THE parish of Chillicothe in the Scioto Valley was a very old one. Old St. Paul's consisted of an old square brick church with a rectory on one side and a parish house on the other side; then there was a chapel for a large settlement in the east end, and a chapel for coloured people in the west end; there was an assistant, and after a time a deaconess who was ordained by Bishop Vincent in St. Paul's. It was in 1897 that we settled in the old rectory; a gloomy old house it was, and yet I have some delightful memories of our life there. More genuine gentle- folk than the people of that old town I have never known.
Chillicothe was originally the capital of the Virginia Military District, and was settled by Virginians. When Virginia ceded the Northwest Territory to the Federal Government, she reserved such a portion of the land lying between the Scioto and the little Miami rivers as would suffice for the location of the bounty warrants of her Revolutionary soldiers. These warrants simply called for so many acres of land. So across the mountains they came, with their carts and wagons and carriages and horses and often with their coloured dependents, and after finding a surveyor they proceeded to locate as many acres of land as their respective warrants called for. This "locating" was done under the old statutes of "Metes and Bounds" so many rods to a watercourse; thence so many poles to a hackmetack tree. The land was selected by each claimant according to his ideas of its fertility, no attention being paid to any possible aftercomers nor to any possible roads to be built in the future; with the result that many of the tracts were long and narrow and winding-what were known as "shoe-string tracts," often following the windings of little streams. When in aftertime conveyances of these lands were made by sale or by mortgage deed, the deciphering of these instruments required more than the skill of the proverbial "Philadelphia Lawyer"; for he would have been lost in such a maze. Only the trained judgment and pathfinding sense of a Scioto Valley lawyer, who was by long experience habituated to such puzzles, was competent to decipher them. The land of the Valley was alluvial soil and river debris and it was of unparalleled fertility; the sight of it from some of the hill tops was of such beauty that lovers of the country were led to say, and in time to believe, that it was here in all truth that God had set the Garden of Eden. For me, I am still of the opinion that the old saying, "God could have made a fruit more delicious, but He did not," should be reserved for the strawberries which were grown in the Scioto Valley.
St. Paul's Church, Chillicothe dates back to 1817, and was the outcome of visits made by Bishop Philander Chase, then Bishop of Ohio. It is told that on the occasion of one of his visits to the Valley he held services in the County Court House, and as there was no vestry room available, a noted jurist observed the proprieties of the occasion by standing in front of the bishop and holding up a large bandanna handkerchief while the dignitary put on his satin and lawn. The fitness of things, the decorum which precedent called for were ruling motives in the old town even when I lived there. If ever there were a community where the maxim, "It simply isn't done," had a sanction which gave it the force of law, Chillicothe was that place. There were "first families" there, and always had been, and what they did set the pace. The ice man came to the house one day in late autumn; it was necessary for him to go through the kitchen to reach the inner sanctuary where stood the icebox. The cook said, "You all ain't gwine to come traipsin' through my nice clean kitchen with yo' ol' muddy boots much longer." "What you mean by dat?" he said. "I means dat we all's gwine to quit takin' ice pretty soon; I heard de Missus say so." "Huh," said the ice man, "you don't know what you talkin' 'bout; all de big bugs, dey takes ice all wintah"; and cook replied, "I'll has you to know, mistah man, dat we all's such big bugs in dis house dat we doesn't has to take ice all wintah fur to prove it." They had great pride of family, of their "fambly," those "cullud help," who once came from Virginia. We came home late one afternoon to find some cards and an envelope on a silver tray in the hail; it was the tray which surprised us, for usually when we would ask Jane why she did not take the tray to the door for cards the reply would be, "Oh, Miss, Ah guess Ah done fo'got it." But this time evidently she had not "done fo'got it," for there were the evidences of virtue on the table on the tray, and behind the portieres between the dining room and the hall was the dusky guardian of proprieties waiting for our comments with a sublime consciousness of acquired merit. And this followed "Jane, did some one leave these here while we were out?" "Yes'm, Yes'm, Ah reckon dem are de tickets foh de M----- weddin': Ah peeked out dis little window be-side de doah, and Ah seen dey cullud man a prancin' up de walk wid dem things on a silvah waitah, an' you bet Ah hustled back an' got ou'ah waitah for to put 'em on. Ah wasn't goin' to have dem folks a-puttin' anythin' on ovah us."
My vestry room attendant was not a judge like the Bishop's when he first came to town, but a most dignified coloured man. I am giving his name here in full letters, and I know that he will feel honoured where he is, in the best kind of a heaven, to know that I remember him with affection, and that I am so writing it down in my Book. William Hill was a tall man, very black, very white of hair; he dressed on Sundays in a long-tailed, dark-blue coat with metal buttons; he knew all the nobility and their proper places in the pews; he respected their tastes and prejudices; and they remembered him on Christmas Day when William stood at the church door, face wreathed in smiles, and bowing to each one with the grace of an oldtime courtier---for people went to Church on Christmas Day then. Shortly after we went to Chillicothe I was coming up the brick walk beneath the elm trees which led from the street to the rectory, and William was on his knees, back to the walk, trimming the borders, and talking to himself. And this is what I overheard him saying. "Ah thinks dese heah new ministah people gwine to suit St. Paul's. 'Peahs to me like dey got style, and dey got 'ligion, and dey got sense; most gen'ly when folks got style dey ain't got no 'ligion; and when dey got 'ligion dey gen'ly got no sense." Seeing a handsome carriage and a pair of black horses driving away from the gate one day just before I reached home---for those were the joyous days when a noble pair of horses furnished motive power for gentle folk---I said, "William, who were those people who have just been here? I suppose that they were some of the pillars of the church";---"No Suh," said William, "Ah don't just call dem folks pillahs; Ah calls 'em buttresses; dey suppo'hts de church fum de outside." On the day of the Battle of Santiago in the Spanish American War I heard "Uxtry!" being cried upon the street, and as soon as I heard the news I told William to ring the church bell; he complied too leisurely to suit my enthusiasm, and when he came out after a few moments of solemn ringing I said, "William; that's no way to ring a bell to celebrate a Victory; I want you to go back there and ring that bell long, and fast, and loud." "Yes, Suh," said William, "Ah'll do it of you says so; but ef dey's goin' to be any moah uv dese heah Vict'ys, I'se gwine to quit de job. Ah mos' broke mah back ringin' dis heah bell when Gin'l Lee surrendered." One morning, sitting at my study window, I heard William outside; he looked up and saw me and remarked, "De Doctah's gwine to have a good dinnah to-day. Ah heah's de cook a-singin' some good ol' Mefodis' hymns." Soon he was running water into a tin pail from the hydrant in the garden; he would lift up the pail look at the contents, then throw them out. "What's the matter, William; do you want a drink?" I said. "Yes, Suh, Ah want's a drink," said William, "but dis heah water 'd be a lot bettah if it had a few hops drawed frew it. Ah nevah could drink just watah, Suh. Ah's got one o' dese heah i'on constitutions, and just watah always rusts mah throat."
There was a gentleness and a peace about life in that old town that I never knew the like of anywhere else. I often used to think that when I should retire I would like to go back there to live out my days. But it is well that I never could do it, for there is no disillusionment like trying to live over a rare experience of the past and to try and repeat one of life's joyous chapters; you simply cannot do it; it is never the same the second time. You have changed, and they have changed, and the place has changed; you are doomed to disappointment if you try it; far better to "kiss it goodbye," and to put it away in the top bureau drawer with some tissue paper and some lavender flowers, and to remember the precious things and to forget the bitter ones, and to say Thank God for them both.
In time I was called to the church in Cumberland, Maryland, where Hewitt Reynolds would have been one of my flock had I gone there. It has been one of the privileges of my life to be associated in Santa Barbara with Hewitt and Annie Reynolds; Hewitt a schoolman of the finest ideals, and Annie Reynolds the type of woman whom it is a privilege for boys to come in contact with; it meant much to the boys of their school to see the infinite attractiveness of refined and gentle womanhood. I did not go to Cumberland because the Chillicothe people offered me another rectory; they bought a house on Fifth Street which was a lovely place to live in. Yet for all that the old rectory next the church had its disadvantages, it has its cherished memories for me.
Father came there to be with us for a time. As he began to fail in health my mother and my sister wrote me that they thought it would do him good to get away from Iowa City for a change; so I went out there and brought him back with me to Chillicothe where he stayed with me for some weeks. One day while he was there he was lying on the lounge in my upstairs study, a room which looked out over the garden, and he had been asleep. As Jeannette came in to see if he needed anything he woke up, looking utterly bewildered, and said, "It must have been a dream; I was a boy, and back in England again; and looking in that window---I thought it was the window of the house in York -I saw a gypsy looking at me, a dark man with gold earrings and a red handkerchief about his head." Here is the sequel to the story. On the floor in front of the couch on which Father was lying there was a rug which Grandmother had brought to America from their house in York when the family moved to America. Father went to sleep looking at that rug which he had known as a boy in England, and the sight of it woke up memories which had been buried decades deep, and which translated themselves in dream life into actualities. Is any deed or vision or thought ever lost? Is it all recorded for ever in the imperishable records of vibrations which neither cease nor die? What is memory? What are dreams? Where is the substance of memory on which records of spirit meanings are written so ineffaceably that decades after all physical substance has changed and changed again, scenes of long past days are clearer to sight than happenings of yesterday?
One Christmas time before we left the "old rectory" Mother and Aunt Mary and Aunt Eliza came to Chillicothe to make us a visit; they were the kind of gentlefolk to appreciate the old town. Once after we had moved into the Fifth Street rectory they came there to visit us, and Mother became very ill at that time; it was the skill and care of my good friend Doctor Hoyt which won her back to life again. Charles Hoyt was another of the "good physicians," whom it has been my privilege to have as counsellor and friend. He had two lovely boys when we lived there, and I once asked him, "Doctor, I notice that neither you nor Mrs. Hoyt ever scold the boys or reprove them, yet they seem to do as you want them to do. How do you manage it?" His reply was, "I have made it a custom to go to the boys' room every evening, and just after they have gone to sleep I sit down by the bedside and talk to them in a low voice; I make suggestions, but I never blame them; I never call a thing bad or let them feel that I think less of them for having done it, but I simply point out a better way. And if I notice that they are restless or showing signs of wakefulness I stop until they are in that borderland of the first light sleep before taking up the lesson again. I have often made tests to see if they had any waking memory of my visit and always with negative results. Often on the day following I have noticed one of the boys make a start to do something which my counselling of the night before had touched on, and I have seen the boy seemingly hesitate, and then follow the line of conduct which I had indicated as better." It should be noted that all this was years before Coué or his work had been heard of in this country.
