Methinks my friends grow beauteous in my sight, As the years make their havoc of sweet things; Like the intenser glory of the light When the sad bird of Autumn sits and sings. Ah! woe is me! ah! Memory, Be cheerful, thanking God for things that be. J. W. H.
The longing to revisit England and enjoy another "whiff" of a London season was gratified in the summer of 1892. Accompanied by the Elliotts and a granddaughter, she sailed for Liverpool on the 4th of June; "a day of almost inconceivable pressure and labor. I could not waste one minute, yet could not do some of the simplest things which I intended to do. Our departure was tolerably decorous and comfortable."
"June 13. At sea. Have enjoyed some good reading, and have read one book, 'Bel Ami,' by Guy de Maupassant, which I found so objectionable that I had to skip whole passages of mere sensual description. My loathing of the book and its personages will keep me from encountering again the filth of this author...."
"June 16. Chester. Attended service in the Cathedral. I first came to Chester as a bride, forty-nine years ago; then in 1867 with dear Chev, Julia, and Laura; in 1877 with dear Maud; and now with Maud and her husband and my dear grandchild, Alice Richards. These three periods in my woman's life gave me much to think of."
June 18 found the party established in pleasant lodgings in Albion Street, Hyde Park, where they were soon surrounded by friends old and new.
"June 21.... In the afternoon Lady Aberdeen, Arthur Mills, and Henry Harland visited me. A. M.'s hair is quite white. It was only iron grey when we last met, thirteen years ago."
"June 22. Mrs. Brooke Herford wrote to ask me to come out this afternoon to meet Mrs. Humphry Ward. The Albert Hall performance very interesting. Lord Aberdeen sent his carriage for us. My seat was next to that of the Countess, who appeared in a very fine dress of peach-blossom corded silk, with white lace draperies—on my left was Lord Brooke. Lady Aberdeen introduced me to Lord Kenmare and Dr. Barnardo. The singing of the children, a band of rescued waifs, moved me to tears. The military drill of the boys and the Maypole dance of the girls were very finely done. There are more than 4000 of these children in Barnardo Homes."
"June 23. To the first view of the Society of English Portrait Painters. Portraits on the whole well worth seeing—Herkomers very good, also Mrs. Anna Lea Merritt's and others. A superb portrait of Cardinal Manning, in full red and ermine. In the evening Lady Aberdeen sent her carriage for me and I went with her to a meeting of the Liberal League, at which she spoke with a pleasant playfulness, dwelling somewhat upon the position that Home Rule, if given to Ireland, would do away with the ill-feeling of the Irish in America towards England. To lunch with Lady Aberdeen. Lief Jones came into the meeting while Lady Aberdeen was speaking, and with him Lady Carlisle. She shook hands with me very cordially. Presently Lief Jones began his address, which was quite lengthy, presenting the full platform of the Liberal Party. He is a brisk, adroit speaker, and made points in favor of Woman Suffrage, of Home Rule, of the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Wales and Scotland, of the eight-hour labor law, of the purchase of the waterworks, now owned by eight companies in the city."
"June 24. The lunch at Lady Aberdeen's was very pleasant. Mrs. Eva McLaren talked with me, as did Miss Ferguson. The American Minister, Robert Lincoln, was introduced to me and was very friendly."
"June 25. Went to Toynbee Hall by Whitechapel 'bus. Had received a note, which I supposed to be from a lady, offering to show me over the institution. We were shown into a large room, bare of carpet, but with some pictures and bric-à-brac. After waiting half an hour, a young gentleman made his appearance, a Mr. Ames—the letter had been from him. He showed me Mr. Charles [not General] Booth's map of gradations of wealth and poverty in London. The distinctions are marked by colors and shades of color—criminal centres designated by black. In the afternoon to Sarasate's concert, all violin and piano-forte, but very fine."
"June 26. To hear Stopford Brooke in the morning, an interesting sermon.... He called the Agnostics and Nirvanists a type found in many classes, but not a class...."
