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Title: How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters) - A Complete Guide to Correct Business and Personal Correspondence
Author: Crowther, Mary Owens
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters) - A Complete Guide to Correct Business and Personal Correspondence" ***

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  _A Complete Guide
  to Correct Business and Personal







The forms for engraved invitations, announcements, and the like, and the
styles of notepapers, addresses, monograms, and crests are by courtesy
of the Bailey, Banks and Biddle Company, Brentano's, and The Gorham
Company. The Western Union Telegraph Company has been very helpful in
the chapter on telegrams.


  WHAT IS A LETTER?                                               1

  THE PURPOSE OF THE LETTER                                       6

    1. THE HEADING                                               10
    2. THE INSIDE ADDRESS                                        12
    3. THE SALUTATION                                            16
    4. THE BODY OF THE LETTER                                    22
    5. THE COMPLIMENTARY CLOSE                                   26
    6. THE SIGNATURE                                             29
    7. THE SUPERSCRIPTION                                        33

    COMMON OFFENSES                                              36
    STOCK PHRASES IN BUSINESS LETTERS                            38

    INVITATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS                              44
    THE LETTER OF CONDOLENCE                                     91
    LETTERS OF SYMPATHY IN CASE OF ILLNESS                       95
    LETTERS OF CONGRATULATION                                   101
    LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION                                     107
    LETTERS OF THANKS                                           110
    LETTERS BETWEEN FRIENDS                                     118

  PERSONAL BUSINESS LETTERS                                     124

  THE BUSINESS LETTER                                           135
    SALES AND ANNOUNCEMENT LETTERS                              146
    KEEPING THE CUSTOMER                                        160
    SELLING REAL ESTATE                                         163
    BANK LETTERS                                                173
    LETTERS OF ORDER AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT                         182
    LETTERS OF COMPLAINT AND ADJUSTMENT                         186
    CREDIT AND COLLECTION LETTERS                               193
    LETTERS OF APPLICATION                                      211
    LETTERS OF REFERENCE                                        217
    LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION                                     220
    LETTERS OF INQUIRY                                          223

  THE USE OF FORM PARAGRAPHS                                    227

  CHILDREN'S LETTERS                                            230

  TELEGRAMS                                                     236

  THE LAW OF LETTERS                                            247

  THE COST OF A LETTER                                          252

  STATIONERY, CRESTS AND MONOGRAMS                              258


  In the business letterhead appear the name of the
  firm, its address, and the kind of business engaged
  in                                                             11

  Letterheads used by a life insurance company, a law
  firm, and three associations                                   13

  In the case of widely known firms, or where the name
  of the firm itself indicates it, reference to the nature
  of the business is often omitted from letterheads              14

  Specimens of letterheads used for official stationery          27

  As to the use of the symbol "&" and the abbreviation
  of the word "Company," the safest plan in
  writing to a company is to spell its name exactly as
  it appears on its letterhead                                   42

  Specimen of formal wedding invitation                          48

  Specimens of formal invitations to a wedding reception         51

  Specimen of wedding announcement                               54

  Specimens of formal dinner invitations                         60

  Specimens of formal invitations "to meet"                      63

  Specimens of formal invitations to a dance                     68

  Specimens of business letterheads                             140

  Arrangement of a business letter (block form)                 144

  Arrangement of a business letter (indented form)              145

  Specimens of business letterheads used by English
  firms                                                         207

  Specimens of addressed social stationery                      259

  Specimens of addressed social stationery                      260

  The monograms in the best taste are the small round
  ones, but many pleasing designs may be had in
  the diamond, square, and oblong shapes                        262

  Specimens of crested letter and notepaper                     263

  Specimens of monogrammed stationery                           266

  Specimens of business letterheads                             267

  Department stores and firms that write many letters
  to women often employ a notepaper size                        270

  Specimens of stationery used by men for personal
  business letters                                              271




It is not so long since most personal letters, after an extremely formal
salutation, began "I take my pen in hand." We do not see that so much
nowadays, but the spirit lingers. Pick up the average letter and you
cannot fail to discover that the writer has grimly taken his pen in hand
and, filled with one thought, has attacked the paper. That one thought
is to get the thing over with.

And perhaps this attitude of getting the thing over with at all costs is
not so bad after all. There are those who lament the passing of the
ceremonious letter and others who regret that the "literary" letter--the
kind of letter that can be published--is no longer with us. But the old
letter of ceremony was not really more useful than a powdered wig, and
as for the sort of letter that delights the heart and lightens the labor
of the biographer--well, that is still being written by the kind of
person who can write it. It is better that a letter should be written
because the writer has something to say than as a token of culture.
Some of the letters of our dead great do too often remind us that they
were not forgetful of posterity.

The average writer of a letter might well forget culture and posterity
and address himself to the task in hand, which, in other than the most
exceptional sort of letter, is to say what he has to say in the shortest
possible compass that will serve to convey the thought or the
information that he wants to hand on. For a letter is a conveyance of
thought; if it becomes a medium of expression it is less a letter than a
diary fragment.

Most of our letters in these days relate to business affairs or to
social affairs that, as far as personality is concerned, might as well
be business. Our average letter has a rather narrow objective and is not
designed to be literature. We may, it is true, write to cheer up a sick
friend, we may write to tell about what we are doing, we may write that
sort of missive which can be classified only as a love letter--but
unless such letters come naturally it is better that they be not
written. They are the exceptional letters. It is absurd to write them
according to rule. In fact, it is absurd to write any letter according
to rule. But one can learn the best usage in correspondence, and that is
all that this book attempts to present.

The heyday of letter writing was in the eighteenth century in England.
George Saintsbury, in his interesting "A Letter Book," says:

"By common consent of all opinion worth attention that century was, in
the two European literatures which were equally free from crudity and
decadence--French and English--the very palmiest day of the art.
Everybody wrote letters, and a surprising number of people wrote letters
well. Our own three most famous epistolers of the male sex, Horace
Walpole, Gray, and Cowper--belong wholly to it; and 'Lady Mary'--our
most famous she-ditto--belongs to it by all but her childhood; as does
Chesterfield, whom some not bad judges would put not far if at all below
the three men just mentioned. The rise of the novel in this century is
hardly more remarkable than the way in which that novel almost wedded
itself--certainly joined itself in the most frequent friendship--to the
letter-form. But perhaps the excellence of the choicer examples in this
time is not really more important than the abundance, variety, and
popularity of its letters, whether good, indifferent, or bad. To use one
of the informal superlatives sanctioned by familiar custom it was the
'letter-writingest' of ages from almost every point of view. In its
least as in its most dignified moods it even overflowed into verse if
not into poetry as a medium. Serious epistles had--of course on
classical models--been written in verse for a long time. But now in
England more modern patterns, and especially Anstey's _New Bath Guide_,
started the fashion of actual correspondence in doggerel verse with no
thought of print--a practice in which persons as different as Madame
d'Arblay's good-natured but rather foolish father, and a poet and
historian like Southey indulged; and which did not become obsolete till
Victorian times, if then."

There is a wide distinction between a letter and an epistle. The letter
is a substitute for a spoken conversation. It is spontaneous, private,
and personal. It is non-literary and is not written for the eyes of the
general public. The epistle is in the way of being a public speech--an
audience is in mind. It is written with a view to permanence. The
relation between an epistle and a letter has been compared to that
between a Platonic dialogue and a talk between two friends. A great
man's letters, on account of their value in setting forth the views of a
school or a person, may, if produced after his death, become epistles.
Some of these, genuine or forgeries, under some eminent name, have come
down to us from the days of the early Roman Empire. Cicero, Plato,
Aristotle, Demosthenes, are the principal names to which these epistles,
genuine and pseudonymous, are attached.

Some of the letters of Cicero are rather epistles, as they were intended
for the general reader.

The ancient world--Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, Rome, and Greece--figures
in our inheritance of letters. In Egypt have been discovered genuine
letters. The papyrus discoveries contain letters of unknowns who had no
thought of being read by the general public.

During the Renaissance, Cicero's letters were used as models for one of
the most common forms of literary effort. There is a whole literature of
epistles from Petrarch to the _Epistolæ obscurorum virorum_. These are,
to some degree, similar to the Epistles of Martin Marprelate.

Later epistolary satires are Pascal's "Provincial Letters," Swift's
"Drapier Letters," and the "Letters of Junius."

Pope, soon to be followed by Lady Mary Montagu, was the first Englishman
who treated letter writing as an art upon a considerable scale.

Modern journalism uses a form known as the "open letter" which is really
an epistle.

But we are not here concerned with the letter as literature.



No one can go far wrong in writing any sort of letter if first the
trouble be taken to set out the exact object of the letter. A letter
always has an object--otherwise why write it? But somehow, and
particularly in the dictated letter, the object frequently gets lost in
the words. A handwritten letter is not so apt to be wordy--it is too
much trouble to write. But a man dictating may, especially if he be
interrupted by telephone calls, ramble all around what he wants to say
and in the end have used two pages for what ought to have been said in
three lines. On the other hand, letters may be so brief as to produce an
impression of abrupt discourtesy. It is a rare writer who can say all
that need be said in one line and not seem rude. But it can be done.

The single purpose of a letter is to convey thought. That thought may
have to do with facts, and the further purpose may be to have the
thought produce action. But plainly the action depends solely upon how
well the thought is transferred. Words as used in a letter are vehicles
for thought, but every word is not a vehicle for thought, because it may
not be the kind of word that goes to the place where you want your
thought to go; or, to put it another way, there is a wide variation in
the understanding of words. The average American vocabulary is quite
limited, and where an exactly phrased letter might completely convey an
exact thought to a person of education, that same letter might be
meaningless to a person who understands but few words. Therefore, it is
fatal in general letter writing to venture into unusual words or to go
much beyond the vocabulary of, say, a grammar school graduate.
Statistics show that the ordinary adult in the United States--that is,
the great American public--has either no high school education or less
than a year of it. You can assume in writing to a man whom you do not
know and about whom you have no information that he has only a grammar
school education and that in using other than commonplace words you run
a double danger--first, that he will not know what you are talking about
or will misinterpret it; and second, that he will think you are trying
to be highfalutin and will resent your possibly quite innocent parade of

In a few very effective sales letters the writers have taken exactly the
opposite tack. They have slung language in the fashion of a circus
publicity agent, and by their verbal gymnastics have attracted
attention. This sort of thing may do very well in some kinds of circular
letters, but it is quite out of place in the common run of business
correspondence, and a comparison of the sales letters of many companies
with their day-to-day correspondence shows clearly the need for more
attention to the day-to-day letter. A sales letter may be bought. A
number of very competent men make a business of writing letters for
special purposes. But a higher tone in general correspondence cannot be
bought and paid for. It has to be developed. A good letter writer will
neither insult the intelligence of his correspondent by making the
letter too childish, nor will he make the mistake of going over his
head. He will visualize who is going to receive his letter and use the
kind of language that seems best to fit both the subject matter and the
reader, and he will give the fitting of the words to the reader the
first choice.

There is something of a feeling that letters should be elegant--that if
one merely expresses oneself simply and clearly, it is because of some
lack of erudition, and that true erudition breaks out in great, sonorous
words and involved constructions. There could be no greater mistake. The
man who really knows the language will write simply. The man who does
not know the language and is affecting something which he thinks is
culture has what might be called a sense of linguistic insecurity, which
is akin to the sense of social insecurity. Now and again one meets a
person who is dreadfully afraid of making a social error. He is afraid
of getting hold of the wrong fork or of doing something else that is not
done. Such people labor along frightfully. They have a perfectly vile
time of it, but any one who knows social usage takes it as a matter of
course. He observes the rules, not because they are rules, but because
they are second nature to him, and he shamelessly violates the rules if
the occasion seems to warrant it. It is quite the same with the letter.
One should know his ground well enough to do what one likes, bearing in
mind that there is no reason for writing a letter unless the objective
is clearly defined. Writing a letter is like shooting at a target. The
target may be hit by accident, but it is more apt to be hit if careful
aim has been taken.



The mechanical construction of a letter, whether social, friendly, or
business, falls into six or seven parts. This arrangement has become
established by the best custom. The divisions are as follows:

    1. Heading
    2. Inside address (Always used in business letters
       but omitted in social and friendly letters)
    3. Salutation
    4. Body
    5. Complimentary close
    6. Signature
    7. Superscription


The heading of a letter contains the street address, city, state, and
the date. The examples below will illustrate:

    2018 Calumet Street      or      1429 Eighth Avenue
    Chicago, Ill.                      New York, N.Y.
    May 12, 1921                         March 8, 1922

[Illustration: In the business letterhead appear the name of the firm,
its address, and the kind of business engaged in]

When the heading is typewritten or written by hand, it is placed at the
top of the first letter sheet close to the right-hand margin. It should
begin about in the center, that is, it should extend no farther to the
left than the center of the page. If a letter is short and therefore
placed in the center of a page, the heading will of course be lower
and farther in from the edge than in a longer letter. But it should
never be less than an inch from the top and three quarters of an inch
from the edge.

In the business letterhead appear the name of the firm, its address, and
the kind of business engaged in. The last is often omitted in the case
of widely known firms or where the nature of the business is indicated
by the name of the firm.

In the case of a printed or engraved letterhead, the written heading
should consist only of the date. The printed date-line is not good. To
mix printed and written or typed characters detracts from the neat
appearance of the letter.

In social stationery the address, when engraved, should be about three
quarters of an inch from the top of the sheet, either in the center or
at the right-hand corner. When the address is engraved, the date may be
written at the end of the last sheet, from the left-hand corner,
directly after the signature.

[Illustration: Letterheads used by a life insurance company, a law firm,
and three associations]

[Illustration: In the case of widely known firms, or where the name of
the firm itself indicates it, reference to the nature of the business is
often omitted from letterheads]


In social correspondence what is known as the inside address is omitted.
In all business correspondence it is obviously necessary. The name and
address of the person to whom a business letter is sent is placed at the
left-hand side of the letter sheet below the heading, about an inch from
the edge of the sheet, that is, leaving the same margin as in the body
of the letter. The distance below the heading will be decided by the
length and arrangement of the letter. The inside address consists of the
name of the person or of the firm and the address. The address should
comprise the street number, the city, and the state. The state may, in
the case of certain very large cities, be omitted. Either of the
following styles may be used--the straight edge or the diagonal:

    Wharton & Whaley Co.
    Madison Avenue & Forty-Fifth Street
    New York, N. Y.


    Wharton & Whaley Co.
      Madison Avenue & Forty-Fifth Street
        New York, N. Y.

Punctuation at the ends of the lines of the heading and the address may
or may not be used. There is a growing tendency to omit it.

The inside address may be written at the end of the letter, from the
left, below the signature. This is done in official letters, both formal
and informal. These official letters are further described under the
heading "Salutation" and in the chapter on stationery.


_Social Letters_

The salutation, or complimentary address to the person to whom the
letter is written, in a social letter should begin at the left-hand side
of the sheet about half an inch below the heading and an inch from the
edge of the paper. The form "My dear" is considered in the United States
more formal than "Dear." Thus, when we write to a woman who is simply an
acquaintance, we should say "My dear Mrs. Evans." If we are writing to
someone more intimate we should say "Dear Mrs. Evans." The opposite is
true in England--that is, "My dear Mrs. Evans" would be written to a
friend and "Dear Mrs. Evans" to a mere acquaintance. In writing to an
absolute stranger, the full name should be written and then immediately
under it, slightly to the right, "Dear Madam" or "Dear Sir." For

    Mrs. John Evans,
      Dear Madam:


    Mr. William Sykes,
      Dear Sir:

The salutation is followed by a colon or a comma.

_Business Letters_

In business letters the forms of salutation in common use are: "Dear
Sir," "Gentlemen," "Dear Madam," and "Mesdames." In the still more
formal "My dear Sir" and "My dear Madam" note that the second word is
not capitalized. A woman, whether married or unmarried, is addressed
"Dear Madam." If the writer of the letter is personally acquainted with
the person addressed, or if they have had much correspondence, he may
use the less formal address, as "My dear Mr. Sykes."

The salutation follows the inside address and preserves the same margin
as does the first line of the address. The following are correct forms:

    White Brothers Co.
    591 Fifth Avenue
    New York



    White Brothers Co.
      591 Fifth Avenue
        New York


"Dear Sirs" is no longer much used--although in many ways it seems to be
better taste.

In the case of a firm or corporation with a single name, as Daniel
Davey, Inc., or of a firm or corporation consisting of men and women,
the salutation is also "Gentlemen" (or "Dear Sirs"). In letters to or by
government officials the extremely formal "Sir" or "Sirs" is used. These
are known as formal official letters.

The informal official letter is used between business men and concerns
things not in the regular routine of business affairs. These letters are
decidedly informal and may be quite conversational in tone.

The use of a name alone as a salutation is not correct, as:

    Mr. John Evans:
      I have your letter of--

Forms of salutation to be avoided are "Dear Miss," "Dear Friend,"

In memoranda between members of a company the salutations are commonly
omitted--but these memoranda are not letters. They are messages of a
"telegraphic" nature.


In the matter of titles it has been established by long custom that a
title of some kind be used with the name of the individual or firm. The
more usual titles are:

"Mr.," "Mrs.," "Miss," "Messrs.," "Reverend," "Doctor," "Professor," and
"Honorable." "Esquire," written "Esq." is used in England instead of the
"Mr." in common use in the United States. Although still adhered to by
some in this country, its use is rather restricted to social letters. Of
course it is never used with "Mr." Write either "Mr. George L. Ashley"
or "George L. Ashley, Esq."

The title "Messrs." is used in addressing two or more persons who are in
business partnership, as "Messrs. Brown and Clark" or "Brown & Clark";
but The National Cash Register Company, for example, should not be
addressed "Messrs. National Cash Register Company" but "The National
Cash Register Company." The form "Messrs." is an abbreviation of
"Messieurs" and should not be abbreviated in any way other than
"Messrs." The title "Miss" is not recognized as an abbreviation and is
not followed by a period.

Honorary degrees, such as "M.D.," "Ph.D.," "M.A.," "B.S.," "LL.D.,"
follow the name of the person addressed. The initials "M.D." must not be
used in connection with "Doctor" as this would be a duplication. Write
either "Dr. Herbert Reynolds" or "Herbert Reynolds, M.D." The titles of
"Doctor," "Reverend," and "Professor" precede the name of the addressed,
as: "Dr. Herbert Reynolds," "Rev. Philip Bentley," "Prof. Lucius
Palmer." It will be observed that these titles are usually abbreviated
on the envelope and in the inside address, but in the salutation they
must be written out in full, as "My dear Doctor," or "My dear
Professor." In formal notes one writes "My dear Doctor Reynolds" or "My
dear Professor Palmer." In less formal notes, "Dear Doctor Reynolds" and
"Dear Professor Palmer" may be used.

A question of taste arises in the use of "Doctor." The medical student
completing the studies which would ordinarily lead to a bachelor's
degree is known as "Doctor," and the term has become associated in the
popular mind with medicine and surgery. The title "Doctor" is, however,
an academic distinction, and although applied to all graduate medical
practitioners is, in all other realms of learning, a degree awarded for
graduate work, as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), or for distinguished
services that cause a collegiate institution to confer an honorary
degree such as Doctor of Common Law (D.C.L.), Doctor of Law and
Literature (LL.D.), Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), and so on. Every holder
of a doctor's degree is entitled to be addressed as "Doctor," but in
practice the salutation is rarely given to the holders of the honorary
degrees--mostly because they do not care for it.

Do not use "Mr." or "Esq." with any of the titles mentioned above.

The President of the United States should be addressed formally as
"Sir," informally as "My dear Mr. President."

Members of Congress and of the state legislatures, diplomatic
representatives, judges, and justices are entitled "Honorable," as
"Honorable Samuel Sloane," thus:

    Honorable (or Hon.) John Henley

    Honorable (or Hon.) John Henley
    My dear Mr. Henley:

Titles such as "Cashier," "Secretary," and "Agent" are in the nature of
descriptions and follow the name; as "Mr. Charles Hamill, Cashier."

When such titles as "Honorable" and "Reverend" are used in the body of
the letter they are preceded by the article "the." Thus, "The Honorable
Samuel Sloane will address the meeting."

A woman should never be addressed by her husband's title. Thus the wife
of a doctor is not "Mrs. Dr. Royce" but "Mrs. Paul Royce." The titles of
"Judge," "General," and "Doctor" belong to the husband only. Of course,
if a woman has a title of her own, she may use it. If she is an "M.D."
she will be designated as "Dr. Elizabeth Ward." In this case her
husband's Christian name would not be used.

In writing to the clergy, the following rules should be observed:

For a Cardinal the only salutation is "Your Eminence." The address on
the envelope should read "His Eminence John Cardinal Farley."

To an Archbishop one should write "Most Rev. Patrick J. Hayes, D.D.,
Archbishop of New York." The salutation is usually "Your Grace,"
although it is quite admissible to use "Dear Archbishop." The former is
preferable and of more common usage.

The correct form of address for a Bishop is "The Right Reverend John
Jones, D.D., Bishop of ----." The salutation in a formal letter should
be "Right Reverend and dear Sir," but this would be used only in a
strictly formal communication. In this salutation "dear" is sometimes
capitalized, so that it would read "Right Reverend and Dear Sir";
although the form in the text seems preferable, some bishops use the
capitalized "Dear." The usual form is "My dear Bishop," with "The Right
Reverend John Jones, D.D., Bishop of ----" written above it. In the
Protestant Episcopal Church a Dean is addressed "The Very Reverend John
Jones, D.D., Dean of ----." The informal salutation is "My dear Dean
Jones" and the formal is "Very Reverend and dear Sir."

In addressing a priest, the formal salutation is "Reverend and dear
Sir," or "Reverend dear Father." The envelope reads simply: "The Rev.
Joseph J. Smith," followed by any titles the priest may enjoy.

The form used in addressing the other clergy is "The Reverend John
Jones," and the letter, if strictly formal, would commence with
"Reverend and Dear Sir." The more usual form, however, is "My dear Mr.
Brown" (or "Dr. Brown," as the case may be). The use of the title
"Reverend" with the surname only is wholly inadmissible.

In general usage the salutation in addressing formal correspondence to a
foreign ambassador is "His Excellency," to a Minister or Chargé
d'Affaires, "Sir." In informal correspondence the general form is "My
dear Mr. Ambassador," "My dear Mr. Minister," or "My dear Mr. Chargé


In the placing of a formal note it must be arranged so that the complete
note appears on the first page only. The social letter is either formal
or informal. The formal letter must be written according to certain
established practice. It is the letter used for invitations to formal
affairs, for announcements, and for the acknowledgment of these letters.
The third person must always be used. If one receives a letter written
in the third person one must answer in kind. It would be obviously
incongruous to write

          Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
    regret that we are unable to accept
               Mrs. Elliott's
      kind invitation for the theatre
        on Thursday, May the fourth
      as we have a previous engagement

It should read

           Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
    regret that they are unable to accept
               Mrs. Elliott's
      kind invitation for the theatre
        on Thursday, May the fourth
      as they have a previous engagement

In these notes, the hour and date are never written numerically but are
spelled out.

If the family has a coat-of-arms or crest it may be used in the centre
of the engraved invitation at the top, but monograms or stamped
addresses are never so used.

For the informal letter there are no set rules except that of courtesy,
which requires that we have our thought distinctly in mind before
putting it on paper. It may be necessary to pause a few moments before
writing, to think out just what we want to say. A rambling, incoherent
letter is not in good taste any more than careless, dishevelled
clothing. Spelling should be correct. If there is any difficulty in
spelling, a small dictionary kept in the desk drawer is easily
consulted. Begin each sentence with a capital. Start a new paragraph
when you change to a new subject. Put periods (or interrogation points
as required) at the ends of the sentences. It is neater to preserve a
margin on both sides of the letter sheet.

In the body of a business letter the opening sentence is in an important
position, and this is obviously the place for an important fact. It
ought in some way to state or refer to the subject of or reason for the
letter, so as to get the attention of the reader immediately to the

It ought also to suggest a courteous personal interest in the
recipient's business, to give the impression of having to do with his
interests. For instance, a reader might be antagonized by

    Yours of the 14th regarding the shortage in your last order

How much more tactful is

    We regret to learn from your letter of March 14th that there was
    a shortage in your last order.

Paragraphs should show the division of the thought of the letter. If you
can arrange and group your subjects and your thoughts on them logically
in your mind, you will have no trouble in putting them on paper. It is
easier for the reader to grasp your thought if in each paragraph are
contained only one thought and the ideas pertaining to it.

The appearance of a business letter is a matter to which all too little
concern has been given. A firm or business which would not tolerate an
unkempt salesman sometimes will think nothing of sending out badly
typed, badly placed, badly spelled letters.

The first step toward a good-looking letter is proper stationery, though
a carefully typed and placed letter on poor stationery is far better
than one on good stationery with a good letterhead but poor typing and

The matter of correct spelling is merely a case of the will to consult a
dictionary when in doubt.

The proper placing of a letter is something which well rewards the care
necessary at first. Estimate the matter to go on the page with regard to
the size of the page and arrange so that the centre of the letter will
be slightly above the centre of the letter sheet. The margins should act
as a frame or setting for the letter. The left-hand space should be at
least an inch and the right-hand at least a half inch. Of course if the
letter is short the margins will be wider. The top and bottom margins
should be wider than the side margins.

The body of the letter should begin at the same distance from the edge
as the first line of the inside address and the salutation.

All paragraphing should be indicated by indenting the same distances
from the margin--about an inch--or if the block system is used no
paragraph indentation is made but double or triple spacing between the
paragraphs indicates the divisions. If the letter is handwritten, the
spacing between the paragraphs should be noticeably greater than that
between other lines.

Never write on both sides of a sheet. In writing a business letter, if
the letter requires more than one page, use plain sheets of the same
size and quality without the letterhead. These additional sheets should
be numbered at the top. The name or initials of the firm or person to
whom the letter is going should also appear at the top of the sheets.
This letter should never run over to a second sheet if there are less
than three lines of the body of the letter left over from the first

In the formal official letter, that is, in letters to or by government
officials, members of Congress, and other dignitaries, the most rigid
formality in language is observed. No colloquialisms are allowed and no

[Illustration: Specimens of letterheads used for official stationery]


The complimentary close follows the body of the letter, about two or
three spaces below it. It begins about in the center of the page under
the body of the letter. Only the first word should be capitalized and a
comma is placed at the end. The wording may vary according to the degree
of cordiality or friendship. In business letters the forms are usually
restricted to the following:

    Yours truly (or) Truly yours (not good form)
    Yours very truly (or) Very truly yours
    Yours respectfully (or) Respectfully yours
    Yours very respectfully.

If the correspondents are on a more intimate basis they may use

    Faithfully yours
    Cordially yours
    Sincerely yours.

In formal official letters the complimentary close is

    Respectfully yours
    Yours respectfully.

The informal social letter may close with

    Yours sincerely
    Yours very sincerely
    Yours cordially
    Yours faithfully
    Yours gratefully (if a favor has been done)
    Yours affectionately
    Very affectionately yours
    Yours lovingly
    Lovingly yours.

The position of "yours" may be at the beginning or at the end, but it
must never be abbreviated or omitted.

If a touch of formal courtesy is desired, the forms "I am" or "I remain"
may be used before the complimentary closing. These words keep the same
margin as the paragraph indenting. But in business letters they are not


The signature is written below the complimentary close and a little to
the right, so that it ends about at the right-hand margin. In signing a
social letter a married woman signs herself as "Evelyn Rundell," not
"Mrs. James Rundell" nor "Mrs. Evelyn Rundell." The form "Mrs. James
Rundell" is used in business letters when the recipient might be in
doubt as to whether to address her as "Mrs." or "Miss." Thus a married
woman would sign such a business letter:

      Yours very truly,
        Evelyn Rundell
    (Mrs. James Rundell).

An unmarried woman signs as "Ruth Evans," excepting in the case of a
business letter where she might be mistaken for a widow. She then
prefixes "Miss" in parentheses, as (Miss) Ruth Evans.

A woman should not sign only her given name in a letter to a man unless
he is her fiancé or a relative or an old family friend.

A widow signs her name with "Mrs." in parentheses before it, as (Mrs.)
Susan Briggs Geer.

A divorced woman, if she retains her husband's name, signs her letters
with her given name and her own surname followed by her husband's name,

    Janet Hawkins Carr.

and in a business communication:

       Janet Hawkins Carr
    (Mrs. Janet Hawkins Carr).

A signature should always be made by hand and in ink. The signature to a
business letter may be simply the name of the writer. Business firms or
corporations have the name of the firm typed above the written signature
of the writer of the letter. Then in type below comes his official
position. Thus:

    Hall, Haines & Company (typewritten)
      _Alfred Jennings_ (handwritten)
            Cashier (typewritten).

If he is not an official, his signature is preceded by the word "By."

In the case of form letters or routine correspondence the name of the
person directly responsible for the letter may be signed by a clerk with
his initials just below it. Some business firms have the name of the
person responsible for the letter typed immediately under the name of
the firm and then his signature below that. This custom counteracts
illegibility in signatures.

In circular letters the matter of a personal signature is a very
important one. Some good points on this subject may be gathered from the
following extract from _Printers' Ink_.

    Who shall sign a circular letter depends largely on
    circumstances entering individual cases. Generally speaking,
    every letter should be tested on a trial list before it is sent
    out in large quantities. It is inadvisable to hazard an
    uncertain letter idea on a large list until the value of the
    plan, as applied to that particular business, has been tried

    There are certain things about letter procedure, however, that
    experience has demonstrated to be fundamental. One of these
    platforms is that it is best to sign the letter with some
    individual's name. Covering up the responsibility for the letter
    with such a general term as "sales department" or "advertising
    department" takes all personality out of the missive and to that
    extent weakens the power of the message. But even in this we
    should be chary of following inflexible rules. We can conceive
    of circumstances where it would be advisable to have the letter
    come from a department rather than from an individual.

    Of course the management of many business organizations still
    holds that all letters should be signed by the company only. If
    the personal touch is permitted at all, the extent of it is to
    allow the writer of the letter to subscribe his initials. This
    idea, however, is pretty generally regarded as old-fashioned and
    is fast dying out.

    Most companies favor the plan of having the head of the
    department sign the circular letters emanating from his
    department. If he doesn't actually dictate the letter himself,
    no tell-tale signs such as the initials of the actual dictator
    should be made. If it is a sales matter, the letter would bear
    the signature of the sales manager. If the communication
    pertained to advertising, it would be signed by the advertising
    manager. Where it is desired to give unusual emphasis to the
    letter, it might occasionally be attributed to the president or
    to some other official higher up. The big name idea should not
    be overdone. People will soon catch on that the president would
    not have time to answer all of the company's correspondence. If
    he has, it is evident that a very small business must be done.

    A better idea that is coming into wide vogue is to have the
    letter signed by the man in the company who comes into
    occasional personal contact with the addressee. One concern has
    the house salesman who waits on customers coming from that
    section of the country when they visit headquarters sign all
    promotion letters going to them. The house salesman is the only
    one in the firm whom the customer knows. It is reasoned that the
    latter will give greater heed to a letter coming from a man with
    whom he is on friendly terms. Another company has its branch
    managers take the responsibility for circular letters sent to
    the trade in that territory. Another manufacturer has his
    salesmen bunched in crews of six. Each crew is headed by a
    leader. This man has to sell, just as his men do, but in
    addition he acts as a sort of district sales manager. All trade
    letters going out in his district carry the crew leader's

    There is much to be said in favor of this vogue. Personal
    contact is so valuable in all business transactions that its
    influence should be used in letters, in so far as it is
    practicable to do so.

The signature should not vary. Do not sign "G. Smith" to one letter,
"George Smith" to another, and "G. B. Smith" to a third.

A man should never prefix to his signature any title, as "Mr.," "Prof.,"
or "Dr."

A postscript is sometimes appended to a business letter, but the letters
"P.S." do not appear. It is not, however, used as formerly--to express
some thought which the writer forgot to include in the letter, or an
afterthought. But on account of its unique position in the letter, it is
used to place special emphasis on an important thought.


In the outside address or superscription of a letter the following forms
are observed:

A letter to a woman must always address her as either "Mrs." or "Miss,"
unless she is a professional woman with a title such as "Dr." But this
title is used only if the letter is a professional one. It is not
employed in social correspondence. A woman is never addressed by her
husband's title, as "Mrs. Captain Bartlett."

A married woman is addressed with "Mrs." prefixed to her husband's name,
as "Mrs. David Greene." This holds even if her husband is dead.

A divorced woman is addressed (unless she is allowed by the courts to
use her maiden name) as "Mrs." followed by her maiden name and her
former husband's surname, as: "Mrs. Edna Boyce Blair," "Edna Boyce"
being her maiden name.

