The Forerunner, Volume 1 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

THE FORERUNNER, A MONTHLY MAGAZINE by CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN VOLUME ONE, November 1909-December 1910 (14 issues) CONTENTS Volume 1 No. 1 November 1909 Then This (poem) A Small God And a Large Goddess (essay) Arrears (poem) Three Thanksgivings (story) How Doth The Hat (poem) Introducing the World, the Flesh And the Devil (sketch) What Diantha
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  • 1909-1910
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VOLUME ONE, November 1909-December 1910 (14 issues)


Volume 1 No. 1
November 1909

Then This (poem)
A Small God And a Large Goddess (essay) Arrears (poem)
Three Thanksgivings (story)
How Doth The Hat (poem)
Introducing the World, the Flesh And the Devil (sketch) What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
Where the Heart Is (sketch)
Thanksgiving (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment And Review
Personal Problems
Thanksong (poem)
Advertisements: Lowney’s, Fels-Naptha Soap, Holeproof Hoisery, Moore’s Fountain Pen, The Forerunner, A Toilet Preparation, Calendula

Volume 1 No. 2
December 1909

Love (poem)
According To Solomon (story)
An Obvious Blessing (essay)
Steps (poem)
Why We Honestly Fear Socialism (essay) Child Labor (poem)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
The Poor Relation (sketch)
His Crutches (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment And Review
Personal Problems
Get Your Work Done (poem)
Advertisements: Lowney’s, Soapine, Woman’s Era, The Forerunner, Calendula

Volume 1 No. 3
January 1910

A Central Sun, a song (poem)
Reasonable Resolutions (essay)
Her Housekeeper (story)
Locked Inside (poem)
Private Morality And Pulic Immorality (essay) “With God Above” (poem)
The Humanness Of Women (essay)
Here Is The Earth (poem)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
The “Anti” And The Fly (poem)
The Barrel (sketch)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Play-Time: The Melancholy Rabbit (poem) Advertisements: The Forerunner, Confidential Remarks About Our Advertising, Things we wish to Advertise, Calendula

Volume 1 No. 4
February 1910

Two Prayers (poem)
An Offender (story)
Before Warm February Winds (poem)
Kitchen-Mindedness (esssay)
Two Storks (sketch)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
Little Leafy Brothers (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Play-Time: A Walk Walk Walk (poem)
Ode To a Fool (poem)

Volume 1 No. 5
March 1910

The Sands (poem)
A Middle-Sized Artist (story)
The Minor Birds (poem)
Parlor-Mindedness (essay)
Naughty (sketch)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Water-Lure (poem)
Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Play-Time: Aunt Eliza (poem)
The Cripple (poem)

Volume 1 No. 6
April 1910

When Thou Gainest Happiness (poem)
Martha’s Mother (story)
For Fear (poem)
Nursery-Mindedness (essay)
A Village Of Fools (sketch)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
“I gave myself to God” (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) His Agony (poem)
Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Advertisements: The Forerunner, A Summer Cottage

Volume 1 No. 7
May 1910

Brain Service (poem)
When I Was A Witch (story)
Quotation: Eugene Wood
Believing And Knowing (essay)
The Kingdom (poem)
Heaven Forbid! (poem)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
The House of Apples (sketch)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Suffrage (editorial)
Advertisements: The Forerunner, A Summer Cottage

Volume 1 No. 8
June 1910

The Puritan (poem)
Making a Living (story)
Ten Suggestions (essay)
The Malingerer (poem)
Genius, Domestic and Maternal, part I (essay) Prisoners (sketch)
May Leaves (poem)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
The Room At The Top (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Advertisement: The Forerunner

Volume 1 No. 9
July 1910

The Bawling World (poem)
A Coincidence (story)
Shares (poem)
Genius, Domestic and Maternal, part II (essay) Improved Methods of Habit Culture (essay) O Faithful Clay! (poem)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
We Eat At Home (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Only an Hour (sketch)
Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Advertisements: Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Forerunner

Volume 1 No. 10
August 1910

The Earth’s Entail (poem)
The Cottagette (story)
Wholesale Hypnotism (essay)
“Sit up and think!” (poem)
The Kitchen Fly (essay)
Alas! (poem)
Her Pets (sketch)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
“The Outer Reef!” (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) Comment and Review
Personal Problems
The Editor’s Problem (editorial)
Advertisements: Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Forerunner

Volume 1 No. 11
September 1910

To-morrow Night (poem)
Mr. Robert Grey Sr. (story)
What Virtues Are Made Of (essay)
Animals In Cities (essay)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
The Waiting-Room (poem)
While the King Slept (sketch)
The Housewife (poem)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) The Beauty Women Have Lost (essay)
Comment and Review
Personal Problems
The Editor’s Problem (editorial)
From Letters Of Subscribers
Advertisements: Some Of Our Exchanges, Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Forerunner

Volume 1 No. 12
October 1910

Only Mine (poem)
The Boys and the Butter (story)
A Question (poem)
Is It Wrong To Take Life? (essay)
The World and the Three Artists (sketch) In How Little Time (poem)
Woman and the State (essay)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) The Socialist and the Suffragist (poem)
Comment and Review
Personal Problems
Our Bound Volume As A Christmas Present (editorial) To Those Specially Interested… (editorial) If You Renew (editorial)
If You Discontinue (editorial)
Advertisements: The Woman’s Journal, Some Of Our Exchanges, Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Crux

Volume 1 No. 13
November 1910

Worship (poem)
My Astonishing Dodo (story)
Why Texts? (essay)
The Little White Animals (poem)
Women Teachers, Married and Unmarried (essay) What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
The Good Man (sketch)
Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) A Frequent Question (sketch)
Boys Will Be Boys (poem)
Many Windows (poem)
Comment and Review
From Letters Of Subscribers
A Friendly Response (editorial)
Our Bound Volume As A Christmas Present (editorial) To Those Specially Interested… (editorial) If You Renew (editorial)
If You Discontinue (editorial)
Advertisements: The Woman’s Journal, Some Of Our Exchanges, Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Crux

Volume 1 No. 14
December 1910

In As Much (poem)
A Word In Season (story)
Christmas Love (essay)
What Diantha Did (serial fiction)
Our Overworked Instincts (essay)
Love’s Highest (poem)
The Permanent Child (sketch)
The New Motherhood (essay)
How We Waste Three-Fourths Of Our Money (essay) Our Androcentric Culture; or, The Man-Made World (serial non-fiction) The Nun In The Kitchen (essay)
Letters From Subscribers (editorial) Comment and Review
Advertisements: Success Magazine, The Co-Operative Press, Woman and Socialism, The Woman’s Journal, Some Of Our Exchanges From Letters of Forerunner Subscribers
Advertisements: Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Crux



Our Androcentric Culture, or The Man-Made World, non-fiction (1:1 – 1:14) What Diantha Did, novel (1:1 – 1:14)
Comment and Review (1:1 – 1:14)
Personal Problems (1:1 – 1:12)
Play-Time (1:3 – 1:5)


According To Solomon (1:2)
The Boys and the Butter (1:12)
A Coincidence (1:9)
The Cottagette (1:10)
Her Housekeeper (1:3)
Making a Living (1:8)
Martha’s Mother (1:6)
A Middle-Sized Artist (1:5)
Mr. Robert Grey Sr. (1:11)
My Astonishing Dodo (1:13)
An Offender (1:4)
Three Thanksgivings (1:1)
When I Was A Witch (1:7)
A Word In Season (1:14)


Animals In Cities (1:11)
The Barrel (1:3)
The Beauty Women Have Lost (1:11)
Believing And Knowing (1:7)
Christmas Love (1:14)
A Frequent Question (1:13)
Genius, Domestic and Maternal (1:8, 1:9) The Good Man (1:13)
Her Pets (1:10)
The House of Apples (1:7)
How We Waste Three-Fourths Of Our Money (1:14) The Humanness Of Women (1:3)
Improved Methods of Habit Culture (1:9) Introducing the World, the Flesh And the Devil (1:1) Is It Wrong To Take Life? (1:12)
The Kitchen Fly (1:10)
Kitchen-Mindedness (1:4)
Naughty (1:5)
The New Motherhood (1:14)
The Nun In The Kitchen (1:14)
Nursery-Mindedness (1:6)
An Obvious Blessing (1:2)
Only an Hour (1:9)
Our Overworked Instincts (1:14)
Parlor-Mindedness (1:5)
The Permanent Child (1:14)
The Poor Relation (1:2)
Prisoners (1:8)
Private Morality And Pulic Immorality (1:3) Reasonable Resolutions (1:3)
A Small God And a Large Goddess (1:1) Ten Suggestions (1:8)
A Village Of Fools (1:6)
What Virtues Are Made Of (1:11)
Where the Heart Is (1:1)
Wholesale Hypnotism (1:10)
While the King Slept (1:11)
Why Texts? (1:13)
Why We Honestly Fear Socialism (1:2) Woman and the State (1:12)
Women Teachers, Married and Unmarried (1:13) The World and the Three Artists (1:12)


