| Hello the Swarthy Bard! I was attracted by the interesting and rather old fashioned title and theme so here I am to give you my comments as a reader.
Wow! This is absolutely brilliant in concept and composition! I was drawn right into the 18th century time frame as I read your complex language structure and manner of speaking in the letter. Writing letters was a most popular way of communicating and this writing sounds as it would be a period piece. The greeting and salutation, with the endearing type words and the the names of characters fit the time as well. You have really captured the historical aura for me.
The allegorical concept is effectively woven in the story and its message is clear and could convince anyone to avoid this Melancholia! The way you make the character and explain how he works I can see your understanding of the psychological nature of the theme. My first thought was that you were talking about Melancholy so it was a surprise to have it personified in a story. Brilliantly inventive!
I wonder if you need to add "or to another" as it would be more direct to just speak to the reader of the letter in terms of tightening the work, unless it is a tool to give weight to what you say as you would also tell another...so that the friend may be more open to receive the advice. It may slow down the line. If it is vital then I would add some punctuation for pause in the read: "to you, or to another, that.." or maybe to "anyone".
It struck me too that you used the word "downfalls" to refer to the character Melancholia, which
first gave me the idea that it was a noun/quality you referred to. Yet as I read on I see that, perhaps, the exhortative letter is referring to the danger of the actual Humour of depression, as can happen after a loss. I think maybe your brief note at the start through me off as you personified him as a"..philanderer" so I went to a real person at first. LOL
The first paragraph in the letter gets to the warnings right away and sets up the theme for the rest of the persuasive letter. I know what you mean by "carelessly" yet I wonder if there is a more descriptive phrase for it.
The paragraphing is effective and has coherent flow as you set up the rationale to prove the point in the letter.
In the third paragraph, "Be forewarned, therefore, that Melancholia" I would use "he".
In Paragraph four: Oh I loved "iota of knavery"! and the comparative line of breadcrumbs and mutton! Wonderful image. The reference to the "bones" and scripture is effective too. I enjoyed reading your descriptions here and it backs up your first principle.
I would drop the first "And" in the last line here as you use the word twice.
Paragraph five is eloquent as well and I felt more of an emotional potency there. The philosophical references add to the argument and give it a sense of realism. The last line is very long and yet I can feel that the writer of the letter is really getting riled up and the images are so vivid and potent. I wonder if in "A caveat to all that is it better" needs another word to be clear. as in "A caveat to all that is: that it is better"? Great word to keep with the times and the obvious intelligence of the writer of the letter. Interesting that this woman is so educated and well read to be able to use these references.
Paragraph six has some lovely alliterative wordings . eg. as in the last line. It is effective in the flow of argument. In this part of the letter, you reveal Melancholia more and more as a negative quality as old as biblical times. Very persuasive as you repeat ideas in different ways: avoid, be safe, safeguard and be vigilant. I like the last line.
The next to last paragraph reflects back to the opening one, bringing our attention back to the main idea which is expressed in a heart felt fashion. The writer really wishes to save her friend from what befell her! I wonder what Euphoria has experienced that spurred her friend to write and tell her she can survive. I know Laetitia had the experience and hoped sharing it would prevent similar fate. The urgency is realistic and strong.
I enjoyed the closing of the letter with its final insult "Lothario of Despondancy"! Wow!
I had such a wonderful time entering into your vision and deep thought about Melancholia. Your knowledge and creative way of describing effects and personifying it is so evident and impressive. The style of writing reminds me of philosophical, legal discussions and seems to suit the time. Repeating ideas in different ways really emphasizes the intent. The letter was organized and each paragraph had its theme and lead to the next. I might reread and see where more comma pauses might be useful as you do use long lines.
Thanks for creating this wonderful piece. I appreciate the time and effort that it must have taken to get the information and then present in a clever and imaginative way. Great allegory.!
Keep creating and write on!