sceptical towards any thinker, neither credulous of his views.
A man, whose mind is full of error, may give us the genial sense of truth, as a tropical sun, while it rears crocodiles, yet ripens the wine of the palm-tree.
To turn again to my Ancients: while they believed in self-reliance with a force little known in our day, they dreaded no pains of initiation, but fitted themselves for intelligent recognition of the truths on which our being is based, by slow gradations of travel, study, speech, silence, bravery, and patience.
That so it may be with you, dear——, hopes your sister and friend.
A few extracts from family letters written at different times, and under various conditions, may be added.
I read with great interest the papers you left with me. The picture and the emotions suggested are genuine.
The youthful figure, no doubt, stands portress at the gate of Infinite Beauty; yet I would say to one I loved as I do you, do not waste these emotions, nor the occasions which excite them.
There is danger of prodigality,—of lavishing the best treasures of the breast on objects that cannot be the permanent ones.
It is true, that whatever thought is awakened in the mind becomes truly ours; but it is a great happiness to owe these influences to a cause so proportioned to our strength as to grow with it. I say this merely because I fear that the virginity of heart which I believe essential to feeling a real love, in all its force and purity, may be endangered by too careless excursions into the realms of fancy.
It is told us, we should pray, ‘lead us not into temptation;’