From: At Home and Abroad, or Things and Thoughts in Europe (1856)
Author: Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Published: and Company 1856 Boston
I TAKE occasion to enclose this seal, as a little birthday present, for I think you will be twenty-five in May. I have used it a great deal; the design is graceful and expressive,—the stone of some little value.
I live with the severest economy consistent with my health. I could not live for less anywhere. I have renounced much, have suffered more. I trust I shall not find it impossible to accomplish at least one of my designs. This is, to see the end of the political struggle in Italy, and write its history. I think it will come to its crisis within this year. But to complete my work as I have begun, I must watch it to the end.
This work, if I can accomplish it, will be a worthy chapter in the history of the world; and if written with the spirit which breathes through me, and with sufficient energy and calmness to execute well the details, would be what the motto on my ring indicates,—“a possession for ever, for man.”
It ought to be profitable to me pecuniarily; but in these respects Fate runs so uniformly counter to me, that I dare not expect ever to be free from perplexity and uncongenial labor. Still, these will never more be so hard to me, if I shall have done something good, which may survive my troubled existence. Yet it would be like the rest, if by ill health, want of means, or being driven prematurely from the field of observation, this hope also should be blighted. I am prepared to have it so. Only my efforts tend to the accomplishment of my object; and should they not be battled, you will not see me before the summer of 1850.
Meantime, let the future be what it may, I live as well as I can in the present.
Farewell, my dear Richard; that you may lead a peaceful, inspiring, and generous life was ever, and must ever be, the prayer from the soul of your sister
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