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New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 15
ve was right in saying that a person who would say rude things would be sure to take in London. And in circles of really good manners, some of the Americans who have been most cordially received in Europe, from the Revolutionary days until the present time, have been those who did not go abroad until middle life, when their habits had been formed wholly at home. The late Richard Grant White always maintained that he never saw in Europe manners so fine as those of his own grandfather, in New England; and when he himself first visited England, at fifty or thereabouts, he was described in the London papers as having the bearing of a lord and the figure of a guardsman. In the same way Lady Eastlake describes Motley's visible annoyance at being constantly addressed as Milord at German hotels; and I knew a Boston lady, going abroad for the first time after middle life, who was identified for her husband by the Suisse at a crowded cathedral, where they had got separated, as the lady with
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (search for this): chapter 15
o, the cant of cosmopolitanism is the worst. It belongs chiefly to the untravelled, or to those who have travelled very little. No one is quite so cosmopolitan as the youth who, having crossed the ocean on a cattle-steamer, has found his way to Paris, and has been prevented from being a little wicked only by the lingering of a very few scruples and the presence of but a very few dollars. After his return to his family his cosmopolitanism is appalling. Perhaps there is a maiden who might colled upon to learn a modern language or visit a foreign country, but each Frenchman remains at home for other people to visit him and learn the language he speaks? Paul Bourget, it is to be noticed, had to place his Cosmopolis elsewhere than in Paris. And what a commentary it is upon the qualities which make for permanence that the genius of Edgar Allan Poe has so impressed itself on French literature as still to be quoted there, while successive literary models in that very language-Charles
ch they are a portion has its own career to work out; that nothing that can be learned or won in Europe is too good for us, but that you can no more transplant the social atmosphere of Europe than youEurope than you can change the climate or the sky. They learn also the folly of supposing that cosmopolitanism means good manners, or has, indeed, very much to do with them. Perhaps, if we hear a man mentioned a the most essentially vulgar women ever seen in American society have been those most versed in European drawing-rooms, and, by all testimony, not unpopular there. The brilliant Lady Eastlake went son circles of really good manners, some of the Americans who have been most cordially received in Europe, from the Revolutionary days until the present time, have been those who did not go abroad untilbeen formed wholly at home. The late Richard Grant White always maintained that he never saw in Europe manners so fine as those of his own grandfather, in New England; and when he himself first visit
s been prevented from being a little wicked only by the lingering of a very few scruples and the presence of but a very few dollars. After his return to his family his cosmopolitanism is appalling. Perhaps there is a maiden who might compare with him, the damsel who has been taken abroad with the expectation of becoming the proud bride of a ducal coronet, and has come home with only a complete wardrobe and an exceedingly incomplete French accent. The more experienced often go abroad, as Emerson said-and Motley and Lowell illustrated-to be Americanized. That is, they learn that the nation of which they are a portion has its own career to work out; that nothing that can be learned or won in Europe is too good for us, but that you can no more transplant the social atmosphere of Europe than you can change the climate or the sky. They learn also the folly of supposing that cosmopolitanism means good manners, or has, indeed, very much to do with them. Perhaps, if we hear a man ment
Henry James (search for this): chapter 15
advantage that proceeds, on the whole, from those changes which make travel easier and cause the world to seem smaller. But it is well to remember how much may be done by staying at home. Hawthorne's fame still rests on his Scarlet Letter. Mr. Henry James derides Thoreau as not merely provincial, but parochial; yet that parochial life has found already three biographers in England, which is possibly two more than the lifelong transplantation of Mr. James may win for him. On the other hand, whMr. James may win for him. On the other hand, what place in the world is less truly cosmopolitan than Paris, where no native feels called upon to learn a modern language or visit a foreign country, but each Frenchman remains at home for other people to visit him and learn the language he speaks? Paul Bourget, it is to be noticed, had to place his Cosmopolis elsewhere than in Paris. And what a commentary it is upon the qualities which make for permanence that the genius of Edgar Allan Poe has so impressed itself on French literature as sti
