“And now I will add but two things more. Be true through life to each other, love as only brothers should do, strengthen, warn, encourage one another, and let who will be against you, let each feel that in his brother he has a firm and faithful friend who will be so to the end; and, oh! be kind and watchful over your dear sister; without mother or sisters she will doubly need her brothers’ love and tenderness and confidence. I am certain she will seek them, and will love you and try to make you happy; be sure then that you do not fail her, and remember, that were she to lose her father and remain unmarried, she would doubly need protectors. To you, then, I especially commend her. Oh! my three darling children, be true to each other, your Father, and your God. May He guide and bless you, and grant that in a better and happier world I and mine may meet again.—Your most affectionate mother,
From enquiries I have made, I have satisfied myself that most mothers write letters like this shortly before their confinements, and that fifty per cent. keep them afterwards, as Christina did.
The foregoing letter shows how much greater was Christina’s anxiety for the eternal than for the temporal welfare of her sons. One would have thought she had sowed enough of such religious wild oats by this time, but she had plenty still to sow. To me it seems that those who are happy in this world are better and more lovable people than those who are not, and that thus in the event of a Resurrection and Day of Judgement, they will be the most likely to be deemed worthy of a heavenly mansion. Perhaps a dim unconscious perception of this was the reason why Christina was so anxious for Theobald’s earthly happiness, or was it merely due to a conviction that his eternal welfare was so much a matter of course, that it only remained to secure his earthly happiness? He was to “find his sons obedient, affectionate, attentive to his wishes, self-denying and diligent,” a goodly string forsooth of all the virtues most convenient to parents; he was never to have to blush for the follies of those “who owed him such a debt of gratitude,” and “whose first duty it was to study his happiness.” How like maternal solicitude is this! Solicitude