Writings by Susan Dickinson

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Syracuse -
Jan. 29 1900.

My dear Susan -

Without being too
confident as to the doctrine
of "final causes", it is quite
plain that Brooklyn +
Syracuse were made to
show us that all the
rest of the world is insignifi-
cant + unsatisfactory in
comparison with Hadley +
Amherst. Upon me that
fact has been impressed by

[in margin:]
I can't make out whether you are in New
York or Brooklyn or the no. of the St., so this
must go to Amherst -

the experience of three quarters
of every year for thirty years.
If you + Martha shall have
it so wrought into you that you
will never doubt it again, the
season will not have been in
vain. What I want to know
is whether you expect to get
back in sight of Mt. Holyoke
before the middle of April; because
at that time I suppose I shall have
to go to New York. Meantime,
the puzzle with me is how you
dispose of y'r forenoons. That is
what I always wonder at about
the travellers in Eup Europe. The
rest of the twenty hours can be
managed; but the interval
between breakfast + dinner looks dark.

I am glad you think of us. If you did not,
it w'd prove that we have been fearfully taken in +
that I, for one, have been walking in my sleep. No great
calamity has come nigh us. The only serious ailment has
been H's rheumatic knee. We are kept busy by the sins
+ miseries of mankind + womankind. These never excuse us,
never leave us to question the orthodox phenomenon of the Fall
of Man, + never let us grow fanatically confident as to
the millenium. God has been wonderfully gracious in granting
me almost painless health, + such endurance of vigor that
I have been able to do all my public work without an
assistant, preaching every week altogether beyond the expectations
or petitions of my audiences. I have long felt it to be

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

one of the terrors of old age that I might not know
when to stop.

In our time, the world cannot lose what
has gone out of it in the death of Ruskin. No such
intellectual + moral splendor has shone upon the
English-speaking lands since we learned to read.

Was there ever, in history, a national plunge downward
into ???ism so mad, so swift, so unaccountable, so fatuous,
as that to which this smart Republic has been tempted by
McKinley + the money-makers who have fooled him? Lowell,
or Hosea Biglow, was not mistaken:

"But you've got to get up Early,
If your going to take in God"!
Love, much, to Martha, + to you! Faithfully, F.D.H.

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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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