faction to men of sense, (as they are the best openings to a real character) than the recital of his most glaring actions. I know but one ill consequence to be feared from this method, namely, that coming full charged into company, you should resolve, to unload whether an handsome opportunity offers itself or not.

22. The liberal arts, though they may possibly have less effect on our external mien, and behaviour, make so deep an impression on the mind, as is very apt to bend it wholly one way.

The mathematician will take little less than demonstration in the most common discourse, and the schoolman is as great a friend to definitions and syllogisms. The physician and divine. are often heard to dictate in private companies with the same authority which they exercise over their patients and disciples; while the lawyer is putting cases, and raising matter for disputation, out of every thing that occurs.

23. Though the asking of questions may plead for itself the spacious name of modesty, and a desire of information, it affords little pleasure to the rest of the company, who are not troubled with the same doubts; besides which, he who asks a question would do well to consider that he lies wholly at the mercy

of another before he receives an answer.

24. Nothing is more silly than the pleasure some people take in what they call speaking their minds. A man of this make will say a rude thing for the mere pleasure of saying it, when an opposite behaviour, full as innocent, might have preserved his friend, or made his fortune.

It is not impossible for a man to form to himself as exquisite a pleasure in complying with the humour and sentiments of others, as of bringing others over to his own; since it is the certain sign of a sụperior genius, that can take and become whatever dress it pleases.

25. Avoid disputes as much as possible, in order to appear easy and well-bred in conversation. You may assure yourself that it requires more wit, as well as more good-humour to improve than to contradict the notions of another; but if you are at any time obliged to enter on an argument, give your reasons with the utmost coolness and modesty, two things which scarcely ever fail of making an impression on the hearers. Besides, if you are neither dogmatical, nor shew, either by your actions or words, that you are full of yourself, all will the more hearity rejoice at your victory; nay, should you be pinched in your argument, you may make your retreat with a very good grace"; you were never positive, and are now glad to be better informed.

26. This hath made some approve the Socratical way of reasoning, where, will you scarce affirm any thing you can hardly be caught in an absurdity; and though possibly you are endeav

puring to bring over another to your opinion, which is firmly fixed, you seem only to desire information from him.

27. In order to keep that temper, which is so difficult, and yet so necessary to preserve, you may please to consider, that nothing can be more unjust or ridiculous, than to be angry with another because he is not of your opinion. The interests, education, and means by which men attain their knowledge, are so very different, that it is impossible they should all think alike; and he has at least as much reason to be angry with you, as you with him.

28. Sometimes to keep yourself cool, it may be of service to ask yourself fairly, what might have been your opinion, had you all the biasses of education and interest your adversary may possibly have? But if you contend for the honour of victory alone, you may lay down this as an infallible maxim. That you cannot make a more false step, or give your antagonists a greater advantage over you, than by falling into a passion.

29. When an argument is over, how many weighty reasons does a man recollect, which his heat and violence made him utterly forget..

It is yet more absurd to be angry with a man, because he does not apprehend the force of your reasons, or gives weak ones of your own. If you urge for reputation, this makes your victory the easier ; he is certainly in all respects an object of your pity. rather than anger; and if he cannot comprehend what you do, you ought to thank nature for her favours, who has given you so much the clearer understanding.

30. You may please to add this consideration, that among your equals no one values your anger, which only preys upon its master; and perhaps you may find it not very consistent either with prudence or your ease, to punish yourself whenever you meet with a fool or a knave.

31. Lastly, if you propose to yourself the true end of argument which is information, it may be a seasonable check to your passion ; for if you search purely after truth it will be almost indifferent to you where you

find it. I cannot in this place omit an observation which I have often made, namely, that nothing procures a man more esteem and less envy from the whole company, than if he chooses the part of moderator, without engaging directly on either side in a dispute.

32. This gives him the character of impartial, furnishes him an opportunity of shifting things to the bottom, shewing his judgment, and of sometimes making handsome compliments to each of the contending parties. When you have gained a victory, do not push it too far; it is sufficient to let the company and your adversary see it is in your power, but that you are too generous to make use of it.

33. I shall only add, that besides what I have here said, there is something which can never be learnt but in the


of the polite. The virtues of men are catching as well as their vices, and your own observations, added to these, will soon discover what it is that commands attention in one man, and makes you tired and displeased with the discourse of another.

Further remarks taken from Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his

Son. 34. HAVING now given you full and sufficient instructions for making you well received in the best of companies ; nothing remains but that I lay before you some few rules for your conduct in such company. Many things on this subject I have mentioned before; but some few matters remain to be mentioned


Talk, then, frequently, but not too long together, lest you tire the persons you are speaking to; for few persons talk so well upon a subject, as to keep up the attention of their hearers for any length of time.

35. Avoid telling stories in company, unless they are very short indeed, and very applicable to the subject you are upon; in this case relate them in as few words as possible, without the least digression, and with some apology, as that you hate the telling of stories, but the shortness of it induced you. And, if your story has any wit in it, be particularly careful not to laughi at it yourself

. Nothing is more tiresome and disagreeable than a long tedious narrative; it betrays a gossipping disposition, and great want of imagination; and nothing is more ridiculous than to express an approbation of your own story by a laugh.

