Letter XI.

From: Love-Letters of Margaret Fuller, 1845-1846
Published: 1903 New York


  Yesterday I was able to be industrious, and to go to rest singing, if not with that sense of deep peace with which we would lie down in the bosom of night, saying as our sufficient prayer: “All is well.” But to-day your letter, with its tone of sweet, pure reproach comes to touch the hidden springs of feeling. Art thou indeed yet better, lovelier, truer, than thou seemest to me? If so do not expect me to blame myself for the clouds. I shall be too happy to find a being rise beyond my expectations, one whom I must improve and expand to “understand” I shall have no time to blame myself.

  Yet forgive, if I have done amiss; forgive, when I shall do amiss.

  And I too “do not understand!” From so many beautiful dwellings, whose door stood hospitably open, myself must tum away into the shivering, muddy street, because they would not let me in in my true dress and manner. And now am I to repel thee? Oh no! it will not be so; I shall understand yet; have patience. And yet, O dearest friend, indolent, cowardly that I am, I do wish, that I had not begun to read the book, but only learned the title-page by heart and left a happy kiss upon the cover. How sweet it would have been just to walk on with thee through the winding ways, without hope, without doubt or fear, gathering the flowers of the new day or mosses from the old rocks for one another, with sometimes a mutual upward look to sun or star! I needed no future, only that there should be no precaution or limitation as to the future, nothing to check that infinite hope, which is the only atmosphere for spring. Those winding ways would have led us to the beach, and there we should have parted, and I would have watched the white sail, with unwearied eye and salutation, till it was a dark speck. in the blue, and then I would have wept away a portion more of this earthly life and wept myself to sleep, when absence and duty would have taken me again, and placed me on the spot where I ought to awake, and all would have been past, except a fair picture on the wall of my dwelling.

  Now it is deeper, and we cannot get out of the labyrinth, nor my heart find what it craves, sweet content with thee. God grant that a pure, high ministry may compensate for this loss, which to me is unspeakable. I do so long for childish rest and play, instead of all the depths, which never will go deep enough. Can it not be again? You promised the lighter chords should yet again vibrate.

  You speak of the “cataract.” When I get down here, I do always hear its plunge and almost see its white foam. But I know little about the mystery of life, and far less in myself than in others. I inclose you two little poems addressed to me, which seem to point at what you have in mind, do they not? Yet the echo from them is not homefelt. Your voice awakens a longer echo through the subterranean chambers, yet not long enough to teach me where to go. The one signed S. was given me last autumn, the other by my brother-in-law, W. E. Channing, and I like that particularly, as it is always pleasing, when the common intercourse of daily life does not destroy, but enhances, poetic interest.

  And you I must cause to “stoop”; that is uncongenial, indeed, nor could we have expected it. But truth-truth-we have resolved always to accept. I await the letter, finding myself always

Your friend.
Late evening.

  I hear to-night of a generous action, which gives me so much pleasure, I wish to say to you, that I am happy. Will you remind me to tell you about it, when we meet?

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