It may come, first, from the closer observation of details by women, the result of the early training of their lives, this being also based on a quality of original temperament.
Now details are what we need in a letter; for philosophy and general grasp we go to a book.
Method, order, combination, are quite unimportant in a letter; we need to know what each man or woman described was doing at a certain time — where they stood, what they wore, what they appeared to have had for breakfast or to expect for dinner.
This is what a letter should bring us; the logic and the deductions may come in separate packages.
Now the letters of women will vary with the period; they may be stiff or they may be gushing, but they will give details.
I remember an educated American who, on returning from Egypt
, could only say, when asked to describe the Pyramids, “Oh yes, enormous things-enormous things!”
But the stupidest woman that ever climbed a Pyramid could at least tell you afterwards, when she had recovered her breath, something about the Arab who dragged her up and the terror that took her down; and it is by comparison with these that we find the Pyramid truly enormous.
's own theory of the advantage enjoyed by women as letter-writers is somewhat different from this; he attributes their superiority to