36. In relating any thing, keep clear of repetitions, or very hackneyed expressions, such as, says he, or says she. Some people will use these se often, as to take off the hearers' attention from the story; as, in an organ out of tune, one pipe shall perhaps sound the whole time we are playing, and confuse the piece, so as not to be understood.

37. Digressions, likewise, should be guarded against. A sto. ry is always more agreeable without them. Of this kind are, The gentleman I am telling you of, is the son of Sir Thomas *******, who lives in Harley-Street ; you must know him his brother had a horse that won the sweep-stakes at the last New-Market meeting--Zounds! if you do not know him, you know nothing." Or, He was an upright tall old gentleman, who wore his own long hair ; don't you recollect him?» All this is unnecessary; is very tiresome and provoking, and would be an excuse for a man's behaviour, if he were to leave us in the midst of our narrative.


38. Some people have a trick of holding the persons they are speaking to by the button, or the hand, in order to be heard out, conscious, I suppose,

that their tale is tiresome. Pray, never do this; if the person you speak to is not as willing to hear your story, as you are to tell it, you had much better break off in the middle; for if you tire them once, they will be afraid to listen to you a second time.

39. Others have a way of punching the person they are talking to in the side, and at the end of every sentence, asking him some questions as the following....“ Was’nt I right in that ?”.... “ You know I told you so"...." What's your opinion ?" and the like; or, perhaps they will be thrusting him, or jogging him by the elbow. For mercy's sake, never give way to this: it will anake your company dreaded.

40. Long talkers are frequently apt to single out some unfortunate man present; generally the most silent one of the company, or probably him who sits next them: To this man, in a kind of half whisper, they will run on for half an hour together. Nothing can be more ill-bred. But if one of these unmerciful talkers should attack you, if you wish to oblige him, I would recommend the hearing with patience :-seem to do so at least, for you could not hurt him more than to leave him in the middle of the story, or discover impatience in the course of it.

41. Incessant talkers are very disagreeable companions. Nothing can be more rude than to engross the conversation to yourself or to take the words, as it were, out of another man's mouth, Every man in company has an equal claim to bear his part in the conversation, and to deprive him of it, is not only unjust, but a tacit declaration that he cannot speak so well upon the subject as yourself: you will therefore take it up. And, what can be more rude? I would as soon forgive a man who should stop my mouth when I was gaping, as take my words from me while I was speaking them. Now, if this be unpardonable.

42. It cannot be less so to help out or forestall the slow speaker, as if you alone were rich in expressions, and he were poor. You may take it for granted every one is vain enough to think he can talk well, though he may modestly deny it; helping a person out, therefore, in his expressions, is a correction that will stamp the corrector with impudence and ill-manners.

43. Those who contradict others upon all occasions, and make every assertion a matter of dispute, betray by this behaviour an unacquaintance with good breeding. He, therefore, who wishes to appear amiable, with those he converses with, will be cautious of such expressions as these, “ That can't be true, sir." 6 The affair is as I say." 66 That must be false sir." 66 If what you say is true, &c." You may as well tell a man he lies at

once, as thus indirectly impeach his veracity. It is equally as rude to be proving every trifling assertion with a bet or a wager.... I'll bet you fifty of it," and so on. Make it then a constant rule in matters of no great importance, complaisantly to submit your opinion to that of others; for a victory of this kind often costs a man the loss of a friend.

44. Giving advice unasked, is another piece of rudeness, it is, in effect, declaring ourselves wiser than those to whom we give it: reproaching them with ignorance and inexperience. It is a freedom that ought not to be taken with any common acquaintance, and yet there are those who will be offended, if their adyice is not taken. “Such-a-one," says they, “is above being advised. He scorns to listen to my advice;" as if it were not a mark of greater arrogance to expect every one to submit to their opinion than for a man sometimes to follow his own.

45. There is nothing so unpardonably rude, as a seeming inattention to the person who is speaking to you; though you may meet with it in others, by all means avoid it yourself. Some ill-bred people, while others are speaking to them, will, instead of looking at, or attending to them, perhaps fix their eyes on the ceiling, or some picture in the room, look out of the window, play with a dog, their watch-chain, or their cane, or probably pick their nails, or their noses. Nothing betrays a more trifling mind than this ; nor can any thing be a greater affront to the person speaking ; it being a tacit declaration, that what he is saying is not worth your attention. Consider with yourself how you would like such treatment, and, I am persuaded you will never shew it to others. 46. Surliness or moroseness is incompatible also with politeSuch as should any one say,

“ he was desired to present Mr. Such-a-one's respects to you,

to reply, “What the devil have I to do with his respects ?"_" My Lord inquired after you lately, and asked how you did," to answer, “if he wishes to know, let him come and feel my pulse," and the like. A good deal of this is often affected, but whether affected or natural, it is always offensive. A man of this stamp will occasionally be laughed at as an oddity ; but in the end will be despised.

47. I should suppose it unnecessary to advise you to adapt your conversation to the company you are in. You would not surely start the same subject, and discourse of it in the same manner, with the old and with the young, with an officer, a clergyman, a philosopher, and a woman? no; your good sense will undoubtedly teach you to be serious with the serious, gay with the gay, and to trifle with the triflers.

48. There are certain expressions which are exceedingly rude, and yet there are people of liberal education who sometimes use them; as, “You don't understand me, sir.” “ It is not so,"


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