blossoming time of thought and accomplishment Now, with the marriage and departure of the children, still another notable change was wrought, rather joyful than sorrowful, but none the less marking an epoch.
Up to this time (1871) the wide, sunny rooms of the house on Beacon Hill
had been filled with young, active life.
The five children, their friends, their music, their parties, their talk and laughter, kept youth and gayety at full tide: the green branches grew and blossomed.
For all five she had been from their cradle not only mistress of the revels and chief musician, but spur and beacon of mind and soul.
Now four of the five were transplanted to other ground.
Many women, confronting changes like these, say to themselves, “It is over.
For me there is no more active life; instead, the shelf and the chimney corner.”
This woman, lifting her eyes from the empty spaces, saw Opportunity beckoning from new heights, and moved gladly to meet her. Now, as ever, she “staked her life upon the red.”
The empty spaces must be filled.
Study no longer sufficed: the need of serving humanity actively, hand and foot, pen and voice, was now urgent.
Her first work under this new impulse was for peace.
The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 made a deep and painful impression upon her. She had felt a bitter dislike for Louis Napoleon
ever since the day when he “stabbed France
in her sleep” by the Coup d'ttat
of December, 1851; but she loved France
and the French