Martineau, whom she met while on a visit to her friend, Mrs. Farrar, in Cambridge. In speaking of this first mceting Margaret says: "I wished to give myself wholly up to receive an impression of her.... What shrewdness in detecting various shades of character! Yet what she said of Hannah Moore and Miss Edgeworth grated upon my feelings." In a later conversation "the barrier that separates acquaintance from friendship was passed, and Margaret felt, beneath the sharpness of her companion's criticism, the presence of a truly human heart.
The two ladies went to church together, and the minister prayed "for our friends." Margaret was moved by this to offer a special prayer for Miss Martineau, which so impressed itself upon her mind that she was able to write it down. We quote the part of it which most particularly refers to her now friend:—
"May her path be guarded and blessed. May her noble mind be kept firmly poised in its native truth, unsullied by prejudice or error, and strong to resist whatever outwardly or inwardly shall war against its high vocation. May each day bring to this generous seeker new riches of true philosophy and of Divine love. And, amidst all trials, give her to know and feel that thou, the All-sufficing, art with her, leading her on through eternity to likeness of thyself."
The change of base which, years after this time, transformed Miss Martineau into an enthusiastic disbeliever would certainly not have seemed to Margaret an answer to her prayer. But as the doctrine that "God reveals himself in many ways" was not new to her, and as her petition includes the Eternities, we may believe that she appreciated the sincerity of her