The conventional forms are "Sir," "Dear Sir," "My Dear Sir," or "Madam," "Dear Madam," or "My Dear Madam." Either of these can be used, but to a total stranger " My Dear Sir" is rather too cordial, and to an acquaintance " Sir " is too formal, unless there is a purpose to convey coldness of feeling. When writing to persons of your own social class, though strangers, " Dear Sir" or " Dear Madam" are used in preference to "Sir" or " Madam."

A married lady should not sign herself " Mrs.", nor an unmarried one " Miss," except in writing to a stranger who will need to reply. In this case the full name should be signed, as " Miss Susan Blake," or " Mrs. Mary Brown." Mrs. and Miss may be enclosed in parenthesis. Letters to married ladies are usually addressed with the initials or names of the husband," Mrs. John P. Smith," etc. Widows and unmarried ladies should only be addressed with their christian names, " Mrs. Mary Smith " or "Miss Fanny Jones." The eldest daughter or unmarried lady of the family should be addressed "Miss" simply, the christian name being omitted. " Mr." and " Esq." cannot be used simultaneously. A letter must be addressed either like the following examples, to " Mr. R. H. Smith" or to " R. H. Smith, Esq." When a letter is addressed to the Hon. James Blank, the "Esq." must not follow.

Never use the husband's title in directing a letter to the wife, as "Mrs. Gen. James Bancroft," or "Mrs. Rev. John Pearl."

Do not cross a letter, put the most important part of it in a postscript, or sign it in the first person, if it has been written in the third. Never fail to answer promptly, in case the communication requires an answer.

When a note is commenced " Sir " or "Dear Sir," it is usual to write the name of the person addressed at the end of the letter or note in the left-hand corner, or it may be put before the commencement; for instance, " To R. H. Smith, Esq.," but in this case it must not be repeated at the bottom.

A son of the same name as his father is addressed in this way : " R. H. Smith, Jr., Esq."

Letters or notes to servants usually begin with the servant's name, and then the directions follow in the third person; example : "To Mary Smith : Mrs. Brown will return home on Saturday next, etc."

Address a clergyman " Reverend Sir" or " Dear Sir," and direct the envelope to " Rev. John Blank; " or if the initial is not known, to " Rev.------Blank."

Address a doctor of divinity " To the Rev. John Hall, D.D.," or the " Rev. Dr. Hall."

Address a doctor of medicine "J. B. Blank, M.D.," or " Dr. J. B. Blank," or "Dr. Blank."

Address a bishop " To the Right Rev.

the Bishop of ------," or "To the Right

Rev. H. C. Potter, D.D., Bishop of------,"

and begin the letter " Right Rev. Sir," or " Right Rev. and Dear Sir."

Address foreign ministers as " His Excellency and Honorable."

Letters to the President should be addressed "To His Excellency, the President of the United States," or " President of the United States."

Cabinet officers should be addressed "To the Honorable J. C. Blank, Secretary of State," "To the Hon. ------, the Postmaster-General," etc.

In writing to Senators or members of the House, address " To the Hon.---------."

Officers of the army or navy are addressed by their titles, as " General Wilson Earle," "Captain Paul Jones," Admiral Will am Harvey," etc. The members of a college faculty are addressed as " Professor," and their particular title may be added after the name, as " D.D.", " LL.D," etc. This addition of titular abbreviations applies as well to scientists, physicians, and all others whose special college title may be known to the writer.