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1907-1908 Meeting Minutes
Oct. 8, 1907- May 26, 1908
592nd Meeting. [Oct. 8, 1907]
The 592nd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, October 8th, 1907,
in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This was the opening meeting of the season of 1907 and 1908. It was a musical Salon, the programme being under the direction of Miss Annie Hollins, Chairman of the Committee on Music. The President called the meeting to order; and The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the closing meeting of the preceding season, that of May 28th, 1907.
The first article of the programme was an “Address by the President, Mrs. Wrenshall. In a few graceful sentences, our President congratulated each and all of her fellow members, on the resumption of our weekly meetings, after the summer intermission. But, she said, we have not, in the meantime resigned the work of our Club. We have also adhered to our original aims, and to the methods of our congenial work, which have long kept us together in congenial companionship. The coming year, she said, promises well for us, [“with our doors open, and” is crossed out] coming each, with old and new members ready to renew our combined efforts for literary progress and improvement. Mrs. Wrenshall then reminded us that in the past season, the Woman’s Literary Club has—for the first time—gone into an outside “movement”, by the initiation of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association, this work has been continued through the summer, and much has been done for its success. Many auxiliary organizations have been formed, inspired by the example given by us. And by the patient efforts of the women of Maryland, with their influences on other, and elsewhere in our country.
We can well afford to trust in the results of our extentions [extensions], going back to our own literary work, Mrs. Wrenshall spoke of having introduced a change from our former custom of placing on our mantelpiece the list of the subjects discussed in our meetings for only one month at a time. For this year we will have conspicuously shown the order of the Tuesdays for the whole Club season, giving the Committees represented, and the Chairmen in charge of the programmes for the whole eight months. Our President spoke of the generous emulation of our members, of our marked literary improvement in the last two years, and of the increased attendance, even in bad weather. She closed with all good wishes, and hopes for a successful winter.
The musical programme was then announced. It began with Piano Solos, finely played by Miss Annie Hollins. They were “Ulsen’s Papillons;” and Jenson’s “Bridal Song.” Miss Hollins gave us Edgar’s “Salut d’amour.”
The next number was Barytone [baritone] Solos, by Mr. Adolf Hall Ahrens. They were English, French and Italians—-Clay’s “Songs of Araby;” Minett’s Ses Amoureux; and Bononini’s “Per la d’adoraroi.” The accompanist was Miss Poonbaugh[?]. Mr. Ahren’s singing was much enjoyed and appreciated.
Miss Hollins again favored us with Piano Solos. There were “Pas d’enchanpe;” and Piervette.
We next had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Ahrens sing again, giving Songs by Schumann, with the German words;.
Mr. Ahrens was so enthusiastically applauded that he consented to sing again, and gave is, once more, “Les Amoureux.”
The President thanked Miss Hollins and Mr. Ahrens for the great pleasure of their fine music had given us. The meeting was adjourned, and followed by social conversation and refreshments.
593rd Meeting. [Oct. 15, 1907]
The 593rdmeeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held, on Tuesday, October 15th, 1907, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This meeting was under the direction of Miss Lizette Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Modern Poetry. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of October 8th.
The programme began with Readings from Setters by Mrs John C. Wrenshall. Our President said that by request of Miss Reese she would read to us some letters received from some distinguished literary men on the subject of the Edgar Allen Poe Memorial Association. She then read extracts from letters to herself and to Mrs. Jordan Stabler, our first Vice President, from Mr. William Hayes Ward, editor of the “Independent,” telling of his interest in the work we have begun, and called attention to his article in his paper describing it. The next letter was from Prof-
-essor William Lyon Phelps of Yale College. Telling of the interest aroused in the same subject of that institution, and of the formation of an auxiliary society there. Another letting read was from Professor E. Washburn Hopkins, Secretary of the American Oriental Society, speaking of his sympathy with our movement, and of his gratification in finding that Baltimore had come forward to give due honor to the great American lyric poet. This was followed by a letter to Miss Reese from Mr. Edward Clarence Stedman. He refers to an article of his own on the Poe Memorial Association in the North American Review of last August, expresses his sympathy with the purposes of the work we have engaged I, and says that the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore can plume[?] itself on having effected such an organization. He made some important suggestions with regard to the work we will have to do—especially for the work in our own city and state. Mrs. Wrenshall in commenting on this letter spoke of our Club as putting forward its best efforts to create the atmosphere necessary to inspire those around us with vital interest for the work we began, and are hopefully carrying on. She spoke of the eager biographers of Edgar Allan Poe who have misrepresented him; and while we acknowledge his unfortunate ??, we feel that he has been maligned. We are told in Griswold’s life od him that he was expelled from the Universi-
ty of Virginia. This alleged occurrence has, she said, been investigated carefully and disproved. The book all the honors that could be obtained in the department he entered, that of modern languages, and also made some study of classic tongues. According to Griswold’s dates, he went to the University at eleven years of age. But, at eleven, he was at school in England, at the school of which he has given a striking description in his story of “William Wilson.” Mrs. Wrenshall said that though Poe’s character was certainly not one of perfection, yet he was a devoted lover, a true husband, and in another relation of life, one that is often the subject of satire and caricature, his conduct seems to have been perfect. The programme next called for “Poems,” by Miss Lizette W. Reese. The first was “Praise for Common Things—giving thanks for tree and wall and stone, for wine and light, and the loveliness that the common heart can find in all around us. The others were “The Crab Apple Tree,” and Sassafrass, in the same vein, and treating of the some olden charms. The next article was given by Miss Ellen Duvall, and was on “Poe as a Prose Writer.” Miss Duvall spoke of Poe as better known for his poetry than for his prose, though his strength lies more in prose than in Poetry. This is recognized by readers over 30, while in youth his powers of imagination appeal most to us. She spoke of the scientific qualities
revealed in his tales, their basie thoughts and reasonings. The “Descent into the Maelstrom” shows study of the laws of water and of motion. This working out of problems is to some extent the precursor of more detective story investigations. In integrating the modern, this Monsieur Dupin in “The Murders in the Blue Morgue,” and other tales is in some sense the predecessor of Sherlock Holmes, but with a difference. Dupin is an aristocrat, and his methods remind us of those of Voltaire’s supposed ingenious Oriental philosophers. She recalled to us Poe’s late “The Facts in the base of Monsieur Voldemar,” with regard to his treatment of mesmerism and hypornotism in connection with the recent advanced researches into the same fields. Miss Duvall compared Poe with Hawthorne in their descriptions of that border land where the human spirit meets the questions of its own limits and finality. The next article was by Miss Henrietta Pendleton, and was on “The Romantic Element in Poe’s Poetry.” Miss Pendleton quoted from some published criticism of Poets poems, and reminded us that in them we have the record of a rare poetic genius, and perhaps in some judgments, our strongest claim to the possession of an American literature. She spoke of his age as being that of Coleridge and Byron, and those who agreed that beauty was its own excuse for being. Poe was first and always a musician, poet, knowing the secrets of rhythm, and the richness of tone color, besides being the exponent of beauty. As he said,
“Poetry” was to him, not a purpose, but a passion.” Nature as it is, id not appeal to him as it did to Wordsworth; he was allied to Shelley by love for ideal beauty. She quoted the poem to “Helen,” with its “jeweled phrases, and the often remembered lines:” The glory that was Greece. And the grandeur, that was Rowe.” She came next to his apostrophe to “The Coloseum,” filled with the spell of his sense of the power of the past. She spoke of the influence of his schooling in England, and that of his two little known “Wonderjahre.” She recalled his poem of “The Valley of Unrest,” with; “The airs that brood over the magic solitude.” She spoke of his kinship to Keats, in the artistic element. She went to “the Haunted Palace,” with the spiritual force of its allegory and its wonderful suggestions, she dwell on Poe’s realization of medievalism, in its romance and charm, of all his poems, she said “The Raven is the most rhythmical; and popular; even with its strain of the inexorableness of fate, and its shadow on the human soul. The grasp of pititess memories is in Lenore also. But Annabel Lee is the sweetest of Dirges, Ulalume the most mystical. But there is the consciousness of the specters who live in the region where soul and sense meet. The steeper strikes that same note. Poe often recalls to us Coleridge, especially Chrotubel and Kublai Khan. But Poe is often unsatisfactory and comes to no real conclusion, and he
has the pervading fear of Death. The saddest poem of all is “The Conqueror Worm.” It is outside of light and has the gloom of Dante. But Israfel is better. She read to us this poem, which strikes the higher and clearer note of spiritual beauty and well exemplifies the romantic element in Poe’s poetry. Miss Pendleton closes with a poem of her own, a true and graceful tribute to the poet Poe written in the room in which he died.
The President thanked Miss Reese, and also Miss Duvall and Miss Pendleton for the excellent programme they had given us. Mrs. Wrenshall read part of a poem lately in the Baltimore Sun, on Westminster Churchyard, containing a tribute to Poe, by Mr. McKinsely, called “The Bantztown Bard.”
The President said she had a sad word for us in the announcement that our very valued friend and fellow member, Miss Duvall was about to leave Baltimore to reside elsewhere, we can not help hoping she will still be with us occasionally. The meeting was adjourned.
594th Meeting. [Oct. 22, 1907]
The 594thmeeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held Tuesday, October 22nd, 1907, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the charge of Mrs. Frederic Tyson of the Committee Chairman
on Current Topics. The President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary red the minutes of the meeting of October 15th. The President announced the resignation by Miss Ellen Duvall of the Chairmanship of the Committee on Fiction, which she leaves to our great and only on around of her removal from Baltimore. But her successor is Mrs. Percy M. Reese, who has been appointed Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. The Chairmanship of Mrs. Reese’s former Committee, that on Current Criticism, has been accepted by Miss Lucy Latané.
Mrs. Tyson began her lecture on Current Topics with the subject of “The Joy of Life.” In a few preliminary remarks she spoke of the often repeated assertion that women have never produced great inventions; nor won the highest distinction on any fields of emulation, mental or physical. She told of the theory non advanced that in former ages women were as tall and strong and capable as men were, and as savage women are often sostill’s and that they will be so again, one side contributing strength and originality; and receiving delicacy of perception, and intuition instead. She went on to speak of “The Joy of Living,” and of the great lack of it in the ages past, when the majority of mankind lived under the burden and bondage of fear. But history tells of periods in former ages when the joy of living did make itself felt, and was fully appreciated. The Greeks, especially the Athenians, possessed it, and knew it well, before they were conquered. So did Italy, when after the 15th
century, Florence and Venice, and the other cities burst into the splendor of the Renaissance; and women as well as men took their part in the exuberance of the joy of life. But again the burden of fear rested upon the world; and even Religion was the fear of God, and of eternal punishment. She went on to trace the burden of fear as it also pervaded law, customs, and literature. Our own country inherited all the intense seriousness of Puritans, Huguenots and Quakers; and even the gay Cavoliens who came to it found the stern dangers of a wild territory and savage foes to give them the burden of hear also. After saying the present age has been called a material one; Mrs. Tyson spoke of its advances and advantages in the great ameliorations of life, not only for the rich, but also for the poor. She spoke of the better conditions, and the benefits f science brought into daily affairs. The dominant note of literature is champed also. And now, with awakening of the ends of the earth, and the advancement all around us, we can believe that the key note of the 20th century will be the Joy of Life, and--in the words of St. Paul—that we “have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. Mrs. Tyson’s next “Topic” was; “The Internal Resources” of our Country. In studying these she said we are astonished, almost appalled, by their magnitude, comprehensiveness and possibilities. She spoke of the conservation and development of our water-ways, especially the Mississippi, and its tributaries, and the interest taken in them by our wonderful President.
In her next “Topic”, “The Panama Canal,” Mrs. Tyson told us of the wonderful change made in the Isthmian City of Colon, since the occupation by the United States, from being one of the most pestilential holes on earth, to a town healthy, and good to live in. The next topic was “An Interesting Emperor.” She told us of Francis Joseph of Austria, who has reigned for six years, over a heterogeneous collection of states on the whole, wisely and well. He found the kingdom of Hungary in revolt, and has made it peaceful. “It is said,” she told us, that ”when he is in his kingdom of Hungary he chooses to forget that he is Emperor of Austria. She told of his life, with its early romance; and its large share of tragedy, in the violent “taking off” of his brother, his only son, and his beautiful wife. She spoke of his heir, Francis Ferdinand, and of the complications that would surround the succession of this nephew to the throne. She told of the ancient pride of these royal Hapsburgs, exemplified by saying of one of them that if they wished to associate with their equals outside of their present family circle, they would be obliged to go into the crypt of their great cathedral. She next “Topic” was “The Awakening of the East.” Mrs. Tyson described the many changes being made in China and Japan the apparent overturning of the government and educational usages, which have been followed with reverence and devotion for thousands of years. Mrs. Tyson next told us of “A Wonderful Woman,” the Empress Dowager of China. She has been called the greatest woman ruler
in the world at the present time, her nephew, the Emperor having been virtually deposed. She is described as possessing a ?? personality, and a remarkably strong character. Mrs. Tyson’s closing Topic was “A Few Books.” She gave short notices of newly published books by De Morgan, Dixon, Hewlett, Gilbert Parker, Baroness Von Hutten, Edith Wharton, and other, with entertaining comments upon them.
The President spoke of the valuable lecture that we had heard, and declared the meeting adjourned.
595th Meeting. [Oct. 29, 1907]
The 595thmeeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday October 29th, 1907, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. Percy M. Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. The President called the meeting to order. On account of a little delay the usual reading of the minutes was omitted.
The President announced that she wished to call attention to the Art Exhibition of the Lend a Hand Club of Mt. Washington, in the Casino at that place, on November 5th. There would be an Exhibition, and Gala, and an opportunity to compete for prizes.
The President then reminded the Club that our annual custom of decoration with flowers the graves of the Authors and Artists of Maryland, on the 2nd of November, All Souls’ Day, would be observed
on the following Saturday, and she asked for the cooperation of all who would join in this beautiful work. This observation was instituted by our former valued member, at one time our President, Miss Emma J. Brent. She first proposed it, at our meeting of April 18th, 1893; and since November 2nd of that year, it has never been omitted on All Souls Day. Miss Lizette W. Reese and Mrs. Thomas Hill are the Chairmen of the Committee on Decorations. She feared that Mrs. Hill might not be well enough to take part in the work this year; but Miss Lizette Reese, and others, would be at our rooms on Saturday to receive the flowers, and to see that they reach the graves of the Authors and Artists of Maryland. The President then read a list of the names of those we desire to remember and honor, including some of our own deceased members.
She then read the lists of subjects in the meetings of the coming month of November; on the 5th, Foreign Travel, Mrs. William Paret, Chairman; on the 12th, Foreign Languages, Mrs. Frederic Tyson, Chairman; on the 19th, Current Criticism, Miss Lucy Latané, Chairman on the 25th, The Salon, when we hop to have a “Talk,” by Mrs. S. A. Hill.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. D. J. Pope, and was “A Story.” “The Contraband.” Those of us who existed through the “Civil War,” well remember the meaning the word “Contraband” took on during that struggle. Mrs. Pope’s Story was read
for her by Mrs. Reese. It described a mother in her nursery, with her baby in her arms, suddenly confronted with a negress, the simple type of generations of ignorance and deficiencies, gazing helplessly at her. That her name was “Suly,” and that she had run away from her plantation, where she had worked in the cornfield, under the run of irresponsible negro overseer, where the chief points evolved about her. But she developed in time under the refined while lady’s care into the capable and trusted nurse, like the black “mammies” some of us are old enough to remember. Then, after some years, the aroused and apprehensive maternal instinct turned her back to the old plantation, for the sake of her own child there, in spite of, or by reason of her dread of the black overseer.
The next article was “A Reading,” (from a new book), by Miss Emily Paret Atwater. The chapter from Miss Atwater’s book was called “A Stranger comes to Lone Point.” It describes the scene on a wharf, where a portion of the village population is awaiting the arrival of the regular boat from Baltimore. The boat brings or takes a few crates of produce, or merchandise, sometimes one of two passengers, and is Lone Point’s chief connection with the great city, and the rest of the world. Among the types in the roughly dressed crowd there is, of course, the village idler, who by an occasional day’s work, and his wife’s efforts, manages to have some food, and a semblance of clothing for his numerous children, but who is al-
-ways ready to do unprofitable work, or to give his opinion on the affairs of other people. There are two corsetless women, one with fowls to sell, the other giving her friend the comfort of her presence. The desultory conversation is interrupted at the sight of an old fashioned couch, with an equally antiquated black driver, coming down to the wharf. It is the ancestral carriage of one of the old county families, which the crowd does not often see. The self sufficient driver is not deposed to answer questions, except to the effect that a visitor is expected by his people, with the added information that “we alls can get all the society we want.” The boat arrives, and on it a young lady dressed in a style entirely unknown to Lone Point. She is received with old fashioned courtesy by the coachman; and drives off, leaving the crowd to make characteristic comments on the unusual revelation of “a young lady from the North.”
The next article was “A Story,” by Miss Virginia W. Cloud: “The Evening and the Morning were the First Day.” Miss Cloud’s story was apparently told by a child and gave with childish grace and spontaneity, word pictures of the perfect loving sympathy between a grown woman and a little girl, in heart and also in mind, and artistic purpose. Then came the unfolding of the woman’s early love story; and then the part taken in its revival by the child, and by the last violet o the summer, all ending naturally and happily/ it was told with the suggestive picturesqueness, and
humorous touches that belong to Miss Cloud.
The next article was “A Story” by Miss Lizette W. Reese, “A Delayed Nemesis.” A village belle who has been holding her belleship elsewhere comes to her old home after eight years absence and finds out that her former devoted lover of whose death she had heard, had killed himself after she left the place. Her playing fast and loose with him comes over her with a force that amounts to terror. Se wonders off to the deserted home of the suicide, and standing before it tells herself that she is the heir of all the ghosts that haunt it now. The next day her laughter rings out again, but never more with the clear and sweet ringing of former days.
The President thanked Mrs. Reese and the contributors to the programme for the great pleasure they had given us. She announced that our Vice President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler was again with us, after absence and illness, and that we all gladly greet her return among us.
The meeting was adjourned.
596th Meeting. [Nov. 5, 1907]
The 596thmeeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday November 5th, 1907, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. William Paret, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Travel,
the President called the meeting to order and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meting of October 29th.
The President called for the Report of the Committee on the Decoration of the Graves of the Authors and Artists of Maryland. Miss Lizette Reese responded, and gave a very interesting account of the work done in this beautiful commemoration of the genius of our own State. She told of going to Greenmount, and other cemeteries; and spoke of the exertions of Mrs. Thomas Hill; Mrs. Percy Reese, Miss Davis Miss Nicholas; the other members of the Committee, who shared in her efforts, notwithstanding the pouring rain of that day. The President expressed the grateful appreciation of the work of this Committee, by the whole Club.
The first article of the Programme was given by Miss Elizabeth Harrison, and was on “A Coaching Trip through England.” Miss Harrison told of a six weeks tour with a party of friends, starting from London, to Salisbury, Stonehenge, Bath, and other points of interest to Americans, who love our mother country. She told of the ride to Howslow, and further on, describing the rural scenery, and the queer old Inns, particularly the shopping and Richmond, and the dinning at the Star and Garter. She told of Kingston, and the Saxon Stone, on which seven Saxon Kinds are said to have been crowed, which royal stone is said to have given its name to the town of
Kingston. She described the Hampton Court; and also the Royal Flats, and the place where King Alfred is said to have been scolded for burning the cakes. Miss Harrison told of Stonehenge, with its great stone pillars supposed to have been erected for the sacred rites of the Druids, and perhaps to have served for the worship of other faiths and people. The next article was by Mrs. William Paret, and was on “A Few Days in Norway.” Mrs. Paret showed some photographs she had brought from Norway, showing the marvelous scenery of that country; and also likenesses of the Royal family of the lately restored kingdom. She told of herself and party having been the guests of a Norwegian gentleman, and thus having enjoyed the real home life of refined and cultured people in that far Northern land. She told of the royal palace among the hills and pine trees; the places for the winter sports on the islands, and the summer homes of the nobility. She described the picturesque costumes of the peasantry, and the old buildings of the 13th century. She told of the ancient bracelets and ornaments which seem to have been made for giants, as we can believe the old Vikings were, and their descendants are a tall race they show a love of color and of beauty in the work they do in metals, wood carving, weaving and embroidery, on old fashioned lines. She showed one sil-
-ver gilt brooch, she had brought home glittering with many graceful pendants. Mrs. Paret also spoke of the admirable works of the authors and musicians of Norway.
