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Title: Lessons on Manners - For School and Home Use
Author: Wiggin, Edith E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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For School and Home Use



   "A beautiful behavior is the finest of the fine arts."--EMERSON.

Lee and Shepard Publishers
10 Milk Street

By Lee and Shepard.

All rights reserved.


          INTRODUCTION                                      5

          LESSON I.
          MANNERS IN GENERAL                                9

          LESSON II.
          MANNERS AT SCHOOL                                13

          LESSON III.
          MANNERS ON THE STREET                            19

          LESSON IV.
          MANNERS AT HOME                                  25

          LESSON V.
          MANNERS TOWARD THE AGED                          31

          LESSON VI.
          MANNERS AT THE TABLE                             39

          LESSON VII.
          MANNERS IN SOCIETY                               47

          LESSON VIII.
          MANNERS AT CHURCH                                57

          LESSON IX.
          MANNERS AT PLACES OF AMUSEMENT                   61

          LESSON X.

          LESSON XI.
          MANNERS IN TRAVELLING                            73

          LESSON XII.
          MANNERS IN BORROWING                             81



IT is true that good manners, like good morals, are best taught by the
teacher's example. It is also true that definite lessons, in which the
subject can be considered in its appropriate divisions, are of no little
value if we would have our children attain to "that finest of the fine
arts, a beautiful behavior."

Such lessons should be as familiar and conversational as possible. They
ought to be talks rather than lectures; and the children should be
encouraged to do a large part of the talking. Children that come from
homes where good manners are taught and practised, will be glad to
repeat the precepts of politeness learned in the home circle; and those
less favored will not want to be behind in this hitherto unstudied
branch. We must remember that many children hear no mention of
politeness outside the school-room, and are uncouth and rude, not so
much because they choose to be, as because they do not know how to be

I have used in my own schools of different grades a series of simple
lessons, varying both matter and method according to the age and
capacity of scholars. The good results have been marked, not only in
the school-room, but at home and in public places; and years afterwards
scholars have expressed their grateful appreciation of this instruction
and its value to them in every-day life. I have thought that the
publication of these outline lessons might be a help to other teachers
also, in the way of offering suggestions and saving time in preparing
lessons for their own classes.

For some classes the lessons as arranged in this little book may be too
long, for others too short. They are outlines merely, to be filled in
and supplemented by each teacher, adding to, taking from, and varying
them at her discretion.

It may seem unnecessary to touch upon such simple things as some that
are spoken of. The teacher, perhaps, cannot remember when these axioms
were not familiar to her; but let her put questions to the children
concerning them, and she will find in many schools that to half the
pupils she is talking in an unknown tongue. Matters are mentioned which
do not concern them now so much as they will a few years later; as, for
instance, conduct at places of amusement and in company; but in these
things, as in their school studies, boys and girls are learning now for
the future.

My plan would be to have a familiar talk with the children one day,
drawing from them, as far as it can be done, the rules of behavior which
the teacher wishes to impress upon them. When she can illustrate a point
by a story, the impression will be deepened. It is well also to speak
of acts which have come under the teacher's eye in the school-room, on
the play-ground, or on the way to school, and let the children decide
whether these were polite or impolite, and why. This will make the whole
matter more real to them, and, if they are encouraged to furnish
illustrations, they will open their eyes and find them in their own
little worlds. We want our children in school, from the youngest to the
oldest, to notice a breach of politeness as quickly as an error in
recitation. A little girl of five from a wretched family, who had proved
an apt scholar in the branch under consideration, one day performed some
trifling service for an awkward little new scholar. I shall never forget
her look and tone of amazement as she turned to her teacher with, "Why!
he didn't say 'Thank you.'"

At the time of the next exercise, I would have the children reproduce
from an outline placed upon the blackboard the precepts deduced from the
previous talk, not insisting upon any form of words, but encouraging
them to use their own. This will be also a good oral exercise in
language. If the scholars are old enough, this oral review can be put
upon paper, either at this time or for a composition exercise another
day. Nothing except practising the precepts will so fix these in their

If the teacher thinks best, a copy of this manual may be placed in the
hands of each scholar, and the lesson prepared like other lessons, from
the printed page. This course would diminish the amount of blackboard

Let the teacher, when it seems wise, commend acts of politeness in her
scholars. If they know she sees and appreciates their efforts, they will
redouble them.

It should be her constant aim to lead her scholars so to think on these
things that are lovely and of good report in the province of manners, as
well as in the higher one of morals, to which it is so closely allied,
that thinking may take the shape of doing, and doing may crystallize
into habit.




          _Quotation about manners._
          _Golden Rule._
          _Need of constant practice._
          _Learning by observation._



IT has been said, "Manners are something with every one, and everything
with some."

Strangers will judge us entirely by our manners, since they cannot know,
as our friends do, what is beneath this outward behavior.

The Golden Rule is the foundation of true politeness, which must spring
from kindness of heart. If we earnestly try to do to others what we
would have them do to us, though we may through ignorance disregard some
points of society etiquette, yet we can hardly be impolite.

Good manners cannot be put on at pleasure, like an outside coat, but
must belong to us. We have all seen veneering on furniture. At first the
cheap pine article may look as well as if it were made of the costly
wood with which it is covered; but in the wear and tear of every-day use
the veneering will come off in places, showing the common wood beneath.
So it will be with our manners. If they are not solid and real
throughout, the thin covering of politeness will break off here and
there, especially when exposed to hard usage, and the real stuff we are
made of will be revealed.

If we carefully observe persons of fine manners, we shall learn much
that can be learned in no other way. We must not think we are too well
informed to be taught on this or any subject, but keep our eyes and ears
open, and be always ready to learn a "more excellent way." The greatest
advantage to young people of being in good society is the opportunity to
learn by observation.

We began this lesson with a quotation, and we will close by another
worth remembering: "Politeness is like an air-cushion; there may be
nothing solid in it, but it eases the jolts of this world wonderfully."




          _Entering and leaving room._
          _Laughing at mistakes or accidents._
          _Conduct if accidents occur._
          _Treatment of new scholars._
          _Conduct when visitors are present._
          _Raising hand._
          _Rights of property._
          _Distributing and collecting materials._
          _Conduct at looking-glass and drinking place._
          _In relating occurrences, when to speak of one's self._



WE must not forget to say "Good morning" to the teacher when we first
see her before school; or, if we stop after school to speak to her,
"Good afternoon" when we leave. If a boy comes back into the room after
dismissal, he must remember to take off his hat.

It is rude to laugh at mistakes or awkwardness: nothing is more ill-bred
as well as unkind. If an accident occurs, we should not laugh, unless it
is so amusing that all can join without hurting the feelings of the one

If an accident happens to the dress or property of teacher or classmate,
we should offer our assistance quietly, if we can be of use, or else not
appear to see it, and by no means call attention to it.

We ought to try to make a new scholar feel at home,--help him to become
acquainted with the others, tell him the rules and customs of the
school, and assist him at first in his lessons if he needs it. We ought
not to stare at him when he enters or rises to recite, or smile if he
makes a mistake. It is kind to draw him into games at recess until he
forgets he is a stranger. We should be especially careful to do all this
if the new scholar is poorly or peculiarly dressed, or is crippled, or
unfortunate in any way.

When visitors are present, we must be sure to behave as well as at other
times. If reading or singing is going on, we should pass them a book,
handing it properly, and should treat them as politely as if they were
at our houses. When the teacher is engaged with company, we should not
disturb her with unnecessary questions, but busy ourselves until she is
at liberty.

