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Title: Our Philadelphia
Author: Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, 1855-1936
Language: English
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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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  | Transcriber's Notes:                                           |
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  | Words surrounded by _ are italicized.                          |
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  | A number of obvious errors have been corrected in this text.   |
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To-day, when it is the American born in the Ghetto, or Syria, or some
other remote part of the earth, whose recollections are prized, it may
seem as if the following pages called for an apology. I have none to
make. They were written simply for the pleasure of gathering together my
old memories of a town that, as my native place, is dear to me and my
new impressions of it after an absence of a quarter of a century. But
now I have finished I add to this pleasure in my book the pleasant
belief that it will have its value for others, if only for two reasons.
In the first place, J.'s drawings which illustrate it are his record of
the old Philadelphia that has passed and the new Philadelphia that is
passing--a record that in a few years it will be impossible for anybody
to make, so continually is Philadelphia changing. In the second, my
story of Philadelphia, perfect or imperfect, may in as short a time be
equally impossible for anybody to repeat, since I am one of those
old-fashioned Americans, American by birth with many generations of
American fore-fathers, who are rapidly becoming rare creatures among the
hordes of new-fashioned Americans who were anything and everything else
no longer than a year or a week or an hour ago.



CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

     I. AN EXPLANATION                                               1

    II. A CHILD IN PHILADELPHIA                                     24

   III. A CHILD IN PHILADELPHIA (Continued)                         48

    IV. AT THE CONVENT                                              72

     V. TRANSITIONAL                                               104

    VI. THE SOCIAL ADVENTURE                                       130

   VII. THE SOCIAL ADVENTURE: THE ASSEMBLY                         154

  VIII. A QUESTION OF CREED                                        175

    IX. THE FIRST AWAKENING                                        205

     X. THE MIRACLE OF WORK                                        233

    XI. THE ROMANCE OF WORK                                        268

   XII. PHILADELPHIA AND LITERATURE                                304

  XIII. PHILADELPHIA AND LITERATURE (Continued)                    332

   XIV. PHILADELPHIA AND ART                                       368

    XV. PHILADELPHIA AND ART (Continued)                           390

   XVI. PHILADELPHIA AT TABLE                                      413

  XVII. PHILADELPHIA AT TABLE (Continued)                          433




        INDEX                                                      543




DELANCEY PLACE                                                       3

"PORTICO ROW," SPRUCE STREET                                         7

ARCH STREET MEETING HOUSE                                           13


FRIENDS' GRAVEYARD, GERMANTOWN                                      21

IN RITTENHOUSE SQUARE                                               25


"ELEVENTH AND SPRUCE"                                               33

DRAWING ROOM AT CLIVEDEN                                            37

BACK-YARDS, ST. PETER'S SPIRE IN THE DISTANCE                       45

INDEPENDENCE SQUARE AND THE STATE HOUSE                             51

CHRIST CHURCH INTERIOR                                              57

CLASSIC FAIRMOUNT                                                   65

DOWN PINE STREET                                                    69

LOUDOUN, MAIN STREET, GERMANTOWN                                    75


MAIN STREET, GERMANTOWN                                             89

ARCH STREET MEETING                                                 95

THE TRAIN SHED, BROAD STREET STATION                                99

ST. PETER'S, INTERIOR                                              105


SECOND STREET MARKET                                               115

FOURTH AND ARCH STREETS MEETING HOUSE                              121

JOHNSON HOUSE, GERMANTOWN                                          127

THE CUSTOMS HOUSE                                                  131



  ADDITION HAS SINCE BEEN MADE                                     149

THE HALL, STENTON                                                  155

  THEREOF"                                                         159

BED ROOM, STENTON, THE HOME OF JAMES LOGAN                         163

THE TUNNEL IN THE PARK                                             167

THE BOAT HOUSES ON THE SCHUYLKILL                                  171

THE PULPIT, ST. PETER'S                                            179

THE CATHEDRAL, LOGAN SQUARE                                        185

CHRIST CHURCH, FROM SECOND STREET                                  189


OLD SWEDES' CHURCH                                                 201

  OF CONGRESS, JOHN HANCOCK, IN 1776                               207

PHILADELPHIA FROM BELMONT                                          211

THE DINING ROOM, STENTON                                           217

DOWN THE AISLE AT CHRIST CHURCH                                    223


STATE HOUSE YARD                                                   235

THE PENITENTIARY                                                   247

ON THE READING, AT SIXTEENTH STREET                                251

LOCUST STREET EAST FROM BROAD STREET                               255



THE CHERRY STREET STAIRS NEAR THE RIVER                            269

THE MORRIS HOUSE ON EIGHTH STREET                                  273

THE OLD COACHING-INN YARD                                          279

FRANKLIN'S GRAVE                                                   285

ARCH STREET MEETING                                                291

CLIVEDEN, THE CHEW HOUSE                                           295

BARTRAM'S                                                          301

CARPENTER'S HALL, INTERIOR                                         305

MAIN STREET, GERMANTOWN                                            311

ARCH STREET MEETING--INTERIOR                                      317

FRONT AND CALLOWHILL                                               321

THE ELEVATED AT MARKET STREET WHARF                                327

  PULLED DOWN                                                      333

THE GERMANTOWN ACADEMY                                             339

THE STATE HOUSE FROM INDEPENDENCE SQUARE                           345




CARPENTER'S HALL, BUILT 1771                                       365

INDEPENDENCE HALL--LENGTHWISE VIEW                                 369

GIRARD COLLEGE                                                     377

UPSALA, GERMANTOWN                                                 383

THE HALL AT CLIVEDEN, THE CHEW HOUSE                               387

THE OLD WATER-WORKS, FAIRMOUNT PARK                                391

THE STAIRWAY, STATE HOUSE                                          397

UPPER ROOM, STENTON                                                403

WYCK--THE DOORWAY FROM WITHIN                                      409


MORRIS HOUSE, GERMANTOWN                                           419

THE STATE HOUSE COLONNADE                                          425

THE SMITH MEMORIAL, WEST FAIRMOUNT PARK                            431

THE BASIN, OLD WATER-WORKS                                         435

GIRARD STREET                                                      441


BROAD STREET STATION                                               453

WANAMAKER'S                                                        457

ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD                                             461

CITY HALL FROM THE SCHUYLKILL                                      465

CHESTNUT STREET BRIDGE                                             469

THE NARROW STREET                                                  475



THE PARKWAY PERGOLAS                                               487

MARKET STREET WEST OF THE SCHUYLKILL                               491

MANHEIM CRICKET GROUND                                             497

DOCK STREET AND THE EXCHANGE                                       501

THE LOCOMOTIVE YARD, WEST PHILADELPHIA                             507

THE GIRARD TRUST COMPANY                                           511

TWELFTH STREET MEETING HOUSE                                       515

WYCK                                                               519



THE UNION LEAGUE BETWEEN THE SKY-SCRAPERS                          531

UP BROAD STREET FROM LEAGUE ISLAND                                 535

FROM GRAY'S FERRY                                                  539




I think I have a right to call myself a Philadelphian, though I am not
sure if Philadelphia is of the same opinion. I was born in Philadelphia,
as my Father was before me, but my ancestors, having had the sense to
emigrate to America in time to make me as American as an American can
be, were then so inconsiderate as to waste a couple of centuries in
Virginia and Maryland, and my Grandfather was the first of the family to
settle in a town where it is important, if you belong at all, to have
belonged from the beginning. However, J.'s ancestors, with greater
wisdom, became at the earliest available moment not only Philadelphians,
but Philadelphia Friends, and how very much more that means
Philadelphians know without my telling them. And so, as he does belong
from the beginning and as I would have belonged had I had my choice, for
I would rather be a Philadelphian than any other sort of American. I do
not see why I cannot call myself one despite the blunder of my
forefathers in so long calling themselves something else.

I might hope that my affection alone for Philadelphia would give me the
right, were I not Philadelphian enough to know that Philadelphia is, as
it always was and always will be, cheerfully indifferent to whatever
love its citizens may have to offer it. I can hardly suppose my claim
for gratitude greater than that of its Founder or the long succession of
Philadelphians between his time and mine who have loved it and been
snubbed or bullied in return. Indeed, in the face of this Philadelphia
indifference, my affection seems so superfluous that I often wonder why
it should be so strong. But wise or foolish, there it is, strengthening
with the years whether I will or no,--a deeper rooted sentiment than I
thought I was capable of for the town with which the happiest memories
of my childhood are associated, where the first irresponsible days of my
youth were spent, which never ceased to be home to me during the more
than a quarter of a century I lived away from it.

[Illustration: DELANCEY PLACE]

Besides, Philadelphia attracts me apart from what it may stand for in
memory or from the charm sentiment may lend to it. I love its
beauty--the beauty of tranquil streets, of red brick houses with white
marble steps, of pleasant green shade, of that peaceful look of the past
Philadelphians cross the ocean to rave over in the little old dead towns
of England and Holland--a beauty that is now fast disappearing. I love
its character--the calm, the dignity, the reticence with which it has
kept up through the centuries with the American pace, the airs of a
demure country village with which it has done the work and earned the
money of a big bustling town, the cloistered seclusion with which it
enjoys its luxury and hides its palaces behind its plain brick fronts--a
character that also is fast going. I love its history, though I am no
historian, for the little I know colours its beauty and accounts for its


It is not for nothing that I begin with this flourish of my birth
certificate and public confession of love. I want to establish my right,
first, to call myself a Philadelphian, and then, to talk about
Philadelphia as freely as we only can talk about the places and the
people and the things we belong to and care for. I would not dare to
take such a liberty with Philadelphia if my references were not in
order, for, as a Philadelphian, I appreciate the risk. Not that I have
any idea of writing the history of Philadelphia. I hope I have the
horror, said to be peculiar to all generous minds, of what are commonly
called facts, and also the intelligence not to attempt what I know I
cannot do. Another good reason is that the history has already been
written more than once. Philadelphians, almost from their cave-dwelling
period, have seemed conscious of the eye of posterity upon them. They
had hardly landed on the banks of the Delaware before they began to
write alarmingly long letters which they preserved, and elaborate
diaries which they kept with equal care. And the letter-writing,
diary-keeping fever was so in the air that strangers in the town caught
it: from Richard Castleman to John Adams, from John Adams to Charles
Dickens, from Charles Dickens to Henry James, every visitor, with
writing for profession or amusement, has had more or less to say about
it--usually more. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has gathered
the old material together; our indispensable antiquary, John Watson, has
gleaned the odds and ends left by the way; and no end of modern writers
in Philadelphia have ransacked their stores of information: Dr. Weir
Mitchell making novels out of them, Mr. Sydney Fisher and Miss Agnes
Repplier, history; Mr. Hampton Carson using them as the basis of further
research; Miss Anne Hollingsworth Wharton resurrecting Colonial life and
society and fashions from them, Mr. Eberlein and Mr. Lippincott, the
genealogy of Colonial houses; other patriotic citizens helping
themselves in one way or another; until, among them all, they have
filled a large library and prepared a sufficiently formidable task for
the historian of Philadelphia in generations to come without my adding
to his burden.


It is an amusing library, as Philadelphians may believe now they are
getting over the bad habit into which they had fallen of belittling
their town, much in their town's fashion of belittling them. I am
afraid it was partly their fault if the rest of America fell into the
same habit. As I recall my old feelings and attitude, it seems to me
that in my day we must have been brought up to look down upon
Philadelphia. The town surely cut a poor figure in my school books, and
the purplest patches in Colonial history must have been there reserved
for New England or New York, Virginia or the Carolinas, for any and
every colony rather than the Province of Pennsylvania, or I would not
have left school better posted in the legends of Powhatan and Pocahontas
than in the life of William Penn, and more edified by the burning of
witches and the tracking of Indians than by the struggles of Friends to
give every man the liberty to go to Heaven his own way. The amiable
contempt in which Philadelphians held William Penn revealed itself in
their free-and-easy way of speaking of him, if they spoke of him at all,
as Billy Penn, though Penn would have been the last to invite the
familiarity. Probably few outside the Society of Friends could have said
just what he had done for their town, or just what they owed to him. If
I am not mistaken, the prevailing idea was that his chief greatness
consisted in the cleverness with which he fooled the land out of the
Indians for a handful of beads.


The present generation could not be so ignorant if it wanted to. The
statue of Penn, in full-skirted coat and broad-brimmed hat, dominating
Philadelphia from the ugly tower of the Public Buildings, though it may
not be a thing of beauty, at least suggests to Philadelphians that it
would not have been put up there, the most conspicuous landmark from the
streets and the surrounding country, if Penn had not been somebody, or
done something, of some consequence. As for the rest of America, I doubt
if it often comes so near to Philadelphia that it can see the statue.
The last time I went to New York from London I met on the steamer a man
from Michigan who had obviously been but a short time before a man from
Cork, and who was so keen to stop in Philadelphia on his way West that I
might have been astonished had I not heard so much of the miraculously
rapid Americanization of the modern emigrant. Most people do not want to
stop in Philadelphia unless they have business there, and he had none,
and naturally I could not imagine any other motive except the desire to
see the town which is of the greatest historic importance in the United
States and which still possesses proofs of it. But the man from Michigan
gave me to understand, and pretty quick too, that he did not know
Philadelphia had a history and old buildings to prove it, and what was
more, he did not care if it had. He guessed history wasn't in his line.
What he wanted was to take the next train to Atlantic City; folks he
knew had been there and said it was great. And I rather think this is
the way most Americans, from America or from Cork, feel about


It is not my affair to enlighten them or anybody else. I have a more
personal object in view. Philadelphia may mean to other people nothing
at all--that is their loss; I am concerned entirely with what it means
to me. In those wonderful Eighteen-Nineties, now written about with awe
by the younger generation as if no less prehistoric than the period of
the Renaissance, until it makes me feel a new Methusaleh to own that I
lived and worked through them, we were always being told that art should
be the artist's record of nature seen through a temperament, criticism
the critic's story of his adventures among the world's masterpieces, and
though I am neither artist nor critic, though I am not sure what a
temperament is, much less if I have one, still I fancy this expresses in
a way the end I have set myself in writing about Philadelphia. For I
should like, if I can, to record my personal impressions of the town I
love and to give my adventures among the beautiful things, the humorous
things, the tragic things it contains in more than ample measure. My
interest is in my personal experiences, but these have been coloured by
the history of Philadelphia since I have dabbled in it, and have become
richer and more amusing. I have learned, with age and reading and
travelling, that Philadelphia as it is cannot really be known without
some knowledge of Philadelphia as it was: also that Philadelphia, both
as it is and as it was, is worth knowing. Americans will wander to the
ends of the earth to study the psychology--as they call it of people
they never could understand however hard they tried; they will shut
themselves up in a remote town of Italy or Spain to master the secrets
of its prehistoric past; they will squander months in the Bibliothèque
Nationale or the British Museum to get at the true atmosphere of Paris
or London; when, had they only stopped their journey at Broad Street
Station in Philadelphia or, if they were Philadelphians, never taken the
train out of it, they could have had all the psychology and secrets and
atmosphere they could ask for, with much less trouble and expense.

I have never been to any town anywhere, and I have been to many in my
time, that has more decided character than Philadelphia, or to any where
this character is more difficult to understand if the clue is not got
from the past. For instance, people talk about Philadelphia as if its
one talent was for sleep, while the truth is, taking the sum of its
achievements, no other American town has done so much hard work, no
other has accomplished so much for the country. Impressed as we are by
the fact, it would be impossible to account for the reputation if it
were not known that the people who made Philadelphia presented the same
puzzling contradiction in their own lives--the only people who ever
understood how to be in the world and not of it.


The usual alternative to not being of the world is to be in a cloister
or to live like a hermit, to accept a role in common or to renounce
social intercourse. But the Friends did not have to shut themselves up
to conquer worldliness, they did not have to renounce the world's work
and its rewards. For "affluence of the world's goods," Isaac Norris,
writing from Philadelphia, could felicitate Jonathan Dickinson, "knowing
both thyself and dear wife have hearts and souls fit to use them." That
was better than shirking temptation in a monk's cell or a philosopher's
tub. If George Fox wore a leather suit, it was because he found it
convenient, but William Penn, for whom it would have been highly
inconvenient, had no scruple in dressing like other men of his position
and wearing the blue ribbon of office. Nor because religion was freed
from all unessential ornament, was the house stripped of comfort and
luxury. I write about Friends with hesitation. I have been married to
one now for many years and can realize the better therefore that none
save Friends can write of themselves with authority. But I hope I am
right in thinking, as I always have thought since I read Thomas Elwood's
_Memoirs_, that their attitude is excellently explained in his account
of his first visit to the Penningtons "after they were become Quakers"
when, though he was astonished at the new gravity of their look and
behaviour, he found Guli Springett amusing herself in the garden and the
dinner "handsome." For the world's goods never being the end they were
to the World's People, Friends were as undisturbed by their possession
as by their absence and, as a consequence, could meet and accept life,
whether its gifts were wealth and power or poverty and obscurity, with
the serenity few other men have found outside the cloister. Moreover,
they could speak the truth, calling a spade a spade, or their enemy the
scabbed sheep, or smooth silly man, or vile fellow, or inhuman monster,
or villain infecting the air with a hellish stench, he no doubt was, and
never for a moment lose their tempers. This serenity--this "still
strength"--is as the poles apart from the phlegmatic, constitutional
slowness of the Dutch in New York or, on the other hand, from the
tranquillity Henry James traces in progressive descent from taste,
tradition, and history, even from the philosopher's calm of achieved
indifference, and Friends, having carried it to perfection in their own
conduct, left it as a legacy to their town.


The usual American town, when it hustles, lets nobody overlook the fact
that it is hustling. But Philadelphia has done its work as calmly as the
Friends have done theirs, never boasting of its prosperity, never
shouting its success and riches from the house-top, and its dignified
serenity has been mistaken for sleep. Whistler used to say that if the
General does not tell the world he has won the battle, the world will
never hear of it. The trouble with Philadelphia is that it has kept its
triumph to itself. But we have got so far from the old Friends that no
harm can be done if Philadelphians begin to interpret their town's
serenity to a world capable of confusing it with drowsiness. If America
is ready to forget, if for long Philadelphians were as ready, it is high
time we should remember ourselves and remind America of the services
Philadelphia has rendered to the country, and its good taste in
rendering them with so little fuss that all the country has done in
return is to laugh at Philadelphia as a back number.


Philadelphians have grown accustomed to the laugh. We have heard it
since we were in our cradles. We are used to have other Americans come
to our town and,--in the face of our factory chimneys smoking along the
Schuylkill and our ship-building yards in full swing on the Delaware,
and our locomotives pouring out over the world by I do not know how many
thousands from the works in Broad Street, and our mills going at full
pressure in the "Little England" of Kensington, in Frankford and
Germantown,--in the face of our busy schools and hospitals and
academies,--in the face of our stores and banks and charities,--that is,
in the face of our industry, our learning, and our philanthropy that
have given tips to the whole country,--see only our sleep-laden eyes and
hear only our sluggish snores. We know the foolish stories they tell. We
have heard many more times than we can count of the Bostonian who
retires to Philadelphia for complete intellectual rest, and the New
Yorker who when he has a day off comes to spend a week in Philadelphia,
and the Philadelphian who goes to New York to eat the snails he cannot
catch in his own back-yard. We have heard until we have it by heart
that Philadelphia is a cemetery, and the road to it, the Road to
Yesterday. We are so familiar with the venerable _cliché_ that we can
but wonder at its gift of eternal youth. Never was there a jest that
wore so well with those who make it. The comic column is rarely complete
without it, and it is forever cropping up where least expected. In the
last American novel I opened Philadelphia was described as hanging on to
the last strap of the last car to the sound of Gabriel's horn on
Judgment Day; in the last American magazine story I read the
Philadelphia heroine by her Philadelphia calm conquered the cowboys of
the west, as Friends of old disarmed their judges in court. In the
general Americanization of London, even the London papers have seized
upon the slowness of Philadelphia as a joke for Londoners to roar at. Li
Hung Chang couldn't visit Philadelphia without dozing through the
ceremonies in his honour and noting the appropriateness of it in his
diary. And so it goes on, the witticism to-day apparently as fresh as it
was in the Stone Age from which it has come down to us.


If Philadelphians laugh, that is another matter--every man has the right
to laugh at himself. But we have outlived our old affectation of
indifference to our town, I am not sure that we are not pushing our
profession of pride in it too far to the other extreme. I remember the
last time I was home I went to a public meeting called to talk about the
world's waterways, and no Philadelphian present, from the Mayor down,
could talk of anything but Philadelphia and its greatness. But whatever
may be our pose now, or next year, or the year after, there is always
beneath it a substantial layer of affection, for we cannot help knowing,
if nobody else does, what Philadelphia is and what Philadelphia has
done. Certainly, it is because I know that I, for one, would so much
rather be the Philadelphian I am, and my ancestors were not, than any
other sort of American, that, as I have grown older, my love for my town
has surprised me by its depth, and makes my confession of it now seem
half pleasure, half duty.



If I made my first friendships from my perambulator, or trundling my
hoop and skipping my rope, in Rittenhouse Square, as every Philadelphian
should, they were interrupted and broken so soon that I have no memory
of them.


It was my fate to be sent to boarding-school before I had time to lay in
a store of the associations that are the common property of happier
Philadelphians of my generation. I do not know if I was ever taken, as
J. and other privileged children were, to the Pennsylvania Hospital on
summer evenings to see William Penn step down from his pedestal when he
heard the clock strike six, or to the Philadelphia Library to wait until
Benjamin Franklin, hearing the same summons, left his high niche for a
neighbouring saloon. I cannot recall the firemen's fights and the cries
of negroes selling pop-corn and ice-cream through the streets that fill
some Philadelphia reminiscences I have read. I cannot say if I ever went
anywhere by the omnibus sleigh in winter, or to West Philadelphia by the
stage at any time of the year. I never coasted down the hills of
Germantown, I never skated on the Schuylkill. When my contemporaries
compare notes of these and many more delightful things in the amazing,
romantic, incredible Philadelphia they grew up in, it annoys me to find
myself out of it all, sharing none of their recollections, save one and
that the most trivial. For, from the vagueness of the remote past, no
event emerges so clearly as the periodical visit of "Crazy Norah," a
poor, harmless, half-witted wanderer, who wore a man's hat and top
boots, with bits of ribbon scattered over her dress, and who, on her
aimless rounds, drifted into all the Philadelphia kitchens to the
fearful joy of the children; and my memory may be less of her personally
than of much talk of her helped by her resemblance, or so I fancied, to
a picture of Meg Merrilies in a collection of engravings of Walter
Scott's heroines owned by an Uncle, and almost the first book I can


But great as was my loss, I fancy my memories of old Philadelphia gain
in vividness for being so few. One of the most vivid is of the
interminable drive in the slow horse-car which was the longest part of
the journey to and from my Convent school,--which is the longest part of
any journey I ever made, not to be endured at the time but for the
chanting over and over to myself of all the odds and ends of verse I had
got by heart, from the dramas of _Little Miss Muffett_ and _Little Jack
Horner_ to Poe's _Bells_ and Tennyson's _Lady of Shalott_--but in memory
a drive to be rejoiced in, for nothing could have been more
characteristic of Philadelphia as it was then. The Convent was in
Torresdale on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the Pennsylvania
Depot--Philadelphia had as yet no Stations and Terminals--was in the
distant, unknown quarter of Frankford. I believe it is used as a freight
station now and I have sometimes thought that, for sentiment's sake, I
should like to make a pilgrimage to it over the once well-travelled
road. But the modern trolley has deserted the straight course of the
unadventurous horse-car of my day and I doubt if ever again I could find
my way back. The old horse-car went, without turn or twist, along Third
Street. I started from the corner of Spruce, having got as far as that
by the slower, more infrequent Spruce Street car, and after I had passed
the fine old houses where Philadelphians--not aliens--lived, a good part
of the route lay through a busy business section. But there has stayed
with me as my chief impression of the endless street a sense of eternal
calm. No matter how much solid work was being done, no matter how many
fortunes were being made and unmade, it was always placid on the
surface, uneventful and unruffled. The car, jingling along in leisurely
fashion, was the one sign of animation.


Or often, in spring and summer, I went by boat, from--so false is
memory--I cannot say what wharf, up the Delaware. This was a pleasanter
journey and every bit as leisurely and as characteristic in its way of
Philadelphia life. For though I might catch the early afternoon boat, it
was sure to be full of business men returning from their offices to
their houses on the river. Philadelphians did not wait for the Main Line
to be invented to settle in the suburbs. They have always had a fancy
for the near country ever since Penn lived in state at Pennsbury, and
Logan at Stenton; ever since Bartram planted his garden on the banks of
the Schuylkill, and Arnold brought Peggy Shippen as his bride to Mount
Pleasant; ever since all the Colonial country houses we are so proud of
were built. I have the haziest memory of the places where the boat
stopped between Philadelphia and Torresdale and of the people who got
out there. But I cannot help remembering Torresdale for it was as
prominent a stopping-place in my journey through youth as it is in the
journey up the Delaware. The Convent was my home for years, and I had
many friends in the houses down by the riverside and scattered over the
near country. Their names are among the most familiar in my youthful
recollections: the Macalisters, the Grants--one of my brothers named
after the father--the Hopkins--another of my brothers marrying in the
family--the Fishers, Keatings, Steadmans, Kings, Bories, Whelans. It was
not often I could go or come without meeting somebody I knew on board. I
am a cockney myself, I love the town, but I can understand that
Philadelphians whose homes were in the country, especially if that
country lay along the shores of the Delaware, liked to get back early
enough to profit by it; that, busy and full of affairs as they might be,
they not only liked but managed to, shows how far hustling was from the
old Philadelphia scheme of things. Nowadays the motor brings the country
into town and town into the country. But the miles between town and
country were then lengthened into leagues by the leisurely boat and the
leisurely horse-car which, as I look back, seem to set the pace of life
in Philadelphia when I was young.


At first my holidays were spent mostly at the Convent. My Father, with
the young widower's embarrassment when confronted by his motherless
children, solved the problem the existence of my Sister and myself was
to him by putting us where he knew we were safe and well out of his way.
I do not blame him. What is a man to do when he finds himself with two
little girls on his clumsy masculine hands? But the result was he had no
house of his own to bring us to when the other girls hurried joyfully
home at Christmas and Easter and for the long summer holiday. It hurt as
I used to watch them walking briskly down the long path on the way to
the station. And yet, I scored in the end, for Philadelphia was the more
marvellous to me, visiting it rarely, than it could have been to
children to whom it was an everyday affair.

[Illustration: "ELEVENTH AND SPRUCE"]

For years my Grandfather's house was the scene of the occasional visit.
He lived in Spruce Street above Eleventh--the typical Philadelphia
Street, straight and narrow, on either side rows of red brick houses,
each with white marble steps, white shutters below and green shutters
above, and along the red brick pavement rows of trees which made
Philadelphia the green country town of Penn's desire, but the
Philadelphian's life a burden in the springtime before the coming of the
sparrows. Philadelphia, as I think of it in the old days at the season
when the leaves were growing green, is always heavy with the odour of
the evil-smelling ailantus and full of measuring worms falling upon me
from every tree. My fear of "Crazy Norah" is hardly less clear in my
early memories than the terror these worms were to the dear fragile
little Aunt who had cared for me in my first motherless years, and who
still, during my holidays, kept a watchful eye on me to see that I put
my "gums" on if I went out in the rain and that I had the money in my
pocket to stop at Dexter's for a plate of ice-cream. I can recall as if
it were yesterday, her shrieks one Easter Sunday when she came home from
church and found a green horror on her new spring bonnet and another on
her petticoat, and her miserable certainty all through the early Sunday
dinner that many more were crawling over her somewhere. But, indeed, the
Philadelphians of to-day can never know from what loathsome creatures
the sparrows have delivered them.

My Grandfather's house was as typical as the street--one of the quite
modest four-story brick houses that were thought unseemly sky-scrapers
and fire-traps when they were first built in Philadelphia. I can never
go by the old house of many memories--for sale, alas! the last time I
passed and still for sale according to the last news to reach me even as
I correct my proofs--without seeing myself as I used to be, arriving
from the Convent, small, plain, unbecomingly dressed and conscious of
it, with my pretty, always-becomingly-dressed because nothing was
unbecoming to her, not-in-the-least-shy Sister, both standing in the
vestibule between the inevitable Philadelphia two front doors, the outer
one as inevitably open all day long. And I see myself, when, in answer
to our ring, the servant had opened the inner one as well, entering in a
fresh access of shyness the wide lofty hall, with the front and back
parlours to the right; Philadelphians had no drawing-rooms then but were
content with parlours, as Penn had been who knew them by no other name.
Compared to the rich Philadelphian's house to-day, my Grandfather's
looks very unpretending, but when houses like it, with two big parlours
separated by folding doors, first became the fashion in Philadelphia,
they passed for palaces with Philadelphians who disapproved of display,
and the "tradesmen" living soberly in them were rebuked for aspiring to
the luxury of princes. I cannot imagine why, for the old Colonial houses
are, many of them, as lofty and more spacious, though it was the simple
spaciousness of my Grandfather's and the loftiness of its ceilings that
gave it charm.


My Grandfather's two parlours, big as they were, would strike nobody
to-day as palatial. It needs the glamour time throws over them for me to
discover princely luxury in the rosewood and reps masterpieces of a
deplorable period with which they were furnished, or in their decoration
of beaded cushions and worsted-work mats and tidies, the lavish gifts of
a devoted family. But I cannot remember the parlours and forget the
respect with which they once inspired me. I own to a lingering affection
for their crowning touch of ugliness, an ottoman with a top of the
fashionable Berlin work of the day--a white arum lily, done by the
superior talent of the fancy store, on a red ground filled in by the
industrious giver. It stood between the two front windows, so that we
might have the additional rapture of seeing it a second time in the
mirror which hung behind it. Opposite, between the two windows of the
back parlour, was a "Rogers Group" on a blue stand; and a replica, with
variations, of both the ottoman and the "Rogers Group" could have been
found in every other Philadelphia front and back parlour. I recall also
the three or four family portraits which I held in tremendous awe,
however I may feel about them now; and the immensely high vases, unique
creations that could not possibly have been designed for any purpose
save to ornament the Philadelphia mantelpiece; and the transparent
lamp-shade, decorated with pictures of cats and children and landscapes,
that at night, when the gas was lit, helped to keep me awake until I
could escape to bed; and the lustre chandeliers hanging from the
ceiling--what joy when one of the long prisms came loose and I could
capture it and, looking through it, walk across the parlours and up the
stairs straight into the splendid dangers of Rainbow Land!

I had no time for these splendours on my arrival, nor, fortunately for
me, was I left long to the tortures of my shyness. At the end of the
hall, facing me, was the wide flight of stairs leading to the upper
stories, and on the first landing, at their turning just where a few
more steps led beyond into the back-building dining-room, my
Grandmother, in her white cap and purple ribbons, stood waiting. In my
memory she and that landing are inseparable. Whenever the door bell
rang, she was out there at the first sound, ready to say "Come right up,
my dear!" to whichever one of her innumerable progeny it might he. To
her right, filling an ample space in the windings of the back stairs,
was the inexhaustible pantry which I knew, as well as she, we should
presently visit together. Though there could not have been in
Philadelphia or anywhere quite such another Grandmother, even if most
Philadelphians feel precisely the same way about theirs, she was typical
too, like the house and the street. She belonged to the generation of
Philadelphia women who took to old age almost as soon as they were
mothers, put on caps and large easy shoes, invented an elderly dress
from which they never deviated for the rest of their lives, except to
exchange cashmere for silk, the everyday cap for one of fine lace and
wider ribbons, on occasions of ceremony, and who as promptly forgot the
world outside of their household and their family. I do not believe my
Grandmother had an interest in anybody except her children, or in
anything except their affairs; though this did not mean that she gave up
society when it was to their advantage that she should not. In her stiff
silks and costly caps, she presided at every dinner, reception, and
party given at home, as conscientiously as, in her sables and demure
velvet bonnet, she made and returned calls in the season.

My other memories are of comfortable, spacious rooms, good, solid,
old-fashioned furniture, a few more old and some better-forgotten new
family portraits on the walls, the engraving of Gilbert Stuart's
Washington over the dining-room mantelpiece, the sofa or couch in almost
every room for the Philadelphia nap before dinner, the two cheerful
kitchens where, if the servants were amiable, I sometimes played, and,
above all, the most enchanting back-yard that ever was or could be--we
were not so elegant in those days as to call it a garden.


Since it has been the fashion to revive everything old in Philadelphia,
most Philadelphians are not happy until they have their garden, as their
forefathers had, and very charming they often make it in the suburbs.
But in town my admiration has been asked for gardens that would have
been lost in my Grandfather's back-yard, and for a few meagre plants
springing up about a cold paved square that would have been condemned
as weeds in his luxuriant flower beds.

The kindly magnifying glasses of memory cannot convert the Spruce Street
yard into a rival of Edward Shippen's garden in Second Street where the
old chronicles say there were orchards and a herd of deer, or of
Bartram's with its trees and plants collected from far and wide, or of
any of the old Philadelphia gardens in the days when in Philadelphia no
house, no public building, almost no church, could exist without a green
space and great trees and many flowers about it, and when Philadelphians
loved their gardens so well, and hated so to leave them, that there is
the story of one at least who came back after death to haunt the shady
walks and fragrant lawns that were fairer to her than the fairest
Elysian Fields in the land beyond the grave. Much of the old beauty had
gone before I was born, much was going as I grew from childhood to
youth. My Uncle, Charles Godfrey Leland, has described the Philadelphia
garden of his early years, "with vines twined over arbours, where the
magnolia, honeysuckle and rose spread rich perfume of summer nights, and
where the humming bird rested, and scarlet tanager, or oriole, with the
yellow and blue bird flitted in sunshine or in shade." Though I go back
to days before the sparrows had driven away not only the worms but all
others of their own race, I recall no orioles and scarlet tanagers, no
yellow and blue birds. Philadelphia's one magnolia tree stood in front
of the old Dundas house at Broad and Walnut.

All the same, my Grandfather's was a back-yard of enchantment. A narrow
brick-paved path led past the kitchens; on one side, close to the wall
dividing my Grandfather's yard from the next door neighbour's, was a
border of roses and Johnny-jump-ups and shrubs--the shrubs my
Grandmother used to pick for me, crush a little in her fingers, and tie
up in a corner of my handkerchief, which was the Philadelphia way--the
most effective way that ever was--to make them give out their sweetness.
Beyond the kitchens, where the yard broadened into a large open space,
the path enclosed, with a wider border of roses, two big grass plots
which were shaded by fruit trees, all pink and white in the springtime.
Wistaria hung in purple showers over the high walls. I am sure lilacs
bloomed at the kitchen door, and a vine of Isabella grapes--the very
name has an old Philadelphia flavour and fragrance--covered the verandah
that ran across the entire second story of the back-building. If
sometimes this delectable back-yard was cold and bare, in my memory
it is more apt to be sweet and gay with roses, shrubs and
Johnny-jump-ups,--summer and its pleasures oftener waiting on me there:
probably because my visits to my Grandfather's were more frequent in the
summer time. But I have vague memories of winter days, when the rose
bushes were done up in straw, and wooden steps covered the marble in
front, and ashes were strewn over the icy pavement, and snow was piled
waist-high in the gutter.


From the verandah there was a pleasant vista, up and down, of the same
back-yards and the same back buildings, just as from the front windows
there was a pleasant vista, up and down, of the same red-brick fronts,
the same white marble steps, the same white and green shutters,--only
one house daring upon originality, and this was Bennett's, the
ready-made clothes man, whose unusually large garden filled the opposite
corner of Eleventh and Spruce with big country-like trees over to which
I looked from my bedroom window. As a child, instinctively I got to know
that inside every house, within sight and beyond, I would find the same
front and back parlours, the same back-building dining-room, the same
number of bedrooms, the same engraving of George Washington over the
dining-room mantelpiece, the same big red cedar chest in the third story
hall and, in summer, the same parlours turned into cool grey cellars
with the same matting on the floor, the same linen covers on the chairs,
the same curtainless windows and carefully closed shutters, the same
white gauze over mirrors and chandeliers--to light upon an item for
gauze "to cover pictures and glass" in Washington's household accounts
while he lived in Philadelphia is one of the things it is worth
searching the old archives for.


Instinctively, I got to know too that, in every one of these
well-regulated interiors where there was a little girl, she must, like
me, be striving to be neither seen nor heard all the long morning, and
sitting primly at the front window all the long afternoon, and that, if
she ever played at home it was, like me, with measured steps and
modulated voice: at all times cultivating the calm of manner expected of
her when she, in her turn, would have just such a red brick house and
just such a delectable back-yard of her own. Thus, while the long months
at the Convent kept me busy cultivating every spiritual grace, during
the occasional holiday at Eleventh and Spruce I was well drilled in the
Philadelphia virtues.



Naturally, I could not live in Spruce Street and not believe, as every
Philadelphian should and once did, that no other kind of a house except
the Spruce Street house was fit for a Philadelphian to live in. The
Philadelphian, from infancy, was convinced by his surroundings and
bringing-up that there was but one way of doing things decently and
respectably and that was the Philadelphia way, nor can my prolonged
exile relieve me from the sense of crime at times when I catch myself
doing things not just as Philadelphians used to do them.

I was safe from any such crime in my Grandfather's house. All
Philadelphia might have been let in without fear. Had skeletons been
concealed in the capacious cupboards, they would have been of the
approved Philadelphia pattern. My Grandfather was not at all of
Montaigne's opinion that order in the management of life is sottish, but
looked upon it rather as "Heaven's first law." His day's programme was
the same as in every red brick house with white marble steps and a
back-yard full of roses and shrubs and Johnny-jump-ups. Everything at
Eleventh and Spruce was done according to the same Philadelphia rules
at the same hour, from the washing of the family linen on Monday, when
Sunday's beef was eaten cold for dinner, to the washing of the front on
Saturday morning, when Philadelphia streets from end to end were all
mops and maids, rivers and lakes.

When my Grandfather, with his family on their knees around him, began
the day by reading morning prayers in the back-building dining-room, he
could have had the satisfaction of knowing that every other Philadelphia
head of a family was engaged in the same edifying duty, but I hope, for
every other Philadelphia family's sake, with a trifle less awe-inspiring
solemnity. After being present once at my Grandfather's prayers, nobody
needed to be assured that life was earnest.

He did not shed his solemnity when he rose from his knees, nor when he
had finished his breakfast of scrapple and buckwheat cakes and left the
breakfast table. He was as solemn in his progress through the streets to
the Philadelphia Bank, at Fourth and Chestnut, of which he was
President, and having said so much perhaps I might as well add his name,
Thomas Robins, for in his day he was widely known and it is a
satisfaction to remember, as widely appreciated both in and out of
Philadelphia. His clothes were always of the most admirable cut and fit
and of a fashion becoming to his years, he carried a substantial cane
with a gold top, his stock was never laid aside for a frivolous modern
cravat, his silk hat was as indispensable, and his slow walk had a
dignity royalty might have envied. He was a handsome old man and a
noticeable figure even in Philadelphia streets at the hour when John
Welsh from the corner, and Biddles and Cadwalladers and Whartons and
Peppers and Lewises and a host of other handsome old Philadelphians with
good Philadelphia names from the near neighborhood, were starting
downtown in clothes as irreproachable and with a gait no less dignified.
The foreigner's idea of the American is of a slouchy, free-and-easy man
for ever cracking jokes. But slouchiness and jokes had no place in the
dictionary or the deportment of my Grandfather and his contemporaries,
at a period when Philadelphia supplied men like John Welsh for its
country to send as representatives abroad and there carry on the
traditions of Franklin and John Adams and Jefferson. My Father--Edward
Robins--inherited more than his share of this old-fashioned Philadelphia
manner, making a ceremony of the morning walk to his office and the
Sunday walk to church. But it has been lost by younger generations,
more's the pity. In memory I would not have my Grandfather a shade less
solemn, though at the time his solemnity put me on anything but easy
terms with him.


The respectful bang of the front door upon my Grandfather's dignified
back after breakfast was the signal for the family to relax. The cloth
was at once cleared, my Grandmother and my Aunts--like all Philadelphia
mothers and daughters--brought their work-baskets into the dining-room
and sat and gossiped there until it was time for my Grandmother to go
and see the butcher and the provision dealer, or for my Aunts to make
those formal calls for which the morning then was the unpardonable hour.


It seems to me, in looking back, as if my Grandmother could never have
gone out of the house except on an errand to the provision man, such an
important part did it play in her daily round of duties. She never went
to market. That was not the Philadelphia woman's business, it was the
Philadelphia man's. My Grandfather, at the time of which I write, must
have grown too old for the task, which was no light one, for it meant
getting up at unholy hours every Wednesday and every Saturday, leaving
the rest of the family in their comfortable beds, and being back again
in time for prayers and eight o'clock breakfast. I cannot say how this
division of daily labour was brought about. The century before, a short
time as things go in Philadelphia, it was the other way round and the
young Philadelphia woman at her marketing was one of the sights
strangers in the town were taken to see. But in my time it was so much
the man's right that as a child I believed there was something
essentially masculine in going to market, just as there was in making
the mayonnaise for the salad at dinner. A Philadelphia man valued his
salad too highly to trust its preparation to a woman. It was almost a
shock to me when my Father allowed my motherly little Aunt to relieve
him of the responsibility in the Spruce Street house. And later on, when
he re-married and again lived in a house of his own, and my Step-Mother
made a mayonnaise quite equal to his or to any mere man's, not even to
her would he shift the early marketing,--his presence in the Twelfth
Street Market as essential on Wednesday and Saturday mornings as in the
Stock Exchange every day--and his conscientiousness was the more
astonishing as his genius was by no means for domesticity. Philadelphia
women respected man's duties and rights in domestic, as in all, matters.
I remember an elderly Philadelphian, who was stopping at Blossom's Hotel
in Chester, where all Americans thirty years ago began their English
tour, telling me the many sauces on the side table had looked so good
she would have liked to try them and, on my asking her why in the world
she had not, saying they had not been offered to her and she thought
perhaps they were for the gentlemen. Only a Philadelphian among
Americans could have given that answer.

Towards three o'clock in the Spruce Street house, my Grandmother would
be found, her cap carefully removed, stretched full-length upon the sofa
in the dining-room. The picture would not be complete if I left out my
Father's rage because the dining-room was used for her before-dinner nap
as for almost every purpose of domestic life by the women of the family.
I have often wondered where he got such an un-Philadelphia idea. In
every house where there was a Grandmother, she was taking her nap at
the same hour on the same sofa in the same dining-room. I could never
see the harm. It was the most comfortable room in the house, without the
isolation of the bedroom or the formality of the parlours.

At four, my Grandfather returned from his day's work, the family
re-assembled, holding him in sufficient awe never to be late, and dinner
was served. The hour was part of the leisurely life of Philadelphia as
ordered in Spruce Street. Philadelphians had dined at four during a
hundred years and more, and my Grandfather, who rarely condescended to
the frivolity of change, continued to dine at four, as he continued to
wear a stock, until the end of his life. It was no doubt because of the
contrast with Convent fare that the dinner in my recollection remains
the most wonderful and elaborate I have ever eaten, though I rack my
brains in vain to recall any of its special features except the figs and
prunes on the high dessert dishes, altogether the most luscious figs and
prunes ever grown and dried, and the decanter at my Grandfather's place
from which he dropped into his glass the few drops of brandy he drank
with his water while everybody else drank their water undiluted. When
friends came to dinner, I recall also the Philadelphia decanter of
Madeira, though otherwise no greater ceremony. Dinner was always as
solemn an affair in my Grandfather's house as morning prayers or any act
of daily life over which he presided, the whole house, at all times when
he left it, relapsing into dressing-gown and slippered ease after the
full-dress decorum his presence required of it.

The eight o'clock tea is a more definite function in my memory, perhaps
because the hours of waiting for it crept by so slowly. After dinner,
the Aunts, my Father, the one Uncle who lived at home, vanished I never
knew where, though no doubt Philadelphia supplied some amusement or
occupation for the forlorn wreck four o'clock dinner made of the
afternoon. But the interval was spent by my Grandfather and Grandmother
at one of the front parlour windows, the old-fashioned Philadelphia
afghan over their knees, their hands folded, while I, alone, my Sister
having had the independence to vanish with the grown-ups, sat at the
other, not daring to break the silence in which they looked out into the
drowsy street for the people who seldom came and the events that never
happened; nothing disturbing the calm of Spruce Street save the Sunday
afternoon invasion of the colored people in their Sunday clothes from
every near alley. It gives me a pang now to pass and see the window
empty that once was always filled, in the hour before twilight, by those
two dear grey heads.


As I grew a little older, I had the courage to bring a book to the
window. It was there I read _The Lamplighter_ which I confuse now with
the memory of our own lamplighter making his rounds; and _The Initials_
with a haughty Hilda for heroine--she must have been haughty for all
real heroines then were; and _Queechy_ and _The Wide, Wide World_ and
_Faith Gartney's Girlhood_, against whose sentiment I am glad to say I
revolted. And mixed up with these were Mrs. Southworth's _Lost Heiress_
and the anonymous _Routledge_, light books for whose presence I cannot
account in my Grandfather's serious house. Does anybody read _Routledge_
now? Has anybody now ever heard of it? What trash it was, but, after the
improving romances with a religious moral of the Convent Library, after
Wiseman's edifying _Fabiola_ and Newman's scholarly--beyond my
years--_Callista_, how I revelled in it, with what a choking throat I
galloped through the lovesick chapters! I could recite pages of it to
myself to relieve the dreariness of those long drives in the Third
Street car, or the long waiting in the dreary station. To this day I
remember the last sentence--"with his arm around my waist and my face
hidden on his shoulder, I told him of the love, folly and pride that had
so long kept me from him." Could _Queechy_, could _Faith Gartney's
Girlhood_ have been more sentimental than that? I dare not look up the
old books to see, lest their charm as well as their sentiment should
fade in the light of a more critical age. Then Scott and Dickens, Miss
Edgeworth, more often _Holiday House_, filled the hours before tea.
After all, the old division of the day, the young generation would be
ashamed to go back to, had its uses.



The tea, when announced, was worth waiting, or putting down the most
entrancing book, for. Had I my way I would make Philadelphia dine again
at four o'clock for the sake of the tea--of the frizzled beef that only
Philadelphia ever frizzled to a turn, the smoked salmon that only
Philadelphia ever smoked as an art, the Maryland biscuits that ought to
be called Philadelphia biscuits for they were never half so good in
their native land, the home-made preserves put up in that sunshiny
kitchen where lilacs bloomed at the door. After all this long quarter of
a century, the smell of beef frizzling would take me back to Eleventh
and Spruce on a winter evening as straight as the fragrance of the
flowering bean carries me to Pompeii in the early springtime, or of
garlic to the little sunlit towns of Provence at any season of the year.
The tea was a triumph of simplicity, but when there were guests it
became a feast. As a rule, it was the meal to which the children and
grandchildren who did not live in the Spruce Street house were invited,
and loved best to be invited. For on these occasions my Grandmother
could be relied upon to provide stewed oysters, the masterpiece of
Margaret, her old grey-haired cook; and oyster croquettes from
Augustine's--my Grandfather would as soon have begun the day without
prayers as my Grandmother have given a feast without the help of
Augustine, that caterer of colour who was for years supreme in
Philadelphia; brandy peaches that, like the preserves, had been put up
at home, the brandy poured in with unexpected lavishness for so
temperate a household; and little round cakes with white icing on
top--what dear little ghosts from out a far past they seemed when, after
a quarter of a century in a land where people know nothing of the
delights of little round cakes with white icing on top, I ate them again
at Philadelphia feasts. If the solemn, dignified Grandfather at one end
of the table kept our enjoyment within the bounds of ceremony, we felt
no restraint with the little old Grandmother who beamed upon us from the
other, as she poured out the tea and coffee with hands trembling so
that, in her later years, the man servant,--usually coloured and not to
Philadelphia as yet known as butler or footman,--always stood close by
to catch the tea or coffee pot when it fell, which it never did.


I recall more formal family reunions, above all the Golden Wedding, as
impressive as a court function, the two old people enthroned at the far
end of the front parlour, the sons and daughters and grandchildren
approaching in a solemn line--an embarrassed line when it came to the
youngest, always shy in the awful presence of the Grandfather--and
offering, each in turn, their gifts. We were by no means a remarkable
family, to the unprejudiced we may have seemed a commonplace one, my
forefathers evidently having decided that leaving England for America
was a feat remarkable enough to satisfy the ambitions of any one family
and having then proceeded to rest comfortably on their respectable
laurels, but we took each other with great seriousness. The oldest Aunt,
who was married and lived in New York, received on her annual visit to
Spruce Street the homage due to a Princess Royal, and no King or Emperor
could have caused more of a flutter than my Grandfather when he honoured
one of his children with a visit. Family anniversaries were scrupulously
observed, the legend of family affection was kept up as conscientiously,
whatever it cost us in discomfort, and there were times when we paid
heavily. I would have run many miles to escape one Uncle who, when he
met me in the street, would stop to ask how I was, and how we all were
at home, and then would stand twisting his moustache in visible agony,
trying to think what the affectionate intimacy between us that did not
exist required him to say, while I thanked my stars that we were in the
street and not in a house where he would have felt constrained to kiss
me. We were horribly exact in this matter of kissing. There was a family
legend of another Uncle from New York who once, when he came over for
some family meeting, was so eager to do his duty by his nieces that he
kissed not only all of them--no light task--but two or three neighbours'
little girls into the bargain. I think, however, that every Philadelphia
family took itself as seriously and that our scruples were not a
monopoly brought with us from Virginia and Maryland. In a town where
family names are handed down from generation to generation, so that a
family often will boast, as ours did, not only a "Jr." but a "3d," and
lose no opportunity to let the world know it, family feeling is not
likely to be allowed to wilt and die.

Every public holiday also was a family affair to be observed with the
rigours of the family feast. Christmas for me, when I did not celebrate
it at the Convent with Midnight Mass and a _Crèche_ in the chapel and
kind nuns trying to make me forget I had not gone home like other little
girls, took me to the Spruce Street house in time to look on at the
succession of Uncles and Aunts who dropped in on Christmas Eve and went
away laden with bundles, and carrying in some safe pocket a collection
of envelopes with a crisp new greenback in each, the sum varying from
one hundred dollars to five according to the age of the child or
grandchild whose name was on the envelope--my Grandfather gave with the
fine patriarchal air he maintained in all family relations. The family
appropriation of Thanksgiving Day and Washington's Birthday I did not
grasp until after I left school, for while I was at the Convent they
were both spent there, where they dwindled into insignificance compared
to Reverend Mother's feast and its glories. As a rule, I must have been
at the Convent as well for the Fourth of July, though I retain one
jubilant vision of myself and a bag of torpedoes in the back-yard,
solemnizing a little celebration among the roses. And I have larger
visions of military parades in broiling sunshine and of the City Troop
filling the quiet streets with their gorgeousness which awed me long
before the knowledge of their historic origin and uniform inspired me
with reverence.


Other duties and pleasures and observances that for most Philadelphia
children were scattered through the interminable year, were crowded into
my short holiday: visits to the dentist, to Dr. Hopkins, Dr. White's
assistant, it being a test of Philadelphia respectability to have one's
teeth seen to by Dr. White or one of his assistants or students, and the
regular appointment was as much of obligation for me as Mass on Sunday;
visits to the Academy of Fine Arts in the old Chestnut Street building,
as I remember set back at the end of a court that made of it a place
apart, a consecrated place which I entered with as little anticipation
of amusement as St. Joseph's Church hidden in Willing's Alley, and was
the more surprised therefore to be entertained, as I must have been, by
Benjamin West, for of no other painter there have I the faintest
recollection; visits to the Academy of Natural Sciences, where I liked
the rows upon rows of stuffed birds, and the strange things in bottles,
and the colossal skeletons that filled me with the same delicious
shivers as the stories of afreets and genii in _The Arabian Nights_;
visits to Fairmount Park, leagues away, houses left behind before it
was reached, where the mysterious machinery of the Waterworks was as
terrifying as the skeletons, and I thought it much pleasanter outside
under the blue sky; visits to the theatre--the most wonderful visits of
all, for they took me out into the night that I knew only from stolen
vigils in the Convent dormitory, or glimpses from the Spruce Street
windows. Romance was in the dimly-lit streets, in the stars above, in
the town after dark, which I was warned I was never to brave alone until
I can laugh now to think how terrified I was the first time I came home
late by myself, in my terror jumping into a street-car and claiming the
protection of a contemptuous young woman whom work had not allowed to
draw a conventional line between day and night.


I have never got rid of that suggestion of romance, not so much in the
theatre itself as in the going to it, and, to this day, a matinée in
broad daylight will bring back a little of the old thrill. But nothing
can bring back to any theatre the glitter, the brilliancy, the splendour
of the old Chestnut, the old Walnut, the old Arch, then already dingy
with age I have no doubt, but transfigured by my childhood's ecstasies
in them. Nothing can persuade me that any plays have been, or could be,
written to surpass in beauty, pathos and humour, _Solon Shingle_, and
_Arrah-na-Pogue_, and _Our American Cousin_, and _The Black Crook_, and
_Ours_, though I have forgotten all but their names; that in opera Clara
Louise Kellogg ever had a rival; that in gaiety and wit _La Grande
Duchesse_ and _La Belle Hélène_ could be eclipsed; or that any actors
could compete with Sothern and Booth and Mrs. Drew and the Davenports,
and Charlotte Cushman as _Meg Merrilies_--there was a bit of good old
melodramatic acting to make a small Convent girl's flesh creep!
Shakespeare was redeemed by Booth from the dulness of the Convent
reading-book and entered gloriously into my Convent life. For one happy
winter, it was not I who led the long procession down to the refectory,
though nobody could have suspected it, but the Ghost of Hamlet's Father,
with, close behind me, in gloom absorbed, the Prince of Denmark,
mistaken by the unknowing for the little girl, my friend, whose father,
with more than the usual father's amiable endurance, had taken me with
her and her sister to see the play of _Hamlet_ during the Christmas

[Illustration: DOWN PINE STREET]

The theatre has become part of the modern school course. If an actor
like Forbes-Robertson gives a farewell performance of _Hamlet_, or a
manager like Beerbohm Tree produces a patriotic melodrama, or the
company from the Théâtre Français perform one of the rare classics that
the young person may be taken to, I have seen a London theatre filled
with school girls and boys. From what I hear I might imagine the theatre
and the opera to be the most serious studies of every Philadelphia
school. At the Convent I should have envied the modern students could I
have foreseen their liberty, but they have more reason to envy me. The
gilt has been rubbed too soon off their gingerbread, too soon has the
tinsel of their theatre been tarnished. My Spartan training gave me a
theatre that can never cease to be a Wonderland, just as it endowed me
with a Philadelphia that will endure, until this world knows me no more,
as a beautiful, peaceful town where roses bloom in the sunny back-yards,
and people live with dignity behind the plain red brick fronts of its
long, straight streets.



