To the thinking person, there is no question that the egalitarian nature of America’s ethos has led to an aggrandizement of the prole. That isn’t all bad but when the scale leans too far towards it and away from our higher values it is certainly time for a correction.
This morning I was perusing my rssfeeds and came across a blog named Swell and Dandy, it is defunct now, but still worth a visit. It had a list of Thirteen Aristocratic Virtues, which were a take off of Ben Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. Both sets are quite valuable. I enjoyed them so much that I decided to repost them here just in case the blog gets shut down.
Thirteen Aristocratic Virtues
“Franklin’s work has set the frame-work for our second list of crucial virtues. The aristocracy and aspiring gentlemen of the world must hold themselves to a greater standard than that of the common man. Thus he must hold himself accountable for an additional thirteen virtues. Below is a list of the thirteen aristocratic virtues and their explanations.
1. NONCHALANCE. Keep your passions private; appear carefree, composed, and disinterested at all times; do not show when you are bothered.
2. CHARM. Master the art of making others comfortable in your presence; cause others to enjoy your companionship.
3. CONVENTIONALITY. Respect, preserve, and adhere to tradition; find solace in continuity and conservation.
4. CULTURE. Possess an understanding of the world; be open to trying new things and having new experiences; understand that which is different from yourself.
5. TIMELESSNESS. Do not fall victim to passing fancies; understand that that which was fashionable fifty years ago, and still is, will likely still be fashionable in another fifty years.
6. PIETY. Embrace God and the Church; live according the Church’s prescribed principles and values.
7. INTELLECT. Cultivate a willingness to learn and understand; possess and refine a superior mind.
8. WELL-ROUNDEDNESS. Develop a wide range of skill, interest, and knowledge; be a renaissance man, a jack-of-all-trades.
9. DIGNITY. Carry yourself with self-respect and bearing; appreciate the formality and gravity of an occasion.
10. INDEPENDENCE. Do not constantly seek the company of others; do not be needy; take time to enjoy the peace of being on one’s own.
11. THOUGHTFULNESS. Be a philosopher of sorts; be mindful of that which ordinary fellows forget.
12. FORTITUDE. Maintain a stiff upper lip; do not waiver in your beliefs.
13. RESERVATION. Keep your emotions to yourself; do not hastily offer opinions.”
Mr. Franklin’s Original List of of Thirteen Virtues
“1. TEMPERANCE.Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11.TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”