I hope that you are in tolerable good health this day of honouring fathers. I know how particular you are about wholesome eating habits. I have yet to have a decent bowl of gruel prepared for me of any satisfactory quality. I suppose your cook is the only one in the entire country to be in possession of the apparent skills to prepare such a dish. I cannot understand why anyone would think it so common a dish as to be unnecessary as part of regular nourishment.
Having such a careful father as you has been of great benefit. You taught me well the value of a good physician and the importance of wholesome foods. For the sake of my health as well as that of my children I have sought to apply all that you advised in my youth. You must understand, however, that John is of a more solid constitution than us. He assures me constantly that Mr. Wingfield’s exams need not include him. I find it best to trust in my husband’s judgement on such things as he is so rarely ever under the weather.
Mr. Wingfield has been around to check on all the children since our last visit with you. I am happy to report that they are all very well. I know you worry about the London air, but Mr. Wingfield assures me that though some have sensitive constitutions the children are showing no difficulty with it. John wishes me to request that you please assure Mr. Perry that all is well on that account.
Once again, I would extend to you, dear father, our most sincere desire for you to visit us. I know that travel may seem a risky business, but I assure you that it can be quite manageable with little risk to one’s health so long as you are adequately prepared. As you know John and I manage quite well even with our five children and their nurses. I find that having Mr. Wingfield examine us before a journey, as well upon our return a comfort. Mr. Perry would no doubt be obliged to provide you with the same service.
I must go now to attend my little Emma. She is showing all the liveliness and pleasantness of her namesake, my dear sister. I shall be writing her soon. She has always been of sound mind and good judgement, but perhaps now that she is married I might have some words of value to offer.
Isabella Woodhouse Knightley