Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 399 pages of information about Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897.

We gave a farewell dinner at the Tivollier Hotel to some of our friends.  With speeches and toasts we had a merry time.  Professor Joly was the life of the occasion.  He had been a teacher in France for forty years and had just retired on a pension.  I presented to him “The History of Woman Suffrage,” and he wrote a most complimentary review of it in one of the leading French journals.  Every holiday must have its end.  Other duties called me to England.  So, after a hasty good-by to Jacournassy and La Sagesse, to the Black Mountains and Toulouse, to Languedoc and the South, we took train one day in October, just as the first leaves began to fall, and, in fourteen hours, were at Paris.  I had not seen the beautiful French capital since 1840.  My sojourn within its enchanting walls was short,—­too short,—­and I woke one morning to find myself, after an absence of forty-two years, again on the shores of England, and before my eyes were fairly open, grim old London welcomed me back.  But the many happy hours spent in “merry England” during the winter of 1882-83 have not effaced from my memory the four months in Languedoc.

CHAPTER XXII.

REFORMS AND REFORMERS IN GREAT BRITAIN.

Reaching London in the fogs and mists of November, 1882, the first person I met, after a separation of many years, was our revered and beloved friend William Henry Channing.  The tall, graceful form was somewhat bent; the sweet, thoughtful face somewhat sadder; the crimes and miseries of the world seemed heavy on his heart.  With his refined, nervous organization, the gloomy moral and physical atmosphere of London was the last place on earth where that beautiful life should have ended.  I found him in earnest conversation with my daughter and the young Englishman she was soon to marry, advising them not only as to the importance of the step they were about to take, but as to the minor points to be observed in the ceremony.  At the appointed time a few friends gathered in Portland Street Chapel, and as we approached the altar our friend appeared in surplice and gown, his pale, spiritual face more tender and beautiful than ever.  This was the last marriage service he ever performed, and it was as pathetic as original.  His whole appearance was so in harmony with the exquisite sentiments he uttered, that we who listened felt as if, for the time being, we had entered with him into the Holy of Holies.

Some time after, Miss Anthony and I called on him to return our thanks for the very complimentary review he had written of “The History of Woman Suffrage.”  He thanked us in turn for the many pleasant memories we had revived in those pages, “but,” said he, “they have filled me with indignation, too, at the repeated insults offered to women so earnestly engaged in honest endeavors for the uplifting of mankind.  I blushed for my sex more than once in reading these volumes.”  We lingered long, talking over

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