To raise hands when it can be avoided is an impolite interruption of
school work, and is as rude as talking too much in company. To raise the
hand when a teacher or scholar is speaking is the same thing as to
interrupt them with a remark or question.

We must respect the rights of property. It is wrong to take a garment,
book, or other article before or after school without asking permission.
If anything is borrowed, it should be returned promptly with thanks.

If we are distributing materials to the class, we should hand articles
quietly and politely to each in turn, and in collecting never snatch a
book or paper.

When a number of scholars are waiting for a drink at recess, we
sometimes see them crowd and push one another, each trying to serve
himself first. It makes us think of cattle at a watering-trough. The
cattle know no better, but boys and girls do. The polite way is for each
to stand back and wait his turn. This is not only the pleasantest but
the quickest way for all to be satisfied. If boys and girls are waiting
together, every gentlemanly boy will wait for the girls to drink first,
and the girls should accept his politeness in a polite manner.

The same remark applies to conduct in the dressing-room before school.
Scholars should quietly wait for others to hang up clothing and use the
looking-glass, instead of pushing forward to secure the first chance.

These early habits of courtesy or rudeness will cling to us through
life. When we see people rushing for the best seats in cars or
steamboats, and crowding others aside at counters and railroad
restaurants, we may be reasonably sure they are those who, when boys and
girls at school, pushed others away from the looking-glass and the
drinking place.

In speaking of occurrences, we must not say, "I and James went." We
ought to speak of ourselves last in all cases, except where mischief has
been done, when we should relate our own share first.




          _Why especially important._
          _Noisy and boisterous conduct._
          _Calling to any one across the street._
          _Obstructing the sidewalk._
          _Meeting and passing persons, crossing over,
                and taking leave._
          _Returning salutations._
          _Carrying an umbrella._
          _Eating in the street._
          _Throwing things on the sidewalk._
          _Marking walls and fences._
          _Looking at windows of private houses and
                pointing at objects._
          _Staring at or laughing at infirmities._
          _Answering questions._
          _Offering assistance. Incidents._



MANNERS on the street are especially important, because many see us
there who never see us elsewhere, and they will judge us and our home
and school training by our good or bad behavior there.

Noisy and boisterous conduct on the street is always unbecoming. No
well-bred boy or girl will ever try to attract attention there. To make
one's self conspicuous in public is a sure sign of ignorance and

If we wish to speak to a person on the other side of the street, though
it be only a schoolmate, the proper way is not to call to him, but to
cross over quietly and speak. If we wish to look behind us, we should
not twist the head around, but turn the whole body.

It is extremely rude to walk three or four together, unless in an
unfrequented street, or to stop on corners to talk.

In meeting persons, we must turn to the right, and never take more than
our share of the sidewalk, and give an old person or a lady more than
half. In passing people, we should be careful not to crowd or jostle
them; it is better to step off the sidewalk to pass an older person than
to do this. If we are walking with any one, and wish to take leave or
cross the street, we should step behind and not in front of our
companion. A boy should be as careful as a gentleman to give a lady the
inside of the walk.

When we meet an acquaintance we must not say, "Halloa!" but give or
return the proper salutation. Our tone and manner should be cordial to
all and respectful to older people. For a boy or girl to bestow upon a
teacher or any older person a patronizing nod instead of a courteous
bow, or a curt "Good morning" or "Good evening" with the rising
inflection on the last syllable, is an impertinence. Even little boys
should learn to lift their hats to ladies, and also to gentlemen
entitled by age or position to this mark of respect.

We must keep step with the person with whom we are walking, if we would
not make an awkward appearance. It is proper for a younger person to
accommodate his pace to that of an older, and a gentleman must keep step
with a lady.

If we see any one fall in the street, we should never be so rude as to
laugh, but should hasten to help if help is needed.

If we speak to a stranger by mistake, we should ask pardon; and if one
speaks to us, we should gracefully accept his apology, as if the mistake
were most natural, not adding to his embarrassment by our manner of cold

If we have occasion to ask directions of a stranger, we should say,
"Will you please tell me if this is the road to Lynn?" rather than "Say!
is this the road to Lynn?" We should never fail to give cordial thanks
for information.

In holding an umbrella over any one, we must carry it high enough, give
more of it than we take, and in meeting other umbrellas give them their
share of room.

It is ill-mannered to eat anything in the street. No rubbish, such as
paper, nutshells, or orange-peel, should be thrown on the sidewalk:
there is a proper place for such things; and we ought to have too much
regard for the neat appearance of our streets to litter them.

In this connection, let us remember that to mark on walls or fences
anywhere not only violates the right of property, but is exceedingly
ill-bred. If we see names scrawled in public places, we may be sure the
persons thus making themselves conspicuous are not ladies or gentlemen.

We should never stare at windows of private houses, and never point at
any person. Another rude thing often done is to ask a ride of a
stranger, or, worse still, to steal one by jumping on his carriage
without asking.

If we see those who are lame or deformed, we should not call attention
to them, or look at them ourselves in a way to remind them of their

If strangers inquire the way of us, we should answer their questions
politely. We should give directions with clearness, and cheerfully go
out of our way to point out a street or building. Sometimes we see on
the street persons from the country, who seem bewildered by the noise
and bustle, and uncertain which way to go. In such cases, especially if
they are old or infirm, we should ask in a kind way if we can be of
service; and we should be glad to help them out of their difficulty,
even if it costs us time and trouble. The following incident illustrates
this street politeness:--

"As I was walking along a street of a large city," says the writer, "I
saw an old man, who seemed to be blind, walking along without any one to
lead him. He went very slowly, feeling with his cane, and was walking
straight to the curbstone. Just then a boy who was playing near the
corner left his playmates, ran up to the old man, put his hand through
his arm and said, 'Let me lead you across the street.' He not only
helped him over one crossing, but led him over another, to the lower
side of the street. Now this boy thought he had only done a kindness to
a poor old man, but in reality he had taught a lesson of true politeness
to his playmates and to every person who saw the act."




          _Why most important of all._
          _Politeness to parents._
          _Politeness between brothers and sisters._
          _Politeness to servants. Illustrated by story._
          _Treatment of company:--_
            _Grown-up company,--callers and
                visitors,--young company._



OUR manners at home are of more importance than our manners anywhere
else, for several reasons: we spend more time at home than elsewhere;
our own family have stronger claims upon us than strangers; they love us
best and do most for us, and they are entitled not only to our love but
to every courtesy and attention from us. It is a sad thing to see a boy
or girl polite and kind away from home and to strangers only, while at
home he is rude, selfish, and heedless of every law of good behavior. If
we are always polite in our own homes, we shall be sure to be polite in
other people's homes. If we do not forget to say "Good morning" and
"Good evening" to each member of our family, we shall not forget to say
them to others.

If a child has fruit or candy, he ought not to sit down by himself to
eat it, without offering some to his companions.

In olden times it was quite common for a young man in writing to his
father to address him as "Honored Sir." While these formal modes of
speech may be out of place in our time, we should so keep the
commandment to honor our parents that its spirit shall be seen in our
every-day conduct.

Children should in all things make parents first and themselves last. A
boy ought to show his mother every attention that he would to any lady.
He should remove his hat when coming to speak to her, let her pass
through a door before him, pick up any article she may drop, give her
the inside of the walk, help her into a carriage, show her into the pew
at church, and wait upon her everywhere. He has similar duties to his
sisters; but girls cannot expect politeness from, unless they give it
to, their brothers.

We should say "Please" when asking a favor from our own family. Children
should say "Please" and "Thank you" to servants, and should never laugh
at their mistakes or hurt their feelings.

