Friday, September 11, 2009


1. Good Appearance.—The first care of all persons should be for their personal appearance. Those who are slovenly or careless in their habits are unfit for refined society, and cannot possibly make a good appearance in it. A well-bred person will always cultivate habits of the most scrupulous neatness. A gentleman or lady is always well dressed. The garment may be plain or of coarse material, or even worn "thin and shiny," but if it is carefully brushed and neat, it can be worn with dignity.

2. Personal Cleanliness.—Personal appearance depends greatly on the careful toilet and scrupulous attention to dress. The first point which marks the gentleman or lady in appearance is rigid cleanliness. This remark supplies to the body and everything which covers it. A clean skin—only to be secured by frequent baths—is indispensable.

3. The Teeth.—The teeth should receive the utmost attention. Many a young man has been disgusted with a lady by seeing her unclean and discolored teeth. It takes but a few moments, and if necessary secure some simple tooth powder or rub the teeth thoroughly every day with a linen handkerchief, and it will give the teeth and mouth a beautiful and clean appearance.

4. The Hair and Beard.—The hair should be thoroughly brushed and well kept, and the beard of men properly trimmed. Men should not let their hair grow long and shaggy.

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5. Underclothing.—The matter of cleanliness extends to all articles of clothing, underwear as well as the outer clothing. Cleanliness is a mark of true utility. The clothes need not necessarily be of a rich and expensive quality, but they can all be kept clean. Some persons have an odor about them that is very offensive, simply on account of their underclothing being worn too long without washing. This odor of course cannot be detected by the person who wears the soiled garments, but other persons easily detect it and are offended by it.

6. The Bath.—No person should think for a moment that they can be popular in society without regular bathing. A bath should be taken at least once a week, and if the feet perspire they should be washed several times a week, as the case may require. It is not unfrequent that young men are seen with dirty ears and neck. This is unpardonable and boorish, and shows gross neglect. Occasionally a young lady will be called upon unexpectedly when her neck and smiling face are not emblems of cleanliness. Every lady owes it to herself to be fascinating; every gentleman is bound, for his own sake, to be presentable; but beyond this there is the obligation to society, to one's friends, and to those with whom we may be brought in contact.

7. Soiled Garments.—A young man's garments may not be expensive, yet there is no excuse for wearing a soiled collar and a soiled shirt, or carrying a soiled handkerchief. No one should appear as though he had slept in a stable, shaggy hair, soiled clothing or garments indifferently put on and carelessly buttoned. A young man's vest should always be kept buttoned in the presence of ladies.

8. The Breath.—Care should be taken to remedy an offensive breath without delay. Nothing renders one so unpleasant to one's acquaintance, or is such a source of misery to one's self. The evil may be from some derangement of the stomach or some defective condition of the teeth, or catarrhal affection of the throat and nose. See remedies in other portions of the book.