Saturday, February 2, 2008

Documents in the Case

Letter No. 1

Thomas Lovell Beddoes to Revell Phillips his solicitor and friend

[January 26 1849]


I am food for what I am good for--worms. I have made a will here which I desire to be respected, and add the donation of £20 to Dr Ecklin my physician.

W. Beddoes must have a case (50 bottles) of Champagne Moet 1847 growth to drink my death in.
Thanks for all kindness. Borrow the £200. You are a good & noble man & your children must look sharp to be like you.

if my own,

Love to Anna, Henry, the Beddoes of Longvill and Zoe and Emmeline King--also to Kelsall whom I beg to look at my MSS. and print or not as he thinks fit. I ought to have been among other things a good poet. Life was too great a bore on one peg and that a bad one. Buy for Dr Ecklin above mentioned [one of] Reade's best stomach-pumps.

-from Letters of Thomas Lovell Beddoes edited by Edmund Gosse (London: Elkin, Matthews & John Lane, 1894)


Letter No. 2

Revell Phillips to William Minton Beddoes of Cheney Longville

February 14, 1849.

My Dear Sir,
I had a letter dated Basle from Captain Beddoes [the poet's brother] this morning. It informs me that he had been some hours with Dr. Frey, that the Dr. gave but a melancholy account of poor Tom's last days, that he had been in no danger until apoplexy seized him, but had been ill some days previously, that he passed his time in reading, seeing no one but his medical friends, with the exception of the clergyman who visited him regularly once a week--sometimes oftener--that he had walked but twice since the amputation--once in his room and afterwards in the corridor. He disliked being seen, but looked forward to coming amongst us again in England, there to remain.
Believe me,
My dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
Revell Phillips


Letter No. 3
Dr. A. Frey at Basel to Minton Beddoes

My Dear Williams,

It is a sad occasion that brings me to enter into correspondence with you. Our good Thomas is no more he died here in my presence the 26 of January in his particular room in our hospital at Basel where he was retained from the month of Juilet till now by his unlucky illness.

I think you have been made acquainted with the circumstances that forced him to stay here. A wound on his left leg producing gangrene of the foot made necessary the amputation of the leg under the knee. At that time I was force to be for four weeks in Paris with a patient for consultation.

At my return I found Thomas quite well appetite very good his leg going rapid to guerison. Since that time a fever lenta began to undermine his forces he lost his appetite. In the stump increasing dolours producing at last a few particles of necrotic bone. Notwithstanding I hope to see him go to England I had promised to accompany him to Frankfort or farther if possible and thought the depart would be possible in the Mars.
The 25 he sent me back some books I had lent him, by his attendant, who took back others, when an hour after that man went to tell me of alarming symptoms of his master. I found delirium beginning, he wrote a letter to Mr. Phillips and spoke of his end. I and his surgeon and physician whom he had selected himself made all possible. An attack of apoplexy made an end he died without dolours. I have written to Mr. Phillips yesterday, as his correspondent in french, not venturing to submit him an English that no more be amended by poor Thomas.
For you I hope you are kind enough to receive it as it is written in a little hurry. His funeral will be tomorrow morning. I have made my possible to make it also as would be wished by his family. I hope to see you and him togataer one day in England we used to speak about the meeting. The Lord has decided otherwise I think for the best.

I should like an answer from you, much more to see you in Switzerland or in England. If not possible to be affected in short time, perhaps the time will come one day.
Yours truly affectioned,
Dr. A. Frey at Basle

-from Thomas Lovell Beddoes: Eccentric & Poet by Royall H. Snow (New York: Covici, Friede, 1928) p. 95., and p. 96.

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