Letter from Peter Redpath to Peter Whiteford Redpath, 22 June 1884

The Manor House
Chiselhurst, June 22nd, 1884

My dear Peter,

I cannot let the deep sorrow which has befallen you pass away without expressing to you my own and Aunt Grace’s earnest sympathy with you. I have already written to Mama and to Amy — but it is so long since I wrote to you that I now wish to give you a letter for yourself. I know how much you felt your dear papa’s death. It was a great sorrow to me and to Aunt Grace. We both loved him very very much.

I am sure that you will do all you can to comfort Mama and the way to do that is to do all of your duty cheerfully and persistently. I have no reason to doubt that you are kind to every one around you. I will not suppose otherwise. And I am glad to believe that you have a disposition and sufficient capacity to qualify yourself for any influential position which – if you live – you may be called upon to fill. You are the oldest son of your generation of Redpaths and will, by and bye, be looked up to as the chief representative of the family. You may have much influence for good or for evil. I do not doubt that you will choose the good. It is your duty to cultivate to the utmost the capacity that you have. Even men who are naturally very clever seldom do much and never achieve greatness without much study and untiring industry.

I shall be glad to know what books you read and in what direction your tastes lie. You cannot yet have read very much. I wish to warn you against an error made by many. It is that of reading too many books and reading superficially. I erred in this way myself and have reason to regret the consequences. Better read one good book thoroughly than twenty books superficially. If you are inclined to pursue scientific studies Montreal offers some facilities. If your tastes lead you towards literature you will have to do your best at Greek and Latin while you are at school. I have often regretted that I did not keep up my Latin after leaving school. It would always have been a pleasure and lately it would have been a great advantage to me. I shall be very much pleased if you would write to me as often as you can find the time. You will not always have to complain of not receiving answers.

Aunt Grace sends her love to you with mine.

Your affectionate uncle

Peter Redpath
P.W. Redpath

Source: McGill University, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, MS 818 c.2 Redpath Family, File 2.33, Redpath Family Corres, Peter Redpath, Peter Redpath, Letter from Peter Redpath to Peter Whiteford Redpath, 22 June 1884, June 22, 1884

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