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The rules of Civilizied behavior in the 18th century.

The Rules of Civility as used by those of good breeding, meaning
noblemen & women, Royalty, Gentlemen & Ladies.


1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of
Respect, to those that are Present.

2nd When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not
usually Discovered.

3rd Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.

4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming
Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers 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.

6th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak
not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out
your Chamber half Dressed.

8th At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last
Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.

9th Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your
Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire
especially if there be meat before it.

10th When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without
putting one on the other or Crossing them.

11th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.

12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not
one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans
face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.

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 Dexterously 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.

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.

15th Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth
Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them.

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 too Close.

17th Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be
Play'd Withal.

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 unasked also look not nigh when another is writing
a Letter.

19th Let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters
Somewhat grave.

20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you
are upon.

21st Reproach none for the Infirmities of Nature, nor Delight to Put
them that have in mind thereof.

22nd Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he
were your enemy.

23rd When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but
always show Pity to the Suffering Offender.

24th Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Public Spectacle.

25th Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to
be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.

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 Person. 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.

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 asked; now what is
herein Spoken, of Qualification in behavior in Saluting, ought also to be
observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without
Bounds is troublesome.

28th If any one come to Speak to you while you are are Sitting Stand
up though he be your Inferior, and when you Present Seats let it be to
every one according to his Degree.

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.

30th In walking the highest Place in most Countries Seems to be on
the right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you
desire to Honor: but if three walk together the middest Place is the most
Honorable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk
together.

31st If any one far Surpasses others, either in age, Estate, or
Merit yet would give Place to a meaner than himself in his own lodging or
elsewhere the one ought not to except it, So he on the other part should
not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice.

32nd To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give
the chief Place in your Lodging and he to who 'is offered ought at the
first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without
acknowledging his own unworthiness.

33rd They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places
Precedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that are
their equals in Birth or other Qualities, though they have no Public
charge.

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 to
begin.

35th Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and
Comprehensive.

36th Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many
ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and highly Honor
them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with affability &
Courtesy, without Arrogance.

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.

38th In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physician if
you be not Knowing therein.

39th In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title
According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.

40th Strive not with your Superiors in argument, but always Submit
your Judgment to others with Modesty.

41st Undertake not to Teach your equal in the art himself Professes;
it Savours of arrogance.

42nd Let thy ceremonies in Courtesy be proper to the Dignity of his
place with whom thou converses for it is absurd to act the same with a
Clown and a Prince.

43rd Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary
Passion will aggravate his Misery.

44th When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame
not him that did it.

45th Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought
to be in public or in Private; presently, or at Some other time in
what terms to do it & in reproving Show no Sign of Cholar but do it with
all Sweetness and Mildness.

46th Take all Admonitions thankfully in what Time or Place Soever
given but afterwards not being culpable take a Time & Place convenient to
let him him know it that gave them.

47th Mock not nor Jest at any thing of Importance break [n]o Jest
that are Sharp Biting and if you Deliver any thing witty and Pleasant
abstain from Laughing thereat yourself.

48th Wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for
example is more prevalent than Precepts.

49th Use no Reproachful Language against any one neither Curse nor
Revile.

50th Be not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of
any.

51st Wear not your Cloths, foul, ripped or Dusty but See they be
Brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any
Uncleaness.

52nd In your Apparel be Modest and endeavor to accommodate 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.

53rd Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth
open go not Shaking your Arms kick not the earth with your feet, go not upon
the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.

54th Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if
you be well Decked, if your Shoes fit well if your Stockings sit
neatly, and Cloths handsomely.

55th Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.

56th Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your
own Reputation; for 'is better to be 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, if he be a Man of Great
Quality, walk not with him Cheek by Joul but Somewhat behind him; but yet in
Such a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.

58th Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for 'is a Sign
of a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion
admit Reason to Govern.

59th Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules
Moral before your inferiors.

60th Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret.

61st Utter not base and frivolous things amongst grave and Learned
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.

62nd 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.

63rd A Man ought not to value himself of his Achievements, or rare
Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.

64th Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not
aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, though
there Seem to be Some cause.

65th Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at
none although they give Occasion.

66th Be not froward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute
hear and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to Converse.

67th Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.

68th Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be
Welcome or not. Give not Advice without being Asked & when desired do it
briefly.

69th If two contend together take not the part of either
unconstrained; and be not obstinate in your own Opinion, in Things indifferent be
of the Major Side.

70th Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to
Parents Masters and Superiors.

71st Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how
they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before
others.

72nd Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own
Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime
matters treat Seriously.

73rd Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out
your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.

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 ended.

75th In the midst of Discourse ask not of what one treateth but if
you Perceive any Stop because of your coming you may well intreat him
gently to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing
it's handsome to Repeat what was said before.

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 his face.

77th Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the
Company of Others.

78th Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for
any brave act of Virtue, commend not another for the Same.

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.

80th Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the
Company pleased therewith.

81st Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach
those that Speak in Private.

82nd Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Careful to keep
your Promise.

83rd When you deliver a matter do it without Passion & with
Discretion, however mean the Person be you do it too.

84th When your Superiors talk to any Body hearken not neither Speak
nor Laugh.

85th In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not
til you are asked a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer
in few words.

86th In Disputes, be not So Desirous to Overcome as not to give
Liberty to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to the Judgment of
the Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.

87th Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and
attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what
others Say.

88th Be not tedious in Discourse, make not many Digressions, nor
repeat often the Same manner of Discourse.

89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.

90th Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your
Nose except there's a Necessity for it.

91st Make no Show 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.

92nd Take no Salt or cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.

93rd Entertaining any one at the table, it is decent to present him
with meat; Undertake not to help others undesired by the Master.

94th 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.

95th Put not your meat to your Mouth with your Knife in your hand
neither Spit forth the Stones of any fruit Pie upon a Dish nor Cast
anything under the table.

96th It's unbecoming to Stoop much to ones Meat Keep your Fingers
clean & when foul wipe them on a Corner of your Table Napkin.

97th Put not another bit into your mouth till the former be
swallowed. Let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.

98th Drink not nor talk with your mouth full; neither gaze about you
while you are drinking.

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.

100th Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth napkin, fork, or
knife; but if others do it, let it be done without a peep to them.

101st Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others.

102nd It is out of use to call upon the company often to eat; nor
need you drink to others every time you drink.

103rd In the company of your betters, be not longer in eating than
they are; lay not your arm but only your hand upon the table.

104th It belongs to the chiefest in company to unfold his napkin and
fall to meat first, but he ought then to begin in time & to dispatch
with dexterity that the slowest may have time allowed him.

105th Be not angry at the table whatever happens & if you have
reason to be so, show it not; put on a cheerful countenance especially if
there be strangers, for good humor makes one dish of meat a feast.

106th Set not yourself at the upper of the table; but if it be your
due or that the master of the house will have it so, contend not, least
you should trouble the company.

107th If others talk at the table, be attentive but talk not with
meat in your mouth.

108th When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously &
with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be
poor.

109th Let your recreations be manful not sinful.
Don't allow yourself to become jaded, cynical or calloused.

110th Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire
called conscience.