24 March 1853
How much I miss you, how lonely it is this morning - how I wish you were here, and how very much I thank you for sending me that long letter, which I got Monday evening, and have read a great many times, and presume I shall again, unless I soon have another.
I find life not so bright without Sue or you, or Martha, and for a little while I hav'nt cared much about it. How glad I was to know that you had'nt forgotten us, and looked forward to home, and the rustic seat, and summer, with so much happiness. You wonder if we think of you as much as you of us - I guess so, Austin - it's a great deal anyhow, and to look at the empty , and the empty chairs in the kitchen almost obscures my sight, if I were used to tears. But I think of the rustic seat, and I think of the July evening just as the day is done, and I read of the one come back, worth all the "ninety and nine" who have not gone from home, and these things strengthen me for many a day to come.
I'm so glad you are cheerful at Cambridge, for cheerful indeed one must be to write such a comic affair as your last letter to me. I believe the message to Bowdoin, w'd have killed father outright if he had'nt just fortified nature with two or three cups of tea. I could hardly contain myself sufficiently to read a thing so grotesque, but it did me good indeed, and when I had finished reading it, I said with a pleasant smile, "then there is something left"! I have been disgusted, ever since you went away, and have concluded several times that it's of no use minding it, as it is only a puff ball. But your letter so raised me up, that I look round again, and notice my fellow men.
I think you far exceed Punch - much funnier - much funnier, cant keep up with you at all!
I suppose the young lady will be getting home today - how often I thought of you yesterday afternoon and evening. I did "drop in at the Revere" a great many times yesterday. I hope you have been made happy. If so I am satisfied. I shall know when you get home.
I have been to see Mrs Cutler several times since Sue has been gone. Mr Cutler has missed her dreadfully, which has gratified me much. What I was going to tell you was that Mr Cutler's folks had written Sue to meet Mr Sweetser in Boston last week, and come to Amherst with him. I knew she would'nt come, and I couldnt help laughing to think of him returning to town alone - that's all! Sue's outwitted them all - ha-ha! just imagine me giving three cheers for American Independence!
I did get that little box, and do with it as you told me. I wrote you so at the time, but you must have forgotten it. Write again soon, Austin, for this is a lonely house, when we are not all here.
Mother says "tell Austin I think perhaps I shall write him a letter myself."
Mother sends her love, and is very much obliged to you for the message to her, and also for the comb, which you told us was coming. She wants you to send your clothes home just as soon as you can, for she thinks you must certainly need some by this time. We hav'nt had much maple sugar yet, but I shall send you some when Mr Green goes back. We have had some maple molasses. I know you would love some, if you were here - how I do wish you were here! I read the proclamation, and liked it very much. I had a letter from Mat, last night - she said a great deal of Sue and you, and so affectionately. If Sue thinks Mat would be willing, I will send the letter to you, the next time I write.