Decr 31st 46
My dear Talbot
I have been as you truly surmise studying very different sorts of roots to those you were kind enough to send me & by no means so amusing
"Colchicum from Colchis I presume autumnale foliis planis, lanceolates erectis
Sarsaparilla smilax caule aculeato angulato foliis inermibus ovatis retuso=mucronatis trinerveis"
such are the roots I have been studying for the last three weeks, but the study has not prospered me much as yet, for here I am still confined to my bed room with this rheumatic attack the severest I ever experienced in my life, being chiefly an affection of the sciatic nerve I am decidedly better however within these two or three days, but it is such a treacherous complaint that I never feel secure, apparently gone one day & back again the next. Why was such a thing as a sciatic nerve ever invented? I am glad to hear you are all enjoying your Xtmas at Mt Edgcumbe I only wish I were one of the party instead of moping by myself in a stuffy bed room with no other amusement but my own reflection as dark & as gloomy as the weather You of course are all sunshine, with a brilliant sky & dark blue sea like Italy, & without a Norfolk frost of 16 degrees cold with which we have been favourd in these parts & I dont know how many inches of snow the cause more or less I imagine of this attack sticking to me so long I am sorry to hear that Ld Mt E. has been suffering too, as a fellow sufferer I have a fellow feeling for him pray remember me kindly to him & to all the party & believe me with the usual complts & good wishes of the season to yourself & friends
Ev Yrs most truly
I had a letter from Ly Mt E. some little time ago, for which pray thank her & tell her that I shall not be long before I write to her but I have put it off
[illegible x 2] till I could do it more comfortably & in better spirits
H. Fox Talbot Esq.
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