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The Answer. Honoured Mother, I am so much affected by the perusal of your really parental advice, that I can scarcely hold the pen to write an answer ; but duty to the best of parents obliges me to make you easy in your mind, before I take any rest to myself. That levity so conspicuous in my former letters, is too true to be denied, nor do I desire to draw a veil over my own folly. No, madam, I freely confess it; but with the greatest sincerity, I must at the same time declare, that they were written in a careless manner, without considering the character of the person to whom they were addressed. I am fully sensible of my error, and on all future occasions, shall endeavour to avoid giving the least offence. The advice you sent me in your valuable letter, wants no encomiums; all that I desire, is to have them engraven on my heart. My dear madam, I love religion, I love virtue, and I hope no consideration will ever lead me from my duties, in which alone I expect future happiness. Let me beg to hear from you, and I hope that my future conduct will convince the best of parents, that I am what she wishes me to be. I am, honoured madam, your dutiful daughter.
LETTER XV. From a Gentleman, an Officer in the army, to his
Son at a boarding-school, recommending diligence in his studies.
Dear Billy,–Our regiment is now at Portsmouth, and we are ordered to embark for Canada. I thought to have called on you at school, but our orders to march were so sudden, that I had no time to spare from the necessary duties of my station. Let me your future
beg, my dear, that you will attend with the utmost assiduity to your studies.
Youth is the proper time for acquiring knowledge, which if properly improved and reduced to practice, will be of the utmost service to you
in life ; you are yet unacquainted with the world, and happy will it be for you, if you remain ignorant of the toils and dangers of a military life. Let me therefore entreat you, in the most earnest manner, to think of some employment which will procure you a decent subsistence, and enable you to live independently in the world. I have left an order with our agent to pay for your education ; and although my pay is small, yet nothing on my part shall be wanting, to make your lfe as easy as possible. As it will be some days before we sail, I shall expect to have a letter from you, and if too late it will be sent after me. • In the meantime,
I am your affectionate father. LETTER XVI.
The Son's Answer. Honoured Sir,--It was one of the first lessons you taught me, that gratitude is the noblest principle that can actuate
the heart of man ; but what must it be, when connected with the filial duty incumbent on a son to the most indulgent parent ! I am left in a situation that may be felt, but not described. That my worthy and honoured parent should be so precipitately hurried away to a distant country, almost fills me with horror, especially when I consider, that I may never have an opportunity of seeing you any more. I am convinced that your friendly advice to me is such that, if strictly followed, it must be attended with the most beneficial consequences to myself ; my honour and happiness will equally depend on adhering to them, and I shall always consider it as my second greatest duty, to obey the precepts of my worthy father. I have gone already so far as to be able to read Xenophon, and next week I enter upon Homer. I have some thoughts, if agreeable to you, to take chambers in one of the inns of court, in order to study the law; my inclinations run that way, but I submit it wholly to your approbation. Let me beg to hear from you as often as possible, as it will be the greatest pleasure I can enjoy during such a separation. In am, honoured Sir, your affectionate son.
LETTER XVII. From a Young Gentleman, clerk to a merchant ilo
town, to his Father, in the country, soliciting pocket-money.
Honoured Sir,- I wrote to you by Mr. Hall, the linen-draper, but not having received any answer makes me very uneasy ; although I have been as good an economist as possible, yet I find the pocketmoney you allow me to take monthly from Mr. Smith, the publisher, is not sufficient to support my necessary expenses, although it was so at first. Lon. don is such a place, that unless one maintains something of character, they are sure to be treated with contempt, and pointed at as objects of ridicule. I assure you, sir, that I abhor every sort of extravagance, as much as you can desire, and the small matter which I ask as an addition to your former allowance, is only to promote my own interest, and which I am sure, you have as much at heart as any parent possibly can. My master will satisfy you that my conduct has been consistent with the strictest rules of morality. I submit it to your judgment what you think proper to order me.
not choose to mention my want of money to Mr. Smith, and for this reason, have not taken any thing more than what you ordered. I hope you will not be offended with what I have written ; as I shall always consider myself happy in performing my duty, and acquiring the favour of my honoured parents. I am, honoured Sir, your affectionate son,
The Father's Answer. My dear Child,-My reason for not sending to you sooner was, that I had been on a journey to your uncle at Manchester, where I was detained longer than I expected, and consequently did not see your letter till last night. I have considered your request, and am convinced that it is altogether reasonable. You are greatly mistaken if you think that I wanted to confine you to the small matter paid by Mr. Smith; no it was indeed inadvertency; but my constant residence in the country, makes me little acquainted with the customs of London. I don't desire to confine you to any particular sum : you are now arrived at an age, when it becomes absolutely necessary for you to be well acquainted with the value of money. Your profession likewise requires it ; and it is well known, that prudence and sobriety in youth, naturally leads to regularity of conduct in more advanced years. Virtue ensures respect, and I well know that all manner of precepts are useless where the inclinations are vicious. I have left the affair mentioned in your letter, entirely to your own discretion ; and the inclosed order un limited. I doubt not prudence will direct you how to proceed. I am, dear child, your affectionate father.
LETTER XIX. From a young Gentleman at a Boarding School in
the Country, to his brother, an apprentice in London.
Dear Jackey,—Little master Billy Edgar is going to London to-morrow in the stage, and I have sent this by him to you. We are all well at school, and I have got as far as Ovid ; I have likewise got through the rules of practice, of which I shall give you a better account when I come to town at the holidays. Dear brother, give my duty to my papa and mamma, and tell them I long to see them ; I pray for them and you every day, and I have read over the Complete Duty of Man, which my mamma
I spend an hour every day in reading Dr. Goldsmith's Roman History. Pray Jackey, send me some books, for I am very fond of reading, and a pair of the newest pattern of buckles, and I shall do more for you when I leave school.
I am your loving brother.
The Brother's Answer. Dear Brother,- I received your kind letter, and am glad to hear you are well, as also of the progress you make in learning. I read your letter to your papa and mamma, and they are much pleased with it. Billy Edgar dines at our house to-morrow, and he will bring you this. Your mamma has sent you half a guinea ; and as you are so fond of books, I have sent you Rollin's Belles Lettres. Mr. Dew, our curate, says, that although all sorts of history are useful, yet he thinks you should begin with that of your own country, and he has sent you a present of Russel's History of England, which is ornamented with a set of the most elegant