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I am neither of a melancholy nor a cynical disposition, and am as willing and as apt to be pleased as anybody; but I am sure that since I have had the full use of my reason nobody has ever heard me laugh.By the Victorian era, etiquette had developed into an exceptionally complicated system of rules, governing everything from the proper method for writing letters and using cutlery to the minutely regulated interactions between different classes and gender.
Learning by listening to everybody and knowing that human knowledge is never perfect are a leitmotif.
Baldassare Castiglione (Italian: [baldasˈsaːre kastiʎˈʎoːne]; December 6, 1478 – February 2, 1529), count of Casatico, was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author, who is probably most famous for his authorship of The Book of the Courtier.
The work was an example of a courtesy book, dealing with questions of the etiquette and morality of the courtier, and was very influential in 16th century European court circles.
Influential in this new discourse was a series of essays on the nature of politeness in a commercial society, penned by the philosopher Lord Shaftesbury in the early 18th century.
Shaftesbury defined politeness as the art of being pleasing in company: Periodicals, such as The Spectator, founded as a daily publication by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in 1711, gave regular advice to its readers on how to conform to the etiquette required of a polite gentleman.
The letters were first published by his son's widow Eugenia Stanhope in 1774.