Letter XXXVIII.

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

New York, 12th June, 1845.

  After these three days of intense heat we usually have in June comes one shadowy, sighing, cool, which seems very suitable for writing to you. You will not find too many letters in London, if you feel like me. I thought, when you went, letters would be nothing, after the fulness of living intercourse, but already I begin to want them very much and be disconsolate to think I can receive none for near a month yet. I hope you will have written on the voyage. But we are on unequal terms in this; all around you is new, while every object here is associated with you, and the more lovely the scene, the stronger my regret that you are not beside me. Into the wood, it seems as if I could no more go at all. Yet you seem to be much with me, especially now the moonlight evenings have again begun. Last evening I had no lamp lit after the sunset and lay looking at the moon stealing through the exquisite curtain of branches which now overhangs all my windows. You seemed entirely with me, and I was in a sort of trance as on evenings when you used to sing to me. At these times heaven and earth seemed mingled as in twilight. But when I was roused, I did not feel so happy, as after these evenings. I have really suffered in my health as I feared. It is no imagination my being much less strong, and my head has ached constantly, but to-day I begin to hope to be better again. I try to picture you, where you are, and enter into your new hopes and plans, but somehow I cannot, you seem still to be here. Almost I hear your voice. But after your letter comes, perhaps I shall be able to imagine your new life and wean my thoughts from all this.

  Last Sunday I passed at Staten Island. Oh it was most lovely, the long drives in the wooded lanes and still breezy spots on the hills. It is a pity we could never go there. You forgot to tell me which was the drive you were fond of there; mention, when you write, its name, as I shall go there on a visit, by-and-bye. There a beautiful moss-rosebud was given me! All the evening, riding home and in the boat, though people were talking to me and I answering mechanically, I was really conversing with you.

  But this is a dull song to send so far. I have been thinking you wanted me to write of the people and things that interest you here and how shall I? For I do not know them by name. When you have told me stories you have not told me the names of the actors. What has been the main subject of our talk has been personal to ourselves and life and religion in general. If there are special subjects you want to hear about, will you tell me? And write whether you ever get that letter from Mr. Polk. If you do not, let me try and get it and send to your address in time for the use you wish. I forgot to beg you would let the friend you commissioned to receive it apprize me of the result, and now I have no way of finding out. Do not fail yourself, dear friend, to tell me. I know, at this distance you must feel so affectionately, you will like to have me do it for you. Say, is it not so?

  Many, many things I forgot to ask and say. Many questions now occur I wish I had asked you; many words, some as good as wine or honey, I wish I had said. But the effect of our intercourse was to make me so passive: sometimes I wonder it was so interesting to you, and yet I do not, for I seem a part of yourself. We were born, surely, under the same constellation. You found much of yourself in me; though veiled by a light haze, there was a long soft echo to the deepest tones. Sometimes you doubted whether I fully comprehended you, and probably I did not; but I felt able to, and it was so pleasant to be led on and supported at the same time. Whenever there was dissonance between us, it ended as being so superficial:

It seemed but tuning of the breast
To make the music better.

I never had these feelings at all toward any other.

  And now, loved friend, I find myself just so passive, waiting. You have told me much of your history, and of the inward call of your heart. This seems to be the crisis in your life. I cannot at all look forward to the result. Whether it will lead you inward or outward, to pilgrim-sorrows or a small harmonious sphere of earthly uses and blessings, I long to know; but only from yourself can I know! Impart all you can to the chosen sister. I never did like to ask you questions and now shall still less, but know that I always want to know. And forgive, should my letters be somewhat reserved. I am afraid it will make me timid that my letters must go so far and be so long of getting answered, and through many hands and public offices. When they only went by the little foot-page a street or two, and I could presently add with lips and eyes all that was wanting to explain them, I had more courage than I can have this way.

  You, I hope, I trust, will draw to you in the spirit what is best and truest. But you are a man, and men have the privilege of boldness. Put your soul upon the paper as much as you can.

  Your amiable townsman, Mr. Benson, as if he had an instinct that I was forsaken, came the day you sailed, to offer me all kind of kind offices. Would I go to Long Branch, to Rock-away; he knew all the prettiest places in the neighbourhood, and would take me in his gig; he would come out with his boat and take me. He has been out in the boat one afternoon, but I was sick and did not see him. Alas! how full the world is of persons and kind ones, too, but how few with whom we can make music. But you find such an one in Mr. Delf, do you not? You will find yourself at home with him in London.

  Mrs. Storms is coming on Saturday with a set of Texan distinguĂ©s to dine here!

  I am to break off for a time with Dr. Leger. He says, while my head aches I had better not come, but change the scene and air, and I mean to make some excursions.

  Matters go on here in their usual disjointed fashion. Mr. Greeley is, I believe, really going to the West soon. I am trying to devote myself to the paper, so as to make it easy for him. Little Arthur grows pretty and mischievous; his mother is in better spirits.

  I may not be able to write by the Western as there is much to be done these next coming days, but will the last of the month.



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