Practical Morality

Practical Morality with the subtitle: Or, a guide to men and manners. This is Jordan B. Peterson style moral advice for the youth back in 1848. It was written by Lord Chesterfield as advice to his son on how to behave in the world, and certainly on how not to behave. A large part of the book is amusing descriptions of bad behavior, bad habits, and sorry situations people will get entangled in when not knowing correct manners. Here is some from the chapter of the book on awkwardness:

When an awkward fellow first comes into a room, it is highly probable that his sword gets between his legs and throws him down, or makes him stumble at least; when he has recovered this accident, he goes and places himself in the very place of the whole room where he should not; there he soon lets his hat fall down, and in taking it up again, throws down his cane; in recovering his cane his hat falls the second time; so that he is a quarter of an hour before he is in order again. If he drinks tea or coffee, he certainly scalds his mouth and lets either the cup or the saucer fall and spills the tea or coffee in his breeches. At dinner his awkwardness distinguishes itself particularly, as he has more to do; there he holds his knife, fork, and spoon, differently from other people; eats with his knife to the great danger of his mouth, picks his teeth with his fork, and puts his spoon, which has been in his throat, twenty times, into the dishes again.

The book has a second part Maxims and Moral Reflections written by Duke De La Rochefoucault. This part is a collection of many short verses, such as:

Had we no faults ourselves, we should take less
pleasure in observing those of others.

Envy is destroyed by true friendship and coquetry
by true love.

Download the free PDF e-book here (291 pages/17MB):

 Practical Morality

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