himself with open letters, urging support of the Republican
candidates, which were read at public meetings or printed in the newspapers.1
To Dr. Howe
he wrote, September 11:—
I left the mountains against the counsels of physicians, but because I wished to get nearer to my duties.
On reaching here I have consulted my physician, Dr. Wister, who is much pleased with my condition.
He says that I am better than he expected; but he sets his face against my thinking of anything except amusement till cold weather; especially is he earnest that I should for some weeks keep away from Massachusetts and all chance of excitement.
Sometimes I think him wrong in his advice, and at other times I fear that he is right.
Last night I slept well, and this morning feel better every way than I have felt for three months. This is my best day. But yesterday was a disheartening day; I seemed to be going back.
Two nights of this week I have passed without closing my eyes for five minutes,—literally hearing the clock strike every hour till daylight, while my legs and arms seemed all jangled; but otherwise I am now well.
I have been much in the open air, and have a look of health.
This exile from the field is hard.
I long for the contest, and wish to do my part.
Do not let them embarrass my position by the governorship.
I am always willing to do and suffer for the cause; but I believe that it is better for the cause that my name should not be complicated with the local questions and partisan feelings now linked with that post.
I do not wish to be governor; but I do long to do what I can for the freedom of my country.
I am sorry to hear of your ill health, but hope you are now on your legs.
To Mrs. Child
, September 19:—
I have latterly read again your most beautiful and generous letter which came to comfort me when I was very weak, more than balm or balsam.
But I have not deserved the praise you give; I know that I have not. To have it from you, one of my teachers, is a great reward.
It is now nearly four months since I was disabled and shut out from all active exertion.
It is still uncertain when this doom will close.
At times I am happy in the thought that I am about to be restored to strength, and then some slight excess of exertion seems to undo everything.
This is hard; but it is harder still to be excluded from labor at a time when I am needed.
I long to stand forward in the consciousness of renewed strength, and unroll the abominations of our tyranny.
Surely I would do it at once if there were nothing before me worse than death; but I do shrink from the possibility of life with shattered nerves, or perhaps with a brain that has lost its powers.
Meanwhile the good omens multiply.
Our cause is about to triumph; I am sure of it. Then will all turn with gratitude to those who, like yourself, aided its birth, watched its cradle, protected its weakness, and sent it forth to conquer.
Believe me with much regard.