of recluse scholars by the absence of bookishness The ease with which she entered into conversation made them forget all they had heard of her; and she was infinitely less interested in literature than in life.
They saw she valued earnest persons, and Dante
, and Goethe
, because they thought as she did, and gratified her with high portraits, which she was everywhere seeking.
She drew her companions to surprising confessions.
She was the wedding-guest, to whom the long-pent story must be told; and they were not less struck, on reflection, at the suddenness of the friendship which had established, in one day, new and permanent covenants.
She extorted the secret of life, which cannot be told without setting heart and mind in a glow; and thus had the best of those she saw Whatever romance, whatever virtue, whatever impressive experience,—this came to her; and she lived in a superior circle; for they suppressed all their commonplace in her presence.
She was perfectly true to this confidence.
She never confounded relations, but kept a hundred fine threads in her hand, without crossing or entangling any. An entire intimacy, which seemed to make both sharers of the whole horizon of each others' and of all truth, did not yet make her false to any other friend; gave no title to the history that an equal trust of another friend had put in her keeping.
In this reticence was no prudery and no effort.
For, so rich her mind, that she never was tempted to treachery, by the desire of entertaining.
The day was never long enough to exhaust her opulent memory; and I, who knew her intimately for ten years,—from July, 1836, till August, 1846, when she