Project Gutenberg's Lives of Girls Who Became Famous, by Sarah Knowles Bolton

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Title: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Author: Sarah Knowles Bolton

Release Date: April 19, 2004 [EBook #12081]

Language: English

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Girls Who Became Famous.


Sarah K. Bolton,

Author of Poor Boys Who Became Famous, Social Studies in England, etc.


"Earth's noblest thing, a woman perfected." -- James Russell Lowell.

"Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow from them." -- Madame de Staël.

My aunt
Mrs. Martha W. Miller
Whose culture and kindness I count
among the blessings of
my life.


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

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

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


Harriet Beecher Stowe Novelist
Helen Hunt Jackson Poet and Prose Writer
Lucretia Mott Preacher
Mary A Livermore Lecturer
Margaret Fuller Ossoli Journalist
Maria Mitchell Scientist
Louisa M Alcott Author
Mary Lyon Teacher
Harriet G Hosmer Sculptor
Madame de Staël Novelist and Political Writer
Rosa Bonheur Artist
Elizabeth Barrett Browning Poet
"George Eliot" Novelist
Elizabeth Fry Philanthropist
Elizabeth Thompson Butler Painter
Florence Nightingale Hospital Nurse
Lady Brassey Traveller
Baroness Burdett-Coutts Benefactor
Jean Ingelow Poet

Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uncle Tom's Cabin, like Les Miseràbles, and a few other novels, will live, because written with a purpose. No work of fiction is permanent without some great underlying principle or object.

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

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

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

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

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

Helen Hunt Jackson.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three months after Rennie's death, her first poem, Lifted Over, appeared in the Nation:--

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Like a blind spinner in the sun,
I tread my days;
I know that all the threads will run
Appointed ways;
I know each day will bring its task,
And, being blind, no more I ask.
* * * * *
"But listen, listen, day by day,
To hear their tread
Who bear the finished web away,
And cut the thread,
And bring God's message in the sun,
'Thou poor blind spinner, work is done."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"With respect and gratitude,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mrs. Jackson's work is still going forward. Five editions of her Century of Dishonor have been printed since her death. Ramona is in its thirtieth thousand. Zeph, a touching story of frontier life in Colorado, which she finished in her last illness, has been published. Her sketches of travel have been gathered into Glimpses of Three Coasts, and a new volume of poems, Sonnets and Lyrics, has appeared.

Lucretia Mott.

Lucretia Mott.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Why, that is Lucretia Mott!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary A. Livermore.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes," said Mrs. Livermore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

Margaret Fuller Ossoli.

MARGARET FULLER From engraving by Hall.

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

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

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

"What are you reading?" asked her father.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But there was another reason why Margaret Fuller loved Italy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maria Mitchell.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

Louisa M. Alcott.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"'Then why not ask for it before?'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'm afraid they do, John."

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Little Men was announced, fifty thousand copies were ordered in advance of its publication! About this time Miss Alcott visited Rome with her artist sister May, the "Amy" of Little Women, and on her return, wrote Shawl-straps, a bright sketch of their journey, followed by an Old-Fashioned Girl; that charming book Under the Lilacs, where your heart goes out to Ben and his dog Sancho; six volumes of Aunt Jo's Scrap-bag; Jack and Jill; and others. From these books Miss Alcott has already received about one hundred thousand dollars.

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

Mary Lyon.

Mary Lyon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Very well, I will see to it."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harriet G. Hosmer.

(From the "Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women.")

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madame de Staël.

MADAME DE STAËL. From the painting by Mlle. Godefroy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosa Bonheur.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Rome. February. 1859

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Green the land is where my daily
Steps in jocund childhood played,
Dimpled close with hill and valley,
Dappled very close with shade;
Summer-snow of apple-blossoms running up from glade to glade.
* * * * *
"But the wood, all close and clenching
Bough in bough and root in root,--
No more sky (for overbranching)
At your head than at your foot,--
Oh, the wood drew me within it, by a glamour past dispute.

"But my childish heart beat stronger
Than those thickets dared to grow:
I could pierce them! I could longer
Travel on, methought, than so.
Sheep for sheep-paths! braver children climb and creep where they would go.
* * * * *
"Tall the linden-tree, and near it
An old hawthorne also grew;
And wood-ivy like a spirit
Hovered dimly round the two,
Shaping thence that bower of beauty which I sing of thus to you.

"And the ivy veined and glossy
Was enwrought with eglantine;
And the wild hop fibred closely,
And the large-leaved columbine,
Arch of door and window mullion, did right sylvanly entwine.
* * * * *
"I have lost--oh, many a pleasure,
Many a hope, and many a power--
Studious health, and merry leisure,
The first dew on the first flower!
But the first of all my losses was the losing of the bower.
* * * * *
"Is the bower lost then? Who sayeth
That the bower indeed is lost?
Hark! my spirit in it prayeth
Through the sunshine and the frost,--
And the prayer preserves it greenly, to the last and uttermost.

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

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

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

"Then, what golden hours were for us!--
While we sate together there;
* * * * *
"Oh, our Aeschylus, the thunderous!
How he drove the bolted breath
Through the cloud to wedge it ponderous
In the gnarlèd oak beneath.
Oh, our Sophocles, the royal,
Who was born to monarch's place,
And who made the whole world loyal,
Less by kingly power than grace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While the Drama of Exile received some adverse criticism, the shorter poems became the delight of thousands. Who has not held his breath in reading the Rhyme of the Duchess May?--

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

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

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

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

Who can ever forget that immortal Cry of the Children, which awoke all England to the horrors of child-labor? That, and Hood's Song of the Shirt, will never die.

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

"Yes, and He too! let him stand
In thy thoughts, untouched by blame.
Could he help it, if my hand
He had claimed with hasty claim?
That was wrong perhaps--but then
Such things be--and will, again.
Women cannot judge for men.
* * * * *
"And, dear Bertha, let me keep
On this hand this little ring,
Which at night, when others sleep,
I can still see glittering.
Let me wear it out of sight,
In the grave,--where it will light
All the Dark up, day and night."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"First time he kissed me he but only kissed
The fingers of this hand wherewith I write,
And ever since, it grew more clean and white,
Slow to world-greetings, quick with its 'Oh, list,'
When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst
I could not wear here, plainer to my sight,
Than that first kiss. The second passed in height
The first, and sought the forehead, and half-missed
Half falling on the hair. O beyond meed!
That was the chrism of love, which love's own crown
With sanctifying sweetness, did precede.
The third upon my lips was folded down
In perfect, purple state; since when, indeed,
I have been proud and said, 'My love, my own!'
* * * * *
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right,
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death."

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

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

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

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

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

"Grateful Florence placed this memorial, 1861."

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

George Eliot.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She did not neglect her household duties. One of her hands, which were noticeable for their beauty of shape, was broader than the other, which, she used to say with some pride, was owing to the butter and cheese she had made. At twenty she was reading the Life of Wilberforce, Josephus' History of the Jews, Spenser's Faery Queen, Don Quixote, Milton, Bacon, Mrs. Somerville's Connection of the Physical Sciences, and Wordsworth. The latter was always an especial favorite, and his life, by Frederick Myers in the Men of Letters series, was one of the last books she ever read.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Our life is intensely occupied, and the days are far too short," she writes. They were reading in every spare moment, twelve plays of Shakespeare, Goethe's works, Wilhelm Meister, Götz von Berlichingen, Hermann and Dorothea, Iphigenia, Wanderjahre, Italianische Reise, and others; Heine's poems; Lessing's Laocoön and Nathan the Wise; Macaulay's History of England; Moore's Life of Sheridan; Brougham's Lives of Men of Letters; White's History of Selborne; Whewell's History of Inductive Sciences; Boswell; Carpenter's Comparative Physiology; Jones' Animal Kingdom; Alison's History of Europe; Kahnis' History of German Protestantism; Schrader's German Mythology; Kingsley's Greek Heroes; and the Iliad and Odyssey in the original. She says, "If you want delightful reading, get Lowell's My Study Windows, and read the essays called My Garden Acquaintances and Winter." No wonder they were busy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reading was carried on as usual by the two students. The Life of George Stephenson; the Electra of Sophocles; the Agamemnon of Aeschylus, Harriet Martineau's British Empire in India; and History of the Thirty Years' Peace; Béranger, Modern Painters, containing some of the finest writing of the age; Overbech on Greek art; Anna Mary Howitt's book on Munich; Carlyle's Life of Frederick the Great; Darwin's Origin of Species; Emerson's Man the Reformer, "which comes to me with fresh beauty and meaning"; Buckle's History of Civilization; Plato and Aristotle.

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

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

In the former city she made her studies for her great novel, Romola. She read Sismondi's History of the Italian Republics, Tenneman's History of Philosophy, T.A. Trollope's Beata, Hallam on the Study of Roman Law in the Middle Ages, Gibbon on the Revival of Greek Learning, Burlamachi's Life of Savonarola; also Villari's life of the great preacher, Mrs. Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art, Machiavelli's works, Petrarch's Letters, Casa Guidi Windows, Buhle's History of Modern Philosophy, Story's Roba di Roma, Liddell's Rome, Gibbon, Mosheim, and one might almost say the whole range of Italian literature in the original. Of Mommsen's History of Rome she said, "It is so fine that I count all minds graceless who read it without the deepest stirrings."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Elizabeth Fry.

My attached and obliged friend Elizabeth Fry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Thompson Butler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Naturally anxious to test the world's opinion of her work, she sent some water-colors to the Society of British Artists for exhibition, and they were rejected. There is very little encouragement for beginners in any profession. However, "Bavarian Artillery going into Action" was exhibited at the Dudley Gallery, and received favorable notice from Mr. Tom Taylor, art critic of the Times.

Between two long courses at South Kensington Elizabeth spent a summer in Florence and a winter at Rome, studying in both places. At Florence she entered the studio of Signor Guiseppe Bellucci, an eminent historical painter and consummate draughtsman, a fellow-student of Sir Frederick Leighton at the Academy.

Here the girlish student was intensely interested in her work. She rose early, before the other members of the family, taking her breakfast alone, that she might hasten to her beloved labor. "On the day when she did not work with him," says Mrs. Meynell, "she copied passages from the frescoes in the cloisters of the Annunziata, masterpieces of Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio, making a special study of the drapery of the last-named painter. The sacristans of the old church--the most popular church in Florence--knew and welcomed the young English girl, who sat for hours so intently at her work in the cloister, unheeding the coming and going of the long procession of congregations passing through the gates.

"Her studies in the galleries were also full of delight and profit, though she made no other copies, and she was wont to say that of all the influences of the Florentine school which stood her in good stead in her after-work, that of Andrea del Sarto was the most valuable and the most important. The intense heat of a midsummer, which, day after day, showed a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, could not make her relax work, and her master, Florentine as he was, was obliged to beg her to spare him, at least for a week, if she would not spare herself. It was toward the end of October that artist and pupil parted, his confidence in her future being as unbounded as her gratitude for his admirable skill and minute carefulness."

During her seven months in Rome she painted, in 1870, for an ecclesiastical art exhibition, opened by Pope Pius IX., in the cloisters of the Carthusian Monastery, the "Visitation of the Blessed Virgin to St. Elizabeth," and the picture gained honorable mention.

On her return to England the painting was offered to the Royal Academy and rejected. And what was worse still, a large hole had been torn in the canvas, in the sky of the picture. Had she not been very persevering, and believed in her heart that she had talent, perhaps she would not have dared to try again, but she had worked steadily for too many years to fail now. Those only win who can bear refusal a thousand times if need be.

The next year, being at the Isle of Wight, she sent another picture to the Academy, and it was rejected. Merit does not always win the first, nor the second, nor the third time. It must have been a little consolation to Elizabeth Thompson, to know that each year the judges were reminded that a person by that name lived, and was painting pictures!