The next article was by Mrs. A. P. Atwater, and was on ‘The Matterhorn, and Two Famous Alpine Climbers.” Mrs. Atwater described the railway journey to Zermatt, and her stay of two weeks there. She told of her first wonderful view of the Matterhorn, with the outlines of the old gray mountain softened by the rays of rising new moon. At the first sight people are quiet, and seem to wish to have Nature all by herself. As a kindred picture she described the people working in the fields, when the Angelus sounds; and all rise, take off their hats, and keep due reverence till the sound ceases, and noise begins again. She of meeting at the hotel, Mr. Whymper, the distinguished Alpine Climber, and of finding him very interesting. Also she found, in a fellow guest, the Duke of the Abruzzi, cousin of the King of Italy, a mountain clumber too, the first to ascent Mt. St. Elias. He was distinguished as the explorer who, then, in 1906, had reached the nearest point to the North Pole. He played tennis with the ladies, and seemed an unaffected gentleman. She told of the mountain climbers she saw tied together by
ropes, and of the high limit of cultivation mode possible by the earth carried in baskets by women up the steep side of the mountains. Mrs. Atwater spoke of the grandeur and loveliness of those mountain lands that can never fad from memory.
The next article was by Mrs. C. W. Lord, and was on “Some English Cathedrals.” Mrs. Lord spoke of the magnificent religious buildings that have seemed to grow up like the works of Nature, through centuries of history, through changes and progress, holding their own character, dignity and purpose, for past, present, and future. Some English cathedrals show the work of Saxon, Norman, and Medieval builders and embellishers. She told of Salisbury, Norwich and York, and especially with the former shrine of Thomas a Becket, and the tomb of the Black Prince. She spoke of St. Paul’s, Winchester, Durham, and others of the sacred temples of dear old England. Mrs. Lord dwelt on these wonderful records in stone, recalling the great events and historical heroes that give them indissoluble and individual distinction.
The President said that the old English cathedrals have acquired what maybe called “pet names,” as Lincoln is “The Bride,” Salisbury is “The Sady,” etc. she congratulated Mrs. Paret, and her Committee on the very agreeable programme they had given us. The meeting was adjourned.
597th Meeting. [Nov. 12, 1907]
The 597thmeeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, November 12th, 1907, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme of this meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Frederic Tyson, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Languages. The President called the meting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of November 5th.
The President gave notice of a meeting of the Executive Board of the Edgar Allan Poe Association, to be held on Monday, November 18th, at 3 P.M. in her own home, 1037 N. Calvert St.
The first article of the programme was given by Miss Elizabeth C. Nicholas, and was called “A Bad Break,” translated from the French Masson Jorestier. Miss Nicholas read her translation of a story supposed to be told by a Frenchman in Messina Sicily. He found near Messina a colony of English speaking people, the descendants of Brit merchants, who had taken up their residence in Italy, a century before; and whose families had continues to live there, marrying among themselves preserving their languages and mental characteristics, but physically resembling the Italians around them. Here he found the daughters of a ship builder very entertaining young ladies. In their photograph album was the
picture of an Italian girl, the daughter of a Marchesa living near. The great beauty of the picture won such extravagant praise from the susceptible Frenchman that his hostesses, Miss Kitty and her usher?, invited him to join them on a yacht, in party, in which the mother and daughter were able to be guests. They gave the beauty to understand that the French gentleman was an artist, extremely anxious to take her portrait. he found the beautiful Italian apathe??, and indifferent to his conversation, and his frank admiration. At last she asked if he was really a great artist who was crazy enough to wish to take her picture, pointing to the materials, which were at hand. As he had never drawn or painted in his life, he naturally hesitated. He asked if she liked poetry, at which she looked fierce. He took up a pen and asked her to write a thought or sentiment for him. She suddenly rushed upon, and attacked him. He escaped, with blood on his face, from this apparently beautiful virago. The explanation afterwards remorsefully given him was that the fair aristocrat, like others in that indolent society, where professional writers are common, had never beamed to write; and thought he was insulting her ignorance.
The next article wsa given by Miss Annie Hollins; and was
“A New Drama from the Spanish of Don Joaquin Estébanez.” Miss Hollins said that author
of this drama was born in 1829; his parents were actors; and he is a member of the Spanish Academy and a Director of the Royal Library. The scenes of the play translated by Miss Hollins were said in England, and the time was that of Shakespeare. The characters are Yorick, an actor; Alicia, his wife; Edmond, his adopted son; and Walton, a rival actor. In the first scene, Shakespeare and Yorick while discussing a new play, speak of the envy, sell assertion, and jealousy of actors in general, Yorick says some actors have no such qualities, instancing his own wife, Alicia, and his noble adopted son, Edmond, and continuing;” How superbly they play together Romeo and Juliet, the creation of your great mind. In the new play the part of a jealous husband is assigned to the rival Walton; but Yorick implores Shakespeare to let him have that part himself. Shakespeare reminds him of his great success as a comic actor, and desires to continue to give his efficacious medicine to sad and weary souls. Yorick insists, and Shakespeare finally yields. This is to the great anger of Walton, who has to take a minor part. In revenge he plots to make the play reveal to Yorick that of Edmon, his adopted son, and Alicia his wife for each other, which love had been unconscious at first, and had never reached beyond the conflict made by loyalty to duty in their own hearts. The story tells itself
with dramatic force. Yorick gives his formerly loved Edmond a mortal wound; and Walton is found dead in the street, with a sword wound, and his own weapon grasped in his hand. Shakespeare comes on the stage to make the best explanation possible, closing with the words: “Pray for the dead, and also for the living.”
The next article was given by Miss Mare Perkins, and was called, “A Beautiful Head, but no Wit,” Miss Perkins said the story she had translated was “frivolous,” but we found it amusing. It was form the French of Georges Courtetine. It described a husband sitting at his desk writing sensational lines for the printer, soliloquizing that his work is not for pleasure, and will probably not give pleasure to anyone else. Just as he calls himself a penny-a-liner, his wife comes in to ask for eight hundred francs, for housekeeping etc. he gives her six hundred and fifty francs. She demands the one hundred and fifty more. He tries to convince her that she owes him that difference, in fines for losing her temper, annoying faults, and especially extravagancies, such as buying an imitation wrought iron lamp, useless, and broken besides. To cure her, he had tried breaking the furniture, which proved expensive, as well as ineffectual. She says she must have the one hundred and
fifty francs; she has given a note for it, to which she has signed a copy of his signature. He tries to convince her that this is forgery, with little or no success. She begins to pack up her suit case to leave him; but pauses to ask him to kiss her good bye. He gives her the one hundred and fifty francs at last; and she says: “You are a good husband, after all,” while he murmurs: “A beautiful head, but no wit.”
The last article of the programme was given by Mrs. Frederic Tyson, and was “A Talk on the Italian Novel.” Mrs. Tyson began by saying that it has been asserted there are only seven original stories in the world, that they very numerous well known ones are only variations on the seven. The first stories of Italy of course come from Rome. Some are very fine, and some also very offensive to modern taste, the latter kind generally in the great libraries, left in the original Latin. She spoke of the stories of Boccaccio, especially of his Decameron. They are, she said, of the highest rank of their kind in the world; but now considered so coarse that they can not be read with the pleasure they gave his contemporaries. Coming down toward our own times, Mrs. Tyson told of Alessandro Manzoni, and of his great novel “I Promessi Sposi,” which is said to be in Italy what “Don
Quixote” is in Spain. This great work is pure and high toned, as Manzoni was himself. She spoke of the great living group of novelists, belonging largely to Southern Italy. She reviewed Malitde Serao, D’Annunzis, Verga, and others. Southern Italy she said, holds a different race from Italy of the North, the Greek descent and influence is felt in the South; while in the North the proximity of Switzerland and Germany is discerned. Mrs. Tyson spoke last of the works of Jogazzano, with enthusiastic praise; dwelling especially on the triad: The Patriot; The Sinner; and The Saint; particularly The Saint, which she described as simple wonderful.
The President thanked Mrs. Tyson and her Committee for the afternoon’s fine entertainment, and she declared the meeting adjourned.
598th Meeting. [Nov. 19, 1907]
The 598th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on November 19th, 1907, in the assembly room Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the charge of Miss Lucy J. Latané, Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. She President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of November 12th. The President read an invitation to attend a lecture to be given on November 21st, in
McCoy Hall, Johns Hopkins University by Mr. George Horton, Consul General of the United States as [at] Athens,--his subject being “The Greeks of Today.” The President then gave notice that a meeting of the Executive Board and the Advisory Board of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association would be held on November 23rd, at 3 p. m., in Heptosoph’s Hall, at which the members of the Woman’s Literary Club are invited to be present.
The first article of the programme was given by Miss Susan Morris Jones; and was a Review of Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel “The Shuttle.” Miss Jones brought the characters of the story before us, with each one’s special interest or charm. She showed us the English Sir Nigel, and the American Bettina Van der Poel, with the minor characters surrounding them. She told of the really beautiful woman, not –we were told—the good looking, or merely pretty one, but the woman of whom there are hardly three in a million of people. Mrs. Burnett give[s] realizing descriptions of the beauty of rural England, after its many centuries of cultivation. We were shown too the New York travelling salesman, whose part in the story, and even his American slang are made to add to the charm of the book.
The next article of the programme was given by the Chairman, Miss Latané, and was on Mr. [William]
De Morgan’s “Alice for Short.” Miss Latané said this book seems to be a survival of the old three volume novel. But it shows the sense of leisure, the pure air and the fine style of the masters of fiction fifty years ago. Mr. De Morgan, it was said, at sixty-five, tried a new art; and like Du Maurier, found great success in pursuing it. He was of the artist of Rosetti, Burne-Jones, and others of their school of painters. His first story met, after publication, great success; and his new one has now been welcomed by lovers of the really good old-fashioned novel. “Alicia,” called “Alice for Short,” is a child of the slums, who aroused the interest of a young artist,--which becomes permanent. There are two love stories, a murder, a suicide, a mysterious ring, the influence of ancestors, and a haunted house. Miss Latané said that if we did believe in ghosts, we would be sure to find them doing just as Mr. De Morgan’s ghosts do. She spoke of what has been called, Mr. De Morgan’s kinship to Dickens and Thackeray. As another comparison, Miss Latané read, with fine expression, the verses of Rudyard Kipling, which tell us of The Three Decker [novel] that carries people to the Islands of the Blest. Miss Reese told of the difficulties encountered by Mr. De Morgan in finding a publisher for his first book, “Joseph Vance.” It kept on being refused until—it is said—a type writer was found
crying over,--which gained it attention, and led to its publication, and success.
The last article was by Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud, and was on four topics: “Some Literary Heresies; “The Loves of Pelias and Ettare;” “The Poetry of Alfred Noyes;” and “Outdoors.” One of her heresies was: The good effect of turning our minds from Loves and Heroics to dwell upon the excellencies found in everyday things. She went on to speak with humor and force of the power to see clearly in judging Literature, Art and Life, and the self deceptions and mistakes arising from the lack of such power. She spoke of a minister, who, at at a late religious congress in this city, in denouncing “bad fiction,” said that most of it was written and read by women. Miss [Cloud] earnestly combatted his assertion. She said of the seven notable novels of the past two seasons, five were written by women: Mrs. Ward; Mrs. Burnett; Mrs. Deland; Miss Wharton, and Miss Glasgow;--who are writers of high standing and character. She felt sure that this minister had denounced what he had not read. Miss Cloud gave next an appreciative and discriminating criticism of “The Loves of Pelias and Ettare.” She spoke with great admiration of the Poems of Alfred Noyes. Her description of Magathy’s new book Outdoors was given to us in the light of her own poetical insight into the beauties of
Nature. Miss Cloud closed by telling us that, in the past year, the two books that were the “best sellers,” taking the whole world together were the Holy Bible and the Works of William Shakespeare.
The President said: “We must thank thank Miss Latané for the delightful hours just given us.” Mrs. Wrenshall then said she must give us a few parting words. It is necessary for her to have a short rest; and a sea voyage has been ordered for herself and her daughter. She hoped to be with us again by the end of February. In the meantime our excellent First Vice President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, had been appointed by the Board of Management, President pro tempore. The Board had also appointed as First Vice President, pro tempore, Mrs. William Paret; and we can trust the affairs of the Club in good hands. Mrs. Wrenshall expressed her great regret in leaving us, and losing—for a time—the congenial companionship of sixteen years duration. We would be always near her heart, and our welfare dear to her.
Miss Cloud spoke of our gratitude and appreciation for all that our President has done for the Club and its members. She asked for a rising vote as an expression of our thanks,--which was given unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned.
599th Meeting. [Nov. 26, 1907]
The 599th of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore took place on Tuesday, November 26th, 1907 in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This was the monthly salon, and the musical programme was under the charge of Miss Annie Hollins, Chairman of the Committee on Music of the Salon.
The President pro tempore, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, called the meeting to order and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of November 19th. Mrs. Stabler spoke of the absence of our dear President, Mrs. Wrenshall, and of her need of rest after the cares of the past year. Mrs. Stabler also introduced our First Vice-President pro tempore Mrs. William Paret, whom we welcomed this afternoon to the new position. Mrs. Stabler next called attention to the change of two programmes on the list of meetings for the year on our mantelpiece. The meeting of the Committee on the Authors and Artists of Maryland being deferred to February 25, 1908, the meeting of the Committee on Art, taking its place on December 3, 1907. The proposition to make the meeting of December 31, a tea and Reception for our Honorary members had been deferred without date, and the meeting of December 31, will be the monthly salon as usual.
The programme began with Three Songs from the Persian “Rose Leaves,” translated by Richard Le Gallienne with musical setting by Carlo Minetti. They were sung by Mr. Adolph Hall Ahrens. All three were very
Beautiful examples of the Oriental poetic love-songs, and were very finely given by Mr. Ahrens, accompanied by Miss Poorbaugh.
The Programme next called for “A Talk by Mrs. Samuel Alexander Hill on “A Celebrity at Home.” Mrs. Hill gave an extremely entertaining account of her acquaintance with Mr. Rudyard Kipling while she and her husband were living in India, and while this “celebrity” was living there also. She told of her first meeting him at a dinner party, when the hearing that she was an American seemed to arouse his interest in what was apparently new to him. His subsequent friendship with her husband and herself was evidently one of mutual interest and sympathy. Mrs. Hill told of Rudyard Kipling’s career as a journalist, and the rise of his literary fame, almost as if we heard it told by himself, and her quotations from his letters, conversations and early writings gave us glimpses of India through the observations and experiences of an unfolding genius. Mrs. Hill told of his childhood in India, and afterwards in England, whither the children of English people are sent back to be educated,--though as we were vividly reminded, it is not for instruction that their parents part from them, but for preventing the early impressions that would be made on them by Indian associations and influences. The young Rudyard Kipling has recorded that he lived in England under perse-
cutions of a terrible woman, who was called Aunty Rosa; and that his resource was to read continually, by which his eyes were seriously injured. He came back to India to do newspaper work, with low pay and little appreciation. Mrs. Hill read charmingly from his Mother Goose for India, and also his poem “My Rival,” the latter being the complaint of a girl of 17 who finds her chaperon of 49 making all the beaux grovel before her, and monopolizing all attentions and flirtations—till the girl’s only consolation is: “When I am 49, she will be 81.” After speaking of others of his works, Mrs. Hill told of the hold Rudyard Kipling gained on the people round him. She gave his description of an Indian newspaper press-room on a very warm night with the typesetting going on like a mysterious death watch, and the Indian attendant “drunk with sleep.” We were given a description of a sail and a dinner on the river Ganges with its mud-banks and other means of detention and discomfort, to make it a harrowing voyage; but all told with unfading humor and local color. We were told of Kipling’s coming to American, of the events of his life in this country, and of his marrying an American girl. We were also told of his friendship with Cecil Rhodes, who gave him a beautiful home in South Africa, near old Table Mountain where he lives part of the year, spending the
rest of the time in England, where he has another home among the scenes described in his well-remembered story called “They.” After bringing the “Celebrity” before us, as seen by her own appreciative eyes, Mrs. Hill closed with the story of the guest at a dinner party who asserted that there were only two words in the English language beginning with the letters s – u – pronounced like sh – sugar and sumac. Mr. Kipling answered “Are you sure?" The presiding officer expressed in a few words our grateful enjoyment of Mrs. Hill’s article, and our regret that Mrs. Wrenshall was not here to listen to it. She also gave our thanks to Miss Hollins for the fine musical entertainment she had given us. She declared the meeting adjourned to enjoy the hospitality of our House Committee.
600th Meeting. [Dec. 3, 1907]
The 600th regular meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 3rd, 1907, in the Assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. R. M. Wylie, Chairman of the Committee on Art. The President pro tempore, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, called the meeting to order, and the Recording secretary read the minutes of the meeting of November 26. Mrs. Stabler expressed regret for a small attendance at this meeting, on account of very inclement weather. Those who had come
in spite of the snow-storm found the rooms adorned with beautiful pictures loaned for this occasion. The presiding officer announced the subject of our programmes for the current month: December 3, Art; on the 10th, Essays; on the 17th, Literature of the Bible; on the 24th, Xmas [Christmas] Eve, the meeting will be omitted; on December 31, there will be the usual monthly salon.
The first article on the programme was given by Mr. R. M. Wylie, and was on “Antique Knockers.” Mrs. Wylie spoke of the early premonitions of the artistic sense, and of the efforts even before the days of civilization to combine ornamentation with utility. She went on to the work of the Middle Ages in wrought iron, very different from moulded [molded] iron. She described the antique door-knockers, beginning with an iron bar to rap with, then taking on scroll work, then going on to griffins, the head of Medusa, and of other mythological beings as well as mere human heads, those of animals and masks. She told of old knockers in Europe, going back to the 13th [thirteenth] century; some preserved in museums, and some still upon the doors for which they were made. She described those to be seen in Nuremberg, Worms and other German cities and elsewhere in the old world. She told of the old stories and curious old symbolisms belonging to many of these achievements of artistic utility. Even bars and rods were ornamented. Locks, too, instead of being as in later
times concealed, were given their own ornamental individuality. Hinges in the Middle Ages were often of elaborate designs, and sometimes extended across the doors. Mrs. Wylie described the very fine metal work in Bologna and Venice, in Florence and Rome; and the wonderful bronze doors, and other great works of great artists.
The next article was given by Mrs. John R. Tait and was on “The Popular Appreciation of Art.” Mrs. Tait spoke of the people who say that they do not know anything about art, but they know what pleases them. This is sometimes an assumption of the intuition of excellence, or sometimes an intimation that they do know what is real art, but do not take the trouble to give expression to their knowledge. Sometimes the subjects presented by works of art appeal to the beholder—are beauty in his eyes—as do pictures such as those of the mother and child appeal to the maternal instinct, or to the religious faith, or to intuitions common to all of us, but not to the appreciation of art. Mrs. Tait reminded us also of the lack of this appreciation even among otherwise educated people, who generally adorn their drawing rooms with chromos [chromolithographs]. She told of an artist on a country tour who asked permission of a cottager to paint his fence, receiving the answer “Much obliged; it needs it badly.” The next day he found the fence newly
mended, and the children of the house drawn up to view its expected improvement. But Mrs. Tait told us that some of those who know only what pleases them do have the real art instinct and enthusiasm, are judges born not made—needing only art education to develop their capability.
The next article was by Mrs. Jordan Stabler and was on “Thomas Gainsborough—The Man and the Painter.” Before beginning her article, Mrs. Stabler called attention to the nearly twenty beautiful pictures by Gainsborough which had been lent her for this occasion by Mr. Purnell and Mr. Bendann. They were photographic copies made in London, and painted there by hand, with original colors. There was one of his celebrated landscapes, and his picture of the Parish Clerk. The rest were chiefly portraits—the well-known Duchess of Devonshire, the famous Mrs. Siddons, Lady Sheffield, Miss Haverford, Mrs. Sheridan, and the other beautiful or remarkable women. There was a striking picture of Mrs. Robinson [Mary Darby Robinson] in her stage character as Perdita. Mrs. Robinson was a favorite of the Prince Regent, and after losing favor and meeting misfortunes, she came to America, and there is a tradition that she died here in Baltimore. We were shown a picture of General Wolfe taken after illness, with that wistful look, which seemed to presage his early death. Mrs. Stabler told of Gainsborough’s birth in
Suffolk in 1727, and of his early devotion to the art of painting inherited from his mother. It was said that nature was his teacher, and the woods his academy. He did not care for books as he did for the book of nature. Once while painting the lovely Suffolk landscapes, the foliage before him was parted, to show the face and form of a young girl, so beautiful that he called on her to stand still, and keep the unconscious pose she had taken. He took her into his picture and into his heart, and their marriage was a congenial one. We were told of his life in London, in Bath, and in London again where he became a member of the newly instituted Royal Academy. Mrs. Stabler told of his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds which however did not prevent the high appreciation which Reynolds gave to this “truly original painter.” He painted the Royal Family, and it was said that “Gainsborough made even old Queen Charlotte look like a sensible woman.” We were given characteristic anecdotes, such as that of a fop who wished to have his face perpetuated by this great painter, and who requested that his dimple should not be omitted from the portrait,-- receiving the answer, “I will paint neither of you!” It was said that Reynolds painted by book and Gainsborough by look. The first made his arrangements before the sitter arrived, the other, after the arrival, waited for the ex-
pression and attitude he wished to perpetuate. Mrs. Stabler told of Gainsborough’s death in 1788; when, with the enthusiasm of the ruling passion, the last words he was heard to say, were “We are all going to heaven and Van Dyke is of the party.” In closing Mrs. Stabler proposed a vote of thanks to Messieurs Purnell and Bendann for the valuable pictures kindly lent to us. This motion met an immediate and unanimous consent. With thanks to Mrs. Wylie and her Committee, for our afternoon’s entertainment, the meeting was adjourned.
