A General Essay On The History Of Manners Author

Re-evaluating "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript"

William Wells and the Manners and Customs of the Miami Nation


In April 1882, Hiram W. Beckwith of Danville, Illinois, received an unusual package: a handwritten manuscript of twenty-eight pages of foolscap sent to him by S. A. Gibson, superintendent of the Kalamazoo Paper Company.1 The sheets, which appeared to have been torn from a larger manuscript, were part of a bundle of old paper that had been shipped for pulping from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to the company mills in Michigan.2 Gibson must have realized that the material was of historical interest when he sent it on to Beckwith, who was known for his research into the frontier history of the Northwest Territory. Indeed, the packet


The title page of Hiram Beckwith's "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript." Although the text was printed without attribution to an author, an advertisement in the back of the volume suggested that the piece was written by early nineteenth-century Indian agent William Wells.

Hiram Beckwith, ed., "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript," in Fergus' Historical Series, vol. 26 (Chicago, 1883).

included several speeches given by various Indian chiefs at two councils held in the fall of 1811 at Fort Wayne and a letter dated January 25, 1812, from the great Miami war chief, Little Turtle, to Gov. William Henry Harrison.3 In addition, it contained a brief historical account of various battles fought by Indians and whites mainly in the Northwest Territory, starting with Pontiac's Revolt in 1763 and concluding with the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Finally, and most importantly, the manuscript included a description of the Miami Indians' manners and customs, including their vision quests, courtship and marriage rituals, adoption ceremonies, methods of warfare, religious beliefs, forms of entertainment, and burial practices. In 1883, Beckwith's edited version of "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript" appeared in volume 26 of the Fergus' Historical Series, a set of volumes primarily focused on the history of the Northwest Territory and published by the Fergus Printing Company of Chicago . The first part of volume 26 reprinted William Henry Harrison's 1838 Aborigines of the Ohio Valley; the second part was Beckwith's "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript," which was itself divided into two sections: the first titled "Indian Speeches at Fort Wayne" and the second, "The Manners and Customs of the North-Western Indians."

In his introduction, Beckwith claimed the unnamed author of "Manners and Customs" must have been "a well-informed and candid writer. His statements of facts, dates, names, etc., harmonize in the main with creditable works since in print.... He must have had an intimate and long acquaintance with the Indians; and the information preserved in his manuscript...is, for the most part, not only new, but valuable historical matter."4 Beckwith did not speculate about who might have written this valuable treatise on Miami culture. However, the publisher's advertisement on the volume's next-to-last page explicitly stated a connection between "The Manners and Customs of the North-Western Indians" and one of the most important participants in Indian-white relations in territorial Indiana. It stated that the material had come "from MSS., supposed to be in the handwriting of Capt. William Wells."5 This supposition, however, was neither confirmed nor denied, leaving the authorship of "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript" unknown.

More than sixty years before Beckwith's edited document, "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript," two articles titled "Indian Manners and Customs" and "Indian History" had appeared in the February and May 1820 issues of The Western Review & Miscellaneous Magazine. The

authorship of each article was attributed to former Indian agent William Wells. The first paragraph of "Indian Manners and Customs" began:
The following account of the manners and customs prevalent among the North Western Indians is taken from a manuscript of Mr. William Wells, who was himself long among them, and who obtained from personal observation a knowledge of most of the facts he communicates.
The "Indian History" simply stated it was "From the Manuscript of Mr. William Wells."

Within the 1883 "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript" the two articles are found as a single essay, the aforementioned "The Manners and Customs of the North-Western Indians." The basic contents of "Indian History" preceded that of "Indian Manners and Customs."

Who, then, was William Wells, whose document was first published in 1820 and then rediscovered and republished in a different form in 1883?

William Wells was born in 1770 beside Jacobs Creek in western Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Wells and Ann Farrow Wells.6 In 1779, the family flatboated down the Ohio to the Falls at Louisville, Kentucky, and lived in various nearby stations along Beargrass Creek. Ann died shortly thereafter, and Samuel was killed in the Long Run massacre in September 1781. William was placed under the care of William Pope, a prominent figure in Louisville. In March 1784, Wells and three other boys were camping and hunting at Robert's Pond, near the Ohio River, when they were captured by Indians. Wells was taken to Snake-fish Town (Kenapakomoko) on the Eel River, about five miles north of present-day Logansport, Indiana. Wells, now named "Wild Carrot," was adopted by the village chief, "The Porcupine." The boy was adept at languages and assimilated quickly. Over the next few years, like Indian boys his age, he learned to become a Miami: he blacked his face and fasted,


A portrait of William Wells. Wells was raised among the Miami Indians and fought with them in several important battles. In later years, however, he became an Indian Agent for the federal government.

Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Museum

experienced a vision quest and received the name "Blacksnake," became a skilled hunter and warrior, took a wife, and fathered a son. It is likely he participated in Harmar's Defeat in October 1790, when Little Turtle's Miami and their Delaware and Shawnee allies defeated Kentucky militia and the U. S. Army, first on the Eel River and a few days later at Kekionga. The following August, Gen. James Wilkinson attacked Snake-fish Town while Wells and most of the other warriors were away, taking many captives including Wells's wife and son. That fall, Wells took as his new wife Little Turtle's daughter, Sweet Breeze.7 During the same period,

Little Turtle, Chief of the Miami. He was born in the 1740s in what is now northeast Whitley County, Indiana. Until his death in 1812, he maintained a close relationship with Wells.

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society

he fought for Little Turtle in a much greater Indian victory, St. Clair's Defeat, on November 4, 1791.8 During the following year, Wells went to Cincinnati to free his first wife and son, along with the other captives. He accompanied Gen. Rufus Putnam to Vincennes, where the Indians signed a treaty that secured the release of the prisoners.9