That Fifth Street rectory had a garden which is green and fragrant in my recollection, even after all these years. There were grape hyacinths of the deepest blue under my study windows. There was an apple tree in the garden the like of which I never saw elsewhere. The vision of Holy John was of a tree which bore twelve kinds of fruit, yielding a fresh crop month by month; and that apple tree of which I write bore four different kinds of apples, beginning in early summer to complete its bounty late in the autumn. It had been grafted to these different sorts so long before that the grafts were like limbs of the great tree; and the latest of its blessings were big water-cores. I wonder if any of my readers are old enough to know what "water-cores" are like; they would drop on the ground and break open and the heart of them was so filled with luscious juice that it was transparent. This tree was taller than the house, and I have looked out into it from the attic windows when it was simply a glorious radiant sea of pink and white, and my heart would melt into that vision of beauty, until I came to realise what one sight of the Kingdom of Heaven is. There was a papaw tree in that garden which bore the largest papaws that I have ever eaten. That Fifth Street house, with the one exception of my Oriole Nest in Montecito, was the most livable house which I ever had, and my study there was just what a study should be. It was to that house that there came once a little girl, a very little girl, a shy little girl; she was our filleule and her name was Aurilla Douglas Brigham; she was Jeannette's sister Nellie's child; and from that time on she had a place in every home which we made and was welcome whenever she would come; the charm which she brought with her is a lasting and a fragrant memory.
Our nearest neighbours on Fifth Street were the family of William McClintock; there was "Miss Petrea," as she was always called, a lovely woman, I have seldom seen her like; and her father and mother were people whom it was a privilege to know, gentlefolk of the old School, kindly, generous in thought and in deed. Mr. McClintock was a Methodist; but that term carried with it no limitations to his sympathy and his kindliness. At one time we had word that Percy Haswell (Mrs. George Fawcett) was coming to Chillicothe to play in the local theatre. We had known her well at Siasconset in Nantucket where we often went for a summer holiday; so we wrote asking her to be our guest while she was in Chillicothe. In her letter of acceptance she said, "I have written the manager of the theatre to reserve a box for your use on the night of my play." The manager wrote me: "Miss Haswell has asked me to provide you with a box for Saturday night; I would most gladly comply; but a soapbox is all that the house affords in that line. However I am most happy to send you, with this, tickets for two of the best seats in the theatre." "Percy" played on Saturday night with a grace and a charm which is vivid in my memory after all these years; I have never seen an actress on the stage who charmed me more. She was our guest, and on Saturday night we took her to the theatre and brought her back in a real carriage at a very questionable (for West Fifth Street, Chillicothe) hour on Sunday morning; and the carriage, the horses, and the coachman were Mr. McClintock's. He had said to me, "Doctor, I would rather that you did not take a common hack for your guest on Saturday night, so I am asking you to let me have the pleasure of sending my carriage for you." I learned much of the fineness of Faith from Mr. McClintock. He began to fail in strength and for weeks before the end of earthly days came for him, I used to go over each evening to sit with him and have a prayer with him; he said it comforted him greatly. You see we were neighbours in the best sense of the word.
I had a close friend in the Minister of the Walnut Street Methodist Church in those days. On the occasion of the Wesley Bicentenary he asked me to speak in his church on John Wesley, his mission and his meaning for England, an invitation which I most gladly accepted. I asked Dr. Courtney what sort of dress he would prefer that I should wear at the service in the Methodist Church. His answer was, "I think that it would be a fine courtesy if you would wear in our church what you wear in your own"; so I stood in the sanctuary of the Methodist Church in surplice, hood and stole, and told the people my vision of the story of St. John of England. Shortly after this Dr. Courtney came to St. Paul's and gave a most inspiring picture of John Wesley's training in the Church of England. Before coming he had said to me, "I would like to wear just what Wesley used to wear. Can you fit me out?" I have a beautiful picture of Wesley in cassock, gown, and bands; and I had them all for my good friend Courtney to wear. One of the finest letters which I ever had from Bishop Tuttle (then Presiding Bishop) was a hearty appreciation of that Wesley Commemoration in Chillicothe.
How to write of the friends in Chillicothe who gave us so lovingly of their best! Where to begin; where to stop! The Senior Warden, Thomas Marfield, was very good to me, as were all his family. He had such abounding faith in me that he sanctioned as a matter of course anything which I wished to do churchwise. He had a witty and attractive daughter who came home one Palm Sunday morning and said to her father who had been detained from the service; "Well! and what do you think your Dr. Watson did this morning?" "Well, what was it, Daughter?" "Why he walked up the aisle with a crown on his head and a palm in his hand. What do you think of that?" "I never heard of anything like that in our church before, Dear," said my Senior Warden, in his slow sober way. "But I know that the Doctor must have had some good reason for it." And I said to myself when I heard the story, "A man has a great inspiration for living his best when anyone has a faith in him like that."
Clifford Douglas was the junior Warden. I hope that I have it right this time; I have already written Douglass with two "s's"; and I know that all these Douglas' are very sensitive about that final letter of their name; but if I've made a mistake this time it's not my fault. I have just looked up Anne Douglas Sedgwick in Who's Who in America, she is of this same tribe, and one "s" is all that is allowed her there. Clifford Douglas was a man whom one could respect and admire and love all at the same time; and that is a great deal to say of a man and a contemporary: and as for Lucy, his wife, she was---well, my adjectives, even my American adjectives, are lacking in expressiveness suitable; keen intelligence, fascinating gaiety, charm of manner and personal beauty were in her all combined. I fully appreciate something which was once said when we were at dinner together at a friend's house in Dayton and my neighbour at table said to me, "You are the only man here who has not at some time asked Lucy Douglas to marry him; and the only reason that you did not is that you were not here soon enough."
Albert Douglas was another good friend, the leading lawyer of the community, a man of influence and position; it was through him that the call to Chillicothe came to me. My last official act in Chillicothe was to officiate at the marriage of Grace Douglas, Albert's beautiful daughter. The Senior Mrs. Douglas---Madame Douglas, as she was called---opened her home and her heart to us most graciously; and to go into the entrance hail of her house where on a hatrack hung Dr. Douglas' hat, just as he had left it there when he passed through the last Great Door, was to have a glimpse of a depth of filial reverence and of family feeling which was very lovely.
Again I am thinking of the Nyes and the Saffords. The Nyes lived in a big house on West Second Street---Mrs. Nye, and Dora, and Virginia; together with Aunt Hattie, the Mrs. Towne who was so like my own Aunt Eliza; it was a house always full of a charming hospitality, and it was a family of fine old traditions. When I remember people who came from Marietta I think that it must have been a choice place, so many worthwhile people came out of it. The Saffords were another family of distinction; they lived in "Tanglewood," a charming place with a hillside garden; and the daughters of the house were as fair to look upon as the house was attractive. Mrs. Safford was an appreciative friend; I have at my hand a little book in which is written "A Happy Xmas for Dr. Watson, with love from his old friend Mrs. Safford. Tanglewood, 1902." One day Mrs. Safford gave me a volume to carry home with me; it was by Principal Caird; and when I reached home (it was a Saturday afternoon) I sat down at my desk in my study and picked up the notes which I had made ready for my Sunday morning sermon in the church and read them through. Then, for the first time, I glanced at the contents of Principal Caird's book; and I said to Jeannette, "Plagiarism does not exist: listen to this and follow it along in my sermon notes," and I read sentence after sentence almost alike, and occasionally one in the identical words. It has long been my belief that we live footfast to the earth but head free to a spiritual and intellectual atmosphere which knows no limitations of space, and I question whether it has time limits either; so that thinkers of everywhere who have attuned themselves alike receive kindred impulses from out its vasty deep.
The Storys too were my most generous friends; the Clark Storys were my comrades when we began golf together on the old Race Track, and I was the first President when we formed a Golf Club. Mary Story did something for me which no one else ever did, she chose me to be her godfather when she was christened. Most generally godfathers are wished on you by your elders for purposes of their own, and you take what is given you and say nothing, except sometimes to cry out in protest; it is a wise child who knows enough to pick her own godfather. The Walter Storys too were devoted friends and made much possible for us in the church.
Speaking of that first of my Golf Clubs, I was initiated into golf one summer at Wequetonsing by Bishop Tuttle who had a summer cottage there, and I brought back from Michigan my first golf clubs. After we had started the club in Chillicothe I had a visit one day from Willie McGregor, a professional of note, who told me that he was turning out some fine clubs and that he would like to furnish the incoming members of our new club with their kits; and as a sample of what he could do he would like to make me a present of two of his best clubs, made to my measure. "Barkis was willin' "; and the clubs are here in California now, a Brassie and a Driver, the heads of the clubs spliced on to the shafts, and the shafts of a second growth hickory so snappy that if you ever hit the ball fair, without pull or slice, it would go into "the middle of next week"; and equally the slice or the pull would be just as fierce if your stroke was poor. Another peculiarity of these spliced shafts was that when the glue which held the splice dried out, sometimes the head of the club would part company with the shaft and would go sailing down the fairway after the ball, to the great satisfaction of the gallery.
