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In answering a letter, always attend to any questions or inquiries for information, which may have been addressed to you by your correspondent, before you proceed witlr your own thoughts and information.
In all letters strive to make your meaning apparent in as small a compass, as possible; people frequently occupy a page with that which might be comprised in six lines.
Avoid the introduction of too many quotations from other authors, particularly those in a foreign language; it is a ridiculous affectation to write a Latin or French phrase when an English one would do just as
it is as bad as talking in the technical language in one's business :0 a person who knows nothing about it.
Never use hard words unnecessarily; nor particular words or phrases too often : use as few parentheses as possible, it is a clumsy way of disposing of a sentence, and often embarrasses the reader.
Correct spelling and good grammar are so essential to fine writing, that the absence of them destroys the force of the best sentiments.
Nothing is more generally admired than handsome penmanship; and although some physicians, lawyers and others may endeavor to excuse their bad writing by calling it infashionable to write well and legible, depend upon it that it is an absurd and unreasonable practice.
If you write to a stranger, sign your name fairly and in full; and direct your letter, if it goes by mail, with precision as to state, county and town
From a ysung lad at a boarding-school in the cvuntry to hit
brother, an apprentice in New-York. DEAR CHARLES,
Little master Billy Thompson is going to New-York tomorrow mi the stage, and I have sent this by him to you. We are all well at school, and I have got as far as Ovid; I have likewise got through the rules of practice, of which I shall give you a better account when I come to town on the fourth of July. Dear brother, give my duty to papa and mamma, and tell them I long to see them; I pray for them and you every day; and I have read over the Complete Duty of Man, which my mamma gave me. I spend an hour every day in reading Dr. Goldsmith's Roman History. Pray Charles, send me some books, for I am very fond of reading ; and a neat red pocket book, and I shall do more for you when I leave school,
I am your loving brother.
The Brother's Answer. DEAR BROTHER,
I received your kind letter, and am glad to hear you are well, as al. 80 of the progress you make | learning. I read your letter to your papa and mamma, and they are much pleased with it. Bill Thompson dines at our house tomorrow, and he wili kring you this. Your father has sent you three dollars ; and as you are so fond of books, I have sent you Rollin's Belles Lettres. Mr. Austin, our priest, says, that although all sorts of history are useful, yet he thinks you should begin with that of your own country; and he has sent you a present of Gore dun's History of America. I have sent you the pocket book, and some other things, which you will find sealed up in the parcel.
We all beg that you will continue to persevere as you have begun, in an uniforin course of virtue.
dear brother, yours affectionately. 1*
From a young Miss to her parents. I HOPE that my dear papa and mamma will excuse the badness of the writing of this letter, when they shall be pleased to recollect, that ulis is my first attempt since I have learned to join my letters together. I have long been anxious to have the pleasure of being able to write to ;'oll, and beg you will be pleased to accept this my first humble offering. As my constant study ever has been, so shall it continue to be, to convince you how mucb. I am, my dearest parents,
Your most affectionate and dutiful daughter.
papa and mamma will be pleased to accept of my most re. spectful compliments on the close of the old and commencement of the new year. As it has pleased God to give you good health during the course of the last year, I beseech hiin to grant you the same to the end of the present, and many more. This is a happiness your family have most earnestly to wish for, and in particular
Your most humbie and dutiful daughter.
You seem to make good the old proverb, “Out of sight, out o mind.” It is now two months since I received a letter from you, ant you appear to forget that we little maids do not like to be treated with neglect. You must not pretend to tell me that however fond you may be of your books, you could not find leisure to write me in all this time. They tell me that you spend a great part of your leisure time with a little miss of about eight years of age, with whom you are very fond of reading and conversing. Take care, if I find she is withdrawing your affection from me, that I do not come down, and pull her cap for her. As for yourself, if you were within the reach of my little tongue, I would give you such a peal as should make you reinember it for some time to come. However, if you will write to me soon, I may possibly forgive all that is past, and still consider myself as
Your most affectionate sister.
