George Washington's Rules of Civility
Moncure D. Conway
Produced by Ted Garvin, Shawn Cruze and PG Distributed Proofreaders
RULES OF CIVILITY
Traced to their Sources and Restored
MONCURE D. CONWAY
TO MY SON
THE RULES OF CIVILITY.
Among the manuscript books of George Washington, preserved in the State
Archives at Washington City, the earliest bears the date, written in it
by himself, 1745. Washington was born February 11, 1731 O.S., so that
while writing in this book he was either near the close of his
fourteenth, or in his fifteenth, year. It is entitled "Forms of
Writing," has thirty folio pages, and the contents, all in his boyish
handwriting, are sufficiently curious. Amid copied forms of exchange,
bonds, receipts, sales, and similar exercises, occasionally, in ornate
penmanship, there are poetic selections, among them lines of a religious
tone on "True Happiness." But the great interest of the book centres in
the pages headed: "Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company
and Conversation." The book had been gnawed at the bottom by Mount
Vernon mice, before it reached the State Archives, and nine of the 110
Rules have thus suffered, the sense of several being lost.
The Rules possess so much historic interest that it seems surprising
that none of Washington's biographers or editors should have given them
to the world. Washington Irving, in his "Life of Washington," excites
interest in them by a tribute, but does not quote even one. Sparks
quotes 57, but inexactly, and with his usual literary manipulation;
these were reprinted (1886, 16 deg.) by W.O. Stoddard, at Denver, Colorado;
and in Hale's "Washington" (1888). I suspect that the old biographers,
more eulogistic than critical, feared it would be an ill service to
Washington's fame to print all of the Rules. There might be a scandal in
the discovery that the military and political deity of America had, even
in boyhood, written so gravely of the hat-in-hand deference due to
lords, and other "Persons of Quality," or had concerned himself with
things so trivial as the proper use of the fork, napkin, and toothpick.
Something is said too about "inferiours," before whom one must not "Act
ag'tt y'e Rules Moral." But in 1888 the Rules were subjected to careful
and literal treatment by Dr. J.M. Toner, of Washington City, in the
course of his magnanimous task of preserving, in the Library of
Congress, by exact copies, the early and perishing note-books and
journals of Washington. This able literary antiquarian has printed his
transcript of the Rules (W.H. Morrison: Washington, D.C. 1888), and the
pamphlet, though little known to the general public, is much valued by
students of American history. With the exception of one word, to which
he called my attention, Dr. Toner has given as exact a reproduction of
the Rules, in their present damaged condition, as can be made in print.
The illegible parts are precisely indicated, without any conjectural
insertions, and young Washington's spelling and punctuation subjected to
no literary tampering.
Concerning the source of these remarkable Rules there have been several
guesses. Washington Irving suggests that it was probably his intercourse
with the Fairfax family, and his ambition to acquit himself well in
their society, that set him upon "compiling a code of morals and
manners." (Knickerbocker Ed. i. p. 30.) Sparks, more cautiously, says:
"The most remarkable part of the book is that in which is compiled a
system of maxims and regulations of conduct, drawn from miscellaneous
sources." (i. p. 7.) Dr. Toner says: "Having searched in vain to find
these rules in print, I feel justified, considering all the
circumstances, in assuming that they were compiled by George Washington
himself when a schoolboy. But while making this claim it is proper to
state, that nearly all the principles incorporated and injunctions,
given in these 110 maxims had been enunciated over and over again in the
various works on good behaviour and manners prior to this compilation
and for centuries observed in polite society. It will be noticed that,
while the spirit of these maxims is drawn chiefly from the social, life
of Europe, yet, as formulated here, they are as broad as civilization
itself, though a few of them are especially applicable to Society as it
then existed in America, and, also, that but few refer to women."
Except for the word "parents," which occurs twice, Dr. Toner might have
said that the Rules contain no allusion whatever to the female sex. This
alone proved, to my own mind, that Washington was in nowise responsible
for these Rules. In the school he was attending when they were written
there were girls; and, as he was rather precocious in his admirations, a
compilation of his own could hardly omit all consideration of conduct
towards ladies, or in their presence. There were other reasons also
which led me to dissent from my friend Dr. Toner, in this instance, and
to institute a search, which has proved successful, for the source of
the Rules of Civility.
While gathering materials for a personal and domestic biography of
Washington, I discovered that in 1745 he was attending school in
Fredericksburg, Virginia. The first church (St. George's) of the infant
town was just then finished, and the clergyman was the Rev. James
Marye, a native of France. It is also stated in the municipal records of
the town that its first school was taught by French people, and it is
tolerably certain that Mr. Marye founded the school soon after his
settlement there as Rector, which was in 1735, eight years after the
foundation of Fredericksburg. I was thus led to suspect a French origin
of the Rules of Civility. This conjecture I mentioned to my friend Dr.
Garnett, of the British Museum, and, on his suggestion, explored an old
work in French and Latin in which ninety-two of the Rules were found.
This interesting discovery, and others to which it led, enable me to
restore the damaged manuscript to completeness.
[Footnote 1: George Washington and Mount Vernon. A collection of
Washington's unpublished agricultural and personal letters. Edited, with
historical and genealogical Introduction, by Moncure Daniel Conway.
Published by the L.I. Historical Society: Brooklyn, New York, 1889.]
The various intrinsic interest of these Rules is much enhanced by the
curious story of their migration from an old Jesuit College in France to
the copy-book of George Washington. In Backer's Jesuit Bibliography it
is related that the "pensionnaires" of the College of La Fleche sent to
those of the College at Pont-a-Mousson, in 1595, a treatise entitled:
"Bienseance de la Conversation entre les Hommes." The great Mussipontane
father at that time was Leonard Perin (b. at Stenai 1567, d. at
Besancon 1658), who had been a Professor of the Humanities at Paris. By
order of Nicolas Francois, Bishop of Toul, Father Perin translated the
La Fleche treatise into Latin, adding a chapter of his own on behaviour
at table. The book, dedicated to the Bishop of Toul, was first printed
(16 deg.) at Pont-a-Mousson in 1617, (by Car. Marchand). It was printed at
Paris in 1638, and at Rouen in 1631; it was translated into Spanish,
German, and Bohemian. In 1629 one Nitzmann printed the Latin, German,
and Bohemian translations in parallel columns, the German title being
"Wolstand taglicher Gemainschafft mit dem Menschen." A comparison of
this with the French edition of 1663 in the British Museum, on which I
have had to depend, shows that there had been no alteration in Father
Perin's Latin, though it is newly translated. This copy in the library
of the British Museum was printed in Paris for the College of Clermont,
and issued by Pierre de Bresche, "auec privilege du Roy." It is
entitled: "Les Maximes de la Gentillesse et de l'Honnestete en la
Conversation entre les Hommes. Communis Vitae inter homines scita
urbanitas. Par un Pere de la Compagnie de Jesus."
In dedicating this new translation (1663) to the youth of Clermont,
Pierre de Bresche is severe on the French of the La Fleche
pensionnaires. "It is a novelty surprising enough to find a very
unpolished French book translated into the most elegant Latin ever met
with." M. de Bresche declares that he was no longer able to leave so
beautiful a work in such "abjection," and had added a translation which
preserves the purity of the French tongue, and is proportioned to the
merit of the exquisite Latin expressions. We can hardly suppose that
Pierre de Bresche was eulogising his own work, but there is no other
name in the book. Possibly his criticism on the French of the original
edition was only that of an _editeur_ desiring to supplant it. At any
rate, as Father Perin wrote the elegant Latin we cannot doubt that the
chapter he added to the book was in scholarly French.
The old book of the Jesuit "pensionnaires,"--which, had they not ignored
woman, might be called the mother of all works on Civility,--is charming
as well as curious. It duly opens with a chapter of religious
proprieties, at mass, sacrament, sermon, and grace at meat. The Maxims
of secular civility open with the second chapter, and it will be seen
that they are for the gentry. They are mainly for youths whose
environments are portrayed in the interesting frontispiece of the work,
where they are seen in compartments,--at church, in college, in
conversation, at the fireside, in promenade, and at table. We have
already seen, from Backer's Jesuit bibliography, that Father Leonard
Perin added a chapter on "bienseance" at table; but after this there is
another chapter--a wonderful chapter--and it would be interesting to
learn whether we owe this also to Perin. This last chapter is
exquisitely epicurean, dealing with table-setting, table-service, and
the proper order of entrees, roasts, salads, and dessert. It closes--and
the book closes--with a sort of sugarplum paean, the sweets and spices
being in the end gracefully spiritualised. But this concluding passage
of Chapter XI. ("Des Services & honneurs de la Table") must be quoted:--
"Sugar-plums complete the pleasantness and enjoyment of the
dessert, and serve, as it were, to satisfy pleasure. They are
brought, while the table is still laid, in a handsome box on a
salver, like those given by the ancients to be carried home.
Sometimes, also, they are handed round after the hands have been
washed in rose water, and the table covered with a Turkey cloth.
"These are riches which we possess in abundance, and your feasts
cannot terminate more agreeably in your quarters than with our
Verdun sugar-plums. Besides the exquisite delicacy of their sugar,
cinnamon and aniseed, they possess a sweet, fragrant odour like the
breeze of the Canaries,--that is to say, like our sincerest
attachment for you, of which you will also receive proof. Thus you
see, then, the courteous advice we have undertaken to give you to
serve for a profitable entertainment, If you please, then, we will
bring it to a close, in order to devote ourselves more zealously to
other duties which will contribute to your satisfaction, and prove
agreeable to all those who truly esteem good-breeding and decent
general conversation, as we ardently hope.
"Praise be to God and to the glorious Virgin!"
* * * * *
[Footnote 1: This is not unknown at some of the civic banquets in
[Footnote 2: "Les dragees acheuent la douceur de la resjoueissance du
dessert & font comme l'assouuissement du plaisir. Elles sont portees
dans vne belle boette posees sur vn plat, les tables restans encore
dressees a la facon de celles que les Anciens donnoient a emporter en la
maison. Quelquefois aussi les mains estants desia lauees auec
l'eau-rose, & la table couuerte de son tapis de Turquie, elle sont
"Ce sont des richesses que nous possedons en abondance & vos festins ne
se peuuent pas terminer plus agreablement que par nos dragees de Verdun
en vos quartiers. Elles ont parmy les charmantes delicatesses de leur
succre, de leur canelle, & de leur anis, vne douce & suaue odeur qui
egale celles de l'air de nos Canaries, c'est a dire de nos plus sinceres
inclinations en vostre endroit dont vous receuerez de mesme les
tesmoignages. Vous voyez donc icy les advis de la ciuilite que nous
auons entrepris de vous donner, pour vous servir d'vn fructueux
divertissement. Nous les finissons donc si vous le trouuiez agreable,
pour nous porter auec plus de zele aux autres deuoirs qui contribueront
a vostre satisfaction, & qui seront agreables a touts les veritables
estimateurs de la bien-seance & de l'honnestete de la conuersation
commune, comme nous le soutraitions auec passion.
"Loueange a Dieu & a la glorieuse Vierge."]
The earlier editions of the book do not appear to have been published
for the outer world, but were printed in the various colleges where they
were used. Another French work on the same subject, but including much
about ladies, published about the year 1773, plagiarises largely from
the Jesuit manual, but does not mention it. It is probable therefore
that the Perin volume was not then known to the general public. The
anonymous book just mentioned was translated into English. Some of
the phraseology of the Perin book, and many of its ideas, appear in a
work of Obadiah Walker, Master of University College, Oxford, on
Education, but it is not mentioned. Eighteen of the Washington Rules,
and an important addition to another, are not among the French Maxims.
Two of these Rules, 24 and 42, are more damaged than any others in the
Washington MS., and I had despaired of discovering their meaning. But
after my translations were in press I learned from Dr. W.C. Minor that
an early English version of the Maxims existed, and in this I have found
additions to the French, work which substantially include those of the
Washington MS. Through this fortunate discovery the Rules of Civility
are now completely restored.
[Footnote 1: "The Rules of Civility, or Certain Ways of Deportment
observed amongst all persons of Quality upon seueral Occasions." The
earliest edition I have found is that of 1678 (in the British Museum
Library), which is said to be "Newly revised and much Enlarged." The
work is assigned a French origin on internal evidence,--e.g., other
nations than France are referred to as "foreign," and "Monsieur" is used
in examples of conversation. The date is approximately fixed as 1673,
because it is said that while it was in press there had appeared "The
Education of a Young Prince." The latter work was a translation of "De
I'education d'un Prince. Par le Sieur de Chanteresne" [P. Nicole], by
Pierre du Moulin, the Younger, and published in London, 1673.]
[Footnote 2: Of Education. Especially of Young Gentlemen. In two Parts.
The Fifth Impression. Oxford: Published at the Theatre for Amos
Custeyne. 1887. [It was anonymous, but is known to be by Obadiah Walker,
Master of University College, Oxford.]]
The version just alluded to purports to be by a child in his eighth
year. It was first printed in 1640 (London), but the earliest edition in
the British Museum, where alone I have been able to find a copy, is that
of 1646, which is described as the fourth edition. The cover is
stamped in gilt, "Gift of G. III." The translations are indeed rude, and
sometimes inaccurate as to the sense, but that they were the unaided
work of a child under eight is one of the "things hard to be believed"
which a Maxim admonishes us not to tell. In the edition of 1651 there is
a portrait of Master Hawkins at the age of eight, and the same picture
appears in 1672 as the same person at ten. Moreover, in an edition of
1663 the "Bookseller," in an address "to the reader," seems rather vague
in several statements. "A counsellor of the Middle Temple, in 1652,
added twenty-five new Precepts marked thus (*) at which time a Gentleman
of _Lincoln's_-Inn turned the Book into Latine." There are, however, in
this edition thirty-one Precepts not in the French work, and of these
twenty-six are in the edition of 1646. The Latin version appended
(signed H.B.) is exactly that of Father Perin, with the exception of a
few words, considerable omissions, and the additional Precepts. The
additions are all evidently by a mature hand.
[Footnote 1: "Youth's Behaviour, or Decency in Conversation amongst
men. Composed in French by grave persons for the Use and benefit of
their youth. Now newly translated into English by Francis Hawkins. The
fourth edition, with the addition of twenty-sixe new Precepts (which are
marked thus *) London. Printed by W. Wilson for W. Lee, and are to be
sold at the _Turks-head_ neere the _Miter Taverne_ in _Fleetstreet_.
1646." There are some lines "In laudem Authoris" by J.S., and the
following:--"Gentle Reader,--Thinke it not amisse to peruse this Peece,
yet connive at the Style: for it hath neede thereof, since wrought by an
uncouth and rough File of one greene in yeares; as being aged under
eight. Hence, worthy Reader, shew not thy self too-too-rigid a Censurer.
This his version is little dignified, and therefore likely will it
appears to thee much imperfect. It ought to be his own, or why under the
Title is his name written? Peradventure thou wilt say, what is it to me?
yet heare: Such is it really, as that I presume the Author may therein
be rendred faithfully: with this courteously be then satisfied.--This
small Treatise in its use, will evidently appear to redound to the
singular benefit of many a young spirit, to whom solely and purposely it
is addressed. Passe it therefore without mistake and candidly."]
With the Hawkins volume of 1663 is bound, in the British Museum Library,
a companion work, entitled, "The second Part of Youth's Behaviour, or
Decency in Conversation amongst Women. 1664." This little book is
apparently by Robert Codrington, whose name is signed to its remarkable
dedicatory letter: "To the Mirrour of her Sex Mrs. Ellinor Pargiter, and
the most accomplished with all reall Perfections Mrs. Elizabeth
Washington, her only Daughter, and Heiress to the truly Honourable
Laurence Washington Esquire, lately deceased."
This was Laurence Washington of Garsden, Wilts., who married Elianor.
second daughter of Wm. Gyse; their only child, a daughter, having
married Robert Shirley, Earl Ferrars. Laurence Washington died Jan. 17,
1662, and his widow married Sir William Pargiter.
[Footnote 1: See "An Examination of the English Ancestry of George
Washington. By Henry F. Waters, A.M., Boston. New England Historic
Genealogical Society, 1889."]
