Julia Ward Howe (1819 - 1910)

by Laura E. Richards

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Chapter V - More Changes - 1886-1888; aet. 67-69


Giulia Romana! how thy trembling beauty,
That oft would shudder at one breath of praise,
Comes back to me! before the trump of duty
Had marshalled thee in life's laborious ways.

We used to wonder at thy blush in hearing
Thy parents praised. We now know what it meant:
A consciousness of their gifts reappearing
Perchance in thine—to consummation blent.

Oh, she was beautiful, beyond all magic
Of sculptor's hand, or pencil to portray!
Something angelical, divinely tragic,
Tempered the smile that round her lips would play.

Dear first-born daughter of a hero's heart!
Pass to perfection, all but perfect here!
We weep not much, remembering where thou art,
Yet, child of Poesy! receive a tear.

T. W. Parsons

The years 1886 and 1887 were marked by two events which changed materially the course of her private life: the death of Julia, the beloved eldest daughter, and the marriage of Maud, the house-mate and comrade.

During the winter of 1885-86 she made her headquarters in New York. Lecture engagements, conferences, and sermons took her hither and thither, and much of the time that should have been "precious" was passed in trains and boats.

In the last days of February, Julia was stricken with[116] rheumatic fever, which soon developed into typhoid. The weather was "direful: bitter cold and furious wind." Our mother went at once to South Boston, where "arriving, found my dear child seriously but not dangerously ill. Her joy at my coming was very pathetic."

On the 28th she writes:—

"I cannot be sure whether it was on this day that she said to me: 'Mamma, don't you remember the dream you had when Flossy and I were little children, and you were in Europe? You dreamed that you saw us in a boat and that the tide was carrying us away from you. Now the dream has come true, and the tide is bearing me away from you.'

"This saying was very sad to me; but my mind was possessed with the determination that death was not to be thought of."

For a time conditions seemed to improve, and she hastened to New York, where her presence was imperative; but a telegram summoned her back: Julia was not so well, and "a pain as of death" fell on the anxious mother.

"Saw by Katie's face when she opened the door that things were worse. I flew up the stairs and found my darling little changed, except that her breathing seemed rather worse. She was so glad to see me!... About this time I noticed a change come over her sweet face.... I felt, but would not believe, that it was the beginning of the end. Julia was presently very happy, with Michael on one side of her and myself on the other. Each of us held a hand. She said: 'I am[117] very happy now: if one has one's parents and one's husband, what more can one want?' And presently, 'The angels have charge of me now, mamma and Mimy.'[98] She said to me: 'What does the Lord want to kill me for? I am dying.' I said, 'No, my darling, you are going to get well.' She said: 'Remember, if anything happens to me, you two must stay together.'... A little later Michael and I were alone with her. She began to wander, and talk as if with reference to her club or some such thing. 'If this is not the right thing,' she said, 'call another priestess'; then, very emphatically: 'Truth, truth.' These were her last words.

"My darling should have been forty-two years old this day...."

A few days later she writes to Mary Graves:—

"I am not wild, nor melancholy, nor inconsolable, but I feel as America might if some great, fair State were blotted from its map, leaving only a void for the salt and bitter sea to overwhelm. I cannot, so far, get any comfort from other worldly imaginings. If God says anything to me now, he says, 'Thou fool.' The truth is that we have no notion of the value and beauty of God's gifts until they are taken from us. Then He may well say: 'Thou fool,' and we can only answer to our name."

The Journal says:—

"This is the last day of this sorrowful March which took my dear one from me. I seem to myself only dull, hard, and confused under this affliction. I pray God to give me comfort by raising me up that I may be[118] nearer to the higher life into which she and her dear father have passed. And thou? eleison...."

"Have had an uplifting of soul to-day. Have written to Mary Graves: 'I am at last getting to stand where I can have some spiritual outlook.' The confusion of 'is not' is giving place to the steadfastness of 'is.' Have embodied my thoughts in a poem to my dear Julia and in some pages which I may read at the meeting intended to commemorate her by the New England Woman's Club."

The Journal of this spring is full of tender allusions to the beloved daughter. The dreams of night often brought back the gracious figure; these visions are accurately described, each detail dwelt on with loving care.

