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Reading for Mar. 19, 2013

Author: Clement of Alexandria

Reading: The Instructor, bk. 2 ch. 5–8

Pages: ANF 2:249–257

1 Comment

  1. Book II of the Instructor is priceless! It is the second century version of the English manual of etiquette Debrett’s. The exquisite detail with which he describes the etiquette of sneezing had me off my chair:

    “If any one is attached with sneezing, just as in the case of hiccup, he must not startle those near him with the explosion, and so give proof of his bad bredding; but the juccup is to be quietly transmitted with the expiration of the breath, the mouth being composed becomingly, and not gaping and yawning like tragic masks. So the disturbance of hiccup may be avoided by making the respirations gently; for thus the threatening symptoms of the ball of wind will be dissipated in the most seemly way, by managing its egress so as also to onceal anything which the air forcibly expelled may bring up with it.”

    The last sentence put me off my breakfast.

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