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[1235]

I have heard, that from the beginning of her life, she idealized herself as a sovereign. She told——she early saw herself to be intellectually superior to those around her, and that for years she dwelt upon the idea, until she believed that she was not her parents' child, but an European princess confided to their care. She remembered, that, when a little girl, she was walking one day under the apple trees with such an air and step, that her father pointed her out to her sister, saying, Incedit regina. And her letters sometimes convey these exultations, as the following, which was written to a lady, and which contained Margaret's translation of Goethe's ‘Prometheus.’

to——

1838.—Which of us has not felt the questionings expressed in this bold fragment? Does it not seem, were we gods, or could steal their fire, we would make men not only happier, but free,—glorious? Yes, my life is strange; thine is strange. We are, we shall be, in this life, mutilated beings, but there is in my bosom a faith, that I shall see the reason; a glory, that I can endure to be so imperfect; and a feeling, ever elastic, that fate and time shall have the shame and the blame, if I am mutilated. I will do all I can,—and, if one cannot succeed, there is a beauty in martyrdom.

Your letters are excellent. I did not mean to check your writing, only I thought that you might wish a confidence that I must anticipate with a protest. But I take my natural position always: and the more I see, the more I feel that it is regal. Without throne, sceptre, or guards, still a queen.


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