In the "Reminiscences" she tells of Julia's consecrated life, of her devotion to her father, and to the blind pupils; describes, too, her pleasure in speaking at the Concord School of Philosophy (where her "mind seemed to have found its true level") and in a Metaphysical Club of her own founding.

"It was beautiful to see her seated in the midst of this thoughtful circle, which she seemed to rule with a staff of lilies. The club was one in which diversity of opinion sometimes brought individuals into sharp contrast with each other; but her gentle government was able to bring harmony out of discord, and to subdue alike the crudeness of scepticism and the fierceness of intolerance."

In the "Reminiscences" we find also the record of Julia's parting injunction to her husband: "Be kind[119] to the little blind children, for they are papa's children."

"These parting words," our mother adds, "are inscribed on the wall of the Kindergarten for the Blind at Jamaica Plain. Beautiful in life, and most beautiful in death, her sainted memory has a glory beyond that of worldly fame."

She considered Julia the most gifted of her children. The "Reminiscences" speak of her at some length, making mention of her beneficent life, and of her published works, a volume of poems entitled "Stray Chords," and "Philosophiæ Quæstor," a slender volume in which she described the Concord School of Philosophy and her pleasure therein.

In our mother's house of life, each child had its special room, though no door was locked to any. In all things pertaining to philosophy, Julia was her special intimate. For help and sympathy in suffrage and club doings, she turned naturally to Florence, an ardent worker in these fields; with Harry she would specially enjoy music; with Laura would talk of books; while Maud was the "Prime Minister" in social and household matters. So, till the very last, we gray-haired children leaned on her, clung to her, as in the days when we were children indeed.

A few years before Julia's death, our mother wrote to Mrs. Cheney, who had lost her only daughter: "This combat of the soul with deadly sorrow is a single-handed one, so far as human help is concerned. I do believe that God's sweet angels are with us when we contend against the extreme of calamity."

Heavy as this affliction was, it brought none of the paralysis of grief caused by Sammy's death: rather, as after the passing of the Chevalier, she was urged by the thought of her dead child to more and higher efforts.

In the quiet of Oak Glen she wrote this summer a careful study of Dante and Beatrice, for the Concord School of Philosophy.[99] July 20 found her at Concord, where she and Julia had been wont to go together. She says, "I cannot think of the sittings of the School without a vision of the rapt expression of her face as she sat and listened to the various speakers."[100]

Spite of her grief in missing this sweet companionship she found the sessions of the School deeply interesting. She was "much more nervous than usual" about her lecture; which "really sounded a good deal better than it had looked to me. It was wonderfully well received."

We are told by the last living representative of the School of Philosophy, Mr. F. B. Sanborn, that she was the most attractive, and sometimes the most profound, of its lecturers; "had the largest audiences, and gave the most pleasure; especially when she joined delicate personal criticism or epigrammatic wit with high philosophy."

The meetings of the School were always a delight to her; the papers written for it were among her most valuable essays; indeed, we may look upon them as[121] the flowering of all her deep and painful toil in the field of philosophy.[101]

September finds her planning an "industrial circle" in each State; a woman's industrial convention hereafter; and attending a Suffrage Convention at Providence.

"Spoke of the divine right, not of kings or people, but of righteousness. Spoke of Ouida's article in the 'North American Review.' It had been reported that I declined to answer it. I said: 'You cannot mend a stocking which is all holes. If you hold it up it will fall to pieces of itself.'

"In the afternoon spoke about the Marthas, male and female, who see only the trouble and inconvenience of reform: of the Marys who rely upon principle."

After this we have "a day of dreadful hurry, preparing to go West and also to shut up this house. Had to work tight every minute...."

This Western lecture trip was like many others, yet it had its own peculiar pleasures and mishaps.

