letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

late April 1873

TO: Louise and Frances Norcross

. . . There is that which is called an "awakening" in the church, and I know of no choicer ecstasy than to see Mrs. [Sweetser] roll out in crape every morning, I suppose to intimidate antichrist; at least it would have the effect on me. It reminds me of Don Quixote demanding the surrender of the wind-mill, and of Sir Stephen Toplift, and of Sir Alexander Cockburn.

Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don't know what to do with my heart. I dare not take it, I dare not leave it - what do you advise?

Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.

"What do I think of Middlemarch?" What do I think of glory except that in a few instances this "mortal has already put on immortality."

George Eliot is one. The mysteries of human nature surpass "mysteries of redemption," for the infinite we only suppose, while we see the finite. . . . I launch Vinnie on Wednesday; it will require the combined efforts of Maggie, Providence and myself, for whatever advances Vinnie makes in nature and art, she has not reduced departure to a science. . . .

      Your loving

thomas johnson's note on letter 389 | index to dickinson/norcross letters

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on December 21, 1998