But here the device of the spiral can save us. We must make the round, but we may make it with an upward inclination. "Let there be light!" is sometimes said in accents so emphatic, that the universe remembers and cannot forget it. We carry our problems slowly forward. With all the ups and downs of every age, humanity constantly rises. Individuals may preserve all its early delusions, commit all its primitive crimes; but to the body of civilized mankind, the return to barbarism is impossible.
J. W. H.
"January 7. I have had a morning of visioning, lying in bed. 'Be still and know that I am God,' seemed to be my sentence. I thought of the Magdalen's box of spikenard, whose odor, when the box was broken, filled the house. The separate religious convictions of the sects seemed to me like so many boxes of ointment, exceedingly precious while shut up, but I thought also that the dear Lord would one day break these separate boxes, and that then their fragrance would fill the whole earth, which is His house.
"This is my first writing in this book. From this thought and the 'Be still,' I may try to make two sermons.
"In afternoon came William Wesselhoeft, Sr., and prescribed entire quiet and rest for some days to come. Oh! I do long to be at work."
"January 9. To-day for the first time since January 3, I have opened a Greek book. I read in my Æschylus ["Eumenides"] how Apollo orders the Furies to leave his shrine, to go where deeds of barbarity, tortures, and mutilations are practised."
At this time she heard of her son's receiving from the Czar the cross of the Order of St. Stanislas. She writes to him:—
"Goodness gracious me!
"Are you sure it isn't by mistake? Do you remember that you are my naughty little imp?... Well, well, it takes away my breath! Dearest Boy, my heart is lifted up with gratitude. If your father were only here, to share our great rejoicing! Joy! joy!..."
She had always taken a deep interest in Queen Victoria, whose age was within three days of her own. Many people fancied a resemblance between the two; indeed, when in England as a bride, she was told more than once: "You look like our young Queen!" It is remembered how one of her daughters, knocking at the door of a Maine farmhouse to inquire the way, was met by a smiling, "I know who you are! You are the daughter of the Queen of America!"
The Queen's death, coming as it did during her own illness, gave her a painful shock.
"January 23. The news of Queen Victoria's death quite overcame me for a moment this morning. Instead of settling to my work, I wrote a very tiny 'bust of feeling' about her, which I carried to the 'Woman's Journal' office, where I found a suffrage meeting in progress. I could only show myself and say that I was not well enough to remain...."
"Bust of feeling" was a favorite expression of hers. Old Bostonians will recall its origin. "A certain rich man," seeing a poor girl injured in a street accident, offered to pay her doctor's bill. This being presented in due time, he disclaimed all responsibility in the affair; and when reminded of his offer, exclaimed, "Oh, that was a bust of feeling!"
On January 31, she was "in distress of mind all day lest Maud should absolutely refuse to let me give my lecture at Phillips Church this evening." Later she writes: "Maud was very kind and did nothing to hinder my going to South Boston." She went and enjoyed the evening, but was not so well after it.
"February 10. A Sunday at home; unable to venture out. Wesselhoeft, Jr., called, left medicine, and forbade my going out before the cough has ceased. Have read in Cheyne's 'Jewish Religious Life after the Exile,' finding the places of reference in the Bible. Afterwards read in 'L'Aiglon,' which is very interesting but not praiseworthy, as it endeavors to recall the false glory of Napoleon."
"February 18. Have been out, first time since February 3, when I went to church and was physically the worse for it.... Last night had a time of lying awake with a sort of calm comfort. Woke in the morning full of invalid melancholy, intending to keep my bed. Felt much better when in motion. Must make a vigorous effort now to get entirely well."
These days of seclusion were hard for her, and every effort was made to bring the "mountains" to her, since she could not go to them.
A club was formed among her friends in Boston for the study and speaking of Italian: this became one of her great pleasures, and she looked forward eagerly to the meetings, delighted to hear and to use the beautiful speech she had loved since childhood.
