Scope and Content

From Charlotte Street, London, to Madeley, Shropshire. He wrote to Mary some time ago to inform her of the state of their brother [Samuel's] health. It now seems only right to let her know the exact situation. Samuel has for a long time been troubled by an irregular pulse and shortness of breath which has turned into a 'dropsey, & his body & legs have for some time been very full, after trying various medicines & having the best advice; he has been compelled to be tapped & fourteen quarts of water were taken from the body, which gave him much relief, but the legs & thighs remain very full & the legs much inflamed; he is now taking the medicine recommended by Mrs J. Shiffner, which cured her, some years ago - but I fear the dropsey is not the only complaint, he has such an inward heat, which comes on at night & is so extremely desirous of drink, that it is difficult to know what to do, his throat has been sore but is better again, but now his mouth & tongue are affected, which appear to proceed from the [unreadable word] of the stomach - & his voice is gone, so as only to speak in a whisper'. He is still however able to get up in the morning and walk up and down the rooms and descend the stairs with assistance. Samuel sits in the drawing room all day. He has been in London for some time and is unable to return the country because of the need to be close to the best medical advice.

Their sister-in-law [Eleanor] is bearing up surprisingly well.