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1894 Meeting Minutes
OCT. 2, 1894-NOV. 27, 1894
MS 988, Box 3, Book 3
[Remainder of season missing from collection]
October 2nd, 1894.
The 35th Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, being the first meeting of our new Club year 1894, and 1895, took place on Tuesday, October 2nd, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull] our lately returned President, rose to call the meeting to order, and to greet her old friends and fellow members again. She announced that the retiring President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent] [,] had hoped to be present to welcome
her, and all of us, in our reunion, but was prevented from doing so by the very severe illness of her mother. She proposed an expression of our sincere sympathy with Miss Brent, and our regret for her absence. The proposal received an unanimous approval, by a standing vote; and one of the Secretaries was requested to convey to Miss Brent the expression of the sympathy and regret of her fellow members.
Mrs. Turnbull then gave the annual opening address to the Club. She spoke of the turning of her heart to the Club through all of her journeys abroad, and said that next to her home, the Club had held its place in her memory during her absence. She spoke of her recollection of the individual members as she visited places that would have specially interested each one of them. She came back to work with us for the good of all, by God’s help to work faithfully, to stand in the true Catholic spirit, trusting to be guided by the grace that leads to quietness and confidence, to thought and growth, to greater efficiency in our work and higher spirituality and firmer faith. We have, we trust, learned some wise lessons, and developed some gifts and advantages in adversity;--in our experience we have tasted the bitter as well as the sweet, and found something of value in both. Mrs. Turnbull went on to speak of the work of Committees, and of the conscientious ruling of their Chairmen in giving to the Club, without friendly partiality or favor, the best and highest work submitted to them.
Also of the auxiliary work of Sub-Committees[.] She reminded us of our hope and our aim that the work of our Club shall take high ran in Baltimore and in our Country.
Woman’s work needs no apology now, in literature; there are few now who will not grant her the place she has striven for in the past. We have only to be true to ourselves, to the divine part of our being--in tranquility. Woman is qualified to be the instrument of applying noble thoughts to life and character. She is able to organize the gifts of others, to choose high standards, to put heart above head. Women have been said to go farther than men in some things,--in the quickness of their perceptions, for instance. But whatever we desire or win, we must see to it that we do not lose the essentially womanly qualities given us to benefit the world.
The assertion that women are not original, or have never originated anything of values, is best met by the value of our work,--essentially our own work. Of course we must not leave out good study nor good acquaintance with the great teachers of all ages. There may be now no pretence of two standards in literary judgements; but we must be braver and keener for truth, and nobler in all things at home and abroad, that none may look askance at the woman’s work, which rests on the broad foundation of fact. Let us prove that the literary woman is equal to all her duties,--that the women who belong to the association are for that reason, none womanly, more
Sympathetic, more unselfish; with the finest rules, believing and living by the higher spiritual law of love. We can bring harmony out of the intellectual life by which we are refreshed and strengthened.
Mrs. Turnbull spoke of having been in Rome in the beautiful spring time, and of feeling there how enduring is the speech and work of Literature. Coming from a land which has no past, no history comparatively,--she went from one scene to another, for one month, recalling what the great writers have done to bring before us “the grandeur that was Rome.” She went on to speak of the relics of forgotten tribes and religions, of the spoils of tombs and of empires; and of the present search for all that can be recovered of the things of past ages. Then of the grave of Shelley, and of that of Keats, with their associations and suggestions to the readers of our English poetry. Then of Florence, with its commemorations of Dante,--and of Mrs. Browning. Then of Venice, where Robert Browning died. Also of Edinburgh, and of Walter Scott’s home at Abbottsford,--of Dryburgh Abbey, and of the hills of “Wordsworth’s Shire.”
She spoke of the tomb of the greatest of England’s writers,--and of the wooden effigy above it; and then told us of a new discovery of great interest to all the lovers of Shakespeare,--to all lovers of literature. She saw the latest gift to the collection at Stratford,--a bust of Shakespeare that had been walled up in an old theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It is a fine intellectual likeness of the great dramatist,--resembling
The celebrated death mask. Our President asked the librarian, who had charge of this new discovery; if there was any printed account of it which she could bring away with her? She was told that it was too recent for a published notice of it to have been given. Our President told us that she had kept silence with regard to this rare piece of literary intelligence, wishing to reveal it first to her Club. She spoke of having felt our companionship even when far away from us; and of the fellowship of feeling in the republic of letters, and of the mysterious sympathy that is able to “make the whole world akin.”
Mrs. Turnbull was presented with some beautiful roses by Mrs. Early [Maud Graham Early], and also with a most elegant bouquet, of the same kind of flowers, from the Lend-a-Hand-Club of Mt. Washington, brought by Mrs. Carter [Sally K. Carter] of that place. Mrs. Turnbull in graceful and humorous words returned thanks. She regretted the absence of some of the members of the Mt. Washington Club. She also much regretted that our retiring President could not be present on this occasion to give us some account of the work of the past year. She then announced that the Recording Secretary had brought a short report of the year’s work, which she would now read. After reading this report, the Secretary read the minutes of the meeting from June 5th, 1894.
The President announced a very interesting programme for the next meeting on October 9th;--also a discussion to be held on October 30th, which
promises to be very entertaining. She spoke of the new book of Mrs. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer], one of our members,--called “England in the Nineteenth Century.”
She also spoke of the recent return of our fellow member, Mrs. Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], from Berlin; where she has been engaged in successful work in her own line of scientific study, with distinguished companions. The result of this work will, we hope, before long, be announced. Some explanations were made with regard to the meeting of the 16th of October.
Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] read a letter from the Lend-a-Hand-Club, giving us its greeting and congratulations on the return of our President. Mrs. Turnbull expressed her appreciation of the welcome they had given her in the language of flowers. A vote of thanks was given to the Lend-a-Hand Club.
Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], First Vice President, also said a few appropriate words of welcome to Mrs. Turnbull, again our President. The Recording Secretary announced that Mrs. Turnbull had brought us a souvenir of her journey abroad, and had present to the Club, two beautiful busts of Virgil and Dante. In appreciation of this gift she moved a vote of thanks to our President, which received an unanimous response.
The rest of the afternoon was passed in the enjoyment of pleasant greetings and refreshments; and the first meeting of the Club year 1894 and 1895 was adjourned.
October 9th, 1894.
The 114th regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 9th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott], Chairman of the Committee on Maryland Authors and Artists. A large number of the members and some visitors being present in the assembly room when the appointed our arrived, Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], First Vice President, explained the unaviodable detention of our President,and called the meeting to order. Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], with the two special guests of the Club, Mrs. Herrick and Miss Wharton being momentarily expected, it was announced that the programme of the evening should begin to be given without further delay, by the reading of the minutes. The Recording Secretary then read the Minutes of the meeting of October 2nd.
At the close of the reading the President arrived and took the chair. Mrs. Herrick and Miss Wharton were also escorted to the platform. The President introduced Mrs. Herrick, whose connection with the Century Magazine, and other literary work was well known to us. Mrs. Herrick then gave us her article on James Russell Lowell. She told us that she would not say much of the poet and the man, as he is well known to all of us; but would speak of him as he appeared in his home,
and in his letters to herself. Some of his letters to her had been used by his biographers; but some had not,--especially those she wished to read to us now. She spoke of having visited Mr. Lowell’s home in the Spring of 1876, and of having spent a month there. From this and other visits, she painted his home and family life most attractively. She read a humorous letter in which he speaks of growing old, and of wearing spectacles--not nippers,--and of being unwilling to let the servants see him wearing them. Also of growing stout,--but with the comfort of being as great a fool as ever. He recalls that Horace and Coleridge complained of their own rotundity, and that Byron fought flesh, as he would have done well to fight fleshliness.
He speaks of the entertainment of Boston as being an invitation to dinner, and a drive through Mt. Auburn Cemetery:--but hints that the excellence of the dinner may lighten the gloom of the other pastime. He hoped afterwards that it might not be recorded of him that he sat, with his library of about seven thousand volumes around him, and read only his own poems to his visitors.
A description was given of a visit to Lowell from George Parsons Lathrop, the son-in-law of Hawthorne, who was very anxious to be informed of the exact political position of his father-in-law during the great Civil War. Lowell gave him information on this subject; but warned him to be particular in his statements, for that “Here was a Southerner
who knew all about it.["] Mrs. Herrick went on to speak of Lowell’s true love of Nature, and quoted his description of spring,--the backward and lagging Spring of Massachusetts,--where, whatever the poets have said,--the first of May is not May and there is one leap from April into June.
We were told of Lowell’s early and happy love for Maria White, the wife whom he has immortalized in his poem “My Love.” The woman who, as Mrs. Herrick said, could inspire a boy scarcely twenty one to write a love poem worthy to stand with anything in our language, would seem the ideal wife for a poet. We were reminded of “The Changeling,” The First Snow Fall,["] and of some other biographical poems. Mrs. Herrick spoke of Lowell’s second wife, who had been Miss Frances Dunlap,--as having been as truly the partner of his later years as Maria White had been of his early ones. She spoke of his Northern birth, education, and opinions, but also of the kind and cordial feeling he evinced for the South after the War. Also of his independent and consistent political course. She quoted his grateful tribute to the State of Virginia,--the State who gave us our country, in giving us Washington. She said that Baltimore was proud to welcome him in 1877, when he gave at the Johns Hopkins University, his lectures on Dante, which many of us are truly glad to remember. She spoke of his diplomatic career in Spain, and in England. Mrs. Herrick then spoke
with admiration of Lowell’s fine “Commemoration Ode.” He had, as she reminded us, engaged to write this poem for a “Commencement” of Harvard College, in memory of the students who had fallen during the Civil War. But he seemed unable, for a time, to begin it. As she had before quoted from him, it was “of no use to set traps for inspiration.” At last one night he said it must be done; and in the six hours between 10 p.m. and 4 in the morning--he wrote this poem of 523 lines, which has been most justly admired.
Mrs. Herrick said that Lowell never uses the set phrases of the poetaster, nor even those of the poet, and that his thought is spontaneous. Like the Lady of Shalott, he sees Nature reflected in a mirror,--the mirror of his own consciousness. We were reminded that the fault of some poets have been excused, as having been the effects of the times in which they lived; but that the poet ought to be of no one age,--ought to keep alive the beauty of all ages.
Mrs. Herrick told of having met Mr. Lowell in 1898, in Westminster Abbey. It was the last time she saw him, and she thought it a fitting place in which to bid him farewell. The President said that our members would later in the meeting have an opportunity of thanking Mrs. Herrick for her article. Mrs. Turnbull then introduced Miss Anne H. Wharton of Philadelphia, author of “Through Colonial Doorways,” and also of “Colonial Days and
Dames.” It was announced that this lady would now read to us some extracts from the latter of these books. Miss Wharton’s reading related chiefly to the literary women of colonial times. She began with Anne Hutchinson, whose noble nature and religious fervor was, in her own day misunderstood, and caused her to be condemned, and banished from the Colony of Massachusetts, as a teacher of dangerous doctrines. Half a century later she would have found opportunity for a fine career. The next Colonial Dame referred to was Anne Bradstreet, the daughter of one Colonial Governor and the wife of another one, a true singer, called by a contemporary “the mirror of her age, and the glory of her sex.” She was the mother of eight children, and “as much loved for her domestic diligence as admired for her genius.”
Miss Wharton described her home life, and read to us some of her poems. She told us that Mrs. Bradstreet was the ancestress of the Channings, of the Danas, and of the writer who left us a few days ago Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. We were made acquainted with the literary efforts of Mrs. Stockton of New Jersey. We were also told of Mrs. Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson of Philadelphia, and of her endeavors for meditation, and for bringing about peace during the American Revolution. Also of her poetical correspondence, with the Rev. Nathaniel Evans, which has been compared with that of Swift and Stella in its entertaining and humorous qualities. Miss Wharton went on to tell of the
New England colonial life, and the modes of thought, the customs and restrictions that prevailed in it. She told of one Puritan lady who was excommunicated from her church, for having been present at the Christmas festivities of some poor Germans who lived on her estate. Life was less stern in New York and Pennsylvania, and the South kept Merrie Christmas, and as time went on, the barriers of prejudice gave way even in New ENgland. And even in the olden-time, children went to school and played together, the girls sharing in their brother’s sports, and the boys and girls grew up to be the fathers and mothers of a great nation.
The next article given us was a poem by Mr. David M. Henderson, read by Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese. It was on “The Grave of Helen Hunt Jackson.” He speaks of the grave on the mountain side, near the wide prairie, with the sun and air above it as the fitting resting place of the hero-hearted woman who gave to Earth’s low sigh, and to Heaven’s high song her equal sympathy. He speaks of the old heroes whose mounds were made by those who loved them giving each a stone;--and to her he gives his wayside offering.
The article of Mrs. Manly, Chairman of the Committee on the Authors and Artists of Maryland, had been deferred to the end of the programme. Mrs. Manly spoke of the great interest of the books of Maryland authors published during the past year. She reminded us of the works of five of the
Members of our own Club. She spoke of the book of Mrs. Latimer [Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer] on “England in the Nineteenth Century”;--that of Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] on “Lamb and Coleridge”;--the new dramatic work of Miss Malloy [Louise Malloy];--the charming short stories of Miss Cloud;--and the work of Miss Reese, our own poet. Miss Manly went on to speak of the work of Dr. Maurice Fluegel of Baltimore on Biblical Legislation; and recounted the admiration expressed for it in Europe by such critics like Herbert Spencer, Max Muller, and others. We were told of some forthcoming works, and also of some other writers in Maryland.
Mrs. Manly then spoke of a series of articles lately published in the Century Magazine on Edgar Allan Poe, containing letters addressed to Poe, and items of interest concerning him. We were told of the effort of a son of Rufus W. Griswold to vindicate his father from the charge of having been unfair or malevolent in his biography of Poe. Mrs. Manly compared Griswold’s view of Poe with those of N. P. Willis, Miss [?Osgord], and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Clemm. She read the letters to Poe from Miss Barrett, afterwards Mrs. Browning. In this is quoted the opinion of Miss Barrett’s future husband on Poe’s writings. After giving us interesting information, Mrs. Manly closed her article with a quotation from Poe’s lecture on “The Poetic Principle,” in which he speaks “that desire of the moth for the star,”--and of that thirst that belongs to the immortality of man, at once a consequence and an indication of his perennial existence.
The President thanked Mrs. Manly for the pleasure she had given the Club this afternoon.
The programme for the following Tuesday was announced.The literary exercises being over, the members of the Club were presented to the guests of the evening; and some time was spent in the enjoyment of conversation and of the refreshments prepared by our House Committee, and the meeting informally adjourned.
October 16th, 1894.
The 115th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 16th 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Edmund Jenkins [Mrs. Edmund Plowden Jenkins], Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. In the absence of the Recording Secretary no minutes of the previous meeting were presented. The President called the meeting to order, and announced that resolutions of sympathy with our late President, Miss Brent [Emma Fenwick Brent], on the recent bereavement,--the loss of her mother,--had been passed by the Board of Management. These resolutions were were heartily endorsed by the Club; and the Corresponding Secretary was requested to convey them to Miss Brent.
The President then referred to the recent death of Oliver Wendell Holmes. She appointed
Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] to prepare a paper upon Dr. Holmes to be read before the Club on the last Tuesday in November. Other members of the Club were requested to contribute to the interest of the occasion, by reading selections from his writings, or in other appropriate methods.
The members of the Committee on Bibliography were requested by their Chairman to meet her after the meeting of the Club had adjourned.
The programme of the day called for six short stories, with the fitting introduction of an article by Miss Virginia Cloud [Virginia Woodward Cloud] on the “Science of the Short Story.” The theories which were advanced with regard to artistic perception, harmony, and coherence of thought were supported by high authority. The telling effects made possible by attention to trivial details, the source or origin of realism as found in Nature, and the potent use of conversation in story-telling,--”by letting the character tell their own story”--were dwelt upon, yet, we were reminded that some writers as Kipling, King, and Matthews--prefer narration. “Every story has its crisis, leading to its own climax.” “A climax is most difficult--when it is reached before the close,”--as we were told, there is then more trouble in keeping up the interest to the end. “Pathos, another element in story telling, must be indulged in with restrictions.[?”] The trend of that which is most successful in journalism, is the humorous blending with the sorrowful.--as in real life. Kipling is a master in this art; and in the
Power of concealment or reserve of pathos. Holy Scripture gives us the essence of such mastery when “the Lord turned and looked upon peter.” Then “the reader’s imagination must be trusted.” And “the atmosphere of the story is much spoken of now.” But, after all, Miss Cloud reminded us “We should never ask the propounder of such rules if he keeps them himself.”
Then followed the six short stories of the programme, namely: “A Master of Fact Conscience,” by Miss Lizette W. Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese];--”The Ostracism of Patience,” by Mrs. Whitelock [Louise Clarkson Whitelock];--”The Man with the Broken Heart,”--Anonymous,--Read by Mrs. Jenkins;--”The Loss of the Lily,”--and “A Walk in War Times,”--“Stories for Children,” by Mrs. Percy Reese [Elizabeth Reese],--and “A Vignette;”There were Three” by Mrs. Frederick Tyson [Florence McIntyre Tyson]. Soome, at least of these stories were written for publication.
The meeting adjourned.
October 23rd, 1894.
The 116th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, October 23rd 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham], Chairman of the Committee on PHilanthropy. The President, Mrs. Turnbull[,] [Francese Litchfield Turnbull] called the meeting to order. The Recording Secretary read her Minutes
Of the meeting of October 9th. The Secretary having been absent by reason of illness--from the meeting of October 16th, the notes on that occasion were taken by the First Vice President, Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock]. By request, Mrs. Bullock next read to us a very satisfactory report of the meeting of October 16th. The Minutes of both meetings were approved. The President announced that on the last Tuesday in November--the 6th of that month,--we are to have a memorial meeting for Oliver Wendell Holmes; the Chairman of the Committee in charge of this meeting was Mrs. Graham; and a preliminary meeting would be held to consult about the programme, at the house of Mrs. Early [Maud Graham Early], on Tuesday morning the 30th of October.
The first article on our programme was by Mrs. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley], and was called “Giving Yourself.” Mrs. Cautley spoke of former days, when there was a greater gulf fixed between the poor and the rich than now there is, when Gaffer Gray could well believe that “I was the poor man alone who heard the poor’s moan,” and “of a little, a little would give.” She said now, in the evening of our century, we are all coming closer together; not leveling, which would imply descending for some of us, but all coming up higher, growing wiser, and giving richer gifts to each other. She wished to tell us of one woman who had only herself to give, and did not withhold the offering. Miss Barnwell, who lives among us, had a very little
Property, and might have sat down to do fancy work, but such was not her fancy. She herself had had experience of treatment for injury to the spine; and she devoted her attention to the modification and improvement of the plaster jacket,--in making it flexible and removable. Her efforts have succeeded in relieving the pain and discomfort of hundreds of sufferers. But her chief work has been for the children of the slums. The King’s Daughters have helped in this work, and in the teaching of the children,--which is mostly Kindergarten teaching. Lately Miss Barnwell’s work has also been given to working women, to those who have neither time nor money for the treatment--or who have the preference for being treated by a woman. When the patient is able to pay three or five dollars for a jacket, the money goes to buy a barrel of plaster or a barrel of flour. The means to carry on her work comes almost always, when it is needed. She spoke at the beginning of one year of not having the money to engage her teacher; and being asked what she was going to do about it, answered: “I am going to engage my teacher, not knowing how Heaven is going to send the money.” Soon after, some one sent her the sum needed for the salary of the teacher.
Mrs. Cautley went on to speak of individual cases; of children who had lived in cellars,--”had never seen heaven,”--who had been kept in the dark
In more than one sense, their families being ashamed of them or of their deformities, of some who could only be reached by invoking the aid of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and of some who at the sight of toys or of flowers were obliged to have such things explained to them. One or two we were told of who had gone to a better pace,--”perhaps to give a good report where the best help comes from.” Some cases were brought before us of different degrees of physical restoration, and of mental and spiritual awakening or revival. Mrs. Cautley recounted some efforts of her own for the relief of a helpless cripple, during which Miss Barnwell’s trained skill was invoked with gratifying success. We were told of the process of making and putting on the plaster jackets, and of Miss Barnwell’s care in removing and renewing and refitting them as improvement or comfort demanded.
Mrs. Cautley went on to speak of the passion of pity which seems to animate the young people,--especially the young girls of to day; developing into college settlements, fresh air societies, hospital visiting, and nursing for those who can bear scenes of blood--and other philanthropies; all pursued with the enthusiasm at which the former generation was accustomed to smile, or on which they threw cold water. She spoke of many works that all women can do;--works that are “naught but pure womanly.” If we cannot make
plaster jackets, we can do the Kindergarten work, if we cannot teach, we may have the gift of song, we may mend broken toys or explain the meeting of toys or of flowers, if we cannot leave home, a crippled or forlorn child may be brought to us. At all times these little ones are around us, and in caring for one of these we are entertaining another guest unawares.
Mrs. Graham spoke of our painful sympathy with suffering and also of our satisfaction in its relief.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. John M. Carter [Florence Carter], and was called “Defectives.” Mrs. Carter spoke of the large body of defective human beings, of the insane, feeble minded, epileptic, deformed, disabled etc. She touched on the unknown meaning and causes of many of the defects w see around us, and quoted the declaration made to Moses “Who maketh the dumb or deaf?--or the seeing or the blind? Have not I the Lord?” The ancient Hebrew was taught his duty to the deaf and lame and blind of his nation. The Great Physician, who, to a blind man declared himself the Light of the World, cared for and cured every degree of defect, bodily mental and spiritual. The poets of antiquity tell us of the same defects we see around us to day. Mrs. Carter then spoke of the treatment or the maltreatment of the insane and epileptic, from the days of ancient Egypt and Greece and
Peris to our own times. Also of the old belief in supernatural influences, and the possession of evil spirits; and of the spells and exorcisms formerly practiced upon unfortunate human creatures. In the middle ages, perhaps the best off of these were the most poor,--the freest from interference. She spoke of what the most erudite of modern scientists have done for these defective ones. She went on to speak of the efforts of Dr. Franklin to improve the condition of the insane, also of the new treatment which began with the present century. In almost all hospitals now, the old prison cells are abolished. In Belgium, village homes and village life are substituted for the crowded, generally not fire-proof--asylums of other lands. Of course some restraint is necessary and some place away from home, for in home life the family has its rights as well as the defective member. It would seem that nowhere better than in our own land could the Belgian system have its complete development.
Mrs. Carter next spoke of the feeble minded, whose reason is not lost, but of arrested growth. These are educable, but are often hidden away by the affection or shame of those to whom they belong. There is often owing to the feeble minded a debt, not only of charity, but of penance for some fault or wrong of others than themselves. The state has its duty to them also. We were told of one woman whose 1200 criminal and defective descendants
have cost the state of New York a quarter of a million of dollars; and she was a feeble minded person. In speaking of epileptics, Mrs. Carter said that the State of Maryland had lately opened one of the few homes for them in our land. We were reminded of the writing of Hippocrates on this disease; and also of the boy in the New Testament who fell oft times in to water and into the fire. We were told the Mohammed, Peter the Great and many other men great in history have been more or less so afflicted. We were given the description in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar["] of the great conqueror’s falling down in the market place, speechless, foaming at the mouth.
Mrs. Carter spoke of the blind--the physically and mentally blind,--and of the deaf and dumb. Blindness, she said, unlike deafness, is but seldom congenital. She spoke of those who, although born deaf, are not necessarily dumb; and of the successful efforts to give them speech. She reminded us of the history of the raised letters--and of the late improvements in them--which give the power of reading to the blind. It has been thought, she said, that the deaf are better off than the blind, but it is now believed that the lack of both hearing and speech affects the mind, more than the lack of sight. She then spoke of the lame and otherwise disabled, also of the imbecile. She quoted the saying of Goethe that “despair of humanity is distrust of God.”
