letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

TO: Louise and Frances Norcross

early February 1863

So many ask for the children that I must make a separate letter to tell them what they say, and leave my kisses till next time.

Eliza wrote last week, faint note in pencil - dressed in blankets, and propped up, having been so socik - and yet too weak to talk much, even with her slate. She said this of you, I give it in her own words, "Make them know I love them," and added, should have written immediately herself, except for weakness.

Mr. Dwight asks for you in the phrase "Of your sweet cousins." He does not yet know papa is asleep - only very weary.

The milliner at the head of the street wipes her eyes for Fanny and Loo, and a tear rumples her ribbons. Mr. and Mrs. Sweetser care - Mrs. Sweetser most tenderly.

. . . Even Dick's wife, simple dame, with a kitchen full, and the grave besides, of little ragged ones, wants to know "more about" you, and follows mother to the door, who has called with bundle.

Dick says, in his wise way, he "shall always be interested in them young ladies." One little young lady of his own, you know, is in Paradise. That makes him tender-minded.

Be sure you don't doubt about the sparrow.

Poor H[arriet] and Z[ebina Montague], in their genteel antique way express their sympathy, mixing admiring anecdotes of your father and mother's youth, when they, God help them, were not so sere. Besides these others, children, shall we tell them who else cherish, every day the same, the bright day and the black one too - Could it be Emily?

Would it interest the children to know that crocuses come up, in the garden off the dining-room? and a fuchsia, that pussy partook, mistaking it for strawberries. And that we have primroses - like the little pattern sent in last winter's note - and heliotropes by the aprons full, the mountain colored one - and a jessamine bud, you know the little odor like Lubin, and gilliflowers, magenta, and few mignonette and sweet alyssum bountiful, and carnation buds?

Will it please them to know that the ice-house is filled, to make their tumblers cool next Summer - and once in a while a cream?

And that father has built a new road round the pile of trees between our house and Mr. S[weetser]'s, where they can take the soldier's shirt to make, or a sweet poem, and no man finds them, but the fly and he such a little man.

Love dears, from us all, and on't you tell us how you are? We seem to hear so little.

          Emily -

thomas johnson's note on letter 279 | index to dickinson/norcross letters

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Last updated on December 16, 1998