"the" Mrs. Astor

Monday, September 05, 2011

My grandmother, Sarah Jane Gallagher du Bois of the Gallaghers of New London once told me "Manners are not the character, but they are the dress of character." It took this young girl a long time to understand what she meant, but it pretty much boiled down to ten points. So potent was this power over the world by the gentle sway of manners.
1. Learn to be gentle and patient.
2. Guard your temper and soften it by a sense of your own shortcomings.
3. Never speak or act in anger.
4. Never reply by angry word. It is the second word that makes the quarrel.
5. Learn to speak in a gentle tone of voice.
6. Learn to deny yourself and prefer others.
7. Learn to say kind and pleasant things when opportunity offers.
8. Avoid moods.
9. Do not neglect little things if they can affect the comfort of others in the
smallest degree.
10. And, remember that, valuable as the gift of speech is, silence is golden.

This was the basis of a gentle life in which concern for the self was second to that of others.


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