Monday, 19 November 2012

Learning to be lady-like. Florence Hartley

The Ladies' book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness

The above title, by Florence Hartley, was written in 1860.

John Singer Sargent: Morning Walk
Flickr. Deflam

I think you might enjoy this excerpt  concerning Lady-like behaviour

 True politeness is the language of a good heart, and those possessing that heart will never, under any circumstances, be rude. They may not enter a crowded saloon gracefully; they may be entirely ignorant of the forms of good society; they may be awkward at table, ungrammatical in speech; but they will never be heard speaking so as to wound the feelings of another; they will never be seen making others uncomfortable by seeking solely for their own personal convenience; they will always endeavor to set every one around them at ease; they will be self-sacrificing, friendly, unselfish; truly in word and deed, polite. Give to such a woman the knowledge of the forms and customs of society, teach her how best to show the gentle courtesies of life, and you have a lady, created by God, only indebted for the outward polish to the world.
It is true that society demands this same unselfishness and courtesy, but when there is no heart in the work, the time is frittered away on the mere ceremonies, forms of etiquette, and customs of society, and this politeness seeks only its own ends; to be known as courteous, spoken of as lady-like, and not beloved as unselfish and womanly.



  1. I think I would enjoy reading a book like this. I like how the author mentions that true lady-like behavior has to come from the heart and not just "going through the motions" like a ceremony. That's a very important point to remember.

    Just so you know, I read part one of your series as well and I'm enjoying it. :)

  2. Thank you. It is so important isn't it. You can read this book online, and I will try and put up a link later in the main post

  3. Words to live by, for sure. Thank you for sharing with us! Glad to discover your blog today. Blessings!

    1. Welcome.Thank you for visiting, Mrs Smith : )