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The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety
A lady’s influence in conversation.- Every woman whose heart and mind have been properly regulated, is capable of exerting a most salutary influence over the gentlemen with whom she associates; and this fact has been acknowledged by the best and wisest of men, and seldom disputed, except by those whose capacities for observation have been perverted by adverse circumstances.
Conversing with modesty and simplicity.-Always seek to converse with gentlemen into whose society you may be introduced, with a dignified modesty and simplicity, which will effectually check on their part any attempt at familiarity; but never say or do anything that may lead them to suppose you are soliciting their notice.
An instance can scarcely be recalled of a lady, either by direct or indirect means, attempting to storm a man’s heart into admiration, who did not effectually defeat her purpose, and instead of the coveted homage to her charms, awaken a feeling directly its opposite. What sight can be more pitiable or repulsive than that of a female, advancing in the vale of years, and leaving behind her all the youthful attractions she might once have possessed, and yet retaining her inordinate thirst for the society and admiration of gentlemen.
Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884