in the preceding extracts will have been noticed frequent reference to the Association Movement
, which, during the winter of 1840-41, was beginning to appear simultaneously at several points in New England
and its vicinity several friends, for whose characters Margaret felt the highest honor, and with many of whose views, theoretic and practical, she accorded, were earnestly considering the possibility of making such industrial, social, and educational arrangements, as would simplify economies, combine leisure for study with healthful and honest toil, avert unjust collisions of caste, equalize refinements, awaken generous affections, diffuse courtesy, and sweeten and sanctify life as a whole.
Chief among these was the Rev. George Ripley
, who, convinced by his experience in a faithful ministry, that the need was urgent for a thorough application of the professed principles of Fraternity to actual relations, was about staking his all of fortune, reputation, position, and influence, in an attempt to organize a joint-stock community at Brook Farm.
How Margaret was inclined to regard this movement has been already indicated.
While at heart sympathizing with the heroism that prompted it, in judgment she considered it premature.
But true to her noble self, though regretting the seemingly gratuitous sacrifice of her friends, she gave them without stint the cheer of her encouragement and the light of her counsel.
She visited them often; entering genially into their trials and pleasures, and