letters from dickinson to catherine sweetser

To Mrs. Joseph A. Sweetser
From ED

late October 1876?

Cousin T[imothy] and Cousin O[livia Norcross] little thought when they were paying their antiquated respects to Aunt Katie that they were defrauding Emily of that last moment - but they needed it most - new moments will grow.

When I found it beyond my power to see you, I designed to write you, immediately, but the Lords came as you went, and Judge Lord was my father's closest friend, so I shared my moments with them till they have left us last Monday; then seeing directly after, the death of your loved Dr. A ---, I felt you might like to be alone - though Death is perhaps an intimate friend, not an enemy. Beloved Shakespeare says, "He that is robbed and smiles, steals something from the thief." . . .

Maggie said you asked should you "eat the flower." Please consult the bees - they are the only authority on Etruscan matters. Vinnie said the sherry I sent you was brandy - a vital misapprehension. Please also forgive it. I did not intend to be so base to the aunt who showed me the first mignonette, and listened with me to the great wheel, from Uncle Underwoord's "study," and won me in "divers other ways" too lovely to mention. Of all this we will talk when you come again.

Meanwhile accept your,

Trifling Niece.

thomas johnson's note on letter 478 | index to dickinson/catherine sweetser letters

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Last updated on March 3, 2008