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[2138] days of leisure I cannot resolve to give at all to work. I want absolute rest, to let the mind lie fallow, to keep my whole nature open to the influx of truth.

At this very time, however, she was longing to write with full freedom and power.


she says,
the pen did not seem to me an instrument capable of expressing the spirit of a life like mine. An enchanter's mirror, on which, with a word, could be made to rise all apparitions of the universe, grouped in new relations; a magic ring, that could transport the wearer, himself invisible, into each region of grandeur or beauty; a divining-rod, to tell where lie the secret fountains of refreshment; a wand, to invoke elemental spirits;—only such as these seemed fit to embody one's thought with sufficient swiftness and force. In earlier years I aspired to wield the sceptre or the lyre; for I loved with wise design and irresistible command to mould many to one purpose, and it seemed all that man could desire to breathe in music and speak in words, the harmonies of the universe. But the golden lyre was not given to my hand, and I am but the prophecy of a poet. Let me use, then, the slow pen. I will make no formal vow to the long-scorned Muse; I assume no garland; I dare not even dedicate myself as a novice; I can promise neither patience nor energy;— but I will court excellence, so far as an humble heart and open eye can merit it, and, if I may gradually grow to some degree of worthiness in this mode of expression, I shall be grateful.


It was on ‘Woman in the Nineteenth Century’ that

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