On a previous trip to Vincennes to sell furs, Wells had come to the attention of the fort's commandant, leading to his brothers Carty and Sam making contact with him at Snake-fish Town. Sam urged Wells to come to see him in Kentucky; Wells visited but then decided to return to his Miami family. Eventually Sam was able to convince him to switch sides and offer his service to Putnam, who, following the treaty, hired Wells to work for the United States. He left his first Indian wife and his son with the Miami, taking with him Sweet Breeze and their children. Wells went on several dangerous spying missions to Indian councils in 1792 and 1793 before becoming head scout for Gen. Anthony Wayne. He recruited an elite group of men, many of whom had lived among the Indians. They ably performed their scouting missions, took prisoners for interrogation, and made sure Wayne's army was not ambushed and destroyed as Harmar's and St. Clair's had been. Shot in the wrist on one daring exploit, Wells ceased his spying activities shortly before the decisive battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794; however, he was still able to offer Wayne crucial strategic advice.10 The following year Wells served as the translator between Little Turtle and Wayne at the Treaty of Greenville, which ceded all but the northwest corner of Ohio to the settlers.11 During these negotiations, and again later when Wells took a delegation of Indians to Philadelphia to meet with President George Washington, various Miami chiefs expressed the wish that Wells might become their agent. For much of the rest of his life, Wells served as general advocate, Indian agent, assistant agent, and translator for the Miami at Fort Wayne. His career was controversial; he offended many people and made numerous enemies, several of them in high places. Although he was the agent to the Miami Nation, he clearly favored the Little Turtle faction, and this caused many resentments. He and Little Turtle wanted

the Indians to learn to farm under their leadership, which led to disagreements with the Quakers who directed the government-funded program.12 In addition, John Johnson, the Fort Wayne factor, accused him of various nefarious schemes. It was Johnson who reported that Wells had gone on the warpath as a young man with the Miami and used his white skin to lure flatboats to the Indian side of the Ohio River where they could be ambushed. He also said that Wells had boasted about how many soldiers he had killed at St. Clair's Defeat.13 Since the Quakers were not having much success teaching the Miami men to farm, they blamed Wells's complaints about the program for its failure. At the same time the Shawnee Prophet began his campaign to get Indians to return to their old ways, while his brother Tecumseh planned a pan-Indian resistance to American incursions. Wells warned the secretary of war of these developments on July 14, 1807, stating that the followers of the Prophet were "religiously mad.14 His dire predictions, along with accusations of corruption, further alienated him from his superiors in Washington, D.C. In March 1809, Wells was fired as Indian agent.15

Over the next three years Wells tried to regain his old position, but most of his efforts proved futile. Wells found himself trapped between Tecumseh's militant resistance and Gov. William Henry Harrison's insatiable greed for more land concessions from the Indians. Wells cooperated

with Harrison on several treaties, gaining government support for Little Turtle but alienating groups of Indians in the process. He found himself hated by many of the warriors and distrusted by the government, having pledged himself to serve policies he questioned.16 He stood on a shrinking middle ground, torn by conflicting emotions, vacillating between either protecting the rights of the long-suffering Indians or supporting the land-hunger of the rapidly advancing settlers. As the Indian-white crisis deepened, Wells felt that his counsel was increasingly ignored. Despite his frustration, Wells helped organize the councils held in Fort Wayne in the fall of 1811. The transcripts show him working for peace and contain testaments to his usefulness, such as Potawatomi chief Five Medals's statement: "Father, if you should want to say anything to us, speak to us through our old friend, Capt. William Wells, in whom we all have entire confidence, and then your words will be attended to immediately.17

At about this time, Wells must have begun to write down his memories of Indian battles and the manners and customs of the Miami. After his death in the 1812 Fort Dearborn massacre, portions of Wells's writing were obtained by William Gibbes Hunt, editor of The Western Review and Miscellaneous Magazine, who, in 1820, published the material in two parts.18 Hunt defended the accuracy of the first essay, "Indian Manners and Customs," with an editorial paragraph (see page 161) in which he stated that the account was "taken from a manuscript of Mr. William Wells...who obtained from personal observation a knowledge of most of the facts he communicates."19 The second, entitled "Indian History. From the Manuscript of Mr. William Wells." presents a brief history of the major Indian battles fought from Pontiac's Revolt (called "Pantaock" in the essay) to the battle of Fallen Timbers. The article's direct,

unembellished language, its uncorrected grammatical and spelling errors, and its general air of authority appears to me to confirm Hunt's attribution to Wells. Even the author's disavowal of firsthand knowledge of certain events ("My knowledge of the actions that were fought between [the Indians and the French and British] is derived from the old Indians whom I have conversed with on that subject, and is perhaps not to be depended on") suggests the perspective of a close observer such as Wells.20

While Hunt expressed no doubts about the manuscript's authenticity, he did not state how he had acquired it. One possible clue appears in a footnote included in an essay entitled "Harmar's Expedition," which appeared in the April 1820 issue of Hunt's magazine, between the publication dates of the two Wells pieces. The essay's author, known only as "G," acknowledges receiving information from Wells, "who was with the Indians at the time."21 If "G" had been in direct contact with Wells before the latter's death, perhaps he was the person who passed Wells's manuscript on to Hunt.

Wells may have intended for his writings to form part of an autobiography. Certainly he had a fascinating story to tell, and Hunt implied that the essays had been drawn from a larger manuscript. John D. Hunter's captivity narrative, published in 1823, combined an account of the "Manners and Customs of Several Indian Tribes" along with the "Life of the Author."22 Perhaps Wells had a similar plan in mind for his manuscript. Except for a year or so of schooling in Louisville before his capture, Wells was self-taught. He had a gift for languages, however, and was capable of recording the story of his remarkable life. Wells was a significant participant in major events of his time and place, and he had the rare ability to see both the Indian and white sides of issues. On the other hand, Wells's untimely death may have robbed him of the chance to write a full account of his adventures.23

And yet, as the advertisement in the back of the Fergus' Historical Series volume 26 suggests, more of Wells's work may have survived than historians have generally acknowledged. In spite of claims contained in Hunt's 1820 paragraph and in the 1883 advertisement, few historians of the period have made significant use of the documents contained within "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript"; none have linked its "The Manners and Customs of the North-Western Indians" to Wells. The most recent study of Miami history and culture, Stewart Rafert's The Miami Indians of Indiana, makes no mention of Beckwith's 1883 work, although Rafert briefly refers to Wells three times and makes extensive use of another reliable account from this period, Meearmeear Traditions, compiled by C. C. Trowbridge for Gov. Lewis Cass in 1825.24 Harvey Lewis Carter's 1987 book The Life and Times of Little Turtle, the standard biography of the Miami chief and his son-in-law William Wells, also overlooks "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript."25

On the other hand, Carter does cite a source entitled "A discription of the Emigration, Habits, &c. of the N. Western Indians, As Received from the Most Intelligent and Ancient Indians"-written in 1817 by an author who called himself William Turner of Wellsington-which includes a number of details to be found (albeit with different wording) in the Western Review articles of 1820.26 Further, the typescript of Turner's manuscript, held at the Newberry Library in Chicago, is similar to, but not exactly the same as, "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript." The three sources are almost certainly related to one another. Who then was William Turner, and what was the relation of his 1817 work, either to the 1820 articles or to the later Fort Wayne Manuscript?

