Florida Pier Scott-Maxwell (1883-1979) : writings, sorted ( in slow progress )

Florida Pier, later (and better) known as Florida Scott-Maxwell
stage actor, writer (short stories, essays, plays); Jungian psychoanalyst; later wrote of women in midlife, and her experience of old age

The writings are sorted chronologically, within these sections, followed by gleanings about her life. This project is ongoing.

upper vertical bar ╹ at left returns to top of page; lower ╻ goes to jmcvey.net.

  1. short fiction, drama
  2. The Gentler View
    essays, decreasing in frequency in last two years, that ran in Harper’s Weekly, 1908-1913
  3. The Woman Who Saw
    (short pieces in The [New York] Evening Sun ca 1909-?, widely syndicated; byline uncertain)
  4. books
    They knew how to die / The kinsmen know how to die (by Sophie Botcharsky and Florida Pier; 1931)
    Towards Relationship (1939)
    Women and Sometimes Men (1957)
    The Measure of My Days (1968)
  5. other (e.g., psychoanalytical essays in The Listener)
  6. life
  7. why ?

scrolling through reels of microfilm at NYPL, early August 2023, will result in some corrections and many augmentations to this unfinished list.

— The accompanying photograph of a scene from the second act of “Unleavened Bread,” now playing in Washington, shows Selma’s second husband, the architect, submitting the plans he has made for the Parsons house. Miss Tyree is Selma, Mr. E. J. Morgan is Wilbur Littleton, architect, Virginia Buchanan is Mrs. Parsons, Florida Pier is Miss Parsons, and George Woodward is Silas Parsons.
ex The Book Buyer 22:2 (New York, March 1901) : 98-99 : link
link (better scan; Harvard copy)

Florida Pier is at upper right.

Florida Pier
on the staff of the New York Evening Sun, where she conducts “The Woman Who Saw” column, and she also conducts “The Gentler View” column in Harper’s Weekly. Apart from these. Miss Pier has written many short stories, some of which have appeared in the Century, Harper’s, the Circle, and other magazines.
The Writer 21:3 (Boston, March 1909) : 40 : link

short fiction, drama

  1. “Miss Harriet’s Extravagance”
    The Century Magazine 69:1 (November 1904) : 149-151
    link (Ohio State U copy, via hathitrust)

    features an electric car...

  2. “The Power of Ancestors”
    The Century Magazine 71:3 (January 1906) : 445-447
    link (U Michigan copy, hathitrust) / same (Indiana U copy, hathitrust)
  3. “Your Mother’s Moors”
    Harper’s Magazine 118:705 (January 1909) : 404-412 : link
    ToC : link
    illustrations by May Wilson Preston (1873-1949) : wikipedia
  4. “The Little Man with the Safety Pin”
    Harper’s Weekly (May 1, 1909) : 22-23
    link (hathitrust) / link (google books)

    illustrations by Howard V. Brown (1878-1945) : link / more (MagazineArt)


    Odd tale, a kind of morality tale, where one — “I started the world with a vocabulary, and not much else” — who lacked conviction, even apparently was a thief who lost his job for it... now falls into a situation where he brings “the wrong girl” and an irresolute/regretful young man to an agreement.
    Has a certain stage (I mean, theatrical, almost Twilight Zone) aspect to it; might be entirely done in a room and adjoining stairwell, although it does commence outside, on the street.
    note to self : transcribe.

  5. “Napoleon’s Apples”
    Ainslee’s 23:6 (July 1909) : 129-136 : link
  6. “Mid-Sea Madness”
    The Smart Set (A magazine of cleverness) 28:4 (August 1909) : 41-51 : link (Ohio State U)
    ToC : link
  7. “Musty, Dusty Mr. Cullender”
    illustrated by Horace Taylor (1881-1934) : link (London Transport), more (Christie’s)
    Munsey’s Magazine 42:3 (December 1909) : 389-398 : link
    link (Hathitrust)
  8. “The Summoning Knocker”
    illustrations by William L(eroy). Jacobs (1869-1917) : LoC
    Harper’s Magazine 120:720 (May 1910) : link (Princeton copy, via googlebooks)

    like “The Last of His Family” set in Italy.

  9. “The Last of His Family”
    Hampton’s Magazine 25:1 (July 1910) : 129-134 : link
    link (hathitrust)
    ToC : link

    aside 1

    a kind of rewriting of the Jamesian trope, of wealthy young American woman, traveling in Italy, in the sights of the comtessa who needs the marriage to her son, to save the Raspaglione [quite a name! — grasping, rasping, rapacious...] family from vanishing. The family’s fortunes were, it is suggested, violently obtained, and maintained by tricks. The daughter, Spring Ripley, whose father made his money in buttons, “millions of buttons, miles of factories. We’ve climbed, though not so darned high, on buttons, and though I’ve never minded them particularly before, they make me quite crazy about the general bloodiness, as you say, of your family.” (131)

    The comte (Paolo) is a playboy and under control of his mother. Spring notices that he cheats in tennis. Later, in an unwelcome and violent action, he kisses her — “her throat, her lips.” Spring has presence of mind enough to leave the palace. She avoids being trapped (or tripped by a fifth step, that has a meaningful role in the story).

    Earlier, the comtessa asks about her name, Spring. —
          The comte again acted as interpreter and the girl laughed. “That’s easy. My name is Spring. It’s rather foolish, isn’t it? We began to be able to afford poetry about the time I was born and mother rather let herself go on my name.”

    I wonder whether Florida Pier’s given name had a similar back story. See her subtle and beautiful essay on James, “The Pale Adventurers” in Harper’s Weekly (December 19, 1910) : 22 : link (transcription)

    aside 2

    in same issue,
    Rheta Childe Dorr, “A Fighting Chance for the City Child” (July 1910) : 103-116 : link
    in preceding issues,
    “Making Over the Backward Child” (June 1910) : 809-822 : link
    “The Prodigal Daughter” (“second article — what organized women can do to take domestic service out of the list of dangerous trades”) (May 1910) : 679-688 : link
    “The Prodigal Daughter” (April 1910) : 526-538 : link
    see also
    “Women’s Battle for the Ballot” in The New Broadway Magazine 21:1 (July 1908) : link (Ann Lewis Women’s Suffrage Collection)

    Rheta Childe Dorr (1868-1948) : wikipedia : link
    author of A Woman of Fifty (1924, 1925) : link

  10. “Mrs. Nolly’s Real Self”
    illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg
    Harper’s Magazine 123:777 (October 1911) : 786-795 : link
  11. “Rentin’ Hens”
    with Pictures by F. R. Gruger (1871-1953) : link (Society of Illustrators) / more (Saturday Evening Post)
    The Century Magazine 83:2 (December 1911) : 214-219 : (link) (Harvard copy, via hathitrust)

    a father-daughter story.

  12. “Inheriting Bunchy”
    Illustrations by Wallace Morgan
    The Delineator 29:2 (February 1912) : 93-94 : link
  13. “Horse Management”
    [a short in the “Light on the Path” section], The FRA : A Journal of Affirmation, Exponent of The American Philosophy (July 1912) : xliii : link
    ToC this issue : link
    published by The Roycrofters, East Aurora, N. Y. : wikipedia : link

          It is not that one is afraid of animals, it is just that we are at such a disadvantage in dealing with them, for we have no earthly means of telling what is going on in their heads. It is only our respect for horses that makes us — well, respectful in our treatment of him. It seems so unlikely that the day will not eventually come when horses will realize that they are much stronger than we are and rightly enough should dictate to us instead of permitting us to dictate to them. And what more likely than that the change should take place while one is on a horse’s back? No one can say the idea is unreasonable. When a horse is trotting smartly along, one is not afraid of what he is doing — that stands to reason; one is only absorbingly interested in what he may be thinking of doing. A change in plans on the part of anyone is upsetting if the plans concern you, but a horse, having no way of warning you, even if he was kindly intentioned enough to think it necessary, is apt to act so suddenly, and it is at such moments that actions speak with such jarring loudness. He may feel his actions to be beyond criticism, but as we lack all the deductions which led up to his sudden decision we can not help disagreeing with him and feeling a little chagrined that we were so much slower than he in coming to what he must feel to have been a simple conclusion.

