letters between dickinson and jackson

To Emily Dickinson
From Helen Hunt Jackson

5 September 1884

My dear friend -

Thanks for your note of sympathy.

It was not quite a "massacre," only a break of one leg: but it was a very bad break - two inches of the big bone smashed in - & the little one snapped: as compound a fracture as is often compounded! -

But I am thankful to say that it has joined & healed - well. I am on crutches now - & am promised to walk with a cane in a few weeks: - a most remarkable success for an old woman past fifty & weighing 170. -

I fell from the top to the bottom of my stairs - & the only wonder was I did not break my neck. - For the first week I wished I had! Since then I have not suffered at all - but have been exceedingly comfortable - ten weeks tomorrow since it happened - the last six I have spent in a wheeled chair on my verandah: - an involuntary "rest cure," for which I dare say, I shall be better all my life. -

I trust you are well - and that life is going pleasantly with you. -p> What portfolios of verses you must have. -

It is a cruel wrong to your "day & generation" that you will not give them light. - If such a thing should happen as that I should outlive you, I wish you would make me your literary legatee & executor. Surely, after you are what is called "dead," you will be willing that the poor ghosts you have left behind, should be cheered and pleased by your verses, will you not? - You ought to be. - I do not think we have a right to with hold from the world a word or a thought any more than a deed, which might help a single soul.

Do you remember Hannah Dorrance? She came to see me the other day! A Mrs. Somebody, from Chicago. I forget her name. She has grandchildren. I felt like Methuselah, when I realized that it was forty years since I had seen her. Her eyes are as black as ever. -

I am always glad to get a word from you -

Truly yours
Helen Jackson.

thomas johnson's note on letter 937a | index to dickinson/jackson letters

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Last updated on October 8, 1998