, the nobility, the intelligence which lie within the range of true womanhood, I had surely lived more wisely and to better purpose."

Speaking of this new interest in her life, her old friend Tom Appleton (who had not the least sympathy with it) once said, "Your mother's great importance to this cause is that she forms a bridge between the world of society and the world of reform."

She soon found that she was not alone in her questioning; similar thoughts to hers were germinating in the minds of many women. In our own and other countries a host of earnest souls were awake, pressing eagerly forward. In quick succession came the women's clubs and colleges, the renewed demand for woman suffrage, the Association for the Advancement of Women, the banding together of women ministers. The hour had come, and the women. In all these varying manifestations of one great forward and upward movement in America, Julia Ward Howe was pars magna. Indeed, the story of the latter half of her life is the story of the Advance of Woman and the part she played in it.

The various phases may be taken in order. Oberlin, the first coeducational college, was chartered in 1834. Vassar, the first college for women only, was chartered in 1861, opened in 1865. Smith and Wellesley followed in 1875. Considering this brave showing, it is strange to recall the great fight before the barred doors of the great universities. The women knocked, gently at first, then strongly: our mother, Mrs. Agassiz, and the rest. They were greeted by a storm of protest. Learned books were written, brilliant lectures delivered, to prove that a college education was ruinous to the health of women, perilous to that of future generations. The friends of Higher Education replied in words no less ardent. Blast and counterblast rang forth. Still the patient hands knocked, the earnest voices called: till at length – there being friends as well as foes inside – slowly, with much creaking and many forebodings, the great doors opened; a crack, then a space, till to-day they swing wide, and the Higher Education of Women now stands firm as the Pyramids.

The idea of woman suffrage had long been repugnant to our mother. The demand for it seemed unreasonable; she was inclined to laugh both at the cause and its advocates; yet when, in November, 1868, Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson asked her to give her name to a call for a meeting in behalf of woman suffrage she did not refuse. It would be "a liberal and friendly meeting," the Colonel said, "without bitterness or extravagance."

On the day of the meeting she "strayed into Horticultural Hall" in her "rainy-day suit, with no idea of taking any active part in the proceedings." Indeed, she had hoped to remain unnoticed, until summoned by an urgent message to join those those who sat upon the platform; reluctantly she obeyed the summons. With this simple action the old order changed for her. On the platform were gathered the woman suffrage leaders, some of whom she already knew: William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, James Freeman Clarke; veteran captains of Reform, her husband's old companions-in-arms. Looking in their steadfast faces, she felt that she belonged with them; that she must help to draw the car of progress, not drag like a brake on its wheel.

Beside these were some unknown to her. She saw now for the first time the sweet face of Lucy Stone, heard the silver voice which was to be dear to her through many years. "Here stood the true woman, pure, noble, great-hearted, with the light of her good life shining in every feature of her face." These men and women had been the champions of the slave. They now asked for wives and mothers those civil rights which had been given to the negro; "that impartial justice for which, if for anything, a Republican Government should stand." Their speech was earnest; she listened as to a new gospel. When she was asked to speak, she could only say, "I am with you."

With the new vision came the call of a new duty. "What can I do?" she asked. The answer was ready. The New England Woman Suffrage Association was formed, and she was elected its first president. This office she held, with some interruptions, through life. It is well to recall the patient, faithful work of the pioneer suffragists, who, without money or prestige, spent themselves for the cause. Their efforts, compared to the well-organized and well-financed campaigns of to-day, are as a "certain upper chamber" compared with the basilica of St. Peter, yet it was in that quiet room that the tongues of Pentecost spoke.

"I am glad," she often said, "to have joined the suffrage movement, because it has brought me into such high company."

The convert buckled to her new task with all her might, working for it early and late with an ardor that counted no cost.

"Oh! dear Mrs. Howe, you are so full of inspiration!" cried a foolish woman. "It enables you to do so much! "

"Inspiration!" said "dear Mrs. Howe," shortly. "Inspiration means perspiration! "

She says of her early work for suffrage:–

"One of the comforts which I found in the new association was the relief which it afforded me from a sense of isolation and eccentricity. For years past I had felt strongly impelled to lend my voice to the convictions of my heart. I had done this in a way, from time to time, always with the feeling that my course in doing so was held to call for apology and explanation by the men and women with whose opinions I had hitherto been familiar. I now found a sphere of action in which this mode of expression no longer appeared singular or eccentric, but simple, natural, and, under the circumstances, inevitable."

It was no small thing for her to take up this burden. The Doctor, although a believer in equal suffrage, was strongly opposed to her taking any active part in public life. He felt as Grandfather Howe had felt forty years before when his son Sam spoke in public for the sake of Greece: it jarred on his traditions. Others of the family also deplored the new departure, and her personal friends almost with one accord held up hands of horror or deprecation. These things were inexpressibly painful to her; she loved approbation; the society and sympathy of "kent folk," whose traditions corresponded with her own; but her hand was on the plough; there was no turning back.

Suffrage worked her hard. The following year the New England Woman Suffrage Association issued a call for the formation of a national body; the names signed were Lucy Stone, Caroline M. Severance, Julia Ward Howe, T. W. Higginson, and G. H.Vibbert. Representatives from twenty-one States assembled in Cleveland, November 24, 1869, and formed the American Woman Suffrage Association. There was already a "National Woman Suffrage Association," formed a few months earlier; the new organization differed from the other in some points of policy, notably in the fact that men as well as women were recognized among the leaders. Colonel Higginson was its president at one time, Henry Ward Beecher, Bishop Gilbert Haven, and Dudley Foulke at others. The New England Woman's Club also admitted men to membership; it was a point our mother had very much at heart. She held that the Quaker organization was the best, with its separate meetings of men and women, supplemented by a joint session of both. She always insisted upon the salutary influence that men and women exercise upon one another.

