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Edward Frederic Benson
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Quotes about politeness


  • Fine manners are like personal beauty,—a letter of credit everywhere.
  • True politeness is the spirit of benevolence showing itself in a refined way. It is the expression of good-will and kindness. It promotes both beauty in the man who possesses it, and happiness in those who are about him. It is a religious duty, and should be a part of religious training.
  • When two goats met on a bridge which was too narrow to allow either to pass or return, the goat which lay down that the other might walk over it was a finer gentleman than Lord Chesterfield.
  • Bowing, ceremonious, formal compliments, stiff civilities, will never be politeness; that must be easy, natural, unstudied; and what will give this but a mind benevolent and attentive to exert that amiable disposition in trifles to all you converse and live with?
  • True politeness is perfect ease and freedom. It simply consists in treating others just as you love to be treated yourself.
  • Good-breeding is not confined to externals, much less to any particular dress or attitude of the body; it is the art of pleasing, or contributing as much as possible to the ease and happiness of those with whom you converse.
  • The polite of every country seem to have but one character. A gentleman of Sweden differs but little, except in trifles, from one of any other country. It is among the vulgar we are to find those distinctions which characterize a people.
  • Politeness induces morality. Serenity of manners requires serenity of mind.
  • Christianity is designed to refine and to soften; to take away the heart of stone, and to give us hearts of flesh; to polish off the rudeness and arrogances of our manners and tempers; and to make us blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke.
  • Politeness is to goodness what words are to thoughts.
  • Avoid all haste; calmness is an essential ingredient of politeness.
  • There is no policy like politeness; and a good manner is the best thing in the world, either to get one a good name or to supply the want of it.
  • Dear Miss Manners: Does joint custody mean I always have to be polite to someone I can't stand?
    Gentle Reader: Yes. But think of the benefits. You will set an unparalleled example of civilized behavior to your children and impress your admirers as one to be trusted even under adversity. ~ Judith Martin AKA Miss Manners
  • To the acquisition of the rare quality of politeness, so much of the enlightened understanding is necessary that I cannot but consider every book in every science, which tends to make us wiser, and of course better men, as a treatise on a more enlarged system of politeness.
  • There is no accomplishment so easy to acquire as politeness, and none more profitable.
  • Politeness has been defined to be artificial good-nature; but we may affirm, with much greater propriety, that good-nature is natural politeness.


  • Bowing to a dwarf will not prevent your standing erect again.
  • 'I have forgotten thy name' is better than 'I know thee not.'
  • Please is the magic word. Thank you is the spellbreaker.

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