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ber to have heard an illustration of this, many years ago. Governor Everett, of Massachusetts, widely known as an accomplished gentleman, frequently visited a primary school in the city of Boston, when every pupil evinced, by his deportment, that he felt the influence of the Governor's courteous manners, even before he spoke; and on one occasion a little pupil said to the teacher, after he had withdrawn, “ Miss Brown, I always feel just as if I must keep bowing, when that gentleman comes into school.”

It has been said, and often written as a copy-slip, for the last fifty years or more, that “ Amiable manners adorn correct morals.” And that “A man's manners form his fortune.” They do more: before we have ascertained whether a man possess any morals or not, his manners have already made an impression on our minds and feelings. Stranger though he be to us, our opinion of him is formed, either of favor, indifference, or dislike. We may do him injustice. He may be repulsive in his exterior, and yet a man of sterling merit; while, on the other hand, with all the graceful externals of a gentleman, he may be a knave. There is no infallible rule in the case. One thing, however, is certain : he is not more likely to be unworthy for being agreeable; and his manners are always considered as a recommendation. They are like well-known coins of acknowledged value, current at every counter; while stern integrity, destitute of external


like bills of exchange without an endorser, are slow to be accepted. Time usually does all men justice; but before some individuals have, by a long course of good conduct, proved to others their real worth, the tide in their affairs which leads to fortune has begun to ebb, and the flood may not again return.

Further. Good manners are not merely a selfish good : they please and gratify others. They generate confidence and allay irritated feeling. The mother, how ill-regulated soever her own children may be, points to those of her neighbor, who are well-bred, as patterns for their imitation; while the man of self-discipline, struck by their charm, endeavors to reproduce them in his own demeanor.


The manifestations of good manners, in the many trifling particulars which they involve, are so insignificant, individually considered, as to almost forbid their introduction into this letter; but as it may fall under the eye of some of those who are to be ultimately, if not directly, benefited by the views herein presented, I will venture though with some misgivings—to present a specimen.

The bow, among most of the civilized nations of the world, is a common token of respect and courtesy, although it is sometimes used merely as a sign of recognition among familiar acquaintances. In the rural portions of our own country, it is considered a synonyme for manners, in boys, as is courtesy, in girls; and the good dame


to her sons, on the entrance of a visitor, “ Make your manners, children.” It formerly was, also, a synonyme for reverence in the same connection.

It has been spoken of as one of the most potent ceremonies current among men ; and truly it may not, in its consequences, be easily overrated. It is an act whose significance every one comprehends, and secures, at sight, the compliment it deserves. Nay, it is not too much to say, that to a well-timed and graceful bow, many a lad has been indebted for his position and distinction among men; and it will ever continue to be so, as long as civility is appreciated by mankind, and this continues to be one of its acknowledged expressions.

Perhaps this is founded on a principle in the human mind, that may be deemed selfish—the bow being a manifestation of respect or courtesy to the individual receiving the salutation; or it may be a feeling of gratification that the youth is thus entering for himself on a course that will conduct him to respectability and honor. Whatever the cause, the effect is certain; and it were to be wished that the efforts of teachers might lead to a more general observance of the practice in question.

Macklin, in his Man of the World, makes Sir Pertinax speak of it as the very pledge of thrift ; acknowledging that his success in life had been owing, almost exclusively, to the omnipotent “ boo,” as he gave it. While our own Franklin encourages a similar idea, in his lessons to young men, on success in the world. And Shakspeare, by Hamlet, introduces the same thought in his speech, where he says,

“And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,

Where thrift may follow fawning." But if it were observed as a hollow ceremony alone, to secure goodwill and lay the foundation of fortune, I should consider it contemptible, and unworthy a young, frank, and generous mind. O, teach not the unsophisticated beings under your care, anything so foreign to the purposes of your holy office !

I wish to speak of it in a simpler and a better sense-merely as an expression of politeness or deference. And, however obsolete it may have become with a portion of our young people, I say, let it be revived—especially at school; on entering or leaving, on receiving or giving anything. Let it, also, be observed at home, in the street, iu company; wherever, in short, personal communication is held with others, or another, by word or action. To ladies, to teachers, to gentlemen in advanced life, let the hat be lifted wholly from the head ; with others, a touching of the hat will suffice, or—if on perfectly familiar terms with the person saluted—the touching of the hat may be omitted.

These distinctions should not be forgotten. A few specimens of the "good old English gentleman" and of the well-bred men of our own country of the Washington stamp, yet survive, who exemplify the grandeur and gracefulness of this style of manners. Would there were more, and that we could arrest the rapid decadence of their practice!

There is no one thing, in itself so trivial, that would tend more powerfully to arrest the tide of rudeness that is sweeping over our land, and carrying our character for respectability away with it, than the reëstablishment of this ancient token of good breeding.

Along with this, I would insist on the addenda of sir and ma'am (or madam), in conversation with persons to whom they properly belong. An observance of this is indispensable to the preservation of the various grades and classes of persons in their appropriate spheres. I am not speaking of castes in our community,-I repudiate the idea, -but of those divisions marked by nature itself, so necessary to be preserved, and on which the permanent welfare of our people, in a great measure, depends.

