"You have [?] then, doubtless [?] my Package by the [breakman?] -- and I am greatly mistaken if, our dear F's explanation has not greatly modified your views of his character. Dear Marie, you may depend upon it, F is often `more sinned against than sinning' imperfect as he is. Few understand that Boy -- and early education has made him something of an Ishmael -- whose `hand was against every man and every man against him' -- All that he wants is for the future a loving, gentle hand -- like Marie's -- and I promise you that you will [lead?] him with a cord more delicate than `the spider's most attenuated web' -- He has never had since he was born -- such an experiment made -- I'd think Marie that you will yet [derive?] your choicest comfort from his society -- and should you survive me & he too, will find him your stay & staff."
Ludlow, Henry G., letter to Marie Tappen, 1 February 1851
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