Emily Dickinson's Correspondences
Correspondence with Susan Dickinson

H L1a           Sabbath Day.

I am sick today, dear Susie, and have not been to church. There has been a pleasant quiet, in which to think of you, and I have not been sick eno' that I cannot write to you. I love you as dearly, Susie, as when love first began, on the step at the front door, and under the Evergreens, and it breaks my heart sometimes, because I do not hear from you. I wrote you many days ago I wont say many weeks, because it will look sadder so, and then I cannot write but Susie, it troubles me.

I miss you, mourn for you, and walk the Streets alone often at night, beside, I fall asleep in tears, for your dear face, yet not one word comes back to me from that silent West. If it is finished, tell

[Upside down atop first page:]
Mother and Vinnie send much love - they will be delighted to see you. My dearest love to Mat.

[Marginalia on left side of first page:]
I asked Austin if he had any messages he replied he

H L1b

me, and I will raise the lid to my box of Phantoms, and lay one more love in; but if it lives and beats still, still lives and beats for me, then say me so, and I will strike the strings to one more strain of happiness before I die. Why Susie think of it you are my precious Sister, and will be till you die, and will be still, when Austin and Vinnie and Mat, and you and I are marble - and life has forgotten us!

Vinnie and I are going soon either this week or next father has not determined. I'm sure I cannot go, when I think that you are coming, and I would give the whole world if I could stay, instead.

I cant believe you are coming but when I think of it, and tell myself it's so, a wondrous joy comes over me, and my old fashioned life capers as in a dream. Sue I

[Marginalia on left side of second page:]
had not! The good for nothing fellow! I presume he will

H L1c

take the words of that Sweet Kate Scott, I have never seen and say "it is too blissful." I never will be "so busy" when you get back to me, as I used to be. I'll get "my spinning done," for Susie, it steals over me once in a little while, that as fingers fly and I am so busy, a far more wondrous Shuttle shifts the subtler thread, and when that's web is spun, indeed my spinning will be done. I think with you, dear Susie, and Mat by me again, I shall be still for joy. I shall not fret or murmur shall not care when the wind blows, shall not observe the storm "Such, and so precious" are you.

Austin told me about you when he came from the West though many little things I wanted most to know, he "had not noticed." I asked him how you looked, and

[Marginalia on left side of third page:]
fill a fools Cap with protestations to you, as soon

H L1d

what you wore, and how your hair was fixed, and what you said of me his answers were quite limited "you looked as you always did he did'nt know what you wore never did know what people wore you said he must tell me everything," which by the way dear Child, he has not done to this day, and any portion of which, I would savor with joy, might I but obtain it. Vinnie inquired with promptness "if you wore a Basque" "it seemed to him," he said, "you did have on a black thing."

Ah Susie you must train him 'twill take full many a lesson in the fashion plate, before he will respect, and speak with proper deference of this majestic garment. I have some new clothes, Susie presume I shall appear like an embarrassed Peacock, quite unused to its plumes. Dear Susie you will write to me when I am gone from home Affy, Emilie -

[Marginalia on left side of fourth page:]
as I leave the room! Bats think Foxes have no eyes Ha Ha!!


H L1

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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 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on July 14, 1998
Maintained by Tanya Clement <tclement@umd.edu>