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a web of many textures

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There is no accomplishment that any one can possess
superior to the gift of letter writing. It is unquestionably
a gift; and those possessing it make no effort
to acquire it, but simply lay their pen to paper, and
thoughts flow from its point with the fluency that
words drop from the tongue of a conversationalist.
Letter writers are not necessarily talkers; their forte
lies in the scribendi rather than the loquendi. It is
painful to read the labored efforts of many very sensible


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people, in an epistolary direction; and it almost
militates against the pleasure of hearing from them, so
great a labor is evident in the construction of their
missives. The easy letter writer is one who writes
from a full heart; who knows just what to say, and
how to say it; and the spontaneous flow with which it
gushes makes us forget, wherever they occur, lapses
in grammar or orthography. We feel the spirit of the
writer in every word. The dryest details are illuminated
by it, and the homeliest matters assume an almost
poetical interest under the touch of genius. The most
charming letter writer of this description, who poured
his soul most apparently into his epistles, whether in
relation to the correction of a proof-sheet, or to a
matter affecting the tenderest of human relations, was
Robert Burns. His letters are models. They speak
with the simplicity and pathos and strength of his
great nature, and everybody is as interested in their
subject-matter, after the lapse of three quarters of a
century, as those probably were to whom they were
addressed. Though a gift, practice will overcome many
natural impediments in the way of success, and the encouragement
of correspondence among the young will
be found advantageous in after life.