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“ [114] prone to lead through thy mazes, governing it, as thou dost, with resistless despotism.” Yet all this is simplicity itself compared to the habitual inflation of Miss Seward's style when writing anything that is not a letter-as, for instance, her life of Dr. Erasmus Darwin. And I perfectly remember certain maiden ladies of Boston, who were justly renowned in my youth for what they would have called by no briefer name than “epistolary correspondence,” who modelled their style upon Miss Seward's, and would have disdained to close a letter with a sentence of one clause or a word of one syllable. They wrote charming descriptions, yet were never satisfied without getting on their stilts at the end, or at least dropping a stately old-fashioned courtesy to their audience. Probably they would have written even their “epistles” of love in this formal style; we know that Abigail Adams did, for one; and that she wrote a letter asking John Adams to buy her a supply of cheap pins, and signed it “Portia.”

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