O, my dear Mr. B., by your help and countenance, what may I not be able to teach them, and how may I prepare the way for a tutor’s instructions, and give him up minds half cultivated to his hands!—And all this time improve myself too, not only in science, but in nature, by tracing in the little babes what all mankind are, and have been, from infancy to riper years, and watching the sweet dawnings of reason, and delighting in every bright emanation of that ray of divinity, lent to the human mind, for great and happy purposes, when rightly pointed and directed.
There is no going farther after these charming recollections and hopes, for they bring me to that grateful remembrance, to whom, under God, I owe them all, and also what I have been for so happy a period, and what I am, which will ever be my pride and my glory; and well it may, when I look back to my beginning with humble acknowledgment, and can call myself, dearest Mr. B., your honoured and honouring, and, I hope to say, in time, useful wife, P.B.
MY DEAREST MR. B.,
Having in my former letters said as much as is necessary to let you into my notion of the excellent book you put into my hands, and having touched those points in which the children of both sexes may be concerned (with some art in my intention, I own), in hope that they would not be so much out of the way, as to make you repent of the honour you have done me, in committing the dear Miss Goodwin to my care; I shall now very quickly set myself about the proposed little book.
You have been so good as to tell me (at the same time that you disapprove not these my specimen letters as I may call them), that you will kindly accept of my intended present, and encourage me to proceed in it; and as I shall leave one side of the leaf blank for your corrections and alterations, those corrections will be a fine help and instruction to me in the pleasing task which I propose to myself, of assisting in the early education of your dear children. And as I may be years in writing it, as the dear babies improve, as I myself improve, by the opportunities which their advances in years will give me, and the experience I shall gain, I may then venture to give my notions on the more material and nobler parts of education, as well as the inferior: for (but that I think the subjects above my present abilities) Mr. Locke’s book would lead me into several remarks, that might not be unuseful, and which appear to me entirely new; though that may be owing to my slender reading and opportunities, perhaps.
But what I would now touch upon, is a word or two still more particularly upon the education of my own sex; a topic which naturally arises to me from the subject of my last letter. For there, dear Sir, we saw, that the mothers might teach the child this part of science, and that part of instruction; and who, I pray, as our sex is generally educated, shall teach the mothers? How, in a word, shall they come by their knowledge?