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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Women and Men, chapter 24 (search)
cries, I will! in the adjoining room, in that defiant tone which is a storm-signal to the parents' car. The fault is not, however, in the words; spoken in the right place and right tone, they represent the highest moral condition of which man is capable, since resignation itself is not a virtue so noble as is a concentrated and heroic purpose. How superbly does Tennyson state. the dignity of those words when he paints the marriage in The Gardener's daughter! Autumn brought an hour For Eustace, when I heard his deep I will Breathed, like the covenant of a God, to hold From thence through all the worlds. There is one thing that I dread more for my little Maiden than to hear her say I will, namely, that she should lose the power of saying it. A broken, impaired, will-less nature — a life filled with memory's gravestones, where noble aspirations have perished unfulfilled for want of vigor of will to embody them in action-this seems to me more disastrous than even an overweenin