But I beg of you, not to think these my reasons proceed from the bad motives of a heart tainted with pride on its high condition. Indeed there can be no reason for it, to one who thinks after this manner—the greatest families on earth have some among them who are unhappy and low in life; and shall such a one reproach me with having twenty low relations, because they have, peradventure, not above five?
Let us then, my dear parents, endeavour to judge of one another, as God, at the last day, will judge of us all: and then the honest peasant will stand fairer in our esteem than the guilty peer.
In short, this shall be my own rule—Every one who acts justly and honestly, I will look upon as my relation, whether so or not; and the more he wants my assistance, the more entitled to it he shall be, as well as to my esteem; while those who deserve it not, must expect only compassion from me, and my prayers were they my brothers or sisters. ’Tis true had I not been poor and lowly, I might not have thought thus; but if it be a right way of thinking, it is a blessing that I was so; and that shall never be matter of reproach to me, which one day will be matter of justification.
Upon the whole, I should think it advisable, my dear father and mother, to make such kind excuses to the offered service of my cousins, as your better reason shall suggest to you; and to do any thing else for them of more value, as their circumstances may require, or occasions offer to serve them.
But if the employing and having them about you, will add comfort to your lives, I give up entirely my own opinion, and doubt not every thing will be thought well of, that you shall think fit to do.
And so I conclude with assuring you, that I am, my ever-dear parents, your dutiful and happy daughter.
The copy of this letter I will keep to myself, till I have your answer, that you may be under no difficulty how to act in either of the cases mentioned in it.
MY DEAREST DAUGHTER,
How shall I do to answer, as they deserve, your two last letters? Sure no happy couple ever had such a child as we have! But it is in vain to aim at words like yours: and equally in vain for us to offer to set forth the thankfulness of our hearts, on the kind office your honoured husband has given us; for no reason but to favour us still more, and to quiet our minds in the notion of being useful to him. God grant I may be able to be so!—Happy shall I be, if I can! But I see the generous drift of his proposal; it is only to make me more easy from the nature of my employment, and, in my mind too, over-loaded as I may say, with benefits; and at the same time to make me more respected in my new neighbourhood.
I can only say, I most gratefully accept of the kind offer; and since it will ease the worthy Mr. Longman, shall with still greater pleasure do all I can in it. But I doubt I shall want ability; but I will be just and honest, however. That, by God’s grace, will be within my own capacity; and that, I hope, I may answer for.