Letters and Journals.

From: Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1874).
Author: R.W. Emerson, W.H. Channing, J.F. Clarke
Published: Roberts Brothers 1874 Boston




“What hath not man sought out and found,
But his dear God? Who yet his glorious love
Embosoms in us, mellowing the ground
With showers, and frosts, with love and awe.”


“No one need pride himself upon Genius, for it is the free-gift of God; but of honest Industry and true devotion to his destiny any man may well be proud; indeed, this thorough integrity of purpose is itself the Divine Idea in its most common form, and no really honest mind is without communion with God”


“God did anoint thee with his odorous oil,
To wrestle, not to reign; and he assigns
All thy tears over, like pure crystal lines,
For younger fellow-workers of the soil
To wear for amulets. So others shall
Take patience, labor, to their hearts and hands,
From thy hands, and thy heart, and thy brave cheer,
And God’s grace fructify through thee to all.”

                                             ELIZABETH B. BARRETT.

“While I was restless, nothing satisfied,
Distrustful, most perplexed- yet felt somehow
A mighty power was brooding, taking shape
Within me; and this lasted till one night
When, as I sat revolving it and more,
A still voice from without said,—‘Seest thou not,
Desponding child, whence came defeat and loss?
Even from thy strength.’”



  HEAVEN’S discipline has been invariable to me. The seemingly most pure and noble hopes have been blighted; the seemingly most promising connections broken. The lesson has been endlessly repeated: “Be humble, patient, self-sustaining; hope only for occasional aids; love others, but not engrossingly, for by being much alone your appointed task can best be done!” What a weary work is before me, ere that lesson shall be fully learned! Who shall wonder at the stiff-necked, and rebellious folly of young Israel, bowing down to a brute image, though the prophet was bringing messages from the holy mountain, while one’s own youth is so obstinately idolatrous! Yet will I try to keep the heart with diligence, nor ever fear that the sun is gone out because I shiver in the cold and dark!’

  Such was the tone of resignation in which Margaret wrote from Groton, Massachusetts, whither, much to her regret, her father removed in the spring of 1833. Extracts from letters and journals will show how stern was her schooling there, and yet how constant was her faith, that

                      “God keeps a niche
In heaven to hold our idols! And albeit
He breaks them to our faces, and denies
That our close kisses should impair their white,
I know we shall behold them raised, complete,
The dust shook from their beauty,—glorified,
New Memnons singing in the great God-light.”

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