"The two sexes police each other," she often said. She always maintained the importance of their united action in matters of public as of private interest. She was essentially a humanist in contradistinction to a feminist.

She worked for the American Association during the twenty-one years of its separate existence, first as foreign corresponding secretary, afterward as president, and in various other capacities. When, in 1890, the two societies united to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association, she became and continued though life one of the vice-presidents of that body. From the first, she was recognized as an invaluable leader. The years of philosophical study had made her mind supple, alert, quick to grasp and to respond, even as the study of languages brought her the gift of ready speech and pure diction. Her long practice in singing had given her voice strength, sweetness, and carrying power; above all, she was a natural orator, and speaking was a joy to her. The first time she ever made a speech in public was to a group of soldiers of the Army of the Potomac on the occasion of a visit to Washington during the war. She had driven out to visit the camp outside the Capital. Colonel William B. Greene disconcerted her very much by saying, "Mrs. Howe, you must speak to my men."

She refused, and ran away to hide in an adjacent tent. The Colonel insisted, and finally she managed to make a very creditable little speech to the soldiers.

Now, she no longer ran away when called upon to speak. Wherever the work called her, she went gladly; like St. Paul, she was "in journeyings often, ...in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often"; the journals are full of incidents picturesque to read, uncomfortable to live through. Occasionally, after some tremendous exertion, we read, "Maud must not know of this!" or, "No one must ever know that I took the wrong train!"

Much of her most important work for woman suffrage was done at the State House, Boston. In Massachusetts, the custom of bringing this subject before the legislature every year long prevailed. She always went to these hearings. She considered it a privilege to take part in them; counted them "among her most valued recollections." They extended over forty years or more.

These occasions were often exasperating as well as fatiguing. She never wearied of presenting the arguments for suffrage; she often suffered vexation of spirit in refuting those brought against it, but she never refused the battle. "If I were mad enough," she said once, "I could speak in Hebrew!"

She was "mad enough" when at a certain hearing woman suffrage was condemned as a "minority cause." Her words, if not in Hebrew, showed the fighting spirit of ancient Israel.

We quote from memory:–

The Reverend —: "The fact that most women are indifferent or opposed is a sufficient proof that woman suffrage is wrong."

Mrs. Howe: "May I ask one question? Were the Twelve Apostles wrong in trying to bring about a better social condition when almost the whole community was opposed to them?"

Dr. —: "I suppose that question was asked merely for rhetorical effect."

Mrs. Howe (having asked for two minutes to reply, with the whispered comment, "I shall die if I am not allowed to speak!"): "I do not know how it is with Dr. —, but I was not brought up to use the Bible for rhetorical effect. To my mind, the suffragists and their opponents are like the wise and the foolish virgins of the parable, equal in number but not in wisdom. When the Bridegroom cometh, may Dr. — have his wedding garment ready!"

She thus recalls some of the scenes in the State House where she was so long a familiar figure:–

"I have again and again been one of a deputation charged with laying before a legislature the injustice of the law which forbids the husband a business contract with his wife, and of that which denies to a married woman the right to be appointed guardian of her children. We reasoned also against what in legal language is termed 'the widow's quarantine,' the ordinance which forbids a widow to remain in her husband's house more than forty days without paying rent, the widower in such case possessing an unlimited right to abide under the roof of his deceased wife. Finally, we dared ask that night-walkers of the male sex should be liable to the same penalties as women for the same offence. Our bill passed the legislature, and became part of the laws of Massachusetts."

Elsewhere she writes: "In Massachusetts the suffragists worked for fifty-five years before they succeeded in getting a law making mothers equal guardians of their minor children with the fathers. In Colorado, when the women were enfranchised, the next legislature passed such a bill." Of the movement by which women won a right to have a voice in the education of their children, she says: "The proposal to render women eligible for service on the School Board was met at first with derision and with serious disapproval. The late Abby W. May had much to do with the early consideration of this measure, and the work which finally resulted in its adoption had its first beginning in the parlors of the New England Woman's Club, where special meetings were held in its behalf. The extension of the school suffrage to women followed, after much work on the part of men and of women."

"These meetings," she said once, speaking before the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, "show, among other things, the character of those who believe in suffrage with their whole heart. We who are gathered here are not a frantic, shrieking mob. We are not contemners of marriage, nor neglecters of home and offspring. We are individually allowed to be men and women of sound intellect, of reputable life, having the same stake and interest in the well-being of the community that others have. Most of us are persons of moderate competence, earned or inherited. We have had, or hope to have, our holy fireside, our joyful cradle, our decent bank account. Why should any consider us as the enemies of society, we who have everything to gain by its good government?"

It seems fitting to add a few more of her words in behalf of the cause which she served so long, – words spoken at Club meetings, at Conventions before Legislatures.

"But besides the philosophy of woman suffrage, we want its religion. Human questions are not glorified until they are brought into touch with the Divine...."

