6 February 1852
I have never left you so long before, since you first went away, but we have had such colds that we could not use our eyes so long as to write a letter, and the privation on our part has been greater, I dare say, than it possibly could - on your's.
I have received both your letters, and enjoyed them both very much; particularly the notes on the agricultural convention. Miss Kelly's part of the performance was very fine indeed, and made much fun for us. Should think you must have some in order to write so clearly amidst so much confusion. Father seemed specially pleased with the story of the farmer. am so glad you are better - I wish you might have been spared just for a little visit, but we will try and wait if you dont think best to come, and shall only be the gladder to see you at last. I hope you will be very careful and not get sick again, for it seems to me you've had so much miserable health since you have lived in Boston; if it dont ruin your constitution, I shall be very glad. I am very sorry to hear of the illness of the teachers; I should think you must miss them, they have been with you so long. You will tell us if they are better, when you write home again.
Since we have written you, the grand Rail Road decision is made, and there is great rejoicing throughout this town and the neighboring; that is Sunderland, Montague, and Belchertown. Every body is wide awake, every thing is stirring, the streets are full of people talking cheeringly, and you really should be here to partake of the jubilee. The event was celebrated by D. Warner, and cannon; and the silent satisfaction in the hearts of all is it's crowning attestation.
Father is realy sober from excessive satisfaction, and bears his honors with a most becoming air. Nobody believes it yet, it seems like a fairy tale, a most miraculous event in the lives of us all. The men being working next week, only think of it, Austin; why I verily believe we shall fall down and worship the first "Son of Erin" that comes, and the first sod he turns will be preserved as an emblem of the struggles and victory of our heroic fathers. Such old fellows as Col' Smith and his wife, fold their arms complacently, and say, "well, I declare, we have got it after all" - got it, you good for nothings! and so we have, in spite of sneers and pities, and insults from all around; and we will keep it too, in spite of earth and heaven! How I wish you were here, it is really too bad, Austin, at such a time as now - I miss your big Hurrahs, and the famous stir you make, upon all such occasions; but it is a comfort to know that you are here - that your whole soul is here, and tho' apparently absent, yet present in the highest, and the truest sense. I have got a great deal to say, and I fancy I am saying it in rather a headlong way, but if you can read it, you will know what it means. Martha gets along nicely, was able to have her dress on, and go in the dining room for the first time yesterday. She sends you her love, and will write to you just as soon as [she] is able.
Mother has not decided yet, about going to Boston - seems to think if you are better it is hardly best to go. I will tell you more decide[d]ly when I write again - she would love to do so dearly but it's a good deal of effort to go away from home at this season, and I hardly know what she will do. Emiline improves slowly. Tutor Howland appeared on Wednesday, and remained in town till today - took tea here Wednesday evening - took Vinnie to ride yesterday morningm spent most of the afternoon here, and is just shutting the gate upon his last farewell, as I write this morning. I have been to ride twice since I wrote you, once with a party, manned by Root & Co. and last evening with Sophomore Emmons, alone; will tell you all about ti when I write again, for I am in such a hurry that I cannot stop for breath. Take good care of yourself, Austin, and think much of us all, for we do so of you.
I send you my prescription. Will it trouble you too much to get me another bottle, of the same size as the others, namely twice the quantity, and send to me by the first person who comes? You are kind very, Austin, to attend to all my little wants, and I'm sure I thank you for it.
April is'nt far off, and then - and then, we are the "merrie men"!
Vinnie sends her love, and mother. Vinnie says she thinks you dont pay much attention to her.