MANY who scoff at a book of etiquette would be shocked to hear the least expression of levity touching the Ten Commandments.
But the Commandments do not always prevent such virtuous scoffers from dealings with their neighbor of which
no gentleman could be capable and retain his claim to the title.
Though it may require ingenuity to reconcile their actions with the Decalogue—the ingenuity is always forthcoming.
There is no intention in this remark to intimate that there is any higher rule of life than the Ten Commandments;
only it is illuminating as showing the relationship between manners and morals, which is too often overlooked.
The polished gentleman of sentimental fiction has so long served as the type of smooth and conscienceless depravity
that urbanity of demeanor inspires distrust in ruder minds.
On the other hand, the blunt, unpolished hero of melodrama and romantic fiction
has lifted brusqueness and pushfulness to a pedestal not wholly merited.
Consequently, the kinship between conduct that keeps us within the law
and conduct that makes civilized life worthy to be called such,
deserves to be noted with emphasis.