session. The truth is palpable, that our men are not all gentlemen, nor our women all ladies, nor our children all docile and obliging. In that small and insignificant circle which is called 'Society,' which, small and insignificant as it is, gives the tone to the manners of the nation, the chief efforts seem to be, to cleanse the outside of the platter, to conceal defects by gloss and glitter. Its theory of politeness and its maxims of behavior are drawn from a state of things so different from that which here prevails, that they produce in us little besides an exaggerated ungracefulness, a painful constraint, a complete artificiality of conduct and character. We are trying to shine in borrowed plumes. We would glisten with foreign varnish. To produce an effect is our endeavor. We prefer to act, rather than live. The politeness which is based on sincerity, good-will, self-conquest, and a minute, habitual regard for the rights of others, is not, we fear, the politeness which finds f
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