Answer to the preceding. DEAR SISTER,
I am rery sorry, that I have given you so much reason to complain of my neglect of writing to you; but be assured, that my affections for you are the same they ever were. I readily confess, that the young lady you complain of, has in some measure been the cause of it. She is as fond of reading as I an and I believe loves you on my account; is it then possible my sister can be displeased with one so amiable. I did not tell her what you threatened her with : but I am sure, were you to come here on that errand, instead of pulling her cap, you would embrace and love her. As to what you say respecting your little tongue, I promise you I do not wish to come within reach of the sound of it, when anger sets it in motion. As this is the only thing which can render my sister less agreeable, I shall be very cautious to avoid setting the Jittle alarum in motion, especially when I shall pay you a visit. I have bought you a most brilliant dɔll, which I shall bring up with me when I come to Hudson.
Your most affectionate brother.
LETTER 7. From a Brother to a Sister in the country, upbraiding her for
being negligent in writing. MY DEAR SISTER,
I write to you to acquaint you how unkindly we all take it here, that you do not write oftener to us, in relation to your health, diversion, and employments in the country. You cannot be insensible how much you are beloved by us all ; judge then if you do well to omit giving us the satisfaction absence affords to true friends, which is, often to hear from one another. My mother is highly displeased with you, and says you are a very idle girl; my aunt is of the same opinion, and I wouid rain like a loving brother, excuse you if I could. Pray, for the future take care to deserve a better character, and by writing soon, and often, put it in my power to say what a good sister I have for you shall always
Your most affectionate brother.
LETTER 8. From the Daughter to the Mother, in excuse for her neglect. HONORED MADAM,
I am ashamed I stayed to be reminded of my duty by my brother's kind letter. I will offer no excuse for myself for not writing oftener, though I have been strangely taken up by the kindness and favor of your good friends here, particularly my aunt Willet : for well do I know that my duty to my honored mother onght to take place of all other considerations. All I beg therefore is, that you will be so good as to for give me, on promise of amendment, and to procure forgiveness also of my aunt Greenough and all friends. Believe me, madam, when I say that no diversions here or elsewhere shall make me forget the duty ? owe to so good a mother, and such kind relations; and that I shall ever be
Your gratefully dutiful daughter. P.S. My aunt and cousins desire their kind love to you, and duo respects to all friends
From a Father to his Son at school. MY DEAR CHILD,
I could not give a more convincing proof of my affection for you, than in submitting to send you to so great a distance from me. I preferred your advantage to my own pleasure, and sacrificed fondness to duty. I should have done this sooner, but I waited till my inquiries had found out a person whose character miglit be responsible for your education; and Mr. Batchelder was at length my choice for that important trust. Your obedience, therefore, must be without murmuring or reluctance ; especially when you reflect that a strict attention to his appointments, and an implicit compliance with his commands, are not only to form the rule of your safe conduct in this life, but to be preparatory to your happiness in the next. With regard to your school connexions, it is impose sible for me to give you any instructions at present. All that I shall now say to you on this subject is, quarrel with no one, avoid ineddling with the disputes of others, unless with a view to promote an accommodation ; and though I would wish you to support the dignity of a youth, be neither mean nor arrogant. I bave nothing more now to add, than to pray God to give you grace and abilities, and that your own endeavors may second the views of
An affectionate father.
From a Youth at school to his Father. BONORED SIR,
1 am infinitely obliged to you, for the many favors you have bestowed apon me; all I hope is, that the progress I make in my learning will be considered as some proof how sensible I am of your kindness. GratiCude, duty, and a view to my own future advantage, equally contribute to make ine thoroughly sensible how much I ought to labor for my own improvement, and your satisfaction. I have received the books you sent for my amusement. The Princes of Persia I have almost finished, after which I shall peruse Mrs. Chapone's Letters on the Iinprovement of the Mind. The liberal allowance of money you have been pleased to make me, shall be applied in the best manner I am able. I am sure my dear father will poi censure me should I devote a part of it towards the relief of the wretched and unfortunate. Pray give my most dutiful respects to my mother, my kindest love to my brothers and sisters, and believe me, dear sir,
Your most dutiful and affectionate son.
As you are now gone from home, and placed in a very capital semiDary of learning, I thought it not amiss to put you in mind, that childish Amusements should be laid aside, and, instead of them, more serious thoughts imbibed, and things of more consequence made the object of your attention ; whereby we may add to the reputation of our family, and gain to ourselves the good esteem of being virtuous and diligent. You may judge, in some measure, of the value of a good education, from the unavailing lamentations you daily hear those make, who have foo ishly shrunk from the difficulties attending the various branches of scholastic education. What a difference there is between an aged man of learning and one who totally neglected his education in his youth! The