Journal Letters: Chronological Inventory
Journal Leters: Index to Journalists
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Mount Holyoke Seminary,
SOUTH HADLEY, MASS., JUNE, 1880.DEAR FRIENDS:
We cannot help wishing that those of you who were here twenty years ago, and who sometimes allude in your letters to the loveliness of the scenery in South Hadley at this season, could take a walk over the Seminary grounds, and behold with your own eyes the changes to which no stereographs can do justice. You would be prepared to see several new buildings, viz., Gymnasium, Library, Williston Hall, and the Boat House, and you would expect ample grounds and broad, hard walks; but would not the tall trees overarching some of these walks, the woodbines, wistarias, roses and flowering shrubs, all of which help to make the landscape charming in June, delight and surprise you? You would surely look with loving interest at Miss Shattuck's botanical garden, so rapidly gaining new attractions under her supervision.
The Allen place on the other side of the street a little to the northwest, whose neglected appearance we have for some years lamented, has been lately transformed, and is now open "for the reception of transient and permanent boarders," assuming for itself the somewhat pretentious name of "Hotel Brunswick."
Besides the botanical garden Miss Shattuck has another pet project to which she is devoting her energies in the success of which we are bound to have faith. An elevator is the desire of her heart at present, and we confidently hope to be able to tell vou next year of its completion, and the abolition, in effect, of the bugbear of the fourth story.
There were no especially remarkable events to record last term. The usual course in Physics was somewhat lengthened this year, and-we had the long-wishedfor visit from Mrs. Young, who seemed quite like an old friend.
In February came letters from our English friends, informing us of a meeting held in London, in which initiatory steps had been taken for founding an English Mt. Holyoke according to Miss Cavendish's desire.
Soon after Christmas Miss Gilson favored us with a short visit, and gave fresh items of interest concerning the Stellenbosch Seminary and its surroundings, together with a brief history of the other schools in South Africa. She has already returned to her work. The party which sailed with Miss Bliss in February included Misses Colby, Hatch, Perley, Campbell, and Farnham. With most of these we
have the pleasure of a brief acquaintance, although Miss Farnham, of the class of '68, is the only one of the number of new recruits who is a daughter of Holyoke.
Among our guests we find the names of Miss Ellis, who made a flying visit here in February on her return from Europe; Misses Mary Q. and Susan Brown; Miss Sarah Bowen and Mrs. Susan (Bowen) Jordan, whose face we have not seen here since her marriage; Misses Prescott and Bentley, of Painesville, and Mrs. Margaret (Hallock) Byington, of Constantinople.
In May, soon after their arrival from Spain, we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. and Mrs. William Gulick. Their visit, though short, was not only a gratification to Mrs. Gulick's old friends, but an inspiration to all. Mr. Gulick spoke in church Sabbath morning, giving an account of the difficulties, trials, and successes of Protestant missionary effort in Spain. In the evening we held an informal service in Seminary Hall answering questions written by the young ladies. You have probably received the tidings of their bereavement in the death of little Arthur while they were still at sea.
Mr. N. L. Hooper, of Boston, has this term given us four lectures in English Literature. Some years ago, he lectured here upon History, and awakened unbounded enthusiasm; so that our expectations were large. His subject was The Poetic Interpreters of the Eighteenth Century. He considered the poets the true interpreters of any age, even more than the prose writers, inasmuch as their gift of imagination helps them to see more truly the hidden sources of a nation's life. He is a person of enthusiasm and a pleasant speaker, often putting his subject in a new and pleasing light, and bringing his audience quickly and strongly into sympathy with whatever he is talking about.
Three classes have made valuable contributions to the Art Gallery. The gift of the class of '68 is a color design by David Neal, called The Return from the Chase. Of this the artist himself writes: "With reference to the sketch of The Return from the Chase, I presume that purchased by the lady you mention is one of the color designs made while composing that picture. . . . This sketch I tried to purchase back myself of the Munich dealer; he asked a high price, having naturally taken advantage of my increasing reputation, and we could not come to terms."
The class of '64, after considerable deliberation, decided to send the funds and leave the selection of a gift to us. The choice was referred to Mrs. Gulick who purchased in Spain and brought to us a large painting, of which the Springfield Republican says: "It is a copy by a Spanish artist of a work by Murillo, La Concha (The Shell), representing the child Jesus giving water from a shell to his cousin John the Baptist. It is the gift of the class of i864 to Mount Holyoke Seminary. The beauty of the painting seizes every eye. Murillo's pictures of children are famous; he loved to paint them, and the two children in this canvas are charming, though there is nothing especially divine or religious about their sensuous loveliness and the fine harmony of the coloring. The lamb in the corner might be imagined to look up with an adoring expression at the child Jesus with his purple robe; and John, in camel's hair, to wear a reverential demeanor as he stoops to take the draught from the hand of his cousin and Lord, but these things require imagination. The painting is said to be a very fine copy."
The last present is from the class of '69, and consists of five pieces of Satsuma ware, as follows: one hibachi, or incense burner, which is the finest old historic Sat-
suma, of superb design and finish, about eight hundred years old; two Saki bottles, floral Satsuma about three hundred years old; two ancient Satsuma bowls, probably Satsuma porcelain about three hundred years old, an historic decoration of an old prince of Satsuma. This will form the nucleus for a collection of Oriental pottery and porcelain.
On the evening of June 2, we enjoyed a first-class concert. To quote
again from the Springfield Republican: "The fourth concert at Mount Holyoke
Seminary was given Wednesday evening; the hall which the audience filled
being tastefully trimmed with evergreens and flowers. The concert was under
the direction of George W. Steele, of Hartford, brother of the resident
teacher, Miss Charlotte M. Steele; and he was assisted by Miss Abbie Whinnery,
of Philadelphia, soprano; C. N. Allen, violinist; and Wulf Fries, violoncellist,
of Boston. The singing was most excellent, the programme classical, and
executed with taste and skill. Some of the encores were particularly fine."
Perhaps it would please some of you to look at the programme.
It is but a few days since we were pained and shocked to read in the papers of
the death of Miss Phebe McKeen while on her way home from Virginia. A private letter from Andover gives a few particulars which we share with you: "Only two days before, Miss McKeen read us a letter from her and Miss Jenness, giving an account of a recent examination of her lungs by a Baltimore doctor of renown who thought the disease was arrested for the present, and said she might live for years. Miss McKeen took the early train on Thursday morning to meet her in Boston and go with her to Concord, where she was to remain until the school closed, and then they were to spend the vacation at Bethlehem where they were last summer. I think Miss McKeen has not been so hopeful about her for a long time. just after she had gone a telegram came that her sister had died on the cars about one A. M., so easily that Miss Jenness did not know it till she felt the death-coldness of her hand which she was holding. Miss McKeen has seemed to be wonderfully supported, though we have heard very little since she went with the remains that night to Bradford, Vt., where the funeral was to be. She will go to Concord a few days before coming here. The school and community are deeply afflicted in her death."
We are fast approaching the close of a very pleasant year. While we cannot speak of marked religious interest we are grateful for spiritual growth in Christians, and believe that some of those who came here without hope have entered upon the new life.
In behalf of the Seminary, SARAH H. MELVIN.
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