In a letter to the New York _Nation_ (5th June 1890), I said: "Though my
theory, that the Rev. James Marye taught Washington these 'Rules,' has
done good service in leading to the discovery of their origin, it cannot
be verified, unless the clergyman's descendants have preserved papers
in which they can be traced." I have since learned from the family that
no such papers exist. The discovery just mentioned, that a Part Second
of Youth's Behaviour was published in 1664, and dedicated to two ladies
of the Washington family in England, lends force to Dr. Minor's
suggestion that Washington might have worked out his Rules from the
Hawkins version. It would be natural that Part II. so dedicated should
be preserved in the Virginia family, and should be bound up with Part
I., published the year before, as it is bound in the British Museum. It
is certain that one of the later editions of the Hawkins version was
used in the preparation of Washington's "Rules," for the eighteen Rules
not in the French book are all from "Youth's Behaviour" (1663).
Moreover, the phraseology is sometimes the same, and one or two errors
of translation follow the Hawkins version. _E.g._, Maxim ii. 16 begins:
"Prenez garde de vous echauffer trop au jeu, & aux emportements qui s'y
eleuet." The second clause, a warning against being too much carried
away by excitements of play, is rendered by Hawkins, "Contend not, nor
speake louder than thou maist with moderation;" and in the Washington
MS., "affect not to Speak Louder than ordenary."
A careful comparison, however, of Washington's Rules with the Hawkins
version renders it doubtful whether the Virginia boy used the work of
the London boy. The differences are more than the resemblances. If in
some cases the faults of the Washington version appear gratuitous, the
printed copy being before him, on the other hand it often suggests a
closer approach to the French--of which language Washington is known to
have been totally ignorant. As to the faults, where Hawkins says
ceremonies "are too troublesome," Washington says they "is troublesome;"
where the former translates correctly that one must not approach where
"another readeth a letter," Washington has "is writing a letter;" where
he writes "infirmityes" Washington has "Infirmaties;" the printed
"manful" becomes "manfull," and "courtesy" "curtesie." Among the
variations which suggest a more intimate knowledge of French idioms than
that of Hawkins the following may be mentioned. The first Maxim with
which both versions open is: "Que toutes actions qui se font
publiquement fassent voir son sentiment respectueux a toute la
compagnie." Hawkins: "Every action done in view of the world ought to be
accompanied with some signe of reverence which one beareth to all who
are present." Washington: "Every action done in company ought to be with
some sign of respect to those that are present." Here the restoration of
"respectueux," and the limitation of "publiquement" by "compagnie," make
the latter rendering much neater. In Maxim viii. 47, which admonishes
one not to be angry at table, it is said, "bien si vous vous fachez,"
you are not to show it. Hawkins translates "if so bee thou bee vexed;"
but Washington more finely, "if you have reason to be so, Shew it not."
Or compare the following versions of "Si vous vous reposez chez vous,
ayat quelque siege, faites en sorte de traiter chacun selo son merite."
Hawkins: "if there be anything for one to sit on, be it a chair, be it a
stool, give to each one his due." Washington: "when you present seats
let it be to every one according to his degree." Rule 45, for
"moderation et douceur" has "Sweetness and Mildness," Hawkins only
"sweetness." Again: "si vous rencontrez ioliment, si vous donnez quelque
bon-mot, en faisant rire les autres, empeschez-vous-en, le plus qu'il
vous sera possible." Hawkins: "When so it falleth out that thou deliver
some happy lively an jolly conceit abstaine thou, and let others laugh."
Washington: "if you Deliver anything witty and Pleasent abtain from
laughing thereat yourself."
Yet how curt is the version last quoted, and how blundering the
sentence! Washington's spelling was always faulty, but it is not
characteristic of him to write "abtain" for "abstain." This is one of
many signs of haste, suggesting that his pen was following oral
instruction. The absence of punctuation is normal; in some cases words
have dropped out: such clerical mistakes occur as "eys," "but" for
"put," "top" for "of," "whth" for "without," and "affection" for
"affectation"--the needed letters being in the last case interlined.
Except as regards punctuation, no similar errors occur in any manuscript
from Washington's hand, either in youth or age. Another reason for
supposing that he may have been following an instructor is the excessive
abbreviation. It was by no means characteristic of Washington to
suppress details, but here his condensation sometimes deprives maxims of
something of their force, if not of their sense. _E.g._, Rule 59: "Never
express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral before your
inferiours." _Cf._ Hawkins: "Never expresse anything unbeseeming, nor
act against the Rules morall, before thy inferiours, for in these
things, thy own guilt will multiply Crimes by example, and as it were,
confirme Ill by authority." And "Shift not yourself in the sight of
others" hardly does duty for the precept, "It is insufferable
impoliteness to stretch the body, extend the arms, and assume different
postures." There are, however, but few instances in which the sense of
the original has been lost; indeed, the rendering of the Washington MS.
is generally an improvement on the original, which is too diffuse, and
even more an improvement on the Hawkins version.
Indeed, although Washington was precocious,--a surveyor at
seventeen,--it would argue qualities not hitherto ascribed to him were
we to suppose that, along with his faulty grammar and spelling, he was
competent at fourteen for such artistic selection and prudent omission
as are shown by a comparison of his 110 Rules with the 170 much longer
ones of the English version. The omission of religious passages, save
the very general ones with which the Rules close, and of all scriptural
ones, is equally curious whether we refer the Rules to young Washington
or to the Rector who taught him. But it would be of some significance if
we suppose the boy to have omitted the precept to live "peeceably in
that vocation unto which providence hath called thee;" and still more
that he should have derived nothing from the following: "Do not think
thou canst be a friend to the King whilst thou art an enemy to God: if
thy crying iniquity should invite God's judgments to the Court, it would
cost thy Soveraigne dear, to give them entertainment." If Washington was
acquainted with Part II. of "Youth's Behaviour," relating to women and
dedicated to ladies of the Washington race, it is remarkable that no
word relating to that sex is found among his Rules.
[Footnote 1: In the edition of Hawkins (1663) bound up with Part II. in
the British Museum (bearing on the cover the name and arms of the
"Hon'ble Thos. Greville") there is just one precept concerning women:
"If thou art yet unmarried, but intendest to get thee a wife modest,
rather than beautiful, meddle not with those Ladies of the Game, who
make pageants of their Cheeks, and Shops of their Shoulders, and
(contrary to all other Trades) keep open their Windows on the
Sabbath-day, impudently exposing their nakedness to the view of a whole
Congregation," &c. There are, in an appendix, pictures of a
puritanically shrouded "Virtue," and a "Vice" who, apart from the
patches on her face, singularly resembles a portrait of pretty Lady
Ferrars in Codrington's book (_ante_, p. 21) ed. 1672.]
On the whole, though it is very uncertain, the balance of probabilities
seems to favour the theory that the Rules of Civility, found in a
copy-book among school exercises, exceedingly abbreviated, and marked by
clerical errors unusual with Washington, were derived from the oral
teachings of his preceptor; that this Frenchman utilised (and was once
or twice misled by) the English version along with the original, which
had been used as a manual in his Rouen College.
The Marie family of Rouen,--from which came the Maryes of Virginia,--is
distinguished both in Catholic and Huguenot annals. Among the eminent
Jesuit authors was Pierre Marie, who was born at Rouen, 1589, and died
at Bourges, 1645. He was author of "La Sainte Solitude; ou les
Entretiens solitaires de l'ame," and of "La Science du Crucifix: en
forme de meditations." The family was divided by the Huguenot movement,
and a Protestant branch took root in England. Concerning the latter,
Agnew (_French Protestant Exiles_, i. p. 100) gives the following
"Jean Marie, pasteur of Lion-sur-mer, was a refugee in England from
the St. Bartholomew massacre. He is supposed to have belonged to
the same family as the Huguenot martyr, Marin Marie, a native of
St. George in the diocese of Lisieux. It was in the year 1559 that
that valiant man, who had become a settler in Geneva, was arrested
at Sens when on a missionary journey to France, laden with a bale
of Bibles and New Testaments, and publications for the promotion of
the Protestant Reformation; he was burnt at Paris, in the place
Maubert, on the 3d of August of that year. Our pasteur was well
received in England, and was sent to Norwich, of which city he
appears to have been the first French minister. He was lent to the
reformed churches of France when liberty of preaching revived, and
so returned to Normandy, where we find him in 1583. The first
National Synod of Vitre held its meetings in that year, between the
15th and 27th of May. Quick's 'Synodicon' (vol. i. p. 153) quotes
the following minute:--'Our brother, Monsieur Marie, minister of
the church of Norwich in England, but living at present in
Normandy, shall be obliged to return unto his church upon its first
summons; yet, because of the great success of his ministry in these
parts, his church may be entreated to continue for some longer time
his absence from it.' He certainly did return to Norwich, because
on 29th April 1589 the manuscript Book of Discipline was submitted
to the consistory for signature; and Jan Marie signed first, and
his colleague M. Basnage, second. One of his sons, Nathaniel Marie,
became one of the pasteurs of the London French Church, and married
1st, Ester, daughter of the pasteur Guillaume De Laune, and 2dly
(in 1637), Ester le Hure, widow of Andre Joye. The Norwich pasteur
had probably another son named after himself, a commercial
residenter in his native city; for two sons of a Jan Marie were
baptized in Norwich French Church: (1) Jan on 3d February 1600, and
(2) Pierre, on 6th July 1602. Madame Marie, probably the pasteur's
widow, was a witness at the first baptism."
James Marye, with whom we are particularly concerned, sprang from the
Catholic family, and was born at Rouen near the close of the seventeenth
century. He was educated for the priesthood, no doubt at the Jesuit
College in Rouen,--where, as we have seen, Father Perin's book on
manners was printed in 1651. However, James Marye abjured the Catholic
religion in 1726. This caused a breach between himself and the family,
which consisted of a widowed mother and her two other sons,--Peter and
William (the latter an officer), both of whose names however, reappeared
in their protestant brother's family. In consequence of this alienation
James migrated to England, where he pursued his studies, and was
ordained by the Bishop of London. In 1728 he married Letitia Maria Anne
Staige. She was a sister of the Rev. Theodosius Staige, who was already
in Virginia. For that colony the Rev. James Marye also embarked, in
1729, with his bride. Their first child (Lucy) was born during the
It would appear that the purpose of this emigration was to minister to a
settlement of French Huguenots at Monacan (or Manakintown, as it was
called) on James River. The first band of these refugees had gone over
in 1690, under the leadership of Olivier de la Muce, and 600 others had
followed in 1699, with their clergyman, Phillipe de Richebourg. The
Assembly of Virginia gave them a large tract of land in Henrico
County--not far from where Richmond now stands--exempting them from
taxation. The name of James Marye first appears in Virginia (1730) as
christening a child in King William Parish, as it was called,--after the
King who had favoured this Huguenot colony.
In 1727 the town of Fredericksburg was founded. In I732 Col. Byrd
visited the place, and wrote: "Besides Col. Willis, who is the top man
of the place, there are only one merchant, a tailor, a smith, an
ordinary keeper, and a lady who acts both as a doctress and
coffeewoman." This "Col. Willis" had married Washington's aunt (and
godmother), and there were other families of the neighbourhood connected
with the Washingtons. It was not until 1739 that Captain Augustine
Washington (the General's father) went to reside near Fredericksburg.
Soon after the birth of George (Feb. 11, 1731 Old Style) the family left
their homestead in Westmoreland county, Virginia, and resided on their
farm, now known as "Mount Vernon." (It was so named by Washington's
elder half-brother, Lawrence, who built the mansion, in 1743-5, in
honour of the English Admiral Vernon, with whom he served as an officer
at Carthagena.) Although he nowhere alludes to the fact, George
Washington's earliest memories, as I have elsewhere shown, were
associated with the estate on which he lavished so much devotion, and
which the Ladies' Mount Vernon Association has made his most
characteristic monument. The Rev. Jonathan Boucher, teacher of Mrs.
George Washington's son John Custis, says that Washington was "taught by
a convict servant whom his father had bought for a schoolmaster." This
was probably one of a shipload of convicts brought by Captain Augustine
Washington from England in 1737. When the family removed to the
neighbourhood of Fredericksburg (from which, however, they were
separated by the Rappahannock river), the children went to school
(probably) at Falmouth,--a village fifty years older than
Fredericksburg, and about two miles above, on the opposite side of the
river. A church had been erected in Falmouth (Brunswick parish), but that
in Fredericksburg was not completed until some years later. After the
death of his father (April 12, 1743) George was sent to reside with his
half-brother Augustine, at "Wakefield," the old homestead in
Westmoreland where he was born. He returned to live with his mother near
Fredericksburg, in 1715. That he then went to school in Fredericksburg
appears by a manuscript left by Col. Byrd Willis, grandson of Col. Harry
Willis, founder of the town, in which he states that his father, Lewis
Willis was Washington's schoolmate. The teachers name is not given, but
there can be little doubt that it was James Marye.
[Footnote 1: George Washington and Mount Vernon. Introduction, p.
The Rev. James Marye's brother-in-law, Rev. Theodosius Staige, had for a
time preached in the temporary structure in which the congregation of
St. George's, Fredericksburg, met before the church was completed. It
was probably during a visit to Mr. Staige that Mr. Marye made an
impression on the people of that place. At any rate the early
Vestry-book shows that, in 1735, the churchwardens, after the colonial
custom, asked leave of the Governor of Virginia to call James Marye to
their pulpit, and it was granted. He is described as "Mr. Marie of St.
James," being then officiating at St James Church, Northam Parish
(Goochland county, Virginia). At what time and why he left Manakintown
is not clear. He fixed his first abode eight miles out of
Fredericksburg, in a place which he called "Fayetteville;" and it is not
improbable that some of his Huguenot congregation had come with him, and
attempted to found there a village. Several infant churches in the
county (Spottsylvania), besides that of Fredericksburg, were under
supervision of the Rector of St. George's Parish.
The Rev. James Marye remained in active and successful ministry at
Fredericksburg from 1735 until his death, in 1767. He founded the large
Virginia family which bears his name, and which has always had eminent
representatives. On his death he was succeeded in St. George's Church,
Fredericksburg, by his son of the same name, whose honourable tradition
was maintained. His great-grandson, John L. Marye,--whose mansion,
"Brompton," stood on "Marye's Heights," so famous in the Civil War,--was
an eminent lawyer; as also is a son of the latter, John L. Marye Jr.,
former Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia.
The founder of the Virginia Maryes, who should be ranked among American
worthies, was an eloquent clergyman, and built up a noble congregation
in Fredericksburg. He was also an accomplished gentleman and a scholar.
That he founded and taught the school is tolerably certain. The
Municipal Records, as we have seen, ascribe the school a French origin.
The name and condition of every respectable resident of Fredericksburg,
at the time of his settling there, when it was little more than a "paper
town" (in colonial phrase), is known. There was in the place no
one--certainly no "Frenchman"--except Marye who could have taught a
school of such importance as that at Fredericksburg. For it presently
became known throughout Virginia as the chief Academy, especially for
classical education, and its reputation continued for more than a
[Footnote 1: For valuable information concerning the Marye family and
its descendants, see Brock's "Huguenot Emigration to Virginia."
(Virginia Hist. Soc., Richmond, 1886.)]
[Footnote 2: In a note I have from John L. Marye (sometime
Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia), he says: "As to the habit of the
Parish Minister to conduct or overlook the schools, it would appear must
probable that this was the case in 1745, when we remember how destitute
at that era colonial society was of well-organized public or private
schools (save the Tutors in families). When I entered Mr. Hanson's
school in 1834, it was the custom of Parson McGuire and some of the
Vestry to attend the annual Examinations."]
Some of the Rules may strike the modern reader as snobbish, even for the
observance of youth. But the originals are in that respect toned down in
Washington's MS. Rule 9 takes no cognizance of the principle of the
original, that to approach nearer the fire than others, and to turn
one's back to it are privileges of persons of rank. The 17th Maxim of
chapter iii., which directed certain kissings of the hands of superiors,
or of the robe, and other abasements, is entirely omitted. Where the
original commands that we should never dispute in any fashion with our
superiors in rank, Rule 34 says we ought not to "begin" with them. The
only thing clear about which is that the instructor did not wish to
admit authority so absolutely into the realm of argument. Rule 46 omits
so much of the original as counsels grateful acceptance of reproof from
another "the more if you depend on his authority." Other instances of
this more liberal tendency will be noticed by those who make a careful
comparison of the Rules and the French Maxims.