Alas! (1:10)
The “Anti” And The Fly (1:3)
Arrears (1:1)
Aunt Eliza (1:5)
The Bawling World, a sestina (1:9)
Before Warm February Winds (1:4)
Boys Will Be Boys (1:13)
Brain Service (1:7)
A Central Sun, a song (1:3)
Child Labor (1:2)
The Cripple (1:5)
The Earth’s Entail (1:10)
For Fear (1:6)
Get Your Work Done (1:2)
Heaven Forbid! (1:7)
His Agony (1:6)
His Crutches (1:2)
Here Is The Earth (1:3)
The Housewife (1:11)
How Doth The Hat (1:1)
“I gave myself to God” (1:6)
In As Much (1:14)
In How Little Time (1:12)
The Kingdom (1:7)
Little Leafy Brothers (1:4)
The Little White Animals (1:13)
Locked Inside (1:3)
Love (1:2)
Love’s Highest (1:14)
The Malingerer (1:8)
Many Windows (1:13)
May Leaves (1:8)
The Melancholy Rabbit (1:3)
The Minor Birds (1:5)
O Faithful Clay! (1:9)
Ode To a Fool (1:4)
Only Mine (1:12)
“The Outer Reef!” (1:10)
Play-Time: Aunt Eliza (1:5)
Play-Time: The Melancholy Rabbit (1:3) Play-Time: A Walk Walk Walk (1:4)
The Puritan (1:8)
A Question (1:12)
The Room At The Top (1:8)
The Sands (1:5)
Shares (1:9)
“Sit up and think!” (1:10)
The Socialist and the Suffragist (1:12) Steps (1:2)
Thanksgiving (1:1)
Thanksong (1:1)
Then This (1:1)
To-morrow Night (1:11)
Two Prayers (1:4)
The Waiting-Room (1:11)
A Walk Walk Walk (1:5)
Water-Lure (1:5)
We Eat At Home (1:9)
When Thou Gainest Happiness (1:6)
“With God Above” (1:3)
Worship (1:13)


Editorial: The Editor’s Problem (1:10, 1:11) Editorial: A Friendly Response (1:13)
Editorial: If You Discontinue (1:12, 1:13) Editorial: If You Renew (1:12, 1:13)
Editorial: Letters From Subscribers (1:14) Editorial: Our Bound Volume As A Christmas Present (1:12, 1:13) Editorial: Suffrage (1:7)
Editorial: To Those Specially Interested… (1:12, 1:13) Erratum (1:5)
From Letters Of Subscribers (1:11, 1:13, 1:14) Masthead tags (1:1, 1:3 – 1:7)
Quotation: Eugene Wood (1:7)
Advertisement: Books by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1:9 – 1:14) Advertisement: Calendula (1:1 – 1:3)
Advertisement: Confidential Remarks About Our Advertising (1:3) Advertisement: The Co-Operative Press (1:14) Advertisement: The Crux (1:12 – 1:14)
Advertisement: Fels-Naptha Soap (1:1) Advertisement: The Forerunner (1:1 – 1:3, 1:6 – 1:11) Advertisement: Holeproof Hoisery (1:1)
Advertisement: Lowney’s (1:1: 1:2)
Advertisement: Moore’s Fountain Pen (1:1) Advertisement: Soapine (1:2)
Advertisement: Some Of Our Exchanges (1:11 – 1:14) Advertisement: Success Magazine (1:14)
Advertisement: A Summer Cottage (1:6, 1:7) Advertisement: Things we wish to Advertise (1:3) Advertisement: A Toilet Preparation (1:1) Advertisement: Woman’s Era (1:2)
Advertisement: Woman and Socialism (1:14) Advertisement: The Woman’s Journal (1:12 – 1:14)


“The American Magazine”, illustrations (1:1) Jessie H. Childs, “The Sea of Matrimony” (1:3) Stanton Coit, “Woman in Church and State” (1:9) “The Common Cause,” magazine (1:11)
Lavinia L. Dock, “Hygiene and Morality” (1:13) “The Englishwoman,” magazine (1:10)
“The Ethical World”, magazine (1:9) Cicely Hamilton, “Marriage as a Trade” (1:13) Alexander Irvine, “From The Bottom Up” (1:11) Mary Jonston, “The Wise Housekeeper” (1:13) Ellen Key, “The Century of the Child” (1:14) Ingraham Lovell, “Margharita’s Soul” (1:2) “Philemon’s Verses” (author unknown) (1:5) Sarah Harvey Porter, “The Life and Times of Anne Royall” (1:2) “The Progressive Woman,” magazine (1:11) Gerald Stanley Lee, “Inspired Millionaires” (1:7) Prince Morrow, “Social Diseases and Marriage” (1:6) Meredith Nicholson, “The Lords of High Decision” (1:5) William Robinson, “Never Told Tales” (1:6) Thomas W. Salmon, “Two Preventable Causes of Insanity” (1:10) Nancy Musselman Schoonmaker, “The Eternal Fires” (1:9) Molly Elliot Sewell, “The Ladies’ Battle” (1:14) Ida Tarbell, “The American Woman” (1:8)
“To-day’s Problems,” various authors (1:13) “The Union Labor Advocate,” magazine (1:11) “Votes for Women,” magazine (1:11)
Lester F. Ward, “Pure Sociology” (1:12) H. G. Wells, “Ann Veronica” (1:3)
Harvey White, “A Ship Of Souls” (1:12) “The Woman’s Journal” (1:3, 1:10)






1.00 A YEAR
.10 A COPY

Volume 1. No. 1
The Charlton Company, 67 Wall Street, New York Copyright for 1909, C. P. Gilman

Said the New Minister: “I shall not give you a text this morning. If you listen closely, you will discover what the sermon is about by what I say.”


The news-stands bloom with magazines, They flame, they blaze indeed;
So bright the cover-colors glow,
So clear the startling stories show, So vivid their pictorial scenes,
That he who runs may read.

Then This: It strives in prose and verse, Thought, fancy, fact and fun,
To tell the things we ought to know, To point the way we ought to go,
So audibly to bless and curse,
That he who reads may run.


The ancient iconoclast pursued his idol-smashing with an ax. He did not regard the feelings of the worshippers, and they, with similar indifference to his, promptly destroyed him.

The modern iconoclast, wiser from long experience, practices the kindergarten art of substitution; enters without noise, and dexterously replaces the old image with a new one.

Often the worshippers do not notice the change. They never spend their time in discriminating study of their idol, being exclusively occupied in worshipping it.

The task herein undertaken is not so easy. We can hardly expect to remove the particular pet deity of millions of people for thousands of years–an especially conspicuous little image at that, differing from other gods and goddesses; and substitute another figure, three times his size, of the opposite sex, and thirty years older–without somebody’s noticing it.

Yet this is precisely what is required of us, by the new knowledge of to-day. We are called upon to dislodge what is easily the most popular god in the calendar, albeit the littlest; that fat fluttering small boy, congenitally blind, with his haphazard archery playthings; that undignified conception, type of folly change and irresponsible mischief, which so amazingly usurps the name and place of love. Never was there a more absurd misrepresentation.

Suppose we worshipped Fire, the great sun for our over-lord, all lesser lights in varying majesty, each hearth-fire as the genius and guardian of the home. So worshipping, suppose we chose, as ever present image of the great idea, to be pictured and sculptured far and wide, to fill all literature, to be accepted even by science as type and symbol of the Fire Divine–a match-box!

So slight, so transient, so comparatively negligible in importance, is the flickering chance-sown spark typified in this pretty chimera of flying immaturity, compared with the majestic quenchless flame of life and love we ought to worship.

We have taken the assistant for the principal, a tributary for the main stream; we have exalted Eros, the god of man’s desire, and paid no heed to that great goddess of mother love to whom young Eros is but a running footman.

We are right to worship love, in all its wide, diverging branches; the love that is gratitude, love that is sympathy. love that is admiration, love that is gift and service; even the love that is but hunger–mere desire.

But when we talk of the Life Force, the strong stream of physical immortality, which has replaced form with form and kept the stream unbroken through the ages, we ought to understand whereof we speak.

That force is predominant. Under its ceaseless, upward pressure have all creatures risen from the first beginning. Resistlessly it pushes through the ages; stronger than pain or fear or anger, stronger than selfishness or pride, stronger than death. It rises like a mighty tree, branching and spreading through the changing seasons.