A man should be given his title if he possess one. Otherwise he must be
addressed as "Mr." or "Esq."

Titles of those holding public office, of physicians, of the clergy, and
of professors, are generally abbreviated on the envelope except in
formal letters.

It is rather customary to address social letters to "Edward Beech,
Esq.," business letters to "Mr. Edward Beech," and a tradesman's letter
to "Peter Moore." A servant is addressed as "William White."

The idea has arisen, and it would seem erroneous, that if the man
addressed had also "Sr." or "Jr." attached, the title "Mr." or "Esq."
should not be used. There is neither rhyme nor reason for this, as "Sr."
and "Jr." are certainly not titles and using "Mr." or "Esq." would not
be a duplication. So the proper mode of address would be

    Mr. John Evans, Jr.


    John Evans, Jr., Esq.

The "Sr." is not always necessary as it may be understood.

Business envelopes should have the address of the writer printed in the
upper left-hand corner as a return address. This space should not be
used for advertising.

In addressing children's letters, it should be remembered that a letter
to a girl child is addressed to "Miss Jane Green," regardless of the age
of the child. But a little boy should be addressed as "Master Joseph

The address when completed should be slightly below the middle of the
envelope and equidistant from right and left edges. The slanting or the
straight-edge form may be used, to agree with the indented or the block
style of paragraphing respectively.

Punctuation at the ends of the lines in the envelope address is not
generally used.

The post office prefers the slanting edge form of address, thus:

    ----------------             ----------------
      ----------------           ----------------
        ----------------         ----------------

If there is a special address, such as "General Delivery," "Personal,"
or "Please forward," it should be placed at the lower left-hand corner
of the envelope.




Under this head are grouped a few of the more common offenses against
good form in letter writing; some of these have been touched on in other

    Never use ruled paper for any correspondence.

    Never use tinted paper for business letters.

    Do not have date lines on printed letterheads. This of course
    has to do with business stationery.

    Do not use simplified spelling, if for no other reason than that
    it detracts from the reader's absorption of the contents of the
    letter itself.

    "Enthuse" is not a word--do not use it.

    Avoid blots, fingermarks, and erasures.

    Do not use two one-cent stamps in place of a two-cent stamp.
    Somehow one-cent stamps are not dignified.

     Never use "Dear Friend," "Friend Jack," "My dear Friend," or
    "Friend Bliss" as a form of salutation. In the case of a
    business letter where a salutation for both sexes may be
    necessary, use "Gentlemen."

    Never cross the writing in a letter with more writing.

    Never use "oblige" in the place of the complimentary close.

    Do not double titles, as "Mr. John Walker, Esq." Write either
    "Mr. John Walker" or "John Walker, Esq."

    A woman should never sign herself "Mrs." or "Miss" to a social
    letter. In business letters (See Chapter 3) it may be necessary
    to prefix "Mrs." or "Miss" in parentheses to show how an answer
    should be addressed to her.

    Never omit "Yours" in the complimentary close. Always write
    "Yours sincerely," "Yours truly," or whatever it may be. Never
    write a letter in the heat of anger. Sleep on it if you do and
    the next morning will not see you so anxious to send it.

    In some business offices it has become the custom to have typed
    at the bottom of a letter, or sometimes even rubber-stamped,
    such expressions as:

    Dictated but not read.

    Dictated by but signed in the absence of ----.

    Dictated by Mr. Jones, but, as Mr. Jones was called away, signed
    by Miss Walker.

    While these may be the circumstances under which the letter
    was written and may be necessary for the identification of the
    letter, they are no less discourtesies to the reader. And it
    cannot improve the situation to call them to the reader's

    In the matter of abbreviations of titles and the like a safe
    rule is "When in doubt do not abbreviate."

    Sentences like "Dictated by Mr. Henry Pearson to Miss Oliver"
    are in bad form, not to speak of their being bad business. They
    intrude the mechanics of the letter on the reader and in so
    doing they take his interest from the actual object of the
    communication. All necessary identification can be made by
    initials, as: L. S. B.--T.

    Do not write a sales letter that gives the same impression as a
    strident, raucous-voiced salesman. If the idea is to attract
    attention by shouting louder than all the rest, it might be well
    to remember that the limit of screeching and of words that hit
    one in the eye has probably been reached. The tack to take, even
    from a result-producing standpoint and aside from the question
    of good taste, is to have the tone of the letter quiet but
    forceful--the firm, even tone of a voice heard through a yelling

    Do not attempt to put anything on paper without first thinking
    out and arranging what you want to say.

    Complimentary closings in business letters, such as "Yours for
    more business," should be avoided as the plague.


There are certain expressions, certain stock phrases, which have in the
past been considered absolutely necessary to a proper knowledge of
so-called business English. But it is gratifying to notice the emphasis
that professors and teachers of business English are placing on the
avoidance of these horrors and on the adoption of a method of writing in
which one says exactly what one means and says it gracefully and without
stiltedness or intimacy. Their aim seems to be the ability to write a
business letter which may be easily read, easily understood, and with
the important facts in the attention-compelling places. But for the sake
of those who still cling to these hackneyed improprieties (which most of
them are), let us line them up for inspection. Many of them are
inaccurate, and a moment's thought will give a better method of
conveying the ideas.

"We beg to state," "We beg to advise," "We beg to remain." There is a
cringing touch about these. A courteous letter may be written without

"Your letter has come to hand" or "is at hand" belongs to a past age.
Say "We have your letter of ----" or "We have received your letter."

"We shall advise you of ----" This is a legal expression. Say "We shall
let you know" or "We shall inform you."

"As per your letter." Also of legal connotation. Say "according to" or
"in agreement with."

"Your esteemed favor" is another relic. This is a form of courtesy, but
is obsolete. "Favor," used to mean "communication" or "letter," is
obviously inaccurate.

"Replying to your letter, would say," or "wish to say." Why not say it
at once and abolish the wordiness?

"State" gives the unpleasant suggestion of a cross-examination. Use

"And oblige" adds nothing to the letter. If the reader is not already
influenced by its contents, "and oblige" will not induce him to be.

The telegraphic brevity caused by omitting pronouns and all words not
necessary to the sense makes for discourtesy and brusqueness, as:

    Answering yours of the 21st inst., order has been delayed, but
    will ship goods at once.

How much better to say:

    We have your letter of 21st October concerning the delay in
    filling your order. We greatly regret the delay, but we can
    now ship the goods at once.

"Same" is not a pronoun. It is used as such in legal documents, but it
is incorrect to employ it in business letters as other than an
adjective. Use instead "they," "them," or "it."


    We have received your order and same will be forwarded.


    We have received your order and it will be forwarded.

"Kindly"--as in: "We kindly request that you will send your
subscription." There is nothing kind in your request and if there were,
you would not so allude to it. "Kindly" in this case belongs to "send,"
as "We request that you will kindly send your subscription."

The word "kind" to describe a business letter--as "your kind favor"--is
obviously misapplied. There is no element of "kindness" on either side
of an ordinary business transaction.

The months are no longer alluded to as "inst.," "ult.," or "prox."
[abbreviations of the Latin "instant" (present), "ultimo" (past), and
"proximo" (next)] as "Yours of the 10th inst." Call the months by name,
as "I have your letter of 10th May."

"Contents carefully noted" is superfluous and its impression on the
reader is a blank.

"I enclose herewith." "Herewith" in this sense means in the envelope.
This fact is already expressed in the word "enclose."

Avoid abbreviations of ordinary words in the body or the closing of a
letter, as "Resp. Yrs." instead of "Respectfully yours."

The word "Company" should not be abbreviated unless the symbol "&" is
used. But the safest plan in writing to a company is to write the name
exactly as they write it themselves or as it appears on their

[Illustration: As to the use of the symbol "&" and the abbreviation of
the word "company," the safest plan in writing to a company is to spell
its name exactly as it appears on its letterhead]

Names of months and names of states may be abbreviated in the heading of
the letter but not in the body. But it is better form not to do so.
Names of states should never be abbreviated on the envelope. For
instance, "California" and "Colorado," if written "Cal." and "Col.," may
easily be mistaken for each other.

The participial closing of a letter, that is, ending a letter with a
participial phrase, weakens the entire effect of the letter. This is
particularly true of a business letter. Close with a clear-cut idea. The
following endings will illustrate the ineffective participle:

    Hoping to hear from you on this matter by return mail.

    Assuring you of our wish to be of service to you in the

    Thanking you for your order and hoping we shall be able to
    please you.

    Trusting that you will start an investigation as soon as

More effective endings would be:

    Please send a remittance by return mail.

    If we can be of use to you in the future, will you let us

    We thank you for your order and hope we shall fill it to
    your satisfaction.

    Please investigate the delay at once.

The participial ending is merely a sort of habit. A letter used to be
considered lacking in ease if it ended with an emphatic sentence or
ended with something that had really to do with the subject of the

It might be well in concluding a letter, as in a personal leavetaking,
to "Stand not on the order of your going." Good-byes should be short.




_General Directions_

The format of an invitation is not so important as its taste. Some of
the more formal sorts of invitations--as to weddings--have become rather
fixed, and the set wordings are carried through regardless of the means
at hand for proper presentation. For instance, one often sees a wedding
invitation in impeccable form but badly printed on cheap paper. It would
be far better, if it is impossible to get good engraving or if
first-class work proves to be too expensive, to buy good white notepaper
and write the invitations. A typewriter is, of course, out of the
question either for sending or answering any sort of social invitation.
Probably some time in the future the typewriter will be used, but at
present it is associated with business correspondence and is supposed to
lack the implied leisure of hand writing.

The forms of many invitations, as I have said, are fairly fixed. But
they are not hallowed. One may vary them within the limits of good
taste, but on the whole it is considerably easier to accept the forms
in use and not try to be different. If the function itself is going to
be very different from usual then the invitation itself may be as
freakish as one likes--it may be written or printed on anything from a
postcard to a paper bag. The sole question is one of appropriateness.
But there is a distinct danger in trying to be ever so unconventional
and all that. One is more apt than not to make a fool of one's self.
And then, too, being always clever is dreadfully hard on the innocent
by-standers. Here are things to be avoided:

    Do not have an invitation printed or badly engraved. Hand
    writing is better than bad mechanical work.

    Do not use colored or fancy papers.

    Do not use single sheets.

    Do not use a very large or a very small sheet--either is

    Do not have a formal phraseology for an informal affair.

    Do not abbreviate anything--initials may be used in informal
    invitations and acceptances, but, in the formal, "H. E. Jones"
    invariably has to become "Horatio Etherington Jones."

    Do not send an answer to a formal invitation in the first

    A formal invitation is written in the third person and must be
    so answered.

    Do not use visiting cards either for acceptances or regrets
    even though they are sometimes used for invitations. The
    practice of sending a card with "Accepts" or "Regrets" written
    on it is discourteous.

    Do not seek to be decorative in handwriting--the flourishing
    Spencerian is impossible.

    Do not overdo either the formality or the informality.

    Do not use "R.S.V.P." (the initials of the French words
    "Répondez, s'il vous plaît," meaning "Answer, if you please")
    unless the information is really necessary for the making of
    arrangements. It ought to be presumed that those whom you take
    the trouble to invite will have the sense and the courtesy to

In sending an evening invitation where there are husband and wife, both
must be included, unless, of course, the occasion is "stag." If the
invitation is to be extended to a daughter, then her name is included in
the invitation. In the case of more than one daughter, they will receive
a separate invitation addressed to "The Misses Smith." Each male member
of the family other than husband should receive a separately mailed

An invitation, even the most informal, should always be acknowledged
within a week of its receipt. It is the height of discourtesy to leave
the hostess in doubt either through a tardy answer or through the
undecided character of your reply. The acknowledgment must state
definitely whether or not you accept.

The acknowledgment of an invitation sent to husband and wife must
include both names but is answered by the wife only. The name of a
daughter also must appear if it appears in the invitation. If Mr. and
Mrs. Smith receive an invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Jones, their
acknowledgment must include the names of both Mr. and Mrs. Jones, but
the envelope should be addressed to Mrs. Jones only.


Wedding invitations should be sent about three weeks--certainly not
later than fifteen days--before the wedding. Two envelopes should be
used, the name and address appearing on the outside envelope, but only
the name on the inside one. The following are correct for formal

_For a church wedding_


               _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
                Request the Honour of_
                ---- (Name written in)
     _Presence at the Marriage of Their Daughter
                Mr. Philip Brewster
    On the Evening of Monday, the Eighth of June
                  at Six o'Clock
         At The Church of the Heavenly Rest
            Fifth Avenue, New York City_

[Illustration: Specimen of formal wedding invitation]


          _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
    Request the Honour of Your Presence at
       The Marriage of Their Daughter
            Mr. Philip Brewster
         On Monday, June the Eighth
              At Six o'Clock
      At the Church of the Heavenly Rest
          Fifth Avenue, New York_

_For a home wedding_

           _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
           Request the Pleasure of_
            ---- (Name written in)
    _Company at the Marriage of Their Daughter
            Mr. Philip Brewster
        On Wednesday, June the Tenth
             At Twelve o'Clock
          Five Hundred Park Avenue_

Or either of the forms A and B for a church wedding may be used. "Honour
of your presence" is more formal than "pleasure of your company" and
hence is more appropriate for a church wedding.

It is presumed that an invitation to a home wedding includes the wedding
breakfast or reception, but an invitation to a church wedding does not.
A card inviting to the wedding breakfast or reception is enclosed with
the wedding invitation. Good forms are:

_For a wedding breakfast_

           _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
           Request the Pleasure of_
            ---- (Name written in)
    _At Breakfast on Tuesday, June the Fourth
             at Twelve o'Clock
              500 Park Avenue_

_For a wedding reception_

            _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
       Request the Pleasure of Your Company
    At the Wedding Reception of Their Daughter
               Mr. Philip Brewster
        On Monday Afternoon, June the Third
                 At Four o'Clock
            Five Hundred Park Avenue_

[Illustration: Specimens of formal invitations to a wedding reception]

_For a second marriage_

The forms followed in a second marriage--either of a widow or a
divorcée--are quite the same as above. The divorcée uses whatever name
she has taken after the divorce--the name of her ex-husband or her
maiden name if she has resumed it. The widow sometimes uses simply Mrs.
Philip Brewster or a combination, as Mrs. Dorothy Evans Brewster. The
invitations are issued in the name of the nearest relative--the parent
or parents, of course, if living. The forms are:


         _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
    Request the Honour of Your Presence
     At the Marriage of Their Daughter
          (Mrs. Philip Brewster)
            Mr. Leonard Duncan
       On Thursday, April the Third
              At Six o'Clock
              Trinity Chapel_


         _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
    Request the Honour of Your Presence
     At the Marriage of Their Daughter
        Mrs. Dorothy Evans Brewster
            Mr. Leonard Duncan
        On Thursday, April the Third
              At Six o'Clock
              Trinity Chapel_

If there are no near relatives, the form may be:


    _The Honour of Your Presence is Requested
              At the Marriage of
          Mrs. Dorothy Evans Brewster
              Mr. Leonard Duncan
          On Thursday, April the Third
                At Six o'Clock
                Trinity Chapel_

In formal invitations "honour" is spelled with a "u."

_Recalling an Invitation_

The wedding may have to be postponed or solemnized privately, owing to
illness or death, or it may be put off altogether. In such an event the
invitations will have to be recalled. The card recalling may or may not
give a reason, according to circumstances. The cards should be engraved
if time permits, but they may have to be written.

Convenient forms are:


    _Owing to the Death of Mr.
    Philip Brewster's Mother,
    Mr. and Mrs. Evans beg to
    Recall the Invitations for
    Their Daughter's Wedding on
    Monday, June the Eighth._

[Illustration: Specimen of wedding announcement]


    _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans beg to Recall
    The Invitations for the Marriage of
    Their Daughter, Dorothy, and Mr. Philip
    Brewster, on Monday, June the Eighth_

_Wedding announcements_

If a wedding is private, no formal invitations are sent out; they are
unnecessary, for only a few relatives or intimate friends will be
present and they will be asked by word of mouth or by a friendly note.
The wedding may be formally announced by cards mailed on the day of the
wedding. The announcement will be made by whoever would have sent out
wedding invitations--by parents, a near relative, or by the bride and
groom, according to circumstances. The custom with the bride's name in
the case of a widow or divorcée follows that of wedding invitations. An
engraved announcement is not acknowledged (although a letter of
congratulations--see page 101--may often be sent). A card is sent to the
bride's parents or whoever has sent the announcements. The announcement
may be in the following form:

              _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
      Announce the Marriage of Their Daughter
               Mr. Philip Brewster
            On Monday, June the Tenth
    One Thousand Nineteen Hundred and Twenty-Two_

_Replying to the invitation_

The acceptance or the declination of a formal invitation is necessarily
formal but naturally has to be written by hand. It is better to use
double notepaper than a correspondence card and it is not necessary to
give a reason for being unable to be present--although one may be given.
It is impolite to accept or regret only a day or two before the
function--the letter should be written as soon as possible after the
receipt of the invitation. The letter may be indented as is the engraved
invitation, but this is not at all necessary. The forms are:


          Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham Smith
              accept with pleasure
              Mr. and Mrs. Evans's
          kind invitation to be present
        at the marriage of their daughter
              Mr. Philip Brewster
          on Monday, June the twelfth
               at twelve o'clock
    (and afterward at the wedding breakfast)

Or it may be written out:

     Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham Smith accept with pleasure Mr. and
    Mrs. Evans's kind invitation to be present at the marriage of
    their daughter Dorothy and Mr. Philip Brewster on Monday, June
    the twelfth at twelve o'clock (and afterward at the wedding


          Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham Smith
           regret exceedingly that they
               are unable to accept
               Mr. and Mrs. Evans's
           kind invitation to be present
         at the marriage of their daughter
               Mr. Philip Brewster
           on Monday, June the twelfth
    (and afterward at the wedding breakfast)

Or this also may be written out. The portion in parentheses will be
omitted if one has not been asked to the wedding breakfast or reception.

_For the formal dinner_

Formal dinner invitations are usually engraved, as in the following
example. In case they are written, they may follow the same form or the
letter form. If addressed paper is used the address is omitted from the
end. The acknowledgment should follow the wording of the invitation.


                 _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
                  Request the Pleasure of_
                   Mr. and Mrs. Trent's
                    _Company at Dinner
              On Thursday, October the First
                    at Seven o'Clock
        and Afterward for the Play (or Opera, etc.)_
    _500 Park Avenue_


       _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
       Request the Pleasure of
        Mr. and Mrs. Trent's
     Company for Dinner and Opera
    on Thursday, October the First
          at Seven o'Clock_


          Mr. and Mrs. George Trent
          accept with much pleasure
             Mr. and Mrs. Evans's
          kind invitation for dinner
        on Thursday, October the first,
              at seven o'clock
         and afterward for the opera
    788 East Forty-Sixth Street


          Mr. and Mrs. George Trent
            regret that they are
              unable to accept
           the kind invitation of
             Mr. and Mrs. Evans
            for dinner and opera
        on Thursday, October the first,
        owing to a previous engagement.
    788 East Forty-Sixth Street

_For a dinner not at home_

          _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
           Request the Pleasure of
           Mrs. and Miss Pearson's
              Company at Dinner
                 At Sherry's
        on Friday, March the Thirtieth
        At Quarter Past Seven o'Clock_
    _500 Park Avenue_


        Mrs. Richard Pearson and Miss Pearson
             accept with much pleasure
               Mr. and Mrs. Evans's
           very kind invitation for dinner
                   at Sherry's
           on Friday, March the thirtieth
           at quarter past seven o'clock
    640 West Seventy-Second Street


        Mrs. Richard Pearson and Miss Pearson
             regret exceedingly that they
                 are unable to accept
                 Mr. and Mrs. Evans's
           very kind invitation for dinner
                     at Sherry's
           on Friday, March the thirtieth
          owing to a previous engagement to
           dine with Mr. and Mrs. Spencer
    640 West Seventy-Second Street

[Illustration: Specimens of formal dinner invitations]

Or the reply may follow the letter form:


                                640 West Seventy-Second Street,
                                  March 16, 1920.

    Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pearson accept with pleasure
    Mrs. John Evans's kind invitation for Friday evening,
    March the thirtieth.


                                640 West Seventy-Second Street
                                  March 16, 1920.

    Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pearson regret sincerely their inability
    to accept Mrs. John Evans's kind invitation for Friday
    evening, March the thirtieth.

These acknowledgments, being formal, are written in the third person and
must be sent within twenty-four hours.

_Dinner "to meet"_

If the dinner or luncheon is given to meet a person of importance or a
friend from out of town, the purpose should appear in the body of the
invitation, thus:

       _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
       Request the Pleasure of
        Mr. and Mrs. Trent's
         Company at Dinner
    on Thursday, November the Ninth
          at Eight o'Clock
     to Meet Mr. William H. Allen_

_To a formal luncheon_

              _Mrs. John Evans
          Requests the Pleasure of
               Miss Blake's
            Company at Luncheon
          To meet Miss Grace Flint
        on Tuesday, March the Fourth
              at One o'Clock
        and Afterward to the Matinée_
    _500 Park Avenue_


                   Miss Blake
              accepts with pleasure
                  Mrs. Evans's
        very kind invitation for luncheon
           on Tuesday, March the fourth
                  at one o'clock
           to meet Miss Flint and to go
             afterward to the matinée
    232 West Thirty-First Street


                    Miss Blake
        regrets that a previous engagement
           prevents her from accepting
                   Mrs. Evans's
         very kind invitation for luncheon
           on Tuesday, March the fourth
                  at one o'clock
                to meet Miss Flint
        and to go afterward to the matinée
    832 West Thirty-First Street

[Illustration: Specimens of formal invitations "to meet"]

_For the reception_

Afternoon receptions and "At Homes" for which engraved invitations are
sent out are practically the same as formal "teas."

An invitation is engraved as follows:

           _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
                  At Home
     Wednesday Afternoon, September Fourth
    from Four until Half-Past Seven o'Clock
          Five Hundred Park Avenue_

These cards are sent out by mail in a single envelope about two weeks or
ten days before the event.

The recipient of such a card is not required to send either a written
acceptance or regret. One accepts by attending the "At Home." If one
does not accept, the visiting card should be sent by mail so that it
will reach the hostess on the day of the reception.

Where an answer is explicitly required, then the reply may be as


               Mrs. John Evans
            accepts with pleasure
                Mrs. Emerson's
    kind invitation for Wednesday afternoon
          November the twenty-eighth


               Mrs. John Evans
     regrets that she is unable to accept
               Mrs. Emerson's
    kind invitation for Wednesday afternoon
          November the twenty-eighth

           Mrs. John Evans
         regrets that she is
       unable to be present at
           Mrs. Emerson's
    At home on Wednesday afternoon
      November the twenty-eighth

_Reception "to meet"_


             _Mrs. Bruce Wellington
            Requests the Pleasure of
                 Mrs. Evans's
    Presence on Thursday Afternoon, April Fifth
          to Meet the Board of Governors
                   of the
             Door-of-Hope Society
       from Four-Thirty to Seven o'Clock_


            Mrs. John Evans
         accepts with pleasure
           Mrs. Wellington's
        kind invitation to meet
        The Board of Governors
                of the
         Door-of-Hope Society
    On Thursday afternoon, April fifth


                    Mrs. John Evans
          regrets that a previous engagement
              prevents her from accepting
                   Mrs. Wellington's
                kind invitation to meet
    The Board of Governors of the Door-of-Hope Society
           On Thursday afternoon, April fifth

                 _Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
          Request the Pleasure of Your Company
                        to Meet
              General and Mrs. Robert E. Lee
         on Thursday Afternoon, February Fourth
              from Four until Seven o'Clock_
    _Five Hundred Park Avenue_

If one accepts this invitation, one acknowledges simply by attending. If
one is unable to attend, then the visiting card is mailed. If unforeseen
circumstances should prevent attending, then a messenger is sent with a
card in an envelope to the hostess, to reach her during the reception.

_Invitations for afternoon affairs_

For afternoon affairs--at homes, teas, garden parties--the invitations
are sent out in the name of the hostess alone, or if there be a
daughter, or daughters, in society, their names will appear immediately
below the name of the hostess.

              _Mrs. John Evans
             The Misses Evans
                 At Home
    Thursday Afternoon, January Eleventh
       from Four until Seven o'Clock
         Five Hundred Park Avenue_

If the purpose of the reception is to introduce a daughter, her name
would appear immediately below that of the hostess, as "Miss Evans,"
without Christian name or initial. If a second daughter is to be
introduced at the tea, her name in full is added beneath that of the

              _Mrs. John Evans
              Miss Ruth Evans
                 Miss Evans
                  At Home
    Friday Afternoon, January Twentieth
       from Four until Seven o'Clock
         Five Hundred Park Avenue_

_For balls and dances_

The word "ball" is used for an assembly or a charity dance, never
otherwise. An invitation to a private house bears "Dancing" or
"Cotillion" in one corner of the card. This ball or formal dance
invitation is engraved on a white card, sometimes with a blank space so
that the guest's name may be written in by the hostess. It would read


           _Mr. and Mrs. Charles Elliott
              Request the Pleasure of
                Mr. and Mrs. Evans's
               Company at a Cotillion
        to Be Held at the Hotel Ritz-Carlton
          on Saturday, December the Third
                  at Ten o'Clock_
    _Please Address Reply to
    347 Madison Avenue_

[Illustration: Specimens of formal invitations to a dance]


        _Mr. and Mrs. Charles Elliott
           Request the Pleasure of

         Company on Saturday Evening
      January the Sixth, at Ten o'Clock_
    _Dancing           347 Madison Avenue_

An older style of invitation--without the blank for the written name,
but instead the word "your" engraved upon the card--is in perfectly good
form. The invitation would be like this:


          _Mr. and Mrs. Charles Elliott
       Request the Pleasure of Your Company
      on Saturday Evening, January the Sixth
               at Ten o'Clock_
    _Dancing               347 Madison Avenue_


          Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
            accept with pleasure
           Mr. and Mrs. Elliott's
    very kind invitation to a cotillion
    to be held at the Hotel Ritz-Carlton
       On Saturday, December the third
              at ten o'clock


         Mr. and Mrs. John Evans
      regret exceedingly that they
          are unable to accept
         Mr. and Mrs. Elliott's
    kind invitation to attend a dance
     on Saturday, January the sixth

In sending a regret the hour is omitted, as, since the recipient will
not be present, the time is unimportant.


            _The Honour of Your Presence
    Is Requested at the Lincoln's Birthday Eve Ball
            of the Dark Hollow Country Club
         on Monday Evening, February Eleventh
               at Half-Past Ten o'Clock


             Miss Evans accepts with pleasure
    the kind invitation of the Dark Hollow Country Club
          for Monday evening, February eleventh
                at half-past ten o'clock

_For christenings_

Christenings are sometimes made formal. In such case engraved cards are
sent out two or three weeks ahead. A good form is:

        _Mr. and Mrs. Philip Brewster
     Request the Pleasure of Your Company
       at the Christening of Their Son
    on Sunday Afternoon, April Seventeenth
             At Three o'clock
       at the Church of the Redeemer_


         Mr. and Mrs. Charles Elliot
             accept with pleasure
           Mr. and Mrs. Brewster's
          kind invitation to attend
         the christening of their son
    on Sunday afternoon, April seventeenth
               at three o'clock

A reason for not accepting may or may not be given--it is better to put
in a reason if you have one.


            Mr. and Mrs. Charles Elliott
          regret that a previous engagement
             prevents their accepting
              Mr. and Mrs. Brewster's
    kind invitation to the christening of their son
        on Sunday afternoon, April seventeenth


_For a wedding_

An engraved invitation always implies a somewhat large or elaborate
formal function. An informal affair requires simply a written invitation
in the first person.

The informal wedding is one to which are invited only the immediate
family and intimate friends. The reason may be simply the desire for a
small, quiet affair or it may be a recent bereavement. The bride-to-be
generally writes these invitations. The form may be something like this:


                                        June 2, 1922.

    Dear Mrs. Smith,

    On Wednesday, June the twelfth, at three o'clock Mr. Brewster
    and I are to be married. The ceremony will be at home and we
    are asking only a few close friends. I hope that you and Mr.
    Smith will be able to come.

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Dorothy Evans.


                                        June 16, 1922.

    Dear Mary,

    Owing to the recent death of my sister, Mr. Brewster and I are
    to be married quietly at home. The wedding will be on Wednesday,
    June the twentieth, at eleven o'clock. We are asking only
    a few intimate friends and I shall be so glad if you will come.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Dorothy Evans.


                                        June 7, 1922.

    Dear Dorothy,

    We shall be delighted to attend your wedding on Wednesday,
    June the twelfth, at three o'clock.

    We wish you and Mr. Brewster every happiness.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Helen Gray Smith.


                                        June 4, 1922.

    Dear Dorothy,

    I am so sorry that I shall be unable to attend your wedding.
    The "Adriatic" is sailing on the tenth and Father and I have
    engaged passage.

    Let me wish you and Mr. Brewster every happiness.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Mary Lyman.

_For dinners and luncheons_

An informal invitation to dinner is sent by the wife, for her husband
and herself, to the wife. This invitation must include the latter's
husband. It is simply a friendly note. The wife signs her Christian
name, her maiden name (or more usually the initial of her maiden name),
and her married name.

                                          Five Hundred Park Avenue,
                                            December 5th, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Trent,

    Will you and Mr. Trent give us the pleasure of your company at
    a small dinner on Tuesday, December the twelfth, at seven

    I hope you will not be otherwise engaged on that evening as we
    are looking forward to seeing you.

                                          Very sincerely yours,
                                            Katherine G. Evans.

_To cancel an informal dinner invitation_

    My dear Mrs. Trent,

    On account of the sudden death of my brother, I regret to be
    obliged to recall the invitation for our dinner on Tuesday,
    December the twelfth.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.
    December 8, 1922.


                                        788 East Forty-Sixth Street,
                                          December 7th, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    Mr. Trent and I will be very glad to dine with you on Tuesday,
    December the twelfth, at seven o'clock.

    With kind regards, I am

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Charlotte B. Trent


                                        788 East Forty-Sixth Street,
                                          December 7th, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    We regret deeply that we cannot accept your kind invitation to
    dine with you on Tuesday, December the twelfth. Mr. Trent and
    I, unfortunately, have a previous engagement for that evening.

    With cordial regards, I am

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Charlotte B. Trent.

_The daughter as hostess_

When a daughter must act as hostess in her father's home, she includes
his name in every dinner invitation she issues, as in the following:

                                        340 Madison Avenue,
                                          January 2, 1921.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    Father wishes me to ask whether you and Mr. Evans will give us
    the pleasure of dining with us on Wednesday, January the
    fifteenth, at quarter past seven o'clock. We do hope you can

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Edith Haines.

The answer to this invitation of a daughter-hostess must be sent to the
daughter, not to the father.


    My dear Miss Haines,

    We shall be delighted to accept your father's kind invitation
    to dine with you on Wednesday, January the fifteenth, at
    quarter past seven o'clock.

    With most cordial wishes, I am

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.
    January 5, 1922


    My dear Miss Haines,

    We regret exceedingly that we cannot accept your father's kind
    invitation to dine with you on Wednesday, January the
    fifteenth. A previous engagement of Mr. Evans prevents it.
    Will you convey to him our thanks?

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.
    January 5, 1922.

_Adding additional details_

The invitation to an informal dinner may necessarily include some
additional details. For example:

                                        Five Hundred Park Avenue,
                                          September 16, 1920.

    My dear Mr. Allen,

    Mr. Evans and I have just returned from Canada and we hear
    that you are in New York for a short visit. We should like to
    have you take dinner with us on Friday, the twentieth, at
    half-past seven o'clock, if your time will permit. We hope you
    can arrange to come as there are many things back home in old
    Sharon that we are anxious to hear about.

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.

    Mr. Roger Allen
    Hotel Gotham
    New York


                                          Hotel Gotham,
                                            September 17, 1920.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    I shall be very glad to accept your kind invitation to dinner
    on Friday, September the twentieth, at half-past seven

    The prospect of seeing you and Mr. Evans again is very
    delightful and I am sure I have several interesting things to
    tell you.

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Roger Allen.

    Mrs. John Evans
    500 Park Avenue
    New York


                                        Hotel Gotham,
                                          September 16, 1920.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    I am sorry to miss the pleasure of accepting your kind
    invitation to dinner on Friday, September the twentieth.

    A business engagement compels me to leave New York to-morrow.
    There are indeed many interesting bits of news, but I shall
    have to wait for a chat until my next visit.

