William Penn's "Rules of Conversation", from Fruits of Solitude
- Avoid Company where it is not profitable or necessary; and in those Occasions speak little, and last.
- Silence is Wisdom, where Speaking is Folly; and always safe.
- Some are so Foolish as to interrupt and anticipate those that speak, instead of hearing and thinking before they answer; which is uncivil as well as silly.
- If thou thinkest twice, before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.
- Better say nothing than not to the Purpose. And to speak pertinently, consider both what is fit, and when it is fit to speak.
- In all Debates, let Truth be thy Aim, not Victory, or an unjust Interest: And endeavor to gain, rather than to expose thy Antagonist.
- Give no Advantage in Argument, nor lose any that is offered. This is a Benefit which arises from Temper.
- Don’t use thy self to dispute against thine own Judgment, to shew Wit, lest it prepare thee to be too indifferent about what is Right: Nor against another Man, to vex him, or for mere Trial of Skill; since to inform, or to be informed, ought to be the End of all Conferences.
- Men are too apt to be concerned for their Credit, more than for the Cause.