"June 27. To lunch with Mrs. Harland. Very pleasant. Edmund Gosse was the guest invited to meet me. He was vivacious, easy, and agreeable. Also the composer Marzials...."
"June 28. To Westminster Abbey. To Alice, its interest seemed inexhaustible. It is so, indeed, had one time to be 'strewing violets all the time,' as E. B. B. said. Longfellow's bust has been placed there since my last visit; the likeness is good. I wandered about as long as my feet would carry me, thinking sometimes of Gray's question, 'Can storied urn,' etc. The Harlands came later and brought the composer of 'Twickenham Ferry.' With Alice to dine at Toynbee Hall. A pleasant dinner. A bright young man, Bruce by name, related to Abyssinian Bruce, took Alice in to dinner—sitting afterwards in Ames's room, where we met an alderman, a bricklayer, a trades' unionist; later, we heard a lecture from Commander Gladstone, on the Norman-Breton churches, with fine stereoscopic plates. A violent storm came on, but we managed to ''bus it' home, taking a cab only at Marble Arch."
"June 29. To dine with the Greek Minister at eight o'clock, and to the soirée of the Academy.
"To Chelsea, to call upon Mrs. Oscar Wilde.... He showed me with pride a fine boy of five years. We had some talk of old times, of his visit to America; I reminded him of the vermilion balcony at which he laughed." [Wilde had complained that the usual pronunciation of these words was prosaic.]
"June 30.... Mrs. Oscar Wilde asks us to take tea on Thursday; she has invited Walter Pater.... Have writ to James Bryce."
"July 2. To see Oscar Wilde's play, 'Lady Windermere's Fan,' at St. James's Theatre. We went by invitation to his box, where were Lady Wilde and Mrs. Oscar. The play was perfectly acted, and is excellent of its kind, the motif not new, but the dénouement original in treatment. After the play to call on Lady Rothschild, then to Constance Flower, who showed us her superb house full of treasures of art."
"July 4. Mrs. [Edmund] Gosse came and took us to Alma-Tadema's beautiful house and garden. He met us very cordially. Mrs. Smalley came. She was Wendell Phillips's adopted daughter. I had a pleasant talk with her and with Mr. and Mrs. Hughes, whom I charged with a friendly message to Thomas himself. After this to Minister Lincoln's Fourth of July reception. Harry White, Daisy Rutherford's husband, was introduced."
Elsewhere she says of this visit to Alma-Tadema:—
"His charming wife, once seen, explains some of the features of his works. She has yellow hair of the richest color; her eyes also have a primrose tint, while her complexion has a pale bloom of its own, most resembling that of a white rose. She gave us tea from lozenge-shaped cups, with saucers to match. In the anteroom below we admired a painting by her own hand, of yellow jonquils and a yellow fan, on a dark background. Her husband seemed pleased when we praised this picture. So these two artists occupy their golden nest peaceably, and do not tear each other's laurels.
"Let me say here that the passion for the golden color still prevails. In dress, in furniture, in porcelain, it is the prevailing favorite. Long banished from the social rainbow, it now avenges itself for years of neglect, and, as every dog must have his day, we will say that the yellow dog is now to have his, and that the dog-star of this coming August will certainly be of his color."
"July 6. With Maud to Liberty's, where she beguiled me, alas! into buying a fine black silk mantle for six guineas. To Nutt's in the Strand for my Greek books. He had only the 'Nicomathean Ethics,' a fine edition which I bought for twelve shillings. Then to Poole's in Hallowell Street, where bought two editions of Aristotle's 'Government,' with English notes. At Poole's found a copy of Schiller's 'Robbers,' which I bought for threepence."
"July 7. Afternoon tea with Mrs. Oscar, meeting an aunt of Mrs. Wilde's, and Mrs. Burne-Jones. The aunt had been in Japan—she had known Fenollosa and Professor Morse. Then to Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton, who introduced a number of people, among them William Sharp, a poet."