In closing, Miss Carter [Mrs. Carter] said that for the legion of defectives there is a larger outlook than ever before, than even for the worst cases has some the morning light.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Early [Maud Graham Early], and was called “The Haven.” She described the Haven whose door is always open, like an ideal charity. But one Sunday evening the Matron sits down tired--feeling that things have gone wrong. No lady visitor has come in, no minister has arrived to hold service for the inmates. She is making up her mind to call once more upon Father [?Didier], a patient who never refuses the call however often it comes. While she sits waiting a stranger comes before her, whose face she seems to know, and whose help she claims. A woman who bewails her own fiendish temper, asks his help also, a young girl seeks his blessing; the wife of a forger comes to tell her trouble; and one who says she never had any chance, but followed her own way to ruin, grows human, repentant and forgiving in his presence. He says the right word to each, he reads and prays with them, and each one is comforted satisfied and strengthened. The matron wakes at last, happier and stronger for her vision of Christ and his work in The Haven.
The last article on our programme was by Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull], and was called “Hasty Glimpses of Foreign Streets.” Mrs. Turnbull
Said that [on] account of the lateness of the hour, her article should be omitted or deferred. Mrs. Graham and others protested against any omission. Mrs. Turnbull said she hoped her hasty glimpses and observations might give some suggestions to the Club. On landing in Liverpool, she said, she had expected the roar and rush of our own docks and wharfs, but everything, including the cars, seemed quiet. Learning more of the city which appeared very well governed, “gin palaces” were found to be numerous, and vagrants lie around the Wellington monument and elsewhere. On Sunday, saloons are closed during the morning services, but open afterwards. There are temperance wagons, open air preaching, and the Salvation Army in the streets. St. George’s Hall provides concerts, and there are free days at the Fine Arts Exhibition, but there seemed little interest in them. The law-abiding English nation sets us good examples in city government, their laws are probably better administered than ours; but there are some city problems which are yet unsolved by them,--which are even more important to us.
Mrs. Turnbull next spoke of Edinburgh, where lived Thomas Chalmers, who wrote and worked for the “Christian and Civic Economy of Large Towns.” But there, a little way across from the beautiful public gardens and residences, from the monuments to Scott and Burns, lies a region, once the historic pride of the city, now
densely populated by the poor, where there seems to be neither air nor sun, where the vapors and uncleanliness of ages seem to linger. The romantic and poetic associations of this historic ground were vividly recalled to us, but they cannot bring hope or comfort to those who dwell on it to day. It was suggested that the poor people could well be removed to healthier homes and better air; and that a large number of the buildings could be taken down, and the rest preserved as historic monuments of the past.
Mrs. Turnbull went on to speak of Florence, Rome and Naples; saying that in the former two cities, much as been done to make the people healthy. In Rome, great care has been taken to preserve antiquities of value. The King takes great interest in the city and in the people. The Queen, who is a great favorite, is said to buy more books than any one there, and loving music, patronizes concerts. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of having seen her at a musical entertainment, congratulating the performers. Mrs. Turnbull then said that every one knows much about the beauty and interest of Naples. But turning from Nature to the poor people, they seem hopeless; only getting up from the ground to beg for money. The able bodied point out the deformities of their children, and spend their days waiting to ask alms. She spoke of driving from Naples to Pompeii, and of having looked for a clean face among the people she met, and
having found not one. Returning she saw one, belonging to a woman. There seems no privacy in the houses of the poor, the doors stand open, sometimes there are no windows, and the bed may stand in the middle of a shop. The King is said to be anxious to improve the condition of these people, but he has a task before him if he tries to do so. Mrs. Turnbull next said that she wished to tell us of Munich. She supposed we all had some knowledge of Count Rumford, the political economist and philanthropist, who was an American, born in New Hampshire, at Concord, then called Rumford in 1753, and died in Paris in 1814, whose name was Bengamin Thompson, but who chose that the title conferred upon him in Germany, should commemorate his early home. Passing by his inventions, his political and other work in both hemispheres, we were told of the results of his wisdom and courage in Bavaria. He won the favor of the King, and Homes were first prepared, and then beggars and tramps were arrested, the disabled were care for, and the others made to cease vagrancy. The King of Bavaria gave a Constitution to the country, and made Munich distinctly an Art Capital in Europe. The royal family, we were told, gained and have retained the love of the people; even the insane late King, who drowned himself
is spoken of with tears by those who were his subjects. The regent who succeeded him, was obliged to win the personal love of the people,--and has done so. Our President then spoke of the public buildings of Munich, which are copied from Greek models. Every day of her stay in that city, she met with some new developments of Art and beauty. The park was crowded with people, but no beggars, no signs of misery were to be seen. The streets were clean, the children had rosy faces and good clothes. SHe thought her driver was showing her the best of the city, and asked him to show her where the poor people lived. He did so, taking her for some distance, but still the houses were neat, with curtains and flowers in the windows, the children looked clean and contented.
Mrs. Turnbull closed by speaking of the problems which confront us in our own cities; of the undesirable emigrants who seek our shores, to the prevention of the uplifting of our own poor,--our own being our first responsibility. The Meeting adjourned.
No Meeting on October 30th. Omitted on account of the death of Mrs. Easter.
November 6th, 1894.
The 117th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Balitmore, was held on Tuesday, November 6th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets.
As had been announced, this was a Memorial Meeting in honor of Oliver Wendell Holmes, our late American many sided writer. The room was decorated with white flowers, and the chais surrounded a vacant breakfast table, in memory of that table over which the Autocrat was accustomed to preside for so many of his admiring readers.
Our President called the meeting to order, and announced its purpose; also the decision that on account of the length of our programme, the usual reading of themimnutes of the previous meeting would be omitted. The President said it would seem impossible to meet now without some loving remembrance of our late friend and fellow members, Mrs. Marguerite E. Easter, whose deep interest, trust and co-operation has been given to our Club from its early days. A tribute of flowers, of the Club colors, had been sent in the name of the Club to be laid upon her coffin. Only twice in the history of our Club has one of our literary meetings been omitted on account of the death of a member. The first omission was on the day of the sudden death of Mrs. Tiernan [Mary Spear Tiernan];--the second, of the meeting of the last week October 30th, two days after the death of Mrs. Easter. As in the former case, it has been proposed to hold a memorial meeting in honor of the member taken from us. The President would now appoint the first Tuesday in December for this meeting, feeling, that so would our friend like to be commemorated, and that so we may know her better and keep her work and memory with us.
The President went on to say that the present Memorial meeting for Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was under the direction of Mrs. John T. Graham [Maud Graham Early], who was chosen as having been a friend and correspondent of “The Autocrat of the “Breakfast Table.”
Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull] then by request, read a short critique on Dr. Holmes from the “London spectator.” The English critic suggests that we will be obliged to await the Biography of Dr. Holmes to learn whether he ever was unhappy; that his wiritngs show a glad contentment which reaches his readers also. Few in the history of literary lives have had this quality as he possessed it. At the same time he had deep convictions. He was well born, well educated, and lived well and successfully, in congenial society. This English writer also calls Holmes “the American Montaigne,” and compares him with Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh,--though in the latter case dwelling chiefly on the difference between the two writers. The critic speaks of the charm of Holmes’ wise humor,--with no touch of scorn in it,--and of the personal friendship he gained from two nations. The science and philosophy treated in “Elsie Venner,” and some of his other books, was criticised also, with the suggestion that this kind of work had less chance to live than the humor of “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” and the humor of his shyness. His wit and wisdom were compared to those of Sydney Smith; but the critic went on to throw much doubt upon Dr. Holmes’
claims to be called a poet. He was said to be one of the representatives of the thought and spirit of the New Englanders; who, though a people that pity themselves, could admire and love Holmes’ joyous optimism.
Mrs. Graham then made a few introductory remarks. She called our attention to another criticism from a medical journal as unlike the one just assigned him by most of his admirers, and said that one who has answered to the needs and uplifted the holy aspirations of so many human spirits as he has done, will have very many to crown him a poet. She quoted from his works, and said that he was above all human--as humanity is clean and god-like,--that he never forgot his boyhood, in its purity and loyalty, that he never grew old, in the sense of losing freshness and joyousness. But one day he fell asleep,--to wake with us again.
Mrs. Graham gave a short and interesting account of Dr. Holmes’ career, personal and literary, from his birth in 1809, to his death in this autumn season October 7th, 1894,--of the honors conferred upon him, and of the honor conferred upon his associates and upon his country. She spoke of his independence of thought and speech: and told of his saying in the beginning of his career as a physician that if all medicine were sunk in the sea, it might be all the better for men, and all the worse for fishes; also of his saying long years afterwards
that the world was coming round to his early ideas. But mentally, physically and spiritually, he made his world better for having lived in us.
Our programme next called for “The Order of the Tea Cups” by Mrs. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley]. Mrs. Cautley said that the tea pot on our table, though not the one used by Dorothy [?S.], was as near to hers in age as it was possible to bring here at this time. Also that the tea pot’s part in simply to keep the tea cups full, and that it would now fulfill its mission. Mrs. Graham answered that she would soon pledge the memory of our Autocrat in a love feast around the breakfast table. She said that to our honored President, belonged the part of proving his right to be called a poet, by the reading to us of one of his poems. Mrs. Turnbull then read “The Chambered Nautilus,” a poem which has held communion with us “at length is free,” “Leaving its outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea.”
The next article of the programme referred to Dr. Holmes as “The Essayist,” and consisted of a reading by Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord], from his Essay on the Seasons, describing the month of August at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in his boyhood, and its many delightful attractions of that time, natural, material social and literary.
The next article was of a reading by Mrs. Morris. She first spoke of one critic[']s opinion that Dr. Holmes was at least an occasional poet, or
the poet of occasions, of anniversaries etc. She then read his poem given at the Moore Centennial in 1879, in which he pays a beautiful tribute to the Enchanter of Erin, and speaks of the remembrance that will continue to be given to “The Daisy” of Burns, and to the shamrock of Moore.
The next reading was by Miss Piggott, and was intended to show Dr. Holmes as “The Genial Companion.” Miss Piggott [Margaret Moore Piggot] read the verses called “Nux Postcoenatica”,--a glorification of “fun and feeding” which might make the nuts after dinner “a joy for ever.”
The next article of the programme was given as “A Story Teller,” and was read by Miss Katherine Spear. It was an extract from Dr. Holmes’ story, “A Mortal Antipathy.” It gave an account of the Boat Race between the Algonquins and the Atalantas--a college crew of young men, and a crew of young girls. Our author made the Atalantas win the race,--but made them win it by throwing a bouquet into the boat of their masculine opponents, perhaps that the classic Atalanta might be revenged by her modern namesakes.
The next article was by Mrs. Percy Reese [Elizabeth Reese], and was on “Holmes the Physician.” It spoke of his medical professorship at Harvard College. Also of the fact that he might not be called a very great physician, owing perhaps to a distrust of the efficacy of remedies, and to his honest belief in their comparative failure. He so impressed this feeling
upon one of his students, that the young man abandoned medicine to study law instead. He once lectured on “Homeopathy and Kindred Delusions,” apparently believing that if the old practice had done, in one sense, very little for humanity, the new one would do still less. A very interesting account was given us in this paper of Dr. Holmes’ professional attendance upon, and last conversation with Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Mrs. Graham next called our attentnion to a fine new edition of Holmes’ Works, revised by himelf just before his death. She spoke also of his favorite flowers.
The next article of the programme referring to “The Lover,” Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton] read Dr. Holmes’ verses, “The Turn of the Road.” Mrs. Graham spoke of the contents of the letters written to her by Dr. Holmes, and of the copy of his poems sent to her by him. She then read her own poetical tribute to him,--calling it “The Last Leaf has Fallen,”--making the falling of the leaves only the premise of the fair fresh life of the eternal spring time. After calling attention to the contributions to this evening’s entertainment sent us from Mt. Washington, Mrs. Graham spoke of the urn on the breakfast table, in which tributes to the memory of the “Autocrat” had been placed. Miss Crane [Lydia Crane] spoke of the educational influence of our author, on those who loved and admired his works, and of the work he incited others to do. She then read a poem by her sister
Inspired by the “Autocrat of our early days.” Mrs. Graham read a few lines from another tribute from the urn, speaking of the poet as a priest uplifting the standard of truth, and making us to know and love it.
After a vote of thanks for the successful arrangement of this meeting, Mrs. Cautley was called on by the chairman to read the few lines at the close of Dr. Holmes’ “Over the Tea Cups.” Tea Cups, Arouse! Etc. We were then invited to social enjoyment of the tea cups and other refreshments given in memory of the author who has added to their pleasure for all of us. The meeting adjourned.
November 13th, 1894.
The 118th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, November 13th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Francis Dammann [Aileen B. C. Dammann], Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. Miss Haughton [Louisa Courtland Osburne Haughton], one of the Vice Presidents, presided, the announcement having been made that the President was not well, and was unable to be present. It was also announced that a proposition would be brought before the Club at the next meeting to change the hour of our assembling together, to make it three o’clock instead of half past three,--on which a vote is expected to be taken. The first article of our programme
Was given by Miss Reila Thelin [Reiba Thelin], and was called, “Two Contrasted Characters.” The contrasted characters were the English statesman, Robert Leone, and Professor Asa Gray, the American botanist,--both having died not long ago,--and their respective biographers having furnished the texts for Miss Thelin’s critical comments. She told of Mr. Lowe’s early life; with the disadvantages under which he labored, and especially of the defective eyesight with which he was obliged to contend all of his life. We were told of his going to Austraila; with no intention of living there permanently, but with the hope of making the money on which to live in England. This hope was finally realized, especially after his return to his native country, when gold was discovered on the land he had been enabled to buy in the colony. Interesting accounts were given us of his life in Australia; of his want of success in the beginning of it; of his first legal case of any importance, in which he was the defender of a brutal murderer, and form which, though unsuccessful he gained fame and advantage. He afterwards, we were told, made a provision for the children of the murdered woman. His general work of reform and for the benefit of the colony while living in it, and after his return to England, were recounted also.
Miss Thelin went on to speak of Mr. Lowe’s career in the House of Commons, and in English Government offices. His striking, almost absurd albino-like personal appearance was described; also
his singular oratorical powers, and the severity and sarcasm and even rudeness of which he was capable in public and in private life. It has been said that his poor eye-sight prevented him from seeing the pained expressions of the faces of his listeners,--which might have restrained him to some extent from making them unhappy. An anecdote was told of his one day ridiculing the marriage service, saying that he had promised to endow his wife with all his worldly goods, when he had not a shilling to give her. His wife who was present said “But you had your brilliant mental abilities.” “Yes,” he answered “but I certainly did not endow you with them.”
We were told of his writings accomplished in spite of weak eyes. We were given the eulogium of the biographer of Mr. Lowe, on his independence, sincerity and firmness and the declaration that even his failings leaned to virtue’s side.
Miss Thelin then took up the life of Professor Asa Gray, the American naturalist, chiefly known by his writings on Botany. She spoke of his birth in the State of New York, though he is known as a citizen of New England. Also of his early poverty, and of his having been the champion spelled in school at the age of six years. She told of his studying medicine, of his gaining a professorship in the University of Michigan, and of his afterwards becoming Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard College. Also of his visits to Europe, of his acquaintanceship with Darwin and with other distinguished scientists, of his writings and of his work for natural history
of wide extended fame. Up to the age of thirty seven, we were told, he seems to have had no time for love-making; but after that age, he did many, and apparently happily. Miss Thelin suggested that women might like to hear something of the love life of a famous man; but in this case his biographer has recorded only the facts and the dates relating to them. She spoke of Professor Gray’s fearless independence and of his inextinguishable good nature and kindness. Also of his acceptance of Darwin’s theories, and at the same time remaining true to his early religious faith and convictions. SHe told of his visit to the first World’s Fair at the Crystal Palace in London, of which he said that the American part of the Exhibition was a trial to his patriotism. A slight consolation was found in the fact that the American Daguerreotypes were better than the English ones. We were told of his resigning his professorship at Harvard in 1871, though still continuing his botanical work until his death in 1888. Miss Thelin spoke of Professor Gray as one who kept pace always with the progress and exaltation of science in his time, but who escaped agnosticism, and one who had held true allegiance to the God whose beautiful works he studied and loved.
The next article was on “The Recent Novels,” by Miss Imogen George. Miss George criticized the modern novel with its many forms and characteristics. She spoke of our knowledge of authors and
of their environments as influencing our opinions of their work. They do not always however take us into their confidence as Bulwer does in “My Novel.” We take into consideration the funereal circumstances under which Rasselas was written, in judging its gloomy philosophy. Miss George spoke of the “fade” of the heroines of the novels of the present day. Also of the so-called “purpose-novels,” and of the function of fiction to picture truly human nature and human life. Serious ends need serious means. Galileo or Columbus did not put forward their theories in fiction or poetry. But to treat all great questions in the fashion of the purpose novel seems now to be a delusion and a snare. Miss George went on to make a comparison between the two recent novels “Marcella” and “An Interloper.” Mrs. Ward’s heroine, Marcella, is strong willed, intelligent, and affectionate; and while very young, with no knowledge of the good of life,--begins to see its evil. Just then she is thrown among socialists, whose doctrines have great attraction for her. But it has been said that however great the brain of woman may be,--her heart is greater still. Marcella could not spend her life in efforts to overcome the evils of the social system. When she resigns herself to love, it is no half-surrender.
In “An Interloper,” we have a heroine who perhaps could not understand the jargon of the “Green Carnation,” but one who is “A perfect woman nobly planned [/] To warn, to Comfort, and Command.” We see her strength and her love for her husband, whose family consider her an interloper; and we see her gradual gain and success which we enjoy. “Marcella” is the more
skillfully drawn of the two heroines; but both of them choose their lots,--the lots which forbid them all further efforts. “The applause of listening senates to command,” or to scatter plenty o’er a smiling land.”
The next article of our programme was by Miss Ellen Duvall, and was called “The Decline of the Hero.” It was read by Mrs. Francis Dammann. Miss Duvall reminded us of the heroes we all know, those heroes of books and of life, who do their part to make life worth living. The hero is he who conquers or bears, who has the “unconquerable will and courage never to submit or yield.” With the three elements of character, motive will and purpose, so far as the hero can do or endure, is he like Saul higher than any from his shoulders and upwards “when he stood among the people.” He can lead the charge, or endure the onset, or stand as the sentinel immovable. Women have generally the heroism of endurance.
There has been of late a tendency to leave the hero out of life and even out of literature and art. Socialism tends to sweep him off from the earth. If all fed at one table, all had the same rank and prosperity, there would be a lessening of the recognition of heroism. There is no equality but the equality of death, yet it might be possible to have the mental equality of idiocy. We must have the cultured poet, the artist of written words to embalm or preserve or restore for us the immortal memory or the presence of the hero.
Miss Duvall spoke of the works of Mr. Howell[']s [Howells],
and asked, “How much of the hero has he?” She went on to speak of the writers who embody the essential elements of the heroic in their works. She then spoke of George Meredith as being not very popular, and as having been considered equally hard to understand as Robert Browning. She did not think either of them really obscure, though many may be slow to follow their meaning. Meredith can write the traits of human consciousness, in what is not poetry, but the finest of prose. He might be called the novelist of women,--his women are at least human beings--and different from men. Homer’s Achilles and Hector are not at all the same as Helen and Andromache.
Miss Duvall spoke of the difference between man’s representation of woman and woman’s representations of her own sex. Meredith she said, possessed the gift of genius, and we must not cavil at his style or mode of treatment. Originality is a precious thing; and Meredith’s stories are love-stories and tell us the how and the why without any plot. There are two forms, a man and a woman in them, and the women are what men make them. The woman brings man back to the primeval man, or shoots him up to the highest star,--by her, is man’s best made possible--the perpetual story of life upon earth. His English is perverse, he pushes his horror of the commonplace to an extreme. His knowledge of women is worth a woman’s consideration. Miss Duvall spoke of the portrayal by Meredith of the passion for devotion as the genius of women,
and of the passion of man to receive devotion. Also of his putting too high a price on his own devotion, when he gives it. To men who have the selfishness of the intellect it does not always occur that women may have the selfishness of the heart. Miss Duvall criticized particularly some of Meredith’s novels, and concluded that in declining to take our literature at second hand, we should find the works well worth reading.
The last article on our programme was by Mrs. R. K. Cautley [Lucy Randolph Cautley], and was called “A Theory of Criticism.” Mrs. Cautley spoke of the tendency, in presenting a theory, to sermonize, but announced her theory as a sermon preached to herself. She spoke of the tendency of critics to overlook excellencies, and to criticism to be fault-finding. The true critic is an explorer. Columbus and De Soto did not shut their eyes to, or ignore the value and beauty of the West Indies or of the Mississip[p]i. The critic has often the power to direct our attention to great masterpieces and to show us their value. The barren writer must die, the edifying critic can add to great work in a kindred spirit with the author--can translate him for us. There is a great temptation to win a cheap reputation for cleverness by finding fault with other people’s work. The critic is not always to praise, but to praise where he can, poor work can be let alone,--bad work is of course to be denounced, condemned, but not dwelt upon. Browning owes much to his critics. We were reminded of the words of St. Paul, telling us
to think on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there be any virtue, or any praise in them.
After the subject for the next week was announced, the meeting adjourned.
November 20th, 1894.
The 119th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, November 20th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord], Chairman of the Committee on Essays and Essayists. The President called the meeting to order. She announced that an application had been made for one of our members to be chosen to represent the Club on the Committee of ladies for the appointment of the Police matrons for the city of Baltimore. Miss Zacharias [Jane Zacharias] was nominated for this service by the President, and the nomination received an unanimous vote of approval.
By request of Mrs. Bullock [Caroline Canfield Bullock], an announcement was made of a course of lectures to be given in this city on German Literature. Mrs. Graham [Elizabeth Turner Graham] also announced a course of lectures on the age of Queen Elizabeth. The President then in accordance with an announcement at a previous meeting, spoke of the proposition to alter the time of beginning our regular meetings
from half past three P.M., to three o'clock. She said that the convenience of some of our members would be better suited by the change to an earlier hour; but that a portion of our members were school teachers, who thought it impossible for them to attend the meetings at three o'clock, and that we did not wish to lose their attendance. Perhaps the vote might be proposed, simply to leave the whole matter in its present arrangement, without change. Miss Zacharias, Miss Reese [Lizette Woodworth Reese], Mrs. Lord and Mrs. Graham spoke on this subject, agreeing that changes are undesirable unless necessary, and that we should make sacrifices of our own convenience for that of others. Mrs. Graham said that those of our members who were obliged to take trains out of town, and consequently to lose the closing exercises of our meetings, would only ask to be absolved from any suspicion of discourtesy in doing so. The motion was made to leave the hour of our meetings unchanged, and was carried without opposition. The first article on our programme was by Mrs. Lord, and was called: "Fin de Siecle Woman." Mrs. Lord spoke of the position of woman in these closing years of the nineteenth century, of her advancement in culture and estimation and in opportunities for good. She spoke of the ebb and flow of the past centuries,--of the place of woman in ancient and in modern times. We were reminded of the influence of Greek Mythology, of Mohammedan zeal, of Roman law, of Jewish faith, and of Christian
purity and hope upon the life of woman as we look back upon it. Also that in ancient times there was a degree of culture and power for women as attained by Nitoeris and Cleopatra, by Sappho and Aspasia, and by Cornelia and other Roman matrons. Mrs. Lord went on to speak of the Jewish faith as the bridge that led to the ground on which we stand; also of the chosen women, from the early mothers and daughters in Israel, to the mother of our Lord. She spoke of the women of Europe in later times; of the educational awakening in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; of the late opening of universities, old and new, to women; of the success of Miss Fossett, and of another senior wrangler at Cambridge in England; down to the work of one of our own members, Mrs. Fabian Franklin [Christine Ladd-Franklin], whose success in the past we know well, and who is still seeking hidden truth in Science.
