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Title: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Author: Bolton, Sarah Knowles, 1841-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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"_Earth's noblest thing, a woman perfected._"

"_Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow from them_."



Whose culture and kindness I count
among the blessings of
my life.


All of us have aspirations. We build air-castles, and are probably the
happier for the building. However, the sooner we learn that life is
not a play-day, but a thing of earnest activity, the better for us and
for those associated with us. "Energy," says Goethe, "will do anything
that can be done in this world"; and Jean Ingelow truly says, that
"Work is heaven's hest."

If we cannot, like George Eliot, write _Adam Bede_, we can, like
Elizabeth Fry, visit the poor and the prisoner. If we cannot, like
Rosa Bonheur, paint a "Horse Fair," and receive ten thousand dollars,
we can, like Mrs. Stowe and Miss Alcott, do some kind of work to
lighten the burdens of parents. If poor, with Mary Lyon's persistency
and noble purpose, we can accomplish almost anything. If rich, like
Baroness Burdett-Coutts, we can bless the world in thousands of ways,
and are untrue to God and ourselves if we fail to do it.

Margaret Fuller said, "All might be superior beings," and doubtless
this is true, if all were willing to cultivate the mind and beautify
the character.




HELEN HUNT JACKSON         Poet and Prose Writer

LUCRETIA MOTT              Preacher

MARY A  LIVERMORE          Lecturer


MARIA MITCHELL             Scientist

LOUISA M  ALCOTT           Author

MARY LYON                  Teacher

HARRIET G  HOSMER          Sculptor

MADAME DE STAËL            Novelist and Political Writer

ROSA BONHEUR               Artist


"GEORGE ELIOT"             Novelist

ELIZABETH FRY              Philanthropist



LADY BRASSEY               Traveller


JEAN INGELOW               Poet

       *       *       *       *       *



In a plain home, in the town of Litchfield, Conn., was born, June 14,
1811, Harriet Beecher Stowe. The house was well-nigh full of little
ones before her coming. She was the seventh child, while the oldest
was but eleven years old.

Her father, Rev. Lyman Beecher, a man of remarkable mind and sunshiny
heart, was preaching earnest sermons in his own and in all the
neighboring towns, on the munificent salary of five hundred dollars a
year. Her mother, Roxana Beecher, was a woman whose beautiful life has
been an inspiration to thousands. With an education superior for those
times, she came into the home of the young minister with a strength of
mind and heart that made her his companion and reliance.

There were no carpets on the floors till the girl-wife laid down a
piece of cotton cloth on the parlor, and painted it in oils, with a
border and a bunch of roses and others flowers in the centre. When one
of the good deacons came to visit them, the preacher said, "Walk in,
deacon, walk in!"

"Why, I can't," said he, "'thout steppin' on't." Then he exclaimed, in
admiration, "D'ye think ya can have all that, _and heaven too_?"

So meagre was the salary for the increasing household, that Roxana
urged that a select school be started; and in this she taught
French, drawing, painting, and embroidery, besides the higher English
branches. With all this work she found time to make herself the idol
of her children. While Henry Ward hung round her neck, she made dolls
for little Harriet, and read to them from Walter Scott and Washington

These were enchanting days for the enthusiastic girl with brown curls
and blue eyes. She roamed over the meadows, and through the forests,
gathering wild flowers in the spring or nuts in the fall, being
educated, as she afterwards said, "first and foremost by Nature,
wonderful, beautiful, ever-changing as she is in that
cloudland, Litchfield. There were the crisp apples of the pink
azalea,--honeysuckle-apples, we called them; there were scarlet
wintergreen berries; there were pink shell blossoms of trailing
arbutus, and feathers of ground pine; there were blue and white and
yellow violets, and crowsfoot, and bloodroot, and wild anemone, and
other quaint forest treasures."

A single incident, told by herself in later years, will show the
frolic-loving spirit of the girl, and the gentleness of Roxana
Beecher. "Mother was an enthusiastic horticulturist in all the small
ways that limited means allowed. Her brother John, in New York, had
just sent her a small parcel of fine tulip-bulbs. I remember rummaging
these out of an obscure corner of the nursery one day when she was
gone out, and being strongly seized with the idea that they were good
to eat, and using all the little English I then possessed to persuade
my brothers that these were onions, such as grown people ate, and
would be very nice for us. So we fell to and devoured the whole; and I
recollect being somewhat disappointed in the odd, sweetish taste, and
thinking that onions were not as nice as I had supposed. Then mother's
serene face appeared at the nursery door, and we all ran toward her,
and with one voice began to tell our discovery and achievement. We had
found this bag of onions, and had eaten them all up.

"There was not even a momentary expression of impatience, but she sat
down and said, 'My dear children, what you have done makes mamma very
sorry; those were not onion roots, but roots of beautiful flowers;
and if you had let them alone, ma would have had next summer in the
garden, great, beautiful red and yellow flowers, such as you never
saw.' I remember how drooping and disappointed we all grew at this
picture, and how sadly we regarded the empty paper bag."

When Harriet was five years old, a deep shadow fell upon the happy
household. Eight little children were gathered round the bedside of
the dying mother. When they cried and sobbed, she told them, with
inexpressible sweetness, that "God could do more for them than she had
ever done or could do, and that they must trust Him," and urged her
six sons to become ministers of the Gospel. When her heart-broken
husband repeated to her the verse, "You are now come unto Mount Zion,
unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an
innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of
the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of
all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the
Mediator of the New Covenant," she looked up into his face with a
beautiful smile, and closed her eyes forever. That smile Mr. Beecher
never forgot to his dying day.

The whole family seemed crushed by the blow. Little Henry (now the
great preacher), who had been told that his mother had been buried
in the ground, and also that she had gone to heaven, was found one
morning digging with all his might under his sister's window, saying,
"I'm going to heaven, to find ma!"

So much did Mr. Beecher miss her counsel and good judgment, that he
sat down and wrote her a long letter, pouring out his whole soul,
hoping somehow that she, his guardian angel, though dead, might see
it. A year later he wrote a friend: "There is a sensation of loss
which nothing alleviates--a solitude which no society interrupts. Amid
the smiles and prattle of children, and the kindness of sympathizing
friends, I am _alone; Roxana is not here_. She partakes in none of my
joys, and bears with me none of my sorrows. I do not murmur; I only
feel daily, constantly, and with deepening impression, how much I have
had for which to be thankful, and how much I have lost.... The whole
year after her death was a year of great emptiness, as if there was
not motive enough in the world to move me. I used to pray earnestly
to God either to take me away, or to restore to me that interest in
things and susceptibility to motive I had had before."

Once, when sleeping in the room where she died, he dreamed that Roxana
came and stood beside him, and "smiled on me as with a smile from
heaven. With that smile," he said, "all my sorrow passed away. I awoke
joyful, and I was lighthearted for weeks after."

Harriet went to live for a time with her aunt and grandmother, and
then came back to the lonesome home, into which Mr. Beecher had
felt the necessity of bringing a new mother. She was a refined and
excellent woman, and won the respect and affection of the family. At
first Harriet, with a not unnatural feeling of injury, said to her:
"Because you have come and married my father, when I am big enough, I
mean to go and marry your father;" but she afterwards learned to love
her very much.

At seven, with a remarkably retentive memory,--a thing which many of
us spoil by trashy reading, or allowing our time and attention to
be distracted by the trifles of every-day life,--Harriet had learned
twenty-seven hymns and two long chapters of the Bible. She was
exceedingly fond of reading, but there was little in a poor minister's
library to attract a child. She found _Bell's Sermons_, and _Toplady
on Predestination_. "Then," she says, "there was a side closet full of
documents, a weltering ocean of pamphlets, in which I dug and toiled
for hours, to be repaid by disinterring a delicious morsel of a _Don
Quixote_, that had once been a book, but was now lying in forty or
fifty _dissecta membra_, amid Calls, Appeals, Essays, Reviews, and
Rejoinders. The turning up of such a fragment seemed like the rising
of an enchanted island out of an ocean of mud." Finally _Ivanhoe_ was
obtained, and she and her brother George read it through seven times.

At twelve, we find her in the school of Mr. John P. Brace,
a well-known teacher, where she developed great fondness for
composition. At the exhibition at the close of the year, it was
the custom for all the parents to come and listen to the wonderful
productions of their children. From the list of subjects given,
Harriet had chosen, "Can the Immortality of the Soul be proved by the
Light of Nature?"

"When mine was read," she says, "I noticed that father brightened
and looked interested. 'Who wrote that composition?' he asked of Mr.
Brace. '_Your daughter, sir!_' was the answer. There was no mistaking
father's face when he was pleased, and to have interested _him_ was
past all juvenile triumphs."

A new life was now to open to Harriet. Her only sister Catharine,
a brilliant and noble girl, was engaged to Professor Fisher of Yale
College. They were to be married on his return from a European tour,
but alas! the _Albion_, on which he sailed, went to pieces on the
rocks, and all on board, save one, perished. Her betrothed was never
heard from. For months all hope seemed to go out of Catharine's life,
and then, with a strong will, she took up a course of mathematical
study, _his_ favorite study, and Latin under her brother Edward. She
was now twenty-three. Life was not to be along the pleasant paths she
had hoped, but she must make it tell for the future.

With remarkable energy, she went to Hartford, Conn., where her brother
was teaching, and thoroughly impressed with the belief that God had a
work for her to do for girls, she raised several thousand dollars and
built the Hartford Female Seminary. Her brothers had college doors
opened to them; why, she reasoned, should not women have equal
opportunities? Society wondered of what possible use Latin and moral
philosophy could be to girls, but they admired Miss Beecher, and
let her do as she pleased. Students poured in, and the seminary soon
overflowed. My own school life in that beloved institution, years
afterward, I shall never forget.

And now the little twelve-year-old Harriet came down from Litchfield
to attend Catharine's school, and soon become a pupil-teacher, that
the burden of support might not fall too heavily upon the father.
Other children had come into the Beecher home, and with a salary of
eight hundred dollars, poverty could not be other than a constant
attendant. Once when the family were greatly straitened for money,
while Henry and Charles were in college, the new mother went to bed
weeping, but the father said, "Well, the Lord always has taken care of
me, and I am sure He always will," and was soon fast asleep. The next
morning, Sunday, a letter was handed in at the door, containing a $100
bill, and no name. It was a thank-offering for the conversion of a

Mr. Beecher, with all his poverty, could not help being generous. His
wife, by close economy, had saved twenty-five dollars to buy a new
overcoat for him. Handing him the roll of bills, he started out to
purchase the garment, but stopped on the way to attend a missionary
meeting. His heart warmed as he stayed, and when the contribution-box
was passed, he put in the roll of bills for the Sandwich Islanders,
and went home with his threadbare coat!

Three years later, Mr. Beecher, who had now become widely known as
a revivalist and brilliant preacher, was called to Boston, where he
remained for six years. His six sermons on intemperance had stirred
the whole country.

Though he loved Boston, his heart often turned toward the great West,
and he longed to help save her young men. When, therefore, he was
asked to go to Ohio and become the president of Lane Theological
Seminary at Cincinnati, he accepted. Singularly dependent upon his
family, Catharine and Harriet must needs go with him to the new home.
The journey was a toilsome one, over the corduroy roads and across the
mountains by stagecoach. Finally they were settled in a pleasant
house on Walnut Hills, one of the suburbs of the city, and the sisters
opened another school.

Four years later, in 1836, Harriet, now twenty-five, married the
professor of biblical criticism and Oriental literature in the
seminary, Calvin E. Stowe, a learned and able man.

Meantime the question of slavery had been agitating the minds of
Christian people. Cincinnati being near the border-line of Kentucky,
was naturally the battle-ground of ideas. Slaves fled into the
free State and were helped into Canada by means of the "Underground
Railroad," which was in reality only a friendly house about every ten
miles, where the colored people could be secreted during the day, and
then carried in wagons to the next "station" in the night.

Lane Seminary became a hot-bed of discussion. Many of the Southern
students freed their slaves, or helped to establish schools for
colored children in Cincinnati, and were disinherited by their fathers
in consequence. Dr. Bailey, a Christian man who attempted to carry on
a fair discussion of the question in his paper, had his presses broken
twice and thrown into the river. The feeling became so intense, that
the houses of free colored people were burned, some killed, and the
seminary was in danger from the mob. The members of Professor Stowe's
family slept with firearms, ready to defend their lives. Finally
the trustees of the college forbade all slavery discussion by the
students, and as a result, nearly the whole body left the institution.

Dr. Beecher, meantime, was absent at the East, having raised a large
sum of money for the seminary, and came back only to find his labor
almost hopeless. For several years, however, he and his children
stayed and worked on. Mrs. Stowe opened her house to colored children,
whom she taught with her own. One bright boy in her school was claimed
by an estate in Kentucky, arrested, and was to be sold at auction. The
half-crazed mother appealed to Mrs. Stowe, who raised the needed money
among her friends, and thus saved the lad.

Finally, worn out with the "irrepressible conflict," the Beecher
family, with the Stowes, came North in 1850, Mr. Stowe accepting a
professorship at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. A few boarders
were taken into the family to eke out the limited salary, and Mrs.
Stowe earned a little from a sketch written now and then for the
newspapers. She had even obtained a prize of fifty dollars for a New
England story. Her six brothers had fulfilled their mother's dying
wish, and were all in the ministry. She was now forty years old, a
devoted mother, with an infant; a hard-working teacher, with her hands
full to overflowing. It seemed improbable that she would ever do other
than this quiet, unceasing labor. Most women would have said, "I can
do no more than I am doing. My way is hedged up to any outside work."

But Mrs. Stowe's heart burned for those in bondage. The Fugitive Slave
Law was hunting colored people and sending them back into servitude
and death. The people of the North seemed indifferent. Could she not
arouse them by something she could write?

One Sunday, as she sat at the communion table in the little Brunswick
church, the pattern of Uncle Tom formed itself in her mind, and,
almost overcome by her feelings, she hastened home and wrote out the
chapter on his death. When she had finished, she read it to her two
sons, ten and twelve, who burst out sobbing, "Oh! mamma, slavery is
the most cursed thing in the world."

After two or three more chapters were ready, she wrote to Dr. Bailey,
who had moved his paper from Cincinnati to Washington, offering the
manuscript for the columns of the _National Era_, and it was accepted.
Now the matter must be prepared each week. She visited Boston, and
at the Anti-Slavery rooms borrowed several books to aid in furnishing
facts. And then the story wrote itself out of her full heart and
brain. When it neared completion, Mr. Jewett of Boston, through the
influence of his wife, offered to become the publisher, but feared if
the serial were much longer, it would be a failure. She wrote him that
she could not stop till it was done.

_Uncle Tom's Cabin_ was published March 20,1852. Then came the
reaction in her own mind. Would anybody read this book? The subject
was unpopular. It would indeed be a failure, she feared, but she would
help the story make its way if possible. She sent a copy of the book
to Prince Albert, knowing that both he and Queen Victoria were deeply
interested in the subject; another copy to Macaulay, whose father
was a friend of Wilberforce; one to Charles Dickens; and another
to Charles Kingsley. And then the busy mother, wife, teacher,
housekeeper, and author waited in her quiet Maine home to see what the
busy world would say.

In ten days, ten thousand copies had been sold. Eight presses were run
day and night to supply the demand. Thirty different editions appeared
in London in six months. Six theatres in that great city were playing
it at one time. Over three hundred thousand copies were sold in less
than a year.

Letters poured in upon Mrs. Stowe from all parts of the world. Prince
Albert sent his hearty thanks. Dickens said, "Your book is worthy of
any head and any heart that ever inspired a book." Kingsley wrote,
"It is perfect." The noble Earl of Shaftesbury wrote, "None but a
Christian believer could have produced such a book as yours, which has
absolutely startled the whole world.... I live in hope--God grant it
may rise to faith!--that this system is drawing to a close. It seems
as though our Lord had sent out this book as the messenger before
His face to prepare His way before Him." He wrote out an address of
sympathy "From the women of England to the women of America," to
which were appended the signatures of 562,448 women. These were in
twenty-six folio volumes, bound in morocco, with the American eagle on
the back of each, the whole in a solid oak case, sent to the care of
Mrs. Stowe.

The learned reviews gave long notices of _Uncle Tom's Cabin_.
_Blackwood_ said, "There are scenes and touches in this book which no
living writer that we know can surpass, and perhaps none can equal."
George Eliot wrote her beautiful letters.

How the heart of Lyman Beecher must have been gladdened by this
wonderful success of his daughter! How Roxana Beecher must have looked
down from heaven, and smiled that never-to-be-forgotten smile!
How Harriet Beecher Stowe herself must have thanked God for this
unexpected fulness of blessing! Thousands of dollars were soon paid to
her as her share of the profits from the sale of the book. How restful
it must have seemed to the tired, over-worked woman, to have more than
enough for daily needs!

The following year, 1853, Professor Stowe and his now famous
wife decided to cross the ocean for needed rest. What was their
astonishment, to be welcomed by immense public meetings in Liverpool,
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee; indeed, in every city which they
visited. People in the towns stopped her carriage, to fill it with
flowers. Boys ran along the streets, shouting, "That's her--see the
_courls!_" A penny offering was made her, given by people of all
ranks, consisting of one thousand golden sovereigns on a beautiful
silver salver. When the committee having the matter in charge visited
one little cottage, they found only a blind woman, and said, "She will
feel no interest, as she cannot read the book."

"Indeed," said the old lady, "if I cannot read, my son has read it to
me, and I've got my penny saved to give."

The beautiful Duchess of Sutherland entertained Mrs. Stowe at her
house, where she met Lord Palmerston, the Duke of Argyle, Macaulay,
Gladstone, and others. The duchess gave her a solid gold bracelet
in the form of a slave's shackle, with the words, "We trust it is a
memorial of a chain that is soon to be broken." On one link was the
date of the abolition of the slave trade, March 25, 1807, and of
slavery in the English territories, Aug. 1, 1834. On the other
links are now engraved the dates of Emancipation in the District of
Columbia; President Lincoln's proclamation abolishing slavery in the
States in rebellion, Jan. 1, 1863; and finally, on the clasp, the date
of the Constitutional amendment, abolishing slavery forever in the
United States. Only a decade after _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ was written,
and nearly all this accomplished! Who could have believed it possible?

On Mrs. Stowe's return from Europe, she wrote _Sunny Memories of
Foreign Lands_, which had a large sale. Her husband was now appointed
to the professorship of sacred literature in the Theological Seminary
at Andover, Mass., and here they made their home. The students found
in her a warm-hearted friend, and an inspiration to intellectual work.
Other books followed from her pen: _Dred_, a powerful anti-slavery
story; _The Minister's Wooing_, with lovely Mary Scudder as its
heroine; _Agnes of Sorrento_, an Italian story; the _Pearl of Orr's
Island_, a tale of the New England coast; _Old Town Folks; House and
Home Papers; My Wife and I; Pink and White Tyranny_; and some others,
all of which have been widely read.

The sale of _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ has not ceased. It is estimated that
over one and a half million copies have been sold in Great Britain and
her colonies, and probably an equal or greater number in this country.
There have been twelve French editions, eleven German, and
six Spanish. It has been published in nineteen different
languages,--Russian, Hungarian, Armenian, Modern Greek, Finnish,
Welsh, Polish, and others. In Bengal the book is very popular. A lady
of high rank in the court of Siam, liberated her slaves, one hundred
and thirty in number, after reading this book, and said, "I am wishful
to be good like Harriet Beecher Stowe, and never again to buy human
bodies, but only to let them go free once more." In France the sale
of the Bible was increased because the people wished to read the book
Uncle Tom loved so much.

_Uncle Tom's Cabin_, like _Les Miseràbles_, and a few other novels,
will live, because written with a purpose. No work of fiction is
permanent without some great underlying principle or object.

Soon after the Civil War, Mrs. Stowe bought a home among the orange
groves of Florida, and thither she goes each winter, with her family.
She has done much there for the colored people whom she helped to make
free. With the proceeds of some public readings at the North she
built a church, in which her husband preached as long as his health
permitted. Her home at Mandarin, with its great moss-covered oaks and
profusion of flowers, is a restful and happy place after these most
fruitful years.

Her summer residence in Hartford, Conn., beautiful without, and
artistic within, has been visited by thousands, who honor the noble
woman not less than the gifted author.

Many of the Beecher family have died; Lyman Beecher at eighty-three,
and Catharine at seventy-eight. Some of Mrs. Stowe's own children are
waiting for her in the other country. She says, "I am more interested
in the other side of Jordan than this, though this still has its

On Mrs. Stowe's seventy-first birthday, her publishers, Messrs.
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., gave a garden party in her honor, at the
hospitable home of Governor Claflin and his wife, at Newton, Mass.
Poets and artists, statesmen and reformers, were invited to meet the
famous author. On a stage, under a great tent, she sat, while poems
were read and speeches made. The brown curls had become snowy white,
and the bright eyes of girlhood had grown deeper and more earnest. The
manner was the same as ever, unostentatious, courteous, kindly.

Her life is but another confirmation of the well-known fact, that the
best work of the world is done, not by the loiterers, but by those
whose hearts and hands are full of duties. Mrs. Stowe died about
noon, July 1, 1896, of paralysis, at Hartford, Conn., at the age of
eighty-five. She passed away as if to sleep, her son, the Rev. Charles
Edward Stowe, and her daughters, Eliza and Harriet, standing by her
bedside. Since the death of her husband, Professor Calvin E. Stowe, in
1886, Mrs. Stowe had gradually failed physically and mentally. She was
buried July 3 in the cemetery connected with the Theological Seminary
at Andover, Mass., between the graves of her husband and her son,
Henry. The latter was drowned in the Connecticut River, while a member
of Dartmouth College, July 19, 1857.


[Illustration: HELEN HUNT JACKSON.]

Thousands were saddened when, Aug. 12, 1885, it was flashed across the
wires that Helen Hunt Jackson was dead. The _Nation_ said, "The news
will probably carry a pang of regret into more American homes than
similar intelligence in regard to any other woman, with the possible
exception of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe."

How, with the simple initials, "H.H.," had she won this place in
the hearts of the people? Was it because she was a poet? Oh no! many
persons of genius have few friends. It was because an earnest life was
back of her gifted writings. A great book needs a great man or woman
behind it to make it a perfect work. Mrs. Jackson's literary work will
be abiding, but her life, with its dark shadow and bright sunlight,
its deep affections and sympathy with the oppressed, will furnish a
rich setting for the gems of thought which she gave to the world.

Born in the cultured town of Amherst, Mass., Oct. 18, 1831, she
inherited from her mother a sunny, buoyant nature, and from her
father, Nathan W. Fiske, professor of languages and philosophy in the
college, a strong and vigorous mind. Her own vivid description of the
"naughtiest day in my life," in _St. Nicholas_, September and October,
1880, shows the ardent, wilful child who was one day to stand out
fearlessly before the nation and tell its statesmen the wrong they had
done to "her Indians."

She and her younger sister Annie were allowed one April day, by their
mother, to go into the woods just before school hours, to gather
checkerberries. Helen, finding the woods very pleasant, determined to
spend the day in them, even though sure she would receive a whipping
on her return home. The sister could not be coaxed to do wrong, but a
neighbor's child, with the promise of seeing live snails with horns,
was induced to accompany the truant. They wandered from one forest to
another, till hunger compelled them to seek food at a stranger's home.
The kind farmer and his wife were going to a funeral, and wished to
lock their house; but they took pity on the little ones, and gave
them some bread and milk. "There," said the woman, "now, you just make
yourselves comfortable, and eat all you can; and when you're done, you
push the bowls in among them lilac-bushes, and nobody'll get 'em."

Urged on by Helen, she and her companion wandered into the village,
to ascertain where the funeral was to be held. It was in the
meeting-house, and thither they went, and seated themselves on the
bier outside the door. Becoming tired of this, they trudged on. One
of them lost her shoe in the mud, and stopping at a house to dry their
stockings, they were captured by two Amherst professors, who had come
over to Hadley to attend the funeral. The children had walked four
miles, and nearly the whole town, with the frightened mother, were
in search of the runaways. Helen, greatly displeased at being caught,
jumped out of the carriage, but was soon retaken. At ten o'clock at
night they reached home, and the child walked in as rosy and smiling
as possible, saying, "Oh, mother! I've had a perfectly splendid time!"

A few days passed, and then her father sent for her to come into his
study, and told her because she had not said she was sorry for running
away, she must go into the garret, and wait till he came to see her.
Sullen at this punishment, she took a nail and began to bore holes
in the plastering. This so angered the professor, that he gave her
a severe whipping, and kept her in the garret for a week. It is
questionable whether she was more penitent at the end of the week than
she was at the beginning.

When Helen was twelve, both father and mother died, leaving her to
the care of a grandfather. She was soon placed in the school of the
author, Rev. J.S.C. Abbott, of New York, and here some of her happiest
days were passed. She grew to womanhood, frank, merry, impulsive,
brilliant in conversation, and fond of society.

At twenty-one she was married to a young army officer, Captain,
afterward Major, Edward B. Hunt, whom his friends called "Cupid" Hunt
from his beauty and his curling hair. He was a brother of Governor
Hunt of New York, an engineer of high rank, and a man of fine
scientific attainments. They lived much of their time at West Point
and Newport, and the young wife moved in a fashionable social circle,
and won hosts of admiring friends. Now and then, when he read a paper
before some learned society, he was proud to take his vivacious and
attractive wife with him.

Their first baby died when he was eleven months old, but another
beautiful boy came to take his place, named after two friends, Warren
Horsford, but familiarly called "Rennie." He was an uncommonly bright
child, and Mrs. Hunt was passionately fond and proud of him. Life
seemed full of pleasures. She dressed handsomely, and no wish of her
heart seemed ungratified.

Suddenly, like a thunder-bolt from a clear sky, the happy life was
shattered. Major Hunt was killed Oct. 2, 1863, while experimenting in
Brooklyn, with a submarine gun of his own invention. The young widow
still had her eight-year-old boy, and to him she clung more tenderly
than ever, but in less than two years she stood by his dying bed.
Seeing the agony of his mother, and forgetting his own even in that
dread destroyer, diphtheria, he said, almost at the last moment,
"Promise me, mamma, that you will not kill yourself."

She promised, and exacted from him also a pledge that if it were
possible, he would come back from the other world to talk with
his mother. He never came, and Mrs. Hunt could have no faith in
spiritualism, because what Rennie could not do, she believed to be

For months she shut herself into her own room, refusing to see her
nearest friends. "Any one who really loves me ought to pray that I may
die, too, like Rennie," she said. Her physician thought she would die
of grief; but when her strong, earnest nature had wrestled with itself
and come off conqueror, she came out of her seclusion, cheerful as
of old. The pictures of her husband and boy were ever beside her, and
these doubtless spurred her on to the work she was to accomplish.

Three months after Rennie's death, her first poem, _Lifted Over_,
appeared in the _Nation_:--

 "As tender mothers, guiding baby steps,
 When places come at which the tiny feet
 Would trip, lift up the little ones in arms
 Of love, and set them down beyond the harm,
 So did our Father watch the precious boy,
 Led o'er the stones by me, who stumbled oft
 Myself, but strove to help my darling on:
 He saw the sweet limbs faltering, and saw
 Rough ways before us, where my arms would fail;
 So reached from heaven, and lifting the dear child,
 Who smiled in leaving me, He put him down
 Beyond all hurt, beyond my sight, and bade
 Him wait for me! Shall I not then be glad,
 And, thanking God, press on to overtake!"

The poem was widely copied, and many mothers were comforted by it.
The kind letters she received in consequence were the first gleam of
sunshine in the darkened life. If she were doing even a little good,
she could live and be strong.

And then began, at thirty-four, absorbing, painstaking literary work.
She studied the best models of composition. She said to a friend,
years after, "Have you ever tested the advantages of an analytical
reading of some writer of finished style? There is a little book
called _Out-Door Papers_, by Wentworth Higginson, that is one of
the most perfect specimens of literary composition in the English
language. It has been my model for years. I go to it as a text-book,
and have actually spent hours at a time, taking one sentence after
another, and experimenting upon them, trying to see if I could take
out a word or transpose a clause, and not destroy their perfection."
And again, "I shall never write a sentence, so long as I live, without
studying it over from the standpoint of whether you would think it
could be bettered."

Her first prose sketch, a walk up Mt. Washington from the Glen House,
appeared in the _Independent_, Sept. 13, 1866; and from this time she
wrote for that able journal three hundred and seventy-one articles.
She worked rapidly, writing usually with a lead-pencil, on large
sheets of yellow paper, but she pruned carefully. Her first poem in
the _Atlantic Monthly_, entitled _Coronation_, delicate and full of
meaning, appeared in 1869, being taken to Mr. Fields, the editor, by a

At this time she spent a year abroad, principally in Germany and
Italy, writing home several sketches. In Rome she became so ill that
her life was despaired of. When she was partially recovered and went
away to regain her strength, her friends insisted that a professional
nurse should go with her; but she took a hard-working young Italian
girl of sixteen, to whom this vacation would be a blessing.

On her return, in 1870, a little book of _Verses_ was published. Like
most beginners, she was obliged to pay for the stereotyped plates.
The book was well received. Emerson liked especially her sonnet,
_Thought_. He ranked her poetry above that of all American women,
and most American men. Some persons praised the "exquisite musical
structure" of the _Gondolieds_, and others read and re-read her
beautiful _Down to Sleep_. But the world's favorite was _Spinning_:--

  "Like a blind spinner in the sun,
      I tread my days;
  I know that all the threads will run
      Appointed ways;
  I know each day will bring its task,
  And, being blind, no more I ask.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "But listen, listen, day by day,
      To hear their tread
  Who bear the finished web away,
      And cut the thread,
  And bring God's message in the sun,
  'Thou poor blind spinner, work is done."

After this came two other small books, _Bits of Travel_ and _Bits of
Talk about Home Matters_. She paid for the plates of the former. Fame
did not burst upon Helen Hunt; it came after years of work, after it
had been fully earned. The road to authorship is a hard one, and only
those should attempt it who have courage and perseverance.

Again her health failed, but not her cheerful spirits. She travelled
to Colorado, and wrote a book in praise of it. Everywhere she made
lasting friends. Her German landlady in Munich thought her the kindest
person in the world. The newsboy, the little urchin on the street
with a basket full of wares, the guides over the mountain passes, all
remembered her cheery voice and helpful words. She used to say, "She
is only half mother who does not see her own child in every child. Oh,
if the world could only stop long enough for one generation of mothers
to be made all right, what a Millennium could be begun in thirty
years!" Some one, in her childhood, called her a "stupid child" before
strangers, and she never forgot the sting of it.

In Colorado, in 1876, eleven years after the death of Major Hunt, she
married Mr. William Sharpless Jackson, a Quaker and a cultured banker.
Her home, at Colorado Springs, became an ideal one, sheltered under
the great Manitou, and looking toward the Garden of the Gods, full
of books and magazines, of dainty rugs and dainty china gathered
from many countries, and richly colored Colorado flowers. Once, when
Eastern guests were invited to luncheon, twenty-three varieties of
wildflowers, each massed in its own color, adorned the home. A friend
of hers says: "There is not an artificial flower in the house, on
embroidered table-cover or sofa cushion or tidy; indeed, Mrs. Jackson
holds that the manufacture of silken poppies and crewel sun-flowers
is a 'respectable industry,' intended only to keep idle hands out of

Mrs. Jackson loved flowers almost as though they were children. She
writes: "I bore on this June day a sheaf of the white columbine,--one
single sheaf, one single root; but it was almost more than I could
carry. In the open spaces, I carried it on my shoulder; in the
thickets, I bore it carefully in my arms, like a baby.... There is a
part of Cheyenne Mountain which I and one other have come to call 'our
garden.' When we drive down from 'our garden,' there is seldom room
for another flower in our carriage. The top thrown back is filled, the
space in front of the driver is filled, and our laps and baskets are
filled with the more delicate blossoms. We look as if we were on our
way to the ceremonies of Decoration Day. So we are. All June days are
decoration days in Colorado Springs, but it is the sacred joy of life
that we decorate,--not the sacred sadness of death." But Mrs. Jackson,
with her pleasant home, could not rest from her work. Two novels
came from her pen, _Mercy Philbrick's Choice_ and _Hetty's Strange
History_. It is probable also that she helped to write the beautiful
and tender _Saxe Holm Stories_. It is said that _Draxy Miller's Dowry_
and _Esther Wynn's Love Letters_ were written by another, while Mrs.
Jackson added the lovely poems; and when a request was made by the
publishers for more stories from the same author, Mrs. Jackson was
prevailed upon to write them.

The time had now come for her to do her last and perhaps her best
work. She could not write without a definite purpose, and now the
purpose that settled down upon her heart was to help the defrauded
Indians. She believed they needed education and Christianization
rather than extermination. She left her home and spent three months
in the Astor Library of New York, writing her _Century of Dishonor_,
showing how we have despoiled the Indians and broken our treaties with
them. She wrote to a friend, "I cannot think of anything else from
night to morning and from morning to night." So untiringly did she
work that she made herself ill, and was obliged to go to Norway,
leaving a literary ally to correct the proofs of her book.

At her own expense, she sent a copy to each member of Congress. Its
plain facts were not relished in some quarters, and she began to taste
the cup that all reformers have to drink; but the brave woman never
flinched in her duty. So much was the Government impressed by her
earnestness and good judgment, that she was appointed a Special
Commissioner with her friend, Abbott Kinney, to examine and report on
the condition of the Mission Indians in California.

Could an accomplished, tenderly reared woman go into their _adobe_
villages and listen to their wrongs? What would the world say of its
poet? Mrs. Jackson did not ask; she had a mission to perform, and the
more culture, the more responsibility. She brought cheer and hope
to the red men and their wives, and they called her "the Queen." She
wrote able articles about them in the _Century_.

The report made by Mr. Kinney and herself, which she prepared largely,
was clear and convincing. How different all this from her early life!
Mrs. Jackson had become more than poet and novelist; even the leader
of an oppressed people. At once, in the winter of 1883, she began to
write her wonderfully graphic and tender _Ramona_, and into this, she
said, "I put my heart and soul." The book was immediately reprinted in
England, and has had great popularity. She meant to do for the Indian
what Mrs. Stowe did for the slave, and she lived long enough to see
the great work well in progress.

This true missionary work had greatly deepened the earnestness of the
brilliant woman. Not always tender to other peoples' "hobbies," as she
said, she now had one of her own, into which she was putting her life.
Her horizon, with her great intellectual gifts, had now become as
wide as the universe. Had she lived, how many more great questions she
would have touched.

In June, 1884, falling on the staircase of her Colorado home, she
severely fractured her leg, and was confined to the house for several
months. Then she was taken to Los Angeles, Cal., for the winter. The
broken limb mended rapidly, but malarial fever set in, and she was
carried to San Francisco. Her first remark was, as she entered the
house looking out upon the broad and lovely bay, "I did not imagine it
was so pleasant! What a beautiful place to die in!"

To the last her letters to her friends were full of cheer. "You must
not think because I speak of not getting well that I am sad over it,"
she wrote. "On the contrary, I am more and more relieved in my mind,
as it seems to grow more and more sure that I shall die. You see that
I am growing old" (she was but fifty-four), "and I do believe that my
work is done. You have never realized how, for the past five years, my
whole soul has been centered on the Indian question. _Ramona_ was
the outcome of those five years. The Indian cause is on its feet now;
powerful friends are at work."

To another she wrote, "I am heartily, honestly, and cheerfully ready
to go. In fact, I am glad to go. My _Century of Dishonor_ and _Ramona_
are the only things I have done of which I am glad now. The rest is
of no moment. They will live, and they will bear fruit. They already
have. The change in public feeling on the Indian question in the last
three years is marvellous; an Indian Rights Association in every large
city in the land."

She had no fear of death. She said, "It is only just passing from one
country to another.... My only regret is that I have not accomplished
more work; especially that it was so late in the day when I began to
work in real earnest. But I do not doubt we shall keep on working....
There isn't so much difference, I fancy, between this life and the
next as we think, nor so much barrier.... I shall look in upon you
in the new rooms some day; but you will not see me. Good-bye. Yours
affectionately forever, H.H." Four days before her death she wrote to
President Cleveland:--

 "From my death-bed I send you a message of heart-felt
 thanks for what you have already done for the Indians.
 I ask you to read my _Century of Dishonor_. I am
 dying happier for the belief I have that it is your hand
 that is destined to strike the first steady blow toward
 lifting this burden of infamy from our country, and
 righting the wrongs of the Indian race.

 "With respect and gratitude,


That same day she wrote her last touching poem:--

  "Father, I scarcely dare to pray,
    So clear I see, now it is done,
  That I have wasted half my day,
    And left my work but just begun;

  "So clear I see that things I thought
    Were right or harmless were a sin;
  So clear I see that I have sought,
    Unconscious, selfish aim to win

  "So clear I see that I have hurt
    The souls I might hare helped to save,
  That I have slothful been, inert,
    Deaf to the calls Thy leaders gave.

  "In outskirts of Thy kingdoms vast,
    Father, the humblest spot give me;
  Set me the lowliest task Thou hast,
    Let me repentant work for Thee!"

That evening, Aug. 8, after saying farewell, she placed her hand in
her husband's, and went to sleep. After four days, mostly unconscious
ones, she wakened in eternity.

On her coffin were laid a few simple clover-blossoms, flowers she
loved in life; and then, near the summit of Cheyenne Mountain, four
miles from Colorado Springs, in a spot of her own choosing, she was

 "Do not adorn with costly shrub or tree
 Or flower the little grave which shelters me.
 Let the wild wind-sown seeds grow up unharmed,
 And back and forth all summer, unalarmed,
 Let all the tiny, busy creatures creep;
 Let the sweet grass its last year's tangles keep;
 And when, remembering me, you come some day
 And stand there, speak no praise, but only say,
 'How she loved us! It was for that she was so dear.'
 These are the only words that I shall smile to hear."

Many will stand by that Colorado grave in the years to come. Says a
California friend: "Above the chirp of the balm-cricket in the grass
that hides her grave, I seem to hear sweet songs of welcome from the
little ones. Among other thoughts of her come visions of a child and
mother straying in fields of light. And so I cannot make her dead,
who lived so earnestly, who wrought so unselfishly, and passed so
trustfully into the mystery of the unseen."

All honor to a woman who, with a happy home, was willing to leave
it to make other homes happy; who, having suffered, tried with a
sympathetic heart to forget herself and keep others from suffering;
who, being famous, gladly took time to help unknown authors to win
fame; who, having means, preferred a life of labor to a life of ease.

Mrs. Jackson's work is still going forward. Five editions of her
_Century of Dishonor_ have been printed since her death. _Ramona_ is
in its thirtieth thousand. _Zeph_, a touching story of frontier
life in Colorado, which she finished in her last illness, has been
published. Her sketches of travel have been gathered into _Glimpses
of Three Coasts_, and a new volume of poems, _Sonnets and Lyrics_, has


[Illustration: Lucretia Mott.]

Years ago I attended, at some inconvenience, a large public meeting,
because I heard that Lucretia Mott was to speak. After several
addresses, a slight lady, with white cap and drab Quaker dress, came
forward. Though well in years, her eyes were bright; her smile was
winsome, and I thought her face one of the loveliest I had ever looked
upon. The voice was singularly sweet and clear, and the manner had
such naturalness and grace as a queen might envy. I have forgotten
the words, forgotten even the subject, but the benign presence and
gracious smile I shall never forget.

Born among the quiet scenes of Nantucket, Jan. 3, 1793, Lucretia grew
to girlhood with habits of economy, neatness, and helpfulness in
the home. Her father, Thomas Coffin, was a sea-captain of staunch
principle; her mother, a woman of great energy, wit, and good sense.
The children's pleasures were such as a plain country home afforded.
When Mrs. Coffin went to visit her neighbors, she would say to her
daughters, "Now after you have finished knitting twenty bouts, you
may go down cellar and pick out as many as you want of the smallest
potatoes,--the very smallest,--and roast them in the ashes." Then
the six little folks gathered about the big fireplace and enjoyed a

When Lucretia was twelve years old, the family moved to Boston. At
first all the children attended a private school; but Captain Coffin,
fearing this would make them proud, removed them to a public school,
where they could "mingle with all classes without distinction." Years
after Lucretia said, "I am glad, because it gave me a feeling of
sympathy for the patient and struggling poor, which, but for this
experience, I might never have known."

A year later, she was sent to a Friends' boarding-school at Nine
Partners, N.Y. Both boys and girls attended this school, but were not
permitted to speak to each other unless they were near relatives; if
so, they could talk a little on certain days over a certain corner
of the fence, between the playgrounds! Such grave precautions did not
entirely prevent the acquaintance of the young people; for when a lad
was shut up in a closet, on bread and water, Lucretia and her sister
supplied him with bread and butter under the door. This boy was a
cousin of the teacher, James Mott, who was fond of the quick-witted
school-girl, so that it is probable that no harm came to her from
breaking the rules.

At fifteen, Lucretia was appointed an assistant teacher, and she and
Mr. Mott, with a desire to know more of literature, and quite possibly
more of each other, began to study French together. He was tall, with
light hair and blue eyes, and shy in manner; she, petite, with dark
hair and eyes, quick in thought and action, and fond of mirth.
When she was eighteen and James twenty-one, the young teachers were
married, and both went to her father's home in Philadelphia to reside,
he assisting in Mr. Coffin's business.

The war of 1812 brought financial failure to many, and young Mott soon
found himself with a wife and infant daughter to support, and no work.
Hoping that he could obtain a situation with an uncle in New York
State, he took his family thither, but came back disappointed. Finally
he found work in a plow store at a salary of six hundred dollars a

Captain Coffin meantime had died, leaving his family poor. James could
do so little for them all with his limited salary, that he determined
to open a small store; but the experiment proved a failure. His health
began to be affected by this ill success, when Lucretia, with her
brave heart, said, "My cousin and I will open a school; thee must not
get discouraged, James."

The school was opened with four pupils, each paying seven dollars a
quarter. The young wife put so much good cheer and earnestness into
her work, that soon there were forty pupils in the school. Mr. Mott's
prospects now brightened, for he was earning one thousand dollars a
year. The young couple were happy in their hard work, for they loved
each other, and love lightens all care and labor.

But soon a sorrow worse than poverty came. Their only son, Thomas, a
most affectionate child, died, saying with his latest breath, "I love
thee, mother." It was a crushing blow; but it proved a blessing in the
end, leading her thoughts heavenward.

A few months afterwards her voice was heard for the first time in
public, in prayer, in one of the Friends' meetings. The words were
simple, earnest, eloquent. The good Quakers marvelled, and encouraged
the "gift." They did not ask whether man or woman brought the message,
so it came from heaven.

And now, at twenty-five, having resigned her position as teacher, she
began close study of the Bible and theological books. She had four
children to care for, did all her sewing, even cutting and making her
own dresses; but she learned what every one can learn,--to economize
time. Her house was kept scrupulously clean. She says: "I omitted much
unnecessary stitching and ornamental work in the sewing for my family,
so that I might have more time for the improvement of my mind.
For novels and light reading I never had much taste; the ladies'
department in the periodicals of the day had no attraction for me. "She
would lay a copy of William Penn's ponderous volumes open at the foot
of her bed, and drawing her chair close to it, with her baby on her
lap, would study the book diligently. A woman of less energy and less
will-power than young Mrs. Mott would have given up all hope of being
a scholar. She read the best books in philosophy and science. John
Stuart Mill and Dean Stanley, though widely different, were among her
favorite authors.

James Mott was now prospering in the cotton business, so that they
could spare time to go in their carriage and speak at the Quaker
meetings in the surrounding country. Lucretia would be so absorbed
in thought as not to notice the beauties of the landscape, which her
husband always greatly enjoyed. Pointing out a fine view to her, she
replied, "Yes, it is beautiful, now that thou points it out, but
I should not have noticed it. I have always taken more interest in
_human_ nature." From a child she was deeply interested for the slave.
She had read in her school-books Clarkson's description of the slave
ships, and these left an impression never to be effaced. When, Dec. 4,
1833, a convention met in Philadelphia for the purpose of forming the
American Anti-Slavery Society, Lucretia Mott was one of the four
women who braved the social obloquy, as friends of the despised
abolitionists. She spoke, and was listened to with attention.
Immediately the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society was formed,
and Mrs. Mott became its president and its inspiration. So unheard of
a thing was an association of women, and so unaccustomed were they to
the methods of organization, that they were obliged to call a colored
man to the chair to assist them.

The years of martyrdom which followed, we at this day can scarcely
realize. Anti-slavery lecturers were tarred and feathered. Mobs in New
York and Philadelphia swarmed the streets, burning houses and breaking
church windows. In the latter city they surrounded the hall of the
Abolitionists, where the women were holding a large convention, and
Mrs. Mott was addressing them. All day long they cursed and threw
stones, and as soon as the women left the building, they burned it
to ashes. Then, wrought up to fury, the mob started for the house of
James and Lucretia Mott. Knowing that they were coming, the calm woman
sent her little children away, and then in the parlor, with a few
friends, peacefully awaited a probable death.

In the turbulent throng was a young man who, while he was no friend
of the colored man, could not see Lucretia Mott harmed. With skilful
ruse, as they neared the house, he rushed up another street, shouting
at the top of his voice, "On to Motts!" and the wild crowd blindly
followed, wreaking their vengeance in another quarter.

A year later, in Delaware, where Mrs. Mott was speaking, one of her
party, a defenceless old man, was dragged from the house, and tarred
and feathered. She followed, begging the men to desist, and saying
that she was the real offender, but no violent hands were laid upon

At another time, when the annual meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society
in New York was broken up by the mob, some of the speakers were
roughly handled. Perceiving that several ladies were timid, Mrs. Mott
said to the gentleman who was accompanying her, "Won't thee look after
some of the others?"

"But who will take care of you?" he said.

With great tact and a sweet smile, she answered, "This man," laying
her hand on the arm of one of the roughest of the mob; "he will see me
safe through."

The astonished man had, like others, a tender heart beneath the
roughness, and with respectful manner took her to a place of safety.
The next day, going into a restaurant, she saw the leader of the mob,
and immediately sat down by him, and began to converse. Her kindness
and her sweet voice left a deep impression. As he went out of the
room, he asked at the door, "Who is that lady?"

"Why, that is Lucretia Mott!"

For a second he was dumbfounded; but he added, "Well, she's a good,
sensible woman."

In 1839 a World's Convention was called at London to debate the
slavery question. Among the delegates chosen were James and Lucretia
Mott, Wendell Phillips and his wife, and others. Mrs. Mott was
jubilant at the thought of the world's interest in this great
question, and glad for an opportunity to cross the ocean and enjoy a
little rest, and the pleasure of meeting friends who had worked in the
same cause.

When the party arrived, they were told, to their astonishment, that
no women were to be admitted to the Convention as delegates. They had
faced mobs and ostracism; they had given money and earnest labor,
but they were to be ignored. William Lloyd Garrison, hurt at such
injustice, refused to take part in the Convention, and sat in the
gallery with the women. Although Mrs. Mott did not speak in the
assembly, the _Dublin Herald_ said, "Nobody doubts that she was the
lioness of the Convention." She was entertained at public breakfasts,
and at these spoke with the greatest acceptance to both men and women.
The Duchess of Sutherland and Lady Byron showed her great attention.
Carlyle was "much pleased with the Quaker lady, whose quiet manner had
a soothing effect on him," wrote Mrs. Carlyle to a friend. At Glasgow
"she held a delighted audience for nearly two hours in breathless
attention," said the press.

After some months of devoted Christian work, along with sight-seeing,
Mr. and Mrs. Mott started homeward. He had spoken less frequently
than his wife, but always had been listened to with deep interest.
Her heart was moved toward a large number of Irish emigrants in the
steerage, and she desired to hold a religious meeting among them. When
asked about it, they said they would not hear a woman preacher, for
women priests were not allowed in their church. Then she asked that
they would come together and consider whether they would have a
meeting. This seemed fair, and they came. She explained to them
that she did not intend to hold a church service; that, as they were
leaving their old homes and seeking new ones in her country, she
wanted to talk with them in such a way as would help them in the land
of strangers. And then, if they would listen,--they were all the time
listening very eagerly,--she would give an outline of what she had
intended to say, if the meeting had been held. At the close, when all
had departed, it dawned upon some of the quicker-witted ones that they
"had got the preachment from the woman preacher, after all."

The steamer arrived at the close of a twenty-nine days' voyage, and,
after a brief rest, Mrs. Mott began again her public work. She spoke
before the legislatures of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. She
called on President Tyler, and he talked with her cordially and freely
about the slave. In Kentucky, says one of the leading papers, "For an
hour and a half she enchained an ordinarily restless audience--many
were standing--to a degree never surpassed here by the most popular
orators. She said some things that were far from palatable, but said
them with an air of sincerity that commanded respect and attention."

Mrs. Mott was deeply interested in other questions besides
slavery,--suffrage for women, total abstinence, and national
differences settled by arbitration instead of war. Years before, when
she began to teach school, and found that while girls paid the same
tuition as boys, "when they became teachers, women received only half
as much as men for their services," she says: "The injustice of this
distinction was so apparent, that I early resolved to claim for myself
all that an impartial Creator had bestowed."

