Guests in Eden

a new thought. She would change the kaleidoscope of any company into a startlingly brilliant turn of wit. I regret not having had a book always with me to record it. It was so unique, so original. And she expressed herself so swiftly, so surely, turning what one said into a sparkling epigram. One knew that whatever one said would serve as a spark to light a fire that never failed to astound.

Just as the clear cut crystal, so did Martha have many sides, reflecting the many colors of herself. She was truly religious, she was romantic, full of sentiment, without being sentimental. She had a sense of justice which was inflexible, a great love of humanity, and an ever present power to give and take. Martha was a determined worker, never allowing any inter­ruption to take her from her daily hours of work, long hours, aided by the never failing assistance of her collaborator, Alfred Leete Hampson. Martha was very proud and would allow no one to step on her toes. At once that was too definitely under­ stood to be tried. Martha was a staunch New Englander, yet she was too universal to be bound by the cold New England air. She expressed too warmly for that. Martha lived cour­ageously, a magnificent example, of courage in the face of life. Alone, there was Martha, her courage a rock. Martha's love of beauty was predominant, and she was one with nature, herself a part of the seasons, a part of their primitive loveliness in all its forms.

Thus Martha lived in the overwhelming mystery of life, and from it drew strength and inspiration, a priestess in her world of magic from which she drew understanding. She dealt in the beauty of life-in art, in religion, in literature, and in music-combining all, leaving out nothing of worth.

Martha was never old, always the ecstatic bird of Spring, singing from the tree tops, always meeting life with a new creative incentive.

When she finally went, one knew the world would never have her counterpart, her pattern could never be reproduced.


image | previous page | next page | search the archives

  Critical Materials Main Menu
Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
Maintained by Lara Vetter <>
Last updated on March 10, 2008

Dickinson Electronic Archives