letters from dickinson to higginson

June 1869

Dear friend

A Letter always feels to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend. Indebted in our talk to attitude and accent, there seems a spectral power in thought that walks alone - I would like to thank you for your great kindness but never try to lift the words which I cannot hold.

Should you come to Amherst, I might then succeed, though Gratitude is the timid wealth of those who have nothing. I am sure that you speak the truth, because the noble do, but your letters always surprise me. My life has been too simple and stern to embarrass any.

"Seen of Angels" scarcely my responsibility

It is difficult not to be fictitious in so fair a place, but test"s severe repairs are permitted all.

When a little Girl I remember hearing that remarkable passage and preferring the "Power," now knowing at the time that "Kingdom" and "Glory" were included.

You noticed my dwelling alone - To an Emigrant, Country is idle except it be his own. You speak kindly of seeing me. Could it please your convenience to come so far as Amherst I should be very glad, but I do not cross my Father"s ground to any House or town.

Of our greatest acts we are ignorant -

You were not aware that you saved my Life. To thank you in person has been since then one of my few requests. The child that asks my flower "Will you," he says - "Will you" - and so to ask for what I want I know no other way.

You will excuse each that I say, because no other taught me?


thomas johnson's note on letter 330 | index to dickinson/higginson letters

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Last updated on March 20, 2000