Transcript of Letter from Charlotte Cushman to Sidney Lanier, Dec 18[?], 1875
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[page 1] Why have I not written earlier since the receipt of your lovely lettr [sic] from Macon. This is a question you might reasonably ask me. & yet I have not been up to the work of writing to my living creature. The little bulletin of the day to my niece—is more than enough to satisfy me—how little strength I have to give expression to my thoughts. & have little freedom from the bondage of pain to allow the growth or development of a thought worth throwing out the windon much less sending to you—and yet I have thought much about you—Thought is fire?—if one is not obliged to put it into words form. The lovely picture you gave me of your surroundings at Macon—the little boys +++, there their excellence, to their wandering troubadour of a father, the mocking bird and the Lady May, whom though I do not know I can pictue to myself perfectly in hr [sic] joy at getting you back—with a chance that you were carrying with you helps & cures for the +++ of your health which has caused hr [sic] such anxiety,—you—yourself—looking upon them all with a little more hope in your heart—almost entirely happy— You made me see you all—just with these Tricks of your pen, which you are cunning in. & which only belong to the inspired people. I wanted to reply to your lettr [sic] immediately & ought to have done so to have carried to you truly the spirit of all I felt—for time has no stolen the bright +++ of my thus thoughts—but I did not—I could not—& [illegible, crossed out] thus [inserted] you must take a stupid prosy[?] note—as the will for the deed, I care for you no mattr [sic] how poorly I express it & it is this that you value. You are now in Baltimore, a fixture for a time & wait for my body to be strong enough to carry out my spirits wishes. How and? The Dr says "Bettr [sic] de-
[page 2] cidedly better! I am pleased with the looks & doings altogether—& by New Years day, you shall be free from all great pain. The last week has made a very great change for the better! this should be reasonable inasmuch as I have endured worse pain, during the last week or 10 days than I have ever done. I have scracely known what to do with myself at times—& but for sleep must have passed the boundary I think! I am weak—& tremulous—My appetite is gone for everything but my brandy & water—& I am altogether forlorn & we shall see. I will write to you in New Years day & you shall know how true a prophet the little Dr. is. He is surely the wisest Dr I have ever encountered. He is the most daring too. but he has some excuses for this for people never come to him until they are in desprate straights—& every one else has abandoned them He speaks of you very often & kindly—& will keep you right if you keep to his instructions & +++ to him of yourself as you may need! I heard that Lord Houghter was in town for a few days before sailing. He learned that I was here & came to see me I had the opportunity I wanted of speaking to him of you. & gave him the copy of 'Corn' & 'Symphony' which you gave to me. He promised to let me hear from him. I was so glad of the opportunity to talk to him of your +++ +++ to say the English bid is like that of a Rhinocerous—& nothing penetrates for that they do not learn in early days at college. What do you think of his asking in presence of Lowell—why, whither or Longfellow or 'you fellons' (Lowell away then). dont [sic] write something in the[?] American dialect!I considering that the English cities only acknowledge Lowell as 'Bigelou papers this was stupid or forgetful to say the least—Rosetti said of us 'That seems the way in America. They do nothing but jibe & +++ at their one great pact—Whitman!!! So their opinion worth the having? Fields came to see me yesterday why did you not go to see him in Baltimore? He is a very useful man! Now goodbye for the time being—Let me hear what you are doing. You made a very agreeable impression here & are remembered
Commend me to the Lady May & the bairus[?]. & believe ever that I am your faithful friend.
(Address on envelope!) Sydney Lanier Esq. 64 Centre Street Baltimore Md D.