Transcribed by Gary Carroll, email@example.com
Addressed to: Mr & Mrs John William Coles.
22 Congress St., Boston, Mass.
March 20, 1899
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Coles;-
I suppose you wondered as you looked at the postmark whom this letter could be from, but as you opened it and glanced at the bottom of the page you recognized an old familiar name. Though so far removed from you I have not forgotten about you, nor the pleasant hours spent at your home in South Rustico. I heard with much regret from Hattie Buntain some time ago of Lilla's death. I do not wish to open anew the wound in your hearts on account of her demise but I cannot refrain from mingling my sympathy with you and her sisters in losing such a loved one. I knew her so well, better perhaps than most of the people. It is a sad duty for me to record that she is the first of my pupils to pass away. I have something that i shall always keep in remembrance of her, and that is the verse she wrote in my autograph album; it runs something like this: "Love me little Love me long; do not flirt, for it is wrong." I thought it a very cute little verse, and a number of my friends as they read over the different verses generally passed a comment on that one of Lilla's, "how cute it was".
How happy the thought, my dear friends, that we have the privilege of meeting our loved who have gone before us, if we will but do the Master's bidding. How sweet to think that when one dies so young they always go to heaven; for Jesus says, "Suffer the little ones to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." It is the last part of that verse that I have particular reference to.
I do not expect that I shall be on the Island this summer, but if God spares my life I hope to be the summer after. I have two sisters up here and live quite near me. Nettie the one next to me has just graduated from Millinery School and has gone to work to-day. Florrie lives quite near us also. We are all able to get to the same church and and see each other two and three times a week, and sometimes oftener. We live in Everett; I am writing this in the office. Yesterday (Sunday) was a very wet day, it rained from morning till night. There is a little snow on the ground. Hadn't a sleigh ride since I left home.
I must now close as it is getting late, so with best wishes for yourselves, and with kindest regards for Annie and May and the rest, I am, Your old, yet ever true friend
Herbert A. Ling.
P.S. Tell Annie & May that I should like to hear from them sometimes if they would care to write.Note: Herbert Austin Ling was born 1876 at New Glasgow, PEI; Lilla Upton Coles died 30 Dec., 1898 aged 10?