United Kingdom, 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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