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The Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman

While "advice is seldom welcome" and this is not in the same league as Lord Chesterfield's Advice to His Son on Men and Manners; or a New System of Education. In Which the Principles of Politeness, the Art of Acquiring Knowledge of the World, with Every Instruction Necessary to Form a Man of Honour, Virtue, Taste, and Fashion, Are Laid Down in a Plain, Easy, Familiar Manner, Adapted to Every Station and Capacity. with my sons in the middle of exams and leaving childhood behind I thought it might behove (the British spelling of behoove for my transatlantic friends) me to pass on some of my hard won wisdom.

Thinking back to when I was taking my finals at Oxford I seem to remember learning two things - the first was how to swirl a handgun on my finger so it fell neatly into position - I have never found this a useful skill. The second which I have no regrets in learning was how to tie a bow tie without the use of a mirror. It is a skill that can be usefully deployed at any formal occasion and whilst it may not make maidens swoon into your arms, it will impress them with your dexterity and knowledge of clothing, attributes women look for - and of course it is an excuse for them to demand you start untieing your tie...

So "Learning how to tie a Bow tie really well is the first important step in life."


My father's advice when I set off for University. "Take out English girls: you can't afford to buy girls whisky".

Very true, Englishman: not being important enough, I never had stick-ups and so never tied one everyday; it took me ages to sort it out...

dearieme: it's not that you can't afford to buy whisky, it's that you cannot afford to buy whisky in the quantities in which Scots girls drink it...


"Are you acquainted with any ladies at Lausanne? and do you behave yourself with politeness enough to make them desire your company"
"son have you managed to get some pussy yet?
you're old dad will be proud of you if you have"

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