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propriety of speech and behaviour. The first principle of this is, to say nothing which you think may be disagreeable to any one present; but, on the contrary, endeavour to say that which will be agreeable and new to all, in an easy and natural way, without seeming to study for set phrases or for compliments.
There is likewise a civil look and a rude look; you should look civil, as well as be so; for if, while you say a civil thing, you look gruff and surly, as most bumpkins do, nobody will be obliged to you for a civility, unaccompanied by spontaneous pleasure to yourself.
If you have occasion to contradict any one, or to set him right from a mistake, it is excessively rude to say, "That is not so;" "I know better;"
“You are out:" but, with a smile, say, “I beg your pardon, I believe you mistake;" or, “If I may take the liberty of contradicting you, I believe it is so and so;" for, although you may be more correctly informed than he is upon the subject, it is impolite to tell him so, directly, without softening its introduction. Remember, also, that whatever you say or do, with what civil intention soever, its favourable reception depends in a great measure upon the
style and look with which it is accompanied, and which ought to be that of grace and kind
We all dislike to be contradicted, even although convinced that we are wrong.
Above all, avoid contradicting your parents, or elders, even although you know that which they say to be incorrect.
POLITE NESS DUE TO ALL WOMEN.
It is a
Civility is peculiarly due to the fair sex. No provocation whatever can justify a boy or man, aspiring to the name of GENTLEman, in being uncivil to a lady; and the greatest man in the world would justly be called a brute, were he uncivil to the humblest woman. guard which civilization bestows upon the weaker portion of mankind, against the superior strength of ours. Observe the best and most well-bred of the French youth, how agreeably they insinuate little civilities into their conversation with ladies. The French think it so essential, that they call an Honest and a Civil man by the same name, of honete homme ; and the Romans called civility humanitas, thinking it
inseparable from humanity. Your reputation and success in the world will, in a great measure, depend upon the degree of good breeding of which you are master, and your gentleness and elegance of behaviour in the society of women, the study of which you cannot begin too early, in order to make it a natural habit. How very often do we hear tbose who have neglected this in their youth, regretting their having done so, when too late to learn. Many think it is easily acquired, and can be picked up at any time.
There is no fellow-creature so obscure, abject, or poor, who may not, by the strange and unaccountable changes and vicissitudes of human affairs, at some future time, become a useful friend, or a troublesome enemy, even to the greatest or the richest.
Therefore, let your manners and conversation be studiously void of offence to all men, and especially so to all women.
From what has been said on this topic, I conclude with this observation—That gentleness of manners, combined with firniness of mind, are the most desirable of human perfections, exclusive of those high religious and moral duties, which demand our more serious consideration.
No one can please, however graceful, unless he is clean and neat in his person.
He who is not thoroughly clean in person, is offensive to all who see him. A particular regard to the cleanliness of your mouth, teeth, hands, and nails, is but a mark of common respect due to yourself, and those with whom you mingle.
A foul mouth and dirty hands, are certain signs of vulgarity; the former causes an offensive breath, which nobody can endure, and the latter tells of dirty work, and unpardonable negligence to remove the signs of it by washing. One may always know a youth of superior standing by the state of his hands and nails. The flesh at the roots should be kept back, so as to show the semicircles at the bottom of the nails; the nails should be a little pointed, and never cut down too short, nor should they be suffered to grow longer than the points of the fingers.
For black and dirty teeth, where they are
sound, there is no excuse. They belong only to the lazy and vulgar. Let me entreat you to brush your teeth each morning, and every night before going to bed.
A clean shirt and person are as necessary to health, as to the requirements and usages of refined life. It is a maxim with me, which I have lived to see verified, that he who is negligent in person or dress when young, is slovenly at forty, and intolerable to society at fifty. On no account delay washing your
hands when necessary,
will find that it refreshes both the mind and the body.
VULGAR LANGUAGE. Vulgarism in language is a distinguishing mark of the low company you associate with, and the bad education you have received. The conversation of a low-bred boy is filled with proverbs and hackneyed sayings. Instead of observing that "tastes are different, and that most men have one peculiar to themselves," he says, " What is one man's meat is another's poison ;” or, “Every one to their