SYMES: Do you think a man could look on you, do you think a man could hear you speak, and learn unmoved of those burdens that threatened to crush your youth?… Could any man of feeling look on the spectacle of Genius rending the spirit of a lovely female, from within; and the thorns of this world thrust in her pathway; and keep humbly to his by-path, with no dream of being a rescuer? — Yes. I confess to you, I was a trespasser. I tried to find out all I could of your life, your trials, your natural protectors; and finding no help there, I lost my head. And if, in that state of fascinated desperation, I conceived the wild dream–that I might be blessed to lighten your destiny… I pray you to forgive my youth. I was a dumb thing; an uncouth creature always; timid of myself. I was thinking of taking orders, when I met you. I was an only son; with a few women-folk. It was what they desired. We had always had enough. — Then, when I saw you, and read what you had written; and understood your great thoughts struggling in this insolent world, — I knew that it was my duty to follow my conscience only; with one taper in my hand, a little truth that lighted the world newly. — And I longed to see whatever you should see. And afterwards… I learned that you were living and thinking over the water, in those terrible days with the French. And I hoped that I might but see you, once again. I am deeply in your debt, that you permit me to tell you the truth. Surely, happiness must be something like this.
Wiersz The portrait of mrs. W - Peabody Josephine Preston