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Full text of "Good manners : a manual of etiquette in good society"

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Prof. J Henry Sender 




GOOD MANNERS; 




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GOOD SOCIETY. 



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PHILADELPHIA : 
PORTER & COATES, 

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Entered, acoci'ding to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 
PORTER AND COATES, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, 
in and for the Eastern D'strirt c f Pennsylvania. 

HEARS & DUSENBERY, STEREOTYPERS. 

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PREFACE. 



HEREWITH the author aspires to meet a social 
requirement of long standing ; namely, a work 
of genuine authority on all points of etiquette, 
ceremonial, and manners. Many books pro- 
fessing to treat of these subjects have from timo 
to time been written, published, circulated ; but 
these books have abounded in errors, indicated 
an inferior standard of taste, and been written 
by incompetent persons. 

It is not difficult to divine the reason why 
such manuals have failed to^ fulfil their object. 
A standard work on manners must necessarily 
proceed from the pen of one who moves in the 
best circles : but then such persons are for the 
most part ignorant of the wants of those who 
occupy a lower position in the social scale; 
inaccessible to publishers ; and, if given in a 

dilettante way to literary pursuits, turn natur- 

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111) 



M125528 



IV PREFACE. 

ally to the composition of novels, books of 
travel, or political treatises. Few, also, would 
care to write upon so trite a subject, if even 
the desirability of the work were brought under 
their notice ; and this chiefly, perhaps, because 
an unmerited ridicule has hitherto attached to 
books of etiquette. People purchase them 
with an uneasy sense of shame, read them sub 
rosa, and keep them out of sight. In the same 
way young persons of both sexes are invariably 
ashamed when learning to dance. In all this 
there is more false pride than real bashfulness. 
People are, in truth, annoyed at having to be 
taught these minor accomplishments, and no 
matter how young they may be, in what seclusion 
they may have lived, under what early disadvan- 
tages they may have labored would fain have it 
believed that no social nicety, no fine point of 
etiquette, no grace of bearing, is other than 
familiar and natural to them. 

No pride can well be more mistaken ; no 
vanity more utterly misplaced. Etiquette is 
not innate. A modest man is unobtrusive ; a 
good-natured man is obliging ; a feeling man is 



PREFACE. V 

considerate ; and in so far as unobtrusiveness^ 
amiability, and tact are the very foundations' 
of good manners, such persons may be said to 
be naturally well-bred. But not even a saint 
could, from his "inner consciousness ' ; alone, 
evolve a conception of the thousand and one 
social observances of modern fashionable life. 

A knowledge of those social observances is 
absolutely indispensable for all who aspire to 
live in society ; and it is acknowledged that 
cannot be expected, like " reading and writing" 
(as Dogberry has it), to "come by nature." 
By the children of wealthy parents much of 
what is set forth in the following pages is in- 
sensibly acquired from earliest infancy ; but 
even persons so bred and born may well find 
themselves uncertain now and then upon a 
point of ceremonial. 

To these and all to the cr&ne de la crme as 
well as to the great body of the middle class 
public, this manual professes to be alike useful 
and necessary. Applied to by the publishers 
for a work on Good Society, and convinced of 
the great importance of the subject, the Author 



Tl PREFACE. 

has not only endeavored to the best of her 
ability to treat of it under all its aspects ; to 
omit no point, however trivial ; to provide her 
readers with a faithful and judicious guide in 
every social emergency ; but she has approached 
her task with the sincerest desire to be useful 
to others and to perform her part in the promo- 
tion of that great educational movement which 
is even now engaging the sympathies and 
prompting the generous labors of so many wise 
and noble thinkers. 



CONTENTS. 



PA01 

CHAPTER I. 

ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL ... 1 



CHAPTER II. 

LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION CARDS AD- 



DRESSES 



17 



CHAPTER III. 

VISITING CALLS 23 

CHAPTER IV. 

CONVERSATION . 31 

CHAPTER V. 

LETTER-WRITING INVITATIONS .... 44 

(vii) 



Vlll CONTENTS. 



PAQB 

CHAPTER VI. 
THE LADY'S TOILET 54 



CHAPTER VII. 
THE GENTLEMAN'S TOILET 64 

CHAPTER VIII. 

RIDING AND DRIVING THE PROMENADE . 70 

CHAPTER IX. 

MORNING AND EVENING PARTIES .... 81 

CHAPTER X. 

THE BALL 93 

CHAPTER XI. 

TABLE ETIQUETTE DINNER PARTIES . . . 103 

CHAPTER XII. 

ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE 129 



CONTENTS. IX 



PAGE 

CHAPTER XIIL 

VISITING AT A COUNTRY HOUSE 137 



CHAPTER XIV. 

HINTS ON CARVING 142 

CHAPTER XV. 

TRAVELLING 149 

CHAPTER XVI. 

ETIQUETTE IN CHURCH 151 

CHAPTER XVII. 

PLACES C7 AMUSEMENT 153 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE ARRANGEMENT OF A LADY*S HOUSE, AND 

MANAGEMENT OF SERVANTS . 156 



X CONTENTS. 

PAG! 

CHAPTER XIX. 

WINE AT TABLE 162 

CHAPTER XX. 

GENERAL HINTS TO BOTH SEXES .... 171 

CHAPTER XXI. 

WASHINGTON'S u RULES OF CIVILITY" . . . 183 

CHAPTER XXII. 

FRANKLIN'S " RULES OF CONDUCT" . . . 190 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
CHESTERFIELD'S SENTENCES AND MAXIMS 192 



GOOD MANNERS. 

CHAPTER I. 
On Good Manners in General. 

WHAT is Good Society ? What constitutes 
Good Manners? How happens it that the 
elegance of one age becomes the vulgarity of the 
next? From immemorial time the human family 
has been divided into two sections the Polite 
and the Vulgar. Whence arose that broad dis- 
tinction? What was the primitive definition 
of Politeness? Who first discovered the possi- 
bilities of Vulgarity ? How may both be resolved 
into their first elements? These are questions 
which have of late engaged the serious attention 
of the learned. They are questions by no means 
trivial by no means unessential to the student 
of history. We might even go farther than this, 
and say that neither the history of mankind in 
general, nor the history of any one nation in 
particular, can be duly understood and appre- 
ciated without a much fuller knowledge of the 






2 GOOD MANNERS. 

rise and progress of manners and customs than 
has hitherto been deemed necessary either by 
historians or students. 

It would seem that good manners were origin- 
ally the mere expression of submission from 
the weaker to the stronger. In a rude state of 
society every salutation is to this day an act of 
worship. Hence the commonest acts, phrases, 
and signs of courtesy with which we are now 
familiar, date from those earlier stages of our 
life as a nation when the strong hand ruled, 
and the inferior demonstrated his allegiance by 
studied servility. Let us take for example the 
words " Sir" and " Madam." *' Sir," once in 
use among equals, but now only proper on the 
lips of inferiors, is derived from Seigneur, Sieur 
Sire, and originally meant Lord, King, Ruler, 
and, in its patriarchal sense, Father. The title 
of Sire was last borne by some of the ancient 
feudal families of France who, as Selden has 
said, "affected rather to be styled by the name 
of Sire than Baron, as Le Sire de Montmorenci 
and the like." 

Madam, or Madame, corrupted by our servants 
into "Ma'am," and by Mrs. Gamp and her 
tribe into "Mum," is in substance equivalent 
to " Your exalted," or " Your Highness" -Ma 
Dame originally meaning high-born or stately, 
and being applied only to ladies of the highest 
rank. 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL. 3 

To turn to our every-day forms of salutation, 
We take off our hats on meeting an acquaint- 
ance. We bow on being introduced to strangers 
We rise when visitors enter our drawing-room. 
We wave our hand to our friend as he passes 
the window, or drives away from our door. The 
Oriental, in like manner, leaves his shoes on the 
threshold when he pays a visit. The natives 
of the Tonga Islands kiss the soles of a chief- 
tain's feet. The Siberian peasant grovels in the 
dust before a Russian noble. Each of these acts 
has a primary, an historical significance. The 
very word '' salutation," in the first place, de- 
rived as it is from salutatio, the daily homage 
paid by a Roman client to his patron, suggests 
in itself a history of manners. To bare the 
head was originally an act of submission to 
gods and rulers. A bow is a modified prostra- 
tion. A lady's courtesy is a modified genu- 
flection. Rising and standing are acts of 
homage; and when we wave our hand to the 
friend on the opposite side of the street, we are 
unconsciously imitating the Romans who, as 
Selden tells us, used to stand "somewhat off 
before the Images of their Gods, solemnly 
moving the right hand to the lips and casting 
it, as if they had cast kisses." 

Again, men remove the glove when they 
shake hands with a lady a custom evidently 
of feudal origin. The knight removed his iron 



i GOOD MANNERS. 

gauntlet, the pressure of which would have 
been all too harsh for the palm of a fair chate- 
laine, and the custom which began in necessity 
has travelled down to us as a point of etiquette. 
How are we to define that unmistakable 
something, as subtle as an essence, that makes 
a gentleman or a gentlewoman? May good 
breeding be acquired as an art? and if so. where 
are we to seek the best professors ? Who does not 
wish to give his children, above all other accom- 
plishments, that inestimable branch of educa- 
tion, the Manners of Good Society? What ia 
learning, what are abilities, what are personal 
attractions, what is wealth, without this one 
supreme essential? A man may know as many 
languages as Mezzofanti, may have made scien- 
tific discoveries greater than tho*e of Herschel or 
Darwin, may be as rich as a Rothschild, as brave 
as a Napier, yet if he has a habit of hesitating 
over his words, or twisting his limbs, of twid- 
dling his thumbs, of laughing boisterously, of 
doing or saying awkward trifles, of what account 
is he in socioty? So likewise of a woman. 
Though she were fair as Helen, skilled in all 
modern accomplishments, well-dressed, good- 
natured, generous, yet if her voice were over- 
loud, or her manner too confident; above all, 
if she were to put her knife in her mouth at 
dinner; who would think of her beauty, or her 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL. 5 

accomplishments, or her fine clothes? Who 
would invite her? Who would tolerate her? 

But we would by no means be understood to 
say that these mere outward observances con- 
stitute the essence of good manners. Neither 
gestures, nor tones, nor habits, can be accepted 
as infallible signs of good or ill breeding. Thumb- 
twiddling, and lolling, and knife-swallowing, 
are terrible habits enough, and would be, of 
course, sufficient to exclude any man or woman 
who practised them from the precincts of good 
society ; not only because they are in themselves 
offensive, but because they would point to fore- 
gone associations of a vulgar kind ; but they 
do not of necessity prove that the primary essen- 
tials of good manners the foundation, so to 
speak, upon which the edifice of good manners 
should be built is wanting in those unfortunate 
persons who are guilty of the offences in ques- 
tion. That foundation, that primary essential, 
is goodness innate goodness, innate gentle- 
ness, innate unselfishness. Upon these quali- 
ties, and these alone, are based all those ob- 
servances and customs which we class together 
under the head of Good Manners. And these 
good manners, be it remembered, do not merely 
consist in the art of bowing gracefully, of en- 
tering a room well, of talking easily, of being 
au courant with all the minor habits of the best 
society. A man may have all this, know all 



6 GOOD MANNERS. 

this, and yet, if he be selfish, or ill-natured, or 
untruthful, fail altogether of being a true gentle- 
man. Good manners are far, indeed, from being 
the outward evidences of mere training and dis- 
cipline. They are, au fond, the kindly fruits 
of a refined nature. As just and elevated 
thoughts expressed in choice language are the 
index of a highly trained and well-regulated 
mind, so does every act, however unimportant, 
and every gesture, however insignificant, reveal 
the kindly, considerate, modest, loyal nature of 
the true gentleman and the true lady. Hear 
what Ruskin has to say of the characteristics 
of the true gentleman : 

" A gentleman's first characteristic is that 
fineness of structure in the body which renders 
it capable of the most delicate sensation, and 
of that structure in the mind ichich renders it 
capable of the most delicate sympathies one 
may say, simply, 'fineness of nature.' This is, 
of course, compatible with heroic bodily strength 
and mental firmness ; in fact, heroic strength is 
not conceivable without ruch delicacy. Elephan- 
tine strength may drive its way through a forest, 
and feel no touch of the boughs ; but the white 
skin of Homer's Atrides would have felt a bent 
rose-leaf, yet subdue its feelings in glow of 
battle, and behave itself like iron. 1 do not 
mean to call an elephant a vulgar animal : but 
if you think about him carefully, you will find 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL. V 

that his non-vulgarity consists in such gentle- 
ness as is possible to elephantine nature ; not in 
his insensitive hide, nor in his clumsy foot, but 
in the way he will lift his foot if a child lies in 
his way; and in his sensitive trunk, and still 
more sensitive mind, and capability of pique on 

points of honor Hence it will follow, that 

one of the probable signs of high breeding in 
men generally will be their kindness and mer- 
cifulness ; these always indicating more or less 
firmness of make in the mind." 

It is impossible, however, in a work like the 
present, to touch other than incidentally on the 
grand moral substratum underlying all true 
refinement as impossible as it would be to 
write earnestly upon the subject of good man- 
ners without touching upon it at all. For man- 
ners and morals are indissolubly allied, and he 
who undertakes to discourse of the one can 
never, in his own mind, lose sight of the other. 

To return, however, to this question of good 
feeling and good manners. Just as it may be 
shown that every form of salutation takes its 
origin either in some religious observances or 
some curious mediseval ceremony, so may it also 
be shown that the simplest rules of etiquette 
are traceable, in their essence, to that unselfish- 
ness of nature, and that kindly consideration 
for others, which Ruskin, as we have just seen, 
defines as u fineness of nature," and adduces as 



GOOD MANNERS. 

the touchstone of genuine breeding. To listen 
with patience, however prosy our entertainer 
may he ; to smile at the thrice-told jest ; to yield 
the best seat, or the choicest dish, or the most 
amusing volume, are acts, not of mere civility, 
but of kindness and unselfishness. So of every 
other prescribed rule of social conduct so of 
that abstinence from interruption or contradic- 
tion in conversation ; of that suppression of a 
yawn ; of that cheerful countenance concealing 
inward anxiety or weariness; of those perpetual 
endeavors to please and to seem pleased, which 
end by becoming a second nature to the really 
well bred person. Analyze each one of these 
acts, and it resolves itself into a concession 
towards the feelings, the vanity, or the comfort 
of others. Its essence is unselfishness. Its 
animating spirit is forbearance. The proposi- 
tion is demonstrable by a process of reversal. 
If goodness be the parent of politeness, is not 
badness the parent of vulgarity? Is not bad 
temper vulgar ? Is not selfishness vulgar? Is 
not scandal vulgar? Are not greediness, egotism, 
inquisitiveness, prevarication, lying, and dis- 
honesty, one and all, utterly vulgar ? In a word, 
it not vice vulgar? 

If, then, we desire that our children shall 
become ladies and gentlemen, can we make them 
so, think you, by lavishing money upon foreign 
professors, dancing masters, continental tours, 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL. 9 

tailors, and dressmakers? Ah, no! good breed- 
ing is far less costly, and begins far earlier than 
those things. Let our little ones be nurtured in 
an atmosphere of gentleness and kindness from 
the nursery upwards; let them grow up in a 
home where a rude gesture or an ill-tempered 
word are alike unknown ; where between father 
and mother, master and servant, mistress and 
maid, friend and friend, parent and child, pre- 
vails the law of truth, of kindness, of conside- 
ration for others, and forgetfulness of self. 
Can they carry into the world, whither we send 
them later, aught of coarseness, of untruthful- 
ness, of slatternliness, of vulgarity, if their 
home has been orderly, if their parents have 
been refined, their servants well-mannered, their 
friends and playmates kind and carefully trained 
as themselves? Do we want our boys to succeed 
in the world ; our girls to be admired and loved ; 
their tastes to be elegant ; their language choice; 
their manners simple, charming, graceful ; their 
friendships elevating? then we must ourselves 
be what we would have our children to be, ro- 
membering the golden maxim, that good man- 
ners, like charity, must begin at home. 

Good manners are an immense social force. 
We should therefore spare no pains to teach our 
children what to do, and what to avoid doing, 
in their pathway through life. " When we re- 
flect," says Emerson, "how manners recom 



10 GOOD MANNERS. 

mend, prepare, and draw people together; how, 
in all clubs, manners make the members; how 
manners make the fortune of the ambitious 
youth ; that, for the most part, his manners 
marry him, and, for the most part, he marries 
manners; when we think what keys they are, 
and to what secrets; what high lessons and 
inspiring tokens of character they convey; and 
what divination is required in us for the reading 
of this fine telegraph, we see what range the 
subject has, and what relations to convenience, 
form, and beauty." Again the same writer 
says, " The maxim of courts is power. A calm 
and resolute bearing, a polished speech, an em- 
bellishment of trifles, and the art of hiding 
all uncomfortable feelings, are essential to the 
courtier Manners impress, as they indi- 
cate real power. A man who is sure of h's 
point carries a broad and contented expression, 
which everybody reads ; and you cannot rightly 
train to an air and manner, except by making 
him the kind of man of whom that manner is 
the natural expression. Nature for ever puts 
a premium on reality.'' 

On utilitarian, as well as social principles, we 
should try to instruct our children in good 
manners ; for whether we wish them to succeed 
in the world or to adorn society, the point is 
equally important. We must never lose sight 
of the fact, tha f here teachers and professors 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL. 11 

can do little, and that the only way in which it 
is possible to acquire the habits of good society 
is to live in no other. "A blockhead makes a 
blockhead his companion," says the writer last 
quoted ; and so will a little leaven of vulgarity 
leaven the whole social lump. No habit is so 
easily acquired as a habit of awkward gesticu- 
lation ; no slovenliness so insidious as that of 
incorrect speech. lie who wishes to be a gen- 
tleman must associate only with those whose 
tastes and habits are gentlemanly, and whose 
language is refined. 

Manner is only to be defined by a series of 
negations. The well-bred person has no man- 
ner. The well-bred person is distinguished from 
the ill-bred person, not by Avhat he does, but by 
what he leaves undone. The well-bred person 
just differs from the ill-bred person in that he 
knows what he ought not to do. The very host 
breeding consists chiefly in the utmost unobtru- 
siveness. To be well-bred and well-mannered. 
in short, is to keep down the e</o upon every 
occasion ; to control every expression of strong 
feeling; to be of noiseless bearing and gentle 
speech: to abstain from all that may hurt the 
feelings or prejudices of others; to make sma 1 
sacrifices without seeming to make them ; in a 
word, to remember that in society one lives for 
Others and not for oneself'. 

But politeness is not like a robe of state, to 



12 GOOD MANNERS. 

be worn only upon occasions of ceremony. In 
no place do the laws of etiquette bear more gra- 
tify ing results than in the home circle, where, 
stripped of their mere formality, tempered with 
love, and fostered by all kindly impulses, they 
improve the character and bear their choicest 
fruits. A true gentlewoman will show as much 
courtesy, and observe all the little duties of po- 
liteness as unfailingly, towards her parents, 
husband, and family as towards the greatest 
strangers. A true gentleman will never forget 
that if he is bound to exercise courtesy and 
kindness in his intercourse with the world, he 
is doubly bound to do so in his intercourse with 
those who depend upon him lor advice, protec- 
tion, and example. 

Etiquette may be denned as the minor morality 
of iife. N< observances, however minute, tha f . 
tend to spare the feelings of others, can be 
classed under the head of trivialities ; and po- 
liteness, which is but another name for general 
amiability, will oil the creaking wheels of life 
more effectually than any of those unguents 
supplied by mere wealth or station. 

* Pour etre veritablement poli. il faut etre a 
la lois bon, juste, et genereux," has been well 
sa'd by a modern French writer; and this is 



true, despite she fact that extremely severe codes 
of etiquette have often prevailed in the most 
vicious and dissolute courts. Most of the Ten 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL- 13 

Commandments were habitually violated by the 
courtiers of Louis XIV. ; yet which among the 
boldest of that profligate circle would have 
dared to sit. or eat, or put on his hat unbidden, 
in the presence of that haughty and exacting 
Sovereign? But, then, etiquette is not polite- 
ness, but only the mere external vesture of it; 
too often the mere counterfeit. True politeness 
is the outward visible sign of those inward 
spiritual graces called modesty, unselfishness, 
generosity. The manners of a gentleman are 
the index of his soul. His speech is innocent, 
because his life is pure ; his thoughts are direct, 
because his actions are upright; his bearing is 
gentle, because his blood, and his impulses, and 
hi? training are gentle also. A true gentleman 
is entirely free from every kind of pretence. He 
avoids homage, instead of exacting it. Mere 
ceremonies have no attraction for him. He seeks 
not to say civil things, but to do them. His 
hospitality, though hearty and sincere, will be 
strictly regulated by his means. His friends 
will be chosen for their good qualities and good 
manners; his servants, for their truthfulness 
and honesty: his occupations, for their useful- 
ness, or their gracefulness, or their elevating 
tendencies, whether moral, or mental, or poli- 
tical. And so we come round again to our first 
maxim ; i.e. that " good manners are the kindly 
fruit of a refined nature." 



14 GOOD MANNERS. 

And if this be true of mankind, how still 
more true is it of womankind ! Granted that 
truthfulness, gracefulness, considerateness, un- 
selfishness, are essential to the breeding of a 
true gentleman, how infinitely essential must 
they not be to the breeding of a true lady ! 
That her tact should be even readier, her syni- 

* */ 

pathies even tenderer, her instincts even finer, 
than those of the man, seems only fit and 
natural. In her, politeness, prvoyance, and all 
the minor observances of etiquette are abso- 
lutely indispensable. She must be even more 
upon her guard than a man in all those niceties 
of speech, look, and manner, which are the 
especial and indispensable credentials of good 
breeding. Every little drawing-room ceremo- 
nial, all the laws of precedence, the whole eti- 
quette of hospitality, must be familiar to her. 
And even in these points, artificial though they 
be, her best guide, after all, is that kindness 'of 
heart which gives honor where honor is due, 
and which is ever anxious to spare the feelings 
and prejudices of others. 

Every mistress of a house, be it remembered, 
is a minor sovereign, upon whose bounty the 
comfort, and happiness, and refinement of her 
little court depend. She must take especial 
care that her servants are capable, well-trained, 
and reliable, and that her domestic arrangements 
are carried on as noiselessly and easily as if by 



ON GOOD MANNERS IN GENERAL. 15 

machinery. In a well-ordered household the 
machinery is always in order, and alwavs works 

J v ; 

out of sight. No well-bred woman talks of her 
servants, of her dinner arrangements, or of the 
affairs of her nursery. One feels these matters 
to be under her surveillance, and that fact alone 
is a guarantee of their good management. The 
amusements and comforts of her guests are pro- 
vided for without discussion or comment ; and 
whatever goes wrong is studiously withheld 
from the conversation of the drawing-room. 
And let no lady, however young, however beau- 
tiful, however gifted, for one moment imagine 
that the management of her house can be 
neglected with impunity. If she is rich enough 
to provide an efficient housekeeper, well and 
good; but even so, the final responsibility must 
still rest upon her, and her alone. No tastes, 
no pleasures, must stand in the way of this im- 
portant duty ; and if even that duty should at 
first seem irksome, the fulfilment of it is sure 
to bring its own reward. 

Good manners of course presuppose good 
education. " Crabbed age and youth" are as 
incompatible associates as ignorance and high 
breeding. Let, therefore, those persons who from 
adverse circumstances have not run through the 
ordinary curriculum of a liberal education early 
in life, begin the reformation of their manners 
by the cultivation of their minds. Some know- 



16 GOOD MANNERS. 

ledge of ancient and modern history, of the 
progress of English literature, and of the cur- 
rent affairs of our own time, is indispensable to 
even the most ordinary conversationists. Next 
in importance comes a familiar acquaintance 
with the French and German languages. Nor 
is mere knowledge of much value, unless the 
taste be equally cultivated. Some familiarity 
with the best schools of art and music is now 
made not only possible but easy to persons of all 
classes. Museums, schools of art, reading-rooms, 
lecture halls, loan exhibitions, and the like, have 
of late years placed such means of culture as 
were unattainable by gentlemen and nobles 
of a hundred years ago within reach of the 
humblest mechanic. If knowledge is power, 
taste, be it remembered, is delight. Without 
taste, knowledge becomes mere pedantry, and 
study remains to the last unfruitful and unat- 
tractive. 

Let us in conclusion add the following lines 
by Tennyson, as an equally comprehensive and 
just definition of a true gentleman : 

" We see him as he moved, 
How modest, kindly, all accomplished, wise, 
With what sublime repression of himself, 
And in what limits, and how tenderly: 
Not making his high place a lawless perch 
Of winged ambitions, nor a vantage ground 
For pleasure: but thro' all this tract of years 
Wearing the white flower of a blameless life." 



CHAPTER II. 

Letters of Introduction Cards Addresses. 

DO not lightly give or promise letters of in- 
troduction. Always remember that when 
you give letters of introduction you lay yourself 
under an obligation to those friends to whom 
they may be addressed. If they live in any of 
the great cities, you in a measure compel them 
to undergo the penalty of escorting the strangers 
whom you introduce to some of those places of 
public entertainment in which the cities abound. 
In any case, you put your friends to the expense 
of inviting them to their table. 

We cannot be too cautious how we tax the 
time and purse of a friend, or weigh too seri- 
ously the question of mutual advantage in the 
introduction. Always ask yourself whether 
the person introduced will be an acceptable 
acquaintance to the one to whom you present 
him ; and whether the pleasure of knowing him 
will compensate for the time or money which 
it may cost to entertain him. If the stranger 
is in any way unsuitable in habits or tempera- 
ment, you inflict an annoyance upon your friend 
instead of a pleasure. In questions of intro- 



18 GOOD MANNERS. 

duction, never oblige one friend to the discom* 
fort of another. 

Letters of introduction are necessary in the 
country, particularly where new comers enter 
a new abode, and wish to enter the best society 
of the place. In the last case the inhabitants 
should call first, unless the new comer brings a 
letter of introduction, when he is the first to call. 
Instead, however, of going in. he sends his let- 
ter and card, and waits till this formal visit is 
returned. Never deliver a letter of introduction 
in person. It places you in the most undig- 
nified position imaginable, and compels you to 
wait while it is being read, like a footman. 
There is also another reason why you should 
not be yourself the bearer of your introduction ; 
i. e., you compel those to whom you are intro- 
duced to receive you, whether they choose or 
not. It may be that they arc sufficiently ill- 
bred to take no notice of the letter when sent-, 
and in such case, if you presented yourself with 
it. they would most probably receive you with 
rudeness. 

It is at all events more polite on your part to 
give them the option, and. perhaps, more plea- 
sant. If the receivers of the letter be really 
well-bred, they will call upon you or leave cards 
the next day, and you should return their atten- 
tions within the week. 

If, on the other hand, a stranger sends you 



LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION. 19 

a letter of introduction, and his or her card (for 
the law of etiquette here holds good for both 
sexes), you are bound, not only to call next day, 
but to follow up that attention by others. If 
you are in a position to do so, the next correct 
proceeding is to send an invitation to dinner. 
Should this not be within your power, you can 
probably escort the stranger to some exhibition, 
concert, public building, museum, or other place 
likely to prove interesting to a foreigner or pro- 
vincial visitor. In short, etiquette demands that 
you shall exert yourself to show kindness to the 
stranger, if only out of compliment to the friend 
who introduced him to you. 

If you invite strangers to dinner or tea, it is 
a better compliment to ask some others, than to 
dine with them tete-d-tetc. You are thereby 
affording them an opportunity of making other 
acquaintances, and are assisting your friend in 
still further promoting the purpose for which 
he gave the introduction to yourself. Be care- 
ful at the same time only to ask such persons 
as you are quite sure are the stranger's own 
social equals. 

A letter of introduction must be carefully 
worded, stating clearly the name of the person 
introduced, but with as few personal remarks 
as possible. It suffices, in most cases, to say 
that so-and-so is a friend of yours, whom you 
trust your other friend will receive with atten- 



GOOD MANNERS. 

tion. In travelling, one car/not have too many 
letters of introduction. It is the custom in 
foreign towns for the new coiner to call on the 
residents first, a hint that may prove acceptable 
to persons contemplating a long or short resi- 
dence abroad. 

A letter of introduction should be given un- 
sealed, not only because your friend may wish 
to know what you have said, but also as a 
guarantee of your own good faith. As you 
should never give such a letter unless you. can 
speak highly of the bearer, this rule of etiquette 
is easy to observe. By requesting your friend 
to fasten the envelope before forwarding the 
letter to its destination, you tacitly give per- 
mission to inspect its contents. Let your note- 
paper be of the best quality and of the proper 
size. 

The fashion of cards is a variable one. The 
visiting card should be perfectly simple. Glazed 
cards are now wholly out of fashion, and ladies' 
cards are cut smaller than they used to be. 
Never leave a card with y<>ui business address 
upon it, except when making a business call. 
Never use a card that is ornamented in any 
way. Let it be perfectly plain, tinted if you 
like. The possessor of two residences should 
have one address engraved in the left corner 
and one in the right. All merely honorary or 
official designations should be omitted, except in 



CARDS. 21 

cards designed for purely official visits. The 
engraving should be in simple Italian writing, 
not in Gothic or Roman letters, and be adorned 
with no flourishes. The address should always 
be in the corner. Some gentlemen and unmar- 
ried ladies have adopted the continental custom 
of omitting the Mr. and Miss upon their cards j 
as 

ALFRED JOHN MAJORIBANKS ; 
or 

LUCY CARRINGTON. 

And the fashion is a good one. Autographic 
fac-sirniles for visiting-cards are detestable affec- 
tations in any persons but those remarkable for 
talent, whose autographs, or fac-similes of whose 
autographs, would be prized as curiosities. A 
card bearing the autographic signature of Long- 
fellow or Whittier would possess a certain inte- 
rest; whereas the signature of John Smith or 
Mary Jones would be not only valueless, but 
would render the owner ridiculous. Persons in 
mourning must have cards bordered with black. 
Young unmarried ladies living with their pa- 
rents do not require separate cards. It is better 
to have their name placed below that of their 
mother ; as 

MRS. STEWART BFNG. 
Miss STEWART 



22 GOOD MANNERS. 

Some married people, when visiting together, 
use a single card, engraved thus: 

MR. & MRS. CHARLES BROWN. 

Leave-taking cards have P. P.O. (pour prendre 
conc/g) written in the corner, or P.D.A. (pour 
dire adieu). 

Wedding-cards should be as simple and unos- 
tentatious as possible. The envelopes and cards 
should be of the very best quality. 



CHAPTER III. 

Visiting Calls. 

A MORNING visit should be paid between the 
JLX hours of 12 and 3 P.M. Never pay a visit 
before noon ; and be careful always to avoid the 
luncheon hours of your friends. Some ladies 
dine with their children at one or half-past one 
o'clock, and are consequently unprepared for the 
early reception of visitors. When you have 
once ascertained this to be the case, be careful 
never to intrude again at the same hour. In 
this country, where almost every man has some 
business to occupy his day, the evening is the 
best time for him to pay his calls. Never call 
upon a lady after nine in the evening. 

A good memory for these trifles is one of the 
marks of good-breeding. 

A first visit should be returned within three 
days. A visit of ceremony and, indeed, a visit 
of friendship should always be brief. If even 
the conversation becomes animated, beware of 
letting your call exceed half an hour in length. 
It is better to let your friends regret rather than 
desire your withdrawal. 

3 (23) 



24 GOOD MANNERS. 

Always, when making a call, send up your 
card, by the servant who opens the door. 

Always leave a card when you find the person 
upon^whom you have called absent from home. 

When returning visits of ceremony, you may 
without impoliteness, leave your card at the door, 
without going in. Do not, however, fail to in- 
quire if the family be well. If there are visitors 
staying in the house, it is better to distinguish 
the cards intended for them by writing their 
names above your own. A married lady, calling 
upon a married lady, leaves her husband's card 
for the husband of her friend. 

Unless when returning thanks for "kind in- 
quiries," and announcing your arrival in, or 
departure from, town, it is not considered re- 
spectful to send round cards by a servant. 

Visits of condolence are paid within the week 
after the event which occasions them. Personal 
visits of this kind are made only by relations 
and very intimate friends, who should be care- 
ful to make the conversation as little painful as 
possible. 

In paying visits of congratulation, you should 
always go in, and be hearty in your congratula- 
tions. Wedding cards are generally sent round 
to such people as one wishes to keep up ac- 
quaintance with, and these will call first on the 
newly-married pair. A visit is also due to the 
parents who have invited you to the wedding. 






VISITING CALLS. 25 

A call should invariably be made within a 
week or fortnight upon friends or acquaintances 
at whose house you have dined, or from whom 
you have received an invitation to dine. 

A well-bred person will endeavor to receive 
visitors at any time. If you are occupied and 
cannot afford to be interrupted, it is better to 
instruct your servant to say that you are never 
"at home," except upon certain days and at 
certain hours. If a servant once admits a visitor 
within the hall, receive him at any incon- 
venience ; but take care that the circumstance 
does not occur again. A lady should never 
keep a visitor waiting. Some ladies only receive 
visitors on a stated day in each week ; but this 
is a somewhat pretentious custom, only to be 
justified by the exigencies of a very lofty posi- 
tion. Umbrellas and overcoats should always 
be left in the hall. 

When a gentleman makes a morning call, he 
should never leave his hat or riding-whip in the 
hall, but should take both into the room. To 
do otherwise would be to make himself too much 
at home. The hat should never be laid on a 
table, pianoforte, or any article of furniture, 
but must be held properly in the hand. If you 
are compelled to lay it aside, put it on the floor. 

When going to spend the evening with a 
friend whom you visit often, leave your hat, 
gloves, and great-coat in the hall. 



26 GOOD MANNERS. 

Never take favorite dogs into a drawing-room 
when you make a morning call. Their feet may 
he dusty, or they may bark at strangers, or, 
being of too friendly a disposition, may take the 
liberty of lying on a lady's gown, or jumping 
upon a velvet sofa or an easy chair. Besides, 
your friend may have a favorite cat already 
established before the fire, and in that case a 
battle may ensue. Many persons, too, have a 
constitutional antipathy to dogs, and others 
never allow their own to be seen in the recep- 
tion-rooms. For all or any of these reasons, 
a visitor has no right to inflict upon his friend 
the society of his dog as well as of himself. 

Neither is it well for a mother to take young 
children with her when she pays morning visits ; 
their presence, unless they are usually well- 
trained, can only be productive of anxiety to 
yourself and your hostess. She, while striving 
to amuse them, or to appear interested in them, 
is secretly anxious for the fate of her album, or 
the ornaments upon her efag&re ; while the 
mother is trembling lest her children should 
say or do something objectionable. 

