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[76] habit and the mere desire to please may do something, but not supply the place of a defective foundation. Nobody has ever summed up the different types of good manners so well as Tennyson:

Kind nature is the best: those manners next
That fit us like a nature second-hand;
Which are indeed the manners of the great.

It is curious how Americans in Europe vibrate between their French and English predilections, feeling the attractiveness of the French courtesy, and yet sometimes wondering whether it is more than skin-deep, and looking back in regret to the English method, which if blunt, is at least sincere. But when, as may happen, the French manner has a basis of real sincerity, how delightful the result! A charming American woman, the late Mrs. Sidney Brooks of New York, who retained into age all the attractiveness and much even of the physical beauty of her youth, once told me that the secret of the invariable popularity of the celebrated Madame Recamier was that she really felt the universal kindliness she expressed. Mrs. Brooks had been in youth a great favorite of this distinguished French woman, and had been admitted to her society at all times, except when the appearance of a large pair of wooden sabots, or overshoes, outside the door of the boudoir announced that the venerable author M. de

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