Here then are rules of conduct, taught, if my theory be correct, by a
French protestant pilgrim, unknown to fame, in the New World. They were
taught to a small school of girls and boys, in a town of hardly a
hundred inhabitants. They are maxims partly ethical, but mainly relate
to manners and civility; they are wise, gentle, and true. A character
built on them would be virtuous, and probably great. The publisher of
the English version (1665) says that "Mr. Pinchester, a learned scholar
of Oxford," bought 250 copies for a great school he was about to open in
London. Probably the school founded by James Marye was the first in the
New World in which good manners were seriously taught. Nay, where is
there any such school to day?
[Footnote 1: It is probable that Mr. Marye's fine precedent was
followed, to some extent, in the Fredericksburg Academy. The present
writer, who entered it just a hundred years after George Washington
recorded the "Rules," recalls, as his first clear remembrance of the
school, some words of the worthy Principal, Thomas Hanson, on
gentlemanly behaviour. Alluding to some former pupil, who had become
distinguished, he said, "I remember, on one occasion, in a room where
all were gathered around the fire--the weather being very cold--that
some one entered, and this boy promptly arose and gave the new-comer his
seat at the fire. It made an impression on me which I have never
forgotten." And how long have lasted in the memory of the writer hereof
the very words of our teacher's homage to the considerate boy who obeyed
Washington's eighth Rule!]
Just this one colonial school, by the good fortune of having for its
master or superintendent an ex-jesuit French scholar, we may suppose
instructed in civility; and out of that school, in what was little more
than a village, came an exceptionally large number of eminent men. In
that school three American Presidents received their early
education,--Washington, Madison, and Monroe.
It may be pretty confidently stated that both Madison and Monroe owed
their success and eminence more to their engaging manners than to great
intellectual powers. They were even notably deficient in that oratorical
ability which counted for so much in the political era with which they
were connected. They rarely spoke in Congress. When speaking, Madison
was hesitating, and was heard with difficulty; but his quietness and
modesty, his consideration for others, made the eloquent speak for him
Whether these two statesmen were personally taught by James Marye is
doubtful, for he was getting old when they were at school in
Fredericksburg; but we may feel sure that civility was still taught
there in their time, as, indeed it was within the memory of many now
George Washington, though even less able than the two others to speak in
public, had naturally a strong intellect. But in boyhood he had much
more against him than most of his young comrades,--obstructions that
could be surmounted only by character. His father had much land but
little money; at his death (1743,) the lands were left chiefly to his
sons by the first wife. His widow was left poor, and her eldest son,
George, had not the fair prospect of most of his schoolmates. Instead of
being prepared for William and Mary College, he was prepared only for
going into some business as soon as possible, so as to earn support for
his mother and her four younger children. In his old book of
school-exercises, the "Rules of Civility" are found in proximity to
business forms that bear pathetic testimony to the severe outlook of
this boy of fourteen. In the MS. of Col. Byrd Willis, already referred
to (loaned me by his granddaughter, Mrs. Tayloe, of Fredericksburg), he
says: "My father, Lewis Willis, was a schoolmate of General Washington,
his cousin, who was two years his senior. He spoke of the General's
industry and assiduity at school as very remarkable. Whilst his brother
and other boys at playtime were at bandy and other games, he was behind
the door ciphering. But one youthful ebullition is handed down while at
that school, and that was romping with one of the largest girls; this
was so unusual that it excited no little comment among the other lads."
It is also handed down that in boyhood this great soldier, though never
a prig, had no fights, and was often summoned to the playground as a
peacemaker, his arbitration in disputes being always accepted.
Once more it may be well enough to remind the reader that it may yet be
found that Washington, in his mother's humble home on the Rappahannock,
read and pondered "Youth's Behaviour," wrote out what it held for him,
and himself became an instructor of his schoolmates in rules of
civility. It would be wonderful, but not incredible.
Although Washington became a fine-looking man, he was not of
prepossessing appearance in early life; he was lank and hollow-chested.
He was by no means a favourite with the beauties for which
Fredericksburg was always famous, and had a cruel disappointment of his
early love for Betsy Fauntleroy. In his youth he became pitted by
smallpox while attending his invalid half-brother, Lawrence, on a visit
to the Barbadoes.
But the experienced eye of Lord Fairfax, and of other members of the
Fairfax family, had discovered beneath the unattractive appearance of
George Washington a sterling character. Their neighbourhood, on the
upper Potomac, was much less civilised and refined than Fredericksburg,
and this young gentleman, so well instructed in right rules of behaviour
and conduct, won their hearts and their confidence. It had been
necessary that he should leave school at the age of sixteen to earn a
living. At seventeen he was appointed by Lord Fairfax surveyor of his
vast estates in Virginia, and for a time he resided with his lordship at
Greenway Court. There can be little doubt that it was partly through the
training in manners which Washington gained from the old French maxims
that he thus made headway against circumstances, and gained the
friendship of the highly-educated and powerful Fairfax family.
It should be mentioned, however, that young Washington's head was not in
the least turned by this intimacy with the aristocracy. He wrote letters
to his former playmates in which no snobbish line is discoverable. He
writes to his "Dear friend Robin": "My place of residence is at present
at his lordship's where I might, was my heart disengaged, pass my time
very pleasantly, as there's a very agreeable young lady lives in the
same house (Col. George Fairfax's wife's sister). But as that's only
adding fuel to fire, it makes me the more uneasy, for by often and
unavoidably being in company with her revives my former passion for your
Lowland beauty; whereas, was I to live more retired from young women, I
might eleviate in some measure my sorrows by burying that chaste and
troublesome passion in the grave of oblivion or etearnall forgetfulness,
for as I am very well assured, that's the only antidote or remedy that I
ever shall be relieved by or only recess that can administer any cure or
help to me, as I am well convinced, was I ever to attempt anything, I
should only get a denial which would be only adding grief to
The young lady at Greenway Court was Mary Gary, and the Lowland beauty
was Betsy Fauntleroy, whose hand Washington twice sought, but who became
the wife of the Hon. Thomas Adams. While travelling on his surveys,
often among the red men, the youth sometimes gives vent to his feelings
"Oh Ye Gods why should my Poor resistless Heart
Stand to oppose thy might and Power
At last surrender to Cupid's feather'd Dart
And now lays bleeding every Hour
For her that's Pityless of my grief and Woes,
And will not on me Pity take.
I'll sleep among my most inveterate Foes
And with gladness never wish to wake,
In deluding sleepings let my Eyelids close
That in an enraptured dream I may
In a rapt lulling sleep and gentle repose
Possess those joys denied by Day."
And it must also be recorded that if he had learned how to conduct
himself in the presence of persons superior to himself in position, age,
and culture,--and it will be remembered that Lord Fairfax was an able
contributor to the "Spectator" (which Washington was careful to study
while at Greenway,)--this youth no less followed the instruction of his
108th rule: "Honour your natural parents though they be poor." His
widowed mother was poor, and she was ignorant, but he was devoted to
her; being reverential and gracious to her even when with advancing age
she became somewhat morose and exacting, while he was loaded with public
I am no worshipper of Washington. But in the hand of that man of strong
brain and powerful passions once lay the destiny of the New World,--in a
sense, human destiny. But for his possession of the humility and
self-discipline underlying his Rules of Civility, the ambitious
politicians of the United States might to-day be popularly held to a
much lower standard. The tone of his character was so entirely that of
modesty, he was so fundamentally patriotic, that even his faults are
transformed to virtues, and the very failures of his declining years are
popularly accounted successes. He alone was conscious of his mental
decline, and gave this as a reason for not accepting a third nomination
for the Presidency. This humility has established an unwritten law of
limitation on vaulting presidential ambitions. Indeed, intrigue and
corruption in America must ever struggle with the idealised phantom of
this grand personality.
These Rules of Civility go forth with the hope that they will do more
than amuse the reader by their quaintness, and that their story will
produce an impression beyond that of its picturesqueness. The strong
probabilities that they largely moulded the character of Washington, and
so influenced the human race, may raise the question, whether the old
French Jesuits, and the pilgrim, James Marye, did not possess more truly
than our contemporary educators, the art and mystery of moral education.
In these days, when ethical is replacing theological instruction, in the
home and in the school, there appears danger that it may repeat some of
the mistakes of its predecessor. The failure of what was called
Religion to promote moral culture is now explicable: its scheme of
terror and hope appealed to and powerfully stimulated selfishness, and
was also fundamentally anti-social, cultivating alienation of all who
did not hold certain dogmas. The terrors and hopes having faded away,
the selfishness they developed remains, and is only unchained by the
decay of superstition. On the other hand, the social sentiment has
thrown off sectarian restrictions, and an enthusiasm of humanity has
succeeded. It is now certain that the social instinct is the only one
which can be depended on to influence conduct to an extent comparable
with the sway once exercised by superstitious terrors and expectations
of celestial reward. The child is spiritually a creation of the commune;
there can be no other motive so early responsive as that which desires
the approval and admiration of those by whom it is surrounded.
To attempt the training of human character by means of ethical
philosophy or moral science--as it used to be called--appears to be
somewhat of a theological "survival." When the sanctions of authority
were removed from the pagan deities they were found to have been long
reduced in the nursery to the dimensions of fairies. The tremendous
conceptions of Christian theology may some day be revealed as similarly
diminished in the catechised mind of childhood. And the abstract
principles of ethical philosophy cannot hope for any better fate. The
child's mind cannot receive the metaphysics of virtue. It is impossible
to explain to a child, for instance, the reasons for truthfulness,
which, indeed, have grown out of the experience of the human race as
matured by many ages. And so of humanity to animals, which is mainly a
Darwinian revival of Buddhist sentiment based on a doctrine of
transmigration. And the same may be said of other virtues. We must not
suppose that a child has no scepticism because he cannot express or
explain it in words; it will appear in the sweetness to him of stolen
apples, in the fact that to label a thing "naughty" may only render it
more tempting to a healthy boy. A philosopher said, "A fence is the
temptation to a jump."
Our ethical teaching is vitiated by, an inheritance from theology of a
superstition which subordinates conduct to its motives. Really, if
conduct be good, the motive (generally too complex for even
consciousness to analyse) is of least importance. Motives are important
as causing conduct, but the Law is just in assuming good or bad motives
for the corresponding actions. The world does not depend on a man's
inner but on his outer life. Emerson once scandalised some of his
admirers by saying that he preferred a person who did not respect the
truth to an unpresentable person. But, no doubt, he would regard the
presentable person as possessing virtues of equal importance. The
nurture of "civility and decent behaviour in company and conversation,"
is not of secondary, but primary, importance.
For what does it imply? If the Rules about to be submitted are examined,
it will be found that their practice draws on the whole moral world, as
in walking every step draws on the universal gravitation. Scarcely one
Rule is there that does not involve self-restraint, modesty, habitual
consideration of others, and, to a large extent, living for others. Yet
other Rules draw on the profounder deeps of wisdom and virtue, under a
subtle guise of handsome behaviour. If youth can be won to excellence by
love of beauty, who shall gainsay?
It may occur to the polished reader that well-bred youths know and
practise these rules of civility by instinct. But the best bred man's
ancestors had to learn them, and the rude progenitors of future
gentlemen have to learn them. Can it be said, however, that those deemed
well-bred do really know and practise these rules of civility
instinctively? Do they practise them when out of the region of the
persons or the community in whose eyes they wish to find approval? How
do they act with Indians, Negroes, or when travelling amongst those to
whose good opinion they are indifferent? In a Kentucky court a witness
who had spoken of a certain man as "a gentleman," was pressed for his
reasons, and answered, "If any man goes to his house he sets out the
whisky, then goes and looks out of the window." It is doubtful if what
commonly passes for politeness in more refined regions is equally
humanised with that of the Kentuckian so described. Indeed the only
difficulty in the way of such teaching as is here suggested, is the
degree to which the words "lady" and "gentleman" have been lowered from
their original dignity.
The utilization of the social sentiment as a motive of conduct in the
young need not, however, depend on such terms, though these are by no
means beyond new moralization in any home or school. An eminent
Englishman told me that he once found his little son pointing an old
pistol at his sister. The ancient pistol was not dangerous, but the
action was. "Had I told him it was dangerous," he said, "it might only
have added spice to the thing, but I said, 'I am surprised. I thought
you were a little gentleman, but that is the most ungentlemanly thing
you could do.' The boy quickly laid aside the pistol, with deep shame. I
have found nothing so restraining for my children as to suggest that any
conduct is ungentlemanly or unladylike." And let my reader note well the
great moral principles in these rules of civility and decent behaviour.
The antithesis of "sinfull" is "manfull." Washington was taught that all
good conduct was gentlemanly, all bad conduct ill-bred.
It is to be hoped that the time is not far distant when in every school
right rules of civility will be taught as a main part of the curriculum.
Something of the kind was done by the late Bronson Alcott, in the school
he founded in Boston, Massachusetts, near fifty years ago, for children
gathered from the street. The school was opened every morning with a
"conduct lesson," as it was called. It will be seen by Miss Elizabeth
Peabody's "Records of a School" that the children crowded to the door
before it was, opened in their anxiety not to lose a word of this
lesson. And, rude as most of the children were, this instruction,
consisting of questions and answers, gradually did away with all
necessity for corporal punishments.
It were a noble task for any competent hand to adapt the Rules given in
this volume, and those of the later French work, and still more those of
Master Obadiah Walker's book on "Education," to the conditions and ideas
of our time, for the use of schools. From the last-named work, that of a
Master of University College, Oxford, I will take for my conclusion a
"The greatest _Magnetismes_ in the World are _Civility_, Conforming
to the innocent humours, and infirmities, sometimes, of others,
readiness to do courtesies for all, Speaking well of all behind
their backs. And sly _Affability_, which is not only to be used in
common and unconcerning speech, but upon all occasions. A man may
deny a request, chide, reprehend, command &c. _affably_, with good
words, nor is there anything so harsh which may not be
There has been no alteration of the original French and English
documents in the pages following. The spelling, punctuation, use of
small or capital letters, italics, etc., whether faults or archaisms,
are strictly preserved.
The word 'Maxim' refers to the early French work (of the Jesuit
Fathers). 'Rule' refers to Washington's MS.
'Hawkins' indicates the English version of the Maxims, chiefly the
anonymous additions thereto. See p. 19.
'Walker' refers to Obadiah Walker's work on Education, spoken of on p.
'The later French book' refers to the anonymous work of 1673, translated
into English, mentioned on p. 17.
1st. Every Action done in Company ought to be with Some Sign of Respect,
to those that are Present.
MAXIMES, CHAP. II.
Chapter ii. 1. Que toutes actions qui se font publiquement fassent
voir son sentiment respectueux a toute la compagnie.
All actions done before others should be with some sign of
respectful feeling to the entire company.
2d. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body not
Chapter ii. 3. Gardez-vous bien de toucher de la main aucune partie
de vostre corps, de celles qui ne sont point en veue, en la
presence d'aucune autre personne. Pour les mains, & le visage, cela
leur est ordinaire. Et afin de vous y accoustumer pratiquez ce
poinct de ciuilite mesme en vostre particulier.
In the presence of any one, never put your hand to any part of the
person not usually uncovered. As for the hands and face they are
usually visible. In order to form a habit in this point of decency,
practise it even when with your intimate friend.
3d. Shew Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
Chapter ii. 4. Ne faites pas voir a vostre compagnon, ce qui luy
pourroit faire mal au coeur.
Show nothing to your companion that may grieve him.
4th. In the Presence of Others sing not to yourself with a humming
Noise, nor Drum, with your Fingers or Feet.
Chapter ii. 5. Ne vous amusez pas a chanter en vous mesme, si vous
ne vous rencontrez si fort a l'ecart qu'aucun autre ne vous puisse
entendre, non plus qu'a contre-faire le son du tambour par
l'agitation des pieds ou des mains.
Do not seek amusement in singing to yourself, unless beyond the
hearing of others, nor drum with your hands or feet.
5th. If you Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud, but Privately;
and Speak not in your Yawning, but put your handkerchief or Hand before
your face and turn aside.
