CHAPTER IV: AT THE CONVENT
AS the theatre, in my memory, still gives the crowning glory to my holiday in Philadelphia, so, in looking back, the brief holiday seems the spectacle, the romance, the supreme moment, of my early years. The scene of my every-day life was that Convent of the Sacred Heart at Torresdale which was the end of the interminable ride in the Third Street horse-car and the shorter ride in the Pennsylvania Railroad train.
The Philadelphian who did not live in the Convent would have seen it the other way round, for the Convent was unlike enough to Philadelphia to suggest the romance of the unusual. Only in one or two respects did it provide me with facts that every proper Philadelphian was brought up to know, and let me say again that because I had to find out the others—the more characteristically Philadelphia facts—for myself, I think they probably made a stronger impression upon me than upon the Philadelphian guiltless of ever straying, or of ever having been allowed to stray, from the approved Philadelphia path.
When the Ladies of the Sacred Heart decided to open a Convent in Philadelphia, an uncertain enterprise if it is considered how un-Catholic Philadelphia was, they 72