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Thread: Maxims of Gen. Stonewall Jackson
04-14-08, 05:31 AM #1
Maxims of Gen. Stonewall JacksonThis might bore some but it was pretty interesting to me.
THE MAXIMS OF GEN. STONEWALL JACKSON
I. Maxims Regarding the Choice of Friends:
1. A man is known by the company which he keeps.
2. Be cautious in your selection.
3. There is danger of catching the habits of your associates.
4. Seek those who are intelligent and virtuous and if possible those who are a little above you,
especially in moral excellence.
5. It is not desirable to have a large number of intimate friends. You may have many acquaintances
but few intimate friends. If you have one who is what he should be, you are comparatively
6. That friendship may be at once fond and lasting, there must not only be equal virtue in each part,
but virtue of the same kind; not only the same end must be proposed but the same means must
II. Maxims Regarding Rules of Conversation:
1. Ascertain in your conversation as well as you can wherein the skill and excellence of the
individual lies and put him upon his favorite subject. Every person will of his own accord fall to
talking on his favorite subject or topic if you will follow and not attempt to lead him.
2. If you seek to improve in the greatest degree from the conversation of another, allow him to take
his own course. If called upon, converse in turn upon your favorite topic.
3. Never interrupt another but hear him out. There are certain individuals from whom little
information is to be desired such as use wanton, obscene or profane language.
4. If you speak in company, speak late.
5. Let your words be as few as will express the sense you wish to convey and above all let what you
say be true.
6. Do not suffer your feelings to betray you into too much vehemence or earnestness or to being
7. Avoid triumphing over an antagonist.
8. Never engross the whole conversation to yourself.
9. Sit or stand still while another is speaking to you. [Do] not dig in the earth with your foot nor
take your knife from your pocket and pare your nails nor other such action.
10. Never anticipate for another to help him out. It is time enough for you to make corrections after
he has concluded, if any are necessary. It is impolite to interrupt another in his remarks.
11. Say as little of yourself and friends as possible.
12. Make it a rule never to accuse without due consideration any body or association of men.
13. Never try to appear more wise or learned than the rest of the company. Not that you should
affect ignorance, but endeavor to remain within your own proper sphere.
14. Let ease & gracefulness be the standard by which you form your estimation (taken from
III. Guides for Good Behavior:
1. Through life let your principal object be the discharge of duty; if anything conflicts with it,
adhere to the former and sacrifice the latter. Be sociable speak to all who speak to you and
those whose acquaintance you do not wish to avoid, hesitate not to notice them first. When in
company, do not endeavor to monopolize all the conversation unless such monopolization
appears necessary, but be content with listening and gaining information, yet converse rather
than suffer conversation to draw to a close unnecessarily.
2. Disregard public opinion when it interferes with your duty. After you have formed an
acquaintance with an individual, never allow it to draw to a close without a cause.
3. Endeavor to be a peace with all men. Never speak disrespectfully of any one without a cause.
4. Endeavor to do well every thing which you undertake through preference.
5. Spare no effort to suppress selfishness unless that effort would entail sorrow.
6. Sacrifice your life rather than your word. Be temperate eat too little rather than too much.
7. Let your conduct towards men have some uniformity. Temperance eat not to dullness, drink
not to elevation. Silence speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling
conversation. Order let all things have their places: let each part of your business have its time.
8. Resolution resolve to perform what you aught: perform without fail what you resolve.
Frugality make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e., waste nothing. Industry
lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. Sincerity
use no hurtful deceit: think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. Justice
wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Moderation avoid
extremes: forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. Cleanliness tolerate no
uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation. Tranquility be not disturbed at trifles nor at
accidents common or unavoidable. Chastity. Humility. You may be whatever you will
resolve to be.
IV. Motives to Action:
1. Regard to your happiness.
2. Regard for the family to which you belong.
3. Strive to attain a very great elevation of character.
4. Fix upon a high standard of character.
5. Fix upon a high standard of action. It is a mans highest interest not to violate or attempt to
violate the rules which infinite wisdom has laid down. The means by which men are to attain
great elevation may be classed in three great divisions: physical, mental and moral. Whatever
relates to health belongs to the first. Whatever relates to the improvement of the mind belongs
to the second. The formation of good manners and virtuous habits constitutes [the] third.
V. Politeness and Good Breeding:
Good breeding or true politeness is the art of showing men by external signs the internal regard we have
for them. It arises from good sense improved by good company. It must be acquired by practice and
not by books. Be kind, condescending and affable. Any one who has anything to say to a fellow
[human] being to say it with kind feelings and a sincere desire to please and this when ever it is done will
atone for much awkwardness in the manner of expression. Forced complaisance is fopping and affected
easiness is ridiculous. Good breeding is opposed to selfishness, vanity or pride. Endeavor to please with
out hardly allowing it to be perceived. Plain rules for attaining the character of a well bred man:
1. Never weary your company by talking too long or too frequently.
2. Always look people in the face when addressing them and generally when they address you.
3. Attend to a person who is addressing you.
4. Do not interrupt the person who is speaking by saying yes or no and such like at every sentence. An occasional assent either by word or action may be well enough.*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
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