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Helen Hunt Jackson 2-2-34 transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0156, Box 2, Folder 34, letters from Charlotte Cushman to HH, 1869-70.
Transcribed by Nancy Knipe, 2005.
(See also other Cushman letters in the HHJ Papers and HHJ's letters to Cushman.)

Note: Cushman uses some unconventional punctuation, such as quotation marks to designate superscripts in numbers (21st becomes 21", for example).


Knotsford Lodge Great Malvern
England June 27"

It is a shame, dear kind soul that I should have left your letter of the 15" [and another?] on the 21" so long unacknowledged, but it came on the morning I was leaving London for this place. I was staying out at Hampstead & this necessitated an early start in the morning to get to the Great Malvern Rway in time for the 10 o'clock train to this place. After I arrived, there was the usual hunt for lodgings (there are plenty of lodgings for Aunt if she will come, & somebody here to find them for her which is hard not [to?]. This occupied a good portion of the 1st day, after seeing the Dr. Then on third day began the treatment & for the first few days I was too busy to do anything else. Now I begin to feel a little less like a worn out broken wrinkled lunatic than I did & now I begin to indulge myself at the Expenses of my friends, & eccola, here flies off a white winged messenger tipped with black & spotted in violet to acknowledge with warm thanks your kind enquiry for my well being, and an embrace for the lovely little poems enclosed. You pay me a great compliment & give me a great pleasure in sending them. They are very lovely & I understand them well. What are you doing with them, have they gone home & have you sold them, am I at liberty to do something with them, if I can? And now you are at [Bechtengarten?] (you were to have [conversation?] about the 23? Was it not so?) and surrounded by many of my friends, to whom you must commend me in all friendly ways. I hope dear Anne Gordon is with you there. You have formed such a clear clear [sic] estimate of her [in so] few words. "She is sweet & restful" - it is just what she is, & she is loyal & true. Poor dear, her measles kept her from having all the attention which any other common malady would have admitted. Her last letter sounded weak & feeble, but Miss [Swinshaw?] had been very attentive to her, & she proposed getting on as soon as possible. We hear that about the 15" there was a great [?] of heat in Italy, driving everybody out of Rome & Naples. How was it with you in Venice, dear lovely Venice? [George?] Sala the [Vile? obliterator?] says of Venice that it is a mixture of Cranhouse Alley & Waffing Old Stain?] - People must not tell [me?] that Frenchmen are the only people who compare everything [by?] their 'Bella France'. An English [press?] man is a beast, lowering & to lower everything. He looks with English Eyes, & a copied French wit, & -- sells his book, to demoralized young England! I mean to visit all of the condensed [poetry?] of Italy. I can't & won't see the prosaic side-all is quiet, peace & just when I think I must see it once more before I return to my native land, which you know I propose I might next summer, God Willing, I thought I should fit a holiday to visit some friends in & about London during the month of June & a portion of July, but my good Dr. Franco in Paris [finding?] me much run down from my one work last winter in Rome, orders me here immediately to get my general health restored to a proper tone & if I am not much better of an indurated gland in my left breast by the 1st of August, I must go to [Crustzmade?] near Coblintz for six weeks. Then my summer which was laid out for some pleasure & a little water treatment, which always tones me up, is given up to medical treatment . Ah what poor souls we are, or rather what poor bodies, & somehow souls don't perish while bodies are [poor?] at least mine doesn't, but then I am rebellious perhaps! Miss Stebbins is with me, & we are so quiet that nobody would know us. Oh I wish you had come here. This summer you would have spent a little more money, but you would have found this time the health here that you can anywhere else because your disposition would have been helped. Shall you not get a run up to St. Moritz? That is the most wonderful air on the continent of Europe I believe!

Give my kindest regards to your friends & companions. I have heard much of the beauty of [Bechtengarten?] & hope you may find healing there. The food is bad. I imagine, all those [German?/Summer?] places are dreadful in that respect, & therefore Malvern is so good-ah I wish you had come here. Miss Clarke & Miss Foley have not shown up yet. I dare say they will do so later. Miss Clarke had very thoroughly interested Dr. Sully in Miss Foley: so that he asked me very kindly for her. Now God bless you dear. Miss Stebbins sends warmest regards. Let me hear from you soon again & send me "more more" long poems. Believing [me?] ever as I wish you to do, very faithfully Yours, Charlotte Cushman


Great-Malvern , Manchester England
July 28" - 1869

Dear, whether I get to finish a letter to you today or [a day week?], it must be commenced, or you will never get one. Much as I think of you & about you, it will do you no personal good, give you no satisfaction, unless you get some outward and & [sic] visible sign of the mind & spiritual grace. "so this day of all" as is, "do I take my pen in hand to inform you" - that I think I am a thorough good for nothing person & that you would do well to give no more faith to me, just think of me as any other [fellow?]" - or a [dear?] tho lonely[?] woman that "stoops to fol-ly [sic] & finds too late that men betray! You had better believe that I am fallible [?] & capricious & not to be depended upon, & [?] why you find an occasional gleam of humanity in the shape of a letter from me, you will be only agreeably disappointed. Take my word for it, those people are more than right who don't ----- so far with a stub pen but now might quickly lose these points & get to be blots before the end of my letter [illegible] will it for I cannot write any more to you [illegible] that mortal [illegible]. I was on my way to say don't [rest of first page of letter is too faint to decipher. Next section begins on back of first page of folded letter.]

... & they will spring up some day. Your sweet & welcome letter of 11" , came to me safely & duly & ought to have been answered before, but I have been labouring under a miserable anxiety which has almost taken the life out of me & left me good for nothing. In spite of that however, I have written a great deal, for I have a great deal to write, of one kind & another. I only wish I could turn it to some good account, for I dissipate my life in the most stupid letter writing & I use such a lot of words to express my meanings, for I lack concentrativeness [sic] of expression, though I possess that of feeling, that my writing is very often a labour. I have been anxious to get off answers to a great many American letters before my brother should join me here, he is a sweet tender womanly natured creature not fit to be a man, who loves me & believes in his heart that I give too much of myself away in writing, & so fights against it & I wanted to get as many of my debts paid as possible before he should come to me, so this has driven me much. & you, dear soul, have been kept waiting, and now where are you, up in the air in a German Schloss? I hope so, for it will do you good, oh why are you not here, in this dear old place when if you had come, when I did, I could have made things so easy for you, & where you would have [got?] health & strength to do any thing, this winter coming, & now, even now, you ought to do it. You don't know the good you could get. In the height of the season, which is now, lodgings are dearer than in Sept., Oct. & Nov. which 3 months by the bye are much better for the treatment than the warmer months, but in September if you wanted to come & would be satisfied with lodgings which were simple comfortable you can get for 10 dollars gold per week "a sitting room & two or three bedrooms, with cooking attendance & kitchen fire, [linen?] & plate & all you would have to do, would be to tell the landlady what you would have for your dinner & the hour, & it would be cooked & brought up to you, admirably cooked & served, & you would be virtually at housekeeping, which is the charm of living in England. Your living would cost you just what you would eat. Mutton & beef bill about $2 gold a week, chickens cost 62 ½ cents each (gold)--when I tell you the prices of things, it is always gold, bread a penny (2 cents) [roll?] & a [6?] cent loaf is enough for two people in a day. Eggs & butter as they are in Rome, but oh! so good, in fact the living is about the same as Rome & [Kustikewise?]. Then the doctors fees are 2 pounds a week, he finding your bathtubs & the large bathing places to which you go, for douche, swimming sitz, vapors, & the baths. After a time you can make an arrangement that you see him only once a week & pay him a [pension?]. This he does for literary people! There is also an admirable boarding house here, where you pay $12 ½ (gold) per week, & everything is found you, but you pay $2.00 extra a week for a [sitting?] room. The food is admirable, the company most excellent, & you may have just a little of it as you choose without any offence. I wish I knew you would come. I would look you up a place & get you all sorts of information. There is down on the place a farm house where you can have accommodations which is charming. The hills of Malvern will give you help, dear, as they have done to many others before. Five times have I found such here, as I could never have found elsewhere, & it is this, which makes me wish that you should come here. The expense of the journey is the only difference because you must live wherever you may be, & the living here is not so much more expensive than anywhere else to make it a matter of consideration. I will have a talk with the Dr. about you & Miss Calhoun, & see what he says. And when I tell you that he will not forbid your working or writing, unless your disease springs just from that & that on no light [ground?] will he interfere with anything you must do but will build you up to enable you to do that. You must believe me. I believe I do as much writing a day as three or four hours. I write an hour and a half in the morning from 11 to 12 ½ , having given my breakfast time to digest, by reading from breakfast time to 11. Then at 12 ½ , I go to my bath, which with the short walk attendant upon this (always, if you are able to walk, if not, your bath is so accommodated that you need not walk) and then I dine from 1 ½ to 2m & after dinner I sit & read until about 4 o'clock when I commence writing & work until 6, when my back woman comes in & warns me that my sitz bath is ready. You never get more than a sitz bath in your own rooms in the afternoon, & after that you [take?] a walk of 15 minutes just to agitate your blood, & then comes tea ( or cocoa) & you should go to bed, at 9 ½ , for you are waked at 6, for your morning bath. The water treatment is not pursued with the vengeance & rigour that was used two years ago, & your baths are given to you as you can best bear them. Dr. Sully is as [dear?] as a man can be, & as sweet & good as a man should be.