"February 22. The new club, Il Circolo Italiano, met at our house. Count Campello had asked me to say a few words, so I prepared a very little screed in Italian, not daring to trust myself to speak extempore in this language. We had a large attendance; I thought one hundred were present. My bit was well received, and the lecture by Professor Speranza, of New York, was very interesting, though rather difficult to follow. The theme was D'Annunzio's dramas, from which he gave some quotations and many characterizations. He relegates D'Annunzio to the Renaissance when Virtù had no real moral significance. Compared him with Ibsen. The occasion was exceedingly pleasant."
I had hoped to go to church to-day, but my Maud and your Julia decided against it, and so I am having the day at home. It is just noon by my dial, and Maud is stretched in my Gardiner chair, comfortably shawled, and reading Lombroso's book on "The Man of Genius," with steadfast attention. Lombroso's theory seems to be that genius, almost equally with insanity, is a result of degeneration....
"March 1. The first day of spring, though in this climate this is a wintry month. I am thankful to have got on so far in this, my eighty-second year. My greatest trouble is that I use so poorly the precious time spared to me. Latterly I have been saying to myself, 'Can you not see that the drama is played out?' This partly because my children wish me to give up public speaking."
"March 4.... To New England Woman's Club; first time this year, to my great regret and loss. I was cordially welcomed.... A thought suddenly came to me, namely, that the liberal education of women would give the death-blow to superstition. I said, 'We women have been the depositaries of religious sensibility, but we have also furnished the impregnable storehouse of superstition, sometimes gracious, sometimes desperately cruel and hurtful to our race.' No one noticed this, but I hold fast to it...."
"March 8.... To Symphony Concert in afternoon, which I enjoyed but little, the music being of the multi-muddle order so much in vogue just now. An air of Haydn's sounded like a sentence of revelation in a chatter...."
It may have been after this concert that she wrote these lines, found in one of her notebooks:—
Such ugly noises never in my life My ears endured, such hideous fiddle-strife. A dozen street bands playing different tunes, A choir of chimney sweeps with various runes, The horn that doth to farmer's dinner call, The Chinese gong that serves in wealthier hall, The hammer, scrub brush, and beseeching broom, While here and there the guns of freedom boom, "Tzing! bang! this soul is saved!" "Clang! clang! it isn't!" And mich and dich and ich and sich and sisn't! Five dollar bills the nauseous treat secured, But what can pay the public that endured?"March 17. Before lying down for a needed rest, I must record the wonderful reception given to-day to Jack Elliott's ceiling. The day was fine, clear sunlight. Many friends congratulated me, and some strangers. Vinton, the artist, Annie Blake, Ellen Dixey were enthusiastic in their commendation of the work, as were many others. I saw my old friend, Lizzie Agassiz, my cousin Mary Robeson and her daughter, and others too numerous to mention.... This I consider a day of great honor for my family.... Deo gratias for this as well as for my son's decoration."
"March 31.... Had a sort of vision in church of Moses and Christ, the mighty breath of the prophets reaching over many and dark ages to our own time, with power growing instead of diminishing. When I say a vision, I mean a vivid thought and mind picture."
"April 3. Have writ to Larz Anderson, telling him where to find the quotation from Horace which I gave him for a motto to his automobile, 'Ocior Euro.' Sanborn found it for me and sent it by postal. It must have been more than thirty years since dear Brother Sam showed it to me...."
"April 7. A really inspired sermon from C. G. A., 'The power of an unending life.' ... The Communion which followed was to me almost miraculous. Mr. Ames called it a festival of commemoration, and it brought me a mind vision of the many departed dear ones. One after another the dear forms seemed to paint themselves on my inner vision: first, the nearer in point of time, last my brother Henry and Samuel Eliot. I felt that this experience ought to pledge me to new and more active efforts to help others. In my mind I said, the obstacle to this is my natural inertia, my indolence; then the thought, God can overcome this indolence and give me increased power of service and zeal for it. Those present, I think, all considered the sermon and Communion as of special power and interest. It almost made me fear lest it should prove a swan song from the dear minister. Perhaps it is I, not he, who may soon depart."
