How to Behave in Public, 1663

elegantly dressed man in 17th-century woodcut seen from behind, gazing over shoulderCesare Negri, Nuove Inventioni di Ballo

It is a point of cleanliness, and of wholsomness, to wash ones hands and face as soon as one is up, and to comb ones head in time and season, yet not too curiously.

Wear not thy clothes foul, unsewed, dusty, nor old; look that they be brushed commonly once a day.

Carry not thy Cloke under thine arm like a Braggadoche.

Run not in the street, also go not too slowly, nor with thy mouth open. Move not to and fro in walking, go not like a Ninny, nor hang thy hands downwards…

It is an uncivil thing to stretch out thine arms at length, and writhe them hither and thither.

Excerpts from Youths behaviour, or, Decency in conversation amongst men

Getting ready for your triumphant return to leaving the house? Comb your head, remember not to writhe your arms around, and you’ll be impersonating a human in no time.