, Mr. Coffee
, afterwards of the attorney-general
's department at Washington
, and Mrs. Swisshelm
wrote to Giddings
, August 15:—
Your speech helped my convalescence.
I read it with delight.
At last, in this mountain air, I am tending to health.
I have ridden on horseback three times; but it is still uncertain how long I shall be constrained to forego mental labor and the excitement of public speaking; but I trust to do good service in the coming campaign.
Most reluctantly have I renounced the opportunity of speaking from my seat, where I have longed to be heard, in exposure of the brutality of the slave oligarchy.
For three weeks of this session I would have given three years of any future public life.
I shall set my face homewards very soon.
To Dr. Howe
, August 28:—
My strength is not re-established; but I ride on horseback, converse, read, write letters, and hope soon to be in working condition, though I fear that a perfect prudence would keep me from all public effort for some months to come.
I feel as if composed of gristle instead of bone, and am very soon wearied by walking, which induces a pressure on the brain; so also has any attempt with the mind.
But I believe these things are passing away.
I strive by alternations of rest and exercise to solidify my system.
More than three months have thus been blotted from all public activity, at a moment when more than ever in my life I was able to wield influence and do good.
This has been hard to bear.
They write to me of a public reception on my return home.
I am sorry; I am against it. Gladly would I slip into Massachusetts, run about for a few days, and then, if able, commence our campaign.
The war of liberation is begun.
Early in September he left Cresson
, and passing en route a
day at Altoona
with Mr. Enoch Lewis
, he returned to Philadelphia
, where he became again the guest of James T. Furness
and the patient of Dr. Wister
He was at this time improving physically, and his capacity for exercise returning; but there remained a pressure on the brain, with weakness in the spinal column.
Any immoderate effort of mind or body, not felt in a condition of health, brought on abnormal consciousness in these parts, and also morbid wakefulness.
The vision of health and vigor appeared from time to time only to recede.
He was restive under his forced disability, longing to enter on the political campaign of 1856, one of the most exciting in all our history.
Friends interposed with grave warnings to prevent premature activity which might prove fatal.2
He was obliged to content