The Bennetts were another old family in Chillicothe whom I hold in grateful memory. Alice Bennett was the choir leader. When I first came to St. Paul's the choir occupied some proscenium seats in a large box stall at the head of a side aisle. When it was decided that the choir should be vested and occupy seats in the chancel it was Alice Bennett who made it all possible; much of my work there was made possible by her devoted allegiance. Another member of this family whom we were proud to claim for old St. Paul's was John Bennett. He came to his own when he published Master Skylark. And Harry Bennett, both writer and scholar, gave me constant aid and understanding help; his "Hats Off! The Flag Goes By!" made his name known at home and abroad. When the Field Service of the American Ambulance Hospital acquired a house on the Rue Raynouard and went to the Front as an independent unit, an American Flag was presented to the House by Mr. Clarence Mackay, whose beautiful mother, Mrs. John Mackay, was one of my devoted friends in France; and at the dedication of House and Flag I was asked to read a poem in French about the Stars and Stripes. I could find none that was suitable, so I translated into French Harry Bennett's "Hats Off!", and used it for the ceremony.[See page 276]. Another member of the Bennett's whose homecoming was always a holiday when she came for a vacation from Wellesley where she was a teacher was Martha Bennett.
And so the list grows as I let memory range over those years from 1897 to 1903. Their names are not forgotten---Ireland, Boggs, Minshall, Bell, Pearson, Hathaway, Sears, Minear, Brimson, Miesse, Howson, Downes, Houk, Mills, Smart, Smith, McDougal. I would like to pay a personal tribute to each one of those who made my life in the Scioto Valley so fair a recollection, and who were so very good to me and mine. I would like to tell of the founding of the Sunset Club, of which I was one of the initiators; of my cordial relations with the masonic fraternity in Scioto Lodge No. 6.; and of my visits to Cincinnati for the dinners of the Society of the Colonial Wars, of which I was chaplain for a time.
It was in 1903 on a summer Sunday morning that I noticed in the church two men whose faces were strange to me. In the afternoon they came to the rectory to see me; and in the coming years they became my close friends; they were Charles B. Raymond and Karl Kendig and they were vestrymen of St. Paul's Church in Akron; and as a result of their visit we went to Akron to live.
Leaving Chillicothe meant leaving Bishop Vincent, and that meant much to me. For a clergyman to be associated in work with a Bishop with whom he is always in complete harmony in every move whether it be diocesan or parochial; to be admitted to his Bishop's counsels; to be made welcome to his house in closest intimacy; to share his plans for diocesan work and legislation---all this is so rare a privilege that words cannot tell what my heart would say; and this was my relation to my Bishop of Southern Ohio. I admired Bishop Vincent as an administrator and as a preacher; I was grateful for his cordial friendship so freely given me. But the deepest chords of my heart were set vibrating when I was with him in his family life and at his table, in his study in the evenings, saw his thoughtful care of his invalid brother, saw his gentle deference to his sister, and above all saw his tenderness to his dear aged mother when she would come into the study to bid him good-night---that is what it meant to a presbyter to be a part of the human life of his Bishop. I am deeply grateful for all that Bishop Vincent means to me, and my life has been the finer for it. Bishop Vincent succeeded by right of seniority to the office of Presiding Bishop but he did not accept the charge. That fact reminds me of the number of Presiding Bishops with whom I have been associated. As a presbyter of the European Jurisdiction I was transferred first to the then Presiding Bishop, Bishop Tuttle; then I passed automatically to the charge of Bishop Garrett, Bishop Talbot, Bishop Murray, Bishop Anderson; and now I am attached to the jurisdiction of Bishop Perry. My good friend, Bishop Leonard, was another who inherited the Presiding Office by right of seniority, and declined to accept the post.
The change from Chillicothe to Akron was another marked epoch in my life. Chillicothe was a dream away town, Akron was the keenest of industrial communities; in Akron, among other things, I learned to be a business man. Bishop Leonard, at whose suggestion I was called to Akron, gave me the most hearty welcome; it was a welcome with a hereditary feeling in it: he had been a boy in Owego, N.Y. the time that my grandfather was rector there: and, in time, I became for Bishop Leonard, as I had been for Bishop Vincent, Chairman of the Diocesan Committee on Constitution and Canons, the only diocesan office which ever had the least attraction for me. In Akron my first welcome came from a family all of whose members are very dear to me. When I made a visit to Akron to look the field over and to determine whether I ought to accept the work or not, I was a guest at the house of Mrs. Helen Raymond, long one of the most devoted friends of the Church; and the gentle courtesy of the members of that household was a strong factor in making me feel that we could wisely make the move.
A short time after we were installed in the rectory, Jeannette showed signs of fatigue, partly consequent on the strain of breaking up one home and settling another one, for she dearly loved Chillicothe. One of the first to notice it was Mrs. George T. Perkins, who said to me one day, "Your dear wife is tired out and needs a rest; I am coming for her with the carriage this afternoon and she is coming down to make a visit until she picks up again; you can keep your office at the rectory and come and make your home with us for a while, and we will make her well." Deep feelings cannot be set down on paper. I can only say, looking back at it from this distance of many years, that no visit which I ever made was a greater blessing; it made life new again. Our welcome came from all the family, from Colonel and Mrs. Perkins; from their daughter Mary and her husband Charles B. Raymond; and from their children, Mary and George. Colonel Perkins was a great man; great in heart, in character, and in constructive ability; his daughter Mary resembles him in all essential traits; and Mary and Charlie Raymond have been to me all that a brother and a sister could have been. Charlie Raymond, while in a measure relieved of his heaviest responsibility in the active management of The B. F. Goodrich Company, of which Colonel Perkins was the creative and long the administrative head, is now giving his time and his executive ability to the direction of the affairs of Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, of the Santa Barbara Foundation, and of the First National Trust and Savings Bank of this city. Mary Raymond is a leader in all that pertains to the City's interests in music, in drama, and in art. I have known them both intimately in all the stresses of strong lives; and rarely is one given the privilege to know the inner meaning of lives like these, for whom opportunity means but the other name for sharing with others, and to whom difficulties have been but a school for courage. And Mary Raymond has an undaunted spirit which has ever won my constant admiration.
The Senior Warden of the Church when I went to Akron first was judge Marvin; he was a man whom every one respected, and he became a hearty friend. At a dinner which was given for the furtherance of the church's interests, the judge paid me a compliment which was much to my liking, in eulogizing my friendliness of attitude toward the other churches of the city. He illustrated his point by saying
"I was once required to give a decision in a case in Court which involved some properties situated in a part of the country where most of the people were settlers who had come there from Sweden. After a journey by train I was met by the Sheriff of the County, who drove me to where the property in question was located. On the way we passed by a country cross-roads the corners of which were occupied respectively by a church, a store, another church, and a school house; and I said 'Sheriff, how is it that they have two churches here? it does not seem that there are enough people hereabouts to well support even one of them.' 'I don't know, judge," said the Sheriff, 'but here is one of the local characters, we will ask him.' Then calling to the man who came up to us, 'Ole, the judge here wants to know about your churches.' 'Yes, my friend,' I said, 'I want to know how it comes that you have two churches here for this little settlement?' Val, Judge,' said the man, 'Daas account deefferance releegion.' 'Difference of religion?' I said. 'What kind of a church is that one?' and I pointed to the one on the right hand corner. 'Daas Looterann Church, Judge.' 'And that other one,' I said, pointing to the church on the left hand corner, 'What kind of a church is that, Ole?' 'Oh,' he said, 'daas Looterann Church also.' 'But,' I said, 'you just told me that you had two churches here on account of differences of religion, and now you tell me that they are both Lutheran Churches. Where does the difference of religion come in?' 'Waal, Judge,' said Ole, 'it ees thees way: daas church ofer dere, he believe as all trouble come in world from Ev-ah: and dees church, he believe as Adam was damn fool from bayganning.' "And," said the judge, "I have long been wondering just which one was right; in fact the theological differences between ecclesiastical splitups are much like that, in my opinion, many of them; and to a humble jurist like myself they are too deep to fathom; and I am glad to see that our rector does not take them seriously enough to let them militate against good fellowship and community service."
Another warden was George W. Crouse, a man deeply interested in the Akron Church. When we came to the building of the new St. Paul's, his faith in the move and his faithfulness in furthering the project were essential elements in its success: the Crouse Memorial Organ was a tribute to the family name.
This reference to the building of the new St. Paul's brings in another name of interest, that of Ohio C. Barber, the longtime head of The Diamond Match Company. One evening he was at the rectory at dinner with us, and after dinner he was walking up and down the long living room, hands behind his back, digesting a postprandial cigar, and looking at a lot of sketches of churches which had been sent me by Mr. Coolidge of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge of Boston (I had known Mr. Coolidge in Maine one summer). Mr. Barber turned to me and said, "Doctor, how much will be the cost of such a church as you propose to build?" I told him that the cost would be about $75,000. "And how much can your people raise?" "They have $60,000 in sight," was my reply. "It is not enough," he said; "Tell them that if they will raise $75,000 an unnamed friend will give $25,000 additional; that will then make $100,000, and with that sum you can build such a church as you should have." Needless to say that the Vestry accepted the offer with enthusiasm and set about at once raising the necessary money. I went East for a vacation; Mr. Barber went to Europe. When I returned I found that the $75,000 had been subscribed; and I took the first opportunity of seeing Mr. Barber and telling him that our part was done. My reception was most cordial; even more than that; Mr. Barber was enthusiastic; he said that he was ready to do something infinitely finer than he had at first proposed. And this was his proposition---"Tell your people that I want to build a church in Akron which will be a historic monument; it will be built after the general design of the Church of the Madeleine in Paris. Mr. Burnham of Chicago will draw the plans; I have made all the arrangements with him, and all that you and your people have to do is to buy the ground and make it ready and I will build the church which will cost at least $400,000." My Vestry were as dubious about this proposal as they had been enthusiastic about the first one. They were business men with a wide outlook, and the first thing that impressed them in the matter was the probable cost of the upkeep of the building proposed; it would be a monument and a wonderfully beautiful thing for the city; but monuments are expensive to maintain. Secondly, it had been hard work to raise that $75,000, and they naturally hesitated about expending it all on a building site and walls and drives; as trustees they felt that their cash expenditure should be balanced by some contractual security guaranteeing that, in the event of the generous donor's meeting with financial misfortune they would not be left with a large piece of ground, a larger pile of stone, and no church. So the matter "went to committee"; our legal advisers and Mr. Barber's legal advisers took the matter in charge. In the meantime Mr. Burnham had drawn the plans, and they were glorious; not a replica of The Madeleine, but a Greek temple of perfect proportions exteriorly, and within adapted to the worship of the Episcopal Church; and it was my privilege to guide this adaptation.
