Tuesday, September 10, 2013


How to Behave

Excerpt from [Richard West,] The Schoole of Vertue, the second part: or, The Young Schollers Paradice. Contayning verie good Precepts, wholesom Instructions, the High-way to good manners, dieting of Children, and brideling their Appetites. Godly Graces, and Prayers. Verse fit for all Children to learne, and the elder sort to observe (London: Printed by Edw: Griffin for Nathaniel Butter, 1619):
With stedfast eye and carefull care,
  remember every word
Thy Schoole master shall speake to thee,
  as memory shall afford.

Let not thy browse be backward drawn,
  it is a signe of pride,
Exalt them not, it shewes a hart
  most arrogant beside.

Nor let thine eyes be gloting downe,
  cast with a hanging looke:
For that to dreamers doth belong,
  that goodnesse cannot brooke.

Let forehead joyfull be and full,
  it shewes a merry part,
And cheerefulnesse in countenance,
  and pleasantnesse of heart.

Nor wrinckled let thy countenance be,
  still going to and fro:
For that belongs to hedge-hogs right,
  they wallow even so.

Nor imitate with Socrates,
  to wipe thy snivelled nose
Upon thy cap, as he would doe,
  nor yet upon thy clothes.

But keepe it cleane with handkerchiffe,
  provided for the same,
Not with thy fingers or the sleeve,
  therein thou art to blame.

Blow not alowd as thou shalt stand,
  for that is most absurd,
Just like a broken winded horse,
  it is to be abhord.

Nor practize snufflingly to speake,
  for that doth imitate
The brutish Storke and Elephant,
  yea and the wralling cat.

If thou of force doe chance to neeze,
  then backewards turne away
From presence of the company,
  wherein thou art to stay.

Thy cheekes with shamefac't modesty,
  dipt in Dame Natures die,
Not counterfet, nor puffed out,
  observe it carefully.

Keepe close thy mouth, for why, thy breath
  may hap to give offence,
And other worse may be repayd
  for further recompence.

Nor put thy lips out like a foole
  as thou wouldst kisse a horse,
When thou before thy betters art,
  and what is ten times worse.

To gape in such unseemely sort,
  with ugly gaping mouth,
Is like an image pictured,
  a blowing from the south.

Which to avoyd, then turne about,
  and with a napkin hide
That gaping foule deformity,
  when thou art so aside.

To laugh at all things thou shalt heare,
  is neither good nor fit,
It shewes the property and forme
  of one with little wit.

To bite the lip it seemeth base,
  for why, to lay it open,
Most base dissembling doggednesse,
  most sure it doth betoken.

And so to bite the upper lip
  doth most uncomely shew,
The lips set close (as like to kisse)
  in manner seeme not so.

To put the tongue out wantonly,
  and draw it in agen,
Betokens mocking of thy selfe,
  in all the eyes of men.

If spitting chance to move the so
  thou canst it not forbeare,
Remember do it modestly,
  consider who is there.

If filthinesse, or ordure thou
  upon the floore doe cast,
Tread out, and cleanse it with thy foot,
  let that be done with haste.

If in thy tale thou hammering stand,
  or coughing twixt thy words,
It doth betoken a liers smell,
  that's all that it affords.

To belch or bulch like Clitipho,
  whom Terence setteth forth,
Commendeth manners to be base,
  most foule and nothing worth.

If thou to Vomit be constrain'd,
  avoyd from company:
So shall it better be excus'd,
  if not through gluttony.

Keep white thy teeth, & wash thy mouth
  with water pure and cleane,
And in that washing, mannerly
  observe and keep a meane.

Thy head let that be kembd and trimd,
  let not thy haire be long,
It is unseemely to the eye,
  rebuked by the tongue.

And be not like a slothfull wight,
  delighted to hang downe
The head, and lift the shoulders up,
  nor with thy browes to frowne.

To carry up the body faire,
  is decent, and doth shew
A comely grace in any one,
  where ever he doth goe.

To hang the head on any side,
  doth shew hypocrisie:
And who shall use it trust him not,
  he deales with policie.

Let not thy privy members be
  layd open to be view'd,
It is most shamefull and abhord,
  detestable and rude.

Retaine not urine nor the winde,
  which doth thy body vex,
So it be done with secresie,
  let that not thee perplex.

And in thy sitting use a meane,
  as may become thee well,
Not straddling, no nor tottering,
  and dangling like a bell.

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