Later in April she was able to fulfil some lecture engagements in New York State with much enjoyment, but also much fatigue. After her return she felt for a little while "as if it was about time for her to go," but her mind soon recovered its tone.
Being gently reproved for giving a lecture and holding a reception on the same day, she said, "That is perfectly proper: I gave and I received: I was scriptural and I was blessed."
Asked on another occasion if it did not tire her to lecture,—"Why, no! it is they [the audience] who are tired, not I!"
On April 27 she writes:—
"I have had a great gratification to-day. Mrs. Fiske Warren had invited us to afternoon tea and to hear Coquelin deliver some monologues. I bethought me of my poem entitled 'After Hearing Coquelin.' Maud wrote to ask Mrs. Warren whether she would like to have me read it and she assented. I procured a fresh copy of the volume in which it is published, and took it with me to this party, which was large and very representative of Boston's most recognized people. Miss Shedlock first made a charming recitation in French, which she speaks perfectly. Then Coquelin gave three delightful monologues. The company then broke up for tea and I thought my chance was lost, but after a while order was restored. M. Coquelin was placed where I could see him, and I read the poem as well as I could. He seemed much touched with the homage, and I gave him the book. People in general were pleased with the poem and I was very glad and thankful for so pleasant an experience. Learned with joy of the birth of a son to my dear niece, Elizabeth Chapman."
Another happy birthday came and passed. After recording its friendly festivities, she writes:—
"I am very grateful for all this loving kindness. Solemn thoughts must come to me of the long past and of the dim, uncertain future. I trust God for His grace. My life has been poor in merit, in comparison to what it should have been, but I am thankful that to some it has brought comfort and encouragement, and that I have been permitted to champion some good causes and to see a goodly number of my descendants, all well endowed physically and mentally, and starting in life with good principles and intentions; my children all esteemed and honored for honorable service in their day and generation."
"May 30. Decoration Day.... In the afternoon Maud and I drove out to Mount Auburn to visit the dear graves. We took with us the best of the birthday flowers, beautiful roses and lilies. I could not have much sense of the presence of our dear ones. Indeed, they are not there, but where they are, God only knows."
"May 31. Free Religious meeting.... The fears which the bold programme had naturally aroused in me, fears lest the dear Christ should be spoken of in a manner to wound those who love him—these fears were at once dissipated by the reverent tone of the several speakers...."
"June 1.... To the Free Religious festival.... I found something to say about the beautiful morning meeting and specially of the truth which comes down to us, mixed with so much rubbish of tradition. I spoke of the power of truth 'which burns all this accumulation of superstition and shines out firm and clear, so we may say that "the myth crumbles but the majesty remains."'..."
She managed to do a good deal of writing this summer: wrote a number of "screeds," some to order, some from inward leading: e.g., a paper on "Girlhood Seventy Years Ago," a poem on the death of President McKinley.
"October 5. A package came to-day from McClure's Syndicate. I thought it was my manuscript returned and rejected, and said, 'God give me strength not to cry.' I opened it and found a typewritten copy of my paper on 'Girlhood,' sent to me for correction in lieu of printer's proof. Wrote a little on my screed about 'Anarchy.' Had a sudden thought that the sense and spirit of government is responsibility."
"October 6.... Wrote a poem on 'The Dead Century,' which has in it some good lines, I hope."
"October 8. The cook ill with rheumatism. I made my bed, turning the mattress, and put my room generally to rights. When I lay down to take my usual obligato rest, a fit of verse came upon me, and I had to abbreviate my lie-down to write out my inspiration."
The "obligato rest"! How she did detest it! She recognized the necessity of relaxing the tired nerves and muscles; she yielded, but never willingly. The noon hour would find her bending over her desk, writing "for dear life," or plunged fathoms deep in Grote's "Greece," or some other light and playful work. Daughter or granddaughter would appear, watch in hand, countenance steeled against persuasion. "Time for your rest, dearest!"
