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drawn up in the words of Scripture. It was a great favourite of my dear mother's, and many a happy hour have I passed in reading it with her. If you can get a copy, it is well worth your buying, as I shall be glad to have it in the house. I should wish you to read Paley's Evidences, with which Mrs will furnish you, and half an hour in the morning will be well bestowed on the perusal of it; and another half-hour now and then, when you are quite well, and quite at leisure, in sending me some remarks. Paley's Natural Theology ought, in point of order, to be read first ; but I believe you must wait to read that, till you and I can sit down to it together; some anatomy is required, which I can furnish you with, and without which you cannot read the book to any good purpose.
I am, by God's blessing, daily recovering; and in the afternoon of Sunday did the whole duty ; an exertion which, you know, I have not made for many months. I was fatigued, more from heat than any other cause.
In the excellent climate to which you are removed, you will, I suppose, talk of the beauties and enjoyments of May, a language in Scotland used by those only who are licensed to deal in fiction, namely poets.
I expect to hear from my sweet child some account of a Cumberland lake. Write to me a long story, at your leisure, (five minutes a day, will do a great deal in a week,) of
I do not pre
tions on the country, &c. You will gain much in drawing, if you will follow the instructions and example of Miss who has learned chiefly from the best of all teachers, Nature herself, and her own excellent taste. tend to be critically acquainted with drawing, but every one who has not been spoiled by bad instruction can form a judgment of the effect of drawing as a picture of Nature, and I think Miss 's drawings the best I ever saw.
I have no doubt of your improvement at - and I have many reasons which I might give you, to urge you to acquire this pleasing art. These reasons amount in number to some hundreds !! two will at present suffice,—as a first very strong inducement to
beloved I will mention that she will give me great pleasure by drawing well, as à second reason, that she will furnish herself with a valuable and elegant source of amusement.
I need not enumerate all who send their love and best wishes to you ; you know who they are, and none of them more fervently prays that God may bless, protect, and guide you, than your affectionate father and sincere friend,
Edinburgh, May 17, 1810. MY DEAREST F
We were much gratified by the packet from which I received to-day. I trust
that, through the blessing of God, we shall not be disappointed in the hopes you give us of restored health and strength—the greatest blessing, next to a good conscience, that this life affords. You ask kindly for an account of me,I hope that I may look forward to some health and ease yet; but I have been much distressed by the late bad weather and biting east winds, which find their way to me, although I venture to expose myself to them as little as possible. I am glad to think that my dear child is not within their reach.
I am pleased with your account of your pursuits, and most truly obliged to Mrs for the kindness with which she allows you to read to her. You are now, my sweet child, in a situation where you may gain much improvement, if you do not neglect your advantages. What I have much admired in Mrs 's notions on the subject of improvement, when I have conversed with her in Edinburgh, is the method which she has adopted, and taught her daughters to adopt, in the management of time and occupations. During your happy days at , you may gain much, my love, by following their example. Among those persons, (and young ladies are generally supposed to be of the description,) who have no settled employments methodically arranged and pursued, it appears to me that one of the most common faults is want of arrangement in their occupations, which draws after it many bad consequences, and especially a carelessness of time itself. From this consequence, and several others as bad, you may learn to guard yourself by the advice of your kind friend. I wish you, my beloved child, to gain this good lesson wliere you now are. No acquisitions of value can ever be made by that fluttering, butterfly, way of going from one subject to another, without permitting the mind to exert its attention, which is so common among young people. If this once become a settled habit of the mind, adieu to all sound knowledge or real improvement. What is really valuable in knowledge must be sought for below the surface, -the French express it well, “ il faut approfondir.” If in the time of life to which you are arrived, this habit be not gained of fixed attention and regular distribution of time and occupation, we are apt to get into a dislike of every thing that requires thought and labour, (and nothing is truly valuable that does not require both,) and to be contented with frivolous pursuits, —"a youth of folly” ending in an “age of cards.” From this danger I wish my dear girl to be defended; and one reason which strongly induced me to consent to your excursion with Mrs
-, was my confidence that you would learn this from your friends where you are.
I do not give you any farther directions about what
you are to read, I leave that to Mrs but I will give you my earnest direction that
whatever you are about, you employ your whole
studies at made the time you passed there of no use to you. At Miss W—_'s it appeared to me that you were getting into a right course; and now, with the helps you have, you may get rid of volatility, and do a great deal in a little time. I do not want you to read a great deal ; but I wish you to avail yourself of the present opportunity to open your mind on all occasions; and, from the examples about you, to think the time lost in which you are not making some acquisition of knowledge or observation. Some people go through life in a cloud :muzzing always, like the girl in the Alps, who had lived till ten years old at the foot of a mountain, and when a traveller chanced to ask her what was the name of it, she looked up, and said in her patois, “Dear me, I never saw that hill before! I do not know what they call it.”
This ridiculous story is related somewhere, and there is a good moral in it. I fancy such inobservant young persons might be picked up almost
where. I expect my dear girl to become a sensible woman, fond of reading and conversation, and thus (I am very selfish, you see,) quali