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ich brought her near to all people. I am to say that she had also a strong temperament, which is that counter force which makes individuality, by driving all the powers in the direction of the ruling thought or feeling, and, when it is allowed full sway, isolating them. These two tendencies were always invading each other, and now one and now the other carried the day. This alternation perplexes the biographer, as it did the observer. We contradict on the second page what we affirm on the first: and I remember how often I was compelled to correct my impressions of her character when living; for after I had settled it once for all that she wanted this or that perception, at our next interview she would say with emphasis the very word. I think, in her case, there was something abnormal in those obscure habits and necessities which we denote by the word Temperament. In the first days of our acquaintance, I felt her to be a foreigner,—that, with her, one would always be sensible of
appreciate him at once. But when used to the gentler stimuli, we like them best, and we also would live awhile in the atmosphere of music and mirth, content if we have bread for today, and hope for to-morrow. There are fine lines in his Cinq Mai; the sentiment is as grand as Manzoni's, though not sustained by the same majestic sweep of diction, as,— Ce rocher repousse l'esperance, L'Aigle n'est plus dans le secret des dieux, II fatiguait la victoire á le suivre, Elle était lasse: il nhat requires the most refined, the most exalted tenderness, without charms to inspire it:—poor Mignon! fear not the transition through death; no penal fires can have in store worse torments than thou art familiar with already. In the month of May, she writes:— When all things are blossoming, it seems so strange not to blossom too; that the quick thought within cannot remould its tenement. Man is the slowest aloes, and I am such a shabby plant, of such coarse tissue. I hate not to be
in the winter of 1835-6, in which Miss Martineau was my guest, she returned again and again to the topic of Margaret's excelling genius and conversation, and enjoined it on me to seek her acquaintance; which I willingly promised. I am not sure that it was not in Miss Martineau's company, a little earlier, that I first saw her. And I find a memorandum, in her own journal, of a visit, made by my brother Charles and myself, to Miss Martineau, at Mrs. Farrar's. It was not, however, till the next July, after a little diplomatizing in billets by the ladies, that her first visit to our house was arranged, and she came to spend a fortnight with my wife. I still remember the first half. hour of Margaret's conversation. She was then twentysix years old. She had a face and frame that would indicate fulness and tenacity of life. She was rather under the middle height; her complexion was fair, with strong fair hair. She was then, as always, carefully and becomingly dressed, and of ladylike s
September (search for this): chapter 4
She had a taste for gems, ciphers, talismans, omens, coincidences, and birth-days. She had a special love for the planet Jupiter, and a belief that the month of September was inauspicious to her. She never forgot that her name, Margarita, signified a pearl. When I first met with the name Leila, she said, I knew, from the ve when natures are capable of the extreme reverse. I knew Bettine would end in nothing, when I read her book. I knew she could not outlive her love. But in Les Sept Cordes de la Lyre, which I read first, I saw the knowledge of the passions, and of social institutions, with the celestial choice which rose above them. I loved Has often as Dr. Channing the same watch-word of self-sacrifice. It is that my views are not yet matured, and I can have no judgment on the point. Beranger. Sept., 1839.—I have lately been reading some of Beranger's chansons. The hour was not propitious. I was in a mood the very reverse of Roger Bontemps, and beset with ci
ycose are inimitable in their childlike playfulness. Ma Vocation I have had and admired for many years. He is of the pure ore, a darling fairy changling of great mother Nature; the poet of the people, and, therefore, of all in the upper classes sufficiently intelligent and refined to appreciate the wit and sentiment of the people. But his wit is so truly French in its lightness and sparkling, feathering vivacity, that one like me, accustomed to the bitterness of English tonics, suicidal November melancholy, and Byronic wrath of satire, cannot appreciate him at once. But when used to the gentler stimuli, we like them best, and we also would live awhile in the atmosphere of music and mirth, content if we have bread for today, and hope for to-morrow. There are fine lines in his Cinq Mai; the sentiment is as grand as Manzoni's, though not sustained by the same majestic sweep of diction, as,— Ce rocher repousse l'esperance, L'Aigle n'est plus dans le secret des dieux, II fatigu
n say this? Only through emotion do we know thee, Nature! We lean upon thy breast, and feel its pulses vibrate to our own. That is knowledge, for that is love. Thought will never reach it. Art. There are persons to whom a gallery is everywhere a home. In this country, the antique is known only by plaster casts, and by drawings. The Boston ATHENAeUM, —on whose sunny roof and beautiful chambers may the benediction of centuries of students rest with mine! —added to its library, in 1823, a small, but excellent museum of the antique sculpture, in plaster;—the selection being dictated, it is said, by no less an adviser than Canova. The Apollo, the Laocoon, the Venuses, Diana, the head of the Phidian Jove, Bacchus, Antinous, the Torso Hercules, the Discobolus, the Gladiator Borghese, the Apollino,—all these, and more, the sumptuous gift of Augustus Thorndike. It is much that one man should have power to confer on so many, who never saw him, a benefit so pure and enduring.