"The weapon of Christian warfare is the ballot, which represents the peaceable assertion of conviction and will. Adopt it, O you women, with clean hands and a pure heart."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"The religion which makes me a moral agent equally with my father and brother, gives me my right and title to the citizenship which I am here to assert. I ought to share equally with them its privileges and its duties. No man can have more at stake in the community than I have. Imposition of taxes, laws concerning public health, order, and morality, affect me precisely as they affect the male members of my family, and I am bound equally with then to look to the maintenance of a worthy and proper standard and status in all of these departments."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"God forbid that in this country chivalry and legislation should be set one against the other. I ask you, gentlemen, to put your chivalry into your legislation. Let the true Christian knighthood find its stronghold in your ranks. Arm yourselves with the best reasons, with the highest resolve, and deliver us poor women from the injustice which oppresses and defrauds us."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Revere the religion of home. Keep its altar flame bright in your heart.... The vestals of ancient Rome were at once guardians of the hearth and custodians of the archives of the Roman State. So, in every time, the home conserves the sacred flame of life, and the destiny of the nation rests with those who keep it."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Go abroad with the majesty and dignity of your home about you.... Let the modest graces of the fireside adorn you in the great gathering. This is a new sort of home missionary, one who shall carry the blessed spirit of home wherever she goes, a spirit of rest, of healing, of reconciliation and good-will."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"One aspect of this [the military argument] would make the protection which men are supposed to give to women in time of war the equivalent for the political rights denied them. But, gentlemen, let me ask what protection can you give us which shall compare with the protection we give you when you are born, little helpless creatures, into the world, without feet to stand upon, or hands to help yourselves? Without this tender, this unceasing protection, no man of you would live to grow up. It may easily happen that no man of a whole generation shall ever be called upon to defend the women of his country in the field. But it cannot happen that the women of any generation shall fail to give their unwearied and energetic protection to the infant men born of it. Some of us know how full of labor and detail this protection is; what anxious days, what sleepless nights it involves. The mothers are busy at home, not only building up the bodies of the little men, but building up their minds too, teaching them to be gentle, pure and honest, cultivating the elements of the human will, that great moralizing power on which the State and Church depend. A man is very happy if he can ever repay to his mother the protection she gave him in his infancy. So, the plea of protection has two sides."

"If manhood suffrage is unsatisfactory, it does not at all show that woman suffrage would be. On the contrary, we might make it much better by bringing to it the feminine mind, which, in a way, complements the masculine, and so, I think, completes the mind of humanity. We are half of humanity, and I do frankly believe that we have half the intelligence and good sense of humanity, and that it is quite time that we should express not only our sentiments but our determined will, to set our faces as a flint toward justice and right, and to follow these through the difficult path, through the thorny wilderness. Not to the bitter end, but a very sweet end, and I hope it may be before my end comes."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Her last service to the cause of woman suffrage was to send a circular letter to all the editors and to all the ministers of four leading denominations in the four oldest suffrage States, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho, asking whether equal suffrage worked well or ill. She received 624 answers, 62 not favorable, 46 in doubt, and 516 in favor. A letter from her to the London "Times," stating these results, appeared on the same day that the news of her death was cabled to Europe.

Thinking of the long years of effort which followed her adoption of the cause of woman suffrage, a word of the Doctor's, spoken in 1875, comes vividly to mind.

"Your cause," said he, "lacks one element of success, and that is opposition. It is so distinctly just that it will slide into popularity." He little thought that the cause was to wait forty years for that slide!

Side by side with the suffrage movement, growing along with it and with the women's clubs, and in time to be absorbed by them, was another movement which was for many years very dear to her, the Association for the Advancement of Women.

This Association had its beginning in 1873, when Sorosis, then a sturdy infant, growing fast and reaching out in every direction, issued a call for a Congress of Women in New York in the autumn of that year. She says of this call:–

"Many names, some known, others unknown to me, were appended to the document first sent forth. My own was asked for. Should I give or withhold it? Among the signatures already obtained, I saw that of Maria Mitchell, 76 and this determined me to give my own."

She went to the Congress, and "viewed its proceedings a little critically at first," its plan appearing to her "rather vast and vague."

Yet she felt the idea of the Association to be a good one; and when it was formed, with the above title, and with Mrs. Livermore as president, she was glad to serve on a sub-committee, charged with selecting topics and speakers for the first annual Congress.

The object of the Association was "to consider and present practical methods for securing to women higher intellectual, moral, and physical conditions, with a view to the improvement of all domestic and social relations."

At its first Congress she said:

"How can women best associate their efforts for the amelioration of Society? We must come together in a teachable and religious spirit. Women, while building firmly and definitely the fabric they decide to rear, must yet build with an individual tolerance which their combined and corporate wisdom may better explain. The form of the Association should be representative, in a true and wide sense. Deliberation in common, mutual instruction, achievement for the whole better and more valuable than the success of any, – these should be the objects held constantly in view. The good of all the aim of each. The discipline of labor, faith, and sacrifice is necessary. Our growth in harmony of will and in earnestness of purpose will be far more important than in numbers."

One hundred and ninety women formed this Association: a year later there were three hundred. The second Congress was held in Chicago, with an attendance "very respectable in numbers and character from the first, and very full in afternoon and evening."

On the second day, October 16, 1874, the subject considered was "Crime and Reform." The Journal says:–

"Mrs. Ellen Mitchell's paper on fallen women was first-rate throughout. I spoke first after it, saying that we must carry the war into Africa and reform the men...."

The meetings of the Congress grew more and more important to her. That of 1875 found her "much in tossed in mind" about going, on account of the Doctor's ill health. She consulted Mr. Clarke, but felt afterward that this was a mistake.

"My dæmon says: 'Go and say nothing. Nobody can help you bear your own child.'"

She went.

No matter how fatiguing these journeys were, she never failed to find some enjoyment in them; many were the pleasant "fruits of friendship" gathered along the way. Some one of the sisters was sure to have a tiny teapot in her basket; another would produce a spirit-lamp; they drank their tea, shared their sandwiches, and were merry. She loved to travel with her "dear big Livermore," with Lucy Stone, and the faithful Blackwells, father and daughter; perhaps her best-loved companion was Ednah Cheney, her "esteemed friend of many years, excellent in counsel and constant and loyal in regard."

Once she and Mrs. Cheney appeared together at an "A. A. W." meeting in a Southern city, where speaking and singing were to alternate on the programme. It was in their later years: both were silver-haired and white-capped. Our mother was to announce the successive numbers. Glancing over the programme, she saw that Mr. So-and-So was to sing "The Two Grenadiers." With a twinkling glance toward Mrs. Cheney, she announced, "The next number will be 'The Two Granny Dears'!"

