In another letter to her younger brother, Richard, four years later, she thus sums up their life at Groton, and pictures the position of the household after the father's death.
You express gratitude for what I have taught you. It is in your power to repay me a hundred-fold, by making every exertion now to improve. I did not teach you as I would; yet I think the confinement and care I took of you children, at a time when my mind was so excited by many painful feelings, have had a very bad effect upon my health. I do not say this to pain you, or to make you more grateful to me (for, probably, if I had been aware at the time what I was doing, I might not have sacrificed myself so); but I say it that you may feel it your duty to fill my place, and do what I may never be permitted to do. Three precious years, at the best period of my life, I gave all my best hours to you children; let me not see you idle away time, which I have always valued so much; let me not find you unworthy of the love I felt for you. Those three years would have enabled me to make great attainments, which now I never may. Do you make them in my stead, that I may not remember that time with sadness.Fuller Mss. i. 623.
Father's removal there was ill-judged, at least as regarded himself, your mother, and myself. The younger ones were not violently rent from all their former life and cast on toils for which they were unprepared. There your mother's health was injured and mine destroyed;