Chapter ii. 8. Quand vous toussez ou quand vous esternuez, si vous
pouuez estre le maistre de ces efforts de nature, n'eclatez pas si
hautement & si fort. Ne poussez soupirs si aigres que les autres
les puissent entendre.
9. Ne soufflez pas si asprement, faisant des hurlements en
baaillant. Et s'il vous est possible, empeschez vous absolum[=e]t
de baailler; mais ayez en un bien plus soin, quand vous entretenez
avec quelqu'vn, ou dans quelque conuersation. Car c'est un signe
manifest d'un certain degoust de ceux avec qui vous vivez. Si vous
ne pouvez pas empescher de baailler, du moins gardez vous bien de
parler en cet instant mesme, & d'ouurir extraordinairem[=e]t la
bouche; mais pressez la sagement, ou en detournant tant soi peu la
face de la copagnie.
[Sidenote: The later French book advises one, in sneezing, not to shake
the foundations of the house.]
Whenever you cough or sneeze, if you can control these efforts of
nature, do not let the sound be high or strong. Do not heave sighs
so piercing as to attract attention. Do not breathe heavily, or
make noises in yawning. If you can, abstain from yawning,
especially while with any one, or in conversation. For it is a
plain sign of a certain dislike of those with whom you dwell. If
you cannot keep from yawning, at least be careful not to speak
while doing so, and not to gape excessively; press your mouth
adroitly or n turning a little from the company.
6th. Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not
when you should hold your Peace, walk not when others Stop
Chapter ii. 11. C'est vne inciuilite & vne impertinence de dormir,
pendant que la copagnie s'entretient de discours; de se tenir assis
lors que tout le monde est debout, de se promener lors que personne
ne branle, & de parler, quad il est temps de se taire ou d'ecouter.
Pour celuy toutesfois qui a l'authorite, il y a des temps & des
lieux ou il luy est permis de se promener seul, comme a un
Precepteur qui est dans la classe.
It is an incivility and an impertinence to doze while the company
is conversing, to be seated while the rest stand, to walk on when
others pause, and to speak when you should be silent, or listen.
For those in authority, as a Master in school, there are times and
places when it is admissible to walk alone.
7th. Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out of
your Chamber half Drest.
Chapter ii. 12. Il n'est pas seant d'auoir son liet en mauuais
ordre dans sa chambre, non plus que de s'habiller en la presence
des autres, ou de s'y depoueiller, ou de sortir de sa mesme chambre
a demy habille, couuert de sa coiffe, ou bonnet-de-nuiet, de rester
debout en sa chabre ou estre attache a son pulpitre auec sa robe
ouverte. Et quoy que vous ne manquiez pas de serviteur qui prenne
le soin de faire vostre liet; toutesfois en sortant, prenez garde
de le laisser decouvert.
It is not seemly to leave your bed disarranged, to dress or undress
before others, or to leave your chamber half-dressed, covered with
a hood, or night-cap, or to remain standing in your room or at your
desk with open gown. And although you have a servant to make your
bed, nevertheless, take care when you go out to leave it uncovered.
8th. At Play and at Fire its Good manners to give Place to the last
Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than ordenary.
Chapter ii. 15. Il est mal-seant, dans le jeu, ou aupres du feu de
faire attendre trop long-temps ceux qui viennent a s'y presenter.
It is impolite at play, or at the fireside, to make the new-comers
wait for places too long.
_(In the second clause, "affect not" &c., the Washington MS.
follows Hawkins in misunderstanding a phrase of the next Maxim:
"Prenez garde de vous echauffer trop au jeu, & aux emportements qui
s'y eleu[~e]t,"--a warning against being overheated at play, and
"carried away by its excitements.")_
10th. When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting
one on the other or Crossing them
Chapter ii. 18. Pour l'ordre que l'on doit tenir etant assis, c'est
de placer bien ses pieds a terre en egale distance que les cuisses,
non pas de croiser vne cuisse ou vn pied sur l'autre.
When seated, the feet should be placed well on the ground, in even
distance with the legs, and neither a leg or a foot should be
crossed on the other.
11th. Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
Chapter ii. 7. C'est vne inciuilite insupportable d'allonger son
corps en estendant les bras, ou de faire differents postures.
Chapter iii. 19. Il ne faut iamais rogner ses ongles dans le
public, & bien moins les prendre a beiles dents.
It is insufferably impolite to stretch the body, extend the arms,
or to assume different postures.
Do not pare your nails in public, much less gnaw them.
12th. Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs rowl not the Eys, lift not one
eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face
with your Spittle, by appr[oaching too nea]r [when] you Speak.
Chapter ii. 21. Vous ne hocherez la teste, vous ne remuerez point
les jambes, ny ne roueillerez les yeux, ne froncerez point les
sourcils, ou tordrez la bouche. Vous vous garderez de laisser aller
auec vos paroles de la saliue, ou du crachat aux visages de ceux,
auec qui vous conversez. Pour obvier a cet accident, vous ne vous
en approcherez point si pres; mais vous les entretiendrez dans vne
Shake not the head, nor fidget the legs, nor roll the eyes, nor
frown, nor make mouths. Be careful not to let saliva escape with
your words, nor any spittle fly into the faces of those with whom
you converse. To avoid such accident do not approach them too near,
but keep at a reasonable distance.
13th Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if
you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it if
it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if
it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off
Chapter ii. 22. Gardez vous bie de vous arrester a tuer vne puce,
ou quelque sale bestiole de cette espece, en presence de qui que a
puisse estre. Que si quelque chose d'immode vient a vous offenser
la veue, en regardant a terre, comme quelque crachat infect, ou
quelque autre chose semblable, mettez le pied dessus. S'il en
attache quelque'vne aux habits de celuy a qui vous parlez, ou
voltige dessus, gardez vouz bien de la luy monstrer, ou a
quelqu'autre personne; mais trauaillez autant que vous pourrez a
l'oster adroitement. Et s'il arriue que quelqu'vn vous oblige tant
que de vous defaire de quelque chose de semblable, faites luy
paroistre vostre reconnoissance.
Do not stop to kill a flea, or other disgusting insect of the kind,
in the presence of any one. If anything disgusting offends the
sight on the ground, as phlegm, etc., put your foot on it. If it be
on any garment of one to whom you are talking, do not show it to
him or another, but do your best to remove it unobserved. If any
one oblige you in a thing of that kind make him your
14th. Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the
Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes lean not upon any one.
Chapter ii. 24. En la rencontre que l'on fait des personnes, quand
on les entretient, c'est une chose malseante de leur tourner le dos
& les epaules. C'est vne action impertinente de heurter la table ou
d'ebranler le pupitre, dont vn autre se sert pour lire, ou pour
ecrire. C'est vne inciuilite de s'appuyer sur quelqu'vn, de tirer
sa robbe, lors que l'on luy parle ou que l'on le peut entretenir.
When one meets people, it is very unbecoming in speaking to them to
turn one's back and shoulders to them. It is an impertinent action
to knock against the table, or to shake the desk, which another
person is using for reading or writing. It is uncivil to lean
against any one, or to pluck his dress when speaking to him, or
while entertaining him in conversation.
15th. Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean,
yet without Shewing any great Concern for them
Chapter ii. 25. Gardez vous bien de vous arrester en toute sorte de
conuersation, a rajuster vostre rabat, ou a rehausser vos chausses
pour les faire ioindre & en paroitre plus galaud. Que vos ongles ne
soient point replis d'ordures, ny trop longs. Ayez grand soin de la
nettete de vos mains; mais n'y recherchez point la volupte.
[Sidenote: Hawkins: "without overmuch attendance thereon or curiosity."]
Take good care not to stop, in any sort of conversation, to adjust
your bands, or to pull up your stockings to make them join so as to
look more gallant. Do not let your nails be full of dirt or too
long. Have a great regard for the cleanliness of your hands, but do
not be finikin about it.
16th. Do not puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands,
or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the lips too open or
Chapter ii. 26. C'est une vilainie de s'enfler les jouees, de tirer
la langue, de se manier la barbe, se frotter les mains, d'estendre
ses levres ou les mordre, de les tenir trop serrees ou trop
It is very low to puff out the cheeks, to put out the tongue, to
pull one's beard, rub one's hands, poke out or bite the lips, or to
keep them too tightly closed or too open.
17th. Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be
Chapter ii. 27. Ne flattez & n'amadoueez personne par belles
paroles, car celui qui pretend d'en gagner un autre par les
discours emmiellez, fait voir qu'il n'en a pas grande estime, &
qu'il le tient pour peu sense & adroit, des qu'il le prend pour vn
home que l'on peut ioueer en cette maniere: n'usez point de
gausseries aupres d'vne personne qui s'en offense.
Do not flatter or wheedle any one with fair words, for he who
aspires to gain another person by his honied words shows that he
does not hold him in high esteem and that he deems him far from
sensible or clever, in taking him for a man who may be tricked in
this manner: do not play practical jokes on those who do not like
18th. Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a
Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the
Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give
your opinion of them unask'd also look not nigh when another is writing
Chapter ii. 28. C'est vne action directement opposee a la
bien-seance, de lire quelque livre, quelques lettres ou autres
choses semblables dans vne conversation ordinaire, si ce n'est en
vne affaire pressante, ou pour quelque peu de moments; & mesme
encore en ce cas, est-il a propos d'en demander la permission, si
vous n'estes, possible, le Superieur de la compagnie. C'est encore
pis de manier les ouvrages des autres, leurs livres, & d'autres
choses de cette nature, de s'y attacher, d'en approcher la veue de
plus pres, sans la permission de celuy a qui la chose appartient,
aussi bien que de leur donner des loueanges, ou les censurer, auant
que l'on vous en demande vostre sentiment; de s'approcher trop
pres, & d'incommoder celuy de qui ou est voisin, lors qu'il prend
la lecture de ses lettres ou de quelqu'-autre chose.
It is an act directly opposed to politeness to read a book, letters
or anything else during ordinary conversation, if it be not a
pressing matter, or only for a few moments, and even in that case
it is proper to ask leave unless you are, possibly, the highest in
rank of the company. It is even worse to handle other people's
work, their books or other things of that nature, to go close to
them, to look at them closely without the permission of the owner,
and also to praise or find fault with them before your opinion has
been asked; to come too close to any one near by, when he is
reading his letters or anything else.
19th let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat
Chapter ii. 29. Que le visage ne paroisse point fantastique,
changeant, egare, rauy en admiration, couuert de tristesse, divers
& volage, & ne fasse paroitre aucun signe d'vn esprit inquiet: Au
contraire, qu'il soil ouuert & tranquille, mais qu'il ne soit pas
trop epanouey de joye dans les affaires serieuses, ny trop retire
par vne grauite affectee dans la conversation ordinaire & familiere
de la vie humaine.
The face should not look fantastic, changeable, absent, rapt in
admiration, covered with sadness, various and volatile, and it
should not show any signs of an unquiet mind. On the contrary, it
should be open and tranquil, but not too expansive with joy in
serious affairs, nor too self-contained by an affected gravity in
the ordinary and familiar conversation of human life.
20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are
Hawkins i. 30. Let the gestures of thy body, be agreeable to the
matter of thy discourse. For it hath been ever held a solaesime in
oratory, to poynt to the Earth, when thou talkest of Heaven.
_(The nearest Maxim to this is one directed against excessive and
awkward gesticulation in speaking, in which it is said: "Parmy les
discours regardez a mettre vostre corps en belle posture" (While
speaking be careful to assume an elegant posture)._ 21st. Reproach
none for the Infirmaties of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that
have in mind thereof.)
Chapter iv. 6. Ne reprochez les defauts a personne, non pas mesme
de la nature, & ne prenez plaisir a faire confusion a qui que ce
soit, par vos paroles.
[Sidenote: Hawkins adds: "which by no Art can be amended."]
Reproach none for their Infirmities--avoid it equally when they are
natural ones--and do not take pleasure in uttering words that cause
any one shame, whoever it may be.
22d. Shew not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were
Hawkins i. 32. When thou shalt heare the misfortunes of another,
shew not thy selfe gladed for it, though it happ to thy enemy, for
that will argue a mind mischievous, and will convict thee of a
desire to have executed it thy selfe, had either power or
opertunity seconded thy will.
_(Nothing corresponding to Rule 22 is found among the Maxims of the
Jesuit fathers; but the later French book has the following: "Shew
not your self joyful and pleased at the misfortunes that have
befallen another, though you hated him, it argues a mischievous
mind, and that you had a desire to have done it your self, if you
had had the power or opportunity to your will.")_ 23d. When you see
a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always shew
Pity to the Suffering Offender.
Hawkins i. 33. When thou seest justice executed on any, thou maist
inwardly take delight in his vigilancy, to punish offenders,
because it tends to publique quiet, yet shew pity to the offender,
and ever Constitute the defect of his morality, thy precaution.
[Sidenote: This Rule has been nearly destroyed by mice.]
[24th. Do not laugh too loud or] too much at any Publick [spectacle,
lest you cause yourself to be laughed at.]
Hawkins i. 34. Laugh not too much or too Loud, in any publique
spectacle least for thy so doing, thou present thy selfe, the only
thing worthy to be laughed at.
25th. Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be
avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected
Chapter iii. 1. Quoy qu'il soit bon de s'epargner vn trop grand
soing de pratiquer vne ciuilite affectee, il faut pourtant estre
exact a en obseruer ce qui est necessaire & auantageux pour faire
paroistre une belle education, & ce qui ne se peut obmettre sans
choquer ceux auec qui l'on converse.
Though it is right to avoid too great care in practising an
affected civility, yet one must be exact in observing what is
necessary and advantageous in order to show a good education, and
all that cannot be omitted without shocking those with whom one is
26th. In pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen,
Justices, Churchmen, &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according
to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Persons. Amongst
your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but
to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner
of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.
Chapter iii. 2. Temoignez vos respects aux hommes illustres &
honorables, le chappeau en la main, comme aux Ecclesiastiques, ou
aux Magistrats, ou a quelques autres personnes qualifiees; en
tenant vers vous le dedans du chappeau que vous aurez oste: Faites
leur aussi la reverence par quelque inclination de corps, autant
que la dignite de chacun d'eux, & la belle coutume des enfants bien
nourris, le semble exiger. Et comme c'est vne chose fort inciuile
de ne se pas decouurir devant ceux a qui l'on doit ce respect, pour
les saluer, ou d'attendre que vostre egal vous rend le premier ce
deuoir; aussi de le faire, quand il n'est pas a propos, ressent sa
ciuilite affectee: mais c'est vne honteuse impertinence de prendre
garde si l'on vous rend vostre salutation. Au reste pour saluer
quelqu'vn de parole, ce compliment semble le plus propre, qui est
vsite par personnes le plus polies.
Show your respect for illustrious and honourable men,--such as
Ecclesiastics, Magistrates, or other persons of quality,--hat in
hand, holding the inside of the removed hat towards you; make your
reverence to them by inclining your body as much as the dignity of
each and the custom of well-bred youth seems to demand. And, as it
is very rude not to uncover the head before those to whom one owes
such respect, in order to salute them, or to wait till your equal
should perform this duty towards you first, so also, to do it when
it is not fitting savours of affected politeness: but it is
shameful impertinence to be anxious for the return of one's salute.
Finally, it seems most fitting to salute any one in words, a
compliment which the politest persons are in the habit of using.
27th. Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered
as well as not to do it to whom it's due. Likewise he that makes too
much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at
the first, or at most the Second time of being ask'd; now what is herein
Spoken, of Qualification in behaviour in Saluting, ought also to be
observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without
Bounds is troublesome.
Chapter iii. 3. C'est une grande inciuilite d'entreprendre de prier
vn superieur de se couurir, aussi bien que de n'en pas supplier
celuy a qui cela se peut faire. Et celuy qui se haste trop de se
couurir, particulierement en parlant a quelque personne qualifiee,
ou qui presse par plusieurs fois de ce faire, le refuse, choque la
biensceance; c'est pour cela qu'a la 1. ou 2. fois il est permis de
se couurir, si l'vsage ne se trouue contraire en quelque Prouince
ou Royaume. Et en effet entre les egaux, ou auec de plus agez, soit
Religieux, ou domestiques, il est permis d'accorder cette requeste
a vn egal ou a vn plus ieune, des la 1. fois. Toutefois ceux qui
sot egaux, ou fort peu differents les vns des autres, ont coustume
de se faire cette priere, & de se couurir tout ensemble. Toutes les
remarques donc qui se sont faites icy de la bonne conduite, doiuent
estre aussi entendues de l'ordre qu'il faut tenir a prendre place,
& a s'asseoir: car le plaisir que l'on prend aux ciuilitez & aux
complimens, est tout a fait importun.