Mrs. Lord went on to speak of the pinnacle of culture and self reliance attained by the women of our own day, of her opportunities for learning, for healing and for teaching, of her literary clubs, of her life in its highest sense. Also of the magazines and periodicals which now have as many contributors among women as among men. She spoke of the social influence, and of the sacred home influence of woman upon the thought and upon the rulers of our nation. Mrs. Lord said that the nineteenth century woman has attained her ambition. Still guarded, beloved, holding
men's destinies as wife, mother, sister, daughter, counsellor, and comforter, she suffers the unrest of the age, and demands the one step beyond. "Will it be the step from the pinnacle to the abyss?" Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace] and Mrs. Graham made some interesting comments on the subject treated by Mrs. Lord's essay.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Clapham Pennington, and was called "Women of Islam." Mrs. Pennington spoke of the want of knowledge and the missapphrehensiveness regarding the women of Mahametan countries, as well as of the Mahametan religion, and of its founder prevailing among the Western nations; our knowledge having been derived largely from the account of prejudiced Greek priests. We have known so little of Mahamet that we have denied him the respect that he and his work have deserved. He taught the worship of the true God, and when he was outlawed and persecuted, who but a woman stood faithful and strong by his side? Kadeeja, his wife. Woman, who in Christianity is recorded as "Last at the cross, and earliest at the grave," is in the same devotion first in Islam also. We were told of Mahamet's good birth, of his early life, and of his marriage to Kadeeja when he was twenty six and she was forty, and of the high appreciation he showed for her always in her life and after her death. Also of the death of his son, six years old. At the same time occured a solar eclipse; on which some of his followers were inclined to connect the two events together; but Mahomet, who never claimed to
be more than a man, thought that even a prophet of Islam could not make human affairs controlling influences in the heavens. We wre given other interesting items regarding the prophet of Islam, and also a quotation from the Koran on the means of attaining Paradise for women, by the bringing of children into the world. Also the story of Mahomet's telling an old woman that there were no old women in heaven; because when they arrived there, they immediately became young again. Mrs. Pennington gave the opinion that if Christianity had prevailed in Asia instead of crossing over to Europe for its chief dominion, Christianity might have been polygamous as well as Islamism. She thought we were very much indebted to the Roman Empire, under which Christianity began to prevail, for the monogamy of Christian nations.
The women of the Orient we were told, live a life of seclusion now, as they did 3000 years ago,--the life of the Arabian Nights. Woman there is a thing of beauty, not of general usefulness, but her life is peaceful and happy. These women marry early, from eleven to seventeen years old; the marriages are arranged by the respective mothers; the girl may see her future husband through her window lattice--so far having sometimes the advantage of him. The hareem is governed by the mother or mother-in-law. The mother of one child has secured Paradise; the mother's place is one of honor. The husband has no Clubs, no saloons, no flirtations with other men's wives; he spends his evenings at home, peacefully, with no interference from outside. Polygamy, it was said
is not a general custom in Turkey and Egypt, though it may be in Arabia and Persia. There are divorces, but the general rule is to have one wife at a time, a custom not entirely confined to Mohametan countries. There are female slaves, but their children have a recognized position. In Cairo it is chiefly the women of a low class who are seen in the streets, but in Turkey there is more out door life. In Egypt and in Persie the women wear thick veils, leaving little to be seen but their eyes, but in Turkey, the veil is of a thin silk material, which adds to the attractions of the face. A Turk does not recognize his wife or his female relations in public, and it is not polite to ask about them. There are restrictions on a man's association with his female relatives, but some advanced Mahometans make the acquaintance of cousins as well as of mother, sister and daughter. There is however no restriction on the enjoyment of the society of the mother-in-law. Some Turks take all in-laws into acquaintanceship.
In Constantinople, we were told there are often love matches. Ladies and gentlemen visit the sweet waters, and though when there they can have no conversation, they follow each other in their boats and make signs to each others,--and fall in love, like young people all the world over. The young man's parents can then make overtures to those of the young lady, and suitable unions can be easily arranged. To see weddings is a great entertainment of the women of the East. They have also
embroidery and music, and if they have voices can learn to sing. Ladies do not dance,--that is done by slaves. We enjoyed the lively descriptions given by Mrs. Pennington, of her own experiences in Turkey and in Egypt. She spoke of being at Luxor, where her dragoman informed her that he had just married a beautiful girl of thirteen. She was incredulous until taken to see the bride in her little mud house; finding her truly beautiful, dressed in silk, with gold and silver ornaments, and in company with her mother-in-law. Coffee was served, and conversation was carried on, with the husband interpreting. A woman of her position in our country, we were told, would be found dressed in cotton, and doing her own work. This wife had servants to wait on her. We heard of ladies in Constantinople who talked French, in one case English also; but even where they could not do so, we were reminded that the want of a common language cannot prevent women from talking to each other.
The ancient customs, and the influence of European associations, the differences between conservative and advance Mahometans, the elegancies, courtesy and hospitality of the East were described with vivid interest. Of the Nautch dancing of which so much has been said since the exhibition of it given at Chicago, Mrs. Pennington said she would only speak as of a form of excitement of the senses. In Europe people drink champagne, in the East, the prophet has commanded what we call
prohibition, and the Nautch dance may be called the champagne of the East. She spoke of the handsome Alyssiniane and Soudanese whom she met, remarking that in Africa one soon comes to understand that a brown skin is not to be taken as proof in itself of negro blood.
Mrs. Pennington closed with a word-picture of an aristocratic Mahometan wedding in Cairo, at which she was a guest, and in which the human interest "which makes the whole world kin," was felt through the gorgeous and brilliant setting of a scene from the Arabian Nights. The President spoke of our very great interest in Mrs. Pennington's paper, but thought we could still be thankful that our lot was not cast among the splendors of the East.
The President then asked if any members would agree to take the affirmative or the negative side in the discussion of the next meeting of the question regarding the moral purpose in Art or Literautre. Mrs. Graham and others requested Mrs. Turnbull to take the affirmative side of the question.
Miss Commins proposed to leave the advocacy of either side to the stimulus of the occasion. The President then presented the claims of our library on the interest and assistance of our members.
The meeting adjourned.
November 27th, 1894.
The 36th Salon of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, took place on Tuesday, November 27th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. We were late in beginning the exercises of our programme; consequently it seemed necessary to omit or defer the reading of the minutes of the meeting of November 20th. The President then called attention to the slight change made by our lately adopted Constitution in the form of nominating new members of the Club. She read the clause of the new Constitution relating to the subject, mentioning particularly the rule that names of proposed new members shall be sent to the Recording Secretary, one month before each sem-annual election by the Board of Management. Also that these names shall have one proposer and two seconders, members of the Club of one years standing, and not members of the Board of Management. Also that members may propose and also endorse but one name annually. The President spoke of having been questioned with regard to the well being of our Club at the present time, and if we wished for new members? She thought we did wish for such as would help us in our intellectual progress, that we could certainly make room for those whose example and companionship would be inspiring and strengthening to us. The subject of the meeting was announced as the Discussion of the Question of a Moral Purpose in Art and Literature. Mrs. Turnbull [Francese Litchfield Turnbull],
having consented to take the affirmative side of the question, spoke of her own sincere convictions on the subject and of her wish to hear the other side supported also. She spoke of the trust given to women to maintain a high moral purpose in all things, and of the responsibility of each member of this association to live by the faith we profess. She went on to speak of Max Muller's derivation of the word "art"; of its relation to "aro, arare, to plough, to the cultivation of the land, and to the culture of mankind. She spoke of the German word wissenschaft, as having come into use in the 17th century. The liberal arts chiefly concern us now, and she thought a moral purpose not alien from them. After glancing at the other arts, Mrs. Turnbull spoke of literature, the art of written words; dealing with the intricate emotions, and recording the successive stages of the life of the mind and soul. Where printing and sculpture fix only a point in emotion, literature makes a direct and continuing appeal to the soul by written words. The message that art first shadowed forth language has learned and speaks. Mrs. Turnbull then spoke of the symbolism of the first rude sculptured stones, the infant efforts of the art of man, as in all nations the expression of religion, of aspiration, of the divine in our nature. Are we content that Art shall express only the lower part of our natures? or even that alone which is not the noblest? Art can blend all the grace and beauty beyond nature. Mrs. Turnbull made appropriate quotations from Kant and Schiller, from Bishop Broods and Sidney Lanier. She spoke of
Bougeureau's picture of "Innocence" with its old story of pure mother-love. She went on to speak of Michael Angelo, and of the influence of Vittoria Colonna upon his spiritual life, quoting his own words, on having made art an idol, instead of a consecration, as he might have done. She spoke of the power of a master hand working reverently, in this age, which more than all before it knows good and evil. But the accepted teachings of art do not banish higher qualities. As women we can avoid over conservatism, but have the courage of our opinions, we can strive to make art spiritual, and literature ennobling. Mrs. Tait [Anna Dolores Tiernan Tait] spoke of art as in itself neither moral nor immoral. Its power over the soul is sometimes as great as that of religion:--we all know the power of music. Mrs. Tait then read a poem written by her husband, an artists' poem on the subject under discussion. Miss Grace [Mary F. Grace] suggested that a production might be a work of art, but not necessarily be ennobling; to refuse to point a moral is not to be inartistic. Miss Comins said it is not easy to define art in one afternoon. A picture might be immoral, and not yet fill one with admiration, as a tribute to skill. Miss Comins also spoke of a painter of portraits, of whom some one said "I would not have him to paint my mother," not knowing what defects he might develope in the faces perpetuated, for the world to see. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of those artists who seize the spiritual traits of the faces they portray. Miss Comins spoke of those who give us what technique unassisted can do. Miss Zacharias [Jane Zacharias] spoke of the test that might be made of the work of two artists equally gifted, giving us true art with, and
without a purpose. Mrs. Lord [Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord] spoke of the great value of a moral purpose in art. She alluded to Bouguesseau's "Innocence," of the mother and child, in which she saw the Madonna face, and the grave foreshadowing in the expression of the child, presaging to her mind the declaration: "Behold the Lamb of God." The picture she saw beside it, "Evening," made her feel that all high art ought to have a purpose. It may not be so pronounced a purpose as the one of Bellamy's "Looking Backward," but more like the one of Besant's "All Sorts and Conditions of Men." A purpose is shown by Dickens, in "Oliver Twist" and "Martin Chuzzlewit"; by Thackeray, in "Vanity Fair" and "The Newcomer." George Eliot may show less purpose than they do, but in "Middlemarch" it is seen also. Mrs. Turnbull said that George Eliot is didactic and philosophical, and in "Romola" the purpose is clearly discernible. Miss Grace said she confessed of seeing in Bougeusseau's Innocence, simply a poor woman clasping her two possessions. Miss Zacharias asked the question, if the purpose must be conscious?--to be a purpose. It was said that if the art be beautiful, the purpose is not needed, for beauty is ennobling. That if a picture is horrible, there is no reason for it, without a purpose; if it is ugly it must have a purpose, or we could better do without it. Mrs. Wylie then read a poem telling of a beautiful mosaic formed of worthless fragments, trodden under foot, but taken up and put together by the divine Master's hand, and made radiant with the light of heaven. It was asked: "if it was possible
not to have a purpose?" Miss Zacharias spoke of the thought deeper than all speech. She said that what we are is our work;--when we purpose to teach, the standard is lowered; when our life is hidden in consecration, we simply obey. Miss Comins said there might be a back-ground of purpose. Mrs. Pennington said she thought it a mistake to perpetuate in literature that for which there is no need in literature. Mere fads are not proper for art. If characters are perfectly uninteresting in life, why should they be put into literature? That which is not picturesque is not art; and why should be preserve from oblivion that which is ugly. Mrs. Manly [Lily Tyson Manly Elliott] spoke of Walter's Gallery familiar to all of us; and of the intention of its owner that the paintings he selected and acquired should have an educational value to those who saw them. She spoke of the statue of Diana in Central Park in N.Y. as having no moral purpose at all; and yet she thought its mere beauty made manifest "that gleam that never was on sea or land." Mrs. Tait spoke of the musical artists Wagner and Schubert. Miss Comins spoke of the dominant force in art. We were reminded of the words of Pope, "I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came." Mrs. Goddard [Li Goddard] spoke of the picture of the dissevered heads of Egmont and Horn in Walter's Gallery as not beautiful in purpose nor in technique. Miss Grace said the picture was historical, showing a dramatic situation, illustrating the rule of the Duke of Alva.
Miss Comins being called upon, spoke of the relation between the technique and the strong feeling
which prompt the artist; and of the inspiration which may lie in the art itself for its followers. She spoke of one picture in Walter's Gallery as a wonderful piece of art, the one called "The Suicide," and dwelt on its power and meaning. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of the same picture and described its influence with regard to other observers of it. It was said to have done good by its representation of the subject of suicide. If this be so, it would seem to have fulfilled a moral purpose, whether such had been the intention of the artist or not.
After some further comments, the lateness of the hour serving to remind us that "Art is long and Time is fleeting" the literary meeting adjourned, and we took tea together.
[END OF VOLUME]
December 4th 1894.
The 120th regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, took place on Tuesday, December 4th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The programme announced this meeting as “A Day with a Maryland Poet,” and as “A Tribute to our Comrade, Marguerite E. Easter.” Our room was made beautiful by flowers; which, it was understood, were to be sent to the family of Mrs. Easter at the close of this memorial meeting.
The President called the meeting to order, and made a few introductory remarks. She spoke of Mrs. Easter’s having been with us in the early days of our association, of her true comradeship and sympathy with us; of her joy in the Club, and firm faith in its future. We were reminded that death may be the perfecting of life, that what is essentially noble will survive, and that we may learn to know our friends even better after they have left us, than while they are walking the earth with us. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of having herself brought Mrs. Easter’s poems to the notice of Mr. E. C. Stedman, and she recalled to us his very favorable criticism, especially of the poem “My Laddie’s Hounds.”
The Recording Secretary read a published notice of the life and works of Mrs. Easter, which appeared in the Baltimore Sun on the day after her death. The President announced that some of Mrs. Easter’s poems would be read to us by different members of
the Club, who had chosen their favorite ones. Mrs. Turnbull read from the book of poems presented her by the author, “My Laddie’s Hounds,” prefacing it by speaking of the little boy whose accidental death occurred not more than a year before her mother came among us. Miss Grace by request, read “The Occultation of Hesperus.” Miss Reese read “Me Larthia,” and “Most Days it Comforts Me.”
Miss Haughton read an unpublished madrigal “Love built a wall that was unseen.” Miss Zacharias gave us the critical opinion of Dr. William Hand Brown, a literary and personal friend of Mrs. Easter, upon her writings. It was, we were told, that her genius was unquestioned; that she had poetic faith,—native fire; that she was a woodland singer, in her expression entirely untrammeled. Miss Reese said a few words of appreciative criticism, and made quotations from Mrs. Easter’s poems. Mrs. Graham read Mrs. Easter’s poem, “A Frosty Morn.” Mrs. Lord read a few stanzas from the poem “Clytie.” She also read her own tribute written for and given to Mrs. Easter some time ago. It was called “A Poet by the Grace of God.”
Our President said that we could make our friend known by her work that is left to us. She also dwelt on the classical spirit shown in Mrs. Easter’s works,—as well as her love of nature. Mrs. Turnbull then spoke of the unpublished
poems of Mrs. Easter, lent by her family since her death. From these were read three selections;—”Crystalline,” “In Memoriam,” and “Come Sweet Breeze.” Mrs. Turnbull went on to speak of the bright glad spirit which shines through Mrs. Easter’s work, even after she was acquainted with grief. Mrs. Graham then spoke of Mrs. Easter’s prose work, especially of a Christmas story, which interested, we thought all of us who heard it read some three years ago. We can recall also that Mrs. Easter once gave us a thoughtful literary criticism of Oliver Goldsmith.
Mrs. Percy Reese spoke of the unfeigned delight Mrs. Easter found in writing. Mrs. Morris being called on, read us the lines called “Summer’s Farewells.” Miss Zacharias said she had found, in an old magazine, an early poem of Mrs. Easter’s called “Yesterday”--which she read to us. Mrs. Early spoke of having sent Mrs. Easter’s poems to Mr. James Whitcomb Riley, who had said that his favorite one was “The Rain upon the Snow.”
After some informal comments on the poems which had been read and mentioned, the meeting adjourned.
December 11th, 1894.
The 121st regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, December 11th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Sts.
This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Jenkins, Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. The President called the meeting to order. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meetings of November 20th, and of December 4th. The President said that the last Tuesday in December would this year fall on Christmas day, and that it would seem impossible to hold a meeting of the Club on that day. Also, that the next Tuesday would of course be New Year’s day, which is not an appropriate day for our meeting. She wished to ask the pleasure of the Club with regard to omitting one or both of these meetings, or to deferring the first meeting of the new year to another day. A vote was taken on omitting the meeting of the last week in December. It was agreed without opposition, that this should be done.
Mrs. Miller moved that the first meeting in January should be held on Wednesday instead of on Tuesday. Mrs. Tait seconded the motion and it was carried without opposition. Announcement was made of the gift to our library of a book, “Dolce far Niente,” from Mrs. Tait; being the poems of her husband, which though out of print, had been obtained for the Club. Announcement was made of the invitation sent to the Club by Miss Comins to visit the exhibition of paintings by herself and her pupils at the Arundel Club. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of her wish to give to the Club, as has been requested some notes of her late sojourn in Europe, and to show us some artistic memorials of her tour in the old world. The first article on our
programme was Selections from “The Shadow of John Wallace,”—a book written as we knew by one of our members, Mrs. L. Clarkson Whitelock. They were read by Mrs. Jenkins. The first extract related graphically the arrival—with one attendant—at the sea-side village of East Hampton, of the gentleman calling himself John Wallace; and told of the mystery surrounding him, which is never entirely unfolded, notwithstanding his not unfriendly life with his neighbors. Mrs. Jenkins read also of the elegant lady in gray, who shadows the footsteps, and, apparently, the life also of John Wallace, and the dramatic scene of the interview between the two enigmas—the hero and heroine of the story. Some comments were made, and Mrs. Lord was asked if the mystery concerning John Wallace had ever been solved? She said “No,--that there was really such a man, who came to, and lived and died in East Hampton, that he built a church there, but his identity, and history have never been discovered.
The next article on our programme was by Mrs. Miller, and was called “An Experience.” Mrs. Miller told us that her experience occurred at Pensacola, in Florida. She spoke of the pleasant surroundings of the old town, of the climate, of the feeling of becoming ten years younger while staying there, and of finding it a good place to get well. She told of the proposal of her hostess, Mrs. King, for one of her guests to drive to the orange groves. Lots were cast, and the lot fell upon Mrs. Miller, who laughingly hoped that she might not carry out the resemblance to
Jonah of old, but gladly accepted the drive through the beautiful scenes, past the lovely harbor, and through the flowers blooming in February. There was however, at a turning of the road, some little doubt which way to go. Mrs. King acknowledging that though not lost, they were a little astray. Soon they came to what was once an old mansion, with an avenue of oaks, covered with gray moss leading up to it, looking ghostly in the shade and silence. And, like the ghosts belonging to it, came forward an old negro followed by what he called his old “mistis;” a woman who had been a happy bride and a happy mother in that house; but from whose face all hope gone, all animation or interest as she stood before her ruined home. When she had vanished, the old man explained that she was the “onliest” one left with him and his old woman; “Marse Tom” and four children were dead. Also that the trees were “just as old as they are now” when he was a boy, and that they made mattresses of the moss—”nice soft ones,” which was a story, for they are hard enough. Having been directed the excursionists reached the orange groves, and were hospitably received by a family seated on their porch in rocking chairs, no other kind being in use just then.
The orange groves were lovely, and odorous, with the flowers which seem in all ages to have belonged to love and joy. But on the return, rather late, at the meeting of two roads, they sought a sign post, and found none; there were no tracks in the sand, the horse stood still in the lonesome twilight. Then
suggestions were made of the presence of wild beasts in the woods, and they wondered if the people at the hotel would be frightened, and would come to look for them. Even the little jest about Jonah as a travelling companion would perversely come back to recollection. They tried to push on as best they could, when an ominous sound, evidently made by some animal was heard through the trees,—which is immediately supposed to mean a bear. But soon the form of a neighbor’s old pig, with its plain familiar grunting, brought assurance of being close to the desired haven. Since the gladness of safe return, they propose,—when their ships come in,—to build a chapel in the woods, as a memorial of gratitude.
The next article on our programme was a story by Mrs. Lord, called “An Open Question.” She told of a group of young men at a Club discussing the german of the preceding evening, and especially the claims to belleship of a young lady who has appeared for the first time in their part of the gay world. Randolph Howard has, they declare, determined to make Ray Parker the fashion. Her father was a Colonel in the Union army, she does not possess money—having come to the city to learn type-writing, and though pretty and well chaperoned, they say, even Randolph cannot make her a success. The story goes on with the play and counter-play of the different types of character in Society. Randolph Howard becomes engaged to Ray Parker; and then goes yachting with a party in which is included the fair Dorothy whom he admired in other days, and whom his friend the Colonel chooses that he shall admire again.
He breaks his engagement with the new charmer, and goes back to the old one,—to meet from her, repulse and reproof for his dishonorable conduct. Still he does not lose hope,—nor all self confidence, of course not. We have been told that “Constancy lives in realms above;” but we may hope that it sometimes visits the earth.
The last article on our programme was by Miss Malloy, and was called “A Forgotten Love Story.” Miss Malloy spoke of the Mrs. Delany who is made known to us in the Diary of Miss Burney, and in other writings relating to the reign of George the Third. This Mrs. Delany was the heroine of a romance which ought to interest us as Marylanders, for the hero of the story was the descendant of the founder of our State, and was himself Lord Baltimore. Mrs. Delany, who was born in the year 1700 and died in 1788, was the daughter of Bernard Granville and the niece of Lord Lansdowne. Her grandfather Bernard Granville was the first to tell Charles the Second, in exile at Breda, that he was King of England in reality as he had claimed to be ever since his father’s execution. Mrs. Delany was called by Edmund Burke “the highest [bred woman?] in the world.” She was forced to marry when a lonely girl of seventeen, a very repulsive man of sixty, Alexander Pendarves. In this union, she said, “I lost not life indeed, but all that makes life [interesting?].” Fortunately the sacrifice was not final,—she became a widow at twenty-four. She had many admirers, but seemed not much interested in any of them until she met Lord Baltimore, who was, she said the
most fascinating person she had ever known. She also speaks of him as the American prince, though, of course he was an Englishman. The aunt of Mrs. Pendarves, Lady Stanley, had other views for her niece; and it was suspected, had also an unfavorable opinion of Lord Baltimore. The young people talked about love and philosophy. Lord Baltimore said that love made one very miserable—or very happy. Mrs. Pendarves was discreet, though she dreamed of her fascinating [heir?]. After an unsatisfactory interview, he went away, and she did not see him again until after he was married. She afterwards spoke of him as having some good qualities; but his wife, she said, looked like a fright,—an old owl, gummed and painted. Mrs. Pendarves was in 1743, very happily married, though with the opposition of her family, to Patrick Delany, whom she survived twenty years. A large part of her life was passed in congenial society where her literary and artistic tastes were appreciated. Her letters have been much admired. They relate anecdotes of many celebrities, and also of the royal family of England, whose friendship she enjoyed.
At the close of Miss Malloy’s article the meeting adjourned.
December 18th, 1894.
The 122nd Meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, December 18th, 1894, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Miss Reese,
Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry. The President called the meeting to order, and gave anticipatory Christmas greetings to the Club. She announced that our next meeting would be held on Wednesday, January 2nd, 1895, and would be under the direction of Miss Minor, Chairman of the Committee on Bibliography and Curios. The President also informed us of the reception of a note from Mr. Easter expressing his appreciation of the honor done to the memory of his mother in the meeting of December 4th.
The first article of the programme was Selections from the Poems of Mr. John R. Tait. Mrs. Tait prefaced the reading of the poems of her husband, by speaking of our wish to hear the writings of Americans, or at least those of residents of our own land, especially, and also of those who appreciate Nature in the forms and the beauties which are familiar to our own eyes. The first selection was of a graceful Love Poem,—on the response of the poet and artist to the power that will still be “Lord of All.” The second selection was called: “The Two Memnons.” It spoke of the Egyptian statue greeting the sunrise with its music, and then of the young poet waiting for the dawn of his full inspiration, and greeting it with the music of his soul.
Mrs. Miller, the Librarian, read to the Club, a note from Mrs. R. W. Latimer, on presenting to us a copy of her book, “England in the Nineteenth Century.” Mrs. Miller said that Mrs. Latimer had already presented to the Club her two books “Russia and Turkey in the Nineteenth Century,: and “France in the Nineteenth
Century.” The President requested that the thanks of the Club be conveyed to Mrs. Latimer.