  14. “Mr. Walker”
    illustrated by Arthur William Brown
    The Delineator 72:5 (May 1913) : 356-357, 414 : link
  15. “The Great Little Man”
    Harper’s Magazine 126:755 (May 1913) : 854-862 : link
    [sudden event, here, hailstorm and broken window, precipitates major change. something like the story, the guy decides to stay longer in Europe (find it)]
  16. “The Unemployed”
    illustrated by John Alonzo Williams (1869-1951)
    Harper’s Magazine 127:758 (July 1913) : 281-291 : link
    father-daughter story ?
  17. The flash-point, a play in three acts. By Mrs. Scott-Maxwell.
    (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., 1914) : link (U Michigan copy, hathitrust)

    Jean.         Now mother, listen. Quite by myself, without any help from you, I’ve found and made my own intentions, plans, ideals. They are what thinking people believe in, and when I try to explain them to you you call me either impertinent or foolish. You potter about this house all morning doing things that could perfectly be eliminated, and in the afternoons you either do that useless embroidery or else you pay calls where people talk unkindly and stupidly.
    p 30 : link

    Taken up, somewhat critically (and with a useful summary) in “Play-Craft” by Robb Lawson, in The Bookman (July 1914) : 184 : link
    reads better — as a story — than it might work on the stage.

  18. “Darkness”
    The New Adelphi vol. 3 (September 1929 / August 1930) : 18-22 : link (transcription)

    excert —
    ...Sitting immobile, she stared at life. So one could be alive and yet be outside life, that noisy, warm place where other people were. She knew no door through which she might enter, and so she had strayed here where there was nothing but recurring night with days as too brief respites from the night.
          Darkness threatened yet hid her from darkness. Light brought safety yet revealed her to darkness. Light brought safety yet revealed her to darkness. Now she did not know of which she was most afraid, since one seemed but the opposite of the other.


    C. G. Jung’s essay “Woman in Europe” appeared in The New Adelphi 11:1 (September 1928) : 19-35
    There are themes in here that will be taken up by Floria Scott-Maxwell, about relationship, and indirect method, and the feminine in man, and masculine in women; I wonder too about her marriage to a logic-only electrical engineer John Maxwell Scott-Maxwell (1880-1951), referred to (I believe) in The Measure of My Days (1968) — "It is baffling to be loved by someone who is incapable of seeing you. It is pain to have your love claimed as a cloak that another may hide from himself.”

  19. “Storm”
    Pall Mall Magazine 5:5 (September 1929) : 76-89 ? link
    [have not been able to locate; only reference is from phisp.com : link]
    not in volume 88 containing April-September, at NYPL : link; maybe in succeeding volume? (stored off-site)
  20. “Miss Naseby’s Life.” The Fortnightly Review 126 (October 1929) : 541-556 : proquest (paywall, one page only viewable)

    nuances of character (above all, of Miss Naseby’s brother, who comes over to Paris, from London, to see what is going on; she wants her investments to generate more.)

  21. “Entering London”
    The Adelphi 1:6 (March 1931) : 491-495 : link (transcription)
  22. “Pray for the Princess”
    Life and Letters 6:32 (January 1931) : 50-61

    has flavor of fairy-tale...

  23. “Bigger and Worse Lies.” in This Quarter 3:4 (April, May, June 1931) : 644-654 : link (UC copy, at hathitrust)
    ToC : link

    the narrator, a new arrival at the pension, gets to know two other residents there, Miss Cunningham who seems unable to tell a truth, and Mademoiselle Béraud and her “kaleidoscopic posturing” (647). The story is psychologically astute (like “Miss Naseby’s Life” of 1929), and brought to this mind Rachel Cusk’s Kudos trilogy for its use of the narrator, who draws the others out.

    It was around this time that Florida Pier worked (collaborated) with Sophie Botcharsky for the latter’s memoir The Kinsmen Know How to Die (1931). This may also be when Florida Pier began to train in Jungian analysis (her experience in a pension may relate to her stays in Paris for that training).

    The Gentler View / Harper’s Weekly

    These are essays, not stories. Here and there are found thematic DNA shared with the short stories, and also with Florida Pier’s later writing — as Florida Scott-Maxwell — in particular her The Measure of My Days (1968).

    The Gentler View series appeared in roughly three out of four numbers, in what (beginning with “The Decency of Time” in the March 6, 1909 number) would be the “Advertising” section in the back of the issue.

    Included here are four pieces from 1908, that preceded appearance of “The Gentler View” heading, but exhibit the same tone that is typical of essays in that series.

  24. “What Does Man Know of Woman?”
    (November 14, 1908) : 33 : link
    transcription : link
  25. “The Penalties of Authorship”
    (December 5, 1908) : 29 : link
    transcription : link
  26. “The Passing of the New England Conscience”
    (December 19, 1908) : 29 : link
    transcription : link
  27. “For the Suppression of Mothers”
    (December 26, 1908) : 29 : link

    last line — “What is Russian poetry to wet feet now?”

  28. “The Senseless Necessities”
    (January 16, 1909) : 33 : link

    last paragraph —
          We work because we must, we do all our duties because public opinion yanks us by the scruff of the neck and hangs us up on the hooks where we belong. When we obey the laws of nature it isn’t because they are necessary to us, it is because we are necessary to them, and they have their way with us. We go through our steps, marry, have children, work, hope, keep what health we can, seek the society of our fellows, exhibit bounce if we are lucky, but these are not the things that lead us on, that convulse us, that catch our eye and delight us, without which we are limp bored rags. We are fish (the hook metaphor will kindly be forgotten at this point) going with the current. The kind of fish we are and the sea we are going to are subjects too large and uncertain for us to bother with, but the bubbles that flash in the sunlight, the way the water slips over us, the worms the nervous fisherman drops by mistake, the swaying grass, the bugs on the surface, the naturalists murmuring on the bank, and the dark caves we flash unexpectedly into, these are the things that are necessary to us. It is over these we wave our tails, and it is the blessed, varied, pointless details that make the stream so uncommonly fascinating to us.

  29. “The Serious Results of the Late Humor”
    (January 23, 1909) : 31 : link
  30. “The Inadequate Eye”
    (January 30, 1909) : 31 : link

    [return to this, on travel, appreciation of things including art, etc.]

  31. “Confidences”
    (February 20, 1909) : 31 : link
  32. “Collecting One’s Past”
    (February 27, 1909) : 27 : link

    like “Confidences” the previous week, somewhat philosophical. actual past, not so pleasant, softens with age; might be invented too. Last (of three) paragraph —

          It is not only those adventures which we seek, but those which come unsought, that grow precious with age. If we had an unhappy childhood — if we lived, perhaps, in a place lonely or dull — these experiences take on the most engaging attributes when we remember them but faintly; and without in the least intending it we cloak these years in becoming garments; a child that had just the usual juvenile troubles we transform into a a poignant little figure with a tragic eye and a loneliness that was symbolical of his rarefied soul. And this small fictitious person, having at one time been closely connected with us, sheds on our present stage of development an excessively interesting light. The least imaginative of us are quite capable of transfiguring our pasts up to within, say, five years back. Many a man has built his mysteriously charming manner on the things he thinks happened to him in early youth; and it would not be easy to distinguish these chimerical things from the things that really happened. A past well managed is very helpful, quite an asset. It is no wonder that we hoard up these invisible riches, counting them and turning them over until they have increased in worth surprisingly. They are the only bank that we always have access to, and it is imperative that we should always find it plethoric. To know that one’s life has been full, to feel that it has, perhaps, been romantic, gives one a confidence, a poise, that is most bracing. One wraps oneself in the rich garments of one’s adventures, and the rustling as it drags on the floor makes one’s carriage very upright and impressive. A blank past is so deadening a thing that young people had best begin collecting theirs now. If you see an incident loping along, get in its path and persuade it to stay with you permanently. Romantic things are of course disagreeable at the time, but they must be gone through with, and if one only waits long enough they will become convulsingly funny. One is very apt to get rheumatism from hazardous adventures, but even rheumatism will, in after-years, appeal to one as something extremely humorous. The hope felt in the future is a mild sentiment compared with the obliterating fondness felt for the past. Privation, cold, hunger, bodily pain, become topics for lively conversation; and, unable to speak for strangled peals of delighted remembrance, you try to recall the time when you were stone-broke and had serious thoughts of begging. A voyage during which seasickness seemed a thing you could not live through is in years after chuckled over, gaining one a reputation for spritely wit. And so the staggering, limping footprints we have left behind turn, with a little help from us, into an orderly, even triumphant march of impressions. They are suggestive of the swing of an oncoming army. They endow us who walk at their head with the captivating graces of a drum-major; and, feeling that we have whipped a shocking lot of recruits into admirable shape, we swagger convincingly, thanks to the past which meekly follows at our heels.