"July 8. I had rashly promised to lunch with the Brooke Herfords at Hampstead, and to take five-o'clock tea with Mrs. Rebecca Moore at Bedford Place. The Herfords were delightful, and Hampstead is a charming suburb. We saw the outside of Mrs. Barbauld's house. Herford said much good of Cookson, a farmer's son whom he had known in England from his beginnings, a dignified, able, excellent man in his esteem. From this a long distance to Mrs. Moore. We reached her in good time, however. Found her alone, in a pleasant little dwelling. Three ladies came to tea, which was served quite in state—Stepniak came also."
"July 9. To lunch with Lady Henry Somerset. Some talk with Lady H. about Mrs. Fawcett, et al.: also concerning Mrs. Martin's intended candidacy for the presidency of the United States, which, however futile in itself, we deplore as tending to throw ridicule upon the Woman's Cause. She thought that the Conservatives would give women the Parliamentary Suffrage in England on account of the great number of women who have joined the Primrose League."
"July 10. To the Temple Church. The organ voluntaries, strangely, I thought, were first Chopin's 'Funeral March,' second the 'Dead March' in 'Saul.' A notable sermon from Dr. Vaughan. The discourse was really concerned with the political situation of the moment: the strong division of feeling throughout the country, and the fears of many lest the doctrine in which they believe should be overthrown. He said that the real Ark of God was the Church Universal, which has been defined as the whole company of believing Christian people throughout the world. Many changes would occur, but the vital principle of religion would prove itself steadfast—a truly noble sermon, worthy of Phillips Brooks."
"July 12. To the New Gallery in which were two fine portraits by Herkomer, a superb one of Paderewski by Tadema, and one of Walter Crane by Watts, also of distinguished excellence. Later, called upon the Duchess of Bedford, a handsome woman, sister to Lady Henry Somerset. We talked of her sister's visit to the United States. I was well able to praise her eloquence and her general charm. She has known Lowell well. We talked of the old London, the old Boston, both past their palmiest literary days. She had heard Phillips Brooks at Westminster Abbey; admired him much, but thought him optimistic."
"July 14. Was engaged to spend the afternoon at Mrs. Moulton's reception and to dine with Sebastian Schlesinger.... Many people introduced to me—Jerome, author of 'Three Men in a Boat'; Molloy, songwriter; Theodore Watts, poetical critic of the Athenæum.'... At the dinner I met Mrs. O'Connor, who turned out to be a Texan, pretty and very pleasant, an Abolitionist at the age of six...."
"July 15.... To the Harlands', where met Theodore Watts again, and had some good talk with him about Browning and other friends. Also Walter Besant, whom I greeted very warmly as 'our best friend.'"
"July 17. A sermon of surpassing beauty and power from the dear Bishop of Massachusetts [Phillips Brooks].... The power and spirit of the discourse carried me quite away. We waited to speak with him. I had a dear grasp of the hand from him. I shook my finger at him and said, 'Is this resting?' He laughed and said, 'This is the last time. I shall not speak again until I reach Massachusetts.' I wrote some lines on coming home, only half expressing my thought, which was that the mother of so brave a son could not have had one coward drop of blood in her veins—another little scrap, too, about the seven devils that Christianity can cast out. General Walker in the afternoon and the Harlands to dinner."
They left London to join Mrs. Terry at Schwalbach, lingering for a little on the way in Holland and Belgium.
"July 27. The Hague. To see Mesdag and his pictures. Found Mesdag a hale man of perhaps fifty years—perhaps less; a fine house, and, besides his own paintings of which we saw a number, a wonderful collection of pictures, mostly modern French, Troyon, Corot, Rousseau, Daubigny. Some good things by a Roman artist, Mancini, whom Mesdag praised highly—he is very poor, but has some excellent qualities. A picture of a little girl reclining on a pillow with a few flowers in her hand, pleased me very much—he also praised it. Much fine tapestry, china, etc., etc. He was gruffly pleasant and hospitable."
