Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Behave in School, 1595

“Be it far from thee to go unto the Schoole with as ill a will as wicked dooers goe unto the Stockes, or to the Gallowes... when thou art at Schoole, bee studious in thy lectures learning, attentive to thy Masters wordes and documents, what soever thy Master shall teach, mark it heedfully, and meditate thereon earnestly untill thou have learned the same perfectlye... Flie all fighting and wrangling with thy fellowes. But be curteous, gentle & lowlie, among all both rich and poore. Make no noyse nor use any meane, whereby thou maiest disturbe thy schoolefellowes: much lesse thy schoolemaster. Be a patterne of good manners, industry, curtesie, and obeying thy Master unto all in the Shoole. So shall thy praise be great, and thy profit greater.” 
William Fiston, The Schoole of Good Manners

Also: yield not to the temptations of Facebook during thy classes, do not rely overmuch on Wikipedia for thy term paper, and mock not thy Master on social media.

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Settle Your Stomach, 1695

"Excessive Drinking of Wine"
De conservanda bona valetudine (University of Pennsylvania)
"The Oyl of Wormwood by Decoction, Oyl of Quinces, and Oyl of Mastich, are reckoned by Authors the three Stomach Oyls, for outward Use, to strengthen the Stomach in Vomitings, &c. Two or three drops of the Chymical Oyl, is convenient in a Dose of Stomach Pills, in crapulent Cases, and after a drunken Debauch, to prevent Surfeiting, by cleansing the Stomach of filth and ill Humours.” 
William Westmacott, Historia vegetabilium sacra
Feeling crapulent? Just keep this toolkit of oils on hand for your next drunken debauch. Goodbye, vomitings!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Show Respect, 1889

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to this dude.

"Kneeling... is a salute made upon meeting a person. It may be accompanied by kissing the hand of the person, in which case the one kneeling will use his own hand which is farthest from the audience, and lift to his lips the hand of the other person which is nearest him. The lips should touch the hand very lightly and no actual kissing occur... The Ninth Kneeling Attitude means Respect. It is made by advancing to kneel upon one knee and placing the tips of the fingers of the right hand to the lips."

Edmund Shaftesbury, Lessons in the Art of Acting (1889)

Need to make a good impression on your boss or godfather? This Victorian stage kneel with optional air-kiss will get you the promotion you desire. Just remember: no actual kissing. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Carry Objects While Swimming, 1595


"To carrie any thing drie over the water in his hands. This is onely done by swimming upon his backe, and strayning himselfe to lye straight with his body, so that he holde his armes straight up, which will else force him to bend his bodie, and so he shall sincke, and holding his armes upward as afore, he may easilie carrie, or recarry, any thing over the water without wetting, as for example."

Christopher Middleton, A Short Introduction for to Learne to Swimme

Need to cross a river with cargo? This technique will get you to the other side with your belongings dry. As the illustration suggests, it works particularly well with... live birds.