PUBLICATION: L (1894) 234-236; LL 215-216; L (1931) 218-219.
The phrase "last week," in the beginning of the second paragraph is figurative, for more than a month had elapsed since commencement. The "Bell and Everett party" (John Bell and Edward Everett, respectively candidates for president and vice president on the short0lived Constitutional- Union party) was formed, September 12. Edward Dickinson declined the nomination for lieutenant governor of the state on their ticket, September 18. He was in Boston for the convention, staying with the Norcrosses, when this letter was written. John Dudley brought his fiancee, Eliza Coleman, to the commencement in August, and Eliza had evidently chaperoned the Norcross girls, Louise and Frances, now respectively aged eighteen and thirteen. It is assumed that ED first met John Dudley on this occasion. Dr. Joseph P. Thompson had been a commencement speaker, and ED's comment on him suggests that he may have mistaken her for one of the Montague cousins. The Burnham Antique Books Shop was an established Boston store.