From some other of the author's letters we are able to trace the gradual growth of the work.
The term immediate is used in contrast with that of gradual.
Day by day he had followed the gradual failing of each sense and power.
This excellent woman expired of a gradual decay in the year 1780.
But the process was gradual, and no one stood near enough to her to remark it.
Despairingly did he struggle against this gradual invasion of his being.
If you're goin' to start in and be divilish in your old age, why, do it kind of gradual.
I have tried to prevent it, this gradual change in him; but it was impossible.
The descent was gradual, and uncommonly free from breakages.
There has, however, been a gradual improvement in the boy's life and character.