DIRECTOR   Amaranta Leeuwenhoek


it may be allowable to subjoin a few words on a kindred subject, Epistolary Correspondence. Letters which pass between men commonly relate, in a greater or a less degree, to actual business. Even young men, on whom the cares of life are not yet devolved in their full weight, will frequently be led to enlarge to their absent friends on topics not only of an interesting nature, but also of a serious cast: on the studies which they are respectively pursuing ; on the advantages and disadvantages of the profession to which the one or the other is destined; on the circumstances which appear likely to forward or to impede the success of each in the world. The seriousness of the subject, therefore, has a tendency, though a tendency which, I admit, is not always successful, to guard ihe writer from an affected and artificial 12 style. style. Young women, whose minds are comparatively unoccupied by such concerns, are sometimes found to want in their correspondence, a counterpoise, if not to the desire of shining, yet to the quickness of imagination, and, occasionally, to the quickness of feeling, natural to their sex. Hence they are exposed to peculiar danger, a danger aggravated sometimes by familiarity with novels and theatrical productions, sometimes by the nature of the fashionable topics which will proceed from engrossing conversation to employ the pen, of learning to clothe their thoughts in studied phrases; and even of losing simplicity both of thought and expression in florid, refined, and sentimental parade. Fre gently, too, the desire of shining intermingles itself, and involves them in additional temptations. They are ambitious to be distinguished for writing, as the phrase is, good letters. Not that a lady ought not to write a good letter. But a lady, who makes it her study to write a good letter, commonly produces a composition to which a very different epiI 3 thet' thet ought to be applied. Those letters only are good, which contain the natural effusions of the heart, expressed in unaffected language. Tinsel and glitter, and laboured phrases, dismiss the friend and introduce the authoress. From the use of strained and hyperbolical language, it is but a step to advance to that which is insincere. But though that step be not taken, all that is pleasing in letter-writing is already lost. And a far heavier loss is to be dreaded, the loss of simplicity of manners and character in other points.