lesson; and if I cannot be her protector, I can be at least her counsellor and soother.
From the less private parts of Margaret's correspondence with the younger members of the family, some passages may be selected, as attesting her quick and penetrating sympathy, her strict truth, and influential wisdom.
They may be fitly prefaced by these few but emphatic words from a letter of one of her brothers:—
I was much impressed, during my childhood, at Groton, with an incident that first disclosed to me the tenderness of Margaret's character.
I had always viewed her as a being of different nature from myself, to whose altitudes of intellectual life I had no thought of ascending.
She had been absent during the winter, and on her return asked me for some account of my experiences.
Supposing that she could not enter into such insignificant details, I was not frank or warm in my confidence, though I gave no reason for my reserve; and the matter had passed from my mind, when our mother told me that Margaret had shed tears, because I seemed to heed so little her sisterly sympathy.
“Tears from one so learned,” thought I, “for the sake of one so inferior!”
Afterwards, my heart opened to her, as to no earthly friend.
The characteristic trait of Margaret, to which all her talents and acquirements were subordinate, was sympathy,—universal sympathy.
She had that large intelligence and magnanimity which enabled her to comprehend the struggles and triumphs of every form of character.
Loving all about her, whether rich or poor, rude or cultivated, as equally formed after a