"Familiar in their Mouths as HOUSEHOLD WORDS"—Shakespeare.
A WEEKLY JOURNAL.
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS.
|No. 296.]||SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1855.||Price 2d.|
We have been at some pains to prepare an Almanac for the coming year. It is now published; and we may be allowed briefly to make known to our readers, the general nature of its contents.
It has been our endeavour, in the preparation of the Household Words Almanac, to compress within a small space the greatest possible amount of interest and information, applicable to the varying seasons of the year and of mortal life. The laws that maintain this wonderful structure, the Earth, in its appointed place among the stars, and regulate the winds and waters; the principles on which the preservation of our health and cheerfulness mainly depends; the times of the development of the several kinds of trees and flowers, and when the melody of the various sorts of birds is first awakened; we have tried to set forth in a clear and attractive manner. We have attached to the Calendar of every month, a Chronicle of Progress, enabling the reader to compare the times in which he lives, with the times of a hundred years ago. We have accumulated a number of remarkable Predictions, all falsified by the result, inculcating the wisdom of not too venturously binding down the Future. The rearing of children, the nursing of the sick, and the readiest means of doing good in cases of sudden accident or other emergency, we have not neglected. It has been our aim to make our Almanac a serviceable friend every day in the year, and, while it is full of human interest, to associate it with every pleasant sight and sound in Nature.
Finally, in the contemplation of the beautiful harmonies by which Man is surrounded, and of the adorable beneficence by which all things are made to tend to his advantage, and conduce to his happiness, we hope we may have necessarily infused into our work, a humble spirit of veneration for the great Creator of the wonderful Universe, and of peace and good-will among mankind.
MIND YOUR MANNERS.
Manners make the man; the want of them the fellow. Manners also make the woman ; and, above all, manners make the child. Nay, even manners make the dog. There are ill-behaved, untidy dogs (like poor unfortunate Launcelot Gobbo's), who only serve to bring upon their owners disgrace, abuse, and fisticuffs; while there are cleanly, considerate, praiseworthy dogs; dogs who will offer their paws to be wiped with a napkin before entering a drawing-room; dogs who prepossess you in their favour as soon as you look at them; dogs whose refined and courteous demeanour will introduce you to the acquaintance of the very persons you desire to know, picking them out for you in a public walk.
In another sense, manners make the man; that is, they make his fortune. A ready smile, a modest assurance, and a patient and deferential power of attention, have carried a man further and higher than great talents or brilliant powers of mind. A pleasing address, if not the best letter of recommendation, is certainly the best assistant to a good one. A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar. Politeness is the current coin which purchases the most for the least outlay. Therefore, all these things considered, mind your manners, young people who are just beginning the world!
And you do try to mind your manners, I must confess. There is an epoch in every well-constituted young person's life, when he or she is anxious to please, for the mere sake of pleasing. Their elders wish them to please, to attain the end of worldly advancement; but, for themselves, virtue is its own reward. Many sincere and lasting friendships have been formed between the young and the middle-aged, in consequence of the latter having kindly trained their juniors in the drill of etiquette ; thus helping them to perform the first stage of their march with a firm footstep, to the avoidance of blunders and exposure to ridicule. Happy for the neophyte is it, to meet with the protection of such a Mentor! who, in the majority of cases, is some kind-hearted, thorough experienced