More about Letters

1. New tag: POSTSCRIPT

We've created a POSTSCRIPT tag, more or less on the model of a DIV, and allowed it only within CLOSER. Because it is built on the DIV model, you'll need to add some kind of content-bearing element (e.g. P) in order to put text into a POSTSCRIPT. But also because it is built on the DIV model, it allows (unlike ADD), headers, openers, closers, and trailers of its own. This should handle all the postscripts we can remember seeing; if you meet one that it fails to handle, let us know and we can tweak the definition. The existence of this element should not tempt you to stuff anything and everything into it. In particular, just because something is labelled "postscript" does not mean that you need to put it in a postscript tag. But the new tag should be used in preference to two of the methods being used now, namely: (1) prefer POSTSCRIPT to ADD when what is being ADDed is a postscript. And (2) use <POSTSCRIPT> instead of using <LETTER> when the only reason for using <LETTER> is to allow the placement of a postscript after the closing stuff. I.e., please don't do this:

<DIV1 TYPE="letter">
<P>Your story is awful. You are awful. Never send us another manuscript.</P>
<CLOSER><SIGNED>Yours truly, R.E., editor</SIGNED></CLOSER>
<P>PS. Have you considered a career in library work?</P>

since now you can do this:

<DIV1 TYPE="letter">
<P>Your story is awful. You are awful. Never send us another
<CLOSER><SIGNED>Yours truly, R.E., editor</SIGNED>
<POSTSCRIPT><P>PS. Have you considered a career in library work?</P>

On the other hand, do NOT use postscript when the additional material does not realy belong to the letter (etc.), e.g. editorial commentary by someone who is quoting the letter.

Another example of <POSTSCRIPT>:

<DIV1 TYPE="letter">
  <P>I've met another and his car is newer than yours. Also his hair hasn't fallen out yet. Get lost.</P>
  <SIGNED>Yours sincerely, <HI>Mary</HI></SIGNED>
   <OPENER><DATELINE>On the train to Albany,
           <DATE>2 days later</DATE></DATELINE>
   <P>Don't you still have my Jethro Tull
   albums? Please give them back ASAP.</P>

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2. DIV versus LETTER

If a DIV coincides with the LETTER element, one or the other has to go (usually the latter/letter). I.e.

    <DIV2 TYPE="letter">
    <CLOSER><SIGNED>Your obedient servant, P.F.S.</SIGNED></CLOSER>

should simply drop the <LETTER> tag, which is intended for letters quoted within something else, not <DIV>s of TYPE="letter".

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a. Be careful not to tag include pieces of the signature within SALUTE. SALUTE should be used to surround a direct address like "Your Majesty" or "Sir," or "My good friend," but something like "Your Majesty's servant forever" which refers to the signatory, should go in SIGNED.

<CLOSER><SALUTE>MADAME, Your Majesties most Humble Servant</SALUTE>

<SIGNED>Your Majesties most Humble Servant I. S.</SIGNED></CLOSER>

b. Frequently there is no real salutation (at least within the closer), so the SALUTE tag should not be used there at all:

(1) <CLOSER><SALUTE>Your Lordships most readie to be commanded </SALUTE>
<SIGNED>Matthew Sutcliffe.</SIGNED></CLOSER>

should be:

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Your Lordships most readie to be commanded
Matthew Sutcliffe.</SIGNED></CLOSER>

(2) <CLOSER><SALUTE><HI>Yours</HI> Lucinda.</SALUTE></CLOSER>

should be:


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4. Use of DATELINE and DATE

Sometimes DATELINEs are erroneously tagged as SIGNED.

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Given at Our Court at <HI>York</HI> the fourth of
<DATE>Iune, 1642.</DATE></SIGNED></CLOSER>

<CLOSER><DATELINE>Given at Our Court at <HI>York</HI>
<DATE>the fourth of Iune, 1642.</DATE></DATELINE>

Another example:

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Christ's <HI>Coll.</HI> <DATE>22 May,
<SIGNED>Your Lordship's most ready
to be commanded,
<HI>Ioseph Mede.</HI></SIGNED></CLOSER>

<DATELINE>Christ's <HI>Coll.</HI> <DATE>22 May, 1628.</DATE></DATELINE>
<SIGNED>Your Lordship's most ready to be commanded,
<HI>Ioseph Mede.</HI></SIGNED></CLOSER>

More examples of the correct use of DATELINE:

<DATELINE>Portbury, <DATE>Octob. 20. 1698.</DATE></DATELINE>
<SIGNED>Your most humble Servant, John Covant.</SIGNED></CLOSER>

<CLOSER><SALUTE>My deare brother,</SALUTE>
<SIGNED>Your, &amp;c.</SIGNED>
<DATELINE>At <HI>Paris</HI> <DATE>15. Ianu. 1628.</DATE></DATELINE></CLOSER>

<DATELINE>From <HI>Ipswich</HI>  <DATE>November 12. 1636.</DATE></DATELINE>
<SIGNED>Thine in the Lord, <HI>Matthew White.</HI></SIGNED></CLOSER>