In 1848, Mrs. Mott, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and some others,
called the first Woman's Suffrage Convention in this country, at
Seneca Falls, N.Y. There was much ridicule,--we had not learned, forty
years ago, to treat with courtesy those whose opinions are different
from our own,--but the sweet Quaker preacher went serenely forward, as
though all the world were on her side. When she conversed with those
who differed, she listened so courteously to objections, and stated
her own views so delicately and kindly, and often so wittily, that
none could help liking her, even though they did not agree with
her. She realized that few can be driven, while many can be won with
gentleness and tact.

In all these years of public speaking, her home was not only a refuge
for the oppressed, but a delightful social centre, where prominent
people gathered from both Europe and America. At the table black and
white were treated with equal courtesy. One young man, a frequent
visitor, finding himself seated at dinner next to a colored man,
resolved to keep away from the house in future; but as he was in
love with one of Mrs. Mott's pretty daughters, he found that his
"principles" gave way to his affections. He renewed his visits, became
a son-in-law, and, later, an ardent advocate of equality for the
colored people.

Now the guests at the hospitable home were a mother and seven
children, from England, who, meeting with disappointments, had become
reduced to poverty. Now it was an escaped slave, who had come from
Richmond, Va., in a dry-goods box, by Adams Express. This poor man,
whose wife and three children had been sold from him, determined to
seek his freedom, even if he died in the effort. Weighing nearly two
hundred pounds, he was encased in a box two feet long, twenty-three
inches wide, and three feet high, in a sitting posture. He was
provided with a few crackers, and a bladder filled with water. With a
small gimlet he bored holes in the box to let in fresh air, and fanned
himself with his hat, to keep the air in motion. The box was covered
with canvas, that no one might suspect its contents. His sufferings
were almost unbearable. As the box was tossed from one place to
another, he was badly bruised, and sometimes he rested for miles
on his head and shoulders, when it seemed as though his veins would
burst. Finally he reached the Mott home, and found shelter and

Their large house was always full. Mr. Mott had given up a prosperous
cotton business, because the cotton was the product of slave labor;
but he had been equally successful in the wool trade, so that the days
of privation had passed by long ago. Two of their six children,
with their families, lived at home, and the harmony was remarked by
everybody. Mrs. Mott rose early, and did much housework herself. She
wrote to a friend: "I prepared mince for forty pies, doing every part
myself, even to meat-chopping; picked over lots of apples, stewed a
quantity, chopped some more, and made apple pudding; all of which kept
me on my feet till almost two o'clock, having to come into the parlor
every now and then to receive guests." As a rule, those women are the
best housekeepers whose lives are varied by some outside interests.

In the broad hall of the house stood two armchairs, which the children
called "beggars' chairs," because they were in constant use for all
sorts of people, "waiting to see the missus." She never refused to see
anybody. When letters came from all over the country, asking for all
sorts of favors, bedding, silver spoons, a silk umbrella, or begging
her to invest some money in the manufacture of an article, warranted
"to take the kink out of the hair of the negro," she would always
check the merriment of her family by saying, "Don't laugh too much;
the poor souls meant well."

Mrs. Mott was now sixty-three years of age. For forty years she had
been seen and loved by thousands. Strangers would stop her on the
street and say, "God bless you, Lucretia Mott!" Once, when a slave was
being tried for running away, Mrs. Mott sat near him in the court,
her son-in-law, Mr. Edward Hopper, defending his case. The opposing
counsel asked that her chair might be moved, as her face would
influence the jury against him! Benjamin H. Brewster, afterwards
United States Attorney-General, also counsel for the Southern master,
said: "I have heard a great deal of your mother-in-law, Hopper; but I
never saw her before to-day. She is an angel." Years after, when Mr.
Brewster was asked how he dared to change his political opinions, he
replied, "Do you think there is anything I dare not do, after facing
Lucretia Mott in that court-room?"

It seemed best at this time, in 1856, as Mrs. Mott was much worn with
care, to sell the large house in town and move eight miles into the
country, to a quaint, roomy house which they called Roadside. Before
they went, however, at the last family gathering a long poem was read,
ending with:--

 "Who constantly will ring the bell,
 And ask if they will please to tell
 Where Mrs. Mott has gone to dwell?
                     The beggars.

 "And who persistently will say,
 'We cannot, cannot go away;
 Here in the entry let us stay?'
                     Colored beggars.

 "Who never, never, nevermore
 Will see the 'lions' at the door
 That they've so often seen before?
                     The neighbors.

 "And who will miss, for months at least,
 That place of rest for man and beast,
 from North, and South, and West, and East?

Much of the shrubbery was cut down at Roadside, that Mrs. Mott might
have the full sunlight. So cheery a nature must have sunshine. Here
life went on quietly and happy. Many papers and books were on her
table, and she read carefully and widely. She loved especially Milton
and Cowper. Arnold's _Light of Asia_ was a great favorite in later
years. The papers were sent to hospitals and infirmaries, that no good
reading might be lost. She liked to read aloud; and if others were
busy, she would copy extracts to read to them when they were at
leisure. Who can measure the power of an educated, intellectual mother
in a home?

The golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Mott was celebrated in 1861, and a
joyous season it was. James, the prosperous merchant, was proud of his
gifted wife, and aided her in every way possible; while Lucretia
loved and honored the true-hearted husband. Though Mrs. Mott was
now seventy, she did not cease her benevolent work. Her carriage was
always full of fruits, vegetables, and gifts for the poor. In buying
goods she traded usually with the small stores, where things were
dearer, but she knew that for many of the proprietors it was a
struggle to make ends meet. A woman so considerate of others would of
course be loved.

Once when riding on the street-cars in Philadelphia, when no black
person was allowed to ride inside, every fifth car being reserved for
their use, she saw a frail-looking and scantily-dressed colored woman,
standing on the platform in the rain. The day was bitter cold, and
Mrs. Mott begged the conductor to allow her to come inside. "The
company's orders must be obeyed," was the reply. Whereupon the slight
Quaker lady of seventy walked out and stood beside the colored woman.
It would never do to have the famous Mrs. Mott seen in the rain on his
car; so the conductor, in his turn, went out and begged her to come

"I cannot go in without this woman," said Mrs. Mott quietly.
Nonplussed for a moment, he looked at the kindly face, and said, "Oh,
well, bring her in then!" Soon the "company's orders" were changed in
the interests of humanity, and colored people as well as white enjoyed
their civil rights, as becomes a great nation.

With all this beauty of character, Lucretia Mott had her trials.
Somewhat early in life she and her husband had joined the so-called
Unitarian branch of Quakers, and for this they were persecuted. So
deep was the sectarian feeling, that once, when suffering from acute
neuralgia, a physician who knew her well, when called to attend her,
said, "Lucretia, I am so deeply afflicted by thy rebellious spirit,
that I do not feel that I can prescribe for thee," and he left her to
her sufferings. Such lack of toleration reads very strangely at this

In 1868, Mr. Mott and his wife, the one eighty, and the other
seventy-five, went to Brooklyn, N.Y., to visit their grandchildren.
He was taken ill of pneumonia, and expressed a wish to go home, but
added, "I suppose I shall die here, and then I shall be at home; it
is just as well." Mrs. Mott watched with him through the night, and at
last, becoming weary, laid her head upon his pillow and went to sleep.
In the morning, the daughter coming in, found the one resting from
weariness, the other resting forever.

At the request of several colored men, who respected their benefactor,
Mr. Mott was borne to his grave by their hands. Thus ended, for this
world, what one who knew them well called "the most perfect wedded
life to be found on earth."

Mrs. Mott said, "James and I loved each other more than ever since we
worked together for a great cause." She carried out the old couplet:--

  "And be this thy pride, what but few have done,
  To hold fast the love thou hast early won."

After his death, she wrote to a friend, "I do not mourn, but rather
remember my blessings, and the blessing of his long life with me."

For twelve years more she lived and did her various duties. She had
seen the slave freed, and was thankful. The other reforms for which
she labored were progressing. At eighty-five she still spoke in the
great meetings. Each Christmas she carried turkeys, pies, and a gift
for each man and woman at the "Aged Colored Home," in Philadelphia,
driving twenty miles, there and back. Each year she sent a box
of candy to each conductor and brakeman on the North Pennsylvania
Railroad, "Because," she said, "they never let me lift out my bundles,
but catch them up so quickly, and they all seem to know me."

Finally the time came for her to go to meet James. As the end drew
near, she seemed to think that she was conducting her own funeral, and
said, as though addressing an audience, "If you resolve to follow the
Lamb wherever you may be led, you will find all the ways pleasant and
the paths peace. Let me go! Do take me!"

There was a large and almost silent funeral at the house, and at the
cemetery several thousand persons were gathered. When friends were
standing by the open grave, a low voice said, ""Will no one say
anything?" and another responded, "Who can speak? the preacher is

Memorial services were held in various cities. For such a woman as
Lucretia Mott, with cultured mind, noble heart, and holy purpose,
there are no sex limitations. Her field is the world.

Those who desire to know, more of this gifted woman will find it in a
most interesting volume, _Lives of James and Lucretia Mott_, written
by their grandaughter, Anna Davis Hallowell, West Medford, Mass.


[Illustration: MARY A. LIVERMORE.]

When a nation passes through a great struggle like our Civil War,
great leaders are developed. Had it not been for this, probably Mrs.
Livermore, like many other noble women, would be to-day living quietly
in some pleasant home, doing the common duties of every-day life. She
would not be the famous lecturer, the gifted writer, the leader of the
Sanitary Commission in the West; a brilliant illustration of the work
a woman may do in the world, and still retain the truest womanliness.

She was born in Boston, descended from ancestors who for six
generations had been Welsh preachers, and reared by parents of the
strictest Calvinistic faith. Mr. Rice, her father, was a man of
honesty and integrity, while the mother was a woman of remarkable
judgment and common sense.

Mary was an eager scholar, and a great favorite in school, because she
took the part of all the poor children. If a little boy or girl was
a cripple, or wore shabby clothes, or had scanty dinners, or was
ridiculed, he or she found an earnest friend and defender in the
courageous girl.

So fond was she of the five children in the home, younger than
herself, and so much did she take upon herself the responsibility of
their conversion, that when but ten years old, unable to sleep, she
would rise from her bed and waken her father and mother that they
might pray for the sisters. "It's no matter about me," she would say;
"if they are saved, I can bear anything."

Mature in thought and care-taking beyond her years, she was still
fond of out-door sports and merry times. Sliding on the ice was her
especial delight. One day, after a full hour's fun in the bracing
air, she rushed into the house, the blood tingling in every vein,
exclaiming, "It's splendid sliding!" "Yes," replied the father, "it's
good fun, but wretched for shoes."

All at once the young girl saw how hard it was for her parents to buy
shoes, with their limited means; and from that day to this she never
slid upon the ice.

There were few playthings in the simple home, but her chief pastime
was in holding meetings in her father's woodshed, with the other
children. Great logs were laid out for benches, and split sticks were
set upon them for people. Mary was always the leader, both in praying
and preaching, and the others were good listeners. Mrs. Rice would be
so much amused at the queer scene, that a smile would creep over her
face; but Mr. Rice would look on reverently, and say, "I wish you had
been a boy; you could have been trained for the ministry."

When she was twelve years old she began to be eager to earn something.
She could not bear to see her father work so hard for her. Alas! how
often young women, twice twelve, allow their father's hair to grow
white from overwork, because they think society will look down upon
them if they labor. Is work more a disgrace to a girl than a boy? Not
at all. Unfortunate is the young man who marries a girl who is either
afraid or ashamed to work.

Though not fond of sewing, Mary decided to learn dressmaking, because
this would give her self-support. For three months she worked in a
shop, that she might learn the trade, and then she stayed three months
longer and earned thirty-seven cents a day. As this seemed meagre, she
looked about her for more work. Going to a clothing establishment,
she asked for a dozen red flannel shirts to make. The proprietor might
have wondered who the child was, but he trusted her honest face,
and gave her the bundle. She was to receive six and a quarter cents
apiece, and to return them on a certain day. Working night after
night, sometimes till the early morning hours, she was able to finish
only half at the time specified.

On that day a man came to the door and asked, "Does Mary Rice live

The mother had gone to the door, and answered in the affirmative.

"Well, she took a dozen red flannel shirts from my shop to make, and
she hain't returned 'em!"

"It can't be my daughter," said Mrs. Rice.

The man was sure he had the right number, but he looked perplexed.
Just then Mary, who was in the sitting-room, appeared on the scene.

"Yes, mother, I got these shirts of the man."

"You promised to get 'em done, Miss," he said, "and we are in a great

"You shall have the shirts to-morrow night," said Mrs. Rice.

After the man left the house, the mother burst into tears, saying, "We
are not so poor as that. My dear child, what is to become of you if
you take all the cares of the world upon your shoulders?"

When the work was done, and the seventy-five cents received, Mary
would take only half of it, because she had earned but half.

A brighter day was dawning for Mary Rice. A little later, longing for
an education, Dr. Neale, their good minister, encouraged and assisted
her to go to the Charlestown Female Seminary. Before the term closed
one of the teachers died, and the bright, earnest pupil was asked to
fill the vacancy. She accepted, reciting out of school to fit herself
for her classes, earning enough by her teaching to pay her way, and
taking the four years' course in two years. Before she was twenty she
taught two years on a Virginia plantation as a governess, and came
North with six hundred dollars and a good supply of clothes. Probably
she has never felt so rich since that day.

She was now asked to take charge of the Duxbury High School, where she
became an inspiration to her scholars. Even the dullest learned under
her enthusiasm. She took long walks to keep up her health and spirits,
thus making her body as vigorous as her heart was sympathetic.

It was not to be wondered at that the bright young teacher had
many admirers. Who ever knew an educated, genial girl who was not a
favorite with young men? It is a libel on the sex to think that they
prefer ignorant or idle girls.

Among those who saw the beauty of character and the mental power of
Miss Rice was a young minister, whose church was near her schoolhouse.
The first time she attended his services, he preached from the text,
"And thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from
their sins." Her sister had died, and the family were in sorrow; but
this gospel of love, which he preached with no allusion to eternal
punishment, was full of comfort. What was the minister's surprise
to have the young lady ask to take home the sermon and read it, and
afterwards, some of his theological books. What was the teacher's
surprise, a little later, to find that while she was interested in his
sermons and books, he had become interested in her. The sequel can
be guessed easily; she became the wife of Rev. D.P. Livermore at

He had idolized his mother; very naturally, with deep reverence
for woman, he would make a devoted husband. For fifteen years the
intelligent wife aided him in editing _The New Covenant_, a religious
paper published in Chicago, in which city they had made their home.
Her writings were always clear, strong, and helpful. Three children
had been born into their home, and life, with its cares and its work,
was a very happy one.

But the time came for the quiet life to be entirely changed. In 1861
the nation found itself plunged into war. The slave question was to
be settled once for all at the point of the bayonet. Like every other
true-hearted woman, Mrs. Livermore had been deeply stirred by passing
events. When Abraham Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand men
was eagerly responded to, she was in Boston, and saw the troops, all
unused to hardships, start for the battle-fields. The streets were
crowded with tens of thousands. Bells rung, bands played, and women
smiled and said good-bye, when their hearts were breaking. After the
train moved out of the station, four women fainted; nature could no
longer bear the terrible strain. Mrs. Livermore helped restore
the women to consciousness. She had no sons to send; but when such
partings were seen, and such sorrows were in the future, she could not

What could women do to help in the dreadful struggle? A meeting of
New York ladies was called, which resulted in the formation of an Aid
Society, pledging loyalty to the Government, and promising assistance
to soldiers and their families. Two gentlemen were sent to Washington
to ask what work could be done, but word came back that there was no
place for women at the front, nor no need for them in the hospitals.
Such words were worse than wasted on American women. Since the day
when men and women together breasted the storms of New England in the
_Mayflower_, and together planted a new civilization, together they
have worked side by side in all great matters. They were untiring
in the Revolutionary War; they worked faithfully in the dark days of
anti-slavery agitation, taking their very lives in their hands. And
now their husbands and sons and brothers had gone from their homes.
They would die on battle-fields, and in lonely camps untended, and the
women simply said, "Some of us must follow our best-beloved."

The United States Sanitary Commission was soon organized, for working
in hospitals, looking after camps, and providing comforts for the
soldiers. Branch associations were formed in ten large cities.
The great Northwestern Branch was put under the leadership of Mrs.
Livermore and Mrs. A.H. Hoge. Useful things began to pour in from all
over the country,--fruits, clothing, bedding, and all needed comforts
for the army. Then Mrs. Livermore, now a woman of forty, with great
executive ability, warm heart, courage, and perseverance, with a few
others, went to Washington to talk with President Lincoln.

"Can no women go to the front?" they asked.

"No civilian, either man or woman, is permitted by _law_," said
Mr. Lincoln. But the great heart of the greatest man in America was
superior to the law, and he placed not a straw in their way. He was in
favor of anything which helped the men who fought and bled for their

Mrs. Livermore's first broad experience in the war was after the
battle of Fort Donelson. There were no hospitals for the men, and the
wounded were hauled down the hillside in rough-board Tennessee wagons,
most of them dying before they reached St. Louis. Some poor fellows
lay with the frozen earth around them, chopped out after lying in the
mud from Saturday morning until Sunday evening.

One blue-eyed lad of nineteen, with both legs and both arms shattered,
when asked, "How did it happen that you were left so long?" said,
"Why, you see, they couldn't stop to bother with us, _because they had
to take the fort_. When they took it, we forgot our sufferings, and
all over the battle-field cheers went up from the wounded, and even
from the dying."

At the rear of the battle-fields the Sanitary Commission now began
to keep its wagons with hot soup and hot coffee, women, fitly chosen,
always joining in this work, in the midst of danger. After the first
repulse at Vicksburg, there was great sickness and suffering. The
Commission sent Mrs. Hoge, two gentlemen accompanying her, with a
boat-load of supplies for the sick. One emaciated soldier, to whom she
gave a little package of white sugar, with a lemon, some green tea,
two herrings, two onions, and some pepper, said, "Is that _all_ for
me?" She bowed assent. She says: "He covered his pinched face with his
thin hands and burst into a low, sobbing cry. I laid my hand upon
his shoulder, and said, 'Why do you weep?' 'God bless the women!'
he sobbed out. 'What should we do but for them? I came from father's
farm, where all knew plenty; I've lain sick these three months; I've
seen no woman's face, nor heard her voice, nor felt her warm hand
till to-day, and it unmans me; but don't think I rue my bargain, for
I don't. I've suffered much and long, but don't let them know at
home. Maybe I'll never have a chance to tell them how much; but I'd go
through it all for the old flag.'"

Shortly after, accompanied by an officer, she went into the
rifle-pits. The heat was stifling, and the minie-balls were whizzing.
"Why, madam, where did you come from? Did you drop from heaven into
these rifle-pits? You are the first lady we have seen here;" and then
the voice was choked with tears.

"I have come from your friends at home, and bring messages of love and
honor. I have come to bring you the comforts we owe you, and love
to give. I've come to see if you receive what they send you," she

"Do they think as much of as as that? Why, boys, we can fight another
year on that, can't we?"

"Yes, yes!" they cried, and almost every hand was raised to brush away
the tears.

She made them a kindly talk, shook the hard, honest hands, and said
good-bye. "Madame," said the officer, "promise me that you'll visit my
regiment to-morrow; 'twould be worth a victory to them. You don't know
what good a lady's visit to the army does. These men whom you have
seen to-day will talk of your visit for six months to come. Around
the fires, in the rifle-pits, in the dark night, or on the march, they
will repeat your words, describe your looks, voice, size, and dress;
and all agree in one respect,--that you look like an angel, and
exactly like each man's wife or mother. Ah! was there no work for
women to do?

The Sanitary and Christian Commissions expended about fifty million
dollars during the war, and of this, the women raised a generous
portion. Each battle cost the Sanitary Commission about seventy-five
thousand dollars, and the battle of Gettysburg, a half million
dollars. Mrs. Livermore was one of the most efficient helpers in
raising this money. She went among the people, and solicited funds and
supplies of every kind.

One night it was arranged that she should speak in Dubuque, Iowa, that
the people of that State might hear directly from their soldiers at
the front. When she arrived, instead of finding a few women as she had
expected, a large church was packed with both men and women, eager to
listen. The governor of the State and other officials were present.
She had never spoken in a mixed assembly. Her conservative training
made her shrink from it, and, unfortunately, made her feel incapable
of doing it.

"I cannot speak!" she said to the women who had asked her to come.

Disappointed and disheartened, they finally arranged with a prominent
statesman to jot down the facts from her lips; and then, as best he
could, tell to the audience the experiences of the woman who had been
on battle-fields, amid the wounded and dying. Just as they were about
to go upon the platform, the gentleman said, "Mrs. Livermore, I have
heard you say at the front, that you would give your all for the
soldiers,--a foot, a hand, or a voice. Now is the time to give your
voice, if you wish to do good."

She meditated a moment, and then she said, "I will try."

When she arose to speak, the sea of faces before her seemed blurred.
She was talking into blank darkness. She could not even hear her own
voice. But as she went on, and the needs of the soldiers crowded upon
her mind, she forgot all fear, and for two hours held the audience
spell-bound. Men and women wept, and patriotism filled every heart. At
eleven o'clock eight thousand dollars were pledged, and then, at the
suggestion of the presiding officer, they remained until one o'clock
to perfect plans for a fair, from which they cleared sixty thousand
dollars. After this, Mrs. Livermore spoke in hundreds of towns,
helping to organize many of the more than twelve thousand five hundred
aid societies formed during eighteen months.

As money became more and more needed, Mrs. Livermore decided to try
a sanitary commission fair in Chicago. The women said, "We will
raise twenty-five thousand dollars," but the men laughed at such
an impossibility. The farmers were visited, and solicited to give
vegetables and grain, while the cities were not forgotten. Fourteen of
Chicago's largest halls were hired. The women had gone into debt ten
thousand dollars, and the men of the city began to think they were
crazy. The Board of Trade called upon them and advised that the fair
be given up; the debts should be paid, and the men would give the
twenty-five thousand, when, in their judgment, it was needed! The
women thanked them courteously, but pushed forward in the work.

It had been arranged that the farmers should come on the opening day,
in a procession, with their gifts of vegetables. Of this plan the
newspapers made great sport, calling it the "potato procession." The
day came. The school children had a holiday, the bells were rung,
one hundred guns were fired, and the whole city gathered to see the
"potato procession." Finally it arrived,--great loads of cabbages,
onions, and over four thousand bushels of potatoes. The wagons each
bore a motto, draped in black, with the words, "We buried a son at
Donelson," "Our father lies at Stone River," and other similar ones.
The flags on the horses' heads were bound with black; the women who
rode beside a husband or son, were dressed in deep mourning. When the
procession stopped before Mrs. Livermore's house, the jeers were over,
and the dense crowd wept like children.

Six of the public halls were filled with beautiful things for sale,
while eight were closed so that no other attractions might compete
with the fair. Instead of twenty-five thousand, the women cleared one
hundred thousand dollars.

Then Cincinnati followed with a fair, making two hundred and
twenty-five thousand; Boston, three hundred and eighty thousand; New
York, one million; and Philadelphia, two hundred thousand more than
New York. The women had found that there was work enough for them to

Mrs. Livermore was finally ordered to make a tour of the hospitals
and military posts on the Mississippi River, and here her aid was
invaluable. It required a remarkable woman to undertake such a work.
At one point she found twenty-three men, sick and wounded, whose
regiments had left them, and who could not be discharged because they
had no descriptive lists. She went at once to General Grant, and said,
"General, if you will give me authority to do so, I will agree to take
these twenty-three wounded men home."

The officials respected the noble woman, and the red tape of army life
was broken for her sake.

When the desolate company arrived in Chicago, on Saturday, the last
train had left which could have taken a Wisconsin soldier home. She
took him to the hotel, had a fire made for him, and called a doctor.

"Pull him through till Monday, Doctor," she said, "and I'll get him
home." Then, to the lad, "You shall have a nurse, and Monday morning I
will go with you to your mother."

"Oh! don't go away," he pleaded; "I never shall see you again."

"Well, then, I'll go home and see my family, and come back in two
hours. The door shall be left open, and I'll put this bell beside you,
so that the chambermaid will come when you ring."

He consented, and Mrs. Livermore came back in two hours. The soldier's
face was turned toward the door, as though waiting for her, but he was
dead. He had gone home, but not to Wisconsin.

After the close of the war, so eager were the people to hear her,
that she entered the lecture field and has for years held the foremost
place among women as a public speaker. She lectures five nights a
week, for five months, travelling twenty-five thousand miles annually.
Her fine voice, womanly, dignified manner, and able thought have
brought crowded houses before her, year after year. She has
earned money, and spent it generously for others. The energy and
conscientiousness of little Mary Rice have borne their legitimate

Every year touching incidents came up concerning the war days. Once,
after she had spoken at Fabyan's American Institute of Instruction, a
military man, six feet tall, came up to her and said, "Do you remember
at Memphis coming over to the officers' hospital?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Livermore.

While the officers were paid salaries, very often the paymasters could
not find them when ill, and for months they would not have a penny,
not even receiving army rations. Mrs. Livermore found many in
great need, and carried them from the Sanitary Commission blankets,
medicine, and food. Milk was greatly desired, and almost impossible to
be obtained. One day she came into the wards, and said that a certain
portion of the sick "could have two goblets of milk for every meal."

"Do you remember," said the tall man, who was then a major, "that one
man cried bitterly and said, 'I want two glasses of milk,' and that
you patted him on the head, as he lay on his cot? And that the man
said, as he thought of the dear ones at home, whom he might not see
again, 'Could you kiss me?' and the noble woman bent down and kissed
him? I am that man, and God bless you for your kindness."

Mrs. Livermore wears on her third finger a plain gold ring which has a
touching history.

After lecturing recently at Albion, Mich., a woman came up, who had
driven eight miles, to thank her for a letter written for John,
her son, as he was dying in the hospital. The first four lines were
dictated by the dying soldier; then death came, and Mrs. Livermore
finished the message. The faded letter had been kept for twenty years,
and copies made of it. "Annie, my son's wife," said the mother, "never
got over John's death. She kept about and worked, but the life had
gone out of her. Eight years ago she died. One day she said, 'Mother,
if you ever find Mrs. Livermore, or hear of her, I wish you would give
her my wedding ring, which has never been off my finger since John put
it there. Ask her to wear it for John's sake and mine, and tell her
this was my dying request.'"

With tears in the eyes of both giver and receiver, Mrs. Livermore held
out her hand, and the mother placed on the finger this memento of two
precious lives.

Mrs. Livermore has spent ten years in the temperance reform. While
she has shown the dreadful results of the liquor traffic, she has
been kind both in word and deed. Some time ago, passing along a Boston
street, she saw a man in the ditch, and a poor woman bending over him.

"Who is he?" she asked of the woman.

"He's my husband, ma'am. He's a good man when he is sober, and earns
four dollars a day in the foundry. I keep a saloon."

Mrs. Livermore called a hack. "Will you carry this man to number ----?"

"No, madam, he's too dirty. I won't soil my carriage."

"Oh!" pleaded the wife, "I'll clean it all up for ye, if ye'll take
him," and pulling off her dress-skirt, she tried to wrap it around her
husband. Stepping to a saloon near by, Mrs. Livermore asked the men to
come out and help lift him. At first they laughed, but were soon made
ashamed, when they saw that a lady was assisting. The drunken man was
gotten upon his feet, wrapped in his wife's clothing, put into the
hack, and then Mrs. Livermore and the wife got in beside him, and he
was taken home. The next day the good Samaritan called, and brought
the priest, from whom the man took the pledge. A changed family was
the result.

Her life is filled with thousands of acts of kindness, on the cars, in
poor homes, and in various charitable institutions. She is the author
of two or more books, _What shall we do with Our Daughters?_ and
_Reminiscences of the War;_ but her especial power has been her
eloquent words, spoken all over the country, in pulpits, before
colleges, in city and country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast.
Like Abraham Lincoln, who said, "I go for all sharing the privileges
of the government, who assist in bearing its burdens,--by no means
excluding women," she has advocated the enfranchisement of her sex,
along with her other work.

Now, past sixty, her active, earnest life, in contact with the people,
has kept her young in heart and in looks.

"A great authority on what constitutes beauty complains that the
majority of women acquire a dull, vacant expression towards middle
life, which makes them positively plain. He attributes it to their
neglect of all mental culture, their lives having settled down to a
monotonous routine of house-keeping, visiting, gossip, and shopping.
Their thoughts become monotonous, too, for, though these things are
all good enough in their way, they are powerless to keep up any mental
life or any activity of thought."

Mrs. Livermore has been an inspiration to girls to make the most
of themselves and their opportunities. She has been an ideal of
womanhood, not only to "the boys" on the battle-fields, but to tens
of thousands who are fighting the scarcely less heroic battles of
every-day life. May it be many years before she shall go out forever
from her restful, happy home, at Melrose, Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Livermore died at her home, May 23, 1905, at 8 A.M., of
bronchitis. She was in her eighty-fourth year, and had survived her
husband six years. When her funeral services were held, the schools of
Melrose closed, business was suspended, bells were tolled, and flags
floated at half-mast. She was an active member of thirty-seven clubs.
The degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon her, in 1896, by Tufts


[Illustration: MARGARET FULLER

From engraving by Hall]

Margaret Fuller, in some respects the most remarkable of American
women, lived a pathetic life and died a tragic death. Without money
and without beauty, she became the idol of an immense circle of
friends; men and women were alike her devotees. It is the old story:
that the woman of brain makes lasting conquests of hearts, while the
pretty face holds its sway only for a month or a year.

Margaret, born in Cambridgeport, Mass., May 23, 1810, was the
oldest child of a scholarly lawyer, Mr. Timothy Fuller, and of a
sweet-tempered, devoted mother. The father, with small means, had
one absorbing purpose in life,--to see that each of his children was
finely educated. To do this, and make ends meet, was a struggle. His
daughter said, years after, in writing of him: "His love for my mother
was the green spot on which he stood apart from the commonplaces of
a mere bread-winning existence. She was one of those fair and
flower-like natures, which sometimes spring up even beside the most
dusty highways of life. Of all persons whom I have known, she had in
her most of the angelic,--of that spontaneous love for every living
thing, for man and beast and tree, which restores the Golden Age."

Very fond of his oldest child, Margaret, the father determined that
she should be as well educated as his boys. In those days there were
no colleges for girls, and none where they might enter with their
brothers, so that Mr. Fuller was obliged to teach his daughter after
the wearing work of the day. The bright child began to read Latin
at six, but was necessarily kept up late for the recitation. When
a little later she was walking in her sleep, and dreaming strange
dreams, he did not see that he was overtaxing both her body and brain.
When the lessons had been learned, she would go into the library, and
read eagerly. One Sunday afternoon, when she was eight years old, she
took down Shakespeare from the shelves, opened at Romeo and Juliet,
and soon became fascinated with the story.

"What are you reading?" asked her father.

"Shakespeare," was the answer, not lifting her eyes from the page.

"That won't do--that's no book for Sunday; go put it away, and take

Margaret did as she was bidden; but the temptation was too strong, and
the book was soon in her hands again.

"What is that child about, that she don't hear a word we say?" said an

Seeing what she was reading, the father said, angrily, "Give me the
book, and go directly to bed."

There could have been a wiser and gentler way of control, but he had
not learned that it is better to lead children than to drive them.

When not reading, Margaret enjoyed her mother's little garden of
flowers. "I loved," she says, "to gaze on the roses, the violets, the
lilies, the pinks; my mother's hand had planted them, and they bloomed
for me. I kissed them, and pressed them to my bosom with passionate
emotions. An ambition swelled my heart to be as beautiful, as perfect
as they."

Margaret grew to fifteen with an exuberance of life and affection,
which the chilling atmosphere of that New England home somewhat
suppressed, and with an increasing love for books and cultured people.
"I rise a little before five," she writes, "walk an hour, and then
practise on the piano till seven, when we breakfast. Next, I read
French--Sismondi's _Literature of the South of Europe_--till eight;
then two or three lectures in Brown's _Philosophy._ About half past
nine I go to Mr. Perkins's school, and study Greek till twelve, when,
the school being dismissed, I recite, go home, and practise again till
dinner, at two. Then, when I can, I read two hours in Italian."

And why all this hard work for a girl of fifteen? The "all-powerful
motive of ambition," she says. "I am determined on distinction, which
formerly I thought to win at an easy rate; but now I see that long
years of labor must be given."

She had learned the secret of most prominent lives. The majority in
this world will always be mediocre, because they lack high-minded
ambition and the willingness to work.

Two years after, at seventeen, she writes: "I am studying Madame de
Staël, Epictetus, Milton, Racine, and the Castilian ballads, with
great delight.... I am engrossed in reading the elder Italian
poets, beginning with Berni, from whom I shall proceed to Pulci and
Politian." How almost infinitely above "beaus and dresses" was such
intellectual work as this!

It was impossible for such a girl not to influence the mind of every
person she met. At nineteen she became the warm friend of Rev. James
Freeman Clarke, "whose friendship," he says, "was to me a gift of the
gods.... With what eagerness did she seek for knowledge! What fire,
what exuberance, what reach, grasp, overflow of thought, shone in her
conversation!... And what she thus was to me, she was to many others.
Inexhaustible in power of insight, and with a good will 'broad as
ether,' she could enter into the needs, and sympathize with the
various excellences, of the greatest variety of characters. One
thing only she demanded of all her friends, that they should not be
satisfied with the common routine of life,--that they should aspire to
something higher, better, holier, than had now attained."

Witty, learned, imaginative, she was conceded to be the best
conversationist in any circle. She possessed the charm that every
woman may possess,--appreciation of others, and interest in their
welfare. This sympathy unlocked every heart to her. She was made the
confidante of thousands. All classes loved her. Now it was a serving
girl who told Margaret her troubles and her cares; now it was a
distinguished man of letters. She was always an inspiration. Men never
talked idle, commonplace talk with her; she could appreciate the best
of their minds and hearts, and they gave it. She was fond of social
life, and no party seemed complete without her.

At twenty-two she began to study German, and in three months was
reading with ease Goethe's _Faust, Tasso and Iphigenia_, Körner,
Richter, and Schiller. She greatly admired Goethe, desiring, like him,
"always to have some engrossing object of pursuit." Besides all this
study she was teaching six little children, to help bear the expenses
of the household.

The family at this time moved to Groton, a great privation for
Margaret, who enjoyed and needed the culture of Boston society. But
she says, "As, sad or merry, I must always be learning, I laid down a
course of study at the beginning of the winter." This consisted of the
history and geography of modern Europe, and of America, architecture,
and the works of Alfieri, Goethe, and Schiller. The teaching was
continued because her brothers must be sent to Harvard College, and
this required money; not the first nor the last time that sisters have
worked to give brothers an education superior to their own.

At last the constitution, never robust, broke down, and for nine days
Margaret lay hovering between this world and the next. The tender
mother called her "dear lamb," and watched her constantly, while the
stern father, who never praised his children, lest it might harm them,
said, "My dear, I have been thinking of you in the night, and I cannot
remember that you have any _faults._ You have defects, of course, as
all mortals have, but I do not know that you have a single fault."

"While Margaret recovered, the father was taken suddenly with cholera,
and died after a two days' illness. He was sadly missed, for at heart
he was devoted to his family. When the estate was settled, there was
little left for each; so for Margaret life would be more laborious
than ever. She had expected to visit Europe with Harriet Martineau,
who was just returning home from a visit to this country, but the
father's death crushed this long-cherished and ardently-prayed-for
journey. She must stay at home and work for others.

Books were read now more eagerly than ever,--_Sartor Resartus_,
Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Heine. But money must be earned. Ah! if
genius could only develop in ease and prosperity. It rarely has the
chance. The tree grows best when the dirt is oftenest stirred about
the roots; perhaps the best in us comes only from such stirring.

Margaret now obtained a situation as teacher of French and Latin in
Bronson Alcott's school. Here she was appreciated by both master and
pupils. Mr. Alcott said, "I think her the most brilliant talker of
the day. She has a quick and comprehensive wit, a firm command of her
thoughts, and a speech to win the ear of the most cultivated." She
taught advanced classes in German and Italian, besides having several
private pupils.

Before this time she had become a valued friend of the Emerson family.
Mr. Emerson says, "Sometimes she stayed a few days, often a week, more
seldom a month, and all tasks that could be suspended were put aside
to catch the favorable hour in walking, riding, or boating, to talk
with this joyful guest, who brought wit, anecdotes, love-stories,
tragedies, oracles with her.... The day was never long enough to
exhaust her opulent memory, and I, who knew her intimately for ten
years, never saw her without surprise at her new powers."

She was passionately fond of music and of art, saying, "I have been
very happy with four hundred and seventy designs of Raphael in my
possession for a week." She loved nature like a friend, paying homage
to rocks and woods and flowers. She said, "I hate not to be beautiful
when all around is so."

After teaching with Mr. Alcott, she became the principal teacher in a
school at Providence, R.I. Here, as ever, she showed great wisdom both
with children and adults. The little folks in the house were allowed
to look at the gifts of many friends in her room, on condition that
they would not touch them. One day a young visitor came, and insisted
on taking down a microscope, and broke it. The child who belonged
in the house was well-nigh heart-broken over the affair, and, though
protesting her innocence, was suspected both of the deed and of
falsehood. Miss Fuller took the weeping child upon her knee, saying,
"Now, my dear little girl, tell me all about it; only remember
that you must be careful, for I shall believe every word you say."
Investigation showed that the child thus confided in told the whole

After two years in Providence she returned to Boston, and in 1839
began a series of parlor lectures, or "conversations," as they were
called. This seemed a strange thing for a woman, when public speaking
by her sex was almost unknown. These talks were given weekly,
from eleven o'clock till one, to twenty-five or thirty of the most
cultivated women of the city. Now the subject of discussion was
Grecian mythology; now it was fine arts, education, or the relations
of woman to the family, the church, society, and literature. These
meetings were continued through five winters, supplemented by evening
"conversations," attended by both men and women. In these gatherings
Margaret was at her best,--brilliant, eloquent, charming.

During this time a few gifted men, Emerson, Channing, and others,
decided to start a literary and philosophical magazine called the
_Dial_. Probably no woman in the country would have been chosen as the
editor, save Margaret Fuller. She accepted the position, and for four
years managed the journal ably, writing for it some valuable essays.
Some of these were published later in her book on _Literature and
Art_. Her _Woman in the Nineteenth Century_, a learned and vigorous
essay on woman's place in the world, first appeared in part in the
_Dial_. Of this work, she said, in closing it, "After taking a long
walk, early one most exhilarating morning, I sat down to work, and did
not give it the last stroke till near nine in the evening. Then I felt
a delightful glow, as if I had put a good deal of my true life in it,
and as if, should I go away now, the measure of my footprint would be
left on the earth."

Miss Fuller had published, besides these works, two books of
translations from the German, and a sketch of travel called _Summer
on the Lakes_. Her experience was like that of most authors who are
beginning,--some fame, but no money realized. All this time she was
frail in health, overworked, struggling against odds to make a living
for herself and those she loved. But there were some compensations
in this life of toil. One person wrote her, "What I am I owe in large
measure to the stimulus you imparted. You roused my heart with high
hopes; you raised my aims from paltry and vain pursuits to those which
lasted and fed the soul; you inspired me with a great ambition, and
made me see the worth and the meaning of life."

William Hunt, the renowned artist, was looking in a book that lay on
the table of a friend. It was Mrs. Jameson's _Italian Painters._ In
describing Correggio, she said he was "one of those superior beings of
whom there are so few." Margaret had written on the margin, "And
yet all might be such." Mr. Hunt said, "These words struck out a new
strength in me. They revived resolutions long fallen away, and made me
set my face like a flint."

Margaret was now thirty-four. The sister was married, the brothers had
finished their college course, and she was about to accept an
offer from the _New York Tribune_ to become one of its constant
contributors, an honor that few women would have received. Early in
December, 1844, Margaret moved to New York and became a member of
Mr. Greeley's family. Her literary work here was that of, says Mr.
Higginson, "the best literary critic whom America has yet seen."

Sometimes her reviews, like those on the poetry of Longfellow and
Lowell, were censured, but she was impartial and able. Society opened
wide its doors to her, as it had in Boston. Mrs. Greeley became her
devoted friend, and their little son "Pickie," five years old, the
idol of Mr. Greeley, her restful playmate.

A year and a half later an opportunity came for Margaret to go to
Europe. Now, at last, she would see the art-galleries of the old
world, and places rich in history, like Rome. Still there was the
trouble of scanty means, and poor health from overwork. She said, "A
noble career is yet before me, if I can be unimpeded by cares. If
our family affairs could now be so arranged that I might be tolerably
tranquil for the next six or eight years, I should go out of life
better satisfied with the page I have turned in it than I shall if I
must still toil on."

After two weeks on the ocean, the party of friends arrived in
London, and Miss Fuller received a cordial welcome. Wordsworth, now
seventy-six, showed her the lovely scenery of Rydal Mount, pointing
out as his especial pride, his avenue of hollyhocks--crimson,
straw-color, and white. De Quincey showed her many courtesies. Dr.
Chalmers talked eloquently, while William and Mary Howitt seemed like
old friends. Carlyle invited her to his home. "To interrupt him," she
said, "is a physical impossibility. If you get a chance to remonstrate
for a moment, he raises his voice and bears you down."

In Paris, Margaret attended the Academy lectures, saw much of George
Sand, waded through melting snow at Avignon to see Laura's tomb, and
at last was in Italy, the country she had longed to see. Here Mrs.
Jameson, Powers, and Greenough, and the Brownings and Storys, were her
warm friends. Here she settled down to systematic work, trying to keep
her expenses for six months within four hundred dollars. Still, when
most cramped for means herself, she was always generous. Once, when
living on a mere pittance, she loaned fifty dollars to a needy artist.
In New York she gave an impecunious author five hundred dollars to
publish his book, and, of course, never received a dollar in return.
Yet the race for life was wearing her out. So tired was she that she
said, "I should like to go to sleep, and be born again into a state
where my young life should not be prematurely taxed."

Meantime the struggle for Italian unity was coming to its climax.
Mazzini and his followers were eager for a republic. Pius IX. had
given promises to the Liberal party, but afterwards abandoned it, and
fled to Gaeta. Then Mazzini turned for help to the President of the
French Republic, Louis Napoleon, who, in his heart, had no love for
republics, but sent an army to reinstate the Pope. Rome, when she
found herself betrayed, fought like a tiger. Men issued from the
workshops with their tools for weapons, while women from the housetops
urged them on. One night over one hundred and fifty bombs were thrown
into the heart of the city.

Margaret was the friend of Mazzini, and enthusiastic for Roman
liberty. All those dreadful months she ministered to the wounded and
dying in the hospitals, and was their "saint," as they called her.

But there was another reason why Margaret Fuller loved Italy.

Soon after her arrival in Rome, as she was attending vespers at St.
Peter's with a party of friends, she became separated from them.
Failing to find them, seeing her anxious face, a young Italian came
up to her, and politely offered to assist her. Unable to regain her
friends, Angelo Ossoli walked with her to her home, though he could
speak no English, and she almost no Italian. She learned afterward
that he was of a noble and refined family; that his brothers were in
the Papal army, and that he was highly respected.

After this he saw Margaret once or twice, when she left Rome for some
months. On her return, he renewed the acquaintance, shy and quiet
though he was, for her influence seemed great over him. His father,
the Marquis Ossoli, had just died, and Margaret, with her large heart,
sympathized with him, as she alone knew how to sympathize. He joined
the Liberals, thus separating himself from his family, and was made a
captain of the Civic Guard.

Finally he confessed to Margaret that he loved her, and that he "must
marry her or be miserable." She refused to listen to him as a lover,
said he must marry a younger woman,--she was thirty-seven, and he but
thirty,--but she would be his friend. For weeks he was dejected and
unhappy. She debated the matter with her own heart. Should she,
who had had many admirers, now marry a man her junior, and not of
surpassing intellect, like her own? If she married him, it must be
kept a secret till his father's estate was settled, for marriage with
a Protestant would spoil all prospect of an equitable division.

Love conquered, and she married the young Marquis Ossoli in December,
1847. He gave to Margaret the kind of love which lasts after marriage,
veneration of her ability and her goodness. "Such tender, unselfish
love," writes Mrs. Story, "I have rarely before seen; it made green
her days, and gave her an expression of peace and serenity which
before was a stranger to her. When she was ill, he nursed and watched
over her with the tenderness of a woman. No service was too trivial,
no sacrifice too great for him. 'How sweet it is to do little things
for you,' he would say."

To her mother, Margaret wrote, though she did not tell her secret,
"I have not been so happy since I was a child, as during the last six

But days of anxiety soon came, with all the horrors of war. Ossoli was
constantly exposed to death, in that dreadful siege of Rome. Then Rome
fell, and with it the hopes of Ossoli and his wife. There would be
neither fortune nor home for a Liberal now--only exile. Very sadly
Margaret said goodbye to the soldiers in the hospitals, brave fellows
whom she honored, who in the midst of death itself, would cry "Viva l'

But before leaving Rome, a day's journey must be made to Rieta, at the
foot of the Umbrian Apennines. And for what? The most precious thing
of Margaret's life was there,--her baby. The fair child, with blue
eyes and light hair like her own, had already been named by the people
in the house, Angelino, from his beauty. She had always been fond
of children. Emerson's Waldo, for whom _Threnody_ was written was an
especial favorite; then "Pickie," Mr. Greeley's beautiful boy, and now
a new joy had come into her heart, a child of her own. She wrote to
her mother: "In him I find satisfaction, for the first time, to
the deep wants of my heart. Nothing but a child can take the worst
bitterness out of life, and break the spell of loneliness. I shall not
be alone in other worlds, whenever Eternity may call me.... I wake in
the night,--I look at him. He is so beautiful and good, I could die
for him!"

When Ossoli and Margaret reached Rieta, what was their horror to find
their child worn to a skeleton, half starved through the falsity of a
nurse. For four weeks the distressed parents coaxed him back to life,
till the sweet beauty of the rounded face came again, and then they
carried him to Florence, where, despite poverty and exile, they were

"In the morning," she says, "as soon as dressed, he signs to come into
our room; then draws our curtain with his little dimpled hand, kisses
me rather violently, and pats my face.... I feel so refreshed by his
young life, and Ossoli diffuses such a power and sweetness over every
day, that I cannot endure to think yet of our future.... It is very
sad we have no money, we could be so quietly happy a while. I rejoice
in all Ossoli did; but the results, in this our earthly state, are
disastrous, especially as my strength is now so impaired. This much I
hope--in life or death, to be no more separated from Angelino."

Margaret's friends now urged her return to America. She had nearly
finished a history of Rome in this trying time, 1848, and could better
attend to its publication in this country. Ossoli, though coming to a
land of strangers, could find something to help, support the family.

To save expense, they started from Leghorn, May 17, 1850, in the
_Elizabeth_, a sailing vessel, though Margaret dreaded the two months'
voyage, and had premonitions of disaster. She wrote: "I have a vague
expectation of some crisis,--I know not what. But it has long seemed
that, in the year 1850, I should stand on a plateau in the ascent of
life, when I should be allowed to pause for a while, and take more
clear and commanding views than ever before. Yet my life proceeds as
regularly as the fates of a Greek tragedy, and I can but accept the
pages as they turn.... I shall embark, praying fervently that it may
not be my lot to lose my boy at sea, either by unsolaced illness, or
amid the howling waves; or, if so, that Ossoli, Angelo, and I may go
together, and that the anguish may be brief."

For a few days all went well on shipboard; and then the noble Captain
Hasty died of small-pox, and was buried at sea. Angelino took this
dread disease, and for a time his life was despaired of, but he
finally recovered, and became a great pet with the sailors. Margaret
was putting the last touches to her book. Ossoli and young Sumner,
brother of Charles, gave each other lessons in Italian and English,
and thus the weeks went by.

On Thursday, July 18, after two months, the _Elizabeth_ stood off the
Jersey coast, between Cape May and Barnegat. Trunks were packed, good
nights were spoken, and all were happy, for they would be in New York
on the morrow. At nine that night a gale arose; at midnight it was
a hurricane; at four o'clock, Friday morning, the ship struck Fire
Island beach. The passengers sprung from their berths. "We must die!"
said Sumner to Mrs. Hasty. "Let us die calmly, then!" was the response
of the widow of the captain.

At first, as the billows swept over the vessel, Angelino, wet and
afraid, began to cry; but his mother held him closely in her arms and
sang him to sleep. Noble courage on a sinking ship! The Italian girl
who had come with them was in terror; but after Ossoli prayed with
her, she became calm. For hours they waited anxiously for help from
the shore. They could see the life-boat, and the people collecting the
spoils which had floated thither from the ship, but no relief came.
One sailor and another sprang into the waves and saved themselves.
Then Sumner jumped overboard, but sank.

One of the sailors suggested that if each passenger sit on a plank,
holding on by ropes, they would attempt to push him or her to land.
Mrs. Hasty was the first to venture, and after being twice washed
off, half-drowned, reached the shore. Then Margaret was urged, but she
hesitated, unless all three could be saved. Every moment the danger
increased. The crew were finally ordered "to save themselves," but
four remained with the passengers. It was useless to look longer
to the people on shore for help, though it was now past three
o'clock,--twelve hours since the vessel struck.

