spirits. They played together at recess and wrote notes surrepetitiously during school hours. From those days, as long as they lived, although often separated, they had a very under standing friendship.
Soon after I was graduated from college, Martha asked for my aid in helping her (in connection with her poem, THE CATHEDRAL) to make the bells chime in correct Latin. From that time on, we were firm friends.
My oldest sister, after living away from home for many years, returned and Martha at once included her in the circle, admiring her valor in enduring extreme deafness; and always remembering the Warner in her too, for she was very devoted to old associations.
As to her loyalty to those who served her: they were, though not of the family, in it; and therefore gave her the feeling of responsibility for them. She was really, interested in their adversities or plans and often found her way to their homes. Only a few years ago, I was stopped on the street, by an elderly Irish woman, who had long been in the family service, leaving it only when her children were old enough to support her. She inquired solicitously how soon Madame Bianchi would return from her winter absence, adding, "I do miss her so. She is a wonderful woman."
Again, as head of the music committee of the First Congregational Church, she threw herself, heart and soul, into the interest of the choir of young people, to whom she might be said to have given the keys to her home. The boys and girls went to her with their problems and their joys. More than once, when I have gone down to her house, I have met one of them coming away, waving a merry goodbye. They were loyal to her, for they felt her loyalty to them. I think this contact was one of the happiest in her life, and in after years, when ever she had a chance, she called them to her for a reunion.
Another contact, but of a very different nature, that held her
deepest interest and concern was that with the returned
wounded soldiers after World War One, while spending the
winter in New York City where she was active in going to
Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008