Sara Clarke & her folly have not yet arrived, but Mrs. Flowers at Stratford on Avon last week told me they were imminent. I don't suppose I shall do more than meet her in the road, & one of the delights of this place is that your treatments give you an excuse for anything , [or?] for looking anyhow! I will tell her what you say about the letter, if I see her. I had a sweet letter from Annie [?] the other day, in which she told me of having heard of [me?] at Albano, through the Stearnses. Send my love to those dear good fellows. I hope they will be coming to Rome next winter.

I shall be very quiet next winter in Rome for many reasons. I have a trouble [near?] my heart, in an indurated gland in the left breast, which increases, I am sorry to say, & I have had an opinion which tells me that it must be operated upon. This, in itself, keeps me in a depressed & anxious state. I don't know whether it is a thing, which once removed might not come again, however it is so mischievous in its character, that I am made to think it necessary that it should be removed. When this may be necessary I know not but my heart sinks as I think that I may perhaps be carrying my own death warrant. Yet, after all, who does not carry this. It may be that I shall go up to Edinburgh to St. James Simpson to have this attended to if I do, it is uncertain when I may be able to get away en route to Rome. If I get well enough to go back, I want very much to go to Frankfurt, Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg to Munich, & then to Venice en route to Rome, if it is not too late. In May next, God willing, I shall go home to American to remain a [twelve?] month or more! But all this is for your self dear--& I may have to change my course many [times?]. Let me hear from you at your best leisure, tell me what you are going to do, & when & how you are. We don't know where Mrs. Gordon is, or the [Trelawneys?]. Give them our united love if you see them. Miss Stebbins sends [love?] to you, & hopes you are better & stronger every day. Bless you dear, for your lovely little poems. This last is as sweet as summer. Believe me ever with [true?] affection, Your Charlotte Cushman.


Clarendon House. Edinburgh
Aug 23 1869


When you see from whence my note is dated, you will not wonder that you have not sooner heard from me. I have been much torn by "conflictings" since I wrote, and since I read your sweet long interesting letter of the 5 "& 9" with its lovely enclosures - I have not been able to write to you. Dr. Sully had gone away & I hoped for his return before I left Malvern that I might be able to tell you something from him directly about what you could do with regard to him. I went and saw a nice sweet little lodging wh (which, abbreviated?) I made up my mind would be quieter & cheaper than even the boarding house of which I will write you whenever you are ready to come - but the dear good Dr. was kept away until circumstances forced me to leave without seeing him again, but when you are able to come you shall let me know -- & I will have some thing arranged for you beautifully! But, oh but -- I saw in an American paper last night this slip which I enclose, by which I see that your friend has as Carlyle says, "done quite other!" That is to say, she is about as far west of New York almost as you are far from it East, so that I do not think you can count upon her for awhile. Do not fear that whenever you can come Dr. Sully will let you do all you must do in the way of work. I have written every day there, as much & as long as you would require to write & he has never said a word to me about it. So don't say anything to him about it & he won't bother you. Our good friend to the contrary notwithstanding. I met her in the street one day, with Miss Cleveland, & I know she has her Foley with her! Somehow I have a feeling that you won't get to Malvern this summer - whenever you do go, I will prepare the way for you. Your note was from Bad Gastein - you had left Bechtengarten [?] & dear nice Annie Gordon -- & her worldly husband who is not "a patch to her" - as the Yorkshire people say - and then, what a wonderful change had come over the spirit of your dreams, in the way of living & where are you now? I hope it has not been too cold up there among the mountains & the waterfalls & the strange quaint people among whom you had been thrown - how strange & how nice it has been for you to thrown among just such people - you ought to get a wilderness of material out of them - and I can say you have. You will let me hear will you not?

You will see, dear, that I have taken the last step but one to being relieved of my care! I came here last Monday, have had to be here a week to be prepared by that good & wise man Sir James Simpson, for the trial which is before me fixed for Thursday morning 26", when I trust in God's [?] goodness, I may be eternally released of the cause for anxiety. I am to be in my bed from 10 to 12 days & then get up & out into my sitting room. I know not how long I may be kept here, until the wound has healed, or is in such perfect way to it that I can be safe to move - then I shall get to the seaside somewhere for a week or so - then to Harrogate for a week, & then to London to put things in the way of getting to the Continent. You will see how all this has changed all my plans, and this next winter I am to be kept quiet, & to be rested & to do nothing in the way of society, so much the better, for I am "a' weary she said."

When you write to me as you will do dear friend, send to the care of JW [?] Cushman Law Fire Office, Chancery Lane, London, & he will forward it on, as soon as all is well over & I am progressing I will get Miss Stebbins (who will be nothing [both?]) to write & let you know . You see, dear, I have faith that all is going well with me, I don't think my work is done, & until it is, the Lord will leave me here to do it! And as soon as I can make a plan for any movement to the continent you shall hear what that plan may be.

Now good bye & God bless you, dear. I can never tell you half how lovely I think your poems are - or half how sweet I think you are for sending them to me "Give me more" & believe me ever faithfully your loving friend

Charlotte Cushman


Stockport Cheshire
(Brinorington Hall )
O. "26 1869

With my own hand, clothed & in my right mind, I am allowed to write you this little word of loving thanks for all your sweet thoughtfulness of & for me during this my time of trial! - for such it has been. Seven weeks I lay in bed. Three weeks I have been up getting strength, by all ways I could to make a journey yesterday which I accomplished with ease, from Edinburgh here. I was well packed up, & supplied with all the appliances of travel so that I came here without fatigue & keeping even in my bed until mid-day today, I am rested! So far, I am well on my way southward. On Saturday I hope to get to Malvern & as soon as I do get there & see what accommodations I have, I shall want you to come down to pay me a visit! I shall be there a fortnight & if you come, it will not necessary to break up you home with the Elliots, but you can kill two birds with one stone, give me a pleasure & see what you think of Malvern have some chat some day with Dr. Sully, & look at the land generally with reference to some future sojourn there, for healing. You will then go up to London with me when I go & we will have a good time! I shan't take 'No', & you shall hear from me further. This will be the only & the last chance of my seeing you for when I am in London it will only be for a week or so, & I am out at Hampstead. ( Nora Trembley) & at [Hornsey?], if you can call that being in London. I have so much to say to you, which I cannot write, for I am as yet [? ?].hideous with regard to writing, which has to be done upon my knee.

Do you know half how sweetly all your lovely sayings to me & of me, fall upon my heart? I don't believe you do, but I am very grateful for them!

I am so glad you have come to England. You will be strong & well here, & the very smoke & fog of London will help you. But I shall tell you about it.

Goodbye dear - let me hear a word from you here up to Friday next - after which to Great Malvern-Worcestershire as I don't yet know where Emma Cushman will find our lodgings.

Ever believe me your loving

Charlotte Cushman
Kindest regards to your friends & mine Elliots


Nov 4 1869
The Abby Hotel
Great Malvern

Here I am, dearest friend, very comfortably "located" as we say, & waiting for you to come. I don't think you can do better than put yourself into the train at the Great Western [?] station at 10:00 on Saturday morning next, & at 2:40 I will have you met at the Great Malvern Station. We had better no promise what day you will return to London, as it is a little uncertain what day we go in the following week, but you shall be restored to your friends by the end of the week.

I have borne my journeys wonderfully. I seem to have brought good weather to Malvern for the sun shines enough in the middle of the day for me to get an hours drive.

