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at leisure times, to puzzle over the riddles which composed it——holding it in different positions, and at different distances, till at last the meaning of some hopeless scrawl would flash upon me, when I at once wrote down the English under it; and, when several had been thus guessed, the context would help one with the others, till at last the whole series of hieroglyphics was deciphered. If all one's friends wrote like that, Life would be entirely spent in reading their letters!

This Rule applies, specially, to names of people or places——and most specially to foreign names. I got a letter once, containing some Russian names, written in the same hasty scramble in which people often write "yours sincerely". The context, of course, didn't help in the least: and one spelling was just as likely as another, so far as I knew: it was