previous next
[113] of a guardsman. In the same way Lady Eastlake describes Motley's visible annoyance at being constantly addressed as “Milord” at German hotels; and I knew a Boston lady, going abroad for the first time after middle life, who was identified for her husband by the Suisse at a crowded cathedral, where they had got separated, as “the lady with a grand air.”

What we all need to teach our children is that manners are not a matter of veneering, but ingrain. In Tennyson's phrase:

Kind nature's are the best; those next to best
That fit us like a nature second-hand,
Which are indeed the manners of the great.

It is possible, in other words, to have better manners than those of the merely great, by having a surer foundation. Why not strike for the best? Self-respect, self-control, kind feeling, refined habits-these are the basis. If, in addition to these, one happens to inherit an agreeable voice and a good intonation, what more is essential? The trivialities of spoons and napkins are easily enough acquired. I have sat at table with a Pueblo Indian chief, introduced for the first time to silver forks, who handled those and all other implements with an awkwardness so dignified and delicate

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Tennyson (1)
Motley (1)
Eastlake (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: