To Mrs. Smith, Genevrier, Jan. 29, 1860.
I believe George has written you about our private hospital. He had not been gone to Paris forty-eight hours when G. was taken sick; that was a month ago, and I have only tasted the air twice in all that time. G. had the disease lightly. M., poor little darling, was much sicker than he was. It is a fortnight since she was taken and she hardly sits up at all; an older child would be in bed, but little ones never will give up if they can help it; I suppose it is because they can be held in the arms and rocked, and carried about. I have passed through some most anxious hours on account of M., and it seems little less than a miracle that she is still alive. The baby is well, and he is a nice little rosy fellow. It was a dreadful disappointment to us to be detained here instead of going to Paris. I felt that I couldn’t live longer in such entire solitude; and just then, lo and behold, George was whisked off and I was shut up closer than ever. It is a great comfort to me that he got off just when he did, and has had grace to stay away; on the other hand, I need not say how his absence has aggravated my cares, how solitary the season of anxiety has been, and how, at times, my faith and courage have been put to their utmost stretch. The whole thing has been so evidently ordered and planned by God that I have not dared to complain; but, my dear child, if you had come in now and then with a little of your strengthening talk, I can’t deny I should have been most thankful. It has been pretty trying for George to hear such doleful accounts from home, but I hope the worst is over, and that we shall be the wiser and the better for this new lesson of life. Dr. Curchod’s rule is the same as Dr. Buck’s—forty days confinement to one room; so we have a month more to spend here. I am afraid I am writing a gloomy letter. If I am, you must try to excuse me and say, “Poor child, she isn’t well, and she hasn’t had any good sleep lately, and she’s tired, and I don’t believe she means to grumble.” Do so much for me, and I’ll do as much for you sometime. I hear your husband has taken up a Bible-class. It is perfectly shocking. Does he want to kill himself, or what ails him? The pleasantest remembrance we shall have of this place is his visit.... Our doctor and his family stand out as bright lights in this picture; he has been like a brother in sympathy and kindness. We shall never forget it. God has been so good to you and to me in sparing our children when assailed by so fearful a disease, that we ought to love Him better than we ever did. I do so want my weary solitude to bear that fruit.
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Paris. Sight-seeing. A sick Friend. London and its Environs. The Queen and Prince Albert. The Isle of Wight. Homeward.
On the 20th of February the family gladly bade adieu to Switzerland and set out for Paris, arriving there on the morning of the 22d. Mrs. Prentiss was overjoyed to find herself once more in the world. On the 23d she wrote to Mrs. Smith: