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  A 572 p1


Friday Morning.

     Dear Austin.
           Father says he came down upon
you so unexpectedly that you hardly had time
to recover from your surprise before he was off
again - he says you were so astonished that
you hardly knew what to say - he thinks
you are not very well, and I feel so anx-
ious about you that I cannot rest until
I have written to you and given you some
advice. They say Mr Sweetser is going - he may
not and he may. I will conclude to risk
him. I am very sorry indeed that your eyes
have been so troublesome. I really hope they are
better and will trouble you no more.
You ought to be very careful about using them
any now - I do not care if you never write
me a letter, if you'll only spare your eyes un-
til they have got better. / I would not spend
much strength upon those little school boys - you
will need it all for something better and
braver, after you get away. It would rejoice my
heart, if on some pleasant morning you'd turn

  A 572 p2


the schoolroom key on Irish boys - Nurse and all,
and walk away to freedom and the sunshine
here at home. Father says all Boston would not
be a temptation to you another year - I wish
it would not tempt you to stay another day.
Oh Austin, it is wrong to tantalize you so
while you are braving all things in trying
to fulfill duty. Duty is black and brown,
home is bright and shining, "and the spirit
and the bride say come, and let him that"
wandereth come - for "behold all things are
ready"! We are having such lovely weather -
the air is as sweet and still, now and
then a gay leaf falling - the crickets sing
all day long - high in a crimson tree a be-
lated bird is singing - a thousand little
painters are ting[e]ing hill and dale - I ad-
mit now, Austin, that autumn is most beau-
tiful, and spring is but the least - yet they
"differ as stars" in their distinctive glories.
How happy if you were here to share these
pleasures with us - the fruit should be more
sweet, and the dying day more golden -
merrier the falling nut, if with you we
gathered it and hid it down deep in the
abyss of basket; but you complain not - where-

  A 572 p3


fore do we? I had a long letter from [Sue]
Tuesday evening [and Mat] had one that
day and came down here to read it
- we
had a beautiful time reading [about Susie]
and talking of [words completely erased] the good
times of last summer - and we anticipated -
boasted ourselves of tomorrow [one line erased]
[words erased] the future we created, and
all of us went to ride in an air bubble
for a carriage. We have made all our plans for you and us [words erased] in another year - we cherish all the past - we glide adown
the present, awake, yet dreaming, but the future
or ours together - there the birds sing loudest,
and the sun shines always there!
Martha and I are very much together - we
fill every niche of time with statues of you
and [Sue] and in return for this they smile
beautiful smiles down from their dwelling places.
Martha wears the charm when she goes out
calling, and many a eulogium is passed upon
your gift. [Sue] says in her letter she has
had a "brief letter from you" - wont you write
her a longer?
Father says you wear a white
hat, cocked up at the sides - know I shall
like its looks and want so much to see it -

  A 572 p4

A 572; JL 57


as for the wearer, I want to see him too - but
which the most prithee?
Father says you ate little dinner when you
dined with him - he did'nt know whether
you were not hungry, or whether it was as-
at encountering - I hope the
latter. You must get better fast - we shall
have a busy day for you on Cattle Show day.
We have had some sweet cider - I drank
your health. I thank you for the vial.
I had a dissertation from Eliza Coleman a
day or two ago - dont know which was the
author - Plato, or Socrates - rather think Jove
had a finger in it. Abby Wood has not
come - Emerson and Dickinson have been
threatened with fevers, but are better now.
Spencer is still alive, but cannot linger long.
He is sick at Dea Haskell's - his mother is
here. Mother came home yesterday - had a pleas-
ant visit at Monson. They all send their love.
Vinnie sends her's. How soon you will be here!
Days, flee away - "lest with a whip of scor-
I overtake your lingering!"
I am in a hurry - this pen is too slow
for me - "it hath done what it could."

Your aff, Emily

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Image reproduced by permission of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008

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