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Cornell University Library 
ML 420.P55W33 

Adelaide Phillipps,a record 


by Mrs. R. C 

3 1924 022 451 144 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 





* The echo of her voice enwrought 
A human sweetness with her thought.* 



©Xa Cotner iSookstote 
L U \x 1883 

Copyright, hy ^^i_^ 




MBtiltit anil ^r&illa ^^Ijillippa, 



The current of Adelaide Phillipps' pro- 
fessional life was bending towards a new 
channel when I first saw her. That mo- 
ment is vividly before me now. She was 
standing beside Madame Arnpult's piano, 
havings just finished her singing-lesson. 
Madame Arnoult presented her to me, 
saying: "Miss Phillipps is studying with 
me the songs in Cinderella; she is to 
appear in that part at her benefit." She 
was then about seventeen years of age, 
and seemed to me the brightest, health- 
iest, happiest young woman I had ever 
seen. I remember her showing me with 
girlish pleasure the play-bill, printed on 


white satin, for her benefit, and won my 
interest by her cheerful simplicity. 

Madame Arnoult, a woman of fine 
musical qualities and education, was then 
the best instructress in vocal culture 
in Boston. Her husband, Dr. Arnoult, is 
still remembered as a man of fine presence 
and refined manners, whose instructions in 
the French language were very much 
sought and appreciated. They were both 
persons of good position in France, and 
made many friends in America. Madame 
Arnoult knew the world, and especially 
the musical world, and when she recog- 
nized the very remarkable gift Miss Phil- 
lipps possessed, in a grand contralto voice, 
she advised her to study for the Italian 
Opera. Thus the lively and talented 
young actress became a prima donna of 
the lyric stage, a change not quite so 
great as that of Cinderella, but something 
like it. 

Madame Arnoult took a truly mater- 


nal interest in her young pupil, who be- 
came the companion and friend of the 
charming Claire Arnoult, the daughter of 
the house. At that time Madame Arnoult 
resided near us, and we often attended her 
musical evenings. She was surrounded 
by a rare company of talented young 
people, some of them her pupils: Ade- 
laide and Claire, Theron Dale, Edward 
Sumner, Harrison Millard, and others. 
Sometimes these musical meetings were 
held at our house, and thus began my 
interest in Adelaide, which grew into 
an unchanging affection. Miss Phillipps 
had become well known and a great 
favorite in Boston from the time when, a 
mere child, she appeared on the stage 
of the Museum; and when the change in 
her career was proposed many were ready 
to assist her in pursuing studies for a dif- 
ferent branch of her profession. At that 
time Jenny Lind was in Boston, — Jenny 
Lind, who seems as remote to the present 


generation as those mythical personages 
Una or Chriemhild. Miss Phillipps was 
introduced and sang to her. Jenny Lind 
had a heart as well as a voice, and sent 
her a check for a thousand dollars and a 
letter in her own handwriting, recom- 
mending Emanuel Garcia, who had been 
her own teacher, as the best instructor, 
adding most sisterly advice concerning 
the career of an artiste on the lyric stage. 
Many other friends came forward to show 
their willingness to aid Miss Phillipps, 
especially Mr. Jonas Chickering, the ever- 
generous friend to all who appealed to his 
sympathy, " especially to those who were 
of the household" of music. 

Miss Phillipps never wished to acknowl- 
edge that she was not an American by 
birth, and even the fact that at Stratford- 
on-Avon she first saw the light, was rarely 
mentioned. Perhaps the very air of 
Shakespeare's birthplace stimulated the 
development of her infant dramatic powers. 


Adelaide often said she did not know what 
circumstances led her parents to place her 
on the stage, but, at all events, she had no 
recollection of her first appearance, unless 
it was in a play where she was obliged to 
jump out of a window into somebody's 
arms. She was afraid to do it, until one 
of the actors standing in the wings held an 
orange towards her. She took the leap, 
and thus won her first prize. 

Mr. Phillipps brought his family to 
America when Adelaide was seven years 
old. They went first to Canada, and 
afterwards came to Boston, where they 
remained. From her mother, who was 
Welsh by birth, Adelaide inherited many 
of her finest traits of character. The ten- 
der affection and unselfish devotion which 
marked Mrs. Phillipps' daily life in her 
family was an example her daughter faith- 
fully followed. 

Her father was a man of strong char- 
acter, and watched over his children with 


a severe authority. Especially was this 
care extended to Adelaide. Placing her 
so early on the stage, he certainly per- 
formed his duty by guarding her from 
every danger through her early career. 
Very few young girls are so simple in 
manner and pure in mind as was this child, 
whose vocation brought her before the 
public. Through her long career she ac- 
knowledged that the stern protection of 
her father had always shielded her. But 
in her own nature there was a natural 
aversion to evil, which was a yet more 
powerful protection. 

Mr. Phillipps' family were brought up 
in the habit of unquestioning obedience to 
their parents, which never seemed to 
cause any abatement of filial affection. 
The union between the members of the 
household was very strong, and continues 
unbroken, except where death has, from 
time to time, lessened their number, but 
never their affection. 


It was in January, 1842, that she made 
her debut at the Tremont Theatre in the 
comedy of " Old and Young," personating 
five characters, and introducing songs and 
dances. On the 25th of September, 1843, 
she first appeared on the boards of the 
Boston Museum, which then stood at the 
corner of Tremont and Bromfield streets, 
and had began to include dramatic per- 
formances among its attractions. The 
character which she assumed was " Little 
Pickle" in "The Spoiled Child." The 
song of " Since then I'm Doomed " is 
introduced into this play, and was given 
by her with much effect, being among her 
earliest lyric efforts. The exhibition of 
her budding histrionic powers were of 
course confined to juvenile parts, while 
her graceful dancing was a chief attrac- 
tion at that early age. She was not satis- 
fied with the position of a dancer, and 
thanks to the acuteness of the late Thomas 
Comer, then leader of the orchestra at the 


Museum, she was soon promoted to show 
her capacity in such fairy spectacles as 
the children of Cypress, Cherry, and Fair 
Star, and later as Cinderella. For many of 
these the music was arranged by Mr. 
Comer. Her versatility of talent, readi- 
ness of wit, and obliging nature made 
her as much of a favorite behind the 
scenes as on the stage. " They were so 
kind to me," she would say, when speak- 
ing of those days, " they took such care 
of me, for I was but a child when I first 
appeared there, — so much of a child that 
I used to drive my hoop back and forth to 
the rehearsals. The work was play to 
me; I learned my parts easily, and was 
petted and praised, which was very pleas- 
ant." Besides the watchfulness of her 
father, she was much indebted at that 
time to her aunt, Miss Anne Reese, who 
was also connected with the Museum. 
She was devoted to Adelaide (her sister's 
child), and no memorial of the niece would 


be complete without some tribute to so 
excellent a friend and guardian. Her 
aunt continued to reside with the family 
until a late period, and Adelaide did not 
fail to repay in every way her obligations 
to this relative. 

At the time of her early life in Boston, 
her parents resided in Tremont street, 
from whence one day, while driving her 
hoop to the Museum, she saw a beautiful 
doll looking out of a shop window. To 
possess this doll became the ardent desire 
of her heart, for which she determined to 
save every penny. Each day she looked 
at the doll, and each day seemed nearer 
to the purchase. But, alas! one morning 
the doll was not there, some one else had 
bought it. This was a terrible disappoint- 
ment; the little girl ran to the Museum 
weeping bitterly, and reached the re- 
hearsal in no feigned sorrow. Mr. W- 
H. Sedley Smith, then the stage mana- 
ger, kindly inquired the cause of her 


tears, and the child's story touched his 
heart. He comforted her, not only with 
sympathy, but soon brought to her another 
doll as beautiful as the one she longed for. 
This kind gift was remembered with grati- 
tude all her life. Beside her doll, the 
little brothers and sisters claimed her 
attention and were her pets. " I always 
remember mamma with a baby in long 
clothes on her lap, which she held so 
nicely; my youngest brother, George, 
was my special charge." She continued 
her care for him until she gave him a 
thorough education in the School of 
Technology. From Boston they removed 
to Neponset, to a house near the bay. 
Here they owned a boat which the broth- 
ers managed. On moonlight nights in 
summer the few residents near them used 
to listen to the beautiful voices that came 
from the little yacht floating over the 

As Miss Phillipps grew up towards 


womanhood she had many characters as- 
signed to her. In those days there was 
always a play and a farce at every theatre. 
She often appeared in both. Mr. William 
Warren was then, as now, the unrivalled 
comedian, whose wit and pathos we all 
know so well. In speaking of her experi- 
ences, Adelaide said, " I never lost the 
command of my countenance but once on 
the stage, and that was at the Museum, in 
some farce where Mr. Warren was shut 
up in a pantry closet, while I, apparently 
unconscious of the fact, was playing the 
piano accompaniment to a song. He 
suddenly opened the door and looked out, 
his face revealing the fact that he had 
been solacing his imprisonment by help- 
ing himself to some of the sweetmeats 
on the shelves, assuming a look such 
as only Mr. Warren could call up. It 
was all over with me and my song; for- 
tunately with the audience also, who were 
too much convulsed with laughter to no- 


tice my inability to proceed with my song 
until it was possible for the play to go 

At the Museum Miss Phillipps continued 
a general favorite until, as has already 
been stated, a change came in her dra- 
matic life. After many years had passed 
she came home one day and said with 
a good deal of feeling, "I have been 
to the Museum to-day, and there I saw 
the sword and shield with which I acted 
a Fairy Prince hung up as trophies. It 
is pleasant to be remembered." With 
much regret, although she did not swerve 
from the conviction that it was for the best, 
Miss Phillipps took leave of the Museum 
stage and the corps dramatigue with 
which she had been so pleasantly as- 
sociated. But the time had come. 

In 1852, after a concert given as a trib- 
ute to her, at which she sang with other 
artists, she left home for England, ac- 
companied by her father. They arrived 


safely in London, and took lodgings 
in Golden Square, a spot remarkable in 
the history of London as the residence 
of renowned people. Bolingbroke, the 
" St. John " of " Pope's Essay on Man," 
lived in Golden Square; also Mrs. Gibber, 
the singer of George II.'s time. Here also 
Miss Thackeray has made us all acquainted 
with the home of Angelica Kauffman in 
her delightful story of " Miss Angel." 
And now there came to Golden Square 
this young girl from America, to begin 
professional studies for a career on the 
lyric stage. 

Miss Phillipps remained in London 
nearly two years, pursuing her studies 
with Garcia, and making good progress 
in the Italian language. It was a happy 
period of her life. Her master, Emanuel 
Garcia, took much interest in his pupil. 
He was one of those rare instructors who 
rouse all their pupils' energies. A brother 
of the immortal Malibran, he seems to 


have shared the magnetic charm of his 
sister, and, although a severe master, held 
a firm hold on all who came near his life. 
After spending some time in London, 
Mr. Phillipps left Adelaide there and re- 
turned to America for a short visit. When 
he joined his daughter again in England, 
he brought with him the adopted child of 
the family, whose name, Arvilla, will often 
appear in this narrative. She was the 
daughter of a friend of Mrs. Phillipps, to 
whom she was entrusted. It should be 
stated here that, growing up into woman- 
hood, it was a foregone conclusion that 
she should become the wife of Adrian 
Phillipps. At the time of her joining 
Adelaide she was a mere child, but so 
cheerful and happy that her companion- 
ship was a comfort to her sister, who, as 
will be seen in a few extracts from a jour- 
nal kept during their stay in Italy, had her 
share of the varied experiences of a young 
artist at the beginning of her career. 


In following the professional life of 
Miss Phillipps the record inevitably takes 
the form of a chronicle, being principally 
drawn from reports of the daily press in 
the various countries she visited. She 
never consented to any means being used 
by her agents to gain favor in regard to 
these reports of performances, and this fact 
gives force to the universal praise received 
from the press. Her letters contain little 
information except on personal or family 
concerns. The romance of stage life 
which may exist in the imagination of 
those who attend theatres does not form 
a part generally of the thoughts of the 
performers. To describe the effect of the 
lyrical dramas after the evening closes 
cannot be added to other exertions, and a 
sentence, " very successful," or " we are 
doing a good business," often is all that is 
written home by the weary Leonora or 
the martyred Azucena, although the ap- 
plause of crowded houses yet sounds in 


her ear, and she is surrounded by beauti- 
ful flowers as witnesses of the admiration 
she had received. 

In the autumn of 1853 Miss Phillipps, 
accompanied by Arvilla and her father, 
went to Italy, as a residence in that 
country was thought best for her improve- 
ment in the Italian language, and afforded 
an opportunity for receiving the training 
of Signor Profondo in operatic acting. 
This last study was less necessary from 
her previous knowledge of the stage. 
The grace and ease of every movement 
of her perfectly modelled form, and the 
light, firm tread of her small feet, must 
be remembered by all who recall her ap- 
pearance on the stage. A distinguished 
clergyman of Boston (Dr. Bartol) says 
in an essay recently published : " How 
largely unconscious is all our best knowl- 
edge and lore of life. I said of a dis- 
tinguished actress, Adelaide Phillipps, she 
knew how to pose on the stage j and my 


friend answered, ' She did it from in- 
stinctive grace, not knowing anything 
about it.' Was she less knowing because 
for the moment she was inattentive or 
unaware ? " 

Her grace was certainly instinctive, 
but she was seldom inattentive on the 
stage. One of the members of the Ideal 
Opera Company (Mr. Barnabee) illus- 
trates this fact when he writes: "Among 
a large number of distinguished character- 
istics of her dramatic excellence was her 
absolute identification with the charac- 
ter she assumed, and her attention to the 
smallest details, to attain which she availed 
herself of any suggestions. I remember 
standing in the wings and observing the 
military correctness and precision with 
which she performed the operation of 
sheathing her sword in the role she was 
performing, and learned on inquiry that 
she had taken lessons from an army 
officer. Her presence of mind and ready 


wit often extricated herself and her asso- 
ciates from unpleasant predicaments. On 
one occasion the last lines of her song es- 
caped her memory (in Pinafore) and quick 
as a flash, without lapse of time or rhythm 
she supplied the words which set the au- 
dience in a roar, — ' The rest — I have — 
forgotten.' It would be superfluous for 
me to comment upon her musical acquire- 
ments or to write of her private worth." 

Of the residence in Italy there is a 
record in the diary alluded to, written by 
Adelaide from time to time. The little 
cahier lies before me in its blue paper 
cover, the handwriting is that of a 3'oung 
girl, and the record is touching from its 
simplicity and truth : — 

" Florence, October, 1853. 

" Commenced my diary for mamma. 
Mr. Guerini said he had two new American 

scholars, Mr. and Mrs. A . We called 

to see them and found them very agree- 
able; they went with us to some place, 


I forget its name. The next day they 
called and wanted me to go with them to 
see Michael Angelo's house, and also to 
see the making of mosaics, but I could 
not go on account of my Italian lesson. 
It rained this afternoon, and the thunder 
and lightning was dreadful. 

" Mr. Biandi came and asked me if I 
wanted an engagement j he had spoken of 
me to one of the agents who wanted a 
contralto. The agent came accordingly. 
I sang to him ' Pensa alia Patria? He 
seemed very much pleased with my voice. 
The place is Brescia, in Lombardy. They 
offer four hundred dollars a month for 
four months. The first part to appear in 
Arsace. Papa will give an answer in a 
few days. Mr. Biandi brought me the opera 
of Semiramide and gave me some good 
ideas. I commenced studying Arsace. 

14th. Mr. A called and went with 

Arvilla and myself to the Pitti Palace. We 
were delighted. The pictures are superb. 


Met Signer M , who said it was an 

excellent chance for me to go to Brescia. 
An American artist (Mr. Jackson) asked, 
through Mr. Guerini, my Italian master, 
if I would sit for my bust to him, I said 
yes, and to-day he called, and I made 
an arrangement to go to his studio next 
Tuesday. Tuesday Mr. Biandi brought 
the engagement for me to sign, and told me 
I was to appear in // Vastale instead of 
Arsace. He brought the opera and we 
read it over. Went to Mr. Jackson's 
studio in the afternoon. Evening, studied 
my part. 

" Saturday, sth of November, 1853. 

Got up at four, left Florence at six 
o'clock, arrived at Pestoria, had breakfast, 
and arrived safe at Brescia; delighted with 
the place; made my debut at Theatre 
Grande; had great success; opera Sem- 

The little diary breaks off, and for the 
story which follows, I am indebted to Ar- 


villa's recollections, who was the constant 
companion of her sister. It was the cus- 
tom of the place for the directors and 
musical critics to assemble at the theatre 
on the evening previous to the first repre- 
sentation, and expected a full-dress re- 
hearsal. Signorina Fillippi did not wish 
to appear in the armor of Arsace, and 
with girlish obstinacy, persisted in coming 
on the stage in her black skirt and white 
overdress. The judges were displeased, 
and showed it. This put her on the defen- 
sive, and she sang through the part demi- 
voice to the despair of the manager. She 
certainly was not right to go against his 
interests and the custom of the place. 
The next evening the house was crowded. 
Semiramide was given and Arsace en- 
tered in full armor, but was received in 
silence. Not a hand was raised. She sang 
through the recitative and andante with- 
out applause, the directors and critics 
being determined to punish her for dis- 


obeying their edicts the evening before. 
But when she burst forth in the caballetta 
and threw into it all the passionate fire of 
her soul and wealth of her voice, she con- 
quered her audience, and a storm of ap- 
plause followed and continued during her 
whole engagement. A band of music 
awakened her early the next morning, 
coming, as they professed, to congratulate 
her on her success, continuing to disturb 
her rest until they were -paid, and then 
they went away ! 

The following is one of the many no- 
tices written in " La Fama," Brescia, 
December, 1853: — 

" La Signorina Fillippi ('Arsace ') por giovane 
e bella, ricca di forte e ad un tempo dolcissima 
voce, intuonata, flessibile, estesa, di vero con- 
tralto, educata al bel canto dal sommo institu- 
tore Enianuele Garcia dest6 un tempo piacene e 
marviglia. Lodossi pure il suo distinto ed ele- 
gante modo di porgene e I'anima di cui si mostra 
dotata e divenne in breve la deliza del publico, 
che le fece le piu clamoroso applausi." 


