263. The spirits are judged, we have said, as men are judged, by their language. Suppose a man should receive twenty letters from as many unknown persons : from the style, from the thoughts, from many signs, he will decide who are educated or ignorant, polished or ill-bred, superficial, profound, frivolous, vain, serious, light, sentimental, &c. It is the same with spirits: they should be considered as unknown correspondents, and we should ask ourselves what we should think of the knowledge and character of a man who should write such things. It may be given as an invariable rule, and one without exception, that the language of the spirits is always in accordance with the degree of their elevation. Not only do the really superior spirits say only good things, but they say them in terms which exclude in the most absolute manner all triviality ; however good these things may be, if they are tarnished by a single expression that savors of lowness, it is an indubitable sign of inferiority; still more if the whole of the communication outrages propriety by its grossness. The language always betrays its origin, whether by the thought it renders, or by its form ; and if a spirit should desire to delude us as to his pretended superiority, a little conversation suffices for us to estimate him at his proper value.