"July 28. Antwerp. Visited Cathedral and Musée. Saw my picture, Rubens's Elevation of the Cross, but felt that my eyesight has dimmed since I last saw it. Found Félu, the armless artist, in the Musée copying a picture of Godiva. He was very glad to see us. Much talk with him about Flemish art. A little ramble after dinner and a nibble at a bric-à-brac shop, which, however, did not become a bite."
"July 31. Cologne. A great concourse of people awaited the arrival of a steamer with the Arion Musical Society of New York. Köln choral societies were represented by fine banners and by members in mediæval costumes, very picturesque. The steamer came alongside with many flags, foremost among them our own dear 'Stars and Stripes.' We waved handkerchiefs vigorously as these last passed by, and were saluted by their bearers."
"August 2. Left Cologne by Rhine steamer. I remember these boats as crowded, dirty, and very comfortless, but I found this one as well appointed as need be. Spent the day mostly on deck enjoying the great beauty and romance of the trip.... I chilled myself pretty badly on deck, but stayed up until perhaps half-past seven. A very young Westphalian on board astonished us all by his powers of drinking and of smoking. He talked with me; said, 'Sie sind deutsch,' which I denied."
"August 3. Reached Schwalbach at three. My dear sister [Mrs. Terry] came out to greet us. The meeting was a little tearful, but also cheerful. Much has passed and passed away in these eventful years.... Presently Louisa and I were as though we had not been parted at all. She is little changed, and retains her old grace and charm of manner."
"August 4. Out early with my sister. We have a regular and restful plan of living. Meet after dinner, coffee with my sister at half-past four, supper at half-past seven, in the evening reading aloud and conversation. I am miserable with pain, probably rheumatic, in my left hip. Think I must have got a chill on the Rhine boat. I say nothing about this. Daisy and Wintie [Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop Chanler] came this afternoon."
"August 7. To Anglican service with my dear sister. A dull sermon. The service indifferently read—just the stereotyped Church of England article. My dreadful hip joint does not ache to-day, and I am ready to skip about with joy at the relief even if it prove but temporary. The pain has been pretty severe and I have said nought about it, fearing treatment."
"August 9. Read Aristotle, as I have done all these days. Took up St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, with a more distinct view than heretofore of his attitude relative to them, and theirs to him. Walked out with my sister, and saw at the bric-à-brac booth near the Stahlbrunnen a ring composed of a fine garnet, set with fine diamonds, wonderfully cheap, 136 marks—I foolishly wanted it."
"August 16. Heidelberg. To the Castle—an endless walk and climb. I was here in 1843, a bride, with dear Chev, my dearest brother Marion, and my cousin, Henry Hall Ward. We went to the Wolfbrunnen to breakfast—went on ponies to the Castle, where we wandered at will, and saw the mighty tun. Some French people were wandering there also, and one of them, a lady with a sweet soprano voice, sang a song of which the refrain was: 'Comme une étoile au firmament.' H. H. Ward long after found this song somewhere. His voice has now been silent for twenty years, dear Marion's for forty-six, and here I come to-day, with my grown-up granddaughter, whom dear Chev only knew as a baby. How long the time seems, and yet how short! Two generations have grown up since then in our family. My sister Louisa, then a young beauty, is here with me, a grandmother with grandchildren nearly grown. 'So teach us to number our days.'"
It seemed to the second and third generations that the two sisters could hardly have been lovelier in that far-off springtime than now in the mellow beauty of their autumn. It was a delight to see them together, a high privilege to sit by and listen to the interchange of precious memories:—
"Do you remember—"
"And do you remember again—"
"August 24. Sonnenberg.... At breakfast an elderly lady seemed to look at me and to smile. I supposed her to be one of my Club ladies, or some one who had entertained me, so presently I asked her if she were 'one of my acquaintances.' She replied that she was not, but would be pleased to make my acquaintance. We met soon after in one of the corridors; having incautiously mentioned my name, I asked for hers, she replied, 'Sforza—Duchess Sforza Cesarini.' She had been attracted by my Breton caps, and especially by Daisy's beautiful version of this simple adornment. She is a reader of Rosmini."