When the plans were completed I went to New York, as Mr. Barber's guest, to consult artists and sculptors, as to the decorations of the building within and without. One element of the plans called forth much discussion and woke some strenuous opposition on the part of some of the old fashioned folk. There was to be a crypt with burial vaults beneath the building: Akron was not used to crypts, and some of the good people could not happily think of themselves as saying their prayers with a crypt beneath their feet, even though the blessed remains therein bestowed were roomed in chambers of solid stone. I think that in time we would have gotten by with the crypt, but a much more serious matter came up; the lawyers failed to find a mutual ground for agreement; a demand for guarantees on the one hand was met by objections on the other side; and in the end the conclusion as expressed by one of the wardens was, "We'll build a church for ourselves"---and we did. I've never really deeply regretted the breaking of that iridescent vase, the plan for a Church of The Madeleine in Akron. With ample---and that means all that the word conveys of meaning---with ample endowment to provide, so far as such provision can be made in advance, for the care in perpetuity and for the upkeep of what in France would be a monument historique, the creating of that dream into a reality would have been a wonderful thing to have shared. Furthermore, it would have been in accord with a conviction which came over me, the first time that I saw what Akron was and was destined to be, that the beauty side of life and of living needs emphasis in an industrial community like that; that the worship of God needs to be so exalted by the very material signs and evidences of concrete structure that the passer-by cannot escape the lesson. He would be struck in his imagination by such a building saying to him, this beauty, this solidity, this massive creation means GOD; he would meet that impression as he came from the manufacturing districts, where the immense constructions of industry never ceased telling him of the power and the might of material things; and it would be a lesson so told that it would mean a people's spiritual uplift, just as a lofty spire inevitably lifts a man's thoughts heavenward.
Ohio Barber was very good to his friends, and he counted me one of them. I was in his office one day shortly after I had had a small amount of money unexpectedly paid in, and he and his secretary were counting over some bonds which were stacked on the desk so high that the secretary could hardly see over the top of them; they represented the underlying securities of a Corporation which Mr. Barber and some of his friends had taken over, and he told me what the bonds had cost them, and what return they would make on the investment. My reply was the trite remark that, "It takes money to make money." "That need not be so for you," said Mr. Barber. "There will be an uneven number of these bonds left when we have made our division of them amongst us, and you may have as many of them as you want at the price that we are paying for them." "How safe are they?" I asked. "I have older folk to care for out of my income from what investment funds I have; and I cannot take any risks." "Well," he said, "if at any time you do not want them, just bring them back to me, and I will take them off your hands at the price you paid for them." I readily agreed to that proposition, and I took some of the bonds. All went famously until a couple of years later those bonds defaulted their interest, and the bank where I had placed them as collateral on a loan called my attention to their depreciated value. That very morning I met Mr. Barber on the street, and after the usual cordial greeting, he said, "What's the matter? is anything worrying you?" I evaded the question, probably rather clumsily, and he said, "See here, is it those bonds?" I told him that the bank had most courteously suggested their replacement, at least in part, in my collateral account. "Then, why did you not do as we agreed?" he said. My reply was that I would never hold a friend responsible for the outcome of an act of kindness which he might have done for me. "Well," said Mr. Barber, "if we're to keep on being friends, you will bring those bonds up to my office this morning." So, I went to the bank, and asked the President if I might have the bonds. "Certainly you may have them," he said, "but, will you tell me what you are going to do with them?" I told him that Mr. Barber had said that he would take them off my hands. "And he'll do it, too," said the banker. When I went to Mr. Barber's office a short time later he said, "Have you brought those bonds, Doctor?" I handed them to him. He gave them to his secretary and said to her, "Check up these bonds; reckon 7% interest on their face value and also on the coupons from the date when the interest stopped, and write the Doctor a check for the full amount which he paid for them, plus the unpaid coupons, and the interest on the entire amount."
The bank here mentioned was the National City Bank of Akron, a bank which carried me financially during the War and during the whole of my life abroad. And I must record here my tribute of gratitude to the bank for that service, as also to Nelson Stone and to Harry Williams for their unfailing kindness and courtesy to me during the many years of our association.
My first financial start in life was given me in Akron by Andrew Noah, who was at the time the Treasurer of the Diamond Rubber Company. A few thousand dollars was left me as a legacy, and being in Mr. Noah's office one day, I asked him where I could place it to best advantage. "Why not buy some Diamond Rubber Stock?" he said. "I would like to," was my reply, "but I am told that there is none to be had." "There is none on the market," said Mr. Noah, "but one of our directors has some stock which he will sell; and I can get some of that for you." And that stock was the beginning of what I hoped would be my provision for my years of retirement.
The Golf Club in those days was on property owned by Colonel Perkins, and the fees were very modest; but when it was decided to lay out a new course elsewhere and to create the beautiful property now known as the Portage Country Club, the expenses began to climb. One day as we were playing the old course Andrew Noah said to me, "Have you taken out your membership in the new club," "No," was my reply, "that will be out of my reach financially; I cannot afford to buy the necessary stock for membership." "That's easily arranged," said Mr. Noah, "I've had to subscribe to a number of shares, and I'll transfer one share of the stock to your name, and then all you'll have to provide for will be the dues." So I became a member of the Portage Country Club; and that share of stock I still have. Just before I went to France to live, and while I was arranging business matters for an indeterminate absence, I went to see Andrew and took him the stock certificate, which be had placed in my name and told him that as I was going away from Akron I thought that I should return it to him. "Not at all," was Andrew's reply, "that was a gift; you keep the stock; it is a certificate of partnership in valuable real estate, and some day it may be worth some money." I am hoping that the prophecy comes true.
To the west of the grounds of the club is what is now the home of Harvey Firestone, the creator of the great business which bears his name. When I lived on Forge Street and the Firestones lived on Fir Street, they were my near neighbours, and their little house on Fir Street has many charming memories for me, memories of christenings, and confirmations, and a marriage---and, a birthday party, and the birthday party was a lovely one. It was Harvey Senior's birthday; and the lovely mother of the three boys (which were then the family) had arranged a celebration, and we were asked to share it. "Little Harvey" as we called him---now Harvey junior---was at the table; the two younger boys were upstairs and in bed; but when the cake with all its trimmings and blazing with candles was brought in the father asked to be excused for a moment. And he went upstairs to come down shortly with two handsome boys, all rosy with their first sleep, one under each arm, and the boys had a part in blowing out the lights and in making the wishes; it is as charming a memory as I have out of a long life.
It is in the sharing of such joys that the charm of a parson's life consists; the being one with a family in their most intimate hours, one with them in both their joys and their sorrows; the seeing men who are leaders of affairs when the burdens of competition are cast aside for a moment and the man in all the simplicity of his real self appears. It was in his little study on Fir Street that I came to know the deep sensitiveness and the strong sense of responsibility, which a man of business can experience, when Harvey Firestone told me of what it cost him, heartwise, to see a factory in which he had been the factory, where he knew his men and they knew him, turned into a Corporation, and he himself alienated to an office apart, and other men come between him and his workingmen.
In that little study on Fir Street another thing happened which I remember with amusement for my part in it. I was asking Harvey Firestone about the possible placement of a few thousand dollars which had come from the payment of a loan belonging to Father's estate. He said, "Look out that window, Doctor. Do you see that little car which I just drove up in: it is being put out by a Mr. Ford of Detroit; it has a future before it. Why not buy some of the stock of that Company?" Hold your breath for the sequel! Did I buy any of that stock? I did not, and it was within financial reach. "Is it to laugh?", or Is it to cry? Well, this was another time that financial fortune sat on my doorstep, and I simply said, "How do you do?" and "Good-bye." Have I any real regrets? Not one. My life has been full of friends, and that means a life which has been rich beyond the power of money to buy. "Riches take wings," but friends remain. I have been brought well on into the seventies, always cared for by those who have borne me love; I have had enough with which to do for those whom I loved, when they had need; and I do not know that any other way would have been better.
Harvey Firestone, junior, was one of my colleagues in the Church in Akron; and the thought of that reminds me of how men whom I knew in their lesser days have grown to great days. One of my former choir boys is a bishop; another of them is a major general in the Army of the United States; my colleague in the Church in Paris all through the War is a canon of St. Paul's Cathedral in London; and Harvey, who was one of my altar boys, is now vice-president of one of America's great industries. Those altar boys in the Akron Church are a most happy memory. The choirmaster had decided that the boys who were available could not do the musical work which, in his opinion, the service called for; so it became a question as to what I could do for a group of boys to which I had become much attached, and who were gathered with the idea of their forming the nucleus of a boy choir. I simply could not let them go, so I called them altar boys, and gave them work to do in connection with the church and the services, and they took their functions most seriously. One of those functions was the arranging of the font for baptisms, the carrying of the napkin, and holding the Prayer Book. One day one of the boys who had not as yet officiated at that ceremony was reminded by his mother that he was "on duty" for the day, and that it was time for him to go to the church. "I don't want to go, Mother," he said. "But why do you say that, Son? you always like to go to help Dr. Watson; and Harvey is going." "That's all right for Harvey," said Joe, "he's done it before, and he knows how; but I don't know anything about baptisin' babies; I'll go next time." When I say that those boys were my colleagues, I mean just that; it was wonderful what they did for me. It was a large church; I had no assistant for a time; the boys were eager to help in every way: and more than in their church work they helped me; they made me their friend and their confidant, and I got from them my best lessons in boy-philosophy.
One day when I was at luncheon the little housemaid came into the dining room, and said, "Doctah, I knows dat you cant see nobody when you'se eatin, and I done told de little boy dat; but dis heah's one of you' altah boys, and he said he knew you'd want to see him, so I jes let him in, and he's in de study." She was right; it was one of my altar boys; he was on his way to school from his home on Fir Street, and he had an important question to ask me, "Was it right to play marbles for keeps?" Now I render tribute to his home training as well as to any influence which I had had on the boy that that question became for him a moral question; but that he should bring the question to me for counsel and advice seemed to me a wonderful mark of confidence. It seemed to me then that I had before me a problem of life in its entirety, not just a question of marbles; that playing marbles was simply playing the game of life on a smaller stage; and that for me to hold that lad's confidence at a moment when he had entrusted to me a problem involving a question of ethics just as important as any which might come to him in his whole after life was both a duty and a privilege. So, after a moment's thought, I said to him, "All right, boy; play marbles 'for keeps' all you want to, provided that you play a clean game; no bad language, no quarrelling, no cheating, no playing with fellows who are not honest and clean and sporty." And the sight of his honest frank face with the real feeling of partnership looking at me out of his eyes is with me yet; and what he said by looks was something which he probably could not express then in words, and it was this---"It means a lot to a fellow to have a big friend to come to who understands boys."
