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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, April 07, 1907, Image 8

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1907-04-07/ed-1/seq-8/

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THE LETTERS OF AN UNSUCCESSFUL
WOMAN TO HER
DAUGHTER
By Helen BottJen
•ytnta XISCE MBRKPITH, ear»~l&».
Joseph H&vemeyer, L£adison avenue.
jfnr Torfc
Kr Dear AUcei Altboogn roar A«=rt
X«thilue bast never «p#nly •aaotten«d
gtrsroe as the wife ot that elderly
aoenaat for obonxa girts, Joeiah Hare-
SJM7«n «he cant fall to think cf it
wtth eoTvtous appreciation. This be
fag tne c*««, wliat more easy than to
cslxrgw her vision enough for* It to
take In the beauty and candor of our
artsagemenur Parry, her criticisms .
of me and _ her uplifted eyebrow \u25a0
th*y*re not real, anyway— with -a " line
ef talk Uke this: "We admit that it is
customary for mother and daughter to
be eternally attached — no matter how
disheartening the result — but we deny •
the Infallibility of the customvand re-
t fuse to believe that divorce 'was • in
vented merely for the relief of squab
bling persons of the opposite sex. \u25a0
This will give her something to think
about.
In reality, the conjugal entangle
ment has less need of divorce law*
than have some other family . connec
tions, It being a whole lot easier to '.
lose a husband or a wife than It is to
lose a mother or father or sister. More
over, the mar4tal tie is not thrust upon
one, but Is knotted after some delib
eration: whereas, in the maternal re
lation, for instance, there Is nothing •
in the world to protect an unsuspect- , .
ing woman from giving birth to a
duplicate of her worst enemy — gen
erally her husband's sister.
This is what happened to me, my
dear, so unto Caesar I render the
things that are Caesar's — and Caesar
will be delighted, don't fear!
Since you left I have had another
letter from Katherine. Bhe seems ready
to countenance any theory whatsoever
that you will give her — ridiculous
barren creature! — a lovely ready-made
child:
As a matter of fact you are, as you'
cay, much more kin to Katherine in
•very way that counts than you are' to
me. She Is an accomplished worldling
and you wish to become one, while' l,
your mother, will always— even lnja'.
columbarium — remain more or less : a
daughter of the plains. -
To be perfectly frank-^-*nd foolish—
Z was not quite positive of even' our
fleshly relationship until the day you
unfolded your plans for our divergence.
Strangely enough I * never felt so little
defrauded and daughterless ,as when, \
with accuracy and even a traoe of
humor, you sketched out my bewilder
ing unf. tne ss to be the mother of you!
At that moment, for the first time
since you learned to "talk, I knew you
mine. \
Katherine wanted to adopt you n
twenty years ago, when you were-e>
blue-eyed darling, with plump, in
effectual little legs. I still have the
stockings you wore then, . my, b"aby--»
all of them — and sometimes when I am'
tired there Is one pair, with creases
about the ankles and a worn place
where your tiny big toe - used ;to . go,
that I can hardly bear to contemplate.
I remember how pink your feet looked
through their open mesh, felt, again
in my arms the inert weight of a soft
little body. They seem more you than
you yourself, these outgrown baby'
clothes.
Don't ever blame yourself again for
our separation. You have always been
gentle and obedient— the failure Is.
mine— one of many. Dear child,, un
less suffering spells success in this
place "of wrath and tears," unless suf
fering spells success, your portly moth
er will never wear the laurel! , So- she
wants you to be«-as you are— different.
"When I look back, my own life seems
just one long blunder. From flrstjto;
last I - have never yet done \u25a0 anything
that I would not like to . do over— in -
come other way, in any other way.' ' I
feel doubts even about this latest act ;
of mine; but since it is also,yours,
rprune 1 from you, your needs and ambi
tions, I am reassured.