Which may be translated : — 

" Miss Phillipps is young and attractive, with 
a genuine contralto voice, rich and strong, at the 
same time of true intonation, sweet and flexible. 
The clear and distinct method of delivery, the 
soul with which she seems gifted, surprised and 
delighted us. She at once became the favorite 
of the public, who greeted her with clamorous 
applause. She is a pupil of the great master 
Emanuel Garcia." 

" February, 1854. 

" We remained at Brescia about four 
weeks, and then left for Crema, where we 
were to sing for the carnival. I had a let- 
ter from Signor Bottesini, the father of 
the great contra-basso player. He pro- 
cured us apartments in the house of a 
friend, a Signor Freri. We were very 
comfortable there, and I had an oppor- 
tunity of speaking Italian with the daugh- 
ter, as she spoke pure Italian. 

" It was very cold weather, the snow as 
deep as in America. The Impresario of 
the Milan Scala came down to hear me. 


and wished to engage me for three years; 
this I could not do, but was willing for 
one year. Signor Mangiameli also made 
an offer for the .Carcano spring season. 
The last three weeks I was at Crema I 
enjoyed myself — walked with Signorina 
Freri every day; in the evening the 
theatre. Signor Buratti could not pay us 
at all; that rather threw us back. I was 
sorry to leave Crema." 

Although there is no statement of the 
fact in the Journal, the same success at- 
tended her performances. 

"Milan, March. 

" As soon as we arrived in Milan we 
made an engagement for the Carcano. 
We were short of money, but thought we 
could get on with the pay I should have 
at the Carcano, but, unfortunately, we 
did not get it, and consequently we are 
not in a flourishing condition. I suppose 
it is all for the best. If I allowed myself 
the privilege I could sit down and have a 


good cry, but it would do no good. 
Mangiameli does not open the theatre, and 
I have no chance of singing. I expected 
Signor Mangiameli to-day at two o'clock, 
but of course he did not come. Well, he 
is thinking of me; that's one comfort ! He 
told me last Saturday that he would open 
the Carcano on the 6th of June, and I 
should sing Romeo. ' Chi sa ? ' " 

" March 25. 

" Signor Profondo, who wrote wishing to 
make an engagement for April and May, 
does not yet appear. Three years ago 
yesterday papa and I left Boston. The 
weather is fine, and I sit with my window 
open. It is very discouraging to have no 
chance for singing and making some 
money. Well, I suppose it is all right, 
and this is a good lesson to me, so that if 
ever I am well off I may know what it is 
to suffer, and so help others," 

This lesson, so trying to young or old, 
was learned and remembered, and in after 


years, when success came, her heart and 
her hand were ever open on every oc- 
casion where her sympathies were 

To have made a successful debut, and 
then to be kept waiting for an opportunity 
to reappear, is one of the trials of the pro- 
fession, often caused by the jealousy of 
rivals. After weary waiting, each week 
promised an appearance, and nothing being 
done, on Friday, i8th, the Journal goes 
on: — 

" Signor Mangiameli came. We went 
with him to see the prima donna. She 
asked me to sing at her benefit. I con- 
sented to sing the cavatina of Arsace, 

'■Ecco mi al fine^ La Signora M was 

very kind to me. In the evening went 

to the theatre; Signora M in a passion 

about something broke a beautiful fan. 

" The night had come in which I was 
to sing to a Milanese audience. A very 
good house; at the commencement of 


the evening I sat in a box. At last I was 
on the stage. They all looked at me. 
Not a hand! I sang the recitativo with- 
out any applause; a faint brava once or 
twice, and that they seemed afraid to do. 
At the end, however, of the recitativo, I 
had a good round of applause; then 
several times in the adagio, at the end 
of which I felt I had the audience with 
me entirely. The applause was so 
great I almost forgot that I had any more 
to sing. During the cabaletta I could 
scarcely utter a phrase but what they 
would cry out and applaud me so that I 
was in a perfect delirium, and sang as I 
never sang before. I was called out seven 
times, and was obliged to repeat the caba- 
letta. It was such a triumph as I did not 
dream of having, much less hope for. I 
felt very much like crying. Signora 

M was very kind. She really seemed 

pleased with my success. I could not go 
to sleep until after four o'clock. 


" Signer Mangiameli called before ten 
o'clock. I could not see him. We went 
to his office. There was a gentleman in 
the office talking about my singing. He 
said he had heard all the great singers 
sing the Cavatina di Arsace, but never as 
I sang it. ^ I do not make compliments, 
but you have everything beautiful, — voice, 
execution, knowledge of the stage, soul, 
etc' I thought that quite enough, and 
begged him to say no more. ' I do not 
flatter,' he said; ^all Milan is speaking 
of you.' On Tuesday I sang for the or- 

Although the entries in the Journal 
show much discouragement and waiting, 
yet that Miss Phillipps appeared in the 
Carcano Theatre is thus reported in " La 
Fama": — 

"It is needless to say that the first honors 
were carried off by Miss Phillipps, who sang so 
beautifully the aria from Semiramide, better 
still the rondo from Cinderella, and exquisitely 


in the last scene from Romeo and Juliet. A 
shower of sonnets flooded the theatre after the 
rondo from Cinderella. We can truly say that 
Miss Phillipps has made a success in four short 
performances which would cost most artists a 
lifetime to acquire." 

The little Journal records a wearisome 
waiting for the payments due and vari- 
ous engagements offered and not ar- 
ranged. At last she writes, in March, 
1856: "I made an engagement for Ro- 
vereto to-day. We are to be there a 
month. I cannot say I regret leaving 

Monday, April, 1856. Several people 
came to see us off. We found the boat 
did not leave for Riva that day because it 
was festa, so we had to hire a carriage 
to take us to Peschiera, as the boat leaves 
there every day, festa or no festa. We 
met Signor and Signora Profondo at Pes- 
chiera. Signer Profondo sa3'^s I ought to 
remain three years in Italy. At eleven 


o'clock went up Lago di Garda, and ar- 
rived at Rovereto about seven in the 

In Rovereto Miss Phillipps' success 
w^as so great that it naturally excited the 
jealousy of the soprano and tenor. On 
the occasion of the tenor's benefit she had 
no part assigned her, but w^as asked to 
appear, extended on a couch, in one scene 
where a lay-figure was needed. Of course 
this proposal was declined. The tenor 
and his friends spread the report that 
Signorina Fillippi had refused to sing at 
his benefit. Entirely unaware that any 
adverse feeling had been excited against 
her, Miss Phillipps came on the stage as 
"Rosine" in the "Barber," a role in which 
she had been received with much ap- 
plause. Great was her astonishment on 
being greeted with silence, and not only 
silence, she heard that terrible sound 
equally appalling to the traveller in South 
American forests, or the prima donna on 


the stage. She had self-command enough 
to go through with her song, but when 
she turned to leave the stage she burst 
into tears, such genuine tears as touched 
the emotional Italians. They repented the 
rebuke, convinced it was not deserved, 
giving her a round of applause which was 
renewed at every possible moment dur- 
ing the performance. It was the first and 
last time Miss Phillipps ever heard the 
voice of the serpent. 

The following notice, translated * from 
a Rovereto paper, shows the place she held 
in the estimation of the audience: — 

" Notwithstanding the bad weather the 
theatre was crowded with happy people. 
Great is the power which this young 
artist, with her superb voice and fine 
method of singing, has over the public. 
The applause which greeted her was im- 
mense. The flowers converted the theatre 

*I am indebted to Mrs. Adrian Phillipps for these 


into a garden, and sonnets were showered 
upon her from over the house. It may 
be said in a few words that it was truly a 

One of these sonnets is selected from 
many others, and flows sweetly on the ear 
in that most musical language : — 

All' Estimata Cantante 
Adelaide Phillipps, 

Prima Donna Contralto 
Al' Teatro Sociale di Rovereto, 

Nella sua serata di beneficio. 


Adelaide, tu canti ! — E i mesti detti, 

Che 1' angoscia d' amor strappa a' Elmireno. 

Eco destan gentile in ogni seno, 

Ricordo forse dei perduti affetti. 
Adelaide, deh canta ! Benedetti. 

Sono i soavi tuoi concenti — Meno 

Non verra bella fama, e ognor, sereno 

Tu a te stessa cosi avienir prometti. 
Canta Adelaide ! — Che un' ebbreza pia 

La grazia dell' accento al cor apprende. 

E son gemelle, il sai, bellS. e armonia. 

Canta ! — Che il canto pih sentiti rende 

Gioia, amore, dolor, malinconia 

In chi del canto la virtii comprende. 


If the young prima donna could have 
fed upon sonnets, flowers, and applause 
her stay in Italy had been longer, and 
after patient waiting the success already 
achieved might have opened her way to 
a European career. The inducements to 
remain were many, — a delightful climate, 
the beautiful language, which she spoke 
and sang with ease and correctness, to- 
gether with the demonstrative nature of 
the musical Italians, offered great attrac- 
tions. But the Italian managers were 
unable to offer any salary worthy the 
name, and even that small payment was 
seldom made, and as we have read in the 
preceding pages, an opportunity to appear 
even after an engagement had been signed 
was hedged about with briers. Miss Phil- 
lipps possessed no means by which ex- 
penses could be met unless her engage- 
ments were remunerative. Under all 
these adverse circumstances it was de- 
cided best to return to America. At the 


time we in America regretted this de- 
cision, considering it a great mistake. 
The reports of her success reached us, but 
not the records contained in the young 
girl's Journal. We judged of what we 
knew only in part. Another reason for 
withdrawing his daughter from Italy ex- 
isted in her father's opinion of the music 
of Verdi just then becoming fashionable, 
and which was of a nature too trying for 
her voice, not having reached its full 
power, and requiring careful treatment. 
Whatever visions of her operatic fame 
floated in the minds of her friends the 
delight of going home was a reality that 
balanced all other considerations in her 
true and affectionate heart. 

The public welcome on her return to 
Boston was handsome. An extract from 
one of the many tributes to her first ap- 
pearance after her return, will show the 
sincere welcome she received: — 


" Monday Evening, October 8, 1855. 
" Miss Adelaide Phillipps was warmly wel- 
comed. She has evidently profited much by 
diligent study under good masters, and will no 
doubt make a sensation in opera. The pro- 
gramme this evening gave the public five oppor- 
tunities for judgment on Miss Phillipps' merits, 
and upon a most imperative encore she added 
her own pianoforte accompaniment, a sixth, 
which, in a new version of ' Home, Sweet 
Home,' expressed most feelingly her emotions 
on receiving the welcome home Boston ex- 
tended to her." 

A lively girlish letter written to her 
father w^hile on a visit at Mr. W. H. 
Sedley Smith's house, vi^ho retained the 
interest she had aw^akened when a child 
at the Boston Museum, is full of her 
natural buoyancy. It is from West 
Groton, but there is no date of year or 
month, probably soon after her return 
from Italy: — 

" Dear Papa, — Thinking you might like to 
receive a few lines from your unworthy, yet 
dearly-beloved daughter, and that you might be 


alarmed and slightly agitated (enough to pre- 
vent your hair from growing) at my non-appear- 
ance at 'the dearest spot on earth,' I send 
this letter to let you know that I am in excel- 
lent health and enjoying myself very much, and, 
to be polite, I hope you are following my ex- 
ample. They wish me to remain here a few 
days longer, and if you have no objection, and 
are not, all of you, very unhappy at my absence, 
I should be pleased to remain. Mr. Smith has 
a very pretty place here ; farm, I should say, 
about fifty — what do you call them — of land 
(acres .? ) and a pretty little cottage ; four mag- 
nificent elms round the house, and a pretty lawn 
before the ditto (is that the way to say it .■'). 
Now I am sure after such a graphic description, 
Rockwood (the name of the estate) must arise 
before your sight in all its primeval beauty ! 
We rise about half-past six, and begin the day 
by breaking our fast. We then walk through 
the grounds an hour, read, make preserves, 
walk on the lawn, dine at half-past twelve. 
Then it begins to be rather warm ; thereupon 
we each retire to the place we like best and pass 
the afternoon in reading or sleeping. Tea at 
five o'clock, after which we wander on the banks 


of the Squmicook, one of the most romantic 
rivers I have ever seen ; sometimes we take a 
boat and row upon its placid bosom. If you 
passed through the adjacent woods you might 
see two or three lovely girls refreshing them- 
selves in its liqtiid -wdX&rs ! What a fine thought ! 
At another time you might see a young girl 
standing as one entranced gazing upon the beau- 
ties that were around her, when suddenly you 
would see her eyes — and graceful form — and 
then her rosy mouth would open, and then such 
a peal of celestial melody would break upon 
your ear, that you would say it must be Orfeo 
come to earth and goes seeking, in disguise, his 
beloved Euridice. 

"I have some idea of publishing my letters ! 
I feel it would do a great deal of good and be a 
great acquisition to the literary world in form- 
ing style and raising the tone of society, but I 
do not wish it known at present, therefore you 
will oblige me by not mentioning to the literati 
that you have received this letter. I would say 
more, but it is time to send to the post-office. 
The people are all talking round me, so that if 
I had not been very much interested in my sub- 
ject I should not have been able to express 


myself so elegantly. Mr. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. 
Bigelow, and Miss Bellows, all desire to be re- 
membered. My love to Nanny and the chil- 

" I must now say adieu, and believe me your 
affectionate Adelaide." 


Miss Phillipps made an engagement 
in the spring of 1855 to appear in Italian 
opera in Philadelpiiia and New York. A 
fair prospect seemed opening for her 
debut in America. 

A few evenings before she was to leave 
town I had invited friends to meet her at 
our house. The day the party was to take 
place news came of the sudden death of 
her mother. My invitations were recalled, 
to the great disappointment of my guests 
and to my own sorrow. Knowing well 
the strength of the affection which united 
the mother and daughter, I felt that this 
bereavement must prove most unfortunate 
for Adelaide's professional future, coming, 
as it did, at so important a moment in 
the opening of her career. 



She came to me in deep affliction. It 
was a painful task, and seemed a cruel 
one, to urge her to overcome the external 
emotions of her grief as far as possible 
in order to fulfil her professional engage- 
ments. She did so bravely, keeping down 
the fresh agony of a young soul's first 
great sorrow, to appear self-possessed 
before the rigorous public. Miss Phil- 
lipps made her first appearance in Italian 
opera in Philadelphia as Arsace, in Semi- 
ramide. One of the daily prints of that 
city thus reports the occasion: — 

" Miss Adelaide Phillipps took the public by 
surprise last night by the classical purity and 
perfection of her execution in Arsace, which is 
one of the surest tests to which a contralto of 
the present day can be subjected. Miss Phillipps 
sustained herself triumphantly, and at once es- 
tablished herself as an artist of the first class." 

An incident connected with that even- 
ing amused her in after years. Our friends, 
to whom we had written to insure their 


presence at her first appearance, as well 
as their sympathy for the trial under which 
she came forward, knew nothing of her 
previous history, and not much, perhaps, 
of the opera of Semiramide, and expected 
to see a trembling debutante in white 
muslin and blue ribbons. Great was their 
surprise when the young warrior, Arsace, 
came on the stage in full armor, helmet 
and sword, and acted the part with all the 
ease and fire of a practised artist. Her 
magnificent voice "brought down the 
house." Miss Phillipps fulfilled her en- 
gagement in Philadelphia, and returned to 
New York according to agreement, going 
through the representations at the Acad- 
emy of Music. The following extract is 
from one of Edmund Quincy's letters to 
the Ne-w Tork Tribune, of which he was 
at that time a Boston correspondent, over 
the signature of " Byles " : — 

" Miss Adelaide Phillipps' friends here have 
heard with great pleasure of the success which 


attended her d^but at the Academy. I am con- 
fident that it will increase the more you hear 
her. Her appearances in Philadelphia and New 
York were made under peculiarly trying circum- 
stances. Less than a week before her appear- 
ance in Philadelphia her mother, to whom she 
was passionately attached, died suddenly, and it 
was in the midst of the most cruel affliction that 
she had to appear in obedience to the stern 
necessities of her profession. I think she cannot 
fail to fulfil the favorable impression of her first 
appearance after a short interval of calm and 

The severe strain upon her nerves 
during these performances brought on an 
illness which obliged her to shorten her 
engagement. During her stay in New 
York many friends were kind, but no one 
more devoted to her than Mrs. Sophia 
Morton Bullus, who from that time to the 
close of her own life ever extended to- 
wards Adelaide all the promptings of her 
generous and hospitable nature. 

The unfavorable circumstances of her 
first appearance were such that her debut 


in America can be fairly stated to have 
taken place on the 17th of March, 1856, 
under the management of Max Maretzek. 
The opera was " II Trovatore," — Miss 
Phillipps as Azucena. According to one 
critic, "this opera was new at the time, 
and ' Mile. Fillippi,' as she was called, was 
really obliged to create the part. But it 
is not extravagant to say that her render- 
ing of the character has always remained 
a standard." 

This opinion is substantiated by in- 
numerable tributes to her representation 
of Azucena in America and Europe. 
Only a few selections can be made from 
the mass of newspaper reports accumu- 
lated with regard to Miss Phillipps' repre- 
sentations of various roles, all filled with 
discriminating praise. 

The following extract, from a leading 
New York paper concerning the inter- 
pretation of the character of Azucena, was 
written during the season of 1856, and 


may serve as the impression ever made 
on the public by the artist in this role : — 

" Miss Phillipps, when she appeared as Azu- 
cena, raised the Gipsy mother at once from a 
melo-dramatic personage to that of a tragic 
heroine. The paint and tinsel were eschewed 
alike with the artificial and exaggerated action 
so generally seen in the part. The vocal inter- 
pretation was rich, equable, and artistic, and the 
audience were again and again thrilled and in- 
spired to irrepressible applause by the dramatic 
feeling she infused into the more declamatory 
passages, particularly in the Condotta elVera. 
Bouquets were showered upon her, and round 
after round of applause." 

It was in New York that Miss Phillipps 
sang for the first time " Leonora " in Don- 
izetti's " La Favorita." " Her Leonora," 
writes an able critic, " became famous as 
the best that had been seen for many a 
day on the stage. Her performance was 
marked by noble delivery, able vocalism, 
truthful, impressive action, and unaffected 


Those who witnessed her performance 
of the role of Leonora can never forget 
the effect of her graceful attitude when 
the curtain rose on the fourth scene of the 
third act. The resolution Leonora had 
taken of revealing her story to Fernando 
before their marriage gave noble elevation 
to her figure, as, after the recitative, she 
rose and advanced to the front of the 
stage, pouring forth, in her richest tones, 
the love, anguish, and hope contained in 
the cavatina, " Oh, mio Fernando 1 " In the 
last scene the lovers suddenly recognized 
each other in the court of the convent, 
both having determined to hide their sor- 
rows in the cloister. Leonora finds that 
her letter discovering her story never 
reached Fernando. Enlightened now by 
her confession, all his feelings change and 
his love is restored. For one brief mo- 
ment their voices mingle in the exalted 
strains of union and happiness which pre- 
cede the death of Leonora. 


