letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

To Dr. and Mrs. Holland
From ED

autumn 1853

Dear Dr. and Mrs Holland - dear Minnie - it is cold tonight, but the thought of you so warm, that I sit by it as a fireside, and am never cold any more. I love to write to you - it gives my heart a holiday and sets the bells to ringing. If prayers had any answers to them, you were all here to-night, but I seek and I don't find, and knock and it is not opened. Wonder if God is just - presume he is, however, and t'was only a blunder of Matthew's.

I think mine is the case, where when they ask an egg, they get a scorpion, for I keep wishing for you, keeping shutting up my eyes and looking toward the sky, asking with all my might for you, and yet you do not come. I wrote to you last week, but thought youwould laugh at me, and call me sentimental, so I kept my lofty letter for "Adolphus Hawkins, Esq."

If it wasn't for broad daylight, and cooking-stoves, and roosters, I'm afraid you would have occasion to smile at my letters often, but so sure as "this mortal" essays immortality, a crow from a neighboring farm-yard dissipates the illusion, and I am here again.

And what I mean is this - that I thought of you all last week, until the world grew rounder than it sometimes is, and I broke several dishes.

Monday, I solemnly resolved I would be sensible, so I wore thick shoes, and thought of Dr Humphrey, and the Moral law. One glimpse of The Republican makes me break things again - I read in it every night.

Who writes those funny accidents, where railroads meet each other unexpectedly, and gentlemen in factories get their heads cut off quite informally? The author, too, relates them in such a sprightly way, that they are quite attractive. Vinnie was disappointed to-night, that there were not more accidents - I read the news aloud, while Vinnie was sewing. The Republican seems to me like a letter from you, and we break the seal and read it eagerly....

Vinnie and I talked of you as we sewed, this afternoon. I said - "how far they seem from us," but Vinnie asnwered me "only a little way"... I'd love to be a bird or bee, that whether hum or sing, still might be near you.

Heaven is large - is it not? Life is short too, isn't it? Then when one is done, is there not another, and - and - then if God is willing, we are neighbors then. Vinnie and mother send their love. Mine too is here. My letter as a bee, goes laden. Please love us and remember us. Please write us very soon, and tell us how you are...


thomas johnson's note on letter 133 | index to dickinson/holland letters

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