hour of penitence at the boarding-school, such as has oftentimes wrapped court and camp in a destructive glow.
Letters written to the beloved teacher, who so wisely befriended Margaret in her trial-hour, will best show how this high-spirited girl sought to enlarge and harmonize her powers.
Cambridge, July 11, 1825.-Having excused myself from accompanying my honored father to church, which I always do in the afternoon, when possible, I devote to you the hours which Ariosto and Helvetius ask of my eyes,—as, lying on my writing-desk, they put me in mind that they must return this week to their owner.
You keep me to my promise of giving you some sketch of my pursuits.
I rise a little before five, walk an hour, and then practise on the piano, till seven, when we breakfast.
Next I read French,—Sismondi's Literature of the South of Europe,— till eight, then two or three lectures in Brown's Philosophy.
About halfpast nine I go to Mr. Perkins's school and stud<
as natural eras, unexpected and thrice dear.
Thus I have appreciated, but not been able to feel, Michel Angelo as a poet.
It is a singular fact in my mental history, that, while I understand the principles and construction of language much better than formerly, I cannot read so well les langues meridionales. I suppose it is that I am less meridionale myself.
I understand the genius of the north better than I did.
Dante, Petrarca, Tasso, were her friends among the old poets,—for to Ariosto she assigned a far lower place, —Alfieri and Manzoni, among the new. But what was of still more import to her education, she had read German books, and, for the three years before I knew her almost exclusively,—Lessing, Schiller, Richter, Tieck, Novalis, and, above all, Goethe.
It was very obvious, at the first intercourse with her, though her rich and busy mind never reproduced undigested reading, that the last writer,—food or poison,—the most powerful of all mental reagents,—the piv