601st Meeting. [Dec. 10, 1907]
The 601st meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 10, 1907 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences building. The programme was under the charge of Mrs. Sidney Turner, Chairman of the Committee on Essays and Essayists. A sentence at the head of the programme announced: “He who influences the thought of his time, influences all the times that follow.” The President, pro tempore, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of December 3rd. The first announcement was of an invitation for the Club to attend two lectures by Mr. James Fitzmaurice Kelly of London to be given in McCoy Hall, Johns Hopkins University, December 11
and 13 on Spanish literature.
Mrs. Stabler, in a few appropriate words, announced the death of a former member of the Club, Mrs. Harry D. Bush, whose appearance on our musical programmes has been enjoyed and appreciated. At the closing Salon of the last season, Mrs. Bush gave us fine selections from Grieg and Chopin. A short time ago, she felt obliged from failing health to resign her membership to her and our regret; but promised to come and play for us when we wished for her. A tribute of flowers was sent by the Club to her funeral, which was attended by three of our members. She was helpful to us, and we trust we were so to her.
The first article of the programme was given by Mrs. C. W. Lord, and was called “Back to Nature.” Mrs. Lord told of a summer trip to Lake George, the Saranac and Lake Champlain—to hold communion with the visible forms of nature and receive her inspiring lessons. This lovely region has become full of the summer nest of New York millionaires. She had expected to see something of the life in camps, but she saw beautiful residences, with balconies, trained vines and flowers. She told of one hotel, where the prices were six dollars a day, and far up from that sum. She saw one village of tents, and one beautiful church: St. John’s in the Wilderness, with a fine organ, and a Tiffany window; but God’s temple of the
Woods was truly there too; as it was when “Into the woods our Master went;” and she felt the grandeur of nature to which she could go back with real devotion.
The next article of the programme was given by Miss Mabel Butler, and was “A Study of Browning’s Pippa and Pompilia.” Miss Butler reminded us that Browning has—like Shakespeare—introduced to us a great many different women; and with some he seems to tell us the stories of their lives, while of others we have only a glimpse or two, as in the poem of “Pippa Passes.” We see Phillippa for one day only; she speaks in starting out on her walk of her idle day and of having to go back to her work the next morning. Miss Butler went on with quotations and vivid descriptions of the innocent child’s singing as she passes by, and her sudden influence on the crises of four different lives of tried and tempted human souls. But with her singing and her faith that “God’s in His heaven, All’s right with the world” she does her good work, and is dismissed from our sight. Of the heroine of “The Ring and The Book,” Miss Butler [missing word] her life as a child adopted by the stupid old couple, her marriage to the vile Count, who murders her following step by step the innocent nature that kept its pure individuality in a false and evil environment, fully meriting at last the good old Pope’s decision “I pronounce Pompilia perfect in whiteness--” and there is no
questioning his verdict.
The next article was by Mrs. Sidney Turner, and was on “Education by Contact.” Mrs. Turner spoke of the opportunities for education and development that we meet in all things with which we come in contact. The old saying “Never walk in the middle of the road” is applicable to how much we lose by not seeing or knowing what lies on each side of us. She reminded us that everything has its own note in the universal scale of the world we live in, even the rustling of the leaves, the waves of the sea, the rippling of the brook, the trilling of the birds,--all things have their lesson for us; and it is our part to inquire of them, and to gain our own heritage of knowledge. She led up to higher intellectual and individual associations—to all the educators knocking at our doors to give us the good gifts that can become part of our metal being.
The next article was “A Group of Ten[-]Minute Writings,” read by Miss Mabel Butler.
Mrs. Turner explained that in her committee the members sometimes gave a subject, each one to her right-hand neighbor, which topic was written upon for ten minutes, and then the result of the papers was read without correction or addition. Miss Butler read first the Ten Minute’s Paper “On Politeness.” It asked: “What is Politeness?” It suggested that it did not seem to be now what it was ten years ago.
Some persons seem to think politeness and conventionality are the same thing. But perhaps it means [thought?] and consideration for others, not forgetting them, not [omitting?] the little word or look of attention or regard. The next was on “Women in Conventions.” It took up the accusation often made that Women’s Congresses are stormy even when they are discussing peace—which of course we know is not necessarily the case. The next paper was on “Excuses”--and gave their reasons for being. The last was on “Good Intentions:” a humorous defense of these much-maligned human impulses, with the conclusion that they are not to be classed with bad intentions, at any rate.
The last article was by Miss Annie W. Whitney and was on “Ghosts.” Miss Whitney spoke on the old saying, “Never walk in the middle of the road, for the dead walk there.” In this survival of an old superstition, we recognize one of the intentional credulities of our remote ancestors, perhaps of the primeval man, which by evolution or revelation has become the later faith in immortality. Miss Whitney had gone back with patient research to the Egyptian, Babylonian testimonies, and those of later times, to the deeply-rooted belief in the existence of the spirits of the dead, and their interest in the [living?] for good or evil. She spoke of the ancient idea of each of the departed having three or four souls
with different offices. She dwelt on the still-existing conscious or unconscious influence of this belief in the activity of the spirits of the dead and the desire sometimes shown to put them to rest. She suggested this persistent phantom of faith coming down from the ages past is perhaps entitled to some respect and regard even from the enlightened twentieth century. After thanking Mrs. Turner and the members of her Committee for the well-prepared and suggestive articles they had given us, the presiding officer declared the meeting adjourned.
602nd Meeting [Dec. 17, 1907]
The 602nd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 17, 1907, in the Assembly room, Academy of Sciences building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. Alan P. Smith, Chairman of the Committee on The Literature of the Bible. The President pro tempore, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of December 10. The President announced that the next meeting would take place on December 31; and also made announcement of the Twelfth Night celebration on January 7, 1908. She announced the election of three new members in the club, Mrs. Robert Bowie, Miss Nellie C. Williams, and Mlle. Anne Luescher.
The first article of the programme was
given by Mrs. Alan P. Smith and was on “The Four Evangelists and Their Symbols.” Mrs. Smith spoke of the four symbols that in the early days of the Christian Church were given by tradition and devotion to the authors of the four gospels; to St. Matthew, the Man, St. Mark, the Lion, St. Luke, the ox;--and St. John, the Eagle; the man symbolizing the gospel of the humanity and the human life of our Lord; the Lion his kingship and his kingdom, which shall never end; the Ox, the living creature of the "sacerdotal sacrifice,” the symbol of his sacrificial mission and atonement; the eagle, the symbol of Him who soared above earth and time, the Christ of the resurrection and the ages to come. Mrs. Smith traced the origin of these symbols in the four living creatures of the Apocalyptic visions, who “are round about the throne of the Lamb set in heaven”. She spoke too of the wonderfully similar vision of the prophet Ezekiel of the same four living creatures under the sapphire throne and “the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Mrs. Smith described St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John, each in his individuality, and in its writings with reverent appreciation. She read too the marvelous relations of the visions of the prophet and the evangelist from which these symbols took form and being in the devout minds of the early Christians and have descended to us. The results of Mrs. Smith’s
study and research in hallowed ground were truly appreciated.
The next article of the programme was given by Mrs. Jordan Stabler, and was called “A Comparison.” Mrs. Stabler told about the remarkable resemblance between Palestine and Northern Florida in their flora, fauna, and climatic conditions. She spoke of her own life in Florida in past years, and gave an extremely interesting detailed account of the numerous resemblances aforesaid which came to her knowledge. She showed us illustrations, one a picture of her own home with trees around it which might have shaded Syrian houses. [illegible] the country people in their manners and customs reminded her of Biblical stories, especially as there were Hebrews settled near her. She was surprised to find that what she had eaten as lamb, was “a kid of the goats,” but not unpalatable. Among the animals were wild boars and occasionally a mountain lion. There were ravens, hawks, and eagles, and the alligator reminded one of Job’s description of the Leviathan. There were two rainy seasons like the early and latter rains of the Scriptures, one in July and August, and the other in December and January. The nights are cool. The fruits and flowers too, recalled among others, the pomegranites [pomegranates], the rose of Sharon, and the lilies of the valley in Solomon’s song. Many of our Lord’s simple illustrations also
seemed to take new force in scenes resembling those in which he lived on earth.
The last article was by Miss Ellen Duvall, and in her absence was read by Miss Latané. It was called “Things Old and New.” Miss Duvall dwelt on the present state of the study of Psychology and the attractiveness to many minds of what is supposed to be supernaturalism. She spoke of apparitions, mental telepathy and clairvoyance—all really as old as the history man. Examining them in turn she found no reason to accept the claims of those who seem to make them articles of faith and practice. The so-called revelations are what we know all ready [already]--or ought to know—or will know soon. She quoted the descriptions in the Bible of the witch, the consulter of familiar spirits, the enchanter and the necromancer, and [illegible] against the them by the prophets of the Lord. She quoted also the story of Balaam and that of Saul and the witch of Endor. Balaam is called a sooth-sayer [soothsayer], but we read that when he was that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, “he went not as at other times to seek for enchantments.” Saul had, according to the law of Moses, suppressed witch-craft, but after a defeat he consulted a witch. When Samuel arose before him, we hear she said the one truthful dignified utterance from the spirit of a prophet. But what he told Saul related only to the events of the next day—the
inevitable downfall and death, which Saul, who had just said “God has become mine enemy”--might have anticipated for himself. The prophecy was of no use after Saul had lost control of himself and his destiny.
At the close of Miss Duvall’s paper, the presiding officer announced that this day was the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Greenleaf Whittier, a poet who worked for freedom, goodness and truth. Mrs. Smith spoke of having visited the Poet’s home at Amesbury, MA. Mrs. C. W. Lord made a warm tribute to Whittier. She spoke of having sent to him on his 77th birthday, a poetical tribute full of her appreciation of his work and spirit, with a book of her own. She read her graceful lines addressed to him, and also his grateful and very gratifying answer, containing besides a reference to such of her own writings as pleased him most.
Mrs. John R. Tait spoke of having met the poet Whittier at a dinner given in Cincinnati, by Mrs. Nicholas Longworth, father of the present member of Congress by that name. At this dinner the poet Longfellow was also a guest. Some one [Someone] remarked on the names of Longfellow and Longworth and the former quoted “Worth makes the man, the want of it the fellow.” It was answered “That was a very witty response” which met the rejoinder, “But here we have a Whittier.”
The President pro tempore thanked Mrs. Smith and
her committee for the programme of the afternoon—and also expressed appreciation of the tributes to the poet Whittier. Mrs. Pope announced the Whittier Centennial Commemoration at the Friends’ Meeting House, and invited the Club to be present. The meeting adjourned.
603rd Meeting [Dec. 31, 1907]
The 603rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, December 31st, 1907 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The Program of this meeting was a Miscellaneous one arranged by the Acting President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler. Mrs. Stabler called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of December 17th. Announcement was made of the election at the Board meeting of December 27th of a new member of the Club, Mrs. William M. Smith, 2306 N. Calvert Street. It was also announced that Mlle. Anna Luescher, who was recently elected a member, had concluded to return to her former home in Geneva, Switzerland, and was therefore unable to continue her membership among us. The Acting President also gave notice of a concert to be given for the benefit of the fund of the Edgar A. Poe Memorial Association—a society of which our club was the originator, and for which our members have been working earnestly in connection with auxiliary asso-
ciations and individual admirers of the poet, who at one time lived in our city. This concert has been organized chiefly by a gentleman who has shown in more than one way his enthusiasm for this work; and we are promised that well-known and approved musical talent will be represented in it. It will take place on Thursday evening, January 16th, at Lehman’s Hall. Mrs. Stabler, Mrs. Uhler and other members were holding tickets for sale for this entertainment.
After referring to the Twelfth Night celebration of January 7th, the following Tuesday, Mrs. Stabler announced the subjects of the programmes for the three following meetings in January: On the 14th, Education, Miss Cullington, Chairman; on the 21st Music, Miss Annie Hollings, Chairman; on the 28th Unfamiliar Records, Mrs. Edward Stabler, Chairman.
Our Acting President then spoke of the work done for the Jamestown Exposition, by our honorary member, and one of the founders of the Club, Mrs. Hester Dorsey Richardson. She was appointed by Governor Warfield to have charge of the Maryland Historical Exhibit at Jamestown. Her researches enabled her to furnish the names of the 110 emigrants who accompanied the first expedition to our state on the Ark and Dove in 1634; the letter sent back to England by the return voyage of the two vessels; also the names of the settlers before 1700; and the names of 40 settlers to whom manors were granted by Lord Baltimore; as well as other items hitherto unpublished.
Mrs. Stabler then read a letter she had received on Saturday, December 28th from our absent President, Mrs. Wrenshall. It was written on board the steamer Republic. Mrs. Wrenshall expressed her great pleasure in reading the letters from her dear fellow members, sent to meet her on the steamer; and wrote of never forgetting her beloved Club and of being still with us in spirit. The voyage had been rough, but she and her husband and daughter were good sailors and had enjoyed the good meals furnished on the ship. They had touched at the Azores, and were soon to reach Gibraltar, where she would mail her letter. She sent much love and best wishes to all of us.
The first article of the programme was given by Mrs. Sidney Turner, and was “A Talk on John Greenleaf Whittier.” Mrs. Turner spoke of the picturesque country surrounding Haverhill, Massachusetts, with its beautiful woods and lakes as the fitting birth-place and early home of the poet, Whittier. She told of having been herself invited to attend the Centennial Commemoration of his birth on December 17th. The exercises were held in the largest church in Haverhill; distinguished speakers paid tribute to the poet, to his character and deeds, and gave him due credit and honor. She went back to Whittier’s early struggles and manual labor to support and to educate himself; and then told of the high rank he gained among the writers and among the leaders of the thought and action of his country. She described his peaceful later
life at Amesbury, where he entertained those who came to show their appreciation of himself and his work. She gave entertaining instances of her first acquaintance with Whittier’s works, and of her recognition of him as the poet of the hearth and home, as well as of liberty and philanthropy. Mrs. Turner closed by reading “The Schoolhouse” which Holmes considered one of the most beautiful in the English language, and Matthew Arnold called a perfect poem which would not be allowed to die.
The next article was “The City of Seoul, A Personal Glimpse” by Mrs. W. L. Ware. The Acting President welcomed Mrs. Ware who read before us for the first time, though well-known in other literary work. Mrs. Ware told of a visit she paid to the capital of Korea in 1897. After her arrival with her son, they asked the American Minister to recommend a guide and interpreter, and he promised one who was of the Korean nobility, but in reduced circumstances. When the noble one Pak came, he was in dazzling garments of white silk. She was astonished to find that white clothes were the general rule in Korea, the common people however wearing cotton garments, but these also have a shining quality, given in the laundry apparently. She wondered too how they kept their spotless garments clean; but she found that the Korean women, who do the work there in a mild kind of slavery, seem to
be all the time doing washing, even at night, the pounding on wet clothes could be heard going on. White is Korean mourning, and as the large royal family are most of the time in mourning, the people are expected to follow the royal example—hence the custom. She did not like riding in palanquins and her son who was tall found them so uncomfortable that they preferred to walk. Mr. Pak one day asked for a holiday to go to a tea given by his cousin; and divining her curiosity with regard to Korean life, brought her a cordial invitation to attend the festivity also. Another guest was an American lady, Mrs. Greathouse, whose son was a sort of legal adviser at the Court. They were much interested with the curious customs and [display?] of their courteous hosts. One refreshment was canned California peaches, which the hostess dipped out with a silver spoon, and put into the mouths of her attendants. She was surprised to find that the Koreans were not dark like the Japanese, nor yellow like the Chinese, but are white people and very good-looking ones too. She afterwards spoke of their government which was, she said, abominable, and that this is perhaps the one alleviation to the loss of national life by the Japanese usurpation. “But any nation,” she said, “always dies hard.”
The Acting President thanked Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Ware for their very interesting articles, and
adjourned the meeting, after which the members and guests enjoyed conversation and refreshments.
Twelfth Night Celebration, January 7th, 1908.
The Twelfth Night Celebration of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday evening, January 7th, 1908 at 8:15 o’clock in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The Chairman of the Committee having this celebration in charge, was Miss Louise C. O. Haughton, assisted by Miss Marie Perkins and others. The entertainment was enlivened by the fine music of Itzel’s Orchestra, and made beautiful by the decorations prepared with taste and symmetry under Miss Haughton’s directions.
The programme called first for the Address of the Acting President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler. Mrs. Stabler welcomed our guests—both ladies and gentlemen to the home of the Club, and greeted all our members in this annual reunion. After appropriate reference to our absent President Mrs. Stabler spoke of the beautiful gardens that adorn the homes of civilized people; and referred to those gardens of the mind that poetry, learning, art and good fellowship have formed and [maintained?]. She was glad to invite our friends into our garden when the roses of enjoyment, the lillies [lilies] of aspiration, and other flowers of various
endowments have, we believe, bloomed for us. She referred to the fruits of the work we have done in our pleasant and encouraging environment. She spoke of the work of our different Committees; she gave a short resumé of the original articles presented at all of our meetings since the opening of the season on October 8, 1907. She then gave us best wishes for the coming year.
The principal entertainment of the evening was “The Masque” written by Miss Louise Haughton after the “dramatic pageants” of the seventeenth century. The actors were Mrs. Henry Franklin as Fate, Miss May Haughwout as Woman; and others as the Chorus taking the parts of Pleasure, Song, Verse, Minstrelsy, Flower Girls, etc. In this “dramatic pageant” the Woman inquires of the Veiled Fate as to her future life; and is answered, first, by a description of bright and happy destiny, and then by a vivid picture of remoreseless doom. The Woman shrinks in the darkness, and cannot inquire further, but cries out for “light!” The curtain falls and with restored light, the orchestra takes up the strain of an old inspiring Christian melody. The songs that were given were “Tell Me, Beautiful Maid,” sung by Miss Stowe and “The Aria” of Rubinstein, sung by Miss Stiebler both beautifully rendered. During “The Masque,” a slow, graceful Greek
dance of classic movements was given by five or six young ladies in classic costumes. The orchestra played “The Pastoral Symphony” by Handel, and “Hark, Hark, the Lark” by Schubert. The entertainment closed with refreshments, orchestral music, friendly greetings, social conversation etc., during the rest of the evening.
The 605th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 14, 1908, in the Assembly Room, Academy Sciences Building. The programme of this meeting was under the charge of Miss Anne Cullington, Chairman of the Committee on Education. The Acting President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of December 27, 1907, and a short notice of the annual Twelfth Night Celebration of January 7, 1908. The Acting President gave notice of Committee meetings to be held during the current week. Notice was also given of the concert on January 16, for the benefit of the Edgar A. Poe Memorial Fund, and of the sale of tickets for this object, in whose success the Club has shown itself earnestly interested. Notice was given of several articles found in the assembly room after the Twelfth Night entertainment, for which it was desired that the owners should be found.
Mrs. Bullock called attention to some leaflets
describing and illustrating the excursions to be made near and around Naples, to Pompeii and so forth, which had been given her by a friend, and which she would leave on one of the tables thinking that some of our members who are going abroad may find them suggestive and useful.