Death gnaws at it in vain. Death destroys the individual, not the race; death plucks the leaves, the tree lives on. That tree is motherhood.

The life process replaces one generation with another, each equal to, yes, if possible, superior to, the last. This mighty process has enlarged and improved throughout the ages, until it has grown from a mere division of the cell–its first step still–to the whole range of education by which the generations are replenished socially as well as physically. From that vague impulse which sets afloat a myriad oyster germs, to the long patience of a brooding bird; from the sun-warmed eggs of a reptile to the nursed and guarded young of the higher mammals; so runs the process and the power through lengthening years of love and service, lives by service, grows with service. The longer the period of infancy, the greater the improvement of species.

The fish or insect, rapidly matured, reaches an early limit. He must be competent to Iive as soon as he begins, and is no more competent at his early ending. The higher life form, less perfect at beginning, spending more time dependent on its mother, receives from her more power. First from her body’s shelter, the full, long upbuilding; safety while she is safe; the circling guard of wise, mature, strong life, of conscious care, besides the unconscious bulwark of self-interest. Contrast this with the floating chances of the spawn!

Then the rich, sure food of mother-milk, the absolute adaptation, the whole great living creature an alembic to gather from without, and distil to sweet perfection, what the child needs. Contrast this with the chances of new-born fish or fly, or even those of the bird baby, whose mother must search wide for the food she brings. The mammal has it with her.

Then comes the highest stage of all, where the psychic gain of the race is transmitted to the child as well as the physical. This last and noblest step in the life process we call education. education is differentiated motherhood. It is social motherhood. It is the application to the replenishment and development of the race of the same great force of ever-growing life which made the mother’s milk.

Here are the three governing laws of life: To Be; To Re-Be; To Be Better. The life force demands Existence. And we strain every nerve to keep ourselves alive. The life force demands Reproduction. And our physical machinery is shifted and rearranged repeatedly, with arrayed impulses to suit–to keep the race alive. Then, most imperative of all, the life force demands Improvement. And all creation groaneth and travaileth in this one vast endeavor. Not merely this thing–permanently; not merely more of this thing–continuously; but better things, ever better and better types, has been the demand of life upon us, and we have fulfilled it.

Under this last and highest law, as the main factor in securing to the race its due improvement, comes that supreme officer of the life process, the Mother. Her functions are complex, subtle, powerful, of measureless value.

Her first duty is to grow nobly for her mighty purpose. Her next is to select, with inexorable high standard, the fit assistant for her work. The third–to fitly bear, bring forth, and nurse the child. Following these, last and highest of all, comes our great race-process of social parentage, which transmits to each new generation the gathered knowledge, the accumulated advantages of the past.

When mother and father labor and save for years to give their children the “advantages” of civilization; when a whole state taxes itself to teach its children; that is the Life Force even more than the direct impulse of personal passion. The pressure of progress, the resistless demand of better conditions for our children, is life’s largest imperative, the fullest expression of motherhood.

But even if we confine ourselves for the time being to the plane of mere replenishment, to that general law under which animals continue in existence upon earth, even here the brief period of pre-paternal excitement is but a passing hour compared to the weeks and months, yes, years, in the higher species, of maternal service, love and care. The human father, too, toils for his family; but the love, the power, the pride of fatherhood are not symbolized by the mischievous butterfly baby we have elected to worship.

Cupid has nothing to do with either motherhood or fatherhood in the large human sense. His range is far short of the mark, he suggests nothing of the great work to which he is but the pleasing preliminary. Even for marriage we must bring in another god little heard of–Master Hymen. This personage has made but small impression upon literature and art; we have concentrated our interest on the God of First Sensation, leaving none for ultimate results.

It is as if we were impressed by the intricate and indispensible process of nutrition (upon which, as anyone can see, all life continuously depends) and then had fixed our attention upon the palate, as chief functionary. The palate is useful, even necessary. Without that eager guide and servant we might be indifferent to the duty of eating, or might eat what was useless or injurious, or at best eat mechanically and without pleasure.

In the admirable economy of nature we are led to perform necessary acts by the pleasure which accompanies them; so the “pleasures of the palate” rightly precede the uses of the stomach; but we should not mistake them for the chief end. In point of fact, this is precisely what we have done. It not an analogy, it is a real truth. In nutrition as in reproduction we have been quite taken up with accompaniments and assistants, and have ignored the real business in hand. That is why the whole world is so unwisely fed. It considers only the taste of things, the pleasure of eating them, and ignores the real necessities of the process.

And why, if this standard of doorstep satisfaction does not really measure values in food, should we continue to set the same standard for the mighty work of love? Love is mighty, but little Master Cupid is not Love. The love that warms and lights and builds the world is Motherlove. It is aided and paralleled by Fatherlove (that new development distinctive of our race, that ennobling of the father by his taking up so large a share of what was once all motherwork).

But why, so recognizing and reverencing this august Power, why should we any longer be content to accept as its symbol this godlet of transient sensation? No man who has ever loved a woman fully, as only human beings can love, through years of mutual care and labor, through sickness, age, and death, can honestly accept, as type of that long, strong, enduring Love, this small blind fly-by-night.

There is, unquestionably, a stage of feeling which he fitly represents. There is an inflammable emotionality in youth and its dreary continuance into middle life, when as the farcial old governor in the play exclaims, “Every day is ladies’ day to me.” Such a state of mind–or body, rather–is common enough, harmless enough, perhaps, for a few light, ineffectual years; but it is a poor compliment to call it Love, to let this state of shuffling indecision, this weather-cock period, this blindfold chance-shot game of hit or miss, hold such high place in our hearts.

The explanation of it all is plain. In those slow, ignorant ages when the spark of life was supposed to be transmitted by the male, he naturally was taken to typify the life force. As this force was most imperious in youth, so youth was taken to represent it. And as, even in the eyes of the supposed chief actor, his feelings were changeable and fleeting and his behavior erratic and foolish in the extreme–therefore Cupid!

Therefore, seeing the continuous unreason of the love-driven male, we say, “Love is blind”; seeing his light-mindedness, we say, “Love has wings”; seeing his evident lack of intelligence and purpose, we make him a mere child; seeing the evil results of his wide license, we euphemistically indicate some pain by that bunch of baby arrows.

It is easy to see the origin of this deification of the doorstep. It is not so easy to justify its persistence now that long years of knowledge show us the great Door.

The Door of Life is Motherhood. She is the gate of entrance. Her work is the great work as moulder and builder. She carries in her the Life Power which this absurd infant is supposed to typify; and her love is greater than his, even as a wise, strong mother is greater than a little child.

Consider the imperative law that demands motherhood, that gives motherhood, that holds motherhood to its great continuing task; where short pleasure is followed by long discomfort crowned with pain; where even the rich achievement of new-made life is but the beginning of years of labor and care. Here is the life force. Here is power and passion. Not the irritable, transient impulse, however mighty, but the staying power, the passion that endures, the spirit which masters weakness, slays selfishness, holds its ministrant to a lifelong task.

This is not appetite, hunger, desire. Desire may lead to it, and usefully. Desire is the torchbearer, Motherhood is the Way.

Give Baby Love his due. He is not evil; he is good. He is a joy forever. He is vitally necessary in the scheme of things. Happy are they who in the real great work of life can carry with them this angel visitant, fluttering free along their path, now close and sweet, now smiling mischievously at a distance, yet returning ever.

But with all that can be said of him he is out of place as chief deity in this high temple. Let a little shrine be made at the gate outside the door. Let him smile there and take his tribute of red roses. But when we put the shoes from off our feet and enter, we should see before us, tall and grave, glorious in strong beauty, majestic in her amplitude of power, the Goddess Motherhood.

Such love should shine from her deep eyes that children would crowd to that temple and feel at home; learning to understand a little of what had brought them there. Such beauty in this body of great womanhood that men would worship as for long they have worshipped her of Melos. Such high pride that girls, gazing, would feel strong to meet and bear their splendid task. And such power–such living, overmastering power that man, woman and child alike should bow in honor and rise in strength.

Then will Love be truly worshipped.


Our gratitude goes up in smoke,
In incense smoke of prayer;
We thank the Underlying Love,
The Overarching Care–
We do not thank the living men
Who make our lives so fair.

For long insolvent centuries
We have been clothed and fed,
By the spared captive, spared for once, By inches slain instead;
He gave his service and is gone;
Unthanked, unpaid, and dead.

His labor built the world we love;
Our highest flights to-day
Rest on the service of the past,
Which we can never pay;
A long repudiated debt
Blackens our upward way.

Our fingers owed his fathers dead–
Disgrace beyond repair!
No late remorse, no new-found shame Can save our honor there:
But we can now begin to pay
The starved and stunted heir!

