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MISS BANCROFT'S SCHOOL
if she sends from home, to send her to Miss Bancroft's; she is very well situated now to have a house full,- that is, a dozen young ladies in the family with her, and her school is improving every day. She teaches every thing that a young lady has time to learn, with the exception of music, and it is a very select school.
This letter has been written by fits and starts; or, at least, with many interruptions, which must account for its want of connection and incoherence.
Yours very affectionately,
ANNE JEAN Lyman.
HE marriage of her sister Mary to Mr. Joseph Warren Revere, of Boston (the son of Colonel Paul Revere, of revolutionary memory), was, during this year of 1821, a source of unalloyed pleasure to my mother; and from this time the home of her sister was like another home to her and to her children; and my aunt, like another mother. As time wore on, and children gathered in the Boston home, my mother and aunt frequently, for a few months, made an exchange of children; the Revere boys coming to our house for country air and life, and our girls going to the Revere home for city advantages and polish.
These children were all very dear to my mother; and whenever she went to make a visit to them, either in Boston or at Canton, both in their early or later years, "Aunt Lyman's" coming was hailed as a special privilege. They brought out all their stockings for her to mend, read aloud to her from her favorite books, and cuddled up to her to hear her witty stories, or to draw them out. Of Edward and Paul, who afterwards gave their noble lives to their country, she had no end of affectionate prophecies. Edward especially reminded her, in the warmth of his affections and in his genial temper, of her beloved father, whose name he bore.
MARRIAGE OF ABBY LYMAN
In April of the same year, the marriage of my cousin, Abby Lyman, took away from my mother the close companionship and tender sympathy of one whom she loved through life with an intensity of affection over which time and distance had no power. The frequency of her letters, in the midst of so many present cares and engrossing duties, and the tender and perfect confidence, which knew no change for a period of nearly thirty years, are very striking. It was a relation which, from the beginning to the end, had never a flaw or break; and was founded on the highest sentiments and perfect generosity on both sides.
To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, April 30, 1821.
MY DEAR ABBY,- It is scarcely eight hours since you left me, but I cannot keep you out of my mind; and for that reason I write to you, as there is a convenient opportunity for me to indulge myself in that way.
Immediately after you left me, your uncle desired me to prepare to call with him on Miss Davis, which, at three o'clock, I did; though I never made a greater sacrifice of inclination to propriety than when I went down to Mr. Pomeroy's,- for solitude and not sympathy was the object of my pursuit, that I might have the privilege to think without interruption. On my return I went into your room to lie down, that I might occupy that pillow so lately pressed by the beloved child of my warmest affection. I there conceived myself to be in the possession of the same consolations that any parent has who has
committed a dear child to the grave,- that it is still in the care of its Heavenly Father, and that all events in this life, whether good or evil, are dictated by His love towards his creatures; and though I am made, by this event, less happy, you are or will be made much more so.
I shall always respect Mr. Greene for the wisdom of his choice; I shall always love him if he makes my dear Abby as happy as she is capable of being, from the circumstances within his power to control. That you will always be good, and derive all the happiness from that source which it is so fruitful in bestowing, I cannot doubt; nor that you will ever cease to remember with kindness and affection those who have extended the same feelings towards you, inasmuch as they are deserving of it. But no virtues are of such spontaneous growth in the human heart as not to be impaired by neglect, as to continue to expand and flourish without care and culture; and let this in future, as it has been in times past, be the subject of your watchful attention.
To Miss Forbes, May 8, 1821.
Very little of the highest kind of friendship is to be expected in this world; the want of it grows out of the nature of things. For it is too exalted and too refined a compact to be entertained by the worldly, the selfish, or the weak and ambitious; and a great portion of mankind fall under one or other of these heads. Friendship supposes a voluntary union of hearts, or mutual regard, unrestrained by any of the ties of kindred, and altogether uninflu
ON THE NATURE OF FRIENDSHIP
enced by any other circumstance than the simple volition of the parties. But the ties of kindred are no hindrance to its exercise. "Friendship" (says Lord Clarendon) "hath the skill and observation of the best physician, the diligence and vigilance of the best nurse, and the tenderness and patience of the best mother." And I believe we must admit these ruling traits in her character, and, if so, no tics prevent its exercise. But contemplating it in the ab stract as a most transcendent and heavenly virtue, as one of the greatest ornaments of human life, it must be divested of all those shackles which compel, by means of identifying our happiness or reputation with the exercise of it towards any individual; which would be to make self-interest its strongest inducement, and that, you know, would be an insupportable incongruity.
I am amused at myself for sitting down here, and prosing like a sentimental girl of fifteen upon a subject which every one acknowledges to be exhausted; and yet, in speaking of it, I do not know that I ever heard any one make a sensible or striking remark in my life. The best comment, however, is to prove practically our capability of entertaining it. Lord Clarendon thinks it requires a great perfection in virtue. And why should it not, when we reflect that the character of each is perfectly unveiled to the other; for there must be perfect confidence in friendship,-it admits no reserve. And, I believe, the worst person in the world neither loves nor respects the wicked. And though people are bound and leagued together in vice, it is an agree