The Reverend Antoinette Blackwell, describing one of these journeys, says:–

"As we went onward I was ready to close my eyes and 'loll' or look lazily out to see the flying landscape seem to be doing the work. When I roused enough to be looking at Mrs. Howe she was reading. Later, I looked again, she was still reading. This went on mile after mile till I was enough interested to step quietly across the aisle and peep over Mrs. Howe's shoulder without disturbing her. She was reading a Greek volume, apparently with as much enjoyment as most of us gain from reading in plain English when we are not tired...With apparent unwearied enjoyment, she told us anecdotes, repeated the little stories and rhymes and sang the little songs which she had given to her children and grandchildren....

"We lingered at the breakfast table in the morning and among other things came to comparing social likes and dislikes. 'I never can bring myself to destroy the least bit of paper,' said Mrs. Howe, meaning paper written on, containing the record of human thought and feeling which might be of worth, and its only record. To her these were the chief values of life."

The following notes are taken from the record of "A. A. W." journeys in the eighties:–

"Buffalo, October 22, 1881. I felt quite distracted about leaving home when I came this way for the Congress, but have felt clear about the good of it, ever since. I rarely have much religious meditation in these days, except to be very sorry for a very faulty life. I will therefore record the fact that I have felt an unusual degree of religious comfort in these last days. It seemed a severe undertaking to preach to-day after so busy a week, and with little or no time for preparation. But my text came to me as it usually does, and a hope that the sermon would be given to me, which, indeed, it seemed to be. I thought it out in bed last night and this morning...."

"My beautiful, beautiful West,
I clasp thee to my breast!
Or rather down I lie,
Like a little old babe and cry,
A babe to second childhood born,
Astonished at the mighty morn,
And only pleading to be fed,
From Earth's illimitable bread!"

"Left Schenectady yesterday. Drawing-room car. Read Greek a good deal. At Syracuse I took the tumbler of the car and ran out to get some milk, etc., for supper. Spent 25 cents, and took my slender meal in the car, on a table. After this, slept profoundly all the evening; took the sleeper at Rochester, and slept like the dead, having had very insufficient sleep for two nights past. Was awakened early to get out at Cleveland – much detained by a young woman who got into the dressing-room before me, and stayed to make an elaborate toilet, keeping every one else out. When at last she came out, I said to her, 'Well, madam, you have taken your own time, to the inconvenience of everybody else. You are the most selfish woman I ever travelled with.' Could only get a cup of coffee and a roll at Cleveland – much confusion about cars – regained mine, started, and found that I had left my trunk at Cleveland, unchecked. Flew to conductor, who immediately took measures to have it forwarded. Must wait all day at Shelby, in most forlorn hole I ever saw called a hotel. No parlor, a dark bedroom for me to stay in, a cold hell without the fire, and a very hot one with it. Dirty bed not made up, a sinister likeness of Schuyler Colfax hanging high on the wall, and a print of the managers of Andy Johnson's impeachment. I – in distress about my trunk – have telegraphed to Mansfield for the title of my lecture and learn that it is 'Polite Society.' Must give it without the manuscript, and must borrow a gown to give it in."

"Minnesota in Winter

"The twistings and turnings of a lecture trip have brought me twice, in the present season, to Minnesota....

"To an Easterner, a daily walk or two is the first condition of health. Here, the frost seemed to enter one's very bones, and to make locomotion difficult.... Life at the hotel was mostly an anxious tête-à-tête with an air-tight stove. Sometimes you roasted before it, sometimes you froze. As you crammed it with wood at night, you said, 'Will you, oh! will you burn till morning?' Finally, on the coldest night of all, and at that night's noon, you bade it farewell, on your way to the midnight train, and wondered whether you should be likely to go further and fare worse....

"After the lecture an informal sitting was held in the parlor of my hostess, at which there was much talk of the clubs of Boston; 'If I forget thee, O Jerusalem!' being the predominant tone in the minds of those presented. And at noon, away, in the caboose of a freight car, to meet the passenger train at Owatonna, and so reach Minneapolis by early evening.

"To travel in such a caboose is a somewhat rough experience. The dirt is grimy and of long standing. The pictures nailed up on the boards are not of an edifying description. The railroad employees who have admitted us into their place of refuge wear dirty overalls, and eat their dinner out of tin pails all afloat with coffee. One of my own sex keeps me in countenance....

"Minneapolis

"Twenty years ago, a small collection of wooden houses, of no particular account, except for the natural beauties of the spot on which they stood. Now, a thriving and well-built city, whose manufacturers have settled the controversy between use and beauty, by appropriating the Falls of St. Anthony to the running of their saw- and flour-mills. My first sensation of delight here was at finding myself standing on Hennepin Avenue. To a reader of Parkman's histories, the spot was classic.... To refresh my own recollections, I had recourse to the Public Library of the town, where I soon found Parkman's 'Discovery of the Great West.' Armed with this volume, with the aid of a cheap and miserable railroad map, I traced out something of the movements of those hardy French explorers. It was like living part of a romance, to look upon the skies and waters which had seen them wandering, suffering, yet undaunted....

"St. Paul

"But I cannot rest so near St. Paul without visiting this famous city also. I contemplate a trip in the cars, but my friendly host leaves his business for a day, and drives me over in an open sleigh. I do not undertake this jaunt without Bostonian fears of death of cold, but Minnesota cold is highly stimulating, and with the aid of a bottle of hot water, I make the journey without a shiver.... Numbers of Indian squaws from Mendota walk the streets in groups. I follow three of them into a warehouse. One of them has Asiatic features – the others are rather pretty. They are Sioux. I speak to them, but they do not reply. The owner of the warehouse asks what he can show me. I tell him that I desire to see what the squaws will buy. He says that they buy very little, except beads, and have only come into the store to warm themselves. They smile, and obviously understand English. We dine at the hotel, a very pleasant one. There is no printed bill of fare, but the waiter calls off 'beefsteak, porksteak,' etc., and we make a comfortable meal. I desire to purchase some dried buffalo meat, and find some, not without difficulty, as the season for selling it is nearly over. The crowning romance of the day is a sleighride of five miles on the Mississippi, giving us a near view of its fluted bluffs and numerous islets. We visit also the Falls of Minnehaha, now sheeted in ice, but very beautiful, even in this disguise. We talk of 'Hiawatha,' and my companion says, 'If Mr. Longfellow had ever seen a Sioux Indian, he would not have written "Hiawatha." The way to the bottom of the falls is so slippery with ice that I conclude not to attempt it. The day, which was one of great exposure, passed in great pleasure, and without chill or fatigue....