We thank the Power above for all–
Gladly we do, and should.
But might we not save out a part
Of our large gratitude,
And give it to the power on earth– Where it will do some good?


Andrew’s letter and Jean’s letter were in Mrs. Morrison’s lap. She had read them both, and sat looking at them with a varying sort of smile, now motherly and now unmotherly.

“You belong with me,” Andrew wrote. “It is not right that Jean’s husband should support my mother. I can do it easily now. You shall have a good room and every comfort. The old house will let for enough to give you quite a little income of your own, or it can be sold and I will invest the money where you’ll get a deal more out of it. It is not right that you should live alone there. Sally is old and liable to accident. I am anxious about you. Come on for Thanksgiving–and come to stay. Here is the money to come with. You know I want you. Annie joins me in sending love. ANDREW.”

Mrs. Morrison read it all through again, and laid it down with her quiet, twinkling smile. Then she read Jean’s.

“Now, mother, you’ve got to come to us for Thanksgiving this year. Just think! You haven’t seen baby since he was three months old! And have never seen the twins. You won’t know him–he’s such a splendid big boy now. Joe says for you to come, of course. And, mother, why won’t you come and live with us? Joe wants you, too. There’s the little room upstairs; it’s not very big, but we can put in a Franklin stove for you and make you pretty comfortable. Joe says he should think you ought to sell that white elephant of a place. He says he could put the money into his store and pay you good interest. I wish you would, mother. We’d just love to have you here. You’d be such a comfort to me, and such a help with the babies. And Joe just loves you. Do come now, and stay with us. Here is the money for the trip.–Your affectionate daughter, JEANNIE.”

Mrs. Morrison laid this beside the other, folded both, and placed them in their respective envelopes, then in their several well-filled pigeon-holes in her big, old-fashioned desk. She turned and paced slowly up and down the long parlor, a tall woman, commanding of aspect, yet of a winningly attractive manner, erect and light-footed, still imposingly handsome.

It was now November, the last lingering boarder was long since gone, and a quiet winter lay before her. She was alone, but for Sally; and she smiled at Andrew’s cautious expression, “liable to accident.” He could not say “feeble” or “ailing,” Sally being a colored lady of changeless aspect and incessant activity.

Mrs. Morrison was alone, and while living in the Welcome House she was never unhappy. Her father had built it, she was born there, she grew up playing on the broad green lawns in front, and in the acre of garden behind. It was the finest house in the village, and she then thought it the finest in the world.

Even after living with her father at Washington and abroad, after visiting hall, castle and palace, she still found the Welcome House beautiful and impressive.

If she kept on taking boarders she could live the year through, and pay interest, but not principal, on her little mortgage. This had been the one possible and necessary thing while the children were there, though it was a business she hated.

But her youthful experience in diplomatic circles, and the years of practical management in church affairs, enabled her to bear it with patience and success. The boarders often confided to one another, as they chatted and tatted on the long piazza, that Mrs. Morrison was “certainly very refined.”

Now Sally whisked in cheerfully, announcing supper, and Mrs. Morrison went out to her great silver tea-tray at the lit end of the long, dark mahogany table, with as much dignity as if twenty titled guests were before her.

Afterward Mr. Butts called. He came early in the evening, with his usual air of determination and a somewhat unusual spruceness. Mr. Peter Butts was a florid, blonde person, a little stout, a little pompous, sturdy and immovable in the attitude of a self-made man. He had been a poor boy when she was a rich girl; and it gratified him much to realize–and to call upon her to realize–that their positions had changed. He meant no unkindness, his pride was honest and unveiled. Tact he had none.

She had refused Mr. Butts, almost with laughter, when he proposed to her in her gay girlhood. She had refused him, more gently, when he proposed to her in her early widowhood. He had always been her friend, and her husband’s friend, a solid member of the church, and had taken the small mortgage of the house. She refused to allow him at first, but he was convincingly frank about it.

“This has nothing to do with my wanting you, Delia Morrison,” he said. “I’ve always wanted you–and I’ve always wanted this house, too. You won’t sell, but you’ve got to mortgage. By and by you can’t pay up, and I’ll get it–see? Then maybe you’ll take me–to keep the house. Don’t be a fool, Delia. It’s a perfectly good investment.”

She had taken the loan. She had paid the interest. She would pay the interest if she had to take boarders all her life. And she would not, at any price, marry Peter Butts.

He broached the subject again that evening, cheerful and undismayed. “You might as well come to it, Delia,” he said. “Then we could live right here just the same. You aren’t so young as you were, to be sure; I’m not, either. But you are as good a housekeeper as ever–better–you’ve had more experience.”

“You are extremely kind, Mr. Butts,” said the lady, “but I do not wish to marry you.”

“I know you don’t,” he said. “You’ve made that clear. You don’t, but I do. You’ve had your way and married the minister. He was a good man, but he’s dead. Now you might as well marry me.”

“I do not wish to marry again, Mr. Butts; neither you nor anyone.”

“Very proper, very proper, Delia,” he replied. “It wouldn’t look well if you did–at any rate, if you showed it. But why shouldn’t you? The children are gone now–you can’t hold them up against me any more.”

“Yes, the children are both settled now, and doing nicely,” she admitted.

“You don’t want to go and live with them–either one of them–do you?” he asked.

“I should prefer to stay here,” she answered.

“Exactly! And you can’t! You’d rather live here and be a grandee–but you can’t do it. Keepin’ house for boarders isn’t any better than keepin’ house for me, as I see. You’d much better marry me.”

“I should prefer to keep the house without you, Mr. Butts.”

“I know you would. But you can’t, I tell you. I’d like to know what a woman of your age can do with a house like this–and no money? You can’t live eternally on hens’ eggs and garden truck. That won’t pay the mortgage.”

Mrs. Morrison looked at him with her cordial smile, calm and non-committal. “Perhaps I can manage it,” she said.

“That mortgage falls due two years from Thanksgiving, you know.”

“Yes–I have not forgotten.”

“Well, then, you might just as well marry me now, and save two years of interest. It’ll be my house, either way–but you’ll be keepin’ it just the same.”

“It is very kind of you, Mr. Butts. I must decline the offer none the less. I can pay the interest, I am sure. And perhaps–in two years’ time–I can pay the principal. It’s not a large sum.”

“That depends on how you look at it,” said he. “Two thousand dollars is considerable money for a single woman to raise in two years–_and_ interest.”

He went away, as cheerful and determined as ever; and Mrs. Morrison saw him go with a keen, light in her fine eyes, a more definite line to that steady, pleasant smile.

Then she went to spend Thanksgiving with Andrew. He was glad to see her. Annie was glad to see her. They proudly installed her in “her room,” and said she must call it “home” now.

This affectionately offered home was twelve by fifteen, and eight feet high. It had two windows, one looking at some pale gray clapboards within reach of a broom, the other giving a view of several small fenced yards occupied by cats, clothes and children. There was an ailanthus tree under the window, a lady ailanthus tree. Annie told her how profusely it bloomed. Mrs. Morrison particularly disliked the smell of ailanthus flowers. “It doesn’t bloom in November,” said she to herself. “I can be thankful for that!”

Andrew’s church was very like the church of his father, and Mrs. Andrew was doing her best to fill the position of minister’s wife–doing it well, too–there was no vacancy for a minister’s mother.

Besides, the work she had done so cheerfully to help her husband was not what she most cared for, after all. She liked the people, she liked to manage, but she was not strong on doctrine. Even her husband had never known how far her views differed from his. Mrs. Morrison had never mentioned what they were.

Andrew’s people were very polite to her. She was invited out with them, waited upon and watched over and set down among the old ladies and gentlemen–she had never realized so keenly that she was no longer young. Here nothing recalled her youth, every careful provision anticipated age. Annie brought her a hot-water bag at night, tucking it in at the foot of the bed with affectionate care. Mrs. Morrison thanked her, and subsequently took it out–airing the bed a little before she got into it. The house seemed very hot to her, after the big, windy halls at home.

The little dining-room, the little round table with the little round fern-dish in the middle, the little turkey and the little carving-set–game-set she would have called it–all made her feel as if she was looking through the wrong end of an opera-glass.

In Annie’s precise efficiency she saw no room for her assistance; no room in the church, no room in the small, busy town, prosperous and progressive, and no room in the house. “Not enough to turn round in!” she said to herself. Annie, who had grown up in a city flat, thought their little parsonage palatial. Mrs. Morrison grew up in the Welcome House.

She stayed a week, pleasant and polite, conversational, interested in all that went on.

“I think your mother is just lovely,” said Annie to Andrew.

“Charming woman, your mother,” said the leading church member.