There is a power of human passion and 
pathos in that scene which seems to have 
its counterpart in the meeting between 
Dimmisdale and Hester in the wood, as 
Hawthorne reflected it on the magic 
mirror of his wonderful romance. 

A party of friends were one evening 
discussing the subject of different com- 
posers and their merits with Adelaide. 
There is always a battle waging between 
the adherents of different masters, be it in 
music or painting, and few of us are broad 
enough in our natures to acknowledge 
that though one side of the shield may be 
golden, and the other silver, they are both 
precious metals. One of the company 
said to Miss Phillipps, "you know some 
of the virtuosi call Donizetti's " Favorita " 
" trashy." Her eyes flashed, and sweeping 
to the piano, she struck a few chords, 
and then burst forth in a recitative and' 
aria of that opera with a power, passion, 
and pathos which almost took the listeners 


off their feet. When the aria ended, she 
drew herself up with much dignity, and 
said, " Do you call that trashy? " 

After a very successful first season in 
New York, Miss Phillipps was engaged 
for Havana by Maretzek. Havana then 
cultivated the opera among its tropical 
plants, and it was a city where artists 
were desirous of securing engagements. 
She immediately became the favorite con- 
tralto, and was received with unbounded 
applause. For three or four successive 
years the public demanded her re-engage- 
ment. A notice in an Havana paper, 
under date November 15, 1857,. says: 
" Maretzek has taken the public favor by 
storm with his troupe. We have sur- 
rendered at discretion. Miss Adelaide 
Phillipps comes back to her place in our 
affectionate and respectful interest. She 
is the contralto favorite of Havana, and has 
found her way to our hearts." In speaking 
of Havana, in after years, Adelaide said: 


" My greatest artistic success, my true ap- 
preciation, was in Havana." There was a 
touch of pathos in her voice as she recalled 
the friends she had there made and the 
experiences of her life during those sea- 
sons. She enjoyed the beautiful tropical 
regions, made various excursions into the 
neighborhood, and especially described a 
remarkable cave from which she brought 
us a beautiful specimen of stalactite. In 
Havana, however, she contracted the yel- 
low fever, that serpent hid away among 
tropical flowers. She survived, but never 
entirely recovered from the effects of that 
terrible disease upon her fine constitution. 
"The lyric stage," writes a musical 
critic, "was not the only one on which 
Miss Phillipps was eminent. In oratorio 
she was equally great, and in some re- 
spects unrivalled." She made her first 
appearnce before the Boston Handel and 
Haydn Society, December 30, i860, in, 
the Oratorio of the Messiah. Her render- 


ing of the impressive Aria, " He was de- 
spised," came not only with artistic power 
but from a devotional nature, and into 
the music she threw her soul, consecrat- 
ing her artistic powers to the Source from 
whence all great gifts are bestowed. 
Equally beautiful was the expression which 
she gave to the words, " He shall lead his 
flock," as if in vision she saw the tender 
Shepherd carrying the lambs in his bosom, 
and was telling us the heavenly story in 
divine melody. Her next performance 
with the Handel and Haydn was in the 
"Stabat Mater," March, 1861. 

Under the management of Signor Me- 
rilli, Miss Phillipps made a professional tour 
in Europe in 1861. She was accompanied 
by her brother Frederic, and arrived in 
Paris at the close of the summer. Paris 
was then, even more than at the present 
time, the great judgment-seat before which 
artists were to appear and receive sen- 
tence. Adelaide fully realized what an 


ordeal awaited her in a first appearance 
at the Italian Opera House, where Alboni, 
the great contralto, reigned supreme. 
There were friends in Paris who were 
kind in their attention and cheer to the 
debutante at this critical moment of her 
life. At the rehearsals Signor Mario, the 
unrivalled tenor, who took the part of 
Manrico in the opera " II Trovatore," 
manifested much interest for her success. 
He told the people behind the scenes at 
the rehearsals that Miss Phillipps belonged 
to an American city of great musical 
knowledge and taste. " When Mme. Grisi 
and I were there," said he, " so great was 
the enthusiasm that the students from a 
neighboring university volunteered to 
come on the stage as ' Supes,' in order to 
give expression to their pleasure in our 
performance." " When the evening came 
for the opera, I felt," she said, " for the 
first time in my life ' stage fright' before 
the curtain rose. As I lay on the bank in 


the opening of the second act, Signer 
Mario (Manrico) encouraged and roused 
me and dispelled to a degree the power of 
the demon." 

The following letter is from the corre- 
spondent of the Boston Advertiser, under 
the date of Paris, October 25, 1861: — 

" The musical portion of your readers will be 
glad to learn that Miss Adelaide Phillipps, as 
Signorina Fillippi, has passed through the se- 
vere trial of a first appearance before a Parisian 
public with entire success. The critical audi- 
ence of the Salle Ventadour sat in judgment 
upon her 'Azucena' last night, and gave it their 
unqualified approval. Accustomed as they have 
been to Alboni, and no one else in this part, it 
was not to be expected that they were to experi- 
ence any new sensation in the rendering of the 
music. To achieve success it was necessary to 
make it a dramatic triumph. Alboni, with her 
wealth of voice, is so fat that she can only stand 
still while the music gushes from her throat like 
a fountain. Miss Phillipps, on the other hand, has 
a great deal of dramatic power, and displayed it 
to such purpose in her delineation of the fierce, 
revengeful, yet loving gipsy mother, that she 


would have made a hit with far less vocal excel- 
lence than she possesses, for the French like 
acting above all things, and Alboni is one of the 
few whom they would tolerate without it. Miss 
Phillipps had several difficulties to contend 
against ; — a feeling of awe at the proverbially 
severe and cultivated character of a Paris audi- 
ence, and a sense of the important results their 
decision would have on her future career, were 
surely not unnatural even to one accustomed to 
the stage from her earliest years. 

" There is something appalling in the way a 
debutante is treated here on a first night. There 
is no token of a greeting. The first movement 
begins and ends, and then the second, and still 
there is a chilling, unsympathetic silence. At 
length at the end of the cabaletta there is a 
moment of suspense. The applicant for favor 
has been heard and judgment pronounced. For 
one instant she is doubtful if it is to be a blank 
or a prize, the suspense lasted an instant only, for 
there followed a burst of applause that must 
have satisfied the most anxious friend or most 
ardent admirer. 

" Some injudicious friend threw a wreath as 
large as a horse-collar on the stage before Miss 
Phillipps had sung a note. This awarding of 
laurels before they were earned puzzled the 


audience and embarrassed all on the stage. 
They did not know what to do with it, till at 
last Mario picked it up and threw it behind the 

" Miss Phillipps was called out after the first 
act, and at the close of the opera ; a mark of 
approbation not often bestowed. This success 
is an ' Open Sesame ' to her for every opera- 
house in Europe, and she may well congratulate 
herself on such an important step in her career. 
Mario never sang better in his life. 

" Miss Phillipps makes her second appearance 
in the " Ballo in Maschera," again taking Alboni's 
part. She will also appear with Penco in " Semi- 
ramide" as Arsace, where she is quite at home in 
a part especially adapted to her, both vocally 
and dramatically." 

Galignani says of Miss Phillipps' debut, 
" she took the public by storm, and the 
result was complete success." 

The Paris correspondent of the London 
Morning Herald thus analyzes her 
gifts : — . 

" A noble contralto voice, a style remarkable 
for its brio and pathos, perfect vocalization and 


powers as an actress, only to be compared with 
that of MaUbran and Madame Viradot, are the 
recommendations of Mile. Fillippi to the favor 
of the public. Her success was immense." 

The Paris Patrie of 1861 extols Miss 
Adelaide Phillipps as the best contralto 
that has been heard in France for a long 
time. " Voila un vrai contralto^ " and to 
these qualities it adds : — 

"She joins a rare energy and spirit as a 
comMienne. She is of the very best order, and 
must soon eclipse by her magnificent talent cer- 
tain artists who now stand high in the public 
regard. Miss Phillipps won her first laurels in 
America. Her reputation will soon be Eu- 

Miss Phillipps' season at Paris was so 
successful that the impresario of the 
Italiens engaged her for the whole season 
of the next year. From Paris she went 
to Spain, under the direction of Signor 
Merilli, with a troupe of which Madame 
La Grange was the soprano. She sang 


trough the opera season in Madrid 
"vmh distinguished artists, and held the 
variols^ contralto roles of the favorite 
operas, "sdways sharing the applause which 
followed^he representations, and some- 
times awakening jealousy by a greater 
success man debutantes are generally 
'sH&w^'to obtain. She was in the midst 
of this gratifying career when news 
was received that the impresario of the 
Italian opera in Paris had played with 
false cards. 

Gamblers it seems draw the line at 
false cards, and it was a breach of honor 
that could not be overlooked. The im- 
presario of the opera in Paris is the 
servant of the government, and he was 
dismissed from office. His successor was 
not bound to fulfil previous engagements; 
he had other prima donnas on his list, and 
Miss Phillipps lost this valuable opportu- 
nity in her artistic career. She bore the 
great disappointment with the same good 


temper and dignity that she manifested 
through all the trials of her professional 

The climate of Madrid is very cold and 
trying to vocalists, and Miss Phillipps 
hardly dared to venture out, or to visit the 
picture-galleries, or enjoy any of the pleas- 
ures of a traveller. The severe climate 
of Madrid made her dread that of Russia, 
and she declined offers of engagements in 
St. Petersburg, where doubtless she would 
have achieved fame and fortune. The 
recent death of the charming Madame 
Bosio, in that countr}'^, from illness con- 
tracted in a journey from Moscow to St. 
Petersburg, had a great influence on Miss 
Phillipps' decision to avoid Russia. 

She was also offered an advantageous 
engagement in Brazil, but did not accept 


From Madrid she visited Barcelona 
and various cities in Spain vi^ith the opera 
company, returning to Paris in the spring 
of 1862. She was at once re-engaged by 
Merilli for an extended professional tour 
through the north of France, Belgium, 
visiting also Holland, Poland, and other 
parts of Europe. She was the star of the 
company. Everything seemed to favor 
her, and she enjoyed the whole journey, 
not only its professional success, but she 
felt a vivid interest in the countries she 
visited. Her quick eye caught all their 
beauty, and she appreciated the history of 
the great past which was associated with 
many of the places through which she 
passed. The old cities of France wel- 
comed her; at Lille so great was her 



success that the press of the city pre- 
sented her with a laurel wreath at her 
benefit. Near one of these cities the 
leading members of the troupe were 
invited to visit a family residing in a 
neighboring chateau or castle, of which 
Adelaide gave, on her return home, a 
graphic description. The building was 
very old and picturesque, with a tower 
which had stood a siege. "I never un- 
derstood," said she, " of any place what 
people meant when they said it was like 
being in a play, until I looked out of my 
window on this old tower, with its moat 
and surroundings. The family, who must 
have been of rank, were charming and 
hospitable. They seemed to live much 
of their time in this chateau, but were 
great patrons of the opera when any 
troupe visited the place, and often invited 
the leading artists to their house." This 
was a very pleasant incident in the tour. 
When performing in one of the cities of 


Poland she was much impressed by the 
fact that all the ladies present at the opera 
wore black dresses as mourning for their 
country ! In Poland" she visited a salt- 
mine, one of the noblemen in power hav- 
ing ordered it to be illuminated in her 
honor. She described it as a fairy scene, 
unlike anything out of the Arabian Nights. 
At Prague she had immense success, es- 
pecially when she performed " Zerlina " 
in " Don Giovanni." 

That opera was originally written by 
Mozart for production at Prague, and its 
performance there is always attended by 
unusual popular interest. On this occa- 
sion of the representation of Don Giovanni 
the demand for seats became so great that 
the town theatre was abandoned and a 
summer theatre beyond the city limits 
was utilized. The road to this place 
the evening of the representation was 
thronged early. When the opera was 
to be performed, Miss Phillipps and the 


rest of the troupe dreaded the ordeal, but 
her success as Zerlina was indisputable, 
and that night has since been memorable 
in the musical annals of Prague. 

Her visit to Hungary, especially to 
Pesth, interested her extremely. If the 
pen could only convey Adelaide's brilliant 
and vivid descriptions of all she saw and 
experienced on this tour, aside from her 
success as a prima donna, these pages 
would be luminous indeed. 

At the close of this engagement Miss 
Phillipps returned to America. At home 
we were in the midst of the war of the 
rebellion, and if not, like the ladies of 
Poland, in mourning for our country, 
we were sorrowing over many brave 
and beloved ones fallen in her defence. 
Adelaide had her part also in the anxieties 
of the time, as her brother Adrian was on 
the staff of Admiral Thatcher through 
three years of the war. 

While in New York, during an opera 


season, she was the guest of Mrs. Sanford. 
The following letter addressed to her sis- 
ter, is dated — 

New York, East Fifteenth Street. 

I take a large sheet of paper, for the good reason 
I have not a small one at hand. I am getting 
on well, the weather is pleasant, and Martha 
was a success. I have received congratulations 
from many for my great success in it. So I 
suppose it is all right. Last evening Adrian 
came ; was delighted to see him ; looks well, 
though he is home on sick leave. Parepa sang 
in a concert last evening before the opera 
{Lucrezia), and we had the pleasure of com- 
mencing after half-past nine o'clock. I had to 
sing my Brindisi three times, although it was 
more than half-past eleven o'clock. Mrs. San- 
ford's maid goes with me behind the scenes, 
I have always two or three young ladies also, 
so you see I am well protected. I had a very 
pleasant ride on horseback this morning, at 
seven o'clock, in the riding-school with Mr. 
Stanfield. He wished me to try his horse in 
the ring first that I might have no fear. I like 
the horse very much. Adrian went with me. 
We took a long walk up Fifth avenue, and 


arrived at home in time for breakfast at nine 
o'clock. Adrian will leave for Boston to-morrow 
night. Adrian has told you all the news, noth- 
ing particular has happened since he left us. 
Friday morning Mrs. Sanford and I went to 
riding-school, and had a very pleasant ride. 
In the evening went to the opera. Norma; 
a fine house. Saturday had a most lovely 
ride in the Park on horseback of course, we 
left home at seven o'clock ; the weather was 
delicious. Last night we all went to bed early. 
I hope Adrian will return to New York; tell 
him to be sure and write to me. Remember 
me to the Websters. I suppose you will all be 
having a good time on Tuesday, as it is Carrie 
Webster's birthday. Love to every one ; shall 
be most happy to hear from any one who will 
take the trouble to write to me. Adieu. 
Yours affectionately, 


In the spring of 1864 Miss Phillipps 
was re-engaged for Havana, under Signor 
Lorini's direction. She was most cor- 
dially received there, repeating the roles 
in which she had been so great a favorite, 
and reviving friendships gained a few 


years before. It was in Havana that she 
obtained those charming Cuban songs 
which all who heard them will remember, 
dropping like the princess' jewels in the 
Arabian nights, sparkling and bright from 
her lips. These she often introduced in 
response to recalls after her grand arias, 
the liquid, lustrous tones having the 
rhythm of fairy bells. 

It was in her earlier visits to Havana 
that Adelaide obtained her knowledge of 
the Spanish language, which she spoke 
with fluency. Mr. Charles F. Bradford, 
of Roxbury, himself an able Spanish 
scholar, in speaking of Miss Phillipps said: 
" To converse with her in Spanish was 
a rare pleasure; the ease and grace of 
her language, the beauty and vivacity of 
her conversation were fascinating. You 
know," he added, " how I admired her as 
a vocalist, and esteemed her as a woman; 
the perfection of her Spanish made the 
charm of her society complete." 


Miss Phillipps took the contralto part in 
the oratorio of " Elijah " for the first time 
in 1864. It was during a visit at our house 
that she prepared for the oratorio, and 
studied the score carefully. " I must 
take it in at my eyes," she said, " before I 
go to the piano." The exquisite aria, " Oh 
rest in the Lord," impressed her very 
deeply, and must ever be associated w^ith 
her voice by all who remember its tender 
tones and expression. She once said, 
"You do not know how much that aria 
has been to me; whenever I feel sad or 
depressed I go to the piano and sing it to 
myself; it always comforts me." 

Another association with these sacred 
words must find mention here. At the 
services given at the Music Hall, in 
commemoration of Charles Sumner, June 
9, 1874, Adelaide Phillipps sang "Oh 
rest in the Lord." Fit expression for a 
soul whose " heart's desire " that slavery 
should be ended had been granted; whose 


battles were fought, and who after victory 
had found " rest." 

It was on a professional journey to 
California in 1865, while crossing the 
Isthmus, that Adelaide made the ac- 
quaintance of our friends, Mr, and Mrs. 
Charles W. Huntington, of Boston. Mrs. 
Huntington's fine musical taste had ap- 
preciated the artistic powers of Miss 
Phillipps, and the knowledge of her per- 
sonal qualities caused a sincere friendship 
to be formed which continued through the 
following years. On their return to Bos- 
ton the hospitable house of Mr. and Mrs. 
Huntington became one of Adelaide's 

The opera company with which she was 
connected had a successful season in San 
Francisco. There are many tributes to 
her performances in that city. Here is 
one which expresses the general admira- 
tion she won, for, unlike the bouquets 
showered upon the prima donna, these 


warm-hearted expressions do not lose 
their aroma by time : — 

" The benefit of Miss Phillipps on Wednesday- 
evening was all that lady could expect, as the 
Academy was densely crowded. ' The Barber ' 
was given and accepted with equal zest and 
relish by both artists and audience. The last act 
of Romeo and Juliet was sung very effectively by 
Miss Phillipps and Signorina Sconcia as the con- 
clusion of the entertainment of the evening. 
Miss Phillipps as Romeo gave the audience a very 
strong evidence of her tragic abilities. She was 
honored by a bewildering profusion of flowers, 
together with a white dove which fluttered down 
to her, going through his part very gracefully. 
Some very beautiful specimens of California gold 
wrought into ornaments were also presented, 
while the receipts of the house gave California 
gold in another shape — to the amount of over 
two thousand dollars." 