Margaret had finally been induced to try the plank. The steward had
taken Angelino in his arms, promising to save him or die with him,
when a strong sea swept the forecastle, and all went down together.
Ossoli caught the rigging for a moment, but Margaret sank at once.
When last seen, she was seated at the foot of the foremast, still
clad in her white nightdress, with her hair fallen loose upon her
shoulders. Angelino and the steward were washed upon the beach
twenty minutes later, both dead, though warm. Margaret's prayer was
answered,--that they "might go together, and that the anguish might be

The pretty boy of two years was dressed in a child's frock taken from
his mother's trunk, which had come to shore, laid in a seaman's
chest, and buried in the sand, while the sailors, who loved him,
stood around, weeping. His body was finally removed to Mt. Auburn, and
buried in the family lot. The bodies of Ossoli and Margaret were never
recovered. The only papers of value which came to shore were their
love letters, now deeply prized. The book ready for publication was
never found.

When those on shore were asked why they did not launch the life-boat,
they replied, "Oh! if we had known there were any such persons of
importance on board, we should have tried to do our best!"

Thus, at forty, died one of the most gifted women in America, when her
work seemed just begun. To us, who see how the world needed her, her
death is a mystery; to Him who "worketh all things after the counsel
of His own will" there is no mystery. She filled her life with
charities and her mind with knowledge, and such are ready for the
progress of Eternity.


[Illustration: MARIA MITCHELL.]

In the quiet, picturesque island of Nantucket, in a simple home, lived
William and Lydia Mitchell with their family of ten children. William
had been a school-teacher, beginning when he was eighteen years of
age, and receiving two dollars a week in winter, while in summer he
kept soul and body together by working on a small farm, and fishing.

In this impecunious condition he had fallen in love with and married
Lydia Coleman, a true-hearted Quaker girl, a descendant of Benjamin
Franklin, one singularly fitted to help him make his way in life. She
was quick, intelligent, and attractive in her usual dress of white,
and was the clerk of the Friends' meeting where he attended. She
was enthusiastic in reading, becoming librarian successively of two
circulating libraries, till she had read every book upon the
shelves, and then in the evenings repeating what she had read to her
associates, her young lover among them.

When they were married, they had nothing but warm hearts and willing
hands to work together. After a time William joined his father in
converting a ship-load of whale oil into soap, and then a little
money was made; but at the end of seven years he went back to
school-teaching because he loved the work. At first he had charge of
a fine grammar school established at Nantucket, and later, of a school
of his own.

Into this school came his third child, Maria, shy and retiring, with
all her mother's love of reading. Faithful at home, with, as she says,
"an endless washing of dishes," not to be wondered at where there were
ten little folks, she was not less faithful at school. The teacher
could not help seeing that his little daughter had a mind which would
well repay all the time he could spend upon it.

While he was a good school-teacher, he was an equally good student of
nature, born with a love of the heavens above him. When eight years
old, his father called him to the door to look at the planet Saturn,
and from that time the boy calculated his age from the position of
the planet, year by year. Always striving to improve himself, when he
became a man, he built a small observatory upon his own land, that he
might study the stars. He was thus enabled to earn one hundred dollars
a year in the work of the United States Coast Survey. Teaching at
two dollars a week, and fishing, could not always cramp a man of such
aspiring mind.

Brought up beside the sea, he was as broad as the sea in his thought
and true nobility of character. He could see no reason why his
daughters should not be just as well educated as his sons. He
therefore taught Maria the same as his boys, giving her especial drill
in navigation. Perhaps it is not strange that after such teaching,
his daughter could have no taste for making worsted work or Kensington
stitches. She often says to this day, "A woman might be learning seven
languages while she is learning fancy work," and there is little doubt
that the seven languages would make her seven times more valuable as
a wife and mother. If teaching navigation to girls would give us
a thousand Maria Mitchells in this country, by all means let it be

Maria left the public school at sixteen, and for a year attended a
private school; then, loving mathematics, and being deeply interested
in her father's studies, she became at seventeen his helper in the
work of the Coast Survey. This astronomical labor brought Professors
Agassiz, Bache, and other noted men to the quiet Mitchell home, and
thus the girl heard the stimulating conversation of superior minds.

But the family needed more money. Though Mr. Mitchell wrote articles
for _Silliman's Journal_, and delivered an able course of lectures
before a Boston society of which Daniel Webster was president,
scientific study did not put many dollars in a man's pocket. An elder
sister was earning three hundred dollars yearly by teaching, and Maria
felt that she too must help more largely to share the family burdens.
She was offered the position of librarian at the Nantucket library,
with a salary of sixty dollars the first year, and seventy-five the
second. While a dollar and twenty cents a week seemed very little,
there would be much time for study, for the small island did not
afford a continuous stream of readers. She accepted the position,
and for twenty years, till youth had been lost in middle life, Maria
Mitchell worked for one hundred dollars a year, studying on, that she
might do her noble work in the world.

Did not she who loved nature, long for the open air and the blue sky,
and for some days of leisure which so many girls thoughtlessly waste?
Yes, doubtless. However, the laws of life are as rigid as mathematics.
A person cannot idle away the hours and come to prominence. No great
singer, no great artist, no great scientist, comes to honor without
continuous labor. Society devotees are heard of only for a day or a
year, while those who develop minds and ennoble hearts have lasting

Miss Mitchell says, "I was born of only ordinary capacity, but of
extraordinary persistency," and herein is the secret of a great life.
She did not dabble in French or music or painting and give it up; she
went steadily on to success. Did she neglect home duties? Never. She
knit stockings a yard long for her aged father till his death, usually
studying while she knit. To those who learn to be industrious early in
life, idleness is never enjoyable.

There was another secret of Miss Mitchell's success. She read good
books early in life. She says: "We always had books, and were bookish
people. There was a public library in Nantucket before I was born.
It was not a free library, but we always paid the subscription of
one dollar per annum, and always read and studied from it. I remember
among its volumes Hannah More's books and Rollin's _Ancient History_.
I remember too that Charles Folger, the present Secretary of the
Treasury, and I had both read this latter work through before we were
ten years old, though neither of us spoke of it to the other until a
later period."

All this study had made Miss Mitchell a superior woman. It was not
strange, therefore, that fame should come to her. One autumn night,
October, 1847, she was gazing through the telescope, as usual, when,
lo! she was startled to perceive an unknown comet. She at once told
her father, who thus wrote to Professor William C. Bond, director of
the Observatory at Cambridge: --

 MY DEAR FRIEND,--I write now merely to say that
 Maria discovered a telescopic comet at half-past ten on
 the evening of the first instant, at that hour nearly above
 Polaris five degrees. Last evening it had advanced
 westerly; this evening still further, and nearing the pole.
 It does not bear illumination. Maria has obtained its
 right ascension and declination, and will not suffer me to
 announce it. Pray tell me whether it is one of Georgi's,
 and whether it has been seen by anybody. Maria supposes
 it may be an old story. If quite convenient, just
 drop a line to her; it will oblige me much. I expect to
 leave home in a day or two, and shall be in Boston next
 week, and I would like to have her hear from you before I
 can meet you. I hope it will not give thee much trouble
 amidst thy close engagements. Our regards are to all of
 you most truly.


The answer showed that Miss Mitchell had indeed made a new discovery.
Frederick VI., King of Denmark, had, sixteen years before, offered a
gold medal of the value of twenty ducats to whoever should discover
a telescopic comet. That no mistake might be made as to the real
discoverer, the condition was made that word be sent at once to the
Astronomer Royal of England. This the Mitchells had not done,
on account of their isolated position. Hon. Edward Everett, then
President of Harvard College, wrote to the American Minister at the
Danish Court, who in turn presented the evidence to the King. "It
would gratify me," said Mr. Mitchell, "that this generous monarch
should know that there is a love of science even in this, to him,
remote corner of the earth."

The medal was at last awarded, and the woman astronomer of Nantucket
found herself in the scientific journals and in the press as the
discoverer of "Miss Mitchell's Comet." Another had been added to the
list of Mary Somervilles and Caroline Herschels. Perhaps there was
additional zest now in the mathematical work in the Coast Survey. She
also assisted in compiling the _American Nautical Almanac_, and wrote
for the scientific periodicals. Did she break down from her unusual
brain work? Oh, no! Probably astronomical work was not nearly so hard
as her mother's,--the care of a house and ten children!

For ten years more Miss Mitchell worked in the library, and in
studying the heavens. But she had longed to see the observatories of
Europe, and the great minds outside their quiet island. Therefore,
in 1857, she visited England, and was at once welcomed to the most
learned circles. Brains always find open doors. Had she been rich or
beautiful simply, Sir John Herschel, and Lady Herschell as well, would
not have reached out both hands, and said, "You are always welcome at
this house," and given her some of his own calculations? and some of
his Aunt Caroline's writing. Had she been rich or handsome simply,
Alexander Von Humboldt would not have taken her to his home, and,
seating himself beside her on the sofa, talked, as she says, "on
all manner of subjects, and on all varieties of people. He spoke of
Kansas, India, China, observatories; of Bache, Maury, Gould, Ticknor,
Buchanan, Jefferson, Hamilton, Brunow, Peters, Encke, Airy, Leverrier,
Mrs. Somerville, and a host of others."

What, if he had said these things to some women who go abroad! It is
safe for women who travel to read widely, for ignorance is quickly
detected. Miss Mitchell said of Humboldt: "He is handsome--his hair
is thin and white, his eyes very blue. He is a little deaf, and so is
Mrs. Somerville. He asked me what instruments I had, and what I was
doing; and when I told him that I was interested in the variable
stars, he said I must go to Bonn and see Agelander."

There was no end of courtesies to the scholarly woman. Professor
Adams, of Cambridge, who, with his charming wife, years afterward
helped to make our own visit to the University a delight, showed
her the spot on which he made his computations for Neptune, which
he discovered at the same time as Leverrier. Sir George Airy, the
Astronomer Royal of England, wrote to Leverrier in Paris to announce
her coming. When they met, she said, "His English was worse than my

Later she visited Florence, where she met, several times, Mrs.
Somerville, who, she says, "talks with all the readiness and clearness
of a man," and is still "very gentle and womanly, without the least
pretence or the least coldness." She gave Miss Mitchell two of her
books, and desired a photographed star sent to Florence. "She had
never heard of its being done, and saw at once the importance of such
a step." She said with her Scotch accent, "Miss Mitchell, ye have done
yeself great credit."

In Rome she saw much of the Hawthornes, of Miss Bremer, who was
visiting there, and of the artists. From here she went to Venice,
Vienna, and Berlin, where she met Encke, the astronomer, who took her
to see the wedding presents of the Princess Royal.

Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, in an admirable sketch of Miss Mitchell, tells
how the practical woman, with her love of republican institutions,
was impressed. "The presents were in two rooms," says Miss Mitchell,
"ticketed and numbered, and a catalogue of them sold. All the
manufacturing companies availed themselves of the opportunity to
advertise their commodities, I suppose, as she had presents of all
kinds. What she will do with sixty albums I can't see, but I can
understand the use of two clothes-lines, because she can lend one to
her mother, who must have a large Monday's wash!"

After a year, Miss Mitchell returned to her simple Nantucket home,
as devoted to her parents and her scientific work as ever. Two years
afterward, in 1860, her good mother died, and a year later, desiring
to be near Boston, the family removed to Lynn. Here Miss Mitchell
purchased a small house for sixteen hundred and fifty dollars. From
her yearly salary of one hundred dollars, and what she could earn
in her government work, she had saved enough to buy a home for
her father! The rule is that the fathers wear themselves out for
daughters; the rule was reversed in this case.

Miss Mitchell now earned five hundred dollars yearly for her
government computations, while her father received a pension of three
hundred more for his efficient services. Five years thus passed
quietly and comfortably.

Meanwhile another life was carrying out its cherished plan, and Miss
Mitchell, unknowingly, was to have an important part in it. Soon
after the Revolutionary War there came to this country an English
wool-grower and his family, and settled on a little farm near the
Hudson River. The mother, a hard-working and intelligent woman,
was eager in her help toward earning a living, and would drive the
farm-wagon to market, with butter and eggs, and fowls, while her
seven-year-old boy sat beside her. To increase the income some English
ale was brewed. The lad grew up with an aversion to making beer, and
when fourteen, his father insisting that he should enter the business,
his mother helped him to run away. Tying all his worldly possessions,
a shirt and pair of stockings, in a cotton handkerchief, the mother
and her boy walked eight miles below Poughkeepsie, when, giving him
all the money she had, seventy-five cents, she kissed him, and with
tears in her eyes saw him cross the ferry and land safely on the other
side. He trudged on till a place was found in a country store, and
here, for five years, he worked honestly and industriously, coming
home to his now reconciled father with one hundred and fifty dollars
in his pocket.

Changes had taken place. The father's brewery had burned, the oldest
son had been killed in attempting to save something from the wreck,
all were poorer than ever, and there seemed nothing before the boy of
nineteen but to help support the parents, his two unmarried sisters,
and two younger brothers. Whether he had the old dislike for the ale
business or not, he saw therein a means of support, and adopted
it. The world had not then thought so much about the misery which
intoxicants cause, and had not learned that we are better off without
stimulants than with them.

Every day the young man worked in his brewery, and in the evening till
midnight tended a small oyster house, which he had opened. Two years
later, an Englishman who had seen Matthew Vassar's untiring industry
and honesty, offered to furnish all the capital which he needed. The
long, hard road of poverty had opened at last into a field of plenty.
Henceforward, while there was to be work and economy, there was to be
continued prosperity, and finally, great wealth.

Realizing his lack of early education, he began to improve himself by
reading science, art, history, poetry, and the Bible. He travelled in
Europe, and being a close observer, was a constant learner.

One day, standing by the great London hospital, built by Thomas Guy,
a relative, and endowed by him with over a million dollars, Mr. Vassar
read these words on the pedestal of the bronze statue:--


The last three words left a deep impression on his mind. He had no
children. He desired to leave his money where it would be of permanent
value to the world. He debated many plans in his own mind. It is
said that his niece, a hard-working teacher, Lydia Booth, finally
influenced him to his grand decision.

There was no real college for women in the land. He talked the matter
over with his friends, but they were full of discouragements. "Women
will never desire college training," said some. "They will be ruined
in health, if they attempt it," said others. "Science is not needed
by women; classical education is not needed; they must have something
appropriate to their sphere," was constantly reiterated. Some wise
heads thought they knew just what that education should be, and just
what were the limits of woman's sphere; but Matthew Vassar had his own

Calling together, Feb. 26, 1861, some twenty or thirty of the men in
the State most conversant with educational matters, the white-haired
man, now nearly seventy, laid his hand upon a round tin box, labelled
"Vassar College Papers," containing four hundred thousand dollars in
bonds and securities, and said: "It has long been my desire, after
suitably providing for those of my kindred who have claims upon me,
to make such a disposition of my means as should best honor God and
benefit my fellow-men. At different periods I have regarded various
plans with favor; but these have all been dismissed one after another,
until the subject of erecting and endowing a college for the education
of young women was presented for my consideration. The novelty,
grandeur, and benignity of the idea arrested my attention.

"It occurred to me that woman, having received from the Creator the
same intellectual constitution as man, has the same right as man to
intellectual culture and development.

"I considered that the mothers of a country mould its citizens,
determine its institutions, and shape its destiny.

"It has also seemed to me that if woman was properly educated, some
new avenues of useful and honorable employment, in entire harmony with
the gentleness and modesty of her sex, might be opened to her.

"It further appeared, there is not in our country, there is not in
the world, so far as known, a single fully endowed institution for
the education of women.... I have come to the conclusion that the
establishment and endowment of a COLLEGE FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG
WOMEN is a work which will satisfy my highest aspirations, and will
be, under God, a rich blessing to this city and State, to our country
and the world.

"It is my hope to be the instrument in the hands of Providence, of
founding and perpetuating an institution _which shall accomplish for
young women what our colleges are accomplishing for young men_."

For four years Matthew Vassar watched the great buildings take form
and shape in the midst of two hundred acres of lake and river and
green sward, near Poughkeepsie; the main building, five hundred feet
long, two hundred broad, and five stories high; the museum of natural
history, with school of art and library; the great observatory, three
stories high, furnished with the then third largest telescope in the

In 1865 Vassar College was opened, and three hundred and fifty
students came pouring in from all parts of the land. Girls, after all,
did desire an education equal to that of young men. Matthew Vassar
was right. His joy seemed complete. He visited the college daily,
and always received the heartiest welcome. Each year his birthday
was celebrated as "Founder's Day." On one of these occasions he said:
"This is almost more happiness than I can bear. This one day more than
repays me for all I have done." An able and noble man, John Howard
Raymond, was chosen president.

Mr. Vassar lived but three years after his beloved institution was
opened. June 23, 1868, the day before commencement, he had called the
members of the Board around him to listen to his customary address.
Suddenly, when he had nearly finished, his voice ceased, the paper
dropped from his hand, and--he was dead! His last gifts amounted to
over five hundred thousand dollars, making in all $989,122.00 for
the college. The poor lad wrought as he had hoped, a blessing "to the
country and the world." His nephews, Matthew Vassar, Jr., and John Guy
Vassar, have given over one hundred and forty thousand dollars.

After the observatory was completed, there was but one wish as to who
should occupy it; of course, the person desired was Maria Mitchell.
She hesitated to accept the position. Her father was seventy and
needed her care, but he said, "Go, and I will go with you." So she
left her Lynn home for the arduous position of a teacher. For four
years Mr. Mitchell lived to enjoy the enthusiastic work of his
gifted daughter. He said, "Among the teachers and pupils I have made
acquaintances that a prince might covet."

Miss Mitchell makes the observatory her home. Here are her books, her
pictures, her great astronomical clock, and a bust of Mrs. Somerville,
the gift of Frances Power Cobbe. Here for twenty years she has helped
to make Vassar College known and honored both at home and abroad.
Hundreds have been drawn thither by her name and fame. A friend of
mine who went, intending to stay two years, remained five, for her
admiration of and enjoyment in Miss Mitchell. She says: "She is one of
the few genuine persons I have ever known. There is not one particle
of deceit about her. For girls who accomplish something, she has great
respect; for idlers, none. She has no sentimentality, but much wit and
common sense. No one can be long under her teaching without learning
dignity of manner and self-reliance."

She dresses simply, in black or gray, somewhat after the fashion of
her Quaker ancestors. Once when urging economy upon the girls, she
said, "All the clothing I have on cost but seventeen dollars, and four
suits would last each of you a year." There was a quiet smile, but
no audible expression of a purpose to adopt Miss Mitchell's style of

The pupils greatly honor and love the undemonstrative woman, who, they
well know, would make any sacrifices for their well-being. Each week
the informal gatherings at her rooms, where various useful topics
are discussed, are eagerly looked forward to. Chief of all, Miss
Mitchell's own bright and sensible talk is enjoyed. Her "dome
parties," held yearly in June, under the great dome of the
observatory, with pupils coming back from all over the country,
original poems read and songs sung, are among the joys of college

All these years the astronomer's fame has steadily increased. In 1868,
in the great meteoric shower, she and her pupils recorded the paths
of four thousand meteors, and gave valuable data of their height above
the earth. In the summer of 1869 she joined the astronomers who went
to Burlington, Iowa, to observe the total eclipse of the sun, Aug. 7.
Her observations on the transit of Venus were also valuable. She has
written much on the _Satellites of Saturn_, and has prepared a work on
the _Satellites of Jupiter_.

In 1873 she again visited Europe, spending some time with the
family of the Russian astronomer, Professor Struve, at the Imperial
Observatory at Pultowa.

She is an honor to her sex, a striking example of what a quiet country
girl can accomplish without money or fortuitous circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

She resigned her position at Vassar in 1888. Miss Mitchell died on the
morning of June 28, 1889, at Lynn, Mass., at the age of seventy-one,
and was buried at Nantucket on Sunday afternoon, June 30.


[Illustration: LOUISA M. ALCOTT.]

A dozen of us sat about the dinner-table at the Hotel Bellevue,
Boston. One was the gifted wife of a gifted clergyman; one had written
two or three novels; one was a journalist; one was on the eve of a
long journey abroad; and one, whom we were all glad to honor, was the
brilliant author of _Little Women_. She had a womanly face, bright,
gray eyes, that looked full of merriment, and would not see the hard
side of life, and an air of common sense that made all defer to her
judgment. She told witty stories of the many who wrote her for
advice or favors, and good-naturedly gave bits of her own personal
experience. Nearly twenty years before, I had seen her, just after
her _Hospital Sketches_ were published, over which I, and thousands of
others, had shed tears. Though but thirty years old then, Miss Alcott
looked frail and tired. That was the day of her struggle with life.
Now, at fifty, she looked happy and comfortable. The desire of her
heart had been realized,--to do good to tens of thousands, and earn
enough money to care for those whom she loved.

Louisa Alcott's life, like that of so many famous women, has been full
of obstacles. She was born in Germantown, Pa., Nov. 29, 1832, in the
home of an extremely lovely mother and cultivated father, Amos Bronson
Alcott. Beginning life poor, his desire for knowledge led him to
obtain an education and become a teacher. In 1830 he married Miss May,
a descendant of the well-known Sewells and Quincys, of Boston. Louise
Chandler Moulton says, in her excellent sketch of Miss Alcott, "I have
heard that the May family were strongly opposed to the union of their
beautiful daughter with the penniless teacher and philosopher;" but he
made a devoted husband, though poverty was long their guest.

For eleven years, mostly in Boston, he was the earnest and successful
teacher. Margaret Fuller was one of his assistants. Everybody
respected his purity of life and his scholarship. His kindness
of heart made him opposed to corporal punishment, and in favor of
self-government. The world had not come then to his high ideal,
but has been creeping toward it ever since, until whipping, both in
schools and homes, is fortunately becoming one of the lost arts.

He believed in making studies interesting to pupils; not the dull,
old-fashioned method of learning by rote, whereby, when a hymn was
taught, such as, "A Charge to keep I have," the children went home
to repeat to their astonished mothers, "Eight yards to keep I have,"
having learned by ear, with no knowledge of the meaning of the words.
He had friendly talks with his pupils on all great subjects; and some
of these Miss Elizabeth Peabody, the sister of Mrs. Hawthorne, so
greatly enjoyed, that she took notes, and compiled them in a book.

New England, always alive to any theological discussion, at once
pronounced the book unorthodox. Emerson had been through the same kind
of a storm, and bravely came to the defence of his friend. Another
charge was laid at Mr. Alcott's door: he was willing to admit colored
children to his school, and such a thing was not countenanced, except
by a few fanatics(?) like Whittier, and Phillips, and Garrison. The
heated newspaper discussion lessened the attendance at the school; and
finally, in 1839, it was discontinued, and the Alcott family moved to

Here were gifted men and women with whom the philosopher could feel at
home, and rest. Here lived Emerson, in the two-story drab house,
with horsechestnut-trees in front of it. Here lived Thoreau, near his
beautiful Walden Lake, a restful place, with no sound save, perchance,
the dipping of an oar or the note of a bird, which the lonely man
loved so well. Here he built his house, twelve feet square, and lived
for two years and a half, giving to the world what he desired others
to give,--his inner self. Here was his bean-field, where he "used to
hoe from five o'clock in the morning till noon," and made, as he said,
an intimate acquaintance with weeds, and a pecuniary profit of eight
dollars seventy-one and one-half cents! Here, too, was Hawthorne,
"who," as Oliver Wendell Holmes says, "brooded himself into a
dream-peopled solitude."

Here Mr. Alcott could live with little expense and teach his four
daughters. Louisa, the eldest, was an active, enthusiastic child,
getting into little troubles from her frankness and lack of policy,
but making friends with her generous heart. Who can ever forget Jo in
_Little Women_, who was really Louisa, the girl who, when reproved
for whistling by Amy, the art-loving sister, says: "I hate affected,
niminy-piminy chits! I'm not a young lady; and if turning up my hair
makes me one, I'll wear it in two tails till I'm twenty. I hate to
think I've got to grow up, and be Miss March, and wear long gowns, and
look as prim as a china-aster! Its bad enough to be a girl, anyway,
when I like boy's games and work and manners!"

At fifteen, "Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of
a colt; for she never seemed to know what to do with her long limbs,
which were very much in her way. She had a decided mouth, a comical
nose, and sharp, gray eyes, which appeared to see everything, and were
by turns fierce or funny or thoughtful. Her long, thick hair was her
one beauty, but it was usually bundled into a net to be out of her
way. Round shoulders had Jo, and big hands and feet, a fly-away look
to her clothes, and the uncomfortable appearance of a girl who was
rapidly shooting up into a woman, and didn't like it."

The four sisters lived a merry life in the Concord haunts,
notwithstanding their scanty means. Now, at the dear mother's
suggestion, they ate bread and milk for breakfast, that they might
carry their nicely prepared meal to a poor woman, with six children,
who called them _Engel-kinder_, much to Louisa's delight. Now they
improvised a stage, and produced real plays, while the neighbors
looked in and enjoyed the fun.

Louisa was especially fond of reading Shakespeare, Goethe, Emerson,
Margaret Fuller, Miss Edgeworth, and George Sand. As early as eight
years of age she wrote a poem of eight lines, _To a Robin_, which her
mother carefully preserved, telling her that "if she kept on in this
hopeful way, she might be a second Shakespeare in time." Blessings on
those people who have a kind smile or a word of encouragement as we
struggle up the hard hills of life!

At thirteen she wrote _My Kingdom_. When, years afterward, Mrs. Eva
Munson Smith wrote to her, asking for some poems for _Woman in Sacred
Song_, Miss Alcott sent her this one, saying, "It is the only hymn I
ever wrote. It was composed at thirteen, and as I still find the
same difficulty in governing my kingdom, it still expresses my soul's
desire, and I have nothing better to offer."

  "A little kingdom I possess
    Where thoughts and feelings dwell,
  And very hard the task I find
    Of governing it well;
  For passion tempts and troubles me,
    A wayward will misleads,
  And selfishness its shadow casts
    On all my words and deeds.

  "How can I learn to rule myself,
    To be the child I should,
  Honest and brave, and never tire
    Of trying to be good?
  How can I keep a sunny soul
    To shine along life's way?
  How can I tune my little heart
    To sweetly sing all day?

  "Dear Father, help me with the love
    That casteth out my fear;
  Teach me to lean on Thee, and feel
    That Thou art very near:
  That no temptation is unseen,
    No childish grief too small,
  Since Thou, with patience infinite,
    Doth soothe and comfort all.

  "I do not ask for any crown,
    But that which all may win;
  Nor try to conquer any world
    Except the one within.
  Be Thou my guide until I find,
    Led by a tender hand,
  Thy happy kingdom in myself,
    And dare to take command."

Louisa was very imaginative, telling stories to her sisters and her
mates, and at sixteen wrote a book for Miss Ellen Emerson, entitled
_Flower Fables_. It was not published till six years later, and then,
being florid in style, did not bring her any fame. She was now anxious
to earn her support. She was not the person to sit down idly and
wait for marriage, or for some rich relation to care for her; but
she determined to make a place in the world for herself. She says in
_Little Women_, "Jo's ambition was to do something very splendid; what
it was she had no idea, as yet, but left it for time to tell her," and
at sixteen the time had come to make the attempt.

She began to teach school with twenty pupils. Instead of the
theological talks which her father gave his scholars, she told them
stories, which she says made the one pleasant hour in her school-day.
Now the long years of work had begun--fifteen of them--which should
give the girl such rich yet sometimes bitter experiences, that she
could write the most fascinating books from her own history. Into her
volume called _Work_, published when she had become famous, she put
many of her own early sorrows in those of "Christie."

Much of this time was spent in Boston. Sometimes she cared for an
invalid child; sometimes she was a governess; sometimes she did
sewing, adding to her slender means by writing late at night.
Occasionally she went to the house of Rev. Theodore Parker, where she
met Emerson, Sumner, Garrison, and Julia Ward Howe. Emerson always had
a kind word for the girl whom he had known in Concord, and Mr. Parker
would take her by the hand and say, "How goes it, my child? God bless
you; keep your heart up, Louisa," and then she would go home to her
lonely room, brave and encouraged.

At nineteen, one of her early stories was published in _Gleason's
Pictorial_, and for this she received five dollars. How welcome was
this brain-money! Some months later she sent a story to the _Boston
Saturday Gazette_, entitled _The Rival Prima Donnas_, and, to her
great delight, received ten dollars; and what was almost better still,
a request from the editor for another story. Miss Alcott made the
_Rival Prima Donnas_ into a drama, and it was accepted by a theatre,
and would have been put upon the stage but for some disagreement among
the actors. However, the young teacher received for her work a pass to
the theatre for forty nights. She even meditated going upon the stage,
but the manager quite opportunely broke his leg, and the contract
was annulled. What would the boys and girls of America have lost, had
their favorite turned actress!

A second story was, of course, written for the _Saturday Evening
Gazette_. And now Louisa was catching a glimpse of fame. She says,
"One of the memorial moments of my life is that in which, as I trudged
to school on a wintry day, my eye fell upon a large yellow poster with
these delicious words, '_Bertha_, a new tale by the author of _The
Rival Prima Donnas_, will appear in the _Saturday Evening Gazette_.' I
was late; it was bitter cold; people jostled me; I was mortally afraid
I should be recognized; but there I stood, feasting my eyes on the
fascinating poster, and saying proudly to myself, in the words of the
great Vincent Crummles, 'This, this is fame!' That day my pupils had
an indulgent teacher; for, while they struggled with their
pot-hooks, I was writing immortal works; and when they droned out the
multiplication table, I was counting up the noble fortune my pen
was to earn for me in the dim, delightful future. That afternoon my
sisters made a pilgrimage to behold this famous placard, and finding
it torn by the wind, boldly stole it, and came home to wave it like
a triumphal banner in the bosom of the excited family. The tattered
paper still exists, folded away with other relics of those early days,
so hard and yet so sweet, when the first small victories were won, and
the enthusiasm of youth lent romance to life's drudgery."

Finding that there was money in sensational stories, she set herself
eagerly to work, and soon could write ten or twelve a month. She says
in _Little Women:_ "As long as _The Spread Eagle_ paid her a dollar a
column for her 'rubbish,' as she called it, Jo felt herself a woman
of means, and spun her little romances diligently. But great plans
fermented in her busy brain and ambitious mind, and the old tin
kitchen in the garret held a slowly increasing pile of blotted
manuscript, which was one day to place the name of March upon the roll
of fame."

But sensational stories did not bring much fame, and the conscientious
Louisa tired of them. A novel, _Moods_, written at eighteen, shared
nearly the same fate as _Flower Fables_. Some critics praised, some
condemned, but the great world was indifferent. After this, she
offered a story to Mr. James T. Fields, at that time editor of the
_Atlantic Monthly_, but it was declined, with the kindly advice that
she stick to her teaching. But Louisa Alcott had a strong will and a
brave heart, and would not be overcome by obstacles.

The Civil War had begun, and the school-teacher's heart was deeply
moved. She was now thirty, having had such experience as makes us very
tender toward suffering. The perfume of natures does not usually come
forth without bruising. She determined to go to Washington and offer
herself as a nurse at the hospital for soldiers. After much official
red tape, she found herself in the midst of scores of maimed and
dying, just brought from the defeat at Fredericksburg. She says:
"Round the great stove was gathered the dreariest group I ever
saw,--ragged, gaunt, and pale, mud to the knees, with bloody bandages
untouched since put on days before; many bundled up in blankets, coats
being lost or useless, and all wearing that disheartened look which
proclaimed defeat more plainly than any telegram, of the Burnside
blunder. I pitied them so much, I dared not speak to them. I yearned
to serve the dreariest of them all.

"Presently there came an order, 'Tell them to take off socks, coats,
and shirts; scrub them well, put on clean shirts, and the attendants
will finish them off, and lay them in bed.'

"I chanced to light on a withered old Irishman," she says, "wounded in
the head, which caused that portion of his frame to be tastefully
laid out like a garden, the bandages being the walks, and his hair the
shrubbery. He was so overpowered by the honor of having a lady wash
him, as he expressed it, that he did nothing but roll up his eyes and
bless me, in an irresistible style which was too much for my sense of
the ludicrous, so we laughed together; and when I knelt down to take
off his shoes, he wouldn't hear of my touching 'them dirty craters.'
Some of them took the performance like sleepy children, leaning their
tired heads against me as I worked; others looked grimly scandalized,
and several of the roughest colored like bashful girls."

When food was brought, she fed one of the badly wounded men, and
offered the same help to his neighbor. "Thank you, ma'am," he said, "I
don't think I'll ever eat again, for I'm shot in the stomach. But I'd
like a drink of water, if you ain't too busy."

"I rushed away," she says; "but the water pails were gone to be
refilled, and it was some time before they reappeared. I did not
forget my patient, meanwhile, and, with the first mugful, hurried back
to him. He seemed asleep; but something in the tired white face
caused me to listen at his lips for a breath. None came. I touched his
forehead; it was cold; and then I knew that, while he waited, a better
nurse than I had given him a cooler draught, and healed him with a
touch. I laid the sheet over the quiet sleeper, whom no noise could
now disturb; and, half an hour later, the bed was empty."

With cheerful face and warm heart she went among the soldiers, now
writing letters, now washing faces, and now singing lullabies. One day
a tall, manly fellow was brought in. He seldom spoke, and uttered no
complaint. After a little, when his wounds were being dressed, Miss
Alcott observed the big tears roll down his cheeks and drop on the

She says: "My heart opened wide and took him in, as, gathering the
bent head in my arms, as freely as if he had been a child, I said,
'Let me help you bear it, John!' Never on any human countenance have I
seen so swift and beautiful a look of gratitude, surprise, and comfort
as that which answered me more eloquently than the whispered--

"'Thank you, ma'am; this is right good! this is what I wanted.'

"'Then why not ask for it before?'

"'I didn't like to be a trouble, you seemed so busy, and I could
manage to get on alone.'"

The doctors had told Miss Alcott that John must die, and she must take
the message to him; but she had not the heart to do it. One evening he
asked her to write a letter for him. "Shall it be addressed to wife or
mother, John?"

"Neither, ma'am; I've got no wife, and will write to mother myself
when I get better. Mother's a  widow; I'm the oldest child she has,
and it wouldn't do for me to marry until Lizzy has a home of her own,
and Jack's learned his trade; for we're not rich, and I must be father
to the children and husband to the dear old woman, if I can."

"No doubt you are both, John; yet how came you to go to war, if you
felt so?"

"I went because I couldn't help it. I didn't want the glory or the
pay; I wanted the right thing done, and people kept saying the men who
were in earnest ought to fight. I was in earnest, the Lord knows! but
I held off as long as I could, not knowing which was my duty. Mother
saw the case, gave me her ring to keep me steady, and said 'Go'; so I

"Do you ever regret that you came, when you lie here suffering so

"Never, ma'am; I haven't helped a great deal, but I've shown I was
willing to give my life, and perhaps I've got to.... This is my first
battle; do they think it's going to be my last?"

"I'm afraid they do, John."

He seemed startled at first, but desired Miss Alcott to write the
letter to Jack, because he could best tell the sad news to the mother.
With a sigh, John said, "I hope the answer will come in time for me to
see it."

Two days later Miss Alcott was sent for. John stretched out both hands
as he said, "I knew you'd come. I guess I'm moving on, ma'am." Then
clasping her hand so close that the death marks remained long upon
it, he slept the final sleep. An hour later John's letter came,
and putting it in his hand, Miss Alcott kissed the dead brow of the
Virginia blacksmith, for his aged mother's sake, and buried him in the
government lot.

The noble teacher after a while became ill from overwork, and was
obliged to return home, soon writing her book, _Hospital Sketches_,
published in 1865. This year, needing rest and change, she went to
Europe as companion to an invalid lady, spending a year in Germany,
Switzerland, Paris, and London. In the latter city she met Jean
Ingelow, Frances Power Cobbe, John Stuart Mill, George Lewes, and
others, who had known of the brilliant Concord coterie. Such persons
did not ask if Miss Alcott were rich, nor did they care.

In 1868 her father took several of her more recent stories to Roberts
Brothers to see about their publication in book form. Mr. Thomas
Niles, a member of the firm, a man of refinement and good judgment,
said: "We do not care just now for volumes of collected stories. Will
not your daughter write us a new book consisting of a single story for

Miss Alcott feared she could not do it, and set herself to write
_Little Women_, to show the publishers that she could _not_ write a
story for girls. But she did not succeed in convincing them or the
world of her inability. In two months the first part was finished, and
published October, 1868. It was a natural, graphic story of her three
sisters and herself in that simple Concord home. How we, who are
grown-up children, read with interest about the "Lawrence boy,"
especially if we had boys of our own, and sympathized with the little
girl who wrote Miss Alcott, "I have cried quarts over Beth's sickness.
If you don't have her marry Laurie in the second part, I shall never
forgive you, and none of the girls in our school will ever read any
more of your books. Do! do! have her, please."

The second part appeared in April, 1869, and Miss Alcott found herself
famous. The "pile of blotted manuscript" had "placed the name of March
upon the roll of fame." Some of us could not be reconciled to
dear Jo's marriage with the German professor, and their school at
Plumfield, when Laurie loved her so tenderly. "We cried over Beth, and
felt how strangely like most young housekeepers was Meg. How the tired
teacher, and tender-hearted nurse for the soldiers must have rejoiced
at her success! "This year," she wrote her publishers, "after toiling
so many years along the uphill road, always a hard one to women
writers, it is peculiarly grateful to me to find the way growing
easier at last, with pleasant little surprises blossoming on either
side, and the rough places made smooth."

When _Little Men_ was announced, fifty thousand copies were ordered in
advance of its publication! About this time Miss Alcott visited Rome
with her artist sister May, the "Amy" of _Little Women_, and on
her return, wrote _Shawl-straps_, a bright sketch of their journey,
followed by an _Old-Fashioned Girl_; that charming book _Under the
Lilacs_, where your heart goes out to Ben and his dog Sancho; six
volumes of _Aunt Jo's Scrap-bag_; _Jack and Jill_; and others.
From these books Miss Alcott has already received about one hundred
thousand dollars.

She has ever been the most devoted of daughters. Till the mother went
out of life, in 1877, she provided for her every want. May, the gifted
youngest sister, who was married in Paris in 1878 to Ernst Nieriker,
died a year and a half later, leaving her infant daughter, Louisa
May Nieriker, to Miss Alcott's loving care. The father, who became
paralyzed in 1882, now eighty-six years old, has had her constant
ministries. How proud he has been of his Louisa! I heard him say,
years ago, "I am riding in her golden chariot."

Miss Alcott now divides her time between Boston and Concord. "The
Orchards," the Alcott home for twenty-five years, set in its frame of
grand trees, its walls and doors daintily covered with May Alcott's
sketches, has become the home of the "Summer School of Philosophy,"
and Miss Alcott and her father live in the house where Thoreau died.

Most of her stories have been written in Boston, where she finds
more inspiration than at Concord. "She never had a study," says Mrs.
Moulton; "any corner will answer to write in. She is not particular
as to pens and paper, and an old atlas on her knee is all the desk she
cares for. She has the wonderful power to carry a dozen plots in her
head at a time, thinking them over whenever she is in the mood. Often
in the dead waste and middle of the night she lies awake and plans
whole chapters. In her hardest working days she used to write fourteen
hours in the twenty-four, sitting steadily at her work, and scarcely
tasting food till her daily task was done. When she has a story to
write, she goes to Boston, hires a quiet room, and shuts herself up in
it. In a month or so the book will be done, and its author comes
out 'tired, hungry, and cross,' and ready to go back to Concord and
vegetate for a time."

Miss Alcott, like Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, is an earnest advocate of
woman's suffrage, and temperance. When Meg in _Little Women_ prevails
upon Laurie to take the pledge on her wedding-day, the delighted Jo
beams her approval. In 1883 she writes of the suffrage reform, "Every
year gives me greater faith in it, greater hope of its success, a
larger charity for those who cannot see its wisdom, and a more earnest
wish to use what influence I possess for its advancement."

Miss Alcott has done a noble work for her generation. Her books have
been translated into foreign languages, and expressions of affection
have come to her from both east and west. She says, "As I turn my face
toward sunset, I find so much to make the down-hill journey smooth and
lovely, that, like Christian, I go on my way rejoicing with a cheerful

       *       *       *       *       *

Miss Alcott died March 6, 1888, at the age of fifty-five, three
days after the death of her distinguished father, Bronson Alcott,
eighty-eight years old. She had been ill for some months, from care
and overwork. On the Saturday morning before she died, she wrote to
a friend: "I am told that I must spend another year in this 'Saint's
Rest,' and then I am promised twenty years of health. I don't want
so many, and I have no idea I shall see them. But as I don't live for
myself, I will live on for others."

On the evening of the same day she became unconscious, and remained so
till her death, on Tuesday morning.



There are two women whose memory the girls in this country should
especially revere,--Mary Lyon and Catharine Beecher. When it was
unfashionable for women to know more than to read, write, and cipher
(the "three R's," as reading, writing, and arithmetic were called),
these two had the courage to ask that women have an education equal to
men, a thing which was laughed at as impracticable and impossible. To
these two pioneers we are greatly indebted for the grand educational
advantages for women to-day in America.

Amid the mountains of Western Massachusetts, at Buckland, Feb. 28,
1797, the fifth of seven children, Mary Lyon came into the world, in
obscurity. The little farm-house was but one story high, in the midst
of rocks and sturdy trees. The father, Aaron Lyon, was a godly man,
beloved by all his neighbors,--"the peacemaker," he was called,--who
died at forty-five, leaving his little family well-nigh helpless--no,
not helpless, because the mother was of the same material of which
Eliza Garfields are made.

Such women are above circumstances. She saw to it that the farm
yielded its best. She worked early and late, always cheerful, always
observing the Sabbath most devotedly, always keeping the children
clean and tidy. In her little garden the May pinks were the sweetest
and the peonies the reddest of any in the neighborhood. One person
begged to set a plant in the corner of her garden, sure that if Mrs.
Lyon tended it, it could never die. "How is it," said the hard-working
wife of a farmer, "that the widow can do more for me than any one
else?" She had her trials, but she saw no use in telling them
to others, so with a brave heart she took up her daily tasks and
performed them.

Little Mary was an energetic, frank, warm-hearted child, full of
desire to help others. Her mind was eager in grasping new things, and
curious in its investigations. Once, when her mother had given her
some work to do, she climbed upon a chair to look at the hour-glass,
and said, as she studied it, "I know I have found a way to _make more

At the village school she showed a remarkable memory and the power of
committing lessons easily. She was especially good in mathematics and
grammar. In four days she learned all of Alexander's Grammar, which
scholars were accustomed to commit, and recited it accurately to the
astonished teacher.

When Mary was thirteen, the mother married a second time, and soon
after removed to Ohio. The girl remained at the old homestead, keeping
house for the only brother, and so well did she do the work, that he
gave her a dollar a week for her services. This she used in buying
books and clothes for school. Besides, she found opportunities to spin
and weave for some of the neighbors, and thus added a little more to
her purse.

After five years, the brother married and sought a home in New York
State. Mary, thus thrown upon herself, began to teach school for
seventy-five cents a week and her board. This amount would not buy
many silks or embroideries, but Mary did not care much for these. "She
is all intellect," said a friend who knew her well; "she does not know
that she has a body to care for."

She had now saved enough money to enable her to spend one term at the
Sanderson Academy at Ashfield. What an important event in life that
seemed to the struggling country girl! The scholars watched her
bright, intellectual face, and when she began to recite, laid aside
their books to hear her. The teacher said, "I should like to see what
she would make if she could be sent to college." When the term ended,
her little savings were all spent, and now she must teach again. If
she only could go forward with her classmates! but the laws of poverty
are inexorable. Just as she was leaving the school, the trustees came
and offered the advantages of the academy free, for another term. Did
ever such a gleam of sunshine come into a cloudy day?

But how could she pay her board? She owned a, bed and some table
linen, and taking these to a boarding house, a bargain was made
whereby she could have a room and board in exchange for her household

Her red-letter days had indeed come. She might never have a chance
for schooling again; so, without regard to health, she slept only four
hours out of the twenty-four, ate her meals hurriedly, and gave all
her time to her lessons. Not a scholar in the school could keep up
with her. When the teacher gave her Adams' _Latin Grammar_, telling
her to commit such portions as were usual in going over the book the
first time, she learned them all in three days!

When the term closed, she had no difficulty in finding a place to
teach. All the towns around had heard of the surprising scholar, Mary
Lyon, and probably hoped she could inspire the same scholarship in her
pupils, a matter in which she was most successful.

As soon as her schools were finished, she would spend the money in
obtaining instruction in some particular study, in which she thought
herself deficient. Now she would go into the family of Rev. Edward
Hitchcock, afterward president of Amherst College, and study natural
science of him, meantime taking lessons, of his wife in drawing
and painting. Now she would study penmanship, following the copy
as closely as a child. Once when a teacher, in deference to her
reputation, wrote the copy in Latin, she handed it back and asked him
to write in English, lest when the books were examined, she might be
thought wiser than she really was. Thus conscientious was the young

She was now twenty-four, and had laid up enough money to attend the
school of Rev. Joseph Emerson, at Byfield. He was an unusual man in
his gifts of teaching and broad views of life. He had been blest with
a wife of splendid talents, and as Miss Lyon was wont to say, "Men
judge of the whole sex by their own wives," so Mr. Emerson believed
women could understand metaphysics and theology as well as men. He
discussed science and religion with his pupils, and the result was a
class of self-respecting, self-reliant, thinking women.

Miss Lyon's friends discouraged her going to Byfield, because they
thought she knew enough already. "Why," said they, "you will never be
a minister, and what is the need of going to school?" She improved her
time here. One of her classmates wrote home, "Mary sends love to all;
but time with her is too precious to spend it in writing letters. She
is gaining knowledge by handfuls."

The next year, an assistant was wanted in the Sanderson Academy. The
principal thought a man must be engaged. "Try Mary Lyon," said one of
her friends, "and see if she is not sufficient," and he employed her,
and found her a host. But she could not long be retained, for she
was wanted in a larger field, at Derry, N.H. Miss Grant, one of the
teachers at Mr. Emerson's school, had sent for her former bright
pupil. Mary was glad to be associated with Miss Grant, for she was
very fond of her; but before going, she must attend some lectures in
chemistry and natural history by Professor Eaton at Amherst. Had she
been a young man, how easily could she have secured a scholarship, and
thus worked her way through college; but for a young woman, neither
Amherst, nor Dartmouth, nor Williams, nor Harvard, nor Yale, with all
their wealth, had an open door. Very fond of chemistry, she could only
learn in the spare time which a busy professor could give.

Was the cheerful girl never despondent in these hard working years?
Yes; because naturally she was easily discouraged, and would have long
fits of weeping; but she came to the conclusion that such seasons of
depression were wrong, and that "there was too much to be done, for
her to spend her time in that manner." She used to tell her pupils
that "if they were unhappy, it was probably because they had so many
thoughts about themselves, and so few about the happiness of others."
The friend who had recommended her for the Sanderson Academy now
became surety for her for forty dollars' worth of clothing, and the
earnest young woman started for Derry. The school there numbered
ninety pupils, and Mary Lyon was happy. She wrote her mother, "I do
not number it among the least of my blessings that I am permitted to
_do something_. Surely I ought to be thankful for an active life."

But the Derry school was held only in the summers, so Miss Lyon
came back to teach at Ashfield and Buckland, her birthplace, for the
winters. The first season she had twenty-five scholars; the last, one
hundred. The families in the neighborhood took the students into their
homes to board, charging them one dollar or one dollar and twenty-five
cents per week, while the tuition was twenty-five cents a week. No
one would grow very rich on such an income. So popular was Miss Lyon's
teaching that a suitable building was erected for her school, and the
Ministerial Association passed a resolution of praise, urging her to
remain permanently in the western part of Massachusetts.

However, Miss Grant had removed to Ipswich, and had urged Miss Lyon
to join her, which she did. For six years they taught a large and most
successful school. Miss Lyon was singularly happy in her intercourse
with the young ladies. She won them to her views, while they scarcely
knew that they were being controlled. She would say to them: "Now,
young ladies, you are here at great expense. Your board and tuition
cost a great deal, and your time ought to be worth more than both;
but, in order to get an equivalent for the money and time you are
spending, you must be systematic, and that is impossible, unless you
have a regular hour for rising.... Persons who run round all day after
the half-hour they lost in the morning never accomplish much. You
may know them by a rip in the glove, a string pinned to the bonnet, a
shawl left on the balustrade, which they had no time to hang up, they
were in such a hurry to catch their lost thirty minutes. You will see
them opening their books and trying to study at the time of general
exercises in school; but it is a fruitless race; they never will
overtake their lost half-hour. Good men, from Abraham to Washington,
have been early risers." Again, she would say, "Mind, wherever it is
found, will secure respect.... Educate the women, and the men will be
educated. Let the ladies understand the great doctrine of seeking
the greatest good, of loving their neighbors as themselves; let them
indoctrinate their children in this fundamental truth, and we shall
have wise legislators."

"You won't do so again, will you, dear?" was almost always sure to win
a tender response from a pupil.

She would never allow a scholar to be laughed at. If a teacher spoke
jestingly of a scholar's capacity, Miss Lyon would say, "Yes, I know
she has a small mind, but we must do the best we can for her."

