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On this morn'g of Sept 2, 1883 that w'ld be so lovely if one of the "local rains (of which the weather bureau is not stingy) had fallen upon us, instead of the light of stars, my thoughts go mountainward & halt at the "Tabernacle"; where I take it are the dear friends who for so many years have doubled each others joys, & halved perhaps each others woes by loving sympathy. I am more glad than I can tell you that I have been upon that Mount of Vision in Shelburne & can therefore see you with my minds eye so plainly to day. This is not an unpleasing prospect that I [deletion: I] look out upon while Mother prolongs her morn'g nap, & Edwd, Carrie & Julia indulge in a dusty drive that has no attractions for their grumpy sister. I have given our poor invalid a cup of hot cocoa in the faintest of hopes that it may help to avert the dreaded
chill. We are no Mark Tapleys in this house, (happily) too ignorant of this horrid disease to be prepared for relapses which I begin to think are to be expected. As she declined to comply with the Dr's request to be informed of any change for the worse, I cannot but almost hope that she will tell him tomorrow that she must have heroic allopathic treatment. But who is the man or woman to whom we can trust her enfeebled body is the question. It is this doubt that abated my aforesaid hope. I had a short letter from Maggie yesterday, in which, though she says but little about her illness, she speaks of her "nervous chills followed by fever & dripping perspiration day & night when her sick friends were much on her mind especially Mrs. Brigham."
She has had six different nurses & the last & the best expects to be called away this week, when one of the old ones will have to be recalled as M. is not yet strong enough to take care of the baby. A sorry beginning of family life in a poor minister's house this looks. M. says "Most of our poor & hard-working congregation had their surplus money in the Trust Company. I fear George will not get much of his insurance money back. I have hopes of the Bank where I placed Uncle Edwd's gift." She knew nothing of the town's excitement till two or three days before she wrote.
This P. M. Edwd has gone to Gloucester to day to a meeting of the Directors (he being one) of the McDonald Stonecutting Machine Co. & I cannot answer the hoped for & expected letter. Lest disappointed hope & expectation sh'd crush out any desire to send you my dear Anne a letter tomorrow, I will tell you now that we are a happy family to day by
reason of Mrs B's freedom from a chill. Yesterday & the day before were bad days & we were all as blue inwardly as she was yellow outwardly. She & Carrie talked with the Dr yesterday, & the result was a fresh confirmation of their faith in his ability to do the best thing possible for her recovery. Edw'd found like confirmation in a call upon Mr Flint where he heard the story of Mr Walcotts extreme prostration with Malaria & recovery under Dr Ahlborn's administration of Quinine which has been followed by some more terrible condition, the effect of the medicine. Mrs B. being remanded to stop food & an upstair life seems really better to day than when she went to the table with us last week. I trust we have all learned something from this second relapse & shall not be so liable to a third.
Whitney, Sarah and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Sarah Whitney, to Anne Whitney, 1883 September 2" (1883). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 379.