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LETTERS
[ Also see Absence Biography Books Communication Correspondence Ink Pen Post Writing ]

A profusion of fancies and quotations is out of place in a love letter. True feeling is always direct, and never deviates into by-ways to cull flowers of rhetoric.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

Full oft have letters caused the writers
  To curse the day they were inditers.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

The earth has nothing like a she epistle,
  And hardly heaven--because it never ends.
    I love the mystery of a female missal,
      Which, like a creed, ne'er says all it intends.
        * * * You had better
          Take care what you reply to such a letter.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Let your letter be written as accurately as you are able,--I mean with regard to language, grammar, and stops; for as to the matter of it the less trouble you give yourself the better it will be. Letters should be easy and natural, and convey to the persons to whom we send them just what we should say to the persons if we were with them.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

Letters should be easy and natural.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; for, thus friends absent speak.
      - Dr. John Donne

We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last we destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrecoverable for ourselves and for others.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Old-fashioned letters! How good they were! \ And nobody writes them now, \ Never at all comes in the scrawl \ On the written pages which told us all \ The news of town an' the folks we knew, \ An' what they had done or were going to do. \ It seems we've forgotten how \ To spend an hour with our pen in hand \ An' write in the language we understand. \ Old-fashioned letters we used to get \ And ponder each fond line o'er; \ The glad words rolled like running gold, \ As smoothly their tales of joy they told \ And our hearts beat fast with a keen delight \ As we read the news they were pleased to write \ And gathered the love they bore. \ But few of the letters that come today \ Are penned to us in the old-time way.
  Old-fashioned letters that told us all \ The tales of the far away; \ Where they'd been and the folks they'd seen,\ An' better than any fine magazine \ Was the writin' too, for it bore the style \ Of a simple heart an' a sunny smile, \ An' was pure as the breath of May. \ Some of them oft were damp with tears, \ But those were the letters that lived for years. \ Old-fashioned letters! How good they were! \ And, oh, how we watched the mails, \ But nobody writes of the quaint delights \ Of the sunny days and merry nights \ Or tells us the things that we yearn to know-- \ That art passed out with the long ago, \ And lost are the simple tales, \ Yet we all would happier be, I think, \ If we'd spend more time with our pen and ink.
      - Edgar Albert Guest, Old-Fashioned Letters

They are those winged messengers that can fly
  From the Antarctic to the Arctic sky;
    The heralds and swift harbingers that move
      From east to west on embassies of love.
      - James Howell (Howel)

A student can win twelve letters at a university without learning how to write one.
      - Robert Maynard Hutchins

A stray volume of real life in the daily packet of the postman. Eternal love and instant payment.
      - Douglas William Jerrold

A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory salutation.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The true character of epistolary style is playfulness and urbanity.
      - Joseph Joubert

I hold that the parentheses are by far the most important parts of a non-business letter.
      - David Herbert Lawrence

In love matters; keep your pen from paper.
      - Louis Charles Alfred de Musset

Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
  Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid;
    They live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires,
      Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires;
        The virgin's wish, without her fears, impart;
          Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart;
            Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
              And waft a sigh from Indus to the pole.
      - Alexander Pope

Letters which are warmly sealed are often but coldly opened.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

It is by the benefit of letters that absent friends are in a manner brought together.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

Here are a few of the unpleasantest words that ever blotted paper.
      - William Shakespeare

In a heavy oppressive atmosphere, when the spirits sink too low, the best cordial is to read over all the letters of one's friends.
      - William Shenstone

The best time to frame an answer to the letters of a friend is the moment you receive them. Then the warmth of friendship, and the intelligence received most forcibly co-operate.
      - William Shenstone

Perhaps there is no greater test of a man's regularity and easiness of conscience than his readiness to face the postman. Blessed is he who is made happy by the sound of a rat-tat! The good are eager for it; but the naughty tremble at the sound thereof.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

A letter, timely writ, is a rivet to the chain of affection;
  And a letter, untimely delayed, is as rust to the solder.
      - Martin Farquhar Tupper

The pen flowing in love, or dipped black in hate,
  Or tipped with delicate courtesies, or harshly edged with censure,
    Hath quickened more good than the sun, more evil than the sword,
      More joy than woman's smile, more woe than frowning fortune;
        And shouldst thou ask my judgment of that which hath most profit in the world,
          For answer take thou this, The prudent penning of a letter.
      - Martin Farquhar Tupper

The post is the grand connecting link of all transactions, of all negotiations. Those who are absent, by its means become present; it is the consolation of life.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)


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