was having an interview.
She said that at Madame Recamier
's receptions it was always understood that the friends of the hostess must amuse one another, leaving her wholly free to attend to “her strangers” --mes étrangers, she called them --who, precisely because they were such, needed all the special attention that could be given them.
This was surely to unite Tennyson
's two types of manners — the artificial and the natural — in one.
But if no manners are enough which have not the foundation of true and simple feeling, neither is it safe to rely on that alone.
The traditions and habits of society are to a great extent what
might be called funded or accumulated good feeling; they are largely the product of long years of experience, which have brought to perfection the art of avoiding awkwardness and simplifying all procedure.
Some of them are “survivals” from old times of hate and violence — as the grasp of the ungloved right hand implied the laying aside of the sword, and the wine pledge was the proof that there was no guile in the cup. Others belong to modern intercourse only, and have followed the changes of society.
The former practice of waiting-before eating until all at table were helped was doubtless the remains of the first struggle with barbarous appetite for self-control; and this being once attained, the more recent habit followed, that each should begin when helped, and