letters from dickinson to austin dickinson

27 October 1850

Suppose "Topknot" should come down, and speak to his brothers, and sisters, or bind up the broken hearts of divers deserted friends, suppose he should doff his crown, and lay down his lofty sceptre, and once more a patient child receive reproof, and correction, salute the insulted rod, and bow to the common Lord!

An affection of nin[e]teen years for the most ungrateful of brothers jogs now and then at my elbow, and calls for paper and pen. Permit me to tie your shoe, to run like a dog behind you. I can bark, see here! Bow wow! Now if that is'nt fine I don't know! Permit me to be a stick, to show how I will not beat you, a stone, how I will not fling, musquito, I will not sting. Permit me to be fowl, which Bettie shall dress dinner, a bantam, a fine, fat hen. I will crow in my grave if you will, Chanticleer being still, tho' sleeping. Herein I "deign to condescend to stoop so low," what a high hill between me, and thee, a hill, upon my word, it is a mountain, I dare not climb. Let's call it "Alp," or "Ande," or yet the "Ascension Mount." I have it! - you shall be "Jove" a sitting on great "Olympus," a whittling the lightnings out, and hurling at your relations. Oh, "Jupiter"! fie! for shame! Kings sometimes have fathers and mothers. Father and I are going to have a Cattle Show Wednesday. School masters and Monkeys half price. I guess you had better "come down." They've appointed you joint committee on the "Beast with the seven horns.["] If time, and ability fail you, they'll omit the remaining horn. There's an old hand they call "Revelation." I dare say he will give you a lift! Bowdowin is pretty well, except now and on ailing, he may hold on a good while yet, you know that life is unsartin.

To the Boys of brass buttons, clasped hands, and fervent expression, send greetings.

That Miss Field may abstain from meadow, nor ever be found of Groves, is the prayer of your anxious friend.

"Serve God, and fear the King"! Exit Sue!!!

thomas johnson's note on letter 37 | index to dickinson/austin dickinson letters

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