Helen Hunt Jackson 2-1-13 transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, MS 0156, Box 1, Folder 13, 2 letters
from Lucy Palmer to Ann Fiske, 1852.
Albany - Jan. 26th [Monday] 1852
My dear friend Annie -
It was quite pleasant to receive your good letter so punctually last week. It came to me quite unexpectedly - for not having received one before , I was not "on the lookout" as the saying is - Helen was expecting a letter on that evening from some one of her correspondents - and as Uncle Ray and I were going to meeting, I persuaded him to start earlier and go to the Office - little thinking that I should be the fortunate one. But there was no other than one for me, I took it therefore and quietly went to meeting, I fear not with very appropriate thoughts, for I was in a continual state of uneasiness, relative to the letter in question. I thought it might be from you, but not being very familiar with your writing, I was somewhat in doubt, and attributed it now to me and now to another, but with no little satisfaction in either case. I am ashamed to say, the meeting seemed rather long, and as soon as Hamilton Street was reached, the mystery was solved, and my anxiety of mind was fully relieved...
I intended to write to you before that you might receive it tomorrow - but I have been exceedingly busy all along - We are going out to tea tomorrow afternoon, and I have been making my little cape, and starting my Chyrna-colored dress. I admire the fringe which Hattie sent very much indeed, I succeeded in getting some buttons and cord just the same color and have got the cape nearly finished. My sleeves too, I have gathered it to bands round the wrist as I disliked them so much as they were before. Do you still continue to like yours -
I cannot commence so far said by saying it has snowed all day - on the contrary it has thawed all day - yes the weather is really been very unusual and the snow is melting fast. I am sorry - for I have enjoyed much this biting cold weather and fine sleighing. Hattie tells me too that you have been enjoying it - you must give me a brief description of your ride in the Mayflower.
When you speak of staying at home on those snowy days - I can look right in upon you, in our dear little room, sewing on your scarf - and Hattie reading to you. How pleasantly we were just beginning to live together in when I came away. I have thought many times since of our Herbet readings - and Annie - I always think of you when I go to bed, for I really believe, notwithstanding all bother, fear to the contrary - we did use to enjoy that narrow bed.......
So, I have missed several parties by being here - have I not - but we have some in prospect. Though I am rather disappointed in Albany society - so far as parties are concerned, for its reputation is that there can be no sort of a company here without dancing - and larger parties are always for that express purpose therefore, I fear they will be rather uninteresting to us - who do not participate in such things - We had a call this morning from Mrs. Rothbun of Kenwood - this is a often said place - a little ways out of the city, she is to have a party soon, to which we are to be invited, I cannot tell whether we shall go or not, you have probably heard of the Governor's party - which comes off next Tuesday, we are really going there - Do you not think Helen and Lue are rather smart of any ladies to undertake the making of their own dresses for such an occasion as this? Helen's has not yet come from New York - but she is already to begin as soon as it does come......
How sadly the Ladies of Circle interfere with Mr. Dana's plans - to say nothing of Duke. It really seemed quite hard for Mr. Dana - but whether he has entirely recovered from the shock by this time - and perhaps you have had the pleasure of accepting an invitation from him. Is it so, - Annie? - Now you must tell me faithfully of all your experience in this respect.
I congratulate you upon the good impression you seem to have made the young man, still I must heave a sigh for poor "John" - Alas, Alas!!
The celebrated hat box arrived yesterday, I mean Saturday, and Helen was perfectly delighted with her bag - she carried it to church all day - and it it [sic] was constant source of admiration. She says, "Tell Lu I am ever so much obliged" - Just think - Annie - of my beginning a scarf for myself - I never would have believed myself capable of doing it - but so it is now.