It is very impolite to ask a superior to be covered, as it is not
to do so in the case of one with regard to whom it is proper. And
the man who is in haste to put his hat on, especially in talking to
a person of quality, or who, having been urged several times to do
so, refuses, shocks good manners; for this reason, after the first
or second request, it is allowable to put the hat on, unless in
some province or kingdom where the usage is otherwise. In fact,
amongst equals, or with those who are older, or who belong to
religious orders, or domestics, it is allowable to grant that
request to one's equal or to a younger man, at the very first time.
However, those of equal rank, or between whom there is little
difference of rank, usually make the request and put on their hats
at the same time. All the remarks here made on polite conduct, must
also be extended to the order to be observed in taking places, and
in sitting down; for the pleasure taken in ceremonies and
compliments is really irksome.
28th. If any one come to Speak to you while you are Sitting Stand up tho
he be your Inferiour, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one
according to his Degree.
Chapter iii. 5. Si vous estes assis, lors que quelq'vn vous vient
rendre visite, leuez-vous des qu'il approche; si la dignite de la
personne demande cette deference, comme s'il a quelque aduantage
sur vous, s'il vous est egal, ou inferieur; mais non pas fort
familier. Si vous vous reposez chez vous, ayant quelque siege,
faites en soite de traiter chacun selon son merite.
If you are sitting down when any one pays you a call rise as soon
as he comes near; whether his position demands that deference, as
having precedence over you, or if he be your equal, or inferior;
but not if he is on very intimate terms with you. If you are in
your own house, having any seat to offer, manage to treat each
guest according to his station.
29th. When you meet with one of Greater Quality than yourself, Stop, and
retire especially if it be at a Door or any Straight place to give way
for him to Pass
Chapter iii. 6. Quand vous rencontrez des personnes a qui vous
deuez du respect, outre les devoirs d'vne salutation ordinaire,
vous estes oblige de vous arrester quelque peu de temps, ou de
rebrousser chemin jusqu'a l'entree des portes, ou aux coins des
rues, pour leur donner passage.
[Sidenote: Walker says, "If you meet a superior in a narrow way, stop,
and press to make him more room."]
In meeting those to whom you should shew respect beyond the
salutations which are their due, you should stop a little, or
retreat to a threshold, or to the corner of the street, so as to
make way for them.
30th. In walking the highest Place in most Countrys Seems to be on the
right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you desire
to Honour: but if three walk together the middle Place is the most
Honourable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk
Chapter iii. 7. S'il arriue que vous faciez la promenade auec eux,
vous leur laisserez tousiours la place honorable, qui est celle qui
sera marquee par l'vsage. A parler generalement, il semble que
plusieurs Nations ont passe en coustume que la droite soit tenue
pour vne marque de reuerence, de telle soit, que quand quelq'vn
veut deferer a un autre, il le mette a sa droicte, en prenant sa
gauche. Lors que trois hommes se promenent ensemble, le plus
qualifie a tousiours le milieu: Celuy qui tient la droite, a le
second lieu, & l'autre qui reste a la gauche, n'a que le troisieme.
Mais en France, quand l'on se promene au long d'vn mur; par ce que
ce lieu est presque toujours plus eleue & plus net a cause de sa
pente, la coutume porte presque par tout qu'elle soit laissee au
plus qualifie, & particulierement quand deux personnes marchent
If you happen to take a walk with them, always give them the place
of honour, which is that pointed out by usage. To speak generally,
it appears that several nations have made it a custom that the
right should always be held as a mark of esteem, so that, when any
one wishes to honour another, he will put him on his right, himself
taking the left. When three are walking together, he of the highest
quality always has the middle: he who takes the right has the
second place, and the other who remains on the left has the third.
But in France, when walking by the side of a wall, that place being
almost always higher and cleaner because of the slope, the custom
almost always is that it be yielded to the man of the highest
quality, and particularly when two are walking together.
31st. If any one far Surpasses others, either in age Estate, or Merit
[yet, in any particular instance,] would give Place to a meaner than
himself [in his own house or elsewhere] the one ought not to except it,
So [the other, for fear of making him appear uncivil, ought not to
press] it above once or twice.
Chapter iii. 9. Si celuy qui se trouuera beaucoup plus avance en
age, ou auantage en dignite, soit en sa maison ou en quelqu'autre
lieu, veut honorer son inferieur, comme il n'est pas a propos que
cet inferieur s'en estime digne, de mesme aussi ne faut-il pas que
celuy qui est superieur, l'en presse auec trop de soin, ou luy
temoigne sa deference plus d'vne ou deux fois, de crainte que
l'assiduite de sa supplication reiteree ne rabatte quelque chose de
la bonne opinion que celuy qui le refuse, avoit conceu de son
addresse & de sa courtoisie, ou qu'il luy fasse commettre enfin une
If he who is much the older, or has the advantage of rank, wishes,
in his house or elsewhere, to honour his inferior, as it is not
fitting that such inferior should think himself worthy, so also the
superior must not press him too much or show such deference more
than once or twice, lest the assiduity of his reiterated requests
lower somewhat the good opinion which he who refuses, had conceived
of his tact and courtesy, or lest, at last, it cause him to be
guilty of some incivility.
32d. To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the
chief Place in your Lodging and he to who 'tis offered ought at the
first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without
acknowledging his own unworthiness
Chapter iii. 10. Mais entre les egaux, il est bien a propos en
receuant quelqu'vn dans sa maison, de luy donner la place la plus
honnorable. Et celuy a qui l'on fait un si bon accueil, en doit
faire quelque refus d'abord, mais a la seconde instance de son amy,
il luy doit obeyr.
[Sidenote: Maxim iii. 8, which says that acceptance of a first place
should be accompanied by an acknowledgement of unworthiness, is
represented in the last words of Rule 32.]
But amongst equals, it is quite right, in receiving any one into
one's house, to give him the most honourable place; and the person
to whom one accords such a good reception ought at first rather to
refuse it, but, when his friend insists a second time, he ought to
33d. They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places
Preceedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that
are their equals in Birth or other Qualitys, though they have no Publick
Chapter iii. 12. A ceux qui out le comandement, & qui sont dans le
pouuoir, ou qui exercent les Charges de Judicature, l'on donne
tousiours les premieres places en toute sorte de compagnie. Mais
qu'ils scachent eux-mesmes que s'ils sont jeunes, ils sont obligez
de respecter ceux qui sont d'aussi noble maison qu'eux, on qui les
deuancent de beaucoup en age, & sont honorez du degre de Doctorat;
quoy qu'ils n'exercent aucune charge publique; Et bien plus, ils
leur doiuent d'abord remettre la premiere place qu'il leur auoient
defere, & en suitte auec modestie, receuoir cest honneur comme une
[Sidenote: The second clause is not in the French Maxims.]
In every company the first place is always given to those in
command, or in power, or who exercise judicial charges. But these,
if young, should realise that they ought to respect those who
belong to houses as noble as their own, or who are much older, and
those honoured with the degree of Doctor, though not exercising any
public function; and moreover they ought, at first, to return an
offer of the highest place, and afterwards receive that honour
modestly, as a favour.
34th. It is good Manners to prefer them to whom we speak before
ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no Sort we ought
Chapter iii. 13. Il est de la derniere ciuilite de parler tousiours
mieux de ceux auec qui nous avons a conuerser, que de vous mesmes:
Et particulieremet quad ce sont des personnes eleuees audessus de
nous, auec qui il ne faut iamais contester en aucune maniere.
[Sidenote: Compare the last clause of this Maxim with Rule 40.]
It is the height of politeness always to speak better of those with
whom we have to converse than of ourselves. And particularly when
they are persons of a superior rank to ourselves, with whom we
ought never to dispute in any fashion.
35th. Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and
Chapter iii. 15. Le temps & le lieu, l'age & la difference des
personnes doivent regler tout cet vsage de compliments qui se fait
parmy les plus polis, & particulierement ceux qui consistent dans
les paroles. Mais l'on doit trancher court auec les personnes
affairees & ne leur presenter plus aux nez toutes ses agreables
fleurettes: il les faut epargner, & se faire entendre plustost par
mines, qu'auec des paroles.
Time and place, age and the difference between persons, ought to
regulate the whole custom of compliments as is done amongst the
most polite, especially compliments that consist in words. But one
should cut matters short with men of business, and not put one's
fine flowerets under their nose; one should spare them, and make
himself understood rather by looks than words.
36th. Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many
ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and highly
Honour them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with
affibility & Courtesie, without Arrogancy
Chapter iii. 16. Comme le soin de la ciuilite la plus raffinee ne
doit pas beaucoup trauailler les esprits des Artisants & de la lie
du peuple enuers les Grands & les Magistrats; aussi est-il
raisonnable qu'ils ayent soin de leur rendre de l'honneur: de mesme
il est a propos que la Noblesse les traitte [_sic_] doucement & les
epargne, & qu'elle euite toute sorte de superbe.
As the care for the most refined politeness ought not to trouble
much the minds of artizans and of the dregs of the people, as
regards Nobles and Magistrates, while it is reasonable that they
should take care to honour such, so it is also right that the
nobility should treat them gently, spare them, and avoid all manner
37th. In Speaking to men of Quality do not lean nor Look them full in
the Face, nor approach too near them at lest Keep a full Pace from them.
Chapter iii. 18. En parlant aux personnes qualifiees, ne vous
appuyez point le corps; ne leuez point vos yeux iusques sur leur
visage; ne vous en approchez pas trop pres, & faites en sorte que
ce ne soit iamais qu'a vn grad pas de distance.
In speaking to persons of quality, do not lean your body on any
thing; do not raise your eyes to their face; do not go too near,
and manage to keep a full step from them.
38th. In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you
be not Knowing therein.
Chapter iii. 19. Quad vous visiterez quelque malade, ne faites pas
aussi-tost le Medicin, si vous n'estes point experimente en cette
When you go to see any sick person do not immediately act the
physician if you are not experienced in that science.
39th. In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title
According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.
Chapter iii. 20. Lors que vous addresserez des lettres a des
personnes qui seront dans l'estime publique; vous vous gouuernerez
aupres d'eux, selon la coustume du pays & le degre de leur dignite.
Quand vous aurez acheue vos lettres, relisez-les, pour en oster les
fautes; mettez de la poudre sur l'escriture, lors qu'il en sera
besoin & ne pliez iamais vostre papier que les characteres ne
soient bien desechez, de crainte qu'ils ne s'effacent.
In addressing letters to persons held in public esteem, you will be
regulated by the Customs of the country and the degree of their
dignity. When you have finished your letters, read them over again
so as to correct mistakes; sand the writing, when necessary, and
never fold your paper until the letters are quite dry, lest they be
40th. Strive not with your Superiers in argument, but always Submit your
Judgment to others with Modesty
Hawkins ii. 20. Strive not with thy Superiours, in argument or
discourse, but alwayes submit thy opinion to their riper judgment,
with modesty; since the possibility of Erring, doth rather
accompany greene than gray hairs.
41st. Undertake not to teach your equal in the art himself Professes; it
flavours of arrogancy.
Hawkins ii. 21. Doe not undertake to teach thy equal, in the Art
himself professeth, for that will savour of Arrogancy, and serve
for little other than to brand thy judgment with Rashnesse.
_(Nothing has been found in the French Maxims resembling Rule 41.
Walker has the following: "Cautious also must be he who discourseth
even of that he understands amongst persons of that profession: an
affectation that more Scholars than wise men are guilty of; I mean
to discourse with every man in his own faculty; except it be by
asking questions and seeming to learn" (p. 266))._
[42d. Let your ceremonies in] curtesie be proper to the Dignity of his
place [with whom you converse; it is absurd to ac]t ye same with a Clown
and a Prince.
Hawkins ii. 22. Let thy Seremonyes in Courtesy be proper to the
dignity and place, of him with whom thou conversest. For it is
absurd to honour a Clown with words courtly and of magnificence.
43d. Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary
Passion will aggravate his Misery
Hawkins ii. 23. Do not thou expresse joy before one sick, or in
paine; for that contrary passion, will aggravate his misery. But do
thou rather sympathize his infirmityes, for that will afford a
gratefull easement, by a seeming participation.
44th. When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not
him that did it.
Chapter iv. 3. Celui qui fait tout ce qui luy est possible, pour
auancer vostre affaire, quoy qu'il ne la meine pas, & n'en puisse
auoir le succez come vous l'esperez, ne doit point entendre de
reprimade; puis qu'il est plus digne de loueange que de blame.
The man who does all he can to advance your business, even though
he should not bring it about, and may not be able to obtain the
success you hoped for, ought not to hear reproaches, since he is
more worthy of praise than of blame.
[Sidenote: Hawkins has only 'sweetness,' Washington being here closer
to the French.]
45th. Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to
be in publick or in Private; presently, or at Some other time in what
terms to do it & in reproving Shew no signs of Cholar but do it with all
Sweetness and Mildness
Chapter iv. 4. Si vous auez a exhorter ou reprendre quelqu'vn,
prenez bien garde, s'il est plus a propos de le faire en
particulier ou en public, en ce temps ou en vn autre, bien plus,
quelles paroles vous y deuez employer: Et particulierement lors que
quelqu'vn ayat este desia reprimade d'autres fois, ne se corrige
point des fautes passees, & ne promet point d'amandement. Et soit
que vous donniez quelques auis, ou que vous fassiez quelque
reprimande, donnez-vous de garde de vous mettre en cholere, au
contraire pratiquez ces actions auec moderation & douceur.
If you have to exhort or to reproach any one, consider whether it
be better to do so in private or in public; at this time or another
and, above all, what words you should use: and particularly when
some one having been already reprimanded at other times does not
correct himself of his past faults, and does not promise any
amendment. And if you give any advice, or impart any reprimand,
carefully avoid anger; on the contrary, do such acts with
moderation and sweetness.
46th. Take all Admonitions thankfully in what Time or Place Soever given
but afterwards not being culpable take a Time or Place Convenient to let
him know it that gave them.
Chapter iv. 5. Aussi quiconque se donnera la peine de vous
remonstrer de quelque faco, en quelque lieu, & en quelque temps
qu'il le fasse, qu'il soit ecoute de vostre part auec beaucoup de
ressentiment de bienueillance & de reconnoissance. Et apres cela,
si vous vous sentez innocent, & qu'il vous semble a propos de vous
prouuer tel, il vous sera bien permis de le faire; mais auec ce
soin de predre bien vostre temps, & plustost pour luy en faire voir
la verite, & le tirer de peine, & plus si vous estes en sa charge,
ou si vous releuez de son pouuoir, que pour vous appuyer de quelque
Also when any one takes the trouble to rebuke you, no matter how,
where, or when he does it, hear him for your part with much feeling
of goodwill and acknowledgment. And after that, if innocent, and it
seems right to prove yourself so, you will be quite at liberty to
do so; being careful, however, to choose a proper time, and rather
to make him see the truth, and relieve him from anxiety,--the more
if you are in his charge or depend on his authority--than to defend
yourself with some excuse.
7th. Mock not nor Jest at anything of Importance break no Jest that
are Sharp Biting, and if you Deliver anything witty and Pleasent abtain
from Laughing thereat yourself.
Chapter iv. 7. Ne vous amusez point aux equiuoques ny en matiere
importante, ny en choses honteuses. Si vous trouuez bon de railler,
gardez vous bien de mordre, & bien plus de dechirer comme un chien.
Que les bons-mots & les rencontres soient tirees du suiet, que les
vns & les autres ayent leur gentillesse & leur pointe, sans attirer
l'indignation de personne. Que les plaisanteries ne soient point
comme celles des bouffons, qui font rire par des representations
extrauagantes, & des actions deshonnestes: si vous rencontrez
ioliment, si vous donnez quelque bon-mot, en faisant rire les
autres, empeschez-vous-en, le plus qu'il vous sera possible.
