Thursday, October 18, 2018

Lord Pleads for Better Manners

“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.” -Samuel Pepys. Famous for his diary and being a 17th century gentleman. – “Why did men of the early seventeenth century emphasize courtesy and good manners? I take it for two reasons. First that they were models of courtesy and good manners themselves. The men of the seventeenth century were, I suspect, the greatest breed of Englishmen that England has ever produced, partly because they poed good manners themselves and partly because they realized the enormous importance of courtesy and good manners in the common transactions of life.”


Lord Rosebery Denounces the Decay of Manners Throughout the World as a Bad Sign

Lord Rosebery recently talked to the boys of the Royal Grammar school at Guildford on the subject of manners. He founded his discourse upon one of the statutes of the school framed 300 years ago, which he believed required much more attention than was usually paid to it. The statute said that assemblies without just cause must be punished. Honesty and clean speech, humility, courtesy and good manners were to be established by all good means. “Now, the point I wish to labor for the moment,” Lord Rosebery proceeded , "is that of courtesy and manners. Why did men of the early seventeenth century emphasize courtesy and good manners? I take it for two reasons. First that they were models of courtesy and good manners themselves. The men of the seventeenth century were, I suspect, the greatest breed of Englishmen that England has ever produced, partly because they possessed good manners themselves and partly because they realized the enormous importance of courtesy and good manners in the common transactions of life. 

“I think there has been a decay of manners in England and Scotland and all over the world. It is not limited to our own people by any means. You see it on the continent just as much —but depend upon it— it is a bad sign. If people have not the spirit of reverence themselves, even if it be only an outward reverence, they are not going the right way, but possibly going the wrong way. “Manners have an enormous commercial value in life. I sometimes wonder why it is not harped on more on these occasions. No one can have lived as long as I have without noticing the weight and value of manners in the ordinary transactions of life, in public life, and having seen men by appearance and manners get such a start of very much abler fellows, that they have been able by appearance and manners to keep their place much higher in public life than their own abilities or service would entitle them to. “Good appearance, you may say, is not at our command. There I do not agree. Good looks are not at our command. They are the gift of the gods and are the possession only of a small percentage, of mankind. But good appearance straightforward appearance, manly appearance without self consciousness, which is the most disagreeable feature pernaps of all appearance, is within tne command of everybody. 


“So much for appearance, but let us take manners, which I think are even more important. I will not put my appeal for manners on the higher consideration, such as sure signs of a noble nature expressed in outward form, though that is true enough. I will only put it today on the question of the commercial value of manners, and I ask every boy who hears me to bear away with him in mind the enormous value of manners from this day onward through his life, and they will give him a value which he will never possess without them, and give him a start over other boys, who neither strive to nor attain good manners.” — Morning Press, 1913


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Poor American Manners Post WWI

In spite of beauty, cleverness and good taste, some women lack the exquisite charm of repose. Many young women in fashionable social life, as well as some actresses, are incapable of seating themselves gracefully. They will crouch, they will flop, they will stand in front of a chair and fidget before dropping into it. The average American woman can’t keep still. This is the chief blemish of American manners, and just as soon as we women are convinced of this fact, we will conquer our nerves and acquire poise.

On Good Manners — World Not Yet 
Recovered from Great War?

“I think there is so much hypocrisy in good manners,” said a woman whom I know very well, the other day. “You mean,” I quickly retorted, “hypocrisy may be found in fine manners?” She tossed her head defiantly, declaring: “That is a distinction, not a difference.” I persisted in my defense. “You know quite well,” said I, “that good manners mean sincere regard for others, self-discipline and service. Fine manners may mean being merely polite and well-bred in behavior.” 


The lack of good manners in all classes is to be deplored. It has been thought of sufficient importance for an agitation to be started in one city, to teach manners in the public schools. This slump in conventional dignity, this letting down of social bars, is the recognized aftermath of war. Those who can recall the effect of the Civil War upon manners must shudder at the memory. Today the frenzy of the World War is past, but the world has not yet recovered its poise. Let us, however, take notice of the stupendous development of real unselfishness in our own people—the practical unselfishness which has made America the hope of famishing European babies and mothers.

