Of Boys and Girls Bows and Curtsies
“There you are with another bag of candy, I declare! What with chocolate and kisses, caramels and lemon-balls, and I don't know what all! You children nowadays can hardly know where to begin eating candy, nor when to stop.” “Didn't folks always have candy, same as they do now, grandma?” “Why, no, indeed! I can remember the first candy I ever saw; I didn't know what it was.” "Oh! oh! How funny! Do tell us about it.” “Well, it was as much as seventy years ago, for I wasn’t more than 5 or 6 years old. It was way down in New Hampshire, in the winter, and I went to school. One night when we were going home from school, a whole roadful of us, the stage-coach came along, that was before cars or depots were ever thought of. Folks traveled by stage in those days. We children all turned out in the snow on the sides of the road, the boys in a row on one side, and the girls on the other, for we were always taught to turn out and ‘make our manners’ when teams passed us; and if a scholar went to school and told the teacher that Moses or Hannah did not make their manners when the gentlemen passed the night before, the teacher would call them up and punish them.
“We all stood there in two rows, and as the stage passed us, the boys made their bows, and we girls our courtesies. The load of passengers smiled and bowed to us, and one very pretty lady tossed out a paper of something. Someone picked it up, and inside were perhaps half a dozen long, round, white things. ‘Candles.’ we said. They did look like that. There was a house close by, and we all trooped in there with our treasure. ‘I know what that is,’ said the woman, as soon as she unrolled the paper. ‘It's candy. I saw lots of it in the stores when I was to Boston last summer,’ “What’s it good for? we asked. ‘Good to eat,’ she said. ‘It’s sweet and nice, but they do say it hurts the teeth. Let me divide it among you all.’ That's what the lady meant to have done. I s'pose, so she broke up the sticks of candy and gave as each a little piece. I don't suppose mine was more than an inch or two long, but I thought it was the nicest thing I ever tasted.” “I'm glad I didn't live in those days, grandma.'” “I dare say you are. One thing's sure. We had less candy and more manners, and may be it was just as well for us, after all.”—Youth's Companion, 1898
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