For nearly sixteen years she had been giving her life to the education
of girls. She had saved no money for herself, giving it to her
relatives or aiding poor girls in going to school. She was simple in
her tastes, the blue cloth dress she generally wore having been spun
and woven by herself. A friend tells how, standing before the mirror
to tie her bonnet, she said, "Well, I _may_ fail of Heaven, but I
shall be very much disappointed if I do--very much disappointed;" and
there was no thought of what she was doing with the ribbons.

Miss Lyon was now thirty-three years old. It would be strange indeed
if a woman with her bright mind and sunshiny face should not have
offers of marriage. One of her best opportunities came, as is often
the case, when about thirty, and Miss Lyon could have been made
supremely happy by it, but she had in her mind one great purpose, and
she felt that she must sacrifice home and love for it. This was the
building of a high-grade school or college for women. Had she decided
otherwise, there probably would have been no Mount Holyoke Seminary.

She had the tenderest sympathy for poor girls; they were the ones
usually most desirous of an education, and they struggled the hardest
for it. For them no educational societies were provided, and no
scholarships. Could she, who had no money, build "a seminary which
should be so moderate in its expenses as to be open to the daughters
of farmers and artisans, and to teachers who might be mainly dependent
for their support on their own exertions"?

In vain she tried to have the school at Ipswich established
permanently by buildings and endowments. In vain she talked with
college presidents and learned ministers. Nearly all were indifferent.
They could see no need that women should study science or the
classics. That women would be happier with knowledge, just as they
themselves were made happier by it, seemed never to have occurred to
them. That women were soon to do nine-tenths of the teaching in the
schools of the country could not be foreseen. Oberlin and Cornell,
Vassar and Wellesley, belonged to a golden age as yet undreamed of.

For two years she thought over it, and prayed over it, and when all
seemed hopeless, she would walk the floor, and say over and over
again, "Commit thy way unto the Lord. He will keep thee. Women _must_
be educated; they _must_ be." Finally a meeting was called in Boston
at the same time as one of the religious anniversaries. She wrote to
a friend, "Very few were present. The meeting was adjourned; and the
adjourned meeting utterly failed. There were not enough present to
organize, and there the business, in my view, has come to an end."

Still she carried the burden on her heart. She writes, in 1834,
"During the past year my heart has so yearned over the adult female
youth in the common walks of life, that it has sometimes seemed as
though a fire were shut up in my bones." She conceived the idea of
having the young women do the work of the house, partly to lessen
expenses, partly to teach them useful things, and also because she
says, "Might not this single feature do away much of the prejudice
against female education among common people?"

At last the purpose in her heart became so strong that she resigned
her position as a teacher, and went from house to house in Ipswich
collecting funds. She wrote to her mother, "I hope and trust that this
is of the Lord, and that He will prosper it. In this movement I have
thought much more constantly, and have felt much more deeply, about
doing that which shall be for the honor of Christ, and for the good
of souls, than I ever did in any step in my life." She determined
to raise her first thousand dollars from women. She talked in her
good-natured way with the father or the mother. She asked if they
wanted a new shawl or card-table or carpet, if they would not find a
way to procure it. Usually they gave five or ten dollars; some, only
a half-dollar. So interested did two ladies become that they gave one
hundred dollars apiece, and later, when their house was burned, and
the man who had their money in charge lost it, they worked with their
own hands and earned the two hundred, that their portion might not
fail in the great work.

In less than two months she had raised the thousand; but she
wrote Miss Grant, "I do not recollect being so fatigued, even to
prostration, as I have been for a few weeks past." She often quoted a
remark of Dr. Lyman Beecher's, "The wear and tear of what I cannot do
is a great deal more than the wear and tear of what I do." When she
became quite worn, her habit was to sleep nearly all the time, for two
or three days, till nature repaired the system.

She next went to Amherst, where good Dr. Hitchcock felt as deeply
interested for girls as for the boys in his college. One January
morning, with the thermometer below zero, three or four hours before
sunrise, he and Miss Lyon started on the stage for Worcester. Each was
wrapped in a buffalo robe, so that the long ride was not unpleasant.
A meeting was to be held, and a decision made as to the location of
the seminary, which, at last, was actually to be built. After a long
conference, South Hadley was chosen, ten miles south of Amherst.

One by one, good men became interested in the matter, and one
true-hearted minister became an agent for the raising of funds. Miss
Lyon was also untiring in her solicitations. She spoke before ladies'
meetings, and visited those in high station and low. So troubled were
her friends about this public work for a woman, that they reasoned
with her that it was in better taste to stay at home, and let
gentlemen do the work.

"What do I that is wrong?" she replied. "I ride in the stage coach
or cars without an escort. Other ladies do the same. I visit a family
where I have been previously invited, and the minister's wife, or
some leading woman, calls the ladies together to see me, and I lay our
object before them. Is that wrong? I go with Mr. Hawks [the agent],
and call on a gentleman of known liberality, at his own house, and
converse with him about our enterprise. What harm is there in that?
My heart is sick, my soul is pained, with this empty gentility, this
genteel nothingness. I am doing a great work. I cannot come down."
Pitiful, that so noble a woman should have been hampered by public
opinion. How all this has changed! Now, the world and the church
gladly welcome the voice, the hand, and the heart of woman in their
philanthropic work.

At last, enough money was raised to begin the enterprise, and the
corner-stone of Mount Holyoke Seminary was laid, Oct. 3, 1836. "It was
a day of deep interest," writes Mary Lyon. "The stones and brick and
mortar speak a language which vibrates through my very soul."

"With thankful heart and busy hands she watched the progress of the
work. Every detail was under her careful eye. She said: "Had I a
thousand lives, I could sacrifice them all in suffering and hardship,
for the sake of Mount Holyoke Seminary. Did I possess the greatest
fortune, I could readily relinquish it all, and become poor, and more
than poor, if its prosperity should demand it."

Finally, in the autumn of 1837, the seminary was ready for pupils.
The main building, four stories high, had been erected. An admirable
course of study had been provided. For the forty weeks of the school
year, the charges for board and tuition were sixty dollars,--only one
dollar and twenty-five cents per week. Miss Lyon's own salary was but
two hundred a year and she never would receive anything higher.
The accommodations were only for eighty pupils, but one hundred and
sixteen came the first year.

While Miss Lyon was heartily loved by her scholars, they yet respected
her good discipline. It was against the rules for any one to absent
herself from meals without permission to do so. One of the young
ladies, not feeling quite as fresh as usual, concluded not to go down
stairs at tea time, and to remain silent on the subject. Miss Lyon's
quick eye detected her absence. Calling the girl's room-mate to her,
she asked, "Is Miss ---- ill?"

"Oh, no," was the reply, "only a little indisposed, and she
commissioned me to carry her a cup of tea and cracker."

"Very well, I will see to it."

After supper, the young lady ascended to her room, in the fourth
story, found her companion enjoying a glorious sunset, and seating
herself beside her, they began an animated conversation. Presently
there was a knock. "Come in!" both shouted gleefully, when lo! in
walked Mary Lyon, with the tea and cracker. She had come up four
flights of stairs; but she said every one was tired at night, and she
could as well bring up the supper as anybody. She inquired with great
kindness about the young lady's health, who, greatly abashed, had
nothing to say. She was ever after present at meal time, unless sick
in bed.

The students never forgot Miss Lyon's plain, earnest words. When they
entered, they were told that they were expected to do right without
formal commands; if not, they better go to some smaller school, where
they could receive the peculiar training needed by little girls. She
urged loose clothing and thick shoes. "If you will persist in killing
yourselves by reckless exposure," she would say, "we are not willing
to take the responsibility of the act. We think, by all means, you
better go home and die, in the arms of your dear mothers."

Miss Lyon had come to her fiftieth birthday. Her seminary had
prospered beyond her fondest hopes. She had raised nearly seventy
thousand dollars for her beloved school, and it was out of debt.
Nearly two thousand pupils had been at South Hadley, of whom a large
number had become missionaries and teachers. Not a single year had
passed without a revival, and rarely did a girl leave the institution
without professing Christianity.

She said to a friend shortly after this fiftieth birthday: "It was the
most solemn day of my life. I devoted it to reflection and prayer. Of
my active toils I then took leave. I was certain that before another
fifty years should have elapsed, I should wake up amid far different
scenes, and far other thoughts would fill my mind, and other
employments would engage my attention. I felt it. There seemed to be
no ladder between me and the world above. The gates were opened, and
I seemed to stand on the threshold. I felt that the evening of my days
had come, and that I needed repose."

And the repose came soon. The last of February, 1849, a young lady
in the seminary died. Miss Lyon called the girls together and spoke
tenderly to them, urging them not to fear death, but to be ready to
meet it. She said, "There is nothing in the universe that I am afraid
of, but that I shall not know and do all my duty." Beautiful words!
carved shortly after on her monument.

A few days later, Mary Lyon lay upon her death-bed. The brain had been
congested, and she was often unconscious. In one of her lucid moments,
her pastor said, "Christ precious?" Summoning all her energies, she
raised both hands, clasped them, and said, "Yes." "Have you trusted
Christ too much?" he asked. Seeing that she made an effort to speak,
he said, "God can be glorified by silence." An indescribable smile lit
up her face, and she was gone.

On the seminary grounds the beloved teacher was buried, her pupils
singing about her open grave, "Why do we mourn departing friends?"
A beautiful monument of Italian marble, square, and resting upon a
granite pedestal, marks the spot. On the west side are the words:--

 BORN, FEBRUARY 28, 1797;
 DIED, MARCH 5, 1849.

What a devoted, heroic life! and its results, who can estimate?

Her work has gone steadily on. The seminary grounds now cover
twenty-five acres. The main structure has two large wings, while a
gymnasium; a library building, with thirteen thousand volumes; the
Lyman Williston Hall, with laboratories and art gallery; and the
new observatory, with fine telescope, astronomical clock, and other
appliances, afford such admirable opportunities for higher education
as noble Mary Lyon could hardly have dared to hope for. The property
is worth about three hundred thousand dollars. How different from
the days when half-dollars were given into Miss Lyon's willing hands!
Nearly six thousand students have been educated here, three-fourths of
whom have become teachers, and about two hundred foreign missionaries.
Many have married ministers, presidents of colleges, and leading men
in education and good works.

The board and tuition have become one hundred and seventy-five dollars
a year, only enough to cover the cost. The range of study has been
constantly increased and elevated to keep pace with the growing demand
that women shall be as fully educated as men. Even Miss Lyon, in those
early days, looked forward to the needs of the future, by placing in
her course of study, Sullivan's _Political Class-Book_, and Wayland's
_Political Economy_. The four years' course is solid and thorough,
while the optional course in French, German, and Greek is admirable.
Eventually, when our preparatory schools are higher, all our colleges
for women will have as difficult entrance examinations as Harvard and

The housework at Mount Holyoke Seminary requires but half an hour each
day for each of the two hundred and ninety-seven pupils. Much time
is spent wisely in the gymnasium, and in boating on the lake near by.
Habits of punctuality, thoroughness, and order are the outcome of life
in this institution. An endowment of twenty thousand dollars, called
"the Mary Lyon Fund," is now being raised by former students for
the Chair of the Principal. Schools like the Lake Erie Seminary at
Painesville, Ohio, have grown out of the school at South Hadley.
Truly, Mary Lyon was doing a great work, and she could not come down.
Between such a life and the ordinary social round there can be no

The English ivy grows thickly over Miss Lyon's grave, covering it like
a mantle, and sending out its wealth of green leaves in the spring. So
each year her own handiwork flourishes, sending out into the world
its strongest forces, the very foundation of the highest
civilization,--educated and Christian wives and mothers.


[Illustration: (From the "Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and

Some years ago, in an art store in Boston, a crowd of persons stood
gazing intently upon a famous piece of statuary. The red curtains were
drawn aside, and the white marble seemed almost to speak. A group of
girls stood together, and looked on in rapt admiration. One of them
said, "Just to think that a woman did it!"

"It makes me proud and glad," said another.

"Who is Harriet Hosmer?" said a third. "I wish I knew about her."

And then one of us, who had stolen all the hours she could get from
school life to read art books from the Hartford Athenaeum, and kept
crude statues, made by herself from chalk and plaster, secreted in her
room, told all she had read about the brilliant author of "Zenobia."

The statue was seven feet high, queenly in pose and face, yet delicate
and beautiful, with the thoughts which genius had wrought in it.
The left arm supported the elegant drapery, while the right hung
listlessly by her side, both wrists chained; the captive of
the Emperor Aurelian. Since that time, I have looked upon other
masterpieces in all the great galleries of Europe, but perhaps none
have ever made a stronger impression upon me than "Zenobia," in those
early years.

And who was the artist of whom we girls were so proud? Born in
Watertown, Mass., Oct. 9, 1830, Harriet Hosmer came into the welcome
home of a leading physician, and a delicate mother, who soon died
of consumption. Dr. Hosmer had also buried his only child besides
Harriet, with the same disease, and he determined that this girl
should live in sunshine and air, that he might save her if possible.
He used to say, "There is a whole life-time for the education of
the mind, but the body develops in a few years; and during that time
nothing should be allowed to interfere with its free and healthy

As soon as the child was large enough, she was given a pet dog, which
she decked with ribbons and bells. Then, as the Charles River flowed
past their house, a boat was provided, and she was allowed to row at
will. A Venetian gondola was also built for her, with silver prow and
velvet cushions. "Too much spoiling--too much spoiling," said some
of the neighbors; but Dr. Hosmer knew that he was keeping his little
daughter on the earth instead of heaven.

A gun was now purchased, and the girl became an admirable marksman.
Her room was a perfect museum. Here were birds, bats, beetles, snakes,
and toads; some dissected, some preserved in spirits, and others
stuffed, all gathered and prepared by her own hands. Now she made an
inkstand from the egg of a sea-gull and the body of a kingfisher; now
she climbed to the top of a tree and brought down a crow's nest. She
could walk miles upon miles with no fatigue. She grew up like a boy,
which is only another way of saying that she grew up healthy and
strong physically. Probably polite society was shocked at Dr. Hosmer's
methods. Would that there were many such fathers and mothers, that we
might have a vigorous race of women, and consequently, a vigorous race
of men!

When Harriet tired of books,--for she was an eager reader,--she found
delight in a clay-pit in the garden, where she molded horses and dogs
to her heart's content. Unused to restraint, she did not like
the first school at which she was placed, the principal, the
brother-in-law of Nathaniel Hawthorne, writing to her father that he
"could do nothing with her."

She was then taken to Mrs. Sedgwick, who kept a famous school at
Lenox, Berkshire County. She received "happy Hatty," as she was
called, with the remark, "I have a reputation for training wild
colts, and I will try this one." And the wise woman succeeded. She won
Harriet's confidence, not by the ten thousand times repeated "don't,"
which so many children hear in home and school, till life seems a
prison-pen. She let her run wild, guiding her all the time with so
much tact, that the girl scarcely knew she was guided at all. Blessed
tact! How many thousands of young people are ruined for lack of it!

She remained here three years. Mrs. Sedgwick says, "She was the most
difficult pupil to manage I ever had, but I think I never had one in
whom I took so deep an interest, and whom I learned to love so well."
About this time, not being quite as well as usual, Dr. Hosmer engaged
a physician of, large practice to visit his daughter. The busy man
could not be regular, which sadly interfered with Harriet's boating
and driving. Complaining one day that it spoiled her pleasure, he
said, "If I am alive, I will be here," naming the day and hour.

"Then if you are not here, I am to conclude that you are dead," was
the reply.

As he did not come, Harriet drove to the newspaper offices in Boston
that afternoon, and the next morning the community was startled to
read of Dr. ----'s sudden death. Friends hastened to the house, and
messages of condolence came pouring in. It is probable that he was
more punctual after this.

On Harriet's return from Lenox, she began to take lessons in drawing,
modeling, and anatomical studies, in Boston, frequently walking from
home and back, a distance of fourteen miles. Feeling the need of a
thorough course in anatomy, she applied to the Boston Medical School
for admittance, and was refused because of her sex. The Medical
College of St. Louis proved itself broader, glad to encourage talent
wherever found, and received her.

Professor McDowell, under whom the artists Powers and Clevenger
studied anatomy, spared no pains to give her every advantage, while
the students were uniformly courteous. "I remember him," says Miss
Hosmer, "with great affection and gratitude as being a most thorough
and patient teacher, as well as at all times a good, kind friend."
In testimony of her appreciation, she cut, from a bust of Professor
McDowell by Clevenger, a life-size medallion in marble, now treasured
in the college museum.

While in St. Louis she made her home with the family of Wayman Crow,
Esq., whose daughter had been her companion at Lenox. This gentleman
proved himself a constant and encouraging friend, ordering her first
statue from Rome, and helping in a thousand ways a girl who had chosen
for herself an unusual work in life.

After completing her studies she made a trip to New Orleans, and then
North to the Falls of St. Anthony, smoking the pipe of peace with
the chief of the Dakota Indians, exploring lead mines in Dubuque, and
scaling a high mountain that was soon after named for her. Did the
wealthy girl go alone on these journeys? Yes. As a rule, no harm comes
to a young woman who conducts herself with becoming reserve with men.
Flirts usually are paid in their own coin.

On her return home, Dr. Hosmer fitted up a studio for his daughter,
and her first work was to copy from the antique. Then she cut Canova's
"Napoleon" in marble for her father, doing all the work, that he
might especially value the gift. Her next statue was an ideal bust of
Hesper, "with," said Lydia Maria Child, "the face of a lovely maiden
gently falling asleep with the sound of distant music. Her hair is
gracefully arranged, and intertwined with capsules of the poppy. A
star shines on her forehead, and under her breast lies the crescent
moon. The swell of the cheeks and the bust is like pure, young,
healthy flesh, and the muscles of the beautiful mouth so delicately
cut, it seems like a thing that breathes. She did every stroke of the
work with her own small hands, except knocking off the corners of the
block of marble. She employed a man to do that; but as he was unused
to work for sculptors, she did not venture to have him approach within
several inches of the surface she intended to cut. Slight girl as she
was, she wielded for eight or ten hours a day a leaden mallet
weighing four pounds and a half. Had it not been for the strength and
flexibility of muscle acquired by rowing and other athletic exercises,
such arduous labor would have been impossible."

After "Hesper" was completed, she said to her father, "I am ready to
go to Rome."

"You shall go, my child, this very autumn," was the response.

He would, of course, miss the genial companionship of his only child,
but her welfare was to be consulted rather than his own. When autumn
came, she rode on horseback to Wayland to say good-bye to Mrs. Child.
"Shall you never be homesick for your museum-parlor in Watertown? Can
you be contented in a foreign land?"

"I can be happy anywhere," said Miss Hosmer, "with good health and a
bit of marble."

Late in the fall Dr. Hosmer and his daughter started for Europe,
reaching Rome Nov. 12, 1852. She had greatly desired to study under
John Gibson, the leading English sculptor, but he had taken young
women into his studio who in a short time became discouraged or showed
themselves afraid of hard work, and he feared Miss Hosmer might be of
the same useless type.

When the photographs of "Hesper" were placed before him by an artist
friend of the Hosmers, he looked at them carefully, and said, "Send
the young lady to me, and whatever I know, and can teach her, she
shall learn." He gave Miss Hosmer an upstairs room in his studio, and
here for seven years she worked with delight, honored and encouraged
by her noble teacher. She wrote to her friends: "The dearest wish of
my heart is gratified in that I am acknowledged by Gibson as a pupil.
He has been resident in Rome thirty-four years, and leads the van. I
am greatly in luck. He has just finished the model of the statue of
the queen; and as his room is vacant, he permits me to use it, and I
am now in his own studio. I have also a little room for work which was
formerly occupied by Canova, and perhaps inspiration may be drawn from
the walls."

The first work which she copied, to show Gibson whether she had
correctness of eye and proper knowledge, was the Venus of Milo. When
nearly finished, the iron which supported the clay snapped, and the
figure lay spoiled upon the floor. She did not shrink nor cry, but
immediately went to work cheerfully to shape it over again. This
conduct Mr. Gibson greatly admired, and made up his mind to assist her
all he could.

After this she copied the "Cupid" of Praxitiles and Tasso from the
British Museum. Her first original work was Daphne, the beautiful
girl whom Apollo loved, and who, rather than accept his addresses, was
changed into laurel by the gods. Apollo crowned his head with laurel,
and made the flower sacred to himself forever.

Next, Miss Hosmer produced "Medusa," famed for her beautiful hair,
which Minerva turned into serpents because Neptune loved her.
According to Grecian mythology, Perseus made himself immortal by
conquering Medusa, whose head he cut off, and the blood dripping from
it filled Africa with snakes. Miss Hosmer represents the beautiful
maiden, when she finds, with horror, that her hair is turning into

Needing a real snake for her work, Miss Hosmer sent a man into the
suburbs to bring her one alive. When it was obtained, she chloroformed
it till she had made a cast, keeping it in plaster for three hours and
a half. Then, instead of killing it, like a true-hearted woman, as she
is, she sent it back into the country, glad to regain its liberty.

"Daphne" and "Medusa" were both exhibited in Boston the following
year, 1853, and were much praised. Mr. Gibson said: "The power of
imitating the roundness and softness of flesh, he had never
seen surpassed." Rauch, the great Prussian, whose mausoleum at
Charlottenburg of the beautiful queen Louise can never be forgotten,
gave Miss Hosmer high praise.

Two years later she completed "Oenone," made for Mr. Crow of St.
Louis. It is the full-length figure of the beautiful nymph of Mount
Ida. The story is a familiar one. Before the birth of Paris, the son
of Priam, it was foretold that he by his imprudence should cause
the destruction of Troy. His father gave orders for him to be put to
death, but possibly through the fondness of his mother, he was spared,
and carried to Mount Ida, where he was brought up by the shepherds,
and finally married Oenone. In time he became known to his family,
who forgot the prophecy and cordially received him. For a decision in
favor of Venus he was promised the most beautiful woman in the world
for his wife. Forgetting Oenone, he fell in love with the beautiful
Helen, already the wife of Menelaus, and persuaded her to fly with him
to Troy, to his father's court. War resulted. When he found himself
dying of his wounds, he fled to Oenone for help, but died just as
he came into her presence. She bathed the body with her tears, and
stabbed herself to the heart, a very foolish act for so faithless a
man. Miss Hosmer represents her as a beautiful shepherdess, bowed with
grief from her desertion.

This work was so much liked in America, that the St. Louis Mercantile
Library made a liberal offer for some other statue. Accordingly, two
years after, "Beatrice Cenci" was sent. The noble girl lies asleep,
the night before her execution, after the terrible torture. "It was,"
says Mrs. Child, "the sleep of a body worn out with the wretchedness
of the soul. On that innocent face suffering had left its traces. The
arm that had been tossing in the grief tempest, had fallen heavily,
too weary to change itself into a more easy position. Those large
eyes, now so closely veiled by their swollen lids, had evidently wept
till the fountain of tears was dry. That lovely mouth was still the
open portal of a sigh, which the mastery of sleep had left no time to

To make this natural, the sculptor caused several models to go to
sleep in her studio, that she might study them. Gibson is said to have
remarked upon seeing this, "I can teach her nothing." This was also
exhibited in London and in several American cities.

For three years she had worked continuously, not leaving Rome even in
the hot, unhealthy summers. She had said, "I will not be an amateur; I
will work as if I had to earn my daily bread." However, as her health
seemed somewhat impaired, at her father's earnest wish, she had
decided to go to England for the season. Her trunks were packed, and
she was ready to start, when lo! a message came that Dr. Hosmer had
lost his property, that he could send her no more money, and suggested
that she return home at once.

At first she seemed overwhelmed; then she said firmly, "I cannot go
back, and give up my art." Her trunks were at once unpacked and a
cheap room rented. Her handsome horse and saddle were sold, and she
was now to work indeed "as if she earned her daily bread."

By a strange freak of human nature, by which we sometimes do our most
humorous work when we are saddest, Miss Hosmer produced now in her
sorrow her fun-loving "Puck." It represents a child about four years
old seated on a toadstool which breaks beneath him. The left hand
confines a lizard, while the right holds a beetle. The legs are
crossed, and the great toe of the right foot turns up. The whole
is full of merriment. The Crown Princess of Germany, on seeing it,
exclaimed, "Oh, Miss Hosmer, you have such a talent for toes!" Very
true, for this statue, with the several copies made from it, brought
her thirty thousand dollars! The Prince of Wales has a copy, the
Duke of Hamilton also, and it has gone even to Australia and the West
Indies. A companion piece is the "Will-o'-the-wisp."

About this time the lovely sixteen-year-old daughter of Madam
Falconnet died at Rome, and for her monument in the Catholic church
of San Andrea del Fratte, Miss Hosmer produced an exquisite figure
resting upon a sarcophagus. Layard, the explorer of Babylon and
Nineveh, wrote to Madam Falconnet: "I scarcely remember to have seen
a monument which more completely commanded my sympathy and more deeply
interested me. I really know of none, of modern days, which I would
rather have placed over the remains of one who had been dear to me."

Miss Hosmer also modeled a fountain from the story of Hylas. The
lower basin contains dolphins spouting jets, while in the upper basin,
supported by swans, the youth Hylas stands, surrounded by the nymphs
who admire his beauty, and who eventually draw him into the water,
where he is drowned.

Miss Hosmer returned to America in 1857, five years after her
departure. She was still young, twenty-seven, vivacious, hopeful, not
wearied from her hard work, and famous. While here she determined upon
a statue of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, and read much concerning her
and her times. She had touched fiction and poetry; now she would
attempt history. She could scarcely have chosen a more heroic or
pathetic subject. The brave leader of a brave people, a skilful
warrior, marching at the head of her troops, now on foot, and now on
horseback, beautiful in face, and cultured in mind, acquainted with
Latin, Greek, Syriac, and Egyptian, finally captured by Aurelian, and
borne through the streets of Rome, adorning his triumphal procession.

After Miss Hosmer's return to Rome, she worked on "Zenobia" with
energy and enthusiasm, as she molded the clay, and then the plaster.
When brought to this country, it awakened the greatest interest;
crowds gathered to see it. In Chicago it was exhibited at the
Sanitary Fair in behalf of the soldiers. Whittier said: "It very fully
expresses my conception of what historical sculpture should be. It
tells its whole proud and melancholy story. In looking at it, I felt
that the artist had been as truly serving her country while working
out her magnificent design abroad, as our soldiers in the field, and
our public officers in their departments." From its exhibition Miss
Hosmer received five thousand dollars. It was purchased by Mr. A.W.
Griswold, of New York. So great a work was the statue considered in
London, that some of the papers declared Gibson to be its author. Miss
Hosmer at once began suits for libel, and retractions were speedily

In 1860 Miss Hosmer again visited America, to see her father, who
was seriously ill. How proud Dr. Hosmer must have been of his gifted
daughter now that her fame was in two hemispheres! Surely he had not
"spoiled" her. She could now spend for him as he had spent for her in
her childhood. While here, she received a commission from St. Louis
for a bronze portrait-statue of Missouri's famous statesman, Thomas
Hart Benton. The world wondered if she could bring out of the marble a
man with all his strength and dignity, as she had a woman with all her
grace and nobility.

She visited St. Louis, to examine portraits and mementos of Colonel
Benton, and then hastened across the ocean to her work. The next year
a photograph of the model was sent to the friends, and the likeness
pronounced good. The statue was cast at the great royal foundry at
Munich, and in due time shipped to this country. May 27, 1868, it was
unveiled in Lafayette Park, in the presence of an immense concourse of
people, the daughter, Mrs. John C. Fremont, removing the covering. The
statue is ten feet high, and weighs three and one-half tons. It rests
on a granite pedestal, ten feet square, the whole being twenty-two
feet square. On the west side of the pedestal are the words from
Colonel Benton's famous speech on the Pacific Railroad, "There is the
East--there is India." Both press and people were heartily pleased
with this statue, for which Miss Hosmer received ten thousand dollars,
the whole costing thirty thousand.

She was now in the midst of busy and successful work. Orders crowded
upon her. Her "Sleeping Faun," which was exhibited at the Dublin
Exhibition in 1865, was sold on the day of opening for five thousand
dollars, to Sir Benjamin Guinness. Some discussion having arisen about
the sale, he offered ten thousand, saying, that if money could buy it,
he would possess it. Miss Hosmer, however, would receive only the five
thousand. The faun is represented reclining against the trunk of a
tree, partly draped in the spoils of a tiger. A little faun, with
mischievous look, is binding the faun to the tree with the tiger-skin.
The newspapers were enthusiastic about the work.

The _London Times_ said: "In the groups of statues are many works of
exquisite beauty, but there is one which at once arrests attention and
extorts admiration. It is a curious fact that amid all the statues in
this court, contributed by the natives of lands in which the fine arts
were naturalized thousands of years ago, one of the finest should be
the production of an American artist." The French _Galignani_ said,
"The gem of the classical school, in its nobler style of composition,
is due to an American lady, Miss Hosmer." The _London Art Journal_
said, "The works of Miss Hosmer, Hiram Powers, and others we might
name, have placed American on a level with the best modern sculptors
of Europe." This work was repeated for the Prince of Wales and for
Lady Ashburton, of England.

Not long ago I visited the studio of Miss Hosmer in the Via Margutta,
at Rome, and saw her numerous works, many of them still unfinished.
Here an arm seemed just reaching out from the rough block of marble;
here a sweet face seemed like Pygmalion's statue, coming into life. In
the centre of the studio was the "Siren Fountain," executed for Lady
Marion Alford. A siren sits in the upper basin and sings to the music
of her lute. Three little cupids sit on dolphins, and listen to her

For some years Miss Hosmer has been preparing a golden gateway for an
art gallery at Ashridge Hall, England, ordered by Earl Brownlow. These
gates, seventeen feet high, are covered with bas-reliefs representing
the Air, Earth, and Sea. The twelve hours of the night show "Aeolus
subduing the Winds," the "Descent of the Zephyrs," "Iris descending
with the Dew," "Night rising with the Stars," "The Rising Moon," "The
Hour's Sleep," "The Dreams Descend," "The Falling Star," "Phosphor and
Hesper," "The Hours Wake," "Aurora Veils the Stars," and "Morning."
More than eighty figures are in the nineteen bas-reliefs. Miss Hosmer
has done other important works, among them a statue of the beautiful
Queen of Naples, who was a frequent visitor to the artist's studio,
and several well-known monuments. With her girlish fondness for
machinery, she has given much thought to mechanics in these later
years, striving to find, like many another, the secret of producing
perpetual motion. She spends much of her time now in England. She is
still passionately fond of riding, the Empress of Austria, who owns
more horses than any woman in the world, declaring "that there was
nothing she looked forward to with more interest in Rome, than to see
Miss Hosmer ride."

Many of the closing years of the sculptor's long life were spent in
Rome, where she had a wide circle of eminent American and English
friends, among whom were Hawthorne, Thackeray, George Eliot, and the
Brownings. She made several discoveries in her work, one of which was
a process of hardening limestone so that it resembled marble. She
also wrote both prose and poetry, and would have been successful as
an author, if she had not given the bulk of her time to her beloved

After her long sojourn in Rome she spent several years in England,
executing important commissions, and then turned her face toward
America. In Watertown, where she was born, she again made her home;
and here she breathed her last, February 21, 1908, after an illness of
three weeks. She was in her seventy-eighth year. By her long life of
earnest work and self-reliant purpose, coupled with her high gift, she
has made for herself an abiding place in the history of art.


[Illustration: MADAME DE STAËL.

From the painting by Mlle. Godefroy.]

It was the twentieth of September, 1881. The sun shone out mild and
beautiful upon Lake Geneva, as we sailed up to Coppet. The banks were
dotted with lovely homes, half hidden by the foliage, while brilliant
flower-beds came close to the water's edge. Snow-covered Mont Blanc
looked down upon the restful scene, which seemed as charming as
anything in Europe.

We alighted from the boat, and walked up from the landing, between
great rows of oaks, horsechestnuts, and sycamores, to the famous home
we had come to look upon,--that of Madame de Staël. It is a French
chateau, two stories high, drab, with green blinds, surrounding an
open square; vines clamber over the gate and the high walls, and
lovely flowers blossom everywhere. As you enter, you stand in a long
hall, with green curtains, with many busts, the finest of which is
that of Monsieur Necker. The next room is the large library, with
furniture of blue and white; and the next, hung with old Gobelin
tapestry, is the room where Madame Recamier used to sit with Madame de
Staël, and look out upon the exquisite scenery, restful even in their
troubled lives. Here is the work-table of her whom Macaulay called
"the greatest woman of her times," and of whom Byron said, "She is
a woman by herself, and has done more than all the rest of them
together, intellectually; she ought to have been a man."

Next we enter the drawing-room, with carpet woven in a single piece;
the furniture red and white. We stop to look upon the picture of
Monsieur Necker, the father, a strong, noble-looking man; of the
mother, in white silk dress, with powdered hair, and very beautiful;
and De Staël herself, in a brownish yellow dress, with low neck and
short sleeves, holding in her hand the branch of flowers, which she
always carried, or a leaf, that thus her hands might be employed while
she engaged in the conversation that astonished Europe. Here also
are the pictures of the Baron, her husband, in white wig and military
dress; here her idolized son and daughter, the latter beautiful, with
mild, sad face, and dark hair and eyes.

What brings thousands to this quiet retreat every year? Because here
lived and wrote and suffered the only person whom the great Napoleon
feared, whom Galiffe, of Geneva, declared "the most remarkable woman
that Europe has produced"; learned, rich, the author of _Corinne_ and
_Allemagne_, whose "talents in conversation," says George Ticknor,
"were perhaps the most remarkable of any person that ever lived."

April 27, 1766, was the daughter of James Necker, Minister of Finance
under Louis XVI., a man of fine intellect, the author of fifteen
volumes; and Susanna, daughter of a Swiss pastor, beautiful, educated,
and devotedly Christian. Necker had become rich in early life through
banking, and had been made, by the republic of Geneva, her resident
minister at the Court of Versailles.

When the throne of Louis seemed crumbling, because the people were
tired of extravagance and heavy taxation, Necker was called to his
aid, with the hope that economy and retrenchment would save the
nation. He also loaned the government two million dollars. The home
of the Neckers, in Paris, naturally became a social centre, which the
mother of the family was well fitted to grace. Gibbon had been deeply
in love with her.

He says: "I found her learned without pedantry, lively in
conversation, pure in sentiment, and elegant in manners; and the first
sudden emotion was fortified by the habits and knowledge of a more
familiar acquaintance.... At Crassier and Lausanne I indulged my dream
of felicity; but on my return to England I soon discovered that my
father would not hear of this strange alliance, and that, without
his consent, I was myself destitute and helpless. After a painful
struggle, I yielded to my fate; I sighed as a lover; I obeyed as a
son." Gibbon never married, but retained his life-long friendship and
admiration for Madame Necker.

It was not strange, therefore, that Gibbon liked to be present in
her _salon_, where Buffon, Hume, Diderot, and D'Alembert were wont
to gather. The child of such parents could scarcely be other than
intellectual, surrounded by such gifted minds. Her mother, too, was a
most systematic teacher, and each day the girl was obliged to sit by
her side, erect, on a wooden stool, and learn difficult lessons.

"She stood in great awe of her mother," wrote Simond, the traveller,
"but was exceedingly familiar with and extravagantly fond of her
father. Madame Necker had no sooner left the room one day, after
dinner, than the young girl, till then timidly decorous, suddenly
seized her napkin, and threw it across the table at the head of her
father, and then flying round to him, hung upon his neck, suffocating
all his reproofs by her kisses." Whenever her mother returned to the
room, she at once became silent and restrained.

The child early began to show literary talent, writing dramas, and
making paper kings and queens to act her tragedies. This the mother
thought to be wrong, and it was discontinued. But when she was twelve,
the mother having somewhat relented, she wrote a play, which she and
her companions acted in the drawing-room. Grimm was so pleased with
her attempts, that he sent extracts to his correspondents throughout
Europe. At fifteen she wrote an essay on the _Revocation of the Edict
of Nantes_, and another upon Montesquieu's _Spirit of Laws_.

Overtaxing the brain with her continuous study, she became ill,
and the physician, greatly to her delight, prescribed fresh air and
sunshine. Here often she roamed from morning till night on their
estate at St. Ouen. Madame Necker felt deeply the thwarting of her
educational plans, and years after, when her daughter had acquired
distinction, said, "It is absolutely nothing compared to what I would
have made it."

Monsieur Necker's restriction of pensions and taxing of luxuries
soon aroused the opposition of the aristocracy, and the weak but
good-hearted King asked his minister to resign. Both wife and daughter
felt the blow keenly, for both idolized him, so much so that the
mother feared lest she be supplanted by her daughter. Madame de Staël
says of her father, "From the moment of their marriage to her death,
the thought of my mother dominated his life. He was not like other
men in power, attentive to her by occasional tokens of regard, but by
continual expressions of most tender and most delicate sentiment."
Of herself she wrote, "Our destinies would have united us forever, if
fate had only made us contemporaries." At his death she said, "If he
could be restored to me, I would give all my remaining years for six
months." To the last he was her idol.

For the next few years the family travelled most of the time, Necker
bringing out a book on the _Finances_, which had a sale at once of a
hundred thousand copies. A previous book, the _Compte Rendu au Roi_,
showing how for years the moneys of France had been wasted, had also a
large sale. For these books, and especially for other correspondence,
he was banished forty leagues from Paris. The daughter's heart seemed
well-nigh broken at this intelligence. Loving Paris, saying she would
rather live there on "one hundred francs a year, and lodge in the
fourth story," than anywhere else in the world, how could she bear for
years the isolation of the country? Joseph II., King of Poland, and
the King of Naples, offered Necker fine positions, but he declined.

Mademoiselle Necker had come to womanhood, not beautiful, but with
wonderful fascination and tact. She could compliment persons without
flattery, was cordial and generous, and while the most brilliant
talker, could draw to herself the thoughts and confidences of others.
She had also written a book on _Rousseau_, which was much talked
about. Pitt, of England, Count Fersen, of Sweden, and others, sought
her in marriage, but she loved no person as well as her father. Her
consent to marriage could be obtained only by the promise that she
should never be obliged to leave him.

Baron de Staël, a man of learning and fine social position, ambassador
from Sweden, and the warm friend of Gustavus, was ready to make
any promises for the rich daughter of the Minister Necker. He was
thirty-seven, she only a little more than half his age, twenty, but
she accepted him because her parents were pleased. Going to Paris, she
was, of course, received at Court, Marie Antoinette paying her much
attention. Necker was soon recalled from exile to his old position.

The funds rose thirty per cent, and he became the idol of the people.
Soon representative government was demanded, and then, though the King
granted it, the breach was widened. Necker, unpopular with the bad
advisers of the King, was again asked to leave Paris, and make no
noise about it; but the people, hearing of it, soon demanded his
recall, and he was hastily brought back from Brussels, riding through
the streets like "the sovereign of a nation," said his daughter. The
people were wild with delight.

But matters had gone too far to prevent a bloody Revolution. Soon a
mob was marching toward Versailles; thousands of men, women, and even
children armed with pikes. They reached the palace, killed the guards,
and penetrated to the queen's apartments, while some filled the
court-yard and demanded bread. The brave Marie Antoinette appeared
on the balcony leading her two children, while Lafayette knelt by her
side and kissed her hand. But the people could not be appeased.

Necker finding himself unable to serve his king longer, fled to his
Swiss retreat at Coppet, and there remained till his death. Madame
de Staël, as the wife of the Swedish ambassador, continued in the
turmoil, writing her father daily, and taking an active interest in
politics. "In England," she said, "women are accustomed to be silent
before men when political questions are discussed. In France, they
direct all conversation, and their minds readily acquire the facility
and talent which this privilege requires." Lafayette, Narbonne,
and Talleyrand consulted with her. She wrote the principal part of
Talleyrand's report on Public Instruction in 1790. She procured the
appointment of Narbonne to the ministry; and later, when Talleyrand
was in exile, obtained his appointment to the Department of Foreign

Matters had gone from bad to worse. In 1792 the Swedish government
suspended its embassy, and Madame de Staël prepared to fly, but stayed
for a time to save her friends. The seven prisons of Paris were all
crowded under the fearful reign of Danton and Marat. Great heaps of
dead lay before every prison door. During that Reign of Terror it is
estimated that eighteen thousand six hundred persons perished by the
guillotine. Whole squares were shot down. "When the police visited
her house, where some of the ministers were hidden, she met them
graciously, urging that they must not violate the privacy of an
ambassador's house. When her friends were arrested, she went to the
barbarous leaders, and with her eloquence begged for their safety, and
thus saved the lives of many.

At last she must leave the terror-stricken city. Supposing that
her rank as the wife of a foreign ambassador would protect her, she
started with a carriage and six horses, her servants in livery. At
once a crowd of half-famished and haggard women crowded around, and
threw themselves against the horses. The carriage was stopped, and the
occupants were taken to the Assembly. She plead her case before the
noted Robespierre, and then waited for six hours for the decision of
the Commune. Meantime she saw the hired assassins pass beneath the
windows, their bare arms covered with the blood of the slain. The mob
attempted to pillage her carriage, but a strong man mounted the box
and defended it. She learned afterward that it was the notorious
Santerre, the person who later superintended the execution of Louis
XVI., ordering his drummers to drown the last words of the dying King.
Santerre had seen Necker distribute corn to the poor of Paris in a
time of famine, and now he was befriending the daughter for this noble
act. Finally she was allowed to continue her journey, and reached
Coppet with her baby, Auguste, well-nigh exhausted after this terrible

The Swiss home soon became a place of refuge for those who were flying
from the horrors of the Commune. She kept a faithful agent, who knew
the mountain passes, busy in this work of mercy.

The following year, 1793, longing for a change from these dreadful
times, she visited England, and received much attention from prominent
persons, among them Fanny Burny, the author of _Evelina_, who owned
"that she had never heard conversation before. The most animated
eloquence, the keenest observation, the most sparkling wit, the most
courtly grace, were united to charm her."

On Jan. 21 of this year, the unfortunate King had met his death on the
scaffold before an immense throng of people. Six men bound him to the
plank, and then his head was severed from his body amid the shouts
and waving of hats of the blood-thirsty crowd. Necker had begged to go
before the Convention and plead for his king, but was refused. Madame
de Staël wrote a vigorous appeal to the nation in behalf of the
beautiful and tenderhearted Marie Antoinette; but on Sept. 16, 1793,
at four o'clock in the morning, in an open cart, in the midst of
thirty thousand troops and a noisy rabble, she, too, was borne to
the scaffold; and when her pale face was held up bleeding before the
crowd, they jeered and shouted themselves hoarse.

The next year 1794, Madame Necker died at Coppet, whispering to her
husband, "We shall see each other in Heaven." "She looked heavenward,"
said Necker in a most affecting manner, "listening while I prayed;
then, in dying, raised the finger of her left hand, which wore the
ring I had given her, to remind me of the pledge engraved upon it, to
love her forever." His devotion to her was beautiful. "No language,"
says his daughter, "can give any adequate idea of it. Exhausted by
wakefulness at night, she slept often in the daytime, resting her
head on his arm. I have seen him remain immovable, for hours together,
standing in the same position for fear of awakening her by the least
movement. Absent from her during a few hours of sleep, he inquired, on
his return, of her attendant, if she had asked for him? She could no
longer speak, but made an effort to say 'yes, yes.'"

When the Revolution was over, and France had become a republic, Sweden
sent back her ambassador, Baron de Staël, and his wife returned to him
at Paris. Again her _salon_ became the centre for the great men of
the time. She loved liberty, and believed in the republican form
of government. She had written her book upon the _Influence of the
Passions on the Happiness of Individuals and Nations_, prompted by
the horrors of the Revolution, and it was considered "irresistible in
energy and dazzling in thought."

She was also devoting much time to her child, Auguste, developing him
without punishment, thinking that there had been too much rigor in her
own childhood. He well repaid her for her gentleness and trust, and
was inseparable from her through life, becoming a noble Christian man,
and the helper of all good causes. Meantime Madame de Staël saw with
alarm the growing influence of the young Corsican officer, Bonaparte.
The chief executive power had been placed in the hands of the
Directory, and he had control of the army. He had won brilliant
victories in Italy, and had been made commander-in-chief of the
expedition against Egypt He now returned to Paris, turned out the
Directory, drove out the Council of Five Hundred from the hall of
the Assembly at the point of the bayonet, made the government into a
consulate with three consuls, of whom he was the first, and lived at
the Tuileries in almost royal style.

All this time Madame de Staël felt the egotism and heartlessness of
Napoleon. Her _salon_ became more crowded than ever with those who
had their fears for the future. "The most eloquent of the Republican
orators were those who borrowed from her most of their ideas and
telling phrases. Most of them went forth from her door with speeches
ready for the next day, and with resolution to pronounce them--a
courage which was also derived from her." Lucien and Joseph Bonaparte,
the brothers of Napoleon, were proud of her friendship, and often were
guests at her house, until forbidden by their brother.

When Benjamin Constant made a speech against the "rising tyranny,"
Napoleon suspected that she had prompted it, and denounced her
heartily, all the time declaring that he loved the Republic, and would
always defend it! He said persons always came away from De Staël's
home "less his friends than when they entered." About this time her
book, _Literature considered in its Relation to Social Institutions_,
was published, and made a surprising impression from its wealth
of knowledge and power of thought. Its analysis of Greek and Latin
literature, and the chief works in Italian, English, German, and
French, astonished everybody, because written by a woman!

Soon after Necker published his _Last Views of Politics and Finance_,
in which he wrote against the tyranny of a single man. At once
Napoleon caused a sharp letter to be written to Necker advising him
to leave politics to the First Consul, "who was alone able to govern
France," and threatening his daughter with exile for her supposed aid
in his book. She saw the wisdom of escaping from France, lest she be
imprisoned, and immediately hastened to Coppet. A few months later,
in the winter of 1802, she returned to Paris to bring home Baron de
Staël, who was ill, and from whom she had separated because he was
spending all her fortune and that of her three children. He died on
the journey.

Virtually banished from France, she now wrote her _Delphine_, a
brilliant novel which was widely read. It received its name from a
singular circumstance.

"Desirous of meeting the First Consul for some urgent reason," says
Dr. Stevens in his charming biography of Madame de Staël, "she went to
the villa of Madame de Montessan, whither he frequently resorted. She
was alone in one of the _salles_ when he arrived, accompanied by the
consular court of brilliant young women. The latter knew the growing
hostility of their master toward her, and passed, without noticing
her, to the other end of the _salle_, leaving her entirely alone.
Her position was becoming extremely painful, when a young lady, more
courageous and more compassionate than her companions, crossed the
_salle_ and took a seat by her side. Madame de Staël was touched
by this kindness, and asked for her Christian name. 'Delphine,' she
responded. 'Ah, I will try to immortalize it,' exclaimed Madame
de Staël; and she kept her word. This sensible young lady was the
Comtesse de Custine."

Her home at Coppet became the home of many great people. Sismondi, the
author of the _History of the Italian Republics_, and _Literature of
Southern Europe_, encouraged by her, wrote here several of his famous
works. Bonstetten made his home here for years. Schlegel, the greatest
critic of his age, became the teacher of her children, and a most
intimate friend. Benjamin Constant, the author and statesman, was
here. All repaired to their rooms for work in the morning, and in the
evening enjoyed philosophic, literary, and political discussions.

Bonstetten said: "In seeing her, in hearing her, I feel myself
electrified.... She daily becomes greater and better; but souls of
great talent have great sufferings: they are solitary in the world,
like Mont Blanc."

In the autumn of 1803, longing for Paris, she ventured to within ten
leagues and hired a quiet home. Word was soon borne to Napoleon that
the road to her house was thronged with visitors. He at once sent an
officer with a letter signed by himself, exiling her to forty leagues
from Paris, and commanding her to leave within twenty-four hours.

At once she fled to Germany. At Frankfort her little daughter was
dangerously ill. "I knew no person in the city," she writes. "I did
not know the language; and the physician to whom I confided my child
could not speak French. But my father shared my trouble; he consulted
physicians at Geneva, and sent me their prescriptions. Oh, what would
become of a mother trembling for the life of her child, if it were not
for prayer!"

Going to Weimar, she met Goethe, Wieland, Schiller, and other noted
men. At Berlin, the greatest attention was shown her. The beautiful
Louise of Prussia welcomed her heartily. During this exile her father
died, with his latest breath saying," She has loved me dearly! She
has loved me dearly!" On his death-bed he wrote a letter to Bonaparte
telling him that his daughter was in nowise responsible for his book,
but it was never answered. It was enough for Napoleon to know that she
did not flatter him; therefore he wished her out of the way.

Madame de Staël was for a time completely overcome by Necker's death.
She wore his picture on her person as long as she lived. Only once did
she part with it, and then she imagined it might console her daughter
in her illness. Giving it to her, she said, "Gaze upon it, gaze upon
it, when you are in pain."

