Letter XX.

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

Saturday, 19th April, 1845.


  Your hand removes at last the veil from my eyes. It is then, indeed, myself who have caused all ill. It is I, who by flattering myself and letting others flatter me that I must ever act nobly and nobler than others, have forgot that pure humility which is our only safeguard. I have let self-love, pride and distrust creep upon me and mingle with my life-blood. All unawares I have let experience corrode the virgin-gold. I came from the battle field fancying myself a victor, and now in my arrogance have fallen beneath the just hopes of a kindred spirit, and grieved it and put this same darkness into its clear life.

  I need not say “pardon.” “Long since” hast thou pardoned. Nay! thou wilt bless our Father for making thee the instrument of good to me, in that only religion, which restores our innocence to us by making us weep for its beauty and implore a restoration through the divine original.

  I will now kneel, and, laying thy dear hand upon my heart, implore, that if pride or suspicion should hide there again, the recollection of this day may rise up, and with its sharp deep pulse, make them flutter their wings. And when I know they are there, indeed, indeed, there is nothing I will not suffer myself to endure to drive them out.

  I have indeed always had a suspicion that I was not really good at all, and have longed for a baptism without to wash off the dust of the world; within, a deep rising of the waters to purify them by motion. And yet, while I wished, I feared it. Pain is very keen with me. I cannot help fearing it. Yet, O Father, against whose love as against the trust of man I have sinned, in this same moment I submit and say: when and how much Thou wilt. Thou wilt proportion it to my strength to bear.

  My beloved friend, I will not say: Forget these days. We cannot and we need not, but I think, receding in the distance, the rough crags with their serpent brood, will not misbecome the landscape. You will not feel, that I am incapable of faith because I have not yet shown it, nor misdoubt the light, which shone on you through me, because it does not yet pervade me. Fain would I never again give you pain or disappointment, but you are noble enough to be willing to take me as I am. A higher will must govern and make my faults perhaps subservient to its purpose. Your trust in human nature will not be shaken; you have the vouchers in your own breast.

  If I ever fancied you other than “severely true,” I do not now. I have now taken of the kernel of your life and planted it in mine. We have now been embraced in the eternal goodness and truth, and a certainty, a reality has superseded hope and, I trust, fear; at all events, that which has been a certainty must ever be.

  You complain of being bodily sick, but I think you must be better now. Do not regret the “nightmare” or distrust the words, poor blind messengers though they be from the true home; this time they found their way, and shed the light on all that came before. We shall now, I think, be “God’s good children,” and I shall be like a child otherways than in fancies and impulses and childish longings.

  I too have been sick, and though seeming cheerful these last three days, it was outward and wilful, the spirit nestled not softly, saying: All is well. I was überspannt; the feeling of alienation was dreadfully unnatural to me.

  Indeed I was alienated from myself. How could it be borne? But coming home to-day with your letter, I could not forbear falling asleep, though it was broad daylight. There was such repose in these convictions, it gave me the power of sleep at once, which has not really been before since Sunday. I rested on the heart which is so good and noble, and which must surely find repose for itself, also, now its painful task is done. Yet to-night it shall be the last thought with me to wish it, though by me it cannot be given. I have not been good and pure and sweet enough. I have no words wherewith to say farewell my brother-Seligkeit.


  The afternoon has been of such tender sweetness, the little frequent showers so musical, and drawing from the earth and every leaf and bud fragrance till the air seemed full of soul. The clouds were very thin, with a faint glow on the horizon. The great tree is far more glorious to-day. I have worshipped it much, and very soon it will be all starred over with blossoms. The world may be wicked, but it is impossible on such a day not to rejoice that we have been born into it.

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