Tells of the hopes raised by CD's letter of Monday regarding Anne's health.
Wed. | before post time
My own dearest
I have just sent off my return note by Parslow for the chance
of it reaching you sooner. The oftener I read over your letter of Monday the more
hopeful it made me. Your minute accounts are such a comfort & I enjoyed the
spunging our dear one with vinegar as much as you did. I have been thinking about a few
slops that might suit her when she can take a little food but it is more for the
pleasure of fancying I have something to do for her or think of for her If the bowels
But your difficulty will not be in the variety but in venturing to give her any quantity of any thing. Eliz. came at 2 having slept at Southampton. She is quite hopeful from the last accounts. I try to prepare my mind for a great deal more anxiety & draw backs.
I am afraid Cath. will be mortified if she is not made use of & when Fanny goes
& you are not quite so anxious I think she would be of the greatest use
& comfort to you. How kind Fanny is. I have heard from Caroline. Etty very well
& happy she says “I will take the greatest care of her & I
think I shall be able to make her feel friendly & comfortable with me should she
have any little trouble or hurt. I am deeply touched at your writing to me at such a
time & I can indeed with truth say it is impossible to feel more for you than
Jos & I do.!” She had rec
(After post. Alas my own how shall we bear it. It is very bitter but I shall not be ill. Thank dear F
- f1 1411.f1The previous letter. Joseph Parslow was the Darwins' butler.
- f2 1411.f2Elizabeth Wedgwood had been staying in Jersey and travelled via steamer to Southampton before proceeding to Down (Emma Darwin 2: 132).
- f3 1411.f3Caroline refers to the grief she and Josiah Wedgwood III experienced when Sophy Marianne Wedgwood, their first child, died at the age of seven weeks in January 1839.
- f4 1411.f4William Erasmus Darwin, CD's oldest son, then 11 years old.
- f5 1411.f5Sarah Elizabeth (Sarah) Wedgwood, who lived at Petleys, close to Down House.
- f6 1411.f6Francis Darwin, then nearly 2
years old. 1 2
- f7 1411.f7The final paragraph, written in pencil, refers to a letter from Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood (preserved in DAR 210.13) dated ‘Tuesday 21
st’ (a mistake for 22 April) that reads: My dearest Emma— I am thankful that you felt there was much to fear in yr note yesterday for I grieve to write you a worse report this evening there has been a change today & signs of sinking— I tell you every thing just as it is my dearest Emma & thankful also for the mercy that is given us of there being not the least appearance of any suffering in your sweet patient darling— Charles had written you this morning—too hopefully & he will not send it & cannot write you this himself— he is gone to lie down & has gone through much fatigue— her night was not disturbed & less wandering than the night before but the effort of the fever throwing itself off from the bowels is more than her strength seems able to bear & she has lost strength every time— we are now giving brandy & Ammonia every q rof an hour—which she takes with no difficulty— D rGully is just gone—he thinks her in imminent danger & not having gained ground— Fanny [Allen] will send us a word for all our sorrowing anxiety is for you now my Emma in this great suffering— God support & raise you for Charles sake— I need not say that if any change for the better wch is always possible with a child sh dbe given us—you shall have a message— But I have told you the worst— Oh that I should have to send you such sad sad news— Our only comfort will be to hear of you— I have persuaded Charles to lie down for a while Thank you for y rsweet note Your affe c| FEW