She now sought repose in Italy, preparing those beautiful descriptions
for her _Corinne_, and finally returning to Coppet, spent a year in
writing her book. It was published in Paris, and, says Sainte-Beuve,
"its success was instantaneous and universal. As a work of art, as a
poem, the romance of _Corinne_ is an immortal monument." Jeffrey,
in the _Edinburgh Review_, called the author the greatest writer in
France since Voltaire and Rousseau, and the greatest woman writer of
any age or country. Napoleon, however, in his official paper, caused a
scathing criticism on _Corinne_ to appear; indeed, it was declared to
be from his own pen. She was told by the Minister of Police, that she
had but to insert some praise of Napoleon in _Corinne_, and she would
be welcomed back to Paris. She could not, however, live a lie, and she
feared Napoleon had evil designs upon France.

Again she visited Germany with her children, Schlegel, and Sismondi.
So eager was everybody to see her and hear her talk, that Bettina von
Arnim says in her correspondence with Goethe: "The gentlemen stood
around the table and planted themselves behind us, elbowing one
another. They leaned quite over me, and I said in French, 'Your
adorers quite suffocate me.'"

While in Germany, her eldest son, then seventeen, had an interview
with Bonaparte about the return of his mother. "Your mother," said
Napoleon, "could not be six months in Paris before I should be
compelled to send her to Bicêtre or the Temple. I should regret this
necessity, for it would make a noise and might injure me a little
in public opinion. Say, therefore, to her that as long as I live she
cannot re-enter Paris. I see what you wish, but it cannot be; she will
commit follies; she will have the world about her."

On her return to Coppet, she spent two years in writing her
_Allemagne_, for which she had been making researches for four years.
She wished it published in Paris, as _Corinne_ had been, and submitted
it to the censors of the Press. They crossed out whatever sentiments
they thought might displease Napoleon, and then ten thousand copies
were at once printed, she meantime removing to France, within her
proscribed limits, that she might correct the proof-sheets.

What was her astonishment to have Napoleon order the whole ten
thousand destroyed, and her to leave France in three days! Her two
sons attempted to see Bonaparte, who was at Fontainebleau, but were
ordered to turn back, or they would be arrested. The only reason given
for destroying the work was the fact that she had been silent about
the great but egotistical Emperor.

Broken in spirit, she returned to Geneva. Amid all this darkness a new
light was about to beam upon her life. In the social gatherings made
for her, she observed a young army officer, Monsieur Rocca, broken in
health from his many wounds, but handsome and noble in face, and, as
she learned, of irreproachable life. Though only twenty-three and she
forty-five, the young officer was fascinated by her conversation,
and refreshed in spirits by her presence. She sympathized with his
misfortunes in battle; she admired his courage. He was lofty in
sentiments, tender in heart, and gave her what she had always needed,
an unselfish and devoted love. When discouraged by his friends, he
replied, "I will love her so much that I will finish by making her
marry me."

They were married in 1811, and the marriage was a singularly happy
one. The reason for it is not difficult to perceive. A marriage that
has not a pretty face or a passing fancy for its foundation, but
appreciation of a gifted mind and noble heart,--such a marriage
stands the test of time.

The marriage was kept secret from all save a few intimate friends,
Madame de Staël fearing that if the news reached Napoleon, Rocca
would be ordered back to France. Her fears were only too well founded.
Schlegel, Madame Recamier, all who had shown any sympathy for her,
began to be exiled. She was forbidden under any pretext whatever from
travelling in Switzerland, or entering any region annexed to France.
She was advised not to go two leagues from Coppet, lest she be
imprisoned, and this with Napoleon usually meant death.

The Emperor seemed about to conquer the whole world. Whither could she
fly to escape his persecution? She longed to reach England, but there
was an edict against any French subject entering that country without
special permit. Truly his heel was upon France. The only way to reach
that country was through Austria, Russia, and Sweden, two thousand
leagues. But she must attempt it. She passed an hour in prayer by her
parent's tomb, kissed his armchair and table, and took his cloak to
wrap herself in should death come.

May 23, 1812, she, with Rocca and two of her children, began their
flight by carriage, not telling the servants at the chateau, but that
they should return for the next meal.

They reached Vienna June 6, and were at once put under surveillance.
Everywhere she saw placards admonishing the officers to watch her
sharply. Rocca had to make his way alone, because Bonaparte had
ordered his arrest. They were permitted to remain only a few hours
in any place. Once Madame de Staël was so overcome by this brutal
treatment that she lost consciousness, and was obliged to be taken
from her carriage to the roadside till she recovered. Every hour she
expected arrest and death.

Finally, worn in body, she reached Russia, and was cordially received
by Alexander and Empress Elizabeth. From here she went to Sweden, and
had an equally cordial welcome from Bernadotte, the general who
became king. Afterward she spent four months in England, bringing out
_Allemagne._ Here she received a perfect ovation. At Lord Lansdowne's
the first ladies in the kingdom mounted on chairs and tables to catch
a glimpse of her. Sir James Mackintosh said: "The whole fashionable
and literary world is occupied with Madame de Staël, the most
celebrated woman of this, or perhaps of any age." Very rare must be
the case where a woman of fine mind does not have many admirers among

Her _Allemagne_ was published in 1813, the manuscript having been
secretly carried over Germany, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the Baltic
Sea. The first part treated of the manners of Germany; the second, its
literature and art; the third, its philosophy and morals; the fourth,
its religion. The book had a wonderful sale, and was soon translated
into all the principal tongues of Europe. Lamartine said: "Her style,
without losing any of its youthful vigor and splendor, seemed now to
be illuminated with more lofty and eternal lights as she approached
the evening of life, and the diviner mysteries of thought. This style
no longer paints, no longer chants; it adores.... Her name will live
as long as literature, as long as the history of her country."

Meantime, great changes had taken place in France. Napoleon had been
defeated at Leipsic, leaving a quarter of a million murdered on his
battle-fields; he had abdicated, and was on his way to Elba. She
immediately returned to Paris, with much the same feeling as Victor
Hugo, when he wept as he came from his long exile under "Napoleon the
Little." Again to her _salon_ came kings and generals, Alexander of
Russia, Wellington, and others.

But soon Napoleon returned, and she fled to Coppet. He sent her an
invitation to come to Paris, declaring he would now live for the peace
of Europe, but she could not trust him. She saw her daughter, lovely
and beautiful, married to the Duc de Broglie, a leading statesman,
and was happy in her happiness. Rocca's health was failing, and they
repaired to Italy for a time.

In 1816 they returned to Paris, Napoleon having gone from his final
defeat to St. Helena. But Madame de Staël was broken with her trials.
She seemed to grow more and more frail, till the end came. She said
frequently, "My father awaits me on the other shore." To Chateaubriand
she said, "I have loved God, my father, and my country." She could
not and would not go to sleep the last night, for fear she might never
look upon Rocca again. He begged her to sleep and he would awaken her
often. "Good night," she said, and it was forever. She never wakened.
They buried her beside her father at Coppet, under the grand old
trees. Rocca died in seven months, at the age of thirty-one. "I
hoped," he said, "to have died in her arms."

Her little son, and Rocca's, five years old, was cared for by Auguste
and Albertine, her daughter. After Madame de Staël's death, her
_Considerations on the French Revolution_ and _Ten Years of Exile_
were published. Of the former, Sainte-Beuve says: "Its publication was
an event. It was the splendid public obsequies of the authoress.
Its politics were destined to long and passionate discussions and
a durable influence. She is perfect only from this day; the full
influence of her star is only at her tomb."

Chateaubriand said, "Her death made one of those breaches which the
fall of a superior intellect produces once in an age, and which can
never be closed."

As kind as she was great, loving deeply and receiving love in return,
she has left an imperishable name. No wonder that thousands visit that
quiet grave beside Lake Geneva.


[Illustration: ROSA BONHEUR.]

In a simple home in Paris could have been seen, in 1829, Raymond
Bonheur and his little family,--Rosa, seven years old, August,
Isadore, and Juliette. He was a man of fine talent in painting, but
obliged to spend his time in giving drawing-lessons to support his
children. His wife, Sophie, gave lessons on the piano, going from
house to house all day long, and sometimes sewing half the night, to
earn a little more for the necessities of life.

Hard work and poverty soon bore its usual fruit, and the tired young
mother died in 1833. The three oldest children were sent to board with
a plain woman, "La mère Cathérine," in the Champs Elysées, and the
youngest was placed with relatives. For two years this good woman
cared for the children, sending them to school, though she was greatly
troubled because Rosa persisted in playing in the woods of the Bois
de Boulogne, gathering her arms full of daisies and marigolds, rather
than to be shut up in a schoolroom. "I never spent an hour of fine
weather indoors during the whole of the two years," she has often said
since those days.

Finally the father married again and brought the children home. The
two boys were placed in school, and M. Bonheur paid their way by
giving drawing lessons three times a week in the institution. If Rosa
did not love school, she must be taught something useful, and she was
accordingly placed in a sewing establishment to become a seamstress.

The child hated sewing, ran the needle into her fingers at every
stitch, cried for the fresh air and sunshine, and finally, becoming
pale and sickly, was taken back to the Bonheur home. The anxious
painter would try his child once more in school; so he arranged that
she should attend, with compensation met in the same way as for his
boys. Rosa soon became a favorite with the girls in the Fauborg
St. Antoine School, especially because she could draw such witty
caricatures of the teachers, which she pasted against the wall, with
bread chewed into the consistency of putty. The teachers were not
pleased, but so struck were they with the vigor and originality of the
drawings, that they carefully preserved the sketches in an album.

The girl was far from happy. Naturally sensitive--as what poet or
painter was ever born otherwise?--she could not bear to wear a calico
dress and coarse shoes, and eat with an iron spoon from a tin cup,
when the other girls wore handsome dresses, and had silver mugs and
spoons. She grew melancholy, neglected her books, and finally became
so ill that she was obliged to be taken home.

And now Raymond Bonheur very wisely decided not to make plans for his
child for a time, but see what was her natural tendency. It was well
that he made this decision in time, before she had been spoiled by his
well-meant but poor intentions.

Left to herself, she constantly hung about her father's studio, now
drawing, now modeling, copying whatever she saw him do. She seemed
never to be tired, but sang at her work all the day long.

Monsieur Bonheur suddenly awoke to the fact that his daughter had
great talent. He began to teach her carefully, to make her accurate in
drawing, and correct in perspective. Then he sent her to the Louvre to
copy the works of the old masters. Here she worked with the greatest
industry and enthusiasm, not observing anything that was going on
around her. Said the director of the Louvre, "I have never seen an
example of such application and such ardor for work."

One day an elderly English gentleman stopped beside her easel, and
said: "Your copy, my child, is superb, faultless. Persevere as you
have begun, and I prophesy that you will be a great artist." How glad
those few words made her! She went home thinking over to herself the
determination she had made in the school when she ate with her iron
spoon, that sometime she would be as famous as her schoolmates, and
have some of the comforts of life.

Her copies of the old masters were soon sold, and though they brought
small prices, she gladly gave the money to her father, who needed it
now more than ever. His second wife had two sons when he married her,
and now they had a third, Germain, and every cent that Rosa could
earn was needed to help support seven children. "La mamiche," as
they called the new mother, was an excellent manager of the meagre
finances, and filled her place well.

Rosa was now seventeen, loving landscape, historical, and genre
painting, perhaps equally; but happening to paint a goat, she was so
pleased in the work, that she determined to make animal painting a
specialty. Having no money to procure models, she must needs make long
walks into the country on foot to the farms. She would take a piece of
bread in her pocket, and generally forget to eat it. After working
all day, she would come home tired, often drenched with rain, and her
shoes covered with mud.

She took other means to study animals. In the outskirts of Paris were
great _abattoirs_, or slaughter-pens. Though the girl tenderly loved
animals, and shrank from the sight of suffering, she forced herself to
see the killing, that she might know how to depict the death agony
on canvas. Though obliged to mingle more or less with drovers and
butchers, no indignity was ever offered her. As she sat on a bundle of
hay, with her colors about her, they would crowd around to look at
the pictures, and regard her with honest pride. The world soon
learns whether a girl is in earnest about her work, and treats her

The Bonheur family had moved to the sixth story of a tenement house
in the Rue Rumfort, now the Rue Malesherbes. The sons, Auguste and
Isadore, had both become artists; the former a painter, the latter a
sculptor. Even little Juliette was learning to paint. Rosa was working
hard all day at her easel, and at night was illustrating books, or
molding little groups of animals for the figure-dealers. All the
family were happy despite their poverty, because they had congenial

On the roof, Rosa improvised a sort of garden, with honeysuckles,
sweet-peas, and nasturtiums, and here they kept a sheep, with long,
silky wool, for a model. Very often Isadore would take him on his back
and carry him down the six flights of stairs,--the day of elevators
had not dawned,--and after he had enjoyed grazing, would bring him
back to his garden home. It was a docile creature, and much loved by
the whole family. For Rosa's birds, the brothers constructed a net,
which they hung outside the window, and then opened the cage into it.

At nineteen Rosa was to test the world, and see what the critics would
say. She sent to the Fine Arts Exhibition two pictures, "Goats and
Sheep" and "Two Rabbits." The public was pleased, and the press gave
kind notices. The next year "Animals in a Pasture," a "Cow lying in a
Meadow," and a "Horse for sale," attracted still more attention. Two
years later she exhibited twelve pictures, some from her father and
brother being hung on either side of hers, the first time they had
been admitted. More and more the critics praised, and the pathway of
the Bonheur family grew less thorny.

Then, in 1849, when she was twenty-seven, came the triumph. Her
magnificent picture, "Cantal Oxen," took the gold medal, and was
purchased by England. Horace Vernet, the president of the commission
of awards, in the midst of a brilliant assembly, proclaimed the new
laureate, and gave her, in behalf of the government, a superb Sèvres

Raymond Bonheur seemed to become young again at this fame of his
child. It brought honors to him also, for he was at once made director
of the government school of design for girls. But the release from
poverty and anxiety came too late, and he died the same year, greatly
lamented by his family. "He had grand ideas," said his daughter, "and
had he not been obliged to give lessons for our support, he would have
been more known, and to-day acknowledged with other masters."

Rosa was made director in his place, and Juliette became a professor
in the school. This same year appeared her "Plowing Scene in the
Nivernais," now in the Luxembourg Gallery, thought to be her most
important work after her "Horse Fair." Orders now poured in upon her,
so that she could not accede to half the requests for work. A rich
Hollander offered her one thousand crowns for a painting which she
could have wrought in two hours; but she refused.

Four years later, after eighteen long months of preparatory studies,
her "Horse Fair" was painted. This created the greatest enthusiasm
both in England and America. It was sold to a gentleman in England for
eight thousand dollars, and was finally purchased by A. T. Stewart, of
New York, for his famous collection. No one who has seen this picture
will ever forget the action and vigor of these Normandy horses. In
painting it, a petted horse, it is said, stepped back upon the canvas,
putting his hoof through it, thus spoiling the work of months.

So greatly was this picture admired, that Napoleon III. was urged to
bestow upon her the Cross of the Legion of Honor, entitled her from
French usage. Though she was invited to the state dinner at the
Tuileries, always given to artists to whom the Academy of Fine Arts
has awarded its highest honors, Napoleon had not the courage to give
it to her, lest public opinion might not agree with him in conferring
it upon a woman. Possibly he felt, more than the world knew, the
insecurity of his throne.

Henry Bacon, in the _Century_, thus describes the way in which Rosa
Bonheur finally received the badge of distinction. "The Emperor,
leaving Paris for a short summer excursion in 1865, left the Empress
as Regent. From the imperial residence at Fontainebleau it was only a
short drive to By (the home of Mademoiselle Bonheur). The countersign
at the gate was forced, and unannounced, the Empress entered the
studio where Mademoiselle Rosa was at work. She rose to receive the
visitor, who threw her arms about her neck and kissed her. It was only
a short interview. The imperial vision had departed, the rumble of
the carriage and the crack of the outriders' whips were lost in the
distance. Then, and not till then, did the artist discover that as the
Empress had given the kiss, she had pinned upon her blouse the Cross
of the Legion of Honor." Since then she has received the Leopold Cross
of Honor from the King of Belgium, said to be the first ever conferred
upon a woman; also a decoration from the King of Spain. Her brother
Auguste, now dead, received the Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1867,
two years after Rosa.

In preparing to paint the "Horse Fair" and other similar pictures,
which have brought her much into the company of men, she has found it
wise to dress in male costume. A laughable incident is related of this
mode of dress. One day when she returned from the country, she found a
messenger awaiting to announce to her the sudden illness of one of
her young friends. Rosa did not wait to change her male attire, but
hastened to the bedside of the young lady. In a few minutes after
her arrival, the doctor, who had been sent for, entered, and seeing a
young man, as he supposed, seated on the side of the bed, with his
arm round the neck of the sick girl, thought he was an intruder, and
retreated with all possible speed. "Oh! run after him! He thinks you
are my lover, and has gone and left me to die!" cried the sick girl.
Rosa flew down stairs, and soon returned with the modest doctor.

She also needs this mannish costume, for her long journeys over
the Pyrenees into Spain or in the Scottish Highlands. She is always
accompanied by her most intimate friend, Mademoiselle Micas, herself
an artist of repute, whose mother, a widow, superintends the home for
the two devoted friends.

Sometimes in the Pyrenees these two ladies see no one for six weeks
but muleteers with their mules. The people in these lonely mountain
passes live entirely upon the curdled milk of sheep. Once Rosa Bonheur
and her friend were nearly starving, when Mademoiselle Micas obtained
a quantity of frogs, and covering the hind legs with leaves, roasted
them over a fire. On these they lived for two days.

In Scotland she painted her exquisite "Denizens of the Mountains,"
"Morning in the Highlands," and "Crossing a Loch in the Highlands." In
England she was treated like a princess. Sir Edwin Landseer, whom some
persons thought she would marry, is reported to have said, when he
first looked upon her "Horse Fair," "It surpasses me, though it's
a little hard to be beaten by a woman." On her return to France she
brought a skye-terrier, named "Wasp," of which she is very fond, and
for which she has learned several English phrases. When she speaks to
him in English, he wags his tail most appreciatively.

Rosa Bonheur stands at the head of her profession, an acknowledged
master. Her pictures bring enormous sums, and have brought her wealth.
A "View in the Pyrenees" has been sold for ten thousand dollars, and
some others for twice that sum.

She gives away much of her income. She has been known to send to the
_Mont de Pieté_ her gold medals to raise funds to assist poor artists.
A woman artist, who had been refused help by several wealthy painters,
applied to Rosa Bonheur, who at once took down from the wall a small
but valuable painting, and gave it to her, from which she received a
goodly sum. A young sculptor who greatly admired her work, enclosed
twenty dollars, asking her for a small drawing, and saying that this
was all the money he possessed. She immediately sent him a sketch
worth at least two hundred dollars. She has always provided most
generously for her family, and for servants who have grown old in her

She dresses very simply, always wearing black, brown, or gray, with
a close fitting jacket over a plain skirt. When she accepts a social
invitation, which is very rare, she adorns her dress with a lace
collar, but without other ornament. Her working dress is usually a
long gray linen or blue flannel blouse, reaching nearly from head to
foot. She has learned that the conventional tight dress of women
is not conducive to great mental or physical power. She is small
in stature, with dainty hands and feet, blue eyes, and a noble and
intelligent face.

She is an indefatigable worker, rising usually at six in the morning,
and painting throughout the day.

So busy is she that she seldom permits herself any amusements. On one
occasion she had tickets sent her for the theatre. She worked till the
carriage was announced. "_Je suis prête_," said Rosa, and went to the
play in her working dress. A daintily gloved man in the box next to
hers looked over in disdain, and finally went into the vestibule and
found the manager.

"Who is this woman in the box next to mine?" he said, in a rage.
"She's in an old calico dress, covered with paint and oil. The odor is
terrible. Turn her out. If you do not, I will never enter your theatre

The manager went to the box, and returning, informed him that it was
the great painter.

"Rosa Bonheur!" he gasped. "Who'd have thought it? Make my apology to
her. I dare not enter her presence again."

She usually walks at the twilight, often thinking out new subjects for
her brush, at that quiet hour. She said to a friend: "I have been a
faithful student since I was ten years old. I have copied no master. I
have studied Nature, and expressed to the best of my ability the ideas
and feelings with which she has inspired me. Art is an absorbent--a
tyrant. It demands heart, brain, soul, body, the entireness of the
votary. Nothing less will win its highest favor. I wed art. It is my
husband, my world, my life-dream, the air I breathe. I know nothing
else, feel nothing else, think nothing else, My soul finds in it
the most complete satisfaction.... I have no taste for general
society,--no interest in its frivolities. I only seek to be known
through my works. If the world feel and understand them, I have
succeeded.... If I had got up a convention to debate the question of
my ability to paint '_Marché au Chevaux_' [The Horse Fair], for which
England paid me forty thousand francs, the decision would have been
against me. I felt the power within me to paint; I cultivated it, and
have produced works that have won the favorable verdicts of the great
judges. I have no patience with women who ask _permission to think_!"

For years she lived in Rue d'Assas, a retired street half made up of
gardens. Here she had one of the most beautiful studios of Paris, the
room lighted from the ceiling, the walls covered with paintings, with
here and there old armor, tapestry, hats, cloaks, sandals, and skins
of tigers, leopards, foxes, and oxen on the floor. One Friday, the day
on which she received guests, one of her friends, coming earlier
than usual, found her fast asleep on her favorite skin, that of a
magnificent ox, with stuffed head and spreading horns. She had come in
tired from the School of Design, and had thrown herself down to rest.
Usually after greeting her friends she would say, "Allow me to resume
my brush; we can talk just as well together." For those who have any
great work to do in this worlds there is little time for visiting;
interruptions cannot be permitted. No wonder Carlyle groaned when some
person had taken two hours of his time. He could better have spared
money to the visitor.

For several years Rosa Bonheur has lived near Fontainebleau, in the
Chateau By. Henry Bacon says: "The chateau dates from the time of
Louis XV., and the garden is still laid out in the style of Le Notre.
Since it has been in the present proprietor's possession, a quaint,
picturesque brick building, containing the carriage house and
coachman's lodge on the first floor, and the studio on the second,
has been added; the roof of the main building has been raised, and the
chapel changed into an orangery: beside the main carriage-entrance,
which is closed by iron gates and wooden blinds, is a postern gate,
with a small grated opening, like those found in convents. The blinds
to the gate and the slide to the grating are generally closed, and
the only communication with the outside world is by the bell-wire,
terminating in a ring beside the gate. Ring, and the jingle of the
bell is at once echoed by the barking of numerous dogs,--the hounds
and bassets in chorus, the grand Saint Bernard in slow measure, like
the bass-drum in an orchestra. After the first excitement among the
dogs has begun to abate, a remarkably small house-pet that has been
somewhere in the interior arrives upon the scene, and with his sharp,
shrill voice again starts and leads the canine chorus. By this time
the eagle in his cage has awakened, and the parrot, whose cage is
built into the corner of the studio looking upon the street, adds to
the racket.

"Behind the house is a large park divided from the forest by a high
wall; a lawn and flower-beds are laid out near the buildings; and on
the lawn, in pleasant weather, graze a magnificent bull and cow,
which are kept as models. In a wire enclosure are two chamois from the
Pyrenees, and further removed from the house, in the wooded part of
the park, are enclosures for sheep and deer, each of which knows its
mistress. Even the stag, bearing its six-branched antlers, receives
her caresses like a pet dog. At the end of one of the linden avenues
is a splendid bronze, by Isadore Bonheur, of a Gaul attacking a lion.

"The studio is very large, with a huge chimney at one end, the
supports of which are life-size dogs, modeled by Isadore Bonheur.
Portraits of the father and mother in oval frames hang at each
side, and a pair of gigantic horns ornaments the centre. The room
is decorated with stuffed heads of animals of various kinds,--boars,
bears, wolves, and oxen; and birds perch in every convenient place."

When Prussia conquered France, and swept through this town, orders
were given that Rosa Bonheur's home and paintings be carefully
preserved. Even her servants went unmolested. The peasants idolized
the great woman who lived in the chateau, and were eager to serve her.
She always talked to them pleasantly. Rosa Bonheur died at her home at
11 P.M., Thursday, May 25, 1899.


[Illustration: Elizabeth Barrett Browning Rome. February. 1859]

Ever since I had received in my girlhood, from my best friend, the
works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in five volumes in blue and gold,
I had read and re-read the pages, till I knew scores by heart. I
had longed to see the face and home of her whom the English call
"Shakespeare's daughter," and whom Edmund Clarence Stedman names "the
passion-flower of the century."

I shall never forget that beautiful July morning spent in the Browning
home in London. The poet-wife had gone out from it, and lay buried in
Florence, but here were her books and her pictures. Here was a marble
bust, the hair clustering about the face, and a smile on the lips that
showed happiness. Near by was another bust of the idolized only child,
of whom she wrote in _Casa Guidi Windows_:--

  "The sun strikes through the windows, up the floor:
    Stand out in it, my own young Florentine,
  Not two years old, and let me see thee more!
    It grows along thy amber curls to shine
  Brighter than elsewhere. Now look straight before
    And fix thy brave blue English eyes on mine,
  And from thy soul, which fronts the future so
    With unabashed and unabated gaze,
  Teach me to hope for what the Angels know
    When they smile clear as thou dost!"

Here was the breakfast-table at which they three had often sat
together. Close beside it hung a picture of the room in Florence,
where she lived so many years in a wedded bliss as perfect as any
known in history. Tears gathered in the eyes of Robert Browning, as he
pointed out her chair, and sofa, and writing-table.

Of this room in Casa Guidi, Kate Field wrote in the _Atlantic
Monthly_, September, 1861: "They who have been so favored can never
forget the square ante-room, with its great picture and piano-forte,
at which the boy Browning passed many an hour; the little dining room
covered with tapestry, and where hung medallions of Tennyson, Carlyle,
and Robert Browning; the long room filled with plaster casts and
studies, which was Mr. Browning's retreat; and, dearest of all, the
large drawing-room, where _she_ always sat. It opens upon a balcony
filled with plants, and looks out upon the old iron-gray church of
Santa Felice. There was something about this room that seemed to make
it a proper and especial haunt for poets. The dark shadows and
subdued light gave it a dreamy look, which was enhanced by the
tapestry-covered walls, and the old pictures of saints that looked
out sadly from their carved frames of black wood. Large bookcases,
constructed of specimens of Florentine carving selected by Mr.
Browning, were brimming over with wise-looking books. Tables were
covered with more gayly bound volumes, the gifts of brother authors.
Dante's grave profile, a cast of Keats' face and brow taken after
death, a pen-and-ink sketch of Tennyson, the genial face of John
Kenyon, Mrs. Browning's good friend and relative, little paintings of
the boy Browning, all attracted the eye in turn, and gave rise to a
thousand musings. But the glory of all, and that which sanctified all,
was seated in a low armchair near the door. A small table, strewn with
writing materials, books and newspapers, was always by her side."

Then Mr. Browning, in the London home, showed us the room where he
writes, containing his library and hers. The books are on simple
shelves, choice, and many very old and rare. Here are her books, many
in Greek and Hebrew. In the Greek, I saw her notes on the margin in
Hebrew, and in the Hebrew she had written her marginal notes in Greek.
Here also are the five volumes of her writings, in blue and gold.

The small table at which she wrote still stands beside the larger
where her husband composes. His table is covered with letters and
papers and books; hers stands there unused, because it is a constant
reminder of those companionable years, when they worked together.
Close by hangs a picture of the "young Florentine," Robert Barrett
Browning, now grown to manhood, an artist already famed. He has a
refined face, as he sits in artist garb, before his easel, sketching
in a peasant's house. The beloved poet who wrote at the little table,
is endeared to all the world. Born in 1809, in the county of Durham,
the daughter of wealthy parents, she passed her early years partly in
the country in Herefordshire, and partly in the city. That she loved
the country with its wild flowers and woods, her poem, _The Lost
Bower_, plainly shows.

  "Green the land is where my daily
     Steps in jocund childhood played,
   Dimpled close with hill and valley,
     Dappled very close with shade;
   Summer-snow of apple-blossoms running up from glade to glade.

     *       *       *       *       *

  "But the wood, all close and clenching
     Bough in bough and root in root,--
   No more sky (for overbranching)
     At your head than at your foot,--
   Oh, the wood drew me within it, by a glamour past dispute.

  "But my childish heart beat stronger
     Than those thickets dared to grow:
   _I_ could pierce them! I could longer
     Travel on, methought, than so.
   Sheep for sheep-paths! braver children climb and creep where they
           would go.

     *       *       *       *       *

  "Tall the linden-tree, and near it
     An old hawthorne also grew;
   And wood-ivy like a spirit
     Hovered dimly round the two,
   Shaping thence that bower of beauty which I sing of thus to you.

  "And the ivy veined and glossy
     Was enwrought with eglantine;
   And the wild hop fibred closely,
     And the large-leaved columbine,
   Arch of door and window mullion, did right sylvanly entwine.

     *       *       *       *       *

  "I have lost--oh, many a pleasure,
     Many a hope, and many a power--
   Studious health, and merry leisure,
     The first dew on the first flower!
   But the first of all my losses was the losing of the bower.

     *       *      *       *       *

  "Is the bower lost then? Who sayeth
     That the bower indeed is lost?
   Hark! my spirit in it prayeth
     Through the sunshine and the frost,--
   And the prayer preserves it greenly, to the last
           and uttermost.

  "Till another open for me
     In God's Eden-land unknown,
   With an angel at the doorway,
     White with gazing at His throne,
   And a saint's voice in the palm-trees, singing, 'All is lost ...
           and  _won_!'"

Elizabeth Barrett wrote poems at ten, and when seventeen, published
an _Essay on Mind, and Other Poems_. The essay was after the manner
of Pope, and though showing good knowledge of Plato and Bacon, did not
find favor with the critics. It was dedicated to her father, who was
proud of a daughter who preferred Latin and Greek to the novels of the

Her teacher was the blind Hugh Stuart Boyd, whom she praises in her
_Wine of Cyprus_.

  "Then, what golden hours were for us!--
     While we sate together there;

      *       *       *       *       *

  "Oh, our Aeschylus, the thunderous!
     How he drove the bolted breath
   Through the cloud to wedge it ponderous
     In the gnarlèd oak beneath.
   Oh, our Sophocles, the royal,
     Who was born to monarch's place,
   And who made the whole world loyal,
     Less by kingly power than grace.

  "Our Euripides, the human,
     With his droppings of warm tears,
   And his touches of things common
     Till they rose to touch the spheres!
   Our Theocritus, our Bion,
     And our Pindar's shining goals!--
   These were cup-bearers undying,
     Of the wine that's meant for souls."

More fond of books than of social life, she was laying the necessary
foundation for a noble fame. The lives of Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
George Eliot, and Margaret Fuller, emphasize the necessity of almost
unlimited knowledge, if woman would reach lasting fame. A great man
or woman of letters, without great scholarship, is well-nigh an
impossible thing.

Nine years after her first book, _Prometheus Bound and Miscellaneous
Poems_ was published in 1835. She was now twenty-six. A translation
from the Greek of Aeschylus by a woman caused much comment, but like
the first book it received severe criticism. Several years afterward,
when she brought her collected poems before the world, she wrote: "One
early failure, a translation of the _Prometheus of Aeschylus_, which,
though happily free of the current of publication, may be remembered
against me by a few of my personal friends, I have replaced here by an
entirely new version, made for them and my conscience, in expiation of
a sin of my youth, with the sincerest application of my mature mind."
"This latter version," says Mr. Stedman, "of a most sublime tragedy
is more poetical than any other of equal correctness, and has the
fire and vigor of a master-hand. No one has succeeded better than its
author in capturing with rhymed measures the wilful rushing melody of
the tragic chorus."

In 1835 Miss Barrett made the acquaintance of Mary Russell Mitford,
and a life-long friendship resulted. Miss Mitford says: "She was
certainly one of the most interesting persons I had ever seen.
Everybody who then saw her said the same. Of a slight, delicate
figure, with a shower of dark curls falling on either side of a most
expressive face, large tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes,
a smile like a sunbeam, and such a look of youthfulness, that I had
some difficulty in persuading a friend, in whose carriage we went
together to Cheswick, that the translatress of the _Prometheus of
Aeschylus_, the authoress of the _Essay on Mind_, was old enough to
be introduced into company, in technical language, was out. We met so
constantly and so familiarly that, in spite of the difference of
age, intimacy ripened into friendship, and after my return into the
country, we corresponded freely and frequently, her letters being just
what letters ought to be,--her own talk put upon paper."

The next year Miss Barrett, never robust, broke a blood-vessel in the
lungs. For a year she was ill, and then with her eldest and favorite
brother, was carried to Torquay to try the effect of a warmer climate.
After a year spent here, she greatly improved, and seemed likely to
recover her usual health.

One beautiful summer morning she went on the balcony to watch her
brother and two other young men who had gone out for a sail. Having
had much experience, and understanding the coast, they allowed the
boatman to return to land. Only a few minutes out, and in plain sight,
as they were crossing the bar, the boat went down, and the three
friends perished. Their bodies even were never recovered.

The whole town was in mourning. Posters were put upon every cliff and
public place, offering large rewards "for linen cast ashore marked
with the initials of the beloved dead; for it so chanced that all the
three were of the dearest and the best: one, an only son; the other,
the son of a widow"; but the sea was forever silent.

The sister, who had seen her brother sink before her eyes, was utterly
prostrated. She blamed herself for his death, because he came to
Torquay for her comfort. All winter long she heard the sound of
waves ringing in her ears like the moans of the dying. From this time
forward she never mentioned her brother's name, and later, exacted
from Mr. Browning a promise that the subject should never be broached
between them.

The following year she was removed to London in an invalid carriage,
journeying twenty miles a day. And then for seven years, in a large
darkened room, lying much of the time upon her couch, and seeing only
a few most intimate friends, the frail woman lived and wrote. Books
more than ever became her solace and joy. Miss Mitford says, "She read
almost every book worth reading, in almost every language, and gave
herself heart and soul to that poetry of which she seem born to be the
priestess." When Dr. Barry urged that she read light books, she had a
small edition of Plato bound so as to resemble a novel, and the good
man was satisfied. She understood her own needs better than he.

When she was twenty-nine, she published _The Seraphim and Other
Poems_. The _Seraphim_ was a reverential description of two angels
watching the Crucifixion. Though the critics saw much that was
strikingly original, they condemned the frequent obscurity of meaning
and irregularity of rhyme. The next year, _The Romaunt of the Page_
and other ballads appeared, and in 1844, when she was thirty-five, a
complete edition of her poems, opening with the _Drama of Exile_.
This was the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, the first scene
representing "the outer side of the gate of Eden shut fast with cloud,
from the depth of which revolves a sword of fire self-moved. Adam and
Eve are seen in the distance flying along the glare."

In one of her prefaces she said: "Poetry has been to me as serious a
thing as life itself,--and life has been a _very_ serious thing; there
has been no playing at skittles for me in either. I never mistook
pleasure for the final cause of poetry, nor leisure for the hour of
the poet. I have done my work, so far, as work,--not as mere hand
and head work, apart from the personal being, but as the completest
expression of that being to which I could attain,--and as work I offer
it to the public, feeling its shortcomings more deeply than any of
my readers, because measured from the height of my aspiration; but
feeling also that the reverence and sincerity with which the work was
done should give it some protection from the reverent and sincere."

While the _Drama of Exile_ received some adverse criticism, the shorter
poems became the delight of thousands. Who has not held his breath in
reading the _Rhyme of the Duchess May_?--

  "And her head was on his breast, where she smiled as one at rest,--
                        _Toll slowly_.
  'Ring,' she cried, 'O vesper-bell, in the beech-wood's old chapelle!'
      But the passing-bell rings best!

  "They have caught out at the rein, which Sir Guy threw loose--in vain,--
                         _Toll slowly_.
  For the horse in stark despair, with his front hoofs poised in air,
  On the last verge rears amain.

  "Now he hangs, he rocks between, and his nostrils curdle in!--
                         _Toll slowly_.
  Now he shivers head and hoof, and the flakes of foam fall off,
      And his face grows fierce and thin!

  "And a look of human woe from his staring eyes did go,
                         _Toll slowly_.
  And a sharp cry uttered he, in a foretold agony of the headlong death below."

Who can ever forget that immortal _Cry of the Children_, which awoke
all England to the horrors of child-labor? That, and Hood's _Song of
the Shirt_, will never die.

Who has not read and loved one of the most tender poems in any
language, _Bertha in the Lane_?--

  "Yes, and He too! let him stand
       In thy thoughts, untouched by blame.
   Could he help it, if my hand
       He had claimed with hasty claim?
       That was wrong perhaps--but then
       Such things be--and will, again.
       Women cannot judge for men.

     *       *       *       *       *

  "And, dear Bertha, let me keep
       On this hand this little ring,
   Which at night, when others sleep,
       I can still see glittering.
       Let me wear it out of sight,
       In the grave,--where it will light
       All the Dark up, day and night."

No woman has ever understood better the fulness of love, or described
it more purely and exquisitely.

One person among the many who had read Miss Barrett's poems, felt
their genius, because he had genius in his own soul, and that person
was Robert Browning. That she admired his poetic work was shown in
_Lady Geraldine's Courtship_, when Bertram reads to his lady-love:--

  "Or at times a modern volume,--Wordsworth's solemn-thoughted idyl,
  Howitt's ballad verse, or Tennyson's enchanted reverie,
  Or from Browning some _Pomegranate_, which, if cut deep down the middle,
  Shows a heart within blood-tinctured, of a veined humanity."

Mr. Browning determined to meet the unknown singer. Years later he
told the story to Elizabeth C. Kinney, when she had gone with the
happy husband and wife on a day's excursion from Florence. She says:
"Finding that the invalid did not receive strangers, he wrote her a
letter, intense with his desire to see her. She reluctantly consented
to an interview. He flew to her apartment, was admitted by the nurse,
in whose presence only could he see the deity at whose shrine he had
long worshipped. But the golden opportunity was not to be lost; love
became oblivious to any save the presence of the real of its ideal.
Then and there Robert Browning poured his impassioned soul into hers;
though his tale of love seemed only an enthusiast's dream. Infirmity
had hitherto so hedged her about, that she deemed herself forever
protected from all assaults of love. Indeed, she felt only injured
that a fellow-poet should take advantage, as it were, of her
indulgence in granting him an interview, and requested him to withdraw
from her presence, not attempting any response to his proposal, which
she could not believe in earnest. Of course, he withdrew from her
sight, but not to withdraw the offer of his heart and hand; on the
contrary, to repeat it by letter, and in such wise as to convince her
how 'dead in earnest' he was. Her own heart, touched already when she
knew it not, was this time fain to listen, be convinced, and overcome.

"As a filial daughter, Elizabeth told her father of the poet's love,
and of the poet's love in return, and asked a parent's blessing to
crown their happiness. At first he was incredulous of the strange
story; but when the truth flashed on him from the new fire in
her eyes, he kindled with rage, and forbade her ever seeing or
communicating with her lover again, on the penalty of disinheritance
and banishment forever from a father's love. This decision was founded
on no dislike for Mr. Browning personally, or anything in him or his
family; it was simply arbitrary. But the new love was stronger
than the old in her,--it conquered." Mr. Barrett never forgave his
daughter, and died unreconciled, which to her was a great grief.

In 1846, Elizabeth Barrett arose from her sick-bed to marry the man
of her choice, who took her at once to Italy, where she spent fifteen
happy years. At once, love seemed to infuse new life into the delicate
body and renew the saddened heart. She was thirty-seven. She had
wisely waited till she found a person of congenial tastes and kindred
pursuits. Had she married earlier, it is possible that the cares of
life might have deprived the world of some of her noblest works.

The marriage was an ideal one. Both had a grand purpose in life.
Neither individual was merged in the other. George S. Hillard, in his
_Six Months in Italy_, when he visited the Brownings the year after
their marriage, says, "A happier home and a more perfect union than
theirs it is not easy to imagine; and this completeness arises not
only from the rare qualities which each possesses, but from their
perfect adaptation to each other.... Nor is she more remarkable
for genius and learning, than for sweetness of temper and purity of
spirit. It is a privilege to know such beings singly and separately,
but to see their powers quickened, and their happiness rounded, by the
sacred tie of marriage, is a cause for peculiar and lasting gratitude.
A union so complete as theirs--in which the mind has nothing to
crave nor the heart to sigh for--is cordial to behold and soothing to

"Mr. Browning," says one who knew him well, "did not fear to speak
of his wife's genius, which he did almost with awe, losing himself so
entirely in her glory that one could see that he did not feel worthy
to unloose her shoe-latchet, much less to call her his own."

When mothers teach their daughters to cultivate their minds as did
Mrs. Browning, as well as to emulate her sweetness of temper, then
will men venerate women for both mental and moral power. A love that
has reverence for its foundation knows no change.

"Mrs. Browning's conversation was most interesting. She never made an
insignificant remark. All that she said was _always_ worth hearing; a
greater compliment could not be paid her. She was a most conscientious
listener, giving you her mind and heart, as well as her magnetic eyes.
_Persons_ were never her theme, unless public characters were under
discussion, or friends were to be praised. One never dreamed of
frivolities in Mrs. Browning's presence, and gossip felt itself out
of place. Yourself, not herself, was always a pleasant subject to her,
calling out all her best sympathies in joy, and yet more in sorrow.
Books and humanity, great deeds, and above all, politics, which
include all the grand questions of the day, were foremost in her
thoughts, and therefore oftenest on her lips. I speak not of religion,
for with her everything was religion.

"Thoughtful in the smallest things for others, she seemed to give
little thought to herself. The first to see merit, she was the last
to censure faults, and gave the praise that she felt with a generous
hand. No one so heartily rejoiced at the success of others, no one
was so modest in her own triumphs. She loved all who offered her
affection, and would solace and advise with any. Mrs. Browning
belonged to no particular country; the world was inscribed upon the
banner under which she fought. Wrong was her enemy; against this she
wrestled, in whatever part of the globe it was to be found."

Three years after her marriage her only son was born. The Italians
ever after called her "the mother of the beautiful child." And now
some of her ablest and strongest work was done. Her _Casa Guidi
Windows_ appeared in 1851. It is the story of the struggle for Italian
liberty. In the same volume were published the _Portuguese Sonnets_,
really her own love-life. It would be difficult to find any thing more
beautiful than these.

  "First time he kissed me he but only kissed
   The fingers of this hand wherewith I write,
   And ever since, it grew more clean and white,
   Slow to world-greetings, quick with its 'Oh, list,'
   When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst
   I could not wear here, plainer to my sight,
   Than that first kiss. The second passed in height
   The first, and sought the forehead, and half-missed
   Half falling on the hair. O beyond meed!
   That was the chrism of love, which love's own crown
   With sanctifying sweetness, did precede.
   The third upon my lips was folded down
   In perfect, purple state; since when, indeed,
   I have been proud and said, 'My love, my own!'

    *       *       *       *       *

   How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,
   I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
   My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
   For the ends of being and ideal Grace.
   I love thee to the level of every day's
   Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
   I love thee freely, as men strive for Right,
   I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
   I love thee with the passion put to use
   In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
   I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
   With my lost saints--I love thee with the breath,
   Smiles, tears of all my life!--and, if God choose,
   I shall but love thee better after death."

Mrs. Browning's next great poem, in 1856, was _Aurora Leigh_, a novel
in blank verse, "the most mature," she says in the preface, "of my
works, and the one into which my highest convictions upon Life and Art
have entered." Walter Savage Landor said of it: "In many pages there
is the wild imagination of Shakespeare. I had no idea that any one in
this age was capable of such poetry."

For fifteen years this happy wedded life, with its work of brain and
hand, had been lived, and now the bond was to be severed. In June,
1861, Mrs. Browning took a severe cold, and was ill for nearly a week.
No one thought of danger, though Mr. Browning would not leave her
bedside. On the night of June 29, toward morning she seemed to be in
a sort of ecstasy. She told her husband of her love for him, gave
him her blessing, and raised herself to die in his arms. "It is
beautiful," were her last words as she caught a glimpse of some
heavenly vision. On the evening of July 1, she was buried in the
English cemetery, in the midst of sobbing friends, for who could carry
out that request?--

  "And friends, dear friends, when it shall be
   That this low breath is gone from me,
     And round my bier ye come to weep,
   Let one most loving of you all
   Say, 'Not a tear must o'er her fall,--
     He giveth his beloved sleep!'"

The Italians, who loved her, placed on the doorway of Casa Guidi a
white marble tablet, with the words:--

"_Here wrote and died E.B. Browning, who, in the heart of a woman,
united the science of a sage and the spirit of a poet, and made with
her verse a golden ring binding Italy and England.

"Grateful Florence placed this memorial, 1861_."

For twenty-five years Robert Browning and his artist-son have done
their work, blessed with the memory of her whom Mr. Stedman calls
"the most inspired woman, so far as known, of all who have composed in
ancient or modern tongues, or flourished in any land or time."


[Illustration: GEORGE ELIOT--1864.]

Going to the Exposition at New Orleans, I took for reading on the
journey, the life of George Eliot, by her husband, Mr. J.W. Cross,
written with great delicacy and beauty. An accident delayed us, so
that for three days I enjoyed this insight into a wonderful life. I
copied the amazing list of books she had read, and transferred to my
note-book many of her beautiful thoughts. To-day I have been reading
the book again; a clear, vivid picture of a very great woman, whose
works, says the _Spectator_, "are the best specimens of powerful,
simple English, since Shakespeare."

What made her a superior woman? Not wealthy parentage; not congenial
surroundings. She had a generous, sympathetic heart for a foundation,
and on this she built a scholarship that even few men can equal. She
loved science, and philosophy, and language, and mathematics, and grew
broad enough to discuss great questions and think great thoughts. And
yet she was affectionate, tender, and gentle.

Mary Ann Evans was born Nov. 22, 1819, at Arbury Farm, a mile from
Griff, in Warwickshire, England. When four months old the family
moved to Griff, where the girl lived till she was twenty-one, in a
two-story, old-fashioned, red brick house, the walls covered with
ivy. Two Norway firs and an old yew-tree shaded the lawn. The father,
Robert Evans, a man of intelligence and good sense, was bred a builder
and carpenter, afterward becoming a land-agent for one of the large
estates. The mother was a woman of sterling character, practical and

For the three children, Christiana, Isaac, and Mary Ann, there was
little variety in the commonplace life at Griff. Twice a day the coach
from Birmingham to Stamford passed by the house, and the coachman
and guard in scarlet were a great diversion. She thus describes, the
locality in _Felix Holt_: "Here were powerful men walking queerly,
with knees bent outward from squatting in the mine, going home to
throw themselves down in their blackened flannel, and sleep through
the daylight, then rise and spend much of their high wages at the
alehouse with their fellows of the Benefit Club; here the pale, eager
faces of handloom weavers, men and women, haggard from sitting up late
at night to finish the week's work, hardly begun till the Wednesday.
Everywhere the cottages and the small children were dirty, for the
languid mothers gave their strength to the loom."

Mary Ann was an affectionate, sensitive child, fond of out-door
sports, imitating everything she saw her brother do, and early in
life feeling in her heart that she was to be "somebody." When but four
years old, she would seat herself at the piano and play, though she
did not know one note from another, that the servant might see that
she was a distinguished person! Her life was a happy one, as is shown
in her _Brother and Sister Sonnet_:--

  "But were another childhood's world my share,
   I would be born a little sister there."

At five, the mother being in poor health, the child was sent to a
boarding-school with her sister, Chrissy, where she remained three or
four years. The older scholars petted her, calling her "little mamma."
At eight she went to a larger school, at Nuneaton, where one of the
teachers, Miss Lewis, became her life-long friend. The child had the
greatest fondness for reading, her first book, a _Linnet's Life_,
being tenderly cared for all her days. _Aesop's Fables_ were read and
re-read. At this time a neighbor had loaned one of the Waverley novels
to the older sister, who returned it before Mary Ann had finished
it. Distressed at this break in the story, she began to write out as
nearly as she could remember, the whole volume for herself. Her amazed
family re-borrowed the book, and the child was happy. The mother
sometimes protested against the use of so many candles for night
reading, and rightly feared that her eyes would be spoiled.

At the next school, at Coventry, Mary Ann so surpassed her comrades
that they stood in awe of her, but managed to overcome this when
a basket of dainties came in from the country home. In 1836 the
excellent mother died. Mary Ann wrote to a friend in after life, "I
began at sixteen to be acquainted with the unspeakable grief of a last
parting, in the death of my mother." In the following spring Chrissy
was married, and after a good cry with her brother over this breaking
up of the home circle, Mary Ann took upon herself the household
duties, and became the care-taker instead of the school-girl. Although
so young she took a leading part in the benevolent work of the

Her love for books increased. She engaged a well-known teacher to come
from Coventry and give her lessons in French, German, and Italian,
while another helped her in music, of which she was passionately fond.
Later, she studied Greek, Latin, Spanish, and Hebrew. Shut up in
the farm-house, hungering for knowledge, she applied herself with
a persistency and earnestness that by-and-by were to bear their
legitimate fruit. That she felt the privation of a collegiate course
is undoubted. She says in _Daniel Deronda_: "You may try, but you can
never imagine what it is to have a man's force of genius in you, and
yet to suffer the slavery of being a girl."

She did not neglect her household duties. One of her hands, which
were noticeable for their beauty of shape, was broader than the other,
which, she used to say with some pride, was owing to the butter
and cheese she had made. At twenty she was reading the _Life of
Wilberforce_, Josephus' _History of the Jews_, Spenser's _Faery Queen,
Don Quixote_, Milton, Bacon, Mrs. Somerville's _Connection of the
Physical Sciences_, and Wordsworth. The latter was always an especial
favorite, and his life, by Frederick Myers in the _Men of Letters_
series, was one of the last books she ever read.

Already she was learning the illimitableness of knowledge. "For my
part," she says, "I am ready to sit down and weep at the impossibility
of my understanding or barely knowing a fraction of the sum of objects
that present themselves for our contemplation in books and in life."

About this time Mr. Evans left the farm, and moved to Foleshill, near
Coventry. The poor people at Griff were very sorry, and said, "We
shall never have another Mary Ann Evans." Marian, as she was now
called, found at Foleshill a few intellectual and companionable
friends, Mr. and Mrs. Bray, both authors, and Miss Hennell, their

Through the influence of these friends she gave up some of her
evangelical views, but she never ceased to be a devoted student
and lover of the Bible. She was happy in her communing with nature.
"Delicious autumn," she said. "My very soul is wedded to it, and if
I were a bird, I would fly about the earth, seeking the successive
autumns.... I have been revelling in Nichol's _Architecture, of
the Heavens and Phenomena of the Solar System_, and have been in
imagination winging my flight from system to system, from universe to

In 1844, when Miss Evans was twenty-five years old, she began the
translation of Strauss' _Life of Jesus_. The lady who was to marry
Miss Hennell's brother had partially done the work, and asked Miss
Evans to finish it. For nearly three years she gave it all the time at
her command, receiving only one hundred dollars for the labor.

It was a difficult and weary work. "When I can work fast," she said,
"I am never weary, nor do I regret either that the work has been begun
or that I have undertaken it. I am only inclined to vow that I will
never translate again, if I live to correct the sheets for Strauss."
When the book was finished, it was declared to be "A faithful,
elegant, and scholarlike translation ... word for word, thought for
thought, and sentence for sentence." Strauss himself was delighted
with it.

The days passed as usual in the quiet home. Now she and her father,
the latter in failing health, visited the Isle of Wight, and saw
beautiful Alum Bay, with its "high precipice, the strata upheaved
perpendicularly in rainbow,--like streaks of the brightest maize,
violet, pink, blue, red, brown, and brilliant white,--worn by the
weather into fantastic fretwork, the deep blue sky above, and the
glorious sea below." Who of us has not felt this same delight in
looking upon this picture, painted by nature?

Now Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as other famous people, visited the
Bray family. Miss Evans writes: "I have seen Emerson,--the first _man_
I have ever seen." High praise indeed from our "great, calm soul,"
as he called Miss Evans. "I am grateful for the Carlyle eulogium (on
Emerson). I have shed some quite delicious tears over it. This is
a world worth abiding in while one man can thus venerate and love

Each evening she played on the piano to her admiring father, and
finally, through months of illness, carried him down tenderly to the
grave. He died May 31, 1849.

Worn with care, Miss Evans went upon the Continent with the Brays,
visiting Paris, Milan, the Italian lakes, and finally resting for some
months at Geneva'. As her means were limited, she tried to sell her
_Encyclopaedia Britannica_ at half-price, so that she could have money
for music lessons, and to attend a course of lectures on experimental
physics, by the renowned Professor de la Rive. She was also carefully
reading socialistic themes, Proudhon, Rousseau, and others. She wrote
to friends: "The days are really only two hours long, and I have so
many things to do that I go to bed every night miserable because I
have left out something I meant to do.... I take a dose of mathematics
every day to prevent my brain from becoming quite soft."

On her return to England, she visited the Brays, and met Mr. Chapman,
the editor of the _Westminster Review_, and Mr. Mackay, upon whose
_Progress of the Intellect_ she had just written a review. Mr. Chapman
must have been deeply impressed with the learning and ability of Miss
Evans, for he offered her the position of assistant editor of the
magazine,--a most unusual position for a woman, since its contributors
were Froude, Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, and other able men.

Miss Evans accepted, and went to board with Mr. Chapman's family in
London. How different this from the quiet life at Foleshill! The best
society, that is, the greatest in mind, opened wide its doors to her.
Herbert Spencer, who had just published _Social Statics_, became one of
her best friends. Harriet Martineau came often to see her. Grote was
very friendly.

The woman-editor was now thirty-two; her massive head covered with
brown curls, blue-gray eyes, mobile, sympathetic mouth, strong
chin, pale face, and soft, low voice, like Dorothea's in
_Middlemarch_,--"the voice of a soul that has once lived in an Aeolian
harp." Mr. Bray thought that Miss Evans' head, after that of Napoleon,
showed the largest development from brow to ear of any person's

She had extraordinary power of expression, and extraordinary
psychological powers, but her chief attraction was her universal
sympathy. "She essentially resembled Socrates," says Mathilde Blind,
"in her manner of eliciting whatsoever capacity for thought might
be latent in the people she came in contact with; were it only a
shoemaker or day-laborer, she would never rest till she had found out
in what points that particular man differed from other men of his
class. She always rather educed what was in others than impressed
herself on them; showing much kindliness of heart in drawing out
people who were shy. Sympathy was the keynote of her nature, the
source of her iridescent humor, of her subtle knowledge of character,
of her dramatic genius." No person attains to permanent fame without

Miss Evans now found her heart and hands full of work. Her first
article was a review of Carlyle's _Life of John Sterling_. She was
fond of biography. She said: "We have often wished that genius would
incline itself more frequently to the task of the biographer,
that when some great or good person dies, instead of the dreary
three-or-five volume compilation of letter and diary and detail,
little to the purpose, which two-thirds of the public have not the
chance, nor the other third the inclination, to read, we could have
a real 'life,' setting forth briefly and vividly the man's inward and
outward struggles, aims, and achievements, so as to make clear the
meaning which his experience has for his fellows.

"A few such lives (chiefly autobiographies) the world possesses,
and they have, perhaps, been more influential on the formation of
character than any other kind of reading.... It is a help to read such
a life as Margaret Fuller's. How inexpressibly touching that passage
from her journal, 'I shall always reign through the intellect, but the
life! the life! O my God! shall that never be sweet?' I am thankful,
as if for myself, that it was sweet at last."

The great minds which Miss Evans met made life a constant joy, though
she was frail in health. Now Herbert Spencer took her to hear _William
Tell_ or the _Creation_. She wrote of him: "We have agreed that we
are not in love with each other, and that there is no reason why we
should not have as much of each other's society as we like. He is a
good, delightful creature, and I always feel better for being with
him.... My brightest spot, next to my love of _old_ friends, is the
deliciously calm, _new_ friendship that Herbert Spencer gives me.
We see each other every day, and have a delightful _camaraderie_ in
everything. But for him my life would be desolate enough."

There is no telling what this happy friendship might have resulted in,
if Mr. Spencer had not introduced to Miss Evans, George Henry Lewes, a
man of brilliant conversational powers, who had written a _History of
Philosophy_, two novels, _Ranthorpe_, and _Rose, Blanche, and Violet_,
and was a contributor to several reviews. Mr. Lewes was a witty
and versatile man, a dramatic critic, an actor for a short time,
unsuccessful as an editor of a newspaper, and unsuccessful in his
domestic relations.

That he loved Miss Evans is not strange; that she admired him, while
she pitied him and his three sons in their broken home-life, is
perhaps not strange. At first she did not like him, nor did Margaret
Fuller, but Miss Evans says: "Mr. Lewes is kind and attentive, and has
quite won my regard, after having had a good deal of my vituperation.
Like a few other people in the world, he is much better than he seems.
A man of heart and conscience wearing a mask of flippancy."

Miss Evans tired of her hard work, as who does not in this working
world? "I am bothered to death," she writes, "with article-reading and
scrap-work of all sorts; it is clear my poor head will never produce
anything under these circumstances; _but I am patient_.... I had
a long call from George Combe yesterday. He says he thinks the
_Westminster_ under _my_ management the most important means of
enlightenment of a literary nature in existence; the _Edinburgh_,
under Jeffrey, nothing to it, etc. I wish _I_ thought so too."

Sick with continued headaches, she went up to the English lakes to
visit Miss Martineau. The coach, at half-past six in the evening,
stopped at "The Knoll," and a beaming face came to welcome her. During
the evening, she says, "Miss Martineau came behind me, put her hands
round me, and kissed me in the prettiest way, telling me she was so
glad she had got me here."

Meantime Miss Evans was writing learned and valuable articles on
_Taxation, Woman in France, Evangelical Teaching_, etc. She received
five hundred dollars yearly from her father's estate, but she lived
simply, that she might spend much of this for poor relations.

In 1854 she resigned her position on the _Westminster_, and went with
Mr. Lewes to Germany, forming a union which thousands who love her
must regard as the great mistake of a very great life.

Mr. Lewes was collecting materials for his _Life of Goethe_. This took
them to Goethe's home at Weimar. "By the side of the bed," she says,
"stands a stuffed chair where he used to sit and read while he drank
his coffee in the morning. It was not until very late in his life that
he adopted the luxury of an armchair. From the other side of the
study one enters the library, which is fitted up in a very make-shift
fashion, with rough deal shelves, and bits of paper, with Philosophy,
History, etc., written on them, to mark the classification of the
books. Among such memorials one breathes deeply, and the tears rush to
one's eyes."

George Eliot met Liszt, and "for the first time in her life beheld
real inspiration,--for the first time heard the true tones of the
piano." Rauch, the great sculptor, called upon them, and "won our
hearts by his beautiful person and the benignant and intelligent charm
of his conversation."

Both writers were hard at work. George Eliot was writing an article
on _Weimar_ for _Fraser_, on _Cumming_ for _Westminster_, and
translating Spinoza's _Ethics_. No name was signed to these
productions, as it would not do to have it known that a woman wrote
them. The education of most women was so meagre that the articles
would have been considered of little value. Happily Girton and Newnham
colleges are changing this estimate of the sex. Women do not like
to be regarded as inferior; then they must educate themselves as
thoroughly as the best men are educated.

Mr. Lewes was not well. "This is a terrible trial to us poor
scribblers," she writes, "to whom health is money, as well as all
other things worth having." They had but one sitting-room between
them, and the scratching of another pen so affected her nerves, as to
drive her nearly wild. Pecuniarily, life was a harder struggle than
ever, for there were four more mouths to be fed,--Mr. Lewes' three
sons and their mother.

"Our life is intensely occupied, and the days are far too short,"
she writes. They were reading in every spare moment, twelve plays of
Shakespeare, Goethe's works, _Wilhelm Meister, Götz von Berlichingen,
Hermann and Dorothea, Iphigenia, Wanderjahre, Italianische Reise_,
and others; Heine's poems; Lessing's _Laocoön_ and _Nathan the
Wise_; Macaulay's _History of England_; Moore's _Life of Sheridan_;
Brougham's _Lives of Men of Letters_; White's _History of Selborne_;
Whewell's _History of Inductive Sciences_; Boswell; Carpenter's
_Comparative Physiology_; Jones' _Animal Kingdom_; Alison's _History
of Europe_; Kahnis' _History of German Protestantism_; Schrader's
_German Mythology_; Kingsley's _Greek Heroes_; and the _Iliad_ and
_Odyssey_ in the original. She says, "If you want delightful reading,
get Lowell's _My Study Windows_, and read the essays called _My Garden
Acquaintances_ and _Winter_." No wonder they were busy.

On their return from Germany they went to the sea-shore, that Mr.
Lewes might perfect his _Sea-side Studies_. George Eliot entered
heartily into the work. "We were immensely excited," she says, "by the
discovery of this little red mesembryanthemum. It was a _crescendo_ of
delight when we found a 'strawberry,' and a _fortissimo_ when I, for
the first time, saw the pale, fawn-colored tentacles of an _Anthea
cereus_ viciously waving like little serpents in a low-tide pool."
They read here Gosse's _Rambles on the Devonshire Coast_, Edward's
_Zoology_, Harvey's sea-side book, and other scientific works.

And now at thirty-seven George Eliot was to begin her creative work.
Mr. Lewes had often said to her, "You have wit, description, and
philosophy--those go a good way towards the production of a novel."
"It had always been a vague dream of mine," she says, "that sometime
or other I might write a novel ... but I never went further toward
the actual writing than an introductory chapter, describing a
Staffordshire village, and the life of the neighboring farm-houses;
and as the years passed on I lost any hope that. I should ever be
able to write a novel, just as I desponded about everything else in my
future life. I always thought I was deficient in dramatic power, both
of construction and dialogue, but I felt I should be at my ease in the
descriptive parts."

After she had written a portion of _Amos Barton_ in her _Scenes of
Clerical Life_, she read it to Mr. Lewes, who told her that now he
was sure she could write good dialogue, but not as yet sure about her
pathos. One evening, in his absence, she wrote the scene describing
Milly's death, and read it to Mr. Lewes, on his return. "We both cried
over it," she says, "and then he came up to me and kissed me, saying,
'I think your pathos is better than your fun!'"

Mr. Lewes sent the story to Blackwood, with the signature of "George
Eliot,"--the first name chosen because it was his own name, and the
last because it pleased her fancy. Mr. Lewes wrote that this story
by a friend of his, showed, according to his judgment, "such humor,
pathos, vivid presentation, and nice observation as have not been
exhibited, in this style, since the _Vicar of Wakefield_."

Mr. John Blackwood accepted the story, but made some comments which
discouraged the author from trying another. Mr. Lewes wrote him the
effects of his words, which he hastened to withdraw, as there was so
much to be said in praise that he really desired more stories from the
same pen, and sent her a check for two hundred and fifty dollars.

This was evidently soothing, as _Mr. Gilfil's Love Story_ and _Janet's
Repentance_ were at once written. Much interest began to be expressed
about the author. Some said Bulwer wrote the sketches. Thackeray
praised them, and Arthur Helps said, "He is a great writer." Copies of
the stories bound together, with the title _Scenes of Clerical
Life_, were sent to Froude, Dickens, Thackeray, Tennyson, Ruskin, and
Faraday. Dickens praised the humor and the pathos, and thought the
author was a woman.

Jane Welch Carlyle thought it "a _human_ book, written out of the
heart of a live man, not merely out of the brain of an author, full
of tenderness and pathos, without a scrap of sentimentality, of sense
without dogmatism, of earnestness without twaddle--a book that makes
one feel friends at once and for always with the man or woman who
wrote it." She guessed the author was "a man of middle age, with a
wife, from whom he has got those beautiful _feminine_ touches in his
book, a good many children, and a dog that he has as much fondness for
as I have for my little Nero."

Mr. Lewes was delighted, and said, "Her fame is beginning." George
Eliot was growing happier, for her nature had been somewhat
despondent. She used to say, "Expecting disappointments is the only
form of hope with which I am familiar." She said, "I feel a deep
satisfaction in having done a bit of faithful work that will perhaps
remain, like a primrose-root in the hedgerow, and gladden and chasten
human hearts in years to come." "'Conscience goes to the hammering
in of nails' is my gospel," she would say. "Writing is part of my
religion, and I can write no word that is not prompted from within.
At the same time I believe that almost all the best books in the world
have been written with the hope of getting money for them."

"My life has deepened unspeakably during the last year: I feel a
greater capacity for moral and intellectual enjoyment, a more acute
sense of my deficiencies in the past, a more solemn desire to be
faithful to coming duties."

For _Scenes of Clerical Life_ she received six hundred dollars for the
first edition, and much more after her other books appeared.

And now another work, a longer one, was growing in her mind, _Adam
Bede_, the germ of which, she says, was an anecdote told her by her
aunt, Elizabeth Evans, the Dinah Morris of the book. A very ignorant
girl had murdered her child, and refused to confess it. Mrs. Evans,
who was a Methodist preacher, stayed with her all night, praying with
her, and at last she burst into tears and confessed her crime.
Mrs. Evans went with her in the cart to the place of execution, and
ministered to the unhappy girl till death came.

When the first pages of _Adam Bede_ were shown to Mr. Blackwood,
he said, "That will do." George Eliot and Mr. Lewes went to Munich,
Dresden, and Vienna for rest and change, and she prepared much of the
book in this time. When it was finished, she wrote on the manuscript,
_Jubilate_. "To my dear husband, George Henry Lewes, I give the Ms. of
a work which would never have been written but for the happiness which
his love has conferred on my life."

For this novel she received four thousand dollars for the copyright
for four years. Fame had actually come. All the literary world were
talking about it. John Murray said there had never been such a book.
Charles Reade said, putting his finger on Lisbeth's account of her
coming home with her husband from their marriage, "the finest thing
since Shakespeare." A workingman wrote: "Forgive me, dear sir, my
boldness in asking you to give us a cheap edition. You would confer on
us a great boon. I can get plenty of trash for a few pence, but I am
sick of it." Mr. Charles Buxton said, in the House of Commons: "As the
farmer's wife says in _Adam Bede_, 'It wants to be hatched over again
and hatched different.'" This of course greatly helped to popularize
the book.

To George Eliot all this was cause for the deepest gratitude. They
were able now to rent a home at Wandworth, and move to it at once.
The poverty and the drudgery of life seemed over. She said: "I sing my
magnificat in a quiet way, and have a great deal of deep, silent joy;
but few authors, I suppose, who have had a real success, have known
less of the flush and the sensations of triumph that are talked of as
the accompaniments of success. I often think of my dreams when I was
four or five and twenty. I thought then how happy fame would make
me.... I am assured now that _Adam Bede_ was worth writing,--worth
living through those long years to write. But now it seems impossible
that I shall ever write anything so good and true again." Up to this
time the world did not know who George Eliot was; but as a man by
the name of Liggins laid claim to the authorship, and tried to borrow
money for his needs because Blackwood would not pay him, the real name
of the author had to be divulged.

Five thousand copies of _Adam Bede_ were sold the first two weeks, and
sixteen thousand the first year. So excellent was the sale that Mr.
Blackwood sent her four thousand dollars in addition to the first
four. The work was soon translated into French, German, and Hungarian.
Mr. Lewes' _Physiology of Common Life_ was now published, but it
brought little pecuniary return.

The reading was carried on as usual by the two students. The _Life
of George Stephenson_; the _Electra_ of Sophocles; the _Agamemnon_ of
Aeschylus, Harriet Martineau's _British Empire in India_; and _History
of the Thirty Years' Peace_; Béranger, _Modern Painters_, containing
some of the finest writing of the age; Overbech on Greek art; Anna
Mary Howitt's book on Munich; Carlyle's _Life of Frederick the Great_;
Darwin's _Origin of Species_; Emerson's _Man the Reformer_, "which
comes to me with fresh beauty and meaning"; Buckle's _History of
Civilization_; Plato and Aristotle.

An American publisher now offered her six thousand dollars for a book,
but she was obliged to decline, for she was writing the _Mill on the
Floss_, in 1860, for which Blackwood gave her ten thousand dollars
for the first edition of four thousand copies, and Harper & Brothers
fifteen hundred dollars for using it also. Tauchnitz paid her five
hundred for the German reprint.

She said: "I am grateful and yet rather sad to have finished; sad that
I shall live with my people on the banks of the Floss no longer. But
it is time that I should go, and absorb some new life and gather fresh
ideas." They went at once to Italy, where they spent several months in
Florence, Venice, and Rome.

In the former city she made her studies for her great novel, _Romola_.
She read Sismondi's _History of the Italian Republics_, Tenneman's
_History of Philosophy_, T.A. Trollope's _Beata_, Hallam on the _Study
of Roman Law in the Middle Ages_, Gibbon on the _Revival of Greek
Learning_, Burlamachi's _Life of Savonarola_; also Villari's life
of the great preacher, Mrs. Jameson's _Sacred and Legendary Art_,
Machiavelli's works, Petrarch's Letters, _Casa Guidi Windows_, Buhle's
_History of Modern Philosophy_, Story's _Roba di Roma_, Liddell's
_Rome_, Gibbon, Mosheim, and one might almost say the whole range of
Italian literature in the original. Of Mommsen's _History of Rome_
she said, "It is so fine that I count all minds graceless who read it
without the deepest stirrings."

The study necessary to make one familiar with fifteenth century times
was almost limitless. No wonder she told Mr. Cross, years afterward,
"I began _Romola_ a young woman, I finished it an old woman"; but
that, with _Adam Bede_ and _Middlemarch_, will be her monument. "What
courage and patience," she says, "are wanted for every life that
aims to produce anything!" "In authorship I hold carelessness to be
a mortal sin." "I took unspeakable pains in preparing to write

For this one book, on which she spent a year and a half, _Cornhill
Magazine_ paid her the small fortune of thirty-five thousand dollars.
She purchased a pleasant home, "The Priory," Regent's Park, where she
made her friends welcome, though she never made calls upon any, for
lack of time. She had found, like Victor Hugo, that time is a very
precious thing for those who wish to succeed in life. Browning,
Huxley, and Herbert Spencer often came to dine.

Says Mr. Cross, in his admirable life: "The entertainment was
frequently varied by music when any good performer happened to be
present. I think, however, that the majority of visitors delighted
chiefly to come for the chance of a few words with George Eliot
alone. When the drawing-room door of the Priory opened, a first glance
revealed her always in the same low arm-chair on the left-hand side
of the fire. On entering, a visitor's eye was at once arrested by the
massive head. The abundant hair, streaked with gray now, was draped
with lace, arranged mantilla fashion, coming to a point at the top
of the forehead. If she were engaged in conversation, her body was
usually bent forward with eager, anxious desire to get as close as
possible to the person with whom she talked. She had a great
dislike to raising her voice, and often became so wholly absorbed in
conversation that the announcement of an in-coming visitor failed to
attract her attention; but the moment the eyes were lifted up, and
recognized a friend, they smiled a rare welcome--sincere, cordial,
grave--a welcome that was felt to come straight from the heart, not
graduated according to any social distinction."

After much reading of Fawcett, Mill, and other writers on political
economy, _Felix Holt_ was written, in 1866, and for this she received
from Blackwood twenty-five thousand dollars.

Very much worn with her work, though Mr. Lewes relieved her in every
way possible, by writing letters and looking over all criticisms of
her books, which she never read, she was obliged to go to Germany for

In 1868 she published her long poem, _The Spanish Gypsy_, reading
Spanish literature carefully, and finally passing some time in Spain,
that she might be the better able to make a lasting work. Had she
given her life to poetry, doubtless she would have been a great poet.

_Silas Marner_, written before _Romola_, in 1861, had been well
received, and _Middlemarch_, in 1872, made a great sensation. It was
translated into several languages. George Bancroft wrote her from
Berlin that everybody was reading it. For this she received a much
larger sum than the thirty-five thousand which she was paid for

A home was now purchased in Surrey, with eight or nine acres of
pleasure grounds, for George Eliot had always longed for trees and
flowers about her house. "Sunlight and sweet air," she said, "make a
new creature of me." _Daniel Deronda_ followed in 1876, for which, it
is said, she read nearly a thousand volumes. Whether this be true
or not, the list of books given in her life, of her reading in these
later years, is as astonishing as it is helpful for any who desire
real knowledge.

At Witley, in Surrey, they lived a quiet life, seeing only a few
friends like the Tennysons, the Du Mauriers, and Sir Henry and Lady
Holland. Both were growing older, and Mr. Lewes was in very poor
health. Finally, after a ten days' illness, he died, Nov. 28, 1878.

To George Eliot this loss was immeasurable. She needed his help and
his affection. She said, "I like not only to be loved, but also to
be told that I am loved," and he had idolized her. He said: "I owe
Spencer a debt of gratitude. It was through him that I learned to know
Marian,--to know her was to love her, and since then, my life has been
a new birth. To her I owe all my prosperity and all my happiness. God
bless her!"

Mr. John Walter Cross, for some time a wealthy banker in New York, had
long been a friend of the family, and though many years younger than
George Eliot, became her helper in these days of need. A George Henry
Lewes studentship, of the value of one thousand dollars yearly, was to
be given to Cambridge for some worthy student of either sex, in memory
of the man she had loved. "I want to live a little time that I may do
certain things for his sake," she said. She grew despondent, and the
Cross family used every means to win her away from her sorrow.

Mr. Cross' mother, to whom he was devotedly attached, had also died,
and the loneliness of both made their companionship more comforting.
They read Dante together in the original, and gradually the younger
man found that his heart was deeply interested. It was the higher kind
of love, the honor of mind for mind and soul for soul.

"I shall be," she said, "a better, more loving creature than I could
have been in solitude. To be constantly, lovingly grateful for this
gift of a perfect love is the best illumination of one's mind to all
the possible good there may be in store for man on this troublous
little planet."

Mr. Cross and George Eliot were married, May 6, 1880, a year and a
half after Mr. Lewes' death, his son Charles giving her away, and went
at once to Italy. She wrote: "Marriage has seemed to restore me to my
old self.... To feel daily the loveliness of a nature close to me, and
to feel grateful for it, is the fountain of tenderness and strength
to endure." Having passed through a severe illness, she wrote to a
friend: "I have been cared for by something much better than angelic
tenderness.... If it is any good for me that my life has been
prolonged till now, I believe it is owing to this miraculous affection
that has chosen to watch over me."

She did not forget Mr. Lewes. In looking upon the Grande Chartreuse,
she said, "I would still give up my own life willingly, if he could
have the happiness instead of me."

On their return to London, they made their winter home at 4 Cheyne
Walk, Chelsea, a plain brick house. The days were gliding by happily.
George Eliot was interested as ever in all great subjects, giving five
hundred dollars for woman's higher education at Girton College, and
helping many a struggling author, or providing for some poor friend of
early times who was proud to be remembered.

She and Mr. Cross began their reading for the day with the Bible, she
especially enjoying Isaiah, Jeremiah, and St. Paul's Epistles. Then
they read Max Muller's works, Shakespeare, Milton, Scott, and whatever
was best in English, French, and German literature. Milton she called
her demigod. Her husband says she had "a limitless persistency in
application." Her health was better, and she gave promise of doing
more great work. When urged to write her autobiography, she said, half
sighing and half smiling: "The only thing I should care much to dwell
on would be the absolute despair I suffered from, of ever being able
to achieve anything. No one could ever have felt greater despair, and
a knowledge of this might be a help to some other struggler."

Friday afternoon, Dec. 17, she went to see _Agamemnon_ performed in
Greek by Oxford students, and the next afternoon to a concert at St.
James Hall. She took cold, and on Monday was treated for sore throat.
On Wednesday evening the doctors came, and she whispered to her
husband, "Tell them I have great pain in the left side." This was
the last word. She died with every faculty bright, and her heart
responsive to all noble things.

She loved knowledge to the end. She said, "My constant groan is that
I must leave so much of the greatest writing which the centuries have
sifted for me, unread for want of time."

She had the broadest charity for those whose views differed from
hers. She said, "The best lesson of tolerance we have to learn, is to
tolerate intolerance." She hoped for and "looked forward to the time
when the impulse to help our fellows shall be as immediate and as
irresistible as that which I feel to grasp something firm if I am

One Sunday afternoon I went to her grave in Highgate Cemetery, London.
A gray granite shaft, about twenty-five feet high, stands above it,
with these beautiful words from her great poem:--

  "O may I join the choir invisible,
   Of those immortal dead who live again
   In minds made better by their presence."


  BORN, 22d NOVEMBER, 1819;
  DIED, 22d DECEMBER, 1880.

A stone coping is around this grave, and bouquets of yellow crocuses
and hyacinths lie upon it. Next to her grave is a horizontal slab,
with the name of George Henry Lewes upon the stone.


[Illustration: My attached and obliged friend Elizabeth Fry]

When a woman of beauty, great wealth, and the highest social position,
devotes her life to the lifting of the lowly and the criminal, and
preaches the Gospel from the north of Scotland to the south of France,
it is not strange that the world admires, and that books are written
in praise of her. Unselfishness makes a rare and radiant life, and
this was the crowning beauty of the life of Elizabeth Fry.

Born in Norwich, England, May 21, 1780, Elizabeth was the third
daughter of Mr. John Gurney, a wealthy London merchant. Mrs. Gurney,
the mother, a descendant of the Barclays of Ury, was a woman of much
personal beauty, singularly intellectual for those times, making her
home a place where literary and scientific people loved to gather.

Elizabeth wellnigh idolized her mother, and used often to cry after
going to bed, lest death should take away the precious parent. In the
daytime, when the mother, not very robust, would sometimes lie down
to rest, the child would creep to the bedside and watch tenderly and
anxiously, to see if she were breathing. Well might Mrs. Gurney say,

    "My dove-like Betsy scarcely ever offends, and is, in every
    sense of the word, truly engaging."

Mrs. Fry wrote years afterward: "My mother was most dear to me, and
the walks she took with me in the old-fashioned garden are as fresh
with me as if only just passed, and her telling me about Adam and Eve
being driven out of Paradise. I always considered it must be just
like our garden.... I remember with pleasure my mother's beds of wild
flowers, which, with delight, I used as a child to attend with her; it
gave me that pleasure in observing their beauties and varieties that,
though I never have had time to become a botanist, few can imagine, in
my many journeys, how I have been pleased and refreshed by observing
and enjoying the wild flowers on my way."

The home, Earlham Hall, was one of much beauty and elegance, a seat of
the Bacon family. The large house stood in the centre of a well-wooded
park, the river Wensum flowing through it. On the south front of the
house was a large lawn, flanked by great trees, underneath which wild
flowers grew in profusion. The views about the house were so artistic
that artists often came there to sketch.

In this restful and happy home, after a brief illness, Mrs. Gurney
died in early womanhood, leaving eleven children, all young, the
smallest but two years old. Elizabeth was twelve, old enough to feel
the irreparable loss. To the day of her death the memory of this time
was extremely sad.

She was a nervous and sensitive child, afraid of the dark, begging
that a light be left in her room, and equally afraid to bathe in
the sea. Her feelings were regarded as the whims of a child, and her
nervous system was injured in consequence. She always felt the lack of
wisdom in "hardening" children, and said, "I am now of opinion that my
fear would have been much more subdued, and great suffering spared,
by its having been still more yielded to: by having a light left in my
room, not being long left alone, and never forced to bathe."

After her marriage she guided her children rather than attempt "to
break their wills," and lived to see happy results from the good sense
and Christian principle involved in such guiding. In her prison work
she used the least possible governing, winning control by kindness and

Elizabeth grew to young womanhood, with pleasing manners, slight and
graceful in body, with a profusion of soft flaxen hair, and a bright,
intelligent face. Her mind was quick, penetrating, and original. She
was a skilful rider on horseback, and made a fine impression in her
scarlet riding-habit, for, while her family were Quakers, they did not
adopt the gray dress.

She was attractive in society and much admired. She writes in her
journal: "Company at dinner; I must beware of not being a flirt, it is
an abominable character; I hope I shall never be one, and yet I fear I
am one now a little.... I think I am by degrees losing many excellent
qualities. I lay it to my great love of gayety, and the world.... I am
now seventeen, and if some kind and great circumstance does not happen
to me, I shall have my talents devoured by moth and rust. They will
lose their brightness, and one day they will prove a curse instead of
a blessing."

Before she was eighteen, William Savery, an American friend, came to
England to spend two years in the British Isles, preaching. The seven
beautiful Gurney sisters went to hear him, and sat on the front seat,
Elizabeth, "with her smart boots, purple, laced with scarlet."

As the preacher proceeded, she was greatly moved, weeping during the
service, and nearly all the way home. She had been thrown much among
those who were Deists in thought, and this gospel-message seemed a
revelation to her.

The next morning Mr. Savery came to Earlham Hall to breakfast. "From
this day," say her daughters, in their interesting memoir of their
mother, "her love of pleasure and the world seemed gone." She,
herself, said, in her last illness, "Since my heart was touched, at
the age of seventeen, I believe I never have awakened from sleep, in
sickness or in health, by day or by night, without my first waking
thought being, how best I might serve my Lord."

Soon after she visited London, that she might, as she said, "try all
things" and choose for herself what appeared to her "to be good." She

"I went to Drury Lane in the evening. I must own I was extremely
disappointed; to be sure, the house is grand and dazzling; but I
had no other feeling whilst there than that of wishing it over.... I
called on Mrs. Siddons, who was not at home; then on Mrs. Twiss, who
gave me some paint for the evening. I was painted a little, I had my
hair dressed, and did look pretty for me."

On her return to Earlham Hall she found that the London pleasure had
not been satisfying. She says, "I wholly gave up on my own ground,
attending all places of public amusement; I saw they tended to promote
evil; therefore, if I could attend them without being hurt myself, I
felt in entering them I lent my aid to promote that which I was sure
from what I saw hurt others."

She was also much exercised about dancing, thinking, while "in a
family, it may be of use by the bodily exercise," that "the more the
pleasures of life are given up, the less we love the world, and our
hearts will be set upon better things."

The heretofore fashionable young girl began to visit the poor and the
sick in the neighborhood, and at last decided to open a school for
poor children. Only one boy came at first; but soon she had seventy.
She lost none of her good cheer and charming manner, but rather grew
more charming. She cultivated her mind as well, reading logic,--Watts
on Judgment, Lavater, etc.

The rules of life which she wrote for herself at eighteen are worth
copying: "First,--Never lose any time; I do not think that lost which
is spent in amusement or recreation some time every day; but always be
in the habit of being employed. Second,--Never err the least in truth.
Third,--Never say an ill thing of a person when I can say a good thing
of him; not only speak charitably, but feel so. Fourth,--Never be
irritable or unkind to anybody. Fifth,--Never indulge myself
in luxuries that are not necessary. Sixth,--Do all things with
consideration, and when my path to act right is most difficult, put
confidence in that Power alone which is able to assist me, and exert
my own powers as far as they go."

Gradually she laid aside all jewelry, then began to dress in quiet
colors, and finally adopted the Quaker garb, feeling that she could
do more good in it. At first her course did not altogether please her
family, but they lived to idolize and bless her for her doings, and to
thankfully enjoy her worldwide fame.

At twenty she received an offer of marriage from a wealthy London
merchant, Mr. Joseph Fry. She hesitated for some time, lest her active
duties in the church should conflict with the cares of a home of her
own. She said, "My most anxious wish is, that I may not hinder my
spiritual welfare, which I have so much feared as to make me often
doubt if marriage were a desirable thing for me at this time, or even
the thoughts of it."

However, she was soon married, and a happy life resulted. For most
women this marriage, which made her the mother of eleven children,
would have made all public work impossible; but to a woman of
Elizabeth Fry's strong character nothing seemed impossible. Whether
she would have accomplished more for the world had she remained
unmarried, no one can tell.

Her husband's parents were "plain, consistent friends," and his sister
became especially congenial to the young bride. A large and airy house
was taken in London, St. Mildred's Court, which became a centre for
"Friends" in both Great Britain and America.

With all her wealth and her fondness for her family, she wrote in her
journal, "I have been married eight years yesterday; various trials
of faith and patience have been permitted me; my course has been very
different to what I had expected; instead of being, as I had hoped,
a useful instrument in the Church Militant, here I am a careworn
wife and mother outwardly, nearly devoted to the things of this life;
though at times this difference in my destination has been trying
to me, yet I believe those trials (which have certainly been very
pinching) that I have had to go through have been very useful, and
have brought me to a feeling sense of what I am; and at the same time
have taught me where power is, and in what we are to glory; not in
ourselves nor in anything we can be or do, but we are alone to desire
that He may be glorified, either through us or others, in our being
something or nothing, as He may see best for us."

After eleven years the Fry family moved to a beautiful home in the
country at Plashet. Changes had come in those eleven years. The father
had died; one sister had married Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, and she
herself had been made a "minister" by the Society of Friends. While
her hands were very full with the care of her seven children, she had
yet found time to do much outside Christian work.

Naturally shrinking, she says, "I find it an awful thing to rise
amongst a large assembly, and, unless much covered with love and
power, hardly know how to venture." But she seemed always to be
"covered with love and power," for she prayed much and studied her
Bible closely, and her preaching seemed to melt alike crowned heads
and criminals in chains.

Opposite the Plashet House, with its great trees and flowers, was a
dilapidated building occupied by an aged man and his sister. They had
once been well-to-do, but were now very poor, earning a pittance by
selling rabbits. The sister, shy and sorrowful from their reduced
circumstances, was nearly inaccessible, but Mrs. Fry won her way to
her heart. Then she asked how they would like to have a girls' school
in a big room attached to the building. They consented, and soon
seventy poor girls were in attendance.

"She had," says a friend, "the gentlest touch with children. She would
win their hearts, if they had never seen her before, almost at the
first glance, and by the first sound of her musical voice."

Then the young wife, now thirty-one, established a depot of calicoes
and flannels for the poor, with a room full of drugs, and another
department where good soup was prepared all through the hard winters.
She would go into the "Irish Colony," taking her two older daughters
with her, that they might learn the sweetness of benevolence,
"threading her way through children and pigs, up broken staircases,
and by narrow passages; then she would listen to their tales of want
and woe."

Now she would find a young mother dead, with a paper cross pinned upon
her breast; now she visited a Gypsy camp to care for a sick child, and
give them Bibles. Each year when the camp returned to Plashet, their
chief pleasure was the visits of the lovely Quaker. Blessings on thee,
beautiful Elizabeth Fry!

She now began to assist in the public meetings near London, but with
some hesitation, as it took her from home; but after an absence of two
weeks, she found her household "in very comfortable order; and so far
from having suffered in my absence, it appears as if a better blessing
had attended them than common."

She did not forget her home interests. One of her servants being ill,
she watched by his bedside till he died. When she talked with him of
the world to come, he said, "God bless you, ma'am." She said, "There
is no set of people I feel so much about as servants, as I do not
think they have generally justice done to them; they are too much
considered as another race of beings, and we are apt to forget that
the holy injunction holds good with them, 'Do as thou wouldst be done

She who could dine with kings and queens, felt as regards servants,
"that in the best sense we are all one, and though our paths here may
be different, we have all souls equally valuable, and have all the
same work to do; which, if properly considered, should lead us
to great sympathy and love, and also to a constant care for their
welfare, both here and hereafter."

When she was thirty-three, having moved to London for the winter,
she began her remarkable work in Newgate prison. The condition of
prisoners was pitiable in the extreme. She found three hundred women,
with their numerous children, huddled together, with no classification
between the most and least depraved, without employment, in rags and
dirt, and sleeping on the floor with no bedding, the boards simply
being raised for a sort of pillow. Liquors were purchased openly at a
bar in the prison; and swearing, gambling, obscenity, and pulling each
other's hair were common. The walls, both in the men's and women's
departments, were hung with chains and fetters.

When Mrs. Fry and two or three friends first visited the prison,
the superintendent advised that they lay aside their watches before
entering, which they declined to do. Mrs. Fry did not fear, nor need
she, with her benign presence.

On her second visit she asked to be left alone with the women, and
read to them the tenth chapter of Matthew, making a few observations
on Christ's having come to save sinners. Some of the women asked who
Christ was. Who shall forgive us for such ignorance in our very midst?

The children were almost naked, and ill from want of food, air, and
exercise. Mrs. Fry told them that she would start a school for their
children, which announcement was received with tears of joy. She
asked that they select one from their own number for a governess. Mary
Conner was chosen, a girl who had been put in prison for stealing a
watch. So changed did the girl become under this new responsibility,
that she was never known to infringe a rule of the prison. After
fifteen months she was released, but died soon after of consumption.

When the school was opened for all under twenty-five, "the railing
was crowded with half-naked women, struggling together for the front
situations, with the most boisterous violence, and begging with the
utmost vociferation."

Mrs. Fry saw at once the need of these women being occupied, but the
idea that these people could be induced to work was laughed at, as
visionary, by the officials. They said the work would be destroyed or
stolen at once. But the good woman did not rest till an association of
twelve persons was formed for the "Improvement of the Female Prisoners
of Newgate"; "to provide for the clothing, the instruction, and the
employment of the women; to introduce them to a knowledge of the Holy
Scriptures; and to form in them, as much as possible, those habits
of order, sobriety, and industry, which may render them docile and
peaceable whilst in prison, and respectable when they leave it."

It was decided that Botany Bay could be supplied with stockings, and
indeed with all the articles needed by convicts, through the work
of these women. A room was at once made ready, and matrons were
appointed. A portion of the earnings was to be given the women for
themselves and their children. In ten months they made twenty thousand
articles of wearing apparel, and knit from sixty to one hundred pairs
of stockings every month. The Bible was read to them twice each day.
They received marks for good behavior, and were as pleased as children
with the small prizes given them.

One of the girls who received a prize of clothing came to Mrs. Fry,
and "hoped she would excuse her for being so forward, but if she
might say it, she felt exceedingly disappointed; she little thought of
having clothing given to her, but she had hoped I would have given her
a Bible, that she might read the Scriptures herself."

No woman was ever punished under Mrs. Fry's management. They said,
"it would be more terrible to be brought up before her than before the
judge." When she told them she hoped they would not play cards, five
packs were at once brought to her and burned.

The place was now so orderly and quiet, that "Newgate had become
almost a show; the statesman and the noble, the city functionary and
the foreign traveller, the high-bred gentlewoman, the clergyman and
the dissenting minister, flocked to witness the extraordinary change,"
and to listen to Mrs. Fry's beautiful Bible readings.

Letters poured in from all parts of the country, asking her to come
to their prisons for a similar work, or to teach others how to work.
A committee of the House of Commons summoned her before them to learn
her suggestions, and to hear of her methods; and later the House of

Of course the name of Elizabeth Fry became known everywhere. Queen
Victoria gave her audience, and when she appeared in public, everybody
was eager to look at her. The newspapers spoke of her in the highest
praise. Yet with a beautiful spirit she writes in her journal, "I
am ready to say in the fulness of my heart, surely 'it is the Lord's
doing, and marvellous in our eyes'; so many are the providential
openings of various kinds. Oh! if good should result, may the praise
and glory of the whole be entirely given where it is due by us, and by
all, in deep humiliation and prostration of spirit."

Mrs. Fry's heart was constantly burdened with the scenes she
witnessed. The penal laws were a caricature on justice. Men and women
were hanged for theft, forgery, passing counterfeit money, and for
almost every kind of fraud. One young woman, with a babe in her
arms, was hanged for stealing a piece of cloth worth one dollar and
twenty-five cents! Another was hanged for taking food to keep herself
and little child from starving. It was no uncommon thing to see women
hanging from the gibbet at Newgate, because they had passed a forged
one-pound note (five dollars).

George Cruikshank in 1818 was so moved at one of these executions that
he made a picture which represented eight men and three women hanging
from the gallows, and a rope coiled around the faces of twelve others.
Across the picture were the words, "I promise to perform during the
issue of Bank-notes easily imitated ... for the Governors and Company
of the Bank of England."

He called the picture a "Bank-note, not to be imitated." It at once
created a great sensation. Crowds blocked the street in front of
the shop where it was hung. The pictures were in such demand that
Cruikshank sat up all night to etch another plate. The Gurneys,
Wilberforce, Sir Samuel Romilly, Sir James Mackintosh, all worked
vigorously against capital punishment, save, possibly, for murder.

Among those who were to be executed was Harriet Skelton, who, for the
man she loved, had passed forged notes. She was singularly open in
face and manner, confiding, and well-behaved. When she was condemned
to death, it was a surprise and horror to all who knew her. Mrs. Fry
was deeply interested. Noblemen went to see her in her damp, dark
cell, which was guarded by a heavy iron door. The Duke of Gloucester
went with Mrs. Fry to the Directors of the Bank of England, and to
Lord Sidmouth, to plead for her, but their hearts were not to be
moved, and the poor young girl was hanged. The public was enthusiastic
in its applause for Mrs. Fry, and unsparing in its denunciation of
Sidmouth. At last the obnoxious laws were changed.

Mrs. Fry was heartily opposed to capital punishment. She said, "It
hardens the hearts of men, and makes the loss of life appear light
to them"; it does not lead to reformation, and "does not deter others
from crime, because the crimes subject to capital punishment are
gradually increasing."

When the world is more civilized than it is to-day, when we have
closed the open saloon, that is the direct cause of nearly all the
murders, then we shall probably do away with hanging; or, if men and
women must be killed for the safety of society, a thing not easily
proven, it will be done in the most humane manner, by chloroform.

Mrs. Fry was likewise strongly opposed to solitary confinement,
which usually makes the subject a mental wreck, and, as regards moral
action, an imbecile. How wonderfully in advance of her age was this
gifted woman!

Mrs. Fry's thoughts now turned to another evil. When the women
prisoners were transported to New South Wales, they were carried
to the ships in open carts, the crowd jeering. She prevailed upon
government to have them carried in coaches, and promised that she
would go with them. When on board the ship, she knelt on the deck and
prayed with them as they were going into banishment, and then bade
them a tender good by. Truly woman can be an angel of light.

Says Captain Martin, "Who could resist this beautiful, persuasive, and
heavenly-minded woman? To see her was to love her; to hear her was
to feel as if a guardian angel had bid you follow that teaching which
could alone subdue the temptations and evils of this life, and secure
a Redeemer's love in eternity."

At this time Mrs. Fry and her brother Joseph visited Scotland and the
north of England to ascertain the condition of the prisons. They found
much that was inhuman; insane persons in prison, eighteen months in
dungeons! Debtors confined night and day in dark, filthy cells, and
never leaving them; men chained to the walls of their cells, or to
rings in the floor, or with their limbs stretched apart till they
fainted in agony; women with chains on hands, and feet, and body,
while they slept on bundles of straw. On their return a book was
published, which did much to arouse England.

Mrs. Fry was not yet forty, but her work was known round the world.
The authorities of Russia, at the desire of the Empress, wrote Mrs.
Fry as to the best plans for the St. Petersburg lunatic asylum and
treatment of the inmates, and her suggestions were carried out to the

Letters came from Amsterdam, Denmark, Paris, and elsewhere, asking
counsel. The correspondence became so great that two of her daughters
were obliged to attend to it.

Again she travelled all over England, forming "Ladies' Prison
Associations," which should not only look after the inmates of
prisons, but aid them to obtain work when they were discharged, or "so
provide for them that stealing should not seem a necessity."

About this time, 1828, one of the houses in which her husband was
a partner failed, "which involved Elizabeth Fry and her family in a
train of sorrows and perplexities which tinged the remaining years of
her life."

They sold the house at Plashet, and moved again to Mildred Court, now
the home of one of their sons. Her wealthy brothers and her children
soon re-established the parents in comfort.

She now became deeply interested in the five hundred Coast-Guard
stations in the United Kingdom, where the men and their families led
a lonely life. Partly by private contributions and partly through
the aid of government, she obtained enough money to buy more than
twenty-five thousand volumes for libraries at these stations. The
letters of gratitude were a sufficient reward for the hard work. She
also obtained small libraries for all the packets that sailed from

In 1837, with some friends, she visited Paris, making a detailed
examination of its prisons. Guizot entertained her, the Duchess de
Broglie, M. de Pressensé, and others paid her much attention. The
King and Queen sent for her, and had an earnest talk. At Nismes, where
there were twelve hundred prisoners, she visited the cells, and
when five armed soldiers wished to protect her and her friends, she
requested that they be allowed to go without guard. In one dungeon she
found two men, chained hand and foot. She told them she would plead
for their liberation if they would promise good behavior. They
promised, and kept it, praying every night for their benefactor
thereafter. When she held a meeting in the prison, hundreds shed
tears, and the good effects of her work were visible long after.

The next journey was made to Germany. At Brussels, the King held out
both hands to receive her. In Denmark, the King and Queen invited her
to dine, and she sat between them. At Berlin, the royal family treated
her like a sister, and all stood about her while she knelt and prayed
for them.

The new penitentiaries were built after her suggestions, so perfect
was thought to be her system. The royal family never forget her. When
the King of Prussia visited England, to stand sponsor for the infant
Prince of Wales, in 1842, he dined with her at her home. She presented
to him her eight daughters and daughters-in-law, her seven sons and
eldest grandson, and then their twenty-five grandchildren.

Finally, the great meetings, and the earnest plans, with their
wonderful execution, were coming to an end for Elizabeth Fry.

There had been many breaks in the home circle. Her beloved son
William, and his two children, had just died. Some years before she
had buried a very precious child, Elizabeth, at the age of five, who
shortly before her death said, "Mamma, I love everybody better than
myself, and I love thee better than everybody, and I love Almighty
much better than thee, and I hope thee loves Almighty much better than
me." This was a severe stroke, Mrs. Fry saying, "My much-loved husband
and I have drank this cup together, in close sympathy and unity of
feeling. It has at times been very bitter to us both, but we have been
in measure each other's joy and helpers in the Lord."

During her last sickness she said, "I believe this is not death,
but it is as passing through the valley of the shadow of death, and
perhaps with more suffering, from more sensitiveness; but the 'rock is
here'; the distress is awful, but He has been with me."

The last morning came, Oct. 13, 1845. About nine o'clock, one of her
daughters, sitting by her bedside, read from Isaiah: "I, the Lord thy
God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, thou worm
of Jacob, and ye men of Israel, I will help thee, saith the Lord, and
thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." The mother said slowly, "Oh! my
dear Lord, help and keep thy servant!" and never spoke afterward.

She was buried in the Friends' burying-ground at Barking, by the
side of her little Elizabeth, a deep silence prevailing among the
multitudes gathered there, broken only by the solemn prayer of her
brother, Joseph John Gurney.

