Writings by Susan Dickinson

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President Humphrey! -- when was there ever such gently though firmly anchored
conscientiousness as his? How wholesomely Beecher's tribute at a long time
ago Alumni dinner, lingers in the mind! "The impression he made on me uncon-
sciously of deep strong manhood, when I was a student at Amherst, has never
for a day of my life left me". What an epitaph for a man! It was on this same
occasion too that Beecher spoke of Professor Fisk, saying, -- "Professor Fisk too,
clear and pure as the light on Mt. Holyoke, -- how I admired him!" But how his brain chilled him. Then with a
whimsical smile to himself, he added, "I can't remember though that he ever
put his arms around me"! Continuing this reminiscent strain, he spoke of
Professor Worcester, calling him "a really great man, mentally" -- rather sadly
concluding: -- "long since gone to his reward". But a faint reminding voice from
the audience was heard, -- "Mr. Beecher, Professor Worcester is still living!"
All the fun and ingenuousness in Beecher's nature flashed to the surface, as
rallying quickly, he replied, "Well, if he is alive, and wants to be, I am glad
of it!"

I well remember that this levity was too much for some of our serious folk,
who associated prayer more naturally than laughter, with the college of those
days. Mrs Deacon Sweetser, bowing stiffly in passing out of the hall, was heard
to remark by some of us who were chuckling over a littel [sic] natural fun amid
obituary records and missionary reports, that "she did not care for Mr Beecher's
remarks. It was highly improper to ridicule such good men as Professor Fisk
and Professor Worcester!"

The Senior levee given by the President to the graduating class was the social
event of the year; occuring in Augurt [sic] at the close of the term. To this the
villagers and all friends of the Seniors were invited. Weeks before-hand the
young ladies were in a little agitation over it; arranging becoming gowns
with a charming refinement of economy. As the Summer was so nearly over, to

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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