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letters, upon vellum paper, with pink margins, sealed with sweet + mottoes, and dainty devices, the whole deliciously perfumed with musk and attar of roses; young ladies who collect "copies of verses,” and charades, keep * albums, copy patterns, make bread seals, work little dogs upon footstools, and paint flowers without shadow — Oh! no! the epistolary steam engine will never come into. *vogue with those dear creatures. They must enjoy the “ feast of reason, and the flow of soul,” and they must writeyes! and how they do write !
7. But for another genus of female scribes, unhappy innocents! who groan in spirit at the dire necessity of having to hammer out one of those aforesaid terrible epistles; who, having in due form dated the gilt edged-sheet that lies outspread before them in appalling whiteness, having also felicitously achieved the graceful exordium, “My dear Mrs. P,” or “My dear Lady V,” or “ My dear -any thing else,” feel that they are in for it, and must say something! Oh, that something that must come of nothing ! those bricks that must be made without straw! those pages that must be filled with words! Yea, with words that must be sewed into sentences! Yea, with sentences that must seem to mean something: the whole to be tacked together, all neatly fitted and dovetailed so as to form one smooth, polished surface !
8. What were the labors of Hercules to such a task! The very thought of it puts me into a mental perspiration; and, from my inmost soul, I compassionate the unfortunates now at this very
I moment, perhaps,) screwed up perpendicularly in the seat of torture, having in the right hand a fresh-nibbed patent pen, dipped ever and anon into the ink bottle, as if to hook up ideas, and under the outspread palm of the left hand a fair sheet of best Bath post, (ready to receive thoughts yet unhatched), on which their eyes are riveted with a stare of + disconsolate * perplexity infinitely touching to a feeling mind.
9. To such unhappy persons, in whose miseries I deeply sympathize - - - Have I not groaned under similar horrors, from the hour when I was first shut up (under lock and key, I believe), to indite a dutiful epistle to an honored aunt? I remember, as if it were yesterday, the moment when she who had enjoined the task entered to inspect the performance, which, by her calculation, should have been fully completed. I remember how sheepishly I hung down my head, when she snatched from before me the paper, (on which I had made no farther progress than “My dear ant,”') angrily exclaiming, “What, child ! have you been shut up here three hours to call your aunt a pismire?" From that hour of humiliation I have too often groaned under the + endurance of similar penance, and I have learned from my own sufferings to compassionate
those of my dear sisters in affliction. To such unhappy persons, then, I would fain offer a few hints, (the fruit of long experience), which, if they have not already been suggested by their own observation, may prove serviceable in the hour of +
emergency. 10. Let them --- or suppose I address myself to one particular sufferer—there is something more * confidential in that manner of communicating one's ideas. As Moore says, “Heart speaks to heart." I say, then, take always special care to write by candlelight, for not only is the apparently unimportant operation of snuffing the candle in itself a momentary relief to the depressing con sciousness of mental + vacuum, but not unfrequently that trifling act, or the brightening flame of the taper, elicits, as it were, from the dull embers of fancy, a sympathetic spark of fortunate conception. When such a one occurs, seize it quickly and + dextrously, but, at the same time, with such cautious prudence, as not to huddle up and contract in one short, paltry sentence, that which, if ingeniously handled, may be wiredrawn, so as to undulate gracefully and smoothly over a whole page.
11. For the more ready practice of this invaluable art of + dilating, it will be expedient to stock your memory with a large assortment of those precious words of many syllables, that fill whole lines at once; "incomprehensibly, amazingly, decidedly, solicitously, inconceivably, incontrovertibly.” An opportunity of using these, is, to a distressed spinster, as delightful as a copy all m’s and n's to a child. “Command you may, your mind from play.” They run on with such delicious smoothness !
QUESTIONS.- How must epistolary intercourse or letter writing be conducted, in order to be agreeable and useful? What manner of conducting it is ridiculed in this lesson? What is meant by talking nonsense?
To what inflections, in this lessori, is Rule II, 33, applicable ?
Parse “them” in the 10th paragraph. What word may be understood after it? Parse“ dilating” in the 11th paragraph. Parse “incomprehensibly,” “amazingly,” &c., in the same paragraph. Parse “m’s” and “n's.” Parse “all.” Parse “run on” in the last sentence. What is the subject and what the attribute ? See Pinneo's Analytical Grammar,
REMARK. – Be careful to give all the consonants their full sound in each word. PRONOUNCE cor
orrectly.--I-rons, pro. i-urns: un-clean-ly, pro. un-clen-ly: Christ-en-dom, pro. kris'n-dum: pris-on, pro. priz’n (see McGuffey's Spelling Book, page 49): min-utes, pro. min-its : pret-ty, pro. pril-ty.
Ar'-ras, 11. a kind of curtains hung | Foul, a, wicked, abominable. around the walls of a room.
A-non', adv. soon; still and anon means, Un-clean'-ly, a. (pro. un-klen'-ly) inde- now and then, frequently. cent.
Wince, v. to shrink back as from pain. Wan'-ton-ness, n. playfulness, sportive- Chid, v. blamed, reproached. [or troubles.
An-noy'-ance, n. any thing which injures Christ'-en-dom, n. territory of Chris- Troth, n. truth, veracity.
tians : used for christening or baptism, Ex-tremes', n. the greatest degree of disas if he said, By my baptism.
tress : undeserred extremes means, acts Prate, n. familiar talk.
of cruelty which he had not deserved. Sooth, n. truth.
[tears. Tarre, v. (pro. tar) to tease, to set on. Rheum, n. (pro. rume) here used for Dog'-ged, a. surly, stubborn. Dis-pit'e-ous, a. cruel, without pity. Close'-ly, adv. secretly, privately.
Hubert. HEAT me these irons hot; and, look thou stand
Within the arras; when I strike my foot
shall find with me,
(Ecount Attendants.) Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. - (Enter Arthur. Good-morrow, Hubert.
[Arthur.) Hub. Good-morrow, little prince. Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince) as may be. You are sad.
Methinks no person should be sad but I:
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead :
Therefore I will be sudden, and dispatch. (Aside.) Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? You look pale today.
In sooth, I would you were a little sick,
you Hub. His words do take possession of my
foolish rheum? (Aside.)
not read it? Is it not fair writ? Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect :
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ?
my handkerchief about your brows,
Will you put out mine eyes ?
So much as frown on you?
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
I would not have believed no tongue but Hubert's.
[irons, &c.) Arth. Oh, save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes are out
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
Whatever torment you do put me to.
Give life to yours.
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,