letters from dickinson to abiah root

3 August 1845

Dear Abiah,

I have now sit down to write you a long, long, letter. My writing apparatus is upon a stand before me, and all things are ready. I have no flowers before me as you had to inspire you. But then you know I can imagine myself inspired by them and perhaps that will do as well. You cannot imagine how delighted I was to receive your letter. It was so full - & everything in it was interesting to me because it came from you. I presume you did not doubt my gratitude for it, on account of my delaying so long to answer it for you know I have had no leisure for anything. When I tell you that our term has been 16 weeks long & that I have had 4 studys & taken Music lessons you can imagine a little how my time has been taken up lately. I will try to be more punctual in such matters for the future. How are you now. I am very sorry to hear that you are unable to remain in your school on account of your health, it must be such a disappointment to you. But I presume you are enjoying yourself much to be at home again. You asked me in your last letter if Old Father Time wagged on in Amherst pretty much as ever. For my part I see no particular change in his movements unless it be that he goes on a swifter pace than formerly, and that he wields his sickle more stern than ever. How do you like taking music lessons. I presume you are delighted with it. I am taking lessons this term, of Aunt Selby who is spending the summer with us. I never enjoyed myself more than I have this summer. For we have had such a delightful school and such pleasant tea[c]hers, and besides I have had a piano of my own. Our Examination is to come off next week on Monday. I wish you could be here at that time. Why cant you come. If you will - You can come and practice on my piano as much as you wish to. I am already gasping in view of our examination, and although I am determined not to dread it I know it is so foolish. Yet in spite of my heroic resolutions, I cannot avoid a few misgivings when I think of those tall, stern, trustees, and when I known that I shall lose my character if I dont recite as precise as the laws of the Medes and Persians. But what matter will that be a hundred years hence. I will distress you no longer with my fears for you know well enough what they are without my entering into any explanations. Are you practising now you are at home - I hope you are, for if you are not you would be likely to forget what you have learnt. I want very much to hear you play. I have the same Instruction book that you have, Bertini, and I am getting along in it very well. Aunt Selby says she shant let me have many tunes now for she wants I should get over in the book a good ways first. Oh Abiah. If Sarah [Tracy?], Hatty, and yourself were only here this summer what times we should have. I wish if we cant be together all the time that we could meet once in a while at least. I wish you would all come to our house and then Abby come too and such times as we should have would be a caution. I want to see you all so much, that it seems as if I could not wait. Have you heard anything from Miss Adams Our dear teacher - I have not - I sent her a paper about 3 weeks ago - but I have received no answer, and therefore I do not know where she is now. How much I would give to see her once more - but I am afraid I never shall. She is so far away - You asked me in your letter to tell you all the news worth telling and though there is not much yet I will endeavor to think of everything that will be news to you. In the first place, Mrs Jones and Mrs S Mack have both of them a little daughter. Very promising Children I understand. I dont doubt if they live they will be ornaments to society. I think they are both to be considered as Embryos of future usefullness Mrs. Washburn. Mack has now two grand daughters. Isnt she to be envied. Sabra Howe and J Gridley have both returned home. I do not see as they have altered much. They have both been attending school, and have now come to honor us poor Country folks with their presence a little while. Dont you think we ought to feel highly honored by such condescension. Jane will not return to Norton again. But Sabra will go back to Baltimore in the course of a few weeks probably to spend some time - Emeline Kellogg is expected home from school in a short time. Martha Gilbert looks and appears just as she ever did. Your Protege, Nancy Cutler is well and attending school, and Abby and I are plodding over our books pretty much as ever. Have you heard from - Hatty or Sarah - lately. I have received one paper from Sarah and a note from Hatty since I last wrote you. They were both well and happy. I do not understand your hints in regard to Abby taking so much interest in Deacon Macks family. Now Sarah is absent, I take it William is the member of the family whom you allude to. But I did not know as Abby had any partiality for him. That William is a smart boy. However as you did not mean to insinuate I will make no more comments on him, except to add that I think he will make a devoted husband. Dont you. I am sorry that you are laying up Hattys sins against her. I think you had better heap coals of fire upon her head by writing to her constantly until you get an answer. I have some patience with these - School Marms. They have so many trials. I hope you will decide to blot out her iniquities against her. I dont know about this Mr Eascott giving you concert tickets. I think for my part it looks rather suspicious. He is a young man I suppose. These Music teachers are always such high souled beings that I think they would exactly suit your fancy. My Garden looks beautifully now. I wish you could see it. I would send you a boquet if I could get a good opportunity. My House plants look very finely now. You wished me to give you some account of Sabra Palmer. She is attending school this term & studying Latin & Algebra. She is very well and happy and sends much love to you. All the girls send much love to you, and wish you to write to them. I have been working a beautiful book mark to give to one of our school girls. Perhaps you have seen it. It is an arrow with a beautiful wreath around it. Have you been working any lately. I get but very little time to work now days, there are so many other things to be done. Have you altered any since I have seen you. Isnt it a funny question for one friend to ask another. I havnt altered any, I dont think except that I have my hair done up and that makes me look different. I can imagine just how you look now. I wonder what you are doing this moment. I have got an idea that you are knitting edging. Are you. Wont you tell me when you answer my letter whether I guessed right or not. Have you got any Forget me not in your garden this summer. I am going to send you as a present in my letter next time. I am pressing some for all the girls and it is not dry yet. You gave me a compliment in your letter in regard to my being a faithful Correspondent. I must say I think I deserve it. I have been learning several beautiful pieces lately. The Grave of Bonaparte is one. Lancers Quick Step - Wood up, and Maiden Weep no more, which is a sweet little song. I wish much to see you and hear you play - I hope you will come to A. before long - Why cant you pass Commencement here. I do wish you would. Do write me often - and tell me all the news, and I will be sure to answer your letters in better season than this one. I have looked my letter over and find I have written nothing worth reading. However you must excuse it on the plea that I have written in great haste - Dont look at the writing and dont let any one see the letter. I want you should keep the seal and whenever you look at it you can think that I am looking at you at the same time.

Accept much love

from you aff friend Emily E D.

Give my love to all inquiring friends - Am I not safe enough in saying this - Abby in particular sends love to you and wishes you to write her.

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Last updated on February 25, 2008