Do not divert yourself with _equivoques_, either in important or in
mean matters. If you find good occasion for a joke, be careful not
to bite, still less to tear, like a dog. Witticisms and repartee
should be to the point, and should have elegance and
appropriateness without exciting the indignation of any. Do not let
your pleasantries degenerate into those of buffoons, who raise
laughter by extravagant representations and indecent action. If you
are clever in repartee, if you say a good thing, manage if
possible, in making others laugh, to abstain from it yourself.
48th. Wherein wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for
example is is more prevalent than Precepts
Hawkins iii. 8. Be sure thy conversation be in that poynt vertuous,
wherein thou art desirous to retaine another, least thy Actions
render thy advice unprofitable. Since the ratification of any
advice is the serious prosecution of that vertue. For example hath
ever been more prevalent than precept.
49th. Use no Reproachfull Language against any one neither Curse nor
Hawkins iii. 11. Use no reproachfull language against any man, nor
Curse, or Revile. For improperations and imprecations will rather
betray thy affections than in any manner, hurt him against whom
thou utters them.
0th. Be not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of
Hawkins iii. 10. Thou oughtest not too suddenly to believe a flying
Rumour of a friend, or any other. But let charity guid thy
judgment, untill more certainty: for by this meanes thou securest
his Reputation, and frees thy self of rashness.
51st. Wear not your Cloths, foul, unript or Dusty but See they be
Brush'd once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to
Chapter v. 4. Que vos habits ne demeurent point sales, dechirez,
couuerts de poussiere, ou pelez. Qu'ils soient tous les iours du
moins vne fois nettoyez auec les epoussettes. Et prenez bien garde
aussi en quel lieu vous vous assoirez, ou vous vous mettrez a
genoux, ou vous vous accouderez, que le lieu ne soit point
malpropre, ny reply d'immondices. Ne portez point le manteau sur le
bras, a l'imitation des Fanfarons. Et mettant bas ou vostre robbe,
ou votre mateau, pliez les bien proprement & adroitement, & prenez
bien garde ou vous les posez.
Do not let your clothes be dirty, torn, covered with dust or
threadbare. Have them brushed at least once a day. And take care
also in what place you sit down, or kneel, or rest your elbows,
that it be not unfit or filthy. Do not carry your cloak over your
arm after the manner of swaggerers. And when you take off your coat
or cloak, fold them neatly and carefully, and take care where you
[Sidenote: 'Accomodate nature' is a phrase from a precept in Hawkins
52nd. In your Apparel be Modest and endeavour to accomodate Nature,
rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals
Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places
Chapter v. 5. Choisissez tousiours des habits semblables a ceux de
vos compagnons qui passent pour les plus honnestes & moderez, en
considerant les lieux & les temps auec discretion: & outre cela,
faites qu'en ce poinct vous paroissiez souhaitter d'estre vestu le
plus simplement & modestement de tous vos egaux, bien plustost que
d'affecter les plus beaux vestements.
Always choose clothes like those of your companions who pass for
the most genteel and moderate, in discreet consideration of time
and place: and more, make it a point to be the most simply and
modestly dressed of all your equals, rather than to affect the
53d. Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open
go not Shaking y'r Arms [stamping, or shuffling; nor pull up your
stockings in the street. Walk] not upon the toes, nor in a Dancing [or
skipping manner, nor yet with measured steps. Strike not the heels
together, nor stoop when there is no occasion]
Chapter vi. 1. Faites en sorte quand vous marchez, de ne pas faire
des demarches precipitees, d'auoir la bouche ouuerte & comme
beante, & de ne vous trop demener le corps, ou le pancher, ou
laisser vos mains pendantes, ou remuer & secoueer les bras; sans
frapper trop rudement la terre, ou letter a vos pieds de part &
d'autre. Cette sorte d'action demande encore ces conditions, que
l'on ne s'arreste pas a retirer ses chausses en haut, dans le
chemin, que l'on ne marche sur les extremitez des pieds, ny en
sautillant ou s'eleuant, comme il se pratique en la dance, que l'on
ne courbe point le corps, que l'on ne baisse point la teste, qne
l'on n'auance point a pas coptez, que l'on ne se choque point les
talons l'un contre l'autre en entrant dans l'Eglise, que l'on ne
reste point teste nue a la sortie. Si la deuotion n'y oblige, comme
lors qu'il est question d'accompagner le Tres-sainct Sacrement.
In walking guard against hurried steps, or having your mouth open
and gaping; and do not move your body too much, or stoop, or let
your hands hang down, or move and shake your arms; walk without
striking the ground too hard or throwing your feet this way and
that. That sort of action also demands these conditions,--not to
stop to pull up one's stockings in the street, not to walk on the
toes, or in a skipping rising as in dancing; do not stoop, nor bend
the head; do not advance with measured steps; do not strike the
heels against each other on entering church, nor leave it
bareheaded, unless devotion requires it, as in accompanying the
54th. Play not the Peacock, looking everywhere about you, to See if you
be well Deck't, if your Shoes fit well if your Stockings Sit neatly, and
Chapter vi. 2. Ne vous amusez pas a vous quarer comme vn Paon, &
regarder superbement autour de vous, si vous estes bien mis, & bien
chausse, si vos hauts-dechausses & vos autres habits vous sont
bienfaits. Ne sortez point de vostre chabre, portant vostre plume a
vostre bouche, ou sur vostre aureille. Ne vous amusez pas a mettre
des fleurs a vos aureilles, a vostre bonnet, ou a vostre chappeau.
Ne tenez point vostre mouchoir a la main, ou pendu a vostre bouche,
ny a vostre ceinture, ny sous vostre aiselle, ny sur vostre
espaule, ou cache sous vostre robbe. Mettez-le en lieu d'ou il ne
puisse etre veu, & il puisse estre toutesfois comodement tire, dez
qu'il en sera besoin. Ne le presentez iamais a personne, s'il n'est
tout blanc, ou presque pas deploye.
Do not delight in strutting like a peacock, or look proudly around
to see if you are well decked, if your breeches and other clothes
fit well. Do not leave your room carrying your pen in your mouth or
behind your ear. Do not indulge yourself by putting flowers in your
ears, cap, or hat. Do not hold your pocket-handkerchief in your
hand, hanging from your mouth, at your girdle, under your armpit,
on your shoulder, or stuffed under your coat. Put it in some place
where it cannot be seen, but from whence you may easily draw it
when you want it. Never offer it to anybody unless it be quite
clean, or hardly unfolded.
55th. Eat not in the Streets, nor in ye House, out of Season.
Chapter vi. 3. Ne marchez jamais par les chemins, en mangeant, soil
seul ou en compagnie, & particulierement parmy la foule de la
ville. Ne vous mettez pas mesme a manger en la maison hors de temps
du repas, & du moins abstenez vous en, quand il s'y rencontrera
Never walk on the roads eating, whether alone or in company,
especially amid the crowd in a town. Do not set to eating even in
the house out of meal-times; at least abstain from it in the
presence of others.
56th. Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own
Reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad Company.
Chapter vi. 5. Et si, vous voulez passer pour honneste, accostez
vous tousiours des Gents-de-bien, si vous n'en trouuez pas la
commodite, ou par ce que vous n'en connoissez point, ou pour
quelqu'autre raison, il vaut tousiours mieux que vous alliez seul,
qu'en mauuaise compagnie.
If you wish to pass as genteel, always go with well-bred people; if
you cannot get the chance,--from not knowing any, or any other
reason,--it is always better to go alone than in bad company.
57th. In walking up and Down in a House, only with One in Company if he
be Greater than yourself, at the first give him the Right hand and Stop
not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn
let it be with your face towards him, it he be a Man of Great Quality,
walk not with him Cheek by Jowl but Somewhat behind him; but yet in such
a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.
[Sidenote: The repetition of the feminine "Elle" refers to 'vne
personne,' in the first line, although the masculine ('qu'il' and
's'il') has twice followed it. There is no allusion to the female sex in
the French Maxims.]
Chapter vi. 7. Si vous promenez auec vne personne seule dans la
maison, & qu'il soil d'vne conditio qui luy fasse meriter quelque
deference, des le premier pas de la promenade, ne manquez pas de
luy donner la droite: Ne cessez point de marcher, s'il ne vient a
s'arrester: Ne changez pas le premier le diuertissement, & en vous
tournant, ne luy montrez iamais les epaules; mais tousiours le
visage. Si elle est dans vne charge releuee, gardez bien de marcher
d'vn pas tout a fait egal; mais suiuez tant soit pen derriere, auec
tant de iustesse pourtant & de moderatio, qu'elle vous puisse bien
parler sans s'incomoder. Si elle vous est egale allez d'un mesme
pas tout le long de la promenade, & ne tournez pas tovsiours le
premier, a chaque bout de champ; ne faites pas si souuent des
pauses au milieu du chemin sans suiet. Car cette liberte ressent
sa grandeur & donne du mecontentement. Celuy qui tient le milieu
dans vne compagnie dont il est enuironne, si ceux qui la composent,
sont egaux, ou presque egaux, il se doit tourner vne fois a droit
dans la promenade, & s'ils se rencontrent notablement inegaux, il
se doit plus souuent tourner vers le plus qualifie. Enfin que ceux
qui l'enuironnent, viennent tousiours a se detourner de son coste &
en mesme temps que luy, non point deuant ny apres; puis qu'il est
comme le but de la promenade.
If you are walking about the house alone with a person whose rank
demands some deference, at the very first step be sure and give him
the right hand: Do not stop walking if he does not wish to stop: Be
not the first to change the diversion, and, in turning, never show
him your shoulder but always your face. If he has a high public
appointment take care not to walk quite side by side with him but a
very little behind him with so much exactness and moderation that
he may be able to speak to you without inconvenience. If he is your
equal in rank, keep step with him during the whole walk, and do not
always turn first at every end of the walk. Do not stop often
midway without reason, such liberty touches his dignity and gives
dissatisfaction. He who is the centre of the company by whom he is
surrounded ought, if those of whom it consists are equal or nearly
equal in rank, always to turn to the right once during the walk,
and if they are manifestly unequal, he should oftenest turn towards
the most distinguished. Lastly those who are about him should
always turn round towards his side and at the same time as he,
neither before nor after, as he is, so to say, the object of the
58th. let your conversation be without malice or envy, for 'tis a sign
of a tractable and commendable nature: & in all causes of passion admit
reason to govern
Hawkins v. 9. Let thy conversation be without malice or envye, for
that is a signe of a tractable and commendable nature. And in all
causes of passion, admit reason for thy governesse. So shall thy
Reputation be either altogether inviolable, or at the least not
stayned with common Tinctures.
59th. Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral
before your inferiours
[Sidenote: Walker: 'A man should not divertise himself with his
Inferiors, nor make his Servants privy to his infirmities and
Hawkins v. 10. Never expresse any thing unbeseeming, nor act
against the Rules morall, before thy inferiours, For in these
things, thy own guilt will multiply Crimes by example, and as it
were, confirme Ill by authority.
60th. Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret
[Sidenote: Hawkins uses the word 'Farce' instead of 'Stuff.']
Hawkins v. 11. Be not immodest in urging thy friend to discover his
secrets; lest an accidentall discovery of them work a breach in
61st. Utter not base and frivilous things amongst grave and Learn'd Men
nor very Difficult Questions or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things
hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst
your Betters nor Equals
Chapter vii. 1. dans la conuersation de gents doctes & habiles ne
debitez pas des bagatelles, & n'auancez pas des discours trop
releuez parmy les ignorants, qu'ils ne soient po[note: word missing
here] capables d'entendre, ou qu'ils ne puissent pas croire fort
facilement. ne debutez pas toujours par des prouerbes,
particulierement parmy vos egaux, & bien moins auec vos superieurs.
ne parlez point de choses a cotr[~e]teps, ou qui puissent choquer
les esprits de vos auditeurs. parmy les banquets, & dans les iours
de resioueissance ne mettez point sur le tapis de tristes nouuelles,
point de recits de rudes calamitez, point d'ordures, point de
deshonestetez, point d'afflictions. bien au cotraire si tels
discours se trouuent entamez par quelqu'autre, faites vostre
possible pour en detourner adroictement la suitte. ne contez iamais
vos songes qu'a de vos confidents, & encore que ce soit pour
profiter de leur interpretation; vous gardant bien d'y donner
[Sidenote: Walker says--'nor tell your dreams when perhaps your best
waking actions are not worth the reciting.']
When talking with learned and clever men, do not introduce trifles,
and do not bring forward too advanced conversation before ignorant
people which they cannot understand nor easily believe. Do not
always begin with proverbs, especially among your equals, and still
less with your superiors. Do not speak of things out of place, or
of such as may shock your hearers. At banquets and on days of
rejoicing do not bring up sorrowful news or accounts of sad
calamities, no filth, nothing improper, nothing afflicting. On the
contrary, if such conversation is begun by any one else, do your
best adroitly to turn the subject. Never relate your dreams except
to your confidants, and then only to profit by their
interpretation, taking care not to put the least belief in it.
62d. Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table;
Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others
Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but
to your intimate Friend
_(The substance of Rule 62 is in the French Maxim quoted under the
previous Rule (61), beginning with the third sentence, 'Ne parlez
point, etc.')_ 63d. A Man ought not to value himself of his
Atchievements or rare Qua[lities, his Riches, Tit]les Virtue or
Kindred[; but he need not speak meanly of himself.]
Chapter vii. 2. Vne personne bien nourrie ne s'amuse iamais a faire
parade de ses belles actions, de son esprit, de sa vertu, & de ses
autres bonnes & loueables qualitez, au cotraire il ne faut iamais
s'entretenir auec les autres de sa haute naissance, ou de la
Noblesse de ses parents, de ses richesses, ny de ses grandeurs, si
l'on n'y est contrainct. II ne faut pas aussi se raualler
A well-bred person never makes parade of his good actions, wit,
virtue, and other good and praiseworthy qualities; on the contrary,
one ought never to speak with another about his high birth, the
nobility of his parents, his wealth or dignities, unless obliged to
do so. But one need not efface himself altogether.
64'th Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not
aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no man's Misfortune, tho'
there seem to be Some cause
Chapter vii. 3. Il ne faut pas se mettre sur la raillerie, quad il
n'est point temps de solastrer. Gardez-vous bien d'eclater en
risees, d'y passer les bornes de la bienseance, & de le faire sans
un suiet raisonnable, pour suiure l'inclinatio qui vous porte a
rire. Ne prenez iamais suiet de rire du malheur d'autruy, quoy
qu'il semble en quelque facon digne de risee.
Jesting must be avoided when it is out of season. Beware of
bursting out into laughter, beyond the limits of decorum, and of
doing so without reasonable cause, merely from an inclination to
laugh. Never laugh at the misfortunes of others, although they seem
in some sort laughable
65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none
although they give Occasion
Chapter vii. 4. Ne donnez iamais de sobriquet, soit dans le jeu, ou
bien hors du jeu. Gardez vous bien de picquer qui que ce puisse
estre; ne vous mocquez d'aucune personne, particulierement d'entre
celles qui sont qualifiees, quoy qu'auec occasion.
Never give nicknames, whether in fun or not. Take care not to hurt
anybody, whoever it may be; do not mock any one, especially persons
of distinction, although there be occasion.
66th Be not forward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear
and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to converse.
Chapter vii. 5. Ne vous rendez point morne & de facheux abord; mais
affable & prompt a rendre de bons offices, & soyez toujours le
premier a saluer. Entendez bien ce que l'on vous dit & y respondez;
Ne vous retirez point a l'ecart, quand le deuoir vous engage a la
Do not be glum and unfriendly of approach; but affable, prompt in
rendering kind offices, and always the first to salute. Listen
carefully to what is said and respond; do not keep aloof when duty
requires you to take a share in the conversation.
67th. Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commending.
Chapter vii. 6. Gardez vous bien de medire d'aucune personne ou de
vous entretenir des affaires d'autruy. Et mesme souuenez vous de
garder la moderation dans vos loueanges.
[Sidenote: Walker says: 'Carry even between adulation and soureness.']
