Saturday, January 3, 2009
Lord Chesterfield: Exemplary Gentleman, Beer
Philip Dormer Stanhope, better known as Lord Chesterfield, was an impressive gentleman. Born in London in 1694, he was a successful salesman and polician. He is best known for being a man of letters. He composed a series of letters to his beloved son on The Fine Art of becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman
They are available online as part of the Gutenberg Project at gutenberg.org. While perusing them, I found many arguments for ending this blog. For it would appear that a blog about being a gentleman is not very gentlemanly, according to Chesterfield. Though, you might consider the series of letters to his son to be a similar pursuit. But I digress. I intend to use his guidance to steer the tone and form of this blog.
Here's a few quotes:
"Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act."
"Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others."
"I am very sure that any man of common understanding may, by culture, care, attention, and labor, make himself what- ever he pleases, except a great poet. "
"In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it - thou art a fool."
"Learning is acquired by reading books, but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various facets of them. "
"Regularity in the hours of rising and retiring, perseverance in exercise, adaptation of dress to the variations of climate, simple and nutritious aliment, and temperance in all things are necessary branches of the regimen of health."
Not only is Lord Chesterfield the foremost expert on being a gentleman, he's also an outstanding beer. Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, which happens to be right up the road from my hometown in Pottsville, PA (I've taken the tour of the brewery more than once) produces a handful of different beers. The most famous one is Yuengling Lager. Perhaps least known and my personal favorite is Lord Chesterfield Ale. It's a great all around beer. It's flavorful, crisp, malty but smooth with a slight herbal bitterness fitting the English style by which it's brewed. It's definitely worth the extra hunting at the distributer. It's even worth a special request. If you're seeking the most gentlemanly of beers, you might as well start with one named after one.