The next year a subject from the Franco-Prussian War was taken, as that was fresh in the minds of the people. The title was "Missing." "Two French officers, old and young, both wounded, and with one wounded horse between them, have lost their way after a disastrous defeat; their names will appear in the sad roll as missing, and the manner of their death will never be known."

The picture was received, but was "skyed," that is, placed so high that nobody could well see it. During this year she received a commission from a wealthy art patron to paint a picture. What should it be? A battle scene, because into that she could put her heart.

A studio was taken in London, and the "Roll-Call" (calling the roll after an engagement,--Crimea) was begun. She put life into the faces and the attitudes of the men, as she worked with eager heart and careful labor. In the spring of 1874 it was sent to the Royal Academy, with, we may suppose, not very enthusiastic hopes.

The stirring battle piece pleased the committee, and they cheered when it was received. Then it began to be talked at the clubs that a woman had painted a battle scene! Some had even heard that it was a great picture. When the Academy banquet was held, prior to the opening, the speeches of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, both gave high praise to the "Roll-Call."

Such an honor was unusual. Everybody was eager to see the painting. It was the talk at the clubs, on the railway trains, and on the crowded thoroughfares. All day long crowds gathered before it, a policeman keeping guard over the painting, that it be not injured by its eager admirers. The Queen sent for it, and it was carried, for a few hours, to Buckingham Palace, for her to gaze upon. So much was she pleased that she desired to purchase it, and the person who had ordered it gave way to Her Majesty. The copyright was bought for fifteen times the original sum agreed upon as its value, and a steel-plate engraving made from it at a cost of nearly ten thousand dollars. After thirty-five hundred impressions, the plate was destroyed, that there might be no inferior engravings of the picture. The "Roll-Call" was for some time retained by the Fine Art Society, where it was seen by a quarter of a million persons. Besides this, it was shown in all the large towns of England. It is now at Windsor Castle.

Elizabeth Thompson had become famous in a day, but she was not elated over it; for, young as she was, she did not forget that she had been working diligently for twenty years. The newspapers teemed with descriptions of her, and incidents of her life, many of which were, of course, purely imaginative. Whenever she appeared in society, people crowded to look at her.

Many a head would have been turned by all this praise; not so the well-bred student. She at once set to work on a more difficult subject, "The Twenty-eighth Regiment at Quatre Bras." When this appeared, in 1875, it drew an enormous crowd. The true critics praised heartily, but there were some persons who thought a woman could not possibly know about the smoke of a battle, or how men would act under fire. That she studied every detail of her work is shown by Mr. W. H. Davenport Adams, in his Woman's Work and Worth. "The choice of subject," he says, "though some people called it a 'very shocking one for a young lady,' engaged the sympathy of military men, and she was generously aided in obtaining material and all kinds of data for the work. Infantry officers sent her photographs of 'squares.' But these would not do, the men were not in earnest; they would kneel in such positions as they found easiest for themselves; indeed, but for the help of a worthy sergeant-major, who saw that each individual assumed and maintained the attitude proper for the situation at whatever inconvenience, the artist could not possibly have impressed upon her picture that verisimilitude which it now presents.

"Through the kindness of the authorities, an amount of gunpowder was expended at Chatham, to make her see, as she said, how 'the men's faces looked through the smoke,' that would have justified the criticisms of a rigid parliamentary economist. Not satisfied with seeing how men looked in square, she desired to secure some faint idea of how they felt in square while 'receiving cavalry.' And accordingly she repaired frequently to the Knightsbridge Barracks, where she would kneel to 'receive' the riding-master and a mounted sergeant of the Blues, while they thundered down upon her the full length of the riding-school, deftly pulling up, of course, to avoid accident. The fallen horse presented with such truth and vigor in 'Quatre Bras' was drawn from a Russian horse belonging to Hengler's Circus, the only one in England that could be trusted to remain for a sufficient time in the required position. A sore trial of patience was this to artist, to model, to Mr. Hengler, who held him down, and to the artist's father, who was present as spectator. Finally the rye,--the 'particularly tall rye' in which, as Colonel Siborne says, the action was fought,--was conscientiously sought for, and found, after much trouble, at Henly-on-Thames."

I saw this beautiful and stirring picture, as well as several others of Mrs. Butler's, while in England. Mr. Ruskin says of "Quatre Bras": "I never approached a picture with more iniquitous prejudice against it than I did Miss Thompson's; partly because I have always said that no woman could paint, and secondly, because I thought what the public made such a fuss about must be good for nothing. But it is Amazon's work, this, no doubt of it, and the first fine pre-raphaelite picture of battle we have had, profoundly interesting, and showing all manner of illustrative and realistic faculty. The sky is most tenderly painted, and with the truest outline of cloud of all in the exhibition; and the terrific piece of gallant wrath and ruin on the extreme left, where the cuirassier is catching round the neck of his horse as he falls, and the convulsed fallen horse, seen through the smoke below, is wrought through all the truth of its frantic passions with gradations of color and shade which I have not seen the like of since Turner's death."

This year, 1875, a figure from the picture, the "Tenth Bengal Lancers at Tent-pegging," was published as a supplement to the Christmas number of London Graphic, with the title "Missed." In 1876, "The Return from Balaklava" was painted, and in 1877, "The Return from Inkerman," for which latter work the Fine Art Society paid her fifteen thousand dollars.

This year, 1877, on June 11, Miss Thompson was married to Major, now Colonel, William Francis Butler, K.C.B. He was then thirty-nine years of age, born in Ireland, educated in Dublin, and had received many honors. He served on the Red River expedition, was sent on a special mission to the Saskatchewan territories in 1870-71, and served on the Ashantee expedition in 1873. He has been honorably mentioned several times in the House of Lords by the Field-Marshal-Commanding-in-Chief. He wrote The Great Lone Land in 1872, The Wild North Land in 1873, and A Kimfoo in 1875.

After the marriage they spent much time in Ireland, where Mrs. Butler painted "Listed for the Connaught Rangers" in 1879. Her later works are "The Remnant of an Army," showing the arrival at Jellalabad, in 1842, of Dr. Brydon, the sole survivor of the sixteen thousand men under General Elphinstone, in the unfortunate Afghan campaign; the "Scots Greys Advancing," "The Defence of Rorke's Drift," an incident of the Zulu War, painted at the desire of the Queen and some others.

Still a young and very attractive woman, she has before her a bright future. She will have exceptional opportunities for battle studies in her husband's army life. She will probably spend much time in Africa, India, and other places where the English army will be stationed. Her husband now holds a prominent position in Africa.

In her studio, says her sister, "the walls are hung with old uniforms--the tall shako, the little coatee, and the stiff stock--which the visitor's imagination may stuff out with the form of the British soldier as he fought in the days of Waterloo. These are objects of use, not ornament; so are the relics from the fields of France in 1871, and the assegais and spears and little sharp wooden maces from Zululand."

Mrs. Butler has perseverance, faithfulness in her work, and courage. She has won remarkable fame, but has proved herself deserving by her constant labor, and attention to details. Mrs. Butler's mother has also exhibited some fine paintings. The artist herself has illustrated a volume of poems, the work of her sister, Mrs. Meynell. A cultivated and artistic family have, of course, been an invaluable aid in Mrs. Butler's development.

Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale--From the "Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women."

One of the most interesting places in the whole of London, is St. Thomas' Hospital, an immense four-story structure of brick with stone trimmings. Here is the Nightingale Training School for nurses, established through the gift to Miss Nightingale of $250,000 by the government, for her wonderful work in the Crimean War. She would not take a cent for herself, but was glad to have this institution opened, that girls through her training might become valuable to the world as nurses, as she has been.

Here is the "Nightingale Home." The dining-room, with its three long tables, is an inviting apartment. The colors of wall and ceiling are in red and light shades. Here is a Swiss clock presented by the Grand Duchess of Baden; here a harpsichord, also a gift. Here is the marble face and figure I have come especially to see, that of lovely Florence Nightingale. It is a face full of sweetness and refinement, having withal an earnest look, as though life were well worth living.

What better work than to direct these girls how to be useful? Some are here from the highest social circles. The "probationers," or nurse pupils, must remain three years before they can become Protestant "sisters." Each ward is in charge of a sister; now it is Leopold, because the ward bears that name; and now Victoria in respect to the Queen, who opened the institution.

The sisters look sunny and healthy, though they work hard. They have regular hours for being off duty, and exercise in the open air. The patients tell me how "homelike it seems to have women in the wards, and what a comfort it is in their agony, to be handled by their careful hands." Here are four hundred persons in all phases of suffering, in neat, cheerful wards, brightened by pots of flowers, and the faces of kind, devoted women.

And who is this woman to whom the government of Great Britain felt that it owed so much, and whom the whole world delights to honor?

Florence Nightingale, born in 1820, in the beautiful Italian city of that name, is the younger of two daughters of William Shore Nightingale, a wealthy land-owner, who inherited both the name and fortune of his granduncle, Peter Nightingale. The mother was the daughter of the eminent philanthropist and member of Parliament, William Smith.

Most of Miss Nightingale's life has been spent on their beautiful estate, Lea Hurst, in Derbyshire, a lovely home in the midst of picturesque scenery. In her youth her father instructed her carefully in the classics and higher mathematics; a few years later, partly through extensive travel, she became proficient in French, German, and Italian.

Rich, pretty, and well-educated, what was there more that she could wish for? Her heart, however, did not turn toward a fashionable life. Very early she began to visit the poor and the sick near Lea Hurst, and her father's other estate at Embly Park, Hampshire. Perhaps the mantle of the mother's father had fallen upon the young girl.

She had also the greatest tenderness toward dumb animals, and never could bear to see them injured. Miss Alldridge, in an interesting sketch of Miss Nightingale, quotes the following story from Little Folks:--

"Some years ago, when the celebrated Florence Nightingale was a little girl, living at her father's home, a large, old Elizabethan house, with great woods about it, in Hampshire, there was one thing that struck everybody who knew her. It was that she seemed to be always thinking what she could do to please or help any one who needed either help or comfort. She was very fond, too, of animals, and she was so gentle in her way, that even the shyest of them would come quite close to her, and pick up whatever she flung down for them to eat.

"There was, in the garden behind the house, a long walk with trees on each side, the abode of many squirrels; and when Florence came down the walk, dropping nuts as she went along, the squirrels would run down the trunks of their trees, and, hardly waiting until she passed by, would pick up the prize and dart away, with their little bushy tails curled over their backs, and their black eyes looking about as if terrified at the least noise, though they did not seem to be afraid of Florence.

"Then there was an old gray pony named Peggy, past work, living in a paddock, with nothing to do all day long but to amuse herself. Whenever Florence appeared at the gate, Peggy would come trotting up and put her nose into the dress pocket of her little mistress, and pick it of the apple or the roll of bread that she knew she would always find there, for this was a trick Florence had taught the pony. Florence was fond of riding, and her father's old friend, the clergyman of the parish, used often to come and take her for a ride with him when he went to the farm cottages at a distance. He was a good man and very kind to the poor.

"As he had studied medicine when a young man, he was able to tell the people what would do them good when they were ill, or had met with an accident. Little Florence took great delight in helping to nurse those who were ill; and whenever she went on these long rides, she had a small basket fastened to her saddle, filled with something nice which she saved from her breakfast or dinner, or carried for her mother, who was very good to the poor.

"There lived in one of two or three solitary cottages in the wood an old shepherd of her father's, named Roger, who had a favorite sheep-dog called Cap. Roger had neither wife nor child, and Cap lived with him and kept him, and kept him company at night after he had penned his flock. Cap was a very sensible dog; indeed, people used to say he could do everything but speak. He kept the sheep in wonderfully good order, and thus saved his master a great deal of trouble. One day, as Florence and her old friend were out for a ride, they came to a field where they found the shepherd giving his sheep their night feed; but he was without the dog, and the sheep knew it, for they were scampering in every direction. Florence and her friend noticed that the old shepherd looked very sad, and they stopped to ask what was the matter, and what had become of his dog.

