Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday, May 7, 1920

We are back in London from our long, happy trip and with all the discomforts of cold and rain, we are well and have not even a cold. We are grateful for the blessings that are our portion.

To-day we shopped at Liberty’s and other large stores. In the afternoon we attended the reception given by the Baroness De Knoop. Everything very fine, A beautiful home and everybody sociable. After dinner, Mrs. Armor came to the hotel and we visited with the women of our party. To-morrow we leave Great Britain and sail for the Continent. We wish we could forget the English Channel that lies between. We have not accomplished all we would like, but there is a limit to human endurance, and where could we have crowded any more into the time that was ours?

We are so thankful that it was our good fortune to be born an American woman on American soil. We have a kindly, sympathetic feeling for our English sisters who are hedged in by so many limitations. As an Englishman said to one of our party - “An American woman can do anything she is not forbidden to do, but an English woman can do only what she is allowed to do.”

It seems strange to find nothing called a church except the State church and Catholic cathedrals. All else are only Chapels or Halls. The great Jewett, formerly from the 5th. Ave. Presbyterian church, New York, preaches in what is called Westminster Chapel or Hall. We hope we can have one last look at Westminster Abbey before we leave London.

“There are proud graves in the Abbey. The finest contains, in one tomb, the bodies of Pitt who kept Napoleon out of England, and his father, the Earl of Chatham, who did his best to keep King George out of the American war. To the graves in Westminster Abbey one is to be added. It will hold the unidentified body of a British soldier, some poor boy with the face shot away, name not to be known until it is read on Judgment day. The King will be present at the burying of this nameless body.”

We have formed some pleasant friendships during our stay in Great Britain, and there are many pleasant memories.

The Lady Cecelia Roberts said to me yesterday at the Baroness De Knoop’s reception - “You can never know what the coming of your American women has meant to us here in England.” Upon asking in what way she meant, she said - “You brought with you so much enthusiasm. You are such positive characters and so hopeful and full of courage. You have brought new life and courage to us.”

We are grateful, if we have been, in any way, able to cheer and help them. They will need much encouragement in the battles ahead. Dear little Mother, England.

“Hugged in the clinging billow’s clasp

From sea-weed fringe to mountain heather,

The British oak with rooted grasp

Her slender handful holds together.

With cliffs of white and bowers of green,

And ocean narrowing to caress her,

And bills and threaded vales between

Our little Mother Isle! God bless her!”

Am I pardoned, when I acknowledge, that high above all the greatness, the grandeur and the beauty seen in our love for our own dear land of “Room Enough” - that we say in our inmost heart -

“The sun never shone on a country more fair

Then beautiful, peerless Ohio.

There’s life in a kiss of her rarified air,

Ohio, beautiful Ohio!”

1 comment:

  1. The weather today in London appears to be similar to that of 90 years ago.

    I am so thankful for a warm, centrally heated house and for all the freedoms enjoyed by women in Britain today for now we can do anything that is not forbidden. On Thursday 6th I was able to vote in the British General election.

    Thanks for such a fascinating blog.