Continuing the narrative that began here.

Part 34.

Letter the Forty-First:

Miss Honoria Wells to Miss Amelia Purvis.

Dearest Amelia,—

My Education in Matters of true Philosophy has been very deficient in the Past; but since our first Meeting, the kind and good Doctor Albertus has endeavored to make up that which was lacking. It is not too much to say, That he has completed what was incomplete, and has filled me up, and from a mere Maiden has made me a Woman of the World.

How my Eyes are opened! I know now that there is a Truth higher than the simple Aphorisms which we have been taught as Children. The Conduct which it is necessary to instil in the Rude and Ignorant, is the Object of these homely Admonitions, in which I had formerly believed all Virtue to reside; but the great and good Doctor has shewn me how the Same must be cast aside, along with all childish Things, when once one has determined no longer to be a Child. It must be done cautiously, lest the childish and ignorant quibble; but O! Amelia, the Rewards of this Form of Knowledge are such as can never be described by mere Language. Yet now I do understand some of the obscure Passages in certain Volumes of Romance, as when it is said that the beautiful Uzila, when alone in the inaccessible Red Tower with the duke Ahmad her lover, felt herself lifted as on a Rocket, and burst like the Illuminations at the Coronation of her Father:—a Description, which I own was a Puzzle to me in my former Existence, but now is plain as Day. Were you by my Side, dearest Amelia, ’twould be unnecessary for me to guard my Speech, as I do my Writing. I can only Wish, and hope, that you will soon find a Man as wise, and as condescending, as Doctor Albertus is; and, when you do so, Amelia, be ruled by your Sister,—for I do still think of us as Sisters,—and let not Prejudice or Ignorance deprive you of the Fruit of Knowledge.

It has been my great Happiness to learn some of the mechanicall Secrets as well of which Doctor Albertus is the sole Keeper: For he says I am marvellously apt, and might some day be a Master of Clockworks myself; I am, as it were, in this Way as well, an Initiate in the Science of a new Life; and I begin to understand his Notions in that Regard, and so to see into a Futurity ruled by rationall Machines.

What I speak of to you in this Letter, dearest Amelia, I would not have repeated indiscriminately: For when you have tasted that Knowledge, which I possess, you will understand the Need for Discretion.

I would fain see you, dear Sister, and if you can contrive to escape your Family, you may be sure of a hearty Welcome from the Doctor and myself. But how far soever you may be from me, you are ever near to my Heart; and I hope that you also may spare a Thought for

Your fondest Friend and Sister,

Continue to Part 35.

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