May 20th 1853
I have been most dreadfully ill. After your card arrived with the joyous news of your safe delivery I had intended to visit you and your baby at the earliest possible moment, but that very afternoon I was struck with a terrible fever and have only just left my bed to come and write to you. Please forgive me, I know you will!
How is your beautiful baby girl, Angelina? Is she just like you, I am sure she is and cannot wait a moment longer to see her. I will ensure that I am fully recovered, though, before I come to gaze at her.
Josiah has been very attentive during my illness. He is a sweet lamb and I am very lucky. He came to my room on the first morning and told me he would oversee the running of the house until I was able to resume my position, the darling. I did not see Villiers or the maid once throughout my recovery, because Josiah undertook to give them all their instructions. I told Josiah that I did not wish him to contract the same fever so he did as I requested and left me alone. I have had several days of peace in which to get myself well again – there are many wives who would not have been given such luxury, I know.
I have knitted some mittens for your baby, Boo, just as I did for her brother, who must seem like a proper man to you now. Please tell me when I can come to visit – I cannot bear to think of her snuggling and cooing without her Aunt Effie to kiss her. I read your card but was unsure whether the arrangements included your closest friend,