Writings by Susan Dickinson

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disappointment, but with much wondering as to the whereabouts of our south-
ern orator. College hall, the Village church of those days, was neverthe-
less warming a lighted stage built even as for [?], but as the most hopeful persons pronounced, for a
Barmecide feast, as any arrival in the village seemed impossible for such a night except by wings.
But in the early dusk, above the roar of the North wind we detected the faint
whistling of an exhausted engine - in half an hour covered with snow, reso-
lute as a gamecock with a nose as red as a tipplers Col. Benton arrived, and
was unwrapped before a blazing fire in the Library. How full of glee he was
the brave old man that he had come 20 miles by special engine through the drifts from
Palmer, assured by the engineer that it was one of the coldest days known in
New England. The hero of the war of 1812 tingled with a fresh sense of
victory, in having met the mercury at its lowest and won. Every half hour
of his stay he would beg us to give him just the degree the thermometer reg-
istered, very much as a General counts up his enemy, slain and routed after great conflict. It was de-
lightful to see him as cheery - so undaunted by obstacles, with seventy four
years upon his head. The picture in his book "Thirty years in the U.S.
Senate", must have been a truthful portrait, for at this long distance of
years, it brings him distinctly before me - of course when I we saw him, the firm
muscles about the mouth had relaxed by age, but the nose was the same bridge
of strength, and the brow as indicative of firm purpose brain power.
The audience which gathered to hear him was large and enthusiastic, in
spite of the weather obstacles and the sleigh loads, which were in the drifts, -
(from Northampton and Greenfield, and the smaller towns near us.)
I remember his manner well, walkingas he walked up and down the stage, built for this
occasion with no thought? of observers? with a sort of martial tread, drawing a large silk bandana hereof[?]
over the [?] where the [?]
believers so often dozed]

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Last updated on January 23, 2008

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