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Chapter 8: conversations in Boston. It was in the suburban quiet of Jamaica Plain that the project of holding literary conversations first shaped itself. When Madame de Stael asked the Comte de Segur which he liked best, her conversation or her writings, he is reported to have replied, Your conversation, madame, for then you have not the leisure to become obscure. It was really in the effort to avoid obscurity and clarify her own thoughts that Margaret Fuller began by talking instead of
th eagerness the intellectual exercise; she felt that she was, perhaps, doing some good; and the longing for affection, which was one of the strongest traits of her nature, was gratified by the warm allegiance of her pupils.
She went back to Jamaica Plain, every now and then, to rest, and, while rejoicing in that respite, still felt that her field was action, and that she could not, like Mr. Emerson, withdraw from the world to a quiet rural home.
She wrote thus, on one occasion, to the Rev. W