Resources for Life

It is said that soon after the publication of Nicholas Nickleby, not fewer than six Yourkshire schoolmasters (or rather six principals of Yorkshire institutes) took journeys to London, with the express purpose of presecuting Dickens for libels – “each one and severally” considering himself shown up to the world as Mr. Squeers of Dotheboys Hall.

Now, if Dickens had drawn as graphic a picture of Dothegirls Hall, we firmly believe that none of the lady pricipals of similar institutes would have committed themselves by evincing so little tact, and adopting such impoltic proceedings. They would wisely have held back from all appropriation of the obnoxious character, a passed it over unnoticed; as if it could not possibly have the slightest reference to them.

Therefore we wish that those of our fair readers whom certain hints in the following pages may awaken to the consciousness of a few habitual misbehavements, (of which they were not previously aware,) should pause, and reflect, before they allow themselves to “take umbrage too much.” Let them keep in mind that the purpose of the writier is to amend, and not offend; to improve her young country-women, and to to annyoy them. It is whith this view only that she has been induced to “set down in a note-book” wuch lapses from les bienseances as she has remarked during a long course of observation, and on a very diversified field.

She trusts that her readers will peruse this book in as friend a spirit as it was written. ~Eliza Leslie.

 This is the preface from Eliza Leslie’s The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners; or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book (Philadelphia, 1864) https://archive.org/stream/ladiesguidetotru00lesl#page/n3/mode/2up  Her guidance not only covers individual behaviour, but also how to prepare the room or home for different occasions. This includes a suggestion of opening the window sashes in the summer for tea.

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Published in: on January 16, 2014 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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