I was speaking to Dr. Sully again about you last Evening & I remember you with great pleasure, so you will be renewing an acquaintance. Don't say you can't come on Saturday, unless you will be giving up some pleasant Engagement , & then I will say come when it will be agreeable to yourself. I want to see you very much & I want you to see Malvern. Miss Stebbins joins me in kindest love to you. She is not very well, her own anxiety about me has broken her down but come & see & believe me ever as I am,

Your faithfully attached [?]
Charlotte Cushman


Great Malvern
Nov 7 1869


I would not have had you miss the show yesterday for anything, & I shall look for you tomorrow at the station through Emma Stebbins' eyes at 2.27. If anything happens to prevent you leaving as early as 10 o'clock from the station Great Western, Paddington, there is another train which leaves at 2.20 getting in here at 6.34 - so make your mind quite easy & don't bother about sending a telegram, unless you cannot come at all, & then, I can afford to wait until the next morning to know it by letter.

Somebody will meet you at the station, but in case of accidents, you will find an omnibus at the station which will bring you to the Abbey Hotel -- &

Your faithfully attached [?]
Charlotte Cushman

Send my kindest regards to Mr Elliot. I have never thanked him for all the beautiful things he said about me in the Galaxy, but I shall see him in London I hope. I am so glad you know my dear Miss Coates and are going to stay with her in Hampstead when we go to town. I think you could not do better than fix yourselves there.


Nov 23d 1869

How can I say to you what I feel as the trust you have reposed in me? Thanks are too poor a recompense, & love is only worth, as it is given for love's sake only, so though I do love you I do thank you very dearly, I will only say, how I will cherish & prize your gift = for it brings me not only your mind & its fruits, but it brings me your physical self, in this labour, albeit one of love, of your hand, head & heart. I have then your heart bodily as well as in that other sweet comforting way.

Ought I not to feel rich at finding myself so estimated? Yes, I ought and yes, dear, I know myself so much better than you know me: know that I am not really all you think I am: know that I do not merit the high place you have given me: know that I am not a fitting "Shrine whereon to lay your odorous incense:" know that but for the beautiful drapery which your poetical imagination has thrown around me, I should be, as I am, bare & unworthy, only a practical common sense person, whom God has mercifully blessed by a vocation, that vocation being a willing & anxious helpmate to those who may want her, letting herself go, to help as she may be able, actively or passively!

I have looked only casually through your beautiful [?], at your Eyes, your hands, your [digestion?], how they have worked in this work for me, what have I done, that they should be thus exercised for me? What?

Darling, I have written these two notes to Miss Cobb & Madame Venturi. I have spoken to them both about you, but it may be sometime before you deliver these notes, and I have brought you to their minds again in a way, which makes musical the Envelopes! You will see a good many curious people through Mad. Venturi (an English woman married to an Italian, now a widow, but so [clever?], under an awkward outside) a worshipper of Carlyle [Maggini?] & all the [Gods?] so, value her) ask her if she knows any way through which first for love of me & then you, she can contrive to let you see George Elliot [sic].

Write to me a line dear to Hotel [Brighton?] telling me what you have done at Malvern. I wrote to Dr Sully last night telling him about the Elliots & your bringing them to him for help. You must make a little love to the Dr. he is very susceptible & not at all troublesome. I never tried this, because I have always been too old, but I know those who have - successfully! God bless you, darling, get well & strong & believe me ever & ever your faithfully loving Charlotte C-


Nov 28 1869

Darling Your long note of Thursday 25" reached me this morning. How very glad I am to hear of you at one of my old resting places in Malvern, & Holyrood house is the place where Sara Clark used to live also, on her first visit to Malvern, and you have got your apartment so cheaply too. I think you must be a clever manager, more clever than I am, even, & I am allowing a good deal when I say this. Your account of your doings is splendid. I hope Dr. Sully will last out 'good.' He knows more than all the rest, if he can find time. I wrote to him about Miss Elliot & I think he will do all he can for her, but there is no such thing I should imagine [as?] making her whole. Patching up, however, will be something. You have entered into your work so bravely that you are sure to get good from it, and I would here use all my most loving influence to beg you to remain, & not think of going to America this winter at all. If you must go in the spring, go in the end of April, but it would be better if you remained even longer, & saw something of England before going home. Just [another?] story the [?] as owed you. You have so much to see & to write about, so much to inspire your muse, that I cannot but think you must not be suicidal to yourself by thinking of going back for what, after all, would disappoint you! It seems to me that your friend is in her best place, at present, she must not risk that by coming abroad in a winter voyage! If you could go home in the spring, sure of bringing her back for the summer to escape the heat of America I should think you would be safer of accomplishing your purpose. Though Malvern might be thought warm in July & Aug. by "ye English," it would be paradise to Americans. So think long before you go home to bring your friend who may not be able to come back with you, while you are better on this side, at least for a time. I must not say until I see you again, for fear my endeavors to prevent your going might seem interested, but my instincts for you are that you should stay on this side of the ocean for the present & immediate future! And "rest in the Lord! be patient unto him, & he shall give you then thy hearts desire." a Mendelesohn [sic] song says in its paraphrase… "Wait & trust" - "wait & labour on" "labour & wait" would be better, or as the children say "open your mouth & shut your eyes & see what the Lord will send you."

Yes, dear-you are right about the Roslyn House [plan?] but the "cotton wall" has been used as a convenient leaning place, between other & warmer resting places so long that it must be endured for its patience. It is a Unitarian clergyman's daughter, and an English Unitarian at that! Repression has been in the air she has breathed, until she was taken up out into comforts & luxuries by this gentlemanly person, and now, although she does not say much & seems [hay poli-y?], she keeps up a [devil?] of a thinking, & is capable of much devotion. Besides she fills up the [gaps?] when there is no opportunity for love making elsewhere. But dear, I do not love this frittering[?] person & therefore perhaps I am not quite just. This, for the fire!

Don't be afraid about the notes - they are all right for you & myself & will enable you later to see some amusing people .

Yes I have seen your friend & she is very very sweet: exactly like her picture only prettier-we talked much of you & me & every body, & I don't think she disliked me, for she came this morning to offer to take me to hear a French divine[?]! But I am not able yet to take any pleasure or "go to any hanging," or anything as yet. On [Monday?] night Dec. [1st?] at 7.15 we start for Nice & I could get a word from you there if you sent it to the care of Miss Adams Hotel de La Mediterranean. Nice. France, and it would be sweet to hear from you of your "being, doing, & suffering." Miss Rodick writes very despondingly[?] to Miss Stebbins of her state of health. I believe, says she has been compelled to give up [water treatment?], can this be so or is she working upon the [?pathic] of her "Ladie"? who thinks her a suffering perfection!

"So on with your [compress?], dear," you will get at Malvern , under this treatment what you will get nowhere else in the world, & see what a [paint?] refreshed & refreshing, you will be in the Spring. Miss Stebbins is up in her room writing or would send you her love, she admires you very much-who does not?

My bairnie's [?] are pretty well. Miss Cushman in the hands of the [Philistine?] Miss Maken, 'cussin God & [?] hourly! Commend me to the Elliotts most kindly. Love to the dear Dr. who holds me & mine in touch [?], & believe me Ever as I am, your loving friend

Charlotte C---
I enclose this to my brother to forward to you


Nice. Dec. "6" 1869

Darling, with a Sirocco blowing I am so confused in my head that I have no right to attempt a note to you, but Miss Stebbins has offered to enclose anything for me to you through Miss Rodick & I gladly embrace the opportunity, as I cannot embrace you - to acknowledge receipt of your dear and welcome letter of the 1st which came to me yesterday morning & gave me a most [graphic?] account of your beings & and doings. I sympathise with you dear in your Rose douche &c at 40, & lower, but I think it is better than Sirocco, which draws all your nerves into so many strings, upon which any tune can be played & which you have no power to control. Yesterday afternoon I began to have a very confused & wretched feeling in my head, & was thinking of the possibility of the African winds being felt here." I was greatly troubled to find myself weak, to hear, this morning as I waked from my third doze of the night, for I had had no sleep, I heard my maid say "sirocco", & then the mystery was explained. If I am to suffer on going back to Rome every time the sirocco blows, what is to become of me? You will have to wait & take me back to America, for by that time, you will be "a paint refreshed" with your water treatment, will be able to take care of me, a poor shaky old "queen"!

I am so glad you do not find America so imminent, as it seemed to you when we two sat face to face. I do not think you ought to go, & from what I gathered from you, and Miss Cumming, I should not think she ought to come. But you must pardon my impertinence in speaking of your other duties as though I knew any thing about them. You must do what you must do-is it not so? And I will pray for you, God speed, whatever you may do!