“What a delightful old lady your mother is!” said the pretty soprano.

And Andrew was deeply hurt and disappointed when she announced her determination to stay on for the present in her old home. “Dear boy,” she said, “you mustn’t take it to heart. I love to be with you, of course, but I love my home, and want to keep it is long as I can. It is a great pleasure to see you and Annie so well settled, and so happy together. I am most truly thankful for you.”

“My home is open to you whenever you wish to come, mother,” said Andrew. But he was a little angry.

Mrs. Morrison came home as eager as a girl, and opened her own door with her own key, in spite of Sally’s haste.

Two years were before her in which she must find some way to keep herself and Sally, and to pay two thousand dollars and the interest to Peter Butts. She considered her assets. There was the house–the white elephant. It _was_ big–very big. It was profusely furnished. Her father had entertained lavishly like the Southern-born, hospitable gentleman he was; and the bedrooms ran in suites–somewhat deteriorated by the use of boarders, but still numerous and habitable. Boarders–she abhorred them. They were people from afar, strangers and interlopers. She went over the place from garret to cellar, from front gate to backyard fence.

The garden had great possibilities. She was fond of gardening. and understood it well. She measured and estimated.

“This garden,” she finally decided, “with the hens, will feed us two women and sell enough to pay Sally. If we make plenty of jelly, it may cover the coal bill, too. As to clothes–I don’t need any. They last admirably. I can manage. I can _live_–but two thousand dollars–_and_ interest!”

In the great attic was more furniture, discarded sets put there when her extravagant young mother had ordered new ones. And chairs–uncounted chairs. Senator Welcome used to invite numbers to meet his political friends–and they had delivered glowing orations in the wide, double parlors, the impassioned speakers standing on a temporary dais, now in the cellar; and the enthusiastic listeners disposed more or less comfortably on these serried rows of “folding chairs,” which folded sometimes, and let down the visitor in scarlet confusion to the floor.

She sighed as she remembered those vivid days and glittering nights. She used to steal downstairs in her little pink wrapper and listen to the eloquence. It delighted her young soul to see her father rising on his toes, coming down sharply on his heels, hammering one hand upon the other; and then to hear the fusilade of applause.

Here were the chairs, often borrowed for weddings, funerals, and church affairs, somewhat worn and depleted, but still numerous. She mused upon them. Chairs–hundreds of chairs. They would sell for very little.

She went through her linen room. A splendid stock in the old days; always carefully washed by Sally; surviving even the boarders. Plenty of bedding, plenty of towels, plenty of napkins and tablecloths. “It would make a good hotel–but I _can’t_ have it so–I _can’t!_ Besides, there’s no need of another hotel here. The poor little Haskins House is never full.”

The stock in the china closet was more damaged than some other things, naturally; but she inventoried it with care. The countless cups of crowded church receptions were especially prominent. Later additions these, not very costly cups, but numerous, appallingly.

When she had her long list of assets all in order, she sat and studied it with a clear and daring mind. Hotel–boarding-house–she could think of nothing else. School! A girls’ school! A boarding school! There was money to be made at that, and fine work done. It was a brilliant thought at first, and she gave several hours, and much paper and ink, to its full consideration. But she would need some capital for advertising; she must engage teachers–adding to her definite obligation; and to establish it, well, it would require time.

Mr. Butts, obstinate, pertinacious, oppressively affectionate, would give her no time. He meant to force her to marry him for her own good–and his. She shrugged her fine shoulders with a little shiver. Marry Peter Butts! Never! Mrs. Morrison still loved her husband. Some day she meant to see him again–God willing–and she did not wish to have to tell him that at fifty she had been driven into marrying Peter Butts.

Better live with Andrew. Yet when she thought of living with Andrew, she shivered again. Pushing back her sheets of figures and lists of personal property, she rose to her full graceful height and began to walk the floor. There was plenty of floor to walk. She considered, with a set deep thoughtfulness, the town and the townspeople, the surrounding country, the hundreds upon hundreds of women whom she knew–and liked, and who liked her.

It used to be said of Senator Welcome that he had no enemies; and some people, strangers, maliciously disposed, thought it no credit to his character. His daughter had no enemies, but no one had ever blamed her for her unlimited friendliness. In her father’s wholesale entertainments the whole town knew and admired his daughter; in her husband’s popular church she had come to know the women of the countryside about them. Her mind strayed off to these women, farmers’ wives, comfortably off in a plain way, but starving for companionship, for occasional stimulus and pleasure. It was one of her joys in her husband’s time to bring together these women–to teach and entertain them.

Suddenly she stopped short in the middle of the great high-ceiled room, and drew her head up proudly like a victorious queen. One wide, triumphant, sweeping glance she cast at the well-loved walls–and went back to her desk, working swiftly, excitedly, well into the hours of the night.


Presently the little town began to buzz, and the murmur ran far out into the surrounding country. Sunbonnets wagged over fences; butcher carts and pedlar’s wagon carried the news farther; and ladies visiting found one topic in a thousand houses.

Mrs. Morrison was going to entertain. Mrs. Morrison had invited the whole feminine population, it would appear, to meet Mrs. Isabelle Carter Blake, of Chicago. Even Haddleton had heard of Mrs. Isabelle Carter Blake. And even Haddleton had nothing but admiration for her.

She was known the world over for her splendid work for children–for the school children and the working children of the country. Yet she was known also to have lovingly and wisely reared six children of her own–and made her husband happy in his home. On top of that she had lately written a novel, a popular novel, of which everyone was talking; and on top of that she was an intimate friend of a certain conspicuous Countess–an Italian.

It was even rumored, by some who knew Mrs. Morrison better than others–or thought they did–that the Countess was coming, too! No one had known before that Delia Welcome was a school-mate of Isabel Carter, and a lifelong friend; and that was ground for talk in itself.

The day arrived, and the guests arrived. They came in hundreds upon hundreds, and found ample room in the great white house.

The highest dream of the guests was realized–the Countess had come, too. With excited joy they met her, receiving impressions that would last them for all their lives, for those large widening waves of reminiscence which delight us the more as years pass. It was an incredible glory–Mrs. Isabelle Carter Blake, _and_ a Countess!

Some were moved to note that Mrs. Morrison looked the easy peer of these eminent ladies, and treated the foreign nobility precisely as she did her other friends.

She spoke, her clear quiet voice reaching across the murmuring din, and silencing it.

“Shall we go into the east room? If you will all take chairs in the east room, Mrs. Blake is going to be so kind as to address us. Also perhaps her friend–“

They crowded in, sitting somewhat timorously on the unfolded chairs.

Then the great Mrs. Blake made them an address of memorable power and beauty, which received vivid sanction from that imposing presence in Parisian garments on the platform by her side. Mrs. Blake spoke to them of the work she was interested in, and how it was aided everywhere by the women’s clubs. She gave them the number of these clubs, and described with contagious enthusiasm the inspiration of their great meetings. She spoke of the women’s club houses, going up in city after city, where many associations meet and help one another. She was winning and convincing and most entertaining–an extremely attractive speaker.

Had they a women’s club there? They had not.

Not _yet,_ she suggested, adding that it took no time at all to make one.

They were delighted and impressed with Mrs. Blake’s speech, but its effect was greatly intensified by the address of the Countess.

“I, too, am American,” she told them; “born here, reared in England, married in Italy.” And she stirred their hearts with a vivid account of the women’s clubs and associations all over Europe, and what they were accomplishing. She was going back soon, she said, the wiser and happier for this visit to her native land, and she should remember particularly this beautiful, quiet town, trusting that if she came to it again it would have joined the great sisterhood of women, “whose hands were touching around the world for the common good.”

It was a great occasion.

The Countess left next day, but Mrs. Blake remained, and spoke in some of the church meetings, to an ever widening circle of admirers. Her suggestions were practical.

“What you need here is a ‘Rest and Improvement Club,'” she said. “Here are all you women coming in from the country to do your shopping–and no place to go to. No place to lie down if you’re tired, to meet a friend, to eat your lunch in peace, to do your hair. All you have to do is organize, pay some small regular due, and provide yourselves with what you want.”

There was a volume of questions and suggestions, a little opposition, much random activity.

Who was to do it? Where was there a suitable place? They would have to hire someone to take charge of it. It would only be used once a week. It would cost too much.

Mrs. Blake, still practical, made another suggestion. Why not combine business with pleasure, and make use of the best place in town, if you can get it? I _think_ Mrs. Morrison could be persuaded to let you use part of her house; it’s quite too big for one woman.”

Then Mrs. Morrison, simple and cordial as ever, greeted with warm enthusiasm by her wide circle of friends.

