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1903-1904 Meeting Minutes
OCT. 6TH, 1903-MAY 31ST, 1904
MS 988, Box 4, Book 2
The 458th meeting and the Opening Salon of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, for the season 1903-1904, was held at their rooms at the Maryland Academy of Sciences, on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 6th.
After the opening number of the Musical programme was given, the President, Mrs. Wrenshall, in a few well chosen words greeted the old and welcomed the new members. Refer[r]ing to her absence abroad at the time of the opening Salon of the previous year, she said that news had reached her of the programme enjoyed on that occasion under the direction of a loved member, now deceased--Mrs. T. Elliott Gilpin. To her memory we will render just tribute. Speaking of her poetic nature, the message of her beautiful soul, which knows no measures, but passed to eternal youth while she was in the bloom of her womanhood, at the last Whitsuntide season.
Mrs. Wrenshall afterward referred to an additional honor to our Club, the appointment of a director, Mrs. John M. Carter, as member of the State Library Committee by the
Governor, and closed with best wishes for the continued development of the Club, and the continuance of its high standard.
The members and guests then listened to the remaining numbers of a brilliant programme, arranged by Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn[,] Chairman of the Music of the Salon, which was--in full--as follows.
Harp: Miss Selma B. Cone
Piano: Miss Louise C. Stahn.
The President’s Greeting.
Denza: “A May Morning”
Mrs. Howard B. Adams.
Reading: Longfellow: “The Legend Beautiful.”
Miss Bertie M. Hall.
Mills: (a) Etude--A Major
Wolff: (b) Valse Caprice
Chopin: (c) Ballade, G. Minor.
Mr. Frederick W. Wolff.
Reading: Riley: “Knee Deep in June.”
Miss Bertie M. Hall.
De Koven: “For This.”
Mrs. Howard D. Adams
A Selection from Gounod’s Stabat Mater. Miss Cone and Miss Stahn.
The 459th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, October 13th, in the Assembly Room of the Club.
The minutes of the meeting of May 26th--the closing Salon of the Summer--were read by the retiring Recording Secretary, Miss Ellen Duvall. The President warmly thanked Miss Duvall in the name of the Club for the efficient manner in which she had performed the labors of her office--until home duties had required her to give them up. In this expressed appreciation she voiced the universal sentiment of the Club.
After some announcements by
the President, Mrs. Frederick Tyson, the Chairman of the day, gave an interesting talk upon Current Topics--first touching on the history of the Monroe Doctrine since 1823 which--promulgated by Monroe, reiterated by Polk, later by Cleveland, and recently tested by Germany in Venezuala--has become a fundamental belief of the American people. She concluded her remarks on other topics by saying that the consensus of the U. S. naval opinion seemed to be, that formed of late, this question must be fought out with Germany.
Mrs. Tyson then spoke of the annexing of Mexico--saying that the City of Mexico alone contained 10,000 Americans, and that the country would undoubtedly eventually be under the Protectorate of the United States.
Referring to the Disappointing Failure to build the Panama Canal, she thought the causes might dwell in the adverse influence of Germany and the [blank space] Railroads--from selfish motives.
Interesting Statistics were given, as
to the wealth of the United States; that in 20 years we had gained 60 per cent, that the wealth of our country was equal to the united wealth of France and of England.
The most important thing which had been done this summer was the completion of the Cable to the Philippines by way of the Sandwich Islands and Guam. Although this cable was laid by private parties, the Government has certain rights over it.
The advancement towards perfection in wireless Telegraphy was touched upon.
Under the Eastern Question, she reviewed the situation of England and Russia regarding the expulsion of the Turk from Europe--and the building of the great railroad from Moscow to Vladivostok, the holding of Manchuria for the sake of the sea-ports, and the remarkable aptitude of Russia, as augueror, in assimilating her subjects to her self.
In the event of trouble between Russia and England regarding China, Mrs. Tyson held that the United States
must stand by England in this as England stood by us in the Spanish question.
Turning to the subject of books, Mrs. Tyson spoke of the importance of one novel at the present time, saying that now all important points and moral duties were elucidated by the novel, rather than by the essay, as was the case 40 years ago. The novels of the summer she criticized as being generally desultory and meandering in style, and lacking in a central idea--and keeping to it.
One peculiarity had come in within the last 6 years, that of giving--not names--but appellations, to characters-- “Elizabeth and her German Garden” set this fashion, in the Man of Wrath. She had noticed a rebound from coarse realism to a pure and simple style of unity--but that in some authors there was a tendency to obtrude the subject of caste.
She spoke of Kipling’s desire to be considered a poet--rather than a writer of Prose--, and ranked him beyond Austen and Phillips--the greatest English speaking
poet of the Day.
At the conclusion of Mrs. Tyson’s talk--discussion followed on its suggested and kindred topics for the remainder of the afternoon.
The 468th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 20th, in the Assembly Room of the Club. Mrs. Thomas Hill was Chairman of the day, for the Committee on Colonial and Revolutionary History, and, under her direction the room had been decorated with the Red, White and Blue, Revolutionary, and the Buff and Blue, Colonial colors. In compliment to Mrs. Hill--State Regent of the Daughters of the Revolution, the members of the Avalon Chapter. D. R. and the officers of the Baltimore D. A. R. and other guests had been invited and many were present.
After the reading of the minutes by the Secretary, some announcements were made by the President. In the absence of Miss Day, who was
to have come first on the programme--her paper “Old Letters,” was omitted and mrs. Hill gave us “Some Annals of North America,” prefacing it by the remark that though the day might be more appropriately devoted to the Remembrance of the Burning of the “Peggy Stewart,” yet she felt it had been so thoroughly celebrated the day before, that other historic events would at this time be recalled.
She then referred to the Aborigines of North America, of whose origin we had no absolute knowledge, only conjecture. She said they inhabited a land than which there was no fairer. They hunted in its primeval woods, and fished in its Bays and Rivers. They were savage, warlike and cruel. The settlement of the Colonists was made under continual struggle, but at last--the Indians, broken in spirit, decimated in numbers, wasted away before the steady advance of the White Settlers--our forefathers--who deserve our everlasting remembrance for their heroic acts in preserving to us our priceless inheritance. Mrs. John G. Sadtler
following, said she had substituted for the paper, given upon the programme--one of most local interest. The Lafayette Ball in Baltimore, April 1781.
She remarked that of all the figures in Revolutionary History--none was more picturesque than that of Lafayette. A generous youth, he came to us--a Knight errant, with warships and money. Ordered with his detachment by this Government to the South in April of 1781--he tarried in Baltimore the night of the 17th of that month, where he was given a Ball in the old Assembly Hall of the City. Mrs. Sadtler then gave a graphic description of the Baltimore of that day--of a little more than 8000 inhabitants--saying that the “Levelling” spirit was not then abroad, and the City yet sat upon her seven hills. The streets of North Charles and Calvert were on the summit of a ridge, skirted by a deep ravine. Old St. Paul’s with its detached bell tower, stood fifty paces east of its present site. The houses blue, white and yellow, had charming
yards and gardens about them. Then followed a picture of the Ball with its gallants and belles; coming thereto on foot, or horse back, dressed in the quaint garb of the time. The Ball began before dark. Lafayette himself weary, and depressed by the wants of his soldiers, said he could not enjoy this bright occasion. While his men were suffering for clothes. He was told to take heart. For those who danced at the Ball that night would ply the needle in the morrow. With no time to rest from their dissipation of the previous night, they met at the Assembly Hall next morning. There was a busy scene. Mrs. David Poe alone is said to have cut out 800 garments. Lafayette again and again expressed his gratitude, and wrote a warm letter of thanks to Mayor McHenry, which was read in conclusion by Mrs. Sadtler.
Mrs. Jordan Stabler then followed with a paper entitled “Two Historic Bits of Silver--Their Owner Maker.” She showed two silver tea spoons formerly owned by Major Benjamin Russell of
Boston--the proprietor of the Boston Centinel, the first newspaper published in that city. They were made by Paul Revere, a sketch of whose trying and eventful life followed.
Afterwards. Three Patriotic Songs were given by a chorus of nine, with piano accompaniment--America--Red, White and Blue--and the Star Spangled Banner, the audience rising and joining in the National Anthem.
The President[,] in the name of the Club, then thanked Mrs. Hill, and the members of the chorus for giving us this enjoyable feature of the day. The rendering of “Home Sweet Home” closed the exercises of the afternoon.
Meeting of October 27th, 1903.
The 461st meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, October 27th, at No. 105 West Franklin Street. This meeting was under the direction of Miss Ellen Duvall, Chairman
Of the Committee on Fiction. The President, Mrs. Wrenshall, called the meeting to order, and announced that the Recording Secretary, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, being absent, on account of illness in her family, the minutes of the meeting of October 20th would be omitted; and that the current notes would be taken by Miss Crane.
The President also announced that on All Souls’ Day, November 2nd, the Memorial Committee, of which Mrs. Thomas Hill is Chairman, would meet at 10 a.m. in the Committee Room, to receive and arrange the flowers for decorating the graves of the authors and artists of Maryland.
The President then announced the list of subjects for the programmes of the coming month. On November 3rd, the meeting will be under the direction of Mrs. Thruston, Current Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism; on the 10th of Mrs. Bullock, Chairman of the Committee on Education; on the 17th of Mrs. Wylie, Chairman of the Committee on Art; on the 24th, the Salon,--of Miss Lizette Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Poetry.
The first article of the programme was “A Story,” by Miss Louise G. Stahn. Miss Stahn carried us back to the days of Uzziah, King of Judah, and of Jeroboam, King of Israel, and his immediate successors. She referred to the breaking into the nations of the chosen people. She spoke of the new worship meant to rival that of the true temple at Jerusalem, of the altar at Bethel with its golden calf--and then of the corruption and oppression that prevailed all over the land when in the words of the prophet, “the just were afflicted and bribes were taken”; and when the people “set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great.” Then into the doomed Samaria, corner Jubal, with the face and the gift of the song of David the King. His sacred singing rouses in the children and young people a new spring of desires they had never known before; and this, we are told--”they call memory, not knowing it is called revelation.” Then Jubal meets “Amos, the herdsman of Tekoa, the gatherer of sycamore fruit.” The true souls recognize each other, and bring some cheer and new life to some of those they meet
on their way. Walking by night, over the hills and cliffs, they talk of the woes of the times, of the approaching desolation, of “the sinful Kingdom” and then of the great restoration to come to the Kingdom of God. In the morning Jubal lies dead at the foot of a precipice; and Amos goes on his way, to do the work of the prophet of the Lord.
The next article of the programme was “A Story,” by Miss Ellen Duvall, the Chairman of the Committee of the evening. Miss Duvall said she was sometimes sorry that there seemed to be an unwritten rule to omit the titles of the stories read to the Club, as often titles are important to the stories. Miss Duvall’s story told of two persons walking by the sea-shore, a man and a woman, the woman gazing out on the waves, and the man walking behind her so quietly that it was some time before she was conscious of his presence. He was as ugly as he was gentlemanly. When she perceived him, she seemed both vexed and amused; but said only something about his following the sea. He answered
that he was following her. In the conversation that succeeded she told him not to waste time on her. When she answered that she could never live according to the novelists’ fashion, he suggested that she might live as an ordinary woman. After some words on loving as an extraordinary woman, he congratulated her on having achieved success in literature, which led to the remark that success was more lonely than the hope of success[.] He spoke of defects in her book, as due to feminine ignorance, and called the man she had described “a woman’s hero,”--and asked if her father had read her book? She acknowledged that he had tried to do so--and failed. He asked why she had made her hero very handsome?--as some women do--when history shows the great “lady killers,” to have been very ugly. Just then there was a flash of lightning, and he called out: “The third rave! Run Paulina!” But he saw she could not run quickly enough, and he kicked off his shoes, caught her up and set her down safe, just as the third wave touched his feet. When composure was attained and the shoes donned again, he asked if that was not just what her hero had done
for her heroine. She said: “That was romance.” He said: “I have lived my romance, and you have not.” They talked on with--as we were told--”that little undertone of conflict so often apparent between men and women.” After praising one of her stories, without detraction, and talking of law and truth, and of justice as truth in action, he broke off to say: “I am a plain man, a gentleman, by the grace of God,--and my shoes are full of sand, and my heart is full of love. It is the turn of the tide.” And then, all the way back Paulina smiled, and made no other answer.
The next article of the programme was “A Story” by Miss Mary Forman Day; but it was announced that she was ill, and of course unable to be present. The next article given from the programme was “A Story,” by Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese. She told of old John Davis walking in the country road, and talking to himself about the sweet smell of the flowers, and the chirping of the crickets that “make a body think of things.” He comes to Mrs. Field, sitting at her own door, a slender old woman with dark eyes that look out with a
“Kind of sustained expectancy on all around her.” “You have come for the lavender,” she said. On her table were the blossoms and the twine, but when he asks for “six dozen,” she would only let him have five. “The minister’s wife,” she said--”wants some for her sheets.” She would rise to five and a half; but would not sell a plant, of all she had--not one root “I will not sell one root,” she said--”because Jean planted them.” And then, with a look fierce and remote: “I want every thing to look as they did when she comes back alive or dead,” Jean was the daughter who had gone away ten years before--and whatever rumors had come back about her--her mother held her white and pure still. The minister’s wife came for lavender too, but could not buy a root--only blossoms and cuttings. “She would like,” she said--”to have Mrs. Field smell her own blossoms in church.” “I do not go to church,” was the answer. “I got tired of hearing so much talk of Mary Magdalene,--and as if there were only two kinds of people in the world.”
Mrs. Field, she remembered[,] was a shouting Christian and a hard man. When alone again with her trouble
she looked over to her husband’s grave, not far off, and said: “You had to drive her to it and then die, and leave me alone with it.” Sitting in the dark, she said: “I wonder if she will come to night?” There was a slight sound. “It is the curtain in her room,” she asserted, “I’ll fix it.” It was a small room, so clean--its cleanliness seemed a sort of poetry--full of memories, of spring odors--and the dignity and elusiveness of a secret were there also. Old Mrs. Field went down to the front door. “Jean,” she called. All her hopes, ambitions, and desires were in that cry, all the years of waiting. “Jean, alive or dead, come back! There’s only you and me now--your father is dead, Jean!” No answer. Mrs. Field came out into the road. “I’m not going to throw it up to you. I’m no better than you. Jean!” The answer came.
Our last article was another story by Miss Reese. It began with two women talking about a sick girl in an adjoining room, and unconsciously giving the information to the half-awake patient that “the doctor said she was certainly going to die.” “I am going to die,”
said poor Elenora. The words seemed to cut into her heart, and her whole consciousness was half awe, and half terror. She went in memory back to the time when she told Tom that he was no longer hers, and sent him to the woman who had supplanted her. Then had followed her illness, which was supposed to be a pulmonary trouble “that was in the family.” And the visitor, who had been talking to her mother, was that woman, Rose Anne Austen, who had been married only two weeks. How soon her lover had taken her at her word. To one woman the honey of life; to another the gall.
And to die! So young. Then came a wild yearning for the things outside. She got up, and was carried by her will through the dreadful dressing, and passed at last down stairs, and out into the open air. She went with a sort of rhythmic grace and solemnity, her body become almost as if it were not as she went by the dear things of her former life. She touched the boughs where she had said her last words to her lover. She thought of the old time when
she had body and spirit both--who seemed now spirit only. Then came a voice--Tom Austen’s--and then a woman’s voice--her mother’s late visitor’s saying “I went and asked, and she ain’t going to live. Tom! Don’t look like that! She was the sweetest thing! Tom, did you and she have a falling out?[“] The answer came: “She said I was always going to see you.” “But that was only because I was engaged to your brother Will. Tom! Go up and see her, and make up--that made her sick.” With new strength, Ellenora called out: “Tom.” He came. “Tom. I am not going to die.” He held her as if she would never let her go.
The President announced the close of the programme, and the meeting was adjourned.
Meeting of November 3rd, 1903.
The 462nd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore met in the Assembly rooms November 3rd, The President, Mrs. Wrenshall, presiding. THe minutes of the 460th meeting having been read by the Secretary, and the 461st by Miss Lydia Crane, who was so kind as to take the notes upon that day.
The President called upon Miss Reese, Chairman of the Committee upon decorating the graves of Baltimore’s poets and writers, who reported that this duty of remembrance had been faithfully fulfilled upon all according to the custom of the Club on all Souls’ Day.
In the absence of Miss Cooper, her paper “Books as Helpers,” was read by Mrs. Julius Thurston, of the Committee on Current Criticism--Chairman of the Day. Miss Cooper compared the reading of good books to a walk through a Pine Forest, from which we desire Life and Inspiration. She spoke of the balance one should sustain in the reading of papers and books,
and noted one who so valued one half hour a day for the former. She reviewed William Dean Howell’s “Literature and Life,” and gave his assertion that the fate of a book largely depended upon the attitude of Women towards it. She spoke of her enjoyment of the “Life of Hellen Kellar [Keller]” which recently appeared in the Ladies Home Journal, and of the “Martyrdom of and Empress”--Elizabeth of Austria, by an anonymous writer; of J. T. Trowbridge’s Autobiography, which gives an account of the beginnings of the Atlantic Monthly, of whose original staff, he, the youngest is now sole survivor; of Frank Norris’ “Pit” a story of Meat Speculation, of A. W. Mason’s “Four Feathers”--a delicately told tale of a man’s overcoming of a besetting weakness--cowardice--and of John Lane Allen’s “Mettle of the Pasture,” which she thought lacked the spirit and tone of his other works. In closing, Miss Cooper referred to John Fox Jr.’s story of “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come,” a simple story of a boy and his dog, which brought out admiration for the strong body and the stout heart. Miss Ellen Duvall, under
the title “Two Books Reviews” first gave her estimate of the work done by William Dean Howells in “Inestimable Shapes”--prefacing her remarks by saying that to all readers of Howell’s later works a increasing tendency must have been observed towards interest in religious subjects and psychological problems, and commented upon the three stories in his book. First “His Apparition,” second “The Angel of the Lord,” third “The Voice from the Dead,” and expressed her opinion that Howells--as a writer--is spoiled by his adherence to a theory, a belief in the common-place, to which he himself sometimes descends. “Good wine needs no Bush,” was Miss Duvall’s preface to her reviews on Brice’s Biographies of many men, holding many different positions in life, but all men of note in their specialities. In this work, she said, Brice showed himself--the possible novelist--and adopts so different a style in dealing with his characters that it would seem almost as if the [word omitted] were written by different men. He wrote of Disraeli, Stanley, Green, the Historian, Trollope, Frazier, Bishop of Manchester, Northcote, Manning,
Freeman, Godkin, Acton, Gladstone etc. She particularly noticed as most remarkable the biographies of Lord Acton, the Earl of Beaconsfield and Gladstone.
Mrs. Charles C. Morgan then gave us a review of “The Heart of Rome,” by F. Marion Crawford. She remarked that the hero was too self-sacrificing, for modern times--the heroine too innocent or unsuspecting. The story is one of the downfall of the House of Conti. Its family disperses, the palace is sold to a Senator who disputes existence of a treasure below. Underneath the Palace--that peculiarity of some parts of Rome. The Lost Water is found together with some fine old statuary. The pith of the story, is the coming by night of a Princess of the house to see these treasures, in company with one whom she ardently loves, and who loves her. Mrs. Morgan gave us an account of their adventures, and sums up impressions made by different characters, remarking that the old Princess pointed a truth she had long held--that to be appreciated one must hold one[‘]s self at one[‘]s real value, and closed by saying “Therefore be exacting, and you will be comfortable
if not beloved.”
Miss May Henderson stated in opening her review of the “Mettle of the Pasture” the interesting fact, that John Lane Allen wrote this story 20 years ago, but at that time considered that the question dealt with was beyond the pale of discussion between men and women. That time has changed all that must be indicated by its belated publication. Miss Henderson said that this book differed from Allen’s usual trend of thought, which takes us out into the open air--the country life! She referred to the fateful talk between the chief characters, the man and woman of the story, of their after life, of the Father’s dying charge. “When my son is old enough to understand, tell him about his father; and what it was, that has saddened our lives.” In closing, Miss Henderson gave us glimpses of Allen’s well drawn character, ending with the advice of one of them: “Do try to marry! You have no idea how a married woman feels towards one who is single!”