The Duchess confessed afterward that she had requested her maid to observe and copy the cap, and had been somewhat troubled in mind lest she had been guilty of a constructive discourtesy.
"September 3. Received and answered a letter from Jenkin Lloyd Jones, informing me of my election to an Advisory Board to hold a World's Unitarian Congress at Chicago in September, 1893. I have accepted this."
"September 4. My last day at Sonnenberg.... Gave my sister my little old Greek Lexicon, long a cherished companion. I had thought of reading the family one of my sermons, but my throat was troublesome and no one asked me to do anything of the kind. They wished to hear 'Pickwick,' and a long reading was held in my room, the fire in the grate helping to cheer us."
"September 15. Left Montreux for Paris. Reed brought me a beautiful yellow rose, half-blown, upon which I needs must exercise my old trick of versification. Paper I had none—the back of a pasteboard box held one stanza, the cover of a Tauchnitz the others."
"September 18. Heard to-day of the noble poet, Whittier's death. What a great heart is gone with him!"
"September 22. Liverpool. Embarked at about ten in the morning. Edward Atkinson, wife and daughter on board, a valuable addition to our resources."
"September 29. At sea. I said in my mind: 'There is nothing in me which can redeem me from despair over my poor life and wasted opportunities. That redemption which I seek must be in Thee. There is no progress in the mere sense of ill-desert. I must pass on from it to better effort beyond, self-reproach is negative: woe is me that I was born! Amendment must have positive ground.' I wrote some lines in which a bit of sea-weed shining in the sun seemed as an illustration of the light which I hope to gain."
"September 30. A performance of Jarley's Wax-works in the evening was much enjoyed. Edward Atkinson as Mrs. Partington in my witch hat recited some merry nonsense of Hood's about European travel."
"October 2. Boston. In the early morning John M. Forbes's yacht, the Wild Duck, hovered around us, hoping to take off his daughter, Mrs. Russell.... Quite a number of us embraced this opportunity with gratitude...."
"October 3. All seems like a dream."
"October 7. Newport. I begin my life here with a prayer that the prolongation of my days on earth may be for good to myself and others, that I may not sink into senile folly or grossness, nor yet wander into æsthetic conceit, but carry the weight of my experience in humility, in all charity, and in a loving and serviceable spirit."
The last entry in the Journal for 1892 strikes the keynote of what was to prove the most absorbing interest of the coming year.
"December 31. Farewell, dear 1892. You were the real quattro centenary of Columbus's discovery, although we have been so behind time as not to be ready to celebrate this before 1893. 1492 was indeed a year momentous to humanity."
To her many cares was added now work for the Columbian Exhibition at Chicago. The Woman's Department of the World's Fair was ably administered by Mrs. Potter Palmer, who consulted her frequently, her experiences in the New Orleans Cotton Centennial proving useful in the Columbian Exhibition. The "Twelve-o'Clock Talks," so successful in the Crescent City, were, at her suggestion, repeated at Chicago, and proved most valuable. The Association for the Advancement of Women and many other associations were to meet in Chicago this year. She writes to the Reverend Jenkin Lloyd Jones concerning the Parliament of Religions and the Unitarian Congress; to Aaron Powell touching the Congress on Social Purity. There are letters, too, about the Alliance of Unitarian Women, the Congress of Representative Women, and the Association of Women Ministers and Preachers.
"January 7. [Boston.] To speak to the Daughters of the American Revolution at the house of Miss Rebecca W. Brown. I had dreaded the meeting, feeling that I must speak of suffrage in connection with the new womanhood, and anticipating a cold or angry reception. What was my surprise at finding my words, which were not many, warmly welcomed! Truly, the hour is at hand!"
