Sunday, February 5, 2017

Octavia Walton Le Vert


Fredrika Bremer calls the subject of this sketch her “sweet Rose of Florida.” She certainly is a “Rose that all are praising.” It would require the scope of a full biography to change this rose into a bud, and then, petal by petal, to unfold the bud again to the rose; after all, we might not find the dew-drop at its heart, nor be able to trace out its blended tints and exhalations.

Only recently has Madame Le Vert appeared before the world as an author. Long before she accepted the idea, often suggested to her, of writing a book, she was, perhaps, more widely known than any woman of America. Nature evidently planned her, on a large, comprehensive scale, a social genius, and all her good gifts are cut and polished to this end.

Thoroughly cosmopolitan in spirit, she acquires with great facility the languages and idioms which make her at home with different nations. We have seen her the centre of a group made up of representatives from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and her own country, apparently not only in brilliant rapport with each, through the medium of his own vernacular, but putting the whole circle in sympathy—stringing all upon the thread of her own magnetism. With this rare faculty, she has twice flitted through the countries of the Old World, leaving her name playing like a sunbeam on every city and village, and in the hearts, alike, of the titled and the lowly. She was made up without antipathies, and, in place of them, has large adaptation and tolerance, which, together with her womanly graces, eminently fit her for the office of social harmonizer. There are few spheres so malignant as to repel her utterly, and, if repelled, her sunny soul does not seem to receive any positive shock. She is more electric than eclectic, and something better than either—she was never known to speak or act an unkindness.

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