In Chapter 15 of Nicholas Nickleby, Fanny Squeers writes on behalf of her father to Ralph Nickleby:
She starts her letter:
My pa requests me to write to you, the doctors considering it doubtful whether he will ever recuvver the use of his legs which prevents his holding a pen.
I used to find that funny, but now that an attack of sciatica is preventing me from focussing on writing anything – blog posts or otherwise – I can now understand all too well why injury to one’s legs can prevent one from holding a pen.
On a brighter note, I am in Tokyo now (on a work trip), and have in prospect a weekend to myself to go as far as I can hobble. A trip to the Tokyo National Museum will be a day well spent, I think. I may even be inspired to hold a pen again – or, at least, type into my laptop.
In the meantime, here’s the rest of Fanny Squeers’ letter:
‘We are in a state of mind beyond everything, and my pa is one mask of brooses both blue and green likewise two forms are steepled in his Goar. We were kimpelled to have him carried down into the kitchen where he now lays. You will judge from this that he has been brought very low.
‘When your nevew that you recommended for a teacher had done this to my pa and jumped upon his body with his feet and also langwedge which I will not pollewt my pen with describing, he assaulted my ma with dreadful violence, dashed her to the earth, and drove her back comb several inches into her head. A very little more and it must have entered her skull. We have a medical certifiket that if it had, the tortershell would have affected the brain.
‘Me and my brother were then the victims of his feury since which we have suffered very much which leads us to the arrowing belief that we have received some injury in our insides, especially as no marks of violence are visible externally. I am screaming out loud all the time I write and so is my brother which takes off my attention rather and I hope will excuse mistakes.
‘The monster having sasiated his thirst for blood ran away, taking with him a boy of desperate character that he had excited to rebellyon, and a garnet ring belonging to my ma, and not having been apprehended by the constables is supposed to have been took up by some stage-coach. My pa begs that if he comes to you the ring may be returned, and that you will let the thief and assassin go, as if we prosecuted him he would only be transported, and if he is let go he is sure to be hung before long which will save us trouble and be much more satisfactory. Hoping to hear from you when convenient
‘I remain ‘Yours and cetrer ‘FANNY SQUEERS.
‘P.S. I pity his ignorance and despise him.’