Diary Kept By Evelyn Kelly
From October 18th 1908 to February 14th 1912
Oct. 18, 1908
Tonight we had tea in the common room for the first time, and it was truly delightful, it seemed so homey. I like it here next best to home.
Last Friday night was the “Bob”(25) and I had a most enjoyable time at it. Afterwards there was a reception from for us in Alumni Hall, but I had rather a slow time until Gordon and Mr. Clemens came up and talked to us. The week before there was the Y.W. and Y.M.C.A. Reception, which was fine; and next Friday is the Union Lit. Reception.
To-day Miss Addison asked me with a number of other girls to drink tea with her after dinner. It was very enjoyable in her pretty room, and to add to the effect she lighted the fire in her grate, although we didn’t need it for warmth.
They had a paper chase yesterday, but I didn’t go as I was afraid I couldn’t stand the distance.
Fritz was to call on us last Sunday night and we expect Will Marrs tonight. Joe Watson told me her brother didn’t like lap teas, as he calls what we had tonight. But it’s time to go to church now.
Nov. 14th 
I suppose I ought to write something on my birthday, but really it doesn’t seem a all different from any other days, only I had a very good time today as I went to the rugby match between Queen’s and Varsity with Eldridge [Moshier].
We had our Reception last night and it was a success, even if the Sophs did get our programmes and carnations. I have met quite a number of decent chaps in our year. Fred Hetherington(26) is very cool, he is rather different from Eldridge. He has no reason to take it upon himself to give me a good time, yet he does it.
I had a letter from Fred today. He was going to tell me something, and then didn’t. He makes me feel badly, for some unknown reason.
Jan. 10th 
It’s bed time but I just wanted to write a little about the holidays.
We had a bunch up, but Margaret and Fred couldn’t come, at which I was much disappointed.
John is still undecided about the question of dancing. I scarcely know what to say, though of one thing I’m sure, I won’t back down on what I have previously said.
He sent me a book Christmas “The Web of Time”(27) and I was very much surprised. However, I don’t think John cares very much about me, and I don’t want him to, only he acted rather strange sometimes. I mustn’t forget, in my will I’m to leave him a photo and my Bible.
Jan. 16th 
Another enjoyable day has gone. This morning I got up rather late, worked, then went with Noble(28) to a lecture on Leonardo di Vinci. It was fine; he was such a wonderfully versatile man. Then we went down town to the “Teapot Inn,” where we had toast, crumpets, Sally Lunn’s and coffee. It was dandy. They brought a pot of coffee, and I had to pour it out. But if I do go to the lecture with him next week, I won’t go down again. I’m not going to squeeze him dry. Then we came home, and while Ora went to dinner, I worked. After she came home we went over to Aunt Em’s to see them for the last time for a while. Poor mother will fell so badly to think she didn’t see her again. When we came home Ora made tea. and Joe, Irene, Ora and I had bread and butter, tea and citron, and a talk. I worked then until Annie came in from Annesley, [Hall] where they had a social evening, and we talked about Emily.
I am so happy, I feel sad. Isn’t that crazy. I wonder if when I get old people will cease to care for me. If they do I’ll have a happy youth on which to look back. I don’t know if I’m being any use here, but I’m certainly happy, to be loved as daddy and mammy and so many others love me. How lonesome they must be at home.
Johann wants one year’s edition of my diary, as a bequest to him. I think it’s too personal. There might be one man I should want to read it, before I die, but I don’t know about after I’m dead. I can’t imagine myself dead. I was never so bright and happy before, but yet when I go home I’m snappy and horrid. I must be decent.
It’s time for bed, but I wish I knew somebody.
Noble told me when I was pouring out the coffee it would be good practice for the first week, when I was a minister’s wife. I told him when I got there he could come and see me. But wouldn’t it be funny it it did turn out that way. But I don’t think it will. I’m not slushy, just waiting, and trying to grow decent.
Jan. 24th 
I’m quite disgusted with girls. I was going with Annie to the Glee Club Concert and now she’s promised to go with a man. And I refused last night to go with one, but I’m not sorry. I don’t believe in always going when one has the chance.