"In my days of romance, I remember watching late one night on board the Mediterranean steamer in order to be sure of the moment in which we should pass beyond the boundaries of the Italian shore. Something like such a feeling of interest and regret came over me when, in the unpoetic sleeper, I asked at what hour of the night the cars would pass out of Minnesota on the way back to Chicago. This sincere testimony from a veteran of travel, in all sorts, will perhaps convince those who do not know the young State that she has great charm of beauty and of climate, besides a great promise of future prosperity and eminence."

"Kansas

"Travel in Minnesota was living romance. Travel in Kansas is living history. I could not cross its borders, new as these are, without unlocking a volume of the past, written in blood and in prayer, and sealed with the forfeit of noble lives. A ghostly army of warriors seemed to escort me as I entered the fair, broad territory. John Brown, the captain of them, stretched his hand to the Capitol, and Sumner, and Andrew, and Howe were with him. Here was the stand made, here the good fight begun, which, before it was well under way, divided the thought and sentiment of Europe, as well as those of America.

"My tired spirit sought to shake off at this point the commonplace sense of weariness and annoyance. To be in Kansas, and that for work, not for pastime. To bring the woman's word where the man's rough sword and spade had once wrought together, this was poetry, not prose. To be cold, and hungry, and worn with journeying, could not efface the great interest and pleasure....

"Atchison

"I was soon told that a gentleman was anxious to speak with me concerning my land at Grasshopper, which borders immediately upon his own. Judge Van Winkle accordingly, with due permission, waited upon me, and unfolded his errand. Grasshopper, he said, was a growing place. It possessed already a store and an apothecary. It had now occasion for a schoolhouse, and one corner of my land offered the most convenient place for such an institution. The town did not ask me to give this land – it was willing to pay a fair price for the two acres wanted. Wishing to learn a little more about the township, I asked whether it possessed the requisite variety of creeds.

"Have you a Baptist, a Methodist, and Episcopalian, and a Universalist church?"

"'No,' said my visitor, 'we have no church at all. People who wish to preach can do so in some private house.' I afterwards learn that Judge Van Winkle is a student of Plato; who knows what may be his Hellenic heresy? He is endorsed, however, by others as a good, solid man, and the proposition for the schoolhouse receives my favorable consideration.

"Leavenworth

"My first visit to Leavenworth was a stay of a couple of hours between trains, on my way to southern Kansas. Short as this was, it yet brought to my acquaintance two new friends, and to my remembrance two old ones. Of the new friends, the first seen was Rev. Edward Sanborn, the Unitarian minister of the place. Mr. Sanborn met me at the comfortless depot, and insisted upon taking me to his lodgings, where Friend Number Two, in the shape of his amiable wife, added herself to the list of my well-wishers. Mr. Sanborn had just been burned out. His house took fire while he and his wife were spending Christmas Day with a neighbor, and burned so quickly that no article in it could be saved. He had found in the ashes the charred remains of his manuscript sermons, and had good hope of being able to decipher them. As the pleasant minutes passed in easy conversation, I could not help reflecting on the instinctive hospitality of Western life. This cosy corner in a mere hired bedroom had given me a rest and a shelter which I should have been unwilling to ask for in some streets of palaces which have been familiar to me from my youth up."

 

The Association for the Advancement of Women was a pioneer society, and did vital work for twenty-five years. During the greater part of that time she was its president. She never missed (save when in Europe) one of its annual congresses, or one of the mid-year conferences (of officers only) which she considered of high moment. She worked for the Association with a loving enthusiasm that never varied or faltered; and it was a real grief to her when the changing of the old order resolved it into its elements, to take new shape in the larger and farther-reaching work of the General Federation of Clubs, and other kindred societies.

Many of these may be called the children of "A. A. W. " The greatest service of the latter was in founding women's clubs throughout the country. Wherever they went, to conferences or conventions, its leaders called about them the thoughtful women of the neighborhood, and helped them to plan local associations for study and work.

 

There was still another aspect of the Woman Question, dearer to her even than "A. A. W. "

A woman minister once said: "My conviction that Mrs. Howe was a divinely ordained preacher was gained the first time that she publicly espoused the question of woman suffrage in 1869."

We have seen that little Julia Ward began her ministrations in the nursery. At eight years old she was adjuring her little cousin to love God and he would see death approaching with joy. At eleven she was writing her "Invitation to Youth":–

Oh! let thy mediations be of God,
Who guides thy footsteps with unerring eye;
And who, until the path of life is trod,
Will never leave thee by thyself to die.

When morning's rays so joyously do shine,
And nature brightens at the face of day,
Oh! think then on the joys that shall be thine
If thou wilt early walk the narrow way.

We have followed her through the Calvinistic period of religious gloom and fervor; through the intellectual awakening that followed; through the years when she could say to Philosophy, –
        "...The world its plenitude
May keep, so I may share thy beggary."

These various phases were like divers-colored shades covering a lamp: through them all the white flame of religion burned clear and steady, fostered by a natural piety which was as much a part of her as the breath she drew.

In the year 1865 came the call to preach. She was asked to speak before the Parker Fraternity in Boston. She chose for her discourse a paper on "Ideal Causation," which she had thought "the crown of her endeavor hitherto."