    With kindest regards to you both, I am

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Roger Allen.

    Mrs. John Evans
    500 Park Avenue
    New York

_A last-moment vacancy:_

A last-moment vacancy may occur in a dinner party. To send an invitation
to fill such a vacancy is a matter requiring tact, and the recipient
should be made to feel that you are asking him to fill in as a special
courtesy. Frankly explain the situation in a short note. It might be
something like this:

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          February 16, 1922.

    My dear Mr. Jarrett,

    Will you help me out? I am giving a little dinner party
    to-morrow evening and one of my guests, Harry Talbot, has just
    told me that on account of a sudden death he cannot be
    present. It is an awkward situation. If you can possibly come,
    I shall be very grateful.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.

    Mr. Harold Jarrett
    628 Washington Square South
    New York


                                      628 Washington Square South,
                                        February 16, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    It is indeed a fortunate circumstance for me that Harry Talbot
    will not be able to attend your dinner. Let me thank you for
    thinking of me and I shall be delighted to accept.

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Harold Jarrett.

If the recipient of such an invitation cannot accept, he should, in his
acknowledgment, give a good reason for declining. It is more considerate
to do so.

_For an informal luncheon_

An informal luncheon invitation is a short note sent about five to seven
days before the affair.

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          April 30,1922.

    My dear Mrs. Emerson,

    Will you come to luncheon on Friday, May the fifth, at half-past one
    o'clock? The Misses Irving will be here and they want so much to meet

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.


                                        911 Sutton Place,
                                          May 2, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    I shall be very glad to take luncheon with you on Friday, May
    the fifth, at half-past one o'clock. It will be a great
    pleasure to meet the Misses Irving.

    With best wishes, I am
                                        Yours sincerely,
                                          Grace Emerson.


                                        911 Sutton Place,
                                          May 2, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    Thank you for your very kind invitation to luncheon on Friday,
    May the fifth, but I am compelled, with great regret, to
    decline it.

    My mother and aunt are sailing for Europe on Friday and their
    ship is scheduled to sail at one. I have arranged to see them
    off. It was good of you to ask me.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Grace Emerson.

_For an informal tea_

    My dear Miss Harcourt,

    Will you come to tea with me on Tuesday afternoon, April the
    fourth, at four o'clock? I have asked a few of our friends.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.
    April first

Telephone invitations are not good form and may be used only for the
most informal occasions.

Invitations to the theatre, concert, and garden party, are mostly
informal affairs and are sent as brief letters.

A garden party is a sort of out-of-doors at home.

_To a garden party which is not formal or elaborate_

                                        Locust Lawn,
                                          June 29, 1922.

    My dear Miss Burton,

    Will you come to tea with me informally on the lawn on
    Thursday afternoon, July the fourth, at four o'clock? I know
    you always enjoy tennis and I have asked a few enthusiasts. Do
    try to come.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Ruth L. Anson.

Such an invitation is acknowledged in kind--by an informal note.

It may be of interest to read a letter or two from distinguished persons
along these lines. Here, for example, is the delightfully informal way
in which Thomas Bailey Aldrich invited his friend William H. Rideing to
dinner on one occasion:[1]

                                        April 6, 1882.

    Dear Rideing:

    Will you come and take an informal bite with me to-morrow
    (Friday) at 6 P. M. at my hamlet, No. 131 Charles Street?
    Mrs. Aldrich and the twins are away from home, and the
    thing is to be _sans ceremonie_. Costume prescribed: Sack
    coat, paper collar, and celluloid sleeve buttons. We shall
    be quite alone, unless Henry James should drop in, as he
    promises to do if he gets out of an earlier engagement.

    Suppose you drop in at my office to-morrow afternoon about
    5 o'clock and I act as pilot to Charles Street.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          T. B. Aldrich.

[1] From "Many Celebrities and a Few Others--A Bundle of Reminiscences,"
by William H. Rideing. Copyright, 1912, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

And one from James Russell Lowell to Henry W. Longfellow:[2]

                                        Elmwood, May 3, 1876.

    Dear Longfellow:

    Will you dine with me on Saturday at six? I have a Baltimore
    friend coming, and depend on you.

    I had such a pleasure yesterday that I should like to share it
    with you to whom I owed it. J. R. Osgood & Co. sent me a copy
    of your Household Edition to show me what it was, as they
    propose one of me. I had been reading over with dismay my own
    poems to weed out the misprints, and was awfully disheartened
    to find how bad they (the poems) were. Then I took your book
    to see what the type was, and before I knew it I had been
    reading two hours and more. I never wondered at your
    popularity, nor thought it wicked in you; but if I _had_
    wondered, I should no longer, for you sang me out of all my
    worries. To be sure they came back when I opened my own book
    again--but that was no fault of yours.

    If not Saturday, will you say Sunday? My friend is a Mrs.
    ----, and a very nice person indeed.

                                          Yours always,
                                            J. R. L.

[2] From "Letters of James Russell Lowell," edited by C. E. Norton.
Copyright, 1893, by Harper & Bros.

George Meredith ("Robin") accepting an informal dinner invitation from
his friend, William Hardman ("Tuck"):[3]

                                        Jan'y 28, 1863.

    Dear "at any price" Tuck:

    I come. Dinner you give me at half-past five, I presume. A
    note to Foakesden, if earlier. Let us have 5 ms. for a pipe,
    before we go. You know we are always better tempered when this
    is the case. I come in full dress. And do the honour to the
    Duke's motto. I saw my little man off on Monday, after
    expedition over Bank and Tower. Thence to Pym's, Poultry:
    oysters consumed by dozings. Thence to Purcell's: great
    devastation of pastry. Thence to Shoreditch, where Sons calmly
    said: "Never mind, Papa; it is no use minding it. I shall soon
    be back to you," and so administered comfort to his forlorn
    Dad.--My salute to the Conquered One, and I am your loving,
    hard-druv, much be-bullied


[3] From "The Letters of George Meredith." Copyright, 1912, by Charles
Scribner's Sons. By permission of the publishers.

_To a theatre_

                                        347 Madison Avenue,
                                          December 8, 1919.

    My dear Miss Evans,

    Mr. Smith and I are planning a small party of friends to see
    "The Mikado" on Thursday evening, December the eighteenth, and
    we hope that you will be among our guests.

    We have arranged to meet in the lobby of the Garrick Theatre
    at quarter after eight o'clock. I do hope you have no other

                                        Very cordially yours,
                                          Gertrude Ellison Smith.


    My dear Mrs. Smith,

    I shall be delighted to come to your theatre party on Thursday
    evening, December the eighteenth. I shall be in the lobby of
    the Garrick Theatre at a quarter past eight o'clock.

    It is so kind of you to ask me.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.
    December 12,1919.


    My dear Mrs. Smith,

    With great regret I must write that I shall be unable to join
    your theatre party on Thursday evening, December the
    eighteenth. My two cousins are visiting me and we had planned
    to go to the Hippodrome.

    I much appreciate your thinking of me.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.

For an informal affair, if at all in doubt as to what kind of invitation
to issue, it is safe to write a brief note in the first person.

Two or more sisters may receive one invitation addressed "The Misses
Evans." But two bachelor brothers must receive separate invitations. A
whole family should never be included in one invitation. It is decidedly
not proper to address one envelope to "Mr. and Mrs. Elliott and family."

_To an informal dance_

Invitations to smaller and more informal dances may be short notes. Or a
visiting card is sometimes sent with a notation written in ink below the
hostess's name and toward the left, as shown below:


                     Mrs. John Evans
                         At Home

    Dancing at half after nine     500 Park Avenue
    January the eighteenth

If the visiting card is used "R.S.V.P." is necessary, because usually
invitations on visiting cards do not presuppose answers. The reply to
the above may be either formal, in the third person, or may be an
informal note.


                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          January 4, 1920.

    My dear Mrs. Elliott,

    Will you and Mr. Elliott give us the pleasure of your company
    on Thursday, January the eighteenth, at ten o'clock? We are
    planning an informal dance and we should be so glad to have
    you with us.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.

An acknowledgment should be sent within a week. Never acknowledge a
visiting-card invitation by a visiting card. An informal note of
acceptance or regret is proper.


                                        347 Madison Avenue,
                                          January 10, 1920.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    Both Mr. Elliott and I shall be delighted to go to your dance
    on Thursday, January the eighteenth, at ten o'clock. Thank you
    so much for asking us.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Jane S. Elliott.


                                        347 Madison Avenue,
                                          January 10, 1920.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    Thank you for your kind invitation for Thursday, January the
    eighteenth; I am so sorry that Mr. Elliott and I shall not be
    able to accept. Mr. Elliott has been suddenly called out of
    town and will not be back for two weeks.

    With most cordial regards, I am

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Jane S. Elliott.

A young girl sends invitations to men in the name of her mother or the
person under whose guardianship she is. The invitation would say that
her mother, or Mrs. Burton, or whoever it may be, wishes her to extend
the invitation.

_To a house-party_

An invitation to a house-party, which may imply a visit of several days'
duration (a week, ten days, or perhaps two weeks) must state exactly the
dates of the beginning and end of the visit. The hostess's letter should
mention the most convenient trains, indicating them on a timetable. The
guest at a week-end party knows he is to arrive on Friday afternoon or
Saturday morning and leave on the following Monday morning. It is
thoughtful for the hostess to give an idea of the activities or sports
planned. The letter might be somewhat in the following manner:


                                        Glory View,
                                          August 1, 1922.

    Dear Miss Evans,

    Will you be one of our guests at a house-party we are
    planning? We shall be glad if you can arrange to come out to
    Glory View on August eighth and stay until the seventeenth. I
    have asked several of your friends, among them Mary Elliott
    and her brother.

    The swimming is wonderful and there is a new float at the
    Yacht Club. Be sure to bring your tennis racquet and also
    hiking togs.

    I enclose a timetable with the best trains marked. If you take
    the 4:29 on Thursday you can be here in time for dinner. Let
    me know what train you expect to get and I will have Jones
    meet you.

                                        Most cordially yours,
                                          Myra T. Maxwell.


                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          August 3, 1922.

    Dear Mrs. Maxwell,

    Let me thank you and Mr. Maxwell for the invitation to your
    house-party. I shall be very glad to come.

    The 4:29 train which you suggest is the most convenient. I am
    looking forward to seeing you again.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.


                                        Hawthorne Hill,
                                          January 10, 1920.

    My dear Anne,

    We are asking some of Dorothy's friends for this week-end and
    we should be glad to have you join us. Some of them you
    already know, and I am sure you will enjoy meeting the others
    as they are all congenial.

    Mr. Maxwell has just bought a new flexible flyer and we expect
    some fine coasting. Be sure to bring your skates. Goldfish
    Pond is like glass.

    The best afternoon train on Friday is the 3:12, and the best
    Saturday morning train is the 9:30.

    I hope you can come.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Myra T. Maxwell.

A letter of thanks for hospitality received at a week-end party or a
house-party would seem to be obviously necessary. A cordial note should
be written to your hostess thanking her for the hospitality received and
telling her of your safe arrival home. This sort of letter has come into
the title of the "Bread-and-Butter-Letter."

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          August 18, 1922.

    Dear Mrs. Maxwell,

    Having arrived home safely I must tell you how much I
    appreciate the thoroughly good time I had. I very much enjoyed
    meeting your charming guests.

    Let me thank you and Mr. Maxwell most heartily, and with
    kindest regards I am

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.

_To a christening_

Most christenings are informal affairs. The invitation may run like

                                        September 8, 1920.

    My dear Mary,

    On next Sunday at three o'clock, at St. Michael's Church, the
    baby will be christened. Philip and I should be pleased to
    have you there.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Dorothy Evans Brewster.

_To bring a friend_

Often in the case of a dance or an at home we may wish to bring a friend
who we think would be enjoyed by the hostess. We might request her
permission thus:

                                        600 Riverside Drive,
                                          April 25, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Dean,

    May I ask you the favor of bringing with me on Wednesday
    evening, May the second, my old classmate, Mr. Arthur Price?
    He is an old friend of mine and I am sure you will like him.

    If this would not be entirely agreeable to you, please do not
    hesitate to let me know.

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Herbert Page.

_For a card party_

                                        500 Park Avenue

    My dear Mrs. King,

    Will you and Mr. King join us on Thursday evening next at
    bridge?[4] We expect to have several tables, and we do hope
    you can be with us.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.
    March the eighteenth

[4] Or whatever the game may be.

Sometimes the visiting card is used with the date and the word "Cards"
written in the lower corner as in the visiting-card invitation to a
dance. This custom is more often used for the more elaborate affairs.

_Miscellaneous invitations_

The following are variations of informal party and other invitations:

                                        83 Woodlawn Avenue,
                                          November 4, 1921.

    My dear Alice,

    I am having a little party on Thursday evening next and I want
    very much to have you come. If you wish me to arrange for an
    escort, let me know if you have any preference.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Helen Westley.

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          May 12, 1922.

    My dear Alice,

    On Saturday next I am giving a small party for my niece, Miss
    Edith Rice of Albany, and I should like very much to have her
    meet you. I hope you can come.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.


A letter of condolence may be written to relatives, close friends, and
to those whom we know well. When the recipient of the condolatory
message is simply an acquaintance, it is in better taste to send a
visiting card with "sincere sympathy." Flowers may or may not accompany
the card.

But in any case the letter should not be long, nor should it be crammed
with sad quotations and mushy sentiment. Of course, at best, writing a
condolence is a nice problem. Do not harrow feelings by too-familiar
allusions to the deceased. The letter should be sent immediately upon
receiving news of death.

When a card is received, the bereaved family acknowledge it a few weeks
later with an engraved acknowledgment on a black-bordered card. A
condolatory letter may be acknowledged by the recipient or by a relative
or friend who wishes to relieve the bereaved one of this task.

_Formal acknowledgment engraved on card_

    _Mrs. Gordon Burroughs and Family
         Gratefully acknowledge
    Your kind expression of sympathy_

The cards, however, may be engraved with a space for the name to be
filled in:

       _Gratefully acknowledge_

    _Kind expression of sympathy_

When the letter of condolence is sent from a distance, it is
acknowledged by a note from a member of the bereaved family. When the
writer of the condolence makes the customary call afterward, the family
usually makes a verbal acknowledgment and no written reply is required.

_Letters of condolence_


    My dear Mrs. Burroughs,

    May every consolation be given you in your great loss. Kindly
    accept my deepest sympathy.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Jane Everett.
    October 4, 1921


    My dear Mrs. Burroughs,

    It is with the deepest regret that we learn of your
    bereavement. Please accept our united and heartfelt

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.
    October 5, 1921


    My dear Eleanor,

    May I express my sympathy for you in the loss of your dear
    mother, even though there can be no words to comfort you? She
    was so wonderful to all of us that we can share in some small
    part in your grief.

    With love, I am

                                        Affectionately yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.
    July 8, 1922


    My dear Mrs. Burroughs,

    I am sorely grieved to learn of the death of your husband, for
    whom I had the greatest admiration and regard. Please accept
    my heartfelt sympathy.

                                        Yours sincerely,
                                          Douglas Spencer.
    October 6, 1921

A letter of condolence that is something of a classic is Abraham
Lincoln's famous letter to Mrs. Bixby, the bereaved mother of five sons
who died for their country:

                                  Washington, November 21, 1864.

    Dear Madam:

    I have been shown in the files of the War Department a
    statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you
    are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the
    field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any
    words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the
    grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from
    tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the
    thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our
    Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement,
    and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost,
    and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly
    a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

                              Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
                                        Abraham Lincoln.

This is the letter[5] that Robert E. Lee, when he was president of
Washington College, wrote to the father of a student who was drowned:

                                        Washington College,
                                          Lexington, Virginia,
                                            March 19, 1868.

    My dear Sir:

    Before this you have learned of the affecting death of your
    son. I can say nothing to mitigate your grief or to relieve
    your sorrow: but if the sincere sympathy of his comrades and
    friends and of the entire community can bring you any
    consolation, I can assure you that you possess it in its
    fullest extent. When one, in the pureness and freshness of
    youth, before having been contaminated by sin or afflicted by
    misery, is called to the presence of his Merciful Creator, it
    must be solely for his good. As difficult as this may be for
    you now to recognize, I hope you will keep it constantly in
    your memory and take it to your comfort; pray that He who in
    His wise Providence has permitted this crushing sorrow may
    sanctify it to the happiness of all. Your son and his friend,
    Mr. Birely, often passed their leisure hours in rowing on the
    river, and, on last Saturday afternoon, the 4th inst.,
    attempted what they had more than once been cautioned
    against--to approach the foot of the dam, at the public
    bridge. Unfortunately, their boat was caught by the
    return-current, struck by the falling water, and was
    immediately upset. Their perilous position was at once seen
    from the shore, and aid was hurried to their relief, but
    before it could reach them both had perished. Efforts to
    restore your son's life, though long continued, were
    unavailing. Mr. Birely's body was not found until next
    morning. Their remains were, yesterday, Sunday, conveyed to
    the Episcopal church in this city, where the sacred ceremonies
    for the dead were performed by the Reverend Dr. Pendleton, who
    nineteen years ago, at the far-off home of their infancy,
    placed upon them their baptismal vows. After the service a
    long procession of the professors and students of the college,
    the officers and cadets of the Virginia Military Academy, and
    the citizens of Lexington accompanied their bodies to the
    packetboat for Lynchburg, where they were placed in charge of
    Messrs. Wheeler & Baker to convey them to Frederick City.

    With great regard and sincere sympathy, I am,

                                        Most respectfully,
                                          R. E. Lee.

[5] From "Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee," by Capt.
Robert E. Lee. Copyright, 1904, by Doubleday, Page & Co.


When President Alderman, of the University of Virginia, was forced to
take a long rest in the mountains in 1912 because of incipient
tuberculosis, the late Walter H. Page, at the time editor of the
_World's Work_, wrote the following tenderly beautiful letter of
sympathy to Mrs. Alderman:

                              Cathedral Avenue, Garden City, L. I.,
                                December 9, 1912.

    My dear Mrs. Alderman:

    In Raleigh the other day I heard a rumor of the sad news that
    your letter brings, which I have just received on my return
    from a week's absence. I had been hoping that it was merely a
    rumor. The first impression I have is thankfulness that it had
    been discovered so soon and that you have acted so promptly.
    On this I build a great hope.

    But underlying every thought and emotion is the sadness of
    it--that it should have happened to _him_, now when he has
    done that prodigious task and borne that hard strain and was
    come within sight of a time when, after a period of more
    normal activity, he would in a few years have got the period
    of rest that he has won.--But these will all come yet; for I
    have never read a braver thing than your letter. That bravery
    on your part and his, together with the knowledge the doctors
    now have, will surely make his recovery certain and, I hope,
    not long delayed. If he keep on as well as he has begun, you
    will, I hope, presently feel as if you were taking a vacation.
    Forget that it is enforced.

    There comes to my mind as I write man after man in my
    acquaintance who have successfully gone through this
    experience and without serious permanent hurt. Some of them
    live here. More of them live in North Carolina or Colorado as
    a precaution. I saw a few years ago a town most of whose
    population of several thousand persons are recovered and
    active, after such an experience. The disease has surely been
    robbed of much of its former terror.

    Your own courage and cheerfulness, with his own, are the best
    physic in the world. Add to these the continuous and sincere
    interest that his thousands of friends feel--these to keep
    your courage up, if it should ever flag a moment--and we shall
    all soon have the delight to see and to hear him again--his
    old self, endeared, if that be possible, by this experience.

    And I pray you, help me (for I am singularly helpless without
    suggestions from you) to be of some little service--of any
    service that I can. Would he like letters from me? I have
    plenty of time and an eagerness to write them, if they would
    really divert or please him. Books? What does he care most to
    read? I can, of course, find anything in New York. A visit
    some time? It would be a very real pleasure to me. You will
    add to my happiness greatly if you will frankly enable me to
    add even the least to his.

    And now and always give him my love. That is precisely the
    word I mean; for, you know, I have known Mr. Alderman since he
    was graduated, and I have known few men better or cared for
    them more.

    And I cannot thank you earnestly enough for your letter; and I
    shall hope to have word from you often--if (when you feel
    indisposed to write more) only a few lines.

    How can I serve? Command me without a moment's hesitation.

                                        Most sincerely yours,
                                          Walter H. Page.
    To Mrs. Edwin A. Alderman.

Joaquin Miller wrote the following letter to Walt Whitman on receiving
news that the latter was ill:

                              Revere House, Boston, May 27, '75.

    My dear Walt Whitman:[6]

    Your kind letter is received and the sad news of your ill
    health makes this pleasant weather even seem tiresome and out
    of place. I had hoped to find you the same hale and whole man
    I had met in New York a few years ago and now I shall perhaps
    find you bearing a staff all full of pain and trouble. However
    my dear friend as you have sung from _within_ and not from
    _without_ I am sure you will be able to bear whatever comes
    with that beautiful faith and philosophy you have ever given
    us in your great and immortal chants. I am coming to see you
    very soon as you request; but I cannot say to-day or set
    to-morrow for I am in the midst of work and am not altogether
    my own master. But I will come and we will talk it all over
    together. In the meantime, remember that whatever befall you
    you have the perfect love and sympathy of many if not all of
    the noblest and loftiest natures of the two hemispheres. My
    dear friend and fellow toiler good by.

                                        Yours faithfully,
                                            Joaquin Miller.

[6] From "With Walt Whitman in Camden," by Horace Traubel. Copyright,
1905, 1906, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

When Theodore Roosevelt was ill in hospital, Lawrence Abbott wrote him
this letter:[7]

    Please accept this word of sympathy and best wishes. Some
    years ago I had a severe attack of sciatica which kept me in
    bed a good many days: in fact, it kept me in an armchair night
    and day some of the time because I could not lie down, so I
    know what the discomfort and pain are.

    I want to take this opportunity also of sending you my
    congratulations. For I think your leadership has had very much
    to do with the unconditional surrender of Germany. Last Friday
    night I was asked to speak at the Men's Club of the Church of
    the Messiah in this city and they requested me to make you the
    subject of my talk. I told them something about your
    experience in Egypt and Europe in 1910 and said what I most
    strongly believe, that your address at the Sorbonne--in
    strengthening the supporters of law and order against red
    Bolshevism--and your address in Guildhall--urging the British
    to govern or go--contributed directly to the success of those
    two governments in this war. If Great Britain had allowed
    Egypt to get out of hand instead of, as an actual result of
    your Guildhall speech, sending Kitchener to strengthen the
    feebleness of Sir Eldon Gorst, the Turks and Germans might
    have succeeded in their invasion and have cut off the Suez
    Canal. So you laid the ground for preparedness not only in
    this country but in France and England.

    I know it was a disappointment to you not to have an actual
    share in the fighting but I think you did a greater piece of
    work in preparing the battleground and the battle spirit.

[7] From "Impressions of Theodore Roosevelt," by Lawrence F. Abbott
Copyright, 1919, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

In reply Mr. Roosevelt sent Mr. Abbott this note:

    That's a dear letter of yours, Lawrence. I thank you for it
    and I appreciate it to the full.



    My dear Mr. Spencer,

    I am grateful to you for your comforting letter. Thank you for
    your sympathy.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Mary Cole Burroughs.
    October 26, 1921.


    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    Let me thank you in behalf of myself and my family for your
    sympathy. Do not measure our appreciation by the length of
    time it has taken me to reply. We appreciated your letter

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Mary Cole Burroughs.
    October 26, 1921.


    My dear Arthur,

    I want to thank you for your sympathetic letter received in
    our bereavement.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Mary Cole Burroughs.
    October 26, 1921.


    Dear Mr. Treadwell,

    Thank you very much for your sympathy. Your offer to be of
    service to me at this time I greatly appreciate, but I shall
    not need to trouble you, although it is comforting to know
    that I may call on you.

    I shall never forget your kindness.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Mary Cole Burroughs.
    October 24, 1921.

This is the note[8] that Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote to his friend
William H. Rideing upon receiving from the latter a note of condolence:

    Dear Rideing:

    I knew that you would be sorry for us. I did not need your
    sympathetic note to tell me that. Our dear boy's death has
    given to three hearts--his mother's, his brother's and mine--a
    wound that will never heal. I cannot write about it. My wife
    sends her warm remembrance with mine to you both.

                                  Ever faithfully your friend,
                                         T. B. Aldrich.

[8] From "Many Celebrities and a Few Others--A Bundle of Reminiscences,"
by William H. Rideing. Copyright, 1912, by Doubleday, Page & Co.


The letter of congratulation must be natural, not stilted, and must be
sincere. In congratulating a new acquaintance on a marriage it is not
necessary to send more than the visiting card with "heartiest
congratulations." To a bride and groom together a telegram of
congratulation may be sent on the day of the wedding, as soon as
possible after the ceremony.

To a bride one does not send congratulations, but "the best of good
wishes." The congratulations are for the groom.

The following letters will serve as examples for congratulatory letters
for different occasions:

_On a birthday_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          February 6, 1923.

    My dear Mrs. Elliott,

    Congratulations on your birthday! I hope that all your years
    to come will be as happy and as helpful to others as those

    I am sending you a little gift as a token of appreciation for
    your kindness to me, which I hope you will enjoy.

                                        Most sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.

_From a gentlemen to a young lady on her birthday_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          April 13, 1922.

    My dear Miss Judson,

    May I send you my congratulations on this your birthday?

    I am sending a little token of my best wishes for you for many
    years to come.

                                        Yours sincerely,
                                          Richard Evans.

_On a wedding day anniversary_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          June 1, 1923.

    My dear Charlotte and George,

    Please accept my heartiest good wishes on this, the fifteenth
    anniversary of your marriage. May the years to come bring
    every blessing to you both.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.


                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          December 4, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Smith,

    Congratulations on this the twentieth anniversary of your
    wedding. Our heartiest wishes to you both from Mr. Evans and

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Katherine Gerard Evans.

_On the birth of a child_

                                        788 East 46th St.,
                                          August 11, 1923.

    My dear Dorothy,

    Congratulations upon the birth of your daughter. May the good
    fairies shower upon her the gifts of goodness, wisdom, and

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Charlotte B. Trent.

_On a graduation_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          June 30, 1923.

    My dear John,

    It is with great pleasure that I hear of your graduation this
    year. It is a fine thing to have so successfully finished your
    college course.

    May I send my heartiest congratulations?

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.

_On an engagement_

In writing to a girl or a man on the occasion of an engagement to be
married there is no general rule if one knows the man or woman. One may
write as one wishes.

If a stranger is to be received into the family, one writes a kindly

                                        28 Odell Avenue,
                                          April 3, 1923.

    My dear Haines,

    Let me be among the first to congratulate you on your
    engagement to Miss Bruce. I have not met her but I know that
    to reach your high ideals she must indeed be a wonderful girl.
    I hope I may soon have the pleasure of meeting her.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Charles Lawson.

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          May 14, 1923.

    My dear Miss Bruce,

    My nephew has told me his great news. I am much pleased to
    hear that you are soon to come into the family, because I know
    that the girl of Edward's choice must be sweet and charming. I
    hope that you will learn to love us for our own sake as well
    as for Edward's.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          September 18, 1923.

    Dear Helen,

    The announcement of your engagement to Robert Haines is a
    delightful surprise. He is, as we all know, a splendid chap.

    I am so happy that this great happiness has come to you. I
    hope that I may hear all about it, and with best wishes to you
    both, I am

                                        Affectionately yours,
                                          Ruth Evans.

On the subject of engagements, perhaps the following letter
from Charles Lamb to Fanny Kelly, and her reply, will be of
interest--though the unarduous and somewhat prosaic tone of
Elia's proposal of marriage--beautifully expressed as it
is--is hardly to be recommended as a model calculated to
bring about the desired result!

    Dear Miss Kelly:

    We had the pleasure, _pain_ I might better call it, of seeing
    you last night in the new play. It was a most consummate piece
    of acting, but what a task for you to undergo! At a time when
    your heart is sore from real sorrow it has given rise to a
    train of thinking, which I cannot suppress.

    Would to God you were released from this way of life; that
    you could bring your mind to consent to take your lot with us,
    and throw off forever the whole burden of your profession. I
    neither expect nor wish you to take notice of this which I am
    writing, in your present over occupied and hurried state--but
    to think of it at your leisure. I have quite income enough, if
    that were all, to justify for me making such a proposal, with
    what I may call even a handsome provision for my survivor.
    What you possess of your own would naturally be appropriated
    to those, for whose sakes chiefly you have made so many hard
    sacrifices. I am not so foolish as not to know that I am a
    most unworthy match for such a one as you, but you have for
    years been a principal object in my mind. In many a sweet
    assumed character I have learned to love you, but simply as F.
    M. Kelly I love you better than them all. Can you quit these
    shadows of existence, and come and be a reality to us? Can you
    leave off harassing yourself to please a thankless multitude,
    who know nothing of you, and begin at last to live to yourself
    and your friends?

    As plainly and frankly as I have seen you give or refuse
    assent in some feigned scene, so frankly do me the justice to
    answer me. It is impossible I should feel injured or aggrieved
    by your telling me at once, that the proposal does not suit
    you. It is impossible that I should ever think of molesting
    you with idle importunity and prosecution after your mind [is]
    once firmly spoken--but happier, far happier, could I have
    leave to hope a time might come, when our friends might be
    your friends; our interests yours; our book knowledge, if in
    that inconsiderable particular we have any like advantage,
    might impart something to you, which you would every day have
    it in your power ten thousand fold to repay by the added
    cheerfulness and joy which you could not fail to bring as a
    dowry into whatever family should have the honor and happiness
    of receiving _you_, the most welcome accession that could be
    made to it.

    In haste, but with entire respect and deepest affection, I
    subscribe myself

                                        C. Lamb.

To this letter Miss Kelly replied:

    Henrietta Street, July 20, 1819.

    An early and deeply rooted attachment has fixed my heart on
    one from whom no worldly prospect can well induce me to
    withdraw it, but while I thus _frankly_ and decidedly decline
    your proposal, believe me, I am not insensible to the high
    honour which the preference of such a mind as yours confers
    upon me--let me, however, hope that all thought upon this
    subject will end with this letter, and that you will
    henceforth encourage no other sentiment towards me than esteem
    in my private character and a continuance of that approbation
    of my humble talents which you have already expressed so much
    and so often to my advantage and gratification.

    Believe me I feel proud to acknowledge myself

                                        Your obliged friend,
                                          F. M. Kelly.
    To C. Lamb, Esq.


Letters of introduction should not be given indiscriminately. If the
giver of the letter feels that something of benefit may come to both of
the persons concerned, then there is no doubt about the advisability of
it. But a letter of introduction should not be given to get rid of the
person who asks for it.

It is not good form to ask for one. If it is really necessary to have
one and the friend to be requested knows that you need it, he will
probably give you the letter unsolicited.

A letter of introduction should not be sealed by the person giving it.
It is written in social form and placed in an unsealed envelope
addressed to the person to whom the introduction is made. If the letter
is a friendly letter, it is enclosed in an additional envelope by the
person who requested the letter, sealed, and with his card on which
appears his city address, sent to the person addressed. The person
addressed, upon the receipt of the letter, calls within three days upon
the person who is introduced.

It has been customary to deliver a business letter of introduction in
person, but on consideration, it would seem that this is not the wisest
course. The letters of introduction most in demand are those to very
busy men--men of affairs. If one calls personally at the office of such
a man, the chance of seeing him on the occasion of presenting the letter
is slight. And, as has often been proved in practice, a telephone call
to arrange an appointment seldom gets through. The best plan seems to be
to mail the letter with a short note explaining the circumstances under
which it was written.

Sometimes (more often in business) an introduction is made by a visiting
card with "Introducing Mr. Halliday" written at the top. This method may
be used with a person with whom we are not well acquainted. This
introductory card is usually presented in person, but what has been said
concerning the letter applies here also.

Matters of a personal or private nature should not appear in letters of


                                        New York, N. Y.,
                                          June 8, 1922.

    Dear Dick,

    The bearer of this note, Mr. Donald Ritchie of Boston, expects
    to be in your town for six months or so. He is an old friend
    of mine--in fact, I knew him at College--and I think you would
    like him.

    He is going to Black Rock in the interest of the Sedgwick
    Cement Company. He knows nobody in Black Rock, and anything
    you can do to make his stay pleasant, I shall greatly

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          John Hope.


                                        Canajoharie, New York,
                                          June 8, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Evans,

    This will introduce to you Miss Caroline Wagner who is the
    daughter of one of my oldest friends. She will be in New York
    this winter to continue her music studies.

    She is a girl of charming personality and has many
    accomplishments. I am sure you will enjoy her company. She is
    a stranger in New York and any courtesy you may extend to her
    I shall be deeply grateful for.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Edna Hamilton Miller.

