Tuesday, July 2, 2013

37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen from 1875


  1. These rules are interesting because they are, in fact, entirely Catholic and have a long history that goes back much farther than 1875.

    They are very similar to George Washington's "Rules of Civility." The future Father of the Nation learned them from a renegade French Catholic (I don't recall his name right now), who in turn learned them while studying under the Jesuits in France and taught the young George Washington in colonial Virginia, where many Huguenots (French Protestants) settled.

    The Jesuits did not invent these rules, but rather collected them from the body of maxims on manners and propriety that most young and educated European nobles were taught since the Middle Ages. These teachings had developed directly from the Code of Chivalry of the Medieval Knight.

    In their great zeal and wisdom, the Jesuits frequently sought after the nobility in their apostolate, and during the 16th century were the confessors and preachers for much if not most of the high nobility of Europe. They tried to reinstill the (by then) increasingly abandoned principles of chivalry, manners, and refinement. When the nobility and aristocracy is converted and influenced in the this manner, it trickles down to the rest of society much more effectively than from the bottom up.

    Although many Protestants (such as George Washington and I suspect Cecil B. Hartley) taught these rules or even passed them off as their own, they are essentially fruits of the Catholic Church, Knighthood, and Christian Civilization. Courtesy, nobility, elegance, refinement, and manners are all refined applications of charity, love of neighbor, and ultimately love of God which can only come from Grace and through the One Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church.

    1. Thank you! I always appreciate your comments. This is such an interesting history and I agree that essentially, good manners are just real Catholic charity refined! What a beautiful way to put it. This is good material for an article.


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