A powerful and lively teacher, Professor of Astronomy Maria Mitchell seldom engaged in public speaking.  An exception was her "maiden lecture" before the Chapter Delta of Philaletheis.  Ellen Swallow '70 was pleased to be invited to the event.  "She was rather timid," she wrote to her family, "and would not allow any of the faculty admitted, but it was charming to hear her talk of the people she had met when in Europe, and she need not have feared....  She stipulated that she should sit at a table and she gave us sometimes her notes taken at different times, and sometimes she spoke her thoughts.  We all came away more proud of her than before, if that was possible.  She spoke of Caroline Herschel who aided her brother so much in his discoveries and Mrs. [Mary] Somerville, whom she had the pleasure of visiting when about eighty years old, and who 'came tripping into the room' to meet her...  She urged us to do our work well and faithfully.  She said that living a little apart as she did, she could see our advantages better than we could."     Georgia Kendrick, "The Early Days of Vassar, Series II," The Vassar Miscellany, February 1, 1899