"To my sorrow, I found that it did not greatly interest my hearers, and that one who was reported to have wondered 'what Mrs. Howe was driving at' had spoken the mind of many of those present.

"I laid this lesson much to heart, and, becoming convinced that metaphysics did not supply the universal solvent for human evils, I determined to find a pou sto nearer to the sympathies of the average community, from which I might speak for their good and my own.

"From my childhood the Bible had been dear and familiar to me, and I now began to consider texts and sermons, in place of the transcendental webs I had grown so fond of spinning. The passages of Scripture which now occurred to me filled me with a desire to emphasize their wisdom by a really spiritual interpretation. From this time on, I became more and more interested in the religious ministrations of women...."

Her first sermon was preached at Harrisburg in 1870. Then followed the sermons in Santo Domingo, and those of the Peace Crusade in London; from this time, the Woman Ministry was one of the causes dearest to her heart. The Journal from now on contains many texts and notes for sermons.

In 1871, "What the lost things are which the Son of Man came to save, lost values, lost jewels, darkened souls, scattered powers, lost opportunities."

A year later: "Preached in the afternoon at the South Portsmouth meetinghouse. Text, 'I will arise and go unto my father.' Subject: 'The Fatherhood of God.' I did as well as usual.... In the evening my text was : 'Abide in me and I in you,' etc., but I was at one moment so overcome with fatigue that the whole thread of my discourse escaped me. I paused for a moment, excused myself briefly to the congregation, and was fortunate enough to seize the thread of my discourse again, and got through quite well. I felt this very much, – the fear of failure, I mean. The fatigue was great and my brain felt it much. My dæmon told me before hand that I could not repeat this sermon and had better read it. I shall believe him next time. This is a difficult point, to know how far to trust the dæmon. He is not to be implicitly trusted, nor yet to be neglected. In these days I am forced to review the folly and shortcomings of my life. My riper reason shows me a sad record of follies and of faults. I seem to sit by and listen sadly; no chastening for the present is joyous but grievous."

"Sunday, September 29. Reverend Mrs. Gustine to dine. I afterwards to church to hear her. A sweet woman, called of God, with a real power. Her voice, manner, and countenance, most sweet and impressive. Intellection not remarkable, I think, but tone, feeling, and effect very remarkable. No one, I think, would doubt the reality of spiritual things after hearing her. I asked myself why I am not jealous of her, as she preaches far more effectively than I do. Well, partly because I believe in my own gift, such as it is, and partly because what she does is natural, genuine, and without pretence or pretension. Her present Society was much disturbed by strife when she was called to its care. No man, she told me, could have united the opposing parties. A true woman could. This shows me a work that women have to do in the Church as well as elsewhere. Where men cannot make peace, they can. Mrs. Gustine says that by my writings and example I have helped her a great deal. I am glad to hear this, but pray to do far better than I have yet done.... Thought much about Mrs. Gustine, who, without any of my training and culture, can do what I cannot. I can also do what she cannot – think a subject out. She can only shadow and suggest, yet how powerful is the contact of her soul, and what a good power!"

"Saturday, October 26. To Vineyard Haven to help Mr. Stevens with to-morrow's services.... Arrival rainy and dismal. Mission house lonely in a storm. Mr. S.'s young niece very capable and pleasant; did the honors and took care of me. I was very hungry before supper, having had nothing since breakfast except a few chestnuts and a biscuit. Wondered a little why I had come."

"Sunday, 27th. Found out why I had come. Preached from text: 'Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works,' etc. Consider these wonderful works: the world we live in, a human body and brain, a human soul.

"Evening. 'The ministry of reconciliation,' how Christianity reconciles man to God, nature to spirit, men to each other.

"I went through the two services entirely alone. I felt supported and held up. I had hoped and prayed this journey might bring some special good to some one. It brought great comfort to me...."

 

On February 16, 1873, after hearing a powerful sermon, she feels awakened to take up the work over which she has dreamed so much, and talks with her friend, Mary Graves, herself an ordained minister of the Unitarian Church, about "our proposed Woman's Mission here in Boston." A few days later she writes: "Determined that my Sunday services must be held and to see Redpath 77 in this connection."

The result of this determination was the organization of the Woman's Liberal Christian Union, which held Sunday afternoon meetings through the spring. She preached the first sermon, on March 16. "I meant," she says, "to read my London sermon, but found it not suitable. Wrote a new one as well as I could. Had a very good attendance. Was forced to play the hymn tunes myself. Am thankful that the occasion seemed to meet with acceptance."

In 1873, a number of women ministers having come to Boston to attend the May Anniversaries, she conceived the idea of bringing them together in a meeting all their own. She issued a call for a Woman Preachers' Convention, and this convention, the first held in any country, met on May 29, 1873. She was elected president, the Reverends Mary H. Graves and Olympia Brown vice-presidents, Mrs. Bruce secretary. The Journal describes this meeting as "most harmonious and happy."

In 1893, speaking of this time, she said:–

"I find that it is just twenty years, last spring, since I made the first effort to gather in one body the woman who intended to devote themselves to the ministry.

"The new liberties of utterance which the discussion of woman suffrage had brought us seemed at this time not only to invite, but to urge upon us a participation in the advocacy of the most vital interests both of the individual and of the community. With some of us, this advocacy naturally took the form of preaching. Pulpits were offered us on all sides, and the charm of novelty lent itself to such merit and power as Nature had vouchsafed us. I am so much of a natural churchwoman, I might say an ecclesiast, that I at once began to dream of a church of true womanhood. I felt how much the masculine administration of religious doctrine had overridden us women, and I felt how partial and one-sided a view of these matters had been inculcated by men, and handed down by man-revering mothers. Now, I thought, we have got hold of what is really wanting in the Church universal. We need to have the womanly side of religion represented. Without this representation, we shall not have the fulness of human thought for the things that most deeply concern it. As a first step, I undertook to hold religious services on Sunday afternoons, and to secure for them the assistance of as many women preachers as I could hear of. I had in this undertaking the assistance of my valued friend, Reverend Mary H. Graves."

