This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
THE fences shown upon the opposite page, separating houses and lots, often prevent acquaintance with neighbors being made. The result of this non-intercourse is usually a suspicion that the neighbor is unworthy of confidence, an opinion which is never overcome except by interchange of civilities which would show each the worth of the other.
Unacquainted with his neighbors, the resident, ceasing to consider their rights, grows careless of his obligations toward others, and consequently becomes a less worthy citizen.
The illustration upon this page (Fig. 23) represents the scene very much changed. Again we have the same residences, and the same neighbors, who have become acquainted and have learned to value each other. The result of this social intercourse and evident observance of the rights of others has wrought a vast change in the appearance of the homes, which is manifest at a glance.
It is plainly apparent in the scene that a higher civilization pervades the neighborhood. The animals, that broke down the trees and devastated the sidewalks and grounds, have been withdrawn by their owners, and sent to pastures, where they belong. This of itself is evidence of decided advancement.
Examine the scene further. The fences have disappeared, save a low coping that determines the outer edge of the lot. In this alone a heavy item of expense has been removed, while with it has come the enlargement of grounds, which, studded with finely trimmed trees, and intersected with winding pathways, surround every residence with a most elegant park. That this improvement is enjoyed, is shown in the congregating of the neighbors together in the shady nook, the gambols of the children on the lawn, and the promenade of the ladies and gentlemen throughout the beautifully embellished grounds. All delight in the scene, and all are made better by it. While the resident could be coarse and selfish in his own little lot, he is now thrown upon his good behavior as he mingles with others on the beautiful grounds, and thus
Fig. 23. THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE PEOPLE LIVE IN HARMONY.
This illustration represents a neighborhood where the people evidently do unto others as they wish others to do unto them. They trust each other. The barriers between them are removed. No animal is allowed to do injury. Enjoying peace and beauty they evidently desire that the neighbor shall share the same. This co-operation, kindness and regard for all, give the beauty, the harmony, the peace, and the evident contentment which arc here presented.
all are improved. Even the cat and dog that quarrelled in the former scene are now acquainted with each other, and happily play together.
To maintain pleasant relations among neighbors, there are a few things which the citizen must avoid. Among these are the following: Never allow children to play upon a neighbor's grounds or premises unless they are invited and made perfectly welcome by the neighbor.
Never allow fowls or animals of any kind, which you have control over, to trespass upon the premises or rights of other people.
Never borrow of neighbors if it be possible to avoid it It is better to buy what you need than to frequently borrow. There are a few things which a neighbor should never be expected to lend. Among these are fine-edged tools, delicate machinery, and any article liable to easily get out of order. The less business relations among neighbors, the better.
Never fail to return, with thanks, any article borrowed, as soon as you have finished using it, and see that it is in as good or bet-ter condition than when you received it
Articles of provisions which may be borrowed should be very promptly returned in larger quantity, to pay interest, and better in quality if possible. In no way can a neighbor lose character more effectually in business dealing than by the petty mean -ness of borrowing and failing to pay, or by paying with a poorer quality and in less amount
Avoid speaking evil of your neighbor. As a rule it is only safe to compliment and praise the absent one. If any misunderstanding- arises between yourself and a neighbor, endeavor to effect a reconciliation by a full explanation. When the matter is fully understood you will very likely be better friends ever afterwards. Never fail, if the grounds run together, to keep your premises in as good order as your neighbor's. Should you own the house and grounds, and others occupy the same, you will do well to arrange to keep the exterior of the premises in order at your own expense, as tenants have not the same interest The improvements of grounds among neighbors thus will always be kept up; you will be compensated by securing the best class of tenants, and the neighborhood will be greatly improved.