THE LETTERS OF MADAME DE SEVIGNE “There is none In all this cold and hollow world, no fount Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within A mother’s heart.” — Mrs. Hemans. Again, the times themselves in which we live call for the exercise of just such an influence upon the mind and style as might be wielded by these letters. We in America are almost all educated up to a certain point ; few of us, unfortunately, are educated be yond it. The national character is pushing, energetic, ambitious ; setting great value upon money and material luxuries, but without appreciation of the refined enjoyments that consist with a moderate purse, or the delicacy of feeling that marks a sensitive but well-balanced mind.

  The vortex of politics or of business draws into it all our energies ; we have nothing to spare for reflection, for the observances of friendship, for the amenities of social intercourse. A life so vulgarizing alike to the mind and to the style, finds its best antidote in the letters of Madame de Sevigne”. Here is a beautiful existence centred in home and friends ; here are thoughts occupied by love for the dear ones around, and by sym pathy with their joys and sorrows.

The tumult of the outer world is heard faintly. The writer’s mind is busied in a calmer sphere, and the exquisite tenderness of her heart gives that transparent grace to her style that has been the wonder and the despair of two centuries. We are a letter-writing people ; and no better models for let- ters exist than Madame de Se’vigne^s. We are a practical and energetic people ; and no better complement to such virtues can be found than the tender affection and delicate refinement of Madame de SeVigne. Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1868.