Letter from Horace Moule to Thomas Hardy, 2 July 1863

[Page 1]


My dear Tom

I cannot say enough in praise of yr analyses. They must do your head good.

Yr conclusions about Times style interest me much, as showing [the] vigour with wh. you have set on this new scent. But I do not attach much value to that minute way of looking at style. And doubtless you have only generalised thus en passant.

The grand object of all in writing is learning to write well [Page 2] is to [gain] or to generate something to say. Be a "full man" – "Put money in thy [mental] purse". Accordingly I wd. not advise you to read M'Culloch or anybody else worth reading, for his style. Acquaint yourself with his thoughts. That is the first step – Doubtless you will catch from him some felicitous methods or phrases wh may turn out useful in the treatment of collateral subject matter. But you must in [Page 3] the end write your own style, unless you wd be a mere imitator. It always appears to me that a man whose mind is full of a subject, or who can before writing make his mind full of it, has only to pay that attention to order ^method^ and arrangement which is obvious to any mind of vigorous tone, in order to write well.

One more suggestion I wish to add to those sent recently. Take a subject on wh you [Page 4] have thought, and a blank sheet of paper. Jot down then (in brief contracted form) every thought that occurs to you, just as they occur, wholly without reference to order. Then put the paper by & the next day (or next time) look over the MS, & arrange it into heads.

I will send more before end of next week; when I hope to start for a short tour in S. of France, to Avignon & Nismes (Roman remains &c)

Yr letters are a real pleasure to me.

[Yrs] very afftc

(Horace Moule)