The rapt face looks up, breaks into sunshine, melts into entreaty. "Let me finish this note, this page; then I will go!" Or it may be the sprite that looks out of the gray eyes. "Get out!" she says. "Leave the room! I never saw you before!"
Finally she submits to the indignity of being tucked in for her nap; but even then her watch is beside her on the bed, ticking away the minutes till the half-hour is over, and she springs to her task.
"November 3. 241 Beacon Street. My room here has been nicely cleaned, but I bring into it a great heap of books and papers. I am going to try hard to be less disorderly than in the past."
How hard she did try, we well remember. The book trunk was a necessity of the summer flitting. It carried a full load from one book-ridden house to the other, and there were certain books—the four-volume Oxford Bible, the big-print Horace, the Greek classics, shabby of dress, splendid of type and margin—which could surely have found their way to and from Newport unaided.
One book she never asked for—the English dictionary! Once Maud, recently returned from Europe, apologized for having inadvertently taken the dictionary from 241 Beacon Street.
"How dreadful it was of me to take your dictionary! What have you done? Did you buy a new one?"
"I did not know you had taken it!"
"But—how did you get along without a dictionary?"
The elder looked her surprise.
"I never use a word whose meaning I do not know!"
"But the spelling?"
There was no answer to this, save a whimsical shrug of the shoulders.
"November 11. The day of the celebration of dear Chev's one hundredth birthday. Before starting for the Temple I received three beautiful gifts of flowers, a great bunch of white roses from Lizzie Agassiz, a lovely bouquet of violets from Mrs. Frank Batcheller, and some superb chrysanthemums from Mrs. George H. Perkins. The occasion was to me one of solemn joy and thankfulness. Senator Hoar presided with beautiful grace, preluding with some lovely reminiscences of Dr. Howe's visit to his office in Worcester, Massachusetts, when he, Hoar, was a young lawyer. Sanborn and Manatt excelled themselves, Humphreys did very well. Hoar requested me to stand up and say a few words, which I did, he introducing me in a very felicitous manner. I was glad to say my word, for my heart was deeply touched. With me on the platform were my dear children and Jack Hall and Julia Richards; Anagnos, of course; the music very good."
Senator Hoar's words come back to us to-day, and we see his radiant smile as he led her forward.
"It is only the older ones among us," he said, "who have seen Dr. Howe, but there are hundreds here who will want to tell their children that they have seen the author of the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic.'"
Part of her "word" was as follows:—
"We have listened to-day to very heroic memories; it almost took away our breath to think that such things were done in the last century. I feel very grateful to the pupils and graduates of the Perkins Institution for the Blind who have planned this service in honor of my husband. It is a story that should be told from age to age to show what one good resolute believer in humanity was able to accomplish for the benefit of his race.... The path by which he led Laura Bridgman to the light has become one of the highways of education, and a number of children similarly afflicted are following it, to their endless enlargement and comfort. What an encouragement does this story give to the undertaking of good deeds!
"I thank those who are with us to-day for their sympathy and attention. I do this, not in the name of a handful of dust, dear and reverend as it is, that now rests in Mount Auburn, but in the name of a great heart which is with us to-day and which will still abide with those who work in its spirit."
"November 26. Thursday. A day of pleasant agitation from beginning to end. I tried to recognize in thought the many mercies of the year. My fortunate recoveries from illness, the great pleasures of study, friendly intercourse, thought and life generally. Our Thanksgiving dinner was at about 1.30 P.M., and was embellished by the traditional turkey, a fine one, to which David, Flossy, Maud, and I did justice. The Richards girls, Julia and Betty, and Chug and Jack Hall, flitted in and out, full of preparation for the evening event, the marriage of my dear Harry Hall to Alice Haskell. I found time to go over my screed for Maynard very carefully, rewriting a little of it and mailing it in the afternoon.
