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Agnes H. Morton

  • ... manners and morals are twin shoots from the same root.

  • Hospitality shares what it has. It does not atempt to give what it has not.

  • Most parents feel keenly the embarrassment of having the infant misbehave ... and they are apt to offer a tacit apology and a vague self-defense by sharply reprimanding the child in words that are meant to give the visitor the idea that they — the parents — never heard or saw such conduct before, and are now frozen with amazement.

  • Another resource for escaping blame is that of explaining that the children 'learn these things at school.' Presumably they do not mean from the teachers. It is 'from the other children,' who seem to be a most injurious class of society. It is their influence which makes our children so rude and so ungrammatical; and, strangely enough, though these other children never dine with our children, so subtle and far-reaching is their baleful influence that our children's defective manners at the table are directly traceable to the same evil source.

  • It is not only more polite, but more self-respecting, to 'take offense' slowly.

  • Few things are more vulgar than the readiness to infer a flirtation from every case of marked mutual interest between a man and a woman.

  • A woman may accept every tribute that a chivalrous man may offer to her talent or wit, so long as it is expressed in a hearty spirit of good comradeship, and with a clear and unmistakable deference to her self-respecting dignity; but a well-bred woman will resent as an insult to her womanhood any quasi-sentimental overtures from a man who has not the right to make them.

  • Etiquette requires that the association of men and women in refined circles shall be frank without freedom, friendly without familiarity.

  • Since censoriousness is a quality utterly antagonistic to good manners, it is well to reflect that, while etiquette lays down many laws, it also indulgently grants generous absolution.

Agnes H. Morton, U.S. writer, early etiquette pioneer