letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

14 January 1885

TO: Louise and Frances Norcross

Had we less to say to those we love, perhaps we should say it oftener, but the attempt comes, then the inundation, then it is all over, as is said of the dead. Loo asked "what books" we were wooing now - watching like a vulture for Walter Cross's life of his wife. A friend sent me Called Back,. It is a haunting story, and as loved Mr. Bowles used to say, "greatly impressive to me." Do you remember the little picture with his deep face in the centre, and Governor Bross on one side, and Colfax on the other? The third of the group died yesterday, so somewhere they are again together.

Moving to Cambridge seems to me like moving to Westminster Abbey, as hallowed and as unbelieved, or moving to Ephesus with Paul for a next-door neighbor.

Holmes's Life of Emerson is sweetly commended, but you, I know, have tasted that. . . . But the whistle calls me - I have not begun - so with a moan, and a kiss, and a promise of more, and love from Vinnie and Maggie, and the half-blown carnation, and the western sky, I stop.

That we are permanent temporarily, it is warm to know, though we know no more.


thomas johnson's note on letter 962 | index to dickinson/norcross letters

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
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Last updated on January 14, 1999