occasioned by my asking her to allow me to publish therein certain poems, and articles of hers, which she had given me to read.
And I wish now, as far as I can, to give my reasons for what you consider absurd squeamishness in me. You may not acquiesce in my view, but I think you will respect it as mine and be willing to act upon it so far as I am concerned. Genius seems to me excusable in taking the public for a confidant. Genius is universal, and can appeal to the common heart of man. But even here I would not have it too direct. I prefer to see the thought or feeling made universal. How different the confidence of Goethe, for instance, from that of Byron! But for us lesser people, who write verses merely as vents for the overflowings of a personal experience, which in every life of any value craves occasionally the accompaniment of the lyre, it seems to me that all the value of this utterance is destroyed by a hasty or indiscriminate publicity. The moment I lay open my heart, and tell the fresh feeling to any one who chooses to hear, I feel profaned. When it has passed into experience, when the flower has gone to seed, I don't care who knows it, or whither they wander. I am no longer it,—I stand on it. I do not know whether this is peculiar to me, or not, but I am sure the moment I cease to have any reserve or delicacy about a feeling, it is on the wane. About putting beautiful verses in your Magazine, I have no feeling except what I should have about furnishing a room. I should not put a dressing-case into a parlor, or a book-case into a dressing-room, because,