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The Art of Being Agreeable – Episode One

May 31, 2012

Inside front cover – look at the date!

From the Chapter titled ‘A Social Guide’

Visiting cards

A gentleman’s card measures 3 by 1 1/2 inches; a lady’s 3 by 2 1/2 inches.  The surface should be slightly glazed; the edges must not be gilt

Ceremonies

These are in themselves superficial things; yet a man of the world should know them

They are the outworks of manners and   would be too often broken in upon; if it were not for that defence which keeps the enemy at a proper distance.

It is for that reason we always treat fools and coxcombs with great ceremony, trust good breeding not being a sufficient barrier against them.

Books on etiquette are useful inasmuch as they expound the laws of polite society.

Experience alone, however, can give effect to the precise manner in which those  laws are required to be observed – More on Debretts et al in future episodes

Choice of Friends

Dr Blair (this is 1935! So it’s not the Tony we know and…) has said ” We should ever have it fixed in our memories that by the character of those whom we choose for our friends our own character is likely to be formed, and will certainly be judged of  by the  world

We ought, therefore, to be slow and cautious in contracting intimacy; but when a virtuous friendship is established, we must ever consider it as a sacred engagement

Rules of Conduct

The following rules of conduct were drawn up by the celebrated Quakeress Mrs. Fry who combined in her character and conduct all that is truly excellent in woman

  1. Never lose any time – I do not think that time lost which is spent in amusement or recreation some part each day; but always be in the habit of being employed
  2. never err the least in truth
  3. Never say and ill thing of a person when thou canst say a good thing of him; not only speak charitably, but feel so
  4. Never be irritable or unkind to anybody
  5. Do all things with consideration and when thy path to act right is most difficult, feel confident in that Power alone which is able to assist thee

Episode two following soon

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