In the absence of Miss Middleton, her paper on Dr. Grilles work “Geneva and
Its Literary Associations,” was read by the Chairman, Miss Thurston. Beginning with the statement that Julius Caesar first made mention of this City by the Lake, Dr. Gille spoke in turn of the interesting men and women who had made its vicinity their home, of Calvin, the Reformer, upon whose conduct towards Servitus, Genevans have just commended by the erection of a monument to the memory of the latter, 35 years after his burning of Bonivard the famous Prisoner of Chillon--of Evelyn--who suffered from small pox--and of Bishop Burnett, who was famous in the time of William and Mary. She gave an interesting sketch of the Pietists--spoke of Rousseau, and the Sage of Ferny, of Gibbon the Historian, of Madame Necker, and her ever interesting love story of the [Saussaure’s?] and their love for the Alps. (some of the family have emigrated to South Carolina--being well known to Miss Middleton. In closing, she gave a picture of Madame de Stael’s home at Coppee, which resembled some what the households at Gads hill, and Holland House, in its reputation for
“High thinking and frivolous behavior.”
The President, Mrs. Wrenshall, then announced to the Club that the two Committees on “Essays and Essayists,” and “Current Criticism,” which from expediency had been united under Mrs. Cautley’s [word omitted, blank space left] had now been divided--as was the case originally. Mrs. Turner taking that of “Essays and Essayists,” and Mrs. Thurston having consented to take that on “Current Criticism” to whom the members of the Club were grateful for the programme of the afternoon.
The meeting then adjourned.
Meeting of November 10th, 1904.
The 463rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, was held in the Assembly Room on November 10th. After the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting by the Secretary, the President read a note from Miss Effie Elliott Johnson in appreciation of flowers sent by the Club on All Souls’ Day, to decorate the grave of her Father the
late Richard Malcolm Johnston.
Mrs. Waller Bullock, of the Committee on Education[,] was Chairman of the Day, and the subject of the Programme was “Crying Need in Present Education.” Miss Du Valin’s [de Valin’s] paper was upon “The Philosophy of Obedience.” Using several illustrations, she brought out the point that adherence to Law-Obedience develops harmony and beauty, but that departure from that law brings forth confusion, misery or death, and showed that, if through ignorance or carelessness any law is disregarded, evil consequences will follow. The child, born into the world with a will, must be taught physical, intellectual and moral obedience. His natural desire to evade the law, to disobey, must be overcome. Watchful and keen, he must admire his teacher, for faithfulness to study--must trust and look up to him. He must become meek and faithful to his moral obligations, advance from height to height, until at length he adores the Services of all Power--God Himself.
She disagreed with the Platitude “Boys will be Boys,” which excused them from their moral obligations,
saying blight would follow, and urged the cultivation within them of gentleness--sympathy and love, which releases the shackles of evil habits, bringing obedience to the Principle of Truth. proves the saying of the Scripture “The Truth shall make you free.”
Miss Duvall spoke upon the need of Elemental Education, opening with the statement, that “in every work of man the end governed the beginning.” The end of education ought to govern its beginning, and all its course. Often the end is overlooked--at Present it is the case with the beginning. Reading, she regarded, as essential, and referred to her experienced with classes of girls of 16 who neither know what they were reading, or why they were reading it. They likewise lacked in spelling, grammatical construction and history. These failures were accounted for by the attempt to teach too much. She said this was the age of specialities, and quoted Huxley--”One should know all about one thing--and something about everything else.” The foundations of education were grounded in reading, writing, geography,
history, and such training in arithmetic, as should enable one to keep trade accounts or take a book-keeping place. Girls of 17 she had found ignorant of notation even! She disapproved of the advanced education of the colored race as being unnecessary, and unsatisfactory in results, and tending to the destruction of natural social conditions. She advised teaching more of the “Joy of Life”--the joy belonging to mere Living and said that, as Play--natural to the child--was merely the physical action of the muscles, so Intellectual Activity, the desire for Learning, the appetite for knowledge must give Intellectual pleasure, and the pupils going out from the influence of his teacher, must be thus fitted to be a Learner, from that greatest of All teacher--Life!
Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese opened her article on “reading” by quoting Fitzgerald’s phrase, “Reading for sheer delight,” and said that in the old days we learned to read, as naturally as we learned to walk.” Now, the old “Browsing Spirit[“] is gone--either there is no interest, or a voracious appetite not good for the soul. Now no child
reads Pilgrim’s Progress. How real in the old days were Christian and Greatheart and the Shepherd in the Delectable Mountain.The schoolgirl’s choice is Catholic and various--from Walter Scott to Miss Holmes! She criticises abundantly. She reads alike--books with morals, and books with no morals. The results are not comforting. To obviate this fault; Miss Reese advised certain restrictions on books borrowed that lists of books reported suitable for boys and girls in school! The clearing of Literature at certain times, a return to a simplicity of living, a ceasing of this unrestraint, of young people--which is bad for their development into future men and women.
Miss Cullington [handwriting changes to a different hand] then read her paper upon Indulgence in which she spoke of the overplus of “something for nothing” in the world of books, but thought in that regard, there were better times coming. There were little signs of a return to the old ideal of individual responsibility--to the old fashioned ways of training children, as we were taught,--”to hold ourselves lowly, and reverently toward our betters”! If present people have erected and called “the Child”! Never were teachers better trained and equipped, but the children are being badly educated, write illegibly, read and spell badly, have little knowledge of history and geography, and are in a relaxed condition as to their appreciation of right and wrong. Miss Cullington spoke of this age as being one of rapid increase of wealth and [sham?], and hoped a
reaction had set in toward simple ways, where homes in which children should hear from mother’s lips, that truth is the highest thing that man may keep, should take the place of establishments; that school should [that?] supplement, and not supersede them. She hoped that Pastors would return to the preaching of homely Gospel truths, that the Bible would be read, instead of used as Literature, that we might step backward together, to gather up lost threads, and then, “hasten slowly”--Mrs. Bullock, then spoke of the “Universal Discontent,” with the results of Education of the present time,-- of the neglect of the “three R’s” in favor of frills, or fads, and read in corroboration, “A Novel from Barton,” by Miss Octavia Williams Bates, who said, not being a teacher, she looked at these things from the stand point of an outsider. She said that, in young people, she noticed the lack of a spirit of reverence; not holding anything sacred; the lack of hallowed associations; the Spirit of the Times; the living in the whirl and rush of this modern world. She noticed the lack of the formative power of a high ideal of life, and spoke of the duty of inculcating these sentiments. She thought too many subjects were taught, and were studied in too easy a manner by the pupils, and that the teacher was not as much a friend of the child as formerly, and that the conscience was undeveloped--the latter condition was manifest in the low tone of morality generally, in the marts of trade, in colleges, in politics--this laxity should be overcome by the schools. She advocated manual training, emphasis upon the individuality of the pupil, the teachers’ aim to make study a joy. Mrs. Bullock, in opening the topic of the day to general discussion, referred to the fact that, at the Paris Exhibition, Education abroad, were struck by the American method of Education, and called upon Madame Bailleux, instructress in French, to give her impressions as to this matter. She was followed in turn by the President, the Chairman of the day, Miss Lord
of the Woman’s College, Miss George and Miss Middleton. The President then thanked Mrs. Bullock and the guests of the Club who participated in the discussion, for the programme of the day, and, after giving notice of the placing in position the following week of the picture;--(a memorial of Mrs. Gilpin) and the reading, by the President[,] of one of Mrs. Gilpin’s papers, the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of November 17th, 1903.
The 464th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place on November 17th in the assembly room, the President Mrs. Wrenshall presiding. It took the form, in the first part, of a Memorial tribute to the late Mrs. J. Elliott Gilpin, and in the second, of a programme given by the Committee on Art, Mrs. Robert M. Wylie, Chairman. After the reading of the minutes by the Secretary, the President, in a few well chosen words, expressed the loss of the Club in Mrs. Gilpin's going, in all her youth and loveliness,--exchanging her earthly roses, for the everlasting amaranth; and the desire of the Club, to place upon its walls, some work of Art in appreciation of all she did for its pleasure during her membership. Carrying out this idea, the Board of Management had selected a St. Cecilia of Carlo Dolci, and had had inscribed below it, a quotation from her own beautiful words, selected from an article read by her before the Club on the 28th of January 1902, "A Personal Interpretation: Chopin Ballade III"--these words being,--"The Angels are there, ready to lend me aid, as soon as I turn to them for assistance, and they open my eyes to the spiritual realities, lying within all earthly knowledge"--words, worthy of her high spirituality, and an index to her unvarying sweetness of
disposition. Closing, Mrs. Wrenshall said, "We think our St. Cecilia, in her youth, and purity, and that heavenly calm which shone from her face, is fitly suggested by this St. Cecilia of Carlo Dolci;--a remembrance of one, whose memory we love." Mrs. Gilpin's paper was then read by the President, who afterward presented to the Club the thanks of Dr. Gilpin and his appreciation of this act of remembrance.
The programme of the Committee on Art, was then given. Mrs. Jordan Stabler first read from newspaper clippings, some "Advance Notes on the Portrait Exhibition in New York," adding some comments. Miss Ruth Cowdrey followed with a paper upon "Chinese Art." She spoke of the difficulty in making any researches concerning Chinese painting, in that they were never exhibited, but kept tightly rolled in Chinese Cabinets. Buddhist monks, who brought specimens of Indian and Greek Art, gave to China its first artistic impulse. Pictures of Buddha were succeeded by landscapes, always in water colors. Birds, flowers, even horses were painted. In these renderings, they showed the limitations of their race, having no knowledge or belief in perspective, or shadows, and to us, seem inadequate in their portrayal; while to them, these pictures, meagre in detail, suggest some story, or quotation. From 800 a.d. to 1277, the Chinese stood at the head of the world in painting. But little of note was later produced. They use many and brilliant colors--Caligraphy [calligraphy] is much appreciated and selections are framed, not for excellence of sentiment but for the beauty of their characters, and the skill by which they are formed. Their pictures tell favorite stories, such as "The Eight Mortals," the “Twenty-four Paragons," "The Virtuous Virgins"; and simple designs, such as [JL1]
the Stork, the Tortoise and Fir Tree, have symbolic meaning, expressing "Long Life"; The Bat, "Unending Happiness"; the Dragon "The Emperor." She quoted the saying of a Chinese Christian, "On the Western coast of Asia, there is a Dead Sea; on the Eastern, a Dead Nation," and closed by saying that this nation was, in her estimation, to make great advances and that there was a great future for China. Instances illustrating Chinese facility in copying, were told by the President and Mrs. Bullock. Mrs. Wrenshall, under title "Idealism in English Art," gave a study of George Frederick Watts, as its highest exponent, treating the subject under the four heads,--as Sculptor, Painter, Idealist and Moralist; & quoted Sir [Wyke] Bayliss’ verse--the answer to which, she said, defined Watts' place in Art:
"The World is vexed with an evil cry
'We live not in an Age of Art nor Song!'
O painter of "Love and Life"
[?His] forms to make reply!"
Mrs. Wrenshall referred to Watts, as a great Master, not for Art's Sake alone, but as a great Moralist; as possessed of an exalted imagination, with high ideals; the power to adhere to them; blessed with long life in which to carry them out, and never mis-[improving?] times, nor energies. He is called the modern Michael Angelo! Almost self-taught, (but a short time in the Royal Academy), the Elgin marbles, were his real masters, from which he gets his broad beautiful lines. Exhibiting portraits in 1837, at the age of 20, in 1843 and 1847, he successfully competed for a decoration in the Houses of Parliament--these subjects being "Caractacus led captive in the streets of Rome," and "King Aldred, inciting the Britons to drive
our the Danes." Sometime between the years '43 and '47, he spent in Italy, painting portraits, and his own, requested and granted to have in the Uffici Gallery, shows the estimation in which he was there held. Returning to England, he pursued with ardor, decorative schemes, and worked many times without fee--the decoration of Lincoln's Inn Temple Hall being one of these and also the designs of Saint Matthew, and John, (mosaics) in St. Paul's Cathedral, which also contains his "Time, Death and Judgment." His fame as sculptor, is assured by his wonderful statue of Hugh Lupus, ancestor of the Dukes of Westminster, which stands, full of life, rigor, and grace, before Eaton Hall, and by the recumbent statue of Bishop Lonsdale, in Litchfield Cathedral. Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of Watts' influence as ,a] painter, upon the Eton boys as they pass daily in their chapel, his great picture of "Sir Galahad," who stands in armor, in a thick[et?] of woods, and looks forward with inspired gaze, rapt in his own thoughts[:] "But I, King Arthur, saw the Holy Grail and heard a voice say to me, 'Follow Me!'" In later life he formed a collective of Portraits of the great men of England, scientists, soldiers, artists and statesmen--the foundation of the "National Portrait Gallery"--his work--a gift to England. Mrs. Wrenshall said, that Tennyson's portrait, exhibited there, showed peace, and thought, and was a beautiful example, of high mental development. In 1849, in Life's Illusions, Watts struck the first note of the grand auteur of color, he was to consecrate to the ideal in Art--to show to the world, the great lessons, of "Life and Time"--this series of pictures he kept in his studio, retouching them at intervals.
Gazing upon these wierd [weird] soul pictures, in their subtle fascinations of color, entering, an unbeliever, one remains, a devotee! "Death Crowning Innocence," "The Poor Rich Man," "Hope," "The Trilogy of Eve," and "Love and Life," (a copy of which was shown, and Watts' explanation of it read), are among these. As a colorist, his reds were said to be as rubies, his blues as lapis lazuli, and his blacks, like those of Erebus. Born in 1817, on the 23rd of last February, at the age of 6 he finished a picture. Mrs. Wrenshall then spoke of his happy domestic life, and his constant devotion to the Highest in Art, and added in closing, whether his life--that of an Idealist, and moralist, was not a complete refutation to that Dead Cry of the Disappointed, "We live not in an Age of Art, nor Song!" Mrs. Wylie, Chairman of the Day, showed in illustration of her paper,--the "Hermes of Praxiletes,"--several large pictures, brought from Athens, by her son, and remarked, in opening, that these pictures themselves, told all that could be told. She said that Greece still held many treasures notwithstanding the work of the spoiler. One of its richest spots, was Olympia, where was originally a sacred grove with statues, and a Temple dedicated to Zeus. Once in four years, the poeple, laying aside all animosities, came there for the Olympian games. These interesting works of man--the thousands of Statues, stadium, hippodrome, temples,--situated between two rivers--had been completely destroyed, and buried by an inundation. To bring to light these hidden treasures, the French had labored in unearthing the temple of Zeus. The Germans, likewise, had spent 1,000,000 marks in making their discoveries. Mrs. Wylie spoke of the fact that the Hellenic Civillization had reached its highest point, in Athens, and Olympia.
Praxiletes, followed Phidias, and Scopas, worked with him. His was the age of those tender, and graceful, figurines of Tanagra. No Emotion had been depicted on countenances up to the time of Phidias. Of the works of Praxiletes, Mrs. Wylie spoke of his two Aphrodites, the one at Cnydus,--nude,--being so famous, that it made the fortune of the city, in the crowds gathering there to see it, also, of his celebrated Phrynes, and then referred to this find in 1877, of the matchless Hermes with the infant Dionysius. She spoke of the youthful yet paternal air of Hermes, as he regarded the child; his athletic pose, and finely cut features, which show an expression--at once dreamy, soft, and melancholy; the plastic rhythm of the whole figure: (below the knees is missing); of the muscular developement, showing that he might grasp a discus, or a spear--and yet, the languor, and tenderness, exhibited in the pose--the outline revealing the same mixture of soft restfulness, and latent power;--the arm raised, perhaps, to hold a bunch of grapes,--or, perhaps, a thyrsus. Mrs. Wylie, in closing[,] quoted Dr. Romaides, (from whom the pictures of the Hermes were obtained,) as saying, that Praxiletes was a Master of Sculpture, and that a taste for the beautiful, cultivated by Greece, counts no less in the history of the World than its conquests by sword. The President, after thanking the Chairman and Committee for the programme, pronounced the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of November 24th, 1903.
The 465th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club held November 24th, took the form of a Salon, the Committee on Modern Poetry, giving a short programme. After the Club was called to order by the President and the Minutes read by the Secretary, Mrs. Wrenshall extended to the ladies the courtesy of the Charcoal Club, for their Fall Exhibition--at their request, and gave notices of Miss Miss Gisies Lerie of Musecales, and the omission by the Club of its usual weekly meeting on December 22nd. Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese, Chairman of the Day, then opened the programme by reading, "A few words upon Recent Poetry." She noted that in the literary world, there is constant reaction and revulsion of feeling--the pendulum swings from romanticism to realism, and again, reverses the order. She then read some unfavorable reviews upon Kipling's book of Poems, recently published,--"The Five Nations,"--which indicated that he was regarded as over-rated--and that a reaction, had set in, against the high appreciation in which he was formerly held. "The Recessional," "The White Man's Burden," "The Truce of the Bear," and a poem on the Sea, beginning "Where run your Colts at Pasture," "The feet of the Young Men," Memorial Stanzas to Cecil Rhodes,--al, were favorably spoken of, and his "Service Songs," which fill the closing third of the volume. She quoted Howell's [Howells’s] adverse criticism of Kipling's books, and said the phrase, "Does not see life roundly, as well as sharply," might apply to him. Closing, Miss Reese queried, "Must we bury Kipling in a hole, and keep him there? Have we been reading poetry, or Rhetoric? Would it have been better for Kipling to have died,
when he did not?" Miss Louise Chamberlain Stahn then read "A Song" (which has not yet been set to music,) comparing the love of a maiden, to the skies, the rose, and the leaves, saying these were all as naught to the lover, for "her love is everywhere." In Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud's absence, her Poem, "Mother Earth"--which voiced the relation between Nature, and the Soul, was read by her sister, Miss Louise Cloud. Each stanza ended with the refrain, "[?Tired] child, you know me best!" Miss Maria H. Middleton followed with two poems; first, "The Campanile of St. Marks," which stood where "Fair Venice revelled in her pomp and gold," and at last, fell--"its mission over, and Venice mourning its loss, forever more"! Second: "A Thought from Niagara," in which she said of the Waters, "Down the Abyss they leap, as if in uncontrolled despair"--but--cahanged by the sun into beauty, they were an Emblem of human life--"Love shall his riding spirit disenthral, and glorify it, with celestial light"! Miss Reese then closed the programme with three poems--first "The Thrush"; in which the listener is ade to say "What matter if the days be few, Hark to the call across the dew! / Song has not left us yet! Hush! Not yet! Not yet!" Second, "The Empty House"; which is personified, and made to say, "Come back my maids, My Lads come back! / Leave thou the mart, else will I break my heart!" and bids them, "Unlatch the door and fall upon my neck!" Third, "A Song of the Dust"; of which the closing lines are, "Clerks, Bishops, Kings go by! Tomorrow so shall I!" The President thanked the Chairman and Committee and tea was then served.
Meeting of December 1st , 1903.
