The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy/Chapter 08

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search



CHAPTER VIII

TWO YEARS WITH THE WENTWORTHS IN STOUGHTON—MRS. PATTERSON INSTRUCTS MRS. WENTWORTH FROM THE QUIMBY MANUSCRIPTS AND PREPARES HER FIRST BOOK FOR THE PRESS

When Mrs. Glover left Amesbury, she went to Stoughton, to the home of Mrs. Sally Wentworth, whom she had met when she was with Hiram Crafts. Mrs. Wentworth had a consumptive daughter whom she took to Hiram Crafts for treatment, and in his house she met Mrs. Glover and became much interested in her system of healing. Her curiosity about the Quimby mind cure was not surprising, as she was a practical nurse and had much to do with illness. She was frequently called upon to care for the sick in the neighbourhood, and was locally famous for the comfort she could give them by rubbing their limbs and bodies. She was a Spiritualist and believed in the healing power of Spiritualism. "Old Ase Holbrook," a Spiritualist and clairvoyant "doctor," often asked Mrs. Wentworth to assist him in the care of his patients. In Mrs. Glover's system of healing she hoped to find something which she could put into beneficial practice in her work. Mrs. Glover went into Mrs. Wentworth's house to teach her the Quimby system for a consideration of three hundred dollars, which sum was to cover her board and lodging for a considerable period of time.

The Wentworth household then consisted of the parents and two children, Charles and Lucy, the daughter being about fourteen years of age. The married son, Horace T. Wentworth, often dropped in to see his mother, and Mrs. Wentworth's niece—a spirited girl, now Mrs. Catherine Isabel Clapp, was in and out of the house continually. Mrs. Glover lived with the Wentworths for about two years, leaving them only to make occasional visits in the neighbourhood or at Amesbury. At first all the family took great pleasure in her visit. Although Mrs. Glover seldom held her friends long, and although her friendships often terminated violently, when she exerted herself to charm, she seldom failed. Mrs. Wentworth used reproachfully to declare to her less impressionable niece, "If ever there was a saint upon this earth, it is that woman." Both the children were fond of Mrs. Glover, but Lucy abandoned herself to adoration. The child followed her about, waited upon her, and was eager to anticipate her every wish, even at the cost of displeasing her parents. She resented the slightest criticism of their guest, and was deeply hurt by the jests which were passed in the village at Mrs. Glover's expense.

Mrs. Glover's highly coloured speech, her odd clothes, and grand ways, her interest in strange and mysterious subjects, her high mission to spread the truths of her dead master, made her an interesting figure in a humdrum New England village, and her very eccentricities and affectations varied the monotony of a quiet household. Her being "different" did, after all, result in material benefits to Mrs. Glover. All these people with whom she once stayed, love to talk of her, and most of them are glad to have known her,—even those who now say that the experience was a costly one. She was like a patch of colour in those gray communities. She was never dull, her old hosts say, and never commonplace. She never laid aside her regal air; never entered a room or left it like other people. There was something about her that continually excited and stimulated, and she gave people the feeling that a great deal was happening.

Except for occasional angry outbursts, it was this engaging aspect of Mrs. Glover that, for many months, the Wentworths saw. She was tiresome only when she talked of Dr. Quimby, and then only because she discoursed upon him and his philosophy so often. Mrs. Clapp describes how, after long dissertations on mind and matter, Mrs. Glover would fold her hands in her lap, tilt her head on one side, and gently nodding, would, in mincing tones, enunciate this sentence:

"I learned this from Dr. Quimby, and he made me promise to teach it to at least two persons before I die."

She confided this fact to every one, always in the same phrase, with the same emphasis, and with the same sweetness, until it became a fashion for the village girls to mimic her.

