your views certain, cannot comprehend me; though you showed me last night a penetration which did not flow from sympathy. But this I may say—though the glad light of hope and ambitious confidence, which has vitalized my mind, should be extinguished forever, I will not in life act a mean, ungenerous, or useless part. Therefore, let not a slight thing lessen your respect for me. If you feel as much pain as I do, when obliged to diminish my respect for any person, you will be glad of this assurance. I hope you will not think this note in the style of a French novel.
Power of circumstances.
Do you remember a conversation we had in the garden, one starlight evening, last summer, about the incalculable power which outward circumstances have over the character? You would not sympathize with the regrets I expressed, that mine had not been formed amid scenes and persons of nobleness and beauty, eager passions and dignified events, instead of those secret trials and petty conflicts which make my transition state so hateful to my memory and my tastes. You then professed the faith which I resigned with such anguish,— the faith which a Schiller could never attain,— a faith in the power of the human will. Yet now, in every letter, you talk to me of the power of circumstances. You tell me how changed you are. Every one of your letters is different from the one preceding, and all so altered from your former self. For are you not leaving all our old ground, and do you not apologize to me for all your letters? Why do you apologize? I think I know you very, very well; considering