Writings by Susan Dickinson

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June 27. '96.
My dear Susan -

It seemed to me that
you, above all others, ought to know
just what was said publicly, at
that time + in that place, of y'r
husband. The rough little ms. I sent
you was a sketch written beforehand
of I thought ought to be said.
In speaking I varied the language
very little, in thought not at all. If,
you noticed the abominable report in
the "Republican" you saw how
atrociously it altered, added + sub-
tracted. The one sentence it made me
impute to Austin, as a conspicuous
trait in his character, what I expressly
emphatically declared did not belong
to him but was utterly foreign, distasteful
and impossible to him. In another I

was represented as guilty of
the paltry platitude that he
was "Sometimes impatient with his
sickness"-! Sic!, thereby turning
what followed in the whole para-
graph into an absurdity. What I said was
that he himself was sometimes impatient
at "himself". Considering the subject,
the company, the semi-official occasion,
the responsibility of the speaker, to
say nothing more, such a newspaper
travesty is unpardonable. The sore-
ness of it hangs about me like a
sprained ankle, a cut sinew, or
a gash in the face. It has half
spoiled the week of peace here. Last
year it was very much so. I took great
pains to furnish an exact written copy
of my tribute to Ar'r [Arthur] Seeley. It was
mutilated + mangled. In both cases
the speech was made at the request of
the authorities of the College for its
benefit, cheerfully + with goodwill.

The Republican's reporter for such an Institution + such a
celebration ought to be a man of some sense, some idea of
literary art, + some skill in reproducing what he hears.

For some cause that I never understood (tho' I have
an opinion) the younger Bowles has always either had
a grudge or a spite in my behalf. I was his father's friend,
the friend of his editorship fr. the beginning. As sons of the
Valley + neighbors we had much in common, without agreeing
on all subjects. First + last I have said kind things about
the Rep. I suppose enough to fill one of its pages. I take it every
Summer, + pay my subscription in advance, tho' my religious
Hadley neighbors have dropped it for the "Union" on acc't of
its radicalism. It is not strange that it dislikes me.
I somewhat dislike myself. Its prejudice appears in

its treatment. Probably Mr. B's subordinates are
instructed accordingly. They never lose an opportunity
to originate or repeat flings at the church to which
I belong, + for wh., I left the Unitarians, tho' they treat
other denominations fairly. That is the liberality of the
Liberals, - of which species of toleration I have seen a
great deal. - All this is of small account. But I did
imagine that as Austin's personal friend the Republican, i.e.
Mr. Bowles, w'd see that justice was done to his memory.

I wish Martha's poetry c'd have gone into my small
Eulogy. She has the divine gift. "The silent [?] [away?]" +
"So late- outsleep the birds", + "his forest heart[?]", are very fine.

With love faithfully,


Papers of Susan Dickinson,
Box II, Series A,
Brown University Libraries


Mrs. Susan H. Dickinson -
Amherst -

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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 25, 2008

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