“I have been thinking this over,” she said. “Mrs. Blake has been discussing it with me. My house is certainly big enough for all of you, and there am I, with nothing to do but entertain you. Suppose you formed such a club as you speak of–for Rest and Improvement. My parlors are big enough for all manner of meetings; there are bedrooms in plenty for resting. If you form such a club I shall be glad to help with my great, cumbersome house, shall be delighted to see so many friends there so often; and I think I could furnish accommodations more cheaply than you could manage in any other way.

Then Mrs. Blake gave them facts and figures, showing how much clubhouses cost–and how little this arrangement would cost. “Most women have very little money, I know,” she said, “and they hate to spend it on themselves when they have; but even a little money from each goes a long way when it is put together. I fancy there are none of us so poor we could not squeeze out, say ten cents a week. For a hundred women that would be ten dollars. Could you feed a hundred tired women for ten dollars, Mrs. Morrison?”

Mrs. Morrison smiled cordially. “Not on chicken pie,” she said, “But I could give them tea and coffee, crackers and cheese for that, I think. And a quiet place to rest, and a reading room, and a place to hold meetings.”

Then Mrs. Blake quite swept them off their feet by her wit and eloquence. She gave them to understand that if a share in the palatial accommodation of the Welcome House, and as good tea and coffee as old Sally made, with a place to meet, a place to rest, a place to talk, a place to lie down, could be had for ten cents a week each, she advised them to clinch the arrangement at once before Mrs. Morrison’s natural good sense had overcome her enthusiasm.

Before Mrs. Isabelle Carter Blake had left, Haddleton had a large and eager women’s club, whose entire expenses, outside of stationary and postage, consisted of ten cents a week _per capita,_ paid to Mrs. Morrison. Everybody belonged. It was open at once for charter members, and all pressed forward to claim that privileged place.

They joined by hundreds, and from each member came this tiny sum to Mrs. Morrison each week. It was very little money, taken separately. But it added up with silent speed. Tea and coffee, purchased in bulk, crackers by the barrel, and whole cheeses–these are not expensive luxuries. The town was full of Mrs. Morrison’s ex-Sunday-school boys, who furnished her with the best they had–at cost. There was a good deal of work, a good deal of care, and room for the whole supply of Mrs. Morrison’s diplomatic talent and experience. Saturdays found the Welcome House as full as it could hold, and Sundays found Mrs. Morrison in bed. But she liked it.

A busy, hopeful year flew by, and then she went to Jean’s for Thanksgiving.

The room Jean gave her was about the same size as her haven in Andrew’s home, but one flight higher up, and with a sloping ceiling. Mrs. Morrison whitened her dark hair upon it, and rubbed her head confusedly. Then she shook it with renewed determination.

The house was full of babies. There was little Joe, able to get about, and into everything. There were the twins, and there was the new baby. There was one servant, over-worked and cross. There was a small, cheap, totally inadequate nursemaid. There was Jean, happy but tired, full of joy, anxiety and affection, proud of her children, proud of her husband, and delighted to unfold her heart to her mother.

By the hour she babbled of their cares and hopes, while Mrs. Morrison, tall and elegant in her well-kept old black silk, sat holding the baby or trying to hold the twins. The old silk was pretty well finished by the week’s end. Joseph talked to her also, telling her how well he was getting on, and how much he needed capital, urging her to come and stay with them; it was such a help to Jeannie; asking questions about the house.

There was no going visiting here. Jeannie could not leave the babies. And few visitors; all the little suburb being full of similarly overburdened mothers. Such as called found Mrs. Morrison charming. What she found them, she did not say. She bade her daughter an affectionate good-bye when the week was up, smiling at their mutual contentment.

“Good-bye, my dear children,” she said. “I am so glad for all your happiness. I am thankful for both of you.”

But she was more thankful to get home.

Mr. Butts did not have to call for his interest this time, but he called none the less.

“How on earth’d you get it, Delia?” he demanded. “Screwed it out o’ these club-women?”

“Your interest is so moderate, Mr. Butts, that it is easier to meet than you imagine,” was her answer. “Do you know the average interest they charge in Colorado? The women vote there, you know.”

He went away with no more personal information than that; and no nearer approach to the twin goals of his desire than the passing of the year.

“One more year, Delia,” he said; “then you’ll have to give in.”

“One more year!” she said to herself, and took up her chosen task with renewed energy.

The financial basis of the undertaking was very simple, but it would never have worked so well under less skilful management. Five dollars a year these country women could not have faced, but ten cents a week was possible to the poorest. There was no difficulty in collecting, for they brought it themselves; no unpleasantness in receiving, for old Sally stood at the receipt of custom and presented the covered cash box when they came for their tea.

On the crowded Saturdays the great urns were set going, the mighty array of cups arranged in easy reach, the ladies filed by, each taking her refection and leaving her dime. Where the effort came was in enlarging the membership and keeping up the attendance, and this effort was precisely in the line of Mrs. Morrison’s splendid talents.

Serene, cheerful, inconspicuously active, planning like the born statesman she was, executing like a practical politician, Mrs. Morrison gave her mind to the work, and thrived upon it. Circle within circle, and group within group, she set small classes and departments at work, having a boys’ club by and by in the big room over the woodshed, girls’ clubs, reading clubs, study clubs, little meetings of every sort that were not held in churches, and some that were–previously.

For each and all there was, if wanted, tea and coffee, crackers and cheese; simple fare, of unvarying excellence, and from each and all, into the little cashbox, ten cents for these refreshments. From the club members this came weekly; and the club members, kept up by a constant variety of interests, came every week. As to numbers, before the first six months was over The Haddleton Rest and Improvement Club numbered five hundred women.

Now, five hundred times ten cents a week is twenty-six hundred dollars a year. Twenty-six hundred dollars a year would not be very much to build or rent a large house, to furnish five hundred people with chairs, lounges, books, and magazines, dishes and service; and with food and drink even of the simplest. But if you are miraculously supplied with a club-house, furnished, with a manager and servant on the spot, then that amount of money goes a long way.

On Saturdays Mrs. Morrison hired two helpers for half a day, for half a dollar each. She stocked the library with many magazines for fifty dollars a year. She covered fuel, light, and small miscellanies with another hundred. And she fed her multitude with the plain viands agreed upon, at about four cents apiece.

For her collateral entertainments, her many visits, the various new expenses entailed, she paid as well; and yet at the end of the first year she had not only her interest, but a solid thousand dollars of clear profit. With a calm smile she surveyed it, heaped in neat stacks of bills in the small safe in the wall behind her bed. Even Sally did not know it was there.

The second season was better than the first. There were difficulties, excitements, even some opposition, but she rounded out the year triumphantly. “After that,” she said to herself, “they may have the deluge if they like.”

She made all expenses, made her interest, made a little extra cash, clearly her own, all over and above the second thousand dollars.

Then did she write to son and daughter, inviting them and their families to come home to Thanksgiving, and closing each letter with joyous pride: “Here is the money to come with.”

They all came, with all the children and two nurses. There was plenty of room in the Welcome House, and plenty of food on the long mahogany table. Sally was as brisk as a bee, brilliant in scarlet and purple; Mrs. Morrison carved her big turkey with queenly grace.

“I don’t see that you’re over-run with club women, mother,” said Jeannie.

“It’s Thanksgiving, you know; they’re all at home. I hope they are all as happy, as thankful for their homes as I am for mine,” said Mrs. Morrison.

Afterward Mr. Butts called. With dignity and calm unruffled, Mrs. Morrison handed him his interest–and principal.

Mr. Butts was almost loath to receive it, though his hand automatically grasped the crisp blue check.

“I didn’t know you had a bank account,” he protested, somewhat dubiously.

“Oh, yes; you’ll find the check will be honored, Mr. Butts.”

“I’d like to know how you got this money. You _can’t_ ‘a’ skinned it out o’ that club of yours.”

“I appreciate your friendly interest, Mr. Butts; you have been most kind.”

“I believe some of these great friends of yours have lent it to you. You won’t be any better off, I can tell you.”

“Come, come, Mr. Butts! Don’t quarrel with good money. Let us part friends.”

And they parted.


How doth the hat loom large upon her head! Furred like a busby; plumed as hearses are; Armed with eye-spearing quills; bewebbed and hung With lacy, silky, downy draperies;
With spread, wide-waggling feathers fronded high In bosky thickets of Cimmerian gloom.

How doth the hat with colors dare the eye! Arrest–attract–allure–affront–appall! Vivid and varied as are paroquets;
Dove-dull; one mass of white; all solid red; Black with the blackness of a mourning world– Compounded type of “Chaos and Old Night”!

How doth the hat expand: wax wide, and swell! Such is its size that none can predicate Or hair, or head, or shoulders of the frame Below thIs bulk, this beauty-burying bulk; Trespassing rude on all who walk beside, Brutally blinding all who sit behind.