Noble was up last night in all his glory. He jarred me a little at the last, when he told me the bonbons were only Huyler’s. It sounded too much like a blow. And today he sent me a note concerning them thinking the boys had doctored them and incidentally asked if he’d forgotten to erase the price mark. I let him know the price didn’t matter to me, for I said I hadn’t looked.
It was funny last night, we both happened to strike the same church. I went there so I’d get out early and it was nearly nine when I got out.
He seems to have an impression that we are very popular around here. Don’t know how he got it. Guess he and Stan Laird were talking about me Saturday night, and Stanley remarked that I like to have a joke on a fellow.
Today Marion told me that Susie said she always wanted to laugh at my mouth, that it was so small and always in a knot, that if she were a boy she’d know what she’d want to do. What a pity Susie isn’t a boy.
Feb. 8th. 
It’s wicked to take this good time from my work, I know, but I want my mother, and my own house tonight. Mrs. S acts nasty about letting Margaret stay all night tomorrow night. And then too I want somebody to straighten out some matters. All the troubles I do have. It’s enough to make my hair turn gray. And Johann hasn’t written either. I’m a much abused mortal.
Feb. 23rd. 
I’ll waste about a quarter of an hour of precious time.
To begin with, last Sunday was a full day. Ora, Fritz, Fred and I went down to Mrs. Morrison’s in the afternoon, for a walk. Fred, on our way home, asked me if I though he ought to be a minister. He said Uncle Charlie Jeffries had been at him again. I never thought of him as a minister.
Susie and I went to Hazel Reid’s for tea, and enjoyed ourselves very much. When I got home, Noble was here. We had a very enjoyable time, at least, I did. We straightened out all the ruffles about Miss Smith and am certainly glad he believes me. He sent me the prettiest valentine, its a perfect beauty. He does get himself into such boxes, I have to laugh. And I just love to see him blush. He said he hadn’t been giving me a good time. When I said I didn’t see any reason why he should, he said he wanted to because he liked me.
Irene was just telling me that today when she went in the Ladies’ Study she heard Edna Stenton(29), Margaret Topping and presumably Miss Smith talking. Miss Smith said “Well, what do you think of a girl who cuts out her best friend like that?” “Well, when you consider that the girl who does it is cute.” Irene thought they were talking of me, I’m sure I didn’t intend to cut her out, in fact I didn’t know, until this affair, that they were friends at all. She told Noble that I didn’t play the Good Samaritan, that I passed her by without speaking. So this morning, when I met her, I gave her a very breezy good-morning. But if I choose to have him, and he cares to be, she won’t stop me having him for my friend.
Mar. 20 
It’s getting uncomfortably near exam time, and in consequence I’m feeling uncomfortable too.
Ora and I were over at Mr. Dale’s last night and had a most enjoyable time.
Last Sunday Hazel and mother were here. At night Fritz and Fred came over and we all went to church. Noble(30) came over after church to see mother.
Wednesday I got a note asking me to go to a play by the Dickens’ Fellowship Players [of Toronto.] I didn’t know whether or not to go, and therefore went and asked Miss Addison about it, and what she said made me decide not to go. But oh dear! I wish he would ask me to go some place I can go. I always seem to be disagreeing with him. Two weeks ago he was over and I lectured him about smoking. He will think me a prig. I get so tired of always going the opposite way. It is rather hard trying to do what seems right, and a conscience is an unpleasant possession. Yet I know I wouldn’t be otherwise.
I guess I have the blues. I wish I could work, but I can’t . Guess I’ll try though.
May 31 
“The world must return some day to the word duty, and be done with the word reward.”
“I believe in an ultimate decency of things: aye, and if I wake in hell should still believe it.”
Vailima Letters. R. L. Stevenson
Nov. 1890-Oct. 1894 - addressed to Sidney Colvin.(31)
Dec. 9, 1909
I ought to be working on an essay, but I’m not. I’ve just been re-reading my old book, and it seems almost the work of another girl. How bombastic and youthful the language seems. Yes, though I don’t appear so sometimes, I guess I am getting grown up. In a way I’m younger. I look at life from a different point of view. I’m gayer. But perhaps that is due to the fact that I no longer worry over religion. It’s now a settled fact with me. And the process by which this feeling has come seems hardly discernible. It is slow growth. It seems so strange to look back and see one’s self grow.