Most people treat children---many people treat their own children---as if they were either hopeless little idiots, or else were creatures with the same reactions as adults; whereas they are neither the one nor the other. Children, if they are normal children, live in a world which is all their own. It is one of the penalties of growing up for most people that they leave that world of the child life so far behind them that they simply cannot understand why a child cannot see things just as they do, and that they expect that the child will of course understand the grown-up point of view about things; whereas to most children the grown-up point of view is unreal and fictitious and meaningless, and leaves out of consideration much which, for a child, are the matters of prime importance. Children are full often strangers where they should be most at home, that is with their parents and in their families. I have seen the look on a child's face which pictured what Wordsworth meant when he wrote:
"Full soon thy souls shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee like a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life."
Children simply don't understand grown-up customs, which are really, many of them, nothing but reasonless conventions or artificial habits,---the outcome of "trying to be like the Jones'es." Their joys and sorrows seem trivial to grown-ups, who look upon them as childish whimsies to be smiled down upon from the standpoint of superior wisdom; whereas the grief of a little girl whose doll is broken is just as real---as real in its own way---as is the grief of a mother who has lost her child. There is a perfection in every stage of life; a child, for a child, is as perfect as is a man for a man; its emotions are just as real. And, because child nature is new, fresh, unhurt, injustices, and above all the injustices of misunderstandings, cut deeper than any which come in later life. Many a child goes into manhood or womanhood, bearing the unhealed hurts of the misunderstandings and the helpless fears of their younger days. It is ignorance that did it; that is true, but it is none the less an ignorance which entails consequences which are a handicap to many a child for all its earthly days to come. One must be a child at heart, even in one's maturest years, to make the most of that blessed privilege, the companionship and the confidences of the younger folk. I am well along in my seventies but I do not think that I will ever grow old in spirit; for I still find young folk nearer to me than are most older people.
Akron brought me the friendship of other men who felt that their business was part of a living life. One of these was George R. Hill. I said to him one day, "George, you are carrying too heavy a load: why don't you get clear of this business and let the others take over the heavy work; it will break you physically if you don't let go." He said, "Doctor, I'd do it to-morrow if it were not for our responsibilities to our stockholders; I feel that I must stand by them." George's feelings were not of the surface type; they were deep waters and still; yet sometimes they came to plain sight. I remember well the day that I christened him; it was in the old family home on Arlington Street, his father's and his mother's home, and afterward his home and Alice's. The congregation were two, his mother and his wife: and George's decision to make this outward act of allegiance to the faith of a Christian as to life's meaning seemed to me then to be a tribute to them, in part. I speak of this just as I spoke of my own decision to go into the ministry because of my mother, that I may bring out this fact---I am certain that we often find God and His meaning to us enshrined in our devotion to some other life beside ours, and that in reverencing them we reverence Him; we give our allegiance to the love which is the near-to in outward seeming, yet it is none the less an allegiance to the Infinite Love which is the Heart of All Life. God is very far off to some folk; it is hard to say to God, "'I love You"; but, if we can couple with that the love of some one nearer the Godward meaning remains the same. The Catholic's deep feeling for the Mary Mother has little of theological appreciation mingled with it; it is rather the human heart going out to some divine and understandable nearness. My own ministry found its first and deepest meaning for me in this, that in doing what Mother wished for me I was doing what God wished; and I have seen this written true in many another life.
George Hill's niece, Evalyn Kendig, and all her family were very dear to us. I say were, but I really mean are. The fact that I am writing history does not alter the fact that intimate relationships and affections do not change with time and distance. When I write of "children whom I have known," though they be grown up like Karl and Evalyn Kendig's children and may have children of their own, they are still children to me. There is something of eternity in the unchanging character of affectionate memories. And the Zilioxs, Sam and Kathryn---when I think of them, it brings to mind what I once read, that Heaven will be a community where we can have about us all who have been and are dear to us.
I would like to tell of many others who made our life in Akron worth the living, and who were our helpers in building the new St. Paul's---for that is what we went to Akron for. Their names come quick to memory---Goodhue, Brewster, Paige, Bloomfield, Saalfield, Adam, Smith, Mell Manning, Gladwin, Jones, Latta, Good, Crouse, Stanley, Houser, Lawson, Oenslager. The list would be too long to write in its entirety, but the record of their helpfulness is written on the stones of the church itself. For it was an achievement, the building of that church, and we were grateful for the opportunity. The Crouses---the three Georges---broke the ground; Fred Jones found the architect and watched over the construction; in time the building was completed; then Bishop Leonard consecrated it. And then we went to France.
THE beginning of our France-going came about in this way. First, we got used to going to Europe by going on vacations with "the Jimmies," which means the Andrews family,---James H. Andrews and Laura his wife (as they put things in Biblical chronologies); then Marion, Helen, and Edward, children of the aforesaid: and always to be remembered with them are Mr. and Mrs. Edward Day, who are Laura's father and mother. One summer we went to Fisher's Island with them, and sailed in the good Yacht Amelia; another summer we went to Hyannisport and sailed in a centreboard shallow-draft sloop and bought lobsters from the lighthouse men. Then in 1909 we went to Europe. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews had decided on a summer in Great Britain; and on a certain Tuesday evening we went out to Westwood to wish them bon voyage. Before we started back for the other side of town Mr. Andrews said to me, "There's something which I want to talk to you about before you go home"; and I wondered what was coming. This was it he said: "Our London office has secured an automobile and a chauffeur for us, and there are seats for two more in the car, and Laura and I want you and 'Peach' to go with us"---the Andrews children always called Jeannette "Peach"; and from that it came that we were known to the family as "The Peaches." No sooner had Jeannette heard the invitation than her mind was made up to accept without question. But I had some hesitations---first I did not know whether I could leave Mother so far away when she so much depended on me; then I did not have the free money necessary for such a journey; then I did not know how the services in the Church could be cared for; and to top the pyramid of questionings, I had a church wedding coming off in a few weeks and I did not want to disappoint Abby Alden; all these problems I brought out for discussion; then "home and to bed" (as Pepys says). I heard the telephone buzzing before I went to sleep, but I paid no attention to it; but in the morning it rang while we were at breakfast and Jeannette answered the call. When she came back to the table she said, "That was from your mother; Western Union Telegram; it said, 'Go by all means.'" Jeannette had sent Mother a message before we went to sleep the night before; the tide seemed to be setting Eastward. About ten o'clock in the morning came a telephone call; it was Mr. Andrews who said, "I wish that you would stop at my office when you come down town this morning"; and I stopped. He had news for me. "Mr. Crouse (the senior warden) will attend to the church matters while you are in England with us; in half an hour I will have the White Star Line on the long distance, and I think that you can get a cabin on the same deck with us; the bank will loan you the money for the trip; the assistant can take care of the church; and as for Abby's wedding, you can dismiss that from your mind; she will miss you, perhaps, for a moment on the joyous day; but soon she will forget all about it and forgive you." So that was that. We took the train on Thursday, we sailed on Saturday, and in a week's time we landed in Liverpool.
It is vivid with me still, the keen delight which Mr. Andrews took in sharing with us the sights which thrilled him. We must let the unpacking go; we must be out on deck to see the ship pull out from her dock and watch the waving crowd; steamer letters and state room arrangings could well wait for a time when there was nothing better to do; and we must stay on deck till we had passed Liberty---that statue of which the Frenchman said, "You have the statue; we have the liberty." The joy of sharing! the privilege of rich natures! I learned to know more fully what that meant during all my association with Jim and Laura Andrews and their family. From Liverpool we went up to London, and on one jubilant morning we started from the Savoy Hotel in what would look to us now as a funny little car on our way to see what was "on the other side of the Looking Glass."
We lunched with John Bunyan at Bedford; we slept at Peterborough; we lunched at the White Hart at Lincoln; we slept at The Swan at Mansfield; and on the way we saw cathedrals at Peterborough and at Lincoln; at Southwell we saw Southwell Abbey and the carvings of its Misereres, and the sculptured capitals in the Chapter House; and J.H.A. was very patient with our lingering longings after old churches. At Mansfield we could not find our way at first into the Swan Inn; one enters from a courtyard which is hidden away at the end of a narrow passage between old buildings. It was well for us that this was so, for it gave us another chance to taste some old-fashioned British humour (being British I must spell it with a "u"). Just across the street from where we halted our car was what we call a butcher shop---there it was called flesher's---and all in front of the shop there was a grand display of pink and white hindquarters and forequarters and backs and breasts of plump animals (a sight resembling in some ways a bathing beach in this sunny clime); and in the show-window there was a beauteous bowl of mint bearing this sign on a little placard, "Will the party who stole the shoulder of lamb last Wednesday kindly come back for the mint." From Mansfield we coached it through the Dukeries, and we saw Robin Hood's Oak in Lincoln Forest; and toward evening we came to York. As soon as I was dusted off I set out from Harker's York Hotel, all by my lonesome, and made my way without asking directions to Marygate, the street where Father was born. There was a pageant going on in York that weekend; it represented the old York of the days when it was a Roman Colony; and in the doorway of one of the houses stood a tall figure wearing Roman armour and a helmet and carrying a great sword over his shoulder: an irreverent passer-by, who knew who was inside the armour said, "'Ello, Tom; I suppose you think you're Damocles": "Ah doant knaw who Damocles be," said the ancient Roman. "But Ah kno-ah Ah'm damn 'ot."