Here is an illustration of two ways of treating a mistake. A
servant-girl who had been but a little while in this country had never
seen any radishes. When the dinner was sent home from market one day, a
bunch of radishes came with the other vegetables. She supposed they were
to be cooked like the rest, so she carefully cut off the tops and boiled
them, then dished them up on a small white platter, and placed them on
the table with a satisfied look. A boy in the family burst into a loud
laugh and exclaimed, "I guess you never saw any radishes before, Mary;
you've spoilt them." It was necessary then to explain the mistake, which
had better been done quietly after dinner; and the poor girl retired in
confusion to shed tears of mortification over her ignorance. After
dinner this boy's little sister said to a visitor, "The radishes did
look so funny and small on the dish that I thought I should laugh, but I
knew Mary would feel bad if I did, so I looked at my plate and tried to
think of something else."

It is easy to decide which of these children illustrated politeness to

If our parents are away when visitors come, or too busy to see them at
once, it is our place to show them in politely, take a gentleman's hat,
or a lady's wrappings if she wishes to remove them, offer a comfortable
chair, show them anything that we think will interest them, and
entertain them as well as we can until older people are at liberty. When
they are busy with company we should not trouble them with any request
that can wait.

If friends of our parents are visiting them, we should do all we can to
make the visit pleasant, and should help our mothers even more than
usual, that they may have more time for the visitors. If we can take
care of younger brothers or sisters, it will often be a great relief to
them and the company besides.

A lady once went to visit a friend whom she had not seen for years.
There was much to talk about, and both felt that the afternoon would be
all too short. Think how surprised and pleased the visitor was when her
friend's little daughter, instead of staying in the room and teasing her
mother with all manner of questions, as children often do in such cases,
took her baby brother upstairs and amused him until tea-time, so that
her mother might have a quiet afternoon with her friend. You may be sure
the lady will never forget that little girl's thoughtful politeness.

We should not enter visitors' rooms without knocking, or sit down
without being invited; neither should we take up anything belonging to
them, or ask questions about it. We should try not to be tiresome or

When young people come to visit us we should remember that their
entertainment is our affair. We should treat them precisely as we would
want to be treated at their houses. It is rude to criticise their dress
or anything belonging to them, or to ask inquisitive questions about
their homes. We should talk about the things they are interested in,
play the games they like, show them our toys and books, and have regard
to their preferences in every occupation and amusement.

Home ought to be the happiest place in the world, and the daily practice
of genuine politeness toward each other will do much to make it so.
Every little seed of courtesy, kindness, and consideration for others
sown in the home circle will spring up and bear many more after its own
kind, which shall be scattered, like the seeds in nature, by winds and
waters, and shall be a blessing to the world wherever they may fall.




          _Respectful treatment at all times._
          _Mistakes in grammar and pronunciation._
          _Attention to remarks and questions._
          _Patience in repeating answers._
          _What to talk of and read to them._
          _Waiting upon them and saving steps._
          _Giving them the best seats._
          _Helping them first at table._
          _Giving up seats in cars and public places to them._
          _Never letting them feel in the way._



NO person, however high his position, is so entitled to respect and
attention as one with white hair and bent figure. No young person of
right feeling and good-breeding will ever fail in politeness toward the
old. The Bible commands us to reverence the aged, and in one place says,
"Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old
man." Even among the lowest races of men respect for old people is
almost universal.

There is a story of an Indian which illustrates this. The writer tells
us that many years ago, on the banks of the Kennebec River, he saw an
Indian coming across in his canoe. He had his wife with him and a very
old woman covered with a blanket. When he reached the shore he kindled a
fire, took out the old woman in his arms and laid her down tenderly by
it. He then cooked some food and gave it to her, while he and his wife
waited until she had finished eating. Seeing the gentleman observing
him, he pointed to the aged woman and said, "It is my mother."

In China disrespect to the aged is unknown, and disobedience to parents
has been punished with death.

We cannot expect to be honored when we are old, unless we honor the old
when we are young.

Almost every one has read the story of "The Wooden Bowl," which well
illustrates what has just been said.

An old man who had a home with his son had become so infirm that he
could no longer work. His son treated him unkindly, and grudgingly gave
him his scanty portion of coarse food, making the poor old man feel that
he was considered a burden by his own child. Matters grew worse until at
last he was not allowed to come to the table. His son made for him a
rude wooden bowl, from which he ate his food in the kitchen.

One day this son saw his own little boy at work with his jackknife on a
piece of wood. "What are you doing, my child?" he asked. "I am making a
wooden bowl like grandpa's, for you to eat out of when you are old,
father," said the child.

This answer made such an impression upon the son, showing him what
treatment he had a right to expect from his own children after the
example he had given them, that from that time he treated his old father
with the respect and kindness he himself wished to receive in his old

We should never laugh at mistakes in speech. The old-fashioned
expressions that seem so queer to us may have been right when those who
use them were young. Some of our ways of speaking will probably seem as
strange to young people when we are old as theirs do now to us, so we
are laughing at ourselves beforehand. Then we should remember that
years ago school privileges were not so great as they are now. Children
then went to school but little in comparison with us, and their speech
was not watched and corrected by teachers as ours is. We ought never to
criticise mistakes in the aged as we would in our little brothers and
sisters: it is disrespectful; and besides they are too old to change

We should listen with attention and with no sign of impatience to all
they say, answer their questions kindly, and not contradict, even if
through forgetfulness the same question is often asked and mistakes are
made. If they are childish and sometimes fault-finding, we should treat
them with the gentleness we would show to a little child, together with
the respect that belongs to gray hairs.

If they are hard of hearing, we should repeat patiently and gently and
never shout an answer.

When we talk with them we should talk of what they care for, even if it
is what we are not interested in. If we try, we can generally become
interested for their sakes. We should be willing to read to them
articles and books that may seem prosy to us; we ought to think how long
the days must seem to those who are too feeble to go out as we do, and
we should be glad to do what we can to entertain them.

We should cheerfully wait upon old people, and let them feel that young
hands and feet are glad to take the place of theirs. There are countless
little services which we can perform for them: we can bring grandfather
his hat and cane, find a place in the paper for him with our bright
eyes, thread grandmother's needle, pick up dropped stitches in her
knitting, hunt for her glasses when she loses them, and run on errands
for them both.

They ought to have the most comfortable chairs, in winter the warmest
seats by the fire, and in the evening the place where their failing eyes
shall have the best light.

If we are sitting in the only rocking-chair in the room, or in the
easiest one, and an old person enters, we should immediately _rise_ and
offer it to him, not simply ask if he would not like it.

At the table we should see that old people are helped first and their
wants carefully attended to.

In cars or public places, a boy or girl should never allow an old man or
woman to stand, but should hasten to give up a seat and insist on its
being taken, especially if the person is poorly dressed.

The following story of what happened long ago in the famous old city of
Athens well illustrates this point:--

A play was to be performed at the principal theatre of Athens, and the
seats were soon taken. When the theatre was full, an old man came in and
looked around for a seat. He was quite infirm and could not stand long.
He looked first one way and then another. At length he saw a party of
young Athenians beckoning to him. He tried to get to them, which he had
to do by climbing over seats and pushing through the crowd; and, when
at last he reached them, they sat down, and, instead of giving him the
seat he had expected, took up all the room, leaving the old man

In this theatre were some seats fitted up for strangers. These were
filled by young Spartans, who, when they saw the behavior of the
Athenians, were much displeased, and beckoned to the old man to come to
them. When he was near them they all rose and received him with the
greatest respect. The whole assembly, seeing this, could not help
bursting into a shout of applause.

