Monday, August 31, 2015

Etiquette and "Mother's Secret"

He looks angelic, but were his manners as assured and correct as those of a grown man?
I once knew a lady whose son, a little lad of ten, was the admiration of everyone for his beautiful manners. While he was perfectly simple, frank and boyish, his manners were as assured and correct as those of a grown man. His mother could send him in a carriage alone to the station to bring a lady guest from the station, certain that he would give her every needful attention. He would take the checks, care for the baggage and bring her to the house with every courtesy. And always when visitors were at his home, he did his little share of entertaining them. He was quick to wait upon them and to show them every respect, and, though he was not forward, he was ready to converse with them if they seem so inclined.

"How do you manage it? What course of training do you pursue?" People used to inquire. "Well," I heard his mother answer, laughingly, at one time, "for one thing I never snubbed him. He has no idea that there are people in the world who do not like boys. He supposes that everybody is as friendly as himself. Then I have always brought them up to take care of me, and to be polite to me, and I am as careful to be considerate and courteous to him as I am to his father. So he never has to be put on his good manners; they are the habit of his life. I think that is all about there is to it." —From American Youth, 1893

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