    Mrs. John Evans
    500 Park Avenue
    New York, N. Y.


                                        8 Beacon Street,
                                          Boston, Mass.,
                                            March 17, 1922.

    My dear Brent,

    The bearer, William Jones, is a young acquaintance of mine who
    is going to live in Cleveland. If there is anything you can do
    without too much trouble to yourself in recommending a place
    to board, or assisting him to a situation, I shall be
    grateful. He has good habits, and if he gets a foothold I am
    sure he will make good.

                                        Yours sincerely,
                                          Robert T. Hill.

Another letter, already immortal as a literary gem, is Benjamin
Franklin's "Model of a Letter of Recommendation of a Person You Are
Unacquainted With":


    The bearer of this, who is going to America, presses me to
    give him a letter of recommendation, though I know nothing of
    him, not even his name. This may seem extraordinary, but I
    assure you it is not uncommon here. Sometimes, indeed, one
    unknown person brings another equally unknown, to recommend
    him; and sometimes they recommend one another! As to this
    gentleman, I must refer you to himself for his character and
    merits, with which he is certainly better acquainted than I
    can possibly be. I recommend him, however, to those
    civilities, which every stranger, of whom one knows no harm,
    has a right to; and I request you will do him all the good
    offices, and show him all the favor, that, on further
    acquaintance, you shall find him to deserve. I have the honor
    to be, etc.


_For a wedding gift_

The letter of thanks for a wedding gift must be sent as soon as possible
after the receipt of the gift. The bride herself must write it. When the
wedding is hurried or when gifts arrive at the last moment, the bride is
not required to acknowledge them until after the honeymoon. In all cases
the gift is acknowledged both for herself and her husband-elect or


                                        898 East 53rd Street
                                          May 5, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Elliott,

    The bouillon spoons are exquisite. It was simply lovely of you
    to send us such a beautiful gift. Leonard wishes to express
    with me our deepest appreciation.

    With all good wishes, I am

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Dorothy Evans Duncan.


                                        898 East 53rd Street
                                          May 8, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Callender,

    This is the first opportunity I have had to thank you for your
    wonderful gift. But, as you know, our arrangements were
    changed at the last moment and many of our wedding gifts we
    did not have time to open before going away. So we hope you
    will forgive us for the delay.

    We are now back in town established in our new home and I want
    you to know how appropriate are those exquisite candlesticks.
    Mr. Duncan and I are both deeply grateful for your thought
    of us.

                                        Yours most sincerely,
                                          Dorothy Evans Duncan.

_For a Christmas gift_

                                        134 Bolton Place
                                          December 28, 1923.

    My dear Alice,

    Your handsome Christmas gift is something I have wanted for a
    long time, but never could get for myself. The bag and its
    beautiful fittings are much admired. I send my warmest thanks
    for your thoughtfulness in selecting it.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Mary Scott.

_For a gift received by a girl from a man_

                                        400 Ellsworth Place
                                          April 14, 1922.

    My dear Mr. Everett,

    Thank you for your good wishes and for your lovely gift in
    remembrance of my birthday. It is a charming book and one
    which I am very anxious to read.

    It was most kind of you to think of me.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine Judson.

_For a gift to a child_

                                        798 East 38th Street,
                                          December 31, 1923.

    My dear Mr. Basset,

    Your wonderful Christmas gift to Barbara came this morning.
    She is wholly captivated with her beautiful doll and I am sure
    would thank you for it if she could talk.

    Let me thank you for your kindness in remembering her.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Dorothy Evans Brewster.

_For a gift to another_

                                        49 Maxwell Avenue,
                                        Bayview, Long Island,
                                          July 15, 1923.

    My dear Mr. Haines,

    I appreciate very much the exquisite flowers which you so
    kindly sent to Mrs. Evans. She is rapidly improving and will
    soon be about again.

    We send our warmest thanks.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          John Evans.

_For favor shown to another_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                        November 25, 1922.

    My dear Mrs. Howard,

    You were very kind indeed in entertaining my cousin, Mrs.
    Douglas, during her stay in your city. I am exceedingly
    grateful and I hope to find some way of reciprocating.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.

Following are actual letters of thanks written by distinguished persons.
Here is one[9] from George Meredith to Lady Granby, acknowledging the
receipt of a reproduction of a portrait by her of Lady Marjorie Manners:

                                        Box Hill, Dorking,
                                        Dec. 26, 1899.

    Dear Lady Granby:

    It is a noble gift, and bears the charms to make it a
    constant pleasure with me. I could have wished for the full
    face of your daughter, giving eyes and the wild sweep of hair,
    as of a rivule issuing from under low eaves of the woods--so I
    remember her. You have doubtless other sketches of a maid
    predestined to be heroine. I could take her for one. All the
    women and children are heaven's own, and human still, and
    individual too. Behold me, your most grateful

                                        George Meredith.

[9] From "Letters of George Meredith." Copyright, 1912, by Chas.
Scribner's Sons. By permission of the publishers.

From Lord Alfred Tennyson to Walt Whitman:[10]

                         Farringford, Freshwater, Isle of Wight,
                                    Jan'y 15th, 1887.

    Dear old man:

    I the elder old man have received your Article in the
    _Critic_, and send you in return my thanks and New Year's
    greeting on the wings of this east-wind, which, I trust, is
    blowing softlier and warmlier on your good gray head than
    here, where it is rocking the elms and ilexes of my Isle of
    Wight garden.

                                        Yours always,

[10] This and the following four letters are from "With Walt Whitman in
Camden," by Horace Traubel. Copyright, 1905, 1906, 1912, 1914, by
Doubleday, Page & Co.

From Ellen Terry to Walt Whitman:

                                   Grand Pacific Hotel, Chicago,
                                         January 4th, '88.

    Honored Sir--and Dear Poet:

    I beg you to accept my appreciative thanks for your great
    kindness in sending me by Mr. Stoker the little _big_ book of
    poems--As a Strong Bird, etc., etc.

    Since I am not personally known to you I conclude Mr. Stoker
    "asked" for me--it was good of him--I know he loves you very

    God bless you, dear sir--believe me to be with much respect

                                        Yours affectionately,
                                          Ellen Terry.

From Moncure Conway to Walt Whitman:

                              Hardwicke Cottage, Wimbledon Common,
                                  London, S. W., Sept. 10, '67.

    My dear friend:

    It gave me much pleasure to hear from you; now I am quite full
    of gratitude for the photograph--a grand one--the present of
    all others desirable to me. The copy suitable for an edition
    here should we be able to reach to that I have and shall keep
    carefully. When it is achieved it will probably be the result
    and fruit of more reviewing and discussion. I shall keep my
    eyes wide open; and the volume with O'C.'s introduction shall
    come out just as it is: I am not sure but that it will in the
    end have to be done at our own expense--which I believe would
    be repaid. It is the kind of book that if it can once get out
    here will sell. The English groan for something better than
    the perpetual réchauffé of their literature. I have not been
    in London for some little time and have not yet had time to
    consult others about the matter. I shall be able to write you
    more satisfactorily a little later. I hear that you have
    written something in _The Galaxy_. Pray tell O'Connor I shall
    look to him to send me such things. I can't take all American
    magazines; but if you intend to write for _The Galaxy_
    regularly I shall take that. With much friendship for you and
    O'Connor and his wife, I am yours,

                                        Moncure Conway.

From John Addington Symonds to Walt Whitman:

                                   Clifton Hill House, Bristol,
                                          July 12, 1877.

    Dear Mr. Whitman:

    I was away from England when your welcome volumes reached me,
    and since my return (during the last six weeks) I have been
    very ill with an attack of hemorrhage from the lung--brought
    on while I was riding a pulling horse at a time when I was
    weak from cold. This must account for my delay in writing to
    thank you for them and to express the great pleasure which
    your inscription in two of the volumes has given me.

    I intend to put into my envelope a letter to you with some
    verses from one of your great admirers in England. It is my
    nephew--the second son of my sister. I gave him a copy of
    _Leaves of Grass_ in 1874, and he knows a great portion of it
    now by heart. Though still so young, he has developed a
    considerable faculty for writing and is an enthusiastic
    student of literature as well as a frank vigorous lively young
    fellow. I thought you might like to see how some of the youth
    of England is being drawn towards you.

    Believe me always sincerely and affectionately yours.

                                        J. A. Symonds.

From Edward Everett Hale to Dr. Lyman Abbott:[11]

                                        Jan. 29, 1900, Roxbury,
                                          Monday morning.

    Dear Dr. Abbott:

    I shall stay at home this morning--so I shall not see you.

    All the same I want to thank you again for the four sermons:
    and to say that I am sure they will work lasting good for the

    More than this. I think you ought to think that such an
    opportunity to go from church to church and city to
    city--gives you a certain opportunity and honour--which even
    in Plymouth Pulpit a man does not have--and to congregations
    such a turning over the new leaf means a great deal.

    Did you ever deliver the Lectures on Preaching at New Haven?

            With Love always,
                                        Always yours,
                                          E. E. Hale.

[11] From "Silhouettes of My Contemporaries," by Lyman Abbott.
Copyright, 1921, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

From Friedrich Nietzsche to Karl Fuchs:[12]

                              Sils-Maria, Oberengadine, Switzerland,
                                          June 30, 1888.

    My dear Friend:

    How strange! How strange! As soon as I was able to transfer
    myself to a cooler clime (for in Turin the thermometer stood
    at 31 day after day) I intended to write you a nice letter of
    thanks. A pious intention, wasn't it? But who could have
    guessed that I was not only going back to a cooler clime, but
    into the _most ghastly_ weather, weather that threatened to
    shatter my health! Winter and summer in senseless alternation;
    twenty-six avalanches in the thaw; and now we have just had
    eight days of rain with the sky almost always grey--this is
    enough to account for my profound nervous exhaustion, together
    with the return of my old ailments. I don't think I can ever
    remember having had worse weather, and this in my Sils-Maria,
    whither I always fly in order to escape bad weather. Is it to
    be wondered at that even the parson here is acquiring the
    habit of swearing? From time to time in conversation his
    speech halts, and then he always swallows a curse. A few days
    ago, just as he was coming out of the snow-covered church, he
    thrashed his dog and exclaimed: "The confounded cur spoiled
    the whole of my sermon!"...

    Yours in gratitude and devotion,


[12] From "Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche," edited by Oscar
Levy. Copyright, 1921, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

In making a donation of £100,000 for branch libraries in the city of
Glasgow, this is the letter[13] that Andrew Carnegie sent to the Lord
Provost of the city council:

    My dear Lord Provost:

    It will give me pleasure to provide the needed £100,000 for
    Branch Libraries, which are sure to prove of great advantage
    to the masses of the people. It is just fifty years since my
    parents with their little boys sailed from Broomielaw for New
    York in the barque _Wiscassett_, 900 tons, and it is
    delightful to be permitted to commemorate the event upon my
    visit to you. Glasgow has done so much in municipal affairs to
    educate other cities, and to help herself, that it is a
    privilege to help her. Let Glasgow flourish! So say all of us
    Scotsmen throughout the World.

                                        Always yours,
                                          Andrew Carnegie.

[13] From "Andrew Carnegie, the Man and His Work," by Bernard Alderson.
Copyright, 1902, by Doubleday, Page & Co.


    Dear Grace,

    Your 'phone call surely caught me napping; but after an hour
    or so of effort I did recall just how Sato mixed the shrimps
    and carrots in the dish which you so much enjoyed.

    First, catch your shrimp! When they have been cleaned and
    prepared as for a salad, place on ice and _in_ ice, if
    possible. Grate the carrots on the coarse side of the grater,
    placing immediately on the salad plates, which of course have
    already been garnished with lettuce leaves. Then add just a
    fine sprinkling of chopped apples (I find this the best
    substitute for alligator pears) and then the shrimps. Pour
    over this the mayonnaise and serve at once.

    I do not know what he called it and could not spell it if I
    did, but you are at liberty to call it anything you like. At
    all events, I am sure the crowd will agree it is a little
    different, and I am glad to have been able to give the idea.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Ruth Wilson.

    July 14, 1921

    My dear Mrs. Sampson,

    I am so glad to know that you have completely recovered from
    your recent illness.

    I trust you will soon be able to resume your wonted
    activities. We all have missed you--at bridge and tennis

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Mary E. Wells.
    July 18, 1923

    My dear Mr. Baines,

    I have just heard of your success in getting your book
    published. I have always had a great admiration for you and
    your work, and I am sending this little note to assure you of
    my regard, and to wish you still further successes.

                                        Yours very sincerely,
                                          Madeleine Strickland.
    March 10, 1923

    My dear Miss Gwynne,

    I am very sorry that I was out when you called. I hope you
    will come again soon for I do so much want to see you.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.
    February 16, 1923

It may be of passing interest to read a letter or two from distinguished
persons to their boyhood friends. Here is one[14] from the late John

                                        Esopus, N. Y., June 1, 1883.

    Dear Tom Brown:

    I have been a-fishing or I should have answered your letter
    before. I always go a-fishing about this time of year, after
    speckled trout, and I always catch some, too. But dog-fighting
    I have nothing to do with, unless it be to help some little
    dog whip some saucy big cur. Game birds are all right in their
    season, but I seldom hunt them. Yet this is about the best way
    to study them.

    You want to know how I felt as a boy. Very much as I do now,
    only more so. I loved fishing, and tramping, and swimming more
    than I do these late years. But I had not so tender a heart. I
    was not so merciful to the birds and animals as I am now.

    Much of what I have put in my books was gathered while a boy
    on the farm. I am interested in what you tell me of your Band
    of Mercy, and should like much to see you all, and all the
    autographs in that pink covered book. Well, youth is the time
    to cultivate habits of mercy, and all other good habits. The
    bees will soon be storing their clover honey, and I trust you
    boys and girls are laying away that which will by and by prove
    choicest possessions.

                                        Sincerely your friend,
                                          John Burroughs.

[14] From "John Burroughs, Boy and Man," by Dr. Clara Barrus. Copyright,
1920, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

The following letter[15] was written when J. J. Hill--perhaps the
greatest railroading genius America has ever produced--was twenty years
of age. It is one of the few letters written by him at this time of his
life that have been preserved:

                                  Saint Paul, February 11, 1858.

    Dear William:

    Your epistle bearing date of seventeenth ult. came to hand on
    good time and your fertile imagination can scarcely conceive
    what an amount of pleasure I derived from it, as it was the
    first epistle of William to James at St. Paul for a "long
    back." My surprise at receiving your letter was only surpassed
    by my surprise at not receiving one from you after you left
    St. Paul, or sometime during the ensuing season. Still, a good
    thing is never too late or "done too often." It gave me much
    pleasure to hear that you were all well and enjoying
    yourselves in the good and pious (as I learn) little town of
    Rockwood. I did intend to go to Canada this winter, but it is
    such a long winter trip I thought I should defer it until
    summer, when I hope to be able to get away, as I intend to go
    on the river this summer if all goes as well as I expect.
    Capt. W. F. Davidson wrote me from Cincinnati about going with
    him as first clerk on the side-wheel packet _Frank Steele_, a
    new boat about the size of the _War Eagle_. The Captain is
    Letter A, No. 1, and I think I shall go with him. If not, I
    have two or three good offers for coming season on the levee,
    besides my present berth, which is nevertheless very

    I think it mighty strange that some (of my letters) have not
    reached home as I wrote several times to my brother Alex. and
    I never was more surprised in my life than when old Bass
    handed me a letter of inquiry as to my whereabouts. But after
    the boats stop running our mails are carried so irregularly
    that whole bags of mail matter are often mislaid at way
    stations for weeks and some finally lost or otherwise
    destroyed. On the tenth of November last I was returning from
    the Winslow House with Charley Coffin, Clerk of the _War
    Eagle_, about eleven o'clock, and when we were coming down
    Fourth Street passing one of those rum holes, two Irishmen,
    red mouths, came out and, following us, asked us if we would
    not go back and take a drink. Charley said "no," and we were
    passing on when two more met us who, along with the other two,
    insisted that they meant no harm and that we should go in and
    drink. I told them that I did not drink and that, generally
    speaking, I knew what I was about. We attempted to go on, but
    they tried to have us go back, so I hauled off and planted
    one, two in Paddie's grub grinder, and knocked him off the
    sidewalk about eight feet. The remainder pitched in and
    Charley got his arm cut open and I got a button hole cut
    through my left side right below the ribs. The city police
    came to the noise and arrested three of them on the spot and
    the other next day and they turned out to be Chicago Star
    Cleaners, a name given to midnight ruffians. I was not
    compelled to keep my bed, but it was some two months before I
    was quite recovered from the effects of the cut.

    One day on the levee I was going aboard one of the boats and
    slipped on the gang plank and sprained my knee, which laid me
    up for about two weeks. About a week ago my pugnacious friend
    who gave me his mark escaped from the penitentiary at
    Stillwater, along with all the rest of the prisoners confined
    at the time. I am sincerely very grateful to you for your
    generous offer in your letter and fully appreciate your
    kindness. But notwithstanding my bad luck I have still "a shot
    in the locker," about $200, which will put me out of any
    trouble until spring.

    Our winter here has been very mild and open. We have scarcely
    had any snow, but what was altogether unprecedented, rain
    storms lasting three or four days in succession. Times have
    been mighty dull here this winter and money scarce. Write to
    me as soon as you receive this and give me a bird's eye view
    of Rockwood and its inhabitants. Believe me

                                        Yours sincerely,
                                          J. J. Hill.
    Send me some papers.

[15] From "The Life of James J. Hill," by Joseph Gilpin Pyle.
Copyright, 1916, 1917, by Doubleday, Page & Co.



One does not have to be in business in order to write "business
letters." A thousand personal affairs crop up which require letters of a
commercial rather than a social nature. There is only one rule--say what
you have to say clearly and quickly. Although the letter should be
written on the ordinary social stationery and follow the placing and
spacing of the social letter, no time should be wasted in trying to make
the letter appear friendly and chatty. The clerks in business houses who
usually attend to the mail seem to be picked for their obtuseness, and
do not often understand a letter which is phrased in other than
commonplace terms. Once I overheard a conversation between an Italian
shoemaker and a Boston woman over the repairing of a pair of shoes. The
woman wanted the soles fastened on with nails. The only word she knew
for that operation was "tapped." The only word the shoemaker knew was
"nailed." They were absolutely at a deadlock until the shoemaker,
knowing that the woman did not want the soles sewed on, proceeded to
demonstrate with hammer and nail just what he meant by "nailed." It is
well to remember that motion pictures do not accompany letters and hence
to take for granted that if a way exists for getting what you mean
wrong that way will be found. It is unfortunately safe to take for
granted that a personal business letter is going to be read by a moron.

_Ordering goods from a department store_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          April 3, 1922.

    L. Burton & Company,
      Fifth Ave. & 39th St.,
        New York


    Please send me as soon as possible and charge to my account
    the following goods:

       1 doz. hemstitched huck towels, large size, from $12.00 to
       $15.00 a dozen

       2 pairs infants' laced shoes, sizes 4 D and 4-1/2 D. One
       pair to be returned as I am not certain of the correct

       3 pairs children's rompers, size 2 years, band knee, 1 all
       white, 1 white with blue collar, 1 white with pink collar.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans
                                           (Mrs. John Evans)

_To correct an error_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          April 3, 1922.

    Caldwell Sons Co.,
      8941 Fifth Avenue,
        New York, N. Y.


    May I call your attention to my account rendered on April
    1st? There would seem to be two errors, as follows:

    Under date of March 18th I am charged with four pairs of silk
    stockings at $3.50 a pair, although I purchased only three

    On March 22nd I am credited with one pair of children's shoes
    at $5.00. I had two pairs sent on approval, but returned both
    of them as neither pair fitted.

    I enclose my check in the sum of $148.96 which is the total
    less the overcharge. To assist in the adjustment I also
    enclose the original slip for the stockings and the driver's
    call receipt for the two pairs of shoes.[16]

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.
                                           (Mrs. John Evans)

[16] Or instead of enclosing these slips it is often better to mention
the numbers that appear on them and to retain the slips themselves.

_Letter to department store requesting charge account_

                                        1018 South Elm Street,
                                          Chicago, Ill.,
                                            May 3, 1922.

    Marshall Field & Co.,
      Chicago, Ill.


    I have recently come to live in Chicago and I should like to
    open a charge account with you.

    My present accounts are all in New York and I can give you the
    following references:

        Lord & Taylor
        Tiffany & Co.
        Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
        J. & J. Slater
        Lincoln Trust Co.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Alberta T. White.
                                         (Mrs. James White)

_Asking for estimate for draperies and furnishings_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          May 16, 1922.

    Forsythe & White,
      438 Fifth Avenue,
        New York, N. Y.


    Will you send me an approximate estimate of the cost of
    materials and labor necessary for the doing of the following

        Slip covers with valances of English hand-blocked linen
        for two large wing chairs and one chaise-longue.

        Two reversible portières of the linen for doorways 11 feet
        high and 8 feet wide.

        Three pairs curtains for casement windows 6 feet high and
        5 feet wide, with pleated valance. These curtains to be of
        habutai silk.

    Of course I shall understand that this is purely an
    approximate estimate.

    I should like to have this as soon as you can conveniently
    send it.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.
                                           (Mrs. John Evans)

_Declining to have work done as estimated_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          May 23, 1922.

    Forsythe & White,
      438 Fifth Avenue,
        New York, N. Y.


    Thank you for your letter of 19th May in answer to mine of
    the 16th, requesting an estimate for slip covers and curtains.

    Your estimate calls for more outlay than I should care to make
    at the present time, so I shall have to postpone the matter
    until next year.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.
                                           (Mrs. John Evans)

_Recommendation for a servant_

                                            June 14, 1922.

    This is to certify that Katrina Hellman has been in my employ
    as assistant nurse for one year. During that period I have
    found her honest, capable, and reliable. I can give her an
    unqualified recommendation.

                                        K. G. Evans.
                                     (Mrs. John Evans)

_For information concerning a servant_

                                        5300 Deming Place
                                          Chicago, Ill.,
                                            May 9, 1922.

    Mrs. John Evans,
      500 Park Avenue,
        New York.

    Dear Madam:

    I hope you will pardon me, but I should be very much indebted
    to you for any facts concerning Gaston Duval, who has been in
    your employ as chauffeur. If you will give me this information
    I shall treat it as confidential.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Cecelia B. Duke.
                                        (Mrs. Samuel Duke)

_Answers to request for information concerning a servant_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          New York City,
                                            May 13, 1922.

    Mrs. Samuel Duke,
      5300 Deming Place,
        Chicago, Ill.

    Dear Madam:

    I have your inquiry of May the ninth concerning my former
    chauffeur, Gaston Duval.

    I am very glad to recommend him. He is sober and honest, and I
    always found him thoroughly dependable during his fifteen
    months in my employ. He drives well and is an expert

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          K. G. Evans,
                                       (Mrs. John Evans)

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          New York, N. Y.,
                                            May 13, 1922.

    Mrs. Samuel Duke,
      5300 Deming Place,
        Chicago, Ill.

    Dear Madam:

    I have your inquiry of May the ninth concerning my former
    chauffeur, Gaston Duval.

    I hope that you will not think me discourteous but I should
    much prefer not to discuss him.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          K. G. Evans.
                                       (Mrs. John Evans)

(In letters which in effect decline to give a recommendation it is wiser
not to set out facts or even actually to decline to give the
recommendation. See Chapter XI on the Law of Letters. The following
letter to a servant, which is an indirect way of declining to recommend,
is on the danger line.)

_To a servant_

                                        Harbor View,
                                          Long Island,
                                            August 29, 1921.

    My dear Margaret,

    Mrs. Hubert Forbes has written me concerning your
    qualifications as cook, and asks if I would recommend you in
    every way. Also I have your request to me for a reference.

    With regard to your skill in cooking there can be no question.
    I can recommend you as having served me for two years and I
    can vouch for your honesty. But, as you know, you are not to
    be depended on--for instance, to return promptly after your
    days off or to do any work at all during your frequent
    disputes with the butler.

    This I have told Mrs. Forbes. I could not conscientiously do
    otherwise; but I have asked that she try you in the hope that
    you have decided to remedy these faults.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          F. B. Scott.
                                     (Mrs. Harrison Scott)

                                        Harbor View, L. I.,
                                          August 29, 1921.

    Mrs. Hubert Forbes,
      Bayshore, L. I.

    My dear Mrs. Forbes:

    I have your letter of August twenty-fifth concerning my
    former cook, Margaret Dickson. She is an extremely good cook.
    She was with me for two years, and I can vouch for her
    honesty, but she is not to be depended on--for instance, to
    return promptly after her days off or to do any work during
    her frequent quarrels with the butler. But she seems anxious
    to improve, and if you would care to give her a trial, I think
    she might be satisfactory in new surroundings.

    I hope this reply will answer your questions.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Flora B. Scott.

_Letter to a former servant_

    Dear Delia,

    If you will not be too busy next week, will you come out and
    take care of the children for three or four days? Mr. Stone
    and I expect to be away. I am sure your husband can spare you.
    You will be surprised at the way Jack is growing. He often
    speaks of you.

    Let me know immediately.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          B. L. Stone.

(Note the signature--the use of initials instead of writing the full

_Inquiry concerning house for rental_

                                        48 Cottage Road,
                                          Somerville, Mass.,
                                            April 8, 1921.

    Schuyler Realty Company,
      49 Fulton Street,
        Brooklyn, N. Y.


    Will you be good enough to send me the following information
    concerning the house at 28 Bedford Park which you have
    advertised for rental:

        Location of the house with regard to subway and L station,
        and the nearest public school. General character of the
        immediate neighborhood.

        Distance to the nearest Methodist Episcopal Church.

        Condition and kind of plumbing in each of the three

        Make of furnace and the amount of coal necessary to heat
        the house.

        Is the house completely screened? Are there awnings?

        The floors--of what wood and in what condition are they?

        Is the cellar dry?

        Where is the laundry?

        When can the house be ready for occupancy?

    I should like to have the facts as soon as you can furnish

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          George M. Hall.

_Inquiry concerning house for purchase_

                                        345 Amsterdam Avenue,
                                          Philadelphia, Pa.,
                                            May 10, 1921.

    Wheaton Manor Development Co.,
      Dobbs Ferry, New York.


    Will you let me know without delay, if possible, if you have
    any property in your immediate neighborhood fulfilling the
    following requirements:

        House--Twelve rooms, four bathrooms, and sun porch. A
        modern house of stucco and half-timber construction

        Ground--about five acres, part woodland, part cleared;
        lawn, vegetable, and flower garden.

        Distance from railroad station--not more than fifteen
        minutes' ride.

    I do not want to pay more than $25,000.

    I shall be here until the twentieth of the month. After that a
    reply will reach me at the Hotel Pennsylvania, New York.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                            Jerome Hutchinson.

_Inquiry concerning a child at school_:

                                        1842 Riverside Drive,
                                          New York, N. Y.,
                                            February 10, 1922.

    My dear Professor Ritchie,

    My son John's report for the term just closed is far from
    satisfactory. While I do not expect perfection from him, I
    think--in fact, I know--he is capable of better work than is
    shown by his present rating.

    I observe that he did not pass in mathematics, a subject in
    which he was always first in the elementary school. My first
    thought was that possibly he was not physically well, but his
    activity in athletics would seem to refute this. This leads me
    to another thought--perhaps he is giving too much time and
    interest to athletics. What is your opinion and what course
    would you recommend?

    Would it be possible by coaching to have him make up the
    required averages?

    As I am leaving New York in two weeks for an extended trip, I
    would like to take some steps toward improving his scholarship
    status. Will you let me hear from you as soon as possible?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          John Crandall.

_Letter ordering Easter gifts from a magazine shopping service_

                                        Quogue, Long Island,
                                          March 27, 1922.

    Standard Shopping Service,
      100 West 38th Street,
        New York, N. Y.


    I enclose my check for $25.00 for which please send by express
    the following articles to

        Miss Dorothea Allen
        Sunrise Lodge
        Highland, Pa.

    Two sterling silver candlesticks in Colonial pattern at $12.50
    each, on Page 178, March issue.

    Or if you cannot secure them, will you purchase as second

    Two jars in Kashan ware, with blue as the predominating color?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Laura Waite.
                                      (Mrs. Herbert Waite)



A reporter was sent out on a big story--one of the biggest that had
broken in many a day. He came back into the office about eight o'clock
all afire with his story. He was going to make a reputation on the
writing of it. He wanted to start off with a smashing first
paragraph--the kind of lead that could not help being read. He knew just
what he was going to say; the first half-dozen lines fairly wrote
themselves on the typewriter. Then he read them over. They did not seem
quite so clever and compelling as he had thought. He pulled the sheet
out and started another. By half-past ten he was in the midst of a sea
of copy paper--but he had not yet attained a first paragraph.

The City Editor--one of the famous old _Sun_ school--grew anxious. The
paper could not wait until inspiration had matured. He walked quietly
over to the young man and touching him on the shoulder he said:

"Just one little word after another, son."

And that is a good thought to carry into the composition of a business
or any other kind of letter. The letter is written to convey some sort
of idea. It will not perfectly convey the idea. Words have their
limitations. It will not invariably produce upon the reader the effect
that the writer desires. You may have heard of "irresistible"
letters--sales letters that would sell electric fans to Esquimaux or ice
skates to Hawaiians, collection letters that make the thickest skinned
debtor remit by return mail, and other kinds of resultful, masterful
letters that pierce to the very soul. There may be such letters. I doubt
it. And certainly it is not worth while trying to concoct them. They are
the outpourings of genius. The average letter writer, trying to be a
genius, deludes only himself--he just becomes queer, he takes to unusual
words, constructions, and arrangements. He puts style before thought--he
thinks that the way he writes is more important than what he writes. The
writer of the business letter does well to avoid "cleverness"--to avoid
it as a frightful and devastating disease.

The purpose of a business letter is to convey a thought that will lead
to some kind of action--immediately or remotely. Therefore there are
only two rules of importance in the composition of the business letter.

The first is: Know what you want to say.

The second is: Say it.

And the saying is not a complicated affair--it is a matter of "one
little word after another."

Business letters may be divided into two general classes:

    (1) Where it is assumed that the recipient will want to read
    the letter,

    (2) Where it is assumed that the recipient will not want to
    read the letter.

The first class comprises the ordinary run of business correspondence.
If I write to John Smith asking him for the price of a certain kind of
chair, Smith can assume in his reply that I really want that information
and hence he will give it to me courteously and concisely with whatever
comment on the side may seem necessary, as, for instance, the fact that
this particular type of chair is not one that Smith would care to
recommend and that Style X, costing $12.00, would be better.

The ordinary business letter is either too wordy or too curt; it either
loses the subject in a mass of words or loses the reader by offensive
abruptness. Some letters gush upon the most ordinary of subjects; they
are interspersed with friendly ejaculations such as "Now, my dear Mr.
Jones," and give the impression that if one ever got face to face with
the writer he would effervesce all over one's necktie. Many a man takes
a page to say what ought to be said in four lines. On the other hand,
there are letter writers so uncouth in the handling of words that they
seem rude when really they only want to be brief. The only cure for a
writer of this sort is for him to spend some months with any good
English composition book trying to learn the language.

The second class of letters--those in which it is presumed that the
recipient will not want to read--comprises all the circular letters.
These are selling or announcement letters and it is hoped that they will
play the part of a personal representative. The great bulk of these
letters are sales letters. Their characteristic is that the writer and
the reader are unknown to each other. It is not quite accurate to say
that the reader will never want to read the letters--no one knows how
many of the millions of circular letters sent out are read. A farmer
will read practically every letter that comes to him; many business men
will throw every circular letter into the waste basket unread. It is
well to assume in this kind of letter, however, that the recipient does
not want to read it but that he will open and glance at it. It is up to
you to make such a good letter that the first glance will cause him to
read more.

There is no way of catching the man who throws letters away unopened;
any attempt to have the envelope tell what the letter should tell is apt
to be unfortunate, because it will have no effect upon the inveterate
tosser away and may deter even some of those who commonly do open
circular mail. The best method is to make the letter look so much like a
routine business letter that no one will dare to throw it away without

The cost of a sales letter is not to be reckoned otherwise than by
results. The merit of a sales letter is to be judged solely by the
results. Therefore it is not a question of what kind of letter one
thinks ought to produce results. The single question is what kind of
letter does produce results.

