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[399] the theatre. “Oh, you dear little old lady!” she cried. “You speaked your piece real good!”

Late October finds her preparing for the move to Boston.

“I have had what I may call a spasm of gratitude to God for His great goodness to me, sitting in my pleasant little parlor, with the lovely golden trees in near view, and the devotion of my children and great kindness of my friends well in mind. Oh! help me, divine Father, to merit even a very little of Thy kindness!”

In this autumn she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in December she wrote for its first meeting a poem called “The Capitol.” She greatly desired to read this poem before the association, and Maud, albeit with many misgivings, agreed to take her on to Washington. This was not to be. On learning of her intention, three officers of the association, William Dean Howells, Robert Underwood Johnson, and Thomas Nelson Page, sent her a “round-robin” telegram, begging her not to run the risk of the long winter journey. The kindly suggestion was not altogether well taken. “Ha!” she flashed out. “They think I am too old, but there's a little ginger left in the old blue jar!”

She soon realized the wisdom as well as the friendliness of the round robin, and confided to the Journal that she had been in two minds about it.

On Christmas Day she writes:--

“Thanks to God who gave us the blessed Christ. What a birth was this! Two thousand years have only ”

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