Your velvet I will send with this letter - but you came very near losing it, for Aunt Ann said you could probably get enough more, and begged me to let her have those two pieces - I at last yielded to her entreaties, but when your summons came, I was obliged to demand it back again and will now send it to its rightful owner -
I wish you could see how Helen and I are writing. There is about a teaspoonful of fluid in our lamp - and I begin to fear we must undress in the dark - for there happens to be no more in the house, and when this is out, Ah, me !! What can be sure - we both determine to finish our letters before it burnt out - and this accounts for its illegibility. Perhaps Hattie will be interested to know that I have had the pleasure of singing to Mr. John Richardson this evening - and Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Norton visited on us from church last evening. No more tonight for want of room and light (love to all-)
Your friend, Lu -
Albany, Feb. 16th /52
My dear Annie -
I suppose before this time Hattie, or Helen, or both have told you that I would wait until this week instead of writing last week to you. Helen unintentionally changed her week for writing, and I concluded you would like to have me change mine - in order to hear alternately as before. [xxxx] Helen has written this week also, but it was a mistake and I suppose you will let it pass for an extra - and answer mine next week - as usual - It really seems a long while since I have written to you and I hardly know where to begin. What a pity to have this break, when we had just begun to write so regularly, but we will not have it so again. Shall we?
I have finished my scarf, and it really is very beautiful. I wish you could see it, every one admires it. I have tried to send you a model, or as the painters say - "a [xxx] copy." I think however it will need some explanation. I thought you would like to have the style of it, and also it might give you some ideas. That vine and [xxxx] patterns are very pretty. The patterns themselves on the other end are not quite as pretty, but filled up with the spots look quite beautifully - and Helen thinks that end much the richer of the two - I have not drawn them perfectly even - but I think you can get the effect tolerably well. The color of the scarf is scarlet - the bead marks show where yellow green and white stitches are put on, the palm leaves are chain-stitched on - one of green, the other of white. I wish you had sent me that little border pattern before - for I like it much - but I had mine all drawn and half-worked when I saw that - I should have liked it full as well - and I should think it was not half the work as that one of Helen's - I got almost out of patience working that. What a provoking pattern it is. I did not expect to get it fringed as well here as at home - but they have done it beautifully - for the same price - you cannot imagine how pretty the fringe looks - going round the points. Now that I have it done - it seems almost too nice for me to wear - and indeed I had serious thoughts of sending it home to be disposed of, but have given it up and resolved to submit to the penalty of having it with me "whenever I take my walks abroad" -
Were you not surprised to hear that Helen had become so much interested in embroidery? She has returned to her letters today - and she says - "How could I have denied myself this pleasure so long?" - the boy she worked was very beautiful - I wanted her to send it to you - that you might inspect her first performance - but she was in a hurry to give present it - and therefore declined so doing.
What a long chapter on Anticipation your letter contained - I shall think you have associated lately with a certain young gentlemen. I suppose this is quite a favorite topic between you - and you perhaps agree upon it perfectly - Well, I do not object to any one in [studying] pleasing anticipations if they are part of the occupation, but I/ a/m/ it is to me neither pleasant nor profitable. As to anticipating any return - I had never once thought of it until reminded by you. Now do not for this decide at once that I am carried away with Albany, and shall not be glad when I get home - No indeed - this is far from the case. I am very happy here - and expect to be very happy in going home, but as for taking out half the pleasure now - (as we say of an allowance"-) by anticipating it, I would rather enjoy what I have here at present - and the future all at once when I go home - Do you understand?
How unsuccessful you were in the various attempts to send messages from Mess'rs. Bancroft & Daria - I hope some one was edified by the document left in Brisher's Saloon - Ah, Annie - Annie - how absent minded !!! tis a bad sign - I wish you had so fully controlled your thoughts as to have brought away the paper - I should like to have become acquainted with the "flattery" as you are pleased to call it - Did you come up West Street after the Concert? And did the wind blow away? Perhaps you remember that first eventful evening when we experienced such a gale -
I suppose Helen told you about our Valentines - This morning we received each of us half a counterfeit bill enclosed in a brass locket with references to Dream Life - you remember perhaps "the split sixpence" - How romantic for Helen and I to [xxx] half a paper-bill! - Don't you think Valentines dreadfully silly? Were you so unfortunate as to receive any?
What a constant attendant of the Musical Fund Rehearsal you have become!! I think your musical (or some other) taste must be improving. But how can you find time now - you never were able the first of the winter - There now - that is what Mr. Dana would call "severe" - I suppose - but I love to tease people a little once in a while... forgive it - remember who it came from -
I shall expect to hear all the particulars of everything from you next Thursday - Take good care of Hattie now that she is home - and love her dearly. I know that you will for she is a darling girl - How much you must enjoy reading together - I wish I might join you some day - But Goodbye and much love
From Lue -
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