Through the seasons including 1865 to 
1868, she appeared in opera and concerts, 
visiting California, the Western States, 
Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, 
and many other places, travelling thou- 


sands of miles and giving almost as many 
performances. Chicago thus greets her 
in October 30, 1857: — 

" Miss Phillipps as Rosina gave an artistic and 
finished representation of coquettish character. 
Light, vivacious, and thoroughly at home on the 
stage, her acting may be as warmly commended 
as on the preceding evening in a totally different 
portraiture. Her versatility is surely evinced in 
the perfection with which she equally represents 
the passionate gypsy, and the coquettish ward 
of a petulant guardian. Certainly Rosina has 
never been given us in her twofold character of 
what she is and what she appears to be to Dr. 
Bartoldo as Miss Phillipps embodied her. For 
pure, sympathetic, solid vocalization it has never 
been surpassed. In the music-lesson scene she 
introduced a Spanish song with a very quaint 
and charming orchestral accompaniment, which 
was warmly encored." 

The family to which Adelaide belonged 
was a musical one, and her sister Matilde 
had developed a noble contralto voice. 
One morning Adelaide came in quite ex- 
cited and said, "I have been hearing 


Matiloe sing. Upon my word I must look 
to my laurels; she has a grand voice. I 
never intended her to be ,a professional 
singer, but she has the true artistic tem- 
perament, and I must give her every ad- 
vantage, and shall go to London and place 
her with Garcia next summer." Adelaide 
was at that moment studying the parts 
she was to take in the great Triennial 
Festival of the Boston Handel and Haydn 
Society, May 5, 1868. Of the opening of 
this Triennial Festival the following re- 
port is taken from the Daily Advertiser 
of that date : — 

" The present festival has been planned on a 
larger scale than any kindred undertaking in 
this country. . . . The soloists that will appear 
from day to day include the best talent procur- 
able, headed by Mme. Parepa Rosa and Ade- 
laide Phillipps. There was a brilliant audience 
at the opening of the festival. The perform- 
ance of Mendelsshon's ' Hymn of Praise,' justified 
the promise of the rehearsal. Parepa Rosa and 
Miss Phillipps were in superb voice. The chorus 

♦ By Mr. Howard D. Ticknor. 


and orchestra were very effective and Carl Zer- 
rahn as leader deserved great praise on the occa- 
sion. The oratorio of Samson was given in the 
evening of the opening day, Mme. Rosa in the 
soprano, Miss PhiUipps in the contralto roles. 
If the soprano's music was rendered with fitness, 
so also was Miss Phillipps' in the contralto music 
of Micah. One of the first canons laid down to 
us by an old master of the genuine classic school 
long years ago was that, except where words were 
merely added to music as a vehicle for carrying 
on vocalization, the spirit of the words should 
always be paramount, and the music so tempered 
as best to illustrate the text for which it was 
composed. Miss Phillipps sings as if this rule 
were ever in her mind when she assumes an 
oratorio r6le, or indeed any r6le. Her noble 
voice, her high culture, and her clear, crisp, real 
execution are never forgotten, but she always 
sings as if she meant what she is singing, and 
only used music as a help to full expression. 
Her "Return, O God of Hosts," and "Ye sons of 
Israel now lament," were perfect in feeling and 
coloring, and in our mind the very gems of the 
performance. Her recitatives were also admir- 
ably read." 

" On Friday afternoon of the week Beet- 
hoven's Ninth Symphony was given. There can 


be no more crucial test of singers and orchestra, 
and if ever that test was nobly and gloriously 
borne it was so yesterday. The three first 
movements were splendidly sustained, and when 
the great finale began to rise in cumulative 
strength and sublimity every individual choris- 
ter or instrumentalist seemed imbued with posi- 
tive inspiration to meet and triumph over the 
tremendous exigency of the time. The solo 
passages were worthy of the master and the 
hour in their sureness and strength, delivered 
as they were by Mme. Rosa, Miss Phillipps, Mr. 
Stimpson, and Mr. Rudolphsen." 

The festival ended on Sunday evening 
with the oratorio of the " Messiah." The 
writer already quoted closes his report of 
the week as follows : — 

" Although the climax of this festival must be 
held to be that wonderful presentation of the 
Ninth Symphony, yet the Messiah of last night 
was worthy to rank with the best versions of 
that great work, and worthy to conclude a series 
of performances, which, in the entirety of their 
scope and rendering, have never — as we think 
we may in no boastful spirit assert — been ap- 
proached on this continent. With that splendid 


orchestra, that mighty sea of organ tone, that 
immense chorus, with its enthusiastic, urgent, 
yet generous and wise conductor, that quartette 
of principals, — with all these elements what 
could but result in unqualified success last 
night ? With our minds reverting, as we write, 
to the emotions and incidents of the last few 
days, we cannot enter into details of this last 
performance to tell at length how Mme. Rosa 
uplifted and swayed all hearers, how Miss 
Phillipps' pleading voice gave new pathos to her 
touching arias, nor how the smooth sweetness of 
Mr. Simpson's tenor, nor how the strong, honest 
bass of Mr. Whitney supplemented and sup- 
ported them ; and our one general, genial heart- 
felt tribute must go on record thus simply and 

In addition to the oratorios Miss 
Phillipps sang at two concerts, in one that 
pathetic song from Handel's "Rinaldo," 
Lascia cKio -pianga^ which was ex- 
quisitely rendered. 

In the summer succeeding the Triennial 
she went to London, as has been stated, 
and placed her sister satisfactorily with 


Garcia as instructor. She visited Paris, 
and made an engagement for the next 
winter, which she afterwards cancelled on 
account of the illness of her father. 

In February, 1869, Matilde Phillipps 
was summoned home by the wish of her 
father to see her once more. She obeyed, 
and crossed the Atlantic alone in the 
midst of winter. Adelaide was at our 
house awaiting her. By some mistake no 
one was on the wharf to receive the soli- 
tary traveller, and unable to understand 
what this meant, she was kindly attended 
by a fellow-passenger to a hotel, from 
whence she drove to our house to hear 
some intelligence of her family. Adelaide 
received her. Matilde was quite worn 
out with fatigue and excitement, and, in- 
deed, needed a comforting reception. 

She had then been nearly a year under 
the instruction of Garcia, and, of course, 
we looked forward anxiously to hear her 
voice. The next day I told her how de- 


sirous Adelaide was to hear her sing; but, 
knowing artistic temperaments, she would 
not urge her to do so. After much hesi- 
tation, Matilde said: " Oh, I would rather 
face a thousand strangers than sing to 
Adelaide! How should I feel if, after all 
she has done for me, I should disappoint 
her?" At last she took courage, and 
asked her sister to play the accompaniment 
of Di tanti ■palpiti. I retired into the 
next room in order to leave the sisters to- 
gether, taking care to be near enough to 
listen, and, as the beautiful voice and fine 
rendering of the recitative and aria fell on 
my ear, I felt that gratification had come 
to us all. As the last notes of the ac- 
companiment died away I re-entered the 
room. Adelaide turned to her sister, and 
said in her emphatic voice, "Matilde, I 
am satisfied, more than satisfied." It was 
a touching moment. I believe we all 
wept. What else could three women do 
at such a moment? To Matilde it was 


deeply gratifying, and scarcely less so to 

Some one says that joy is so foreign to 
our experiences that we can only express 
it by our tears. 

Matilde went to Marshfield, where her 
father's pleasure in seeing her rewarded 
the effort she had made. After a short 
visit she returned to London, and con- 
tinued her studies, and from thence went 
to Italy, where she made her debut, and 
continued in Italy and Sardinia several 
years with much success. 

Whenever Adelaide's public engage- 
ments allowed her the pleasure of spend- 
ing a few weeks socially among her many 
friends she enjoyed their home and their 
society life very much. Her buoyant spirit 
and many accomplishments rendered her 
always a welcome guest. The subjoined 
letter, addressed to her sisters, was writ- 
ten during a winter visit to Mrs. Dr. 
Doremus, in New York: — 


"New York, 70 Union Place. 

" My Dear Girls, — Why don't you write to 
me. I am really worried, for Adrian promised 
to write as soon as he had seen you all, but not 
a word have I received. Send me a few words 
immediately. You remember, Arvilla, the music 
I left in your charge at Marshfield. I want 
you to send the orchestra parts (and piano) of 
'Orfeo' and the ' Barbiere,' also the 'Bacio.' 
Send immediately. I am going to sing at a 
concert here, Gosche engaged me ; now remem- 
ber. I suppose you wish to know what I have 
been doing since I wrote last, I think on Satur- 
day ; so here goes ! 

" That evening we went to see Booth ; had a 
private box. After the performance the gentle- 
men who went with us came home to supper. 
I sang a few little things. Sunday we went to 
church, and I dined with Mrs. Sanford. Sev- 
eral people there, among others, Kate Field and 
her mother ; pleasant evening, music. Monday, 
rained all day. I practised a little and wrote 
two or three letters, and in the evening we went 
to see Owens in Solon Shingle at the Broadway 
Theatre, met Guerrabella there. Tuesday went 
to see Mrs. Sanford, took a pleasant walk, and 
in the evening went to the artists reception; 
met everybody I had ever known. Wednesday, 


Mrs. Doremus' reception, great many people. 
Sang of course, was in very fine voice. Had 
a handsome present of flowers, and a nice 

dance. Made Mr. H dance the lancers 

with me. Thursday, pleasant day. Evening, 
went first to Mrs. Wilson's to hear Hoffman 
play, then to a party at Mrs. Mackay's, had a 
lovely dance. Friday, went out, made calls. 
Evening, had a quiet time at home, that is to 
say, only about a dozen people came to see us. 
Saturday, went to the Philharmonic. Adrian 
came and found me there. I need not tell you 
what we did that day. Adrian must have given 
a description. Sunday after Adrian left I dined 
with Mrs. Stevens and Miss Reed. They have a 
magnificent house. It was a regular dinner- 
party, and very elegant, which they appeared to 
give for me. We had music of course. Mon- 
day, went to see Mrs. Moulton. You have heard 
me speak of her. She was Miss Greenough, and 
married in Paris. While there met Mrs. Hills, 
who invited me for the next evening at her 
house. Mrs. Moulton was to be there. On 
Tuesday I went and had a delightful time. Miss 
Reed, Mrs. Moulton, and I sang, also the young 
lady of the house. I suppose many of the 
nicest people in New York were there. Dr. 
Doremus and I took Mrs. Moulton home. Be- 


fore going out Gosche called and I made the 
engagement to sing at the concert. Wednes- 
day, went to see Mrs. Sanford. Evening, Mrs. 
Doremus' reception, music, dancing, etc. Max 
Strakosch came to see me, and wants me to go 
on a concert tour. Evening, went to a free 
school to hear Dr. Doremus give a lecture on 
chemistry. I sang an English song to the 
children. Friday, went with Mrs. Sanford 
and Guerrabella to Fifth Avenue skating-pond. 
Lovely, mild day. Very good skaters. Even- 
ing at home. The laughing song has made a 
' perfect furore here. Why does not Mrs. Ring 
send my dress .' I want it particularly for Tues- 
day, a dancing-party I am going to. There, 
now you know all about me. 

Yours, Adelaide." 

The allusion in the preceding letter to 
her " singing to the children," illustrates 
one of Adelaide's characteristics. She 
was very fond of children and had a great 
charm for them, as they generally have the 
power of thought-reading, and recognize 
the real friend. A party of young girls, 
graduates of the Everett School, who met 


her one afternoon at our house, each 
doubtless remembers, through the years 
that have intervened, how gayly she en- 
tered into their pleasure, and sang for 
them bright and lively songs. In her last 
evening visit to us she described, with 
wonderful vividness, a little girl who was 
once a passenger with her in crossing the 
Atlantic, — a wilful, unmanagable crea- 
ture, full of the very spirit of mischief and 
insubordination. Adelaide determined to 
subdue her, and through resolution, and 
the magnetism of her power, the child be- 
come gradually more and more under her 
influence, and at last sat quietly at her 
feet, and looking up in her face, said, 
" You have made me good, though I did 
not mean you should." All who as chil- 
dren were brought in contact with Ade- 
laide in their homes (now perhaps with 
children of their own) will recall many 
anecdotes of her delightful companion- 
ship, and hold those memories among the 


sweetest of their childhood. Hers was a 
broad nature, stretching out its sympathies 
on every side, touching the electric chain 
by which we are bound to each other, 
sending the message of cheer and com- 
radeship along the line whether in sun- 
shine or in storm. The influence of her 
song upon untrained natures was shown 
one evening at a fashionable house in 
New York, where Miss Phillipps sang 
Kathleen Mavourneen to a large company. 
While the song proceeded the young wait- 
ress came into the room with a tray in her 
hand; the pathos of the voice and the song 
entirely overwhelmed her; and, forgetful 
of time and place, the girl sank down on 
a seat and burst into tears. It was a 
heartfelt homage to the singer. 

The great " Peace Jubilee " took place 
in Boston in the summer of 1869, an im- 
mense building having been erected for 
the purpose. It was a time of great ex- 
citement. The war of the rebellion was 


victoriously finished, sanctified by the 
proclamation of freedom which ended 
slavery in the United States. Some pub- 
lic demonstration seemed fitting. The 
whole affair was arranged with much 
care, and was a success. A great chorus 
and orchestra was led by Carl Zerrahn, 
and the performances were worthy of the 
occasion. Mme. Parepa Rosa as soprano, 
and Adelaide Phillipps as contralto, were 
the leading artistes, but many others 
filled the roles needed in so vast an 
undertaking. Miss Phillipps spent the 
week of the Jubilee with us; and as 
we drove every day to the private en- 
trance of the building it was interesting 
to see the ripple of pleasure pass over 
the faces of the crowd as they recognized 
her. Few of them could enter the hall, 
but their expression of good-will was 
more gratifying than the loud applause of 
the multitude within. The immense size 
of the auditorium raised a doubt if any one 


voice could fill it. One of Miss Phillipps' 
firiends, at her request, stationed himself 
on the upper tier of seats. They agreed 
upon a signal to testify if her voice clearly 
reached him. The signal was made at 
all the doubtful points very satisfactorily. 
Mme. Parepa Rosa's voice rose finely, 
and her whole appearance seemed in har- 
mony with the occasion. The press 
speaks most favorably of all the perform- 
ers. " On the second day," says the Tran- 
script, " Miss Phillipps was the soloist 
in ' non piii di fiori,' which, though not 
suited to such an immense audience- 
room, was faithfully rendered by Miss 
Phillipps, and her charming delivery of 
the air was recognized by every culti- 
vated listener." 

On June i8th the attractive programme 
was given to the children of the public 
schools. Mme. Rosa sang " Hear, oh 
Israel," Miss Phillipps, the song from Lu- 
cretia Borgia, " II segreto per esser felice," 


and both prima-donnas joined in the 
duet from Stabat Mater, " Qui est Homo." 
As memory recalls those two distinguished 
women as they stood together on that great 
platform, and hear again the echo of their 
grand voices, it is hard to believe that 
they have passed away from the music of 
this world forever. 

Of the closing day of the great Jubilee, 
June 19, 1869, the same writer gives 
this tribute to Miss Phillipps : — 

" We are glad to say that her superb artistic 
reputation was reached in ' Lascia ch'io Pianga.' 
She never sang more nobly and truly. Her 
voice was potent in reach and sublime expres- 
sion for all quarters of the audience-room, 
while the rich, mellow, glowing quality of the 
tone made its way to every ear, as well as to 
every heart. She was enthusiastically recalled, 
and repeated the aria, turning her voice and 
person more directly to the chorus part of the 
house, where a shower of plaudits had a signifi- 
cance which could not be mistaken." 


Thus closed a delightful week, full of 
the joy that pervaded the very air with 
the assurance of peace and freedom, and 
found its best and deepest expression in 
the noble voices of the singers. 


During the rest of the year 1869 
Adelaide remained at home, in conse- 
quence of the increasing illness of her 
father, sparing neither strength nor ex- 
pense to give him every comfort and lux- 
ury. She had indeed devoted assistance 
from Arvilla and her brothers, Matilde 
being at the time in Europe. Towards 
the spring of 1870 Mr. Phillipps revived, 
and Adelaide, escorted by her brother 
Adrian, took a concert-tour in the West. 
By one of those chances, as they are called, 
which occur in life, we met her in San 
Francisco, and attended several concerts 
in which she sang, and she had a very 
cordial reception. 

In October, 1870, Mr. Phillipps died at 

Marshfield. His daughter returned in 


time to watch over his last days with more 
than filial devotion. 

\Jn the ensuing winter she joined another 
concert troupe, going South and West. 
The foirowing notice from a correspond- 
ent of the Evening Transcript (L. B. B.) 
gives evidence of her reception in New 
Orleans: — 

" Miss Phillipps, that sterling artiste, is meet- 
ing with almost unprecedented success South 
and West, giving concerts in all the cities and 
large towns. The press of New Orleans is loud 
in praises of her artistic efforts in that city. 
One of the largest halls was engaged and filled 
on each occasion by that well-known musical 
community. Miss Phillipps will return to Bos- 
ton in season for the Triennial Festival, which 
is to take place in May, having been engaged as 
principal contralto for several months. In the 
meantime she has other cities to visit and other 
conquests to make. Success attend her ! " 

The following March, 187 1, Miss Phil- 
lipps sang in Brooklyn, New York, with 
the Philharmonic Society. She was the 


guest of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon L. Ford, 
at whose hospitable mansion Adelaide 
was ever welcome. The audience at 
Brooklyn was always a sympathetic one 
to her, and whether in opera or concerts 
she received their cordial reception. 

On Easter Monday, 187 1, Carl Rosa 
opened a season at the Academy of Music 
in New York, the principal artists being 
Madame Parepa Rosa, Adelaide Phillipps, 
Wachtel, and Santley.* We were present 
at the Academy on the opening night, 
when the house presented a most brilliant 
aspect. The immense crowd was, as one 
of the performers afterwards said to me 
(Mr. Santley), "almost an oppressive 
although very gratifying sight from the 
stage." The enthusiasm was contagious. 

* The magnificent baritone of Mr. Santley will be 
remembered by all who heard the " Dolby Troupe," con- 
sisting of Mr. and Mrs. Patey, Miss Wynne, Mr. W. H. 
Cummings, and Mr. Santley. Their rendering of the 
great oratorios, as well as that of their perfectly-finished 
ballads, given with rare excellence, proved them to be fitly 
placed as first in rank among English artists. 


