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Newspaper Page Text
Debs' character, therefore she
does not take the newspaper crit
icism with equanimity that has
been given her husband.
Mrs. Taft's soft white skin,
which was her greatest- beauty
and which gave her a singularly
youthful appearance when she en
tered the white house four years
ago has lost its translucent qual
ity and there is a faint net work
of wrinkles about the gray-blue
eyes which seem to have grown
too weary to express the alertness
of comprehension which was their
greatest charm four years ago.
She never talked much and she is
now more silent than ever.
If you should say "Aren't the
flowers glorious at Beverly this
fall?" she would answer "Yes"
with a slight very slight smile,
and you would have to fish about
in the recesses of your brain for
another subject of conversation.
Her silences, however, do not im
press you as the silence of a dull
mind, but those of a woman nat
urally reserved and physically
weary. But through these very
silences you come to know that
she is an ambitious woman who is
not to be swerved from her pur
pose by physical ills. It was she
that persuaded her husband to ac
cept the presidency when he rath
er leaned toward the supreme
bench. She has enjoyed being the
first lady in the land and the cere
monious functions that she has
provided at the white house have
been perfect in appointments.
It is said that when Mrs. Taft
ias with her husband in the Phil
ippines the natives- adored her.
"She learned their language the
better to be able to understand
their point of view, but I think,
however," said a friend who was
trying to describe her, "that her
great hold on them was her quick
understanding of all their forms
and ceremonials of which the
Filipinos have thousands and by
which they set great store."
The wife of President Taft is a
great stickler for etiquette and
she believes that her social duties
at Washington should be dis
charged with regard to her high
station instead of regard to her
own- prejudices. One of her
friends tells a story that throws a
light on her ideas about this.
When the president was a
member of the cabinet a very
wealthy woman came to the city.
She was an acquaintance of Mrs.
Taft and waited for her to call, '
not knowing that according to
the official etiquette she should
first call upon Mrs. Taft. When
she found out her blunder she in
formally apologized and said that
she depended upon the knowledge
of her social secretary. Mrs.
Taft, however, would not take
that as an excuse because she be
lieved that no woman in official
circles should depend wholly on
the word of a social secretary.
Mrs. Taft's social secretary has
no questions of this kind to de
cide. She has to do the clerical
work, but Mrs. Taft herself de
cides who shall come to her func-i
tions and who shall stay away.
The president's wife likes elab
orate functions and is a- devotee
of bridge whist. If Mrs. Wilson