F&M 6/V/2/ 1860 05 08 WR to ER Honolulu
Honolulu May 8th 1860
My dear sister Elinoribus
We were glad to see by your handwriting on the envelope that you were at least well enough to write by the mail of March 20th and were more than glad to find from your letter itself that you were really quite recovered and in the opinion of Dr. Griscom as sound as ever. I hope you will be very careful of yourself, and always suit your dress to the changes of weather such as are common to your awful climate. One siege of pneumonia, should be sufficient for your life time and you must not encourage another. Warm feet – warm chest – warm arms – warm clothing all over, will be the best preventive.
I am and always have been a great admirer of your sex; and in my more youthful days made perhaps the common mistake of classing of it among the Divinties and Angelies in other grounds made those upon which I should at this day place it among the Celestial hosts; for I must confess, that I have long since been aware that dear womankind is but of clay and when I now liken any fair creature to being of a more seraphic nature I find that the cause suggestive of such comparison, is to be found, not among the more & intellectual qualities, but in the lightness, airiness and scantiness of the drapery. I think of painted angels in very thin robes, floating in the midst of damp clouds, as they are commonly represented, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that our beloved feminines would remember that they are mortal; that cold air, is an enemy that must be kept off, and array themselves accordingly.
But I cannot keep my own female spouse duly impressed with the wisdom of such precautions as are necessary even here, and I may say I despair of the sex generally ever becoming rational on this point. They will always be up in the moist clouds with nothing on.
Nothing on! Nothing in head, neck, breast, arm or feet, should be the theme for song, instead of ³nothing to wear².
I wish I were King of the Earth and could make the feminine gender of the human race dress just as I should order them.
Now my dear Elly, I do not know if your illness was brought on by your being to slightly clad for the season and therefore you need not consider all this stuff as leveled at you, but having mounted my hobby I had to ride here a little, at your expense.
And writing of riding leads me to mention that I consumed all last week in the interesting occupation of purchasing a very neat and comfortable buggy & harness and in fitting up the same to suit myself and the horse, and where did a week go bye faster.
The buggy came out in the old Washington Allstar the same vessel that had a Box for us, which we got from her at Valparaiso, that time she had to put in to the Falkland Island leaky and was eleven months out to the port – much of her cargo damaged – buggies included which reduced their price fortunately for me: mine has only a little stain upon the lining which does no harm.
The horse I bough on Kauai, where Becky used him; he has been running in pasture at a friends (with Harryı & Miguelı) who donıt charge me therefore, and who has had Jim (not named after J.L.R. -- but his name on the Sihue plantation on which he was born) broke to harness for me, without charge – and who will now have Miguel broke in: So that if we donıt get our necks broke, we shall do very well in the horse & buggy line.
Should my leg ever heal, which is very doubtful I think even in that event, I would not again venture on horseback, to subject the sinew & muscle to the sudden & violent strains which attend Equestrianship – Any how, for the present, I see no prospect of being able either to ride or walk, for any indefinite period and therefore have provided myself with the means to drive about for air, exercise & pastime & have also a small hand car, to go down town in, by man power, at other times.
At present my leg is only useless – donıt give me any pain: it will have to be cut again, perhaps in a few weeks, perhaps later; at which time I propose to take chloroform as I want the Doctor to make a bigger slice then usual and donıt care particularly about being wide awake to the process.
The mail offers unexpectedly by a transient vessel Your letter came on the 3rd and the regular packet wonıt leave for 2 weeks yet. Becky is writing her Aunt Krug & Shoenberger, and has not time to do more – By Mrs. Chamberlain, she recıd a few gifts from them – with some of Margieıs things for Edwin.
We hope you will enjoy Jennies visit and that Will & Reynolds will be good friends – those two names seem to come together readily. With much love to you all from ³Will Beckie² according to the phrase of Master Reynolds.
Miss E. Reynolds
1829 Spruce St.