From York we motored over to Ripon and to that faery place, Fountains Abbey; then we went to Durham where Jeannette paid her filial tribute to her forebears in the little Chapel of the Cathedral which is called The Neville Chantry. From Durham we went northward by way of Newcastle intending to be at Otterbourne for luncheon. Otterbourne meant something to me for it was at the Battle of Otterbourne that Sir Hugh Montgomery was killed; but we were delayed by the weather, and it was a weary lot of travellers who came into the little Inn at Otterbourne after a cold raw morning on the moors. We sat ourselves down in the living room about a little fireplace which was doing its struggling best to seem cheerful, and then Mr. Andrews and I went in search of refreshment. There was a promise of tea to be had, and tea is most useful in the chill of the longtime unopened living room of a British hostelry in the country (some one has irreverently said that the reason why the English take so to tea is that it is their sole idea of central-heating). But feeling that the ladies had immediate need of something more recuperative than a promise of tea in the distance, Mr. Andrews and I went in search of the landlady and were told by a maid that she was in "the buttery," and that the buttery was down that passage to the left; so down the passage we went, stone-arched with uneven stone floors, and in a little stone cave just off the passage itself we found the good lady, bunch of keys at her belt, occupied in getting some of the necessaries for the luncheon; and when we asked where we could find THE NECESSARY which we came for she reached under a shelf and handed us six bottles---Club Soda, the kind of bottles which have a plunger held up to the neck of the bottle by the gas in the bottle. "There," she said, "is the soda; and its thrippence a bottle; and as for the whiskey, it's in that little keg on the cross-trees there, and you can turn the spigot and help yourself"; and that we held to be true British hospitality. From Otterbourne we drove to Melrose by way of Jedburgh, and then on up to Edinburgh, and from there up to Callander. The evening that we were at Callander we drove in the long twilight to Balquhidder to stand by Rob Roy's grave; and all along our road there grew in the shade such glorious tall foxgloves as I have never seen elsewhere. The next day it was to Balloch by way of the Trossachs and Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond; and the same evening down to Glasgow. From Glasgow we went down to Troon for over the weekend; and such a rainy time it was! Et is not slander to say that it rains in Troon 367 days out of the year, for it was a Scotchman, although a Highlandman, who told it to me. Jeannette and I went to the Kirk on the Sunday morning, and on coming out we went to a near-by "Mews" to try and get a hansom to take us back to the hotel. While we were waiting, our luck comes in a tall dignified looking gentleman in top hat and spats, whom we had seen at the Kirk; he was evidently a personality, and all was apologies on the part of the liveryman because they had not sent him a cab; but when Top hat and Spats sputtered and stormed he got this reply, "I'm doin' the best I can, My Lord, you shall have a cab as soon as I can get one in; but there's none in now, and I can't make them up like scones, you know."
Glasgow means the Clyde; and they are inordinately proud of it too, are the Glasgow folk. It is told of some aldermen from Minneapolis who were on a visit to Glasgow, that as they were being shown about by some of the city's bailies they were taken to see the Clyde among other sights. "Well," said one of the Americans, "I don't call that much of a river: you should see the Mississippi." "Ye hae nae reason to be prood o' that," said one of the Scotsmen, "God A'Mighty med the Mississippi, but we med the Clyde oorsels." Glasgow and the Clyde bring me memories of another and a later trip which we made abroad. We were in London, Jeannette and 'Rilla and I; we had arrived there about six in the evening, tired and dusty; and the one thing that I wanted most was a bath. We drove to one after another of the four hostelries which I liked the best without being able to find an apartment with bath at any of them; so I said, "Here's where I'll waste no more time; we'll go to the Canton"; which we did. On the way up to "room and bath," the others said to me, "Did you see that notice in the lift that you must dress for dinner; we don't want to 'doll up,' do we?" "No," I said, "we'll simply walk over to Simpson's and eat there this evening"; which we did. It was the good old Simpson's of the days before it had been Savoyised; and, if you did not know it then, you missed something. Gerald Stanley Lee who wrote things both witty and sober (and if you have not read his book, The Shadow Christ, I beg you do it; my copy is all worn with frequent thumbings) once wrote of the restaurant in question, "I love to go to Simpson's in the Strand where for three shillings I get a dinner which it costs me three dollars in New York not to get." Simpson's used to have nice little cosy Pullman car sections all around the sides of the big room with a table with places for four in between the berths; and then in the main portion of the room there were larger tables. By the time we got there all Pullman car sections were occupied, and we were perforce obliged to content ourselves as best we could with seats at one of tables which was arranged for six guests---and we were but three. But contentment was not hard to come at as we watched those white-robed priests hovering near with flaming altars bearing great loins of the roast beef of Old England, (and for a six pence quietly slipped over and a whispered "a slice of the under-cut, if you please," you dined as Royalty might).
Shortly after we were seated there came in two people, a man and a woman; looked around as we had done for one of the little sanctums, and not finding any free, picked on us as looking inoffensive at least, and asked for a place at our board, which was cheerfully accorded them. It was at the time of The International Horticultural Exhibit in the Chelsea Hospital Gardens, and our new-come friends asked if we had been to the Flower Show. We had not been to it for the good reason that this was the opening day; the Prince of Wales was to open the Show, and the entrance was three guineas the ticket, and we had planned to go when the price dropped to six shillings---all of which we did, and it is a wonder just to remember. Our new acquaintances said that they had been to the Opening, and we looked at them with suddenly increased interest for twice three guineas meant thirty dollars for the two of them, and we wondered a little where such nice plain looking people like ourselves got all that money. It turned out afterward that our friend was a Seedsman from Glasgow, and that he had "Complimentaries." After a bit he asked us if we knew Glasgow, and I said that we did. "Then you've seen the Clyde?" "Yes," I said, "at Erskine Ferry"---I did not add on a rickety old ferryboat which I feared would any moment turn turtle and dump us, car and all, into the dubious looking stream; and it was well that I hazarded no such comment, for if I had I might have ruffled up his dignity, and perhaps have missed a good story; and so would you. No sooner had I said Erskine Ferry than my Glasgow man looked on me as a friend and a brother. "Erskine Ferry," he said, "well, that reminds me of a story: I was comin' up to Lunnon one night; it was Christmas Eve; and I was sorry for the Pullman mon on the train, and I said to him, 'I hope you had your Xmas dinner before you started'; 'I did, thenk you,' said he. 'Goose and sausage?' I said. 'Goose,' he said, 'but no sausage.' 'What's the matter wi' the sausage?' I asked. 'Well, that's a story,' said he. 'It was this way: I was fishin' once at Erskine Ferry; and there was a mon oot in the reever in a bo-at; and he o'er-set the bo-at and he went into the reever; and when I saw he could no' swim, I went in and pulled him oot; and when I got him ashore he went doon in his claes and got out six shillin's and wanted to gie 'em to me. "No," I said, "I wont tak yer dirty money; I did na get masel' all wet for six shillin's; I did it to be decent." "Ye wont tak me money," said the mon, "then I'll gie ye somethin' better: I'll gie ye some good advice: Ah'm a bootcher; don't ever eat sausage!"'"
From Glasgow we set out again, this time on a visit to Eglinton Castle in Ayrshire. The Earl and the Countess, hearing from the Countess' brother that I, a long-lost and long-distance cousin, was in Scotland, sent us an invitation to come to luncheon at the Castle. It was a lovely day and we drove down by way of Irvine and received a most cordial welcome and a most engaging luncheon which was served in the big dining room of the castle, a room whose upper wainscotting was hung with painted portraits of all the long line of Earls of Eglinton. My neighbour at table pointed out one dour looking chap and said to me, "He's the ancestor of your branch of the family; we don't care for him much; he's the one who gave the Eglinton Tournament which bankrupted all the rest of us ever since."
After luncheon we made our way southward driving through the Park of Eglinton Castle for miles with rabbits and pheasants popping out along the way from under the trees. It was our intention to spend the night at Dumfries; and in motoring it was our habit to hunt up possible hotels in our guide books before arriving at a projected stopping place. J.H.A. put his dependence on a new red Baedeker; and I, who for some reason do not like Baedekers, put my money on a good old Murray. We had followed this formula on coming near to Dumfries: Baedeker said Station Hotel (locally pronounced 'Stytion 'Otel) ; and Murray said Woodbank Mansion. As we pulled into the town it turned from a drizzle into a real rain---no longer "a Scotch mist"; and that rain settled the hotel question, for of a sudden I announced, "There is Woodbank Mansion just at the right." The chorus was unanimous: "Don't let's go any farther in this rain; let's stop here!" and so we did. It was a lucky rain, for Woodbank Mansion was an old-fashioned gentlefolk's manor house now adapted to hotel use. Fortunately again they had two large double rooms free; and, as usual, Jim insisted on giving us the larger one. It was a beauteous room, and had been once, I take it, milady's boudoir and dressing room; it was now provided with two beds, each of them the size of a half-acre lot; but the thing which I did not notice at first was the mirrors, seven of them, each of them the size of a cheval glass, let into walls and panels. Bedtime came and my tired Lady was half asleep when I came up. I prepared myself for retiring and was just midway between "undies" and pajamas when I chanced to look up and around. I think that the historic fig leaves must have been a merciful provision for even the untainted natures of the Garden of Eden; my surgical experience has convinced me that almost any one who is past "the age of Innocence" looks better with some clothes on; and my familiarity with men's locker-rooms in golf clubs makes me doubly sure of what needs no assurance that the male animal of the human species is a sight to be avoided when he is wholly undressed; and here was I, reflected in seven full-sized mirrors with a "birth-day suit" as my whole adornment; and I am sure that the neighbours on the corridor must have heard my cry, "For mercy's sake, please shut off the light! "; the switch was on the other side of the other big bed.
