"On my return -- dear M. from [?] this eve. I found Fitzhugh had returned -- and with a dreadful cough. He says he has had it for about a week. I hope that he will soon be better. His general health seems good and he has grown considerably. I have had no opportunity of learning the state of his mind, as he retired to his bed soon, and he was much excited by the circumstances of his return to his father's house. Probably no serious change has taken place and soon will come the tug of war. The Lord give me wisdom and strength in this emergency. I wish you were here now to counsel and assist me -- I do need your presence and your prudence and should like much to have you try your power upon the son as you have upon the father, and see what wonder you can work...

...Oh Marie if you may be the [?] instrument in saving him...

...You little know dear what it is to have the incessant wear and tear arising from the care of such a boy as F. `Watch & pary lest you enter into temptation' `The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak' If you can possess your soul in patience -- if you can preserve an habitual equanimity -- if you can persevere in benevolent [works?] and efforts for his wellbeing in the midst of all your provocations -- you will `be perfect and entire lacking nothing.'...

....Poor boy! he seems purposed to be a better boy than he has been -- but alas can the [Ethiopian?] change his skin or the leopard his spots without a Divine interposition?

I am now at a loss to know what immediate disposition to make of him -- Oh for wisdom. Have you any [? ?] -- any light -- I might get a place perhaps in a [storm?] -- but then the temptation to falsehood & dishonesty in [?] are too many and too strong for a boy not remarkable for a truthful spirit. I think it may be best to put him in one of our town schools & have him go through a thorough course of English studies -- which he never has [known?]. We [?] then have him at home during the out of school hours."

SOURCE:
Ludlow, Henry G., letter to Marie Tappen, 19 February 1851
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