• • •
It is difficult for me to believe that
up to a month ago I had Intended you
for a plodding domestic life; -that \ I
failed completely to see the lark under
your pullet's feathers; that I thought
you loved; this Meadows man. < Your
dynamitic inheritance blew all "these
notions Into ruins. Kvenj before iyou
had finished reading the lawyer's,let
ter announcing . your uncle's ' bequest,
'you had ceased to be a demure young
thing and ten eeconda after it was
concluded you deliberately unfolded
your pinions-} and prepared '\u25a0 to- soar
straight -to * the sun. "Now J";" you ' eald
—erect : and' triumphant— "we "„' can live
' in London and New York!" -Even; the
expression of your clothes had changed
—you were more straight- front and
knowing. \u25a0
Once only in. your life. had you.sur
prised ,me ; before! This' was "on your
eighteenth birthday, when you ' stated—
gently, of course, you are always gen
tle—that as you" found .literature '-of
all kinds fatiguing; and your piano
solos ' lnferior, to those of a 'mechanical
attachment, you could not tee the sens*
of any • further \ application. • You^had •
always read' and practiced so 'diligently
that your, remarks ! were," to ! ,«ay' the
least, 'unexpected. ••-•\u0084. • -«f*L
On consideration I saw that you were
right ; that you' would; never love either '
books or music; or " ; be able to expand
through- them.,- jCr>V^:« . ..*.--
It was then " that I began to encour
age golf • and' John *' Meadows/ for he,
too. • found \ musical machines satisfao- '
tory and books'^ productive' of slumber.
Well, ',we * have . 'threshed-; It vail*' out"
long -ago i and you", are .gone! .^Tou
wisned . to :\u25a0 escape ' from ' the . little", house
on thY hill," \u25a0 you V were : tired "of y its
bread-winning J atmosphere, its "worn
rugs,' its' long.rows^of books, ; its hoxne
ly, informal dinner; table. YouUonged,
:as > youth 'iWill ". long, 5 for > the j glitter; of
I the big, busy,,wprld, \u25a0 the unrestVbf Iball-*
rooms and brilliant streets. I- am- glad
iyou -know \u2666so - well ', what- youj want tof
lif e.^' lt'^ Ur the surest way 'to 'saUstac-"
;*tion. ; y; ' ' .;\u25a0-_ •\u25a0 \u25a0_' '- -. '•\u25a0'' \u25a0\u25a0•-- ;V-: >ifj^\
Probably- two-fourths , of /the ] women
' lnf the world ; fritter; away. \ their Vy»*r«
! without r eyer^ trying to^ crystallise :thilr
\ desires for. arrive at a de finite ; ambition.
' Another^ fourth realizes •; the } necessity
{for ,H., H . single-hearted >l wishing, : ibut,
through i Eome •• infirmity of -purpose, . is
- uaablt '• to : keep v one" desire < paramount.
i. The .remainder >j; to 'Which ; you -.belong):
| Is " the fourth that with' watchful I
'" eyes ; and j ready/ hands to clutch^ one |ofj
] Opportunity** motors as^they vWhlsk.by.J
\u25a0« You \u25a0 yourself i have boarded 'a.big^ tour-"
V Ing-car and, as you" glide* away,* I;'strain ;
"my- eyes • for ' the' last;'i;limps'e - of ;y our ,
\ pale- gold ' hair, \u25a0 thinking rdeeply/ of ; how i
\ little -I *am: able \ .to \ keep you (on^- you*'
long "Journey." / -/-v^V.-Xt! ,-J*' .' .;
I r>ear jimUiirlriiV I \u25a0 gaWt you* life^-i* .
» it \ true, ' I . «ronder, . that " I Jean \ giveTyou \
- pruaire, some "fafr; country^ ln^ witch", we ,
'\u25a0' may ' meet . and ' understand? \u25a0\u25a0; "Even"- this .
,- short I absence"^' has * usl' ; nearer!