As the theatre, in my memory, still gives the crowning glory to my
holiday in Philadelphia, so, in looking back, the brief holiday seems
the spectacle, the romance, the supreme moment, of my early years. The
scene of my every-day life was that Convent of the Sacred Heart at
Torresdale which was the end of the interminable ride in the Third
Street horse-car and the shorter ride in the Pennsylvania Railroad

The Philadelphian who did not live in the Convent would have seen it the
other way round, for the Convent was unlike enough to Philadelphia to
suggest the romance of the unusual. Only in one or two respects did it
provide me with facts that every proper Philadelphian was brought up to
know, and let me say again that because I had to find out the
others--the more characteristically Philadelphia facts--for myself, I
think they probably made a stronger impression upon me than upon the
Philadelphian guiltless of ever straying, or of ever having been allowed
to stray, from the approved Philadelphia path.


When the Ladies of the Sacred Heart decided to open a Convent in
Philadelphia, an uncertain enterprise if it is considered how
un-Catholic Philadelphia was, they began in a fairly modest way by
taking a large house at Torresdale, with lawns and gardens and woods and
a great old-fashioned barn, the country seat of a Philadelphian whose
name I have forgotten. It stood to the west of the railroad, at a
discreet distance from the little cluster of houses by the riverside
that alone meant Torresdale to the Philadelphians who lived in them.

The house, I can now see, was typical as I first knew it, the sort the
Philadelphian built for himself in the suburbs at a period too removed
from Colonial days for it to have the beauty of detail and historic
interest of the Colonial house, and yet near enough to them for dignity
of proportion and spaciousness to be desirable, if not essential to a
Philadelphian's comfort. A wide, lofty hall ran from the front door to
the back, on either side were two large airy rooms with space between
for the broad main stairway, a noble structure, and the carefully
concealed back stairway--half-way up which in my time was the little
infirmary window where, at half past ten every morning, Sister Odille
dispensed pills and powders to those in need of them. Along the entire
front of the house was a broad porch,--the indispensable Philadelphia
piazza--its roof supported by a row of substantial columns over which
roses and honeysuckle clambered fragrantly and luxuriantly in the June
sunshine. The house was painted a cheerful yellow that went well with
the white of the woodwork about the windows and the porch: not a very
beautiful type of house, but pleasant, substantial, luxurious, and
making as little outward show of its luxury as the plain red brick town
house of the wealthy Philadelphian.

How comfortable a type of house it was to live in, I know from
experience of another, not a school, within sight, a ten minutes' walk
across the fields, and like it in design and arrangement and even
colour, in everything except size,--which my Father took one summer: to
me a most memorable summer as it was the first I spent outside the
Convent limits from the beginning to the end of the long holiday. The
jerry-builder had had no part in putting up the solid, well-constructed
walls which stood firm against winter storms and winds, and were no less
a protection from the torrid heat of a Philadelphia summer. But fashion
can leave architecture no more alone than dress. Already, the newer
group of houses down by the Delaware were built of the brown stone
which, to my mind, dates the beginning of the Philadelphian's fall from
architectural grace, the beginning of his distrust in William Penn's
plans for his well-being and of his foolish hankering after the
fleshpots of New York.


The Convent, before I came to it, had been a victim to the brown stone
fashion. With success, the pleasant old country house had grown too
small for the school into which it had been converted, and a southern
wing had been added: a long, low building with the Chapel at the far
end, all built in brown stone and in a style that passed for Gothic and
that a thousand times I could have wished based upon any other model.
For the upper room in the wing, ambitiously christened by somebody
Gothic Hall, had a high pointed roof that made it an ice-house in winter
and, for our sins, it was used as the Dormitory of the Sacred Heart
where I slept. I can recall mornings when the water was frozen in our
pitchers while the big stove, in the middle of the high-pitched room,
burned red hot as if to mock at us as, with numbed fingers, we struggled
to make our beds and wash ourselves and button and hook on our clothes.
And the builders had so contrived that summer turned our fine Gothic
Dormitory into a fiery furnace. How many June nights, contrary to all
the rules, have I hung out of the little, horribly Gothic window at the
head of my alcove, gasping in the warm darkness that was so sweet and
stifling with the fragrance of the flowers in Madame Huguet's garden
just below.

I had not been long at the Convent before another brown stone wing
extended to the north and two stories were added to the main building
which, for the sake of harmony, was now painted brown from top to
bottom. In a niche on this new façade, a statue of the Sacred Heart was
set, and all semblance to the old country house was gone, except for the
broad porch without and the well-proportioned rooms within. But these,
and later improvements, additions and alterations cannot make me forget
the Convent as it was when I first came to it, growing up about the
simple, solidly-built, spacious yellow house that was once the
Philadelphian's ideal of suburban comfort and so like the house where I
spent my most memorable summer, so like, save for the size and the
colour, my Great-Grandfather Ambrose White's old house on the Turnpike
at Chestnut Hill, so like innumerable other country houses of the same
date where I visited.


The Convent rule and discipline could not alter the changing of the
seasons as Philadelphia ordered them. They might appear to us mainly
regulated by feasts and fasts--All Saints and All Souls, the milestones
on the road to Christmas; Lent and the month of St. Joseph heralding the
approach of spring; the month of Mary and the month of the Sacred Heart,
Ascension and Corpus-Christi, as ardent and splendid as the spring and
summer days they graced. But, all the same, each season came laden with
the pleasures held in common by all fortunate Philadelphia children who
had the freedom of the country or the countrified suburbs.

The school year began with the fall, when any night might bring the
first frost and the first tingle in the air--champagne to quicken the
blood in a school girl's veins, and make the sitting still through the
long study and class hours a torture. The woods shone with gold; the
Virginia creeper flamed on the front porch; sickel pears fell, ripe and
luscious, from the tree close to the Chapel where it was against the law
to go and pick them up but where no law in the world could have barred
the way; chestnuts and hickory nuts and the walnuts that stained my
fingers black to open offered a substantial dessert after as substantial
a dinner as ever children were served with. But those were the joyful
years when hunger never could be satisfied and digestion was equal to
any surfeit of raw chestnuts--or raw turnips for that matter, if the
season supplied no lighter dainties, or of next to anything that could
be picked up and eaten. I know I drew the line only at the huge, white,
oversweet mulberries strewing the grass by the swings in Mulberry Lane,
that favourite scene of the war to the knife we waged under the name of
Old Man and Bands, primitive games not to be outdone by the Tennis and
Hockey of the more sophisticated modern school girl.

The minute the Refectory was left for the noonday hour of recreation on
a brisk autumn day, there was a wild scamper to the woods where, just
beyond the gate that led into them, the hoary old chestnut trees spread
their shade and dropped their fruit on either side the hill between the
Poisonous Valley, a thrill in its deadly name, and the graveyard, few
crosses then in the green enclosure which now, alas! is too well filled.
The shadow of death lay so lightly upon us that I recall to-day only the
delicious rustle of eager feet through the fallen leaves, and the
banging of stone upon stone as hickory nuts cracked between them, I feel
only the delicious pricking of the chestnut burrs in the happy, hardened
fingers of the school girl. And these, anyway, are memories I share with
every Philadelphian who, as a child, wandered in the suburbs or the
near country when the woods were gold and scarlet, and the way through
them was carpeted with leaves hiding rich stores of nuts for the seeker
after treasure.

But no Philadelphia child in the shelter of her own house could know the
meaning of the Philadelphia winter as I knew it in the Convent, half
frozen in that airy dormitory of the Sacred Heart, shivering in shawl
and hood through early Mass in the icy Chapel, still huddled in my shawl
at my desk or scurrying as fast as discipline would wink at through the
windy passages. The heating arrangements, somehow, never succeeded in
coping with the extreme cold of a severe winter in the large rooms and
halls of the new wings, and I must confess that we were often most
miserably uncomfortable. I cannot but wonder what the pampered school
girls of the present generation in the same Convent would say to such
discomfort. But it did us no harm. Indeed, though I shiver at the
memory, I am sure it did us good. We came out the healthier and hardier
for it, much as the Englishman does from his cold house, the coldest in
the world. The old conditions of a hardier life, that either killed or
cured, did far more to make a vigorous people than all the new-fangled
eugenics ever can.

If I had little of the comfort of the Philadelphia child in the
Philadelphia house, I shared with him the outdoor pleasures which winter
provided by way of compensation--the country white under snow for weeks
and weeks, snowballs to be made and snow houses built, sliding to be
had on the frozen lake, and coasting down the long hill just beyond the
gate into the woods, when there were sleds to coast on. And what
excitement in the marvellous snow-storms that have vanished with other
marvels of my youth--the storms that put the new blizzard to shame, when
the snow drifts were mountains high, and it took all the men on the
farm, with Big John at their head, to clear a way through the near paths
and roads. I recall one storm in particular when my Father, who had been
making his periodical visit to my Sister and myself, left the Convent at
six, was snowed up in his train, and never reached the dingy Depot in
Frankford until three the next morning, and when for days we got out of
the house only for a solemn ten minutes' walk each noon on the wide
front porch, where it was a shocking breach of discipline to be seen at
all other times except on Thursday and Sunday, the Convent visiting
days. Of the inspiriting rigours of a Philadelphia winter I was never in

In the snow drifts and storms of winter Big John and his men were not
more helpless than in the floods and slush that began with the first
soft breath of the Philadelphia spring. Wearing our big shapeless
overshoes, we waded through the puddles and jumped over the streams in
the Convent paths and roads as, in town, Philadelphia children, with
their "gums" on, jumped over the streams and waded through the puddles
in the abominably paved streets. But then hope too began when the first
spaces of green were uncovered by the melting snow. The first
spring-beauty in the sunny spaces of the woods, the first flowery frost
in the orchard, the first blooming of the tulip trees, were among the
great events of the year. And what joy now in the new hunt!--what
treasure of spring-beauties everywhere in the woods as the sun grew
warmer, of shyer, retired hepaticas, of white violets running wild in
the swampy fields beyond the lake, of sweet trailing arbutus, of
Jacks-in-the-pulpit flourishing best in the damp thickets of the
Poisonous Valley into which I never wandered without a tremor not merely
because it was a forbidden adventure, but because, though I passed
through it unscathed, I had seen so often the horrible and unsightly red
rash one whiff from over its bushes and trees could bring out on the
faces and hands of my schoolmates with a skin more sensitive than mine.
Games lost their charm in the spring sunshine and our one pleasure was
in the hunt, no longer for chestnuts and walnuts and hickory nuts, but
solely for flowers, bringing back great bunches wilting in our hot
little hands, to place before the shrine that aroused the warmest
fervours of our devotion or was tended by the nun of our special


And before we knew it, the spring-beauties and hepaticas and white
violets and Jacks-in-the-pulpit disappeared from the woods, and the
flowery frost from the orchard, and the great blossoms from the tulip
trees, and summer was upon us--blazing summer when we lay perspiring on
our little beds up there in Gothic Hall where a few months before we
shivered and shook, perspiration streamed from our faces on our school
books at the study hour, more a burden than ever as we drooped and
drowsed in the heat;--blazing summer when the fragrance of the roses
hung heavy over Madame Huguet's garden and mingled with the too sweet
fragrance of the honeysuckle about the columns of the porch and over
every door;--blazing summer when all day long meadows and gardens and
lawns swooned under the pitiless sunshine and we, who had braved the
winter cold undismayed, never put as much as our noses out of doors
until the hour of sunset;--blazing summer when for many years I saw the
other girls going home, the gaiety of sea and mountain and change
awaiting them, while my Sister and I stayed on, desolate at heart
despite the efforts of the nuns to help us forget, feeling forlornly
forsaken as we watched the green burnt up into brown and the summer
flowers wilt and die, and the drought turn the roads to dust, and all
Nature parched as we parched with it. The holiday dragged terribly and,
reversing the usual order of things, I counted the days until school
would begin again. However, at least I can say that I saw the
Philadelphia summer in its full terrors as every Philadelphia child ever
born, for whom wealth or chance opens no gate of escape, must see it and
did see it of old.

And so for me in the Convent the seasons were the same as for the child
in Philadelphia and its suburbs. And I learnt how cold Philadelphia can
be, and how hot--if Penn, safe in England, was grateful for the greater
nearness of his town to the sun, not a Philadelphian on the spot,
sweltering through its midsummer heat, has ever yet shared his
gratitude. And I learnt how beautiful Philadelphia is as it grows mild
again after winter has done its worst, or as it cools off in the
friendlier autumn sun. And not to know these facts is not to know


In the Convent regulation of daily life lay the unconquerable
difference. Philadelphia has its laws and traditions that guide the
Philadelphian through every hour and duty of the day, and the
Philadelphian, who from the cradle does not obey these traditions and
laws, can never be quite as other Philadelphians. The Sacred Heart is a
French order, and the nuns imported their laws and traditions from
France, qualified, modified, perhaps, on the way, but still with an
unmistakable foreign flavour and tendency that could not pass
unquestioned in a town where the first article of faith is that
everybody should do precisely what everybody else does.

I remember when the Rhodes scholars were first sent from America to
Oxford a friend of mine professed serious concern for the future of the
University should they introduce buckwheat cakes on Oxford breakfast
tables. And, really, he was not as funny as he thought. A man is a good
deal what his food makes him. The macaroni-fed Italian is not as the
sausage-and-sauerkraut-fed German, nor the Hindu who thrives on rice as
the Irishman bred upon potatoes. Never was a town more concerned with
the Question of Food than Philadelphia and I now see quite plainly that
I, beginning my day at the Convent on coffee and rolls, could not have
been as the correct Philadelphia child beginning the day in Philadelphia
or the suburbs on scrapple and buckwheat cakes and maple syrup. Thus,
the line of separation was drawn while I was still in short skirts with
my hair cropped close.

The Convent day continued, as it began, with differences. I sat down at
noon to the substantial French breakfast which at the Convent, as a
partial concession to American ideals, became dinner. At half past
three, like a little French girl, I had my _goûter_, for which even the
French name was retained--how well I remember the big, napkin-lined
basket, full of hunks of good gingerbread, or big crackers, or sweet
rolls, passed round by Sister Duffy, probably the most generous of all
generous Irishwomen, who would have slipped an extra piece into every
little hand if she could, but who was so shockingly cross-eyed that we
got an idea of her as a disagreeable old thing, an ogress, always
watching to see if we took more than our appointed share. Quite recently
I argued it all out again with the few old Sisters left to greet me on
my first and only visit to the Convent during thirty years and, purely
for the sake of the sentiment of other days. I refused to believe them
when they insisted that Sister Duffy, who now lies at peace in the
little graveyard on the hillside in the woods, wasn't cross at all, but
as tender as any Sister who ever waited on hungry little girls! I would
have given a great deal could she have come back, cross-eyes and all,
with her big basket of gingerbread to make me feel at home again, as I
could not in the Visitors' dining-room where my _goûter_ was set out on
a neatly spread table, even though on one side of me was "Marie" of _Our
Convent Days_, my friend who had been Prince of Denmark in our
Booth-stricken period, and on the other Miss Repplier, the chronicler of
our childish adventures. It was the first time we three had sat there
together since more years than I am willing to count, and I think we
were too conscious that youth now was no longer of the company not to
feel the sadness as keenly as the pleasure of the reunion in our old

_Goûter_, with its associations, has sent me wandering far from the
daily routine which ended, in the matter of meals, with a supper of meat
and potatoes and I hardly know what, at half past six, when little
Philadelphia girls were probably just finishing their cambric tea and
bread-and-butter, and even the buns from Dexter's when these had been
added as a special treat or reward. How could we, upon so much heavier
fare, have seen things, how could we have looked upon life, just as
those other little girls did?


We did not play, any more than we ate, like the child in Philadelphia or
its suburbs. One memory of our playtime I have common to all
Philadelphia children of my generation: the memory of Signor Blitz, on
a more than usually blissful Reverend Mother's Feast, taking rabbits out
of our hats and bowls of gold-fish out of his sleeve, and holding a long
conversation with the immortal Bobby, the most prodigious puppet that
ever conversed with any professional ventriloquist. But this was a rare
ecstasy never repeated.


What games the children in Rittenhouse Square and the Lanes of
Germantown had, I cannot record, but of one thing I am sure: they did
not go to the tune and the words of "_Sur le pont d'Avignon_," or "_Qu'
est-ce qui passe ici si tard_," or "_Il était un avocat_." Nor, I fancy,
were "_Malbrough s'en va-t'en guerre_" and "_Au clair de la lune, mon
ami Pierrot_," the songs heard in the Philadelphia nursery. Nor is it
likely that "_C'est le mois de Marie_," which we sang as lustily all
through May as the devout in France sing it in every church and every
cathedral from one end of their land to the other, was the canticle of
pious little Catholic children celebrating the month of Mary at St.
Joseph's or St. Patrick's. Nor outside the Convent could the Bishop on
his pastoral rounds have been welcomed with the "_Vive! Vive! Vive!
Monseigneur au Sacré Coeur, Quel Bonheur!_" which, the title
appropriately changed, was our form of welcome to every distinguished
visitor. And, singing these songs and canticles, how could the
associations and memories we were laying up for ourselves be the same as
those of Philadelphia children whose ears and voices were trained on
"Juanita" and "Listen to the Mocking Bird," or, it may be, "Marching
through Georgia" and "Way down upon the Swanee River"? These things may
make subtle distinctions, but they are distinctions that can never be
overcome or outgrown.

In study hours, as in playtime and at meals, we were seldom long out of
this French atmosphere. French class was only shorter than English. If
we were permitted to talk at breakfast, it was not at all that we might
amuse ourselves, but that we might practise our French which did not
amuse us in the least. Many of the nuns were French, often, it is true,
French from Louisiana or Canada, but their English was not one bit more
fluent on that account. Altogether, there was less of Philadelphia than
of France in the discipline, the devotions, and the relaxations of the


But, of all the differences, the most fundamental, I think, came from
the fact that the Convent was a Convent and taught us to accept the
conventual, the monastic interpretation of life. We were there in, not
only a French, but a cloistered atmosphere--the atmosphere that
Philadelphia least of all towns could understand. The Friends had
attained to peace and unworldliness by staying in their own homes and
fulfilling their duty as fathers and mothers of families, as men and
women of business. But the nuns saw no way to achieve this end except
by shutting themselves out of the world and avoiding its temptations.
The Ladies of the Sacred Heart are cloistered. They leave the Convent
grounds only to journey from one of their houses to another, for care is
taken that they do not, by staying over long in one school, form too
strong an attachment to place or person. Where would be the use of being
a nun if you were not made to understand the value of sacrifice? Their
pupils are, for the time, as strictly cloistered. Not for us were the
walks abroad by which most girls at boarding school keep up with the
times--or get ahead of them. We were as closely confined to the Convent
grounds as the nuns, except during the holidays or when a friend or
relation begged for us a special outing. It was not a confinement
depending on high stone walls and big gates with clanging iron chains
and bars. But the wood fences running with the board walk above the
railroad and about the woods and the fields and the gardens made us no
less prisoners--willing and happy prisoners as we might be, and were.
This gave us, or gave me at any rate, a curious idea of the Convent as a
place entirely apart, a place that had nothing to do with the near town
or the suburb in which it stood--a blessed oasis in the sad wilderness
of the world.

There is no question that, as a result, I felt myself in anticipation a
stranger in the wilderness into which I knew I must one day go from the
oasis, and in which I used to imagine I should be as much of an exile
as the Children of Israel in the desert. Of course I was not quite that
when the time came, but that for an interval I was convinced I must be
explains how unlike in atmosphere the Convent was to Eleventh and

In all sorts of little ways I was confirmed in this belief by life and
its duties at the Convent. For all that concerned me nearly, for all
that was essential to existence here below, Philadelphia seemed to me as
remote as Timbuctoo. I got insensibly to think of myself first not as a
Philadelphian, not as an American, but as a "Child of the Sacred
Heart,"--the first question under all circumstances was what I should
do, not as a Philadelphian, but as a Child of the Sacred Heart.


I cannot say how much the mere name of the thing represented--the honour
and the privilege--and there was not a girl who had been for any time a
pupil who did not prize it as I did. And we were not given the chance to
forget or belittle it. We were impressed with the importance of showing
our appreciation of the distinction Providence had reserved for us--of
showing it not merely by our increased faith and devotion, but by our
bearing and conduct. We might be slack about our lessons. That was all
right at a period when slackness prevailed in girls' schools and it was
unfeminine, if not unladylike, to be too learned. But we were not let
off from the diligent cultivation of our manners. Our faith and devotion
were attended to in a daily half hour of religious instruction. But
Sunday was not too holy a day for the Politeness Class that was held
every week as surely as Sunday came round, in which we were taught all
the mysteries of a Deportment that might have given tips to the great
Turveydrop himself,--how to sit, how to walk, how to carry ourselves
under all circumstances, how to pick up a handkerchief a passer-by might
drop--an unspeakable martyrdom of a class when each unfortunate student,
in turn, went through her paces with the eyes of all the school upon her
and to the sound of the stifled giggles of the boldest. We never met one
of our mistresses in the corridors that we did not drop a laboured
curtsey--a shy, deplorably awkward curtsey when I met the Reverend
Mother, Mother Boudreau, a large, portly, dignified nun from Louisiana
and a model of deportment, who inspired me with a respectful fear I
never have had for any other mortal. We could not answer a plain "Yes"
or "No" to our mistresses, but the "Madam" must always politely follow.
"Remember" was a frequent warning, "remember that wherever, or with
whom, you may be, to behave like children of the Sacred Heart!" A Child
of the Sacred Heart, we were often told, should be known by her manners.
And so impressed were we with this precept that I remember a
half-witted, but harmless, elderly woman whom the nuns, in their
goodness, had kept on as a "parlour boarder" after her school days were
over, telling us solemnly that when she was in New York and went out
shopping with her sister, the young men behind the counter at Stewart's
would all look at her with admiring eyes and whisper to each other, "Is
it not easy to see that Miss C. is a Child of the Sacred Heart?"


Seriously, the training did give something that nothing else could, and
an admirable training it was for which girls to-day might exchange more
than one brain-bewildering course at College and be none the worse for
it. In my own case, I admit, I should not mind having had more of the
other training, as it has turned out that my work in life is of the sort
where a quick intelligence counts for more than an elegant deportment.
But I can find no fault with the Convent for neglect. Girls then were
not educated to work. If you had asked any girl anywhere what was
woman's mission, she would have answered promptly--had she been
truthful--"to find a husband as soon as possible;" if she were a Convent
girl,--a Child of the Sacred Heart--she would have added, "or else to
become a nun." Her own struggles to fit herself for any other career the
inconsiderate Fates might drive her into, so far from doing her any
harm, were the healthiest and most bracing of tonics. Granted an average
mind, she could teach herself through necessity just the important
things school could not teach her through a routine she didn't see the
use of. She emerged from the ordeal not only heroically but
successfully, which was more to the point. A young graduate from Bryn
Mawr said to me some few days ago that when she looked at her mother and
the women of her mother's generation and realized all they had
accomplished without what is now called education, she wondered whether
the girls of her generation, who had the benefit of all the excess of
education going, would or could accomplish more, or as much. To tell the
truth, I wonder myself. But then it may be said that I, belonging to
that older generation, am naturally prejudiced.


There are moments when, reflecting on all I lost as a Philadelphian, I
am half tempted to regret my long years of seclusion, busy about my soul
and my manners, at the Convent. A year or so would not have much
mattered one way or the other. I led, however, no other life save the
Convent life until I was seventeen. I knew no other standpoint save the
Convent standpoint.

But the temptation to regret flies as quickly as it comes. I loved the
life too well at the time, I love it too well in the retrospect, to have
wanted then, or to want now, to do without it. It was a happy life to
live, though I would not have been a school girl had I not, with the
school girl's joy in the morbid, liked nothing better than to pose as
the unhappiest of mortals--to be a school girl was to be misunderstood I
would have vowed, had I, in my safe oasis, ever heard the expression or
had the knowledge to guess at its meaning. I loved every stone in the
house, brown and ugly as every stone might be, I loved every tree in
the woods whether or no it dropped pleasant things to devour, I loved
every hour of the day whatever might be its task. I had a quick memory,
study was no great trouble to me, and I enjoyed every class and
recitation. I enjoyed getting into mischief--I wore once only the Ribbon
for Good Conduct--and I enjoyed being punished for it. In a word, I got
a good deal out of my life, if it was not exactly what a girl was sent
to school to get. And it is as happy a life to remember, with many
picturesque graces and absurdities, joys and sorrows, that an
uninterrupted existence at Eleventh and Spruce could not have given.

I have no desire to talk sentimental nonsense about my school days
having been my happiest. That sort of talk is usually twaddle. It was
not as school that I loved the Convent, though as school it had its
unrivalled attractions; it was as home. When the time came to go from it
I suffered that sharp pang felt by most girls on leaving home for
school. I remember how I, who affected a sublime scorn for the cry-baby,
blubbered like one myself when I was faced with the immediate prospect
of life in Philadelphia. How well I recall my despair--how vividly I see
the foolish scene I made in the empty Refectory, shadowy in the dusk of
the June evening, where I was rehearsing the valedictory of the
Graduating Class which I had been chosen to recite, and where, after the
first few lines I broke down to my shame, and sniffled and gurgled and
sobbed in the lap of the beloved mistress who was doing her best to
comfort me, and also to keep me from disgracing her, as I should have
done by any such scene on the great day itself.

If the Convent stands for so much in my memory, it would be ungrateful
to regret the years I spent in it. The sole reason would be my loss, not
as a student, but as a Philadelphian, for this loss was the price I
paid. But the older I grow, the better I realize that to the loss I owe
an immeasurable gain. For as a child I never got so accustomed to
Philadelphia as not to see it at all. The thing we know too well is
often the thing we see least clearly, or we should not need the
philosopher to remind us that that is best which nearest lieth. All
through my childhood and early youth I saw Philadelphia chiefly from the
outside, and so saw it with more awe and wonder and lasting delight than
those Philadelphians who, in childhood and early youth, saw it only from
the inside,--too near for it to come together into the picture that



And so it was with a great fear in my heart that, in the course of time
and after I had learned as little as it was decent for Philadelphia
girls to learn in the days before Bryn Mawr, I left the Convent
altogether for Philadelphia. I can smile now in recalling the old fear,
but it was no smiling matter at seventeen: a weeping matter rather, and
many were the tears I shed in secret over the prospect before me. My
holidays had not revealed Philadelphia to me as a place of evil and many
dangers. But as I was to live there, it represented the world,--the
sinful world, worse, the unknown world, to battle with whose temptations
my life and training at the Convent had been the preparation.

[Illustration: ST PETER'S, INTERIOR]

It added to the danger that sin could wear so peaceful an aspect and
temptation keep so comfortably out of sight. During an interval, longer
than I cared to have it, for I did not "come out" at once as a
Philadelphia girl should and at the Convent I had made few Philadelphia
friends, my personal knowledge of Philadelphia did not go much deeper
than its house fronts. For the most part they bore the closest family
resemblance to those of Eleventh and Spruce, with the same suggestion of
order and repose in their well-washed marble steps and neatly-drawn
blinds. My Father had then moved to Third Street near Spruce, and there
rented a red brick house, one-half, or one-third, the size of my
Grandfather's, but very like it in every other way, to the roses in the
tiny back-yard and to the daily family routine except that, with a
courageous defiance of tradition I do not know how we came by, we dined
at the new dinner hour of six and said our prayers in the privacy of our
bedrooms. The Stock Exchange was only a minute away, and yet, at our
end, Third Street had not lost its character as a respectable
residential street. We had for neighbours old Miss Grelaud and the
Bullitts and, round the corner in Fourth Street, the Wisters and Bories
and Schaumbergs,--with what bated breath Philadelphia talked of the
beauty and talents of Miss Emily Schaumberg, as she still was!--and many
other Philadelphia families who had never lived anywhere else. Life went
on as silently and placidly and regularly as at the Convent. I seemed
merely to have exchanged one sort of monastic peace for another and the
loudest sound I ever heard, the jingling of my old friend the horse-car,
was not so loud as to disturb it.

If I walked up Spruce Street, or as far as Pine and up Pine, silence and
peace enfolded me. Peace breathed, exuded from the red brick houses with
their white marble steps, their white shutters below and green above,
their pleasant line of trees shading the red brick pavement. The
occasional brown stone front broke the uniformity with such brutal
discord that I might have imagined the devil I knew was waiting for me
somewhere lurked behind it, and have seen in its pretentious aping of
New York fashion the sin in which Philadelphia, as the Sinful World,
must abound. I cannot say why it seemed to me, and still seems, so
odious, for there were other interruptions to the monotony I delighted
in--the beautiful open spaces and great trees about the Pennsylvania
Hospital and St. Peter's; the old Mint which, with its severe classical
façade, seemed to reproach the frivolity of the Chestnut Street store
windows on every side of it; General Paterson's square grey house with
long high-walled garden at Thirteenth and Locust; the big yellow Dundas
house at Broad and Walnut, with its green enclosure and the magnolia for
whose blossoming I learnt to watch with the coming of spring; that other
garden with wide-spreading trees opposite my Grandfather's at Eleventh
and Spruce: old friends these quickly grew to be, kindly landmarks on
the way when I took the walks that were so solitary in those early days,
through streets where it was seldom I met anybody I knew, for the
Convent had made me a good deal of a stranger in my native town,--where
it was seldom, indeed, I met anybody at all.


When I went out, I usually turned in the direction of Spruce and Pine,
for to turn in the other, towards Walnut, was to be at once in the
business part of the town where Philadelphia women preferred not to be
seen, having no desire to bridge over the wide gulf of propriety that
then yawned between the sex and business. Except for the character of
the buildings and the signs at the doors, I might not have been
conscious of the embarrassing difference between this and my more
familiar haunts. Bankers' and stock-brokers' offices were on every side,
but the Third Street car did not jingle any louder as it passed, my way
was not more crowded, peace still enveloped me. I gathered from my
Father, who was a broker, that the Stock Exchange, when buying and
selling had to be done on the spot and not by telephone as in our
degenerate days, was now and then a scene of animation, and it might be
of noise and disorder, more especially at Christmas, when a brisker
business was done in penny whistles and trumpets than in stocks and
shares. But the animation overflowed into Third Street only at moments
of panic, to us welcome as moments of prosperity for they kept my Father
busy--we thrived on panics--and then, once or twice, I saw staid
Philadelphians come as near running as I ever knew them to in the open


Now and then youth got the better of me and I sought adventure in the
unadventurous monotony of Walnut Street where the lawyers had their
offices, the courts not having as yet migrated up to Broad Street. It
was usually lost in heavy legal slumber and if my intrusion was bold, at
least nobody was about to resent it. Nor could there be a doubt of the
eminent respectability into which I intruded. The recommendation to
Philadelphia of its lawyers was not the high esteem in which they were
held throughout the country, but their social standing at home--family
gave distinction to the law, not the law to family. Approved
Philadelphia names adorned the signs at almost every office door and not
for some years was the evil day to dawn when the well-known Philadelphia
families who inherited the right of the law would be forced to fight for
it with the alien and the Jew. For me, I think I am at an age when I may
own that the irreproachable names on the signs were not the principal
attraction. Sometimes, from one of the somnolent offices, a friendly
figure would step into the somnolent street to lighten me on my way, and
it was pleasanter to walk up Walnut in company than alone. When I went
back the other day, after many years and many changes for Philadelphia
and myself, I found most of the familiar signs gone, but at one door I
was met by a welcome ghost--but, was it the ghost of that friendly
figure or of my lonely youth grasping at romance or its shadow? How many
years must pass, how many experiences be gone through, before a question
like that can be asked!

If I followed Third Street beyond Walnut to Chestnut, I was in the
region of great banks and trust companies and newspaper offices and the
old State House and the courts. I had not had the experience, or the
training, to realize what architectural monstrosities most of the new,
big, heavy stone buildings were, nor the curiosity to investigate what
went on inside of them, but after the quiet red brick houses they
seemed to have business written all over them and the street, compared
to Spruce and Walnut, appeared to my unsophisticated eyes so thronged
that I did not have to be told it was no place for me. It was plain that
most women felt as I did, so careful were they to efface themselves. I
remember meeting but few on Chestnut Street below Eighth until Mr.
Childs began to devote his leisure moments and loose change to the
innocent amusement of presenting a cup and saucer to every woman who
would come to get it, and as most women in Philadelphia, or out of it,
are eager to grab anything they do not have to pay for, many visited him
in the _Ledger_ office at Sixth and Chestnut.


As I shrank from doing what no other woman did, and, as the business end
of Chestnut Street did not offer me the same temptation as Walnut, I
never got to know it well,--in fact I got to know it so little that my
ignorance would seem extraordinary in anybody save a Philadelphian, and
it remained as strange to me as the street of a foreign town. I could
not have said just where my Grandfather's Bank was, not once during that
period did I set my foot across the threshold of the State House,
unwilling as I am to confess it. But perhaps I might as well make a full
confession while I am about it, for the truth will have to come out
sooner or later. Let me say then, disgraceful as I feel it to be, that
though I spent two years at least in the Third Street house, with so
much of the beauty of Philadelphia's beautiful past at my door, it was
not until some time afterwards, when we had gone to live up at
Thirteenth and Spruce, that I began to appreciate the beauty as well as
my folly in not having appreciated it sooner. St. Peter's Church and the
Pennsylvania Hospital I could not ignore, many of my walks leading me
past them. But I was several years older before I saw Christ Church,
inside or out. The existence of the old Second Street Market was unknown
to me; had I been asked I no doubt would have said that the Old Swedes
Church was miles off; I was unconscious that I was surrounded by houses
of Colonial date; I was blind to the meaning and dignity of great gables
turned to the street, and stately Eighteenth Century doorways, and
dormer windows, and old ironwork, and a patchwork of red and black
brick; I was indifferent to the interest these things might have given
to every step I took at a time when, too often, every step seemed
forlornly barren of interest or its possibility. Into the old
Philadelphia Library on Fifth Street I did penetrate once or twice, and
once or twice sat in its quiet secluded alcoves dipping into musty
volumes: a mere accident it must have been, my daily reading being
provided for at the easy-going, friendly, pleasantly dingy, much more
modern Mercantile Library in Tenth Street. But the memory of these
visits, few as they were, is one of the strongest my Third Street days
have left with me, and I think, or I hope, I must have felt the charm of
the old town if I may not have realized that I did, for I can never look
back to myself as I was then without seeing it as the background to all
my comings and goings--a background that lends colour to my colourless


I can understand my ignorance and blindness and indifference, if I
cannot forgive them. All my long eleven years at the Convent I had had
the virtue of obedience duly impressed upon me, and, though there custom
led me easily into the temptation of disobedience, when I returned to
Philadelphia I was at first too frightened and bewildered to defy
Philadelphia's laws written and especially unwritten, for in these I was
immediately concerned. I was the more bewildered because I had come away
from the Convent comfortably convinced of my own importance, and it was
disconcerting to discover that Philadelphia, so far from sharing the
conviction, dismissed me as a person of no importance whatever. I had
also my natural indolence and moral cowardice to reckon with. I have
never been given to taking the initiative when I can avoid it and it is
one of my great grievances that, good and thorough American as I am, I
should have been denied my rightful share of American go. Anyway, I did
not have to stay long in Philadelphia to learn for myself that the
Philadelphia law of laws obliged every Philadelphian to do as every
other Philadelphian did, and that every Philadelphian was too much
occupied in evading what was not the thing in the present to bother to
cultivate a sentiment for the past. Moreover, I had to contend against
what the Philadelphians love to call the Philadelphia inertia, while all
the time they talk about it they keep giving substantial proofs of how
little reason there is for the talk. The Philadelphia inertia only means
that it is not good form in Philadelphia to betray emotion on any
occasion or under any circumstance. The coolness, or indifference, of
Philadelphians at moments and crises of great passion and excitement has
always astonished the outsider. If you do not understand the
Philadelphia way, as I did not then, you take the Philadelphian's talk
literally and believe the beautiful Philadelphia calm to be more than
surface deep, as I did who had not the sense as yet to see that, even if
this inertia was real, it was my business to get the better of it and to
develop for myself the energy I imagined my town and its people to be
without. I have often thought that the Philadelphia calm is a little
like the London climate that either conquers you or leaves you the
stronger for having conquered it.


If one of Philadelphia's unwritten laws closed my eyes to what was most
worth looking at when I took my walks abroad, another, no less
stringent, limited those walks to a small section of the town. On the
map Philadelphia might stretch over a vast area with the possibility of
spreading indefinitely, but for social purposes it was shut in to the
East and the West by the Delaware and the Schuylkill, to the North and
the South by a single line of the old rhyming list of the streets:
"Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce and Pine." I have not the antiquarian
knowledge to say who drew that rigid line, or when what had been all
right for Washington and Provosts of the University and no end of
distinguished people became all wrong for ordinary mortals--I have heard
the line ridiculed, but never explained. No geographical boundary has
been, or could be, more arbitrary, but there it was, there it is, and
the Philadelphian who crosses it risks his good name. Nor can the
stranger, though unwarned, disregard it with impunity. I remember when I
met Mrs. Alexander Gilchrist, the first friend I made in London, and she
told me the number of the house away out North Twenty-second Street
where she lived for two years in Philadelphia, I had a moment of
Philadelphia uncertainty as to whether her literary distinction could
outbalance her social indiscretion. Philadelphia never had a doubt, but
was serenely unconscious of her presence during her two years there. And
yet she had then edited and published, with the help of the Rossettis,
her husband's _Life of Blake_ which had brought her fame in England, and
her up-town house must have been one of the most interesting to visit.
Walt Whitman was a daily guest and few American men of letters passed
through Philadelphia without finding their way to it. Philadelphia,
however, would scruple going to Heaven were Heaven north of Market

It is an absurd prejudice, but I am not sure if I have got rid of it
now or if I ever shall get rid of it, and when I was too young to see
its absurdity I would as soon have questioned the infallibility of the
Pope. It was decreed that nobody should go north of Market or south of
Pine; therefore I must not go; the reason, probably, why I never went to
Christ Church--a pew had not been in my family for generations to excuse
my presence in North Second Street--why I never, even by accident,
passed the Old Swedes or the Second Street Market. It was bad enough to
cross the line when I could not help myself. I am amused now--though my
sensitive youth found no amusement in it--when I think of my annoyance
because my Great-Grandfather, on my Mother's side, old Ambrose White
whose summer home was in Chestnut Hill, lived not many blocks from the
Meeting House and the Christ Church Burial Ground where Franklin lies,
in one of those fine old Arch Street houses in which Friends had lived
for generations since there had been Arch Street houses to live in.
Besides, Mass and Vespers in the Cathedral led me to Logan Square, to my
dismay that religion should lead where it was as much as my reputation
was worth to be met. I have wondered since if it was as compromising for
the Philadelphian from north of Market Street to be found in Rittenhouse


Outwardly I could see no startling difference between the forbidden
Philadelphia and my Philadelphia--"there is not such great odds, Brother
Toby, betwixt good and evil as the world imagines," I might have said
with Mr. Shandy had I known that Mr. Shandy said it or that there was a
Mr. Shandy to say anything so wise. The Philadelphia rows of red brick
houses, white marble steps, white shutters below and green above, rows
of trees shading them, were much the same north of Market Street and
south of Pine, except that south of Pine the red brick houses shrank and
the white marble and white shutters grew shabby, and north of Market
their uniformity was more often broken by brown stone fronts which,
together with the greater width of many of the streets, gave a richer
and more prosperous air than we could boast down our way. But it was not
for Philadelphians, of all people, to question why, and it must have
been two or three years later, when I was less awed by Philadelphia,
that I went up town of my own free will and out of sheer defiance. I can
remember the time when an innocent visit to so harmless a place as
Girard College appeared to me in the light of outrageous daring. That is
the way in my generation we were taught and learned our duty in

My excursions to the suburbs, except to Torresdale, were few, which was
my loss for no other town's suburbs are more beautiful, and they were
not on Philadelphia's Index. Time and the alien had not yet driven the
Philadelphian out to the Main Line as an alternative to "Chestnut,
Walnut, Spruce and Pine," but many had country houses there; Germantown
was popular, Chestnut Hill and Torresdale were beyond reproach. My
Father, however, who cultivated most of Philadelphia's prejudices, was
unexpectedly heterodox in this particular. He could not stand the
suburbs--poor man, he came to spending suburban summers in the end--and
of them all he held Germantown most sweepingly in disfavour. I cannot
remember that he gave a reason for his dislike. It may be that its
grey-stone houses offended him as an infidelity to Philadelphia's red
brick austerity. But he could never speak of it with patience and from
him I got the idea that it was the abyss of the undesirable. One of the
biggest surprises of my life was, when I came to look at it with my own
eyes, to find it as desirable a place as beauty and history can make.


The shopping I had not the money to do would have kept me within a more
exclusive radius, for a shopping expedition restricted the Philadelphian
who had any respect for herself to Chestnut Street between Eighth and
Fifteenth. Probably I was almost the only Philadelphian who knew there
were plenty of cheap stores in Second Street, but that I bought the
first silk dress I ever possessed there was one of the little
indiscretions I had the sense to keep to myself. A bargain in Eighth
Street might be disclosed as a clever achievement, if not repeated too
often. The old Philadelphia name and the historic record of
Lippincott's, for generations among the most successful Philadelphia
publishers, would have permitted a periodical excursion into Market
Street, even if unlimited latitude, anyway, had not been granted to
wholesale houses in the choice of a street. The well-known reliability
of Strawbridge and Clothier might warrant certain purchases up-town and
a furniture dealer as reliable, whose name and address I regret have
escaped me, sanction the housekeeper's penetrating still further north.
But it was safer, everything considered, to keep to Chestnut Street, and
on Chestnut Street to stores approved by long patronage--you were
hall-marked "common" if you did not, and the wrong name on the inside of
your hat or under the flap of your envelope might be your social
undoing. The self-respecting Philadelphian would not have bought her
needles and cotton anywhere save at Mustin's, her ribbons anywhere save
at Allen's. She would have scorned the visiting card not engraved by
Dreka. She would have gone exclusively to Bailey's or Caldwell's for her
jewels and silver; to Darlington's or Homer and Colladay's for her
gloves and dresses; to Sheppard's for her linen; to Porter and Coates,
after Lippincott's, for her books; to Earle's for her pictures;--prints
were such an exotic taste that Gebbie and Barrie could afford to hide in
Walnut Street, and the collector of books such a rarity that Tenth, or
was it Ninth? was as good as any other street for the old book store
where I had so unpleasant an experience that I could not well forget it
though I have forgotten its proprietor's name. A sign in the window said
that old books were bought, and one day, my purse as usual empty but my
heart full of hope, I carried there two black-bound, gilt-edged French
books of the kind nobody dreams of reading that I had brought home
triumphantly as prizes from the Convent: but I and my poor treasures
were dismissed with such contempt and ridicule that my spirit was broken
and I could not summon up pluck to carry them to Leary's, in Ninth
Street, who were more liberal even than Charles Lamb in their
definition, and to whom anything printed and bound was a book to be
bought and sold.

If hunger overtook the shopper, she would have eaten her oyster stew
only at Jones's on Eleventh Street or Burns's on Fifteenth; or if the
heat exhausted her, she would have cooled off on ice-cream only at
Sautter's or Dexter's, on soda-water only at Wyeth's or Hubbell's. The
hours for shopping were as circumscribed as the district. To be seen on
Chestnut Street late in the afternoon, if not unpardonable, was
certainly not quite the thing.


Shopping without money had no charm and could never help to dispose of
my interminable hours. The placid beauty of the shopless streets was of
a kind to appeal more to age than youth. I wonder to this day at the
time I allowed to pass before I shook off my respect for Philadelphia
conventions sufficiently to relieve the dulness of my life by straying
from the Philadelphia beaten track. The most daring break at first was a
stroll on Sunday afternoon over to West Philadelphia and to Woodland's.
Later, when, with a friend, I went on long tramps through the Park, by
the Wissahickon, to Chestnut Hill, it was looked upon as no less
unladylike on our part than the new generation's cigarette and demand
for the vote on theirs. But if I did my duty, I was sadly bored by it.
Often I turned homeward with that cruel aching of the heart the young
know so well, longing for something, anything, to happen on the way to
interrupt, to disorganize, to shatter to pieces the daily routine of
life. I still shrink from the sharp pain of those cool, splendid October
days when Philadelphia was aglow and quiveringly alive, and with every
breath of the brisk air came the desire to be up and away and doing--but
away where in Philadelphia?--doing what in Philadelphia? I still shrink
from the sharp pain of the first langourous days of spring when every
Philadelphia back-yard was full of perfume and every Philadelphia street
a golden green avenue leading direct to happiness could I have found the
way along its bewildering straightness.


If youth only knew! There was everywhere to go, everything to do, every
happiness to claim. Philadelphia waited, the Promised Land of action and
romance, had I not been hide-bound by Philadelphia conventions, absorbed
in Philadelphia ideals, disdaining all others with the intolerance of my
years. According to these conventions and ideals, there was but one
adventure for the Philadelphia girl who had finished her education and
arrived at the appointed age--the social adventure of coming out.



Let me say at once that I know no adventure is more important for the
Philadelphian, and that mine was scarcely worth the name as these things
go in Philadelphia.

It is the one adventure that should be roses all the way, but for me it
was next to no roses at all. To begin with, I was poor. My Father had
lost his money in the years of upheaval following the Civil War and had
never got it back again. Nowadays this would not matter. A girl of
seventeen, when she comes home from school, can turn round, find
something to do, and support herself. She could in the old days too, if
she was thrown on her own resources. I had friends no older than myself
who taught, or were in the Mint--that harbour of refuge for the young or
old Philadelphia lady in reduced circumstances. But my trouble was that
I was not supposed to be thrown on my own resources. A Philadelphia
father would have felt the social structure totter had he permitted his
daughter to work as long as he was alive to work for her. When he had
many daughters and luck went against him, the advantage of this attitude
was less obvious to them than to him. Exemplary as was the theory, which
I applaud my Father for acting up to since it happened to be his, it
had its inconvenience when put into practice. To be guarded from the
hardship of labour by the devoted father did not always put money into
the daughter's pocket.

[Illustration: THE CUSTOMS HOUSE]

Had I been more at home in Philadelphia, my poverty might not have stood
so much in my light. A hundred years before Gouverneur Morris had
praised Philadelphia, which in its respect for "virtuous poverty" he
thought so much more generous than other capitals where social splendour
was indispensable, and in this the town had not changed. It was to
Philadelphia's credit that a girl's social success did not depend on the
length of her dressmaker's bill or the scale of her entertaining. More
than one as poor as I would have a different story to tell. But I
suffered from having had no social training or apprenticeship. The
Convent had been concerned in preparing me for society in the next
world, not in this, and I had stayed in the Convent too long to make the
many friendships that do more than most things to launch a girl on her
social career--too long, for that matter, to know what society meant.

It was a good thing that I did not know, did not realize what was ahead
of me, that I allowed myself to be led like a Philadelphian to the
slaughter, for a little experience of society is good for everybody.
Unless men are to live like brutes--or like monks--they must establish
some sort of social relations, and if the social game is played at all,
it should be according to the rules. Nowhere are the rules so rigorous
as in Philadelphia, nowhere in America based upon more inexorable, as
well as dignified, traditions, and I do not doubt that because of the
stumbling blocks in my path, I learned more about them than the
Philadelphia girl whose path was rose-strewn. Were history my mission,
it would be amusing to trace these traditions to their source--first
through the social life of the Friends who, however, are so exclusive
that should this part of the story ever be told, whether as romance or
history, it must come from the inside; and then, through the gaieties of
the World's People who flatter themselves they are as exclusive, and who
have the name for it, and whose exclusiveness is wholesale license
compared to that of the Friends:--through the two distinct societies
that have lived and flourished side by side ever since Philadelphia was.
But my concern is solely with the gaieties as I, individually, shared in
them. Now that I have outlived the discomforts of the experience, I can
flatter myself that, in my small, insignificant fashion, I was helping
to carry on old and fine traditions.


The most serious of these discomforts arose from the question of
clothes, a terrifying question under the existing conditions in the
Third Street house, involving more industrious dress-making upstairs in
the third story front bedroom than I cared about, and a waste of
energies that should have been directed into more profitable channels. I
sewed badly and was conscious of it. At the Convent, except for the
necessity of darning my stockings, I had been as free from this sort of
toiling as a lily of the field, and yet I too had gone arrayed, if
hardly with the same conspicuous success, and, in my awkward hands, the
white tarlatan--who wears tarlatan now?--and the cheap silk from Second
Street, which composed my coming out trousseau, were not growing into
such things of beauty as to reconcile me to my new task.


As unpleasant were the preliminary lessons in dancing forced upon me by
my family when, in my pride of recent graduation with honours, it
offended me to be thought by anybody in need of learning anything. One
evening every week during a few months, two or three friends and cousins
joined me in the Third Street parlour to be drilled into dancing shape
for coming out by Madame Martin, the large, portly Frenchwoman who, in
the same crinoline and heelless, sidelaced shoes, taught generations of
Philadelphia children to dance. Even the Convent could not do without
her, though there, to avoid the sinfulness of "round dances," we had,
under her tuition, waltzed and polkaed hand in hand, a method which my
family feared, if not corrected, might lead to my disgrace.

I seem rather a pathetic figure as I see myself obediently stitching and
practising my steps without an idea of the true meaning and magnitude of
the adventure I was getting ready for, or a chance of being set about it
in the right way. That right way would have been for somebody to give a
party or a dance or a reception especially for me to come out at. But
nobody among my friends and relations was obliging enough to accept the
responsibility, and at home my Father could not get so far as to think
of it. He would have needed too disastrous a panic in Third Street to
provide the money. Madame Martin's lessons were already an extravagance
and when, on top of them, he had gone so far as to pay for my
subscription to the Dancing Class, and, in a cabless town, for the
carriage, fortunately shared with friends, to go to it in, he had done
all his bank account allowed him to do to start me in life.

It would be as useful to explain that the sun rises in the east and sets
in the west as to tell a Philadelphian that the Dancing Class to which I
refer was not of the variety presided over by Madame Martin, but one to
which Philadelphians went to make use of just such lessons as I had been
struggling with for weeks. The origin of its name I never knew, I never
asked, the Dancing Class being one of the Philadelphia institutions the
Philadelphian took for granted: then, as it always had been and still
is, I believe, a distinguished social function of the year. To belong to
it was indispensable to the Philadelphian with social pretensions. It
was held every other Monday, if I remember--to think I should have a
doubt on a subject of such importance!-and the first of the series was
given so early in the winter that with it the season may be said to have
opened. Perhaps this fact helped my family to decide that it was at the
Dancing Class I had best make my first appearance.


Youth is brave out of sheer ignorance. When the moment came, it never
occurred to me to hesitate or to consider the manner of my introduction
to the world. I was content that my Brother should be my sole chaperon.
I rather liked myself in my home-made white tarlatan, feeling very much
dressed in my first low neck. I entertained no misgivings as to the fate
awaiting me, imagining it as inevitable for a girl who was "out" to
dance and have a good time as for a bird to fly once its wings were
spread. If there were men to dance with, what more was needed?--it never
having entered into my silly head that it was the girl's sad fate to
have to wait for the man to ask her, and that sometimes the brute

I had to go no further than the dressing-room at the Natatorium, where
the Dancing Class then met, to learn that society was not so simple as I
thought. I have since been to many strange lands among many strange
people, but never have I felt so much of a stranger as when I, a
Philadelphian born, doing conscientiously what Philadelphia expected of
me, was suddenly dropped down into the midst of a lot of Philadelphia
girls engaged in the same duty. There was a freemasonry among them I
could not help feeling right away--the freemasonry that went deeper than
the chance of birth and the companionship of duty--the freemasonry that
came from their all having grown up together since their perambulator
days in Rittenhouse Square, having learned to dance together, gone to
children's parties together, studied at Miss Irwin's school together,
spent the summer by the sea and in the mountains together, in a word,
from their having done everything together until they were united by
close bonds, the closer for being undefinable, that I, Convent bred,
with not an idea, not a habit, not a point of view, in common with them,
could not break through. I never have got quite over the feeling, though
time has modified it. There is no loneliness like the loneliness in a
crowd, doubly so if all the others in the crowd know each other. In the
dressing-room that first evening it was so overwhelming to discover
myself entirely out of it where I should have been entirely in, that,
without the stay and support of my friend, of old the Prince of Denmark
to my Ghost of Hamlet's Father, and her sister, who had come out under
more favourable conditions, I do not think I could have gone a step
further in the great social adventure.

As it was, with my heart in my boots, my hand trembling on my Brother's
arm, to the music of Hassler's band, I entered the big bare hall of the
Natatorium, and was out with no more fuss and with nobody particularly
excited about it save myself.