Mrs. Turnbull then spoke of an article by Mr. Edmond Gosse, published in the Critic telling the story of the publication of Mrs. Browning’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese.” It related that they were written, and put away by Miss Barrett; and some time after her marriage presented to Mr. Browning, by whom they were published. Mrs. Turnbull then read to us the copy of an autograph letter from Mr. Browning, given to her by Mrs. Herrick, which corrected some of the statements in the printed article. The letter gave a pleasant picture of the true poet, who was also the true wife and mother. We were told that Mr. Browning did not at all wish to publish the poems for his own glory, but Mr. Gosse says, he did not wish to deprive the world of the finest sonnets since Shakespeare’s. Camoens and Katrina were connected with them, the name it was said having been invented by Mr. Browning who had often called his wife his little Portuguese, half jestingly. The letters show the love that was faithful in life and in death. Mrs. Turnbull said that in Venice she visited the palace where Robert Browning died; and among other things preserved there, she was glad to see the edition of his works published in Boston, by Ticknor and Fields.
The next article of the programme was: “Two Lyrics,” written by our honorary member, Miss Grace Denio Litchfield, read by her sister, our President. The first was “A Dream of Happiness,” and the other “A Love Song,”—the first telling of love immortal,
and the second of the mortal love that can make a glory everywhere, even here and now.
The next article of the programme was: “An Act from Cassandra,” a dramatic poem by Miss Malloy. Miss Malloy brought back to us the old Greek story of the prophetess without honor in her own country: and showed us Cassandra, a type of eternal womanhood,—and Helen, an undying type too perhaps, so far as this world has yet lived. The extract was read with dramatic force by Mrs. Tyson, and was received with applause.
The programme next called for “Three Lyrics,” by Miss Virginia W. Cloud. They were appropriately read by Mrs. Cautley. The first was, “The Guest,” telling us of the mighty guest, whose name no man uttered; but while our sight was dim, one of us smiled,—and followed him. The second was: “A Lean Taking,” telling of a sunsetting where no odor was sweeter than the evening air,—nor sound than the rustle of the corn. The third was “The Poet.” It was of the poet made by God, whom men did not understand,—until God had taken back His own, leaving the sound of his voice lingering with men.
The next article was on “The Mothers in Shakespeare,” by Miss Ellen Duvall. It was read by Mrs. Dammann. Miss Duvall quoted from Balzac the remark that it is easier to be a good wife than to be a good mother, going on to say that the work of the wife is adaptation to her husband,—the work of the mother, the formation of her child. It is easier to adapt oneself than to mould and develop
A new creature. Miss Duvall spoke of the thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare, of which she said less than half have mothers in them, and she could speak only for a few of them. Margaret of Anjou, Eleanor and Constance are alike ambitious for their sons. Margaret is the strongest of the three, an indifferent wife, cruel and remorseless,—she does battle bravely for her son’s welfare. Lady Macbeth was, we are given to understand a mother, but she does not speak of maternal feeling as she does of filial feeling, in the passage about King Duncan looking like her father as he slept. After referring to Elizabeth,—the mother of the little princes murdered in the tower,—Miss Duval went on to speak of Catherine of Aragon, and of the fine picture of womanhood Shakespeare has given us in her. She passed on to Hermione in the “Winter’s Tale,” who, when she comes down from her pedestal and takes up her life once more, appears to us as a mother, speaking to her daughter only.
Gertrude, the mother of Hamlet, is weak and incapable. It is not his father’s death alone, but his mother’s lapse from his respect—a revelation of falseness in womankind that takes away his strength and courage. He suffers from too much knowledge, he has had a revelation of fate, and is like a man under an electric shock. Volumnia, to whom Coriolanus owed his life—and his death—is like her son in valor and in pride. She made him what he was; but Shakespeare’s heart seems to turn to Virgilia, the wife, and mother also. Miss Duval then spoke
of “All’s Well that Ends Well,” which she thought, in spite of unlovely features, contains in the Countess of Rousillion, one of the best mothers, and of the noblest women given us by Shakespeare. She compared this play with Browning’s poem of “The Statue and the Bust;” contrasting Helena’s success, by force of pure will, with the “unlit lamp and the ungirt loin” of those two in the poem, who staked and lost their worthless counters as if they had been real coin. But the mother of Bertram stands out, with her love of truth and right even greater than her maternal love.
The next article of our programme, was the reading of two poems by Miss Reese, “Laughter” and “Rachel.” The first brought the poet Herrick before us, and the English spring-time with its youthful joy and brightness, as it lives in his song. The second was the wail of the bereaved mother who “would not be comforted.” The President introduced to the Club, Mrs. Florence Earle Coates, one of our honorary members. Our programme had promised us “A Talk on Matthew Arnold,” by Mrs. Coates. That lady said, however, that she preferred to read to us a poem by Matthew Arnold. She had, she told us been often asked if she really liked his poems?—and had caused surprise by her liking the writings considered cold and unsympathetic. Feeling strongly on this subject herself, she proposed to give us “The Sick King in Bokara,” as an answer—in some sense a refutation—of the charge made against Mr. Arnold, that though intellectually fine,
he does not touch the heart. The poem as given with Mrs. Coates’ fine elocutionary power, seemed as much to move our sympathy as to call for our admiration. After some appreciative remarks by her auditors, Mrs. Coates spoke of Matthew Arnold as an English poet, and of his use of the English language. She called attention to the title of the poem “The Sick King”—not the ill King, although the use of the word sick in this sense, has been classed as an Americanism. She spoke of having been at breakfast with Matthew Arnold on one occasion when his daughter who is not pretty,—but lovely, said something regarding the American variety of the English language. Her father answered that the Americans often go farther back than the English, and speak a better language—the language of the English Bible and of Shakespeare.
Mrs. Coates was urged to give us something of her own, and finally consented to recite her poem called “Israfel,” which appeared in the Century Magazine some time ago; and also a little love poem, both of which were highly appreciated. Mrs. Coates was presented personably to the members of the Club, and after pleasant conversation, the meeting adjourned.
The 123rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Wednesday, January 2nd, 1895 at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The
President gave greetings to the Club, on the coming together for the first time in the year 1895. She spoke of the associations in which our lives touch each other and from which we gain sympathy, comfort and knowledge. She wished to ask for each one, in the words of the Laureate, that God may bless us beyond all hope or thought. She spoke of the most perfect art which mirrors human kind. Then of the harmonies of language, especially of prose writings. She reminded us of what was said of Milton; that when he was obliged to compose by the ear alone, his writings possessed more melody than they had before when he had the assistance of sight also. We have beautiful opportunities before us: with all the nineteenth century restlessness around us, we can in quietness of spirit, love our work, have faith in it. Strength is noiseless; there is no need of self-assertion in the dignity and grace of the old ideal of womanhood. We have strength to hold to the beautiful old ideals, and to make place for the beautiful new ones; with unfettered minds to meet the questions of the day; and to take for our own such things as are lovely and of good report.
The Recording Secretary then read the minutes of the meeting of December 18, 1894. The President made an announcement of a course of twelve lectures to be given by our fellow member Mrs. Lord on Colonial Days and Dames in Old Maryland. They were to be given at the rooms of the Colonial Dames, and to begin on Friday, January 4th. It was announced that at our next meeting which
would be under the direction of the Committee on Education, there would probably be some discussion on the subject of Kindergartens. The programme was then taken up, which announced this meeting to be under the direction of Miss Minor, Chairman of the Committee on Bibliography and Curios. The President reminded us that this Committee was not a new one, but that its work had been taken up again after a period of discontinuance.
The first article of the programme was a reading by Miss Minor, called “A Sketch of Cherubina.” Miss Minor prefaced her reading by speaking of the definitions of the words Bibliography and Curios, and suggested that there might be an embarrassment of riches in the subjects covered by these significations. She then spoke of the old novel “The Heroine, or The Adventures of Cherubina,” written by Eaton Stannard Barrett, on Irish barrister, who lived at the end of the last century and the beginning of the present one, and whose several works have long been out of print. The story from which Miss Minor read extracts is a merry burlesque upon those other old novels “The Children of the Abbey,” “The Mysteries of Udolpho,” and their kindred contemporaries and successors. Cherubina, the daughter of a father who has amassed a fortune, as she says, by disgusting industry, having prepared herself by a five years course of novel reading to embody and ensoul the visions of romance, leaves home in search of adventures,—and finds them. She mistakes Covent Garden theatre for a baronial castle, and an actor who comes out of the building
for a prince in disguise. When her actor lover reaches the point of saluting her lips, she takes offence, on the ground that a kiss on the hand may be correct but “a kiss on the lips is inaccurate.” There is a hero in the story, a good and true one, who finally marries the heroine, when she has become like Undine, be-souled, by really falling in love.
The next article given us was by Mrs. Woolsey Johnson, and was on “Bellarmines.” She explained that this was the name of a stoneware jug made and used for beer and ale in the sixteenth century. She had brought a specimen of the genuine Bellarmine to show us. The name of Cardinal Béllarmine or Bellámine as he is also called, was given to this piece of pottery more than three hundred years ago, at Delft in Holland, and it was adorned with what was supposed to be the Cardinal’s face and his long gray beard, on which account the jug itself was often called a gray-beard. Mrs. Johnson went on to speak of the troubled times of war and fanaticism on all sides during which the Italian Cardinal lived in Holland, and recalled his learning, ability and devotion, widely known and admired to the present time. But he was unpopular with the Dutch, who gave his name to an ugly jug. We were given appropriate quotations, and references to this peculiar kind of earthen ware made by Ben Jonson, Sir Walter Scott and others, and were told anecdotes relating to them under the names of Bellarmines and of Gray-beards,—both names serving well “to point a moral
or adorn a tale.” Mrs. Johnson also gave us “A Literary Curio of 1825,”—being a poem written by Sarah Miller Leverett, and published in a Boston paper. It was on “The Buatte,” fashionable then, and in the two following decades, as some of the oldest among us may remember—to have hears. Mrs. Johns reminded us that the fashionable hump is now worn on our shoulders. The poem gave [Venru?] great compassion, because, in her day, humps were not the fashion; and suggest impartial additions to redeem Nature’s want of taste, that we might be all over beauty and grace.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Minor, and was called “Two Pictures.” The pictures which she had kindly brought for us to see were paintings of Saint Veronica and Saint Sebastian. Her uncle Mr. John Minor had bought the first one just after it had been taken out of the hold of a Spanish ship, where it had been lying forgotten for an unknown time. The man who sold it described it as the daughter of Herodias, with the head of John the Baptist; but Mr. Minor recognized it as Saint Veronica, and in the style of Murillo. Learning that the original Saint Veronica of Murillo had been stolen years before, and never recovered, he received the impression that the picture in his possession might be the one so lost. So far he had been unable to verify this opinion; but the value of the painting has been highly estimated.
The last article given us was read by Mrs. Cautley. She said that it was a poem of the
war,—the war whose bitterness was past now. It was written by a Mrs. Merriwether of Kentucky, who, when her husband had gone to the Southern army, worked on her own farm, raised her crops, and took care of and supported her family. But a raid in that part of the country swept over her farm, and ruined her work. A neighbor, a Mr. Tuck, who proclaimed himself a Union man, but kept out of danger always, made the comment that “if a woman acted just like a man, she ought to be treated just like one also.” The lady whose property had been despoiled answered in this poem, by hoping that in the army of her own side all “Tucks” had been taken out, and quite demolishing the man who maintained his side was right—whenever there were none to fight.
After informal comments the meeting adjourned.
January 8th 1895.
The 124th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, January 8th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Bullock, Chairman of the Committee on Education. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 2nd. The announcement was made of the gift, to the library of the Club, of the novel
“Emily Chester,” written by Anne Moncure Crane, afterwards Mrs. Seemuller.
The first article of the programme was by Miss Malloy and was called “Thought in Education.” Miss Malloy spoke of the small percentage of human beings having average intelligence who know how to think; and also of the mentally lazy people who are pleased to have their thinking done for them, receiving like beggars the scraps of thoughts of others. Children are not taught to think; women need thought, being prone to yield to the dominion of feeling and emotion. The faculties of the mind, will, memory and understanding are neglected. But the Creator gives no useless faculties to his creatures. Thought now is the power of the age; to the power of thought women owe the place they have gained in our own time; and thought must fit women to be the educators of rational beings, beings made in the image of the Creator.
The next article of the programme given us was by Miss Haughton, and was on “The Practical Education of Girls.” Miss Haughton spoke of those girls who do not propose to go to college,—because they cannot take the time, can not leave home, or for other unanswerable reasons; although to the same girls books may be the only recreation they can attain. Her theme might be called “A Plea for Lower Education,” but the girls she spoke of wish for the highest education within their reach. They should have physical culture; their letters and notes should be well written; they should learn domestic economy—so necessary for good wives and mothers; they should learn concentration
and method. They should study and recite from nine till two, and so far as possible do their studying in school. They should learn Latin, French and German, music too, and also cooking and sewing. Physical culture should include vocal culture, that they may gain that voice that is “an excellent thing in a woman.” Literature and history they should have also, and translating which is one of the best means of learning good English. They should be taught good reading in every sense,—and dramatic expression, also. Art theoretically and practically. After perhaps five or six years of this course, surely a girl might be called well educated. Comments were made by other members on Miss Haughton’s propositions. It was said that many College graduates can not write good letters. The President spoke of a letter of a literary Professor which contained forty mistakes in spelling, though, it sounded well when read aloud. The question of studying lessons in school, and that of having different lessons on alternate days was also discussed, also of the aid of parents, and of the good understanding and sympathy between parents and teachers.
The next article on the programme was given by Miss C. M. C. Hart, and was called “Kindergarten and Art.” Mrs. Bullock introduced Miss Hart, and spoke of her having much experience of Kindergarten work in St. Louis, and in Canada, and also as having the chief position in the Kindergarten Training School in this city. Miss Hart spoke of Art as human production, from the hut of the savage to the finest architecture,—from rude drawing and carving to
the fine arts as we know them; also going on to speak of industrial and literary art. She spoke of the unerring human instincts, and of the child’s relation to Nature around him—the Nature that tells us the laws of life. She spoke of the historic development of the human race, which can be followed on the same lines in the development of the child. She thought that the Kindergarten spared the child the hard laborious steps that children were formerly obliged to take, and carried them over the same ground with lightning speed. She spoke of what she considered the benefits of Kindergarten training for apparently dull children, and of the great work the Kindergarten was doing for the children of the poor. Art, she said, is the visible record of man’s thought. In the Kindergarten is brought forward the general thought of Art production; the child is given the solid, in simple forms, and the earliest elementary mathematical expressions. He is taught to reason upon them as ideas dawn upon him, and the rules of nature and of art develop before him, and God’s thoughts are revealed to him. She spoke of the religious element in art and education. Religion was to the early human race a system of symbols, of which it learned the meaning; the child now is given symbols of which the Kindergartner know the meaning and can suggest it to him, and the child she told us listens to and interprets what the fairies sang in the childhood of our race, the dreams of the fairy land that is nowhere and everywhere. Miss Hart spoke with earnestness and some eloquence, and we listened with much
interest to her article, whether all of us could accept all her views of the Kindergarten or not. The President proposed a vote of thanks, by standing, to Miss Hart for her address,—which was given without opposition. Mrs. Bullock questioned Miss Hart with regard to the statement that Froebel had suggested that the best development of his system might in future be found in America. Miss Hart said that the system was in sympathy with free institutions, and with true individuality. She was asked how long it had been since the Kindergarten had been established in this country? She answered that Miss Peabody began the movement in Boston, she thought “in the sixties,” she herself had been engaged in this work about seventeen years. One member of the Club here reminded us that the first Kindergarten in Baltimore was begun in the school of Mrs. Jones on Mt. Vernon Place, which was some twenty three years ago,—Mrs. Jones being obliged to send to Germany for much of her apparatus. Mrs. Bullock asked if there were any statistics attainable regarding the effect of the Kindergarten on the adult life of children who had attended it? Miss Hart suggested that we must look still farther before we can fully test this effect. She gave however some account of the Kindergarten pupils in Milwaukee and in Boston, and of the high rank they had taken in the public schools in the two cities.
Mrs. Dammann suggested that the Kindergarten might relieve a mother of the duty she
ought to do. Miss Hart spoke of the mothers who do not do this duty. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of the extremely good work of the Kindergarten among the poor, and the children of mothers who have no time to take care of them, but as a mother she would not wish to give up her precious work in the nursery. Miss Hart spoke of companionship and the benefits of associating children together. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of children in families where the mother’s training seems often as thoroughly given to three or four as to one. Mrs. Cautley spoke of the enquiring nature of the child, which is apparent as soon as it opens its eyes. Mrs. Turnbull thought the mother best fitted to understand the individuality of the child, and to respond to its inquiring nature.
After further comments, Miss Hart agreed that the Kindergarten may sometimes be helpless without the nursery training beforehand, and she went on to speak of Froebel’s book for mothers, on the training that ought to come before that of the Kindergarten. After some further comments, the meeting adjourned.
January 15th, 1895.
The 125th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, took place on Tuesday, January 15th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. George Whitelock.
Chairman of the Committee on Unwritten History. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 2nd.
The first article of the programme given us was by Mrs. Shippen, and was called: “The First Inauguration of Thomas Jefferson.” Mrs. Shippen said she has brought us the account given by an eyewitness of this important event which took place in March 1801. She spoke of the long agony as it was called of that important election contest which resulted in the choice of Jefferson as the third President of the United States—and when thirty-five ballots were taken in the House of Representatives to decide between Jefferson and Burr. Judge Nicholson of Maryland was carried from his sick bed for several days that his very important vote might be given against Col. Burr. His physicians fearing fatal consequences had appealed to Mrs. Nicholson to use her influence to prevent her husband from taking such a risk; but like a Roman matron, she would not stand in the way of his patriotic devotion. For four or five days he had a small bed in an ante-room, waiting to give the vote which was to prevent Aaron Burr from becoming President of the young nation. When the day of the Inauguration came, the city of Washington seemed almost deserted, except for the officials, the warmest friends of Jefferson, a few of the most magnanimous of his opponents, and some strangers. Mr. Jefferson and two or three of his friends walked over from his boarding house to the Capitol,
only one wing of which building was finished at that time, and there he took the oath of President. We were reminded of his beautiful Inaugural address, good to read still. Also that his second election seemed almost a matter of course; and when at the close of his second term, he retired to domestic life, his popularity still went with him, and his talents and patriotism live in history now. Mrs. Shippen was indebted to her grandfather for the interesting relation she gave us.
The next article given us was by Mrs. Edmund Jenkins, and was called: “A Few Morre Words about the Founders of Maryland.” Mrs. Jenkins spoke of the early colonies of our country, and of the hope of the world that rested on the principles established and carried out by them. Also of the great and growing interest in descent and heredity in our people just now. She took us back to two and a half centuries ago, telling us of the first white man living in Maryland, the successful fur-trader Henry Fleet, who on the Maryland side of the Potomac, collected his thousands of beaver skins, and was much esteemed by the Indians, some years before the arrival of the Ark and the Dove in 1634. We were told of Lord Baltimore’s letter to the Earl of Stafford regarding the expedition he was about to send to America, and the twenty gentlemen of very good fashion, and the three hundred laboring men who were to be sent with it. That the ships were over six months at sea, and that Father White in his invaluable record tells of their being threatened with shipwreck and other dangers
before their arrival at “the most pleasant place in the country.” After speaking of the hardships endured by the brave colonists in general, Mrs. Jenkins went on to mention particular members of the expedition and their successors in early immigration, giving the names and the good claims to distinction of many who have had and still have honored descendants in Maryland and in Virginia. She spoke of the indifference of the mother country, until the wealth and trade of the colony reminded England of her parental duty. We were reminded of the tolerance, good feeling and pleasant living of the early colonists, and of their customs and laws, and told interesting anecdotes concerning them. Mrs. Jenkins also spoke of the fine field for historical research offered by our own state.
The programme had promised us a “Colonial Paper” by Miss Kate Mason Rowland, but that lady being absent, it could not be given to us. The President announced that Mrs. John Jackson had consented to read to us an old letter which she alone could decipher. We were reminded that our fellow member, Mrs. Whitelock, had copied a portrait of the wife of Charles Carroll of Carrolton. It was also recalled to us that the three daughters [granddaughters] of Charles Carroll had all married English noblemen, and that it had formerly been customary to refer to them as “the ladies in England.” Mrs. Jackson said that her husband was an Englishman, and that his uncle, the writer of this letter, came to Baltimore in the year 1841, to see his American relatives. He writes
of his passage over the sea, and strange to say, prefers American vessels to English ones. Delighted to set foot on terra firma once more, he tells of going to see his “Uncle Caton” and his “Cousin Woodville,” and expatiates delightfully on the exceedingly good living and hospitality he met with on this side of the Atlantic, especially in this city. He mentions places and names familiar to us even now, and draws a picture of our good old Baltimore in 1841, that can be highly appreciated fifty four years after it was written.
No more history written or unwritten being ready for our enjoyment, the meeting adjourned.
January 22nd, 1895.
The 126th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, January 22nd, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 15th. The President announced that the first Tuesday in February was the day appointed for the reception and reading of the half-yearly reports from the Chairmen of the Committees of the Club, and as it is to be strictly a Club meeting, no visitors are to be invited for that day. The announcement was also made that two of the heads of Committees, having been obliged on account of illness, to withdraw from their positions,
the appointment of two new Chairmen would cause some changes in the list of programmes for the rest of the year. Also, that it was requested, that members having papers ready to be read to the Club, would inform the President of the fact, in order that good work may be given without interruption or delay in any necessary re-arrangement of the programmes. The President also informed us that she had received a letter from Mrs. Florence Earle Coates, our honorary member, containing greetings for the Club. Mrs. Coates spoke of her enjoyment of her visit to us, and of her pleasant memories of it; also of her connection with our Club and participation in its privileges as being real and dear to her. Some items of friendly correspondence having been given, the first article of the programme was announced, as “Some Thoughts on Materialism,” by Mrs. William P. Morgan. It was read by Mrs. Thomas S. Morris,—Mrs. Morgan being unable to be present.
This essay reviewed an article in Scribner’s Magazine for January, by Mr. Robert Grant. This article, it was said, represented in an uneasily easy style, the literary materialism of the day, the cultured worship of the almighty dollar. Mr. Grant criticises genteel poverty as represented by a New York book keeper who has a salary of $2200 a year;—and can yet be grateful to Providence, and can quote Shakespeare. Mr. Grant is contemptuous of the home life of his imaginary book keeper, of his family, his clothes, his household gods—which last he supposed to be partly represented by pictures of George Washington and Horace Greeley. He sees we were told, no beauty
in lives supported on small means, and that cannot attain the culture of travel, and luxurious surroundings; and he seems to look for a millennium, in which aesthetic adjuncts to noble purposes can be general among us. But his is reminded of the servants and producers in this new state of society. Mrs. Morgan asks if man will not still need bread and butter, soap and water, and clothes to wear, as well as the other things that delight his fine sensibilities. She went on to speak of those things that money cannot buy; she reminded us that Art and Literature owe a debt to poverty,—that poverty which has been the spur and the impelling force often to genius and talent to bestow their treasures upon the world. That we can hold sacred the poverty of those who have cared for better things than an elegant materialism can promise. The strong soul can keep its hold on simplicity; and Art inspiration is too jealous to admit the world into her hallowed ground.
The next article of the programme was by Mrs. Thomas Hill, and was on “Historic New London.” Mrs. Hill spoke of the beautiful scenery of our land not always appreciated by Americans. She dwelt on the beauty of land and water in Rhode Island and Connecticut, especially in the region of New London and Groton. We were told of the early colonists of Connecticut,—of the Winthrops, and of others whom our nation has reason to revere. Mrs. Hill spoke of the monument which commemorates one of the saddest events of our Revolutionary War,—the massacre of the American troops at old Fort Griswold, by the force under the command of the traitor, Benedict Arnold. She
told of the brave Colonel Ledyard, and gave a word [?ing] of the whole grievious transaction, and its succeeding incidents. Mrs. Hill spoke of our duty to inform ourselves of the course of our own history, and of our thankfulness for the success which crowned the brave efforts of the early heroes of our nation.