You are wrong dear in you term "wife Emma" - "friend Emma" is the more correct state of things, thanks to the gentlemanly little person of whom we have spoken & therefore as you will see, when you know all, I am not even the leastest [?] bit unjust or unkind. The largest sorrow & mortification my life I owe to that young person, who, invited to stay in my house in Rome, then abused my trust & repaid my hospitality: for three years I would not see her, but during my illness I made up my mind to put all animosities behind me, & offered to see her again, but for this: I do not love her. I am not ashamed, you see, to show you the weak side of my character. I know all her good qualities & do not deny them, but I have felt what you must feel, before you can judge whether I am the leastest bit naughty! I do kiss you, dear, & hold you to my heart in loving trust. Never fear to tell me what you think of me! For I love you very much, & find in you comfort! I am not well dear, but better I hope & believe. I expect to be in Rome the 14th-write to me often, as often as you can without crowding your day, & taking too much out of you.

Oh, my dear what [clever?] writing in the Chicago letter in the Tribune. I don't wonder you admire her. Your ever loving C.C.


Rome December 21 1869
[printed on stationery:] 38 Via Gregoriana I°

Darling, we have reached our destination, and are very slowly shaking down into our places. I have wished to write you ever since I arrived & have tried, but, oh the sets [?] & hindrances that are thrown around me, to prevent my doing any thing as I would. It used to be bad enough, before my illness gave them an excuse for making me lead an idle life, but now they are watching me at every turn. They don't let me get out of my bed until 11 o'clock! & during the morning in bed I have visits from Emma S. & C. & the baby-- & Ned & a friend who came on with us & who is staying until after Xmas on a visit! But for these visits, I should get a little time in the morning to write (I am writing this before any of them can get to me, before my breakfast comes to me, just to make a commencement, for once begun it will be finished) - but no, I am not to do anything to fatigue me. Look-dearie this not getting up until 11, implies not getting down until 12 & then I snatch what [moments?] I can, between 12 & 1, which are very few, because I am subject to the habiteurs, Miss Wood, Miss Sorllers [?], Miss Whittle & the gossip of the house hold, coming into my sitting room. Then at 1 o'clock comes lunch, & as the days are so short, & the sunsets so early, I am made to go out in the carriage for a drive, at 2 ¼. I return at 4 1/2. Then comes tea & callers-for this is the way anyone is supposed to be able to see me this winter, by coming in socially from 5 to 6 or from 8 to 10 in the evening. We dine at 6. So darling you will see the sets [?] and hindrances of which I spoke & which chafe me much, as they so effectually seem to prevent my writing. But there are Some words I must write & these are of them, & with the "must" they will somehow be accomplished. You will have had my own note from Nice. I thank you for the warning at the thin envelope, but I did not wish to over burden Miss Stebbins' letter & took very good care to fold my little note with the dangerous words inside, what could be read through the envelope, I did not care about, so make your dear heart easy on that score. Our journey from Nice, which place we left on the 8th & made the journey along the beautiful Cornice & Riviera, by Sienna, to Spezzia in five days, arriving at Spezzia on Sunday evening where we met Mr. Cushman who had arrived there in the morning. The weather along the journey was unpropitious, so we lost most of the [?beauty? word written over and crossed out] two of the days it rained & the other three were grey, but still it is always beautiful and vettura[?] traveling is the most luxurious in the world, you only drive about 40 miles a day, pausing two hours in the middle of the day for resting the horses, & dining, arriving always before night. Being in the open air all day makes one eat & sleep well. We went from Spezzia to Florence on Monday - staid over Tuesday in Florence, leaving Tuesday night for Rome, which "home" we reached on Wednesday morning. Lots of people were at the train to meet us, & as I [?sent?--word missing] my Sallie on before me, breakfast and a cosy fire awaited us, almost everybody in Rome has been to see me. I mean all my old friends, but my time is so limited almost everybody has missed me. I saw the "good fellows" at the door yesterday & they are coming to see me this afternoon after my drive. Rome looks as [?deceitful?] as ever, though the weather is unhealthy, a moist, mild atmosphere, which is anything but strengthening, but still it is very captivating. St. Peters, where I went on Sunday afternoon, just for a peep, looks [?orderly?] enough with one side of the transept completely built up as though with stone, but the church was very full of people. Rome is very full, but not of Americans or English, many Italians & French. Lots of Bourbons who are congregated, for the birth of this child to the King of Naples & whatever crumbs they may pick up from the Ecumenical [?] table.

Dear, I have been reading the papers from home about this Richardson McFarland affair. I see that when Mrs McF. went to Indiana for her divorce, not affording the husband an opportunity for stating his grievances, Mrs. Calhoun was one, almost the only witness she had to obtain her divorce, which has led to this shocking catastrophe. Ah, dear this is one of the sad phases of our life in America, this recklessness in making marriage vows which should be the holiest, & then the ease with which women seem to step out of them when a better looking or more appealing fellow comes along to tempt them. I think it is just horrid! If a woman cannot live with her husband on account of brutality, then let her separate her life from him if she can; but don't let her get away from him through a laxity in the moral law simply to take somebody else. [Never?] shall we have women careful whom they marry, until the laws keep them in their slavery. This changing men seems to me a little unclean. - Why do I write this to you, you sweet soul?

Dear, you shall sit on a stool at my feet & tell me what you will & you & I will compare notes, dear partisan! I like partisans, it is the stuff good New Englanders are made of. I would not give a penny for any body who could not lean to one side or the other.

What a delight to have Morris' new book. I have sent to my brother to send it to me by Book post. How I wish I was sitting with you at Holyrood House, reading to you or having you read to me. Would you ever tire of me & want some fresher stimulant. I don't believe you would! You see I am confiding even when I have been disappointed. "The victory is in believing."

I can imagine how you must suffer from want of sun at Malvern, ah, how I wish Rome was not so fatal to you. Though the sun does not shine much, still it is so beautifully soft.

I think the douche must have been very disturbing to you & the special washing is much better. I hope you will be better dear in all ways, but when you come to leave Malvern you will find the advantage of the treatment more than while you are taking it. I don't believe about Dr. S. not liking you. I know he doesn't care for the others, but for you, he must care.

Ah, I shall be so sorry if you have to go home before I do, & yet if you ought you must! But get all the good you can before you go. England ought to help you & then I should see you again before you go.

How I should like to see your [room?], gay with American [?] - don't forget to send me a copy of anything you write - there's a dear. I mean poetry. Emma S. sends love to you & Emma C also. Hold me in your warm heart & believe that I am faithfully your loving C.C.


Rome. Jany 10 1870
38 Via Gregoriana, X°

Darling, so you are going home. I am so sorry, for it seems to me your friend requires you less than before, though why I dare to say so, knowing nothing of your relations, I know not. But it is only an impression. I am troubled for you & for her. Why should she have married now. If strong enough to stand by Mrs. McFarland so far alone, why weaken herself, by showing to the world that she must take a husband to hold her up, after taking so strong a position. Besides, I do not hear very fine things of this Mr Runkell. His reasons & Mrs. Calhoun's reasons further not marrying before were potent, & will go on into her future life, as sure as - a man is a man! And you must not not [sic] be put, by his apparent generosity in proposing that you should come & live with them - into a position which may give him excuses, by & by, for this or that action or [right?]. However, I know so little I have no right to council you, only the position you are [?] to is always dangerous, and these are exceptional people!

I don't understand Dr. Sully's not liking you & don't believe it. I have not written to him a word about you since I left England. I put you right with him, and thought & left him to your mercies. I knew him for a little stolid English man, spoiled by all his patients, & thought he might do you good. I am grieved that he has not done so, & that the treatment has seemed to fail with you-perhaps you had reached a crisis & after you leave you will be better. I pray God you may. You have been bold, I think to risk a mid winter passage but sometimes these are the very best-a sea voyage is not to be calculated upon, or reasoned by analogy. Capn Cook is a nice fellow & you must remember me to him, & tell him I consign you his care. You poor dear, out on the ocean, seeking a rest for the sake of your foot. Well, you will find it, & I have confidence that your dear instincts will lead you to the right place to rest it.