The estrangement which resulted in Mrs. Glover's leaving the house began in a difficulty between her and Mr. Wentworth. Mr. Wentworth was indignant because Mrs. Glover had attempted to persuade his wife to leave him and to go away with her and practise the Quimby treatment. After this, Mrs. Glover's former kindly feeling toward the family seemed to disappear altogether. Mrs. Clapp remembers going to the house one day and being disturbed by the sound of violent pounding on the floor upstairs. Her aunt, with some embarrassment, explained that Mr. Wentworth was sick in bed, and that Mrs. Glover had shut herself in her room and was deliberately pounding on the floor above his head to annoy him. Other things of a similar nature occurred, and Mrs. Wentworth was finally compelled to ask Mrs. Glover to leave the house as soon as she could find another place to stay. Horace T. Wentworth, in his affidavit, says:

"Mrs. Wentworth consulted a member of the family as to the best way to bring about Mrs. Glover's departure. By this time my mother was almost in a state of terror regarding Mrs. Glover. She was so afraid of her that she hardly dared to go to sleep at night. She had a lock put on the door of her room so that Mrs. Glover could not get access to her, and ordered her to leave the house."

Mrs. Glover chose for her departure a day when all the members of the Wentworth family were away from home. She took the train for Amesbury, without a word of good-bye to any one. When the Wentworths returned that night, they went to Mrs. Glover's room and knocked, but could get no reply. Horace, the son, suggested forcing the lock, but his mother would not permit it, saying that such a liberty might offend Mrs. Glover, who had probably gone to spend the night with one of the neighbours. The next day they inquired among their friends, but could get no news of their missing guest. Several days went by, and Mrs. Wentworth, becoming alarmed lest some mischance might have befallen Mrs. Glover, told her son to force the door and see if any clue to her whereabouts could be found in her room.

Horace T. Wentworth, in his affidavit, thus describes his entering the room:

A few days after Mrs. Glover left, I and my mother went into the room which she had occupied. We were the first persons to enter the room after Mrs. Glover's departure. We found every breadth of matting slashed up through the middle, apparently with some sharp instrument. We also found the feather-bed all cut to pieces. We opened the door of a closet. On the floor was a pile of newspapers almost entirely consumed. On top of these papers was a shovelful of dead coals. These had evidently been left upon the paper by the last occupant. The only reasons that they had not set the house on fire evidently were because the closet door had been shut, and the air of the closet so dead, and because the newspapers were piled flat and did not readily ignite—were folded so tight, in other words, that they would not blaze.

Mrs. Clapp, in her affidavit, substantiates this statement.

The Wentworths never saw or directly heard from Mrs. Glover again.

While Mrs. Glover was in Stoughton, she apparently had no ambition beyond expounding Quimby's philosophy and declaring herself his disciple. She made no claim to having originated anything she taught.

Although Mrs. Eddy now believes that she discovered the secret of health through divine revelation in 1866, she was often ill while in the Wentworth house, 1868-1870, and on several occasions was confined to her bed for considerable periods of time. During her illnesses Mrs. Wentworth nursed and cared for her, rubbing her and treating her after the Quimby method.

During her stay in Stoughton she made no claim to having received a divine revelation, or to having discovered any system of her own. She seldom associated her teachings with religion as such, and preached Quimbyism merely as an advanced system of treating disease. In instructing Mrs. Wentworth she used a manuscript, which, she always said, had been written by "Dr. Quimby of Portland, Me." She held this document as her most precious possession. "One day when I was at the Wentworths'," recently said Mrs. Clapp, "Mrs. Wentworth was busy copying this manuscript. I went to the buttery to get what I wanted, but couldn't find it, and called Mrs. Wentworth. She got up to get it for me, but before doing so, she put the manuscript in the desk and locked it. I expressed surprise that she should take such pains when she was only stepping across the room for a moment, and she said: 'Mrs. Glover made me promise never to leave this manuscript, even for a moment, without locking the desk.' "

Mr. Horace T. Wentworth of Stoughton now has his mother's manuscript. He has made affidavit[1] that this is the document copied by his mother from Mrs. Glover's, and that he has himself heard Mrs. Glover attribute the original to Dr. Quimby. His brother, Charles O. Wentworth; his sister, Mrs. Arthur L. Holmes (then Miss Lucy Wentworth), and his cousin, Mrs. Catherine Isabel Clapp, have made affidavits to the same effect. This includes all members of the Wentworth household now living.