The next article of our programme was by Miss Doughty, and was a story called: “Ghosts across the Water.” The President introduced Miss Doughty, who had on a former occasion favored us with a recitation. Her story told us of a girl waiting in a public library, pacing up and down the room, and then sitting down and watching the clock. She was a type-writer who had been for some time just making a living, leading a monotonous life, with affections unattached, aspirations unsatisfied, in an unconquered environment. But a short time before, a new world seemed to open before her, and now she is waiting for the hour when she is to meet her fate in the form of her lover,—or one who calls himself so,—who is to deliver her from the house of bondage into the heaven below of love in a cottage far from all she has known and rebelled against so long—so she believes. The time is long before going to the railway train, and she takes up a magazine,—the “Ladies Own,” and begins to read a story. She reads of those who stand on the bank, and see what they take to be the kingdom of happiness across the river; who then go sailing across with brave companions, with music and joy;—to find only a land of pale ghosts who had taken a wrong road, and wrecked and lost their lives. The girl
wishes to tear the book up, but throws it down, thinks of her dark eyed lover now waiting at the station for her, of her sweet dream,—and then of the desolation of the ghosts. Then she goes away—to take up the life of yesterday again. When she has gone home, another woman comes in—the writer, to see her story in print, the story for which she has just received five dollars, the story she had sent to the first class monthlies in vain; and now she says it is buried in a fourth class magazine. It has no room to do any good to herself or anybody else,—surely it is hard. At the close of Miss Doughty’s story she was requested to recite for us “The Frenchman’s Adam and Eve,”—and finally consented to do so. It was highly entertaining, though not the Adam and Eve of Moses, nor of Milton nor of modern higher criticism, at all.
The President had in a few graceful words invited the Club to meet her in her own house on Tuesday January 29th, at the usual hour of the meeting--half past three o’clock. The Club adjourned.
January 29th, 1895.
There was no regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, January 29th, 1895. On that afternoon our President, Mrs. Turnbull, received the Club at her own home, No. 1530 Park Avenue, at our usual hour of assembling. The members of the Lend-a-Hand Club of Mt. Washington were also Mrs. Turnbull’s
guests on the same occasion. After greetings and informal conversation, our President read to us some very interesting letters, containing her notes of travel during her recent sojourn in Europe. She told us of her stay in Venice, and of renewing her acquaintance with the beauties of the old city. Also of being forcibly reminded of the western American “Little Venice,” as described by her sister, Miss Grace Denio Litchfield. The resemblance was especially striking in the hand work of great Nature for the two cities in different hemispheres. Mrs. Turnbull also gave us an account of a day in Browning’s palace,—where the poet died,—in Venice also, and where, among other reminders of him, she saw the portrait and bust, both the work of his son; and she was glad to see that a loving hand had preserved for the world the best and most satisfactory likenesses that exist, of one whose name stands in the front rank of the writers of the nineteenth century.
After enjoying the reading, we were favored with music—singing by Mr. Baker, and instrumental music under the direction of Mr. Edwin Turnbull all of which was highly appreciated. Refreshments followed, and social conversation closed a delightful afternoon’s entertainment.
February 5th, 1895.
The 127th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday February 5th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This being a meeting for the presentation of the half yearly reports from the Chairmen of the Committees of the Club, no literary programme had been prepared for it. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 22nd, and a short notice of the reception given to the Club by its President, Mrs. Turnbull, at her own home on January 29th. The President gave some explanations of the unavoidable changes made in the Committees during the last half year. Announcement was made of a note from Mrs. Graham inviting the Woman’s Literary Club to an open meeting of the Lend-a-Hand Club at the Lyceum Parlors on Monday evening, February 11th, on which occasion a gold medal was to be conferred on a boy in reward for bravery and endurance. After some explanations regarding our programme of Topics for the present year, the President read this programme as prepared last summer, noting some alterations which had become necessary since that time. She then called for the reports of the Chairmen of Committees.
The first report was that of Mrs. Bullock, Chairman of the Committee on Education. Mrs. Bullock spoke of the work of the individual members of Committee, and referred to the Club meeting under its direction on January 8th, when articles were given by Miss Haughton
and Miss Malloy, and we were also favored with an address by Miss C. M. C. Hart. Mrs. Bullock spoke of the Committee work as that by which we grow,—the Committee life is the soul of the Club, especially of our Club.
The next report was that of Mrs. Dammann, Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. Mrs. Dammann gave a most interesting account of the meetings of her Committee, of the books received and of literary views and opinions expressed by the different members on these occasions. She referred to the Club meeting of November 13th, 1894, when articles were given by Miss Thelin, Miss George, Miss Duvall and Mrs. Cautley. The President spoke of the excellent work done by the Committee on Criticism.
Mrs. Lord, Chairman of the Committee on Essays and Essayists, reported that her Committee had held regular meetings, read papers and engaged in literary criticism during the half year. She spoke of their Club meeting on November 20th, and referred especially to the article given by Mrs. Clapham Pennington on that occasion;—also to the work of a [promising?] character yet to be read before the Club.
Mrs. Grace, the Chairman of the Committee on Translations, had resigned that position to our great regret,—and there was no report from that Committee. We had also suffered the loss of another Chairman in the resignation of Mrs. Jenkins from the Committee on Fiction, but it was announced that she would send us a report. We had also another disappointment in the absence of Miss Comins, Chairman of the
Committee on Art. Miss Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry, spoke of the work done by her Committee since last June, and referred to the meeting of December 19th, when the articles and poems were given by Miss Litchfield, Miss Malloy, Miss Duvall and Miss Reese, and when we were also entertained with the recitations and address of our honorary member Mrs. Florence Earle Coates. Miss Reese also spoke of her very great pleasure in working with the members of her Committee.
In calling on Mrs. Wrenshall, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology, the President spoke of the lecture given by that lady on the previous evening before the Academy of Sciences, which was highly acceptable to the members of that society—who will publish it among their own papers. Mrs. Wrenshall said that the public meetings under the direction of her Committee were to be late in the season—in the month of April. The Committee had promptly responded to her call last June, and had united in studies belonging to Ancient Egypt. Since the first of November they had held fortnightly meetings for concerted study, which had now reached the end of the twelfth dynasty—more than 2,000 years before Christ. She thanked all the members of her Committee for the support and cooperation she had received from them. Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the division of the work with regard to history, inscriptions, etc., into a series of great pictures of great periods of Egyptian progress and development.
Miss Evans, Chairman of the Committee on the
Drama was not present, but we were told that the results of the Committee’s work were yet to be given to us. The Chairman of the Committee on Unwritten History had just resigned her position, but we were reminded there had been no more faithful work than that done by this Committee. They had had charge of the meeting of the 15th of January, when Mrs. Jenkins, Mrs. Shippen and Miss Rowland were the names announced by the Programme. This Committee on Unwritten History will be in future under the Chairmanship of Miss M. W. Milnor.
Mrs. Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Modern Philanthropy was unable to be present, but sent her report, which was read by Mrs. Bullock. This Committee had had charge of the meeting of October 23rd, when articles were given by Mrs. Cautley, Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Early and Mrs. Turnbull,--of variety and interest.
Miss Brent, Chairman of the Committee on the Exact Study of the English Language, reported that her Committee was preparing for a meeting in April, and she announced some papers on subjects of great interest which she expected to present at that time.
Miss Minor, Chairman of the Committee on Bibliography and Curios, reported the work past and prospective of her Committee. The meeting of January 2nd had been under her direction, where Curiosities of Literature and Art, or original papers had been given by Mrs. Woolsey Johnson, Mrs. Cautley and Miss Minor herself.
Mrs. Manly, Chairman of the Committee on
the Authors and Artists of Maryland, spoke of the meeting under her direction on October 9th, when in addition to her own work, we had articles given us by Mrs. Herrick of New York, and Miss Wharton of Philadelphia, both well[-]known authors. Mrs. Manly requested that her Committee may be notified of any works written by members of our Club, or by other Marylanders, that we may keep ourselves in touch with the literary progress of our own State. She referred to a late English criticism which gave America credit for possessing only one poet and a half,—the poet, Edgar Allan Poe, and the half poet, Walt Whitman. She remarked that at least this critic’s whole poet was a Marylander. The President contrasted this criticism with one in the London Spectator on Sidney Lanier which was very highly appreciative of a poet who at any rate lived in Maryland also.
Miss Haughton then read the report of Mrs. Jenkins, for the Committee on Fiction. She spoke of the meetings of her Committee, and especially noted the candor and fairness of the friendly criticisms of its members on the work read to them—criticism she thought being not a weapon, but a staff to lean upon. Five of the members of the Committee on Fiction write for publication. Two meetings had been under the direction of Mrs. Jenkins, that of October 16th and that of December 11th, when the programme contained the names of Miss Cloud, Mrs. Whitelock, Miss L. W. Reese, Mrs. Tyson, Mrs. Percy Reese, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Lord and others. The President spoke of the prepared courses of study which these Committees are able to pursue, of their truly helpful friendly, or self-
criticism. We wish for a permanent effect on the literary progress of our city, we cannot be without such effect, if we work earnestly, enjoy our work, and give the best we have. We shall not lose our reward if we can prove that women—just as well as men—can bring beautiful thoughts in the best words to the help of humanity in all its works. Announcement was made of some books presented to the library of the Club. “The Addresses of Mr. S. T. Wallis,” presented by Mr. H. C. Kennard; “Master” presented by the author Mr. J. R. Larns; “Hygiene of the Sick Room,” presented by the author, Dr. W. B. Canfield; “Year Book” of the Brooklyn Club, presented by Miss Cloud; “Studies in Criticism” by Miss Trail, presented by Mrs. Belt; “Emendations in Aeschylus,” with a few other in Sophocles and Euripides, and one on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, by A. M. Rogers, presented by Miss Eliza Rogers.
The President then reminded us that this was one of our meetings nearest to the birthday of Sidney Lanier, which had yesterday been commemorated by the Chatauqua Society and other associations. We were all in some sense indebted to him, who lived among us, whom many of us have known or at least seen, and heard read or lecture. It is better to read his works than to write or speak tributes to him. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of Mr. Lanier’s love of Nature, and its expression in his poem “Sunrise,” afterwards also speaking of his poem “Acknowledgement” as embodying his idea of the highest earthly love. She then with true appreciation and expression read to us these two much admired poems. The meeting adjourned.
February 12th, 1895.
The 128th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, February 12th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Whitelock, Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. The President having sent a note announcing and regretting that she was not to be present at this meeting. Mrs. Bullock, first Vice President, called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 5th.
Announcement was made of the desire of some of the members of the Club to form a society for the study of Folk Lore, in connection with the Folk Lore National Society which has been formed in Washington. Some of the representatives of that society will probably come to Baltimore within a short time, and may assist in the formation of a new association in this city. Some further explanations on this subject were given by Miss Whitney, who spoke of the interest taken in it by Mr. Cushing,—well known for his researches among the southwestern Indians of our country.
Mrs. Bullock announced the sudden death of Mrs. Charlotte Emerson, wife of the Reverent W. B. Brown, of East Orange, New Jersey. Mrs. Brown was the late, and the first, President of the Federation of Women’s Clubs,—to which association our own Club belongs. A note from our President suggesting that resolutions of sympathy should be sent from our Club to the
husband of Mrs. Brown, and to the Advisory Board of which she was a member; and naming Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Bullock, and Mrs. Lord as a Committee to draw up these resolutions. Mrs. Bullock spoke of the fact that the three members mentioned were the representatives of our Club last Spring, when we became members of the Federation, of which Mrs. Brown was then President. She spoke of the admiration Mrs. Brown won from them, and, apparently from all present, when presiding over the public meetings of the Federation in Philadelphia last May. Mrs. Wrenshall secretary of correspondence for Maryland to the Federation read a letter from Mrs. Henrotin of Chicago, the present President of the Federation, expressing great admiration for Mrs. Brown, and regret for her death. The Committee agreed to draw up the resolution as desired.
The first article of the programme was announced as “The Tendency of Modern Fiction” Discussed in a series of short papers of one page each, prepared for Committee Work on the given topic,” by Mrs. Price, Miss Whitney, Mrs. Jenkins, Miss Marian Dorsey, Miss Haughton and Miss Cloud: and read by Mrs. Whitelock. Mrs. Whitelock spoke of giving the Club an insight into the work of the Committee by the reading of these papers. She also referred to the coming meeting of the last Tuesday in February when it was expected to have a discussion of the subject of the tendency of modern fiction, and at which will be presented a series of question, prepared by
Miss Milnor regarding this subject. Mrs. Whitelock then read the short papers, taking them at random, without regard to the order of the programme, or to the author’s names. The first one read treated of the modern short stories, whose writers resemble the butterflies rather than the bees, who may gather honey all the day, but do not store it up for the public to any great extent, and who, at least do not tax the intellects of their readers.
The next paper quoted a French opinion, and spoke of our American stories as being too photographic, of our being a perceptive people, and of our not having yet learned repose; but suggested that if writers are born, not made, we shall soon be glad to write as God intended we should.
The next paper treated of the writers who read nature,—of dialect stories, and of the stories that are healthful by which the world is helped and made better.
The next paper dealt with pessimistic fiction, with its prevailing tone of sadness; with writers given to analysis, or surgical-like work, or to turning an electrical light into all consciousness or emotion.
The next paper told of those writers who substitute new gods for our old ones. It spoke too of different writers from Tolstoi to Howells, and touched on the cameo cutting of Henry James, and on his light sketch, and on the cobwebs of literature.
The last paper read spoke of the transition period, on which our fiction tosses as an ocean
of short stories;—yesterday the realistic, tomorrow the romantic movement seeking to send its waves over it. The programme next called for a story and a sketch by Miss Cloud. THe story was announced as “The Train for Taras.” It begins with a young gentleman and lady, evidently a happy husband and wife, delayed at a railroad station, where the wife proposes to “Study nature”—human nature the husband comments however. And soon this study is presented to them in the shape of a small quiet woman, of whom the wife whispers that she is evidently expecting “him.” In answer to a request for explanation, attention is called to the facts that the woman has brushed her dress, glanced into the looking glass, and that her gloves are entirely new. When the young husband has gone off for a walk the wife wins the small woman’s confidence, and learns about “him,”--an old lover of course, who went to Texas thirteen years ago, and is coming back to marry the small spinster and take her to Canada. The preacher appears, and then a big burly man, who finds—or says he finds no change in the little woman in thirteen years. But she, even in the excess of artless delight, admits that she scarcely knew him at first, without his beard. The preacher is called, the license handed to him, he finds it in due form, but objects to the absence of witnesses. This want is hastily supplied by the fellow travellers, the lady and her husband, and the little spinster’s foot seems at last on the threshold of Paradise. The ceremony reaches the
solemn warning against any known impediment to this union—when two men rush in, announcing that they have caught him at last, though he had put them off the track by shaving off his beard. The would-be bridegroom can only explain that he had “hit a man—down there, not meaning to kill him,” that he thought he could get away—where he could make it all up to her,—and now she may thank God that she is not married. He, whom she has waited for, is hurried away and the stranger’s sympathy can do little for her. As she takes off her kid gloves and puts on old thread one, the train for Taras is called out, and soon the sad little face, from which every trace of youth and expectation has gone forever, is borne away on it.
Miss Cloud’s sketch which followed was a bright fancy, in which a seeker after fame in the present day, is admitted by an ancestor, who has gained some fame in his own day,—to assist at a New Year’s reception given to the “children of the imagination,” who have attained fame, and still retain it. Sam Weller introduces, among others, the Reverend Robert Helsmere, a somewhat dimmed figure; and Miss Dodo, not so bright as she was in her early days. Miss Bernadine Holme, who, the ancestor is glad to find, has not yet burned her ships; and the Heavenly Twins, who have been called impossible, but who seem still irrepressible. At last comes the Emperor Napoleon Bonapart, the re-incarnated; and Miss O’Feffal. Trilby has the floor, takes precedence of the Emperor, and asserts that she is not going to
fade away,—she is going on the stage. The “children of the imagination” were charming companions, but to find out how short-lived some them have been was not encouraging to the spirant for fame.
The programme next called for a story by Miss Haughton. She called it “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” It told of a young minister, who called himself an orthodox Christian, but who was a Mahommedan, in his continued depreciation of the female sex, with regard to mind and character. But the women adored him despite his tyrannical attitude. Twenty women thought, each, that he loved her, and secretly sought diligently to fit herself for the position of a ministerial wife,—and were called “the saints” in consequence. Once a month he preached a sermon embodying his views on the “sphere of woman.” There was one unregenerate maiden not one of the saints,—who did as she pleased, even to the extent of riding a bicycle, a thing of which the minister could think only in a whisper. She also pleased to give him a few new subjects for the aforesaid sermons, such as “The danger of women officiating as tonsorial artists, as exemplified in the case of Samson and Delilah:”—and others equally appropriate. He tried to convert her, increasing his efforts so earnestly that he found out why Adam ate the apple, and why Samson allowed Delilah to cut his hair; and it is now rumored that he himself now rides “on a bicycle built for two.”
The last article on the programme was by Miss Marian V. Dorsey, and was called “Maryland’s Latest Literary Success.” Miss Dorsey referred to her paper read to us a year ago [February 14, 1893] on “Maryland as an
Unworked Field for Romance,” and expressed her satisfaction in finding that the field had begun to be worked. Miss Nannie E. Cox, and Eastern Shore girl, has written the stories, “Susannah” and “The Penitent,” and has appeared three times in the Century Magazine within a year. Miss Dorsey suggested that we send our greetings to Miss Cox across the bay in appreciation of her success as belonging to Maryland. After further comment, it was moved by Mrs. Graham and seconded by Mrs. Miller, that we send the proposed message of greeting and congratulation to Miss Cox. The motion was carried without opposition.
Mrs. Whitelock then read the series of questions prepared by Miss Milnor for the discussion on Modern Fiction to be held at the meeting of February 26th. After a few words by the presiding officer relating to the Educational Committee, the meeting adjourned.
February 19th, 1895.
The 129th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 19th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was under the direction of Miss Mary [May?] G. Evans, Chairman of the Committee on the Drama. The first Vice President, Mrs. Bullock, called the meeting to order, and announced that the President, Mrs. Turnbull, was unable by reason of illness to be with us this afternoon. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 12th.
She also read the question proposed by Miss Milnor for the discussion on Modern Fiction at the meeting of February 26th; and it was suggested the members select the questions they may wish individually to discuss.
The resolutions regarding the death of Mrs. Charlotte Emerson Brown, former President of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America, as prepared by the special Committee, consisting of Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Bullock, and Mrs. Lord, were read by the Chairman of that Committee, and unanimously approved by the Club.
The first article of the programme was by Miss Malloy, and was called “Dramatic Talk.” Miss Malloy spoke of Shakespeare, the seer and the glorious poet, and went on to dwell upon some of the typical characters he has given to the world—especially on Hamlet, Macbeth, Brutus and Shylock. She spoke of Hamlet whom we do not understand; and we sometimes doubt if Shakespeare himself understood this problem he has given us, which it would take inspiration to find out. We feel the power of the intellect, and the cloud upon his life, which his death alone can dispel. Of Macbeth she spoke, who is dazzled, but not blinded by the good fortune promised to him, and who fights the good in him as other men fight the evil, till his perverted nature had no remorse. His wife has remorse, she ceases to be his guide, and is carried out of herself. Miss Malloy passed on to Brutus, the hero of the play of Julius Caesar—for Caesar she said was a minor character
compared with “the noblest Roman of them all.” He makes with Anthony a comparative study in black and white. Anthony the false, and Brutus the honest; we hear the song of his words even now, and feel that “this was a man.” Miss Malloy then spoke of the Merchant of Venice as a comedy not without a tragical element and with a love story, giving it the sunlight of life; and of Shylock as one of the finest conceptions of character that Shakespeare has given us, full of passion, and not impulse. He, with the qualities of the fox and tiger, concentrates the revolt of a race held for centuries under the heel, not the hand of its oppressors, in the kind of rule that makes not martyrs but wild beasts; and we are conscious of a fine nature warped and distorted.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Duvall, and was called, “A Few Thoughts on Molière.” Miss Duvall after speaking of French Comedy in general, quoted Zangwill’s definition of humor as “a smile in the eyes of wisdom,”—and suggested that it is harder to define comedy. She spoke of the sense of our own incongruities, and the tolerant smile we give to them. Tragedy appeals to the heart, and comedy to the understanding. Comedy is far enough removed from farce and horse play; it has the power to improve men by amusing them. Miss Duvall drew a critical comparison between Shakespeare and Molière, as writers and players. She spoke of the reign of Louis the Fourteenth as unlike the times before and after it,—as like the blossoming of the aloe;—and spoke of the power of Molière to bring this wonderful time before us. She reviewed
the different plays, and the life of the writer with much interest. The next article of the programme was by Miss Evans, and was called “Where Doctors Disagree.” Miss Evans said that among the questions which agitate the public mind at the present time, that of “the decline of the drama” is one of which we hear often, but she thought in most times this decline has been asserted and deplored. She had written down the sayings to herself of a few of the dramatic folk she had met. She quoted the depreciatory criticisms of Richard Mansfield, and the very hopeful opinions of Creston Clarke on the interest taken in the Shakespearean drama at the present day. She also gave us the views of Mrs. John Drew who did not wish to decry the present, but dwelt much on the past, when a new play was a new event, who lamented the scarcity of true exponents of Shakespeare, who quoted that the present time is an age of verbal prosperity, and who trusted that there is still the public taste for the good old plays, and the true exponents will arise to meet it.
Madame Modjeska spoke of the changes of opinion on what is considered “high art.” Joseph Jefferson spoke of the public as not all one class of hearers, and not one alone is to be pleased. There are periods of decline and depression in all things; at one time the public taste was pleased by the Beggar’s Opera, with a Newgate convict as the principal character. Miss Evans told us of James McVickar, who left the stage to become a manager or, as he said, to pay salaries to other people and
go without one himself. He refused to join in the general groan over the decline of the theatre, thought it better than ever,—the horse play dying out, and the public little to be complained of. Young Sothern spoke of American play writers and of the necessity to paint natural scenes and characters. Nat Goodwin spoke of the eagerness for money getting which spoils the taste for everything but cheap and noisy fun, even that taken with a seriousness which kills the fun. Miss Evans described an interview with Wilson Barrett, which was one of cross purposes, as he had expected to see some one else. All of interviews were entertaining; but we were left to form our own opinions,—where doctors disagree.
We were next favored with Dramatic Readings, or rather recitations by Mrs. G. I. Wilmer; the first being “The Courtship of Henry the Fifth,” by Shakespeare, and the second and third being humorous selections, all of which were warmly applauded. A notice was sent by Miss Milnor, and read to the Club informing us that on Saturday morning the 23rd, of February, the President of the National Folk Lore Society, and probably some other members of that association would hold a meeting at No. 18 East Franklin Street, for the purpose of organizing a branch of the Folk Lore Society in Baltimore. The members of the Club were invited to attend this meeting, which was expected to be of great interest. A letter was read by the presiding officer from Mrs. E. A. Robinson, President of the Maryland Branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, with regard to the addresses to be delivered the next afternoon by Lady Henry Somerset and Miss Willard, and requesting the Club to send questions
to be answered by these ladies in the addresses mentioned. Several questions were proposed by members of the Club regarding the causes and effects of the movement for the advancement of women—especially it effect on home life. One question regarded the effect of the teaching to children the injurious effects of alcohol. Some friendly discussion followed.
A notice was given of the intended publication by the manager of the Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, of the issue of March 27th, as a woman’s number, the original and compiled contents to be entirely the work of women, and the proceeds of that day’s sale of the paper to go to a charity conducted by women. After some explanations and comments, Mrs. Graham moved that the Club subscribe for fifty copies of the said paper. Mrs. Wrenshall seconded the motion which was adopted the Club adjourned
February 26th, 1895.
The 38th Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 26th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 19th. The meeting of this evening was in connection with the Committee on Fiction, of which Mrs. Whitelock is Chairman. The President announced a Discussion on the Tendency of Fiction; and requested that all
members who wished to speak on the subject would address the chair, and give the whole Club the benefit of their views. The President then read some questions prepared for this discussion by Miss Milnor.
