Excerpt: ...that house as his own. Early the next morning, the polite Parisian was awakened by the sound of loud hammering in the mandarin's bed-chamber; on entering the room, he found the mandarin and some masons hard at work, throwing down the walls of the house. "You rascals, are you mad?" exclaimed the Frenchman to the masons. "Not at all, my ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...that house as his own. Early the next morning, the polite Parisian was awakened by the sound of loud hammering in the mandarin's bed-chamber; on entering the room, he found the mandarin and some masons hard at work, throwing down the walls of the house. "You rascals, are you mad?" exclaimed the Frenchman to the masons. "Not at all, my dear friend," said the Chinese man, soberly, "I set the poor fellows to work; this room is too small for my taste; you see I have lost no time in availing myself of your goodness. Did not you desire me to use this house as if it were my own, during my stay at Paris?" "Assuredly, my dear friend, and so I hope you will," replied the French gentleman, "the only misfortune here is, that I did not Pg 172 understand Chinese, and that I had no interpreter." They found an interpreter, or a Chinese dictionary, and when the Parisian phrase was properly translated, the mandarin, who was an honest man, begged his polite host's pardon for having pulled down the partition. It was rebuilt; the mandarin learned French, and the two friends continued upon the best terms with each other, during the remainder of the visit. The Chesterfieldian system of endeavouring to please by dissimulation, is obviously distinguishable by any common capacity, from the usual forms of civility. There is no hope of educating young people to a love of integrity in any family, where this practice is adopted. If children observe that their parents deceive common acquaintance, by pretending to like the company, and to esteem the characters, of those whom they really think disagreeable and contemptible, how can they learn to respect truth? How can children believe in the praise of their parents, if they detect them in continual flattery towards indifferent people? It may be thought, by latitudinarians in politeness, that we are too rigid in expecting this strict adherence to truth from people who live in society; it may be said, that in Practical Education, no...Read Less
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