In the winter of 1829, a baby girl was born not far from Hanover, New Hampshire, to a farming couple named Daniel and Harmony Bridgman. The Bridgmans were churchgoing Baptists. Shortly after the girl, Laura, had passed her second birthday, scarlet fever attacked the family. With versatile cruelty, it killed her six-year-old and four-year-old sisters but left Laura alive—completely deaf and, to use the blunt word of the doctor who attended her, with her eyes “spoilt.” She retained some sensitivity to light in one eye until, at the age of five, she pierced it by walking into a spindle projecting from her mother’s spinning wheel, and her world went totally dark.

Trying to be a good Christian—trying, that is, to suppress her questions about why this plague had been visited upon her children—Mrs. Bridgman wrote to a friend that “my feelings were more easily conceived than expressed.” Small wonder. Like any pious mother, she was expected to reconcile her love for her children with the doctrine that, conceived and born in sin, they shared in the guilt passed down from generation to generation since Adam’s original sin in Eden. Here is an earlier New England mother, the Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet, summing up in a quatrain the doctrine that every infant is born depraved and deserves whatever punishment God metes out:

Stained from birth with Adams sinfull fact
Thence I began to sin as soon as act:
A perverse will, a love to what’s forbid,
A serpents sting in pleasing face lay hid.

For believers in this predestinarian version of Christianity that persisted in New England more or less continuously for some two hundred years, the question of why God spares some children while sweeping others into the furnace of pain and death was perhaps the deepest mystery of their faith; and their greatest trial was to accept God’s reasons without his revealing what those reasons were.

As the fever receded and became a memory, the Bridgmans went on with their lives. In the time between Laura’s sickness and her hideous accident, two sons were born, and Harmony Bridgman learned to cope with the needs of her surviving daughter. She taught Laura such household tasks as setting table and churning butter, and when the child became wild and unmanageable, she did her best to calm and comfort her by hugging and holding her until the tantrum passed. Both parents developed a system of taps and caresses that conveyed to Laura their responses—approval, warning, anger, consent—to her behavior. Before her illness, Laura had spoken a few words, and for a short time after her recovery she sometimes cried out “dark, dark” as if begging for someone to light a lamp—but she soon lost her ability to speak and reverted to what sounded, at least to visitors, like bestial grunts and moans.

The Bridgmans lived in a theological world little changed from colonial times. God ruled their lives with unpredictable and unappeasable anger; they worshiped him in a congregation gathered on the model of what they took to have been the apostolic Christian church; and their creed—centered on the doctrines of total depravity and unconditional election—remained in its essentials that of the fervent Protestants who had founded New England two centuries earlier. Elsewhere in New England, however, especially in the coastal towns and cities, a new theological liberalism was softening, or (from the orthodox point of view) undermining, the old creed. God’s judgments were coming to be understood less as punishments for inherited sin than as prods to ameliorative human action. As the leading Unitarian minister of the day, William Ellery Channing, put it in a widely noted sermon of 1819, we “gradually come to see, in suffering and temptation, proofs and instruments of the sublimest purposes of wisdom and love.”

In the summer of 1837, a Boston Unitarian named Samuel Gridley Howe decided that Laura Bridgman presented him with just such a sublime purpose. He had learned of her case from an account published in a local New Hampshire newspaper by a Dartmouth professor named Reuben Mussey, and he wrote to Mussey forthwith. Since Laura “might be made useful to science by throwing light upon some points of intellectual philosophy,” he said, she should be brought to Boston for examination and education at the Perkins Institution for the Blind, of which Howe was the director. When the Bridgmans indicated their willingness to let their daughter go, Howe—according to the recollection of a traveling companion—felt “exaltation.”