If you do not keep a close carriage, you should 
never pay visits of ceremony in wet weather. 
To enter a drawing-room with mud-bespattered 
boots and damp clothes is a faux pas that no 
lady or gentleman will commit. 

On entering a crowded drawing-room-, go at 



VISITING CALLS. 27 

once to pay your respects to the lady of the 
house, and take the seat she indicates to you. 
A gentleman should take any vacant chair he 
may find, without troubling his hostess to think 
for him. Place a chair for a lady, and wait until 
she takes it before you sit doAvn yourself. Never 
sit beside a lady upon a sofa, or on a chair very 
near her own, unless she invites you to do so. 

A gentleman ought to rise upon the entrance 
of ladies. A lady does not rise. It is not per- 
missible to leave one's chair in order to get 
nearer the fire. As a general rule, an intro- 
duction is only followed by a bow, unless the 
persons to whom your hostess introduces you 
are her relations or very old friends, and for 
some special reason she desires that you should 
make their acquaintance. In this case you give 
your hand. A man has no right to take a lady's 
hand till it is offered. Two ladies shake hands 
gently and softly. A lady gives her hand to a 
gentleman, but does not shake his hand in 
return. Young ladies only bow to unmarried 
men. It is the privilege of a superior to offer 
or withhold his hand 5 an inferior should never 
be the first to extend the hand. Foreigners 
rarely shake hands, and then only with intimate 
friends. 

If other visitors are announced, and you have 
already remained as long as courtesy requires, 
wait till they are seated ; then take leave of 



28 GOOD MANNERS. 

your hostess ; bow politely to the newly arrived 
guests, and retire. You will, perhaps, be urged 
to remain ; but having once arisen, it is best to 
go. There is always a certain air of c/aucherie 
in resuming your seat, and repeating the cere- 
mony of leave-taking. If you have occasion to 
look at your watch during a call, ask permission 
to do so, and apologize for it on the plea of 
other appointments. 

A gentleman should rise when any lady takes 
her leave, and, if in his own house, should 
escort her to her carriage. 

Never take another gentleman to call upon 
one of your lady friends without first obtaining 
her permission to do so. 

In receiving morning visits, it is not neces- 
sary that a lady should lay aside the employ- 
ment in which she may be engaged, particularly 
if it consist of light or ornamental needle-work. 
Politeness, however, requires that music, draw- 
ing, or any absorbing occupation, be at once 
abandoned. A well-bred lady pays equal atten- 
tion to all her visitors, and endeavors to make 
conversation as general as possible. It is allow- 
able to pay extra attention to any person of 
distinguished rank, extreme age, or world-wide 
reputation. No one would resent a little exclu- 
sive politeness to a general, a nonagenarian, or a 
Longfellow. To do homage to the rich, simply 
because they are rich, is a piece of snobbism 



"VISITING CALLS. 29 

wliK* :/en the most amiable find it difficult to 
fof xve. 

A lady need not advance to receive visitors 
when announced, unless they are persons to 
whom she is desirous of testifying particular 
respect. It is sufficient if she rises, moves for- 
ward a single step to shake hands with them, 
and remains standing till they are seated. 

When her visitors rise to take leave, she 
should rise also, and remain standing till they 
have quite left the room. It is not necessary to 
accompany them to the drawing-room door, but 
the bell should be rung in good time, that the 
servant mav be ready in the hall to let them out. 

/ / 

If upon entering the parlor you find your friend 
is going out, or that the lady is dressed for a 
party or promenade, make your visit very brief. 
If the lady is unattended, and urges your stay, 
you may offer your service as an escort. 

Do not let your host come further with you 
th^n the room door if he has other visitors ; but 
if you are showing out a friend, and leave no 
others in the parlor, a gentleman should come 
to the street-door. 

A lady can never call upon a gentleman un- 
less professionally or officially. To do so would 
be, not only a breach of good manners, but of 
strict propriety. 

A ladv should dress well, though not too 

"^ 

richly, when she pays or receives morning visits. 



30 GOOD MANNERS. 

If she has a carriage at command, she may dress 
more elegantly than if she were on foot. A 
gentleman should always be well dressed. No 
one. in the present day, can afford to dress 
badly. 

Trifling as many of these little rules may at 
first sight appear, they are by no means unim- 
portant. Trifles in the aggregate become great 
social forces. 

It has been well said that " attention to the 
punctilios of politeness is a proof at once of 
self-respect, and of respect for your friend." 
Though irksome at first, these trifles soon cease 
to be matters for memory, and become things 
of mere habit. To the thoroughly well-bred 
they are a second nature. Let no one neglect 
them who is desirous of pleasing in society ; 
and, above all, let no one deem them unworthy 
of attention. They are precisely the trifles 
which do most to make social intercourse agree- 
able, and a knowledge of which distinguishes 
the gentleman and gentlewoman from the par- 
venu. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Conversation. 

""V/'OU shall not be facile, apologetic, or leaky," 
1 says Emerson, ''but king over your 
word." The art of expressing one's thoughts 
in clear, simple, elegant English, is one of the 
first to be attained by those who would mix in 
good society. No matter what claims you may 
have upon the world's attention or respect 
whether you be a millionaire, a genius, a dis- 
coverer, a philanthropist you must talk, and 
talk fairly well, if you would not altogether 
fail of producing some kind of impression upon 
society. To have something good to say, and 
to say it in the best possible manner, is to 
insure success and admiration. 

The first thing necessary for the attainment 
of this valuable accomplishment is a good edu- 
cation. Every well-bred person, as we have 
already remarked, should be well acquainted 
with the French language, with the history of 
his own country, and with the current events 
and literature of the day. Above all things, a 
perfect knowledge of English is indispensable. 
To talk of the nuances and elegancies of accent 




32 GOOD MANNERS. 

and language to persons who are wanting in 
rudimentary knowledge, is like discussing the 

/ o o 

charms of literary style with one who has not 
yet learned to spell. Yet let no one despair of 
being able to speak well, however laboriously 
he may have to contend with the disadvantages 
of neglected education. The safest and speediest 
plan is at once to procure a good teacher. Be- 
ware of trusting too readily to the guidance of 
a pronouncing dictionary. A work of this kind 
is, for the most part, a delusion and a snare. 
With its phonetic attempt at illustration, it can 
do no more than show you a skeleton, and call 
it a man. Those who have had no educational 
advantages in youth should set themselves to 
learn their own language as a foreigner would 
learn it; ?'. e. by assiduously working with a 
first-rate teacher of elocution, and by omitting 
no opportunity of hearing good English spoken. 
They should attend public readings, theatres, 
lectures, law-courts and the like, and be careful 
to associate as little as possible with persons 
who are in the habit of expressing themselves 
incorrectly and vulgarly. Nothing is so infec- 
tious as a vicious accent or a vulgar manner. 

All provincialisms, affectations of foreign ac- 
cent, mannerisms, exaggerations, and slang are 
detestable. Equally to be avoided are inaccura 
cies of expression, hesitation, and undue use of 
French or other foreign words, and anything 



CONVERSATION. 33 

approaching to flippancy, coarseness, triviality, 
or prevarication. The voice should never be 
loud, the speech should not be accompanied with 
gesticulation, and the features should ever be 
under strict control. A half -opened mouth, a 
smile ready at any moment to overflow into a 
laugh, a vacant stare, a wandering eye, are all 
evidences of ill-breeding. One may be as awk- 
ward with the mouth as with the arms or legs. 
Suppression of visible emotion, v .jther of 
laughter, or anger, or mortification, or disap- 
pointment, is a sure irvr; of breeding. 

Ne. fc to unexceptionable grammar, correct 
elocution, and a frank, sclf-controlle r i bearing, 
it is necessary to be genial. Do not go into 
society unless you can in I'le up your rnind to be 
cheerf'U, sympathetic, animating, a w r1] as 
animated. Dulness is one of the unforgivable 
offerees. Society does no' require you to be as 
hilarious as if you ha- just come into a fortune, 
but you have no right to look as though you 
had just lost one. 

In die present day an acquaintance with art 
is indispensable. Music and painting are con- 
stantly discussed in good society, and you should 
know something about the best works of the 
great painters, sculptors, and musicians. Be care- 
ful not to display this knowledge too much 
it may become tiresome, or you may be tripped 
up by some one who knows more. 



34 GOOD MANNERS. 

The matter of conversation is as important as 
the manner. There are a thousand conversa- 
tional shoals and quicksands to be avoided in 
society ; and though tact and good feeling will 
for the most part point them out, it may be as 
well to enumerate a few of them. 

Compliments are inadmissible in society, un- 
less, indeed, they are so delicately put as to be 
hardly discernible. All flattery is vulgar, and 
born of snobbism, while the habit of neaping 
attentions or civil speeches upon those who are 
richer, better born, or wiser than ourselves, 
induces insincerity on the one hand and disgust 
on the other. Even the best-meant flattery does 
harm, since it is sure to be ascribed to interested 
motives. Testify your respect, your admiration, 
your gratitude, by deeds, not words. Words 
are easy, deeds difficult. Few will believe the 
first, but the last carry confirmation with them. 

In conversation the face should wear some- 
thing which is akin to a smile ; a smile, as it 
were, below the surface. 

We should always look at the person who 
addresses us, and listen deferentially to what- 
ever he says. When we make answer, we should 
endeavor to express our best thoughts in our 
best manner. A loose manner of expression 
injures ourselves more than our interlocutor; 
since, if we talk carelessly to those whom we 
will not take the trouble to please, we shall feel 



CONVERSATION. 35 

at a loss for apt words and correct elocution 
when we need them. 

Always think before you speak ; as thus only 
can you acquire a habit of speaking to the 
purpose. 

A clear intonation, a well-chosen phraseology, 
a logical habit of thought, and a correct accent, 
will prove of inestimable advantage to the young 
of both sexes on beginning life. 

Polite vulgarisms must be scrupulously 
guarded against. A well-educated person pro- 
claims himself by the simplicity and terseness 
of his language. It is only the half-educated 
who indulge in fine language, and think that 
long words and high-sounding phrases are dis- 
tingue. Good, clear Saxon Erglish is nowhere 
better studied than in the wo As of Macaulay, 
Sydney Smith, Southey, Jeremy Taylor, Defoe, 
George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope. Such 
works should be read again and again. 

Anything approaching to extravagance in 
conversation is objectionable. We should en- 
deavor to ascertain the precise meaning of the 
words we employ, and only employ them at the 
right time. Such phrases as "awfully hot/' 
"immensely jolly," "abominably dull," "dis- 
gustingly mean." &c ., &c., are constantly used 
in the most reckless manner, and end by con- 

/ / 

veying no meaning whatever. This hyperbolica/ 



36 GOOD MANNERS. 

way of speaking is mere flippancy, without wit 
or novelty to recommend it 

All " slang" is vulgar. It has become of late 
unfortunately prevalent, and we have known 
even ladies pride themselves on the saucy chiqiie 
with which they adopt certain cant phrases of 
the day. Such habits cannot be too severely 
reprehended. They lower the tone of society 
and the standard of thought. It is a great mis- 
take to suppose that slang is in any way a sul- 
stitute for wit. 

Scandal is the least excusable of all conver 
sational vulgarities. 

The use of proverbs is very objectionable in 
society ; and puns, unless they rise to the rank 
of witticisms, are to be scrupulously avoided. 
There is no greater nuisance in society than a 
dull and persevering punster. 

Long arguments in general company, however 
entertaining to the disputants, are, to the last 
degree, tiresome to the hearers. You should 
always prevent the conversation from dwelling 
too long on one topic. 

Religion and politics are subjects which should 
never be introduced in general society at the 
dinner-table, or in the society of ladies. They 
are subjects on which persons are most likely 
to differ, and least likely to preserve their 
temper. 

If you are led into such discussions, be care- 



CONVERSATION. 37 

ful not to use language and actions unbecoming 
a gentleman. A man in a passion ceases to be 
a gentleman. Even if convinced your opponent 
is wrong, yield gracefully, decline further dis- 
cussion, or dexterously turn the conversation. 

Interruption of the speech of others is a great 
sin against good breeding. It has been aptly 
said, that u if you interrupt a speaker in the 
middle of his sentence, you act almost as rudely 
as if, when walking with a companion, you were 
to thrust yourself before him, and stop his 
progress." 

To listen well, is almost as great an art as to 
talk well. It is not enough only to listen. You 
must endeavor to seem interested in the conver- 
sation of others. Never anticipate the point of 
a story which another is reciting, or take it from 
his lips to finish it in your own language. 

Gentlemen should not make use of classical 
quotations in the presence of ladies, without 
apologizing for, or translating them. Even then, 
it should only be done when no other phrase 
can so aptly express their meaning. Much dis- 
play of learning is pedantic and out of place in 
a drawing-room. All topics especially interest- 
ing to gentlemen, such as the turf, the exchange, 
or the farm, should be excluded from general 

^^ 

conversation. .Men should also remember that 
all ladies are not interested n politics, and dwell, 
of preference, upon such subjects as they are 



38 GOOD MANNERS. 

sure to be acquainted with. Never talk upon 
subjects of which you know nothing, unless it 
be for the purpose of acquiring information. 
Many young ladies and gentlemen imagine that, 
because they play a little, sing a little, draw a 
little, frequent exhibitions and operas, arid so 
forth, they are qualified judges of art. No mis- 
take is more egregious or universal. The young 
should never be critical. A young person of 
either sex can but appear ridiculous when sati- 
rizing books, people, or things : opinion, to be 
worth the consideration of others, should have 
the advantage of maturity. 

Anecdotes should be very sparsely introduced 
into conversation, and should be invariably 
*' short, witty, eloquent, new, not far-fetched." 

Repartee must be indulged in with equal 
moderation. Utterly objectionable to all persons 
of taste is the fast and flippant style of speech 
adopted by some fashionable young ladies of the 
present day. In converging with men or women 
of rank, do not too frequently give them their 
titles ; such as General. Doctor, &c. -, they must 
always have the surname appended by stran- 
gers : as, " What i-' your opinion, General Mac- 
clonald ?" not, u What is your opinion, General ?'' 
1 hope you are well, Doctor Brown?' 5 not, " 1 
hope you are well, Doctor." The surname can 
only be omitted by old friends. As a rule, names 
should be used but seldom, and never familiarly. 



CONVERSATION. 39 

Few solecisms give deeper offence than any 
liberty taken with one's name, which should 
invariably be spelt and pronounced according to 
the example of the possessor. 

In the society of foreigners it must be remem- 
bered that the custom is wholly different from 
ours. A Frenchman is always addressed no 
matter whether he bear a professional, official, 
or military title as *' Monsieur ;" and you never 
omit the word "Madame," whether addressing 
a duchess or a dressmaker. However much we 
may object to the custom, we should adopt it 
when in the society of foreigners, remember- 
ing that to forget the appellatives, "Monsieur, 
Madame, and Mademoiselle," equally with the 
German " Mein Herr," and the Italian "Sig- 
nore," would savor as much of ill breeding as 
if we were to address our own country-people as 
"Sir," "Ma'am," and "Miss," after the fashion 
of servants. 

The great secret of talking well is to adapt 
your conversation as skilfully as may be to your 
company. Some men make a point of talking 
commonplaces to all ladies alike, as if a woman 
could only be a trifler. Others, on the contrary, 
seem to forget in what respects the education 
of a lady differs from that of a gentleman, and 
commit the opposite error of conversing on topics 
with which ladies are seldom acquainted. A 
woman of sense has as much right to be an- 
4 



40 GOOD MANNERS. 

noyed by the one, as a lady of ordinary educa- 
tion by the other. You cannot pay a finer 
compliment to a woman of refinement and esprit 
than by leading the conversation into such a 
channel as may mark your appreciation of her 
superior attainments. 

It should be remembered that people take 
more interest in their own affairs than in any- 
thing else which you can name. In tHe-a-tHe 
conversations, therefore, lead a mother to talk 
of her children, a young lady of her last ball, an 
author of his forthcoming book, or an artist of 
his exhibition picture. Having furnished the 
topic, you need only listen ; and you are thought 
not only agreeable, but thoroughly sensible, 
amiable, and well-informed. 

Be careful, on the other hand, not always to 
make a point of talking to persons upon general 
matters relating to their professions. To show 
an interest in their immediate concerns is flat- 
tering, but to converse with them too much 
about their own art or profession looks as if you 
thought them ignorant of other topics. 

Do not be always witty, even though you should 
be so happily gifted as to need the caution. To 
outshine others on every occasion is the surest 
road to unpopularity. 

In a tdte-d-t&te conversation, however interest- 
in ir, it is extremely ill-bred to drop the voice to 
a whisper, or to converse on private matters* 



CONVERSATION. 4l 

Members of a family should not converse to- 
gether in society. 

If a foreigner be one of the guests at a small 
party, and does not understand English suffi- 
ciently well to follow what is said, good breed- 
ing demands that the conversation should be 
carried on in his own language, or that he should 
be introduced to some person conversant with it. 

If upon the entrance of a visitor you carry on 
the thread of a previous conversation, you should 
briefly recapitulate to him what has been said 
before he arrived. 

Always look, but never stare, at those with 
whom you converse. 

Do not frequently repeat the name of the per- 
son with whom you are conversing ; it implies 
either the extreme of hauteur or familiarity. We 
have already cautioned you against the repeti- 
tion of titles. Deference can always be better 
expressed in the voice, manner, and countenance 
than in any forms of words. 

Never speak of absent persons by only their 
Christian names or surnames, but always as Mr. 
or Mrs. . Above all, never name any- 
body by the first letter of his name. Married 
people are sometimes guilty of this flagrant 
offence against taste. 

Even slight inaccuracy in statement of facts 
or opinions should rarely be remarked on in 



4:2 GOOD MANNERS. 

conversation. No one likes to be corrected, 
especially in the presence of others. 

Be careful in company how you defend your 
friends, unless the conversation be addressed to 
yourself. Remember that nobody is perfect, 
%nd people may sometimes speak the truth ; and 
that, if contradicted, they may be desirous of 
justifying themselves, and will prove what 
might otherwise have been a matter of doubt. 

Never speak of your own children, except to 
your servants, as "Master" Tom or "Miss" 
Mary. Give them their Christian names only. 

Remember in conversation that a voice ''gentle 
and low" is, above all other extraneous accom- 
plishments, u an excellent thing in woman." 
There is a certain distinct but subdued tone of 
voice which is peculiar only te persons of the 
best breeding. It is better to err by the use of 
too low than too loud a tone. Loud laughter 
is extremely objectionable in society. 

Conversation is a reflex of character. The 
pretentious, the illiterate, the impatient, the 
envious, will as inevitably betray tneir idiosyn- 
crasies as the modest, the even-tempered, and 
the generous. Strive as we may, we cannot be 
always acting. Let us, therefore, cultivate a 
tone of mind and a habit of life, the betrayal 
of which need not put us to shame in the com- 
pany of the pure and the wise ; and the rest 



CONVERSATION. 43 

will be easy. If we make ourselves worthy of 
refined and intelligent society, we shall not be 
rejected from it; and in such society we shall 
acquire by example all that we have failed to 
learn from precept. 

A knowledge of English and foreign litera- 
ture, of home and foreign politics, of current 
history and subjects of passing interest, is ab- 
solutely necessary, to be derived from the best 
daily newspapers, the reviews and magazines. 

u You cannot have one well-bred man," says 
Emerson, "without a whole society of such." 
Elsewhere he says: "It makes no difference, 
in looking back five years, how you have dieted 
or dressed ; whether you have been lodged on 
the first floor or in the attic; whether you have 
had gardens and baths, good cattle and horses, 
have been carried in a neat equipage, or in a 
ridiculous truck ; these tilings are forgotten so 
quickly, and leave no effect. But it counts 
much whether we have had good companions 
in that time, almost as much as what we have 
been doing." 



CHAPTER V. 

Letter Writing Invitations. 

^IIERE is no branch of education, no portion 

1 of intercourse with others, and no quality 

which will stand in good stead more frequently 

than the capability of writing a good letter upon 

any and every subject. 

No one should write letters at all who cannot 
write in a clear, fair hand, that " those who run 
may read." In a busy age like the present, 
when every one's time has a certain value, we 
have no right to impose the reading of hiero- 
glyphics upon our correspondents, /'s should 
be dotted, fs crossed, capitals used in their pro- 
per places, and only the most obvious abbrevi- 
ations indulged in. Punctuation is equally de 
rigueur ; the most unimportant letters should be 
carefully punctuated ; and the habit is so easily 
acquired, and so simple, that after a while it 
entails no mor)s time or thought than dotting 
the i's. The handwriting of a lady or gentle- 
man should not be commercial or scholastic, but 
bold, firm, and characteristic. All affectations 
in writing should be avoided, such as sloping 
one's hand to the left, the use of flourishes, un- 

(44) 



LETTER WRITING INVITATIONS. 45 

due largeness or smallness of characters, &c., 
&c. The signature should be simple and unos- 
tentatious. Nothing is more absurd than to see 
a person whose name can have no significance 
to the world in general, sign himself as elabo- 
rately as if he were at least the Pope or the Pre- 
mier. Underlining should only be resorted to 
when the underlined word is very important. 
Many ladies carry this practice to excess, and so 
rob it of all significance. What should we think 
of a speaker who emphasized every other word ? 

For ordinary correspondence it is advisable 
to use white note-paper of fair quality, thick, 
white, and perfectly plain, with the address 
printed in simple characters at the top. This 
custom saves much trouble and insures your 
correspondent's answer being correctly ad- 
dressed. From a business letter the address 
and date should never be omitted. 

Write legible, correctly, and without erasures, 
upon a whole sheet of paper; never upon a 
sheet which has anything written upon it, 
erasures, or is soiled. It is very impolite to use 
for an answer the half of the sheet upon which 
the original letter was written. 

If monograms and crests are used, they 
should be as simple as possible, and in one 
color only. Gilt monograms and crests printed 
in many colors are pretentious, and therefore 
not in good taste. Perhaps the most simple, 



46 



GOOD MANNERS. 



elegant, and dignified way of setting your cachet 
on your letter is by sealing it with your arms. 
Married ladies use their husbands' arms. Un- 
married ladies cannot bear crests or coats of 
arms: but must only have the quarterings of 
their fathers' and mothers' arms on a lozenge. 
Red sealing-wax is inadmissible, and wafers 
must never be used. In mourning, the paper 
and envelopes should have a black border suit- 
able to the degree of relationship to the dead, 
and the length of time during which one has 
been in mourning. In the very deepest mourn- 
ing, exaggerations of black border are unbe- 
coming and out of taste. Real grief is always 
unostentatious. 

The ceremonial of invitations is much changed 
of late years. For large solrts and u At Homes" 
printed invitations on cards and note-paper are 
used. The form is simply this : 



"MRS. NORMAN," . 

AT HOME. 

Monday Evening, June the H4th inst. 



with the name of the invited persons written 
above, or on the envelope. The least formal of 



LETTER WRITING INVITATIONS. 47 

formal invitations is when the lady sends her 
own visiting-card with the invitation written 
upon it in her own handwriting. 

An invitation of this sort is not to be replied to: 
you go or not, as you please ; and, in the latter 
case, you leave a card next day. If you go, 
you do not call afterwards, a party of this kind 
standing on the same footing as an open after- 
noon. 

Notes of invitation for evening parties are 
issued in the name of the lady of the house. 
The most formal may be worded thus : 

" Mrs. Ashton requests the honor of Mr. and 
Mrs. James Brown's company on Monday 
evening, 14th June." 

The reply may run as follows: 

" Mr. and Mrs. James Brown regret that a 
previous engagement must deprive them of the 
pleasure of accepting Mrs. Ashton's kind invi- 
tation for Monday, the 14th inst." 

Or, ''Mr. and Mrs. James Brown have much 
pleasure in accepting Mrs. Ashton's kind invita- 
tion for the 14th inst." 

The old fashioned preliminary of "presenting 
compliments" is now discontinued by the most 
elegant letter-writers. 

Never '' avail" yourself of an invitation. 
Above all, never speak or write of an invitation 
as "an invite." It is neither good breeding nor 
good English. 



48 GOOD MANNERS. 

When the invitation is for a ball, the " At 
Home" form is usually adopted 5 in which case 
there will be added, in the corner, li Dancing," 
or ' Dancing at 11 o'clock." If it be for a 
musical party, intimation must also be given 
of the hour at which the music begins. The 
following is the most formal invitation to a 
ball : 

"Mrs. Molyneux requests the pleasure of 
Captain Hamilton's company at an evening 
party, on Monday, March the llth inst. 

11 Dancing will begin at 10 o'clock." 

The answer must correspond, in this style: 

" Captain Hamilton has much pleasure in 
accepting Mrs. Molyneux's kind invitation for 
Monday evening, March the llth inst. 

Invitations of this formal kind can be sent 
out three weeks or a month before the party 
takes place. In most cases, a notice of one week 
is given. Invitations should be written on small 
note-paper of the best quality, with envelope to 
correspond, and sealed with a small crest, or 
initial. 

Dinner invitations are written and issued in 
the name of husband and wife. 

The following form may be printed or writ- 
ten : 

" Mr. and Mrs. Bray request the honor of Mr. 
and Mrs. Thomson's company at dinner on the 
12th of Feb. at 7 o'clock." 



LETTER WRITING INVITATIONS. 49 

If accepted, the reply is thus written : 

" Mr. and Mrs. Thomson have much pleasure 
in accepting Mr. and Mrs. Bray's kind invita- 
tion to dinner on the 12th of Feb." 

The word "pleasure," may be substituted for 
" honor," in inviting friends. The u afternoon" 
party is now much in vogue, especially in the 
country, where croquet and music are provided 
by way of amusement. A visiting-card may be 
sent, with the hour of assembling added in the 
corner. The kind of amusement provided should 
be intimated on the card, as ladies attend croquet 
or archery parties in suitable dresses. 

We now come to letter-writing in general. 
Having already insisted on the necessity of good 
handwriting, we pass on to other matters, such 
as style, form of address, &c. 

No letter should contain erasures under any 
circumstances whatever. 

Abbreviations are only permitted in business 
letters, and in friendly correspondence must 
never be used. Figures only when putting a 
date or a sum of money. 

The name, date, and address of a letter may 
be put either at the top of the page or at the 
end. In the former case at the right-hand side, 
and in the latter, at the left-hand. 

The stamp should be placed exactly in the 
right-hand corner of the envelope ; it must nei- 
ther be upside down, nor slanting, nor in any 



50 GOOD MANNERS. 

way carelessly affixed. Negligence in these 
matters evinces a rudeness to the person to whom 
you write, as showing that you think anything 
will do. Blots and smears are equally inadmis- 
sible. Great care should be observed in address- 
ing people by their proper names. Absent people 
have been known to begin a letter to one person, 
finish to another, and send it on to a third. 

Always when sending a letter of inquiry, en- 
close a stamp for the answer. You have no right 
to take up a person's time and then put him to 
an expense as well as the trouble. 

Letters to tradespeople should be addressed to 
Mr. , or Messrs. and . 

An unmarried lady cannot address a gentle- 
man as '' My dear Sir," unless she is very old, 
and he too. It should be, " Dear Sir." 

Never omit your own name and address from 
any letter, whether of business or friendship. 

In writing to persons much your superior or 
inferior, use as lew words as possible. In the 
former case, to take up much of a great man's 
time is to take a liberty ; in the latter, to be 
diffuse is to be too familiar. It is only in cor- 
respondence with very intimate friends that long 
letters are permissible. If occasion necessitates 
a letter to a very busy person (a professional 
lady or gentleman, for instance), politeness re- 
quires that it should be i rained as curtly as is 
consistent with civility and perspicuity. It is 



LETTER WRITING INVITATIONS. 51 

unpardonable to take up people's time simply 
because we do not choose to be at the trouble 
of concentrating our thoughts and sparing our 
words. 

In writing to friends and acquaintances, we 
should never communicate bad news abruptly, 
but should lead the way to it in such a manner 
as to soften the blow. A great deal of pain may 
be avoided by a proper choice of words. And 
we should scrupulously avoid writing too fre- 
quently, or at too great a length, of our own 
losses and misfortune. To do this is mere 
thoughtless egotism. We have a right to expect 
sympathy from our friends, but we have no 
right to make our letters inflictions. Letters 
should invariably be written in a tone of cheer- 
fulness, or, at least, of resignation. 

An ill-tempered letter is as great a mistake as 
a lachrymose one. Nothing is so inexpedient 
as to write a letter in a fit of indignation or 
anger. If you must give way to your feelings, 
write your letter, but let it remain unposted till 
the next day ; or do not write at all, but seek 
instead an interview with the person who has 
wronged or affronted you. Spoken recrimina- 
tion or reproof is forgotten ; but when you 
have once written down and issued your angry 
thoughts, they are irrevocable and a sure source 
of after regret. 

Equally, in dealing with inferiors who have 



52 GOOD MANNERS. 

acted unfairly by you, is a civil tone of corre- 
spondence to be insisted upon. Be as haughty 
as you please, but state your grievance in plain 
unvarnished terms, and there end. If the truth 
does not sting, nothing will ; and vituperation, 
though it does not injure the person on whom 
you bestow it, injures your own cause, and 
detracts from the dignity of your position. 

In writing, as in conversation, egotism is a 
capital offence. We have no more right to be 
egotistic on paper than we have a right to be 
dull or disagreeable. A letter should be like a 
visit, bright, inspiriting, and a reflex of our best 
mood. Above all, it should be kind and sym- 
pathetic. There are letters whose arrival, we 
hail as we should that of a new book by a 
delightful writer, or as the visit of a brilliant 
acquaintance. Again there are others the deli- 
very of which, anticipating all the dulness and 
verbosity with which they are certain to abound, 
we dread like the incursion of a well-known 
bore. Who would not wish to be the writer of 
the one? Who would not take any amount of 
pains with his correspondence sooner than be 
dreaded like the other? 

Attend to your orthography; many spell 
badly from ignorance, but more from careless- 
ness. If you are in doubt about a word, do not 
hesitate, but apply at once to the best diction- 
ary. Reading with care will secure everybody 



LETTER WRITING INVITATIONS. 53 

from false spelling ; for books are always spelled 
well, according to the orthography of the times. 
The manner of writing is as important as the 
matter. 

After orthography, you should make it a point 
to write a good hand ; clear, legible, and at the 
same time easy, graceful, and rapid. 

See that the wording of your letters is in 
strict accordance with the rules of grammar. 
Nothing stamps the difference between a well- 
educated man and an ignorant one more decid- 
edly than the purely grammatical sentences of 
the one compared with the labored sentences of 
the other. 

Style adorns or disfigures a subject-, much 
depends on the manner in which letters are 
written , they ought to be easy and natural, not 
strained and florid. 

The secret of letter-writing consists in writing 
as you would speak ; correctly and properly 
as possible, simple, concise, clear, and natural. 



CHAPTER VI. 

The Lady's Toilet. 

T)ERHAPS, in these days of public and private 
_L baths, it may seem a work of supereroga- 
tion to insist upon cleanliness as the first requi- 
site in a lady's toilet. Yet it may be as well to 
remind our fair readers that fastidiousness on 
this head cannot be carried too far. Cleanliness 
is the outward sign of inward purity. Cleanli- 
ness is health, and health is beauty. 

We will begin, then, with the business of the 
dressing-room, which can be quite well per- 
formed in three-quarters of an hour, or even 
less. To sleep too much is as trying to the con- 
stitution as to sleep too little. To sleep too 
much is to render oneself liable to all kinds of 
minor ailments, both of mind and body. It is a 
habit that cannot be too severely censured, espe- 
cially in the young. No mother has any right 
to allow her young daughters to ruin their 
tempers, health, and complexions, by lying in 
bed till nine or ten o'clock. Early rising con- 
duces more to the preservation of health, fresh- 
ness, and young looks, than anything in the 

(54) 



THE LADY'S TOILET. 55 

world, and even to the proper preservation of 
our mental faculties. 

The bath is a most important object of study. 
It is not to be supposed that we wash in order 
to become clean ; we wash because we wish to 
remain clean. The bath should be taken by a 
person in good health once a day in winter, and 
twice a day in summer. For persons of really 
robust constitutions a cold shower-bath may be 
recommended ; but as a general rule the sponge- 
bath is safest and most convenient. Cold water 
refreshes and invigorates, but does not cleanse : 
those persons, therefore, who daily use a cold 
bath in the morning, should frequently use a 
warm one at night. 

A tepid bath, varying from 85 to 95, is the 
safest for general use, the more particularly as 
it answers the purpose both of refreshing and 
cleansing. It is not well to remain in the bath 
for longer than two or three minutes. A large 
coarse sponge is best for the purpose. It is advi- 
sable to wet the top of the head before entering 
a cold bath. Whether soap be used or not, it is 
flrell to apply the flesh-brush gently to the face 
and vigorously to the whole body. Nothing 
improves the complexion like the daily use of 
the flesh-brush. When the brushing is con- 
cluded, a huck-a-back or Turkish towel should 
be used for the final process of drying. 

The teeth must be scrupulously cared for. If 
5 



56 GOOD MANNERS. 

proper care were taken of the teeth in youth, 
there would be less employment for the dentist 
in after-life. Very hot and very sweet things 
should be avoided. The teeth should be care- 
fully brushed, not only night and morning, but 
after every meal. Very hard tooth-brushes are 
not advisable, and a simple tooth-powder of 
common chalk is safer and more effectual than 
any quackeries. The onion, we need scarcely 
observe, must be the forbidden fruit of the Eve 
of the nineteenth century. Indigestible food is 
also certain to affect the sweetness of the breath. 
As soon as the breath becomes unpleasant, one 
mu-v be quite sure that the digestive machinery 
ut of order. 

The nails must always be fastidiously clean, 
and never allowed to grow inordinately long. 
In cutting the nails every care must be given to 
the preservation of the shape, and to the removal 
of superfluous skin. A liberal use of the nail- 
brush, warm water, and best Windsor soap will 
insure the preservation of a delicate hand. 
Gloves must of course be worn out of doors; 
and even indoors as much as possible. 

The hair requires a good deal of care, though 
of the simplest and most inartificial kind. The 
secret of fine and glossy hair is a clean hair- 
brush -, and ladies who keep no maid to perform 
those offices for them should wash their hair- 
brushes in hot water and soda every few days. 



THE LADY'S TOILET. 57 

Once secure the perfect cleanliness of your 
hair-brush, and the rest will be easy. Brush 
the hair carefully both at night and morning ; 
let it be occasionally cleansed with yolk of egg 
beaten up, or a mixture of glycerine and lime- 
juice, and you will find no need to resort to hair- 
doctors or quacks. Pomade and oil are strictly 
to be avoided , but after a sea-water bath, or 
during a sea journey, a little warm pomade will 
be useful in softening the hair. 

