Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More Etiquette for Borrowing

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 society

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 money.

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 society.
—From Edith E. Wiggin, in 1884's “Lessons on Manners / For School and Home Use.”

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