Take care not to speak ill of any one or to gossip of other
people's affairs. At the same time do not forget moderation in your
_(Dr. Toner thinks the last word of Rule 67 is written
'Commanding.' Sparks has 'commending.')_ 68th. Go not thither,
where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. Give not
Advice whth being Ask'd & when desired do it briefly
Chapter vii. 7. Ne vous ingerez pas dans les entretiens & les
consultations, ou vous ne serez pas asseure d'estre le bien venu.
Ne dites iamais vostre aduis des affaires que l'on ne vous l'ait
demande, si toutesfois vous n'estes le premier en authorite, & que
ce ne soit point a contre-temps, ou sans apparence de quelque
auantage. Quand vous en estes prie, abregez vostre discours, &
prenez de bonne heure le noeud de l'affaire a demesler.
Do not force yourself into interviews or consultations at which you
are not sure of being welcome. Never give your advice on matters
when it has not been asked, unless you happen to be the highest in
authority; and do not let it be done out of place or without
prospect of any benefit. When your opinion is requested, be brief,
and reach quickly the knot of the matter under discussion.
69th If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrained,
and be not obstinate in your Opinion, in Things indiferent be of the
Chapter vii. 8. Si deux personnes out quelque chose a decider
ensemble, ne prenez le party ny de l'vn, ny de l'autre, si quelque
grade raison ne vous y oblige. Ne soustenez pas vos sentiments auec
vne trop grande obstination. Dans les matieres ou les opinios sont
libres, prenez tousiours le party qui est le plus appuye.
[Sidenote: Walker says: 'Thrust not your self to be Moderator or Umpire
in Controversies, till required']
If two persons have anything to decide between themselves do not
take the part of either unless some pressing reason obliges you to
do so. Do not maintain your ideas too obstinately. In matters in
which opinions are free, always take the side which has the most
70th Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to
Parents Masters and Superiors.
Chapter vii. 9. Ne faites pas le censeur & le juge des fautes
d'autruy, car cela n'appartient qu'aux maistres, aux peres, & a
ceux qui out quelque superiorite. Il vous est toutesfois permis de
faire paroistre l'auersion que vous en coceuez. Et vous pouuez bien
quelquesfois doner aduis avantageux au defaillants.
Do not be the censor and judge of other peoples' faults, for that
only belongs to masters, fathers, and those who have some
superiority. But it is nevertheless allowable for you to show an
aversion you have conceived. And at times you may give advantageous
advice to those who are in the wrong.
71st. Gaze not at the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they
came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before
Chapter vii. 10. Ne vous amusez pas a considerer curieusement les
defauts ou les taches, quoy que naturelles, particulierement si
elles se rencontrent au visage, & ne vous enquerez pas d'ou elles
out precede. Ce que vous diriez bien volontiers en l'oreille a vn
amy, doit estre conserue sous la clef du sil[~e]ce, lors que vous
vous trouuez en cempagnie
Take no pleasure in examining curiously defects or blemishes,
although natural, especially if they be in the face, nor enquire
what they proceed from. What you would readily say in the ear of a
friend ought to be preserved under the key of silence when you are
72d. Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language
and that as those of Quality do and not as y'e Vulgar; Sublime matters
Chapter vii. 11. Ne vous seruez iamais en vos discours & n'employez
vne langue qui ne vous est pas bien cognue & familiere, si ce n'est
en vne occasion bien pressante, pour donner plus clairement a
connoistre vostre pensee. Parlez tousiours en la vostre maternelle
& natale, non pas grossierement, comme la lie du peuple, ou les
pauures chambrieres; mais comme les plus delicats & les plus gros
Bourgeois, auec erudition & auec elegance. Et prenez a tache
d'obseruer en vos discours les regles de l'honnestete & de la
modestie; & vous gardez bien de ces contes vn peu trop libres; ne
les faites ny en l'oreille d'vn autre, ny ne les poussez par jeu
auec profusion. N'employez point de termes bas & raualez ou
populaires en des matieres hautes & reluees.
In your conversation never use a language with which you are not
thoroughly acquainted and familiar, unless in some very urgent case
to render your idea more clearly. Always speak in your native and
mother tongue, not coarsely like the dregs of the people, or poor
chamber-maids, but like the most refined and well-to-do citizens,
with erudition and elegance. And in your discourse take care to
observe the rules of decorum and modesty, and be sure to avoid
rather risky tales; do not whisper such to another, and do not
indulge them too frequently in sport. Do not use low, base or
vulgar expressions when treating of serious and sublime subjects.
73'd. Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out
your Words too hastily but orderly and Distinctly
Chapter vii. 12. Ne vous mettez point a discourir, que vous ne vous
y soyez bien prepare, & que vous n'ayez bien estudie vostre suiet.
Dans l'entretien ordinaire, n'allez point chercher de periphrases,
point de subtilitez, ny de figures. Ne confondez point vos paroles
dans les coutumes d'vne langue trop brusque & begayante; mais
aussi, ne parlez pas si lentement, & a tant de reprises, que vous
donniez de l'ennuy.
Do not begin speaking unless you are quite prepared, and have well
studied your subject. In ordinary conversation do not seek
periphrases, subtleties, or figures of speech. Do not let your
words become confused by too abrupt or hesitating a delivery, and
do not let your speech be so slow and broken as to become tedious.
74th When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the
Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him
without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be
Chapter vii. 13. Quand quelque autre parle, prenez garde de donner
suiet a ses Auditeurs de s'en detourner; & pour vous, ecoutez-le
fauorablement & auec attention, sans destourner les yeux d'vn autre
coste, ou vous arrester a quelqu'autre pensee. Si quelqu'vn a de la
peine a tirer ses mots comme par force, ne vous amusez pas a luy en
suggerer, pour faire paroistre quelque desir d'aider celuy qui
parle, si'l ne vient a vous en prier, ou que le tout se passe das
le particulier, & qu'encore cette persone soit de vos plus intimes
& familiers amis; & apres tout ne l'interrompez point, & ne luy
repliquez en aucune maniere, iusques a ce que luy-mesme ait acheue.
[Sidenote: Hawkins: 'If any drawl forth his words, help him not']
[Sidenote: The later French book has: 'It is not Civil when a Person of
Quality hesitates or stops in his discourse for you to strike in, though
with pretence of helping his memory.']
When another person is speaking, beware of drawing off the
attention of his hearers; and as for yourself, listen to him
favourably and attentively, without turning your eyes aside or
directing your thoughts elsewhere. If any one finds difficulty in
expressing himself, do not amuse yourself by suggesting words to
him, so as to show a desire to assist the speaker unless he so
requests or you are quite in private, and the person is also one of
your most intimate and familiar friends. Above all, do not
interrupt him, and in nowise reply to him until he has finished.
75th. In the midst of Discourse ask [not what it is about], but if you
Perceive any Stop because of [your arrival, rather request the speaker]
to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing its
handsome to Repeat what was said before
Chapter vii. 14. Quand vous arriuez sur la moitie de quelque
discours, ne vous enquerez pas du suiet de l'entretien; car cela
est trop hardy & ressent l'homme d'authorite. Suppliez plutost
honnestement & courtoisement que l'on le poursuiue, si vous voyez
qu'il se soir interronpu a vostre arriuee, parquel que sorte de
deference. Au contraire s'il suruient quelqu'vn, lors que vous
parlerez, & particulierement si c'est vne personne qualifiee & de
merite, il est de la bien-seance de faire vne petite recapitulation
de ce qui a este auance, & de poursuiure la deduction de tout le
reste de la matiere.
[Sidenote: Hawkins: 'It is seemely to make a little Epilogue and
briefe collection of what thou deliveredst.]
If you arrive in the middle of any discussion, do not ask what it
is about; for that is too bold and savours of one in authority.
Rather ask, genteelly and courteously, that it may be continued, if
you see that the speaker has paused on your arrival, out of
civility. On the other hand, if any one comes whilst you are
speaking, and particularly if it be a person of quality or of
merit, it is in accordance with good manners to give a slight
recapitulation of what has been advanced, and then carry out the
deduction of all the rest of the matter.
76th. While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom
you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to
Chapter vi. 17. Ne montrez point au doigt la personne dont vous parlez,
& ne vous approchez point trop pres de celuy que vous entretenez, non
plus que de son visage, a qui il faut toujours porter quelque reuerence.
Do not point your finger at the person of whom you are speaking, and do
not go too near any one with whom you are conversing, especially not
near his face, which should always be held in some reverence.
77th. Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the
Company of Others
Chapter vi. 18. Si vous auez vne affaire particuliere a communiquer
a l'vne de deux personnes ou de plusieurs qui s'entretiennent
ensemble, expediez en trois mots, & ne luy dites pas en l'oreille
ce que vous auez a proposer; mais si la chose est secrette,
tirez-la tant soit peu a l'ecart, s'il vous est possible, & que
rien ne vous en empesche; parlez luy en la langue que les
If you have any particular matter to communicate to one of two
persons or of several, who are talking together, finish it off in
three words, and do not whisper in his ear what you have to say; if
the matter be secret, take him aside a little, if possible, and
nothing prevents; speak to him in the language which those present
78th. Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for any
brave act of Virtue, commend not another for the Same
Chapter vii. 21. Abstenez vous de faire des comparaisons des
personnes l'vne auec l'autre; Et partant si l'on donne des loueanges
a quelqu'vn pour vne bonne action, ou pour sa vertu, gardez vous
bien de loueer la mesme vertu en quelque autre. Car toute
comparaison se trouue odieuse.
Abstain from drawing comparisons between different persons; and if
any one is praised for a good action, or for his virtue, do not
praise another for the same. For all comparisons are odious.
79th. Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In
Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A
Secret Discover not
Chapter vii. 22. Ne faites pas aisement dessein de redire aux
autres les nouuelles & les rapports qui auront couru touchant les
rencontres des affaires, si vous n'auez vn garant de leur verite.
Et ne vous amusez pas en racontant ces vau-de-villes, d'en citer
l'Autheur, que vous ne soyez bien asseure qu'il ne le trouuera pas
mauuais. Gardez tousiours bien le secret qui vous a este confie &
ne le ditez a personne, de crainte qu'il ne soit diuulgue.
[Sidenote: The later French book says: 'Discover not the secret of a
friend, it argues a shallow understanding and a weakness.']
Be not apt to relate rumours of events, if you know not their
truth. And in repeating such things do not mention your authority,
unless you are sure he will like it. Always keep the secret
confided to you; tell it to no one, lest it be divulged.
80th. Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the
Company pleased therewith
Chapter vii. 23. Si vous racontez, ou lisez, ou entreprenez d'en
prouuer par raisonnements quoy que ce soit, tranchez-le-court, &
particulierement quand le suiet en est peu important, ou quand vous
reconnoissez les degousts qu'en ont les Auditeurs.
If you are relating or reading anything, or arguing any point, be
brief,--particularly when the subject is of small importance, or if
you detect weariness in the listeners.
81st. Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach to
those that Speak in Private
Chapter vii. 24. Ne temoignez pas de curiosite dans les affaires
d'autruy, & ne vous approchez de la ou l'on parle en secret.
Do not show any curiosity about other people's affairs, and do not
go near the place where persons are talking in private.
82d. Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Carefull to keep your
Chapter vii. 25. Ne vous chargez point d'vne chose dont vous ne
vous pouuez acquiter; maintenez ce que vous auez promis.
Do not undertake anything that you cannot perform; keep your
83d. When you deliver a matter do it without Passion & with Discretion,
however mean y'e Person be you do it too
Chapter vii. 27. Quand vous faites vne ambassade, vn rapport, ou
donnez l'ouuerture de quelque affaire, taschez de le faire sans
passion & auec discretion, soit que vous ayez a traitter auec
personnes de peu, ou personnes de qualite.
When you fulfil a mission, deliver a report, or undertake the
opening of any matter, try to do it dispassionately and discreetly,
whether those with whom you have to treat be of humble or high
84th. When your Superiours talk to any Body hearken not neither Speak
Chapter vii. 27. Quand ceux qui out sur vous commandement, parlent
a quelqu'vn, gardez vous bien de parler, de rire, ou de les
When your Superiors talk to any one, do not speak, laugh, or
85th. In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not till
you are ask'd a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer in
Chapter vii. 30. Estant auec de plus grands que vous,
principalement s'ils ont du pouuoir sur vous, ne parlez pas deuant
que d'estre interroge, & alors leuez-vous debout, decouurez-vous, &
repondez en pen de mots, si toutesfois l'on ne vous donne conge de
vous asseoir, ou de vous tenir couuert.
Being with persons of higher position than yourself, and especially
if they have authority over you, do not speak until you are
interrogated; then rise, remove your hat, and answer in few
words,--unless indeed you are invited to remain seated, or to keep
your hat on.
86th. In Disputes, be not so Desirous to Overcome as not to give Liberty
to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to y'e Judgment of y'e
Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.
Chapter vii. 31. Dans les disputes qui arriuent, principalement en
conuersation, ne soyez pas si desireux de gagner, que vous ne
laissiez dire a chacun son aduis, & soit que vous ayez tort, ou
raison, vous deuez acquiescer au jugement du plus grand nombre, ou
mesme des plus fascheux, & beaucoup plus de ceux de qui vous
dependez, ou qui sont juges de la dispute.
In disputes that arise, especially in conversation, be not so
desirous to overcome as not to leave each one liberty to deliver
his opinion; and whether you be wrong or right you should acquiesce
in the judgment of the majority, or even of the most persistent,
all the more if they are your masters or patrons, or judges of the
87th. [Let your bearing be such] as becomes a Man Grave Settled and
attentive [to what is said, without being too serious. Contra]dict not
at every turn what others Say
Chapter vii. 35. Vostre maintien soit d'homme moderement graue,
pose, & attentif a ce qui se dit, afin de n'auoir pas a dire a tout
propos: _Comment ditez-vous? comment se passe cela? je ne vous ay
pas entendu_, & d'autres semblables niaiseries.
33. Ne contredictes pas a tout bout de champ, a ce que disent les
autres, en contestant & disant: Il n'est pas ainsi, la chose est
comme je la dy; mais rapportez-vous en a l'opinion des autres
principalement dans les choses, qui sont de peu de consequence.
35. Let your bearing be that of a moderately grave, serious man,
and attentive to what is said so as to avoid having to say every
moment: _'How did that happen? I did not understand you,'_--and
other similar foolish remarks.
33. Do not continually contradict what others say, by disputing and
saying: 'That is not the case, it is as I say;' but defer to the
opinion of others, especially in matters of small consequence.
88th. Be not tedious in Discourse, make not many Digressions, nor repeat
often the Same manner of Discourse
Chapter vii. 39. N'employez pas vn an a vostre preface, & en
certaines longues excuses ou ceremonies, en disant, _Monsieur:
excusez-moy! si ie ne scay pas si bien dire,_ &c., _toutesfois pour
vous obeyr_, &c., & autres semblables ennuyeuses and sottes
trainees de paroles; mais entrez promptement en matiere tant que
faire se pourra auec vne hardiesse moderee: Et puis poursuiuez,
sans vous troubler, iusques a la fin. Ne soyez pas long; sans
beaucoup de digressions, ne reiterez pas souuent vne mesme facon de
Do not take a year in your preface, or in certain long apologies or
ceremonies, such as: '_Pardon me Sir if I do not know how to
express myself sufficiently well_, &.c.; _nevertheless in order to
obey you_,' &c., and other similarly tedious and stupid
circumlocutions; but enter promptly on the subject, as far as
possible, with moderate boldness; then continue to the end without
hesitation. Do not be prolix; avoid digressions; do not often
reiterate the same expression.
89th. Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust
Hawkins vi. 40. Speak not evill of one absent, for it is unjust to
detract from the worth of any, or besmeare a good name by
condemning, where the party is not present, to clear himselfe, or
undergo a rationall conviction.
90th. Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your Nose
except there's a Necessity for it
Chapter viii. 2. Estant assis a table, ne vous grattez point, &
vous gardez tant que vous pourrez, de cracher, de tousser, de vous
moucher: que s'il y a necessite, faites-le adroitement, sans
beaucoup de bruit, en tournant le visage de coste.
Being seated at the table, do not scratch yourself, and if you can
help it, do not spit, cough, or blow your nose; should either be
necessary do it adroitly, with least noise, turning the face aside.
