We always feel some difficulty in addressing those whom we are not in the habit of addressing frequently; we feel that the letter which is to make up for long silence, and epitomize the goings on of a good many months, ought to be three times as kind, satisfactory, and newsful as if two others had preceded it. And being at the same time quite sure that this very circumstance will tend to freeze the genial current of our thoughts, and that occurrences which might have had some savor in them, if told when fresh, are now grown vapid, we are apt to look on the matter as a sort of task, something we would wish to perform better than we have any chance of doing; and this feeling is the stronger the more we desire to stand well with the letter-expectant. Letters that come seldom can not do without preambles; which are always stupid things, but sometimes seem necessary to prevent the appearance of abruptness.
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