The old man then said, "The Athenians know what is right, but the
Spartans practise it."

Above all things, we should never let the old feel that they are in the
way, or that it is a relief when they leave the room. They are usually
sensitive to anything like a slight, and their feelings are quickly hurt
by real or seeming neglect.




          _Promptness in coming to the table._
          _When to be seated._
          _Waiting one's turn to be helped._
          _Beginning to eat before others._
          _Asking for articles of food,--how, when,
                and where._
          _Criticism of food on the table._
          _Use of napkin, knife, fork, and spoon._
          _Haste in eating._
          _Attention to wants of others._
          _Conduct in case of accidents._
          _Mention of unpleasant subjects._
          _Use of toothpick._
          _When and how to leave the table._
          _Quietness of movement._
          _Observance of table manners in others._



IT is not polite to linger after being called to the table. When the
bell is rung, or any other summons given, it is to be supposed that the
meal is ready, and the call should be promptly obeyed. Food does not
improve by waiting, and unnecessary delay is rudeness to the persons at
whose table we sit, whether our own parents or strangers. When we know
the hours for meals we should plan to be ready for them.

Until the lady of the house takes her seat, other persons should not
take theirs. In taking our seats we should be careful not to jar the

Each one should quietly wait his turn to be helped. Children sometimes
pass their plates as soon as they are seated, or begin to handle knife,
fork, and spoon as if they were in hungry haste. They should wait for
visitors and older persons to be helped first, and brothers should wait
for their sisters. A story is told of a little girl, five years old, who
at a large dinner party was overlooked until the company had finished
the first course. She waited before her empty plate in perfect quietness
until some one noticed her,--bravely trying to keep back the
tears,--because she thought it was the polite and proper thing to do.
This was carrying polite waiting further than was necessary, but was
much better than the rude haste too common among children.

It is polite to wait until all or nearly all are helped before beginning
to eat; and children should never begin before older people.

It is not polite to ask for things at other tables than our own or those
of intimate friends who expect it of us. The persons at whose table we
sit are expected to supply our wants without our making them known. In
asking we must not forget to say, "Please pass the bread," or whatever
we wish for, and to say, "If you please," "Yes, thank you," or "No,
thank you," when we accept or decline what is offered. We should ask for
any article by name, and never point at the dish. Ill-mannered children
sometimes ask for pie or pudding or oranges before they are brought on,
instead of waiting for the courses in their proper order, and even have
been known to make their entire dinner on the dessert. One is apt to
think such children are not accustomed to dainties in their own homes,
or they would not be so greedy for them.

We should never say, "I don't like that," if something is offered we do
not wish to eat, but simply decline it beforehand or leave it upon our
plates without remark; and under no circumstances should we criticise
what is on the table.

There is a proper, graceful way to handle napkin, knife, fork, and
spoon, and we should study to learn this way and to avoid the clumsy
awkwardness in these little things that marks the person unused to good

To eat fast is one of the bad habits of American people which we ought
to avoid. If acquired in childhood, it will be hard to overcome, and
will cause us much mortification when, later in life, we find ourselves
with empty plates long before well-bred people in the company have
finished theirs. Since we do not leave the table before others, there is
nothing gained, even in time, while much is lost in health and in good

We should be attentive to the wants of others, particularly at our own
table, and quietly supply them when it is proper to do so, especially in
the case of old people and little children. In passing a knife, fork, or
spoon to others, we must offer them the handle, not the blade or point,
and pass a pitcher with the handle toward them.

If an accident occurs, such as breaking a dish, overturning a glass of
water, or dropping food upon the cloth, we should take no notice of it
by look or word unless we can repair the mischief, which we should do in
a way not to attract attention to the unlucky person.

We should never speak of what is unpleasant at the table. If we have bad
news to tell, this is not the place to tell it. Sickness, accident,
death, and whatever is painful to hear, should not be discussed any more
than what is disagreeable. Neither is the table the place to talk of
work or business details, but subjects should be chosen that all are
interested in. No one should be allowed to scold or find fault at meal
time. Cheerful conversation is good for digestion as well as enjoyment.
Each one should be in his best mood at the table, and the hours which
families spend together there ought to be among the happiest of the day.

Solomon understood this matter when he said, "Better is a dinner of
herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."

No well-bred person would for a moment think of using a toothpick at the
table, still less a fork or a pin in place of a toothpick.

No one, either a grown person or a child, should leave his seat until
the lady of the house rises, unless there is good reason for doing so,
when he should politely ask her to excuse him. In rising, the chair
should not be pushed back from the table, but lifted quietly with the
hands, and left in its proper position. Every movement at the table
should be made with as little noise as possible. All moving of feet,
leaning upon the table, jostling of dishes, or clatter of knives and
forks, shows ignorance of table manners.

If we observe the manners and customs of others in society to which we
have not been accustomed, we shall be often saved from blunders. If
those in company with us make mistakes, we should be governed by the
same rule as in case of accidents,--not take notice unless we can undo
or cover the mistake. An incident is related of a certain king which
illustrates this true politeness.

At the royal table on one occasion were two ladies from an obscure
provincial town who were unused to the customs of city and court. When
tea was brought in they poured some from the cup into the saucer to cool
it. The king saw a smile go around the table at their expense, and, with
politeness worthy of a king, he hastened to pour his own tea into the
saucer, upon which every person at the table felt obliged to follow the
royal example, and the two strangers were spared the mortification of
discovering that they had done anything unusual.




          _Entering and taking leave._
          _Removal of hat and care of wrappings._
          _Various courtesies._
          _Staring at or speaking of defects and infirmities._
          _Treatment of accidents and mistakes._
          _Whispering, laughing, and private conversation._
          _Attention to one's dress or matters of toilet._
          _Sitting still gracefully._
          _Inattention to the company we are in._
          _Giving proper titles._
          _Attention in conversation,--illustration._
          _Attention to reading or music._
          _Looking over another's shoulder._
          _Reading letters._
          _Interest in what is shown us._
          _Asking questions of strangers._
          _Contradicting statements._
          _Doing our part._



WHEN we make a call upon a friend, we should speak to each person in the
room when we enter and when we leave, but at a party or other formal
gathering it is not necessary to take leave of any except the host and
hostess, to whom we must also speak as soon as we arrive. A visit is a
more important matter than a call, and at its close, we should take
pains to bid good by to each one of the household, expressing to those
who have entertained us, when we can do so with truth, our enjoyment of
the visit, and our wish to have them visit us.

It is polite to write as soon as possible to those whom we have been
visiting: they wish to know of our safe arrival at home; and a letter
also gives us opportunity to say any pleasant thing about the visit that
we may have forgotten or omitted.

Upon entering any house a gentleman or gentlemanly boy will remove his
hat, and never allow it upon his head inside the door.

When the streets are muddy or snowy, we should carefully wipe our feet
or remove our overshoes at the door; and in stormy weather we must take
care that dripping waterproofs and umbrellas are put where they will not
injure carpets or paper.

When the company are putting on their wrappings to go home, it is polite
to offer assistance, particularly to those older than ourselves.

A gentleman should allow a lady to pass through a door before him,
holding it open for her. We ought not to pass in front of others if we
can go behind them; but if it is necessary to do so, we should ask them
to excuse us. A gentleman should go upstairs before a lady, and behind
her coming down, taking care not to step on her dress.

If a handkerchief or other article is dropped, we should hasten to pick
it up and restore it to the owner. In handing a pair of scissors, a
knife, or any pointed article, we ought to turn the point toward

It is rude to stare at people in company, especially if they are
unfortunate in any way or peculiar in appearance; neither is it polite
to allude to a personal defect or ask a question about its cause, even
in the kindest manner. The same rule applies here as in case of family
misfortune or bereavement, that if persons suffering the affliction wish
it mentioned, they will speak of it first themselves. To do as we would
be done by is the rule of real politeness in all these cases.