The opera was " II Trovatore," and as 
Azucena lay apparently sleeping on the 
bank, she was not as in Paris, in any dan- 
ger of stage fright, but searching with 
half shut eyes for our place in the audience 
in order to know that we had good seats. 
Having ascertained that fact, Azucena 
composed herself. The tributes from the 
leading New York papers at the time 
were strong in their tone of appreciation 
of this rare combination, of which Mr. 
Rosa was the conductor. The following 
extracts will give their general impres- 
sion : — 

" The opening of the new opera season last 
night was attended with all the magrificence 
which the combination effected by Mr. Rosa 
seemed to require. The fact that the receipts 
were about nine thousand two hundred dollars 
proves that the Academy was crowded to a de- 
gree without parallel in the history of the 
Academy of Music. The performance was 
worthy of this excitement. Parepa Rosa, 
Phillipps, Wachtel, and Santley form a cast 


which cannot be surpassed. The audience 
thought so last night, and as each member of 
the great quartette appeared on the stage a 
hearty round of applause gave a cordial welcome. 
The opera was " II Trovatore." Of Madame 
Rosa, who has so often sang the part of Leonora> 
it is unnecessary to speak at full length, but she 
sang with great power and effect. Miss Phillipps, 
the Azucena of the evening, was welcomed back 
with genuine warmth, and gave a nobly drama- 
tic delineation of the gypsy mother. Her 
voice throughout was rich and melodious, and 
her action far transcended what is usually wit- 
nessed on the lyric stage. Wachtel and Santley 
gave us two of the most notable personations 
which the average opera-goer may ever hope to 
witness. One all fire, the other all finish." 

The performances which followed were 
all equally successful, and the crowded 
audiences filled the house through the 

Miss Phillipps said that it was almost 
the only instance in her experience where 
the demand for tickets was so great that 
none were at the disposal of the artists. 


At the conclusion of her engagement 
with Mr. Rosa's troupe Miss Phillipps 
returned to Boston to take her place in 
the leading contralto roles of the second 
Triennial Festival of the Handel and 
Haydn Society. These were in the 
oratorios of Elijah, Messiah, and Stern- 
dale Bennett's " Woman of Samaria," 
and in the concerts of the week. 

The tenor of the second Triennial was 
Mr. William H. Cummings, of London. 
To a pure tenor voice was added great 
culture and style. Mr. Cummings is a 
man whose whole nature and training 
fits him peculiarly for oratorio music, 
and all who listen to his rendering of the 
tenor roles in the Elijah and the Messiah 
must have acknowledged that their effect 
was due to something beyond what was 
contained in the scores even of Handel 
and Mendelssohn. Mr. Cummings ex- 
pressed great admiration of Miss Phillipps' 
artistic powers, especially her rendering of 


the aria, "He was despised," which he said 
he had never heard so effectively given. 
This was the only occasion on which her 
emotional nature almost overcame her 
artistic training. Some chord was touched; 
the listeners could not hear. She sang 
through the aria perfectly, but she sank 
down on her seat in tears. 

For the following anecdote, which be- 
longs to the time of the " Second Tri- 
ennial," I am indebted to Mrs. Gordon 
L. Ford, of Brooklyn, N. Y., as well as 
for other appreciative expressions growing 
out of her long acquaintance with Ade- 
laide, which will be added later in the 
record : — 

" An instance of her sweet temper and quick 
tact occurred at a rehearsal of the Handel and 
Haydn Society in Boston. Mme. Rudersdorf, 
who had come from London to sing at the festi- 
val, made some complaints of the inaccuracy of 
the singers equal in rank to herself, with whom 
she was practising. Some of them were dis- 
posed to resent this criticism on the spot by 


withdrawing their services ; and, for a moment, 
the festival seemed endangered. Miss Phillipps 
came to the rescue, and, springing up said, in 
her sweet, cordial way, ' I think we all deserve 
that reproof ; we certainly do take some of these 
passages in a very scrambling fashion ; let us try 
if we cannot hit the notes at once without a 
scramble,' and harmony was restored by her 
assuming the reproof and sharing the blame. 

" I never saw her imperious but once, and 
then she had much provocation. She was to 
sing ' Oh rest in the Lord ! ' at a Philharmonic 
concert. There had been no rehearsal. The 
audience waited for her appearance ; but when 
the music was handed to her it had been altered 
from the contralto — in which it was written — 
to a soprano pitch, and, of course, was out of 
the range of Miss Phillipps' voice. She ex- 
plained to the conductor, but he said he had 
no other scores for the orchestra. Some sharp 
words followed, when Mr. Richard Hoffman, 
the pianist, stepped forward and volunteered 
to play the accompaniment as Mendelssohn 
had written it, which was successfully done. 
This was the only time I ever saw her temper 
ruffled, and, indeed, in her stage relations with 
other singers she was always large-hearted, 
kindly, and forbearing in word and deed." 


In the third Triennial of the Boston 
Handel and Haydn Society, in 1874, Miss 
Phillipps took the contralto roles in J. K. 
Paine's oratorio of " St. Peter," and in 
Bach's " Passion Music," both works 
demanding much study and practice. 
Bach's Passion music had been given in 
selections in 1871, but was now presented 
more fully. Miss Phillipps studied the 
difficult scores most earnestly, and her 
rendering of it was entirely appreciated 
by the critics. In 1881, when the direct- 
ors of the Boston Handel and Haydn 
Society were obliged to turn, almost at the 
last moment, in their utmost need to 
Matilde Phillipps for the contralto roles 
of the Passion music, Adelaide was very 
ill, but she rose at once to her artistic 
power; and lying on her couch heard her 
sister's rendering of the part. Matilde 
had sang the role previously, but several 
years had passed, and to recall such diffi- 
cult music at so brief a notice required 


both courage and sympathy. Adelaide 
was entirely gratified by the favorable re- 
port of her sister's performance. Miss 
Phillipps' last appearance with the Han- 
del and Haydn Society was November 
24, 1878, and, as we now know, closed 
appropriately with Verdi's " Requiem 

A quartette company was organized by 
Miss Phillipps in 1874, with which she 
visited various States in the Union. Per- 
haps a letter received during this tour will 
give a glimpse of the work of such an 
undertaking: — 

St. Paul, Nov. 9, 1874. 
Dear Mrs. Waterston, — This is such a 
beautiful place I wish you were here with me to 
enjoy it. We have had a very successful trip 
thus far ; very fine weather, and the performances 
go well and the public are pleased. The ex- 
penses are greater than I expected; sometimes 
three hundred dollars more than I thought, but 
as yet the payments are all right. My tenor, 
Mr. Karl, has a beautiful voice, sings well, and is 
handsome, which pleases the ladies. So far so 


good. The baritone, Orlandini, has a fine voice 
and is a good artist, as is also the buffo, Barcelli, 
We only meet at the theatre and in the cars. 
They all seem contented. 

Etta Newcomb is with me, and is a great 
comfort. We manage to take a walk almost 
every day, so I am not tired yet. We have been 
through Kansas, out to Omaha, Dubuque, 
Winona, and hurried here on Sunday morning. 
After the concert of Winona we slept one hour, 
leaving the hotel at half-past twelve o'clock. 
Poor Etta, I woke her singing, " Oh, an artist's 
life for me ! " She understands the pleasures of 
it now ! We shall be here two nights ; then into 
Michigan and Illinois ; Chicago on Monday and 
Tuesday ; St. Catherine's, Canada, Friday ; 
Rochester, N. Y., Monday; back to Massachu- 
setts and New Hampshire. After that I do not 
know where we go ; work back West I suppose. 
I gave up Boston in November as too early. I 
shall try to arrange for February. I hope your 
visit to the mountains was pleasant. Let me 
hear from you at Chicago. 

Yours, always, 


A scrap from another letter written in 
the country, somewhere in New England, 


gives a pretty picture : " I am in a nice 
farm-house, sitting in a kitchen with a 
great open fire. Its light glances on knit- 
ting-needles and gold beads. It is all very 
quaint and pleasant. They are such nice 
good people. I sang to them, and though 
I have had larger audiences, few, I think, 
who enjoyed the songs more." 

A larger organization, under the title of 
the Adelaide Phillipps Opera Company, 
of which she was the manager, visited 
various parts of the country. It was a 
double company, and included among 
its members some of those artists men- 
tioned in the letter from St. Paul, with 
many additions. Miss Colville, Adelaide, 
and Matilde Phillipps were the prima 

With this company she went through 
the South and West, and was certainly 
very successful according to all the reports 
of the newspapers in the various places 
visited. But she found the care and 


responsibility too great for a woman who 
was also one of the artists. The ex- 
penses were very heavy, and the man- 
agement of so large a company difficult. 
When the season closed it was not a 
financial success, for Miss Phillipps paid 
all debts, just and unjust, being highly 
conscientious, which very few managers 
would aspire to be considered. 

Matilde Phillipps, who had been singing 
in opera in Sardinia, left the favorable 
opening there, and returned to America 
to aid her sister in this undertaking. 
Matilde made her first appearance in New 
York. A note from her contains these 
heartfelt words : " Do you know that 
Adelaide took a small part in the opera 
of Ceneratula at my debut. As my 
success increased her delight w^as so great 
that she forgot to be the cruel sister Tisbie, 
and became the noble-hearted Adelaide, 
showing all her pleasure in the expression 
of her face so beaming and true." 


Singers are not exempt from embar- 
rassing accidents, as was told by Adelaide 
on her return from a concert in a country 
town. " I had packed my dress," said 
she, " in a champagne basket, and tied 
it up with green ribbons. We arrived in 
good season, and after tea I retired to my 
room to make my toilet rather leisurely, 
as is my wont. By-and-by I thought I 
would take out my dress, which was a 
very pretty one. So I untied my green 
ribbons and opened the champagne bas- 
ket. Imagine my feelings on beholding 
a pair of high boots, rough coat, and all 
the rest of a man's habiliments. My 
charming dress, lace, flowers, and all the 
rest of the finery had fallen into the hands 
of some man, who by a wonderful coin- 
cidence, had packed up his clothes in a 
champagne basket and tied it with green 
ribbons I Neither of us could avail our- 
selves of each other's garments. It was 
too late to make any other preparation 


than to brush up my travelling dress, 
add the few additional ornaments I had 
brought in my pocket, and send on word 
to the audience that Miss Phillipps regret- 
ted extremely that her evening dress had 
not arrived in time, which was certainly 
true. I really felt for their disappointment, 
for, however well we sing, all goes bet- 
ter when we are handsomely dressed; and 
I fear they felt defrauded of half the 
price of their tickets. They were very 
good, however, and applauded me and my 
black silk." "What became of your dress ?" 
was the feminine exclamation. "Oh, it 
was found. The man was glad to get his 
boots again." 

Of the many concerts at which she 
appeared it is impossible to make any 
record. No one who heard her songs, 
whether gay or pathetic, can fail to re- 
call the varied chords she touched in 
the human soul. Her ringing laugh in 
a frolicsome jeu d''esprit, the words of 


which were written by Miss Kate Field, 
set to music by Bendalari, contrasted 
with songs that stirred our hearts. All 
must remember, whether heard at home 
or from the concert platform, her ren- 
dering of "Auld Robin Gray" and "Kath- 
leen Mavourneen." Another charming 
chanson, "The Danube River," still 
flows like the stream it pictured through 
the memory. A western paper, the In- 
dianapolis Sentinel, thus graphically de- 
scribes some of Miss Phillipps' songs: 
"Between the acts of 'Martha,' in 
response to the uproarious encore of 'The 
Laughing Song,' Miss Phillipps sang the 
'Rosebush' (an epitome of woman's life), 
a ballad which must have been written 
to suit the wonderful pathos, passion, and 
sensibility of her ripe and mellow voice. 
Her perfect enunciation of every word 
made them plain to the remotest auditor, 
and were received with breathless silence. 
She threw a world of sentiment into every 


line, but her power was conspicuously dis- 
played in rendering the tender couplet — 

" ' She pressed her hand to her throbbing breast, 
With love's first wonderful rapture blest.' 

" And the sadly suggestive refrain — 

" ' Withered and dead they fall to the ground, 
And silently cover a new-made mound.' 

" Miss Phillipps' versatility was displayed 
by a quiet transition from tears to smiles 
when she responded to a third encore, 
with ' Coming through the Rye,' the bloom 
of which is perennial." 

As these words recall those songs, how 
many will catch their echo in their own 
hearts out of the silence which now rests 
upon her lips. During a summer which 
succeeded a fatiguing season. Miss Phil- 
lipps, in company with Miss Kate Field, 
went to Europe. The voyage was always 
a pleasure to Adelaide, and to all her fel- 
low-passengers who were able to enjoy 
her society. 


She visited the Pyrenees, and made 
various excursions. In London Adelaide 
called upon Madame Parepa Rosa at her 
pleasant home, surrounded by every com- 
fort and elegance. The additional hap- 
piness then anticipated w^as, alas! never 
realized; and in a few months the mother 
and child left the world together. Mme. 
Parepa Rosa's death was sincerely mourned 
in America, where she had many friends. 
The voices of Mme. Rosa and Miss 
Phillipps so often had mingled in oratorio 
and opera, that to unite their names 
together now seems, in memory of all 
we owe to their gifts, but a fitting homage 
to two grand artistes. 

In 1879 Miss Phillipps joined the Ideal 
Opera Company, under the direction of 
Miss E. H. Ober, and carried into it her 
vocal and dramatic culture and her un- 
flagging spirit. She continued attached 
to that company until December, 1881, 
when she made her last appearance on 
the stage in Cincinnati. 


These sketches of Miss Phillipps' pro- 
fessional work suggest somewhat of their 
variety and extent; but the real experi- 
ence of an artist is faintly outlined by any 
enumeration of roles, or reports of suc- 
cess or applause. In such a career much 
is required; serious thought, hard study, 
anxious hours; the fatigue from travelling 
hundreds of miles before taking a difficult 
part, leaving the opera when over at mid- 
night for the next city; this is but part of 
the regular routine. Added to these trials 
come exactions of managers, jealousy of 
rivals, uncertainty of remuneration aftel" 
the toils of the season are over. There 
are many ways by which the prosperous 
path of a popular artist may be circum- 
vented without the facts appearing openly; 
not to mention the varying phases of the 
capricious public, and always being at the 
mercy of newspaper reporters. Many of 
these trials await all artists whose profes- 
sion brings them before the public, be it 


on canvas or in marble; but especially is 
it true of the musician, and eminently of 
the lyric artist, whose success or defeat 
may depend on one supreme moment. 
To most people who go to the drama or 
opera the actors or singers are mere ap- 
pearances who come out to amuse us, and 
we think them rewarded b}' applause and 
flowers. So they are, in a degree. But 
how little do we consider what they have 
gone through in a life-long preparation to 
give us an evening's amusement. Few 
realize what is required of a dramatic, and 
yet more of an operatic artist. The mem- 
ory, the musical ear, the words of a for- 
eign language, the action of the part, be it 
tragic or comic, presence of mind to meet 
all emergencies without a sign of disturb- 
ance, even when painful accidents occur, 
or life itself is in danger. Sometimes the 
performer is suffering physical pain, or 
from recent illness, often in great personal 
anxiety or heavy bereavement, yet they 


must come before the public and play their 
part before critics who make no allow- 
ances : — 

"Watch the part of the player bravely and deftly 

See the difficult height attained, the loud applauses 

Weep with his passionate sorrow, thrill with his pas- 
sionate bliss, 

Blending your joyous laughter with that happy laugh 
of his. 

Well that his marvellous acting, dazzles, wins, refines. 

Who thinks of the desperate effort written between 
the lines ? " 

Miss Phillipps was not one of those who 
decried her profession. The stage was as 
familiar to her as her home, and she al- 
ways maintained that men and women 
were not misled by being connected with 
it, any further than their characteristic 
tendencies would have been shown in the 
temptations and trials of life in whatever 
sphere they moved. 

"The actual work behind the scenes," 
she would say, " leaves no time for those 


sort of things people imagine; we are too 
busy, often too anxious, to attend to any- 
thing but our parts. The heroes and hero- 
ines of the opera are seldom the lovers 
they enact, often quite the reverse." 

The bare rafters, the coarsely-painted 
scenes, the workmen in their shirt-sleeves, 
the cold draughts sweeping through the 
comfortless passageways, suggest only 
work and risk of health to any one who, 
stepping across the line, sees the reality 
instead of the appearance. 

Miss Phillipps was eminently of the Ital- 
ian school of vocal music, the school of 
nearly all the great singers of the past. 
Since she first appeared on the lyric 
stage changes have come over the musi- 
cal world. The great German composers 
are more widely known, and Italian opera 
is waning. 

Long since Miss Phillipps' career began 
the opera bouffe has introduced its demor- 
alizing influence on the stage and on soci- 


ety. French dramas have instilled their 
poisonous atmosphere, all the more dan- 
gerous because imbibed through the me- 
dium of grace and talent. 

As changes await every human inven- 
tion, let us hope that this age of sensation- 
alism may pass aw^ay, bringing a better 
taste to the community. 

Had Miss Phillipps first appeared in 
America, her talents as an actress and 
vocalist duly stamped by European 
fame, she would doubtless have received 
a greater ovation. The proverb, "A 
prophet is not without honor save in 
his own country," cannot justly be said 
to have been verified in her experience; 
yet it is doubtless true she was too 
near the daily life of the country, espe- 
cially that of the city of her adoption, 
to become that mysterious idol, a foreign 
prima donna. 

If Adelaide Phillipps had thrown her- 
self entirely into her profession, without 


regard to any motive but selfish success, 
she would doubtless have filled a v^^ider 
space in the operatic w^orld, and taken her 
place as one of the great artistes of her 
time. But she never swerved from the 
straight and narrow way in which she 
walked as a woman. That she sacrificed 
worldly prosperity to principle, and after a 
long life of great and generous exertion 
left but a modest fortune, is certainly true. 
Although a conscientious artiste, and 
entering with interest into the duties of 
her profession, her heart was in her per- 
sonal life, her home, and with those friends 
whom she loved. 

A sacred voice has said '' no man can 
serve two masters; ye cannot serve God 
and Mammon." Adelaide made her 
choice, and it was not Mammon. 


