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Mr. Messrs. precedes the names of several gentlemen. Prefix Dr. to the name of a physician, or place the title M. D. after the name. Esquire, a title of dignity next below a knight, is prefixed to the name of a justice of the peace and other magistrates, and, by courtesy, is extended to men of the liberal professions and pursuits. Prefix Rev. to the name of a clergyman; Rt. Rev. to that of a Bishop; Rev. Dr. or Rev. before that of a Doctor of Divinity, and D. D. after it. To the name of the President, to that of a governor or an embassador, prefix His Excellency; to that of a cabinet officer, a member of congress, a member of a State legislature, a law judge, or a mayor, prefix Hon. The prefix Hon. extinguishes the title of Esquire after the name, but not any title of special honor, as LL. D. Guard against an excessive use of titles—the higher implies the lower. When one reaches D. D. or LL. D., he drops his A. B. or his A. M. It is customary, however, to retain both the two higher titles, D. D. and LL. D., written in the order conferred.
The President of the United States is addressed thus; on the outside of the letter:
To the President,
Washington, D. C.
Mr. President, - I have the honor, etc.
Salutations vary with the station of the one addressed, or the writer's degree of intimacy with him; as, Sir, Dear Sir, My dear Sir, Madam, Dear Madam, Rev. Sir, My dear Madam, My dear Dr. Finlay, My dear Son, etc.
The address follows the heading, beginning on the next line, and standing on the left side of the page; or, if the letter is written to an intimate friend, or if it is an official letter, the address may be placed at the bottom after the conclusion. In other letters, especially those on ordinary business, it should be placed at the top. Never omit it from a letter that is not written in the third
If the address occupies more than one line, the initial words of these lines should be written each a little to the right of the preceding, as in the heading. Every important word in the address should begin with a capital letter. Each item of it should be set off by a comma, and the whole should close with a period. The important words in the salutation should begin with a capital letter, and the whole be followed by a colon or a comma.
Hon. John W. Daniel,
Washington, D. C.
Mr. James F. Harrison,
720 Pine St., St. Louis, Mo. My dear Sir,-Your
Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.,
4 Park Street,
Your letter of the 4th instant
The Body of the Letter. - Begin the body of the letter at the end of the salutation, and on the same line or on the line below; if on the same line, follow the salutation by a comma followed by a dash. Paragraph and punctuate as in other kinds of writing. Write neatly and with care; the letter “bespeaks the man.” Letters of friendship should be natural and familiar. It is a great mistake in writing such letters to suppose that only the marvelous is worth writing about.
It is the incidents of every-day life, the characteristic little acts and speeches of the members of the household, that one longs to hear about when away.
Business letters should be brief, and the sentences short and to the point. In formal notes the third person is generally used instead of the first and second; there is no heading, no introduction, no signature, only the name of the place and the date at the bottom, on the left side of the page. Thus:
Mr. and Mrs. James R. Field invite Mr. H. M. Logan to meet their niece, Miss Gertrude Townsend, on Friday evening at six o'clock.
22 Genesee Av., Oct. 2.
Mr. H. M. Logan will be most happy to accept Mr. and Mrs. Jas. R. Field's kind invitation to meet Miss Townsend, Friday evening.
144 Olive Street, Oct. 2.
The Conclusion consists of the complimentary close and the signature. The complimentary close consists of the closing words of respect or affection, and is expressed in many forms; thus, Your sincere friend; Your loving daughter; Yours truly; Respectfully yours; Very truly yours, etc.
The signature consists of your christian name and your surname. In addressing a stranger, write your christian name in full. A lady writing to a stranger should prefix her title in parenthesis --(Miss) or (Mrs.) – to her own name.
The conclusion should begin near the middle of the first line below the body of the letter, and each line should begin a little to the right of the preceding, as in the heading and the address. Begin each line of it with a capital letter, and punctuate as in other writing, following the whole with a period.
The Superscription is the address upon the envelope. It is the same as the address, consisting of the name of the one addressed, the titles, the number of the house, the street, the city, and the state. The name should be about midway between the top and the bottom of the envelope, and about equally distant from the two ends. The spaces between the lines should be the same, and the initial of each line should be placed to the right of the one preceding, as in the address, the last line ending near the lower right-hand corner.
Hon. Chas. R. Newcomb,
122 Fayette Av.,
Both safety of carriage and respect for the one addressed, demand that the superscription be written in a legible hand.
An Essay is a composition treating a subject in a manner somewhat formal and systematic. Essays vary in size from short compositions to elaborate and lengthened works, treating the subject with great fullness and dignity. Of this latter class Macaulay's “Essays," and those of Carlyle, are illustrations.
No other species of writing ranges over so wide and varied a field of topics, and none other allows such freedom and diversity in the handling; hence the great number of essayists-a number almost identical with that of writers, for essays are written by almost every one who is engaged in any kind of authorship. Essays now usually appear first as contributions to magazines. If they have met with favor in this form, they are sometimes collected and published in separate volumes,
A Treatise implies a more formal and methodical treatment than an essay, but is not necessarily a full and elaborate discussion of the subject, though it is expected to embrace the whole. An essay, on the other hand, may select particular parts of a subject; it may also abound in ornaments and figures, and reveal the personality of the writer, while a treatise is usually plain in style, rarely admitting rhetorical ornament; it aims to set forth the bare facts and truths of a subject, and is, therefore, comparatively impersonal. Treatises are usually upon some definite branch of science, as astronomy, botany, algebra, arithmetic, rhetoric, logic, and the like.