If an accident happens to persons or their dress, or if their dress is
out of order, if we can give assistance we should do so in a quiet way
without attracting attention; if we cannot be of use, we should take no
notice of the misfortune. The same principle of good-breeding will keep
us from laughing at mistakes or accidents.

To exchange glances with another, to whisper, or to laugh unless others
know what we are laughing at, is even ruder than to stare, and no one
who is polite will do these things. In company is not the place to tell
secrets or carry on personal or private conversation.

We should see that our dress is in order before we enter the room, and
then neither think nor speak of it. To look in the glass, smooth one's
gloves and laces, or play with rings or chain, seems like calling
attention to our dress, and is in bad taste. It would seem unnecessary
here or anywhere to say that attention to finger-nails, which is a
matter of the toilet for one's chamber, is inexcusable, if we did not
sometimes see persons in the presence of others take out pocket-knives
for this purpose.

It is a common saying that people unused to society do not know what to
do with their hands and feet. The best direction that can be given is to
do nothing. Let them take easy positions of themselves, and think no
more about them. To sit still gracefully is an accomplishment worth
acquiring, and it should be studied by boys and girls as well as grown
people. The necessity for it comes so often in life that we should learn
to do it well. We should not sit on the edge or corner of a chair, or
tilt it backward or forward.

Drumming with the fingers on tables or chairs, rocking rapidly back and
forth, or looking out of the window, as if we were more interested in
things outside than in those in the room, should never be done. It is
well said that "if in company we are absent in mind, we had better be
absent in body." "Forget yourself" is one of the best and broadest
precepts of good behavior; but we should never forget others.

It is often our duty in society to introduce persons to each other, and
we should study to do this gracefully. It is said of Alice Cary that she
had such a happy way of giving introductions as to make each person feel
specially honored. We should introduce a gentleman to a lady, saying,
"Mr. Smith, Miss Jones," if we use this simplest form of introduction,
and not "Miss Jones, Mr. Smith," as is often done. We should introduce a
younger person to an older, unless it be one of our own family, when,
"My aunt, Mrs. Brown, Miss Jones," is proper. We should introduce
strangers to each other at the table and elsewhere before they have time
to feel awkward at not being able to speak. Great pains should be taken
to pronounce distinctly the names of those introduced. Too often each
person hears only his own.

We should speak of people as Mr., Mrs., or Miss, except with intimate
friends, giving particular titles when proper, and never allude to any
one as "Old Smith," or "Old Miss Jones."

To make ill-natured remarks about the absent shows a want of
good-breeding as well as good feeling.

No one should make himself conspicuous in company by loud laughing and
talking. To make remarks intended to be overheard, especially remarks
meant to be funny, is clownish,--and to be a society clown is a very low

We must not interrupt one who is speaking, and must pay attention to
remarks addressed to the company. If a person is speaking to us we ought
to listen attentively, even if we are not interested, and not hurt his
feelings by letting our eyes wander from him or showing other signs of
impatience. A good listener is as welcome in society as a good talker,
and often more so, because every one who talks likes to be listened to
with appreciative attention.

Those who have read "The Wide, Wide World" will remember an instance of
little Ellen Montgomery's good-breeding in this respect, when she was
visiting at Ventnor.

"Ellen is a fascinating child," said Mrs. Gillespie, "I cannot
comprehend where she gets the manners she has. I never saw a more
perfectly polite little girl."

"I have noticed the same thing often," said Miss Sophia. "Did you
observe her last night when John Humphreys came in? You were talking to
her at the moment. Before the door was opened, I saw her color come and
her eyes sparkle, but she did not look towards him for an instant till
you had finished what you were saying to her, and she had given, as she
always does, her modest, quiet answer, and then her eye went straight
as an arrow to where he was standing."

When any one is reading aloud, playing, or singing, we ought to give him
the same close attention we would wish to receive if we were in his
place. Talking or moving about at such times is unpardonably rude, and
also looking at the clock as if we were impatient for the performer to

We should never interrupt with questions or remarks a person engaged in
reading or writing, and to look over the shoulder of one so employed is

If letters are brought to us, we should not open and read them in
company unless they require immediate attention, when we should ask to
be excused for doing so.

We should give interested attention to books, pictures, views, or games
shown us for our entertainment, and express pleasure and admiration when
we can with truth. If an article or a letter is given us to read, we
should not hand it back without remark, or begin to read something else,
as is often done by people who ought to know better, but we should thank
the one who showed it to us, speak of it politely, and if there is
anything about it we can commend, do so.

If we have occasion to make an inquiry of a stranger, we should preface
it with, "Excuse me," "Pardon me," or, "I beg your pardon," unless we
use the simpler form, "Will you please tell me," in beginning our

It is ill-bred to contradict, especially if the one addressed be an
older person. If a person says in our hearing that the lecture was given
Thursday evening, when it was really Wednesday, or that Miss Green was
at the concert with Miss White when we know that Miss Gray was her
companion, it is not our place to embarrass the speaker by setting him
right. If we are appealed to, or if there is good reason why we should
correct the statement, we should do so politely, with an apology for the

We ought to be willing in company to contribute our share to the general
entertainment. Unless we are willing to give as well as receive, we had
better stay at home. It is ill-mannered to read aloud, sing, or play to
others unless we are invited to do so; but if a request is made, it is
much more polite and agreeable to the company for us to comply
cheerfully, and do the best we can, than to wait for much urging and
then to burden the listeners with apologies before we begin. If we do
not feel able to do what is asked of us, we should politely but
positively decline at first.

If games are proposed, unless there is some good reason for our doing
so, it is not polite to decline taking part, saying, "I will see the
rest play." If all did this, nobody would be entertained. It is much
more the part of good manners to enter heartily into the amusement of
the hour, and do our best to make it a success.

It is this spirit of readiness to help on things that makes useful
members of society, and the more earnestly boys and girls cultivate it
the more fit they will be for their duties as citizens. We ought not to
be content to be ciphers anywhere. As significant figures, we shall be
of more value in the world, be happier ourselves, and make others




          _Manner of entering._
          _Courtesy toward ladies._
          _Courtesy toward strangers._
          _Whispering, laughing, and moving about._
          _Dress at church._
          _Turning the head to see who comes in._
          _Attention to the service._
          _Dropping hymn-books._
          _Manner of leaving._



WE should try never to be late at church; it is a disrespect to the
place and the worship; it breaks in upon the service, takes the
attention of people from it, and disturbs the minister. If we are late,
we must not go in during prayer time, but wait near the door.

We should enter a church quietly and soberly. Boys should be as
particular as gentlemen to remove their hats at the door, not half-way
up the aisle, and to open the pew door for ladies to pass in first. If
they are in the pew beforehand, they should rise and pass out for ladies
to enter.

When a seat is given us in a strange church, we should not take it
without acknowledgment. We should welcome strangers to our pew, hand
them a book with the place found, and invite them to come again. If we
notice any one near us who cannot find the hymn or place to read, we
should quietly pass him our open book.

It is worse to whisper or laugh in church than anywhere else, for it is
not only ill-bred but irreverent. We should avoid moving about in our
pews, looking around at people, opening or shutting books, and whatever
disturbs the quiet of the place.

It is not in good taste to wear much jewelry at church, or showy
articles of any kind that will attract attention. A house of worship is
no place for striking effects in costume, such as might be proper at a
party or place of amusement.

