Emily Dickinson's Correspondences
Correspondence with Susan Dickinson

H L8a           Saturday morning -

I know dear Susie is busy, or she would not forget her lone little Emilie, who wrote her just as soon as she'd gone to Manchester, and has waited so patiently till she can wait no more, and the credulous little heart, fond even tho' forsaken, will get it's big black inkstand, and tell her once again how well it loves her.

Dear Susie, I have tried so hard to act patiently, not to think unkind thoughts, or cherish unkind doubt concerning one not here, I have watched the stages come in, I have tried to look indifferent, and hum a snatch of tune when I heard Father and Austin coming, and knew how soon they'd bring me a dear letter from you, or I should look in the hat, and find it all empty - and here comes

H L8b

Saturday, and tomorrow the world stands still, and I shall have no message from my dear Susie!

Why dont you write me, Darling? Did I in that quick letter say anything which grieved you, or made it hard for you to take your usual pen and trace affection for your bad, sad Emilie?

Then Susie, you must forgive me before you sleep tonight, for I will not shut my eyes until you have kissed my cheek, and told me you would love me.

Oh it has been so still, since when you went away, nothing but just the ticking of the two ceaseless clocks - swiftly the "Little mystic one, no human eye hath seen," but slowly and solemnly the tall clock upon the mantel - you remember that clock, Susie. It has the oddest way of striking twelve in the morning, and six in the afternoon, just as soon as you come. I am trying to teach it a few

H L8c

of the proprieties of life, now you are gone away, and the poor thing does indeed seem quite obedient, and goes slowly eno', but as soon as you're back again, Susie, it will be the same graceless one it ever used to be, and only gallop with accelerated speed, to make up for resting now.

Dear Susie, it is harder to live alone than it was when you were in Baltimore, and the days went slowly, then - they go e'en slower than they did while you were in the school - or else I grow impatient, and cannot brook as easily absence from those I love. I dont know which it is - I only know that when you shall come back again, the Earth will seem more beautiful, and bigger than it does now, and the blue sky from the window will be all dotted with gold - though it may not be evening, or time for the stars to come.

It is pleasant to talk of you with Austin - and Vinnie and to find how you are

H L8d

living in every one of their hearts, and making it warm and bright there - as if it were a sky, and a sweet summer's noon. Austin has gone this morning - the last little thing I did for him was while they were at breakfast, to write on four envelopes for him to send to you

It made me smile, Susie, to think how Little Argus was cheated after all and I smiled again, at thinking of something holier, of something from the skies, come Earthward.

Dear Susie, I dont forget you a moment of the hour, and when my work is finished, and I have got the tea, I slip thro' the little entry, and out at the front door, and stand and watch the West, and remember all of mine - yes, Susie - the golden West, and the great, silent Eternity, forever folded there, and bye and bye it will open it's everlasting arms, and gather us all all [;] Good bye, dear Susie they all send you their love Emilie -

Susie - will you give my love to Mrs Bartlett, and tell her the fortnight is out next Wednesday, and I thought she m't like to know!


H L8

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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>