lived — hovered over the younger ones with maternal anxiety.
In the poems and letters of this period, she adopts unconsciously the phraseology of the day.
Being away on a visit, she writes to her sisters: “Believe me, it is better to set aside, untasted, the cup of human enjoyment, than to drink it to the bitter dregs, and then seek for something better, which may not be granted to us. The manna
fell from heaven early in the morning, those who then neglected to gather it were left without nourishment; it is early in life's morning that we must gather the heavenly food, which can alone support us through the burden and heat of the day.”
The emotional fervor of this time was heightened by a complication which arose from it. A young clergyman of brilliant powers and passionate nature fell deeply in love with Julia
, and pressed his suit with such ardor that she consented to a semi-engagement.
Fortunately, a visit to Boston
gave her time to examine her feelings.
Relieved from the pressure of a twofold excitement, breathing a calmer and a freer air, she realized that there could be no true union between her and the Rev
. Mr.--, and the connection was broken off.
The course of Julia
's studies had for some years been leading her into wider fields of thought.
In her brother's library she found George Sand and Balzac
, and read such books as he selected for her. In German she became familiar with Goethe
, Jean Paul
, and Matthias Claudius
She describes the sense of intellectual freedom derived from these studies as “half delightful, half alarming.”