The 466th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place in the Assembly room December the 1st, 1903. The President presided. After giving some announcements, the programme of the Committee on Essays and Essayists was given under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Sidney Turner who said that the subject for the day--"The Unseen Assets of the Summer; Nature Studies," was suggested by Mrs. Cautley the former Chairman of the Committee as its first work of the season, and was virtually a bequest from her. Mrs. Turner remarked that another bequest had also come in her way, which she would read, and then gave us an interesting will, in which children, lovers, all classes of people, are left legatees, to all the diversified beauties of this earth, and closed, by speaking of the group of Nature Studies to be given, as the bequest of the summer that is gone. Miss Cooper, in opening her paper on "The Summer Clouds of 1903," said, that when deciding upon her project, her thoughts took a lofty flight;--her inspiration was drawn from the clouds. From the deck of a steamer bound for Boston she watched the gray clouds reflected in the blue sea, the western sky, the swinging in of the golden gates "un locked," as some one says, "by unseen figured"; and said that the sky was for all--a perpetual comfort, and for the exaltation of the heart. Upon reaching Halifax, she enjoyed the beauty of the sunrise over the bay, the opalescent rays, the glorious, and majestic lights, and, in the Park, the reflections in its waters, of the deep light, and opal blue of the sky, flecked with fleecy clouds. She described [described] the appearance of one small cloud, "a puffy roll of down, which presaged rain, as in the time of Elijah and Ahab, and her leaving Boston,
with "body guard of clouds,"--the raging storm at Atlantic City and the following wonderful cloud effects, and closed with lessons drawn from these dwellers in the sky. Miss de Valin followed in a Study of the "Dawn"--"Dawn has come! Life is astir! Birds and insects en whirl the air! Life is in thrall!" She then gave a picture of poor Pepita, a girl more unvested as the night goes on, whose pillowed head looks toward the Eastern sky. She longs for day, when she desires to drive with her vousin Felix, although forbidden by her mother. Almost sixteen, she feels she is quite competent to direct her own life. Miss de Valin, then followed out the varying decisions in the girls' mind, as she longs for the dawn: whether to take this drive, which will distress Blanca, Felix's fiancée who, engaged many years, is prevented from many directions by her sick mother and troublesome brothers, and sisters, or, to give up the promised pleasure, out of deference to her mother's wishes, and the duty, enforced by the mutual relation, of Felix, and Blanca--"Why deny him and me this pleasure!" While she struggles with these haunting thoughts, there is an undefinable lifting of the darkness, a soft moving of the leaves, a faint glow crystallizing into light. Deciding that she will not take the proffered pleasure, she looks out upon amber, topaz, amethyst, floating clouds like islands, a gold-dappled sky. Then the thought comes, that Felix shall drive her to Blanca's, where she will assume her cares, and she will have the drive with her lover. Thus she shapes her day, and falls asleep. In red and purple cloud, the full dawn comes. What of Pepita's day? Waking late, she hears the heavy downfall of the rain! Miss Nicholas said, on opening her paper on "The
Atmosphere," that she could speak of it “Con Amore," on account of her personal great discomfort in over heated or ill ventilated assemblies, and, being much affected by both the temperature and quality of the air, this was her choice of a Nature Study. She spoke of the suffering of the poor human body, in the too low, or too high a temperature, and the consequent stagnation of ideas; of the difficulty public speakers encountered in consequence, and, quoting the truism, "Eloquence lies as much in the hearer, as in the speaker," continues, "Words of eloquence, and pathos, fall flat, by the breathing in of too much Carbolic acid gas! The Patient listener escapes into the open air, with a sigh of relief, where he is mentally stimulated, his spirits rise, his nerves are soothed. She referred to the fact that the great Orators of old spoke in the open air, and rather advocated a "roofless Church!" She spoke of the depth of the atmosphere, 500 miles above the earth, and quoted, "Air is earth's outer robe, for use and for beauty." She spoke of its power in producing the beautiful soft tints we now behold, and closed by saying that a study of Nature stills our complaints, enlarges our views, leads up to Nature's God. "As in him spiritually, so in his God-given atmosphere we live and move, and have one being." Miss Louise Cloud in her sketch, "A Bit of Human Nature," gave us one of her own experiences, when, in a sail boat, which sped lightly and surely, over quiet little waves, she had opportunity to interview its highly original Captain, whose opinion of urban privileges was commenced by the remark, "Stay in the City? No Sirs!" (the sirs being entirely young ladies). He then volunteered some particulars, as to his simple and uneventful life; that he had not known how to read, and write, until
three years before when he was forced, by the exigencies of his position as Sunday School superintendent, to learn. He would have been in a nice fix, not to be able to read the Sunday Schools Charts! He told of his first meeting with his future wife, whom he escorted home, through wind, and darkness, and his request to the friend who presented him, "Don't introduce me to no more girls!"; of his subsequent meeting her again, after five years at an oyster sipper, and his comment, "If that ain't fate, what is!" In closing Miss Cloud remarked that it could be said of this humble man, "He knows what enchantments are in the waters," and said that, "purple, and fine linen have nothing to do with it!" Miss Henderson introducing her article "The Silk Worm," told of miss Henrietta Aiken Kelly's home, picturesquely situated upon a mountain crest of North Carolina, where this lady was engaged in developing the silk worm industry, and proving that it was feasible in this country. Miss Henderson spoke of the fact that in 2640 B.C. an Empress of China devoted herself to the care of silk worms, and made a festival annually of the five weeks gathering of mulberry leaves. This industry spread to Korea to Japan and in India, grew to national importance. It is said that the seeds of the mulberry tree, and eggs of the silk worm, were carried to the latter Country, by a Chinese Princess, and beautiful silks and gorgeous brocades, were made! To the Emperor Justinian, knowledge of this industry was given by two Persian monks, who brought the eggs in a bamboo cane. Miss Henderson spoke of the interest the Emperor Eugenie showed, when, after
1850, the silk crop failed, on account of a disease of the silk worm, she offered substantial aid to the different scientific men of France, who should study, and endeavor to destroy this evil. Pasteur worked upon it from 1858 to 1860, and then found out the method by which could be ascertained whether the worms were diseased or not, and in all silk producing countries monuments to Pasteur are erected for this reason. Miss Kelly hopes, that with the abundance of land in Georgia, and the Carolinas, suitable for silk culture, the poor might be taught to keep themselves, and closing, Miss Henderson spoke of the far-sighted English policy of establishing silk colonies, and gave a history of the life of the silk worm, which, in its three forms, completes its existence in the space of sixty five days. Mrs. McGaw gave as one of her "Unseen Assets of the Summer," a picture of a Canal, situated over seas,--in her land described by de Amicis as, "A conquest made by the Hollanders from the sea," and Napoleon, that, "It was an alluvian of French Rivers, and, with that pretext, he would annex it to France!" From Delft, where William the Silent lies, they took their boat,--a party of three,--with Captain, honest of face, and keen of eye, and his one aid. They push slowly by green, flat meadows--hers of black and white cattle, hay stacks, wind mills, church spires--past banks six feet high, made of baked tiles, or small stones. Gray plastered and red-tiled roofs are seen. Women are scrubbing, drawing clean water out of one part of the canal, and pouring their used, in an adjacent spot! Mrs. McGaw spoke of her preferences for house hold service--the ‘African’ for meals, the warm hearted girl from Erin to nurse her progeny, a woman of Scotland, as maid, and a Dutch girl to scour and make everything clean to her hearts'
content!" The voyage on the canal, is ideal. They reach Rotterdam, quiet red sails against a gray sky, and then sail on the river--larger and wider than the canal--to Dordrecht, the birth place of Ary Scheffer. In closing, Mrs. McGaw referred to the great pleasure which life in the canal gives:--the silence of Nature, the delight of being out of doors, the enjoyment of the slow gliding of the boat, and counted this, as one of the many assets Nature could give. Mrs. Uhler then gave us a picture of "A Mountain Brook," of the Blue Ridge Region, and said that, in the landscape, clear water is the key note, and its beauty, and purity, the dominant tone. From this brook of the Mountains, trout had disappeared, but in it, minnow and darter dwelt, and it gave endless pleasure to countless smaller creatres. On a morning walk from Rock Lawn Cottage, pause by the brook, and notice the long brown bugs, with legs like oars, from a racing shell. Needing no professional trainer from Yale or Harvard they know how to propel thimselves swiftly and surely. Some are winged, some are not. Water-skippers, they are called. They hibernate under stones, and leaves or rubbish, and mature in about two weeks. Mrs. Uhler then, in speaking of other denizens of the brook explained the difference between complete, and partial metamorphosis;--the silk worm referred to by Miss Henderson, having exhibited the first--and described the cray-fish, or craw-fish found in the brook, which is two or three inches in length--a clumsy creature, somewhat resembling a lobster, of which it is first cousin. In closing, Mrs. Uhler said, "We leave this little brook, realizing, that each creature, both great, and small, needs its own proper environment,
and is given it by its maker. Mrs. Turner, bringing the programme to a close, referred to the "Larger Teaching," Nature gives us--that it leads us ever onward, as the more one knows, the more one desires to know, and that, in its more comprehensive study, we have our better birth right. Mrs. TUrner said, she had had no reply from Mrs. Cautley to her request for a study from her pen of "The Mountains," and upon that subject she would speak, "The Mountains are looking down, Why not us too!" The Mountain says, "Gold and silver and jewels have I! My heart is ever a mystery!" Mrs. Turner spoke of the blessing of the mountains--their wells--their rivers--the protection they give from the winds--their forest shades, and said, "We would know three more, O Mountains! Give us some of your strength! The Cliff dwellers know them!" Mrs. Turner then told the story of the adventures of some friends, in going to a distillery in the mountainous "Moon shine" country, and said "O mountains! What must you think of us!" She then described a walk--under maple leaves--wild roses and ferns on either side--on and on--out in the dusty road--water sparkling on one side--the monarchs of the forest everywhere! She spoke of the fact that it takes thirty years, for a pine to mature and that where a pine is cut down, a pine never comes up again--emblematic of the soul, after suffering from a blow. "Does it ever rally? Slowly does nature do her work! Only Man is in a hurry! So we learn the lessons of Time and Patience, and behold the daily truths lying by the wayside. Nature takes you to the hills, bidding you fill slowly, and turn aside, and rest awhile!" The President, in announcing the close of the afternoon exercises, remarked that she was quite sure not one in the audience had realized that the first day of winter had come, so fully had we been trans ported to the midst of Summer!
Meeting of December 8th 1903.
The 467th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place in the Assembly room, December 8th 1903, the President in the Chair. The minutes of the previous meeting having been read by the Secretary, Mrs. Wrenshall, after giving some notices and invitations for the Club, announced that Dr. Gilpin had given to it, a copy of the beautiful paper, read by Mrs. Gilpin January 28, 1902. It was intended that this should have been done on the afternoon the St. Cecilia was placed here, but it was not ready. Concerning the little volume, Mrs. Wrenshall remarked that it revealed her guileless, and artistic soul, in a dainty dress, fittingly presented: that she had always realized Mrs. Gilpin possessed a rare combination of strength and sweetness and she felt it more, upon looking at her picture in this little book, which reveals the strength of her character,--the tender bloom of her Madonna face. A motion made by Mrs. Turner and seconded by Mrs. Tyson that a note of appreciation be sent to Dr. Gilpin, in the name of the Club, was unanimously carried, and the Corresponding Secretary was empowered by the President to send such [a] note.
Before the Programme of the Committee on Translation under Mrs. Frederick Tyson's Chairmanship was enjoyed, Mrs. Wrenshall called attention to the fact that it was composed of translations from four languages, German, Spanish, French and Italian.
Of Hauptman's drama, "Poor Henry," Miss Jones, then gave a summary, preceding it by a brief account of his life and analysis of his style and aim in writing. She said that revolutionary movements in Literature agreed with the
corresponding changes in Government. A new literature springs from changed conditions. This was the case after the establishment of the New German Empire. The battle cry of the new writers, was "Naturalism." At twenty seven, Hauptman brought out his first drama, "Sunrise," filled with stern realities,--Love and Hate ungarnished. At forty, his dramas are acted in all the great Capitals. His ideals are high. He awakens dormant feeling. His "Sunken Bell," was the offspring of disappointment, and failure. He had written a play dealing with the harships of the peasantry in his own district. It was a failure. The "Sunken Bell," was a symbol of his lost hopes. Miss Jones then gave a rapid sketch of Hauptman's latest venture, "Poor Henry," which is both romantic and legendary, partaking of the nature of a 12th Century Miracle Play. He brings out the idea, that sin is disease, and that repentance restores from deepest guilt. A Knight, endowed with every gift, commits a sin. Leprosy ensues. He struggles with destiny. The most renowned physicians are appealed to in vain. He learns that the hearts' blood of a chaste virgin, alone will cure him. He retires to Suabia, to the home of his old house steward, whose little daughter, never leaves his side. She offers her life--Henry's remorse, and repentance are his soul's feeling. He finds wealth, and honor, again, and is happily married to the maiden, and the closing words of the drama, are, "Thus again, take I possession of my lands! My eagle and my falcon, shall again mount to the heavens!"
In Mrs. Hamill's absence, Mrs. Tyson read her translation from Armando Palacio Faldes, ("the most prominent Spanish novelist" she said,) entitled "Darkness and Dawn." This was the story of one born blind, who had lost his mother, and father, the latter a
music master. He remembered one brother "whose voice to him was more melodious than music." He had gone far away and married. He would come again and give them a surprise! "Do not despair! Santiago is good! He will write one day!" The death of his father leaves him in solitude. He spends two days caged in his room, praying and playing the piano. It had been arranged before his father's death that he should be organist in a church, at fourteen reals a week. He goes from house, to church, from church, to house. But a new pastor comes. He is dismissed. The story then develops more, and more tragic, situation; the pawning of watch, and ring: no piano to help him in finishing the mass he is composing! Driven from place, to place, at length he is housed in a miserable attic, with beggars, and evil doers. He sings in the street, at night, to the accompaniment of an old guitar, which he has mended, cherishing the hopes of his brother's return, and of his recognizing him by his voice. At length his guitar has to go! Singing, he gains a little to keep him [?on] night. The police make him move on. One wintry night, he realizes he is dying of starvation. Bravely fighting down his misery, he says, "If Santiago should be listening, he would recognize my voice!" His legs tremble with weakness and hunger. He prays, "Mother, help me!" and sings "Ave Maria." No one comes near! No sound but the rumble of carriages and falling of snow. In vain does he repeat the first name of Mary! Heaven, and the Virgin, are far away. He realizes that his last moments have come, and prays, imploring divine mercy. Suddenly, he is seized by the arm, and then comes a change. It proves to be his brother, who takes him to light, and warmth, and food, and the love of kindred:--the wife of his brother--the two children,
who pet their little uncle. Warmed, dined, and refreshed by food, his brother bids him, "Play! play! with all your might! Go on! Go on!" The wife weeps. She puts a stove under his feet, blankets over his knees, a cap on his head. "You are not going to be hungry any more," they say. "I am happy, very happy," he replies. "All I need now is to go to sleep." And the little ones say, "Yes, little Uncle, go to sleep," and--he slept well--to awake, in Heaven!
Miss Perkins read a translation from Madame de Girardin--"Monsieur de Balzac's Cane." Miss Perkins remarked, that the hero of the tale--Tancred--was cursed with fatal beauty. We think, no one so handsome can have brains. One fears for his wife, another, for his marriageable daughters etc. He wishes he had courage to disfigure himself. One evening at the opera, he observes a very handsome jewelled cane in the next box--in which an old man is seated. They both disappear. They reappear in such a way that he associates the phenomena. Meeting the old man later in the Foyer, he asks him to lend him his cane. Balzac is confused, (for it is he.) but at length, loans it to him, saying, that, carried in the left hand, it renders one invisible. By this means of course, Balzac is able to give these details of character, these shades of emotion and passion, as he is able to penetrate, invisible, the homes of the people! By means of this cane, Tancred springs into a minister's carriage, is driven to the [Tuileries?], learns of an imminent change of ministry in a foreign country, escapes by an open door, gives this information to a millionaire (bargaining for a certain per cent of the money made through this knowledge.) and his makes his fortune. An old lawyer takes the cane, and being invisible, is jostled by a youth, beset by a porter, carrying
a rocking horse, knocked by a laundress with her basket, and he explains, "Am I then imperceptible? Knocked down, head split, legs off!" Passing beneath a window, a maid, throws down a vase full of faded crysanthemums [chrysanthemums], and roses, with which, and the greenish water accompanying, he is bedecked, as he goes home to find his maid, and valet, making free with his belongings, and fun of him. He discharges them both, which closed the Adventures with Balzac's cane, with which Miss Perkins favored us.
From the French of Colette Yvon, Miss Mullin gave us her translation: "The Three Horatii." There were three brothers--sons of a chevalier, who all entered the Army as Lieutenants. Each one differed from the others as to appearance, and characteristics. Fabian, the oldest, had a delicate grace of attitude, a slender hand showing well under a fall of lace from a dress coat, and was fierce in the field. The second brother was tall, emaciated, given to reverie, and had never fallen in love. The third brother was retiring by nature, a good officer, a faithful friend. At the battle of Fontleroy, all fought, while the youngest brother on account of bravery, was made Colonel on the spot. The three, had stopped at their aunt's chateau, to visit her and their cousin Amanda, aged seventeen, just returned from a Convent. The description of this young girl, just on the verge of woman hood, with her pale face flushed, her white teeth shining, and her great gray eyes opened, dressed in the stiff brocade of the period, is entrancing. As the story developes [develops], it transpires, that each one of the three young men, falls desperately in love with the girl. Conversing in the drawing room, walking in the garden, when the storm breaks,
or when it clears, listening within the house to her mother's voice singing a pathetic melody, or, when disposing of roses--dark red, pink or pale white, to the three brothers respectively, she is equally charming. Bidding them good night at last, she tries to sleep, but is awakened at least three times, by noises. At length she rests, an hour before sun rise. In the morning, word is brought to her, that the three brothers have departed. Each leaves a note of farewell, in which he chivalrously retires from the field of love, in favor of a more fortunate brother. And each one of the three Horatii, travels steadily on through the forest, away from his loved one, each ignorant of the self-effacing flight of the others.
Owing to the lateness of the hour, Mrs. Tyson deferred the reading of her translation from the Italian of Gabriel d'Annunzio, under promise to the President, that she would read it on the next day of the Committee, March the first. The meeting was then adjourned.
Meeting of December 15th, 1903.
The 468th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, took place in their Assembly Room December 15th, 1903, the President presiding. A programme given by the Committee on Unfamiliar Records followed, Mrs. Edward Stabler Chairman. Mrs. McGaw under title "Letters Reviewed," gave first a brief account of the Life of Lady Mary Morgan, who lived from 1779-1859, some of whose letters, she read. Lady Mary was a power, both in France, and this Country. A native of Ireland, she loved to draw pictures of Irish life. This she did, in "The Wild Irish Girl." She also wrote a Study of France, one of Italy, and a Life of Salvator Rosa, and at about the age of 80, composed a poem against the idea of being old! The first letter read, was written from Paris to General de Lafayette in 1817. It refers to the translation of "France," to her having given a small "assembly" for Mr. Buchanan (afterward President)--"all celebrated people,"--refers to her intercourse with Madame Bonaparte, and asks of Voltaire's opinion of her work, as well as that of the world at large. A letter from a Mr. Meason dated from Edinborough in 1820, gives his views on the writings of Sir Walter Scott. He states that there is an abatement of interest in them, on account of his less careful style, caused by over production, and calls him "a spoiled child, in authorship." A letter from a Mrs. Godefroy followed. Mrs. McGaw states, that the Godefroys had been a celebrated family for 200 years in France. Mrs Godefroy, writing from England, details the family misfortunes, ill luck having attended them, in both America and England, and compared their state of misery, to "a man's dying by opening a vein, and letting life pass--drop by drop." She refers to Mr. Godefroy's
views of American Scenes, put into the hands of English Engravers, and hopes that "rivers, lakes, and mountains, will be transformed into the needed bread and wine." In caustic phrase she scores Americans, as having no single redeeming trait, and remarks concerning their snobbishness, that she "had rather encounter all the peers of Great Britain, than meet an American who had spoken to a Lord!"
In Mrs. Morgan's absence, Mrs. Thruston read her paper, "Recollections of Cobb's Island," which called attention to the fact that the whole coast of the part of Virginia, where this is situated, is protected by a chain of islands, with inlets between, in which uncertain shoals and tides prevail. Good fishing grounds are here, and here ducks, and wild geese abound. This island, seven miles long, and one and a half miles wide, on old maps was called "Sand Shoal Island." A certain Captain Cobb of Cape Cod, finding that bane of New England,--consumption,--threatening his family, set sail for a warmer climate, with his delicate daughter and son, having loaded his ship with "Yankee notions," for trade. He paid $60 for sand shoal island, in salt, after having on a second trip, brought his entire family to that region. In 1832 he came to live on the island permanently, and opened a hotel. Cottages sprang up, until there were fourteen homes, and families. A church was established through the influence of Mrs. Hamilton Easter. When the inlet filled up, and the island was threatened, Cobb and his family dredged it. After Captain Cobb's death in 1867 (or 68,) his three sons, did not care to keep up the hotel, which, though primitive in the extreme, had been very popular. After this change, people no longer cares to brave the passage in an open boat, from one and a half, to six hours long, and face
the discomforts of the place. A life saving station was established. The inlet filled up, making the sea more dangerous. It gradually encroached upon the mainland, until it became uninhabitable. Even old "Aunt Sallie" a character of the island, being obliged to leave with her favorite chickens and eats. Thus, the island inhabited for sixty three years, was given up to the elements. Already, the deterioration which follows isolation had shown its effects, and Mrs. Morgan remarked in closing, that this shows that the human mind, needs intercourse with its fellows, to keep up manners and intelligence.
