She wanted imagination, and she wanted productiveness. She wrote with difficulty. Without external pressure, perhaps, she would never have written at all. She was dogmatic, and not creative. Her strength was in characterization and in criticism. Her critique on Goethe, in the second volume of the Dial, is, in my estimation, one of the best things she has written. And, as far as it goes, it is one of the best criticisms extant of Goethe. What I especially admired in her was her intellectual sincerity. Her judgments took no bribe from her sex or her sphere, nor from custom nor tradition, nor caprice. She valued truth supremely, both for herself and others. The question with her was not what should be believed, or what ought to be true, but what is true. Her yes and no were never conventional; and she often amazed people by a cool and unexpected dissent from the commonplaces of popular acceptation.Margaret, we have said, saw in each of her friends the secret interior capability, which might become hereafter developed into some special beauty or power. By means of this penetrating, this prophetic insight, she gave each to himself, acted on each to draw out his best nature, gave him an ideal out of which he could draw strength and liberty hour by hour. Thus her influence was ever ennobling, and each felt that in her society he was truer, wiser, better, and yet more free and happy, than elsewhere. The ‘dry light’ which Lord Bacon loved, she never knew; her light was life, was love, was warm with sympathy and a boundless energy of affection and hope. Though her love flattered and charmed her
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