  33. “The Decency of Time”
    (March 6, 1909) : 27 : link

    [on timing, when right to let something (anger) go, etc etc. nice.]

  34. “The Disquietude of Being Liked”
    (March 20, 1909) : 27 : link

    ...Boys have been driven away to sea because their mothers so adored them. They have tried being wayward, but it is an exhausting business to perpetually remain the worst boy in the village when one’s inclinations draw one to a quieter life. Going to sea is their only chance of leading a harmless existence, and, at the same time, leaving the impression firmly behind in a mother’s mind that one is a good-for-nothing. To recall the really nice youngsters who have strained their powers of mischieveousness in an effort to down their mothers’ exalted idea of them is quite a saddening reflection...

    The idea is elaborated in The Woman Who Saw series (below), “Why Chivalry Is Nipped in the Bud,” encounted in in The Kindergarten-Primary Magazine 28:8 (April 1916) : 234 : link

  35. Travellers, the Outer Shell, and a Man
    (March 27, 1909) 29 : link

    excerpt —

    He was the only man in the suit department, and he had the desperate air of a person so completely ignored as to be in momentary danger of disintegrating. All around him women were trying on coats and pirouetting in skirts held in place by black-robed saleswomen. He kept his eyes determinedly on his wife, who stood ashamed before a mirror while coats foreign to her intentions were placed upon her subdued person. The fittings were conducted in silence except for the running comment of the saleswoman, which was so meaningless and endless as to seem nil. He, though more than attentive to every coat, did not talk because the garments seemed things hardly to be discussed in public. His wife was silent because the sight of herself in the mirror had hynotized her. She gazed with a stolid modesty at the surprising things that were happening to her figure, and for very inability to look away stared brazenly at herself. The chatter of the saleswoman stopped; she had asked a question and was waiting for an answer. The man and his wife in mutual foncusion said, “What?” The saleswoman looked annoyed; she was accustomed to having more attention paid to her remarks. “I said,” and her tone was coldly reproving, “does the lady wear stays?”
          “The lady?” It was the husband who spoke, and he felt the question one to be treated with discretion.
          “Your wife. I asked if she wore stays.” The saleswoman had reached a pinnacle of delicacy in her first demand, and she had no intention of transposing it so that more vulgar ears might understand. Her hands were on her hips, and she dared any one to make her say corsets.
          “Oh,” the husband and wife comprehended in the same breath, and the wife answered with some bravery, “I do.”
          “Oh well, in that case” (the saleswoman’s nostrils contracted with scorn), “I can’t promise you a fit; no one has been wearing stays for fully three weeks.”
          The woman winced; this public reprimand hurt. “Can you show me some more coats?” she murmured. “I’d like to settle on something.”
          A crushed-wistaria garment was buttoned on her and her husband rose. “Maria!” he exclaimed, and he seemed to be clutching her from the lion’s mouth, “take that off. You don’t look respectable in any of them, and I’m not going to have you wear such things.”
          The saleswoman angrily peeled off the crushed-wistaria and retorted, “Well, if you wanted to look respectable I don’t see why you tried any of this year’s styles; you better wear something old if your husband is of a nervous disposition. I supposed everyone knew it was the thing to look scandalous.” And a moment later she was lost in the maze of femininity.
          When the man and his wife found themselves again on the street they sighed, and knew their escape to have been a narrow one.

  36. Guide-Books, etc.
    (April 10, 1909) : 27 : link
  37. Misfortunes, Mysteries, and the Happy Medium
    (April 17, 1909) : 27 : link
  38. Incorrigible Nature
    (May 8, 1909) : 31 : link

    an essay in/on/of pathetic fallacy; will transcribe in full. for now —
    Nothing is as unprincipled as the way she assures reproduction. She makes our greatest obligation appear the most cherished prize. Her methods are so so feminine that we wring our hands in despair of the sex. She is the Tom Sawyer of all time, and the inevitableness with which we desire to whitewash that pesky fence is one of the marvels of the world...

  39. Tongues, Cameras, and Other Things
    (May 15, 1909) : 27 : link
  40. Wandering Spinsters, etc.
    (May 29, 1909) : 29 : link
  41. “The Need of Self-Expression”
    (June 5, 1909) : 28 : link
    transcription : link

    second thoughts about self-expression; what self might there be to express... virtues of opacity, non-disclosure.

  42. Panoramas, etc.
    (June 12, 1909) : 27 : link

    [ Staying quietly in one’s room, with a busy back turned to the windows, panoramas seem things easily avoidedd. It is possible, or so the housed person happily feels, to skirt panoramas, to turn one’s head away, to do any number of rescuing things if panoramas happen to affect one unpleasantly. But once out in the open, they assault you on every side. Considering their size, it is amazing how many there are, almost all countries giving them room without visible inconvenience. With a tightening of the throat islands are suddenly beloved islands so msall that “views” are out of the question. Islands just able to hold detail and nothing a whit bigger... ]

  43. The Tyranny of Buying
    (June 19, 1909) : 27 : link
  44. The Iniquity of Art Galleries
    (July 3, 1909) : 27 : link
  45. Subjects, Confidences and Decisions
    (July 10, 1909) : 29 : link
  46. Concerning Plans, etc.
    (July 24, 1909) : 29 : link
  47. Proprieties, Absurdities, and Umrella Carriers
    (July 31, 1909) 29 : link
  48. In Praise of Novel-Reading
    (August 7, 1909) : 29 : link

    this concluding passage in particular —
          It would be so very nice to know what becomes of the things we find in books which, on a second perusal, prove not to be anywhere in the volume. We liked so very much the paragraph on charm, we remember it so much more clearly than anything else in the book and name it for years aftward with a glow of grateful memory, so that when we return to it to refresh ourselves as to exact wording and find the chapter with not a word on charm anywhere, a guilty feeling comes of having extracted this gem, of having carried it about with us for all these years, while recommending to our friends a book which we had rendered incomplete. There seems nothing to exonerate us, as the paragraph was undoubtedly there once, is as assuredly lacking now, and we are the only person admitting to a knowledge of its whereabouts. The case seems terribly clear against us. If, however, the author should declare his book to be intact, hotly stating that it had never undergone a change and had never, never been in any way connected with a delectable little dissertation on charm, what are we to feel about the thing we got from the book, have since kept, and can at any time receive a thrill of pleasure from? It puts us in a most embarrassing position. It is not ours, yet it is on our hands and no one will admit t ohaving given us the gift. We would feel incriminated enough if it had only happened once, but it is a common occurrence, and there are a half-dozen books one hesitates to re-read for fear of their refusing to re-say the thing they once so loudly shouted to us. It is not at all that one gets entangled and remembers Jane Austen as saying what Miss Burney said. No such simple, befogged explanation is possible. For one comes to the exact place, the subject is there of which the thing you search was apropos, but with a snail-like drawing in of the moving, delicate tentacles the page presents only the hard shell of the author’s meaning; and perhaps — of this you are never completely sure — a tiny hole into which the meaningful thing you encountered before has irretrievably retired.

