OCR Interpretation

Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, February 28, 1915, EDITORIAL SOCIETY, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1915-02-28/ed-1/seq-19/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

-4 l
Omaha Sunday Bee Magazine Pag
Mr. Alsop, Whose Wife,
50 Years Younger Than
He, Is Suing for
By Mrs. Effie Pope Alsop.
HAD always been brought up to be
lieve that there was golden truth la
the old maxim:
"Better be an old man's darling
Than a young man's slave."
I know now that this Is not true. I
have been an old man's darling.
When I was nineteen years old I mar
ried an aged multl-mlllionire who is on
his way toward his eightieth year.
My marriage to old Mr. Alsop was
against my own Judgment, my Impulse,
my Instinct and my beat reasoning. But
1 was carried oft my feet by the false
logic of that wretched adage which I
have just quoted above.
I should never have married this aged
matrimonial partner if I had not been
Influenced by the false doctrine of that
wickedly misleading maxim. In the hours
and hours of repeutance and awakening
from this false dream I have taken the
trouble to look into the origin of this
"mischievous proverb. And it seems to
have had a Dutch origin. If I had known
as much of the maxims and proverbs and
literature of love three years ago, when
I married Mr. Alsop, as I know now,
when I am suing him for a separation, I
would never have married him.
For instance, Shakespeare created th
idage: "Crabbed age and youth cannot
live together." And another similar one
is "Gray and green make the worst med
'ey." And there are many others.
Why did I not know these truthful
naxlms instead of the utterly false one
ihat has ruined my life!
Yes, ruined. For, although I am now
qnly twenty-three years old, I hava
ffl : . -A ' A
-a (V)
tj Hi , " 1
i .
y i j
VIrs. Alsop Demonstrating the Maxixe Step
Which Made Mr. Alsop So Angry "He
Ordered My Partner from His
House, Never to Return."
breathed so lonp the atmosphere of age,
bave dwelt so long among old people,
old houses, old stories and old-fashioned
vies of conduct that I am prematurely
ld myself. I sacrificed on the marriage
'Jtar the things that make life worth
Wing things beautiful, irrevocable
ny youth, ray girlhood dreams. Like the
rings of bright butterflies imprisoned In
i tomb, they have withered to gray dust.
"Yet we know that something sweet
Follows Youth with flying feet.
And will never como again."
I do not wish to emphasize my per
tonal experiences as the wife of Edward
i. Alsop, except as they are figurative
f one of the Great Impossibilities the
aarriage of a young girl to an old man.
3ut I hold It a solemn duty to present
tome of those remarkable experiences
is a warning to other potential "old
men's darlings," dazzled and deceived.
I do not attempt to place blame for the
tragedy of my married life. Was H I?
'as it Mr. Alsop? Was it the plate he
mashed in the midst of a dinner party
tecause I danced with a young man?
A'as it my boredom with his antique
.'rlenda and my isolation from all triends
of my own age? I would not say. 1
would brush, rather, out and away, all
the petty personalities and difference)
and declare the thing to blame was sim
)ly the barrier of the years the intan
gible, yet insurmountable, wall wj;ic!i
ivides the generations. I'puu that wall
The Saddening
Young Mrs.
Married A Multi-Millionaire
Four Times Her Age and Soon
Learned How Cruel, False
and Illogical The Old Maxim Is
is written in letters of fire: "Let youth
choose youth In wedlock; age cleave to
There were two or three "generation
barriers" between Mr. Alsop and myself.
There Is a speculative possibility that I
might have been able to endure the ex
clusive society of people of the genera
tion before mine. But the faded deni
zens of the dim past, from among whom
I was called to choose my companions
and In whose cackled quips and anec
dot?s, venerable as themselves and as
often visited upon me, I was supposed
lo find amusement, they were a bit too
far In the forest of time.
As I breathe deep of this free air of
California though 1 am not yet free of
the legal bonds that hold me to my hus
band I can scarcely keep from crying
aloud my Joy of emancipation from the
society of crones and cronies.
Riches? You say that I was surround
ed with all the things of luxury and
beauty, of culture and comfort, that most
women crave? Why, little girl, you who
are being pampered and petted, beset
with gifts and compliments by some
gray-haired courtier. I tell you that I
would rather be a free scrubwoman than
return to the moral slavery that went
with the luxuries.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Alsop was
parsimonious with me in the extreme
after our marriage but I admit the beau
tiful old mansion In Washington was
stored with treasures. So is an Egyptian
Rather the sight from my window of
that graceful, slatternly cowboy riding
off to the herds below the blue mountains
youth and strength and freedom of the
West than all the splendors of the Al
sop mansion, where old
men and chattering old
women pass through the
gilded balls to worship at
the shrine of obsolete so
cial sanctities.
That was the trouble, it
wasn't' his jealousy, al
though when he became
jealous of his own son it
did seem a pity. It wasn't
his being stingy with me
about upending money, for
I could usually coax btm
to pay the bills. It wasn't
lack of devotion, for my'
husband was much, much
too foolishly affectionate.