Your letter is like you in every way, as clear as it can be. How I wish I could see you & fold you to my heart before you set out on this voyage, but I must do so as I do, earnestly, in the spirit & pray God help & bless you in every way. I shall (D.V.) sail for America in July sometime. You will write me as soon as you arrive & tell me all you find & how things are going with these poor people, & where you are going to live, & where a letter will find you, & every thing you can send me about yourself, & make some arrangements for our meeting next Summer, for you must never go out of my world any more. What will you do at home? Will you write? If so, send me every scrap to put into my sweet book, which I cannot tell you how dearly I prize, and send me every thing which appears in print that is there about this unfortunate affair. I am so sorry for the poor woman who has so suffered for so long, but having taken this yoke, she should have worn it, & let the comfort which this other man could afford her - wait. If she had worked for her support, she could have continued to do so, & lived her life for an example, if nothing more. But I am more sorry for Mrs. Calhoun & more sorry for you whom I love. If this would only prevent future facilities for divorces I should be pleased! For I think it one of the evils of our system if women saw more suffering in these bonds, they would be in less hurry to take them upon themselves. The looseness of our New York morality is something too awful to me & makes me sick. I see in marriage there is just a license to prostitution. It does not seem to me to be so bad any where else in the country, if it is, then they at least have the decency to hide their dirt which the New Yorkers seem careless how they expose. I don't see how they can do any thing with McFarland for is not [Sickly?] our minister to Spain? Perhaps they will send McFarland on some mission. Genl. Grant's administration seems to me venal enough for anything!

Dear as to leaving Malvern, you are right. I only wish Rome had been kinder to you and then you could have come to me, and not your sister, your friend call out for you. You are right to go wherever you feel your largest duties. No one can decide for you. You yourself must decide for yourself. I know how homesick one can be in England. I was & for my first four months there when I was seeking my fortune, cried myself to sleep every night, & my poor Sallie was my only comfort. You will find no good anywhere if you are homesick, so go home. I wish I could see you, for I am not able to write without feeling such dreadful feverish flushes. The weather is again bad. I am keeping pretty well if I do not exert myself. Emma Stebbins is still very poorly & I am anxious about her. Ah how I shall want to see you when you are on the water & I cannot. But you will write to me often will you not. Now God bless you dear heart & keep you better & stronger, & make you well and happy. May you have a good passage & find all things at home better than you now see them. God be with you dear. All here send love to you. I have not seen Sara Clarke since I came. She is poisoned dear with regard to me, & to you also, I fear, [?having missed us?] shall live in spite. Believe me ever, though in a distracted hurry, Your loving

Charlotte Cushman


Rome. March 4 1870

Carissa Carissima

On the 28" Nov.' I wrote to you. On the 5" Dec.' I had a letter from you which I answered on the 6". On the 17"Dec.' I had another sweet missive from you. I wrote to you on the 21st enclosing it to my brother. On the 7" Jan'y came another white winged messenger from you which I answered enclosed to my brother on the 10! This arrived no doubt on the 14" & was dispatched to you at the hotel in Liverpool but you had gone to the steamer & the hotel sent it back to my brother & he has held it ever since for me to send him word where to forward it since then came the last outstretching of your hands toward me from Queenstown which reached me on the 21' Jan. In this you gave me no address where to write to you or you would have had loving words long ago. Why did you leave me so long in the dark?

Now I have your dear & most welcome because so anxiously looked for letter of the 8" Feby, which tells me you were so ill on the passage & have been so very poorly ever since your arrival. I am not disappointed dear at this intelligence deeply as it moves me because I had anticipated it, and it would be unkind for me now to say you were wrong to go. Therefore I will only say I sympathise [sic] with you from my heart in all you say & all you have gone through & all you feel. If I could have any influence with you, I should say, scratch together all your pennies, [ever?] & make your visits as soon as you can & get them over. Wait until you can get a June or July crossing & then come back to England as fast as you can. The earlier you come the better. I shall then see you, before I leave, on the 13" August & see that you are on your way rejoicing & then will make my mind easy about you for I cannot but think you have not done justice to England or allowed it time to do justice to you. You want what in my mind the English climate can give you if you give it a fair chance, & you ought to know more, of the right sort of English people! I dare say you will think me insane for this proposition, but indeed I believe it would be a right thing for you to do. However, I am not going to preach any more. You poor dear, I am just going to tell you that I am alive, getting along very tolerably, that the cold weather of January bound me up, but as soon as the warm unseasonable weather of Feby set in, [as?] it did from the first day, I began to feel it. I thought it was natural weakness & original depravity & I therefore bore it as long as I dared. Then sent for the Doctor who put me into bed for four days, having found congestion of liver & kidneys & then I was put upon a course of treatment which I have persisted in ever since & have been better, but Rome is evidently not the place for us & no place for any body this year. There has been & is a great deal of illness, some deaths, & Doctors have their hands full. I never see Miss Clarke, so don't know how she is. People never mention her name to me, even mutual friends, so I suppose she gives them a reason for not knowing me, which makes them silent with regard to her. I am sorry for this as one does not like to lose the good through the machinations of the evil. However, pazienza carissima mia! all will work together for good, only be patient and wait & the Lord will give us our hearts desire.

[Miss ?] is very sweet & very dear. She is almost opposite to me & nearer heaven, physically, than she ever lived before, as she is on the fourth story of a very tall house, but then it is an apartment of a friend of mine, an artist, where they are exceedingly comfortable & are loaded with sun, so that they are like two birds in the housetop. She grows upon one very much & I am glad to know her.

I am not going to consider this as a letter, only an acknowledgement of the receipt of yours which I send to my brother for him to enclose with the other notes he has for you, & which will show you that I was not careless or unmindful of your goodness in sending me the letter before sailing. The note from Queenstown came, I think I have acknowledged all. I saw in the Jany no of the Atlantic my last poem. "The way to sing" = ah dear who knows the way to sing if you don't? Only you must always sing, you must never stop. You know one forgets if one doesn't practice, so write me & sing me more more more!

Yes dearie, Emma S. knows you love her, & she loves you, & [we?] miss you & want to see you. Every body who knows you loves you. Everybody sends sweet words to you ward. Emma Cushman & her bairns are well & send you love.

We shall leave here about the middle of May for a week in Venice with Anne Gordon, a week in Munich, a fortnight in Paris, & then to England where I shall get some visits paid. Three weeks at Harrogate & 2 at Malvern, & then "Westward the Star of Empire &c&" I wish you had the same feelings about remaining in America that I have in going. When I see you, oh, when I see you, I will talk like a serpent or a dove, as you may most require at the time, but I will write you again before very long, now that I know where you are & how to address you. The dear good fellows are here, at housekeeping & as dear & as good as ever,. W see them much, & like them more the more [as ever?] God bless you bonnie woman, & make you believe in the affection of

Your faithful
Charlotte Cushman
Mrs. Hunt [written at bottom left]

[Envelope addressed: Mrs Helen Hunt; Care of Palmer & Bachelders; Boston Mass.]

Paris, June 7th 1870

Carissima mia, on my arrival in Paris I have rec'd your most welcome letter of the 13" of May, which tells me much! Some people have a very wonderful faculty of saying much more in a few words than others can say in a volume. You & are the alpha & omega of this - you the alpha & I the other. I take such a quantity of words to say so little! But when we meet I will talk-God, how I will talk. I cannot write, never could, & less now than ever, for I have been forced to be so idle in this way of writing that all my capacity has gone & now you will have only platitudes for the reason. I only send you a bulletin to say, I was in Rome on the 21' of May, in Venice on the 23', left it on the 25" , slept at [B…?], arrived in Munich 27 saw the angel, looking like an angel (can I say more?) left Munich on the 1st of June, arrived in Paris on the evening of the 2nd, since when I have been as busy as my condition would let me be. I have seen [Hille?] and let him make me a dress & make dear Emma one, have Bon Marche'd until exhausted nature "could-no more"! We are in a lovely apartment in a new Hotel No. 8 Rue de Luxembourg. Hotel Metropolitan. Where you must send all the Americans who come-in my name-as a surety for being well received & taken care of. I have never been so comfortable in Paris!

On the 14th I hope to get to Coblintz where I take Emma for Dr Meuret the great man to have her eyes looked to, then to England where I have to see [M Papt?] again (this between ourselves alone!) & I hope by God's mercy, I may be able to sail on the 13th of August! I did not see Dr [Powell?] at Sastein, but I have sent him two patients in your name.

The McFarland matter made me heart & soul sick. Such utter demoralization as seems to exist in that city certainly merits the fate of Sodom. But I cannot write of it, it [read], dreadfully for every body concerned! Ah, foolish little woman why do you ever stay in such a place ever for any thing. Your work was here & here you should have staid. H-to the contrary notwithstanding! That initial in these days of possible misconception means Heaven, if you please!

