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[1246] to fail, that I did not finish the book, nor try whether I could believe the novice should ever arrive at manly stature.

I am not so clear as to the scope and bearing of this book, as of that. I suppose if I were to read Lamennais, or L'Erminier, I should know what they all want or intend. And if you meet with Les paroles d'un Croyant, I will beg you to get it for me, for I am more curious than ever. I had supposed the view taken by these persons in France, to be the same with that of Novalis and the German Catholics, in which I have been deeply interested. But from this book, it would seem to approach the faith of some of my friends here, which has been styled Psychotheism. And the gap in the theoretical fabric is the same as with them. I read with unutterable interest the despair of Alexis in his Eclectic course, his return to the teachings of external nature, his new birth, and consequent appreciation of poetry and music. But the question of Free Will,— how to reconcile its workings with necessity and compensation,—how to reconcile the life of the heart with that of the intellect,—how to listen to the whispering breeze of Spirit, while breasting, as a man should, the surges of the world,—these enigmas Sand and her friends seem to have solved no better than M. F. and her friends.

The practical optimism is much the same as ours, except that there is more hope for the masses—soon.

This work is written with great vigor, scarce any faltering on the wing. The horrors are disgusting, as are those of every writer except Dante. Even genius should content itself in dipping the pencil in cloud and mist. The apparitions of Spiridion are managed with

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