It whs the blind, cruel, im
possible idea that be could
mould me into the spirit,
if not the likeness, of his
sged friends, and still keep
me happy.
He moulded me. I nm
an old woman at twenty
three. I catch myself look- .
ing in the mirror for gray
hairs. But n to happiness
(and I believe be wished to
make me happy, In bis own
way) it simply could not
exist for me in the atmos
phere of the early forties.
It was when we gave our
first dinner after the wed
ding that I was initiated.
Mr. Alsop made out a list
of people to ask. When I
saw that they were all
from the other half of the
last century I was dis
mayed. I suggested that
we ask some of my young
friends. He would none of
it. This was to be a digni
fied and formal dinner, not
a children's party. If I
could not form myself to
the high position to which
I had been called I could
at least refrain from in
terfering with the cus
tomary tenor of the Alsop
I weptand he won. They came.
I do not wish to make light of the
infirmities of age, 'but when that line of
the bald and the gray went bobbing past
me my heart went cold. I felt like Rip
Van Winkle after be woke up the soul
still young in him, but to his eyes the
faces of all his human associates suddenly
seared with years. It wasn't that I
trembled for the future. There didn't
seem to be much of any future in this
world of people on the verge of the grave.
I felt only a clammy, a deadening finality.
I thought I had one foot in the grave, too.
They talked. I learned that the White
House is not what It was In the days of
dear President Pierce. I learned that
Alice and Phoebe Cary were twin lights
of poesy and that Oliver Wendell Holmes
w as the greatest humorist that ever lived.
I beard stories of "befoh the wah"
stories that I was to hear again and yet
again. I felt as if some unseen power bad
hisked me out of myself and set me back
three-quarters of a century. The only
up-to-the-moment remarks of tbe evening
were the confided chronicles of tbe state
of this one's rheumatism and that one's
I rebelled and managed to push up a
few frightened Spring-shots of Youth
through this human mold. I obtained per
mission to have a few young people at the
dinners. That only led to more bitter
troubles. That house was dedicated to
old age; my life was to be a sacrifice to
Alsop Who
it. Whether the weapon was Jealous rage
or silent disapproval, my trembling
friends were driven from my doors.
Let me recall here a scene or two from
among the many "scenes" in the little
drama called "An Old Man's Darling:"
The Library His two young sons have
come home from college for the holidays.
They are manly, refreshing fellows.
Harold says: "Look out, dad, or we'll
run away with mamma." A remark in
most shocking taste, but quite forgivable
by any one with understanding of a col
lege boy's sense of humor. I see the blow
coming before it falls. Mr. Alsop flies
Into fury. Quivering with rage, he de
nounces the startled lad until he flees
from the room. Harold has since died.
A Dinner Tarty at Our House a few
young people have been asked, for I am
In open insurrection against senile mo
nopoly of my social existence. 1 have
even managed to have a little music for
dancing. There is a young man sittlr
next me who discusses a new step. He
will show It to me after dinner. I am
bored and nervous 'with the talk of the
aged majority. It is between courses and
the musicians are playing. "No; let's
dance it now," I exclaimed on a
sudden impulse. And away "we
whisk around the room.
There is a crash. The table is
in confusion. My husband has
raised his plate and smashed it to
bits in front of him upon the table.
He bad risen red-faced and furious,
and the evening is ruined.
A dance at our house several
weeks later I have moped at
home until Mr. Alsop has con
sented to the dance. He strides
upon thd floor la the midst of a
maxixe and hotly orders my young
partner from his house, never to ,
These cruel humiliations con
tinued and developed new phases.
My allowance of spending money
was so small that it amounted to
practically nothing. But If I went
shopping to New York, my fond
but Jealous husband let me know
that he would pay no hills. That
was to bring me home early.
My nerves broke under ths
strain. In despair I fled to Europe.
He came after me and brought ma
home. But I shuddered in the air
of the quiet house. I shrank from
his constant caresses. I fled for
tbe last time.
Had I ever been In love with
him? No. But I had honored and
respected the stately courtier who
began to dominate my life when I
was fourteen years old.
Fourteen! A little maid in a
sunbonnet on the lawn of a hotei
at Lake Toxoway. North Carolina.
My mother is with me. Friends
from Atlanta have a friend to in
troduce to us. It is Mr. Alsop.
Instantly he has singled me out
from among the others. He bends
above me as deferentially as to a
queen. He pays me playful com
pliments. And I sit and look up,
blushing with embarrassment.
Into the eyes of the man who is to
be for years to come tbe con
trolling figure in my life.
At Toxoway they called him
my "big Newfoundland do."
because he followed ma about
so faithfully. They are skilled
and persistent wooersthese Romeos
of seventy. Every day after the first
meeting he sent me flowers; every other
day, a box of candy. Ha flattered me into
silly self-esteem by confiding to roe busi
ness "secrets" which he knew I did not
understand. I was proud of the trust.
