“Of all things, beware of sullenness, melancholy, and ill-humoured silence.”
“Particularly avoid belching, biting, or cutting your nails, rubbing your teeth and picking your nose and ears in company.”
“Boys will be boys,” the saying goes–but, as this intriguing manual maintains, there is always room for improvement. First published in 1829, it offers forthright advice to young gentlemen in all situations, from encouraging family harmony (“On no account quarrel with your brothers and sisters”) to good table manners and conduct at school. Packed with frank and funny observations on boys at work and play, it shows how to navigate the twin perils of “sheepish bashfulness and obtrusive boldness,” and hold your own in company with confidence and style.
Timeless tips on tidiness, behavior and self-knowledge combine with the social etiquette of two centuries ago in this entertaining and perceptive guide. Manners for Schoolboys, the latest in the British Library’s series of vintage reprints, will make an entertaining and amusing read for boys and men whose manners are less than impeccable–as well as anyone who has to be around them.