The society thus formed was called "The Woman's Church," later, "The Woman's Ministerial Conference." A second meeting was held, June 1, 1874, but it was not till 1892 that this Conference was finally organized and established, to her great satisfaction. She was elected its president, and held the office till death.

The secretary, Reverend Ada C. Bowles, says of this Conference: "As its main object was to promote a sense of fellowship, rather than to expect associated labor, owing to the scattered membership, meetings were not always regularly held, or possible. But it has held together because Mrs. Howe loved it, and had a secretary as loyal to her as she was to all the women ministers."

She herself has said: "I was impressed with the importance of religious life, and believe in the power of association. I believed that women ministers would be less sectarian than men; and I thought that if those of different denominations could meet occasionally and compare notes, it would be of value."

After the formal conference, she welcomed the members at her own house, talked with them, and heard of their doings. Her eyes kindled as she heard of the Wayside Chapel (of Malden, Massachusetts) built by its pastor, Mrs. E. M. Bruce, who was also its trustee, janitor, choir, and preacher; heard how for thirteen years this lady had rung the bell every evening for vesper service, and had never lacked a congregation; or of the other woman who was asked "very diffidently" if she would conduct the funeral services of an honest and upright man who had died of drink, owing to an inherited tendency.

"They had expected to have it in the undertaker's rooms," said the Reverend Florence Buck, of Wisconsin, "but we had it in my own church. It was packed with people of all sorts, who had been interested in him; and the Bartenders' Union were there in a body.... It was an opportunity that I would not have given up to preach to the President and Senate of the United States. Next day...they said, 'We expected she'd wallop us to hell; but she talked to us like a mother!'"

Then she turned to the president, and said, "The woman minister is often lonely. I want to thank Mrs. Howe, who welcomed me at the beginning of my ministry. Her hand-clasp has stayed with me ever since."

Our mother was never ordained: it is doubtful whether she ever contemplated such a step; but she felt herself consecrated to the work; wherever she was asked to preach, she went as if on wings, feeling this call more sacred than any other. She preached in all parts of the country, from Maine to California, from Minnesota to Louisiana; but the pulpit in which she felt most truly at home was that of the Church of the Disciples. Mr. Clarke had first welcomed her there: his successor, Charles Gordon Ames, became in turn her valued friend and pastor.

The congregation were all her friends. On Sundays they gathered round her after service, with greetings and kind words. She was ready enough to respond. "Congregationing," as she called this little function, was her delight; after listening devoutly to the sermon, there was always a reaction to her gayest mood. Her spirit came to church with folded hands of prayer, but departed on dancing feet. Sometimes she reproached herself with over-friskiness; but mostly she was too wise for this, and let the sun shine when and where it would.

She preached many times in the Church of the Disciples. The white-clad figure, the clasped hands, the upturned face shining with the inner light, will be remembered by some who read these pages.

END OF VOLUME I


Notes:

[Page 5]

1 Born 1756, died 1832. He graduated in 1771 from Rhode Island College (now Brown University) with distinguished honors.

[Page 6]

2 Granddaughter of Simon Ray, one of the original owners of the island. He was "pressed in a cheese-press" on account of his religious opinions.

[Page 10]

3 See Horry and Weems, Life of Marion. General Horry was a most zealous and devoted friend; as a biographer his accuracy is questionable, his picturequeness never.

[Page 11]

4 We have not found the date of his death, but Horry gives the principal features of his will as he got them from the family. He calls Judith Marion "Louisa," but that is his picturesque way. She may have been "Judith Louisa"! Women's names were not of much consequence in those days.

"After having, in the good old way, bequeathed 'his soul to God who gave it,' and 'his body to the earth out of which it was taken,' he proceeds:–

"In the first place, as to debts, thank God, I owe none, and therefore shall give my executors but little trouble on that score.

"Secondly, – As to the poor, I have always treated them as my brethren. My dear family will, I know, follow my example.

"Thirdly, – As to the wealth with which God has been pleased to bless me and my dear Louisa and children, lovingly have we labored together for it – lovingly we have enjoyed it – and now, with a glad and grateful heart do I leave it among them.

"'I give my beloved Louisa all my ready money – that she may never be alarmed at a sudden call.

"'I give her all my fat calves and lambs, my pigs and poultry – that she may always keep a good table.

"'I give her my new carriage and horses – that she may visit her friends in comfort.

"'I give her my family Bible – that she may live above the ill-tempers and sorrows of life.

"'I give my son Peter a hornbook – for I am afraid he will always be a dunce.'"

General Horry goes on to say that Peter was so stunned by this squib that he "instantly quit his raccoon hunting by night and betook himself to reading, and soon became a very sensible and charming young man."

[Page 13]

5 On first coming to this country, John Demesmaker settled in Hingham, Massachusetts. Later he moved to Boston, where he became known as Dr. John Cutler; married Mary Cowell, of Boston, and served as surgeon in King Philip's War.

[Page 18]

6 Reminiscences, p. 4.

[Page 19]

7 Reminiscences, p. 4.

[Page 21]

8 Reminiscences, p. 8.

[Page 33]

9 In later life she added to these the works of Spinoza, and of Theodore Parker.

[Page 44]

10 Reminiscences, p. 43.

[Page 57]

11 Reminiscences, p. 65.

[Page 59]

12 Longfellow had lent her "Beowulf."

[Page 62]

13 The Late Samuel Ward, by Mr. Charles King.

[Page 64]

14 Reminiscences, p. 53.

[Page 69]

15 This manuscript poem was lost, together with many others of this period, a loss always regretted by our mother.

[Page 71]

16 George S. Hillard.

17 Longfellow.

[Page 73]

18 Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe.