In 1810, William Turner arrived at Fort Wayne as a surgeon's mate. During the Indian councils of September 11 and October 2, 1811, he

served as a witness and made a faithful transcription of Wells's translation of the Indian speeches at the council as they were given. The year after Wells was killed, Turner resigned his commission and began a campaign to obtain Wells's old job as Indian agent for the Miami at Fort Wayne. In 1815, Turner married Wells's and Sweet Breeze's daughter, Anne. He began to style himself William Turner of Wellsington, after the formal name given to Wells's extensive land holdings in Fort Wayne. In letters to her sister, Anne expressed dissatisfaction with her life, lamenting Turner's frequent absences, his excessive spending, and his drinking. Despite his shortcomings, Turner managed to be named secretary to the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818, and shortly thereafter he was finally appointed Indian agent for the Miami. However, this long-sought position was short-lived; in 1820 he was fired for "unsatisfactory conduct" and he died in 1821, no doubt as a direct result of his heavy drinking.27 Like many frontiersmen of his time, Turner was a man on the make, determined to get what he wanted by whatever means necessary. He did possess some degree of knowledge about Miami life and customs, through his work with Wells.

Based on my study of the documents, I believe that, following his marriage to Anne Wells in 1815, William Turner came into possession of a copy of the Wells manuscript from which the 1820 Western Review articles were drawn. In 1817, probably in order to enhance his qualifications as Indian agent, he claimed authorship for himself, revising phrasing, correcting diction, and changing details. Then, some time between 1817 and his own death in 1821, Turner apparently made a few further revisions in the manuscript, which was finally published anonymously as "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript" in 1883.28

In the pages that follow, I have reproduced the first printed versions (1820) of "Indian Manners and Customs" and "Indian History,"

since they appear to present Wells's authentic work and voice, supplementing those texts with certain selected historically significant paragraphs from the Turner manuscript of 1817 (within { } marks) and "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript" of 1883 (within [ ] marks). I have also inserted explanatory footnotes for clarification.

Reading these materials together, and at least tentatively ascribing to Wells their common origin, improves our understanding of Indian-white relations in early Indiana in several ways. The first part of Wells's account is illuminating in relation to Indian battles, especially those of the 1790s in which Wells participated; the second part on "Manners and Customs" richly supplements Trowbridge's seminal document by providing first-hand observations of how the Miami lived in the late eighteenth and very early nineteenth centuries. Wells's knowledge was based on his life among them from 1784 to 1792, as well as on his subsequent twenty years of service mainly at Fort Wayne. Trowbridge's account relied almost exclusively on his interviews with two elderly chiefs, Le Gros and Jean Baptiste Richardville (Peshewa, "The Wildcat"), during the winter of 1824-25. Therefore, when the two accounts are in conflict, Wells's statements might be more reliable than those found in Trowbridge, since the Miami were clearly suffering considerable dissolution at the time of his interviews and his informants were very old. Le Gros, for example, says that nowadays "children abuse their parents and very often when intoxicated, beat them," and "now nothing is more common, particularly when they are drunk, to abuse & sometimes beat their wives."29 On the other hand, Meearmeear Traditions has much more information on women than does Wells's account; it includes detail on the role of women chiefs, females going on the warpath, mourning rituals, adoption ceremonies, the naming of children, courtship rituals and marriage practices, women's work, as well as the men known as "White Faces," who assumed the roles of women-all material covered only sketchily by Wells.30 Obviously, the advantage of a amalgamated version of the "Indian Manners and Customs" section of "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript," is that scholars of the period now have two invaluable sources to consult when they study Miami history and culture during this fascinating period.


From the Manuscript of Mr. William Wells.31

The French was the first nation of white people that ever was known among the north western Indians. When the British and French commenced a war against each other in North America, the north western Indians joined the French, and several of the six nations joined the British.32 My knowledge of the actions that were fought between them is derived from the old Indians whom I have conversed with on that subject, and is perhaps not to be depended on.

After the British got possession of this country from the French, a Tawway chief, by the name of Pantaock,33 renewed the war against them, and took in one day all the posts that were occupied by them on the Lakes and their waters, Detroit excepted, by stratagem. After this, in 1774, the war broke out between the north western Indians and the Whites. The principal action that was fought between the parties was at the mouth of the great Kanhaway.34 There were three hundred Shawanees and Delawares, and a few Miamies, Wyandots, and Mingoes, commanded by the celebrated Shawanee chief, called Comstock. This was the war which ended at the treaty of Greenville.35 Although, at different times, individual nations of Indians would treat, or pretend to do so, with the Americans, it was only a temporary thing, for it frequently happened, while a party of Indians was treating with the whites, that


William Wells's pipe tomahawk, as drawn by Ephraim Morrison c. 1810 for gunsmith George Brier. Of the weapon, Morrison's brother wrote that "the main part of the axe is brass, only the edge being steel."

Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Museum

some of their own people would be killing those with whom their chiefs were treating.36

The Indians, who opposed general Sullivan [in 1799], were the combined forces of the Six Nations. Their numbers, and by whom they were commanded, I do not know.37 The Indians that defeated general Crawford at Sandusky were the Wyandots, Delawares, and Shawanees, and a few of the Six Nations or Senecas, Potawatamies, and Ottoways, said to be eight hundred in number.38 I never heard who commanded them. As the Indians always keep the number of their killed and wounded as much secret as possible I shall not undertake to say what number fell in either of the actions above mentioned.

Bowman's campaign was against the Shawanees on the Little Miami river. I am not acquainted with any of the particulars of the action that took place between him and the Indians.39 My knowledge also of the different campaigns carried on against the Shawanees on Mad River and Big Miami by general Clark is not to be depended on.40

When general Harmer arrived at the Miami town he sent Colonel Hardin in search of the Indians with a body of men.41 When he met three hundred Miamies on the head of Eel River, commanded by the celebrated Miami Chief, Little Turtle, an action took place, the whites were defeated, and the Indians had one man killed and two wounded. The Indians that fought the troops under the command of colonel Hardin, in the Miami town, were the three hundred above mentioned, and commanded by the same chief, also a body of five hundred Indians, composed of Shawanees, Delawares, Chippeways, Potawatamies, and Ottoways. The Shawanees were commanded by their own chief, Blue Jacket, the Delawares by Buckingeheles, and the Ottoways and Chippeways by Agashewah, an Ottoway chief. The Indians say they had fifteen killed and twenty five wounded.42 General Scott's Campaign was against the Weas Town on the Wabash,43 where he met with little or no opposition, as the warriors of the Weas expected that he was going against the Miami Town, and had all left their own village to meet him at that place. Eight men and two women were killed by the troops under general Scott. The number of women and children, taken prisoner by him at the Weas, I do not remember.

