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[2166] All persons were curious to see her, and in full rooms her fine head and spiritual expression at once marked her out from the crowd; but the most were repelled by what seemed conceit, pedantry, and a harsh spirit of criticism, while, on her part, she appeared to regard those around her as frivolous, superficial, and conventional. Indeed, I must frankly confess, that we did not meet in pleasant relations, except now and then, when the lifting of a veil, as it were, revealed for a moment the true life of each. Yet I was fond of looking at her from a distance, and defending her when silly people were inclined to cavil at her want of feminine graces. Then I would say, “I would like to be an artist now, that I might paint, not the care-worn countenance and the uneasy air of one seemingly out of harmony with the scene about her, but the soul that sometimes looks out from under those large lids. Michel Angelo would have made her a Sibyl.” I remember I was surprised to find her height no greater; for her writings had always given me an impression of magnitude. Thus I studied though I avoided her, admitting, the while, proudly and joyously, that she was a woman to reverence. A trifling incident, however, gave me the key to much in her character, of which, before, I had not dreamed. It was one evening, after a Valentine party, where Frances Osgood, Margaret Fuller, and other literary ladies, had attracted some attention, that, as we were in the dressing-room preparing to go home, I heard Margaret sigh deeply. Surprised and moved, I said, “Why?” — “Alone, as usual,” was her pathetic answer, followed by a few sweet, womanly remarks, touching as they were beautiful. Often, after, I found myself recalling her look and tone, with tears in

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