"'Oh,' said Roger, 'Cap will never be of any more use to me; I'll have to hang him, poor fellow, as soon as I go home to-night.'

"'Hang him!' said Florence. 'Oh, Roger, how wicked of you! What has dear old Cap done?'

"'He has done nothing,' replied Roger; 'but he will never be of any more use to me, and I cannot afford to keep him for nothing; one of the mischievous school-boys throwed a stone at him yesterday, and broke one of his legs.' And the old shepherd's eyes filled with tears, which he wiped away with his shirt-sleeve; then he drove his spade deep in the ground to hide what he felt, for he did not like to be seen crying.

"'Poor Cap!' he sighed; 'he was as knowing almost as a human being.'

"'But are you sure his leg is broken?' asked Florence.

"'Oh, yes, miss, it is broken safe enough; he has not put his foot to the ground since.'

"Florence and her friend rode on without saying anything more to Roger.

"'We will go and see poor Cap,' said the vicar; 'I don't believe the leg is really broken. It would take a big stone and a hard blow to break the leg of a big dog like Cap.'

"'Oh, if you could but cure him, how glad Roger would be!' replied Florence.

"They soon reached the shepherd's cottage, but the door was fastened; and when they moved the latch, such a furious barking was heard that they drew back, startled. However, a little boy came out of the next cottage, and asked if they wanted to go in, as Roger had left the key with his mother. So the key was got, and the door opened; and there on the bare brick floor lay the dog, his hair dishevelled, and his eyes sparkling with anger at the intruders. But when he saw the little boy he grew peaceful, and when he looked at Florence, and heard her call him 'poor Cap,' he began to wag his short tail; and then crept from under the table, and lay down at her feet. She took hold of one of his paws, patted his old rough head, and talked to him, whilst her friend examined the injured leg. It was dreadfully swollen, and hurt very much to have it examined; but the dog knew it was meant kindly, and though he moaned and winced with pain, he licked the hands that were hurting him.

"'It's only a bad bruise; no bones are broken,' said her old friend; 'rest is all Cap needs; he will soon be well again.'

"'I am so glad,' said Florence; 'but can we do nothing for him? he seems in such pain.'

"'There is one thing that would ease the pain and heal the leg all the sooner, and that is plenty of hot water to foment the part.'

"Florence struck a light with the tinder-box, and lighted the fire, which was already laid. She then set off to the other cottage to get something to bathe the leg with. She found an old flannel petticoat hanging up to dry, and this she carried off, and tore up into slips, which she wrung out in warm water, and laid them tenderly on Cap's swollen leg. It was not long before the poor dog felt the benefit of the application, and he looked grateful, wagging his little stump of a tail in thanks. On their way home they met the shepherd coming slowly along, with a piece of rope in his hand.

"'Oh, Roger,' cried Florence, 'you are not to hang poor old Cap; his leg is not broken at all.'

"'No, he will serve you yet,' said the vicar.

"'Well, I be main glad to hear it,' said the shepherd, 'and many thanks to you for going to see him.'

"On the next morning Florence was up early, and the first thing she did was to take two flannel petticoats to give to the poor woman whose skirt she had torn up to bathe Cap. Then she went to the dog, and was delighted to find the swelling of his leg much less. She bathed it again, and Cap was as grateful as before.

"Two or three days afterwards Florence and her friend were riding together, when they came up to Roger and his sheep. This time Cap was watching the sheep, though he was lying quite still, and pretending to be asleep. When he heard the voice of Florence speaking to his master, who was portioning out the usual food, his tail wagged and his eyes sparkled, but he did not get up, for he was on duty. The shepherd stopped his work, and as he glanced at the dog with a merry laugh, said, 'Do look at the dog, Miss; he be so pleased to hear your voice.' Cap's tail went faster and faster. 'I be glad,' continued the old man, 'I did not hang him. I be greatly obliged to you, Miss, and the vicar, for what you did. But for you I would have hanged the best dog I ever had in my life.'"

A girl who was made so happy in saving the life of an animal would naturally be interested to save human beings. Occasionally her family passed a season in London, and here, instead of giving much time to concerts or parties, she would visit hospitals and benevolent institutions. When the family travelled in Egypt, she attended several sick Arabs, who recovered under her hands. They doubtless thought the English girl was a saint sent down from heaven.

The more she felt drawn toward the sick, the more she felt the need of study, and the more she saw the work that refined women could do in the hospitals. The Sisters of Charity were standing by sick-beds; why could there not be Protestant sisters? When they travelled in Germany, France, and Italy, she visited infirmaries, asylums, and hospitals, carefully noting the treatment given in each.

Finally she determined to spend some months at Kaiserwerth, near Dusseldorf, on the Rhine, in Pastor Fliedner's great Lutheran hospital. He had been a poor clergyman, the leader of a scanty flock, whose church was badly in debt. A man of much enterprise and warm heart, he could not see his work fail for lack of means; so he set out among the provinces, to tell the needs of his little parish. He collected funds, learned much about the poverty and ignorance of cities, preached in some of the prisons, because interested in criminals, and went back to his loyal people.

But so poor were they that they could not meet the yearly expenses, so he determined to raise an endowment fund. He visited Holland and Great Britain, and secured the needed money.

In England, in 1832, he became acquainted with Elizabeth Fry. How one good life influences another to the end of time! When he went back to Germany his heart was aglow with a desire to help humanity.

He at once opened an asylum for discharged prison-women. He saw how almost impossible it was for those who had been in prison to obtain situations. Then he opened a school for the children of such as worked in factories, for he realized how unfit for citizenship are those who grow up in ignorance. He did not have much money, but he seemed able to obtain what he really needed. Then he opened a hospital; a home for insane women; a home of rest for his nurses, or for those who needed a place to live after their work was done. Soon the "Deaconesses" at Kaiserwerth became known the country over. Among the wildest Norwegian mountains we met some of these Kaiserwerth nurses, refined, educated ladies, getting in summer a new lease of life for their noble labors.

This Protestant sisterhood consists now of about seven hundred sisters, at about two hundred stations, the annual expense being about $150,000. What a grand work for one man, with no money, the pastor of a very humble church!

Into this work of Pastor Fliedner, Florence Nightingale heartily entered. Was it strange taste for a pretty and wealthy young woman, whose life had been one of sunshine and happiness? It was a saintlike taste, and the world is rendered a little like Paradise by the presence of such women. Back in London the papers were full of the great exhibition of 1851, but she was more interested in her Kaiserwerth work than to be at home. When she had finished her course of instruction, Pastor Fliedner said, since he had been director of that institution no one had ever passed so distinguished an examination, or shown herself so thoroughly mistress of all she had learned.

On her return to Lea Hurst, she could not rest very long, while there was so much work to be done in the world. In London, a hospital for sick governesses was about to fail, from lack of means and poor management. Nobody seemed very deeply interested for these overworked teachers. But Miss Nightingale was interested, and leaving her lovely home, she came to the dreary house in Harley Street, where she gave her time and her fortune for several years. Her own frail health sank for a time from the close confinement, but she had seen the institution placed on a sure foundation, and prosperous.

The Crimean War had begun. England had sent out ship-loads of men to the Black Sea, to engage in war with Russia. Little thought seemed to have been taken, in the hurry and enthusiasm of war, to provide proper clothing or food for the men in that changing climate. In the desolate country there was almost no means of transportation, and men and animals suffered from hunger. After the first winter cholera broke out, and in one camp twenty men died in twenty-four hours.

Matters grew from bad to worse. William Howard Russell, the Times correspondent, wrote home to England: "It is now pouring rain,--the skies are black as ink,--the wind is howling over the staggering tents,--the trenches are turned into dykes,--in the tents the water is sometimes a foot deep,--our men have not either warm or waterproof clothing,--they are out for twelve hours at a time in the trenches,--they are plunged into the inevitable miseries of a winter campaign,--and not a soul seems to care for their comfort, or even for their lives. These are hard truths, but the people of England must hear them. They must know that the wretched beggar who wanders about the streets of London in the rain, leads the life of a prince, compared with the British soldiers who are fighting out here for their country.

"The commonest accessories of a hospital are wanting; there is not the least attention paid to decency or cleanliness; the stench is appalling; the fetid air can barely struggle out to taint the atmosphere, save through the chinks in the walls and roofs; and, for all I can observe, these men die without the least effort being made to save them. There they lie, just as they were let gently down on the ground by the poor fellows, their comrades, who brought them on their backs from the camp with the greatest tenderness, but who are not allowed to remain with them. The sick appear to be tended by the sick, and the dying by the dying."

During the rigorous winter of 1854, with snow three feet thick, many were frozen in their tents. Out of nearly forty-five thousand, over eighteen thousand were reported in the hospitals. The English nation became aroused at this state of things, and in less than two weeks seventy-five thousand dollars poured into the Times office for the suffering soldiers. A special commissioner, Mr. Macdonald, was sent to the Crimea with shirts, sheets, flannels, and necessary food.

But one of the greatest of all needs was woman's hand and brain, in the dreadful suffering and the confusion. The testimony of the world thus far has been that men everywhere need the help of women, and women everywhere need the help of men. Right Honorable Sydney Herbert, the Secretary of War, knew of but one woman who could bring order and comfort to those far-away hospitals, and that woman was Miss Nightingale. She had made herself ready at Kaiserwerth for a great work, and now a great work was ready for her.

But she was frail in health, and was it probable that a rich and refined lady would go thousands of miles from her kindred, to live in feverish wards where there were only men? A true woman dares do anything that helps the world.

Mr. Herbert wrote her, Oct. 15: "There is, as far as I know, only one person in England capable of organizing and directing such a plan, and I have been several times on the point of asking you if you would be disposed to make the attempt. That it will be difficult to form a corps of nurses, no one knows better than yourself.... I have this simple question to put to you: Could you go out yourself, and take charge of everything? It is, of course, understood that you will have absolute authority over all the nurses, unlimited power to draw on the government for all you judge necessary to the success of your mission; and I think I may assure you of the co-operation of the medical staff. Your personal qualities, your knowledge, and your authority in administrative affairs, all fit you for this position."

It was a strange coincidence that on that same day, Oct. 15, Miss Nightingale, her heart stirred for the suffering soldiers, had written a letter to Mr. Herbert, offering her services to the government. A few days later the world read, with moistened eyes, this letter from the war office: "Miss Nightingale, accompanied by thirty-four nurses, will leave this evening. Miss Nightingale, who has, I believe, greater practical experience of hospital administration and treatment than any other lady in this country, has, with a self-devotion for which I have no words to express my gratitude, undertaken this noble but arduous work."

The heart of the English nation followed the heroic woman. Mrs. Jameson wrote: "It is an undertaking wholly new to our English customs, much at variance with the usual education given to women in this country. If it succeeds, it will be the true, the lasting glory of Florence Nightingale and her band of devoted assistants, that they have broken down a Chinese wall of prejudices,--religious, social, professional,--and have established a precedent which will, indeed, multiply the good to all time." She did succeed, and the results can scarcely be overestimated.

As the band of nurses passed through France, hotel-keepers would take no pay for their accommodation; poor fisherwomen at Boulogne struggled for the honor of carrying their baggage to the railway station. They sailed in the Vectis across the Mediterranean, reaching Scutari, Nov. 5, the day of the battle of Inkerman.

They found in the great Barrack Hospital, which had been lent to the British by the Turkish government, and in another large hospital near by, about four thousand men. The corridors were filled with two rows of mattresses, so close that two persons could scarcely walk between them. There was work to be done at once.

