Date 1871-1872
Country United Kingdom
City Chichester
Province West Sussex
Sex of author M
notes School pupil's letters to his parents
December 21, 1871

My dear Parents, 

I feel assured that you will accord a hearty welcome to my usual holiday letter. 

This past year has, I earnestly hope, witnessed in me a greater desire for the acquisition of good and useful knowledge, and an increased aptitude for retaining whatever I have learned.

I thank you for keeping me regularly at school, thereby placing me in a position to profit by the many means of instruction opened to me.

I have advanced in arithmetic, Reading, Writing and Spelling, together with Geography, History, and Drawing.

In our daily routine of reaching thoroughness in each subject is always required, and it has been impressed upon us that carelessness in the preparation of our appointed lessons involves corresponding carelessness in habits which will materially hinder our future progress in life. 

By mastering one difficulty before another presents itself, our powers of application are cultivated and we are thus trained and disciplined for the battle of life, should it please almighty God to allow us to grow to man’s estate. 

With regards to myself, I desire to appreciate fully the means of improvement now within my reach – steadily going forward each day, remembering the proverb – “Slow but sure wins the race”

Before concluding my letter I must inform you that our school has obtained a first class report from the Committee of Council on Education. H.M. Inspector held the examination last July, and the following has been received. “The school does Mr Osborne great credit. The Discipline is well maintained, and, the Instruction is sound and good. The Writing is excellent. The boys in the higher standards also passed successfully in Geography and English History. 

Encouraged by this let us go on cheerfully and hopefully seeking the blessing of God upon our efforts. 

With kind love and best wishes, 

I am, My dear Parents, Your affectionate Son, 

Frederick H.

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December 19, 1872

My dear Parents,

The rapid approach of another Chrismas bids me hasten to offer my usual greeting in the welcome form of a holiday letter.

Your kindness in endeavouring to insure my regular and punctual attendance at school, has, I earnestly hope, met with due appreciation on my part. The importance of the value of time has been constantly impressed on us, in order that we may make good and satisfactory use of that portion allotted to our duties now, and also that we may be better prepared to fill, with credit and success, our various situations in future life.
Many think it a trifling matter to be absent from school occasionally without proper cause, and when in attendance there, to be a few minutes over the time specified: but by such practices they are forming idle and listless habits, that in after days will prove serious obstacles to their advancement.
Now is the time to acquire high principles of action, and to lay up stores of useful knowledge. We must as a great poet has nobly said:

‘Act, – act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!’

With regard to myself, it is my firm resolve to make diligent use of my opportunities and should it please Divine Providence to spare me for coming years, may your hearts be gladdened by my progress in all that is true, just and good.
I have great pleasure in informing you that our school passed a highly successful examination at the visit of H. M’s. Inspector in July last. The report is as follows: “This school continues to be conducted by Mr. Osborne with great skill, integrity, and judgment.”
Wishing you all the blessings of this happy season,
I am, My dear Parents,
Your affectionate Son,
Frederick H.

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