There is only one way to ascertain results, and that is by test. No
considerable expenditure in direct mail solicitation and no form letter
should be extensively used without an elaborate series of tests.
Otherwise the money may be thrown away. The extent of the tests will
depend upon the contemplated expenditure. Every concern that sends out
many sales letters keeps a careful record of results. These records show
the letter itself, the kind of envelope, the typing, the signature, and
the kind of list to which it has been sent. Thus a considerable fund of
information is obtained for future use. This information, however, has
to be very carefully handled because it may easily become
misinformation, for we cannot forget the appeal of the product itself.
No one as yet has ever been able to gauge in advance the appeal of a

Some apparently very bad letters have sold very good products. Some
apparently very good letters have quite failed to sell what turned out
to be bad products. Therefore, the information that is obtained in the
circularizing and sale of one product has to be taken warily when
applied to another product. It should be taken only for what it is
worth, and that is as a general guide.

[Illustration: Specimens of business letterheads]

Several concerns with a mind for statistical information have in
the past so carefully compiled the effectiveness of their letters,
but without regard to the product, that they have discovered an
inordinately large number of things that cannot be done and extremely
few things that can be done. This is the danger of placing too much
faith in previous experience. One of these companies entirely discarded
its records of what could not be done and started afresh. They found
that several of the methods which they had previously used and
discarded happened to do well under changed conditions and with
different products.

If any large expenditure be contemplated then many tests should be made.
The kind of envelope, the manner of addressing, the one cent as opposed
to the two-cent stamp, the kind of letterhead, the comparative merits
of printing, multigraphing, or electric typewriting, the length and
composition of the letter, the effect of the return card, the effect of
enclosing a stamped return card or a stamped return envelope, the method
of signing, and so on, through each detail, must be tried out. No test
is ever conclusive, but very little information of value is to be
obtained by circularizing less than five hundred names. These names may
be taken sectionally or at random. The sectional method is somewhat
better, for then comparison of results in several sections may be made,
and it may turn out that it would be well to phrase differently letters
for different sections.

The returns on the letters are not of themselves conclusive. If one
section responds and another does not, it is well to look into business
conditions in the sections. It may be that in one section the people
are working and that in another there is considerable unemployment. The
main point about all of these statistics is to be sure that what one
terms results are results, bearing in mind that it is the test and not
what one thinks about a letter that counts.

It is distinctly harmful for any one to say that a letter should be long
or short. It all depends on who is going to get the letter. The tendency
in recent years has been toward the very long sales letter. This is
because in a large number of cases the long letter has been singularly
effective. However, the long letter can be overdone. It is the test
that counts.

The exact purpose for which a letter is written is to be stated clearly
before entering upon the composition. Very few letters will sell
articles costing as much as fifty dollars unless perhaps the payments
are on the installment plan. Many men of experience put the limit as low
as five dollars. Others put it as high as one hundred dollars. It is
safe to say that the effectiveness of a letter which is designed to
achieve a sale decreases as the price of that which is offered for
sale increases. Therefore, most of the letters written concerning more
expensive articles are not intended to effect sales. They are designed
to bring responses that will furnish leads for salesmen.

Other letters are more in the nature of announcements, by which it is
hoped prospects may be brought into a store.

Where the article offered for sale is quite high in price, the letters
sometimes may be very expensively prepared. On one occasion the late
John H. Patterson, discovering that his salesmen could not get to the
heads of several department stores, ordered some very fine leather
portfolios. On each portfolio he had stamped the name of the man who was
to receive it. They were gifts such as any one would welcome and which
no one could possibly ignore. Inside each portfolio were contained a
letter and a number of photographs showing exactly what he desired to
have the agents demonstrate. Each gift cost about fifty dollars. He sent
the portfolios with his compliments. The secretaries of the men that he
wanted to interest could not possibly toss them away. They simply had
to give them to their principals. My impression is that the entire
expenditure ran to several thousand dollars, but as a result some two
hundred thousand dollars in sales were effected, for in practically
every case the photographs awakened an interest that led to an
appointment with the salesman.

The following letters are intended to be suggestive. They cannot
honestly be put forward as being more than that. They are all letters
that have gained results under certain circumstances. That they will
gain results under new and different circumstances is a matter on which
no one can speak with any assurance. Every sales letter is a matter of
cut and try. Some of these letters may produce results exactly as they
stand. Others may better be used in combination.

[Illustration: Arrangement of a business letter (block form)]

[Illustration: Arrangement of a business letter (indented form)]

Whether the letter should have a return card or envelope depends upon
circumstances, as also does the inclusion of an illustrated folder. The
return card is more valuable with a letter that goes to a home than with
a letter that goes to an office. Very few men with stenographers will
bother with return cards--their stenographers or secretaries will send a
note. On the other hand, letter-writing facilities are not so easily
available in the usual home and the card is likely to be used. The
putting in of a folder sometimes takes away from the force of the
letter. It is often better to reserve the folder for a second letter or
for answering an inquiry. For once the prospect has written in for more
information the whole purpose of the letter changes. The interest can be
presumed, and the object of the letter is to give the greatest possible
amount of clear information to the end of causing action. Saying too
much in the first letter may give the reader an opportunity to reach a
conclusion, when the purpose of the first letter is primarily to get a
name--a prospective purchaser. Many a salesman kills a sale by talking
too much; so does many a sales letter.


To charge customers selling and announcement letters are sent out before
the public advertising. (They can also be used as general announcements
by eliminating the portions referring particularly to the charge

_Announcing a sale_

                           BRICE & HASKELL
                        SOUTH MICHIGAN AVENUE

                                        July 31, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    As one of our regular patrons, we are telling you in advance
    of a coming big sale--The August Furniture Sale, which will
    begin Monday, August 7th. We should like our charge customers
    to have first choice of the interesting values before they are
    announced to the public. Therefore we shall have three
    Courtesy Days, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week,
    when you may come in and make your selections at the Sale

    Our guide in choosing furniture is our clientèle, so we feel
    sure you will find the type of furniture here that pleases
    you--and in greater variety than usual because we complete our
    collection for this event.

    Prices this year are very attractive. They have been reduced
    far lower than you will anticipate. We should like you to have
    the advantage in these values soon, and hope you will come in
    one of the three Courtesy Days.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Brice & Haskell.

Following are letters of slightly different type:

                          S. BLACK COMPANY
                        28 WASHINGTON STREET
                           BOSTON, MASS.

                                        April 26, 1920.

    Mrs. Arthur Moore,
      1317 Hillside Avenue,
        Boston, Mass.

    Dear Madam:

    Our Spring Sale of Misses' Suits, Coats, Dresses, and Hats
    will begin Monday, April 30th, continuing throughout the week.

    This sale presents an unusual opportunity to secure seasonable
    apparel at decided price concessions.

      MISSES' SUITS: Smartly tailored suits of English navy serge,
      navy gabardine, tan covert cloth, imported mixtures,
      homespuns, and light-weight knit cloths--adapted for town or
      country usage. A splendid selection of all sizes from 14 to
      18 years.

      MISSES' COATS: Coats for motor, country club, or town wear,
      in soft velours, burella cloth, and imported coatings.

      MISSES' DRESSES: Dresses of imported serges and gabardines,
      for street wear, and a number of exclusive knit cloth models
      in attractive colorings for sports wear--sizes 14 to 18

      MISSES' HATS: The balance of our stock of Trimmed Hats at one
      half their former prices.

    On account of the greatly reduced prices, none of these goods
    will be sent on approval, nor can they be returned for credit.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          S. Black Company.

    To our charge customers is extended the privilege of making
    their selections on Friday and Saturday, April 27th and 28th.

                        SWANSON SONS & COMPANY
                          29 SUPERIOR AVENUE
                            CLEVELAND, OHIO

                                        January 16, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    We enclose advance announcements of our Private Sales of
    Boys' Heatherweave Clothes and Ironhide Shoes, and we believe
    you will find the economies presented a great relief after
    your large Christmas outlays.

    Of course, such reductions mean that the assortments will
    quickly be depleted, and we urge you to act promptly in order
    to secure the full benefit of the available selections. To
    enable you to do this we are telling you before the public
    announcement of these sales.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Swanson Sons & Company.

This letter encloses a proof of a newspaper advertisement.

                          CALLENDER & CRUMP
                         2900 EUCLID AVENUE
                            CLEVELAND, O.

                                        September 10, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    In appreciation of your patronage we wish to extend to you a
    personal invitation to attend a private sale of women's
    tailor-made fall suits (sizes 34 to 46) in some especially
    well-chosen models. These suits will be priced at the very low
    figure of $40.

    Our regular patrons may have first selection before the sale
    is open to the public, and may thus avoid the discomforts of a
    public sale.

    We have arranged to show these suits privately on Friday,
    October 3, in the fitting department on the sixth floor.

    If you care to avail yourself of this special opportunity,
    please bring this letter with you and present it at the
    fitting department.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Callender & Crump.

(Note:--An excellent idea when a special offering of foreign goods is
made is to have the letters mailed from Paris or London. The foreign
stamp will usually attract attention.)

                          CALLENDER & CRUMP
                         2900 EUCLID AVENUE
                            CLEVELAND, O.

                                        Paris, France,
                                          September 1, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    We wish to let you know in advance that our annual sale of
    Real French Kid gloves, at 89 cents a pair, takes place on
    Tuesday, October 9, 1922.

    To insure a choice selection we suggest that you make your
    purchases early on that day.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Callender & Crump.

This is an excellent, matter-of-fact letter that sets out values:

                        LE FEVRE BROTHERS
                       293 WASHINGTON BLVD
                          DETROIT, MICH.

                                        May 11, 1922.

    Mrs. John Williams,
      19 Concourse Ave.,
        Detroit, Mich.


    On Monday and Tuesday, May 15th and 16th, we shall hold our
    ANNUAL SPRING CLEARANCE SALE of seasonable apparel for BOYS,
    GIRLS, and YOUNG LADIES, offering exceptional values, and an
    unusual opportunity to secure regular Le Fevre productions at
    lower prices than we have been able to offer for several
    years. This sale will include other items which are not
    enumerated in this announcement.

        Sizes 7 to 15 years. Formerly up to $35.00 _Sale Price_
        $14.50, $18.50, and $23.50

        Sizes 3 to 7 years. Formerly up to $32.50 _Sale Price_
        $14.50 and $18.50

        Sizes 3 to 16 years. Formerly up to $55.00 _Sale Price_
        $19.50 and $29.50

        Sizes 4 to 14 years. Formerly up to $65.00 _Sale Price_
        $17.50 and $27.50

        Sizes 14 to 18 years. Formerly up to $85.00 _Sale Price_
        $24.50 and $39.50

        Sizes 14 to 18 years. Formerly up to $70.00 _Sale Price_
        $22.50 and $37.50

        Sizes 14 to 18 years. Formerly up to $75.00 _Sale Price_
        $29.50 and $42.50

        Formerly up to $30.00 _Sale Price_ $7.50 and $12.50

    Sale goods will not be sent on approval, exchanged, nor can
    they be returned for credit.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Le Fevre Brothers.

Our charge customers will have the privilege of making their purchases
from this sale on Friday and Saturday, May 12th and 13th.

_On opening a store_

This form for the opening of a new store in a town may be used with
variations for a reopening after improvements.


    April 14, 1922.

    Mrs. Henry Jerome,
      29 Water St.,
        Wichita, Kan.

    Dear Madam:

    This is a sale to win friends for a new store. We want you to
    see our values. Our store is but six weeks old. Our stock is
    just the same age. Everything that we have is fresh and new.
    We want you to compare our qualities and prices. We are out to
    prove to the women of Wichita that we can give style and
    service at prices they will like.

    Will you give us the chance to get acquainted?

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          James Bonner & Co.,
                             (Handwritten) _L. Jones_,

_Selling home-made articles_

    19 Waverly Place,
      Bridgetown, N. J.,
        April 5, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    Have you ever counted the cost of making your pickles, jams,
    and jellies at home? If you have, and are satisfied that yours
    is the cheapest way, considering time, labor, and the use of
    the best materials, then my product will not appeal to you.
    But before you decide, may I ask you to make a comparison?

    I make at home in large quantities and according to the best
    recipes gathered over years of experience, all kinds of
    pickles and relishes--sweet, sour, dill, chow-chow,

    My special jams are raspberry, strawberry, plum, peach, and

    Crabapple is my best liked jelly, and red currant a close

    A very special conserve is a grape and walnut, for which I
    have a large call, for teas.

    The peaches I put up in pint and quart jars.

    I use only the very best vinegar and spices.

    My products are made only to order and at the lowest possible
    cost. To do this I must get my orders some time in advance so
    that I may take advantage of attractive prices on fruits and
    other ingredients.

    I append a list of prices which I charged last year. This year
    they will be no higher and in all probability less.

    May I get a small trial order from you?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Martha Walker.
                                      (Mrs. William Walker)

_A letter to recently married people in moderate circumstances_

      20 MAIN STREET
        RICHMOND, VA.

                                        May 8, 1922.

   Dear Madam:

    This store is for sensible, saving people who want to make
    every dollar buy its utmost. But sometimes being sensible and
    saving seems to mean just being commonplace and dowdy. Ours is
    not that sort of a store.

    We believe that useful articles ought also to be good
    looking, and our buying has been so skillful that we believe
    we are safe in saying that our goods are not only absolutely
    dependable but also will compare in appearance with any goods
    anywhere, regardless of price. We think that this statement
    will mean something to you, for in furnishing a home, although
    appearance may not be everything, it is certainly a good deal.
    Between two articles of the same durability the better-looking
    one is the better.

    It is our aim not merely to make home furnishing easy but to
    make a beautiful home at the price of an ugly one. Our
    experience has been that it does not pay to put into a
    household any article which in a few years you will get so
    tired of looking at that you will want to smash it with a
    hatchet. We have the values and also we have terms that are as
    good as the values.

    We enclose a little booklet that will give you a hint of what
    you can find here. We cannot give you more than a hint. The
    best way is to come to the store. Tell us your problems, and
    let us aid you with our experience.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          J. L. Bascom Company.

_Introducing the mail order department:_

                            L. GIRARD & CO.
                             ST. LOUIS, MO.

                                        April 4, 1922.

    Mrs. Benjamin Brown,
      29 Shadyside Vine Avenue,
        St. Louis, Mo.

    Dear Madam:

    This Spring brings to us many new ideas in merchandise that
    our buyers have picked up in their travels. In many ways we
    have now the most interesting stock we have ever been able to
    show. It is indeed so large and varied that we shall hardly be
    able to give you more than a suggestion of it in our public

    We feel sure that we have something which you have been
    looking for among the splendid values in both personal and
    household necessities.

    You will find that through our individual shopping service
    purchasing by mail is made most convenient and entirely

    May we look forward to having again the pleasure of serving

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          L. Girard & Co.

_Announcement of overcoats_

                        THE BARBOUR CLOTHING CO.
                           2249 WABASH AVENUE

                                        October 19, 1921.

    Mr. Charles Reid,
      Winnetka, Ill.

    My dear Sir:

    In a couple of weeks you are going to think a good deal about
    your overcoat. Why not start thinking now?

    We are offering this year the most complete line of overcoats
    that we have ever been able to buy. We have found that we
    could buy absolutely first-class coats at absolutely fair
    prices. We are selling them on the basis on which we bought
    them, and we bought a lot because we think the values will
    sell them.

    The prices are surprisingly low. They range from $20 to $70.
    At the lowest price we are selling a coat which, if you saw it
    on the back of a friend, you would think cost at least $50.
    The highest priced coat is as good as money can buy. If you
    expected to spend $50 for a coat, you may find that you can
    get what you want for $20 or $25, or you may find that you
    will want an even better coat than you had expected to buy.

    We think that it would be worth your while to look at this

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          The Barbour Clothing Co.

_Selling a farm product (can be used for vegetables, eggs, hams, and
bacon or any farm product)_

                           CORN CENTER
                            NEW JERSEY

                                        June 1, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    Do you like perfectly fresh vegetables--right off the farm?

    What kind of vegetables are you getting? Do you know how long
    ago they were picked?

    Perhaps you think that you cannot have absolutely fresh
    vegetables for your table or that it really makes no

    Did you ever taste Golden Bantam corn the same day or the day
    after it was picked? Do you know Golden Bantam or is corn just
    corn? Do you think that string beans are just string beans?
    And do you know about stringless string beans?

    I grow only the thoroughbred varieties. I pick them when they
    are tender--just right for the palate. And I send them to you
    the same day that they are picked.

    I arrange hampers according to the size of the family. The
    prices, quantities, and selections are on the enclosed card.

    I will deliver at your door (or send by parcel post) every
    day, every second day, or as often as you like. You can have
    the best that is grown in its best season and as fresh as
    though you were living on a farm.

    Try a hamper and know what vegetables are!

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Henry Raynor.

_Storage service_

                        HOWARD MOTH PROOF BAG CO.
                             WINSTED, CONN.

                                        May 2, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    Have you ever taken your best coat to an "invisible mender"
    and paid him ten dollars to have him mend two moth holes?

    Have you ever gone to your trunk to take out your furs and
    found that the moths had got into them? Sometimes they are so
    badly eaten that they are utterly hopeless and must be thrown

    All this trouble, disappointment, and expense can be avoided
    if you will only take the precaution this spring to put away
    your clothing and furs in the Howard Moth Proof Garment Bags.
    Strongly constructed of a heavy and durable cedar paper, and
    made absolutely moth-proof by our patented closing device, the
    Howard bag provides absolute protection against moths.

    As the Howard bag comes in several sizes, from the suit size,
    ranging through the overcoat, ulster, and automobile sizes,
    and as each bag has room for several garments, you can surely
    have protection for all your clothing at small cost. The hook
    by which the bag is hung up is securely stapled in place by
    brass rivets. This bag is so strong and so well designed for
    service that it will with care last for several years.

                                    Very truly yours,
                                      The Howard Moth-Proof Bag Co.

_A type of Christmas sales letter_

                          THE PINK SHOP
                         40 MAIN STREET
                       GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.

                                        November 28, 1922.

    Dear Madam:

    This is your opportunity to get a lot of fine Christmas
    stockings at very low cost--if you order at once.

    The "Camille" is made of beautiful thread silk richly hand
    embroidered. It comes in black or white, all silk.

    The "Diana" is a silk stocking with lisle top and soles. It is
    a fine wearing stocking and comes in all street shades.

    The "Juliet" is especially attractive as a gift for a girl
    friend. These stockings are clocked and have all silk feet and
    lisle tops. The colors are black, beige, and taupe. They are
    especially good looking worn with saddle pumps.

    The "Evening Mist" is a fascinating stocking for evening wear.
    It is sheer, almost cobwebby, and will enhance any evening
    gown. The colors are gold, silver, light blue, corn, pale
    green, black, and white. It is splendid for a gift stocking.

    The "Priscilla" is an excellent stocking for everyday hard
    wear. It is of heavy lisle, full fashioned and fast
    color--black or tan.

    Send your order off now. You will have the advantage of an
    early selection. Attractive prices are quoted in the circular
    enclosed. The big holiday rush will soon be on.

    Make up your order for stockings for Christmas giving, attach
    remittance for amount and mail to-day. Your order will be
    filled promptly and if everything does not fully satisfy you,
    you may return it and get your money back.

                                         Yours very truly,
                                           The Pink Shop.

_An automobile announcement_

                        MEMPHIS AUTO SUPPLY CO.
                            29 MAPLE AVENUE
                             MEMPHIS, TENN.

                                        March 16, 1924.

    Dear Sir:

    Just a few weeks and spring will be here. That means pleasure

    When you are getting ready for this new season, you may find
    that you will need certain things for your car--perhaps a new
    tire, or a pair of pliers, or an inner tube. But whatever it
    is, remember that our new stock of accessories is here and we
    believe that we can supply you with anything you will need.

    In inviting you to give us part of your trade, we give you
    this assurance: If any article you buy from us is not entirely
    right, we will return your money.

    We hope to see you soon.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Memphis Auto Supply Co.

_Changing from a credit to a cash plan (Should be in the nature of a
personal letter)_

                          PELLETIER & CO.
                         142 CASCO STREET
                           PORTLAND, ME.

                                        February 1, 1922.

    Mrs. John Troy,
      14 Ocean Ave.,
        Portland, Me.

    Dear Madam:

    When this store was opened ten years ago, we believed that our
    service would be the most effective if we operated on a credit
    basis. Therefore we solicited charge accounts, of course
    taking extreme care that only people of known integrity and
    substance should be on our books. We have had the privilege of
    serving you through such an account.

    There are two fundamental methods of conducting a retail
    business. The one is on the cash and the other is on the
    credit plan. In the cash plan all goods are either paid for at
    the time of purchase or at the time of delivery. In the credit
    plan, those who have not credit or do not care to use credit
    pay cash; those who have credit rating charge their purchases
    and bills are rendered monthly. Credit was not extended by the
    store as a favor; it formed part of a way of doing business.
    The favor is on the part of the customer. The charge system
    has many advantages, principally in the way of permitting the
    store to know its customers better than it could otherwise.
    The disadvantage of the credit basis is the expense of
    bookkeeping which, of course, has to be added into the price
    of the goods sold. Our losses through unpaid bills have been
    negligible. Our customers are honest. But it has seemed unfair
    that the customer who pays cash should have to bear the cost
    of the credit accounts.

    As our business has worked out more than fifty per cent. of
    our whole trade is on the cash basis. After careful
    consideration we have finally decided to go entirely upon a
    cash footing in order that we may further reduce our costs of
    doing business and hence our prices to you. We think that in
    such fashion we can better serve you. Therefore, on July 1st,
    which marks the end of our fiscal year, we shall go upon an
    exclusively cash basis and no longer maintain charge accounts.

    We think that you will agree when you see the savings
    reflected in lower prices for the highest grade of goods that
    the change in policy is a wise one and that you will continue
    to favor us with your patronage.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Pelletier & Co.,
                             (Handwritten) _C. Brown_,
                                              Credit Manager.


_Thanking a new customer_

                          LARUE BROTHERS
                         SAINT LOUIS, MO.

                                        October 4, 1923.

    Mrs. Lee White,
      29 Main Street,
        St. Louis, Mo.

    Dear Madam:

    The purchase which you made yesterday is the first that we
    have had the pleasure of recording for your account and we
    want to take this opportunity to thank you for the confidence
    that you repose in us and to hope that it will be the
    beginning of a long and happy relation.

    We shall, from time to time, send you bulletins of our special
    offerings and we believe that you will be interested in them.

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _J. M. Briggs_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Larue Brothers.

_Where a charge account has been inactive_

                          S. BLACK COMPANY
                        28 WASHINGTON STREET
                           BOSTON, MASS.

                                        February 5, 1921.

    Mr. Tudor Sweet,
      24 Commonwealth Ave.,
        Boston, Mass.

    Dear Sir:

    We have just been looking over our books and are sorry to
    learn that you have not given us your patronage for some time

    We feel that something may have gone wrong to have caused you
    to discontinue trading at our store.

    If you are not fully satisfied with anything you bought from
    us, remember that we are always eager and ready to adjust the
    matter to your satisfaction. We shall certainly appreciate it
    if you will write to us and tell us frankly just what the
    trouble has been. Will you use the inclosed envelope to let us

                                        Yours truly,
                                          S. Black Company,
                             (Handwritten) _George Sims_,
                                              Credit Manager.

                        A. B. SWEETSER & CO.
                          4000 MAIN STREET
                            COLUMBUS, O.

                                        June 8, 1922.

    Mrs. Arthur Thomas,
      25 Spruce Avenue,
        Columbus, O.

    Dear Madam:

    Does our store please you? Sometime ago it probably did and
    you had an account with us, but we find with regret that you
    have not used it lately. If we disappointed you, or if
    something went wrong and possibly your complaint was not
    properly attended to, we are extremely anxious to know about

    Perhaps there was some lack of courtesy, some annoying error
    in your bill which we were exasperatingly obtuse in
    rectifying? Were we stupid in filling some order or did we
    delay in delivery? Perhaps we did not have just what you were
    looking for, or our prices seemed higher than elsewhere.

    Whatever the difficulty, we do want you to know that we try to
    stand for good service--to supply promptly what you want at
    the price you want to pay, and always to conduct our business
    with an unfailing courtesy which will make your shopping a

    Being a woman I may understand your point of view a little
    better. Will you be quite frank and tell me why you do not buy
    from Sweetser's now? Either write or call me on the telephone;
    or, better still, if you are in our neighborhood, can you come
    in to see me?

    The information booth is at the door and I can be found in a
    minute. It might help to talk things over.

                                   Sincerely yours,
                      (Handwritten) _Mrs. Margaret B. Williams_,
                                       Courtesy Manager,
                                         A. B. Sweetser & Co.

                        MEYER, HASKELL & CO.
                           230 ELM STREET
                         BLOOMFIELD, ILL.

                                        March 8, 1923.

    Mrs. Bruce Wells,
      19 Dwight Ave.,
        Bloomfield, Ill.

    Dear Madam:

    We very much regret that you do not use more often your charge
    account at our store, and we hope it is not due to any lack on
    our part of prompt and intelligent service.

    We know that with our large and well-assorted stocks of
    merchandise and competent organization we ought to be able to
    supply your needs to your complete satisfaction. One of five
    stores, we have great opportunities for advantageous buying
    and we can continually undersell others.

    In this connection permit us to call your attention to our
    newly installed telephone order department. This department is
    in charge of competent house shoppers, whose duty it is to
    satisfy your every want, thus enabling our charge patrons to
    shop by telephone with perfect certainty.

    We feel that these advantages may appeal to you and result in
    our receiving your orders more often.

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _T. Hunter_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Meyer, Haskell & Co.


There are two phases in the writing of letters concerning the sale of
real estate. The first phase has to do with the presentation of the
proposal in order to arouse sufficient interest in the mind of the
prospect to cause him to inspect the property. Comparatively little
real estate is sold without personal inspection. The exceptions are
offerings of low-priced building sites in distant sections of the
country. These are sold sight unseen--else, as a rule, they would never
be sold at all. But such real estate selling is more apt to be in the
class with fake mining stock than with legitimate buying and selling,
and therefore has no place here.

The second phase of letters on real estate comprehends the closing of
the sale. For instance, let us say that John Hope has gone so far as to
look at a property. He apparently wants to buy the property or is at
least interested, but the price and conditions of sale do not exactly
suit him. He is so situated that he does not want to talk personally
with an agent, or perhaps lives too far away. At any rate, the sale has
to be closed by mail. The fact which most concerns the buyer of real
estate, provided he is otherwise satisfied with a property, is the
title. The title is the legal term by which is denoted the exact
character of the ownership. Quite frequently an owner may believe that
he has a clear title when, as a matter of fact, his title is derived
through some testamentary instrument which gives him a holding only for
life, or perhaps trusts have been set up in the will which are a charge
upon the property, although all of the beneficiaries of the trust have
been long since dead. There are many hundreds of possible legal
complications affecting the validity of the title and it is usual
to-day to have titles insured and, in agreeing to buy, to specify that
the "title must be marketable and insurable by a reputable title
insurance company." The word "marketable" as here used means a title
which is unquestionable. The prospective buyer must also be careful to
specify that the title shall be "free and clear" and that all taxes
shall be apportioned to the day of settlement. Otherwise the buyer would
have to take title subject to a lien of any judgments or other liens of
record and also subject to unpaid taxes.

A real estate transaction may be very complicated indeed, and it is wise
for a buyer to take precautions to the end of seeing that he purchases a
piece of real property rather than a right to a lawsuit. Most letters
offering real estate for sale are written in response to inquiries
generated by an advertisement. The letter offering the property is
designed to bring forth a visit from the inquirer. Therefore only the
information which seems best adapted to bring about that visit should go
into the letter. The temptation is to tell too much, and the danger of
telling too much is that one may inadvertently force a negative
conclusion. It is better to keep down to the bare, although complete,
description rather than to attempt any word painting. The description is
best supplemented by one or several photographs.

The important points to be summarized are the situation of the house,
the architectural style, the material of which it is constructed, the
number of rooms, and the size of the lot, with of course a description
of any stable, garage, or other substantial out-buildings. These are
the elementary points of the description. One may then summarize the
number and size of the rooms, including the bathrooms, laundry, and
kitchen, the closet spaces, fireplaces, the lighting, the roofing, the
floors, the porches, and the decorating. The most effective letter is
always the one that catalogues the features rather than describes them.

_An agent asking for a list of property_

                          JONES REALTY CO.
                           HARRISBURG, PA.

                                        April 3, 1924.

    Mr. James Renwick,
      126 Pelham Road,
        Westville, Pa.

    My dear Sir:

    I am constantly having inquiries from people who want to buy
    property in your immediate vicinity, and I am writing to learn
    whether you would give me the opportunity to dispose of your
    property for you, if I can obtain an entirely satisfactory
    price. If you will name the price and the terms at which you
    would sell, I should be glad to put the property on my list
    and I believe that I can make a sale.

    It would be helpful if I had a good description of the
    property and also one or two good photographs. Of course if
    you list the property with me that will not bar you from
    listing it with any other broker unless you might care to put
    it exclusively in my hands for disposal. My commission is
    2-1/2%, the same as charged by other brokers in this vicinity,
    and I know from experience that I can give you satisfactory

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Henry Jones.

_From an owner instructing an agent to list property_

                                        126 Pelham Road,
                                          Westville, Pa.,
                                            May 6, 1922.

    Mr. Henry Jones,
      Jones Realty Co.,
        Harrisburg, Pa.

    My dear Sir:

    I have your letter of May 3rd and I am entirely willing that
    you should list my property for sale, although I do not want a
    "For Sale" sign displayed nor do I want the property inspected
    while I am in it unless by a previously arranged appointment.

    I enclose a description and a photograph. I will take $25,000
    for the place, of which $10,000 has to be paid in cash. I am
    willing to hold a second mortgage of $5,000 and there is
    $10,000 already ready against the place, which can remain.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          James Renwick.

_Selling a property by mail_

                                        1437 Lawrence Street,
                                          Greenville, N. Y.,
                                            April 20, 1921.

    Mr. George A. Allen,
      789 Fourth Avenue,
        Hillside, N. Y.

    My dear Sir:

    I have your letter of April 17th asking for further
    particulars on the property which I advertised for sale in
    last Sunday's _Republic_. I think that by inspecting this
    property you can gain a much clearer idea of its desirability
    than I can possibly convey to you in a letter. If you will
    telephone to me, I will arrange any appointment that suits
    your convenience.

    The house is ten years old--that is, it was built when
    materials and workmanship were first-class. It has been kept
    up by the owner, has never been rented, and is to-day a more
    valuable house than when it was originally constructed. It is
    three stories in height, contains fifteen rooms, four
    bathrooms, breakfast porch, sun porch, children's breakfast
    porch, a laundry, butler's pantry, a storage pantry, and a
    refrigerator pantry. It stands on a plot of ground 150 x 200
    feet, which has been laid out in lawn and gardens, and in fact
    there are several thousand dollars' worth of well-chosen and
    well-placed plants, including many evergreens and
    rhododendrons. The trim of the house, including the floors, is
    hard wood throughout, and the decorations are such that
    nothing whatsoever would have to be done before occupancy.

    I enclose two photographs. The owner's price is $60,000, and I
    know that he would be willing to arrange terms.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          R. A. Smith.

(Note--Essentially the same letter could be written offering the house
for rental, furnished or unfurnished, as the case might be.)

                                        49 Main Street,
                                          Albany, N. Y.,
                                            October 8, 1924.

    Mr. Henry Grimes,
      Catskill, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    The business property that I offered for sale in yesterday's
    _Republic_ and concerning which I have a letter from you this
    morning is particularly well suited for a specialty shop or
    any kind of a store that would be benefited by the passing of
    large numbers of people before its show windows. It is located
    at the corner of Third and Main Streets with a frontage of
    thirty feet on Main Street and runs back seventy feet on Third
    Street. There is one large show window on Main Street and two
    on Third Street.

    It is a three-story brick structure, solidly built, and the
    upper floors, if they could not be used for your own purposes,
    will as they stand bring a rental of $200 a month each, and
    with a few changes could probably be leased at a higher
    amount. They are at present leased at the above figures, but
    the leases will expire on January 1st. Both tenants are
    willing to renew. By actual count this property is on the
    third busiest corner in town.

    If you are interested, I should like to discuss the price and
    terms with you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Henry Eltinge.

_Offering a farm for sale_

                                        Goschen, Ohio,
                                          R. F. D. 5,
                                            May 5, 1922.

    Mr. Harry More,
      Bridgeton, Ohio.

    Dear Sir:

    I am glad to get your letter inquiring about my farm. I am
    acting as my own agent because I think it is a farm that will
    sell itself on inspection and I would rather split the
    commission with the buyer than with a middle-man.

