I would have inscribed on the curtains of your bed, and the walls of your chamber, If you do not rise early, you can make progress in nothing. If you do not set apart your hours of reading; if you suffer yourself or any one else to break in upon them, your days will slip through your hands unprofitable and frivolous, and unenjoyed by yourself.
As to politeness, many have attempted definitions of it. I would venture to call it benevolence in trifles, or the preference of others to ourselves, in little, daily, hourly occurrences in the commerce of life. A better place, a more commodious seat, priority in being helped at table, etc., what is it but sacrificing ourselves in such trifles to the convenience and pleasure of others? And this constitutes true politeness. It is a perpetual attentionby habit it grows easy and natural to usto the little wants of those we are with; by which we either prevent or remove them.
Bowing, ceremonious formal compliments, stiff civilities, will never be politeness: that must be natural, unstudied, manly, noble. And what will give this, but a mind benevolent, and perpetually attentive to exert that amiable disposition in trifles towards all you converse and live with? Benevolence in greater matters takes a higher name, and is the queen of virtues.