Transcript of Letter from Charlotte Cushman to [Sidney Lanier], Feb 3-4, 1876
Charlotte Cushman feels very ill and is very thankful for the friends that keep visiting her. Some of her wounds are not covering up yet but her doctor is satisfied with the healing process. She is unable to walk around.
The letter is sent shortly before her death.
Transcripts by Jennie Lorenz
CreditLibrary of Congress, Charlotte Cushman Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Letter Item Type Metadata
[page 1] after all that you have heard dear & valued friend, you will want, on the first occasion possible to me, to see something from my own weak hand—so—though very good for nothing intellectually or physically—I send you off this little word to give you some comfort about me. I am lifting out of my slough slowly but surely. The poor broken down stomach wh reduced me so low that on the 17" Jany. I drew togethr [sic] my dear ones & gave them last changes– that I might go as quietly as I desired to go speedily. But it has pleased the dear God, that I should not pass out by that door at least.—& ever since that day wh seemed a sort of crisis. I have been slowly fighting up I cannot walk of course as yet, even round my room, though, yesterday I venetured it,—but I sit wrapped up & pillowed in my large chair— & here my friends come & minister to me—like good angels, bringing me flowers & jellies & soups until I must get well in spite! My Dr is satisfied beyond words & occasionally whistles as he examines my wounds—which are beginning to cover over with a thin gauge like film signifying skin—he says. There are many parts which cannot cover for some time yet— for the +++ is so fearfully obstinat [sic], but by the end of Feby he hopes I will be able to get out into the air, & then the natural oxygen will help to his "perfect chemisou" [chemisou’ He certainly believes he is going to cure me. God strengthes his knowledge to this consummation pray we all–we shall see–Meanwhile as I am able from time to time you shall have from my own hand how I am getting on—ah. if you had seen me on the 17th leaving a little word for you—how pale & thin & sick I looked. you would be too happy kow to see me as I have been talking to J. T. Fields about Swinburnes [sic] look of essays. Have you seen them?
Have Now/ what he says about
[page 2] Mat
thew Arnold's endorsement of the +++ brothr [sic] & sistr [sic]—about whom there was a little stir some time ago—evangelical writers? I don't think there is a lone left in Arnold's body on that score! Friday 4 Feby. a sleepless night. from the accumulation charactr [sic] of the medicine last given for 3 days & which is working admirably in other ways—towards healing up my wounded back—so the medicine must be stopped—Thus the Dr has been hindered all the time with me. So any one else a teaspoonful of medicine—to me 10 & then 5 days—& then it? has? to stop altogethr [sic] & change. – Ah – my way has been much much harder than I anticipated & I should have been sleeping with my forefathers now, in the natural progress of the malady. & I may be wrong, but it seems to me that I have endured as/ much in this way as I should or could have done in the other. God only knows. if he will only make me grateful all the many mercies I do have, in memory to all I do & have suffered I shall be surprised at myself & human nature. I am very nervous & miserable this morning. Tomorrow is my alternate 'good' day & I shall be better. I wonder if you would have time to call at Mrs. Burnaps [sic]? N. Calvent St. & tell Lizzie Burnap of my report—I believe I am on the mend in every way but ah, God/ how long!! I am not able to walk about my room yet & have been housed to my chair since 22 Dec Pretty hard for a quick thoughted spirit Your cantata is pretty gorgeous! I think the best thing you have done by far. in form. at least—I pray God for you—in all ways & for all dear to you—Has Chorley your house, or is he with you. Miss Stebbins kind love. Let me hear what you are doing—do you keep quite well? 'Tell all' like the players to your faithful