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Frank Leward: Memorials

Mr. Leward to Frank

Mr. Leward to Frank.

The Shrubbery, Southampton, October 10,1836.

Dear Frank,—Deeper and deeper still into the slough of despond have you fallen. I could scarcely believe what I was reading when I received Dr. Pott's letter this morning. That a son of mine could have committed the immoral and vulgar act of surreptitiously escaping from his schoolhouse in the dead of night for the purpose of procuring beer, and by so doing assist in contaminating the manners of his school-fellows, and inducing a disgusting taste for intoxicating liquors—which if indulged in at your age must inevitably tend to brutalise the whole man hereafter—is a disgrace I can with difficulty endure. How differently has your younger brother acted. Always obedient to his preceptor's command, taking the side of right against the forces of evil, he ever steers page 15 his course toward that holy goal from which you appear to be drifting farther and farther away.

But I fear it is of little use that I should raise even a parent's voice of warning. Of course we cannot receive you at home for the coming Christmas holidays. Dr. Pott is still undecided whether you can remain at Upton, and I know not if your good grandmother, who has hitherto invited you at that season of the year, will any longer care to receive the outcast. If she does vouchsafe her forgiveness to you, I for one must decline to allow Arthur to be of the party. I am in duty bound to see that one son of mine at least shall be worthy to bear our ancient name, and hand it down untarnished by that pitch with which you have already, and I fear irremediably, defiled your hands.

—I am your sorely grieved Father,

Francis Leward.