Rules for Writing

Rules for Letter Writing

Have you any unkind thoughts?
Do not write them down;
Write no word that giveth pain—
Written words may long remain.

Have you heard some idle tale?
Do not write it down.
Gossips may repeat it o’er,
Adding to its bitter store.

Have you any careless jest?
Bury it, and let it rest—
It may wound some loving breast.

Words of love and tenderness,
Words of truth and kindliness,
Words of comfort for the sad,
Words of gladness for the glad,
Words of counsel for the bad—
Wisely write them down.

Words, though small, are mighty things,
Pause before you write them.
Little words may grow and bloom
With bitter breath or sweet perfume—
Pray, before you write them.

These words of advice were published in the December 11, 1886 edition of The Pansy magazine. They’re just as wise and relevant today as they were in 1886!

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