letters from dickinson to higginson

August 1862

Dear friend -

Are these more orderly? I thank you for the Truth -

I had no Monarch in my life, and cannot rule myself, and when I try to organize - my little Force explodes - and leaves me bare and charred -

I think you called me "Wayward." Will you help me improve?

I supposed the pride that stops the Breath, in the Core of Woods, is not of Ourself -

You say I confess the little mistake, and omit the large - Because I can see Orthography - but the Ignorance out of sight - is my Preceptor's charge -

Of "shunning Men and Women" - they talk of Hallowed things, aloud - and embarrass my Dog - He and I dont object to them, if they'll exist their side. I think Carl[o] would please you - He is dumb, and brave - I think you would like the Chestnut Tree, I met in my walk. It hit my notice suddenly - and I thought the Skies were in Blossom -

Then there's a noiseless noise in the Orchard - that I let persons hear - You told me in one letter, you could not come to see me, "now," and I made no answer, not because I had none, but did not think myself the price that you should come so far -

I do not ask so large a pleasure, lest you might deny me -

You say "Beyond your knowledge." You would not jest with me, because I believe you - but Preceptor - you cannot mean it? All men say "What" to me, but I thought it a fashion -

When much in the Woods as a little Girl, I was told that the Snake would bite me, that I might pick a poisonous flower, or Goblins kidnap me, but I went along and met no one but Angels, who were far shyer of me, than I could be of them, so I hav'nt that confidence in fraud which many exercise.

I shall observe your precept - though I dont understand it, always.

I marked a line in One Verse - because I met it after I made it - and never consciously touch a paint, mixed by another person-

I do not let go it, because it is mine.

Have you the portrait of Mrs Browning? Persons sent me three - If you had none, will you have mine?

Your Scholar -

thomas johnson's note on letter 271 | index to dickinson/higginson letters

search the archives

dickinson/higginson correspondence main page | dickinson electronic archives main menu

Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by
Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Geoffrey Saunders Schramm <gschramm@wam.umd.edu>
Laura Elyn Lauth <lauraelyn@aol.com>
Amy Cowen <acybercow@bigfoot.com>

Last updated on March 20, 2000