Mrs. Hill followed with "Brief Reminiscences of the Riviera." She said, the word "unfamiliar," does not necessarily mean "unknown," and she would bring some pictures, to show, what would make a more forcible impression than words, of her stay in 1895, along the Riviera. She noted in Pisa the picturesque leaning tower, "so lightly poised," and yet no storm in all these years, had destroyed it! In "Genoa La Superba," she admired the magnificent testimony of the city, to the greatness of Christopher Columbus, and his discovery, in the monument to his memory, and also the gems of Statuary, lavished upon Genoa's far famed resting place of the dead--the Campo Santo. Near Genoa is Savona,--the birth place of soap,--which gives to the much needed substance, its French name. Mrs Hill described the Situation of San Remo, "which occupies a steep slope of a towering hill." There are no steeper, nor no narrower streets. Over head arches, or bridge like elevations extend. Terraces abound. Here, the Emperor Frederick, passed his last years as Crown Prince. Near San Remo, is a place called "The
Dead City," so named from the destruction of three hundred of its inhabitants by an earth quake. Monte Carlo, gives evidence everywhere, of the lavish expenditure of money, which enhances its natural picturesque beauty. Mrs. Hill said that everyone entered the Casino to look at the players of the game of "roulette," noticed the subdued tones, the intense air, the haggard looks of the players, those standing behind them two, and three, deep in their absorbed interest. Speaking of the many suicides there, one authority has it, "There is not a brick or a stone in the Casino, which is not cemented with human blood." Monaco, the smallest Republic in the world, is also given up to gambling, the Prince leasing it for this purpose. Its Casino has a graceful, Oriental, rather Moorish looking architecture. Nice is the most impressive city, between Genoa and Marseilles, and is called the "City of the Sun"--the "City of Pleasure," and its bay--the "Bay of Angels." She spoke of the legend that Christianity was brought there by Mary Magdalene, and of the delights of the Carnival, which occurs every year, the week before Ash Wednesday.
The fourth article on the programme was by Miss Cullington and was called, "A Visit to St. Cross Hospital." Miss Cullington began by speaking generally of Winchester, its age, its interesting history, its many associations, its famous cathedral, and then passed more particularly to her main theme St. Cross Hospital, to which she and Miss Reese had paid an ever memorable visit. St. Cross Hospital, situated about a mile from Winchester, was founded in 1136 by Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester, to provide board and lodging for thirteen poor men, and a daily dinner for one hundred others. The early provisions for this chosen thirteen, are still scrupulously carried out--Two suits of clothes yearly, beds
and bedding, five marks in money, and wheaten bread together with three dishes for daily dinner, are among the early stipulations. Plum broth, fish, herring pie, are among the edibles enumerated. Cardinal Beaufort, in the first half of the 15th Century, added to the foundation and provided still further for the daily dole. Miss Cullington gave a detailed description of the Hospital (Hospital only in the old sense of permanent [?home].)--spoke of the lime tree avenue, the Beaufort tower, the primitive customs, so zealously preserved, the daily life of the favored inmates--she spoke of the rich carvings, the ancient tiles, dating back to 1390, of the quaint and curious paintings, which in Cromwell's time had been painted over, fortunately not painted out. Brother Boise was the guide, on this occasion, and well described and explained everything, even to the carving of the meat at dinner, the carver receiving no portion, but, as a compensation, all the gravy! Miss Cullington and Miss Reese were shown Brother Boise's little cottage or "Home," where, with a niece for house keeper, he stayed, when off duty, and where,--he not being allowed to receive a fee within the limits of the Hospital proper, they paid him the expected dole.
The fifth and last article in the programme was by Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese, and was called "A Letter from England." It was an ideal "letter," touched with all the literary feeling and grace of the author. She said that a return to England, was like a return to an old house, an old home, mistily remembered in a far off but never forgotten dream. It was as if some association of the spirit, some kinship of the blood, rose up, and claimed its own! It was a restoration of
what we too, call "ours." She spoke of York, London, Oxford and Salisbury, of the "Brooding Towers" of Oxford, with its exquisite [not sure of word--sifted?] tranquility, its perpetual charm, and appeal to the intellectual, and historic sense. She spoke of the crooked lanes, the peaked roofs, the deep green, the soft, intimate skies. Miss Reese dwelt upon York Cathedral, the first impression of which was, of farmers, where height seemed to call to height, and where the columns rise illimitably. She spoke of the She spoke of Cheswik green, and of Dick Turpin, of a guest of a certain Vicar, and of a visit to certain ideal Alms-houses, or cottages, originally intended for widows, and of and of the many benefactions in England, either private or ecclesiastical. She spoke of Salisbury, and then passed on, to dwell at length on a visit to George Herbert's parish, and church, at Bemerton near Salisbury. Miss Reese described Herbert's garden, house and barn and spoke feelingly of the life and work of this rare spirit. She spoke also of Chester, and of the Temple church there, and closed, as she had begun, by alluding to the irresistible home feeling which a visit to England calls forth[CL2] .
Meeting of December 29th, 1903.
The 469th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club was held in their Assembly room on December 29th, and took the place of the Christmas Salon. Mrs. Wrenshall presided. The programme for the day was given by the Committee on the Drama--Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud, Chairman, who first read a Christmas Ballad, not [?shown] upon the printed programme.
Miss Perkins then read from Mrs. Cautley's manuscript, in her absence, Act III. Scene I. from a play, entitle "In Jackson's Day," which has to do, with the famous Peggy O'Neal, after her marriage with General Eaton of President Jackson's cabinet, the snubs she receives, and her treatment of them.
Miss Ellen Duvall followed, with an address upon "Shylock, the Man and the Jew"--in which she showed that, in the character of Shylock, Shakespeare portrayed not only a bad man, but a bad Jew--one who violated Jewish precepts, and Jewish tenets of faith.
Miss Cloud then gave us a realistic rendering of a "tragi-comedy," which showed kaleideoscopic transitions in the life of a newly-wed, suburban couple at Christmastide, and the happy termination of their accumulated diffiulties. Miss Cloud's versatility was taxed yet not over-taxed by her impersonations of the various characters in her play, upon the stage of our Assembly Hall.
After giving some notices, the President pronounced the meeting adjourned for the usual social features of the day.
Meeting of January the fifth, 1904.
The 470th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, held in the Assembly room, Tuesday evening, January the fifth, took the form of a Reception, and the Celebration of "Old Christmas Eve." For this festivity, the rooms were tastefully decorated by the House Committee with Christmas greens, holly and mistletoe, and flowers of Christmas red, all of which brougt out in its beauty, the Colonial architecture of door, and windows, and the Colonial color, of back ground and draperies. Soft light, washed by candles, from many silver candelabra, while much-admired wreathed supports, held six tall tapers, which helped to make our Festival a very "Feast of Lights." To it we welcomed many guests, who filled the hall, and enjoyed with us, the programme, for which we were indebted principally to the unceasing efforts of our President, Miss L. C. O. Haughton, and Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn, Chairman of Music of the Salons. Mrs Wrenshall presided. Appropriate to the day, was the opening chorus, "Adeste Fideles" (with violin accompaniment by Miss Ruth Cowdrey), faintly heard at first, as if in the distance, and then sounding fully, as the doors were opened, at the rear of the room. Those taking part were Miss L. C. O. Haughton, Mrs. William W. Ford, Mrs. Vinton Lansdale, Messrs. Reginald Baugher, Cyril Baugher, Vinton Lansdale, Howard May, Maxwell Cathcart, John Disney, B. Carter Millikin and John R. C. Wrenshall. A quartet, Soprano Mrs. W. C. Edmunds, Contralto Miss W. C. Edmunds, Contralto Miss E. Wetz, Tenor Mr. Reginald Baugher, and Bass Mr. Charles W. Limpert, accompanied by Miss Stahn, then rendered Newvin's "Hark! What mean those holy voices," after which the President gave an appropriate address, extending the season's greetings to all,
and a hearty welcome to visitors, in the name of the Woman's Literary Club. Referring to the idea that it might be thought that the fifth of January was a little late for the Salutations of the season, she called attention to the fact that had we lived a hundred, or two, years ago, "Merrie Christmas," would now be in order, and not a "Happy New Year"; and that until the middle of the 11th Century, the fifth and sixth of January, were celebrated as the "Feast of the Nativity," as is even now done, by members of the Greek Church, wherever it exists. Mrs. Wrenshall said, that it was of the old Christmas, that Shakespeare wrote:
"The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor with hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious, is the time."
Many myths, and legends, were then referred to, which had sprung up about this night of divine love;--human speech given to kneeling cattle;--the watch of Indians to see the deer make similar adoration;--the singing of bees[?];--ringing of bells; and music by unseen choristers, in subterranean depths;--and lastly, the happy fate of mortal, from upon the sight:--"for he can see the spirits of the air, and can command them." Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the calendar amendment act of 1757, which robbed us of Old Christmas Eve, moving back the Festival to the 24th of December, and bringing the Feast of the Epiphany, on the 6th of January, and with it, 12th Night, the culmination, and close, of the fun, and festivity, of the Christmas Season. Touching lightly, upon the extraordinary prerogatives of the necessary leap years, which followed these changes, the Christmas customs of the present, were then shown to follow closely, the ancient ones, though the mince pies, were no longer made in
the shape of little oblong troughs, to imitate the manger, in which the Christ child was laid. Holly, and mistletoe, are still wreathed; gifts exchanged; and families and friends, gather in affectionate reunion. Closing, Mrs. Wrenshall said, "Hearts are stirred, emotions quickened, innocent merriment rings clear, and sweet. And, in the hush of the night, the Star in the East shines brightly, leading us where the wise men went. And we call on friends to us, to meet in the spirit of the season and keep, with us, "Old Christmas Eve,"--the Ancient Feast of Lights." Then followed, Adam's "Noel Cantique," sung by Mrs. William W. Ford, and chorus, Miss Stahn accompanying. Mr. Frederick W. Wolff, the talented organist of Grace church followed, in an original suite for the piano, consisting of "Prelude," "Valse," Chanson sans Paroles, and "Nocturne." A song for a quartet, by Dudley Buck, was then rendered by Mrs. Edmunds, Miss Wentz, Mr. Baugher and Mr. Limpert, entitled, "Night Song of Bethlehem," Miss Stahn accompanying. Mrs. Ford then sang "O Mistress Mine," from "Twelfth Night," and a quaint old English ballad, "It was a Maid of my Countree," the chorus following, in, "Drink to me only with my eyes"--then came a general reception of the guests by the President and officers of the Club.
At this point, attention was centered, upon the advent in state, of an immense Twelfth Night plum cake, ablaze with red and white candles, borne in my two men, upon a wreathed support, preceded by the violinist, Miss Cowdrey, and a group of young men singing, "So Hang High the Holly." Triumphantly escorted it was placed in state upon the President's table, under the light of the tall candles--where--after the serving
of the genuine English supper in the Library, (the plumage of a peacock over spreading the Christmas turkey, in its ever-green bed.) the great cake was cut, which contained the Twelfth Night symbols, eagerly looked for by the younger guests to indicate their fortunes, the ring, the piece of money, bean, thimble and pen.
A stirring chorus from Robin Hood, was then sung, and a rollicking English Round, ended the musical features of the evening.
The remaining hours were spent in delightful social intercourse, until Twelfth Night, was far spent, and the Christmas Festivities of 1903--long to be remembered, by the members of the Club--were over.
Meeting of January 12th 1904.
The 471st meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place on January 12th 1904, in their Assembly Hall. The President with profound regret, announced the death of a most honored member of the Club, Mrs. [Caroline struck out] Elizabeth [Wormeley?] Latimer. To her memory Mrs. Wrenshall paid a deserved and appropriate tribute, saying, it was an honor to claim such a woman in our circle, whose attainments, were willingly, delightedly given our pleasure and instruction. At Home, and Abroad[,] her talent was recognized and her work among us was fully appreciated, as well as the difficulties, under which her work was done--some almost insufferable--the loss of sight--which, nevertheless, did not prevent the use of the active mind, and vigorous
brain. Of her genial nature, and bright and funny temperament, weight of years, and physical disabilities could not rob her. Courageous, generous, modest, she yielded full appreciation to the claims of others. So broad minded she was! And one of the sweetest of spirits! Closing, Mrs Wrenshall spoke of her as "crowned with years and honor, some from amongst us having left for us a heritage, which the world cannot take away. Her example, let us treasure and follow it!
Announcement having been made of the Percy Turnbull lectures, to be given at the Johns Hopkins University, by Prof. de Gubernatis of Rome, the programme for the day, that of the Committee on Colonial and Revolutionary History, Mrs. Thomas Hill Chairman, was then given.
Mrs. Stevens first read a paper on "Some memorials of Washington," saying that the project, was suggested by the pictures she brought with her, a memorial of Washington, published soon after his death, for a sorrowing people. This, represented a miniature of Washington, surrounded by weeping willows, on a black back ground, and was in consonance with the custom of the times, that of presenting mourning rings, or pins,, to the members of the family, or intimate friends of the deceased. Mrs. Stevens said that the likeness of Washington was clear and satisfactory, but she did not know whether it was made specially for this purpose, or was a copy of some picture then existing. She quoted Washington's prophecy, "The people of these States will become more numerous, but with all their achievements, will hardly become a greater people than at the present day," and asserted that, "of the spirit and sacrifices
of the heroes gone before, we are proud; and we build our memorials. High above them all,--that living monument of heroes,--stands Washington--"just in War, just in Peace, just in the hearts of his Countrymen." After referring to Henry Cabot Lodge's unstinted praise of this great man, whom he, in his history, endeavored to portray. Mrs. Stevens enumerated, and described, many of the monuments to his memory; which show the love and reverence he inspired in the hearts of men. On July 4th 1827, one was dedicated in Washington County Maryland, the first to be erected. Two years later, our own was finished, then in the heart of Howard's woods--Noah Walker had a statue of Washington placed over his Youth's Clothing House, which now is seen in Druid Hill Park. In Kent County, is a fitting memorial, Washington College. In the old senate chamber at Annapolis, is the great painting, "Washington resigning his Commission," by John Trumbull, son of then[-?]Governor Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut, called by Washington, "Brother Jonathan"; which term was afterward applied to our whole country. Mrs. Stevens then spoke of the Washington Arch, and Wall street statue, in New York; the York organ, which Washington heard when he worshipped there in 1791; and the great reception which was given in his honor, lighted by five hundred tallow candles; and lastly,--our great National Monument at Washington, whose inception took place, during the life of the hero, and its dedication, February 21st 1885, with [imposing?] ceremonies. In closing, President Arthur's address on that occasion, was read in full--by which he received the monument, and declared it "dedicated from that time forth, forever, to the immortal memory of Washington.
Following, Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of "Recent Discoveries on the site of old James town, and gave a brief Review of Part I of a monograph, published by major Samuel E. Yonge, Civil Engineer, who designed the work of the James River Improvements, and also made these discoveries, regarding the site of Old James town. Mrs. Wrenshall referred to her special interest in this subject, she having been informed of them as they occurred by letters from, and talks with, the gentle man who made them, Mr. Yonge being her only brother. The work of the Discoveries, was done, entirely apart fro Mr. Yonge's work as engineer, in his capacity of antiquarian and student, and under the auspices of the "Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities," organized in 1889, which has a large membership roll, but the work is principally done by a few devoted women. In the face of much discouragement, they never allowed themselves to be discouraged. To this Association in 1893, was deeded twenty two and a half, Acres of land. Upon it were the ruined tower, and old church yard. The river, and relic hunters, had taken much away. An appropriation was made by Congress for a break water. The first was washed away. Under Major Yonge's direction, work was commenced in 1901, and has been carried on, as far as Appropriations will admit. Mr. Yonge is the engineer who designed this work, an exact scholar, and fond of antiquarian research. During these two years, he has discovered the real site of the old city of James town, reversing the opinion of previous scholars, and the result is given in the monographs, its first part just published in the January number, of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Too large an amount, (about fifty acres.) of submerged territory,
was formerly attributed to James town. Mr. Yonge has now proved, that but twenty two acres, at the most, have been lost. The second, and chief discovery made, was, regarding the relating position of a great part of the town, to the position of the tower. He has proved, that John Fiske's theory (and that of many others,) that it was west of the ruin, is incorrect, and the opposite, is true. In 1694, an old grant was given, which was the key. This [Luttrell?] grant, adjoined the State House. Mr. Yonge verified the foundations of the third, and fourth State House, built in 1666, burned by Bacon is 1676. These foundations, have been [?carved] up in concrete, almost to the ground. The cellars were filled with old brick. The foundations of several homes, near the state House, were discovered last November, and December. The position of the old Fort has been verified, and the landing place of the first settlers been established by induction. A map of James City, compiled from ancient records has been made, which includes the location of the Parade Ground, of which John Smith said, "There were companies every Saturday, exercised." The very complimentary notice of the Editor of the Virginia Magazine of Biography, and History, (preceding Mr. Yonge's monograph,) was read in which, he speaks of the great increase of interest, in these James town Discoveries in 1903, and Mr. Yonge's success in making them. For further information concerning them, Mrs. Wrenshall referred us to the magazine itself.
Miss J. Virginia Fox, a youthful guest of the Club, then gave a stirring recitation, by Thomas Buchanan Read, "The Rising in 1776," and followed in a dainty bit of acting, as well as recitation,--"The Minuet."
Mrs. Hill followed with some "Historical Gleanings," saying that every summer, members of the Club hie to different places, and it is a great pleasure to share with other members, the delights enjoyed, and beauties seen, during such absence. Newport, and vicinity, furnished the scene of Mrs. Hill's outing, and she told us of its many historical interests: of the Perry House, formerly owned by the Gallant Commodore Perry, after the Battle of Lake Erie; of the Vernon House, where Count de Rochambeau, and Gen. Washington were entertained at the time of his visit. [?Verazani] landed here in 1524, (sailing under the patronage of Francis I of France), remained fifteen days, made charts of the coast, and called the country "New France." Hither came Roger Williams, and founded the first public school in America. An extensive domestic and foreign trade, sprang up, in which Newport was only second to Boston, in the Thirteen Colonies. It suffered during the Revolution from British barbarity. Churches were used for riding schools, and stables, wharves burned, forts destroyed, the lighthouse blown up, and wells filled. Sad changes came with the struggle for Natural Independence! Not with standing its advantages, of a double harbor,--both inner and outer--Manhattan's situation triumphed, and the tide of commerce never came back. After the Revolution, France asked for Rhode Island for a Naval Station. Fortunately this was not granted, and now, a naval training school and torpedo station are there. Miss Hill spoke of Newport's famous "Old Mill," of Ida Lewis, who having saved twenty two lives, succeeds her father as keeper of a light house. Concluding, Mrs. Hill spoke of the many delights of Newport, which have not been entirely monopolized by the wealthy class, who there have their palatial villas. After thanks were given by the President to Mrs. Hill and the Committee, the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of January 19th, 1904.
The 472nd meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place in the Assembly Hall, January 19th, 1904. The President in the chair. After the reading of the minutes, Mrs. Wrenshall gave some desired particulars concerning the work of her brother Major Samuel E. Yonge, who designed, and is in charge of the James River improvements, and who also, apart from this, as scholar and antiquarian, has revesed many pre conceived theories, proved much that is important, and made many valuable discoveries regarding the true site of old James town, the first English settlement in America.
The programme for the day was given by the Committee on Autographs.-- Miss Mary Dorsey Davis, Chairman. Miss Cooper, who exhibited the autograph of J. Fennimore Cooper, gave a sketch of his life, stating that two if our foremost American writers were, J. Fennimore Cooper, and Washington Irving. Cooper's character tales, were those of the sea, and of Indian life. He was born in Burlington, New Jersey, in 1789, but his early life was spent in the wilderness. After his Yale course, he saw sea service for six years, in the United States Navy, and then settled down in his villa, near Mamaroneck. Miss Cooper told the story of his first essay in the field of novel writing. Haven read a work to his wife, he said, "I can write one as good as that," and, "The Spy," was the result of his effort. Miss Cooper said that his style resembled that of Scott, and spoke of his "Leather Stocking Tales," "Tales of the Sea," and his "History of the United States Navy,"--the latter causing much discussion. His later years were
clouded by differences with Press, and Populace, and he died in September 1851, at the age of sixty two.
Mrs. Hill, in a few words, told of Cooper's home by Otsego Lake, of her personal acquaintance with Paul Cooper, son of the novelist, and remarked that the autograph which had been shown, was given her by the son of Paul Cooper (grandson of the novelist), James Fennimore Cooper, a resident of Albany.
Mrs. Richardson, to whom had been assigned the project of Charles Carroll of Carollton, presented for Examination of autograph letter of his, an ivory cased measuring line, that he had used, which had been given Miss Rowland by one of the present family, also a Carroll book plate, owned by Miss Rowland. Mrs. Richardson said that her authority regarding anything she might have written, concerning the signer, would have been drawn from his life, written by Miss Catherine Mason Rowland, who was there present, and she would simply give us extracts from Miss Rowland's book. She there upon read excerpts, concerning his genealogy, and some further circumstances in his eventful career.