Things were a little better once away from the dressing-room. My Brother
was gay, had been out for two or three years, knew everybody. If he
could not introduce me to the women he could introduce the men to me,
and the freemasonry existing among them from their all having gone to
the Episcopal Academy and the University of Pennsylvania together, from
their all having played cricket and baseball and football, or gone
hunting together, from their all belonging to the same clubs, was not
the kind from which I need suffer. Besides, those were the days when it
was easy for the Philadelphia girl to get to know men, to make friends
of them, without the Philadelphia gossip pouncing upon her and the
Philadelphia father asking them their intentions--they could call upon
her as often as they liked and the Philadelphia father would retreat
from the front and back parlours, she could go out alone with them and
the Philadelphia father would not interfere, knowing they had been
brought up to see in themselves her protectors, especially appointed to
look out for her. Some signs of change I might have discerned had I been
observant. More than the five o'clock tea affectation was to come of the
new coquetting with English fashions. Enough had already come for me to
know that if my Brother now and then asked me to go to the theatre, it
was not for the pleasure of my company, but because a girl he wanted to
take would not accept if he did not provide a companion for the sake of
the proprieties. I am sure the old Philadelphia way was the most
sensible. Certainly it was the most helpful if you happened to be a girl
coming out with next to no friends among the women in what ought to have
been your own set, with no chaperon to see that you made them, and, at
the Dancing Class, with no hostess to keep a protecting eye on you but,
instead, patronesses too absorbed in their triumphs to notice the less
fortunate straggling far behind.

Well, anyway, if honesty forbids me to call myself a success, it is a
satisfaction to remember that I did not have to play the wall-flower,
which I would have thought the most terrible disaster that could befall
me. To have to sit out the German alone would have been to sink to such
depths of shame that I never afterwards could have held up my head. It
was astonishing what mountains of despair we made of these social
molehills! I can still see the sad faces of the girls in a row against
the wall, with their air of announcing to all whom it might concern:
"Here we are, at your service, come and rescue us!" But there was
another dreadful custom that did give me away only too often. When a man
asked a girl beforehand to dance the German, Philadelphia expected him
to send her a bunch of roses: always the same roses--Boston buds,
weren't they called?--and from Pennock's on Chestnut Street if he knew
what was what. To take your place roseless was to proclaim that you had
not been asked until the eleventh hour. It was not pleasant. However, if
I went sometimes without the roses, I always had the partner. I had even
moments of triumph as when, one dizzy evening before the assembled
Dancing Class, I danced with Willie White.

It is not indiscreet to mention so great a person by name and, in doing
so, not presuming to use it so familiarly--he was the Dancing Class, as
far as I know, he had no other occupation; and his name was _Willie_,
not _William_, not _Mr._ White. Willie, as Philadelphians said it, was
a title of honour, like the Coeur de Lion or the Petit Caporal bestowed
upon other great men--the measure of the estimate in which social
Philadelphia held him. Bean Nash in the Pump Room at Bath was no
mightier power than Willie White in the Dancing Class at the Natatorium.
He ruled it, and ruled it magnificently: an autocrat, a tyrant, under
whose yoke social Philadelphia was eager to thrust its neck. What he
said was law, whom he approved could enter, whom he objected to was
without redress, his recognition of the Philadelphian's claims to
admission was a social passport. He saw to everything, he led the
German, and I do not suppose there was a girl who, at her first Dancing
Class her first winter, did not, at her first chance, take him out in
the German as her solemn initiation. That is how I came to enjoy my
triumph, and I do not remember repeating it for he never condescended to
take me out in return. But still, I can say that once I danced with
Willie White at the Dancing Class--And did I once see Shelley plain?


There were other powers, as I was made quickly to understand--not only
the powers that all Biddles, Cadwalladers, Rushes, Ingersolls, Whartons,
in a word all members of approved Philadelphia families were by
Philadelphia right, but a few who had risen even higher than that
splendid throng and were accepted as their leaders. It was not one of
the most brilliant periods in the social history of Philadelphia. Mrs.
Rush had had no successor, no woman presided over what could have been
given the name of Salon as she had. Even the Wistar parties, exclusively
for men, discontinued during the upheaval of the Civil War, had not yet
been revived. But, notwithstanding the comparative quiet and depression,
there were a few shining social lights.

Had I been asked in the year of my coming out who was the greatest woman
in the world, I should have answered, without hesitation, Mrs. Bowie.
She, too, may be mentioned by name without indiscretion for she, too,
has become historical. She was far from beautiful at the date to which I
refer, she was no longer in her first youth, was inclined to stoutness
and I fear had not learned how to fight it as women who would be in the
fashion must learn to-day. She was not rich and the fact is worth
recording, so characteristic is it of Philadelphia. The names of leaders
of society in near New York usually had millions attached to them, those
there allowed to lead paid a solid price for it in their entertaining.
But Mrs. Bowie's power depended upon her personal fascination--with
family of course to back it--which was said to be irresistible. And yet
not to know her was to be unknown. Intimacy with her was to have
arrived. At least a bowing acquaintance, an occasional invitation to her
house, was essential to success or its dawning. She entertained modestly
as far as I could gather from my experience,--as far as I can now
depend on my memory--gave no balls, no big dinners; if there were
select little dinners, I was too young and insignificant to hear of
them. I never got farther than the afternoon tea to which everybody was
invited once every winter, a comfortless crush in her small house, with
next to nothing to eat and drink as things to eat and drink go according
to the lavish Philadelphia standard. But that did not matter. Nothing
mattered except to be there, to be seen there. I was tremendously
pleased with myself the first time the distinction was mine, though of
my presence in her house Mrs. Bowie was no doubt amiably unconscious. I
never knew her to recognize me out of it, though I sometimes met her
when she came informally to see one of my Aunts who was her friend, or
to give me the smile at the Dancing Class that would have raised my
drooping spirits. The only notice she ever spared me there was to
express to my Brother--who naturally, brother-like, made me
uncomfortable by reporting it to me--her opinion of my poor,
unpretentious, home-made, Second Street silk as an example of the
absurdity of a long train to dance in, which shows how completely she
had forgotten who I was.

Her chief rival, if so exalted a personage could have a rival, was Mrs.
Connor, from whom also a smile, a recognition, was equivalent to social
promotion. Her fascination did not have to be explained. She was an
unqualified beauty, though the vision I have retained is of beauty in
high-necked blue velvet and chinchilla, which I could not have enjoyed
at the Dancing Class or any evening party. I realise as I write that in
the details of Philadelphia's social history I would come out badly from
too rigid an examination.


To Mrs. Connor's I was never asked with or without the crowd. But other
houses were opened to me, other invitations came, for, if I had not
friends, my family had. My white tarlatan and my Second Street silk had
grown shabby before the winter was half over. At many parties I got to
know what a delightful thing a Philadelphia party was, and if I had gone
to one instead of many I should have known as well. Philadelphia had a
standard for its parties as for everything, and to deviate from this
standard, to attempt originality, to invent the "freak" entertainments
of New York, would have been excessively bad form. The same card printed
by Dreka requested the pleasure of your company to the same Philadelphia
house--the Philadelphia hostess would not have stooped to invite you to
the Continental or the Girard, the LaPierre House or the Colonnade,
which were the Bellevue and the Ritz of my day--where you danced in the
same spacious front and back parlours, with the same crash on the floor,
to the same music by Hassler's band: where you ate the same Terrapin,
Croquettes, Chicken Salad, Oysters, Boned Turkey, Ice cream, little
round Cakes with white icing on top, and drank the same Fish-House Punch
provided by the same Augustine; where the same Cotillon began at the
same hour with the same figures and the same favours and the same
partners; where there was the same dressing-room in the second story
front and the same Philadelphia girls who froze me on my arrival and on
my departure. There was no getting away from the same people in
Philadelphia. That was the worst of it. The town was big enough for a
chance to meet different people in different houses every evening in the
week, but by that arbitrary boundary of "Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce and
Pine," it has made itself socially into a village with the pettiness and
limitations of village life. I have never wondered that Philadelphians
are as cordial to strangers as everybody who ever came to Philadelphia
knows them to be--that Philadelphia doors are as hospitable as Thackeray
once described them. Philadelphians have reason to rejoice and make the
most of it when occasionally they see a face they have not been seeing
regularly at every party they have been to, and hear talk they have not
listened to all their lives.


Sometimes it was to the afternoon reception the card engraved by Dreka
invited me, and then again it was to meet the same people and--in the
barbarous mode of the day--to eat the same Croquettes, Chicken Salad,
Terrapin, Boned Turkey, Ice-cream, and little round Cakes with white
icing on top, and to drink the same Punch from Augustine's at five
o'clock in the afternoon, and at least risk digestion in a good cause.
But rarely did the card engraved by Dreka invite me to dinner, and I
could not have been invited to anything I liked better. I have always
thought dinner the most civilized form of entertainment. It may have
been an entertainment Philadelphia preferred to reserve for my elders,
and, if I am not mistaken, the most formal dinners, or dinners with any
pretence to being public, were then usually men's affairs, just as the
Saturday Club, and the Wistar parties had been, and the Clover Club, and
the Fish-House Club were: from them women being as religiously excluded
as from the dinners of the City Companies in London, or from certain
monasteries in Italy and the East. Indeed, as I look back, it seems to
me that woman's social presence was correct only in private houses and
at private gatherings. Nothing took away my breath so completely on
going back to Philadelphia after my long absence as the Country Clubs
where men and women now meet and share their amusements, if it was not
the concession of a dining-room to women by a Club like the Union League
that, of old, was in my esteem as essentially masculine as the
Philadelphia Lady thought the sauces at Blossom's Hotel in Chester.

But there were plenty of other things to do which I did with less rather
than more thoroughness. I paid midday visits, wondering why duty should
have set me so irksome a task. I received with friends on New Year's
Day--an amazing day when men paid off their social debts and made, at
some houses, their one call of the year, joining together by twos and
threes and fours to charter a carriage, or they would never have got
through their round, armed with all their courage either to refuse
positively or to accept everywhere the glass of Madeira or Punch and the
usual masterpiece from Augustine's. It was another barbarous custom, but
an old Philadelphia custom, and Philadelphia has lost so many old
customs that I could have wished this one spared. I went to the concerts
of the Orpheus Club. I went to the Opera and the Theatre when I was
asked, which was not often. I passed with the proper degree of
self-consciousness the Philadelphia Club at Thirteenth and Walnut, the
same row of faces always looking out over newspapers and magazines from
the same row of windows. And I did a great many things that were
pleasant and a great many more that were unpleasant, conscientiously
rejecting nothing social I was told to do when the opportunity to do it
came my way. But it all counted for nothing weighed in the balance with
the one thing I did not do--I never went to the Assembly.



I am too good a Philadelphian to begin to talk about the Assembly in the
middle of a chapter. It holds a place apart in the social life of
Philadelphia of which annually it is the supreme moment, and in my
record of my experiences of this life, however imperfect, I can treat it
with no less consideration. It must have a chapter apart.

To go to the Assembly was the one thing of all others I wanted to do,
not only on the general principle that the thing one wants most is the
thing one cannot have, but because to go to the Assembly was the thing
of all others I ought to have done. There could be no question of that.
You were not really out in Philadelphia if you did not go; only the
Friends could afford not to. And Americans from other towns felt much
the same way about it, they felt they were not anybody if they were not
invited, and they moved heaven and earth for an invitation, and prized
it, when received, as highly as a pedigree. A few honoured guests were
always at the Assembly.

[Illustration: THE HALL, STENTON]

Philadelphians who are not on the Assembly list may pretend to laugh at
it, to despise it, to sneer at the snobbishness of people who endeavour
to draw a social line in a country where everybody is as good as
everybody else and where those on the right side may look down but those
on the wrong will not be induced to look up. And not one among those who
laugh and sneer would not jump at the chance to get in, were it given
them, at the risk of being transformed into snobs themselves. For the
Assembly places the Philadelphian as nothing else can. It gives him what
the German gets from his quarterings or the Briton from an invitation to
Court. The Dancing Class had its high social standard, it required
grandfathers as credentials before admission could be granted, the
archives of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania supplied no more
authoritative assurance of Philadelphia respectability than its
subscription list, but the Dancing Class was lax in its standard
compared to the Assembly. I am not sure what was the number, what the
quality, of ancestors the Assembly exacted, but I know that it was as
inexorable in its exactions as the Council of Ten. It would have been
easier for troops of camels to pass through the eye of a needle than for
one Philadelphian north of Market Street to get through the Assembly
door. I am told that matters are worse to-day when Philadelphia society
has increased in numbers until new limits must be set to the Assembly
lest it perish of its own unwieldiness. The applicants must produce not
only forefathers but fathers and mothers on the list, and the
Philadelphian whose name was there more than a century and a half ago
cannot make good his rights if his parents neglected to establish
theirs. And to be refused is not merely humiliation, but humiliation
with Philadelphia for witness, and the misery and shame that are the
burden of the humiliated.

It is foolish, I admit, society is too light a matter to suffer for; it
is cruel, for the social wound goes deep. But were it ten times more
foolish, ten times more cruel, I would not have it otherwise.
Philadelphians preserve their State House, their Colonial mansions and
churches; why should they not be as careful of their Assembly, since it
has as historic a background and as fine Colonial and Revolutionary
traditions? They are proud of having their names among those who signed
the Declaration of Independence; why should they not take equal--or
greater--pride in figuring among the McCalls and Willings and Shippens
and Sims and any number of others on the first Assembly lists, since
these are earlier in date? Besides, to such an extremity have the
changes of the last quarter of a century driven the Philadelphian that
he must make a good fight for survival in his own town. When I think of
how mere wealth is taking possession of "Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce and
Pine," how uptown is marrying into it, how the Jew and the alien are
forcing their way in, I see in loyalty to the traditions of the Assembly
of Philadelphian's strongest defence of the social rights which are his
by inheritance. Should he let go, what would there be for him to catch
on to again?


It would be different if what Philadelphia was getting in exchange were
finer, or as fine. But it is not. The old exclusiveness, with its
follies, was better, more amusing, than the new tendency to do away with
everything that gave Philadelphia society its character. It was the
charm and the strength of Philadelphia society that it had a character
of its own and was not just like Boston or New York or Baltimore
society. Nobody, however remote was their mission from social matters,
could visit Philadelphia without being impressed by this difference,
whether it was to discover, with John Adams, that Philadelphians had
their particular way of being a happy, elegant, tranquil, polite people,
or, with so unlikely an observer as Matthew Arnold, that "the leading
families in Philadelphia were much thought of," and that Philadelphia
names saying nothing to an Englishman said everything to every American.
Who you were counted in Philadelphia, as what you knew in Boston, or
what you were worth in New York, and there was not an American of old
who did not accept the fact and respect it. Philadelphia society clung
to the Philadelphia surface of tranquillity, of untroubled repose
whatever might be going on beneath it, and in my time I would not like
to say how disturbing and agitating were the scandals and intrigues that
were said to be going on. They were rarely made public. It was not in
Philadelphia as in London where next to everybody you meet has been or
is about to be divorced, though it might be that next to everybody you
met was not making it a practice to keep to the straight and narrow
path, to be as innocent as everybody looked. Logan Square could have
told tales, if the Divorce Court could not.


But now Philadelphia has strayed from its characteristic exclusiveness;
gone far to get rid of even the air of tranquillity. With the modern
"Peggy Shippen" and "Sally Wister" alert to give away its affairs in the
columns of the daily paper, it could not keep its secrets to itself if
it wanted to. And it does not seem to want to--that is the saddest part
of the whole sad transformation. It rather likes the world outside to
know what it is doing and, worse, it takes that world as its model. Its
aim apparently is to show that it can be as like every other town as two
peas, so that, drinking tea to music at the Bellevue, dancing at the
Ritz, lunching and dining and playing golf and polo at the Country
Clubs, the visitor can comfortably forget he is not at home but in
Philadelphia. The youth of Philadelphia have become eager to desert the
Episcopal Academy and the University for Groton or St. Paul's, Harvard
or Yale, in order that they may be trained to be not Philadelphians but,
as they imagine, men of the world, forgetting the distinction there has
hitherto been in being plain Philadelphians. At the moment when in far
older towns of Europe people are striving to recover their character by
reviving local costumes, language, and customs, Philadelphians are
deliberately throwing theirs away with their old traditions. The
Assembly is one of their few rare possessions left, and strict as they
are with it in one way, in another they are playing fast and loose with
it, holding it, as if it were a mere modern dance, at a fashionable


If I now regret, as I do, never having gone to the Assembly, it is
because of all that it represents, all that makes it a classic. But at
the time, my regret, though as keen, was because of more personal
reasons. I could have borne the historic side of my loss with
equanimity, it was the social side of it that broke my heart. I have had
many bad quarters of an hour in my life, but few as poignant as that
which followed the appearance at our front door of the coloured man who
distributed the cards for the Assembly--far too precious to be trusted
to the post--and who came to leave one for my Brother. It was an
injustice that oppressed me with a sense of my wrongs as a woman and
might have set me window-smashing had window-smashing as a protest been
invented. Why should the Assembly be so much easier for men? My Brother
had but to put on the dress suit he had worn it did not matter how many
years, and as he was, like every other American young man, at work and
an independent person altogether--a millionaire I saw in him--the price
of the card in an annual subscription was his affair and nobody else's.
But, in my case the price was not my affair. I had not a cent to call my
own, I was not at work, I was denied the right to work, and, the
Assembly coming fairly late in the season, my white tarlatan and Second
Street silk showed wear and tear that unfitted them for the most
important social function of the winter. Philadelphia women dressed
simply, it is true; that used to be one of the ways the Quaker influence
showed itself; they boasted then that their restraint in dress
distinguished them from other American women. But simplicity does not
mean cheapness or indifference. The Friends took infinite pains with
their soft brown and silvery grey silks, with their delicate fichus and
Canton shawls. The well-dressed Philadelphia woman knows what she has to
pay for the elegance of her simplicity. And the Assembly has always
called for the finest she could achieve, from the day when Franklin was
made to feel the cost to him if his daughter was to have what she needed
to go out "in decency" with the Washingtons in Philadelphia.

[Illustration: THE TUNNEL IN THE PARK]

I had the common sense to understand my position and not to be misled by
the poverty-stricken, but irresistible Nancies and Dollies who were
enjoying a vogue in the novels of the day and who encircled empty bank
accounts and big families with the halo of romance. To read about the
struggles with poverty of the irresistible young heroine might be
amusing, but I had no special use for them as a personal experience. It
would have been preposterous for me to think for a moment that, without
a decent gown, I could go to the Assembly and, to do myself justice, I
did not think it. But by this time I knew what coming out and being out
meant and, therefore, I appreciated the social drawback it must be for
me not to be able to go. It explained, as nothing hitherto had, how far
I was from being caught up in the whirl, and it is only the whirl that
keeps one going in society--that makes society a delightful profession,
and I think I realized this truth better than the people so
extravagantly in the Philadelphia whirl as to have no time to think
about it. All that winter I never got to the point of being less
concerned as to where the next invitation was to come from than as to
how I was to accept all that did come. There is no use denying that I
was disappointed and suffered from the disappointment. One pays a
heavier price for the first foolish illusion lost than for all the
others put together, no matter how serious they are.


When the season was over, I had as little hope of keeping up in other
essential ways. If society then adjourned from Philadelphia because the
heat made it impossible to stay at home, it was only to start a new
Philadelphia on the porch of Howland's Hotel at Long Branch or, as it
was just then beginning to do, at Bar Harbor and in the camps of the
Adirondacks, or, above all, at Narragansett. "It may be accepted as an
incontrovertible truth," Janvier says in one of his Philadelphia
stories, "that a Philadelphian of a certain class who missed coming to
the Pier for August would refuse to believe, for that year at least, in
the alternation of the four seasons; while an enforced absence from that
damply delightful watering-place for two successive summers very
probably would lead to a rejection of the entire Copernican system." If
Philadelphians went abroad, which was much more exceptional then than
now, it was to meet each other. I know hotels in London to-day where, if
you go in the afternoon, it is just like an afternoon reception in
Philadelphia, and hotels in Paris where at certain seasons you find
nobody but Philadelphians talking Philadelphia, though the Philadelphian
has not disappeared who does not want to travel because he finds
Philadelphia good enough for him. And it has always been like that.

But I could not follow Philadelphia society in the summer time any more
than I could go with it to the Assembly in the winter. I had reason to
consider myself fortunate if I travelled as far as Mount Airy or
Chestnut Hill out of the red brick oven Philadelphia used to be--is now
and ever shall be!--from June to September. It was an event if I got off
with the crowd--the linen-dustered, wilting-collared crowds; surely we
are not so demoralized by the heat nowadays?--to Cape May or Atlantic
City, to enjoy the land breeze blowing, from over the Jersey swamps,
clouds of mosquitoes before it so that nobody could stir out of doors
without gloves and a veil. These, however, were not the summer joys
society demanded of me. The further I went into the social game, the
less I got from it, and I had decided that for the poor it was not
worth the candle at the end of the first year, or was it the second?
That I should be uncertain shows how little my heart was in the business
of going out.


I did not necessarily give up every amusement because I did not go out.
In fact, I cannot recall a dance that amused me as much as many a
boating party on the Schuylkill in the gold of the June afternoon, or
many a walking party through the Park in the starlit summer night. There
also remained, had I chosen, the staid entertainment of the women who,
for one reason or other, had retired from the gayer round, and whose
amusements consisted of more intimate receptions, teas, without number,
sewing societies. And it was the period when Philadelphia was waking up
to the charms of the higher education for women,--to the dissipations of
"culture." I had friends who filled their time by studying for the
examinations Harvard had at last condescended to allow them to pass, or
try to pass; others found their sober recreation by qualifying
themselves as teachers and teaching in a large society formed to impart
learning by correspondence: all these women keeping their occupation to
themselves as much as possible, not wishing to make a public scandal in
Philadelphia which had not accustomed itself to the spectacle of women
working unless compelled to;--all this quite outside of the University
set, which must have existed, if I did not know it, as the Bryn Mawr set
exists to-day, but which, as far as my experience went, was then never
heard of except by the fortunate and privileged few who belonged to it.

But this new amusement required effort, and experience had not made me
in love with the amusement that had to be striven for, that had to be
paid for by exertion of any kind. There was an interval when
Philadelphia would have been searched in vain for another idler as
confirmed as I. Having found nothing to do, I proceeded to do it with
all my might. I stood in no need of the poet's command to lean and loaf
at my ease, though I am afraid I leaned and loafed so well as to neglect
the other half of his precept and to forget to invite my soul. To those
years I now look back as to so much good time lost in a working life all
too short at the best.



I may not have understood at the time, but I must have been vaguely
conscious that if so often I felt myself a stranger in my native town,
it was not only because of the long years I had been shut up in
boarding-school, but because that boarding-school happened to be a

There were schools in Philadelphia and schools out of it as useful as
Rittenhouse Square in laying the foundation for profitable friendships.
Miss Irwin's furnished almost as good social credentials as a Colonial
Governor in the family. But a Philadelphia Convent did the other thing
as successfully. It was not the Convent as a Convent that was objected
to. In Paris, it could lend distinction: the fact that, at the mature
age of six, I spent a year at Conflans, might have served me as a social
asset. In Louisiana, or Maryland, a Philadelphia girl could see its door
close upon her, and not despair of social salvation. Everything depended
upon where the Convent was. In some places, it had a social standing, in
others it had none, and Philadelphia was one of the others. In France,
in Louisiana, in Maryland, to be a Catholic was to be at the top of the
social scale, approved by society; in Pennsylvania, it was to be at the
bottom, despised by society.

This was another Philadelphia fact I accepted on faith. It was not until
I began to think about Philadelphia that I saw how consistent
Philadelphians were in their inconsistency. Their position in the matter
was what their past had made it, and the inconsistency is in their
greater liberality to-day. For Pennsylvania has never been Catholic, has
never had an aristocratic Catholic tradition like England: to the
Friends there, all the aristocracy of the traditional kind belongs. The
people--the World's People--who rushed to Pennsylvania to secure for
themselves the religious liberty William Penn offered indiscriminately
to everybody, found they could not enjoy it if Catholics were to profit
by it with them. They had not been there any time when, as one of the
early Friends had the wit to see and to say, they "were surfeited with
liberty," and the Friends, who refused to all sects alike the privilege
of expressing their religious fervour in wood piles for witches and
prison cells for heretics, could not succeed in depriving them of their
healthy religious prejudice which, they might not have been able to
explain why, concentrated itself upon the Catholic. Episcopalians
approved of a doctrine of freedom that meant they could build their own
churches where they would. Presbyterians and Baptists objected so little
to each other that, for a while, they could share the same pulpit.
Moravians put up their monasteries where it suited them best. Mennonites
took possession of Germantown. German mystics were allowed to search in
peace for the Woman in White and wait hopefully for the Millennium on
the banks of the Wissahickon. Later on Whitefield set the whole town of
Philadelphia to singing psalms, and Philadelphia refrained from
interfering with what must have been an intolerable nuisance. Even Jews
were welcome--their names are among early legislators and on early
Assembly lists. Catholics, alone, they all agreed, had no right to any
portion of Penn's gift, and popular opinion is often stronger than the
law. Whatever ill will they had to spare from the Catholics, they
reserved for the Friends to whom they owed everything--if Pennsylvania
was "a dear Pennsylvania" to Penn, a good part of the blame lay with the
"drunken crew of priests" and the "turbulent churchmen" whom he
denounced in one of those letters to Logan, which are among the saddest
ever written and published to the world.

After religious passions had run their course, the religious prejudice
against the Catholic was handed down as social prejudice, which was all
it was in my day when Philadelphians, who would question the social
standing of a Catholic in Philadelphia simply because he was a Catholic,
could accept him without question in the Catholic town of Baltimore or
New Orleans simply because he was one. The Catholic continued to pay a
heavy price socially for his religion in Philadelphia where it was not
the thing to be a Catholic, where it never had been the thing, where it
got to be less the thing as successive Irish emigrations crowded the
Catholic churches. I fancy at the period of which I am writing
Philadelphians, if asked, would have said that Catholicism was for
Irish servants--for the illiterate. I remember a book called _Kate
Vincent_ I used to read at a Protestant Uncle's, where it may purposely
have been placed in my way. Does anybody else remember it?--a story of
school life with a heroine of a school girl who, in the serene
confidence of her sixteen or seventeen summers, refuted all the learned
Doctors of the Church by convicting a poor little Irish slavey of
ignorance for praying to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. I think I
must have forgotten it with many foolish books for children read in my
childhood had not Kate Vincent been so like Philadelphians in her calm
superiority, though, fortunately, Philadelphians did not share her
proselytising fervour. They went to the other extreme of lofty
indifference and for them the Catholic churches in their town did not
exist any more than the streets of little two-story houses south of
Pine, a region into which they would not have thought of penetrating
except to look up somebody who worked for them.


I might have learned as much during my holidays at my Grandfather's had
I been given to reflection during my early years. My Father was a
convert with the convert's proverbial ardour. He had been baptised in
the Convent chapel with my Sister and myself--I was eight years old at
the time--and many who were present declared it the most touching
ceremony they had ever seen. However, to the family, who had not seen
it, it was anything but touching. They were all good members of the
Episcopal Church and had been since they landed in Virginia; moreover,
one of my Father's brothers was an Episcopal clergyman and Head Master
of the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia's bed-rock of religious
respectability. The baptism was only conditional, for the Catholic
Church baptizes conditionally those who have been baptized in any church
before, but even so it must have been trying to them as a precaution
insolently superfluous. I do not remember that anything was ever said,
or suggested, or hinted. But there was an undercurrent of disapproval
that, child as I was, I felt, though I could not have put it into words.
One thing plain was that when we children went off to our church with my
Father, we were going where nobody else in my Grandfather's house went,
except the servants, and that, for some incomprehensible reason, it was
rather an odd sort of thing for us to do, making us different from most
people we knew in Philadelphia.

[Illustration: THE PULPIT, ST. PETER'S]

Nor had I the chance to lose sight of this difference at the Convent.
The education I was getting there, when not devoted to launching my soul
into Paradise, was preparing me for the struggle against the temptations
of the world which, from all I heard about it, I pictured as a horrible
gulf of evil yawning at the Convent gate, ready to swallow me up the
minute that gate shut behind me. To face it was an ordeal so alarming in
anticipation that there was an interval when I convinced myself it would
be infinitely safer, by becoming a nun, not to face it at all. If I
stopped to give the world a name, it was bound to be Philadelphia, the
place in which I was destined to live upon leaving the Convent. I knew
that it was Protestant, as we often prayed for the conversion of its
people, I the harder because they included my relations who if not
converted could, my catechism taught me, be saved only so as by the
invincible ignorance with which I hardly felt it polite to credit them.
To what other conclusion could I come, arguing logically, than that
Philadelphia was the horrible gulf of evil yawning for me, and that in
this gulf Protestants swarmed, scattering temptation along the path of
the Catholic who walked alone among them?--an idea of Philadelphia that
probably would have surprised nobody more than the nuns who were
training me for my life of struggle in it.

The gulf of the world did not seem so evil once it swallowed me up, but
that socially the Catholic walked in it alone, there could be no
mistake. When eventually I left school and began going out on my modest
scale, I could not fail to see that the people I met in church were not,
as a rule, the people I met at the Dancing Class, or at parties, or at
receptions, or on that abominable round of morning calls, and this was
the more surprising because Philadelphians of the "Chestnut, Walnut,
Spruce and Pine" set were accustomed to meeting each other wherever they
went. Except for the small group of those Philadelphia families of
French descent with French names who were not descendants of the
Huguenots, and here and there a convert like my Father, and an
occasional native Philadelphian who, unaccountably, had always been a
Catholic, the congregation, whether I went to the Cathedral or St.
John's, to St. Joseph's or St. Patrick's, was chiefly Irish, as also
were the priests when they were not Italians.

Fashion sent the Philadelphian to the Episcopal Church. It could not
have been otherwise in a town as true to tradition as Philadelphia had
not ceased to be in my young days. No sooner had Episcopalians settled
in Philadelphia than, by their greater grandeur of dress and manner,
they showed the greater social aspirations they had brought with them
from the other side--the Englishman's confidence in the social
superiority of the Church of England to all religion outside of it.
Presbyterians are said to have had a pretty fancy in matters of wigs and
powdered and frizzled hair, which may also have been symbolic, for they
followed a close fashionable second. Baptists and Methodists, on the
contrary, affected to despise dress and, while I cannot say if the one
fact has anything to do with the other, I knew fewer Baptists and
Methodists than Catholics. By my time the belief that no one could be "a
gentleman" outside the Church of England, or its American offshoot, was
stronger than ever, and fashion required a pew at St. Mark's or Holy
Trinity or St. James's, if ancient lineage did not claim one at St.
Peter's or Christ Church; though old-fashioned people like my
Grandfather and Grandmother might cling blamelessly to St. Andrew's
which was highly respectable, if not fashionable, and new-fashioned
people might brave criticism with the Ritualists at St. Clement's. As
for Catholics, a pew down at St. Joseph's in Willing's Alley or, worse
still, up town at the Cathedral in Logan Square, put them out of the
reckoning, at a hopeless disadvantage socially, however better off they
might be for it spiritually. That the Cathedral was in Logan Square was
in itself a social offence of a kind that society could not tolerate. At
the correct churches every function, every meeting, every Sunday-school,
every pious re-union, as well as every service, became a fashionable
duty; and at the church door after service on Sunday, a man with whom
one had danced the night before might be picked up to walk on Walnut
Street with, which was a social observance only less indispensable than
attendance at the Assembly and the Dancing Class.


I recall the excitement of girls of my age, their feeling that they had
got to the top of everything, the first time they took this sacramental
walk, if not with a man which was the crowning glory, at least with a
woman who was prominent, or successful, in society. But I believe I
could count the times I joined in the Walnut Street procession on Sunday
morning. As long as I lived in Third Street, my usual choice of a church
lay between St. Joseph's, the Jesuit church in Willing's Alley with its
air of retirement, and St. Mary's on Fourth Street, where the orphans
used to come from Seventh and Spruce and sometimes sing an anthem that,
for any save musical reasons, I delighted in, and where we had a pew.
After we moved from Third Street, our pew was at the Cathedral, more
distinguished from the clerical standpoint, for there we sat under the
Bishop. No matter which our church, High Mass was long: I could not have
got to the appointed part of Walnut Street in time, had I found at the
door the companion to go there with me. There was nothing to do but to
walk home alone or sedately at my Father's side, and one's Father,
however correct he might be under other circumstances, was not the right
person for these occasions. On Sundays I could not conceal from myself
that I was socially at a discount. The reflection that this was where I,
as a Catholic, scored, should have consoled me, for if the Episcopalian
was performing a social duty when he went to church, I, as a Catholic,
was making a social sacrifice, and sacrifice of some sort is of the
essence of religion.


If I could but have taken the trouble to be interested, it must also
have occurred to me to wonder why St. Joseph's, where I went so often,
was hidden in an obscure alley. In Philadelphia, the town of straight
streets crossing each other at right angles, it is not easy for a
building of the kind to keep out of sight. But not one man in a hundred,
not one in a thousand, who, passing along Third Street, looked up
Willing's Alley, dreamt for a minute that somewhere in that alley,
embedded in a network of brokers' and railroad offices, carefully
concealing every trace of itself, was a church with a large
congregation. Most churches in Philadelphia, as everywhere, like to
display themselves prominently with an elaborate façade, or a lofty
steeple, or a green enclosure, or a graveyard full of monuments. St.
Peter's, close by, fills a whole block. Christ Church stands flush with
the pavement. The simplest Meeting-House, by the beautiful trees that
overshadow it or the high walls that enclose it or the bit of green at
its door, will not let the passer-by forget it. But St. Joseph's,
evidently, did not want to be seen, did not want to be remembered;
evidently hesitated to show that its doors were wide and hospitably open
to all the world in the beautiful fashion of the Catholic Church. There
was something furtive about it, an air of mystery, it was almost as if
one were keeping a clandestine appointment with religion when one turned
from the street into the humble alley, and from the alley into the
silence of the sanctuary.


Perhaps I thought less about this mysterious aloofness because, once in
the church, I felt so much at home. I do not mind owning now, though I
would not have owned it then for a good deal, that after my return from
the Convent, I had the uncomfortable feeling of being a stranger not
only in my town, but in my family. I had been in the Convent eleven
years and until this day when I look back to my childhood, it is the
Convent I remember as home. St. Joseph's seemed a part of the Convent,
therefore of home, that had strayed into the town by mistake. In some
ways it was not like the Convent, greatly to my discomfort. The chapel
there was dainty in detail, exquisitely kept, the altars fresh with
flowers from the Convent garden, and for congregation the nuns and the
girls modestly and demurely veiled. But nothing was dainty about St.
Joseph's,--men are as untidy in running a church as in keeping a
house--it was not well kept, the flowers were artificial and tawdry, and
the congregation was largely made up of shabby old Irishwomen. The
priests--Jesuits--were mostly Italian, with those unpleasant habits of
Italian priests that are a shock to the convent-bred American when she
first goes to Italy. They had, however, the virtue of old friends, their
faces were familiar, I had known them for years at the Convent which
they had frequently visited and where, by special grace, they had
refrained from some of the unpleasant habits that offended me at St.

There was Father de Maria, tall, thin, with a wonderful shock of white
hair, a fine ascetic face and a kindly smile, not adapted to shine in
children's society--too much of a scholar I fancied though I may have
been wrong--and with an effect of severity which I do not think he
meant, but which had kept me at a safe distance when he came to see us
at Torresdale. But he had come, I could not remember the time when I had
not known him, and that was in his favour.

There was Father Ardea, a small, shrinking, dark man, from whom also it
was more comfortable to keep at a safe distance, so little had he to
say and such a trick of looking at you with an "Eh? Eh?" of expectation,
as if he relied upon you to supply the talk he had not at his own
command. But I could have forgiven him worse, so pleasant a duty did he
make of confession. His penances were light and his only comment was
"Eh? Eh? my child? But you didn't mean it! You didn't mean it!" until I
longed to accuse myself of the Seven Deadly Sins with the Unpardonable
Sin thrown in, just to see if he would still assure me that I didn't
mean it.

There was Father Bobbelin--our corruption I fancy of Barbelin--a
Frenchman, short and fat, sandy-haired, with a round smiling face: the
most welcome of all. He was always very snuffy, and always ready to hand
round his snuff-box if talk languished when he went out to walk with us,
which I liked better than Father Ardea's embarrassing "Eh? Eh?" It was
to Father Bobbelin an inexhaustible joke, and the only other I knew him
to venture upon resulted in so unheard-of a breach of discipline that
ever after we saw less of him and his snuff-box. He was walking with us
down Mulberry Avenue one afternoon, the little girls clustered about him
as they were always sure to be, and the nun in charge a little behind
with the bigger, more sedate girls. When we got to the end of the
Avenue, the carriage gate leading straight out into the World was open
as it had never been before, as it never was again. Father Bobbelin's
fat shoulders shook with laughter. He opened the gate wider. "Now,
children," he said, "here's your chance. Run for it!" And we did, we ran
as if for our lives, though no children could have loved their school
better or wanted less to get away from it. One or two ran as far as the
railroad, the most adventurous crossed it, and were making full tilt for
the river before all were caught and brought back and sent to bed in
disgrace. After that Father Bobbelin visited us only in our class-room.

And there were other priests whose names escape me, but not their
home-like faces. Now and then Jesuits who gave Missions and who had
conducted the retreats at the Convent, appeared at St. Joseph's,--Father
Smarius, the huge Dutchman, so enormous they used to tell us at the
Convent that he had never seen his feet for twenty years, who had
baptized my Father and his family in the Convent chapel; and Father
Boudreau, the silent, shy little Louisianian, whom I remember so well
coming with Father Smarius one June day to bless, and sprinkle Holy
Water over that big yellow and white house close to the Convent which my
Father had taken for the summer; and Father Glackmeyer, and Father
Coghlan, and with them others whose presence helped the more to fill St.
Joseph's with the intimate convent atmosphere.


These old friends and old associations took away from the uneasiness it
might otherwise have given me to find the church, for which I had
exchanged the Convent chapel, hidden up an alley as if its existence
were a sin. But overlook it as I might, this was the one important fact
about St. Joseph's which, otherwise, had no particular interest. It did
not count as architecture, it boasted of no beauty of decoration: an
inconspicuous, commonplace building from every point of view, of which I
consequently retain but the vaguest memory. As I write, I can see, as if
it were before me, the Convent chapel, its every nook and corner, almost
its every stone, this altar here, that picture there, the confessional
in the screened-off space where visitors sat, the dark step close to the
altar railing where I carried my wrongs and my sorrows. But try as I
may, I cannot see St. Joseph's as it was, cannot see any detail, nothing
save the general shabbiness and untidiness that shocked my convent-bred
eyes. Could it have appealed by its beauty, like the old Cathedrals of
Europe, or, for that matter, like the old churches of Philadelphia, no
doubt I should be able to recall it as vividly as the Convent chapel.
Because I cannot, because it impressed me so superficially, I regret the
more that I had not the sense to appreciate the interest it borrowed
from the romance of history and the beauty of suffering--the history of
the Catholic religion in Philadelphia which I might have read in this
careful hiding of its temple; the suffering of the scapegoat among
churches, obliged to keep out of sight, atoning for their intolerance in
a desert of secrecy, letting no man know where its prayers were said or
its services held. Catholics had to practise their religion like
criminals skulking from the law. Members of a Protestant church might
dispute among themselves to the point of blows, but they never thought
of interfering with the members of any other church, except the
Catholic, against which they could all cheerfully join. There were times
when the Friends, most tolerant of men, were influenced by this general
hostility, and I rather think the worst moment in Penn's life was when
he was forced to protest against the scandal of the Mass in his town of
Brotherly Love.


The marvel is that Catholics ventured out of their hiding-places as soon
as they did. They had emerged so successfully by Revolutionary times
that the stranger in Philadelphia could find his way to "the Romish
chapel" and enjoy the luxury of knowing that he was not as these poor
wretches who fingered their beads and chanted Latin not a word of which
they understood. The Jesuits have the wisdom of their reputation. When
they built their church the Colonies had for some years been the United
States, and hatred was less outspoken, and persecution was more
intermittent, but they believed discretion to be the better part of
valour and the truest security in not challenging attack. That is why
they built St. Joseph's in Willing's Alley where the visitor with a
dramatic sense must be as thrilled by it as by the secret chapels and
underground passages in old Elizabethan mansions and Scott's novels.
Philadelphia gave the Jesuits a proof of their wisdom when, within a
quarter of a century, Young America, in a playful moment, burnt down as
much as it could of St. Michael's and St. Augustine's; churches which
had been built bravely and hopefully in open places. Young America
believed in a healthy reminder to Catholics, that, if they had not been
disturbed for some time, it was not because they did not deserve to be.

Philadelphia had got beyond the exciting stage of intolerance before I
was born. There were no delicious tremors to be had when I heard Mass at
St. Joseph's or went to Vespers at St. Mary's. There was no ear alert
for a warning of the approach of the enemy, no eye strained for the
first wisp of smoke or burst of flame. With churches and convents
everywhere--convents intruding even upon Walnut Street and Rittenhouse
Square--with a big Cathedral in town and a big Seminary at Villanova,
Catholics were in a fair way to forget it had ever been as dangerous for
them as for the early Christians to venture from their catacombs. Their
religion had become a tame affair, holding out no prospect of the
martyr's crown. Only the social prejudice survived, but it was the more
bitter to fight because, whether the end was victory or defeat, it
appeared so inglorious a struggle to be engaged in.

One good result there was of this social ostracism. I leave myself out
of the argument. Religion, I have often heard it said, is a matter of
temperament. As this story of my relations to Philadelphia seems to be
resolving itself into a general confession, I must at least confess my
certainty that I have not and never had the necessary temperament,
that, moreover, the necessary temperament is not to be had by any effort
of will power, depending rather upon "the influence of the unknown
powers." But I am not totally blind, nor was I in the old days when,
many as were the things I did not see, my eyes were still open to the
effect of social opposition on Catholics with the temperament. It made
them more devout, at times more defiant. I know churches that are in
themselves alone a reward for faith and fidelity--who would not be a
Catholic in the dim religious light of Chartres Cathedral, or in the
sombre splendours of Seville and Barcelona? But St. Joseph's and St.
Mary's, St. Patrick's and St. John's gave no such reward, nor did the
Cathedral in its far-away imitation of the Jesuit churches of Italy and
France. In these arid, unemotional interiors, emotion could not kindle
piety which, if not fed by more spiritual stuff, was bound to flicker
and go out. This is why the Philadelphian who, in those unattractive
churches and in spite of the social price paid, remained faithful, was
the most devout Catholic I have ever met at home or in my wanderings.


For his spiritual welfare, it might have been better had the conditions
remained as I knew them. But even at that period, the signs of weakening
in the social barrier must have jumped to my eyes had I had eyes for the
fine shades. Catholics among themselves had begun to put up social
barriers, so much further had Philadelphia travelled on the road to

Religiously, one of their churches was as good as another, but not
socially. St. Mark's, from its superior Episcopal heights, might look
down equally upon St. Patrick's and St. John's, but the Catholic with a
pew at St. John's did not at all look upon the Catholic with a seat at
St. Patrick's as on the same social level as himself. St. Patrick's name
alone was sufficient to attract an Irish congregation, and the Irish who
then flocked to Philadelphia were not the flower of Ireland's
aristocracy. St. John's, by some unnamed right, claimed the Catholics of
social pretensions--the excellence of its music may have strengthened
its claim. I know that my Father, who was a religious man, did not
object to having the comfort of religion strengthened by the charms of
Gounod's Mass well sung, and, at the last, he drifted from the Cathedral
to St. John's.

[Illustration: OLD SWEDES' CHURCH]

The Cathedral necessarily was above such distinctions, as a Cathedral
should be, and it harboured an overflow from St. Patrick's and St.
John's both. But it was the Cathedral, rather than St. John's, that did
most to weaken the foundations of the social prejudice against the
Catholic. The Bishop there was Bishop Wood, and Bishop Wood, like my
Father a convert, was no Irish emigrant, no Italian missionary, but came
from the same old family of Philadelphia Friends as J. Some people
think that Quakerism and Catholicism are more in sympathy with each
other than with other creeds because neither recognizes any half way,
each going to a logical extreme. Whether Bishop Wood thought so, I am
far from sure, but he had himself gone from one extreme to the other
when he became a Catholic, and the religious step had its social
bearing. With his splendid presence and splendid voice, he must have
added dignity to every service at the Cathedral, but he did more than
that: in Philadelphia eyes he gave it the sanction of Philadelphia
respectability. The Catholic was no longer quite without Philadelphia's
social pale.

I had no opportunity, because of my long absence, to watch the gradual
breakdown, but I saw that the barrier had fallen when I got back to
Philadelphia. Never again will Philadelphia children think they are
doing an odd thing when they go to Mass, never again need the
Philadelphia girl fresh from the Convent fancy herself alone in the
yawning gulf of evil that opens at the Convent gate. I should not be
surprised if an eligible man from the Dancing Class or Assembly list can
to-day be picked up at the door of more than one Catholic church for the
Sunday Walk on Walnut Street. St. John's has risen, new and resplendent,
if ugly, from its ashes; St. Patrick's has blossomed forth from its
architectural insignificance into an imposing Romanesque structure. The
Cathedral has been new swept and garnished--not so large perhaps as I
once saw it, for I have been to St. Paul's and St. Peter's and many a
Jesuit church in the meanwhile, but more ornate, with altars and
decorations that I knew not, and with Mr. Henry Thouron's design on one
wall as a promise of further beauty to come. The difference confronted
me at every step--and saddened me, though I could not deny that it meant
improvement. But the change, as change, displeased me in a Philadelphia
that ceases to be my Philadelphia when it ceases to preserve its old
standards and prejudices as jealously as its old monuments. For the sake
of the character I loved, I could wish Philadelphia as far as ever from
hope of salvation by anything save its own invincible ignorance.



I had been out, I do not remember how long, but long enough to confirm
my belief in the Philadelphia way of doing things as the only way, when
I found that Philadelphia was involved in an enterprise for which its
history might give the reason but could furnish no precedent. To
Philadelphians who were older than I, or who had been in Philadelphia
while I was getting through the business of education at the Convent,
the Centennial Exposition probably did not come as so great a surprise.
Having since had experience of how these matters are ordered, I can
understand that there must have been some years of leading up to it. But
I seem to have heard of it first within no time of its opening, and just
as I had got used to the idea that Philadelphia must go on for ever
doing things as it always had done them, because to do them otherwise
would not be right or proper.

The result was that, at the moment, I saw in the Centennial chiefly a
violent upheaval shaking the universe to the foundations, with
Philadelphia emerging, changed, transformed, unrecognizable, plunging
head-foremost into new-fangled amusements, adding new duties to the
Philadelphian's once all-sufficing duty of being a Philadelphian,
inventing new attractions to draw to its drowsy streets people from the
four quarters of the globe, and, more astounding, giving itself up to
these innovations with zest.


I looked on at the preparations,--as at most things, to my infinite
boredom,--from outside: a perspective from which they appeared to me
little more than a new form of social diversion. For they kept my gayer
friends, who were well on the inside, busy going to Centennial balls at
the Academy of Music in the Colonial dress which was as essential for
admission as a Colonial name or a Colonial family tree, while I stayed
at home and, seeing what lovely creatures powder and patches and paniers
made of Philadelphia girls with no more pretence to good looks than I,
felt a little as I did when the coloured dignitary rang at our front
door with the Assembly card that was not for me. And between the balls,
the same friends were immersed in Centennial Societies and Centennial
Committees and Centennial Meetings and Centennial Subscriptions and
Centennial Petitions, Philadelphia women for the first time admitted,
and pining for admission, into public affairs; while I was so far apart
from it all that I remember but one incident in connection with the
Centennial orgy of work, and this as trivial as could be. When we moved
into the Third Street house we had found in possession a cat who left us
in no doubt of her disapproval of our intrusion, but who tolerated us
because of the convenience of the ground floor windows from which to
watch for her enemies among the dogs of the neighbourhood, and for the
comfort of certain cupboards upstairs during the infancy of her
kittens. She kept us at a respectful distance and we never ventured upon
any liberties with her. Those of our friends who did, heedless of her
growls, were sure to regret it. Our family doctor carried the marks of
her teeth on his hand for many a day. It happened that once, when two
Centennial canvassers called, she was the first to greet them and was
unfavourably impressed by the voluminous furs in which they were
wrapped. When I came downstairs she was holding the hall, her eyes
flaming, her tail five times its natural size, and I understood the
prudence of non-interference. The canvassers had retreated to the
vestibule between the two front doors and, as I opened the inner door,
another glance at the flaming eyes and indignant tail completed their
defeat and they fled without explaining the object of their visit. I
must indeed have been removed from the Centennial delirium and turmoil
to have retained this absurd encounter as one of my most vivid memories.


Upon the Centennial itself I looked at closer quarters. I was as removed
from it officially, but not quite so penniless less and friendless as
never to have the chance to visit it. Inexperienced and untravelled as I
was, it opened for me vistas hitherto undreamed of and stirred my
interest as nothing in Philadelphia had until then. As I recall it, that
long summer is, as it was at the time, a bewildering jumble of first
impressions and revelations--Philadelphia all chaos and confusion,
functions and formalities, spectacles and sensations--buildings
Philadelphia could not have conceived of in its sanity covering acres of
its beautiful Park, a whole shanty town of huge hotels and cheap
restaurants and side-shows sprung up on its outskirts--marvels in the
buildings, amazing, foreign, unbelievable marvels, the Arabian Nights
rolled into one--interminable drives in horribly crowded street-cars to
reach them--lunches of Vienna rolls and Vienna coffee in Vienna cafés,
as unlike Jones's on Eleventh Street or Burns's on Fifteenth as I could
imagine--dinners in French restaurants that, after Belmont and
Strawberry Mansion, struck me as typically Parisian though I do not
suppose they were Parisian in the least--the flaring and glaring of
millions of gas lamps under Philadelphia's tranquil skies--a delightful
feeling of triumph that Philadelphia was the first American town to do
what London had done, what Paris had done, and to do it so
splendidly--burning heat, Philadelphia apparently bent on proving to the
unhappy visitor what the native knew too well, that, when it has a mind
to, it can be the most intolerably hot place in the world--sweltering,
demoralized crowds--unexpected descents upon a household as quiet as
ours of friends not seen for years and relations never heard
of--brilliant autumn days--an atmosphere of activity, excitement and
exultation that made it good to be alive and in the midst of Centennial
celebrations without bothering to seek in them a more serious end than a
season's amusement.



But, without bothering, I could not escape a dim perception that
Philadelphia had not turned itself topsy-turvy to amuse me and the
world. Things were in the air I could not get away from. The very words
Centennial and Colonial were too new in my vocabulary not to start me
thinking, little given as I was to thinking when I could save myself the
trouble. And however lightly I might be inclined to take the whole
affair, the rest of Philadelphia was so far from underestimating it that
probably the younger generation, used to big International Expositions
and having seen the wonders of the Centennial eclipsed in Paris and
Chicago and St. Louis and its pleasures rivalled in an ordinary summer
playground like Coney Island or Willow Grove, must wonder at the
innocence of Philadelphia in making such a fuss over such an everyday
affair. But in the Eighteen-Seventies the big International Exposition
was not an everyday affair. Europe had held only one or two, America had
held none, Philadelphia had to find out the way for itself, with the
whole country watching, ready to jeer at the sleepy old town if it went
wrong. As I look back, though I realize that the Centennial buildings
were not architectural masterpieces--how could I help realising it with
Memorial Hall still out there in the Park as reminder?--though I realise
that Philadelphia prosperity did not date from the Centennial, that
Philadelphians had not lived in a slough of inertia and ignorance until
the Centennial pulled them out of it: all the same, I can see how fine
an achievement it was, and how successful in jerking Philadelphians from
their comfortable rut of indifference to everything going on outside of
Philadelphia, or to whether there was an outside for things to go on in.

I know that I was conscious of the jerk in my little corner of the rut.
The Centennial, for one thing, gave me my first object lesson in
patriotism. There was no special training for the patriot when I was
young--no school drilling, with flags, to national music. An American
was an American, not a Russian Jew, a Slovak, or a Pole, and patriotism
was supposed to follow as a matter of course. It did, but I fancy with
many, as with me, after a passive, unintelligent sort of fashion. I knew
about the Declaration of Independence, but had anybody asked for my
opinion of it, I doubtless should have dismissed it as a dull page in a
dull history book, a difficult passage to get by heart. But I could not
go on thinking of it in that way when so remote an occasion as its
hundredth birthday was sending Philadelphia off its head in this mad
carnival of excitement. In little, as in big, matters I was constantly
brought up against the fact that things did not exist simply because
they were, but because something had been. An old time-worn story that
amused the Philadelphian in its day is of the American from another
town, who, after listening to much Philadelphia talk, interrupted to
ask: "But what is a Biddle?" I am afraid I should have been puzzled to
answer. For a Biddle was a Biddle, just as Spruce Street was Spruce
Street, just as Philadelphia was Philadelphia. That had been enough in
all conscience for the Philadelphian, but the Centennial would not let
it be enough for me any longer.

My first hint that Philadelphia and Spruce Street and a Biddle needed a
past to justify the esteem in which we held them, came from the
spectacle of Mrs. Gillespie towering supreme above Philadelphians with
far more familiar names than hers at every Centennial ball and in every
Centennial Society, the central figure in the Centennial preparations
and in the Centennial itself. I did not know her personally, but that
made no difference. There was no blotting out her powerful presence, she
pervaded the Centennial atmosphere. She remains in the foreground of my
Centennial memories, a tall, gaunt woman, not especially gracious,
apparently without a doubt of her right to her conspicuous position,
ready to resent the effrontery of the sceptic who challenged it had
there been a sceptic so daring, anything but popular, and yet her rule
accepted unquestioningly for no better reason than because she was the
descendant of Benjamin Franklin, and I could not help knowing that she
was his descendant, for nobody could mention her without dragging in his
name. It revolutionized my ideas of school and school books, no less
than of Philadelphia. I had learned the story of Benjamin Franklin and
the kite, just as I had learned the story of George Washington and the
cherry tree, and of General Marion and the sweet potatoes, and other
anecdotes of heroes invented to torment the young. And now here was
Franklin turning out to be not merely the hero of an anecdote that bored
every right-minded school-girl to death, but a person of such
consequence that his descendant in the third or fourth generation had
the right to lord it over Philadelphia. There was no getting away from
that any more than there was from Mrs. Gillespie herself and,
incidentally, it suggested a new reason for Biddles and Cadwalladers and
Whartons and Morrises and Norrises and Logans and Philadelphia families
with their names on the Assembly list. That they were the resplendent
creatures Philadelphia thought them was not so elementary a fact as the
shining of the sun in the heavens; they owed it to their ancestors just
as Mrs. Gillespie owed her splendour to Franklin; and an ancestor
immediately became the first necessity in Philadelphia.