    The farmhouse, barns, and dairy are good, substantial frame
    buildings, and they have been well painted every second
    season. There is nothing to be done to them. The house has six
    rooms and a large, dry cellar. The water is soft and there is
    plenty of it. The barn is 60 by 50; the poultry house is a big
    one that I built myself. The sheds are all in first-class

    This farm contains 240 acres, two miles from Goschen, Ohio,
    and there is a state road leading into town and to the
    railroad. We have rural delivery and telephone. The land is
    high and in first-class cultivation. The orchard has been kept
    up and there are well-established strawberry and asparagus

    You will not find a better farm of its kind than this one. I
    have made a living off it for twelve years and anybody else
    can, but the only way for you really to find out what the
    place amounts to is to come down yourself and look it over. If
    you will let me know when you expect to come I will meet you
    at the station in my automobile.

    The price is ten thousand dollars. There is a mortgage of
    $2,500 that can remain, and, other things being satisfactory,
    we can arrange the down payment and the terms for the balance.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          John Hope.

_Accepting an offer_

                                        340 Chestnut Street,
                                          Philadelphia, Pa.,
                                            Dec. 15, 1922.

    Mr. Joseph Barlow,
      Haines Crossing,

    Dear Sir:

    I have your letter of December 12th offering to sell to me
    the property that we have been discussing for $15,000 of which
    $3,000 is to be in cash, $5,000 to remain on three-year
    mortgage at six per cent., and the remaining $7,000 to be
    cared for by the present mortgage in that amount and which I
    understand has four years yet to run.

    I accept your offer as stated by you, with the provision of
    course that I shall receive a clear and marketable title,
    insurable by a real estate title company, and that all taxes
    shall be adjusted as of the day of settlement, which
    settlement is to take place three months from to-day. If you
    will have a contract of sale drawn, I shall execute it and at
    the same time hand you my check for five hundred dollars as
    the consideration for the contract of purchase.

    This letter is written in the assumption that the dimensions
    of the property are such as have been represented to me.

   I am

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Martin Fields.

(Note--The above letter replying to an offer to sell would of itself
close the contract and the formal contract of sale is unnecessary. A
contract is, however, advisable because it includes all the terms within
a single sheet of paper and therefore makes for security.)

_Letter inquiring as to what may be had_

                                        534 Gramercy Park,
                                          February 8, 1923.

    Home Development Co.,
      Hastings, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    I am writing to learn what property you have listed in your
    vicinity that would seem to meet my particular requirements. I
    want a house of not less than ten rooms, with some ground
    around it and not more than fifteen minutes from the railroad
    station. The house must contain at least two bathrooms, have a
    good heating plant, and either be in first-class condition or
    offered at a price that would permit me to put it in
    first-class condition without running into a great deal of
    money. I am willing to pay between ten and fifteen thousand

    Will you send me a list of properties that you can suggest as
    possibly being suitable?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Julian Henderson.

_Renting apartments_

                          YOUNG & REYNOLDS
                           48 GREEN STREET
                           BROOKLYN, N. Y.

                                        May 15, 1923.

    Mr. Robert Pardee,
      29 Prentiss Place,
        Brooklyn, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    Your name has been handed to me as one who might be interested
    in leasing one of the extremely attractive apartments in the
    Iroquois at Number 20 East Third Street, which will be ready
    for occupancy on September 15th.

    I enclose a descriptive folder which will give you an idea of
    the grounds that we have for basing our claim that this is the
    most convenient apartment house that has ever been erected.
    The apartments vary in size, as you will see on the plan, and
    for long leases we can arrange any combination of rooms that
    may be desired. These features are common to all of the
    apartments. Every bedroom has a private bathroom. Every living
    and dining room contains an open fireplace, and every
    apartment, no matter what its size, is connected with a
    central kitchen so that service may be had equivalent to that
    of any hotel and at any hour from seven in the morning until
    midnight. There is a complete hotel service, all of which is
    entirely optional with the tenant.

    We invite your inspection. A number of the apartments have
    already been leased, but many desirable ones still remain and
    an early selection will permit of decoration according to your
    own wishes in ample time for the opening of the building. The
    renting office is on the premises.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Young & Reynolds.


The qualities which make a bank popular in a community are, first,
safety; second, intelligence; and third, courtesy. One bank has
potentially nothing more to offer than has another bank, excepting that
of course a very large bank has a greater capacity for making loans than
has a small bank. The amount which by law a bank may lend is definitely
fixed by the resources of the bank.

However, this is not a question of particular concern here, for very
large and important accounts are never gained through letter writing.
The field that can be reached through letters comprises the substantial
householder, the moderate-sized man in business, and the savings
depositor. A bank has no bargains to offer. What a man or a woman
principally asks about a bank is: "Will my money be safe? Will my
affairs be well looked after? Shall I be treated courteously when I go
into the bank?" The answers to these questions should be found in the
conduct of the bank itself.

A bank is not a frivolous institution. Therefore its stationery and the
manner of its correspondence should be eminently dignified. It must not
draw comparisons between the service it offers and the service any other
bank offers. It must not make flamboyant statements. Neither may it use
slang, for slang connotes in the minds of many a certain carelessness
that does not make for confidence. Above all, a bank cannot afford to be
entertaining or funny in its soliciting letters. The best bank letter is
usually a short one, and it has been found effective to enclose a
well-designed, well-printed card or folder setting out some of the
services of the bank, its resources, and its officers. Bank solicitation
is very different from any other kind of solicitation.

_Soliciting savings accounts_

                          GUARDIAN TRUST CO.
                           BAYVILLE, N. J.

                                        January 15, 1922.

    Mr. George Dwight,
      Bayville, N. J.

    Dear Sir:

    Some time ago we delivered to you a little home safe for
    savings, and we are writing to learn how you are making out
    with it. Have you saved as much as you had expected? Are you
    waiting to get a certain sum before bringing it in to be
    credited in your passbook?

    We are often asked if it is necessary to fill a home safe
    before bringing it in to have the contents deposited, and we
    always recommend that the bank be brought in at regular
    intervals, regardless of the amount saved, for you know the
    money begins to earn interest only when it is deposited with

    We give to small deposits the same careful attention we give
    to large deposits, so we suggest that you bring in and deposit
    whatever you have saved. That will make a start, and once
    started it is truly surprising how quickly a bank account
    rolls up.

   I hope that we may have the benefit of your patronage.

                       Very truly yours,
                         The Guardian Trust Company,
           (Handwritten)  _J. D. Wallace_,

_Where a savings account is inactive_

                          GUARDIAN TRUST CO.
                            BAYVILLE, N. J.

                                        August 10, 1922.

    Mr. George Dwight,
      Bayville, N. J.

    Dear Sir:

    A little home bank may be made a power for good.

    It can accomplish nothing by itself, standing unused in an
    out-of-the-way place.

    It can only be an assistant to the saver.

    It can assist your boy and girl to great things.

    It can assist you in daily economies upon which big results
    are often built.

    It cannot furnish the initiative, but it can be a constant
    reminder and an ever-ready recipient.

    Why not _use_ the little bank we delivered to you when you
    opened your savings account with us to teach the children to
    save, or to collect together small amounts for yourself.

    Why not?

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _J. D. Wallace_,

_Checking accounts_

    _A letter soliciting a home account:_

                          GUARDIAN TRUST CO.
                          POUGHKEEPSIE, N. Y.

                                        October 14, 1923.

    Mrs. Hester Wickes,
      59 Market Street,
        Poughkeepsie, N. Y.

    Dear Madam:

    Do you ever have arguments over bills that you have paid in
    cash? Do you always remember to get a receipt? Do you find it
    a nuisance to carry cash? Do you know that it is dangerous to
    keep much cash in the house?

    There can be no dispute about an account if you pay it with a
    bank check. Your cancelled check is a perfect receipt. More
    than that, your bank book shows you when, how much, and to
    whom you have paid money. It is not only the easy way of
    paying bills but the safe way. You escape all the danger of
    carrying or having in the house more than mere pocket money.
    You will find by opening a checking account with us not only
    the advantages of paying by check but you will also discover
    many conveniences and services which we are able to offer to
    you without any charge whatsoever.

    I hope that you will call and let us explain our services. I
    enclose a folder telling you more about the bank than I have
    been able to tell in this letter.

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _J. D. Wallace_,

   P.S. We have some very attractive styles in pocket check books
   that might interest you.

_Soliciting a commercial account_

                      THE LOGANSBURG NATIONAL BANK
                            LOGANSBURG, WIS.

                                        April 15, 1921.

    Mr. Fred Haynes,
      21 Nassau Street,
        Logansburg, Wis.

    Dear Sir:

    Every man in business is entitled to an amount of credit
    accommodation in accordance with his resources. It is one of
    the functions of this bank to help the business of the
    community by extending credit to those who make the business
    for the community. We are here to be of service and we should
    like to serve you.

    I enclose a folder giving the latest statement of the
    resources of the bank and something about the organization.
    Will you not drop in some time and at least permit us to
    become acquainted?

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _R. T. Newell_,

_General services_

Trust companies and national banks are very generally extending their
services to cover the administration of decedents' estates, to advise
upon investments, to care for property, and to offer expert tax
services. In most cases, these services are set out in booklets and the
letter either encloses the booklet or is phrased to have the recipient
ask for the booklet.

_Letter proffering general services:_

                        GRIGGS NATIONAL BANK
                           28 FIFTH AVE.
                             NEW YORK

                                        November 16, 1921.

    Mr. Henry Larkin,
      3428 Cathedral Parkway,
        New York.

    Dear Sir:

    We are writing to call your attention to several services
    which this bank has at your command and which we should be
    happy to have you avail yourself of:

    (1) The Bond Department can give you expert and disinterested
    advice on investments and can in addition offer you a
    selection of well-chosen season bonds of whatever character a
    discussion of your affairs may disclose as being best suited
    to your needs.

    (2) Our safe deposit vaults will care for your securities and
    valuable papers at an annual cost which is almost nominal.

    (3) We have arrangements by which we can issue letters of
    credit that will be honored anywhere in the world, foreign
    drafts, and travellers' checks.

    (4) If you expect to be away through any considerable period
    or do not care to manage your own investments, our Trust
    Department will manage them for you and render periodical
    accounts at a very small cost. This service is especially
    valuable because so frequently a busy man fails to keep track
    of conversion privileges and rights to new issues and other
    matters incident to the owning of securities.

    (5) We will advise you, if you like, on the disposition of
    your property by will, and we have experienced and expert
    facilities for the administration of trusts and estates.

    I hope that we may have the opportunity of demonstrating the
    value of some or all of these services to you; it would be a
    privilege to have you call and become acquainted with the
    officers in charge of these various departments.

    I am

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _Lucius Clark_,

_A letter offering to act as executor_

                        GRIGGS NATIONAL BANK
                          28 FIFTH AVENUE
                             NEW YORK

                                        June 25, 1923.

    Mr. Lawrence Loring,
      11 River Avenue,
        Yonkers, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    May I call to your attention the question which every man of
    property must at some time gravely consider, and that is the
    disposition of his estate after death?

    I presume that as a prudent man you have duly executed a last
    will and testament, and I presume that it has been drawn with
    competent legal advice. But the execution of the will is only
    the beginning. After your death will come the administration
    of the estate, and it is being more and more recognized that
    it is not the part of wisdom to leave the administration of an
    estate in the hands of an individual.

    It used to be thought that an executor could be qualified by
    friendship or relationship, but unfortunately it has been
    proved through the sad experience of many estates that good
    intentions and integrity do not alone make a good executor.
    Skill and experience also are needed.

    This company maintains a trust department, under the
    supervision of Mr. Thomas G. Shelling, our trust officer, who
    has had many years of experience in the administration of
    estates. Associated with him is a force of specialists who can
    care for any situation, usual or unusual, that may arise. The
    services of these men can be placed at your disposal. I can
    offer to you not only their expert services but also the
    continuity of a great institution.

    Individuals die. Institutions do not die. If you will turn
    over in your mind what may be the situation thirty years hence
    of any individual whom you might presently think of as an
    executor, I believe you will be impressed with the necessity
    for the continuity of service that can be offered only by a
    corporation. In many cases there are personal matters in the
    estate which a testator may believe can best be handled only
    by some of his friends. In such a case it is usual to join the
    individual executors with a corporate executor.

    It would be a privilege to be able to discuss these matters
    with you.

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _Lucius Clark_,

    P.S. Wills are quite frequently lost or mislaid and sometimes
    months elapse before they are discovered. It is needless to
    point out the expense and inconvenience which may be entailed.
    We are happy to keep wills free of charge.

_A letter offering tax services_

                        INTERVALE NATIONAL BANK
                            INTERVALE, N. Y.

                                        June 1, 1923.

    Mr. Michael Graham,
      Intervale, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    This bank is prepared to advise you in the preparation of your
    income and other tax returns. It is a service that is yours
    for the asking, and we hope that you will avail yourself of

    The department is open during banking hours, but if these
    hours are not convenient to you, special appointments can be

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _Samuel Drake_,

_A letter giving the record of the bank_

                        INTERVALE NATIONAL BANK
                            INTERVALE, N. Y.

                                        July 6, 1923.

    Mr. Donald West,
      Intervale, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    As a depositor you will be interested in the enclosed booklet
    which records what the officers and directors think is a
    notable showing for the bank during the past year. I hope that
    you will also find it inspiring and will pass it on to a
    friend who is not a depositor with us.

    May I thank you for your patronage during the past year, and
    believe me

                       Very truly yours,
          (Handwritten) _Samuel Drake_,


_Order where the price of articles is known_

                                        North Conway, N. H.,
                                          August 19, 1921.

    Messrs. L. T. Banning,
      488 Broadway,
        New York, N. Y.


    Please send me, at your earliest convenience, by United States
    Express, the following:

    1 doz. linen handkerchiefs, tape edge, regular size     $ 6.00
    1 pr. Triumph garters, silk, black                         .75
    4 white oxford tennis shirts, size 15-1/2 @ $3.00        12.00
    6 pr. white lisle socks, size 11 @ $.50                    3.00

                                                     Total  $21.75

    I am enclosing a money order for $21.75.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Oscar Trent.

    (Money Order)

_Order where the price is not known_

                                        Flint, Michigan,
                                          July 14, 1922.

    The Rotunda,
      581 State Street,
        Chicago, Ill.


    Please send as soon as possible the following:

    2 prs. camel's hair sport stockings, wide-ribbed, size 9
    1 blue flannel middy blouse, red decoration, size 16
    1 "Dix make" housedress, white piqué, size 38
    1 copy of "Main Street"

    I enclose a money order for thirty dollars ($30.00) and will
    ask you to refund any balance in my favor after deducting for
    invoice and express charges.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Florence Kepp.

    Encl. M. O.

                                        Williamsport, Pa.,
                                          March 10, 1921.

    Carroll Bros.,
      814 Chestnut St.,
        Philadelphia, Pa.


    Please send me the following articles by parcels post as soon
    as possible:

    2 doz. paper napkins, apple blossom or nasturtium design
    1 "Century" cook book
    1 pair "Luxury" blue felt bedroom slippers, leather sole
      and heel
    1 large bar imported Castile soap
    1 pair elbow length white silk gloves, size 6-3/4

    Enclosed is a money order for $15.00. Please refund any balance
    due me.

                                        Yours truly,
                                          Janet M. Bent
                                        (Mrs. Elmer Bent)

_Formal acknowledgments_

It is still a formal custom to acknowledge some kinds of orders by a
printed or an engraved form. Some of the older New York business houses
use the engraved forms which arose in the days before typewriters and
they are very effective.

_General acknowledgment forms_

                           THE GENERAL STORES CO.
                               CHICAGO, ILL.

                                        April 18, 1923.

    Mr. Walter Crump,
      29 Adams Street,
        Maple Centre, Ill.

    Dear Sir:

    We acknowledge with thanks your order No. ______ which will be
    entered for immediate shipment and handled under our No.
    ______ to which you will please refer if you have occasion to
    write about it.

    If we are unable to ship promptly we will write you fully
    under separate cover.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          The General Stores Co.

                          THE GENERAL STORES CO.,
                              CHICAGO, ILL.

                                        June 13, 1922.

    Mr. Joseph Ward,
      Wadsworth Hill, Ill.

    Dear Sir:

    We have received your order __________ requesting attention to
    __________ No. __________.

    Unless special attention is demanded, the routine schedule is
    on a ten-day basis, and we therefore expect to ______ your
    instrument on or about __________.

    In corresponding on this subject please refer to order No.

                                            Very truly yours,
                                              The General Stores Co.

_In answer to a letter without sufficient data_

                          THE GENERAL STORES CO.
                              CHICAGO, ILL.

                                         September 8, 1922.

    Mrs. Benjamin Brown,
      Carr City, Ill.

    Dear Madam:

    We thank you for your order recently received for one shirt
    waist and two pairs of stockings.

    We were unable to proceed with the order, as the size of the
    waist was not given. If you would be kind enough to state what
    size you wish, we shall gladly make immediate shipment.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          The General Stores Co.

_Where the goods are not in hand_

                          L. &. L. YOUNG
                         600 FIFTH AVENUE
                          NEW YORK, N. Y.

                                        November 3, 1921.

    Mrs. John Evans,
      500 Park Avenue,
        New York, N. Y.

    Dear Madam:

    We are out of size 5 B at present in the white kid shoes you
    desire, but we should be pleased to order a pair for you, if
    you wish, which would take two weeks. If this is not
    satisfactory to you, perhaps you will call and select another

    Kindly let us know what you wish done in this matter.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          L. & L. Young.


The letter of complaint is purely a matter of stating exactly what the
trouble is. The letter replying to the complaint is purely an affair of
settling the trouble on a mutually satisfactory basis. The Marshall
Field attitude that "the customer is always right" is the one that it
pays to assume. The customer is by no means always right, but in the
long run the goodwill engendered by this course is worth far more than
the inevitable losses through unfair customers. The big Chicago mail
order houses have been built up on the principle of returning money
without question. Legalistic quibbles have no place in the answer to a
complaint. The customer is rightly or wrongly dissatisfied; business is
built only on satisfied customers. Therefore the question is not to
prove who is right but to satisfy the customer. This doctrine has its
limitations, but it is safer to err in the way of doing too much than in
doing too little.

_Claims for damaged goods_

This letter is complete in that it states what the damage is.

                                        420 Commonwealth Avenue,
                                          Boston, Mass.,
                                            February 8, 1922.

    Messrs. Wells & Sons,
      29 Summer Street,
        Boston, Mass.


    The furniture that I bought on February 3rd came to-day in
    good condition with the exception of one piece, the green
    enamel tea-wagon. That has a crack in the glass tray and the
    lower shelf is scratched. Will you kindly call for it and, if
    you have one like it in stock, send it to me to replace the
    damaged one?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Edna Joyce Link.
                                         (Mrs. George Link)

                                        830 Main Street,
                                          Saltview, N. Y.,
                                            May 2, 1921.

    Acme Dishwasher Co.,
      Syracuse, N. Y.


    I regret to inform you that the Acme dishwasher which I
    purchased from your local dealer, I. Jacobs, on December 4,
    1920, has failed to live up to your one-year guarantee. In
    fact, the dishwasher is now in such bad condition that I have
    not used it for three weeks.

    I must therefore request that in accordance with the terms of
    your guarantee you refund the purchase price of ninety dollars

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Eleanor Scott.
                                      (Mrs. Lawrence Scott)

_Complaint of poor service_

                                       Webster Corners, Mo.,
                                         April 24, 1920.

    Messrs. Peter Swann Co.,
      Kansas City, Mo.


                   Attention Mr. Albert Brann.

    On Tuesday last I bought at your store two boys' wash suits.
    This is Monday and the goods have not yet been delivered. The
    delay has caused me great inconvenience. If this were the
    first time that you had been careless in sending out orders I
    should feel less impatient, but three times within the last
    four weeks I have been similarly annoyed.

    On March 3rd I sent back my bill for correction, goods
    returned not having been credited to my account. On March 15th
    the bill was again sent in its original form with a "please
    remit." I again wrote, making explanation, but to date have
    received no reply. If I must be constantly annoyed in this
    manner, I shall have to close my account.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Helena Young Tremp.
                                          (Mrs. Kenneth Tremp)

_Replies to letters of complaint_

                            WELLS & SONS
                          29 SUMMER STREET
                            BOSTON, MASS.

                                        August 12, 1922.

    Mrs. Samuel Sloane,
      Chelsea, Mass.

    Dear Madam:

    We have your letter of August 8th in regard to the damaged
    perambulator. We are very sorry indeed that it was damaged,
    evidently through improper crating, so that there does not
    seem to be any redress against the railway.

    We shall be glad to make a reasonable allowance to cover the
    cost of repairs, or if you do not think the perambulator can
    be repaired, you may return it to us at our expense and we
    will give your account credit for it. We will send you a new
    one in exchange if you desire.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Wells & Sons.

                            WELLS & SONS
                          29 SUMMER STREET
                            BOSTON, MASS.

                                        May 11, 1923.

    Mrs. Julia Furniss,
      29 Oak Street,
        Somerville, Mass.

    Dear Madam:

    We have received your note of May 8th in regard to the
    bathroom scales on your bill of May 1st.

    We do not send these scales already assembled as there is
    considerable danger of breakage, but we shall send a man out
    to you on Wednesday the twelfth to set them up for you. The
    missing height bar will be sent to you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Wells & Sons.

                          THE STERLING SILVER CO.
                              2800 FIFTH AVE.
                                 NEW YORK

                                        December 17, 1923.

    Mrs. Daniel Everett,
      290 Washington Square,
        New York.

    Dear Madam:

    We regret that it will be impossible to have your tea spoons
    marked as we promised. Marking orders were placed in such
    quantities before yours was received that the work cannot be
    executed before December 28th.

    We are, therefore, holding the set for your further
    instructions and hope that this will not cause any

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          The Sterling Silver Co.

                          REX TYPEWRITER CO.
                         20 SO. MICHIGAN AVE.
                             CHICAGO, ILL.

                                        November 6, 1922.

    Mr. John Harris,
      Wayside, Ill.

    Dear Sir:

    We are in receipt of the damaged No. 806 typewriter which you
    returned, and have forwarded a new typewriter which was
    charged to your account.

    Please mail us a freight bill properly noted, showing that
    the typewriter which you returned was received in a damaged
    condition, so that the cost of repairs can be collected from
    the transportation company and the proper credit placed to
    your account.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Rex Typewriter Co.

                            WELLS & SONS
                          29 SUMMER STREET
                            BOSTON, MASS.

                                        September 25, 1922.

    Mr. Louis Wright,
      Quincy, Mass.

    Dear Sir:

    Our warehouse headquarters have just informed us in reply to
    our telegram, that your order No. 263 of September 6th was
    shipped on September 14th by express direct.

    We regret the delay, and hope the goods have already reached

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Wells & Sons.

                            WELLS & SONS
                          29 SUMMER STREET
                            BOSTON, MASS.

                                        June 7, 1923.

    Mrs. Ralph Curtis,
      5928 Commonwealth Ave.,
        Boston, Mass.

    Dear Madam:

    We are sorry to learn from your letter of June 5th that you
    found two buttons missing from your suit. We have no more
    buttons like the one you enclosed and cannot get any, as the
    suit is an import. But if you will let us know the number of
    buttons in the entire set, we will send you a complete set of
    buttons as nearly like the sample as possible.

    I hope this will be a satisfactory solution.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Wells & Sons.

_A routine letter of adjustment_

                            HALL BROTHERS
                          500 FOURTH STREET
                              DAYTON, O.

                                        January 28,1923.

    Mr. Philip Drew,
      480 Milk Street,
        Boston, Mass.

    Dear Sir:

    We have received your letter of ______ and regret to learn
    that ______. We will carefully investigate the matter at once
    and within a day or two will write you fully.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Hall Brothers.

                            WELLS & SONS
                          29 SUMMER STREET
                            BOSTON, MASS

                                        January 2, 1923.

    Mr. George Larabee,
      Sunnyside, Vt.

    Dear Sir:

    In compliance with your request of December 27th we shall mail
    our check to-morrow for $16.98 for the humidor which you
    returned. We regret very much the delay in this matter. Our
    only excuse for it is the holiday rush in our delivery
    department which prevented the delivery of the humidor in time
    for Christmas.

    We hope you will overlook the delay and give as another
    opportunity to serve you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Wells & Sons.


Business is done largely on credit, but comparatively few men in
business seem to understand that in the letters concerning accounts lies
a large opportunity for business building. The old-style credit man
thinks that it is all important to avoid credit losses; he opens an
account suspiciously and he chases delinquent accounts in the fashion
that a dog goes after a cat.

Business is not an affair of simply not losing money: it is an affair of
making money. Many a credit grantor with a perfect record with respect
to losses may be a business killer; he may think that his sole function
is to prevent losses. His real function is to promote business. The best
credit men in the country are rarely those with the smallest percentage
of losses, although it does happen that the man who regards every
customer as an asset to be conserved in the end has very few losses.

Therefore, in credit granting, in credit refusing, and in collection,
the form letter is not to be used without considerable discrimination.
It is inadvisable to strike a personal note, and many firms have found
it advantageous to get quite away from the letter in the first reminders
of overdue accounts. They use printed cards so that the recipient will
know that the request is formal and routine.

Another point to avoid is disingenuousness, such as "accounts are opened
for the convenience of customers." That is an untrue statement. They are
opened as a part of a method of doing business and that fact ought
clearly to be recognized. It does not help for good feeling to take the
"favoring" attitude. Every customer is an asset; every prospective
customer is a potential asset. They form part of the good-will of the

Tactless credit handling is the most effective way known to dissipate

_To open a charge account_

                                        4601 Fourth Avenue,
                                          New York,
                                            May 3, 1922.

    Hoyt & Jennings,
      32 East Forty Eighth Street,
        New York.


    I desire to open a credit account with your company.

    Will you let me know what information you desire?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Harold Grant.

or, according to the circumstances any of the following may be used:

    I desire to open a line of credit _________________________
    I desire to open an account _______________________________
    I desire to maintain an open account ______________________
    I desire to maintain a charge account _____________________

_Replies to application for credit_

                          HOYT & JENNINGS
                          32 EAST 48TH ST.
                              NEW YORK

                                        May 8, 1923.

    Mr. Harold Grant,
      48 Dey Street,
        New York.

    Dear Sir:

    May we thank you for your letter of May 3rd in which you
    expressed a desire to have an account with us?

    We enclose a copy of our usual form and trust that we shall
    have the privilege of serving you.

                                        Yours very truly,
                           (Handwritten) _F. Burdick_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Hoyt & Jennings.

                          HOYT & JENNINGS
                        32 EAST 48TH STREET
                              NEW YORK

                                        May 18, 1923.

    Mr. Harold Grant,
      48 Dey Street,
        New York.

    Dear Sir:

    We are glad to notify you that, in accordance with your
    request, a charge account has been opened in your name.

    At the beginning of our new business relations, we wish to
    assure you that we shall try to give satisfaction, both with
    our goods and with our service. Whenever you purchase an
    article, it is simply necessary that you inform the sales
    person waiting on you that you have a charge account--and then
    give your name and address.

    As is customary in our business, a statement of purchases made
    during the preceding month will be rendered and will be due on
    the first of each month.

    We are awaiting with pleasant anticipation the pleasure of
    serving you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _F. Burdick_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Hoyt & Jennings.

_Refusing credit_

(This is one of the most difficult of all letters to write and one in
which extreme care should be used for it may happen that the references
have not replied accurately or that there may be somewhere an error.
Many people entitled to credit have never asked for it and therefore
have trouble in giving references. A brusque refusal will certainly
destroy a potential customer and is always to be avoided. The best plan
is to leave the matter open. Then, if the applicant for credit has
really a standing, he will eventually prove it.)

                          HOYT & JENNINGS
                        32 EAST 48TH STREET
                             NEW YORK

    Mr. Harold Grant,
      48 Dey Street,
        New York.

    Dear Sir:

    May we thank you for your letter of May 5th and for the names
    of those whom you were kind enough to give as references?

    The information that we have received from them is
    unfortunately not quite complete enough for the purposes of
    our formal records. Would you care to furnish us with further
    references in order that the account may be properly opened?
    Or perhaps you would rather call in person.

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _F. Burdick_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Hoyt & Jennings.

_Where an order has been sent in by one who has not opened an account_

                          GREGORY SUPPLY CO.
                           114 MAIN STREET
                            BALTIMORE, MD.

                                        July 13, 1923.

    J. K. Cramer & Brothers,
      New Sussex, Md.


    We write to thank you for your order of July 10th, amounting
    to $320 and we are anxious to make shipment quickly.

    Our records do not show that we have previously been receiving
    your orders and hence unfortunately we have not the formal
    information desired by our credit department so that we can
    open the account that we should like to have in your name. For
    we trust that this will be only the first of many purchases.

    Will you favor us by filling out the form enclosed and
    mailing it back as soon as convenient? The information, of
    course, will be held strictly confidential.

    We are preparing the order for shipment and it will be ready
    to go out.

                                        Yours truly,
                           (Handwritten) _B. Allen_,
                                            Credit Manager
                                              Gregory Supply Co.


_To a bank_ (A bank will not give specific information)

                          GREGORY SUPPLY CO.
                           114 MAIN STREET
                            BALTIMORE, MD.

                                        July 25, 1923.

    Haines National Bank,
      Baltimore, Md.


    We have received a request from Mr. Cramer of New Sussex, Md.,
    who informs us that he maintains an account with you for the
    extension of credit. He has given you as a reference.

    Will you kindly advise us, in confidence and with whatever
    particularity you find convenient, what you consider his
    credit rating? Any other information that you may desire to
    give will be appreciated.

    We trust that we may have the opportunity to reciprocate your

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _B. Allen_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Gregory Supply Co.

_To a commercial house_

                          GREGORY SUPPLY CO.
                           114 MAIN STREET
                            BALTIMORE, MD.

                                        July 25, 1923.

    Bunce & Co.,
      29 Vine Ave.,
        Baltimore, Md.


    We shall be much obliged to you if you will kindly inform us
    concerning your credit experience with Mr. J. K. Cramer of New
    Sussex, Md., who desires to open an account with us and who
    has referred us to you.

    We shall be happy at any time to reciprocate the courtesy.

                                        Yours truly,
                           (Handwritten) _B. Allen_,
                                            Credit Manager
                                              Gregory Supply Co.

_Another letter of the same description in a printed form_

(Name and address to be typewritten in)

                         GREGORY SUPPLY CO.
                          114 MAIN STREET
                           BALTIMORE, MD.

                                    (Date to be typewritten in)


    J. K. Cramer, of New Sussex, Md.,
    desires to open an account with our store and has given your
    name as a reference.

    Your courtesy in answering the questions given below will be
    appreciated. We shall be glad to reciprocate it at any time.

                                        Yours truly,
                                          Gregory Supply Co.

    (Please fill out and return as soon as convenient.)

    1. Has he an account with you now? ________________________
    2. How long has he had the account? _______________________
    3. How does he pay? Prompt ______ Medium ______ Slow ______
    4. Have you ever had difficulty in collecting? ____________
    5. What limit have you placed on the account? _____________
    6. Special information. ___________________________________

_In reply to the above_


                          BUNCE & COMPANY
                           89 STATE ST.
                          BALTIMORE, MD.

                                        July 29, 1923.

    Gregory Supply Co.,
      Baltimore, Md.


    In reply to your letter of October 14th in which you inquire
    concerning the responsibility of J. K. Cramer of New Sussex,
    Md., we are glad to help you with the following information.

    Mr. Cramer has had a charge account with our store during the
    last five years. Our records show that he has always met our
    bills in a satisfactory manner. His account is noted for a
    monthly limit of $300, but he has never reached it.

    Our own experience is that Mr. Cramer is a desirable customer.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Bunce & Company.


                          WALSH MACHINE CO.
                            29 ELM STREET
                            BALTIMORE, MD.

                                        July 30, 1923.

    Gregory Supply Co.,
      Baltimore, Md.


    Concerning Mr. J. K. C., about whom you inquired in your
    letter of October 14th, our records show that our experience
    with this account has not been satisfactory.

    We find that during the last five years in which he has had an
    account with us he has caused us considerable trouble with
    regard to his payments. At the present moment he owes us $240
    for purchases made approximately six months ago, to recover
    which amount we have instructed our attorneys to institute
    legal proceedings.

    We hope that this information will be of assistance to you.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Walsh Machine Co.

                            PLUM BROTHERS
                          2800 BROAD STREET
                          PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                        July 31, 1923.

    Gregory Supply Co.,
      614 Main Street,
        Baltimore, Md.


    We are glad to give you the information you wish concerning
    our experiences with the A. B. C. Company, about whom you
    inquire in your letter of April 9th.

    The company first came to us on November 8, 1920. On that
    date they purchased from us 50 lawn mowers at a total cost of
    $500. They took advantage of the discount by paying the bill
    on November 18th.