Above all things, never attempt to change the 
color of the hair by means of fashionable dyes 
and fluids. Color so obtained cannot harmonize 
naturally with the skin, .eyes, and eyebrows that 
Nature has given. Practices of this kind are 
simply and strictly immodest. Let ladies be 
careful in regard to diet, take regular exercise 
in the open air, wear broad-brimmed hats in the 
sun, and veils in the wind 5 let them avoid pearl 
powders and washes of every kind ; let them, 
above all things, go early to bed, and rise be- 
times in the morning ; and if by so doing they 
are not made " beautiful for ever," they can 
never be made so. 

The face should never be washed when heated 
from exercise. Wipe the perspiration from the 
skin, and wait till it is sufficiently cool before 
you bathe, even with warm water. Rain water 
is best for the bath. In case of any eruption 
upon the skin, no time should be lost in pro- 



58 GOOD MANNERS. 

curing medical advice. He who doctors him- 
self, says the proverb, has a fool for his phy- 
sician. 

With regard to Dress, it is impossible to do 
more than offer a few general observations. The 
fashion of dress is of to-day ; but the aesthetics 
of dress are for all time. No matter to what 
absurd lengths fashion may go, a woman of 
taste will ever avoid the ridiculous. The milli- 
ner and dressmaker may handle the scissors 
never so despotically, but in matters of color, 
harmony, and contrast they remain under the 
control of their employer. Dress, indeed, may 
fairly claim to be considered in the light of a 
fine art. To dress well demands something 
more than a full purse and a pretty figure. It 
requires taste, good sense, and refinement. 

A woman of taste and good sense will neither 
make dress her first nor her last object in life. 
She will remember that no wife should betray 
that total indifference for her husband's taste 
which is implied in the neglect of her appear- 
ance ; and she will also remember that to dress 
consistently and tastefully is one of the duties 
which she owes to society. 

There is a Spanish proverb which says, 
" Every hair has its shadow." So, in like 
manner, every lady, however insignificant her 
social position may appear to herself, must exer- 
cise a certain influence on the feolings and opi- 



THE LADY'S TOILET. 59 

nions of others. If, therefore, the art of dressing 
appears either too irksome or too frivolous to 
such of the fair sex as are engaged in serious 
occupations, let them remember that it performs 
the same part in beautifying domestic life as is 
performed by music and the fine arts in embel- 
lishing the life moral and spiritual. So long, 
therefore, as dress merely occupies so much time 
and requires so much money as we are fairly 
entitled to allow it, nothing can be said against 
it. When extravagant fashions are indulged in 
extravagant habits fostered at any cost and under 
any circumstances the critic is quite justified 
in his strictures, however severe. Dress, to be in 
perfect taste, need not be costly ; and no woman 
of right feeling will adorn her person at the ex- 
pense of her husband's comfort or her children's 
education. 

" As a work of art a well-dressed woman is 
a study." Her toilette will be as bien soignee 
and as well chosen at the family breakfast-table 
as at the ball. If she loves bright colors and 
can wear them with impunity, they will be 
as harmoniously arranged as an artist arranges 
his colors on the palette. If she is young, her 
dress will be youthful ; if she is old, it will not 
affect simplicity. She will always follow rather 
than lead the prevailing fashion, and rather 
follow her own fashion than violate good taste 
or common sense. 



60 GOOD MANNERS. 

The golden rule in dress is to avoid extremes. 
Do not be so original in your dress as to be pe- 
culiar; and do not affect fashions that are radi- 
cally unbecoming to you. Ladies who are neither 
very young nor very striking in appearance can- 
not do better than wear quiet colors. Ladies 
who are not rich can always appear well dressed, 
with a little care in the choice and arrangement 
of the materials. Whatever the texture of the 
dress, it should be made by the very best dress- 
maker you can afford. As well go to a third or 
fourth-rate dentist, music-master, or doctor, as 
go to a third or fourth-rate dressmaker. The 
dressmaker is a woman's good or evil genius. 

Morning dress should be faultless in its w r ay. 
For young ladies, married or unmarried, nothing 
is prettier in* summer than Avhite or very light 
morning dresses of washing materials. Light 
dresses must be exquisitely fresh and clean, 
ribbons fresh, collars and cuifs irreproachable 
All stuffs are to be rigidly eschewed except those 
of the very finest kind. Morning dress for 
elderly ladies of wealth and position should be 
of dark silk. Jewellery, hair ornaments, and 
light silk dresses are not permissible for morn- 
ing wear. 

Walking dress should always be quiet. Rich 
walking dress attracts attention, which in the 
street is not desirable. For the carriage, a lady 
may dress as elegantly as she pleases. 



THE LADY'S TOILET. 61 

Elderly ladies should always dress richly. 
Any thin old lady may .wear delicate colors, 
whilst a stout, florid person looks best in black 
or dark gray. For young as well as old, the 
question of colors must, however, be determined 
by complexion and figure. Rich colors harmo- 
nize with rich brunette complexions and dark 
hair 5 delicate colors are the most suitable for 
delicate and fragile styles of beauty. 

For ball dresses light and diaphanous mate- 
rials are worn ; silk dresses are not suitable for 
dancing. Black and scarlet, black and violet, 
or white, are worn in mourning 5 but ladies in 
deep mourning should not go to balls at all. 
They must not dance, and their dark dresses look 
out of place in a gay assembly. 

At dinner parties, unless of a small, friendly 
kind, only the fullest dress is appropriate. 
Demi-toilette can be worn at unceremonious 
dinners, and even high dresses,, if the material 
be sufficiently rich. It is better to wear real 
flowers at large dinner parties, but artificial 
ones at balls ; since the former would droop and 
fall to pieces with the heat and the dancing. 

Much jewellery is out of place for young 
ladies at any time ; and, indeed, there is as 
much propriety to be observed in the wearing 
of jewellery as in the wearing of dresses. 
Diamonds, pearls, rubies, and all transparent 
precious stones belong to evening dress, and 



62 GOOD MANNERS. 

should never be worn before dinner. Ii, the 
morning, one's rings should be of the simplest 
kind, and one's jewellery limited to a good 
brooch, gold chain, and watch. Diamonds and 
pearls are as much out of place during the 
morning as a low dress or a wreath. 

It is well to remember in the choice of jewel- 
lery that mere costliness is not always the test 
of value ; and that an exquisite work of art, 
such as a fine intaglio or cameo, or a natural 
rarity, such as a black pearl, is a possession more 
dixtinf/uti than a large brilliant which any one 
who has money enough can buy as well as your- 
self. Of all precious stones the opal is the most 
lovely and least commonplace. No merely vul- 
gar woman purchases an opal. 

Gloves, shoes, and boots must always be fault- 
less. Gloves cannot be too light for the carriage, 
or too dark for the streets. A woman with ill- 
fitting gloves cannot be said to be well dressed ; 
while to wear soiled gloves at your friend's 
soiree is to show her that you think lightly of 
herself and her company. 

It may be remarked, by the way, that per- 
fumes should be used only in the evening, and 
with the strictest moderation. Perfumes to be 
tolerable must be of the most rechercht kind. 
Some people of sensitive temperament would bo 
made ill by the smell of musk or patchouli. 



THE LADY'S TOILET. 63 

Finally, let every lady remember Dr. John- 
son's criticism on a lady's dress : " I am sure 
she was well dressed," said the Doctor, u for I 
cannot remember what she had on." 



CHAPTER VII. 

The Gentleman 's Toilet. 

IT has been aptly said that ( ' the bath deserves 
an Order." The first requisite of a gentle- 
man's toilet is undoubtedly the bath, which 
should be as bracing as the constitution will 
allow, and used morning and night in summer, 
and every day in winter. Country gentlemen 
who live much in the open air, and take plenty 
of exercise, have no excuse for shirking the cold 
shower-bath; but denizens of cities and men 
who are obliged to lead very sedentary lives 
cannot indulge with equal safety in this luxury, 
and must never continue it in the teeth of rea- 
son and experience. Only physiques of finest 
quality can endure, much more benefit by, a 
cold-water shock all the year round 5 and though 
physique is always improvable, great reforma- 
tion must not be attempted rashly. Let the 
bath of from 60 to 70 be freely indulged in 
by the strong, and even by the less robust, in 
summer time ; but in winter a temperature 
varying from 85 to 95 is the safest. The flesh- 
brush should be vigorously applied to all parts 
of the body, after which the skin must be care- 

(64) 



THE GENTLEMAN'S TOILET. 65 

fully dried with Turkish or huck-a-back towels. 
It is well to remain without clothing for some 
little time after bathing. Nothing is so healthy 
as exposure of the body to air and sun ; a 
French physician has recommended the sun- 
bath as a desirable hygienic practice. A bath in 
fresh w T ater should always be taken after a 
sea-dip. 

The next thing to be done is to clean the 
teeth. This should be done with a good hard 
tooth-brush at least twice a day. Smokers 
should rinse the mouth immediately after 
smoking, and should be careful to keep the 
teeth scrupulously clean. The nails should 
also be kept exquisitely clean and short. Long 
nails are an abomination. 

Our advice to those who shave is, like Punch's 
advice to those about to marry " Don't." But 
it must by no means be understood that suffer- 
ing the beard to grow is a process that obviates 
all trouble. The beard should be carefully and 
frequently washed, w r ell trimmed, and well 
combed, and the hair and whiskers kept scrupu- 
lously clean by the help of clean stiff hair- 
brushes, and soap and warm water. The style 
of the beard should be adapted to the form of 
the face ; but any affectation in the cut of beard 
and whiskers is very objectionable, and augurs 
unmitigated vanity in the wearer. Long hair 
is never indulged in except by painters and 



66 GOOD MANNERS. 

fiddlers. The moustache should be worn neat, 
and not over large. A moustache like that 
worn by the King of Italy, or a needle-point 
moustache, a V Empereur, cannot be worn with 
impunity. 

A gentleman should always be so well dressed, 
that his dress shall never be observed at all. 
Does this sound like an enigma? It is not 
meant for one. It only implies that perfect 
simplicity is perfect elegance, and that the true 
test of dress in the toilette of a gentleman is its 
entire harmony, unobtrusiveness, and becoming- 
ness. Display should be avoided. Let a sen- 
sible man leave the graces and luxuries of dress 
to his wife, daughters, and sisters, and not seek 
distinction in the trinkets of his watch-chain, or 
the pattern of his waistcoat. To be too much 
in the fashion is as vulgar as to be too far 
behind it. No really well-bred man follows 
every new cut that he sees in his tailor's fashion- 
book. Only very young men are guilty of this 
folly. 

A man whose dress is appropriate, neat, and 
clean will always look like a gentleman ; but 
to dress appropriately, one must have a varied 
wardrobe. This should not, on the average, 
cost more than a tenth part of his income. No 
man can afford more than a tenth of his income 
for dress. 

The author of " Pelhani" has aptly said that 



THE GENTLEMAN'S TOILET. 67 

** A gentleman's coat should not fit too well." 
There is great truth and subtlety in this obser- 
vation. To'be fitted too well is to look like a 
tailor's dummy. 

Let the dress suit the occasion. In the morn- 
ing wear a frock coat, and trousers of light or 
dark color, as befits the season. When in the 
country or at the sea-side, gray or shooting 
costumes are best. 

For evening parties, dinner parties, and balls, 
wear a black dress coat, black trousers, black 
silk or cloth waistcoat, thin patent leather boots. 
a white cravat, and white kid gloves. Abjure 
all fopperies, such as white silk linings, silk 
collars, &c. 5 above all, the shirt front should 
be plain. At small, unceremonious dinner 
parties, gloves are not necessary ; but, when 
worn, they should be new and fit well. Economy 
in gloves is an insult to society. A man's jewel- 
lery should be of the best and simplest descrip- 
tion. False jewellery, like every other form 
of falsehood and pretence, is unmitigated vul- 
garity. 

Elaborate studs and sleeve-links are all fop- 
pish and vulgar. A set of good studs, a gold 
watch and guard, and one handsome ring, are 
as many ornaments as a gentleman can wear 
with propriety. For a ring, the man of fine 
taste would prefer a precious antique intaglio 



68 GOOD MANNERS. 

to the handsomest diamond or ruby that could 
be bought. 

Lastly, a man's jewellery should always have 
some use, and not, like a lady's, be worn for 
ornament only. 

The necktie for dinner, the opera, and balls, 
must be white, and the smaller the better. It 
should be too of fine linen, or a washable tex- 
ture, not silk, nor netted, nor hanging down, 
nor of any foppish production, but a simple, 
white tie, without any embroidery. The black 
tie is admitted for evening parties, and should 
be equally simple. 

Colored shirts may be worn in the morning ; 
but they should be .small in pattern and quiet in 
color. Fancy cloths of conspicuous patterns 
are exceedingly objectionable. With a colored 
flannel shirt always wear a white collar and 
wristbands. The hat should always be black ; 
and caps and straw hats are only admissible in 
summer. 

If spectacles are necessary, they should be 
of the best and lightest make, and mounted in 
gold, or blue steel. For weak sight, blue or 
smoke-colored glasses are the best; green glasses 
are detestable. 

A gentleman should never be seen in the 
street without gloves. Worsted or cotton gloves 
are not permissible. A man's clothes should 
always be well brushed, and never threadbare or 



THE GENTLEMAN'S TOILET. 69 

shabby. No gentleman can afford to wear shabby 
clothes. An old hunting coat, however, is more 
coveted by the practised sportsman than a new 
one 5 the bright clean *' pink" being the indica- 
tion of a novice in the field. 

For the country, or the foreign tour, a gentle- 
man will select a costume of some light woollen 
material, flannel shirts, thick boots, and every- 
thing to correspond. Dandyism is never more 
out of place than on the glacier, or among the 
Adirondack fisheries. 

There are three things one should consult in 
the matter of dress if one would always appear 
like a gentleman, viz. expense, comfort, and 
society. If there is one thing in this world 
about which we can entertain any degree of 
moral certainty, it is that we must pay our 
tailor's bills. If therefore our means are .dis- 
proportionate to our wants, we must remember 
the old proverb, "Cut your coat according to 
your cloth/' and dress as well as you possibly 
can upon l?ttle money. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Riding and Driving. The Ptomenade. 

T) IDING is an accomplishment in which all 
A_\J ladies and gentlemen should be proficient ; 
but to ride well, one must be taught early and 
practise constantly. Riding, like swimming, 
cannot be taught by precept. 

Those who wish to ride well must learn on 
horseback ; as much on the road, and as little 
in the school, as possible. So much of. our 
health and happiness depends upon out-of-door 
exercise, that the art of riding cannot be too 
much encouraged by the wealthy. For persons 
of moderate means it is wholly out of the ques- 
tion. Those who can afford it, who travel, and 
whose health requires bracing exercise, should 
consider money laid out upon this accomplish- 
ment as so many shares purchased in an Un- 
limited-Health Promotion Company. Of all 
recreations, horse-exercise is the most exhi- 
larating. 

A lady's riding-habit should be simple, close- 
fitting, and made by a first-rate tailor. Showy^ 
eccentric innovations are in bad taste. It H 

(70) 



RIDING AND DRIVING. 71 

better to wear the hat that is most in fashion ; 
and, except in the country, dark habits are 
always preferable to light For ladies who ride 
a g^at deal, it is better to have a dark habit for 
town, and a light gray one for the country and 
sea-side. Scarlet habits, and jackets trimmed 
with green, for hunting are very objectionable. 
It is only in her whip that a lady can indulge 
her love of luxury. This may In; as jewelled, 
as rich, and as dainty, as she pleases. Hiding- 
gloves must be unexceptionable. 

The art of mounting must be properly ac- 
quired ; since in riding, as in other things, it is 
proficiency in trifles that proclaims the artist. 
The lady having mounted the riding-steps, 
places her left foot in the stirrup, rises into her 
seat, and lifts the right leg dexterously into its 
place, taking care to let the habit fall properly. 
If no riding-steps are at hand, it is the place of 
her escort or groom to assist her to the saddle. 
Hence it is necessary to learn to mount in both 
ways. In the latter case, she puts her left foot 
in the right-hand of the gentleman or servant 
in attendance ; he lifts it vigorously but gently ; 
and he springs lightly into the saddle. Ladies 
who ride much, and wish to preserve their 
figures straight, should have two saddles, and 
change sides from time to time. They should 
also be accustomed to ride different horses, as 
by no other means can perfect confidence be 
6 



72 GOOD MANNERS. 

acquired. It is better to ride only one horse, 
but to fear none. 

The great point in riding is to sit straight in 
the middle of your saddle, to know the temper 
of your horse, and to be able to enjoy a good 
gallop in moderation. Ladies should not lean 
forward as they ride. They should rise as little 
as possible in trotting. They should, above all, 
know how to hold the reins, the different uses 
of each, and the common rule of the road. The 
first two points are only taught by practice, and 
the last is attained in a day's ride. Ladies who 
have country-houses, and who stay much in the 
country, should learn to drive as well as to ride. 
The chief point in driving is moderation. You 
should never drive too fast, especially round 
corners, and should ease your horse as much as 
possible in going up hill. Ladies who drive 
ought to know something about harness. On 
alighting from or entering the carriage, the dress 
should never be held up, but should be allowed 
to trail on the ground. 

If you assist a lady to mount, hold your hand 
at a convenient distance from the ground that 
she may place her foot in it. As she springs, 
you aid her by the impetus of your arm. Prac- 
tice only will enable you to do this properly. A 
gentleman, in riding with a lady, never permits 
her to pay the tolls. If good riding is neces- 
Bary for a lady, it is doubly so for a man. A 



RIDING AND DRIVING. 73 

gentleman's education cannot be called com- 
plete unless he can ride well. If this has been 
neglected early in life, no time should be lost 
in repairing the error. By riding first with 
a careful master for some months, and after- 
wards quite regularly alone, considerable pro 
ficiency may be attained even at a late period. 

When attending a lady in a horseback ride, 
never mount your horse until she is ready to 
start. Give her your hand to assist her in 
mounting, arrange the folds of her habit, hand 
her her reins and her whip, and then take your 
own seat on your saddle. 

Let her pace be yours. Start when she does, 
and let her decide how fast or slowly she will 
ride. Never let the, head of your horse pass the 
shoulder of hers, and be Avatchful and ready to 
render her any assistance she may require. 
Never, by rapid riding, force her to ride faster 
than she may desire. 

Do not touch her bridle, reins, or whip, ex- 
cept she particularly requests your assistance, 
or an accident, or threatened danger, makes it 
necessary. 

If there is dust or wind, ride so as to protect 
her from it as far as possible. If the road is 
muddy be careful that you do not ride so as to 
bespatter her habit. It is best to ride on the 
side away from that on which her habit falls. 

A m0,u should be able to mount on either side 



74 (100D MANNERS. 

of the horse. He places his left foot in the 
stirrup, his left hand on the saddle, and swings 
himself up, throwing his right leg over the 
horse's back. Nothing is more graceless than 
to see a man climb with both hands into his 
seat. A firm light seat is only learned by assi- 
duous practice. The chief rules are to sit 
upright, but not stiffly, and well back in the 
saddle ; to keep the knees pressed well in against 
the sides of the saddle, and the feet parallel to 
the horse's body 5 and to turn the toes in rather 
than out. The foot should be about half-way 
in the stirrup, which in long riding slips down 
to the hollow of the foot. The great desidera- 
tum in the art of riding is plenty of confidence. 
Of course a fearless rider can ride ungracefully, 
but no timid person can fail to be awkward. 

In driving, again, there is a difference of 
style. The art is simple enough, but it requires 
practice. The good driver will understand the 
horse he has to drive, and will use him well, 
whether the beast be his own or another's. He 
will turn his corners gently or slowly, and will 
know when to put on the steam and when to 
turn it off'. He will, of course, understand the 
management of his harness. Accidents may 
occur from the most trifling disarrangement of 
the harness, and no one should handle the reina 
who cannot harness and unharness a horse. 

No one should pretend to hunt who has not a 



RIDING AND DRIVING. 75 

good seat, a good horse, and plenty of ''pluck ;" 
much less should an incompetent rider venture 
upon riding a friend's horse. It has been said 
that u A man may forgive you for breaking iiis 
daughter's heart, but never for breaking his 
hunter's neck ' 

In the carriage, a gentleman places himself 
with his back to the horses, and leaves the best 
seat for the ladies. Only very elderly gentle- 
men are privileged to accept the best seat to the 
exclusion of young ladies. When the carriage 
stops, the gentleman should alight first, in order 
to assist the lady. To get in and out of a car- 
riage gracefully is a simple but important ac- 
complishment. If there is but one step, and 
you are going to take your seat facing the 
horses, put your left foot on the step, and enter 
the carriage with your right in such a manner 
as to drop at once into your seat. If you are 
about to sit with your back to the horses, re- 
verse the process. As you step into the car- 
riage, be careful to keep your back towards the 
seat you are about to occupy, so as to avoid the 
awkwardness of turning when once in. A gentle- 
man cannot be too careful to avoid stepping on 
ladies' dresses when he gets in or out of a car- 
riage. He should also beware of shutting then? 
in with the carriage door. 

Never put your arm across the seat, or around 
her, as many do in riding. It is an imperti- 



76 GOOD MANNERS. 

nence which she would very properly resent aa 
such. 

If you offer to drive any one home in your 
vehicle, always drive to their house first, no 
matter how much you may have to drive out of 
your way. 

If a lady has been making purchases during 
a walk, she may permit the gentleman who 
accompanies her to carry any very small parcel 
that she may have in her hand ; but she should 
not burden him with more than one under any 
circumstances whatever. No lady should per- 
mit any gentleman who is not a near relative, 
or a very old friend of her family, to defray the 
cost of entrance to any theatre or exhibition, or 
to pay for her refreshment or vehicles when she 
happens to be under his protection. 

Two ladies can without impropriety, though 
the habit is a singularly ungraceful one, take 
each one arm of a single cavalier ; but one lady 
cannot, with either grace or the sanction of cus- 
tom, take the arms of two gentlemen at the 
same time. 

When a lady is walking with a gentleman in 
any public park or garden, or through the rooms 
of an exhibition, it is the gentleman's duty to 
find her a seat. If, however, as is frequently 
the case, he is himself compelled to remain 
standing, the lady should make a point of rising 
as soon as she is sufficiently rested, and not 



RIDING AND DRIVING. 77 

at/use either the patience or politeness of her 
companion. 

It is the place of the lady to bow first if she 
meets a gentleman of her acquaintance. On 
meeting friends or acquaintances in the .streets, 
the exhibitions, or any public places, one must 
be careful not to pronounce their names so 
loudly as to attract the attention of strangers. 
Never call across the street, and never attempt 
to carry on a dialogue in a public vehicle, unless 
your interlocutor occupies the seat beside your 
own. 

In railway travelling a lady cannot open a 
conversation with strangers, though, if ad- 
dressed in a respectful manner, she must an- 
swer politely. 

It is well to recognise any public salutation, 
even from persons whom you do not wish to 
visit. If Mrs. Brown or Mrs. Jones persist in 
bowing, return the bow, but return it with 
studied coldness. Anything is better than a 
direct cut. An unmarried lady cannot cut a 
married lady under any circumstances. The 
cut is only excusable when men persist in bow- 
ing whose acquaintance a lady does not wish to 
keep up. 

If a lady has had any gentleman especially 
introduced to her at a party, has talked much 
to him, and has been, perhaps, led down by him 
to dinner or supper, she may bow if she meets 



78 GOOD MANNERS. 

him next day in the promenade. Ntvei recog- 
nise a gentleman unless you are perfectly sure 
of his identity. Nothing is more awkward, than 
saluting the wrong person. 

The rules of the promenade concerning gentle- 

^ c"> O 

men are simpler, though equally important. 

In the first place, a well-bred man must en- 
tertain no respect for the brim of his hat. u A 
bow," says La Fontaine, "is a note drawn at 
sight." You are bound to acknowledge it im- 
mediately, and to the full amount. Always bear 
this in mind, and remember that to nod, or 
merely to touch the rim of the hat, is far from 
courteous. True politeness demands that the 
hat should be completely lifted from the head. 
In bowing, the body should not be bent at all. 

On meeting friends with whom you are likely 
to shake hands, remove your hat with the left- 
hand in order to leave the right-hand free. If 
you meet a lady in the streets with whom you 
are quite intimate, do not stop her, but turn 
round and walk beside her in whichever direc- 
tion she is going. When you have said all that 
you wish to say, you can take your leave. If 
you meet a lady with whom you are not par- 
ticularly well acquainted, wait for her recogni- 
tion before you venture to bow to her. In 
bowing to a lady whom you are not going to 
address, lift your hat with that hand which is 
farthest from her. For instance, if you pass her 



RIDING AND DRIVING. 79 



on the right side, use your left hand, and vice 
versa. 

If you are on horseback and Avish to converse 
with a lady who is on foot, you must dismount 
and lead your horse, so as not to give her the 
fatigue of looking up to your level. Neither 
should you subject her to the impropriety of 
carrying on a conversation in a tone necessarily 
louder than is sanctioned by the laws of society. 
A gentleman cannot cut a lady under any cir- 
cumstances whatever. 

Never u cut" an acquaintance, unless his per- 
tinacity is positively intolerable. To u cut" is 
often snobbish, often absurd, and sometimes 
positively unchristian. A dignified man will 
seldom be necessitated to such a strong means 
of self-protection, and a kind-hearted man would 
suffer a good deal before resorting to it. 

Never stare at ladies in the street. 

In walking with a lady, take charge of any 
small parcel, book, et cetera, with which she may 
)>e encumbered. 

If you so far forget what is becoming as to 
smoke in the street, at least never omit to throw 
away your cigar if you speak to a lady. 

If addressed in a public vehicle, always reply 
politely. 

Never talk politics or religion in a public 
vehicle. 

In shaking hands, do not put out the hand till 



80 GOOD MANNERS. 

you are quite close to the person whom you are 
about to salute. Nothing is more awkward or 
more ludicrous than to walk several yards with 
an extended hand. 

When walking with a lady, or with a gentle- 
man who is older or shorter than yourself, give 
them the upper side of the pavement, that is, 
the side nearest the house. 

Be careful when walking with a lady, not to 
put your foot upon her dress. 

In case of a sudden fall of rain you may offer 
to lend your umbrella to a lady, or offer to escort 
her home ; being perfectly respectful in your 
conversation. 

In meeting a lady friend, be ready to return 
her recognition of you, which she should offer 
first, removing your hat. To a gentleman you 
may merely touch your hat ; but if he has a 
lady with him, raise your hat in bowing to him. 

In a car or omnibus, when a lady wishes to 
get out, stop the car for her, pass up her fare, &c. 

When with a lady, always if on your invita- 
tion, you must pay her expenses as well as your 
own ; if she offers to share the expense, decline 
unless she insists upon it ; in the latter case yield 
gracefully. Many ladies, dependent upon their 
gentlemen friends for escort, dislike much to be 
under pecuniary obligations to them, nor is it 
necessary they should be. 



X 



CHAPTER IX. 

Morning and Evening Parties. 

morning or, more properly sj leaking, 
a afternoon" party is a comparative novelty, 
and an agreeable one. It begins about three 
o'clock, and goes on till six ; and the invitations 
should be sent out a week or a fortnight before- 
hand. In town, a morning party should be 
enlivened by good music. Hired professional 
performers are best ; but if amateurs undertake 
to amuse our friends, they should be highly 
accomplished. Tea, coffee, ices, strawberries, 
cakes, may be served ; but in the country, where 
croquet parties are given on a large scale, and 
prolonged to a late hour, it is customary to serve 
the light refreshments first and to provide a 
cold collation afterwards. This collation is, in 
fact, a late luncheon, and is more recherche if 
served in tents out of doors. 

A lady dresses for such parties in the mo;3t 
elegant out-of-door dress she pleases. Very 
young ladies who play croquet may wear hats 
and elegant walking dresses suitable for the 
game. Gentlemen wear morning dress, i. e. 
light trousers, frock coat, light gloves, &c. 

(81) 



82 GOOD MANNERS. 

Every one who goes much into society should 
nowadays be acquainted with croquet, archery, 
&c., and thus be enabled to take part in the 
amusements provided. The hostess should faci 
litate conversation by introducing her guests tc 
each other, when she thinks them likely to be 
mutually agreeable. Very young people, whom 
one invites to such parties, should never be 
neglected; while the old, the ill dressed, the 
ugly, and the beautiful, w r ill receive equal defer- 
ence from a really well-bred host and hostess. 

Evening parties, or "At homes," begin about 
nine o'clock, and entail full dress upon both 
ladies and gentlemen. Good breeding-neither 
demands that you should present yourself at the 
commencement, nor remain till the close of the 
evening. You come and go as may be most con- 
venient to you, and by these means are at liberty, 
during the height of the season, when evening 
parties are numerous, to present yourself at 
two or three houses during a single evening. 

When your name is announced, look for the 
lady of the house, and pay your respects to her 
before you seem even to see any other friends 
who may be in the room. At very large and 
fashionable assemblies, the hostess is generally 
to be found near the door. Should you, how- 
ever, find yourself separated by a dense crowd 
of guests, you are at liberty to recognise those 
who are near you, and these whom you en- 



MORNING AND EVENING PARTIES. 83 

counter as you make your way slowly through 
the throng. 

If a gentleman is to act as escort to a lady, 
he must call at the hour she chooses to name, 
and the most elegant way is to take a carriage 
for her. To present her with a bouquet is 
allowable. 

When you reach the house of the hostess, 
escort your companion to the dressing-room. 
After you have deposited your hat and coat in 
the gentlemen's dressing-room, and put on your 
gloves, be on the lookout for your lady, and be 
ready to escort her to the parlor. Offer her 
your left arm, and having paid your respects to 
the hostess, take her to a seat, and remain with 
iier until she has other companions, before you 
seek out your own friends. Of course you will 
dance with her part of the evening, and wait 
upon her at supper. 

If you have escorted a lady, her time must 
be yours, and she will tell you when she is ready 
to go. See whether the carriage has arrived 
before she goes to the dressing-room, and return 
to the parlor to tell her. If the weather was 
pleasant when you left home, and you walked, 
ascertain whether it is still pleasant ; if not, 
procure a carriage for your companion. When 
it is at the door, join her in the drawing-room, 
and offer your arm to lead her to the hostess for 
leave taking, then take your companion to the 



84 



GOOD MANNERS. 



door of the ladies 7 dressing-room, get your own 
hat and wait in the entry or near by until she 
is ready. 

When you reach your companion's house, do 
not accept her invitation to enter, but ask per- 
mission to call in the morning, or the following 
evening. 

General salutations of the company are now 
wholly disused ; in society, well-bred persons 
only recognise their own friends or acquaint- 
ances. If you are at the house of a new 
acquaintance, and find yourself among entire 
strangers, remember that, by so meeting under 
one roof, you are all in a certain sense made 
known to one another, and ought therefore to be 
able to converse freely, as equals. It is to be 
regretted that in the very highest circles the 
spirit of exclusiveness is still too strong to per- 
mit this ; but still to shrink away to a side- 
table, and affect to be absorbed in some album 
or illustrated work, or to cling to some unlucky 
acquaintance, as a drowning man clings to a 
spar, are gauckeries no shyness can excuse. 
Neither should a man stand too long in the same 
spot. To be afraid to move from one drawing- 
room to another is the sure sign of a neophyte 
in society. 

Gentlemen should never stand upon the 
hearthrug with their backs to the fire, either in 
a friend's house or their own. We have seen 



MORNING AND EVENING PARTIES 85 

even well-bred men at evening parties commit 
this selfish and vulgar solecism. 

Never offer any one the chair from which you 
have just risen, unless there be no other dis- 
engaged. 

Those ladies and gentlemen who possess any 
musical accomplishments should not wait to be 
pressed and entreated by their hostess, but 
comply immediately when she pays them the 
compliment of asking them to play or sing. 
Only the lady of the house has a right to make 
this invitation ; if others do so, they must be 
put off in some polite way. 

Be scrupulous to observe strict silence when 
any of the company are playing or -singing. 
Remember that they are doing this for the 
amusement of the rest 5 and that to talk at such 
a time is as ill-bred as if you were to turn your 
back upon a person who was talking to you, 
and begin a conversation with some one else. 

If a gentleman sings comic songs, he should 
be careful that they are of the most unexcep- 
tionable kind, and likely to offend neither the 
tastes nor prejudices of the society in which he 
may find himself. 

Those who play or sing should bear in mind 
that " brevity is the soul of wit." Two verses 
of a ballad, or four pages of a piece, are at all 
times enough to give pleasure. If your audience 
desire more, they will ask for more ; and it is 



80 GOOD MANNERS. 

infinitely more flattering to be encored, than to 
receive the. thanks of your hearers, not so much 
for what you have given them, but for having 
come to an end at last. That performer, indeed, 
can have but little pride who cares to emulate 
Longfellow's famous piper of Bujalance, "who 
asked a maravedi for playing, and ten for le /- 
ing off." Music, like conversation, should ie 
adapted to the company. A sonata of Beetho' ./n 
would be as much out of place in some cireios 
as a comic song at a quaker's meeting. To those 
who only care for the light popularities of the 
season give Offenbach and Verdi ; to connois- 
seurs give such music as w r ill be likely to meet 
the exigencies of a fine taste. Above all, attempt 
nothing that you cannot execute with ea/"j and 
precision. 

The great secret of successful u At \omes," 
is to assemble as many distinguished r isons as 
possible. We do not mean simply pe: ons with 
a handle to their names, but men a- 1 women 
who by their talents or character have made for 
themselves a foremost place in society. If no 
lady is especially placed under a gentleman's 
care when supper is announced, he must offer 
his arm to the lady with whom he has last con- 
versed ; but unless the party be a very crowded 
one, the hostess will see that no lady is unpro- 
vided with a cavalier. 

The more rooms one can throw open for these 



MORNING AND EVENING PARTIES. 87 

sort of parties the better. A liberal supply of 
ottomans, causeuses, &c., must be placed about 
in convenient positions, leaving as much open 
space as possible. Good engravings, water-color 
sketches, valuable scrap-books, and volumes of 
autographs should be displayed on the tables. 
If among the guests some exceedingly distin- 
guished lion is present, it is exceedingly un- 
becoming to follow him about and listen to 
every word he utters. He cannot be introduced 
to every one, and even if introduced, you must 
content yourself with a short conversation, re- 

*/ 

remembering that others have equal claims with 
yourself. 

If the party be of a small sociable kind, and 
those games called by the French Ics jcux in- 
nocens are proposed, do not object to join in 
them if invited. It may be that they demand 
some slight exercise of wit and readiness, and 
that you do not feel yourself calculated to shine 
in them ; but it is better to seem dull than dis- 
agreeable, and those who are obliging can 
always find some clever neighbor to assist them 
in the moment of need. 