We often see persons in church turn their heads whenever the door is
opened, to see who is coming in. Such a disregard of good manners well
deserved the rebuke it received once from a Scotch minister, who,
annoyed by this habit, astonished his congregation one Sunday morning by
announcing to them the name of each late comer as he entered.

If we cannot give respectful attention to the service, we had better
stay at home, and not disturb those who go to church to worship.

The clergyman is often annoyed by the dropping of hymn-books or
prayer-books noisily into the rack, especially at the close of the last
hymn, when he is waiting to pronounce the benediction. This might be
done as well and better without any noise whatever.

It is rude in the extreme to seize hats and rush for the door as soon as
the last word is said, or to engage at once in idle chatter and
laughter. There should be a reverent pause, and then we should pass
slowly and quietly down the aisle. It is ill-bred to seem in haste to be
gone. Unless we can sit through the service with patience, we should not
attend it. Looking at the clock or taking out one's watch during service
comes under the same condemnation as leaving with unbecoming haste at
the close.




          _Finding seats._
          _Waiting with quietness._
          _Gazing about and making criticisms._
          _Talking and laughing,--story._
          _Looking at watches and clocks._
          _Doing fancy work._
          _Courtesy to others._
          _Time and manner of leaving._



WHEN we attend a lecture, concert, or other entertainment, we should go
in season: to enter after the performance begins is a discourtesy to the
performers and an annoyance to every person in the audience. If we are
obliged to be late, we should wait for a favorable time, and then be
seated quickly and quietly.

When there is a choice of seats we have a right to take the best that
remain when we arrive; but this right offers no excuse for us to push
and elbow other people, or to obtain such seats by crowding others
aside. It is better to have the poorest seat in the house or none at all
than to sacrifice good manners and self-respect. We often see
disgraceful exhibitions of selfishness at entertainments on the part of
people who pride themselves at home and in company on their politeness.

If we are too early, or if there is delay in commencing, we should wait
with well-bred quietness. Nothing marks more surely the ill-bred person
than noisy demonstrations of impatience at waiting. This is one of the
occasions to practise the graceful sitting still which has been spoken
of in the lesson on manners in society.

It is not polite to gaze at those around us, still less to make remarks
about them or their dress.

Loud talking and laughing, and all conduct calculated to make ourselves
conspicuous, should be avoided. The people who attract attention in
these ways will be likely to eat candy, nuts, and popped corn while the
exercises are going on, and to violate propriety in other ways.

Whispering during a performance is an offence against good manners; yet
it is surprising how common the offence is. School children know how the
visitors on examination days often talk to each other throughout the
exercises, to the great disturbance of the whole school as well as the
teacher, and this recollection ought to make them more careful to avoid
the impoliteness themselves. Many people seem to attend places of
amusement for the sole purpose of talking with their friends. They will
hold long discussions upon dress, cooking, and family matters, as if no
music or speaking were in progress, and as if no one else cared to hear
more than they. If we do not go to a concert to hear the music, we have
no right there; and the same is true at all public entertainments.

It is related of Margaret Fuller that at one of Jenny Lind's concerts
her evening's enjoyment was destroyed by some rude young people who
whispered incessantly, laughed at each other's foolish jokes, and paid
no attention to the wonderful music. At the close of the concert she
sent for the young girl whose behavior had been most noticeable to come
to her. The girl was much flattered by the request from so distinguished
a person, though she was at a loss to account for it. As she appeared
with an air of pleased curiosity, Margaret Fuller said to her, "I hope
that never again in your life will you be the cause of so much annoyance
and pain to any one as you have been to me this evening."

It is to be hoped that this rebuke, with the good advice given with it
to this thoughtless girl, was a lesson in good manners which she and her
companions never forgot.

To take out one's watch or to turn the head to look at the clock is like
saying we are impatient to go, and must be disturbing to the speaker. If
it is necessary for us to look at a watch, we should do so without its
being seen, and should stifle in our pockets the click of shutting it.

It is rude to applaud noisily: we can be enthusiastic in applause
without being boisterous.

Some ladies have a habit of carrying fancy work to places of amusement.
If they knit or crochet before the performance begins, it is a foolish
parade of industry which is probably not carried out at home; but if
they continue the occupation after one begins to sing or speak or read,
it is impertinent, and extremely annoying to the speaker. It seems like
saying that his words are not worthy of undivided attention, but are of
so little consequence that one can take in their meaning and beauty
while counting stitches and studying patterns.

We should be mindful of little courtesies to those near us, such as
handing our programme or opera-glass to one who has none. If a question
is asked about the performance, we should answer with cordial politeness
and cheerfully give any information we can.

We should never leave the hall while the performance is going on. It is,
like coming in late, an affront to the performers and to the audience.
Usually, if we cannot stay until the close, we should stay away. If
there is any urgent reason, such as taking a train, for our leaving
before the close, we should do so between the parts of a performance,
and as noiselessly as possible. When we stay to the end we should remain
seated and give our attention until the last word is uttered. The
speaker usually keeps his best effort for the close, and he should not
be embarrassed, or those listening be disturbed, by the confusion of
preparations for departure. To reach the door a minute or two sooner, or
to get the best seats in a car, is not worth the rudeness it requires.
We shall never be guilty of it if we only apply the Golden Rule and
consider how we should feel in the speaker's place.




          _Shutting doors._
          _How to ask for articles in stores._
          _Making trouble for clerks._
          _Handling goods._
          _Finding fault with articles or prices._
          _Courtesy to other customers._
          _Courtesy to clerks._
          _Conduct in the post-office,--entering in crowds,
                not waiting for others, noise and rudeness._
          _Visiting railroad stations._
          _Two things to consider._



ON entering or leaving a store in cold weather we should consider the
comfort of those behind the counters and shut the door, if there is no
one whose business it is to do it for us. We ought to state clearly and
definitely what we want to buy, and patiently explain if the clerk,
through inexperience or dulness, does not at first understand our

A good supply of patience and politeness is needed in shopping, and a
true lady or gentleman will not lose temper or forget good manners, even
if a clerk is impertinent or disobliging.

We should not make unnecessary trouble for clerks by asking them to take
down and unfold piece after piece of goods for us to examine, if we have
no intention of buying. Many ladies do this habitually, because they
enjoy it, and then wonder that the clerks are not more polite. If we
wish merely to examine before buying at some future time, it is better
to say so, and then the merchant or clerk will not be disappointed if we
do not purchase.

We should handle delicate fabrics in stores as carefully as if they were
our own, and not tumble them over, leaving ribbons and laces in tangled
heaps, especially if we do not buy.

We should not find fault with the quality of articles. If we are not
satisfied, it is enough to say that the goods do not suit us, without
making disparaging remarks to the clerk, who has no responsibility in
the matter.

It is a sign of ignorance and ill-breeding to haggle over the price of a
thing and try to induce the seller to take less for it. In Oriental
countries, it is said, the dealer always asks at first four times the
price he expects to receive, but in our country this is not customary,
and the price stated is supposed to be fair and final. If we think the
article is not worth the price, or if it is beyond our means, it is best
to say we do not wish to pay so much and leave it. If the dealer can
afford to sell it cheaper, and will do so for the sake of our buying, it
is his place to offer it for less, not ours to ask. If he asks more than
a thing is worth, hoping to take advantage of our need of it or our
ignorance, he ought to be punished by our refusal to buy.