  49. The Venus of Milo and the Winding Road
    (August 21, 1909) : 29 : link
  50. Views on Slang, Lost Property, and Dentists
    (August 28, 1909) : 29 : link

    at p 13 ( link ), nice drawing of “A Book-worm’s Paradise” (the main reading room of the NYPL), by Vernon Howe Bailey

  51. Runaway Names, etc.
    (September 4, 1909) : 29 : link
    [ on lapses of memory, a fire in the house, and subjects to be avoided. ]
  52. The Educational Value of Hunger
    (September 6, 1909) : 27 : link

    “If one has suffered hunger and yet has succeeded in pushing it so far back into the past that it ceases to be an embarrassment, it then becomes most unmistakably an asset.”
    this should be an “etc.” piece, part two starting :
    “The radical changes that a purchase goes through between the moment when, by a terrifying literalness, on the part of a salesman, it is irreievably made and the time when it is unwrapped and disclosed to your astonished eyes in your own home, are most difficult to account for...”

  53. The Disappointments of Surprise Visits; The Woes of Returned Travellers; etc.
    (September 11, 1909) : 29 : link
  54. This Matter of Being Comfortable, etc.
    (September 18, 1909) : 29 : link
    [the “once-upon-a-time” school in English art.
  55. Sympathetic Antagonisms, Pets as Conversation-Silencers, etc.
    (September 25, 1909) : 27 : link
  56. The Blessed Ambient
    (October 2, 1909) : 22 : link (hathitrust)   / same (University of Michigan scan, google) : link
    transcription : link
  57. The Ostentatious Sea and Disappearing Man
    (October 23, 1909) : 31 : link
  58. Those Unescapable Exercises, etc.
    (October 30, 1909) : 29 : link
  59. Mothers Explained
    (November 13, 1909) : 27 : link
    also in Toronto Saturday Night 23:8 (December 4, 1909) : 31 an “etc” paean to the sky, “the loveliest side of the world, no matter how lovely our side for the moment is...”

    on daughters, and the changing role of mothers toward them;
    followed by a brief paean to the sky —
          The sky is deserving of much more attention than it gets. It is the lovelist side of the world, no matter how lovely our side for the moment is. The sky even at times is able to lend the earth half its beauty and drapes it in shadows, arranging the sun upon the fields so that it is fair beyond words. The sky alone can never be made to look better or worse because of the thing reflected against it. When seen from a window of the Alhambra, it is still more beautiful than the window tracery. When seen with factory chimneys black against it, it is sad with the grime of the chimneys, but it glows, and the sky and the earth are ennobled. If one looks down the narrow vista of a cross street, it has managed to find room at the end to be beautiful and has used the crowding houses as a frame to hold its exquisite colors. If one only sees the top of it by standing at one’s window with tilted chin, then it calls three little clouds to look down into your window, and, though no doubt they would find it much more agreeable nearer the horizon, they continue to drift there on high, filling a space the sky thought blank and feared might disappoint one.

  60. Open Pictures, and Boomerang Ideals
    November 20 1909 : 27 : link

    three sections —

    “Pictures should be openings in the wall, so many escapes from the room in which they hang. If they come out of their frames to you, refusing you shelter, failing you in your dumn nosing for a recess, they are not pictures, but furniture, and conqequently abominations.”

    Mr. Hewletter in his Open Country, a book whose charm and advtertised sting are robbed of point by the Danteësque ideas of the hero, reminds us afresh of an argument that from time to time crops up and dazzles us with its boomerang qualities. Boomerang because the elevation of a certain very exalted idea seems to knock the man who built it twice as far down as others, when he thought he had gone a double number of leagues upward.

    and a sketch of a philosophical boy named Maeterlinck.

    Open Pictures followed by two other musings —
    the first on the Senhouses of the world (from Maurice Hewlett his Open Country : A comedy with a sting (1909 : link )) — men who will not test or soil their ideals or even love by actual engagement; the second on what might be — today — called the “five whys” theory. /

  61. To Every Man His Own Plum, etc.
    (November 27, 1909) : 27 : link
    transcription : link
  62. The Delightfully Quaint Antis
    (December 11, 1909) : 34 : link

          As the anti-suffrage men feel so strongly about women voting, a natural nervousness arises in the minds of the women as to why. They cannot help wondering if the men know some damning thing about them, of which even they are ignorant. It makes one walk so circumspectly; and with more than a little effort the women ask, half expecting to be crushed to the ground with the answer, “Why shouldn’t women vote?” The answer comes, with a great deal of masculine weight, “Because they are women.”

    concludes :
          The principal thing, of course, is to calm the fears of the antis as much as possible, and to make them believe, if it can be done, that though women will have to ponder mildly on fibrous matter — which will, we do not deny, be more or less exhausting — their long rest and preparation will doubtless enable them to endure the strain.

  63. Man’s New Humility
    (December 18, 1909) : 27 : link

          The men have suddenly decided, apropos of the trend of the times, that they will be everlastingly disappointed if the women descend from their great heights and become the equals of the men. This begging us to stay where we were put is heard on all sides, and it renders us amazed, humble, protesting. The men must not think so little of themselves. If they are a worthless lot we refuse to hear of it, and on no accunt will we believe a word they say regarding themselves. This we have decided, and if underneath our shocked surfaces we are aching to hear the men enlarge upon the subject of their unworthiness, it is a feeling that comes in spite of the repulses of our better judgment, and it need have no hope of receiving any recognition from us.

    the “etc” deals with Ravello, “that curious crumbling hill town where Wagner wrote the Flower Music.”

  64. Either One Does or One Does Not
    (December 25, 1909: : 27 : link

    An open mind is a serious drawback. It is difficult to understand how any one ever supposed anything else to be the case. We say with innocent injured eyes, winking away nobly born misunderstanding, “I hope no one thinks that I am prejudiced!” But every one not only thinks us prejudiced, but is perfectly sure of it...

  65. Typewritten Letters
    (January 15, 1910) : 29 : link
  66. Abjurers of the Hackneyed
    (January 22, 1910) : 29 : link
  67. The Treachery of an Imagination
    (January 29, 1910) : 27 : link
  68. The Solemn Responsibility of Influencing Father’s Vote
    (February 5, 1910) : 27 : link
  69. On Resembling Oneself
    (February 12, 1910) : 27 : link
  70. Possessions
    (February 19, 1910) : 27 : link
    link (google books)

          To have things because they are convenient and render life more livable is obviously the basis on which collectors of encumbrances start, but it would seem that they forget their original intentions almost immediately, for in a very short time they are the harassed hosts of more things than a dozen families have need of, their lives given over to providing shelter to chairs and cars, their nerves worn to a shred preventing these things which they do not want from being stolen from them. It would be an act of kindness t obrugle them monthly. The persons who do so at less regular intervals may be tender-hearted friends acting at great personal risk in their best interests. Any one running for a train would stop to free a trapped kitten wich whome she had no acquaintance whatever; yet, with abundant leisure on our hands, and knowing these trapped people intimately, we hesitate to loosen them from their three houses and four automobiles, or, if one has the type of mind, it is possible to be equally in need of unshackling from a canary and a four-room flat...

  71. Statistics and Genealogies
    (February 26, 1910) : 29 : link
  72. Generations, Pessimism, Dreams
    (March 5, 1910) : 27 : link
  73. Browning, and the Lost Cork
    (March 12, 1910) : 27 : link

    There are so many things that none of us are able to understand outselves — human nature as displayed by others, the cosmic scheme, the whyness of the weather, why people marry whom they do — that is, does seem as though we might add Browning to the group and go happily about our business...

    must read more carefully to discover why “cork”...

  74. Novelties — Waltzing — Broadway
    (March 26, 1910) : 27 : link
  75. Making Conversation, etc.
    (April 2, 1910) : 27 : link
  76. Profanity, Poses, and Tact
    (April 9, 1910) : 29 : link

    “It does seem such a joke on the winter to be planting seeds in the back yard. The blustering cold thought it was going to do such damage, perhaps even succeed in discouraging us permanently; yet, though we led it on its hopes of making a tremendous fuss about the bad weather and pretended to be thoroughly depressed, we knew all the time that these days would come, and on the very first of them up every one popped armed with a trowel and a beaming smile and set to work ebulliently. It must be a great blow to winter. He must feel us to be so hopelessly irrepressible. He has worked for years to down us, and never have we failed to bob up chipperer than ever, always even enjoying a little the joke on him, recovering from our winter gloom suddenly, as though to make the mutiny more marked, throwing off winter’s influence with our tongues thrust impishly out. As we all do it at once, winter is, of course, powerless. He recognizes that we have escaped from his control, and in his rage he probably makes plans for an even severer winter next time. If we continue to make such open demonstrations of welcome to spring, winter will incrase his efforts and the Ice Age will result. We are tempting Providence by our open prancing interest in crocuses and upturned earth. It would be much more diplomatic to pretend that spring bored us, to dissimulate and cut our capes on the sly. In this way winter’s ire would not be roused and his accumulative revenge would cease to threaten us. Our present demented hanging out of the window because puttering has begun in the back yard is enough to provoke any one, especially a departing tyrant with a divergent theory. For our own good, if not for our own safety, we must stop our abandoned ecstasies.”

