An Appeal to the Youth


Topsham, Maine, Sept. 20, 1859

My Dear Little Willie,

I will write you a few lines, as I have written to Henry and Edson. We hope little Willie is well, and happy, and striving to be a good, obedient boy. We shall be glad to see you, my dear boy, again, and hear your loving voice. We want you to be good, pleasant, and lovely; then every one will love you. AY 48.1

You must often visit your grandparents, and try to make them happy. Do not grieve them by being noisy, but be quiet, mild, and gentle—then they will love you. I am glad, Willie, you have never troubled us or them with mischievous actions. AY 48.2

As we were riding in the cars, there were three children in the seat before us, one of them a little boy about your age. He was dressed prettily. He had a pretty face and curly hair, yet he did not behave prettily. He disturbed those who sat near him by his loud, sharp voice, contending with, and annoying, his sisters, giving them no peace. They threatened to tell their mother, but he did not seem to care for this. He behaved so rudely, that we were all glad when he left the cars. AY 49.1

I thought then how bad I should feel if my little Willie was so disagreeable. Now, Willie, that wicked boy's pretty clothes and handsome face did not make people love him. His behaviour was bad, and made those who had the care of him ashamed of him. All seemed pleased to get rid of the troublesome little fellow. If Willie acts prettily, if he is gentle, kind, and obedient, his father and mother, and all good people, will love him. AY 49.2

Your affectionate Mother.