"October 12. Dunkirk, lecture.... No one must know that I got off at the wrong station—Perrysburg, a forlorn hamlet. No train that would bring me to Dunkirk before 6.30 P.M. Ought to have arrived at 1.30. Went to the 'hotel,' persuaded the landlord to lend his buggy and a kindly old fellow to harness his horses to it, and drove twenty miles or more over the mountains, reaching Dunkirk by 5.10 P.M. When the buggy was brought to the door of the hotel, I said:[122] 'How am I to get in?' 'Take it slow and learn to pedal,' said my old driver. Presently he said, 'I guess you ain't so old as I be.' I replied, 'I am pretty well on toward seventy.' 'Well, I am five years beyond,' said he. He drives an accommodation wagon between Perrysburg and Versailles, a small town where a man once wanted to set up a mill, and to buy land and water power, and they wouldn't sell either. Whereupon he went to Tonawanda and made the place. 'Guess they'd have done better to gin him the land and water, and to set up his mill for him,' said my man, Hinds."

On this trip she saw the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, taking the seven-mile walk; went as far as Kansas City; was received everywhere with delightful warmth.

To Laura

December 1, 1886.
You see, I was waiting for the winter to begin, in order to write you, and that you ought to have known. But bless you, in Gardiner, Maine, you don't know when real Winter begins, 'cause you have so much sham winter. Well, better late than never. Here's thanking you very much for the delightful [tea] cozy. Maud said, "What are you going to do with it?" sarcastic-like. I replied, "Put it on my head"; to which she inquit, "Most natural thing for you to do." The sight of the monogram gave me real satisfaction and a sense of inborn dignity. You boil down to your monogram, after all, and this one was beyond my highest expectations.[123] I am only thinking, dear, whether you would not have shown more respect by putting the crimson satin bow on the monogram side, and thus, as it were, calling attention to the distinguished initials.... I am grinding now in all of my mills, of which one is a paper for the "Woman Suffrage Bazaar," which paper I am doing my best to edit. I cannot in conscience ask you to send me anything for its columns, because, poor dear, you have to do so much work on your own account. At the same time, a trifling overflow into the hat would be very welcome....

Winter brought another grave anxiety. Florence in her turn developed rheumatic fever and became alarmingly ill. The mother-bird flew to her in terror. On the way she met Henry Ward Beecher and told him of her deep distress, made still more poignant by the thought of the little children who might be left motherless. She was scarcely comforted by his assurance that he "had known stepmothers who were very good to their stepchildren"!

It was Christmas time, and she divided her time between the beloved patient and the children who must not lack their holiday cheer.

"December 27. The day was a very distressing one to me. I sat much of the time beside Flossy with a strange feeling that I could keep her alive by some effort of my will. I seemed to contend with God, saying, 'I gave up Julia, I can't give up Flossy—she has children.'..."

"December 28. Most of the day with dear Flossy,[124] who seems a little better. I sat up with her until 1.30 A.M., and made a great effort of will to put her to sleep. I succeeded—she slept well for more than an hour and slept again for a good while without any narcotic."

Throughout the illness she fought against the use of narcotics.

The cloud of danger and anxiety passed, and the year closed in happiness and deep thankfulness. The last entry reads:—

"God bless all my dear people, sisters, children, grandchildren, and cousins. God grant me also to serve while I live, and not to fail of the high and holy life. Amen!"

To Laura

Monday, January 31, 1887.
Now, you just look here.

Daughter began her school and music to-day. Nobody's a-neglecting of her. What you mean? Grandma took her to Clarke church, prouder than a peacock,—Grandma, I mean.

Congregation inquit: "Whose child is that?"

"Laura's," responsa sum.

"Id cogitavi" was the general answer. And she's pop'lar, she is. Little fourteen-year-olds keep a-coming and a-coming. And I draws her bath, and tucks her up in bed. And she's having a splendid time. And I want some more of this paper. And my feelings won't allow me to say any more. No—my dearest sweetest pug pie, your darling won't be forgotten for a[125] moment. We couldn't get at the lessons before, and last week, like strong drink, was raging.


Maud was now engaged to John Elliott, a young Scottish painter, whose acquaintance they had made in Europe in 1878. The marriage took place on February 7, 1887. Though there were many periods of separation, the Elliotts, when in this country, made their home for the most part with our mother. The affection between her and her son-in-law was deep; his devotion to her constant. Through the years that were to follow, the comradeship of the three was hardly less intimate than that of the two had been.

