Thou only has taught me that I

have a heart – thou only hast

thrown a light deep downward

and upward into my soul. Thou

only hast revealed me to myself;

for without thy aid my best

knowledge of myself would have

been merely to know my own

shadow – to watch it flickering on

the wall, and mistake its fantasies

for my own real actions …

Now, dearest, dost thou under-

stand what thou hast done for

me ? And is it not a somewhat

fearful thought, that a few slight

circumstances might have pre-

vented us from meeting ?

Nathaniel Hawthorne, a letter to Sophia Peadbody

4 October 1840