One of the nurses wrote home, "The whole of yesterday one could only forget one's own existence, for it was spent, first in sewing the men's mattresses together, and then in washing them, and assisting the surgeons, when we could, in dressing their ghastly wounds after their five days' confinement on board ship, during which space their wounds had not been dressed. Hundreds of men with fever, dysentery, and cholera (the wounded were the smaller portion) filled the wards in succession from the overcrowded transports."

Miss Nightingale, calm and unobtrusive, went quietly among the men, always with a smile of sympathy for the suffering. The soldiers often wept, as for the first time in months, even years, a woman's hand adjusted their pillows, and a woman's voice soothed their sorrows.

Miss Nightingale's pathway was not an easy one. Her coming did not meet the general approval of military or medical officials. Some thought women would be in the way; others felt that their coming was an interference. Possibly some did not like to have persons about who would be apt to tell the truth on their return to England. But with good sense and much tact she was able to overcome the disaffection, using her almost unlimited power with discretion.

As soon as the wounded were attended to, she established an invalid's kitchen, where appetizing food could be prepared,--one of the essentials in convalescence. Here she overlooked the proper cooking for eight hundred men who could not eat ordinary food. Then she established a laundry. The beds and shirts of the men were in a filthy condition, some wearing the ragged clothing in which they were brought down from the Crimea. It was difficult to obtain either food or clothing, partly from the immense amount of "red tape" in official life.

Miss Nightingale seemed to be everywhere. Dr. Pincoffs said: "I believe that there never was a severe case of any kind that escaped her notice; and sometimes it was wonderful to see her at the bedside of a patient who had been admitted perhaps but an hour before, and of whose arrival one would hardly have supposed it possible she could already be cognizant."

She aided the senior chaplain in establishing a library and school-room, and in getting up evening lectures for the men. She supplied books and games, wrote letters for the sick, and forwarded their little savings to their home-friends.

For a year and a half, till the close of the war, she did a wonderful work, reducing the death-rate in the Barrack Hospital from sixty per cent to a little above one per cent. Said the Times correspondent: "Wherever there is disease in its most dangerous form, and the hand of the spoiler distressingly nigh, there is that incomparable woman sure to be seen; her benignant presence is an influence for good comfort even amid the struggles of expiring nature. She is a 'ministering angel,' without any exaggeration, in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night, and silence and darkness have settled down upon these miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed, alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.

"With the heart of a true woman and the manner of a lady, accomplished and refined beyond most of her sex, she combines a surprising calmness of judgment and promptitude and decision of character. The popular instinct was not mistaken, which, when she set out from England on her mission of mercy, hailed her as a heroine; I trust she may not earn her title to a higher, though sadder, appellation. No one who has observed her fragile figure and delicate health can avoid misgivings lest these should fail."

One of the soldiers wrote home: "She would speak to one and another, and nod and smile to many more; but she could not do it to all, you know, for we lay there by hundreds; but we could kiss her shadow as it fell, and lay our heads on our pillows again content." Another wrote home: "Before she came there was such cussin' and swearin', and after that it was as holy as a church." No wonder she was called the "Angel of the Crimea." Once she was prostrated with fever, but recovered after a few weeks.

Finally the war came to an end. London was preparing to give Miss Nightingale a royal welcome, when, lo! she took passage by design on a French steamer, and reached Lea Hurst, Aug. 15, 1856, unbeknown to any one. There was a murmur of disappointment at first, but the people could only honor all the more the woman who wished no blare of trumpets for her humane acts.

Queen Victoria sent for her to visit her at Balmoral, and presented her with a valuable jewel; a ruby-red enamel cross on a white field, encircled by a black band with the words, "Blessed are the merciful." The letters V. R., surmounted by a crown in diamonds, are impressed upon the centre of the cross. Green enamel branches of palm, tipped with gold, form the framework of the shield, while around their stems is a riband of the blue enamel with the single word "Crimea." On the top are three brilliant stars of diamonds. On the back is an inscription written by the Queen. The Sultan sent her a magnificent bracelet, and the government, $250,000, to found the school for nurses at St. Thomas' Hospital.

Since the war, Miss Nightingale has never been in strong health, but she has written several valuable books. Her Hospital Notes, published in 1859, have furnished plans for scores of new hospitals. Her Notes on Nursing, published in 1860, of which over one hundred thousand have been sold, deserve to be in every home. She is the most earnest advocate of sunlight and fresh air.

She says: "An extraordinary fallacy is the dread of night air. What air can we breathe at night but night air? The choice is between pure night air from without, and foul night air from within. Most people prefer the latter,--an unaccountable choice. What will they say if it be proved true that fully one-half of all the disease we suffer from, is occasioned by people sleeping with their windows shut? An open window most nights of the year can never hurt any one. In great cities night air is often the best and purest to be had in the twenty-four hours.

"The five essentials, for healthy houses," she says, are "pure air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness, and light.... I have known whole houses and hospitals smell of the sink. I have met just as strong a stream of sewer air coming up the back staircase of a grand London house, from the sink, as I have ever met at Scutari; and I have seen the rooms in that house all ventilated by the open doors, and the passages all unventilated by the close windows, in order that as much of the sewer air as possible might be conducted into and retained in the bed-rooms. It is wonderful!"

Miss Nightingale has much humor, and she shows it in her writings. She is opposed to dark houses; says they promote scrofula; to old papered walls, and to carpets full of dust. An uninhabited room becomes full of foul air soon, and needs to have the windows opened often. She would keep sick people, or well, forever in the sunlight if possible, for sunlight is the greatest possible purifier of the atmosphere. "In the unsunned sides of narrow streets, there is degeneracy and weakliness of the human race,--mind and body equally degenerating." Of the ruin wrought by bad air, she says: "Oh, the crowded national school, where so many children's epidemics have their origin, what a tale its air-test would tell! We should have parents saying, and saying rightly, 'I will not send my child to that school; the air-test stands at "horrid."' And the dormitories of our great boarding-schools! Scarlet fever would be no more ascribed to contagion, but to its right cause, the air-test standing at 'Foul.' We should hear no longer of 'Mysterious Dispensations' and of 'Plague and Pestilence' being in 'God's hands,' when, so far as we know, He has put them into our own." She urges much rubbing of the body, washing with warm water and soap. "The only way I know to remove dust, is to wipe everything with a damp cloth.... If you must have a carpet, the only safety is to take it up two or three times a year, instead of once.... The best wall now extant is oil paint."

"Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's Spirit? Nursing is one of the fine arts; I had almost said, the finest of the fine arts."

Miss Nightingale has also written Observations on the Sanitary State of the Army in India, 1863; Life or Death in India, read before the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 1873, with an appendix on Life or Death by Irrigation, 1874.

She is constantly doing deeds of kindness. With a subscription sent recently by her to the Gordon Memorial Fund, she said: "Might but the example of this great and pure hero be made to tell, in that self no longer existed to him, but only God and duty, on the soldiers who have died to save him, and on boys who should live to follow him."

Miss Nightingale has helped to dignify labor and to elevate humanity, and has thus made her name immortal.

Florence Nightingale died August 13, 1910, at 2 P.M., of heart failure, at the age of ninety. She had received many distinguished honors: the freedom of the city of London in 1908, and from King Edward VII, a year previously, a membership in the Order of Merit, given only to a select few men; such as Field Marshal Roberts, Lord Kitchener, Alma Tadema, James Bryce, George Meredith, Lords Kelvin and Lister, and Admiral Togo.

Her funeral was a quiet one, according to her wishes.

Lady Brassey.


One of my pleasantest days in England was spent at old Battle Abbey, the scene of the ever-memorable Battle of Hastings, where William of Normandy conquered the Saxon Harold.

The abbey was built by William as a thank-offering for the victory, on the spot where Harold set up his standard. The old gateway is one of the finest in England. Part of the ancient church remains, flowers and ivy growing out of the beautiful gothic arches.

As one stands upon the walls and looks out upon the sea, that great battle comes up before him. The Norman hosts disembark; first come the archers in short tunics, with bows as tall as themselves and quivers full of arrows; then the knights in coats of mail, with long lances and two-edged swords; Duke William steps out last from the ship, and falls foremost on both hands. His men gather about him in alarm, but he says, "See, my lords, I have taken possession of England with both my hands. It is now mine, and what is mine is yours."

Word is sent to Harold to surrender the throne, but he returns answer as haughty as is sent. Brave and noble, he plants his standard, a warrior sparkling with gold and precious stones, and thus addresses his men:--

"The Normans are good knights, and well used to war. If they pierce our ranks, we are lost. Cleave, and do not spare!" Then they build up a breastwork of shields, which no man can pass alive. William of Normandy is ready for action. He in turn addresses his men: "Spare not, and strike hard. There will be booty for all. It will be in vain to ask for peace; the English will not give it. Flight is impossible; at the sea you will find neither ship nor bridge; the English would overtake and annihilate you there. The victory is in our hands."

From nine till three the battle rages. The case becomes desperate. William orders the archers to fire into the air, as they cannot pierce English armor, and arrows fall down like rain upon the Saxons. Harold is pierced in the eye. He is soon overcome and trampled to death by the enemy, dying, it is said, with the words "Holy Cross" upon his lips.

Ten thousand are killed on either side, and the Saxons pass forever under foreign rule. Harold's mother comes and begs the body of her son, and pays for it, some historians say, its weight in gold.

Every foot of ground at Battle Abbey is historic, and all the country round most interesting. We drive over the smoothest of roads to a palace in the distance,--Normanhurst, the home of Lady Brassey, the distinguished author and traveller. Towers are at either corner and in the centre, and ivy climbs over the spacious vestibule to the roof. Great buildings for waterworks, conservatories, and the like, are adjoining, in the midst of flower-gardens and acres of lawn and forest. It is a place fit for the abode of royalty itself.

In no home have I seen so much that is beautiful gathered from all parts of the world. The hall, as you enter, square and hung with crimson velvet, is adorned with valuable paintings. Two easy-chairs before the fireplace are made from ostriches, their backs forming the seats. These birds were gifts to Lady Brassey in her travels. In the rooms beyond are treasures from Japan, the South Sea Islands, South America, indeed from everywhere; cases of pottery, works in marble, Dresden candelabra, ancient armor, furs, silks, all arrayed with exquisite taste.

One room, called the Marie Antoinette room, has the curtains and furniture, in yellow, of this unfortunate queen. Here are pictures by Sir Frederick Leighton, Landseer, and others; stuffed birds and fishes and animals from every clime, with flowers in profusion. In the dining-room, with its gray walls and red furniture, is a large painting of the mistress of this superb home, with her favorite horse and dogs. The views from the windows are beautiful, Battle Abbey ruin in the distance, and rivers flowing to the sea. The house is rich in color, one room being blue, another red, a third yellow, while large mirrors seem to repeat the apartments again and again. As we leave the home, not the least of its attractions come up the grounds,--a load of merry children, all in sailor hats; the Mabelle and Muriel and Marie whom we have learned to know in Lady Brassey's books.

The well-known author is the daughter of the late Mr. John Alnutt of Berkley Square, London, who, as well as his father, was a patron of art, having made large collections of paintings. Reared in wealth and culture, it was but natural that the daughter, Annie, should find in the wealthy and cultured Sir Thomas Brassey a man worthy of her affections. In 1860, while both were quite young, they were married, and together they have travelled, written books, aided working men and women, and made for themselves a noble and lasting fame.

Sir Thomas is the eldest son of the late Mr. Brassey, "the leviathan contractor, the employer of untold thousands of navvies, the genie of the spade and pick, and almost the pioneer of railway builders, not only in his own country, but from one end of the continent to the other." Of superior education, having been at Rugby and University College, Oxford, Sir Thomas was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1864, and was elected to Parliament from Devonport the following year, and from Hastings three years later, in 1868, which position he has filled ever since.

