REFORM IN C-NC-RD.
The people of C-nc-rd do not let their powers of mind be wasted; they are continually devising some scheme which is to be of everlasting benefit to mankind. Even now they are about to create a revolution in the educational system all over the world, - they have introduced into the public schools the teaching of etiquette. When a stranger enters the school-room, the scholars - no matter how much their attention has been previously engrossed in erecting pins on their neighbors, chairs and in surreptitiously eating molasses candy - all rise together, and, with much grace of manner, wish him "a good morning." When the gentleman leaves, the same performance is gone through with. If he meets a small boy in the street, the small boy gracefully touches his cap. The people who have been most intimately connected with this reform movement have naturally felt some delicacy in having it noised abroad and made the subject of general comment until the success of their experiment was fully assured. Judging, however, from the results above given, I think that they have every reason to be sanguine for the future.
The end they have in view is to reclaim the uncivilized members of their town, and eventually of the United States, from the depths of barbarism to which they have sunk, - they wish to make a nation of gentlemen. They argue that it can be done in this way: it is a generally admitted fact that good manners spring naturally from a good heart; is not the converse of this true, that a good heart can be produced by educating the manners to the proper degree of perfection?
We may now answer this question in the affirmative without the slightest hesitation. The first indications were by no means promising, however, and the youthful Keltic mind did not seem to grasp the true spirit of the reform. Many strange inconsistencies were noticed at first. For instance, a small boy who saluted an elderly gentleman with much politeness saw nothing inappropriate, when beyond the reach of the gentleman's cane, in addressing him in terms more familiar than complimentary; a youth whose manners were very winning, and who had even attained some degree of perfection in tying a cravat, was in the constant habit of securing tin cans to the tails of unoffending dogs. The projectors of the reform were at first much troubled by this preference shown to the letter rather than the spirit of the movement, but their efforts have at last met with success. Meanwhile, we shall continue to look steadily in the direction of C-nc-rd for some new idea.