To Her Sister Mrs. E. K. Channing

From: At Home and Abroad, or Things and Thoughts in Europe (1856)
Author: Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Published: and Company 1856 Boston


Rome, June 19, 1849.

  As was Eve, at first, I suppose every mother is delighted by the birth of a man-child. There is a hope that he will conquer more ill, and effect more good, than is expected from girls. This prejudice in favor of man does not seem to be destroyed by his shortcomings for ages. Still, each mother hopes to find in hers an Emanuel. I should like very much to see your children, but hardly realize I ever shall. The journey home seems so long, so difficult, so expensive. I should really like to lie down here, and sleep my way into another sphere of existence, if I could take with me one or two that love and need me, and was sure of a good haven for them on that other side.

  The world seems to go so strangely wrong! The bad side triumphs; the blood and tears of the generous flow in vain. I assist at many saddest scenes, and suffer for those whom I knew not before. Those whom I knew and loved,—who, if they had triumphed, would have opened for me an easier, broader, higher-mounting road,— are every day more and more involved in earthly ruin. Eternity is with us, but there is much darkness and bitterness in this portion of it. A baleful star rose on my birth, and its hostility, I fear, will never be disarmed while I walk below.

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