"January 8. To speak for Dr. Clisby at Women's Educational and Industrial Union. I had dreaded this, too, fearing not to interest my audience. The occasion was very pleasant to me, and, I think, to them; Mrs. Waters endorsed my estimate of Phillips Brooks as a perfectly disinterested worker. Mrs. Catlin of New York agreed in my praise of Bishop Henry C. Potter on the same grounds; both also spoke well in relation to my most prominent point—emancipation from the slavery of self."
"January 23. Oh! and alas! dear Phillips Brooks died suddenly this morning at half-past six. Alas! for Christendom, which he did so much to unite by redeeming his domain in it from superstition, formalism, and uncharity. Oh! to have such a reputation, and deserve it!"
"March 4. To-day have been allowed to visit the study of the late dear Bishop of Massachusetts. I took this pin from his pincushion, to keep for a souvenir. Made Rosalind write down the names of a number of the books. The library is a very generous one, comprising a large sweep of study and opinion. A charming frieze over the large window had been painted by Mrs. Whitman. We entered with a reverent feeling, as if in a sacred place.... The dining-room, and his seat thereat, with portraits of his parents and grandfather. The mother was of his color, dark of eyes and hair, strong temperament, otherwise no special resemblance. His father looked substantial but not remarkable."
In mid-May she went to Chicago, to take part in the World's Congress of Representative Women, and in many of the other congresses and conferences of that notable year.
"May 16. Chicago. Was appointed to preside to-day over a Report Convention [of the above Congress]; went to Room 6 of the Art Palace and found no one. Mrs. Kennard came presently, and Mrs. Clara B. Colby, who stood by me bravely—when about a dozen had gathered I opened the meeting. Mrs. Colby read reports for two associations, British, I think. A German delegate had a long report written in German, which it would have been useless for her to read. She accordingly reported as she was able, in very funny English, I helping her when she was at a loss for a word. Her evident earnestness made a good impression. I reported for A.A.W., partly in writing, partly extempore. In the evening read my paper on the Moral Initiative as regards Women. The hall [of Washington] was frightfully cold."
"May 17. Going to the Art Palace this afternoon I found an audience waiting in one of the small halls with no speaker. Madame C. had engaged to speak on musical education. I was requested to fill the breach, which I did, telling of the Boston Conservatory of Music, early music in Boston, and down to our time. Had an ovation afterwards of friendly handshaking."
"May 19. Meeting of National Alliance of Unitarian Women."
"May 27. My seventy-fourth birthday. Thank God for my continued life, health, and bodily and mental powers. My prayer to Him is that, whether I am to have a year, a month, a week, or a day more, it may be for good to myself and others.
"Went to the Columbian Exhibition. Thomas's Orchestra playing for Mrs. Potter Palmer's reception given to the women of the Press Association. Later I went into the model kitchen where tea was served by the Cingalese. Mrs. Palmer asked me to follow her brief address with a few words. I did this and told of its being my birthday, at which Mrs. Palmer gave me her bouquet of carnations, and the ladies present rose and waved handkerchiefs. Read my sermon for to-morrow twice and feared it might not strike a keynote here."
"May 28. Rather nervous about getting to town in time for my service at the Unitarian Church,—we were in good time. My mind was much exercised about my prayer, I having decided to offer the longer one, which I did, I hope, acceptably. I don't think that the sermon told as it did in Boston. The church is not easy to speak in. Mr. Fenn said a few words very tenderly about his pleasure in receiving me into his pulpit. The pulpit roses were given me."
"May 29. Went to the Exposition, where met Mrs. Charlotte Emerson Brown. Went with her to her space in the Organization Room. She will receive and care for my exhibits. Saw the very fine collection of club manuals, histories, etc."
"May 30. Made a little spurt to begin my screed for Aaron Powell's meeting on Sunday. Went with dear Maud and Helen Gardner to the Fair. Side-shows as follows: Cairo Street, Cairo Theatre, Soudanese dancers (very black savages wearing top tufts of black hair or wool, clothed in strips of dirty white cotton cloth), old Vienna, dinner at Vienna restaurant....
