and vigor, which need no aid from rouge or candlelight, to brave the light of the world. Since I saw you, I have been told of persons who are desirous to join the class, ‘if only they need not talk.’ I am so sure that the success of the whole depends on conversation being general, that I do not wish any one to come, who does not intend, if possible, to take an active part. No one will be forced, but those who do not talk will not derive the same advantages with those who openly state their impressions, and can consent to have it known that they learn by blundering, as is the destiny of man here below. And general silence, or side talks, would paralyze me. I should feel coarse and misplaced, were I to harangue over-much. In former instances, I have been able to make it easy and even pleasant, to twenty-five out of thirty, to bear their part, to question, to define, to state, and examine opinions. If I could not do as much now, I should consider myself as unsuccessful, and should withdraw. But I shall expect communication to be effected by degrees, and to do a great deal myself at the first meetings. My method has been to open a subject,—for instance, Poetry, as expressed in— External Nature; The life of man; Literature; The fine arts; or, The history of a nation to be studied in— Its religious and civil institutions Its literature and arts; The characters of its great men; and, after as good a general statement as I know how to make, select a branch of the subject, and lead
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