letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

To Mrs. J.G. Holland
From ED

March 1883

Dear friends.

The "Birds" preceded the Reprimand, which modified it's chastening -

By some divine contingency that strayed to Austin's Biox, which deferred it's rancor till fortified by Birds, we had grown impervious -

Orthography always baffled me, and to "Ns" I had an especial aversion, as they always seemed unfinished M's. Will dear Mrs "Van Wagenen" excuse me for taking her portentous name in vain?

I can best express my contrition in the words of the Prayer of a Clergyman I heard when a Child - "Oh thou who sittest upon the Apex of the Cherubim, look down upon this, thine unworthy Terrapin"!

The dear Birds and their Donor will accept our love for the untiring Sweetness - To never forget to be gracious is Remembrance' most touching Ornament -

The Health that omits to mention itself, we trust is so culpable only because it is better, and hope that Annie's Walk on the Water was a pedestrian success -

With memory for each, what sweeter Shelter than the Hearts of such a hallowed Household!

          Emily -

thomas johnson's note on letter 806 | index to dickinson/holland letters

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Last updated on January 17, 1999