Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Make Me Smaller and Smaller


"I have just finished a short story called 'Gentleman Jim,"' she tells a correspondent under date of January 20, 1878. Then after mentioning a letter-- "the most discriminating I ever received -- about Greylock " -- she gives us the key to the singular equanimity with which she sustained the praises of her writings. " After the first rush of pleasure, the Evil One troubled me off and on for two or three hours, but at last I reminded him that I long ago chose to cast in my lot with the people of God, and so be off the line of human notice or applause." 

In her answer to the appreciative reader (Mr. J. Cleaveland Cady, the popular architect) she strikes the same chord more strongly. "I am not sorry that I chose the path in life I did choose. A woman should not live for, or even desire fame. . . . If I had not steadily suppressed all such ambition I might have become a sour, disappointed woman, seeing my best work unrecognized. . . . God has only taken me at my word. I have asked Him a thousand times to make me smaller and smaller, and crowd the self out of me by taking up all the room Himself." 

[A little insight as to what was in the heart of this woman and why her writings had and have the impact that they do. ~ mr]

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