'On the 8th of May , I [Harriet Martineau] went for a fortnight to stay with some friends, between whom and myself there was cordial affection, though they were Swedenborgians [Martineau had renounced her Christian religion] [...] [The host's wife] came to my writing-table, to beg the loan of the first volume [of Auguste Comte, which Martineau was translating], when I was going out for a walk. When her daughter and I returned from our walk [...] the whole affair was settled. She [...] had decided that Comte knew nothing. I inquired in amazement the grounds for this decision. She had glanced over the first chapter, and could venture to say that she now "knew all about it."'