Exceedingly fond of the sea, he determined to be a practical sailor, and qualified himself as a master-marine, by passing the requisite Board of Trade examination, and receiving a certificate as a seaman and navigator. In 1869 he was made Honorary Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Besides his parliamentary work, he has been an able and voluminous writer. His Foreign Work and English Wages I purchased in England, and have found it valuable in facts and helpful in spirit. The statement in the preface that he "has had under consideration the expediency of retiring from Parliament, with the view of devoting an undivided attention to the elucidation of industrial problems, and the improvement of the relations between capital and labor," shows the heart of the man. In 1880 he was made Civil Lord of the Admiralty, and in 1881 was created by the Queen a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, for his important services in connection with the organization of the Naval Reserve forces of the country.

In 1869, after Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey had been nine years married, they determined to take a sea-voyage in his yacht, and between this time and 1872 they made two cruises in the Mediterranean and the East. From her childhood the wife had kept a journal, and from fine powers of observation and much general knowledge was well fitted to see whatever was to be seen, and describe it graphically. She wrote long, journal-like letters to her father, and on her return The Flight of the Meteor was prepared for distribution among relatives and intimate friends.

In the year last mentioned, 1872, they took a trip to Canada and the United States, sailing up several of the long rivers, and on her return, A Cruise in the Eothen was published for friends.

Four years later they decided to go round the world, and for this purpose the beautiful yacht Sunbeam was built. The children, the animal pets, two dogs, three birds, and a Persian kitten for the baby, were all taken, and the happy family left England July 1, 1876. With the crew, the whole number of persons on board was forty-three. Almost at the beginning of the voyage they encountered a severe storm. Captain Lecky would have been lost but for the presence of mind of Mabelle Brassey, the oldest daughter, who has her mother's courage and calmness. When asked if she thought she was going overboard, she answered, "I did not think at all, mamma, but felt sure we were gone."

"Soon after this adventure," says Lady Brassey, "we all went to bed, full of thanksgiving that it had ended as well as it did; but, alas, not, so far as I was concerned, to rest in peace. In about two hours I was awakened by a tremendous weight of water suddenly descending upon me and flooding the bed. I immediately sprang out, only to find myself in another pool on the floor. It was pitch dark, and I could not think what had happened; so I rushed on deck, and found that the weather having moderated a little, some kind sailor, knowing my love of fresh air, had opened the skylight rather too soon, and one of the angry waves had popped on board, deluging the cabin.

"I got a light, and proceeded to mop up, as best I could, and then endeavored to find a dry place to sleep in. This, however, was no easy task, for my own bed was drenched, and every other berth occupied. The deck, too, was ankle-deep in water, as I found when I tried to get across to the deck-house sofa. At last I lay down on the floor, wrapped in my ulster, and wedged between the foot stanchion of our swing bed and the wardrobe athwart-ship; so that as the yacht rolled heavily, my feet were often higher than my head."

No wonder that a woman who could make the best of such circumstances could make a year's trip on the Sunbeam a delight to all on board. Their first visits were to the Madeira, Teneriffe, and Cape de Verde Islands, off the coast of Africa. With simplicity, the charm of all writing, and naturalness, Lady Brassey describes the people, the bathing where the sharks were plentiful, and the masses of wild geranium, hydrangea, and fuchsia. They climb to the top of the lava Peak of Teneriffe, over twelve thousand feet high; they rise at five o'clock to see the beautiful sunrises; they watch the slaves at coffee-raising at Rio de Janeiro, in South America, and Lady Brassey is attracted toward the nineteen tiny babies by the side of their mothers; "the youngest, a dear, little woolly-headed thing, as black as jet, and only three weeks old."

In Belgrano, she says: "We saw for the first time the holes of the bizcachas, or prairie-dogs, outside which the little prairie-owls keep guard. There appeared to be always one, and generally two, of these birds, standing like sentinels, at the entrance to each hole, with their wise-looking heads on one side, pictures of prudence and watchfulness. The bird and the beast are great friends, and are seldom to be found apart." And then Lady Brassey, who understands photography as well as how to write several languages, photographs this pretty scene of prairie-dogs guarded by owls, and puts it in her book.

On their way to the Straits of Magellan, they see a ship on fire. They send out a boat to her, and bring in the suffering crew of fifteen men, almost wild with joy to be rescued. Their cargo of coal had been on fire for four days. The men were exhausted, the fires beneath their feet were constantly growing hotter, and finally they gave up in despair and lay down to die. But the captain said, "There is One above who looks after us all," and again they took courage. They lashed the two apprentice boys in one of the little boats, for fear they would be washed overboard, for one was the "only son of his mother, and she a widow."

"The captain," says Lady Brassey, "drowned his favorite dog, a splendid Newfoundland, just before leaving the ship; for although a capital watchdog and very faithful, he was rather large and fierce; and when it was known that the Sunbeam was a yacht with ladies and children on board, he feared to introduce him. Poor fellow! I wish I had known about it in time to save his life!"

They "steamed past the low sandy coast of Patagonia and the rugged mountains of Tierra del Fuego, literally, Land of Fire, so called from the custom the inhabitants have of lighting fires on prominent points as signals of assembly." The people are cannibals, and naked. "Their food is of the most meagre description, and consists mainly of shell-fish, sea-eggs, for which the women dive with much dexterity, and fish, which they train their dogs to assist them in catching. These dogs are sent into the water at the entrance of a narrow creek or small bay, and they then bark and flounder about and drive the fish before them into shallow water, where they are caught."

Three of these Fuegians, a man, woman, and lad, come out to the yacht in a craft made of planks rudely tied together with the sinews of animals, and give otter skins for "tobáco and galléta" (biscuit), for which they call. When Lady Brassey gives the lad and his mother some strings of blue, red, and green glass beads, they laugh and jabber most enthusiastically. Their paddles are "split branches of trees, with wider pieces tied on at one end, with the sinews of birds or beasts." At the various places where they land, all go armed, Lady Brassey herself being well skilled in their use.

She never forgets to do a kindness. In Chili she hears that a poor engine-driver, an Englishman, has met with a serious accident, and at once hastens to see him. He is delighted to hear about the trip of the Sunbeam, and forgets for a time his intense suffering in his joy at seeing her.

In Santiago she describes a visit to the ruin of the Jesuit church, where, Dec. 8, 1863, at the Feast of the Virgin, two thousand persons, mostly women and children, were burned to death. A few were drawn up through a hole in the roof and thus saved.

Their visit to the South Sea Islands is full of interest. At Bow Island Lady Brassey buys two tame pigs for twenty-five cents each, which are so docile that they follow her about the yacht with the dogs, to whom they took a decided fancy. She calls one Agag, because he walks so delicately on his toes. The native women break cocoanuts and offer them the milk to drink. At Maitea the natives are puzzled to know why the island is visited. "No sell brandy?" they ask. "No." "No stealy men?" "No." "No do what then?" The chief receives most courteously, cutting down a banana-tree for them, when they express a wish for bananas. He would receive no money for his presents to them.

In Tahiti a feast is given in their honor, in a house seemingly made of banana-trees, "the floor covered with the finest mats, and the centre strewn with broad green plantain leaves, to form the table-cloth.... Before each guest was placed a half-cocoanut full of salt water, another full of chopped cocoanut, a third full of fresh water, and another full of milk, two pieces of bamboo, a basket of poi, half a breadfruit, and a platter of green leaves, the latter being changed with each course. We took our seats on the ground round the green table. The first operation was to mix the salt water and the chopped cocoanut together, so as to make an appetizing sauce, into which we were supposed to dip each morsel we ate. We were tolerably successful in the use of our fingers as substitutes for knives and forks."

At the Sandwich Islands, in Hilo, they visit the volcano of Kilauea. They descend the precipice, three hundred feet, which forms the wall of the old crater. They ascend the present crater, and stand on the "edge of a precipice, overhanging a lake of molten fire, a hundred feet below us, and nearly a mile across. Dashing against the cliffs on the opposite side, with a noise like the roar of a stormy ocean, waves of blood-red, fiery liquid lava hurled their billows upon an iron-bound headland, and then rushed up the face of the cliffs to toss their gory spray high in the air."

They pass the island of Molokai, where the poor lepers end their days away from home and kindred. At Honolulu they are entertained by the Prince, and then sail for Japan, China, Ceylon, through Suez, stopping in Egypt, and then home. On their arrival, Lady Brassey says, "How can I describe the warm greetings that met us everywhere, or the crowd that surrounded us; how, along the whole ten miles from Hastings to Battle, people were standing by the roadside and at the cottage doors to welcome us; how the Battle bell-ringers never stopped ringing except during service time; or how the warmest of welcomes ended our delightful year of travel and made us feel we were home at last, with thankful hearts for the providential care which had watched over us whithersoever we roamed!"

The trip had been one of continued ovation. Crowds had gathered in every place to see the Sunbeam, and often trim her with flowers from stem to stern. Presents of parrots, and kittens, and pigs abounded, and Lady Brassey had cared tenderly for them all. Christmas was observed on ship-board with gifts for everybody; thoughtfulness and kindness had made the trip a delight to the crew as well as the passengers.

The letters sent home from the Sunbeam were so thoroughly enjoyed by her father and friends, that they prevailed upon her to publish a book, which she did in 1878. It was found to be as full of interest to the world as it had been to the intimate friends, and it passed rapidly through four editions. An abridged edition appeared in the following year; then the call for it was so great that an edition was prepared for reading in schools, in 1880, and finally, in 1881, a twelve-cent edition, that the poor as well as the rich might have an opportunity of reading this fascinating book, Around the World in the Yacht Sunbeam. And now Lady Brassey found herself not only the accomplished and benevolent wife of a member of Parliament, but a famous author as well.

This year, July, 1881, the King of the Sandwich Islands, who had been greatly pleased with her description of his kingdom, was entertained at Normanhurst Castle, and invested Lady Brassey with the Order of Kapiolani.

The next trip made was to the far East, and a book followed in 1880, entitled, Sunshine and Storm in the East; or, Cruises to Cyprus and Constantinople, dedicated "to the brave, true-hearted sailors of England, of all ranks and services."

The book is intensely interesting. Now she describes the Sultan going to the mosque, which he does every Friday at twelve o'clock. "He appeared in a sort of undress uniform, with a flowing cloak over it, and with two or three large diamond stars on his breast. He was mounted on a superb white Arab charger, thirty-three years old, whose saddle-cloths and trappings blazed with gold and diamonds. The following of officers on foot was enormous; and then came two hundred of the fat blue and gold pashas, with their white horses and brilliant trappings, the rear being brought up by some troops and a few carriages.... Nobody dares address the Sultan, even if he speaks to them, except in monosyllables, with their foreheads almost touching the floor, the only exception being the grand vizier, who dares not look up, but stands almost bent double. He is entirely governed by his mother, who, having been a slave of the very lowest description, to whom his father, Mahmoud II., took a fancy as she was carrying wood to the bath, is naturally bigoted and ignorant.... The Sultan is not allowed to marry, but the slaves who become mothers of his children are called sultanas, and not allowed to do any more work. They have a separate suite of apartments, a retinue of servants, besides carriages and horses, and each hopes some day to be the mother of the future Sultan, and therefore the most prominent woman in Turkey. The sultanas may not sit at table with their own children, on account of their having been slaves, while the children are princes and princesses in right of their father."

Lady Brassey tells the amusing story of a visit of Eugenie to the Sultan's mother, when the Empress of the French saluted her on the cheek. The Turkish woman was furious, and said she had never been so insulted in her life. "She retired to bed at once, was bled, and had several Turkish baths, to purify her from the pollution. Fancy the Empress' feelings when, after having so far condescended as to kiss the old woman, born one of the lowest of slaves, she had her embrace received in such a manner."