What has this to do with the question of manners? Everything! Selfishness is the supreme foe of good manners. And in this real solicitude for suffering humanity, there may he found hope for the redemption of American manners which, at their best, are agreeable and likely to win favor in any official or private gathering. There is no need to worry over the lost manners of some of our men, for the loss is only temporary. Many of us women, however, will acquire better manners when we learn how to conquer our nerves and conserve our nervous energies. 

For, in spite of beauty, cleverness and good taste, some women lack the exquisite charm of repose. Many young women in fashionable social life, as well as some actresses, are incapable of seating themselves gracefully. They will crouch, they will flop, they will stand in front of a chair and fidget before dropping into it. The average American woman can’t keep still. This is the chief blemish of American manners, and just as soon as we women are convinced of this fact, we will conquer our nerves and acquire poise. Let us teach our children manners for home use as a beginning, and, before we know it, there will be no reason left to complain of American manners. “Manners are the happy ways of doing things,” wrote Emerson.— By Clara Morris, 1921


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Good Manners are Splendid Asset

Oh, some of these teens today! All dressed up and she waits until the photo is snapped to stick her tongue out? — “Great knowledge and splendid ability may be so camouflaged by a veneer of bad manners that they can never break through.”


Good Manners a Splendid Asset to Boy or Girl, Man or Woman, Young or Old

Good manners form an international language which every person in the world can understand. Good manners means best of whatever comes along—putting the best foot foremost. Good manners are closely allied with optimism, for whoever saw a persistent pessimist who didn’t forget his breeding? Of course, good manners and good breeding are not exactly synomymous, but they are nearly enough so to be accepted without entering into argument in the present instance. There is nothing in the world that makes so good an impression on others as an individual’s good manners. 


Every boy and girl, man and woman, should make a close study of manners and cultivate their courses of action until good manners become a regular and unbreakable habit. The parents should teach good manners to their children. The future life and the chances of business, social or professional success may hinge on the manners of any youth. And of the various kinds and classes of manners, the most Conspicuous and the most vital is table manners. Time was when a man might win and still eat with his knife. But that time is past. The “sword swallower” is just as far removed from modern life as is the ape-like of feeding with the fingers. But eating with the knife is only one of dozens of things uhich should not be done at the table. 

A notable table atrocity is tucking the napkin under the chin. Another is drinking from the saucer. These mistakes, of course, are so flagrant anyone should know not to make them, but even in this enlightened ag e there are many who do not possess this knowledge or who do not have sufficient personal pride to exercise it. The little refinements, like always keeping your knife and fork on your plate when not in use, keeping your teaspoon in the saucer beside the cup when not used for stirring and never drinking tea or coffee from the spoon—these things be carefully studied, memorized and carried out in everyday life. Also not opening the lips when one chews and never making noises with the mouth while eating. 

Parents should watch these things carefully in their children. The child who goes forth without a thorough knowledge of good manners and without a complete understanding of the value of good manners and the necessity for applying them is on the open road to failure. The impression that the youth—or the older person, for that matter, makes upon others is his or her greatest stock in trade. Great knowledge and splendid ability may be so camouflaged by a veneer of bad manners that they can never break through. Good manners give the same refinements to life that good clothes do to people, or artistic decorations do to rooms or buildings. There is this difference, however, that good manners cost nothing except the effort to acquire them and an occasional beneficial self-sacrifice in putting them into effect. — Evening Herald, 1921



Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Napoleonic Court Etiquette

The Emperor holds what is called an “audience” every Sunday morning, when he is in Paris. This is a fashion of receiving which was abolished by the Revolution and restored by Napoleon I. In 1830 it again fell, and was re-established in 1852 by Napoleon III. With the “audience” fell and rose the offices of Chamberlains — persons especially charged with all that concerns the interior household of the Sovereign. 


