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[75]

XV. the empire of manners.

How delightful it is, when about to be shut up for a week or two on board ship, or in a country hotel, with a party of strangers, to encounter in that company even one person of delightful manners, whose mere presence gives grace and charm, and secures unfailing consideration for the rights and tastes of all! “I have once beheld on earth,” says Petrarch, in his 123d sonnet, “angelic manners and celestial charms, whose very remembrance is a delight and an affliction, since it makes all things else appear but dream and shadow.” Most of us have in memory some such charms and manners, not necessarily associated with poetic heroines, and still less with the highest social position. We recall them as something whose mere presence made life more worth living; as distinct an enrichment of nature as fragrant violet beds or the robin's song. All life is sweetened, joys are enhanced, cares diminished, by the presence in the room of a single person of charming manners.

How shall such manners be obtained? Art and

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Francisco Petrarch (1)
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