The man who is preoccupied with his ancestors has a terrible faculty of
becoming a snob, and Philadelphians for a while concerned themselves
with little else. They devoted every hour of leisure to the study of
genealogy, they besieged the Historical Society in search of
inconsiderate ancestors who had neglected to make conspicuous figures of
themselves and so had to be hunted up, they left no stone unturned to
prove their Colonial descent. It must have been this period that my
Brother, Grant Robins, irritated with our forefathers for their mistake
in settling in Virginia half a century before there was a Philadelphia
to settle in and then making a half-way halt in Maryland, hurried down
to the Eastern Shore to get together what material he could to keep us
in countenance in the town of my Grandfather's adoption. It was soothing
to find more than one Robins among the earliest settlers of Virginia and
mixed up with Virginia affairs at an agreeably early date. But what
wouldn't I have given to see our name in a little square on one of the
early maps of the City of Philadelphia as I have since seen J.'s? And
the interest in ancestors spread, and no Englishman could ever have been
so eager to prove that he came over with the Conqueror as every American
was to show that he dated back to William Penn, or the first Virginia
Company, or the Dutch, or the Mayflower; no Order of Merit or Legion of
Honour could have conferred more glory on an American than a Colonial
Governor in the family; no aristocracy was more exclusive than the
American founded on the new societies of Colonial Dames and Sons and
Daughters of Pennsylvania and of every other State.

It was preposterous, I grant, in a country whose first article of faith
is that all men are born equal, but Americans could have stood a more
severe attack of snobbishness in those days, the prevailing attitude of
Americans at home being not much less irreverent than that of the
Innocents Abroad. In Philadelphia it was not so much irreverence as
indifference. The habit of Philadelphians to depreciate their town and
themselves, inordinate as, actually, was their pride in both, had not
been thrown off. Why they ever got into the habit remains to me and to
every Philadelphian a problem. Some think it was because the rest of the
country depreciated them; some attribute it to Quaker influence, though
how and why they cannot say; and some see in it the result of the
Philadelphia exclusiveness that reduces the social life of Philadelphia
to one small group in one small section of the town so that it is as
small as village life, and has the village love of scandal, the village
preoccupation with petty gossip, the little things at the front door
blotting out the big things beyond. A more plausible reason is that
Philadelphians were so innately sure of themselves--so sure that
Philadelphia was _the_ town and Philadelphians _the_ aristocracy of the
world--that they could afford to be indifferent. But whatever the cause,
this indifference, this depreciation, was worse than a blunder, it was a
loss in a town with a past so well worth looking into and being proud of
and taking care of.

A few Philadelphians had interested themselves in their past, otherwise
the Historical Society would not have existed, but they were
distressingly few. I can honestly say that up to the time of the
Centennial it had never entered into my mind that the past in
Philadelphia had a value for every Philadelphian and that it was every
Philadelphian's duty to help preserve any record that might survive of
it--that the State House, the old churches, the old streets where I took
my daily walks were a possession Philadelphia should do its best not to
part with--and I was such a mere re-echo of Philadelphia ideas and
prejudices that I know most Philadelphians were as ignorant and as
heedless. But almost the first effort of the new Dames and Sons and
Daughters was to protect the old architecture, the outward sign and
symbol of age and the aristocracy of age, and they made so much noise in
doing so that even I heard it, even I became conscious of a research as
keen for a past, or a genealogy in the familiar streets and the familiar
buildings as in the archives of Historical Societies.

If the Centennial had done no more for Philadelphia than to put
Philadelphians to this work, it would have done enough. But it did do
more. The pride of family, dismissed by many as pure snobbishness, awoke
the sort of patriotism that Philadelphia, with all America, was most in
need of if the real American was not to be swept away before the hordes
of aliens beginning then to invade his country. In my opinion, the
Colonial Dames, for all their follies, are doing far more to keep up the
right American spirit than the flaunting of the stars and stripes in the
alien's face and the lavishing upon him of the Government's paternal
attention. The question is how long they can avoid the pitfall of


If there was one thing in those days I knew less of than the past in
Philadelphia, it was the present outside of it. Of my own country my
knowledge was limited to an occasional trip to New York, an occasional
visit to Richmond and Annapolis, an occasional summer month in Cape May
and Atlantic City. Travelling is not for the poor. Rich Philadelphians
travelled more, but from no keen desire to see their native land. The
end of the journey was usually a social function in Washington or
Baltimore, in New York or Boston, upon which their presence conferred
distinction, though they would rather have dispensed with it than let it
interfere with the always more important social functions at home. Or
else the heat of summer drove them to those seashore and mountain
resorts where they could count upon being with other Philadelphians, and
the winter cold sent them in Lent to Florida, when it began to be
possible to carry all Philadelphia there with them.


My knowledge of the rest of the world was more limited. I had been in
France, but when I was such a child that I remembered little of it
except the nuns in the Convent at Paris where I went to school, and the
Garden of the Tuileries I looked across to from the Hotel Meurice. Nor
had going abroad as yet been made a habit in Philadelphia. There was
nothing against the Philadelphian going who chose to and who had the
money. It defied no social law. On the contrary, it was to his social
credit, though not indispensable as the Grand Tour was to the Englishman
in the Eighteenth Century. I remember when my Grandfather followed the
correct tourist route through England, France, and Switzerland, his
children considered it an event of sufficient importance to be
commemorated by printing, for family circulation, an elaborately got up
volume of the eminently commonplace letters he had written home--a
tribute, it is due to him to add, that met with his great astonishment
and complete disapproval. I can recall my admiration for those of my
friends who made the journey and my regret that I had made it when I was
too young to get any glory out of it; also, my delight in the trumpery
little alabaster figures from Naples and carved wood from Geneva and
filigree jewellery from the Rue de Rivoli they brought me back from
their journey: the wholesale distribution of presents on his return
being the heavy tax the traveller abroad paid for the distinction of
having crossed the Atlantic--a tax, I believe, that has sensibly been
done away with since the Philadelphian's discovery of the German Bath,
the London season, and the economy of Europe as reasons for going abroad
every summer.

I was scarcely more familiar with the foreigner than with his country.
Philadelphia had Irish in plenty, as many Germans as beer saloons, or so
I gathered from the names over the saloon doors, and enough Italians to
sell it fruit and black its boots at street corners. But otherwise,
beyond a rare Chinaman with a pigtail and a rarer Englishman on tour,
the foreigner was seldom seen in Philadelphia streets or in Philadelphia
parlours. In early days Philadelphia had been the first place the
distinguished foreigner in the country made for. It was the most
important town and, for a time, the capital. But after Washington
claimed the diplomat and New York strode ahead in commerce and size and
shipping, Philadelphia was too near each for the traveller to stop on
his way between them, unless he was an actor, a lecturer, or somebody
who could make money out of Philadelphia.

I feel sorry for the sophisticated young Philadelphian of to-day who
cannot know the emotion that was mine when, of a sudden, the Centennial
dumped down "abroad" right into Philadelphia, and the foreigner was
rampant. The modern youth saunters into a World's Fair as casually as
into a Market Street or Sixth Avenue Department Store, but never had the
monotony of my life been broken by an experience so extraordinary as
when the easy-going street-car carried me out of my world of red brick
into the heart of England, and France, and Germany, and Italy, and
Spain, and China, and Japan, where I rubbed elbows with yellow Orientals
in brilliant silks, and with soldiers in amazing uniforms--I who had
seen our sober United States soldiers only on parade--and with people
who, if they wore ordinary clothes, spoke all the languages under the
sun. It was extraordinary even to meet so many Americans who were not
Philadelphians, all talking American with to me a foreign accent,
extraordinary to see such familiar things as china, glass, silks,
stuffs, furniture, carpets, transformed into the unfamiliar, unlike
anything I had ever seen in Chestnut Street windows or on Chestnut
Street counters, so extraordinary that the most insignificant details
magnified themselves into miracles, to the mere froth on top of the cup
of Vienna coffee, to the fatuous song of a little Frenchman in a
side-show, so that to this day, if I could turn a tune, I could still
sing the "Ah! Ah! Nicolas!" of its foolish refrain.


Travelling, I should have seen all the Centennial had to show and a
thousand times more, but slowly and by degrees, losing the sense of the
miraculous with each new marvel. The Centennial came as one
comprehensive revelation--overwhelming evidence that the Philadelphia
way was not the only way. And this I think was a good thing for me, just
as for Philadelphia it was a healthy stimulus. But the Centennial did
not give me a new belief in exchange for the old; it did nothing to
alter my life, nothing to turn my sluggish ambition into active
channels. And big as it was, it was not as big as Philadelphia thought.
I do believe that Philadelphians who had helped to make it the splendid
success it proved, looked upon it as no less epoch-making than the
Declaration of Independence which it commemorated. But epoch-making as
it unquestionably was, it was not so epoch-making as all that. For some
years Philadelphians had a way of saying "before" and "after" the
Centennial, much as Southerners used to talk of "before" and "after" the
War: with the difference that for Philadelphians all the good dated
from "after." But manufacturing and commerce had been heard of "before."
Cramp's shipyard did not wait for its first commission until the
Centennial, neither did Baldwin's Locomotive Works, nor the factories in
Kensington; Philadelphia was not so dead commercially that it was out of
mere compliment important railroads made it the chief centre on their
route. All large International Expositions are bound to do good by the
increased knowledge that comes with them of what the world is producing
and by the incentive this knowledge is to competition, and as the
Centennial was the first held in America it probably accomplished more
for the country than those that followed. But I do not have to be an
authority on manufacture and commerce to see that they flourished before
the Centennial; I have learned enough about art since to know that its
existence was not first revealed to Philadelphia by the Centennial. The
Exhibition had an influence on art which I am far from undervaluing. Its
galleries of paintings and prints, drawings and sculptures, were an aid
in innumerable ways to artists and students who previously had had no
facilities for seeing a representative collection. It threw light on the
arts of design for the manufacturer. But we knew a thing or two about
beauty down in Philadelphia before 1876, though beauty was a subject to
which we had ceased to pay much attention, and from the Centennial we
borrowed too many tastes and standards that did not belong to us. It
set Philadelphia talking an appalling lot of rubbish about art, and the
new affectation of interest was more deplorable than the old frank


I was as ignorant of art as the child unborn, but not more ignorant than
the average Philadelphian. The old obligatory visits to the Academy had
made but a fleeting impression and I never repeated them when the
obligation rested solely with me. I had never met an artist, never been
in a studio. The result was that the Art Galleries at the Centennial
left me as blank and bewildered as the Hall of Machinery. Of all the
paintings, the one I remembered was Luke Fildes's picture of a milkmaid
which I could not forget because, in a glaring, plush-framed
chromo-lithograph, it reappeared promptly in Philadelphia dining-and
bedrooms, the most popular picture of the Centennial--a popularity in
which I can discern no signs of grace. Nor can I discern them in the
Eastlake craze, in the sacrifice of reps and rosewood to Morris and of
Berlin work to crewels, in the outbreak of spinning-wheels and
milking-stools and cat's tails and Japanese fans in the old simple,
dignified Philadelphia parlour; in the nightmare of wall-papers with
dadoes going half-way up the wall and friezes coming halfway down, and
every square inch crammed full of pattern; in the pretence and excess of
decoration that made the early Victorian ornament, we had all begun to
abuse, a delight to the eye in its innocent unpretentiousness. And if to
the Centennial we owe the multiplication of our art schools, how many
more artists have come out of them, how much more work that counts?

However, the good done by the Centennial is not to be sought in the
solid profits and losses that can be weighed in a practical balance. It
went deeper. Philadelphia was the better for being impressed with the
reason of its own importance which it had taken on faith, and for being
reminded that the world outside of Philadelphia was not a howling
wilderness. I, individually, gained by the widening of my horizon and
the stirring of my interest. But the Centennial did not teach me how to
think about, or use, what I had learned from it. When it was at an end,
I returned placidly to my occupation of doing nothing.



In the story of my life in Philadelphia, and my love for the town which
grew with my knowledge of it, my beginning to work was more than an
awakening: it was an important crisis. For work first made me know
Philadelphia as it is under the surface of calm and the beauty of age,
first made me realize how much it offers besides the social adventure.

Personally, the Centennial had left me where it found me. It had amused
me vastly, but it had inspired me with no desire to make active use of
the information and hints of which it had been so prodigal. My interest
had been stimulated, awakened, but I did not know Philadelphia any the
better for it, I did not love Philadelphia any the better. I had got no
further than I was in my scheme of existence, into which work, or
research, or interest, on my part had not yet entered, but I had reached
a point where that aimless scheme was an insufferable bore. From the
moment I began to work, I began to see everything from the standpoint of
work, and it is wonderful what a fresh and invigorating standpoint it
is. I began to see that everything was not all of course and matter of
fact, that everything was worth thinking about. Work is sometimes said
to help people to put things out of their minds, but it helps them more
when it puts things into their minds, and this is what it did for me.
Through work I discovered Philadelphia and myself together.


It strikes me as one of the little ironies of life that for the first
inducement to work, and therefore the first incentive to my knowledge
and love of Philadelphia, I should have been indebted to my Uncle,
Charles Godfrey Leland, who, in 1880, when the Centennial excitement was
subsiding, settled again in Philadelphia after ten years abroad, chiefly
in England. Philadelphia welcomed him with its usual serenity, betrayed
into no expression of emotion by the home-coming of one of its most
distinguished citizens who, in London, had been received with the open
arms London, in expansive moments, extends to the lion from America. The
contrast, no doubt, was annoying, and my Uncle, of whom patience could
not be said to be the predominating virtue, was accordingly annoyed and,
on his side, betrayed into anything but a serene expression of his
annoyance. Many smaller slights irritated him further until he worked
himself up into the belief that he detested Philadelphia, and he was apt
to be so outspoken in criticism that he succeeded in convincing me,
anyway, that he did. Later, when I read his _Memoirs_, I found in them
passages that suggest the charm of Philadelphia as it has not been
suggested by any other writer I know of, and that he could not have
written had he not felt for the town an affection strong enough to
withstand that town's easy indifference. But during the few years he
spent in Philadelphia after his return he was uncommonly successful in
hiding his affection, a fact which did not add to his popularity.

[Illustration: STATE HOUSE YARD]

From his talk, I might have been expected to borrow nothing save dislike
for Philadelphia. But his influence did not begin and end with his talk.
There never was a man--except J.--who had such a contempt for idleness
and such a talent for work. He could not endure people about him who did
not work and, as I was anxious to enjoy as much of his company as I
could, for I had found nobody in Philadelphia so entertaining, and as by
work I might earn the money to pay for the independence I wanted above
all things, I found myself working before I knew it.

I had my doubts when he set me to drawing but, my time being wholly my
own and frequently hanging drearily on my hands, my ineffectual attempts
to make spirals and curves with a pencil on a piece of paper, attempts
that could not by the wildest stretch of imagination be supposed to have
either an artistic or a financial value, did not strike me as a
disproportionate price for the pleasure and stimulus of his
companionship. Besides, he held the comfortable belief that anybody who
willed to do it, could do anything--accomplishment, talent, genius
reduced by him to a question of will. His will and mine combined,
however, could not make a decorative artist of me, but he was so kind
as not to throw me over for ruthlessly shattering his favourite theory.
He insisted that I should write if I could not draw.

I had my doubts about writing too. I have confessed that I was not given
to thinking and therefore I had nothing in particular to say, nor were
words to say it in at my ready disposal, for, there being one or two
masters of talk in the immediate home circle, I had cultivated to the
utmost my natural gift of silence. Nor could I forget two literary
ventures made immediately upon my leaving the Convent, before the
blatant conceit of the prize scholar had been knocked out of me--one, an
essay on François Villon, my choice of a maiden theme giving the measure
of my intelligence, the second a short story re-echoing the last love
tale I had read--both MSS., neatly tied with brown ribbon to vouch for a
masculine mind above feminine pinks and blues, confidently sent to
_Harper's_ and as confidently sent back with the Editor's thanks and no
delay. But my Uncle would not let me off. I must stick at my task of
writing or cease to be his companion, and so relapse into my old Desert
of Sahara, thrown back into the colourless life of a Philadelphia girl
who did not go out and who had waited to marry longer than her parents
thought considerate or correct. Of all my sins, of none was I more
guiltily conscious than my failure to oblige my family in this respect,
for of none was I more frequently and uncomfortably reminded by my
family. I scarcely ever went to see my Grandmother at this period that
from her favourite perch on the landing outside the dining-room, she did
not look at me anxiously and reproachfully and ask, "Any news for me, my
dear?" and she did not have to tell me there was but one piece of news
she cared to hear.

Luckily, writing, my substitute for marriage, was an occupation I was
free to take up if I chose, as the work it involved met with no
objection from my Father. It was only when work took a girl where the
world could not help seeing her at it, that the Philadelphia father
objected. To write in the privacy of a third-story front bedroom, or of
a back parlour, seemed a ladylike way of wasting hours that might more
profitably have been spent in paying calls and going to receptions. If
this waste met with financial return, it could be hushed up and the
world be none the wiser. The way in which my friends used to greet me
after I was fairly launched is characteristic of the Philadelphia
attitude in the matter--"always scribbling away, I suppose?" they would
say with amiable condescension.

I could not dismiss my scribbling so jauntily. The record of my
struggles day by day might help to keep out of the profession of
journalism and book-making many a young aspirant as ardent as I was, and
with as little to say and as few words to say it in. Experience has
taught me to feel, much as Gissing felt, about the "heavy-laden who sit
down to the cursed travail of the pen," but nobody could have made me
feel that way then, and I am not sure I should care to have missed my
struggles, exhausting and heart-rending as they were. During my
apprenticeship when nothing, not so much as a newspaper paragraph, came
from my mountain of labour, the Philadelphia surface of calm told
gloomily on my nerves. Ready to lay the blame anywhere save on my
sluggish brain, and moved by my Uncle's vehement denunciations, I vowed
to myself a hundred times that a sleepy place, a dead place, like
Philadelphia did not give anybody the chance to do anything. I changed
my point of view when at last my "scribbling away" got into print.


My first appearance was with a chapter out of a larger work upon which I
had been engaged for months. My Uncle, whose ideas were big, had
insisted that I must begin straight off with a book, something
monumental, a _magnum opus_; no writer was known who had not written a
book; and to be known was half the battle. I was in the state of mind
when I would have agreed to publish a masterpiece in hieroglyphics had
he suggested it, and I arranged with him to set to work upon my book
then and there, though I was decidedly puzzled to know with what it was
to deal. I think he was too, my literary resources and tendencies not
being of the kind that revealed themselves at a glance. But he declared
that there was not a subject upon which a book could not be written if
one only went about it in the right way, and in a moment of
inspiration, seeking the particular subject suitable to my particular
needs, he suddenly, and to me to this day altogether incomprehensibly,
hit upon Mischief. There, now, was a subject to make one's reputation
on, none could be more original, no author had touched it--what did I
think of Mischief?

What did I think? Had I been truthful, I should have said that I thought
Mischief was the special attribute of the naughty child who was spanked
well for it if he got his deserts. But I was not truthful. I said it was
the subject of subjects, as I inclined to believe it was before I was
done with it, by which time I had persuaded myself to see in it the one
force that made the world go round--the incentive to evolution, the root
of the philosophies of the ages, the clue to the mystery of life.

My days were devoted to the study of Mischief and, for the purpose, more
carefully divided up and regulated than they ever had been at the
Convent. Hours were set aside for research--I see myself and my
sympathetic Uncle overhauling dusty dictionaries and encyclopædias at
the long table in the balcony of the dusty Mercantile Library where
nobody dreamed of disturbing us; I see him at my side during shorter
visits to the Philadelphia Library where we were forever running up
against people we knew who did disturb us most unconscionably; I see him
tramping with me down South Broad Street to the Ridgway Library, that
fine mausoleum of the great collections of James Logan and Dr. Rush,
where our coming awoke the attendants and exposed their awkwardness in
waiting upon unexpected readers, and brought Mr. Lloyd Smith out of his
private room, excited and delighted actually to see somebody in the huge
and well-appointed building besides himself and his staff. Hours were
reserved for reading at home, for it turned out that I could not
possibly arrive at the definition of Mischief without a stupendous
amount of reading in a stupendous variety of books of any and all kinds
from Mother Goose to the Vedas and the Koran, from Darwin to Eliphas
Levi. Hours, and they were the longest, were consecrated to my
writing-table, putting the results of research and reading into words,
defining Mischief in its all-embracing, universe-covering aspect, hewing
the phrases from my unwilling brain as the blocks of marble are hewn out
of the quarry. As I write, my old MSS. rises before me like a ghost, a
disorderly ghost, erased, rewritten, pieces added in, pieces cut out,
every scratched and blotted line bearing testimony to the toil that
produced it. I can see now that I would have done better to begin with a
more obvious theme, coming more within my limited knowledge and
vocabulary. My task was too laborious for the fine frenzy, or the
inspired flights, reputed to be the reward of the literary life. It was
all downright hard labour, and so coloured my whole idea of the business
of writing, that I have never yet managed to sit down to my day's work
without the feeling which I imagine must be the navvy's as he starts out
for his day's digging in the streets.

In the course of time order grew out of the chaos. A chapter of my
monumental work on Mischief was finished. It was made ready in a neat
copy with hardly an erasure and, having an air of completeness in
itself, was sent as a separate article to _Lippincott's Magazine_, for I
decided magnanimously that, as I was a Philadelphian, Philadelphia
should have the first chance. I had no doubts of it as a prophetic
utterance, as a world-convulsing message, but the Editor of
_Lippincott's_ had. He refused it.

How it hurt, that prompt refusal! All my literary hopes came toppling
over and I saw myself condemned to the old idleness and dependence. But
our spirits when we are young go up as quickly as they go down. I
recalled stories I had heard of great men hawking about their MSS. from
publisher to publisher. Carlyle, I said to myself, had suffered and
almost every writer of note--it was a sign of genius to be refused.
Therefore,--the logic of it was clear and convincing--the refusal proved
me a genius! A more substantial reassurance was the publication of the
same article, done over and patched up and with the fine title of
_Mischief in the Middle Ages_, in the _Atlantic Monthly_ a very few
months later. And when, on top of this, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, the
Editor of the _Atlantic_, wrote and told me he would be pleased to have
further articles from me; when, in answer to a letter my Uncle had
insisted on my writing. Oliver Wendell Holmes promised me his interest
in Mischief as I proposed to define it. I saw the world at my feet
where, to my sorrow, I have never seen it since that first fine moment
of elation.

The spectacle of myself in print set Philadelphia dancing before my eyes
and turned the world a bit unsteady. But it did not relieve the labour
of writing. Within the next year or two seven or eight chapters did get
done and were published as articles in the _Atlantic_, but the world is
still the poorer for the _magnum opus_ that was to bring me fame. The
fact was that in the making, it brought me mighty little money. My first
cheque only whetted my appetite, but, in fairness to myself I must
explain, through no more sordid motive than my desire to become my own
bread-winner. The newspapers offered a wider scope at less expense of
time and labour, and my Uncle not only relaxed so far as to allow me
intervals from the bigger undertaking for simpler tasks, but gave me the
benefit of his experience as a newspaper man. In the old days, before he
had gone to live in London, he had had the run of almost every newspaper
office in town, and he opened their doors for me. Thanks to his
introduction, Philadelphia, at this stage of my progress, conspired to
put work into my hands, and writing for Philadelphia papers taught me in
a winter more about Philadelphia than I had learned in all the years I
had already spent there. I marvelled that I could have thought it dead
when it was so alive. I seemed to feel it quiver under my feet at every
step, shaking me into speed, and filling me with pity for the sedate
pace at which my Father and the Philadelphians of his generation walked
through its pulsating streets.


My first newspaper commissions came from the _Press_ and adventure
accompanied them--the adventure of business letters in my morning's
mail, of proofs, of visits to the office--adventures that far too soon
became the commonplaces of my busy days as journalist. But my outlook
upon life in Philadelphia had, up till then, been bounded by the brick
walls of a Spruce Street house, and the editorial office, that holds no
surprise for me now, held nothing save surprise when I was first
summoned to it. I was bewildered by the disorder, stunned by the
noise--boys coming and going, letters and telegrams pouring in, piles of
proofs mounting up on the desk, baskets overflowing with MSS., floors
strewn with papers, machinery throbbing close by, a heavy smell of
tobacco over everything, and in the midst of the confusion--lounging,
working, answering questions, tearing open letters and telegrams,
correcting proof, and yet managing to talk with me,--Moses P. Handy, the
editor, a red man in my memory of him, red hair, red beard, red cheeks,
whose cordiality I could not flatter myself was due to his eagerness for
my contributions, so engrossed was he in talking of the Eastern Shore of
Maryland from which he came and in which my family had made their
prolonged stay on the way from Virginia to Philadelphia. The Eastern
Shore may be a good place to come away from, but the native never
forgets that he did come from it and he never fails to hail his fellow
exile as brother.

My next commission I owed to the _Evening Telegraph_, for which I made a
remarkable journey to Atlantic City: a voyage of discovery, though the
report of it did not paralyse the Philadelphia public. I was deeply
impressed by my exercise of my faculty of observation thus tested on
familiar ground, but I am afraid it left the Editor indifferent, and, as
in his case the Eastern Shore was not a friendly link between us, he
expressed no desire for a second article or for a second visit. I have
regretted it since, the Editor being Clarke Davis, whom not to know was,
I believe, not to have arrived so far in Philadelphia journalism as I
liked to think I had.

[Illustration: THE PENITENTIARY]

A more remarkable journey followed to New York for I wish I could
remember what paper; or perhaps it is just as well I cannot, the
adventure adding to the reputation neither of the paper nor of myself.
The object was to attend the press view of an important exhibition of
paintings, and at that stage of my education I doubt if I could have
told a Rembrandt from a Rubens, much less a Kenyon Cox from a Church, a
Chase from a Blum, which was more immediately to the point. I had my
punishment on the spot, for my hours in the Gallery may be counted the
most humiliating of my life. My ignorance would not let me lose sight of
it for one little second. J. had gone with me--how I came to know him I
mean to tell further on--but he had no press ticket, a stern man at the
door refused to admit him without one, and I was alone in my
incompetency to wrestle with it as I could. Had he not returned with me
to Philadelphia in the afternoon and devoted the interval in the train
to throwing light upon my obscure and agonised notes, my copy could not
have been delivered that evening as agreed. I know now that the paper
would have come out all the same the next morning, but in my misery it
did not seem possible that it could, and besides I was from the first,
as through my many years of journalism, scrupulous to be on time with my
copy and to keep to my agreements. That was my first experience in art
criticism. I have tried to atone for it by years of conscientious work,
but few Philadelphia papers can say as much for themselves. In those I
see from time to time, the art criticism usually reads as if
Philadelphia editors had lost nothing of their old amiability in handing
it over to young ladies to get their journalistic training on.

I was given also my chance in two newspaper ventures Philadelphia made
in the early Eighteen-Eighties. One was the _American_, a weekly on the
lines of the New York _Nation_. Mr. Howard Jenkins, the editor, sent me
books for review, and not the first baby, not the first baby's first
tooth, could be as extraordinary a phenomenon as the first book sent for
the purpose from the editorial office. Mine, as I have never forgotten,
as I never could forget, was Howard Pyle's _Robin Hood_, and when Mr.
Jenkins wrote me that "Mr. Pyle's folks" were pleased with what I had
written, I thought I had got to the very top of the tree of journalism.
That I had got no further than a step from the bottom, and upon that had
none too secure a foothold, I was reminded when the second book for
review lay open before me.

The other venture was _Our Continent_, also a weekly, but illustrated,
edited by Judge Tourgee. Of my contributions, I remember chiefly an
article on Shop Windows, which suggests that I was busy with what I
might call a more pretentious kind of reporting. My subjects and my
manner of treating them may have been what they were,--of no special
value to anybody but myself. But to myself I cannot exaggerate their
value. I was learning from them all the time.


It was an education just to learn what a newspaper was. Heretofore I had
accepted it as a thing that came of itself, arriving in the morning with
the milk and the rolls for breakfast. I knew as little of its origin as
the town boy knew of where the milk comes from in the _Punch_ story that
I do not doubt was old when _Punch_ was young. Milk he had always seen
poured from a can, our newspaper we had always had from the nearest
news-agent. It was very simple. A newspaper appeared on the
breakfast-table of a well-regulated Philadelphia house just as the water
ran when the tap was turned on in the bath-room, or the gas burned when
lit by a match. But after one article, after one visit to a newspaper
office, after one journey to Atlantic City or New York, the newspaper
did not seem so simple. I began to understand that it would not have
got as far as Spruce Street had it not been for an army of people
writing, printing, correcting proof, tearing from one end of the
town--of the world--to the other; without colossal machinery throbbing
night and day, without an immeasurable consumption of tobacco. I began
to understand the organization required to bring the army of people and
the colossal machines into such perfect harmony that the daily miracle
of the newspaper on the breakfast-table might be worked--to understand
too that the miracle-working organization had not been created in a day,
that behind the daily paper was not merely the toiling of its staff and
its machines but a long history of striving, experiment, development.

I cannot say I went profoundly into the history, I was too engrossed in
contributing my delightful share to the newspaper as it was, but to go
superficially sufficed to show me in Philadelphia a spirit of enterprise
altogether new to me. I had discovered only shortly before Philadelphia
as the scene of the first Colonial Congress, and the Declaration of
Independence, and the first big International Exposition in America, and
now I added to these other discoveries the fact that Philadelphia had
been the first American town to publish a daily paper, the last
discovery bringing me face to face with Benjamin Franklin who, it
appeared, besides flying that tiresome kite and being the ancestor of
Mrs. Gillespie, was the first printer and publisher of the paper that
set an example for all America. Tranquil the Philadelphian was by
repute, but he rolled up his sleeves and pitched in when the moment
came. Philadelphia's famous calm was but skin deep over its seething
mass of workers, its energy, its toiling, its triumph. When I reflected
on what was going on at night in every newspaper office in town, it
seemed to me as unbelievable that, on the verge of this volcano of work,
Philadelphians could keep on dancing at parties, at the Dancing Class,
at the Assembly, as that men and women should have danced at Brussels on
the eve of Waterloo. And newspaper-making was one only of Philadelphia's
innumerable industries. That thought gave me the scale of the labour
that goes to keep the machinery of life running.


Of some of the other industries I got to know a little. My Uncle who, as
I have said, was a man of ideas and who had his fair proportion of
Philadelphia energy, included among his many interests the subject of
education. He deplored existing systems and methods. My belief is that
the systems and methods might be of the best and education would still
be a mistake, vulgarizing the multitude to whom it does not belong and
encouraging in them a prejudice against honest work. My Uncle did not
think as I do,--that I do not think now as he did frightens me as a
disloyalty to his memory. But he could not overlook the distaste for
manual work that had grown out of too much attention to books and as he
never let his theories exhaust themselves in words, he lost no time in
persuading the Board of Education to put this particular one to a
practical test. Doubts of their methods had assailed the Board, but no
way out of the difficulty had been suggested until he came and said,
"Set your children, your boys and girls, who are forgetting how to use
their hands, to work at the Minor Arts." It struck them as a suggestion
that warranted the experiment anyway, especially as the cost would be
comparatively small. My Uncle had been back in Philadelphia not much
more than a year when classes were put in his charge and a
schoolroom--the school-house at Broad and Locust--at his disposal, and
he inaugurated the study of the Arts and Crafts in Philadelphia with the
Industrial Art School, as he had in London with the Home Arts. His sole
payment was the pleasure of the experiment, a pleasure which few
theorists succeed in securing. I, however, was paid by the City in solid
dollars and cents for the fine amateurish inefficiency with which I
helped him to manage the classes, recommended by him, whose
consideration was as practical for my pockets which the _Atlantic_,
backed by newspapers, had not filled to repletion.


This is not the place for the history of his experiment. It is known.
The school has passed from the experimental stage into a permanent
institution, though in the passing my Uncle has been virtually
forgotten,--often the fate of the man who sets a ball of reform rolling.
Of all this I have elsewhere made the record. I am at present concerned
with the influence the school had upon me and the unexpected extent to
which it widened my knowledge of Philadelphia and Philadelphia

How Philadelphia was educated was not a question that had kept me awake
at nights. The Philadelphia girl of my acquaintance, if a day scholar,
went naturally to Miss Irwin's or to Miss Annabel's in town; if a
boarder perhaps to Miss Chapman's at Holmesburg or Mrs. Comegys at
Chestnut Hill; unless her parents were converts or Catholics by birth
when she went instead to the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Torresdale
or in Walnut Street. The Philadelphia boy began with the Episcopal
Academy and finished with the University of Pennsylvania. Friends went
to the Friends' School in Germantown, and to Swarthmore and Haverford.
What others did, did not matter. I had heard there were public or free
schools where children could go for nothing, but nobody to my knowledge
went to them. With what insolence we each of us, in our own little
fraction of the world, think everybody outside of it nobody! But up in
the top story rooms of the school-house at Broad and Locust, where my
work took me two afternoons in the week, I found myself the centre of a
vast network of schools! High Schools, Grammar Schools, Primary Schools,
Scholarships, more divisions and subdivisions than I could count; with
teachers--for there was a class for teachers--and pupils coming from
every ward and suburb, every street and alley of the town; a School
Board keeping a watchful eye upon schools and teachers, not leaving me
out; and all about me a vast population without one idea or interest
except the education of Philadelphia. And this implied, like the
newspaper, a perfect organization of its own to keep the whole thing
going--an organization that never could have been born in a day. The
education of Philadelphia had absorbed a vast population since
Philadelphia was: the first Philadelphia children hardly escaping from
their cave dwellings before they were hurried into school to have their
poor little minds trained and disciplined. Really, in my first days of
work, life was a succession of startling discoveries about Philadelphia.

I could not get paid for my afternoons at the school, which I ought to
have paid for considering the education they were to me, without making
another discovery. The pay came monthly from the City in the form of a
warrant, or so I believe it is called. As I have explained that I had
never been possessed of money of my own, some allowance will be made for
my stupidity in thinking it necessary to cash the warrant in person. It
never occurred to me to open a bank account or to ask my Father to
exchange the warrant for money. I went myself to the office in the big,
new, unfinished City Hall--how well I remember, when I was kept waiting
which was always, my conscientiousness in jotting down elaborate notes
of windows and doors and upholstery and decoration: Zola in France and
Howells at home having made Realism the literary fashion, and Realism,
I gathered, being achieved only by way of jotting down endless notes in
every situation in which I found myself; especially as J. had brought
back from Italy exemplary and inspiring tales of Vernon Lee (Violet
Paget) and Mary Robinson (Mme. Duclaux), with whom he had worked and
travelled, filling blank books with memoranda collected from the windows
of every train they took and every hotel in which they stayed.

I am glad I was stupid, such a good thing for me was this going in
person, such a suggestive lesson in City Government which I learned was
as little of an automatic arrangement as education and the newspaper,
and not necessarily something that all decent people should be ashamed
of being mixed up with, the way my Father and the old-fashioned
Philadelphian of his type looked upon it and every other variety of
Government. It was just another huge, busy, striving, toiling
organization, so huge as to fit with difficulty into the enormous ugly
new buildings, then recently set down for it in Penn Square with
complete indifference to Penn's plan for his green country town, or to
get its work done in the maze of courts and passages and offices by the
hordes of big and little officials no less preoccupied in City
Government than journalists in their newspaper, or teachers in their
school, or--outrageous as it may sound--society in the Assembly and
Dancing Class and the things which I had been brought up to believe the
beginning and end of existence on this earth.


My new knowledge of Philadelphia was widened in various other directions
as time went on. My Uncle's experiment, when it took practical shape,
attracted attention and he was asked to lecture on it in places like the
Franklin Institute--there was no keeping away very long from Benjamin
Franklin in Philadelphia once I got to know anything about
Philadelphia--and to visit institutions like Moyamensing Prison or
Kirkbride's Insane Asylum that he might consider the advisability of
introducing his scheme of manual work for the benefit of the insane and
the criminal. I usually accompanied him on these occasions, and before
he had got through his rounds I had seen a number of different phases of
Philadelphia activity and enterprise and power of organization. I had
been given some idea of the armies of doctors and nurses and scientists
who had made Kirkbride's a model throughout the land, while Dr. Albert
Smith had helped me to an additional insight into the hospitals that set
as excellent an example. I had been given an idea of the armies of
judges and juries and police and governors and warders and visiting
inspectors,--of whom my Father was one, with a special tenderness for
murderers whom he used to take his family to visit--at Moyamensing. And
from the combination of all my new experiences I had gained further
knowledge of the energies at work beyond the limits of "Chestnut,
Walnut, Spruce and Pine" to make Philadelphia what it was.


I ought to have needed no guide to the knowledge and appreciation of
these things, it may be said. I admit it. But the happy mortals who are
born observant do not picture to themselves the tortures gone through by
those who must have observation thrust upon them before they begin to
use their eyes. I had not been born to observe, I had not been trained
to observe, and to become observant I had to go through the sort of
practical course Mr. Squeers set to his boys. His method, denounce it as
you will, has its merits. The students of Dotheboys Hall could never
have forgotten what a window is or what it means to clean it. I had
grown up to accept life as a pageant for me to look on at, with no part
to play in it. After my initiation into work, I could never forget, in
the quietest, emptiest sections of the town, not even in placid little
backwaters like Clinton Street and De Lancey Place, the machinery
forever crashing and grinding and roaring to produce the pageant, to
weave for Philadelphia the beautiful serenity it wore like a garment. I
could never forget that, insignificant as my share in the machinery
might be, all the same I was contributing something to make it go. I
could never be sure that everybody I met, however calm in appearance,
might not be as mixed up in the great machine of work as I was beginning
to be.


I had to work to learn that Philadelphia had worked, and still worked,
and worked so well as to be the first to have given America much that
is best and most vital in the country--the first to show the right way
with its schools and hospitals and libraries and newspapers and
galleries and museums, the leader in the fight for liberty of
conscience, the scene of the first Colonial Congress and the signing of
the Declaration of Independence and the Centennial Exposition to
commemorate it, a pioneer in science and industry and manufacture--a
town upon which all the others in the land could not do better than
model themselves--while all the time it maintained its fine air of calm
that perplexes the stranger and misleads the native. But I had found it
out, found out its greatness, before age had dimmed my perceptions and
dulled my power of appreciation; and to find Philadelphia out is to love



I was still in the stage of wonder and joy at seeing myself in print,
when work and Philadelphia joined in the most unlooked for manner to
help me tell my Grandmother that "something" she was so anxiously
waiting to hear. An article on Philadelphia which an intelligent Editor
asked me to write was my introduction to J. The town that we both love
first brought us together, as it now brings us back to it together after
the many years that have passed since it laid the foundation of our long


I would say nothing about the article at this late date had it not added
so materially to my life and to my knowledge of Philadelphia. I am not
proud of it as a piece of literary work. But it seems, as I recall the
days of my apprenticeship, to mark the turning of the ways, to point to
the new road I was destined to take. I got it out the other day, the
first time in over a quarter of a century, proposing to reprint it,
thinking the contrast between my impressions of Philadelphia thirty
years ago and my impressions of Philadelphia to-day might be amusing. In
memory, it had remained a brilliant performance, one any editor would be
pleased to jump at, and I was astonished to find it youthful and crude,
inarticulate, inadequate not only to the subject itself but to my
appreciation of the subject which at the time was unbounded. I do not
know whether to be more amazed at my failure in it to say what I wanted
to say, or at the Editor's amiability in publishing it. The article may
not have lost all its eloquence for me, since between the halting lines
I can read the story I did not know how to tell, but for others it would
prove a dull affair and it is best left where it is, forgotten in the
old files of a popular magazine.

The story I read is one of a series of discoveries with a romance in
each. The way the article came about was that J. had made etchings of
Philadelphia, and the Editor, who had wisely arranged to use them,
thought they could not be published without accompanying text. When he
asked me, as a young Philadelphian just beginning to write, to supply
this text, he advised me to consult with J., whom I did not know and
whose studio address he gave me.

I was thrilled by the prospect, never having been in a studio nor met an
artist, and when it turned out not half so simple as it looked on paper,
when the first catching my artist was attended with endless delays and
difficulties, it did not lessen the thrill or take away from the sense
of adventure.

J.'s studio, which he shared with Mr. Harry Poore, was at the top of
what was then the Presbyterian Building on Chestnut Street above
Thirteenth, quite new and of tremendous height at a time when the
sky-scraper had not been invented nor the elevator become a necessity
of Philadelphia life. Day after day, varying the hour with each attempt,
now in the morning, now at noon, now toward evening, I toiled up those
long flights of stairs, marvelling at the strange, unaccountable
disclosures through half-opened studio doors, for it was a building of
studios; glad of the support of my Uncle who was seeing me through this,
as he saw me through all my earliest literary enterprises; arriving at
the top, breathless and panting, only to be informed by a notice,
written on paper and pinned on the tight-locked door, that J. was out
and would be back in half an hour. My Uncle and I were inclined to
interpret this literally, once or twice waiting trustingly on the dark
landing some little while beyond the appointed time. On one occasion I
believe the door was opened, when we knocked, by Mr. Poore who was not
sure of the length of a half hour as J. reckoned it, but had an idea it
might vary according to circumstances, especially now that J. was out of
town. I went away not annoyed as I should be to-day, but more stirred
than ever by the novelty of the adventure.


At last I tied J. down by an appointment, as I should have done at the
start, and he, having returned to town, kept it to the minute. I think
from first to last of this astonishing business I had no greater shock
of astonishment than when I followed him into his studio. We were in the
Eighteen-Eighties then, when American magazines and newspapers were
making sensational copy out of the princely splendour of the London
studios, above all of Tadema's, Leighton's, Millais': palatial
interiors, hung with priceless tapestries, carpeted with rare Oriental
rugs, shining with old brass and pottery and armour, opening upon
Moorish courts, reached by golden stairs, fragrant with flowers, filled
with soft couches and luxurious cushions--flamboyant, exotic interiors
that would not have disgraced Ouida's godlike young Guardsmen but that
scarcely seemed to belong to men who made their living by the work of
their hands. Indeed, it was their splendour that misled so many
incompetent young men and women of the later Victorian age into the
belief that art was the easiest and most luxurious short cut to wealth.
But there was nothing splendid or princely about J.'s studio. It was
frankly a workshop, big and empty, a few unframed drawings and life
studies stuck up on the bare walls, the floors carpetless, for furniture
an easel or two and a few odd rickety chairs--a room nobody would have
dreamed of going into except for work. But then, my first impression of
J. was of a man who did not want to do anything except work.

My experience had been that people--if I leave out my Uncle--worked, not
because they wanted to but because they had to and that, sceptical as
they might be on every other Scriptural point, they were not to be
shaken out of their belief in work as a curse inherited from Adam. J.,
evidently, would have found the curse in not being allowed to work. And
as new to me was the enthusiasm with which, while he showed me his
prints and drawings, he began to talk about Philadelphia and its beauty.
It was unusual for Philadelphians to talk about their town at all; if
they did, it was more unusual for them to talk with enthusiasm; and the
interest in it forced upon them by the Centennial had been for every
quality rather than its beauty. Even my Uncle--though later, in his
_Memoirs_, he wrote charmingly of the charm of Philadelphia--at that
time affected to admire nothing in it except the unsightly arches of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, bridging the streets between the Schuylkill and
the Station, and if he made the exception in their favour, it was
because they reminded him of London. Thanks to the Centennial and the
stimulus of hard work, I was not as ignorant of Philadelphia as I had
been, but I was not rid of the old popular fallacy that the American in
search of beauty must cross the Atlantic and go to Europe. And here was
J., in five minutes telling me more about Philadelphia than I had
learned in a lifetime, revealing to me in his drawings the beauty of
streets and houses I had not had the wit to find out for myself, firing
me with sudden enthusiasm in my turn, convincing me that nothing in the
world counted but Philadelphia, opening my eyes to its unsuspected
resources, so that after this I could walk nowhere without visions of
romance where all before had been everyday commonplace, leaving me eager
and impatient to start on my next journey of discovery which was to be
in his company.


To illustrate our article--for _ours_ it had become--J. passed over the
obvious picturesqueness of Philadelphia--the venerable Pennsylvania
Hospital, the beautiful State House, Christ Church, the Old Swedes, St.
Peter's--buildings for which Philadelphia, after years of indifference,
had at last been exalted by the Centennial into historic monuments, the
show places of the town, labelled and catalogued--buildings of which J.
had already made records, having begun his work by drawing them, his
plate of the State House among the first he ever etched. He now went in
preference to the obscure by-ways, to the unpretending survivals of the
past, so merged, so swallowed up in the present, that it needed keen
eyes to detect them: old buildings stamped with age, but too humble in
origin for the Centennial to have resurrected; busy docks, grimy river
banks, crazy old rookeries abandoned to the business and poverty that
claimed them: to the strange, neglected, never-visited corners of a
great town where beauty springs from the rich soil of labour and chance,
neglect and decay.

How little I had known of Philadelphia up till then! One of the very
first places to which he took me was the old Second Street Market that,
when I lived within a stone's throw of it, I had never set my eyes
on--the old market that, south of Pine, forces Second Street to widen
and make space for it and that turns the gable of the little old Court
House directly north, breaking the long vista of the street as St.
Clement's and St. Mary's in London break the vista of the Strand--the
old market that I believe the city proposes to pull down, very likely
will have pulled down before these lines are in print, though there is
not a Philadelphian who would not go into ecstasies over as shabby and
down-at-the-heel Eighteenth Century building if stumbled upon in an
English country town. And as close to his old family home and mine J.
led me into inn yards that might have come straight from the Borough on
the Surrey side of the Thames, and in and out of dark mysterious courts
which he declared as "good" as the exploited French and Italian courts
every etcher has at one time or another made a plate of--curious nooks
and by-ways I had never stopped to look at during my Third Street days
and would have seen nothing in if I had.

And I remember going with him along Front Street, where I should have
thought myself contaminated at a time when it might have varied the dull
round of my daily walks, so unlike was it to the spick and span streets
I knew,--glimpses at every crossing of the Delaware, Philadelphia's
river of commerce that Philadelphians never went near unless to take the
boat for Torresdale or, in summers of economy, the steamer for
Liverpool; for several blocks, groups of seafaring men mending sails on
the side-walk, Mariners' Boarding-Houses, a Mariners' Church, and
Philadelphia here the seaport town it is and always has been; and then,
successive odours of the barnyard, fish, spice, coffee, Philadelphia
smelling as strong of the romance of trade as any Eastern bazaar.


And I remember J. and I crossing the forbidden line into "up town" to
find beauty, interest, picturesqueness in "Market, Arch, Race and
Vine"--old houses everywhere, the old Meeting-House, Betsy Ross' house,
Provost Smith's, the Christ Church Burial Ground at Fifth and Arch where
Franklin is buried, narrow rambling alleys, red and black brick, and
there, up on a house at the corner of Front, where it is to this day, a
sign going back to the years when Race was still Sassafras Street, and
so part of the original scheme of Philadelphia, to which, with
Philadelphia docility, I had all my life believed South of Market alone
could claim the right.

And I remember our wandering to the Schuylkill, not by the neat and
well-kept roads and paths of the Park, but where tumbled-down houses
faced it near Callowhill Street Bridge and works of one kind or another
rose from its banks near Gray's Ferry, and Philadelphia was a town of
industry, of machines, of railroads connecting it with all parts of the
world,--for already to J. "the Wonder of Work" had made its irresistible
appeal. And I remember our wandering farther, north and south, east and
west--interest, beauty, picturesqueness never failing us--in the end
Philadelphia transformed into a vast Wonderland, where in one little
section people might spend their lives dancing, paying calls at noon,
eating chicken salad and croquettes from Augustine's, but where in every
other they were striving, struggling, toiling, to carry on Penn's
traditions and to give to his town the greatness, power and beauty he
planned for it.

In these walks I had followed J. into streets and quarters of the town I
had not known. But I would be leaving out half the story if I did not
say how much he showed me in the streets and quarters I did know. It is
with a town, I suppose, as with life out of which, philosophers say, we
get just as much, or as little, as we bring to it. I had brought no
curiosity, no interest, no sympathy, to Philadelphia, and Philadelphia
therefore had given me nothing save a monotony of red brick and green
shade. But now I came keen with curiosity, full of interest, aflame with
sympathy, and Philadelphia overwhelmed me with its gifts. Oh, the
difference when, having eyes, one sees! I was as surprised to learn that
I had been living in the midst of beauty all my life as M. Jourdain was
to find he had been talking prose.

Down in lower Spruce and all the neighbouring streets, where I had
walked in loneliness longing for something to happen, something happened
at every step--beautiful Colonial houses, stately doorways, decorative
ironwork, dormer windows, great gables facing each other at street
corners, harmonious proportions--not merely a bit here and a bit there,
but the old Colonial town almost intact, preserved by Philadelphia
through many generations only to be abandoned now to the Russian Jew and
the squalor and the dirt that the Russian Jew takes with him wherever
he goes. In not another American town had the old streets then changed
so little since Colonial days, in not another were they so well worth
keeping unchanged. I had not to dive into musty archives to unearth the
self-evident fact that the early Friends, when they left England, packed
up with their liberty of conscience the love of beauty in architecture
and, what was more practical, the money to pay for it; that, in a fine
period of English architecture, they got good English architects,--Wren
said to have been of the number--to design not merely their public
buildings, but their private houses; that, their Founder setting the
example, they carried over in their personal baggage panelling,
carvings, ironwork, red and black brick, furniture, and the various
details they were not likely to procure in Philadelphia until
Philadelphians had moved from their caves and the primeval forest had
been cut down; that when Philadelphia could contribute its share of the
work, they modified the design to suit climate, circumstances, and
material, and bequeathed to us a Philadelphia with so much local
character that it never could be mistaken for an English town.

This used to strike the intelligent foreigner as long as Philadelphia
was content to have a character of its own and did not bother to be in
architectural or any other movements. "Not a distressingly new-looking
city, for the Queen Anne style in vogue when its prosperity began is in
the main adhered to with Quaker-like precision; good red brick; numerous
rather narrow windows with white outside shutters, a block cornice along
the top of the façades and the added American feature of marble steps
and entry,"--this, in a letter to William Michael Rossetti, was Mrs.
Gilchrist's description of Philadelphia in the late Eighteen-Seventies,
and it is an appreciative description though most authorities would
probably describe Philadelphia as Georgian rather than Queen Anne.
Philadelphia did more to let the old character go to rack and ruin
during the years I was away from it than during the two centuries
before, and is to-day repenting in miles upon miles of sham Colonial.
But repentance cannot wipe away the traces of sin--cannot bring back the
old Philadelphia I knew.

[Illustration: FRANKLIN'S GRAVE]

I do not want to attribute too much to my new and only partially
developed power of observing. Had the measuring worm not retreated
before the sparrow, I might perhaps have been less prepared during my
walks with J. to admit the beauty of the trees lining every street, as
well as of the houses they shaded. But what is the use of troubling
about the might-have-been? The important thing is that, with him I did
for the first time see how beautiful are our green, well-shaded streets.
With him too I first saw how beautiful is their symmetry as they run in
their long straight lines and cross each other at right angles. It was a
symmetry I had confused with monotony, with which most Philadelphians,
foolishly misled, still confuse it. They would rather, for the sake of
variety, that Penn had left the building and growth of Philadelphia to
chance as the founders of other American towns did--they would rather
boast with New York or Boston of the disorderly picturesqueness of
streets that follow old cow tracks made before the town was. But Penn
understood the value of order in architecture as in conduct. It is true
that Ruskin, the accepted prophet of my young days, did not include
order among his Seven Lamps, but there was a good deal Ruskin did not
know about architecture, and a town like Paris in its respect for
arrangement--for order--for a thought-out plan--will teach more at a
glance than all his rhapsodies. Philadelphia has not the noble
perspectives of the French capital nor the splendid buildings to
complete them, but its despised regularity gives it the repose, the
serenity, which is an essential of great art, whether the art of the
painter or the engraver, the sculptor or the architect. And it gives,
too, a suggestiveness, a mystery we are more apt to seek in
architectural disorder and caprice. I know nobody who has pointed out
this beauty in Penn's design except Mrs. Gilchrist in the description
from which I have already borrowed, and she merely hints at the truth,
not grasping it. Philadelphia to her was more picturesque and more
foreign-looking than she expected, and her explanation is in the "long
straight streets at right angles to each other, long enough and broad
enough to present that always pleasing effect of vista-converging lines
that stretch out indefinitely and look as if they must certainly lead
somewhere very pleasant," the streets that are to the town what "the
open road" is to the country,--the long, white, straight road beckoning
who can say where?