The Journal carries us swiftly onward. In place of the long meditations on philosophy and metaphysics, we have brief notes of comings and goings, of speaking and preaching, writing and reading. She works hard to finish her paper on "Women in the Three Professions, Law, Medicine, and Theology," for the "Chautauquan." "Very tired afterwards."

She speaks at the Newport Opera House with Mrs. Livermore (who said she did not know Mrs. Howe could speak so well); she takes part in the Authors' Reading for the Longfellow Memorial in the Boston Museum, reciting "Our Orders" and the "Battle Hymn," with her lines to Longfellow recently composed.

"I wore my velvet gown, my mother's lace, Uncle Sam's Saint Esprit, and did my best, as did all the others."

The next day she speaks at a suffrage meeting in Providence, and makes this comment:—

"Woman suffrage represents individual right, integral humanity, ideal justice. I spoke of the attitude and action of Minerva in the 'Eumenides';[102] her resistance to the Furies, who I said personified popular passion fortified by ancient tradition; her firm stand for a just trial, and her casting the decisive ballot. I hoped that this would prefigure a great life-drama in which this gracious prophecy would be realized."

In a "good talk with Miss Eddy,"[103] she devises a correspondence and circular to obtain information concerning art clubs throughout the country. "I am to draft the circular."

She makes an address at the Unitarian Club in Providence.

"The keynote to this was given me yesterday, by the sight of the people who thronged the popular churches, attracted, in a great measure no doubt, by the Easter decoration and music. I thought: 'What a pity that everybody cannot hear Phillips Brooks.' I also thought: 'They can all hear the lesson of heavenly truth in the great Church of All Souls and of All Saints; there is room enough and to spare.'"

She writes a poem for the Blind Kindergarten at Jamaica Plain.

"I worked at my poem until the last moment and even changed it from the manuscript as I recited it. The occasion was most interesting. Sam Eliot presided,[127] and made a fine opening address, in which he spoke beautifully of dear Julia and her service to the blind; also of her father. I was joined by Drs. Peabody and Bartol, Brooke Herford and Phillips Brooks. They all spoke delightfully and were delightful to be with. I recited my poem as well as I could. I think it was well liked, and I was glad of the work I bestowed on it."

She preaches at Parker Fraternity[104] on "The Ignorant Classes."

Small wonder that at the Club Tea she finds herself "not over-bright." Still, she had a "flash or two. The state of Karma [calmer], orchestral conversation, and solo speaking."

She hears the Reverend William Rounceville Alger's paper on the "Blessed Life." "Very spiritual and in a way edifying; but marred by what I should call 'mixed metaphysic.' One goes beyond his paper to feel a deep sympathy with him, a man of intense intellectual impulse, in following which he undergoes a sort of martyrdom; while yet he does not seem to me to hit the plain, practical truth so much as one might wish. He is an estray between Western and Eastern thought, inclining a good deal, though not exclusively, to the latter."

She goes to conferences of women preachers, to peace meetings; to jubilee meetings, in honor of Queen Victoria; she conducts services at the Home for Intemperate Women, and thinks it was a good time.

She "bites into" her paper on Aristophanes, "with[128] a very aching head"; finishes it, delivers it at Concord before the School of Philosophy.

"Before I began, I sent this one word to Davidson,[105] eleison. This because it seemed as if he might resent my assuming to speak at all of the great comedian. He seemed, however, to like what I said, and in the discussion which followed, he took part with me, against Sanborn, who accuses Aristophanes of having always lent his wit to the service of the old aristocratic party. Returned to Boston and took train for Weirs, New Hampshire, where arrived more dead than alive."

She is at Newport now, and there are tender notes of pleasure with the Hall grandchildren, of "reading and prayers" with them on Sunday, of picnics and sailing parties.

Still, in dreams, she calls back the lost daughter; still records with anxious care each visionary word and gesture.

