Ere I knew life's sober meaning,The suitors called her “Diva,” but in the family circle she was “Jules,” or “Jolie Julie.” The family letters of this period are full of affectionate cheerfulness. When “Jolie Julie” is away on a visit, the others send her a composite letter. Louisa threatens to shut her up on her return with nothing to read but her Anglo-Saxon grammar and “Beowulf.” ( “If that does not give you a distaste for all wolves,” she says, “not excepting those Long fellows,1 I do not know what will!” )
Nature taught me simple wiles,
Gave this color, rising, waning,
Gave these shadows, deepening smiles.
More she taught me, sighing, singing,
Taught me free to think and move,
Taught this fond instinctive clinging
To the helpful arm of love.
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