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May your fortune, dearest Mary, be even better than the sybil's predictions. There is one secret, however, she did not tell you, and that is the power we all have in forming our own destinies.
We must press on that intricate path leading to perfection and happiness, by doing all that is good and noble, before we can be taken under the silver wing of our rewarding angel ; this I feel sure you will aim at, and succeed beyond doubt. It will not be necessary, dear child, to recapitulate all the virtues important to render us worthy and deserving of good fortune, because you know them well.
I received your last letter just a week after the date on the inside, though the envelope was marked for the 26th.
I hope the book I sent has been received, and that ere this you are ready to go on your visit to Cousin William. Present me affectionately to him and the girls ; I should delight in seeing them all. Your Uncle Madison mends in his health, but has many relapses. We have had more company this summer than I can enumerate, and though I enjoy it, my health has not been so good as usual ; this morning I was not able to breakfast with my eight guests, but went for a drive with my dear husband and shall join them at dinner.
Your affectionate aunt,
- Dolly Madison