The habits and customs of the people are described by Lady Brassey with all the interest of a novel. On their return home, "again the Battle bells rang out a merry peal of gladness; again everybody rushed out to welcome us. At home once again, the servants and the animals seemed equally glad to see us back; the former looked the picture of happiness, while the dogs jumped and barked; the horses and ponies neighed and whinnied; the monkeys chattered; the cockatoos and parrots screamed; the birds chirped; the bullfinches piped their little paean of welcome.... Our old Sussex cowman says that even the cows eat their food 'kind of kinder like' when the family are at home. The deer and the ostriches too, the swans and the call ducks, all came running to meet us, as we drove round the place to see them." Kindness to both man and beast bears its legitimate fruit.

Two years later she prepared the letter-press to Tahiti: a Series of Photographs, taken by Colonel Stuart Wortley. He also is a gentleman of much culture and noble work, in whose home we saw beautiful things gathered from many lands.

The last long trip of Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey was made in the fall of 1883, and resulted in a charming book, In the Trades, the Tropics, and the Roaring Forties, with about three hundred illustrations. The route lay through Madeira, Trinidad, Venezuela, the Bahamas, and home by way of the Azores. The resources of the various islands, their history, and their natural formation, are ably told, showing much study as well as intelligent observation. The maps and charts are also valuable. At Trinidad they visit the fine Botanic Gardens, and see bamboos, mangoes, peach-palms, and cocoa-plants, from whose seeds chocolate is made. The quantity exported annually is 13,000,000 pounds.

They also visit great coffee plantations. "The leaves of the coffee-shrub," says Lady Brassey, "are of a rich, dark, glossy green; the flowers, which grow in dense white clusters, when in full bloom, giving the bushes the appearance of being covered with snow. The berries vary in color from pale green to reddish orange or dark red, according to their ripeness, and bear a strong resemblance to cherries. Each contains two seeds, which, when properly dried, become what is known to us as 'raw' coffee."

At Caracas they view with interest the place which, on March 26, 1812, was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, twelve thousand persons perishing, thousands of whom were buried alive by the opening of the ground. They study the formation of coral-reefs, and witness the gathering of sponges in the Bahamas. "These are brought to the surface by hooked poles, or sometimes by diving. When first drawn from the water they are covered with a soft gelatinous substance, as black as tar and full of organic life, the sponge, as we know, being only the skeleton of the organism."

While all this travelling was being enjoyed, and made most useful as well, to hundreds of thousands of readers, Lady Brassey was not forgetting her works of philanthropy. For years she has been a leading spirit in the St. John's Ambulance Association. Last October she gave a valuable address to the members of the "Workingmen's Club and Institute Union," composed of several hundred societies of workingmen. Her desire was that each society take up the work of teaching its members how to care for the body in case of accidents. The association, now numbering over one hundred thousand persons, is an offshoot of the ancient order of St. John of Jerusalem, founded eight hundred years ago, to maintain a hospital for Christian pilgrims. She says: "The method of arresting bleeding from an artery is so easy that a child may learn it; yet thousands of lives have been lost through ignorance, the life-blood ebbing away in the presence of sorrowing spectators, perfectly helpless, because none among them had been taught one of the first rudiments of instruction of an ambulance pupil,--the application of an extemporized tourniquet. Again, how frequent is the loss of life by drowning; yet how few persons, comparatively, understand the way to treat properly the apparently drowned." Lectures are given by this association on, first, aid to the injured; also on the general management of the sick-room.

Lady Brassey, with the assistance of medical men, has held classes in all the outlying villages about her home, and has arranged that simple but useful medical appliances, like plasters, bandages, and the like, be kept at some convenient centres.

At Trindad, and Bahamas, and Bermudas, when they stayed there in their travels, she caused to be held large meetings among the most influential residents; also at Madeira and in the Azores. A class was organized on board the Sunbeam, and lectures were delivered by a physician. In the Shetland Islands she has also organized these societies, and thus many lives have been saved. When the soldiers went to the Soudan, she arranged for these helpful lectures to them on their voyage East, and among much other reading-matter which she obtained for them, sent them books and papers on this essential medical knowledge.

She carries on correspondence with India, Australia, and New Zealand, where ambulance associations have been formed. For her valued services she was elected in 1881 a Dame Chevaliere of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Her work among the poor in the East End of London is admirable. Too much of this cannot be done by those who are blessed with wealth and culture. She is also interested in all that helps to educate the people, as is shown by her Museum of Natural History and Ethnological Specimens, open for inspection in the School of Fine Art at Hastings. How valuable is such a life compared with one that uses its time and money for personal gratification alone.

In August, 1885, Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey took Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, and a few other friends, in the Sunbeam, up the coast of Norway. When they landed at Stavanger, a quaint, clean little town, she says, in the October Contemporary Review: "The reception which we met in this comparatively out-of-the-way place, where our visit had been totally unexpected, was very striking. From early morning little groups of townspeople had been hovering about the quays, trying to get a distant glimpse of the world-renowned statesman who was among our passengers." When they walked through the town, "every window and doorway was filled with on-lookers, several flags had been hoisted in honor of the occasion, and the church bells were set ringing. It was interesting and touching to see the ex-minister walking up the narrow street, his hat almost constantly raised in response to the salutations of the townspeople."

They sail up the fiords, they ride in stolkjoerres over the country, they climb mountains, they visit old churches, and they dine with the Prince of Wales on board the royal yacht Osborne. Before landing, Mr. Gladstone addresses the crew, thanking them that "the voyage has been made pleasant and safe by their high sense of duty, constant watchfulness, and arduous exertion." While he admires the "rare knowledge of practical seamanship of Sir Thomas Brassey," and thanks both him and his wife for their "genial and generous hospitality," he does not forget the sailors, for whom he "wishes health and happiness," and "prays that God may speed you in all you undertake." Lady Brassey is living a useful and noble as well as intellectual life. In London, Sir Thomas and herself recently gave a reception to over a thousand workingmen in the South Kensington Museum. Devoted to her family, she does not forget the best interests of her country, nor the welfare of those less fortunate than herself. Successful in authorship, she is equally successful in good works; loved at home and honored abroad.

* * * * *

Lady Brassey's last voyage was made in the yacht she loved: the Sunbeam. Three or four years before, her health had received a serious shock through an attack of typhoid fever, and it was hoped that travel would restore her. A trip was made in 1887 to Ceylon, Rangoon, North Borneo and Australia, in company with Lord Brassey, a son, and three daughters. While in mid-ocean, on their way to Mauritius, Lady Brassey died of malarial fever, and was buried at sea, September 14, 1887.


Baroness Burdett-Coutts.


We hear, with comparative frequency, of great gifts made by men: George Peabody and Johns Hopkins, Ezra Cornell and Matthew Vassar, Commodore Vanderbilt and Leland Stanford. But gifts of millions have been rare from women. Perhaps this is because they have not, as often as men, had the control of immense wealth.

It is estimated that Baroness Burdett-Coutts has already given away from fifteen to twenty million dollars, and is constantly dispensing her fortune. She is feeling, in her lifetime, the real joy of giving. How many benevolent persons lose all this joy, by waiting till death before they bestow their gifts.

This remarkable woman comes from a remarkable family. Her father, Sir Francis Burdett, was one of England's most prominent members of Parliament. So earnest and eloquent was he that Canning placed him "very nearly, if not quite, at the head of the orators of the day." His colleague from Westminster, Hobhouse, said, "Sir Francis Burdett was endowed with qualities rarely united. A manly understanding and a tender heart gave a charm to his society such as I have never derived in any other instance from a man whose principal pursuit was politics. He was the delight both of young and old."

He was of fine presence, with great command of language, natural, sincere, and impressive. After being educated at Oxford, he spent some time in Paris during the early part of the French Revolution, and came home with enlarged ideas of liberty. With as much courage as eloquence, he advocated liberty of the press in England, and many Parliamentary reforms. Whenever there were misdeeds to be exposed, he exposed them. The abuses of Cold Bath Fields and other prisons were corrected through his searching public inquiries.

When one of his friends was shut up in Newgate for impugning the conduct of the House of Commons, Sir Francis took his part, and for this it was ordered that he too be arrested. Believing in free speech as he did, he denied the right of the House of Commons to arrest him, and for nearly three days barricaded his house, till the police forcibly entered, and carried him to the Tower. A riot resulted, the people assaulting the police and the soldiers, for the statesman was extremely popular. Several persons were killed in the tumult.

Nine years later, in 1819, because he condemned the proceedings of the Lancashire magistrates in a massacre case, he was again arrested for libel (?). His sentence was three months' imprisonment, and a fine of five thousand dollars. The banknote with which the money was paid is still preserved in the Bank of England, "with an inscription in Burdett's own writing, that to save his life, which further imprisonment threatened to destroy, he submitted to be robbed."

For thirty years he represented Westminster, fearless in what he considered right; strenuous for the abolition of slavery, and in all other reforms. Napoleon said at St. Helena, if he had invaded England as he had intended, he would have made it a republic, with Sir Francis Burdett, the popular idol, at its head.

Wealthy himself, Sir Francis married Sophia, the youngest daughter of the wealthy London banker, Thomas Coutts. One son and five daughters were born to them, the youngest Angela Georgina (April 21, 1814), now the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Mr. Coutts was an eccentric and independent man, who married for his first wife an excellent girl of very humble position. Their children, from the great wealth of the father, married into the highest social rank, one being Marchioness of Bute, one countess of Guilford, and the third Lady Burdett.

When Thomas Coutts was eighty-four he married for the second time, a well-known actress, Harriet Mellon, who for seven years, till his death, took excellent care of him. He left her his whole fortune, amounting to several millions, feeling, perhaps, that he had provided sufficiently for his daughters at their marriage, by giving them a half-million each. But Harriet Mellon, with a fine sense of honor, felt that the fortune belonged to his children. Though she married five years later the Duke of St. Albans, twenty-four years old, about half her own age, at her death, in ten years, she left the whole property, some fifteen millions, to Mr. Coutts' granddaughter, Angela Burdett. Only one condition was imposed,--that the young lady should add the name of Coutts to her own.

Miss Angela Burdett-Coutts became, therefore, at twenty-three, the sole proprietor of the great Coutts banking-house, which position she held for thirty years, and the owner of an immense fortune. Very many young men manifested a desire to help care for the property, and to share it with her, but she seems from the first to have had but one definite life-purpose,--to spend her money for the good of the human race. She had her father's strength of character, was well educated, and was a friend of royalty itself. Alas, how many young women, with fifteen million dollars in hand, and the sum constantly increasing, would have preferred a life of display and self-aggrandizement rather than visiting the poor and the sorrowing!

Baroness Burdett-Coutts is now over seventy, and for fifty years her name has been one of the brightest and noblest in England, or, indeed, in the world. Crabb Robinson said, she is "the most generous, and delicately generous, person I ever knew."

Her charities have extended in every direction. Among her first good works was the building of two large churches, one at Carlisle, and another, St. Stephen's, at Westminster, the latter having also three schools and a parsonage. But Great Britain did not require all her gifts. Gospel work was needed in Australia, Africa, and British America. She therefore endowed three colonial bishoprics, at Adelaide, Cape Town, and in British Columbia, with a quarter of a million dollars. In South Australia she also provided an institution for the improvement of the aborigines, who were ignorant, and for whom the world seemed to care little.

She has generously aided her own sex. Feeling that sewing and other household work should be taught in the national schools, as from her labors among the poor she had seen how often food was badly cooked, and mothers were ignorant of sewing, she gave liberally to the government for this purpose. Her heart also went out to children in the remote districts, who were missing all school privileges, and for these she arranged a plan of "travelling teachers," which was heartily approved by the English authorities. Even now in these later years the Baroness may often be seen at the night-schools of London, offering prizes, or encouraging the young men and women in their desire to gain knowledge after the hard day's work is done. She has opened "Reformatory Homes" for girls, and great good has resulted.

