TO: Louise Norcross
about 4 January 1859
I am sewing for Vinnie, and Vinnie is flying through the flakes to buy herself a little hood. It's quite a fair morning, and I often lay down my needle, and "build a castle in the air" which seriously impedes the sewing project. What if I pause a little longer, and write a note to you! Who will be the wiser? I have known little of you, since the October morning when our families went out driving, and you and I in the dining-room decided to be distinguished. It's a great thing to be "great," Loo, and you and I might tug for a life, and never accomplish it, but no one can stop our looking on, and you know some cannot sing, but the orchard is full of birds, and we all can listen. What if we learn, ourselves, some day! Who indeed knows? [?] said you had many little cares; I hope they do not fatigue you. I would not like to think of Loo as weary, now and then. Sometimes I get tired, and I would rather none I love would understand the word. . . .
Do you still attend Fanny Kemble? "Aaron Burr" and father think her an "animal," but I fear zoology has few such instances. I have heard many notedly bad readers, and a fine one would be almost a fairy surprise. When will you come home again, Loo? For you remember, dear, you are one of the ones from whom I do not run away! I keep an ottoman in my heart exclusively for you. My love for your father and Fanny.