As the historian Ernest Freeberg puts it in his lucid book The Education of Laura Bridgman, Samuel Howe was a “professional reformer.” His was a new vocation in the United States, as Freeberg explains: he was a sort of executive officer appointed to run a charitable organization by the well-to-do citizens who had formed and financed it. In her equally valuable The Imprisoned Guest (the title comes from an anonymous newspaper poem about Bridgman), Elisabeth Gitter, a professor of English, gives a lively sketch of Howe’s rise to the attention of the benefactors of what would become the Perkins School. Born in 1801 to a Boston ropemaker, he grew up “restless, unmoneyed, [and] adventurous,” performed poorly as an undergraduate at Brown and competently at Harvard Medical School, and then, stirred by Lord Byron’s death in the service of the Greek revolution, sailed to join that crusade against “the unspeakable Turk” as a guerrilla fighter and military surgeon. From 1824 till 1831 he was a soldier, a lecturer on behalf of the Greek cause, and a proficient organizer of what we would call public works projects—deploying hundreds of refugees in rebuilding the port of Aegina, then, in 1829, founding what was essentially a private colony that he called Washingtonia, in which he tested the latest Anglo-American pedagogical techniques on the illiterate poor. Before leaving Greece for a tour of Europe en route home, he bought at auction a battle helmet rumored to have belonged to Byron. Describing Howe in these years, Gitter calls him, with a flourish, a “benevolent Mr. Kurtz.”


While he was away, an acquaintance from Howe’s Brown and Harvard days, John Dix Fisher, the physician who was later to introduce the use of ether in childbirth in the United States, had been raising private and public funds in Boston for an institution to help the blind. Fisher and his colleagues hoped that its first director would be Thomas Gallaudet, an evangelical minister who had founded the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, at Hartford, Connecticut—but Gallaudet declined. When the disappointed suitors turned to Howe, he threw himself into the job with a fervor that may have been enhanced by his knowing he was their second choice.

As Gitter remarks, “The nineteenth-century American remedy for problems of ignorance was almost always a trip abroad to study,” and so, subsidized by his employers, Howe returned to Europe to observe techniques for teaching the blind. He was particularly impressed by a school in Paris that furnished blind students with embossed books, maps, and mathematical slates whose raised letters and numbers they could recognize by touch. But he was disappointed by the resignation of European educators to the permanent exclusion of blind or deaf people from “normal” society. He came home convinced that Americans could do better—that he could find ways to help the blind and the deaf achieve self-sufficient citizenship.

The fit between Howe’s personal ambition and the philanthropic movement sweeping New England was exact. Pulpits and podiums rang with denunciations of slavery, poverty, and illiteracy; the spirit of reform seemed everywhere on the rise. Writing in 1842 about his first visit to America, Charles Dickens was struck by the number and quality of charitable institutions, including the Perkins School, that had lately sprung up around Boston, “institutions and charities… as nearly perfect, as the most considerate wisdom, benevolence, and humanity, can make them.” Behind all the good works was doubtless an element of self-interest. Even as they welcomed the influx of cheap labor, the propertied classes of New England (a small percentage of the whole population) worried that, in the absence of educational and economic opportunity, immigrants from such blighted countries as Ireland would bring with them the discontent and unrest that were threatening Europe. “No one,” Orestes Brownson declared in 1840, “can observe the signs of the times with much care, without perceiving that a crisis as to the relation of wealth and labor is approaching.”

As with subsequent reform movements from Progressivism to the New Deal and the Great Society, there was a motivating awareness that ignoring the worst inequities now could create conditions requiring more radical remedies later on. But the antebellum New England reformers—whether they came from old money like the Choates or Eliots, or from modest means like the leader of the public education movement, Horace Mann—were animated not only by fear for the safety of their own possessions but also by a disinterested concern for the dispossessed. “No man can be a Christian,” Brownson added, “who does not labor to reform society…so that free scope shall be given to every man to unfold himself in all beauty and power.”

The old relation between individual and society, as Emerson later remarked about these heady days of his youth, was being reversed. If “former generations [had]…sacrificed…the citizen to the State,” now “the modern mind believed that the nation existed for the individual, for the guardianship and education of every man.” And as the terms of the sentence (“guardianship,” “education”) implied, these obligations had to begin with the rearing of children. There was, Emerson wrote in retrospect, the growth of “a certain tenderness on the people” that expressed itself especially in a new attitude toward children, who once “had been repressed and kept in the background [but] now…were considered, cosseted and pampered.” What we think of today as a perennially true refrain—that teachers in America are undervalued and underpaid—emerged for the first time in the 1830s as a political theme. Preachers and politicians called for public funds and parental sacrifice. “There should be no economy in education,” Channing declared in 1833. “Money should never be weighed against the soul of a child.”