The first question read was: “Is the legitimate purpose of fiction merely to amuse?” Mrs. Lord quoted the opinion of Mr. Marion Crawford on this subject; with which she said she did not agree. She thought the purpose of fiction should be higher and better than for mere amusement. Miss Reese suggested that much good could be done by means of amusement. Miss Duvall said that fiction should hold the mirror up to nature, but much depends on the manner of doing so. Miss Comins suggested the use of the expressions diversion or entertainment rather than mere amusement. Mrs. Franklin said she had strong opinions, but she thought different classes of writers need not interfere with each other. The world may divide itself into those who are virtuous and those who like cakes and ale; but all have a right to find an effective means of improving their world if they have the gifts to do so. Mrs. Lord and Mrs. Miller spoke of Thackeray,—they thought he had a purpose in painting Beck Sharp and Col. Newcome. Miss Milnor said Thackeray painted what appeared to him, that he held the mirror up to human nature. The President spoke of the many persons who have the purpose without the art. Mrs. Bullock suggested that the art might have its full consideration, but that the moral purpose might be unconsciously given by the artist to his work. Mrs. Lord said that this was shown even by Marion Crawford himself. Dickens could
not help doing good. Miss Griffith spoke of the work of Raphael,—of the Gospel in his Transfiguration. She went on to speak of his master-piece; with the purpose in the baby’s eyes, in which is shown the incarnation. She spoke too of the works in which the moral purpose comes like an imposition upon us. Some of Miss Edgeworth’s stories have this quality; the purpose obtrudes itself, and we feel as if we would rather not take our moral teaching in that form. Mrs. Richardson spoke of two late books, “The Heavenly Twins,” and “Trilby.” The first has a purpose, and is inartistic;—the second [George] Du Maurier has made so very artistic, that we are at least not conscious of a moral purpose in it. It was suggested that Du Maurier’s idea of teaching with a moral purpose should not be under discussion at present. Mrs. Cautley said it had been called not in good form to discuss politics or religion—and perhaps Trilby ought to make the third of these forbidden topics.
Miss Cloud read the very interesting opinions of Dr. Conan Doyle on the tendency of American Fiction as related in an interview with Mr. Mabie, published the Ladies’ Home Journal for March. Miss Cloud spoke afterwards of the necessity to all true artists of the sense of humor. Miss Reese said that true art is moral. Mrs. Franklin spoke of the effect produced by art as the important thing, and called attention to the effect on the people of Italy and Spain of the wealth of art surrounding their lives. Miss Griffith quoted some lines from Browning’s “Fra Lippo Lippi,” showing how we love “First when we see them
painted, things we have passed Perhaps a hundred times, nor cared to see.” “Art was given for that”—”God uses us to help each other so.” The President spoke of having with others studied a poem of Browning’s to which six different interpretations were given; and the matter being reffered [referred] to the poet himself, he gave another different explanation. She thought the question turned at last on the want of a capital letter, which would have indicated a personification. Miss Duvall asked if an author is not responsible for the impression he makes. It was suggested that the one made is not always the one he intends to make. Mrs. Franklin spoke of the work which has an immoral effect, whatever its purpose may be. Miss Cloud read a few beautiful lines from the Century Magazine, written by Kenyon Cox, telling of the true inspiration of art.
The second of Miss Milnor’s questions read to us was: “Is not the influence of Fiction for god or evil more potent and more extended than any other class of literature or any other form of art?” Mrs. Tyson said that this is not so in Italy; there the influence of art far outweighs the influence of literature. Mrs. Franklin reminded us that in this country there is very little art; and here the men and women on the street cars, and the shop girls read novels. Mrs. Reese spoke of the people in Italy, who can see and hear, but cannot read. The President spoke of the legends familiar to these people in relation to the art that is around them. Miss Comins spoke of her twin brother who did not learn to read as soon as
she did,—after the manner of boys,—but who grasped the idea of the circus from pictures, and then made her read to him the posters, explaining all about it. Mrs. Franklin asked if reading novels or seeing works of art could be said to have the greater effect on the average individual. Mrs. Tyson said the English race were affected by books, the Italian and Spanish by art. That the great artists of the world were nearly all Italians, but only about half a dozen of the great writers of the world were so. Miss Cloud suggested that the matter of temperament made a difference in the effect of Art and Lterature. She spoke of the power of music, and asked if an army is not more excited by hearing martial music than by the reading of a poem to them. Miss Comins said that back [lack?] of temperament is experience also. The President reminded us of the need to the seeing eye and the hearing ear. Also that a person comes under the power of literature at his own choice, the reading of books is continuous, the author can lead up to his effect, but the artist who has to seize a dramatic moment, must create his influence also. Miss Zacharias spoke of the difference between the physical vision, and the psychological vision, and related some experiences with regard to both kinds of perception.
Miss Griffith spoke of the acquaintance with literature as increasing our power to enjoy art. Miss Comins said that art and literature are so allied that it is safe to leave them hand in hand. The President said that all early art is an expression
of religion. Mrs. Tyson said the old masters made it their way of seeing God. The President read the question “Does an age form its literature, or literature its age?” Miss Comins referred to a lecture of Mr. Hudson Shaw in which he spoke of the effect of the decline of religion and morality in Florence, on the development of Art in the brilliant age of the fifteenth century. Mrs. Lord said that the age forms the literature. Miss Whitney and Mrs. Dammann spoke of dialect stories and of the originality of expression found often in the conversation of uncultured people. Miss Brent spoke of the value of folk lore literature to research and history. Mrs. Miller said it would be difficult to gather the general opinions of this meeting. It was proposed to devote another afternoon to the discussion of the questions presented to us.
During the discussion tea and cake had been served by the young ladies of the Club. The meeting adjourned.
March 5th, 1895.
The 130th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, March 5th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 26th. The President announced and read, the award or acknowledgement
received from the Commissioners of the late World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago in recognition of the books sent by the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore to that Exposition. It enumerated some of the names of the authors of the fifty-eight volumes sent from Maryland, and commented on the literary merit shown by the women writers of our state. Mrs. Graham gave notice of some lectures to be given before the Lend a Hand Club of Mt. Washington by Miss Richards of Washington City.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull, and was called: “On Poet’s Ground.” Mrs. Turnbull recalled the many poetic pilgrimages to the classic ground of Italy. She spoke particularly of the city of Venice, whose glory she reminded us has been described by Ruskin as no other lover can hope to describe it. She spoke of its early history as an island ark of safety, a city of refuge, of the earliest church built there, of the government founded there, of its great names and great history, of its tombs and pageants, of the glories of Venice in her prime, of its ancient and medieval poetic charms,—and of its charms of to day. After recalling to us Othello and Desdemona, and also Tasso, Petrarch, Titian and many others, down to Wagner and Browning, she spoke of the life of the city, where loneliness would seem to be not comprehended. She then drew a contrasting picture of the stillness and loneliness of the neighboring great plains and hollows in the hills with their rare trees and peasant houses, and floating clouds, and a silence and solitariness that would seem to an eager soul unendurable. Mrs. Turnbull spoke of the pride of the people in their city; and
read to us a Venetian barcarolle, whose old Italian words have still a charm for us long after and far away from their first singer.
The programme next called for two poems by Mrs. Lord. The first was descriptive, and was called “Holland.” The second commemorated “When La Fayette was here:” helping to fight our battles and dancing with our great grandmother. The next article on the programme was a poem by Miss Reese on Robert Louis Stevenson. The next article given was by Mrs. Cautley, and was called “Some Canadian Poets.” Mrs. Cautley spoke of the charm in city life, of discovering our next door neighbor. We see our neighbor over the way in better perspective, but “next door” is too near,—sometimes his dog and our cat, or his cat and our canary are too near, until some day accident reveals his merits, or our own. Of course we all know something of the poets across the sea. Mrs. Cautley told us of her having last summer in Canada been obliged to confess her entire ignorance of Canadian poets,—until she heard their names, when she recognized them as writers for the Century, Atlantic, Harper’s and other leading Magazines. She told us of Archibald Lampman, Charles Robers, Frederick Scott, Bliss Carmen, and others, criticising [criticizing] each one, and reading to us a few of their short characteristic poems. Of women poets, she spoke particularly of Pauline Johnson, daughter of a Mohawk chief, and also of Isabella Valancey [Valency] Crawford, who died young like Keats, and like him has had much posthumous admiration. Mrs. Cautley spoke of these Canadians as “all out of doors” poets. Their poems have no smell of absinthe, lamp-smoke or strong tobacco, but are full of the freshness of
pine forests, brilliant with sunshine on snow. They have opportunities for the study of nature and wholesome human nature. They have beautiful brief summers and royal autumns, and even in the winter they have sports, and jewels of frosts and snow unknown to milder climates. Every true artist she said has a message to his fellows, and will spare no pains to tell it rightly. She thought the message of our Canadian brothers to be a gospel of hope and cheerful confidence;—that the earth is born again every spring, there are golden ages yet to come, golden boys and girls yet to live as well as chimney sweepers, of whom we have had too many, with more than the necessary allowance of soot;—they bring in “the glad confident morning again,” and the refrain of Pippa Passes “God’s in his heaven, All’s well with the world.”
The programme next called for a poem by Miss Comins, who gave us her lines “To Sleep,” inspired by a sleepless night. The next article of the programme was a poem by Miss Cloud, called “The Carpenter.” The last article of the programme was by Miss Reese, and was called “Shakespeare Again.” Miss Reese spoke of the modern theories regarding the authorship of the plays, especially the opinions of Mr. Astor as given in the Pall Mall Gazette. She quoted his rather contemptuous references to the credulity of Warwickshire people, and the still remaining faith of the dwellers by Avon in William Shakespeare, and his right to the works ascribed to his genius. She spoke of the facts of his life that have come down to us; and of the testimony of his contemporaries. She reviewed the
charges of illegible penmanship and of want of learning, and referred to the genius shown by Keats and Burns and Bunyan and others who perhaps as little indebted to their learning for their triumphs as was David to the armor he refused to wear when he went out to fight the giant. She spoke of Shakespeare’s catholic spirit which all through his life seized upon all that human nature had to give him. She made quotations from the writings of Francis Bacon, and imagined him with such a character as Falstaff on his hands, and not knowing what to do with him. She reminded us that Shakespeare lived in times of strong men, and in times of adventure; and he wrote the English of the King James Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer, good then, and now. Miss Reese closed with the hope that the honest faith of the dwellers by Avon might endure for ever. The request was made that Miss Reese would read to us again her poem on Robert Louis Stevenson,—with which she complied. The meeting adjourned.
March 12th, 1895.
The 131st meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, March 12th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Lord, Chairman of the Committee on Essays. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting
of March 5th. It was announced that Mrs. Percy Reese had brought to us a book, presented to the Club by the author, General Felix Agnus, called “A Woman of War and Other Tales.”
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. McGaw, and was called “A Peep at Old Annapolis.” Mrs. McGaw recalled the story of the aspirant for entrance into the ancient Silent Academy, who on being handed a brimful goblet of water, simply laid upon its surface a rose leaf, which floated, and caused no overflow. She then spoke of the old journals and letters which are not history, but from which we can gather the facts of our past,—or the part in it of our own ancestors. And our nation having attained independence, prosperity and dignity, seems now to be sitting back and gathering up the facts of its past, and the ancestry of its people. She proposed to give us a few extracts from an old journal written originally as the record of a voyage from Annapolis, Maryland, to Cherbourg in France, in the year 1811, and in the Constitution, afterwards call Old Ironsides,—commemorated in the well-known poem of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. The journal begins July 2nd, 1811, and speaks of the quarters given to the writer in the Captain’s cabin, by order of the Secretary of the Navy. He is pleased with Annapolis, though thinking it somewhat rural. He speaks of its official, educational and other buildings, of its one church—[E]piscopal,—and its two newspapers,—the latter being of different politics, the other federalist. The population had not increased since the Revolution, there were no manufactures,
But the harbor was in some degree better than that of Baltimore. We were given an account of the political division of sentiment of that day, and its lively manifestations,—interesting enough to look back upon now. The writer goes on to speak of the generous hospitality, the refined society, and the very fine young ladies he met with in Annapolis. He mentions the name of Carroll and Lloyd and Mason and Chase; and also speaks of a Dr. and Mrs. Scott, both eighty years old, who had been [T]ories in the Revolution, and had fled to Ireland, but who had come back at the end of the war, and whose popularity with their fellow citizens prevented any confiscation of their property. He says no epidemic has visited Annapolis;—the charming society and freedom from care seem to favor long life there. When the Assembly meets, the town is gay; and always, our writer thinks it an agreeable city to live in. At the close of her article, Mrs. McGaw showed to the Club the original journal from which she had been reeading, written by David Beatty [Bailie] Warden.
The next article of the programme was by Mrs. Frederick Tyson, and was called “Two Seventeenth Century Women. Madame de Rambouillet and Mademoiselle de Scudery [Scudéri].” Mrs. Tyson asked her hearers to forget the materialism, or rather the utilitarianism of our own times, to seek the true spirit of the seventeenth century, and to believe that the women of that time had the same object before them that we have,—to make the world better than it was. She then painted the state of France at that time, the government having conquered its opposers, foreign and domestic. She spoke
of the Academy founded by Richelieu, and dwelt upon many great names famous in every department of genius. She went on to tell us how the Marquise de Rambouillet by destiny and her own will, often apparently the same thing,—made her name illustrious in the literary and social history of France. She spoke of the personal history, the triumphs and achievements of Madame de Rambouillet, of her charms and her influence; also especially of the debt due to her from her own sex, for having won from men that respect for the intellect of woman which had been given only exceptionally before her time, and of which we feel the growing benefit in ours. A pure and lively young woman, she left the court, which would have been social obliteration for almost any other woman. She established her Salon in 1617; and they lasted fifty years, and gathered men and women distinguished for wit and wisdom, learning and genius to her shrine. After lively descriptions and anecdotes, Mrs. Tyson went on to speak of Mademoiselle de Scudery [Scudéri], one of the frequenters of the Salon of the Hotel de Rambouillet, and who afterwards established a coterie of the same kind herself. She determined never to marry, but to devote herself to literature and literary society. She was distinguished as a novelist, and sometimes wrote tales whose plots had been furnished by her brother George, and, we were told, his plots were the worst things in her books. Her novels were far too long to suit the taste of the present day, but they have their value as full of
written portraits of the people around her, and she seems to have been the first to introduce conversation into novels. We were told of her good and successful life, of nearly a century in length, and encouraging fact for women inclined to pursue literature.
The next article of our programme was by Mrs. E. L. Rinehart, and was called “Letters and Sketches of John Howard Payne.” Mrs. Rinehart said that few lives have shown so much promise unfulfilled as that of John Howard Payne. Born in 1792, he early showed a taste for literature,—and for the stage. While yet a boy he edited a paper in connection with Samuel Woodworth, the author of the song “The Old Oaken Bucket.” We were told of the vicissitudes of his literary and theatrical career in New York, Boston, Baltimore, and also in Europe, and of the friends he made in many places. In debt and depressed, as he acknowledged afterwards, he wrote the song which made him famous. “Home Sweet Home.” Mrs. Rinehart described his drama, “The Maid of Milan” in which this song appropriately occurs. By the suggestion of Daniel Webster, President Tyler appointed this poetical dramatist United States Consul in Tunis. We were told that he was in Washington when Jenny Lind was singing there, and that at one concert, when she had sung a “Greeting to America,” composed for her by Bayard Taylor, Daniel Webster rose and bowed to her; when she immediately turned to where John Howard Payne sat, she sang “Home Sweet Home.” We were told of Payne’s going to Tunis, and dying there in 1852; and of the bringing back of his body to America, through the means of Mr. Corcoran of Washington. After
the reading, Mrs. Rinehart showed us some of Mr. Payn’s fine delicate penmanship.
The next article given us was by Mrs. Clapham Pennington, and was on “The Missionaries as they appear to the Heathen.” Mrs. Pennington said she hoped that no one would misconstrue her meaning in what she had to say. It has been questioned if missionaries fulfill the end for which they are sent out. She had heard of drunken and unworthy missionaries, but she had not met them. Those she had seen were good people and doing good,—though they might not be doing the good they were sent to do, and were supposed to be doing, by the people who sent them. As medical missionaries they were doing good, healing ailments, curing the eyes of some people, but not she thought making many converts to Christianity. It is a mistake to class all the people to whom they are sent as heathens together; some of them have religions as fully established, and older than our own. She thought it almost impossible to convert a Moslem [Muslim]; but the Copts may be re-converted, the language of the Coptic Bible is not spoken now, and the great-great-grandchildren of the ancient Egyptians need reconversion. The Parsee [Parsi] faith she thought very pure and good. Perhaps the best outlook for Christian missions is in Japan, a comparatively progressive people, willing to learn from Western nations. Mrs. Pennington said she had not the admiration for Buddhism we sometimes hear expressed; to her it was not religion but philosophy, giving only indifference to pain and death. It has been said that we should make our own countries Christian. It is related that Saladin
told Richard of England to go home and conquer the other half of his own island. There has been the spectacle of a great Christian nation forcing the opium trade by war upon the nations to which it was sending missionaries. Mrs. Pennington then reminded us of the different denominations who send out missionaries, and of the different doctrines the teach; that while Mahommedanism [Mohammedanism] simply plants the crescent and announces that there is but one God, and Mahammed [Mohammed] is his prophet, one Christian missionary teaches what another one denies. Our own religion she said is the highest and best of course, and the command is to teach it to all nations, but she described the want of unity that must impair the success of Christian missions.
The President said she recalled a speech of the pandit Rama Bai. She who was a Brahmin had become a Christian, but she had not been baptized into any one of the Christian churches. She did not know which one Christ would wish her to join, and she was trying to find out. Mrs. Cautley spoke of the faith professed by Mazoumdar, also formerly a Brahmin. Another member spoke of missions in Japan where sects were not insisted upon. After some further interesting comments, the meeting adjourned.
March 19th, 1895.
The 132nd regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, took place on Tuesday, March 19th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The
President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 12th.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. Lord. It was on “The Progress of the Nineteenth Century.” Mrs. Lord reviewed the centuries of the past, and compared their progress with the wonderful advancement made in our own. She traced the history of the knowledge and use of electricity, from the ancient recognition of the properties of amber to some slow discoveries and appliances, and then to the many inventions of the last half century, till electricity has become the indispensable servant of our civilization. She spoke of the development of the power of steam, and of its present almost inestimable ministry to the needs of life. We were reminded that the first railroad in this country was built in our own state, from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mills, the ground having been broken for it on the Fourth of July 1828, in the presence of the venerable Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Mrs. Lord spoke of the use of machinery, and contrasted the labor and the living of former centuries, with the work done and the lives lived in our own time. She spoke of the achievements of science and literature. With all due respect to the classics, she loved the writers of our own time,—the “dear delightful moderns;” and looking back over the historical centuries, she could not doubt that ours has been the most progressive age of the world. The President said we were about to have an evidence of the progress of science in hearing Mrs. Franklin tell us about her work in Germany during the past summer. The next article of the programme
was called “The Study of Physiological Optics in a German University,” by Mrs. Christine Ladd Franklin. Before beginning to describe her work in Berlin, Mrs. Franklin showed us a large model of the human eye, brought from the University, also large diagrams and pictures, illustrating her subject; representations of the retina, the fovea, the rods and cones, the visual purple or red which is bleached by light etc. She then described the work of Professor König in which she participated in Berlin last summer;—the successful experiments, and the conclusions drawn from them, especially in studying color-blindness. She described the action of light in the fovea, and the lack of such action in [the] cause of color blindness, telling us that in a very faint light we are all blind in the fovea, all things look gray to us. She told of a very interesting case of total color blindness, in a boy of thirteen who was not aware of his defect. He had been told that English soldier’s uniforms were red—and called them so, but on being asked if a very brilliant red book was the same color, he answered: “No, that is black.” Of partial color blindness we were told that insensibility to red and green is not unusual, and that in such cases the spectrum is seen as blue and yellow only. Reference was made to those cases in which there is one good eye, and one bad one. Questions were asked Mrs. Franklin. One member wished to know what practical good had been derived from the discoveries of last summer?, and was answered “None.” One question was whether, as has been supposed, the face of a murderer could be found photographed on the
eye of his victim?” Mrs. Franklin said “that was impossible, that if the murderer’s face was bright like the sun, it could make a spot of light, but certainly not an outline,—nor a portrait.”
The next article of the programme was given by Mrs. Thomas I. Morris, and was called “A Few Love Poems.” Mrs. Morris spoke of the comparatively few love poems written by women, in spite of Lord Byron’s assertion that “love is woman’s whole existence.” She spoke of the ideality of woman’s love, and suggested that happy women are not apt to write great love poems. She said she would first give us a poem by a woman who died, at thirty[-]seven, broken hearted, and has been supposed to have taken her own life. She then read “The Awakening of Endymion,” by Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Mrs. Morris next read “An Aspiration,” by Frances Anne Kemble, showing that touch of genius to be expected from all the Kembles, which was followed by the song “Love Not,” by Mrs. Norton. The President then spoke of the interest taken by our first Vice President, who was unable to be with us, in the project to unite the young ladies of this city who have left school, in an association for the study of literature and for general intellectual advancement.
The last article of the programme was by Mrs. Wrenshall, and was called “Dipat Dimné,--or The Hill of Lights.” Mrs. Wrenshall described the remarkable ruins on the South West coast of India. There is a mound over the ancient Buddhist monastery
Dipat Dimné, which was visited in the year 637, and described by the Chinese pilgrim Hiouen Thsang [Xuanzang]. It was dug open by an Indian Rajah, near the end of the last century, in search of treasures. This Musselman did find a casket containing a single pearl and some leaves of gold, supposed to be relics of Buddha; but he also unearthed treasures of carved stone and beautiful ornamentation. These last were more appreciated by Colonel Mackenzie, an English officer, who visited the place in 1816, and made drawings of its sculptured stones, a number of which were secured by the English rulers of India, and now are in the British Museum. Mrs. Wrenshall gave a vivid description of the symbolical carvings of the “Hill of Lights,” and told of its illumination by an immense number of lamps at night, which give it its name. She spoke of traditions Maia, the mother of Buddha, of his being believed to have come from heaven to be born her son. We were given some of the songs in praise of Buddha, which in some degree recall our Christian hymns. Mrs. Wrenshall told us that the rich endowments of this monastery were not bestowed by kings and princes, not won by conquest nor oppression,—but were the offerings of pious devotions, and in many cases the gifts of women, or for the honor or supposed benefit of women. The Hill of Lights was, she said, the work of the people, a dream of beauty, realized by love.
The President thanked our members who had this evening given us their papers sooner than they had expected to be called on to read them. The meeting adjourned.
March 26th, 1895.
The 39th Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, March 26th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 19th,—which were adopted. The President spoke of the interest taken in our Club work by our honorary members, as evinced in letters received from them. She also announced that Mrs. Early had brought to the Club as a gift from the author, General Bradley Johnson’s Life of George Washington, for which the thanks of the Club were to be returned. The President also read to us some very interesting extracts written to her by a friend of hers in Russia. This lady was a member of an old Russian family, living on her own estate, with her son and daughter, managing all its affairs, being her own overseer and superintendent. The letter spoke of the extreme strictness of the observance of Lent under the rules of the Greek Church,—the living on vegetables prepared with vegetable oil,—even fish being allowed only on Sunday. Also of the entire abstinence from Wednesday in holy week until the first star appears on Friday evening. Then of the preparations for Easter, the special cheeses moulded with crosses upon them, the peculiar kind of cakes etc.,—these provisions being taken to the churches and set out on tables covered with white cloths for the blessings of the priests, before they are to be eaten. Also of the special caring for the
poor at this time. Miss Grace spoke of the keeping of “Black Lent” in Rome; and also told us that at Saint Alphonsus’ Church in our own city the people bring their market baskets into the church on Saturday night to be blest by the priest; a custom they have brought from their German Fatherland. Some descriptions of country life in Russia, and of farm work there in the Spring were given from the letter, whose writer speaks seven languages with ease and correctness.
The President then announced the subject of discussion for this evening as “Does an age form its literature? or does the literature form the age?” Mrs. Cautley was asked for her opinion, and answered in general terms that a literature was formed by the spirit of an age,—”out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” that the literature is the speech of the age. Miss Milnor said she thought they act and react upon each other, and help to form each other.