: .' friendship^; I Our \ letters Uhowiit,] and} I ;
\ find! In ; metnow: the' hope that out] of "my . >
f dlsappointinents, : out r ; ot i theTfuilness lof
f my} fallure^VP^^Vp?-;^'; J^** I *^**^.* 0 '•
Imay'be7snatched>by3^
-min-cMld! i' " X ; : - ; 'v" '"^' : /-'r^r. '"&s&>/\u25a0\u25a0
c> \u25a0;'\u25a0\u25a0.''\u25a0}': \u25a0\u25a0 : -.' '\u25a0'\u25a0:\u25a0'\u25a0 mi: /v •> •\: • \* 'i ' f .„\u25a0*'. ':'_{:\u25a0
\j , ix^,Dear,—-~- WTayjall this black crepe
. \u25a0'\u25a0: over i the * terms} of • yotzrf, unclei's i .will?..
* The f provision : ttia i '} if i you >; miurry> you \u25a0
i ; lose \f otrrrflfths v of Ithe'festate ".'seems • ai^
'i most v Intelligent ': . to 7 mcC & Think ; of / it!
' It >may; save you' from- the insipidity of
\u25a0;) a/mercenary \ husband t *j '-. - - -'-;•. ;; * \-y..
, "/ ,' At '\u25a0 any? f *te)ltTshow» - you ; 3 ust i what
ijyou £ had % for .* an i ancle {;! (and .* I «-t or,* a ,
\u0084 ' brother) t in^llafry : Beeves,^ tjmas who
V.was -always "ready; tb;{give^ if j-he; coiijd ;
'; tie ; a' : string tb^the^g-iiC; ;• ' ,
,?, ;' Katherlne becomes ; , comic tln;herifeart In ; heri fear 1
£ lest)^ you v'grow * toTiibelieve 4 *°t°« £ ™ at^
*. worth" more" thanVa* million 'and '• anar^; 1
i*®F*; '^l'7you;only^obuid(car« enouarb ;to ,
I marry : without. hanilnrjflrel^;:' <";'.';'
; V- aTo ' love [ana fable 'to • throw ; her
; BCif .upon* the ; rlsln|p]tidi 'of ; loy*^; aVTlts ;
t li tghj water may ;.< mark j the j honeymoon,':
tls^a^joyjthat^.rarelyxbmeajtoiwomen-i
;-our;kihdfbf .wbmenl^'f \u25a0-, ':^' > '.^\a *:'\u25a0;
i ; -"-Too Vmanyl of i"v»? are \ forced vto 'wait '\u25a0
\u25a0: until It; is • ebb-tide ; to I the; heart, ( with i ;
3 the < mud :> flat«^of I passion J lying? bare .
];and^uslyV^We^loTe:ijtll^beJng{moytl7!'
; fond and f faithfal \u25a0'- creatures^but j not
j for /us Is } the : j divine 4 npllf tins ' of f. the \u25a0
\u25a0; Flood 1 y.\ No \u25a0 forested or".* 'us ; w*e
\u25a0 are'l moored '; fbreTer^ In >BtlUv waters, y,
iV;f John y Meadows * It 1 consoling
7with'that\BplnelesajriOBßie?Day: :; It^is
\u25a0 her V hands. -John 'always*- was
'about^ettyihands^:;^;, Q,
\u25a0 ', "'•;.- Affectionately,' '>-y. »^;
r ? •••-\u25a0--\u25a0';•: '\u25a0> r":^***"^
• My ; '"Dear > Child:;; ; Kate .'writes /that/
I sheV ''intends !the '.<mo«t.< :
'.popular^ 1 girl j, ln;?her ;'set-^-with . women! '
~*i My t .^darilng,;-. the* mother^ in',- me rises *
iupViri'^ horror! "fl jleVlyo^go.vto :^ate, '
j knowing f; hermit is; true,"; to ijb&'f wholly ;
. worldly /and -but v I ijdid ? ; »'ot ;
Vdreaxn{ she Vcouldl-beVso -; ; callous | as ito