The Wentworth manuscript itself powerfully supports these affidavits. Of chief interest are the title-page and the first two pages, which are here reproduced in facsimile. The title-page reads, "Extracts from Doctor P. P. Quimby's Writings." On the first page of the manuscript appears the title, "The Science of Man or the principle which controls all phenomena." Then follows a preface, signed "Mary M. Glover." Following this is a marginal note, "P. P. Q.'s Mss.," and at this point begins the Quimby paper. Others who have copies of this same document declare that Mrs. Glover taught from them and sold them as copies of Quimby's manuscript.

By examining the pages reproduced in facsimile, the reader will observe that some one has edited them,—that certain words are written in, not in the handwriting of Mrs. Wentworth. Beginning the fourth paragraph of the first page, are the words, "Wisdom Love &"; two lines below this, are the words, "is in it"; on the second page, second line, again, "wisdom love &"; and on the eleventh line of the same page, "believe." Mrs. Clapp, who was familiar with Mrs. Glover's handwriting at the time, having copied many pages of her manuscript, takes oath that she believes these interlineations to be Mrs. Glover's. Mr. William G. Nixon of Boston, who, as the publisher for several years of Mrs. Eddy's books, handled thousands of pages of her manuscript, also takes oath that in his opinion these words are in her handwriting. George A. Quimby of Belfast, Me., has lent to the writer one of his father's manuscripts, entitled, "Questions and Answers." This is in the handwriting of Mr. Quimby's mother, the wife of Phineas P. Quimby, and is dated, in Mrs. Quimby's handwriting, February, 1862,—nine months before Mrs. Eddy's first visit to Portland. For twenty closely written pages, Quimby's manuscript, "Questions and Answers," is word for word the same as Mrs. Glover's manuscript, "The Science of Man."[2]


The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy - “Extracts from Dr. P. P. Quimby's Writings”.jpg

Title page and part of the first page of the manuscript from which Mrs. Glover taught Mrs. Wentworth the system of mental healing which she ascribed to P. P. Quimby


hold ourselves we are a principle outside of matter, we would not be influenced by the opinions of man, but held to the workings only of a principle, Truth, in which there are no inharmonies of sickness, pain or sin.

For matter is an error, there being no substance, which is Truth, in a thing which changes and is only that which belief makes it.

Christ was the Wisdom that knew Truth dwelt not in opinion, and that matter was but opinion that could be formed into any shape which the belief gave to it, and that the life which moved it came not from it, but was outside of it.

In teaching Mrs. Wentworth, Mrs. Glover supplemented the Quimby manuscripts with oral instruction. She taught Mrs. Wentworth to rub her patient's head, precisely as did Quimby, and to say, as she did so: "It is not necessary for me to rub your head, but I do it to concentrate my thoughts." In addition she taught Mrs. Wentworth to lay her hands over the patient's stomach.

Mrs. Eddy left a few scraps of writing at the Wentworths', all connected with her teachings. Of especial interest are the instructions which she wrote out to direct Mrs. Wentworth in treating the sick. These Mr. Horace T. Wentworth has in her own handwriting. The first two pages of this manuscript read as follows: (The spelling, punctuation, etc., follow the original MS.)

An argument for the sick having what is termed fever chills and heat with sleepless nights, and called spinal inflammation.

The patient has been doctoring the sick one patient is an opium eater, with catarrh, great fear of the air, etc. Another had inflammation of the joints or rheumatism, and liver complaint another scrofula and rheumatism, and another dyspepsia, all of them having the most intense fear.

First the fever is to be argued down. What is heat and chills we answer nothing but an effect produced upon the body by images of disease before the spiritual senses wherefore you must say of heat and chill you are not hot you are not cold you are only the effect of fright there is no such thing as heat and cold if there were you would not grow hot when angry or abashed or frightened and the temperature around not changed in the least.

Inflammation is not inflammation or redness and soreness of any part this is your belief only and this belief is the red dragon the King of beasts which means this belief of inflammation is the leading lie out of which you get your fright that causes chills and heat. Now look it down cause your patient to look at this truth with you call upon their spiritual senses to look with your view which sees no such image and thus waken them out of their dream that is causing them so much suffering, etc.

In her autobiographical sketches, Mrs. Eddy does not mention the years she spent in Stoughton, Taunton, and Amesbury. In Restrospection and Introspection, page 39, she says, after recounting the manner of her miraculous recovery and revelation in 1866:

I then withdrew from society about three years,—to ponder my mission, to search the Scriptures, to find the Science of Mind, that should take the things of God and show them to the creature, and reveal the great curative Principle,—Deity.