The first article of the programme was “A Review” by Miss Anne Cullington of an article in the January Atlantic Monthly on “Industrial Education” by Paul Hanus--a Professor in Harvard College. The professor speaks, we were told, of the omission for the majority of school-children, of industrial education, and of any preparation for the avocations they will be obliged to follow. Much stress is laid upon culture, which is very well with those who are intended for professional life; but the great numbers of children leave school at 14 or 15, and are obliged to become wage-earners, without preparation, and often in competition with adults of experience in the work required. He told of an elevator boy in Boston, who applied for a more remunerative job than the one into which he had drifted—after leaving school at 15—without industrial training. And now the death of his father forced him to assume his father’s responsibilities, and he must earn more than he had been receiving. Girls who leave school early are apt to drift into matrimony, and after that fashion solve their problem. But on the boys’ side there results a lack of skilled labor, their faculties are not developed, they stop at the critical point with a narrow
meagre outlook. It is a question in which the prosperity of the United States is involved. Miss Cullington went on to tell the professor’s views of the English, French and German schools where industrial instruction is given dwelling particularly on the German system in which the progressive course of practical training is given in the schools; and not left to the workshops, which are entered for skillful work.
The programme next called for three articles on “The Objective versus the Subjective in Teaching.” They were on “The Use of Drill” by Mrs. Waller Bullock, “The Use of Play” by Miss Anne Cullington, and “The Overplus [overuse] of the Picture” by Miss Lizette W. Reese. Mrs. Bullock spoke of the old-fashioned idea of the use of drill in education, in the days when the teacher and pupil were supposed to be sworn enemies. Later has come the new fashion, when the teacher and pupil hold sweet converse together; when the pupil can choose her own studies, and if one of them becomes irksome, can drop it, sometimes in favor of something else. Sometimes also the parents are consulted, or even the doctor’s opinion is asked. The child instead of reciting may ask, “Have you heard from Father?” or “Mother?” It is difficult to arouse interest or even attention, or to induce that concentration which is necessary not only for good study, but for the life work that will have to be done. Mrs. Bullock spoke of the Moseley Commission—the Englishmen who came to this country to study the American system of teaching engineering. They did
not like co-education, considering it a tending to feminize the boys, and to interfere with the good drill—which is a fine thing for boys and even for girls. Mrs. Bullock went on to speak of the want of effectiveness in mental training and of the present education that is non-religious, physical not spiritual. Children should have drill in good conduct, and should know the tenets of Faith. Gymnastics have their proper place of course; but can that kind of study be beneficial, which becomes mere mental gymnastics? Mrs. Bullock spoke of the ideas of Mr. Burbank with regard to the training and development of the human plant in the methods he has successfully used with the horticultural ones. It is said to take ten generations to fix any trait in a descendant,--and we can only work for those coming after us. We are like the man who said: “If you want a fine oak tree you ought to have left word with your great-grandfather to plant an acorn for you.” Mrs. Bullock said that there is great interest in the teaching of the present time; and we may need to go back to the old view that the true aim of education is character.
The next article of the programme was given by Miss Anne Cullington and was on “The Use of Play.” Miss Cullington said that between two and three months ago she read an article in the Baltimore Sun called “Dolls go to School.” It told of one way of teaching children about the various countries of the world
they live in, by means of dolls made and attired to represent different races and nationalities. They are shown, some as blondes and some brunettes etc., dressed with perfect details, so far as patient researches can find out. The Japanese girl has her little brother strapped on her back; the Chinese boy has his head shaved; the Arabian girl has gold or gilded anklets; there are two flaxen-haired Dutch children in droll costumes; the Russian baby is tied up as only Russians can tie up their babies; Gretchen the German baby is in bed with a white bonnet on, and fastened with a white [envelope?]; and the Esquimanx [Eskimo] child dressed like its parent in fur clothes. The school-children can think now of Switzerland as not only a country of mountains and lakes, but as the home of the little children dressed like little pictures; and of Arabia as not only a sandy peninsula on the map, but as inhabited by children Oriental in person and clothing. Miss Cullington told of a little girl who dressed her dolls in the costume of Queen Elizabeth and of other historical characters, and made her play with them conform accordingly. The old theory that play is the use of surplus energy of the child need not leave out the use of play in the evolution of his education and training for future life. Miss Cullington spoke of the animal instinct for play, as the cat plays with a ball—and also with a mouse. But the child who plays “mother” or “keeping house,” enjoys the “make believe;” and like fairy tales or
Mother Goose stories play can make work cheerful and be lifted into education.
The last article was by Miss Lizette W. Reese, and was on “The Overplus of the Picture.” It was read for her by Mrs. Uhler. Miss Reese spoke of the present objective age, when the dramatic instinct of the child is appealed to, when books are many and illustrations numerous, and the desire for spectacular literature is increasing. It may be well to remember the old subjective methods when [children?] were given some three or four books such as Mother Goose, The Pilgrim’s Progress, McGuffie’s [McGuffey] Readers, etc., with very few illustrations. But now the trail of the picture is over them all. Ruskin, she reminded us, has told of the three or four books to which his childish reading was restricted—and he became the greatest art critic of his time. But now the books that ought to be read are illustrated away from us. It is often better to study a fact rather than an illustration, when we are seeking to discover the stuff of which we are made, as we need to do.
Mrs. Lord gave some entertaining particulars of information imparted by school teachers even by games without the labor of study.
The Acting President thanked Miss Cullington and her Committee for their interesting papers, and declared the meeting adjourned.
606th Meeting. [Jan. 21, 1908]
The 606th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 21, 1908, in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme of this meeting was under the charge of Mrs. Edward Stabler, Chairman of the Committee on Unfamiliar Records. The Acting President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 14. Announcement was made of the Percy Turnbull Memorial Lectures to be given in McCoy Hall, Johns Hopkins University, from January 28 to February 11, on Persian Poetry. Also of a notice from the Committee on Awards for University Education, from Dr. Mary Sherwood, Chairman. Also of an invitation for the Club to the lecture of Professor Wilson at the University, on Recent Excavations in Rome.
The programme first called for an article by Miss Mary Dorsey Davis on “An Old Book.” “The Fool of Quality or the History of Henry Earle [Earl] of Moreland” by Henry Brooke. Miss Davis said an old book might have its place among Unfamiliar Records. This book has been a favorite of many intelligent people, chiefly on account of the ideas advocated in it on Education, and also as a picture of the times of Charles the First. Her grandfather had owned it, but the copy she now has belonged to her father and is of the edition of 1860, containing a preface by Charles Kingsley. The author Henry Brooke was born in Ireland, in 1708, but in 1724 went to London to study law. He was the friend
and literary colleague of Pope, Lyttleton, Sheridan, Swift and other noted men of his day. He wrote much in verse and prose, translations and tragedies as well as this novel, the best remembered of his works—which has received the high commendation of the Rev. John [illegible]ley. Henry Brooke was very much interested in the efforts for the removal of the political disabilities from the Roman Catholics under the English government. It was said of him that “throughout all his excellent compositions there breathes a strong spirit of liberty.” Miss Davis told of his life and of his marriage with a young girl who had been his ward. She spoke of the lively descriptions in “The Fool of Quality,” of life at the court of Charles the First, and quoted an extract detailing a Royal entertainment of a highly interesting character.
The next article was by Mrs. Jordan Stabler, and was called “From New York to Caracas.” Before her article was read, Mrs. Stabler had shown us many curious things brought back from her West Indian trip last year. There were relics of the destruction of St. Pierre, Martinique, some five years ago, among them two tiles from the ruins of the old Cathedral. There were specimens of the Calibash [gourd] which grows in the tropics, and is used for bowls and other utensils. There were baskets and cocoa-pods and beans and those of the coffee-plant. There was beautiful East Indian silver work, collars, bracelets and belts made by Asiatic coolies in the West Indies. Mrs.
Stabler, in speaking of her cruise in the Spanish Main, told of a German officer, her fellow passenger in the West Indian Islands, who called her attention to the kaleidoscopic pictures constantly presented to their view. She told of leaving New York and of her voyage of six days to the harbor in St. Thomas—the Danish Island which some forty years ago was proposed to be purchased by the United States. But being suddenly almost devastated by a hurricane, the proposed negotiations ceased to be heard of. We were told of beautiful hills, of flowers and fruits and of the sight of black women engaged in loading the vessels and of negro policemen. We were told of the arrival at Porto Rico, of Casablanca and the sea-wall and of the governor’s palace at San Juan. Mrs. Stabler told of changes made by the American possession of Port Rico, and of Mr. Winthrop, the American governor. She spoke of the history and romance belonging to this island; and described the old castle, which carries us back to the days of Ponce de Leon and the old Spanish conquerors, whose ghosts might be supposed to linger around their haunts of former days. She spoke of the sight of the American flag which had never looked more beautiful than here on this beautiful island. She went on to tell of the French Island of Martinique and described the ravages of the volcanic eruption of 1902, when a city of 40,000 inhabitants was destroyed. She told of the pride of the people of Martinique in their white
statue of the Empress Josephine,--a native of their island, a beautiful figure who looks down with a perpetual smile upon the place of her birth and early years. She told of her visit to Barbadoes [Barbados], and went on to the other English Island of Trinidad. She read the description of the asphaltum for [from] Lake of Pitch sent home by Sir Walter Raleigh to assure Elizabeth more than 300 years ago, which holds as good now, as when it was written. But she said Raleigh’s false story of having seen the King of El Dorado, which included the tale of that gilded Monarch’s having been overcome with admiration for the queen’s portrait, bore evil consequences to him. It led to his being sent back by James the First to re-discover the land of gold, in which expedition he lost his son, and after his return without any gold lost his own head. Mrs. Stabler told of Venezuela, of arriving at the port of La Guayra [Guaira] and crossing the mountain 4000 feet above the sea level to reach Caracas. She described that city, and spoke particularly of its statue of George Washington. She spoke of the disagreements with England and France and the supposed desire of Germany to seize the cocoa and coffee trade of Venezuela.
The next article of the programme was by Mrs. Margaret Fayerweather and was called “Some Western Sketches.” Mrs. Fayerweather spoke of the fact that comparatively few Eastern people visit the Western
cities while many Western people go to Boston and Baltimore, New York and Washington as well as on summer trips to Europe. The Western people are true Americans, tho’ they do not care very much for family pride. She described the life in a village in Iowa with its social side, its culture and comfortable homes and with a college of influence until “the War,” when the students volunteered in a body, and the college closed its doors never to be reopened. There was good sleighing in winter and amusements in summer; and there was the village-bachelor who one season after another took the girls to ride in his carriage, and was the beau of those who had no others till eighty years old. The “D.A.R.” discovered that his grand-father was a soldier of the Revolution and honored him accordingly, as some daughters ought to have done after his services to the daughter of their neighbors. Mrs. Fayerweather went on to tell of life in the larger cities of the West—of the wonderful scenery especially in Pacific Coast states, and of the Indians on their reservations, always an interesting people. The acting President thanked Mrs. Edward Stabler and her Committee for their programme, and declared the meeting adjourned.
607th Meeting. [Jan. 28, 1908]
The 607th meeting of the Woman’s Literary
Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, January 28, 1908 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. This was the January Salon and the programme was under the direction of Miss Annie Hollins, Chairman of the Committee on the Literature of Music.
The Acting President Mrs. Jordan Stabler called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 21. Mrs. Stabler announced the subjects of the programmes for the meetings in February: On the 4th, Current Criticism Miss Latané, Chairman of the Committee; on the 14th, Fiction, Mrs. Percy M. Reese, Chairman; on the 18th, Foreign Languages, Mrs. Frederick Tyson, Chairman, on the 25th, The Authors and Artists of Maryland, Miss Henderson, Chairman. Mrs. Stabler said she had received a personal note from Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull our member and former president, which she read. In this note Mrs. Turnbull speaks of the Lectures on[of] the Turnbull Foundation at the Johns Hopkins University to be given by Professor Jackson of Columbia College, New York, which she thought would be of much interest to the members of the Club.
Mrs. Stabler then announced that at the last meeting of the Board of Management, we received the resignation of Miss Louise O. C. Haughton from the office of 2nd Vice-President of this Club. As we know the very good work done by Miss Haughton for the Club
and also the many engagements which [she] thinks will prevent her continuing in her responsible office, her resignation was—with regret accepted. She will however be retained on our Board of Management as one of our Directors. As Miss Haughton’s successor in the office of 2nd Vice-President, the Board unanimously elected Mrs. George K. McGaw who has formerly held this office to our great satisfaction, and acted as our presiding officer during a former absence of our President in Europe. Mrs. Stabler said that she took great pleasure in introducing Mrs. McGaw as our new 2nd Vice President. Mrs. Stabler then said that some very pleasant letters had been received from our absent President by different members of the Club. The latest of these was addressed to Mrs. Uhler our Corresponding secretary. It was dated in Rome, and told of her very agreeable winter sojourn in the Eternal City. She says that Mr. Wrenshall positively forbids her return to America in the month of February. As she does not mention the month next to February, “we cannot help hoping,” said Mrs. Stabler, “that Mr. Wrenshall will relent and agree to her returning in March.” Mrs. Stabler then announced that she herself is going abroad with her family for perhaps six months. Their tickets extended for a return passage on the 23rd of July; but she would take us into her confidence, and say they may be away until November. But during the absence of our President, acting President, and Acting Vice-President,
Mrs. Paret, the club can count on an able presiding officer in our 2nd Vice-President, Mrs. McGaw, supported by the Board and all her fellow members.
The first article of the programme was read by Mrs. W. C. Edmonds, and was “An Outline of Music in Russia.” The article began by telling of the early Russian Music which consists of Folk songs and Ecclesiastic services. The Folk songs were melodic and the church music, harmonic. Its first known instrument was a sort of guitar—with a short range of notes. Much that has come down to us is in the minor key, though many examples begin in one key and end in another. Folk songs generally have no dates, they are apt to be akin to martial music and relate to warriors and heroes, often at least semi-mythical ones. The article went on to tell of Russian ecclesiastical music and the interest taken in its development by Peter the Great and his successors, especially the Empresses Elizabeth and Anna. The influence of Germany and France on Russian music was described; also its having become greatly Italianized in the eighteenth century. We were told of the French operas as performed at St. Petersbourg [Petersburg] in 1772. The works of distinguished Russian composers from that time were described. The influence of Liszt and his contemporaries on Russian music in the nineteenth century was recounted, and we were brought down to the works of the two great
Russian composers and musicians, Rubinstein and Tchaikowski [Tchaikovsky].
The 2nd article of the programme was written and read by Miss Annie Hollins, and was on these two great Russian composers, Rubinstein and Tchaikowski [Tchaikovsky]. Miss Hollins said that Anton Rubinstein born in 1829 and died in 1894—was the son of a Polish Jew and a Russian Jewess. As always in Russia, the Jews were persecuted with no redress. In the reign of the Czar Nicholas 1st, the grandfather of the great musician held a family council of the Rubinsteins. He told them that the government wanted their money, and the only way to escape poverty and persecution was to be baptized adding that holy [rites?] and chrism [anointing oil] could not hurt them more than the fanatical oppression of the Czar. Anton Rubinstein’s mother was musical herself, and early recognized the talent of her son, and placed him under good instruction. At ten years old, he went on a musical tour, playing at Moscow, and later at St. Petersburg, winning great admiration. He afterwards found the acquaintance of Liszt and of Chopin to both of whom he was always devoted. He went to [illegible] in 1833, also to England as well as to Berlin and Vienna. His Genius was acknowledged both at home and abroad; but for long, financial fortune did not favor him; his compositions were published with no profit to himself. He was married in 1865, and in 1882
he visited America but did not like the ocean voyage and after his return would not undertake it again, although his American tour laid the foundation of his prosperity. Rubinstein was generous and was chivalrous to women, and his music had a wonderful charm. He died at the age of 65.
With regard to Peter Ilitch Tschaikowski [Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky], Miss Hollins said there is not much to tell. His music has been well-received in America. Americans seem well prepossessed towards Slavic music. Tchaikowski [Tchaikovsky] was born in 1840 in the Ukraine district of Russia near the border of Poland. He was sent to a law school, although he early showed his fondness for the piano. At 17 his musical talent was found worthy of being cultivated. He lived for some time in Moscow, and made tours in other parts of Europe. After telling of his compositions and his European success, Miss Hollins said he came to America and played his own compositions, which were very well received. He played in Baltimore at what was then the Lyceum Theatre on Charles Street. He died of cholera at the age of 53. Miss Hollins then played for us Russian Instrumental Music, three piano solos.--The first was a Berceuse [lullaby] by Karganoff [Karganov], Opus 22, number 3. She said this was not like Russian music in general—there was nothing wild about it; but that it was a berceuse might account for that. Miss Hollins next gave us Tchaikowski ‘s [Tchaikovsky] Nocturne, Opus 19, number 4, and his
Chant sans Paroles, Opus 2, number 2 [number 3]. She followed this with Rubinstein’s Romance, Opus 44, number 1, and his Kammenor Ostrow [Kamenniy-Ostrov], Opus 10.
The last article of the programme was a Piano Duet, from Bal Costume, which was played by Miss Hollins and Miss Bash—all of which was as usual much appreciated by the Club. After the adjournment, followed the enjoyment of refreshments and conversation, with which would not fail to be mingled the regret at parting from our Acting-President, who will be followed by our good wishes for her journey, and anticipations of her return.
608th Meeting. [Feb. 4, 1908]
The 608th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club was held on Tuesday, February 4, 1908, in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the charge of Miss Lucy T. Latané, Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism. The 2nd Vice-president, Mrs. George K. McGaw was in the chair, and called the meeting to order. Mrs. Sidney Turner asked leave to give our greeting to our new presiding-officer, which she did, in a few very appropriate words. She expressed our pleasure that in the absence of our excellent President and first vice-president, we can still have our first office filled by one who in former days has proved her qualifications for the office in which we are glad to have her.
The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of January 28th.
The announcement was made of lectures on Japan to be given at the First Methodist Church on February 6 and 7, for which no cards would be necessary. Before beginning the programme it was announced that we should not have the pleasure of hearing the article expected from Miss Virginia Cloud, on The Unwritten Side of Some Recent Fiction. We much regretted to hear that Miss Cloud had fallen on the ice, and broken her ankle.
The first article of the programme was given by Miss Lucy T. Latané and was on “The Queen’s Letters.” Miss Latané spoke first of the well-known books on the life of Queen Victoria, the records of her early and later years—and also of the biography of the Prince Consort. These might at a first glace seem to make unnecessary the lately published “Queen’s Letters” in three volumes, edited by A. C. Benson, and authorized by King Edward. But this book is more than her letters, it is her correspondence, and contains the letters she received from historical men and women, as well as those she wrote to them. They give us side-lights upon her reign, upon her character, and upon the characters of some of her distinguished contemporaries. Her early correspondence with her uncle, King Leopold of Belgium shows his guiding hand for her, and his influence on her kingdom, of which he was a
resident before her birth, as the husband of the Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George the Fourth. His wife’s early death of course, destroyed his own chance of being Prince Consort, but not his interest in England, which grew greater when his sister’s child Victoria became heiress to the throne, afterwards adding another tie by marrying his nephew, Prince Albert. Miss Latané’s quotations from these letters showed Queen Victoria’s good intentions, her enjoyment of her high position, her tendency to write exuberantly, to what is sometimes called gushing, and her occasionally assuming Elizabethan imperiousness. We were given a letter from the Queen’s half-sister, the daughter of the first marriage of the duchess of Kent, who writes in some perplexity regarding the suit for the hand of her daughter, the Queen’s half niece—by Louis Napoleon, the now Emperor of the French. The mother hopes that her daughter will say “No” positively, which she apparently did, for very soon afterward, Napoleon the Third married the beautiful Eugénie de Montijo. But Miss Latané said that in the Queen’s correspondence with her uncle Leopold on political and personal matters, we seem to see the very “pulse of the machine.” She traced too, the life and the guiding hand of Prince Albert, her husband, “in that fierce light that beats upon a throne” going on to his death—the tragedy of the Queen’s life.
The presiding-officer asked if there were not some members who would like to give comments on the subject of Miss Latané’s interesting paper. There were several interesting responses. Mrs. Lord spoke of a monument to Queen Victoria in one of our cemeteries near Baltimore, erected it is said, by the English Order of Saint George. Mrs. McGaw spoke of the pure court and decorous reign of the Queen. Some incidents were related of her control of her children, and her sympathy with other mothers. Miss Mary Davis told of her old friend Bishop Whipple, who while in England aroused the Queen’s interest in his missionary work among the North American Indians, so much so that she desired an interview with him. He afterward sent to her through the hands of the daughter of the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, a piece of lace, the work of Indian women. The Queen placed it on a table by her side, saying to Miss [Benst?], “You need not acknowledge this, I will do it.” And she did,--her letter being afterwards a treasured possession of good Bishop Whipple.
