Letter VII


Cctbbcr 17,1781. Mr Dear Chilp,

I SEND you the first letter ; in future you

' must not expect me to write but in answer to yours.

We wish to hear soon that you are well, and that you like your situation. I do not wish you to like any place so well as home : upon one account you ought not ; for it is impossible any persons should ever love you so well as your mamma and I do ; and therefore you are bound to love us dearly, and that will make you love home ; and the more you love home, the more diligent you will be in the improvement of your time at school. For your return to xis must in a great measure depend upon yourself; it is no pleasure to us to send you abroad. I thought for a day or two the house looked awkward without you, and I miss you a little every day still; but we are forced to part with you for your own good. I cannot bear the thoughts of your growing up like a 'tall weed ; 1 want you to appear like a pretty flower; and it is observable that the best of flowers in a garden would in time degenerate into tawdry weeds if they were not cultivated : such is the importance of education to children. The Lord has been good to you ; he has given you good understanding and natural abilities—and much that is engaging in your disposition. It would be a great pity that, with all these advantages, you should prove only a weed. To prevent it, I was obliged to transplant you from

London to H. , where I hope you will thrive

and flourish, increasing in wisdom and favour as you increase in stature.

1 have written you many letters in a religious strain, which I hope you have preserved, and will now and then read them over, the more willingly perhaps because your papa wrote them. I would not overdo you upon this subject; though the truth is, this is my chief desire for you, that you may know the Lord and love him ; if not, though you were accomplished and admired beyond any of your age, and though you could live in all the splendour of a queen, I should weep over you ; I should lament your birth, and the day when you first came under my care. But I know that I cannot make you truly religious, nor can you make yourself so. It is the Lord's work, and I am daily praying him to bless you indeed. But he has a time ; till then, I hope you- will wait upon him according to your light, in the use of his appointed means, that you will make conscience of praying to him, and reading his word, and hearing when you have opportunity. I hope he will enable you to behave obediently and affectionately to your governess, and in an obliging manner to all around you, so as to gain their love and esteem. I hope you will likewise carefully abstain from whatever you know to be wrong. Thus far I may hope you can go at present ; but I do not wish you to affect more of^ religion in your appearance, than you are really conscious of. There is some danger of this in a family where a religious profession is befriended. Young people are apt to imitate those about them, and sometimes (which is abominable) to put on a show of religion in order to please, though their hearts have no concern in it. I have a good hope that the Lord will teach you, and guide you, and that the many prayers and praises I have offered on your behalf will not be lost.

When I began my letter, I did not mean to write half so gravely, I rather thought to find something to divert you j but you are very near my heart, and this makes me serious. I long to come and see you ; but it cannot be yet, nor can 1 say when : but I shall bounce in upon you some day when perhaps you are not thinking of me.

I am, my dear,

Your very affectionate..