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Monday, February 13, 2012

Etiquette--Part 2

Continuing the conversation about the importance and essence of etiquette:

"Many believe that politeness is just a mask worn in the world to conceal bad passions and impulses, and to make a show of possessing virtues not really existing in the heart; thus, that politeness is merely hypocrisy and dissimulation.  Do not believe this; be certain that those who profess such a doctrine are practising themselves the deceit they condemn so much.  Such people scout politeness, because, to be truly a lady one must carry the principles into every circumstance of life, into the family circle, the most intimate friendship, and never forget to extend the gentle courtesies of life to everyone.  This they find too much trouble, and so deride the idea of being polite and call it deceitfulness.

True politeness is the language of a good heart, and those possessing that heart will never, under any circumstances, be rude.  They may not enter a crowded saloon (a large room or hall for receptions, public entertainment, or exhibitions) gracefully; they may be entirely ignorant of the forms of good society; they may be awkward at table, ungrammatical in speech; but they will never be heard speaking so as to wound the feelings of another; they will never be seen making others uncomfortable by seeking solely for their own personal convenience; they will always endeavor to set every one around them at ease; they will be self-sacrificing, friendly, unselfish; truly in word and deed, polite.  Give to such a woman the knowledge of the forms and customs of society, teach her how to best show the gentle courtesies of life, and you have a lady, created by God, only indebted for the outward polish to the world."

                          ~~excerpt from  the introduction in The Ladies Book of Etiquette by Florence Hartley

Another excerpt tomorrow and some of my thoughts as how this relates to tea...

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