« PreviousContinue »
induce you to comply with a request dictated by the se. verity of affliction,
The lady's answer.
dest representation of your affliction, or pleased that I have it in my power to assist you. You see, madam, that all human expectations are vain, and often attended with deception; when we think our circumstances are independent, there is generally some latent mischiet hidden under the specious appearance; and this should reach us continually io look to that Providence which superintends the affairs of this lower world, and orders all for the good of its creatures. Wicb
respect to your two children, I have proposed the following scheme for their benefit :
Let the boy think of some trade, to which his inclination leads hini, and I will provide him with every necessary durmg his apprenticeship; and at the expiration of that term (if his bohaviour is agreeable) advance something to set him up in business. As for the girl, let her be immediately sent to my house, where she shall be brought up along with my daughters, and every thing in my power done to serve her.
I expect that, from time to time, you will communicate to me an account of your own circumstances, that I may be happy in alleviating every calanity.
From the young gentleman to his mother, during his
apprenticeship. Honoured Mother, TOUR having retired in the country, has hindered me
since I was bound to Mr. Anson, he has treated me with every sort of inculgence, and I have endeavoured to acquire the good will of all our customers. I know that you are 89
straitened in your own circumstances, as not to be able to afford me pockel-money; but I have the pleasure to tell you, that Mrs. Howard has taken care in that particular, and generously supplies me from time to time. In every part of my conduct I shall endeavour to act consistently with the principles of virtue, and am with the utmost respect and duty,
Your affectionate son.
From the young gentlewoman to her mother.
N my last I informed you that my worthy benefactress, Mrs. Howard, had been extremely ill; I have the pleasure to assure you, that she is now perfectly recovered. The happiness of my present situation may be conceived, but it is not in my power to describe it. After we get up in the morning, the family are called together to return thanks to the Almighty for his preserving them during the preceding nighi, and to implore his protection the remaining part of the day: afterwards we retire to breakfast. During the forenoon," we yoong ones walk into the garden, or the fields, whilst the good lady is employed in dispensing medicines to her poor tenants. At one o'clock we dine, and afterwards retire to the summer-house, when each, in her turn, readé some part of the best English writers, whilst the others are employed in needle-work. I have received a letter from my brother, and am glad to hear he is setiled in so good a family. I am, honoured Madam,
Your affectionate and dutiful daughter.
LETTER IX. From a young man to his father, desiring him to intercede
with his master to take him again into his service, Honoured Sir, WITH shame,arising from a consciousness of guilt, Ihave presumed to write to you at this time.
I doubt not but you have heard of the irregularities of my conduct, which at last priceeded so far, as not only to induce me to desert the service of the best of masters, but to run into the
commission of those vices that might have proved fatal to me, had it not been for the many examples and moral lessons I met with in a book lately published*. It was the allurements of vicious company, that first tempted me to forsake the paths of virtue, and neglect my duty in a family where I was treated with the greatest tenderness. Fully sensible of my fault, I am willing to make every reparation in my power; but know not of any other, than by acting diametrically opposite to my former conduct. Let me beg of you, sir, to intercede with my worthy master to take me again into his service, and my whole future life shall be one continued act of gratitude.
I am, Sir, your affectionate,
though undutiful son.
My dear Child, IF ever you live to be a father, you will know what I feel
for you on the present occasion. Tenderness as a parent, resentment on account of ingratitude, a real concern for your future happiness, and respect for the worthy man whose service you deserted, all conspire together to agitate my mind to different purposes.; bui paternal affection be. comes predominant, and I am obliged to act as your friend, although I am afraid you have considered me as your enemy; I have written to your master, and just now received his answer; copies of which I have sent inclosed. Your master is willing again to receive you into his service, and I hope your behaviour will be correspondent to so much lenity.
I am your affectionate father.
The father's letter to the master. My worthy Friend,
HAVE often written to you with pleasure, but, alas! subject I little expected. I have just now received a letter
* The Newgate Calend
from my son, by which I am informed, that he has left your service, through the instigation of evil company: his letter contains a penitential acknowledgment of his offence, together with a declaration of his resolution to acl consistently with his duty for the future. He has begged of me to intercede with you in his behalf; and I know your humanity will excuse parental affection. If you will agaiu receive the unhappy youth into your family, I have great reason to hope that his conduct will be equal to his promises; and it will confer a lasting obligation on an afflicted parent, and oblige,
Your sincere well wisher.
The master's answer. Sir,
VER since I first considered the state of human nature,
or the difference between right and wrong, I have always preferred mercy to the severity of justice. However seasonable your request may appear to yourself, yet to me it was really unnecessary. I am a father, sir, and can feel at least part of what you suffer. My resentment against the young man is less than my anxiety for his happiness.; and were I sure of his adhering to an unin. terrupted course of virtue, I should have more real pleasure, than his acquiring me the revenue of a nabob.
In the mean time, that nothing may be wanting on my part, to make both you and him as happy as possible, ali faults are from this moment forgotten; my house is open for his reception; and if he will return, he shall be treated with the same indulgence, as if he had never committed any fault whatever.
I am, sir, your affectionate friend.
From a mother, in town, to her daughter at a boarding.
school, in the country, recommending the practice of virtue. Dear Child, LTHOUGH we are separated in person, yet you are ne.
ver absent from my thoughts; and it is my continual practice to recommend you to the care of that Being, whose
eyes are on all his creatures, and to whom the secrets of all hearts are open; but I have been lately somewhat alarmed, because your two last letters do not run in that strain of unaffected piety as formerly. What, my dear, is this owing to? does virtue appear to you as unpleasant? is your beneficent Creator a hard master? or are you resolved to em. bark in the fashionable follies of a gay, unthinking world? Excuse me, my dear, I am a mother, and my concern for your happiness is inseparably connected with my own. Perhaps I am mistaken, and what I have considered as a fault, may be only the effusions of youthful gaiety.-I shall consider it in that light, and be extremely glad, yet bappy to find it so. Useful instructions are never too often inculcated, and therefore, give me leave again to put you in mind of that duty, the performance of which alone can mak: you happy, both in time and in eternity.
Religio , my dear, is a dedication of the whole mind to the will o God, and virtue is the actual operation of that truth, hich diffuses itself through every part of our conduct; its consequences are equally beneficial as its promises; " Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Whilst the gay unthinking part of youth are devoting the whole of their time to fashionable pleasures, how happy shall I be to hear that my child was religious without hypocritical austerity, and even gay with innocence. Let me
will spend at least one hour each day in perusing your Bible, and some of our best English writers; and don't imagine that religion is such a gloomy thing as some enthusiasts have represented; no, ii indulges you in every rational amusement, so far as is consistent with morality; it forbids nothing but what is hurtful.
Let me beg you will consider attentively what I have written, and send me an answer as soon as you can.
I am your affectionate mother.
AM so much affected by the perusal of your really parental advice, that I can scarcely hold the pen to write ar