high-born guests dine.
No Western cow-boy would be guilty of such brutality.
And yet the last stronghold of the House of Cards
is its supposed influence on manners.
Not merely untravelled Americans
, but even liberal Englishmen, and, still more, English-women, are even now fettered by the delusion.
I remember having a long talk in England
, a dozen years ago, with a lady, a thorough Liberal in politics, who stoutly maintained the absolute necessity of an hereditary aristocracy to keep up the standard of good manners.
I counted over to her, one by one, the noblemen I had happened to meet — it did not take long --not one of whom, I asserted, had what would be called in America
In each case she admitted it, but found each case an exception.
This one was a notorious oddity, and his father before him; that one was “a recent creation ;” the other was a “law lord.”
Cite whom I might, the blue blood was never at fault.
At last I said, “Can the stream rise above its source?
I hear of very rude things as done by the royal princes.”
“Oh!,” she said, “they are not Englishmen; they are Germans!”
I believe that there is nothing worse for the manners as well as morals of a nation than to have a class which claims an hereditary privilege to establish its own standard, and which ends by imposing