The next article of the programme was given by Mrs. William M. Smith, a new member, whose first appearance on our platform, received an appropriate greeting. Mrs. Smith’s article reviewed the new book of Mr. Howells [William Dean Howells] “Between the Dark and the Day-light.” Mrs. Smith spoke of the present custom of taking
an apt quotation for the title of a book, though in some instances the analogy between the title and the book may seem far-fetched. Mr. Howell’s book is a collection of short-stories located apparently in a region lying somewhere in a region between light and darkness, between reality and immateriality. They are not, it would seem like the ghost stories of our own and the World’s childhood—the impression was of something more refined, and dealing sometimes with the ghost of the living as well as of the dead. Mrs. Smith’s review took up one story after another, revealing each one’s special interest and attraction. Some of them she suggested give the impression of being after all only dreams themselves. In one, Mrs. Smith said Mr. Howells showed great self-denial in not describing the humorous side of the situation. But it may be questioned whether he does his best work in the mysterious world of spirits.
The last article of the programme was given by Miss Emily Paret Atwater, and was on “The Broken Road” by A. E. W. Mason, author of “The Four Feathers.” Miss Atwater spoke of the fascination that stories of the Orient have for us in the midst of our Western Civilization. Rudyard Kipling was the first in our present day to throw the door of the East Indies wide open, but others are now nearly equal to him. Mason, she said, is his
follower, but not his imitator. “The Broken Road” is a story of a military highway in Northern India, begun and carried on year after year—against difficulties, opposition, and even insurrection—intended to make the English rule safe, and to be to the great advantage of the native people also, tho’ they do not see it so. The book is also a study of characters—especially of two men and one woman. There is the desperate fight against power and incumbrances on the part of an Indian prince. He had been educated in England, in a society where the race question did not seem to give any trouble at all. But on coming home he is no longer treated as an equal by those with whom he wishes to associate. He has fallen in love with an English woman who accepts his beautiful pearls, and marries one of her own race, whom she does not make happy. The rejected prince turns a Mohammedan, joins a rebellion, is captured, and deported to a prison-island. There is no happy place for him. The woman willing to take all with no return gives death to one lover and sorrow to the other. The story, Miss Atwater suggested seems in some degree to symbolize British India.
Mrs. McGaw spoke of our regret for Miss Cloud’s accident. Miss Latané proposed a letter of sympathy from the Club which received
unanimous approval. Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary was requested to write and send this letter to Miss Cloud. With thanks to Miss Latané and her Committee, the meeting was adjourned.
609th Meeting. [Feb. 11, 1908]
The 609th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 11, 1908 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme of this meeting was under the direction of Mrs. Percy M. Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Fiction. The Acting President, Mrs. McGaw called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 4. Announcement was made of an invitation for the Club to attend a lecture given by Professor James H. Tufts on “The Present State of the Ethical Theory” at the Johns Hopkins University. Another invitation was read for the Club to visit the Exhibition of Painting by Mrs. L. W. Nielson Ford at the Taufel and Jones Gallery, Professional Building, 332 N. Charles Street, from February 10 to 17. We were reminded that Mrs. Ford had assisted at our Twelfth Night entertainment and on other occasions.
The first article of the programme was given by Mrs. William M. Smith and was called “The Recovery of Reuben.” Mrs. Smith’s Reuben posed as a confirmed invalid, and with his faith in the rolè he had assumed
there was no hope nor charity for the poor little wife kept subject to his delusions. He lived in bed, in a darkened room, and woke his Jane up, in the middle of the night, to look up for him where to find the most [unconsoling?] texts in the Bible. Her minister comes to see her and she appeals to him for the location of the text: “Conscience does make cowards of us all.” He coolly sends word to Reuben to “look for that text in the Prophesies of Hamlet.” The good pastor insists on taking the little son back to his home for a visit. When there, the child becomes very ill, the mother hears he is dying, and the minister sends word that she must come to her son for life or death. Reuben is obliged to open his window to see her go; it so happened the messenger sent for her is an old rival of his courting days. He is obliged to go down and forage for food in his wife’s full pantry, and to cut wood for his fire. When the minister rides over the next day with news that the child is much better, he finds Reuben eating a good breakfast of his own preparation; and after obliging the self-constituted invalid to listen to reason for a while, the good pastor insists on taking the lonesome man back with him to dinner. Before their ride together is over Reuben remarks that he thinks the spring will be early, and he must begin to see about the planting.
The next article of the programme was by
Miss Emily Paret Atwater, and was given as “Swamp Hollow--A Chapter from an Unfinished Manuscript.” Miss Atwater described a woodland scene in Autumn, when nuts were being gathered under the chestnut trees. She brought before us the young negro [Negro] in his craftiness, his superstition, and especially his humor conscious or unconscious. Then came the story of the true love of this higher humanity. There had been the lover’s quarrel, and the young ladies [lady’s] repentance for her pride and hasty words. Finding that her lover—the young doctor—has gone to save life if possible in the poorest and most forsaken of neighborhoods, she risks danger, hardship and unknown perils to follow and find him in his good work.
The next article was by our new member, Mrs. Robert B. Bowie and was called “The Walled Window.” It was a story of Florence with suggestions of the mysterious color and tone of mediaeval Italy. It told of the love of Alessandro for Elisa—who, the daughter of a Venetian mother, looked like a snow-drop among the dark beauties of Florence. But one day his visit is checked at the door of the palazzo, by an old servant who has no smile of welcome. He finds Elisa dying, but her face still has some light for him, some shining of the soul that is passing. Alessandro, after her loss, could not be comforted. One day he gained permission to enter the vault where she lay, and to pray beside her. Long afterwards he was found, with her coffin opened, kneeling by her side. The window that had shed light on “love stronger than
death,” was walled up and only the old sacristan could verify the sad tradition.
Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary read a dictated letter from Miss Virginia Woodward Cloud, expressing her appreciation of the remembrance of the Club and of her gratitude for our sympathy. After thanks to Mrs. Reese and her Committee for their entertaining programme, the meeting was adjourned.
610th Meeting. [Feb. 18, 1908]
The 610th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 18, 1908, in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. Frederick Tyson, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Languages. Mrs. McGaw, Acting President called the meeting to order and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 11th. A note was read from the President of the Woman’s Club of Forest Park—who is a member of the Advisory Board of the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association—giving notice of a musical entertainment at the house of Mrs. Jasper Berry on March 3rd for the benefit of the Poe Memorial Fund and asking the interest of the officers and members of the Poe Society and the Woman’s Literary Club. Tickets can be obtained from the President and Secretary of the Forest Park Club.
Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary announced that
she had received a letter from our member and former officer Miss Ellen Duvall, who is now living in Norfolk, Virginia. Mrs. Uhler explained that when Miss Duvall left Baltimore, it was decided by the Board of Management to send her a little remembrance as a Christmas gift from the Club—which it was agreed should be a small amethyst pin. But many things crowded out its transmission at that time. It was afterwards determined that it should be sent on St. Valentine’s Day, and that the Corresponding Secretary should write our love letter to accompany it. This she said had been done and she would now read Miss Duvall’s answer. Miss Duvall wrote of her grateful appreciation of the unlooked-for beautiful present, of the pleasure she feels in looking at it, and will have in wearing it; and in recalling the highly prized former days of friendship, aspiration and intellectual enjoyment with her dear fellow members of what is not like anything else--the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore.
The first number of the programme was given by Miss Schnauffer, and was her translation from an article from the German of Madame A. von Ende on “Three Literary Women of Germany.” Before reading her translation, Miss Schnauffer spoke of women’s phenomenal intellectual activity in the past thirty years, and the distinction they have gained in literature, art and science. A German American writer living in New York, Madame
Amalie von Ende, has written in her own language an account of three distinguished German literary women, Clara Viebig, Gabrielle Reuter and Lola Kirschner, whom she has visited in their homes—and her impressions are given in the translated article. Her impression of Clara Viebig from her books was of a healthy honest creature, deeply loving her home, but understanding all human-kind sympathetically. Clara Viebig was born in Trier, under the sound of the mighty bells of the old Cathedral near the Eifel mountains. She was reared in Düsseldorf--where the pleasure living life of the Rhine folk appealed to her youthful spirit. Then living in Posen, she became conscious of her latent talent, and afterwards in Berlin her artistic powers struggled into their best attainments. On visiting Clara Viebig by invitation, Madame von Ende found she must add to her mental portrait. The author looked young, and had some of the frank sweetness of a child. But critics have said that she has drawn the people of the Eifel mountains with masculine power; that few have depicted the Rhine folk with such warmth and faithfulness; that her social work “The Daily Bread” is a specimen of sound realism; that she gains respect from economists. Her picture shows the real woman—with her little son by her side. Her husband has taught in New York and she has been invited to America but dreads leaving home. She is a Director of the Lyceum Club in Berlin, but not often is her sympathetic voice heard there. Her novel “A Mother’s Son” she dedicated
to “My Son, When He shall be Grown.” It is a pathetic and dramatic story.
Another author on Madame von Ende’s list is Gabrielle Reuter. A sentence from her work on “The Problem of Marriage” gives the key to Gabrielle Reuter’s nature. It reads: “Our entire present life is no longer spent like that of our ancestors according to set rules, but it is an experimenting with very recently recognized laws and unregulated conditions of existence.” Beginning with her novel called “From A Good Family” published in 1895 down to her last book, she is a critic of social conditions; but has not placed her artistic powers at the service of social reform movements. Between Egypt where Gabrielle Reuter was born, and Germany where she was reared, yawns a chasm which might have confused a weaker mind; but hers was strengthened and sharpened by the conditions and contradictions that forced themselves upon it. Her “From a Good Family” is an alarmingly true picture from German Society. In spite of modern ideas and the higher education of women, the custom has not died out whereby in good families every female creature that comes into the world is pressed into the mould [mold] that was good enough for mother and grandmother, and therefore must be good enough for daughter and daughter’s daughter. The story is the tragedy of unmarried daughters of good families who are the unsought wares in the matrimonial market in which
social life is supposed to culminate. Madame von Ende first saw Gabrielle Reuter’s stately form and youthful face and snow-white waving hair at the Lyceum Club in Berlin. But seeing her later in her summer home with her daughter by her side made her feel that her host both “as artist and woman had come out of the battle of life a victor.”
Madame von Ende first met the Kirschner sisters—Lola, known in literature as Ossip Schubin, and Maire, the artist in New York, when they were on their way to the St. Louis Exposition in 1903, and she was then struck with their adapting themselves to new surroundings with the Austrian temperament to which nothing human is strange. She visited them afterwards in their garden house in Berlin where they receive once a week. There she met old ladies with titles too long to be remembered, artists and musicians, journalists, and English writers, among them Lady Arnim [Elizabeth von Arnim], the Elizabeth whose German Garden [“Elizabeth and Her German Garden”] elevated her to a much-disputed celebrity. The Kirschner sisters moved among their somewhat cosmopolitan guests with versatility and tact. Lola Kirschner began life with a beautiful voice which by over-training was lost. They lived in different countries of Europe with their mother, and by her wish remained single. After the loss of her voice Lola wrote a novel which made her famous. She has followed it with other works showing her travelled life, and wide sympathies.
Marie, the artist, was entrusted by the Imperial German government with the establishment of exhibition spaces at the St. Louis Exposition, where she also represented the Artist’s Club of Berlin. Madame von Ende told of the Kirschner sisters at home, where she felt that they had without talking of rights wonderfully solved for themselves the woman question; leading an ideal life, rich in work and also in enjoyment and in sympathy with all the world around them.
The next article was given by Mrs. J. R. Tait, and was “The Sorrows of a Spook—from the German of Reinheul.” Mrs. Tait told of a Christmas night, when a poor spectre was wandering abroad, shivering, for even poor spectres can shiver. He had been a poverty-stricken tailor in his life, but his necktie was a rope. An [A] humble soul, he had sacrificed himself for hopes and affections that had all failed him. He had tried to educate his son for a better position than his own, but his son had been taken for a soldier and he had hanged himself in despair. He was turned away from all places of rest that even ghosts can gain, for having come unbidden into the world of spirits. One adventure after another befel [befell] him in his former haunts, indoors and out; even the weathercock on the roof knocked him down. St. Peter himself could not let him in with the crowd of souls at Heaven’s gate—he must go back to fifty more years of wandering.
The next article was by Miss Annie Hollins, and was on “Gogol, from the French of Prosper Merimée.” Miss Hollins’ translation was from a French review of Nicholas Gogol, the Russian author, philosopher and political reformer of original genius and varied talents, [and] was of much interest. After telling of Gogol’s firm grasp of many forms of literature, the review went on to relate the story of one of his works, a comedy of blunders, with much local color which even in double translation appealed to us with its humor, satire, grotesque adventures and dramatic action.
The last article was given by Miss E. L. Mullin, and was called “Anna Marie, Countess of Alteneck from the French of Isabel Kaiser.” Miss Mullin’s translation described a reception given by the reigning prince of a German state with all the aristocratic environment and atmosphere appropriate to his ancient line and the historical inheritances of host and guests. There comes the announcement of “The Count and Countess of Alteneck.” It was known that the Count had not been seen at court for ten years. He had been married in the meantime, and there were rumors that his wife was of low origin, and therefore not one with whom the court ladies would associate. When they approached the prince, the count with a deep scar on his forehead, still tall and aristocratic, and his wife otherwise, the other guests did not see the good humor in her face, but whispered that her hands and arms were only fit for the wash-tub. As they passed on into the garden
there were unfavorable comments on this person of no distinction. A quiet military officer said “That depends on what you call distinction,” and asked leave to tell a little story. He began with the battle of Sedan and its 20,000 dead. A desperately wounded officer lying insensibly among them, was finally carried into an [a] humble home, where the daughter of the family nursed him like a child back to life, but not to recollection. Regaining other faculties, he found the girl who was a village belle, so necessary to him that after long persuasion she married him; and he took up the work of the people around him. One day by a fall from a ladder, he was again disabled, and after another recovery from insensibility, his recollection came back to him. The next day his wife found his noble father, who had believed him dead, sitting by his bedside. She took her fate in her own hands saying “You no longer need me. Go.” But he would not hear of anything of the kind. There was silence in the noble company until supper was announced. Then the reigning prince stepped forward, and gave his arm to “Anna Marie, Countess of Alteneck.”
With thanks to the Committee Foreign Languages, the meeting adjourned.
611th Meeting. [Feb. 25, 1908]
The 611th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, February 25, 1908 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The
programme was under the direction of Miss Virginia M. Henderson, Chairman of the Committee on Authors and Artists of Maryland. The Acting President was in the chair, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 18th. The presiding officer read an invitation for the Club to attend the Four Lectures on The Ideals of the American Republic, to be given by Professor James Schouler of Boston at the Johns Hopkins University, Donovan Room, beginning on March 3—no cards being necessary.
The first article of the programme was given by Miss Mary Dorsey Davis, and was on the Reverend Robert Piggot. Miss Davis said she would show us a beautiful engraving executed by Dr. Piggot, who lived many years in Maryland where he was honored as an Episcopal clergyman, as a teacher and writer, and also for his artistic works, especially his engraving. Years ago, Miss Davis told us her father sent to Dr. Pigott a drawing of her own—of historical interest. Dr. Piggot in acknowledgment sent a very fine and gratifying letter—which was read and also presented her with the handsome engraving of his own which she showed to us. It represented Timothy Pickering who was Secretary of War and Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Washington and John Adams. Dr. Pigott was the son of an English officer who fought (for) with General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham at the taking of Quebec from the French in1759. He himself came to Baltimore in 1837, and his religious
ministry here extended over sixty years. He lived to be over ninety recognized as a gentleman of the old school. During the Civil War, he is said to have held to the old government, though his sons took the Southern side. His grand-daughter—herself an artist of whose work we have proof—was formerly a member of our Club [Margaret Moore Piggot]. Miss Davis added to her account of Dr. Piggot, the showing of his works, noticing the care and finish bestowed on them.
The next article was given by Miss Annie Hollins and was on “Edwin Booth.” His correct name Miss Hollins said was Edwin Thomas Booth, after his father’s two friends Edwin Forrest and Thomas Flynn. He was born in1833 on his father’s farm in Harford County, Maryland, which was twenty-five miles from Baltimore, and environed by dense woods. On the November night of his birth, the negroes [Negroes] of the neighborhood were immensely excited by a shower of “shooting stars,” and prophesied a brilliant future for the new-born child. In this early home there were the spinning-wheel, brass fenders, antique mirrors and pewter plates of the olden time,--while Shelley, Coleridge, Tasso and Dante looked down from the shelves of the small well-chosen library. The health of the mother was delicate, and very early the child Edwin was committed to the care of his father—that strange genius who was said to have given both gloom and radiance to his life. Edwin Booth went to school
to Miss Susan Hyde in old Aisquith Street, Baltimore. He soon had other teachers besides the learning of the banjo from a negro [Negro], and the violin from an Italian, and early showed his dramatic talents. Miss Hollins gave a graphic description of his first appearance on any stage on September 10, 1849 when nearly sixteen. She told of his going to California with his father in 1852, crossing the Isthmus on mules. She went on to his great dramatic triumphs in England and America, spoke of his marriage, and touched on his great trials, especially the tragedy of April 14, 1865. She dwelt on the fine loyal qualities of the man as well as on the genius of the actor. She told of his founding The Players’ Home—where he afterwards lived and died. She spoke of his last appearance in Baltimore in 1890, the year before he died, when he played with Madame Modjeska, an occasion well-remembered by herself and others who were present. Miss Hollins read a poem on Edwin Booth—”The ideal Hamlet.” published in New York, but written by Mrs. Anne Moncure Crane Seemuller, a Baltimorean [sister of Lydia Crane].
The last article was given by Mrs. A. P. Atwater and was on “Amy E. Blanchard.” Mrs. Atwater reminded us that Miss Blanchard was at one time a member of our Club, and that before removing from Baltimore she had contributed to the interest and entertainment of our programmes. She has written over forty books of which twenty-six are in the Pratt Library.
We were given a partial list of her books and of her publishers who are well-known firms. She seems to have succeeded to somewhat the place of Miss Alcott and Mrs. Whitney in writing books for girls of the uplifting and inspiring kind. Miss Blanchard has Maryland ancestry. On one side she is of French Huguenot descent; on the other she comes from the line of one of Lord Baltimore’s companions. Her father was a writer; she has been a teacher, and always a book reader. Mrs. Atwater told of her own acquaintance with Miss Blanchard in Baltimore; and also of a charming visit paid to her in her summer home on the New England Coast. There, literary work did not prevent the making of excellent rolls, coffee and other good things by the hostess; there were delightful picnic teas, and real home life of the best kind. Mrs. Atwater closed by reading an extract from “Betty of Wye,” one of Miss Blanchard’s Maryland stories. It gave a picture of country life in old Maryland on a Bay Shore Farm, where land and water produced plenty to eat and drink; and with not only daily bread but other things without care or payment at hand, both parents and children seemed to yield to a sort of “dolce far niente” [pleasant idleness] existence. But Betty—possibly under the spell of some forgotten ancestor, seems disposed to give some aims and aspirations to the other happy-go-lucky ones, in a natural, girlish and spontaneous manner. Mrs. Atwater
also spoke of Miss Blanchard’s book, the “Frontier Knight.”
After enjoying the entertainment given by the committee on Maryland Authors and Artists, the Club adjourned for conversation and enjoyment of the refreshments of the House Committee.
612th Meeting. [Mar. 3, 1908]
The 612th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, March 3, 1908, in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme of this meeting had been prepared by Mrs. Frederick Tyson, Chairman of the Committee on Current Topics. The Acting President, Mrs. McGaw called the meeting to order. She announced that the printed programmes had failed to arrive—through the fault of the mails. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of February 25.
Announcement was made of an invitation for the Club to attend a lecture at the Johns Hopkins University by the Reverend John W. Quirk, S. J. of Fordham University, New York on Sedulius, the Christian Virgil, to be given on Wednesday, March 3 at 8 p. m.
