W3464 TO REV THOMAS BAKER from Mrs. Sarah Pike
Oct 9 1880
To: Rev. Thomas Baker 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Gopsall Street, Hoxton, London, England
My beloved Brother,
You will be surprised to see Hoxton, on the top of my sheet, I think you will say I must be fond of moving but such is not the case, I had been 14 months in Oxford Road, and would have remained there, but it was so very dull especially in the winter as it was not much of a thoroughfare but Mrs. Wilson who has attended to me for the last 5 years told me if I staid [sic] there she could not attend to me, it was too far for her to come in wet weather. I have known her as a next-door neighbor for more than 20 years, she is very attentive to me and I should not know what to do without her for I am incapable of attending to myself I am so feeble on my feet. Some days I am quite helplefs [sic] so that it is quite necefsary [sic] that I should have a faithful trustworthy person with me she studies my comfort very much, and takes me out when I am able to go and it seems a pleasure to her to do it, last Monday she took me to Chelsea Hospital to see the old Soldiers she has relations living near there and they invited us to come early and spend the day. The Chelsea Omnibus goes from the end of our street and pasts [sic] down near the Hospital. I was able to go, I found it a very long ride rather more than an hour charge only sixpence I was much gratified but so tired with riding that I could not see all that was to be seen there so I sat down and talked with an old artillery man who was decorated with 3 Medals he paid me great attention and afsisted [sic] me up the stairs. When I was leaving him I offered him sixpence for the trouble I had been to him, he looked at one and said "God love you, I don't want it for I live the life of a gentleman here and went for nothing. If I were a young man I would enlist immediately I am not tired of it, tho [sic] I have been all through the War in India, and was at the taking of [Sebastipol?]" he has lost 3 of his fingers, he took me to see his garden, each man has a little strip which they manage to cultivate and grow Daliahs [sic] and other flowers. They sell their flowers and also little bags of mould for flower pots, he seemed very proud to show me the [?] colours with which the Chapel and another room is decorated, some of them he said are Two Hundred years old each Pew is furnished with a white earthenware Spittoon. they have books of various kinds, some were playing Dominoes and they have various amusements, and they meet twice a week to practise singing for church service he says the Prince of Wales often attends their Chapel.
There were 2 famous great tabby cats walking leisurely about, fearing nothing nor nobody. Those who are unable to walk out can have an Invalid Carriage and be wheeled around the grounds and gardens which are very [?] during the late Thunder Storm the Flag Staff which stood in the middle of the grounds was struck by the lightening and shriveled to pieces, we got home soon after 8 o'clock. I was much gratified but dreadfully tired. I suppose it is my last outing for this year for the weather is getting foggy and days much shorter. However, I am thankful for that little change.
I heard of you my dear Brother since I received your last letter dear kind Mrs. Gorham came to see me and brought a letter she had received from your dear afflicted wife, I was thankful the learn that you were recovered from you winter affliction, but deeply grieved to know how heavily your dear wife is afflicted, her complaint greatly resembles mine, only hers is heavier then mine, and seems to proceed from the loins upwards, mine is from the loins downwards, in fine clear weather I am much better than I am on dull damp days on such days I can only walk about my room by assisting myself by the furniture. My general health has improved, my appetite is good, especially for pudding which I am as fond of as ever.
We have had a very fine summer and I have gone out as much as I could but I cannot go but such a short distance alone, my attendant is very good, but she cannot spare much time for walking me out. Dr. says I must go out, that I ought to live out in the air, I find myself better after going out. This summer I have improved in appearance, gained more flesh, so that I am not so [?] as I was, but although this is the case my feeblenefs [sic] has increased, I have as great a desire to work, and bustle about as ever, but when I attempt I am powerlefs [sic], so that if I do not sit down, I fall down. The Dr. says he cannot do anything for me, It is weaknefs [sic] of constitution and the Infirmity of age. What a mercy I am not in pain excepting the uncomfortablenefs of weaknefs [sic] and exhaustion.
I should like to know if dear Mrs. Baker is in much pain. I seem to have lost the use of my toes and the soles of my feet, can you tell me of any thing that would do me good. I derive some benefit from an Iron and quinine tonic which I take 3 time a day but after taking it a for a few days I am obliged to have opening [?] and that undoes all that has been done by its use. May the Lord give me a thankful heart for all the [?] and great things I enjoy, and patience and resignation to His Divine will, in all things.
I think I told you that dear Maude informed me that she was married she sent me a kind invitation to visit her, but I am too feeble to go alone. I have asked twice what businefs her husband is but she has not answered the question perhaps you will tell me. She is a dear nice girl and I think she would make an excellent wife. I hope she has met with someone worthy of her. I trust the rest of her sisters and brothers are going on well. She seems much pleased, that her young brother is apprenticed to a Saddler. How the good Lord has provided for that fatherlefs family. Blefsed [sic] be his [heart?].
I am glad to learn that you daughter her Husband and children are well. I hear that she expects another addition to it soon. She bids [prior?] to have a very large family. May the Lord give her strength, wisdom, and grace to bring them up properly and she and her partner be spared to see them brought up.
Mrs. Gorham requests me to give her kind regards to you all. I got Mifs [sic]Pike to write and inform her of my remark enclosing my addrefs [sic]. I hope to see her next week to drink tea with me. The weather is very wet and winterlike more so than usual at this season of the year we have has during the past week extremely heavy rains with thunder and lightening. I wish to send you next week a Book. It is Cassels London, it has interested me very much it contains a great deal of useful information, and beguiled some dull hours for me I hope it will interest dear Mrs. Baker I know full well what it is not to be able to work or read, but I am thankful to tell you my eyes are a little better, the Dr. at the [?] Hospital said that if my health improved my sight would improve also. I find it true. I told you I gained four pounds by the sale of my stock in the Bank of England, now I will tell you what I did with that 4 pounds, I much needed a new carpet old so I purchased a new Felt carpet and an old fashioned [cape?] backed [Hearthrug?]. These 2 articles cost me one pound ten and six pence, a table cover and a pair of spectacles so I am quite comfortable now and hope to be able to see to read and write during the long evenings, but the Dr. says I must not try my eyes too much I think I should like to tell you how I tried it out. I know you are interested in all that concerns money I expect next week to get my interest from The Building Society. I am going to purchase some Coals with some of it. They are very cheap now only 20 shillings for ten. I have a nice coal fire now, which is a privilege I have not had in lodgings before. I think I shall be very comfortable here. I think now I have told you all about myself which I know you wish me to do I will now conclude hoping dear Mrs. Baker is finding benefit from the use of the medicines you mentioned, Write me soon I want to [hear?] from you, With kindest love to you all. May the best of Heavens blefsings [sic] rest on you and your great family, nifs the [?] to me [??]
Your affectionate Sister,
1 Sarah Pike uses the archaic "fs" in place of "ss" in her writing.