Writings by Susan Dickinson

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people. His invitations were a little less general than those of President
Hitchcock had been, although he welcomed warmly all friends of the Senior
class and the few families whom they he knew to be in various ways connected
with the college at the annual Senior levee. Few are still left in these
present days to remember the grace and distinction with which President
and Mrs Stearns received their guests on these occasions. Theirs was the
perfection of manner, because no manner at all. There was a cheeriness and
warm individuality in their hand-grasp quite away from the blase', limp formula
of modern fashionable usage. As the present is not in reality as far removed
as the annals of Dolly Madison, and as Mrs Stearns still graces the village
with genial hospitality, I ought not perhaps to dwell upon personalities, but
her shy manner, and beautiful old pearls, did well complete the youthful beauty
of the President, with his fairly celestial smile. In this there was no trace
of a simper, no hint of approbativeness, -- I think it came straight from a rift
in heaven. The gallantries of the crude Seniors seemed trite after his in-
vitation to promenade in the grounds in the moon light.

With their administration came a touch of the world in the general appear-
ance of the house, always before so plain and simple. Very rich odd cabinets,
and carven chairs, unique bric a brac, from the son then living in India, as
well as the inherited silver of aristocratic pattern bro't by Mrs Stearn, lent an air of elegance
quite agreeable and suitable. The early hours were however long kept; the
inherited ten-oclock-President-Hitchcock-bed-hour I believe still lingers
rather banefully in our social atmosphere. For the witchery of mere lateness,
the mellow glow of the advancing night, the foam of the beaker, has alas! to
this day, no potent charm for our rather heavily balanced folk.

Sometimes funny episodes might have been chronicled as a result of our early
bed-time; -- as when a wife of one of our Professors, coming uninitiated from a gay city into
our simplicities, lost several of her guests at her first party, before the

Mrs Martin of Cleveland --

H bMS Am 1118.95, Box 9

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Last updated on January 25, 2008

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