  77. Country Houses by James, etc.
    (April 16, 1910) : 27 : link

    where to go in the summer... “that modern development, the woman of affairs,” “self-reform”

  78. On Travelling Companions
    (April 23, 1910) : 27 : link
  79. The People We Write To
    (April 30, 1910) : 29 : link
  80. Superhuman Maps, etc.
    (May 14, 1910) : 27 : link

          One hears on the best authority that all proper touring cars are now provided with human maps, and from the description they are terrifying things. Some people, it is rumored, prefer getting lost to entering into a compact with the Evil One by providing their car with one of these curious attachments. Their workings are left for some one else to explain; it is their effect on one’s mind that interests the writer. Setting the needle to Boston — it being supposed that the occupants of the car have strong inclinations Bostonward, one starts out, blithesome and gay, knowing that nothing can prevent one’s reaching Boston eventually. For no matter what road one takes or how right the direction apparently is, that obsessed little needle points always toward Boston. No windings or turnings muddle it or induce it to change its mind. It has its ideas as to where Boston is, and it sticks to them through everything. What there is about Boston that attracts its needle-point so, no one knows. Boston’s influence is surely not as universal as that of the Magnetic Pole, but the fact remains that, if the needle had been pointed in that direction in the beginning, it never varies, no matter what infinitely more attractive places are approached.
          The effect of such a map on motoring is to be watched with avid interest...

  81. Marriage and Steel Teeth, etc.
    (May 21, 1910) : 27 : link

          A spirited woman has said that, much as she believes reforms to be necessary, she considers all those now under way to be hopelessly beside the mark. She is interested in two only, and until these are taken up she will have nothing to do with any others. What she feels to be really vital is that every one shall be born married and with a full set of steel teeth. With these two matters arranged for us before we enter the world, very little trouble could occur afterward. All human ills, she avers, arise from teeth and marriage, and between the getting of teeth and spouses and the disposing of them one really has very little time for anything else. They are both too important to be left so entirely in our hands, and should be looked after as breathing is and the circulation of the blood and sleeping. A pretty mess we would all be in if we were obliged to superintend these matters ourselves! How to start such a reform is a matter much more complicated than the simple recognition of its need. But that is only the case with all reform. The difficulty of improving a thing that is in desperate need of being changed has kept the world busy rectifying its own mistakes ever since Adam first demanded Eve and then requested to have her taken back. Perhaps the best way will be to make every one see the merits of such a scheme, and it will then happen of its own accord merely because it is so deeply desired. The perfections of such an arrangement are so obvious that one is a little put to it to dilate upon them. The thought bobs up at once that if one was born married one's spouse would be in no way a thing one was to blame for, and, no matter what his or her drawbacks, that person would be treated with a polite blindness on the part of every one, much with the delicate oblivion shown a birthmark.
          For all responsibility to be taken from our shoulders would be the right and proper state of things....

  82. Italian Tea, etc.
    (June 4, 1910) : 27 : link

    re: the tea (at the Metropolitan Museum) —
    The tea is — and the miracle and simplicity of the thing refuse to diminish a jot — the tea is of that rare awfulness hitherto only to be found in Italy. One could cry with joy over the badness of it and drop tears of convulsed rejoicing in each and ever cup. Not for worlds would one ask the brand, for the first sip brings with it such a rush of feeling that one is moved to hug the teapot. It is the very identical tea that used to amaze and bewilder us in small Italian towns. It always seemed impossible that a second cup should possess the exact, untraceable, terrifying, and yet harmless flavor of the first. It was so plainly not tea at all, and yet never has the faintest inkling as to the whatness of it ever been hit upon...
          On reading these complaints over the writer is amazed to find what a masculine flavor they have. She is quite unable to account for their discontented before-dinner tang.

  83. Bookworms, etc.
    (June 11, 1910) : 27 : link

    “We cannot be too thankful for ignorance. The leeway it gives is tremendous. It is with real horror that one contemplates the approach of knowledge. It limits our flights, hedges us in, shackles and anchors us. The more we know of a thing, the more cowed we are in its presence; the less any one knows, the braver and freer our behavior. Halley’s comet has been a noticeable demonstration of this...”

  84. Careless Folk, Etc.
    (June 18, 1910) : 27 : link
  85. Rural Letters, Chapter Headings, Etc.
    (June 25, 1910) : 27 : link

    references George Borrow, Thackeray...

    “Chapter headings are not at all what they were, which is saying the worst possible thing for present-day chapter headings, as nothing could have been nicer than what they used to be...
          Next to nothing is done with chapter headings nowadays. Their aid is discarded as being superfluous and a shade prosy. There used to be a something gradual, rambling, and suggestive of genteel leisure in the manner of beginning a book. The chapter headings used to bewilder, charm, and entice one’s interest, to pique one into an immediate retirement into a corner with the book...]

  86. Masculine Logic, Etc.
    (July 2, 1910) : 33 : link
  87. Fellow Artists, Etc.
    (July 30, 1910) : 21 : link
  88. The Inconvenience of Ideas, Etc.
    (August 13, 1910) : 21 : link

          It is only of recent years that the inconvenience of ideas has been felt with its full weight. It is not to be forgotten that the years before we came to consciousness are always known to be, and ardently called, the “good old days,” while the time in which we live is dubbed from personal experience a depraved age. Still, the impression remains that fifteen years ago ideas did not have their present unpleasant trick of coming home to one. Ideas used to be long-distance pleasures bearing entirely on things that concerned us only remotely, if at all...

          Though every man dislikes thinking and feels wronged when compelled to do so, no one can say that we have not reduced it to the terms least inconvenient to our comfort. We think in detours, amd the spaces leaped by our thoughts are of far more interest than the thoughts themselves...

    transcription : link

  89. The Depressing Effect of Humor
    (August 20, 1910) : 23 : link
  90. Castilian Shopping, etc.
    (August 27, 1910) : 21 : link
  91. The Great Emolument, etc.
    (September 10, 1910) : 21 : link
  92. The Conservation of Revolutions
    (September 17, 1910) : 21 : link
  93. The Masculine and the Feminine Mind
    (September 24, 1910) : 21 : link
  94. Some Delusive Joys
    (October 1, 1910) : 30 : link
  95. The Agile Minority
    (October 8, 1910) : 26 : link
  96. Living Along
    (October 22, 1910) : 25 : link
  97. Chance Encounters
    (October 29, 1910) : 21 : link
  98. People with Gardens
    (November 5, 1910) : 33 : link
    transcription : link
  99. Hotel Rooms
    (November 12, 1910) : 26 : link
  100. The Philosophy of Presents
    (November 19, 1910) : 21 : link
  101. Dinners and Men
    (November 26, 1910) : 21 link
  102. Blankness of Mind
    (December 3, 1910) : 32 : link

          If we did begin to think — but at the very idea the cavalcade of our thoughts shows utter confusion. One limp little figure treading on the heels of the one in front, the smaller flâneurs getting bumped by those bigger thoughts who think they are marching, a serious congestion of traffic sets in...

    transcription : link

  103. Pale Adventurers
    (December 10, 1910) : 35 : link
    transcription : link

    on Henry James, his Strethers, so to speak.