Miss Stahn then read a paper upon Norman Macleod, her article being based upon a life of Dr. Macleod, of some eight hundred pages, in which she had been much interested. Miss Stahn referred to his birth in Campbelltown, a Scotch seaport, June 3, 1812. In its harbor wre seven large revenue cutters, whose officers and crew,fostered in the growing boy of the [?not sure of word], a sea spirit. Graduating at the University of Glasgow, then a tutor in Germany, in 1838 he was ordained minister, was called to Glasgow in 1851, and there married Miss McIntosh. He visited Poland, and Russia, and attained the great
Scotch honor of being Moderator of the General Assembly. He died in his sixty first year. He was honest and direct in discourse, showed great knowledge of character, taste for the picturesque, and love of nature, possessed genial manners and at the same time almost morbid self-scrutiny. He had the love and esteem of Christian and infidel alike, and was mourned by the Royal Family, as well as by the poorest. In conclusion, Miss Stahn read some characteristic letters: to his mother, regarding the difficulties of house keeping in her absence; to his daughter, showing a beautiful spirit; and to his friend, Mr. Strahan, embodying a Swiss experience, depicted with whimsical humor.
Mrs. Wylie, beside showing an autograph of Laura Bridgman, and a piece of her patch work, showed also framed letters, from John C. Calhorn, and Daniel Webster. She read only of Laura Bridgman, who, dead, dumb, and blind, was educated largely by Dr. Samuel G. Howe, Principal of the Blind Asylum in Boston. Her active mind awakened, asked questions Dr. Howe loved to answer; such as "Men made houses and vessels, but who made the land and the sea?" Toward the last of her life, all fear of death passed away. Grateful to her friends, and to her heavenly father, she died in Boston, having lived sixty years. Mrs. Wylie read, in its quaint style, an original letter of Laura Bridgman's--one of her first--written to her mother.
Miss Davis, Chairman of the day, then gave a paper on William Wirt, which was suggested by finding among old letters, one from Mr. Wirt, to her grandfather--referring to school days. Miss Davis said William Wirt's father came from Switzerland, and settled near Bladensburg. A part of his education
was received in Georgetown. A Rev. Mr. Hunt, was at one time his tutor, who founded, in Montgomery County, a school, which he hoped would prove, "a school for orators." Of himself, Wirt wrote, "I had pious Christian teachers." The sessions of Court, at Rockville, stimulated his ambition for a career at the Bar. Located at Cilpepper Court House, he was near Jefferson, Madison, Monroe. He moved to Richmond, and was engaged in the prosecution of Aaron Bur. Monroe appointed him Attorney General, which office he held three terms, and pronounced eulogies, on Jefferson, and Adams, both having passed away on July 4th. Baltimore, afterward became his home. Dying in 1834, he lies buried in the Congressional Cemetery. His character and sentiments were lofty. He said, "I would keep company only with my savior, and his Holy Book." In conclusion, Miss Davis read selections from his work, "The British Spy," in which the writer purports to be an Englishmen of rank, who tells his countrymen, of the various defects he finds in Americans. He writes a letter on Pocahontas, one on Jamestown, and on Patrick Henry, the "orator of whom they boast," and of a certain Mr. Blank, whose identity is not absolutely known. Miss Davis read the cartoon sketches, the letter ending, "Are not honesty and humanity compatible?"
Thanking Miss Davis, and her Committee for their interesting programme, the President pronounced the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of January 26th, 1904.
The 473rd meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place in the Assembly Room, January 26th 1904, and the form of a Salon--its programme given by the Committee on Literature of Music, Miss Zacharias, Chairman. The President gave some notices after the reading of the Minutes. An Overture, "Der Califf von Bagdad" was then rendered upon piano and violin by Miss Stahn and her father, followed by harp selections by Miss Cone, including Hasselman's Reverie, and "Au Rire de la Mer," by Oberthür.
In introducing Miss Trail of Frederick, our honored member, Mrs. Wrenshall, called attention to the fact, that her attainments as a scholar of Italian literature, were well known, and highly valued; that she had published several books upon this subject, and a new work was to come out this spring. She had lectured in Nashville Tennessee, and other cities, and, for a long time, was lecturer on psychology, and Art, in a Woman's College. Mrs. Wrenshall appreciated her coming every year, and taking her part in the Club's work, as an earnest and devoted member, and regretted that the forbidding weather prevented absentees from enjoying this pleasure.
Miss Trail began her paper upon the "Purposes of Music," by explaining her surprise at finding that the Netherlanders, were the founders of the "Science of Music." During the Middle Ages, there was no written music. There were popular airs, which were used for festive, social, martial, and mournful occasions, but it remained for the Roman Catholic Church
outvying[?], the imperial, and worldly, claims of Constantinople, and Ravenna, to employ ecclesiastical music, expressive of their elaborate church ceremonial. Choristers were induced to come and sing it. The formulation of rules for counterpoint were first influenced by the School[?] men. But for their hair-splitting in the 14th Century, there would have been nothing for subsequent composers to build upon. However there followed a perversion of the purpose of music. The genealogy of the first chapter of Matthew was frequently set to music and, in the 14th Century, a conglomeration of Folk song, and Church Music was used, in which, the secular air, was carried by one voice or division, and, the "Ave Maria" by another, at one and the same time! Palestrina brought about a revolution in Church Music. He divided the sacred, from the secular. He made music, an Art. Great is the name of Palestrina. Scientific knowledge of Counter point, the Netherlanders seemed to transfer bodily to the gifted Bach family, in which it descended for more than two hundred years--the great Bach--Johann Sebastian,--from 1687-1749--exhibiting its highest development. The condition of German of life at the close of the 17th Century, gives a clue to the purpose of their music at this time. After the Thirty Years War, it was an appealing cry for help from above;--its medium,--that devotional instrument, the organ. In Bach's day, the Italians were still masters. Miss Trail then showed, how Haydn, Mozart, Handel, and even Gluck, were under these influences. After stating, that the purpose was not the limit of moral value, she referred to its emotional, and spiritual, aspect, and its stimulation of greater vi-
-rility, in aspiration and decision. She referred to the Spanish who, though passionate lovers of music, never had produced a single counter pointist, and then spoke of the spiritual purpose in the Masterpieces of the Great Germans,--its highest purpose, to elevate the soul of Man. Miss Trail then discussed at length, Wagner's music, endeavoring to answer fully the question, "Does it Satisfy the demands of the Art Loving Soul"; said that Wagner had made a great advance, when he wrote both the literature and the Music--being the author of the libretto. Lohengin, and Tannhauser, she deemed somewhat Italian in form. In Tristan and Isolde, he had reached the climax of Fatality, building upon an incomplete Arthurian legend. In his great Trilogy, he had brought out the power of the soul, "to will its own undoing." Of Parsifal, there had been so much discussion of late, she would speak but briefly, and quoted one favorable criticism--"that it had more sanity, balance and restraint than any of his works, save "The Meistersingers"; and then, a correspondingly severe comment upon it. In contrast to these German works, those of the italians seem given to levity, and pondering to Emotionalisim. Miss Trail discouraged in Musical authors, "Straining after poignancy of expression," and, in the public, "gaping for sensational pyrotechnics." She protested against the degredation [degradation] of music, and desired its "strengthening of the moral fibre," saying, "No one is permitted to feign indifference to the music of his country," and closed with the quotation, "Let me make the songs of the
Land, and I care not who makes the Laws!"
Thomas' "Winter," was then rendered upon the harp, by Miss Cone, and Wagner's "March from Tannhäuser," given by Miss Stahn and Mr. Stahn, on piano and violin, closed the musical features of the afternoon.
Before adjournment, Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of the great regret all felt in the absence, through illness, of Miss Zacharias, who had been looking forward to this afternoon, during the year; thanked her, and those who had given us the very enjoyable music, and Miss Trail, for her "magnificent paper." The remainder of the afternoon was spent in social intercourse, a dainty collation being served.
Meeting of February 2nd, 1904.
The 474th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club was held in the Assembly Hall, on February 2nd, the President in the Chair. After the reading of the Minutes by the Secretary, Mrs. Wrenshall gave some notices, and announced the names of three new members, Mrs. W. C. Edmunds, Miss Caroline Penniman, and Miss Emily Paret Atwater.
The programme for the day, was given by the Committee on Modern Poetry, Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese Chairman. Miss Duvall spoke upon Mysticism, her particular subject being Maeterlinck. She said that all were somewhat mystics. To man is given an apprehension of the Divine,not a comprehension. In the inner life, there is something by which we lay hold of the Divine, and have communion with the absolute, only reality. Miss Duvall spoke of St. Paul, as being an
example of a true mystic; when he gave the definition of Faith--"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.["] As Mystic, Miss Duvall considered Maeterlinck, misnamed. In the January number of the Century, his story, "The Dog," is touched with pseudomysticism. In many of his tales,--as in this also,--analogies seem to be carried on, between the life of the lower creatures, and that of Man; as, in "The Blind," "The Intruder," and "The Bee." Miss Duvall, then read read the opening, and closing, passages of the Story of "The Dog," in which the idea is developed, that through Love, the dog attains most nearly to the existence of man, as, by love also, man comes nearest to divinity, as a Saint in the presence of God;--happiness in each case, depending upon the smile, and approval of one incomparably higher than himself. Comparing the dog with his master, Maeterlinck says, "The dog that meets not a good master, is the happier of the two. Life is an unsolved problem! The thereafter is a question!" Closing, Miss Duvall spoke of the pall, thrown over life, by Maeterlinck; his lack of Scientific Sympathy with existence at many points; and hoped for his advance to a true mysticism, and a firmer philosophy, than he holds at present.
Selections from the published volume, "Vita"--a poem by Grace Denio Lithcifled,--were then read by Miss Cloud. The poem takes the form of a Classical Drama;--the first scene read, opening in the Throne Room of Time. As the drama developes, the characters of Time, History, Faith, Care, Malice, Hope, and Happiness, appear, and converse, and the desire of the Soul for remembrance, fame and happiness, is brought out through these different personifications.
"Some Women Hymn Writers," was the title of Miss Cullington's paper, in which she spoke of the hymns, or spiritual songs, wirtten by women, through the centuries, deep with feeling, and like devoution. Trouble, Sorrow, Sickness--were the inspiration of these prayers, thanksgivings,--these cries of faith, [?our contribution]. Beginning with the Story of a French writer of 1648 whose faith led her, as a child, to "dress as a little nun," and who was thoroughly imbued with "quietism," Miss Cullington, then took up some English writers;--one being Frances Ridley Havergal, who wrote verses at seven years of age. "Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee," begins one of her well known hymns--a hymn of Consecration--translated into nearly all European languages, and into some African and Asiatic. Among other writers mentioned, was Christina Rossetti, whose fame, rests almost wholly, on her hymns--her Easter and Christmas cards, being well known.
"I will not faint, but trust in God."
"At evening time there shall be light.
Awhile to work, awhile to play,
And then, a quiet night"--; these are bits, from some of her poems. Among the American poets mentioned were Mrs. Sigourney, and and Miss Lathbury, whose "Hymn of Life," is her best. The authors of several very well known hymns, were mentioned. In conclusion, Miss Cullington remarked,--that these hymns, by women writers, often verged upon the sentimental or the mystical, and, in artistic expression, fall short. She advanced the idea, that children should be taught to memorize the best hymns; that they love, the remote, and mysterious; and that
these hymns would afterward call up precious memories, and ended by saying, "A hymn is the most Catholic thing in the World."
The subject of Miss Reese's paper, was "The Shepherd's Pipe"--"The Poets of Ancients, were of a Kind Sort," she said, "but when we turn to those of the 16th and 17th Centuries, they seem like a Choir of Larks, and Gladness is nearer than Greece!" How they do love a Shepherd! Of Shakespeare, she said, "Oh, what a sweet spirit lies there!" And quoted Marlowe's "Come live with me, and be my love," and Peale's "Fair, fair, and twice as fair," and Robert Green's "Shepherd Wife's Song," and Henry Constable's, "Feed on my flock, serene." In the poems of these, and many other poets of the period, sheep, and shepherd, and shadowy flocks abide. How the verses smell of Spring!
"Rejoice O English hearts, rejoice!"
"The fields breathe Spring"
"Wake from thy rest, Robin Red breast!"
Of Robert Herrick, Miss Reese said, "He took Spring to his heart." After the lyrics of the shepherds and of the Spring, Miss Reese spoke of the poet's attitude towards woman's beauty, and quoted the defiant phrase of one--(was it Andrew Marvel?)
"Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die, because a woman fair?" And the truth addressed to one lady, "You are as fresh as April, sweet as May," continuing harshly. "But if your beauties once decay,
You'll never know a second May!"
Lastly, she referred to the love of these poets for the nightingale--(not Mrs. Browning's nightingale,) and, comparing these songs, alongside the modern, said, "These little lovely lyrics! The ring of them! The swing of them! They are like a little row of chorister boys, singing their hearts out!"
Mrs. Wrenshall then invited the ladies to come forward to greet the new members, which was most cordially done--thus closing the exercises of the day.
Meeting of February the 9th, 1904.
The 475th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, took place at their Assembly room, February the 9th, 1904. It was the day for the Committee on the Drama, of which Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud is Chairman. Few members were present, but the President decided that the record of our meetings should be kept unbroken, and that at least, a portion of the expected programme, should be given.
Miss Nicholas therefore read her paper which was an admirable abridged translation; of the little French Play--called, "A Drop of Water." The Colonel of a Russian Regiment at Smolensk, indignant at the strictures passed on the conduct of the troops during the late War in the Caucasus, is on the eve of fighting a duel, with the [?Handeras?]. The Colonel, is guardian to [Annisita?], who has become tenderly attached to him, while he, secretly, is also, in love with her. The girl's anxiety, is great, when she becomes
aware of the danger he is about to incur; and she privately, lays her commands on the coachman, to upset the drosky, in which he is to drive his master to the fatal spot. The colonel, unaware that she has found out that a duel is imminent, enters the room to say adieu to her, and she tries to detain him in conversation, till the hour for the encounter shall have passed. He, however, succeeds in leaving her. At the preconcerted signal,--a rap on her window to her driver,--he manages to upset the drosky, in starting, and the Colonel's wrist is badly sprained. He returns to the hotel, vowing vengeance on his servant. Whereupon [?Annicita] acknowledges that she is the true delinquent, and also confesses her love for her guardian, who tells her he must fight with his other arm, or his honor will be lost. Just then, a note arrives from a brother officer, to inform the Colonel, that the cause of quarrel was taken up at an earlier hour by him, and that their common enemy, now lies with a bullet in his leg.
Miss Duvall, then gave us, one of her well thought out Commentaries on a play of Shakespeare,"Measure for Measure." She said, in plot, construction, and characters, it takes its place, between the comedies, and tragedies, of Shakespeare; the plot is not Shakespeare's--he never invented one, but sometimes changed those he made use of--; It is taken from an old Italian novel, by Cinthio; and the original Angelo, is worse than Shakespeare's.He not only changed the plot, but added character--Marriana's and Vincentio's. Miss Duvall said that the play is too course, to be suitable for the modern stage,
but that she once saw it acted by Modjeska. It is very much compressed, but in it, he first takes pains to represent the social condition of the times the country and the [?court]. In his plays Shakespeare's sense of poetic justice is always shown. His idea of tragedy, includes disintegration, and re-organization; and he gives them both in this play, where the arduous work of regeneration; is helped by Isabella. All his plays, close with a better order of things, and with the greatest good, to the greatest number.
Several papers were postponed to a later occasion. Mrs. Wrenshall closed the meeting with a most appropriate reference to the great calamity that has overshadowed Baltimore. In a few strong words, she alluded to the great financial loss, from which we must all suffer; but pointed out the comfort that was ours, in the dauntless spirit shown by the people. Especially, she thought, should we unite in thanks, to the press which had risen so wonderfully above the difficulties of the time, to give the public information and cheer. The magnitude of the loss Baltimore had sustained, was almost incredible. The city had been laid low; but we had been spared the worst and greatest agony, in that, there had been no sacrifice of human life, except in one instance. Had the fire begun on any day but Sunday, what horrors would have been added. There could be no shadow of doubt that much of the great misfortune, must be laid to the charge of building those high structures which helped to carry the force of the fire beyond all human reach.
The meeting adjourned.
Meeting of February 16th, 1904.
The 476th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place in the Assembly room, February 16th, 1904, the President in the Chair. THe minutes of the last two meetings, having been read, Mrs. Wrenshall gave notice of an invitation to Club Members to attend two lectures to be given at the Woman's College February 16th and 17th, by Mr. Edmund Butler Yeats, the Irish poet,--these lectures being provided for by Miss Cooper, and she congratulated the Club, that the founder of this literary benefaction was a member of our own Club. The Committee on Current Criticism, gave the programme for the day, Mrs. Julius Thruston, Chairman.
The subject "Henry James and His Kin" was treated by Miss Ellen Duvall, who stated that she deemed this author, had less than his due, in the department of letters, and that, if he was not a great writer, he was, at least, a unique one. If the best of true criticism is, to appreciate what one does not like, the reviewers must not demand what he does not intend to give. Whatever his ideal may be he invariably presents it to perfection. Miss Duvall gave him credit for the "seeing eye, and certain hand, a delicate subtlety, a veiled power, the perfect delineation of the idea under a given form, and assigned him his place, as a distinct literary power. He pays the public a delicate compliment, in granting their comprehension of his aloofness of subjects, his rarefaction of thought, the living action of his characters, which is
out of the ordinary. The art of a novelist, like that of an actor, is tohold the mirror up to nature. He can say anything, portray anything, without offence. To James' "Awkward Age," Miss Duvall referred as exhibiting these characteristics, and spoke of his overcoming enormous difficulties and, in fact, in large measure, creating his audience.
Miss Henderson began her review of "Judith of the Plains," by saying that it was not man years ago, that all Western Tales were of the blood curdling variety; there were fewer types than at present and the stories were written by men. The one of which she would speak of was written by Mary Manning, of whose initiation into the field of literary activity, Miss Henderson gave an amusing account, in the resolution of Miss Manning, and her room mate, to write on Balzac's plan;--beginning on the stroke of midnight! This book, was the product of two years of ranche[?] life. It depicts the coming into a wild district, of a young West Virginian, who travels, after leaving the rail, over flat, unbroken country, on a stage, which creeps, and toils, and lurches, to the home of Mrs. Yellet[?], a woman cattle raiser. The heroine, is Judith,--a beautiful, uneducated, half breed, whose [?not sure of words], is the dark figure of the pages. A stampede of cattle, was graphically described. For thirty six hours, they were deaf to the siren voices of the cowboys, as they sang the "Lament," usually conducive to sleep on their part. Instead they went around, and round, without lying down. The stampede follows, with the tragic death of a victim. Miss Henderson said that the book, had a happy ending--
no psychological problems were introduced. It abounds in life, and one longs to follow the cattle on the trail, along the foot hills, and breathe the inspiring order, among the grass and flowers!
Mrs. Stevens, then gave her personal impressions of Richard Harding Davis' story, "The Bar Sinister"--a story of love and hate, of poverty, and riches; of pride, and humility;--by many, considered Davis' best. She afterward read selections, giving the principal points, in this remarkable story of a dog whose father, was a bull terrier, of pedigree, of prizes, and distinction; whose mother, alas!--"a homeless black and tan!" In Mrs. Stevens' reading, we followed closely the carrier of the dog, his gradual rise from the streets to a good home; his actual participation in the dog show, through the intervention of a charming young girl; his advance by the winning of the blue ribbon, to the side of his own aristocratic father, where they two, were judged upon their own merits, by the one in authority,--who gave at length the prize, to the once unknown homeless, and nameless one, saying--"He is the better dog!" His rescue of his poor old mother--the black and tan--and his subsequent victories--"winning money and cups for Nolan[?], and taking the blue ribbon away from "father,” were afterward related. Mrs. Stevens left the application of the story, to the individual judgment of her hearers.
Under title, "Two Reviews," Miss Cloud read first, one upon Henderson's "John Percyfield." She paid a warm
tribute to Percyfield's personality, whose beauty defied criticism, whose character and temperament, are those of the artist, and poet. He has revelation of self, without self consciousness, an exquisite, and reserved, revelation of self, and the attitude of others around him. He possesses simple, pure, enjoyment of life. Miss Cloud placed him, as different from and above the common herd, "who would still stone Stephen," and to whom sea and starlight, were not for mans' uplifting, but for their convenience. "The book," Miss Cloud Said, "had no definition, no plot, no preachments." She then read her published review upon Mrs. Stule's last book, "In the Guardianship of God," in which she noted no falling off in the strength and perception of the author, and said that her novels were notably those of place--her overwhelming feeling for the country, leading her to describe its physical features, where ever possible. Her longer books showed total lack of sequence, but she had the gift of short story telling, based on her group of proportion; or knowledge of values. In this her force and strength lies.