"In the late afternoon came Harry Hall and his best man, Tom McCready, to dine here and dress for the ceremony. Maud improvised a pleasant supper: we were eight at table. Went to the church in two carriages. Bride looked very pretty, simple white satin dress and tulle veil. Six bridesmaids in pink, carrying white chrysanthemums. H. M. H. seemed very boyish, but looked charmingly...."
"December 31. The last day of a blessed year in which I have experienced some physical suffering, but also many comforts and satisfactions. I have had grippe and bronchitis in the winter and bad malarial jaundice in the summer, but I have been constantly employed in writing on themes of great interest and have had much of the society of children and grandchildren. Of these last, two are happily married, i.e., in great affection. My dear Maud and her husband have been with me constantly, and I have had little or no sense of loneliness...."
The beginning of 1902 found her in better health than the previous year.
She records a luncheon with a distinguished company, at which all agreed that "the 'Atlantic' to-day would not accept Milton's 'L' Allegro,' nor would any other magazine."
At the Symphony Concert "the Tschaikowsky Symphony seemed to me to have in it more noise than music. Felt that I am too old to enjoy new music."
"January 24. Suffrage and Anti-Suffrage at the State House. I went there with all of my old interest in the Cause. The Antis were there in force: Mrs. Charles Guild as their leader; Lawyer Russell as their manager. I had to open. I felt so warm in my faith that for once I thought I might convert our opponents. I said much less than I had intended, as is usually the case with me when I speak extempore."
"February 7.... I went to see Leoni's wonderful illuminated representation of leading events in our history; a very remarkable work, and one which ought to remain in this country."
"February 11. Dreamed of an interview with a female pope. I had to go to Alliance Meeting to speak about Wordsworth. I hunted up some verses written about him in my early enthusiasm, probably in 1840 or 1841. This I read and then told of my visit to him with Dr. Howe and the unpleasantness of the experience. Spoke also of the reaction in England against the morbid discontent which is so prominent and powerful in much of Byron's poetry...."
"February 12.... In my dream of yesterday morning the woman pope and I were on very friendly terms. I asked on leaving whether I might kiss her hand. She said, 'You may kiss my hand.' I found it fat and far from beautiful. As I left her, methought that her countenance relaxed and she looked like a tired old woman. In my dream I thought, 'How like this is to what Pope Leo would do.'"
"February 13.... Felt greatly discouraged at first waking. It seemed impossible for me to make a first move under so many responsibilities. A sudden light came into my soul at the thought that God will help me in any good undertaking, and with this there came an inkling of first steps to be taken with regard to Sig. Leoni's parchment. I went to work again on my prize poem, with better success than hitherto...."
"February 14. Philosophy at Mrs. Bullard's.... Sent off my prize poem with scarcely any hope of its obtaining or indeed deserving the prize, but Mar has promised to pay me something for it in any case, and I was bound to try for the object, namely, a good civic poem...."
"February 15.... A day of great pleasure, profit and fatigue.... Griggs's lecture.... The address on 'Erasmus and Luther' was very inspiring. Griggs is in the full tide of youthful inspiration and gives himself to his audience without stint. He did not quite do justice to the wonderful emancipation of thought which Protestantism has brought to the world, but his illustration of the two characters was masterly. I said afterwards to Fanny Ames: 'He will burn himself out.' She thinks that he is wisely conservative of his physical strength. I said, 'He bleeds at every pore.' I used to say this of myself with regard to ordinary social life. Went to the Club, where was made to preside. Todd and Todkinee both spoke excellently. Then to Symphony Concert to hear Kreisler and the 'Pastoral Symphony.'"