When he returned to Washington he
continued to send gifts perfectly proper
ones, candy and books and flowers, but
ten pounds of candy at a time, crates
of flowers and whole sets of authors'
The five years of his courtship were
Why Doctors Endorse Military
NATIONAL defense Is perhaps the"
leading question to-day, and no
profession Is more vitally interested
than the medical, for none must contrib
ute more of its personnel to the military
forces, writes the editor of American Medi
cine. There are no differences of opinion
as to tbe necessity for us to be prepared
to repel invasion, but the kind and amount
of preparedness are the points in dispute.
Even the extreme pacificists who argue
that armaments ought to disappear and
will disappear in time, seem to be unani
mously of opinion that for the present we
must be able to defend . ourselves. All
nations depend upon a citizenry trained
and accustomed to arms, and that fact Is
accepted In this country. We must now
determine, bow many citizens should be
trained and bow long?
The English speaking nations have never
made any efforts in this direction in times
of peace, snd have trained only the few
' C'ODvrlsht. ISIS bv th Rt r---
or -.-
n i ... - ; . v r- '- .,: . . . . v'
xoung wira. Alaop, Who I ells
happy years, although, unconsciously,
surely, subtly, I was being severed from
my youth. About me, even then, were
being forged the shackles of which only
an "old man's darling" can know the ul
timate pain. With young companionship
as a background for his love, all was well.
But even the young friends spoke the
lying adage in a cynic chorus that I
then thought sincere.
I had come to rely upon Mr. Alsop in
all things. He wrote me pages of love
mingled with pages of business confi
dences. So it went on for five years. Of
who volunteer for service In the small army
and navy. The Swiss go to the opposite
extreme and train every one a certain
number of hours or days each year but per
mit them to go about their civil employ
ments in the meantime. The rest of the
Continental nations adopted a half way
They train only those needed to keep
the regular army up to a certain strength
which varies according to the supposed
need of having a force for instant use
about 1 per cent of the population more
or less being kept under arms. It takes a
long time to recruit an army and equip It
Tbe Russians required eighteen months
to get ready to fight tbe Japanese, who
won out by preparedness. Tbe war ended
because of domestic disturbances In Ku
rope Just when the Manchurian army was
ready to fight
Whether or not we should be furnished
with a large army for instant use need
Orsat "'lUIn RirhU nservtd.
f ! xiMH-Vv- y;v . W 'N -r vvv..;."?
, . ' "a ....'vW-..-v-;
V";,'; H .'v. M' , v. '
. : . . v ... r ... ... ' ' '
.--'( v " t-...f s-.i -
Here Why Life a "An Old Man'a Darling" Must; End in Failure.
course, then It was settled. The shackles
were beyond breaking. He had formed
all sorts of combinations in restraint of
my doubting heart. The love of an aged
millionaire is as monopolistic as one of
great industries. At the age of nineteen
the two A's won Alsop and the Adage.
I married him. .
I did not marry for money. 1 do not
think that, after five years of courtship,
I could be said to have married blindly.
I married for happiness. I liked, honored
and respected him.
Honored and respected! Dangerous
Training for
not be discussed, because the people think
they do not need it, and they will not have
It, though they all confess that we might
have a bigger one than at present. The
only thing left Is an extensive training of
civilians to constitute a reserve from
which to recruit an army needing little
training. Arms and ammunition must be
made in advance, but no one seems to
know to what amount.
The wear and tear on clothing is so
great in war as to necessitate a new out
fit every mouth or two, so that the means
of making It must be Improvised anyhow
and the lack of tbe Initial supply is not so
serious as the lack of trained men and
arms. Tbe whole matter bolls down to a
question of training, and nothing can ba
done until public opinion demands It
A large percentage of our population is
foreign born, and so glad to escape thai
necessity for training that they will not
consent to it until dire need forces them.
words, little lass, on the dizzy, dazzling
verge of becoming an "old man'a dar
ling." Beware of them. Look forward to
the time when you are a prisoner in
your palace of dreams, when spectral
senility besets your doors, when youth )s
banished from your life.
But there. I have told you my story,
After all, Shakespeare said 4t all, bluntjy,
and truthfully, centuries ago:
"Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together."
American Boys
The problem before us then, .s tar more
complicated than usually admitted. For
the present we must depend upon patriotic
volunteers, but there is no objection to
making military drill a part of the public
school curriculum.
As a callsthenlc and hyglenlo measure It
will serve an excellent purpose. Target
shooting would be hailed with Joy by every
normal boy and would add test for school.
As a public health measure the profession
can safety advocate the innovation with
out treading on the toes of the extremists
who want peace at any price even the
price of liberty. Germans and French
men have repeatedly asserted that their
armies had given back to the soldier fat
more than he had contributed to nations
defense. As hygieuists, we should rejolc
at the prospect of developing our youth
morally, mentally and physically by mill
tary training.
t. r

xml | txt