_(In the Washington MS. there is a notable omission of all that is
said in the French and English books concerning grace before meat.
At Washington's table grace was never said.)_
91st. Make no Shew of taking great Delight in your Victuals, Feed not
with Greediness; cut your Bread with a Knife, lean not on the Table
neither find fault with what you Eat.
Chapter viii. 3. Ne prenez pas vostre repas en gourmand.
4. Ne rompez point le pain auec les mains, mais auec le cousteau,
si ce n'estoit vn pain fort petil & tout frais, & que tous les
autres fissent de mesme, ou la pluspart.
5. Ne vous iettez pas sur table, a bras estendus iusques aux
coudes, & ne vous accostez pas indecemment les epaules ou les bras
sur vostre siege.
8. Ne monstrez nullement d'avoir pris plaisir a la viande, ou au
vin; mais si celuy que vous traittez, vous en demande vostre goust,
vous pourrez luy respondre avec modestie & prudence: beaucoup moins
faut il blasmer les viandes, ou en demander d'autres, ny dauantage.
3. Eat not like a glutton. (4.) Do not break the bread with your
hands, but with a knife; unless, indeed, it is a small and quite
fresh roll, and where the others present, or most of them, use
their hands. (5.) Do not throw yourself on the table, as far as the
elbows, nor unbecomingly rest shoulders or arms on your chair.
(8.) Do not make a show of taking delight in your food, or in the
wine; but if your host inquires your preference you should answer
with modesty and tact: whatever you do, do not complain of the
dishes, ask for others, or anything of that sort.
_(At Washington's table it was a custom to invite each guest to
call for the wine he preferred.)_
92d. Take no Salt or cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
Chapter viii. 9. Prenant du sel, gardez que le cousteau ne soit
gras: quand il le faut nettoyer, ou la fourchette on le peut faire
honnestement auec vn peu de pain, ou comme il se pratique en
certains lieux, auec la serviette, mais iamais sur le pain entier.
In taking salt be careful that the knife is not greasy: when
necessary your knife or fork may with propriety be cleaned on a
piece of bread,--or, as is done in some places, with the
napkin,--but it must never be wiped on the whole loaf.
93d. Entertaining any one at table it is decent to present him w't meat,
Undertake not to help others undesired by y'e Master
Chapter viii. 10. Traittant quelqu'vn, il est de la bien-seance de
le seruir en table, & luy presenter des viandes, voire mesme de
celles qui sont proches de luy. Que si l'on estoit invite chez
autruy, il est plus a propos d'attendre que le Maistre ou vn autre
serue, que de prendre des viandes soy-mesme, si ce n'estoit que le
Maistre priast les conuiez de prendre librement, ou que l'on fust
en maison familiere. L'on se doit aussi peu ingerer a seruir les
autres hors de sa maison, ou l'on avoir peu de pouuoir, n'etoit que
le nombre des conuiez fust grand, & que le Maistre de la maison ne
peust pas avoir l'oeil sur tout; Et pour lors l'on peut seruir ceux
qui sont proches de soy.
When entertaining any one it is polite to serve him at table and to
present the dishes to him, even such as are near him. When invited
by another it is more seemly to wait to be served by the host, or
some one else, than to take the dishes oneself, unless the host
begs the guests to help themselves freely, or one is at home in the
house. One ought also not to be officious in helping others when
out of one's own house, where one has but little authority, unless
the guests are very numerous and the host cannot attend to
everything; in that case we may help those nearest us.
4th. If you Soak bread in the Sauce let it be no more than what you
put in your Mouth at a time and blow not your broth at Table but Stay
till Cools of it Self
Chapter viii. 14. Si vous trempez en la saulce le pain ou la chair,
ne les trempez pas derechef, apres y auoir mordu, trempez-y a
chaque fois vn morceau mediocre, qui se puisse manger tout d'vne
11. Ne soufflez point sur les viandes; mais si elles sont chaudes,
attendez qu'elles se refroidissent: le potage se pourra refroidir,
le remuant modestement auec la cuilliere, mais il ne sied pas bien
de humer son potage en table, il le faut prendre auec la cuilliere.
If you dip bread or meat into the gravy, do not do so immediately
after biting a piece off, but dip each time a moderately-sized
morsel which can be eaten at one mouthful. (11.) Do not blow on the
viands, but if they are hot, wait till they cool. Soup may be
cooled by stirring it gently with a spoon, but it is not becoming
to drink up the soup at table. It should be taken with a spoon.
95th. Put not your meat to your Mouth with your Knife in your hand
neither Spit forth the Stones of any fruit Pye upon a Dish nor cast
anything under the table
Chapter viii. 17. Ne portez pas le morceau a la bouche, tenant le
cousteau en la main, a la mode des villageois.
16. Aussi ne semble-il bien seant de cracher les noyaux de prunes,
cerises, ou autre chose semblable sur le plat; mais premierement on
doit les recueiller decemment, comme il a este dit, en la main
gauche, l'approchant a la bouche, & puis les mettre sur le bord de
[Sidenote: Maxim 15 is much longer]
15. L'on ne doit point jetter sous la table, ou par terre, les os,
les ecorces, le vin ou autre chose semblable.
Do not carry a morsel to your mouth, knife in hand, like the
rustics. (16.) Moreover, it does not seem well bred to spit out the
kernels of prunes, cherries, or anything of the kind, on your
plate, but, as already said, they should be decently collected in
the left hand (raised to the mouth), and placed on the edge of the
plate. (15.) Bones, peel, wine, and the like, should not be thrown
under the table.
96th. Its unbecoming to Stoop much to one's Meat Keep your Fingers clean
& when foul wipe them on a Corner of your Table Napkin.
Chapter viii. 21. Il est messeant de se baisser beaucoup sur son
escuelle ou sur la viande, c'est assez de s'encliner vn peu lors
que l'on porte le morceau trempe a la bouche, de crainte de se
salir, & puis redresser la teste.
25. Ne vous nettoyez pas les mains a vostre pain, s'il est entier;
toutesfois les ayant fort grasses, il semble que vous les puissiez
nettoyer premierement a vn morceau de pain que vous ayez a manger
tout a l'heure & puis a la seruiette, afin de ne la point tant
salir: ce qui vous arriuera rarement, si vous scauez vous seruir de
la cuilliere, & de la fourchette, selon le style des plus
honnestes. Beaucoup moins deuez vous lecher les doigts,
principalement les succant auec grand bruit.
It is ill-bred to stoop too close to one's porringer or the meat.
It suffices to bend a little when conveying a soaked morsel to
one's mouth, in order to avoid soiling oneself, then straighten up
again. (25.) Do not clean your hands on a loaf; if very greasy you
might, it would seem, partly clean them on a bit of bread you are
about to eat, then on your napkin, so as not to soil the latter too
much: this will rarely happen if you know how to use spoon and
fork in the most approved manner. Much less should you lick your
fingers, especially not suck them noisily.
7th. Put not another bit into your Mouth till the former be Swallowed
let not your Morsels be too big for the jowls
Chapter viii. 30. Ne portez pas le morceau a la bouche que l'autre
ne soil aualle, & que tous soient tels qu'ils ne fassent pas enfler
les joues hors de mesure; ne vous seruez pas des deux mains pour
vous mettre le morceau a la bouche, mais seruez vous d'ordinaire de
Carry not another morsel to the mouth till the other be swallowed,
and let each be such as will not stretch the jaws beyond measure;
do not take both hands to raise a morsel to the mouth, but,
usually, serve yourself with the right hand.
98th. Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither Gaze about you
while you are a Drinking
Chapter viii. 32. Ne boiuez ayant le morceau en la bouche, ne
demandez point a boire, ne parlez, ne vous versez point a boire, &
ne boiuez cependant que vostre voisin boit, ou celuy qui est au
33. En boiuant, ne regardez point ca & la.
[Sidenote: The later French book recommends keeping the eyes 'fixed at
the bottom of the glass' while drinking.]
Do not drink with your mouth full of food; do not ask anything
while drinking, nor talk, nor turn round; and do not drink because
your neighbour does, or the head of the table. (33.) While
drinking, gaze not here and there.
99th. Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after
Drinking wipe your Lips breath not then or Ever with too Great a Noise,
for its uncivil
Chapter viii. 34. Ne boiuez point trop lentement ny trop a la
haste, ny comme en maschant le vin, ny trop souuent ny sans eau,
car c'est a faire aux yvrognes. Deuant & apres que vous aurez beu,
effuyez-vous les levres, & ne respirez pas auec trop grand bruit,
ny alors, ny iamais, car c'est vne chose bien inciuile.
Drink neither too slowly nor too hastily, nor as if gulping the
wine, nor too frequently, nor without water--as drunkards do.
Wipe your lips before and after drinking, and do not breathe too
loudly then or at any other time, for that is very inelegant.
100th. Cleanse not your teeth with the Table Cloth Napkin Fork or Knife
but if Others do it let it be done w't a Pick Tooth
Chapter viii. 36. Ne vous nettoyez pas les dents auec la nappe, ou
la seruiette, ny auec le doigt, la fourchette, ou le cousteau. Ce
seroit faire pis de le faire auec les ongles, mais faites-le auec
le curedent. Aussi ne semble-il estre bien-seant de se les nettoyer
en table, si ce n'estoit que les autres le fissent, & que ce fust
la coustume des mieux ciuilisez.
Do not clean your teeth with the tablecloth, napkin, finger, fork,
or knife. It were still more objectionable to do so with the
nails. Use a toothpick. It also does not appear well-bred to pick
them at table, unless others do so, and where such is a custom of
the more gentlemanly.
101st. Rince not your Mouth in the Presence of Others
Chapter viii. 37. Ne vous rincez point la bouche auec du vin, pour
le reietter en presence des autres; mais sorty que vous serez de
table, accoustumez vous a lauer les mains auec les autres. Quant a
la bouche, il semble n'estre pas a propos de la lauer en presence
des gens, & partant quand l'on donne a lauer, mesme en table, l'on
doit seulement lauer les mains.
Do not rinse your mouth with wine, to be rejected in the presence
of others; but, having left the table, accustom yourself to wash
your hands with the rest. As to the mouth, it does not appear
proper to wash it in company at all, and consequently when an
opportunity of washing is offered, even at the table, the hands
only should be washed.
102d. It is out of use to call upon the Company often to Eat nor need
you Drink to others every Time you Drink
Chapter viii. 38. C'est chose peu loueable & presque aujourd'huy
hors d'vsage, d'inuiter la compagnie a manger, principalement trop
souuent & auec importunite, car il semble qu'on luy oste la
liberte. Beaucoup moins deuez-vous boire a autruy toutes les fois
que vous boiuez: que si l'on boit a vous, vous pouuez le refuser
modestement, remerciant de bonne grace, & confessant de vous
rendre; ou bien essayez vn peu le vin par courtoisie,
principalement auec gens qui sont accoustumez. a cela, & prennent
le refus a iniure.
It is not commendable, and now almost out of fashion, to call on
the company to eat, especially to invite them too often and
urgently, for it appears to take away their freedom. Much less
should you drink to others every time you drink: if one drinks to
you, it is permissible to decline modestly, thanking him
gracefully, and acknowledging your response; or you may well sip a
little wine for courtesy, especially with people who are accustomed
to it, and who are offended by refusal.
103d. In Company of your Betters be not [longer in eating] than they are
lay not your Arm but ar[ise with only a touch on the edge of the table.]
Chapter viii. 42. Quand les autres ont acheue de manger, despechez
vous aussi, & ne tenez pas les bras sur la table, mais posez les
mains seulement sur le bout.
When the rest have finished eating, you should do the same quickly;
do not hold your arms on the table, but only place your hands on
the edge of it.
104th. It belongs to y'e Chiefest in Company to unfold his Napkin and
fall to Meat first, But he ought to begin in time & to Dispatch with
Dexterity that y'e Slowest may have time allowed him
Chapter viii. 45. C'est a faire au plus honnorable de la compagnie
de deplier le premier sa seruiette, & toucher aux viandes: &
partant les autres doiuent attendre paisiblement sans mettre la
main a chose aucune deuant lui.
46. Et au contraire il doit estre soigneux de commencer en son
temps, de pouruoir a tout, d'entretenir les conuiez, & finir le
tout auec telle addresse; qu'il donne temps aux plus tardifs de
manger a leur aise, s'entretenant, s'il est de besoin, a gouster
legerement des viandes, ou quand il est loisible de discourir a
table; entremesler auec le manger quelque petit discours, afin que
les autres puissent auec loisir d'acheuer.
It is for the most distinguished member of the company to unfold
first his napkin and touch the food, and the rest should wait
quietly, without laying hand on anything before he does. (46.) On
the other hand, he ought in due time to commence, to consider
everything, entertaining the guests, and managing all so adroitly
as to give time to the more dilatory to eat at their leisure; if
necessary for this, slowly tasting the viands, or, when table-talk
is permissible, introducing a little chat during the meal, so that
the others can finish at their ease.
[Sidenote: Toner has 'but' instead of 'put' in this Rule.]
105th. Be not Angry at Table whatever happens & if you have reason to be
so, Shew it not put on a Chearfull Countenance especially if there be
Strangers for good Humour makes one Dish of Meat a Feast
Chapter viii. 47. Ne vous fachez iamais en table, quoy qu'il
aduienne, ou bien si vous vous fachez, n'ent faites point de
semblant, principalement y ayant des estrangers a table.
[Sidenote: Hawkins vii. 40. 'A cheerefull countenance makes one dish a
Never be angry at table, no matter what may happen, or even if you
have cause for anger, do not show it, especially if strangers are
[Sidenote: There is a blank in the MS. after upper.]
106th. Set not yourself at y'e upper [end] of y'e Table but if it be
your Due or that y'e Master of y'e house will have it so, Contend not
least you Should Trouble y'e company.
Chapter viii. 48. Ne vous asseez point de vous mesme au haut-bout;
miais s'il vous appartient, ou si le maistre du logis le veut
ainsi, ne faites pas tant de resistance pour n'y point aller, que
vous fachiez toute la compagnie.
[Sidenote: Walker: 'Desire not the highest place, nor be troublesome
with impertinent debasing yourself by refusing,' etc.]
Seat not yourself voluntarily at the top; but if the place properly
belongs to you, or the master of the house so wills, do not offer
so much resistance to its acceptance as to annoy the company.
107th. If others talk at Table be attentive but talk not with Meat in
Chapter viii. 49. Si on lit ou deuise en table, soyez attentif, &
s'il faut parler, ne parlez point auec le morceau en la bouche.
If there be reading or chat at table, be attentive, and if you have
to speak, do not speak with your mouth full.
108th. When you Speak of God or his Attributes, let it be Seriously &
[with words of] Reverence. Honour & obey your Natural Parents altho they
Hawkins vii. 43. Let thy speeches be seriously reverent when thou
speakest of God or his Attributes, for to jest or utter thy selfe
lightly in matters divine, is an unhappy impiety, provoking heaven
to justice, and urging all men to suspect thy beliefe.--vii.
_(unnumbered)_ Honour and obey thy natural parents although they be
poor; for if thy earthly Parents cannot give thee riches and
honour, yet thy heavenly Father hath promised thee length of days.
_(There is nothing in the French Maxims corresponding to the second
sentence of Rule 108. The Maxim nearest to the first sentence is
the 9th of Chapter i.:--"Il se faut bien garder de prononcer aucuns
nouueaux mots, quand l'on parle de Dieu ou des Saincts, & d'en
faire de sots contes, soit tout bon, ou par raillerie." "Avoid
irreverent words in speaking of God, or of the Saints, and of
telling foolish stories about them, either in jest or earnest."
Compare also the last sentence of Maxim vii, 11, ante, under Rule
109th. Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.
Hawkins vii. _(unnumbered)._ Let thy recreations be manful not
sinful; there is a great vanity in the baiting of Beasts, the Bears
and Bulls lived quietly enough before the fall; it was our sin that
set them together by the ears, rejoyce not therefore to see them
fight, for that would be to glory in thy shame.
110th. Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of
Celestial fire called Conscience.
Hawkins vii. _(unnumbered)._ Labour to keep alive in thy breast,
that little sparke of Celestial fire called Conscience, for
Conscience to an evil man is a never dying worm, but unto a good
man its a perpetual feast.
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