Mrs. Morgan in introducing her paper on Egbert Cradock's "Spectre of Power, "said that since reading the "Leatherstocking Tales," she had seen no book so good, about the Indians. A Frenchman, "La Roche" and a Choctaw Chief, go to a Cherokee town, the Frenchman’s errand,--the union of all the tribes under the French flag. The Indian dance of death is well portrayed. After different adventures, La Roche becomes head of the tribe, and lives and dresses like an Indian. His superior knowledge of explosives,
conduces to the preservation of his influence. Love, War, and Peace, play their parts in the story. La Roche's beloved, marries a Scotchman of title, and estate, and, in his old age, reverting to his early love, he says, "She's dead, many years ago. But there is another life! That is a beautiful hope!"
Miss Middleton reviewed to recent books on China by E. H. Parker, Her Majesty's Consul at [Funchow?]. The first book--China--refers to its extent, 40,088,000 square miles; to the Yellow river, whose floods and receding waters called "China's Sorrow"; to Confucius, who was the originator of Chinese civilization. Pliny, and Ptolemy, knew of China, and Egypt, had dealings with that country long before the Christian era. The Nestorian Stone, tells in Chinese, and Syriac characters, of the Christian religion, A. D. 638. Coming down past the Mongol dynasty of the 13th Century, the time of China's greatest power was states to be from 1736-1795. Mr. Parker speaks of the fact that there are no new laws. Each of the eighteen provinces is left to its own devices, and is a complete state in itself, halving its own army and navy, system of taxation and social customs. Absence of jealousy and class feeling he notices. Bribery and corruption abound. China possesses a world wide trade, and spends $125,000,000 annually for opium. Mr. Parker says the Chinese are not naturally fighters, yet they are not afraid of death; liars, yet no more than Englishmen; thieves, yet not more than others, and scrupulously honest to foreigners. Miss Middleton spoke in conclusion briefly, of "John Chinaman," (Mr. Parker's volume of eight stories), after which, the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of February 23rd, 1904.
The 477th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club--the usual salon of the last Tuesday of the month--took place in the Assembly hall, February 23rd, 1904. After the reading of the minutes, the President announced the programme for the month, and read some notes, including those form Club members, Miss Alice Fletcher, and Miss Trail. Mrs. Wrenshall voiced the hearty greetings of the Club to Miss Anne Weston Whitney, 1st Vice President, who after some months of absence, again took her accustomed place.
The programme for the day, was offered by the Committee on Ethnology--Miss Whitney Chairman--who read the first paper, upon the "Ethnic Significance of the Word, or Incantation." Miss Whitney gave first, an interesting Legend of the South Pacific, in which, at the finishing of his work, the Creator of all things, hears the reply of the echo to his query, "Is one here already before me," "I first"--thus enunciate the theory of the "Bodiless Voice," or "The Word," which enters, Dr. [?Brinton] says, into every religion. That founded by Christ, exemplified this, in John's saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That the Gods could be made obedient to the Word, and that, through the power of certain words, one could become a God, was the belief of some [?natives]. The Virtue of Incantation is through, "The Word." The Egyptians, not only used this power to protect from harm, but to [?commemorate] the Gods themselves. If a God refused to appear when called, he was threatened. The [?Exquimean?]
believe, the man is composed of three parts; body, soul, and name, and that the name alone, achieves immortality. Miss Whitney showed the existence of kindred ideas in the Chaldean, Egyptian, and Mohammedan systems of religion--the belief of the devotees being, in some instances, that, "having lost their names, they lost their personalities." The Apostles, through the name of Christ, are said to have cured diseases. Miss Whitney referred to the ceremonies relating to the naming of a child; the customs in China, and among negro tribes regarding names, and to the belief of mental scientists, that the use of the given name, helps in healing. She spoke of the supposed effects of "The Curse, or Imprecation," and then, of "Incantations." Of the latter, she gave an example, to cure headache. "Who treads upon my shadow, to him be the pain." The use of incantation by the Romans, and the Romans, Divination by Lot, the necromancers of the Middle Ages, and our own use, in the Lord's Prayer, of the phrase "Hallowed be thy name"--all were touched upon. In conclusion, Miss Whitney said, that, in the name of Christ, Devils were driven out of man, and, when asked by what authority these things were done, the reply was--"He said words!"
"Science in Weather Lore," was the subject taken by Mrs. Bullock, who said that she would consider the coincidences existing between Folk Lore, and Science, wherein the knowledge derived by people from their own observations, would be shown, in many instance, to equal in result, marvellous achievements of science. She illustrated this point, by reference to salt, used commonly as a symbol of
soul, and life, while its recent use, by the medical world, as a saline injection, is well known. The wishing carpet, of Folk Story, prefigures the telephone, while the helmet which produced invisibility is equalled by the X ray and wireless telegraphy. With this introduction, Mrs. Bullock proceeds to review a book, edited by Dr. Garriott, Professor of Meteorology, and published by the Government, entitled "Weather Folk Lore, and Local Weather Signs." Mrs. Bullock spoke of the close relation, between Science, and Folk Lore--the [?not sure of word] possessing its own notions as to weather Causations. She quoted Bacon's saying, "Every mind has its own weather," and followed with a beautiful description of the octagonal "Temple of the Minds" Athens, each side of which, was ornamented with a beautiful human figure, which exemplified the effect of a prevailing mind from that direction. That the East Mind, denotes a Storm, and the West Mind, clearing weather, is knowledge born of experience. Mrs. Bullock then considered the effect of Clouds in the Sky, "for they are storm signals"; said the lower clouds were of little value, as vain indicators, and quoted several Folk Sayings in this connexion, including--
"Mackerel sky, not twenty four hours dry,"
and quoted the cloud indication given by Saint Matthews. She then spoke of the variations of the barometer, from which the United States Weather Bureau, gathers up signs from various regions, and calculated accordingly the intensity, and duration of storms. Folk Lore, also has its forecast, when it says,
"When the glass falls low, look out for a blow!"
Animal life indicates the effect of changeable atmospheric conditions. Birds fly higher, as indicated by the Folk Saying--
"Every thing is lovely, and the goose honks high!"
Observations on Temperature, and Humidity, followed. Salt absorbing moisture, has additional weight, before rain.
"Rainbow at night, sailor's delight--
Rainbow int he morning, sailors take warning!"
Animals, are keenly prophetic, of a change in weather. Horses and cattle stretch their necks and sniff the air.
"When the peacock loudly bawls,
Then, we surely will have squalls."
Trout jump before the rain; bees are never caught in a shower; garden spiders leave their webs before bad weather. Upon the second division of her subject, "Long Weather Forecasts," Mrs. Bullock spoke briefly, saying that it was, at yet, quite an undetermined one;--the usual weather forecast, being of but one, to three days, in advance. The theory of some meteoroligists, that sun spots, (which seem to have an eleven, and thirty five year periodicity), have an influence, was referred to, and also, the fact that Sir William Herschel worked upon this, and also Lockyer, but no definite relation has been established between sun spots and meteorological conditions. A certain Russian was mentioned, who argues that the Moon is the chief agent in producing weather. He has been extremely fortunate in his long weather forecasts, and when the Volga ship owners, inquired of him, when the Neva would close, replied, "October 20th." This proved true. A brief reference again to the coincidences, between the conclusions of Folk Lore, and Science, ended the paper, after which the Club adjourned for coffee and conversation.
Meeting of March 14th, 1904.
The 478th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, took place in their Assembly room, on the 14th day of March 1904. The President gave an announcement of invitation to Club Members to a lecture on the Laura Graham Cooper foundation, at the Woman's College, and a series of illustrated lectures on Greek Archeology, to be held at the Johns Hopkins University. The programme for the afternoon was given by the Committee on Translation, Mrs. Frederic Tyson, Chairman.
In the temporary absence of Miss Nicholas, Miss Stahn gave the first translation, "The Meeting,"--from the German of Rudolph Stratz. The principal scene of the story, was laid in Heidelberg; the occasion, a reunion of the Euronian Corps of the University, at one of its Jubilees. The silver gray cap of the Euronian, plays its part. The neckar[?], "wide at Heidelberg," the entrancing scenery in its vicinity, the hills clothed with chestnuts--"those noble trees of the [?South] land,"--the narrow steep high ways of the "Old Town," the gayly decorated boats, en route to the festivity's crowning spectacle--(the Illumination of the Old Castle), social eating and drinking, inseparable to German celebrations--all were graphically described. Four characters are introduced;--two men, comrades in the Euronian, and their wives. In each marriage, one of the parties, (in the one the man, in the other, the woman) who were by nature idealists, and believed in the Best, have sacrificed the Higher, to the Lower,--the ideal, for the practical. The wife, in one case, is a fretful, narrow minded, self centered semi-invalid; the husband in the other, according to his own description, "A little fat creature of the Good Gods." The husband
of the one, and the wife of the other, have mutual sentiments, mutual regrets, mutual weaknesses. Experiences of the day, throw them much together, and they realize the peril of their situation. But the woman takes fate into her own hands, when she decides that she, and her husband, will go back to their former home in Moscow, instead of to Berlin, where they would be constantly thrown in contact with the other Euronian and his wife; while the man, resolves, that interest in his children, will be here after, his chief object in life.
Miss Nicholas then gave an interesting translation from the French of Hugnis La Paire [Père?]--"Popineau; The Lady and the Dog." The story is told by Popineau, who, in a railway carriage, finds himself a travelling companion of an irascible old lady, fancifully dressed, who has with her, in a covered basket, a "frightful, blear-eyes, yellow harried, dog." To counter act the tediousness of his journey, the man essays to smoke, perparing for such relaxation by the inquiry, "Pardon Madame, I hope you don't object to smoke," only to find that she has, decided objections. Awaiting her supposed somnolence, he furtively begins smoking, only to be thunderstruck by her forcible seizing of the offending cigar, and throwing it out of the window. Waiting, this time, until she is soundly asleep, he, in turn throws her dog, out in the same fashion. Again awakening, of course her first search is for her pet. Not finding it, she calls upon guard, and station master, to help her in her search, and wreak vengeance on her travelling companion, whom she suspects. She weeps, cries, gesticulates, howls, but in vain! When Popineau, at length
leaves the train, he says to her, (at a safe distance,) "Madame, don't torment yourself. I took the liberty of sending your dog to look for my cigar," and leaves her, shaking her head, in a burst of revengeful fury.
Miss Cullington, then gave a criticism of Sudermann, and his plays. To some, this writer may appear like a destroyer, but instead of being a currupter [corrupter?] of morals, he is termed by others, a great reformer. It has been said of him, "He plucked the social problem by the root." A poet,--he sees the grief, and passion, of sorrowing ones, and correspondingly, affects his audience. Some actors, after rehearsals of one of his plays, told Miss Cullington that they were deeply impressed, with what they had to say. An Outline of Sudermann's first play, "Die Ehre," followed, (in which he discusses the question, "What is Honor,") and a translation of several portions of it. The hero returns from India, where he has had great advantages, to his peasant family. He is a loving son and brother, but finds his [?sister]'s honor, is to be bought for gold. The situation, fraught with grief to him, is brought out with dramatic power. Beginning as a novel writer, Sudermann's books were not read until he became a play-wright. Virility is his greatest charm. His characters are contrasts. "The Joy of Living," his latest play, is one of psychology and Love--Intense Love of Life itself! To this, all other feelings and emotions are subservient. Parts of this play were read, and touches of humor revealed, such as "Everything is simple! Visiting, and church going, [?after] everything!", "Your dress suit, does not make you important, but theatrical!" The play endeavors to answer the questions, "Who, really does live?" "Who, may dare, to live?"
Mrs. Tyson, omitting her Criticism of Count de Gubernatis' "Lectures on Italian Poetry," gave "The Saints' Offering," from the Italian of Gabriel d'Annunzio, which was a tale of the celebration of the Festival of a Patron Saint in an Italian village. The streets were aglow with color, the procession was to move from the church, to the Piazza. Four men, in the glorious might of superb vigor, were to lift into place, the great bronze statue of the Patron Saint--the bronze statue, with the silver head and hands. A sort of religious madness takes possession of the people. From some cause, the heavy statue totters to the left, and, at length, falls violently to one side, upon one of the men--[?Umolito]--crushing his hand; which,--after the repeated efforts to move the statue have been successful,--hangs, bleeding helpless, and limp, forever useless! Grieved over his inaction, he cries, "Who carried the Saint? What are they doing now?" While all follow the procession, he remains alone in the little cottage, shaded by an olive tree,--his only solace, a bucket of water, brought by one of the family, into which he has been charged to place his bleeding hand. Dwelling on his misfortune, "It is lost!" he cries. "Saint Gonsalvo, to thee I offer it!" Weakened, he crawls to the church; hears the choir singing; sees the silver head of head of Saint Gonsalvo, towering from its place near the high alter! He walks straight up to the statue and, crying aloud, "Saint Gonsalvo, to thee I offer it"; at length, it drops into the copper alms basin, at the foot of the statue.
By invitation of the President, Mrs. Sydney Rosenfeld of New York, addressed the Club, upon a question of importance, the elevation of the stage, and the developement of the American Drama. A member of the Sorosis Club of New York, and one who had worked under [?Pres.] [Jennie June] Croly in the formation of the Woman's Press Club, she was well equipped, to speak upon the chosen subject. She urged for the Drama, the same interest, as for its sister Arts, painting, sculpture, and music, and said that the drama, combined in its highest form--their three: that the drama, was to the arts, what the orchestra, is to musical instruments--a combination of all, in a complete whole.
At the conclusion of Mrs. Rosenfeld's interesting address, the thanks of the Club were offered her in a few appropriate word by the President, and the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of March 8th 1904.
The 479[th] Meeting of the Woman's Literary Club took place in their Assembly Room, March 8th 1904. After the reading of the minutes of February 23rd, the President called attention to a year Book, "Sunshine and Love," written by a former member of the Club, Miss Katherine G. Spear, and also, to a Special Woman's Club Edition of the Daily Free Press, to be published in Ventura, California.
The name of a new member, Miss William Adams Gale, was announced. The programme of the day was given by the Committee on Fiction, Miss Ellen Duvall, Chairman. Miss Isabel Foster, read first, "The Flower of Tonio," this being her initial appearance before the Club, which was fully appreciative of her story, set amid the romantic surroundings of Amalfi. From the shaded flower-hung cloisters of the Capuchin Monastery Hotel, a young girl leans, lost in the quiet beauty of the scene. Far beneath, and in the contemplation of her lonely future. Hampered by great wealth, she realizes she is by this, cut off from the life of one, who has nothing to offer an heiress. With unexplained suddenness, he was to leave the hotel in one short half hour, and then a blank.
He was much obliged to say "good bye." She turns, to greet the object of her thought, under overhanging roses, and before he leaves, he learns, that, in the language of flowers, the rose, is the symbol of love. The girl he has left listless, pays no attention while (whirling along the dusty drive by the bay) to the mumbling cries of the beggars, one of whom, Tonio, from his perch on a rock, unseen,
drops a fresh rose in the girl's lap, which he has taken from the shrine of the Madonna, hoping for a [?sow] for himself, and promising a candle to "Our Lady," if his little venture succeeds. How the girl mistakes the rose, for the gift of the one, dear to her, her rapid drive back to the hotel, the full understanding at the head of the staircase, which brings happiness to two souls, all is graphically told. To him, it is a mystery; that a rose, he never gave, brought him Paradise! But to Tonio, no miracle would be too much--for "Had not the rose once rested upon the Madonna's Shrine?"
Miss Reese's story brought us back to America, to the daily life of market people, their toils, their troubles, their romances, their tragedies. The tale was written with Miss Reese's discriminating comprehension of the ordinary life of the common people. Marianna, in her lumbering wagon hastens, with fragrant herbs, and crisp vegetables, through the misty dawn to the market town, six miles away. Another traveller marketward, a certain Miss Foy, labors to induce Marianna to take back her renegade husband. Her reply is
the constant reiteration, "I ain't never going to take him back!" Miss Reese tells of "Miss Foy's" continued effort to soften Marianna's heart, saying, "There is better things than holding spite." At length the "Joy of Battle goes out of her heart." She cries, "I'll forgive him," and in Miss Reese's words, "the husband's restless spirit, is caught in the ancient net of home."
Mrs. Reese gave a short sketch, entitled "The Dog, and the Fiancée." Including the dog, who plays a most important part, the characters are three, Mrs. Jerome, and her mother, Mrs. Meredith, completing the two. These two, talk of the school days of their son, and grandson, Clifford Jerome. Four characteristic letters are read, in the first, of which, "a white bull dog to be sold cheap," is introduced. In the second, the fact that gunpowder on raw meat is excellent for "increasing the spirit of a bull dog," is made prominent. In the third, the visit of the dog to the school is chronicled, when he "was awful kind and gentle"; and in the fourth, the great event is noted, that "Grandma has bought the dog
for him, they have named him "Chum," and in consequence he is going to study "awful hard." The reading of these boyish letters of twelve years before, precedes the talk of mother and daughter, (Chum between them) over the recent, unexpected, and somewhat unwelcome announcement by Chum's former master, of his choice of a wife. Mrs. Meredith, tells the dog to take her letter replying to Clifford's--to Mrs. Jerome, to read. "Take it to Clifford's mother! Drop it Chum! Give it to her!" Mrs. Jerome reads, "I welcome her with open arms, and enclose a check from Grandma and Chum." And the conclusion is reached, by the mother as well as the grandmother, that "every man must choose his own wife."
Miss Cloud concluded the programme by reading "The Prince Invisible," a love story, from the February number of the "Smart Set," in which, a young girl brought up with lovely home surroundings, has lost all, and, lonely, is employed in a semi-menial capacity, in her cousin's boarding house. Form this commonplace life, she escapes some times, to the shade of a beech tree, which
she impersonates, as her "Prince Invisible," and to whom, (using her slender hands for household needs) she pours out her soul--and loses her troubles in imagination. Terminating her confidence, she says, "My dear Prince.! The audience is over! You may kiss my hand until tomorrow!" A man's figure slips down from the beech tree over head, and says under its breath, "By Jove!" The interest aroused in this young girl, Penfield Galland, writer, and occupant of the beech tree, does not allow to lapse. The mutual love of Galland and Celeste--the "dear little Princess of the Beech Tree," was daintily told, and the concluding words of the story are, "But it was not until after they were married, and on their way to Italy, that he told her, he had been up in the beech tree all the time."
The the conclusion of the very enjoyable programme, the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of March 15th, 1904.
The 480th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore took place on Tuesday, March 15th, 1904. After the President had announced some notices, the programme of the day was given by the Committee on Essays, Mrs. Sidney Turner Chairman.
The first paper was by Miss Nicholas, and her subject was "Conversation." Her opening sentence was "Of Talk there is enough--and to spare in the world, but it is mostly expressed in dialogues and monologues, while general conversation is fast becoming a lost art." One way to counteract this, she thought, was for parents to remain in their own drawing rooms in the evening, mingling in and directing somewhat the conversation of younger people. She spoke of the qualities of unselfishness, patience and sympathy brought forth by conversation, and the discourtesies presenting it--contradictions, lack of attention, and interruptions. Miss Nicholas referred to the moral force in conversation, to the snare of paucity of subjects, and the necessity of giving the highest and best to this,
which deserves to be considered a Fine Art. Miss Henderson opened her paper on "The Art of being Natural," by letting an amusing story of a country woman, who, in an interview with her, went to the very extreme of naturalism, even to crudeness. She asserted that to be natural is to be truthful; and illustrated the fact that the natural impulses of youth, which are pleasing, must be tempered in middle life, to be equally so. In closing, she referred to the necessity that, in this world, the natural, fallen man must be changed to fit him for the world to come,--and that the way to do this, could be learned from the sacred desk.
The subject of "Tact" was opened for discussion by Miss Cooper, in a short paper which propounded several questions, upon which the opinion of members of the Club were desired. Some of the definitions of tact were given, as: "Tact is the ability to make the most and best of things," and "Tact is doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time." Among the questions asked were: "Can any one define Tact?" and: "Have women more tact than men?" In the animated ten minutes' discussion that followed, Miss Cooper's Paper,
Mrs. Wrenshall, Mrs. Turner, Miss Duvall, Miss Reese, Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. Bullock, and Miss Cloud took part.
Miss Louise Cloud followed with a sketch of "Roumanian Peasantry." Regarding this people she noticed the opinions expressed by "Carmen Sylva," the Queen of Roumania, and a certain British Consul at Buda-Pesth--they being directly opposite--the first favorable, the second the reverse. Miss Cloud described the peasant villages, composed of clay huts--thatched with straw--having cells underground, in which they sleep in winter. The racial features of the Romans have been preserved by the peasantry, who have kept their blood unmixed since the time of the Roman Colonization. Roman names still prevail, and they yet speak of "Father Trajan." In closing, Miss Cloud referred again to the opposing opinions of Queen and Consul, but veered in her own mind to the more favorable one of the Queen of the Country, deeming her a better judge of the merits of its peasantry; even as we can describe the face and the character of a loved one better than "the stranger within our gates."