How doth the hat’s mere mass more monstrous grow Into a riot of repugnant shapes!
Shapes ignominious, extreme, bizarre, Bulbous, distorted, unsymmetrical–
Of no relation to the human head–
To beauty, comfort, dignity or grace.

Shape of a dishpan! Of a pail! A tub! Of an inverted wastebasket wherein
The head finds lodgment most appropriate! Shape of a wide-spread wilted griddlecake! Shape of the body of an octopus
Set sideways on a fireman’s misplaced brim!

How doth the hat show callous cruelty In decoration costing countless deaths;
Carrying corpses for its ornaments; Wreath of dead humming-birds, dismembered gulls, The mother heron’s breastknot, stiffened wings; Torn fragments of a world of wasted life.

How doth the hat effect the minds of men? Patient bill-payers, chivalrously dumb!
What does it indicate of woman’s growth; Her sense of beauty, her intelligence,
Her thought for others measured with herself, Her place and grade in human life to-day?


“O, no–Please don’t–I’d rather not meet them!”

I’m sorry but you have to meet them, constantly.

“But I don’t have to know them, surely!”

You will find it safer and easier if you do.

“But they are not proper persons to meet–I’ve heard awful things about them.”

Those stories come from people who never really knew them. They have been much maligned I assure you. Let me tell you a little about them before they come up.

The World yonder is really an excellent fellow, but sulky and erratic because he’s not well used. Think of a beautiful, fruitful, home garden used for nothing but to play ball and fight in–and then blamed for its condition. That’s the way he feels.

Then there’s the Flesh. Never was a good fellow more abused! He’s been brought up wrong, from babyhood–but he’s all right inside.

As to the Devil–we really ought to be ashamed of treating him so. He’d have died centuries ago, but we will keep him going–and then blame him because his behavior’s out of date!

Here they come. Allow me to present:

The World–Just Us; We and our Workshop.

The Flesh–Just Us; Our Natural Vehicle and Servant.

The Devil–Just Us; but an Anachronism–an artificially preserved Extinct Ancestor!




One may use the Old Man of the Sea,
For a partner or patron,
But helpless and hapless is he
Who is ridden, inextricably,
By a fond old mer-matron.

The Warden house was more impressive in appearance than its neighbors. It had “grounds,” instead of a yard or garden; it had wide pillared porches and “galleries,” showing southern antecedents; moreover, it had a cupola, giving date to the building, and proof of the continuing ambitions of the builders.

The stately mansion was covered with heavy flowering vines, also with heavy mortgages. Mrs. Roscoe Warden and her four daughters reposed peacefully under the vines, while Roscoe Warden, Jr., struggled desperately under the mortgages.

A slender, languid lady was Mrs. Warden, wearing her thin but still brown hair in “water-waves” over a pale high forehead. She was sitting on a couch on the broad, rose-shaded porch, surrounded by billowing masses of vari-colored worsted. It was her delight to purchase skein on skein of soft, bright-hued wool, cut it all up into short lengths, tie them together again in contrasting colors, and then crochet this hashed rainbow into afghans of startling aspect. California does not call for afghans to any great extent, but “they make such acceptable presents,” Mrs. Warden declared, to those who questioned the purpose of her work; and she continued to send them off, on Christmases, birthdays, and minor weddings, in a stream of pillowy bundles. As they were accepted, they must have been acceptable, and the stream flowed on.

Around her, among the gay blossoms and gayer wools, sat her four daughters, variously intent. The mother, a poetic soul, had named them musically and with dulcet rhymes: Madeline and Adeline were the two eldest, Coraline and Doraline the two youngest. It had not occurred to her until too late that those melodious terminations made it impossible to call one daughter without calling two, and that “Lina” called them all.

“Mis’ Immerjin,” said a soft voice in the doorway, “dere pos’tively ain’t no butter in de house fer supper.”

“No butter?” said Mrs. Warden, incredulously. “Why, Sukey, I’m sure we had a tub sent up last–last Tuesday!”

“A week ago Tuesday, more likely, mother,” suggested Dora.

“Nonsense, Dora! It was this week, wasn’t it, girls?” The mother appealed to them quite earnestly, as if the date of that tub’s delivery would furnish forth the supper-table; but none of the young ladies save Dora had even a contradiction to offer.

“You know I never notice things,” said the artistic Cora; and “the de-lines,” as their younger sisters called them, said nothing.

“I might borrow some o’ Mis’ Bell?” suggested Sukey; “dat’s nearer ‘n’ de sto’.”

“Yes, do, Sukey,” her mistress agreed. “It is so hot. But what have you done with that tubful?”

“Why, some I tuk back to Mis’ Bell for what I borrered befo’–I’m always most careful to make return for what I borrers–and yo’ know, Mis’ Warden, dat waffles and sweet potaters and cohn bread dey do take butter; to say nothin’ o’ them little cakes you all likes so well–_an’_ de fried chicken, _an’_–“

“Never mind, Sukey; you go and present my compliments to Mrs. Bell, and ask her for some; and be sure you return it promptly. Now, girls, don’t let me forget to tell Ross to send up another tub.”

“We can’t seem to remember any better than you can, mother,” said Adeline, dreamily. “Those details are so utterly uninteresting.”

“I should think it was Sukey’s business to tell him,” said Madeline with decision; while the “a-lines” kept silence this time.

“There! Sukey’s gone!” Mrs. Warden suddenly remarked, watching the stout figure moving heavily away under the pepper trees. “And I meant to have asked her to make me a glass of shrub! Dora, dear, you run and get it for mother.”

Dora laid down her work, not too regretfully, and started off.

“That child is the most practical of any of you,” said her mother; which statement was tacitly accepted. It was not extravagant praise.

Dora poked about in the refrigerator for a bit of ice. She ho no idea of the high cost of ice in that region–it came from “the store,” like all their provisions. It did not occur to her that fish and milk and melons made a poor combination in flavor; or that the clammy, sub-offensive smell was not the natural and necessary odor of refrigerators. Neither did she think that a sunny corner of the back porch near the chimney, though convenient, was an ill-selected spot for a refrigerator. She couldn’t find the ice-pick, so put a big piece of ice in a towel and broke it on the edge of the sink; replaced the largest fragment, used what she wanted, and left the rest to filter slowly down through a mass of grease and tea-leaves; found the raspberry vinegar, and made a very satisfactory beverage which her mother received with grateful affection.

“Thank you, my darling,” she said. “I wish you’d made a pitcherful.”

“Why didn’t you, Do?” her sisters demanded.

“You’re too late,” said Dora, hunting for her needle and then for her thimble, and then for her twist; “but there’s more in the kitchen.”

“I’d rather go without than go into the kitchen,” said Adeline; “I do despise a kitchen.” And this seemed to be the general sentiment; for no one moved.

“My mother always liked raspberry shrub,” said Mrs. Warden; “and your Aunt Leicester, and your Raymond cousins.”

Mrs. Warden had a wide family circle, many beloved relatives, “connections” of whom she was duly proud and “kin” in such widening ramifications that even her carefully reared daughters lost track of them.

“You young people don’t seem to care about your cousins at all!” pursued their mother, somewhat severely, setting her glass on the railing, from whence it was presently knocked off and broken.

“That’s the fifth!” remarked Dora, under breath.

“Why should we, Ma?” inquired Cora. “We’ve never seen one of them–except Madam Weatherstone!”

“We’ll never forget _her!”_ said Madeline, with delicate decision, laying down the silk necktie she was knitting for Roscoe. “What _beautiful_ manners she had!”

“How rich is she, mother? Do you know?” asked Dora.

“Rich enough to do something for Roscoe, I’m sure, if she had a proper family spirit,” replied Mrs. Warden. “Her mother was own cousin to my grandmother–one of the Virginia Paddingtons. Or she might do something for you girls.”

“I wish she would!” Adeline murmured, softly, her large eyes turned to the horizon, her hands in her lap over the handkerchief she was marking for Roscoe.

“Don’t be ungrateful, Adeline,” said her mother, firmly. “You have a good home and a good brother; no girl ever had a better.”

“But there is never anything going on,” broke in Coraline, in a tone of complaint; “no parties, no going away for vacations, no anything.”

“Now, Cora, don’t be discontented! You must not add a straw to dear Roscoe’s burdens,” said her mother.

“Of course not, mother; I wouldn’t for the world. I never saw her but that once; and she wasn’t very cordial. But, as you say, she might do _something._ She might invite us to visit her.”

“If she ever comes back again, I’m going to recite for her,” said, Dora, firmly.