  104. The Importance of Parents
    (December 17, 1910) : 26 : link
    better scan (Indiana U, google) : link
  105. The Ploughers
    (December 24, 1910) : 26 : link

    the keen mind, who ploughs the way for resentful others. —
    “As we do not observe ourselves we cannot draw straight conclusions, and having no conclusions of our own, we borrow half thoughts from unaccounted-for sources, misapply them to things we learn of by hearsay, and with such a receipt for living, we breathe for seventy years or so, mere monuments of insensibility, with faith in our own infallibility and ignorant scorn for all else.”

  106. Thinking in Detours
    (December 31, 1910) : 26 : link
    better scan (lower left of page) : link   (Indiana U copy, digitized July 29, 2022)

          Though every man dislikes thinking and feels wronged when compelled to do so, no one can say that we have not reduced it to the terms least inconvenient to our comfort. We think in detours, amd the spaces leaped by our thoughts are of far more interest than the thoughts themselves...

    transcription : link

    [ . . . ]

  107. Those Immoral Romanticists
    (January 14, 1911) : 21 : link
  108. An Opinion Embedded in Much Irrelevant Matter
    (January 21, 1911) : : link
  109. Being Dull Around the World
    (January 28, 1911) : 31 : link
  110. Emotions Attendant on Acquiring a Desk
    (February 11, 1911) : 23 : link
    link (U Michigan scan, google)

          There cannot exist a heart so dull that it has not thrilled to the word pigeonhole... ¶ ...and from then on you face life with the supported, sheltered, substantial feeling of one who is owned by a desk...

    transcription : link

  111. Remembering, etc.
    (February 18, 1911) : 21 : link

    etc : takes up with wry criticality something in W. D. Hudson, his A Shepherd’s Life

  112. Capitulating to Popularity
    (February 25, 1911) : 35 : link
  113. Evolution’s Culs-de-Sac
    (March 11, 1911) : 21 : link

          One vaguely takes it for granted, if one is a woman and has been brought up without the stimulating discomfort of male relations, that the theory of evolution works on a straight line of one stage revolving into the next, one species ascending by gradual changes to that above it. Which makes a casual, if illuminating, harangue on the subject productive of much valuable matter in that it disclosed the fact that, though the current of life went straight on until it reached man, conditions made a number of creatures branch off and run down culs-de-sac where they most ignomiously remained as they were. It is safe to imply that the same is still happening and at that point one secures possession of an idea that gives a genuine and most permeating comfort. There is no need of further explanations or elucidations. They might contradict, or at least dilute the wholly desirable bit one has caught. It is perfect as it stands, and all can see on the first moment of gazing at it in its simple beauty that it is the type of idea that, for months, to come, until it is worn and threadbare, will explain and put the final word to all manner of things heretofore puzzling. When anything seems too annoyingly strange, announce it as being in a cul-de-sac. There will be such solid satisfaction in having a place to clap all those people with whom one cannot live in comfort until they have been disposed of by a diagnosis...
          There is an impression in certain feminine minds that the blind alley most thickly populated and most pathetic in its arrested development is that one taken long since by the species known as man, at the juncture where the women alone kept on the advancing road and the men, blinded for the time being by their own infuriated snorts of, “Oh, you women!” took the step that has landed them where they are now. But this is a theory one does not like to give support to, as it may prove to be merely a temporary muddying of the stream, and, when we come out into clearer waters, we may be very much surprised and, of course, tremendously pleased to find the men still of our company. At any rate, the matter has not become sufficiently Eocene to make a discussion of it entirely mannerly...

  114. Consciousness
    (March 18, 1911) : 21 : link
  115. Summer
    (March 25, 1911) : 23 : link
  116. The Care of Genius
    (April 1, 1911) : 25 : link
  117. Two Difficulties that Confront the Seeker of Truth
    (April 22, 1911) : 23 : link

    on (1) the near-impossibility of admitting one was wrong, and (2) patriotism

  118. The Critical Sense
    (April 29, 1911) : 21 : link
  119. Flicked on the Raw
    (May 6, 1911) : 33 : link

          We quiver at such unexpected places and reveal, by our admission of a raw spot, our idea of what constitutes for us a striking blow. We sail complacently through many things, apparently considering ourselves unscathed, and then wince, involuntarily avowing a flick on the raw, which shows up, with such an effect as to puzzle our innocent torturer, the contradiction between our view of ourselves and his view of us. General criticism of a general characteristic interests each of us, discussions of those traits which we have not, or only assume, are occasions for bearing ourselves, bravely; it is when anything which we imagine to be integrally and incurably ours is touched upon that we fly the blush of ownership, of aggrieved and unforgiving exposure. It is because we show in this manner more clearly than we can in any other what we feel to be innate in us that observers are at such moments so struck into silence, so prevented from rescuing us or themselves from their blunder, held by the revelation that what they hit on lightly without thought of us we have all disarmedly declared to by painfully applicable, that they rest amazed beyond effort at a reparation, by the oddity of seeing what we precisely feel ourselves to be.
          There is perhaps nothing else so quaint in all psychology as our view of ourselves. There is no way for any one to trace, and we, of course, are barred from doing it, the exact grounds on which we base our surprising conclusions. At what point in our development did we get it into our head that certain things were true of us, and other things were decidedly not?
          We never take stock, we have not the requisite vision and balance, we must gradually, with an arbitrariness that is forever keenly tantalizing to the world at large, make assumptions about our make up, never on any account question them after they are made, and suffer, enjoy, and live by them to the very end...

  120. Domesticating Art
    (May 13, 1911) : 23 : link

    will transcribe

  121. Golden Spoons
    (May 27, 1911) : 21 : link
  122. Mementos
    Mementos; The Sleepy Housekeeper’s Dilemma; and Rabbits and Periwinkles (June 3, 1911) : 25 : link
  123. Published Letters of Great Folk
    (June 10, 1911) : 26 : link
  124. Profiles
    (June 17, 1911) : 26 : link

    also : Meetings, and Small Packages

  125. The Feeling for Games
    (June 24, 1911) : 21 : link
  126. The “My Room” Habit
    (July 1, 1911) : 21 : link

          In almost every family there is one person who has what can only be called the “my room” habit. Its development may very probably be the result of family life; or the attraction of one’s room may be as strong as it is because one cannot say “my house.” Or, again, it may be a mere matter of temperament. This is undoubtedly the true solution. If one has the “my room” habit it is because one is made that way. To sociable-minded people who enjoy wasting time and find that it can be more unconsciously and comfortably done in company with others there is something enraging about those who softly remark, “I think I will be going to my room now...”

    transcription : link

  127. Those Happy Hindoos
    (July 8, 1911) : 21 : link
  128. Short-story Marriages
    (July 22, 1911) : 26 : link
  129. Bills
    (July 29, 1911) : 34 : link
  130. Lucid Days
    (August 5, 1911) : 30 : link
    same (U Mich copy/scan, via google) : link

          Being busy is an attitude of mind...

    transcription : link

  131. Extracting Flavor
    (August 12, 1911) : 26 : link
    link (google)

    concluding paragraph —
          She is obtusely accused of squinting at atoms only by those who have not learned the meaningfulness of details and the trick they have of pointing to big factors. She holds them waiting until they point, then follows and finds herself at sources. The result is that, the next time the indications are the same and the flavor smacks with familiarity on her trained tongue, she is sure of her ground to a marvel, capable of action, because she has learned by much handling to know the taste of human nature.