General Wilkinson's campaign was against the Eel River town, where there were but a few women and children, ten old men, and three young ones who made no defence; four men and one woman were killed, the number of women and children taken not recollected.44 In the

autumn of 1790, an army of Indians, composed of Miamies, Delawares, Shawanees, and a few Potawatamies, three hundred in number, commanded by Little Turtle, attacked Dunlap's Station, on the Big Miami River. This post was commanded by lieutenant Kingsbury.45 The Indians had ten killed and the same number wounded.

There were eleven hundred and thirty three Indians in the army which defeated general St. Clair in 1791. The number of different tribes is not recollected. Among them were Miamies, Potawatamies, Ottoways, Chippeways, Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanees, and a few Mingoes and Cherokees.46 Each nation was commanded by its own Chief, and the Chiefs appeared to be all governed by Little Turtle, who made the arrangements for the action, and commenced the attack with the Miamies under his immediate command. They had thirty killed, and, it is believed, fifty wounded.47

In the autumn of 1792, an army of three hundred Indians, under the command of Little Turtle, composed of Miamies, Delawares, Shawanees, and a few Potawatamies, attacked colonel John Adair under the walls of fort St. Clair, where they had two men killed.48

On the 30th of June 1794, an army of Indians, composed of

Ottoways, Chippeways, Miamies, Wyandots, Pottowatamies, Shawanees, and Delawares, with a number of French and other white men in the British interest, attacked Fort Recovery.49 The Indians were commanded by the Bear Chief, an Ottoway. The white men attached to the Indian army, it is said, were commanded by Elliott and M'Kee, both British officers: the garrison was commanded by captain Gibson of the fourth sublegion.50 The Indians have told me repeatedly that they had between forty and fifty killed, and upwards of one hundred wounded, a number of whom died. This was the severest blow I ever knew the Indians to receive from the whites. The Indians that fought general Wayne on the 20th of August were an army of eight hundred, made up of Wyandots, Chippeways, Ottoways, Delawares, Shawanees, Miamies, and Potawatamies, with a number of white traders from Detroit. The Indians were governed by British influence, and had no commander of their own; consequently they made but little resistance. It is said they had twenty killed and fifteen wounded.51 This battle was what may be called the finishing blow, as no action of consequence has taken place between the whites and Indians since that time.

The Indians that fought the troops under the command of Governor Harrison, on the 7th of November, 1811, were composed of Shawanoes, Puttawatamies, Kickapoos, Wyndbagoes, Taways, and a few Muscoes, amounting in all to one hundred and fifty, agreeable to the most correct information that could be procured from the Indians that

were in the action.52 The Indians lost twenty-five men killed in the action. The number of wounded has not been ascertained. This is the last action that was fought between the Indians and the whites.53

The Indians and whites lived in peace and friendship from the treaty of Greenville, which was held in 1795, until the first raising of the Shawanoe Prophet, which was in 1807, from that time until the 7th November, 1811, the time that the Prophet's followers fought the troops under the command of Governor Harrison; that treacherous and nefarious scoundrel has been fostered by the British Government, and caused a considerable number of the North-Western Indians to be unfriendly toward the United States, and occasionally committed depredations of murder on our Western frontiers.

There was not always a separate cause for each campaign of the Indians against the whites.54 The war, which began in 1774, caused by the ill treatment the Indians received from the whites on the frontiers of the white settlements, was continued by the Indians owing to the great influence the British had among them. This influence was kept up by the large supplies of arms and ammunition the Indians received from the British government every year. From this it is evident that if the United States had got possession of the posts on the Lakes, which the British government agreed to deliver up to them in 1783, there would have been no Indian war after that time.55


The Miami Nation is composed of the oldest inhabitants of this country. Whence they emigrated is not known. The Eel River tribe, the Weas, Piankishaws and Kaskaskias, are branches or tribes of the Miami nation, and all speak one language.56 The Delawares emigrated to this country from the east and are called by the other Indians Elinohbah, or people from the sun rise. The Shawanees came from the west or from Florida. The Wyandots, Chippewas, Ottowas, Pottowatamies, and Kickapoos emigrated from the north and north west. The Winnebagoes and Melomanees, who inhabit the west side of Lake Michigan, emigrated from the west, the Sacks, Foxes, Jawwees, Emassalees, and Nawtowessees, also from the north west.

Though there is a great difference in the languages of these Indians, there is but little difference in their customs and manners. They are warm friends and determined enemies: they will go great lengths to serve their friends, and equally far to punish their enemies. The men are trained to hunting and war, whilst all the menial work is left for the women.

Each nation is divided into villages, and each village has one or more chiefs according to its size, who keep their servants in order by persuasion, as arbitrary power is never used except in cases of murder. There are but few chiefs whose influence extends farther than among the people of their respective villages.

The bodies of the children, both male and female, are early inured to hardships by their being compelled to fast and to bathe their bodies every day in cold water. The time a child must fast is regulated by its age. Thus a child of eight years old will fast half a day and one of twelve or more will go without food and drink all day. The child, while it is fasting, has its face blacked and is made to wash before eating. The face of the male is blacked all over; that of the female on the cheeks only. The male quits this practice at the age of eighteen years, and the female at the age of fourteen. When the boy arrives at the age of eighteen, it is said by his parents that his education is complete and that he is old enough to be a

man. His face is then blacked for the last time; he is taken a mile or two from any house, where he has a small hut built for him out of bushes or weeds. After this he is addressed by his father or guardian in the following words: "My son, it has pleased all the great spirits that dwell above the skies and those that dwell on the earth that you should live to see this day: they have all seen your conduct since I first blacked your face: they know whether you have at all times strictly adhered to the advice I have given you; and I hope they will reward you accordingly. You must remain here until myself or some other friend shall come for you." The man then returns home, takes his gun, and goes hunting while his son is left five or six, and sometimes eight, days without any thing to eat or drink. When the father has procured meat for a feast, he invites some of his neighbours to come and partake of what he has: they accompany him to where his son has been for days: the boy is then taken home and bathed in cold water, his head shaved all over except a small part on the top. Food is then given him which had been prepared in a separate vessel for that purpose. After he has done eating, a looking glass and a bag of vermillion or paint are given him.57 He is then told by the company that he is a man and he is ever afterwards considered as such by the people of the village. Immediately after an Indian boy's face is blacked, which is at day break, he takes his bow and goes to the woods, and does not return until the usual time for him to wash his face and get something to eat.

