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I ned not desire you to bid any one remember me; but tell them I remember them. Say how Eliza does. Tell Arnelia and Sarah I do not forget them. God bless you all.
J. P. C. The best wishes that can be formed for your health, honor, and happiness, ever attend you, from yours, &c.,
B. E. In the superscription of a letter, be careful not to give the double title of Mr. before the name, and Esq. after it. One of them is sufficient. It is proper also to give the professional title of a minister of the Gos, pel, a doctor, or lawyer, which are, respectively, Rev., M.D., and Esq. The latter title is often given to other gentlemen. These directions might be multiplied, but we now furnish a few specimens of letter-writing, worthy of being imitated.
SPECIMENS OF LETTER-WRITING.
Dr. Beattie to the Duchess of Gordon, informing her of the death of
Aberdeen, Dec. 1, 1790. Knowing with what kindness and condescension your grace is interested in every thing that concerns me and my family, I take the liberty to inform you that my son James is dead; that the last duties to him are now paid; and that I am endeavoring to return, with the little ability that is left me, and with entire submission to the will of Providence, to the ordinary business of life. I have lost one who was always a pleasing companion ; but who, for the last five or six years, was one of the most entertaining and instructive companions that ever man was blessed with : for his mind comprehended almost every science; he was a most attentive observer of life and manners; a master of classical learning; and he possessed an exuberance of wit and humor, a force of understanding, and a correctness and delicacy of taste, beyond any other person of his age whom I have ever known.
He lived twenty-two years and thirteen days. Many weeks before death came, he saw it approaching; and he met it with such composure and pious resignation as may, no loubt, be equalled, but can not be surpassed.
He has left many things in writing, serious and humorous scientific and miscellaneous, prose and verse, Latin and English; but it will be a long time before I shall be able to harden my heart so far as to revise them.
I have the satisfaction to know that every thing has been done
for him that could be done. * * But my chief comfort arises from reflecting on the particulars of his life, which was one uninterrupted exercise of piety, benevolence, filial affection, and, indeed, of every virtue which it was in his power to practice. I shall not, with respect to him, adopt a mode of speech which has hecome too common, and call him my poor son ; for I must believe that he is infinitely happy, and that he will be so forever.
May God grant every blessing to your grace, your family, and all your friends.
The Duke of Gordon has done me the honor, according to his wonted and very great humanity, to write me a most friendly and sympathetic letter on this occasion.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
James BEATTIE. The Duchess of Gordon. The Hon. Horace Walpole to R. West, Esq.
Naples, June 14th, 1740, N. S. DEAR WEST: One hates writing descriptions that are to be found in every vook of travels, but we have seen something to-day that I am sure you never read of, and, perhaps, never heard of. Have you ever heard of the subterraneous town? a whole Roman town, with all its edifices, remaining under ground. Don't fancy the inhabitants buried it there to save it from the Goths: they were buried with it themselves. * * * * * This under-ground city is, perhaps, one of the noblest curiosities that ever has been discovered. It was found out by chance a century and a half ago. They began digging ; they found statues: they dug farther; they found
Since that they have made a very considerable progress, and find continually. ** *** I forgot to tell you that in several places the beams of the houses remain, but burned to charzoal; so little damaged that they retain visibly the grain of the wood; but, upon touching, crumble to ashes. What is remarkable, there are no other marks or appearances of fire but what are visible on these beams. * * * Adieu, my dear West, and believe me yours ever,
To Miss Baillie, by Sir Walter Scott.
Abbotsford, Your kind letter, my dear friend, heaps coals of fire on my nead, for I should have written to you, in common gratitude, long since; but I waited till I should read through the Miscellany with some attention, which, as I have not done,
I can scarce say much to the purpose, so far as that is concerned. My own production sat in the porch like an evil thing, and scared me from proceeding farther than to hurry through your compositions, with which I was delighted, and two or three others. In my own case, have almost a nervous reluctance to look back on any recent po
etical performance of my own. I may almost say with Mac. beth,
"I am afraid to think what I have done ;
Look on't again, I are not." But the best of the matter is, that your purpose has been so satis factorily answered. * * * * *
Mrs. Hemans is somewhat too poetical for my taste-tuo many flowers, I mean, and too little fruit ; but that may be the cynical criticism of an elderly gentleman: it is certain that when I was young, I read verses of every kind with infinitely more indulgence, because with more pleasure than I now do--the more shame for me now to refuse the complaisance which I have so often to solicit. I am hastening to think prose a better thing than verse, and if you have any hopes to convince me to the contrary, it must be by writing and publishing another volume of plays as fast as possible. ****
We saw, you will readily suppose, a great deal of Miss Edgeworth, and two very nice girls, her younger sisters. It is scarcely possible to say more of this very remarkable person, than that she not only completely answered, but exceeded the expectations which I had formed. I am particularly pleased with the naïveté and good-humored ardor of mind which she unites with such formidable powers of acute observation. * * * *
To Miss Edgeworth-Sir W. Scott. Miss Harriet had the goodness to give me an account of your safe arrival in the Green Isle, of which I was, sooth to say, extremely glad; for I had my own private apprehensions that your very disagreeable disorder' might return while you were among strangers, and in our rugged climate. I now conclude you are settled quietly at home, and looking back in recollectires of mountains, and valleys, and pipes, and clans, and cousins, and masons, and carpenters, and puppy dogs, and all the confusion of Abbotsford, as one does on recollections of a dream. We shall not easily forget the vision of having seen you and our two young friends, and your kind indulgence for all our humors, sober and fantastic, rough or smooth. * * *
The Lockharts are both well, and at present our lodgers, together with John Hugh. They all join in every thing kind and affectionate to you and the young ladies, and the best compliments to your brother.
