Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

feelings and spare the time of others; because we entertain that charity that thinketh no evil”; because we are careful of our neighbor's reputation, property, and personal comfort, as we would be of our own; 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”.

38. Good behavior may well be regarded as a minor sort of morality; it is an outwork for the defence of the laws, good morals, civilization and private rights.

39. The very best behavior consists chiefly in the utmost unobtrusiveness. To be well bred and well behaved is to keep self in the background on 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 wound the prejudices of others; to make small sacrifices without seeming to make them; in a word, to remember that in society one lives for others and not for one's self. Boisterous demonstrations, or things done 'just for fun", are seldom, and perhaps never, in good taste.

40. Nowhere does good behavior exhibit more gratifying results than in the home circle. Tempered with love and fostered by all the kindly impulses, it improves the character and is productive of the happiest results. A true gentlewoman will show as much courtesy, and observe all the little duties of politeness as unfailingly, toward her parents, husband and family as toward the greatest strangers. A true gentleman will never forget that if he is mates of his own household, and especially toward all those who depend upon him for advice, protection and example. He should be as careful of his manners as be is of his dress.

41. In order to be truly polite and well behaved we must be good, just and generous, and especially to our own household. Good manners begin there.

42. Etiquette is not politeness, but only the mere outward form of it; too often the mere counterfeit. Politeness springs from those inward, spiritual graces, called modesty, unselfishness, generosity. The manners of a gentleman are the index of his soul. His speech is chaste and innocent because his life is pure ; his thoughts are single and direct because his actions are upright; and his bearing is gentle because his impulses and his 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 so much to say civil things as 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 usefulhess, or their gracefulness, or their elevating tendencies, Whether moral, or mental, or political.

43. But if truthfulness, gracefulness, considerateness, unselfishness are essential to the breeding of a true gentleman, how much more so must they be to the breeding of a true lady! Her tact should be readier, her instincts fin-, er, and her sympathies tenderer than those of the man. She must be even more upon her guard than a man in all

ery hule Urawing-room ceremonial, foreutvugui anu aucution in anticipating the wants of her guests, and the whole etiquette of hospitality must be familiar to her. And even in these points, artificial though they be, her best guide, after all, is that practised kindness of heart which gives honor where honor is due, and which is ever anxious to study the convenience and pleasure of others.

44. Every mistress of a home 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 machinery. In a well ordered household the machinery is always in order, and always works out of sight. No well-bred woman will ever make her servants, her dinner arrangements, her nursery, or her domestic affairs a subject of conversation. The amusements and comforts of her guests are provided for without discussion or comment; and whatever goes wrong is studiously withheld from the conversation of the drawing-room. Let no lady, however young, beautiful, wealthy or gifted, for one moment imagine that the management of her house can be neglected with safety to her respectability. Though she may be rich enough to have an efficient housekeeper, yet still, the final responsibility must rest upon her, and upon her alone. No tastes, no pleasures, must stand in the way of this important duty, and even if this duty should at first seem irksome, the fulfilment of it is sure to bring its own reward.

45. Cleanliness, plenty of fresh air, neatness, and quiet, are indispensable in a well ordered home. A frequent inspection from the cellar to the garret, with thoruse of quick lime or ashes, to suppress the first evidence of foul odors, the source of which cannot be immediately purged, are as essential to health as they are to comfort and decency. It is believed that not a few cases of typhoid fever, diphtheria and rheumatism, may be traced to the malaria arising from neglected barrels, boxes and corners in cellars and elsewhere. A very little decaying matter, which some persons might overlook, even a neglected pantry, may poison the whole atmosphere of a house. Fresh air and sunshine should be admitted to the cellar as well as to the rooms, as often as possible, and no source of bad air should be neglected even for a part of a day. Good manners, no more than good morals or good health, can thrive in an ill-regulated household.

46. The question of housekeeping involves the question of accounts. The best possible accounts are ready money, paid down at the purchase; and if possible all others should avoided. No lady can give the efforts of her husband a proper support, and set a good example to her family, without being rigidly exact and precise in this matter. Where bills are incurred at the shops, a suitable pass book should always be presented to the trader to have the items and their price entered ; and these bills should be regularly paid, as often as once a quarter, if practicable, receipted, and carefully filed away. By this means the household expenses can always be controlled and kept within due limits, and much unpleasantness be avoided.

47. In fine, good breeding may be ranked with the fine arts in its refining and elevating influence upon the character of men.

The labor and expense that are bestowed

wuuuuy,wguu yiciu a ial

munity, if devoted to improving the manners of the poor and the outcast.

48. The twenty-second and twenty-third verses of the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians contain an entire code of good behavior in themselves.

They teach love, cheerfulness, peace, forbearance, courtesy, goodness, faith, mildness of manners, and self-control. Whoever makes these the rule of his life must be a well bred person.

49. A constant fidelity in small things is a great and heroic virtue.

50. No well-bred man will allow his influence to be used by a combination to oppress his neighbor, or to restrict the proper exercise of personal liberty ; nor will be find fault with public measures except to mend them.

51. In some parts of the world men bear the title of princes, and they may have the gentle manners due to their rank; but the man of a truly princely character is recognised not so much by the titles and the consideration that he receives, as by the careful attention which he pays to the interests and feelings of others. More personal respect and safety, and more public order and peace are secured by such attentions than by bearing arms or carrying concealed weapons.

52. If we treat men ill because of their reputed bad character, we assume the office not only of their judge but also of their executioner.

53. The barbarian boasts of having killed his man; but the Christian should glory in doing his fellow man

« AnteriorContinuar »