Writings by Susan Dickinson

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strength began to flicker, and his over-urged brain throbbed its [p?] [?].
Between himself, and your father, there was just enough difference of senti-
ment and opinion to strike fire, each calling out the best weapon of the other
and yet never caring, that in the crossing of swords, neither was conscious of
defeat. With a free and shaggy manner, one could not say of him, as Bettina
said of Goethe " The graces kept him prisoner" - his nature surged over form[s]
and conventions, with an exuberance of vitality, but never drowned the tini-
est flower life in its retreating wave. He was a true knight, with the fine flow-
er of courtesy on his invisible shield.

Rarely was the fire buried in those days, of delightful visits 'till long after midnight.
Even if the matter discussed was dry as his favorite scheme for abridg-
ing all legal forms and usages in our courts, not strictly essential, sim-
plifying all legal machinery, destroying circumlocution, and bringing every
man closer to the source and power of redress. Even to a woman, like my-
self he made this subject stirring and fascinating. His range of topics
was unlimited, now some plan plot of local politics, rousing his honest rage,
now some rare effusion of fine sentiment, over an unpublished poem which he
would draw from his pocket, having received it in advance from some the fascina-
ted editor. I especially remember two such, "Pomegranate flowers" by
Harriet Prescott, in a number of the Atlantic in the year '61, and a little
unpublished poem of Mrs. Browning's which I fear I have lost, suggesting
the idea that of [?] the real sorrow is, that we forget forgetfulness to greive as time goes
on, rather than grieving to the quick always for our dead to the end.

"One's spirit grew robust in his presence, so rich and nutrimental[?]
was his talk. We were indebted to him for many charming introductions,

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Writings by Susan Dickinson Main Page
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Transcription and commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith,
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Maintained by Rebecca Mooney  <rnmooney@umd.edu>
Last updated on January 23, 2008

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