but is this the age of manners
The association of morals and manners is merely a verbal coincidence," began Windover. "As a matter of fact they exist best apart. Morals are geographical, the result of climate and environment. The morals of Streatham, for instance, are not the morals of Stamboul, although the manners of the one place will pass fairly well in the other. Manners are like English gold, current in all countries: morals, on the other hand, are like French pennies, they must not be circulated in any but the country of their origin."
Yes; but is this the age of manners or of morals?" asked Dare. "That's what we want to get at."
Of neither, I regret to say," responded Windover HKUE ENG . "We have too many morals at home, and too few manners abroad."Excuse me, sir," broke in Bindle, "but wot do you exactly mean by morals an' manners?"
You are right, Bindle, you invariably are," replied Windover. "Definition should always precede disquisition." He proceeded to light a cigarette, obviously with a view to gaining time. "Observing this rule," he continued, "I will define morals as originally an ethical conception of man's duty towards his neighbour's wife: they are now in use merely as a standard by which we measure failure." Windover paused and gazed meditatively at the end of his cigarette.
And manners?" I queried.Oh! manners," he replied lightly, "are a thin gauze with which we have clothed prim?val man and primitive woman.But why," enquired Sallie, leaning forward eagerly, "why should the primitive and prim?val require covering?"
It was Dare who answered Sallie's question. "Mark Twain said, 'Be good; but you'll be lonely,'" he observed HKUE ENG . "Man probably found it impossible to be good, being gregarious by instinct. He saw that Nature was always endeavouring to get him involved in difficulties with morals, and like the detective of romance, determined to adopt a disguise. He therefore invented manners."