and feelings by which masses are swayed, become eminent politicians, sagacious leaders, and eminent in all political affairs,—a few, like Margaret, study character, and acquire the power of exerting profoundest influence on individual souls.
I had expressed to her my desire to know something of the history of her mind,—to understand her aims, her hopes, her views of life.
In a note written in reply, she answered me thus:
I cannot bring myself to write you what you wished.
You would be disappointed, at any rate, after all the solemn note of preparation; the consciousness of this would chill me now. Besides, I cannot be willing to leave with you such absolute vagaries in a tangible, examinable shape.
I think of your after-smiles, of your colder moods.
But I will tell you, when a fitting opportunity presents, all that can interest you, and perhaps more.
And excuse my caution.
I do not profess, I may not dare, to be generous in these matters.
To this I replied to the effect that, ‘in my coldest mood I could not criticize words written in a confiding spirit;’ and that, at all events, she must not expect of me a confidence which she dared not return.
This was the substance of a note to which Margaret thus replied:—
I thank you for your note.
Ten minutes before I received it, I scarcely thought that anything again would make my stifled heart throb so warm a pulse of pleasure.
Excuse my cold doubts, my selfish arrogance, —you will, when I tell you that this experiment has before had such uniform results; those who professed