letters from dickinson to austin dickinson

25 October 1851

Dear Austin.

I've been trying to think this morning how many weeks it was since you went away - I fail in calculations - it seems to me since you went back to school that I set down for years, and weeks for a score of years - not reckoning time "by minutes" I dont know what to think of such great discrepancies between the actual hours and those which "seem to be." It may seem long to you since you returned to Boston - how I wish you could stay and never go back again. Everything is so still here, and the clouds are cold and gray - I think it will rain soon - Oh I am so lonely!

We had a beautiful visit, but it was all too short for we brothers and sisters, and Vinnie and I are dwelling upon the one to come. Thanksgiving is but four weeks, or a little more than four weeks and yet it seems to be a very great way off, when I look forward to it. I have thought you were very sober, since you went away, and I did when you were here, but now you are out of sight, I remember it more frequently, and wonder I did'nt ask you if anything troubled you. I hope you are better now. I waked up this morning, thinking that this was the very morning your eyes were to be well, and I really hope that oculist has'nt broke his promise. You must'nt use them much until they get very strong - you need'nt write to us except on a slip of paper, telling us how you are, and whether you are happy - and I would'nt write at all, until they were perfectly well.

You had a windy evening going back to Boston, and we thought of you many times and hoped you would not be cold. Our fire burned so cheerfully I could'nt help thinking of how many were here and how many were away, and I wished so many times during that long evening that the door would open and you come walking in. Home is a holy thing - nothing of doubt or distrust can enter it's blessed portals. I feel it more and more as the great world goes on and one and another forsake, in whom you place your trust - here seems indeed to be a bit of Eden which not the sin of any can utterly destroy - smaller it is indeed, and it may be less fair, but fairer it is and brighter than all the world beside. I hope this year in Boston will not impair your health, and I hope you will be as happy as you used to be before. I dont wonder it makes you sober to leave [this] blessed air - if it were in my power I would on every morning transmit it's purest breaths fragrant and cool to you. How I wish you could have it - a thousand little winds waft it to me this morning, fragrant with forest leaves and bright autumnal berries. I would be willing to give you my portion for today, and take the salt sea's breath in it's bright, bounding stead. Now Austin - you have no friend there - why not see Converse often, and laugh and talk with him? I think him a noble fellow - it seems to me so pleasant for you to talk with somebody, and he is much like you in many thoughts and feelings. I know he would love to have you for a comrade and friend, and I would be with him a good deal if I were you. Mother feels quite troubled about those little boys - fears you will kill one sometime when you are punishing him - for her sake be careful! Emily Fowler and Mat were here all afternoon yesterday - never saw Emily F-- when she seemed more sincere - shall go and see her soon - Mat misses you much, and her dear siser Susie. Henry Root was here all evening. Mother's and Vinnie's love. Remember us to Converse - take care of yourself -

Your aff


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