The French Court

The Paris correspondent of the New York Tribune, writing January 27th, says: The Emperor, had he desired to foreshadow anything like a rupture of amicable relations with the United States, had an opportunity to do so at the Imperial Ball at the Tuileries on Wednesday evening last. Instead, however, of doing that, he departed from usage and relinquished a point of etiquette in order to render more agreeable the position of our representative at this Court. A Charge d'Affaires, being accredited to the Minister of Foreign Affairs only and not to the Sovereign, is not supposed to have any communication with the latter. 


At the presentations at the Tuileries, the Charge d’ Affaires does not introduce his countrymen directly to the Emperor, but simmers his introduction through a Chamberlain who stands between his Majesty and the Charge. This has always been the case before, and there was no reason to suppose that the rule would be departed from on Wednesday evening. When the Emperor entered the room in which the diplomatic corps were gathered, he addressed a few words to Lord Cowley, who stood at the head of the line, made a remark to the Italian Minister, and then forced his way along until he came to Bigelow, who occupied a position nearly at the foot. He held out his hand to Bigelow and expressed his gratification at seeing him, and complimented him upon his good standing with the United States Government, which so promptly placed him in the position which he occupied. He then addressed a few words to Mrs. Bigelow— asked her how long she had been here, and passed on. 

The Emperor addressed his remarks to Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow in English, although fortunately they, unlike most of their predecessors, speak excellent French. In the presentation ceremony no Chamberlain stood between the Emperor and Bigelow, who introduced, our countrymen directly to his Majesty. This was certainly an unusual and entirely unexpected proceeding, and may be explained as, in part, an evidence of good feeling towards our Government, and in part a high personal compliment to the occupant of the position of Charge d' Affaires.– Life in Paris, Sacramento Union, 1865

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Monday, October 15, 2018

Color and French Dog Petiquette

Oh, vanity... Gilding the lap dog made him not only golden, but ill-mannered, haughty and vain! Other colors brought out different temperaments and behaviors. – “It was a day or two after this banquet that the modern Midas caused his wife's lap-dog to be richly gilded, to the immense amazement of that personage, and, apparently, to the great satisfaction of the animal, which, naturally of a most affectionate disposition, became so haughty that it would suffer no one to touch it, and only regained its usual good temper as the gilding wore off its fur.” – Photo source, AKC.com 


The fashion of dyeing lap dogs, and the other species of canine pets so beloved of Parisian dames, so as to match the toilette of their mistresses, which is decidedly gaining ground here as a novelty, appears not to be absolutely new. At all events, the chronicles of thirty years ago speak of a chemist who, by means of coloring matter which he injected into their veins, succeeded in giving to the animals submitted to his process any color desired by their owners. Sky-blue pigs, lilac calves, green dogs, yellow donkeys, and peach-colored sheep, are said to have issued living from his laboratory. But the new process is much simpler, being simply an ingenious method of painting the animal's hair, or, if preferred, of gilding it. The painting is easily done, and as it can be washed off with equal ease, the four-footed adjuncts of fashionable ladyhood, may be brought out every day in new shades of color, to correspond with the prevailing hue of their owner’s toilette.


The rich banker Milland, whose sudden acquisition of an enormons fortune, through a succession of bold and lucky speculations, created so much talk in this envious city, some fifteen years ago, and who, at the time when he made his sudden leap from poverty to wealth, seemed hardly to know what to do with his gold, is said to have been the first to strike out the idea of this style of ornamentation. Certain it is that the new millionaire, not satisfied with gilding all the inside of his hotel, at the Place St. Georges, caused all the exterior mouldings of that highly ornate dwelling to be gilded also, as all passers can assure themselves to this day, by occular examination ; and that having put his establishment into a state of gilding that provoked the Parisians into calling his hotel “The Temple of the Golden Calf,” he gave a grand dinner to the principal literary and financial notorieties of the capital, at which not only his son and himself were covered with gold chains, rings, etc, but the rough rinds of some very large melons, that figured, according to the etiquette of French dinners, immediately after the soup, were thickly gilded down each seam. 