It was without the slightest intention on my part that the
vista-converging lines of the streets led me direct to William Penn. But
I defy anybody to do a little thinking while walking through the streets
of Philadelphia and not be led to him, so for eternity has he stamped
them with his vivid personality--not William Penn, the shadowy prig of
the school history, but William Penn, the man with a level head, big
ideas, and the will to carry them out--three things that make for
genius. To the weakling of to-day the fight for liberty of conscience
would loom up so gigantic a task as to fill to overflowing his little
span here below. But in the fight as Penn fought it, the material
details could be overlooked as little as the spiritual, the comfort of
the bodies of his people no more neglected than the freedom of their
souls. He did not stop to preach about town-planning and garden cities,
and improved housing for the workman, like the would-be reformer of
to-day. With no sentimental pose as saviour of the people, no drivel
about reforming and elevating and sweetening the lives of humanity, no
aspiration towards "world-betterment," Penn made sure that Philadelphia
should be the green town he thought it ought to be and that men and
women, whatever their appointed task, should have decent houses to live
in. He had the common-sense to understand that his colonists would be
the sturdier and the better equipped for the work they had to do if they
lived like men and not like beasts, and that a town as far south as
Philadelphia called for many gardens and much green shade. The most
beautiful architecture is that which grows logically out of the needs of
the people. That is why Penn's city as he designed it was and is a
beautiful city, to which English and German town reformers should come
for the hints Philadelphians are so misguided as to seek from them.

I could not meet Penn in his pleasant streets and miss the succession of
Friends who took over the responsibility of ensuring life and reality to
his design, not allowing it, like Wren's in London, to lapse into a
half-forgotten archaeological curiosity. Personally. I knew nothing of
the Friends and envied J. who did because he was one of them, as I never
could be, as nobody, not born to it, can. I had seen them, as alas! they
are seen no longer: quiet, dignified men in broad-brimmed hats,
sweet-faced women in delicate greys and browns, filling our streets in
the spring at the time of Yearly Meeting. Once or twice I had seen them
at home, the women in white caps and fichus, quiet and composed, sitting
peacefully in their old-time parlours simple and bare but filled with
priceless Sheraton or Chippendale. They looked, both in the open streets
and at their own firesides, so placid, so detached from the world's
cares, it had not occurred to me that they could be the makers of the
town's beauty and the sinews of its strength. But in my new mood I could
nowhere get far from them.

Ghosts of the early Friends haunted the old streets and the old houses
and, mingling with them, were ghosts of the World's People who had lost
no time in coming to share their town and ungraciously abuse the
privilege. The air was thick with association. J. and I walked in an
atmosphere of the past, delightfully conscious of it but never troubling
to reduce it to dry facts. We could not have been as young as we were
and not scorn any approach to pedantry, not as lief do without ghosts as
to grub them up out of the Philadelphia Library or the Historical
Society. We left it to the antiquary to say just where the first Friends
landed and the corner-stone of their first building was laid, just in
which Third Street house Washington once danced, in which Front Street
house Bishop White once lived. It was for the belated Boswell, not for
us, to follow step by step the walks abroad of Penn, or Franklin, or any
of our town's great men. It was no more necessary to be historians in
order to feel the charm of the past than to be architects in order to
feel the charm of the houses, and for no amount of exact knowledge would
we have exchanged the romance which enveloped us.


Could I have put into words some of the emotion I felt in gathering
together my material, what an article I would have made! But my words
came with difficulty, and indeed I have never had the "ready pen" of the
journalist, always I have been shy in expressing emotion of any kind. No
reader could have guessed from my article my enthusiasm as I wrote it.
But at least it did get written and my pleasure in it was not disturbed
by doubt. I was too enthralled by what I had to say to realize that I
had not managed to say it at all.


With the publication of the article our task was at an end, but not our
walks together. J. and I had got into the habit of them, it was a
pleasant habit, we saw no reason to give it up.

Sometimes we walked with new work as an object. There were articles
about Philadelphia for _Our Continent_. We called it work--learning
Romany--when we both walked with my Uncle up Broad Street to Oakdale
Park, and through Camden and beyond to the Reservoir, where the Gypsies
camped, and made Camden in my eyes, not the refuge of all in doubt,
debt, or despair as its traditions have described it, but a rival in
romance of Bagdad or Samarcand. When we walked still further, taking the
train to help us out, to near country towns for the autumn fairs, never
missing a side show, we called this the search for local colour, and I
filled note-books with notes. Sometimes we walked for no more practical
purpose than pleasure in Philadelphia. And we could walk for days, we
could walk for miles, and exhaust neither the pleasure nor the town that
I once fancied I knew by heart if I walked from Market to Pine and from
the Delaware to the Schuylkill.

I remember as a remarkable incident my discovery of the suburbs. With
the prejudice borrowed from my Father, I had cultivated for all
suburbs something of the large sweeping contempt which, in the
Eighteen-Nineties, Henley and the _National Observer_, carrying on the
tradition of Thackeray, made it the fashion to profess for the suburbs
of London. West Philadelphia and Germantown were no less terms of
opprobrium in my mouth than Clapham and Brixton in Henley's. But Henley,
though it was a mistake to insist upon Clapham with its beautiful Common
and old houses and dignified air, was expressing his splendid scorn of
the second-rate, the provincial, in art and in letters. I was only
expressing, parrot-like, a pose that did not belong to me, but to my
Father in whose outlook upon life and things there was a whimsical
touch, and who carried off' his prejudices with humour.


I was the more foolish in this because few towns, if any, have lovelier
suburbs than Philadelphia. Their loveliness is another part of our
inheritance from William Penn who set no limits to his dream of a green
country town, and from the old Friends who, in deference to his desire,
lined not only their streets but their roads with trees. This is only
as it should be, I thought when, reading the letters of John Adams, I
came upon his description of the road to Kensington and beyond,
"straight as the streets of Philadelphia, on each side ... beautiful
rows of trees, button-woods, oaks, walnuts, cherries, and willows." In
our time, scarcely a road out of Philadelphia is without the same
beautiful rows, if not the same variety in the trees, and while much of
the open country it ran through in John Adams' day has been built up
with town and suburban houses, the trees still line it on each side.
Everybody knows the beauty of the leafy roads of the Main Line, quite a
correct thing to know, the Main Line being the refuge of the
Philadelphian pushed out of "Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce and Pine" by
business and the Russian Jew combined. But the Main Line has not the
monopoly of suburban beauty, though it may of suburban fashion. The Main
Street in Germantown, with its peaceful old grey stone houses and great
overshadowing trees, has no rival at home or abroad, and I have seen as
commonplace a street as Walnut in West Philadelphia, its uninteresting
houses screened behind the two long lines of trees, become in the golden
light of a summer afternoon as stately an avenue as any at Versailles or
St. Germain.

Not only the trees, but the past went with us to Germantown. Has any
other American suburb so many old houses to boast? Stenton, the Chew
House, the Johnson House, the Morris House, the Wistar House, Wyck--are
there any other Colonial houses with nobler interiors, statelier
furniture, sweeter gardens? I recall the pillared hall of Chew House,
the finely proportioned entrance and stairway of Stenton, the garden of
Wyck as I last saw it--rather overgrown, heavy with the perfume of roses
and syringa, the June sun low behind the tall trees that stand close to
the wall along Walnut Lane;--I recall the memories clustering about
those old historic homes, about every lane and road and path, and I
wonder that Germantown is not one of the show places of the world. But
the foreigner, to whom Philadelphia is a station between New York and
Washington or New York and Chicago, has never heard of it, nor has the
rest of America to whom Philadelphia is the junction for Atlantic City.
With the exception of Stenton, the old Germantown houses are for use,
not for show, still lived in by the families who have lived in them from
the beginning, and I love them too well to want to see them overtaken by
the fate of sights starred in Baedeker, even while I wonder why they
have escaped.

At times J. and I walked in the green valley of the Wissahickon, along
the well-kept road past the old white taverns, with wide galleries and
suppers of cat-fish and waffles, which had not lost their pleasant
primitiveness to pass themselves off as rural Rumpelmeyers where ladies
stop for afternoon tea. Can the spring be fairer anywhere than in and
around Philadelphia when wistaria blossoms on every wall and the country
is white with dogwood? Often we wandered in the Wissahickon woods, by
narrow footpaths up the low hillsides, so often that, wherever I may
be, certain effects of brilliant sunshine filtering through the pale
green of early spring foliage will send me straight back to the
Wissahickon and to the days when I could not walk in Philadelphia or its
suburbs and not strike gold at every step. And the Wissahickon was but
one small section of the Park, of which the corrupt government
Philadelphia loves to rail at made the largest and fairest, at once the
wildest and most wisely laid-out playground, in America. Will a reform
Government, with all its boasting, do as much for Philadelphia? I had
skimmed the surface only on those boating parties up the river and those
walking parties in the starlit or moonlit shade. Wide undiscovered
stretches lay off the beaten track, and the mansions of the
Park--Strawberry, Belmont, Mount Pleasant--were well stocked, not only
with lemonade and cake and peanuts, with croquettes and chicken salad,
but with beauty and associations for those who knew how to give the
order. And, greater marvel, beauty--classic beauty--was to be had even
in the Fairmount Water Works that, after I left school, I had looked
down upon as a childish entertainment provided for the holidays, beneath
the consideration of my maturer years.


Of all our walks, none was better than the walk to Bartram's on the
banks of the Schuylkill beyond Gray's Ferry. It seemed very far then,
before the trolley passed by its gate, and before the rows of little
two-story houses had begun to extend towards it like the greedy
tentacles of the great town. The City Government had not taken it over,
it was not so well looked after. The old grey stone house, with the
stone tablet on its walls bearing witness that his Lord was adored by
John Bartram, had not yet been turned into a museum. I am not sure
whether the trees around it--the trees collected from far and near--were
learnedly labelled as they are now. The garden had grown wild, the
thicket below was a wilderness. It is right that the place should be
cared for. The city could not afford to lose the beauty one of its most
famous citizens, who was one of the most famous botanists of his day,
built up, and his family preserved, for it, and when I returned I
welcomed the sign this new care gave of Philadelphia's interest, so long
in the awakening. But Bartram's was more beautiful in its neglect, as an
old church is more beautiful before the restorer pulls down the ivy and
scrapes and polishes the stone. Many were the Sunday afternoons J. and I
spent there, and many the hours we sat talking on the little bench at
the lower end of the wilderness, where we looked out on the river and
planned new articles.

[Illustration: BARTRAM'S]

When our walks together had become too strong a habit to be broken and
we decided to make the habit one for life, we went back again and again
to Bartram's and on that same little bench, looking out upon the river,
we planned work for the long years we hoped were ahead of us: perhaps
seeing the future in the more glowing colours for the contrast with the
past about us, the ashes of the life and beauty from which our phoenix
was to soar. The work then planned carried and kept us thousands of
miles away, but it belongs none the less to the old scenes, where it was
inspired, and I like to think that, though the chances of this work have
made us exiles for years, the memory of our life as we have lived it is
inseparable from the memory of Bartram's or, indeed, of Philadelphia
which, through work, I learned to see and to love.



On the principle that nothing interests a man--or a woman--so much as
shop, I had no sooner begun to write than I saw Philadelphia divided not
between the people who could and could not go to the Assembly and the
Dancing Class, but between the people who could and could not write;
and, after I began to write for illustration, between the people who
could and could not paint and draw. It had never before occurred to me
to look for art and literature in Philadelphia.


At that time, you had, literally, to look for the literature to find it.
Philadelphia, with its usual reticence and conscientiousness in
preventing any Philadelphian from becoming a prophet in Philadelphia,
had hidden its literary, with its innumerable other, lights under a
bushel, content itself to know they were there, if nobody else did. As
towns, like men, are apt to be accepted at their own valuation, most
Americans would then have thought it about as useful to look for snakes
in Ireland as for literature in Philadelphia. I am not sure that the
Philadelphian did not agree with them. Recently, I have heard him, in
his new zeal for Philadelphia, talk as if it were the biggest literary
thing on earth, the headquarters of letters in the United States, a
boast which I am told Indianapolis also makes and, as far as I am
concerned, can keep on making undisputed, for I do not believe in
measuring literature like so much sheet iron or calico. But no matter
what we have come to in Philadelphia, in the old days the Philadelphian
seldom gave his lions a chance to roar at home or paid the least
attention to them if they tried to. I rather think he would have
affected to share the Western Congressman's opinion of "them literary
fellers" when the literary fellers came from his native town.

But the Philadelphian must have done a great deal of reading to judge by
the number of public libraries in the town,--the Philadelphia Library,
the Ridgway, the Mercantile, the Free Public Library, the University
Library, the Bryn Mawr College Library, the Friends' Germantown Library,
the Library of the Historical Society, and no doubt dozens I know
nothing about--and there were always collectors from the days of Logan
and Dr. Rush to those of Mr. Widener, George C. Thomas and Governor
Pennypacker. But the Philadelphia reading man never talked books and the
Philadelphia collector never vaunted and advertised his treasures, as he
does now that collecting is correct. The average man kept his books out
of sight. I remember few in my Grandfather's house, and not a bookcase
from top to bottom--few in any other house except my Father's. But I
know that many people had books and a library set apart to read them in,
and I have been astonished since to see the large collections in houses
where of old I had never noticed or suspected their presence. The
Philadelphian was as reticent about his books and his pleasure in them
as about everything else, with the result that he got the credit for
neither, even at home. This had probably something to do with the fact
that though, as far back as I can remember, I had had a fancy for books
and for reading, I grew up with the idea that for literature, as for
beauty, the Atlantic had to be crossed, that it was not in the nature of
things for Philadelphia to have had a literary past, to claim a literary
present, or to hope for a literary future. But as I had discovered my
mistake about the beauty during those walks with J., so in my modest
stall in the literary shop, I learned how far out I had been about the
literature. It was the same story over again. I had only to get
interested, and there was everything in the world to interest me.


There was the past, for Philadelphia had had a literary past, and not at
all an empty past, but one full of the romance of effort and pride of
achievement. Because Philadelphians did not begin to write the minute
they landed on the banks of the Delaware, some wise people argue that
Friends were then, as now, unliterary. But what of William Penn, whose
writings have become classics? What of Thomas Elwood, the friend of
Milton? What of George Fox who, if unlettered, was a born writer no less
than Bunyan? Friends did not write and publish books right off in
Philadelphia for the same excellent reason that other Colonists did not
in other Colonial towns. Living was an absorbing business that left them
no time for writing, and printing presses and publishers' offices and
book stores did not strike them as immediate necessities in the
wilderness. It was not out of consideration that the early Philadelphia
Friends bequeathed nothing to the now sadly overladen shelves of the
British Museum and the Library of Congress.

When leisure came Philadelphians were readier to devote it to science.
According to Mr. Sydney Fisher, Pennsylvania has done more for science
than any other State: a subject upon which my profound ignorance bids me
be silent. But science did not keep them altogether from letters. No
people ever had a greater itch for writing. Look at the length of their
correspondence, the minuteness of their diaries. And they broke into
poetry on the slightest provocation. Authorities say that no real poem
appeared in America before 1800, but the blame lies not alone with
Philadelphia. It did what it could. Boston may boast of Anne Bradstreet
who was rhyming before most New Englanders had time for reading, but so
could Philadelphia brag of Deborah Logan--if Philadelphia ever bragged
of anything Philadelphian--and I am willing to believe there is no great
difference between the two poetesses without labouring through their
verses to prove myself wrong. And the Philadelphian was as prolific as
any other Colonial in horrible doggerel to his mistress's hoops and
bows, to her tears and canary birds. And as far as I know, only a
Philadelphian among Colonial poets is immortalized in the Dunciad,
though possibly Ralph, Franklin's friend to whom the honour fell, would
rather have been forgotten than remembered solely because his howls to
Cynthia made night hideous for Pope. And where else did the young men so
soon form themselves into little groups to discourse seriously upon
literature and kindred matters, as they walked sedately in the woods
along the Schuylkill? Where else was there so soon a society--a
junto--devoted to learning?

In innumerable ways I could see, once I could see anything, how
Philadelphia was preparing itself all along for literary pursuits and
accomplishment. Let me brag a little, if Philadelphia won't. Wasn't it
in Germantown that the first paper mill of the Colonies was set up?
Wasn't it there that the New Testament was printed in German--and went
into seven editions--before any other Colony had the enterprise to print
it in English, so that Saur's Testament is now a treasure for the
collector? Isn't it maintained by some authorities, if others dispute
it, that the first Bible in English was published in Philadelphia by
Robert Aitken, at "Pope's Head above the Coffee House, in Market
Street"? And Philadelphia issued the first American daily paper, the
most important of the first American reviews, the most memorable Almanac
of Colonial days--can any other compete with Poor Richard's? And
Philadelphia opened the first Circulating Library--the Philadelphia
Library is no benevolent upstart of to-day. And Philadelphia publishers
were for years the most go-ahead and responsible--who did not know the
names of Cary, Lea, Blanchard, Griggs, Lippincott, knew nothing of the
publishing trade. And Philadelphia book stores, with Lippincott's
leading, were the best patronized. And Philadelphia had the monopoly of
the English book trade, with Thomas Wardle to direct it. And
Philadelphia held its own views on copyright and stuck to them in the
face of opposition for years--whether right or wrong does not matter,
the thing is that it cared enough to have views. There is a record for
you! Why the literary man had only to appear, and Philadelphia was all
swept and garnished for his comfort and convenience.


And the literary man did appear, with amazing promptness under the
circumstances. When the demand was for political writers, Philadelphia
supplied Franklin, Dickinson, and a whole host of others, until it is
all the Historical Society of Pennsylvania can do to cope with their
pamphlets. When the demand was for native fiction, Philadelphia produced
the first American novelist, Charles Brockden Brown, and if
Philadelphians do not read him in our day, Shelley did in his, which
ought to be as much fame as any pioneer could ask for. When the need was
for an American Cookery Book, Philadelphia presented Miss Leslie to the
public who received her with such appreciation that, in the First
Edition, she is harder to find than Mrs. Glasse. When, with the years,
the past rose in value, Philadelphia gave to America an antiquary, and
John Watson, with his Annals, set a fashion in Philadelphia that had to
wait a good half century for followers. And when the writer was
multiplied all over the country and the reader with him, Philadelphia
provided the periodical, the annual, the parlour-table book, that the
one wrote for and the other subscribed to--an endless succession of
them: _The Casket_, _The Gift_, _The Souvenir_, which I have no desire
to disturb on their obscure shelves; the _Philadelphia Saturday Museum_,
and _Burton's Gentleman's Magazine_, to me the emptiest of empty names;
_Sartain's Union Magazine_, which I might as well be honest and say I
have never seen; _Graham's_, in its prime, unrivalled, unapproached;
_Godey's Lady's Book_, offering its pages alike to the newest verse and
the latest mode, the popular magazine that every American saw at his
dentist's or his doctor's, edited by Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, for a
woman, then as always, could get where she chose, if she had the mind
to, without the help of arson and suicide; _Peterson's_, which I recall
only in its title; _Lippincott's_, in my time the literary test or
standard in Philadelphia and scrupulously taken in by the Philadelphia
householder. I can see it still, lying soberly on the centre table in
the back parlour of the Eleventh and Spruce Street house, never defaced
or thumbed, I fancy seldom opened, but like everything in the house,
like my Grandfather himself, a type, a symbol of Philadelphia
respectability. It was as much an obligation for the respectable
Philadelphia citizen to subscribe to _Lippincott's_ as to belong to the
Historical Society, to be a member of the Philadelphia Library, to buy
books for Christmas presents at Lippincott's or Porter and Coates'. The
Philadelphian, who had no particular use for a book as a book or, if he
had, kept the fact to himself, was content to parade it as an ornament,
and no parlour was without its assortment of pretty and expensive
parlour-table books, received as Christmas presents, and as purely
ornamental as the pictures on the wall and the vases on the mantelpiece.
I know one Philadelphian who carried this decorative use of books still
further and nailed them to the ceiling to explain that the room they
decorated was a library, which nobody would have suspected for a moment,
as they were the only volumes in it.

For the man who had a living to make out of literature, Philadelphia was
a good place, not to come away from, but to go to, and a number of
American men of letters did go, though I need hardly add Philadelphia
made as little of the fact as possible. In Philadelphia Washington
Irving, sometimes called America's first literary man, published his
books, but truth compels me to admit that he fared better when he handed
them over to Putnam in New York; though of late years, the Lippincotts
have done much to atone for the old failure by their successful issues
of _The Alhambra_ and _The Traveller_. To Philadelphia magazines, N. P.
Willis, and there was no more popular American writer, pledged himself
for months ahead. To Philadelphia, Lowell came from Boston to get work.
Poe deserted Richmond and the South for Philadelphia, where he
contributed to Philadelphia magazines, edited them, planned new ones,
while Philadelphia waited until he was well out of the world to know
that he ever had lived there. Altogether, when I came upon the scene,
Philadelphia had had a highly creditable literary past, and was having a
highly creditable literary present, and, in pursuance of its invariable
policy, was making no fuss about it.


As I look back, the three most conspicuous figures of this literary
present were Charles Godfrey Leland, George Boker and Walt Whitman. All
three were past middle age, they had done most of their important work,
they had gained an international reputation. But that of course made no
difference to Philadelphia. I doubt if it had heard of George Boker as a
man of letters, though it knew him politically and also socially, as he
had not lost his interest in society and the Philadelphia Club. My
Uncle, having no use for society in Philadelphia and saying so with his
accustomed vigour, and not having busied himself with politics for many
years, was ignored unreservedly. Walt Whitman, who probably would not
have been considered eligible for the Assembly and the Dancing Class
had he condescended to know of their existence, did not exist socially,
and it is a question if he would have collected round him his ardent
worshippers from Philadelphia had he not had the advantage of having
been born somewhere else. If I am not mistaken, this worship had not
begun in my time, when he was more apt to receive a visitor from London
or Boston than from Philadelphia.


The fact that it was my good fortune to know these three men contributed
considerably to my new and pleasant feeling of self-importance. When I
wrote the life of my Uncle a few years ago, I had much to say of him and
my relations with him at this period, and I do not want to repeat
myself. But I can no more leave him out of my recollections of literary
Philadelphia than out of my personal reminiscences. When he entered so
intimately into my life he was nearer sixty than fifty, but he had lost
nothing of his vigour nor of his physical beauty--tall, large,
long-bearded, a fine profile, the eyes of the seer. He was fastidious in
dress, with a leaning to light greys and browns, and a weakness for
canes which he preferred thin and elegant. I remember his favourite was
black and had an altogether unfashionable silver, ruby-eyed dragon for
handle. On occasions to which it was appropriate, he wore a silk hat; on
others, more informal, he exchanged it for a large soft felt--a modified
cowboy hat--which suited him better, though he would not have forgiven
me had I had the courage to say so to his face, his respect for the
conventions, always great, having been intensified during his long
residence in England. It seems superfluous to add that he could not pass
unnoticed in Philadelphia streets, which did not run to cowboy hats or
dragon-handled canes or any deviations from the approved Philadelphia
dress. Nor did his fancy for peering into shop windows make him less
conspicuous, and as his daily walk was hardly complete if it did not
lead to his buying something in the shop, were it only a five-cent bit
of modern blue-and-white Japanese china, this meant that before his
purchase was handed over to me, as it usually was, his pleasure being
not in the possession but in the buying, he had parcels to carry, a
shocking breach of good manners in Philadelphia. In his company
therefore I became a conspicuous figure myself, and I was often his
companion in the streets; but to this I had no objection, having been
inconspicuous far too long for my taste.


He had written his _Breitmann Ballads_ years before when the verse of no
other American of note--unless it was Longfellow's and Whittier's and
Lowell's in the _Biglow Papers_--had had so wide a circulation. He had
also published one or two of his Gypsy books, never surpassed except by
Borrow. And he was engaged in endless new tasks--more Gypsy papers, Art
in the Schools, Indian Legends, Comic Ballads, Essays on Education, and
I did not mind what since my excitement was in being admitted for the
first time into the companionship of a man who devoted himself to
writing, to whom writing was business, who sat down at his desk after
breakfast and wrote as my Father after breakfast went down to his office
and bought and sold stocks, who never stopped except for his daily walk,
who got back to work if there was a free hour before dinner and who,
after dinner, read until he went to bed. Moreover, he had brought with
him the aroma, as it were, of the literary life in London. He had met
many of the people who, because they had written books, were my heroes.
Here would have been literature enough to transfigure Philadelphia had I
known no other writers.


But, through him, I did know others. First of all, George Boker with
whom, however, I could not pretend to friendship or more than the barest
acquaintance. In the streets he was as noticeable a figure as my Uncle,
though given neither to cowboy hats and dragon-handled canes nor to
peering into shop windows and carrying parcels. Like my Uncle, he was
taller than the average man, and handsomer, his white hair and white
military moustache giving him a more distinguished air, I fancy, in his
old age than was his in his youth. His smile was of the kindliest, the
characteristic I remember best. He had returned from his appointments as
Minister to Russia and Turkey and had given up active political and
diplomatic life. He had written most of his poems, if not all,
including the _Francesca da Rimini_ which Lawrence Barrett was shortly
afterwards to put on the stage, and he impressed me as a man who had had
his fill of life and work and adventure and was content to settle down
to the comforts of Philadelphia. He and my Uncle, who had been friends
from boyhood or babyhood, spent every Sunday afternoon together. My
Uncle had large spacious rooms on the ground floor of a house in South
Broad Street where the Philadelphia Art Club now is, and there George
Boker came Sunday after Sunday and there, if I dropped in, I saw him. I
had the discretion never to stay long, for I realized that their
intimate free talk was valued too much by both for them to care to have
it interrupted. I can remember nothing he ever said--I have an idea he
was a man who did not talk a great deal, while my Uncle did; my memory
is of his kindly smile and my sense that here was one of the literary
friendships I had read of in books. So, I thought, might Dr. Johnson and
Goldsmith have met and talked, or Lamb and Coleridge, and Broad Street
seemed tinged with the romance that I took for granted coloured the
Temple in London and Gough Square.


Through my Uncle I also met Walt Whitman, and he impressed me still more
with the romance of literature. He was so unexpected in Philadelphia,
for which I claim him in his last years, Camden being little more than a
suburb, whatever Camden itself may think. I could almost have imagined
that it was for the humour of the thing he came to settle where his very
appearance was an offence to the proprieties. George Boker was
scrupulously correct. My Uncle's hat and dragon-handled cane only seemed
to emphasize his inborn Philadelphia shrinking from eccentricity. But
Walt Whitman, from top to toe, proclaimed the man who did not bother to
think of the conventions, much less respect them. You saw it in his long
white hair and long white beard, in his loose light grey clothes, in the
soft white shirt unlaundered and open at the neck, in the tall, formless
grey hat like no hat ever worn in Philadelphia. To have been stopped by
him on Chestnut Street--a street he loved--would have filled me with
confusion and shame in the days before literature had become my shop.
But once literature blocked my horizon, to be stopped by him lifted me
up to the seventh heaven. If people turned to look, and Philadelphians
never grew quite accustomed to his presence, my pleasure was the
greater. I took it for a visible sign that I was known, recognized, and
accepted in the literary world. And what a triumph in streets where, of
old, life had appalled me by its emptiness of incident!

In one way or another I saw a good deal of Walt Whitman, but most
frequently by the chance which increased the picturesqueness of the
meeting. I called on him in the Camden house described many times by
many people: in my memory, a little house, the room where I was received
simple and bare, the one ornament as unexpected there as Walt Whitman
himself in Philadelphia, for it was an old portrait, dark and dingy, of
an ancestor; and I wondered if an ancestor so ancient as to grow dark
and dingy in a frame did not make it easier to play the democrat and
call every man comrade--or _Camerado_, I should say, as Walt Whitman
said, with his curious fondness for foreign words and sounds. But though
I saw him at home, he is more associated in my memory with the
ferry-boat for Camden when my Uncle and I were on our way to the Gypsy's
camping place near the reservoir; and with the corner of Front and
Market and the bootblack's big chair by the Italian's candy and fruit
stand where he loved to sit, and where I loved to see him, though,
Philadelphian at heart, I trembled for his audacity; and with the Market
Street horse-car, where he was already settled in his corner before it
started and where the driver and the conductor, passing through, nodded
to him and called him "Walt," and where he was as happy as the modern
poet in his sixty-horse-power car. He was happiest when sitting out in
front with the driver, and I have rarely been as proud as the afternoon
he gave up that privileged seat to stay with my Uncle and myself inside.
His greeting was always charming. He would take a hand of each of us,
hold the two in his for a minute or so beaming upon us, never saying
very much. I remember his leading us once, with our hands still in his,
from the fruit-stand to the tobacconist's opposite to point out to my
Uncle the wooden figure of an Indian at the door, for which he professed
a great admiration as an example of the art of the people before they
were trained in the Minor Arts.


These chance meetings were always the best, and he told us that he
thought them so, that he loved his accidental meetings with
friends--there were many he prized among his most valued reminiscences.
And I remember his story of Longfellow having gone over to Camden
purposely to call on him, and not finding him at home, and their running
into each other on the ferry-boat to Market Street, and Longfellow
saying that he had come from the house deeply disappointed, regretting
the long quiet talk he had hoped for, but deciding that perhaps the
strange chance of the meeting on the water was better. My Uncle, had he
been hurrying to catch a train, would still have managed to talk
philosophy and art education. But I remember Walt Whitman also saying
that the ferry and the corner of Market Street and the Market Street car
were hardly places for abstract discussion, though the few things said
there were the less easily forgotten for being snatched joyfully by the

It was one day in the Market Street car that he and my Uncle had the
talk which left with me the profoundest impression. As a rule I was too
engrossed in thinking what a great person I was, when in such company,
to shine as a reporter. But on this occasion the subject was the School
of Industrial Arts in which I was giving my Uncle the benefit of my
incompetent assistance. He asked Walt Whitman to come and see it,
telling him a little of its aims and methods. Whitman refused, amiably
but positively. I cannot recall his exact words, but I gathered from
them that he had no sympathy with schemes savouring of benevolence or
reform, that he believed in leaving people to work out their own
salvation, and this, coming as it did after I had seen for myself the
terms he was on with the driver and conductor, expressed more eloquently
than his verse his definition of democracy. I may be mistaken, but I
thought then and have ever since that his belief in the people carried
him to the point of thinking they knew better than the philanthropist
what they needed and did not need. My Uncle was not of accord with him
and I, who am neither democrat nor philanthropist, would not pretend to
decide between them. My Uncle did not like Walt Whitman's attitude and
refusal, convinced as he was of the good to the people that was to come
of the reform he was initiating, though he was constitutionally
incapable of meeting the people he was reforming on equal terms. The
twinkle in Walt Whitman's eye when he refused gave me the clue to the
large redeeming humour with which he looked upon a foolish world, seeing
each individual in the place appointed, right in it, fitting into it,
unfit for any other he did not make for himself of his own desire and
courage--the humour without which the human tragedy would not be

I wish I could have had more talk with Whitman, I wish I had been older
or more experienced, that I might have got nearer to him--or so I felt
in those old days. I have now an idea that his silence was more
effective than his speech, that if he had said more to any of his
devoted following he might have been less of a prophet. But his tranquil
presence was in itself sufficient to open a new outlook, and it
reconciled me to the scheme of the universe for good or for ill. His
personality impressed me far more than his poems. It seemed to me to
explain them, to interpret them, as nothing else could--his few words of
greeting worth pages of the critic's eloquent analysis.



I had glimpses into other literary vistas, but mostly from a respectful
and highly appreciative distance. How I wish I could recapture even as
much as the shadow of the old rapturous awe with which any man or woman
who had ever made a book inspired me!


There was reason for awe when the man was Dr. Horace Howard Furness, the
editor of Shakespeare, and if Philadelphia knew its duty better than to
draw attention to so scholarly a performance by a Philadelphian,
scholars out of Philadelphia, who were not hampered by Philadelphia
conventions, hailed it as the best edition of Shakespeare there could
be. I must always regret that in his case I succeeded in having no more
than the glimpse. Most of my literary introductions came through my
Uncle who, though he knew Dr. Furness, saw less and less of him as time
went on, partly I think because of one of those small misunderstandings
that are more unpardonable than the big offences--certainly they were to
my Uncle. Dr. Furness' father, old Dr. Furness the Unitarian Minister,
meeting him in the street one day, asked him gaily, but I have no doubt
with genuine interest, how his fad, the school, was getting on. My
Uncle, who could not stand having an enterprise so serious to him
treated lightly by others, retorted by asking Dr. Furness how his fad
the pulpit was getting on. The result was coolness. The chances are that
Dr. Furness never realized the enormity of which he had been guilty, but
my Uncle could neither forget his jest nor forgive him and his family
for it. And his heart was not softened until many years afterwards, when
in far Florence he heard that Dr. Furness wished for his return to
Philadelphia that he might vindicate his claim, in danger of being
overlooked, as the first to have introduced the study of the Minor Arts
into the Public Schools.

Mrs. Wister was another Philadelphia literary celebrity whose work had
made her known to all America by name, the only way she was known to me.
It was my loss, for they say she was more charming than her work. But to
Philadelphia no charm of personality, no popularity of work, could shed
lustre upon her name, which was her chief glory: literature was honoured
when a Wister stooped to its practice. On her translations of German
novels, Philadelphians of my generation were brought up. After _Faith
Gartney's Girlhood_ and _Queechy_ and _The Wide, Wide World_, no tales
were considered so innocuous for the young, not yet provided with the
mild and exemplary adventures of the tedious Elsie. Would the _Old
Mam'selle's Secret_ survive re-reading, I wonder? The favourites of
yesterday have a way of turning into the bores of to-day. Not long ago I
tried re-reading Scott whom in my youth I adored, but his once
magnificent heroes had dwindled into puppets, their brilliant exploits
into the empty bombast of Drury Lane and Wardour Street. If Scott cannot
stand the test, what hope for the other old loves? I risk no more lost

From no less a distance I looked to Mrs. Rebecca Harding Davis who, with
Mrs. Wister, helped to supply the country with fiction, in her case
original, while her son, Richard Harding Davis, was on the sensational
brink of his career. And again from a distance I looked to Frank
Stockton, with no idea that he was a Philadelphia celebrity--very likely
every other Philadelphian was as ignorant, but that is no excuse for me.
I had not found him out as my fellow citizen when I saw much of him some
years later in London, nor did I find it out until recently when,
distrustful of my Philadelphia tendency to look the other way if
Philadelphians are distinguishing themselves, I consulted the
authorities to make sure how great or how small was my knowledge of
Philadelphia literature. From all this it will be seen that in those
remote days I was very much on the literary outside in Philadelphia, but
with the luck there to run up against some of the giants.

Into the vista of the poets chance gave me one brief but more intimate
glimpse. In a Germantown house--I am puzzled at this day to say whose--I
was introduced one evening to Mrs. Florence Earle Coates and Dr. Francis
Howard Williams, both already laurel-crowned, at a small gathering over
which Walt Whitman presided. In his grey coat and soft shirt I remember
he struck me as more dressed than the guests in their evening clothes,
but I remember he also struck me as less at home in the worshipping
parlour than in the bootblack's corner. The eloquence of his presence
stands out in my memory vividly, though I have forgotten the name of the
host or hostess to whom I am indebted for enjoying it, and I think it
must have been then that I began to suspect there was more of a literary
life in Philadelphia than I had imagined. I had no opportunity to get
further than my suspicion, for it was very shortly after that J. and I
undertook to carry out the plans we had been making on the old bench by
the river in Bartram's Garden. Walt Whitman I never saw again, and of
the group assembled about him nothing for many years.


I came into closer contact with writers to whom literature and
journalism were not merely a method of expression, but a means of
livelihood. Philadelphia, with its magazines, as with so much else, had
shown the way and other towns had lost no time in following and getting
ahead. New York was in the magazine ascendant. _The Century_ and
_Harper's_ had replaced _Graham's_ and _Godey's Lady's Book_ and
_Peterson's_. But _Lippincott's_ remained, and though the Editor, after
his cruel letter of refusal, never deigned to notice me, it was some
satisfaction to have been in actual correspondence with an author as
distinguished as John Foster Kirk, the historian of Charles the Bold.
When _Our Continent_ was labouring to revive the old tradition of
Philadelphia as a centre of publishers and periodicals, I got as far as
the editorial office--very far indeed in my opinion--and there once or
twice I saw Judge Tourgee, who had abandoned his reconstructive mission
and judicial duties for an editorial post in Philadelphia, and who at
the moment was more talked about than any American author, his _Fool's
Errand_ having given him the sort of fame that _Looking Backward_
brought to Bellamy: ephemeral, but colossal while it lasted. Curiously,
I recall nothing of the man himself--not his appearance, his manner, his
talk. I think it must have been because, for me, he was overshadowed by
his Art Editor, Miss Emily Sartain; my interest in him eclipsed by my
admiration for her and my envy of a woman, so young and so handsome, who
had attained to such an influential and responsible post. I thought if I
ever should reach half way up so stupendous a height, I could die
content. Louise Stockton, Frank Stockton's sister, and Helen Campbell
were on the staff, in my eyes amazing women with regular weekly tasks
and regular weekly salaries. I might argue for my comfort that there was
greater liberty in being a free lance, but how wonderful to do work that
an editor wanted every week, was willing to pay for every
week!--wonderful to me, anyway, who had just had my first taste of
earning an income, but not of earning it regularly and without fail. My
Uncle wrote more than once for Tourgee; J. and I contributed those
articles which were further excuses for our walks together: Judge
Tourgee, to his own loss, thinking it a recommendation for a contributor
to be a Philadelphian as he would not have thought had he known his
Philadelphia better. _Our Continent_ was too Philadelphian to be
approved in Philadelphia or to be in demand out of it. One symbol of
literary respectability the town had in _Lippincott's_, and one was as
much as it could then support. _Our Continent_ came to an end either
just before or just after J. and I set out on our travels. There were
other women in journalism who excited my envy. Mrs. Lucy Hooper's
letters to the _Evening Telegraph_ struck me as the last and finest word
in foreign correspondence. I never, even upon closer acquaintance, lost
my awe of Mrs. Sarah Hallowell who was intimately associated with the
_Ledger_, or of Miss Julia Ewing, though her association with the same
paper had nothing to do with its literary side.


Now and then I was stirred to the depths by my glimpse of writers from
other parts of the world. It was only when a prophet was a home product
that Philadelphia kept its eyes tight shut; when the prophet came from
another town it opened them wide, and its arms wider than its eyes, and
showed him what a strenuous business it was to be the victim of
Philadelphia hospitality. It was rather pleased if the prophet happened
to be a lord, or had a handle of some kind to his name, but an author
would answer for want of something better, especially if he came from
abroad. No Englishman on a lecture tour was allowed to pass by

Immediately on his arrival, the distinguished visitor was appropriated
by George W. Childs, who had undertaken to play in Philadelphia the part
of the Lord Mayor in the City of London and do the town's official
entertaining, and who was known far and wide for it--"he has entertained
all the English who come over here," Matthew Arnold wrote home of him,
and visitors of every other nationality could have written the same of
their own people passing through Philadelphia. You would meet him in the
late afternoon, fresh from the _Ledger_ office, strolling up Chestnut
Street of which he was another of the conspicuous figures--not because
of any personal beauty, but because he did not believe in the
Philadelphia practice of hiding one's light under a bushel, and had
managed to make himself known by sight to every other man and woman in
the street; just as old Richard Vaux was; or old "Aunt Ad" Thompson,
everybody's aunt, in her brilliant finery, growing ever more brilliant
with years; or that distinguished lawyer, Ben Brewster, "Burnt-faced
Brewster," whose genius for the law made every one forget the terrible
marks a fire in his childhood had left upon his face. Philadelphia would
not have been Philadelphia without these familiar figures. Childs seldom
appeared on Chestnut Street without Tony Drexel, straight from some big
operation on the Stock Exchange, the two representing all that was most
successful in the newspaper and banking world of Philadelphia: their
friendship now commemorated in that new combination of names as
familiar to the new and changing generation as Cadwallader-Biddle was to
the old and changeless. Between them it was the exception when there was
not an emperor, or a prince, or an author, or an actor, or some other
variety of a distinguished visitor being put through his paces and shown
life in Philadelphia, on the way to the house of one or the other and to
the feast prepared in his honour. At the feast, if there was speaking to
be done, it was invariably Wayne MacVeagh who did it. As I was not
greatly in demand at public functions, I heard him but once--a memorable
occasion which did not, however, impress me with the brilliance of his

Matthew Arnold, the latest distinguished visitor, was to lecture, and I
had been looking forward to the evening with an ardour for which alas! I
have lost the faculty. Literary celebrities were still novelties--more
than that, divinities--in my eyes. Among them, Matthew Arnold held
particularly high rank, one of the chief heroes of my worship, and many
of my contemporaries worshipped with me. Youth was then, as always,
acutely conscious of the burden of life, and we made our luxury of his
pessimism. I could spout whole passages of his poems, whole poems when
they were short, though now I could not probably get further than their
titles. There had been a dinner first--there always was a dinner first
in Philadelphia--and a Philadelphia dinner being no light matter, he
arrived late. The delay would have done no harm had not Wayne MacVeagh,
who presided, introduced him in a speech to which, once it was started,
there seemed no end. It went on and on, the audience growing restless,
with Matthew Arnold himself an object of pity, so obvious was his
embarrassment. Few lecturers could have saved the situation, and Matthew
Arnold would have been a dull one under the most favourable
circumstances. I went away disillusioned, reconciled to meeting my
heroes in their books. And I could understand when, years later, I read
the letters he wrote home, why the tulip trees seemed to have as much to
do as the people in making Philadelphia the most attractive city he had
seen in America.


Another distinguished visitor who lectured about this period came off
more gaily:--Oscar Wilde, to whose lecture I had looked forward with no
particular excitement, for I was young enough to feel only impatience
with his pose. After listening to him, I had to admit that he was
amusing. His affected dress, his deliberate posturings, his flamboyant
phrases and slow lingering over them as if loth to let them go, made him
an exhilarating contrast to Matthew Arnold, shocked as I was by a writer
to whom literature was not always in dead earnest, nor to teach its
goal, even though it was part of his pose to ape the teacher, the voice
in the wilderness. And he was so refreshingly enthusiastic when off the
platform, as I saw him afterwards in my Uncle's rooms. He let himself go
without reserve as he recalled the impressions of his visit to Walt
Whitman in Camden and his meeting with the cowboy in the West. To him,
the cowboy was the most picturesque product of America from whom he
borrowed hat and cloak and appeared in them, an amazing spectacle. And I
find in some prim, priggish, distressingly useless little notes I made
at the time, that it was a perfect, a supreme moment when he talked to
Walt Whitman who had been to him the master, at whose feet he had sat
since he was a young lad, and who was as pure and earnest and noble and
grand as he had hoped. That to Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde seemed "a great
big splendid boy" is now matter of history.

I know that Philadelphia entertained Wilde, and so I fancy him staying
with George W. Childs, dining with Tony Drexel, and being talked to
after dinner by Wayne MacVeagh, though I cannot be sure, as
Philadelphia, with singular lack of appreciation, included me in none of
the entertaining. I saw him only in Horticultural Hall, where he
lectured, and at my Uncle's. This was seeing him often enough to be
confirmed in my conviction that literature might be a stimulating and
emotional adventure.

Many interesting people of many varieties were to be met in my Uncle's
rooms. I remember the George Lathrops who, like Lowell and Poe of old,
had come to Philadelphia for work: Lathrop rather embittered and
disappointed, I thought; Mrs. Lathrop--Rose Hawthorne--a marvellous
woman in my estimation, not because of her beautiful gold-red hair, nor
her work, which I do not believe was of special importance, but as the
daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne and therefore a link between me in my
insignificance and the great of Brook Farm and Concord. I remember
editors from New York, impressive creatures; and Members of Parliament,
hangers-on of the literary world of London; and actresses, its lions,
when in England:--Janauschek, heavily tragic off as on the stage, for
whom my Uncle's admiration was less limited than mine; and Miss
Genevieve Ward, playing in _Forget-Me-Not_, her one big success, for she
failed in the popularity to repeat it that comes so easily to many less
accomplished. How timidly I sat and listened, marvelling to find myself
there, feeling like the humble who shall be exalted in the Bible,
looking upon my Uncle's rooms as the literary threshold from which I was
graciously permitted to watch the glorious company within.


I had gone no further than this first, tremulous ardent stage in my
career when my Uncle deserted his memorable rooms never to return, and
J. and I started on the journey that we thought might last a year--as
long as the money held out, we had said, to the discomfort of the family
who no doubt saw me promptly on their hands again--and that did not
bring me back to Philadelphia for over a quarter of a century. Of
literary events during my absence, somebody else must make the record.


When I did go back after all those years, I was conscious that there
must have been events for a record to be made of, or I could not have
accounted for the change. Literature was now in the air. Local prophets
were acknowledged, if not by all Philadelphia, by little groups of
satellites revolving round them. Literary lights had come from under the
bushel and were shining in high places. Societies had been industriously
multiplying for the encouragement of literature. All such encouragement
in my time had devolved upon the Penn Club that patronized literature,
among its other interests, and wrote about books in its monthly journal
and invited their authors to its meetings. During my absence, not only
had the Penn Club continued to flourish--to such good purpose that J.
and I were honoured by one of these invitations and felt that never
again could Fame and Fate bring us such a triumphant moment, except when
the Academy of Fine Arts paid us the same honour and so upset our old
belief that no Philadelphian could ever be a prophet in
Philadelphia!--but Philadelphia had broken out into a multitude of Clubs
and Societies, beginning with the Franklin Inn, for Franklin is not to
be got away from even in Clubland, and his Inn, I am assured, is the
most comprehensive literary centre to which every author, every artist,
every editor, every publisher who thinks himself something belongs to
the number of one hundred--that there should be the chance of one
hundred with the right to think themselves something in Philadelphia is
the wonder!--and in the house in Camac Street, which one Philadelphian I
know calls "The Little Street of Clubs," the members meet for light
lunch and much talk and, it may be, other rites of which I could speak
only from hearsay, my sex disqualifying me from getting my knowledge of
them at first hand. And there is a Business and Professional Club and a
Poor Richard, bringing one back to Franklin again, in the same Little
Street. And there are Browning Societies, and Shakespeare Societies, and
Drama-Reforming Societies, and Pegasus Societies, and Societies for
members to read their own works to each other; and more Societies than
the parent Society discoursing in the woods along the Schuylkill could
have dreamed of: with the Contemporary Club to assemble their variously
divided ends and objects under one head, and to entertain literature as
George W. Childs had entertained it, and, going further, to pay
literature for being entertained, if literature expresses itself in the
form of readings and lectures by those who practise it professionally.
The change disconcerted me more than ever when I, Philadelphia born, was
assured of a profitable welcome if I would speak to the Club on
anything. The invitation was tentative and unofficial, but the
Contemporary Club need be in no fear. It may make the invitation
official if it will, and never a penny the poorer will it be for my
presence: I am that now rare creature, a shy woman subject to stage
fright. And I cannot help thinking that, despite the amiability to the
native, the stranger, simply because he is a stranger, continues to have
the preference, so many are the Englishmen and Englishwomen invited to
deliver themselves before the Club who never could gather an audience at


And Philadelphia has recaptured the lead in the periodical publication
that pays, and I found the Curtis Building the biggest sky-scraper in
Philadelphia, towering above the quiet of Independence Square, a brick
and marble and pseudo-classical monument to the _Ladies' Home Journal_
and the _Saturday Evening Post_, and if in the race literature lags
behind, what matter when merit is vouched for in solid dollars and
cents? What matter, when the winds of heaven conspire with bricks and
mortar to make the passer-by respect it? I am told that on a windy day
no man can pass the building without a fight for it, and no woman
without the help of stalwart policemen. In her own organ of fashion and
feminine sentiment, she has raised up a power against which, even with
the vote to back her, she could not prevail.

And Philadelphia is not content to have produced the first daily
newspaper but is bent on making it as big as it can be made anywhere. If
I preserved my morning paper for two or three days in my hotel bedroom,
I fairly waded in newspapers. On Sundays if I carried upstairs only the
_Ledger_ and the _North American_, I was deep in a flood of Comic
Supplements, and Photograph Supplements, and Sport Supplements, and
every possible sort of Supplement that any other American newspaper in
any other American town can boast of--all the sad stuff that nobody has
time to look at but is what the newspaper editor is under the delusion
that the public wants--in Philadelphia, one genuine Philadelphia touch
added in the letters and gossip of "Peggy Shippen" and "Sally Wister,"
names with the double recommendation to Philadelphia of venerable age
and unquestionable Philadelphia respectability.

And I found that the Philadelphia writer has increased in numbers and in
popularity, whether for better or worse I will not say. I have not the
courage for the rôle of critic on my own hearth, knowing the penalty for
too much honesty at home. Nor is there any reason why I should hesitate
and bungle and make myself unpleasant enemies in doing indifferently
what Philadelphia, in its new incarnation, does with so much grace. I
have now but to name the Philadelphian's book in Philadelphia to be
informed that it is monumental--but to mention the Philadelphia writer
of verse to hear that he is a marvel--but to enquire for the
Philadelphia writer of prose to be assured that he is a genius. There is
not the weeest, most modest little Philadelphia goose that does not sail
along valiantly in the Philadelphia procession of swans. The new pose is
prettier than the old if scarcely more successful in preserving a sense
of proportion, and it saves me from committing myself. I can state the
facts that strike me, without prejudice, as the lawyers say.


One is that the last quarter of a century has interested the
Philadelphia writer in Philadelphia as he had not been since the days of
John Watson. Most Philadelphians owned a copy of Watson's _Annals_. I
have one on my desk before me that belonged to J.'s Father, one must
have been in my Grandfather's highly correct Philadelphia house, though
I cannot recall it there, for a Philadelphian's duty was to buy Watson
just as it was to take in _Lippincott's_, and Philadelphians never
shirked their obligations. They probably would not have been able to say
what was in Watson, or, if they could, would have shrugged their
shoulders and dismissed him for a crank. But they would have owned the
_Annals_, all the same. Then the Centennial shook them up and insisted
on the value of Philadelphia's history, and Philadelphians were no
longer in fashion if they did not feel, or affect, an interest in
Philadelphia and its past. After the Centennial the few who began to
write about it could rely upon the many to read about it.


Once, the Philadelphian who was not ashamed to write stories made them
out of the fashionable life of Philadelphia. Dr. Weir Mitchell
inaugurated the new era, or the revolt, or the secession, or whatever
name may be given it with the first historical novel of Philadelphia. It
is fortunate, when I come to _Hugh Wynne_, that I have renounced
criticism and all its pretences. As a Friend by marriage, if such a
thing is possible, I cannot underestimate the danger. Only a Friend born
a Friend is qualified to write the true Quaker novel, and I am told
by this kind of Friend that _Hugh Wynne_ is not free from
misrepresentations, misconceptions and misunderstandings. This may be
true--I breathe more freely for not being able to affirm or to deny
it--but, as Henley used to say, there it is--the first romantic gold out
of the mine Philadelphia history is for all who work it. Since these
lines were written the news has reached me that never again will Dr.
Mitchell work this or any other mine. I cannot imagine Philadelphia
without him. When I last saw him, it seemed to me that no Philadelphian
was more alive, more in love with life, better equipped to enjoy life in
the way Philadelphia has fashioned it--the Philadelphia life in which
his passing away must leave no less a gap than the disappearance of the
State House or the Pennsylvania Hospital would leave in the Philadelphia
streets. If Dr. Mitchell's digging brought up the romance of
Philadelphia, Mr. Sydney George Fisher's has unearthed the facts, for
Philadelphia was the root of the great growth of Pennsylvania which is
the avowed subject of his history. And the men who helped to make this
history have now their biographers at home, though hitherto the task of
their biography had been left chiefly to anybody anywhere else who would
accept the responsibility, and my Brother, Edward Robins, Secretary of
the University of Pennsylvania, has written the life of Benjamin
Franklin, without whom the University would not have been, at least
would not have been what it is. And in so many different directions has
the interest spread that my friend since _Our Convent Days_, Miss Agnes
Repplier, has taken time from her studies in literature and from
building a monument to her beloved Agrippina to write its story. When
she sent me her book, I opened it with grave apprehensions. In the
volumes she had published, humour was the chief charm, and how would
humour help her to see Philadelphia? I need not have been uneasy. There
is no true humour without tenderness. If she had her smile for the town
we all love, as we all have, it was a tender smile, and I think no
reader can close her book without wanting to know still more of
Philadelphia than it was her special business in that place to tell
them. And that no vein of the Philadelphia mine might be left unworked.
Miss Anne Hollingsworth Wharton has busied herself to gather up old
traditions and old reminiscences, dipping into old letters and diaries,
opening wide Colonial doorways, resurrecting Colonial Dames, reshaping
the old social and domestic life disdained by historians. The numerous
editions into which her books have gone explain that she has not worked
for her own edification alone, that Philadelphia, once it was willing to
hear any talk about itself, could not hear too much. And after Miss
Wharton have come Mr. Mather Lippincott and Mr. Eberlein to collect the
old Colonial houses and their memories, followed by Mr. Herbert C. Wise
and Mr. Beidleman to study their architecture: just in time if
Philadelphia perseveres in its crime of moving out of the houses for the
benefit of the Russian Jew and of mixing their memories with squalor. Of
all the ways in which Philadelphia has changed, none is to me more
remarkable than in this rekindling of interest out of which has sprung
the new group of writers in its praise.

Nor were the Philadelphia poets idle during my absence. Dr. Mitchell had
not before sung so freely in public, nor had he ranked, as I am told he
did at the end, his verse higher than his medicine. Mrs. Coates' voice
had not carried so far. Dr. Francis Howard Williams had not rhymed for
Pageants in praise of Philadelphia. Mr. Harrison Morris had not joined
the Philadelphia choir. Mr. Harvey M. Watts had not been heard in the
land. I have it on good authority that yearly the Philadelphia poets
meet and read their verses to each other, a custom of which I cannot
speak from personal knowledge as I have no passport into the magic
circle, and perhaps it is just as well for my peace of mind that I have
not. Rumour declares that, on certain summer evenings, a suburban porch
here or there is made as sweet with their singing as with the perfume of
the roses and syringa in the garden, and I am content with the rumour
for there is always the chance the music might not be so sweet if I
heard it. I like to remember that the poets on their porch, whether
their voices be sweet or harsh, descend in a direct line from the young
men who wandered, discoursing of literature, along the Schuylkill. And
Philadelphia's love of poetry is to be assured not only by its own
singers but by its care, now as in the past, for the song of others.
Horace Howard Furness, Jr., has taken over his father's task and, in so
doing, will see that Philadelphia continues to be famous for the most
complete edition of Shakespeare.

