How to be happy though civil - PDF book by E. J. Hardy

How to be happy though civil. book on manners

How to be happy though civil

The way in which things are done is often more important than the things themselves. 'A beautiful behaviour is better than a beautiful form; it gives a higher pleasure than statues and pictures; it is the finest of fine arts.' 

If you are a musician or a painter, you cannot exhibit these accomplishments in all places and at all times. You cannot well strike up a song from an opera in a railway carriage, or exhibit your pictures in a tram-car; but where is the place that you cannot show good manners? Genius, if allied to an unpleasant personality, starves in garrets; while agreeable mediocrity has golden opportunities thrown in its way. Faults of manner are faults which the world has agreed to exaggerate; they have been the ruin of fine abilities and of great careers.

 It is a pity, but we must remember that of people who see us the majority only see us for perhaps half an hour in their lives, and they judge us by what they see in that half-hour. In a fine passage, Burke says:  Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them, in a great measure, the laws depend. The law touches us but here and there, now and then. 

Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarise or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. They give their whole form and colour to our lives. 

According to their quality, they aid morals, they supply them, or they totally destroy them. And yet manners are not, in England at least, appreciated as much as they ought to be. John Bull is proud and independent, and he fancies that it would take something from his dignity if he were to be polite. See him swagger about churches and restaurants abroad as if the whole world belonged to him! Merit assured of itself and reinforced by physical vigour, scorn to employ suavity of demeanour for fear of seeming to concede a particle of its honesty.

 Another thing that prevents the little morals that oil the wheels of society from being properly appreciated is the fact that good manners are frequently confounded with a rather foolish ^ thing called etiquette. The words "etiquette " and " ticket '" have the same origin. 


Preface • • • • • 7
I. Manners matter much. • • 11
Ii. Civility and rudeness, • .21
Iii. Instinctive politeness. • 31
Iv. Are we losing our manners ? . -37
V. What is a gentleman?. • 48
Vi. A Christian gentleman • .55^
Vii. A real lady. •. • 64
Viii. Courteous children. . . . 70
Ix. Manners amendment societies. . 78
X. Manners at home . . . 80
Xi. The manners of travellers • • 101
Xii. Pension politeness. • • .112
Xiii. Rude rapidity. • • • 114
Xiv- manners at meals. • • • 135
Xv. Clothes and manners . . .147
Xvi. Courtesy and reverence in church. 1 62
Xvii. Manners to superiors . . .174
Xviii. Manners to subordinates •. 181
Xix. Courteous censure . . • . 189
Xx. Politely put. •. • 196
Xxi. Censorious and grumbling • . 202
Xxii. Thankfulness .... 21$
Xxiii. Polite conversation . . . 224
Xxiv. Tact ..... 236
Xxv. A sympathetic manner . . . 244
Xxvi. "So pleasant" . . . . 253
Xxvii. Mannerisms . . • . . 262
Xxviii. Snobs • . • •. 277
Xxix. Old but not odious • •. 287
Xxx. The art of leaving off . . 300
Xxxi. Dying with dignity . . . 309

the book details :
  • Author: E. J.  Hardy
  • Publication date:  1909
  • Company: New York, C. Scribner's sons

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