Notification to His Son: Guidelines of Conduct in Well mannered Company
simply by Philip Dormer Stanhope, Master Chesterfield
Shower, October nineteen, O. H. 1748
Special Boy: Having in my previous pointed out what sort of company you should keep, Let me now give you some rules for your conduct in that; rules which in turn my own knowledge and observation enable me personally to take a nap, and talk to you, with a degree of assurance. I have often given you suggestions of this kind before, but it has been by snatches; Let me now be more regular and methodical. I shall claim nothing with regards to your bodily carriage and address, yet leave them for the care of your dancing-master, and also to your personal attention to the best models; bear in mind, however , that they will be of result. Talk often , but under no circumstances long: in that case, if you do not you should, at least you are sure never to tire your hearers. Pay out your individual reckoning, yet do not deal with the whole firm, this belonging to the very few cases in which people do not care to be cured, every one staying fully certain that he has wherewithal to shell out. Tell stories very seldom, and totally never nevertheless where they are very apt and very brief. Omit every circumstance that is not material, and beware of digressions. To have frequent recourse toВ narrativeВ betrays great want of creativeness. Never maintain anybody by the button, or the hand, to be heard out; for if people are certainly not willing to notice you, you had much better maintain your tongue than these people. Most very long talkers pick out some one regrettable man in company (commonly him to whom they watch to be the most silent, or perhaps their subsequent neighbour), to whisper, at least in a 1 / 2 voice, to share a continuity of words to. This really is excessively sick bred, and some degree a fraud; conversation-stock being a joint and prevalent property. But , on the other hand, if one of these unmerciful talkers lays hold of you, hear him with tolerance (and at least appearing attention), if perhaps he is well worth obliging; for free will oblige him greater than a patient hearing; as nothing would damage him much more than either to leave him in the midst of his discourse, or discover your outright anger under your condition. Take, instead of give, the tone of the company you are in. If you have parts, you will prove to them, more or less, upon every subject; and if you could have not, then you better talk sillily upon an interest of other people's than of your personal choosing. Steer clear of as much as you may, in mixed companies, argumentative, polemical conversations; which although they should not, yet undoubtedly do, indispose, for a time the contending functions towards each other; and if the controversy grows warm and noisy, practice to put an end to that, by a lot of genteel levity or joke. I quieted such a conversation-hubbub once, by addressing to all of them that nevertheless I was confident none there present might repeat, away of organization, what passed in it, yet I can not solution for the discretion with the passengers on the street, who need to necessarily notice all that was said. First and foremost things, and upon almost all occasions, steer clear of speaking of yourself, if it always be possible. These kinds of is the organic pride and vanity of your hearts, that it perpetually breaks out, also in the people today belonging to the best parts, in all the several modes and figures with the egotism. Some, abruptly, speak advantageously of themselves, with no either pretence or provocation. They are impudent. Others continue more artfully, as they picture; and move accusations against themselves, mention calumnies that they never heard, in order to warrant themselves, simply by exhibiting a catalogue of their a large number of virtues. That they acknowledge it could, indeed, seem odd, that they should talk in that method of themselves; it can be what they do nothing like, and what they never might have done; zero, no question should ever before have required it from, if they had not been as a result unjustly and monstrously accused. But , in these instances, justice is unquestionably due to their self, as well as to others; and when our character is bombarded, we may state in our personal justification, what...