Believe me ever, dear Miss Edgeworth,
London, MY DEAR Cousin, Here are we, safely deposited among the rural solitudes and
romantic bcauties of Hyde Park! London, at this season, is a mere deserted village ! nobody that is any body, in town; not a shutter open in Grosvenor Square. *****
Shall l'attempt, in a single page, to describe this gigantic city ? Such an achievement would resemble that of Crockford's cook, who distilled a whole ox into a basin of soup. Though Bonaparte struck out the word impossible from his vocabulary, it remairs in mine, and falls, like an extinguisher, upon all my hopes of succeeding; but také Lord Byron's sketch, in full of all de. mands on ordinary pens:
“A wilderness of steeples peeping,
On a fool's head-and there is London town.' Some skillful physician once remarked, that England would cer. tainly go off in an apoplexy at last, because the circulation toward her extremities grows daily more languid, while every thing tends to the head; and it gave me some idea on the enor. mous scale which London is on now, compared with former times, to hear, that forty years ago, the mail left this for Scotland with only one letter, and now the average number that departs from. the metropolis every morning is 80,000. How insignificant my own epistle will appear among so many! and we ourselves, after being accustomed to occasion some sensation at inns and villages in the wilds of Wales, feel now reduced again to obscurity, like Cinderella, when her carriage was turned into a pumpkin, her horses into mice, and herself
into a mere nobody. It is highly diverting to watch the incessant stream of anxious, busy faces, unceasingly passing our window. Every one is, of course, pursuing some favorite object, compared with which the whole world besides is insignificant, and all will at last come under the pen of their respective biographers, either in quarto or duodecimo, in magazines, journals, or penny tracts, in the Newgate Calendar, or the annual obituary. *****
You were diverted once to hear of the old lady who had a nervous cornplaint which could only be relieved by talking; but much as her friends had their complaisance put to the test, by listening without intermission, you must prepare to find me laboring under similar symptoms when we meet. Make up your mind to be considerably bored, and to have occasion for a large share of inexhaustible patience. * * * * *
Our correspondence is now about to terminate in the way that all correspondences ought, by a happy meeting, which will take place delightfully soon, for as A. says, with railways and steamboats, no one place is more than a hóp, step, and a jump, from another. In the mean time, I shall say no more, but follow the very judicious advice of our favorite Cowper,
“Tell not as news what every body knows,
To Mrs. H. Mure-Countess Cremorne. I almost scruple intruding upon you, my dear Mrs. More, know. ing as I do, with sorrow, that you are so very far from well; and also knowing how many letters are pouring in upon you from all your friends and correspondents; but I can not help wishing to tell you how gratefully I feel your kindness in sending me your most valuable book: I wish I could give you the satisfaction of knowing with what sort of pleasure I have been reading it. I wish you could have seen me reading it, as I do the letters of a few beloved friends-slowly, for fear of coming to the end ; and reading those parts over and over again which most delight, and I hope, mend my heart. * * * * * Pray believe me, my dear Mrs. More, To be your affectionate and gratefu.
F. CREMORNE. Dr. Franklin to John Alleyne, Esq.
Craven-street, August 9, 1768 DEAR JACK, Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should, ere this, have presented them in person. I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with respect; it will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest. Be studious in your pro. fession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy; at least you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences. I pray God to bless you both, being ever your affectionate friend,
B. FRANKLIN Dr. Franklin to Mrs. Hewson.
Passy, January 27, 1783.
* At length we are in peace, God be praised ! and long, very long, may it continue! All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. When will mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their differences by arbitration? Were they to do it even by the cast of a die, it would be better than by fighting and destroying each other.
Spring is coming on, when traveling will be delightful. Can you not, when your children are all at school, make a little party, and take a trip hither? I have now a large house, delightfully situated, in which I could accommodate you and two or three friends, and I am but half an hour's drive from Paris.