Thursday, January 14, 2016

Etiquette and Grace Under Pressure

Georgian Era shaving —"John, why do you not fetch a strop and razor, you see your master is going to shave himself?" Philip's greediness was checked for that meal!

Chesterfield's Coolness


The Earl of Chesterfield was called the first gentleman of his age. It. was a cardinal point of etiquette with him never to exhibit ill temper in company, or be remiss in courtesy to any guest. But he was sometimes sorely tried hy the rude and awkward manners of his son, Philip Stanhope, whom he tried in vain to educate to gentlemanly habits. 

Philip was a great glutton, and could not restrain his appetite even in company. On one occasion, when his father had invited a large number of titled guests, an elegant entertainment was provided. One of the rare dishes was a platter of baked gooseberries, snowed over with rich cream. Philip had been helped bountifully by Lady Chesterfield, who knew his weakness. 

But when the servant was taking out the dish in clearing the table, Philip beckoned to him, and taking it in his hand began to lap up greedily the rich cream. Lord Chesterfield was disgusted, but without a change of face or voice to indicate the tempest within, said in a calm tone to the servant: "John, why do you not fetch a strop and razor, you see your master is going to shave himself?" Philip's greediness was checked for that meal.—New York Press, 1891

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