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Edinburgh, January 1, 1821. MY BELOVED DAUGHTER,
Your affectionate letter has given me great delight-we should have exchanged greetings had I been able to write on Friday—A would not let me read, write, or sleep, I have slept pretty well the last two nights, and am picking up-My appetite never fails me—I am ravenous at breakfast, and not backward at dinner ; and appetite, as Johnson says, “is a proof of vital strength.”
My dear child, I am much affected with your kindness, and thank you for your prayers ; the longer I live, or rather the nearer I draw to the end of this life, the less I value the world, and find my affections centre in my own dear circle; and never was a parents affection more affectionately returned! God bless you all for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord! I have gone through some trials,—I anticipate more, for life cannot be without them ; but in the bosom of my family I
find comfort and support. You are all so good and kind, that I were indeed most insensible not to be most grateful to Him “who maketh men to be of one mind in a house," and to yourselves. Nor must I forget in this pleasing enumeration my dearest little Jane, whose affection and remembrance gives me much delight; pray bless her for me, and tell her I wish she would come to Ednum, to her stupid old grandpapa, and prattle to him. I remember with fondness the days when my beloved was playing about my bed, and doing her best to catch the measles from me, and I sometimes sigh for my dear Jane who would amuse and delight me. I send her by her uncle J-, a perpetual almanack, invented, drawn, pasted, and entirely performed by grandpapa, to amuse an hour of pain, and to please his dear grandchild, when she is old enough to understand and use it—if you think it worthy a plain black frame, take care that the back opens, for it must be set every month, and do pray take
your own dear pencil and bestow some ornaments on the almanack's bare face, which will take from its present awkward appearance, which I have no skill to mend. The slightest touch with the point of a pin will turn round the moveable part when you set it on the first day of each month. I have a magnificent plan of a table of kings and queens (leaving out queen Caroline,) of England, which I hope to execute during my confinement, for my sweet Jane-You cannot imagine how my heart dwells on that dear child—Tell her to say her
prayers, to fear God, and to be obedient to her papa and mamma.
Dearest: W talks to me frequently about her and
your whole dear group_and I pray God that they may grow up as they have begun, and be every thing that you wish–Dear C's ex. cellent plan with his children will make them as amiable as himself, and more they cannot be. I have often watched with the greatest approbation his conduct towards Jane, and I trust that, with God's blessing, he will enjoy the fruits which I anticipate from his gentleness and good sense.
When you next have any communication with the R-'s I entreat you to express most earnestly for me to Captain and Mrs R— my obligation to them for the interest they had the goodness to show about my present state. I was most deeply affected by their kindness, and wish that they should know that I was sobeyond my own family there are not two persons in the world for whom I have a more sincere and affectionate regard. I was much moved when I learned of the release of sweet Imuch I felt for those whom she left behind, and weak as I then was, and scarcely able to sit up a moment, I felt the strongest desire to intrude on dear Mrs R- with a few lines of sympathy—Pray offer my kindest regards to the whole family.
Pray have you and C read Southey's Life of Wesley? I recommend it to you much, as one of the most interesting books that I have seen for a great while. The account of some of Wesley's preachers is very interesting
and there is a chapter in the first volume, on the state of religion in England since the introduction of Christianity, which would have placed Southey high in my opinion had he never written any thing else—it is a chapter not to be read and pass on, but to be well studied, and then well meditated—it is perfectly admirable.
You will bless all your dear children for me, and with my most affectionate regards to your dear husband, believe me ever your affectionate Father.
Edinburgh, March 7, Wednesday, 1821. MY BELOVED DAUGHTER,
I was gratified by your most acceptable letter yesterday, and it is no small delight to me to know that you take pleasure in my letters : it is an encouragement to a little daily exertion to prepare a packet which is sure of a kind reception—yet let me tell you, that you do not yet know the enjoyment that I have in your communications. If you and dearest Jane live till she is well married to an amiable husband like
your own, and she write to you and give you an account of your grandchildren, and of the health and intelligence, and happiness of the dear objects in which your heart will be interested, as mine is in your beloved circle, then you will know what I feel when I receive a letter from my kind daughter, and you will rejoice as I do in your child's affection. Perhaps, too, you may use spectacles by that time, and find it necessary to wipe them from an awkward suffusion that somehow renders them dim, when you read of an instance of affectionate recollection of you in a dear grand-daughter of three years and a half old, who remembers you in her prayers.' That this was my case yesterday I cannot deny, and I care not who knows; for I should think but little of that grandfather who could read such an anecdote of a darling grandchild without emotion. Our dearest W—and I have talked together a great deal about dear Jane-her aunt and her grandpapa are exceedingly interested in the progress of her education—yet it is on this subject that they differ on one point, while they agree in the main. Aunt Wis distressed about her backwardness as a reader ; grandpapa thinks that if she can read when she is five years old, no time is lost. “ What,” says aunt, “ would you not have the child learn any thing till she is five years old ?” Certainly I would,” says grandpapa, “a great many things; but many things can be taught to a lively child by conversing with her,-her desire to read may be