Samuel Howe’s contribution to this first American age of liberal reform was his conviction that children without hearing or sight should have the same rights and opportunities as those whose senses were intact. This idea might seem self-evident today—though Gitter remarks that, even now, 70 percent of disabled Americans are unemployed—but in antebellum America it was an untested assertion. Howe knew that he faced not only the daunting task of teaching the blind but also of defeating public prejudice against them. Even people of good will were troubled by the “blindisms” of sightless children (“they swing their hands, or work their heads or reel their bodies,” Howe himself wrote with evident distaste) who were typically quarantined in asylums, where they tended to become shy or listless or prone to outbursts of temper. Few people believed that blind children could expect anything more than to be housed in asylums or to grow up into lives of dependency on their families. When the offer came to run the Perkins School on the principle of training blind children to lead independent lives as workers and citizens outside a protective institution, Howe set out to prove the skeptics wrong.

His first aim was therapeutic. But he also thought of himself as conducting a purely intellectual inquiry—a kind of anthropological experiment by which the innate capacities of persons shut out from the influence of civilization could be measured and assessed. In theory, the most promising subject for such an experiment would be a child with even more radical sensory damage than blindness or deafness—a child with neither sight nor hearing. And so, in Gitter’s phrase, it was Laura Bridgman’s “singular isolation from language and culture that made her valuable to him.” Here was a child cut off almost completely from the world outside her own mind: only her sense of touch had been spared by the fever that had not only destroyed her eyes and ears but had also attenuated her ability to smell and taste. To borrow the phrase that Gitter uses pointedly to describe Howe’s clinical approach to his patient—she was the “unusual specimen” he had been looking for.

As far as anyone knew, no one with Laura’s afflictions had ever learned to speak, either by using her voice or by means of the finger alphabet—a method invented by Trappist monks who used it to evade their vow of silence by spelling out words letter by letter with the fingers into another person’s hand. Some version of the finger alphabet was frequently used, as Gitter points out, by schoolgirls wanting to carry on inaudible conversations when teachers turned their backs; one English writer remarked around 1850 that most of the ladies at high-society dinner parties could be expected to be fluent with their fingers. But the idea that someone both blind and deaf could learn to speak or to spell manually seemed preposterous. In Blackstone’s standard compendium of English common law, as Freeberg reports, a blind-deaf person was classified “in the same state as an idiot; he being supposed incapable of any understanding, as wanting all those senses which furnish the human mind with ideas.”

Blackstone was paraphrasing John Locke, who had established, in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), the basic tenets of Anglo-American psychology that still pre-vailed in Howe’s day. According to Locke (who equated very young children with mentally impaired “idiots”), the mind of an infant is best compared to a “white paper, void of all characters.” A person comes into consciousness through the reception of impressions from external objects, a process Locke called sensation, and develops into a thinking being through reflection—the power of the mind to become aware of itself. The mind apprehends “simple ideas” such as color, heat, or pain, through the senses, then, by reflection, combines them into “complex ideas,” such as beauty or gratitude—and thus begins to understand the world through categories or concepts by which it organizes sensations into thoughts. If this process is blocked or interrupted at the stage when sense impressions are ordinarily first acquired, the possibility of knowledge is lost: “…If a child were kept in a place where he never saw any other but black and white till he were a man, he would have no more ideas of scarlet or green than he that from his childhood never tasted an oyster or a pineapple has of those particular relishes.”

Locke sometimes seemed to hint that human beings are born equipped with certain mental faculties specifically keyed or attuned to certain aspects of the external world—as when he refers to “proper senses” that lie dormant in the mind until they are “solicited” by sound or other “tangible qualities.” Even before the reception of the first sensations, these faculties, or “proper senses,” are like coiled springs or guns with their hammers pulled back—poised to release when the right stimulus hits the right trigger. To this extent, Locke granted the a priori existence of innate powers resident in the mind from birth. But the Essay was written in part to dispute religious enthusiasts who believed that God (or, for that matter, the devil) sometimes speaks to people privately through inner voices that no one else can hear—and so Locke insisted that, “depending wholly upon our senses,” human beings obtain reliable knowledge only through the sensory apprehension of external objects. His picture of the mind was predominantly that of a receptacle in which sense impressions are passively collected. By the early nineteenth century, Locke’s name was associated, as it still is today, with the phrase tabula rasa—the pro-position that the mind of a child is initially blank and inert, awaiting the impress of the world.


