letters from dickinson to edward s. dwight

early December 1861

Dear friend.

We thought for sorrow - perhaps you had rather no one talk - but we had rather go away - when our friend is glad - We never like to leave the eye that is full of tears - and if too - it be one that always looked so kind on us - that makes it harder - I suppose your friend - the Stranger - can comfort more than all of us - but that is Dusk - to me - and so I knock tonight - on that far study door - that used to open kindly - but if you'd rather see no one - you need not say "Come in."

Upon these winter nights - I have much recollection of evenings passed with you - and her - at the "parsonage" - and the fire crackles - still - and her cheek softly reddens - as we talk - and laugh - and then I strain my eyes so that low sleep - she takes - and something bars my throat. I presume it is better - where she is - and holier - and safer - but then I like my little friend where I can see it's face, and that's so far -

I took her notes - today - I had a tiny pacquet - prompted by gentle gratitudes for trifling favor done - I held them to my lips - I put them in my breast - to see if I could warm them - and then the tears fell so hard - I feared that they would blot them out - as they were but in pencil - and so I laid them back. These - and the little Tennyson - in which she wrote my name - are all I have of her - yet of so sweet a life - is memorial - and I - to her remembrance - as to a timid portrait - the lady - quite transfigured - now - turn every day - I think it sad to have a friend - it's sure to break the Heart so - and yet - if it had none - the Heart must seek another trade.

I hope that Annie and Ned - are well - Tell them - the lady who loved Mama - could not forget them -

Father and Mother talk of you - with frequent affection - and when you shall please - will always be happy to see you.

Mr and Mrs Sweetser - too - bear you in strong remembrance - and many more - I doubt not, whom I do not meet. I hope Mrs Waterman is well - please give her my love, and tell her I will remember her daughter.



thomas johnson's note on letter 243 | index to dickinson/dwight letters

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