Page:Margaret Fuller by Howe, Julia Ward, Ed. (1883).djvu/70

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MISS MARTINEAU'S BOOK.

85


in the book "a degree of presumptuousness, irreverence, inaccuracy, hasty generalization, and ultraism on many points which they did not expect, lament the haste in which you have written, and the injustice which you have consequently done to so important a task, and to your own powers of being and doing."

Among other grievances, Margaret especially felt the manner in which Miss Martineau had written about Mr. Alcott. This she could not pass over without comment: "A true and noble man; a philanthropist, whom a true and noble woman, also a philanthropist, should have delighted to honour; a philosopher, worthy the palmy times of ancient Greece; a man whom the worldlings of Boston hold in as much horror as the worldlings of ancient Athens did Socrates. They smile to hear their verdict confirmed from the other side of the Atlantic by their censor, Harriet Martineau."

Margaret expresses in this letter the fear lest the frankness of her strictures should deprive her of the regard of her friend, but says, “If your heart turns from me, I shall still love you, still think you noble."

In 1840 Margaret was solicited to become the editor of the Dial, and undertook, for two years, the management of the magazine, which was at this time considered as the organ of the Transcendentalists. The Dial was a quarterly publication, somewhat nebulous in its character, but valuable as the expression of fresh thought, stimulating to culture of a new order. Like the transcendental movement itself, it had in it the germs of influences which in the course of the last forty years have come to be widely felt and greatly prized.