Envelope addressed to: John P. Ingledew, Esq.
Stamp: Penny red
Postmark: DE 22 1868 KNARESBOROUGH (?)
My dear John
You will have heard from Mr. Outhwaite of my state and of Dr. Charlton's opinion that it is only with the greatest possible care that I can get over the winter. Our own doctor had very kindly and seriously told me this a fortnight before so the shock was not so great, one could not help having hoped however that there might have been a difference of opinion. I am writing to you in my bedroom, it is a wet and disagreeable day and we think I am safer upstairs from damp & draughts.
Miss Todd (a niece of Mr. O's ) arrived yesterday and stopped, then about one who should turn up but Lizzie who had come in all the rain from Newcastle to see me. We were very glad to see her tho' very much astonished. Father had got frightened, I had written to him myself when I found that the state of my chest was becoming so serious and had promised to write again after Dr. Charlton's visit. I was too ill however the day after and Mr. Outhwaite wrote, and there had been some delay about the letter. Do you know that since I left Newcastle on the 12th. October not a soul but Ann I'Anson (of my kith and kin ) has written to ask even if I were getting better, and now startled by the news of my danger and of Dr. Charlton's bad opinion, they are trying at the eleventh hour to make up for a neglect which I have felt bitterly. You must come and see me when you can get away with convenience and comfort. If I am not to get better it would be better for you to come when I am comparatively pretty well and have every faculty about me - you will know more than most people of the chest and lungs and will understand that in my case there will be little wasting away, the danger will be from suffocation, from the right lung being like the left, ceasing to act.
You will wonder to hear that I have good and even spirits which is a great blessing as Mr. Outhwaite gives way at times very much, and it is terrible to see a man like him sobbing like a baby. I do try hard to comfort him and cannot help the feeling that with care and a mild winter I shall get through. Somehow I cannot realize that I am in danger at times. I just now for instance r__ for a slight catch in my breathing I feel as well as ever I was. I took advantage of one of my good days to look over and ____ some papers and old letters. I came upon a packet of yr's beginning in 1847 and have kept them up to '54 for you to see. They are very amusing and recall many old scenes, in the first ones mother is mentioned.
Thanh Susan for her letter which I received this morning. The journey to Cardiff would be an impossibility, besides I would not now leave my husband. A hundred thanks for the kindness which prompted the invitation. I shall be pleased to have Percy's letter and I hope he may yet come to visit Auntie Margaret in Yorks. I fancy another month, the end of January perhaps will determine how it is going to be with me, I shall either be much better or much worse. I am sorry I cannot ask Susan to accompany you. I cannot superintend the house much now, and with new servants things are not as comfortable as I could wish.
With love, I am
Yr. Affectionate sister
M. D. Outhwaite