letters from dickinson to austin dickinson

20 July 1851

Seems to me you are hardly fair, not to send me any letter - I was somewhat disappointed to be thus overlooked - my note from you once a week, had come so very punctually I did set my heart on getting a little something - even a word of love, a line not quite unmindful, and I had from my heart fully and freely forgiven you, but now I am very angry - you shall not have a tender mercy - as live saith me, and as my inkstand liveth you shall have no peace until all is fulfilled. If I thought you would care any I would hold my tongue so tight that Inquisition itself should'nt wring a sentence from me - but t'would only punish me who would fain get off unpunished, therefore here I am, a'nt you happy to see me? Since you did'nt write to me I pocketed my sorrows, and I hope they are being sanctified to my future hood - that is to say - shall "know what to expect, ["] and my "expectations will not be realized," you will pardon the freedom I use with your remarks. How it made us laugh - Poor little Sons of Erin - I should think they would rue the day that ever you came among them. Oh how I wish I could see your world and it's little kingdoms, and I wish I could see the King - Stranger - he was my Brother! I fancy little boys of several little sizes, some of them clothed in blue cloth, some of them clad in gray - I seat them round on benches in the schoolroom of my mind - then I set them all to shaking - on peril of their lives that they move their lips or whisper - then I clothe you with authority and empower you to punish, and to enforce the law, I call you "Rabbi - Master," and the picture is complete! It would sseem very funny, say for Susie and me to come round as Committee - we should enjoy the terrors of 50 little boys and any specimens of discipline in your way would be a rare treat for us. I should love to know how you managed - whether government as a science is laid down and executed, or whether you use pure law as in the case of commanding, or whether your enforce it by means of sticks and stones as in the case of agents - I suppose you have authority bounded but by their lives, and from a remark in one of your earliest letters I was led to conclude that on a certain occasion you hit the boundary line! I should think you'd be tired of school and teaching and such hot weather, I really wish you were here and the Endicot school where you found it - whenever we go to ride in our beautiful family carriage, we think if "wishes were horses" we four "beggars would ride." We shall enjoy brimfull everything now but half full, and to have you home once more will be like living again.

We are having a pleasant summer - without one of the five it is yet a lonely one, Vinnie says sometimes - Did'nt we have a brother - it seems to me we did - his name was Austin - we call, but he answers not again - Echo - where is Austin - laughing "where is Austin"? I do hope you'll be carefuly so as to come home well. I wish they need not exhibit just for once in the year, and give you up on Saturday instead of the next week Wednesday, but keep your courage up and show forth those Emerald Isles till School Committees and Mayors are blinded with the dazzling! Would'nt I love to be there with certain friends of mine - Toilet Cushions, and "Carpets," &c, is what I mean! If this should seem obscure let me recommend West St as an appropriate "Pony" together with other ponies, such as Mr and Mrs Cutler! Susie is at home - Martha is in Burlington seeing a friend of her's. I see more of Susie than of any other girl. She said the last time I saw her, she had'nt had a "talk since Austin went away" - she and Martha too seem to miss you much, and talk a great deal of seeing you. Abby Wood has gone to visit Miss Peck in New Haven - the rest of the girls are at home. Sprague's shop was set on fire one night last week, and came very near burning up - the roof was burnt off, and it met some other injuries - a process is going on to find out the offenders. John Emerson has come, and has entered himself as a student in Father's office - he carries about the sail of a good sized British vessel, when he has oped his mouth I think no dog has barked. Root spent with us Friday evening - inquired for you with interest, and said he'd be glad to see you.

Our apples are ripeneing fast - I am fully convinced that with your approbation they will not only pick themselves, but arrange one another in baskets, and present themselves to be eaten.

Love from all to all there - to Joel - hope he is better.


Mother and Vinnie send their love. We all want to see you. Mrs S.E. Mack, and Mrs James Parsons want to see you. John Sanford acts like a simpleton since he got the valedictory, he is so delighted, he dont know what to do.

thomas johnson's note on letter 48 | index to dickinson/austin dickinson letters

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Last updated on February 25, 2008