Who is Justin McCarthy? However ignorant this question shows me-I bow! I have known, occasionally, of this kind of literature, but "they don't wash!"

You will commend me to the kind Ina ''Botta. I shall renew my acquaintance with her I hope, if I get home. My general health, dear, is much improved by my remarkably quiet winter. Emma is not over well, always anxious about unworthy me.

We shall not stay in New York when we arrive at the end of August by the Scotia, but go up the Hudson River to Hyde Park for a fortnight or 3 weeks. Then I must go to Boston at the seaside to some friends, but we will arrange to meet. God love you dear, & make you well & calm & happy. One cannot be happy unless one is calm & one cannot be calm unless one is well, so all the three [hang?] together. Emma sends dear love, & Emma Cushman desires kindest remembrances. Hold me ever, as I am your faithful loving



Liverpool Oct. 3 (or Oc13")

Dearie-- Just one word to thank you for your sweet & welcome letter, which would have been acknowledged sooner but that I have been in a state of visitors. First up to the 19" of Sep" I had my brother & his wife & a very dear old friend visiting me at Knotsford Lodge, Malvern. On the 19" when they left me as our good friends of Upper Terrace Lodge Hampstead were to pay me a fortnightly visit & preferred to pay it at the seaside, rather than Malvern (for they had been at [Windermere?] for four or five weeks before & it wd [sic] have been [tame?] to come to Malvern after that. I made arrangements for taking apartments at Llandudno on the north coast of Wales, & then we spent together the most heavenly of fortnights as far as weather was concerned. I never have seen or known England one third as lovely as it has been this summer & autumn so far. On the 3d they all three--Mrs. & Miss James & Miss Coates--left me & I went with Emma Cushman to Voilas, near Bettwsy Cord, N. Wales to pay a two day visit among the dreadful aristocracy, but in a country more lovely than any words can tell you but which you must see to appreciate. Switzerland with most beautiful forests can only compare to it, & in some ways suffer by the comparison. Then I left Emma Cushman & her lovely bairns, at Llandudno, where they had also been with me, & I started off on duty visits, which were very very sad, & I have been much wrung in the heart by them. I came here on the 11', where I find them all again, preparing to sail on the Abysinnia on the 18"-if you are in New York any where from the 29" to the 1" or 2 of November, you will catch us all, if you look for us with Miss Cushman, No. 128 East 16" Street, for Emma will arrive about the 30" Oct. & I, sailing (D.V.) on the 22d on the Scotia hope to be in New York on the 1" or 2d Nov [&] Emma C. will remain in New York until I arrive, so you will see the whole "Royal family."

I had such a sweet letter from Col. Higginson-he will think me a heathen for not replying to it, but I have been so busy. I wonder if he would think me much wanting in etiquette if I asked him to excuse a message through you to thank him [sincerely?] for his kind attention, and to say to him that in the matter of houses, I am greatly obliged for his letter & will by him to keep himself informed, as to any available places to be had against I come. It is my present purpose to remain in New York a week after my arrival & then to go up to Hyde Park Duchess Co. New York where I stay with Miss Stebbins sister Miss Garland for a month & then to go to Newport to make my trial of a portion of Decr, Jany & Feby, for if those months will agree with me, I will take care of the others elsewhere. Emma Cushman will go to St. Louis to remain until middle of May when she wants to return to the East, & I have thought it would be better for me to take a house in Newport for a year, that when she is ready to come East, she will have a house to go to with the children & servants & then I could go & come as it might be agreeable or necessary. But I must try first how it will agree with me & therefore I do not think it would be wise for me to get Col. Higginson to engage anything for me beforehand. Do you? But you will see me or you will let me hear from you soon after my arrival & then I will communicate further-meanwhile say you all pretty things to him for the trouble he took in writing to me. Your little "German landlady" is just exquisite. Fresh & simple as she was, your way of telling of her is fresher & simpler "& I make you my compliments."

Only think of Rome, dear, did you sin? No. I never dreamed of the doings of this summer. I must send you by Emma Cushman or show you a letter from [Florie?] Freeman who saw it all! How I wish I had been there. Now goodbye & God bless you. Emma's both send love believe me ever your loving friend



128 E. 16'th' New York
Nov.[6?] '1870

Dearest friend-You will have begun to think that your sweet words of welcome must have failed to reach me, since you have read no acknowledgement therof [sic], but I have not been able to write & am not now. I am much confused by the voyage from which I have not yet recovered! Steadiness enough to write to you, or any body seems, so far, to be denied me. I am not in possession of my own soul, & cannot sleep. If this is only a temporary effect of the voyage & the bright nervous weather into which I have come all very well, but if it is to continue an effect of climate upon weakened nerves, I had better go back to the steady heaviness of dear old England for I am unable to keep my mind steadfastly to any one thought or thing sufficiently long to resolve or settle it. I am in confusion dire, don't know the day of the month or week or year, almost forget my own name. When these things do get settled you shall hear from me again. Meanwhile this word will tell you that every body finds me looking so well that they hardly believe I have been suffering! Will this satisfy you as to my physical being? Our voyage was very tempestuous if not dangerous. We suffered much in nervous anxiety as well as in every other disgusting way which one can suffer at sea. I suppose that it one reason why I am not steady as yet. I am remaining here until the 15", when I go to Mrs. Garland, Hyde Park. Duchess Co., N.Y. & there I shall remain, I think, until after Xmas-but you will hear of my movements very soon again & shall know of any change in my plans. Perhaps if you carry out your plan of coming here to N.Y. the last of this month to remain for a time we may arrange a meeting even before flitting to Newport. You will let me know your positive movements as soon as you know them will you not dear?

I can quite imagine how you must feel at parting from your mountain. You are particularly fitted for being "on the Height" -- I long for the quiet of the country, & shall fly at the earliest moment.

No, dear, I had not seen that Fields & Osgood were going to publish for you. I am so glad you are out in that form. You write so sweetly & so naturally that it is good to read you! Tell me about it!

Emma Cushman had an awful passage with her chicks. She has just gone to Boston or rather Cambridge to her sister Mrs. [Cass?] for a week before going to St. Louis. She returns here, passing through on the 14' - it is to see those dear children -- the last bits of my house which has tumbled around my [devoted?] head - once more before they go to their Western Home - that I remain until the 15", else I would be off at once, as soon as I settle my boxes! I have taken a room, here, with my kinswoman, Mrs. Cushman where my boxes trunks &c can be got at easily, as I pass through in my wanderings, & this will always be my foot of Earth when any intelligence will be obtained of me, & from which any thing will reach me. Do you know this house? There are some very nice rooms in it if you ever have to take rooms in New York, & just now there is one unoccupied. Mrs. Cushman is a good woman. The widow of a half nephew of mine, has had a hard struggle to support three children by a boarding house, but has brought them up beautifully.

Emma Stebbins is very poorly, much broken down by the voyage & the nervous atmosphere here. She is with her brother No. 2 W 16" S' & I am now going to her.

Forgive all my short comings. I did not think to commit so long a note as this when I began, but the thought of you [extends, spreads?] out my words.

God bless you, dear, let me hear from you at your best leisure, & believe me Ever most lovingly, Yours, Charlotte


"The Garland"
Hyde Park
Dutchess [sic] Co

Bella donna mia - was there ever any body who seemed half so ungrateful & unmindful & good for nothing, in your bright eyes, as I do? I am ashamed that I have not found, made time, to acknowledge your sweet note of the 10" which came so promptly in response to mine, [thru?] having had great difficulty in getting my letters to any body or from any body else, in less than two days, however short the distance that I half surmise you are in some compact with the postmaster general. That your letters shall go whatever else may stop! You are too good & kind to me, dear, to write me such long nice clear notes, when your poor dear fingers must be wearied to the bone with writing. But I am grateful & not unmindful, though I have remained so long without answering. The truth is dear, that my voyage left me quite miserable with internal strifes, & although I was dragged from Dan to Beersheba by good kind loving hospitable friends & had not the moral courage to deny any body who wanted me, I was really so physically unfit for this that any moment I could sit in my own rooms, I was too wearied to write. Every day I wanted to write, & every day brought such petty but absolute demands upon me, that I never got the right moment for you. Although I was only in New York [twelve?] days, yet I was as completely in the swirl of things, as though I had never been any where else, and when Emma Cushman & the bairns had returned from Boston (where they went to say howdy-do to their aunts & cousins,) & rested on Sunday & Monday 13&14", & tore themselves away from me on the night of the latter [crossed out: to go] to St. Louis to their relatives there, I felt that if I would regain my own torn & disquieted & [frightened?] soul, I must get away to the country as soon as possible. On Tuesday I did as much galioping as I ever did in my life, in the way of trying to do up some of my social [decencies?], finish up my errands & commissions to be ready to get off here on the Tuesday 16", which I did. Of course in my first arrival here, what with unpacking boxes, unpacking ones mind & seeing the minds of my hostesses unpacked as well, exchanging all the thoughts which have arisen since we parted two years ago. I have not been able to write more than a business note or so, & this brings me to the end of my apologies. I will never make any more to you, dear, for if any human being living will make allowances for me, it will be you, & apologies fill all our note[s]. Amen!

