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October 16, 1789.
be able to rest yourself; fór you have had a sad hurrying time since Midsummer. So much visiting and running about has, I hope, given you a right l'elish for the retirement and regularity of school. What a pretty place you are in, and what a pretty time of life it is with you, if you can but think so, before trouble and care have received commission to disturb you.
I could wish that all my letters might afford you both pleasure and profit: I would make you smile sometimes, and always endeavour to do you good. At present I must write a little upon the subject of temper. I do not think your temper a bad one.
Your mamma and I are always ready to give you a good character, and it pleases us that we can say you are, in the main, affectionate and obliging. But we sometimes observe that in
we could wish nobody took notice of but our. selves; or rather, that you would strive to get quite the better of it, that we, who love you so dearly, might be no more grieved. It is a certain self-willed impatience, which disposes you, when your inclinations are overruled, or when any thing is desired of you which does not exactly please you, to pout, frown, and alter your countenance, so that you often appear to a disadvantage in company. You do not seem to find, or to think of finding, a pleasure in giving up a thing to please your mam.ma, but had rather have your own way. Now if you sit down and consider how much we love you, and study to oblige and please you, I hope you will strive against this humoursome temper. I call it so, because I do not believe it is owing to a want of affection and gratitude on your part, but rather the effect of a some. thing in your natural temper, which,
you strive against, I hope you will be enabled to
Besides what you owe to our love and tenderness, I can give you a further reason why you should attend to this point. I have told you repeatedly, and I tell you again, that your cousin's coming to live with us, will not make
the slightest alteration in our love for you. You are still, and will be, our own dear child; we have love enough for you both. But in the outward expression of our love, something must, of course, depend upon behaviour. We are sometimes obliged, though with reluctance, reprove and contradict
you ; 110w we cannot reproye her, because she never gives us an opportunity. In the seven months she has been with
I never once knew her debate with us, nor have I once seen a cloud upon her brow for a single moment. She watches our looks, and if she perceives the slightest hint that any thing she proposes is not quite agreeable to us, she has done with it in a moment, and gives it up with a smile; which shows that it costs her nothing, but that she really prefers pleasing us to the pleasing herself. Now you must allow, my dear, that this behaviour is very engaging. I wish you to be equally engaging, and not to seem to come short of her in any thing.
Have you heard of your good friend Mrs. ****'s illness? They have no expecta- . tion of her recovery; nay, perhaps she is dead before this time. How well she seemed when we dined there but lately! So uncertain is life--even young people have no assurance of
continuing here; but I hope you will pray as David did, Psal. xxxix. 4, and that the Lord will hear your prayer.
When you come to know him as your Lord and Saviour, you may sing Simeon's song. And we cannot enjoy life with true comfort, till we are delivered from the fear of death.
I am your affectionate.
October 23, 1783.
My dear Child,
HEN I showed my last letter to your
mamma, I thought she looked as if she was almost unwilling I should send it; but she did not say so, and therefore it went. She is unwilling to give you pain, and so am I. But I persuaded myself you would take it (as I meant it) as a proof of my love. Now and then I must gently give you a word of advice, but it will always be much more pleasing to me to commend than to find fault. Your wel. fare is very near my heart, and I feel a warm desire that your behaviour, in every respect, should be such as to engage the esteem and affection of all who know you. I remember, when you
were a little girl at Northampton school, I once told you, in a letter, that when the Lord, in his providence, sent you to my care, I received you as his gift; and in the pleasing hope of being an instrument in his