I have frequently accompanied Indian boys when their faces were blacked and I never knew a single instance of their eating or drinking while they were in that situation or without the knowledge of their parents. Their minds are operated on by fears: they are made to believe that if they should eat or drink with their faces blacked it would be followed by immediate punishment from the great spirits who watch strictly over their actions.

{When a female arrives at the age of puberty, which is generally from thirteen to fifteen years after birth, and her monthly discharges or cattenenia commences, she is separated from the family, and a small hut is built for her some distance from the house where her parents reside. She is put in the hut prepared for that purpose where she remains until

the menstrual discharge ceases, during which time but a small quantity of nutriment is allowed, and no person is permitted to visit or associate with her.

During this state of nature call, her provisions are prepared in a separate dish at a fire made for that purpose. Her clothing and cooking utensils during this time are considered unclean, and after this call of nature ceases, she is directed to bathe herself in cold water; after which a sweat house is prepared; she is taken into it by her mother, or some female friend, and is scarafyed on her legs and arms with a sharp flint; after this operation is over they conceive her system perfectly purified, she is then admitted into the family as purified for association. This practice prevails and is strictly adhered to by the females of all ages.

It is from these early habits, that the system of the Indians are prepared to endure the fatigues, hardships, and inclemencies to which they are always subject.

If a female is pregnant when traveling, and her time of parturition comes on, she will at the call of nature stop at the first convenient stream or pool of water, where she will be delivered; she will then wash her child in cold water, and wrap it in her blanket, or any old cloths she may have: she will then wash herself, and in two hours, be prepared to proceed on her journey. }58

Polygamy is permitted among the Indians.59 A man may have as many wives as he pleases, and young men are instructed by their parents to get as many as they can, but by no means to involve themselves or friends in any quarrels with their neighbours. The marriage ceremonies observed among the Indians are of three different sorts. 1st. When the parties can agree, no farther [sic] ceremony is necessary. 2nd, when a young man is fond of a young woman, and she will not consent to have him unless he first obtains the consent of her parents, which must be attempted by a present suited to the character and condition of the girl. If the present is received the marriage is completed; if it is returned, it is

understood that they will not consent to the match. But the third mode is considered the most honorable, and most binding upon the parties concerned. When an Indian has a son whom he wishes to see married to some good woman, he assembles his friends and relations and advises with them what woman his son shall marry. When a choice is made, the relations of the young man collect what presents they think sufficient for the occasion, go to the parents of the intended bride, make their wishes known, leave the articles they take with them, and return without waiting for an answer.

The relations of the girl then assemble and consult on the subject, and, if they agree to the match, they collect suitable presents, dress the girl in her best clothes, and take her to those who made application for the match, when it is considered that the marriage is completed. If on the contrary she or her friends disapprove the match, the presents from the friends of the young man are returned, which is considered as a refusal.

When an Indian wishes to go to war, he informs one or two of his most intimate friends of his intention, and asks them if they will go with him. The party is then made up by their informing as many as they wish. Their intentions are kept a secret from all others, as the man who is to command wishes to have those only who will at all times cheerfully obey his orders. The party always leaves the villages in the night secretly. When they encamp the captain places the oldest in front and the youngest in the rear. The former do all the hunting for the party and keep a strict watch for the enemy: the latter cook, make fires, and mend the moccasons [sic] of the party.60

Every war party has a small budget called the war budget, which contains something belonging to each of the party, and representing some animal, as for example a snake's skin, a buffalo's tail, a wolf's head, a mink's skin, or the feathers of some extraordinary bird. This budget is considered sacred, and is carried by some person chosen for that purpose, who always marches in front, and leads the party to the enemy. He is never passed on the march by any of the party, while he has the budget on his back. When the party halts, the budget is laid on the ground in front of them, and no person is permitted to pass it without orders from

proper authority.61 No one is allowed to lay his pack on a log, nor is any one suffered to talk about home or about women while the party is going towards the enemy. When a four-legged animal is killed by the party, the heart is carefully preserved by a person appointed for that purpose. When they encamp, a fire is built by the side of the war budget, and the heart of the animal slain is cut up into small pieces and burnt. The sticks intended to roast meat on are formed with a slit, in which the meat is placed: the other end being sharpened for the purpose of sticking them in the ground.62 No person is allowed to step across the fire: every one must go round it and always in the same direction with the sun.

When the enemy is to be attacked the war budget is opened, and each man takes out his emblem and ties it to that part of his body directed by his ancestors. An Indian when he attacks his enemy is generally nearly naked, and his body is painted with different colours, commonly red. After the action is over, each person returns his war bag to the commander of the party, who wraps them all up carefully and gives the budget to the man who has taken the first prisoner or scalp and he is entitled to the honor of leading the party home in triumph. The war budget is then hung in front of the door of the person that carried it on the march against the enemy, where it is left hanging for thirty or forty days, and some one of the party sings and dances near it. When the man who commanded thinks proper, he assembles the party and a feast is prepared for the people of the village, who sing and dance all night. Those of the party who injured the enemy most serve out the feast to the people. The war budget is then opened by the man that commanded, each of them takes his war bag, and the party is dissolved.

Every Indian has one or more of the skins or images, which are called in Miami Corpennah, and which they continually worship.63 They say that when the creator formed them he gave them those things, and

told them that if they would worship them, they would live to an old age and be happy. Some member of every family therefore worships these instruments regularly every month, sometimes oftener, by preparing a kettle full of victuals and a few pipes of tobacco, and singing all night the songs he has been taught by his ancestors, which may be called religious songs. He invites his neighbours to come and eat the victuals, and when they are assembled states the cause of his calling them together, after which they proceed to eating with a great deal of ceremony. Each person throws a little of the victuals into the fire before he puts any in his mouth. Few Indians will give an opinion respecting a future state of existence. They say that those things are only enquired after by fools and white men. Some of them have told me that there were two other worlds to which the ghosts of this world go; one the place of residence of the great and good spirit, and the other that of the bad, that the ghosts of good men live with the good spirit and the ghosts of bad men with the bad spirit.64 When asked what qualities are necessary for a good man, they would reply, to be a good father, a good husband, a good warrior, and a lover of his nation. The Indians generally appear to care but little about a future state of existence and only appear to be anxious to live to old age. When an Indian dies, his relations black their faces and fast for a certain time fixed by the head of the family. The neighbours assemble and bury the dead, after which the heads of those families who are friendly towards the family of the deceased take some article of clothing and go and address the friends of the deceased in the following words: 'Friends, we are sorry that it has pleased the great spirit to call one of your family from you, but this is not uncommon among us people of this world. Our friend is only going on his journey a few days before us. We have come therefore to invite you to mourn no longer, and to cover the body of our departed friend.'65 They then return, and the articles of clothing they left are preserved for the person that is to be adopted in the place of the deceased.66