There had been equal activity during my absence among the story-tellers.
Since Brockden Brown, not one had written so ambitious a tale as _Hugh
Wynne_, not one had ever laughed so good-humouredly at Philadelphia as
Thomas A. Janvier in his short stories of the Hutchinson Ports and
Rittenhouse Smiths--what gaiety has gone out with his death! Not one had
ever seen character with such truth as Owen Wister,--if only he could
understand that as good material awaits him in Philadelphia as in
Virginia and Wyoming. And John Luther Long is another of the
story-tellers Philadelphia can claim though, like Mr. Wister, he shows a
greater fancy for far-away lands or to wander among strange people at

There is no branch of literature that Philadelphia has not taken under
its active protection. Who has contributed more learnedly to the records
of the Inquisition than Henry Charles Lea, or to the chronicles of the
law in the United States than Mr. Hampton L. Carson and Mr. Charles
Burr, duly conscious as Philadelphia lawyers should be of the
Philadelphian's legal responsibility? Who can compete in knowledge of
the evolution of the playing card with Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer or
rival her collection? Who ever thought of writing the history of
autobiography before Mrs. Anna Robeson Burr? The time had but to come
for an admirer to play the Boswell to Walt Whitman, and Mr. Traubel
appeared. When Columbia wanted a Professor of Journalism, Philadelphia
sent it Dr. Talcott Williams. When England seemed a comfortable shelter
for research there was no need to be in a hurry about, Mr. Logan
Pearsall Smith showed what could be done with an exhaustive study of Dr.
Donne, though why he was not showing instead what could be done with the
Loganian Library, where the chance to show it was his for the claiming,
he alone can say. When such recondite subjects as Egyptian and Assyrian
called for interpreters, Philadelphia was again on the spot with Mrs.
Cornelius Stevenson and Dr. Morris Jastrow. And for authorities on the
drama and history, it gives us Mr. Felix Schelling and Dr.
McMaster,--but perhaps for me to attempt to complete the list would only
be to make it incomplete. Here, too, I tread on dangerous ground. It may
be cowardly, but it is safe to give the tribute of my recognition to all
that is being accomplished by the University of Pennsylvania and its
scholars--by Bryn Mawr College and its students--by the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania--by other Colleges and learned bodies--by
innumerable individuals--and not invite exposure by venturing into
detail and upon comment. It is in these emergencies that the sense of my
limitations comes to my help.

[Illustration: CARPENTER'S HALL, BUILT 1771]

At least I am not afraid to say that, on my return, I fancied I found
this side of Philadelphia life less a side apart, less isolated, more
identified with the social side, and the social side, for its part,
accepting the identification. The University and Bryn Mawr could not
have played the same social part in the Philadelphia I remember. Perhaps
I shall express what I mean more exactly if I say that, returning with
fresh eyes, I saw Philadelphia ready and pleased, as I had not
remembered it, to acknowledge openly talents and activities it once made
believe to ignore or despise--to go further really and, having for the
first time squarely faced its accomplishments, for the first time to
blow its own trumpet. The new spirit is one I approve. I would not call
all the work that comes out of Philadelphia monumental, as some
Philadelphians do, or Philadelphia itself a modern Athens, or the hub of
the literary universe, or any other absurd name. But I do think that in
literature and learning it is now contributing, as it always has
contributed, its fair share to the country, and that if Philadelphia
does not say so, the rest of the country will not, for the rest of the
country is still under the delusion that Philadelphia knows how to do
nothing but sleep.



Ignorance of art and all relating to it could not have been greater than
mine when I paid that first eventful visit to J.'s studio on Chestnut

I lay the blame only partly on my natural capacity for ignorance. It was
a good deal the fault of the sort of education I received and the
influences among which I lived--the fault of the place and the period in
which I grew up. Nominally, art was not neglected at the Convent. A
drawing-class was conducted by an old bear of a German, who also gave
music lessons, and who prospered so on his monopoly of the arts with us
that he was able to live in a delightful cottage down near the river.
Drawing was an "extra" of which I was never thought worthy, but I used
to see the class at the tables set out for the purpose in the long low
hall leading to the Chapel, the master grumbling and growling and
scolding, the pupils laboriously copying with crayon or chalk little
cubes and geometrical figures or, at a more advanced stage, the
old-fashioned copy-book landscape and building, rubbing in and rubbing
out, wrestling with the composition as if it were a problem in algebra.
The Convent could take neither credit, nor discredit, for the system; it
was the one then in vogue in every school, fashionable or otherwise,
and not so far removed, after all, from systems followed to this day in
certain Academies of Art.


Another class was devoted to an art then considered very beautiful,
called Grecian Painting. It was not my privilege to study this either,
but I gathered from friends who did that it was of the simplest: on the
back of an engraving, preferably of a religious subject and prepared by
an ingenious process that made it transparent, the artist dabbed his
colours according to written instructions. The result, glazed and
framed, was supposed to resemble, beyond the detection of any save an
expert, a real oil painting and was held in high esteem.

A third class was in the elegant art of making wax flowers and, goodness
knows why, my Father squandered an appreciable sum of his declining
fortunes on having me taught it. I am the more puzzled by his desire to
bestow upon me this accomplishment because none of the other girls'
fathers shared his ambition for their daughters and I was the only
member of the class. Alone, in a room at the top of the house--chosen no
doubt for the light, as if the deeds there done ought not to have been
shrouded in darkness--I worked many hours under the tuition of Mother
Alicia, cutting up little sheets of wax into leaves and petals,
colouring them, sticking them together, and producing in the end two
horrible masterpieces--one a water-lily placed on a mirror under a glass
shade, the other a basket of carnations and roses and camelias--both of
which masterpieces my poor family, to avoid hurting my feelings, had to
place in the parlour and keep there I blush to remember how long. It
must be admitted that this was scarcely an achievement to encourage an
interest in art. For the appreciation of art, as for its practice, it is
important to have nothing to unlearn from the beginning; mine was the
sort of training to reduce me to the necessity of unlearning everything;
and most of my contemporaries, on leaving school, were in the same

My eyes were no better trained than my hands. Works of art at the
Convent consisted of the usual holy statues designed for our spiritual,
not æsthetic edification; the Stations of the Cross whose merit was no
less spiritual; two copies of Murillo and Rafael which my Father, in the
fervour of conversion, presented to the Mother Superior; and a picture
of St. Elizabeth of Hungary that adorned the Convent parlour, where we
all felt it belonged, such a marvel to us was its combination of
brilliantly-coloured needle-and-brush work.

Illustrated books there must have been in the ill-assorted hodge-podge
of a collection in the Library from which we obtained our reading for
Thursday afternoons and Sundays. But though I doubt if there was a book
I had not sampled, even if I had not been able to read it straight
through, I can recall no illustrations except the designs by Rossetti,
Millais, and Holman Hunt, made for Moxon's Tennyson and reproduced by
the Harpers for a cheap American edition of the Poems, a copy of which
was given to me one year as a prize. Little barbarian as I was, I
disliked the drawings of the Pre-Raphaelites because they mystified
me--the Lady of Shalott, entangled in her wide floating web, the finest
drawing Holman Hunt ever made; the company of weeping queens in the Vale
of Avalon, in Rossetti's harmoniously crowded design--when I flattered
myself I understood everything that was to be understood, more
especially Tennyson's Poems, many of which I could recite glibly from
beginning to end--and did recite diligently to myself at hours when I
ought to have been busy with the facts and figures in the class books
before me. Most people, young or old, dislike anything which shows them
how much less they understand than they think they do.

Of the history of art I was left in ignorance as abject, the next to
nothing I knew gleaned from a _Lives of the Artists_ adapted to
children, a favourite book in the Library, one providing me with the
theme for my sole serious effort in drama--a three-act play, Michael
Angelo its hero, which, with a success many dramatists might envy. I
wrote, produced, acted in, and found an audience of good-natured nuns
for, all at the ripe age of eleven.


When I left the Convent for the holidays and eventually "for good,"
little in my new surroundings was calculated to increase my knowledge of
art or to teach me the first important fact, as a step to knowledge,
that I knew absolutely nothing on the subject. In my Grandfather's
house, art was represented by the family portraits, the engraving after
Gilbert Stuart's Washington, the illustrated lamp shade, and the Rogers
Group. My Father, re-established in a house of his own, displayed an
unaccountably liberal taste, straying from the Philadelphia standard to
the extent of decorating his parlour walls with engravings of Napoleon
he had picked up in Paris--to one, printed in colour, attaching a value
which I doubt if the facts would justify, though, as I have never come
across it in any collection, Museum, or Gallery, it may be rarer and,
therefore, more valuable, than I think. Other fruits of his old journeys
to Paris were two engravings, perhaps after Guys, of two famous ladies
of that town, whose presence in our prim and proper and highly domestic
dining-room seems to me the most incongruous accident in an otherwise
correctly-appointed Philadelphia household. When I think of Napoleon
replacing Washington on our walls, I suspect my Father of having broken
loose from the Philadelphia traces in his youth, though by the time I
knew him the prints were the only signs of a momentary dash for freedom
on the part of so scrupulous a Philadelphian.

It is curious that illustrations should have as small a place in my
memory of home life as of the Convent. The men of the Golden Age of the
Sixties had published their best work long before I had got through
school, and in my childhood books gave me my chief amusement. But I
remember nothing of their fine designs. The earlier Cruikshank drawings
for Dickens I knew well in the American edition which my Father owned,
and never so long as I live can I see the Dickens world except as it is
shown in the much over-rated Cruikshank interpretations. Other memories
are of the highly-finished, sentimental steel-engravings of Scott's
heroines, including Meg Merrilies, whom I still so absurdly associate
with Crazy Norah. Another series of portraits, steel-engravings, as
highly-finished and but slightly less insipid, illustrated my Father's
edition of Thiers' _French Revolution_ through which, one conscientious
winter, I considered it my duty to wade. And I recall also the large
volumes of photographs after Rafael and other masters that, in the
Eighteen-Seventies, came into fashion for Christmas presents and
parlour-table books, and that I think must have heralded the new
departure the Centennial is supposed to have inaugurated.

If I try to picture to myself the interior of the houses where I used to
visit, art in them too seems best represented by family portraits no
more remarkable than my Grandfather's, by the engraving of Stuart's
Washington, or of Penn signing the Treaty with the Indians, or of the
American Army crossing the Delaware, all three part of the traditional
decoration of the Philadelphia hall and dining-room, and by a Rogers
Group and an illustrated lamp shade. The library in which a friend first
showed me a volume of Hogarth's engravings I remember as exceptional.
But I have an idea that had I possessed greater powers of appreciation
then, I should have a keener memory now of other houses full of
interesting pictures and prints and illustrated books, which I did not
see simply because my eyes had not been trained to see them.

Certainly, there were Philadelphia collections of these things then, as
there always have been--only they were not heard of and talked about as
they are now, or, if they were, it was to dismiss their collecting as an
amiable fad. Mr. John S. Phillips had got together the engravings which
the Pennsylvania Academy is to-day happy to possess. People who were
interested did not have to be told that Mr. Claghorn's collection was
perhaps the finest in the country; J. was one of the wise minority, and
often on Sundays took advantage of Mr. Claghorn's generosity in letting
anybody with the intelligence to realize the privilege come to look at
his prints and study them; but I, who had not learned to be interested,
knew nothing of the collection until I knew J. Gebbie and Barrie's store
flourished in Walnut Street as it hardly could had there not been people
in Philadelphia, as Gebbie once wrote to Frederick Keppel, who collected
"these smoky, poky old prints." Gebbie and Barrie have gone, but Barrie
remains, a publisher of art books, and there are other dealers no less
important and perhaps more enterprising, who prosper, as one of them has
recently assured me they could not, if they depended for their chief
support upon Philadelphia. But Philadelphia gives, as it gave, solid
foundations of support, with the difference that to-day it takes good
care the world should know it.

[Illustration: GIRARD COLLEGE]

A few Philadelphians collected pictures. One of the show places, more
select and exclusive than the Mint and Girard College, for the rare
visitor to the town with a soul above dancing and dining, was Mr.
Gibson's gallery in Walnut Street, open on stated days to anybody
properly introduced, or it may be that only a visiting card with a
proper address was necessary for admission. The less I say about the
Gallery the better, for I never went to Mr. Gibson's myself, though I
knew the house as I passed it for one apart in Philadelphia--one where
so un-Philadelphia-like a possession as a picture gallery was allowed to
disturb the Philadelphian's first-story arrangement of front and back
parlours. The collection can now be visited, without any preliminary
formalities, at the Academy of Fine Arts. Mrs. Bloomfield Moore was
still living in Philadelphia and she must have begun collecting though,
well as I knew the inside of her house in my young days, I hesitate to
assert it as a fact--which shows my unpardonable blindness to most
things in life worth while. I never, as far as I remember, went anywhere
for the express purpose of looking at paintings. I had not even the
curiosity which is the next best thing to knowledge and understanding. I
have said how meagre are my impressions of the old Academy on Chestnut
Street. It is a question to me whether I had ever seen more than the
outside of the new Academy at Broad and Cherry Streets before I met J.
To go to the exhibitions there had not as yet come within the list of
things Philadelphians who were not artists made a point of doing.
Altogether, judging from my own recollections, Philadelphians did not
bother about art, and did not stop to ask whether there was any to
bother about in Philadelphia, or not.


Their indifference was their loss. The art, with a highly respectable
pedigree, was there for Philadelphia to enjoy and be proud of, if
Philadelphia had not been as reticent about it as about all its other
accomplishments and possessions. I have a decided suspicion that I have
come to a subject about which I might do well to observe the same
reticence, not only as a Philadelphian, but as the wife of an artist.
For if, as the wife of a Friend, I have learned that only Friends are
qualified to write of themselves, as the wife of an artist I have reason
to believe it more discreet to leave all talk of art to artists, though
discretion in this regard has not been one of the virtues of my working
life. But just now, I am talking not so much of art as of my attitude
towards art which must have been the attitude of the outsider in
Philadelphia, or else it would not have been mine. As for the genealogy
of Philadelphia art, it is, like the genealogy of Philadelphia families,
in the records of the town for all who will to read.

In the very beginning of things Philadelphia may have had no more
pressing need for the artist's studio than for the writer's study. But
it was surprising how soon its needs expanded in this direction. English
and other European critics deplore the absence of an original--or
aboriginal--school of art in America, as if they thought the American
artist should unconsciously have lost, on his way across the Atlantic,
that inheritance from centuries of civilization and tradition which the
modern artist who calls himself Post-Impressionist is deliberately
endeavoring to get rid of, and on his arrival have started all over
again like a child with a clean slate. Only an American art based on the
hieroglyphics and war paint of the Indians would satisfy the critic with
this preconceived idea. But the first American artists were not savages,
they were not primitives. They did not paint pictures like Indians any
more than the first American architects built wigwams like Indians, or
the first American Colonials dressed themselves in beads and feathers
like Indians. Colonials had come from countries where art was highly
developed, and they could no more forget the masters at home than they
could forget the literature upon which they and their fathers had been
nourished. If years passed before a Philadelphian began to paint
pictures, it was because Philadelphians had not time to paint as they
had not time to write. The wonder really is that they began so
soon--that so soon the artist got to work, and so soon there was a
public to care enough for his work to enable him to do it.

In a thousand ways the interest of Philadelphians in art expressed
itself. It is written large in the beauty of their houses and in their
readiness to introduce ornament where ornament belonged. The vine and
cluster of grapes carved on William Penn's front door; the panelling and
woodwork in Colonial houses; the decoration of a public building like
the State House; the furniture, the silver, the china, we pay small
fortunes for when we can find them and have not inherited them; the
single finely-proportioned mirror or decorative silhouette on a white
wall; the Colonial rooms that have come down to us untouched, perfect in
their simplicity, not an ornament too many;--all show which way the wind
of art blew.

There was hardly one of the great men from any American town, makers of
first the Revolution and then the Union, who did not appreciate the
meaning and importance of art and did not leave a written record, if
only in a letter, of his appreciation. Few things have struck me more in
reading the Correspondence and Memoirs and Diaries of the day. But these
men were not only patriots, they were men of intelligence, and they knew
the folly of expecting to find in Philadelphia or New York or Boston the
same beautiful things that in Paris or London or Italy filled them with
delight and admiration, or of seeing in this fact a reason to lower
their standard. The critics who are shocked because we have no
aboriginal school might do worse than read some of these old documents.
I recommend in particular a passage in a letter John Adams wrote to his
wife from Paris. It impressed me so when I came upon it, it seemed to me
such an admirable explanation of a situation perplexing to critics, that
I copied it in my notebook, and I cannot resist quoting it now.

[Illustration: UPSALA, GERMANTOWN]

"It is not indeed the fine arts which our country requires," he writes,
"the useful, the mechanic arts are those which we have occasion for in a
young country as yet simple and not far advanced in luxury, although
much too far for her age and character.... The science of government it
is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of
legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take place of,
indeed to exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics
and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and
philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy,
geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce
and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study
painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and

John Adams and his contemporaries may not have had American grandfathers
with the leisure to earn for them the right to study art, but they did
not ignore it. All the time they felt its appeal and responded to the
appeal as well as busy men, absorbed in the development of a new
country, could. They got themselves painted whenever they happened to
combine the leisure to sit and a painter to sit to. When a statesman
like Jefferson, who confessed himself "an enthusiast on the subject of
the arts," was sent abroad, he devoted his scant leisure to securing the
best possible sculptor for the statue of Washington, or the best
possible models for public buildings at home. Much that we now prize in
architecture and design we owe to the men who supposed themselves too
occupied with politics and war to encourage art and artists. They were
not too busy to provide the beauty without which liberty would have been
a poor affair--not too busy to welcome the first Americans who saw to it
that all the beauty should not be imported from Europe. "After the first
cares for the necessaries of life are over, we shall come to think of
the embellishments," Franklin wrote to his London landlady's daughter.
"Already some of our young geniuses begin to lisp attempts at painting,
poetry and music. We have a young painter now studying at Rome."


In this care for the embellishments of life, of so much more real
importance than the necessaries, Philadelphia was the first town to take
the lead, though Philadelphians have since gone out of their way to
forget it. The old Quaker lady in her beautiful dress, preserving her
beautiful repose, in her beautiful old and historic rooms, shows the
Friends' instinctive love of beauty even if they never intentionally, or
deliberately, undertook to create it. For the most beautiful of what we
now call Colonial furniture produced in the Colonies, Philadelphia is
given the credit by authorities on the subject. Franklin's letters
could also be quoted to show Philadelphians' keenness to have their
portraits done in "conversation" or "family" pieces, or alone in
miniatures, whichever were most in vogue. Even Friends, before Franklin,
when they visited England sought out a fashionable portrait-painter like
Kneller because he was supposed the best. Artists from England came to
Philadelphia for commissions, artists from other Colonies drifted there,
Peale, Stuart, Copley. Philadelphia, in return, spared its artists to
England, and the Royal Academy was forced to rely upon Philadelphia for
its second President--Benjamin West. The artist's studio in Philadelphia
had become a place of such distinction by the Revolution that members of
the first Congress felt honoured themselves when allowed to honour it
with their presence--in the intervals between legislating and dining.
The Philadelphian to-day, goaded by the moss-grown jest over
Philadelphia slowness and want of enterprise into giving the list of
Philadelphia "firsts," or the things Philadelphia has been the first to
do in the country, can include among them the picture exhibition which
Philadelphia was the first to hold, and the Pennsylvania Academy which
was the first Academy of the Fine Arts instituted in America.
Philadelphia was the richest American town and long the Capital; the
marvel would be if it had not taken the lead in art as in politics.



By the time I grew up years had passed since Philadelphia had ceased to
be the Capital, and during these years its atmosphere had not been
especially congenial to art. But the general conditions had not been
more stimulating anywhere in America. The Hudson River School is about
all that came of a period which, for that matter, owed its chief good to
revolt in countries where more was to be expected of it: in France, to
first the Romanticists and then the Impressionists who had revolted
against the Academic; in England to the Pre-Raphaelites who, with noisy
advertisement, broke away from Victorian convention. Art in America had
not got to the point of development when there was anything to revolt
against or to break away from. What it needed was a revival of the old
interest, a reaction from the prevailing indifference to all there was
of art in the country.


Some say this came in Philadelphia with the Centennial. The Centennial's
stirring up, however, would not have done much good had not artists
already begun to stir themselves up. How a number of Americans who had
been studying in Paris and Munich returned to America full of youth and
enthusiasm in the early Eighteen-Seventies, there to lead a new
movement in American art, has long since passed into history--also the
fact that one of the most remarkable outcomes of this new movement was
the new school of illustration that quickly made American illustrated
books and magazines famous throughout the world. But what concerns me as
a Philadelphian is that, once more at this critical moment, Philadelphia
took the lead. The publishers of the illustrated books and magazines may
have been chiefly in New York, the illustrations were chiefly from
Philadelphia, and there is no reason why Philadelphia should not admit
it with decent pride. Abbey and Frost were actually, Howard Pyle and
Smedley virtually, Philadelphians. Blum and Brennan passed through the
Academy Schools. J., when I met him, was at the threshold of his career.
And the illustrators were but a younger offshoot of the new Philadelphia
group. Miss Mary Cassatt had already started to work in Paris, where
Jules Stewart and Ridgway Knight represented the older Philadelphia
school; Mrs. Anna Lea Merritt was already in London; J. McLure Hamilton
had finished his studies at Antwerp; Alexander and Birge Harrison had
been heard of in Paris where Sargent--who belongs to Philadelphia if to
any American town--had carried off his first honours. At home Richards
was painting his marines; Poore had begun his study of animals; Dana, I
think, was beginning his water-colours; William Sartain had long been
known as an engraver; Miss Emily Sartain was an art editor and soon to
be the head of an art school; the Moran family, with the second
generation, had become almost a Philadelphia institution; from Stephen
Ferris J. could learn the technic of etching as from the Claghorn
collection he could trace its development through the ages; and of the
younger men and women, his contemporaries, he did not leave me long in

My own work had led me to the discovery of so many worlds of work in
Philadelphia, I could not have believed there was room for another. But
there was, and the artists' world was so industrious, so full of energy,
so sufficient unto itself, so absorbed in itself, that, with the first
glimpse into it, the difficulty was to believe space and reason could be
left for any outside of it. This new experience was as extraordinary a
revelation as my initiation into the newspaper world. I had been living,
without suspecting it, next door to people who thought of nothing,
talked of nothing, occupied themselves with nothing, but art: people for
whom a whole army of men and women were busily employed,
managing schools, running factories, keeping stores, putting up
buildings--delightful people with whom I could not be two minutes
without reproaching myself for not having known from the cradle that
nothing in life save art ever did count, or ever could. And at this
point I can afford to get rid of Philadelphia reticence without scruple
since through this, to me, new world of work I had the benefit of J.'s

It was a moment when it had got to be the fashion for artists in all the
studios in the same building to give receptions on the same day, and I
learned that J.'s, so strange to me at first, was only one of an endless
number. For part of my new experience was the round of the studios on
the appointed day, when I was too oppressed by my ignorance and my
desire not to expose it and my uncertainty as to what was the right
thing to say in front of a picture, that I do not remember much besides,
except the miniatures of Miss Van Tromp and the marines of Prosper
Senat, and why they should now stand out from the confused jumble of my
memories I am sure I cannot see.

Then J. took me to the Academy of Fine Arts and it was revealed to me as
a place not to pass by but to go inside of: artists from all over the
country struggling to get in for its annual exhibition of paintings
which already had a reputation as one of the finest given in the
country; artists from all over the world drawn in for its international
exhibitions of etchings--Whistler, Seymour Haden, Appian, Lalanne, a
catalogue-full of etchers introduced for the first time to my uneducated
eyes; everybody who could crowding in on Thursday afternoons to sit on
the stairs and listen to the music, while I upbraided myself for not
having known ages ago what delightful things there were to do, instead
of letting my time hang heavy on my hands, in Philadelphia.

J. had me invited to more private evenings and reunions of societies of
artists, and I remember--if they do not--meeting many who were at the
very heart of the machinery that made the wheels of the new movement go
round:--Mr. Leslie Miller, the director of the School of Industrial Art
from which promising students were emerging or had emerged; Stephen
Parrish and Blanche Dillaye and Gabrielle Clements, whose etchings were
with the Whistlers and the Seymour Hadens in the international
exhibitions; Alice Barber full of commissions from magazines; Margaret
Leslie and Mary Trotter in their fervent apprenticeship; Boyle and
Stephens the sculptors; Colin Cooper and Stephens the painters. What a
rank outsider I felt in their company! And how grateful I was for my
talent as a listener that helped to save me from exposure!


I saw another side of the revival at my Uncle's Industrial Art School in
the eagerness of teachers and pupils both to know and to learn and to
practise--an eagerness that had, I fear, an eye to ultimate profit. That
was the worst feature of the booming of art in the Eighteen-Eighties.
Gain was the incentive that drove too many students to the art schools
of Philadelphia as to those of Paris, or London, and set countless
amateurs in their own homes to hammering brass and carving wood and
stamping leather. Art was to them an investment, a speculation, a
gentlemanly--or ladylike--way of making a fortune. An English painter I
know told me a few years since that he had put quite six thousand pounds
into art, what with studying and travelling for subjects, and he thought
he had a right to look for a decent return on his money. That expresses
the attitude of a vast number of Philadelphians in their new active
enthusiasm. However trumpery the amount of labour they invested, they
counted on it to bring them in a big dividend in dollars and cents.


I am afraid my Uncle, without meaning to, encouraged this spirit, when
he started not only the Industrial Art School, but the Decorative Art
Club in Pine Street. He was an optimist and saw only the beautiful side
of anything he was interested in. To please him I was made the Treasurer
of the Club. The Committee sympathised with my Uncle and worked for the
ultimate good he thought the Club was to accomplish in Philadelphia.
Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Mifflin, Mrs. Pepper, Miss Julia Biddle with whom I
served, agreed with him that women who had some training in art would
understand better the meaning of art and the pleasure of the stimulus
this understanding could give. My Uncle, however, always ready to do
anybody a good turn, went further and was anxious that provision should
also be made to sell the work done in the Club, which in this way would
be open to many who could not otherwise afford it. I fancy that this
provision, if not the success of the Club, was one of its chief
attractions. The amateur is apt to believe she can romp in gaily and
snatch whatever prizes are going by playing with the art which is the
life's work, mastered by toil and travail, of the artist.

I criticise now, but in my new ardour I saw nothing to criticise. On the
contrary, I saw perfection: artists and students encouraged,
occupations and interests lavished upon amateurs whose lives had been as
empty as mine; and I worked myself up into a fine enthusiasm of belief
in art as a new force, or one that if it had always existed had been
waiting for its prophet,--just as electricity had waited for Franklin to
capture and apply it to human needs. I went so far in my exaltation as
to write an inspired--or so it seemed to me--article on Art as the New
Religion, proving that the old religions having perished and the old
gods fallen, art had re-arisen in its splendour and glory to provide a
new gospel, a new god, to take their place, and I filled my essay with
ingenious arguments, and liberal quotations from William Morris and
Ruskin, and rhetorical flights of prophecy. I had not given the last
finishing and convincing touches to my exposition of the new gospel
when, with my marriage, came other work more urgent, and I was spared
the humiliation of seeing my Palace of Art collapse, like the house
built on sand, while I still believed in it. In the years that followed
I got to know most of the galleries and exhibitions of Europe; despite
my scruples I made a profession of writing about art; and the education
this meant taught me, among other things, the simple truth that art is
art, and not religion. But I cannot laugh at the old folly of my
ignorance. The enthusiasm, the mood, out of which the article grew, was
better, healthier, than the apathy that had saved me from being
ridiculous because it risked nothing.


These years away from home were spent largely in the company of artists
and were filled with the talk of art; what had been marvels to me in
Philadelphia became the commonplaces of every day. But I was all the
time in Italy, or France, or England, and could not realize the extent
to which, for Philadelphians who had not wandered, artists and art were
also becoming more and more a part of everyday life. I did not see
Philadelphia in the changing, not until it had changed, and possibly I
feel the change more than those who lived through it. It is not so much
in the things done, in actual accomplishment, that I am conscious of it,
as in the new concern for art, the new attentions heaped upon it, the
new deference to it. Art is in the air--"on the town," a subject of
polite conversation, a topic for the drawing-room.

When I first came out, art had never supplied small talk in society,
never filled up a gap at a dull dinner or reception. We should have been
disgracefully behind the times if we could not chatter about Christine
Nilsson and Campanini and the last opera, or Irving and Ellen Terry and
their interpretation of Shakespeare; if we had not kept up with Trollope
and George Eliot, and read the latest Howells and Henry James, and raved
over the Rubaiyat. But we might have had the brand-newest biographical
dictionary of artists at our fingers' ends--as we had not--and there
would have been no occasion to use our information. Nobody sparkled by
sprinkling his talk with the names of artists and sculptors, nobody
asked what was in the last Academy or who had won the gold medal in
Paris, nobody discussed the psychology or the meaning of the picture of
the year. I remember thinking I was doing something rather pretentious
and pedantic when I began to read Ruskin. I remember how a friend who
was a tireless student of Kügler and Crowe and Cavalcaselle, as a
preparation to the journey to Europe that might never come off, was
looked upon as a sort of prodigy--a Philadelphia phenomenon. But to-day
I am sure there is not the name of an artist, from Cimabue and Giotto to
Matisse and Picasso, that does not go easily round the table at any
Philadelphia dinner; not a writer on art, from Lionardo to Nordau, who
cannot fill up awkward pauses at an afternoon crush; not one of the
learned women of Philadelphia who could not tell you where every
masterpiece in the world hangs and just what her emotions before it
should be, who could not play the game of attributions as gracefully as
the game of bridge, who could not dispose of the most abstruse points in
art as serenely as she settles the simplest squabble in the nursery.

The Academy is no longer abandoned in the wilderness of Broad and Cherry
Streets; its receptions and private views are social functions, its
exhibitions are events of importance, the best given in Philadelphia and
throughout the land, its collections are the pride of the wealthy
Philadelphians who contribute to them, its schools are stifled with

[Illustration: UPPER ROOM, STENTON]

The other Art Schools have multiplied, not faster, however, than the
students whose legions account for, if they do not warrant, the
existence not of the Academy Schools alone, but of the School of
Industrial Art, the Drexel Institute, the Woman's School of Design, the
Uncle's old little experiment enlarged into a large Public Industrial
Art School where, I am told, the Founder is comfortably forgotten--of
more institutes, schools, classes than I probably have heard of.

The Art Galleries have multiplied: there is some reason for Memorial
Hall now that the Wilstach Collection is housed there, and the _Yellow
Buskin_, one of the finest Whistlers, hangs on its walls, now that the
collections of decorative art are being added to by Mrs. John Harrison
and other Philadelphians who are ambitious for their town and its
supremacy in all things. Nor does this Philadelphia ambition soar to
loftier heights than in the project for the new Parkway from the City
Hall with a new Art Gallery--the centre of a sort of University of Art
if I can rely upon the plans--to crown the Park end of this splendid
(partially still on paper) avenue, as the Arc de Triomphe crowns the
western end of the Avenue of the Champs-Elysées.

The collectors multiply, their aims, purse, field of research, all
expanding; their shyness on the subject surmounted; Old Masters for whom
Europe now weeps making their triumphant entry into Philadelphia; the
highest price, that test of the modern patron, paid for a Rembrandt in
Philadelphia; the collections of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Widener and Mr.
Elkins and Mr. Thomas in Philadelphia as well known by the authorities
as the Borghesi collection in Rome or the Duke of Westminster's in

The social life of art grows and can afford the large luxurious Club in
South Broad Street, artists and their friends amply supporting it. And
the old Sketch Club, once glad of the shelter of a room or so, has
blossomed forth in a house of its own in the flourishing "Little Street
of Clubs," with the Woman's Plastic Club close by.

The artists only, as far as I can see, have not multiplied and grown in
proportion. But the artist somehow appears to be the last consideration
of those who think they are encouraging art. Still there are new names
for my old list: Henry Thouron, Violet Oakley, Maxfield Parrish, now
ranked with the decorative painters--and, I might just point out in
passing, it is to Philadelphia that Boston, Harrisburg, and at times New
York must send for their decorators, whose work I have not seen in place
to express an opinion on it one way or the other. Cecilia Beaux and
Adolphe Borie now figure with the portrait painters; Waugh and Fromuth
with the marine painters, who include also Stokes, the chronicler of
Arctic splendors of sea and sky, and Edward Stratton Holloway, the
making of beautiful books claiming his interest no less than the sea;
Glackens, Thornton Oakley, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Jessie Wilcox Smith
with the illustrators; McCarter, Redfield with the group gathered about
the Academy; Grafly with the sculptors; Clifford Addams, Daniel Garber
with the winners of scholarships. Architects have not lagged behind in
the race--after the Furness period, a Cope and Stewardson period, a
Wilson Eyre period, to-day a Zantzinger, Borie, Medary, Day, Page,
Trumbauer, and a dozen more periods each progressing in the right
direction; with young men from the Beaux-Arts and young men from the
University School, eager to tackle the ever-increasing architectural
commissions in a town growing and re-fashioning itself faster than any
mushroom upstart of the West, to inaugurate a period of their own.


I am not a fighter by nature, I set a higher value on peace as I grow
older, and I look to ending my days in Philadelphia. Therefore I
chronicle the change; I do not criticise it. But a few comments I may
permit myself and yet hope that Philadelphia will not bear me in return
the malice I could so ill endure. I think the gain to Philadelphia from
this new interest has, in many ways, been great. If art is the one thing
that lives through the ages--art whether expressed in words, or paint,
or bricks and mortar, or the rhythm of sound,--it follows that the
pleasure it gives--when genuine--is the most enduring. This is a
distinct, if perhaps at the moment negative, gain. A more visible gain I
think comes from the new desire, the new determination to care for the
right thing: a fashion due perhaps to the insatiable American craving
for "culture," and at times guilty of unintelligent excesses, but
pleasanter in results than the old crazes that filled Philadelphia
drawing-rooms with spinning wheels and cat's tails and Morris
mediævalism,--if they brought _Art Nouveau_ in their train, thank
fortune it has left no traces of its passing; a fashion more dignified
in results than the old standards that filled Philadelphia streets with
flights of originality, and green stone monsters, and the deplorable
Philadelphia brand of Gothic and Renaissance, Romanesque and Venetian,
Tudor and everything except the architecture that belongs by right and
tradition in Penn's beautiful town.

[Illustration: WYCK--The doorway from within]

But interest in art does not create art, and when Philadelphia believes
in this interest as a creator, Philadelphia falls into a mistake that it
has not even the merit of having originated. I have watched for many
years the attempts to make art grow, to force it like a hot-house plant.
The same thing is going on everywhere. In England, South Kensington for
more than half a century has had its schools in all parts of the
kingdom, the County Council has added to them, the City Corporation and
the City Guilds have followed suit, artists open private classes,
exhibitions have increased in number until they are a drug on the
market, art critics flourish, the papers devote columns to their
platitudes. And what has England to show as the outcome of all this
care? Go look at the decorations in the Royal Exchange and the pictures
in the Royal Academy, examine the official records and learn how great
is the yearly output of art teachers in excess of schools for them to
teach in, and you will have a good idea of the return made on the money
and time and red tape lavished upon the teaching of art. It is no better
in Paris. Schools and students were never so many, foreigners arrive in
such numbers that they are pushing the Frenchman out of his own Latin
Quarter, American students swagger, play the prince on scholarships, are
presented with clubs and homes where they can give afternoon teas and
keep on living in a little America of their own. And what comes of it?
Were the two Salons, with the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon
d'Automne thrown in, ever before such a weariness to the flesh?--was
mediocrity ever before such an invitation to the posèur and the crank to
pass off manufactured eccentricity as genius?

It would not be reasonable to expect more of Philadelphia than of London
and Paris. I cannot see that finer artists have been bred there on the
luxury of scholarships and schools than on their own efforts when they
toiled all day to be able to study at night, when success was theirs
only after a hard fight. The Old Masters got their training as
apprentices, not as pampered youths luxuriating in fine schools and
exhibitions and incomes and every luxury; they were patronized and more
splendidly than any artists to-day, but not until they had shown reason
for it, not until it was an honour to patronize them. The new system is
more comfortable, I admit, but great work does not spring from comfort.
Philadelphia is wise to set up a high standard, but not wise when it
makes the way too easy. For art is a stern master. It cares not if the
weak fall by the roadside, so long as the strong, unhampered, succeed in
getting into their own. The best thing that has been done at the Academy
for many a day is the reducing of the scholarships from a two, or three,
years' interval free of responsibility, to a summer's holiday among the
masterpieces of Europe, which, I am told, is all they are now.



If interest in the art of eating called for justification, I could show
that I come by mine legitimately. My family took care of that when the
sensible ancestor who made me an American settled in Accomac, where most
things worth eating were to be had for the fishing or the shooting or
the digging, so that Accomac feasted while the rest of Virginia still
starved, and when my Grandfather, in his day, moved to Philadelphia
which is as well provided as Accomac and more conscientious in
cultivating its possibilities. It would be sheer disloyalty to the
family inheritance if I did not like to eat well, just as it would be
rank hypocrisy to see in my loyalty a virtue.

Accomac's reputation for good eating has barely got beyond the local
history book, Accomac, I find, being a place you must have belonged to
at one time or another, to know anything about. But Philadelphia made a
reputation for its high living as soon as the Philadelphian emerged from
his original cave, or sooner--read Watson and every other authority and
you will find that before he was out of it, even the family cat occupied
itself in hunting delicacies for the family feast. And right off the
Philadelphian understood the truth the scientist has been centuries in
groping after: that if people's food is to do them good, they must take
pleasure in it. The material was his the minute he landed on the spot,
not the least recommendations of which were its fish and game and its
convenience as a port where all the country did not produce could be
brought from countries that did--a spot that, half-way between the North
and the South, assured to Philadelphia one of the best-stocked markets
in the world, ever the wonder and admiration of every visitor to the
town. Pleasure in the material, if history can be trusted, dates as far
back. A wise man once suggested the agreeable journeys that could be
planned on a gastronomical map of France--from the Tripe of Caen to the
Bouillabaisse of Marseilles, from the Château Margaux of Bordeaux to the
Champagne of Rheims, from the Ducks of Rouen to the Truffles of
Périgord, and so, from one end to the other of that Land of Plenty. I
would suggest that an agreeable record of Philadelphia might be based
upon the dinners it has eaten, from the historic dinner foraged for by
the cat over a couple of centuries ago, to the banquet of yesterday in
Spruce Street or Walnut, at the Bellevue or the Ritz.


I should like some day to write this history myself, when I have more
space and time at my disposal. I have always been blessed with a healthy
appetite, a decent sense of discrimination in satisfying it, and also a
deep interest in the Philosophy of Food ever since I began to collect
cookery books. The more profoundly I go into the subject, the readier I
am to believe with Brillat-Savarin that what a man is depends a good
deal on what he eats. This is why I think that if the Philadelphian is
to be understood, the study of him must not stop with his politics and
his literature and his art, but must include his marketing and his bill
of fare. He has had the wit never to doubt the importance of both, and
the pride never to make light of his genius for living well.

The early Friends in Philadelphia knew better than to pull a long face,
burrowing for the snares of the flesh and the devil in every necessity
of life, like the unfortunate Puritans up in New England. It was not to
lead a hermit's existence William Penn invited them to settle on the
banks of the Delaware, and he and they realized that pioneer's work
could not be done on hermit's fare. They entertained no fanatical
disdain for the pleasures of the table, no ascetic abhorrence to good
food, daintily prepared. Brawn and chocolate and venison were Penn's
tender offering as lover to Hannah Callowhill, olives and wine his
loving gift as friend to Isaac Norris. For equally "acceptable presents"
that admirable citizen had to thank many besides Penn. James Logan knew
that the best way to manage your official is to dine him, and in his
day, and after it, straight on, no public commissioner, and indeed no
private traveller, could visit Philadelphia and not be fed with its
banquets and comforted with its Madeira and Punch, while few could
refrain from saying so with an eloquence and gratitude that did them
honour. Benjamin Franklin, keeping up the tradition, was known to feast
more excellently than a philosopher ought, and his philosophy of food is
explained by his admission in a letter that he would rather discover a
_recipe_ for making Parmesan cheese in an Italian town than any ancient
inscription. The American Philosophical Society could not conduct its
investigations without the aid of dinners and breakfasts, nor could any
other Philadelphia Society or Club study, or read, or hunt, or fish, or
legislate, or pursue its appointed ends, without fine cooking and hard
drinking--though I hope they were not the inspiration of Thomas
Jefferson's severe criticism of his fellow Americans who, he said, were
unable to terminate the most sociable meals without transforming
themselves into brutes. It was impossible for young ladies and grave
elders to keep descriptions of public banquets and family feasts and
friendly tea-drinkings out of their letters and diaries: one reason of
the fascination their letters and diaries have for Philadelphians who
read them to-day. And altogether, by the Revolution, to judge from John
Adams' account of his "sinful feasts" in Philadelphia, and General
Greene's description of the luxury of Boston as "an infant babe" to the
luxury of Philadelphia, and the rest of America's opinion of
Philadelphia as a place of "crucifying expenses," and many more signs of
the times, the dinners of Philadelphia had become so inseparable from
any meeting, function, or business, that I am tempted to question
whether, had they not been eaten, the Declaration of Independence could
have been signed. But it was signed and who can say, in face of the
fact, that Philadelphia was any the worse for its feasting? And what if
it proved a dead weight to John Adams, did Boston, did any other town do
more in the cause of patriotism and independence?


One inevitable feature of the "sinful feasts" was the Madeira John Adams
drank at a great rate, but suffered no inconvenience from. I could not
dispense with it in these old records, such a sober place does it hold
in my own memories of Philadelphia. The decanter of Madeira on my
Grandfather's dinner table marked the state occasion, and I would not
have recognized Philadelphia on my return had the same decanter not been
produced in welcome. It was an assurance that Philadelphia was still
Philadelphia, though sky-scrapers might break the once pleasant monotony
of low, red brick houses and motor horns resound through the once
peaceful streets.

From the beginning Madeira was one of the things no good Philadelphia
household could be without--just the sound, dignified, old-fashioned
wine the Philadelphian would be expected to patronize, respectable and
upright as himself. Orders for it lighten those interminably long
letters in the Penn-Logan correspondence, so long that all the time I
was reading them, I kept wondering which of the three I ought to pity
the most: Penn for what he had to endure from his people; Logan for
having to keep him posted in his intolerable wrongs; or myself for
wading through all they both had to say on the subject. As time went
on, I do not believe there was an official function at which Madeira did
not figure. There I always find it--the wine of ceremony, the
sacrificial wine, without which no compact could be sealed, no event
solemnized, no pleasure enjoyed. It seems to punctuate every step in the
career of Philadelphians and of Philadelphia, and I thought nothing
could be more characteristic, when I read the _Autobiography_ of
Franklin, than that it should have been over the Philadelphia Madeira
one Governor of Pennsylvania planned a future for him, and another
Governor of Pennsylvania later on discoursed provincial affairs with
him, "most profuse of his solicitations and promises" under its pleasant
influence. Throughout the old annals I am conscious of that decanter of
Madeira always at hand, the Philadelphian "as free of it as an Apple
Tree of its Fruit on a Windy Day in the month of July," one old visitor
to the town records with a pretty fancy for which, as like as not, it
was responsible.

And throughout the more modern records, there it is again. Even in the
old-fashioned Philadelphia boarding-house less than a century ago, the
men after dinner sat over their Madeira. New generations of visitors,
like the old, drank it and approved, the Madeira that supported John
Adams at Philadelphia's sinful feasts helping to steer Thackeray and an
endless succession of strangers at the gate through Philadelphia's
course of suppers and dinners. It amuses me to recall, as an instance of
all it represented to Philadelphia, that for a couple of years at the
Convent, though a healthier child than I never lived, I was made by the
orders of my Father, obeyed by no means unwillingly on my part, to drink
a glass of Madeira, with a biscuit, every morning at eleven. And so
deep-rooted was its use in the best traditions of Philadelphia
respectability, that the irreproachable Philadelphia ladies who wrote
cookery books never omitted the glass of Madeira from the Terrapin, and
went so far as to quote Scripture and to recommend a little of it for
the stomach's sake.


One of these Philadelphia ladies wrote the most famous cookery book to
this day published in America; a fact which pleases me, partly because,
with Edward Fitzgerald, I cannot help liking a cookery book, and still
more because it flatters my pride as a Philadelphian that so famous a
book should come from Philadelphia. It seems superfluous to add that I
mean Miss Leslie's _Complete Cookery_. What else could I mean?

There had been cookery books in America before Miss Leslie's. America,
with Philadelphia to set the standard, could not get on very far without
them. If in the hurry and flurry of Colonial life, the American did not
have the leisure to write them, he borrowed them, the speediest way to
manufacture any kind of literature. There is an American edition of Mrs.
Glasse, with Mrs. Glasse left out--the American pirate was nothing if
not thorough. There is an American edition of Richard Briggs who was
not deprived of the credit of his book, though robbed of his title.
There are American editions I have no doubt of many besides which I have
only to haunt the old bookstalls and second-hand book stores of
Philadelphia assiduously enough to find. But of American cookery books,
either borrowed or original, before the time of Miss Leslie, I own but
the stolen Mrs. Glasse and an insignificant little manual issued in New
York in 1813, an American adaptation probably of an English model to
which I have not yet succeeded in tracing it.

Nor do I know of any I do not own, and I know as much of American
cookery books as any of the authorities, and I do not mind saying so, as
I can without the shadow of conceit. Vicaire includes only two or three
in his _Bibliographie_; Hazlitt, to save trouble, confined himself to
English books; Dr. Oxford's interest is frankly in the publications of
his own country, though, in his first bibliography, he mentions a few
foreign volumes, and in his second he refers to one American piracy, and
these are the three chief bibliographers of the Kitchen in Europe.
American authorities do not exist, when I except myself. It is true that
G. H. Ellwanger made a list of cookery books, but he threw them together
anyhow, with no attempt at classification, and his list scarcely merits
the name of bibliography. The history of the American cookery book is a
virgin field, and as such I present it to the innumerable American
students who are turned out from the Universities, year after year, for
the research work that is frequently of as little use to themselves as
to anybody else.


But many as may be the discoveries in the future, Miss Leslie cannot be
dethroned nor deprived of her distinction as the Mrs. Glasse of America.
Other writers, if there were any, were allowed to disappear; should they
be dragged out of their obscurity now, it would be as bibliographical
curiosities, bibliographical specimens. Miss Leslie was never forgotten,
she survives to-day, her name honoured, her book cherished. She leapt
into fame on its publication, and with such ardour was the First Edition
bought up, with such ardour either reverently preserved or diligently
consulted that I, the proud possessor of Mrs. Glasse in her First
Edition "pot folio," of Apicius Coelius, Gervase Markham, Scappi, Grimod
de la Reynière, and no end of others in their first Editions, cannot as
yet boast a First Edition of Miss Leslie. I have tried, my friends have
tried; the most important book-sellers in the country have tried; and in
vain, until I begin to think I might as well hope for the Elzevir
_Patissier Français_ as the 1837 _Complete Cookery_. It may be hidden on
some unexplored Philadelphia book shelf, for it was as indispensable in
the Philadelphia household as the decanter of Madeira. I ask myself if
its appreciation in the kitchen, for which it was written, is the reason
why I have no recollection of it in the Eleventh and Spruce Street
house, well as I remember _Lippincott's_ on the back parlour table, nor
in my Father's library, well as I recall his editions of Scott and
Dickens, Voltaire and Rousseau, a combination expressive of a liberal
taste in literature. But never anywhere have I seen that elusive First
Edition, never anywhere succeeded in obtaining an earlier edition than
the Fifty-Eighth. The date is 1858--think of it! fifty-eight editions in
twenty-one years! Can our "Best Sellers" surpass that as a record? Or
can any American writer on cookery after Miss Leslie, from Mrs. Sarah
Joseph Hale and Jenny June to Marion Harland and the Philadelphia Mrs.
Rorer, rank with her as a rival to Mrs. Glasse, as the author of a
cookery book that has become the rare prize of the collector?


It is so proud an eminence for a quiet Philadelphia maiden lady in the
Eighteen-Thirties and Forties to have reached that I cannot but wish I
knew more of Miss Leslie personally. From her contemporaries I have
learned nothing save that she went to tea parties like any ordinary
Philadelphian, that she was interested in the legends and traditions of
her town, which wasn't like any ordinary Philadelphian, and that she
condescended to journalism, editing _The Casket_. There is a portrait of
her at the Academy, Philadelphia decorum so stamped upon her face and
dress that it makes me more curious than ever to know why she was not
the mother of children instead of a writer of books. These books explain
that she had a literary conscience. In her preface to her _Domestic
Economy_, which is not an unworthy companion to her _Complete Cookery_,
she reveals an unfeminine respect for style. "In this as in her Cookery
Book," she writes, a dignity expressed in her use of the third person,
"she has not scrupled when necessary, to sacrifice the sound to the
sense; repeating the same words when no others could be found to express
the purport so clearly, and being always more anxious to convey the
meaning in such terms as could not be mistaken than to risk obscuring it
by attempts at refined phraseology or well-rounded periods." Now and
then the temptation was too strong and she fell into alliteration,
writing of "ponderous puddings and curdled custards." But this is
exceptional. As a rule, in her dry, business-like sentences, it would be
impossible to suspect her of philandering with sound, or concerning
herself with the pleasure of her readers.

Her subject is one, happily, that can survive the sacrifice. The book is
a monument to Philadelphia cookery. She was not so emancipated as to
neglect all other kitchens. _Recipes_ for Soup _à la Julienne_ and
Mulligatawny, for Bath Buns and Gooseberry Fools, for Pilaus and
Curries, are concessions to foreign conventions. _Recipes_ for Oysters
and Shad, for Gumbo and Buckwheat Cakes, for Mint Juleps and Sweet
Potatoes, for Pumpkins and Mush, show her deference to ideals cultivated
by Americans from one State or another. But concessions and deference do
not prevent her book--her two books--from being unmistakably
Philadelphian:--an undefinable something in the quality and quantity, a
definable something in the dishes and ingredients. I know that in my
exile, thousands of miles from home, when I open her _Complete Cookery_,
certain passages transport me straight back to Philadelphia, to my
childhood and my youth, to the second-story back-building dining-room
and the kitchen with the lilacs at the back-yard door. I read of Dried
Beef, chipped or frizzled in butter and eggs, and, as of old in the
Eleventh and Spruce Street house, a delicious fragrance, characteristic
of Philadelphia as the sickly smell of the ailanthus, fills my nostrils
and my appetite is keen again for the eight o'clock tea, long since
given way to the eight o'clock dinner. I turn the pages and come to Reed
Birds, roasted or baked, and at once I feel the cool of the radiant fall
evening, and I am at Belmont or Strawberry Mansion after the long walk
through the park, one of the gay party for whom the cloth is laid. Or
the mere mention of Chicken Salad sets back the clock of the years and
drops me into the chattering midst of the Philadelphia five o'clock
reception, in time for the spread that, for sentiment's sake, is dear to
me in memory, but that, for digestion's sake, I hope never to see
revived. Or a thrill is in the dressing for the salad alone, in the mere
dash of mustard that Philadelphia has the independence to give to its
Mayonnaise. I am conservative in matters of art. I would not often
recommend a deviation from French precedent which is the most reliable
and the finest. But Philadelphia may be trusted to deviate, when it
permits itself the liberty, with discretion and distinction.




So much of Philadelphia is in Miss Leslie that her silence on one or two
matters essentially Philadelphian is the greater disappointment.

I have said that when I was young it was the business of the man of the
house to market and to make the Mayonnaise for the dinner's salad, and I
have searched for the reason in vain. His appropriation of the marketing
seems to be comparatively modern. If the chronicles are to be trusted,
it was the woman's business as late as Mrs. Washington's day. But by
mine, the man's going to market had settled solidly into one of those
Philadelphia customs taken for granted by Philadelphians simply because
they were Philadelphia customs. Never in print have I seen any reference
to this division of family labour except in the Philadelphia stories of
Thomas A. Janvier who, as a Philadelphian, knew that it became well
brought up Philadelphia men to attend to the marketing and that duties
becoming to them were above explanation. Janvier knew also that only in
Philadelphia, probably, could it occur to the "master of a feast" to
dress the salad, and that this was the reason "why a better salad is
served at certain dinner tables in Philadelphia than at any other
dinner tables in the whole world." Miss Leslie is not without honour in
her own town and was there reverenced by no one as truly as by Janvier,
but his reverence for the Art of Cookery was more profound and he shared
the belief of the initiated that in it man surpasses as hitherto, I
regret to say, he has surpassed in all the arts.

Janvier himself was the last "master of the feast" it was my good
fortune to watch preparing the Mayonnaise. It was a solemn rite in his
hands, and the result not unworthy--his salads were delicious, perfect,
original, their originality, however, never pushed to open defiance of
the Philadelphia precedents he respected. One of my pleasantest memories
of him is of his salad-making at his own dinner table in his London
rooms, one or two friends informally gathered about him, and the summer
evening so warm that he appeared all in white--a splendid presence, for
he was an unusually handsome man, of the rich, flamboyant type that has
gone out of fashion almost everywhere except in the South of France. The
white added, somehow, to the effect of ceremony, and he lingered over
every stage of the preparation and the mixing,--the Philadelphia touch
of mustard not omitted,--with due gravity and care. How different the
salad created with this ceremony from the usual makeshift mixed nobody
knows how or where!


