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countenance of the person.


Make yourself absolute master, therefore, of your temper and your countenance, so far, at least, that no visible change do appear in either, whatever you may feel inwardly. This may be difficult, but it is by no means impossible.



FRIEND of yours and mine has very justly defined good breeding to be the result of much good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others and with a view to obtain the same indulgence from them. Taking this for granted (as I think it cannot be disputed), it is astonishing to me that anybody who has good sense and good nature (and I believe you have both), can essentially fail in good breeding. As to the modes of it, indeed, they vary according to persons and places and circumstances, and are only to be acquired by observation and experience; but the substance of it is everywhere and eternally the same. Good manners are to particular societies what good morals are to society in general-their cement and their security. And, as laws are enacted to enforce good morals, or at least to prevent the ill effects of bad ones, so there are certain rules of civility, universally implied and received, to enforce good manners and punish bad ones. And, indeed, there seems to me to be less difference, both between the crimes and between the punishments, than at first one would imagine. The immoral man who invades another man's property is justly hanged for it; and the illbred man, who, by his ill manners, invades and disturbs the quiet and comforts of private life is, by common consent, as justly banished from society. Mutual complaisances, attentions, and sacrifices of little conveniences, are, as natural as an implied com

pact between civilized people, as protection and obedience are between kings and subjects; whoever, in either case, violates that compact justly forfeits all advantages arising from it. For my own part, I really think that next to the consciousness of doing a good action, that of doing a civil one is the most pleasing; and the epithet which I should covet the most, next to that of Aristides, would be that of well bred.

In mixed companies, whoever is admitted to make part of them is, for the time at least, supposed to be upon a footing of equality with the rest; and consequently, as there is no principal object of awe and respect, people are apt to take a greater latitude in their behavior, and to be less upon their guard; and so they may, provided it be within certain bounds which are upon no occasion to be transgressed. But upon these occasions, though no one is entitled to distinguished marks of respect, every one claims, and very justly, every mark of civility and good breeding. Ease is allowed, but carelessness and negligence are strictly forbidden. If a man accosts you and talks to you ever so dully and frivolously, it is worse than rudeness, it is brutality, to show him, by a manifest inattention to what he says, that you think him a fool or a blockhead, and not worth hearing.

There is a sort of good breeding in which people are the most apt to fail, from a very mistaken notion that they cannot fail at all. I mean with regard to one's most familiar friends and acquaintances, or those who really are our inferiors; and there, undoubtedly, a greater degree of ease is not only allowed, but proper, and contributes much to the comforts of a private, social life. But that ease ard freedom have their bounds too, which must by no means be violated. A certain degree of negligence and carelessness becomes injurious and insulting, from the real or supposed inferiority of the persons;

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and that delightful liberty of conversation among a few friends is soon destroyed, as liberty often has been, by being carried to licentiousness. The most familiar and intimate habitudes, connections, and friendships require a degree of good breeding both to preserve and cement them.

The deepest learning, without good breeding, is unwelcome and tiresome pedantry, and of use nowhere but in a man's own closet; and consequently of little or no use at all. A man who is not perfectly well bred is unfit for good company, and unwelcome in it; will consequently dislike it soon, afterward renounce it; and be reduced to solitude, or, what is worse, low and bad company. A man who is not well bred is full as unfit for business as for company. Make then, my dear child, I conjure you, good breeding the great object of your thoughts and actions, at least half the day, and be convinced that good breeding is, to all worldly qualifications, what charity is to all Christian virtues. Observe how it adorns merit, and how often it covers the want of it. May you wear it to adorn, and not to cover you.


MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, Roman orator, philosopher and statesman, born at Arpinum, Italy, in 106 B. C.; died 43 B. C. He belonged to the equestrian order, and was well educated in the literature of his time. He entered public life at an early age, and became consul when he was forty-three. He discovered and frustrated the famous conspiracy of Cataline, and his famous oration against him is familiar to all students of the Latin tongue. Fifty of the orations of Cicero have come down to us, besides epistles, philosophical and literary treatises.

My Son, Marcus:



I. Although, as you have for a year been studying under Cratippus, and that, too, at Athens, you ought to be well furnished with the rules and principles of philosophy, on account of the pre-eminent reputation both of the master and the city, the one of which can improve you by his learning, the other by its examples; yet as I, for my own advantage, have always combined the Latin with the Greek, not only in philosophy, but even in the practice of speaking, I recommend to you the same method, that you may excel equally in both kinds of composition. In this respect, indeed, if I mistake not, I was of great service to our countrymen; so that not only such of them as are ignorant of Greek learning, but even men of letters, think they have profited somewhat by me in both speaking and reasoning.

Wherefore you shall study, nay, study as long as

you desire, under the best philosopher of this age— and you ought to desire it, as long as you are not dissatisfied with the degree of your improvement; but in reading my works, which are not very different from the Peripatetic-because we profess in common to be followers both of Socrates and Plato-as to the subject matter itself, use your own judgment; but be assured you will, by reading my writings, render your Latin style more copious. I would not have it supposed that this is said in ostentation; for, while I yield to the superiority in philosophy to many, if I claim to myself the province peculiar to an orator -that of speaking with propriety, perspicuity, and elegance-I seem, since I have spent my life in that pursuit, to lay claim to it with a certain degree of right.

Wherefore, my dear Cicero, I most earnestly recommend that you carefully pursue not only my orations, but even my philosophical works, which have now nearly equalled them in extent; for there is in the former the greater force of language, but you ought to cultivate, at the same time, the equable and sober style of the latter. And, indeed, I find that it has not happened in the case of any of the Greeks that the same man has labored in both departments, and pursued both the former-that of forensic speaking and the latter quiet mode of argumentation; unless, perhaps, Demetrius Phalereus may be reckoned in that number-a refined reasoner, a not very animated speaker, yet of so much sweetness, that you might recognize the pupil of Theophrastus. How far I have succeeded in both, others must determine; certain it is that I have attempted both. Indeed, I am of opinion that Plato, had he attempted forensic oratory, would have spoken with copiousness and power; and that had Demosthenes retained and repeated the lessons of Plato, he would have delivered them with gracefulness and beauty. I form the same

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