In a note to Sumner
, July 1, the doctor said:—
I write a line to give you a kind of moral compensation to your excessive physical suffering.
I am perfectly sure that the greater is the pain you have suffered, and the pain you have yet to suffer, the greater also is your chance of being cured.
Bear this idea in your mind, and the wakefulness of your nights will be less dreadful.
wrote to Longfellow
, June 27:—
Little did I think when I last wrote you that fire would be my destiny.
It has been applied six times to my neck and spine; to-morrow again.
The torment is great; and then the succession of blisters, inflammations, and smarts. . . . I struggle for health, and do everything simply to that end. The doctor is clear that without this cruel treatment I should have been a permanent invalid, always subject to a sudden and serious relapse.
Surely this life is held sometimes on hard conditions!
submitted the case in London
to Sir Benjamin Brodie
, Sir James Clark
, Sir Henry Holland
, and the venerable Dr. Lawrence
, whom he reported as approving, with some qualifications, the treatment.
In the midst of this treatment, Sumner
experienced, July 20, with some intimations a few days earlier, a severe pain and pressure in his chest,—the first attack of the angina pectoris, a
malady which sixteen years later was to prove fatal to him. This new turn of the disease, which was singular and perplexing, was attributed to sympathy between the nerves in the region of the chest and those of the spine.
Whether it was due to the treatment seems not to have been a subject of medical discussion.
The attack came at night, while the wounds from the moxa were healing; and the suffering was even greater than from the moxa.
was obliged to leave his bed and sit in a chair during that night and the next day. These attacks continued, occurring four times on some days, as on August 3, and were so severe as ‘to make the fire seem pleasant.’
The correspondent of the New York Tribune, who was in frequent communication with Dr. Brown
, wrote, July 26:—
His physical sufferings have been constant, and rather increasing than diminishing, since I last wrote.
The moxa has not been administered anew, but none of the wounds on the neck and back left by the six first burnings are