Writings by Susan Dickinson

image | previous page | next page | note | essay index | search | main index


through his hands, in a nervous fashion, as he revised the striking points
in his career under Jackson, in the Senate, and his defeat at last for the
Governorship of his own state. His self-confidence would have seemed like
silly conceit in a charlatan but only a passable[?] weakness in so truly a strong man. As he recounted crises in the Senate, he
would step quickly to the front of the stage, exclaiming with an emphasis,
of his right foot, where was Benton then !! If he was an egoist, a life-
time on the right side was ample palliation for it all. He lingered over the fire
after the lecture, until the hours were small, talking of his public life,
dwelling with pride and devotion on the fascinating traits of his daughter
Jessie, the wife of Gen.'l Fremont, who has ever held a romantic interest
in the hearts of the American people. Our last reading of the thermometer, as we
bade him good night, was twenty degrees below, and in spite of our best
efforts to make a tropical atmosphere in his room, we trembled lest we find
a dead hero in the morning. But he was rosy and rollicking when called to
breakfast, where we seated him as close to the air-tight stove, with which
we aided a faint-going wood furnace, after winter fairly set in, as we deemed
safe for his clothes and epidermis. Thirty below was the record at nine
in the morning, and he fairly clapped his hands when assured that it was
never colder - his "Veni, Vidi, Vici" mood was delightful to see. We urged
his remaining 'till the weather softned, but he insisted that he must
make a train which could get him to New York for an engagement that ev-
ening, although we found upon inquiry, that the road north of us to So. Deerfield
was the only one that could be broken up for 24 hours. We prepared to
speed the parting guest by collecting all the coats, furs, tippets, and soap-
stones the house afforded spreading them around the fire in hopes by wrap-
ping him as tightly as his circulation would permit that he would endure the

image | previous page | next page | note | essay index | search | main index

Writings by Susan Dickinson Main Page
Image reproduced by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
Transcription and commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith,
Laura Elyn Lauth, and Lara Vetter, all rights reserved
Maintained by Rebecca Mooney  <rnmooney@umd.edu>
Last updated on January 23, 2008

Dickinson Electronic Archives