When Samuel Gridley Howe proposed to teach Laura Bridgman to express herself in words, he was defying this rationalist view of the human mind as the sum of accumulated sensations. As Freeberg aptly puts it, “It requires an effort of historical imagination to recognize that, as he sat down with the eight-year-old to begin her first lessons, his faith that there was a mind ‘in there,’ capable of learning, was an unproven intuition, running counter to a century of failed efforts to reach other deaf-blind children.” How could a child who had lived in the equivalent of a dark and silent room (“in darkness and stillness,” Howe surmised, “as profound as that of a closed tomb at midnight”) possibly describe, whether with her fingers or her voice, the world outside the room?

What may be added to Freeberg’s comment is that when Howe looked at Laura Bridgman, he saw the embodiment of a romantic ideal—a human being whose imagination is struggling to survive, and to transcend, the limits of the body. Here was a clue to the public appeal of the spectacle of the disabled child, as Elisabeth Gitter points out in discussing one of Laura Bridgman’s precursors, a deaf-blind girl named Julia Brace who was described in the early 1830s by the sentimental poet Lydia Sigourney as almost enviably happy: “Unchained by the senses that bind down to earth,” she is able to “Explore the regions whence she drew her birth,/And bathe in floods of everlasting day.” This celebration of the power of the imagination, as M.H. Abrams showed in Natural Supernaturalism (1971), was a romantic translation of the Christian doctrine of the immortal soul. It was a way, in the wake of the Enlightenment, of retrieving the idea of the spirit and a sense of the miraculous—of relocating in the human mind itself the power that religion had once attributed exclusively to God. One or another version of this kind of romantic religion was to be found everywhere in the literary culture of Howe’s day—as when, in 1826, Channing described the genius of the blind poet John Milton: “Though sightless, he lived in light…[his] soul…is perpetually stretching beyond what is present or visible, struggling against the bounds of its earthly prison-house, and seeking relief and joy in imaginings of unseen and ideal being.”

Samuel Howe’s experiment with the deaf-blind child belongs squarely to this tradition—to the movement that carried New England intellectuals away from Enlightenment rationalism toward a proto-romantic idea of “inner light.” The reaction against Locke had begun in earnest with Channing, who declared in 1819 that “we see God around us, because he dwells within us,” and culminated with Emerson who, in 1838, defined the world as “the mirror of the soul.” What Howe saw in Laura Bridgman was an opportunity to show that these claims were empirically true—that the mind, even one utterly deprived of sensory contact with the outside world, contains within itself everything it needs to know.

In fact, however, as the English biblical scholar John Kitto, who had lost his hearing as a child, pointed out as early as 1848, Laura had been healthy and alert throughout infancy (even, it may be added, into what we would now call the toddler years), and therefore had acquired “a vast number of ideas derived from the eye and ear,” which continued to “supply, through all the rest of her life, some materials for comparison and thought.” In this sense, Laura was a contaminated specimen—never quite the sealed creature Howe took her to be.

Nevertheless, Howe always saw Laura Bridgman as his best chance to prove “the innateness of ideas.” At first, the proof was elusive. He ordered the school printing department to create special paper labels on which words for common objects—spoon, door, bed—were printed in raised letters. He affixed these labels to their designated objects and, day after day, he guided Laura’s fingers over the words; then, cutting the labels into their individual letters and scrambling them, he had her reassemble them into the sequences that spelled the words and place them herself on the appropriate objects. Responding readily to the praise and challenge, she learned quickly to carry out these tasks. But to Howe it all seemed mimicking and mechanical as if performed by a parrot or a dog, and she seemed to remain as far from language and thought as when they had begun:

It was as though she were under water, and we on the surface over her, unable to see her, but dropping a line, and moving it about here and there, hoping it might touch her hand, so that she would grasp it instinctively.

Then, after two months, the breakthrough came: the lifeline did “touch her hand, and she did grasp it; and we pulled her up to the light, or rather, she pulled herself up.”

Laura now rushed about in a state of excitement strikingly similar to that famously described by Helen Keller when she suddenly grasped the secret of language as her teacher Anne Sullivan thrust her hand into water flowing from the backyard pump and spelled out the letters w-a-t-e-r into her palm. Laura reveled in her immense new power to name the things of this world. “The truth began to flash upon her,” Howe wrote, and “she perceived that here was a way by which she could herself make up a sign of anything that was in her own mind, and show it to another mind.” In her discovery of human communication, she had revealed within herself “an immortal spirit, eagerly seizing upon a new link of union with other spirits!”

