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of time, and no exhaling vapor

Her persevering toil for perfection was no morbid waste of time and energy in an endless puttering over herself, or in sentimental extravagances : it was a rational and conscientious study to outgrow defects, tone down excesses, and improve excellences. Her piety was an assimilating principle, and no exhaling vapor.

ex W. R. Alger, “Life, Character, and Works of Madame Swetchine.” in The Christian Examiner No. 258 (November 1866) : 344-374 (371) (google books)
371 (hathitrust)

Madame Swetchine (1782-1857), Russian mystic, born in Moscow, and famous for her salon in Paris.

William Rounseville Alger (1822-1905), Unitarian minister, author, poet, hymnist, editor, and abolitionist; cousin of Horatio (who also, briefly, was a Unitarian pastor)

12 March 2022