"The Cairo dancing was simply horrid, no touch of grace in it, only a most deforming movement of the whole abdominal and lumbar region. We thought it indecent. The savages were much better, though they only stamp their bare feet and clap their hands in rhythm without music. One had a curious smooth lyre, which seemed to give no sound. Their teeth were beautifully white and regular. One of them came up to me and said, 'Mamma,' as if to indicate my age. Then into a bark hut, to see the Soudanese baby dance—a dear little child that danced very funnily to a tum-tum."
Early June found her back in Boston and hard at work.
"June 8. Finished my screed for the July 'Forum.' Subject, 'A Proper Observance of the Fourth of July.' I have prayed over this piece of work as over all the others which have been strung, one after another, in this busiest of years for me. I have also despaired of it, and am not yet sure of its acceptance."
Next day she felt that she "must see the last of dear Edwin Booth." The Journal describes his funeral at length; "the sun perfectly golden behind the trees." She brought away a bit of evergreen from the grave, and at church, two days later, "had the sexton slide it in among the pulpit flowers; afterward brought it home. Perhaps a silly fancy, but an affectionate one." She wrote a poem in memory of Mr. Booth, "not altogether to my satisfaction." She felt his death as a real loss; he remained always to her a beautiful and heroic figure, connected with a great time.
"June 15. 'Thus far the Lord has led me on.' I have had many pieces of work to accomplish, and when almost despairing, seemed to have been uplifted right into my working seat, and so have fulfilled my tasks as well as I was able. Have still my Fourth of July poem to write, and wish to write a poem in memory of Edwin Booth. I'm hungry, oh! how hungry, for rest and reading. Must work very hard for A.A.W. this season...."
She went to Harvard Class Day this summer, her eldest grandson, Samuel Prescott Hall, being of the graduating class; drove out to Cambridge in a pouring rain, and enjoyed the occasion. "I saw my Boy march with his fellows; when they cheered Weld, I waved a napkin."
The summer sped by on wings of study and work; she was lame, but that gave her the more time for writing. The Journal records many letters; among other things, "a short screed for the man who asks to be convinced that there is such a thing as soul." In September she spread other wings and flew back to Chicago for the Parliament of Religions, and some last Impressions of the Dream City of the World's Fair.
"September 23. Went to the Parliament of Religions where Jenkin Lloyd Jones put me on the platform. Heard Dr. Momery, who gave a pleasant, liberal, and spirited address, a little elementary, as he closed by reciting 'Abou Ben Adhem,' which is as familiar to Americans as A B C. In the evening went to meet, or rather find, the women ministers. Miss Chapin excused herself from attending and asked me to run the meeting.... I read my short screed, briefly narrating my own efforts to found an association of women ministers. Miss Putnam and Mary Graves were appointed as a committee to consult with me as to a plan of organization."
"September 26. Up early.... Visited the German village, castle and museum, the mining, agricultural, shoe and leather buildings for a brief space. Made a turn in the Ferris Wheel.... Mary Graves came for me, and we started for the Parliament in good time. The first speaker was intolerably narrow and out of place, insisting upon the hostility of Christ to all ethnic religions. I could not refrain from taking him up a little, very mildly. I was received with applause and the Chautauqua salute, and my brief speech (fourteen minutes without notes) was much applauded. I was very thankful for this opportunity."
This impromptu speech made a deep impression. In the newspaper reports great stress was laid on it, with singular result. She was amazed next day to hear her name roared out in the Midway Plaisance by a touter who stood at the gateway of one of the sideshows where some Orientals were at prayer.
"Come in, all ye Christian people," the man cried. "Come in and see these devout Mohammedans at their devotions. Julia Ward Howe has knocked the orthodoxy into a cocked hat."
The quiet little figure, passing in the motley throng, paused for a moment and looked with astonishment into the touter's face, which gave no sign of recognition.
"This," said a friend, who happened to come up at the moment,—"this is fame!"