  132. A Characteristic or Two / Perfection / Blame
    (August 19, 1911) : 26 : link
    link (google)

          Words being the treacherous chameleon things they are...

    transcription : link

  133. Untimeliness / The Oldest Inhabitant / Authority
    (August 26, 1911) : 21 : link
    link (google)

          The substitution of vagueness for processes fairly strengthens us in our opinions.

    transcription : link

  134. The Provincial Mind
    (September 16, 1911) : 24 : link
  135. Noise / Cold-storage Admiration
    (September 23, 1911) : 21 : link

    [ . . . ]

  136. The Mental Pendulum
    (January 6, 1912) : 30 : link

          The dogmatism of philosophers either takes account of the strong pendulum instinct in each of us or elese it does not. But then this is precisely the case with so many things....
    transcription : link

  137. Routine (July 6, 1912) : 26 : link /

    [ . . . ]

  138. An American Trait
    (January 11, 1913) : 40 : link
  139. The Crotchets of Equality
    (March 29, 1913) : 23 : link
    transcription : link

    The Woman Who Saw
          This column ran in the The [New York] Evening Sun ca 1909-16 ?; I have not located the column in that paper (online), but it was carried (syndicated?) in whole or part, in other publications of the time. What I have found is presented below; there may be more out there : link
          Florida Pier is described as conducting the column in a short piece about her, in The Writer 21:3 (Boston, March 1909) : 40 : link. She is not named in the byline (at least in these other publications), and may not have authored all of the pieces under in the series. Still, her tone and subtle, wry humor are in evidence here and there. Others too were associated with the column, including Emma L. McAlarney.
          One issue of the paper (February 12, 1909) is available at archive.org : link

    The Evening Sun, New York, N.Y., has begun a department “The Petty Philosopher,” for which brief contributions are invited. The Evening Sun also buys material for its department, “The Woman Who Saw.”
    The Editor 38:9 (November 25, 1913) : link
    The Evening Sun, New York, N.Y., has discontinued contributions for the “Teacup Philosophy” and “The Woman Who Saw” columns of its Woman’s Page. This is in accordance with an annoucement from Miss Eva E. Von Baur, Editor of the Woman’s Page>.
    The Editor 38:11 (December 25, 1913) : 389 : link

    microform at NYPL : link

  140. “The Right Word at the Right Time”
    The Telephone Review 6:9 (September 1915) : 268 ; link

    The irregularities which come up all the time put spice into the jobs we are doing, especially in the matter of handling the public. “The Woman Who Saw” in the Evening Sun tells of a bit of diplomacy which we who deal with the public, whether from central or commercial offices, will not be slow to appreciate.
          At the ticket window of a transportation company two people tried to buy tickets at the same time, having approached from opposite sides. The coins collided and one fell to the floor of the ticket seller's booth. Only one ticket was given out, and the girl who had parted with her money for no return waited for her ticket without result. Finally she stormed up the gateman, demanding the number of the man at the window.
          It was a situation which needed to be saved. Puff! came the wind out of the sails of the excited girl as the gateman said slowly:
          “G’wan through.”
          “But what about the lost nickel?” She gased at him with a bewildering, beguiling smile.
          “Well, if he don’t find it,” said the ticket taker consolingly, “I'll rob the baby’s bank. Go on through.”
    .   .   .   .   .
          Though an entirely similar situation would never be met in our experience, the essence of it is familiar — “The Public” — needing just the right treatment at the right time.
          Many of you girls know of cases handled with as much diplomacy and success as this. Tell us about it!

  141. “A Trolley Car Face”
    The Western Fruit Jobber 2:6 (October 1915) : 40 : link

          This world-stage of ours, upon which all of us are merely players, occasionally furnishes some mightily amusing scenes of comedy and face — amusing, that is, provided we are so fortunate as to be standing in the wings and not actually engaged therein. An excellent example is the following tale of five fervid minutes in a New York City surface car, vouched for by a writer on The Evening Sun whose department is headed “The Woman Who Saw.” The car was well filled with the usual assortment of peaceable, undemonstrative types that seem to inhabit surface cars perpetually. Down two sides of the car they sat, staring dully into the eyes of their vi-a-vis in an open-eyed state of coma — save for the instinctive cringings with which they guarded their toes from the few who stood swaying in the aisle. A scene of bovine peace, upon which, without so much as a warning cue, enter terror, mirth, pandemonium, anguish, heroism, pity, love, loathing, and low comedy — all the usual attributes of melodramatic farce. The curtain rises :
          A dignified Englishman and an attractively gowned woman boarded the car. He carried a much-labeled suit case and she carried a queer looking square tin box suspended from a leather handle. Just as they sat down on the long side seat, the car gave a jolt; the lid flew off the tin box, and out shot a streak of blurred gray and brown fur.
    “Rats!” called out a cheerful man.
          A dozen shrieks pierced the air and twenty-four black and tan pumps clambered up on the seats.
          But it wasn’t a rat at all — it was a squirrel, and a mighty scared squirrel at that. He went tearing down the car, scurried up the new spring suit of the man in the corner, made the return trip over the hats of the astonished crowd and — disappeared.
          The Englishmen [man?] looked bored. The woman with the deserted tin box began to cry. Then down on their knees the two went and under the seats they peered. The timid woman descended and joined them — likewise a few men. It looked like a Billy Sunday audience hitting the sawdust trail.
          “He’s here!” “He isn’t!” “I’ve got him — no, I havn’t!” “There he is — I saw him.”
          “Charlie,” rang out a woman's horrified voice, “come out of that dirty hole this minute.”
          But Charlie, spick and span, aged six, crawled under the seat and was quickly lost to view. A moment later he emerged, triumphantly squeezing the squirrel — its heart beating like a trip-hammer.
          “My baby— My baby!” cried the tin box woman as she snatched her pet and kissed it ecstatically.
          The car had stopt at Forty-third St. A woman stood grasping the rail — her foot on the lower step.
          “Is this the regular Madison Avenue car?” she asked anxiously.
          “No,” said the conductor scornfully, “it’s the nut special — get right on.”

  142. “Why Chivalry Is Nipped in the Bud”
    in The Kindergarten-Primary Magazine 28:8 (April 1916) : 234 : link

    He was a little, eager eyed boy in a Scotch cap. The Woman Who Saw had noticed him the instant she boarded the car, because there was about him such a pronounced air of expectancy. When she took the last vacant seat beside him he gave a comically great sigh of relief.
          “Mother,” he said, in a happy little voice, “the car’s all filled up now. If an old lady or a lady with a baby gets in I can give her my seat, can’t I?”
          “Yes, dear,” said his mother. And then, catching the interested gaze of the Woman Who Saw, she smiled.
          “I've been instructing my son in the duties of a male citizen to the community,” she said, parenthetically. “This is the first chance he’s had to put my teachings into practice, and we are so afraid that the ladies with babies will all stay home today.”
          Indeed, that seemed to be the case. As the car went on the scarcity of eligibles for the little boy’s seat became more and more marked, and his anxiety increased apace. It seemed almost as if there were no ladies with babies left in the world. At last, however, the car stopped to take on a passenger; and instantly the would-be knight was on the alert.
          “It might be a lady with a baby,” he said hopefully.
          But it was not a lady with a baby. It was a ruddy cheeked, motherly lady, who immediately made the Woman Who Saw think of molasses cake and a sunny kitchen with a canary bird. The little boy watched her make her way toward a strap in the center of the car, his disappointment changing to deliberate calculation.
          “Mother,” he said, “she hasn’t got a baby — but she’s a lady. Can I give her my seat?”
          His mother said that he might and that he was not to forget to tip his hat. The Woman Who Saw could not help wondering how one would tip a sailor hat held on with elastic under the chin; but the little boy solved the problem very efficiently. Standing before the motherly lady, he raised both hands to his hat, and, lifting it an inch or two from his head, allowed it to snap back in place.
          “Please,” he began, radiating importance. “Beg your pardon — there’s a seat up here.”
          The motherly lady looked down upon him, smiling a great motherly smile.
          “Well, well,” she said, in a hearty, mollasses-cake voice. “Is there!”
          “Yes,” said the little boy, happily. “It’s my seat.”
          With intense gratification he led the motherly lady down through the car, and watched her insert herself tightly between his mother and the Woman Who Saw. Then he stood and surveyed his work in satisfaction. Only a minute was he permitted to enjoy it; for the motherly lady, having arranged her goods and chattels to her liking, reached over and caught her youthful knight in her arms.
          “Now,” she beamed, “just for being such a good little boy and giving me your seat you're going to have a seat too!” And oh, horror of horrors, — she lifted him upon her lap!
          The instants that followed were fraught with a terrible intensity that made the Woman Who Saw think of the minutes preceding an electrical storm in summer. However, the boy stuck to his post of ignominy valiantly, although the Woman Who Saw, watching, could see that it required great effort. It was when the motherly lady, sublimely unsuspecting, had gone on her way and set him down in his own seat again that he turned upon his mother, and she quailed before the accusing light in his eyes.
          “I gave her my seat!” he said, in a terrible undertone. “I gave her my seat and she made me sit on her lap, like a baby! I wanted to stand up like a man! I don’t care now if everybody in cars is old ladies or ladies with babies! I won’t get up and give anybody my seat! Never, never!”
          The Woman Who Saw could not exactly blame him. Could you?
          — The Woman Who Saw in N. Y. Evening Sun.

