wit, stern introspection, poetic play, religion, the finest personal feeling, the aspects of the future, each followed each in full activity, and left me, I remember, enriched and sometimes astonished by the gifts of my guest.
Her topics were numerous, but the cardinal points of poetry, love, and religion, were never far off. She was a student of art, and, though untravelled, knew, much better than most persons who had been abroad, the conventional reputation of each of the masters.
She was familiar with all the field of elegant criticism in literature.
Among the problems of the day, these two attracted her chiefly, Mythology and Demonology; then, also, French Socialism, especially as it concerned woman; the whole prolific family of reforms, and, of course, the genius and career of each remarkable person.
She had other friends, in this town, beside those in my house.
A lady, already alluded to, lived in the village, who had known her longer than I, and whose prejudices Margaret had resolutely fought down, until she converted her into the firmest and most efficient of friends.
In 1842, Nathaniel Hawthorne
, already then known to the world by his Twice-Told Tales
, came to live in Concord
, in the ‘Old Manse,’ with his wife, who was herself an artist.
With these welcomed persons Margaret formed a strict and happy acquaintance.
She liked their old house, and the taste which had filled it with new articles of beautiful form, yet harmonized with the antique furniture left by the former proprietors.
She liked, too, the pleasing walks, and rides, and boatings, which that neighborhood commanded.
In 1842, William Ellery Channing
, whose wife was