Her mother gazed fondly on her youngest. “I wish you could, dear,” she agreed. “I’m sure you have talent; and Madam Weatherstone would recognize it. And Adeline’s music too. And Cora’s art. I am very proud of my girls.”

Cora sat where the light fell well upon her work. She was illuminating a volume of poems, painting flowers on the margins, in appropriate places–for Roscoe.

“I wonder if he’ll care for it?” she said, laying down her brush and holding the book at arm’s length to get the effect.

“Of course he will!” answered her mother, warmly. “It is not only the beauty of it, but the affection! How are you getting on, Dora?”

Dora was laboring at a task almost beyond her fourteen years, consisting of a negligee shirt of outing flannel, upon the breast of which she was embroidering a large, intricate design–for Roscoe. She was an ambitious child, but apt to tire in the execution of her large projects.

“I guess it’ll be done,” she said, a little wearily. “What are you going to give him, mother?”

“Another bath-robe; his old one is so worn. And nothing is too good for my boy.”

“He’s coming,” said Adeline, who was still looking down the road; and they all concealed their birthday work in haste.

A tall, straight young fellow, with an air of suddenly-faced maturity upon him, opened the gate under the pepper trees and came toward them.

He had the finely molded features we see in portraits of handsome ancestors, seeming to call for curling hair a little longish, and a rich profusion of ruffled shirt. But his hair was sternly short, his shirt severely plain, his proudly carried head spoke of effort rather than of ease in its attitude.

Dora skipped to meet him, Cora descended a decorous step or two. Madeline and Adeline, arm in arm, met him at the piazza edge, his mother lifted her face.

“Well, mother, dear!” Affectionately he stooped and kissed her, and she held his hand and stroked it lovingly. The sisters gathered about with teasing affection, Dora poking in his coat-pocket for the stick candy her father always used to bring her, and her brother still remembered.

“Aren’t you home early, dear?” asked Mrs. Warden.

“Yes; I had a little headache”–he passed his hand over his forehead–“and Joe can run the store till after supper, anyhow.” They flew to get him camphor, cologne, a menthol-pencil. Dora dragged forth the wicker lounge. He was laid out carefully and fanned and fussed over till his mother drove them all away.

“Now, just rest,” she said. “It’s an hour to supper time yet!” And she covered him with her latest completed afghan, gathering up and carrying away the incomplete one and its tumultuous constituents.

He was glad of the quiet, the fresh, sweet air, the smell of flowers instead of the smell of molasses and cheese, soap and sulphur matches. But the headache did not stop, nor the worry that caused it. He loved his mother, he loved his sisters, he loved their home, but he did not love the grocery business which had fallen so unexpectedly upon him at his father’s death, nor the load of debt which fell with it.

That they need never have had so large a “place” to “keep up” did not occur to him. He had lived there most of his life, and it was home. That the expenses of running the household were three times what they needed to be, he did not know. His father had not questioned their style of living, nor did he. That a family of five women might, between them, do the work of the house, he did not even consider.

Mrs. Warden’s health was never good, and since her husband’s death she had made daily use of many afghans on the many lounges of the house. Madeline was “delicate,” and Adeline was “frail”; Cora was “nervous,” Dora was “only a child.” So black Sukey and her husband Jonah did the work of the place, so far as it was done; and Mrs. Warden held it a miracle of management that she could “do with one servant,” and the height of womanly devotion on her daughters’ part that they dusted the parlor and arranged the flowers.

Roscoe shut his eyes and tried to rest, but his problem beset him ruthlessly. There was the store–their one and only source of income. There was the house, a steady, large expense. There were five women to clothe and keep contented, beside himself. There was the unappeasable demand of the mortgage–and there was Diantha.

When Mr. Warden died, some four years previously, Roscoe was a lad of about twenty, just home from college, full of dreams of great service to the world in science, expecting to go back for his doctor’s degree next year. Instead of which the older man had suddenly dropped beneath the burden he had carried with such visible happiness and pride, such unknown anxiety and straining effort; and the younger one had to step into the harness on the spot.

He was brave, capable, wholly loyal to his mother and sisters, reared in the traditions of older days as to a man’s duty toward women. In his first grief for his father, and the ready pride with which he undertook to fill his place, he had not in the least estimated the weight of care he was to carry, nor the time that he must carry it. A year, a year or two, a few years, he told himself, as they passed, and he would make more money; the girls, of course, would marry; he could “retire” in time and take up his scientific work again. Then–there was Diantha.

When he found he loved this young neighbor of theirs, and that she loved him, the first flush of happiness made all life look easier. They had been engaged six months–and it was beginning to dawn upon the young man that it might be six years–or sixteen years–before he could marry.

He could not sell the business–and if he could, he knew of no better way to take care of his family. The girls did not marry, and even when they did, he had figured this out to a dreary certainty, he would still not be free. To pay the mortgages off, and keep up the house, even without his sisters, would require all the money the store would bring in for some six years ahead. The young man set his teeth hard and turned his head sharply toward the road.

And there was Diantha.

She stood at the gate and smiled at him. He sprang to his feet, headacheless for the moment, and joined her. Mrs. Warden, from the lounge by her bedroom window, saw them move off together, and sighed.

“Poor Roscoe!” she said to herself. “It is very hard for him. But he carries his difficulties nobly. He is a son to be proud of.” And she wept a little.

Diantha slipped her hand in his offered arm–he clasped it warmly with his, and they walked along together.

“You won’t come in and see mother and the girls?”

“No, thank you; not this time. I must get home and get supper. Besides, I’d rather see just you.”

He felt it a pity that there were so many houses along the road here, but squeezed her hand, anyhow.

She looked at him keenly. “Headache?” she asked.

“Yes; it’s nothing; it’s gone already.”

“Worry?” she asked.

“Yes, I suppose it is,” he answered. “But I ought not to worry. I’ve got a good home, a good mother, good sisters, and–you!” And he took advantage of a high hedge and an empty lot on either side of them.

Diantha returned his kiss affectionately enough, but seemed preoccupied, and walked in silence till he asked her what she was thinking about.

“About you, of course,” she answered, brightly. “There are things I want to say; and yet–I ought not to.”

“You can say anything on earth to me,” he answered.

“You are twenty-four,” she began, musingly.

“Admitted at once.”

“And I’m twenty-one and a half.”

“That’s no such awful revelation, surely!”

“And we’ve been engaged ever since my birthday,” the girl pursued.

“All these are facts, dearest.”

“Now, Ross, will you be perfectly frank with me? May I ask you an–an impertinent question?”

“You may ask me any question you like; it couldn’t be impertinent.”

“You’ll be scandalised, I know–but–well, here goes. What would you think if Madeline–or any of the girls–should go away to work?”

He looked at her lovingly, but with a little smile on his firm mouth.

“I shouldn’t allow it,” he said.

“O–allow it? I asked you what you’d think.”

“I should think it was a disgrace to the family, and a direct reproach to me,” be answered. “But it’s no use talking about that. None of the girls have any such foolish notion. And I wouldn’t permit it if they had.”

Diantha smiled. “I suppose you never would permit your wife to work?”

“My widow might have to–not my wife.” He held his fine head a trifle higher, and her hand ached for a moment.

“Wouldn’t you let me work–to help you, Ross?”

“My dearest girl, you’ve got something far harder than that to do for me, and that’s wait.”

His face darkened again, and he passed his hand over his forehead. “Sometimes I feel as if I ought not to hold you at all!” he burst out, bitterly. “You ought to be free to marry a better man.”

“There aren’t any!” said Diantha, shaking her head slowly from side to side. “And if there were–millions–I wouldn’t marry any of ’em. I love _you,”_ she firmly concluded.

“Then we’ll just _wait,”_ said he, setting his teeth on the word, as if he would crush it. “It won’t be hard with you to help. You’re better worth it than Rachael and Leah together.” They walked a few steps silently.

“But how about science?” she asked him.

“I don’t let myself think of it. I’ll take that up later. We’re young enough, both of us, to wait for our happiness.”

“And have you any idea–we might as well face the worst–how many years do you think that will be, dearest?”

He was a little annoyed at her persistence. Also, though he would not admit the thought, it did not seem quite the thing for her to ask. A woman should not seek too definite a period of waiting. She ought to trust–to just wait on general principles.

“I can face a thing better if I know just what I’m facing,” said the girl, quietly, “and I’d wait for you, if I had to, all my life. Will it be twenty years, do you think?”

He looked relieved. “Why, no, indeed, darling. It oughtn’t to be at the outside more than five. Or six,” he added, honest though reluctant.

“You see, father had no time to settle anything; there were outstanding accounts, and the funeral expenses, and the mortgages. But the business is good; and I can carry it; I can build it up.” He shook his broad shoulders determinedly. “I should think it might be within five,