"Dreamed this morning of Charles Sumner and dearest Julia. She was talking to me; part of the time reclining on a sort of lounge. I said to some one, 'This is our own dear Julia, feel how warm she is.'... I think I said something about our wanting to see her oftener. She said pathetically, 'Can't you talk of me?' I said, 'We do, darling.' 'Not very often,' I think was her reply. Then she seemed to come very near me, and I said to her, 'Darling, do they let you come here as often as you want to?' She said, 'Not quite.' I asked[129] why, and she answered almost inaudibly, 'They are afraid of my troubling people.' I stirred and woke; but the dear vision remains with me, almost calling me across the silent sea."

She writes innumerable letters; date and address of each is carefully noted, and now and then an abstract of her words.

"The bane of all representative action is that the spur of personal ambition will carry people further than larger and more generous considerations of good are apt to do. So the mean-hearted and ambitious are always forward in politics; while those who believe in great principles are perhaps too much inclined to let the principles do all the work...."

The following extracts hurry the year to its close:—

"November 7. Left for Boston by 10.20 A.M. train, to attend the celebration of Michael's [Anagnos] fiftieth birthday at the Institution, and the opening meeting of the N.E.W.C.... Arriving in Boston, I ran about somewhat, fatiguing myself dreadfully. Reached the Institution by 4.30 P.M., when, throwing myself on the bed for necessary rest, the desired rhymes for Anagnos's birthday flashed upon me, 'all of a sudden,' and instead of napping, I called for pen and ink and wrote them. The meeting was very good; I presided. Dwight and Rodocanachi made speeches, the latter presenting the beautiful chain given to Michael by the teachers of the Institution. Michael was much moved and could not but be much gratified. I proposed three cheers at the end."

"I stole half an hour to attend a meeting in memory[130] of Hannah Stephenson [the friend and house-mate of Theodore Parker] of whom much good was said that I did not know of. I reproached myself for having always been repelled by her ugliness of countenance and tart manner, and having thus failed to come within the sphere of her really noble influence. The occasion recalled a whole vision of the early and painful struggle in Boston; of the martyrdom of feeling endured by friends of the slave—of Parker's heroic house and pulpit. It seemed, as it often does, great to have known these things, little to have done so little in consequence."

"November 27. Finished my lecture on 'Woman in the Greek Drama.' It was high time, as my head and eyes are tired with the persistent strain.... All the past week has been hard work. No pleasure reading except a very little in the evening."

"December 1.... Took 2.30 train for Melrose.... I read my new lecture—'Woman as shown by the Greek Dramatists': of whom I quoted from Æschylus, Sophocles, and Aristophanes. A Club Tea followed: a pleasant one. I asked the mothers present whether they educated their daughters in hygiene and housekeeping. The response was not enthusiastic, and people were more disposed to talk of the outer world, careers of women, business or profession, than to speak of the home business. One young girl, however, told us that she was a housekeeping girl; a very pleasant lady, Mrs. Burr, had been trained by her mother, to her own great advantage."

"December 18. For the [Parker] Fraternity a text[131] occurs to me, 'Upon this rock I will build my church.' Will speak of the simple religious element in human nature, the loss of which no critical skill or insight could replace. Will quote some of the acts and expressions of the true religious zeal of other days, and ask why this means nothing for us of to-day."

Her first act of 1888 was to preach this sermon before the Parker Fraternity. It was one of those best liked by herself and others.

The great event of this year was her visit to California. She had never seen the Pacific Coast; the Elliotts were going to Chicago for an indefinite stay; her sister Annie, whom she had not seen in many years, begged earnestly for a visit from the "Old Bird."

She decided to make the journey, and arranged a lecture tour to cover its expenses.

The expedition was throughout one of deepest interest. It began with "a day of frightful hurry and fatigue. I had been preparing for this departure for some time past; yet when the time came, it seemed as if I could hardly get off. Maud worked hard to help me. She insisted upon arranging matters for me; went to the bank; got my ticket. We parted cheerfully, yet I felt the wrench. God knows whether she will ever be in my house again, as my partner in care and responsibility...."

After an "A.A.W." conference in Boston, and a Woman's Council in Washington, she took the road. Her first stop was at Chicago. Here she was "very busy and not quite well. Divided the day between Maud and some necessary business. At 3.15 P.M. the[132] dreadful wrench took place. Maud was very brave, but I know that she felt it as I did...."

