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Sport 42: 2014

My Dearest Emma

page 61

My Dearest Emma,

My own dear how it did make me cry
to read of your going to Annie’s garden for a flower.

Our poor child has been fearfully ill;
as ill as a human being could be,

you would not in the least recognise her,
her poor hard, sharp pinched features.

I could only bear to look at her by forgetting
our former dear Annie;
here is nothing in common between the two.

She has not had wine, but several spoon-fulls of broth,
& ordinary physic of camphor & ammonia—
Dr Gully is most confident there is strong hope.


I am assured Annie is several degrees better.
This morning she is a shade too hot,
but the Dr thinks her going on very well.


You must not suppose her out of great danger.
She keeps the same; just this minute she opened her mouth
quite distinctly for gruel—& said that is enough.

She has slept most tranquilly almost all afternoon,
perhaps too tranquilly.
We have bathed her again with vinegar.


page 62 An hour ago I was foolish with delight,
pictured her to myself making custards
(whirling round) as, I think, she called them.

I told her I thought she would be better
& she so meekly said thank you.


Poor Annie is in a fearful mess,
but we keep her sweet with Chloride of Lime;

she asked for orange this morning,
the first time she has asked for anything except water.


3 o’clock. She is going on very nicely
& sleeping capitally
with breathing quite slow.
We have changed the lower sheet,
cut off the tail of her chemy.
She looks quite nice.

Got her bed flat & a little pillow
between her two bony knees.
She is certainly now going on very well.


A low and dreadful fever.
Poor dear little Annie.
It is all over.

We must be
more and more to each other,
my dear wife.