19 Memoir of Dr. Samuel G. Howe, by Julia Ward Howe.

[Page 74]

20 Afterwards Mrs. Charles H. Dorr. This lady was of no kin to them. She had been betrothed to their brother, Henry, and was the lifelong friend of all three sisters.

[Page 86]

21 William Wadsworth, of Geneseo.

[Page 87]

22 Edward Everett was at that time American Minister to England.

[Page 95]

23 S. G. H. to Charles Sumner.

[Page 115]

24 Louisa Ward married Thomas Crawford in 1844, and lived thereafter in Rome.

[Page 117]

25 Before the marriage of the latter to Adolphe Mailliard.

[Page 119]

26 Breakfast.

[Page 122]

27 The nurserymaid.

[Page 123]

28 Mrs. Harrison Gray Otis.

[Page 125]

29 She had had a severe attack of scarlet fever during that winter.

[Page 127]

30 The Five of Clubs. See ante.

[Page 129]

31 James K. Polk.

[Page 131]

32 Female Poets of America.

[Page 135]

33 Formerly part of the Via Sistina.

[Page 139]

34 "The Hero." See Whittier's Poems.

[Page 141]

35 The Commonwealth was a daily newspaper published in the Anti-Slavery interest. Dr. Howe was one of its organizers, and for some time its editor-in-chief. She says, "Its immediate object was to reach the body politic which distrusted rhetoric and oratory, but which sooner or later gives heed to dispassionate argument and the advocacy of plain issues." She helped the Doctor in his editorial work, and enjoyed it greatly, writing literary and critical articles, while he furnished the political part.

[Page 142]

36 Printed in Words for the Hour. 1857.

37 A German scholar, at this time an habitué of the house.

[Page 151]

38 Of Wilmington, Delaware.

39 Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe.

[Page 154]

40 Near Newport, of which it is really a suburb.

[Page 159]

41 George William Curtis.

42 Thomas Gold Appleton.

[Page 160]

43 Vaucluse, at Portsmouth.

[Page 168]

44 In consequence of the assault upon him in the Senate Chamber by Preston Brooks of South Carolina.

[Page 170]

45 This Fair was got up by Mr. Robert C. Winthrop for the benefit of the poor.

[Page 174]

46 Her pet name for Theodore Parker. Vide Dante's Inferno.

[Page 181]

47 The child's faithful nurse.

[Page 192]

48 "Our Orders."

[Page 197]

49 Miss Mary Paddock, our father's devoted amanuensis: one of the earliest and best-loved teachers at the Perkins Institution; often our mother's good helper; the faithful and lifelong friend of us all.

[Page 203]

50 "Hamlet at the Boston," Later Lyrics, 1866.

[Page 204]

51 To Mary Devlin, an actress of great charm.

[Page 219]

52 Lyrical Ventures, by Samuel Ward.

[Page 225]

53 The mother of Charles Sumner.

[Page 227]

54 Dr. Howe raised the money for this statue.

[Page 230]

55 Mrs. Francis and Mrs. McAllister.

[Page 231]

56 No. 19.

[Page 237]

57 Sister of James Freeman Clarke. An artist of some note and a beloved friend of our mother.

58 Margaret Foley, the sculptor.

[Page 238]

59 The widow of her uncle, William G. Ward.

60 Andrew Johnson.

[Page 240]

61 Dr. Francis Lieber, the eminent German-American publicist.

[Page 244-245]

62 Mr. Howells, in his Literary Boston Thirty Years Ago, thus speaks of her (1895): "I should not be just to a vivid phase if I failed to speak of Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and the impulse of reform which she personified. I did not sympathize with this then so much as I do now, but I could appreciate it on the intellectual side. Once, many years later, I heard Mrs. Howe speak in public, and it seemed to me that she made one of the best speeches I had ever heard. It gave me for the first time a notion of what women might do in that sort if they entered public life; but when we met in those earlier days I was interested in her as perhaps our chief poetess. I believe she did not care to speak much of literature; she was alert for other meanings in life, and I remember how she once brought to book a youthful matron who had perhaps unduly lamented the hardships of housekeeping, with the sharp demand, 'Child, where is your religion? ' After the many years of an acquaintance which had not nearly so many meetings as years, it was pleasant to find her, not long ago, as strenuous as ever for the faith or work, and as eager to aid Stepniak as John Brown. In her beautiful old age she survives a certain literary impulse of Boston, but a still higher impulse of Boston she will not survive, for that will last while the city endures."

[Page 255]

63 Count Alberto Maggi, an Italian littérateur.

[Page 256]

64 At the Lexington Lyceum for the Monument Fund.

[Page 264]

65 This was evidently a meeting of the "Brain Club."

[Page 266]

66 "Kenyon's Legacy," printed in Later Lyrics.

[Page 288]

67 Formerly Anagnostopoulos. He dropped the last three syllables soon after coming to this country.

[Page 290]

68 The Handel and Haydn Festival.

[Page 297]

69 1869-1871. He took the course of geology and mining engineering, graduating at the head of his class.

[Page 301]

70 Napoleon III.

[Page 314]

71 "To suckle fools and chronicle small beer." Othello.

[Page 321]

72 Reminiscences, p. 346.

[Page 336]

73 Reminiscences, p. 362.

[Page 339]

74 Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe.

[Page 347]

75 Mrs. Charles C. Perkins.

[Page 373]

76 She had a great regard and admiration for Miss Mitchell. Scientific achievement seemed to her well-nigh miraculous, and roused in her an almost childlike reverence.

[Page 388]

77 Of the Redpath Bureau.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

This book has been put on-line as part of the BUILD-A-BOOK Initiative at the
Celebration of Women Writers.
Initial text entry and proof-reading of Volume I. were the work of volunteer
Susan L. Farley.

Notes have been gathered from each page and collected at the end of the book. They have been renumbered to reflect their ordering in the book, rather than their ordering upon each page. Size and placement of illustrations may vary slightly from the originals.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom