Moncure Daniel Conway.

George Washington's Rules of Civility Traced to their Sources and Restored by Moncure D. Conway online

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importante, ny en choses honteuses. Si vous trouuez bon de railler,
gardez vous bien de mordre, & bien plus de déchirer comme un chien.
Que les bons-mots & les rencontres soient tirées 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
Revile

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.


[5]0th. Be not hasty to believe flying Reports to the Disparagement of
any

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
any Uncleanness

Chapter v. 4. Que vos habits ne demeurent point sales, déchirez,
couuerts de poussiere, ou pelez. Qu'ils soient tous les iours du
moins vne fois nettoyez auec les époussettes. Et prenez bien garde
aussi en quel lieu vous vous assoirez, où vous vous mettrez à
genoux, où vous vous accouderez, que le lieu ne soit point
malpropre, ny reply d'immondices. Ne portez point le manteau sur le
bras, à l'imitation des Fanfarons. Et mettant bas ou vostre robbe,
ou vôtre mãteau, pliez les bien proprement & adroitement, & prenez
bien garde où 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
put them.


[Sidenote: 'Accomodate nature' is a phrase from a precept in Hawkins
concerning apparel.]

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 à 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 égaux, 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
finest raiment.


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 démarches precipitées, d'auoir la bouche ouuerte & comme
beante, & de ne vous trop demener le corps, ou le pancher, ou
laisser vos mains pendantes, ou remuer & secoüer les bras; sans
frapper trop rudement la terre, ou letter à vos pieds de part &
d'autre. Cette sorte d'action demande encore ces conditions, que
l'on ne s'arreste pas à 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 à pas cõptez, 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 nuë 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
Holy Sacrament.


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
Cloths handsomely.

Chapter vi. 2. Ne vous amusez pas à vous quarer comme vn Paon, &
regarder superbement autour de vous, si vous estes bien mis, & bien
chaussé, si vos hauts-dechausses & vos autres habits vous sont
bienfaits. Ne sortez point de vostre chãbre, portant vostre plume à
vostre bouche, ou sur vostre aureille. Ne vous amusez pas à mettre
des fleurs à vos aureilles, à vostre bonnet, ou à vostre chappeau.
Ne tenez point vostre mouchoir à la main, ou pendu à vostre bouche,
ny à vostre ceinture, ny sous vostre aiselle, ny sur vostre
espaule, ou caché sous vostre robbe. Mettez-le en lieu d'où il ne
puisse être veu, & il puisse estre toutesfois cõmodément tiré, dez
qu'il en sera besoin. Ne le presentez iamais à personne, s'il n'est
tout blanc, ou presque pas deployé.

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 à manger en la maison hors de temps
du repas, & du moins abstenez vous en, quand il s'y rencontrera
quelqu'vn.

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
commodité, 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 conditiõ qui luy fasse meriter quelque
deference, dés le premier pas de la promenade, ne manquez pas de
luy donner la droite: Ne cessez point de marcher, s'il ne vient à
s'arrester: Ne changez pas le premier le diuertissement, & en vous
tournant, ne luy montrez iamais les épaules; mais tousiours le
visage. Si elle est dans vne charge releuée, gardez bien de marcher
d'vn pas tout à fait égal; mais suiuez tant soit pen derriere, auec
tant de iustesse pourtant & de moderatiõ, qu'elle vous puisse bien
parler sans s'incõmoder. Si elle vous est égale allez d'un mesme
pas tout le long de la promenade, & ne tournez pas tovsiours le
premier, à chaque bout de champ; ne faites pas si souuent des
pauses au milieu du chemin sans suiet. Car cette liberté ressent
sa grandeur & donne du mécontentement. Celuy qui tient le milieu
dans vne compagnie dont il est enuironné, si ceux qui la composent,
sont égaux, ou presque égaux, il se doit tourner vne fois à droit
dans la promenade, & s'ils se rencontrent notablement inegaux, il
se doit plus souuent tourner vers le plus qualifié. Enfin que ceux
qui l'enuironnent, viennent tousiours à se détourner de son costé &
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
walk.


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
failures.']

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
your amitye.



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 toûjours par des prouerbes,
particulierement parmy vos égaux, & bien moins auec vos superieurs.
ne parlez point de choses à cõtr[~e]teps, ou qui puissent choquer
les esprits de vos auditeurs. parmy les banquets, & dans les iours
de resioüissance ne mettez point sur le tapis de tristes nouuelles,
point de recits de rudes calamitez, point d'ordures, point de
deshõnestetez, point d'afflictions. bien au cõtraire si tels
discours se trouuent entamez par quelqu'autre, faites vostre
possible pour en détourner adroictement la suitte. ne contez iamais
vos songes qu'à de vos confidents, & encore que ce soit pour
profiter de leur interpretation; vous gardant bien d'y donner
aucune croyance.

[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 à faire
parade de ses belles actions, de son esprit, de sa vertu, & de ses
autres bonnes & loüables qualitez, au cõtraire 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
entierement.

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, quãd il
n'est point temps de solastrer. Gardez-vous bien d'éclater en
risées, d'y passer les bornes de la bienseance, & de le faire sans
un suiet raisonnable, pour suiure l'inclinatiõ qui vous porte à
rire. Ne prenez iamais suiet de rire du malheur d'autruy, quoy
qu'il semble en quelque façon digne de risée.

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 qualifiées, 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 fâcheux abord; mais
affable & prompt à rendre de bons offices, & soyez toûjours le
premier à saluër. Entendez bien ce que l'on vous dit & y respondez;
Ne vous retirez point à l'écart, quand le deuoir vous engage à la
conversation.

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 loüanges.

[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
praises.

_(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, où vous ne serez pas asseuré d'estre le bien venu.
Ne dites iamais vostre aduis des affaires que l'on ne vous l'ait
demandé, si toutesfois vous n'estes le premier en authorité, & que
ce ne soit point à contre-temps, ou sans apparence de quelque
auantage. Quand vous en estes prié, abregez vostre discours, &
prenez de bonne heure le noeud de l'affaire à 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
Major side.

Chapter vii. 8. Si deux personnes out quelque chose à decider
ensemble, ne prenez le party ny de l'vn, ny de l'autre, si quelque
grãde raison ne vous y oblige. Ne soustenez pas vos sentiments auec
vne trop grande obstination. Dans les matieres où les opiniõs sont
libres, prenez tousiours le party qui est le plus appuyé.

[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
support.


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, & à
ceux qui out quelque superiorité. Il vous est toutesfois permis de
faire paroistre l'auersion que vous en cõceuez. Et vous pouuez bien
quelquesfois dõner 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
others

Chapter vii. 10. Ne vous amusez pas à considerer curieusement les
defauts ou les taches, quoy que naturelles, particulierement si
elles se rencontrent au visage, & ne vous enquerez pas d'où elles
out precedé. Ce que vous diriez bien volontiers en l'oreille à vn
amy, doit estre conserué 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
in society.


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
treat Seriously.

Chapter vii. 11. Ne vous seruez iamais en vos discours & n'employez
vne langue qui ne vous est pas bien cognuë & familiere, si ce n'est
en vne occasion bien pressante, pour donner plus clairement à
connoistre vostre pensée. Parlez tousiours en la vostre maternelle
& natale, non pas grossierement, comme la lie du peuple, ou les


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