That the Philadelphia man should have accepted this responsibility,
explains better than I could how high is the Philadelphia standard. I
could not understand Miss Leslie's silence on the subject, did I not
suspect her of a disapproval as complete as her Cookery. She had no
new-fangled notions on the position of woman, no desire to dispute man's
long-established superiority. If she was willing to teach women how to
become accomplished housewives, it was that they might administer to the
comfort and satisfy the appetite of their fathers and brothers and
husbands and sons. The end of woman, according to her creed, is to make
the home agreeable for man, and it would save us many of to-day's
troubles if we agreed with her. No man, since it is to his advantage,
will blame her for being more orthodox as a woman than as a
Philadelphian, nor is it at very great cost that I forgive her. I prize
her book too much from the collector's standpoint, if from no other, to
resent its sentiment. And my joy in my copy--in my Fifty-eighth
Edition--is none the less because it was presented to me by Janvier who,
in a few short stories, gave the spirit of the Philadelphia feast as
Miss Leslie, in two substantial volumes, collected and classified its

Another thing I do not find in Miss Leslie is the Oyster Croquette,
which she could not have ignored had she once eaten it. Therefore I am
led to see in it the product of a generation nearer my own. In my
memories of childhood it is inseparable from my Grandmother's eight
o'clock tea on evenings when the family were invited in state--in my
memories of youth inseparable from every afternoon or evening party at
which I feasted fearlessly and well--and it figured at many a Sunday
high-tea, that exquisite feast which, by its very name, refuses to let
itself be confounded with its coarser counterpart known to the English
as a meat-tea. From these facts I conclude, though I have no other data
to rely upon, that the Oyster Croquette must have been not simply the
masterpiece, but the creation of Augustine, for the Oyster Croquette
which the well-brought-up Philadelphian then ate at moments of rejoicing
was always of his cooking.


Augustine--the explanation is superfluous for Philadelphians of my
age--was a coloured man with the genius of his race for cookery and
probably a drop or more of the white blood that developed in him also
the genius for organization, so that he was a leader among caterers, as
well as a master among cooks. It is worth noting that the demand for
cooks in Philadelphia being great, the greatest cooks in America never
failed to supply it: worth noting also that the Philadelphia housewife,
being thus well supplied, had not begun when I was young to amuse
herself with the chafing-dish as she does now. For many years,
Augustine's name and creations were the chief distinction of every
Philadelphia feast. To have entertained without his assistance would
have been as serious a crime as to have omitted Terrapin--in season--and
Ice-cream from the Philadelphia menu; as daring as to have gone for
chocolates anywhere save to Pénas' or for smilax anywhere save to
Pennock's, and this sort of daring in Philadelphia would have been
deplored not as harmless originality, but as eccentricity in the worst
possible taste. Thanks to Augustine, Philadelphia became celebrated in
America for its Oyster Croquettes and Terrapin and Broiled Oysters--what
a work of genius this, with the sauce of his invention!--as Bresse is in
France for its Chickens, or York in England for its Hams.

So much I know about him, and no more--but his name should go down in
history with those of Vatel and Carême and Gouffé: an artist if ever
there was one! Because he did not commit suicide like Vatel--his oysters
were never late--because he did not write encyclopedias of cookery like
Carême and Gouffé, his name and fame are in danger of perishing unless
every Philadelphian among my contemporaries hastens to lay a laurel leaf
upon his grave. I fear nothing as yet has been done to preserve his
memory. His name survives on the simple front of a South Fifteenth
Street house, where I saw it and rejoiced when I was last at home and,
in compliment to him, went inside and ate my lunch in the demure light
of a highly respectable dining-room in the society of a dozen or more
highly respectable Philadelphians seated at little tables. I could not
quarrel with my lunch--it was admirably cooked and served--but it was an
everyday lunch, not the occasional feast--the Augustine of old did not
cook the ordinary meal and the Fifteenth Street house is too modest to
be accepted as the one and only monument to his memory.

[Illustration: GIRARD STREET]

The Oyster Croquette could not have sprung up in a day and triumphed
were Philadelphia as hide-bound with convention as it is supposed to be.
Philadelphia is conservative in matters of cookery when conservatism
means clinging to its great traditions; it is liberal when liberality
means adapting to its own delightful ends the new idea or the new
masterpiece. It never ceased to be sure of its materials nor of their
variety, the Philadelphia market half way between North and South
continuing to provide what is best in both: the meats of the finest--the
fattest mutton he ever saw, Cobbett, though an Englishman, found in
Philadelphia--its fruits and vegetables of the most various, its butter,
good Darlington butter, famed from one end of the land to the other. And
in the preparation of its materials, for the sake of eating better,
Philadelphians never have hesitated to take their good where they have
found it. Dishes we prize as the most essentially Philadelphian have
sometimes the shortest pedigree. Why, the Ice-cream that is now one of
Philadelphia's most respected institutions, came so recently that people
we, of my generation, knew could remember its coming. On my return to
Philadelphia, with the advantage the perspective absence gives, I could
appreciate more clearly than if I had stayed at home how well
Philadelphia eats and how nobly it has maintained its old ideals, how
nobly accepted new ones. It has not wavered in the practice of eating
well and taking pleasure in the eating--the reputation of giving good
dinners is, as in my youth, the most highly prized. To quote Janvier:
"The person who achieves celebrity of this sort in Philadelphia is not
unlike the seraph who attains eminence in the heavenly choir." But I am
conscious of a latitude that would not have been allowed before in the
choice of a place to eat them in, and amazed at the number of new


The back-building dining-room was the one scene I knew for the feast. If
I were a man I could tell a different tale. As a woman I used to
hear--all Philadelphia women used to hear--of colossal masculine
banquets at the Philadelphia Club and the Union League, of revels at the
Clover Club, of fastidious feasts at more esoteric clubs--the State in
Schuylkill, the Fish-House Club, and what were the others?--clubs
carrying on the great Colonial traditions, perpetuating the old Colonial
Punch as zealously as the Vestal Virgins watched their sacred fire,
observing mystic practices in the Kitchen, the Philadelphia man himself,
it was said, putting on the cook's apron, presiding over grills and
saucepans, and serving up dishes of such exquisite quality as it has not
entered into the mind of mere woman to conceive or to execute: with the
true delicacy of the gourmet choosing rather to consecrate his talents
to the one perfect dish than to squander them upon many, shrinking as an
artist must from the plebeian "groaning-board" of the gluttonous
display. To stories of these marvels I listened again and again, but my
only knowledge of them is based on hearsay. I would as soon have
expected to be admitted to Mount Athos or to the old Chartreuse as to
banquets and feasts and revels so purely masculine; to ask for the vote
would have seemed less ambitious than to pray for admission. What folly
then it would be for me to pretend to describe them! What presumption to
affect a personal acquaintance I have not and could not have! Into what
pitfalls of ignorance would I stumble! It is for the Philadelphia man
some day to write this particular chapter in the history of Philadelphia
at Table.

As to the Philadelphia woman at the period of which I speak, she had no
Clubs. It was not supposed to be good form for her to feast outside of
the back-building dining-room. She might relieve her hunger with Oysters
in Jones's dingy little shop, or a plate of Ice-cream in Sautter's
sombre saloon; or, with a boating party in spring or summer, she might
go for dinner or supper to one of the restaurants in the Park. But for
more serious entertaining, home, or her friends' home, was the place.
Not that she was, as the fragile, fainting Angelina type once admired,
too ethereal to think of food and drink. She could order and eat a
luncheon, or a dinner, with the best, though she did not do the
marketing or make the Mayonnaise. But she would rather have gone without
food than defy the unwritten Philadelphia law.


Now Philadelphia has changed all that. The wise remain faithful to the
back-building dining-room and, within its grave and tranquil walls, on
its substantial leather-covered chairs, Stuart's Washington looking down
from his place above the mantelpiece, they continue to feast with a
luxury Lucullus might have envied. Fashion, however, drives the less
wise to more frivolous scenes. I never thought to see the day when I
should, in Philadelphia, lunch at a large, well-appointed, luxurious
woman's club, when I should be invited to feast at the Union League--my
lunch there was one of the most extraordinary of all my extraordinary
experiences on my return to Philadelphia--when the cloth for my dinner
would be laid in a big, gay, noisy, crowded Country Club--and yet the
miracle had been worked in my absence and I saw not the day, but the
many days when these things happened. Not only this. In Clubs and
Country Clubs a degree of privacy is still assured. But it is a degree
too much, to judge from the way Philadelphia rushes to lunch, and dine,
and drink the tea it does not want at five o'clock, in hotels and
restaurants: our little secluded oyster saloons exchanged for dazzling
lunch counters, the Spruce and Pine and Walnut Street house that could
not be except in Philadelphia deserted for the Ritz and the Bellevue
that might be in New York or Chicago, Paris or London, Vienna or Rome.
The old fashion was to celebrate the feast in cloistered seclusion, to
let none intrude who was not bidden to share it. Now the fashion is to
cry out and summon the mob and the multitude to gaze upon Philadelphia
feasting. I know that this is in a measure the result of a change that
is not peculiar to Philadelphia alone. All the world to-day, wherever
you go, dines in public--the modern Dives must always dine where his
Lazarus cannot possibly mistake the gate. But I could not have believed
that Philadelphia would come to it--that Philadelphia would step out
from the sanctuary into the market-place and proclaim to the passer-by
the luxury he had once so scrupulously kept to himself.


Nor is the feast quite what it was, though this is not because it has
lost, but rather because it has gained. I trembled on my return lest the
old gods be fallen. My first visit after long years away was one of a
few hours only. I ran over from New York to lunch with old friends.
There was a horrid moment of bewilderment when I stepped from the
Pennsylvania Station into a street where I ought to have been at home
and was not, and this made me dread that at the luncheon the change
would be more overwhelming. Certain things belong to, are a part of,
certain places that can never be the same without them. I met a
Frenchman the other day in London, who had not been there for ten years,
and who was in despair because at no hotel or restaurant could he find a
gooseberry or an apple tart. They were not dishes of which he was warmly
enamoured; no Frenchman could be; but a London shorn of gooseberry and
apple tarts was not the London he had known. The dread of the same
disillusionment was in my heart as I drew near my luncheon, more serious
in my case because the things I did not want to lose were too good to
lose. But my dread was wasted. Broad Street might have changed, but not
the Chicken Salad with the Philadelphia dash of mustard in the
Mayonnaise, not the Croquettes though Augustine had gone, not the
Ice-cream rising before me in the splendid pyramid of my childhood with
the solid base of the Coffee Ice-cream I had never gone to Sautter's
without ordering. And I knew that hope need not be abandoned when I was
assured that, though Sautter's have opened a big new place on Chestnut
Street, where a long _menu_ disputes the honours with their one old
masterpiece, it is to the gloomy store in the retirement of Broad and
Locust that the Philadelphia woman, who gives a dinner, sends for her

These things were unaltered--they are unalterable. All the old friends
reappeared at the breakfasts, luncheons and dinners that followed in the
course of the longer visit when, not the Fatted Calf, but the Fatted
Shad, Soft-Shell Crab, Fried Oyster, Squab--how the name mystified my
friend, George Steevens, though he had but to open an old English
cookery book in my collection to know that in England, before he was
born, a Squab was a young Pigeon--Broiled Chicken, Cinnamon Bun, little
round Cakes with white icing on top, were prepared for the prodigal. But
there were other dishes, other combinations new to me: Grape Fruit had
come in during my absence, though long enough ago to have reached
England in the meanwhile; also the fashion of serving Shad and
Asparagus together, the _dernier cri_ of the Philadelphia epicure,
though--may I admit it now as I have not dared to before?--a combination
in which I thought two delicate flavours were sacrificed, one to the
other. And there were amazing combinations in the Salads, daring,
strange, unPhiladelphian, calling for the French Dressing for which my
Philadelphia had small use. I so little liked the new sign of the new
Sundae at the new popular lunch-counter and druggist's that, with true
Philadelphia prejudice, I never sampled it. And there were other
innovations I would need to write a cookery book to exhaust--sometimes
successful, sometimes not, but with no violation of the canons of the
art in which Philadelphia has ever excelled. In every experiment, every
novelty, the motive, if not the result, was sound.

For this reason I have no fear for the future of Philadelphia cookery,
if only it has the courage not to succumb unreservedly to cold storage.
The changes may be many, but Philadelphia knows how to sift them,
retaining only those that should be retained, for beneath them all is
the changelessness that is the foundation of art.



I confess to a good deal of emotion as the train slowed up in the
Pennsylvania Station, and I think I had a right to it. It is not every
day one comes home after a quarter of a century's absence, and at the
first glance everything was so bewilderingly home-like. Not that I had
not had my misgivings as the train neared Philadelphia. From the car
windows I had seen my old Convent at Torresdale transformed beyond
recognition, many new stations with new names by the way, rows and rows
of houses where I remembered fields, Philadelphia grown almost as big as
London to get into, a new, strange, unbelievable sky-line to the town,
the bridges multiplied across the Schuylkill--change after change where
I should have liked to find everything, every house, field, tree, blade
of grass even, just as I had left it. But what change there might be in
the station kept itself, for the moment anyway, discreetly out of sight.
For all the difference I saw, I might have been starting on the journey
that had lasted over a quarter of a century instead of returning from

This made the shock the greater when, just outside in Market Street, I
was met by a company of mounted policemen. It is true they were there
to welcome not me, but the President of the United States who was due by
the next train, and were supported by the City Troop, as indispensable a
part of my Philadelphia as the sky over my head and the bricks under my
feet; true also that, well-uniformed, well-mounted, well-groomed as they
were, I felt they would be a credit to any town. But the shock was to
find them there at all. Philadelphia in my day could not have run, or
would not have wanted to run, to anything so officially imposing; that
it could and did now was a warning there was no mistaking. Whatever
Philadelphia might have developed, or deteriorated, into, it was not any
longer the Philadelphia I had known and loved.

It was the same sort of warning all the way after that. Wherever I went,
wherever I turned, I stumbled upon an equally impossible jumble of the
familiar and the unfamiliar. At times, I positively ached with the joy
of finding places so exactly as I remembered them that I caught myself
saying, just here "this" happened, or "that," as I and my Youth met
ourselves; at others I could have cried for the absurdity, the tragedy,
of finding everything so different that never in a foreign land had I
seemed more hopelessly a foreigner.


I did not have to go farther than my hotel for a reminder that
Philadelphia, to oblige me, had not stood altogether still during my
quarter of a century's absence, but had been, and was, busy refashioning
itself into something preposterously new. From one of my high windows I
might look down to the Philadelphia Library and the Episcopal
Academy,--those two bulwarks of Philadelphia respectability--and beyond,
stretching peacefully away to the peaceful curves of the Delaware, to a
wide plain of flat red roofs and chimneys, broken by the green lines of
the trees that follow the straight course of Philadelphia's streets and
by the small green spaces of the trees that shade Philadelphia's
back-yards: level and lines and spaces I knew as well as a lesson learnt
by heart. But, from the midst of this red plain of roofs, huge high
buildings, like towers, that I did not know, sprang up into the blue
air, increasing in number as my eye wandered northward until, from the
other window, I saw them gathered into one great, amazing, splendid
group with William Penn, in full-skirted coat and broad-brimmed hat,
springing still higher above them.

When I went down into the streets, I might walk for a minute or two
between rows of the beloved old-fashioned red brick houses, with their
white marble steps and their white shutters below and green above, and
then, just as exultantly I began to believe them changeless as the
Pyramids and the Sphinx, I would come with a jar upon a Gothic gable, an
absurd turret, a Renaissance doorway, a façade disfigured by a hideous
array of fire escapes, a sham Colonial house, or some other upstart that
dated merely from yesterday or the day before. And here and there a
sky-scraper of an apartment house swaggered in the midst of the little
"homes" that were Philadelphia's pride--the last new one, to my dismay,
rearing its countless stories above the once inviolate enclosure of
Rittenhouse Square.

When I went shopping in Chestnut Street my heart might rejoice at the
sight of some of the well remembered names--Dreka, Darlington, Bailey,
Caldwell, as indispensable in my memory as that of Penn himself--but it
sank as quickly in the vain search for the many more that have
disappeared, or indeed, for the whole topsy-turvy order of things that
could open the big new department stores into Market Street and make it
the rival of Chestnut as a shopping centre, or that could send other
stores up to where stores had never ventured in my day: stores in Walnut
Street as high as Eighteenth, a milliner's in Locust Street almost under
the shadow of St. Mark's, a stock-broker at the corner of Fifteenth and
Walnut, Hughes and Müller--I need tell no Philadelphian who Hughes and
Müller are even if they have unkindly made two firms of the old
one--within a stone's throw of Dr. Weir Mitchell's house; when I saw
that I felt that sacrilege could go no further.

[Illustration: WANAMAKER'S]

For sentiment's sake, I might eat my plate of ice-cream at the old
little marble-topped table in the old Locust Street gloom at Sautter's,
or buy cake at Dexter's at the old corner in Spruce Street, but Mrs.
Burns with her ice-cream, Jones with his fried oysters, had vanished,
gone away in the _Ewigkeit_ as irrevocably as Hans Breitmann's Barty or
the snows of yester-year. And Wyeth's and Hubbell's masqueraded under
other names, and Shinn, from whom we used to buy our medicines, was
dead, and the new firm sold cigars with their ice-cream sodas, and my
Philadelphia was stuffed with saw-dust.

Not a theatre was as I had left it, new ones I had never heard of
drawing the people who used to crowd the Chestnut, which has rung down
its curtain on the last act of its last play even as I write; the Arch,
given over now, alas! to the "Movies" and the "Movies" threaten the end
of the drama not only at the Arch but at all theatres forever;
well-patronized houses flourishing in North Broad Street; the staid
Academy of Music thrown into the shadow by its giddy prosperous upstart
of a rival up-town.

Vanished were old landmarks for which I confidently looked--the United
States Mint from Chestnut Street; from Broad and Walnut the old yellow
Dundas House with the garden and the magnolia for whose blossoming I had
once eagerly watched with the coming of spring; from Thirteenth and
Locust the old Paterson House, turned into the new, imposing, very much
criticised building of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; from
Eleventh and Spruce, that other garden overlooked by the windows of the
house my Grandfather built and lived in, as my Father did after him,
and, to me more cruel, the house itself passed into other hands, grown
shabby with time, and the sign "For Sale" hanging on its neglected
walls. Change, change, change--that was what I had come home for!


I am not sure, however, that I had not the worst shock of all when I
wandered from the old home, further down Spruce Street, below the
beautiful Eighteenth Century Hospital, dishonoured now and shut in on
the Spruce Street side by I hardly know what in the way of new wings and
wards. As I had left it, this lower part of Spruce and Pine and the
neighbouring streets, had changed less perhaps than any other part of
the town--has changed less to-day in mere bricks and mortar. It had
preserved the appropriate background for its inheritance of history and
traditions. Numerous Colonial houses remained and upon them those of
later date were modelled. It had kept also the serenity and repose of
the Quaker City's early days, the character, dignity, charm. Many old
Philadelphia families had never moved away. It was clean as a little
Dutch town with nothing to interrupt the quiet but the gentle jingling
of the occasional leisurely horse-car.

[Illustration: ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD]

And what did I find it?--A slum, captured by the Russian Jew, the old
houses dirty, down-at-the-heel; the once spotless marble steps unwashed,
the white shutters hanging loose; the decorative old iron hinges and
catches and insurance plaques or badges rusting, and nobody can say how
much of the old woodwork inside burned for kindling; Yiddish signs in
the windows, with here a Jewish Maternity Home, and there a Jewish
newspaper office; at every door, almost every window, and in groups in
the street, men, women and children with Oriental faces, here and there
a man actually in his caftan, bearded, with the little curls in front of
his ears, and a woman with a handkerchief over her head, and all
chattering in Yiddish and slatternly and dirty as I remembered them in
South-Eastern Europe, from Carlsbad and Prague to those remote villages
of Transylvania where dirt was the sign by which I always knew when the
Jewish quarter was reached. A few patriotic Philadelphians have recently
returned hoping to stem the current, and their houses shine with
cleanliness. In Fourth Street the dignified Randolph House, which the
family never deserted, seems to protest against the wholesale surrender
to the foreign invasion. In Pine Street, St. Peter's, with its green
graveyard, has survived untarnished the surrounding desecration. But I
could only wonder how long the church and these few houses will be able
to withstand the triumphing alien, and I abandoned hope when, at the
very gate of St. Peter's, a woman with a handkerchief tied over her head
stopped me to ask the way to "_Zweit und Pine_."


I know that the same thing is going on in almost all the older parts of
the United States, and the new parts too--I know that some small New
England towns can support their two and three Polish newspapers, that
New York swarms with people who talk any and every language under the
sun except English, and can boast, if it is a thing to boast of, more
Italians than Rome, more Jews than Jerusalem; that San Francisco has its
Chinatown, that the Middle West abounds in German and Swedish
settlements--in a word, I know that everywhere throughout the country,
the native American is retreating before this invasion of the alien. But
it is with a certain difference in Philadelphia. Have I not said that
one of the absurdities of my native town--I can afford to call them
absurdities because I love them--is that for the Philadelphian who looks
upon himself as the real Philadelphian, Philadelphia lies between the
Delaware and the Schuylkill, and is bounded on the north by Market
Street, on the south by Lombard; that in the ancient rhyming list of its
streets he recognizes only the line:

    "Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, and Pine"?

Now, when I left home this narrow section was threatening to grow too
narrow and it was with some difficulty the Philadelphian kept within it.
Up till then, however, it was in no danger except from his own
increasing numbers. The tragedy is that the Russian Jew should have
descended upon just this section, should now, not so much dispute it
with him, as oust him from it--the Russian Jew, a Jew by religion but
not by race, who has been found impossible in every country on the
Continent of Europe into which he has drifted, so impossible when that
country is Holland that the Jews who have been there for centuries
collect among themselves the money to send him post haste on to England
and poor America, for even the Dutch Jew cannot stand the Russian
Jew--and, from what I have heard, neither can the decent Pennsylvania
Jew who has been with us almost from the beginning. Other aliens have
been more modest and set up their slums where they interfere less with
Philadelphia tradition. I cannot understand, and nobody has been able to
explain to me, why the Russian Jew was allowed to push his way in. But
the indolent never see the thin end of the wedge, and there are
philanthropists whose philanthropy for the people they do not know
increases in direct proportion to the harm it does to those they do
know. I was told more than once to consider what Philadelphia was doing
for the Russian Jew, to remember that he has paid America the compliment
of accepting it as the Promised Land, that his race in America has
produced Mary Antin, and to see for myself what good Americans were
being made of his children. But though Philadelphia may one day blossom
like the rose with Mary Antins, though there might have been an
incipient patriot in every one of the small Russian Jews I met being
taken in batches across Independence Square to Independence Hall to
imbibe patriotism at the fount, I could not help considering rather what
the Russian Jew is just now doing for Philadelphia. For it is as plain
as a pipe stem to anybody with eyes to see that the Philadelphians to
whom Philadelphia originally belonged are being pushed by the Russian
Jew out of the only part of it they care to live in.


I wondered at first why so many people had fled to the country, why so
many signs "For Sale" or "For Rent" were to be seen about Spruce and
Pine and Walnut Streets. Various reasons were given me:--with the Law
Courts now in the centre of the town and the new Stock Exchange at Broad
and Walnut, and stores everywhere, nobody could live in town; the noise
of the trolleys is unbearable; the dirt of the city is unhealthy; soft
coal has made Philadelphia grimier than London; the motor has destroyed
distance;--excellent reasons, all of them. But it was not until I
discovered the Russian Jew that I understood the most important. It is
the Russian Jew who, with an army of aliens at his back--thousands upon
thousands of Italians, Slavs, Lithuanians, a fresh emigration of negroes
from the South, and statistics alone can say how many other
varieties--is pushing and pushing Philadelphians out of the town--first
up Spruce Street, nearer and nearer to the Schuylkill, then across the
Schuylkill into the suburbs, eventually to be swept from the suburbs
into the country, until who can say where there will be any room for
them at all? With the Russian Jew's genius for adapting himself to
American institutions, I could fancy him taking possession of, and
adding indefinitely to, the little two-story houses that already stretch
in well-nigh endless rows to the West and the North, Germantown and West
Philadelphia built over beyond recognition. I remember when, one day in
a trolley, I had gone for miles and miles between these rows--each
little house with the same front yard, the same porch, the same awning,
the same rocking-chairs--I had a horrible waking nightmare in which I
saw them multiplying--as the alien himself multiplied beyond the most
ardent dreams of Mr. Roosevelt,--and creeping out further and further,
across the city limits, across the State, across the Middle West, across
the prairies, across the Rockies, across the Sierras, until at last they
joined East to West in one unbroken line--one great, unbroken, unlovely
monument to the enterprise of the new American, and the philanthropy of
the old: while only the Russian Jew at the door of the State House, like
Macaulay's New Zealander under the shadow of St. Paul's, remained to
muse and moralize on the havoc he had wrought.


This may seem a trifle fantastic, but I should find it hard to give an
idea of how impossibly fantastic the prevailing presence of the alien in
Philadelphia appeared to me. To be sure, we had our aliens a quarter of
a century ago. But they were mostly Irish, Germans, Swedes. The Italian
at his fruit-stall was as yet rather the picturesque exception, and I
can remember how, not very long before I left home, the whole town went
to stare at the first importation of Russian Jews, dumped down under I
have forgotten what shelter, as if they were curiosities or freaks from
Barnum's. But now the aliens are mostly Latins, Slavs, Orientals who do
not fit so unobtrusively into our American scheme of things, and who
come from the lowest classes in their own countries, so ignorant and
degraded most of them that, what with their increasing numbers and our
new negro population from the South, there are people in Pennsylvania
who are trying to introduce an educational test at the polls--America
having learned the evil of universal suffrage just as England is
coquetting with it.


The rest of Philadelphia--the rest of America, for that matter--may be
accustomed to this new emigration to my town as well as to all parts of
the country. But I had not seen the latter-day alien coming in by every
steamer, and gradually, almost imperceptibly, establishing himself. The
advantage, or disadvantage, of staying away from home so long is that,
on returning, one gets the net result of the change the days and the
years bring with them. Those who stay at home are broken in to the
change in its initial stages and can accept the result as a matter of
course. I could not. To be honest, I did not like it. I did not like to
find Philadelphia a foreign town.

I did not like to find Streets where the name on almost every store is
Italian. I did not like to find the new types of negro, like savages
straight from the heart of Africa some of them looked, who are disputing
South Street and Lombard Street and that disgraceful bit of Locust
Street with the decent, old-fashioned, self-respecting Philadelphia
darkies. I did not like to find the people with foreign manners--for
instance, to have my hand kissed for a tip in the hotel by a Lithuanian
chambermaid, though I should add that in a month she had grown American
enough to accept the same tip stoically with a bare "Thank You." I did
not like to find the foreigner forcing his way not only into the
Philadelphian's houses, the Philadelphian's schools, the Philadelphian's
professions--professions that have been looked upon as the sacred right
of certain Philadelphia families for almost a couple of centuries. I
have heard all about his virtues, nobody need remind me of them; I know
that he is carrying off everything at the University so that rich Jews
begin to think they should in return make it a gift or bequest, as no
rich Jew has yet, I believe. I know that the young Philadelphian must
give up his sports and his gaieties if he can hope to compete with the
young Russian Jew who never allows himself any recreation on the road to
success--and perhaps this won't do the young Philadelphian any harm. I
know that if the Russian Jew keeps on studying law, the Philadelphia
lawyer will be before long as extinct as the dodo--a probability that if
it wakes up the Philadelphia lawyer may have its uses. All this, and
much besides, I know--also, incidentally, I might add the fact that the
Russian Jew, who is not unintelligent, has mastered in a very short time
the possibilities of arson and bankruptcy as investments. But if there
were no other side to his virtues--and of course there is that other
side too--I should not like to think of the new Philadelphian that is to
come out of this incredible mixture of Russian Jews and countless other
aliens as little like us in character and tradition.

The new Philadelphian may be a finer creature far than in my hopes for
him, finer far than the old Philadelphian I have known--but then he will
not be that old Philadelphian whom I do not want to lose and whom it
would be a pity to lose in a country for which, ever since Penn pointed
the way to the constitution of the United States, he has probably
accomplished more than any other citizen.

Personally, I might as well say that I do not believe he will be a finer
creature. It seems to me that he is doing away with the old American
idea of levelling up and is bent on the levelling down process that is
going on all over Europe. And so foreign is he making us, that I would
not think J. very far wrong in declaring himself the only real American
left, if only he would include me with him.

[Illustration: THE NARROW STREET]



It was not only the change that oppressed me those first days of my
return. As bewildering, as discouraging, were the signs everywhere of
the horrible haste with which it has been brought about: a haste foreign
to the Philadelphia habit. But the aliens pouring into Philadelphia have
increased its population at such a prodigious rate that it has been
obliged to grow too prodigiously fast to meet or to adapt itself to the
new conditions without the speed that does not belong to it.

I had left it a big, prosperous, industrial town--Baldwin's, Cramp's,
Kensington and Germantown mills all in full swing--but it carried off
its bigness, prosperity, and industry with its old demure and restful
airs of a country town. The old-fashioned, hard-working, Philadelphia
business man could still dine at four o'clock and spend the rest of the
afternoon looking out of the window for the people who rarely passed and
the things that never happened--nobody would be free to dine at four
now-a-days, nobody would have the leisure to sit at any hour looking out
of the window, except perhaps the Philadelphia clubman who clings to
that amiable pastime, as he does, so far successfully, to his Club
house, threatened on every side as it is by the advance of the
sky-scraper. The old-fashioned busy Philadelphia crowds, as I remember
them, could still take their time in the streets, so that I remember,
too, my friend, George Steevens' astonishment because a passer-by he
thanked for information could linger to say "You are very welcome." The
old-fashioned Philadelphia business, going on at a pace that only New
York and Chicago could beat, was still accomplished with so little fuss
that the rest of America laughed at Philadelphia for its slowness and
sleepiness, and told those old time-worn stories that have passed into
folk-lore. It was just this that gave Philadelphia such a distinct
character of its own--that it could be laughed at for slowness and
sleepiness by the other towns, and all the while be sleepy and slow to
such good purpose as to make itself into one of the most prosperous and
influential in the country: to be able to work at the American pace and
yet preserve its dignity and sedateness.

But the old stories have lost what little point they had. Philadelphia
does not look slow and sleepy any longer. Things have changed, indeed,
when a modern traveller like Mr. Arnold Bennett can speak of "spacious
gaiety" in connection with Philadelphia--with its spacious dulness the
earlier traveller was more apt to be impressed. At last, however, it has
given up its country-town airs for the airs of the big town it is--given
up the calmness that was its chief characteristic for the hurry-flurry
of the ordinary American town. And there is scarcely a Philadelphian
who regrets it, that is the saddest part of it--scarcely a Philadelphian
who does not rejoice that Philadelphia is getting to be like New York.


I think, of all the innovations, this was the one that distressed me
most, though I could understand the difficulty of calm in the face of
the multitude of new housing and traffic problems it has had to tackle,
at a rate and with a speed that the Philadelphian, left to himself,
would never have imposed upon it. Somehow, it has had to keep on putting
up those rows of little two-story houses in sufficient numbers to
shelter the too rapidly increasing population if it is to maintain its
reputation as the City of Homes; somehow, it has had to provide subways,
and elevateds, and new suburban lines with no level crossings, and new
central Stations and Terminals, and big trolley cars out of all
proportion to Philadelphia's narrow streets, and taxis too dear for any
but the millionaire to drive in, if the too-rapidly increasing crowds
are to be got to work and back again; somehow, new bridges have had to
cross the Schuylkill, new streets have had to be laid out, so many new
things have had to be begun and done in the too-rapidly growing town,
that there is small chance and less time for it to take them calmly or,
alas! to keep itself clean and tidy.


In my memory Philadelphia was a model of cleanliness under a clean sky,
free of the smoke that the use of soft coal has brought with it. Every
Saturday every servant girl--"maid," Philadelphia calls her now--turned
out with mops and buckets and hose, for such a washing up of the front
for a week that, until the next Saturday, Philadelphia could not look
dirty if it tried. But I do not believe that a legion of servant girls,
with all the mops, buckets, and hose in the world, could ever wash
Philadelphia clean again, to such depths of dirt has it fallen. It could
not have been more of a disgrace to its citizens when Franklin deplored
the shocking condition of its streets, especially in wet weather, or
when Washington had to wade through mud to get to the theatre where he
found his recreation. It has become actually the Filthydelphia somebody
once called it in jest. Not even in the little Spanish and Italian towns
whose dirt the American deplores, have I seen such streets--all rivers
and pools and lakes when it rains, ankle-deep in dust when it is dry,
papers flying loose, corners choked with dirt, tins of ashes and garbage
standing at the gutter side all day long--even London, that I used to
think the dirtiest of dirty towns, knows how to order its garbage better
than that. We Americans are supposed to be long-suffering, to endure
almost anything until the crisis comes. But I thought that crisis had
long since come in the Philadelphia streets. Everybody agreed with me,
and I was assured that a corrupt government having been got out and a
reform government got in, already there was tremendous talk of schemes
for garbage--bags to be hauled off full of garbage, dust-tight on the
way, and hauled back empty, old paper to be bought up by the city so
that no thrifty citizen would throw a scrap of paper into the
street--and as tremendous talk of experiments in garbage, ten patriotic
citizens promising to contribute one thousand dollars each to make them.
I was assured also that the reform Mayor has done his best and struggled
valiantly against the evil, but unfortunately it is not he alone who can
vote the money for a wholesale spring-cleaning. It occurred to me that,
in the meanwhile, we might be better off if we returned with much less
expense, to the hogs that were "the best of scavengers" when William
Cobbett visited Philadelphia. Or, at no more than the cost of a ticket
to New York, the reformers might at least learn how to keep garbage tins
off the front steps of inoffensive, tax-paying citizens at five o'clock
in the afternoon when they ask their friends to drink tea in that
English fashion which is as novel in my Philadelphia as the difficulty
with the garbage.


My own opinion was that Philadelphia had lost its head over the
magnitude of the task before it. In no other way could I account for the
recklessness with which old streets were torn up for blocks and repaired
by inches; new streets built and horrible stagnant pools left on their
outskirts--the suburbs quite as bad in this respect, so bad that I
understand associations of citizens are formed to do what the
authorities don't seem able to; boulevards planned and held up when half
finished, a monumental entrance designed to the most beautiful Park in
the world and, on its either side, silly little wooden pergolas set up
to try the effect, by the dethroned government I believe, and, though
nobody, from one end of the town to the other, approves, neither the
time nor the money is found to pull them down again--neither the time
nor the money found for anything but dirt and untidiness.


The people, their manners, their life,--everything seemed to me to have
been caught in this mad whirlwind of change and haste. The crowds in the
street were not the same, had forgotten the meaning of repose and
leisureliness; had at last given in to the American habit of leaving
everything until the last moment and then rushing when there was no
occasion for rush, and pretending to hustle so that not one man or woman
I met could have spared a second to say "You are welcome" for anybody's
"Thank you," or, for that matter, to provide the information for
anybody's thanks;--indeed, these crowds seemed to me to have mastered
their new rôle with such thoroughness that to-day the visitor from
abroad will carry away the same idea of Philadelphia as Arnold Bennett,
who, during his sojourn there, never ceased to marvel at its liveliness.


And the crowds have migrated from the old haunts--every sign of life now
gone from Third Street and round about the Stock Exchange, where nobody
now is ever in a hurry--carts and cars going at snail's pace, the whole
place looking as if time did not count--the old town business quarter
deserted for Market Street and Broad Street round the City Hall.

And the crowds do not get about in the same way--no slow, leisurely ride
in the horse-car to a _Depot_ in the wilds of Frankford, or at Ninth and
Green, on the way to the suburbs, but a leap on a trolley, or a rush
through thronged streets to the _Terminal_ at Twelfth and Market, to the
_Station_ at Broad and Market. And it was another sign of how
Philadelphia had "moved" since the old days when, in place of the old
horse-car, which I could rely upon to go in a straight line from one end
of the long street to the other, I took the new trolley and it twisted
and turned with me until the exception was to arrive just where I
expected to, or, if I only stayed in it long enough, not to be landed in
some remote country town where I had no intention of going. I have been
told the story of the stay-at-home Philadelphian as puzzled as I, who
was promised by a motorman, as uncertain as she where he was going, that
at least he could give her a "nice ride through a handsome part of the
town." Worse still, the trolley did not stop at the corners where the
car used to stop so that I, a native Philadelphian, had to be told where
to wait for it by an interloper with a foreign accent. Nor was it
crowded at the same hours as the car used to be, so that going out to
dinner in a Walnut Street trolley I could sit comfortably and not be
obliged to hang on to a strap, with everybody who got in or out helping
to rub the freshness from my best evening gown, which would have been my
fate in the old days.

And the crowds were not managed in the old way--the ordinary policeman
used to do his best to keep out of sight, and here was the mounted
policeman prancing about everywhere, and, at congested corners, adding
to the confusion by filling up what little space the overgrown trolleys
left in the narrow streets. I am not sure that it was not this mounted
policeman--unless it was the coloured policemen and the coloured
postmen--I had most difficulty in getting accustomed to. I came upon him
every day, or almost every hour, with something of a new shock. Can this
be really I, I would say to myself when I saw him in his splendour, can
this be really Philadelphia?


The difference I deplored was not confined to the crowds I did not know;
it was no less marked in the people I did know, in their standards and
outlook, in the way they lived. It is hard to say what struck me most,
though nothing more obviously the first few days than that flight to the
suburbs which had left such visible proofs as those signs "For Rent" and
"For Sale" everywhere in the streets where I was most at home--a flight
necessitated perhaps by the inroads of the alien, but only made possible
by the annihilation of space due to the motor-car.


Once, when a Philadelphian set up a carriage, it was the announcement
to Philadelphia that he had earned the fifty thousand dollars which
fulfilled his ideal of a fortune. In my day Fairman Rogers' four-in-hand
was the limit, and but few Philadelphians had the money and the
recklessness to rival him. Now the Philadelphian does not have to earn
anything at all before he sets up his motor-car, and it is the
announcement of nothing except that he is bound to keep in the swim. Our
children begin where we leave off, as one of my contemporaries said to
me. Everybody has a motor-car. Everybody who can has one in London, I
know, and there also the signs "To Let" and "For Sale" in such regions
as Kensington and Bayswater have for some time back explained to me the
way it has turned London life upside down. But in Philadelphia not
merely everybody who can, but everybody who can't has one, and the
Philadelphian would not do without it, if he had to mortgage his house
as its price. I remember how incredulous I was, one of my first Sunday
evenings at home, when I was dining with friends in the
crowded-to-suffocation dining-room at the Bala Country Club and was
given as an excuse for being rushed from my untasted coffee to catch an
inconsiderately early last train, that ours was probably the only dinner
party in the room without a car to take us back to town. But from that
evening on I had no chance for incredulity, my own movements beginning
to revolve round the motor-car. If I was asked to dinner and lunch at a
distance to which nobody would have thought of dragging me by train in
the old days, a motor was sent to whirl me out in no time at all. If I
went into a far suburb for an afternoon visit, instead of coming soberly
back to town on my return ticket, I would take a short cut by flying
over half the near country, often in the car of people I had never seen
before, as the most convenient route to the hotel. All Philadelphia life
is regulated by the motor-car. It makes a ball or a tea or a dinner ten
miles away as near as one just round the corner was in my time, and so
half the gaiety is transferred to the suburbs and the suburban country,
and, to my surprise, I found girls still going to dances at midsummer.

And the motor has made club life for women indispensable. The woman who
comes up to town in her car must have a Club, and there is the Acorn
Club in Walnut Street, The New Century, and the College and Civic Clubs,
jointly housed at Thirteenth and Spruce, and more clubs in other
streets, probably, which it was not my privilege to be invited to; all,
to judge by the Acorn, with luxurious drawing-and dining-and smoking-and
dressing-and bed-rooms, and women coming and going as if they had lived
in clubs all their lives, when a short quarter of a century before there
had not been one for them to see the inside of. And for men and women
both, the car has brought within their reach those amazing Country Clubs
that have sprung up in my absence. I had read of Country Clubs in
American novels and short stories, I had seen them on the stage in
American plays, but I had never paused to think of them as realities in
Philadelphia until I was actually taken to the Bala and Huntington
Valley Clubs, and until I ate their admirable dinners--at Bala, with the
crowds and in the light and to the music that would have made me feel I
was in a London restaurant, had it not been for the inevitable
cocktail--and until I saw with my own eyes the luxurious houses so
comfortably and correctly appointed--even to brass bedroom candlesticks
on a table in the second-story hall, just as in an old-fashioned English
inn, though as far as I could make out there was excellent electric
light everywhere--until I also saw with my own eyes the trim lawns, and
gardens, and the wide view over the delicate American landscape, and
women in the tennis courts, and the men bringing out their ponies for
polo, and the players dotted over the golf course.

And whether the Country Clubs have created the sport or the sport has
created the Country Clubs, I cannot say, but in the increased attention
to sport I was confronted with another difference as startling.
Philadelphia, I know, has always been given to sport. It hunted and
raced and fished before time and conscience allowed most of the other
Colonists in the North the chance to amuse themselves out-of-doors, or
indoors either, poor things! And the old sports, barring the least
civilized like bull-baiting and cock-fighting, were kept up, and are
kept up, and had their Clubhouses, which, in some cases, have survived.
But, in my time, these sports had been limited to the few who had
country houses in the right districts or the leisure for the
gentlemanly pursuit of foxes and fishes, and their clubs were primitive
compared to the palatial Country Clubs, whose luxury women now share
with men. If you were in the hunting or fishing set, you heard all about
it; but if you were not, you heard little enough. But you did not have
to be in any set to keep up with the great Philadelphia game of cricket,
which was popular, exclusive as the players in their team might be--all
Philadelphia that did not play scrupulously going on the proper
occasions to the Germantown Cricket Ground to watch all Philadelphia
that did. The one alternative as popular was the pastime of rowing, the
exclusiveness here in the rowing men's choice among the Clubs with the
little boating clubhouses on the Schuylkill where boats could be stowed.
And now? The cricket goes on, as gentlemanly and correct a pastime as
ever. And the boating goes on, but with a delightful exclusive old
Colonial house, for one Club at least, hidden in thickets of the Park
where the stranger might pass within a stone's throw and never discover
it, but where the boating party can dine with a privacy and a
sumptuousness undreamed of at Belmont, where boating parties dined in my
young days. And, in addition, time has been prodigal with golf and
tennis and polo; women, who had begun tennis in my time, now beginning
golf, games which, I might as well admit, I have no use for and can
therefore say little about. And I am told that the University foot-ball
matches are among the most important and lavishly patronized social
functions of the year. And in town is the big Racquets Club, in a fine
new building, big enough to shelter any number of sports besides. And
the Natatorium, in moving from the unpretentious premises in South Broad
Street, where it has left its old building and name, to the marble
palace that was once George W. Childs's. Oh, the sacrilege! the house
where his emperors and princes and lords and authors were
entertained,--has converted the swimming lesson into the luxury of
sport. And all told, so many, and so exhaustive, and so universal are
the provisions for sport that I might have believed the Philadelphian
had nothing in the world to do, save to invent amusements to help him
through his empty hours.


And, apparently, it is to provide for the same empty hours that those
elaborate lunch places have multiplied on Chestnut Street, some
delightful where you feast as only Philadelphia can, some horrible where
you sit on high stools at counters and fight for your food; that little
quiet discreet tea-places have sprung up in side streets; that gilded
restaurants, boasting they reproduce the last London fads and fashions,
have succeeded the old no restaurant at all; that hotels as big and
strident as if they had strayed off Fifth Avenue increase in number year
by year, culminating in the Adelphia, the latest giant, which I have not
seen; that the old poky hotels of my day have branched out in roof
gardens where on hot summer evenings you can sit up among the
sky-scrapers, a near neighbour to William Penn on his tower, and get
whatever air stirs over the red-hot furnace of Philadelphia; that a huge
new hotel has appeared up Broad Street where it seems the Philadelphian
sometimes goes with the feeling of adventure with which he once
descended upon Logan Square. Even business hours are broken into; the
lunch of a dozen oysters or a sandwich snatched up anywhere has gone out
of fashion; the chop, in the Philadelphia imitation of a London
chop-house that seemed luxurious in my Father's day, has become far too
simple; and disaster was predicted to me for the Stock Exchange by a
pessimistic member who knew that, from the new building that has
followed the Courts to the centre of the town, brokers will be running
over to lunch at the Bellevue and to incapacitate themselves more or
less for the rest of the day, and business will go on drifting, as it
has begun to, to New York and will all be done by telephone. And as if
the feasting were not enough of a pastime, everywhere lunches, teas and
dinners are served to the sound of music, so that distraction and
diversion may be counted upon without the effort to talk for them. When
I was young, the best Philadelphia could do in the way of combining
music and eating--or principally drinking--was at the Mäennerchor Garden
at Ninth and Green, where a pretzel might be had with a glass of beer,
or a sherry cobbler, or a mint julep--"high-balls" had not been heard
of--and the Philadelphia girl who went, though it was under the
irreproachable charge of her brother, could feel that she was doing
something very shocking and compromising. But in the new Philadelphia,
it is music whenever the Philadelphian eats or drinks in public, which
seems to be next to always.


It may be said that these are harmless innovations, part of the change
in town life as lived in any other town as big. But the marvel to me was
their conquest of Philadelphia, the town that used to pride itself on
not being like other towns, and there they exaggerated themselves in my
eyes into nothing short of revolution. The craving for novelty--that was
at the root of it all: of the restlessness, the willingness to do what
the old-fashioned Philadelphian would rather have been seen dead than
caught doing, of the deliberate break with tradition. Nothing now can be
left peacefully as it was. I felt the foundations of the world crumble
when I heard that the Dancing Class has taken new quarters over in
Horticultural Hall and the Assembly in the Bellevue, that Philadelphia
consents to go up Broad Street for its opera, quieting its conscience by
the compromise of going in carriages and motors and never on foot. There
surely was the end of the old Philadelphia, the real Philadelphia. And
it made matters no better to be assured that so rapidly does
Philadelphia move with the times that the Philadelphian who stays away
from home, or who is in mourning, for a year or so, finds on coming
back, or out of retirement, that Philadelphia society has been as
completely transformed in the meanwhile as Philadelphia streets. Nor did
it make matters better to discover the different prices that different
standards have brought in their train. I could see the new pace at which
life in public is set, I heard much of the new pace set for it in
private--servants' wages prohibitive according to old ways of thinking,
provisions risen to a scale beyond belief, every-day existence as dear
as in London--in Philadelphia, as elsewhere, people threatened with ruin
from, not the high cost of living, but the cost of high living.


And the change is not simply in the outward panoply, in the parade of
life, it is in the point of view, in the new attitude toward life--a
change that impressed itself upon me in a thousand and one ways. I have
already referred to my astonishment at finding Philadelphia occupying
itself with art and literature. But really there is nothing with which
it does not occupy itself. Universal knowledge has come into fashion and
it makes me tired just to think of the struggle to keep up to it. Once
the Philadelphian thought he knew everything that was necessary to know
if he could tell you who every other Philadelphian's grandfather was.
But now he, or I should say she--for it is the women who rule when it
comes to fashion--is not content unless she knows everything, or thinks
she does, from the first chapter in Genesis to the latest novelty on the
Boulevards, the latest club gossip in Pall Mall. And how she can talk
about it! I have made so many confessions in these pages that it will do
no harm to add one more to their number, and to own my discomfiture
when, on finding myself one of a group of Philadelphia women, I have
been stunned into silence, in my ignorance reduced to shame and
confusion by their encyclopedic, Baedeker-Murray information and their
volubility in imparting it. It is wonderful to know so much, but, as the
philosopher says, what a comfort, to be sure, a dull person may be at

On the whole, it was the new interest in politics that most astonished
me. That just when Philadelphia has plunged into incredible frivolity,
it should develop an interest in problems it calmly shirked in its days
of sobriety--that is astounding if you will. When I left home, politics
were still beneath the active interest of the Philadelphian--still
something to steer clear from, to keep one's hands clean of. A man who
would rather live on the public than do an honest day's work, was my
Father's definition of the politician. I remember what a crank we all
thought one of my Brother's friends who amused himself by being elected
to the Common Council. It was not at all good form--who of self-respect
could so far forget himself as to become part, however humble, of the
machine, a hail-fellow-well-met among the Bosses and liable to be
greeted as Bill or Tom or Jim by the postman on his rounds or the
policeman at the corner. Better far let the city be abominably governed
and the tax-payers outrageously robbed, than to submit to such
indignities. The Philadelphian who realized what he owed to himself and
his position was superior to politics. But he is not any longer. I
found him up to his eyes in politics--taking the responsibility of
municipal reform, waging war against state corruption, running meetings
for Roosevelt and Progress at the last Presidential election. And not
only this. The women are sharing his labours--the women who of old
hardly knew the meaning of politics, might have been puzzled even to
know how to spell the unfamiliar word--they too are busy with civic
reform, and turn a watchful but unavailing eye on the garbage, and run
settlements in the slums, and qualify as policemen, and demand the
vote--parade for it, hold public meetings for it, hob-nob with coloured
women for it, run after the discredited English militant for it,--and
talk politics on any and every occasion. There were days when I heard
nothing but politics--politics at lunch, politics at tea, politics at
dinner--think of it! politics at a Philadelphia dinner party, politics
over the Soft Shell Crabs and the Shad and the Broiled Chicken and the
Ice-cream from Sautter's and the Madeira! It is better and wiser and
more improving, no doubt, than the old vapid talk--but then the old
vapid talk was part of my Philadelphia, and my Philadelphia was what I
wanted to come back to.




Of course I resented all the changes and, equally of course, it was
unreasonable that I should. I had not stood stock still for a quarter of
a century, why should I expect Philadelphia to?

And little by little, as I got my breath again after my first indignant
surprise, as I pulled myself together after my first series of shocks, I
began to understand that the wonder was that anything should be left,
and to see that Philadelphia has held on to enough of its character and
beauty to impress the stranger, anyway, with the fine serenity that I
missed at every turn. Philadelphia does not "bristle," Henry James wrote
of it a very few years ago, by which he meant that it does not change,
is incapable of changing, though to me it was, in this sense, so
"bristling" that I tingled all over with the pricks. But, then, I knew
what Philadelphia had been. That was why I was impressed first with the
things that had changed, why, also, my pleasure was the keener in my
later discovery of the things that had not.

I can laugh now at myself for my joy in all sorts of dear, absurd
trifles simply because of their homely proof that the new Philadelphia
had saved some relics of the old. What they stood for in my eyes gave
value to the little iced Cakes of my childhood; to the frequent street
parade, glorified as it was beyond recognition by the new presence of
the mounted police; to the City Troop, gorgeous and splendid as of old,
and as of old turning out to decorate every public ceremony; to the nice
old-fashioned "ma'am," unheard in England except, I believe, at court;
to all the town, including my hotel, getting ready for the summer with
matting and gauze and grey Holland. Old associations, old emotions, were
stirred by the fragrance of the Cinnamon Bun that is never so fragrant
out of Philadelphia, and one of the cruelest disappointments of my
return was not to be able to devour it with the untrammelled appetite of
youth when it was offered me in an interval between the Soft-Shell Crab
and Ice-cream of a Philadelphia lunch and the Planked Shad and Broiled
Chicken of a Philadelphia dinner. The row of heads at the Philadelphia
Club windows, so embarrassing to me in my youth, borrowed beauty from
association. I was thrilled by the decanter of Sherry or Madeira on the
dinner table, where I had not seen it served in solitary grandeur since
I had last dined in Philadelphia. The old rough kindliness of the
people--when they were not aliens--in the streets, in the stores, in the
trolleys, went to my heart. And in larger ways, too, the place filled me
with pride for its constancy: for the steady development of all that
made it great from the beginning--its schools, its charities, its
hospitals, its libraries, its galleries; above all, for retaining what
it could of its dignified reticence in keeping its private affairs to
itself. It may live more in public than it did, but it still does not
shriek all its secrets from the house-top. It does not thrust all its
wealth down every man's throat. It still hides many of its luxurious
private palaces behind modest brick fronts. It may have broken out in
gaudy hotels and restaurants, but Friends still continue to go their
peaceful way completely apart in their spacious houses and pleasant
gardens. Nor would any other town be so shy in acknowledging to itself,
and boasting to others of, its beauty.



Philadelphia has always been over-modest as to its personal
appearance,--always on the surface, indifferent to flattery. Nobody
would suspect it of ever having heard that to a philosopher like
Voltaire it was, without his seeing it, one of the most beautiful cities
in the universe, that a matter-of-fact traveller like William Cobbett
thought it a fine city from the minute he knew it, that all the old
travel-writers had a compliment for it, and all the new travellers as
well, down to Li Hung Chang, who described it felicitously as "one of
the most smiling of cities"--the "Place of a Million Smiles." It was not
because it had ceased to be beautiful that it assumed this indifference.
As I recall it in my youth, it was beautiful with the beauty
Philadelphians searched Europe for, while they were busy destroying it
at home--the beauty that life in England has helped me to appreciate as
I never did before, for it has given me a standard I had not when I knew
only Philadelphia.