Impromptu charades are frequently organized 
at friendly parties. Unless you have really 
some talent for acting, and some readiness of 
speech, you should remember that you only 
put others out, and expose your own inability 
by taking part in these entertainments. Of 



88 GOOD MANNERS. 

course, if your help is really needed, and you 
would disoblige by refusing, you must do your 
best, and, by doing it as quietly and coolly as 
possible, avoid being awkward or ridiculous. 

Even though you may take no pleasure in 
cards, some knowledge of the etiquette and 
rules belonging to the games most in vogue is 
necessary to you in society. If a fourth hand 
is wanted at a rubber, or if the rest of the com- 
pany sit down to a round game, you would be 
deemed guilty of an impoliteness if you refused 
to join. 

Married people should not play at the same 
table, unless where the party is so small that 
it cannot be avoided. This rule supposes no- 
thing so disgraceful to any married couple as 
dishonest collusion ; but persons who play regu- 
larly together cannot fail to know so much of 
each other's mode of acting under given circum- 
stances, that the chances no longer remain per- 
fectly even in favor of their adversaries. 

Never play for higher stakes than you can 
afford to lose without regret. Cards should be 
resorted to for amusement only ; for excitement, 
never. 

No well-bred person ever loses temper at the 
card-table. You have no right to sit down to 
the game unless you can bear a long run of ill- 
luck with perfect composure, and are prepared 



MORNING AND EVENING PARTIES. 89 

cheerfully to pass over any blunders that your 
partner may chance to make. 

If you are an indifferent player, make a point 
of saying so before you join a party at whist. 
If the others are fine players, they will be in- 
finitely more obliged to you for declining than 
accepting their invitation. In any case you 
have no right to spoil their pleasure by your 
bad play. 

Never let even politeness induce you to play 
for very high stakes. Etiquette is the minor 
morality of life ; but it never should be allowed 
to outweigh the higher code of right and wrong. 

Young ladies may decline to play at cards 
without being deemed guilty of impoliteness. 

No very young lady should appear at an even- 
ing party without an escort. 

In retiring from a crowded party it is unne- 
cessary that you should seek out the hostess for 
the purpose of bidding her a formal good-night. 
By doing this you would, perhaps, remind others 
that it was getting late and cause the party to 
break up. If you meet the lady of the house on 
your way to the drawing-room door, take your 
leave of her as unobtrusively as possible, and 
slip away without attracting the attention of her 
other guests. 

Introductions at evening parties are now 
Almost wholly dispensed with. Persons who 
meet at a friend's house are ostensibly upon an 



90 GOOD MANNERS. 

equality, and pay a bad compliment to the host 
by appearing suspicious and formal. Some old- 
fashioned country hosts yet persevere in intro- 
ducing each new coiner to all the assembled 
guests. It is a custom that cannot be too soon 
abolished, and one that places the last unfor- 
tunate visitor in a singularly awkward position. 
All that she can do is to make a semicircular 
courtesy, like a concert singer before an au- 
dience, and bear the general gaze with as much 
composure as possible. 

It should be remembered that to introduce 
persons who are mutually unknown is to under- 
take a serious responsibility, and to. certify to 
each the respectability of the other. Never 
undertake this responsibility without in the first 
place asking yourself whether the persons are 
likely to be agreeable to each other, nor, in the 
second place, without ascertaining whether it 
will be acceptable to both parties to become 
acquainted. 

There are some exceptions to the etiquette of 
introductions. At a ball or evening party, 
where there is dancing, the mistress of the 
house may introduce any gentleman to any lady 
without first asking the lady's permission. But 
she should first ascertain whether the lady is 
willing to dance ; and this out of consideration 
for the gentleman, who may otherwise be re- 



MORNING AND EVENING PARTIES. 91 

fused. No man likes to be refused the hand of 
a lady, though it be only for a quadrille. 

A sister may present her brother, or a mother 
her son, without any kind of preliminary. 

Always introduce the gentleman to the lady 
never the lady to the gentleman. The chivalry 
of etiquette assumes that the lady is invariably 
the superior in right of her sex, and that the 
gentleman is honored in the introduction. The 
rule is to be observed even when the social rank 
of the gentleman is higher than that of the lady. 

Where the sexes are the same, always present 

J.U C i.1 

the interior to the superior. 

Never present a gentleman to a lady without 
first asking her permission to do so. 

When you are introduced to a stranger, 
seldom offer your hand. When introduced, per- 
sons limit their recognition of each other to a 
bow. 

Friends may introduce friends at the house 
of a mutual acquaintance; but, as a rule, it is 
better to be introduced by the mistress of the 
house. Such an introduction carries more au- 
thority with it. 

If at a small party where there is no musician 
engaged, if you can perform on the piano for 
dancing, do not wait to be solicited to play, but 
offer your services, or, if there is a lady at the 
piano, offer to relieve her. To turn the leaves 



92 GOOD MANNERS. 

for another, and sometimes call figures, are also 
good-natured and well-bred actions. 

If dancing is to be the amusement of the even- 
ing, a gentleman's first dance should be with 
the lady you accompanied, and afterwards with 
the ladies of the hostess's family. 

Dance easily and gracefully, keeping perfect 
time, but not taking too great pains with your 
steps. 

When your conduct your partner to a seat 
after a dance, you may sit or stand by to con- 
verse, unless you see another gentleman is wait- 
ing to invite her to dance. 

Do not take the vacant seat next to a lady 
inless you are acquainted with her. 

After dancing, do not offer your hand, but 
your arm to conduct your partner to a seat. 



CHAPTER X. 

The Ball 

TNVITATIONS to a ball should be sent out 
three weeks or a month beforehand, and 
should be answered immediately. 

The first requisites for a pleasant ball are 
good rooms, good music, and plenty of good 
company. A very small ball is almost sure to 
be dull. No one should attempt to give this 
sort of entertainment without being fully pre- 
pared for a considerable expenditure of time, 
money, and patience. Nothing is so unsatis- 
factory as *' a carpet dance with the dear girls 
to play." If you wish your friends to enjoy the 
dancing, you must give them a good floor and 
professional music ; if you wish them to enjoy 
the supper, you must let it be well served and 
in great abundance ; lastly, if you wish them 
to enjoy the company, you must provide your 
visitors with suitable partners. 

The preparation for a ball begins with the 
reception-rooms, which must be made as light 
and airy as possible. Nothing produces a hap- 
pier effect than an abundance of shrubs, plants, 
and flowers used freely on the stairs, in the 



94 GOOD MANNERS. 

recesses, landing-places, &c. The fire-places 
should be screened by flowers in summer, and 
be provided with guards in winter or spring. It 
is easy, by the help of screens and evergreens, 
to arrange a small gallery for the musicians, so 
that they shall be heard and not seen. 

A refreshment-room should, if possible, be 
on the same floor as the ball-room, in order 
that the ladies may be sparecl all risk from 
draughty staircases. A lobby for the ladies' 
cloak-room, and a hat-room for the gentlemen, 
are both indispensable. 

As the number of guests at a dinner party 
is regulated by the size of the table, so should 
the number of invitations to a ball be limited 
by the proportions of the ball-room. A prudent 
hostess will, however, always invite more guests 
than she really desires to entertain, in the cer- 
tainty that there will be some deserters when 
the appointed evening comes round ; but she 
will at the same time remember that to over- 
crowd her room is to spoil the pleasure of those 
who love dancing, and that a party of this kind, 
when too numerously attended, is as great a 
failure as one at which too few are present. 

A room which is nearly square, yet a little 
longer than it is broad, will be found the most 
favorable for a ball. It admits of two quadrille 
parties, or two round dances, at the same time. 
In a perfectly square room this arrangement 



THE BALL. 95 

is not so practicable or pleasant A very long 
and narrow room is obviously of the worst 
shape for dancing, and is fit only for quadrilles 
and country dances. 

The tup of the ball-room is the part nearest 
the orchestra. In a private room, the top is 
where it would be if the room were a dining- 
room. It is generally at the farthest point from 
the door. Dancers should be careful to ascer- 
tain the top of the room before taking their 
places, as the top couples always lead the 
dances. 

A good floor is of the utmost importance in 
a ball-room. In a private house, nothing can 
be better than a smooth, well-stretched holland, 
with the carpet beneath. 

Abundance of light and free ventilation are 
indispensable to the spirits and comfort of the 
dancers. 

Good music is as necessary to the prosperity 
of a ball as good wine to the excellence of a 
dinner. No hostess should tax her friends for 
this part of the entertainment. It is the most 
injudicious economy imaginable. Ladies who 
would prefer to dance are tied to the piano- 
forte ; and as few amateurs have been trained 
in the art of playing dance music with that 
strict attention to time and accent which is ab- 
solutely necessary to the comfort of the dancers, 
a total and general discontent is sure to result. 



96 GOOD MANNERS. 

To play dance music thoroughly well is a branch 
of the art which requires considerable practice. 
It is as different from every other kind of play- 
ing as whale fishing is from fly fishing. Those 
who give private balls will do well ever to bear 
this in mind, and to provide skilled musicians 
for the evening For a small party, a piano and 
cornopean make a very pleasant combination. 
Unless where several instruments are engaged, 
we do not recommend the introduction of the 
violin. Although in some respects the finest 
of all solo instruments, it is apt to sound thin 
and shrill when employed on mere inexpressive 
dance tunes, and played by a mere dance player. 

The room provided for the accommodation 
of the ladies should have several looking- 
glasses ; attendants to assist the fair visitors in 
the arrangement of their hair and dresses ; and 
rows of hooks for the cloaks and shawls. It is 
well to affix tickets to the cloaks, giving a dupli- 
cate to each lady. Needles and thread should 
be always at hand to repair any little accident 
incurred in dancing. The refreshment-room 
should be kept amply supplied during the eve- 
ning. Where this cannot be arranged, the re- 
freshments should be handed round between 
the dances. 

The question of supper is one which so en- 
tirely depends on the means of those who give 
a ball or evening party, that very little can be 



THE BALL. 97 

paid upon it in a treatise of this description. 
Where money is no object, it is of course always 
preferable to have the whole supper, "with all 
applicances and means to boot," sent in from 
some first-rate house. It spares all trouble, 
whether to the entertainers or their servants, 
and relieves the hostess of every anxiety. Where 
circumstances render such a course imprudent, 
we would only observe that a home-provided 
supper, however simple, should be good of its 
kind, and abundant in quantity. Dancers are 
generally hungry people, and feel themselves 
much aggrieved if the supply of eatables proves 
unequal to the demand. 

Perhaps the very best plan is the French one, 
of having supper arranged on long buffets with 
servants behind to attend to all comers. No 
one sits down to ball suppers, or if seats are 
arranged by the wall for the ladies, the gentle- 
men stand. 

No gentleman should accept an invitation to 
a ball if he does not dance. When ladies are 
present who would be pleased to receive an 
invitation, those gentlemen who hold themselves 
aloof are guilty, not only of a negative, but a 
positive, act of neglect. 

To attempt to dance without a knowledge of 
dancing is not only to 'make one's self ridicu- 
lous, but one's partner also. No lady or gen- 



98 GOOD MANNERS. 

i 

tleman has the right to place a paitner in this 
absurd position. 

On entering the ball-room, the visitor should 
at once seek the lady of the house, and pay her 
respects to her. llaving done this, she may 
exchange salutations with such friends and 
acquaintances as may be in the room. 

No lady should accept an invitation to dance 
from a gentleman to whom she has not been 
introduced. In case any gentleman should 
commit the error of so inviting her, she should 
not excuse herself on the plea of a previous 
engagement, or of fatigue, as to do so would 
imply that she did not herself attach due im- 
portance to the necessary ceremony of intro- 
duction. Her best reply would be to the effect 
that she would have much pleasure in accepting 
his invitation, if he would procure an introduc- 
tion to her. This observation may be taken 
as applying only to public balls. No lady 
should accept refreshments from a stranger at 
a public ball ; for these she must rely on her 
father, brother, or old friend. At a private 
party the host and hostess are sufficient guaran- 
tees for the respectability of their guests; and 
although a gentleman would show a singular 
want of knowledge of the laws of society in 
acting as we have supposed, the lady who should 
reply to him as if he were merely an imperti- 
nent stranger in a public assembly-room would 



THE BALL. 99 

be implying an affront to her entertainers. The 
mere fact of being assembled together under the 
roof of a mutual friend is in itself a kind of 
general introduction of the guests to each 
other. 

An introduction given for the mere purpose 
of enabling a lady and gentleman to go through 
a dance together does not constitute an acquaint- 
anceship. The lady is at liberty to pass the 
gentleman in the park the next day without 
recognition. 

It is not necessary that a lady should be ac- 
quainted with the steps, in order to walk grace- 
fully or easily through a quadrille. An easy 
carriage and a knowledge of the figures are all 
that is necessary. 

We now pass to that part of ball-room eti- 
quette which chiefly concerns gentlemen. 

A gentleman cannot ask a lady to dance with- 
out being first introduced to her by some mem- 
ber of the hostess's family. 

Never enter a ball-room in other than full 
evening dress, and white or light kid gloves. 

A gentleman cannot be too careful not to 
injure a lady's dress. The young men of the 
present day are inconceivably thoughtless in 
this respect, and often seem to think the mis- 
chief which they do scarcely worth an apology. 
Cavalry officers should never wear spurs in a 
ball-room. 



100 GOOD MANNERS. 

Bear in mind that all casino habits are to be 
scrupulously avoided in a private ball-room. It 
is an affront to a highly-bred lady to hold her 
hand behind you, or on your hip, when dancing 
a round dance. 

Never forget a ball-room engagement. It is 
the greatest neglect and slight that a gentleman 
can offer to a lady. 

At the beginning and end of a quadrille the 
gentleman bows to his partner, and bows again 
on handing her to a seat. 

After dancing, the gentleman may offer to 
conduct the lady to the refreshment-room. 

Engagements for one dance should not be 
made while the present dance is yet in progress. 

If a lady happens to forget a previous en- 
gagement, and stand up with another partner, 
the gentleman whom she has thus slighted is 
bound to believe that she has acted from mere 
inadvertence, and should by no means suffer his 
pride to master his good temper. To cause a 
disagreeable scene in a private ball-room is to 
affront your host and hostess, and to make your- 
self absurd. In a public room it is no less 
reprehensible. 

Always remember that good breeding and 
good temper (or the appearance of good temper) 
are inseparably connected. 

Young gentlemen are earnestly advised not 
to limit their conversation to remarks on 



THE BALL. 10 i 

weather and the heat of the room. It is, to a 
certain extent, incumbent on them to do some- 
thing more than dance when they invite a lady 
to join a quadrille. If it be only upon the news 
of the day, a gentleman should be able to offer 
at least three or four observations to his partner 
in the course of a long half-hour. 

Never be seen without gloves in a ball-room, 
though it were only for a few moments. Those 
who dance much, and are particularly soign in 
matters relating to the toilette, take a second 
pair of gloves to replace the first when soiled. 

A thoughtful hostess will never introduce a 
bad dancer to a good one, because she has no 
Tight to punish one friend in order to oblige 
another. 

It is not customary for married persons to 
dance together in society. 

A gentleman conducts his last partner to sup- 
per; waits upon her till she has had as much 
refreshment as she wishes, and then takes her 
back to the ball-room or her chaperone. 

However much pleasure he may take in a 
lady's society, he must not ask her to dance too 
frequently. Engaged persons would do well to 
bear this in mind. 

Withdraw from a ball-room as quietly as pos- 
sible, so that your departure may not be ob- 
served by others, and so cause the party to 
break up. If ydu. meet the lady of the house 



102 GOOD MANNERS. 

on your way out, take your leave in such a 
manner that the other guests may not observe 
it ; but by no means seek her out for that 
purpose. 

No person who has not a good ear for time 
and tune need hope to dance well. 

Lastty, a gentleman should not go to a ball 
unless he has previously made up his mind to 
be agreeable : that is, to dance with the plainest 
as well as with the most beautiful ; to take down 
an elderly chaperone to supper, instead of her 
lovely charge, with a good grace : to enter into 
the spirit of the dance, instead of hanging about 
the doorway 5 to abstain from immoderate eat- 
ing, drinking, or talking; to submit to trifling 
annoyances with cheerfulness ; in fact, to forget 
himself, and contribute as much as possible to 
the amusement of others. 



CHAPTER XL 

Table Etiquette. Dinner Parties. 

IT is impossible to over-estimate the importance 
of dinners. 

It should be the first duty of every house- 
holder to obtain the best possible dinners for 
her family her purse can afford. Let no false 
sentiment lead her to consider indifference to 
food as an heroic virtue, or the due appreciation 
of it as a despicable yourmandise. Man is what 
he eats, and woman is the caterer. Let her 
perform ner duties well, and she will reap an 
ample reward. 

The etiquette of the dinner-table should be 
mastered by all who aspire to the entree of good 
society. Ease, savoir-faire, and good breeding 
nowhere more indispensable than at the dinner- 
table, and the absence of them is nowhere more 
apparent. How to eat soup and what to do 
with a cherry-stone are weighty considerations 
when taken as the index of social status ; and 
it is not too much to say, that a young woman 
who elected to take claret with her fish or eat 
peas with her knife would justly risk the punish- 
ment of being banished from good society. 
8 (103) 



104 GOOD MANNERS. 

An invitation to dine should be replied to 
immediately, and unequivocally accepted or de- 
clined. Once accepted, nothing but an event 
of the last importance should cause you to fail 
in your engagement. To be exactly punctual 
on these occasions is the only politeness. If you 
are too early, you are in the way ; if too late, 
you spoil the dinner, annoy the hostess, and are 
hated by the guests. Some authorities are even 
of opinion that in the question of a dinner 
party "never" is better than "late-," and one 
author has gone so far as to say, '' If you do not 
reach the house till dinner is served, you had 
better retire and send an apology, and not inter 
rupt the harmony of the courses by awkward 
excuses and cold acceptance." 

When the party is assembled, the mistress of 
the house will point out to each gentleman the 
lady whom he is to conduct to table. The guests 
then go down according to order of precedence 
arranged by the host or hostess, as the guests 
are probably unacquainted, and cannot know 
each other's social rank. 

The lady who is the greatest stranger should 
be taken down by the master of the house, and 
the gentleman who is the greatest stranger 
should conduct the hostess. Married ladies 
take precedence of single ladies, elder ladies 
of younger ones, and so on. A young bride 
takes precedence of all other ladies. 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 105 

When dinner is announced, the host offers his 
arm to the lady of most distinction, invites the 
rest to follow by a few words or a bow, and 
leads the way 5 the visitors follow in the order 
that the host and hostess have arranged. The 
lady of the house remains, however, till the 
last, that she may see her guests go down in their 
orescribed order; but the plan is not a con- 
venient one. It would be much better that the 
hostess should be in her place as the guests enter 
the dining-room, in order that she may indicate 
their seats to them as they enter, and not find 
them all crowded together in uncertainty when 
she arrives. 

Offer to your lady the left arm. and at the 
table wait until she and every lady is seated, be- 
fore taking your own place. In leaving the 
parlor you will pass out first, and the lady will 
foliow, still holding your arm. At the door of 
the dining-room, the lady will drop your arm. 
Pass in, then wait on one side the entrance till 
she passes you, to her place at the table. 

The number of guests at a dinner party de- 
pends on the size of the room and the size of 
the table. The rule laid down by Brillafc-Sava- 
rin, that the numbers at a dinner party should 
not be less than the Graces, nor more than the 
Muses, is a good one. Even numbers, however, 
are always the most convenient, and the number 
of thirteen should be avoided out of respect to 



108 GOOD MANNERS. 

any possible superstition on the part of the 
guests. The number of ladies and gentlemen 
should be equal. 

Great tact must be exercised in the distribution 
of your guests. If you have a wit, or a good 
talker, among your visitors, it is well to place 
him near the centre of the table, where he can 
be heard and talked to by all. It is obviously a 
bad plan to place two such persons together 5 
they extinguish each other. Nor should two 
gentleman of the same profession be placed 
close together, as they are likoly to fall into 
exclusive conversation, and amuse no one but 
themselves. 

A judicious host (or hostess) will consider the 
politics, religious opinions, and tastes of his 
friends, thus avoiding many social quicksands, 
and making the dinner party a vehicle of de- 
lightful social intercourse. 

Converse in a low tone to your neighbor, yet 
not with an air of secrecy. If the conversation 
is general, do not raise your voice too much ; if 
you cannot make those at some distance hear 
you when speaking in a moderate tone, confine 
your remarks to these near you. 

Very young ladies or gentlemen should not 
be asked to dinner parties. Young people cer- 
tainly are the ruin of dinner parties. 

The fashion of dinners is wholly unlike what 
it was fifty or even thirty years ago. Dishes 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 



107 



are now never placed on the table at a dinner 
of ceremony, and rarely even at small friendly 
dinners. 

The dinner a la Russe is a great improvement 
on the old fashion ; it is more elegant and more 
agreeable to see only crystal, plate, flowers, 
fruit, and epergnes before you ; and few people 
will resort to the old mode who have once begun 
the new. The dinner d la Russe is the poetry 
of dining. 

The shape of the table is an important point. 
The oval table offers most advantages for con- 
versation ; the host and hostess sit in the middle 
of each side, opposite to each other. The French 
fashion of the host and hostess sitting side by 
side in the middle of one side of the table is not 
a bad one. 

The appointments of the table may be as 
sumptuous on the one hand, or as delicately 
elegant on the other, as suits the tastes and 
means of the family. Persons of rank and 
family may at slight additional cost have their 
dinner-service and table-linen made expressly 
for them, with their arms or crest painted on the 
one and woven in the others. This is far more 
redierchg than any mere design. The crest is 
also engraven on the silver; but it is perhaps 
pushing heraldic pretension too far to engrave 
it also on the wine and finger glasses. 

We now imitate the Romans and cover our 



'108 GOOD MANNEHS. 

tables with flowers a happy innovation. Of 
flowers, the richest and choicest, one can hardly 
have too many. A small glass vase containing 
a " button-hole' bouquet placed at every cover 
is very dainty ; the guests remove the bouquets 
on leaving the table. Glass flower vases ave 
perhaps preferable to silver ones. 

Light is really needful for digestion, and 
should be supplied in profusion. Lamps are 
out of place on a dining-table. Gas is simply 
intolerable. Lockhart describes in his life of 
Scott how the host introduced gas into the 
dining-room at Abbotsford. i& In sitting down 
to table in autumn," he said, u no one observed 
that in each of three chandeliers there lurked a 
tiny head of red light. Dinner passed off, and 
the sun went down, and suddenly, at the turn- 
ing of a screw, the room was filled with a gush 
of splendor worthy of the palace of Aladdin 
but, as in the case of Aladdin, the old lamp 
would have been better in the upshot. Jewellery 
sparkled, but cheeks and lips looked cold and 
wan in this fierce illumination ; and the eye 
was wearied, and the brow ached, if the sitting 
was at all protracted/' 

We must, therefore, have recourse to epergnes 
and wax candles. There should be more lights 
than guests. The candles should be of wax, and 
of good size. Too much light is almost as ob- 
jectionable as too little, since among your guests 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 109 

may be persons whose eyes are weak, and to 
whom it is positive torture to face a brilliant 
light. The best plan is to have abundance of 
wax lights on the chimney-piece and walls, and 
not too many on the table. 

Plenty of attendance is indispensable. The 
servants should be well trained, silent, observant, 
scrupulously dressed, and free from gaucherie. 
A good servant is never awkward. His boots 
never creak ; he never breathes hard, has a cold, 
is obliged to cough, treads on a lady's dress, or 
breaks a dish. If only two servants are in at- 
tendance, one should begin with the guest on 
his master's right, ending with the lady of the 
house ; the other with the guest on his mis- 
ress's right, ending with the master. If they do 
not wear gloves, their hands must be scrupu- 
lously clean. 

The clergyman of highest rank is asked to 
say grace j but if the master of the house is him- 
self in the Church, he is his own family chap- 
lain, and pronounces the grace himself. 

Written bills of fare should be laid to every 
two guests. 

The most elegant novelties for the appoint- 
ment of the dinner-table should be obtained. 
Among the latest of these we may mention silver 
fish-knives, semicircular salad plates, and glasses 
of any new shape lately introduced. 

In the case of small unceremonious dinners, 



110 GOOD MANNERS. 

where the dishes are brought to table, the gen- 
tleman sitting nearest the lady of the house 
should offer to carve for her. Every gentleman 
should therefore know how to carve well. The 
soup comes to table first, and then the fish. It 
is best to help both and send round to each 
guest without asking, as they can refuse if they 
choose. 

Bu the dinner d la Russe being now so uni- 
versal, we must more especially confine our 
observations to that form. Granted, then, that 
no dishes appear on the table, the rules of dining 
are few and easy. Both host and guest are 
relieved from every kind of responsibility. Dish 
after dish comes round, as if by magic j and 
nothing remains but to eat and be happy. 

To eat and talk well at the same time is pos- 
sible ; but the old-fashioned way of " seeing your 
dinner before you," and having to carve, as well 
as to talk and eat, involved a triple duty only 
within the compass of very few. It is not well 
to talk too much at a dinner party. One must 
observe a happy medium between dulness and 
brilliancy, remembering that a dinner is not a 
conversazione. In talking at dinner, or indeed 
at any time, gesticulation is objectionable. No- 
thing can well be more awkward than to over- 
turn a wine-glass, or upset the sauce upon the 
dress of your nearest neighbor. Talking with 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. Ill 

the mouth full is an unpardonable solecism in 
good manners. 

All small preferences for different wines or 
dishes should be kept in subordination. The 
duty of satisfying the tastes of the guests belongs 
to the mistress of the house ; and if she has 
failed to do so, the failure must not be exposed. 
Dishes and wines should not be mentioned un- 
less on the table. 

The minor etiquette of the dinner-table must 
be at all times remembered. As soon as you 
are seated, remove your gloves, place your 
table-napkin across your knees, only partially 
unfolding it, and place your roll on the left side 
of your plate. As soon as you are helped, begin 
to eat : or if the viands are too hot, take up your 
knife and fork and appear to begin. To wait 
for others is not only old-fashioned but ill-bred. 
Never offer to pass on the plate to which } T OU 
have been helped. The lady of the house who 
sends your plate to you is the best judge of 
precedence at her own table. In eating soup, 
remember always to take it from the side of the 
spoon and to make no sound in doing so. Soup 
and fish should never be partaken of a second 
time. Whenever there is a servant to help you, 
never help yourself; when he is near, catch his 
eye and ask for what you want. Eating and 
drinking should always be done noiselessly 



112 GOOD MANNERS. 

To drink a whole glassful at once, or drain a 
glass to the last drop, is inexpressibly vulgar. 

Knife, fork, and spoon may be abused. It is 
needless, perhaps, to hint that the knife must 
never be carried to the mouth. Cheese must be 
eaten with a fork, as also peas, and most vege- 
tables. Only puddings of a very soft kind, and 
liquids, require a spoon. 

Bread is not to be bitten, but broken, never 
cut. Never dip a piece of bread into the gravy 
or preserves upon your plate, and then bite it ; 
but if you wish to eat them together, break the 
bread into small pieceu, and carry these to your 
mouth with your fork. 

Mustard, salt, c., should be put at the side 
of the plate, and one vegetable should never be 
heaped on the top of the other. Always remem- 
ber that a wine-glass is to be held by the stem 
and not the bowl, and that the plate must not 
be tilted on any occasion. In eating, one should 
not bend the head voraciously over the plate, 
extend the elbows, or rattle the knife and fork ; 
but transact all the business of the table quietly 
and gently. Use always the salt-spoon, sugar- 
tongs, and butter-knife ; to use your own knife, 
spoon, or lingers, evinces a shocking want of 
good breeding. 

Never put bones, or the seeds cf fruit, upon 
the table-cloth. Put them upon the edge of 
your plate. 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 113 

Anything like greediness or indecision is ill- 
bred. The choicest pieces are ignored ; and 
you must not take up one piece and lay it down, 
in favor of another, or hesitate whether you 
will partake of the dish at all. It is ymtche in 
the extreme not to know one's own mind about 
trifles. 

Silver fish-knives are found at the best dinner- 
tables ; but where there are none, a piece of 
crust should be taken in the left hand, and the 
fork in the right. 

In eating asparagus, it is well to observe what 
others do, and act accordingly. The best plan 
is to break off the heads with the fork, and thus 
convey them to the mouth. In eating stone- 
fruit, such as cherries, plums, &c., the same 
diversity of fashion .prevails. Some put the 
stones out of the mouth into the spoon, and so 
3onvey them to the plate. Others cover the lips 
with the hand, drop the stones unseen into the 
palm, and so deposit them on the side of the 
plate. Very dainty feeders press out the stone 
with the fork, in the first instance, and thus get 
rid of the difficulty. This is the safest way for 
ladies. 

Fruit is eaten with a silver knife and fork. 
A very expert fruit eater will so pare an orange 
as to lose none of the juice ; but anything must 
be sacrificed rather than one's good manners. 
Never use your knife but to cut your food. Your 



114 GOOD MANNERS. 

fork is intended to carry the food from your 
plate to your mouth. Never use your own knife 
or fork to help others. 

At dinner parties ladies seldom eat cheese, or 
drink liquors, or take wine at dessert. Finger- 
glasses containing water slightly warmed and 
perfumed are placed to each person at dessert. 
In these you dip your fingers, wiping them 
afterwards on your table-napkin. If the finger- 
glass and d'oyley are placed on your dessert- 
plate, you should remove the d'oyley to the left 
hand and place the finger-glass upon it. 

The servants retire after handing round the 
dessert. 

It is a foreign custom, and an excellent one, 
to serve coffee in the dining-room before the 
ladies retire; it puts an end to the prolonged 
wine-drinking, now so universally condemned 
by well-bred persons. When the ladies retire, 
the gentlemen rise, and the gentleman nearest 
the door holds it open for them to pass through. 
Never leave the table until the mistress of the 
house gives the signal. 

Never put fruit or bon-bons in your pocket to 
carry them from the table. Do not eat so fast 
as to hurry the others, nor so slowly as to keep 
them waiting. 

On leaving the table put your napkin on the 
table, but do not fold it. Offer your arm to the 
lady whom you escorted to the table. 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 115 

Taking wine with people is now wholly out 
of fashion. Toasts have met with the same fate. 
To remain long in the dining-room after the 
ladies have left is a poor compliment to both the 
hostess and her fair visitors. Still worse is it 
to rejoin them with a flushed face and impaired 
powers of thought. A refined gentleman is 
always temperate. 

Givers of dinners should lose no time in 
making themselves acquainted with all that has 
been written by the great masters of gastrono- 
my. The following golden rules of Brillat- 
Savarin should be committed to memory : 

" Let not the number of the guests exceed 
twelve, so that the conversation may be general. 
Let them be so selected that their occupations 
shall be varied, their tastes similar, their points 
of contact so numerous that to introduce them 
shall scarcely be necessary. 

" Let the dining-room be superbly lighted, 
the cloth of exquisite fineness and gloss, the 
temperature of the room from 60 to 68 Fah- 
renheit. 

11 Let the men be cultivated, without pre- 
tensions; and the ladies charming, without 
coquetry. 

"Let the dishes be exceedingly choice, but 
not too numerous ; and every wine first-rate of 
its kind. 

u Let the order of dishes be from the substan 



116 GOOD MANNERS. 

tial to the light, and of wines from the simplest 
to those of richest bouquet. 

"Let the business of eating be very slow, the 
dinner being the last act of the day's drama ; 
and let the guests and host consider themselves 
as so many travellers journeying leisurely 
towards the same destination. 

"Let the coffee be hot and the liqueur be 
chosen by the host. 

" Let the drawing-room be large enough for 
a game of cards, if any of the guests cannot do 
without it, and yet have space enough remain- 
ing for after-dinner conversation. 

u Let the guests be retained by the attractions 
of the party, and animated with the hope of 
some evening meeting again under the same 
pleasant auspices. 

" Let not the tea be too strong ; let the toast 
be buttered in the most scientific manner ; let 
the punch be prepared to perfection. 

" Let no one depart before eleven o'clock and 
no one be in bed later than twelve. 

" If any one has been present at a party ful- 
filling these conditions, he may boast of having 
been present at his own apotheosis/' 

A dinner need not be costly to be attractive. 

Walker, in his celebrated " Original," ob- 
serves : u Common soup made at home, fish of 
little cost, any joints, the cheapest vegetables, 
some happy and unexpected introduction (as a 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 117 

finely-dressed crab, or a pudding) provided 
everything is good in quality, and the dishes are 
well dressed, and served hot, and in succession, 
with their adjuncts will insure a quantity of 
enjoyment which no one need be afraid to 
offer." 

Observe, however, these three little words, 
with their adjuncts. Herein lies the gist of the 
sentence 5 here speaks the wisdom of the prac- 
tised diner. On the prompt and quick serving 
of these same "adjuncts" half the enjoyment 
of dinner depends. How often an excellent 
dinner is spoilt by the slow arrival, or non- 
arrival, of those necessary condiments without 
which neither meat nor vegetables have their 
proper flavors. The best beef is spoilt if it 
cools while we are waiting for the mustard ; 
veal is almost uneatable if the lemon has been 
forgotten ; asparagus, though served in Decem- 
ber, would cease to be a delicacy if sent up 
without melted butter and toast. The mistress 
of a house should never leave these small de- 
tails to the memory or judgment of her cook ; 
but should order the accustomed "adjuncts" 
with each dish. To know these things is not 
difficult, and not to know them is to shock the 
prejudices or disappoint the appetites of those 
who have been accustomed to the received rou- 
tine of cookery. 

Small stands of pepper, mustard, and salt 



118 GOOD MANNERS. 

should be placed to every two guests at a din- 
ner party, that no one may be kept waiting for 
the means of seasoning, according to his taste, 
the food which has been placed before him. 

A wealthy man will study to give the best 
dinners that money and taste can provide. But 
money, let us ever remember, is not taste; and 
though we may grudge no expense in order to 
please our guests, too great a display of wealth 
and profusion is bourgeois to the last degree. To 
provide everything that is out of season, and 
nothing that is in season, savors of pretension. 
The common sense of a good dinner is to have 
things when they are early and really at their 
best. A very choice and not over sumptuous 
dinner is ever the most elegant. Rare delicacies 
from a distance are recherc/tg, such as canvas- 
backed ducks, terrapins, reedbirds, &c., &c. 