The record of these wandering, vagarious years from 1864 to 1870 is far from being satisfactory biography; the number of houses in which she lived, her quarrels and eccentricities, by no means tell us the one thing which is of real importance: what, all this time, was going on in Mrs. Glover's own consciousness. Wherever she went, she taught, now a shoemaker, now a dressmaker, now a boy in the box factory; and wherever she went, she wrote. Her first book was not published until 1875, but for eight years before she was always writing; working upon articles and treatises which were eventually incorporated in this first edition of Science and Health. As early as 1866, when she was in Lynn, she said that she was writing a Bible, and was almost through Genesis. Several years later, at the Wentworths', she pointed affectionately to a pile of note-paper tied up with a string, which lay on her desk, and told Mrs. Clapp that it was her Bible, and that she had completed the Book of Genesis. Mrs. Clapp at that time copied for Mrs. Glover a bulky manuscript, which she believes was one of the early drafts of Science and Health. She recalls many passages, and remembers her amusement in copying the following passage, which now occurs on page 413 of Science and Health:

The daily ablutions of an infant are no more natural or necessary than would be the process of taking a fish out of water every day and covering it with dirt in order to make it thrive more vigorously thereafter in its native element.

After Mrs. Clapp had finished copying the manuscript, Mrs. Glover took it to Boston to find a publisher. Six hundred dollars, cash, in advance, was the only condition on which a publisher would undertake to get out the book, and Mrs. Glover returned to Stoughton and vainly besought Mrs. Wentworth to mortgage the farm to raise money.

Mrs. Glover's persistence was all the more remarkable in that the trade of authorship presented peculiar difficulties for her. Although from her youth she had never lost an opportunity to write for the local papers, and although when she first went to Dr. Quimby she introduced herself to him as an "authoress," her contributions in the old files of the Lynn papers show that she had had no training in the elementary essentials of composition. The quoted extracts from her written instructions to Mrs. Wentworth are indicative of her difficulties with punctuation, which was always a laborious second thought with her. From her letters and early manuscripts it is evident that lucid, clean-cut expression was almost impossible to Mrs. Glover. Some of her first dissertations upon Quimbyism were so confused as to be almost unintelligible. She had, indeed, to fashion her own tools in those years when she was carpentering away at her manuscript and struggling to get her mass of notes into some coherent form. Her mind was as untrained as her pen. Logical thought was not within her compass, and even her sporadic ideas were vague and befogged. Yet, strangely enough, her task was to present an abstract theory, and to present it largely in writing.

Everything depended upon her getting a hearing. In the first place, her doctrine was her only congenial means of making a living. In the second, it was the one thing about which she knew more than the people around her, and it gave her that distinction which was necessary to her. Above all, she had a natural aptitude for the subject and absorbed it until it literally became a part of her. Mercenary motives were always strong with Mrs. Glover, but no mercenary motive seems adequately to explain her devotion to this idea. After Quimby's death in '66, his other pupils were silent; but Mrs. Glover, wandering about with no capital but her enthusiasm, was preaching still. Her fellow-students in Portland were people of wider experience than she, and had more than one interest; but only one idea had ever come very close to Mrs. Glover, and neither things present nor things to come could separate her from it. But Mrs. Glover had not the temperament of the dreamer and devotee. There was one thing in her stronger even than her monomania, and that was her masterfulness. Others of his pupils lost themselves in Quimby's philosophy, but Mrs. Glover lost Quimby in herself.

  1. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.,

    COUNTY OF NORFOLK, SS.

    Horace T. Wentworth, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

    I am sixty-four years of age, and reside in the Town of Stoughton, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and have resided there for upwards of sixty-two years past. I am the son of Alanson C. and Sally Wentworth, and my mother resided in said town of Stoughton from her birth to the time of her death, in 1883.

    I became acquainted with Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, now of Concord, N. H., and known as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in the year 1868, when she was the wife of one Daniel Patterson, with whom she was not living, and was known by the name of a former husband, one George W. Glover, and called herself Mrs. Mary M. Glover.