"February 16.... The Philosophy meeting and Griggs's lecture revived in me the remembrance of my philosophic studies and attempts of thirty-five years ago, and I determined to endeavor to revise them and to publish them in some shape. Have thought a good deal this morning of this cream of genius in which the fervent heat of youth fuses conviction and imagination and gives the world its great masters and masterpieces. It cannot outlast the length of human life of which it is the poetry. Age follows it with slow philosophy, but can only strengthen the outposts which youth has gained with daring flight. Both are divinely ordained and most blessed. Of the dear Christ the world had only this transcendent efflorescence. I said to Ames yesterday, 'I find in the Hebrew prophets all the doctrine which I find in Christ's teaching.' He said, 'Yes, it is there seminally.' We agreed that it was the life which made the difference."
"February 21.... My dearest Maud left by 1 P.M. train to sail for Europe to-morrow. I could not go to the hearing. Was on hand to think of small details which might have been overlooked. Gave them my fountain pen, to Jack's great pleasure. Julia Richards came to take care of me. I suffered extreme depression in coming back to the empty house, every corner of which is so identified with Maud's sweet and powerful presence. The pain of losing her, even for a short time, seemed intolerable. I was better in the evening. Chug amused me with a game of picquet."
Her spirits soon rallied, and the granddaughters did their best to fill the great void. She writes to Laura about this time:—Not a sign was made, not a note was wrote, Not a telegram was wired, Not a rooster sent up his warning note, When the eggs from your larder were fired. We swallow them darkly at break of fast, Each one to the other winking, And "woe is me if this be the last" Is what we are sadly thinking. The egg on missile errand sent Some time has been maturing, And, with whate'er endearment blent, Is rarely reassuring. But yours, which in their freshness came Just when they might be wanted, A message brought without a name, "Love," we will take for granted. [Copyrighted.]
Julia is rather strict with me, but very good, considering whose grandchild she is.
"March 25. I received in one day three notes asking me regarding the 'Life of Margaret Shepard,' and 'Secret Confessions of a Priest.' One writer had seen in some paper that she could have the books by applying to me; Miss —— wrote to the same intent; Miss —— wrote and enclosed forty cents' worth of stamps for one of the books. I have replied to all that I know nothing of the books in question, and that I am neither agent nor bookseller."
"March 30. Lunch with Mrs. Fields after church. Heard a very inspiring sermon from Samuel A. Eliot. This young man has a very noble bearing and a stringent way of presenting truth. He has that vital religious power which is rare and most precious. Before he had spoken I had been asking in my mind, how can we make the past present to us? The Easter service and Lent also seem intended to do this, but our imaginations droop and lag behind our desires...."
"April 2.... Went in the evening to see 'Ben-Hur' with kind Sarah Jewett—her treat, as was my attendance at the opera. The play was altogether spectacular, but very good in that line...."
"April 3.... Went to the celebration of E. E. Hale's eightieth birthday, in which the community largely participated. Senator Hoar was the orator and spoke finely.... Hale's response was manly, cheery, and devout. He has certainly done much good work, and has suggested many good things."
"April 12. Lunch with Mrs. Wheelwright. I found Agnes Repplier very agreeable. She had known the wife of Green, the historian, 'very, almost too brilliant.' Told me something about his life. I enjoyed meeting her."
Yes, I likes my chilluns better 'n other folkses' chilluns. P'raps 'tis as well sometimes to let them know that I do....
What you write about my little Memoir of your dear Papa touches me a good deal. I did my best to make it as satisfactory as the limits imposed upon me would allow. I don't think that I ever had a word of commendation for it. Michael killed it as a book by printing it entire in his Report for the year. Now I am much gratified by your notice of it. You are most welcome to use it in connection with the letters.
"May 16. In the evening the Italian supper at the Hotel Piscopo, North End. I recited Goldoni's toast from the 'Locandiera,' and also made a little speech at the end of the banquet. Padre Roberto, a Venetian priest, young and handsome, sat near me...."
"May 18.... I had prayed that this might be a real Whitsunday to me and I felt that it was. Notice was given of a meeting at which Catholic, Jew, Episcopalian, and Unitarian are to speak regarding the Filipinos. This seemed like the Millennium. It is the enlargement of religious sympathy; not, as some may think, the progress of critical indifferentism.