These two ceremonies restored and continued in use among us, would reïntroduce a class of individuals into our community, which once formed a most interesting connecting link between childhood and youth or early manhood, but which, of late years, has followed in the track of the lost arts"-boyhood and girlhood having been practically expunged from the natural series or stages of life!

It is a failing to observe the injunction, “not to think more highly of himself than one ought to think,” that has foisted upon us this evil. Rushing to secure the best seats at a public table, appropriating to self the most desirable accommodations in a public vehicle, smoking in presence of others, without ascertaining whether agreeable to the company or not-and even when ladies are present:—these are some of the natural consequences of the new civilization. Wearing the hat in the house, engrossing the conversation in company, sitting while their elders are standing, impatience or greediness at table, appropriating personally some delicacy intended as a compliment to a guest or honored friend present, omitting those little attentions and courtesies, which give such an indescribable charm to the social meal, —which are all found in the well-bred man's code of table manners, are among the minor fruits of the system of “Young America."

These things should be noted, deprecated, and corrected. By making them subjects of specific instruction in school, you will confer a lasting and important benefit on the community among whom you labor, while you make your own intercourse with the young a source of continually-increasing satisfaction to yourself.

The countenance of the teacher should wear a benign, or, at least, a calm aspect, that it may not contradict the gentle or courteous language he uses in his intercourse with his school. The salutations at meeting in the morning, and the adieus at parting, should, always when practicable, be practised by the teacher. They tell on the heart not less than on the manners of the young. Compare the families of those where this practice is regarded, with those where it is neglected. I need no other advocate than this comparison, for its observance, among all of even moderate discrimination. The contrast presented, is attraction and repulsion; beauty and deformity; refinement and barbarism.

Politeness is not only for all times, but for all persons; is not to be wholly neglected in the intercourse even of school-children. Some liberties may very properly be indulged in among them, as familiar acquaintances, but these must have their limits; and such intimacies will be profitable or injurious in proportion as this direction is observed or disregarded.

In the conjugal relation, too, particular attention should be given to it; nor do I consider the remark out of place here, although the object of these letters is to reach the young of the school-going age, through the agency of the teacher. Cicero would have boys taught at school those things which they are to practise as men.

The rule applies to youth of both sexes; and when a life-union shall be formed between any two of them,–I care not how much of love or admiration they mutually feel, there must subsist a sufficient degree of reciprocal respect to secure a courteous demeanor, or affection itself will die out. Let the young cherish this idea, if they would realize, in the future, their previous dreams of connubial happiness.

Servants have a claim to our civility, and it has become proverbial that the true gentleman is known, when away from home, by his deportment to this class of persons.

I have, in these remarks, adverted principally to the boys under your charge; but, as far as they are applicable to the other sex, I would have them applied with the utmost stringency. More delicate and refined by nature, there is less occasion for such lessons to them. Still, all coarseness in a girl or young woman is a thousand times more repulsive than when exhibited by one of our own sex.—There is one point that I may not pass over here. I have spoken of the selfforgetfulness to be practised, and the small personal sacrifices to be made to others, particularly to ladies and elderly persons, in travelling; and I grant that, with comparatively few exceptions, among those who travel much, there is little room for complaint against those who consider themselves gentlemen ; and this offers an encouragement to the teacher, that those whom he is now striving to mould, may, as they assume their place among men, present a just claim to that title. The point that I wish to introduce here is this: Throughout New England, such a degree of deference is usually extended to Woman, that there are individuals of the sex who claim, with no doubtful expression, certain privileges from our sex, which every rightminded man will be always ready most cheerfully to yield, but which he is not so willing to surrender at command. In our lecture-rooms, in public travelling conveyances, there is an essential difference in the quality or convenience of the seats. A man appropriates a large amount of time, in going early, that he may secure the wished-for accommodation. One of the other sex comes in, an hour afterwards, it may be, and expects that he will surrender the seat to her at discretion. He does so; but, instead of acknowledging his civility by word or look, she lours upon him with a countenance full of indignation or offended dignity, most emphatically expressing the idea, “ You are very impertinent to keep me standing so long in the aisle!”

Every day, gentlemen give up desirable seats in railroad cars, and stand till a vacancy occurs; or take an outside seat in an omnibus, to accommodate a lady within, while a toss of the head, indicating impatience that they did not make the movement more readily, is the only return for the civility! Now, I would have boys taught to practise the very extreme of courtesy-to forego the better for the poorer accommodation, in favor of a lady; but it is the bounden duty of the recipient to express, in civil terms, her appreciation of the kindness in such case. This, therefore, is the lesson I would have taught to the girls-or those that occupy the place that girls formerly held in schools—by the learning and practising of which only, they can expect to secure their prerogative, or prove themselves worthy the kind consideration of man. Let it be remembered that she has no legal claim to this advantage; that its surrender is a free-will offering on the altar of politeness; that, therefore, the return—the simplest and most obvious on her part-can be nothing short of a courteous word of thanks or acknowledgment, endorsed by a kindly expression of countenance. By this, the civility of the man is felt by him to be



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