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[postmark: WEST SOMERVILLE JUL 23 9-30P MASS.][postage stamp, cancelled, red profile, U.S.POSTAGE 2 CENTS 2]
[postmark: PLYMOUTH,MASS. JUL 24 9 AM 1914 REC'D.]
Tufts College, Mass.
July 23, 1914.
Dear Miss Whitney:
Here is the clipping that I promised to send. You will find not only Mrs. Dargan there, but other friends as well.
I reached home in good condition at about 6 o'clock, most glad to have had even so brief a call on you. Mrs. Fay and Margaret were eager to hear from you and again send their love.
Chas. E. Fay.
[written in pencil: from letter of July 23, 1914 C.E.Fay to AW]
[printed newspaper clipping] SDAY, JULY 22, 1914
More than ever now, Mexico, and indeed all Central America, will be furnishing material for literary workers of all lands. Spanish America, full of color in nature, full of contrast in social conditions, is as rich prospecting ground for the playwright and the story writer as for the mining adventurers. For the novel of society and morals, perhaps, the comparative tameness of the temperate zone's scenery and the outward conformity of an ordered democracy in our modern industrial and commercial communities suffice. But romance enters into the very construction of the houses in typical Mexican cities, in their inner gardens, courts and galleries, in the grated windows and balconies from which señoritas toss furtive kisses to gallants hiding in the shadows across the way. All three great elements of Old World picturesqueness - the powerful church, the pervading militarism, the patiently enduring peasantry are still the rule under forms, more or less futile and inoperative, of republican institutions. All the combinations of these materials employed time out of mind in Old World ballads, romance, opera, pictures, and art of all kinds are at hand to be woven into the conventional patterns of the dramatists, novelists and artists. Their passing now will make opportunities for new and striking combinations.
& & &
[red pencil mark at beginning of paragraph] One American poet of distinction, Mrs. Olive Tilford Dargan, has written two dramas at least with Mexico for material. The first embodies the melodramatic, or rather, deeply tragical, history of Mamimilian and Carlotta; the second deals with the Mexico of the dispossessed Indian peons transferred to the American promoters, with the soil, for a price, by Diaz and his fifteen per cent class, the compact ruling minority, who as President Wilson says, have never allowed the eighty-five per cent submerged majority so much as a "look- in" in the Government, or in the making of the laws. Two of the rapidly unfolding transformations of Mexican destinies are thus covered by Mrs. Dargan already. Her next essay will probably deal with the struggle now inaugurated of placing the people in possession of the land they and all their ancestors were born on, and which they, till about five years ago, supposed owed them the little they wanted. As at the Maximilian epoch, Mexico, in the words of one of Mrs. Dargan's characters, "means but calamity to every ear". Juarez is the hero of this drama of the ill-fated emperor, picked by the "Dutch-born Napoleon" from the ill-fated Austrian household. At the close of the first act, Juarez prays to Montezuma in heaven for wisdom-
That these thy children he may lead to peace,
And this thy country give again to him
Who set his iron in the earth and said,
"Man, make thy weapon; there shall be no slaves!"
Mrs. Dargan's later play dealt with the worst of the American money power's intriguing in Mexico, exposing the then ruling ascendancy in so intimate and penetrating a fashion that the readers of the drama (it was published by Scribner) were amazed at the knowledge of the whole situation displayed, until it was learned that she had been an omnivorous student of Mexican affairs since she had visited that country with her father when a girl.
& & &
Miss Alice Brown, the winner of the $10,000 prize for the best play of American life, has chosen the same general ground for the locality of her drama, as the new American poet just discovered to us by London criticism, Robert Frost, has done in his "North of Boston" collection of [red pencil line in margin] poems descriptive of New England farm and country life. Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, in her editorial celebration of Miss Brown's triumph in the Woman's Journal, tells us that loyalty to her native scenes [end of pencil mark in margin] is characteristic of her, and that although Miss Brown has travelled much, and knows many of the people best worth knowing in Europe, she will not be turned aside from writing tales of her native New England. To be sure, there was published, about a year ago, a story of hers, "The Man and the Militant," the scene of which was necessarily laid in England, as, with all our imitativeness as regards English ways, there has never been any sign of, or sympathy with, or understanding - even among suffragists - of militancy in this country; and in it, as Miss Blackwell testifies, Miss Brown holds the scales with even justice, and shows her usual sympathy with sincere conviction, as well as her genial humor. Alice Brown's previous plays have been one-act pieces, done in Boston and Philadelphia. In the late lamented Mrs. Isabel Barrows's Canadian camp, where the production of a Greek play was among the triumphed achieved by Mrs. Barrows's gifted daughter, some years ago, Miss Brown, who had there the nickname "Babbie," for her quaint, witch like mischief, played so many tricks of serenades, processions, "all manner of humorous persecutions," on Miss Blackwell, that the latter acquired the camp nickname of "Isaac," because she was so often made a bloodless sacrifice by Miss Brown and a band of her colleagues calling themselves the Ku Klux.
& & &
[red pencil mark at beginning of paragraph] Miss Blackwell, by the way, has no small gift of humor, with all the gift of trenchant controversy, that she has wielded with so much brilliancy and real power and effect, now these many years, bearing the inherited burden loyally and cheerily on towards the ever-nearing goal. In a recent editorial in the Woman's Journal, speaking of the demand for the exclusion of a State senator in Maryland from his seat, on the ground that the State's constitution forbids the election of any minister ot preacher to the Legislature, Miss Blackwell simply remarks, logically, yet gently: "Many of the reasons commonly given for excluding women from suffrage and from office would apply equally to a clergyman. He ought not to be contaminated; he is sometimes unpractical; he already has indirect influence; if he had no vote and was ineligible to office he would have more influence, because he would then necessarily be disinterested and nonpartisan, and legislators would recognize that any request he might make would be unselfish." "Yet we do not find clergymen in other States clamoring to be put under the Maryland rule," she adds.
& & &
It is in a Boston family of high standing, where the father and his son and daughter are all artists, and both generations have gone to the fountain heads of French art at Ville d'Auray, and Giverny, and dwelt and studied and admired the audacities of the Steins, and faithfully attempted the newest styles of painting as fast as they have appeared - that the father has been decorated by the daughter with the title of Parcel-Post-Impressionist, and the father accepts it with paternal pride.
& & &
A magazine editor (whose magazine shall be nameless) returned the following rather pretty copy of verses, we call it, to the author, with the comment that they seemed too artificial, and with the request that they be made less so. Bless his innocuous heart! Isn't "Who is Sylvia?" artificial? - and most delightfully and characteristically so?
"LOVE DOTH TO HER EYES REPAIR"
In Sylvia's love-compelling eyes
There glows a fire that never dies;
It rises, wavers, dwindles, shrinks
Almost to nothingness, but sinks
Only to flare anew, and sear
The unguarded soul that draws too near.
Whence came this fire that pales and glows?
Ah, whence the fragrance of the rose?
And whence the lily's chalice white
That glimmers through the dusky night?
From Shakspeare's song mankind may learn
Why Sylvia's tenderest glances burn;
The flame that lures and scorches still
Love's torch ignited, 'gainst her will.
Joseph B. Gilder
Fay, Charles E. and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Charles E. Fay, Tufts College, Massachusetts, to Anne Whitney, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1914 July 23" (1914). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 677.