however good things in their place, they were not in place there.
And this, not in consideration of the public, but of my own sense of fitness and harmony.
The next extract is from a letter written to me in 1842, after a journey which we had taken to the White Mountains
, in the company of my sister, and Mr. and Mrs. Farrar
During this journey Margaret had conversed with me concerning some passages of her private history and experience, and in this letter she asks me to be prudent in speaking of it, giving her reasons as follows:
Cambridge, July 31, 1842.—* * I said I was happy in having no secret.
It is my nature, and has been the tendency of my life, to wish that all my thoughts and deeds might lie, as the ‘open secrets’ of Nature, free to all who are able to understand them.
I have no reserves, except intellectual reserves; for to speak of things to those who cannot receive them is stupidity, rather than frankness.
But in this case, I alone am not concerned.
Therefore, dear James, give heed to the subject.
You have received a key to what was before unknown of your friend; you have made use of it, now let it be buried with the past, over whose passages profound and sad, yet touched with heavenborn beauty, ‘let silence stand sentinel.’
I shall endeavor to keep true to the spirit of these sentences in speaking of Margaret's friendships.
Yet not to speak of them in her biography would be omitting the most striking feature of her character.
It would be worse than the play of Hamlet with Hamlet omitted.
Henry the Fourth without Sully