SEARCHLIGHTS ON HEALTH: Hints and Helps on Good Behavior at All Times and at All Places.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1. It takes acquaintance to found a noble esteem, but politeness prepares the way. Indeed, as ontaigne [Transcriber's note: Montaigne?] says, Courtesy begets esteem at sight. Urbanity is half of affability, and affability is a charm worth possessing. [Transcriber's Note: the capital letter beginning the name in this paragraph is missing in the original text.]

2. A pleasing demeanor is often the scales by which the pagan weighs the Christian. It is not virtue, but virtue inspires it. There are circumstances in which it takes a great and strong soul to pass under the little yoke of courtesy, but it is a passport to a greater soul standard.

3. Matthew Arnold says, "Conduct is three-fourths of character," and Christian benignity draws the line for conduct. A high sense of rectitude, a lowly soul, with a pure and kind heart are elements of nobility which will work out in the life of a human being at home—everywhere. "Private refinement makes public gentility."

4. If you would conciliate the favor of men, rule your resentment. Remember that if you permit revenge or malice to occupy your soul, you are ruined.

5. Cultivate a happy temper; banish the blues; a cheerful saguine spirit begets cheer and hope.

6. Be trustworthy and be trustful.

7. Do not place a light estimate upon the arts of good reading and good expression; they will yield perpetual interest.

8. Study to keep versed in world events as well as in local occurrences, but abhor gossip, and above all scandal.

9. Banish a self-conscience spirit—the source of much awkwardness—with a constant aim to make others happy. Remember that it is incumbent upon gentlemen and ladies alike to be neat in habits.

10. The following is said to be a correct posture for walking: Head erect—not too rigid—chin in, shoulders back. Permit no unnecessary motion about the thighs. Do not lean over to one side in walking, standing or sitting; the practice is not only ungraceful, but it is deforming and therefore unhealthful.

11. Beware of affectation and of Beau Brummel airs.

12. If the hands are allowed to swing in walking, the are should be limited, and the lady will manage them much more gracefully, if they almost touch the clothing.

13. A lady should not stand with her hands behind her. We could almost say, forget the hands except to keep them clean, including the nails, cordial and helpful. One hand may rest easily in the other. Study repose of attitude here as well as in the rest of the body.

14. Gestures are for emphasis in public speaking; do not point elsewhere, as a rule.

15. Greet your acquaintances as you meet them with a slight bow and smile, as you speak.

16. Look the person to whom you speak in the eye. Never under any circumstances wink at another or communicate by furtive looks.

17. Should you chance to be the rejected suitor of a lady, bear in mind your own self-respect, as well as the inexorable laws of society, and bow politely when you meet her. Reflect that you do not stand before all woman-kind as you do at her bar. Do not resent the bitterness of flirtation. No lady or gentleman will flirt. Remember ever that painful prediscovery is better than later disappointment. Let such experience spur you to higher exertion.

18. Discretion should be exercised in introducing persons. Of two gentlemen who are introduced, if one is superior in rank or age, he is the one to whom the introduction should be made. Of two social equals, if one be a stranger in the place his name should be mentioned first.

19. In general the simpler the introduction the better.

20. Before introducing a gentleman to a lady, remember that she is entitled to hold you responsible for the acquaintance. The lady is the one to whom the gentleman is presented, which may be done thus: "Miss A, permit me to introduce to you my friend, Mr. B."; or, "Miss A., allow me to introduce Mr. B." If mutual and near friends of yours, say simply, "Miss A. Mr. B."

21. Receive the introduction with a slight bow and the acknowledgment, "Miss A., I am happy to make your acquaintance"; or, "Mr. B., I am pleased to meet you." There is no reason why such stereotyped expressions should always be used, but something similar is expected. Do not extend the hand usually.

22. A true lady will avoid familiarity in her deportment towards gentlemen. A young lady should not permit her gentlemen friends to address her by her home name, and the reverse is true. Use the title Miss and Mr. respectively.

23. Ladies should be frank and cordial towards their lady friends, but never gushing.

24. Should you meet a friend twice or oftener, at short intervals, it is polite to bow slightly each time after the first.

25. A lady on meeting a gentleman with whom she has slight acquaintance will make a medium bow—neither too decided nor too slight or stiff.

26. For a gentleman to take a young lady's arm, is to intimate that she is feeble, and young ladies resent the mode.

27. If a young lady desires to visit any public place where she expects to meet a gentleman acquaintance, she should have a chaperon to accompany her, a person of mature years When possible, and never a giddy girl.

28. A lady should not ask a gentleman to walk with her.