It was a day or two after this banquet that the modern Midas caused his wife's lap-dog to be richly gilded, to the immense amazement of that personage, and, apparently, to the great satisfaction of the animal, which, naturally of a most affectionate disposition, became so haughty that it would suffer no one to touch it, and only regained its usual good temper as the gilding wore off its fur. The new fashion of coloring dogs is said to have a similar power of changing their tempers; the same dog, for instance, being morose when painted chocolate-color, proud and quarrelsome when painted red, insolent when painted yellow, gay when painted pink, capricious when painted green, and sentimental when painted sky-blue! Dark-blue makes them ill and renders them excessively unhappy. The other colors do not seem to be injurious, and Paris is full of extremes whilst this folly is going on. – Letters from Paris, 1865




Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A French Empress Entertains

Empress Eugénie enjoyed entertaining her guests and granted her favor to them the moment of almost any gleam of sunshine in the storm which nearly ruined her birthday celebrations. – Above: Empress Eugenie surrounded by her Dames du Palais, circa 1855. Her six ladies-in-waiting (later increased to twelve), or dames du palais, were mainly chosen from among her acquaintances prior to her marriage. They were headed by the Grand-Maitresse Anne Debelle, Princesse d'Essling, and the dame d'honneur, Pauline de Bassano.– Public Domain Image



The Empress’ Victory

Over the prudent counsels of M. Fould, in virtue of which the Court has gone to Compeigne, will hardly profit her Majesty, or the three series of her invited guests, if the present rain and wind are to continue. However, it appears that the Empress is very prompt in making the most of any gleam of sunshine, vouchsafed in the intervals of the storm. The moment the rain holds up, sovereigns and guests turn out to take advantage of it, and two or three hunts have already taken place in the forest, while concerts, plays and dancing have gone on brilliantly in the evening.

Her fair Majesty's birthday has just been celebrated at Compeigne, where the guests had the honor of being admitted to offer their felicitations and present bouquets. The officers of the Chasseurs of the Guard — which regiment seems to consider itself as specially devoted to the Empress – went down to Compeigne to present a magnificent bouquet. The excellent asylum founded by the Empress at the Vesinet, to afford a month's country air to women-patients from the Paris hospitals, also sent a deputation and a bouquet. The palace seems, in fact, to have been filled with these floral offerings, and at night the park was illuminated, and a quantity of fireworks were let off, in spite of the rain, the grounds being thrown open and filled with spectators.– Letters from Paris, 1865

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Royal French Hospitality

 Etiquette of the day would require the newest skating finery, if one was a guest at the French Empress’ skate parties – “Let your dress fit closely, but at the same time be of sufficient ease to insure freedom of notion. Neither skirts to coats nor full trousers should be worn. Let flannel be worn next to the skin by the delicate, and an extra undergarment by the robust. Let the chest be well defended against the cold. A piece of brown paper laid between the waistcoat and shirt is a cheap chest protector, or use one of Andrew Peck & Co.’s improved chest protectors, which is worn next the skin.” – “The Skater's Manual, A Complete Guide To The Art of Skating,” 1867

Of Empress Eugénie, Her Parties and Royal Skating Guests

It is a peculiarity of the hospitality so largely exercised by the present occupants of the French throne, that while the greater number of their guests are persons of high diplomatic and official position, or distinguished for rank or wealth, a good many are invited whose claims to such an honor are purely literary, scientific or artistic. 

Among the ladies — especially among the Russians and Americans here — great beauty or liveliness seem to be a passport equally to the good graces of Emperor and Empress. A reputation for great skill in skating is also a passport to the favor of both, and is sure to procure invitations for the court skating parties, and the Empress’ “private parties” of seven hundred. – Letter from Paris, 1865

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia