Text extracted from opening pages of book: HAPPY WOMEN ftv MYRTLE
PEED Dolly Madison - Dorothy Wordaworth Queea Louise Caroline
Horschel Elizabeth Browning Charlotte Cu* hman tucretl* Mutt -
Florence Nightiagiib Sitter Don Jenny Lind - XouJeiTAIcott Queen
Victor!* **' 0. IX IHITOAM'S SONS New Yorh cinci London Ebe
Knfchcrbocftcr press Ill What act of Legislature was there that
thou shouldst be Happy? What if thou wert bom and predestined not
to be Happy but to be Unhappy? Close thy Byron; open thy Goethe.
There is in man a Higher than Love of Happiness; he can do without
Happiness and instead thereof find Blessedness! CARLYLE. jl/ IYRTLE
REED the novelist, the humourist, the poet, was well known; Myrtle
Reed the thinker and philosopher was known to but few, for she was
chary about disclosing this side of her complex nature. When but
about eighteen, she became enamoured of Carlyle, and Sartor
Resartus made an indelible impression upon her mind. Other deep
thinkers and philoso phers followed Carlyle in her reading, and
while she read voluminously of poetry and IV fiction grave and gay
she was always interested in philosophical studies, up to the very
time of her untimely death, when some of the modern German
philosophers were claiming her attention. She read so voraciously
and thought so deeply that, but for her keen sense of humour, the
black cloud which enveloped her the last year of her life would I
feel sure have descended upon her years before it did. Frequently,
when talking with the writer, she would quote, almost verbatim,
some pertinent passage from Sartor Re sartuSj always referring to
the author thereof as our friend Tommy CX It was characteristic of
her that the more augustthe personage referred to, the more lightly
and familiarly would she name that individual. Thus, Emerson,
George Eliot, and others for whose words she had the highest
regard, had each his fondly fa miliar appellation in her
conversation. She regarded Sartor Resartus as one of the greatest
books of the century, and one which had exerted an incalculable
influence upon her life. In this connection I feel compelled to
relate an incident which now seems to me far more significant than
it did when it occurred, which was fully ten or twelve years ago
when I regarded Myrtle Reed as but little more than a school girl.
I chanced upon her one day in the street car, intent upon a small
volume. The only vacant seat was almost opposite her, and into it I
sank without attracting her attention, thereby ( in my own opinion)
exhibiting commendatory self-sacrifice. Presently she saw me, and
with charac teristic cordiality and one of her most comical
exclamations she was pastmas ter in original salutations and
pleasantly satirical appdflations for her friends motioned me to
the seat beside her just vacated. I naturally glanced at the little
book in her hand and saw that it was her loved and oft-quoted
Sartor, and in reply, as it were, to my expression of pleasurable
surprise, she vehemently broke forth with: Yes, I picked it up when
starting on this long car ride because I needed a tonic. The front
sheet of my morning paper completely upset me, for it told several
stories of divorce in high life on account in the majority of the
cases of the wife's wanting a' career.' It made me fairly ill. I
was positively heartsick over one or two of the cases, and so
ashamed of my sex, that my own self-respect fell farbelowpar so
that I needed a strong stimulant a good, stiff dose of orthodoxy,
and where better could I go than to dear old Tommy C, ? How I wish
that every High School girl were compelled to memorise parts of
this chapter (' The Everlasting Yea') and recite them aloud every
morning as part of her' devotional exercises'! Listen to v tlus: (
quoting the paragraph at the head of this introduction). You forget
that there are now no i devotional exercises' in school, I re
minded her, and then queried why she did not include the brothers
in her would-be compulsory inculc
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