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November 25th, 1843 AD (search for this): chapter 4
torrent with a rill. She found no fill expression of it but in music. Beethoven's Symphony was the only right thing the city of the Puritans had for her. Those to whom music has a representative value, affording them a stricter copy of their inward life than any other of the expressive arts, will, perhaps, enter into the spirit which dictated the following letter to her patron saint, on her return, one evening, from the Boston Academy of Music. to Beethoven. Saturday Evening, 25th Nov., 1843. My only friend, How shall I thank thee for once more breaking the chains of my sorrowful slumber? My heart beats. I live again, for I feel that I am worthy audience for thee, and that my being would be reason enough for thine. Master, my eyes are always clear. I see that the universe is rich, if I am poor. I see the insignificance of my sorrows. In my will, I am not a captive; in my intellect, not a slave. Is it then my fault that the palsy of my affections benumbs my wh
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
July, 1836 AD (search for this): chapter 4
ntimacy, which seemed to make both sharers of the whole horizon of each others' and of all truth, did not yet make her false to any other friend; gave no title to the history that an equal trust of another friend had put in her keeping. In this reticence was no prudery and no effort. For, so rich her mind, that she never was tempted to treachery, by the desire of entertaining. The day was never long enough to exhaust her opulent memory; and I, who knew her intimately for ten years,—from July, 1836, till August, 1846, when she sailed for Europe,—never saw her without surprise at her new powers. Of the conversations above alluded to, the substance was whatever was suggested by her passionate wish for equal companions, to the end of making life altogether noble. With the firmest tact she led the discourse into the midst of their daily living and working, recognizing the good — will and sincerity which each man has in his aims, and treating so playfully and intellectually all the p<
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.
ld. I feel within myself, she said, an immense force, but I cannot bring it out. It may sound like a joke, but I do feel something corresponding to that tale of the Destinies falling in love with Hermes. In her journal, in the summer of 1844, she writes:— Mrs. Ware talked with me about education,—wilful education,—in which she is trying to get interested. I talk with a Goethean moderation on this subject, which rather surprises her and , who are nearer the entrance of the studio.d at his first meadow. Of course, he is charmed, but, of course, he cannot tell what he sees, or what pleases him. Yet Margaret often speaks with a certain tenderness and beauty of the impressions made upon her. to—— Fishkill, 25 Nov., 1844.—You would have been happy as I have been in the company of the mountains. They are companions both bold and calm. They exhilarate and they satisfy. To live, too, on the bank of the great river so long, has been the realization of a dream.
December, 1842 AD (search for this): chapter 4
oo, of the taste of the period,—the new vogue given to the genius of Dante. An edition of Cary's translation, reprinted in Boston, many years ago, was rapidly sold; and, for the last twenty years, all studious youths and maidens have been reading the Inferno. Margaret had very early found her way to Dante, and from a certain native preference which she felt or fancied for the Italian genius. The following letter. though of a later date, relates to these studies:— To R. W. E. December, 1842.—When you were here, you seemed to think I might perhaps have done something on the Vita Nuova; and the next day I opened the book, and considered how I could do it. But you shall not expect that, either, for your present occasion. When I first mentioned it to you, it was only as a piece of Sunday work, which I thought of doing for you alone; and because it has never seemed to me you entered enough into the genius of the Italian to apprehend the mind, which has seemed so great to me, a<
il sembiante. Temero me medesmo; e da me stesso Sempre fuggendo, avro me sempre appresso. La Gerusalemme Liberata, C. XII. 76, 77. to R. W. E. Dec. 12, 1843.—When Goethe received a letter from Zelter, with a handsome superscription, he said, Lay that aside; it is Zelter's true hand-writing. Every man has a daemon, whor now with passion, but I still feel towards her as I can to no other woman. I thought of all this as I looked at Madame Recamier. to R. W. E. 7th Feb., 1843.—I saw the letter of your new friend, and liked it much; only, at this distance, one could not be sure whether it was the nucleus or the train of a comet, that ligle to open their hearts, on very short acquaintance. Any casual rencontre, in a walk, in a steamboat, at a concert, became the prelude to unwonted confidences. 1843.— I believe I told you about one new man, a Philistine, at Brook Farm. He reproved me, as such people are wont, for my little faith. At the end of the first m<
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
September, 1839 AD (search for this): chapter 4
ings have, especially since I have been brought close to her person by the Lettres d'un Voyageur. Her remarks on Lavater seem really shallow, and hasty, à la mode du genre femenin. No self-ruling Aspasia she, but a frail woman mourning over a lot. Any peculiarity in her destiny seems accidental. She is forced to this and that, to earn her bread forsooth! Yet her style,—with what a deeply smouldering fire it burns!—not vehement, but intense, like Jean Jacques. Alfred De Vigny. Sept., 1839. La harpe tremble encore, et la flute soupire. Sometimes we doubt this, and think the music has finally ceased, so sultry still lies the air around us, or only disturbed by the fife and drum of talent, calling to the parade-ground of social life. The <*> grows dull. Faith asks her daily bread, And Fancy is no longer fed. So materialistic is the course of common life, that we ask daily new Messiahs from literature and art, to turn us from the Pharisaic observance of law, to
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
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