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370
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
cities, and this from the higher circles of London. Oar ladies borrow their fashions in dress from Paris, but in matters of etiquette, the last ap­peal is to the customs of England.
Without undertaking to delineate the general character of this higher grade of society in other respects, it may be remarked that manners are usually carried to the highest polish and delicacy among persons of this class; and though some of the customs which prevail among them are unworthy of our notice, still, in attempting to ascertain the rules of good breeding, the pro­per course has been generally supposed to be to study this society and mark the conduct of the individuals who compose it. It is by such a process that a code of manners is usually made out.
Though we may sometimes discover ceremo­nies and observances, in what is called genteel society, that do not appear to be founded in reason, yet such is the force of fashion and authority, that these are found to be followed by the world of gentility as reverently as more fundamental points of good breeding. Thus, for instance, we can see no good reason, in the nature of the case, why a person at a fashiona­ble table may not send a second time for soup, or, in finis! ling off his plate, may not gather the
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