,' enter^ybu , in; v "s^ch\al ; ryce i as*thls ! l\/ /\"
M /:^iack':
•anQ<alasjthV:da.yl}. •' i: -f^? '-.\u25a0\u2666' > !:"- i ;- ! "pi
f I^Dearlf gpod (little » girl, 'don't*, set;' your {
\ 'fe'et^qn?, that ; traclcl'
-t. ;?At woman's occasionally • contaminates
.* her •' worthless * body ;i |' ("kisses . ; «and'f ml-";"
'cfobes vare^ chums) \u25a0, trying ;; t to * attraot
t more^than /.her,* share -^of ( inqn, . but she-
V must! Infect jhef •; imperishable' soul and
- ; ,degr^e^h_er,Ve"?y^^
i.'i women.'".'^ A It':
i :. [ ly 1 when every v - noble : Instinct clamors \u25a0
she > must -fawn' and .bow
Vflowh where "she 'should: walk e^? ot -f^
: unafraMr^she^mAt^ioinJla^eye^.hu*
- and cry against ;tbe : unjtortunate of "ner :
: *own'Bex;"'sli©;must<be;Buperclllo\2s to,
''\u25a0' M outBider^ e 'iestrBife»^'\ co " ua^ e^: ain 9 a C'
\u0084'\u25a0;, thimi ,VCome';ba^^llUle : \u25a0white /pullet, j
", : % .come ; back' to; your,alf alf a~. patch ; » these >
; 'be ''"deadly J- weeds /you Tare- . among; V
-;•;-• If 'ypu'lnsist'upon'staylnar where you
:arVietvme'beff;you^not;to;Beparate men
>>i end- women ln^your mind "aa Kate would ,
;"(" i have ;. y bu. - : Treat Jthem*{approxlmately :
ii :~ alike and ; be "reseryVdTwith' 1 both.
/ -r, ,If ;you ; must . have; a 'confidante let It
;';- beja ;man,-.'br.eiae^o'f .'an^'agV either too
\u25a0*v . young 7or^ .tooV old-^ f or l'Jealpuay of .you.
i--^ Whatever. t you'^ do; c donjt, jdoa't ' waste
,", your tlnieln collecting "dear, sweet girl;
V friends," ;, or { in -trying to" \u25a0win'- general
'^approbation.' . r "; "-V s; '.' .V^V. •
;' Happiness' Is ,of ten "referred to aa . a
f mere [ battle; * It ' la'^a^. aolld' sphere com
• \ pared v fto -\u25a0popularity,!; for; t the flatter
'; .do'esn't; really, exists (lt^b^lng a figment
jof f milk : and^7 water* temperaments),
whereas '« Happiness *J" aometlmea . comes
'very, very nearUf we*' Vretend to forget
; about \u25a0 '-'Her .'and * lbok*^ th'e^ other way. '
,A"* - , The ul creature 'whom "every
* body Jlltea" is "generally. thY least .loved;
i - and 1 the repard :he ': receives, collected
' * and , concentrated. :^would Vn'ot : compare .
,^either /In * auanti t'y f or"qualityi ty th \u25a0\u25a0 the :
\u25a0*\u25a0 affe'ctloh^ many \ notably .'^Queer 1 ' "i. and .
- ; '.V
&, 'it- iajundoub^tedtyj tnia !that rwclally^
' the favof^of fqne^wo^an 1 |a~worth more ;
'..than ,01 at iof ifortyjffien.V; Tblil la ob
} viou|i,i:fqr,Yaaj(-Ka(*rsaya, **^Oner can't
' go^anywtere tthatllaVworth -going un
; lesß abmV. wbman'^lnyltea *ypu." *- There
vforeyI iCcanj 'contemplate t peaeef ully a
« mbderatft 4 &***** {o2 '; ipptinral of \u25a0 you.