From Dumfries we went by way of Carlisle and Penrith to Windermere for a week in the English Lake Country; and then on south to Chester. On another visit to Chester we were walking on The Walls and I had been telling my complaisant family some stories of the building of The Walls when a group of tourists came along, and one of them came over to me and asked me questions of an historical import, which I was most glad to answer for I was all primed with archaeological lore; that led to more questions and more answers, until finally I caught on to the situation---they took me for an official guide. Just before they left one of them quietly slipped me a shilling. Did I give it back? I did not. I make it a rule never to interfere with a good deed: and then, beside that, I knew that she had had much more than a shilling's worth of information at current prices. From Chester we went by way of Rhuddlan and Llandudno, (and I learned that "ll" is pronounced "th" in the Prince of Wales Country), on to Bettws-y-coed and then to Llangollen. The street of Bettws-y-coed was thronged and packed with holiday makers; and we viewed the sight with small enthusiasm, for it was Bank Holiday and we had just been in such a jam at Greenock; only there two bobbies had halted us and told us that they would see us through; each of them put a hand on a headlight of the car and asked us through, after saying, "Drive careful, please; if you touch so much as a tail of one of their dogs it will be more than your life's worth." But here in Bettws-y-coed there were no bobbies in sight; and we did not need any; at Greenock the crowd was a mixed lot of men off the ships---Lascars, stevedores, and "what have you?"---and in Bettws-y-coed it was nice good happy Welsh folk out for their holiday in that lovely country, and their quiet courtesy and their readiness to let the car pass made me a convert to Lloyd George.
At Llangollen we stood on the terrace of the Hand Hotel and watched the hotel fisherman catch a lordly salmon for our dinner from the tumbling waters of the Dee; and the next day we went by way of Shrewsbury where there is a castle built by some one of my ancestors (when they came to New Jersey they called the country road which is at the foot of one of the lanes which leads up to the Big House the Shrewsbury Road), then on past Montgomery (where there are the ruins of a castle which they built when they came Northward after their castle in Cornwall had been burned) to Hereford. On the way we drove through a beautiful park on the outskirts of Welshpool passing for some distance beside a high wall, and then, without knowing that we had taken the wrong turn, we swung with the road sharply to the left and found ourselves to our amazement in the courtyard of Powyss Castle. Before we could re-orientate ourselves and determine how to retire with dignity out rushed a butler in livery and some pages and proceeded to unload our luggage. We sat in dumb amaze. J.H.A., (with his customary aplomb), whispered: "Say nothing at all; leave this to me." Then he disappeared into the Castle in the wake of the lackeys and the bags; to return soon, followed by a smiling butler who explained that we had been mistaken for some guests who were expected to lunch there, and that while the Castle was not open to visitors that day owing to the fact that the family was in residence, yet he would be glad to show us the Art gallery and some of the State apartments. This was partly "Andrews' luck," and partly (so we heard afterward) due to a bit of British gold which passed, hands unknown, to the astute old butler. All went "merry as a marriage bell"; we alighted, walked through a wonderfully interesting gallery where in place of portraits in oils there were fine pieces of sculptured marble on pedestals; and on coming down a stairway to find the car again we met in a lower hallway some of the family. They did not ask us to stay for luncheon, but gave us courteous recognition consequent on the butler's explanation that we were from the U.S.A. and were motoring through and would be missing all chance to see the beauty of Powyss if we did not see it that day.
At Hereford we put up for the night at The Green Dragon Inn. (I would like to know why there are so many Green Dragons in Wales, and just who that particular old devil was.) We were lulled to sleep by the mellifluous perfume of hops wafted in our open windows; it was the hop harvest, and one might have thought oneself in St. Louis and in the neighbourhood of the Anheuser-Busch Palace.
From Hereford we went on to Broadway and Top Farm, where we had a lovely welcome from the Wells, the owners. It was to this lovely Worcestershire village that Mary Anderson (Navarro) retired after her American triumphs. Mr. Wells grew up as a boy in the neighbourhood and always used to dream of the day when he might own Top Farm, and when his fortune came to him his dream came true. We were interested at luncheon in being served a drink that was new to us and were told that it was "perry," English for pear cider; it was light amber in colour, gently sparkling, delightfully cool; and when the maid brought it in in a pitcher we were told that she had been to the cistern for it; that the neighbours put their common stock of perry in a cistern on the Green, and drew on it as they had need. In the afternoon we wandered about the gardens, picking fruit as impulse moved us, the most wonderful gooseberries I ever saw, more than an inch in length, hanging down from branches of bushes trained like trees, and honey sweet; then after tea in a garden house where we had crumpets of a delicious tenderness spread with golden country butter which dripped up my sleeve, we were taken for a drive to a hilltop from which we saw three Counties, all of England's fairest, glowing gold and green and scarlet; and it was through that beauty of landscape that we made our way in the twilight to Oxford. It was dusk as we wandered through the colleges, which fact accounts for the joyous amazement of an elderly factotum at the fee which came to him; Jim being short of change, asked Laura for her purse from which to tip the guide; it was a half-sovereign that came out of it in the dusk instead of the smaller recompense which was intended. The next day it was back to London; and for the first time in our weeks of motoring we were held up by a bobby; we were given a ticket for "speeding"; it was in Bushey Park, and we were going fifteen miles an hour: the limit there is twelve. "Americans Beware!"
We stayed on after the Jimmies sailed for home; and we went to Bath, one of our dream cities; and also to Cambridge where lived a gentleman who interested me much; he provided me with my "ecclesiastical millinery." One day when I went to visit him at his place on Sidney Street I found him just back from his holiday across the North Sea and he had in his pocket a volume of the Classics in the original, which was his summertime reading.
When in London I was asked to lunch at Lambeth Palace by the Primate, Archbishop Davidson. He asked me all about our travels; all about myself and my father and my grandfather, (in fact a truly Philadelphian enquiry); and then he said to me, "With your English blood and ancestry, would it not appeal to you, Doctor, to take up work with us in the Church of England; we would be most glad to make a place for you?" "I certainly thank Your Grace for the suggestion," I replied, "and if you will make Canon Boyd a bishop and make me rector of Bath Abbey, I will come." Canon Boyd was Rector of Bath Abbey at the time. I never heard that my suggestion was accepted; but for all that, I found in Archbishop Davidson a most charming host as well as a statesman of large vision; and his reasons for not being willing to see the Church of England disestablished won me completely. It is to Bath Abbey that my good friend John Penton may go on an ancestral pilgrimage to see the marble tablets to his ancestors which find honoured place on its walls.
Back in London after the motoring I wanted to escape the cosmopolitan Hotel, so I asked a longtime friend at the American Embassy where in London I could find a really British hotel without continental frills. He named one which he recommended; and being a little cautious from experience I asked him if we would find this hotel of his thoroughly comfortable. John's reply was: "Well, Sam, Archbishop Maclagan goes there when he is in town; and Charlemagne Tower always stays there, and I really think that it would do for you." So we went to Garland's in Suffolk Street. We had an apartment there which looked out on the little narrow street; and the story is told that the old butler (who bore a marked resemblance to Abraham Lincoln) was pouring what in England is called coffee for an American guest, who was seated in front of the big window reading the morning paper while at his breakfast. The butler was looking out of the window as he served. "It looks like rine, Sir," said the butler. "Yes" said the gentleman at the table, glancing down at what was going into his cup, "it looks like rine; smells like coffee."
Next we came back to America, and Akron, sailing on an Atlantic Transport, in company with a circus and a stock farm as fellow passengers. The sea was as smooth as glass all the way; and it was like being on "Grandfather's Farm" to be wakened in the morning by the mooing of the cows and the neighing of the horses; but for all that it was one of the best crossings that we ever made.
That first trip abroad seemed to make another one necessary, so in 1910 we went again, taking passage for England; but on the boat we met friends who were going to France and they persuaded us that having seen England it was now France's turn; so instead of landing at Plymouth, as we had originally intended, we went on to Cherbourg. That summer in France included a "cure" at Vichy; which was such a success that in 1911 we went to Vichy again; and this time we took 'Rilla with us, and I realised to the full what Mr. Andrews so much enjoyed, the delight of seeing the joys of travel in Europe as reflected in the fact of a young companion. The year 1911 was "the hot year"; wonderful for the grapes, but not so good for travellers by rail. After Docteur Jardet had given me my ticket of leave from les Eaux de Vichy, and after we had thrown roses and violets at the carriages which paced by us in the seasonal Bataille de Fleurs, we went to Lucerne which we reached on the Quatorze Juillet, in time to see the water carnival with its procession of illuminated boats on the lake, in celebration of the FETE NATIONALE of France. As Lucerne was very hot and as we did not want to stay there over the Sunday, we asked the Concierge if he could not recommend us a place somewhere on the Lake, which we could reach by boat in the few hours of Saturday which were left to us and which would be an "out-of-doors'y" sort of place. He certainly could; and he said that Kussnacht was just the place which we wanted; so after déjeuner we took the boat and went to Kussnacht, which, we were told, was famed as a water cure.
On landing from the boat we looked at the hotel which was near the dock and soon decided that that was not what we were looking for; however we had them serve us un petit goûter which consisted of rye bread, and some delicate Swiss white wine, and some Gruyère cheese with big holes in it. (The French call those holes in the cheese, "eyes," and they say that Gruyère is not good until it has "tears in its eyes," which means that when the cheese is fully ripe the whey condenses in the little holes which are air-bubbles made in kneading the cheese.) Then I went off in search of the water cure place, leaving the others to rest themselves on the dock; and I soon found the place; it was called "Mon Séjour"; so far as equipment hydropathically was concerned it left much to be desired; but the garden looked most attractive. On asking for an apartment with a bath, the landlord said, "Why have an apartment with bath when one could take one's bath in the 'Cure' "; and then also "there was the Lake"; however, if we did not mind a small supplément in the matter of price, there was just the sort of apartment we were looking for over the Casino; so we went to see it. It was most attractive; just full up with Swiss cleanliness; downy beds, great furry descentes de lit to step your feet into when you got up; fluffy white curtains at the windows; and trailing purple wistaria in fragrant wreaths up the outside stairway by which we mounted, and over all the windows. At seven o'clock le patron came to say, Mesdames, Monsieur; le diner est servi; and we set forth, expecting to go to the rather stuffy dining room in the main body of the hotel which I had seen on first looking the place over; but instead we found a crimson velvet carpet stretched from the path across the grass to an open space by the Lake; and there the table was set with snowy linen and shining silver; and la patronne and her daughter in lovely Swiss costumes waiting to seat us. It was a long late summer twilight, and it took us more than an hour to enjoy the good things in unending courses which were set before us, and le patron kept running back and forth to superintend the kitchen doings, and coming occasionally with a long slender bottle of the golden products of the Swiss hillsides. By nine o' the clock we retired, well pleased with ourselves and with the world in general, thinking, too, that here was a good place to stay and stay on. But in the early morning hours we were awakened by---I cannot say unearthly squealing, for it was very mundane---but by squealing which banished slumbers, and for a time we wondered what it could be; soon the curtains waving inward let in the breeze which in the early evening was from the Lake, and which now in the morning hours was from the other direction, and it wafted to our offended nostrils a most earthly smell. Evidently there was a serpent there in our Swiss Eden. A hundred yards away was the pigpen where the thrifty landlord was making ready the bacon for the coming winter months.
