Chapter 7: suburban life at Jamaica Plain. （1838-1844.)In looking forward to leaving the scene of her school-teaching, Margaret Fuller wrote thus to Mrs. Barlow in a moment of headache and nervous exhaustion:--
She wrote to Mr. Emerson of the remaining months of that winter,
My sufferings last winter in Groton were almost constant, and I see the journal is very sickly in its tone. I have taken out some leaves. Now I am a perfect Phoenix compared with what I was then, and it all seems past to me. Ms. letter, November 25, 1839.During this invalid winter, however, she made a brief visit to Boston, where she had three enjoyments,  so characteristic as to be worth quoting:--
Three months later the family left Groton forever, having taken a house at Jamaica Plain, then and perhaps now the most rural and attractive suburb of Boston. Here their dwelling was near a little stream, called Willow Brook, and there were rocks behind it covered with cardinal flowers. Margaret Fuller had with her two pupils  from Providence; she was within easy reach of friends, and could at the same time renew that love of nature which Groton had first taught her, and which city-life had only suspended. From this time, many charming outdoor sketches appear among her papers. Inheriting a love of flowers from her mother, she gave to them meanings and mysticisms of her own. Of her later “Dial” sketches, “The Magnolia of Lake Pontchartrain” grew, as she writes in one of her unpublished letters, out of the suggestion by some one that its odor was so exquisite at that spot as to be unlike any other magnolia; and the “Yucca Filamentosa” came wholly from a description given her by Dr. Eustis, in his garden at Brookline, of its flowering at full-moon. “If you like it” (the sketch of the magnolia),--she says to one of her correspondents,--
I will draw the soul also from the Yucca and put it into words. Ms. (W. H. C.)Among her unpublished papers there are several similar flower-pieces; one upon the Passion Flower, whose petals had just fallen from her girdle, she says, while all her other flowers remained intact; and with which she connects a striking delineation of human character, as embodied in some person not now to be identified. Again she has been hearing in some conversation a description of the thorn called Spina Christi, which still grows on the plains of Judaea, and this leads her to a noble winter reverie:-- 
It will be seen from another letter that she set an especial value on her flower sketches:--
Yet I must confess to liking her out-door sketches even better when they are more wholly descriptive and less imaginative, as with the following:--
You often tell me what to do when you are gone; if you survive me, will you not collect my little flower-pieces, even the insignificant ones? I feel as if from mother I had received a connection with the flowers;  she has the love, I the interpretation. My writings about them are no fancies, but whispers from themselves. I am deeply taught by the constant presence of any growing thing. This apple-tree before my window I shall mourn to leave. Seeing fruit trees in a garden is entirely another thing from having this one before my eyes constantly, so that I can't help seeing all that happens to it. But I shall write out the history of our acquaintance and give you a copy.Ms. (W. H. C.)
Then comes the following, in which she extracts quite as much from the wild asters as from yuccas and magnolias:--
5 Sometimes she records rambles with others, and we have here a visit to Mount Auburn, at the period when it still retained its rural beauty:--
 She had fancies, as Mr. Emerson tells us, about days and precious stones and talismans; and in one of her letters I find these reveries about proper names:--
Again, after study of Goethe's “Farbenlehre” (Theory of Colors), she writes, with similar zest:
It pleases that Raphael and Michael Angelo should have received the archangelic names; it seems inspiration in the parents. So that Swedenborg should bear the name of Emanuel, and Kant, too. The name of Beethoven's mother does not seem without meaning. In writing yesterday, I observed the names of Mary and Elizabeth meeting again in the two queens with some pleasure. William is the Conqueror. Perhaps it is from such association that I thought from earliest childhood I could never love one that bore another name; I am glad it was Shakespeare's. Shelley chose it for his child. It is linked with mine in ballad as if they belonged together, but the story is always tragic. In the Douglas tragedy, the beauty is more than the sorrow. In one of the later ones the connection is dismal.Ms. (W. H. C.)
If even these simpler thoughts show a tendency to link themselves with something a little farfetched and fantastic, we must remember that this was a period when German romance was just invading us; when Carlyle was translating the fantasy-pieces of Tieck, Hoffmann, and Musaeus; and when some young Harvard students spent a summer vacation in rendering into English the mysteries of “Henry of Ofterdingen,” by Novalis. Margaret Fuller took her share in this; typified the mysteries of the soul as “Leila,” in the “Dial,” and wrote verses about herself, under that name, in her diary:--
These were her days of thought and exaltation. Other days were given to society, usually in Boston,  where she sometimes took a room for the winter. Hawthorne, in his “American-note books,” records, under the date, November, 1840:--
Leila, of all demanding heart
By each and every left apart;
Leila, of all pursuing mind
From each goal left far behind;
Strive on, Leila, to the end,
Let not thy native courage bend;
Strive on, Leila, day by day,
Though bleeding feet stain all the way;
Do men reject thee and despise--
An angel in thy bosom lies
And to thy death its birth replies.Ms. Diary, 1844.