The President said that some books were in advance of their age. Mrs. Graham suggested that they were the expression of the advanced thought of their age. Mrs. Cautley spoke of the German novel “Ground Arms” as the expression of the feeling, the great desire for peace in German and France, and as it proved in Italy also. Mrs. Lord made the distinction between the influence upon an age, and the influence upon individuals. The President said that every man is a part of his age.
The question arose whether magazines are a part of literature, and whether newspapers are so too. The President spoke of the literary character of the best magazines; and also of the real life of the age set forth in newspapers,
the facts or records from which authors often build up their work. Miss Reese said an author can have a creation entirely new—to give to his age. Some comments were made on artistic and inartistic expressions of the spirit of our own age. Some members were asked for, but were unprepared to give opinions. The discussion closed with the question proposed apparently unsettled for the Club. Perhaps those who said that the literature of an age is the expression of the spirit of that age, may consider themselves somewhat corroborated by the words of Goethe, in speaking of the “study of the ancients: Apply yourself to the actual world, and seek to express it, for this is what the ancients also did, when they were alive.”
The rest of the evening was passed in conversation around our pleasant tea tables.
April 2nd, 1895.
The 133rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, took place on Tuesday afternoon, April 2nd, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the Salon of March 26th. The President spoke of some guests who had been expected on this occasion. She also spoke of a copy of a Centennial Ode, which had been sent to the Club by its author, Mrs. Mary Gaddess of our own city. The President also called
the attention of the Club to the approaching election of new members on the first Tuesday in May. She read the sections of the Constitution relating to new members, calling especial attention to the rule on sending the names of proposed members to the Secretary a month before the election. A notice was read of the course of readings to be given in New York by Mrs. Sidney Lanier from the works of her husband. The President also announced that this meeting had been appointed to be under the charge of Miss Brent, Chairman of the Committee on the Exact Study of the English Language; but she was unable to be with us, to our great regret. It had been agreed that the flowers adorning our room this evening should be sent to Miss Brent in token of the affectionate remembrance of her fellow members.
The first article of our programme was by Miss Annie Weston Whitney, and was called : “Negro American Dialects. Their Formation and Influence.” Miss Whitney spoke of the value of the study of dialects, and of the importance of learning all that we can about the [N]egro dialects of our own country now, while they still exist, or are still remembered, among us. She spoke of the system of phonetics now being employed with them, rules of orthography being difficult of application. She spoke of the variety of the Negro dialects, it having been asserted that in Louisiana, each plantation seemed to have its own dialect, and from hearing a [N]egro talk, the people of a neighborhood could tell who was his owner. We are comparatively ignorant of the tribal differences of the [N]egroes who have been brought to this country; and besides, can not
always measure what is African [N]egro and what is American [N]egro in the least enlightened grandchildren of the Dark Continent. But there are perhaps survivors of the cargoes of the last slave ships,—and no doubt some of their children are still alive. We were reminded of the stories of Uncle Remus, and of many other writers of the old African myths—some of them old world myths, and the different versions of them told by [N]egro Americans in different parts of our country. Miss Whitney brought before us the [N]egro French and [N]egro Spanish, as well as the more familiar [N]egro English, with research and ingenuity in the treatment of words and phrases. She spoke of the survival of much Shakespearean, and even Chaucerian English in the conservative Southern States of our country, not only among ladies and gentlemen, but among their retainers who boast of having always belonged to “quality.” This word quality as denoting superior rank is Addisonian at least. Miss Whitney regretted the folk lore that is lost to us, and spoke of the study of dialects in its leaning upon the theories of the unity of the human race.
The next article given us was by Miss Mabel Carter, and was, as announced by her “A Study of English Verse before Chaucer.” Miss Carter spoke of the earliest evidences of the gift of song among the Continental ancestors of the English nation,—of the fragments that have come down to us, telling of their wars and loves and adventures. She reviewed our old English epic, Beowulf, giving the story and some extracts, particularly one containing the death song or confession,—a very noble one for that old time,—of the Saxon hero Beowulf himself
“who was no traitor, who had held his own, and defended his people,” who had, we were reminded like St. Paul, fought the good fight. Miss Carter went on to bring before us Caedmon and Cynewulf and the work done by them, and the stories of King Arthur and other legends, and of the work too of the good King Alfred. She spoke of the peculiar English character, the brave and true spirit of early English poetry, and gave us some of the verses of our forefathers. After tracing the influence of the French elements in our literature, after the Norman Conquest, she spoke of the author of the Vision of Piers Plowman, who wrote of the people, and of the poor, who led the way for reformation among the masses, in the universities and in the court, and was followed by the age of Wickliffe and of Chaucer.
We next enjoyed the privilege of hearing an original article read in the French language by Mademoiselle Alice Twight, a graduate of the Sorbonne, and teaching French at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. It was: “Du Sentiment de la Nature Chez La Fountaine.” Miss Twight treated La Fontaine’s true appreciation of and attitude towards Nature, with general comments, in a most pleasing and satisfactory manner. The President spoke a few words in French also; and Mrs. Wrenshall moved a vote of thanks to be given to Mademoiselle Twight. The motion was seconded, and carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned.
April 3rd, 1895.
A special business meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was called to meet on Wednesday afternoon, April 3rd, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets, for the adoption of By Laws, and to consider the relations of the Club with the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America. Twenty[-] five members attended this meeting, and waited in vain for the appearance of a quorum, which by the new Constitution, must be thirty active members of the Club. In the general recognition of the impossibility of transacting the business proposed for this meeting, suggestions were made that some expressions of opinion might be given by the considerable number of members then present to simplyfy [simplify] and define the proposed business to be submitted to the Club at a future meeting when a quorum shall be present.
Mrs. Cautley proposed that the President should call us together and appoint us a committee for the consideration of the questions to be laid before the Club, and for the expression of opinions by informal voting upon them. Mrs. Bullock seconded the proposal, which received unanimous assent. The President called the Committee to order and explained the questions to be considered. Nine By Laws, which had received the approval of the Board of Management, were severally read to the members present, and after a few questions and comments received their assent, also with singular unanimity. The President said she thought we owed
A vote of thanks to the member who had given much time and thought to the drawing up and perfecting of our Election Rules. Mrs. Wrenshall. The vote of thanks was immediately given. Miss Reese spoke also of the good work of Mrs. Wylie, our Judge of Elections last Spring, when our officers were chosen without delay or difficulty. The questions relating to the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America were discussed also, and an expression of opinion given with absolute unanimity on the proposed action with regard to this subject also.
April 9th, 1895.
A business meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, April 9th, 1895, preceding the regular literary meeting of that day. When more than a legal quorum was found to be present, the President called the meeting to order. The Recording Secretary read her notes of the informal meeting—as an expression of opinion by the twenty[-]five members who responded to the call for a business meeting on April 3rd;—when great unanimity of opinion was developed. The post card calling this meeting had announced the business to be considered by it, was
regarding to our By Laws, and our relations with the Federation Women’s Clubs of America. The President made a short explanation of the By Laws, which had been passed by the Board of Management for submission to the Club. She also read the article of the Constitution relating to this subject. The Recording Secretary read the first of the proposed By Laws,—on the limitation of the number of our members. Information on the subject was asked from the President and Corresponding Secretary, and given by them. The first By Law was passed almost unanimously. The second By Law was read,—on the completion of membership by signing the Constitution and pledge. Further information having been asked and given, the second By Law was passed by the same vote as the former one.
The third By Law, on the conduct of Elections was passed unanimously.
The fourth By Law, on the privilege of bringing non-resident guests to our meetings, was passed unanimously.
The fifth By Law, on limitations with regard to resident guests, was passed almost unanimously.
The sixth By Law, relating to the House Committee and Librarian was passed unanimously.
The seventh By Law, on each member belonging to a Committee was passed without opposition.
The eighth By Law, relating to Committees, and the papers presented to them, was passed without opposition also.
The ninth By Law, relating to reports given to the press was passed with the same unanimity.
The business of the By Laws having been
amicably finished, the President announced that we should next consider the relations of the Club to the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America; into which we entered last April, hoping to find them beneficial, which to some extent they may have been. But the conditions have changed; and while we may differ widely in individual opinions, we may seem as a body to endorse views and actions opposed to those of many, if not most of our members, and in which we, as a strictly literary Club have little or no part.
The question was put: “Shall we as a Club withdraw from the Federation of Women’s Clubs of America?” It was decided almost unanimously in the affirmative. The business meeting adjourned to give time for the literary meeting of the same afternoon.
April 9th, 1895.
The 134th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, April 9th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Dammann, Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 2nd.
The President read a note from Miss Brent, appropriately expressing her thanks for the beautiful flowers sent her by the Club after the meeting of April 2nd.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. Dammann and was called: “A Slight Plea for Unemotional Criticism.” Mrs. Dammann spoke of the difference between thinking of books and learning from them, gaining ideas from them, or simply feeling moved by them. It is difficult to leave out the personal equation in criticism. We have much surface reading and prejudiced criticism from personal points of view. Mrs. Dammann went on to speak of three women who have won the prominent place as essayists in the present day: Mrs. Meynell [Alice Meynell], Miss Repplier [Agnes Repplier] and Miss Guiney [Louise Imogen Guiney]. Of Mrs. Meynell we were told that she was formerly Miss Alice Thompson, a sister of Elizabeth Thompson the artist, whose picture “The Roll Call” is in the possession of Queen Victoria. Mrs. Dammann spoke of the essays of Mrs. Meynell as models of concentration and conciseness. She calls life “if not poetical, at least metrical, with some recurrences;”—”happiness depends not on events, but on the tides of our minds, and, as the tides of disease or sorrow may be present or absent.” Mrs. Meynell’s essays were ranked more highly than her poems, though these have had much admiration.
Mrs. Dammann next spoke of Miss Repplier and Miss Guiney, saying that Miss Repplier takes us into her confidence, and is perhaps the more popular of the two, but that each is true to her ideal and aims to give us of her best.
In speaking of contemporary poetry, Mrs. Dammann said that some poems leave a bad taste in the mouth, some seem to leave out the spirit and to ignore the
Creator. She reviewed the poems of Lord de Tabley [John Warren], in which destiny is always spelt with a capital, in which there is radiance and polish, but no satisfaction,—in which faith is going or gone. She spoke of John Davidson as dramatic, with something like a breeze from the spacious times of great Elizabeth, but with some ruggedness and bad taste. In many of the poets of our own day she said, we look in vain for the sublime poetry of faith and hope. When we read that religion and the poetry we have loved are doomed, we are moved to protest. It is the fashion to admire strength in all things, but she suggested that in thought, and especially in criticism we should hold well the rein over our emotions.
The next article of the programme was “Barabbas, A Poem, By a Member of the Club.” It was appreciatively read by Mrs. Morris.
The next article given us was by Mrs. ELizabeth Brown Davis, and was on “Some Fin de Siecle Lives of Napoleon.” Mrs. Davis drew a picture of a certain café in Paris, in which actors, artists, and writers are accustomed to assemble, as the place where the Napoleonic renaissance of our own day began to be. It was there that Sardou’s work “Madame Sans[-]Gêne” was brought before a Bohemienne [bohemian] audience, who determined to make it a success. They did much more than they intended, for a new Bonapartist literature came into existence, new lives of the first emperor,, and a revival in new editions of older biographies of him. Mrs. Davis then reviewed with much interest the
latest published lives of Napoleon; and to some extent the man and the life of which they treat. She spoke of [Étienne-Denis] Pasquier’s “Life” as a good record where it is favorable or unfavorable, and of that of [Claude Françoise] Méneval, the secretary, whose sincere partisanship shows the glamour of personal contact. Among others, she reviewed the new biography by Professor Sloane, in the Century Magazine. She thought this author tried to be fair, and to set down naught in malice; but she seemed to like much better the work of Miss Ida Tarbel [Tarbell], with its fine illustrations. Mrs. Davis went on to speak of Napoleon himself, whose sun rose in one insignificant island, and set in another one, and still seems to defy the great destroyer Time to diminish the light it has left to us.
The last article given us was by Mrs. Morris, and was called “Three Foreign Authors.” The first author critici[z]ed was Herny Sienkiewitz, the Polish writer. She spoke of his “Fire and Sword.” “The Deluge,” and other works as terrible stories of war and love,—the love being as fierce as the war. She liked better the short stories, such as “Manko, the Musician”—though they are pathetic enough. She next spoke of Dostoevsky, the Russian, and his work “The Poor Folks.” the history of a man and a woman written in letters. The poverty painted is hopeless and profound and pathetic, but not with the pathos of poetry. It is a story of love, without beauty or joy,—love on one side only, unappreciated and at last discarded by the other.
The third author reviewed by Mrs. Morris was Maurus Jokai, the Hungarian. She spoke of the man
and his life, of his engaging in the Hungarian Revolution with Kossuth, of his marrying the leading actress in Pest, and of his immense popularity in his own country. She went on to speak of two of his novels; “Eyes Like the Sea,” and the “Timar’s Two Worlds.” Of the latter she said the first volume was delightful, she had found readers who praised the book, but she soon discovered that they had gone no farther than the first volume. But Timar’s two worlds are two lives unaware of each other, and the plot works out by Timar’s desertion of his first and real wife, who is made to believe her husband [is] dead, while with little sense of wrong doing, the hero marries the other woman, and is dismissed to a life of pastoral happiness and love. Mrs. Morris spoke of the power with which Balzac treats themes like these, but he, she thought, never loses sight of the terrible retribution. If literature would not deal with sin untruthfully,—would not contradict the logic of life, we should have better criticisms. “Some books” she said are called strong:—I call them hateful; and for some minds pernicious.” After some informal comments, the meeting adjourned.
April 16th, 1895.
The 135th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, April 16th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets.
The President called the meeting to order, and the
Recording Secretary read the minutes of the business meeting of April 9th, and those of the literary meeting of the same day;—which were adopted.
The President announced that Miss Piggott, one of our former members, who had gone to Philadelphia to pursue the study of art there, had sent a picture to the Club. A note was read from Mrs. Graham, regretting her inability to be with us this afternoon, and inviting the Club to attend the meeting of the Lend-a-Hand Club at Mt. Washington on the next Monday, to meet Mrs. Olive Thorne Miller.
The President also spoke of the absence of Miss Haughton, one of our Vice Presidents, on account of bereavement;—of Mrs. Cautley, and of Miss Brent, from illness,—and of the general regret for the unavoidable non[-]attendance of these valued members.
The President had this afternoon brought to the Club a photograph of the picture of Vittoria Colonna made by Michael Angelo, which she had found in Florence, and which she thought was particularly appropriate to a Woman’s Literary Club.
It was also announced that the failure to have any programmes this afternoon—for the second time only in the history of the Club, was unavoidable; the firm which has always supplied them having just gone out of business—too late to have them ordered elsewhere.
In the absence of programmes, the President
announced that this meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Wrenshall, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology, and that the first article to be given was by Mrs. John A. Sloane, and was called: “The Pyramid Builders.” Mrs. Sloane spoke of the impression of Egypt which, not many years ago, even educated people entertained; drawn from the Bible stories of Joseph, Moses, and the Pharaohs; and from what they had learned of the colossal art, and the mysterious looking hieroglyphics of the old pictures and books. But now, old Egypt lies open before us, and her hieroglyphics have been translated into many languages and the Pyramids seem to re-echo almost as many as were heard at the tower of Babel. Tourists climb the Pyramids, study the riddle of the Sphynx, and lunch under the enormous shadows of Luxor. We can think of the Pharaoh whose heart was hardened against Moses as almost a modern character. He was of the nineteenth dynasty, and Menas, the great builder at Memphis, the ancient Capital, lived two thousand years before him. The Pyramids are now said to have been built five thousand years ago, by the last lastKings of the third dynasty; and the building of the Sphynx seems to carry us back into the mists of eternity. Mrs. Sloane quoted the Eastern saying that “Time mocks all things, but the Pyramids mock Time.” She gave us most interesting details of the ancient tombs and monuments with their wonderful inscriptions and revelations. She described the portrait statues with their bright rock crystal eyes looking down the ages of the past. She told us of the Book of the
Dead, with its moral rules, almost like those of the Decalogue. So strangely ancient it all seemed, that, as she told us, we were fain to come back to the old old story of the first man Adam, who talked with God, and step by step, to the sojourns of Abraham and Joseph and Moses in Egypt, with the Pharaohs of old and new acquaintanceship.
The next article announced was by Mrs. Early and was called “Three Queens of Ancient Egypt.” Mrs. Early told us that these three queens were typical women, interesting as the “eternal womanly” nature always is. The first took us back to the eighteenth dynasty, to 1700 before Christ;—from the beginning of this dynasty the monuments seeming to give us clear, intelligible history. The line begins with King Aahmes [Rameses] and his Queen Nefert-ari. Aahmes drove away the Shepherd Kings, restored order and union, and proved his gratitude to his Gods, by building and restoring their temples at Thebes and Memphis. Queen Nefertari lived 3600 years ago. Mrs. Early wished us to think of her as a real woman, as real as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whose children and grandchildren were living in Egypt while she was reigning there. But these insignificant foreigners were to influence men’s minds through thousands of years; while she, until the last 20 years, was “unknown to history.” In the rock chambers of the Theban Necropolis her name has been found, with the evidence that she was loved and honored, and that long after her death her image was placed among the divinities. After her husband died, she was regent until her son became old enough to
reign. About eight years ago her mummy was discovered and identified. It was that of a middle[-]aged woman, of medium height, and of the white race.
Mrs. Early next told us of the great granddaughter of Nefrt-ari, Queen Hatasu [Hatshepsut]. She had two brothers, and began to reign in conjunction with the elder,—the other being a child. There are two widely different accounts of this queen; one by Miss Edwards, her admirer; and one by [Heinrich Karl] Brugsch Bey. Mrs. Early felt inclined to accept the favorable one. For reasons of State, Queen Hatasu had to marry her half[-]brother, whom she seems to have despised. She was the daughter of a princess; her husband’s mother of noble, but not royal birth; her younger brother’s mother was a slave. She took the position of queen regnant,—not queen consort. The younger brother, who was afterwards a great King, has left on record that in his youth, she hid him from his people, and from the temples of his gods. Yet, according to Miss Edwards, he married her daughter. Hatasu reigned for twenty[-]one years, most of the time alone. Her scribe and historian speaks of her as His Majesty, and she was sometimes portrayed as dressed in male attire. Of her taste in art, there are proofs still remaining. She is known as the first person who had trees transplanted, and she delighted in rare plants and animals. She is famous for having sent out a great expedition to Punt and Arabia. She sent out her ships not to conquer enemies, but to gain knowledge, and to enrich Egypt. We were told of her obelisks, and other public works,—also of her throne and cabinet, now in the museum in Berlin.
Mrs. Early suggested that if religion was not a prominent characteristic of Queen Hatasu, still, by the making of noble and beautiful things, she had served the God who had opened her eyes to his wondrous creations.
Coming to the third queen of her article, Mrs. Early spoke of the King Amen-Hotch [Amenhotep] the third, who chose for his wife, Thi [Tiye]; who was not an Egyptian, but the daughter of a Mesopotamian King, because he had fallen in love with her. She was of a Semitic race, and from her the King learned to worship the sun. The change of religion introduced by Queen Thi caused a great upheaval. There is a beautiful picture of the King, her son, going to meet his mother, to conduct her to the splendid new temple of her faith. The date is about 1400 B.C. It was suggested that this change of religion was a return to a primitive form of worship. Also that our God himself permitted the use of this glorious and beneficent symbol of his being to these seekers after the true light. There are some ugly pictures of Queen Thi, supposed to be caricatures, made by her enemies. One portrait represents a lovely and refined woman, which probably she was. Queen Hatasu [Hatshepsut] is pictured as very handsome.
Mrs. Early went on to speak of these three queens as three types of woman---as we see her to day. The first, Queen Nefert-ari, was given as the old[-]fashioned motherly woman, always loved and remembered.
The second, Queen Hatasu [Hatshepsut], was the heroine, with courage and executive ability love of art and of nature, and above all, love of peace. The third
Queen Thi [Tiye], was the loving and religious woman, whose influence is eternal. She reminded us that thousands of years ago, women lived as great and wise and good as women could be, before Christ came to show us “a more excellent way.”
The Third article was then announced to the Club as: “The Pharaohs, the Persians and Ptolemies,” by Mrs. Benjamin Price. Mrs. Price took up that eventful portion of Egyptian history from the year 660 B. C. to the Roman Conquest. In bringing before us the heroic days of Psammetichus, of Necho, of Cyrus, and of Cambyses, of warriors and temple-builders, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans, she showed much patient research and appreciation of the work of former and contemporary Egyptologists. She described the expedition sent out by Pharaoh Necho, which sailed down the Red Sea, and after three years returned by the Mediterranean; having circumnavigated Africa, more than two thousand years before Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, for the benefit of modern times. She spoke of the investigations of Brugsch Bey, and the new light that has been thrown on the career of Cambyses in Egypt. After recalling Alexander and the Ptolemies, with modern light on their history, Mrs. Price spoke of the queen who “beggared all description,” Cleopatra, the conqueror of that Caesar, who bowed to one other victor only,—the great conqueror Death. But, she said, far better for Cleopatra’s memory than the love of Caesar or Anthony, is the fact of the devotion of her two attendants, Charmian and Iras, who would not outlive her,—showing that she
Had some qualities that could gain for her the love of women. The President spoke of the mummies in the British Museum, and the strange impressions received in looking at them.
After some questions asked and answered, the meeting adjourned.
April 23rd, 1895.
The 136th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 23rd, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. John C. Wrenshall, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology.
The President called the meeting to order and after reminding us that we had expected to have as one guest on this evening, Mrs. Olive Thorne Miller, one of our honorary members, read a note from Mrs. Miller, expressing very great regret for her inability to be present here at this time, owning to engagements in Washington, and at her own home in Brooklyn. The President then read two poems written by Mr. Tabb, known as a writer to many of us. They were called “Easter” and Cherry Bloom,” and were said to be still unpublished.
The President also requested that the Club should have a full list of the books written by any of our members, and also of Magazine article, and other published papers of members of the Club, with the dates of publication, and the names of periodicals
in which any of them have appeared. The President also said that she took pleasure in announcing that we should have in the coming year a Committee on Science, of which Mrs. Fabian Franklin had consented to take the Chairmanship. She hoped the members interested in the Sciences would send in their names as members of the Committee before the close of the present season. The Recording Secretary then read the minutes of the meeting of April 16th, which were adopted.
The programme of this evening was a double one, announcing the papers prepared for two meetings of the Committee on Archaeology.
The first article given us was by Mrs. John M. Miller, and was called “The River of Egypt.” Mrs. Miller described the great river which has been said to have given old Egypt to the world. She spoke of the source of the Nile in the lake of comparatively very recent discovery for modern geography. Also of the union of the White and the Blue Nile at Kartoom [Khartoum], of the course to the sea, and of the annual overflow, unchanging through the ages. She spoke of the kilometers—the old measures of the height of the inundations, of the ancient work done in draining the neighboring swamps, and of the black mud which has its own wonderful fertilizing power for the land of Egypt. She reminded us of the colossal monuments, tombs and ruins on the banks of the stream—of Memphis and Abydos, and Karnac [Karnak], and described the marvelous civilization and the cultured life that existed there thousands of years ago. She went on to speak of the modern works of
engineering and construction on and around the famous river. Also of the conflicting claims of sentiment and utility that have arisen in some cases, in which nineteenth century progress and profit has been obliged to make concessions for the preservation of the antiquities and archaeological treasures that seem to belong to the whole world. After speaking of the eventful centuries through which the Nile has been flowing and overflowing, Mrs. Miller went back to the time of the Hebrew infant who was hidden in the flags by the river’s brink. Tradition, she said, relates that the Egyptian princess who adopted Moses was a childless wife. She spoke of the miracles and the plagues of that time, and traced in most of them peculiar references to the customs and religion of Egypt, and to the river held scared and divine by the Egyptians.