    In January, 1921, they gave us an order for 100 at a total
    cost of $900. This bill they paid in February.

    Their latest purchase from us was in July, 1921. At this time
    their order amounted to 25 lawn mowers. They paid the bill in
    October after we had sent them several requests for

    We trust this information will be of some value to you in
    determining just what amount of credit you may feel justified
    in extending to them.

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _H. Plum_,
                                            Plum Brothers.

_Offering credit_

                             DWIGHT & DAVIS
                             89 PARK STREET
                              ALBANY, N. Y.

                                        October 9, 1922.

    Mrs. Herbert Reid,
      1400 Fourth Avenue,
        Albany, N. Y.

    Dear Madam:

    Whenever you wish to come in and purchase without cash, it
    will be a great pleasure to us to open a charge account with

    We have made a record here in the store so that whenever you
    call it will have been arranged for you to purchase whatever
    you want.

    We think you will approve of the character of service and the
    quality of merchandise. We wish to win not only your
    patronage, but your friendship for our store.

    Every up-to-date woman realizes the many benefits, the
    conveniences, and even prestige she enjoys through having a
    charge account at a dependable store.

    A store, in turn, is judged by its charge accounts--it is
    rated by the women who have accounts there.

    And so, because of your standing in the community, if you
    avail yourself of our invitation to do your buying here, you
    are reflecting credit both on yourself and on us.

    We hope you will decide to let us serve you--all our
    facilities are completely at your service.

    We should like you to feel that our store is especially
    adapted to your needs.

                                        Yours very truly,
                           (Handwritten) _C. Dale_,
                                            Credit Manager,
                                              Dwight & Davis.

                         SUMMIT BOX COMPANY
                          KANSAS CITY, MO.

                                        November 13, 1923.

    George Harrow & Co.,
      29 Fifth Street,
        Kansas City, Mo.


    We want to thank you for your order of November 10th, with
    your check enclosed in full payment. We appreciate the
    business you have been giving us. The thought has frequently
    occurred to us that you may desire the advantages of an open
    account with us. We believe that such an arrangement will make
    transactions more convenient. We therefore have the pleasure
    of notifying you that we have noted your account for our
    regular credit terms of 2% 10 net 30, up to a limit of $500.

    We hope that both your business and our acquaintance with you
    will develop to such an extent that it will be a pleasure to
    extend to you from time to time larger credit accommodations
    to take care of your increasing needs.

    The business relations between us have been so agreeable that
    we feel they will continue so. Please remember that if we can
    ever be of assistance to you in helping you in your business
    we only ask that you call upon us.

                                        Very truly yours,
                           (Handwritten) _G. Harris_
                                            Credit Manager
                                              Summit Box Company.

Collection letters may very easily be overdone. The old idea was that
any expense or any threat was justified if it got the money, but among
the more advanced collection departments common sense has crept in, and
it has been ascertained by cost-finding methods that it is not worth
while to pursue a small account beyond a certain point and that when
that point is reached it is economy to drop the matter. How far it is
wise to go in attempting to collect an account is an affair of costs,
unless one has a penchant for throwing good money after bad.

The point to bear in mind in writing a collection letter is that it is a
collection letter--that it is an effort to get money which is owed. It
would not seem necessary to emphasize so entirely self-evident a point
were it not unfortunately sometimes overlooked and the collection letter
made an academic exercise. There is no excuse for a long series of
collection letters--say eight or ten of them. After a man has received
three or four letters you can take it for granted that he is beyond
being moved by words. You must then have recourse to some other mode of
reaching him. Drawing on a debtor is also of small use; the kind of a
man who will honor a collection draft would pay his bill anyhow.

If a debtor has assets and there is no dispute concerning the account,
he will usually pay. He may pay because you threaten him, but most
people with the ability to owe money are quite impervious to threats,
and although a threatening letter may seem to bring results, it can
never be the best letter because on the other side of the ledger must be
recorded the loss of the customer. The average writer of a collection
letter usually gets to threatening something or other and quite often
exposes himself to the danger of counter legal action. (See Chapter XI
on The Law of Letters.)

The most successful collection men do not threaten. The best of them
actually promote good-will through their handling of the accounts. The
bully-ragging, long-winded collection letter has no place in
self-respecting business. The so-called statements of collection by
which papers drawn up to resemble writs are sent through the mails, or
served, not only have no place in business but many of them are actually

The letters which are appended have been chosen both for their
effectiveness and their courtesy. They represent the best practice. It
is, by the way, not often wise for the creditor to set out his own need
for money as a reason why the debtor should pay the account. It is true
that the sympathy of the debtor may be aroused, but the tale of misery
may lead him to extend comfort rather than aid. However, several such
letters have been included, not because they are good but because
sometimes they may be used.

_Collection letters_

Most firms have adopted a series of collection letters beginning with
the routine card reminder of an overdue account and following with
gradually increasingly personal second, third, fourth, and so on,

_First letter--printed card_


                    STONE BROTHERS

_Second letter_

                            STONE BROTHERS
                               NEW YORK

                                        March 15, 1917.

    Miss Grace Duncan,
        146 Prospect Park West,
            Brooklyn, N. Y.

    Dear Madam:

    There appears an amount of $29.36 open in your name for the
    months of October to January which, according to our terms of
    sale, is now overdue, and if no adjustment is necessary, we
    trust you will kindly favor us with a check in settlement.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Stone Brothers, New York,
                             (Handwritten) _James Miller_,
                                              Collection Manager.

[Illustration: Specimens of business letterheads used by English firms]

_Third letter_

                            STONE BROTHERS
                               NEW YORK

                                        April 2, 1917.

    Miss Grace Duncan,
        146 Prospect Park West,
            Brooklyn, N. Y.

    Dear Madam:

    Our letters of February 15th and March 15th have brought no
    reply from you. Since they have not been returned by the Post
    Office we must presume that you received them.

    You naturally wish to keep your credit clear. We wish to have
    it clear. It is really a mutual affair. Will you not send a
    check and keep the account on a pleasant basis?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Stone Brothers,
                             (Handwritten) _James Miller_,
                                              Collection Manager.
    The amount is $29.36.

_Fourth letter_

                            STONE BROTHERS
                               NEW YORK

                                        April 16, 1917.

    Miss Grace Duncan,
      146 Prospect Park West,
        Brooklyn, New York.

    Dear Madam:

    We have no desire to resort to the law to collect the $29.36
    due us, but unless your remittance is in our hands by May 1st,
    we shall take definite steps for the legal collection of your
    account. May we hear from you at once?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Stone Brothers,
                             (Handwritten) _James Miller_,
                                              Collection Manager.

The following are collection letters of varying degrees of personal
tone. In these seven letters are given the body of the letter, with the
salutation and the complimentary close. Headings and signatures have
been omitted.

    Dear Sir:

    A statement is enclosed of your account, which is now past
    due. A remittance will be appreciated.

                                        Yours truly,

    Dear Madam:

    We desire to call your attention again to your past-due
    account for the month of January for $90.52, a statement of
    which was mailed to you several weeks ago. We shall appreciate
    receiving your check in payment of this account by return

                                        Very truly yours,


    Two weeks ago we mailed you a statement of account due at that
    time, and as we have heard nothing from you we thought it
    possible that our letter may have miscarried. We are sending
    you a duplicate of the former statement, which we hope may
    reach you safely and have your attention.

                                        Very truly yours,

_To follow the preceding letter_


    We call your attention to the enclosed statement of account
    which is now past due. We have sent you two statements
    previous to this, to which you seem to have given no

    It may be possible that you have overlooked the matter, but we
    hope this will be a sufficient reminder and that you will
    oblige us with a remittance without further delay.

                                        Very truly yours,

    Dear Sir:

    We are enclosing a statement of your account and we request as
    a special favor that you send us a remittance previous to the
    28th of this month if possible. The amount is small, but not
    the less important. We have unusually heavy obligations
    maturing on the first of next month and you will understand
    that for the proper conduct of business the flow of credit
    should not be dammed up.

    In looking over your account for the last few months, it
    occurs to us that we are not getting a great deal of your
    business. If this is due to any failure or negligence on our
    part, perhaps you will undertake to show us where we are
    lacking because we surely want all of your business that we
    can get.

                                        Very truly yours,

_Follow-up letters_

    Dear Sir:

    We wrote you on 18th February and enclosed a statement of your
    account. We hoped at the time that you would send us a check
    by return mail. If our account does not agree with your books,
    kindly let us know at once so that we may promptly adjust the

    We hope that you can accommodate us as requested in our
    previous letter and that we will hear from you by the 10th of
    March. We again assure you that a remittance at this
    particular time will be greatly appreciated.

    Also please remember that we want your orders, too. Prices on
    copper wire are likely to make a sharp advance within a few

                                        Very truly yours,

                                        January 19, 1921.

    Dear Sir:

    We are enclosing a statement showing the condition of your
    account at this writing, and we must ask you to be kind enough
    to do your utmost to forward us your check by return mail.

    Our fiscal year closes January 31st and it is naturally our
    pride and endeavor to have as many accounts closed and in good
    standing as is possible for the coming year, and this can
    materialize only with your kind coöperation.

                                        Very truly yours,


_Application for position as stenographer_

                                        648 West 168th Street,
                                          New York, N. Y.,
                                            April 4, 1922.

    Mr. B. C. Kellerman,
        1139 Broad Street,
            New York, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    This may interest you:

    I can take dictation at an average rate of 100 words a minute
    and I can read my notes. They are always accurate. If you will
    try me, you will find you do not have to repeat any dictation.
    I never misspell words.

    I am nineteen, a high school graduate, quick and accurate at
    figures. I have a good position now, uptown, but I should
    prefer to be with some large corporation downtown. I am
    interested in a position with room at the top.

    I am willing to work for $18 a week until I have demonstrated
    my ability and then I know you will think me worth more.

    A letter or a telephone message will bring me in any morning
    you say to take your morning's dictation, write your letters,
    and leave the verdict to you.

    Will you let me try?

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Edith Hoyt.
    Telephone Riverside 8100

_Application for position as secretary_

                                        149 East 56th Street,
                                          Chicago, Ill.,
                                            December 1, 1923.

    Mr. Ralph Hodge,
      Boone & Co.,
        2000 So. Michigan Ave.,
          Chicago, Ill.

    Dear Sir:

    This is in answer to your advertisement for a secretary. I
    have had the experience and training which would, I think
    enable me satisfactorily to fill such a position. I recognize,
    of course, that whatever my experience and training have been
    they would be worse than useless unless they could be modified
    to suit your exact requirements. (Here set out the

    The lowest salary I have ever received was twelve dollars a
    week, when I began work. The highest salary I have received
    was thirty dollars a week, but I think that it would be
    better to leave the salary matter open until it might be
    discovered whether I am worth anything or nothing.

    Very truly yours,
        (Miss) Mary Rogers.

_Answer to an advertisement from an applicant who has had no experience_

                                        245 East 83rd Street,
                                          Chicago, Ill.

    Mr. Ralph Hodge,
        Boone & Co.,
          2000 So. Michigan Ave.,
            Chicago, Ill.

    Dear Sir:

    This is in answer to your advertisement for a secretary, in
    which you ask that the experience of the applicant be set
    forth. I have had no experience whatsoever as a secretary.
    Therefore, although I might have a great deal to learn, I
    should have nothing to unlearn.

    I understand what is expected of a secretary, and I hope that
    I have at least the initial qualifications. I have had a fair
    education, having graduated from Central High School and the
    Crawford Business Academy, and I have done a great deal of
    reading. I am told that I can write a good letter. I know that
    I can take any kind of dictation and that I can transcribe it
    accurately, and I have no difficulty in writing letters from
    skeleton suggestions.

    Your advertisement does not give the particular sort of
    business that you are engaged in, but in the course of my
    reading I have gathered a working knowledge of economics,
    finance, business practice, and geography, some of which might
    be useful. I am writing this letter in spite of the fact that
    you specified that experience was necessary, because one of my
    friends, who is secretary to a very well-known corporation
    president, told me that she began in her present place quite
    without experience and found herself helped rather than
    handicapped by the lack of it.

    I am twenty-two years old and I can give you any personal or
    social references that you might care for. I have no ideas
    whatsoever on salary. In fact, it would be premature even to
    think of anything of the kind. What I am most anxious about is
    to have a talk with you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          (Miss) Margaret Booth.

_Applications for position as sales manager_

                                        1249 Huntington Ave.,
                                          Boston, Mass.

    Mr. Henry Jessup,
      White Manufacturing Co.,
        89 Milk Street,
          Columbus, O.

    Dear Sir:

    Mr. A. C. Brown of the Bronson Company tells me you are in
    immediate need of a sales manager for the Western Illinois

    Western Illinois offers a promising opportunity for the sale
    of farm implements and devices. During my experience with the
    Johnson & Jones Company, I got to know the people of this
    section very well, and I know how to approach them. The
    farmers are well-to-do and ready for improvements that will
    better their homes, lands, and stock. There could not be a
    better place to start.

    As Mr. Brown will tell you, I have been with the Bronson
    Company for five years. I started as clerk in the credit
    office, gradually working out into the field--first as
    investigator, then salesman, and for the last two years as
    sales manager of the Western Virginia territory. The returns
    from this field have increased 100 per cent. since I began.
    With the hearty coöperation of the men on the road, I have
    built up a system about which I should like to tell you. It
    would work out splendidly selling Defiance Harrows in Western

    My home is in Joliet and I want to make my headquarters there.
    I have no other reason for quitting the Bronson Company, who
    are very fair as far as salary and advancement are considered.

    My telephone number is Cherry 100. A wire or letter will bring
    me to Columbus to talk with you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Gerald Barbour.

                                        70 Blain Ave.,
                                          Boston, Mass.,
                                            May 4, 1921.

    Mr. John Force,
      6 Beacon Street,
        Boston, Mass.

    Dear Sir:

    This letter may be of some concern to you. I am not a man out
    of a job, but have what most men would consider one that is
    first-class. But I want to change, and if you can give me a
    little of your time, I will tell you why and how that fact may
    interest you.

    In a word, I have outgrown my present position. I want to get
    in touch with a business that is wide-awake and progressive;
    one that will permit me to work out, unhampered, my ideas on
    office organization and management--ideas that are
    well-founded, conservative, and efficient. My present position
    does not give play to initiative.

    If you at this time happen to be looking for a man really to
    manage your office, audit accounts, or take charge of credits,
    my qualifications and business record will show you that I am
    able to act in any or all of these capacities.

    I have written with confidence because I am sure of myself,
    and if I undertake to direct your work, you may be assured
    that it has a big chance of being successful.

    If you so desire, I shall be glad to submit references in a
    personal interview.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Clive Drew.
    Telephone Winthrop 559-w

_Answers to letters of application_

                     HARRISON NATIONAL BANK
                         TRENTON, N. J.

                                        February 2, 1923.

    Mr. James Russell,
        63 State Street,
            Trenton, N. J.

    Dear Sir:

    I wish to acknowledge your letter of application of December
    8th. At present we have no vacancies of the type you desire. I
    am, however, placing your application on file.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Samuel Caldwell.

                     HARRISON NATIONAL BANK
                         TRENTON, N. J.

                                        February 2, 1923.

    Mr. James Russell,
      63 State Street,
        Trenton, N. J.

    Dear Sir:

    I wish to acknowledge your letter of application of December
    8th. At present we have no vacancies of the type that you
    desire. However, I should be very glad to have a talk with you
    on December 12th at my office at four o'clock.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Samuel Caldwell.


_Letter asking for reference_

                                        468 Walnut Street,
                                          Philadelphia, Pa.,
                                            May 5, 1923.

    Mr. William Moyer,
      Triumph Hosiery Co.,
        4000 Broad Street,
          Philadelphia, Pa.

    My dear Mr. Moyer:

    I am looking for a position as cashier with the Bright Weaving
    Company. My duties there would be similar in every way to my
    work in your office, and a recommendation from you would help

    Mr. Sawyer, the first vice-president of the Bright Weaving
    Company, knows you personally, hence an opinion from you would
    have particular effect.

    Your kindness would be deeply appreciated, as have been all
    your kindnesses in the past.

                                      Yours very sincerely,
                                        Philip Rockwell.

A useful practice adopted by some firms is the requirement of a
photograph from every applicant for a position.

                       HADDON IRON WORKS
                       PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                        _Paste photograph
                                         of applicant here_
                                        April 30, 1917.

    B. F. Harlow & Co.,
        Paterson, N. J.

    Dear Sirs:

    Philip Smith (photo attached) has applied to us for a position
    as steamfitter.

    His application states that he has been in your employ for
    three years and that he is leaving to take a position in this

    As all applicants are required by us to furnish references as
    to character and ability, we shall appreciate your giving us
    the following information.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                  (Handwritten) _Samuel Sloane_,
                                          Employment Manager.

    Is his statement correct?
    Are his character and habits good?
    Had he the confidence of his employers?
    Can he fill the position for which he has applied?

    Remarks:                            Signed

_Some general letters of recommendation_

                                        March 4, 1923.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I have known the bearer, John Hope, for four years. He is of
    fine family and has been one of our most highly regarded young
    men. I would heartily recommend him.

                                        Richard Brown.

                                        April 18, 1922.


    The bearer, George Frothingham, is a young man of my
    acquaintance whom I know and whose family I have known for
    some time. They are splendid people. This boy is ambitious and
    thoroughly reliable. I hope you can find a place for him.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Gerald Law.

                                        June 16, 1922.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    This is to certify that the bearer, Ernest Hill, is an
    acquaintance of mine, a man whom I know to be thoroughly

                                        Harold Smith.

                                        July 12, 1923.

    Dear Sir:

    This is to certify that Joseph Rance has been in my employ for
    eighteen months. He is a most willing and able worker, honest,
    steady, and faithful. I regret that I was obliged to let him
    go from my employ. I feel very safe in highly recommending him
    to you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          George Bunce.

_Recommendation for a special position_

          BOSTON, MASS.

                                        October 10, 1921.

    Mr. Gordon Edwards,
      48 Tremont Street,
        Boston, Mass.

    Dear Mr. Edwards:

    At luncheon last Wednesday you mentioned that you were in need
    of another advertising writer. If the position is still open,
    I should like to recommend Mr. Bruce Walker.

    When I first met Mr. Walker he was with Bellamy, Sears & Co.,
    Boston, and was doing most of their newspaper advertising. His
    work was so good that I offered him a position as advertising
    writer with us. He accepted, with the approval of Bellamy
    Sears & Co., and has been with me for the last three years. He
    has written for us some of the best drawing copy that we ever
    used, and his work has been satisfactory in every way. He is
    original and modern in his advertising ideas, and knows how to
    express them forcefully but without exaggeration. His English
    is perfect.

    I shall greatly regret losing Mr. Walker, but I cannot advance
    him above his present position, and I agree with him that he
    is equal to a bigger position than he has here. I hope you can
    give him the opportunity that he seeks. If you will see him
    personally, you will oblige both him and me.

                                        Very sincerely yours,
                                          B. A. Yeomans.

_Thanks for recommendation_

                                        29 Kelley Ave.,
                                          Cleveland, O.,
                                            October 4, 1923.

    Mr. John Saunders,
      Jones Publishing Co.,
        Cleveland, O.

    My dear Mr. Saunders:

    Your influence and kindly interest have secured for me the
    position with Tully & Clark. I want to thank you for the
    excellent recommendation which you gave me and to assure you
    that I shall give my best attention to my new work.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          John Dillon.


The method of delivering letters of introduction is fully described
under social letters of introduction.

_Answer to a request for a letter of introduction_

                                        89 Grand Ave.,
                                          Detroit, Mich.,
                                            August 8, 1923.

    Mr. Albert Hall,
      29 Main Street,
        Detroit, Mich.

    My dear Mr. Hall:

    Accompanying this note you find letters of introduction which
    I hope will be what you want.

    I am glad to give you these letters and should you need any
    further assistance of this kind, please consider me at your

                                        Yours truly,
                                          Clement Wilks.

_General letters of introduction_

                                        89 Grand Ave.,
                                          Detroit, Mich.,
                                            August 8, 1923.

    This will introduce the bearer, Mr. Albert Hall, whom I
    personally know as being a gentleman in conduct and

    Any courtesy shown to Mr. Hall I shall consider a favor to
    myself, and I ask for him all possible attention and service.

                                        Clement Wilks.

                                        June 9, 1923.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    The bearer, David Clark, has been an acquaintance of mine for
    five years. He is a young man of good habits. I would
    recommend him for any position within his ability.

                                        Ellery Saunders.

_Special introduction_

(The inside address, heading, and signature are to be supplied)

    Dear Sir:

    Mr. Walter Green, whom this will introduce to you, is a
    member of our Credit Department. He is visiting New York
    on a personal matter, but he has offered to make a personal
    investigation of the Crump case and I have advised him to see
    you, as the man who knows most about that affair. If you can
    find the time to give him a brief interview, you will do him
    a favor, and I also shall appreciate it.

    Yours very truly,

_Introducing a stenographer in order to secure a position for her_

                                        100 Wall Street,
                                          New York, N. Y.,
                                            February 6, 1921.

    Mr. William Everett,
      347 Madison Avenue,
        New York, N. Y.

    My dear Mr. Everett:

    The bearer of this letter, Miss Mildred Bryan, my
    stenographer, is available for a position, owing to the fact
    that I am moving my office to Cincinnati.

    She is an unusually competent young woman--quick, accurate,
    intelligent, and familiar with the routine of a law office.

    If you need a stenographer, you cannot do better than engage
    Miss Bryan, and I am taking the liberty of giving her this
    letter for you.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                          Howard S. Briggs.


_Requests for information_

                                        Bradford Mills, Pa.,
                                          August 9, 1923.

    Dr. Louis Elliott,
        29 Walnut Street,
            Philadelphia, Pa.

    My dear Dr. Elliott:

    I am writing a paper on Vitamines to be read before the
    Mothers' Club, an organization of Bradford Mills mothers.

    I have drawn most of my material from your article in the
    _Medical Magazine_, acknowledging, of course, the source of my
    information. There are several points, however, on which I am
    not clear. As it is of great importance that this subject be
    presented to the mothers correctly, I am addressing you
    personally to get the facts.

        1. Am I to understand that no other foods than those
        you mention contain these vitamines?

        2. Are all the classes of vitamines necessary to life
        and will a child fed on foods containing all the known
        vitamines be better conditioned than one fed on only
        one kind?

    I shall greatly appreciate your answering my questions. The
    members of the club have shown surprising interest in this
    matter of food.

                                        Yours sincerely,
                                          Mabel Manners.

                                    128 East Forty-Sixth Street,
                                      New York, N. Y.,
                                        June 15, 1922.

    The Prentiss Candy Co.,
      Long Island City, N. Y.


    The _Better Food Magazine_, to which I am a contributor, has
    asked me to make an investigation of the manufacture of the
    most widely advertised foods, with a view to writing an
    article on foods for the magazine.

    I should like if possible to talk with someone and to make a
    short visit to the factory. If you can arrange an appointment
    for me during the next week, will you let me know? I shall
    greatly appreciate it.

                                        Very truly yours,
                                   (Miss) Vera Henderson.

_Answers to letters of inquiry_

                         THE PRENTISS CANDY CO.
                        LONG ISLAND CITY, N. Y.

                                                  June 17, 1922.
    Miss Vera Henderson,
      128 East Forty-Sixth Street,
        New York, N. Y.

    Dear Madam:

    We have your letter of 15th June and we shall be glad to give
    you any assistance in our power.

    If you will call at the factory office next week on Tuesday
    the 22nd or Wednesday the 23rd and present the enclosed card
    to Mr. Jones, you will get all the information you desire.

                                    Very truly yours,
                       (Handwritten) _B. J. Clark_,
                                       The Prentiss Candy Co.

                PINE GROVE LODGE, STANTON, N. Y.

                                                  May 6, 1921.

      Mr. Charles Keith,
        4000 Madison Ave.,
          New York, N. Y.

    Dear Sir:

    We have your letter of May 4th and in answer we are enclosing
    some of our descriptive literature.

    We can offer you absolute comfort together with an almost
    matchless environment in the points of beauty and of
    suitability for all sports.

    Our rates are on the American plan. We have the finest American
    plan kitchen and table anywhere. We enclose a menu. Our single
    rooms with private bath are $50, $62, and $70 per week up for
    one person. Rooms without bath, but with hot and cold running
    water and adjacent to bath are $45 per week. Double rooms with
    private bath and furnished with two single beds are $95, $105,
    and $115 per week up for two persons. Rooms for two without bath
    are $80 per week. These rates hold until September 1st.

    The difference in rates is caused by the size and location of
    rooms, but every room is furnished with taste and care. The
    decorations have been carefully thought out. There are no
    undesirable rooms at the Lodge and every room is an outside
    room. Those on the east overlook the 120-acre golf course with
    a magnificent view of the mountains, and those on the west front
    the wooded slopes of Sunset Mountain.

    Stanton affords the greatest combination of scenery, health-giving
    climate, and facilities for enjoyment. Add to this the comforts
    and luxuries of a modern hotel such as Pine Grove Lodge and the
    result is perfect.

    We feel quite sure you will find a visit here restful or
    lively--as you will. One of the attractions of the place is its
    facilities for occupying oneself in one's own way. We shall be
    glad to make reservation for you at any time or to answer any
    further inquiries.

                                        Yours very truly,
                                          Pine Grove Lodge.

If you should receive an inquiry for advice, opinion, or information,
which you do not care, for some reason, to give, you should at least
reply stating that you cannot comply with the request, in as courteous a
manner as possible.



A considerable part of the day's run of correspondence in a business
office has to do with not more than half-a-dozen subjects. Quotations
will be asked for. Tenders will be made. Complaints will be made and
received. Adjustments of various kinds will be done, and so on, through
a list that varies with the particular business of the office. It is
advisable to keep the tone of correspondence on a fairly uniform level.
Therefore if each letter has to be individually dictated, only a man
mentally equipped to write letters can do the dictating. The time of
such a man is expensive and often might better be devoted to other
matters. Hence the invention of what is known as a form paragraph, which
is a standardized paragraph that can be used with slight variations as a
section of a great many letters.

The result is that most routine mail does not have to be dictated. A
letter is merely read, the essential facts dictated or noted on the
letter itself, and certain symbols added which tell the stenographer the
form paragraphs that are to be used. The letter is then almost
mechanically produced. Some companies have gone so extensively into the
writing of form paragraphs that they have sections covering practically
every subject that can arise. This possibly carrying the idea too far.
Convenience may become inconvenience, and there is of course always the
danger of getting in a slightly unsuitable paragraph which will reveal
to the reader that the letter has not been personally dictated. However,
a certain number of form paragraphs considerably reduces the cost of
letter writing and also conduces to the raising of the standards, for
the mere reading of well-phrased form letters will often induce in an
otherwise poor correspondent a certain regard for clear expression.

The proper form paragraphs that any concern may profitably use are a
matter of specific investigation. The way to get at the list of useful
forms is to take all of the letters received and all of the letters
written during, say, one or two months and then classify them. A number
of letters will have to do with purely individual cases. These letters
should be discarded. They are letters which would have to be personally
dictated in any event and there is no use wasting time composing forms
for them. The remaining letters will fall into divisions, and through
these divisions it will become apparent what points in the
correspondence arise so frequently and in so nearly the same form as to
be capable of being expressed in form paragraphs.

There will probably be a number of subjects which can be covered fully
by two or three form letters, but a nicer adjustment will usually be
had by thinking of form paragraphs rather than of form letters, for
skillfully drawn and skillfully used form paragraphs will so closely
simulate the personal letter as to leave no doubt in the mind of the
reader that considerable trouble has been taken to put the matter before
him courteously and exactly.



Children's letters may be written on ordinary stationery, but it adds a
good deal of interest to their letter writing if they may use some of
the several pretty, special styles to be had at any good stationer's.

The following examples of children's letters include:

    Letter of invitation from a child to a child.
    Letter of invitation from a parent to a child.
    Letter from a parent to a parent inviting a child.
    Letter of thanks to an aunt for a gift.
    Letter to a sick playmate.
    Letter to a teacher.
    Letter to a grandmother on her birthday.

_Invitation to a birthday party_

      April 14, 1921.

    Dear Frank:

    I am going to have a birthday party next Friday afternoon,
    from three-thirty until six o'clock. I hope you will come
    and help us to have a good time.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Harriet Evans.
    500 Park Avenue


                                        439 Manhattan Avenue,
                                          April 16, 1921.

    Dear Harriet:

    It is so kind of you to ask me to your birthday party next
    Friday afternoon. I shall be very glad to come.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Frank Dawson.


                                        439 Manhattan Avenue,
                                          April 16, 1921.

    Dear Harriet:

    I am very sorry that I cannot go to your birthday party on next
    Friday. My mother is taking me to visit my cousin, so I shall
    be away.

    Thank you for asking me. I hope you will all have a great deal
    of fun.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Frank Dawson.

_Invitation from a parent to a child_

    Dear Ethel:

    The twins are going to have a little party on Friday afternoon
    and they would like you to come. Can you come at three-thirty?

    Tell your mother we will arrange that you get home at six.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Katherine G. Evans.

_From a parent to another parent_

    Dear Mrs. Heywood:

    Dorothy will have a birthday on Tuesday, the thirteenth of June.
    We are planning, if the weather is fine, to have a lawn party.
    Otherwise we shall have it in the house. She hopes that you will
    let Madeline come and I am sure they will all have a good time.

    If you send Madeline at four I will see that she returns home
    at six.

                                        Cordially yours,
                                          Bernice Lawson Grant.

_To a friend_

                                          Lancaster County, Pa.,
                                            June 14, 1922.

    Dear Bob:

    Will you visit us on the farm during your summer vacation? Father
    has bought me a boat and we can go fishing and swimming. Mabel has
    a pony and I know she will let us ride him.

    Please let me know if you may come and if you may stay two weeks.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Roger Palmer.

_Thanks for a gift:_

                                        159 West Tenth Street.
                                          December 12, 1921.

    Dear Aunt Louise:

    You were wonderful to think of sending me those fine skates for my
    birthday. They are just the kind I wanted and I wish to thank you.
    I shall take good care of them.

                                        Your affectionate nephew,
                                          John Orr.

_To a sick playmate_

                                        46 Elmwood Avenue,
                                          June 16, 1922.

    Dear Dorothy:

    I am so sorry you are ill, but your mother says you are getting
    better. If you like, I shall let you have my book with the poem
    called "The Land of Counterpane." It is about a sick little boy
    who is playing with his toy soldiers and people and villages. In
    the picture they seem to be making him forget he is sick.

    All the boys and girls hope you will soon be out to play again.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Betty Foster.

_To a teacher_

                                        500 Park Avenue,
                                          New York, N. Y.,
                                            February 8, 1920.

    Dear Miss Sewell:

    I want to thank you for your kindness in helping me with my
    studies, especially arithmetic. Without your help I should
    not have been able to pass my examinations.

    Mother asks that you will come some day next week to take
    tea with us.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                          Susan Evans.

_To a grandparent_

    Dear Grandmother:

    I wish you a very happy birthday and I hope you will like the
    present I sent you. Mother helped me to make it.

    I send you my best love.

                                    Your loving grandchild,

Here is a charming letter[17] that Helen Keller when she was ten years
of age wrote to John Greenleaf Whittier on the occasion of his birthday:

                                        South Boston, Dec. 17, 1890.

    Dear Kind Poet,

    This is your birthday; that was the first thought which came
    into my mind when I awoke this morning; and it made me glad
    to think I could write you a letter and tell you how much your
    little friends love their sweet poet and his birthday. This
    evening they are going to entertain their friends with
    readings from your poems and music. I hope the swift winged
    messengers of love will be here to carry some of the sweet
    melody to you, in your little study by the Merrimac. At first
    I was very sorry when I found that the sun had hidden his
    shining face behind dull clouds, but afterwards I thought why
    he did it, and then I was happy. The sun knows that you like
    to see the world covered with beautiful white snow and so he
    kept back all his brightness, and let the little crystals form
    in the sky. When they are ready, they will softly fall and
    tenderly cover every object. Then the sun will appear in all
    his radiance and fill the world with light. If I were with you
    to-day I would give you eighty-three kisses, one for each year
    you have lived. Eighty-three years seems very long to me. Does
    it seem long to you? I wonder how many years there will be in
    eternity. I am afraid I cannot think about so much time. I
    received the letter which you wrote to me last summer, and
    I thank you for it. I am staying in Boston now at the
    Institution for the Blind, but I have not commenced my
    studies yet, because my dearest friend, Mr. Anagnos, wants
    me to rest and play a great deal.