Wines should always be of the choicest. Cer- 
tain wines are taken with certain dishes, by old- 
established custom as sherry, or sauterne, with 
soup and fish ; hock and claret with roast meat; 
punch with turtle ; port with venison ; port, or 
burgundy, with game; sparkling wines between 
the roast and the confectionery; madeira with 
sweets ; port with cheese ; and for dessert, port, 
tokay, madeira, sherry, and claret. Ked wines 
should never be iced, even in summer. Claret 
and burgundy should always be slightly warmed. 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 119 

As a rule, very choice wines should not he iced 
at all. 

A decanter of wine or water may he readily 
cooled, by folding a wet cloth ahout it and 
placing it in a current of air. 

An admirable kind of wine jug has lately 
been invented with an ice receptacle in the side, 
by means of which the wine is even more effec- 
tually iced than with an ice pail. For cham- 
pagne cup, claret cup, or effervescing wines, 
this kind of jug is most desirable. 

Instead of cooling their wines in the ice pail, 
some hosts have of late years introduced clear 
ice upon the table, broken up in small lumps, 
to be put inside the glasses. This is an innova- 
tion that cannot be too strictly reprehended 
or too soon abolished. Melting ice can but 
weaken the quality and flavor of the wine. 
Those who desire to drink wine and water can 
ask for iced water if they choose, but it savors 
too much of economy on the part of a host to 
insinuate the ice inside the glasses of his guests, 
when the wine could be more effectually iced 
outside the bottle. 

Great care is necessary in decanting wine, so 
as not to shake or cork it. Rare French wines 
should be brought to table in bottles, as decant- 
ing injures the flavor. 

Each wine at the best tables has its own 
distinctive glass. Very broad and shallow glasses 
9 



120 GOOD MANNERS. 

are used for sparkling wines; large goblet-shaped 
glasses for burgundy and claret ; ordinary wine 
glasses for sherry and madeira ; green glasses 
for hock ; and somewhat large bell-shaped 
glasses for port. 

While on the subject of wines, it may be ob- 
served, en passant, that it is considered very 
vulgar to say " port wine" or " sherry wine." 
In England no well-bred person speaks of either 
as anything but " port" or " sherry." No well- 
bred Frenchman, on the other hand, would 
speak of wines except as " vin de Champagne," 
4t vin de Grave," " vin de Bordeaux." This is 
one of the many instances in which the good 
manners of one country are the vulgarity of 
another. 

As there are, and probably ever will be, a 
certain number of persons who cling to old 
customs, who still challenge their friends to take 
wine, and persist in having their dinners served 
in the old-fashioned manner, we subjoin a few 
observations which would not be applicable to 
dinners and dinner customs where the table is 
dressed d la Russe. 

The gentlemen who support the lady of the 
house should offer to relieve her of the duties 
of hostess. Many ladies are well pleased thus 
to delegate the difficulties of carving, and all 
gentlemen who accept invitations to dinner 
should be prepared to render such assistance 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 121 

when called upon. To offer to carve a dish, and 
then perform the office unskilfully, is an unpar- 
donable gaucherie. Every gentleman should 
carve, and carve well. 

The soup should be placed on the table first. 
Some old-fashioned persons still place soup and 
fish together, but "it is a custom more honored 
in the breach than the observance." Still more 
old-fashioned, and in still worse taste, is it to 
ask your guests if they will take u soup or fish." 
They are as much separate courses as the fish 
and the meat, and all experienced diners take 
both. In any case, it is inhospitable to appear 
to force a choice upon a visitor, when that 
visitor, in all probability, will prefer to take 
his soup first and his fish afterwards. All 
well-ordered dinners begin with soup, whether 
in summer or winter. The lady of the house 
should help it, and send it round without ask- 
ing each individual in- turn it is as much an 
understood thing as the bread beside each plate ; 
and those who do not choose it are always at 
liberty to leave it untasted. Never take soup 
twice. 

If the servants do not go round with wine, 
the gentlemen should help the ladies and them- 
selves to sherry or sau^erne with the soup. 

As a general rule, it is better not to ask your 
guests if they will partake of the dishes, but to 
send the plates round, and let them acoept or 



122 GOOD MANNERS 

decline them as they please. At very large 
dinners it is sometimes customary to distribute 
little lists of the order of the dishes at intervals 
along the table. It must be confessed that this 
gives somewhat the air of a dinner at an hotel , 
but it has the advantage of enabling the visitors 
to select their fare, and, as "forewarned is 
forearmed," to keep a corner, as the children 
say, for their favorite dishes. 

In helping soup, fish, or any other dish, re- 
member that to overfill a plate is as bad as to 
supply it too scantily. 

Always help fish with a fish-slice, and tart 
and puddings with a spoon, or if necessary, a 
spoon and fork. 

In helping sauce, always pour it on the sile 
of the plate. 

Never touch either your knife or fork until 
after you have finished eating your soup. Leave 
your spoon in your soup plate, that the servant 
may take them both. 

In changing your plate or passing it during 
dinner, remove your knife and fork, that the 
plate alone may be taken, but after you have 
finished your dinner, cross the knife and fork 
on the plate, that the servant may take all away 
before bringing clean ones for the dessert. 

If you are asked to take wine, it is polite to 
select the same as that which your interlocutor 
is drinking. If you invite a lady to take wine, 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 123 

you should ask her which she will prefer, and 
then take the same yourself. Should you, how- 
ever, for any reason prefer some other vintage, 
you can take it by courteously requesting her 
permission. 

Unless you are a total abstainer, it is ex- 
tremely uncivil to decline taking wine if you 
are invited to do so. In accepting, you have 
only to pour a little fresh wine into your glass, 
look at the person who invites you, bow slightly, 
and take a sip from your glass. 

It is ill-bred to empty your glass on these 
occasions. 

If you are asked to prepare fruit for a lady, 
be careful to do so by means of the silver knife 
and fork only, and never to touch it with your 
fingers. 

It is wise never to partake of any dish with- 
out knowing of what ingredients it is composed. 
You can always ask the servant who hands it to 
you, and you thereby avoid all danger of having 
to commit the impoliteness of leaving it, and 
showing that you do not approve of it. 

Be careful never to taste soups or puddings 
till you are sure they are sufficiently cool ; as, 
by disregardino; this caution, you may be com- 
pelled to swallow what is dangerously hot, or be 
driven to the unpardonable alternative of return- 
ing it to your plate. 

L 3 eas are eaten with the fork. 



124 GOOD MANNERS. 

Servants should not wait at table in white 
gloves, but with a white damask napkin in the 
hand, the end of which should be wrapped 
round the thumb. 

The lady of the house should never send 
away her plate, or appear to have done eating, 
till all her guests have finished. 

If you should unfortunately overturn or break 
anything, do not apologize for it. You can show 
your regret in your face, but it is not well-bred 
to put it into words. 

To abstain from taking the last piece on the 
dish, or the last glass of wine in the decanter, 
only because it is the last, is highly ill-bred. 
It implies a fear on your part that the vacancy 
cannot be supplied, and almost conveys an 
affront to your host. 

To those ladies who have houses and servants 
at command we have one or two remarks to 
offer. Every housekeeper should be acquainted 
with the routine of a dinner and the etiquette 
of a dinner table. No lady should be utterly 
dependent on the taste and judgment of her 
cook. Though she need not know how to dress 
a dish, she should be able to judge of it when 
served. The mistress of a house, in short, 
should be to her cook what a publisher is to his 
authors that is to say, competent to form a 
iudgment upon their works, though himself in- 

J r ^ ' A.' 1 

capable or writing even a magazine article. 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 



125 



If you wish to give a good dinner, and do 
not know in what manner to set about it, you 
will do wisely to order it from any first-rate 
restaurateur. By these means you insure the 
best cookery and a faultless carte. 

Never reprove your servants before guests. 
If a dish is not placed precisely where you would 
have wished it to stand, or the order of a course 
is reversed, let the error pass unnoticed by your- 
self, and you may depend that it will remain 
unnoticed by others. 

To ladies who have the happiness of being 
mothers we would say, Never let your children 
make their appearance at dessert when you en- 
tertain friends at dinner ; children are out of 
place on these occasions. Your guests only 
tolerate them through politeness ; their presence 
interrupts the genial flow of afterdinner conver- 
sation ; and you may rely upon it that, with the 
exception of yourself and your husband, there 
is not a person at table who does not wish them 
in the nursery. 

The duties of hostess at a dinner party are 
not onerous ; but they demand tact and good 
breeding, grace of bearing, and self-possession 
in no ordinary degree. She does not often 
carve ; she has no active duties to perform ; but 
she must neglect nothing, forget nothing, put 
all her guests at their ease, and pay every pos- 
sible attention to the requirements of each and 






126 GOOD MANNERS. 

all around her. No accident must ruffle her 
temper. No disappointment must embarrass 
her. She must see her old china broken without 
a sigh, and her best glass shattered with a smile. 

The duties of a host are more difficult. Hear 
what a modern writer has to say on this im- 
portant subject: 

u To perform faultlessly the honors of the 
table is one of the most difficult things in society. 
It mii-'ht. indeed, be asserted without much fear 

~ / 

of contradiction, that no man has as vet ever 

t 

reached exact propriety in his office as host, or 
lias hit the mean between exerting himself too 
much and too little. His- great business is to 
put every one entirely at his ease ? to gratify all 
his desires, and make him, in a word, absolutely 
contented with men and things. To accomplish 
this, he must have the genius of tact to perceive, 
and the genius of finesse to execute-, ease and 
frankness of manner ; a knowledge of the world 
that nothing can surprise-, a calmness of temper 
that nothing can disturb ; and a kindness of dis- 
position that can never be exhausted When 
he receives others, he must be content to forget 
himself; he must relinquish all desire to shine, 
and even all attempts to please his guests by 
conversation, and rather do all in his power to 
let them please one another. He behaves to 
them without agitation, without affectation -, he 
pays attention without an air of protection ; he 



TABLE ETIQUETTE. 127 

encourages the timid, draws out the silent, and 
directs conversation without sustaining it him 
self. He who does not do all this is wanting 
in his duty as host ; he who does is more than 
mortal." 

In conclusion, we have a few words to offer 
on the subject of mnns in general. 

For an ordinary dinner the following mnu is 
sufficient: One kind of soup, one kind of fish, 
two entries, a roast, a boil, game, cheese, ices, 
dessert, and coffee. 

For a more ceremonious dinner two soups 
(one white, the other clear), two kinds of fish, 
and four entree* are necessary. 

Bread should be cut for table not less than an 
inch thick, but rolls are preferable. 

Pea soup, roast pork, and boiled beef are 
never seen upon good tables. 

Of all animal food, venison is the most digest- 
ible. 

Entries are those dishes which are served in 
the first course, after the fish. 

Entremets are those dishes which are served 
in the second course, after the roast. 

A turkey will be much improved by roasting 
it covered with bacon and paper. A Christmas 
turkey should be hung from a fortnight to three 
weeks. A guinea-fowl and pheasant are ad 
vantageously dressed together. 






128 GOOD MANNERS. 

The Almanack des Gourmands says, "A deli- 
cious sauce will cause you to eat an elephant." 

The only secret of dressing vegetables, so as 
to preserve their fresh green color, is an open 
saucepan, plenty of water, a proper quantity of 
salt, and fast boiling. 

The Spanish proverb says, " Four persons are 
wanted to make a good salad ; a spendthrift for 
oil, a miser for vinegar, a counsellor for salt, 
and a madman to stir it all up." 

Cheese taken at the close of the dinner assists 
digestion. 

Wines should vary with the season. Light 
wines are best in summer ; in winter generous 
wines are preferable. 

The custom of taking coffee after a very late 
dinner is bad, since its stimulant properties 
exert a power destructive to sleep. Never pour 
it into a saucer to cool. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Engagement and Marriage. 

pOURTSHIP is one of those crises in the 
\J course of life when to act by rule is impos- 
sible, and where feeling and good sense will 
prove one's best and often one's only counsel- 
lors. No wise man will weary a lady with too 
much of his presence, or risk being regarded as 
a bore. No well-bred woman will receive a 
man's attentions however acceptable too 
eagerly ; nor will she carry reserve so far as to 
be altogether discouraging. It is quite possible 
for a lady to let it be seen that such and such a 
prttendant is .not disagreeable to her, without 
actually encouraging him. It is equally possi- 
ble for a man to show attention, and even assi- 
duity, up to a certain point, without becoming a 
lover. No man likes to be refused, and no man 
of tact will risk a refusal. Unless the lady is 
false, or a downright coquette, a man ought 
always to be able to judge whether he will be 
favorably heard, before he ventures upon his 
offer. 

With regard to the manner of the offer, it is 
impossible to offer advice; all must depend on 

(129) 



130 GOOD MANNERS. 

circumstances. Is the lover nervous or not 
nervous ? Has he a persuasive tongue ? Does 
he speak well under trying circumstances? Has 
he a good manner ? an agreeable person ? If he 
possesses these qualifications, he will do well to 
make his offer in person. If, on the contrary, 
he is bashful, or labors under any defect of 
speech, or is likely to break down, or is not 
prepared to take a refusal gracefully, or in any 
way mistrusts his own tact and presence of 
mind, he had far better intrust his cause to his 
pen. 

We suppose him accepted. His conduct as a 
fiance must be tender, assiduous, unobtrusive. 
He must evince the utmost respect towards 
every member of the lady's family. He must 
by no means act as if he considered himself 
already a member of that family, or venture 
upon being in any way unduly familiar. He 
must for the present content himself with the 
position of a devoted friend only; testifying 
interest in all that concerns the welfare of the 
family to which he hopes to unite himself, and 
losing no opportunity of rendering them any 
service that may lie in his power. 

All airs of mastership, all foolish display of 
jealousy, should be avoided. Lovers' quarrels 
are as earnestly to be dreaded and deprecated as 
the quarrels of husbands and wives, or brothers 
and sisters. Quarrels cannot but impair mutual 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE. lol 

respect and diminish love. The lady, on the 
other hand, must not be exacting or capricious ; 
must not flirt with others ; must not be too 
demonstrative ; find must never find fault with- 
out a cause. Both should remember that they 
are in the first stage of what is to be a lifelong 
friendship, and should manifest the utmost 
degree of mutual candor, confidence, and sym 
pathy. 

It must surely be unnecessary to hint, that 
no approach towards familiarity must ever be 
indulged in. The most perfect reserve in court- 
ship, even in cases of the most ardent attach- 
ment, is indispensable to the happiness of the 
married life to come. All public displays of 
devotion should be avoided. They tend to lessen 
mutual respect, and make the actors ridiculous 
in the eyes of others. It is quite possible for a 
man to show every conceivable attention to the 
lady to whom he is engaged, and yet to avoid 
committing the slightest offence against delicacy 
or good taste. 

Ladies should remember that nothing takes 
the bloom so completely off a man's admiration, 
as untidiness in the woman he loves. A lady's 
dress should be at all times exquisitely clean 
and neat. He, on his side, should be chival- 
rously conformable to her tastes, giving up 
snicking, or any other habits to which she may 



132 GOOD MANNERS. 

object; and, above all things, paying no undue 
attentions to other women. 

The gentleman presents the lady with a ring 
as soon as they are engaged. If her parents 
permit her to accept many presents, the lover 
will not fail to surround her with tokens of his 
devotion : if, however, this habit is not encou- 
raged, he can spend as much money as he pleases 
in offering her flowers of the rarest and costliest 
kinds. These she can always accept and ho may 
always offer. A sensible man will not give more 
presents than he can justly afford. 

It is the lady's privilege to fix the wedding 
day. 

The marriage settlement is an important 
point. No parent or guardian should allow his 
child or ward to marry without having a part 
of her fortune secured upon herself. The young 
lady may be over-generous, but her advisers will 
do well to act upon their own judgment in this 
matter. It is quite as advantageous to the hus- 
band as to herself, since, in case of unlooked-for 
loss or misfortune, there is a sure provision for 
his wife and children. Professional men, clerks, 
commercial travellers, and all that numerous 
class of men who are dependent upon their 
health for the maintenance of their family, are 
in duty bound to insure their lives for the bene- 
tit of their survivors. 

To return to the marriage settlement. An 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE. 133 

allowance for the lady's dress and pocket money 
should always be made, and so administered 
that the wife will not have to ask for it in sea- 
son and out of season, but receive it as promptly 
as if it were a dividend. 

The trousseau should be in accordance with 
the means of the bride. It is preposterous for 
ladies of middle-class rank and limited means 
to provide themselves with a showy, useless 
outfit ; and in all cases a bridal trousseau should 
consist less of dresses, bonnets, and things of 
ephemeral fashion, than of linen, laces, French, 
Indian, or Cashmere shawls, jewellery, and the 
like. 

The bridesmaids may be from two to twelve 
in number. The bride's sisters, and the bride- 
groom's nearest female relations, should be 
bridesmaids if possible. The brothers and very 
intimate friends of the bride and groom are 
usually selected for groomsmen. A very young 
lady should have bridesmaids of her own age, 
but a bride who is no longer in her girlhood 
should choose bridesmaids who will not make 
her look old and ugly by comparison. The 
bridesmaids may wear veils, and should always 
be dressed in white, trimmed with delicate 
colors. When there are six or eight it is usual 
for half to dress in one color and the other half 
in another. The bouquet of the bride should 
be entirely of white camellias, orange flowers, 



134 GOOD MANNERS. 

&c. ; those of the bridesmaids of mixed colors. 
Groomsmen usually present the bouquet to the 
bridesmaid they are to wait upon. Except at 
very large wedding breakfasts, it is customary 
to invite only relatives and very intimate friends 
to the dejeuner. In the former case, invitations 
on printed cards are sent out by the bride's 
parents or guardians. 

The French bridal costume is much simpler 
and prettier than the English, and we should 
be glad to see it imitated. It consists of a dress 
of white tulle over white silk, a long veil of 
white tulle reaching to the feet, and a wreath of 
maiden-blush roses interspersed with orange 
blossoms. In England rich lace is worn over 
white satin or silk, and the veil is generally of 
costliest lace. 

Widows and ladies of middle age are married 
in bonnets. The bridegroom wears elegant 
evening dress, dark trousers, a black dress-coat, 
and a white neck-tie. 

The order of going to church is as follows : 
The bridesmaids, groomsmen and members of 
the bride's family set off first ; the bride goes 
last with her father and mother, or with her 
mother alone, and the relative who is to repre- 
sent her father if he be dead or absent. The 
father of the bride gives her his arm and leads 
her to the altar. 

The bride stands f ,o the left of the bridegroom, 



ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE. 135 

and- takes the glove off her left hand, while he 
takes the glove off his right hand. The bride 
gives hei glove to her bridesmaids to hold. Per- 
fect self-control should be exhibited by all par- 
ties during the ceremony ; nothing is more un- 
dignified than exhibitions of feeling in public. 
People who have no self-control had better 
remain at home. 

The bride quits the church first with the 
bridegroom, and they drive away together in his 
carriage ; the rest follow in their own carriages. 

The bridegroom should be liberal in his fees, 
if he can afford to be so. A rich man may give 
any sum to the officiating clergyman, from five 
dollars to five hundred. For people of moderate 
moans, from five to twenty dollars is ample. 

The entertainment should be supplied by a 
first-rate confectioner, and the table should be 
as beautiful as flowers, plate, glass, and china 
can make it. 

Fees to servants must depend upon circum- 
stances. From a rich bridegroom large sums 
are expected, but from persons of moderate 
means extravagant fees would be out of place. 
The bridegroom usually presents each brides- 
maid with some elegant trinket, which should 
be the best of its kind. No distinction should 
be made in these gifts. The bridegroom usually 
presents the bride with some useful and costly 
article. 
10 



136 GOOD MANNERS. 

Where the circle of friends on both sides is 
very extensive, it has of late become customary 
to send invitations to such as are not called to 
the wedding feast, to attend the ceremony at 
church. This stands in place of issuing cards. 
When this rule is observed, it is usual, in noti- 
fying the marriage in the newspapers, to add 
the words " No cards." 

When a gentleman attends a wedding or 
bridal reception, it is the bridegroom he is to 
congratulate, offering to the bride his wishes for 
her future happiness, but not congratulation. 

If you are acquainted with the bridegroom, 
and not with the bride, speak to him first, and 
he will introduce you to his bride ; but in any 
other case, you must speak first to the bride, 
then to the bridegroom, then to the bridesmaids, 
if you have any previous acquaintance with 
them ; then to the parents and family of the 
bride and groom ; and after this you are at liberty 
to seek your friends. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Visiting at a Country House. 

T7ISITORS are bound by the laws of social 
V intercourse to conform in all respects to 
the habits of the house. In order to do this 
effectually, they should inquire what those 
habits are. To keep your friend's dinner wait- 
ing ; to accept other invitations ; to impose much 
trouble on your friend's servants ; or to keep 
the family up till unwonted hours, are alike 
evidences of a want of good feeling and good 
breeding. 

At breakfast, dinner, and tea, absolute punc- 
tuality ought to be expected. 

No order of precedence is observed at either 
breakfast or luncheon. Persons take their seats 
as they come in, and "having exchanged their 
morning salutations, begin without waiting for 
the rest of the party. If letters are delivered 
to you at breakfast or luncheon, you may read 
them by asking permission from your host or 
hostess. 

Always hold yourself at the disposal of those 
in whose house you are staying. If they pro- 



138 GOOD MANNERS. 

pose to ride, drive, walk, or otherwise occupy 
the day, you may take it for granted that these 
plans are made with reference to your enjoy- 
ment. You should therefore receive them with 
cheerfulness, and enter into them with alacrity, 
doing your best to seem pleased, and be pleased, 
by the efforts which are made to entertain you. 

Children and horses should never be taken 
except to old friends, or when the invitation 
especially includes them. No visit should bo 
prolonged beyond a week, unless amongst very 
intimate friends and relations. Both host and 
guest should study to be as agreeable to each 
other as possible, and not exact too much of each 
other's company. 

A guest should endeavor to amuse himself as 
much as possible, and not be continually de- 
pendent on his host for entertainment. He 
should remember that, however welcome he may 
be, he is not always wanted. During the 
morning hours a gentleman visitor who neither 
shoots, reads, writes letters, nor does anything 
but idle about the house and chat with the 
ladies, is an intolerable nuisance. Sooner than 
become the latter, he had better retire to the 
billiard-room and practise cannons by himself, 
or walk about the neighborhood. 

The lady visitor should, of course, amuse and 
occupy herself in like manner, as best suits her 
own taste : remembering that her hostess, as 



VISITING AT A COUNTRY HOUSE. 139 

mistress of the house, must have many duties 
and occupations for the morning. 

Those who receive " staying visitors/ 1 as they 
are called, should remember that the truest hos- 
pitality is that which places the visitor most at 
his ease, and affords him the greatest oppor- 
tunity for enjoyment. They should also re- 
member that different persons have different 
ideas on the subject of enjoyment, and that the 
surest way of making a guest happy is to find 
out what gives him pleasure ; not to impose 
that upon him which is pleasure to themselves. 

As a rule, host and guest should be quite in- 
dependent of each other till breakfast, after 
which time the host will have planned drives, 
walks, and out-door amusements for his visitors, 
taking care that each guest shall enjoy the 
recreation and the society he likes best. A model 
host is the most unselfish person possible, relin- 
quishing the best of everything in favor of those 
he has invited to his house. At dinner the 
whole party reassembles, men tall} 7 and phys- 
ically refreshed, let us hope, by exercise and 
genial companionship. A guest is bound to 
spend his evening in the drawing-room, and to 
behave in all respects as if he were a visitor for 
that evening only 5 dressing as for a party, and 
exerting himself to be as agreeable as if he 
were about to take his leave at eleven o'clock. 

The signal lor retiring to rest is generally 



140 GOOD MANNERS. 

given by the appearance of a servant with a 
tray containing fruit, wine, water, and biscuits. 
These are the last refreshments of the evening, 
and the visitor will do well to watch his oppor- 
tunity to rise and wish good-night shortly after 
they have been handed round. 

Great discretion must be used among guests 
to avoid all criticism on their host, his friends, 
his household, his manner of living, and all that 
concerns him. If anything goes wrong during 
the visit, one should seem not to see it. If the 
dinner is late, it is very impolite to appear im- 
patient. If any plan falls to the ground, no 
comments or disapproval must be indulged in, 
and no disappointment betrayed. If the child- 
ren of the house are fractious, or noisy, a visitor 
must never find fault with their behavior. 

The same caution must be exercised in the 
treatment of your friend's friends. They may 
be such as you do not care to become intimate 
with, but you must not evince dislike or special 
avoidance, and must always have recourse 
rather to a negative than a positive line of con- 
duct. A person of tact can always keep people 
at a distance without hurting their feelings. 

Your friend's horses, carriages, books, &c., 
should be even more carefully used than if they 
were your own. A good-natured host will de- 
light in seeing his visitors enjoy all the good 
things he places at their disposal, but they 



VISITING AT A COUNTRY HOUSE. 141 

should never abuse his indulgence. To ride a 
horse too far or too fast, to dog's-ear or blot his 
books, to gather his flowers without permission, 
are all signs of an under-bred and selfish nature. 
Above all, we should be thoughtful in our treat- 
ment of his servants j never putting them to 
undue trouble, nor commenting on their short- 
comings. 

The religious opinions of those from whom 
we receive hospitality must on no account be 
shocked or scoffed at. If our friends go to 
church, we should go with them ; or, without 
remark, repair to the place of worship we prefer. 
If family prayers are read, we should endeavor 
to be present. If the Sunday is observed with 
great rigidity, we should refrain from any pur- 
suits to which objection could possibly be made. 
In short, we must remember that social inter- 
course is made up of innumerable little acts of 
kindness, self-denial, charity, chivalry, and good 
fellowship ; and that only those who give largely 
will receive " full measure, brimming over." 




CHAPTER XIV. 

Hints on Carving. 

A I/THOUGH, in these days ot dinners a la 
-1JL Russe, it is seldom that either ladies or 
gentlemen are called upon to carve in* society, a 
certain proficiency in the art is indispensable 
to both sexes in the daily routine of home life. 

In the middle classes this duty is not unusu- 
ally taken by the wife of a man whom business 
may often detain from his home ; and a skilful 
and economical carver is no bad helpmate for a 
hard-working professional man. 

Men ought to know how to carve any joint or 
dish set before them, or, however high their 
standing in the world, they appear awkward 
and clownish ; and, therefore, all men should 
practise the art of carving in their youth. 

The first necessary provisions for carving are 
the proper utensils; the most skilful of artists 
would be defeated in his aim if he had not his 
tools. The carving-knives and forks are now 
made specially for the various dishes. The fish- 
slices should be of silver or silver metal, in 
order that the flavoi of the fish may not be in- 

(142) 



HINTS ON CARVING. 143 

jured by contact with steel; and made flat and 
broad, so that the flakes be not broken in raising. 
For joints, use a very long sharp steel blade; 
and for poultry and game, a long-handled knife 
with a short and pointed blade, so constructed 
as to be inserted dexterously between the small 
joints of the birds. The forks must be two- 
pronged, and the dish must be sufficiently near 
to the carver to give him an easy command over 
it. Having the needful utensils for work, all 
now depends on the coolness, confidence, and 
dexterity of the carver. A very brief amount 
of practice will enable him to know what joints 
there must be in the piece before him, and where 
they are situated. In butcher's meat, one rule 
is almost universal : the slice cut must be cut 
across the fibres of the meat, and not along them ; 
a process which renders it more easy to masti- 
cate and digest. The exceptions to this rule are 
the fillet or under-cut in a sirloin of beef, and the 
slices along the bone in a saddle of mutton. In 
cutting a joint of meat, the strong fork is used 
to steady it: but in carving poultry it is the 
fork which is most useful in removing the wing 
and leg by a jerk, without leaving any ragged 
remains adhering to the body. All this must 
be accomplished by dexterity not by strength, 
and any lady can acquire the art by a little ob- 
servation and practice. 
A knife should seldom be used for pies, en 



144 GOOD MANNERS. 

tr6es, or sweet dishes. As a rule, indeed, you 
must use a spoon whenever it is possible. 

In helping soup, you give half a ladleful to 
each person. 

In helping to choice dishes, stuffing, &c., the 
carver should always calculate the number of 
the company and proportion the delicacies dis- 
creetly. 

The fairest mode of cutting a ham, so as to 
cut both fat and lean evenly, is to begin at a 
hole in the centre of the thickest part, and cut 
from it in thin circular slices. 

Be careful alwavs to cut straight to. the bone, 

/ O 

by which method you never spoil the joint, and 
are yet enabled to help many persons with but 
little meat. What remains also looks well and 
is good to eat. 

A leg of mutton should be sliced lightly, so 
as not to press out the pieces and serve dry 
meat. Cut first in the middle as the most juicy 
part, cut to the bone, and thin slices. Currant 
jelly should always be served with mutton. 

In carving a roast sirloin of beef, you may 
begin at either side. The outside should be 
sliced down to the bone, while the inside or ten- 
derloin part should be sliced thin, lengthwise, 
and a little of the soft rat given with each piece. 
You may ask whether the outside or inside, the 
rare or well-done, is preferred ; otherwise a 
small piece of the inside should be served with 



HINTS ON CARVING. 145 

each plate, as this is generally regarded as the 
choicest portion. 

A round of beef should be cut in thin, large, 
even slices. 

A filled of veal should be cut in the same 
way as a round of beef, and served with each 
slice some of the stuffing and a little of the fat. 
Frequently the brown parts or outside are pre- 
ferred to the inner cuts, and the inquiry should 
be made. 

When carving a forequarter of lamb, separate 
the shoulder from the breast and ribs, by pass- 
ing the knife under and through it; then sepa- 
rate the gristly part from the ribs, and help from 
that, or the ribs, as may be chosen. 

A haunch of mutton is the leg and apart of 
the fat of the loin, and the lean of the leg. Cut 
each part directly down through in slices, about 
a quarter of an inch thick. 

A saddle of mutton should be cut in thin 
slices from tail to end, beginning close to the 
back-bone ; help some fat from, the sides. 

A rcast pig should be cut in two before it is 
sent to the table. Begin to carve by separating 
the shoulders from one side, then divide the 
ribs. The joints may be divided, or pieces cut 
from them. The ribs are considered the finest 
part, though some prefer the neck end. 

When carving a goose, cut off the apron, or 
the part directly under the neck, and outside of 



146 GOOD MANNERS. 

the merry- thought. Then turn the neck tc wards 
you, and cut the breast in slices. Take off the 
leg by putting the fork into the small end of the 
bone, pressing it to the body, at the same time 
passing the knife into and through the joint. 
Take off the wing by putting the fork into the 
small end of the pinion, and pressing it close 
to the body while the knife is dividing the joint. 
The wing side-bones, and also the back and 
lower side-bones, should then be cut off. The 
best pieces are the breast and thighs. 

Chickens and turkeys are carved, by first de- 
taching the legs from the body. Next, take off 
the wings, by dividing the joint with the knife 
then lift up the pinion with your fork, and draw 
the wing towards the leg, and the muscles will 
separate in a better form than if cut Now cut 
the breast into thin slices. Then remove the 
merry-thought from the neck-bones, and divide 
the breast-bone from the carcase by laying it 
first on one side and then on the other, each time 
cutting through the tender ribs. Then lay the 
back upwards, and cut it across half-way between 
the neck and the rump. Then insert the point 
of the knife between the back-bone and the side- 
bone and cut them off. The breast, the wings, 
the side-hones, or the thighs are considered the 
choicest parts. A skilful carver will insert his 
fork in the breast-bone of poultry and not remove 
it till the whole bird is nearly dissected. 



HINTS ON CARVING. 147 

Larks, quails, plovers, and all small game 
birds should be always cut through the breast 
from the back to the tail, and served in two 
helpings. 

The shoulder of a rabbit is very delicate, and 
the brains are considered choice. 

In helping roast pheasant or chicken, add 
some of the cresses with which it is garnished. 

Never pour gravy over white meats, as these 
should retain their color. 

Do not pour sauce over meat or vegetables, but 
a little on one side. 

Before cutting up a wild-duck, pour over a 
few spoonfuls of sauce, compound of port wine 
or claret, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper, 
or help with currant jelly. 

The most delicate parts of a calf's head are 
the bits under the ears, neck, and eyes, and the 
side next the cheek. 

The upper part of a roast sirloin of beef 
should be carved lengthwise, and never across. 

The best helping in a large salmon is a thick 
piece from the middle. 

Grouse is carved like chicken, but the back is 
considered the iiiOst delicate. 

Partridges may be cut up like chickens, if the 
supply of game be limited; but otherwise are 
better divided, like small birdvS. 

Of roasted chicken, the breast i,s the best 






H8 GOOD MANNERS. 

part ; of boiled chicken, the leg is considered 
choice. 

A good carver will remember that the follow 
ing are esteemed delicacies : 

The sounds of cod-fish. 

The fat of salmon. 

The fat of venison. 

Kidneys of lamb and veal. 

The long cuts and the gravy from the Balder- 
man's walls" of a haunch of venison. 

The pope's eye in a leg of mutton. 

The oyster cut of a shoulder of mutton. 

The ribs and neck of a pig. 

Breast and thighs (without drumstick) of 
turkey and goose. 

The legs and breast of a duck. 

The wings, breast, and back of game. 



CHAPTER XV. 



Travelling. 

are many little courtesies a gentleman 
may offer to a lady when travelling, even 
if she is an entire stranger, and by an air of 
respectful deference, he may place her entirely 
at ease. 

If a lady is placed under a gentleman's care 
for a journey, she will probably meet him at the 
depot 5 but if an old acquaintance, you should 
offer to call for her at her residence. Take a 
hack, and call, leaving ample time for her to say 
her last words of farewell. A lady should offer 
her escort a sum of money from which to defray 
her expenses, at starting, and the gentleman 
should accept it without the slightest hesitation ; 
this mode is preferable for several reasons. Or 
she can always hand the gentleman her fare 
when he is paying for his own ; or what per- 
haps is better, let him keep an account of the 
day's or the journey's expenses, and settle with 
each other at the end. 

Select for your companion the pleasantest 
Beat, then attend to the baggage and have it 

(149) 



150 



GOOD MANNERS. 



properly checked. Before starting, place her 
shawls, bag, &c., in convenient reach, arrange 
the windows or shades to her liking, and see 

C* ' 

that she starts comfortably fixed ; and be at all 
times ready to wait on her. 

When arriving at the hotel, escort her to the 
parlor, and leave her there while you engage 
rooms. When the waiter is ready to show her 
to her room escort her thither and leave her at 
her door. Ask her at what hour she wishes to 
take the next meal, and promptly meet her in 
the parlor at that time, and accompany her to 
the table. 

If you remain in the city where her journey 
terminates, you should call upon her the day 
after her arrival. It is then at her option 
whether she is "at home" to you or not, and 
whether she cares to continue the acquaintance. 

