Julia Ward Howe
tiful, lying on a white couch in an attitude of perfect grace.
We hear our mother's voice reciting the stately verses.
We see her as the “female Faust,” first bending over her book, then listening entranced to the promises of Mephistopheles, finally vanishing behind a curtain from which the next instant sprang Florence (the one child who resembled her) in all the gayety of her bright youth.
The next day she was, “Very weary all day. Put things to rights as well as I could.
Read in Spinoza
, and Livy.”
It was for the Brain Club
that she wrote “The Socio-Maniac,” a cantata caricaturing fashionable society.
She set the words to music, and sang with much solemnity the “Mad song” of the heroine whose brain had been turned by too much gayety:--
Her mother was a Shaw,
And her father was a Tompkins;
Her sister was a bore,
And her brother was a bumpkin;
Her flounces were of gold,
And her slippers were of ermine;
And she looked a little bold
When she rose to lead the Germin;
Soci-e — ty!
For my part I never saw
Where she kept her fascination;
But I thought she had an aw-
Ful conceit and affectation;