er than that which confounds good manners with cosmopolitan experience. In the same way, those who are always urging the need of cosmopolitanism in our literature are usually youths and maidens just from college, whose vast knowledge of the great world is yet to come. It is not necessary to deny the advantage that proceeds, on the whole, from those changes which make travel easier and cause the world to seem smaller. But it is well to remember how much may be done by staying at home. Hawthorne's fame still rests on his Scarlet Letter. Mr. Henry James derides Thoreau as not merely provincial, but parochial; yet that parochial life has found already three biographers in England, which is possibly two more than the lifelong transplantation of Mr. James may win for him. On the other hand, what place in the world is less truly cosmopolitan than Paris, where no native feels called upon to learn a modern language or visit a foreign country, but each Frenchman remains at home for other
Guy Maupassant (search for this): chapter 15
the world is less truly cosmopolitan than Paris, where no native feels called upon to learn a modern language or visit a foreign country, but each Frenchman remains at home for other people to visit him and learn the language he speaks? Paul Bourget, it is to be noticed, had to place his Cosmopolis elsewhere than in Paris. And what a commentary it is upon the qualities which make for permanence that the genius of Edgar Allan Poe has so impressed itself on French literature as still to be quoted there, while successive literary models in that very language-Charles de Bernard, Stendhal, Baudelaire, even Guy de Maupassant — have risen and passed away! The moral is that while cosmopolitanism may be an ornament either in manners or in literature, provided more essential qualities are secured, yet the root of the matter is elsewhere. First get the real qualities, which lie at the basis, whether of social manners or of literary style, and all the rest shall be added unto you. 18
s which make travel easier and cause the world to seem smaller. But it is well to remember how much may be done by staying at home. Hawthorne's fame still rests on his Scarlet Letter. Mr. Henry James derides Thoreau as not merely provincial, but parochial; yet that parochial life has found already three biographers in England, which is possibly two more than the lifelong transplantation of Mr. James may win for him. On the other hand, what place in the world is less truly cosmopolitan than Paris, where no native feels called upon to learn a modern language or visit a foreign country, but each Frenchman remains at home for other people to visit him and learn the language he speaks? Paul Bourget, it is to be noticed, had to place his Cosmopolis elsewhere than in Paris. And what a commentary it is upon the qualities which make for permanence that the genius of Edgar Allan Poe has so impressed itself on French literature as still to be quoted there, while successive literary models i
a little wicked only by the lingering of a very few scruples and the presence of but a very few dollars. After his return to his family his cosmopolitanism is appalling. Perhaps there is a maiden who might compare with him, the damsel who has been taken abroad with the expectation of becoming the proud bride of a ducal coronet, and has come home with only a complete wardrobe and an exceedingly incomplete French accent. The more experienced often go abroad, as Emerson said-and Motley and Lowell illustrated-to be Americanized. That is, they learn that the nation of which they are a portion has its own career to work out; that nothing that can be learned or won in Europe is too good for us, but that you can no more transplant the social atmosphere of Europe than you can change the climate or the sky. They learn also the folly of supposing that cosmopolitanism means good manners, or has, indeed, very much to do with them. Perhaps, if we hear a man mentioned as a cosmopolite, we a
the bearing of a lord and the figure of a guardsman. In the same way Lady Eastlake describes Motley's visible annoyance at being constantly addressed as Milord at German hotels; and I knew a Boston lady, going abroad for the first time after middle life, who was identified for her husband by the Suisse at a crowded cathedral, where they had got separated, as the lady with a grand air. What we all need to teach our children is that manners are not a matter of veneering, but ingrain. In Tennyson's phrase: Kind nature's are the best; those next to best That fit us like a nature second-hand, Which are indeed the manners of the great. It is possible, in other words, to have better manners than those of the merely great, by having a surer foundation. Why not strike for the best? Self-respect, self-control, kind feeling, refined habits-these are the basis. If, in addition to these, one happens to inherit an agreeable voice and a good intonation, what more is essential? The trivi
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