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[1224]

E del sol che scopri le mie sventure,
A schivo ed in orrore avro il sembiante.
Temero me medesmo; e da me stesso
Sempre fuggendo, avro me sempre appresso.

La Gerusalemme Liberata, C. XII. 76, 77.

to R. W. E.
Dec. 12, 1843.—When Goethe received a letter from Zelter, with a handsome superscription, he said, ‘Lay that aside; it is Zelter's true hand-writing. Every man has a daemon, who is busy to confuse and limit his life. No way is the action of this power more clearly shown, than in the hand-writing. On this occasion, the evil influences have been evaded; the mood, the hand, the pen and paper have conspired to let our friend write truly himself.’

You may perceive, I quote from memory, as the sentences are anything but Goethean; but I think often of this little passage. With me, for weeks and months, the daemon works his will. Nothing succeeds with me. I fall ill, or am otherwise interrupted. At these times, whether of frost, or sultry weather, I would gladly neither plant nor reap,—wait for the better times, which sometimes come, when I forget that sickness is ever possible; when all interruptions are upborne like straws on the full stream of my life, and the words that accompany it are as much in harmony as sedges murmuring near the bank. Not all, yet not unlike. But it often happens, that something presents itself, and must be done, in the bad time; nothing presents itself in the good: so I, like the others, seem worse and poorer than I am.


In another letter to an earlier friend, she expatiates a

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