the time will come when we shall say, ‘He has beautiful manners; he is really quite rustic.’
I dare say that this writer may not know, for she may not have been in France
just at that time, how a good deal of what Ruskin
suggests as possible became actual during the last French Empire.
A friend of mine who was in Paris
during that period was repeating to an accomplished Frenchman a delicate witticism.
said his hearer, “that is admirable — that smacks of the provinces” (cela sent les provinces). My friend expressed surprise at the remark, having always supposed that, to a Parisian, all that was provincial seemed dull or vulgar; but his companion explained that so many of the more refined and cultivated families had confined themselves to their country residences in order to escape the carnival of vulgar wealth under Louis Napoleon
, that it had become the habit to attribute any very fine touch of wit or manners to the country instead of, as formerly, to the city.
's phrase, these things were considered “really quite rustic.”
My friend the teacher speaks for the West
In the secluded plantation life of the Southern States
it is not at all uncommon to meet young people-young girls especially — who have never been twenty miles from home, and yet have sweet and gracious manners, manners that are as essentially rustic as an