Mary Clarke to
9th January 1695
It is an ease to me to talke of what is perpetually in my mind which I must indever to remove if possoble; for my sperrett have bin some yeares past soe opprest that I find ten time a smaller matter then this is apt to have a great deal of power over me. I find it a disadvantage to the children that theare is soe many of them together of soe diffrent agess, the little ones being apt to presume and take upon them to doe what soe ever they see the great ones doe, and the great ones to play foollish and childish tricks to immitate the little ones and both sorts apt to be conceited in theyr way; and when I keepe them asunder I know not how to devide my selfe to keepe good order amonge both, and nobody else signifyes a straw except he with Jack and indeed I have noe troble with him Mounsr takes it all hetherto, he is prety sharp sometimes but I take noe notiss of it being cencible that our childrens temper must sometimes be treated that way, though I beleve Betty Jack Molly and Sam to be much easier curbed and improved then Ward Nanny and Jepp though I cannot complaine of any if we can be soe fortunate to hitt on the right ways and methards for them.
I heare Madam Sandford is very buisey putting her selfe and her 2 eldist daughters in morning if any other children or servants I know not, and whether you will think it nessesary for me to have morning for any body besides my selfe I desire to know whether for poor Jack he being perticulerly concerned and for noe other, or for the 2 eldist girles or for all or for none according as you find other peaple doe or you thinke it convenient, they will all want cloths in the springe and if you thinke it will not looke well or respecttfull enough for them not to be in morning it is but makeing it 3 months sounner but of thiss you can judge better that are upon the place.