10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 24


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR] SIR,—It is curious that your many good quotations fail to recover the best known and perhaps best of all.

Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy is the best bred in the company. As the best Law is founded upon reason so are the best manners. (Dean Swift, Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding.) In the "Hints on Good Manners" that follow this article Swift agrees with Dr. Johnson in thinking that good manners conceal the particular vocation in life of the true gentleman. Asked whether he did not regard the manners of soldiers good, Dr. Johnson punningly replied that they "smacked too much of the brand." Swift writes : "For a man to talk in

his own trade or business or faculty is a great breach of good manners" (Hints, &c.) —Yours obediently,


S. Katharine's Vicarage, Savernake Forest, Wilts.