Like Peabody, she has transformed some of the most degraded portions of London by her improved tenement houses for the poor. One place, called Nova Scotia gardens,--the term "gardens" was a misnomer,--she purchased, tore down the old rookeries where people slept and ate in filth and rags, and built tasteful homes for two hundred families, charging for them low and weekly rentals. Close by she built Columbia Market, costing over a million dollars, intended for the convenience of small dealers and people in that locality, where clean, healthful food could be procured. She opened a museum and reading-room for the neighborhood, and brought order and taste out of squalor and distress.

This building she presented to the city of London, and in acknowledgment of the munificent gift, the Common Council presented her, July, 1872, in a public ceremony, the freedom of the city, an uncommon honor to a woman. It was accompanied by a complimentary address, enclosed in a beautiful gold casket with several compartments. One bore the arms of the Baroness, while the other seven represented tableaux emblematic of her noble life, "Feeding the Hungry," "Giving Drink to the Thirsty," "Clothing the Naked," "Visiting the Captive," "Lodging the Homeless," "Visiting the Sick," and "Burying the Dead." The four cardinal virtues, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice, supported the box at the four corners, while the lid was surmounted by the arms of the city.

The Baroness made an able response to the address of the Council, instead of asking some gentleman to reply for her. Women who can do valuable benevolent work should be able to read their own reports, or say what they desire to say in public speech, without feeling that they have in the slightest degree departed from the dignity and delicacy of their womanhood.

Two years later, 1874, Edinburgh, for her many charities, also presented the Baroness the freedom of the city. Queen Victoria, three years before this, in June, 1871, had made her a peer of the realm.

In Spitalfields, London, where the poverty was very great, she started a sewing-school for adult women, and provided not only work for them, but food as well, so that they might earn for themselves rather than receive charity. To furnish this work, she took contracts from the government. From this school she sent out nurses among the sick, giving them medical supplies, and clothes for the deserving. When servants needed outfits, the Baroness provided them, aiding in all ways those who were willing to work. All this required much executive ability.

So interested is she in the welfare of poor children, that she has converted some of the very old burying-grounds of the city, where the bodies have long since gone back to dust, into playgrounds, with walks, and seats, and beds of flowers. Here the children can romp from morning till night, instead of living in the stifled air of the tenement houses. In old St. Pancras churchyard, now used as a playground, she has erected a sundial as a memorial to its illustrious dead.

Not alone does Lady Burdett-Coutts build churches, and help women and girls. She has fitted hundreds of boys for the Royal Navy; educated them on her training-ships. She usually tries them in a shoe-black brigade, and if they show a desire to be honest and trustworthy, she provides homes, either in the navy or in some good trade.

When men are out of work, she encourages them in various ways. When the East End weavers had become reduced to poverty by the decay of trade, she furnished funds for them to emigrate to Queensland, with their families. A large number went together, and formed a prosperous and happy colony, gratefully sending back thanks to their benefactor. They would have starved, or, what is more probable, gone into crime in London; now they were contented and satisfied in their new home.

When the inhabitants of Girvan, Scotland, were in distress, she advanced a large sum to take all the needy families to Australia. Here in America we talk every now and then of forming societies to help the poor to leave the cities and go West, and too often the matter ends in talk; while here is a woman who forms a society in and of herself, and sends the suffering to any part of the world, expecting no money return on the capital used. To see happy and contented homes grow from our expenditures is such an investment of capital as helps to bring on the millennium.

When the people near Skibbereen, Ireland, were in want, she sent food, and clothing, and fishing-tackle, to enable them to carry on their daily employment of fishing. She supplied the necessary funds for Sir Henry James' topographical survey of Jerusalem, in the endeavor to discover the remains of King Solomon's temple, and offered to restore the ancient aqueduct, to supply the city with water. Deeply interested in art, she has aided many struggling artists. Her homes also contain many valuable pictures.

The heart of the Baroness seems open to distress from every clime. In 1877, when word reached England of the suffering through war of the Bulgarian and Turkish peasantry, she instituted the "Compassion Fund," by which one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in money and stores were sent, and thousands of lives saved from starvation and death. For this generosity the Sultan conferred upon her the Order of Medjidie, the first woman, it is said, who has received this distinction.

In all this benevolence she has not overlooked the animal creation. She has erected four handsome drinking fountains: one in Victoria Park, one at the entrance to the Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park, one near Columbia Market, and one in the city of Manchester. At the opening of the latter, the citizens gave Lady Burdett-Coutts a most enthusiastic reception. To the unique and interesting home for lost dogs in London, she has contributed very largely. If the poor animals could speak, how would they thank her for a warm bed to lie on, and proper food to eat!

Her private gifts to the poor have been numberless. Her city house, I Stratton Street, Piccadilly, and her country home at Holly Lodge, Highgate, are both well known. When, in 1868, the great Reform procession passed her house, and she was at the window, though half out of sight, says a person who was present, "in one instant a shout was raised. For upwards of two hours and a half the air rang with the reiterated huzzas--huzzas unanimous and heart-felt, as if representing a national sentiment."

At Holly Lodge, which one passes in visiting the grave of George Eliot at Highgate Cemetery, the Baroness makes thousands of persons happy year by year. Now she invites two thousand Belgian volunteers to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales, with some five hundred royal and distinguished guests; now she throws open her beautiful gardens to hundreds of school-children, and lets them play at will under the oak and chestnut trees; and now she entertains at tea all her tenants, numbering about a thousand. So genial and considerate is she that all love her, both rich and poor. She has fine manners and an open, pleasant face.

For some years a young friend, about half her own age, Mr. William Ashmead-Bartlett, had assisted her in dispensing her charities, and in other financial matters. At one time he went to Turkey, at her request, using wisely the funds committed to his trust. Baroness Coutts had refused many offers of marriage, but she finally desired to bestow her hand upon this young but congenial man. On February 12, 1881, they were wedded in Christ Church, Piccadilly. Her husband took the name of Mr. Burdett-Coutts Bartlett, and has since become a capable member of Parliament. The marriage proved a happy one.

The final years of the Baroness' long, useful life were rather secluded, being spent at her London residence, or at her delightful country place near Highgate, where she formerly entertained largely.

On Christmas Eve, in 1906, she became ill of bronchitis, and though her wonderful vitality led her to revive somewhat, she finally succumbed on December 30, at the age of ninety-two. She was greatly beloved from the highest to the humblest citizens. Queen Alexandra sent repeated inquiries and messages. King Edward once said that he regarded the Baroness, after his mother, as the most remarkable woman in England. Her life was a link with the past, as it began during the reign of Emperor Napoleon I, and witnessed the reigns of five British sovereigns. Throughout it was spent in doing good.

Jean Ingelow.


The same friend who had given me Mrs. Browning's five volumes in blue and gold, came one day with a dainty volume just published by Roberts Brothers, of Boston. They had found a new poet, and one possessing a beautiful name. Possibly it was a nom de plume, for who had heard any real name so musical as that of Jean Ingelow?

I took the volume down by the quiet stream that flows below Amherst College, and day after day, under a grand old tree, read some of the most musical words, wedded to as pure thought as our century has produced.

The world was just beginning to know The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire. Eyes were dimming as they read,--

"I looked without, and lo! my sonne
Came riding downe with might and main:
He raised a shout as he drew on,
Till all the welkin rang again,
'Elizabeth! Elizabeth!'
(A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife Elizabeth.)

"'The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,
The rising tide comes on apace,
And boats adrift in yonder towne
Go sailing uppe the market-place.'
He shook as one who looks on death:
'God save you, mother!' straight he saith;
'Where is my wife, Elizabeth?'"

And then the waters laid her body at his very door, and the sweet voice that called, "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" was stilled forever.

The Songs of Seven soon became as household words, because they were a reflection of real life. Nobody ever pictured a child more exquisitely than the little seven-year-old, who, rich with the little knowledge that seems much to a child, looks down from superior heights upon

"The lambs that play always, they know no better;
They are only one times one."

So happy is she that she makes boon companions of the flowers:--

"O brave marshmary buds, rich and yellow,
Give me your honey to hold!

"O columbine, open your folded wrapper,
Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!
O cuckoopint, toll me the purple clapper
That hangs in your clear green bell!"

At "seven times two," who of us has not waited for the great heavy curtains of the future to be drawn aside?

"I wish and I wish that the spring would go faster,
Nor long summer bide so late;
And I could grow on, like the fox-glove and aster,
For some things are ill to wait."

At twenty-one the girl's heart flutters with expectancy:--

"I leaned out of window, I smelt the white clover,
Dark, dark was the garden, I saw not the gate;
Now, if there be footsteps, he comes, my one lover;
Hush nightingale, hush! O sweet nightingale wait
Till I listen and hear
If a step draweth near,
For my love he is late!"

At twenty-eight, the happy mother lives in a simple home, made beautiful by her children:--

"Heigho! daisies and buttercups!
Mother shall thread them a daisy chain."

At thirty-five a widow; at forty-two giving up her children to brighten other homes; at forty-nine, "Longing for Home."

"I had a nestful once of my own,
Ah, happy, happy I!
Right dearly I loved them, but when they were grown
They spread out their wings to fly.
O, one after another they flew away,
Far up to the heavenly blue,
To the better country, the upper day,
And--I wish I was going too."

The Songs of Seven will be read and treasured as long as there are women in the world to be loved, and men in the world to love them.

My especial favorite in the volume was the poem Divided. Never have I seen more exquisite kinship with nature, or more delicate and tender feeling. Where is there so beautiful a picture as this?

"An empty sky, a world of heather,
Purple of fox-glove, yellow of broom;
We two among them, wading together,
Shaking out honey, treading perfume.

"Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.
* * * * *
"We two walk till the purple dieth,
And short, dry grass under foot is brown;
But one little streak at a distance lieth
Green like a ribbon to prank the down.

"Over the grass we stepped into it,
And God He knoweth how blithe we were!
Never a voice to bid us eschew it;
Hey the green ribbon that showed so fair!
* * * * *
"A shady freshness, chafers whirring,
A little piping of leaf-hid birds;
A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,
A cloud to the eastward, snowy as curds.

"Bare, glassy slopes, where kids are tethered;
Round valleys like nests all ferny lined;
Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,
Swell high in their freckled robes behind.
* * * * *
"Glitters the dew and shines the river,
Up comes the lily and dries her bell;
But two are walking apart forever,
And wave their hands for a mute farewell.
* * * * *
"And yet I know past all doubting, truly--
And knowledge greater than grief can dim--
I know, as he loved, he will love me duly--
Yea, better--e'en better than I love him.

"And as I walk by the vast calm river,
The awful river so dread to see,
I say, 'Thy breadth and thy depth forever
Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me.'"

In what choice but simple language we are thus told that two loving hearts cannot be divided.

Years went by, and I was at last to see the author of the poems I had loved in girlhood. I had wondered how she looked, what was her manner, and what were her surroundings.

In Kensington, a suburb of London, in a two-story-and-a-half stone house, cream-colored, lives Jean Ingelow. Tasteful grounds are in front of the home, and in the rear a large lawn bordered with many flowers, and conservatories; a real English garden, soft as velvet, and fragrant as new-mown hay. The house is fit for a poet; roomy, cheerful, and filled with flowers. One end of the large, double parlors seemed a bank of azalias and honeysuckles, while great bunches of yellow primrose and blue forget-me-not were on the tables and in the bay-windows.

But most interesting of all was the poet herself, in middle life, with fine, womanly face, friendly manner, and cultivated mind. For an hour we talked of many things in both countries. Miss Ingelow showed great familiarity with American literature and with our national questions.

While everything about her indicated deep love for poetry, and a keen sense of the beautiful, her conversation, fluent and admirable, showed her to be eminently practical and sensible, without a touch of sentimentality. Her first work in life seems to be the making of her two brothers happy in the home. She usually spends her forenoons in writing. She does her literary work thoroughly, keeping her productions a long time before they are put into print. As she is never in robust health, she gives little time to society, and passes her winters in the South of France or Italy. A letter dated Feb. 25, from the Alps Maritime, at Cannes, says, "This lovely spot is full of flowers, birds, and butterflies." Who that recalls her Songs on the Voices of Birds, the blackbird, and the nightingale, will not appreciate her happiness with such surroundings?

