The domestic story of “Home Influence,” and its Sequel, the present volume, were written in the early part of the year 1836, and the entire work was completed when its author was little above the age of nineteen; and, although no portion of it was published till some years after its composition, but little alteration was made in the original plan.
The labours of my dear child were unceasing, and from the hour when she could read, it may truly be stated that she learned to write; her contributions to the current literature of the day, her valuable works upon religious subjects, and others of a lighter character, most of which have been reprinted in other lands, all testify to a mind of no common stamp; and here, in reply to numerous questions relative to her literary remains, I may state that Grace Aguilar has left many excellent works in manuscript, both in prose and verse; some of which may, at a future day, be presented to the public.
I have been induced to publish “The Mother’s Recompense,” in compliance with the repeated solicitations of many friends, but in doing so I feel it incumbent on me to state that, unlike its predecessor, it has not received the advantage of that correction, which later years and ripened judgment would doubtless have cast around it. A long and fatal illness prevented its revision for the press; the circumstances of which will be found detailed in a short memoir, accompanying the last edition of “Home Influence.” The universal voice of praise, which attended the publication of that work, it was not permitted her to enjoy,—an all-wise Creator called her to himself.
It was ever my dear child’s wish to aid, by the example of her pen, the education of the Heart. It was her desire, in the truthful exemplification of character, to point out to the youthful of her own sex the paths of rectitude and virtue. The same kindly love—the same heartfelt charity—the same spirit of devotion, which breathes through every line in “Home Influence,” will be found pervading the pages of the present work.
If, then, the Home Education of the Hamilton Family be well traced and faithfully delineated in “Home Influence, a Tale for Mothers and Daughters,” its effect will be found illustrated in the “Mother’s Recompense;” there, as its dear author writes, will still further be portrayed the cares, anxieties, and ultimate reward of maternal love.
From Emmeline Hamilton to Mary Greville.
London, January, 18—