To Maud

Merchants' Hotel,

St. Paul, Minnesota, April 10.
So far, so good, my dear sweet child. I got me off as well as possible, though we had many complications and delays as to the ticket. My section was very comfortable. I had supper in the dining-car, and slept well, no theatre-troupe nor D. T. being aboard. I have now got my ticket all straight to 'Frisco, and won't I frisk oh! when I get there!

The next stop was at Spokane Falls. Here she had "a bronchial attack; very hoarse and sore in my throat and chest. Went over my lecture carefully, leaving out some pages. Felt absolute need of tea-stimulant, and went downtown, finding some in a grocer's shop. The good servant Dora made me a hot cup which refreshed me greatly. Very hoarse at my lecture. Opera House a good one enough; for a desk, a box mounted on a barrel, all covered with a colored paper; decent enough. Lecture: 'Polite Society'; well received." The Spokane of to-day may smile at the small things of yesterday; yet our mother always spoke with pleasure of her cordial reception there.

Walla Walla, Walula, Paser. In the last-named place she "found a tavern with many claimants for beds. Mrs. Isaacs, who came with me from Walla Walla for a little change of air, could not have a separate[133] room, and we were glad to share not only a small room but also a three-quarters bed. I was cramped and slept miserably. She was very quiet and amiable."

At Tacoma again (on the way whither she felt as if her life hung by a thread while crossing the Notch), there was but one room for the two ladies, but they occupied it "very peacefully."

After church at Tacoma "we heard singing in one of the parlors, and went in quest of it. In the great parlor of the hotel where hops take place, we found an assemblage of men and women, mostly young, singing Gospel hymns, with an accompaniment of grand piano. The Bishop of New Zealand stood in the middle of the apartment singing with gusto. Presently he took his place at the instrument, his wife joining him as if she thought his situation dangerous for a 'lone hand.' A little later, some one, who appeared to act as master of ceremonies, asked me to come over and be introduced to the Bishop, to which I consented. His first question was: 'Are you going to New Zealand immediately?' He is a Londoner. 'Ah, come; with all your States, you can show nothing like London.' Being asked for a brief address, he spoke very readily, with a frank, honest face, and in a genial, offhand manner. A good specimen of his sort, not fine-brained, nor over-brained, but believing in religion and glad to devote his life to it. The Bishop has blue eyes and a shaggy head of grizzled hair."

After Tacoma came "hospitable Seattle"; where she lectured and attended a meeting of the Seattle Emerson Club; then to Olympia, by a small Sound steamer.

"A queer old bachelor on board, hearing me say that I should like to live in Washington Territory, said he would give me a handsome house and lot if I would live in Olympia, at which several Olympians present laughed."

She left Olympia by train, en route for Portland. The conductor, "Brown by name," saw the name on her valise, and claimed acquaintance, remembering her when she lived in Boylston Place. Soon after, passing a lovely little mill-stream, with a few houses near it, by name Tumwater, she consulted him as to the value of land there, with the result that she bought several acres of "good bottom land."

This was one of several small purchases of land made during her various journeyings. She always hoped that they would bring about large results: the Tumwater property was specially valued by her, though she never set foot in the place. The pioneer was strong in her, as it was in the Doctor; the romance of travel never failed to thrill her. Speeding hither and thither by rail, her eye caught beauty and desirableness in a flash; the settler stirred in her blood, and she longed to possess and to develop. Tumwater she fondly hoped was to bring wealth to the two eldest grandchildren, to whom she bequeathed it.

In Portland she spent several days, lectured three times, and was most hospitably entertained. On her one disengaged evening she went down into the hotel parlor, played for the guests to dance, played accompaniments for them to sing. She spoke to the school children; "she made slight acquaintance with various[135] people," most of whom told her the story of their lives. Briefly, she touched life at every point.

Finally, on May 5, she reached San Francisco, and a few hours later the ranch of San Geronimo, where the Mailliards had been living for some years.

"Situation very beautiful," she says; "a cup in the mountains." Here she found her beloved sister Annie, the "little Hitter" of her early letters; here she spent happy days, warm with outer and inner sunshine.

