A Victorian
div

GO to the Aunt, thou sluggard, and offer her ten off on your legacy for spot cash.

div

THE difference between a bad break and a faux pas indicates the kind of society you are in.

div

WHEN alone in Paris behave as if all the world were your mother-in-law.

div

REMEMBER, too, that perhaps you are not the sort of husband that Father used to make.

div

YOU may refer to her cheeks as roses, but the man who sends her American beauties will leave you at the post.

div

A woman should dress to make men covetous and women envious.

div

EVEN Cupid crosses his fingers at what he hears by moonlight.

AFTER marriage you may speak of her temper; but during courtship you had better refer to it as temperament.

div

WHEN dinners entice thee consent thou not.

div THE position of the hostess should be at the doorway of the drawing-room to receive her guests. The position of her husband should be at his office desk making the money to pay for the blow-out.

div

IT is safer to do business with jailbirds than with relatives.

div

DISCUSS family scandals before the servants. We should always be kind to the lower classes.

div

WHEN children paw a visitor's gown with their candied fingers the proper observation for the mother to make is: "My children are so affectionate."

div

REPRIMAND your servants before your guests. It shows your authority.

div

THE chief duty of the best man is to prevent the groom from escaping before the ceremony.

div

IN marching up the aisle to the altar the bride carries either a bunch of flowers or a prayer book. Her father carries a bunch of money or a cheque book.

div

IN returning from the altar be careful not to step on the bride's train. There's trouble enough ahead without that.

div

DON'T blow your own horn when you can get some one else to blow it for you.

div

KEEP your servants in good humor, if you can — but keep your servants.

div

YOUR conduct in an elevator should be governed by circumstances. Should the lady's husband remove his hat keep yours on. Should he fail to remove it, take your hat off. This will embarrass him.

div

NEVER put in the collection box less than ten per cent, of the amount you tip your waiter at luncheon.

div

AT afternoon funerals wear a frock coat and top hat. Should the funeral be your own, the hat may be dispensed with.

div

IT is never in good taste to indulge in personal pleasantries, such as referring to a lady's artificial teeth as her collection of porcelains.

div

BEWARE of the man who never buys a gold brick. The chances are that he sells them.

div

INDORSE checks about two inches from the end. Don't indorse notes at all.

div

NO house should be without its guest-chamber. Besides giving one's home an air of hospitality, it makes an admirable store-room for dilapidated furniture and unspeakable pictures.

div

THERE is only one worse break than asking a woman her age: it is looking incredulous when she tells it.

div

IT is not good form to rehearse your domestic difficulties in public, but it is mighty interesting to your auditors.

div

NEVER leave a guest alone for a moment. Force your entertainment upon him even if you have to use chloroform.

div

IF you would have a serene old age never woo a girl who keeps a diary.

div

WHEN you are inclined to be haughty, remember that a cook in the kitchen is worth two in the employment office.

div

A chef is a cook who gets a salary instead of wages.

div

IT is better form for a bride to take her wedding journey with the groom than with the coachman.

div

UNDER no circumstances associate with persons who wear detachable cuffs. Such men are usually trying to get rich at the expense of the washerwoman.

div

WHEN crossing the Atlantic no gentleman will rock the boat.

div

TAKE care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

div

THOSE who live in glass houses should be polite to reporters.

div

WHEN in a hurry to get to the poor house, take the road that leads through the bucket shop and passes the race track.

div

CONDENSED milk should be used in a small flat.

div

TELL your rich relations how fast you are making money — your poor ones, how fast you are losing it.

div

IN taking soup try not to give others the impression that the plumbing is out of order.

div

WHEN giving a studio tea, remember that there should be soft lights and hard drinks.

div

ESCHEW the race- track and the roulette table. Faro is a squarer game than either.

div

BEWARE of indiscriminate charity. You will never get your name in the paper by giving a tramp the price of a meal.

div

BEFORE marriage the fashionable tint for eyegasses is rose alter marriage smoked glasses should be worn.

div

IF you would make a lifelong friend of a man who lives in a hall bedroom, accuse him of leading a double life.

