"MY DEAR FRIEND, -- If I did not think you would forgive me, I should feel, now that I have once allowed my mind to rest upon my conduct to you, as if I could never hold up my head again. After much occupation of thought and feeling with other things, a season of silence has come, and my sins look me in the face. First of them all is my neglect of you, to whom I owe more than to any man else, except, perhaps, my father. Forgive me, for forgiveness' sake. You know it takes a long time for a child to know its mother. It takes everything as a matter of course, till suddenly one day it lifts up its eyes, and knows that a face is looking at it. I have been like the child towards you; but I am beginning to feel what you have been to me. I want to be good. I am very lonely now in great noisy London. Write to me, if you please, and comfort me. I wish I were as good as you. Then everything would go right with me. Do not suppose that I am in great trouble of any kind. As yet I am very comfortable, as far as external circumstances go. But I have a kind of aching inside me. Something is not right, and I want your help. You will know what I mean. What am I to do? Please to remember me in the kindest, most grateful manner to Mrs. Elginbrod and Margaret. It is more than I deserve, but I hope they have not forgotten me as I have seemed to forget them.
"I am, my dear Mr. Elginbrod,
"Your old friend,