Saturday, January 16, 2016

Etiquette for Boys and Girls

If you exhibit good manners yourself, you will rarely have cause to complain of rudeness.

Wise Etiquette Advice for 
Victorian Era Boys and Girls

Nothing can be a greater mark of ill-manners than to remain sitting while your elder is standing before you talking to you. Rise and offer your seat or another at once, and never lounge on the sofa or take the easiest chair, while there are those in the room whose age gives them a better claim to them. 

And always be polite, respectful and modest in your demeanor to everyone, especially to your superiors, remembering also that there is nothing more disgusting than to see young people assume an air of self-importance and disrespect towards anyone. 

Never stare people in the face. If you are talking with anyone, it is proper to look at them— eye to eye—with a cheerful, dignified assurance; but to stare at anyone, as though you saw something peculiar about him, is exceedingly rude and impolite. 

Do not cultivate clownish or monkeyish manners. We have seen rude boys and even girls, who seemed to take pride in antic gestures, foolish jesting, buffoonery or what is styled "drollery," and who took great delight in using odd expressions, thinking that it made them appear interesting to the lookers on. Such behavior may excite the laughter of the foolish, as the wise men tell us: "For the mouths of fools feedith on foolishness," But every sensible person regards such conduct with disgust and abhorence. And every youth who acts the buffoon lowers himself in the opinion of those with whom he desires to stand high. 

Be gentle and quiet in your movements. If you are a young man just commencing a business career, good manners will be indispensable to your success. Appear to feel an interest in your work; let your eyes light up at every command, and let your feet be nimble to perform it. There are boys who look so dull and heavy, and walk so slowly, and appear so lazy, that no business man will employ them. Be energetic, prompt, industrious, and careful. Attend to your business in a quiet polite manner; equally removed from familiarity and haughtiness. 

If you exhibit good manners yourself, you will rarely have cause to complain of rudeness. And if our young friends would only remember what Lear said while hanging over Cordelia's dead body, it would help them to put far from them loud and boisterous manners: "Her voice was ever sweet, Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman." — From The California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, 1878

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