Erasmus or childish civility

Erasmus, Dutch Protestant philosopher born in 1466 and died in 1536 is one of the major figures of Dutch and Western culture.
Erasmus was obviously a philosopher, a canon and, in his spare time as a doctoral student at the Sorbonne, a tutor.

Thus in 1530, at the end of his life, he became the tutor of the young prince of Veere, Henri de Bourgogne, for whom he wrote the "savoir-vivre à l'usage des enfants", known also under the name of "puerile civility".
This treatise, from the 16th century therefore, makes people smile a lot for the principles it sets out, but also commands admiration for the accuracy of its eternal words.

Thus, I share with you some great lines of education that you will not forget to share with your descendants.
“To dip in the sauce the bread that one has bitten is coarse; likewise, it is unclean to bring half-chewed food from the back of the throat and put it back on your plate. If one happens to have a morsel in one's mouth that one cannot swallow, one skilfully turns around and rejects it. »

Another principle, "If there is something left between the teeth, it should not be removed with the point of a knife, nor with the nails as dogs and cats do, nor with the help of a napkin ; use […] a feather or those little bones you take out of a rooster's leg. » or finally « Licking his greasy fingers or wiping them on his clothes is equally indecent; it is better to use the tablecloth or its napkin. »

Erasmus thus speaks of all this, these “good manners” of the time, but also he recommends favoring human relationships, which he explains make life less dangerous, less bumpy, more pleasant and even easier. Fostering human relationships must therefore be infused into the souls of children from their most tender age, so that they are naturally led to this delicacy, to this "cleanliness", which, once forgotten the formulas, leave forever engraved in hearts the habit and the demand for benevolence.

How pretty isn't it; a completely different way of expressing the “respect” behind which a whole generation hides without really putting a lot of substance into it.

I therefore vote for a reinstatement of Erasmus' treatise on puerile civility, which may perhaps help us to get out of the doldrums...