1

Date

1768-06-08Isabella Marshall GrahamDEAR DOCTOR,How shall I express my gratitude for the refreshing cordial you sent me, at a time when I stood so much in need of one. It was not in the-- 43 --art of your profession to have sent me such another, in box or phial.I suppose, by this time, you have received Mr. C -- 's letter, which would inform you that you have a little girl. 1 I suppose a boy would have been more welcome; but you were kind enough to say, that, if your Bell were well, either would be welcome.O, my Doctor, what I suffered after you left me. I lost all my fortitude, and was, in a manner bereft of my reason. I threw myself on my bed to give way to my bursting heart; indeed I thought it would have bursted. When I was quite spent with grief, sleep, at last, relieved me for about two hours: when I waked, I found myself far from well, so did not get up again that evening; but in vain I tried to lose my sensibility; sleep had fled from me, and left me a prey to a distracted mind, in which there was scarce a gleam of hope of ever seeing you again. I even fancied I could read a chain of links in providence pointing towards our final separation, and the last stroke just ready to fall. Thus I spent the long-- 44 --and tedious night. Morning made its appearance. I quitted my bed sooner than usual. I had been much threatened during the night, and finding myself grow worse and worse, I sent for Dr. W --, and made him bleed me; went to bed again, hoping to be better, but it would not do. Between five and six all was over. * * * * My fears for myself, at least of death, were now pretty much dissipated, but those of a still more dreadful nature began to haunt my mind. I thought I had been too solicitous about life. It was granted, but it might prove my punishment. There, thought I, lies my base; perhaps she is fatherless, and, if so, what am I? Perhaps it had been the happiest thing that could have befallen me that my babe had never seen the light, and my own eyes closed in death before the dreadful news had reached my ears. O, my husband, you do not yet know the half of the love I bear you; with you I would wish to live; with you I would wish to die; with you I would be happy, or share with you in misery; but, to be separated, O, I cannot bear the thought.Those sudden gusts that Mr. McI -- mentioned distressed me much. I had heard also that the ropes were in danger of breaking, and leaving-- 45 --the batteaux to be dashed to pieces amongst the rocks; every possible misfortune that might befall you occurred to my mind, though I uttered not a word. On Wednesday evening, (this day week,) your letter was put into my hand; O, how I grasped it, and with what eagerness I read it; but I will not tell you what fault I found with it.That night was the first I slept; ever since I have been in much better spirits, and your letter is my cordial after breakfast and after supper to this day; and now I am impatient for another, as the boats which took you up are hourly expected. I begin to hope that the time may be at no great distance when we shall meet again. O, my dear Doctor, I know how I shall enjoy it, I also know that I buy it very dear.I cannot be at the pains to write trifling news, my heart is too full, and, since I must not allow it to say more, I will conclude with the repetition, that I am, my dearest Doctor,Wholly yours,I. GrahamJohn GrahamMontreal, QC
Facts collected from tagged text on this page
Facts about this page
DEAR DOCTOR,How shall I express my gratitude for the refreshing cordial you sent me, at a time when I stood so much in need of one. It was not in the-- 43 --art of your profession to have sent me such another, in box or phial.I suppose, by this time, you have received Mr. C -- 's letter, which would inform you that you have a little girl. 1 I suppose a boy would have been more welcome; but you were kind enough to say, that, if your Bell were well, either would be welcome.O, my Doctor, what I suffered after you left me. I lost all my fortitude, and was, in a manner bereft of my reason. I threw myself on my bed to give way to my bursting heart; indeed I thought it would have bursted. When I was quite spent with grief, sleep, at last, relieved me for about two hours: when I waked, I found myself far from well, so did not get up again that evening; but in vain I tried to lose my sensibility; sleep had fled from me, and left me a prey to a distracted mind, in which there was scarce a gleam of hope of ever seeing you again. I even fancied I could read a chain of links in providence pointing towards our final separation, and the last stroke just ready to fall. Thus I spent the long-- 44 --and tedious night. Morning made its appearance. I quitted my bed sooner than usual. I had been much threatened during the night, and finding myself grow worse and worse, I sent for Dr. W --, and made him bleed me; went to bed again, hoping to be better, but it would not do. Between five and six all was over. * * * * My fears for myself, at least of death, were now pretty much dissipated, but those of a still more dreadful nature began to haunt my mind. I thought I had been too solicitous about life. It was granted, but it might prove my punishment. There, thought I, lies my base; perhaps she is fatherless, and, if so, what am I? Perhaps it had been the happiest thing that could have befallen me that my babe had never seen the light, and my own eyes closed in death before the dreadful news had reached my ears. O, my husband, you do not yet know the half of the love I bear you; with you I would wish to live; with you I would wish to die; with you I would be happy, or share with you in misery; but, to be separated, O, I cannot bear the thought.Those sudden gusts that Mr. McI -- mentioned distressed me much. I had heard also that the ropes were in danger of breaking, and leaving-- 45 --the batteaux to be dashed to pieces amongst the rocks; every possible misfortune that might befall you occurred to my mind, though I uttered not a word. On Wednesday evening, (this day week,) your letter was put into my hand; O, how I grasped it, and with what eagerness I read it; but I will not tell you what fault I found with it.That night was the first I slept; ever since I have been in much better spirits, and your letter is my cordial after breakfast and after supper to this day; and now I am impatient for another, as the boats which took you up are hourly expected. I begin to hope that the time may be at no great distance when we shall meet again. O, my dear Doctor, I know how I shall enjoy it, I also know that I buy it very dear.I cannot be at the pains to write trifling news, my heart is too full, and, since I must not allow it to say more, I will conclude with the repetition, that I am, my dearest Doctor,Wholly yours,I. Graham