When travelling, any little attention to a lady 
who is unattended, is always allowable, pro- 
vided it is done with great courtesy, and you are 
not too attentive so as to become officious. 

If travelling in a foreign country, endeavor to 
acquire the languages before you go, and ac- 
custom yourself to the customs of the natives, 
and as far as you can, without violation of prin- 
ciple, follow them. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Etiquette in Church. 

JF you visit other churches than your own, 
do not sneer or scoff at any of their forms, 
but follow the service as closely as you can. 

To remove your hat, if a gentleman, upon 
entering church, is a sign of respect never to be 
omitted. Follow the customs of those around 
you. 

A gentleman should pass up the aisle with 
the lady until he reaches the pew to be occu- 
pied, when he steps before her, opens the door, 
holds it open while she enters, and follows her, 
closing the door after him. 

If you are visiting a strange church, request 
the sexton to give you a seat. Never enter a 
pew uninvited. If you are in your own pew in 
church, and see strangers looking for a place, 
open your pew door, and by a motion invite 
them to enter. 

A gentleman or lady may offer a fan or book 
to a stranger near, if they are unprovided, 
whether thev be young or old, lady or gentleman. 
11 (151) 



152 GOOD MANNERS. 

If you visit a church to see the pictures or 
monuments and not for worship, choose the 
hours when there is no service being read. 
Speak low, walk slowly, and keep an air of quiet 
respect in the edifice. 

Hanging around church-doors and staring at 
the ladies, making remarks, is very ill-bred. If 
you are waiting to join any one. remain unob- 
trusive until they make their appearance, and 
then quietly join them. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Places of Amusement. 

JF a gentleman invites a lady to accompany 
him to a theatre, opera, or public place of 
amusement, he must send the invitation the 
day previous, and write it in the third person. 

If the lady accepts the invitation, he should 
take care to secure good seats, otherwise it 
would be a poor compliment to invite her and 
place her where she can neither see nor hear well. 

Although, when alone, a gentleman will act 
a courteous part in giving his seat to a strange 
lady, who is standing, in a crowded concert- 
room, he should not do so, when acting as the 
escort of a lady. By giving up your place be- 
side her, you may place a lady next her, whom 
she will find an unpleasant companion, and you 
are yourself separated from her, when the con- 
versation between the acts makes one of the 
greatest pleasures of an evening spent in this 
way. In case of accident, too, he deprives her 
of his protection, and gives her the appearance 
of having come alone. Your first duty is to 
that ladv before all others. 

(153) 



154 GOOD MANNERS. 

When you are with a lady at a place of amuse- 
ment, you must not leave your seat until you 
rise to escort her home. If at the opera, you 
may invite her to promenade between the acts, 
but if she declines, do you too remain in your 
seat. 

Any lover-like airs or attitudes, although you 
may have the right to assume them, are in bad 
taste in public. 

If the evening you have appointed be a 
stormy one, you must call for your companion 
with a carriage, and this is the more elegant 
way of taking her even if the weather does not 
make it absolutely necessary. Though amongst 
intimate friends the passenger cars are quite 
allowable. 

When you are entering a concert-room, or the 
box of a theatre, walk before your companion 
up the aisle, until you reach the seats you have 
secured, then turn, offer your hand to her, and 
place her in the inner seat, taking the outside 
one yourself; in going out, if the aisle is too 
narrow to walk two abreast, you again precede 
your companion until you reach the lobby, 
where you turn and offer your arm. 

Let all your conversation be in a low tone, 
not whispered: loud talking, laughter, or mis 
timed or noisy applause, are all in very bad 
taste ; for if you do not wish to pay strict atten- 



PLACES OF AMUSEMENT. 155 

tion to the performance, those around you pro- 
bably do. 

Secure your programme, libretto, or concert 
bill, before taking your seat, as you may find it 
on your return occupied by another whom it 
would be difficult or unpleasant to dislodge 
from it. 

In a crowd, do not push forward regardless 
of others, but protect your companion and take 
your turn. 

If your seats are secured, call in time for 
your companion, so as to be seated some minutes 
before the performance commences 5 but if your 
seats are not secured, it is best to go early. 

At an exhibition of fine arts, you may con- 
verse in a low tone, but do not gesticulate or 
criticise in a loud r authoritative manner. Nor 
remain too long in one position to the exclusion 
of others who may want to see that particular 
piece. 

Be careful, unless particularly urged, how you 
attach yourself to any other party you may 
meet at such places. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

The Arrangement of a Lady's House, and the 
Management of Servants. 

THE first point necessary to consider in the 
arrangement and orderiir of a lady's house- 
hold, is that everything should be on a scale 
exactly proportionate to her husband's income. 
Elegance and refinement are great accessories 
to the enjoyment of life ; good taste is a luxury 
which we can hardly overestimate ; but nothing 
will prove a recompense for the hundred and 
one vexations and anxieties induced by habits 
of thoughtless extravagance. 

We have called good taste a luxury, and so it 
is ; though, like many other luxuries, it may be 
obtained at a moderate expense. No matter 
how modest the scale of a lady's manage, how 
simple her hospitalities, how inexpensive her 
toilettes, the real gentlewoman proclaims her- 
self as readily in a cottage as in a palace. The 
first essential of refinement in life and manner 
is a total absence of pretension. 

A true gentleman or lady is necessarily free 
from every kind of pretence. Of the untruth- 

1156) 



ARRANGEMENT OP A LADY'S HOUSE. 157 

fulness of pretence, of the vulgarity of pre- 
tence, Thackeray, in his immortal " Book of 
Snobs," has said all that can be said in bitter 
reproval. He has, in fact, so exhausted the 
subject, that none who may now attempt to 
touch upon it need hope to do more than para- 
phrase or quote him. And a finer book upon 
manners and morals it would be difficult to dis- 
cover. 

To affect a better family connexion, a larger 
income, a more lavish expenditure, than is 
really ours ; to be in any sense "shabby-gen- 
teel 5" to live beyond one's means ; to run in 
debt ; to pay shabby prices for shabby luxuries 
is to lose alike in peace, in self-respect, and in 
the estimation of others. Let all young house- 
keepers, then, begin life by a resolute abnega- 
tion of shams. As wealth increases, so may 
expenditure also be increased. 

To do as other people do is the ambition of 
snobs. Do we not all know persons who ha- 
bitually sacrifice themselves, their dignity, and 
their peace of mind to this one futile en- 
deavor ? 

" Veracity first of all and for ever," as Emer- 
son says ; " and all the rest will be easy." Build 
your plan of life upon a superstructure of sin- 
cerity, and then give your mind to elegance and 
refinement. As wealth does not always pre- 
suppose good taste, so moderate means need not 



158 GOOD MANNERS. 

presuppose vulgarity. It is pleasant to possess 
jewels r but let no admiration for diamonds in- 
duce us to wear paste. A lady will therefore 
concern herself less about the size and splen- 
dor of her house, than the harmony of its 
colors, and the good taste of its decoration. The 
rooms will be furnished with perfect adaptation 
to comfort, with a careful avoidance of glaring 
colors, without any undue profusion of orna- 
ments,, and without any ostentation of uphol- 
stery. If there are pictures and other works 
of art r they must be good. No house, however 
modest r should be without something like a 
library. A house without books is a house 
without a soul. Flowers and ferns may be had 
at a trifling cost,, and are the loveliest of orna- 
ments, especially in cities and towns. 

Reception rooms should never be overcrowded 
with furniture. Suite tables covered with little 
shepherdesses in Dresden china, and little 
chalets carved in wood, are a delusion and a 
snare. All bric-a-brac should be kept in ca- 
binets with glass doors. Mirrors should be 
numerous, and of the best quality ; frames and 
cornices of studied simplicity of design. 

The painting and papering of the walls is a 
most important subject, and should be carried 
out in strict harmony with the colors and 
character of the furniture. It is, perhaps, 
superfluous to say that geometrical patterns are, 



ARRANGEMENT G? A LADY'S HOUSE. 159 

of all others, the most reprehensible; and, in- 
deed, inflict positive torture upon the eyes of 
very sensitive people. The colors of walls 
should be always sober. Carpets may be as 
rich in color as you please ; but the patterns 
must be small, and the hues harmoniously 
blended. 

Elaving engaged servants who thoroughly 
understand their business, we should leave them 
to do it without undue interference. No good 
servant will stay with a petulant, fault-finding, 
suspicious mistress ; and no good servant will 
stay in a place where he has more work to do 
than he can get through with credit to himself. 
Ill-paid work will of necessity be ill-done, as 
forced work is only undertaken by the incom- 
petent. Nothing so entirely vulgarizes a house- 
hold as a tone of hostility between servants and 
employers. A lady will make it her first 
study to obtain a staff of the best servants she 
can get, and will then remember that, after all, 
they are not angels, but human beings, liable to 
the same errors, temptations, and passions as 
their employers. She will endeavor to correct 
their faults, and not to aggravate them ; above 
all, she will treat them, and encourage her 
children to treat them, with uniform kindness 
and civility, remembering that service is a rela- 
tionship of employer and employed, and not of 
master and slave. One can never overestimate 



160 GOOD MANNERS. 

the effect of sympathy in dealing with a clas% 
of inferior rank to our own. It is not enough 
to be just and liberal to one's servants; one 
should also be sympathetic. A little kindly 
interest in their circumstances and general well- 
being is sure to bring its own reward. It is 
well, also, to supply our servants occasionally 
with good books, and to encourage them to 
spend their holidays at places of wholesome and 
instructive amusement. A taste for reading 
when it is well directed will prove a sure anti- 
dote against bickering and gossip in the kitchen. 
Punctuality is as necessary to the comfort of 
a house, as punctuation is necessary to the 
lucidity of a sentence. If it is allowable to 
have any unpunctual meals, it must be only the 
least important ones, such as afternoon tea, &c. 
Breakfast should always be in readiness to the 
moment; and the dinner-bell be as certain as 
the church-bell on Sunday. The health of the 
whole family depends as much on the regularity 
as the quality of the meals. Bad food, ill- 
cooked food, monotonous food, insufficient food, 
injure the physique, and ruin the temper. No 
lady should turn to the more tempting occupa- 
tions or amusements of the day till she has 
gone into every detail of the family commis- 
sariat, and assured herself that it is as good as 
her purse, her cook, and the season can make it. 



ARRANGEMENT OF A LADY'S HOUSE. 161 

This duty done, she may dismiss the matter with 
a clear conscience. 

The question of housekeeping involves the 
question of accounts. 

Most ladies hold accounts in abhorrence ; but 
account-keeping is easy enough if the habit of 
keeping daily entries, and weekly casting up 
one's household bills, be strictly adhered to. It 
is only when accounts are suffered to run on 
and accumulate that they become very difficult. 
It is the first neglected knot that occasions the 
hopeless tangle of the skein. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Wine at Table. 

A LMOST every gentleman has wine at his 
I\. table whenever he has invited guests, as 
it is considered an indispensable part of a good 
dinner, to which gentlemen have been formally 
invited. Even if you are a total abstinence 
man, no real gentleman would compel his guests 
to be so against their wish. 

If there is a gentleman at the table who is 
known to be a total abstinence man, you should 
respect his scruples, and not urge him to drink. 
If he is a gentleman, he will avoid calling at- 
tention to it himself, and suffer his glass to be 
filled at the first passage of the wine, and raising 
it to his lips, will bow his respects with the rest 
of the guests, and after that will allow his glass 
to remain untouched. If it is a small party 
and he is intimate with his host, he may decline 
to have his glass filled at all, without any im 
propriety. 

It is not now the custom to ask a lady across 
the table to take wine with you. It is expected 
that every lady will be properly helped to wine 

(162) 



WINE AT TABLE. 163 

by the gentleman who takes her to the table, or 
who sits next to her. Do not offer to help a lady 
to wine until you see she has finished her soup 
or fish. 

It is considered polite to take the same wine 
as that selected by the person with whom you 
drink. But it is allowable to take that which 
you prefer, at the same time asking the permis- 
sion to do so. 

In inviting a gentleman to take wine with you 
at table, you should politely say, u Shall I have 
the pleasure of a glass of wine with you?" You 
will then either hand him the bottle you have 
selected or send it by the waiter, and after- 
wards fill your own glass, when you will politely 
and silently bow to each other, as you raise the 
wine to your lips. 

On taking the first glass of wine it is cus- 
tomary for a gentleman to bow to the lady of 
the house. 

It is not customary to propose toasts or to 
drink deep at a gentleman's family table. 

At dinner parties which are given to gentle- 

C C ' TJ 

men, tor the purpose or conviviality, one may 
indulge in as much wine as he can properly 
carry, but not more than inside the limits of 
propriety. Where drinking, toasts, and songs 
are the order of the feast, as at a public dinner, 
far greater latitude is allowed than on more 
private or select occasions. It is, 1 owever, the 



164 GOOD MANNERS. 

first care of a well-bred man never to drink be- 
yond his self-control at table, where the com- 
fort of the whole party is so much dependent 
upon the propriety of every one present. But, 
whenever a gentleman has the misfortune to 
forget himself, every other gentleman will do all 
in his power to make the best of the accident. 

Do not praise bad wine, for it will persuade 
those who are judges that you are an ignoramus 
or a flatterer. At the same time, avoid noticing 
that it is bad, unless the host calls attention to 
it himself. 

As wine is a very common subject of disc-is- 
sion at table, it is quite necessary that every 
gentlemen should be able to converse under- 
standingly upon the character and quality of the 
various wines in use. It is very embarrassing 
to be called upon for an opinion and not be 
able to give one ; and it is still worse to betray 
one's ignorance on the subject of conversation. 
Besides, ignorance of the history and quality 
of wines may impress gentlemen with the idea 
that you have not been much in good company. 
We append some few hints on the different 
wines. 

THE AGE OF WINES. It is an error that ex- 
tensively prevails, to suppose that great age ia 
necessary to the goodness of wine. The quality 
of the vintage has more to do with the excel- 
lence of the wine than the number of years it 



WINE AT TABLE. 1G5 

has been kept. Port wine, of a good vintage, 
is best when not more than ten years old. 
Hocks and clarets, indeed, will not keep till 
old. Champagne is best at from three to five 
years old. So that the phrase "old wine," has 
no such wonderful charm for the well informed. 

How TO KNOW GOOD WINE. All wines made 
out of the juice of the grape possess a peculiar 
bouquet, or powerful odor, which is quite unmis- 
takeable to an experienced wine-drinker. This 
characteristic bouquet depends upon the pre- 
sence of cenanthic ether, which is produced by 
the fermentation of the juice of the grape, and is 
therefore relied upon as one of the general 
proofs that the wine is made of grapes. By 
comparing the bouquet of a bottle of real grape 
wine, with one made of cider, gooseberries, or 
any other juice, you will soon educate your nose 
to be a tolerable detector of bad wine. 

Immature red wines are remarkably bright 
and red, in consequence of the presence of 
phosphoric and other acids, which are subdued 
when the wine has obtained a proper age. In 
perfectly ripe wines this intense brightness is 
changed into a mellow, rich, and tawny hue, that 
is considered a sign of maturity in all red 
wines. But art has learned to counterfeit all 
these things, therefore taste is the surest guide. 

Poii'i WINE is undoubtedly " one of the most 
healthy of all vinous liquors: it strengthens 



166 GOOD MANNERS. 

the muscular system, assists the digestive 
powers, accelerates the circulation, exhilarates 
the spirits, and sharpens the mental energies." 
But it is rarely that pure port is ever found in 
this country. It would not keep without an 
admixture of brandy. Most of the port wine 
sold as such is either a cheap French wine, or a 
poisonous compound of drugs and color. When 
real port loses its stringency, and acquires a 
slightly acid taste, it is unwholesome, and is 
unfit for use. 

CHAMPAGNE. The Faculty of Paris in 1778 
pronounced champagne to be the finest and 
healthiest of all wines ; and, except in cases of 
weak digestion, is, if pure, one of the safest 
wines that can be drank. It is the king of wines 
at the convivial board in this country so much 
so, that when a u bottle" of wine is proposed, it 
is understood to be champagne, unless some 
other is expressly mentioned. '" Its intoxicating 
effects are rapid, but exceedingly transient, and 
depend partly upon the carbonic acid, which is 
evolved from it, and partly upon the alcohol, 
which is suspended in this gas, being rapidly 
and extensively applied to a large surface of the 
stomach/' The idea that champagne produces 
gout is erroneous, though it is to be avoided 
where that disease already exists. 

It is a mistaken idea that champagne must be 
swallowed as soon as possible after it is un- 



WINE AT TABLE. 167 

corked. If it is real arid good champagne it 
improves by letting it stand a little, as after the 
gas has partly escaped it will entirely retain the 
flavor and body of the wine, which is, to some 
extent, concealed by its effervescence. This is 
the best test of good champagne. 

BURGUNDY is stronger than claret, possesses 
a powerful aroma, and a delicious and lasting 
flavor, when pure ; of which we get but little in 
this country. 

CLARET comes chiefly from Bordeaux and 
from the neighboring districts of Medoc. The 
pure Bordeaux is a safe wine, light, agreeable, 
gently exhilarating, and an excellent quencher 
of thirst. The best brands are the St. Julien, 
La Rose, and Bouillac, the lightest, most palat- 
able and aromatic of the clarets. The Chateaux- 
Margau is a delicious claret, which has the per- 
fume of the violet, and possesses a rich ruby 
color. The Haut Brion has a powerful bouquet, 
resembling a mixture of violets and raspber- 
ries ; as have also La Tour and Lafitte. 

GFRMAN WINES. Hock wines or Rhine wines, 
such as the Johannisberg and the Steinberg, 
are of delicious flavor and exquisite bouquet, 
and great favorites in warm weather. The 
Rudesheim, Markobrunner, Rothenberg, and 
Hockheim which grows on the banks of the 
Main, are among the best of the second class 
of Rhine wines. 
12 



168 GOOD MANNERS. 

The delicately flavored Moselles are the favor- 
ite wines with the Germans. Grunhauser and 
Scharrberger are called *' the Nectar of the 
Moselle." 

SHERRY, of due age and in good condition, ia 
a fine, perfect, and wholesome wine-, free from 
excess of acid, and possessing a dry, aromatic 
flavor and fragrance ; but, as produced in ordi- 
nary market, it is of fluctuating and anomalous 
quality, often destitute of all aroma, and tast- 
ing of little else than alcohol and water. 

The best sherries are the pale and light golden 
wines, made of the Xeres grape ; the delicate 
hue of which is frequently imitated by art, in 
a much inferior article. The finest is the Amon- 
tillado, a pure article of which is seldom seen 
in this country. 

MADEIRA, of u the South Side," is a delightful 
wine, but a pure article is rare in this country, 
but little having been made of late years, owing 
to the disease which has attacked the vines on 
the island. 

AMERICAN WINES are gradually achieving a 
high reputation, even in Europe ; they are quite 
equal to the best imported wines, and are gene- 
rally much cheaper. A recent English author 
says " In comparing these wines with those of 
Europe, we must bear in mind that they are 
distinct in flavor from any or all of them. It is 
their peculiarity that no spurious compound can 



WINE AT TABLE. 169 

be made to imitate them, .and in purity and 
delicacy there is no known wine to equal them/' 

Our still Catawba has the lowest percentage 
of alcohol of any wine in the world. The most 
expensive wine in Europe, Tokay, has 9.8b per 
cent, of spirit, while our Catawba has only 
9.50. 

The best champagne made in the Unite .1 
States is Werke's sparkling Isabella, unless It 
is equalled by the sparkling wine of Missouri. 
Werke's sparkling Catawba, not so delicate in 
flavor as his Isabella, is prefered by lovers of 
champagne to that of Longworth. The El Paso 
and Mustang wines of Texas are very tine ; 
the Mustang grape yielding a wine hardly 
distinguishable from the best port. 

How TO USE WINE. The Romans had a prac- 
tice of eating cheese to bring out the Havor of 
their wine, a custom which prevails at the pre- 
sent time with us. Wine-drinkers vary their 
choice of wines to suit the seasons ; selecting 
such light wines for summer, as Hock, Claret, 
Burgundy, Rhinish, and Hermitage , and for 
winter those of more body and strength, as Port, 
Sherry, and Madeira. While others carry it 
still further, and use only white wine with 
white meats, and red wine with brown meats ; 
light wines with light dishes, and stronger 
wines with more substantial food. Red wines 
usually open the repast, after which the exhila 



170 GOOD MANNERS. 

rating champagne keeps up the good temper of 
the guests, perhaps followed by sherry, or even 
brandy and water. But for a quiet, enjoyable 
repast it is usual to open the dinner with claret, 
followed by champagne, and close with a cup 
of strong coffee. 

Wine-coolers are indispensable in hot weather, 
as the practice of putting ice into the glass with 
the wine is sure to destroy the fine aroma and 
delicious taste of the choicest wines. Claret 
which is kept in a cellar, needs no cooling; and 
in winter, wine-drinkers usually place it near the 
fire before uncorking, as a moderate degree of 
warmth improves the soft and delicious flavor 
which is the chief merit of this wine. Cham- 
pagne, in summer, needs cooling, to improve its 
sparkling flavor. 



CHAPTER XX. 

General Hints to both Sexes. 

ALL egotism must be banished froa. the 
drawing-room. The person who mjJv^is his 
family, his wealth, his affairs, or his hobb c \ the 
topic of conversation, is not only a bore, bat a 
violator of charity and good taste. We meet in 
society, not to make a display of ourselves, but 
to give and take as much rational entertainment 
as our own accomplishments and those of others 
can afford. He who engrosses the conversation 
is as unpardonably selfish, as he who allows his 
neighbor no elbow-room. 

The drawing-room is not a monarchy but a 
republic, where the rights of all are equal. 
Very young people should never be neglected. 
If we wish our sons and daughters to possess 
easy, polished manners, and fair powers of 
expressing themselves, we should treat them 
politely and kindly, and lead them to take an 
interest in whatever conversation may be going 
on. Neither must we bring our gloomy moods 
or irritable temper with us when we enter so- 
ciety. To look pleasant is a duty we owe to 
others. One is bound to listen with the appear- 

(171) 



172 GOOD MANNERS. 

ance of interest to even the most inveterate 
proser who fastens upon us in society ; to smile 
at a twice-told tale ; and, in short, to make such 
minor sacrifices of sincerity, as good manners 
and good feeling demand. 

Awkwardness of attitude does one the same 
ill service as awkwardness of speech. Lolling, 
gesticulating, fidgetting, and the -like, give an 
air of f/ finch trie, and, so to say, take off a certain 
percentage from the respect of others. A lady 
who sits cross-legged, or sideways on her chair, 
who has a habit of holding her chin, or twirling 
her watch chain a man who sits across his chair, 
or bites his nails, or nurses his leg manifests 
an unmistakable want of good breeding. Both 
should be quiet, easy, and graceful in their car- 
riage 5 the man, of course, being allowed some- 
what more freedom than the lady. 

If an object is to be indicated, you must move 
the whole hand, or the head, but never point 
with the finger. 

Coughing, sneezing, clearing the throat, &c., 
if done at all, must be done quietly. Sniffing, 
snuffling, expectorating, must never be per- 
formed in society under any consideration. 

The breath should be kept sweet and pure by 
refraining from onions or anything of equally 
strong flavor ; and no gentleman ought to entei 
the presence of ladies smelling of tobacco. 

Physical education is indispensable to every 



GENERAL HINTS TO BOTH SEXES. 173 

well-bred man and woman. A gentleman should 
not only know how to fence, to box, to ride, to 
shoot, to swim, and to play at billiards ; he must 
also know how to dance, to walk, and to carry 
himself. A good carriage is only attained by 
the help of a drilling master, and boxing must 
also be scientifically taught. The power to de- 
liver a good scientific blow may be of inestima- 
ble value under certain extreme circumstances; 
though of course no gentleman would willingly 
resort to so strong a measure. A man, however, 
may be attacked by garotters ; or may come 
upon some ruffian insulting a woman in the 
streets ; and in such cases a blow settles the 
matter. " To knock a man down," it has been 
said, " is never good manners, but there is a 
way of doing it gracefully." Indignation should 
never be manifested in words. Defend yourself, 
or the person whose champion you are, without 
vituperation. But be able to defend yourself 
upon any occasion. 

What fencing and drilling are to a man, 
dancing and calisthenic exercises are to a young 
woman. Every lady should know how to dance, 
whether she intends to dance in society or not ; 
and the better her physical training, the more 
graceful she will be. Swimming, skating, arch- 
ery, riding, and driving, all help to strengthen 
the muscles, and are therefore desirable. The 



174 GOOD MANNERS. 

subject, indeed, is one that cannot 1 e too much 
insisted upon by educational reformers. 

Decorum is a word that has almost fallen into 
discredit, and yet its primitive meaning is one 
we would do well to understand. " Decorum," 
says a French writer, '' is nothing less than the 
respect of oneself and of others brought to bear 
upon every circumstance of life." In all our 
relations with our fellow-men, whether social 01 
domestic, anything approaching to coarseness, 
undue familiarity, or levity of conduct, is prolific 
of evil, especially in the married state, where 
happiness hinges upon mutual respect. As 
the vestal virgins of Rome were intrusted with 
the care of that sacred fire which was never to 
burn low, and never to be allowed to go out, so 
are our wives and mothers charged with the no 
less sacred worship of decorum. No amount of 
wealth, no amount of generosity, no amount of 
good management, can make a household re- 
spected where the spirit is wanting. The tone 
of vulgarity infects alike the nursery, the 
kitchen, and the drawing-room, and is carried 
with us like a contagion wherever we go. A 
woman exercises so much influence in her home, 
that the power of banishing an evil element 
rests chiefly with the wife, the mother, or the 
daughters of the family. If they are uniformly 
refined and modest in word and act; if they 
reprove every approach to lightness of conduct 



GENERAL HINTS TO BOTH SEXES. 175 

or indelicacy of speech ; if they deprecate all 
possible inroads upon the mutual respect which 
it is so essential to maintain between the mem- 
bers of a family ; they will assuredly have their 
reward in the assured peace and happiness of 
their home. 

There are some minor points of etiquette 
which have found no place in our former chap- 
ters, and which must be lightly touched upon 
in these concluding pages. With regard, for 
instance, to the giving of presents : the art of 
giving and receiving gifts is not always an in- 
tuition. A generous person may unwittingly 
wound where he intends to confer nothing but 
gratification. A grateful person may, through 
sheer want of tact, seem almost to deprecate the 
liberality of his friends. 

A gift should always be precious for some- 
thing better than its price. It may have been 
brought by the giver from some far or famous 
place ; it may be unique in its workmanship ; 
it may be valuable only from association with 
some great man or strange event. Autographic 
papers, foreign curiosities, and the like, are 
elegant gifts. An author may offer his book, or 
an artist his sketch, with grace and propriety. 
Offerings of flowers and game are unexception- 
able, and -may be made even to those whose 
position is superior to that of the giver. 

''Our tokens of love," says Emerson, "are 



176 GOOD MANNERS. 

for the most part barbarous, cold, and lifeless, 
because they do not represent our life. The 
only gift is a portion of thyself. Therefore let 
the farmer give his corn ; the miner, a gem ; 
the sailor, coral and shells ; the painter, his 
picture ; and the poet, his poem." 

If we are rich, we must beware how we give 
to those who are poor, lest we hurt their pride. 
If we are poor, we must give something that 
our time, our affection, or our talents have made 
precious. 

Never give a present with any expectation of 
a return. 

Never allude to a present which you have 
given. Be careful even to seem not to recog- 
nise it when you see it again. 

If you present a book to a friend, do not write 
his or her name in it, unless requested. You 
have no right to presume that it will be rendered 
any the more valuable for that addition ; and 
you ought not to conclude beforehand that your 
gift will be accepted. 

Never undervalue the gift which you are your- 
self offering ; you have no business to offer it if 
is valueless : neither say that you do not want 
it yourself, or that you should throw it away if 
it were not accepted, &c., &c. Such apologies 
would be insults if true, and mean nothing if 
false. 

Unmarried ladies should not accept presents 



GENERAL HINTS TO BOTH SEXES. 177 

from gentlemen who are neither related nor en- 
gaged to them. Presents made by a married 
lady to a gentleman can only be offered in the 
joint names of her husband and herself. 

Married ladies may occasionally accept pre- 
sents from gentlemen who visit frequently at 
their houses, and who desire to show their sense 
of the hospitality which they receive there. 
The presentation of etrennes is now carried to 
a ruinous and ludicrous height among French ; 
but it should be remembered that, without either 
ostentation or folly, a gift ought to be worth 
offering. It is better to give nothing than too 
little. On the other hand, mere costliness does 
not constitute the soul of a present ; on the 
contrary, it has the commercial and unflattering 
effect of repayment for value received. 

Never refuse a present unless under very ex- 
ceptional circumstances. However humble the 
giver, and however poor the gift, you should 
appreciate the good will and intention, and ac- 
cept it with kindness and thanks. Never say, 
" 1 fear I rob you," or ' k I am really ashamed 
to take it," &c., &c. Such deprecatory phrases 
imply that you think the bestower of the gift 
cannot spare or afford it. 

Acknowledge the receipt of a present without 
delay, but do not quickly follow it up by a 
return. It is to le taken for granted that a 
gift is intended to afford pleasure to the reci- 



178 GOOD MANNERS. 

pient, not to be regarded as a mere question of 
investment or exchange. 

A good memory for names and faces, and a 
self-possessed manner, are necessary to all who 
wish to create a favorable impression in society. 
Except in very young people, shyness is not 
only ungraceful, but a positive injury and dis- 
advantage. If we blush, stammer, or fidget in 
the presence of strangers, they will assuredly 
form a low estimate of our breeding, and fail to 
do justice to our powers of mind, our educa.- 
tion, and our solid worth. The only cure for 
chronic shyness is society. No habit is so 
likely to grow upon one as the habit of shy- 
ness, and none requires to be more strenuously 
combated. 

No compliment that bears insincerity on the 
face of it is a compliment at all. 

To yawn in the presence of others, to lounge, 
to put your feet on a chair, to stand with your 
back to the fire, to take the most comfortable 
seat in the room, to do anything which shows 
indifference, selfishness, or disrespect, is unequi- 
vocally vulgar and inadmissible. 

If a person of greater age or higher rank 
than yourself desires you to step first into a 
carriage, or through a door, it is more polite l;o 
bow and obey than to decline. 

Compliance with, and deference to, the wishes 
of others is the finest breeding. 



GENERAL HINTS TO BOTH SEXES. 179 

When you cannot agree with the propositions 
advanced in general conversation, be silent. If 
pressed for your opinion, give it with modesty. 
Never defend your own views too warmly. 
When you find others remain unconvinced, drop 
the subject, or lead to some other topic. 

Never boast of your birth, your money, your 
grand friends, or anything that is yours. If you 
have travelled, do not introduce that informa- 
tion into your conversation at every opportunity. 
Any one can travel with money, health, and 
leisure ; the only real distinction is in coming 
home with enlarged views, improved tastes, and 
a mind free from former prejudices. 

In entering a morning exhibition, or public 
room, where ladies are present, the gentleman 
should lift his hat. 

In going upstairs, the gentleman should pre- 
cede the lady ; in going down, he should follow 
her. 

If jou accompany ladies to a theatre or con- 
cert-room, precede them to clear the way and 
secure their seats. 

If, when you are walking with a lady in any 
crowded thoroughfare, you are obliged to pro- 
ceed singly, precede her to clear the way. 

Always give the lady the wall : by doing so 
you interpose your own person between her 
and the passers by, and assign her the cleanest 
part of the pavement. 



180 GOOD MANNERS. 

Do not smoke shortly before entering the pre- 
sence of ladies. 

Always wear your gloves in church or in a 
theatre. 

If, while walking up and down a public pro- 
menade, you should meet friends or acquaint- 
ances whom you do not intend to join, it is 
only necessary to salute them the first time of 
passing. 

When asked to execute a commission for a 
friend do it immediately, at any cost of incon- 
venience. You thus double the obligation, and 
show your anxiety to oblige. 

In matters of precedence, be more careful to 
give others their rank than to take your own. 

It is impossible to be polite without cultivat- 
ing a good memory. The absent or self-absorbed 
person who forgets the name of his next-door 
neighbors, recalls unlucky topics, confuses the 
personal relationships of his acquaintances, 
speaks of the dead as if they were still living, 
talks of people in their hearing, and so forth, 
without being guilty of the least malevolent 
intention, is sure to make enemies for himself, 
and to wound the feeling of others. 

We must give as well as take in all our rela- 
tions w r ith others, and grudge none of those 
email observances which we ourselves find it so 
good and pleasant to accept. 



GENERAL HINTS TO BOTH SEXES. 181 

Temper has much more to do wich good 
breeding than may generally be supposed. 

The French are allowed to be the best-man- 
nered people in the world 5 but this is only be- 
cause they are the most amiable. Spend a 
month with a French family, observe well the 
tone of the salon, the school-room, the nursery, 
the kitchen, &c., you will better understand how 
it is that French politeness has become prover- 
bial. A considerate, courteous, kindly spirit 
pervades the entire household a spirit which 
perhaps may pass for politeness, but which is, 
in substance and in truth, amiability only. 

We, unhappily, have not sufficiently culti- 
vated la politesse du foyer. With us, small 
sacrifices are not made with a good grace ; small 
disappointments are not accepted in a patient 
spirit 5 small grievances a.re too often exagge- 
rated. A very little self-control, a very little 
allowance for the failings of others, would often 
change the entire tone of a household 5 whilst, 
in our intercourse with the world, both must be 
largely exercised, if we would hope for tolera- 
tion, to say nothing of popularity. 

True politeness has its roots in ethics. We 
are not to be polite merely because we wish to 
please, but because we wish to consider the 
feelings and spare the time of others ; because 
we entertain that charity " that thinketh no 
evil;" because we are as careful Df our neigh- 



182 GOOD MANNERS. 

bor s reputation, property, and personal comfort 
as we would be of our own 5 because, in a word, 
we desire to carry into every act of our daily 
life the spirit and practice of that religion which 
commands us to "do unto others as we would 
they should do unto us." 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Washington's u Rules of Civility and Decent 
Bekavior in Company." 

[Among the earlier writings of Washington, Mr. Sparks 
preserves a series of directions as to personal conduct, and 
remarks, very just]}', that whoever has studied the character 
of Washington will be persuaded that some of its most pro- 
minent features took their shape from the rules which he 
thus early selected and adopted as his guide.] 

1. Every action in company ought to be with 
some sign of respect to those present. 

2. In the presence of others, sing not to your- 
self with a humming noise, nor drum with your 
lingers or feet. 

3. Speak not when others speak, sit not when 
others stand, and walk not when others stop. 

4. Turn not your back to others, especially 
in speaking ; jog not the table or desk on which 
another reads or writes-, lean not on any one. 

