GEORGE WASHINGTON'S RULES OF CIVILITY
Traced to their Sources and Restored
BY MONCURE D. CONWAY
TO MY SON EUSTACE CONWAY
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 London.]
[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 presentees.
"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 information:—
"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 voyage.
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. xxvii.]
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 hundred years.
[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 living.
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 uneasiness."
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 in verse.
"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 cares.
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 pregnant passage.
"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 inoffensively represented."
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. 18.
'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 usually Discovered.
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 absolumēt 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 extraordinairemēt 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 eleuẽt,"—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 distace raisonnable.
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 acknowledgments.
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 too close.
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 entrouuertes.
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 Play'd Withal.
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 it.
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 a Letter
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 grave
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 upon
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 your enemy
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 conversing.
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 together.
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 ensemble.
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 inciuilite.
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 obey him.
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 charge.
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 grace.
[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 to begin.
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 Comprehensive.
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 of 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.
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 science.
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 effaced.
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 excuse.