[Illustration: “THREE SHEETS IN THE WIND.”]
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PUNCH’S NEW GENERAL LETTER-WRITER.
Perhaps no one operation of frequent recurrence and absolute necessity involves so much mental pain and imaginative uneasiness as the reduction of thoughts to paper, for the furtherance of epistolatory correspondence. Some great key-stone to this abstruse science—some accurate data from which all sorts and conditions of people may at once receive instruction and assistance, has been long wanting.
Letter-writers, in general, may be divided into two great classes, viz.: those who write to ask favours, and those who write to refuse them. There is a vague notion extant, that in former days a third genus existed—though by no means proportionate to the other two—they were those who wrote “to grant favours;” these were also remarkable for enclosing remittances and paying the double postage—at least, so we are assured; of our knowledge, we can advance nothing concerning them and their (to us) supposititious existence, save our conviction that the race has been long extinct.
Those who write to ask, may be divided into—
1.—Creditors. 2.—Constituents. 3.—Sons. 4.—Daughters. 5.—Their offspring. 6.—Nephews, nieces. 7.—Indistinct cousins, and 8.—Unknown, dear, and intimate friends.
Those who write to refuse, are
2.—Members of Parliament
8.—Bilious and distant nabobs, and equally dear friends, who
will do anything but what the askers want.
We are confident of ensuring the everlasting gratitude of the above parties by laying before them the proper formulae for their respective purposes; and, therefore, as all the world is composed of two great classes, which, though they run into various ramifications, still retain their original distinguishing characteristics—namely, that of being either “debtors” or “creditors”—we will give the general information necessary for the construction of their future effusions.
From a wine-merchant, being a creditor, to a right honourable, being a debtor.
Verjuice-lane, City, January 17, 1841.
MY LORD,—I have done myself the honour of forwarding your lordship a splendid sample of exquisite Frontignac, trusting it will be approved of by your lordship. I remain, enclosing your lordship’s small account, the payment of which will be most acceptable to your lordship’s most
Obedient very humble servant,
THE ANSWER TO THE SAME.
The sample is tolerable—send in thirty dozen—add them to your account—and let my steward have them punctually on December 17, 1849.