"During this morning's service my desire to speak to prisoners reasserted itself strongly; also my thought of one of my sermons which I wish to write. One should be to the text: 'The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,' the reflection of divine glory in God's saints, like the reflection of the sun's light in the planets. Another about Adam being placed in Eden to tend the flowers and water them. This should concern our office in the land of our birth, into which we are born to love and serve our country. Will speak of the self-banished Americans, Hale's 'Man without a Country,' etc. This day has been so full of thought and suggestion that I hardly know how to let it go. I pray that it may bear some fruit in my life, what is left of it."
"May 24. The annual Club luncheon in honor of my birthday. I felt almost overwhelmed by the great attention shown me and by the constant talk of speakers with reference to myself.... I don't find in myself this charm, this goodness, attributed to me by such speakers, but I know that I love the Club and love the world of my own time, so far as I know it. They called me Queen and kissed my hand. When I came home I fell in spirit before the feet of the dear God, thanking Him for the regard shown me, and praying that it might not for one moment make me vain. I read my translation of Horace's ode, 'Quis Desiderio,' and it really seemed to suit the mention made by Mrs. Cheney of our departed members, praecipuë, Dr. Zack; Dr. Hoder [?] of England was there, and ex-Governor Long and T. W. Higginson, also Agnes Irwin. It was a great time."
"July 5.... I wrote to Ethel V. Partridge, Omaha, a high-school student: 'Get all the education that you can. Cultivate habits of studious thought with all that books can teach. The fulfilment of the nearest duty gives the best education.' I fear that I have come to know this by doing the exact opposite, i.e., neglecting much of the nearest duty in the pursuit of an intellectual wisdom which I have not attained...."
Maud and Florence were both away in the early part of this summer, and various grandchildren kept her company at Oak Glen. There were other visitors, among them Count Salome di Campello, a cheery guest who cooked spaghetti for her, and helped the granddaughter to set off the Fourth of July fireworks, to her equal pleasure and terror. During his visit she invited the Italian Ambassador to spend a couple of days at Oak Glen. On July 14 she writes:—
"Not having heard from the Italian Ambassador, the Count and I supposed that he was not coming. In the late afternoon came a letter saying that he would arrive to-morrow. We were troubled at this late intelligence, which gave me no time to invite people to meet the guest. I lay down for my afternoon rest with a very uneasy mind. Remembering St. Paul's words about 'Angels unawares,' I felt comforted, thinking that the Angel of Hospitality would certainly visit me, whether the guest proved congenial or not."
"July 15.... The Ambassador arrived as previously announced. He proved a most genial and charming person; a man still in the prime of life, with exquisite manners, as much at home in our simplicity as he doubtless is in scenes of luxury and magnificence. Daisy Chanler drove out for afternoon tea, at my request, and made herself charming. After her came Emily Ladenberg, who also made a pleasing impression. Our guest played on the piano and joined in our evening whist. We were all delighted with him."
After the Ambassador's departure she writes:—
"He gave me an interesting account of King Charles Albert of Savoia. He is a man of powerful temperament, which we all felt; has had to do with Bismarck and Salisbury and all the great European politicians of his time. We were all sorry to see him depart."
The Journal tells of many pleasures, among them "a delightful morning in the green parlor with Margaret Deland and dear Maud."
On August 24 she writes:—
"This day has been devoted to a family function of great interest, namely, the christening of Daisy and Wintie's boy baby, Theodore Ward, the President himself standing godfather. Jack Elliott and I were on hand in good time, both of us in our best attire. We found a very chosen company, the Sydney Websters, Owen Wister, Senator Lodge and wife, the latter standing as godmother. Mr. Diman, of the School, officiated, Parson Stone being ill. The President made his response quite audibly. The Chanler children looked lovely, and the baby as dear as a baby can look. His godfather gave him a beautiful silver bowl lined with gold. I gave a silver porringer, Maud a rattle with silver bells; lunch followed. President Roosevelt took me in to the table and seated me on his right. This was a very distinguished honor. The conversation was rather literary. The President admires Emerson's poems, and also Longfellow and Sienkiewicz. He paid me the compliment of saying that Kipling alone had understood the meaning of my 'Battle Hymn,' and that he admired him therefor. Wister proposed the baby's health, and I recited a quatrain which came to me early this morning. Here it is:—"Roses are the gift of God, Laurels are the gift of fame; Add the beauty of thy life To the glory of thy name."
