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John Locke

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Though the managing ourselves well in this part of our behavior has the name good-breeding, as if a peculiar effect of education; yet... young children should not be much perplexed about it... Teach them humility, and to be good-natur'd, if you can, and this sort of manners will not be wanting; civility being in truth nothing but a care not to shew any slighting or contempt of any one in conversation.
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Sec. 145

 
John Locke

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One may call the world a myth, in which bodies and things are visible, but souls and minds hidden. Besides, to wish to teach the whole truth about the Gods to all produces contempt in the foolish, because they cannot understand, and lack of zeal in the good, whereas to conceal the truth by myths prevents the contempt of the foolish, and compels the good to practice philosophy.

 
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The next good quality belonging to a gentleman, is good breeding [manners]. There are two sorts of ill-breeding: the one a sheepish bashfulness, and the other a mis-becoming negligence and disrespect in our carriage; both of which are avoided by duly observing this one rule, not to think meanly of ourselves, and not to think meanly of others.

 
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I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able if called upon to do so to make them a proper omelet in the morning. Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both good manners and good for the world.

 
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The chief ingredients in the composition of those qualities that gain esteem and praise, are good nature, truth, good sense, and good breeding.

 
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Do they believe that the aim of teaching English is to increase the exact and beautiful use of the language? Or that it is to inculcate and augment patriotism? Or that it is to diminish sorrow in the home? Or that it has some other end, cultural, economic, or military? ... it was their verdict by a solemn referendum that the principal objective in teaching English was to make good spellers, and that after that came the breeding of good capitalizers. I have maintained for years, sometimes perhaps with undue heat: that pedagogy in the United States is fast descending to the estate of a childish necromancy, and that the worst idiots, even among pedagogues, are the teachers of English. It is positively dreadful to think that the young of the American species are exposed day in and day out to the contamination of such dark minds. What can be expected of education that is carried on in the very sewers of the intellect? How can morons teach anything that is worth knowing?

 
H. L. Mencken
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