What you say about this thin air dear, is absolutely true. I have been up to "F in alt" in my nerves ever since my arrival, not withstanding the physical ills which took me down to double C in [diagram of musical staff with notation in circle imposed on staff]! And [here?] when nature in the repose of fulfilled promise seems so calm, I find myself turned tight up to the very highest notes. The cold is a little nervous as well & this morning we had a snow flurry snow so crystallized that it did not melt as it fell on the roof, but blew away again like sand. I am so happy in the country, I don't wonder, dear, at your staying at Bethlehem just as long as you possibly can. I don't believe I shall stir from here until after Xmas & then, get away to Newport, the very earliest moment. But of course we shall see what time does for us.

I talked with 'he of Newport" & liked him very very much, as I remember I did in Worcester once in the old days. He is sweet & fresh & [forth] minded & mannered, but you are not to tell him that I say this! There was a visitor with me at the same time, so I had not the opportunity of being entirely at my ease, as one is when one talks "a due' & I fear my unsettled ideas as to when I should go to Newport gave him little satisfaction as to whether I really knew what I do want or intend. But it could not be helped I was very distracted in New York & really did not know. I dare say Mrs. Botta may tell you that I was not made more quiet & calm by an opinion I had from her German Dr. [Neftel?] about whom she wrote to me in Europe. But I can do nothing as yet. I am not sufficiently recovered from my last suffering to [risk?] willingly into any more until it is absolutely necessary, but, I learned what gives me infinite anxiety & care, & this also was one of my excuses for shortcomings in all ways.

This letter will just reach you dear before your leaving for Boston. I suppose for Thanksgiving day, then you will be a[t] work in N. Haven.

Mr. Higginson proposed a very admirable plan, & one which suited me exactly, which was that I should take apartments at Riggs & "be served"-- by that means perhaps if we all go at the same time we might each have separate bed rooms, sufficiently large to [make?] our individual work in, & then I should have a sitting room in which we could all meet. How say you. At all events, you could very likely have rooms in the same house, which would be "perfectly lovely" as Annie [Levin?] says.

I must try Newport for a month or so before I make any decision as to taking a house, & this would be the best plan for all of us. Mrs. Cushmans [sic] house is a very nice pretty "respectable looking private house." That is, the drawing rooms are very prettily furnished, & she is as nice a woman as you will ever meet under the circumstances which force a woman to get her living in such a way. She is refined & intelligent & advanced, but timid & nervous & anxious. She has a very beautiful bright, newly furnished back second floor (over the back drawing room) room, 21 feet by 17 large, two large windows, open fireplace. This room has now a bedstead in it, but it could be easily changed to a sitting room by putting in a sofa bedstead instead of a regular bedstead. I have not seen a prettier room in New York or one with more capabilities of being made lovely. Adjoining it is a small single bedroom, also bright & sunny. The service is good, the food good and simple & well cooked, & the service is good as any private family. I paid for myself & maid in $45 the week. I should think that Mrs. Hunt would do very well to see Mrs. Cushman. Miss [Jane ?] who saw me in these rooms a number of times & who is a friend of Mrs. Hunt, thought they would suit her admirably-about a transient accommodation I could not say, but if you write to her before you come to New York, & ask her, in my name, if she has room & will take you, you can see for yourself. [Grace Sedgewick?] lived with Mrs. Cushman for some time, & Miss Valerie, another of the [Sedgewicks?], & the Elliots lived there also. You might say where that as you will be only transiently there, if she has the opportunity of letting the room (she puts you into) for a permanency, you will let her change you elsewhere & she might be more free to take you. I should like you to establish relations with her. Now goodbye dear, & God beless you. Let me hear from you soon. Miss Stebbins has your letter, sends love & thanks, & will answer very soon.

Ever & ever your faithfully loving
Charlotte Cushman

I am so glad about your book & you are quite right about "by H. H.-it is [pristine? & righter?] You have made the 'nom de plume,' why not keep it! You are HH to the general public & only Helen Hunt to your friends and acquaintances. I am sure you are right, It is much more dignified!


Hyde Park
Nov 29 1870

Yes, dearie, you are quite right as to what I want in Newport. Col Higginson gave me an idea of what I should have to pay for the accommodation you name, but it is barely possible that you may "witch" JW. Riggs--& may be able to make even a better arrangement--& yet I am sure that Col Higginson could do with Mr. Riggs as much as woman could. But we shall see, when you come to tell him all we want. It may be that I should like to have another bed room, for occasional friends who may run from Boston to see me, so you shall ask about that too. I shall leave here (all going well) on Monday the 2nd of Jany, stay a few days in New York, see Dr.[Inftel?] to know if my Enemy has strengthened himself at my Expense during this time I shall be here. If it has materially increased I may have to stay a little in New York, but I trust to be able to leave in J-at the latest on the 14th Jany, & I want to try to stay in Newport six weeks! So, here you have my calculation & know what I want to do. I hope it may not interfere with any of your plans, for I want you to be in Newport when we are there. Much-very much!

Have you seen the Stearns' in Boston, & do you know Annie [Severn?]?

One thing I wish to ask you dear about this physical trouble for which you tell me you are stopping a bit in Boston. Is the man to whom you are confiding yourself a man who has been performing some wonderful cures in cases of Hemorrhoids & Piles? If so I want to know something of his system. Miss Stebbins has been advised seriously to go to Boston to consult a man there, & it may be this is the man & the system-will you make some enquiries & like a sweet soul write & tell me about it all. My poor friend is suffering dreadfully since we arrived & must do something! This is one reason too [while?] we must stop a bit in New York, & her family won't listen to her going away from them until after the Xmas & New Year holidays.

No dear Mr. Johnson has not sent me the word of welcome that you have been sweet enough to show to the world to let them see of what value I am. I will send for a copy. Your "Miracle play" is splendid & exactly like you. This makes the great [thrust?] of your writing that it is so naturally as you would talk. How very glad I shall be to see you again!!!!

Let me hear again when you have leisure & know me as I am your faithful, [devoted?] Charlotte Cushman.


Hyde Park
Thursday, Dec.'2nd'

Carissa Mia,

You have presence of mind! An excellent thing in any body, but especially in a woman. Do you know, dear, that I don't find the people with whom I have been brought in contact, so far, in this "land of the free", very much gifted with this, well, Virtue! For it is a virtue certainly, to have your mind free & unoccupied sufficiently from self to consider & to do what is best for any body else, and this you have just done, just the thing I wanted you to do (& asked you to do in my letter which went to you yesterday.) I thank you very very much for all you have done & all the trouble you have taken in writing to me about it. You will see when you get my letter, how, what I tell you of my plans, [jumps?] with what you have ascertained in Newport; & you will tell me whether you think I am safe to get these rooms at Riggs' or Breweston, not going there earlier than middle of January, which may chance to be as early as I can get there. How do people manage where they take these rooms before hand in this country. Instruct me learned Pundit, for it is so long since I have lived or provided for myself in this land, that I know none of the manners & customs.

