Do not talk very loud. A firm, clear, distinct, yet mild, gentle, and musical voice has great power.
Do not be absent-minded, requiring the speaker to repeat what has been said that you may understand.
Do not try to force yourself into the confidence of others.
Do not use profanity, vulgar terms, words of double meaning, or language that will bring the blush to anyone.
Do not allow yourself to speak ill of the absent one if it can be avoided. The day may come when some friend will be needed to defend you in your absence.
Do not speak with contempt and ridicule of a locality which you may be visiting. Find something to truthfully praise and commend; thus make yourself agreeable.
Do not make a pretense of gentility, nor parade the fact that you are a descendant of any notable family. You must pass for just what you are, and must stand on your own merit.
Do not contradict. In making a correction say, “I beg your pardon, but I had the impression that it was so and so.” Be careful in contradicting, as you may be wrong yourself.
Do not be unduly familiar; you will merit contempt if you are. Neither should you be dogmatic in your assertions, arrogating to yourself such consequences in your opinions.
Do not be too lavish in your praise of various members of your own family when speaking to strangers; the person to whom you are speaking may know some faults that you do not.
Do not feel it incumbent upon yourself to carry your point in conversation. Should the person with whom you are conversing feel the same, your talk may lead into violent argument.
Do not try to pry into the private affairs of others by asking what their profits are, what things cost, whether Melissa ever had a beau, and why Amarette never got married? All such questions are extremely impertinent and are likely to meet with rebuke.
Do not whisper in company; do not engage in private conversation; do not speak a foreign language which the general company present may not understand, unless it is understood that the foreigner is unable to speak your own language.
[Illustration: WIDOWER JONES AND WIDOW SMITH.]
* * * * *
The Care of the Person.
1. GOOD APPEARANCE.—The first care of all persons should be for their personal appearance. Those who are slovenly or careless in their habits are unfit for refined society, and cannot possibly make a good appearance in it. A well-bred person will always cultivate habits of the most scrupulous neatness. A gentleman or lady is always well dressed. The garment may be plain or of coarse material, or even worn “thin and shiny,” but if it is carefully brushed and neat, it can be worn with dignity.