Thus closed one of the most beautiful lives among women. To the last
she was doing good deeds. When she was wheeled along the beach in her
chair, she gave books and counsel to the passers-by. When she stayed
at hotels, she usually arranged a meeting for the servants. She was
sent for, from far and near, to pray with the sick, and comfort the
dying, who often begged to kiss her hand; no home was too desolate for
her lovely and cheerful presence. No wonder Alexander of Russia called
her "one of the wonders of the age."

Her only surviving son gives this interesting testimony of her home
life: "I never recollect seeing her out of temper or hearing her speak
a harsh word, yet still her word was law, but always the law of love."

Naturally timid, always in frail health, sometimes misunderstood, even
with the highest motives, she lived a heroic life in the best sense,
and died the death of a Christian. What grander sphere for woman than
such philanthropy as this! And the needs of humanity are as great as
ever, waiting for the ministration of such noble souls.


While woman has not achieved such brilliant success in art, perhaps,
as in literature, many names stand high on the lists. Early history
has its noted women: Propersia di Rossi, of Bologna, whose romantic
history Mrs. Hemans has immortalized; Elisabetta Sirani, painter,
sculptor, and engraver on copper, herself called a "miracle of art,"
the honored of popes and princes, dying at twenty-six; Marietta
Tintoretta, who was invited to be the artist at the courts of
emperors and kings, dying at thirty, leaving her father inconsolable;
Sophonisba Lomellini, invited by Philip II. of Spain to Madrid, to
paint his portrait, and that of the Queen, concerning whom, though
blind, Vandyck said he had received more instruction from a blind
woman than from all his study of the old masters; and many more.

The first woman artist in England was Susannah Hornebolt, daughter of
the principal painter who immediately preceded Hans Holbein, Gerard
Hornebolt, a native of Ghent. Albrecht Dürer said of her, in 1521:
"She has made a colored drawing of our Saviour, for which I gave her a
florin [forty cents]. It is wonderful that a female should be able
to do such work." Her brother Luke received a larger salary from King
Henry VIII. than he ever gave to Holbein,--$13.87 per month. Susannah
married an English sculptor, named Whorstly, and lived many years in
great honor and esteem with all the court.

Arts flourished under Charles I. To Vandyck and Anne Carlisle he gave
ultra-marine to the value of twenty-five hundred dollars. Artemisia
Gentileschi, from Rome, realized a splendid income from her work;
and, although forty-five years old when she came to England, she was
greatly admired, and history says made many conquests. This may be
possible, as George IV. said a woman never reaches her highest powers
of fascination till she is forty. Guido was her instructor, and one of
her warmest eulogizers. She was an intimate friend of Domenichino and
of Guercino, who gave all his wealth to philanthropies, and when in
England was the warm friend of Vandyck. Some of her works are in the
Pitti Palace, at Florence, and some at Madrid, in Spain.

Of Maria Varelst, the historical painter, the following story is told:
At the theatre she sat next to six German gentlemen of high rank, who
were so impressed with her beauty and manner that they expressed great
admiration for her among each other. The young lady spoke to them in
German, saying that such extravagant praise in the presence of a lady
was no real compliment. One of the party immediately repeated what he
had said in Latin. She replied in the same tongue "that it was unjust
to endeavor to deprive the fair sex of the knowledge of that tongue
which was the vehicle of true learning." The gentlemen begged to call
upon her. Each sat for his portrait, and she was thus brought into
great prominence.

The artist around whose beauty and talent romance adds a special
charm, was Angelica Kauffman, the only child of Joseph Kauffman,
born near Lake Constance, about 1741. At nine years of age she made
wonderful pastel pictures. Removing to Lombardy, it is asserted that
her father dressed her in boy's clothing, and smuggled her into the
academy, that she might be improved in drawing. At eleven she went to
Como, where the charming scenery had a great impression upon the young
girl. No one who wishes to grow in taste and art can afford to live
away from nature's best work. The Bishop of Como became interested
in her, and asked her to paint his portrait. This was well done in
crayon, and soon the wealthy patronized her. Years after, she wrote:
"Como is ever in my thoughts. It was at Como, in my most happy youth,
that I tasted the first real enjoyment of life."

When she went to Milan, to study the great masters, the Duke of Modena
was attracted by her beauty and devotion to her work. He introduced
her to the Duchess of Massa Carrara, whose portrait she painted, as
also that of the Austrian governor, and soon those of many of the
nobility. When all seemed at its brightest, her mother, one of the
best of women, died. Her father, broken-hearted, accepted the offer to
decorate the church of his native town, and Angelica joined him in the
frescoing. After much hard work, they returned to Milan. The constant
work had worn on the delicate girl. She gave herself no time for rest.
When not painting, she was making chalk and crayon drawings, mastering
the harpsichord, or lost in the pages of French, German, or Italian.
For a time she thought of becoming a singer; but finally gave herself
wholly to art. After this she went to Florence, where she worked from
sunrise to sunset, and in the evening at her crayons. In Rome, with
her youth, beauty, fascinating manners, and varied reading, she gained
a wide circle of friends. Her face was a Greek oval, her complexion
fresh and clear, her eyes deep blue, her mouth pretty and always
smiling. She was accused of being a coquette, and quite likely was

For three months she painted in the Royal Gallery at Naples, and then
returned to Rome to study the works of Raphael and Michael Angelo.
From thence she went to Bologna and beautiful Venice. Here she met
Lady Wentworth, who took her to London, where she was introduced at
once to the highest circles. Sir Joshua Reynolds had the greatest
admiration for her, and, indeed, was said to have offered her his hand
and heart. The whole world of art and letters united in her praise.
Often she found laudatory verses pinned on her canvas. The great
people of the land crowded her studio for sittings. She lived in
Golden Square, now a rather dilapidated place back of Regent Street.
She was called the most fascinating woman in England. Sir Joshua
painted her as "Design Listening to Poetry," and she, in turn, painted
him. She was the pet of Buckingham House and Windsor Castle.

In the midst of all this unlimited attention, a man calling himself
the Swedish Count, Frederic de Horn, with fine manners and handsome
person, offered himself to Angelica. He represented that he was
calumniated by his enemies and that the Swedish Government was about
to demand his person. He assured her, if she were his wife, she could
intercede with the Queen and save him. She blindly consented to the
marriage, privately. At last, she confessed it to her father, who took
steps at once to see if the man were true, and found that he was the
vilest impostor. He had a young wife already in Germany, and would
have been condemned to a felon's death if Angelica had been willing.
She said, "He has betrayed me; but God will judge him."

She received several offers of marriage after this, but would accept
no one. Years after, when her father, to whom she was deeply devoted,
was about to die, he prevailed upon her to marry a friend of his,
Antonio Zucchi, thirteen years her senior, with whom she went to Rome,
and there died. He was a man of ability, and perhaps made her life
happy. At her burial, one hundred priests accompanied the coffin,
the pall being held by four young girls, dressed in white, the four
tassels held by four members of the Academy. Two of her pictures were
carried in triumph immediately after her coffin. Then followed a grand
procession of illustrious persons, each bearing a lighted taper.

Goethe was one of her chosen friends. He said of her: "She has a most
remarkable and, for a woman, really an unheard-of talent. No living
painter excels her in dignity, or in the delicate taste with which she
handles the pencil."

Miss Ellen C. Clayton, in her interesting volumes, _English Female
Artists_, says, "No lady artist, from the days of Angelica Kauffman,
ever created such a vivid interest as Elizabeth Thompson Butler. None
had ever stepped into the front rank in so short a time, or had in
England ever attained high celebrity at so early an age."

She was born in the Villa Clermont, Lausanne, Switzerland, a
country beautiful enough to inspire artistic sentiments in all its
inhabitants. Her father, Thomas James Thompson, a man of great culture
and refinement, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, was a warm
friend of Charles Dickens, Lord Lytton, and their literary associates.
Somewhat frail in health, he travelled much of the time, collecting
pictures, of which he was extremely fond, and studying with the eye
of an artist the beauties of each country, whether America, Italy, or

His first wife died early, leaving one son and daughter. The second
wife was an enthusiastic, artistic girl, especially musical, a friend
of Dickens, and every way fitted to be the intelligent companion of
her husband.

After the birth of Elizabeth, the family resided in various parts of
Southern Europe. Now they lived, says Mrs. Alice Meynell, her only
sister, in the January, 1883, _St. Nicholas_, "within sight of the
snow-capped peaks of the Apennines, in an old palace, the Villa de
Franchi, immediately overlooking the Mediterranean, with olive-clad
hills at the back; on the left, the great promontory of Porto Fino; on
the right, the Bay of Genoa, some twelve miles away, and the long
line of the Apennines sloping down into the sea. The palace garden
descended, terrace by terrace, to the rocks, being, indeed, less a
garden than what is called a _villa_ in the Liguria, and a _podere_
in Tuscany,--a fascinating mixture of vine, olive, maize, flowers,
and corn. A fountain in marble, lined with maiden-hair, played at the
junction of each flight of steps. A great billiard-room on the first
floor, hung with Chinese designs, was Elizabeth Thompson's first
school-room; and there Charles Dickens, upon one of his Italian
visits, burst in upon a lesson in multiplication.

"The two children never went to school, and had no other teacher than
their father,--except their mother for music, and the usual professors
for 'accomplishments' in later years. And whether living happily in
their beautiful Genoese home, or farther north among the picturesque
Italian lakes, or in Switzerland, or among the Kentish hop-gardens and
the parks of Surrey, Elizabeth's one central occupation of drawing was
never abandoned,--literally not for a day."

She was a close observer of nature, and especially fond of animals.
When not out of doors sketching landscapes, she would sit in the house
and draw, while her father read to her, as he believed the two things
could be carried on beneficially.

She loved to draw horses running, soldiers, and everything which
showed animation and energy. Her educated parents had the good sense
not to curb her in these perhaps unusual tastes for a girl. They saw
the sure hand and broad thought of their child, and, no doubt, had
expectations of her future fame.

At fifteen, as the family had removed to England, Elizabeth joined
the South Kensington School of Design, and, later, took lessons in oil
painting, for a year, of Mr. Standish. Thus from the years of five to
sixteen she had studied drawing carefully, so that now she was ready
to touch oil-painting for the first time. How few young ladies would
have been willing to study drawing for eleven years, before trying to
paint in oil!

The Thompson family now moved to Ventnor, in the Isle of Wight,
staying for three years at Bonchurch, one of the loveliest places in
the world. Ivy grows over walls and houses, roses and clematis bloom
luxuriantly, and the balmy air and beautiful sea make the place
as restful as it is beautiful. Here Elizabeth received lessons in
water-color and landscape from Mr. Gray.

After another visit abroad the family returned to London, and the
artist daughter attended the National Art School at South Kensington,
studying in the life-class. The head master, Mr. Richard Burchett, saw
her talent, and helped her in all ways possible.

Naturally anxious to test the world's opinion of her work, she sent
some water-colors to the Society of British Artists for exhibition,
and they were rejected. There is very little encouragement for
beginners in any profession. However, "Bavarian Artillery going into
Action" was exhibited at the Dudley Gallery, and received favorable
notice from Mr. Tom Taylor, art critic of the _Times_.

Between two long courses at South Kensington Elizabeth spent a summer
in Florence and a winter at Rome, studying in both places. At Florence
she entered the studio of Signor Guiseppe Bellucci, an eminent
historical painter and consummate draughtsman, a fellow-student of Sir
Frederick Leighton at the Academy.

Here the girlish student was intensely interested in her work.
She rose early, before the other members of the family, taking her
breakfast alone, that she might hasten to her beloved labor. "On the
day when she did not work with him," says Mrs. Meynell, "she copied
passages from the frescoes in the cloisters of the Annunziata,
masterpieces of Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio, making a special
study of the drapery of the last-named painter. The sacristans of the
old church--the most popular church in Florence--knew and welcomed the
young English girl, who sat for hours so intently at her work in the
cloister, unheeding the coming and going of the long procession of
congregations passing through the gates.

"Her studies in the galleries were also full of delight and profit,
though she made no other copies, and she was wont to say that of all
the influences of the Florentine school which stood her in good stead
in her after-work, that of Andrea del Sarto was the most valuable and
the most important. The intense heat of a midsummer, which, day after
day, showed a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, could not make
her relax work, and her master, Florentine as he was, was obliged
to beg her to spare him, at least for a week, if she would not spare
herself. It was toward the end of October that artist and pupil
parted, his confidence in her future being as unbounded as her
gratitude for his admirable skill and minute carefulness."

During her seven months in Rome she painted, in 1870, for an
ecclesiastical art exhibition, opened by Pope Pius IX., in the
cloisters of the Carthusian Monastery, the "Visitation of the Blessed
Virgin to St. Elizabeth," and the picture gained honorable mention.

On her return to England the painting was offered to the Royal Academy
and rejected. And what was worse still, a large hole had been torn
in the canvas, in the sky of the picture. Had she not been very
persevering, and believed in her heart that she had talent, perhaps
she would not have dared to try again, but she had worked steadily
for too many years to fail now. Those only win who can bear refusal a
thousand times if need be.

The next year, being at the Isle of Wight, she sent another picture to
the Academy, and it was rejected. Merit does not always win the
first, nor the second, nor the third time. It must have been a little
consolation to Elizabeth Thompson, to know that each year the judges
were reminded that a person by that name lived, and was painting

The next year a subject from the Franco-Prussian War was taken, as
that was fresh in the minds of the people. The title was "Missing."
"Two French officers, old and young, both wounded, and with one
wounded horse between them, have lost their way after a disastrous
defeat; their names will appear in the sad roll as missing, and the
manner of their death will never be known."

The picture was received, but was "skyed," that is, placed so high
that nobody could well see it. During this year she received a
commission from a wealthy art patron to paint a picture. What should
it be? A battle scene, because into that she could put her heart.

A studio was taken in London, and the "Roll-Call" (calling the roll
after an engagement,--Crimea) was begun. She put life into the faces
and the attitudes of the men, as she worked with eager heart and
careful labor. In the spring of 1874 it was sent to the Royal Academy,
with, we may suppose, not very enthusiastic hopes.

The stirring battle piece pleased the committee, and they cheered when
it was received. Then it began to be talked at the clubs that a woman
had painted a battle scene! Some had even heard that it was a great
picture. When the Academy banquet was held, prior to the opening, the
speeches of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, both gave
high praise to the "Roll-Call."

Such an honor was unusual. Everybody was eager to see the painting. It
was the talk at the clubs, on the railway trains, and on the crowded
thoroughfares. All day long crowds gathered before it, a policeman
keeping guard over the painting, that it be not injured by its eager
admirers. The Queen sent for it, and it was carried, for a few hours,
to Buckingham Palace, for her to gaze upon. So much was she pleased
that she desired to purchase it, and the person who had ordered it
gave way to Her Majesty. The copyright was bought for fifteen times
the original sum agreed upon as its value, and a steel-plate
engraving made from it at a cost of nearly ten thousand dollars. After
thirty-five hundred impressions, the plate was destroyed, that there
might be no inferior engravings of the picture. The "Roll-Call" was
for some time retained by the Fine Art Society, where it was seen by
a quarter of a million persons. Besides this, it was shown in all the
large towns of England. It is now at Windsor Castle.

Elizabeth Thompson had become famous in a day, but she was not elated
over it; for, young as she was, she did not forget that she had
been working diligently for twenty years. The newspapers teemed with
descriptions of her, and incidents of her life, many of which were, of
course, purely imaginative. Whenever she appeared in society, people
crowded to look at her.

Many a head would have been turned by all this praise; not so the
well-bred student. She at once set to work on a more difficult
subject, "The Twenty-eighth Regiment at Quatre Bras." When this
appeared, in 1875, it drew an enormous crowd. The true critics praised
heartily, but there were some persons who thought a woman could not
possibly know about the smoke of a battle, or how men would act under
fire. That she studied every detail of her work is shown by Mr. W.
H. Davenport Adams, in his _Woman's Work and Worth._ "The choice of
subject," he says, "though some people called it a 'very shocking one
for a young lady,' engaged the sympathy of military men, and she was
generously aided in obtaining material and all kinds of data for the
work. Infantry officers sent her photographs of 'squares.' But these
would not do, the men were not in earnest; they would kneel in such
positions as they found easiest for themselves; indeed, but for the
help of a worthy sergeant-major, who saw that each individual assumed
and maintained the attitude proper for the situation at whatever
inconvenience, the artist could not possibly have impressed upon her
picture that verisimilitude which it now presents.

"Through the kindness of the authorities, an amount of gunpowder was
expended at Chatham, to make her see, as she said, how 'the men's
faces looked through the smoke,' that would have justified the
criticisms of a rigid parliamentary economist. Not satisfied with
seeing how men _looked_ in square, she desired to secure some faint
idea of how they _felt_ in square while 'receiving cavalry.' And
accordingly she repaired frequently to the Knightsbridge Barracks,
where she would kneel to 'receive' the riding-master and a mounted
sergeant of the Blues, while they thundered down upon her the full
length of the riding-school, deftly pulling up, of course, to avoid
accident. The fallen horse presented with such truth and vigor in
'Quatre Bras' was drawn from a Russian horse belonging to Hengler's
Circus, the only one in England that could be trusted to remain for a
sufficient time in the required position. A sore trial of patience was
this to artist, to model, to Mr. Hengler, who held him down, and
to the artist's father, who was present as spectator. Finally the
rye,--the 'particularly tall rye' in which, as Colonel Siborne says,
the action was fought,--was conscientiously sought for, and found,
after much trouble, at Henly-on-Thames."

I saw this beautiful and stirring picture, as well as several others
of Mrs. Butler's, while in England. Mr. Ruskin says of "Quatre Bras":
"I never approached a picture with more iniquitous prejudice against
it than I did Miss Thompson's; partly because I have always said that
no woman could paint, and secondly, because I thought what the public
made such a fuss about _must_ be good for nothing. But it is Amazon's
work, this, no doubt of it, and the first fine pre-raphaelite picture
of battle we have had, profoundly interesting, and showing all manner
of illustrative and realistic faculty. The sky is most tenderly
painted, and with the truest outline of cloud of all in the
exhibition; and the terrific piece of gallant wrath and ruin on the
extreme left, where the cuirassier is catching round the neck of his
horse as he falls, and the convulsed fallen horse, seen through the
smoke below, is wrought through all the truth of its frantic passions
with gradations of color and shade which I have not seen the like of
since Turner's death."

This year, 1875, a figure from the picture, the "Tenth Bengal Lancers
at Tent-pegging," was published as a supplement to the Christmas
number of _London Graphic_, with the title "Missed." In 1876, "The
Return from Balaklava" was painted, and in 1877, "The Return from
Inkerman," for which latter work the Fine Art Society paid her fifteen
thousand dollars.

This year, 1877, on June 11, Miss Thompson was married to Major, now
Colonel, William Francis Butler, K.C.B. He was then thirty-nine years
of age, born in Ireland, educated in Dublin, and had received many
honors. He served on the Red River expedition, was sent on a special
mission to the Saskatchewan territories in 1870-71, and served on the
Ashantee expedition in 1873. He has been honorably mentioned several
times in the House of Lords by the Field-Marshal-Commanding-in-Chief.
He wrote _The Great Lone Land_ in 1872, _The Wild North Land_ in 1873,
and _A Kimfoo_ in 1875.

After the marriage they spent much time in Ireland, where Mrs. Butler
painted "Listed for the Connaught Rangers" in 1879. Her later works
are "The Remnant of an Army," showing the arrival at Jellalabad, in
1842, of Dr. Brydon, the sole survivor of the sixteen thousand men
under General Elphinstone, in the unfortunate Afghan campaign; the
"Scots Greys Advancing," "The Defence of Rorke's Drift," an incident
of the Zulu War, painted at the desire of the Queen and some others.

Still a young and very attractive woman, she has before her a bright
future. She will have exceptional opportunities for battle studies in
her husband's army life. She will probably spend much time in Africa,
India, and other places where the English army will be stationed. Her
husband now holds a prominent position in Africa.

In her studio, says her sister, "the walls are hung with old
uniforms--the tall shako, the little coatee, and the stiff
stock--which the visitor's imagination may stuff out with the form of
the British soldier as he fought in the days of Waterloo. These are
objects of use, not ornament; so are the relics from the fields of
France in 1871, and the assegais and spears and little sharp wooden
maces from Zululand."

Mrs. Butler has perseverance, faithfulness in her work, and courage.
She has won remarkable fame, but has proved herself deserving by her
constant labor, and attention to details. Mrs. Butler's mother has
also exhibited some fine paintings. The artist herself has illustrated
a volume of poems, the work of her sister, Mrs. Meynell. A cultivated
and artistic family have, of course, been an invaluable aid in Mrs.
Butler's development.


[Illustration: Florence Nightingale--From the "Portrait Gallery of
Eminent Men and Women."]

One of the most interesting places in the whole of London, is St.
Thomas' Hospital, an immense four-story structure of brick with
stone trimmings. Here is the Nightingale Training School for nurses,
established through the gift to Miss Nightingale of $250,000 by the
government, for her wonderful work in the Crimean War. She would not
take a cent for herself, but was glad to have this institution opened,
that girls through her training might become valuable to the world as
nurses, as she has been.

Here is the "Nightingale Home." The dining-room, with its three long
tables, is an inviting apartment. The colors of wall and ceiling are
in red and light shades. Here is a Swiss clock presented by the Grand
Duchess of Baden; here a harpsichord, also a gift. Here is the marble
face and figure I have come especially to see, that of lovely Florence
Nightingale. It is a face full of sweetness and refinement, having
withal an earnest look, as though life were well worth living.

What better work than to direct these girls how to be useful? Some
are here from the highest social circles. The "probationers," or nurse
pupils, must remain three years before they can become Protestant
"sisters." Each ward is in charge of a sister; now it is Leopold,
because the ward bears that name; and now Victoria in respect to the
Queen, who opened the institution.

The sisters look sunny and healthy, though they work hard. They have
regular hours for being off duty, and exercise in the open air. The
patients tell me how "homelike it seems to have women in the wards,
and what a comfort it is in their agony, to be handled by their
careful hands." Here are four hundred persons in all phases of
suffering, in neat, cheerful wards, brightened by pots of flowers, and
the faces of kind, devoted women.

And who is this woman to whom the government of Great Britain felt
that it owed so much, and whom the whole world delights to honor?

Florence Nightingale, born in 1820, in the beautiful Italian city
of that name, is the younger of two daughters of William Shore
Nightingale, a wealthy land-owner, who inherited both the name and
fortune of his granduncle, Peter Nightingale. The mother was the
daughter of the eminent philanthropist and member of Parliament,
William Smith.

Most of Miss Nightingale's life has been spent on their beautiful
estate, Lea Hurst, in Derbyshire, a lovely home in the midst of
picturesque scenery. In her youth her father instructed her carefully
in the classics and higher mathematics; a few years later, partly
through extensive travel, she became proficient in French, German, and

Rich, pretty, and well-educated, what was there more that she could
wish for? Her heart, however, did not turn toward a fashionable life.
Very early she began to visit the poor and the sick near Lea Hurst,
and her father's other estate at Embly Park, Hampshire. Perhaps the
mantle of the mother's father had fallen upon the young girl.

She had also the greatest tenderness toward dumb animals, and never
could bear to see them injured. Miss Alldridge, in an interesting
sketch of Miss Nightingale, quotes the following story from _Little

"Some years ago, when the celebrated Florence Nightingale was a little
girl, living at her father's home, a large, old Elizabethan house,
with great woods about it, in Hampshire, there was one thing that
struck everybody who knew her. It was that she seemed to be always
thinking what she could do to please or help any one who needed either
help or comfort. She was very fond, too, of animals, and she was so
gentle in her way, that even the shyest of them would come quite close
to her, and pick up whatever she flung down for them to eat.

"There was, in the garden behind the house, a long walk with trees on
each side, the abode of many squirrels; and when Florence came down
the walk, dropping nuts as she went along, the squirrels would run
down the trunks of their trees, and, hardly waiting until she passed
by, would pick up the prize and dart away, with their little bushy
tails curled over their backs, and their black eyes looking about as
if terrified at the least noise, though they did not seem to be afraid
of Florence.

"Then there was an old gray pony named Peggy, past work, living in
a paddock, with nothing to do all day long but to amuse herself.
Whenever Florence appeared at the gate, Peggy would come trotting up
and put her nose into the dress pocket of her little mistress, and
pick it of the apple or the roll of bread that she knew she would
always find there, for this was a trick Florence had taught the
pony. Florence was fond of riding, and her father's old friend, the
clergyman of the parish, used often to come and take her for a ride
with him when he went to the farm cottages at a distance. He was a
good man and very kind to the poor.

"As he had studied medicine when a young man, he was able to tell the
people what would do them good when they were ill, or had met with an
accident. Little Florence took great delight in helping to nurse those
who were ill; and whenever she went on these long rides, she had a
small basket fastened to her saddle, filled with something nice which
she saved from her breakfast or dinner, or carried for her mother, who
was very good to the poor.

"There lived in one of two or three solitary cottages in the wood
an old shepherd of her father's, named Roger, who had a favorite
sheep-dog called Cap. Roger had neither wife nor child, and Cap lived
with him and kept him, and kept him company at night after he had
penned his flock. Cap was a very sensible dog; indeed, people used to
say he could do everything but speak. He kept the sheep in wonderfully
good order, and thus saved his master a great deal of trouble. One
day, as Florence and her old friend were out for a ride, they came
to a field where they found the shepherd giving his sheep their night
feed; but he was without the dog, and the sheep knew it, for they were
scampering in every direction. Florence and her friend noticed that
the old shepherd looked very sad, and they stopped to ask what was the
matter, and what had become of his dog.

"'Oh,' said Roger, 'Cap will never be of any more use to me; I'll have
to hang him, poor fellow, as soon as I go home to-night.'

"'Hang him!' said Florence. 'Oh, Roger, how wicked of you! What has
dear old Cap done?'

"'He has done nothing,' replied Roger; 'but he will never be of any
more use to me, and I cannot afford to keep him for nothing; one of
the mischievous school-boys throwed a stone at him yesterday, and
broke one of his legs.' And the old shepherd's eyes filled with tears,
which he wiped away with his shirt-sleeve; then he drove his spade
deep in the ground to hide what he felt, for he did not like to be
seen crying.

"'Poor Cap!' he sighed; 'he was as knowing almost as a human being.'

"'But are you sure his leg is broken?' asked Florence.

"'Oh, yes, miss, it is broken safe enough; he has not put his foot to
the ground since.'

"Florence and her friend rode on without saying anything more to

"'We will go and see poor Cap,' said the vicar; 'I don't believe the
leg is really broken. It would take a big stone and a hard blow to
break the leg of a big dog like Cap.'

"'Oh, if you could but cure him, how glad Roger would be!' replied

"They soon reached the shepherd's cottage, but the door was fastened;
and when they moved the latch, such a furious barking was heard that
they drew back, startled. However, a little boy came out of the next
cottage, and asked if they wanted to go in, as Roger had left the key
with his mother. So the key was got, and the door opened; and there on
the bare brick floor lay the dog, his hair dishevelled, and his eyes
sparkling with anger at the intruders. But when he saw the little boy
he grew peaceful, and when he looked at Florence, and heard her call
him 'poor Cap,' he began to wag his short tail; and then crept from
under the table, and lay down at her feet. She took hold of one of his
paws, patted his old rough head, and talked to him, whilst her friend
examined the injured leg. It was dreadfully swollen, and hurt very
much to have it examined; but the dog knew it was meant kindly, and
though he moaned and winced with pain, he licked the hands that were
hurting him.

"'It's only a bad bruise; no bones are broken,' said her old friend;
'rest is all Cap needs; he will soon be well again.'

"'I am so glad,' said Florence; 'but can we do nothing for him? he
seems in such pain.'

"'There is one thing that would ease the pain and heal the leg all the
sooner, and that is plenty of hot water to foment the part.'

"Florence struck a light with the tinder-box, and lighted the fire,
which was already laid. She then set off to the other cottage to get
something to bathe the leg with. She found an old flannel petticoat
hanging up to dry, and this she carried off, and tore up into slips,
which she wrung out in warm water, and laid them tenderly on Cap's
swollen leg. It was not long before the poor dog felt the benefit of
the application, and he looked grateful, wagging his little stump of a
tail in thanks. On their way home they met the shepherd coming slowly
along, with a piece of rope in his hand.

"'Oh, Roger,' cried Florence, 'you are not to hang poor old Cap; his
leg is not broken at all.'

"'No, he will serve you yet,' said the vicar.

"'Well, I be main glad to hear it,' said the shepherd, 'and many
thanks to you for going to see him.'

"On the next morning Florence was up early, and the first thing she
did was to take two flannel petticoats to give to the poor woman whose
skirt she had torn up to bathe Cap. Then she went to the dog, and was
delighted to find the swelling of his leg much less. She bathed it
again, and Cap was as grateful as before.

"Two or three days afterwards Florence and her friend were riding
together, when they came up to Roger and his sheep. This time Cap was
watching the sheep, though he was lying quite still, and pretending to
be asleep. When he heard the voice of Florence speaking to his master,
who was portioning out the usual food, his tail wagged and his eyes
sparkled, but he did not get up, for he was on duty. The shepherd
stopped his work, and as he glanced at the dog with a merry laugh,
said, 'Do look at the dog, Miss; he be so pleased to hear your voice.'
Cap's tail went faster and faster. 'I be glad,' continued the old man,
'I did not hang him. I be greatly obliged to you, Miss, and the vicar,
for what you did. But for you I would have hanged the best dog I ever
had in my life.'"

A girl who was made so happy in saving the life of an animal would
naturally be interested to save human beings. Occasionally her family
passed a season in London, and here, instead of giving much time
to concerts or parties, she would visit hospitals and benevolent
institutions. When the family travelled in Egypt, she attended several
sick Arabs, who recovered under her hands. They doubtless thought the
English girl was a saint sent down from heaven.

The more she felt drawn toward the sick, the more she felt the need
of study, and the more she saw the work that refined women could do in
the hospitals. The Sisters of Charity were standing by sick-beds; why
could there not be Protestant sisters? When they travelled in Germany,
France, and Italy, she visited infirmaries, asylums, and hospitals,
carefully noting the treatment given in each.

Finally she determined to spend some months at Kaiserwerth, near
Dusseldorf, on the Rhine, in Pastor Fliedner's great Lutheran
hospital. He had been a poor clergyman, the leader of a scanty flock,
whose church was badly in debt. A man of much enterprise and warm
heart, he could not see his work fail for lack of means; so he set
out among the provinces, to tell the needs of his little parish.
He collected funds, learned much about the poverty and ignorance
of cities, preached in some of the prisons, because interested in
criminals, and went back to his loyal people.

But so poor were they that they could not meet the yearly expenses, so
he determined to raise an endowment fund. He visited Holland and Great
Britain, and secured the needed money.

In England, in 1832, he became acquainted with Elizabeth Fry. How one
good life influences another to the end of time! When he went back to
Germany his heart was aglow with a desire to help humanity.

He at once opened an asylum for discharged prison-women. He saw how
almost impossible it was for those who had been in prison to obtain
situations. Then he opened a school for the children of such as worked
in factories, for he realized how unfit for citizenship are those who
grow up in ignorance. He did not have much money, but he seemed able
to obtain what he really needed. Then he opened a hospital; a home for
insane women; a home of rest for his nurses, or for those who needed
a place to live after their work was done. Soon the "Deaconesses" at
Kaiserwerth became known the country over. Among the wildest Norwegian
mountains we met some of these Kaiserwerth nurses, refined, educated
ladies, getting in summer a new lease of life for their noble labors.

This Protestant sisterhood consists now of about seven hundred
sisters, at about two hundred stations, the annual expense being about
$150,000. What a grand work for one man, with no money, the pastor of
a very humble church!

Into this work of Pastor Fliedner, Florence Nightingale heartily
entered. Was it strange taste for a pretty and wealthy young woman,
whose life had been one of sunshine and happiness? It was a saintlike
taste, and the world is rendered a little like Paradise by the
presence of such women. Back in London the papers were full of
the great exhibition of 1851, but she was more interested in her
Kaiserwerth work than to be at home. When she had finished her course
of instruction, Pastor Fliedner said, since he had been director
of that institution no one had ever passed so distinguished an
examination, or shown herself so thoroughly mistress of all she had

On her return to Lea Hurst, she could not rest very long, while there
was so much work to be done in the world. In London, a hospital
for sick governesses was about to fail, from lack of means and poor
management. Nobody seemed very deeply interested for these overworked
teachers. But Miss Nightingale was interested, and leaving her lovely
home, she came to the dreary house in Harley Street, where she gave
her time and her fortune for several years. Her own frail health
sank for a time from the close confinement, but she had seen the
institution placed on a sure foundation, and prosperous.

The Crimean War had begun. England had sent out ship-loads of men to
the Black Sea, to engage in war with Russia. Little thought seemed to
have been taken, in the hurry and enthusiasm of war, to provide proper
clothing or food for the men in that changing climate. In the desolate
country there was almost no means of transportation, and men and
animals suffered from hunger. After the first winter cholera broke
out, and in one camp twenty men died in twenty-four hours.

Matters grew from bad to worse. William Howard Russell, the _Times_
correspondent, wrote home to England: "It is now pouring rain,--the
skies are black as ink,--the wind is howling over the staggering
tents,--the trenches are turned into dykes,--in the tents the water
is sometimes a foot deep,--our men have not either warm or
waterproof clothing,--they are out for twelve hours at a time in the
trenches,--they are plunged into the inevitable miseries of a winter
campaign,--and not a soul seems to care for their comfort, or even
for their lives. These are hard truths, but the people of England must
hear them. They must know that the wretched beggar who wanders
about the streets of London in the rain, leads the life of a prince,
compared with the British soldiers who are fighting out here for their

"The commonest accessories of a hospital are wanting; there is not
the least attention paid to decency or cleanliness; the stench
is appalling; the fetid air can barely struggle out to taint the
atmosphere, save through the chinks in the walls and roofs; and, for
all I can observe, these men die without the least effort being made
to save them. There they lie, just as they were let gently down on the
ground by the poor fellows, their comrades, who brought them on their
backs from the camp with the greatest tenderness, but who are not
allowed to remain with them. The sick appear to be tended by the sick,
and the dying by the dying."

During the rigorous winter of 1854, with snow three feet thick, many
were frozen in their tents. Out of nearly forty-five thousand, over
eighteen thousand were reported in the hospitals. The English nation
became aroused at this state of things, and in less than two weeks
seventy-five thousand dollars poured into the Times office for the
suffering soldiers. A special commissioner, Mr. Macdonald, was sent to
the Crimea with shirts, sheets, flannels, and necessary food.

But one of the greatest of all needs was woman's hand and brain, in
the dreadful suffering and the confusion. The testimony of the world
thus far has been that men everywhere need the help of women, and
women everywhere need the help of men. Right Honorable Sydney Herbert,
the Secretary of War, knew of but one woman who could bring order
and comfort to those far-away hospitals, and that woman was Miss
Nightingale. She had made herself ready at Kaiserwerth for a great
work, and now a great work was ready for her.

But she was frail in health, and was it probable that a rich and
refined lady would go thousands of miles from her kindred, to live
in feverish wards where there were only men? A true woman dares do
anything that helps the world.

Mr. Herbert wrote her, Oct. 15: "There is, as far as I know, only one
person in England capable of organizing and directing such a plan, and
I have been several times on the point of asking you if you would
be disposed to make the attempt. That it will be difficult to form
a corps of nurses, no one knows better than yourself.... I have this
simple question to put to you: Could you go out yourself, and take
charge of everything? It is, of course, understood that you will have
absolute authority over all the nurses, unlimited power to draw on the
government for all you judge necessary to the success of your mission;
and I think I may assure you of the co-operation of the medical
staff. Your personal qualities, your knowledge, and your authority in
administrative affairs, all fit you for this position."

It was a strange coincidence that on that same day, Oct. 15, Miss
Nightingale, her heart stirred for the suffering soldiers, had written
a letter to Mr. Herbert, offering her services to the government. A
few days later the world read, with moistened eyes, this letter from
the war office: "Miss Nightingale, accompanied by thirty-four nurses,
will leave this evening. Miss Nightingale, who has, I believe, greater
practical experience of hospital administration and treatment than any
other lady in this country, has, with a self-devotion for which I have
no words to express my gratitude, undertaken this noble but arduous

The heart of the English nation followed the heroic woman. Mrs.
Jameson wrote: "It is an undertaking wholly new to our English
customs, much at variance with the usual education given to women in
this country. If it succeeds, it will be the true, the lasting glory
of Florence Nightingale and her band of devoted assistants, that they
have broken down a Chinese wall of prejudices,--religious, social,
professional,--and have established a precedent which will, indeed,
multiply the good to all time." She did succeed, and the results can
scarcely be overestimated.

As the band of nurses passed through France, hotel-keepers would take
no pay for their accommodation; poor fisherwomen at Boulogne struggled
for the honor of carrying their baggage to the railway station. They
sailed in the _Vectis_ across the Mediterranean, reaching Scutari,
Nov. 5, the day of the battle of Inkerman.

They found in the great Barrack Hospital, which had been lent to the
British by the Turkish government, and in another large hospital near
by, about four thousand men. The corridors were filled with two rows
of mattresses, so close that two persons could scarcely walk between
them. There was work to be done at once.

One of the nurses wrote home, "The whole of yesterday one could only
forget one's own existence, for it was spent, first in sewing the
men's mattresses together, and then in washing them, and assisting the
surgeons, when we could, in dressing their ghastly wounds after their
five days' confinement on board ship, during which space their wounds
had not been dressed. Hundreds of men with fever, dysentery, and
cholera (the wounded were the smaller portion) filled the wards in
succession from the overcrowded transports."

Miss Nightingale, calm and unobtrusive, went quietly among the men,
always with a smile of sympathy for the suffering. The soldiers often
wept, as for the first time in months, even years, a woman's hand
adjusted their pillows, and a woman's voice soothed their sorrows.

Miss Nightingale's pathway was not an easy one. Her coming did not
meet the general approval of military or medical officials. Some
thought women would be in the way; others felt that their coming was
an interference. Possibly some did not like to have persons about who
would be apt to tell the truth on their return to England. But with
good sense and much tact she was able to overcome the disaffection,
using her almost unlimited power with discretion.

As soon as the wounded were attended to, she established an invalid's
kitchen, where appetizing food could be prepared,--one of the
essentials in convalescence. Here she overlooked the proper cooking
for eight hundred men who could not eat ordinary food. Then she
established a laundry. The beds and shirts of the men were in a filthy
condition, some wearing the ragged clothing in which they were brought
down from the Crimea. It was difficult to obtain either food or
clothing, partly from the immense amount of "red tape" in official

Miss Nightingale seemed to be everywhere. Dr. Pincoffs said: "I
believe that there never was a severe case of any kind that escaped
her notice; and sometimes it was wonderful to see her at the bedside
of a patient who had been admitted perhaps but an hour before, and
of whose arrival one would hardly have supposed it possible she could
already be cognizant."

She aided the senior chaplain in establishing a library and
school-room, and in getting up evening lectures for the men. She
supplied books and games, wrote letters for the sick, and forwarded
their little savings to their home-friends.

For a year and a half, till the close of the war, she did a wonderful
work, reducing the death-rate in the Barrack Hospital from sixty per
cent to a little above one per cent. Said the _Times_ correspondent:
"Wherever there is disease in its most dangerous form, and the hand of
the spoiler distressingly nigh, there is that incomparable woman sure
to be seen; her benignant presence is an influence for good comfort
even amid the struggles of expiring nature. She is a 'ministering
angel,' without any exaggeration, in these hospitals, and as her
slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's
face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical
officers have retired for the night, and silence and darkness have
settled down upon these miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed,
alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.

"With the heart of a true woman and the manner of a lady, accomplished
and refined beyond most of her sex, she combines a surprising calmness
of judgment and promptitude and decision of character. The popular
instinct was not mistaken, which, when she set out from England on her
mission of mercy, hailed her as a heroine; I trust she may not earn
her title to a higher, though sadder, appellation. No one who has
observed her fragile figure and delicate health can avoid misgivings
lest these should fail."

One of the soldiers wrote home: "She would speak to one and another,
and nod and smile to many more; but she could not do it to all, you
know, for we lay there by hundreds; but we could kiss her shadow as it
fell, and lay our heads on our pillows again content." Another wrote
home: "Before she came there was such cussin' and swearin', and after
that it was as holy as a church." No wonder she was called the "Angel
of the Crimea." Once she was prostrated with fever, but recovered
after a few weeks.

Finally the war came to an end. London was preparing to give Miss
Nightingale a royal welcome, when, lo! she took passage by design on a
French steamer, and reached Lea Hurst, Aug. 15, 1856, unbeknown to
any one. There was a murmur of disappointment at first, but the
people could only honor all the more the woman who wished no blare of
trumpets for her humane acts.

Queen Victoria sent for her to visit her at Balmoral, and presented
her with a valuable jewel; a ruby-red enamel cross on a white field,
encircled by a black band with the words, "Blessed are the merciful."
The letters V. R., surmounted by a crown in diamonds, are impressed
upon the centre of the cross. Green enamel branches of palm, tipped
with gold, form the framework of the shield, while around their stems
is a riband of the blue enamel with the single word "Crimea." On
the top are three brilliant stars of diamonds. On the back is an
inscription written by the Queen. The Sultan sent her a magnificent
bracelet, and the government, $250,000, to found the school for nurses
at St. Thomas' Hospital.

Since the war, Miss Nightingale has never been in strong health,
but she has written several valuable books. Her _Hospital Notes_,
published in 1859, have furnished plans for scores of new hospitals.
Her _Notes on Nursing_, published in 1860, of which over one hundred
thousand have been sold, deserve to be in every home. She is the most
earnest advocate of sunlight and fresh air.

She says: "An extraordinary fallacy is the dread of night air. What
air can we breathe at night but night air? The choice is between pure
night air from without, and foul night air from within. Most people
prefer the latter,--an unaccountable choice. What will they say if it
be proved true that fully _one-half of all the disease we suffer from,
is occasioned by people sleeping with their windows shut?_ An open
window most nights of the year can never hurt any one. In great cities
night air is often the best and purest to be had in the twenty-four

"The five essentials, for healthy houses," she says, are "pure air,
pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness, and light.... I have
known whole houses and hospitals smell of the sink. I have met just as
strong a stream of sewer air coming up the back staircase of a grand
London house, from the sink, as I have ever met at Scutari; and I have
seen the rooms in that house all ventilated by the open doors, and
the passages all _un_ventilated by the close windows, in order that as
much of the sewer air as possible might be conducted into and retained
in the bed-rooms. It is wonderful!"

Miss Nightingale has much humor, and she shows it in her writings. She
is opposed to dark houses; says they promote scrofula; to old papered
walls, and to carpets full of dust. An uninhabited room becomes full
of foul air soon, and needs to have the windows opened often. She
would keep sick people, or well, forever in the sunlight if possible,
for sunlight is the greatest possible purifier of the atmosphere.
"In the unsunned sides of narrow streets, there is degeneracy and
weakliness of the human race,--mind and body equally degenerating."
Of the ruin wrought by bad air, she says: "Oh, the crowded national
school, where so many children's epidemics have their origin, what
a tale its air-test would tell! We should have parents saying, and
saying rightly, 'I will not send my child to that school; the
air-test stands at "horrid."' And the dormitories of our great
boarding-schools! Scarlet fever would be no more ascribed to
contagion, but to its right cause, the air-test standing at 'Foul.' We
should hear no longer of 'Mysterious Dispensations' and of 'Plague and
Pestilence' being in 'God's hands,' when, so far as we know, He has
put them into our own." She urges much rubbing of the body, washing
with warm water and soap. "The only way I know to _remove_ dust, is to
wipe everything with a damp cloth.... If you must have a carpet, the
only safety is to take it up two or three times a year, instead of
once.... The best wall now extant is oil paint."

"Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, requires as
exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or
sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold
marble compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of
God's Spirit? Nursing is one of the fine arts; I had almost said, the
finest of the fine arts."

Miss Nightingale has also written _Observations on the Sanitary State
of the Army in India,_ 1863; _Life or Death in India_, read before the
National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 1873, with
an appendix on _Life or Death by Irrigation_, 1874.

She is constantly doing deeds of kindness. With a subscription sent
recently by her to the Gordon Memorial Fund, she said: "Might but the
example of this great and pure hero be made to tell, in that self no
longer existed to him, but only God and duty, on the soldiers who have
died to save him, and on boys who should live to follow him."

Miss Nightingale has helped to dignify labor and to elevate humanity,
and has thus made her name immortal.

Florence Nightingale died August 13, 1910, at 2 P.M., of heart
failure, at the age of ninety. She had received many distinguished
honors: the freedom of the city of London in 1908, and from King
Edward VII, a year previously, a membership in the Order of Merit,
given only to a select few men; such as Field Marshal Roberts, Lord
Kitchener, Alma Tadema, James Bryce, George Meredith, Lords Kelvin and
Lister, and Admiral Togo.

Her funeral was a quiet one, according to her wishes.


[Illustration: LADY BRASSEY.]

One of my pleasantest days in England was spent at old Battle Abbey,
the scene of the ever-memorable Battle of Hastings, where William of
Normandy conquered the Saxon Harold.

The abbey was built by William as a thank-offering for the victory, on
the spot where Harold set up his standard. The old gateway is one of
the finest in England. Part of the ancient church remains, flowers and
ivy growing out of the beautiful gothic arches.

As one stands upon the walls and looks out upon the sea, that great
battle comes up before him. The Norman hosts disembark; first come the
archers in short tunics, with bows as tall as themselves and quivers
full of arrows; then the knights in coats of mail, with long lances
and two-edged swords; Duke William steps out last from the ship, and
falls foremost on both hands. His men gather about him in alarm, but
he says, "See, my lords, I have taken possession of England with both
my hands. It is now mine, and what is mine is yours."

Word is sent to Harold to surrender the throne, but he returns answer
as haughty as is sent. Brave and noble, he plants his standard, a
warrior sparkling with gold and precious stones, and thus addresses
his men:--

"The Normans are good knights, and well used to war. If they pierce
our ranks, we are lost. Cleave, and do not spare!" Then they build
up a breastwork of shields, which no man can pass alive. William of
Normandy is ready for action. He in turn addresses his men: "Spare
not, and strike hard. There will be booty for all. It will be in vain
to ask for peace; the English will not give it. Flight is impossible;
at the sea you will find neither ship nor bridge; the English would
overtake and annihilate you there. The victory is in our hands."

From nine till three the battle rages. The case becomes desperate.
William orders the archers to fire into the air, as they cannot pierce
English armor, and arrows fall down like rain upon the Saxons. Harold
is pierced in the eye. He is soon overcome and trampled to death by
the enemy, dying, it is said, with the words "Holy Cross" upon his

Ten thousand are killed on either side, and the Saxons pass forever
under foreign rule. Harold's mother comes and begs the body of her
son, and pays for it, some historians say, its weight in gold.

Every foot of ground at Battle Abbey is historic, and all the country
round most interesting. We drive over the smoothest of roads to a
palace in the distance,--Normanhurst, the home of Lady Brassey, the
distinguished author and traveller. Towers are at either corner and
in the centre, and ivy climbs over the spacious vestibule to the roof.
Great buildings for waterworks, conservatories, and the like, are
adjoining, in the midst of flower-gardens and acres of lawn and
forest. It is a place fit for the abode of royalty itself.

In no home have I seen so much that is beautiful gathered from all
parts of the world. The hall, as you enter, square and hung with
crimson velvet, is adorned with valuable paintings. Two easy-chairs
before the fireplace are made from ostriches, their backs forming the
seats. These birds were gifts to Lady Brassey in her travels. In the
rooms beyond are treasures from Japan, the South Sea Islands, South
America, indeed from everywhere; cases of pottery, works in marble,
Dresden candelabra, ancient armor, furs, silks, all arrayed with
exquisite taste.

One room, called the Marie Antoinette room, has the curtains and
furniture, in yellow, of this unfortunate queen. Here are pictures by
Sir Frederick Leighton, Landseer, and others; stuffed birds and
fishes and animals from every clime, with flowers in profusion. In
the dining-room, with its gray walls and red furniture, is a large
painting of the mistress of this superb home, with her favorite horse
and dogs. The views from the windows are beautiful, Battle Abbey ruin
in the distance, and rivers flowing to the sea. The house is rich in
color, one room being blue, another red, a third yellow, while large
mirrors seem to repeat the apartments again and again. As we leave the
home, not the least of its attractions come up the grounds,--a load of
merry children, all in sailor hats; the Mabelle and Muriel and Marie
whom we have learned to know in Lady Brassey's books.

The well-known author is the daughter of the late Mr. John Alnutt of
Berkley Square, London, who, as well as his father, was a patron of
art, having made large collections of paintings. Reared in wealth and
culture, it was but natural that the daughter, Annie, should find
in the wealthy and cultured Sir Thomas Brassey a man worthy of her
affections. In 1860, while both were quite young, they were married,
and together they have travelled, written books, aided working men and
women, and made for themselves a noble and lasting fame.

Sir Thomas is the eldest son of the late Mr. Brassey, "the leviathan
contractor, the employer of untold thousands of navvies, the genie of
the spade and pick, and almost the pioneer of railway builders, not
only in his own country, but from one end of the continent to the
other." Of superior education, having been at Rugby and University
College, Oxford, Sir Thomas was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in
1864, and was elected to Parliament from Devonport the following year,
and from Hastings three years later, in 1868, which position he has
filled ever since.