California was a-tiptoe with eagerness to see and hear the author of the "Battle Hymn"; many lectures were planned, in San Francisco and elsewhere. The Journal gives but brief glimpses of this California visit, which she always recalled with delight as one of the best of all her "great good times." In the newspaper clippings, preserved in a scrapbook, we find the adjectives piled mountain high in praise and appreciation. Though not yet seventy, she was already, in the eye of the youthful reporter, "aged"; her silver hair was dwelt on lovingly; people were amazed at her activity. One of the great occasions was the celebration of Decoration Day by the Grand Army of the Republic in the Grand Opera House, at which she was the guest of honor. The house was packed; the stage brilliant with flowers and emblems. Her name was cheered to the echo. She spoke a few words of acknowledgment.

"I join in this celebration with thrilled and uplifted heart. I remember those camp-fires, I remember those dreadful battles. It was a question with us women,[136] 'Will our men prevail? Until they do they will not come home.' How we blessed them when they did; how we blessed them with our prayers when they were in the battlefield. Those were times of sorrow; this is one of joy. Let us thank God, who has given us these victories."

The audience rose en masse, and stood while the "Battle Hymn" was sung, author and audience joining in the chorus.

After her second lecture in Santa Barbara, she "sauntered a little, and spent a little money. Bought some imperfect pearls which will look well when set. Wanted a handsome brooch which I saw; thought I had best conquer my desire, and did so."

At Ventura: "Got so tired that I could hardly dress for lecture." The next day she proposed to Mrs. S. at dinner (1 P.M.) to invite some young people for the evening, promising to play for them to dance. "She [Mrs. S.] ordered a buggy and drove about the village. Her son stretched a burlap on the straw matting and waxed it. About thirty came. We had some sweet music, singers with good voices, and among others a pupil of Perabo, who was really interesting and remarkable."

At one of the hospitable cities, a gentleman asked her to drive with him, drove her about for a couple of hours, descanting upon the beauties of the place, and afterwards proclaimed that Mrs. Howe was the most agreeable woman he had ever met. "And I never once opened my lips!" she said.

On June 10 she preached in Oakland: "the one sermon[137] which I have felt like preaching in these parts: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock.' The house was well filled.... After service as I leaned over to speak to those who stopped to greet me, I saw one of our old church-members, who told me, with eyes full of tears, that our dear James Freeman Clarke is no more. This was like an ice-bolt; I could not realize it at first.

"'A very tender history
Did in your passing fall.'
"Years of sweet converse, of following and dependence, end with this event."

So we come to the last day at the ranch, the parting with the dear sister; the departure for San Francisco, laden with roses and good wishes.

On the way eastward she stopped at Salt Lake City, and went to the Mormon Tabernacle; "an enormous building with a roof like the back of a turtle; many tourists present. The Mormons mostly an ill-looking and ill-smelling crowd. Bishop Whitney, a young man, preached a cosmopolite sermon, quoting Milton and Emerson. He spoke of the Christian Church with patronizing indulgence; insisted upon the doctrine of immediate and personal revelation, and censured the Mormons for sometimes considering their families before their church. Communion, bread in silver baskets and water in silver cups, handed to every one, children partaking with the rest; no solemnity."

"June 26. To visit the penitentiary, where thirty Mormon bishops are imprisoned for polygamy. Spoke[138] with one, Bishop of Provo, a rather canny-looking man, whom we found in the prison library, reading. The librarian (four years' term for forgery) told me it was the result of liquor and bad company. I said a few motherly words to him and presently proposed to speak to the prisoners, to which the jailer gladly assented. I began by saying, 'I feel to speak to you, my brothers.' Said that all of us make mistakes and many of us do wrong at times. Exhorted them to give, in future, obedience to the laws upon which the existence of society depends. The convict Montrose sent to me a little chain and ornaments of his own making. I promised to send one or two books for the library...."

So, through "bowery and breezy Nebraska; such a relief to eyes and nerves!" to Chicago, where Maud kept and comforted her as long as might be, and sent her refreshed on her way; finally to Boston, where she arrived half-starved, and so to Newport.

To Maud

July 8, 1888.

