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[postmark: BOSTON APR 7 MASS]
Miss Anne Whitney
Care of J.P. Lesley Esq.
411 Wetherill St.
[No markings, embossed with stamp]
I have been diving to the depths of the dark attic, & am aprised - my dear Anne to find how poor you are in summer gear. The pink skirt & buff dress are fit only for use in yr own room. I have bought a lawn of wh. I send you a pattern & if you like it & will accept it, I will send the skirt ready made & material for the waist wh some Phila. dressmaker wld doubtless make for reasonable compensation. The hat needs cleaning & pressing & I thought of having it done here, but conclude that it is so doubtful if you will want it, I had better send it as it is, only taking off the dirty ribbon & sending another if I can find one wh. Fidelia will pin on for you. The Leghorn bonnet fortunately is in good condition excepting the strings - whose defacement by bad tying I shall try to remedy. A little delay in the sending may result, in the necessity of hunting up a suitable box to hold the goods. That found & yr answer about the lawn rec'd, I will send by first opportunity. I do not think you will suffer for the want of them for a fortnight. You have probably found as well as we that one or even two days make a summer - or the return of winter impossible.
Fri P.M. If dearest you c'ld undestand how during the past month I have quietly sat on the anxious seat awaiting the North American for Apr. wh I had been told by M. Porter was to contain a criticism of yr book, & if you at the same time were to see that criticism you might apprehend the joy I feel that "a Mr Phillips, an Englishman" has proved a crit[ic] is more worthy of his theme than any who has used you for his text, not even excepting Mr Leland. To be sure there are more words of dispraise than Mr L has uttered, but with them the expression of a calmer & deeper insight. Not that I think Mr L is destitute of the same, but his criticism written hastily upon the first reading of the book is I think not to be compared with this. I am so thankful that in this respectable quarterly, from the pen (evident to the most careless reader) of an able writer has appeared such unqualified praise of The Last Dream Camille, Hymn to the Sea & the Sonnets, those stumbling blocks to some of yr critics. Let me know if Phila. does not furnish you a copy of the Review & I will send one with yr clothes. Tell me too if you know anything about the author, for I chose only to inquire his name when told that something (whether favourable or otherwise I knew not) was to appear. Ma heard of it from Miss Prescott & she from Dr Peabody. I inquired on Wed for the book of the Robbins having seen an advertisement containing a list of contents a
day or two before - but they had not then rec'd it. Yesterday they sent it to Mary S. as the surest & quickest way getting it to me & this noon Mary brought it, full of joy & determination to write you again, though a little hurt I fear at yr message wh [cross out] as she did not seem to understand, I had to explain as probably caused by some foolish expression of mine. Pray write her soon & make all smooth, blaming me if you will - not for wilful misrepresentation but for too literal a comprehension or a stupid misapprehension of her words. The poor woman is [soon - inserted above] to be plunged into that ancient gulf of misery [yeleped] the law & will need all the love & strength you have to bestow. She brought today with the book a sweet little nosegay & yr wonderful Daphne - the last to christen as she said the first. I told you of the plant last year. To her it is all symbolic. Last year's crown of flowers, the like of wh. was never seen or heard of has been succeeded by 9 distinct branches each crowned with a fair bunch of buds. Another thrifty shoot is surmounted by one great cluster of flowers made up of 7 small clusters. I feel badly to have so much sweetness & beauty wasted on our [painty] air & somewhat desolate looking rooms. But she w'ld have it so & soon as the sun shines & the south winds blow we shall look & smell better. Yesterday was pleasant & the day was improved in this [Fast-wise]. In the forenoon Mother & Edwd obeyed the Gov. & represented the
family at church, where "the dangers to the Republic" were discussed by Rev'd A.B.F. who among other interesting matters of personal experience, told his auditors that after the John Brown raid he expressed his convictions at once not knowing whether the community were with or against him (ABF) but now he was happy to say that he, A.B.F & the rest of the world stood together. Where that platform is some of his prejudiced hearers pretend not to know. After church we dined at Edw'd's on that forbidden calf & today happily find ourselves alive & in our [illegible] state of bodily felicity, bathing the colds we most of us had before we ate. In the P.M. Father & Mother came home & E. C & I took in Ellen Robbins & drove to [W.N.] - made a pleasant call upon Katie who sent ever so much love & walked with her to a pleasant little spot where the [Hepatica] greeted us with its living sunniness, & farther on to a beautiful wood where we filled our hands with the pretty Partridge vine glowing with its bright berry & the beautiful little pine tree like whose name I do not know. E. pulled up some real pine trees wh I shd like, but don't much expect, to see growing in his grounds. Mr L. was absent in N.Y. where he had gone to se Ch sail for Cal'a, with his pastor - to be, the Rev'd Starr King. We came home to tea & a wood fire in our own little room upon whose altar I most carelessly made the sacrifice of the little flowers I had gathered with so much joy - so that I have not one to send you as a spring token. We were much interested in & thank you for the anecdotes of yr Phila friends. Where are our good friends Maria & John H? You have been so entirely silent respecting them that I had quite forgotten that you were living in the same town. Please bear my love to them - also kindest love to Fidelia of whome I am thankful to hear such good accounts. I had hoped & intended to write before this
[written in margin] but find that I must wait for stronger eyes & a brighter sky. Is her cough gone? Father's cold is much better & he goes to E [am]. Mother is well. Neighbors & friends ditto I believe with the exception of "Aunt Nancy" - Miss Swift who has been very ill with a disease of the kidneys & though now better is not out of danger. Hattie H. has gone to Florence for her health. In her last letter to father r'c'd about a fortnight since, she promised to go to St Louis with [illegible] in the summer to see the monument She has been making [placid], "if both he & she shd not take wings before that time." Arriving at this time of her fathers feebleness it seems almost sadly prophetic.
A loving adieu from thine own Sarah.
Sat. A.M. A spendid morn'g - the ground white with frost betokening a fine day Yr thermometer probably stands above freezing - ours will soon. I forgot to speak of Sanborn yesterday. Mary said she wld send a paper giving the account of wh interests us so much. His long legs did good service in the the fight of Apr. 3d. I hope he will bear his honors meekly for the Concord people find in him a hero. If I tell you dear of last nights wakefulness, it will scarcely remove the cause b'g my unsatisfactory talk about the excitement about the criticism [cross out].
Are you hearing lectures now? & is the subject of yr modelling a secret?
Whitney, Sarah and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Sarah Whitney, Boston, Massachusetts, to Anne Whitney, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1860 April 5" (1860). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 361.