  143. The Woman Who Saw
    (Reprinted from the New York Evening Sun, October 24 [, 1916]), in Theosophical Outlook (“A weekly magazine devoted to the theosophical movement, the brotherhood of humanity, the study of occult science, and Aryan literature”) 1:46 (San Francisco, Saturday, November 11, 1916) : 367 : link

          She was a short, fat woman, with a round, fat face, and childish blue eyes. The Woman Who Saw met her waddling down the corridor of the public library, her arms piled high with books. In fact she was carrying so many books that when she took a hasty step forward, three huge volumes spilled out of her arms and thudded on the floor. She bent over to pick them up, when down dropped two more.
          “Good Gracious!” she wailed, and the Woman Who Saw fled to her assistance. “I’ll wager $10 she’s getting literature on how to reduce her flesh; well, she needs it,” the Woman Who Saw thought, and with a smile she bent over to pick up the books. The titles that met her eyes almost made ger gasp; there was no “Eat and Grow thin” here, no indeed! Instead there was “Occultism.” There was “The Astral Body” and “The Secret Doctrine,” “Isis Unveiled,” “Karma," “Reincarnation,” “Planetary Influences.” “My Soul!” exclaimed the Woman Who Saw, “you don’t mean to read all of these, I hope?”
          “I certainly do,” answered the fat woman emphatically. “I mean to read everything of the sort in the library. My husband says I’m crazy, but I’ll just tell you why I do it. I have five children, five noisy, troublesome children; my cook's given notice, and my nursemaid is no good. My husband’s been sick and is as cross as the dickens. Everything in the world in the line of trouble’s happened to me; everything always does happen to me; I’m fated.”
          “So you're going to take your mind off your troubles?” smiled the Woman Who Saw, much amused.
          “Indeed I am,” said the fat woman. “I find my outlet in reading. It gives me lots of pleasure. I can sit and read philosophies of the East by the hour, while the children fight, and not mind them at all. Do you know why I have so many troubles” — she fixed the Woman Who Saw with her mild blue eyes. “Because in my last incarnation I was a wicked person. My planetary influence is very bad indeed. I’ve got to work out a hard Karma; I’ve got to pay up for a lot of things. I know that. So when things go wrong I just say to myself, instead of crying: ‘This is my destiny; I have made my own fate and I shall overcome it.’ It works very well.” She gathered the books up in her arms again and faced the Woman Who Saw. “When I get through reading all these, I’ll be further than ever along the road,” she remarked cheerfully. “Maybe I'll be so far along that I’ll get to like my mother-in-law, and further than that my imagination won’t carry me,” and with a parting smile she went her was down the corridor.

  144. “Honor to the Army”
    The Railway Conductor 34:9 (September 1917): 685 : link

          Thirty-fourth street was crowded, hot and dirty. The Woman Who Saw hurried along to catch her train, conscious of weariness and depression. Suddenly at Sixth avenue a little band of ragamuffins scurried around her, six or eight little boys in various stages of undress, all a uniform grimy brown in color and each carrying a strip of lath — one with his in his hand, the others carrying theirs over their shoulders. On they swept with the utter unconcern of their surroundings which the child of the street acquires, darting from the curb and apparently doomed to destruction in the middle of the crowded avenue.
          On the instant the big policeman saw them, around he swung, holding up two commanding, impassable hands, stopping the traffic so suddenly that the nearest taxi slid, stalling its engine, and the big truck horses on the other side came within an ace of sitting down, so suddenly were they pulled up by their outraged driver, who at once began to tell the policeman what he thought of him.
          “Ah, wait a minute,” said the big policeman, still holding up his hands. “Can’t ye see these fellers go by? They’re soliders! Look at the sword this one has got!” He grinned at the leader of the urchins, who grinned back at him as he scampered along the sidewalk with the others. Away they ran, shouting. Then the big policeman waved his hand and let the waiting traffic through. — Evening Sun.

  145. “A Jog to Memory”
    New York City Mission Monthly 43:4 (June 1919) : 10 : link

          Rocco, aged seventeen, had enlisted over the protest of his mother. But his assignment of salary had been very useful to the family, as the Woman learned when she brought her green groceries. Then Rocco’s father fell ill, there was money owing, and for some reason the allotment failed to come. Heavily Rocco’s mother waddled across the street to consult the Woman, who could understand her limited English.
          Letters and inquiries solved the mystery and she felt that she had done a good deed for the family. When next she saw Rocco’s mother the good soul beamed. “I gotta de mon. T’ree day ago. One hundred five-a dolla.” Then she pointed with pride to a pair of gold earrings with tiny diamond stones that hung from them under her black hair.
          “How you like-a? I buy wit’ de mon.”
          “What!” exclaimed the Woman. “You bought earrings! What of your debts and the sick husband? I thought you needed all of that money for necessities.”
          “Sure, we need it. But,” and the mother of Rocco, with the army along the Rhine, smiled ingratiatingly, “I need-a it not to forget de war.” — The Woman Who Saw in the Evening Sun.


  146. They knew how to die
    New York edition : The kinsmen know how to die : being a narrative of the personal experiences of a Red Cross Sister on the Russian front. Sophie Botcharsky and Florida Pier
    (P. Davies / London and William Morrow / New York, 1931) :
    permalink (BL)
    do not have dustjacket; cover illustration by Paul Wenck : link (Great War Dust Jackets, part of Alan Hewer’s fantastic resource : link)
    Sophia Alfredovna Borman Botcharsky (1896-1982) : findagrave : link

    Sophie Botcharsky was the daughter of the Russian feminist, politician and writer Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams (1869-1962 *) and step-daughter of the linguist and journalist Harold Williams (1876-1928 *)
    collection guide, The Tyrkova-Williams Collection at BL : link

    review by Arthur Ruhl (dramatic critic at the New York Herald Tribune), in The Saturday Review of Literature (October 19, 1931) : 184 : link (pdf; The Unz Review)

    The book contains a preface by Bernard Pares (1867-1949), diplomat, historian, academic and writer (wikipedia). It concludes with this paragraph :
    “Madame Botcharsky has had the advantage of collaborating with a writer, Florida Pier, who has helped her to put her experiences into a form which should carry conviction and interest to the reader, and the book should take an important place among the great records of that great and tragic story.”

    The book, btw, is cited/quoted in various studies of wartime nursing (and nurse anaesthetists), see for example :
    Laurie Stoff. “The ‘myth of the war experience’ and Russian wartime nursing during World War I.” Aspasia, vol. 6, annual 2012, pp. 96+.
    Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A396767962/AONE?u=mlin_oweb&sid=googleScholar&xid=4e484a54. Accessed 12 Jan. 2023.
    It is Stoff who clarifies that Botcharsky’s surname is properly Bocharskaia.

  147. Towards Relationship (1939)
  148. Women and Sometimes Men (1957)
  149. The Measure of My Days (1968)
    borrowable at archive.org


  150. “Women and Sometimes Men” (“The first of three talks by Florida Scott-Maxwell”), in The Listener (September 15, 1955) : 425-426
  151. “A New Peace Between Man and Woman?” (“The last of three talks by Florida Scott-Maxwell”), in The Listener (September 29, 1955) : 503-504


still to come


why ?

I came across Florida Pier whilst trawling for usages of the word “puttering,” early August 2022. There were two for Florida Pier —
164 and
as I looked into this Florida Pier was — her later writing dispenses with the “Pier” in favor of “Scott-Maxwell” — and looked further into her Harper’s Weekly essays under the heading “The Gentler View,” I came to realize the range and depth of her writing as well as of her experience.

and so I began to include transcriptions of other of her essays, sans the word “puttering,” and to look for more by and about her.

6 January 2023 / 12 August 2023