    Teacher is well and sends her kind remembrance to you. The
    happy Christmas time is almost here! I can hardly wait for the
    fun to begin! I hope your Christmas Day will be a very happy
    one and that the New Year will be full of brightness and joy
    for you and every one.

                                        From your little friend
                                          Helen A. Keller.

[17] This and the letter following are from "The Story of My Life," by
Helen Keller. Copyright, 1902, 1903, by Helen Keller. Published in book
form by Doubleday, Page & Co.

And the distinguished poet's reply:

    My dear Young Friend:

    I was very glad to have such a pleasant letter on my birthday. I
    had two or three hundred others and thine was one of the most
    welcome of all. I must tell thee about how the day passed at Oak
    Knoll. Of course the sun did not shine, but we had great open wood
    fires in the rooms, which were all very sweet with roses and other
    flowers, which were sent to me from distant friends; and fruits of
    all kinds from California and other places. Some relatives and
    dear old friends were with me through the day. I do not wonder
    thee thinks eighty-three years a long time, but to me it seems but
    a very little while since I was a boy no older than thee, playing
    on the old farm at Haverhill. I thank thee for all thy good
    wishes, and wish thee as many. I am glad thee is at the
    Institution; it is an excellent place. Give my best regards to
    Miss Sullivan, and with a great deal of love I am

                                        Thy old friend,
                                          John G. Whittier.



Perhaps the most important thing to guard against in the writing of
telegrams is a choice of words which, when run together, may be read two
ways. As there should be no punctuation (and telegraph companies do not
hold themselves responsible for punctuation) the sentences must be
perfectly clear. There are instances where the use of punctuation has
caused trouble.

In cases where punctuation is absolutely necessary, as for instance when
more than one subject must be covered in the same message, the word
"stop" is employed to divide the sentences, as:

    Will arrive eight-thirty Wednesday stop telephone Gaines am
    coming stop will be at Hotel Pennsylvania

Therefore write sentences so that when they are run together there is
only one interpretation.

Use no salutation or complimentary closing. Leave out all words that are
not necessary to the meaning. Omit first-person pronouns where they are
sure to be understood. Do not divide words in a telegram. Compound words
are accepted as one word. Numbers should be spelled out, principally
because it is more likely to insure correct transmission, and secondly
because it costs less. For example, in the ordinal 24th the suffix _th_
is counted as another word.

The minimum charge for telegrams is the cost of ten words, not counting
the name, address, and signature. Nothing is saved by cutting the
message to less than ten words. There is a certain fixed rate of charge
for every word over ten.

In counting the words, count as one word the following:

      I--Every word in the name of an individual or a concern as:
         Clive and Meyer Co. (four words) DeForest and Washburn Co.
         (four words also, as DeForest is counted as one word).

     II--Every dictionary word. In the case of cablegrams, words of
         over fifteen letters are counted as two words.

    III--Every separate letter as the "M" in "George M. Sykes"
         (three words).

     IV--Every figure in a number as 598 (three words).

      V--Names of states, territories, counties, cities, and villages.

     VI--Weights and measures, decimal points, punctuation marks
         within the sentence.

To save expense in long messages codes can be used in which one word
stands for several words. The Western Union has an established code--or
private codes can be arranged. Five letters are allowed as one code
word. A word of six or seven letters will thus count as two words.

In cablegrams the use of codes is common on account of the higher rate
for cablegrams. Since the name, address, date, and signature are all
counted, code words are frequently used for the name and address. Code
language is allowed only in the first class of cable messages.


A graceful, concise, pertinent, and well-worded "occasional" telegram is
frequently not easy to write. The following forms are suggested for the
composition of some of these telegrams. The longer forms can be sent
most cheaply as Night Letters or Day Letters. A Night Letter of fifty
words can be sent for the cost of a ten-word full-rate telegram, i.e.,
from 30 cents to $1.20, depending on the distance. A Day Letter of fifty
words can be sent for one and one half the cost of a ten-word full-rate
message, i.e., from 45 cents to $1.80, depending on the distance.

_New Year greetings_

    Best wishes for the New Year. May it bring to you and your
    family health, happiness, peace, and prosperity. May it see your
    hopes fulfilled and may it be rich in the successful
    accomplishment of your highest aims.

    Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

    May peace and happiness be yours in the New Year. May fortune
    smile upon you and favor you with many blessings.

    I (We) wish you a Happy New Year, a year big with success and
    achievement, a year rich with the affection of those who are
    dear to you, a year mellow with happiness and contentment.

    What the coming year may hold we can none of us foresee. It is
    my (our) earnest wish that for you it may bring forth a generous
    harvest of happiness and good fortune.

    May the coming year and all that succeed it deal lightly and
    kindly with you.

    May the coming year bring you happiness in fullest measure.

    We think of you with the affection born of our long friendship
    which the recurring year only strengthens.

    May the New Year bring you health, happiness, and all other good

    Health, happiness, and contentment, may these be yours in the
    New Year.

    May health, happiness, and prosperity be yours in bountiful
    measure in the year to come.

    May the New Year be a good year to you and yours--full of health
    and happiness.

    May each of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the New
    Year be a happy one for you.

    The happiest of New Years to you and yours.

    May the New Year find you in the enjoyment of health and

_Easter greetings_

    Our thoughts turn to you with affection and best wishes at this
    Easter season with the hope that peace, prosperity, and plenty
    may attend your life to-day and through all your days to come.

    Easter Greeting from a friend who thinks of you with constant

     This Easter Greeting carries to you the affection of an old

    May this Easter Day find you in the enjoyment of health and

    Best wishes for a happy Easter.

    Best wishes for a happy Easter Day. May your future ever be as
    bright as the Springtime.

    Just a message to a friend, to convey to you my wish that this
    Easter may bring you happiness and good fortune.

    May Easter gladness fill your heart to-day and may all good
    attend you.

    I (We) Wish you joy and happiness at this Eastertide.

    May happiness and health be yours on this Easter Day and in the
    days to come.

    We all join in best wishes for a happy Easter Day to you and
    your family.

    Easter Greetings to you and yours.

    May your Easter be a bright and happy one.

    We all wish you and yours a happy Easter.

    Love and best wishes for a happy Easter.

    My (Our) Easter Greetings go to you. May the day be a joyful one
    for you.

_Thanksgiving Day greetings_

    Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving Day.

    Good cheer and plenty, the love of your dear ones, the affection
    of your friends, may all these contribute to a happy
    Thanksgiving Day.

    May your Thanksgiving Day be a day of happiness and contentment.

    May your Thanksgiving Day be full of happiness and all good

    That I am (we are) not at home to-day to join in the festivities
    is a great sorrow to me (us). Love to all the dear family.

    I never forget the joy of this day at home. Love from one far

    Although I (we) cannot be with you to-day I (we) have the memory
    of past Thanksgiving Days at home. God bless you all.

    Think of me (us) as being with you in spirit. My (Our) love to
    you all.

    Let us never fail to be thankful that the years only increase
    the strength of our long friendship.

    It is with great thanksgiving that I (we) think of my (our) dear
    ones at home.

    My (Our) one wish this Thanksgiving Day is that I (we) might be
    with you. Affectionate wishes for your happiness.

    Though I (we) cannot be with you at the Thanksgiving Day board,
    my (our) thoughts are with you to-day.

    Around the family table think of me (us) as I (we) absent, shall
    think of you. My (Our) love to all.

    I (We) can picture you all at home. How I (we) long to be with
    you. My (Our) love to all the family.

_Christmas greetings_

    Every good wish for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous
    New Year. I need not tell you with what affection we are
    thinking of you and yours at this Christmas season. God bless
    you all.

    Every good wish for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous
    New Year.

    My (Our) very best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    May your Christmas be a very happy one.

    Merry Christmas to you and all the family.

    We all join in wishing you a Merry Christmas.

    All affection and good wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and

    That your Christmas be a very happy one is the wish of your
    sincere friend.

    May Christmas bring you joy and happiness.

    You are constantly in my (our) thoughts which carry to you
    to-day all affectionate wishes for a Happy Christmas.

    A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Love and a Merry Christmas to you all.

    May your Christmas be a merry one and the New Year full of

    Affectionate greetings for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New

    May this Christmas find you well and happy. Love and best wishes
    to you and yours.

    May Christmas bring you naught but joy and banish all care and

    ---- joins me in very best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

    A Merry Christmas to all the dear ones at home.

    It is my (our) dearest wish that I (we) might be with you at
    this season of happiness and good-will--Merry Christmas and
    Happy New Year.

_Birthday greetings_

    Many happy returns of the day. My (Our) affectionate thoughts
    and every good wish go to you on this your birthday.

    May each succeeding year bring to you the best satisfaction
    which life holds.

    Many happy returns of the day.

    Best wishes for a happy birthday.

    Best wishes for your birthday. May all your ways be pleasant
    ways and all your days be happy days.

    Birthday greetings. I (We) wish you a long life and everything
    that makes a long life worth living.

    Best wishes for your birthday. May you live long and prosper.

     My (Our) thoughts are with you on your birthday. May all your
    days be happy days.

    I (We) wish you many happy years blessed with health, success,
    and friendship and filled with all the best that life can hold.

    We all join in best wishes for a very happy birthday and many
    years of health and prosperity.

    We all join in best wishes for a very happy birthday.

    May your birthday mark the dawn of a year of health, happiness,
    and good fortune.

_Wedding messages_

    Sincerest congratulations to the bride and groom from an old
    friend who wishes you both years of health, happiness, and
    prosperity. May the future hold only the best for you that this
    world can give.

    Heartiest congratulations. I (We) wish you many years of

    Mrs. ---- and I join in heartiest congratulations.

    Hearty congratulations. May your years be many and happy ones.

    My (Our) sincerest and best wishes for your happiness.

    We all join in hearty congratulations and best wishes.

    May happiness, health, and prosperity be with you through the
    years to come.

    May all good fortune attend you, may your sky ever be bright,
    may no clouds of sorrow or trouble shadow it, and may your path
    be long and filled with joy.

    Every happiness be yours dear ---- on this your Wedding Day.

    Let an old family friend send his (her) love and congratulations
    to the bride and groom.

    May all good fairies watch over you. May they keep far from you
    all care and sorrow and brighten your path with sunshine and

    To the bride and groom, love and congratulations from an old

     May this day be the beginning of a long, happy, and prosperous
    life for you both.

_On the birth of a child_

    Love to the dear mother and her little son (daughter).

    Heartiest congratulations and love to mother and son (daughter).

    We rejoice with you in the happiness that has come into your
    lives. Love to mother and son (daughter).

    My best wishes to the newly arrived son (daughter) and to his
    (her) mother.

    We are all (I am) delighted to hear the news. Hearty

    A warm welcome to the new arrival and best wishes for his (her)
    health and happiness.

    To the dear mother and her little son (daughter) love and every
    good wish.

    Hearty congratulations on the arrival of the new son (daughter).

_Messages of condolence_

    You have my heartfelt sympathy in this hour of your bereavement.
    I wish I might find words in which to express my sorrow at your
    loss which is also mine. May you have the strength to bear this
    great affliction.

    You have my (our) heartfelt sympathy.

    My (Our) heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow.

    I (We) want you to know with what tender sympathy I am (We are)
    thinking of you in these days of your bereavement.

    My (Our) sincere and heartfelt sympathy.

    I (We) have just heard of your great affliction. Let me (us)
    send to you my (our) heartfelt sympathy.

    My (Our) sincere sympathy.

     In the death of your dear father
    (mother--wife--sister--brother) I (we) have lost one whom it was
    my (our) privilege to call my (our) friend. My (our) heartfelt
    sympathy goes out to you in your sorrow.

    ---- joins me in the expression of our deepest sympathy.

    My (Our) love and sympathy go out to you in your great sorrow.

    I (We) share your sorrow for I (we) have lost a dear friend. All
    love and sympathy to you and yours.

    I (We) send you my (our) heartfelt sympathy. To have enjoyed the
    friendship of your father (husband--brother) I (we) hold one of
    the greatest privileges of my life (our lives).

    My (Our) sincere sympathy goes out to you in your heavy

    My (Our) love and sympathy in your sudden affliction.

    I am (We are) greatly shocked at the sad news. You have my (our)
    deepest sympathy.

    My (Our) deepest sympathy in your great loss. If there is
    anything I (we) can do, do not hesitate to let me (us) know.

_Congratulation to a school or college graduate_

    May your future be as successful as have been your school
    (college) days. Heartiest congratulations upon your graduation.

    I am (We are) proud of your success. May the future grant you
    opportunity and the fulfillment of your hopes.

    I (We) hear that you have taken class honors. Sincerest
    congratulations and best wishes.

    May your Class Day be favored with sunny skies and your life be
    full of happiness and success.

    Sincerest congratulations upon your graduation.

    Congratulations upon your school (college) success, so happily
    terminated to-day.

    I (We) regret that I (we) cannot be with you to-day to see you
    take your new honors. Sincerest congratulations.

_Congratulation to a public man_

    Heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.

    We have just heard of your success. Sincere congratulations
    and best wishes for the future.

    Heartiest congratulations on your nomination (election).

    Your nomination (election) testifies to the esteem in which you
    are held by your fellow citizens. Heartiest congratulations.

    Congratulations on your victory, a hard fight, well won by the
    best man.

    Your splendid majority must be a great satisfaction to you.
    Sincerest congratulations on your election.

    Congratulations upon your nomination. You will have the support
    of the best element in the community and your election should be
    a foregone conclusion. I wish you every success.

    You fought a good fight in a good cause. Heartiest
    congratulations on your splendid success.

    Nothing in your career should fill you with greater satisfaction
    than your successful election. I congratulate you with all my

    No man deserves success more than you. You have worked hard for
    your constituents and they appreciate it. Heartiest

    Your nomination (election) is received with the greatest
    enthusiasm by your friends here and by none more than myself.
    Heartiest congratulations.

    I congratulate you upon your new honors won by distinguished
    services to your fellow citizens.

    Your campaign was vigorous and fine. Your victory testifies to
    the people's confidence in you and your cause. Warmest

    Congratulations upon your well-won victory and best wishes for
    your future success.

    You deserve your splendid success. Sincerest congratulations.

    I cannot refrain from expressing my personal appreciation of
    your eloquent address. Warmest congratulations.

    Your address last night was splendid. What a gift you have.
    Sincerest congratulations.

    Heartiest congratulations on your splendid speech of last
    night. Everybody is praising it.



There are forty-eight states in this Union, and each of them has its own
laws and courts. In addition we have the Federal Government with its own
laws and courts. In one class of cases, the Federal courts follow the
state laws which govern the particular occasion; in another class of
cases, notably in those involving the interpretation or application of
the United States statutes, the Federal courts follow Federal law. There
is not even a degree of uniformity governing the state laws, and
especially is this true in criminal actions, for crimes are purely
statutory creations.

Therefore it is extremely misleading to give any but the vaguest and
most elementary suggestions on the law which governs letters. To be
clear and specific means inevitably to be misleading. I was talking with
a lawyer friend not long since about general text-books on law which
might be useful to the layman. He was rather a commercially minded
person and he spoke fervently:

"If I wanted to build up a practice and I did not care how I did it, I
should select one hundred well-to-do people and see that each of them
got a copy of a compendium of business law. Then I should sit back and
wait for them to come in--and come in they would, for every mother's son
of them would decide that he had a knowledge of the law and cheerfully
go ahead getting himself into trouble."

Sharpen up a man's knowledge of the law and he is sure to cut himself.
For the law is rarely absolute. Most questions are of mixed fact and
law. Were it otherwise, there would be no occasion for juries, for,
roughly, juries decide facts. The court decides the application of the
law. The layman tends to think that laws are rules, when more often they
are only guides. The cheapest and best way to decide points of law is to
refer them to counsel for decision. Unless a layman will take the time
and the trouble most exhaustively to read works of law and gain
something in the nature of a working legal knowledge, he had best take
for granted that he knows nothing whatsoever of law and refer all legal
matters to counsel.

There are, however, a few principles of general application that may
serve, not in the stead of legal knowledge, but to acquaint one with the
fact that a legal question may be involved, for legal questions by no
means always formally present themselves in barristers' gowns. They
spring up casually and unexpectedly.

Take the whole question of contract. A contract is not of necessity a
formal instrument. A contract is a meeting of minds. If I say to a man:
"Will you cut my lawn for ten dollars?" and he answers, "Yes," as valid
a contract is established as though we had gone to a scrivener and had
covered a folio of parchment with "Whereases" and "Know all men by these
presents" and "Be it therefore" and had wound up with red seals and
ribbons. But of course many legal questions could spring out of this
oral agreement. We might dispute as to what was meant by cutting the
lawn. And then, again, the time element would enter. Was the agreement
that the lawn should be cut the next day, or the next month, or the next
year? Contracts do not have to be in writing. All that the writing does
is to make the proof of the exact contract easier.

If we have the entirety of a contract within the four corners of a sheet
of paper, then we need no further evidence as to the existence of the
contract, although we may be in just as hopeless a mess trying to define
what the words of the contract mean. If we have not a written contract,
we have the bother of introducing oral evidence to show that there was a
contract. Most contracts nowadays are formed by the interchange of
letters, and the general point to remember is that the acceptance must
be in terms of the offer. If X writes saying: "I will sell you twenty
tons of coal at fifteen dollars a ton," and Y replies: "I will take
thirty tons of coal at thirteen dollars a ton," there is no contract,
but merely a series of offers. If, however, X ships the thirty tons of
coal, he can hold Y only at thirteen dollars a ton for he has abandoned
his original offer and accepted Y's offer. It can be taken as a general
principle that if an offer be not accepted in its terms and a new
condition be introduced, then the acceptance really becomes an offer,
and if the one who made the original offer goes ahead, it can be assumed
that he has agreed to the modifications of the unresponsive acceptance.
If X writes to Y making an offer, one of the conditions of which is that
it must be accepted within ten days, and Y accepts in fifteen days, then
X can, if he likes, disregard the acceptance, but he can waive his
ten-day time limit and take Y's acceptance as a really binding

Another point, sometimes of considerable importance, concerns the time
when a letter takes effect, and this is governed by the question of fact
as to whom the Post Office Department is acting for. If, in making an
offer, I ask for a reply by mail or simply for a reply, I constitute the
mail as my agent, and the acceptor of that offer will be presumed to
have communicated with me at the moment when he consigns his letter to
the mails. He must give the letter into proper custody--that is, it must
go into the regular and authorized channels for the reception of mail.
That done, it makes no difference whether or not the letter ever reaches
the offerer. It has been delivered to his agent, and delivery to an
agent is delivery to the principal. Therefore, it is wise to specify in
an offer that the acceptance has to be actually received.

The law with respect to the agency of the mails varies and turns
principally upon questions of fact.

Letters may, of course, be libelous. The law of libel varies widely
among the several states, and there are also Federal laws as well as
Postal Regulations covering matters which are akin to libel. The answer
to libel is truth, but not always, for sometimes the truth may be spread
with so malicious an intent as to support an action. It is not well to
put into a letter any derogatory or subversive statement that cannot be
fully proved. This becomes of particular importance in answering
inquiries concerning character or credit, but in practically every case
libel is a question of fact.

Another point that arises concerns the property in a letter. Does he who
receives a letter acquire full property in it? May he publish it without
permission? In general he does not acquire full property. Mr. Justice
Story, in a leading case, says:

"The author of any letter or letters, and his representatives, whether
they are literary letters or letters of business, possess the sole and
exclusive copyright therein; and no person, neither those to whom they
are addressed, nor other persons, have any right or authority to publish
the same upon their own account or for their benefit."

But then, again, there are exceptions.



Discovering the exact cost of a letter is by no means an easy affair.
However, approximate figures may always be had and they are extremely
useful. The cost of writing an ordinary letter is quite surprising. Very
few letters can be dictated, transcribed, and mailed at a cost of much
less than twelve cents each. The factors which govern costs are variable
and it is to be borne in mind that the methods for ascertaining costs as
here given represent the least cost and not the real cost--they simply
tell you "Your letter costs at least this sum." They do not say "Your
letter costs exactly this sum." The cost of a form letter, mailed in
quantities, can be gotten at with considerable accuracy. The cost of
letters dictated by correspondents or by credit departments or other
routine departments is also capable of approximation with fair accuracy,
but the cost of a letter written by an executive can really hardly be
more than guessed at. But in any case a "not-less-than" cost can be had.

In recent years industrial engineers have done a great deal of work in
ascertaining office costs and have devised many useful plans for
lowering them. These plans mostly go to the saving of stenographers'
time through suitable equipment, better arrangement of supplies, and
specialization of duties. For instance, light, the kind or height of
chair or desk, the tension of the typewriter, the location of the paper
and carbon paper, all tend to make or break the efficiency of the typist
and are cost factors. In offices where a great deal of routine mail is
handled, the writing of the envelopes and the mailing is in the hands of
a separate department of specialists with sealing and stamp affixing
machines. The proper planning of a correspondence department is a
science in itself, and several good books exist on the subject. But all
of this has to do with the routine letter.

When an executive drawing a high salary must write a letter, it is his
time and not the time of the stenographer that counts. He cannot be kept
waiting for a stenographer, and hence it is economy for him to have a
personal secretary even if he does not write enough letters to keep a
single machine busy through more than a fraction of a day. Many busy men
do not dictate letters at all; they have secretaries skilled in letter
writing. In fact, a man whose salary exceeds thirty thousand dollars a
year cannot afford to write a letter excepting on a very important
subject. He will commonly have a secretary who can write the letter
after only a word or two indicating the subject matter. Part of the
qualification of a good secretary is an ability to compose letters which
are characteristic of the principal.

Take first the cost of a circular letter--one that is sent out in
quantities without any effort to secure a personal effect. The items of
cost are:

    (1) The postage.

    (2) The paper and printing.

    (3) The cost of addressing, sealing, stamping, and mailing.

The third item is the only one that offers any difficulty. Included in
it are first the direct labor--the wages of the human beings employed;
and, second, the overhead expense. The second item includes the value of
the space occupied by the letter force, the depreciation on the
equipment, and finally the supervision and the executive expense
properly chargeable to the department. Unless an accurate cost system is
in force the third item cannot be accurately calculated. The best that
can be done is to take the salaries of the people actually employed on
the work and guess at the proper charge for the space. The sum of the
three items divided by the number of letters is the cost per letter. It
is not an accurate cost. It will be low rather than high, for probably
the full share of overhead expense will not be charged.

It will be obvious, however, that the place to send out circular letters
is not a room in a high-priced office building, unless the sending is an
occasional rather than a steady practice. Costs in this work are cut by
better planning of the work and facilities, setting work standards,
paying a bonus in excess of the standards, and by the introduction of
automatic machinery. The Post Office now permits, under certain
conditions, the use of a machine which prints a stamp that is really a
frank. This is now being used very generally by concerns which have a
heavy outgoing mail. Then there are sealing machines, work conveyors,
and numerous other mechanical and physical arrangements which operate to
reduce the costs. They are useful, however, only if the output be very
large indeed.

The personally dictated letter has these costs:

    (1) The postage.

    (2) The stationery.

    (3) The dictator's time--both in dictating and signing.

    (4) The stenographer's time.

    (5) The direct overhead expense, which includes the space
        occupied, the supervision, the executive overhead, and
        like items.

The troublesome items here are numbers three and five. If the dictator
is a correspondent then the calculation of how much it costs him to
dictate a letter is his salary plus the overhead on the space that he
occupies, divided by the number of letters that he writes in an average
month. It takes him longer to write a long than a short letter, but
routine letters will average fairly over a period of a month. But an
executive who writes only letters that cannot be written by
correspondents or lower salaried men commonly does so many other things
in the course of a day that although his average time of dictation per
letter may be ascertained and a cost gotten at, the figure will not be a
true cost, for the dictation of an important letter comes only after a
consideration of the subject matter which commonly takes much longer
than the actual dictation. And then, again, the higher executive is
usually an erratic letter writer--he may take two minutes or twenty
minutes over an ordinary ten-line letter. Some men read their letters
very carefully after transcription. The cost of this must also be
reckoned in.

The cost of any letter is therefore a matter of the particular office.
It will vary from six or seven cents for a letter made up of form
paragraphs to three or four dollars for a letter written by a
high-salaried president of a large corporation. A fair average cost for
a personally dictated letter written on good paper is computed by one of
the leading paper manufacturers, after a considerable survey to be:

    Postage                               .0200
    Printing letterheads and envelopes    .0062
    Stenographic wages (50 letters per
      day, $20.00 per week)               .0727
    Office overhead                       .0727
    Paper and envelopes                   .0054

The above does not include the expense of dictation.

It will pay any man who writes a considerable number of letters to
discover what his costs are--and then make his letters so effective that
there will be fewer of them.




For all social correspondence use plain sheets of paper, without lines,
of white or cream, or perhaps light gray or a very dull blue. But white
or cream is the safest. Select a good quality. Either a smooth vellum
finish or a rough linen finish is correct. For long letters there is the
large sheet, about five by six and one half inches, or it may be even
larger. There is a somewhat smaller size, about four and one half by
five and one half or six inches for formal notes, and a still smaller
size for a few words of congratulation or condolence. The social note
must be arranged so as to be contained on the first page only.

A man should not, for his social correspondence, use office or hotel
stationery. His social stationery should be of a large size.

Envelopes may be either square or oblong.

In the matter of perfumed stationery, if perfume is used at all, it must
be very delicate. Strong perfumes or perfumes of a pronounced type have
a distinctly unpleasant effect on many people. It is better form to use

[Illustration: Specimens of addressed social stationery]

[Illustration: Specimens of addressed social stationery. (The first
specimen is business stationery in social form)]

An inviolable rule is to use black ink.

The most approved forms of letter and notepaper (although the use of
addressed paper is not at all obligatory and it is perfectly proper to
use plain paper) have the address stamped in Roman or Gothic lettering
at the top of the sheet in the centre or at the right-hand side about
three quarters of an inch from the top. The color used may be black,
white, dark blue, dark green, silver, or gold. Country houses, where
there are frequent visitors, have adopted the custom of placing the
address at the upper right and the telephone, railroad station, and post
office at the left. The address may also appear on the reverse flap of
the envelope.

Crests and monograms are not used when the address is engraved at the
top of a letter sheet. Obviously the crowding of address and crest or
monogram would not be conducive to good appearance in the letter.

A monogram, originally a cipher consisting of a single letter, is a
design of two or more letters intertwined. It is defined as a character
of several letters in one, or made to appear as one. The letters may be
all the letters of a name, or the initial letters of the Christian and

[Illustration: The monograms in the best taste are the small round ones,
but many pleasing designs may be had in the diamond, square, and oblong

[Illustration: Specimens of crested letter and notepaper]

Many of the early Greek and Roman coins bear the monograms of rulers or
of the town in which they were struck. The Middle Ages saw the invention
of all sorts of ciphers or monograms, artistic, commercial, and
ecclesiastical. Every great personage had his monogram. The merchants
used them, the "merchant's mark" being the merchant's initials mingled
with a private device and almost invariably a cross, as a protection
against disaster or to distinguish their wares from those of Mohammedan
eastern traders. Early printers used monograms, and they serve to
identify early printed books.

A famous monogram is the interlaced "H.D." of Henry II and Diane de
Poitiers. It appeared lavishly upon every building which Henry II
erected. It was also stamped on the bindings in the royal library, with
the bow, the quiver, and the crescent of Diana.

Monograms and crests on stationery, after a period of disuse, seem to be
coming into favor again. The monograms in the best taste are the small
round ones, though very pleasing designs may be had in the diamond,
square, and oblong shapes. They should not be elaborate, and no
brilliant colors should be used. The stamping is best done in black,
white, dark green, dark blue, gold, or silver. The crest or monogram may
be placed in the centre of the sheet or on the left-hand side about
three quarters of an inch from the top. The address may be in the centre
or at the right-hand side. But, as noted above, to use both addressed
and monogrammed or crested paper is not good taste. The best stationery
seems to run simply to addressed paper.

Crests and monograms should not be used on the envelope. In the matter
of crests and heraldic emblems on stationery and announcements, many
families with authentic crests discontinued their use during the war in
an effort to reduce everything to the last word in simplicity. However,
there are many who still use them. The best engravers will not design
crests for families without the right to use them. But the extreme in
"crests" is the crest which does not mean family at all, but is a device
supposed to give an idea of the art or taste of the individual. For
example, a quill or a scroll may be the basis for such a "crest."

Really no good reason exists why, in default of a family with a crest,
one should not decide to be a crest founder. The only point is that the
crest should not pretend to be something it is not--a hereditary affair.

[Illustration: Specimens of monogrammed stationery]

[Illustration: Specimens of business letterheads]

On the use of crests in stationery one authority says:

    As to the important question of crests and heraldic emblems in
    our present-day stationery, these are being widely used, but no
    crests are made to order where the family itself has none. Only
    such crests as definitely belong to the family are ever engraved
    on notepaper, cards, or any new style of place cards. Several
    stationers maintain special departments where crests are looked
    up and authenticated and such families as are found in
    Fairbairn's Crests, Burke's Peerage, Almanche de Gotha, the
    Armoire Général, are utilized to help in the establishment of
    the armorial bearing of American families. Of course, the
    College of Heraldry is always available where the American
    family can trace its ancestors to Great Britain.

    Many individuals use the coat-of-arms of their mothers, but
    according to heraldry they really have no right to do so. The
    woman to-day could use her father's and husband's crests
    together if the crests are properly in pale, that is, if a
    horizontal line be drawn to cut the shield in two--the husband's
    on the left, the father's on the right. If the son wants to use
    the father's and mother's crest, this must be quartered to
    conform to rule, the arms of the father to be in the first and
    fourth quarter; that of the mother in the second and third
    quarter. The daughter is not supposed to use a coat-of-arms
    except in lozenge form.

    The dinner card that reflects the most refined and modern type
    of usage is a card of visiting card size, with a coat-of-arms in
    gold and gilt border, on real parchment. These cards are
    hand-lettered and used as place cards for dinner parties.

The use of sealing wax is optional, though a good rule to follow is not
to use it unless it is necessary. The wax may be any dark color on
white, cream, or light gray paper. Black wax is used with mourning
stationery. The best place to stamp a seal is the centre of the flap. It
should not be done at all if it cannot be accomplished neatly. The crest
or monogram should be quickly and firmly impressed into the hot wax.

In selecting stationery it is a good plan to adhere to a single style,
provided of course that a good choice of paper and stamping has been
made. The style will become as characteristic of you as your
handwriting. Distinction can be had in quiet refinement of line and

The use of the typewriter for social correspondence has some
authority--though most of us will want to keep to the old custom of pen
and ink. In case this should be employed for some good reason, the
letter must be placed in the centre of the page with all four margins
left wide. Of course the signature to any typewritten letter must be in


For the usual type of business letter, a single large sheet of white
paper, unruled, of the standard business size, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, is
generally used. The standard envelopes are 6-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches and 10 x
4-1/2, the former requiring three folds of the letter (one across and
two lengthwise) and the latter requiring two folds (across). The former
size, 6-1/2 x 3-1/2, is much preferred. The latter is useful in the case
of bulky enclosures.

Bond of a good quality is probably the best choice. Colored papers,
while attracting attention in a pile of miscellaneous correspondence,
are not in the best taste. Rather have the letter striking for its
excellent typing and arrangement.

Department stores and firms that write a great many letters to women
often employ a notepaper size sheet for these letters. On this much
smaller sheet the elite type makes a better appearance with letters of
this kind.

[Illustration: Department stores and firms that write many letters to
women often employ a notepaper size]

[Illustration: Specimens of stationery used by men for personal business

The letterhead may be printed, engraved, or lithographed, and it is
safest done in black. It should cover considerably less than a quarter
of the page. It contains the name of the firm, the address, and the
business. The addresses of branch houses, telephone numbers, cable
addresses, names of officials, and other data may be included. But all
flamboyant, colored advertisements, trade slogans, or advertising matter
extending down the sides of the letter detract from the actual content
of the letter, which it is presumed is the essential part of the

For personal business letters, that is, for letters not social but
concerning personal affairs not directly connected with his business, a
man often uses a letter sheet partaking more of the nature of social
stationery than of business. This sheet is usually rather smaller than
the standard business size and of heavier quality. The size and shape of
these letter sheets are matters of personal preference--7 x 10 inches or
8 x 10 inches--sometimes even as large as the standard 8-1/2 x 11 or as
small as 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 or 6 x 8. The smaller size, however, requires the
double sheet, and the engraving may be done on the fourth page instead
of the first. The inside address in these letters is generally placed at
the end of the letters instead of above the salutation.

Instead of a business letterhead the sheet may have an engraved name and
home or business address without any further business connotations, or
it may be simply an address line.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters) - A Complete Guide to Correct Business and Personal Correspondence" ***

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