Marion, Susie, Winnifred, Kathleen and I are going to entertain tomorrow night. We ought to be getting ready for a German examination.
I’m still young enough to wish I wish that Noble comes over Sunday night. I feel so much older since the trouble about Art(32) and Ora. I have had to do some thinking.
Nov. 3, 1910
Nov. 6, 1910
I was going to write and read tonight, but Mae came in, so I have done neither. I have had a bad fit of blues tonight I don’t know what to do. I wonder if it is very much my fault. I wonder if he’ll be a man. Am I foolishly sensitive to grieve at that hurt look? But this seems foolish. I can think things but I can’t put them down here. So I guess I’ll not write down anything but the happy things.
In a little over a week I’ll be twenty-one. How big that looks. Before Wednesday I’d have said how young I feel. But I feel older now. I feel touched in a raw spot.
Jan. 12, 1911
When M. told me I laughed at her, and was disgusted. How differently one looks at things when they are one’s own experience. The reason I write, is that I may know in future the steps by which I have reached the result.
To try to settle at twenty one what one is to do at twenty-five is folly. Sometimes I am sure of myself, sometimes distrustful. There are three courses. There is the cold, lonely, unlovely course; there is the Lady Bountiful course; there is the E.B. Browning life; The first is the Reformation influence, the last is the Renaissance; the second is the early Miltonic spirit, and consequently the most rational. I am something like Romeo in the first part of R & J before he really loved, when he could still speculate about love. I have my feelings so classified that they are ceasing to be real feelings.
One night before Christmas I felt I should not marry, that my place was on the prairies. For a few days I went around feeling like a martyr. Then mother said that was not what the verse meant, and part of my halo left me. I am still wearing some of it in my imagination, but I do not like the position. The halo is uncomfortable. When I am with him, I am attracted I always did admire brains, rather to much in fact, instead of the power to use them. But I know he will become a grand man if he directs his energies that way. But I don’t know whether I’ll even care, or where I’ll be able to. I seem to be stoney ?? lately. Oh, I am most detestable. I am so puffed up and conceited, but people go on letting me be so, instead of properly humbling me.
A true man will work and wait to attain his ideal, and if he never attains it, he will be glad he has tried. I wonder if I would stand the test.
Jan. 28, 1912
I might as well make an entry tonight. Even though I had promised myself to be in bed by this time. It’s funny to note the first year’s entries. Noble’s name appears on nearly every page. And here’s not much about last year’s difficulties nor this year’s problems. My mother’s reasoning in a way seems just - and yet. I can’t help feeling that my confidence is not misplaced. A week ago I did feel that our atmospheres were different, but I can’t seem to believe it. And how can I stop until I know? Have they a right to insist? How can I know, when only time will tell? If only my hands were free!
I hate people. They are so little and mean, and I’m just like all the rest. And yet they are so kind and good too.
I’m pretty well decided on Y.W. work. A few weeks ago, had it not been for what dad said, I think I should have signed the volunteer card. Next year depends largely on him, whether I work or go to a training centre.
Lina says this world is hateful, that the times are cruel. I smiled and said that things did seem hard. It’s largely other people’s fault. They had no business to tease me so much. A young girl as a rule is very impressionable and cares a great deal for looks. I suppose it’s small, but that always did make a difference.
I’ve sometimes thought that if I should die, I’d want to leave something to the folk to let them know how glad I am that they ever gave me a chance to [be] me. I think sometime I’ll make a will.
Feb. 14. 
St. Valentine’s. Our men gave us a sleigh ride and a party in the men’s rooms. Not very many turned out. MacAlister is a clever fellow; Evans a grown up school boy,(33) but good to spar with. I hate men whose brains are slow. I tried A.R. Johnston(34) tonight but he couldn’t see my points. I know why I don’t like those men: they don’t appreciate my wit. Member of the Jockey Club and his nice hum! hum. Mrs Raff(35) was talking to me tonight. She says she thinks some of us were brought up about this--------------wide. But there is a medium. What is it? She told me about her husband. He died in three years of consumption. When first they were married he wanted her to go driving one Sunday but she refused. They always had to go to church twice and Sunday school. But he needed the out of doors. I wonder!
