Category Archives: Men

Custom Etiquette Love Men Women

My inclinations lean not your way

Following my post on the ideal exchange for a courting couple, I’ve had quite a few requests for further pearls of wisdom from the same author. So here is more advice on 17th century etiquette. The first is an entertaining example of a letter from an unwanted suitor, and the proper form of reply for a lady of good character.  The second demonstrates how best to handle the sudden arrival of a gentleman during a gathering of respectable ladies.

Love protested, with its Repulse

Madam,

It hath pleased Heaven you should have the sole command of my affections, with which I am joyfully content and stand disposed to obey you in every thing, when you shall be pleased to count me worthy of your service. Enjoying you I must account my self the happiest man in the world; but being deprived of you I shall not only live, but die miserably; either then reward him who adores you, or chastise him who idolizeth you. Yet must I confess all my good to proceed from you, and that all the evil I can endure must come from your disdain; however hoping that you will commiserate my languishing condition, I shall greedily subscribe my self,

Entirely Yours, &c.

The Answer

Sir,

If it hath pleas’d Heaven you should love me, you cannot blame me though you suffer by it; should I except the tenders of affection from all such amorous pretenders, I might be married to a whole Troop, and make my self a legal Prostitute. My inclinations lean not your way; wherefore give me leave to tell you, that you would do better to bestow your affections on some Lady who hath more need of a Servant than I have. And if you think your affection ought not to go unrewarded, receive the perswasion which I give you, never to trouble me more, lest you run a worse hazzard by persevering in your intentions. Be advised by her who is

Your faithful Monitor and humble Servant, &c.

*

A Gentleman accidentally happening into a room where a Company of Ladies are well known to him.

Gentleman
Your pardon, Ladies; let not my coming interrupt your Discourse, but rather give me the freedom that I may participate in the satisfaction.

Ladies
Our discourse is of no great concernment; we can take some other time to continue it, that we may now give way to yours, which we doubt not will prove every whit if not more agreeable.

Gentleman
My invention, Ladies, cannot want a subject for Discourse, where the company so overflows with wit and ingenuity; but my tongue will want expressions to answer your Critical expectations.

Ladies
Sir, we acknowledge no such thing in our selves, and therefore let not that, we pray, be the subject of your eloquence lest we suspect you intend to laugh at us.

Gentleman
Ladies, you must suffer me, not withstanding all this, that though modesty interdicts you the acknowledging a truth, yet the respect I bear to Ladies, commands me not only to acknowledge it, but also to divulge and maintain it.

Ladies
We confess, Sir, the frailty and weakness of our Sex requires some support; and for my own part I cannot look upon any person so worthy as your self to be our Champion.

Gentleman
What power I have to vindicate your person, is derivative from your virtues; and were I so feeble that the supporters of my body were no longer able to support that burthen; yet one propitious glance of any of your eyes would dart heat and vigor through my whole body, and so my feet would be enabled to run in your service.

Ladies
Have a care, Sir, you do not strain your invention above the reach of an Hyperbole; but lower your fancy to the meanness of our capacity; if you cannot perform it at present we will give you time.

Gentleman
Ladies, I am fearful my company may be troublesome, or interrupt you from more agreeable conversation, wherefore your Servant, Ladies. [Exits, presumably].

 

© 2009-2012 All Rights Reserved

Dining Men

An Hermeticall kinde of life

Roger Crab (c.1616-1680) was a famous vegetarian and hermit. The following snippets, written by the printer, come from the introduction to his book, The English Hermite (1654).

That which is most strange and most to be admired, is his strange reserved and Hermeticall kinde of life, in refusing to eat any sort of flesh, and [he] saith it is a sinne against his body and soul to eat flesh, or to drinke any Beer, Ale, or Wine; his dyet is onely such poore homely foode as his own Rood of ground beareth, as Corne, Bread, and Bran, Hearbs, Roots, Dock-leaves, Mallowes, and Grasse. His drink is water, his aparrell is as meane also, he weares a sackcloth frock, and no band on his neck: and this he saith is out of conscience, and in obedience to that command of Christ.

He is well read in the Scriptures, he hath argued strongly with severall Ministers in the Country, about this and other strange opinions which he holds; but I will not be so tedious to the reader as to mention them all; he approves of civill Magistracy, and is neither for the Levelers, nor Quakers, nor Shakers, nor Ranters, but above Ordinances. He was seven years in the Warres for the Parliament; he is the more to be admired that he is alone in this opinion of eating, which though it be an error, it is an harmelesse error.

One more remarkable thing hee told me: That when hee was in Clarken-well Prison, the 17. of this January, 1654, his Keeper having a prejudice against him, ordered the Prisoners not to let him have bread with his water, and shut him downe in the hole all night. The next morning, being something hungry, walking in the Prison yard, there came a Spanniell which walked after him three or foure turnes, with a peece of bread in his mouth. He looked upon him, and wondered why the Dog walked (as he thought) with a Chip in his mouth. He looked at the Dogge, and it layd downe: and perceiving it was bread, he walked away againe, and the Dog walked after him with it againe, then he stooped, and the Dog layd it downe to his hand, then he tooke and wiped it, and eate it.

© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved

Booze Entertainment Men Music Women

The delights of the bottle

These rather charming snippets, on the delights of women and booze, come from a song entitled The Delights of the bottle, or, The town-galants declaration for women and wine being a description of a town-bred gentleman with all his intrigues, pleasure, company, humor, and conversation … : to a most admirable new tune, every where much in request (1675)

The Delights of the Bottle, & charms of good wine,
To the pow’r & the pleasures of love must resign,
Though the night in the joys of good drinking be past,
The debauches but still the next morning doth last;
But loves great debauch is more lasting and strong,
For that often lasts a man all his life long.
Love, and Wine, are the bonds that fasten us all,
The world, but for this, to confusion would fall;
Were it not for the pleasures of love and good wine,
Man-kind, for each trifle, their lives would resign;
they’d not value dull life, or wou’d live without thinking
Nor Kings rule the world, but for love & good drinking.

 
For the Drabe, and the Dull, by sobriety curs’d,

That would ne’r take a glass, but for quenching his thirst
He that once in a Month takes a touch of the Smock ,
And poor Nature up-holds with a bit and a knock.
What-ever the ignorant Rabble may say,
Tho’ he breaths till a hundred, he lives but a day.
Let the Puritan preach against wenches, and drink,
He may prate out his Lungs, but I know what I think;
When the Lecture is done, he’ll a Sister entice;
Not a Letcher in Town can Out-do him at Vice;
Tho’ beneath his Religion, he stifles his joys,
And becomes a Debauch without clamour or noise.
‘Twixt the Vices of both, little difference lyes,
But that one is more open, the other precize:
Though he drinks like a chick, with his eye-balls lift up,
Yet I’ll warrant thee boy, he shall take off his cup:
His Religious debauch, does the gallants out-match,
For a Saint is his Wench, and a Psalm is; his Catch.

© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved

Biography Men Philanthropy

Never Despair – the life of Jonas Hanway

I referred to Jonas Hanway in an earlier post as being the first recorded man in England to use the umbrella, but having looked into a little of his life, it’s clear he was in fact an important philanthropist. The following is a brief biography.

Hanway was born in Portsmouth in 1712, the second of four children to Thomas Hanway, victualler to the Navy, and his wife Mary Hoghen. Two years after Jonas’ birth, his father died as a result of a fall from a horse, and in 1728, at the age of 16, Jonas was sent to live with his uncle in Oxford St, London. Wealthy and connected, the following year Major John Hanway sent his nephew to the Iberian peninsula as an apprentice merchant to an English factory in Lisbon.

Jonas spent the next twelve years in Portugal, developing eccentricities in dress and views, tipping pretty servant girls, and enjoying the company of reformed prostitutes. He experienced an unhappy love affair in Portugal, the only romantic interest he was ever thought to have enjoyed.

In 1741, Jonas returned to London, joining the Russia Company as a junior partner. In April of the same year he sailed to Riga, from where he travelled overland to St Petersburg, to make preparations for an expedition to Persia. His plan was to exchange English broadcloth for Persian silks, and to assess potential trading opportunities between England and Persia.He set forth with only a small handful of assistants, travelling to Moscow where he boarded a British ship to cross the Caspian to Langarud.  Disembarking, Hanway’s party was ambushed. All his goods were stolen and he was forced to escape in disguise. He was eventually rescued, but as a result of this experience he coined his personal motto, ‘Never despair’, and spent the next five years in St Petersburg trying to recover his trade.

Hanway returned to London in 1750, and took lodgings in the Strand with his half-sister and her husband, a prosperous wool merchant. He took active interest in the Russia Company, conducting business from John’s Coffee House east of the Royal Exchange. Always a handsome and well-dressed man, he developed a habit at this time of carrying both a sword and an umbrella, attracting much attention, since swords had long fallen out of fashion and umbrellas were the strict domain of women. In addition he wore flannel underwear and several pairs of socks to ward of ill health.

In 1753, Jonas published An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea (in four volumes). This was the first of many publications which eventually led to him being regarded in some circles as ‘one of the most indefatigable and splendid bores of English history’. In the same year he wrote arguments in favour of paving lighting and cleaning the streets of Westminster, and against a bill proposing the naturalisation of Jews.

The death of his mother in 1755 afforded Hanway another opportunity for publication. Travelling to Portsmouth for her funeral, he was inspired to write A Journal of Eight Days Journey from Portsmouth to Kingston upon Thames, to which he attached his curious An Essay on Tea: ‘I have long considered tea, not only as a prejudicial article of commerce; but also of a most pernicious tendency with regard to domestic industry and labour; and very injurious to health’. This publication led to Dr Johnson commenting drily that Hanway may have ‘acquired some reputation by travelling abroad, but lost it all by travelling at home.’

In 1756, Jonas donated £50 to the Foundling Hospital in London and was subsequently elected its governor. He supported the Stepney Society, which apprenticed poor boys to marine trades, and the Troop Society, which provided shoes and clothing to British soldiers in Germany and North America. He also generously supported the Magdalen Hospital for Penitent Prostitutes which opened in 1758.

He pursued his charity work vigorously, writing pamphlets, and publishing letters on the health and welfare of London’s poor children. In 1762, an act was passed requiring all London parishes to keep records of children in their care, and this subsequently became known as Hanway’s Act. In 1767, he wrote a persuasive pamphlet, leading to a further act requiring homeless London infants to be cared for in the country. This, according to some modern historians, was ‘the only piece of eighteenth-century legislation dealing with the poor which was an unqualified success.’

Hanway spent the remainder of his life working for good causes. He continued to write, publishing eighty five works, six of them in several volumes, during his lifetime. Hanway died in September 1786, at his home on Red Lion Square. In 1788 a memorial was unveiled in Westminster Abbey, commemorating his life as a philanthropist, the first memorial for charitable deeds in England.

Source: DNB

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