letters from dickinson to austin dickinson

18 March 1853

Dear Austin.

I presume you remember a story Vinnie tells of a Breach of promise Case where the correspondence between the parties consisted of a reply from the girl to one she had never received, but was daily expecting - well I am writing an answer to the letter I hav'nt had, so you will see the force of the accompanying anecdote. I have been looking for you ever since despatching my last, but this is a fickle world, and it's a great source of complacency that t'will all be burned up bye and bye. I should be pleased with a line when you've published your work to Father, if it's perfectly convenient. Your letters are very funny indeed - about the only jokes we have, now you and Sue are gone, and I hope you will send us one as often as you can. Father takes great delight in your remarks to him - puts on his spectacles and reads them o'er and o'er as if it was a blessing to have an only son.

He reads all the letters you write as soon as he gets, at the post office, no matter to whom addressed. I presume when Sue gets back, and has directed to her, he will take them and read them first. Well, I was telling you, he reads them once at the office, then he makes me read them loud at the supper table again, and when he gets home in the evening, he cracks a few walnuts, puts his spectacles on, and with your last in his hand, sits down to enjoy the evening. He remarked in confidence to me this morning, that he "guessed you saw through things there" - of course I answered "yes sir," but what the thought conveyed I remained in happy ignorance. Whether he meant to say that you saw through the Judges, overcoats and all, I could not quite determine but I'm sure he designed to compliment you very highly.

I do think it's so funny - you and father do nothing but "fisticuff" all the while you're at home, and the minute you are separated, you become such devoted friends; but this is a checkered life.

I believe at this moment, Austin, that there's no body living for whom father has such respect as for you, and yet your conduct together is quite peculiar indeed. But my paper is getting low, and I must hasten to tell you that we are very happy to hear good news from you - that we hope you'll have pleasant times, and learn a great deal while you're gone, and come back to us greater and happier for the life lived at Cambridge. We miss you more and more. I wish that we could see you, but letters come the next - write them often, and tell us everything!



Dear Austin, I've just decided that my yarn is not quite spun, so I'll spin it a little longer.

Vinnie's hand is getting well, tho' she cant sew or write with it. She sends her love to you, and says she shall write a note, as soon as her hand gets able.

Anna Warner's a little better, tho' the medical faculty are as yet give little encouragement of her return thitherward. Mary is at present incarcerated, and becomes in the public eye, more and more of a martyr daily. The Quinsy approached Miss Goudy [?], but was dexterously warded off by homeopathic glances from a certain Dr Gregg, of whom you may hear in Boston. Professor Warner, and consort, and surviving son, are much as usual. Father's Cummington friend, late from State's prison in Brooklyn, took tea with us this week. He has advanced somewhat since we children have seen him.

Jerry [Holden?] and Mrs Mack inquire for "Mr Austin." Most all of the folks we asked here have made their "party call," and we have had our hands full in entertaining them. You must tell us about the party which you attend at Miss C's. I have not heard from Sue again, tho' I've written her three times. I suppose she'll be coming home Saturday, and I'll tell you something funny the next time I write.

We all send you much love, and wish you were here today, so we could talk with you.

Emilie again.

thomas johnson's note on letter 108 | index to dickinson/austin dickinson letters

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Last updated on February 25, 2008