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Frank Leward: Memorials

Mrs. Leward to Frank

Mrs. Leward to Frank.

Claydon, May 20, 1844.

My dearest Boy,—I have just got your letter written from your new home, the first I have had from you for so very very long. If you only knew how I treasure up your letters, and how many times I read them over and over again, until I think I know every word of them by heart, you would try to write to your poor old mother oftener. It's all the pleasure I have on earth since mamma has gone, and when I am not doing that I hardly know what I am doing now-a-days. I used to be so happy and light-hearted when you were here ever since that happy page 110day when you were first given to me. How I remember when they brought you to me, looking so innocent and peaceful, and fast asleep, and when you woke up there was such a look of trust in your eyes, I thought we should always be all in all to one another, and ever since then, dear Frank, you have been the one thought of my heart and the whole object of my existence. Perhaps I have been wrong. Papa often says I am doing very wrong, and that I must expect to be punished for it; but when I kneel down at night and try to remember all my sins and shortcomings, I cannot find it possible to say from my heart that I believe it to be wrong. God seems to have appointed me to watch and pray for you, in spirit at least, if all others forsake you.

Indeed, Frank, those who ought to help you seem to be plotting against you. My dear boy, was there ever anything seriously between you and Mabel? Of course I could see she was fond of you, and you were always glad to be with her. From the time you were children you used to agree so well together, and seemed, I used to think, made for one another. She is indeed a charming, beautiful young woman, and would make any man happy, if she really loved him; but at the same time she is entirely under her mother's control, and partly from a natural dread of offending her and partly from a high sense of duty, I believe she would implicitly obey her mother's wishes even in the choice of a husband. We are all staying here now with Aunt Jane, she was anxious for us to come as she has been ailing lately and low-spirited. Papa and Arthur were anxious to be here, and Papa has page 111to manage the property till Arthur is of age, which will not be till next October.

Arthur has been staying with the Greys, but is back with us now. He is doing very well at Cambridge. Mabel is often here to see Aunt Jane. My dear boy, I don't know whether I ought to write, and I hardly know how to go on. I gave her your letter when we were quite alone yesterday. She grew very pale and trembled all over; I thought she was going to faint. I am not pleased with her. I sometimes feel as though I could rise up and denounce them all, but that would be so wrong in me. Perhaps my suspicions are ill-founded. They seem to keep me in the dark, but I can see there is some great plot, and they don't want me to know what it is. Oh what a world this is, and what will not people do, even the most religious, for money and estates! I was very cold, I am afraid, when I gave your letter to Mabel. I cannot write any more. There seems to me to be a rumbling in the earth, as though the foundations of the world were getting loose. I wonder whether it is your spirit in New Zealand fretfully remonstrating against treachery. Alas! alas!

God bless you, my own darling boy.—From your loving mother,

M. A. Leward.