It must be remembered that Hawthorne was always grateful for any dispensation which saved him from a formal dinner-party. That he enjoyed a conversation with Margaret Fuller personally is plain from an entry in his “American note-books,” describing an interview between them during one of her visits to Concord:--American note-books, i. 221.
Such scenes were but joyful interludes in her life at Jamaica Plain; at other times there were what she calls the “rye-bread days” given to domestic cares and country cousins, as in this description :--
Other rye-bread days were spent in writing letters of counsel to her younger brothers, who were, during a portion of this time, away at school. There is the whole range of a New England elder-sister's life in the two following extracts from the same letter to Richard Fuller (May 12, 1842). First, the love of Greek, perhaps flagging, must be stimulated:--
Saturday. This was one of the rye-bread days, all dull and damp without. I accomplished many trifles, and a little writing within. Cousin — came to see me;-- came home to stay a fortnight. I passed the evening with the Farrars. Around my path how much humble love has flowed. These every-day friends never forget my heart, never censure me, make no demands on me, load me with gifts and services, and, uncomplaining, see me prefer my intellectual kindred. I  am ungrateful. as Timon was to his servants. Yet, Heaven be praised, though sometimes forgetful of them in absence, I make it up in presence, so far that I think I do not give pain, as I pass along this world.Ms. Diary.
While here I have been reading (only in translation, alas!) the ‘Cyropedia,’ and other works of Xenophon, and some dramas of Euripides; and, were envy ever worth our while, I should deeply envy those who can with convenience gain access to the Greek mind in its proper garb. No possession can be more precious than a knowledge of Greek. Fuller Mss. II. 691.But the boyish wardrobe, a severer problem than even Greek, must be also supervised; she must even encounter the dawning sensitiveness as to shirt-collars, from which no sister can escape.
Then comes a letter about the use of money itself ;--a letter whose clear good sense would have surprised those who fancied her, in those days, a dreamer or a pedant.
Out of this money I wish you and Arthur both to give your aunt some to buy linen for your shirt-bosoms. No one here understands how you wish them made; whether you wish to have bosoms and collars sewed on or separate; and you must each leave with her separate,  precise written directions, signed with your separate names, or they will not be done so as to suit you.Fuller Mss. II. 689.
Then deeper chords are struck, this time in her diary:
I wish you had said distinctly how much money you want. I send five dollars, which, perhaps, is not enough. Yet this makes twenty I have sent you since mother went away. So you see even your frugality does not enable you wholly to dispense with the circulating medium you so much despise, and whose use, when you have thought more deeply on these subjects, you will find to have been indispensable to the production of the arts, of literature, and all that distinguishes civilized man. It is abused like all good things, but without it you would not have had your Horace and Virgil, stimulated by whose society you read the woods and fields to more advantage than — or--[certain uneducated neighbors]. Well, enjoy your fields and trees, supplicating the Spirit of all to bring you clear light and full sight.Fuller Mss. II. 701.
The Fuller family resided at Jamaica Plain from the spring of 1839 to that of 1842, when Margaret took the responsibility of purchasing a house in Ellery Street, Cambridge (now No. 8), not far from the site of her old abode, the Dana House. Here they lived until July, 1843, when the house was sold; but the family, now greatly lessened, bought another house on Prospect Street, which they occupied9 until after Margaret had transferred herself to New York, in the autumn of 1844, to begin what she called her “business life.” But before passing to that, we must consider the various literary and other enterprises which engrossed her about this time; and meanwhile this record of suburban life may well close with a graphic description of her as she seemed, at this period of her career, to a childish neighbor, who writes thus to me:--
October 1st . Anniversary of my father's death. Seven years have passed,--a generation,--unspotted by regrets, and rich in thought and experience, though its gifts were bathed in tears oftentimes.October 2, Sunday. Dr. Channing left this world. A blameless life came to an end,--a high aspiration was transferred elsewhere. He could not have died at  a better time; it was indeed for him the fullness of time; but it is sad that we shall see him no more,--meet no more the pale benignant countenance, be greeted no more by the gentle formal courtesy; nay, it is even sad that we shall be catechised no more for great truths to feed his earnest mind.Fuller Mss. i. 425.
I had known Miss Fuller in my childhood when she was our next-door neighbor in Ellery Street, Cambridge. She made a pet of me; and the isolated little German girl was indebted to her for a thousand trifles that make a child happy. I often sat by her and looked  at her eyes — the only part of her face I remember — with a strong fascination. They were wide, and full, and blue; whether fine or not, I could not at seven years old decide; but they always seemed to look far off, out of and beyond the story she was telling or the picture she was showing me; and in looking at her eyes I seemed to travel with her fancy through fairy-land. She was very sweet and good to me, and I missed her very much when, after a time, my father moved to Boston and I could no longer crawl under or climb over the fence to my Miss Margaret; for I scorned the gate, which was just as near, but had not that touch of romance.