Writings by Susan Dickinson

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  of equally soft color were worn entirely for ordinary
visiting -- black silk for larger occasions -- The young
ladies in summer wore muslins white or sprigged not
too modest prudish in cut -- As the season grew chilly sashes
of scarlet ribbon were added, with knots of red barberries
fastened on the shoulders and drooping gracefully from the
hair -- quite heavy wreaths of green myrtle leaves were bound
about the head giving a perhaps too classic touch as of
filleted martyr or Parnassian victors. no one smiled over the
simplicity or enforced economy of these toilets or coveted
richer or more elaborate effects -- The girls were so pretty and
handsome they dominated these externals -- I am sure I
do not lend them the enchantment of distance -- It comes
to me how fully I am confirmed in this memory by four
world famous savans from Europe (I think Lyell the geologist was
one of them) who were taken by Pres. Hitchcock to the
wedding reception of Mrs Davis' (our loved saint in the flesh)
These strong-hearted men were enthusiastic over the beautiful
party and spoke most warmly of the unusual number
of handsome girls and attractive women present --
Pres Stearns coming among us a stranger not an alumnus
of the college was never as closely allied as his predecessors
with the village people -- his invitations were a little less genial
than Pres. H.'s -- although welcoming he welcomed warmly all friends of
the seminar class and the few families whom they knew to
be in various ways connected with the college at the big
annual senior levee -- Few are still left in these latter
days to remember the grace and distinction with which
Pres & Mrs Stearns received their guests on these occasions
Theirs was the perfection of manner because no manner

H bMS Am 1118.95, Box 9

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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 25, 2008

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