ed and followed by love, and was really bent on truth, but too indulgent to the meteors of her fancy. Friendship. Friends she must have, but in no one could find A tally fitted to so large a mind. It is certain that Margaret, though unattractive in person, and assuming in manners, so that the girls complained that she put upon them, or, with her burly masculine existence, quite reduced them to satellites, yet inspired an enthusiastic attachment. I hear from one witness, as early as 1829, that all the girls raved about Margaret Fuller, and the same powerful magnetism wrought, as she went on, from year to year, on all ingenuous natures. The loveliest and the highest endowed women were eager to lay their beauty, their grace, the hospitalities of sumptuous homes, and their costly gifts, at her feet. When I expressed, one day, many years afterwards, to a lady who knew her well, some surprise at the homage paid her by men in Italy,— offers of marriage having there been made her
December 17th, 1829 AD (search for this): chapter 4
e beginnings, but, by the world of men, clothed with a social and cosmical character. It will be seen, however, that this propensity Margaret held with certain tenets of fate, which always swayed her, and which Goethe, who had found room and fine names for all this in his system, had encouraged; and, I may add, which her own experiences, early and late, seemed strangely to justify. Some extracts, from her letters to different persons, will show how this matter lay in her mind. December 17, 1829.—The following instance of beautiful credulity, in Rousseau, has taken my mind greatly. This remote seeking for the decrees of fate, this feeling of a destiny, casting its shadows from the very morning of thought, is the most beautiful species of idealism in our day. 'T is finely manifested in Wallenstein, where the two common men sum up their superficial observations on the life and doings of Wallenstein, and show that, not until this agitating crisis, have they caught any idea of th
sa connoissance, j'ignorais que ce fut une femme remarquable. Extract from a letter from Madame Arconati to R W. Emerson, I became acquainted with Margaret in 1835. Perhaps it was a year earlier that Henry Hedge, who had long been her friend, told me of her genius and studies, and loaned me her manuscript translation of Goetth her at Cambridge, and who, finding Margaret's fancy for seeing me, took a generous interest in bringing us together. I remember, during a week in the winter of 1835-6, in which Miss Martineau was my guest, she returned again and again to the topic of Margaret's excelling genius and conversation, and enjoined it on me to seek helling party, made up by Mrs. Farrar, and which turned out to be the beginning of much happiness by the friendships then formed, Margaret visited, in the summer of 1835, Newport, New York, and Trenton Falls; and, in the autumn, made the acquaintance, at Mrs. F.'s house, of Miss Martineau, whose friendship, at that moment, was an i
ame acquainted with Margaret in 1835. Perhaps it was a year earlier that Henry Hedge, who had long been her friend, told me of her genius and studies, and loaned me her manuscript translation of Goethe's Tasso. I was afterwards still more interested in her, by the warm praises of Harriet Martineau, who had become acquainted with her at Cambridge, and who, finding Margaret's fancy for seeing me, took a generous interest in bringing us together. I remember, during a week in the winter of 1835-6, in which Miss Martineau was my guest, she returned again and again to the topic of Margaret's excelling genius and conversation, and enjoined it on me to seek her acquaintance; which I willingly promised. I am not sure that it was not in Miss Martineau's company, a little earlier, that I first saw her. And I find a memorandum, in her own journal, of a visit, made by my brother Charles and myself, to Miss Martineau, at Mrs. Farrar's. It was not, however, till the next July, after a little dip
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