Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 94



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 94

possibly see you under a single light in dresses that cover your entire bodies, while that same modesty did not prevent you all this evening from sitting beside him, under a myriad of lights, in dresses that exposed nearly half of your bodies. That’s what I call a distinction with a difference—with the difference to the credit neither of your intelligence nor of your modesty. There is some modesty in the dresses you have on: there was precious little in what you girls wore this evening. Good night.”

“You do not believe, Mr. Beecher,” Edward asked later, “in décolleté dressing for girls?”

“No, and even less for women. A girl has some excuse of youth on her side; a woman none at all.”

A few moments later he added:

“A proper dress for any girl or woman is one that reveals the lady, but not her person.”

Edward asked Mrs. Beecher one day whether Mr. Beecher had ever expressed an opinion of his sister’s famous book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and she told this interesting story of how the famous preacher read the story:

“When the story was first published in The National Era, in chapters, all our family, excepting Mr. Beecher, looked impatiently for its appearance each week. But, try as we might, we could not persuade Mr. Beecher to read it, or let us tell him anything about it.

“‘It’s folly for you to be kept in constant excitement week after week,’ he would say. ‘I shall wait till the work is completed, and take it all at one dose.’

“After the serial ended, the book came to Mr. Beecher



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