Mrs. McGaw, in opening her paper upon "Taste," quote the definition "Taste is the power of receiving pleasure or pain from the [?sanctitites,] or deformities, in Nature and Art"; and also quoted the inquiry "whether taste was not the first round of the ladder of which talent and genius were higher ones."
As a suggestion for making our city beautiful , Mrs. McGaw described the Wordsworth foundation in the Lake District of England; which, emptied of its water, upon a certain holiday each year, is heaped with flowers borne by a procession of children; and she supposed for the consideration of the Club, the erection of a similar memorial to Edgar Allan Poe, one of the greatest of poets, who has here in his own city, not suitable monument. The President said she desired some expression in regard to the graceful and appropriate idea suggested in the beautiful paper of Mrs. McGaw. Mrs. Turner spoke in approval of it. Mrs. Reese remakred upon the desolation of Poe's burial place in the old Westminster Cemetery. Mrs. Wrenshall warmly favored the plan; and appointed Mrs. McGaw who had suggested it, to
look into the matter of placing a fountain in this city, by or through the Woman's Literary Club, for a memorial of Edgar Allan Poe.
There being no further remarks, the President, in the name of the Club, thanked Mrs. Turner, and her Committee, for the two rarely beautiful afternoons they had this year given us. The Club then adjourned--many of its members accepting the courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University, in the opportunity of hearing the lecture of Mr. Julian Le Roy White on [?Grenict]--the Sculptor.
Meeting of March 22nd 1904.
The 481st meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, March 22nd, 1904. The programme was given by the Committee on Unfamiliar Records, Chairman, Mrs. Edward Stabler. In the absence of the Recording Secretary, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, the notes of the meeting were taken by Miss Crane.
The President, Mrs. Wrenshall, called the meeting to order. She reminded us that this occasion commemorated the first
meeting and the formation and organization of this Club--on March 19th, 1890. She also gave expression to the great pleasure for all of us in having present with us our honored first President, Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull, who, for more than seven years gave the Club of her best,--as we still feel and know. The President then spoke of the completion of our fourteenth year, and of this first meeting of our fifteenth one--of our pride in our past and trust in our future. She congratulated the Club on its steadfast allegiance to its earliest aims and aspirations, and on its efforts for the elevation of literature. She wished the Club many happy returns of its birthday.
Miss Crane then read the minutes of the first meeting on March 19th, 1890, written by Miss Hester Crawford Dorsey--now Mrs. Richardson. They recounted the organization of the Club, the unanimous election of Mrs. Turnbull as President, the election of other officers, and of a Board of Management. Miss Crane also read Mrs. Jordan Stabler's minutes of the two regular meetings of March 8th and 15th, which were approved by the Club.
The first article of the programme was by Miss Catherine Mason Rowland, and
on "Baltimore Iron Works Company." It was read for Miss Rowland by Miss Whitney--Vice President. Miss Rowland spoke of the first Iron Works developed in our country as having been in Virginia. As early as 1619, iron workers were sent to that colony from England. A century later, Governor Spotswood had on his estate a large number of iron furnaces in operation. She spoke of the beginning of the same work in Maryland in 1716. She told of the furnace at Gwynn's Falls; and later of the formation of the Patapsco or Baltimore Iron Company. According to the custom of the eighteenth century not only slaves but convicts were brought for labor in the Iron Works. Advertisements are preserved offering rewards for negroes, and also for Dutch and English servants, who have run away. We were shown also some eighteenth century methods of business.
In recalling honored names of that time, Miss Rowland said that Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Daniel Dulany just when they were carrying on their celebrated political controversy before the American Revolution, still met peacefully as shareholders in the Baltimore Iron Works. The iron of Maryland was sold in Liverpool, and there is preserves an order for grates to be placed in
the famous Lunatic Asylum at Williamsburg, Virginia, which has been claimed as the first asylum in the world where lunacy was treated as a disease. In closing, Miss Rowland spoke of the value of the Baltimore Iron Works to the men of the Revolution and to their sons.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Mary Dorsey Davis, and was called: "A Bit of History." Miss Davis said that as her article was on the history of the flag of our country it might seem less appropriate to the 220th of March than to the 22nd of February, and more appropriate to the birthday of the flag--the day when General Washington visited the [?not sure of word] widow Betsy Ross, bringing his red, white, and blue coat of arms as proposed for the flag of the Colonies. Betsy Ross, we are told, insisted on copying from his armorial bearings, the five pointed stars belonging to it, instead of his modest substitution of six pointed ones; and deftly used her scissors to show how easily the five points could be made. She told how Betsy Ross used up almost all the bunting in Philadelphia to supply the demand for the new flags. After speaking of former flags used in the colonies, and of the adoption of the Star Spangled Banner,
with its five pointed stars,--by Congress--Miss Davis spoke of the Battle of Cooch's Bridge in Delaware--the first fight in which this flag was unfurled, early in the Fall of 1777. It was shortly before the better known battle of the Brandywine. Miss Davis showed a picture of the monument commemorating this fight of Cooch's Bridge. To the unveiling of this monument she was invited. In connection with this Delaware battle, she reminded us that Delaware was the first of the colonies to ratify the Constitution of the United States. Miss Davis also spoke of the late action for the authorization of the beautiful flag of Maryland, and for the institution this year, of the 25th of March as a school holiday in commemoration of the Landing of the Maryland Pilgrims from the Ark and Dove in 1634. In conclusion she said that Washington's christening robe was of white silk trimmed with red and blue silk, that these were the colors of the flag under which he fought and conquered, and of the flag that covered his bier.
The next article of the programme was by Miss Maria Middleton, and was called "A Southern Legend." It was read by the President. It told of a Christmas house party
on a plantation in South Carolina. Though winter prevailed elsewhere, the kindly Southern aspect of nature was still charming there, and adorned the country homes with a picturesque grace which is still more apparent in our own times, when the same live oaks are more ancient and hoary, and the houses too, have more of the dignity of antiquity. The beautiful old hospitality and congenial happiness characterizing this Christmas party, were gracefully described, and the traditional love story told, of a young lady fair, and a knightly young man from a neighboring military station--involving an incident of somnambulism, with the happy denouement, which is its appropriate close.
The next article of the programme was given by Mrs. Edward Stabler, and was on "Items of Railway History." Mrs. Stabler spoke of the comparisons which arose in her mind, while on a journey last Summer, between the modes of transportation to which our predecessors of sixty or seventy five years ago were limited,--the travelling by stage, canal boat, etc.; and the convenience and luxury of our present day railway expeditions. Of course the people of early days made great use of water courses, and later of horses and wagons, for which, in due time, comparatively convenient roads were built, like
that between Baltimore and Cumberland, the "noble turnpike," over which thousands of vehicles were accustomed to pass. Mrs. Stabler quoted the opinion of Chancellor Livingston of New York, who, though a friend of Fulton and his steam boat, argued against the possibility of railways, on account of their difficulties and dangers. We were also reminded of Mark Twain's answer to an accident insurance agent, that he travelled for security; and also his grave calculation that a man may travel daily by rail, from New York to Chicago, for three hundred years, without reaching his proportionate risk of an accident, while at home there is always the risk of falling down stairs.
We were taken back to the seventeenth century, when coal carts were drawn from the mines by horses, over wooden rails. Mrs. Stabler told of the early inventors such as Watt, Newcomen and others, and went on to the modern improvements, which have given us the locomotive, the Pegasus of modern travel, "and the cars which make journeying one of the joys of life." In the comments that followed, Miss Davis reminded us that an effort was made on one of the first trains of the Baltimore and Ohio railway to propel the cars by sails.
The President expressed the pleasure received from the programme given us, and declared the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of March 29th 1904.
The 482nd meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held on Tuesday, March 29th '04. This meeting was the March Salon, the literary portion being given by the Committee on Translation. Mrs. Frederick Tyson, Chairman. Mrs. Wrenshall, the President, called the meeting to order, and the minutes of the meeting of March 22nd were read by Miss Crane. The President gave notice of an invitation for the Club to a private view of the works of the Charcoal Club of Baltimore. She also announced the list of subjects for the meeting of the month of April. That of April 5th will be on Music, under the charge of Miss Louise Stahn. That of April 12th will be given by the Committee on Current Topics, Mrs. Tyson, Chairman. That on April 19th will be by the Committee on Poetry, Miss Lizette Reese, Chairman. The meeting of the 26th will be the Monthly Salon. The only article of the programme was by Mrs. Tyson, and was on "Italian Poetry: A Resumé of the Lecture of Count Angelo de Gubernatis."
These lectures were given on the Turnbull Foundation at the Johns Hopkins University, and were dilvered in the French language. Mrs. Tyson spoke of the fashions in literature and criticism, which change as do the fashions in dress. She recalled the style of the writers of a former time. Scott, Goethe, and others, comparing their works with those of Thackeray, Balzac, and other of a later time. Formerly an author talked about his characters; now he lets them talk,--which is more dramatic, though there may be less elegance and [?not sure of word] in the later fashion. "It is also," she said, "in lectures,--in viva voce literature." Count de Gubernatis did not dwell on Dante's life, actions, or exile, but on his poems. Mrs. Tyson said "the Italian Lyric Poetry is like precious jewels on a golden thread." She would have liked to give us translations from these exquisite lyrics, but refrained. She thought the translations of prose may be so suxxessful as to equal its original, while the translation of a poem is like the bringing us a flower with all its leaves and its petals--but we ask: "Where is its perfume?" Mrs. Tyson spoke of the Provencal and early Italian poetry, of the Laude or hymns of Praise, and also of the early love songs.
She described the Italian love as "beloning to the Italian nature," which enjoys deeply, suffers greatly, and prays fervently." She told of the Emperor Frederick the Second--statesman--ruler--hero--scholar and poet,--["]rhe amazement of the world," and from many points of view the foremost man of the middle ages. He was the grandson of Barbarossa, and the son of an Italian princess. Inheriting his mother's nature, he, though Emperor of Germany, preferred his mother's country, and loved to stay in his Sicilian Kingdom.
Mrs. Tyson spoke of the poets of the "Dolce Stil Nuovo," the sweet, new style,--of the two ["]Guidos," and of many others. She brought us down to Dante,--the grandest of all,--"who loved the soul of Beatrice," and entered heaven by love";--then to his successor Petrarch, to both of whom it was given to declare as the highest earthly theme of song, "the glory of woman." She spoke too of the magnificent Lorenzo de Medici; of Piliziano, author of the first musical drama,--the original of the modern opera; and to the almost unrivalled Michael Angelo, painter, sculptor, architect and poet. She closed with a short tribute to Vittoria Colonna, and the women [?poets] of Italy. The President congratulated the Club on including among its members
such an Italian scholar as Mrs. Tyson, and another such as Miss Trail,--whom we hope to hear again in the future. She spoke of the book which Miss Trail has now in press, "A History of Italian Poetry"--as the result of long years of study. Mrs. Wrenshall went on to speak of the remarkable career of Count de Gubernatis00f his having been recalled from pursuing researches in India to take a University professorship of Sanscrit in his native Italy; of his care in lecturing and conversing in languages not his own. She spoke too of his having been invested, by the Pundits of India with the sacred cord, which gave him the entree to the ancient--so-called--[?Brahim] holy order. Miss Whitney spoke of this sacred cord as being the symbol of the belt of Orion--who was supposed to have been the first of the sacred order.
The President then announced the meeting adjourned, and invited each and all present to join in taking a cup of chocolate together.
Tuesday, April 5th, 1904.
The Easter Salon.
To the Spring.
Mazurka, Op. 24. No. 2.
Piano, Miss Velma Tyson Rawls.
Spring. Harp Solo, Miss Selma B. Cone.
Hearts' Springtime, Op. 82.
Soprano Solo, Mrs. E. F. Leister.
Harp, Miss Selma B. Cone.
Violin, Miss Stack.
Piano, Mrs. Martin.
Soprano Solo, Mrs. E. F. Leister.
Valse, Op. 34 No. 1.
Piano, Miss Velma Tyson Rawls.
Chairman of Music of the Salons.
Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn.
The Easter Salon of the Woman's Literary Club, took place in the Assembly Hall, on Paril 5th, this being the 483rd meeting. Bright skies without, and Spring flowers within, gave Easter greetings to the members of the Club, and many guests present--some with us for the first time, and some welcomed back after prolonged absence. After the President had called the meeting to order, a charming musical programme, admirably suited to the occasion, and much enjoyed by all, was rendered under the direction of Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn, Chairman of Music at the Salons.
The first selection was, as Mrs. Wrenshall remarked, "most appropriate to the day." Thomas' Spring--a harp solo--rendered by Miss Cone,--a member of the Club. Mrs. E. F. Leister followed, in a soprano solo, by Von Wickede. Hearts' Springtime, Miss Stahn, accompanist. A Trio for harp, violin and piano, arranged from Von Weber's "Der Freischütz,"--was then given by Miss Cone, Miss Stack and Mrs. Martin. A second solo by Mrs. Leister, Mascheroni's "For all Eternity," followed for which Miss Stahn played at the piano accompaniament, and Mr. Stahn, the violin obligato.
Miss Velma Tyson Rawls, a pupil for the past seven years of Professor Wade of the
Peabody Conservatory, interpreted three characteristic selections from Grieg, entitled--"Solitary Wanderer," "Little Bird," and "To the Spring," and Moszkowski's brilliant Valse, Op. 34, No. 1. At the close of which Mrs. Wrenshall announced the conclusion of the formal part of the programme for the Easter Salon--and thanked the Chairman and ladies who had given us this great enjoyment in music, which seems a fitting expression of feeling at Easter time--the double Spring--The spring of the soul, in the world of faith, and the spring of physical life, in the World of Nature.
Dainty refreshments were then served--members and guests exchanged lingering greetings, and the Easter Salon of 1904--became for those so fortunate as to be present--a sweet remembrance.
Meeting of April 12th, 1904.
The 484th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club was held in the Assembly Hall, April 12th, 1904, the President in the Chair. After the reading of the minutes of the last two meetings, by Miss Crane and Mrs. Stabler, the President read a letter from our member Miss [?Alice] Fletcher,--expressing regret for
the necessity of deferring her usual visit to the Club this season. Mrs. Wrenshall referred to the enforced absence for some time, of our 1st Vice President, Miss Whitney, and gave the invitation of the Archeological lecture at Johns Hopkins University last Thursday, and extended a welcome to Miss Emily Paret Atwater, upon her first appearance as member of the Club.
Mrs. Frederick Tyson, Chairman of the Current Topics Committee, then gave a talk, appealing first for members for the Committee, saying, that, to clever women, no subject was as interesting, as what is being done in the world! These subjects--she continued--should be studied, in the condition of the mind, to which Caesar referred in his famous speech after Ciceroe's orations against Cataline--when he appealed to the Conscript Fathers to "free their minds from passion, pity, or prejudice," for "so only"--he held--"could they deliberate properly."
Mrs. Tyson plead for the importance of true education--which means the formation of the mind--for the women of America , since, to a larger degree than in Europe--they are left in charge of the family, and mold the youth of the country. She gave some statistics of the new
Census, which showed the increase in population of our country. Some points of the discussion, concerning the admission of Senator Smoot of Utah to the United States Senate; Some curious features in recent advertising in Paris and London; and, after a resumé of the gradual steps in the acquisition of territory by the United States, and its probable interference in Mexican affairs, after President Diaz' death, remarked that it was doubtless the destiny of this country to extent a protectorate over all America.
Mrs. Tyson took up the question of the Panama Canal, the treaty therefore, and the probability that in from six to eight years, the Canal would be in working order. She spoke of the bad sanitary conditions there, and the fact that the Seven U. S. Commissions had to grapple with that situation, as the Government officers in Cuba, had so successfully done. She referred to the debated question, whether negroes or Chinese, should be employed in the completion of this work, and to the fact, that, when finished--it would be the greatest engineering feat in the world--the great dam at Assowan being secondary--and remarked in closing, that the Panama Canal would make this, "the greatest commercial
country in the world." Mrs. Tyson began the topic of "The Eastern Question, Russia and Japan," by saying, that the Russians were proverbially unready, and that they had no idea the Japanese would go to war. After their war with China, 8 years ago, they--the Japanese--had nothing for it, on account of the interference of outside nations. France got a port; England one; the Russsians held Manchuria; the Chapanese got no Korea, only the little island of Formosa, and since that time, had been longing for conquest. Mrs. Tyson told of the conditions in Russia, since 1860, where the Serfs were freed, and two thirds of the land given them--not individually, but as communities; the decadence of the farming industry among the peasants, the limitations in many respects of their new 5,000 mile railway between Moscow and Vladivostoack; the poor marksmanship of the Russians as compared to that of the Japanese, and the probability of King Edward's interference between them, for which he is well fitted,--being Uncle of the Czar and ally of Japan.
A talk on Books followed, in which Mrs. Tyson gave some rules for writing
a successful story--the first of which was based upon Horace's advice--"Begin in the middle of the Action." She enforced this point with examples from Homer and Shakespeare, and gave a second rule, not to make the period of time covered by the story, too long. Ivanhoe is an instance of a short space of time so covered00about 24 hours. Another rule given was, "Have one central idea, and keep to it." Another, "Avoid hackneyed phrases." One secret of the successful novel of the day is--the conversations. "My Friend Prospero," by Hendry Harland, was instanced as the Acme of Art, from this point of view. Titles of some new novels, and more solid workd were read, also some quotations from a volume of poems by Jeanette Gillespie--whom Mrs. Tyson regards as a true poet.
In conclusion the assertion by Uasten, and William Winter was dwelth upon, and coincided in by the speaker, that, there existed that the present time, a decadence in poetry, and also a decrease in the number of its readers.
In response to Mrs. Wrenshall's whether any one had a word to add to Mrs. Tyson's talk, a spirited discussion
followed upon this last point, participated in, by Miss Duvall, Miss Reese, Miss Cullington, Miss Henderson, Miss Nicholas, Miss Davis, Miss Middleton, and Mrs. Bullock, beside the President, and Mrs. Tyson, who closed the discussion, and the interesting exercises of the afternoon. No other members desiring to participate in consideration of this question, the President pronounced the meeting adjourned.
Meeting of April 19th, 1904.
The 485th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, took place in the Assembly Hall, on April 19th, 1904. Mrs. Wrenshall presided, and after the minutes had been read, gave some notices and presented to the Club, in the name of a member, Mrs. Lucy Meacham Thurston, her latest work, "When the Tide Comes in." In accepting it for the Club, Mrs. Wrenshall referred to two other books by the author, "Mistress Brent," and "The Girl from Virginia," both pleasantly remembered.
The programme for the day was under the Chairmanship of Miss Lizette Woodworth Reese, who herself read some poems of her own--the first, published in the
Congregationalist, entitled "At Cock Crow," and ending, "Lord, choose for me the road / that leads to thee!"
Then followed to unpublished poems, "On Hearing a Lark," and, "Writ in a Prayer Book." Miss Reese closed with "The House of the Silent Years," which was published in the Atlantic Monthly. "One day is as a thousand years. A thousand years, a day," were the lines which ended this last of Miss Reese's most appreciated selections from her poems.
An account of "A Trip to Labrador," was then given by Mrs. Morgan, who contrasted in a convincing way, the differences between the prospectus and reality of the journey, taken to reach the boat, which was to take her party up, and down the coast of this region unknown to the majority of travellers. On the island of Newfoundland. She passed nearly all the coast. Some 5,000 miles along the north coast, of this island. Noticing little fishing towns perched on its rocks, clear rivers, and small lakes--dark and gloomy. The thin soil of this ocuntry supports no large trees, but beautiful wild flowers and quantities of raspberries. Experiences upon the little government steamers followed, which sails on a route, not charted, takes the mail for 30,000
fishermen, who leave Newfoundland and fish by the Labrador Coast, visit with suppliees the Moravian mission, and four stations. Icebergs, ice fields; a curtain effect of fog, causing inverted pictures; the temperature was cold, at that season, and [?not sure of word] on shore the life of countless mosquitoes. The high rock formation of the coast, straight as masonry, yet have openings for landings, glimpses of the white and pink lights of the Aurora Borealis.
The Esquimaux are importunate beggars, and their dogs--half wolf--were all vividly described. Seventeen days, Mrs. Morgan had passed, on this trip when she landed in St. John near the point where Marconi sent the first wireless telegraph, and returned by steamer to Philadelphia, where she said, in conclusion, "I felt very glad, that I was a citizen of the Great United States."
