The customs of social life need frequent restating and adaptation to new needs. They are customs because they are the best rules of conduct that have been garnered from the experiences of succeeding generations under common conditions.To know them, to catch their spirit, and to follow them in an intelligent way, without slavish punctiliousness but with careful observance, make one skillful in the art of social intercourse, and at home in any society.
ho nevertheless was a person of great charm.
One's figure and bearing count perhaps for most, as they give the first and distant impression, and are, as it were, the outlines of the picture.
Self-consciousness, for any reason and to even the slightest degree, is a great barrier to social intercourse and to mental freedom. It shows as often in a person's carriage as in his words or features. It should be broken down at all costs, and this can be done only by the person himself. It may be done, usually with comparative ease, by becoming and staying interested in something. Then awkwardness, and a defiant attitude of spirit and body, will vanish. Haughtiness is usually the outward sign of a great inner self-consciousness. All of these traits, as well as their opposites, stamp themselves upon the bearing of the body, and reveal there the clearest manifestations of character.
Dress is almost as essential. By this is not meant a rigid adherence to fashion,--the stamp of a weak mind,--or even go