<CLOSER><DATELINE>E Collegio Christi Cantabrigiae, <DATE>Mense Iulio, Anno <HI>M DC XXXII.</HI></DATE></DATELINE></CLOSER></LETTER>

The difference between DATELINE and SIGNED:

A subtle difference sometimes, but when a place or institution
is associated with a person's name (or even when it isn't)
in a closer, if it describes the place at which the writing
was done, it goes in DATELINE (usu. within CLOSER); if it
describes the person doing the writing, it goes with
the name inside of SIGNED. I.e.:

<DATELINE>University of Michigan, <DATE>16 Dec 2002</DATE></DATELINE>

<SIGNED>pfs (MA, Cantab.; MILS, University of Michigan)</SIGNED>

Sometimes it is not clear which is meant. E.g. in Wl3451,


<SIGNED>Cath. Hall, Cambridge,
<DATE><HI>May</HI> 16. 1700.</DATE>
W. Worts.</SIGNED>

Should clearly be done this way:

<CLOSER><DATELINE>Cath. Hall, Cambridge,
<DATE><HI>May</HI> 16. 1700.</DATE></DATELINE>


<SIGNED>Doddershall <HI>in Com.</HI> Bucks,
<DATE>May 28th. 1700.</DATE>

should be done thus:

<DATELINE>Doddershall <HI>in Com.</HI> Bucks,
<DATE>May 28th. 1700.</DATE></DATELINE>

But this

<SIGNED>Hen. Hoyle&punc; <HI>A. M.</HI> Trin. Col. Cantab.</SIGNED>

Trinity College Cambridge
describes not the place of writing (in which case it would
be DATELINE) but the place of Henry Hoyle (or of his
degree), in which case it remains in SIGNED.

Likewise these (not entirely sure about the third one, on account
of the ambiguous nature of "ex"):

<SIGNED>P. W. <HI>Trin. Coll.</HI> Cant.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED><HI>Ioannes Phillips,</HI> Interioris Templi Alumnus.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED>D. A. <HI>Ex Aede Christi</HI> Oxon.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED>B. K. <HI>Trin. Col.</HI> Cantab. Alum.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED><HI>I. Blyth.</HI> One of the Senior Scholars in
<HI>Merchant Taylors</HI> School, Aged 15.</SIGNED>

Use of DATELINE without DATE:

It is quite legitimate to have a DATELINE (describing
the circumstances under which something is composed, etc.) with no
DATE in it. E.g.:


<SIGNED><HI>your MAIESTIES</HI> most loyall Subiect, and humble
  poore Scholler <HI>THO: BROWNE.</HI></SIGNED>

<DATELINE>From my study at <HI>Ch. Ch.</HI> in <HI>Oxon.</HI></DATELINE>


Including dating system within DATE:

The various phrases and abbreviations indicating
the dating system in use should be treated as part
of the <DATE>. Not only A.D., Anno Domini, etc., but
also those having to do with the adoption of the Gregorian
"new style" calendar: S.N. (stylo novo), S.A. (stylo antiquo),
S.L. (stylo loci), and no doubt others


<DATE>6 Sept. 1640. in the Stile of the place.</DATE>
<DATE>6. Sept. 1640. St. loci.</DATE>
<DATE>Feb. 14. 1662. S. A.</DATE>
<DATE><HI>Iuly</HI> 22<HI>d. Stylo Novo.</HI> 1679.</DATE>
<DATE>Sept. 14. S. N. 1640.</DATE>

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5. Sample CLOSERS with problems

Problem (1)

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Your most loving, and assured <HI>Friend</HI>, and <HI>Sonne</HI>,</SIGNED>
<SIGNED>Fr. Bacon. <HI>C. S.</HI></SIGNED>
<DATE><HI>Apr.</HI> 12. 1617.</DATE></CLOSER>

Note the double <SIGNED> and the unnecessary <ADD>.
<SIGNED>Your most loving, and assured <HI> Friend</HI>, and <HI>Sonne</HI>, Fr. Bacon. <HI>C. S.</HI></SIGNED>
<DATE><HI>Apr.</HI> 12. 1617.</DATE>

Problem (2)

<TRAILER>London this <DATE>22 of <HI>May</HI>. 1622.</DATE>

This is really a classic CLOSER, not a TRAILER.

<DATELINE>London <DATE>this 22 of <HI>May</HI>. 1622.</DATE>

Problem (3)

<DATELINE><DATE><HI>From</HI> Templaria, <HI>the 18^t^h^. of</HI> December, <HI>1594.</HI></DATE></DATELINE></CLOSER>

This one has more than the date in the <DATE>. I think that I'd also reverse the <HI>s if time allowed. Better:

<DATELINE>From <HI>Templaria,</HI> <DATE>the 18^t^h^. of <HI>December,</HI> 1594.