div

NO sportsman will shoot craps during the closed season.

div

COMPLIMENTS paid a woman behind her back go farthest and are remembered longest.

div

AVOID having business relations with a man whose I. O. U. is not as good as his note; but take his note by preference.

div

WHEN playing poker, it is as bad form to wear a coat as it is to be shy.

div

THE father gives the bride away, but the small brother would like to.

div

IN the best society it is considered snobbish to wear a disguise when entertaining country cousins. Simply take them to places where you will not encounter your friends.

div

AT the tables of the very wealthy, brook trout have given place to gold fish.

div

TO get on in society a woman should cultivate repose — and a few prominent social leaders.

div

WHEN angry count ten before you speak. When "touched" count one thousand before you lend.

div

ON entering a crowded car, a lady should leave the door open. It is quite permissible for her to appropriate the seat of the man who gets up to close it.

div

IF your friend asks you to lend him your evening clothes, hide your toothbrush without delay.

div

NEVER leave the price tag on the present, unless it is a very expensive present.

div

AT a formal dinner the hostess should see that raw oyster forks should be placed alongside the plates. If she hasn't any raw oyster forks she may use cooked ones.

div

YOU should bear in mind that to be kind to your employees, it is not absolutely essential that you kiss the stenographer every morning.

div

IF you would be thought a fool, play with a loaded pistol; if a knave, with loaded dice.

div

LET the reign of your summer girl be no longer than her bathing suit.

div

IT is coarse for a divorcee to refer to her ex-husband as the late Mr. So-and-So. She should speak of him as, "My husband once removed."

div

EVERY investor should have a ward. A ward's estate is a great convenience in unloading financial indiscretions.

div

AVOID church fairs. It hurts less to be stung by the Scoffers than by the Faithful.

div

PEOPLE who think that newspaper advertisements are not read should watch a man sitting in a street car where women are standing.

div

AT a formal dinner, one may serve five different wines; but no indifferent ones.

div

WHEN in the street with a lady, a gentleman should not light a cigarette unless the lady does.

div

A man will let go his religion before he parts with his respectability.

div

AN engagement ring should not be passed around like "the buck" in a poker game. "New girl, new ring," is the rule in select society.

div

DRESSES that look as if they had set the wearer's father back more than $100 should always be referred to as " frocks."

div

LADIES should not wear garden hose except at garden parties.

div

MEN will lose their reputations as gay deceivers when women are less willing to be deceived.

div

WHEN at a wedding breakfast try to remember that you will probably have other opportunities of drinking champagne.

div

REMEMBER that your wife's wardrobe is the Bradstreet in which women look for your rating.

div

ONE of the joys of wealth is the right to preach the virtues of poverty.

div

AT a wedding married women cry because they've been through it and unmarried women for fear they won't.

div

IF a man's worth doing at all, he's worth doing well.

div

WHEN you end a letter "Please Burn This," post it in the fireplace.

div

WHEN you start out to "do" Wall Street buy a return ticket.

div

NEVER refer to your indisposition as mal de coeur when it is mal de liqueur.

div

CURE your wife of bargain-shopping and you will have more money for bucket-shopping.

div

ENCOURAGE your husband to go to his club. Otherwise, you will miss a lot of gossip that you can use in your business.

div

THE mother-in-law joke was invented by a bachelor. To the married man the mother-in-law is no loke.

div

IT is not good form for a young girl to go to the theatre with a gentleman, unaccompanied by a chaperone. On the other hand, it is not good fun for her to go to the theatre with a chaperone, unaccompanied by a gentleman.

div

NO gentleman will strut about his club with his hat on. There is no rule, however, against his having a jag on.

div

WHEN you step on a lady's toes make some off-hand remark about her feet being too small to be seen. This is older than the cave dwellers; but it still works.

div

WHEN organizing a friendly poker party, don't invite friends.

div

SETTLE an allowance on your wife and you'll always know where to borrow money.

div

STRICT convention decrees that if a young girl accepts from a man any gift more valuable than sweets, flowers or tips on the races, she shall not mention the fact to her mother.

