Dedication to Sofija Karlovna Mel’gunova, 1845

To be free and to liberate others, that is the secret of life. Women have this vocation just as much as men. I would even add, contrary to the generally accepted idea that only a subordinate position and activity, that they have this calling even more than men, for their life and their acts are neither abstract, nor simplistic; on the contrary, they constitute a living fullness that needs the free air to blossom in all its beauty, and because they understand and feel much more deeply than men the misfortune and the humiliation of their brothers. I have long had the intuition of it, but since I have known them, that intuition has been transformed into a conviction. Dear friend, I have had the good fortune, for some time, of acting in concert with you and of aspiring to a common objective. I know that your future life will be marked out with beautiful and noble actions of liberation and I ask you only, at each new act of liberty, to think of me. I will be sure then that you will never forget me.

Paris, April 24, 1845.         M.B

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