A FARM in Marshfield was pur- 
chased in i860 for Mr. Alfred Phillipps, 
the eldest brother of the family; there 
they removed, and it became their home. 
It was a valuable farm, near the sea, and 
adjacent to the estate of Daniel Webster. 
This home was the centre of Miss Phil- 
lipps' thoughts and interests. Here she 
returned every summer, when not profes- 
sionally engaged, to enjoy country life. 
Perhaps the following letter, written to 
my sister after a visit to Marshfield, will 
best show the life led there: — 

"June, '74. 

" I met Adelaide at the station in Boston and 

arrived safely at Marshfield, where four of the 

family dogs received her with great emotion, — 

two great Newfoundlanders, 'Caesar' and 'Lyon,' 

a beautiful brown setter, and a funny little Es- 


quimaux terrier, 'Tasso,' the principal actors. 
When we reached the house poor old Rip, the 
aged bloodhound, who has figured in many of 
Adelaide's dog-stories (since she brought him 
in a basket, a young puppy, from Havana), could 
only look pathetically in her face and feebly wag 
his tail. The house, where we were received 
by Arvilla, is very pleasant and homelike, and 
seemed gay with young people coming and 
going. Altogether it was like a family in a story- 
book, with varied histories and prima donnas 
among them, and somewhat like living in a 
Landseer picture of dogs, with humans thrown 
in ; humans, however, who possessed many tal- 
ents and musical ability. We walked to the 
beach the first day, about a mile from the house, 
accompanied by four of the dogs. On our way 
an imprudent woodchuck was killed by ' Lyon ' ; 
it was an unlucky day for that woodchuck. The 
farm is under cultivation, Mr. Alfred and his 
brother Edwin having charge of it. Mr. Alfred 
Phillipps also has a conservatory, where he raises 
flowers for the city as well as home. Near the 
house is a statue of a female figure looking 
downwards. This was placed there when the 
Thomas family, whose ancestors owned the 
place, met in commemoration of the first settlers 
of Marshfield. The figure holds an inverted 


vase in her left hand^ and in her right, which 
also clasps her dress, a wreath. The design 
idealises the return of their ancestress, Sarah 
Pitney Thomas, to the spot where she came as 
a bride December 2, 1648. Mrs. Thomas was 
an heroic woman, who grew up in the wilder- 
ness, bravely facing its dangers and maintaining 
through life that unswerving faith which was 
the characteristic of the Pilgrim mothers. With 
a sincere, but perhaps fanciful, intention, the 
wreath in the hand of the figure typifies a gift 
and recognition from the spirit of the true 
woman of two centuries ago to the true woman 
now mistress of the old Thomas homestead. 
The depression in the ground which marks the 
cellar of the first home of Mrs. Thomas, and 
above which she bends, is filled with flowers. I 
was, indeed, on the sacred sod first trodden by 
our New England fathers. The low-lying hills, 
the ocean view, were the same to-day as when 
they looked upon them, and must have recalled 
their native land, amid the cares, the sufferings 
and efforts of which we, with little thought of 
them, now reap the harvest. 

"The next afternoon we visited the house which 
belonged to Daniel Webster. You will remem- 
ber our visit there many years ago, with our 
mother, when I was a child. That part of the 


estate then belonged to the Thomas family, al- 
though Mr. Webster had already made it his head- 
quarters for fishing excursions. The great elm 
still lives, and is a magnificent tree. The house 
has been entirely altered, and the part added by 
Mr. Webster changes its aspect. The propor- 
tions of the library are ample and dignified : 
here many rare books, pictures, and other gifts 
presented to Mr. Webster are gathered. Mrs. 
Fletcher Webster kindly showed me every ob- 
ject of interest, and took me over the hoiise, 
which she has done all in her power to preserve. 
It is impressive, for it still seems to hold the 
history of a very remarkable man ; but a sphere 
of melancholy pervades the whole mansion. The 
rain, which began to fall heavily, prevented us 
from seeing the grounds or visiting the sea- 
shore, where Mr. Thomas first met Mr. Webster 
and mistook him for some strange fisherman. 
' Why, Mrs. Quincy,' he said to our mother, ' I 
never had seen such a fisherman before ; he had 
great boots and old clothes, but yet he had such 
eyes. He came home with me, and that was 
the beginning of his making this house a sort of. 

" The next day, the rain ceasing, Adelaide 
drove with me to Duxbury along the pathway of 
our Pilgrim fathers. ' The bay where the May- 


flower lay' was in the distance, and we passed 
the French Cable Telegraph Station, between 
which two points of progress a vast history lies. 
It was Sunday afternoon, and as we drove through 
Duxbury all was quiet. Here many retired sea- 
captains live in supernaturally neat houses, with 
cheerful grounds full of flowers, giving one a 
pleasant sense of rest after storms. We drove 
to " Captain's hill," where a monument to Miles 
Standish was commenced in 1872. At the lay- 
ing of the corner-stone a large number of ladies 
and gentlemen attended. In a manuscript note 
to the pamphlet containing an account of the 
proceedings, by Mr. Stephen M. Allen, corre- 
sponding secretary of the Standish Monument 
Association, he writes : ' As a matter of courtesy 
General Horace Binney Sargent, president of 
the association, handed the spade to the ladies 
first, and in their behalf Miss Adelaide Phillipps 
took it, and turned the first sod for the founda- 
tion of the monument.' 

"The evenings of my pleasant visit were 
varied by music. Suddenly Adelaide exclaimed, 
"You must hear Csesar sing." Accordingly 
the black Newfoundlander, of whose vocal pow- 
ers I had heard frequently, was led to the 
piano, and sat looking up gravely in Adelaide's 
face, who began to play an accompaniment. 


" Sing, Caesar, sing," she cried ; and, aided by 
her voice, Caesar certainly uttered sounds of 
more or less musical effect, somewhat mournful, 
it must be confessed, yet greatly to the pleasure 
of his affectionate friend, while Caesar took our 
applause with great dignity. The close of my 
visit was somewhat saddened by the death of 
poor old Rip, which took place in the afternoon 
on our return from Duxbury. Adelaide had 
loved him well for fourteen years, and mourned 
over him, though glad that his sufferings from 
that incurable disease, old age, were over. 
Adelaide superintended his burial in a quiet 
spot, which she will tenderly guard. The event 
was rather sad ; and, to show the uncertain- 
ties of life on a farm, one of Arvilla's favorite 
ducklings departed for duckling paradise, at 
the same time poor old Rip died. 

" My pleasant visit closing, I took leave of 
Adelaide, and was escorted home by Mr. 
Adrian Phillipps." 

In recalling the pleasant excursions we 
made together, a few days which Adelaide 
and I spent with Mr. and Mrs. Eben Dale, 
at their beautiful residence in Gloucester, 
Massachusetts, comes back with great 


interest. Mr. and Mrs. Dale had been 
for many years her true friends. Their 
brother, Mr. Theron Dale, has been al- 
ready named as one of the musical com- 
pany who met at Mme. Arnoult's house, 
when Adelaide was preparing for the lyric 
stage. At the time of our Gloucester visit, 
Mr. Theron Dale and his sister, Mrs. Swett, 
occupied the old homestead in the town, 
while his brother's mansion stood near 
the sea, where the waves broke upon a 
small beach below the cliff on which the 
house stood. We were most hospitably 
entertained at both houses, enjoyed de- 
lightful drives, and the evenings were 
filled with music. Mr. Theron Dale was 
a very musical man, sang well, and im- 
provised gracefully on the piano. He was 
much and generously interested in church 
music and all connected with the subject. 
Few are left who enjoyed those da3'^s 
together. The master of the house, his 
brother Theron, Mr. Turnbull, the son-in- 


law, his lovely daughter, then a little 
child, and now Adelaide, have passed be- 
hind the veil which is so thin and yet so 

Adelaide's generous interest in young 
people was often manifested among her 
neighbors. It was her custom to invite the 
young ladies of Diixbury in the summer 
to what she called " an orchard party." 
A table was placed under the trees, 
ornamented with flowers, and on it ar- 
ranged the delicacies of a five-o'clock 
tea; Adelaide, her sisters and the broth- 
ers, waiting upon the company. When 
the evening came all adjourned to the 
house, and finished the visit with music 
and dancing. A new hall having been 
built for the Marshfield Agricultural and 
Horticultural Society, the expense ex- 
ceeded, as is often the case, the calcula- 
tions for the enterprise; Miss Phillipps 
offered to give a concert in aid of the 
fund, and gathered about her a number 


of professional friends to aid in the con- 
cert. Her sister Matilde having returned 
home, was also enlisted. In order to make 
it more attractive, a scene from " Cinder- 
ella" was introduced, for which the 
young ladies of the " orchard-party " 
were trained as chorus, Matilde taking 
the part of Cinderella. When the time 
for the representation came the whole 
neighborhood turned out, many of the 
older Old Colony people never having 
heard a concert or an opera. The suc- 
cess was great, both artistically and 
financially. So grateful were the recipients 
of Miss Phillipps' generosity that the 
members of the Agricultural Society 
wished to give a concert in her honor. 
This offer she decidedly declined for 
herself, but finding that her refusal gave 
much disappointment, she consented that 
the tribute should be transferred to her 
sister Matilde, who was commencing 
her professional career. This was ac- 


cordingly done. About this time Mrs. 
Livermore made a Temperance address 
at the Agricultural Hall in Marshfield. 
Miss Phillipps went to hear the gifted 
speaker. The earnest, graphic address 
moved her very much. At the close she 
expressed her interest and sympathy. 
" Let me ask you," she said, " to go home 
with me — all my singers are at my house 
to-day arranging concerts for the next 
season. I ran away from work and them 
to hear you." Mrs. Livermore accepted 
the invitation, and enjoyed a concert of 
rare sweetness and beauty. " It must be 
our best," said Miss Phillips, "for the 
woman to whom we sing is not only 
' one of a thousand, but is more than a 
thousand.'" At the close she said, 
"Now, Mrs. Livermore, when I can 
serve you for this object with my voice, 
command me. There must surely be 
occasions on which I can do something to 
aid in this ' woman's temperance work.' " 


Mrs. Livermore promised to call on 
her when free from professional engage- 
ments, but the time never came. 

Among the friends of Miss Phillipps 
residing in the Old Colony were the 
Thaxter family, and Mr. John Quincy 
Thaxter had become her man of business. 
He was often a visitor at Marshfield, 
as an intimate friend of the family. 
On one occasion he was to spend a few 
days with them. The last evening of 
his visit closed with a gay tea-party, at 
which all seemed especially happy. As 
he rose from the table, he said, " do 
you know we are thirteen? I wonder 
which it will be." The answer soon 
came. The next day Mr. Thaxter 
went to Boston, and on his return a 
severe accident happened to the railroad 
car. He had stepped upon the platform 
as it neared Hingham, to greet in pass- 
ing two relatives, who always looked for 
him at that hour. He was thrown from the 


car and instantly killed. This was a very 
severe shock to all connected with him, 
especially to Miss Phillipps, whose ready 
sympathy for Mr. Thaxter's family, as 
well as her own loss of a true friend, was 
strongly felt. I remember the pathetic 
tones in which she related to me what 
had happened, and dwelt sorrowfully on 
her visit to his parents, whose grief she 
shared. " His mother asked me never to 
forget how he enjoyed my singing, and 
added, 'When you can will you sing 
something he loved, in the evening about 
the time he died ? ' " 

The loss of Mr. Thaxter was serious in 
several ways to Miss Phillipps, for, cut off 
in a moment as he was, some of her in- 
vestments were not entirely arranged; 
as usual, however, she had not much 
thought for herself. After this event 
Miss Phillipps placed her business affairs 
in the hands of Mr. Samuel S. Shaw, 
who remained a true guardian of all 


her interests to the close of her life, and 
whose sincere attention to her welfare and 
that of her family remains unbroken. 

From the description given of Miss 
Phillipps' home life, it will be clearly un- 
derstood how happy it was. Her interest 
in the farm and all the arrangements of 
her brother Alfred may perhaps be better 
told in a few letters written when away 
from Marshfield on professional tours. 
Mr. Alfred Phillipps was specially inter- 
ested in horticulture, and received very 
strong tributes from the horticultural 
societies of the Old Colony for his taste 
and skill in floral designs which orna- 
mented their annual agricultural and hor- 
ticultural fairs. From the following let- 
ters it is evident how her thoughts ever 
turned to Marshfield, — 

" Dear Alfred, — What is this pretty flower 
I send you ? It was in a basket given me last 
night. You ought to have some like it. We 
are very successful. Do not overwork yourself. 


Be sure and have the asparagus-bed attended 
to at once." 

In another letter, dated from Chicago, 
she writes, — 

" I hope all is going well with you. We are 
doing finely here. Please have plenty of melon 
seeds planted. Have you had the grafts of the 
black apple-trees attended to .' I hope so. Do 
not forget about the road. If they make it 
straight, and take away the curve round our 
house, I shall never feel like seeing Marshfield 
again. Let me hear about it. How are all the 
.flowers .'' 

" Your affectionate sister, 

" Adelaide." 

The following note testifies that Miss 
Phillipps' interest in young ladies was not 
confined to " orchard-parties " at Marsh- 

"Hotel Pelham, Boston, May i8, 1881. 
" Dear Alfred, — I intend giving a tea to 
the young ladies of our chorus, about twelve or 
fourteen. It is to come off after the matinee. 
Can you let me have some flowers ? I should 
like enough to make little bouquets, putting them 
together in the centre of the table in a mass ; 


when the young ladies leave, it can be taken 
apart, and each receive a bouquet ; so you under- 
stand they must be small. I shall want the bag 
of silver, and a table-cloth long enough for ten 
or twelve people. Emily will attend to that. Are 
you having any lobsters yet down with you .'' If 
so, I should like some, quite fresh. I think you 
and Edwin had better come up on Saturday, as 
I do not like trusting the silver to a stranger. 
Let me know if I can depend on you ; also about 
the lobsters. We give the ' Chimes of Nor- 
mandy ' at the matinee ; so I shall have tea at 
half-past five o'clock, as the young ladies sing 
again in the evening. I shall run down to 
Marshfield on Monday afternoon, and the archi- 
tect will come on Tuesday, so I hope the cellar 
is in good order. Love to Edwin and yourself. 
" From your 


Those who remember Miss Phillipps' 
charming representation that afternoon in 
the " Chimes of Normandy," and the ex- 
quisite duet between Mr. Karl and herself, 
could hardly have believed the heroine of 
that tender passage was " on hospitable 
thoughts intent." 


"Burnett House, Cincinnati, Dec. 30, i88i. 

" Dear Alfred, — I wish you all a happy 
New Year. Do you know you wrote me a very 
good letter ? I enjoyed it much. Write me 
again when you have time. I am so glad to 
hear about the services at the river. Miss 
Devereux has indeed done a good work. What 
did you do at Christmas ? Did any one dine 
with you ? Do you send flowers to Boston .' Be 
sure and remind Mr. Pierce of his promise to go 
down to Marshfield, and have the dining-room 
chimney made all right. I shall run down to 
Marshfield when I am singing in Boston, and 
make arrangements about the chimney-piece. 
We are doing a fine business here. We shall 
be in Pittsburg next week, then in Baltimore, 
then in Philadelphia two weeks. I wish you 
would ask Edwin to make me two trellises, 
rustic work. Miss Cowing is going to give me 
a honeysuckle, and I want one for that to put 
near the clematis ; it is such a mean thing the 
clematis is on now. 

" Love to all. 


The services at the river, mentioned in 
the preceding letter, were arranged for 
the benefit of a small fishing village 


called Green Harbor, in Marshfield. Miss 
Devereaux was principally instrumental in 
making this effort for the religious benefit 
of the place. Services were first held in 
a cottage, but Miss Devereaux's zeal en- 
listed others, and a small church has since 
been erected, which is now well attended. 
Even in Carlsbad, when fatal sickness 
was upon her, Marshfield was ever near 
her heart. In one of those revivals of 
physical strength, which often precede 
the close of life, Adelaide writes thus to 
Alfred, — the last letter the brother was 
ever to receive from her hand: — 

" KoNiGS Villa, Carlsbad, 

September 14, 1882. 

"Dear Alp red, — I am getting on quite 
well, and hope to return next summer. 

" Now I want you to prepare me a nice piece of 
land up near the house, which will be my vegeta- 
ble garden — Adelaide's garden. It must be large 
enough for a strawberry-bed. Please to plant 
plenty of melons, early vegetable, etc., etc. It 
must be near the barn, so that I can have the 
water turned there if necessary. Now do this 


for me, there's a good fellow. Prepare it this 
fall, and some time I will fence it in. Have 
you got those grapes planted yet, like Dr. 
Henry's ? I hope you are not troubling your- 
self about the fair ; it takes up too much of 
your time when you are attending to your 
greenhouse. Now be sure and get in your 
plants early; do not leave it late. Save the 
geraniums. The people here and all over Eu- 
rope are suffering from wet weather ; rain, rain, 
rain. I hope you will write me a nice Marsh- 
field letter, telling me all the news. Give my 
love to Emily. Love to all. 

" Yours affectionately, 


The "Emily" so frequently mentioned 
is a faithful domestic, who sometimes ac- 
companied Adelaide on her professional 
tours, but generally superintended the 
household at Marshfield. An invaluable 
friend is such a member of any family; 
true to their interests and devoted to their 
comfort in sickness or in health, and who 
in this instance has for twenty years shared 
their joys and their sorrows. Such a 


helper and friend the family possessed in 
"Emily," who remains to cheer those 
who, like herself, have met with an 
irreparable loss in their beloved Ade- 

In Miss Phillipps' domestic life, as well 
as among her friends, the charm of her 
magnetic presence came with light and 
warmth. I can even now seem to hear 
that light, firm step as she approaches 
the door of the favorite room where this 
tribute is written, raising gayly a peculiar 
note known to us both as heralding her 
approach, and her cordial response to the 
greeting, " Come rest your weary little 
feet at a friend's threshold." 

The home at Marshfield was the centre 
of Adelaide Phillipps' interests and affec- 
tions; to it she dedicated a large pro- 
portion of the results of her untiring efforts 
in her profession. Her devotion to her 
family has often been mentioned as "a 
burden "upon her; this idea she always 


resented. "What should I do it for if 
not for them? " she said, with feeling. 

The record of Adelaide's life shows 
how the filial and fraternal affections and 
duties were its leading motive. It is not 
to be supposed that with all her qualities 
and attractions she was not sought by 
those who would gladly have gained the 
prize of such a heart, and limited its affec- 
tions to what is called the nearest relation. 
But she resolutely turned from such sug- 
gestions. " While I am on the stage," 
she said, " I shall never marry. It was a 
determination I made early in my life, and 
I have seen no reason to regret it." 

