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and placed his name among the immortals. I do not believe that you could compress into three lines more of the real Jackson than this modest letter contains.
Letters in Lighter Vein Here is a part of a letter from the great scientist Thomas Huxley, in which he tells his mother about “ Nettie,” whom he was soon to marry:
Sydney, Feb. I, 1849. First and foremost, my dear mother, I must thank you for your very kind letter of September, 1848. I read the greater part of it. to Nettie, who was as much pleased as I with your kindly wishes towards both of us. Now I suppose I must do my best to answer your questions. First, as to age, Nettie is about three months younger than myself
that is the difference in our years, but she is in fact as much younger than her years as I am older than mine. Next, as to complexion, she is exceedingly fair, with the Saxon yellow hair and blue eyes. Then as to face, I really don't know
, whether she is pretty or not. I have never been able to decide the matter in my own mind. Sometimes I think she is, and sometimes I wonder how the idea ever came into
head. Whether or not, her personal appearance has nothing whatever to do with the hold she has upon my mind, for I have seen hundreds of prettier
But I never met with so sweet a temper, so self-sacrificing and affectionate a disposition, or so pure and womanly a mind, and from the perfectly intimate footing on which I stand with her family I have plenty of opportunities of judging. As I tell her, the only great folly I am aware of her being guilty of was the leav
I ing her happiness in the hands of a man like myself, struggling upwards and certain of nothing.
In the following letter the great English humorist, Tom Hood, asks “May” if she ever tried, " like a little crab, to run two ways at once.” What is meant by the glass”?
July 1, 1844. My dear May,
How do you do, and how do you like the sea ? Not much perhaps, it's “so big." But shouldn't you like a nice little ocean, that you could put in a pan? Yet the sea, although it looks rather ugly at first, is very useful, and, if I were near it this dry summer, I would carry it all home, to water the garden with at Stratford, and it would be sure to drown all the blights, May-flies and all !
I remember that, when I saw the sea, it used sometimes to be very fussy and fidgety, and did not always wash itself quite clean; but it was very fond of fun. Have the waves ever run after you yet, and turned your two little shoes into pumps full of water ?
There are no flowers, I suppose, on the beach, or I would ask you to bring me a bouquet as you used at Stratford. But there are little crabs! If you would catch one for me, and teach it to dance the Polka, it would make me quite happy; for I have not had any toys or play-things for a long time. Did you ever try, like a little crab, to run two ways at once? See if you can do it, for it is good fun; never mind tumbling over yourself a little at first. It would be a good plan to hire a little crab, for an hour a day, to teach baby to crawl, if he can't walk, and if I was his mamma, I would too! Bless him! But I must not write on him any more — he is so soft, and I have nothing but steel pens.
And now good-by. Fanny has made my tea and I must drink it before it gets too hot, as we all were last Sunday week. They say the glass was 88 in the shade, which is a great age! The last
fair breeze I blew dozens of kisses for you, but the wind changed, and I am afraid took all to Miss H-, or somebody that it shouldn't. Give my love to everybody, and my compliments to all the rest, and remember, I am, my dear May,
Your loving friend,
P.S. - Don't forget to teach my little crab to dance the Polka, and pray write to me as soon as you can't, if it's only a line.
The next letter is from Sydney Smith, another humorist. Remember that “integrity or laceration of frocks means
not tearing or tearing your dress.”
London, July 22, 1835. Lucy, Lucy, my dear child, don't tear your frocks; tearing frocks is not in itself a proof of genius; but write as your mother writes; act as your mother acts; be frank, loyal, affectionate, simple, honest, and then integrity or laceration of frocks is of little import. And, Lucy, dear child, mind your arithmetic. You know, in the first sum of yours I ever saw, there was a mistake. You had carried two (as a cab is licensed to do) and you ought, dear Lucy, to have carried one. Is this a trifle? What would life be without arithmetic but a scene of horrors.
You are going to Boulogne, the city of debts, peopled by men who never understood arithmetic; by the time you return I shall probably have received my first paralytic stroke and shall have lost all recollection of you; therefore I now give you my parting advice. Don't marry any one who has not a tolerable understanding and a thousand a year, and God bless you, dear child.
The preceding letters have been personal or social, except the ex-Kaiser's. Kings and queens do not use I in their letters. I also drops out in formal notes. The third person takes the place of the first person :
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe request the pleasure of Mr. Robert Vaughn's company at dinner Tuesday, July fourth, at seven o'clock.
304 North Avenue June twenty-eighth
II Mr. Vaughn is delighted to accept the kind invitation to dine with Mr. and Mrs. John Doe on Tuesday, July fourth, at seven o'clock.
128 East Street
Mr. Vaughn regrets that absence from the city will prevent his accepting the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. John Doe to dine with them on Tuesday, July fourth, at seven o'clock.
128 East Street June thirtieth
IV The Junior Class of the Irving High School requests the pleasure of your company at a party to be given in honor of the Senior Class at the home of Doctor and Mrs. Richardson, 205 Franklin Street, on Friday, April thirtieth, at eight o'clock.
The friendly or social letter has room for leisure, for personality, for charm. But the business letter drives straight to the point. There's always a place in it, however, for courtesy and good taste. This letter is a model. Notice that in business letters a colon is usually placed after “Dear Sir" and Gentlemen " instead of a comma.
19 East Jackson Boulevard,
Sept. 20, 1919. Mr. John Doe, 1324 Maple Avenue,
Evanston, Illinois. Dear Sir:
May we call your attention to the inclosed statement of your account? This is somewhat past due, as you will see by the date.
By the way, whenever you think of some improvement we could make that would render our store service more satisfactory to you, will you be kind enough to tell us about it? We surely appreciate your trade and want to do all we can to please you. Thanking you for a response at your early convenience, we are,
Yours very truly,
Jenkins and Company.
As an aid in driving straight to the point, make your meaning definite and effective by examples. Let illustrations take the place of adjectives. The editors of The Engineering News once wrote to ask their advertisers whether they had found the paper satisfactory. Which of these three answers do you think pleased the editors most?