5. Be no flatterer, neither play wkh any one 
that delights not to be played with. 

6. Read no letters, books, or papers in com- 
pany ; but when there is a necessity for doing 
it, you must ask leave. Come not near the 
books or writings of any one so as to read them, 

13 (183) 



184 GOOD MANNERS. 

unasked ; also, look not nigh when another is 
writing a letter. 

7. Let your countenance be pleasant, but in 
serious matters somewhat grave. 

8. Show not yourself glad at the misfortune 
of another though he were your enemy. 

9. They that are in dignity or office have in 
all places precedency ; but whilst they are 
young, they ought to respect those that are 
their equals in birth or other qualities, though 
they have no public charge. 

10. It is good manners to prefer them to 
whom we speak before ourselves, especially if 
they be above us, with whom, in no sort, Wj 
ought to begin. 

11. Let your discourse with men of business 
be short and comprehensive. 

12. In visiting the sick, do not presently 
play the physician, if you be not knowing 
therein. 

13. In writing or speaking, give to every per- 
son his due title, according to his degree and 
the custom of the place. 

14. Strive not with your superiors in argu- 
ment, but always submit your judgment to 
others with modesty. 

15. Undertake not to teach your equal in the 
art himself professes ; it savors of arrogancy. 

16. When a man does all he can, though it 
succeeds not well, blame not him that did it. 



WASHINGTON'S HULES. 185 

17. Being to advise cr reprehend any one, 
consider whether it ought to be in public or in 
private, presently or at some other time, also in, 
*vhat terms to do it ; and in reproving, show no 
signs of choler, but do it with sweetness and 
mildness. 

18. Mock not, nor jest at any thing of import- 
ince ; break no jests that are sharp or biting, 
and if you deliver any thing witty or pleasant, 
abstain from laughing thereat yourself. 

19. Wherein you reprove another be unblam- 
able yourself, for example is more prevalent 
than precept. 

20. Use no reproachful language against any 
one, neither curses nor revilings. 

21. Be not hasty to believe flying reports, to 
the disparagement of any one. 

22. In your apparel be modest, and endeavor 
to accommodate nature rather than procure 
admiration, keep to the fashion of your equals, 
such as are civil and orderly with respect to 
time and place. 

23. Play not the peacock, looking every- 
where about you to see if you be well decked, 
if your shoes fit well, if your stockings sit 
neatly, and clothes handsomely. 

24. Associate yourself with men of good 
quality if you esteem your own reputation, for 
it is better to be alone than in bad company. 

25. Let your conversation be without malice 



186 GOOD MANNERS. 

or envy, for it is a sign of a tractable and com- 
mendable nature, and in all causes of passion 
ad in it reason to govern. 

26. Be not immodest in urging your friend 
to discover a secret. 

"21. Utter not base and frivolous tilings 
amongst grown and learned men : nor very 
difficult questions or subjects amongst the igno- 
rant, nor things hard to be believed. 

1^. Speak not of doleful things in time of 
mirth, nor at the table 5 speak not of melan- 
choly things, as death and wounds, and if others 
mention ihem, change, if you can, the dis- 
course. Tell not your dreams but tc your 
intimate friends. 

29. Break not a jest where none take pleasure 
in mirth. Laugh not aloud, nor at all without 
occasion. Deride no man's misfortune, though 
there seem to be some cause. 

30. Speak not injurious words, neither in jest 
or earnest. Scoff at none, although they give 
occasion. 

31. Be not forward, but friendly and court- 
eous, the first to salute, hear and answer, and 
be not pensive when it is a time to converse. 

*2. Detract not from others, but neither be 
excessive in commending. 

33. Go not thither, where you know not whe- 

/ 

ther you shall be welcome or not. Give not 



WASHINGTON'S RULES. 187 

advice without being asked, and when ie-sired, 
do it briefly. 

34. If two contend together, take not the 
part of either unconstrained, and be not obsti- 
nate in your opinion : in things indifferent be 
of the major side. 

35. Reprehend not the imperfections of others, 
for that belongs to parents, masters, and supe- 
riors. 

36. Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of 
others, and ask not how they came. What you 
may speak in secret to your friend, deliver not 
before others. 

37. Speak not in an unknown tongue in com- 
pany, but in your own language 5 and that as 
those of quality do, and not as the vulgar. 
Sublime matters treat seriously. 

38. Think before you speak; pronounce not 
imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, 
but orderly and distinctly. 

39. When another speaks, be attentive your- 
self, and disturb not the audience. If any hesi- 
tate in his words, help him not, nor prompt him 
wi'Jiout being desired ; interrupt him not, nor 
answer him till his speech be ended. 

40. Treat with men at fit times about busi- 
ness, and whisper not in the company of others. 

41. Make no comparisons, and if any of the 
company be commended for any brave act of 
virtue, commend riot another for the same. 



188 GOOD MANNERS. 

42. Be not apt to relate news, if you know 
not the truth thereof. In discoursing of things 
you have heard, name not your author always. 
A secret discover not. 

43. Be not curious to know the affairs of 
others, neither approach to those that speak in 
private. 

44. Undertake not what you cannot perform ; 
but be careful to keep your promise. 

45. When you deliver a matter, do it without 
passion and indiscretion, however mean the 
person may be you do it to. 

46. When your superiors talk to anybody, 
hear them, neither speak nor laugh. 

47. In disputes, bo not so desirous to over- 
come as not to give liberty to each one to deliver 
his opinion, and submit to the judgment of the 
major part, especially if they arejudgers of the 
dispute. 

48. Be not tedious in discourse, make not 
many digressions, nor repeat often the same 
matter of discourse. 

49. Speak no evil of the absent, for it is un- 
just. 

50. Be not angry at table whatever happens : 
and if you have reason to be so, show it not, 
put on a cheerful countenance, especially if 
there be strangers, for good humor makes one 
dish a feast. 

51. Set not yourself at the upper end of the 



WASHINGTON'S RULES. 189 

table, but if it be your due, or the master of the 
house will have it so, contend not, lest you should 
trouble the company. 

52. When you speak of God or his attributes, 
let it be seriously, in reverence and honor, and 
obey your natural parents. 

53. Let your recreations be manful, not sin 

fill. 

54. Labor to keep alive in your breast that 
little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Franklin 1 s "Rules of Conduct." 

Framed by him for his guidance, and which helped to make 
him a great man, beloved and respected. 

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dulness ; drink 
not to elevation. 

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit 
others, or yourself 5 avoid trifling conversation. 

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their 
places ; let each part of your business have its 
time. 

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you 
ought ; perform without fail what you resolve. 

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do 
good to others, or yourself; that is, waste 
nothing. 

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always em- 
ployed in something useful ; cut off all unne- 
cessary actions. 

7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit ; think 
innocently and justly ; and, if you speak, speak 
accordingly. 

8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, 
or omitting the benefits that are your duty. 

(190) 



FRANKLIN'S RULES. 191 

9. MODERATION. Avoid extremes ; forbear 
resenting injuries so much as you think they 
deserve. 

10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness 
in body, clothes, or habitation. 

11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, 
or at accidents, common or unavoidable. 

12. CHASTITY. 

13. HUMILITY. Imitate JESUS and SOCRATES. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Lord Chesterfield's Sentences and Maxims. 

THE ART OF SPEAKING. You cannot but be 
convinced, that a man who speaks and writes 
with elegance and grace ; who makes choice of 
good words ; and adorns and embellishes the 
subject, upon which he either speaks or writes, 
will persuade better, and succeed more easily in 
obtaining what he wishes, than a man who does 
not explain himself clearly ; speaks his language 
ill ; or makes use of low and vulgar expressions ; 
and who has neither grace nor elegance in any- 
thing that he says. 

THE FOLLY OF IGNORANCE. An ignorant man 
is insignificant and contemptible 5 nobody cares 
for his company, and he can just be said to live, 
and that is all. There is a very pretty French 
epigram upon the death of such an ignorant, 
insignificant fellow, the sting of which is, that 
all that can be said of him is, that he was once 
alive, and that he is now dead. 

HUMANITY. It is certain that humanity is 
the particular characteristic of a great mind ; 
little, vicious minds are full of anger and re- 
venge, and are incapable of feeling the exalted 

(192) 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 193 

pleasure of forgiving their enemies, and of be- 
stowing marks of favor and generosity upon 
those of whom they have gotten the better. 

VIRTUE. Virtue is a subject that deserves 
your and every man's attention 5 and suppose I 
were to bid you make some verses, or give me 
your thoughts in prose, upon the subject of 
virtue, how would you go about it? Why you 
would first consider what virtue is, and then 
what are the effects and marks of it, both with 
regard to others and one's self. You would 
find, then, that virtue consists in doing good, 
and in speaking truth ; and that the effects of 
it are advantageous to all mankind, and to one's 
self in particular. Virtue makes us pity and 
relieve the misfortunes of mankind ; it makes 
us promote justice and good order in society: 
and, in general, contributes to whatever tends to 
the real good of mankind. To ourselves it gives 
an inward comfort and satisfaction, which 
nothing else can do, and which nothing can 
rob us of. All other advantages depend upon 
others, as much as upon ourselves. Riches, 
power, and greatness may be taken away from 
us by the violence and injustice of others or 
inevitable accidents, but virtue depends only on 
ourselves and nobody can take it away. 

POLITENESS A NECESSITY. Know then, that 
as learning, honor, and virtue are absolutely 



194 GOOD MANNERS. 

necessary to gain you the esteem ani admira- 
tion of mankind ; politeness and good breeding 
are equally necessary, to make you welcome 
and agreeable in conversation, and common life. 
Great talents, such as honor, virtue, learning, and 
parts, are above the generality of the world ; who 
neither possess them themselves, nor judge of 
them rightly in others : but all people are judges 
of the lesser talents, such as civility, affability, 
and an obliging, agreeable address and manner; 
because they feel the good effects of them, as 
making society easy and pleasing. 

RUDENESS AND CIVILITY. I dare say I need 
not tell you how rude it is, to take the best 
place in a room, or to seize immediately upon 
what you like at table, without offering first to 
help others ; as if you considered nobody but 
yourself. On the contrary, you should always 
endeavor to procure all the conveniences you 
can to the people you are with. Besides being 
civil, which is absolutely necessary, the perfec- 
tion of good breeding is, to be civil with ease, 
and in a gentlemanlike manner. For this, you 
should observe the French people ; who excel 
in it, and whose politeness seems as easy and 
natural as any other part of their conversation. 
Whereas the English are often awkward in their 
civilities, and, when they mean to be civil, are 
too much ashamed to get it out. 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 195 

MANNER ABSENCE AWKWARDNESS ATTEN- 
TION. However trifling a genteel manner may 
sound, it is of very great consequence towards 
pleasing in private life, especially the women : 
whom, one time or other, you will think worth 
pleasing: and I have known many a man, 
from his awkwardness, give people such a dis- 
like of him at first, that all his merit could not 
get the better of it afterwards. Whereas a 
genteel manner prepossesses people in your 
favor, bends them towards you, and makes 
them wish to like you. Awkwardness can pro- 
ceed but from two causes ; either from not 
having kept good company, or from not having 
attended to it. 

There is, likewise, an awkwardness of expres- 
sion and words, most carefully to be avoided ; 
such as false English, bad pronunciation, old 
sayings, and common proverbs ; which are so 
many proofs of having kept bad and low com- 
pany. For example : if, instead of saying that 
tastes are different, and that every man has his 
own peculiar one, you should let off a proverb, 
and say, that il What is one man's meat is 
another man's poison ;" or else, "Every one as 
they like, as the good man said when he kissed 
bis cow ;" everybody would be persuaded that 
you had never kept company with anybody 
above footmen and housemaids. 

Attention will do all this ; and without atten- 



196 GOOD MANNERS. 

tion nothing is to be done ; want of attention, 
which is really want of thought, is either folly 
or madness. You should not only have atten- 
tion to everything, but a quickness of attention, 
so as to observe, at once, all the people in the 
room ; their motions, their looks, and their 
words ; and yet without staring at them, and 
seeming to be an observer. This quick and 
unobserved observation is of infinite advantage 
in life, and is to be acquired with care ; and, on 
the contrary, what is called absence, which is 
a thoughtlessness and want of attention about 
what is doing, makes a man so like either a fool 
or a madman, that, for my part, I see no real 
difference. A fool never has thought, a mad- 
man has lost it *, and an absent man is, for the 
time, without it. 

LETTER WRITING. Let your letter be written 
as accurately as you are able I mean with 
regard to language, grammar and stops ; for as 
to the matter of it the less trouble you give your- 
self the better it will be. Letters should be 
easy and natural, and convey to the persons 
to whom we send them, just what we should say 
to the persons if we were with them. 

DANCING TRIFLING. Dancing is in itself a 
very trifling, silly thing ; but it is one of those 
established follies to which people of sense are 
sometimes obliged to conform ; and then they 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 197 

should be able to do it well. And, though I 
would not have you a dancer, yet when you do 
dance, I would have you dance well, as I would 
have you do everything you do, well. There is 
no one thing so trifling, but which (if it is to be 
done at all) ought to be done well. And 1 have 
often told you, that I wished you even played 
at pitch, and cricket, better than any boy at 
Westminster. For instance ; dress is a very 
foolish thing ; and yet it is a very foolish thing 
for a man not to be well dressed, according to 
his rank and way of life ; and it is so far from 
being a disparagement to any man's understand- 
ing, that it is rather a proof of it, to be as 
well dressed as those whom he lives with : the 
difference in this case between a man of sense 
and a fop is, that the fop values himself upon 
his dress ; and the man of sense laughs at it, 
at the same time that he knows he must not 
neglect it: there are a thousand foolish customs 
of this kind, which not being criminal must be 
complied with, and even cheerfully by men of 
sense. Diogenes the cynic was a wise man for 
despising them, but a fool for showing it. Be 
wiser than other people if you can, but do not 
tell them so. 

INATTENTION. There is no surer sign in the 
world of a little, weak mind, than inattention. 
Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing 



198 GOOD MANNERS. 

\vell ; and nothing can be done well without 
attention. It is the sure answer of a fool, when 
you ask him about anything that was said 01 
done, where he was present, that " truly he did 
not mind it." And why did not the fool mind 
it ? What had he else to do there, but to mind 
what was doing? A man of sense sees, hears, 
and retains everything that passes where he is. 
I desire I may never hear you talk of not mind- 
ing, nor complain, as most fools do, of a treach- 
erous memory. Mind, not only what people 
say, but how they say it; and, if you have any 
sagacity, you may discover more truth by your 
eyes than by your ears. People can say what 
they will but they cannot look what they will, 
and their looks frequently discover what their 
words are calculated to conceal. The most 
material knowledge of all I mean the know- 
ledge of the world is not to be acquired with- 
out great attention. 

WOMEN. CLASSES OF MEN. JUDGMENT. Be- 
fore it is very long, I am of opinion, that you 
will both think and speak more favorably of 
women than you do now. You seem to think, 
that, from Eve downwards, they have done a 
great deal of mischief. As for that lady, I 
give her up to you ; but, since her time, history 
will inform you, that men have done much more 
mischief in the world than women ; and, to say 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 199 

the truth, I would not advise you to trust either, 
more than is absolutely necessary. But this I 
will advise you to, which is, never to attack 
whole bodies of any kind; for, besides that all 
general rules have their exceptions, you un- 
necessarily make yourself a great number of 
enemies, by attacking a corps collectively. 
Among women, as among men, there are good 
as well as bad, and it may be full as many, or 
more, good than among men. This rule holds 
as to lawyers, soldiers, parsons, courtiers, citi- 
zens, &c. They are all men, subject to the same 
passions and sentiments, differing only in the 
manner, according to their several educations; 
and it would be as imprudent as unjust to attack 
any of them by the lump. Individuals forgive 
sometimes ; but bodies and societies never do. 
Many young people think it very genteel and 
witty to abuse the clergy ; in which they are 
extremely mistaken; since, in my opinion, 
parsons are very like other men, and neither 
the better nor the worse for wearing a black 
gown. All general reflections, upon nations 
and societies, are the trite, threadbare jokes of 
those who set up for wit without having any, 
and so have recourse to commonplace. Judge 
of individuals from your own knowledge of 
them, and not from their sex, profession, or 
denomination. 
14 



200 GOOD MANNERS. 

FALSE DELICACY. As for the mauvaise honfa f 
I hope you are above it ; your figure is like 
other people's, I hope you will take care that 
your dress is so too. Why then should you be 
ashamed? Why not go into mixed company 
with as little concern as you would into your 
own room? 

THE WELL-BRED MAN Feels himself firm and 
easy in all companies 5 is modest without being 
bashful, and steady without being impudent: 
if he is a stranger he observes, with care, the 
manners and ways of the people the most 
esteemed at that place, and conforms to them 
with complaisance. Instead of finding fault 
with the customs of that place, and telling the 
people that the English ones are a thousand 
times better (as my countrymen are very apt to 
do), he commends their table, their dreps, their 
houses, and their manners, a little more, it may 
be, than he really thinks they deserve. But 
this degree of complaisance is neither criminal 
nor abject ; and is but a small price to pay for 
the good will and affection of the people you 
converse with. As the generality of people are 
weak enough to be pleased with these little 
things, those who refuse to please them, so 
cheaply, are, in my mind, weaker than they. 

FOOLISH TALK. The conversation of the igno- 
rant is no conversation, and gives even them no 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 201 

pleasure: they tire of their own sterility, and 
have not matter enough to furnish them with 
words to keep up a conversation. 

WORLD-KNOWLEDGE. Do not imagine that the 
knowledge which I so much recommend to you 
is confined to books, pleasing, useful, and neces- 
sary as that knowledge is; but I comprehend in 
it the great knowledge of the world, still more 
necessary than that of books. In truth, they 
assist one another reciprocally ; and no man 
will have either perfectly, who has not both. 
The knowledge of the world is only to be ac- 
quired in the world, and not in a closet. Books 
alone will never teach it you ; but they will 
suggest many things to your observation, which 
might otherwise escape you ; and your own ob- 
servations upon mankind, when compared with 
those which you will find in books, will help 
you to fix the true point. 

INTROSPECTION. You must look into people, 
as well as at them. Almost all people are born 
with all the passions, to a certain degree ; but 
almost every man has a prevailing one, to which 
the others are subordinate. Search every one 
for that ruling passion ; pry into the recesses 
of his heart, and observe the different workings 
of the same passion in different people. And, 
when you have found out the prevailing passion 
of any man, remember never to trust him, where 



202 GOOD MANNERS. 

that passion is concerned. Work upon him 
by it, if you please : but be upon your guard 
yourself against it, whatever professions he may 
make vou. 

*/ 

INSULTS AND INJURIES. However frivolous a 
company may be, still, while you are among 
them, do not show them, by your inattention, 
that you think them so; but rather -take their 
tone, and conform in some degree to their weak- 
ness, instead of manfesting your contempt for 
them. There is nothing that people bear more 
impatiently, or forgive less, than contempt: and 
an injury is much sooner forgotten than an 
insult. 

FASHIONABLE VICES. A real man of fashion 
and pleasure observes decency ; at least, neither 
borrows nor affects vices ; and if he unfortun- 
ately has any, he gratifies them with choice, 
delicacy, and secrecy. I have not mentioned 
the pleasures of the mind (which are the solid 
and permanent ones), because they do not come 
under the head of what people commonly call 
pleasures ; which they seem to confine to the 
senses. The pleasure of virtue, of charity, and 
of learning is true and lasting pleasure ; which 
I hope you will be well and long acquainted 
with. 

ONE THING AT A TIME. If at a ball, a supper, 
7r a party of pleasure, a man were to be solving, 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 203 

in his own mind, a problem in Euclid, he would 
be a very bad companion, and make a very poor 
figure in that company ; or if, in studying a 
problem in his closet, he were to think of a 
minuet, I am apt to believe that he would make 
a very poor mathematician. There is time 
enough for everything, in the course of the day, 
if you do but one thing at once ; but there is 
not time enough in the year, if you will do two 
things at a time. 

PERSONAL CLEANLINESS. As you must attend 
to your manners, so you must not neglect your 
person ; but take care to be very clean, well 
dressed, and genteel ; to have no disagreeable 
attitudes, nor awkward tricks ; which many 
people use themselves to, and then cannot leave 
them off. Do you take care to keep your teeth 
very clean, by washing them constantly every 
morning, and after every meal? This is very 
necessary, both to preserve your teeth a great 
while, and to save you a great deal of pain. 
Do you dress well, and not too well? Do you 
consider your air and manner of presenting 
yourself, enough, and not too much? neither 
negligent nor stiff. All these things deserve a 
degree of care, a second-rate attention ; they 
give an additional lustre to real merit. My 
Lord Bacon says, that a pleasing figure is a per- 
petual letter of recommendation. It is cer< 



204 GOOD MANNERS. 

tainly an agreeable forerunner of merit, and 
smooths the way for it. 

TRUTH. Every man seeks for truth ; but God 
only knows who has found it. It is, therefore, 
as unjust to persecute, as it is absurd to ridi- 
cule, people for those several opinions, which 
they cannot help entertaining upon the convic- 
tion of their reason. 

GOOD BREEDING. Civility, which is a dispo- 
sition to accommodate and oblige others, is es- 
sentially the same in every country ; but good 
breeding, as it is called, which is the manner of 
exerting that disposition, is different in almost 
every country, and merely local ; and every man 
of sense imitates and conforms to that local 
good breeding of the place which he is at. A 
conformity and flexibility of manners is neces- 
sary in the course of the world ; that is, with 
regard to all things which are not wrong in 
themselves. The versatile ing enium is the most 
useful of all. It can turn itself instantly from 
one object to another, assuming the proper 
manner for each. It can be serious with the 
grave, cheerful with the gay, and trifling with 
the frivolous. Endeavor, by all means, to ac- 
quire this talent, for it is a very great one 

SELF-LOVE. Do not let your vanity, and self- 
love, make you suppose that people become 
your friends at first sight, or even upon a short 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 205 

acquaintance. Real friendship is a slow grower; 
and never thrives, unless engrafted upon a stock 
of known and reciprocal merit. The next thing 
to the choice of your friends is the choice of 
your company. Endeavor, as much as you can, 
to keep company with people above you. There 
you rise, as much as you sink with people be- 
low you ; for, as I mentioned before, you are 
whatever the company you keep is. Do not 
mistake, when I say company above you, and 
think that I mean with regard to their birth; 
that is the least consideration : but I mean with 
regard to their merit, and the light in which the 
world considers them. 

GOOD COMPANY. There are two sorts of good 
company ; one, which is called the beau monde, 
and consists of those people who have the lead 
in courts, and in the gay part of life ; the other 
consists of those who are distinguished by some 
peculiar merit, or who excel in some particular 
and valuable art or science. For my own part, 
I used to think myself in company as much 
above me, when I was with Mr. Addison and 
Mr. Pope, as if I had been with all the princea 
in Europe. What I mean by low company, 
which should by all means be avoided, is the 
company of those, who, absolutely insignificant 
and contemptible in themselves, think they are 
honored by being in your company, and who 



206 GOOD MANNERS. 

flatter every vice and every folly you have, in 
order to engage you to converse with them. 
The pride of being the first of the company is 
but too common but it is very silly, and very 
prejudicial. Nothing in the world lets down a 
character more than that wrong turn. 

VALUE OF TIME. I knew, once, a very covet- 
ous, sordid fellow, who used frequently to say, 
** Take care of the pence, for the pounds will 
take care of themselves." This was a just and 
sensible reflection in a miser. I recommend to 
you to take care of minutes ; for hours will 
take care of themselves. I am very sure, that 
many people lose two or three hours every day, 
by not taking care of the minutes. Never 
think any portion of time, whatsoever, tc-:< shor- 
to be employed : something or other may al- 
ways be done in it. 

KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge is a comfortable 
and necessary retreat and shelter for us in an 
advanced age ; and if we do not plant it while 
young, it will give us no shade when we grow 
old. 

FASHIONABLE LADIES. The company of wo- 
men of fashion will improve your manners, 
though not your understanding; and that com- 
plaisance and politeness, which are so useful 
in imirs company, can only be acquired in 
women's. 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 207 

TALENT AND BREEDING. Remember always, 
what I have told you a thousand times, that all 
the talents in the world will want all their lus- 
tre, and some part of their use too, if they are 
not adorned with that easy good breeding, that 
engaging manner, and those graces, which se- 
duce and prepossess people in your favor at first 
sight. A proper care of your person is by no 
means to be neglected ; always extremely clean ; 
upon proper occasions, fine. Your carriage gen- 
teel, and your motions graceful. Take particu- 
lar care of your manner and address, when you 
present yourself in company. Let them be re- 
spectful without meanness, easy without too 
much familiarity, genteel without affectation, 
and insinuating without any seeming art or 
design. 

How lt TO WEAR ' LEARNING. Wear your 
learning like your watch, in a private pocket ; 
and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to 
show that you have one. If you are asked 
what o'clock it is, tell it, but do not proclaim 
it hourly and unasked, like the watchman. 

METHOD AND MANNER. The manner of do- 
ing things is often more important than the 
things themselves ; and the very same thing 
may become either pleasing, or offensive, by the 
manner of saying or doing it. Maieriam super- 
abat opus, is often said of works of sculpture, 



208 GOOD MANNERS. 

where though the materials were valuable, as 
silver, gold, &c., the workmanship was still more 

80. 

ADVANTAGE OF MANNERS. Manners, though 
the last, and it may be the least ingredient of 
real merit, are, however, very far from being 
useless in its composition; they adorn, and give 
an additional force and lustre to both virtue 
and knowledge. They prepare and smooth the 
way for the progress of both ; and are, I fear, 
with the bulk of mankind, more engaging than 
either. Remember, then, the infinite advantage 
of manners ; cultivate and improve your own 
to the utmost : good sense will suggest the 
great rules to you, good company will do the 
rest. 

PROPER CARRIAGE. Next to graceful speak- 
ing, a genteel carriage, and a graceful mariner 
of presenting yourself, are extremely necessary, 
for they are extremely engaging ; and careless- 
ness in these points is much more unpardonable, 
in a young fellow, than affectation. It shows 
an offensive indifference about pleasing. Awk- 
wardness of carriage is very alienating ; and a 
total negligence of dress, and air, is an imper 
iinent insult upon custom and fashion. 

No ONE CONTEMPTIBLE. Be convinced that 
there are no persons so insignificant and 
inconsiderable, but may some time or other, 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 209 

and in some thing or other, have it in their 
power to be of use to you ; which they certainly 
will not, if you have once shown them contempt. 

THE FOLLY OF CONTEMPT. Wrongs are often 
forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride 
remembers it for ever. It implies a discovery 
of weaknesses, which we are much more careful 
to conceal than crimes. Many a man will con- 
fess his crimes to a common friend, but I never 
knew a man who would tell his silly weak- 
nesses to his most intimate one. As many a 
friend will tell us our faults without reserve, 
who will not so much as hint at our follies : 
that discovery is too mortifying to our self-love, 
either to tell another, or to be told of, one's 
self. 

LES ATTENTIONS. The constant practice of 
what the French call les attentions is a most 
necessary ingredient in the art of pleasing; 
they flatter the self-love of those to whom they 
are shown ; they engage, they captivate, more 
than things of much greater importance. The 
duties of social life everv man is obliged to dis- 

V * ' 

charge; but these attentions are voluntary 
acts, the free will offerings of good breeding and 
good nature ; they are received, remembered, 
and returned as such. Women, particularly, 
have a right to them ; and any omission, in that 
respect, is downright ill breeding. 



210 GOOD MANNERS. 

CONVERSATION. --When you are in company, 
bring the conversation to some useful subject, 
but a portee of that company. Points of history, 
matters of literature, the customs of particular 
countries, the several orders of knighthood, as 
Teutonic, Maltese, c., are surely better sub- 
jects of conversation than the weather, dress, 
or fiddle-faddle stories, that carry no information 
along with them. The characters of kings, and 
great men, are only to be learned in conversa- 
tion ; for they are never fairly written during 
their lives. 

HISTORICAL FAITH. Take nothing for grant- 
ed, upon the bare authority of the author ; but 
weigh and consider, in your own mind, the pro- 
bability of the facts, and the justness of the 
reflections. Consult different authors upon the 
same facts, and form your opinion upon the 
greater or lesser degree of probability arising 
from the whole, which, in my mind, is the ut- 
most stretch of historical faith, certainty (I fear) 
not being to be found. 

CONTEMPT. Every man is not ambitious, or 
covetous, or passionate ; but every man has 
pride enough in his composition to feel and 
resent the least slight and contempt. Remember, 
therefore, most carefully to conceal your con- 
tempt, however just, wherever you would not 
make an implacable enemy. Men are much 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 211 

more unwilling to have their weaknesses and 
their imperfections known, than their crimes; 
and, if you hint to a man, that you think him 
silly, ignorant, or even ill bred, or awkward, 
he will hate you more and longer than if you 
tell him. plainly, that you think him a rogue. 
Never yield to that temptation, which, to most 
young men, is very strong, of exposing other 
people's weaknesses and infirmities, for the 
sake either of diverting the company, or of 
showing your own superiority. You may get 
the laugh on your side by it, for the present-, 
but you will make enemies by it for ever; and 
even those who laugh with you then, will, upon 
reflection, fear, and consequently hate you : 
besides that, it is ill-natured ; and that a good 
heart desires rather to conceal, than expose, 
other people's weaknesses or misfortunes. If 
you have wit, use it to please, and not to hurt : 
you may shine, like the sun in the temperate 
zones, without scorching. Here it is wished 
for ; under the line it ia dreaded. 

SECRETS. The last observation, that 1 sholl 
now mention of the Cardinal's is, ll That a 
secret is more easily kept by a good many peo- 
ple, than one commonly imagines." By this 
he K eans a secret of importance, among people 
interested in the keeping of it. And it is certain 
fjUat people of business know the importance 



2"i2 GOOD MANNERS. 

cf secrecy, and will observe it, v*hei<e they ure 
concerned in the event. To go and tell any 
friend, wife, or mistress, any secret with which 
they have nothing to do, is discovering to them 
Buch an unretentive weakness, as must .convince 

i 

them that you will tell it to twenty others, and 
consequently that they may reveal it without 
the risk of being discovered. But a secret 
properly communicated, only to those who are 
to be concerned in the thing in question, will 
probably be kept by them, though they should 
be a good many. Little secrets are commonly 
told again, but great ones generally kept. 

GOOD COMPANY. To keep good company, 
especially at your first setting out, is the way 
to receive good impressions. If you ask me 
what I mean by good company, I will confess 
to you, that it is pretty difficult to define ; but I 
will endeavor to make you understand it as wel] 
as I can. 

Good company is not what respective sets of 
company are pleased either to call or think 
themselves ; but it is that company which all 
the people of the place call, and acknowledge 
to be, good company, notwithstanding some ob- 
jections which they may form to some of the 
individuals who compose it. It consists chiefly 
(but by no means without exception) of people 
of considerable birth, rank, and character: for 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 213 

people of neither birth nor rank are frequently 
and very justly admitted into it, if distinguished 
by any peculiar merit, or eminency in any 
liberal art or science. Nay, so motley a thing 
is good company, that many people, without 
birth, rank, or merit, intrude into it by their 
own forwardness, and others slide into it by 
the protection of some considerable person ; 
and some even of indifferent characters and 
morals make part of it. But, in the main, the 
good part preponderates, and people of infamous 
and blasted characters are never admitted. In 
this fashionable good company the best man- 
ners and the best language of the place are 
most unquestionably to be learnt ; for they esta- 
blish, and give the tone to both, which are 
therefore called the language and manners of 
good company ; there being no legal tribunal to 
ascertain either. 

A company consisting wholly of people of 
the first quality cannot, for that reason, be 
called good company, in the common acceptation 
of the phrase, unless they are, into the bargain, 
the fashionable and accredited company of the 
place ; for people of the very first quality can 
be as silly, as ill bred, and as worthless, as 
people of the meanest degree. On the other 
hand, a company consisting entirely of people 
of very low condition, whatever their merit or 
parts may be, can never be called good com- 



214 GOOD MANNERS. 

pany ; and consequently should not be mucL 
frequented, though by no means despised. 

A company wholly composed of men of learn- 
ing, though greatly to be valued and respected, 
is not meant by the words good company : they 
cannot have the easy manners and tournure of 
the world, as they do not live in it. If you 
can bear your part well in such a company, it 
is extremely right to be in it sometimes, and 
you will be but more esteemed, in other com- 
panies, for having a place in that. But then 
do not let it engross you; for if you do, you 
will be only considered as one of the litterati 
by profession ; which is not the way either to 
shine or rise in the world. 

The company of professed wits and poets is 
extremely inviting to most young men 5 who if 
they have wit themselves, are pleased with it, 
and if they have none, are sillily proud of being 
one of it: but it should be frequented with 
moderation and judgment, and you should by 
no means give yourself up to it. A wit is a 
very unpopular denomination, as it carries ter- 
ror along with it; and people in general are as 
much afraid of a live wit, in company, as a 
woman is of a gun, which she thinks may go 
off of itself, and do her a mischief. Their 
acquaintance is, however, worth seeking, and 
their company worth frequenting ; but not ex- 
clusively of others, nor to such a degree as 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 215 

to be considered only as one of that particulai 
set. 

But the company, which of all others you 
should most carefully avoid, is that low com- 
pany, which, in every sense of the word, is low 
indeed ; low in rank, low in parts, low in man- 
ners, and low in merit. 

BEHAVIOR. Imitate, then, with discernment 
and judgment, the real perfections of the good 
company into which you may get ; copy their 
politeness, their carriage, their address, and the 
easy and well-bred turn of their conversation ; 
but remember, that, let them shine ever so 
bright, their vices, if they have any, are so 
many spots, which you would no more imitate 
than you would make an artificial wart upon 
your face, because some very handsome man 
had the misfortune to have a natural one upon 
his; but, on the contrary, think how much 
handsomer he would have been without it. 

TALKING. Talk often, but never long; in 
that case, if you do not please, at least you are 
sure not to tire your hearers. Pay your own 
reckoning, but do not treat the whole company ; 
this being one of the very few cases in which 
people do not care to be treated, every one 
being fully convinced that he has wherewithal 
to pay. 

Tell stories very seldom, and absolutely never 
15 



216 . GOOD MANNERS. 

but where they are very apt, and very short. 
Omit every circumstance that is not material, 
and beware of digressions. To have frequent 
recourse to narrative betrays great want of im- 
agination. 

Never hold anybody by the button, or the 
hand, in order to be heard out; for, if people 
are not willing to hear you, you had much bet- 
ter hold your tongue than them. 