In a series of annual reports on the work of the Perkins School, Howe now chronicled Laura’s progress step by step, proclaiming her a living refutation of the Lockean theory of knowledge that he regarded as a falsely materialist view of human nature. He wrote about her in a way that was both modern (human language, he insisted, was a system of arbitrary signs) and residually religious (her “immortal spirit…awakened”). Even the fisherman metaphor (the “dropping [of] the line”) was one that New England ministers had traditionally invoked when, quoting the gospels of Matthew and Mark, they called themselves “fishers of men.” Before the end of 1839, Laura had made such astounding progress that she was writing letters home to her parents, and Howe, a tireless self-publicist, had become famous as the “Columbus of the mind.”


For the remainder of the nineteenth century, the story of Bridgman and Howe grew in fame. In 1842, quoting liberally from Howe’s reports, Dickens devoted an entire chapter of his American Notes to an account of his visit with them. There followed essays by such Victorian luminaries as John Jay Chapman and William James, memoirs by faculty members who had taught Bridgman at Perkins; and, as late as 1903, Howe’s daughters published a book in the promotional mode entitled Laura Bridgman: Dr. Howe’s Famous Pupil and What He Taught Her.

But, as Gitter recounts, there were also forces working against the durability of their linked renown. After puberty, Laura lost the charm of childhood, and curiosity-seekers, who had once flocked to see the most famous student at Perkins, now seemed disturbed by what they took to be her strange scowls and grimaces. If there is something “inescapably voyeuristic” (Gitter’s phrase) in the attention that people with unimpaired vision pay to the blind, Bridgman apparently grew less and less pleasing to this kind of prurience. Meanwhile, Howe’s own attention drifted toward new causes—abolition, penal reform, and the plight of the mentally retarded. Much of the daily instruction he had once personally carried out he now delegated to other teachers. In 1843, he married Julia Ward, the daughter of a New York banker, a demanding spouse who was, according to Howe’s friend Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “a fine, young, buxom damsel of four and twenty, who is full of talent,—indeed carrying almost too many guns for any man who does not want to be firing salutes all the time.” (Eventually, by setting new words to the popular marching song “John Brown’s Body,” and calling it “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” she eclipsed her husband’s fame.) By the 1850s, with Howe variously distracted, Laura began to alternate her time at Perkins with regular visits to her family in New Hampshire, and though she continued to spend most of the year at the school, she lost her status as its star pupil.

As for the fate of the case in the twentieth century, the biggest detraction from its fame came in 1903, the same year that Howe’s daughters’ book appeared, with the publication of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. Born in Alabama in 1880, Keller was a prodigy who learned to speak in a quavering voice in which the public seemed to hear the pure sound of courage. She mastered several foreign languages, was graduated from Radcliffe College, and traveled widely on behalf of humanitarian causes. Understanding the requirements of modern celebrity, she made herself into a simulacrum of a sighted and hearing person—smiling as if in response to comments she could hear, eschewing the kind of kerchief Laura Bridgman had worn to hide her damaged eyes and wearing realistic glass implants instead.

But if the relation between Bridgman, who died in 1889, and Keller, who lived till 1968, was one of usurpation, it was also one of orderly succession. After her daughter contracted scarlet fever, Keller’s mother read Dickens’s account of the Perkins School, and turned to Howe’s son-in-law, now director of the school, for help. It came in the form of a Perkins graduate named Anne Sullivan, the daughter of poor Irish immigrants who was legally blind herself and had advanced from student to instructor. Sullivan had learned much from Howe, but she was less rigid and more improvisational; rather than requiring Helen to memorize raised letters in a formal classroom setting, she “talked” from the start into the girl’s hand in what amounted to a manual version of cooing and babbling into a hearing child’s ear. In 1929, Helen Keller remarked that if Laura Bridgman had had Anne Sullivan as her teacher, “she would have outshone me.” This remarkable teacher who, through William Gibson’s well-known play and film, The Miracle Worker, has come to exemplify the idea of “tough love,” relegated Samuel Gridley Howe to that limbo which, in order to distinguish its inhabitants from people who really interest us, we call historical background.

