‘  meaning of life; you awakened in me confidence in my own powers, showed me my special and distinct ability, and quickened my individual consciousness by intelligent sympathy with tendencies and feelings which I but half understood; you gave me to myself. This is a most benign influence to exercise, and for it, above all other benefits, gratitude is due. Therefore have you an inexhaustible bank of gratitude to draw from. Bless God that he has allotted to you such a ministry.’ The following extracts from her letters will show how profusely Margaret poured out her treasures upon her friends; but they reveal, too, the painful processes of alchemy whereby she transmuted her lead into gold.
Your idea of friendship apparently does not include intellectual intimacy, as mine does, but consists of mutual esteem and spiritual encouragement. This is the thought represented, on antique gems and basreliefs, of the meeting between God and Goddess, I find; for they rather offer one another the full flower of being, than grow together. As in the figures before me, Jupiter, king of Gods and men, meets Juno, the sister and queen, not as a chivalric suppliant, but as a stately claimant; and she, crowned, pure, majestic, holds the veil aside to reveal herself to her august spouse.
How variously friendship is represented in literature! Sometimes the two friends kindle beacons from afar to apprize one another that they are constant, vigilant, and each content in his several home. Sometimes, two pilgrims, they go different routes in service of the same