Mrs. Tyson then gave her article on “Current Subjects” first reading the subjects considered from a written programme. She said however, she would leave out several items—on account of their apparent length. She noted the first topic--”The Philosophy of Government,” and began with the second “A Marvelous Feat.” She
quoted the opinion of a very distinguished English scholar, who in speaking of the great problems he had encountered in the American Nation, pronounced the greatest of all the wonderful American man. Of course, the American woman is wonderful too, and the self-abnegation and courtesy shown her are among the things that make the man great. But in the power of doing impossible thins, or things always before considered impossible—the American man is the wonder of the age. In Europe the possessor of the great means are often collectors of works of art, or founders of museums, or other great institutions; but the European millionaire’s work is the amusement of Mr. J. P. Morgan, and others well-known to us. In America the expression has grown common “He works like a millionaire;” “He adds to the great utilities of the world.” Mrs. Tyson went on to describe the “marvelous feat” of the McAdoo Tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting New York and New Jersey, which has just been completed and opened. Instead of the inconvenient “ferry passage,” people can now reach New York City from the other side, without changing cars. Two contracting companies, one English and one American had attempted this marvelous feat before, and failed to accomplish it. But now, this American [William G. McAdoo] from the South has succeeded in what has been his dream and his ambition, for some sixteen years—digging
Two and seven-eighths miles through the rocks and showing the way for other tunnels now being constructed.
Mrs. Tyson next told us of “Inland Waterways” and “Forest Preservation.” She showed how great railroad lines had monopolized the transportation work of the country; and the necessity of reviving the older methods of trade and travel. Every nation—we were reminded—needs and desires inland waterways, and those of England, Germany and Russia were described to us. Mrs. Tyson spoke of the Erie Canal, and of the suggestions received with regard to its construction by Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, while he was visiting in Maryland. He was very much impressed by the canal built by the efforts of the three Ellicott brothers for their own shipments of wheat in and from their own state. Governor Clinton argued that what three citizens could do, the great state of New York could do on a much larger scale. Mrs. Tyson went on to speak of the waterway projected from Cape Cod to Beaufort, South Carolina, and the great canals for the Mississippi Valley region, earnestly advocated by President Roosevelt. She then spoke of the great necessity for preserving the forests of our lands as forests are preserved in Europe—for the health and safety and prosperity of our country. She reminded us of the lately-established professorship of Forestry at Yale College. She told of the re-
reeming of the swamp lands of our own country, and of turning water where it is needed—a work promoted of late by our Presidents—especially by Cleaveland [Cleveland], McKinley and Roosevelt. Mrs. Tyson took up the topic of “Our Spanish Possessions.” She said we have become to some extent a Spanish-speaking nation as well as an English-speaking one,--and the Spanish language is obliged to be taught at West Point and Annapolis. We have delegates in Congress from Porto Rico, and the Phillippines [Philippines] as well as from Hawaii. We have a protectorate over Cuba, and the late pilgrimage among our Spanish-speaking neighbors of our Secretary of State, Mr. Root, seems to have given us a stronger alliance and a better interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine than ever before. She said that Spain now is actually in better condition with regard to Spanish America as its leader in Literature, Culture, Tradition, art, and other inheritances, than she was when maintaining a precarious rule over discontented and revolutionary provinces.
Mrs. Tyson next spoke of “A Wonderful Man--” President Diaz of Mexico. He it was who brought a new Mexico out of chaos, and put a stop to riots and revolution. Mexico, she said, is not really a republic, except in name; the President is a Dictator. When a revolutionary spirit is shown in any province, the leaders are invited to come to the capital city
and find that they are to stay there. Diaz has developed stability, and his probity and justice have won admiration on all sides. She told us there are a million or more of our own citizens now in Mexico, and finding it agreeable to stay there. The next-neighborship [neighborliness?] has grown very close lately. Mrs. Tyson’s next Topic was “A Troublous Kingdom”--the small country of Portugal. She spoke of the jealousy and dislike the little kingdom shows to its neighbor, Spain. They preserve the difference of language, and other dissimilarities. This is like the feud between Germany and Holland. Mrs. Tyson spoke of the early history of Portugal, and of its great period of discovery and colonization from late in the Fourteenth century continuing into the Sixteenth. She described Portugal’s centuries old alliance with England. She went on to the assassination of King Carlos and The Crown Prince, a little more than a month ago. She said the late king was agreeable—and very popular—though neither good nor great—and the queen is a beautiful, good and religious woman, who has not only founded hospitals but visits and cares for them. She has brought up her sons—so far as can be known, to be good and kind like herself. We were told of the long-continued unsatisfactory state of the country. Lisbon she said is Portugal, in the sense in which Paris was said to be France. The country people are uneducated
and poor; they take little interest in the government; there is no middle class; the tax-gatherers are dishonest, and the Court is mediaevally ceremonious and cumbersome. But there are some hopeful circumstances: as the new king, and the Queen’s influence promise well and the English Alliance seems a guarantee for Peace.
The last “Topic” treated by Mrs. Tyson was “China.” She spoke of the present great awakening of a great nation. In the opinion of the competent judges the Chinese are greatly superior to the Japanese in the qualities of honor and honesty. There is no real aristocracy in China; the ruling or official class are of those who can pass an examination in the works of Confucius—maxims fifteen or more centuries old. There has been a lack of nationalism as we understand it—the provinces seem to govern themselves. But there is a great change; the worth of Western achievements is becoming appreciated; and for the first time, the Chinese want to build and possess their own railroads and improvements. The position of women has improved; formerly a woman was only the wife, mother or sister of the man whose existence seemed to include her own also. Now schools are established for women. The three or four hundred millions of Chinese have begun to be our neighbors since the United States has become a Pacific as well as an Atlantic
Power. We are nearer than European Nations, especially since the American Soldiers were the first in the Army of Occupation who were forbidden to loot the Chinese palaces and temples; and also since the proposal to return that part of the indemnity paid from losses which exceeded the actual injuries received. We can hope that before long China will take her place among the great world powers, by the side of America.
The Acting President said she thought we had not felt the loss of the printed programmes in listening to what they were to represent.
The meeting adjourned.
613th Meeting. [Mar. 10, 1908]
The 613th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday March 10, 1908 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was given by the committee on Essays and Essayists, Mrs. Sidney Turner, chairman. The Acting President, Mrs. McGaw called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 3rd.
The first article of the programme was given by Miss May Henderson, and was on “Complexities of the Simple Life.” Miss Henderson said that we hear at present a great deal about “The Strenuous Life,” and are told that we live too fast and too energetically.
But suppose we look at the complex life of a woman of the present day. She rises in the morning, turns on the heat; takes her bath at the right temperature; and, after dressing, goes down to her breakfast; reads the morning paper, receives her mail; has an interview with the cook; goes out shopping or calling; after lunch goes to her Bridge part, her Club, or a Board Meeting; and after dinner attends some social function, or has an evening at home. We are told to return to the simple life. But what is this panacea for all the ills that flesh is heir to? Miss Henderson described a temporary trial of the simple life in the country. There one can hope to have wood fires—there is no sentiment in the warmth from a hole in the floor. But the good old-fashioned hickory wood is hard to obtain, and harder yet to be cut-up and split. One old darkey “uncle” says he wants fifteen cents an hour; and being told that might make the pay too large,--answers, he wants that, just for fear it will be too little, and proceeds to take three days to do the work. In the morning, the fire must be made,--and the water in the pitcher is apt to be frozen,--and the pump to be frozen also. We were told of the hog-killing time, when the neighbors meet for hard work, hearty eating, and with gossip or even love-making, after which there are thirteen kinds of hog meet stored up for the winter. At night when the household gathers around the lamp-lit table, the book or paper is apt to slip to the ground; and the eyelids drop together. But even the
children know how to drive a bargain, and clutch the [illegible] closely. Whatever ideals they may have, there are complexities in their simple life.
The next article was given by Miss Elizabeth Cary Nicholas, and was on: “Questions--irrelevant and otherwise.” Miss Nicholas told of the wife of a sea-captain, who had been with her husband to Europe, the Orient and South America, and who said to her: “I have learned two things—not to ask questions, and not to repeat what I have heard.” She went on to speak of the questions addressed to us,--often personal ones—which are difficult to answer or to which even our silence may be erroneously taken for the silence which gives consent. Then there are interlocutors who spoil any good story you begin to tell by interruptions and demands for explanations. Miss Nicholas spoke also of the new points of view, and of the problems of life about which questions are asked, to which no answers appear ready to be given.
The next article was by Mrs. [Miss] H. J. Cooper, and was on “The Silences.” Miss Cooper said that in the heart of the cyclone there is stillness, and that quiet things emphasize themselves without sound. The astronomer looking through the lense [lens] of his telescope is told the secrets of the heavens without speech or language. Travellers [travelers] on sea or desert shape their courses by the fixed stars. The grain [great?] and the mighty trees spring up and grow and fulfil their missions without noise or apparent effort.
Miss Cooper reminded us that the great temple of Solomon “was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building.” She spoke of the silent messages that come to us from such creations of art as Michel Angelo’s [Michelangelo] Last Judgment, or his statue of Moses, in which we seem to feel the silent living presence of the law—proclaimed to him on Sinai. She spoke of the statue of the Divine Healer in the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the still, strong form, the visible representation of peace and of power to save. Miss Cooper also spoke of a gift made to the same hospital by our present acting President of a finely-executed sun-dial—to tell the hours noiselessly day by day. She told of the lamp hanging in the Cathedral of Pisa, which by its silent oscillations revealed to Galileo the principle of the pendulum in measuring time—for the centuries that have followed. She reminded us that “Those also serve who only stand and wait--” adding that the deepest rivers make the least noise, and the deepest thoughts come out of the silence of the soul.
The last article was given by Mrs. McGaw and was on “Sun Dials.” Mrs. McGaw described an old-fashioned garden in which she was accustomed to play when a child, and which contained an old sun-dial—with a charm of its own for a child’s imagination. Upon it was cut the inscription, J. H. 1797. It was no wonder
if youthful fancies gathered around the time-keeper of the youth of the world. The clepsydra or water clock, we were reminded, may be more current; but the sun-dial with its plane and gnomon [part of sundial that casts shadows] is a familiar sight to us still. Mrs. McGaw described the fine old sun-dials found in the temples of Egypt and those of the Greeks. The Chaldeans are said to have used them and even Job is supposed to have had one. Mrs. McGaw quoted the account in the Bible of the sun-dial on which for the confirmation of King Hezekiah’s faith—the shadow went back ten degrees or steps. She spoke of the dial that Cicero had at his villa, and also of those that have been found in the ruined temples of the Mexican Indians. After the mention of other historic dials, she told of the curious mottoes and rhymes inscribed on many of them. One inscription in Lancashire is said to have been written by Sir Walter Scott. Another one in France has on it, “Come Boys, now is the time.” Mrs. McGaw closed with some very appropriate lines by Henry Van Dyke written at Wellesley College.
Mrs. Tait spoke of having seen a dial with the inscription “I count only the hours that are serene.”
The meeting was adjourned.
The 614th Meeting. [Mar. 17, 1908]
The 614th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of
Baltimore was held on Tuesday, March 17th, 1908 in the Assembly Room, Academy of Sciences Building. This meeting was to have been under the charge of Mrs. S. A. Hill, Chairman of the Committee on Historic Studies, but Mrs. Hill was—from severe illness—unable to be present; and a new programme had been arranged by our Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. P. R. Uhler. In the absence of the President, Vice-Presidents, and Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Sidney Turner of the Executive Board was called upon to preside. Mrs. Turner called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 10. An invitation was announced for the Club to attend two lectures by Professor W. Max Müller of Philadelphia, at the Johns Hopkins University. A notice was also given of a meeting of L’Alliance Française. The Recording Secretary also read a note from Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary, containing a message from our dear absent President, Mrs. Wrenshall. To Mrs. Uhler, Mrs. Wrenshall writes: “Please give my warmest and most affectionate remembrances to dear friends of the Club, and say there has not been one member without [illegible] in my thoughts this winter.” She further says “that she has written but few letters; and is greatly improved in health, as also is her daughter.” The date of sailing for home is not yet set, but will probably be the middle or latter part of April.
Mrs. Turner said that Mrs. McGaw had sent an expression of sympathy felt for our loved and
Valued member, Miss Virginia Cloud, in her double affliction—her own severe accident—and the death of her father. Mrs. Turner said it would be appropriate to send to Miss Cloud a note from her fellow-members of the Club expressing their deep regret and loving sympathy for her in her sorrow. A motion was made, seconded and carried that the Corresponding Secretary be requested to write the proposed note.
Mrs. Turner gave the notices of the subjects of the meeting of the Club during the month of April.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. W. C. A. Hammel—a non-resident member. It was read by Miss Butler. Mrs. Turner reminded us that Mrs. Hammel was formerly an active member of the Club, but since her removal to North Carolina, where her husband has a professorship, she has become a non-resident member—yet still shows her interest in our literary work by taking part in it.
The subject of her article was “The Short Story.” Mrs. Hammel began by speaking of the hurried life of to-day, which does not seem to give time for reading the three volumed [volume] novels of our fore-fathers. Such works seem in America to have largely given place to short stories. She reminded us that the short story has been called “not real literature”--and it seems apt to become legend or romance. She dwelt on the differences between the short story and the novel. The short story is not even necessarily a love story; it may not point [posit?] a
moral—though some short stories do so; it need not have characterization for its motive, but it should have totality, force and convergance [convergence]. Mrs. Hammel spoke of Washington Irving as a pioneer in the production of the short story; she then spoke of the marvellous [marvelous] achievements in this department of composition by Poe and Hawthorne. She went on to their followers such as Edward Everett Hale, with his wonderful “Man Without a Country”--Bret Harte, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Frank Stockton and many others, not forgetting Mary Wilkins and Ruth McEnery Stewart. Among English short stories she spoke of the masterly position won by those of Rudyard Kipling. Mrs. Hammel also spoke of the short stories of France; this kind of writing seeming to be easy and successful there.
The next article was by Mrs. Sidney Turner, and was on “Voices in the Air.” Mrs. Turner spoke of suggestions for her article having been given by the poem of Henry Van Dyke “God of the Open Air.” By request, she read to us Mr. Van Dyke’s poem; and even those who were acquainted with it, were glad to hear Mrs. Turner’s appreciative reading. Mrs. Turner spoke of the structures that man builds up into the air and the works of his hands that he sends up far beyond the clouds—while man himself remains as big and as little as ever. She reminded us of the article given us the week before on the silent things that emphasize themselves without noise. She spoke too of the voices that come to
us from the air around us, when we are not listening for them. The city streets are often vibrant with such remarks as: “She’s just dead in love with him;” “Mack lost a pile on that;” and other statements more or less disconnected, although sometimes we could make the connections—if we cared to do so. In contrast, Mrs. Turner spoke of the morning voices in the country—when the little birds’ pure voices announce the coming day, other living things take up the greeting, and man begins his daily renewed life. There is much meaning in the voices of nature; in the organ tones of the winds through the tree tops, and perhaps a child singing in the branches. In the night we seem almost to hear the singing of the stars in their courses. “Into the woods our Master went” and nature still invites us to hear the voices that linger and live there. The voice of the city she said is the voice of man; the voice of country is the voice of nature; the voice of night and solitude is the voice of inspiration, the voice of dawn is the “Let there be Light” of creation; the voice of Twilight is the “Well done” and the voice of all the elements together is the voice of God. Mrs. Turner closed with a poem of her own—an appropriate pendant to the one of Mr. Van Dyke, and which she began.
The programme promised an article by Mrs. Frederick Tyson, but she earnestly requested that it should be omitted as she was anxious to hear the Hopkins lecture
on Ancient Egypt, and was sure other members wished to do so too. With regret for the loss of the third article, it was voted to adjourn.
The 615[th] Meeting. [Mar. 24, 1908]
The 615th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday March 24th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. William Paret, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Travel. The Acting President, Mrs. McGaw, called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting March 17th. Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary, read a note from Miss Cloud in response to the one sent to her expressing the sympathy of the Club for Miss Cloud’s double affliction,--her own severe accident, and the death of her father. Miss Cloud’s note gave in very few words the assurance of her gratitude for the kind messages of the Club. Mrs. McGaw read a letter from the sister of Mrs. Samuel A. Hill, giving Mrs. Hill’s thanks for the flowers sent to her from the Club after the meeting of the previous Tuesday. Two invitations were announced for the Club to attend entertainments at the Johns Hopkins
University: the first for the lectures of Mrs. Thomas S. Baker on March 26th and 27th; and the second for the exercises—on Friday, March 27th—connected with the acceptance and installation of the collection of classical antiquities recently presented to the University.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. A. P. Atwater, and was on “Two Week[s] in a Private Car.” Mrs. Atwater told of making a railway tour in England in a private car, with an American party, ten ladies and two gentlemen;--all but one from Baltimore. She spoke of the courage of the two gentlemen in undertaking to escort this party,--but one was from an English college, and the other a member of the Baltimore Bar. The car was comfortable and the freedom of stopping and being switched off when it was agreeable to do so, and the looking out upon the lovely English landscapes and gardens was delightful. She told of Chester, with its Roman antiquities and walls; of Kenilworth with its memories of Queen Elizabeth; of Stratford with Shakespear’s house, and Anne Hathaway’s cottage; and of other places always demanding our interest. But she told also of our English cousins’ lack of sympathy with the American thirst for water. At one place they succeeded in obtaining about a pint for the twelve persons. At another station one of the party
went off in search of the American essential to comfort, but came falling into the car in anguish, exclaiming, “No water for five hours!”--”that is until the next station.”
The next article was by Mrs. William Paret, and was on “A Short Summer Flight.” Mrs. Paret said that in going on a flight the bird must have a twig to start from,--and she found her twig in Switzerland. It was in typical Swiss scenery on Lake Thun with Interlaken at the other end, and with eleven snow-capped mountains in sight. She seemed to take us with her on her journey to Lake Geneva, to Milan, to Venice, and to Rome. She told of St. Peter’s of course, but dwelt on the surprising beauty of St. Paul’s without the walls. She spoke of the catacombs, “so clean and well kept,” with the pulpit from which St. Paul is said to have presided; and other marvels of the eternal city. She went on to Naples, where the beautiful bay, Vesuvius, Pompeii, and the whole face of Nature are no disappointment, however, the heat and squallor [squalor] of the city may affect the traveller [traveler],--temporarily. It was certainly pleasant to go—if only in spirit—on such a summer flight of Foreign Travel.
The last article of the programme was by Mrs. G. Lane Tannyhill, Jr., and was “A
Talk on Korea.” Mrs. Tannyhill spoke of two ways of travelling: one is to go by the guide books, to know and be prepared for what you are to see; the other is to go without previous knowledge—to come new to all things; and to be surprised by them. She felt as if she had stumbled on Korea. She told of the boats on which her party travelled, and of the menus of the dinners. One thing given them to eat was “condensed milk [sceoream?].” She described Chemulpo, the port of Seoul, the capital of Korea, reminding us that ancient cities, even of civilized countries, were built, not on coasts, but inland—for protection, yet having their ports and harbors for ships and foreign arrivals. There was a small hotel at Seoul to receive travellers: but of course the legation residences and the homes of the missionaries are far more comfortable than the ordinary living places in Korea. She told of the king’s palace, and of his system of wireless telegraphy by which he finds out what is going on in his kingdom far beyond the walls—with their eight gates—around his capital city. She spoke of reading a book about Korea written by an English woman, who paints its picturesque and ideal side,--its climate, scenery, hills and flowers, but overlooks the narrow streets and gutters whose atmosphere and odors have been called “most impressive.”
There seems no incentive to save money in Korea; the different grades of citizens squeeze each other for percentages and commissions in every transaction, and, for reasons, money received is changed into material necessities as soon as possible. You cannot expect to receive exact change in shopping. The women can often read and write, and are skilled in embroidery, but a woman has no name or position of her own. They have much laundry work to do, as spotless white is the favorite color of dress. One missionary said that meeting a crowd of Koreans recalls the orthodox idea of the general resurrection. She told of a missionary lady doctor who, in her hospital, could not keep her native patients in bed, but always found them lying on the floor. But she soon found the wards so filled that she had to treat patients in all the beds, and under all of them, also. The women wear petticoats and jackets which make them look more like ourselves than do the kimona [kimono] clad Japanese or short gowned Chinese women. We were shown models of their garments with really exquisite embroidery, and a native flag whose center showed a strange device of blue and red said to represent the dual element in creation,--male and female;
light and darkness; good and evil, etc.--as you please, apparently.