When an Indian loses one of his friends by death, he believes that if the place is not supplied by adoption, more of his friends will die.67 Should the deceased be a male, the most intimate male friend is chosen to fill his vacancy: if a female, her most intimate female friend is chosen. If the deceased be a person of respectability it frequently happens that two persons are chosen to fill the vacancy.

When every thing is ready, the person or persons are sent for, and the ceremony begins. If the deceased were a warrior, the adoption is exhibited by the warriors of the village who assemble at the house of the deceased, dance the war dance, and sing the war song in rotation. The warrior goes through all the actions he performed when he was engaged with his enemy, after which he repeats to the assembly the number of actions he has been in and the number of scalps he has taken, occasionally giving the same yells and using the same words he uttered when he was in battle. During all the time there is a constant yelling of the war whoop by the assembly. When the warrior has gone through such of his war exploits as he thinks proper, he hands the war club to some other warrior, and sits down: the other rises and repeats as many of his war exploits as he thinks proper in the same way, and thus the dance is continued until each warrior of the village is called on to relate his war exploits. Some are even called on two or three times. The assembly is then dismissed by the speaker of the friends of the deceased, who declares that their hearts are glad. The person adopted, who during the dance sits among the relations of the deceased, is then moved by his new relations to a private room, where he receives every thing that belonged to the deceased, as well as the articles of clothing that had been received from the neighbours. He is then told that he is one of the family and is considered as such, and that he is entitled to the same authority in the nation as the person whose place he fills.

When a common man, woman, or child dies, the adoption is exhibited by a few people of both sexes playing some favourite game of the deceased.

When an Indian goes to the grave of his friend or relation he addresses himself to the grave as though the corpse were living, and

relates every misfortune that has happened in the family since it was buried. He then leaves there a piece of tobacco, some victuals or spirituous liquors, if he have any, and departs.

The Indians are an indolent people, and are therefore fond of any kind of amusement that may serve to pass away time and make them merry. They have a variety of games too tedious to mention,68 and are remarkably honorable in paying their gambling debts.69 They have a variety of dances. The morning dance begins in the evening and continues until morning when the feast is served up to the company. Another dance is performed by a certain society. Each member of the society is supposed to possess secret arts by which he can destroy the life of his neighbours when he pleases, without its being known to them or any one else. Persons of both sexes are adopted into this society with a great deal of ceremony.70

If you could get a word in edgewise, over the yelling, pointing and the rude interrupting, what the nation really wants to know is...

By Samit Basu With Genesia Alves & Mamta Sharma  

Dinner conversations have been replaced by phone-tapping.

IN THE WORLD we live in now, survival is victory. And we're not talking about surviving wars, or earthquakes, or epidemics, but getting through an average day without whatever hair you have left standing completely on end. How long does it take, on any given day, before you're gritting your teeth and reminding yourself not to lose your cool and unleash your inner Genghis Khan? Under the constant onslaught of other people's everyday intrusions, from spam SMSes to intimate strangers on public transport, are we all turning into grumbling misanthropes? Has the world always been like this, or have things been getting steadily worse? And are the people around us as befuddled by us as we are by them? What, in the name of civilization, has happened to people's manners?

In a world that's constantly changing, shrinking, flattening, and always in a hurry, a world where diverse cultures, regions and generations are being mashed together, and where the omnipresence of technology changes human behaviour regularly, it has become hard to define manners. So when we say 'manners' in this article, we don't mean etiquette, or particular ritualized codes of conduct. We're talking about basic civilized behaviour, civic sense, a general empathy and concern for other people, and following very basic rules to make sure we don't ruin the days of people around us. Guidelines that we hope they, in turn, follow when we're around them as well.

You're in a queue at a supermarket checkout counter when a very respectable-looking lady barges past and dumps her groceries in front of the clerk, blithely ignoring the outraged murmurs of everyone waiting patiently in line.

Similar situations: line-cutting everywhere from airports to ticket queues, people breaking our already loose driving guidelines and cramming their cars into the inch of space you need, or stuffing themselves into reserved seats while confidently pretending they're not doing anything Queen Elizabeth would have frowned at.

YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: Running amok. The temptation to physically lift a queue-breaker and place him or her firmly at the end of the line, with or without pithy comments about their upbringing, is ever present. But according to Aparna Samuel Balasundaram, a Gurgaon-based psychotherapist and family coach, "People are not doing it purposefully. There is not a conscious intent to be rude. Everyone is constantly on a treadmill of life, running a race, and they want to hasten the process and cut corners. We all want to get ahead before everyone else. But the human heart is not getting any darker."

TRY THIS INSTEAD: "Avoid rudeness or shouting, but do not keep silent either-that would mean you are contributing to such behaviour," counsels Balasundaram. And people who get away with this once will become serial offenders. Use an authoritative 'teacher voice', but remain calm while reminding the offender about the existence of the obviously visible queue. And remember that sometimes line-cutting is a result of emergencies.  

Prof V. Raghunathan, PhD, author of Games Indians Play and the forthcoming book A Comprehensive Guide to Queue Jumping for a Good Indian, suggests our tendency to jump queues, whether at service windows or traffic, may partially be a product of the environment. He says, "When people jostle or try to cut queues at the municipal taps or a ticket counter at the local movie hall, it may be 'understandable' to some extent, as the water may go off or the tickets may all be sold before your turn."

THIS HAPPENS: You're at a movie theatre, hoping to enjoy some expensive but rewarding entertainment, when you find someone in your vicinity having a prolonged, loud phone conversation, or kicking your seat incessantly.

Or perhaps your neighbour plays music, whether devotional or heavy metal, incessantly at ear-splitting volumes, at times when only bats should be awake.

YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: A natural, however, immature, reaction would be the eye-for-an-eye method: to talk even louder, or really test the limits of your own sound system, to demonstrate exactly how annoying this feels. According to Chennai-based psychiatrist and author, Dr Vijay Nagaswami, belligerence affects people differently: "Many people end up being blasé. Some equally rude, loud and brash people tend to return the compliment in kind and not think too much about it. But those who find such behaviour obnoxious, threatening or cringeworthy, end up feeling the most stressed."

TRY THIS INSTEAD: Balasundaram stresses that one needs to respond to these situations practically and smartly. If the ruckus-makers in a movie theatre, for instance, are a bunch of rowdy boys, it's best to just try to ignore them because "Whatever you say is going to fuel the issue. Creating a ruckus is at times part of their purpose other than enjoying the movie." In these situations, talking to the management is better than confrontation. "If it is a smaller group (2-3 people) or a couple chatting away, just say 'I would like to enjoy the movie and you are disturbing me.' They may make one more comment but then they get the message and keep quiet," she adds.

You're at a wedding, or a social function, and a distant relative (or, in India, a complete stranger) begins a Guantanamo-style interrogation, asking deeply personal questions about your career, income, relationship and reproductive status.Possible additions to this lethal cocktail: physical overfamiliarity, a complete non-acknowledgement of personal space. Alternatively, an unasked-for front-row seat to a loud private argument in a public space.

YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: This is a problem most of us Indians have faced through our lives, and when we asked our own friends and relatives intrusive questions about how they deal with these situations, they gave us a range of responses they've tried, from outright rage and angry stomps to intentional Shock-and-Awe tactics such as pretending to be gay or pregnant, or to have already got married. None of these, alas, are methods that trained professionals would recommend.

TRY THIS INSTEAD: According to Balasundaram, dealing with intrusive personal questions and overfamiliarity is a fine art, and responses should be calibrated in accordance with the closeness (relationship-wise, not physical) of the interrogator, and the perceived genuineness of their intentions. We should be as honest as possible with people who are asking personal questions out of genuine concern, who we know wish us well. You may completely avoid (politely, of course) answering people who are just looking for gossip or trying to be hurtful. "If they ask 'Why don't you have kids?' say, 'It is a personal choice and we are waiting' (even if it hasn't worked out in spite of trying). Leave it there and very quickly follow it up with a question about them. Distract them and turn the tables to bring them in the limelight. Never lose control of your emotions. Be stoic and in control while dealing with the situation."

Wise words, no doubt, but it is often difficult to be so mature when dealing with particularly annoying offenders. And when it comes to personal space and physical overfamiliarity, of course, a whole new universe of discomfort opens up. History gives us numerous examples of people who've been declared saints for putting up with far less than what women in India have to go through on a regular basis. So when someone, however familiar, makes an uncomfortable advance, don't hesitate to raise a red flag immediately.

You're on the street, thinking pleasant thoughts, when you see that most charming of sights: someone spitting on the road. Alternatively, you seethe in indignation as someone casually litters, or wanders around scratching themselves in obvious glee. And then there's always the possibility of the spectacle of public urination.

YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: We are non-violent people, but these sudden visual assaults make us want to react with deadly force. Fortunately, the giant brooms to sweep people away that appear in our imaginations don't exist in the real world. But the urge to shout and shame these people is strong, and easily acted upon. According to humorist Shovon Chowdhury, "It comes down to education. Insanitary conditions affect the mind, behaviour, productivity and even real estate prices. They decline." And this is the sort of decline that often enrages people enough to want to start brawls.

TRY THIS INSTEAD: In these situations, we must remember to add a touch of empathy to our anger. Chowdhury reminds us, "The majority of our population, if they go to school at all, go to government schools where never mind the education, you're not even guaranteed a toilet." Nagaswami would agree, "When public toilets are not available, expecting people not to relieve themselves in public doesn't make sense. When peoples' rights are provided for, one can reasonably expect them to discharge civic responsibilities." Even when it comes to spitting, littering or scratching, in a lot of cases people do it simply because everyone else does so, and no one taught them it was wrong. Which doesn't mean we should just let it go, of course. Balasundaram's advice: "For public nuisances like these, people should come together as a community and respond in innovative ways to create awareness. Step up and be a role model. Confront as the public not as an individual."

THIS HAPPENS: You're with friends or family, hoping to catch up on their lives, and tell them about yours. But throughout, they're busy checking their phones, taking calls or messages or perhaps just browsing through Facebook while completely forgetting you're there and waiting. Alternatively, they're too busy photographing everything, from themselves to food, to focus on any real conversation.

YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: It's completely understandable if you feel like gently taking their phones and slowly dipping them into the nearest available glass of water. Or yelling some version of 'Me! Me! I'm here!' Except that you probably remain silent and slowly devolve into a heap of self-damaging grumpiness.

And this, of course, doesn't even begin to touch upon the trauma inflicted upon our nerves by people behaving badly online: from outright trolling to relentless self-promotion, unwanted tagging and force-adding to social media groups, aggressive commenting, adding, forwarding and spamming at every possible level.

We must recognize, though, that all of us at some point end up behaving oddly in the virtual space-possibly because the rules of good behaviour online are constantly changing, usually slipping into further chaos every now and then.

According to Shalini Anant, PhD, a faculty member in the psychology department of Mumbai's Tata Institute of Social Sciences, "Having so much technology around is likely to make us feel that everything exists for our consumption and convenience. It is possible that it can make us feel that we don't have to be considerate towards other people or other things. One can speculate that it is the digitized life that makes us inconsiderate but I am not sure if this is how it is, because some of us living the digitized life can be considerate, while  others who are not familiar with technology are prone to inconsiderate behaviour."

TRY THIS INSTEAD: The key is to remember that people turn to devices not to be intentionally rude, but because it's perfectly natural compulsive behaviour in today's world. So criticizing them isn't the solution. Balasundaram advises us, when it's near and dear ones behaving like this, to "pull the emotional plug. Say, 'I miss your company' or 'I want you to talk to me' or 'When you are on the phone while I am talking to you, I feel you are not listening to me.'

"When you are multitasking as a parent (working on a computer, talking to your child, taking a phone call on the side) you are not doing justice to your child. If as a parent you know that your child is missing you, you will sit up and take notice," Balasundaram explains. "Be role models at home and  make a conscious effort. As a family come up with a "screen time rule." Put off the phone while having meals with your family. The phone shouldn't be part of your being. Family time is important and show that your family is priority in action. You may miss a few phone calls... but that's OK. Being purposeful helps."

