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You never heard of a dirty gentleman, Frank; it is a contradiction in terms.
Use plenty of cold water.
Brush your teeth two or three times a day. You will want them for an ornament to your mouth, as well as a convenience. A fine set of teeth may give tenfold value to the pleasantest smile. Think, too, how much suffering you may prevent by care in preserving your teeth. There is really no small thing that so marks a well-bred boy as this scrupulous care of the teeth.
Keep your hair neatly combed and brushed ; and arranged after the fashion, without following it too far. That is, if it is the fashion to wear it long, do not wear it extravagantly long; if short, do not have it shaven close to your head. Follow fashion moderately, in order to follow it gracefully.
“Scarlet finger, and long jetty nail," as Pope says, are most disgusting. Be careful, then, not to ornament the ends of your fingers with a black crescent. Do not put your fingers in your nose, mouth, or ears ; or pick your teeth in company.
So much has been said of that filthy practice of spitting, that I cannot think
will ever fall into it. Chewing and smoking tobacco render spitting indispensable. I entreat you to avoid both of those unwholesome and disagreeable habits.
I wish to have you neat and tasteful in your dress, without extravagance. Keep your clothes well brushed, and hang them up carefully when they are taken off.
Never, my son, never rely upon dress to make you a gentleman. It is as flimsy a disguise as the lion's skin was to the ass. When he brayed, his borrowed attire only made him more conspicuously ridiculous.
In your conversation be scrupulously polite. Address persons by their proper titles, and use those expressions of civility that custom renders necessary. “If you please," “ Thank you," “ Beg pardon,” &c., &c., even to those in the humblest station.
Speak out your words plainly and distinctly, and in a moderate tone of voice. What is called a good enunciation is a distinctive mark of good breeding
I cannot think it possible that my son should ever commit such a sin against the laws of God as to use profane language. Infinitely worse is this than a breach of politeness. Yet it is not only a violation of God's law, but it is a mean, vulgar habit; so low, that I trust you will never be tempted to fall into it.
How horrible is the sound of oaths from youthful lips. My heart is saddened by the thought that they are often heard in our streets, from mere children.
Obscene language ; low, vulgar conversation ; surely, my son, you can never dishonor your father and mother by allowing any such language to pass your lips. Never listen to it from others.
A tattling, gossipping, tale-telling disposition, avoid. Every honorable mind despises traitors, spies, and tale-bearers.
You must not alone be just to others, my son ; in order to be polite, you must be generous, noble, chivalrous.
Above all, to be a Christian gentleman, the character which I most desire for you, it is necessary to study faithfully that most perfect and beautiful code of politeness, given by St. Paul, in the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
In short, my dear son, my desires and prayers for you constantly are, that you may be,
Pure in body and mind;
Pure in manners and morals; and,
That thus you may perform your duties faithfully and acceptably to God and to man.
Frank carefully folded the precious paper, and said, “ Well, Joseph, do you not think we may be polite, even if we are sailors ? "
“ Not very elegantly so," replied his companion.
“ Yet I think we may be as gentleman-like in our feelings here as anywhere else,” said Frank ; and as he said so he received an order from the captain to come into the cabin.
On entering the cabin, Frank was surprised at its magnificence. It was beautifully finished with mahogany and rosewood. A large mirror adorned one end of it, and curtains of rich crimson damask were hung there in graceful festoons.
But Frank was still more surprised at its inmates. A delicate-looking middle-aged lady was reclining upon a couch, and by her side sat a young girl, of about fourteen, with dark hair, dark eyes, and a complexion pale as marble.
The captain seemed quite amused at the undisguised astonishment of Frank, as he stood, tarpaulin in hand, bowing with the most profound respect to the ladies.
" You did not know, boy, that there were passengers on board," said the captain.