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like night, with the conflict of the billows, and the storm that tore and scattered them in mist and foam, across the sky. I have seen the desert rise around me; and calmly in the midst of thousands, uttering cries of horror, and paralyzed by fear, have contemplated the sandy pillars, coming like the advance of some gigantic city of conflagration, flying across the wilderness, every column glowing with intense fire, and every blast, death; the sky vaulted with gloom, the earth a furnace. But with me, the Mountain, in tempest or in calm, the throne of the thunder, or with the evening sun painting its dells and declivities in colors dipped in heaven, has been the source of the most absorbing sensations. There stands Magnitude, giving the instant impression of a power above man; Grandeur, that defies decay; Antiquity, that tells of ages unnumbered; Beauty, that the touch of time, makes only more beautiful; Use, exhaustless for the service of man; Strength, imperishable as the globe; the monument of eternity; the truest earthly emblem of that ever-living, unchangeable, irresistible majesty, by whom, and for whom, all things were made."


Is the object of the writer in the above description to inform, please, or persuade ? State what sort of style he has used, and how he has observed the rules of descriptions.


Find a description in your Rhetorical Reader, and comment on it in the same manner.


Write a description of the Falls of Niagara, or of Washington's tomb.


Read your composition, and make the same comments, as you have made on others.




1. A letter is" a written composition, whereby we address a person absent, as though he were present."

2. Anything, which can form the subject of conversation with a person when present, can likewise be the subject of a letter when he is absent.

3. The persons to whom letters are generally directed, comprise five classes, to-wit: Relations, Friends, Business-men, Superiors, and Inferiors. Hence letters can be classified accordingly, as letters to Relations, Friends, Business-men, Superiors, and Inferiors.

4. Again; as the object of a letter is commonly to inform, persuade, ask, console, please, (1.) What is a Letter?

(2.) What may be the subject of a letter?

(3.) To whom are letters addressed generally?

How, then, can they be classified?

(4.) How may the different kinds of letters be divided accord

ing to the object?

correct, reprimand, or transact business; so letters may again be divided according to their object, into letters of information, persuasion, petition, consolation, recreation or pleasure, correction, reprimand, and business.

5. Information and persuasion constitute the most common objects of letter-writers.

6. Petition may be the object of all classes of persons; except, perhaps, superiors toward inferiors.

7. Recreation and pleasure are generally the object of friends and relations toward each other.

8. Correction and reprimand, properly belong to superiors, with respect to their inferiors..

9. The necessity, as well as the importance of letter-writing, is evident from the fact, that human society can no more dispense with it, than with ordinary conversation; and as letters comprise, within a small compass, all the subjects

(5.) What is the most common object of a letter? (6.) To whom does the object of petition refer?

(7.) What class of persons aim chiefly at recreation and pleasure in a letter?

(8.) To whom does correction and reprimand belong?

(9.) How is the necessity and utility of letters proved?

and objects of composition; so they are preëminently the most useful subject of composition; and one, therefore, which demands all the diligence and study of the scholar.


The parts of a letter are four, to-wit: first, the beginning, or date, and address; second, the middle, or body; third, the end, or clause; fourth, the outside directions.

11. We shall expound this subject in two chapters. In the first, we will treat of the body of the letter; it being the principal and most essential part. In the second, we will consider the secondary parts; and will conclude with an appendix on notes, cards, complimentary tickets, and the folding of the letter.



1. The precepts which regard the body of the letter, are of two kinds, general and particular.

(10.) How many are the parts of a letter?

(1.) How many fold are the precepts which regard the body of a letter?

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