|Diane's Antique Book Collection|
The Art of Conversing
How to treat flattery.- If a gentleman approaches you with words of flattery, and profuse attentions, especially after a short acquaintance, extend no encouraging smile or word; for a flatterer can never be otherwise than an unprofitable companion. It is better, by a dignified composure, to appear not to notice, than, with smiles and blushes, to disclaim flattery; since these are frequently considered as encouragements for further effusions of these “painted words.”
You may with propriety accept such delicate attentions as polished and refined men are desirous of paying, but never solicit them, or appear to be expecting them. Ladies not infrequently, as a matter of course, extend their hand to take a gentleman’s arm before he has made any offer of such civility, but it is a mark of familiarity which has a most unfavorable appearance.
Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884