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Helen Hunt Jackson 2-2-25h transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 2, Folder 25h, two letters from Emma Stebbins to HHJ, 1869 and not dated.
Transcribed by Gloria Helmuth, 2003.

Envelope addressed:
Mrs. Helen Hunt.
Poste Restante
Postmarked: EDINBURGH, SP 7 80 69

Clarendon Hotel.
Edinburgh. Sept. 7.

Dear Mrs. Hunt,

I have tried hard amid the multiplicity of cares which have descended upon me - by the illness of my dearest Friend - to keep all those who love her (& their name is legion) informed of her condition - among the rest of myself - I cannot at this moment recall to whom I entrusted the mission of informing you - for I have had to write circulars - perhaps before this you may have heard. I wish now I could tell you "all is well" - I wish I could feel it - but whether it is my inexperience in such a case - or my tendency to gravel in the lowest depths of anxiety -, I know not, but I cannot yet feel, lifted up what Miss Cushman Oh I cannot tell you what this has been to me - I never can tell everyone until the danger is all past, and the one name restored to health & strength. I don't know how much or how little you know - the operation which we in are you is once thought the one thing useful, has been the least in importance - though sufficiently painful & harrowing -

Things have gone since in the worst way for her - as it seems to me, first of all suppressation of the round - then Erysipelas - then something which seemed like ague - no natural sleep - opium constantly - you may imagine that - with her large active brain & strong nature - she is now greatly reduced - though on Saturday 4th the surgeons pronounced her out of danger and say this case is progressing formidably -

To day - her Brother who has been with us through it all - went back to London and as he has freer access to the opinion of the medical authorities than I have - I think he would not leave her if he had any fears - I tell you both sides of the question it may be all right - but my fear and doubts carry me away - especially in the morning when I see her so exhausted by such terrible nights -.

Dear I thank you for your sweet kind sympathy - I would give the world if I had any one near me to whom I could sometimes speak my fears - if only to have them shared - but I am very week with much waiting and intense anxiety - & don't know what to think or feel - If you can - do let dear Annie Gordon know about it - it is so long since I have heard from her - I am anxious whether -

I kissed her hand for you - & she sends you her dear love - I will try to send you a word the moment I can do so with a real hope in my heart - ever yrs aff.

Emma Stebbins

Envelope addressed:
Mrs. Helen Hunt.
[crossed out: Care of Baring Bros. Bankers Bishopete St.
C.W. Elliott, Esq.
21 Norfolk Street
Strand W.C.

Clarendon Hotel.
Edinburgh. Oct 5

Dear Mrs Hunt.

I am afraid you will get to London, without finding this little word you asked me for, & that thought troubles me much. But the truth is, retribution has about overtaken me - for the overstrain which has been put upon heart & brain & nerves, during all this miserably anxious time. I thought I must be made of rum & so I was so busy as the need lasted, but as soon as the tension was relaxed, I broke down and so have been very weak & poorly and been obliged to neglect my correspondence. I cannot quite make out from your letters exactly when you expect to be in London - but if you are with the Elliotts, you will have heard some late news of me, through a note I wrote to Charles E. - some little time ago - sent through Barings - which has never yet been acknowledged. - That spoke of slow but steady improvement and now I am so happy to be able to tell you that each day my patient returns more & more into normal condition of well people. She has been sitting up for seven days, and walking a very little - & to day for the first time she stood a moment or two at the window & looked out on busy Princes St. and the gardens opposite. & the green slopes & craggy manes of the Castle Hill - She is very weak but she is less changed than you could suppose - after all she has passed through -, we begin to talk again of the future, & of plans & movement but not yet of fixed times - as soon as we can see - from here - we are getting as far as Manchester, and rest in that neighborhood, at a friends house some days - then we get to Malvern, where Miss Cushman & the children are - & where we shall remain possibly a fortnight - then we shall get to see some friends near London - your dear self among them and by that time we hope to be able to wend our way toward Rome - You, I suppose, don't look in that direction. - The Roman pilgrims are all wending their way there now, Annie Gordon is at Venice. Mrs Whittle at Florence - my sister gets back from Sorento on the 10th. It seems far away from us yet - but every day it looks nearer, God be thanked for all his mercies! Let us hear from you soon, that we may know where to find you. When we get to London - or why would it not be a nice [stiring?] for you to take a little trip to Malvern while we are there? Think of it - & let us know. - With ... & kind remembrances to the Elliotts - I am ever yours,

Emma Stebbins

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