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Title: The Cynic's Rules of Conduct
Author: Field, Chester, jr
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              THE CYNIC'S
                           RULES OF CONDUCT

                          Cynic's Rules _of_

                          CHESTER FIELD, JR.

                         HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY

                          Copyright, 1905, by
                             Henry Altemus

                      Entered at Stationers' Hall

                              THE CYNIC'S
                           RULES OF CONDUCT

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

The difference between a bad break and a _faux pas_ indicates the kind
of society you are in.

When alone in Paris behave as if all the world were your


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

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

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


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.

When dinners entice thee consent thou not.


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.

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

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


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

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

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


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.

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

Don't blow your own horn when you can get some one else to blow it for


Keep your servants in good humor, if you can--but keep your servants.

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.

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


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

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

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


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

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.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

When crossing the Atlantic no gentleman will rock the boat.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of


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

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

Condensed milk should be used in a small flat.


Tell your rich relations how fast you are making money--your poor
ones, how fast you are losing it.

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

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


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

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

Before marriage the fashionable tint for eyeglasses is rose; after
marriage smoked glasses should be worn.


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

No sportsman will shoot craps during the closed season.

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


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

When playing poker, it is as bad form to wear a coat as it is to be

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


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.

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

To get on in society a woman should cultivate repose--and a few
prominent social leaders.


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

In 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.

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


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

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.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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.

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

Ladies should not wear garden hose except at garden parties.


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

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

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


One of the joys of wealth is the right to preach the virtues of

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

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


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

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

Never refer to your indisposition as _mal de coeur_ when it is _mal de


Cure your wife of bargain-shopping and you will have more money for

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

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


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.

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


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

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

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


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.

A corkscrew is not the only symbol of hospitality.

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


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.

Spaghetti should be eaten only in the bath-tub.

If you _must_ have your hand held, go to a manicure.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Cultivate cheerfulness in your household; money makes the _mère_ go.

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


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

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

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.


Debutantes should never attend prize fights unchaperoned.

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

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


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

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

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


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.

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

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


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.

Sweet are the uses of adversity to the gentlemen who conduct loan

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


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

Drug store beauty isn't even skin-deep.

Don't enter into a gentleman's agreement, if you're a gentleman.


Wild oats make poor breakfast-food.

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

When your face is too full for utterance speak to her only with your


Show kindness to your creditors, but not unremitting kindness.

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

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


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

When in Rome do the Romans.

Don't buy for your daughter a Count that is likely to turn out a


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

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

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


If you can afford the right sort of lawyer you won't need any Rules of

                               [THE END]


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