Vulgar people like to be solicited — to concede a favor only on the most humiliating terms, being the lowest gratification of the coarsest vanity. There is no greater proof of high breeding — which, by the way, is high feeling — than the conferring a benefit without the indelicacy of exacting a revolting supply-cation. The contemptible axiom, “If a thing be worth having, it is worth asking for,” is but worthy of a pompous parish authority, and can only be responded to by those who believe that f no means are despicable so long as their object be attained.
You will subject yourself
When you offer a place in your carriage, be sure to give the best, or you will subject yourself to the charge of ignorance and ill-breeding. A spintuelle reproof for an error of this kind was lately given’ at Paris by the celebrated Mons. De M. Having met in the vestibule of the Opera two parvenu bankers much more remarkable for their wealth than their good manners, observing that the compote’s carriage had not arrived, offered him a place in theirs, which he accepted. To his surprise, entered the coach first, and seated themselves in the back seat, leaving the aged bon-vivant to sit with his back to the horses; but no sooner did he observe this piece of ill-breeding, than he pulled the check-string, and insisted on leaving the carriage. — “But why will you get out? ” asked the parvenus, in astonishment. “Because,” replied Mons. de M., “ I always feel ill when I sit with my back to the horses — in the carriage of another”
Hundreds may refrain from being guilty of an important in a thousand is capable of performing a well-bred action; because a restraint on one’s rudely merely the result of good schooling — whilst to offer an act of graceful courtesy, is evidence of a superior mind and a kindly heart.
Do not cross a room in an anxious manner, and force your way up to a lady merely to receive a bow, as by so doing you attract the eyes of the company towards her. If you are desirous of being noticed by any persons in particular, put yourself in their way as if by accident, and do not let them see that you have sought them out; unless, indeed, there be something very important to communicate.
Do not take upon yourself to do the honors in another man’s house, or constitute yourself master of the cereal you will thereby offend the host and hostess.