The next article of the programme was by Mrs. Wrenshall, and was called “A Short Study of the 12th Dynasty.” Mrs. Wrenshall told us that she wished to speak of the Middle Period of the history of ancient Egypt; a sort of golden age, one of wonderful progress and development. The Amenemhats and the Usertsens of the 12th Dynasty were sovereigns of exceptional force and intelligence, great in war and in peace, and wielding the resources of the foremost nation of their time; their names and deeds still clearly shine through the mists of 4000 years. Accepting the chronology of Brugsch Bey, she took us back to the year 2466 before Christ, and told us of the 200 years following that date. The order then
begun shows brightly against the dark back ground of confusion and anarchy that marked the close of the 11th dynasty. We were told of the beautiful structures and sculptured rocks on which are pictured and inscribed the earliest records of the founder of the 12th dynasty, Amen-em-hat the First. Mrs. Wrenshall quoted the tribute of a blood relation of this Pharaoh, telling us that “he restored what had been destroyed, fixed boundaries, and sought for information, because he loved truth so much”. He was not of kingly birth and two names are written in his double cartouch[e]. For 20 years his strong hand held control over many turbulent elements in Egypt and Nubia, to Ethiopia and the desert of Sinai.
We were told of an ancient papyrus document, still existing, containing Amen-em-hat's counsels and instructions for his son, Usertsen, whom he chose not only as his successor, but as his associate on the throne during the latter part of his life. For this Usertsen has left the record of his thanks to the god to whose inspiration he ascribed this action of his father’s. The seven successors of Amen-em-hat I were worthy of him; a shining line of princes whose glory culminated in Amen-em-hat III with whom the 12th dynasty virtually closes. Mrs. Wrenshall described the palace with its beautiful environment where lived Amen-em-hat III; upon which in more modern times the Nile has encroached, surrounding the pyramid in which his tomb was made. And there, we were told, deep beneath the surface, safe from the touch of Arab or Christian, the Pharaoh sleeps. The President said something of
the study and research which had given us the means of this evening’s entertainment. After the enjoyment of conversation and light refreshments, the meeting adjourned.
April 30th, 1895.
The 137th meeting of Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 30th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Henry C. Evans, Chairman of the Committee on Music.
The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 23rd. The President spoke of having found on her table the reports of the Society for Egyptian Exploration for distribution in our Club. She also spoke of the widespread interest in the investigations of this society. She then announced that at the meeting of the following Tuesday, May 7th, the reports of the Chairmen of Committees would be read, and that no visitors were expected to be present on that occasion. The request was again made that the Club might have correct information regarding the published work of any of our members who have appeared in print.
The first article of our programme was by Miss Zacharias, and was called “Beethoven, Philosopher and Artisan.” Miss Zacharias spoke of those great minds who discover or review pre-existing laws in Science, and apply them in Art. Progress in Art has been
slow, and especially in the art of Music. Other arts work with wood and stone, or with visible forms and colors; but music, dependent on the vibrant air, must wait to move the “harmony in immortal souls.” Miss Zacharias reminded us of the teaching of Pythagoras on the music of the spheres, and of his knowledge of the laws of harmony more than five hundred years before Christ. She then went on to speak of Beethoven, of the story of his chastened life,—of his circumstances and environment, and of his genius, that gave to old laws their new development and fresh interpretation. Like a half-lost art’s true artisan, he won the gold from the dross. She spoke of his three periods,—of his aspiration, his sorrow, and his answers to the question: What is Life? and Fate? She spoke of the Fifth Symphony, and then of the Ninth Symphony, as the highest expression of the inner life of the human soul. Miss Zacharias closed with a poem called “The Larghetto,” telling of the silent minstrelsy of work and of aspirations strong and serene.
The next exercise on the programme was given by Miss Elizabeth Coulson. It was the “Theme and Variations from Beethoven’s Sonata in A Flat Major, Opus 26[“]; and was played with strength and expression. Miss Coulson also gave us the “Gondoliera” of Liszt; and the “Impromptu” of Rubenstein.
We were next given the “Lament from ‘Ben Hur,’” sung by Miss Celeste Crown. Miss Crown next sang a “Child’s Verse” by [Nein?]; which was a lament also; that of a child for having to go to bed by daylight. She was accompanied by Miss May Keith.
The next article was given on the programme
as “National Music” by Mrs. Henry C. Evans. Mrs. Evans said that to treat National Music would make too long an article for this meeting, she wished to speak only of the typical national songs, of their points of resemblance and of their origin in that patriotism which must exist before patriotic songs can spring or grow from it. The music of the Orient was, she said much more dance music than song music, and seems to us monotonous. Chinese songs seem deficient in form and rhythm, but to be chiefly inflections of the voice; and the Japanese do not seem to appreciate good music, or what we consider good. She spoke of the Russian Hymn, “God protect the Czar,” composed in 1831. Also of the American Hymn, familiar to us in our Hymnals, set to the words “Glorious things of Thee are spoken:”—composed by Haydn, after a visit to England where he had listened to “God Save the King.” She called attention to the fact that national songs are generally in praise of a nation’s ruler, except the Marseillaise, and our own of course. She spoke of the Danish Hymn, which commemorates King Christian. Coming nearer home, she told us that “God Save the Queen,” has been said to be a French air still sung in the vine growing districts of France; but it is now accredited to Henry Carey, an English poet and composer of the last century. It has been adapted by the Germans, and—the air at least—by good Americans also, who are, we were reminded after all good English people still, under different skies and different conditions. Mrs. Evans spoke of the English song that Southey called “the
political hymn of the country.” “Rule Brittiannia [Britannia];” and then reminded us of the Scotch war-like clan-song “The Campbells are Coming.” She next spoke of the Marseillaise, and told the story of its composition by Rouget de Lisle under circumstances that seem in some degree to account for the marvelous force that animates it. Mrs. Evans did not give Hall Columbia a high place among our national songs. It is now seldom sung, though the tune once called Washington’s March may be remembered. She gave an account of the original of Yankee Doodle,—which is said to have been a joke perpetrated upon our American Revolutionists. She spoke of the song called “Adams and Liberty,” by Robert Treat Paine, and came at last to the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the best of our national songs. She related its birth in the peril and deliverance of our own city of Baltimore in 1814. She spoke of the objection that has been made that this song rises out of the compass of the voices of most people; but she thought that whatever the range of our voices might be, we would all respond to its inspiring chorus.
We were then favored with an instrumental quartette—piano and violins by Mrs. Evans and her daughters. They began with the Star-Spangled Banner, the Club rising and joining in the chorus, singing it twice. When they gave us “God Save the Queen,” we all rose again, corroborating Mrs. Evan’s assertion that we are English still, as well as Americans. They gave us a Chinese and also a Japanese one,—both more musical than we had expected them to be. They played the Marseillaise, and also the inspiring Danish,
Russian, and Austrian’s Hymns and closed with the old Scotch Highland Song “The Campbells are Coming.”
The programme next announced a “Villanelle” by Eva dell’Acqua. It was sung by Mrs. Charles Morton, accompanied by Miss Louise Ranstead. The applause was so long continued that Mrs. Morton consented to sing again, and gave us a Villanelle by Strelezki, with the same accompanist.
The next number on the programme was “Music,” by Miss Coulson. She gave us an “Etude” by Henselt, and a Nocturne and a Waltz by Chopin.
The last exercise was the old, and lately reviewed song “Ben Bolt,” sung by Miss Crown. The President then said a few words expressing the appreciation and thanks of the Club for the musical entertainment given us this afternoon.
Refreshments were served, and after some time passed in social conversation, the meeting broke up.
May 7th, 1895.
The 138th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, May 7th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral streets. This was a business meeting, for the reception of the semi-annual reports of the Chairmen of the Committees. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 30th, which were adopted. The President called for the reading of
the names of the new members this day elected by the Board of Management. The Recording Secretary read the names of Mrs. George Dallas Dixon, Mrs. William F. Porter, Miss Alice Twight, and Mrs. Edward Stabler,—Resident Members; Miss Jane G. Smith, and Miss Florence Trail,—Non-Resident Members; and Miss Emily V. Mason, and Mrs. S. B. Herrick, Honorary Members.
It was also announced that the Board had decided the question of a reception by the Club, and had appointed Tuesday, the 28th, of May, from five to seven, p. m., as the time for this entertainment. It was requested that members will send word to the Corresponding Secretary if they and their [guests] would be present, that they list of invitations might be fully made up.
Reports from Committees being now in order; Mrs. Bullock, Chairman of the Committee on Education was called upon. Mrs. Bullock told us that her Committee had had charge of no meetings since the last report was given, but she gave interesting details of the consultations and prospective work of the Committee; and she asked for written unsigned suggestions from its fellow members of the Club regarding the educational problems which concern all of us, not only in training the rising generation, but for ourselves also, as our own educational development never ceases.
It was announced that on account of the continuous illness of our valued fellow member, Miss Brent, there was no report from her Committee, on “The Exact Study of the English Language.” Miss Carter, of its Chaucerian Section had given us an article at the meeting of April 2nd. Miss Grace, Chairman of the
Committee on Translations, had not had charge of a meeting since the last reception of reports.
It was announced that during the absence of Mrs. Whitelock in Europe, Miss Cloud would accept the Chairmanship of the Committee on Fiction. Miss Cloud read a short communication from Mrs. Whitelock speaking with satisfaction of the full attendance at the meetings of the Committee on Fiction, and of the papers submitted on those occasions. This Committee had had the direction of the meetings of February 12th, and February 26th.
Mrs. Lord, Chairman of the Committee on “Essays and Essayists,” reported the work done under her direction. The public meeting of this Committee took place on March 12th. Mrs. Lord also read a list of some interesting subjects to be treated in articles now in preparation by her Committee for next Fall.
Mrs. Wrenshall, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology, reminded us that the two meetings of her Committee had been of very recent date, one April 16th, and April 23rd. She spoke of the good attendance at the meetings of her Committee, and of the careful painstaking study of its individual members. She also spoke of the interest taken by Miss Brent, even in her sick room, in the work of this Committee.
Mrs. Evans, Chairman of the Committee on Music, said that the minutes of the Club, which have been read this afternoon, were a sufficient report of the meeting on Tuesday last under the direction of her Committee. Mrs. Dammann, Chairman
of the Committee on “Current Criticism,” told us that a second report in one year seemed quite unnecessary with regard to her Committee. Its members had worked together in discussing books with the view of bringing out their best points, and of exchanging ideas upon them. She reported one meeting under her direction, on the 9th of April.
Miss Evans, Chairman of the Committee on the “Drama,” was not present to give her report. Her Committee had had charge of the meeting of February 19th.
Miss Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry, reported one meeting under her direction, that of March 5th. Miss Reese told us that her Committee was so harmoniously responsive, that, somewhat like the centurions of old, she could say to one “Go.--and she goeth,—and to another “Do this,—and she doeth it.”
Mrs. Graham Chairman of the Committee on Modern Philanthropy, sent to the meeting her regrets for her inability to be present, and to give a report.
It was requested that the Chairmen of Committees shall have the names given them of all members who wish to work with them,—and so far as possible some indication of the work intended to be done.
Our President then gave us a short review of our five year’s work. She went back to that day in March 1890, when a few literary women met to organize the society which has resulted in the Club that is here to day,—and not in it alone. She dwelt upon the interest developed in our work within and without our own association, and on the wide and growing influence
we are exerting. Also on our determination that the work in this literary circle shall be good work, not alone for ourselves, but for the young daughters and sisters growing up around us. She spoke of the need to maintain the position we have taken, to hold to our fine sense of responsibility and to keep our aim high and noble, to grow broader in mind and not less loving and believing in heart in the beautiful work we have to do and to uphold.
Mrs. Turnbull also spoke of the Quadriga Club, and of the work in founding it of Mrs. Bullock our First Vice President. Mrs. Bullock said a few words regarding the work and the aims of this youthful Club; and the influences which have gone out from this room to act upon its work and its character.
The President referred to the request which has been made before, that a correct list of the published work of members of the Club should be sent to her as soon as possible, for the forth coming book of the Club. Of course this is to consist of such work as the members themselves wish to have preserved. She read to us a list of the published works of our fellow member, Mrs. Fabian Franklin, sent by herself. The President also read a letter from our honorary member Miss Katherine Pearson Woods, giving a list of her own published works. Miss Woods also wrote of the “Settlement” work among the poor in which she is now engaged in Hartford, Connecticut.
There being no more reports called for, the President said that as this was a business meeting,
the Board of Management wished to bring before the Club some proposed slight changes in our Constitution before it is printed. Of course it was in order simply to give notice of them at this meeting, that they may be voted upon the next Tuesday, when another business meeting will take place. They had passed the Board of Management, for submission to the Club. The proposed changes were read to the Club, and explanations regarding them were given. The President gave notice that on the next Tuesday would occur our business meeting for nominations of the officers and Directors of the Club, who are to be elected on the following Tuesday. After reading the Election Rules for Nominations, she appointed the Committee of Election, which consists of two members from the Board of Management, and three from the ranks of the Club. This Committee was Mrs. Manly, Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Carter, Miss Zacharias and Mrs. Uhler.
Some information asked for, the President announced, would be posted on the black board at the next meeting. The meeting adjourned.
May 14th, 1895.
The 139th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 14th, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. The President called the meeting to order. The Librarian’s report which had not been read at the meeting of May 7th, was now called for by the President
and was read by the Librarian, Mrs. Miller. It gave a list of books presented to the Club during the year by members and by other friends.
The proposed Constitutional Amendments announced at the meeting of May 7th, as having been passed by the Board of Management, were now submitted to the decision of the Club. Explanations of the proposed changes had been given at the previous meeting.
The first Amendment, making six members of the Board of Management a quorum, instead of seven, was passed, apparently almost unanimously.
The second Amendment, making the time for sending the names of proposed new members two weeks before the election, instead of one month, was passed without opposition.
The third Amendment, which was to omit entirely the rule that members may propose and endorse but one new name annually was passed without opposition also.
The fourth Amendment, which was to add a seventh Section to Article IV empowering the President to call meetings for the election of new members regularly presented, was passed unopposed also.
The fifth Amendment, ordering one business meeting annually, instead of two, for the presentation of reports from Chairmen of Standing Committees, was passed unanimously.
The sixth Amendment, making a quorum of the Club one-third of the active members: except for Constitutional changes, when a majority of the active members must be present, was passed without opposition also.
The Constitutional changes having been made, the important business of nominations for officers and directors of the Club was taken up. The list of the present holders of office was read from the black board by the First Vice President. The President reminded us that three Directors of the six elected last year, would by the Constitution, continue to hold office for the coming year also. She explained the grounds on which Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Lord, and Mrs. Goddard held over their positions from last year; and announced that the other three directors were eligible for re-election, should the Club so desire. She announced that the Committee on Elections consisted of Mrs. Manly, Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Uhler, Mrs. Carter and Miss Zacharias;—the Chairman of the Committee being Judge of Elections. Mrs. Manly took charge of the exercises and asked for the Roll of members. The Roll was called by the Corresponding Secretary. Thirty-eight members answered to their names. Three members afterwards arrived in time to take part in voting for nominations.
The nominating sheets having been distributed, Mrs. Uhler was appointed balloting clerk, and Miss Zacharias recording clerk. These ladies passed before each member received and recording the nominating sheets. The Committee retired to count the nominating votes. The President said there would not be time this afternoon for literary papers; she had brought one whose writer was not present, but there would be no discourtesy in omitting it. In the mean time she spoke of the opinions she had lately heard regarding the Woman’s Work, especially literary work, shown at the Chicago Exposition of 1893,—in which our own contribution of the literary work of
Maryland women bore its part. She had just heard that a representative of the University of Heidelburg had been very much impressed by the fine intellectual work of American women; and consequently felt more strongly disposed than ever before to throw open the doors of the German Universities to women.
The President afterwards read the Election Rules under which the meeting of next Tuesday, May 21st is to be conducted. Conversation among the members followed until the Committee returned to give the results of their counting the nominating sheets. Mrs. Wrenshall announced that there had been a good many scattering votes; but of course the two names proposed for each office receiving the highest and next to highest number of nominating votes were reported as candidates.
For President: Mrs. Turnbull 35.
Mrs. Manly 2.
First Vice President: Mrs. Bullock 29.
Miss Brent 6.
Second Vice President: Miss Brent 14.
Mrs. Manly 12.
Recording Secretary, Miss Crane 37.
Miss Duvall 2.
Corresponding Secretary Miss Balch 36.
Miss Cloud 3.
Treasurer Mrs. Dammann 33.
Mrs. Bullock 1.
Directors: Mrs. Smith 15.
Mrs. Wylie 14.
Miss Brent 13.
Miss Grace 10.
Miss Zacharias 9.
Mrs. Price 9.
The hour being late, the meeting adjourned.
May 21st, 1895.
The 140th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, May 21st, 1895, at the corner of Franklin and Cathedral Streets. This meeting was for the annual occasion for the election of the officers and directors of the Club. The names of candidates who had received the highest and next to highest number of votes at the meeting for nominations held on May 7th, were placed on the blackboard in the assembly room. The names of the six candidates who had received the next to highest number for the offices of President, two Vice Presidents, two Secretaries and Treasurer, were however marked as having withdrawn for the position. For the position of Directors six names appeared uncancelled, for the three vacancies; the members who had received the next to highest number of nominating votes not having signified any formal withdrawal.
The Judge of Election, Mrs. Manly, had her assistants, Mrs. Uhler and Mrs. Carter, Ballotting [Balloting] and
Recording Clerks were stationed at a table outside of the assembly room, where the members of the Club were invited to register their names and receive their balloting sheets. On these balloting sheets the first column of course contained the names of the six members who had received the highest number of nominating votes for the six before named offices, the second column simply indicated that the candidates who had received the next to the highest number of nominating votes had unanimously with drawn—the third column being left, of course for individual choice.
More than a quorum being present, the meeting was called to order by the President, who gave a short explanation regarding some points in the Election Rules.
Mrs. Franklin asked if in this case the names receiving the third highest number of votes given at the nominating meeting ought not to be given to the Club, as having become virtually the second highest? The Judge of Election was sent for; and said that the names that stood third in each case on the present list had received very insignificant votes. In her opinion any change of this kind in our Election Rules would give an immense amount of trouble to any future Election Committee.
The President said that the individual choice had been supposed sufficient to cover all except the two highest numbers of nominating votes. Mrs. Franklin, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Lord and others spoke on the subject.
The Judge of Election then said that she had sent for the exact list of nominating votes, which Mrs.
Wrenshall and Mrs. Carter were expected to bring to this meeting in a short time.
The President reminded us that one of the duties of this meeting was the reception of the annual report of the Treasurer, which she now called for.
The Treasurer, Mrs. Dammann, thus read a carefully prepared report of the receipts and expenditures of the Club during the year, and of the amount remaining in hand; making a very satisfactory statement, showing economy and judgement in the conduct of these affairs. Some questions were asked the Treasurer, and answered by her.
The President spoke of the gratitude due to the Treasurer, whose attention to details and conscientious care had shown such good results. The Treasurer requested that any change of residence by members should be reported to her. One member wished to know if she included any change of name also? The President asked if anything of that kind was imminent just?
At the request of the Treasurer, Auditors were appointed;—Miss Milnor and Miss Grace being chosen for that office.
Notices were repeated regarding the published literary work of our members, and also the reception to be given by the Club on the 28th of May.
Mrs. Wrenshall then came to the platform, bringing the tally sheet containing the nominating votes given by the Club on May 7th. She gave some explanation of the Election Rules which were drawn up by herself, and adopted in connection with our By-Laws. A short discussion arose on the advisability of giving out
the names of any proposed nominees except those receiving the first and second number of votes,—some members suggesting that such action might give trouble as a precedent. A vote was called for on the question of reading or not reading the names of those who stood third on the list of candidates for each office. By a standing vote, nine were counted in favor of the reading, and twelve against it:—apparently more than a third of the members present not voting.
Mrs. Wrenshall then said that she would read the names and votes at any rate. Mrs. Franklin then said that it should not be considered a precedent.
As understood by the Recording Secretary, the only third nominee for any office who had received more than two votes was the present Second Vice President, who had entirely refused to serve in any position.
The general Election now began: the ballots being taken by Mrs. Uhler and Mrs. Carter; and the Election Committee retired to count the votes.
The hour being very late, the meeting informally broke up; a few only being able to wait for the result, which was finally announced by Mrs. Carter as,
President, Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull.
First Vice President, Mrs. Waller Bullock.
Second Vice President, Mrs. Gaston Manly.
Recording Secretary, Miss Lydia Crane.
Corresponding Secretary, Miss Grace Balch
Treasurer, Mrs. Francis Dammann.
Directors, Mrs. Alan P. Smith.
Miss Emma Brent.
Miss Mary F. Grace.
May 28th, 1895.
On May 28th, 1895, the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, gave a general reception, which seemed much enjoyed by all who attended it. The rooms were decorated under the direction of Miss Haughton, and the other members of the House Committee, who received the grateful appreciation of their fellow members.
Mr. George Zacharias kindly let his rare collection of Artistic Antiquities to adorn the assembly room,—arranging them himself; and thereby adding largely to the interest of the occasion.
The numerous guests were from the members of the Academy of Sciences, the officers of the Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Historical Society, the Woman’s College, the Arundel Club, the Lend-a-Hand Club of Mt. Washington, the Folk Lore and Quadriga Clubs, and the many well[-]known friends of the Woman’s Literary Club itself.
The officers of the Club received the guests; and the time of the reception—from five to seven—nominally--was prolonged, as was, apparently the pleasure of it also.
June 4th, 1895.
The last meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore for the season of 1894 and 1895 was held on Tuesday, June 4th, 1895, at the corner of Frankin and Cathedral Street. No programme had been considered necessary for this meeting, which was chiefly devoted to defining and arranging the work of the coming year,—to the making of Committees, and assigning the meetings of which the different Chairmen would have charge.
The President said that there seemed to have been an impression with some of our members that the Reception of the previous Tuesday—the 28th of May—would be the last meeting of this season. Some of our members had already left the city, and the increasing heat had probably kept some away from this meeting. She thought it not worth while to read her Annual Address on this occasion;—it would probably be of more interest at the beginning of the new year.
The Recording Secretary then read her Report of the Club year, from October 2nd, 1894 to June 4th, 1895. It was a short general review of the meetings, the work, and the history of the Club for that time.
The President said that the Secretary had spoken of the retirement of our Second Vice President. She wished also to speak of the faithful self-sacrificing work of this officer, from, the day on which she did much to form the Club, until her recent
withdrawal from office. But we would still have her as a valued member among us.
The President called attention to the Prospectus containing the names of the Officers and Directors, and the lists of Committees, Chairmen, and Topics for the coming year,—which was to be distributed at this meeting, and to be sent to absent members. There were some explanations she wished to make with regard to the Programme of Topics. In the absence of Mrs. Whitelock, Chairman of the Committee on Fiction, Miss Cloud had consented to take charge of that Committee,—temporarily. Notice was given of temporary changes in other Committees also.
We were congratulated on our good work in the past year; and also on the general improvement in the literary work of the women of America,—and the growing appreciation of it in other lands as well as in our own.
The President also spoke of the Club book or Manual, the printing of which had been unavoidably delayed, but which it was hoped to have completed for our coming together in the Fall.
The First Vice President read an invitation sent to the Club to attend the Anniversary Meeting of the Lend-a-Hand Club of Mt. Washington, on June 11th; when a Reception was to be given to Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and Miss Clara Barton, by that association. The President announced the acceptance of this pleasant invitation.
Notice was given of the project to issue one day’s edition of one of the leading daily papers of this city
as a woman’s edition, in the interests of the Woman’s Exchange, and perhaps some other beneficial organizations—and that contributions for this paper could be sent to Mrs. Graham.
The Recording Secretary read the names and addresses of new members, elected on May 7th.
It was announced that the tally-sheet of our late Election was now in the Committee room, for reference by members, if desired.
The President said a few words of farewell; to which Miss Reese responded; and the meeting adjourned.
[END OF SEASON]
 Corrected from “Allen.”
 Quotation not closed in the document; I’ve assumed it belongs here.
 (Confusing punctuation maintained.)
 The latter sentence written in a different hand, and by a different pen—apparently added later.
 Corrected from “Holme’s.” Similar corrections follow in this entry.
 Corrected from “Post cenatica.”