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Epistolary Teasing

Kidding can express reassurance and affection. Alexander Pope’s letter to a friend about the great, glamourous event she is missing, sets out to cheering up by the warmest, most detailed form of kidding. Moreover, he admits, convincingly, that he misses her. In the letter form, the gift for parody becomes the gift of teasing—rather like the parodic element in love sonnets.