Grumble, grumble—tumble, tumble,
For something to eat,
Fast-y fast-y nasty, nasty,
At last, at last-y,
Ma's dead beat!

"Oh! the dust of it, and the swirl, in which the black porter and the white babies all seemed mixed up together. A few dried and withered old women, like myself, were thrown in, an occasional smoky gent, and the gruel 'thick and slab,' was what is called Human Nature! This is the spleeny vein, and I indulge it to make you laugh, but really, my journey was as comfortable as heat and speed would allow. Imagine my feelings on learning that there was no dining or buffet car! Do not grieve about this, the biscuits and bananas which you put up carried me quite a way. We got a tolerable breakfast at Cleveland, and a bad dinner at Buffalo, but dry your eyes, the strawberry shortcake was uncommonly good. And think how good it is that I have got through with it all and can now rest good and handsome."

The summer entries in the Journal are varied and picturesque. "My cow, of which I was fond, was found dead this morning.... My neighbor Almy was very kind.... I feel this a good deal, but complaining will not help matters."

"Mr. Bancroft [George], historian, brought Dr. Hedge to call after dinner. Mr. B. kissed me on both cheeks for the first time in his life. We had a very pleasant and rather brilliant talk, as might have been expected where such men meet."

She writes to Maud:—

"Mr. Alger seized upon my left ear metaphorically and emptied into it all the five-syllable words that he knew, and the result was a mingling of active and passive lunacy, for I almost went mad and he had not far to go in that direction."

And again; apropos of ——: "How the great world does use up a man! It is not merely the growing older, for that is a natural and simple process; but it is[140] the coating of worldliness which seems to varnish the life out of a man; dead eyes, dead smile, and (worst of all) dead breath."

"September 23. To church in Newport. A suggestive sermon from Mr. Alger on 'Watching,' i.e., upon all the agencies that watch us, children, foes, friends, critics, authorities, spirits, God himself.

"As we drove into town [Newport] I had one of those momentary glimpses which in things spiritual are so infinitely precious. The idea became clear and present to my mind that God, an actual presence, takes note of our actions and intentions. I thought how helpful it would be to us to pass our lives in a sense of this divine supervision. After this inward experience I was almost startled by the theme of Alger's sermon. I spoke to him of the coincidence, and he said it must have been a thought wave. The thought is one to which I have need to cling. I have at this moment mental troubles, obsessions of imagination, from which I pray to be delivered. While this idea of the divine presence was clear to me, I felt myself lifted above these things. May this lifting continue."

"November 4. In my prayer this morning I thanked God that I have come to grieve more over my moral disappointments than over my intellectual ones. With my natural talents I had nothing to do: with my use or abuse of them, everything.

"I have thought, too, lately, of a reason why we should not neglect our duty to others for our real or supposed duty to ourselves. It is this: ourselves we[141] have always with us; our fellows flit from our company, or pass away and we must help them when and while we can."

On December 5 she hears "the bitter news of Abby May's death. Alas! and alas! for the community, for her many friends, and for the Club and the Congress in which she did such great silent service. God rest her in His sweet peace!"

On Christmas Day she went to "Trinity Church, where I enjoyed Phillips Brooks's sermon. Felt much drawn to go to communion with the rest; but thought it might occasion surprise and annoyance. Going into a remote upper gallery I was present at the scene, and felt that I had my communion without partaking of the 'elements.' These lines also suggested themselves as I walked home:—

The Universal bread,
The sacrificial wine,
The glory of the thorn-crowned head,
Humanity divine."

"The last day of the year dawned upon me, bringing solemn thoughts of the uncertainty of life, and sorrow for such misuse of its great gifts and opportunities as I am well conscious of. This has been a good year to me. It carried me to the Pacific slope, and showed me indeed a land of promise. It gave me an unexpected joy in the harmonious feelings toward me and the members of A.A.W. at the Detroit Congress. It has, alas! taken from me my dear pastor, most precious to me for help and instruction, and other dear and valued friends, notably Sarah Shaw Russell,[106] Abby W.[142] May and Carrie Tappan. I desire to set my house in order, and be ready for my departure; thankful to live, or willing to cease from my mortal life when God so wills...."


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