i from'Cyotfr '"bwn'iex— but ?1 don't vencour
i,age'it^,. v i > - i-:v'-ii* u:i \u25a0 '\u25a0 *•-->•'•! - : \u25a0 |
\u25a0* alf Vp'u.looi.thV'matter.aquarely la the
; face 1 ?, (ihatlwili or f MJik\
• double-laced « p^roposltlbn)|you ;]will - ie« '
" that ', in ? drder J for aVwomaa' to* b«' com-/
i men d ed l v by "the j' bulk : vof * her ? kind ; she
\u25a0 must i throttle*- every drugged; Virtue j'and '
» evjerjr • positive Cattrllmte. 'y "^ .- " : /
» WhatTdoeaJth^eT«7v^rag«^womM f ask
*of { her ' biikTrted i intimity ? * t--i> \u25a0 :
first ; bf^all.' to be
i^-fta. Vxvuc&aoo Sunday OaD
pleasant gossips, meaning persons wfc«
will Hat en to malicious Innuendoes mxti
fcap'* them 'either' with agreement ,01
addition." preferably "the latter. <Ther«
lino suref way to, win dislike than bj
defending the absent.)
. She demands thatTtbey rendsr trlbtxU
\u25ba^-material tribute— ln some form,
either- In, the shape of invitations, in."
troductlons or perhaps In mere toady*
Urn. '.;: \u0084,". '-. .' ______
She demands tuat they be, or prwtsnd
to be, of -the genus satellite. Thla U
the* reason you find wom«a havering la
cbasteMatlana or . bunches, . with cr «
mare -: powerful than the otnen
(through wealth or position) la th«
center of the groupj the rest revolving
XUw subsidiary planets about her.
The -popular, girl" amonj woman ta
\u25a0 the-«lrl" who "has : entrance Into Om
greatest number' of groups— the gtrt
•who ' is " most variously parasitical.
The moment «na sets up's> constell»»
tlon tof her own - she ceases to b«
•popular," acquires enemies, syco
phants and possibly a few friends.
John Meadows tries to comfort m«
by oayinff that no child of mine cou!4
ever become universally liked — unleat
•b?e was dead!--I.wish'rwere i «tur» ox" It
My Dear: Eversince you.'left I na*«
been "worrying about purely material
trifles.'
I . always . took superlative;* care ci
your hands, for I once lost a proposal
I : would ' have , liked to have had (Jnsl
"had," you know), solely because two
of my half moons were almost covered
by the ; cuticle. Of such trifles "love*
is made. -He told me ell about It aTUr
ward. 1" ;,.
"While I am on this sort of thing let
me remind you (not because you need
It particularly) that you can't be too
fastidious about petticoats and all that.
You. will -find two dozen of eye rythinj
in the; big gray. trunk. Never let your
stock, run down: /Keep adding to tt.
,'Always act as if your maid were nest
,week'to be at the ear of your "most ma
licious acquaintance. You, have as yel
'no'. "secreta of 'tha " toilet" to hide, but
there v other things. " If, " for
you chance" to" miss your \ morning bath,
don't let J her.' ! know*lt, : and never exhibit
any of your weaknesses before her.
This will be - fatiguing, but you are
young enough' to stand It. At any rate.,
It is a part of the life you have chosen
~— this espionage of servants and the
necessity for being always on parade.
•It; Is tolerably clear to ma that soon
er -or later . you • will decide to marry,
even though you are compelled thereb?
to lose a million.- Let it bo sooner. A
bachelor maid's position In "society*
:is delightful up to thirty, but It palls,
my dear; and thirty Is not the age it
which \ a woman " has her best oppor
tunities for marriage — no matter whai
the women of thirty may tell yoa
You would not care to have a ht:a
band younger than yourself (his fresh
ness would be unbecoming), and a
\u25a0 bachelor of thirty-five is so apt to b«
baldlsh or apoplectic or worse still.
;dub-brokea; , Oh, it -Is- much, much
•wiser to settle the . matter before yon
are' 'even' ; twenty-eight. Yoa get a
younger^ fresher-hearted man and bet
ter children and < here' a the vital point)
your children know- you in your prime.