Exceedingly fond of the sea, he determined to be a practical sailor,
and qualified himself as a master-marine, by passing the requisite
Board of Trade examination, and receiving a certificate as a seaman
and navigator. In 1869 he was made Honorary Lieutenant in the Royal
Naval Reserve.

Besides his parliamentary work, he has been an able and voluminous
writer. His _Foreign Work and English Wages_ I purchased in England,
and have found it valuable in facts and helpful in spirit. The
statement in the preface that he "has had under consideration the
expediency of retiring from Parliament, with the view of devoting an
undivided attention to the elucidation of industrial problems, and
the improvement of the relations between capital and labor," shows the
heart of the man. In 1880 he was made Civil Lord of the Admiralty, and
in 1881 was created by the Queen a Knight Commander of the Order
of the Bath, for his important services in connection with the
organization of the Naval Reserve forces of the country.

[Illustration: SIR THOMAS BRASSEY.]

In 1869, after Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey had been nine years
married, they determined to take a sea-voyage in his yacht, and
between this time and 1872 they made two cruises in the Mediterranean
and the East. From her childhood the wife had kept a journal, and from
fine powers of observation and much general knowledge was well fitted
to see whatever was to be seen, and describe it graphically. She
wrote long, journal-like letters to her father, and on her return _The
Flight of the Meteor_ was prepared for distribution among relatives
and intimate friends.

In the year last mentioned, 1872, they took a trip to Canada and
the United States, sailing up several of the long rivers, and on her
return, _A Cruise in the Eothen_ was published for friends.

Four years later they decided to go round the world, and for this
purpose the beautiful yacht _Sunbeam_ was built. The children, the
animal pets, two dogs, three birds, and a Persian kitten for the baby,
were all taken, and the happy family left England July 1, 1876. With
the crew, the whole number of persons on board was forty-three.
Almost at the beginning of the voyage they encountered a severe storm.
Captain Lecky would have been lost but for the presence of mind of
Mabelle Brassey, the oldest daughter, who has her mother's courage
and calmness. When asked if she thought she was going overboard, she
answered, "I did not think at all, mamma, but felt sure we were gone."

"Soon after this adventure," says Lady Brassey, "we all went to bed,
full of thanksgiving that it had ended as well as it did; but, alas,
not, so far as I was concerned, to rest in peace. In about two hours I
was awakened by a tremendous weight of water suddenly descending upon
me and flooding the bed. I immediately sprang out, only to find myself
in another pool on the floor. It was pitch dark, and I could not think
what had happened; so I rushed on deck, and found that the weather
having moderated a little, some kind sailor, knowing my love of fresh
air, had opened the skylight rather too soon, and one of the angry
waves had popped on board, deluging the cabin.

"I got a light, and proceeded to mop up, as best I could, and then
endeavored to find a dry place to sleep in. This, however, was no easy
task, for my own bed was drenched, and every other berth occupied.
The deck, too, was ankle-deep in water, as I found when I tried to
get across to the deck-house sofa. At last I lay down on the floor,
wrapped in my ulster, and wedged between the foot stanchion of our
swing bed and the wardrobe athwart-ship; so that as the yacht rolled
heavily, my feet were often higher than my head."

No wonder that a woman who could make the best of such circumstances
could make a year's trip on the _Sunbeam_ a delight to all on board.
Their first visits were to the Madeira, Teneriffe, and Cape de Verde
Islands, off the coast of Africa. With simplicity, the charm of all
writing, and naturalness, Lady Brassey describes the people, the
bathing where the sharks were plentiful, and the masses of wild
geranium, hydrangea, and fuchsia. They climb to the top of the lava
Peak of Teneriffe, over twelve thousand feet high; they rise at
five o'clock to see the beautiful sunrises; they watch the slaves at
coffee-raising at Rio de Janeiro, in South America, and Lady Brassey
is attracted toward the nineteen tiny babies by the side of their
mothers; "the youngest, a dear, little woolly-headed thing, as black
as jet, and only three weeks old."

In Belgrano, she says: "We saw for the first time the holes of the
bizcachas, or prairie-dogs, outside which the little prairie-owls keep
guard. There appeared to be always one, and generally two, of these
birds, standing like sentinels, at the entrance to each hole, with
their wise-looking heads on one side, pictures of prudence and
watchfulness. The bird and the beast are great friends, and are seldom
to be found apart." And then Lady Brassey, who understands photography
as well as how to write several languages, photographs this pretty
scene of prairie-dogs guarded by owls, and puts it in her book.

On their way to the Straits of Magellan, they see a ship on fire. They
send out a boat to her, and bring in the suffering crew of fifteen
men, almost wild with joy to be rescued. Their cargo of coal had been
on fire for four days. The men were exhausted, the fires beneath
their feet were constantly growing hotter, and finally they gave up in
despair and lay down to die. But the captain said, "There is One above
who looks after us all," and again they took courage. They lashed the
two apprentice boys in one of the little boats, for fear they would be
washed overboard, for one was the "only son of his mother, and she a

"The captain," says Lady Brassey, "drowned his favorite dog, a
splendid Newfoundland, just before leaving the ship; for although a
capital watchdog and very faithful, he was rather large and fierce;
and when it was known that the _Sunbeam_ was a yacht with ladies and
children on board, he feared to introduce him. Poor fellow! I wish I
had known about it in time to save his life!"

They "steamed past the low sandy coast of Patagonia and the rugged
mountains of Tierra del Fuego, literally, Land of Fire, so called from
the custom the inhabitants have of lighting fires on prominent points
as signals of assembly." The people are cannibals, and naked. "Their
food is of the most meagre description, and consists mainly of
shell-fish, sea-eggs, for which the women dive with much dexterity,
and fish, which they train their dogs to assist them in catching.
These dogs are sent into the water at the entrance of a narrow creek
or small bay, and they then bark and flounder about and drive the fish
before them into shallow water, where they are caught."

Three of these Fuegians, a man, woman, and lad, come out to the yacht
in a craft made of planks rudely tied together with the sinews of
animals, and give otter skins for "tobáco and galléta" (biscuit), for
which they call. When Lady Brassey gives the lad and his mother some
strings of blue, red, and green glass beads, they laugh and jabber
most enthusiastically. Their paddles are "split branches of trees,
with wider pieces tied on at one end, with the sinews of birds or
beasts." At the various places where they land, all go armed, Lady
Brassey herself being well skilled in their use.

She never forgets to do a kindness. In Chili she hears that a poor
engine-driver, an Englishman, has met with a serious accident, and at
once hastens to see him. He is delighted to hear about the trip of the
_Sunbeam_, and forgets for a time his intense suffering in his joy at
seeing her.

In Santiago she describes a visit to the ruin of the Jesuit church,
where, Dec. 8, 1863, at the Feast of the Virgin, two thousand persons,
mostly women and children, were burned to death. A few were drawn up
through a hole in the roof and thus saved.

Their visit to the South Sea Islands is full of interest. At Bow
Island Lady Brassey buys two tame pigs for twenty-five cents each,
which are so docile that they follow her about the yacht with the
dogs, to whom they took a decided fancy. She calls one Agag, because
he walks so delicately on his toes. The native women break cocoanuts
and offer them the milk to drink. At Maitea the natives are puzzled to
know why the island is visited. "No sell brandy?" they ask. "No."
"No stealy men?" "No." "No do what then?" The chief receives most
courteously, cutting down a banana-tree for them, when they express a
wish for bananas. He would receive no money for his presents to them.

In Tahiti a feast is given in their honor, in a house seemingly made
of banana-trees, "the floor covered with the finest mats, and
the centre strewn with broad green plantain leaves, to form the
table-cloth.... Before each guest was placed a half-cocoanut full of
salt water, another full of chopped cocoanut, a third full of fresh
water, and another full of milk, two pieces of bamboo, a basket of
poi, half a breadfruit, and a platter of green leaves, the latter
being changed with each course. We took our seats on the ground round
the green table. The first operation was to mix the salt water and
the chopped cocoanut together, so as to make an appetizing sauce, into
which we were supposed to dip each morsel we ate. We were tolerably
successful in the use of our fingers as substitutes for knives and

At the Sandwich Islands, in Hilo, they visit the volcano of Kilauea.
They descend the precipice, three hundred feet, which forms the wall
of the old crater. They ascend the present crater, and stand on the
"edge of a precipice, overhanging a lake of molten fire, a hundred
feet below us, and nearly a mile across. Dashing against the cliffs on
the opposite side, with a noise like the roar of a stormy ocean,
waves of blood-red, fiery liquid lava hurled their billows upon an
iron-bound headland, and then rushed up the face of the cliffs to toss
their gory spray high in the air."

They pass the island of Molokai, where the poor lepers end their days
away from home and kindred. At Honolulu they are entertained by the
Prince, and then sail for Japan, China, Ceylon, through Suez, stopping
in Egypt, and then home. On their arrival, Lady Brassey says, "How
can I describe the warm greetings that met us everywhere, or the crowd
that surrounded us; how, along the whole ten miles from Hastings to
Battle, people were standing by the roadside and at the cottage doors
to welcome us; how the Battle bell-ringers never stopped ringing
except during service time; or how the warmest of welcomes ended our
delightful year of travel and made us feel we were home at last, with
thankful hearts for the providential care which had watched over us
whithersoever we roamed!"

The trip had been one of continued ovation. Crowds had gathered in
every place to see the _Sunbeam_, and often trim her with flowers from
stem to stern. Presents of parrots, and kittens, and pigs abounded,
and Lady Brassey had cared tenderly for them all. Christmas was
observed on ship-board with gifts for everybody; thoughtfulness
and kindness had made the trip a delight to the crew as well as the

The letters sent home from the _Sunbeam_ were so thoroughly enjoyed
by her father and friends, that they prevailed upon her to publish a
book, which she did in 1878. It was found to be as full of interest
to the world as it had been to the intimate friends, and it passed
rapidly through four editions. An abridged edition appeared in the
following year; then the call for it was so great that an edition
was prepared for reading in schools, in 1880, and finally, in 1881, a
twelve-cent edition, that the poor as well as the rich might have an
opportunity of reading this fascinating book, _Around the World in
the Yacht Sunbeam_. And now Lady Brassey found herself not only the
accomplished and benevolent wife of a member of Parliament, but a
famous author as well.

This year, July, 1881, the King of the Sandwich Islands, who had been
greatly pleased with her description of his kingdom, was entertained
at Normanhurst Castle, and invested Lady Brassey with the Order of

The next trip made was to the far East, and a book followed in 1880,
entitled, _Sunshine and Storm in the East; or, Cruises to Cyprus and
Constantinople_, dedicated "to the brave, true-hearted sailors of
England, of all ranks and services."

The book is intensely interesting. Now she describes the Sultan going
to the mosque, which he does every Friday at twelve o'clock. "He
appeared in a sort of undress uniform, with a flowing cloak over
it, and with two or three large diamond stars on his breast. He was
mounted on a superb white Arab charger, thirty-three years old,
whose saddle-cloths and trappings blazed with gold and diamonds. The
following of officers on foot was enormous; and then came two hundred
of the fat blue and gold pashas, with their white horses and brilliant
trappings, the rear being brought up by some troops and a few
carriages.... Nobody dares address the Sultan, even if he speaks to
them, except in monosyllables, with their foreheads almost touching
the floor, the only exception being the grand vizier, who dares not
look up, but stands almost bent double. He is entirely governed by his
mother, who, having been a slave of the very lowest description, to
whom his father, Mahmoud II., took a fancy as she was carrying wood
to the bath, is naturally bigoted and ignorant.... The Sultan is not
allowed to marry, but the slaves who become mothers of his children
are called sultanas, and not allowed to do any more work. They have a
separate suite of apartments, a retinue of servants, besides carriages
and horses, and each hopes some day to be the mother of the future
Sultan, and therefore the most prominent woman in Turkey. The sultanas
may not sit at table with their own children, on account of their
having been slaves, while the children are princes and princesses in
right of their father."

Lady Brassey tells the amusing story of a visit of Eugenie to the
Sultan's mother, when the Empress of the French saluted her on the
cheek. The Turkish woman was furious, and said she had never been so
insulted in her life. "She retired to bed at once, was bled, and had
several Turkish baths, to purify her from the pollution. Fancy the
Empress' feelings when, after having so far condescended as to kiss
the old woman, born one of the lowest of slaves, she had her embrace
received in such a manner."

The habits and customs of the people are described by Lady Brassey
with all the interest of a novel. On their return home, "again the
Battle bells rang out a merry peal of gladness; again everybody rushed
out to welcome us. At home once again, the servants and the animals
seemed equally glad to see us back; the former looked the picture of
happiness, while the dogs jumped and barked; the horses and ponies
neighed and whinnied; the monkeys chattered; the cockatoos and parrots
screamed; the birds chirped; the bullfinches piped their little paean
of welcome.... Our old Sussex cowman says that even the cows eat their
food 'kind of kinder like' when the family are at home. The deer and
the ostriches too, the swans and the call ducks, all came running to
meet us, as we drove round the place to see them." Kindness to both
man and beast bears its legitimate fruit.

Two years later she prepared the letter-press to _Tahiti: a Series of
Photographs_, taken by Colonel Stuart Wortley. He also is a gentleman
of much culture and noble work, in whose home we saw beautiful things
gathered from many lands.

The last long trip of Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey was made in the fall
of 1883, and resulted in a charming book, _In the Trades, the Tropics,
and the Roaring Forties_, with about three hundred illustrations. The
route lay through Madeira, Trinidad, Venezuela, the Bahamas, and home
by way of the Azores. The resources of the various islands, their
history, and their natural formation, are ably told, showing much
study as well as intelligent observation. The maps and charts are also
valuable. At Trinidad they visit the fine Botanic Gardens, and see
bamboos, mangoes, peach-palms, and cocoa-plants, from whose seeds
chocolate is made. The quantity exported annually is 13,000,000

They also visit great coffee plantations. "The leaves of the
coffee-shrub," says Lady Brassey, "are of a rich, dark, glossy green;
the flowers, which grow in dense white clusters, when in full bloom,
giving the bushes the appearance of being covered with snow. The
berries vary in color from pale green to reddish orange or dark
red, according to their ripeness, and bear a strong resemblance to
cherries. Each contains two seeds, which, when properly dried, become
what is known to us as 'raw' coffee."

At Caracas they view with interest the place which, on March 26,
1812, was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, twelve thousand persons
perishing, thousands of whom were buried alive by the opening of
the ground. They study the formation of coral-reefs, and witness the
gathering of sponges in the Bahamas. "These are brought to the surface
by hooked poles, or sometimes by diving. When first drawn from the
water they are covered with a soft gelatinous substance, as black as
tar and full of organic life, the sponge, as we know, being only the
skeleton of the organism."

While all this travelling was being enjoyed, and made most useful
as well, to hundreds of thousands of readers, Lady Brassey was not
forgetting her works of philanthropy. For years she has been a leading
spirit in the St. John's Ambulance Association. Last October she
gave a valuable address to the members of the "Workingmen's Club and
Institute Union," composed of several hundred societies of workingmen.
Her desire was that each society take up the work of teaching
its members how to care for the body in case of accidents. The
association, now numbering over one hundred thousand persons, is an
offshoot of the ancient order of St. John of Jerusalem, founded eight
hundred years ago, to maintain a hospital for Christian pilgrims. She
says: "The method of arresting bleeding from an artery is so easy that
a child may learn it; yet thousands of lives have been lost through
ignorance, the life-blood ebbing away in the presence of sorrowing
spectators, perfectly helpless, because none among them had been
taught one of the first rudiments of instruction of an ambulance
pupil,--the application of an extemporized tourniquet. Again, how
frequent is the loss of life by drowning; yet how few persons,
comparatively, understand the way to treat properly the apparently
drowned." Lectures are given by this association on, first, aid to the
injured; also on the general management of the sick-room.

Lady Brassey, with the assistance of medical men, has held classes in
all the outlying villages about her home, and has arranged that simple
but useful medical appliances, like plasters, bandages, and the like,
be kept at some convenient centres.

At Trindad, and Bahamas, and Bermudas, when they stayed there in
their travels, she caused to be held large meetings among the most
influential residents; also at Madeira and in the Azores. A class was
organized on board the _Sunbeam_, and lectures were delivered by
a physician. In the Shetland Islands she has also organized these
societies, and thus many lives have been saved. When the soldiers
went to the Soudan, she arranged for these helpful lectures to them
on their voyage East, and among much other reading-matter which
she obtained for them, sent them books and papers on this essential
medical knowledge.

She carries on correspondence with India, Australia, and New Zealand,
where ambulance associations have been formed. For her valued services
she was elected in 1881 a _Dame Chevaliere_ of the Order of St. John
of Jerusalem.

Her work among the poor in the East End of London is admirable. Too
much of this cannot be done by those who are blessed with wealth
and culture. She is also interested in all that helps to educate the
people, as is shown by her Museum of Natural History and Ethnological
Specimens, open for inspection in the School of Fine Art at Hastings.
How valuable is such a life compared with one that uses its time and
money for personal gratification alone.

In August, 1885, Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey took Mr. and Mrs.
Gladstone, and a few other friends, in the _Sunbeam_, up the coast of
Norway. When they landed at Stavanger, a quaint, clean little town,
she says, in the October _Contemporary Review_: "The reception which
we met in this comparatively out-of-the-way place, where our visit had
been totally unexpected, was very striking. From early morning little
groups of townspeople had been hovering about the quays, trying to get
a distant glimpse of the world-renowned statesman who was among our
passengers." When they walked through the town, "every window and
doorway was filled with on-lookers, several flags had been hoisted in
honor of the occasion, and the church bells were set ringing. It was
interesting and touching to see the ex-minister walking up the
narrow street, his hat almost constantly raised in response to the
salutations of the townspeople."

They sail up the fiords, they ride in stolkjoerres over the country,
they climb mountains, they visit old churches, and they dine with the
Prince of Wales on board the royal yacht _Osborne_. Before landing,
Mr. Gladstone addresses the crew, thanking them that "the voyage has
been made pleasant and safe by their high sense of duty, constant
watchfulness, and arduous exertion." While he admires the "rare
knowledge of practical seamanship of Sir Thomas Brassey," and thanks
both him and his wife for their "genial and generous hospitality,"
he does not forget the sailors, for whom he "wishes health and
happiness," and "prays that God may speed you in all you undertake."

Lady Brassey is living a useful and noble as well as intellectual
life. In London, Sir Thomas and herself recently gave a reception to
over a thousand workingmen in the South Kensington Museum. Devoted to
her family, she does not forget the best interests of her country,
nor the welfare of those less fortunate than herself. Successful in
authorship, she is equally successful in good works; loved at home and
honored abroad.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lady Brassey's last voyage was made in the yacht she loved: the
_Sunbeam_. Three or four years before, her health had received a
serious shock through an attack of typhoid fever, and it was hoped
that travel would restore her. A trip was made in 1887 to Ceylon,
Rangoon, North Borneo and Australia, in company with Lord Brassey,
a son, and three daughters. While in mid-ocean, on their way to
Mauritius, Lady Brassey died of malarial fever, and was buried at sea,
September 14, 1887.



We hear, with comparative frequency, of great gifts made by men:
George Peabody and Johns Hopkins, Ezra Cornell and Matthew Vassar,
Commodore Vanderbilt and Leland Stanford. But gifts of millions have
been rare from women. Perhaps this is because they have not, as often
as men, had the control of immense wealth.

It is estimated that Baroness Burdett-Coutts has already given away
from fifteen to twenty million dollars, and is constantly dispensing
her fortune. She is feeling, in her lifetime, the real joy of giving.
How many benevolent persons lose all this joy, by waiting till death
before they bestow their gifts.

This remarkable woman comes from a remarkable family. Her father,
Sir Francis Burdett, was one of England's most prominent members of
Parliament. So earnest and eloquent was he that Canning placed him
"very nearly, if not quite, at the head of the orators of the day."
His colleague from Westminster, Hobhouse, said, "Sir Francis Burdett
was endowed with qualities rarely united. A manly understanding and a
tender heart gave a charm to his society such as I have never derived
in any other instance from a man whose principal pursuit was politics.
He was the delight both of young and old."

He was of fine presence, with great command of language, natural,
sincere, and impressive. After being educated at Oxford, he spent some
time in Paris during the early part of the French Revolution, and
came home with enlarged ideas of liberty. With as much courage as
eloquence, he advocated liberty of the press in England, and many
Parliamentary reforms. Whenever there were misdeeds to be exposed, he
exposed them. The abuses of Cold Bath Fields and other prisons were
corrected through his searching public inquiries.

When one of his friends was shut up in Newgate for impugning the
conduct of the House of Commons, Sir Francis took his part, and for
this it was ordered that he too be arrested. Believing in free speech
as he did, he denied the right of the House of Commons to arrest
him, and for nearly three days barricaded his house, till the police
forcibly entered, and carried him to the Tower. A riot resulted, the
people assaulting the police and the soldiers, for the statesman was
extremely popular. Several persons were killed in the tumult.

Nine years later, in 1819, because he condemned the proceedings of the
Lancashire magistrates in a massacre case, he was again arrested for
libel (?). His sentence was three months' imprisonment, and a fine of
five thousand dollars. The banknote with which the money was paid
is still preserved in the Bank of England, "with an inscription
in Burdett's own writing, that to save his life, which further
imprisonment threatened to destroy, he submitted to be robbed."

For thirty years he represented Westminster, fearless in what he
considered right; strenuous for the abolition of slavery, and in all
other reforms. Napoleon said at St. Helena, if he had invaded England
as he had intended, he would have made it a republic, with Sir Francis
Burdett, the popular idol, at its head.

Wealthy himself, Sir Francis married Sophia, the youngest daughter of
the wealthy London banker, Thomas Coutts. One son and five daughters
were born to them, the youngest Angela Georgina (April 21, 1814),
now the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Mr. Coutts was an eccentric and
independent man, who married for his first wife an excellent girl of
very humble position. Their children, from the great wealth of the
father, married into the highest social rank, one being Marchioness of
Bute, one countess of Guilford, and the third Lady Burdett.

When Thomas Coutts was eighty-four he married for the second time,
a well-known actress, Harriet Mellon, who for seven years, till his
death, took excellent care of him. He left her his whole fortune,
amounting to several millions, feeling, perhaps, that he had provided
sufficiently for his daughters at their marriage, by giving them a
half-million each. But Harriet Mellon, with a fine sense of honor,
felt that the fortune belonged to his children. Though she married
five years later the Duke of St. Albans, twenty-four years old, about
half her own age, at her death, in ten years, she left the whole
property, some fifteen millions, to Mr. Coutts' granddaughter, Angela
Burdett. Only one condition was imposed,--that the young lady should
add the name of Coutts to her own.

Miss Angela Burdett-Coutts became, therefore, at twenty-three, the
sole proprietor of the great Coutts banking-house, which position she
held for thirty years, and the owner of an immense fortune. Very many
young men manifested a desire to help care for the property, and to
share it with her, but she seems from the first to have had but one
definite life-purpose,--to spend her money for the good of the human
race. She had her father's strength of character, was well educated,
and was a friend of royalty itself. Alas, how many young women, with
fifteen million dollars in hand, and the sum constantly increasing,
would have preferred a life of display and self-aggrandizement rather
than visiting the poor and the sorrowing!

Baroness Burdett-Coutts is now over seventy, and for fifty years her
name has been one of the brightest and noblest in England, or, indeed,
in the world. Crabb Robinson said, she is "the most generous, and
delicately generous, person I ever knew."

Her charities have extended in every direction. Among her first good
works was the building of two large churches, one at Carlisle, and
another, St. Stephen's, at Westminster, the latter having also three
schools and a parsonage. But Great Britain did not require all her
gifts. Gospel work was needed in Australia, Africa, and British
America. She therefore endowed three colonial bishoprics, at Adelaide,
Cape Town, and in British Columbia, with a quarter of a million
dollars. In South Australia she also provided an institution for the
improvement of the aborigines, who were ignorant, and for whom the
world seemed to care little.

She has generously aided her own sex. Feeling that sewing and other
household work should be taught in the national schools, as from her
labors among the poor she had seen how often food was badly cooked,
and mothers were ignorant of sewing, she gave liberally to the
government for this purpose. Her heart also went out to children in
the remote districts, who were missing all school privileges, and for
these she arranged a plan of "travelling teachers," which was heartily
approved by the English authorities. Even now in these later years the
Baroness may often be seen at the night-schools of London, offering
prizes, or encouraging the young men and women in their desire to
gain knowledge after the hard day's work is done. She has opened
"Reformatory Homes" for girls, and great good has resulted.

Like Peabody, she has transformed some of the most degraded portions
of London by her improved tenement houses for the poor. One place,
called Nova Scotia gardens,--the term "gardens" was a misnomer,--she
purchased, tore down the old rookeries where people slept and ate in
filth and rags, and built tasteful homes for two hundred families,
charging for them low and weekly rentals. Close by she built Columbia
Market, costing over a million dollars, intended for the convenience
of small dealers and people in that locality, where clean, healthful
food could be procured. She opened a museum and reading-room for the
neighborhood, and brought order and taste out of squalor and distress.

This building she presented to the city of London, and in
acknowledgment of the munificent gift, the Common Council presented
her, July, 1872, in a public ceremony, the freedom of the city, an
uncommon honor to a woman. It was accompanied by a complimentary
address, enclosed in a beautiful gold casket with several
compartments. One bore the arms of the Baroness, while the other
seven represented tableaux emblematic of her noble life, "Feeding
the Hungry," "Giving Drink to the Thirsty," "Clothing the Naked,"
"Visiting the Captive," "Lodging the Homeless," "Visiting the
Sick," and "Burying the Dead." The four cardinal virtues, Prudence,
Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice, supported the box at the four
corners, while the lid was surmounted by the arms of the city.

The Baroness made an able response to the address of the Council,
instead of asking some gentleman to reply for her. Women who can do
valuable benevolent work should be able to read their own reports,
or say what they desire to say in public speech, without feeling
that they have in the slightest degree departed from the dignity and
delicacy of their womanhood.

Two years later, 1874, Edinburgh, for her many charities, also
presented the Baroness the freedom of the city. Queen Victoria, three
years before this, in June, 1871, had made her a peer of the realm.

In Spitalfields, London, where the poverty was very great, she started
a sewing-school for adult women, and provided not only work for them,
but food as well, so that they might earn for themselves rather than
receive charity. To furnish this work, she took contracts from the
government. From this school she sent out nurses among the sick,
giving them medical supplies, and clothes for the deserving. When
servants needed outfits, the Baroness provided them, aiding in all
ways those who were willing to work. All this required much executive

So interested is she in the welfare of poor children, that she has
converted some of the very old burying-grounds of the city, where
the bodies have long since gone back to dust, into playgrounds, with
walks, and seats, and beds of flowers. Here the children can romp
from morning till night, instead of living in the stifled air of
the tenement houses. In old St. Pancras churchyard, now used as a
playground, she has erected a sundial as a memorial to its illustrious

Not alone does Lady Burdett-Coutts build churches, and help women and
girls. She has fitted hundreds of boys for the Royal Navy; educated
them on her training-ships. She usually tries them in a shoe-black
brigade, and if they show a desire to be honest and trustworthy, she
provides homes, either in the navy or in some good trade.

When men are out of work, she encourages them in various ways. When
the East End weavers had become reduced to poverty by the decay of
trade, she furnished funds for them to emigrate to Queensland, with
their families. A large number went together, and formed a prosperous
and happy colony, gratefully sending back thanks to their benefactor.
They would have starved, or, what is more probable, gone into crime in
London; now they were contented and satisfied in their new home.

When the inhabitants of Girvan, Scotland, were in distress, she
advanced a large sum to take all the needy families to Australia. Here
in America we talk every now and then of forming societies to help the
poor to leave the cities and go West, and too often the matter ends in
talk; while here is a woman who forms a society in and of herself,
and sends the suffering to any part of the world, expecting no money
return on the capital used. To see happy and contented homes grow from
our expenditures is such an investment of capital as helps to bring on
the millennium.

When the people near Skibbereen, Ireland, were in want, she sent food,
and clothing, and fishing-tackle, to enable them to carry on their
daily employment of fishing. She supplied the necessary funds for Sir
Henry James' topographical survey of Jerusalem, in the endeavor to
discover the remains of King Solomon's temple, and offered to restore
the ancient aqueduct, to supply the city with water. Deeply interested
in art, she has aided many struggling artists. Her homes also contain
many valuable pictures.

The heart of the Baroness seems open to distress from every clime. In
1877, when word reached England of the suffering through war of the
Bulgarian and Turkish peasantry, she instituted the "Compassion Fund,"
by which one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in money and stores
were sent, and thousands of lives saved from starvation and death. For
this generosity the Sultan conferred upon her the Order of Medjidie,
the first woman, it is said, who has received this distinction.

In all this benevolence she has not overlooked the animal creation.
She has erected four handsome drinking fountains: one in Victoria
Park, one at the entrance to the Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park,
one near Columbia Market, and one in the city of Manchester. At the
opening of the latter, the citizens gave Lady Burdett-Coutts a most
enthusiastic reception. To the unique and interesting home for lost
dogs in London, she has contributed very largely. If the poor animals
could speak, how would they thank her for a warm bed to lie on, and
proper food to eat!

Her private gifts to the poor have been numberless. Her city house,
I Stratton Street, Piccadilly, and her country home at Holly Lodge,
Highgate, are both well known. When, in 1868, the great Reform
procession passed her house, and she was at the window, though half
out of sight, says a person who was present, "in one instant a shout
was raised. For upwards of two hours and a half the air rang with the
reiterated huzzas--huzzas unanimous and heart-felt, as if representing
a national sentiment."

At Holly Lodge, which one passes in visiting the grave of George Eliot
at Highgate Cemetery, the Baroness makes thousands of persons happy
year by year. Now she invites two thousand Belgian volunteers to meet
the Prince and Princess of Wales, with some five hundred royal and
distinguished guests; now she throws open her beautiful gardens to
hundreds of school-children, and lets them play at will under the oak
and chestnut trees; and now she entertains at tea all her tenants,
numbering about a thousand. So genial and considerate is she that
all love her, both rich and poor. She has fine manners and an open,
pleasant face.

For some years a young friend, about half her own age, Mr. William
Ashmead-Bartlett, had assisted her in dispensing her charities, and
in other financial matters. At one time he went to Turkey, at her
request, using wisely the funds committed to his trust. Baroness
Coutts had refused many offers of marriage, but she finally desired
to bestow her hand upon this young but congenial man. On February 12,
1881, they were wedded in Christ Church, Piccadilly. Her husband
took the name of Mr. Burdett-Coutts Bartlett, and has since become a
capable member of Parliament. The marriage proved a happy one.

The final years of the Baroness' long, useful life were rather
secluded, being spent at her London residence, or at her delightful
country place near Highgate, where she formerly entertained largely.

On Christmas Eve, in 1906, she became ill of bronchitis, and though
her wonderful vitality led her to revive somewhat, she finally
succumbed on December 30, at the age of ninety-two. She was greatly
beloved from the highest to the humblest citizens. Queen Alexandra
sent repeated inquiries and messages. King Edward once said that he
regarded the Baroness, after his mother, as the most remarkable woman
in England. Her life was a link with the past, as it began during the
reign of Emperor Napoleon I, and witnessed the reigns of five British
sovereigns. Throughout it was spent in doing good.


[Illustration: JEAN INGELOW.]

The same friend who had given me Mrs. Browning's five volumes in blue
and gold, came one day with a dainty volume just published by Roberts
Brothers, of Boston. They had found a new poet, and one possessing a
beautiful name. Possibly it was a _nom de plume_, for who had heard
any real name so musical as that of Jean Ingelow?

I took the volume down by the quiet stream that flows below Amherst
College, and day after day, under a grand old tree, read some of
the most musical words, wedded to as pure thought as our century has

The world was just beginning to know _The High Tide on the Coast of
Lincolnshire_. Eyes were dimming as they read,--

  "I looked without, and lo! my sonne
     Came riding downe with might and main:
   He raised a shout as he drew on,
     Till all the welkin rang again,
  'Elizabeth! Elizabeth!'
     (A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
     Than my sonne's wife Elizabeth.)

  "'The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,
     The rising tide comes on apace,
    And boats adrift in yonder towne
     Go sailing uppe the market-place.'
    He shook as one who looks on death:
     'God save you, mother!' straight he saith;
     'Where is my wife, Elizabeth?'"

And then the waters laid her body at his very door, and the sweet
voice that called, "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" was stilled forever.

The _Songs of Seven_ soon became as household words, because they
were a reflection of real life. Nobody ever pictured a child more
exquisitely than the little seven-year-old, who, rich with the little
knowledge that seems much to a child, looks down from superior heights

  "The lambs that play always, they know no better;
    They are only one times one."

So happy is she that she makes boon companions of the flowers:--

  "O brave marshmary buds, rich and yellow,
     Give me your honey to hold!

  "O columbine, open your folded wrapper,
     Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!
   O cuckoopint, toll me the purple clapper
     That hangs in your clear green bell!"

At "seven times two," who of us has not waited for the great heavy
curtains of the future to be drawn aside?

  "I wish and I wish that the spring would go faster,
     Nor long summer bide so late;
   And I could grow on, like the fox-glove and aster,
     For some things are ill to wait."

At twenty-one the girl's heart flutters with expectancy:--

  "I leaned out of window, I smelt the white clover,
     Dark, dark was the garden, I saw not the gate;
   Now, if there be footsteps, he comes, my one lover;
     Hush nightingale, hush! O sweet nightingale wait
           Till I listen and hear
           If a step draweth near,
           For my love he is late!"

At twenty-eight, the happy mother lives in a simple home, made
beautiful by her children:--

  "Heigho! daisies and buttercups!
     Mother shall thread them a daisy chain."

At thirty-five a widow; at forty-two giving up her children to
brighten other homes; at forty-nine, "Longing for Home."

  "I had a nestful once of my own,
     Ah, happy, happy I!
   Right dearly I loved them, but when they were grown
     They spread out their wings to fly.
   O, one after another they flew away,
     Far up to the heavenly blue,
   To the better country, the upper day,
     And--I wish I was going too."

The _Songs of Seven_ will be read and treasured as long as there are
women in the world to be loved, and men in the world to love them.

My especial favorite in the volume was the poem _Divided_. Never have
I seen more exquisite kinship with nature, or more delicate and tender
feeling. Where is there so beautiful a picture as this?

  "An empty sky, a world of heather,
     Purple of fox-glove, yellow of broom;
   We two among them, wading together,
     Shaking out honey, treading perfume.

  "Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
     Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
   Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
     Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "We two walk till the purple dieth,
    And short, dry grass under foot is brown;
   But one little streak at a distance lieth
    Green like a ribbon to prank the down.

  "Over the grass we stepped into it,
     And God He knoweth how blithe we were!
   Never a voice to bid us eschew it;
     Hey the green ribbon that showed so fair!

       *       *       *       *       *

  "A shady freshness, chafers whirring,
     A little piping of leaf-hid birds;
   A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,
     A cloud to the eastward, snowy as curds.

  "Bare, glassy slopes, where kids are tethered;
     Round valleys like nests all ferny lined;
   Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,
     Swell high in their freckled robes behind.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Glitters the dew and shines the river,
     Up comes the lily and dries her bell;
   But two are walking apart forever,
     And wave their hands for a mute farewell.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "And yet I know past all doubting, truly--
     And knowledge greater than grief can dim--
   I know, as he loved, he will love me duly--
     Yea, better--e'en better than I love him.

  "And as I walk by the vast calm river,
     The awful river so dread to see,
   I say, 'Thy breadth and thy depth forever
     Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me.'"

In what choice but simple language we are thus told that two loving
hearts cannot be divided.

Years went by, and I was at last to see the author of the poems I had
loved in girlhood. I had wondered how she looked, what was her manner,
and what were her surroundings.

In Kensington, a suburb of London, in a two-story-and-a-half stone
house, cream-colored, lives Jean Ingelow. Tasteful grounds are in
front of the home, and in the rear a large lawn bordered with many
flowers, and conservatories; a real English garden, soft as velvet,
and fragrant as new-mown hay. The house is fit for a poet; roomy,
cheerful, and filled with flowers. One end of the large, double
parlors seemed a bank of azalias and honeysuckles, while great bunches
of yellow primrose and blue forget-me-not were on the tables and in
the bay-windows.

But most interesting of all was the poet herself, in middle life, with
fine, womanly face, friendly manner, and cultivated mind. For an hour
we talked of many things in both countries. Miss Ingelow showed great
familiarity with American literature and with our national questions.

While everything about her indicated deep love for poetry, and a keen
sense of the beautiful, her conversation, fluent and admirable,
showed her to be eminently practical and sensible, without a touch of
sentimentality. Her first work in life seems to be the making of her
two brothers happy in the home. She usually spends her forenoons
in writing. She does her literary work thoroughly, keeping her
productions a long time before they are put into print. As she is
never in robust health, she gives little time to society, and passes
her winters in the South of France or Italy. A letter dated Feb. 25,
from the Alps Maritime, at Cannes, says, "This lovely spot is full of
flowers, birds, and butterflies." Who that recalls her _Songs on
the Voices of Birds_, the blackbird, and the nightingale, will not
appreciate her happiness with such surroundings?

With great fondness for, and pride in, her own country, she has the
most kindly feelings toward America and her people. She says in the
preface of her novel, _Fated to be Free_, concerning this work and
_Off the Skelligs_, "I am told that they are peculiar; and I feel that
they must be so, for most stories of human life are, or at least aim
at being, works of art--selections of interesting portions of life,
and fitting incidents put together and presented as a picture is; and
I have not aimed at producing a work of art at all, but a piece of
nature." And then she goes on to explain her position to "her American
friends," for, she says, "I am sure you more than deserve of me some
efforts to please you. I seldom have an opportunity of saying how
truly I think so."

Jean Ingelow's life has been a quiet but busy and earnest one. She was
born in the quaint old city of Boston, England, in 1830. Her father
was a well-to-do banker; her mother a cultivated woman of Scotch
descent, from Aberdeenshire. Jean grew to womanhood in the midst of
eleven brothers and sisters, without the fate of struggle and poverty,
so common among the great.

She writes to a friend concerning her childhood:--

"As a child, I was very happy at times, and generally wondering at
something.... I was uncommonly like other children.... I remember seeing
a star, and that my mother told me of God who lived up there and made
the star. This was on a summer evening. It was my first hearing of
God, and made a great impression on my mind. I remember better than
anything that certain ecstatic sensations of joy used to get hold of
me, and that I used to creep into corners to think out my thoughts by
myself. I was, however, extremely timid, and easily overawed by fear.
We had a lofty nursery with a bow-window that overlooked the river. My
brother and I were constantly wondering at this river. The coming up
of the tides, and the ships, and the jolly gangs of towers ragging
them on with a monotonous song made a daily delight for us. The
washing of the water, the sunshine upon it, and the reflections of the
waves on our nursery ceiling supplied hours of talk to us, and days
of pleasure. At this time, being three years old, ... I learned my
letters.... I used to think a good deal, especially about the origin
of things. People said often that they had been in this world, that
house, that nursery, before I came. I thought everything must have
begun when I did.... No doubt other children have such thoughts,
but few remember them. Indeed, nothing is more remarkable among
intelligent people than the recollections they retain of their early
childhood. A few, as I do, remember it all. Many remember nothing
whatever which occurred before they were five years old.... I have
suffered much from a feeling of shyness and reserve, and I have not
been able to do things by trying to do them. What comes to me comes of
its own accord, and almost in spite of me; and I have hardly any power
when verses are once written to make them any better.... There were no
hardships in my youth, but care was bestowed on me and my brothers and
sisters by a father and mother who were both cultivated people."

To another friend she writes: "I suppose I may take for granted that
mine was the poetic temperament, and since there are no thrilling
incidents to relate, you may think you should like to have my views
as to what that means. I cannot tell you in an hour, or even in a day,
for it means so much. I suppose it, of its absence or presence, to
make far more difference between one person and another than any
contrast of circumstances can do. The possessor does not have it for
nothing. It isolates, particularly in childhood; it takes away some
common blessings, but then it consoles for them all."

With this poetic temperament, that saw beauty in flower, and sky, and
bird, that felt keenly all the sorrow and all the happiness of the
world about her, that wrote of life rather than art, because to live
rightly was the whole problem of human existence, with this poetic
temperament, the girl grew to womanhood in the city bordering on the

Boston, at the mouth of the Witham, was once a famous seaport, the
rival of London in commercial prosperity, in the thirteenth century.
It was the site of the famous monastery of St. Botolph, built by
a pious monk in 657. The town which grew up around it was called
Botolph's town, contracted finally to Boston. From this town Reverend
John Cotton came to America, and gave the name to the capital of
Massachusetts, in which he settled. The present famous old church of
St. Botolph was founded in 1309, having a bell-tower three hundred
feet high, which supports a lantern visible at sea for forty miles.

The surrounding country is made up largely of marshes reclaimed from
the sea, which are called fens, and slightly elevated tracts of land
called moors. Here Jean Ingelow studied the green meadows and the
ever-changing ocean.

Her first book, _A Rhyming Chronicle of Incidents and Feelings_, was
published in 1850, when she was twenty, and a novel, _Allerton and
Dreux_, in 1851; nine years later her _Tales of Orris_. But her
fame came at thirty-three, when her first full book of _Poems_ was
published in 1863. This was dedicated to a much loved brother, George
K. Ingelow:--

                "YOUR LOVING SISTER
                WITH YOUR NAME."

The press everywhere gave flattering notices. A new singer had come;
not one whose life had been spent in the study of Greek roots, simply,
but one who had studied nature and humanity. She had a message to give
the world, and she gave it well. It was a message of good cheer, of
earnest purpose, of contentment and hope.

  "What though unmarked the happy workman toil,
     And break unthanked of man the stubborn clod?
   It is enough, for sacred is the soil,
     Dear are the hills of God.

  "Far better in its place the lowliest bird
     Should sing aright to him the lowliest song,
   Than that a seraph strayed should take the word
     And sing his glory wrong."

  "But like a river, blest where'er it flows,
   Be still receiving while it still bestows."
                             "That life
     Goes best with those who take it best.
                             --it is well
           For us to be as happy as we can!"

          "Work is its own best earthly meed,
   Else have we none more than the sea-born throng
   Who wrought those marvellous isles that bloom afar."

The London press said: "Miss Ingelow's new volume exhibits abundant
evidence that time, study, and devotion to her vocation have both
elevated and welcomed the powers of the most gifted poetess we
possess, now that Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Adelaide Proctor sing
no more on earth. Lincolnshire has claims to be considered the Arcadia
of England at present, having given birth to Mr. Tennyson and our
present Lady Laureate."

The press of America was not less cordial. "Except Mrs. Browning, Jean
Ingelow is first among the women whom the world calls poets," said the

The songs touched the popular heart, and some, set to music, were sung
at numberless firesides. Who has not heard the _Sailing beyond Seas?_

  "Methought the stars were blinking bright,
     And the old brig's sails unfurled;
   I said, 'I will sail to my love this night
     At the other side of the world.'
   I stepped aboard,--we sailed so fast,--
     The sun shot up from the bourne;
   But a dove that perched upon the mast
     Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.

       O fair dove! O fond dove!
         And dove with the white breast,
       Let me alone, the dream is my own,
         And my heart is full of rest.

  "My love! He stood at my right hand,
     His eyes were grave and sweet.
   Methought he said, 'In this fair land,
     O, is it thus we meet?
   Ah, maid most dear, I am not here;
     I have no place,--no part,--
   No dwelling more by sea or shore!
     But only in thy heart!'

       O fair dove! O fond dove!
         Till night rose over the bourne,
       The dove on the mast as we sailed past,
         Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn."

Edmund Clarence Stedman, one of the ablest and fairest among American
critics, says: "As the voice of Mrs. Browning grew silent, the songs
of Miss Ingelow began, and had instant and merited popularity. They
sprang up suddenly and tunefully as skylarks from the daisy-spangled,
hawthorn-bordered meadows of old England, with a blitheness long
unknown, and in their idyllic underflights moved with the tenderest
currents of human life. Miss Ingelow may be termed an idyllic lyrist,
her lyrical pieces having always much idyllic beauty. _High Tide,
Winstanley, Songs of Seven, and the Long White Seam_ are lyrical
treasures, and the author especially may be said to evince that
sincerity which is poetry's most enduring warrant."

_Winstanley_ is especially full of pathos and action. We watch this
heroic man as he builds the lighthouse on the Eddystone rocks:--

  "Then he and the sea began their strife,
    And worked with power and might:
   Whatever the man reared up by day
    The sea broke down by night.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "A Scottish schooner made the port
     The thirteenth day at e'en:
   'As I am a man,' the captain cried,
     'A strange sight I have seen;

  "'And a strange sound heard, my masters all,
     At sea, in the fog and the rain,
   Like shipwrights' hammers tapping low,
     Then loud, then low again.

  "'And a stately house one instant showed,
     Through a rift, on the vessel's lea;
   What manner of creatures may be those
     That build upon the sea?'"

After the lighthouse was built, Winstanley went out again to see his
precious tower. A fearful storm came up, and the tower and its builder
went down together.

Several books have come from Miss Ingelow's pen since 1863. The
following year, Studies for Stories was published, of which the
Athenaeum said, "They are prose poems, carefully meditated, and
exquisitely touched in by a teacher ready to sympathize with every joy
and sorrow." The five stories are told in simple and clear language,
and without slang, to which she heartily objects. For one so rich
in imagination as Miss Ingelow, her prose is singularly free from
obscurity and florid language.

_Stories told to a Child_ was published in 1865, and _A Story of Doom,
and Other Poems_, in 1868, the principal poem being drawn from the
time of the Deluge. _Mopsa the Fairy_, an exquisite story, followed a
year later, with _A Sister's Bye-hours_, and since that time, _Off the
Skelligs_ in 1872, _Fated to be Free_ in 1875, _Sarah de Berenger_
in 1879, _Don John_ in 1881, and _Poems of the Old Days and the New_,
recently issued. Of the latter, the poet Stoddard says: "Beyond all
the women of the Victorian era, she is the most of an Elizabethan....
She has tracked the ocean journeyings of Drake, Raleigh, and
Frobisher, and others to whom the Spanish main was a second home,
the _El Dorado_ of which Columbus and his followers dreamed in their
stormy slumbers.... The first of her poems in this volume, _Rosamund_,
is a masterly battle idyl."

Her books have had large sale, both here and in Europe. It is stated
that in this country one hundred thousand of her _Poems_ have been
sold, and half that number of her prose works.

Miss Ingelow has not been elated by her deserved success. She has
told the world very little of herself in her books. She once wrote a
friend: "I am far from agreeing with you 'that it is rather too bad
when we read people's works, if they won't let us know anything about
themselves.' I consider that an author should, during life, be as much
as possible, impersonal. I never import myself into my writings, and
am much better pleased that others should feel an interest in me,
and wish to know something of me, than that they should complain of

It is said that the last of her _Songs with Preludes_ refers to a
brother who lies buried in Australia:--

  "I stand on the bridge where last we stood
     When delicate leaves were young;
   The children called us from yonder wood,
     While a mated blackbird sung.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "But if all loved, as the few can love,
     This world would seldom be well;
   And who need wish, if he dwells above,
     For a deep, a long death-knell?

  "There are four or five, who, passing this place,
     While they live will name me yet;
   And when I am gone will think on my face,
     And feel a kind of regret."

With all her literary work, she does not forget to do good personally.
At one time she instituted a "copyright dinner," at her own expense,
which she thus described to a friend: "I have set up a dinner-table
for the sick poor, or rather, for such persons as are just out of the
hospitals, and are hungry, and yet not strong enough to work. We have
about twelve to dinner three times a week, and hope to continue the
plan. It is such a comfort to see the good it does. I find it one of
the great pleasures of writing, that it gives me more command of money
for such purposes than falls to the lot of most women." Again, she
writes to an American friend: "I should be much obliged to you if you
would give in my name twenty-five dollars to some charity in Boston.
I should prefer such a one as does not belong to any party in
particular, such as a city infirmary or orphan school. I do not like
to draw money from your country, and give none in charity."

Miss Ingelow is very fond of children, and herein is, perhaps, one
secret of her success. In Off the Skelligs she says: "Some people
appear to feel that they are much wiser, much nearer to the truth and
to realities, than they were when they were children. They think of
childhood as immeasurably beneath and behind them. I have never been
able to join in such a notion. It often seems to me that we lose quite
as much as we gain by our lengthened sojourn here. I should not at all
wonder if the thoughts of our childhood, when we look back on it after
the rending of this vail of our humanity, should prove less unlike
what we were intended to derive from the teaching of life, nature, and
revelation, than the thoughts of our more sophisticated days."

Best of all, this true woman and true poet as well, like Emerson, sees
and believes in the progress of the race.

  "Still humanity grows dearer,
     Being learned the more,"

she says, in that tender poem, _A Mother showing the Portrait of her
Child._ Blessed optimism! that amid all the shortcomings of human
nature sees the best, lifts souls upward, and helps to make the world
sunny by its singing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jean Ingelow died at her home in Kensington, London, July 19, 1897, at
the age of sixty-seven, having been born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in
1830. Her long illness ended in simple exhaustion, and she welcomed
death gladly.

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