From Emma Darwin [23 April 1851]
Wed. | before post time
My own dearest
I have just sent off my return note by Parslow1 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 shd be too loose I believe rice gruel is a very good innocent food & binding (viz rice boiled for many hours till it loses shape & the solid part drained away.) it perhaps might be flavoured with cinnamon or currant jelly. Whey from milk is another harmless drink & very digestible I believe & a good deal of the nourishment of the milk in it without the heavy part. Aunt F. says it is slightly opening so that I am doubtful about it. I should think a spoonful of raw yolk of egg beat up in hot water & a little salt might be a change when you can venture.
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.2 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.!”3 She had recd Fanny’s account which gave her much more hope. Willy4 is very eager to hear how she is every day & tho’ I tell him all the changes I don’t think he realizes the real fear. I was sending down the little ones in Eliz. fly yesterday as far as At S.5 to be out of the way, when Franky6 asked what the drivers name was & fell into such a fright at been driven by a stranger, tho’ Parslow was going also, that I had him out & he was a long time getting to rights.
(After post. Alas my own how shall we bear it. It is very bitter but I shall not be ill. Thank dear F7
Tells of the hopes raised by CD’s letter of Monday regarding Anne’s health.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1411,” accessed on 26 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1411