We should wait our turn at a counter and regard the convenience of
others as well as ourselves. It is not polite to demand the attention of
a clerk who is waiting upon another customer, or to take up what another
is looking at. If we are in great haste, and customers who seem to have
plenty of time are at the counter before us, we may sometimes ask their
permission to be waited on while they are looking at goods, apologizing
for doing so. If we are sitting at a counter, we should politely give
our seat to an older lady, or to one who looks weary.

If a clerk takes uncommon pains to please us, or puts himself to more
trouble than we have a right to expect, we must not forget to thank him.
If customers are polite and considerate, they seldom have reason to
complain of those behind the counter. The same is true at post-offices,
railroad stations, and wherever we are served by others.

These general principles of politeness in stores can be applied in all
similar public places.

The post-office is often the scene of most unmannerly conduct on the
part of boys and girls, especially just after the close of school, when
they all rush in for letters. Instead of quietly walking up to the
window, one at a time, the boys giving way to the girls when there is
but one place of delivery, and both boys and girls waiting for older
people, they are apt to go in by dozens, crowding to the window and
clamoring for their letters, making themselves extremely annoying to all
grown people present.

We should say, "I would like a dozen stamps, if you please," or, "Please
weigh this letter," rather than, "I want a dozen stamps," or, "Weigh
this letter, will you?"

The post-office is a place of business, like a store or a bank. Our only
object in going there is to mail or receive letters, which we should do
like any other business,--in a quiet, respectable manner. No one has a
right to stand around in the way of others, or to make it a place of
idle resort. No well-bred person, even a child, will indulge in loud
laughing and talking, staring at or making remarks about people, or
other conspicuous behavior here or in any public resort.

A railroad station is also a place of business, and unless it is
necessary for us to go there, we had better stay away. In small towns it
is quite a fashion for boys and girls to go to the station "to see the
cars come in"; but it is not improving to their manners or morals. If
they could realize, especially the girls, how out of place they appear
standing on platforms, where they have no occasion to be, jostled by
passengers and baggage-men, and exposed to the rude remarks of
passers-by, they would never go there unnecessarily.

In all public places we should consider, in reference to our conduct,
two things: first, the courtesy we owe to others; and second, the
respect we owe to ourselves.




          _Politeness in the waiting-room._
          _Buying a ticket._
          _Getting on and off the cars._
          _Obtaining and occupying seats._
          _Offering seats to ladies._
          _Leaving seats temporarily._
          _Talking, laughing, and eating._
          _Taking a seat with another._
          _Courtesy toward officials._
          _Courtesy toward fellow-travellers._
          _Conduct if delays occur._
          _Behavior at places for refreshment._
          _A French boy's politeness in travelling._



BEFORE we fairly begin the journey we want to consider what belongs to
good manners at the station.

If the waiting-room is crowded, and there are not seats for all, the
young ought cheerfully to give place to older people, especially to old
ladies and to mothers with little children in their arms. There is often
opportunity here to show little courtesies to others which may brighten
their whole day.

To amuse a fretful child for a few moments, or bring it a glass of water
when the mother cannot leave other children to do it, or to find the
baggage-master and get a trunk checked for a nervous old lady, is a
small thing in itself, but it may be more welcome to the receiver under
the circumstances than a far greater favor at another time. The comfort
or discomfort of a journey is made up of just such small things.

When the ticket window is opened there is no need for us to rush to it
or to push aside any one else. Time is given for all to buy their
tickets comfortably. We ought, if possible, to hand the exact price of
the ticket, and not take the ticket-seller's time to change large bills.
For the same reason we should ask for the ticket in the briefest
sentence we can frame, and if a question is necessary, put it in the
most business-like manner, and thank him for the information given.

We should not attempt to get on the cars while others are getting off:
it hinders them and ourselves, and nothing is gained by such unbecoming
haste. The much-ridiculed American hurry is well illustrated by a
company of people crowding up the steps while another company is
crowding down. When we leave the cars it is better to wait until they
come to a full stop before rising from our seats. We shall be likely to
get out as soon as if we went swaying down the aisle, crowding other
people, and in danger of falling headlong when the train finally stops.

What has been said about obtaining seats at places of amusement applies
to seats in cars as well. Those who come first have the first choice;
but we should not forget good manners in the choosing. We have no right
to more room than we pay for, and, unless there are plenty of unoccupied
seats, it is rude and selfish to spread out our parcels and wraps so as
to discourage any one from asking to sit beside us; yet a well-dressed
woman, with her possessions unconcernedly arranged on a seat facing her,
ignoring the fact that others are standing in the aisle, is not an
uncommon spectacle.

Courtesy in the cars or in a coach is as binding on us as courtesy in
the parlor, and never, perhaps, is it better appreciated than by tired

Good-breeding does not require a gentleman or a boy to offer his seat to
any lady who is standing, but he should never fail to do it to an old
lady or one with a child in her arms, or one with an inconvenient
package; and it is pleasant to see that fine politeness which prompts
its possessor to treat every lady as he would wish his mother or sister
treated. A lady should not accept such a civility in silence. We too
often see her drop into a seat which a gentleman rises to offer as if it
were her right, without a word or even a bow of acknowledgment. Such a
person has no right to expect a similar courtesy the second time.

If any one leaves his seat for a time without leaving any piece of
property in it to show that it belongs to him, he cannot lawfully claim
it on returning; but civility should prevent any one from taking it, if
he knows it belongs to another.

In travelling, as everywhere in public, noisy conversation and the "loud
laugh that speaks the vacant mind" are offensive to good taste. Constant
eating of fruit and peanuts is bad manners, and, as has been said
before, it is generally associated with loud talking and laughing and
other rude behavior.

On long journeys it is necessary to eat luncheons or even regular meals,
but this, done in a well-bred way, is a very different thing from the
continual eating indulged in by a certain class of travellers.

We should not sit down beside another without asking if the seat is
engaged. If a person asks to sit beside us, we should assent with
cordiality, not sullenly gather up our bundles, as we often see people
do, impatient at having their selfish ease disturbed. It is polite for a
gentleman to offer a lady the seat next the window.

We ought to have our ticket ready when the conductor comes around, and
not keep him waiting while we hunt for it in bag or pocket.

If a brakeman raises a window or shuts a door for us, we should thank
him; and it is polite to thank the train boy who passes us water. We
need not be ill-natured because he puts a magazine or prize package in
our lap every half-hour. It is not an uncivil thing to do, and it is
just as easy for us to receive it civilly, and say in a pleasant tone
that we do not care for it, as to add one more snappish answer to the
many given him in the course of a day.

We should be watchful of occasions to show politeness to our
fellow-travellers. There may be an old lady not accustomed to
travelling, anxious and uneasy, to whom we can be of use. We can ask
where she is going, and take the burden off her mind by saying, "I will
tell you when we come to it."

A gentlemanly boy will not see a lady trying to open or shut a window or
reverse a seat without offering to do it for her, any more than a
gentleman would.

We should be patient in answering questions, especially from old people.
If we are passing objects of interest with which we are familiar, it is
polite to speak of them to a stranger sitting near. If we were
journeying in the White Mountain region and were well acquainted with
it, a stranger by our side would like to know the names of the different
peaks, and to have the historic Willey House pointed out to him. One
cheerful, obliging person will add to the comfort of the whole company.

If delays occur on the way, and long periods of waiting, as often
happen, we should be patient and cheerful over the matter ourselves, and
thus help others to be so. Good-nature is contagious at such times. It
is of no use to tire the conductor and brakemen with repeated questions:
they are rarely responsible for the delay, which is more vexatious to
them than to us.