div

A corkscrew is not the only symbol of hospitality.

div

WHEN you catch your caller kissing the maid, remind her that the kitchen is the proper place to entertain her friends.

div

DON'T forget to tell her that she's "not like other girls." It always works, whether you spring it on the belle of the village, the girl with a hare lip or the bearded lady at the circus.

div

SPAGHETTI should be eaten only in the bath-tub.

div

IF you must have your hand held, go to a manicure.

div

THE difference between bigamy and divorce is the difference between driving a double hitch and driving tandem.

div

NEVER tell secrets to women. If you must talk about them, buy a megaphone.

div

DON'T tell a girl that she looks best when wearing a veil. She may not understand what you mean.

div

TAKE your servants into your confidence. You'll always get a lot of interesting information about your neighbors.

div

IT is a mistake to regard your linen as the leopard does his spots.

div

SOME girls want a home wedding; most girls want a church wedding; all girls want a wedding.

div

IF you use the same solitaire for the second engagement, don't refer to it as killing two birds with one stone.

div

CULTIVATE cheerfulness in your household; money makes the mere go.

div

AT Sunday night bridge parties no really nice girl will cheat.

div

THE way to save doctor's bills is not to pay them. Only a specialist would think of suing you.

div

WHEN you see a girl drowning, look before you leap.

div

ON your way to the altar, do not wear the expression of a man Mendelssohning into the jaws of death. Try to look as if your salary had just been raised.

div

DEBUTANTES should never attend prize fights unchaperoned.

div

IN paying your fare always take your time. It annoys the conductor.

div

OYSTERS are served after cocktails, soup after oysters, game after decomposition sets in.

div

WHEN choosing a wife shut your eyes; it's a sporting chance, because after all your wife is choosing you.

div

THE man who buys a gold brick hates to feel lonesome.

div

THE race is not always to the swift, though the smart set thinks it is.

div

WHEN attending an afternoon tea or musicale do not forget to leave a card. The social standing of your hostess determines whether it shall be a face card or a twospot.

div

BESIDES leaving a card, leave all the small articles of value that you may find lying about in the dressing room.

div

IT is not necessary to throw rice at a departing bride and groom. The cab is already full of mush.

div

IN proposing to a girl always refer to your own unworthiness. She won't believe it at the time nor will you a few years later.

div

SWEET are the uses of adversity to the gentlemen who conduct loan offices.

div

WHEN matching dollars, remember that two heads are better than one.

div

AT automobile funerals, the chauffeurs should be directed to play the Dead March on the French tooters. The effect is very refined.

div

DRUG store beauty isn't even skin-deep.

div

DON'T enter into a gentleman's agreement, if you're a gentleman.

div

WILD oats make poor breakfast-food.

div

IT is always good form to talk about nausea when caused by seasickness; but never otherwise.

div

WHEN your face is too full for utterance speak to her only with your eyes.

div

SHOW kindness to your creditors, but not unremitting kindness.

div

SUSPECT the man who wants only a small loan; a little touch is a dangerous thing.

div

DON'T marry for money; but never let money stand between a girl and her happiness.

div

CONSERVATIVE dressers," as the tailors call them, have discarded the night-cap except for internal use.

div

WHEN in Rome do the Romans.

div

DON'T buy for your daughter a Count that is likely to turn out a discount.

div

EAT, drink and be merry, for to-morrow you may be married.

div

IT is not good form to congratulate a girl friend upon her engagement. Simply remark, "So you landed him at last."

div

PAY no obvious compliments. A beautiful woman has her mirror.

div

IF you can afford the right sort of lawyer you won't need any Rules of Conduct.

div

[THE END]

The Cynic's Rules of Conduct
BY CHESTER FIELD, Jr.
PHILADELPHIA
HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY
Copyright, 1905, by Henry Altemus
Entered at Stationers' Hall
#

angelweb

Top Of Page

AVictorian.Com - C 1997-Present | Proudly Hosted by Network Solutions

CSS by Free CSS Templates

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape