[First part of page 166 has not been transcribed.]

"I am shocked to perceive you think I am


writing the life of Goethe. No indeed! I shall
need a great deal of preparation before I shall
have it clear in my head. I have taken a great
many notes; but I shall not begin to write it, till
it all lies mapped out before me. I have no mate-
rials for ten years of his life, from the time he
went to Weimar, up to the Italian journey. Be-
sides, I wish to see the books that have been
written about him in Germany, by friend or
foe. I wish to look at the matter from all
sides. New lights are constantly dawning on
me; and I think it possible I shall come out from
the Carlyle view, and perhaps from yours, and
distaste you, which will trouble me.

* * How am I to get the information I want,
unless I go to Europe? To whom shall I write
to choose my materials? I have thought of Mr.
Carlyle, but still more of Goethe's friend, Von
Muller. I dare say he would be pleased at the
idea of a life of G. written in this hemisphere, and
be very willing to help me. If you have anything
to tell me, you will, and not mince matters. Of
course, my impressions of Goethe's works cannot
be influenced by information I get about his
life; but as to this latter, I suspect I must have
been hasty in my inferences. I apply to you


without scruple. There are subjects on which
men and women usually talk a great deal, but
apart from one another.You, however, are well
aware that I am very destitute of what is com-
monly called modesty. With regard to this, how
fine the remark of our present subject: 'Courage
and modesty are virtues which every sort of
society reveres, because they are virtues which
cannot be counterfeited; also, they are known by
the same hue.' When that blush does not come
naturally to my face, I do not drop a veil to make
people think it is there. All this may be very
unlovely, but it is I".

From Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, volume 1 (London: Bentley, 1852), pages 166-168