"I said, 'Two lines for the President and two for the baby'; the two first naturally for the President. As I sat waiting for the ceremony, I called the dear roll of memory, Uncle Sam and so on back to Grandpa Ward. I was very thankful to participate in this beautiful occasion. But the service and talk about the baby's being born in sin, etc., etc., seemed to me very inconsistent with Christ's saying that he who would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven must become 'as a little child.' He also said, 'of such is the kingdom of heaven.'"
She had a high admiration for Colonel Roosevelt, and a regard so warm that she would never allow any adverse criticism of him in her presence. The following verses express this feeling:—Here's to Teddy, Blythe and ready, Fit for each occasion! Who as he Acceptably Can represent the Nation? Neither ocean Binds his motion, Undismayed explorer; Challenge dares him, Pullman bears him Swifter than Aurora. Here's to Teddy! Let no eddy Block the onward current. Him we trust, And guard we must From schemes to sight abhorrent. When the tuba Called to Cuba Where the fight was raging, Rough and ready Riders led he, Valorous warfare waging. Here's to Teddy! Safe and steady, Loved by every section! South and North Will hurry forth To hasten his election. 1904.
On September 12, a notice of the death of William Allen Butler is pasted in the Diary. Below it she writes:—
"A pleasant man. I met him at the Hazeltines' in Rome in 1898 and 1899. His poem ["Nothing to Wear"] was claimed by one or two people. I met his father [a Cabinet Minister] at a dinner at the Bancrofts' in New York, at which ex-President Van Buren was also present, and W. M. Thackeray, who said to me across the table that Browning's 'How They Brought the Good News' was a 'good jingle.'"
On the 29th she spoke at a meeting of the New England Woman's Club in memory of Dr. Zakrzewska, and records her final words:—
"I pray God earnestly that we women may never go back from the ground which has been gained for us by our noble pioneers and leaders. I pray that these bright stars of merit, set in our human firmament, may shine upon us and lead us to better and better love and service for God and man."
"In the afternoon, to hear reports of delegates to Biennial at Los Angeles. These were very interesting, but the activity shown made me feel my age, and its one great infirmity, loss of power of locomotion. I felt somehow the truth of the line which Mr. Robert C. Winthrop once quoted to me:—
"'Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage.'" Yet a few days later she writes:—
"I had this morning so strong a feeling of the goodness of the divine Parent in the experience of my life, especially of its most trying period, that I had to cry out, 'What shall I, who have received so much, give in return?' I felt that I must only show that forbearance and forgiveness to others which the ever blessed One has shown to me. My own family does not call for this. I am cherished by its members with great tenderness and regard. I thought later in the day of a sermon to prisoners which would brighten their thoughts of the love of God. Text from St. John's Epistle, 'Behold what manner of love is this that we should be called the sons of God.'"
This was the year of the coal strike in Pennsylvania, which made much trouble in Boston. She notes one Sunday that service at the Church of the Disciples was held in the church parlors "on account of the shortage of coal." This recalls vivid pictures of the time; distracted coal merchants dealing out promises, with nothing else to deal; portly magnates and stately dames driving down Beacon Street in triumph with coals in a paper bag to replenish the parlor fire: darker pictures, too, of poverty and suffering.
At 241 Beacon Street the supply was running low, and the coal dealer was summoned by telephone. "A load of coal? Impossible, madam! We have no—I beg your pardon! Mrs. Julia Ward Howe? Mrs. Howe's house is cold? You shall have some within the hour!"