Saturday, January 26, 2013

From a father to his son, on his Negligence of his Affairs, because of Naughty habits

The following epistle may be seen as directing the requisite style and form for common people to imitate when writing letters upon this type of occasion, viz. when  a father’s teenage son neglects his duties for a nasty, lustful habit, which, if left unchecked, will likely bring ruin upon him, his family, and even terrorize the maids. 


Dear Jemmy,

You cannot imagine what a concern your carelessness and indifferent management of your affairs give me. Remissness is inexcusable in all men, but in none so much as in a man of business, the soul of which is industry, diligence, and punctuality. You have  have sworn complete devotion to the cultivation of barley, wheat, and sugar beet, as did your family ancestors, going back to the time of James the First, dedicate their lives to this land, and you have been a fine worker in your family business, at least until now.

Let me beg of you to shake off the idle habits you have contracted lately, which have distracted you from you duties to the farm. Think not that your parents are unaware of your naughty habits. Think not that we will turn a blind eye on your lewd behaviour, especially as it has prevented you from discharging your professional duties.

Evidence of your sinning have become too obvious for your parents to ignore. I myself have heard you utter the cries of self-pleasure when alone in your room; for I too have, when of your age, been susceptible to these vile temptations. No one in the household can deny that you have been locking yourself up in the bathroom for too long; and, depend upon it, everyone is very suspicious of you retiring to your room right after dinner, and never leaving until breakfast next morning.

Beside, the maids have been complaining of being terrorized by you. They say that you secretly snatch away from the laundry basket, like a slippery rascal (these were their words), their undershifts, their stockings, and petticoats, stowing away the booty in your room. I fear to imagine what you might be doing with their soiled underthings, locked up alone in your room, all those hours. You have also been caught by the maids, a-peeping on them through the key hole, into their private rooms (or through the blinds, or from behind the radiator). You have frightened the poor maids so that they now perform all their evening ablutions in the dark only, and, knowing you might be under the same roof, dare not get undressed anywhere in the house in daylight. For you are a sneaky one, my son, no denying that.

Reflect, I beseech you, before it be too late, upon the consequence of neglecting the professional duties you have to the cultivation of barley, wheat, and sugar beet. Think ye might find a respectable way to make a living from this talent you have for a-peeping on the maids from behind the radiator? Think ye of becoming a spy for a living, my boy?Think upon the indignities you are likely to suffer from those whose money you have squandered; the injustice you do to your future family in depriving your children not only of the power of raising themselves, but of living tolerably. And all this for the sake of indulging yourself in a thoughtless habit, that cannot afford the least satisfaction beyond the present hours, if in that; and which must be attended with deep remorse. Your mother has been bed-ridden all week, a-wailing at  everyone. Think seriously of these things, and in time resolve on such a course as may bring credit to yourself, peace and pleasure to your mind, comfort to your family, and safety to our maids; and which will give, at the same time, the highest satisfaction to 
                                                                                                    Your loving Father,

PS Perhaps you are reading this letter from behind the radiator, spying upon the poor maids, as usual. Would you like me to leave your lunch on a tray, near the radiator, so that you may, weasel-like, claim it, without anyone noticing?

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