IN the Public Library of Cambridge, Mass., is preserved the diary which Margaret Fuller wrote during her sojourn in England in 1846. The following passage obviously makes reference to this romance:
“Leave Edinburgh on Monday morning, 8th (Sept.), for Perthshire. Letter containing virtual reply to my invitation of 1st Sept. also dated 1st Sept. From 1st June, 1845, to 1st Sept., 1846, a mighty change has taken place, I ween. I understand more and more the character of the tribes. I shall write a sketch of it and turn the whole to account in a literary way, since the affections and ideal hopes are so unproductive. I care not. I am resolved to take such disappointments more lightly than I have. I ought not to regret having thought other of ‘humans’ than they deserve.”
Along with the foregoing letters of Margaret Fuller, there has come to the publishers of this book the following letter to Mr. Nathan, written in October, 1846 (a month after the above), by his friend, Mr. F. Delf. Mr. Delf was then living in London as the agent of D. Appleton and Company.
I received a letter from you some two or three weeks ago, which I have mislaid. It arrived the same day I received one from Miss Fuller, at Edinburgh, to which I replied inclosing yours. Miss Fuller has since arrived in London, and I truly have enjoyed a few hours in her society, which exalt her in my estimation more than anything I have hitherto read of her writings. She intends staying here some three weeks longer, and then proceeds to Paris. She bade me to say to you, when I wrote, that she had received your letter, but was too much involved in the routine of visiting and receiving visitors to allow her mind a moment’s repose to reply to it.
By the way, I often ask myself how stands your friendship with her, and how will it bear the effects of your contemplated foreign alliance? Is she prepared for such a condition of affairs? I am stimulated to ask this perhaps impertinent question from the warmth with which she speaks of your friendship, which, by the way, may be too cold a name for her feeling; but of this I must not judge until I know her better, for perhaps I misinterpret her natural warmth of feeling.
Although I feel the imperative duty of writing to you to-day, my mind is so distracted by various matters that I cannot collect my thoughts to communicate many things that I know you expect from me. The time is fast drawing on when I must embark for the United States.
One of the young Appletons is coming to take my place during my absence. With Joe matters continue in statu quo-neither better nor worse. Miss Fuller asked to see him, in order to try to do something for his welfare, but I felt it my duty to resist her inclination in this matter, for I felt sure that no good could come of it.
Do not be discouraged by my abortive attempt at a letter. It is the best I am at present capable of, but write me on the receipt of this.
James Nathan was born on the 9th of February, 1811, in Eutin, Holstein, Germany, and in 1830 came to the United States, where he was engaged in the commission business until 1850. From that year until 1862 he was in the banking business in Wall Street, New York. He then retired and went to Hamburg, where he died in 1888, on the 5th of October. By act of Congress in 1855, and under the advice of Horace Greeley, he changed his name to Gotendorf, which was the name of a place in Holstein that belonged to his father.