With great fondness for, and pride in, her own country, she has the most kindly feelings toward America and her people. She says in the preface of her novel, Fated to be Free, concerning this work and Off the Skelligs, "I am told that they are peculiar; and I feel that they must be so, for most stories of human life are, or at least aim at being, works of art--selections of interesting portions of life, and fitting incidents put together and presented as a picture is; and I have not aimed at producing a work of art at all, but a piece of nature." And then she goes on to explain her position to "her American friends," for, she says, "I am sure you more than deserve of me some efforts to please you. I seldom have an opportunity of saying how truly I think so."

Jean Ingelow's life has been a quiet but busy and earnest one. She was born in the quaint old city of Boston, England, in 1830. Her father was a well-to-do banker; her mother a cultivated woman of Scotch descent, from Aberdeenshire. Jean grew to womanhood in the midst of eleven brothers and sisters, without the fate of struggle and poverty, so common among the great.

She writes to a friend concerning her childhood:--

"As a child, I was very happy at times, and generally wondering at something.... I was uncommonly like other children.... I remember seeing a star, and that my mother told me of God who lived up there and made the star. This was on a summer evening. It was my first hearing of God, and made a great impression on my mind. I remember better than anything that certain ecstatic sensations of joy used to get hold of me, and that I used to creep into corners to think out my thoughts by myself. I was, however, extremely timid, and easily overawed by fear. We had a lofty nursery with a bow-window that overlooked the river. My brother and I were constantly wondering at this river. The coming up of the tides, and the ships, and the jolly gangs of towers ragging them on with a monotonous song made a daily delight for us. The washing of the water, the sunshine upon it, and the reflections of the waves on our nursery ceiling supplied hours of talk to us, and days of pleasure. At this time, being three years old, ... I learned my letters.... I used to think a good deal, especially about the origin of things. People said often that they had been in this world, that house, that nursery, before I came. I thought everything must have begun when I did.... No doubt other children have such thoughts, but few remember them. Indeed, nothing is more remarkable among intelligent people than the recollections they retain of their early childhood. A few, as I do, remember it all. Many remember nothing whatever which occurred before they were five years old.... I have suffered much from a feeling of shyness and reserve, and I have not been able to do things by trying to do them. What comes to me comes of its own accord, and almost in spite of me; and I have hardly any power when verses are once written to make them any better.... There were no hardships in my youth, but care was bestowed on me and my brothers and sisters by a father and mother who were both cultivated people."

To another friend she writes: "I suppose I may take for granted that mine was the poetic temperament, and since there are no thrilling incidents to relate, you may think you should like to have my views as to what that means. I cannot tell you in an hour, or even in a day, for it means so much. I suppose it, of its absence or presence, to make far more difference between one person and another than any contrast of circumstances can do. The possessor does not have it for nothing. It isolates, particularly in childhood; it takes away some common blessings, but then it consoles for them all."

With this poetic temperament, that saw beauty in flower, and sky, and bird, that felt keenly all the sorrow and all the happiness of the world about her, that wrote of life rather than art, because to live rightly was the whole problem of human existence, with this poetic temperament, the girl grew to womanhood in the city bordering on the sea.

Boston, at the mouth of the Witham, was once a famous seaport, the rival of London in commercial prosperity, in the thirteenth century. It was the site of the famous monastery of St. Botolph, built by a pious monk in 657. The town which grew up around it was called Botolph's town, contracted finally to Boston. From this town Reverend John Cotton came to America, and gave the name to the capital of Massachusetts, in which he settled. The present famous old church of St. Botolph was founded in 1309, having a bell-tower three hundred feet high, which supports a lantern visible at sea for forty miles.

The surrounding country is made up largely of marshes reclaimed from the sea, which are called fens, and slightly elevated tracts of land called moors. Here Jean Ingelow studied the green meadows and the ever-changing ocean.

Her first book, A Rhyming Chronicle of Incidents and Feelings, was published in 1850, when she was twenty, and a novel, Allerton and Dreux, in 1851; nine years later her Tales of Orris. But her fame came at thirty-three, when her first full book of Poems was published in 1863. This was dedicated to a much loved brother, George K. Ingelow:--


The press everywhere gave flattering notices. A new singer had come; not one whose life had been spent in the study of Greek roots, simply, but one who had studied nature and humanity. She had a message to give the world, and she gave it well. It was a message of good cheer, of earnest purpose, of contentment and hope.

"What though unmarked the happy workman toil,
And break unthanked of man the stubborn clod?
It is enough, for sacred is the soil,
Dear are the hills of God.

"Far better in its place the lowliest bird
Should sing aright to him the lowliest song,
Than that a seraph strayed should take the word
And sing his glory wrong."

"But like a river, blest where'er it flows,
Be still receiving while it still bestows."
"That life
Goes best with those who take it best.
--it is well
For us to be as happy as we can!"

"Work is its own best earthly meed,
Else have we none more than the sea-born throng
Who wrought those marvellous isles that bloom afar."

The London press said: "Miss Ingelow's new volume exhibits abundant evidence that time, study, and devotion to her vocation have both elevated and welcomed the powers of the most gifted poetess we possess, now that Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Adelaide Proctor sing no more on earth. Lincolnshire has claims to be considered the Arcadia of England at present, having given birth to Mr. Tennyson and our present Lady Laureate."

The press of America was not less cordial. "Except Mrs. Browning, Jean Ingelow is first among the women whom the world calls poets," said the Independent.

The songs touched the popular heart, and some, set to music, were sung at numberless firesides. Who has not heard the Sailing beyond Seas?

"Methought the stars were blinking bright,
And the old brig's sails unfurled;
I said, 'I will sail to my love this night
At the other side of the world.'
I stepped aboard,--we sailed so fast,--
The sun shot up from the bourne;
But a dove that perched upon the mast
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.

O fair dove! O fond dove!
And dove with the white breast,
Let me alone, the dream is my own,
And my heart is full of rest.

"My love! He stood at my right hand,
His eyes were grave and sweet.
Methought he said, 'In this fair land,
O, is it thus we meet?
Ah, maid most dear, I am not here;
I have no place,--no part,--
No dwelling more by sea or shore!
But only in thy heart!'

O fair dove! O fond dove!
Till night rose over the bourne,
The dove on the mast as we sailed past,
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn."

Edmund Clarence Stedman, one of the ablest and fairest among American critics, says: "As the voice of Mrs. Browning grew silent, the songs of Miss Ingelow began, and had instant and merited popularity. They sprang up suddenly and tunefully as skylarks from the daisy-spangled, hawthorn-bordered meadows of old England, with a blitheness long unknown, and in their idyllic underflights moved with the tenderest currents of human life. Miss Ingelow may be termed an idyllic lyrist, her lyrical pieces having always much idyllic beauty. High Tide, Winstanley, Songs of Seven, and the Long White Seam are lyrical treasures, and the author especially may be said to evince that sincerity which is poetry's most enduring warrant."

Winstanley is especially full of pathos and action. We watch this heroic man as he builds the lighthouse on the Eddystone rocks:--

"Then he and the sea began their strife,
And worked with power and might:
Whatever the man reared up by day
The sea broke down by night.
* * * * *
"A Scottish schooner made the port
The thirteenth day at e'en:
'As I am a man,' the captain cried,
'A strange sight I have seen;

"'And a strange sound heard, my masters all,
At sea, in the fog and the rain,
Like shipwrights' hammers tapping low,
Then loud, then low again.

"'And a stately house one instant showed,
Through a rift, on the vessel's lea;
What manner of creatures may be those
That build upon the sea?'"

After the lighthouse was built, Winstanley went out again to see his precious tower. A fearful storm came up, and the tower and its builder went down together.

Several books have come from Miss Ingelow's pen since 1863. The following year, Studies for Stories was published, of which the Athenaeum said, "They are prose poems, carefully meditated, and exquisitely touched in by a teacher ready to sympathize with every joy and sorrow." The five stories are told in simple and clear language, and without slang, to which she heartily objects. For one so rich in imagination as Miss Ingelow, her prose is singularly free from obscurity and florid language.

Stories told to a Child was published in 1865, and A Story of Doom, and Other Poems, in 1868, the principal poem being drawn from the time of the Deluge. Mopsa the Fairy, an exquisite story, followed a year later, with A Sister's Bye-hours, and since that time, Off the Skelligs in 1872, Fated to be Free in 1875, Sarah de Berenger in 1879, Don John in 1881, and Poems of the Old Days and the New, recently issued. Of the latter, the poet Stoddard says: "Beyond all the women of the Victorian era, she is the most of an Elizabethan.... She has tracked the ocean journeyings of Drake, Raleigh, and Frobisher, and others to whom the Spanish main was a second home, the El Dorado of which Columbus and his followers dreamed in their stormy slumbers.... The first of her poems in this volume, Rosamund, is a masterly battle idyl."

Her books have had large sale, both here and in Europe. It is stated that in this country one hundred thousand of her Poems have been sold, and half that number of her prose works.

Miss Ingelow has not been elated by her deserved success. She has told the world very little of herself in her books. She once wrote a friend: "I am far from agreeing with you 'that it is rather too bad when we read people's works, if they won't let us know anything about themselves.' I consider that an author should, during life, be as much as possible, impersonal. I never import myself into my writings, and am much better pleased that others should feel an interest in me, and wish to know something of me, than that they should complain of egotism."

It is said that the last of her Songs with Preludes refers to a brother who lies buried in Australia:--

"I stand on the bridge where last we stood
When delicate leaves were young;
The children called us from yonder wood,
While a mated blackbird sung.
* * * * *
"But if all loved, as the few can love,
This world would seldom be well;
And who need wish, if he dwells above,
For a deep, a long death-knell?

"There are four or five, who, passing this place,
While they live will name me yet;
And when I am gone will think on my face,
And feel a kind of regret."

With all her literary work, she does not forget to do good personally. At one time she instituted a "copyright dinner," at her own expense, which she thus described to a friend: "I have set up a dinner-table for the sick poor, or rather, for such persons as are just out of the hospitals, and are hungry, and yet not strong enough to work. We have about twelve to dinner three times a week, and hope to continue the plan. It is such a comfort to see the good it does. I find it one of the great pleasures of writing, that it gives me more command of money for such purposes than falls to the lot of most women." Again, she writes to an American friend: "I should be much obliged to you if you would give in my name twenty-five dollars to some charity in Boston. I should prefer such a one as does not belong to any party in particular, such as a city infirmary or orphan school. I do not like to draw money from your country, and give none in charity."

Miss Ingelow is very fond of children, and herein is, perhaps, one secret of her success. In Off the Skelligs she says: "Some people appear to feel that they are much wiser, much nearer to the truth and to realities, than they were when they were children. They think of childhood as immeasurably beneath and behind them. I have never been able to join in such a notion. It often seems to me that we lose quite as much as we gain by our lengthened sojourn here. I should not at all wonder if the thoughts of our childhood, when we look back on it after the rending of this vail of our humanity, should prove less unlike what we were intended to derive from the teaching of life, nature, and revelation, than the thoughts of our more sophisticated days."

Best of all, this true woman and true poet as well, like Emerson, sees and believes in the progress of the race.

"Still humanity grows dearer,
Being learned the more,"

she says, in that tender poem, A Mother showing the Portrait of her Child. Blessed optimism! that amid all the shortcomings of human nature sees the best, lifts souls upward, and helps to make the world sunny by its singing.

* * * * *

Jean Ingelow died at her home in Kensington, London, July 19, 1897, at the age of sixty-seven, having been born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1830. Her long illness ended in simple exhaustion, and she welcomed death gladly.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
by Sarah Knowles Bolton


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