letters from dickinson to abiah root

about 25 July 1854

My dear Child.

Thank you for that sweet note, which came so long ago, and thank you for asking me to come and visit you, and thank you for loving me, long ago, and today, and too for all the sweetness, and all the gentleness, and all the tenderness with which you remember me - your quaint, old fashioned friend.

I wanted very much to write you sooner, and I tried frequently, but till now in vain, and as I write tonight, it is with haste, and fear lest something still detain me. You know my dear Abiah, that the summer has been warm, that we have not a girl, that at this pleasant season, we have much company - that this irresolute body refuses to serve sometimes, and the indignant tenant can only hold it's peace - al this you know, for I have often told you, and yet I say it again, if mayhap it persuade you that I do love you indeed, and have not done neglectfully. Then Susie, our dear friend, has been very ill for several weeks, and every hour possible I have taken away to her, which has made even smaller my "inch or two, of time." Susie is better now, but has been suffering much within the last few weeks, from a Nervous Fever, which has taken her strength very fast. She has had an excellent Nurse, a faithful Physician, and her sister has been unwearied in her watchfulness, and last of all, God has been loving and kind, so to reward them all, poor Susie just begins to trudge around a little - went as far as her garden, Saturday, and picked a few flowers, so when I called to her, Lo a bright boquet, sitting upon the mantel, and Susie in the easy-chair, quite faint from the effort of arranging them - I make my story long, but I knew you loved Susie - Abiah, and I thought her mishaps, quite as well as her brighter fortunes, would interest you.

I think it was in June, that your note reached here, and I did snatch a moment to call upon your friend. Yet I went in the dusk, and it was Saturday evening, so even then, Abiah, you see how cares pursued me - I found her very lovely in what she said to me, and I fancied in her face so, although the gentle dusk would draw her curtain close, and I did'nt see her clearly. We talked the most of you - a theme we surely loved, or we had not discussed it in preference to all. I would love to meet her again - and love to see her longer.

Please give my love to her, for your sake. You asked me to come and see you - I must speak of that. I thank you Abiah, but I dont go from home, unless emergency leads me by the hand, and then I do it obstinately, draw back if I can. Should I ever leave home, which is improbable, I will with much delight, accept your invitation; till then, my dear Abiah, my warmest thanks are your's, but dont expect me. I'm so old fashioned, Darling, that all your friends would stare. I should have to bring my work bag, and my big spectacles, and I half forgot my grandchildren, my pin-cushion, and Puss - Why think of it seriously, Abiah - do you think it my duty to leave? Will you write me again? Mother and Vinnie send their love, and here's a kiss from me -

Good Night, from Emily -

thomas johnson's note on letter 166 | 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