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SKETCHES IN THE LIFE OF JOHN CLARE

live to make a man, while the sister that was born with me5 being a twin was as much to the contrary a fine livley bonny wench whose tum it was to die first for she livd but a few weeks, proving the old saying for once mistaken 'that the weakest always goeth to the wall.' As my parents had the good fate to have but a small family, I being the eldest of 4, two of whom dyed in their Infancy my mothers hopfull ambition ran high of being able to make me a good scholar, as she said she expirenced enough in her own case to avoid bringing up her childem in ignorance, but god help her, her hopful and tender kindness was often crossd with difficultys, for there was often enough to do to keep cart upon wheels, as the saying is, without incuring an extra expence of putting me to school, though she never lost the oppertunity when she was able to send me, nor woud my father interfere till downright nessesity from poverty forced him to check her kind intentions; for he was a tender father to his childern, and I have every reason to tum to their memorys with the warmest feelings of gratitude and satisfaction, and if doing well to their childern be an addition to rightousness I am certain god cannot forget to bless them with a portion of felicity in the other world, when souls are called to judgment and receive the reward due to their actions commited below. In cases of extreeme poverty my father took me to labour with him and made me a light flail for threshing, !earing me betimes the hardship which adam and Eve6

inflicted on their childern by their inexperienced misdeeds, incuring the perpetual curse from god of labouring for a livlihood, which the teeming earth is said to have produced of itself before, but use is second nature, at least it learns us patience I

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