To make her home all that she wished 
it to be for those she loved, as well as for 
the reception of her many friends, her 
expenditures may be said to have been 
lavish. She was never happier than when 
keeping open house in the summer; and 
those who availed themselves of her cor- 
dial invitations — and they were many — 


cannot but retain a grateful recollection 
of her hospitalities as a hostess. 

Among the enjoyments of Adelaide's life 
few were greater than her visits to the fam- 
ily of Judge Monell, at their charming res- 
idence at Fishkill-on-the-Hudson. Mrs. 
Monell in a letter recently received says : — 

"Mr. Monell and our daughter made Miss 
Phillipps' acquaintance during a journey to Cali- 
fornia, and on visiting us after her return she 
became at once a cherished guest and friend 
whose coming was hailed ever after as an occa- 
sion of rejoicing. She went with us one summer 
to Lake Placid, in the Adirondacks, where she 
seemed to assimilate with the sylvan spirit of 
the forests and lakes of that region, saying that 
she never found any atmosphere where her voice 
flowed with such ease and pleasure to herself as 
among those wild scenes of the primeval forest. 
She did not wish to sing in any public way at 
the- hotel, but one day she was discovered in the 
kitchen in the midst of the landlord's family and 
the guides, who were all in tears at her touching 
musical recital of 'Auld Robin Gray' for their 
especial benefit and enjoyment. 

" We had the pleasure of passing a few days 


at her home at Marshfield, and shall always 
remember the spirit and kindness of manner by 
which she enhanced our enjoyments there, our 
ride to the beach in the country wagon, and our 
picnic in a rustic house she had built on the 
shore, where she had a curious collection of 
china, of a marine and sailor-like description, 
kept for that especial purpose." 

In Mrs. Monell's letter she also alludes 
to what Adelaide called her "sentimental 
tea-set," many of her friends having con- 
tributed a cup and saucer to itj and I 
recall the almost childlike delight with 
which she received our donations to this 
peculiarly constituted " sentimental" col- 

There was as great a versatility of 
power in her private life as in her pro- 
fessional work. She threw herself into 
the experiences of her friends without any 
effort; we never felt she was trying to 
love or sympathize with us. In a visit 
from her, many years ago, after our return 
from Europe, where a great bereavement 


had befallen us, Adelaide's presence was a 
soothing one. At the time she was one 
of an opera company giving perform- 
ances every evening. The newspapers, 
and the reports of our friends, were full 
of her praises, especially in her gayest 
roles. From these she would come home, 
pleased to bring me the flowers that the 
audience had showered upon her, and 
change quietly from the playful character 
with which at that moment people were 
associating her, to the tender friend. 

An extract from a letter written by 
Miss Mary G. Monell touches upon the 
same quality in Adelaide's character: — 

" All her friends must have felt her deep and 
intense sympathy in the sorrows of others, and 
the quick and beautiful way in which she ex- 
pressed it. I remember once, in the earlier days 
of our friendship, the sudden death of a dear 
friend darkened my life. Adelaide was in Bos- 
ton, and seeing a notice of the death in the 
papers, started at once and came to us. With- 
out warning she walked quietly into my room. 


saying simply, 'My dear, I have come to help, 
if I can. Shall I stay ? ' Need I say she did 
stay, and then took me with her to Marsh- 
field, where her keen sympathy and constant 
care did more than all else to keep morbidness 

No morbid tendency belonged to her 
healthy nature. Times of depression 
indeed, came, owing to the circumstances 
in which she was placed at the moment, 
but she threw off despondency quickly. 
Notwithstanding the buoyancy of her 
spirits, and the energy she possessed, she 
had in her constitution a reluctance to ac- 
tion. After a few days of entire rest, she 
would say, as she gathered herself up to 
plunge into busy life again, " How lazy I 
should be if I had not been obliged to 
work ! " 

Mrs. Gordon L. Ford, at whose home 
in Brooklyn, N. Y., Adelaide was a wel- 
come guest, recognizes this element in 
her nature : — 


" I think her life alternated beween pe- 
riods of rest and effort, and she gathered 
strength for her severe labors by intervals 
of entire passivity. I have even heard 
her called indolent, but her energy far 
overbalanced any inborn tendency to 
lethargy, and was unceasing and untiring 
when anything remained to be done. She 
had strong social feeling and social talent, 
and made the joys and sorrows of her 
friends her ownj yet nothing could keep 
her from her engagements, and her work- 
ing career was characterized by patience, 
enthusiasm and conscience, which, added 
to her natural gifts, carried her to the top 
of her profession. It sometimes seemed 
to me that, as she combined many oppo- 
site traits of character, she must have had 
ancestors of various races, and different 
strains of blood must have met in her; 
for she had the firmness of purpose, per- 
sistenc}' of will, and strong sense of duty 
and affection that pervade the northern 


nations, and at the same time possessed 
the quick emotions and the versatile genius 
of the Latin races. The public knew and 
appreciated the artist; her friends loved 
and trusted the woman, who was essen- 
tially what the Italians call sifnpatica. 
Her voice showed this sympathetic qual- 
ity, and in its natural timbre melted the 
soul; for while she excelled in florid exe- 
cution, there was a deep undertone in it 
of strength, of humanity, which was the 
keynote of her character." 

The allusion Mrs. Ford makes to Ade- 
laide's social talents and tastes is verified 
by the experiences of all her friends. 
Had her lot been so cast, she would have 
been a brilliant " woman of society." As 
a raconteur she had a wonderful gift and 
much power of mimicry. To these qual- 
ities was added the ease with which she 
spoke several foreign languages. She 
never used her conversational powers to 
the disadvantage of others, passing deftly 


over the characters of those whose con- 
duct towards herself, personally or pro- 
fessionally, merited severe censure. 
Sincere in her friendships, forgiving to 
her detractors, generous almost to a fault 
towards any whom she could aid, her un- 
conscious rectitude bore her on through 
life, without its ever occurring to her that 
such a course was at all remarkable. 


While engaged in professional work 
with the Ideal Opera Company, during the 
winter of 1880, Miss Phillipps had a 
severe attack of illness in New York, at 
the house of Mrs. Reed. This kind 
friend's tender care doubtless prolonged 
her life. In consequence of her illness 
her brother, Dr. Frederic Phillipps, was 
summoned from San Francisco to attend 
her, but on arrival was so ill himself as to 
be unable to remain near her. His sister, 
urged doubtless by this fact, seemed to 
rally all the forces of her nature to meet 
the emergency. She soon left New York 
and came home to make arrangements for 
the comfort of her brother. Marshfield 
was too distant for her visits to him; she 
therefore took a furnished house, then 



vacant, belonging to her friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. J. Henry Sears, and removed her 
brother and some members' of the Marsh- 
field household to the pleasant mansion in 
Dorchester, associated in her mind with 
many recollections. Miss Phillipps made 
the acquaintance of Mr. Sears on one of 
her voyages, and from that time both Mr. 
and Mrs. Sears had been true and appre- 
ciative friends, w^hose home she often 
had shared in her many transits from 
one place to another. Dr. Phillipps 
had held for several years the appoint- 
ment of surgeon at the hospital at 
Aspinw^all, Panama; afterwards took the 
position of surgeon on board one of the 
great steamships plying between San 
Francisco, Japan and China. The fre- 
quent attacks of Panama fever, contracted 
at Aspinwall, undermined his constitution, 
and he came home fatally ill. His sister 
supplied every comfort. Matilde, Mr. and 
Mrs. Adrian Phillipps, together with the 


members of the family from Marshfield, 
were devoted nurses, Adelaide returning 
whenever it was possible to watch over him. 
At last the end came. His sister was on 
the stage when the telegram arrived, and 
was informed of the event as soon as the 
performance was over. The last service 
was held in the house at Dorchester, where 
many friends assembled. Adelaide showed 
me a beautiful wreath of white flowers 
sent by the "young ladies of the chorus." 
"You see, it is a broken one," said she. 
It was typical of the first break among the 
brothers and sisters, so long tenderly 
united. When all was over I said to 
her, "When do you return to your work?" 
"To-morrow," was her reply. "To-mor- 
row?" I said, looking at her sad counten- 
ance and deep mourning dress. "Yes, I 
must, and there is a great deal of help in 
that word, 'must.'" 

She resumed her place in the company 
under Miss Ober's direction, and continued 


her work for several months. It must 
have been near this period that her last 
visit to Fishkill-on-the-Hudson was made, 
so tenderly described by her friend, Miss 

"The last time Adelaide was with us 
her illness and the death of her brother, 
though happening some months before, 
made her very sad. Added to this were 
other anxieties, which made work a neces- 
sity, so that our long talks were tinged 
with sadness that seemed almost prophetic. 
She was reluctant to leave us, and as she 
stood in the hall waiting for the carriage, 
her tears fell fast on the head of a great 
dog she was very fond of, and who was 
her constant companion when she was 
here. She stood talking to him in her 
peculiar way, while he eyed her wistfully, 
and then she suddenly said, ' Oh, old fel- 
low, you understand it all, don't you; but 
you can't say it? Shall I sing it for you ? ' 
Taking him by the ear, she went to the 


piano, seated herself, with the dog stand- 
ing by her, and sang that beautiful Spanish 
'Lament' that all who knew her often 
heard her sing. Her voice welled forth 
and filled the house with its glorious rich- 
ness, expressing all the indefinite sadness 
we had felt so keenly, and something 
stronger and deeper, that now seems a 
foreshadowing of the long parting, for the 
' Lament ' was the last song she ever sang 
for me; and when it was finished she 
drove away through the sunlight, and 
never came back again. The picture of 
her as she sat at the piano, the deep feel- 
ing and sorrow shining in her eyes, and 
the great dog watching her with earnest, 
questioning looks, is so deeply fixed in my 
memory, it rises before me whenever I 
enter the room." 

A letter from my niece, Mrs. B. A. 
Gould, contains a few words which, 
although referring to an early period in 
Adelaide's life, seem to follow fittingly 


the tender memories of a later date con- 
tained in Miss Monell's letter: — 

Cordoba, S. A., November 29, 1882. 
I cannot tell you how much I have felt in 
seeing a day or two ago the announcement of 
the death of Adelaide Phillipps. It seems like 
a part of my own life and youth gone into ever- 
lasting silence. She is one of my earliest recol- 
lections, when at eight or nine years of age I went 
to see her at the old Museum. Then came the 
days when she began to sing in " Aladdin " and 
" Cinderella." Afterward we were taking les- 
sons of Mme. Arnoult together. Oh, how the 
old days rise up before me now ! The first time 
she was to sing at a concert in Boston I remem- 
ber the intense interest of Madame Arnoult in 
her dress, down to the rosettes on her slippers. 
There was a bunch of geraniums which had been 
made for me, and I think it was for that even- 
ing Mme. Arnoult asked for them to give the 
one touch needed to her white dress. She sang 
Fac ut partem admirably. In her long career 
since we have met at intervals, and always, I 
think, with a sense of sympathy. I was deeply 
pained to see that she is gone. How was it 
that she should lose her health in the very vigor 
of life .' Though I saw her so seldom the world 
seems poorer to me without her." 


The interest of Madame Arnoult in Ade- 
laide only ceased with her own life. That 
expression, so common, is a very inade- 
quate one, for we should look upon life 
and love as only entering into higher and 
purer realities and growing immortally 
truer and stronger. The lovely Claire 
Arnoult passed out of this world early in 
life, and her mother did not survive her 
many years. Her last bequest to Ade- 
laide was characteristic of that same 
thoughtfulness for her appearance as in 
the days of the " geraniums " — it was a 
very beautiful lace veil. 

In the winter of 1881 Adelaide was 
again attacked by illness. It was plain to 
see that " the sword was wearing out the 
sheath." Yet, after several weeks of suffer- 
ing, she rallied and returned to her work. 
I was with her the day on which she 
left Boston to join the company at Chicago. 
The power of will carried her far beyond 
her strength, and a sad foreboding was in 


the air as we parted. The foreboding was 
soon confirmed. She made a brave strug- 
gle to fulfil her engagements, but it was 
not to be, and the winter of 1882 she spent 
at the Tremont House in Boston, where 
she received every attention. Miss Cow- 
ing was her constant companion, and her 
family and friends were near. Adelaide 
frequently drove to see me, as, in conse- 
quence of a fall on the ice, I was unable 
to leave the house. She could stay, per- 
haps, only a few minutes, but would say as 
she did of the musical studies, " I must 
take you in at my eyes." Later in the 
season we were more together, and I took 
tea one evening with her at her rooms. 
She, indeed, was "given to hospitality." 
Although she put a cheerful courage on, 
yet the trial she had to bear was a hard 
one. The arrangement with Miss Ober 
was satisfactory, and every week she 
was losing pecuniary reward. She had 
undertaken to build a large addition to 


the house, and make expensive improve- 
ments at Marshfield, which added to her 
anxieties. The results of these changes, 
which included great conveniences for the 
family, and more ample accommodations 
for her friends, were anticipated by her 
with an interest that never flagged. 

Before she left town for New York, and 
from thence to return to Marshfield, Ade- 
laide and Matilde spent one evening with 
us. Although much changed outwardly 
by illness, Adelaide retained all her own 
depth of affection and magnetic fascination. 
Her descriptions of people and places 
were as vivid as ever, and her conversation 
never more brilliant. The evening had 
none of the sadness of a coming separa- 
tion: it was full of life and light. She 
spoke of the pleasure she anticipated of 
visiting us at our summer home among 
the mountains, and once more her beauti- 
ful voice thrilled through our library, 
which had so often been filled by its 


melody. It lifted us beyond the clouds 
that had seemed to obscure the present, 
and gave us a glimpse of that future of 
love and peace into which she w^as so 
soon to enter. 

On her return to Marshfield she found 
the additions to the house, and all the 
improvements she had planned, carried 
out. She spoke of many happy years to 
come, and visits from her friends — dreams 
which were pleasant, though not to be 
realized. Notwithstanding her extreme 
weakness and suffering, her indomitable 
spirit was not overcome; yet the fact that 
she might not recover was really seldom 
absent from her mind. Such fluctuations 
are not unfrequent. The human heart 
would sink indeed if it had not some 
moments in which earthly hope mingled 
with heavenly trust. One little anecdote 
of these last days at Marshfield gives us 
herself "fading in music." Arvilla being 
occupied in another room, Adelaide was 


left alone for some time. When her sis- 
ter hurried back and expressed her regret 
at being so long absent, the reply was, 
"Oh, do not be troubled; I have had such 
a nice sing all to myself, not loud enough 
to be heard, but a nice sing. I went over 
'Oh, rest in the Lord,' and something else, 
and I had such a quiet, pleasant time." 

A letter written in August is full 
of hope and of trust. As we read the 
words there is such teiiderness and pathos 
running through them that we are re- 
minded of "Bunyan's delightful dream," 
and of the "sure token" the messenger 
gave Christiana — " an arrow with a point 
sharpened by love, let easily into her 
heart, which by degrees wrought so effect- 
ually with her that at the appointed time 
she must be gone." 

Marshfield, July 14, 1882. 

Dear Mrs. Waterston, — I trust the air of 
Whitefield has done Mr. Waterston good, and 
that he has steadily improved. 


I am getting on slowly but surely ; but, oh 
dear, I have been very ill. I do not think they 
have told you how ill. They had to send for 
Dr. Wesselhoeft. He came on Friday, and re- 
turned and came again, staying over Sunday. I 
thought the end had come. I wished to live ; 
but I was able to say, " Thy will, not mine, be 

I have much to be thankful for, and I am 
thankful. I think, what shall I render unto the 
Lord for all his benefits to me ? 

I wish you could have seen the devotion of 
every one here, — such care, such nursing, and 
everything so pleasant around me. I am in my 
new room, and it has a charming view. Dear 
Alfred laid out flower-beds so that I could en- 
joy them at a distance. My bed was rolled each 
day close to the window so that I could see 
everything. Then the apple-trees were in bloom, 
one large tree looking right into my room. I 
cannot tell you how I enjoyed everything, though 
burning up with fever, and then so weak after- 
wards that I could do nothing for myself. I 
would exclaim continually. How lovely every- 
thing is ! how grateful I am ! I had felt sorry 
sometimes this winter that I had gone to the ex- 
pense of making changes in the house, as I was 
under such heavy expenses, and had lost the 


whole winter. But I am glad now when I see 
how comfortable everything is ; we have a real 
home. Some four weeks ago I felt rather dis- 
couraged that I did not get along as quickly as I 
hoped. Dr. Wesselhoeft wrote to Matilde very 
encouragingly, but said " everything disagreeable 
must be kept from her ; she must make every 
effort to cast off care ; in fact, she must be very, 
very good." Well, I try to follow his directions, 
but it is hard not to feel anxious. The losses 
three years ago and this winter have been very 
serious, just as I thought everything was getting 
easy for me, so that sometimes I am a little low- 
spirited, but it does not last long, for I think 
how ungrateful I am, and then I pray, and great 
peace and comfort comes to me. 

I have been obliged to come to a decision, 
and that is, it would be folly to think of singing 
next winter. I have sent word to Miss Ober, 
and I hope she may engage Matilde in my place, 
but I cannot help feeling anxious. When I am 
troubled it makes me ill, for I am not able to bear 
even any little troubles. You see what I mean, 
that I must get away at whatever cost. I must 
have some one with me. Arvilla has offered to 
go, but it is hard to separate her from Adrian. 
I am sure leading a quiet life I shall be ready 
for work next year. I shall try to sail in a 


French steamer, on the 9th of August, from 
New York, go to Paris, where I shall rest a few 
days, then to Gastien in Austria. I hope to pass 
the winter in Nice or Mentone. Thafis what I 
wish to do. I know I could not stand the win- 
ter here doing nothing. 

And now I have wearied you enough, but I 
wanted to tell you all. 

With much love, your 

Adelaide Phillipps. 

Under date of August 4th, 1882, I re- 
ceived her last letter: — 

Marshfield, August 4, 1882. 
Dear Mrs. Waterston, — I hope to sail on 
Wednesday, on the Amerique, French line. 
My passage is secured. Arvilla goes with me. 
I want to remain away a year, but it will depend 
upon what my expenses are ; at all events I can 
stay six months. I feel it is the only thing to 
do. I cannot bear anything, and am very easily 
put back. So although I am not strong the 
doctor agrees with me it is best to leave at 
once. Then I shall have a pleasanter passage 
than later. I propose leaving here on Tuesday, 
taking the night train to New York, resting a few 
hours, and sail at two o'clock p. m. I will let 
you hear from me on my arrival. I am going to 


Carlsbad first, as the waters are the thing for 
me to take. I trust Mr. Waterston is better. 
With love to both, I am, 

Yours ever, 

Adelaide Phillipps. 

