Miss Goodwin is a charming young lady!—I cannot express how much I love her. She is a perfect mistress of the French language and speaks Italian very prettily! And, as to myself, I have improved so well under my dear tutor’s lessons, together with the opportunity of conversing with the politest and most learned gentry of different nations, that I will discourse with you in two or three languages, if you please, when I have the happiness to see you. There’s a learned boaster for you, my dear friend! (if the knowledge of different languages makes one learned.)—But I shall bring you an heart as entirely English as ever, for all that!
We landed on Thursday last at Dover, and directed our course to the dear farm-house; and you can better imagine, than I express, our meeting with my dear father and mother, and my beloved Davers and Pamela, who are charming babies.—But is not this the language of every fond mamma?
Miss Goodwin is highly delighted now with my sweet little Pamela, and says, she shall be her sister indeed! “For, Madam,” said she, “Miss is a beauty!—And we see no French beauties like Master Davers and Miss.”—“Beauty! my dear,” said I; “what is beauty, if she be not a good girl? Beauty is but a specious, and, as it may happen, a dangerous recommendation, a mere skin-deep perfection; and if, as she grows up, she is not as good as Miss Goodwin, she shall be none of my girl.”
What adds to my pleasure, my dear friend, is to see them both so well got over the small-pox. It has been as happy for them, as it was for their mamma and her Billy, that they had it under so skilful and kind a manager in that distemper, as my dear mother. I wish if it please God, it was as happily over with my little pretty Frenchman.
Every body is surprised to see what the past two years have done for Miss Goodwin and my Billy.—O, my dear friend, they are both of them almost—nay, quite, I think, for their years, all that I wish them to be. In order to make them keep their French, which Miss so well speaks, and Billy so prettily prattles, I oblige them, when they are in the nursery, to speak nothing else: but at table, except on particular occasions, when French may be spoken, they are to speak in English; that is, when they do speak: for I tell them, that little masters must only ask questions for information, and say—“Yes,” or—“No,” till their papas or mammas permit them to speak; nor little ladies neither, till they are sixteen; for—“My dear loves,” cry I, “you would not speak before you know how; and knowledge is obtained by hearing, and not by speaking.” And setting my Billy on my lap, in Miss’s presence—“Here,” said I, taking an ear in the fingers of each hand, “are two ears, my Billy,” and then, pointing to his mouth, “but one tongue, my love; so you must be sure to mind that you hear twice as much as you speak, even when you grow a bigger master than you are now.”