letters from dickinson to abiah root

26 June 1846

My dear Abiah,

Though it is a long time since I received your affectionate epistle, yet when I give you my reasons for my long delay, I know you will freely forgive and forget all past offences.

It seems to me that time has never flown so swiftly with me as it has the last spring. I have been busy every minute, and not only so, but hurried all the time. So you may imagine that I have not had a spare moment, much though my heart has longed for it, to commune with an absent friend.... I presume you will be wondering by this time what I am doing to be in so much haste as I have declared myself to be. Well, I will tell you. I am fitting to go to South Hadley Seminary, and expect if my health is good to enter that institution a year from next fall. Are you not astonished to hear such news? You cannot imagine how much I am anticipating in entering there. It has been in my thought by day, and my dreams by night, ever since I heard of South Hadley Seminary. I fear I am anticipating too much, and that some freak of fortune may overturn all my airy schemes for future happiness. But it is my nature always to anticipate more than I realize.... Have you not heard that Miss Adams - dear Miss Adams - is here this term? Oh, you cannot imagine how natural it seems to see her happy face in school once more. But it needs Harriet, Sarah, and your own dear self to complete the ancient picture. I hope we shall get you all back before Miss Adams goes away again. Have you yet heard a word from that prodigal, - Harriet?...

Your affectionate friend,

Emily E.D.

I send you a memento in the form of a pressed flower, which you must keep.

A converted Jew has been lecturing here for the last week. His lectures were free, and they were on the present condition of the Jews. Dr. Scudder, a returned missionary, is here now, and he is lecturing also. Have you seen a beautiful piece of poetry which has been going through the papers lately? Are we almost there? is the title of it.... I have two hours to practice it daily now I am in school. I have been learning a beautiful thing, which I long to have you hear....

You cannot imagine how cruelly you disappointed Abby & I in not coming to visit us the last spring. We charged Sabra when she visited you at Feeding Hills, not to return without you & we could hardly speak peaceably to her when she returned alone. I anticipated more than I can express in seeing you & it seemed as if I could not wait to press you to my arms. Why did you not come, dear A. Sabra did not give any reason for your staying away, only that you could not come, which did not at all satisfy A & myself. We had been planning a great many pleasure excursions - & a great deal of enjoyment against your arrival. Abby was to have you at her house part of the time, I the other part, & Sabra was to have you - how much? Not at all!!

Was not that a contrivance? But now you are out of our reach, & we have no hope of you at present.

Was not your going to Norwich very sudden, & how long do you intend to stay there? Mrs Palmer told me you was not well at all when you left, & I am very anxious to hear a word from you as soon as possible.

& I begin to think she [Harriet Merrill] has entirely forgotten us. I cannot bear to think she has forgotten the many happy hours we used to pass together in each other's society. I hear from Sarah once in a long while.

Mrs.! Deacon! Washburn! Mack! wrote to Sarah telling her that Miss Adams was here & inviting her to spend the summer here. But she wrote that they intended to have a family meeting this summer & her father wished her to remain with them this summer.

You know Sarah is an obedient daughter! & she preferred to gratify her father rather than to spend the summer with her friends in Amherst. Do write me soon, dear A. & a long letter may it be.

thomas johnson's note on letter 12 | index to dickinson/root letters

search the archives

dickinson/root correspondence main page | dickinson electronic archives main menu

Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lvetter@uncc.edu>
Last updated on February 25, 2008