I guess now she wishes she’d gone with him. But how to know what to do. How much to give way to those we love. When are we narrow and when not?
She asked me about E.W. She saw us coming home Saturday night. She asked me what his mind was like. I said he was clever but wouldn’t work, that he did other things but trifled at college. I wonder, I don’t really know whether he works or not, but he must do some else he could not talk as e does. He is good and honourable in my eyes and I think I know him well, and I have boundless confidence in his ability. Mrs. Raff said what a woman was for was to inspire a man. How different from what I have been thinking - that a man ought to be inspired by something within himself first. And yet really, according to the story God made woman for man’s mate. Is not mutual helpfulness really a saner view , a more practical one than Queen of Beauty Prize one? She says Puritanism has killed many things.
A year ago last fall I realised how many courses there might be for me, and I chose the roughest one. Why? I wonder now. A few months ago I had my mind made up to be a foreign missionary. But dad changed that. Now I am émballé. I am most wretched when I think of myself which I do most of the time. A very bad habit I’ve got into. Why can’t I be content with the present? The world’s all wrong; religion’s all wrong; I’m all wrong. I guess this is my metaphysical period as Carlyle says, and I hope that the recognition of my illness will bring about a cure. I never felt before what change of opinions meant. First it means pain. Last year I imagined that I’d leave college as rigid in some matters as I was when I came in. But I can’t now.
I sometimes seem to live two lives, the one the natural continuation of my bringing up; the other my educated changing self. The attempt to coalesce these two is what hurts so much. How do I know I am not weakly giving way to desire? And yet, what is a woman for? But because one desires a thing , is it necessarily right? If the thing in itself is good? If it is the highest good. But what is the highest good for a woman? Wait!
I had a letter from my mother to-day. How dearly she loves me. And how I am paining her. Am I wrong? Who is to blame? Anybody or circumstances. Somebody must have sinned. But it wasn’t so in the Bible. Is it always in life? Science teaches that a cause must have an effect.
Goodnight good night,
Parting is such sweet sorrow
What I could say tonight until tomorrow.
Diary ends here.
25. The “Bob” - “Victoria College’s 126-year-old satirical revue.” An annual ritual named after the Victoria janitor Robert Beare, the “Bob” has gone through many forms and still exists as an annual Review, though separated from all “Initiations” for many years.
26. Fred [Fritz] Hetherington (’11), carried two Honour Courses (Classics and Moderns for his first two years. “His other activities include assiduous attendance at receptions and the rink, and iconoclastic effusions at the “Lit.”
27. The Web of Time, a novel by Robert E. Knowles. New York; Toronto : F.H. Revell, c1908.
29. Edna Grace Stenton (‘13.)
30. Noble Carman Sharpe, a friend. B.A. Victoria, 1909, M.B. 1911, Staff; 9th Horse, Tpr. C.A.M.C. Later an Army Captain. Stationed at No. 4 General Hospital, Salonkia, Oct, 1915; Basingstoke, Sept. 1917, Major, Jan. 1918.
31. Complete title: Valima letters; being correspondence addressed by Robert Louis Stevenson to Sidney Colvin, November, 1890-October, 1894. London, Methuen & co., 1895.
32. Dr. Art (Arthur) Ritchie, M.D. Marries Ora Kelly on Jan. 1, 1914. Later serves in France as Captain in the Canadian Light Horse.
33. Possibly refers to William Watson Evans (‘12): “Favoured by a splendid physique and a commanding personality... His popularity as debater, orator and litterateur have won a burdensome number of distinctions, including the Senior Stick.” (Senior Stick - A Victoria College ritual, begun in 1870, whereby a cane or stick [may have originally been a bedpost] was transferred each spring to a Junior deemed worthy enough by classmates to receive it.)
34. Arthur Roy Johnston (’12) who “spent some time on the circuits of Shedden and Port Stanley before entering the general course in Vic,” and whose “unfailing optimism and sterling qualities will make him a power for good.”
35. Mrs. Emma Scott-Raff, on staff at Victoria College.