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Cymric Strain - Book 2

By Una Howell (USA - circa 1893)

Chapter 18 - Helping the World

Copyright Scott Dunbar 2010

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Chapter 18

Helping the World

The shock of Lilly’s death had put an end to my immaturity. I was definitely committed in my own mind to complete the advanced or artist’s course in music, requirements of which were set forth in the School of Music catalogue.


The lighter research I had anticipated carrying on to determine the potency of my power to influence the common man had early run onto the shoals and I had since kept discreetly away from sentimental wash. The Rich Young Man and I were on a chaste, business basis and would remain so. I had no intention of digging pitfalls for myself. Not that I was hard. On the contrary, Lilly’s death had so softened me and sharpened my perspective that I wondered how I could ever have been so unaware of the sufferings of others. As I looked about and saw grief and sorrow reflected on so many faces, it seemed as if the entire world was in travail and playing the piano seemed, all the more, a shallow sort of occupation.

Playing for a group of underprivileged mothers and children at the University Settlement further disturbed my peace of mind and at my next lesson the storm broke.


“I want to do something that will help the world!” I bleated. (Nothing less than the universe for my nut to crack!) “I’m not satisfied with just entertaining people.”


He might have laughed but the Dean was a very understanding man and he heard me through. Putting my problem into words had helped clear the air already. Bach and Beethoven were set aside for the morning and Mr. Lutkin delivered a short sermon I which he pointed out the sacred office of music, how it was constantly lifting the masses, quietly and effectively though not in a spectacular way.


I was immensely relieved, for right at that moment I was keenly aware of the importance of turning in my weekly stipend to keep the home fires burning and delighted to feel justified in postponing my super-woman role to a more convenient season. As I walked home my md was easier but the truth I had stumbled on, the knowledge that unalloyed happiness was unattainable, had come to stay.

 

Cymric Strain - Book 2, by Una Howell (USA - circa 1893) Current

 

Chapter 1 - Evanston

Chapter 2 - The Department of Music
Chapter 3 - Northwestern University

Chapter 4 - Beaued

Chapter 5 - Late for the 1am Train!

Chapter 6 - A Visit from Home

Chapter 7 - Bill Declares Himself

Chapter 8 - Engaged to be Married
Chapter 9 - A Grand Piano for Me?

Chapter 10 - Apartment Life in Evanston

Chapter 11 - On the Train with a Pass

Chapter 12 - Eric’s Decline

Chapter 13 - The Organist

Chapter 14 - Lilly Dies

Chapter 15 - An Unprincipled Woman

Chapter 16 - Music Critic

Chapter 17 - A Rich Young Man

Chapter 18 - Helping the World

Chapter 19 - On a Bicycle Built for Two

Chapter 20 - Mendelssohn Concerto in E Major

Chapter 21 - The Meister Way

Chapter 22 - An Admirer

Chapter 23 - Gentlemen Callers

Chapter 24 - The Scotchman

Chapter 25 - Checking on Maynard

Chapter 26 - Rich Young Man - Not so Much

Chapter 27 - A Page Removed!

Chapter 28 - The Marriage

Chapter 29 - Plans for a New Marriage

Chapter 30 - Honeymoon

Chapter 31 - A New Home

Chapter 32 - Getting to Know Elgin -1901

Chapter 33 - Our First Mobile (Auto)

Chapter 34 - Life in Elgin

Chapter 35 - Preparing for Birth

Chapter 36 - Stillborn!

Chapter 37 - Leave Leeches to Treat an Ear Ache

Chapter 38 - Winfield Illinois Sanatorium