Problem (4)

<TRAILER><DATE>20. Sept. 1644.</DATE> <HI>Imprimatur</HI> IO: RUSH WORTH.</TRAILER></DIV1></BODY>

And this one not only isn't a trailer, but really looks like back matter. So though it may look like tagging overkill, I think I'd do this:

<DIV1 TYPE="imprimatur">

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6. Correct sample CLOSERs and SIGNEDs

<SIGNED>Your very louing Cousin, FVLKE GREVILL.</SIGNED>
<DATELINE>From Hackney <DATE>this 20. of Nouember, 1609.</DATE>

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Yours in all Christian dutie, IOHN LEVVIS.

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Your Honours humbly at command, <HI>I. O.</HI>

<SIGNED>Your humble and obedi|ent sonne. Iohn Clapham.</SIGNED>

<DATELINE><HI>Queenes Colledge in</HI> Oxford
<DATE><HI>April 14. 1638.</HI></DATE></DATELINE>
<SIGNED>Your Worships in all humble observance, GERARD LANGBAINE.

<SIGNED>your Honours most Humble, &amp;c.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED>Your Loving Friend and Servant, JO. LINCOLN.</SIGNED>
<DATELINE>Tower, <DATE>this 23. Sept. 1640.</DATE></DATELINE>

<SIGNED>Your most affectionate kynsman
and most humble and most
obedient seruant KENELME DIGBY</SIGNED></CLOSER>

<CLOSER>Witness my Hand, <DATE>this Fifteenth day of
<HI>December,</HI> 1697.</DATE>

<SIGNED>Your most humble Servant, JOHN MAYNE.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED>Your affectionate loving daughter, <HI>Francis Essex.</HI>

<CLOSER><SIGNED>John Browne <HI>Cler. Parliam.</HI>

<SIGNED>Your Lordships in all duety. William Shakespeare.</SIGNED>


<SIGNED>H: Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.</SIGNED>

<SIGNED>Your Lordships Most dutiful, and most
obedient Servant I. EVELYN.</SIGNED>

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7. Lists of signatories

It is now possible to put <LIST> inside <SIGNED>. This is the most convenient way to tag lists of signatories, whether they appear at the end of letter or at the end of some other document. It may be used even when there is punctuation separating one name from the next; it ought to be used when there is no such punctuation. And it ought to be used in preference to tagging each name with its own <SIGNED> tag.

Some examples

<ITEM>Tho. Coventry C. s.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Nic. Hyde.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Rich. Hutton.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Tho. Trevor.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Tho. Richardson.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Will. Iones.</ITEM>
<ITEM>George Vernon.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Iohn Walter.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Iames Whitlock.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Francis Harvey.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Humph. Davenport.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Iohn Denham.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Geo. Crooke.</ITEM>

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Your Brethren in the Faith of Christ,
<ITEM><HI>Rich. Baxter,</HI> Teacher of the Church at <HI>Kiderminster.</HI></ITEM>
<ITEM><HI>Jarvis Bryan,</HI> Teacher of the Church at <HI>Old Swinford.</HI></ITEM>
<ITEM><HI>Henry Oasland,</HI> Teacher of the Church at <HI>Bewdeley.</HI></ITEM>
<ITEM><HI>Andr. Tristram,</HI> Teacher of the Church at <HI>Clent.</HI></ITEM>
<ITEM><HI>Tho. Baldwin,</HI> Minister at <HI>Wolverly.</HI></ITEM></LIST></SIGNED>

<CLOSER><SIGNED>Your Honours and the Kingdomes most faith|full and obedient Servants, whose names are here annext, as agitating in behalfe of their severall Regiments.
<ITEM><HI>Agents</HI> for the Generalls Regiment.
   <ITEM>Tho. Moore</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Edward Sexby</ITEM>
<ITEM>For the Lieutenant Generalls Regiment.
   <ITEM>Samuell Whiting</ITEM>
   <ITEM>William Allin.</ITEM>
<ITEM>For the Commissary Generalls Regiment.
   <ITEM>Anthony Nixson</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Tho. Sheppard.</ITEM>
<ITEM>For Col. <HI>Fleetwoods</HI> Regiment.
   <ITEM>William Iones</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Iohn Cusby.</ITEM>
<ITEM>For Col. Sheffeilds Regiment.
   <ITEM>Henry Gethings</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Edw. Starre</ITEM>
<ITEM>For Col. <HI>Whalleys</HI> Regiment.
   <ITEM>Tho. Lindoll</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Iohn Thomas</ITEM>
<ITEM>For Col. <HI>Butlers</HI> Regiment.
   <ITEM>Tobias Box</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Iohn Willoughby</ITEM>
<ITEM>For Col. <HI>Riches</HI> Regiment.
   <ITEM>Nichol. Lockyer</ITEM>
   <ITEM>Ioseph Foster</ITEM>

Put the phrase "signed" within the <SIGNED> tag, since <SIGNED> is meant to tag the entire 'signature statement,' not just the names of the signatories, e.g.:

<SIGNED>Signed by us,
<ITEM>G. Charnock.</ITEM>
<ITEM>Andr. Blackwell.</ITEM>
<ITEM>William Sedgwick.</ITEM></LIST>

<SIGNED>Signed, Patrick Magee.</SIGNED>

rather than

Signed,  <SIGNED>Patrick Magee.</SIGNED>

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