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immutable principle, over which external sights or sounds should have no influence, or, at all events, no control. But I was ever a creature of impulses and instincts, one of the strongest of which is my affection for you
an affection that has never known a diminution in the heart
our home, and miss you so much that I have recourse to writing to you, in order to cheat myself into the belief that I am, as in past happy times, talking to my own Gusty. You must often repeat the assurances of your happiness, my blessed child, to console us for the loss of ours, which departed with you. Yet I would not have you perfectly happy, Gusty, for I wish that you should feel the want of your mother, who so dearly loves you ; and of your old fond father, too, who so unwisely spoiled you, by his incapability of denying you any thing, that, at length, you, knowing his weakness, asked him to consent to your abandonment of him; when he, silly, doting man that he was, gave up his only joy, his only comfort. Ah! Gusty, you should not have left us so
Three years hence would have been quite time enough for you to have married. In that period, we might have reasoned ourselves into living without you-you might have grown less fond, less engaging, less dear to us. But no, that never could have been; the longer you might have remained with us, the less disposed should we have been to have parted from you !
This place is totally changed. The trees look dark and gloomy, the lawns cheerless, the lakes still and sullen; and the birds seem to me to sing less gaily this year than I ever remember. Your mother, when I made this remark to her, said the change was in us, and not in the objects around. Perhaps she is right, my Gusty; yet I do love to fancy, that all nature is influenced by your absence - but this is the folly of an old doting father.
I look after your flower-garden myself: every flower
loved seems to me to be part of yourself; and I cherish them, as those fair and fragile things were never before cherished. Wise people would tell me, that all this is very silly and foolish ; and so, I dare say, it is : but I cannot repress the feeling, any more than I can the disclosure of it to you, my own darling; an impulse that I have always indulged, even at the time when you were a little
thing, and used to sit in my lap, and kiss my cheek, and run your fingers through my gray locks. Do you remember those happy days?
Your horse quite provoked me to-day. Would you believe it, the ungrateful animal went neighing, prancing, and galloping, through the paddock, in as great gaiety as if his mistress had been here? He made me angry; but I consoled myself by thinking that you would, at no remote period, I hope, repay him for his ingratitude by a daily, and long gallop over
I had intended not to have said a word
about these things in my letter, but, somehow or other, they have all slipped out. But do not be uneasy at what I have told you, dearest Gusty - only never forget us. Let us have the consolation of knowing, that you think of us, miss us, and long for us, and we shall be satisfied, until you are again in our arms.
Lady Delaward behaved to us with a kindness and affection never to be forgotten; her lord, also, left nothing undone to cheer our spirits, but Lord Nottingham's considerate attention, if possible, surpassed theirs. He was so gentle, so steady, never in a hurry, as most young men always are; never betraying symptoms of impatience at hearing long stories from old people. Why, would you believe it, Gusty, he not only let your mother and I tell him every anecdote about your childhood, - and you know we have a precious long collection, – but he continually, spontaneously, asked us fresh questions? Yes, he is indeed a most amiable man, and delightful companion. What a husband he will make ! How I wish that you —- I forgot what I was going to write, my child; but my memory, never of the best, begins to fail me of late.
Thank Lord Nottingham for all his affec