Most long talkers single out some one un- 
fortunate man in company (commonly him 
whom they observe to be the most silent, or 
their next neighbor) to whisper, or at least, in 
a half voice, to convey a continuity of words 
to. This is excessively ill bred, and, in some 
degree, a fraud ; conversation stock being a 
joint and common property. But, on the other 
hand, if one of these unmerciful talkers lays 
hold of you, hear him with patience (and at 
least seeming attention), if he is worth obliging ; 
for nothing will oblige him more than a patient 
hearing, as nothing would hurt him more, than 
either to leave him in the midst of bis discourse, 
or to discover your impatience under your 
affliction. 

Take rather than give, the tone of the com- 
pany you are in. If you have parts, you will 
show them, more or less, upon every subject: 
and if you have not, you had better talk sillily 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 217 

upon a subject of other people's than of your 
own choosing. 

Avoid as much as you can, in mixed com- 
panies, argumentative, polemical conversations , 
which, though they should not, yet certainly 
do, indispose, for a time, the contending parties 
towards each other : and, if the controversy 
grows warm and noisy, endeavor to put an 
end to it by some genteel levity or joke. I 
quieted such a conversation hubbub once, by 
representing to them that, though I was per- 
suaded none there present would repeat, out 
of company, what passed in it, yet I could not 
answer for the discretion of the passengers in 
the street, who must necessarily hear all that 
was said. 

Above all things, and upon all occasions, 
avoid speaking of yourself, if it be possible. 
Such is the natural pride and vanity of our 
hearts, that it perpetually breaks out, even in 
people of the best parts, in all the various 
modes and figures of the egotism. 

SILLY VANITY. This principle of vanity and 
pride is so strong in human nature, that it de- 
scends even to the lowest objects ; and one often 
sees people angling for praise, where, admitting 
all they say to be true (which, by the way, it 
seldom is), no just praise is to be caught. One 
man affirms that he has rode post a hundred 



218 GOOD MANNERS. 

miles in six hours : probably it is a lie ; but 
supposing it to be true, what then? Why he 
is a very good postboy, that is all. Another 
asserts, and probably not Avithout oaths, that 
he has drunk six or eight bottles of wine at a 
sitting : out of charity I will believe him a liar ; 
for, if I do not, I must think him a beast. 

YOURSELF. The only sure way of avoiding 
these evils is, never to speak of yourself at all. 
But when, historically, you are obliged to men- 
tion yourself, take care not to drop one single 
word, that can directly or indirectly be con- 
strued as fishing for applause. Be your char- 
acter what it will, it will be known ; and no- 
body will take it upon your own word. Never 
imagine that anything you can s&y yourself 
will varnish your defects, or add lustre to your 
perfections ; but, on the contrary, it may, and 
nine times in ten will, make the former more 
glaring, and the latter obscure. If you are 
silent upon your own subject, neither envy, 
indignation, or ridicule will obstruct or allay 
the applause which you may really deserve ; 
but if you publish your own panegyric, upon 
any occasion, or in any shape whatsoever, and 
however artfully dressed or disguised, they will 
all conspire against you, and you will be disap- 
pointed of the very end you aim at. 

SCANDAL MIMICRY SWEARING LAUGHTER 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 219 

Neither retail nor receive scandal, willingly $ 
for though the defamation of others may, for 
the present, gratify the malignity of the pride 
of our hearts, cool reflection will draw very 
disadvantageous conclusions from such a dis- 
position : and in the case of scandal, as in that 
of robbery, the receiver is always thought as 
bad as the thief. 

Mimicry, which is the common and favorite 
amusement of little, low ininds > is in the utmost 
contempt with great ones. It is the lowest and 
most ill'iberal of all buffoonery. Pray, neither 
practise it yourself, nor applaud it in others. 
Besides that, the person mimicked is insulted ; 
and, as I have often observed to you before, an. 
insult is never forgiven. 

I need not (I believe) advise you to adapt 
your conversation to the people you are con- 
versing with : for I suppose you would not, 
without this caution, have talked upon the same 
subject, and in the same manner, to a minister 
of state, a bishop, a philosopher, a captain, and 
a woman. A man of the world must, like the 
cameleon be able to take every different hue ; 
which is by no means a criminal or abject, 
but a necessary complaisance, for it relates only 
to manners, and not to morals. 

One word only, as to swearing; and that, I 
hope and believe, is more than is necessary 
You may sometime? hear some people, in good 



220 GOOD MANNERS 

company, interlard their discourse with oaths, 
by way of embellishment, as they think ; but 
you must observe, too, that those who do so are 
never those who contribute, in any degree, to 
give that company the denomination of good 
company. They are always subalterns, or 
people of low education j tor that practice, 
besides that it has no one temptation to plead, 
is as silly, and as illiberal, as it is wicked. 

Loud laughter is the mirth of the mob, who 
are only pleased with silly things ; for true wit 
or good sense never excited a laugh, since the 
creation of the world. A man of parts* arid 
fashon is therefore only seen to smile, but never 
heard to laugh. 

REFLECTION ITS USE. Use and assert your 
own reason 5 reflect, examine, and analyze every- 
thing, in order to form a sound and mature 
judgment ; let not others' dicta impose upon your 
understanding, mislead your actions, or dictate 
your conversation. Be early, what, if you are 
not, you will, when too late, wish you had been. 
Consult your reason betimes: I do not say, that 
it will always prove an unerring guide ; for 
human reason is not infallible: but it will 
prove the least erring guide that you can follow. 
Books and conversation may assist it; but adopt 
neither, blindly and inplicitly ; try both by that 
best rule, which God has given to direct us, 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 221 

Reason. Of all the troubles do not decline, as 
many people do, that of thinking. The herd 
of mankind can hardly be said to think ; their 
notions are almost all adoptive ; and, in general, 
I believe it is better that it should be so ; as 
such common prejudices contribute more to 
order and quiet, than their own separate reason- 
ings would do, uncultivated and unimproved as 
they are. 

TEMPER. The principal of these things, is 
the mastery of one's temper, and that coolness 
of mind, and serenity of countenance, which 
hinders us from discovering, by words, actions, 
or even looks, those passions or sentiments, by 
which we are inwardly moved or agitated ; and 
the discovery of which, gives cooler and abler 
people such infinite advantages over us, not 
only in great business, but in all the most com- 
mon occurrences of life. A man who does not 
possess himself enough to hear disagreeable 
things, without visible marks of anger and 
change of countenance, or agreeable ones with- 
out sudden bursts of joy and expansion of 
countenance, is at the mercy of every artful 
knave, or pert coxcomb : the former will pro- 
voke or please you by design, to catch unguarded 
words or looks ; by which he will easily decipher 
the secrets of your heart, of which you should 



222 GOOD MANNERS. 

keep the key yourself, and trust it with no man 
living. 

IMMOBILITY. Determine, too, to keep your 
countenance as unmoved and unembarrassed as 
possible ; which steadiness you may get a habit 
of, by constant attention. I should desire 
nothing better, in any negotiation, than to have 
to do with one of these men of warm, quick 
passions ; which I would take care to set in 
motion. By artful provocations, I would extort 
rash and unguarded expressions ; and, by hint- 
ing at all the several things that I could suspect, 
infallibly discover the true one, by the alteration 
it occasioned in the countenance of the person. 
V6lto sciolto con pen.neri strdtti (An open face 
with a close (or secret) mind) is a most useful 
maxim in business. 

THE EASY MOMENT. Some people are to be 
reasoned, some flattered, some intimidated, and 
some teased into a thing; but, in general, all 
are to be brought into it at last, if skilfullv 

o ** 

applied to, properly managed, and indefatigably 
attacked in their several weak places. The 
time should likewise be judiciously chosen : 
every man has his mollia tempora, but that is 
far from being all day long; and you "would 
choose your time very ill, if you applied to a 
man about one business, when his head was 
full of another, or when his heart was full of 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 223 

grief, anger, or any- other disagreeable senti 
ment. 

JUDGE OF OTHERS BY YOURSELF. Tn order to 
judge of the inside of others, study your own ; 
for men in general are very much alike ; and 
though one has one prevailing passion, and 
another has another, yet their operations are 
much the same ; and whatever engages or dis- 
gusts, pleases or offends you, in others, will, 
mutatis mutandis, engage, disgust, please, or 
offend others, in you. 

SMART SAYINGS. The temptation of saying a 
smart and witty thing, or bon mot, and the 
malicious applause with which it is commonly 
received, have made people who can say them, 
and, still oftener, people who think they*can, 
but cannot, and yet try, more enemies, and 
implacable ones too, than any one other thing 
that I know of. When such things, then, shall 
happen to be said at your expense (as some- 
times they certainly will), reflect seriously upon 
the sentiments of uneasiness, anger, and resent- 
ment, which they excite in you ;*and consider 
whether it can be prudent, by the same means, 
to excite the same sentiments in others, against 
you. It is a decided folly, to lose a friend 
for a jest; but, in my mind, it is not a much 
less degree of folly, to make an enemy of an 
indifferent and neutral person, for the sake of 



224 GOOD MANNERS. 

a bon mot. When things of this kind happen 
to be said of you, the most prudent way is to 
seem not to suppose that they are meant at you, 
but to dissemble and conceal whatever degree 
of anger you may feel inwardly ; and should 
they be so plain, that you cannot be supposed 
ignorant of their meaning, to join in the laugh 
of the company against yourself; acknowledge 
the hit to be a fair one, and the jest a good one, 
and play off the whole thing in seeming good 
humor: but by no means reply in the same 
way ; which only shows that you are hurt, and 
publishes the victory which you might have 
concealed. Should the thing said, indeed, 
injure your honor, or moral character, there is 
but one proper reply ; which I hope you never 
will have occasion to make. 

WOMEN OF FASHION. --They are a numerous 
and loquacious body : their hatred would be 
more prejudicial, than their friendship can be 
advantageous to you. A general complaisance 
and attention to that sex is, therefore, estab- 
lished by custom, and certainly necessary. But 
where you would particularly please any one, 
whose situation, interest, or connections can be 
of use to you, you must show particular pre- 
ference. The least attentions please, the great- 
est charm them. The innocent, but pleasing 
flattery of their persons, however gross, is 



CHESTERFIELD'^ MAXIMS. ETC. 225 

greedily swallowed, and kindly digested, but 
a seeming regard for their understandings, a 
seeming desire of, and deference for their advice, 
together with a seeming confidence in their 
moral virtues, turns their head entirely in your 
favor. Nothing shocks them so much as the 
least appearance of that contempt, which they 
are apt to suspect men of entertaining of their 
capacities : and you may be very sure of gaining 
their friendship, if you seem to think it worth 
gaming. Here, dissimulation is very often 
necessary, and even simulation sometimes allow- 
able ; which, as it pleases them, may be useful 
to you, and is injurious to nobody. 

TRIFLES. Great merit, or great failings, will 
make you respected or despised ; but trifles, 
little attentions, mere nothings, either done, or 
neglected, will make you either liked or dis- 
liked, in the general run of the world. Ex- 
amine yourself, why you like such and such 
people, and dislike such and such others ; and 
you will find that those different sentiments 
proceed from very slight causes. Moral virtues 
are the foundation of society in general, and 
of friendship in particular; but attentions, 
manners, and graces both adorn and strengthen 
them. 

DIGNITY OF MANNERS. There is a certain 
dignity of manners absolutely necessary, tc 



226 GOOD MANNERS. 

make even the most valuable character either 
respected or respectable. 

Horse-play, romping, frequent and loud fits 
of laughter, jokes, waggery, and indiscriminate 
familiarity, will sink both merit and knowledge 
into a degree of contempt. They compose at 
most a merry fellow ; and a merry fellow was 
never yet a respectable man. Indiscriminate 
familiarity either offends your superiors, or else 
dubs you their dependant, and led captain. It 
gives your inferiors just but troublesome and 
improper claims of equality A joker is near 
akin to a buffoon : and neither of them is th? 
least related to wit. Whoever is admitted or 
sought for, in company, upon any other account 
than that of his merit and manners, is never 
respected there, but only made use of. We will 
have such-a-one, for he sings prettily; we will 
invite such-a-one to a ball, for he dances well; 
we will have such-a-one at supper, for he is 
always joking and laughing; we will ask 
another, because he plays deep at all games, or 
because he can drink a great deal. These are 
vilifying distinctions, mortifying preferences, 
and exclude all ideas of esteem and regard. 
Whoever is had (as it is called) in company, 
for the sake of any one thing singly, is singly 
that thing, and will never be considered in any 
other light ; consequently never respected, let 
his merits be what they will. 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS. ETC. 227 

DANCING. Learn to dance, not so much for 
the sake of dancing, as for coming into a room, 
and presenting yourself genteelly and grace- 
fully. Women, whom you ought to endeavor 
to please, cannot forgive a vulgar and awkward 
air and gestures; il ieur faut du brillant. The 

e^ c. 

generality of men are pretty like them, and are 
equally taken by the same exterior graces. 

THE VULGAR MAN. TRIFLES. VULGARISM. 
A vulgar man is captious and jealous ; eager 
and impetuous about trifles. He suspects him- 
self to be slighted, thinks everything that is said 
meant at him ; if the company happens to 
laugh, he is persuaded they laugh at him ; he 
grows angry and testy, says something very 
impertinent, and draws himself into a scrape, 
by showing what he calls a proper spirit, 
and asserting himself. A man of fashion does 
not suppose himself to be either the sole or 
principal object of the thoughts, looks, or 
words of the company ; and never suspects 
that he is either slighted or laughed at, unless 
he is conscious that he deserves it. And if 
(which very seldom happens) the company 
is absurd or ill-bred enough to do either, he 
does not care twopence, unless the insult be 
so gross and plain as to require satisfaction of 
another kind. As he is above trifles, he is 
ne' r er vehement and eager about them ; and, 



228 GOOD MANNERS. 

wherever they are concerned, rather acquiesces 
than wrangles. A vulgar man's conversation 
always savors strongly of the lowness of his 
education and company. It turns chiefly upon 
his domestic affairs, his servants, the excellent 
order he keeps in his own family, and the little 
anecdotes of the neighborhood ; all which he 
relates with emphasis, as interesting matters. 
He is a man gossip. 

Vulgarism in language is the next, and dis- 
tinguishing characteristic of bad company, and 
a bad education. A man of fashion avoids 
nothing with more care than that. Proverbial 
expressions, and trite sayings, are the flowers 
of the rhetoric of a vulgar man. Would he say, 
that men differ in their tastes, he both supports 
and adorns that opinion, by the good old saying, 
as he respectfully calls it, that what is one man's 
meat is another man's poison. If anybody 
attempts being smart, as he calls it, upon him, 
he gives them tit for tat, ay, that he does. lie 
has always some favorite word for the time 
being, which, for the sake of using often, he 
commonly abuses. Such as vastly angry, vastly 
kind, vastly handsome, and vastly ugly. Even 
his pronunciation of proper words carries the 
mark of the beast along with it. He calls the 
earth yeartli ; he is obleiged, not obliged to you. 
He goes to -wards, and not towards such a place. 
He sometimes affects hard words, by ^ay of 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 229 

ornament, which he always mangles like a 
learned woman. A man of fashion never has 
recourse to proverbs, and vulgar aphorisms ; 
uses neither favorite words nor hard words ; but 
takes great care to speak very correctly and 
grammatically, and to pronounce properly j that 
is, according to the usage of the best companies. 

MIXED COMPANY, LEARNING, PEDANTS. In 
mixed companies, whoever is admitted to make 
Dart of them is, for the time at least, supposed 
to be upon a footing of equality with the rest ; 
and, consequently, as there is no one principal 
object of awe and respect, people are apt to 
take a greater latitude in their behavior, and to 
ne less upon their guard ; and so they may, pro- 
vided it be within certain bounds, which are 
upon no occasion to be transgressed. But, upon 
these occasions, though no one is entitled to dis- 
tinguished marks of respect, every one claims, 
and very justly, every mark of civility and good 
breeding. Ease is allowed, but carelessness 
and negligence are strictly forbidden. If a 
man accosts you, and talks to you ever so dully 
or frivolously, it is worse than rudeness, it is 
brutality, to show him, by a manifest inatten- 
tion to what he says, that you think him a fool 
or a blockhead, and not worth hearing. It is 
much more so with regard to women ; who, of 
whatever rank they are, are entitled, in consi- 



230 GOOD MANNERS. 

deration of their sex, not only to an attentive, 
but an officious good breeding from men. 

Too READY FRIENDS. Be upon your guard 
against those, who, upon very slight acquaint- 
ance, obtrude their unasked and unmerited 
friendship and confidence upon you; for they 
probably cram you with them only for their 
own eating: but, at the same time, do not 
roughly reject them upon that general supposi- 
tion. Examine further, and see whether those 
unexpected offers flow from a warm heart and 
a silly head, or from a designing head and a 
cold heart ; for knavery and folly have often the 
same symptoms. In the first case, there is no 
danger in accepting them, valeant quantum valere 
possunt. Jn the latter case, it may be useful 
to seem to accept them, and artfully to turn the 
battery upon him who raised it. 

There is an iricontinency of friendship among 
young fellows, who are associated by their mu- 
tual pleasures only ; which has, very frequently, 
bad consequences. A parcel of warm hearts, 
und unexperienced heads, heated by convivial 
mirth, and possibly a little too much wine, 
vow, and really mean at the time, eternal 
friendships to each other, and indiscreetly pour 
out their whole souls in common, and without 
the least reserve. These confidences are as in- 
discreetly repealed, as they were made: for new 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 231 



pleasures, and new places, soon dissolve this 
ill-cemented connection : and then very ill uses 
are made of these rash confidences. Bear your 
part, however, in young companies ; nay, excel 
if you can, in all the social and convivial joy 
and festivity that become youth. Trust them 
with your love-tales, if you please; but keep 
your serious views secret. 

PRIDE AND PEDANTRY. The costly liberality 
of a purse proud man, insults the distresses it 
sometimes relieves ; he takes care to make you 
feel your own misfortunes, and the difference 
between your situation and his ; both which he 
insinuates to be justly merited: yours, by your 
folly, his. by his wisdom. The arrogant pedant 
does not communicate, but promulgates his 
knowledge. He does not give it you, but he 
inflicts it upon you; and is (if possible) more 
desirous to show you your own ignorance, than 
his own learning. Such manners as these, not 
only in the particular instances which I have 
mentioned, but likewise in all others, shock and 
revolt that little pride and vanity, which every 
man has in his heart; and obliterate in us the 
obligation for the favor conferred, by reminding 
us of the motive which produced, and the man- 
ner which accompanied it. 

MORAL CHARACTER. Your moral charactei 
must be not only pure, but, like Cassar's wile 
16 



232 GOOD MANNERS. 

unsuspected. The least speck or blemish upon 
it is fatal. Nothing degrades and vilifies :more, 
fur it excites and unites detestation and con- 
tempt. There are, however, wretches in the 
world profligate enough to explode all notions 
of moral good and evil ; to maintain that they 
are merely local, and depend entirely upon the 
customs and fashions of different countries : 
nay, there are still, if possible, more unaccount- 
able wretches ; I mean, those who affect to 
preach and propagate such absurd and infamous 
notions, without believing them themselves. 
These are the devil's hypocrites. Avoid, as 
much as possible, the company of such people; 
who reflect a degree of discredit and infamy 
upon all who converse with them. But as you 
may, sometimes, by accident, fall into such 
company, take great care that no complaisance, 
no good-humor, no warmth of festal mirth, 
ever make you seem even to acquiesce, much 
less to approve or applaud, such infamous doc- 
trines. On the other hand ; do not debate, nor 
enter into serious argument, upon a subject so 
much below it : but content yourself with telling 
these apostiles, that you know they are not 
serious; that you have a much better opinion 
of them than they would have you have ; and 
that, you are very sure, they would not practise 
the doctrine they preach. But put your private 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETO. 233 

mark upon them, and shun them for ever after- 
wards. 

LAZY PEOPLE DESPATCH How TO READ. 
Many people lose a great deal of their time by 
laziness ; they loll and yawn in a great 3hair, 
tell themselves that they have not time to begin 
anything then, and that it will do as well an- 
other time. This is a most unfortunate dispo- 
sition, and the greatest obstruction to both 
knowledge and business. At your age, you 
have no right nor claim to laziness : I have, if 
I please, being emwitus. You are but just 
listed in the world, and must be active, diligent, 
indefatigable. If ever you propose command- 
ing with dignity, you must serve up to it with 
diligence. Never put off till to-morrow what 
you can do to-day. 

Despatch is the soul of business ; and nothing 
contributes more to despatch, than method. 
Lay down a method for everything, and stick 
to it inviolably, as far as unexpected incidents 
may allow. Fix one certain hour and day in 
the week for your accounts, and keep them to- 
gether in their proper order ; by which means 
they will require very little time, and you can 
never be much cheated. Whatever letters and 
papers you keep, docket and tie them up in their 
respective classes, so that you may instantly 
have recourse to any one. Lay down a method 



234 GOOD MANNERS. 

also for your reading, for which you allot a 
certain share of your mornings ; let it be in a 
consistent and consecutive course, and not in 
that desultory and unmethodical manner, in 
which many people read scraps of different 
authors, upon different subjects. Keep a useful 
and short common-place book of what you read, 
to help your memory only, and not for pedantic 
quotations. Never read history without having 
maps, and a chronological book, or tables, lying 
by you, and constantly recurred to ; without 
which history is only a confused heap of facts. 
One method more I recommend to you, by which 
I have found great benefit, even in the most 
dissipated part of my life ; that is, to rise early, 
and at the same hour every morning, how late 
soever you may have sat up the night before. 
This secures you an hour or two, at least, of 
reading or reflection, before the common inter- 
ruptions of the morning begin ; and it will save 
your constitution, by forcing you to go to bed 
early, at least one night in three. 

AIM HIGH. Aim at perfection in everything, 
tliDugh in most things it is unattainable 5 how- 
ever, they who aim at it, and persevere, will 
come much nearer it, than those, whose laziness 
and despondency make them give it up as un- 
attainable. Magnis tamen excidit ausis is a de- 
gree of praise \\hich will always attend a noble 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 235 

and shining temerity, and a much better sign 
in a young fellow, than serpere humi, tutus 
nimium timidusque procellce, for men, as well 
as women. 

A TRUTH. Pleasure is necessarily reciprocal ; 
no one feels who does not at the same time give 
it. To be pleased, one must please. What 
pleases you in others, will in general please 
them in yon. 

LEARNED IGNORANCE. A man of the best 
parts, and the greatest learning, if he does not 
know the world by his own experience and ob- 
servation, will be very absurd ; and conse- 
quently, very unwelcome in company. He may 
say very good things ; but they will probably be 
so ill timed, misplaced, or improperly addressed, 
that he had much better hold his tongue. Full 
of his own matter, and uninformed of, or inat- 
tentive to, the particular circumstances and situ 
ations of the company, he vents it indiscrimi- 
nately : he puts some people out of countenance ; 
he shocks others ; and frightens all, who dread 
what may come out next. The most general 
rule that I can give you for the world, and 
which your experience will convince you of the 
truth of, is, Never to give the tone to the com- 
pany, but to take it from them ; and to labor 
more to put them in conceit with themselves, 
than to make them admire you. Those whom 



236 GOOD MANNERS. 

you can make like themselves better, will, 1 
promise you, like you very well. 

SMALL TALK. I am far from meaning by 
this, that you should always be talking wisely, 
in company, of books, history, and matters of 
knowledge. There are many companies which 
you will, and ought to keep, where such con- 
versations would be misplaced and ill-timed; 
your own good sense must distinguish the com- 
pany, and the time. You must trifle with 
triflers ; and be serious only with the serious, 
but dance to those who pipe. Our in theatrum 
Cato severe venisti ? was justly said to an old 
man : how much more so would it be to one of 
your age ? From the moment that you are 
dressed, and go out, pocket all your knowledge 
with your watch, and never pull it out in com- 
pany unless desired: the producing of the one 
unasked implies that you are weary of the 
company-, and the producing of the other 
unrequired will make the company weary of 
you. Company is a republic too jealous of its 
liberties, to suffer a dictator even for a quarter 
of an hour ; and yet in that, as in all republics, 
there are some few who really govern, but then 
it is by seeming to disclaim, instead of attempt- 
ing to usurp the power : that is the occasion in 
which manners, dexterity, address, and the 
undefinable je ne sais quoi triumph j if pro- 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 237 

perly exerted, their conquest is sure, and tho 
more lasting for not being perceived. 

How TO PLEASE. An air, a tone of voice, a 
composure of countenance to mildness and 
softness, which are all easily acquired, do the 
"business; and without farther examination, and 
possibly with the contrary qualities, that man 
is reckoned the gentlest, the modestest, and the 
best natured man alive. Happy the man who, 
with a certain fund of parts and knowledge, 
gets acquainted with the world early enough to 
make it his bubble, at an age when most peo- 
ple are the bubbles of the world 1 for that is 
the common case of youth. They grow wiser 
when it is too late : and, ashamed and vexed 
at having been bubbles so long, too often turn 
knaves at last. Do not, therefore, trust to ap- 
pearances and outside yourself, but pay other 
people with them, because you may be sure 
that nine in ten of mankind do, and ever will, 
trust to them. This is by no means a criminal 
or blameable simulation, if not used with an ill 
intention. I am by no means blameable in 
desiring to have other people's good word, good 
will, and affection, if I do not mean to abuse 
them. Your heart, I know, is good, your sense 
is sound, and your knowledge extensive. 

NOTHING BY HALVES. Whatever business 
you have, do it the first moment you canj 



238 GOOD MANNERS. 

never by halves, but finish it without interrup- 
tion, if possible. Business must not be sauntered 
and trilled with ; and you must not say to it, 
as Felix did to Paul, "at a more convenient 
season I will speak to thee." The most con- 
venient season for business, is the first; but 
study and business, in some measure, point 
out their own times to a man of sense ; time 
is much oftener squandered away in the wrong 
choice and improper methods of amusement 
and pleasures. 

FORMATION OF MANNERS. Nothing forms a 
young man so much as being used to keep 
respectable and superior company, where a 
constant regard and attention is necessary. 
It is true, this is at first a disagreeable state of 
restraint ; but it soon grows habitual and con- 
sequently easy ; and you are amply paid for it, 
by the improvements you make, and the credit 
it gives you. 

LEFT-HANDEDNESS. An awkward address, un- 
graceful attitudes and actions, and a certain 
left-handedness (if I may use that word) loudly 
proclaim low education and low company ; for 
it is impossible to suppose that a man can 
have frequented good company, without having 
catched something, at least, of their air and 
motions. A new raised man is distinguished 
in a regiment by his awkwardness ; but he must 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 239 

be impenetrably dull, if, in a month or two's 
time, he cannot perform at least the common 
manual exercise, and look like a soldier. The 
very accoutrements of a man of fashion are 
grievous encumbrances to a vulgar man. He is 
at a loss what to do with his hat, when it is not 
upon his head ; his cane (if unfortunately he 
wears one) is at perpetual war with every cup 
of tea or coffee he drinks ; destroys them, first, 
and then accompanies them in their fall. 

A NOBLE EASE AND GRACE. Do not imagine 
that these accomplishments are only useful with 
women ; they are much more so w r ith men. In 
a public assembly, what an advantage has a 
graceful speaker, with genteel motions, a hand- 
some figure, and a liberal air, over one, who 
shall speak full as much good sense, but desti- 
tute of these ornaments ! In business, how 
prevalent are the graces, how detrimental is the 
want of them ! By the help of these I have 
known some men refuse favors less offensively 
than others granted them. You gain the hearts 
and consequently the secrets, of nine in ten 
that you have to do with, in spite even of their 
prudence 5 which will, nine times in ten, be the 
dupe of their hearts and of their senses. Con- 
sider the importance of these things as they 
deserve, and you will not lose one moment in 
the pursuit of them. 



240 GOOD MANNERS. 

* 

MAXIMS. I never think my time so well 
employed, as when I think it employed to your 
advantage. In that view, I have thrown to- 
gether, for your use, the following maxims ; or, 
to speak more properly, observations on men 
and things ; for I have no merit as to the inven- 
tion ; I am no system-monger ; and, instead of 
giving way to my imagination, I have only 
consulted my memory ; and my conclusions are 
all drawn from facts, not from fancy. Most 
maxim-mongers have preferred the prettiness to 
the justness of a thought, and the turn to the 
truth ; but I have refused myself to everything 
that my own experience did not justify and 
confirm. 

A PROPER secrecy is the only mystery of able 
men ; mystery is the only secrecy of weak and 



cunning ones. 



A MAN who tells nothing, or who tells all, will 
equally have nothing told him. 

IF a fool knows a secret, he tells it because 
he is a fool ; if a knave knows one, he tells it 
wherever it is his interest to tell it. But 
women, and young men, are very apt to tell 
what secrets they know, from the vanity of 
having been trusted. Trust none of these, 
whenever you can help it. 

INATTENTION to the present business, be it 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 241 

what it will ; the doing one thing;, and thinking 
at the same time of another, or the attempting 
to do two things at once ; are the never-failing 
signs of a little, frivolous mind. 

A MAN who cannot command his temper, his 
attention, and his countenance, should not think 
of being a man of business. The weakest man 
in the world can avail himself of the passion of 
ihe wisest. The inattentive man cannot know 
the business, and consequently cannot do it. 
And he who cannot command his countenance, 
may even as well tell his thoughts as show 
them. 

DISTRUST all those who love you extremely 
upon a very slight acquaintance, and without 
any visible reason. Be upon your guard, too, 
against those, who confess, as their weaknesses, 
all the cardinal virtues. 

IN your friendships, and in your enmities, let 
your confidence and your hostilities have cer- 
tain bounds : make not the former dangerous, 
nor the latter irreconcilable. There are strange 
vicissitudes in business ! 

SMOOTH your way to the head through the 
heart. The way of reason is a good one ; but it 
is commonly something longer, and perhaps not 
so sure. 

SPIRIT is now a very fashionable word: to 



242 GOOD MANNERS. 

act with spirit, to speak with spirit, means only, 
to act rashly, and to talk indiscreetly. An able 
man shows his spirit by gentle words and reso- 
lute actions : he is neither hot nor timid. 

WHEN a man of sense happens to be in that 
disagreeable situation, in which he is obliged to 
ask himself more than once, What shall 1 do? 
he will answer himself, Nothing. When his 
reason points out to him no good way, or at 
least no one way less bad than another, he will 
stop short, and wait for light. A little busy 
mind runs on at all events, must be doing ; and, 
like a blind horse, fears no dangers, because he 
sees none. Ilfaut savoir s'ennuyer. 

PATIENCE is a most necessary qualification for 
business ; many a man would rather you heard 
his story, than granted his request. One must 
seem to hear the unreasonable demands of the 
petulant, unmoved, and the tedious details of 
the dull, untirod. That is the least price that 
a man must pay for a high station. 

IT is always right to detect a fraud, and to 
perceive a folly ; but it is often very wrong to 
expose either. A man of business should always 
have his eyes open j but must often seem to 
have them shut. 

THERE is a fashionable jargon, a chit-chat, a 
small talk, which turns singly upon trifles ; and 
which, in a great iiianj' words, says little or 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 243 

nothing. It stands fools instead of what they 
cannot say, and men of sejise instead of what 
they should not say. It is the proper language 
of levees, drawing-rooms, and ante-chambers: it 
is necessary to know it. 

WHATEVER a man is at court, he must be 
genteel and well bred ; that cloak covers as 
many follies, as that of charity does sins. I 
knew a man of great quality, and in a great 
station at court, considered and respected, whose 
highest character was, that he was humbly 
proud, and genteelly dull. 

IT is hard to say which is the greatest fool ; 
he who tells the whole truth, or he who tells no 
truth at all. Character is as necessary in 
business as in trade. No man can deceive often 
in either. 

THERE are some occasions in which man must 
tell half his secret, in order to conceal the rest : 
but there is seldom one in which a man should 
tell it all. Great skill is necessary to know how 
far to go, arid where to stop. 

AWKWARDNESS is a more real disadvantage 

V / 

than it is generally thought to be ; it often ac- 
casions ridicule, it always lessens dignity. 

A MAN'S own good breeding is his best secu- 
rity against ither people's ill manners. 



244 GOOD MANNERS. 

GOOD BREEDING carries along with it a dignity, 
that is respected by the most petulant. Ill 
breeding invites and authorizes the familiarity 
of the most timid. No man ever said a pert 
thing to the Duke of Marlborough. No man 
ever said a civil one (though many a flattering 
one) to Sir Robert Walpole. 

KNOWLEDGE may give weight, but accomplish- 
ments only give lustre; and many more people 
see than weigh. 

MOST arts require long study and application 
but the most useful art of all, that of pleasing, 
requires only the desire. 

IT is to be presumed, that a man of common 
sense, who does not desire to please, desires no- 
thing at all ; since he must know that he cannot 
obtain anything without it. 

A SKILFUL negotiator will most carefully dis- 
tinguish between the little and the great objects 
of his business, and will be as frank and open 
in the former, as he will be secret and pertina- 
cious in the latter. He will, bv his manners and 

*/ 

address, endeavor, at least, to make his public 
adversaries his personal friends. He will flatter 
and engage the man, while he counterworks 
the minister ; and he will never alienate people's 
minds from him, by wrangling for points, 



CHESTERFIELD'S MAXIMS, ETC. 245 

either absolutely unattainable, or not worth 
attaining. He will make even a merit of giving 
up, what he could not or would not carry, and 
sell a trifle for a thousand times its value. 

THE Due de Sully observes very justly, in his 
Memoirs, that nothing contributed more to his 
rise, than that prudent economy which he had 
observed from his youth ; and by which he had 
always a sum of money beforehand, in case of 
emergencies. 

IT is very difficult to fix the particular point 
of economy ; the best error of the two is on the 
parsimonious side. That may be corrected, the 
other cannot. 

THE reputaton 01 generosity is to be purchased 
pretty cheap ; it does not depend so much upon 
a man's general expense, as it does upon his 
giving handsomely where it is proper to give 
at all. A man, for instance, who should give a 
servant four shillings would pass for covetous, 
while he who gave him a crown would be 
reckoned generous : so that the difference of 
those two opposite characters turns upon one 
shilling. A man's character, in that particular, 
depends a great deal upon the report of his own 
servants ; a mere trifle above common wages 
makes their report favorable. 

TAKE care always to form your establish- 
ment so much within your income, as to leave 



246 GOOD MANNERS. 

a sufficient fund for unexpected contingencies, 
and a prudent liberality. There is hardly a 
year, in any man's life, in which a small sum 
of ready money may not be employed to great 
advantage. 



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