Places for refreshment on a journey, with the brief time usually
allowed, afford opportunities to show one's good or ill breeding. It
would be better to have no lunch than to struggle for the best place and
loudly demand attention, to the exclusion of others. To bring a cup of
tea to an old lady, or to the mother who cannot leave her baby to get it
herself, is a slight thing for us to do, but it may be a great favor to

In an article on the politeness of French children as compared with boys
and girls in America, the writer illustrates what he is saying in this

"I was travelling in a compartment with a little French boy of twelve,
the age at which American children, as a rule, deserve killing for
their rudeness and general disagreeableness. I sat between him and the
open window, and he was eating pears. Now most boys in our country of
that age would either have dropped the cores upon the floor or tossed
them out of the window, without regard to anybody. But this small
gentleman, every time, with a 'Permit me, sir,' said in the most
pleasant way, rose and came to the window and dropped them out, and then
with a 'Thanks, sir,' quietly took his seat. French children do not take
favors as a matter of course and unacknowledged. And when in his seat,
if an elderly person came in, he was the very first to rise and offer
his place, if it were in the slightest degree more comfortable than
another; and the good-nature with which he insisted on the new-comer's
taking it was delightful to see."

The writer goes on to say that this was not an exceptional boy, but a
fair type of the average French child, and his conduct was a sample of
what might be seen anywhere, even among the ragged boys of the street.
The reason for this state of things is given in the opening sentences of
the article:--

"Politeness, with the French, is a matter of education as well as
nature. The French child is taught that lesson from the beginning of its
existence, and it is made a part of its life. It is the one thing that
is never forgotten, and the lack of it never forgiven."




          _Care of borrowed articles._
          _What not to borrow._
          _How to return a book._
          _Returning an equivalent._
          _Promptness in returning,--anecdote._



IT is an old saying, "He that goes borrowing goes sorrowing"; but it
might often be more truly said of the one to whom the borrower goes.

We should be more careful of a borrowed article than if it were our own.
If we are so unfortunate as to injure or lose it, we should replace it,
if it can be done; if not, make the best possible apology. We have no
right to lend a borrowed thing to an other without the owner's
permission. Perhaps nothing is treated in this way oftener than a book.
People who consider themselves honest and just will lend a borrowed book
to half a neighborhood, and if it is defaced or lost will give
themselves no concern about it.

It is not polite to borrow a garment to wear except of a relative or
intimate friend. Neither is it good manners to ask for a garment or
pattern to cut one by for ourselves: the owner may prefer not to have it
copied. If a person admires a garment or pattern belonging to us, and we
are willing to lend it, it is our place to offer it without its being
asked for.

If a book or article to read is lent us, we should read it promptly, and
when we return it say whatever pleasant things we can of it with truth.
To send it back without expressing an opinion, or making acknowledgment
of the kindness, is inexcusable.

If we borrow something which is not to be returned itself, but its
equivalent, we should be careful to return what is of as good or better
quality, and as much in quantity, if not a little more, to make up for
the trouble of the one who lends to us.

It is not polite to keep a borrowed article long; and if a time for
returning it is specified, we should be careful not to neglect doing it
when the time comes. If possible, we should return it ourselves, not
give it to the owner to carry home or send it by another; and we should
never omit to thank the lender. To compel the owner to send for his
property is a gross violation of good manners on the part of the
borrower. The owner should not send unless he feels that he can wait no
longer, or unless the borrower is habitually careless and needs to be
taught a lesson.

"I never ask a gentleman to return money he has borrowed," said one man
to another.

"How then do you get it?" asked his friend.

"After a while," was the answer, "I conclude he is not a gentleman, and
then I ask him."

This reasoning will apply in case of lending other things as well as

When we lend we should do so with cordial politeness and not spoil the
favor by the half-hearted way in which we offer or grant it; but
borrowing should be regarded as a necessary evil, to be resorted to only
when it cannot well be avoided. The habitual borrower is a burden to


_=Young Folks' History of the United States=_

          By THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON. Illustrated. $1.50.

The story of our country in the most reliable and interesting form. As a
story-book it easily leads all other American history stories in
interest, while as a text-book for the study of history it is
universally admitted to be the best.

_=Young Folks' Book of American Explorers=_

          By THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON. Uniform with the
          "Young Folks' History of the United States." One
          volume, fully illustrated. Price $1.50.

"It is not a history told in the third person, nor an historical novel
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the things they described in letters written home."--_Montpelier

_=The Nation in a Nutshell=_

          By GEORGE MAKEPEACE TOWLE, author of "Heroes of
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_=Young People's History of England=_

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_=Handbook of English History=_

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"It approaches nearer perfection than anything in the line we have seen.
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_=Young People's History of Ireland=_

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"The history is like a novel, increasing in interest to the very end,
and terminating at the most interesting period of the whole; and the
reader lays down the book a moment in enthusiastic admiration for a
people who have endured so much, and yet have retained so many admirable
characteristics."--_N.Y. World._

       *       *       *       *       *

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          By ADELINE F. TRAFTON. 16mo, cloth, illustrated.

One of the most bright, chatty, wide-awake books of travel ever written.
It abounds with information, is as pleasant reading as a story book, and
full of the wit and sparkle of "An American Girl" let loose from school
and ready for a frolic.


          By VIRGINIA F. TOWNSEND, Author of "That Queer
          Girl," &c., &c. 12mo, cloth, illustrated. $1.50.

"It is a thrilling story, written in a fascinating style, and the plot
is adroitly handled."

It might be placed in any Sabbath School library, so pure is it in tone,
and yet it is so free from the mawkishness and silliness that mar the
class of books usually found there, that the veteran novel reader is apt
to finish it at a sitting.


          By SOPHIE MAY, Author of "Our Helen," "The Asbury
          Twins," &c. 12mo, cloth, illustrated. $1.50.

"A delightful book, original and enjoyable," says the _Brownville Echo_.

"A fascinating story, unfolding, with artistic touch, the young life of
one of our impulsive, sharp-witted, transparent and pure-minded girls of
the nineteenth century," says _The Contributor_, Boston.


          The Mountain Girl. By Mrs. EDNA D. CHENEY, Author
          of "Patience," "Social Games," "The Child of the
          Tide," &c. 12mo, cloth, illustrated. $1.50.

Pure, strong, healthy, just what might be expected from the pen of so
gifted a writer as Mrs. Cheney. A very interesting picture of life among
the New Hampshire hills, enlivened by the tangle of a story of the ups
and downs of every-day life in this out-of-the-way locality. The
characters introduced are quaintly original, and the adventures are
narrated with remarkable skill.


          =Or, do your best and leave the rest.= By a
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"A wholesome story of home life, full of lessons of self-sacrifice, but
always bright and attractive in its varied incidents."


          By Mrs. MARY E. PRATT. 16mo, cloth, illustrated.

A hearty and healthy story, dealing with young folks and home scenes,
with sleighing, fishing and other frolics to make things lively.

       *       *       *       *       *

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          By SOPHIE MAY. 12mo, cloth, illustrated. $1.50.

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         By Miss VIRGINIA F. TOWNSEND, Author of "Only
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Queer only in being unconventional, brave and frank, an "old-fashioned
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         The Story of a Tomboy. By GEORGE M. BAKER. 16mo,
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The story of Hive Hall is full of life and action, and told in the same
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Price 30 cents net By mail 35 cents


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Young Folks' Pictures and Stories of Animals

  =Pictures and Stories of Quadrupeds=             } By
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These books are well made, good print and paper, strongly bound in
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       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

"Synonymes" is the correct spelling in the title of the book, "A Book of
English Synonymes."

Obvious punctuation errors were corrected.

Page 83, "acknowledgement" changed to "acknowledgment" (or making

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