Helena Stuart Dudley to Jane Addams, April 30, 1902


Assisi, Italy, April 3, 1902.

My dear Miss Addams:

It pleased Miss Scudder & me to have your book come & that we could read it in St. Francis' country. I haven't read it all yet but I do like it very much what I have read and am so glad you have done it. You have such a convincing power of illustration and such a judicial, non-partisan tone that you can say quite fresh and "shocking" things without frightening people. You are [page 2] certainly a most persuasive lady! I am sure even the agents of the [Associated] Charities will feel the truth of all you say about our methods of Charity. Oh, it is so true and we are in such false relations often [even] at the Settlement with our poor neighbors. I am a good deal of a coward and when I can't give the material help that I see is needed I have a way of staying away [page 3] altogether, for friendly counsel seems a good deal of a mockery!

I was so very sorry not to be at home when you were in Boston.  I heard how [freely?] you spoke. They all enjoyed having you there so much.

I love Assisi and the whole atmosphere of the place--[although] St Francis would not have approved of course, of the great church--but it is most beautiful! The country is exquisite in its Spring dress-- Alas the people are very poor and have [page 4] very little work and one must give to the beggars [though] it does not help very much!

I am feeling so much better--more vigorous and interested in life and I hope I may have rather more energy for action when I come back to work. You keep on just the same whether you are tired or not but the rest of us don't do it! Please don't keep pushing too hard and get all used up for you are very necessary to give us courage and [page 5] inspiration and to keep us from falling into conventional "philanthropy"! I pray to be delivered from it!

You are always dear to me and give me fresh hope to try again. I hope it will not be so long again before I see you, but if I do not I know that you are yourself-–and helping many many people to live closer to their ideals.

With love as ever to you
Yours faithfully,
Helena S. Dudley

[page 6]

My love to Miss Starr and greetings to any friends I may know at Hull House.

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