Judged by this standard, I found Philadelphia in its old parts more
beautiful than I remembered it. In a street like Clinton, which has
escaped the wholesale destruction, or in a block here and there in other
streets less fortunate, I felt as I never had before the austere
loveliness of their red brick and white marble and pleasant green shade.
As never before I realized the Eighteenth-Century perfection of the old
State House and Carpenter's Hall. I know of no English building of the
same date that has the dignity, the harmonious proportions, the
restrained ornament of the State House,--none with so noble a background
of stately rooms for those stately figures who were the makers of
history in Philadelphia. And the old churches came as a new revelation.
I questioned if I ever could have thought an English Cathedral in its
close lovelier than red brick St. Peter's in its walled graveyard on a
spring day, with the green in its first freshness and the great
wide-spreading trees throwing soft shadows over the grassy spaces and
the grey crumbling gravestones. The pleasure it gave me positively hurt
when--after walking in the filth of Front Street, where the old houses
are going to rack and ruin and where a Jew in his praying shawl at the
door of a small, shabby synagogue seemed the explanation of the filth--I
came upon the little green garden of a graveyard round the Old Swedes'
Church, sweet and still and fragrant in the May sunshine, though the
windows of a factory looked down upon it to one side, and out in front,
on the railroad tracks, huge heavy freight cars rattled and rumbled and
shrieked by, and beyond them rose the steam stacks of steamers from
Antwerp and Liverpool that unload at its door the hordes of aliens who
not only degrade, but "impoverish" Philadelphia, as the Irish porter in
my hotel said to me. And what pleasure again, after the walk full of
memories along Front and Second Streets, with the familiar odours and
Philadelphia here quiet as of yore, to come upon Christ Church a part of
the street like any French Cathedral and not in its own little green,
but with a greater architectural pretension to make up for it, and with
a gravestone near the sanctuary to testify that John Penn, one at least
of the Penn family, lies buried in Philadelphia. And what greater
pleasure in the old Meeting Houses--why had I not known, in youth as in
age, their tranquil loveliness?--What repose there, down Arch Street, in
that small simple brick building, with its small simple green, one bed
of tulips at the door, shut off from the noise and confusion and dirt
and double trolley lines of Arch Street by the old high brick wall; and
no less in that equally small and simple brick building in South Twelfth
Street, an old oasis, or resting place, in a new wilderness of
sky-scrapers. With these churches and meeting-houses standing, can
Philadelphians deplore the ugliness of their town?


And the old Eighteenth-Century houses? Would I find them as beautiful? I
asked myself. Would they survive as triumphantly the test of my
travelled years and more observant eyes? How foolish the question, how
unnecessary the doubt! More beautiful all of them, because my eyes were
better trained to appreciate their architectural merit; more peaceful
all of them, with the feeling of peace so intense I wondered whether it
came of the Colonial architecture or of associations with it.

Germantown may be built up beyond recognition, its Lanes, many of them,
turned into Streets for no reason the average man can see, but some of
the big old estates, are still green and untouched as if miles away, and
the old houses are more guarded than ever from change. One by one, I
returned to them:--Stenton restored, but as yet so judicially that Logan
would to-day feel at home in its halls and rooms, on its stairway,
outside by the dovecote and the wistaria-covered walls,--at home in the
garden full of tulips and daisies, and old familiar Philadelphia roses
and Johnny-jump-ups, enclosed by hedges, every care taken to plant in it
afresh just the blossoms he loved. But what would he have said to the
factories opposite? To the rows of little two-story houses creeping
nearer and nearer? And the Chew House--could the veterans of the
Revolution return to it, as the veterans of the Civil War return every
year to Gettysburg, how well they would know their way in the garden,
how well, in the wide-pillared hall with the old portraits on the white
wall, and in the rooms with their Eighteenth-Century panelling and
cornices and fire-places, and in the broad hall upstairs could they
follow the movements of the enemy that lost for them the Battle of
Germantown? And Wyck white, cloistered, vine-laden, with fragrant garden
and shade-giving trees! And the Johnson House, and the Wistar House, and
the Morris House. And how many other old houses beyond Germantown!
Solitude, and Laurel Hill, and Arnold's Mansion in the Park, Bartram's
at Gray's Ferry.

[Illustration: WYCK]

I thought first I would not put Bartram's to the test, no matter how
bravely the others came out of it--Bartram's, associated with the
romance of work and the dawn of my new life. But how glad I am that I
thought twice and went back to it! For I found it beautiful as ever,
though I could reach it by trolley, and though it was unrecognizably
spick and span in the little orchard, and under the labelled trees, and
by the old house and the old stables, and in the garden where gardeners
were at work among the red roses. But the disorder has not been quite
done away with in the wilderness below the garden, and there was the
bench by the river, and there the outlook up and down--had so many
chimneys belched forth smoke and had the smoke been as black on the
opposite bank, up the river, in the old days? Certainly there had not
been so many ghosts--not one of those that now looked at me with
reproachful eyes, asking me what I had done with the years, for which
such ambitious plans had been made on that very spot ages and ages ago?


Philadelphia is not responsible for the ghosts; they are my affair; but
it has made itself responsible for the beauty, not only at Bartram's but
at as many other of the old places as it has been able to lay claims
upon, converting them into what the French would call historic
monuments. And Philadelphia, with the help of Colonial Dames, and an
Automobile Club, and those societies and individuals who have learned at
last to love the Philadelphia monuments though still indifferent to the
town, has not been too soon in prescribing the desperate remedies their
desperate case demands. In the new care of these old places, as well as
in the new devotion to the old names and the old families, in the new
keenness for historic meetings and commemorations, in the new local
lectures on local subjects and traditions, in the very recent
restoration of Congress Hall, in all this new native civic patriotism I
seemed to see Philadelphia's desperate, if unconscious, struggle against
the modern invader of the town's ancient beauty and traditions. The
grown-up aliens who can be persuaded, as I am told they can be, to come
and listen to papers on their own section of the town, whether it be
Southwark, or Manayunk, or Frankford, or Society Hill, or the Northern
Liberties, will probably in the end look up the old places and their
history for themselves, just as the little aliens will who, in the
schools, are given prizes for essays on local history:--offer anything,
even a school prize, to a Russian Jew, and he will labour for it, in
this case working indirectly for patriotism.


But I am not sure that the greatest good the Society of Colonial Dames
is doing is not in emphasizing the value of the past to those who date
back to it. It has helped one group of Philadelphians to realize that
there are other people in their town no less old as Philadelphians and
more important in the history of Philadelphia, what is called society
luckily not having taken possession of the Colonial Dames in
Philadelphia as in New York. If all who date back see in the age of
their families their passport into the aristocracy of Philadelphia and
therefore of America, they may join together as a formidable force
against the advance of the formidable alien. Mr. Arnold Bennett was
amused to discover that every Bostonian came over in the Mayflower, but
he does not understand the necessity for the native to hold on like grim
death to the family tree--pigmy of a tree as it must seem in Europe--if
America is to remain American. My one fear is lest this zeal, new to me,
is being overdone, for I fancy I see an ill-concealed threat of a new
reaction, this time against it. What else does the Philadelphian's
toying with the cause of the "loyalists" during the Revolution and his
belated espousal of it mean, unless perhaps the childish Anglomania
which fashion has imposed upon Philadelphia? People are capable of
anything for the sake of fashion. The ugliest blot on the history of
Philadelphia is its running after the British when they were in
possession of the town that winter we ought to try to forget instead of
commemorating its feasts--that winter when Philadelphia danced and
Washington and his troops starved. Now Philadelphia threatens another
blot as ugly by upholding the citizens who would have kept the British
there altogether. However, this is as yet only a threat, Philadelphians
are too preoccupied in their struggle for survival.


Not only the new patriotism, but the new architecture is Colonial. For
long after Colonial days Philadelphia kept to red brick and white
facings in town, to grey stone and white porches in Germantown, often
losing the old dignity and fine proportions, but preserving the unity,
the harmony of Penn's original scheme, and the repose that is the
inevitable result of unity. But there were many terrible breaks before
and during my time--breaks that gave us the Public Buildings and
Memorial Hall and many of the big banks and insurance offices down town,
and a long list of regrettable mistakes;--breaks that burdened us with
the brown stone period fortunately never much in favour, and the Furness
period which I could wish had been less in favour so much too lavish was
its gift of undesirable originality, and the awful green stone period of
which a church here and a big mansion there and substantial buildings
out at the University, too substantial to be pulled down for many a day,
rise, a solid reproach to us for our far straying from righteousness;
breaks that courted and won the admiration of Philadelphia for
imitations of any and every style that wasn't American, especially if it
was English, Philadelphia tremendously pleased with itself for the bits
borrowed from the English Universities and dumped down in its own
University and out at Bryn Mawr, there as unmistakable aliens as our own
Rhodes Scholars are at Oxford.


But from the moment Philadelphia began to look up its genealogy and
respect it, the revival of Colonial was bound, sooner or later, to
follow. It meant a change from which I could not escape, had I
deliberately refused to see the many others. I was face to face with it
at every step I took, in every direction I went--from the Navy Yard on
League Island to the far end of North Broad Street; from Germantown, the
old grey stone here returned to its own again, to West Philadelphia;
from the University where the Law School building looks grave and
distinguished and genuine in the midst of sham Tudor and sham I hardly
know what, and deplorable green stone, to the Racquets Club in town;
from the tallest sky-scraper to the smallest workman's dwelling--it was
Colonial of one sort or another: sometimes with line results, at others
with Colonial red brick and white facings and Colonial gables and
Colonial columns and Colonial porches so abused that, after passing
certain Colonial abortions repeated by the dozens, the hundreds, the
thousands, in rows upon rows of two-story houses, all alike to the very
pattern of the awning and the curves of the rocking chair on the
invariable porch. I had it in my heart to wish that Philadelphia had
never heard the word Colonial. However, on the whole, more good has been
done than harm. The original model is a fine one, it belongs to
Philadelphia, and in reviving it the Philadelphia architect is working
along legitimate lines.

But even as I write this, I realise that it is not to the revival of
Colonial that Philadelphia owes all its new beauty. Indeed, the
architecture that has done most for it in its new phase is that from
which least would be expected by those who believe in appropriateness or
utility as indispensable to architectural beauty. A town that has plenty
of space to spread out indefinitely has no reason whatever to spread up
in sky-scrapers, and this is precisely what Philadelphia has done and,
moreover, looks all the better for having done. Its sky-scrapers compose
themselves with marvellous effectiveness as a centre to the town, though
they threaten by degrees to become too scattered to preserve the present
composition; they provide an astounding and ever-varying arrangement of
towers and spires from neighbouring corners and crossings; they give new
interest as a background to some simple bit of old Philadelphia, as
where Wanamaker's rises sheer and high above the little red brick
meeting-house in Twelfth Street; they add to the charm of some ambitious
bit of new Philadelphia as where the little Girard Trust
Building--itself a happy return to standards that gave us Girard
College and the Mint and Fairmount Water-Works--stands low among the
clustered towers, just as many a town in the Alps or Apennines lies low
in the cup of the hills, and is the lovelier for it; they redeem from
ugliness buildings of later periods, as where they give the scale in the
most surprising fashion to the Union League; from far up or down the
long straight line of Broad Street they complete the perspective as
impressively as the Arc de Triomphe completes that other impressive
perspective from the Garden of the Tuileries in Paris. They are as
beautiful when you see them from the bridges or from the Park, a great
group of towers high above the houses, high above the lesser towers and
spires, high above the curls and wisps of smoke that now hang over
Philadelphia; and from the near country they give to the low-lying town
a sky-line that for loveliness and grandeur is not to be surpassed by
the famous first view of Pisa across the Italian plain.


Philadelphia is, in truth, such a beautiful town that I am surprised the
world should be so slow in finding it out. The danger to it now is the
Philadelphian's determination to thrust beauty upon it at any cost, not
knowing that it is beautiful already. There is too much talk everywhere
about town-planning as a reform, as a part of the whole tiresome
business of elevating the masses. As I have said, Penn talked no
nonsense of that kind, nor did Sir Christopher Wren when he made the
fine design that London had not the sense to stick to, nor L'Enfant when
he laid out Washington. For the town that gets into the clutches of the
reformer, I feel much as Whistler did for art--"What a sad state the
slut is in an these gentlemen can help her." A town, like a woman,
should cultivate good looks and cannot be too fastidious in every
detail. But that is no reason why it should confuse this decent personal
care with a moral mission. There is too much reform in Philadelphia just
now for my taste, or its good. The idea of the new Parkway; with fine
buildings like the new Free Library and the new Franklin Institute,
along its route through the town; with the City Hall at one end and the
fine new Art Gallery in the Park at the other; promises well, and I
suppose that eventually the silly little wooden pergolas will disappear
and the new buildings go up in their place. But though I know it sounds
like shocking heresy, I should feel more confidence if its completion
were in the hands of the old corrupt government we never tired of
condemning, which may have stolen some of our money but at least gave us
in return a splendidly planned and thoroughly well-kept Park, one of the
most beautiful in the world. I believe that not only this monumental,
but more domestic experiments are in view, the workman this time to
profit--our old self-reliant American workman to have a taste of the
benevolent interference that has taken the backbone out of the English
workman. Rumours have reached me of emissaries sent to spy out the land
in the Garden Cities of Germany and England. But what have we, in our
far-famed City of Homes, to learn from other people's Garden Cities?
For comfort, is the workman anywhere better off at a lower rent than in
the old streets of neat little two-story brick houses, or in the new
streets of luxurious little Colonial abortions? And what does he want
with the reformer's gardens when he lives in the green country town of



Philadelphia might have lost more of its old architecture and been less
successful with its new, and would still be beautiful, for as yet it has
not ceased to respect Penn's wish to see it fair and green. It is not so
green as it was, I admit--not so green as in the days of my childhood to
which, in looking back, the spring always means streets too well lined
with trees for my taste, since in every one those horrid green measuring
worms were waiting to fall, crawling, upon me. There are great stretches
in some streets from which the trees have disappeared, partly because
they do not prosper so well in the now smoke-laden air; partly because
every one blown down or injured must be replaced if replaced at all by
some thrifty citizen held responsible for whatever damage it may do
through no fault of his; partly, I believe, because at one time street
commissioners ordered one or two in front of a house to be cut down,
charged the landlord for doing it, and found too much profit not to
persevere in their disastrous policy. Still, though Philadelphians in
summer fly to little European towns to escape the streets they deplore
as arid in Philadelphia, I know of no other town as large that is as
green. The notes I made in Philadelphia are full of my surprise that I
should have forgotten how green and shady are its streets, how tender is
this green in its first spring growth under the high luminous sky, how
lovely the wistaria-draped walls in town and the dogwood in the suburbs.
Walk or drive in whatever direction I chose, and at every crossing I
looked up or down a long green vista, so that I understood the
Philadelphia business man who described to me his daily walk from his
Spruce Street house to the Reading Terminal as a lesson in botany. On
the other side of the Schuylkill, in any of the suburbs, every street
became a leafy avenue. There were evenings in that last June I spent in
Philadelphia, when, the ugly houses bathed in golden light and the trees
one long golden-green screen in front of them, I would not have
exchanged Walnut or Spruce Street in West Philadelphia or many a Lane in
Germantown, for any famous road or boulevard the world over. Really, the
trees convert the whole town into an annex, an approach to that Park
which is its chief green beauty and which, to me, was more than
sufficient atonement for the corrupt government Philadelphia is said to
have groaned under all the years Fairmount was growing in grace and
beauty. And beyond the Park, beyond the suburbs, the leafy avenues run
on for miles through as beautiful country as ever shut in a beautiful

[Illustration: FROM GRAY'S FERRY]


After all, there is beauty enough left to last my time, and I suppose
with that I should be content. But I cannot help thinking of the future,
cannot help wondering, now that I see the change the last quarter of a
century has made, what the next will do for Philadelphia--whether after
twenty-five years more a vestige of my Philadelphia will survive. I do
not believe it will; I may be wrong, but I am giving my impressions for
what they are worth, and nothing on my return impressed me so much as
the change everywhere and in everything. I think any American, from no
matter what part of the country, who has been away so long, must, on
going back, be impressed in the same way--must feel with me that America
is growing day by day into something as different as possible from his
America. For my part, I am just as glad I shall not live to see the
Philadelphia that is to emerge from the present chaos, since I have not
the shadow of a doubt that, whatever it may be, it will be as unlike
Philadelphia as I have just learned to know it again, as this new
Philadelphia is unlike my old Philadelphia, the beautiful, peaceful town
where roses bloomed in the sunny back-yards and people lived in dignity
behind the plain red brick fronts of the long narrow streets.


  Abbey, Edwin A., 393

  Academy of Fine Arts, 64, 231, 376, 379, 380, 389, 395, 402, 405, 407,
      412, 428

  Academy of Music, 206, 459

  Academy of Natural Sciences, 64

  Acorn Club, 494

  Adams, John, 6, 50, 161, 297, 385, 418-422

  Addams, Clifford, 407

  Adelphia, the, 499

  Adirondacks (mountains), 169

  Aitken, Robert, 310

  Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 243

  Alexander, John W., 393

  _Alhambra, The_, 315

  Alicia, Mother, 371

  Allen's, 125

  America, new and old, 471

  _American_, the (weekly), 249

  American Army crossing the Delaware, 375

  American Philosophical Society, 418

  Angelo, Michael, 373

  Annabel, Miss, school, 258

  Annals, Watson's, 314

  Antin, Mary, 467

  Appian etchings, 395

  _Arabian Nights, The_, 64

  Arc de Triomphe, 405

  Arch Street Meeting House, 120, 517

  Arch Street Theatre, 67, 459

  Ardea, Father, 191, 192

  Arnold, Matthew, 161, 342-344

  Arnold's Mansion, 521

  _Arrah-na-Pogue_, 67

  Art Gallery in the Park, proposed, 534

  Art (Industrial) School, 257, 330, 332, 405

  _Art Nouveau_, 408

  Assembly, the (social), 153-174, 206, 216, 254, 260, 304, 316, 503

  Atlantic City, 170, 246, 298

  _Atlantic Monthly_, 243, 244, 257

  Augustine's, 60, 148, 151, 153, 281, 438, 439, 449

  Bailey, Banks & Biddle, 125, 456

  Bala Country Club, 493, 495

  Baldwin's Locomotive Works, 228, 477

  Bank, Philadelphia, 49

  Baptists, 176, 183

  Bar Harbor, 169

  Barber, Alice, 396

  Barcelona (churches of), 199

  Barrett, Lawrence, 324

  Barrie (publisher of art books), 376

  Bartram, John, 31, 300, 521

  Bartram's Garden, 31, 42, 299-303, 337, 521, 522

  Bayswater, England, 493

  Beau Nash, 145

  Beaux, Cecilia, 406

  Beaux-Arts (school), 407

  Beidleman (architecture), 361

  Bellamy (_Looking Backward_), 338

  Bellevue-Stratford (hotel), 148, 162, 414, 447, 500, 503

  Belmont (Fairmount Park), 210, 299, 430, 496

  Bennett, Arnold, 478, 486, 525

  Bibliothèque Nationale, 12

  Biddle, Miss Julia, 399

  Biddles, 50, 145, 214-216

  _Biglow Papers_, 320

  _Black Crook, The_, 67

  Blanchard (publisher), 313

  Blitz, Signor, 91

  Blum, Robert, artist, 246, 393

  Board of Education, 257

  Bobbelin, Father, 192

  Boker, George H., 316, 323-325

  Booth, Edwin, 68

  Borghesi collection (art), 406

  Borie, C. L. Jr., architect, 407

  Bories, the, 31, 107

  Borrow, George Henry, 320

  Boswell, James, 290

  Boudreau, Father, 193

  Boudreau, Mother, 97

  Bowie, Mrs., social leader, 146, 147

  Boyle, John, sculptor, 396

  Bradstreet, Anne, 309

  _Breitmann Ballads_, 320, 456

  Brennan, artist, 393

  Brewster, Benjamin Harris, 342

  Briggs, Richard, 424

  Brillat-Savarin, 414

  British Museum, 12, 309

  Broad and Locust Streets, 257, 258, 259, 449

  Broad and Walnut, 42

  Broad Street, 324, 449, 489, 499-503, 529, 533

  Broad Street, North, 459, 529

  Broad Street Station, 12

  Brook Farm, 347

  Brown, Charles Brockden, 313, 363

  Browning Societies, 352

  Bryn Mawr, 98, 104, 173, 307, 364, 529

  Bullitts, the, 107

  Bunyan, John, 308

  Burns's, 126, 210, 456

  Burr, Anna Robeson, 363

  Burr, Charles, 363

  _Burton's Gentleman's Magazine_, 314

  Business and Professional Club, 352

  Cadwallader-Biddle, 343

  Cadwalladers, 50, 145, 216

  Caldwell, J. E. & Co., 125, 456

  _Callista_, 59

  Callowhill, Hannah, 417

  Callowhill Street Bridge, 281

  Camac Street, 351

  Camden (N. J.), 293, 324-329

  Campanini, opera singer, 401

  Campbell, Helen, 338

  Cape May, 170

  Carlyle, Thomas, 243

  Carpenter's Hall, 514

  Carson, Hampton L., 6, 363

  Cary (publisher), 313

  _Casket, The_, 314, 428

  Cassatt, Mary, 393

  Castleman, Richard, 6

  Cathedral, the, 120, 183, 184, 187, 198, 200, 203

  Catholics, 176, 177-204, 258

  Cavalcaselle, Giovanni B., 402

  Centennial Exposition, 205-232, 233, 234, 253, 267, 276, 277, 357,
      375, 390

  _Century, The_, 337

  Champs-Elysées, 405

  Chapman, Miss, school, 258

  Charles the Bold, 337

  Chartres Cathedral, 199

  Chartreuse, the old, 444

  Chase, William M., 246

  Chester, 54, 152

  Chestnut Hill, 78, 123, 129, 170, 258

  Chestnut Street, 125, 144, 226, 227, 325, 342, 368, 449, 456, 459, 499

  Chestnut Street Theatre, 67, 459

  "Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, and Pine," 119, 123, 151, 158, 182, 263,
      297, 464

  Chew House, 297, 298, 518

  Childs, George W., 113, 342, 499

  Chippendale furniture, 289

  Christ Church, 114, 120, 183, 188, 277, 517

  Christ Church Burial Ground, 120, 281

  Church (painting), 246

  Church of England, 183

  Cimabue, Giovanni, 402

  City Companies in London, 152

  City Hall, 259, 260, 405, 489, 526, 534

  City of Homes, 481, 534

  City Troop, 64, 452, 510

  Civic Club, 494

  Civil War, the, 130, 146, 518

  Claghorn's collection of old prints, 376, 394

  Clements, Gabrielle, 396

  Clinton Street, 514

  Clover Club, 152, 443

  Club (Art), South Broad Street, 406

  Coates, Mrs. Florence Earle, 336, 362

  Cobbett, William, 440, 485, 513

  Coghlan, Father, 193

  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 324

  College Club, the, 494

  Colonial (American) art, 381, 389

  Colonial Congress, 253, 267

  Colonial Dames, 219, 221, 361, 522, 525

  Colonial days, 283, 526

  Colonial doorways, 361

  Colonial history, 9

  Colonial houses, 6, 36, 73, 158, 282, 297, 298, 382, 443, 460, 496,
      518, 526, 529

  Colonial life and society, 6, 443

  Colonists, 495

  Colonnade (hotel), 148

  Columbia (College), 364

  Comegys, Mrs., school, 258

  _Complete Cookery_ (Miss Leslie), 423-430

  Concord (Mass.), 347-348

  Coney Island, 213

  Conflans (convent), 175

  Congress Hall, 522

  Connor, Mrs., social leader, 147

  Contemporary Club, 352

  _Continent, Our_, 293

  Continental (hotel), 148

  Convent, 27, 31, 36, 47, 55, 59, 63, 67, 68, 72 sq., 104, 117, 126,
      133-137, 175 sq., 205, 238, 241, 258, 368, 372, 373, 374, 451

  Convent at Paris, 222

  Cooper, Colin Campbell, 396

  Cope, Walter, architect, 407

  Copley, John Singleton, 389

  Country Clubs, 152, 162, 447, 494-496

  Courts (of law), 468, 500

  Cox, Kenyon (painting), 246

  Cramp's shipyard, 228, 477

  "Crazy Norah," 27, 35, 375

  Crowe, Joseph Archer, 402

  Cruikshank drawings, 375

  Curtis Publishing Co. Building, 355

  Cushman, Charlotte, 68

  Dana, William P. W., artist, 393

  Dancing Class, 138, 139, 143-145, 147, 148, 157, 182, 184, 203, 254,
      260, 304, 316, 503

  Darlington butter, 440

  Darlington, J. G. & Co., 125, 456

  Darwin, Charles, 242

  Daughters of Pennsylvania, 219, 221

  Davenports, the (actors), 64

  Davis, Clarke, 246

  Davis, Mrs. Rebecca Harding, 336

  Davis, Richard Harding, 336

  Day, Frank Miles, architect, 407

  Declaration of Independence, 158, 214, 227, 253, 267, 418

  Decorative Art Club, 399

  Delaware River, 278, 294, 308, 455

  Dexter's, 35, 88, 126, 456

  Dickens, Charles, 6, 59, 375, 427

  Dickinson, Jonathan, 15, 313

  Dillaye, Blanche, 396

  _Domestic Economy_ (Miss Leslie), 428

  Drama-Reforming Societies, 352

  Dreka Co. (engraver), 125, 148, 151, 456

  Drew, Mrs. John (actress), 68

  Drexel, Anthony J., 342

  Drexel Institute, 405

  Duclaux, Mme (Mary Robinson), 260

  Duke of Westminster's collection (art), 406

  Dundas house, 42, 108, 459

  Dutch descent, 219

  Dutch in New York, 16

  Dutch Jew, 467

  Earle's, 125

  Eastern Shore, Maryland, 219, 245, 246

  Eberlein, Harold Donaldson, 6, 361

  Education, Board of, 257

  Eleventh Street, 48

  Eleventh and Spruce (streets), 44, 47, 48 sq., 94, 102, 104, 314, 427,

  Eliot, George, 401

  Eliphas, Levi, 242

  Elkins art collection, 406

  Ellwanger, G. H., 424

  Elwood, Thomas, 15, 308

  Episcopal Academy, 143, 162, 181, 258, 455
    Head Master of, 181

  Episcopalians, 176 177, 183, 187

  _Evening Telegraph_, 246, 341

  Ewing, Miss Julia, 341

  Exposition, Centennial, 205, 232

  Eyre, Wilson, 407

  _Fabiola_, 59

  Fairmount Park, 64, 129, 173, 210, 213, 281, 299, 444, 486, 496, 521,
      533, 534, 538

  Fairmount Water-Works, 299, 533

  _Faith Gartney's Girlhood_, 59, 335

  Ferris, Stephen, 394

  Fildes, Luke, 231

  Fisher, Sydney George, 6, 309, 358

  Fishers, the, 31

  Fish-House Club, 152, 443

  Fitzgerald, Edward, 423

  _Fool's Errand_, 338

  _Forget-Me-Not_, 348

  Fourth of July, 63

  Fox, George, 15, 308

  _Francesca da Rimini_, 324

  Frankford, 81, 489, 522

  Franklin, Benjamin, 24, 166, 215, 216, 253, 263, 281, 290, 355, 310,
      313, 358, 386, 389, 400, 417, 422, 482

  Franklin Inn, 351

  Franklin Institute, 263, 534

  Free Public Library, 307, 534

  _French Revolution_ (Thiers), 375

  Friends, 1, 9, 15, 16, 20, 92, 134, 166, 197, 203, 258, 283, 289, 290,
      294, 307, 309, 357, 380, 386, 389, 513

  Friends' School (Germantown), 258

  Fromuth, marine painter, 406

  Front Street, 278, 281, 290, 326, 514, 517

  Frost, Arthur B., artist, 393

  Furness (architecture), 407, 526

  Furness, Dr. Horace Howard, 332, 335

  Furness, Horace Howard, Jr., 362, 363

  Furness, William Henry, D.D., 332, 335

  Garber, Daniel, 407

  Gebbie and Barrie, 125, 376

  German mystics, 176

  Germans (immigrants), 471

  Germantown, 91, 123, 124, 258, 294, 297, 336, 468, 477, 496, 518, 521,
      526, 529, 538

  Germantown Cricket Ground, 496

  Gettysburg (battle-fields), 518

  Gibson collection, 379

  _Gift, The_, 314

  Gilchrist, Mrs. Alexander, 119, 284, 287

  Gillespie, Mrs., social leader, 215, 216, 253

  Giotto di Bondone, 402

  Girard College, 123, 379, 533

  Girard House, 148

  Girard Trust Building, 530

  Gissing, George, 239

  Glackens, William J., illustrator, 406

  Glackmeyer, Father, 193

  Glasse, Mrs. (Cookery Book), 314, 423-428

  _Godey's Lady's Book_, 314, 337

  Gough Square (London), 324

  Grafly, Charles, sculptor, 407

  _Graham's_ (Magazine), 314, 337

  Grants, the, 31

  Gray's Ferry, 281, 299, 521

  Green, Elizabeth Shippen, 406

  Greene, General, 418

  Grelaud, Miss, 107

  Griggs (publisher), 313

  Groton (school), 162

  Haden, Seymour, etchings, 395, 396

  Hale, Mrs. Sarah Josepha, 314, 428

  Hallowell, Mrs. Sarah, 341

  Hamilton, J. McLure, 393

  Handy, Moses P., 245

  _Hans Breitmann_, 320, 456

  Harland, Marion, 428

  _Harper's_ (magazine), 238, 337

  Harrison, Alexander, 393

  Harrison, Birge, 393

  Harrison, John, 405

  Harrison, Mrs. (Art Club), 399

  Harvard (College), 162

  Hassler's band, 140, 148

  Haverford (school), 258

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 347

  Hawthorne, Rose, 347

  Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 6, 157, 216, 220, 290, 307, 315,
      364, 459

  Hogarth's engravings, 376

  Holloway, Edward Stratton, 406

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 243

  Holmesburg, 258

  Holy Trinity (church), 183

  Home Arts School (London), 257

  Homer and Colladay's, 125

  Hooper, Mrs. Lucy, 341

  Hopkins, the, 31

  Hopkins, Dr. (dentist), 64

  Horticultural Hall, 347, 503

  Hospital, Pennsylvania, 24, 114, 277, 358, 460

  Hotel Meurice, 222

  Howells, William Dean, 259, 401

  Howland's Hotel at Long Branch, 103

  Hubbell's, 126, 459

  Hudson River School, 390

  _Hugh Wynne_, 357, 358, 363

  Hughes and Müller, 456

  Huguet, Madame, 77, 85

  Hunt, Holman, 372, 373

  Huntington Valley Club, 495

  Hutchinson Ports, 363

  Impressionists (artists), 390

  Independence Hall, 467

  Independence Square, 355, 467

  Industrial Art School, 257, 330, 396, 399

  Ingersolls, the, 145

  _Initials, The_, 59

  International expositions, 213, 231, 253

  Irish immigrants, 471

  Irving, Henry, 401

  Irving, Washington, 315

  Irwin, Miss, school, 140, 175, 258

  Italians (immigrants), 464, 468

  James, Henry, 6, 16, 401, 509

  Janauschek (actress), 348

  Janvier, Thomas Allibone, 169, 363, 433-437, 443

  Jastrow, Dr. Morris, 364

  Jefferson, Thomas, 50, 386, 418

  Jenkins, Howard, 249

  Jesuits, 191, 193, 197

  Jew, Dutch, 467

  Jew, Pennsylvania, 467, 514

  Jew, Russian, 214, 282, 283, 297, 361, 460, 464-473, 525

  Jews, religious liberty of, 177

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 324

  Johnson House, 297, 521

  Johnson's, John G., art collection, 406

  Jones's, 126, 210, 444, 456

  Jourdain, M., 282

  June, Jenny, 428

  _Kate Vincent_, 178

  Keatings, the, 31

  Kellogg, Clara Louise, 67

  Kensington, 228, 297, 477

  Kensington, England, 493

  Keppel, Frederick, 376

  Kings, the, 31

  Kirk, John Foster, 337

  Kirkbride's Insane Asylum, 263

  Kneller, portrait-painter, 389

  Knight, Ridgway, 393

  Kügler, Franz, 402

  _La Belle Hélène_, 68

  _La Grande Duchesse_, 68

  La Pierre House, 148

  _Ladies' Home Journal_, 355

  Ladies of the Sacred Heart, 72, 93
    Convent, 72 sq.

  _Lady of Shalott_, 27, 373

  Lalanne etchings, 395

  Lamb, Charles, 126, 324

  _Lamplighter, The_, 56

  Long, John Luther, 363

  Lathrop, Mr. and Mrs. George, 347

  Latin Quarter, 411

  Laurel Hill, 521

  Law Courts, 468, 500

  Law School, building, 529

  Lea, Henry Charles, 313, 363

  League Island, 529

  Leary's, 126

  _Ledger_ (newspaper), 113, 341, 355

  Lee, Vernon (Violet Paget), 260

  Leland, Charles Godfrey, 42, 234-238, 240-244, 254, 257, 263, 272,
      275, 276, 316, 319-330, 332, 335, 344-348, 396, 399, 405

  Leland, Charles Godfrey, _Memoirs_ of, 276

  L'Enfant (architect), 533

  Leslie, Margaret (artist), 396

  Leslie, Miss, Cookery Book, 313, 423-437

  Levi, Eliphas, 242

  Lewises, 50

  Li Hung Chang, 20, 513

  Library, Bryn Mawr College, 307

  Library of Congress, 309

  Library, Free Public, 307, 534

  Library, Friends', Germantown, 307

  Library, Historical Society, 307

  Library, Mercantile, 114, 241

  Library, Philadelphia, 24, 114, 241, 290, 307, 455

  Library, Ridgway, 241, 307, 364

  _Life of Blake_, 119

  Lionardo da Vinci, 402

  Lippincott, Horace Mather, 6, 361

  Lippincott, J. B., 124, 313

  Lippincott's (book-store), 125, 313, 315

  _Lippincott's Magazine_, 243, 314, 315, 337, 341, 427

  Lithuanians (immigrants), 468, 473

  "Little England" of Kensington, 19

  "Little Street of Clubs, the," 351, 406

  _Lives of the Artists_, 373

  Locust Street, 472

  Logan, Deborah, 309

  Logan, James, 31, 177, 184, 241, 307, 417, 421, 518

  Logan Square, 120, 162, 500

  Loganian Library (see Ridgway), 364

  Lombard Street, 472

  Long Branch, 169

  Longfellow, Henry W., 320, 329

  _Looking Backward_, 338

  _Lost Heiress, The_, 59

  Lowell, James Russell, 316

  Macalisters, the, 31

  McCalls, the, 158

  McCarter, Henry, artist, 407

  MacVeagh, Wayne, 343

  Madeira (wine), 55, 153, 417-423, 506, 510

  Mäennerchor Garden, 500

  Main Line, 31, 123, 297

  Main Street in Germantown, 297

  Manayunk, 522

  Maria, Father de, 191

  Marion, General Francis, 216

  "Market, Arch, Race and Vine," 281

  Market Street, 119, 120, 123, 157, 281, 294, 310, 329, 451, 456, 489

  Martin, Madame, 137, 138

  Maryland, Eastern Shore of, 219

  Matisse, artist, 402

  Mayflower (ship), 219, 525

  Meeting-Houses, 188, 281, 517

  _Meg Merrilies_, 27, 68, 375

  Memorial Hall, 213, 405, 526

  Mennonites in Germantown, 176

  Mercantile Library, 114, 241, 307

  Merritt, Mrs. Anna Lea, 393

  Methodists, 183

  Mifflin, Mrs. (Art Club), 399

  Millais, John Everett, 275

  Miller, Leslie, 396

  Milton, John, 308

  Mint, United States, 108, 130, 379, 459, 533

  _Mischief in the Middle Ages_, 243

  Mitchell, Dr. S. Weir, 6, 357, 363, 456

  Moore, Mrs. Bloomfield, 379

  Moran family, 394

  Moravians, monasteries of, 176

  Morrises, the, 216

  Morris, Gouverneur, 133

  Morris, Harrison S., 362

  Morris House, 297, 521

  Morris, William, 400, 408

  Mother Goose, 242

  Mount Airy, 170

  Mount Pleasant, 31, 299

  Moxon's _Tennyson_, 372

  Moyamensing Prison, 263

  Murillo (painting), 372

  Mustin's, 125

  Napoleon, pictures of, 374

  Narragansett Pier, 169

  Nash, Richard ("Beau"), 145

  Natatorium, 139, 140, 145, 499

  _Nation_, the (New York), 249

  _National Observer_, 294

  Navy Yard, 529

  New Century Club, 494

  New Testament (German), 310

  New Year's Day, 152

  New York magazines, 337

  Newman's _Callista_, 59

  Nilsson, Christine, 401

  Ninth and Green (streets), 489, 500

  Nordau, Max, 402

  Norrises, the, 216

  Norris, Isaac, 15, 417

  _North American_, the, 355

  Northern Liberties, 522

  Oakdale Park, 293

  Oakley, Thornton, 406

  Oakley, Violet, 406

  _Old Mam'selle's Secret_, 335

  Old Swedes Church, 114, 120

  Orpheus Club, 153

  Ouida's Guardsman, 275

  _Our American Cousin_, 67

  _Our Continent_, 337, 341

  _Our Convent Days_, 88, 358

  _Ours_, 67

  Oxford (England), 86, 529

  Oxford, Dr. (cookery books), 424

  Page, George Bispham, architect, 407

  Paget, Violet (Vernon Lee), 260

  Park (see Fairmount), 534, 538

  Parkway, the new, 405, 534

  Parrish, Maxfield, 406

  Parrish, Stephen, 396

  Patterson, General, house of, 108, 459

  Peale, Charles Wilson, 389

  Pegasus Societies, 352

  Penn Club, 351

  Penn, John, 517

  Penn, William, 2, 9, 10, 15, 24, 31, 35, 36, 74, 85, 117, 219, 260,
      282, 287-289, 290, 294, 375, 382, 408, 417, 421, 455, 456, 474,
      500, 526, 533

  Penn, William, statue of, 9

  Pennell, Joseph, 1, 24, 203, 219, 237, 246, 268, 271-303, 308, 337,
      338, 341, 348, 351, 357, 368, 376, 380, 393-395, 474

  Pennock Brothers, 144, 439

  Pennsbury, 31

  Pennsylvania Historical Society, 6, 157, 216, 290, 315, 364

  Pennsylvania Hospital, 24, 114, 277, 358, 460

  Pennsylvania Jew, 467

  Pennsylvania, promotion of science by, 309

  Pennsylvania Railroad, 276

  Pennsylvania Railroad Station, 276, 448, 451

  Pennsylvania, University of, 143, 162, 173, 258, 358, 364, 473, 496,

  Pennypacker, Governor, 307

  Peppers, the, 50, 399

  _Peterson's_ (magazine), 314, 337

  Philadelphia Art Club, 324

  Philadelphia Bank, 49

  Philadelphia Club, 153, 316, 443, 510

  Philadelphia Library, 24, 114, 241, 290, 307, 313, 315, 455

  _Philadelphia Saturday Museum_, 314

  Phillips, John S., 376

  Philosophical Society, American, 418

  Picasso, artist, 402

  Plastic Club, 406

  Pocahontas, 9

  Poe, Edgar Allan, 27, 316

  Poor Richard (club), 352

  Poor Richard's Almanac, 310

  Poore, Harry, 271, 272

  Pope of Rome, 120

  Pope's Head, 310

  Porter and Coates, 125, 315

  Post-Impressionists, 381

  Powhatan, 9

  Pre-Raphaelites, 373, 390

  Presbyterian Building, 271

  Presbyterians, 176, 183

  _Press_, the, 245

  Provence, 60

  Public Buildings (see City Hall), 10, 526

  Public Industrial Art School, 405

  _Punch_ (London), 250

  Puritans (New England), 417

  Putnam (N. Y. publisher), 315

  Pyle, Howard, 249, 393

  Quakers (see Friends), 15

  _Queechy_, 59, 335

  Race (Sassafras) Street, 281

  Racquets Club, 499, 529

  Rafael (pictures), 372, 375

  Ralph (Franklin's friend), 310

  Randolph House, 463

  Reading Terminal, 538

  Redfield, Edward W., artist, 407

  Rembrandt (painting), 246, 406

  Renaissance, period of, 11

  Repplier, Agnes, 6, 88, 358

  Revolution (American), 382, 389, 418, 518, 525

  Rhodes scholars, 80, 529

  Richards, William T., artist, 393

  Ridgway Library, 241, 307, 364

  Rittenhouse Smiths, 363

  Rittenhouse Square, 24, 91, 120, 139, 198, 456

  Ritz-Carlton (hotel), 148, 414, 447

  _Robin Hood_ (Howard Pyle's), 249

  Robins, Edward, Jr., 358

  Robins, Edward, Sr., 1, 50, 54, 56, 74, 81, 107, 111, 123, 130, 138,
      178, 181, 183, 187, 200, 239, 244, 259, 260, 263, 294, 307, 323,
      371, 372, 374, 375, 423, 427, 459, 500, 505

  Robins, Grant, 139, 140, 147, 165, 216, 505

  Robins, Mrs. Thomas, 40, 41, 43, 53, 54, 50, 60, 61, 183, 239, 268,

  Robins, Thomas, 1, 35-36, 41, 43, 48-63, 107, 178, 183, 219, 222, 307,
      314, 357, 373-375, 413, 421, 459

  Robinson, Mary (Mme. Duclaux), 260

  Rogers, Fairman, 493

  "Rogers Group," 39, 374, 375

  Romanticists (artists), 390

  Roosevelt, Theodore, 506

  Rorer, Mrs. (cookery book), 428

  Ross, Betsy, house of, 281

  Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 119, 372, 373

  Rossetti, William Michael, 119, 284

  _Routledge_, 59

  Royal Academy, 389, 411

  Royal Exchange, 411

  _Rubaiyat_, the, 401

  Rubens (painting), 246

  Rue de Rivoli, 225

  Rush, Dr. Benjamin, 241, 307

  Rush, Mrs., social leader, 146

  Ruskin, John, 287, 400, 402

  Russian Jew, 214, 282, 283, 297, 361, 460, 464-471, 473

  Sacred Heart, Ladies of the, 72
    Convent of, 72 sq., 258

  St. Andrew's (church), 184

  St. Augustine's (church), 198

  St. Clement's (church), 184, 278

  St. James's (church), 183

  St. John's (church), 183, 199, 200, 203

  St. Joseph's (church), 64, 91, 183, 184, 187, 188, 191, 193-199

  St. Mark's (church), 183, 200

  St. Mary's (church), 184, 198, 199, 278

  St. Michael's (church), 198

  St. Patrick's (church), 91, 183, 199, 200, 203

  St. Paul's (school), 162

  St. Peter's (church), 108, 114, 183, 188, 277, 463, 514

  Salons (Paris), 411

  Sargent, John S., artist, 393

  Sartain, Miss Emily, 338, 393

  Sartain, William, 393

  _Sartain's Union Magazine_, 314

  Sassafras (Race) Street, 281

  Saturday Club, 152

  _Saturday Evening Post_, 355

  Saur's New Testament, 310

  Sautter's, 126, 444, 449, 456, 506

  Schaumberg, Emily, 107

  School Board, 259

  School of Industrial Arts, 257, 330, 332, 405

  Schools, Public, 335

  Schuylkill (river), 173, 276, 281, 294, 299, 362, 451, 468, 481, 496,

  Scott, Walter, 59
    heroines of, 27, 375
    novels of, 197, 335, 336, 427

  Second Street, 42, 137, 147, 148, 166, 277, 517

  Second Street Market, 114, 120, 277

  Seminary at Villanova, 198

  Senat, Prosper, 395

  Seville (churches of), 199

  Shakespeare Societies, 352

  Shakespeare, William, 68, 332, 363, 401

  Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 145, 313

  Sheppard, J. B. & Sons, 125

  Shinn (apothecary), 459

  Shippen, Edward, 42

  Shippen, Peggy, 31, 162

  "Shippen, Peggy," 162, 356

  Shippens, the, 158

  Simses, the, 158

  Sketch Club, 406

  Sky-scrapers, 355, 530

  Slavs (immigrants), 468, 471

  Smarius, Father, 193

  Smedley, William T., artist, 393

  Smith, Albert, 263

  Smith, Jessie Wilcox, 406

  Smith, Lloyd, 242

  Smith, Logan Pearsall, 364

  Smith, Provost, house of, 281

  Society Hill, 522

  _Solon Shingle_, 67

  Sons of Pennsylvania, 219, 221

  Sothern, Edward Askew, 68

  South Kensington, England, 408

  South Street, 472

  Southwark, 522

  Southworth, Mrs. Emma D. E. Nevitt, 59

  _Souvenir, The_, 314

  Springett, Guli, 15

  Spruce Street, 28, 42, 48 sq., 60, 63, 104, 107, 108, 113, 114, 215,
      245, 253, 282, 460, 468, 538

  State House, the, 113, 158, 220, 277, 358, 382, 471, 514

  State in Schuylkill, 443

  Station (Broad and Market), 489

  Stations and terminals, 12, 28, 276, 481, 489, 538

  Stations (railroad), 481, 489, 538

  Steadmans, the, 31

  Steevens, George, 449, 478

  Stenton, 31, 297, 298, 518

  Stephens (artist), 396

  Stephens, Alice Barber, 396

  Stephens, Charles H., 396

  Stevenson, Mrs. Cornelius, 364

  Stewardson, John, architect, 407

  Stewart, Jules, 393

  Stock Exchange, 54, 107, 111, 468, 486, 500

  Stockton, Frank R., 336, 338

  Stockton, Louise, 338

  Stokes, Frank W., artist, 406

  Strawberry Mansion, 210, 299, 430

  Strawbridge and Clothier, 125

  Stuart, Gilbert, artist, 389

  Stuart, Gilbert, picture of Washington by, 41, 374, 375, 447

  Swarthmore (school), 258

  Swedes (immigrants), 471

  Swedes Church, Old, 114, 277, 514

  _Telegraph, Evening_, 246

  Temple, the (London), 324

  Tennyson's Poems, 27, 372, 373

  Terminals (railroad), 12, 481, 489, 538

  Terry, Ellen, 401

  Thackeray (William Makepeace), 151, 294, 422

  Thanksgiving Day, 63

  Théâtre Français, 68

  Theatres, 67

  Thiers' _French Revolution_, 375

  Third Street, 28, 107, 111, 113, 134, 137, 187, 206, 278, 290, 486

  Thomas, George C., 307

  Thompson, "Aunt Ad," 342

  Thouron, Henry, 406

  Torresdale, 28, 31, 72 sq., 123, 191, 258, 278, 451

  Tourgee, Judge Albion W., 338

  Traubel, Horace, 364

  _Traveller, The_, 315

  Treaty with the Indians (Penn), 375

  Tree, Beerbohm, 68

  Trollope, Anthony, 401

  Trotter, Mary, 396

  Trumbauer, Horace, architect, 407

  Tuileries (Paris), 222, 533

  Twelfth and Market, 489

  Twelfth Street Market, 54

  Union League, 152, 443, 447, 533

  University of Pennsylvania, 143, 162, 173, 258, 307, 364, 473, 496,
      526, 529

  University, Provosts of, 119

  University School (architecture), 407

  Van Rensselaer, Mrs. John King, 363

  Van Tromp, Miss, miniatures, 395

  Vaux, Richard, 342

  Vicaire (_Bibliographie_), 424

  Vienna Cafés (Centennial), 210, 227

  Villanova Seminary, 198

  Villon, François, essay on, 238

  Virginia Company, the first, 219

  Virginia, early settlers in, 216, 219

  Voltaire (author), 428, 513

  Walnut Lane, 298, 538

  Walnut Street, 184, 203, 297, 468, 489, 494, 538

  Walnut Street Theatre, 67

  Wanamaker's, 530

  War, Civil, the, 130

  Ward, Genevieve, 348

  Wardle, Thomas (bookseller), 313

  Washington (city), 226, 534

  Washington, George, 44, 119, 215, 290, 482, 526

  Washington's Birthday, 63

  Washington's household, 44, 433

  Washington, statue of, 386

  Waterloo (eve of), 254

  Water-Works (Fairmount), 64, 67, 299, 533

  Watson, John, 6, 356, 357, 413

  Watts, Harvey M., 362

  Waugh, Frederick J., marine painter, 406

  Welsh, John, 50

  West, Benjamin, 64, 389

  West Philadelphia, 126, 294, 297, 468, 529, 538

  Wharton, Anne Hollingsworth, 6, 361

  Whartons, the, 50, 145, 216

  Whelans, the, 31

  Whistler, James A. McNeill, 16, 395, 396, 405, 534

  White, Ambrose, 78, 120

  White, Bishop, 290

  White, Dr. (dentist), 64

  White, William, 144

  White, Willie, 144, 145

  Whitefield, George, 177

  Whitman, Walt, 119, 316, 324-331, 336, 337, 344, 347, 364

  Whittier, John G., 320

  _Wide, Wide World, The_, 59, 335

  Widener, Peter A. B., 307, 406

  Wilde, Oscar, 344, 347

  Williams, Dr. Francis Howard, 336, 362

  Williams, Dr. Talcott, 364

  Willing's Alley, 184

  Willings, the, 158

  Willis, N. P., 316

  Willow Grove, 213

  Wilstach Collection, 405

  Wise, Herbert C., 361

  Wissahickon (creek), 177, 298, 299

  Wistar House, 297, 521

  Wistar parties, 146

  Wister, Mrs., authoress, 335, 336

  Wister, Owen, 363

  "Wister, Sally," 162, 356

  Wisters, the, 107

  Woman in White (German mystics), 176

  Woman's School of Design, 405

  Wood, Bishop, 200, 203

  Woodland's, 126

  Wren, Sir Christopher, 283, 289, 533

  Wyck, 297, 521

  Wyeth's, 126, 456

  Yale (college), 162

  Yearly Meeting, 289

  _Yellow Buskin_, the, 405

  Zantzinger, C. C., architect, 407

  Zola, Émile, 259

               IN THE LAND OF TEMPLES

               By JOSEPH PENNELL

               Reproductions of a series of lithographs
               by him, together with impressions and
               notes by the artist and an introduction by
               W. H. D. ROUSE, M.A., L.H.D.

               _Crown Quarto, printed on dull finished
               paper, lithograph by Mr. Pennell on cover.
               $1.25 net._


               Reproductions of a series of twenty-eight
               lithographs made on the Isthmus of Panama,
               January-March, 1912, with Mr. Pennell's
               introduction, giving his experiences,
               impressions, and full description of each

               _Volume 7-1/4 by 10 inches. Beautifully
               printed on dull finished paper. Lithograph
               by Mr. Pennell on cover. $1.25 net._


               By ELIZABETH R. and JOSEPH PENNELL

               The Pennells have thoroughly revised the
               material in their Authorized Life, and
               added much new matter, which for lack of
               space they were unable to incorporate in
               the elaborate two-volume edition now out
               of print. Fully illustrated with 96 plates
               reproduced from Whistler's works, more
               than half reproduced for the first time.

               _Crown octavo. Fifth and revised edition.
               Whistler binding, deckle edge, $3.50 net.
               Three quarters grain levant, $7.50 net._

               J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

  | Transcriber's Notes:                                           |
  |                                                                |
  | Obvious punctuation errors repaired.                           |
  |                                                                |
  | Printer errors corrected. These include:                       |
  | - Page 74, Illustration caption "Loudorn" corrected to be      |
  |   "Loudoun" (LOUDOUN, MAIN STREET GERMANTOWN)                  |
  | - Page 152, word "Fast" corrected to be "East" (Italy and the  |
  |   East)                                                        |
  | - Page 157 and 313, word "Pensylvania" corrected to be         |
  |   "Pennsylvania" (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)          |
  | - Page 170, word "Philadephia" corrected to be "Philadelphia"  |
  |   (reception in Philadelphia)                                  |
  | - Page 174, word "to" corrected to be "too" (all too short at  |
  |   the best)                                                    |
  | - Page 402, word "Nordan" corrected to be "Nordau" (from       |
  |   Lionardo to Nordau)                                          |
  | - Page 486, word "Your" corrected to be "You" (You are welcome)|
  |                                                                |
  | Index entries that do not match their referred text corrected  |
  | (except if the referred text is an obvious typo). These        |
  | include:                                                       |
  | - Index entry "Beidelman" corrected to be "Beidleman"          |
  | - Index entry "Cimabué" corrected to be "Cimabue"              |
  | - Index entry "Francesco da Rimini" corrected to be "Francesca |
  |   da Rimini"                                                   |
  | - Index entry "Greland" corrected to be "Grelaud"              |
  | - Index entry "Hughes and Muller" corrected to be              |
  |   "Hughes and Müller"                                          |
  | - Index entry "Kugler" corrected to be "Kügler"                |
  | - Index entry "Maennerchor" corrected to be "Mäennerchor"      |
  | - Index entry "Racquet Club" corrected to be "Racquets Club"   |
  | - Index entry "Tourgée" corrected to be "Tourgee"              |
  | - Index entry "Vieaire" corrected to be "Vicaire"              |
  |                                                                |
  | Index page references that erroneously lead to pages without   |
  | text (blank or illustration only) were removed.                |
  |                                                                |
  | The author's variable spelling has been kept. This includes:   |
  | - Both "ailantus" and "ailanthus"                              |
  | - Both "baptised" and "baptized"                               |
  | - Both "bookseller" and "book-seller"                          |
  | - Both "colored" and "coloured"                                |
  | - Both "Delancey" and "De Lancey"                              |
  | - Both "dreamt" and "dreamed"                                  |
  | - Both "encyclopædia" and "encyclopedia"                       |
  | - Both "everyday" and "every-day"                              |
  | - Both "football" and "foot-ball"                              |
  | - Both "forefathers" and "fore-fathers"                        |
  | - Both "halfway" and "half-way"                                |
  | - Both "learnt" and "learned"                                  |
  | - Both "neighborhood" and "neighbourhood"                      |
  | - Both "nowadays" and "now-a-days"                             |
  | - Both "realise" and "realize"                                 |
  | - Both "refashioning" and "re-fashioning"                      |
  | - Both "reunion" and "re-union"                                |
  | - Both "role" and "rôle"                                       |
  | - Both "splendor" and "splendour"                              |
  | - Both "uptown" and "up-town"                                  |
  | - "Waterworks," "Water Works," and "Water-Works"               |
  |                                                                |
  | Some advertisements for other books published by J. B.         |
  | Lippincot were moved from page ii to the end of the text.      |
  |                                                                |

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