Our Deportment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about Our Deportment.


In visiting picture-galleries one should always maintain the deportment of a gentleman or a lady.  Make no loud comments and do not seek to show superior knowledge in art matters by gratuitous criticism.  If you have not an art education you will probably only be giving publicity to your own ignorance.  Do not stand in conversation before a picture, and thus obstruct the view of others who wish to see rather than talk.  If you wish to converse with any anyone on general subjects, draw to one side, out of the way of those who want to look at the pictures.


In visiting a fancy fair make no comments on either the article or their price, unless you can praise.  If you want them, pay the price demanded, or let them alone.  If you can conscientiously praise an article, by all means do so, as you may be giving pleasure to the maker if she chances to be within hearing.  If you have a table at a fair, use no unladylike means to obtain buyers.  Not even the demands of charity can justify you in importuning others to purchase articles against their own judgment or beyond their means.

Never appear so beggarly as to retain the change, if a larger amount is presented than the price.  Offer the change promptly, when the gentleman will be at liberty to donate it if he thinks best, and you may accept it with thanks.  He is, however, under no obligation whatever to make such donation.

Be guilty of no loud talking or laughing, and by all means avoid conspicuous flirting in so public a place.

As a gentleman must always remove his hat in the presence of ladies, so he should remain with head uncovered, carrying his hat in his hand, in a public place of this character.


If you have occasion to visit an artist’s studio, by no means meddle with anything in the room.  Reverse no picture which stands or hangs with face to the wall; open no portfolio without permission, and do not alter by a single touch any lay-figure or its drapery, piece of furniture or article of vertu posed as a model.  You do not know with what care the artist may have arranged these things, nor what trouble the disarrangement may cost him.

Use no strong expression either of delight or disapprobation at anything presented for your inspection.  If a picture or a statue please you, show your approval and appreciation by close attention, and a few quiet, well chosen words, rather than by extravagant praise.

Do not ask the artist his prices unless you really intend to become a purchaser; and in this case it is best to attentively observe his works, make your choice, and trust the negotiation to a third person or to a written correspondence with the artist after the visit is concluded.  You may express your desire for the work and obtain the refusal of it from the artist.  If you desire to conclude the bargain at once you may ask his price, and if he names a higher one than you wish to give, you may say as much and mention the sum you are willing to pay, when it will be optional with the artist to maintain his first price or accept your offer.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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