THIS HAPPENS: You see someone being terribly rude to domestic help, or service staff, or anyone they perceive to be socially inferior.

YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE: Everyone wants to be a knight in shining armour, but in these cases we know it's mostly futile: people's feudal attitudes are often very deeply ingrained. So while publicly shaming people for bad behaviour with those 'serving' them is very tempting, we often tend to judge them and move on.

Anant explains that this behaviour stems from 'in-group' and 'out-group' perceptions. "In-group perception would be how we perceive people who are from within our group or the group we identify with. And out-group perception is just the opposite. Because when we don't interact with the 'other' group we are more likely to dislike them as well as stereotype them, instead of trying to understand their perspective."

TRY THIS INSTEAD: This one's easy: treat people well yourself, without exception, and hope that this behaviour spreads-its rewards are usually easily visible. Dr Shelja Sen, a Delhi-based child and adolescent psychologist and author of All You Need is Love, The Art of Mindful Parenting, reminds us that it's all about learning good behaviour by example at an early age. "I believe in strong values. As adults, if we are building the right values in ourselves and around us, our children will follow it. Giving lectures or sermons or advice to children doesn't work," explains Sen. "Our kids may also pick up things from others they come in contact with. So if your child is being rude to the domestic help, rather than being reactive and angry, gently yet firmly tell the child 'What you just did is not acceptable, we are not rude to people who help us.'  " You can't tell adults the same thing so directly, of course, but every time you behave well with someone, you're making the world better.

LET'S FACE IT: We're all guilty of at least one of the behaviours mentioned here at some point. We've justified it-we were in a hurry, or desperate, or just not paying attention. We've felt bad, but we've gone with it, resolving to try better next time. And that's fine.

It's easy to slip: the point is to know where the line is, and to try to hold it. It's not as if the world we live in now is inherently barbaric: there are just many new ways to behave badly, and too much visible evidence of other people just letting things slide, which always has a cascading effect. But it's not at all difficult to do better. We don't have to aim at being a parfit gentil knight, like PG Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster did. All we have to try to do is be the best we can, and we'll find that nothing happened to good manners: they were within us all along.

Samit Basu is a writer in several media, best known for his novels. He is usually well-mannered except on Twitter @samitbasu

Caveperson or Civilized?
Find out your place on Darwin's queue with our quiz
BY Genesia Alves

1. What is the distance generally accepted as one's personal space?

a. Ideally 18 inches but not closer than a foot.
b. Three feet.
c. I can't answer, someone is reading this over my shoulder.

2. You have just met your friend's grandmother. You address her
a. as your friend suggested when you asked, with a respectful 'aunty', 'nani' or Mrs Sharma.
b. with a formal handshake.
c. as you would any new acquaintance, "Are you on Facebook?"

3. When someone has just talked unnecessarily non-stop for five minutes, you
a. wait till they're finished and then excuse yourself from the conversation.
b. keep listening while inwardly hoping they run out of breath.
c. say, "No. Wait. Listen to me. Five     minutes? I can hold anyone's attention for much longer."

4. A young mother with a baby is holding up the queue in the aircraft.You
a. offer to help her with her hand luggage.
b. wait quietly, hoping that baby doesn't spend the flight crying.
c. click your tongue audibly and roll your eyes at the next person.

5. The expressions 'thank you', 'please' and 'excuse me' are
a. vital to a civilized society.
b. a pleasant way to ease brief interactions with strangers.
c. defunct, meaningless niceties that impress no one but your KG teacher.

6. When it comes to neighbours, staff, etc., you teach your children to

a. briefly wish them when they meet them.
b. say hello if they come face to face.
c. ignore them. Why do the kids need to talk to random adults?

7. Entering with a huge crowd in a busy mall, you
a. hold the door open for the next     person who then holds it for the next.
b. swing it open widely and hope the next person catches it.
c. say, "Huh? There's a doorman. That's his job. Not mine."     

8. At dinner, your mobile phone is best
a. out of sight.
b. on silent mode, face-down but on the table in case the babysitter calls.
c. checked every three minutes, especially when someone else is talking.

9. You've received an e-mail that CCs 200 people's visible e-mail addresses to a play. You

a. RSVP to just the sender.
b. reply to the sender 'gently reminding' him that he has erred in e-mail etiquette.
c. hit Reply All with an enthusiastic 'Yes!' and what you'll be wearing.

10. You meet a friend with a large tummy. She hasn't mentioned a pregnancy. You
a. say she looks well and leave it at that.
b. refuse to comment on her physical appearance at all.
c. grab her tummy and insist you want to feel the baby kick.

11. You're in the middle of discussing important work matters with a colleague when you step into a crowded lift. You
a. momentarily pause the conversation until you get off at your floor.  
b. talk in theatric whispers using 'codes'.
c. continue. It would be rude of them to eavesdrop.

12. You have a terrible cough and cold but have to go out in public. You're
a. armed with handkerchiefs, tissues, throat lozenges.
b. standing outside any public space until the dratted sniffle-attack passes.
c. just hoping other people feel sympathetic when they see how vigorously you have to cough in     whichever direction you're facing.

13. You have small children and you're at a restaurant. You
a. insist they sit at the table at all times and make sure they are entertained.
b. never took your young children to any restaurant other than a kiddie burger place.
c. let them run around if they want. They're kids after all.

14. An article online is at complete odds with your most dearly held personal beliefs. You feel compelled to comment. You

a. write a short comment stating your disagreement citing basic reasons.  
b. write an impassioned, concise refutation with links to a longer blog     post you spent hours composing.
c. go through comments, replying angrily to every commenter who has agreed with the post and threatening them. Fortunately, you're still 'Anonymous'.

15. An elderly person gets on a crowded bus. You

a. offer them your seat.
b. get up and loudly insist they take your seat.
c. don't make eye contact by looking meaningfully at the reserved seats in front.

Your results.

Mostly As: You get it. Manners are a give and take and you let your inner kindness and empathy guide you.
You tailor your responses according to your environment, are alert to both verbal and non-verbal cues and are not afraid to ask what is appropriate when necessary. Your personality shines!

Mostly Bs: You read a book on etiquette and now you want to bump everyone on the head with it. You know the 'right' way to behave in every situation but you being such a stickler is making everyone uncomfortable, especially yourself! Relax a little.

Mostly Cs: You're reading this in your ivory tower or your cave or some-where you've been untouched by any learnings in social civility. You have to learn to think about the comfort of other people or we will have to introduce you to the person who got Mostly Bs.




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