Dear, do you know that the Riggs has two prices? And do you know that the Tall Col gave me the prices which he had learned as $15 per week for a private parlour & extra table, & $15 for each person per week board & $10 per week for my maid, which made, what I wanted $55 per week, & now you tell me the Butler who has aspirations & yet is humble, wants from you for my requirements $70 per week, which is just 15 per week more? What does this mean? Will you like a [mediating angel?], ask the [Davies?] fellow "Perche"? Let him see what he can & will do, for I confess that I incline to Riggs' way of being & doing, more than to those who are only [beginners?] If it is a serious matter that I do not go until 14 Jany, I shall strive hard not to be kept for this trouble of mine, in New York, but will be able perhaps to get to Newport a week or ten days earlier. I thought I should perhaps be happier if I put myself into this [Neftels?] hands, for a fortnight before going to Newport, but I dare say I may be able to put off the evil day. At all events you shall with a sweet considerate soul, think on these matters for me, & advise me what to do. I like the idea of Riggs' very much. I know very well the one lodger Riggs has already, but it seems to me that he is charging summer prices. Perhaps you mentioned my name. If you did, that was enough. I have always found that my country people have had the idea that I ought to pay the highest price for everything. I suppose because I worked the hardest to obtain what I pay with, at least this is the "even handed justice" they have meted out to me heretofore.

About the stairs dear, I can manage them, you don't know how bravely I walk about & even up & down stairs-besides I have been a climber all my life, up some very steep ladders, & know all about it. I don't want a fire in my bedroom, at least so far it has not been necessary, but I may require it. I think I shall have to come to Newport a fortnight or so before Miss Stebbins could join me, how about that, in the arrangement for rooms, and how about my having a friend beside Miss Stebbins with me who would have to have another room. Would it be possible? And, if Riggs cannot keep the room for me until the end of first week in Jany what shall I do & when shall I go. Is there not a place called Mrs. Williams a Quaker lady where I can go, or are there not some hotel open where I can get rooms, whenever I can come. Tell me, thou bird!

I can't get a copy of the Independent. Won't you send me the word of welcome like a darling & Believe me your faithful, affectionate C.C.-

P.S. Do you think you could learn for me in Newport what it would cost me to have a nice carriage every afternoon or morning, on such afternoons or mornings as I might require it, always making sure to have the same carriage if possible. The drives about two hours long, & also, the price for the evenings in the event of my being rash enough to go "out o' nights." I always like to know about things beforehand if possible. Don't bother yourself dear if I ask too much of you.

[Next letter refers to note written on "10th"; no such letter in the file]


Hyde Park, Dutchess [sic] Co. Dec.19"/70 N.Y.

Dearie, are you ill? Are you vexed? Are you disappointed in me & my doings? Or what is the matter that I have had no word from you in answer to my very hurried pencil note written on the 10", just as I was leaving New York, to say to you how glad I should be if you would arrange with the "Riggs" that I should have his room for six weeks or two months, as the case might be, at $65 per week including everything for Miss Stebbins Sallie & self. By hearing nothing from you I have been afraid that my letter may have gone astray, or you have turned another somersault & my letter missed you. Will you give me some sign, like a dear, & let me know what is the matter.

If it is all right that I go to the Riggs, did you understand for how much I could have another room with fire, a sunny bedroom, with board at my table, for one person, or can this be ascertained without giving you as great a wilderness of trouble, as I have already given you before. I am so anxious, dear, to see the little book, & I cannot get a copy of the 'note of Welcome' for love or money.

Where are you? Where are you?

Respondi di prego carissima mia." What a long translation is that sonnet of Petrarch by the gallant Col. I read it last night with intense pleasure.

My hand is better thank you but I am a good for naught & am trembling to pieces, though I look well.

Emma Cushman has had a letter from Dr. Sully. Mr. Dabney has had two hemorrhages & is very poorly. Mr. Elliot is at Hampstead with the [Neils?], not quite well. Miss Coates & Miss James very well!

I am sending this out on such an uncertainty that I cannot write more, only begging you to believe that I am anxious to know why you are so silent. & that I am ever, with kindest love from both of us, your ever faithfully attached C.C


Hyde Park
Dec. "29" 1870
[note in upper left hand corner of first page: Let me know Riggs' number in Catherine Street]

How sweet & lovely of you to think such beautiful things to-me-wards as I find in this darling little "Welcome," which came to me yesterday, & is more than any body ever said in such-wise to me. You are very very good to think so well of me. I wonder if can be true, or if it is only the beauty of your own soul investing me with grace, & so you love the beauty of nature which you yourself create. Never mind, it is a gorgeous thing to be so thought of, & I will flatter myself with it, be it how it may. I have a sweet sweet clear little lyric of yours in "Old & New" "Vintage" which has delighted me much. I know all about it, dear, and wherever it is poured, the having it to pour makes our own heart warm. Is it not so? Now that I am nearer to you, you must let me have all you write will you not? That I may put it into that little book, you know of! You can send on the printed slip. I will copy it & send you back the slip if you want it. I find a wee bit of paper pasted onto this slip wch [sic] looks as though it was the copy you were keeping for yourself. Let me know if it is so. & you shall have it back

Dear, did you read in that same number of "Old & New," a paper of Saint [Berin?] on the four gospels?

How you pop about in this cold weather. How could you be in New York, & then in Newport again so soon. I wonder at any body able to move in this weather. My ten winters in Rome have left me only water in my veins, & it freezes with these storms of wind & snow. But I brave it, notwithstanding. Not a day since I landed (except the four I was laid up in New York with my finger), but I have had my tramp and made myself warm for the time being, but today, oh today sounds dismal. The wind howls around the house & the trees roar like a perpetually coming railway train. I don't think I ever felt so cold.

How is it, dear, that your rooms have to be papered and painted now? It seems an awkward time of year for such work, why did you not "worry on" with it as it was for the present & then have it all nice and unsmoked for spring! But I can say you know all about it better than I.

Dearie if nothing comes to freeze me up, I propose going down to New York on the 11 or 12, to 218.E17" St. & on Saturday 14" going to Boston where I must stop on Sunday & then go on to Newport the next morning, at least this is my present plan, for I have a horror of the steamboat at this time of year, & am afraid of fire & water, & in this freezing weather rather encounter it in a railway boiler but if there is a "living reason" why I should come by the boat, [propound?] unto me, most learned, & I will be open to conviction. Let me know the best way to go to Newport at this season, & the way & the how & the why!

If you ever get as far as Riggs you will tell him that (God Willing) I shall be with him on the 16" & ask him, what he will charge me for an extra room with fire besides my set which I am to have for $65, for I don't suppose it would give more trouble to wait on three people/ladies [written above people] at dinner than it would to wait upon two, & I should like to ask Mrs. Garland, Miss Stebbins' sister to come & play me a little visit-she is such a sweet woman with a delicate body, a lovely spirit, & a fine mind. She has been so hospitable to me & I shall have been entertained here just as though I was in my own house for two months, so I should like to make her come to Newport if I could, but I want to know first what it will cost. You see dear this has been a habit of mine through life, & I can't do anything without counting the cost beforehand.

This one word goes to you carissa as a New Years word of God bless you. If I had known where to have written in New York, you should have had one on Thurs. eve or morning. Goodbye, dear, continue to think well of me & believe that I am ever faithfully your attached C.C.


[Letter undated]
Swampscott Mass
Thursday p.m.


Your telegraph just came. I have been looking for a line to let me know whether you could find rooms. Now, it is settled we cannot come!!! Emma Stebbins is not well enough, & Emma Cushman can not come. I keep the telegraph messenger who brings me your message 3 1/2 miles, to send you this note-will write again tomorrow am so sorry you should not have written to me first & hope this may reach you in time to enable you to give them up without loss.

Ever affly yours,


[Undated; no location]

Is it to be in pencil to establish the Equilibrium? When I write in ink, you write in pencil & ['wiccy, very much worsey?'] Well, dearie, so be it. I am come! Here we are, as the clown says in The Pantomime, and very much better shall we all be for the seeing you when you can come. The weather is just fit for dogs, ducks & worms, and we don't mind it a bit, coming to Newport in our rags we had nothing to spoil, & rain doesn't melt us here, as the hot houses of our friends in New York & Boston do. We are charmed with our rooms which you have been so bothered & exercised about & for which we thank you. You see I use the royal "we". See how you have set me up! "Take care, take care," when images tremble they break other things (oh what a ink pencil)

You will know that we left New York on Saty pm. For Boston where we sojourned yesterday, saw the nice little Mrs. Field & the big sister Sandford, & dining with Miss Child saw the sweet [?] & Stearns & talked much nonsense in our excitement & pleasure at seeing each other again. They have promised to come down here to see me, so we shall have a good time latter, shan't we?

Carissa, Fields sent me a copy of the 'Irises,' I suppose again to your order, & I took the liberty of being mean and shipping it-giving Emma Cushman a sweet pleasure thereby. "Love rich & poor" is exquisite, you are saying things more clearly & brightly & sweetly, carissa mia-

I shall see you tomorrow meanwhile with much much love, I am yours fondly,


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