"The Old Book," referred to in Miss Cullington's paperm was "[?Graylincourt] on Death," upon which she read copious quaint sleections. This book was originally written in French. The English translation has two prefaces--the latter, dated 1705--in 1620, the writer was a minister of the Protestant Church in Paris. He consecrated all his labors to the service of the church,
and was of so devout a nature, that he fell on his knees in prayer to God, whenever he heard the clock strike. Miss Cullington then told the story, related in one of the prefaces to this old book, a tale ofthe supernatural appearance of one Mistress Teal to her friend Mistress Bargrave, which occurred, as the clock struck 12m--on the 8th of September 1705. At the time the latter supposed the former to be living. The visitor announced to Mistress Bargrave, that she was going on a journey and wanted to see her first. She desired this book, "Graylincourt on Death" to be bought, and it was favorably commented upon. The quaint story is elaborated, and the fact brought out, that the visitor is clothes "in a scoured silk--newly made up." At length she leaves her for the house of a mutual friend, and in the phrase of the preface, "was got without the door, in the face of the beast market." After two days, Mistress Bargrave seeks her visitant, at the place designated, but finds instead that she had died, at her own home. "You have certainly seen her," the friend said to Mistress Bargrave, and the fact of her identification was fully established in the minds of these two, by the wearing of the scoured silk, newly made up, for no one save Mistress Teal and their mutual
friend, knew of these things." After the news of this remarkable event was [?noised] abroad, "[?Graylincourt]'s Book on Death," was bought extensively. In conclusion, Miss Cullington said she wondered at the credulity of her dear Grandmother, who was accustomed to read this book, but in the light of the testimony of many spiritualists, and Christian Scientists, and the recent assertion, in point, by two Scientists, that they had seen the souls of animals leaving the body. She would leave the question unanswered. ["]Have we progressed?"
Miss Reese then read two sketches--the first entitled "An Easter Courtesy." Easter Sunday is the time selected for it. The breakfast table, daintily set for two, the cherry tree in full bloom by the window, give appreciative setting--but the mental atmosphere is chilling! Mrs. Ward resents Mr. Ward's dallying over his breakfast and the absence of apparel, suitable for church service, the time for which approaches. She especilly deprecates this lateness of preparation, as she desires to call for the grandchildren, and take them with her, for the Easter exercises. Sharp things are said, retorts follow, sarcastic speeches are exchanged, and the cherry tree is seen by Mrs. Ward, through a blur of angry tears! Just then--a beautiful woman, the daughter of the house--enters, with two charming children,--who seem to embrace their grandparents, while the mother exclaims, "How lovely you, and father are, having
your breakfast together," and remarks upon the Easter spirit, prevailing. "Your perceptions are wonderful!" her father replies. However, sweet influences soften all asperities. The delinquent hastens to make himself ready for church service--and they all decide to call also for the father of the children, who seems to share in this regretted masculine weakness, and the Easter breakfast ends happily, as Mrs. Ward [?pressing] his wife's forehead, whispers, "Forgive me, my beloved saint! Forgive me."
In the [?limit] of Patience," Mrs. Reese's Second Sketch, she gave an amusing picture of the different ways of securing comfort, practised by two elderly people, Mr. and Mrs. Babcock, on a hot summer day. Mrs. Babcock is puctures, as seated, rocking in her shaded parlor, clad in a cool lavender gown, fanning herself with a palm leaf fan, bound with purple. Mr. babcock, shares, with three wilted hens, a rooster, and the Babcock cat, the narrow strip of shade his house casts on the sidewalk. The market clock strikes 3! The thermometer registers 90! He endeavors to induce his wife to come outside saying, "I am going to be comfortable." "I am comfortable," mrs. Babcock quietly replies. The husband constantly calls for the wife's assistance in his vain effort for comfort in this wilting fly-ridden spot! He calls for his hat, for root beer, for umbrella, and fly paper, loosens collar, and necktie, dispenses with his vest, and, in a vain endeavor to hang one of these articles on the blind fastening lurches forward,
breaks his chair, and precipitates himself upon the hot side walk! He drags his "red [?rocker] forth from the bath room, upsets his wife's able, and work basket, and not until six o'clock, does a gentle breeze spring up, and cool the now sleeping and overheated man.
Before adjourning the meeting, Mrs. Wrenshall thanked Miss Reese, for the enjoyable programme she had arranged, and noted that this was the third during the present season, which Miss Reese had given us.
Meeting of April 26th 1904.
The 486th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, took place in their assembly room on April 26th and was the regular Monthly Salon. The President, after the reading of the minutes, announced the programme for May.
Reports of the Chairman on May 3rd meeting on the 17th and 24th, and on the 31st the closing salon for the year.
Mrs. Wrenshall then extended an invitation to the members of the Club, to her own home, for the afternoon of May 10th--the regular day of meeting--for a social reunion--this being done, Mrs. Wrenshall added, with the Sanction
of the Board. The programme of the day followed. Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn gave first "A Lullaby," beginning--"Rock away to Sleepy Town," "Rock Away," and then read a spring dialogue, "The Abnegation of Richard." Two lovers are introduced, who keep up a scintillating conversation, which subtly veils their real feelings. Upon the first subject discussed--the practise of "Suttee" in India, Betty remarks, concerning the widows, "They are covered with kerosene, so they will burn better--make more blaze," and adds, "If they do not die, they are abused by their mother-in-law, and proposes, for the epitaph of her future husband, "The man who killed Betty's hopes, and wrecked her happiness." "Shadows" are touched upon, and the subject of "what the world would be without the alphabet," then personalities, as Betty exclaims, "I know you didn't want to come," which Richard strenuously denies averring--that, "In the whole two months of her acquaintance, he had systematically avoided, all other forms of amusement." You are a visitation" Betty exclaims. A third party--Hester--appears, and declares that she will be the apple of discord, when Richard walks away, remarking
"Let it be confined to two--Betty and Hester." "Come back" says Betty. "Don't be a goose," and the abnegation of Richard is concluded.
Miss Perkins closed the afternoon's literary programme with a paper upon Francois Villon--that Bohemian poet in the days of Louis XI. Every event in Villon's life--she said is recorded in song. Across its pages, flit the living men and women of that day. In 1461, in the chateau of [?Meung,] we find him a prisoner, he having been arrested for theft. In a poem, he lashes one in power, "With a few crubs and cold water he nourished me, all Summer. May his days be few."
Louis XI grants him letters of remission, and he, in song, expressed his gratitude to the King. In all his stormy career he held one stead fast friend--his mother--of whom it is said, "She had two great loves--her son, and the blessed Virgin," and for whom, he wrote the prayer, taught her, by this wayward poet. Miss Perkins then described conditions in the Latin quarter, when, in 1449, taking his uncle's name--Villon entered the Sorbonne. The Duke of Bedford then occupied the Louvre. The Edict for the burning of Joan of Arc, had gone forth. [?not sure of word] between students and soldiers were described
ending in the suspension of the students for a period of nine months. Some regard the enforced idleness, just as Villon had begun his serious education, as the turning point of his life. In lines, half serious half cynical, he says, "he is not yet all bad, nor yet all good." He glosts over his success in providing by doubtful means, feasts for his friends. He shows great love of country. He sees the poetic side of misery. His style is clear, fresh, natural, free from pedantic words. He exhibits the spirit of the times in which he lived. Stevenson calls him "The sorriest figure on the roll of fame," and of him it is said, "France gained a good poet, but lost an honest man." Condemned for his misdeeds, to be hung, he composed his famous "Ballad of the Hanged." Released, he goes to England, where he is lost sight of for some time, returns to France and the last heard of him, is that he is with a gentle lady writing a passion play--this making a prayerful ending of a stormy life; and he fades away mysteriously, like the "Snows of yesterday," of which he wrote.
In closing, Miss Perkins read McCarthy's translation of this lyrics, "Where are the snows of yesterday." The President
remarked that this delightful poem closed the programme for the day, and adjourned the meeting to the next week--May the third. The remainder of the afternoon was spent in conversation--daintyrefreshments were served under Mrs. McGaw's direction.
Meeting of May 3rd, 1904.
The 487th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club was a business one, on May 3rd, and only members were present. After the reading of the minutes, the President in a few words addressed more especially the Chairmen of the standing Committees, as they assumed their responsibilities for the ensuing year. She advised that Committee Meetings be held regularly--and said, that largely upon the Chairmen, depends the interest of the Club. She spoke of the difficulties experienced during the past winter, owing to unfavorable weather conditions, but looked forward next season to a bright and beautiful year for the Club. Reports by the Chairmen
of Committees were then given as follows. Fiction, Miss Ellen Duvall. Modern Poetry, Miss Lizette W. Reese. Essays, Mrs. Sidney Turner. Unfamiliar Records, Mrs. Edward Stabler. Current Criticism, Mrs. Julius Thruston. Studies in Archaeology, Mrs. John C. Wrenshall. The Drama, Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud. Education, Mrs. Walles Bullock. Art, Mrs. Robert M. Wylie. Translations and Current Topics, Mrs. Frederick Tyson. The Library, Mrs. Philip R. Uhler. Music of the Salon, Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn.
In the absence of Mrs. Thomas Hill, Chairman of the Committee on Colonial and Revolutionary History--Mrs. Stevens, a member of the Committee gave some statements as to its work. No report was made of the Committee on Letters and Autographs, as the Chairman, Mrs. Mary [?D.] Davis, was not present, but Mrs. Wrenshall gave some interesting information supplemented by Mrs. Edward Stabler and Mrs. Uhler, concerning the proposed presentation by Miss Davis, of many historical and artistic objects from her old home in Montgomery County to
found a museum at Rockville, Maryland. No reports were given upon the Committees on Ethnology, and The Literature of Music, in the absence of their respective Chairmen, Miss Annie Weston Whitney, and Miss Zacharias. Mrs. Percy Reese, Librarian, was also absent. Twenty eight programmes in all were given for the year. Mrs. Wrenshall called upon Miss Middleton, who was present, at the last meeting of the "Alliance Francaise," to report, concerning the words of thanks, appreciative of the Woman's Literary Club, which was then given by Mrs. Julian Le Roy White, President of the Baltimore Brance of the Alliance--This was done. The President, in consultation with the Chairmen, appointed the days upon which their Committees should appear next year--which concluded the business of the afternoon.
The programme of the Committee on Autographs and Letters was given January 19th 1904. One of the most interesting autographs was that of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, presented by Mrs. A. L. Richardson, who gave some extracts from his Life--written by Miss Kate Mason Rowland. Miss H. Frances Cooper wrote on Fennimore Cooper, sketching his life and alluding to many of his works which keep us in touch with bygone days.
Norman Macleod was most entertainingly introduced by Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn. Mrs. R. M. Wylie spoke of Laura Bridgeman, whose fame is unique, and showed a piece of patchwork done by her with her autograph.
The programme was closed with brief notes on William Wirt and an autograph letter, also extracts from his famous book, "The Letters of a British Spy," by Miss Davis.
Chairman of the Committee
Mary Dorsey Davis.
Meeting of May 10th 1904.
The 488th meeting of the Womans' literary Club, was a reception given by the President on May the 10th, at her residence 1037 North Calvert Street.
Mrs. Wrenshall received in her own cordial and graceful manner, the members of the Club, assisted by Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull--former president, and several others.
Spring flowers, lilacs, white and purple, with violets, the club flower, made the parlors beautiful, while the dining room was decorate with deutzia and their white flowers. General conversation was followed by the partaking of dainty refreshments, delightfully served by Mrs. Markland, daughter of the hostess, and other members of the Club.
A feature of the occasion, unknown to the President, until after the departure of her guests, was the gift to her of a Satchel containing conveniences for travelling, for Mrs. Wrenshall to take with her upon her trip abroad. A note accompanied this remembrance written by the Corresponding Secretary in the name of the Club, which read as follows.
My dear Mrs. Wrenshall,
"Will you accept this small token of esteem and affectinon from the members of the Womans' Literary Club of Baltimore.
In presenting it, we feel that any visible sign is totally inadequate to express our appreciation and regard, but trust that you may find the bag useful and that it may remind you of loving friends at home.
With best wishes for a happy journey, I am sincerely yours
R. D. Uhler,
Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore.
254 W. Hoffman St.
In making our farewells to our hostess with delightful remembrances of this last attention to us, as Club members, we wished her, and the companions of journey, a pleasant voyage, and a safe return.
Meeting of May 17th, 1904.
The 489th meeting of the Woman's Literary Club, held on May 17th, was for the nomination of offices. To it, members only were admitted, of whom, thirteen were in attendance. In the absence of the President and first Vice President, the 2nd Vice President, Mrs. McGaw, presided.
The number necessary to a quorum not being present, according to a precedent initiated April 3rd, 1893, and suggested for present use by Miss Crane, Miss Duvall made a motion, that the meeting resolve itself into a Committee of the whole for the purpose of nominations, and, as such, proceed with the consideration of the business of the day.
The motion having been seconded by Mrs. Uhler, Mrs. McGaw put it before the Club Member present, who unanimously decided the question in the affirmative.
Mrs. Uhler then read the following letter of thanks, from Mrs. Wrenshall to the Club, addressed to her as Corresponding Secretary.
1037 Calvert St. North
Baltimore, May 12th 1904.
Mrs. Philip R. Uhler.
Corresponding Secretary Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore.
My dear Mrs. Uhler,
Your sweet note conveying to me the good wishes and beautiful gift of the members of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was handed to me on Tuesday evening, making a charming close to an afternoon which I shall always remember with much happiness.
The affectionate thought so gracefully manifested touches me deeply, and I wish all could know how fully I enjoy this expression of the friendship I value so highly.
I will use my dainty bag through the journey so soon to commence, and many a thought will fly to the dear donors who have added so much comfort and elegance to my travelling outfit.
Will you give my loving thanks to the members of the Woman's Literary Club together with my earnest hopes the summer leisure will
bring health, refreshment and all good things to each one.
With renewed assurance of my warm appreciation, believe me my dear Mrs. Uhler.
Always faithfully yours
Letitia H. Wrenshall.
Mrs. McGaw then read the names of those appointed by Mrs. Wrenshall, a Committee on Nominations.
Miss Duvall, Chairman of Committee and Judge.
Mrs. Edward Stabler Jr.
In Mrs. Reese's absence, Mrs. McGaw appointed Miss Cullington in her place. The roll of membership was then called, and the names of the officers and directors read by the Corresponding Secretary.
Ballots were then passed by Miss Foster and Mrs. Penniman and were collected by Miss Duvall. The Committee
on Nominations having retired to count the ballots, Mrs. McGaw read an invitation from the Quadriga Club to an entertainment to be held in their rooms, 817 North Charles St., on the evening of May 20th.
The tally sheet having been completed, Miss Duvall read the list of nominations headed by the name of the President--unanimously renominated, and followed by the other nominations in due order. Miss Middleton expressed her wish to reture from the Treasureship, but Mrs. McGaw voiced the wishes of the members present in desiring her to retain that position for the year, if possible--if not, at least until the return of the President from abroad.
The meeting then adjourned.
Meeting of May 24th, 1904.
The 490th meeting of the Womans' literary Club, took place in their assembly hall on Tuesday, May 24th, and was the yearly election of officers. To it, only members were admitted. In the absence of the President and First Vice President the Second Vice President Mrs. McGaw
presided. The meeting having been called to order, the minutes for the three last minutes were read, the registration book was signed, and every member received her ballot sheet from the Judge of Election, Miss Duvall, who, after the voting also collected them. The Committee on Election, then withdrew, for the counting of the ballots. During this time, the Treasurer's report was read by Miss Middleton and [?edited] by Miss Crane and Mrs. Reese, who were appointed for that purpose, by Mrs. McGaw. The finances of the Club, were shown to be on a substantial basis, there being a balance in the Treasury of $302.81, as against $302.04 the previous year. The counting of the ballots being concluded, Miss Duvall announced the results. The President was unanimously re-elected, and the other officers partially so.
For President, Mrs. Wrenshall.
First Vice President, Miss Duvall.
Second Vice President, Mrs. McGaw.
Recording Secretary, Mrs. J. Stabler.
Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. P. Uhler.
Treasurer, Miss Middleton.
The three names for Directors standing highest, as to votes, were Miss Crane, Mrs. Turner
and Mrs. Thurston, and these ladies were declared elected as directors.
Mrs. McGaw, before adjourning the meeting, called attention to the closing salon of the Club on May 31st, when a musical programme would be given under the direction of Miss Stahn.
The 491st meeting of the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, was held in their assembly room at the Academy of Sciences Building on May 31st, 1904. This was the May Salon, and the closing meeting of the Season of 1903 and 1904. The programme was musical and literary; and was under the direction of Miss Louise Chamberlaine Stahn, Chairman of Music of the Salons.
Mrs. McGaw, second Vice President, presided. In calling the meeting to order, she announced that the reading of the minutes would be omitted, and that we would immediately begin our programme.
The first number was a Piano Solo by Mr. Ralph Norris. He gave us three compositions of Chopin: The
Prelude in C. Minor,--the Nocturne in D. Flat, major,--and the Etude in C. Minor,--played with the force and ability that won the appreciative applause of his audience. We next enjoyed the Soprano Solo of Mrs. W. C. Edmunds--who sang, with fine rendering and effect, Tosti's Mattinata. The next number of the programme was a Reading by Miss Elizabeth Cary Nicholas. She gave us Will Carleton's "Half Way Doin's" explaining that it was a sermon by the old fashioned color person--now fast dying out, whose sayings it may sometimes be well to preserve. This one takes no particular text, but tells "every colored gentleman" that "half way doin's ain't of no account in dis worl or de nex." He gives Biblical illustrations, as in the case of Adam and Eve, who, if they had been attending to their work in the "g'yarden," would have had no time to listen to the lies of ["]any big moccasin snake." In closing, he observes that a brother is about to "pass round the hat," and he
hopes there will be [?]no half way doin's about dat."
We next heard Mr. Ralph Norris play two selections: Mendelssohn's Schezzo in E. Minor, and Sinding's "Rustle of Spring." As an encore, he also kindly gave us Grieg's "Spring Song."
The next number being a Reading by Miss Nicholas, she gave us from Charles Dickens--the old--but never too old favorite--the Breach of Promise Trial, of Pickwick and Bardell.
As the last musical article of the programme we had the pleasure of again hearing Mrs. W. C. Edmund's singing. She gave us "Elsa's Dream" from Wagner's Lohengrin.
The presiding officer, Mrs. McGaw, spoke of the enjoyment given us by the programme just concluded; and proposed for Miss Stahn and for those whose talensts had contributed so much to our pleasure, a rising [?vote] of thanks. This was of course cordially given.
Mrs. McGaw then announced the names of six new members of the
Club to whom she would, by request of the President, now deliver Certificates of membership. The six new members receiving these certificates were: Miss Foster, Mrs. Edmunds,--Mis Atwater,--Miss Pennington,--Mrs. Gale,--and Miss Goucher.
Mrs. McGaw reminded us that we had just heard that "half way doings" are of no account[.] In this connection she would call the attention of new and former members to our Club Pledge. She then read the Pledge from the Club Book. It promises loyalty to the arms and methods of the Club, and Mrs. McGaw went on to ask, "What are these aims?" In answer, she read them from the constitution; "It is understood that the women of this Association have bound themselves together in the hope of encouraging by their influence, right and serious views of life and literature." She said that in keeping and in living up to our pledge there will be growth and progress. That there are, of course, degrees in talent, but each can contribute her share
here, and no one can say there is no need for her efforts; the whole is nothing without its parts. Mrs. McGaw then congratulated the Club on the fact that the programmes for the meetings of the coming year are all undertaken and accounted for, up to next June. For this our gratitude is due to our President, and to the heads of Committees. In parting, we can hope to meet and welcome each other again on October 4th next, with mental growth, and best wishes, for the coming year, bespeaking for all harmony, and kind and liberal criticism.
Mrs. McGaw then told of having received from our President a sealed letter, not to be opened until the day of our closing Salon. She discovered that it contained the key to a "cable gram", to be read on this occasion. The "cable gram" had reached her in due season, and she proceeded to read it to the Club.
"To the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore.
Greetings from Pompeii.
Letitia H. Wrenshall. May 20th 1904.
The greetings from our absent President were received with grateful applause by the Club.
Mrs. Stevens requested that the names of the new members of the Board of Management--Officers and Directors--elected at the meeting of May 24th should be read to the Club. This was done by the Presiding Officer, who then announced the Club adjourned until October 4th, 1904. She also invited the Club members and guests to remain for refreshment and conversation before taking leave of each other until next October.
[END OF SEASON]
 Lots of illegibility here. Fragments appear to have been whited out and inserted retroactively. Will have to revisit/reformat.
 Inserted; space for given name left blank by Recording Secretary, Ellen Duvall.
 Reminder: resolve Stahn / Hahn discrepancies.
 Handwriting here resumes its original appearance (Lydia's?).
 Presumably, "Aswan."