The new books by Freeberg and Gitter are exemplary instances of what amounts to a hybrid of the scrupulous scholarly monograph and the more speculative genre sometimes known as the New Historicism—which takes a relatively obscure text or event and tries to disclose within it the contending forces that were alive in the culture of its time. Freeberg’s book is the more systematic and thorough on matters of theology and psychological theory; Gitter’s is the more affecting narrative—in some respects a feminist critique of Howe’s sometimes paternalistic approach to Bridgman, but a critique in which intelligence is never sacrificed to indignation. In Freeberg’s hands the story is mainly one of contending ideas and evolving institutions; from Gitter we get a poignant version of the Pygmalion story, in which the master cannot quite cope with the emergence of his disciple.

The overwhelming sense one gets from both books is that while Howe spoke—copiously—for himself, and can therefore be well represented by quotation and paraphrase, Laura Bridgman, despite her strides in learning to express herself in complex language, will never quite come into focus. As with the fugitive slaves of her time whose first-person stories were published by abolitionist editors, one never knows how much of her story—in the form of letters, journal entries, and remarks reported by others—came unmediated from her, and how much was shaped to conform to her teachers’ idea of what would edify the public. In the end, Laura Bridgman remains a cipher.

And so she apparently remained to Howe himself. He had committed his prestige to vindicating his belief that within this silent child was a fully sensitive and expressive human soul—yet he was never able to acknowledge the depth and complexity of her humanity once she began to reveal it. In following their lives to their divergent ends, Freeberg places due emphasis on Howe’s positive legacy to “special education,” and Gitter, too, is admirably fair, noting the “extraordinary tact and tenderness” with which, as Bridgman entered her twenties, Howe offered her the choice of remaining at Perkins or returning to her parents’ home.

But Gitter also remarks on Howe’s affinity to the cold-blooded scientists in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s stories who exploit human subjects to satisfy their curiosity. Howe had conducted a scientific experiment in an attempt to prove a religious truth—though, as it turned out, his science was unsound and his religion did not sufficiently open his heart to the person of whom he had taken charge. Howe believed that the “innate disposition” of the human mind to venerate and worship God must be carefully cultivated, even restrained, lest it overwhelm the cognitive and reasoning faculties before they have fully developed. If one talked too much and too soon to an impressionable child about God, it could encourage in her a religious frenzy or morbidity. When, during one of his absences while Laura was under the tutelage of another teacher, she began to show interest in the doctrines of “the Atonement, of the Redeemer, the Lamb of God,” he was alarmed. She seemed to him to be backsliding from the reasonable religion whose truth she exemplified to an atavistic religion of blood and sacrifice—and soon his alarm turned to anger as he watched her turn into a “conventional and professing sectarian.”

As Howe pulled back from her, Laura’s life became a sad story of self-starvation and self-mutilation, of desperate longings and thoughts of suicide. She was looking for love and hope. In 1867, she composed a poem in which she tried to express her feelings:

Heaven is holy home
Holy home is from everlasting to everlasting.
Holy home is Summerly.
I pass this dark home toward a light home.
Earthly home shall perish,
But holy home shall endure forever.
Earthly home is Wintery.
With sweeter joys in Heaven I shall hear and speak and see.
With glorious rapture in holy home for me to hear the Angels sing and perform upon instruments.
When I die, God will make me happy
In Heaven music is sweeter than honey, and finer than a diamond.

How much of this poem was coaxed or coached we cannot know. But we do know that as she rejoined her parents’ faith—she was baptized in 1863—her mentor was greatly disappointed. Howe had hoped she would come to accept the kinder, gentler God of progress in whom he put his own trust. Instead, she turned for comfort to the story of the suffering Christ who had died to expiate her sins—a bleeding God-man whom the Unitarians had tried to exile to the realm of idolatry and superstition.

On her deathbed in 1889 Laura Bridgman asked for her copy of The Imitation of Christ, which she called her “peaceful Book.” Howe, who had died in 1876, would have been dismayed if not appalled. But perhaps if he had reminded himself of Emerson’s remark that “two human beings are like globes, which can touch only in a point,” he would have fetched the consoling book and brought it to her himself.

This Issue

September 20, 2001