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3371.  Mary Russell Mitford to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 20, 159.

Swallowfield,

March 29, 1854.

Weaker and weaker, dearest friend, and worse and worse; and writing brings on such agony that you would not ask for it if you knew the consequences. It seems that in that overturn the spine was seriously injured. There was hope that it might have got better; but last summer destroyed all chance. This accounts for the loss of power in the limbs, and the anguish in the nerves of the back, and more especially in those over the chest and under the arms. Visitors bring on such exhaustion, and such increase of pain, that Mr. May forbids all but Lady Russell. [1] Perhaps by the time you arrive in England I may be a little better. If so, it would be a great happiness to see you, if only for half an hour.

May God bless you, my beloved friend, and all whom you love!

M. R. Mitford.

Text: L’Estrange (2), III, 280.

1. Marie Clotilde Russell (1793–1872), second wife of Sir Henry Russell (1783–1852), of Swallowfield. She was a daughter of Benoit Mottet de la Fontaine, Baron Fieffé de St. Corneille, and his wife Marie Marguerite Villon de Fécamp.

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