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some rules for politeness, that I keep 'to look over now and then. They are in my chest, alongside of the Bible that my mother gave me; I will read them to you some time. They were written for a boy only eleven years old, and of course are very plain and simple.”
It was time to change the watch, and the boys gladly went to their hammocks. Frank said, as they parted, “ You must tell me your story, Joseph, the next time we have an opportunity. I am sure I shall dream of my mother to-night."
Though weary and sleepy, Joe could not help thinking how little he had prized his mother's advice, and how unkind he had been to his sisters. He dreamed of seeing Fanny, his sweet sister Fanny, suffering and dying, and awoke in agony. CHAPTER VIII.
RECOLLECTIONS OF HOME.
The first time that Joseph had an opportunity, he told Frank Wood his story ; describing his mother and sisters; and when he spoke of Fanny, it was with a tear in each eye.
“I am glad you have so good a mother, and such sweet sisters,” said Frank Wood; “I hope I shall one day be acquainted with them.”
“I do n't care much about Sue, but Fanny was always so kind, so very kind. I am afraid I was so troublesome to her that she thinks that I do not care any thing about her. I wish I could show you one of my mother's letters ; she writes beautiful letters, but I did not pay much attention to them formerly. You have promised to read me those rules which your father wrote for you. Though I suppose rules for politeness can do us
very little good now, I should like to hear them.”
“That you shall,” said Frank; and, going to his chest, he brought out a little packet, from which he took a neatly folded paper, and read the following:
FOR MY DEAR FRANK.
You will hear much said, my boy, about politeness, — the politeness of a true gentleman; and you will wish, I hope, to be polite. In order to be so, you must,
1. Be quick to discover what your place is ; 2. What is due to every person ;
3. How you can render every one their due, most agreeably ;
4. How you can make yourself most acceptaable in person, dress, manners, and conversation.
These plain rules I will render still more intelligible. You would not think it right to place yourself in your mother's favorite rocking-chair every
time she left it vacant; you would not sit in your father's seat at church; you would not take his place at the dinner-table, when he was expected to be there. As you become older, and go out among other persons, pay the same regard
Yield to every
to propriety. Never stand or sit in any body's way, so that they will tread on your toes, or you will tread on theirs. This rule, however, might perhaps be included in the next. person their due. This is exactly the golden
" Do unto others what you would that they should do unto you."
A nice and quick perception of what is really due to others can alone render you ever ready to manifest politeness. You can be as polite to a boot-black as to the president of the United States. That is, you can conduct yourself towards him in such a way as to make him respect you, and feel satisfied that you do not despise him. In doing this you need not put on a condescending manner; just render to him what is really his due as a man.
On the other hand, is the man one of high station, no cringing civility should be offered to him. Render him the respect and attention that he has a right to demand, and maintain your own self-respect.
In order to render strict justice to every one, we must be as careful with regard to their feelings as to their more substantial rights. A certain delicacy of sentiment, - a quick sympathy with others, will enable you to do this ; without it, you may know all the rules of external politeness and yet never be a gentleman.
This delicacy of sentiment will enable you to render to others their due, agreeably and gracefully.
A boy may be a well-meaning boy, and yet be awkward and uncivil, because he does not perceive what others expect from him, and what they have a right to expect.
You, my dear Frank, must know what is required from you, as a boy, to your elders and superiors, to your equals and inferiors; and, in practising it, form early habits of politeness, that will become so habitual that you can be easy and graceful in your intercourse with your fellowbeings.
A more refined and delicate politeness must be yielded from our sex to the female sex than we render to our own. They are weak, and claim our protection. They are subordinate, and therefore it would be mean to make them more sensible of it than is needful. All these things you will understand in time.
How can you make yourself most acceptable in your person?