This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
I am at last safely under uncle's roof, having arrived here last evening, baby and myself both well, but really very tired.
We had no delay, except about two hours at Buffalo. Uncle met me at the depot with his carriage, and, in fifteen minutes from the time of my arrival, I was cosily seated in my room, which was all in readiness for me.
Uncle and aunt seem greatly pleased with my coming, and both are loud in their praise of the baby. They very much regret that you could not have come with me, and say they intend to prevail on you to make them a visit when I am ready to go home.
Baby looks into my eyes once in a while and says, solemnly, " Papa, papa!" I do actually believe he is thinking about home, and wants to keep up a talk about you. Everybody thinks he looks like his papa.
Michigan City, Ind., March 7. Dear Wife:
I was indeed rejoiced to hear of your safe arrival, having felt no little anxiety for you, which is relieved by the receipt of your letter.
I miss you very much, the house looks so dreary without your loved presence; but I am, nevertheless, glad that you are making your visit, as the journey, I trust, will be beneficial to your health.
Kiss baby for me. Only by his absence do I know how much I have enjoyed my play with our little Charlie.
Don't take any concern about me. Enjoy your visit to the utmost extent. In one of my next letters I will write whether I can go East and return with you.
Remember me to uncle and aunt.
Your Ever-Faithful Husband,
New York, June 1,18 - . My Dear Parents :
I take the first opportunity, since I arrived in the city, to write to you. It was a sore trial, I assure you, to leave home, but since coming here I have been quite contented, and I am getting so well accustomed to my work that I begin to like my place very much.
Mr. and Mrs. Benedict are both very kind to me. The family consists of father, mother and three children, the youngest being a little boy three years old - a beautiful little fellow, that always reminds me of brother James. Eliza, the oldest girl, is thirteen, and Martha is eleven. They are both very kind to me, and do so much about the house that it helps me very considerably.
For the first few days here, everything seemed very strange. I hardly knew what to make of so much noise and so many people on the streets. I have now, however, become accustomed to the multitudes, and would, I presume, consider my native village very dull indeed, compared with the bustle and activity of the city.
I realize every day, dear parents, the worth of your good advice to me, which I never knew the value of so much before; thanking you for the same, I will always endeavor to follow it.
Give my love to Johnny, Mary, Jimmy and all inquiring friends. I shall anxiously look for a letter from you. Write me in the care of
Solon Benedict, No.-----Thirteenth Street.
Your Dutiful and Affectionate Daughter.
BETSEY ANN FAIRBANKS. To Mr. and Mrs. H. K. Fairbanks, Swallow Hill, Pa.
Swallow Hill, Pa., June 7,18 - . Dear Betsey:
Your letter, which has been received, affords great pleasure and satisfaction to your father and myself. Nothing could give our hearts greater happiness than to know of your enjoyment and firm purpose to do right. Now that you are removed from all parental restraint, it is of the most vital importance that you implicitly rely upon the religious precepts which have been instilled into your mind, and that you daily pray to God for guidance and mercy.
We are greatly pleased that you are well situated with Mr. and Mrs. Benedict; in return for their kindness you must be honest, industrious, kind and obliging, always doing your duty faithfully, which will be a real satisfaction to yourself as well as to your employers.
Several of the neighbors, who have called, have wished to be remembered to you; Mary and Jimmy unite with you father and myself in sending you love.
We shall constantly pray for your continued protection and prosperity. I remain, dear Betsey,
Your Affectionate Mother,
Danbury, Conn., July 7,18 - . My Dear Son:
I am sorry to learn that you are not inclined to be as strict in your line of duty as you should be. Remember, my son, that a down-hill road is before you, unless you rouse yourself and shake off immediately the habits of dissipation that are fastening themselves upon you. Be sure, dear boy, that nothing but sorrow and shame can come of bad company, late hours, neglect of duty, and inattention to the obligations of morality. I am willing to think that you have not given this matter sufficient thought heretofore; that your actions are the result of thoughtlessness, rather than a disposition to do wrong.
But be forewarned in time. Yon must change your course of action immediately, or incur my severe displeasure.
I urge this, my boy, for your sake. Remember that my happiness is bound in your own, and that nothing could give me greater pleasure than your prosperity. I trust that it will not be necessary for me to use more severe language than this.
Your Anxious Father,
Boston, Mass., June 9, 18 - . Dear Father:
I realize that I need the good advice contained in your letter. I am aware, as I stop to think of my conduct, that I have given you reason for anxiety, but I intend, by attention to my business hereafter, and a complete reformation of my habits, to give you no occasion for concern about me in the future. Believe me, I love and respect you too much to intentionally wound your feelings, or to bring down your gray hairs with sorrow.
Excuse me, dear father, for having given you this uneasiness, and trust me as,
Your Affectionate and Repentant Son,
Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 20,18 - . Friend Batchelder:
Can it be possible ? Am I right, or am I dreaming? Has it come to this at last? You, Batchelder Button - you cynic, railer against women, the unalterable, unchangeable bachelor, - is it possible that you have at last been captured, and have surrendered all your ordnance, heavy guns and small arms to the enemy?
What a defeat! That large, strong heart of yours all crumbling to pieces, and surrendering to Cupid's battery!
Well, now, seriously, my friend, from my point of view, I think you have done a very sensible thing. The man who goes the journey alone through life, lives but half a life. If you have found the woman fitted by temperament and accomplishments to render your pathway through life the joyous one that the married state should be, you are certainly to be congratulated for awakening to a true sense of your condition, though rather late in the day.
Though but slightly acquainted with Miss Howell, I have formed a very favorable idea of her intelligence and worth, which opinion, I believe, is generally shared by those who know her best. I doubt not, with her your married life will be a continually happy one.