On Unnecessary Communications

On Unnecessary Communications

In order to write a good letter, it is necessary to have a good subject, that you may not rival the Frenchman who wrote to his wife— “I write to you because I have nothing to do: I stop because I have nothing to say.” Letters written without aim or object, simply for the sake of writing, are apt to be stupid, trivial, or foolish.


—from Cecil B. Hartley’s The Gentleman’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness (1860)


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