    In 1867, Mrs. Glover came to Stoughton, and took up her residence at the house of one Hiram Crafts in said Town of Stoughton, and in 1868, after leaving said Crafts, she went upon the invitation of my mother, to the residence of said Mrs. Sally Wentworth, of said Stoughton, and there continuously resided until the spring of the year 1870. Very often during the years 1868, 1869, and 1870, I saw and talked with said Mrs. Glover at my mother's said residence. Mrs. Wentworth invited said Mrs. Glover to visit her for the express purpose of being taught, by said Mrs. Glover, a system of mental healing, which said Mrs. Glover said she had been taught by one Dr. Phineas P. Quimby, of Portland, Me. Said Mrs. Glover often spoke to me of said system of mental healing and always ascribed its origin and discovery to said Quimby. Said Mrs. Glover was outspoken in her acknowledgment that she learned her mental healing system from said Quimby, and never, to my knowledge, while at my mother's house, made the slightest claim or pretensions to having discovered or originated it herself.

    Said Mrs. Glover, upon coming to my mother's house, lent my mother her manuscript copy of what she, Mrs. Glover, said were writings of said Quimby, and permitted my mother to make a full manuscript copy thereof, and said manuscript copy of the writings of said Quimby, in my mother's handwriting, and with corrections and interlineations in the handwriting of Mrs. Glover, is now, and has been since my mother's death, in my possession.

    On the outside, said copy is entitled "Extracts from Doctor P. P. Quimby's Writings," and at the head of the first page, on the inside, said copy is further entitled "The Science of Man, or the Principle which Controls all Phenomena." There is a preface of two pages with Mrs. Mary M. Glover's name signed at the end. The extracts are in the form of fifteen questions and answers and are labelled, "Questions by patients, Answers by Dr. Quimby."

    Annexed hereto, marked "Exhibit A," is a full and complete copy of my mother's said copy of Mrs. Glover's said copy of Dr. Quimby's writings. . . .

    Annexed hereto and marked "Exhibit B" is a photograph of the first page of Mrs. Wentworth's manuscript plainly showing the additions made in a handwriting not my mother's. All of the said first page shown in Exhibit B is my mother's handwriting except the words "Wisdom Love &" added to the beginning of the fifteenth line, the word "of" and the symbol "&" added to the sixteenth line and the words "is in it" added to the seventeenth line, none of which additions is in my mother's handwriting.

    Annexed hereto and marked "Exhibit C" is a photograph of the second page of said manuscript plainly showing further additions in a handwriting not my mother's. All of the said second page shown in Exhibit C is in my mother's handwriting except the words "wisdom love &" added to the second line, the word "believe" added to the eleventh line, none of which additions is in my mother's handwriting.

    I am perfectly familiar with my mother's handwriting; but am not familiar enough with said Mrs. Glover's handwriting to state positively from my acquaintance with it, that the said added words are written by her. This manuscript, however, came directly into my hands from my mother's desk at the time of her death; the added words are not in the handwriting of any member of my family; they are, as will be seen, in the nature of corrections to my mother's writing of said Mrs. Glover's signed preface to Dr. Quimby's teachings, and, having compared them with unquestionable writing of said Mrs. Glover's, found with my mother's papers, and seen them to be strikingly similar, I am confidently of the opinion that they are the writing of the only person interested in the correction of said Mrs. Glover's preface to said Dr. Quimby's writings, to wit, said Mrs. Mary M. Glover—Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy—herself.

    I have been often urged to make these facts known in the public interest, and have for years felt it my duty to tell the truth and the whole truth. . . .

    Horace T. Wentworth. 

    On this 9th day of February, 1907, at the Town of Stoughton, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, personally appeared before me, Horace T. Wentworth, to me personally known, and made oath before me that he had read over the foregoing statement and knows the contents thereof, and that the same are true; and he, thereupon, in my presence, did sign his name at the end of said statement, and at the foot of the cover.

    Edgar F. Leonard, Justice of the Peace. 

    And before me a Notary Public appeared Horace T. Wentworth and made oath to above statement.

    Henry W. Britton, Notary Public. 

    Stoughton, Mass.
    Feb. 9th, 1907.
  2. The manuscript Science of Man, from which Mrs. Glover taught, is not the same work as her printed pamphlet of that title.