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So                             A FEW  MEMORIES
which displeased him greatly. He was himself tall and very erect, and was wont to say that, to him, the most perfect man or woman was marred by the slightest stoop. His kindly admonitions finally broke me of the habit. My handwriting was also subject to his criticisms. It amused him to make me write out my signature as legibly as possible, and then decipher it for him; for he said it was more than he could do. I give a part of one of his letters, in which this subject is mentioned for the first time. Plis allusion to the name of Mary is retained, as it may be of interest:
" DEAR Miss MARY,—What a debt you owe to Providence and to your parents, . . . and the latter have given you the prettiest name in the English language: the one Burns loved so well, and has made immortal. . . .
" But I must not flatter you, for I fear you are overwhelmed with it, and might be spoiled, though surely you possess character enough to resist the clanger. The great room for improvement in you is in your handwriting. The substance is good, but the writing is not good