The voyage seemed to recruit her 
strength. She always enjoyed the sea, 
and had made several voyages across the 
Atlantic merely for rest and recuperation 
after a fatiguing season. 

Dr. Eckart of Marshfield crossed the 
ocean and remained with them until they 
left Paris. 

After a few days rest Adelaide and Mrs. 
Adrian Phillipps reached Carlsbad, and 
took apartments at Konigs Villa, a -pension 
for invalids. The situation of the house 
pleased Adelaide, who was interested in 
the views from her room. One day, 
standing at the window looking at the 
mountain opposite, up whose side wound 
a pathway, she said to Arvilla, " I always 
think of Linda di Chamouni here, and 


seem to see Pierotto climbing up that 
path with his hurdy-gurdy on his back after 
leaving Linda." Adelaide took the waters, 
and was very much cheered by the hope 
of recovery, but the anxious sister watch- 
ing her saw there was very little real 
improvement, yet no change so serious as 
to authorize a telegram to be sent to 
America. A few weeks thus passed, 
until suddenly, on October 3, 1882, the 
change came, and Adelaide Phillipps was 
gone. The stab of the telegram struck 
many hearts, and some were pierced as 
with a sword. To many it was the loss 
of a great singer, to others the parting 
from a dear friend, with whom much of 
their life went quite away. The press 
teemed with notices of her gifts, and paid 
every tribute to her noble character. 

Meanwhile, alone in a far land, Mrs. 
Adrian Phillipps, who, as the young Ar- 
villa, cheered Adelaide in Italy and was 
with her in her first professional triumphs, 


now closed her eyes upon this world. 
Like a guardian angel she smoothed the 
bed of death until the greater angel re- 
ceived the spirit. Those who know what 
it is to meet bereavement in a foreign 
land can sympathize in the trial Mrs. 
Phillipps had to encounter. She was 
placed in a very painful position, having 
to make all the sad final arrangements for 
removing the remains to America. 

Friends, however, are always raised up 
in our dire need, God never leaving us 
without a witness of His care. Two 
gentlemen at that time residing at Carls- 
bad, Mr. Riley and Mr. Robert Johnson, 
recognized the difficulties Mrs. Phillipps 
had to encounter, came forward and as- 
sisted her through painful duties, and 
took the place of brothers. Such an 
opportunity of extending kindness does 
not often occur in life. Where it is so 
faithfully fulfilled the act carries its own 
reward, but the gratitude awakened is 


cordially acknowledged. Mr. Johnson 
attended Mrs. Phillipps on the sad 
journey to Bremen, from whence, after 
some delay of the ship, she finally sailed 
for America. And now Adelaide was 
again on the ocean: — 

" Calm on the seas, and silver sleep 

The waves that sway themselves to rest, 
And dead calm in that noble breast, 
Which heaves but with the heaving deep." 

At last the ship came to port and the 
voyage was over. 

The funeral services were held in King's 
Chapel, where the Rev. Mr. Foote pre- 
ceded the bier covered with flowers, 
uttering the uplifting words of the burial 
service. Solemn and appropriate music 
was heard, heartfelt prayers offered, 
the immortal words of the fifteenth chap- 
ter of I Corinthians read, and then Mr. 
Foote, returning to the desk, made a most 
tender and impressive address. Music 
again filled the chapel, and with the bene- 
diction the crowd dispersed. 


After the services were over, the casket, 
which contained all that had been mortal 
of Adelaide Phillipps, was carried to 
Marshfield, and once more she rested in 
the home she so much loved, surrounded 
by her brothers and sisters. Once more 
they met together. 

The next day the weary form was laid 
in the quiet " God's acre," at Marshfield, 
but the soul that animated it had risen 
upward and onward, where a new song 
was put into her lips. 



It was the wish of the Phillipps family that the 
services at their sister's funeral should be conducted 
by the Rev. Mr. Waterston ; as it was impossible for 
him to comply with their kind request, his friend, the 
Rev. H. W. Foote, pastor of King's Chapel, fulfilled 
the duty in the most tender and sympathetic manner. 
The following letter expresses the feeling awakened 
in his mind on the occasion : — 

Boston, February i8, 1883. 

My Dear Mrs. Waterston, — I am led by your 
preparation of the Memoir of Miss Phillipps to wish 
afresh that it had been in your power to be present 
at the funeral services, which were held in King's 
Chapel, so that you might have felt the atmosphere 
of sympathy and sorrow which pervaded the great 
throng to a very unusual degree. I have rarely seen 
an assembly so moved by a common feeling, or so 
evidently touched with a sense of personal loss. 
Every variety of social condition was represented 
there, and friends ranging from the closest kindred 
to those who only knew Miss Phillipps as one who 
has stirred their souls by her beautiful and noble gift. 



AH seemed to be there simply because they could 
not stay away from the last opportunity to show that 
they loved her. It was such a tribute of affection 
as it is given to few either to deserve or to win. 
Faithfully yours, 

Henry W. Foote. 


At midday on October 25, 1882, the last rites 
were observed at King's Chapel, which was thronged. 
Beautiful flowers, gifts from personal and profes- 
sional friends, profusely bestowed, were arranged 
with great taste in the chancel. The pure white and 
green so largely predominated that the decoration 
seemed modest and retiring. Preceding the bier 
strewed with blossoms, the Rev. Mr. Foote commenced 
the solemn service. On entering the desk he read 
the thirty-ninth and ninetieth psalms, with the alter- 
nate verses given as responses by the choir. After 
reading the regular church service, Mr. Foote spoke 
as follows : — 

" In this solemn presence we listen for a voice that 
on earth is forever still, and out of the silence do we 
not seem, my friends, to hear that voice bidding us 
' rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.' It is 
well that here in this city, so associated with her 
early and later life, — on this spot so close to that 
where her pure genius first rose shining as a star, — 
this great company of friends who knew and loved 


her should gather for this tender memorial rite ; and 
with them are many others of that wider company 
who knew and loved her in as true, though not in as 
close a way, to whom she had spoken through her 
divine gift, to comfort, to uplift, to console, — many 
of whom probably associate some of the purest, 
most uplifted moments of their lives with the tones 
that revealed to them the divine meaning that may 
be hidden in human hearts. It is well, I say, that 
we should pause, and look to God, and be grateful for 
what this life hath given. We do not here recount 
the triumphs of an art, whose triumphs at such an 
hour as this must turn to bitter ashes unless there is 
character behind them ; but we may well rejoice that 
art was interpreted to us by one who was pure, faith- 
ful, true, noble, and womanly. Her love for her art 
was of the highest sort, so that she became an inter- 
preter, for those who listened, of the divine secret in 
the centre of every human life, the purpose God has 
for every human soul. 

" Here was one who took God's gift as His own, 
reverently, and used it in that spirit, appreciating 
the great privilege of having this gift, through which 
to speak to other human hearts and help them on 
their way. Here is one who, though gone from us, 
leaves the world the eternal lesson of an upright and 
consecrated life. This is the simple truth, and be- 
cause it is so, I repeat the written words of one who 
knew her well, and who ought rather as her friend of 
many years to express in my stead, in the presence 


to-day, the emotion of this great company. 'The 
thought of her noble character rises before me. I 
think of her devotion, her self-sacrifice, always faith- 
ful and true. Her voice was a worthy expression of all 
that was good, giving utterance to the sacred words 
of truth and holy cheer. Do we not hear it even now 
as she receives a crown from the Lord's hands in the 
midst of heaven.' 

" As here we lay upon the bier the wreath of re- 
spect — of honor for one who has kept unstained the 
pure type of American womanhood, — the wreath of 
love and personal tenderness springing strongly and 
deeply from many hearts, we hearken for the key- 
note of her life ; and let her own words, written a few 
months ago in the confidence of friendship, speaking 
in the sacred privacy of this hushed and sorrowing 
assembly, reveal to us what that keynote was. ' I 
thought,' she says, ' the end was near. I wished to live, 
but was able to say " Thy will, not mine, be done." I 
am sometimes low-spirited, but it does not last long ; 
I think how ungrateful I am, and then I pray, and great 
peace and comfort come to me.' Great peace and 
comfort ! Oh, sorrowing friends, think not that in 
vain we wait here for that comfort and peace. This 
life ended, as it would seem, prematurely, and, as a 
broken harmony here below, is continued in the 
higher mansion, where the Great Composer can call 
forth at His will what note he pleases from the soul 
of His child. Though the divine harmony may die 
on earth it is only that the heavenly song may go on 
forever and forever." 


At the conclusion of his remarks prayer was again 
oflEered by Mr. Foote, and then Mrs. E. C. Fenderson 
sang Mendelssohn's " Oh, rest in the Lord." 

Afterwards the quartette, "Their sun shall no 
more go down " was sung by Mrs. West, Mrs. Butler, 
Mrs. Barry, and Mrs. Sawyer. 


[From the Marshfield Mail] 

MARSHFIELD, October 28, 1882. 

The remains of Adelaide Phillips arrived here last 
Wednesday afternoon, after the services at King's 
Chapel, Boston. The casket was tenderly conveyed 
to her late residence, amid the tears of regret of her 
Marshfield admirers and friends, to await the mor- 
row, when they pay the last tribute of love and re- 
spect to the great artist and kind friend of the Marsh- 
field people. 

Not since thirty years ago this same month have 
the sympathies of the residents of the old historic 
town of Marshfield been so awakened by the death 
of one of its citizens. An hour previous to the 
appointed time of service the friends assembled, 
filling all available space in the house, to mingle 
their tears with the tears of her immediate relatives. 


After impressive services, conducted by the Rev. 
E. Allen, of Marshfield, the remains were carried to 
the old Winslow burying-ground, and interred in a 
beautiful lot near the Webster monument. Thus has 
Marshfield paid its last tribute of respect, friendship, 
and love to one who will be missed from the circle of 
public and private life. And deep are the sympathies 
felt for the members of a household, who mourn the 
loss of a kind friend and a much-beloved sister. 

[From the Old Colony Memorial^ 

Oh, pleasant homestead in the dell. 
My heart goes out to thee, 

And seeks to lay upon thy hearth 
A stranger's sympathy. 

I mourn the links now rent in twain. 
By death's relentless hand ; 

Which makes a circle widely known, 
A broken-hearted band. 

Bend, larches, bend your lordly head 
And drop your leaflets sere, 

In sad and noiseless showers upon 
The solemn, lowly bier. 


Of one to ■whom the whole wide world 

Its choicest tribute pays 
With tears and sighs and heartfelt grief, 

And well-remembered lays. 

Ye maples, sheltering the panes 

Of that now hallowed room. 
Where our sweet singer lies at rest, 

Amidst earth's fragrant bloom. 

Reach out your arms and keep within. 

Stray echoes of some song. 
Which will repeat themselves to us, 

When life's strange days seem long. 

Lift her, ye bearers, tenderly. 

And move with reverend tread 
Through the worn gates that shut within 

The city of the dead. 

'Tis but an humble burial, 

Yet angels bend to see 
The tear-wet eyes, the pale, bared brows. 

And sob of sympathy. 

Room, Mother Earth, make room for her, 

Whose short fair reign is o'er, 
We who go with her to the end. 

Must leave her at thy door. 


The golden gates are just ajar, 

The veil between how thin ; 
But we can only stand without, 

And watch her pass within. 

God's ways are just ; our voices raise, 

A Jubilate sweet. 
For one who sits as Mary sat. 

Close at the Master's feet. 

At rest in heaven ! Oh precious boon. 

To each and all the same ; 
God gave, God took, God will restore. 

Thrice blessed be His name. 

Marie Oliver. 
October 26, i382. 


The death of Miss Phillipps is the first that has 
occurred among the principals of the Boston Ideal 
Opera Company since it was formed. The following 
letter has been forwarded to her family : — 

"Boston, Mass., Oct. Si 1882. 
To the members of the family of the late 
Adelaide Phillipps : 

'' In the sudden and grievous loss which you have 
sustained in the death of your sister Adelaide, we, 
as members of the company of which she was one, 


desire to express our sincere sympathy with you, 
and the keen sense of our own sorrow, at this, the 
first irrevocable break of our original members. 
By what she was, in her dignified, generous, genial, 
and inspiring presence, her ever-ready aid, her 
never-waning enthusiasm for her profession, her ex- 
alted standard of art, her vital dramatic power, and 
her glorious voice — by all these fine qualities, 
blended with a pure, sympathetic and womanly spirit, 
which shone so brightly in friendly intercourse and 
daily association, we can estimate what she was to 
you in the closer and dearer family relations, and 
appreciate what an incalculable loss is that which 
you have sustained. 

With repeated expressions of heartfelt sympathy 
in your affliction, we are. 

Yours sincerely, 

E. H. Ober. Marie Stone. 

W. H. MacDonald. M. W. Whitney. 

Tom Karl. George Frothingham. 

Mary Beebe. Geraldine Ulmar. 


Jesse Burton. S. L. Studley." 

The following extracts are made from the tributes 
to Miss Phillipps which appeared in the newspapers 
of the day. They contained accounts of her profes- 
sional career, many of which are given in the fore- 
going pages, and are therefore omitted here : — 


[Prom the Brooklyn Eagle^ 

..." She died early, for she was under fifty years 
of age, the time of life called by Victor Hugo ' the 
youth of old age,' and in the fulness of a noble 
fame. For a quarter of a century she has delighted 
audiences in the concert-room and opera. She was 
a woman whose public success was a gratification to 
her, but her life-work was not confined to her public 
career, and the motive behind her was not self- 
advancement. . . . This spirit which characterized 
her influenced every audience that she appeared be- 
fore, and the welcome accorded Miss Phillipps was 
something more than applause — it was honest 
friendship for the woman." 

\_Prom the Boston Home Journal^ 

"The death of Miss Phillipps has caused wide- 
spread grief. For many a year a whole people have 
learned to look upon her as exclusively their own. 
Her fame was created by a life-work as varied as it 
was brilliant, and it was conspicuous as the life of a 
pure and noble woman. 

She was a great vocalist, and she could not have 
been this without ample and well directed culture of 
mind. Listening to her rendering of oratorio music, 
we were always impressed by the spirit which lived 
in every sentence she uttered, for she was above vir- 
tuosity, and her conception of art became clear and 
elevated to the highest degree." 


[Prom the Boston Daily Advertiser^ 

..." The lyric stage loses one of its most bril- 
liant luminaries by the death of Miss Phillipps. As 
a contralto singer she ranked among the first. As an 
oratorio singer she had few rivals in England or this 
country. Although she has been before the public 
for well nigh a quarter of a century, her voice re- 
tained to a remarkable degree its original strength 
and purity, and her artistic powers up to the last 
showed no trace of abatement." 

\From the Boston Evening Transcripti\ 

..." Adelaide Phillipps' career was not unlike 
that of many other dramatic artists. But there was 
so much in it that was a source of pride to those 
who knew her, and, more than all, it included many 
incidents that were at once examples and encourage- 
ment to others in the profession. . . . The news 
of her death will be received by thousands of people 
who knew her only on the stage with a feeling akin 
to that one experiences in learning the death of a 
personal friend. . . . She fought the battle of life 
nobly, and all her triumphs were won without a stain 
on her womanly reputation. Though not born in 
America, we still can claim her as one who repre- 
sented in her career the best elements of independ- 
ence and self-reliance, which are the genuine char- 
acteristics of the women of America." 


[From the Boston CommoKwealtA.'] 

..." In the sweet and wholesome career of this 
distinguished woman there is much to encourage all 
young singers who are ambitious to attain the summit 
of artistic heights. Her private life was as pure and 
blameless as her works were grand and ennobling. 
Her steady industry, high aspirations, devotion to 
duty, and her unselfish efforts in behalf of struggling 
brother and sister professionals — all attributes of a 
noble nature — will be long remembered by all who 
came within the sweet magnetism of her presence. 
Although her song is forever stilled, its echoes will 
long remain in the hearts of humanity." 


Many letters have been received while this record 
was in preparation. Indeed the expressions quoted 
from a few only embody the feeling manifested by 

Among the letters from her friends in New York, 
are those from Mrs. Dr. Doremus, Mrs. Clarence 
Seward, and Mrs. Minna Godwin Goddard, in whose 
homes Adelaide was often a welcome guest. A few 
words from Mrs. Goddard combine the thoughts of 
those who loved her : " Adelaide came to us last 
May, very weak from recent illness, but always 


charming, and so constantly interested in others, and 
fearful of giving trouble, that it was a pleasure to 
care for her, and delightful to have her in the house. 
We were more than ever impressed during this visit 
with the generosity and truth of her character. Her 
death is a great bereavement to us, and we cannot 
yet realize how it can be that we shall see her no 

From Mrs. Ford : " It grieves one to think of that 
noble voice silent, and that loving heart no longer 
beating its steady rhythms of devotion and con- 
stancy. Yet her memory is very sweet to me, and I 
am comforted to believe that she was loved while on 
earth and mourned now that she has passed on. 
She was taken away before infirmity changed her or 
time had enfeebled her powers. Indeed, her life 
and death seem fortunate to me, for though she had 
much to contend with, and many disappointments, 
she conquered circumstances and won many tri- 

From Miss Monell : " As I think of Adelaide and 
her exquisite sense of duty, her justice and sweet 
patience, her tender womanliness, and unwavering 
loyalty, I wonder if there ever was a lovelier soul on 
earth, or one more fitted for heaven." 

The record of the public and private life of 
Adelaide Phillipps cannot be closed more impres- 
sively than by repeating these words of T. W. 
Parsons : — 



" Lift me, Lord Jesus, for the time is nigh. 
When I must climb unto thy cross at last. 
The world fades out, its lengthening shadows fly ; 
Earth's pomp is passing, and the music's past ! 
Phantoms flock round me, multiplying fast ; 
Nothing seems tangible; the good I thought 
Most permanent hath perished. Come away, 
Oh sated spirit, from the vacant scene. 
The curtain drops upon the spun-out play ; 
The benches are deserted. Let us go. 
Forget the foolish clown, the King, the Queen, 
The idle story with its love and woe : 
I seem to stand before a minster screen. 
And hear faint organs in the distance blow."