I hope that when you go there the pigs will have been removed, for it is a lovely spot; but we could not move the pigs, so the next morning we moved ourselves instead. There was no boat which touched at Kussnacht of a Sunday, and the only exit from that tiny part of the world was by conveyance to Arth-Goldau, and there to take the train for Zurich. The conveyance was one of great elegance, but not having been ordered a long time in advance it took an hour to get it ready; finally at 11 o'clock it was driven majestically up to the door, a great landau with royal blue broadcloth upholsteries, drawn by two enormous black horses; it was the Coach of State of the village used by the Maire, and by bridal parties; and in it we set forth. It was the last word in luxurious comfort, albeit slow and ponderous; and we travelled by a marvellous road skirting a lake and bordered by great black cherry trees in full fruit. These trees were the property of the State, and they were leased to the peasants for the fruit, and no one would think of touching the fruit on a tree which was not his. And now again trouble dogged our steps. A few miles out of Kussnacht horseflies descended in swarms; the horses were protected by flapping white lace nets, and the coachman seemed hardened, but we were fair game for the pestiferous little beasts until we remembered that these insects detest the odor of lavender. Jeannette had a bottle of lavender water in her bag, and we began flapping handkerchiefs saturated with the precious stuff in every direction, and in a short time the flies fled our company. So in time we came to the Railway, and in the afternoon to Zurich and the cool and comfortable Hotel Baur au Lac.
After a few days of rest there we went to Ragaz; firstly for the Baths; and secondly because we hoped that in the direction of the Engadine we might find cooler weather; but the Baths were a disappointment, and so was the weather. Then in a moment of inspiration we decided on a long flight Northward; we went to Bâle, and from there to Paris all in one day: we stayed over night at the familiar Hotel Ste Anne in the Rue Ste Anne, which was where we first met Gabriel (of whom more later), and the following morning we were in London, and the next day in the North of England. It was a bright moonlight night when we arrived in York, and our apartment looked out over the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey shining white in the night glory; and far off in the distance were the towers of the Minster. We were still on the hunt for an out-of-doors place where it might be cool, and I knew that it must be cool on the North Sea; so 'Rilla and I started out by motor to find the place, and we found it. We went all up and down the coast from Whitby to Bridlington without finding anything, and on the way back from Bridlington, on passing through Filey, there beside the sea was the most attractive looking cottage, pansies all about the edges of the walk which led through the green turf up to the house, and a sign on it "To Let Furnished"; but again our hopes were dashed for the agent told us that the owner had withdrawn it from the market, and was coming the next day to occupy it himself. Nothing left but to make our way back to York again. In returning we went by way of the South Parade in Scarborough, and there we settled; we took "lodgings" in a house on the South Parade overlooking the sea with lovely views of the old Harbour and of the old abandoned Fort out on the Headland. Our landlord had enough old silver of the Queen Anne period all marked with "W" to set our table; and we found an old Yorkshireman who talked a very broad Northern dialect, who owned a beautiful big black mare and an open victoria, and he drove us at a leisurely pace over country roads in the lovely East Riding of Yorkshire. One day we chanced on a village church which had the history of England written in the very building itself. The foundations of the choir were of Roman brick, laid "herring-bone fashion"; the font was unmistakeably Saxon; the carvings about the entrance door were of the most beautiful early dog-tooth ornamentation of the Norman period; the chantry was floriated Gothic; and the choir was Tudor. The Senior Warden had been told that strangers were looking at the Church, and he came over to greet us, red waistcoat, green coat, knickers, a crop and a fox-terrier; and I found that he had once lived in Sowerby Bridge where was the former home of most of our Akron choir men. Speaking of broad Yorkshire, there is a tale told of the Cattle Fair which is an annual event at Preston, Lancashire; a Yorkshire farmer who was exhibiting there was being shown some cattle and some chickens by a Lancashire farmer, and his comment was, "Yer cocks craw a' richt, and yer coos moo a' richt; but ah canna mak ye oot, mon"; which same is real English, as she is spoke, in parts. This same Cattle Fair at Preston had elected a teetotaller for their President one year; and when luncheon time came and they were all preparing each one his drink before sitting down to table, one of them said, "What will we do wi' Geordie? he will na touch it?" "Leave Geordie to me," said the other. "Ah'll fix Geordie." So he went out and mixed a beautiful milk punch, fragrant and foaming, and brought it to the President, and said, "Geordie, mon; we're all o'us fixing oorsels a bit o' drink before we eat. How would ye like a fine glass o' milk for yours; ah brought one for ye?" "Ah 'l tak it gladly, mon; an' thenk ye," said Geordie; and he took the glass and emptied it at one long pull; then he set down the glass, wiped his lips, heaved a sigh and said, "'Eavin's what a coo!"
It was in 1912 that we went to see England in the springtime. We landed at Fishguard---in those days it was a port-of-call for Cunarders---and during the late afternoon we went on up through the Welsh country while the setting sun was filling the hedge-rows with beauty, a golden glory of gorse;
Grâce aux éclairs de la lune
Argent brille dans la bruyère;
Grâce aux éclairs du soleil
Or orne les demeures de misère.
Then for two weeks we lived in Bath and saw the silver candlesticks of the chestnuts light up the rolling downs of Victoria Park, and the golden rain of the laburnums shower itself on the grass. We wandered around the old streets and found ourselves a place in one of the Crescents where we should one day live when we retired---a dream which lacked fulfilment. We went to a cricket match which began at two in the afternoon, stopped for tea, went on again the next day, and "further deponent sayeth not"; we did not stay for the finish. We drove by the Vale of Cheddar: we stood spellbound before the west front of Wells Cathedral; saw the swans in the moat pull the bell to call some one to feed them; at evensong we heard a most lovely choir sing, and saw the old images up aloft kick out the hours on the bells; it was a lovely dream, which all too soon came to an end.
Next we went to Châtel-Guyon, in the Auvergne, in France, so that I might take the "cure." There we met Monsieur and Madame Jean Linzeler and their lovely little Simone; --and so began a friendship which lasted many years. Then we went to Germany for another beautiful experience.
It was late when we reached Heidelberg, hot and tired; it was just the hour for the closing of the doors of the dining room to latecomers; so I said to the headwaiter, "What will we do for something to eat?" He said that he was very sorry that he could not give us a table at that hour but that they were obliged to limit the hours for serving; then he added, "What is the number of your apartment, Sir?" I told him. "It is an apartment with a terrace balcony; I know it," he said. "If you will leave it to me, I will have a good supper sent up to you." The moon was shining at its full; the Königstuhl was a pyramid of white horse chestnut blossoms stretching out their beauty to the sky; the nightingales were an orchestra; and soon came two waiters who set our table on our own balcony terrace just outside our windows. There was rye bread and crusty rolls and toast; sandwiches with ham, and sandwiches with little smoky fishes in them; dill pickles and mustard; and three kinds of cheese; then there were tall pitchers with beads of coolness on the outside, some light amber fluid in one of them, and some dark reddy brown fluid in the other; and I have heard that these fluids are called Pilsner, and Munchener-Brau; and for dessert we had all kinds of kuchen, and preserves made of big sweet black cherries. Did we come home from there? We did, for work was calling. We came back by way of Holland where we stayed for a time at Domburg in a Hotel which is called the "Bad-Hotel," and where the bathing beach is guarded by a functionary called the "Bad-Man," who wears a suit of red flannel nighties and a red nightcap with a long tassel, and he blows a brass horn in stentorian tones whenever any bather ventures beyond the barrel which marks the safety line. Domburg is on the island of Walcheren in Zeeland; it was almost swept away by the sea in 1808, as was Veere which is a fascinating village on the N.E. coast. Veere is now a silent and a half abandoned city where was once a prosperous place; it has a great church which would hold twice the present number of inhabitants; and its stadthuis is a beautiful piece of architecture with its rows of peaked dormer windows and statues between the windows of the upper floors.
We drove to Middelburg where there is a fascinating butter and cheese market, and where one may see the charming costumes of a dozen near-by villages; and there in the Abbey Church, founded in the twelfth century we heard a glorious carillon which would play a Beethoven Sonata complete. Before leaving Holland we went to Scheveningen, and heard the most ravishing music by the Lamoureux Orchestra which was playing there that summer; and also to The Hague where in the Picture Gallery we watched Paul Potter's Bull turn his head and follow us with his eyes wherever we went; and then it was across to England from Vlissingen---and back to Akron, and the world of work.
On February 11, 1912 the then Presiding Bishop, Bishop Tuttle, was my guest in Akron, and preached in St. Paul's. One evening while we were sitting before the fire he said, "Watson, the Church in Paris is looking for a Rector; according to its Charter a nomination must be made by the Presiding Bishop to fill the vacancy; they are not obliged to take my suggestion; but equally they may. Would you go there if the place were offered to you?" I asked for twenty-four hours to think it over; and the next evening I told the Bishop that Jeannette and I had decided that, if the Church in Paris were offered on terms which were possible, I would take it. The Bishop said, "That pleases me very much; I will send in your name as my nominee; the rest is in the hands of God; you and I have no further concern in the matter; let us kneel here and ask God to guide us aright." And that was our good-night prayer, the good old Bishop praying with that deep voice of his, and with the same simplicity with which he said his, "Now I Lay Me," before he went to bed.
On the 6th of October of 1912 St. Paul's Church was consecrated by Bishop Leonard, and my dear old friend Bishop Vincent preached the Consecration sermon.
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