As Easter approaches, I wondered what was up with the Smiths and Goslings – and came across this stressing time in Drummond Smith’s life in 1825. The following comes from a letter Drummond wrote his eldest sister, Augusta on April 10th:
“My dearest Goosey, so obliged am I for your nice big letter, that I am in doubt how to thank you for it enough. … I am able to trot about on my crutches without any help, and I make the people who offend me feel the weight of them sometimes. I often wish you could see me stand alone you would be as proud as a mother when she sees her child walk at first.”
But what happened to Drummond?? In 1825, he would have been turning 13 years old in just three days. A school boy, he had to be carried down the stairs from his school-house room, for a month earlier Mamma Smith had written Emma: “Augusta and Coulthard have been describing to me the misery & the wants of Drummond’s room at Harrow, & all other things there, & I shudder to think if he must have staid there. It was a difficult thing to bring him down the steep narrow winding Staircase from that nasty room [!!]; Mr. Cutler carried him upon his arms. We can laugh at it all now.” Mamma ends this letter with a comment about the doctor (Mr Brodie) attending, but not staying long.
The curiosity is that in 1823 Emma comments in a letter from Salzburg: “Spencer I suppose will be considerably aged, grown tall, with a hoarse voice, & perhaps a beard – dear Drummond I should not wish altered in any particulars except those of buttoning up his trowsers and walking with his knees straight”.
What happened, and how or why, to Drummond that he walked with bent knees in 1823, and had a broken leg attended to in 1825??