At the close of Mrs. Tannyhill’s article Mrs. McGaw called attention to the change in our programmes announcing our entrance into our nineteenth year; and said that we were observing at this meeting the anniversary of the full organization of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, on March 19th, 1890. She reminded us of the first principles underlying the foundations of our Club; of our limitations; and of all that we stand for. She read from our Constitution the statement our aims and objectives—and also read the Pledge we take to the society we have joined. Mrs. McGaw then asked Mrs. C. W. Lord whom she saw present—to give us some account of the initial meeting at which the formation of the Club was decided upon, and provided for. Mrs. Lord told gracefully and clearly of this initial meeting which was called by Miss Hester Crawford Dorsey—now Mrs. Richardson—and Miss Louise Haughton, to meet at the house of Mrs. John Dorsey, sister-in-law of Miss Dorsey at Roland Park. In response to this call there were eight or nine others,--including, according to our Club Book,
Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Tiernan, Miss Lizette Reese, Mrs. Turnbull, Mrs. Fabian Franklin, Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Goddard, Mrs. Whitelock, and Miss Woods. Mrs. Lord spoke of the great unanimity shown at this initial meeting with regard to the principles and objects desired to be advanced; and also in the choice of a President. She told of one or two meetings for consultations and of the decision to call a general meeting of the women believed to be literary in Baltimore,--to be held at the Woman’s College. Mrs. Lord closed with an appropriate reference to our having reached a woman’s majority being a Club eighteen years old.
Mrs. McGaw then called on Miss Lydia Crane to tell of our first regular general meeting at the Woman’s College, whose anniversary we are now observing. Miss Crane said she was not one of the ten Founders, but was one of the thirty who met at the Woman’s College by written invitation of the Founders to organize fully the Woman’s Literary Club. She had now brought with her the Baltimore “Sun” of March 20th, 1890, containing a full report of the meeting of the day before. Among the names given as those of who had responded to the invitations were—Miss Virginia Cloud; Miss Lizette Rees; Mrs. Miller, Miss
Crane; Miss Emma Brent; Mrs. John R. Tait; and many others. Miss H. C. Dorsey presided at this meeting. The voting for officers resulted in the unanimous election of Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull, President; Miss Hester C. Dorsey, Vice-President; Mrs. Whitelock, Secretary; Mrs. Franklin, Treasurer; and the Executive Committee, Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Tiernan, Mrs. Goddard; Miss Bond; and Mrs. Stockbridge. The newspaper continues: “The work of forming the Club was entered into with enthusiasm.” Miss Crane spoke of Mrs. Turnbull, our honored first President, who struck the key-note of our message, up raised the standard of our cause, turned our steps into the path in which were to walk, and guided us successfully for more than seven years.
Our second President, Miss Brent, whose gentle firmness we can gratefully recall, instituted our custom of decorating the graves of the authors and artists of Maryland; and since 1902 her own grave has been honored by our loving remembrance. In 1898 we elected our third President, Mrs. Wrenshall—our President still, whose unfailing devotion, executive ability and generous sympathy have made her a leader tried and true, whom we hope to see with
us soon again. Our acting Presidents have well and ably filled the office, whose duties have devolved upon them. Our first President prophesied that we would be a great power for good in our own community. Our second President told us that “like our own State we have sought less for size than excellence,--and to exemplify the spirit of our Maryland motto: ‘Brave deeds and gentle words.’”
Miss Lizette Reese, one of the founders of the Club was next called upon. Miss Reese spoke of the impossibility to do justice in a few minutes to the good work and good success of the Club. But our hearts are full of remembrances, and it is always good to hold fast to our loving memories.
Mrs. Percy M. Reese being called on told of her joining the Club in its early days, and of the abiding interest she had found in it, and the benefit derived from it ever since.
Mrs. Sidney Turner, being next called on, gave a very interesting account of some unusual individual experiences with regard to her being led to enter the Club. She thought working with other people as a great help to us, and that our Club can be all we choose to make it. After a few other comments the meeting was adjourned.
The 616th Meeting. [Mar. 31, 1908]
The 616th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club was held on Tuesday, March 31st, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This meeting was under the direction of the Committee on The Drama, Miss Virginia Cloud, Chairman, but in her absence we were very grateful to Mrs. Percy M. Reese, who had arranged and presented the programme.
Mrs. McGaw, Second Vice-President, called the meeting to order, and announced that Mrs. William Paret, now filling the office of First Vice-President, who had been expected to preside, was ill, and unable to be present.
The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 24th. Announcement was made of the subjects of the meetings in April.
The first article of the programme was by Miss Lydia Kirk, and was on” “Dramatic Current Events.” Miss Kirk spoke of the present depressed condition of the drama in America. The drama has been taken here as an amusement only, without that appreciation of its intellectual work which it has received in Europe. She spoke of the descent into and success of vaudeville performances in America. Most of the dramatic critics who hold their
own high ideals have, of late, been visitors from foreign lands,--the exception being Miss Marlowe—who was not born in America. Miss Kirk went on to speak of the Russian actress Nazimova [Alla Nazimova], who has played in Baltimore in the month past, whom critics have called “a new force to be reckoned with,” in the drama of this country. Miss Kirk thought her best character was Nora, in Ibsen’s “Doll’s House.” In “Hedda Gabler” you feel the presence of the actress through the play. Her third play, “The Comet” was considered bad literature [Decadent Movement], of the D’Annunzio [Gabriele D’Annunzio] kind. She spoke of Mr. Southern’s revival of his father’s plays with success in comedy, after his trying tragedy,-- like the authors of good prose who will write poor verses, or the landscape painters who will attempt portraits. Miss Kirk quoted the criticisms of the Italian writer, Signor Borsa, on the difference—especially with regard to action and gesture—between the Anglo-Saxon actor and the continental one, dwelling on the latter’s vocal and bodily expression of his part in dramatic realization. She then told of the movement to revive the Irish national drama, and of its institution in Dublin under the leadership of Wil-
liam Butler Yeats—in the effort to exemplify the vivacity, mysticism and humorousness of the Keltic [Celtic] character.
The next article was by Mrs. Robert Bowie, and was: “An Idyl [Idyll]—A Quest for Happiness.” Mrs. Bowie told of a nymph resting and musing near a fountain under the shade of the ilex trees, listening unseen to the conversation of mortal visitors, whose words were about unrest and longing. When at last she hears the tinkling of the pipe of the God Pan, she asks of him the reason of the mortals’ discontent. She learns of their craving and striving for what they do not attain,--what each one calls “happiness.” She goes out to find if any have been successful in this general quest; but all seek on in toil and hunger, in heat and cold, in light and darkness,--and their words and tones are mournful still. At last she finds in the roadway an old blind beggar, who uplifts his song with notes as clear and joyous as those of the skylark. He is asked if he has found happiness? He answers “Yes,” ‘though no other earthly thing belongs to him. The nymph demands of Pan the interpretation of the riddle. He tells her: “Because
this man’s stay is short till he goes to the home of his Creator; and the ills of life are ending in a foretaste of the joys of his wondrous destiny.
The next article was by Mrs. Percy M. Reese, and was” “Family Pride,--A Parlor Comedy in Three Acts.” Mrs. Reese said her play had been written for an amateur Club whose members had seemed to enjoy the acting of it, and to have the sympathy of their audience. Her play begins with a scene in the home of “Mr. Jones of Virginia,”--being present himself, his wife and Miss Clare Jones. Having lost their worldly prosperity they are striving to keep up appearances with a mistaken kind of family pride. The young girl is reluctantly fastening false flowers on plants for exhibition in the third story windows; and the old people are answering a charity call for black shoe polish on tan shoes, and the other by ravelling pink worsted mats and dying black, and re-knitting the yarn. There is a lodger, Dr. Fairfax who calls to pay his rent, and finds Mrs. Jones at a table on which are shown little piles of bank notes. But, unfortunately, the doctor’s twenty-
dollar note cannot be changed,--Mr. Jones’s notes being of too large denominations. These are afterwards shown to be Confederate money. With other details of plot and plotting, there is the full humor of the situation and the inevitable underlying rebellion against “make believe.” There is a love story; or two of them. Then follows the happy relief of a gift from the dead--(which it would be ill-bred to refuse)--from an uncle long estranged—the happy fate of the lovers and the conclusion of Clare, or “Miss Jones of Virginia;” “Now we can keep up with the procession,--really.”
The presiding officer thanked Mrs. Reese for supplying so well the place of Miss Cloud as Chairman of the Committee on the Drama; and declared the meeting adjourned, to partake of the “tea and talk” of the members and friends.
The 617th Meeting. [Apr. 7, 1908]
The 617th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 7th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was un-
der the charge of Mrs. Charles Carroll Marden, Chairman of the Committee on Letters and Autographs. Mrs. McGaw, second Vice-President called the meeting to order; and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of March 31st. Mrs. McGaw announced that the acting first Vice-President, Mrs. William Paret was, on account of illness, still unable to be with us. Announcement was also made of a drama to be given under the direction of L’Alliance Francaise, on April 25th which was expected to be of great interest.
The first article of the programme was by Mrs. W. M. Smith and was on Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Mrs. Smith gave an interesting and impartial review of the theories advanced in the late publications of Mrs. Gilman with regard to the domestic side of political economy. She treats what has been called the “woman question,” and might be called “the child question” also. She reminds us of “the exaltation of the home” in literature, and in the long-accepted belief of civilized nations. But that we find the average man still considers the woman an inferior, or at least a dependent. Mrs. Gilman’s remedy for
this is that the wife, as well as the husband, shall be the wage earner for the family, thereby doubling its income, and improving its style of living. To the objection that this would interfere with the bringing up of children, or make the wife’s duties unequally burdensome, Mrs. Gilman proposes the rearing of children by well approved care-takers; and their mental and moral training by competent teachers,--in nurseries and schools. Mrs. Smith suggested here the ignoring in these theories of the primaeval forces of parental and filial love. She also spoke of the probability of the influence of politics being brought forward to make the “ward boss” a superintendent of these model schools instead of the wise and conscientious professor. Even Mrs. Gilman admits the greater death rate of children in institutions as against that of children in homes. One reform she advocates is that of cöoperative kitchens, whereby a more economical and less burdensome means of preparing daily food might be secured than the present over-rated “home cooking.” We were told that Mrs. Gilman has been twice married and has one child. Two of her letters were read to us which seemed to be written in short sentences flying with breezy
touch from one subject to another.
The next article was by Miss Lydia Crane, and was on “Moncure Daniel Conway.” Miss Crane gave some personal recollections of her near relation, early and life-long friend, and unprofessional instructor. She told something of Moncure Conway’s varied life from its happy, care-free beginning in a typical old-fashioned Virginia home, to his more strenuous career in Europe and America. She spoke of his own congenial home life, of his many friendships, and his death in Paris last November. One of his letters to her on the Poe Memorial movement had been published in the Baltimore “News” of November 19th, 1907. From another written in 1860 she read an extract to introduce the only poem written by Moncure Conway with which she was acquainted.
The next article was by Mrs. Robert B. Bowie and was on “Joseph Jefferson.” Mrs. Bowie spoke of the development of the drama in England, and of English actors, among whom she spoke of a Jefferson who was the great grandfather of Joseph Jefferson of our own time and country. The connecting links in this line were also actors of more or less distinction in their profession. One of these met our President Jefferson, who
was not indisposed to consider a probable relationship to himself. The Joseph Jefferson of Mrs. Bowie’s sketch when little more than an infant was brought before the footlights in a basket and tumbled on the stage where he imitated the gestures and manners of Dan Rice successfully. During his early struggles for a living he at one time set up a cake and coffee stand outside of a theater. Long after, he gave, Mrs. Bowie said, the keynote of his success. “I sold good cakes and good coffee.” He always tried to give what was good in all things. She described his different personations, familiar to many of her listeners,--especially his creation of the part of Rip Van Winkle: finding it an epitome of human life; showing the relation of a man to other men, and to himself; strength of will and its weakness;--the sources of humor, pathos and sympathy,--brought out with that quality we call Art. After speaking of the real charm of the man and the actor, she went on to tell of his paintings, less known than his acting, but she said his landscapes reminded one of those of Corot. Mrs. Bowie read a letter from Joseph Jefferson to a friend who was in misfortune, and which indicated that he had already given aid and comfort with delicate consideration.
The last article was given by Mrs. Alan P. Smith, and was on “Hans Breitman[n]'s Barty in Baltimore.” Mrs. Smith spoke of having more than thirty years ago written to Mr. Charles Godfrey Leland in the interests of the Society of Decorative Art of this city, of which she was President. She summoned up courage to ask the creator of “Hans Breitman[n]” to give a lecture for the Decorative Art Society; also inviting him to be the guest of her husband and herself in her home, close by our meeting place. She was not then acquainted with Mr. Leland, knowing only his writings and his reputation as a student of Indian and Gipsy Lore. She read to us Mr. Leland’s charming letters with regard to the acceptance of her invitation. She went on to tell of his arrival, of his fine lecture, of his charming manners, and his expressed wish that there might be instituted in Philadelphia such a society as he found in Baltimore. She told of the Reception at her house which was a delightful “Hans Breitman[n] Barty.” He seemed charmed with the people he met. The next day he, by special invitation, visited Walter’s [Walters’] Art Gallery,--all the house being open to him, and the party who went with him. He
was particularly interested in the ceramics. Among those of China and Japan he understood instantly the symbolic dragons, and other Oriental emblems and types, whose significations are not generally evident to Western minds. Mrs. Smith said that after he had gone, all who had enjoyed the reception given to Mr. Leland seemed to feel like saying” “Where is ‘dot Barty now?” She quoted the lines of Oliver Wendell Holmes to the effect that the memory of it “remains to sooth[e] the aching brow.”
Mrs. McGaw spoke of the enjoyment of the Club in the programme given us, and declared the meeting adjourned.
The 618th Meeting. [Apr. 14, 1908]
The 618th Meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 14th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Miss Lizette W. Reese, Chairman of the Committee on Poetry. Mrs. McGaw, Second Vice-President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 7th. Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary announced that she had received two letters
from our absent First Vice-President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler. One of these was dated Cairo, Egypt, March 22nd, and the other was from Naples. She spoke of her visits to Gibralta[r], Cadiz, Algiers, Malta, and Athens,--the Holy Land, Jaffa and Jerusalem,--also Alexandria and Cairo,--the temple of Denderah [Dendera], Luxor Karnac [Karnak],--and the Pyramids. She saw the Khedive of Egypt,--who [is] said to be a man of sense;--with only one wife. In Jerusalem she went to two afternoon teas, and had a call from Miss Ridgely of Hampton. Mrs. Stabler also spoke of her improvement in health, and great enjoyment of her foreign tour.
The first article of the programme was given by Miss Lizette W. Reese, and was on “George Herbert.” Miss Reese described the church and parsonage of Bemerton, where George Herbert lived and ministered in its beautiful old English rural environment,--near Salisbury, and the old cathedral. She told of George Herbert’s life of thirty-nine years. She spoke of his university career at Cambridge; his acquaintance with the court of King James the First; and his work as the rector of a small parish among poor people,--to which he consecrated his learning and abilities. Miss Reese spoke of the
seventeenth century with its many contrasts of vice and virtue, weakness and strength. There was asceticism in George Herbert, he was by nature a high churchman, but also, we were told, he had the divine practicality of the Englishman. But it was chiefly of George Herbert’s poems that Miss Reese spoke to us,--those poems full of the soul’s experience, of the spirit of love and high thinking. She told of “The Temple”--agreed “to contain some of the best religious verse our language possesses.” She read to us some other exquisite short poems, which live for us still, and will continue to live. She repeated Herbert’s often quoted, and never surpassed lines:
“A servant with this clause
“Makes drudgery divine;
“Who sweeps a room as by Thy laws
“Makes that, and the action fine.”
The next article was by Miss Ellen Duvall, whom we are always glad to hear from. It was read for her by Miss Reese. Miss Duvall’s subject was “Shelley.” She recalled the old dictum that Nature abhors a vacuum: but she said Nature loves a paradox, and likes to give us the unexpected. She compared Shelley and Shakespeare—both being of the Anglo-Saxon race. She recalled the English expression “matter of fact” untranslatable
into other languages. “Matter of fact” does not mean mere literalism, but the sane genius of the Englishman who can keep his feet on earth with his eyes looking skyward. Shakespeare could give this quality its highest value and exaltation. Shelly, she suggested, was lacking in it. She quoted largely from both poets in support of her position. She described Shelley’s antagonisms and loves, and his stormy career. She compared him with Keats, showing the Greek spirit of both poets. She quoted from Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind,” and compared his genius to the Wind of which he writes. Miss Duvall quoted the lines from Shelley’s remarkable poem “Julian and Maddalo:”
“I love all waste
“And solitary places; where we taste
“The pleasure of believing what we see
“Is boundless as we wish our souls to be.”
The next article was by Miss Henrietta G. Pendleton, and was on “Shakespeare’s View of Nature.” Miss Pendleton said that Shakespeare, who could read the world at a glance, viewed Nature with the insight he gave to all things, but it was always Nature in its relation to man. Nature to him is never more majestic than when it forms the stage for human life’s tragedy. She quoted the scene of King Lear in
the storm where the raging forces of Nature are subordinate to the tempest and desolation in the old royal father’s soul. Nature, too, in its woodland beauty in the joy of forest life, was shown in sympathy with human love and delight. The same appreciation and sense of proportion was revealed in varying forms by striking quotations from plays, sonnets and other poems,--especially in the exquisite songs and lyric interludes of the master. In all Miss Pendleton recalled to us Shakespeare’s comprehension of the proper shares of sea and sky, tree and flower, animal and man in all the beauty and worth of the world.
The meeting was adjourned.
The 619th Meeting. [Apr. 21, 1908]
The 619th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 21st, 1908 in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. The programme was under the direction of Mrs. P. R. Uhler, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology. Mrs. McGaw, Second Vice-President called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 14th.
We then had the pleasure of hearing
an article by Mrs. Uhler on the Archaeology [of] Ceylon,--in six sections. Mrs. Uhler had by the favor of the Academy of Sciences, and the kindness of Mr. Hooper, secured some very fine lantern slide views which were thrown on the screen on our platform, and added largely to our enjoyment of her well-prepared article. Mrs. Uhler said that some persons supposed Archaeology to be a dull and dry study, but that the discovery of the actions, lives, motives and character of the men and women who inhabited this world centuries ago, has a fascination of its own. She went on to describe the picturesque island of Ceylon, with its glorious scenery, its rich and varied productions, and its amazing ruins,--especially those of the temples and monuments of the ancient religion of a vast portion of the human race. Mrs. Uhler spoke of the great works of irrigation which were done in ancient times. The island seems evidently to have been separated in prehistoric times from the mainland of India;--and its inhabitants resemble those of that country. The language of the majority—the Cingalese [Sri Lankan]—is derived from the Sancrit [Sanskrit] and resembles the Pali. Ceylon was known to the Greeks and Romans; and in later times was visited by Marco Polo and Sir John Mandeville, in the thirteenth and four-
teenth centuries. It has been under the rule or protection of the Dutch, the Portuguese, and lastly of the English, to whom it now belongs. Not far from the year 300 Before Christ [B.C.] Buddhism was introduced into this island by Asoka, the Constantine of Buddhism, son of King of Asoka. In telling of the conversion of the King Tissa, Mrs. Uhler said she thought he must have been a good man—worthy of the approbation of the Woman’s Literary Club—as he wished his wife and family to secure the benefits of the religion he had adopted,--a faith we can easily believe much better than any he had known before. By his request the sister of the missionary prince was brought over from India to impart the Buddhist faith to the household of the newly converted king. There was also said to have been brought from India a tooth of Buddha, (or what is believed to be it)--the most sacred relic in Ceylon. This is carried in a procession once every year, and for it shrines are provided at each resting place, the English rulers, being, it is said, wise enough not to interfere with this ancient custom. The missionary princess is said to have brought from India the cutting from the sacred Bo Tree under which the great Buddha sat to meditate and to receive the knowledge or understanding
with which he went out to preach to the eastern world. The cutting planted then has become a tree called “enormous and multiple,” at the Sacred City of Anuradhapura. Mrs. Uhler went on to describe this venerated city with its wonderful ruins of vast sculptured temples, monuments and statues. The pictures of the sacred city Anuradhapura were so striking and remarkable that Mrs. Uhler was requested to show them slowly. We were shown Adam’s Peak, one of the highest mountains in Ceylon, on which is a depression, devoutly believed to be the footprint of Buddha himself. We were told of Segiri [Sigiriya] the fortified city, and of the plan of its erection, with its great walls and gates. Mrs. Uhler called attention to the fact that the most stupendous buildings in the world have been erected in hot countries. She went on to tell of Polonnaruva, the Royal City. She told of the great king Prakrama, who reigned thirty-three years in the twelfth century A. D., and was distinguished for his vast public works and services. In closing, Mrs. Uhler spoke of the number of the pictures she had been obliged to leave out; but she hoped those she had shown us would increase our interest in archaeological research.
The meeting was adjourned.
The 620th Meeting. [Apr. 28, 1908]
The 620th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, April 28th, 1908, in the assembly room Academy of Sciences Building. To the surprise of the Club generally, our President, Mrs. Wrenshall, appeared on the platform to call the meeting to order. She was enthusiastically received by her fellow members—most of whom had believed her to be still in Europe, or on the ocean. She spoke of her gladness in being back again with us, and congratulated all of us in our reunion. She had arrived in Baltimore only two hours before, and had come to the Club from the railway station. She had thought of us always, on the sea, and all through the pleasures of her tour abroad, but especially on Tuesdays, when she felt the sense of loss in thinking of our meetings. She hoped she had brought back much in memories and in ideas and suggestions for future work. She had sought in vain to find in Europe something like our Club. Our Club is unique, there is nothing like it in Rome, nor so far as she could find it elsewhere in Italy,--not even in Paris. There is a league there of one hundred women doing good and beautiful work, but for Art, not Literature. We work together
here with that form of criticism, which includes sympathy and appreciation. Our Club was founded to supply a need; and we continue it on an assured basis and wide lines,--with increasing opportunities for good to ourselves, and to others. Our President closed with the assurance, that, even when far away, she felt that we had taken part with her in her pleasant foreign travels.
Mrs. McGaw then read an invitation to the Officers, Directors and Heads of Committees of the Woman’s Literary Club from the State Federation of Women’s Clubs to attend their reception on Friday evening, May 1st, from 5 to 7, at the Arundel Club. Mrs. McGaw requested that those of the Officers, Directors and Chairmen of Committees who would be able to accept this invitation would give her their names, that they may be sent to Mrs. Anderson in reply to her request.
The President announced that our next meeting—on May 5th—will be for our members only—being for the annual reception of the reports of the Chairmen of standing Committees.
The Recording Secretary then read the minutes of the meeting of April 21st.
We then had the pleasure of hearing
our musical programme arranged by Miss Annie Hollins.
The first number was a “Piano Duet,” the “Overture from William Tell,” by Rossini, played by the Misses Simpson.
The second number was a “Song for Soprano”--the “Spring Song” by George Herschel, sung by Miss Jean Stewart. It gave the melodies of spring,--full of the notes of the birds. The accompanist was Miss Lena Stiebler.
The next number was a “Piano Duet,” a “Polonaise by Chopin,” played by the Misses Simpson.
The next number was “Two Duets,” sung by the Misses Elise and Ruby Bartz—with Miss Stiebler’s accompaniment. The Misses Bartz gave us “Guarda che bianca Luna,” by Campana? [Schubert] and “Notturno” by Rossini. As an encore the Misses Bartz kindly repeated the latter number. The last article on the programme was a “Piano Duet”--the “Rhapsody No. 2” by Liszt. As an encore the Misses Simpson gave us Chopin’s “First Polonaise.” Mrs. Turner announced that Miss Stewart had agreed to sing for us again. Miss Stewart gave us a “Ballade,” and kindly followed with the “Spring Song,” whose bird notes we enjoyed
still more than in her first rendering of them.
The President expressed our grateful thanks for the music given us by our guests,--and adjourned the meeting, to enjoy refreshments and conversation.
621st Meeting. [May 5, 1908]
The 621st meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 5th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This was a business meeting, devoted to the reception of the Reports of the Standing Committees.
The President, Mrs. Wrenshall called the meeting to order, and the Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of April 28th. The President gave notice that the meetings of May 12th and 19th would be for members only: that of the 12th, being for nominations; and that of the 19th for the election of six officers, and the directors of the Club.
The President then appointed the Committee on Elections which, according to our Constitution, must be two members from the Board of Management, and three from the ranks of the Club. Her appointments were: Mrs. Uhler, our Corresponding Secretary—as Chairman and Judge of Elections, and Mrs. Powell, these two being from the Board of Management: and, from the
Club in general, Mrs. Percy M. Reese; Mrs. Marden, and Miss Latané. Mrs. Reese, asking to be excused, the President appointed Miss Schnauffer in her place.
The first Reports called for were those of Miss Hollins, Chairman of the two Committees: on the Literature of Music, and on the Music of the Salons. She reported first the meeting of January 28th, 1908, at which she gave literary articles, with musical illustrations, on Russian Music. Miss Hollins also reported the two Salons of October 8th, 1907, and April 28th, 1908—with musical programmes.
The Chairman of the Committee on Poetry, Miss Lizette W. Reese reported the two meetings of October 15th, 1907 and April 14th, 1908, with articles given by Miss Duvall, Miss Reese and Miss Henrietta G. Pendleton.
Miss Cloud, Chairman of the Committee on the Drama, had been unable from accident, and bereavement—the death of her father—to give the programme of her meeting on March 31st, 1908. Her place was kindly taken by Mrs. Percy M. Reese: and articles were given by Miss Lydia Kirk; Mrs. Robert Bowie, and Mrs. Reese herself.
Mrs. Frederic Tyson, Chairman of the two Committees on Current Topics; and on Foreign Languages, was unable to be present,--or report. She had however given four meetings. Her programmes on Current Topics had been given on October 22nd, 1907; and March 3rd, 1908. Mrs. Tyson’s programmes on
Foreign Languages had been given on November 12th, 1907; and on February 18th, 1908; with translations from the French, Spanish and German by Miss Nicholas; Miss Hollins; Miss Perkins; Miss Schnauffer; Mrs. John R. Tait, and Miss Mullin.
Mrs. Percy M. Reese Chairman of the Committee on Fiction reported two meetings: those of October 29th, 1907; and of February 11th, 1908; when original stories were given by Mrs. Daniel [David?] F. Pope; Miss Atwater and Miss Virginia W. Cloud, and also by the new members, Mrs. William M. Smith and Mrs. Robert B. Bowie.
Mrs. Paret, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Travel, was, from illness, unable to be present; but Mrs. Turner reported for her. Mrs. Paret’s two meetings were on November 5th, 1907, and March 24th, 1908. Articles were given by Mrs. Paret herself, Mrs. Atwater, Miss ELizabeth Harrison, and Mrs. G. Lane Tannyhill [Taneyhill].
Miss Latané, Chairman of the Committee on Current Criticism, reported the meetings of November 19th, 1907; and February 4th, 1908; when Reviews were given by Miss Susan Morriss [Morris] Jones; Miss Latané, Miss Cloud, Mrs. William M. Smith, and Mrs. Atwater.
Mrs. S. A. Hill, Chairman of the Committee on Historical Studies, was prevented by illness from giving a programme this year. She had however at the Salon of November 26th, 1907, given us “A Celebrity at
Home,” being an account of Rudyard Kipling in India.
Mrs. Wylie, Chairman of the Committee on Art, was unable to be present; but Miss Schnauffer reported her Art programme given on December 3rd, 1907, when articles were given by Mrs. Wylie herself; by Mrs. Tait, and Mrs. Jordan Stabler.
Mrs. Turner, Chairman of the Committee on Essays and Essayists reported her two meetings of December 10th, 1907; and March 10th, 1908. At the first articles were given by Mrs. Lord; Miss Mabel Butler; Mrs. Turner herself, and “A group of Ten Minute Writings,” by the members of the Committee;--and also an article by Miss Annie W. Whitney. At Mrs. Turner’s second meeting there were articles by Miss Henderson; Miss Nicholas; Miss Cooper; Mrs. McGaw, and Mrs. Turner herself.
Mrs. Alan P. Smith, Chairman of the Committee on The Literature of the Bible, reported the meeting of December 17th, 1907,--when articles of great interest were given by the Chairman; by Miss Duvall, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, and Miss Latané.
The President said that Miss Haughton, Chairman of our Committee on Entertainments had hoped to be with us this afternoon, but was disappointed, and could not tell of our Twelfth Night Celebration of which she had had charge.
Miss Cullington, Chairman of the Committee on
Education, reported her meeting of January 14th, 1908, when we heard suggestive and informing articles by the Chairman herself; and by Mrs. Bullock; and Miss L. W. Reese.
Mrs. Edward Stabler, Chairman of the Committee on Unfamiliar Records, reported the meeting of January 21st, 1908, when articles were given by Miss Mary D. Davis; Mrs. Jordan Stabler, and Mrs. Margaret Fayerweather.
Miss Henderson, Chairman of the Committee on Authors and Artists of Maryland, reported her meeting of February 25th, 1908, when articles were given by Mrs. Atwater; Miss Mary Davis; and Miss Hollins.
Mrs. Marden, Chairman of the Committee on Autographs and Letters, reported the meeting of April 7th, 1908 when personal articles were given by Mrs. William M. Smith on “Charlotte Perkins Gilman;” by Mrs. Robert Bowie on “Joseph Jefferson;” by Miss Lydia Crane on “Moncure Daniel Conway;” and by Mrs. Alan P. Smith on “Hans Breitman’s Barty in Baltimore,” telling of a reception given at her own home to Mr. Leland.
Mrs. Uhler, Chairman of the Committee on Archaeology reported her meeting of April 21st, 1908, when she gave us the Archeology of “Glorious Ceylon,” illustrated by pictures of old temples, ruins and monuments,--pictures so beautiful that she was request to show them on the screen—slowly.
Two Miscellaneous programmes were given this year. The first was arranged by our Acting President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler was on December 31st, 1909; and contained an article on Whittier, by Mrs. Turner; and one on the City of Seoul, Korea, by Mrs. A. S. Ware; and a letter from our absent President Mrs. Wrenshall. The second of these programmes was arranged by Mrs. Uhler; and contained articles by Mrs. Hammel; and by Mrs. Turner.
Mrs. Powell, Chairman of the House Committee, spoke very briefly of her department of work.
The President and Chairmen of the Committees arranged the dates and subjects for the meetings of the coming year; and after informal entertainment the Club adjourned, until October 7th, 1908.
[BEGIN 988.iv.5 VOLUME]
Minutes of The Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore. May 12, 1908-October 12, 1909.
Prepared by Lydia Crane Recording Secretary. Copied by Miss Hostings. [not a member]
The 622nd Meeting. [May 12, 1908]
The 622nd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 12th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This was the annual meeting for the nomination of six officers and three Directors for the coming year. In the anticipated absence of several officers Mrs. Sidney Turner of the Board of Management, had been appointed by the President to preside at this meeting, and had consented to do so. After the calling of the meeting to order, Mrs. Uhler, Corresponding Secretary, and Judge of Election, called the roll, and announced that a quorum for business was present. Some statements were made with regard to the present Board of Management, as bearing on the subject of the one about to be elected. Mrs. Uhler explained that of the twelve members of the Board, the six officers and the three of the Directors go out of office, being, of course, eligible to re-election, if such is the pleasure of the members of the Club. The three Directors holding over until next year are Miss Reese, Miss Cloud, and Mrs. Tyson. Of the former directors Miss Haughton has made it understood that she cannot be a candidate for re-
election. Mrs. McGaw also will not be able to serve as Second Vice President any longer, though it is understood she would be willing to accept the place of a director. The presiding officer said that a letter had been received by Mrs. Wrenshall, from our absent. First Vice-President, Mrs. Jordan Stabler, who was in Rome. Mrs. Stabler wrote that she had become so ill, she thought she ought to decline being a candidate for re-election. Mrs. Wrenshall, however, could not help thinking that Mrs. Stabler is much more depressed about her health than she ought to be; that she would be; that she would be much more well and strong when she came back to us; and that she could then assume the duties she has so able fulfilled in the past. Of course our election is voluntary and impartial.
The nominating ballots having been distributed, they were quickly filled up and collected. The Committee of five; Mrs. Uhler, Chairman, Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Marden, Miss Latané and Miss Schnauffer retired to the library to count the nominating votes. The Recording Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of May 5th, which gave an account of the reports of the Chairmen of Committees of the Club, and a review of the work of the past year. Mrs. Pope spoke
of her interest in the minutes of our meetings; and the presiding officer and the members thanked the Secretary for the records she had written and read to them. Mrs. Turner spoke of the many objects of interest in our city at the present time. She mentioned the Missionary exhibition of rare and curious articles from heathen countries now being held in the Hall over Richmond Market. An auction of antiques, and an exhibition of water color paintings was also described by other members. Miss Lizette Reese told of a little brown man, an East Indian delegate to the Methodist conference now being held in this city, who visited her school in pursuit of information for the benefit of the schools for boys and girls in Hindustan. She reported his näive remarks made in very good English.
Miss Davis spoke of the pictures and decorations in our Baltimore Court House, and our new Custom House with much interest.
Mrs. Turner spoke of the advantage of living in Baltimore, where she thought there is always very much we can see and enjoy if we choose to do so.
The Committee returned, and the Chairman reported the result of the nominating votes: There were twenty-four votes cast.
For President: Mrs. John C. Wrenshall-24
First Vice-President Mrs. Jordan Stabler-24
Second Vice-President Mrs. Turner-14
Mrs. Alan P. Smith-6
Recording Secretary Miss L. Crane-23
Miss Annie Hollins-1
Corresponding Secretary Mrs. P. R. Uhler-23
Mrs. C. C. Marden-1
Treasurer Miss E. L. Mullin-23
Directors Mrs. W. M. Powell-16
Mrs. P. M. Reese-15
Mrs. G. K. McGaw-15
Mrs. A. P. Smith-14
Mrs. Percy M. Reese withdrew her name as a candidate for a Director.
Mrs. Alan P. Smith declined as to the directorship, but allowed her name to stand as a candidate for Second Vice-President.
Tea was served, and an hour was passed in pleasant conversation.
The 623rd Meeting. [May 19, 1908] (No programme)
The 623rd meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 19th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This meeting was for the annual election of six officers and three Directors of the Club. The Second Vice-President, Mrs. McGaw, called the meeting to order, and the Judge of Election, Mrs. Uhler, explained that the printed ballots contained the names of those candidates who had received the highest number of nominating votes at the meeting of May 12th, 1908. Those receiving the next highest number of votes had withdrawn their names. There remained, of course, the right to fill the column of individual choice with another name,--if it is so desired. The members present were requested to register their names before receiving their ballots, and proceeded to do so. The ballots were distributed without delay. The presiding officer appointed as Auditors of the Treasurer’s report, Miss Cooper and Miss Hollins. The ballots having been filled and collected, the Election Committee retired to the library to count the votes cast. The Treasurer and Auditors also retired for the verifying of the year’s accounts.
The Recording Secretary then
read the minutes of the meeting of May 12th, 1908.
Mrs. McGaw announced that the next meeting would be the closing one of the year,--a musical Salon, under the care of Miss Hollins. The programme will be given by Mr. Harry Patterson Hopkins, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory. We expect to have fine music: and to have our returned President Mrs. Wrenshall with us. Mrs. McGaw asked Miss Lizette Reese if she could give us any news of our member Miss Virginia Cloud. Miss Reese said she had seen Miss Cloud on Friday, that she was feeling much better than she had done, and it was hoped she might be able to leave the hospital in about two weeks. Mrs. Fayerweather said she had seen Miss Cloud half an hour before coming to this meeting. Miss Cloud had been allowed to try her mended ankle by putting her foot to the floor, and was suffering from the experiment, but she was very much cheered by a literary compliment. She had heard from the Publishers of Mr. Kippling’s book, “Puck of Crooke’s [Pook’s] Hill,” that they considered her criticism of that work the best they had seen from England and America.
The Committee returned, and the Chairman announced the result of the election.
There were twenty-one votes cast:--
President Mrs. John C. Wrenshall, 21
First Vice-President Mrs. Jordan Stabler, 21
Second Vice-President Mrs. Alan P. Smith, 21
Recording Secretary Miss Lydia Crane, 20
Corresponding Secretary Mrs. P. R. Uhler, 21
Treasurer. Miss E.L. Mullin, 20
Miss Hollins, 1
Directors Mrs. Powell, 21
Mrs. Turner, 21
Mrs. McGaw, 19
One vote was given to Miss Latané and one to Miss Hollins for the Directorship.
The Treasurer then presented her report for the year to the Club.
Miss Mullin said that owing to the “accidents of fortune” her report is split in two. The first part begins May 21st, 1907, when the books were last audited and ends February 3rd, 1908, when our bankers Wilson[,] and Colston & Company went into the hands of receivers.
The second part begins February 11th, 1908, when we opened an account with the National Mechanics Bank, which continues up to date. After Miss Mullin’s report had been received, she announced that our claim for ($289.75) Two hundred, eighty-nice dollars,
and seventy-cents against Wilson, Colston & Company will be filed with those of the other creditors, but remains to be seen how much or how little will be realized from our claim.
The Club was adjourned, to pass a pleasant hour with tea and talk.
The 624th Meeting. [May 26, 1908]
The 624th meeting of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore was held on Tuesday, May 26th, 1908, in the assembly room, Academy of Sciences Building. This was the May Salon, and also the closing meeting of the season of 1907 and 1908, and was under the charge of Miss Hollins, Chairman of the Committee on Music. The musical programme was given by Mr. Harry Patterson Hopkins, assisted by Miss Edna Anna Brown. The President called the meeting to order. She announced that our Board of Management had conferred honorary membership in the Club on Mrs. Waller R. Bullock who has been Vice-President, Treasurer and Chairman of the Educational Committee, and long a valued member. She was leaving Baltimore to reside in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], but we still have a claim upon her, and retain her by honorary membership. Mrs. Bullock said a few words on her appreciation of the honor received. The
President announced that honorary membership had also been conferred on Miss Lena Steibler [Stiebler], who has given us the benefit of her fine musical talent and training at our Salons. It was also announced that the Board had elected to active membership in the Club Miss Virginia Bowie.
The President then welcomed our new Second Vice-President, Mrs. Alan P. Smith, to her office. She announced that Mrs. McGaw will remain on our Board of Management. She said we thank Mrs. McGaw for having the last few months in the absence of the President and Vice-President, ably fulfilled the duties of the Club’s presiding officer.
Mrs. Wrenshall expressed appropriately her grateful appreciation of the confidence and affection of the Club, evidenced by her unanimous election for the tenth consecutive time as its President. She spoke of the support and assistance given her by her fellow members; and also of the growth and progress of the Club in the past year. She dwelt especially on the feeling of unanimity that prevails among us, that rare spirit which has made the Club a unit in aim and effort. The good news was given us that Mrs. Jordan Stabler, first re-elected as our First Vice-
President, is much improved in health, and that we can hope to see her among us again next October, with the strength to fulfill her former duties with her former ability.
The President then introduced Mrs. Harry Patterson Hopkins, who had come over from Washington to give us the fine musical programme of this afternoon, in which besides the works of well-known composers, he would interpret his own compositions. Mr. Hopkins was a fine student of our own Peabody Conservatory under the exact teaching of Mr. Hamerick [Asger Hamerik], and was one year the sole graduate of that institution.
The first number of the programme given by Mr. Hopkins was the piano solo, Wagner’s “Magic Fire Scene.” This was followed by Chopin’s Etudé in G flat; and afterwards by Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodie [Rhapsody]. The second part of the programme was of Mr. Hopkin’s [Hopkins’] original work. It began with a “Japanese Legend,” Opus 25. Number 2 was “A Dramatic Ballade for Soprano.” It was sung by Miss Brown with Mr. Hopkins’ own accompaniment.
The next number was “Three Piano Compositions.” First--”Nymphalin Valse;” second,--”Masquerade Dance, No. 1;” and, third, “Masquerade Dance, No. 2.”
The next number was, “Three Songs for Soprano,” finely sung by Miss Brown,
accompanied by Mr. Hopkins. The songs were: first, “Among the Heather;” second, “A Kiss;” and third, “What Pity is Akin to.” As an encore Miss Brown sang an old German [Minne?] song: “Ich bin Dein.”
Mr. Hopkins’ last number was of “Two Piano Etudes;” first “From Flower to Flower, Etude Romantique,” and second, “To an Ideal.” As an encore Mr. Hopkins repeated his “Valse Nymphalin.”
The President expressed the grateful appreciation of all present to Mr. Hopkins for the beautiful music he had given us, and for Miss Brown’s fine vocal part of it. Mrs. Wrenshall also spoke of the musical talent and good judgment shown by Miss Hollins in all the work she has done for us through the year. She asked for a rising vote of thanks to Mr. Hopkins, Miss Brown and Miss Hollins for the charming entertainment of the afternoon. The vote was taken with enthusiasm.
The President then declared the close of the Club season of 1907 and 1908. Our new season is appointed to open on October 6th, 1908.
Refreshment were served, and a pleasant, informal hour followed.
[END OF SEASON]
 Fellowship awarded for graduate work, Baltimore Association for the Promotion of University Education of Women. Sherwood was a former member of the Club.
 Leland was a humorist and folklorist known for his comic Hans Breitmann’s Ballads in broken English and German. He was also a pioneer in art and design education.