Take warning 'from my case. I
wafted 'until' frightened by thirty, with
the result* that before you and Hal and
[Will -were blg.\ enough to appreciate
such things . X , had . lost my youth and
most of my % vitality.
Can even you." the eldest, realize that
ence your < mother was . a thing all fire
and enthusiasm— beautif ally alive with
luminous ey es ? . v .\u25a0 v
! No," my dear, yon can not." You think
of me as -having . always i been . a stout
brlndle-halred - phlegmatlo \u25a0 womaa of
fifty. .•-".\u25a0--, ;.. .--\ , . *S« \u25a0
\u25a0'. ; It ; la not; exhilarating, to.be thouxat
of in 'that way 'and" moreover I ha-re
not' half so. much influence ov*r yoc as
It I were young. and handsome.'
"While ye may. go marry." thai la
my advice. . If Kate Indorse* it she
will 8 surprise me ] much. -
: You see.* although* she knows large
quantities of -people (people ow meaa
ures by., the . foot.o r quart) she has
reached the aga when her only chance
for;;' really active- circulation among
them Is : as the \u25a0 chaperon* \u25a0of some
charming girl. -. She has * acquired the
girl at last— will she. do you think, be
In ; a r hurry' to give her up to a has
band?v- .:"*\u25a0;. v-- ..;/ > - '.•
i -This, reluctance of hers -to part with
you will. In reality, be. of the utmost
assistance to you In marrying well—*
don't let' her suspect It.
The. . shortsighted methods 'of the
average mother who hurls her daughter
at matrimony and Jerks her son away
cause* tnoat of the old maids In th«
vrorld and most i of '>. the' weddings, too,
for men would never marry unless they
encountered opposition somewhere.? -'«
R«'ally, the o nl ''- rational climax to
the. butterfly career you have chosen ta
to settle on the very nicest -man in the
world-end make him your, abject hus
band.. Neither, your beauty, nor your
money - (even if s you could keep it)
would r enable you .to do this. It Is
quite Impossible to figure out any sys
tem; for i enslaving . a man in the way I
mean. I've 'seen commonplace, dull
women accomplish it and charming ones
.fall. Possibly the condition "is due to
self-hypnotism on. the part of the hus
band. \. '• .", . '- .. '. *. \u25a0- ... r.. ' ...,,
. -\u25a0*:-. But enough'of husbands. At" present
probably all you are wanting. ia to sco
th« -world and to be sought by what
Kate \u25a0" calls 'the "nice" part » of . it. No th
ing Is so fatal to this ambition aa talk
ing; a great 'deal and praising one hu
man being before or to 'others.' Jt%
extolling a person It is ten ohances to
one that your approbation will, not be
sweeping . enough to satisfy ' the recip
ient ?. and <It \ Is '- certain ' tnat . you ' will
offend every other person wltlsla sound'
of • your voice.* ' , '
i"rlt j took me ' thirty- thr'ea^ years to find
this outfor sure. '-.• -'..• . ' T
As. for talking more .than Js neces
fsary,', look ' at r Sa ran Moore I , Her con- .
versatlon "*; Is • diverting, Vwltty.: and he»
voice magnetic." yet at a dinner 'doesht
. everybody * treat ; h«r : much ; as . If , she
were!a' hired band?. .The oth«r :glrl»: glrl»
'fllrC'worfc * off '.their little . glances : and
'dinky \u25a0 feminine - stunts 7 under J cover of
her ch eerf ul ; performance, • and • the man
'who' takes * Sarah in to .'dinner *is \u25a0- Juat
,as 1 little; in 'love with herVas before!
* I? effervesce; with" amazement 'when.
: remembering that; there > was* a tlmo
when I myaelf tried to outshlae the
male ;thing3that;.wanted;t» like m%
Even a peahen knows baitax. IX 3X.

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