great beauty. As in Helene, as in Novalis, I recognized, with delight, the eye that gazed, the ear that listened, till the spectres came, as they do to the Highlander on his rocky couch, to the German peasant on his mountain. How different from the vulgar eye which looks, but never sees! Here the beautiful apparition advances from the solar ray, or returns to the fountain of light and truth, as it should, when eagle eyes are gazing. I am astonished at her insight into the life of thought. She must know it through some man. Women, under any circumstances, can scarce do more than dip the foot in this broad and deep river; they have not strength to contend with the current. Brave, if they do not delicately shrink from the cold water. No Sibyls have existed like those of Michel Angelo; those of Raphael are the true brides of a God, but not themselves divine. It is easy for women to be heroic in action, but when it comes to interrogating God, the universe, the soul, and, above all, trying to live above their own hearts, they dart down to their nests like so many larks, and, if they cannot find them, fret like the French Corinne. Goethe's Makaria was born of the stars. Mr. Flint's Platonic old lady a lusus natureoe, and the Dudevant has loved a philosopher. I suppose the view of the present state of Catholicism no way exaggerated. Alexis is no more persecuted than Abelard was, and is so, for the same reasons. From the examinations of the Italian convents in Leopold's time, it seems that the grossest materialism not only reigns, but is taught and professed in them. And Catholicism loads and infects as all dead forms do, however beautiful and noble during their lives.
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