Good advice on how to deal with a dance mishap (and embarrassment in general).

Marginalia of medieval monks dancingA piece recently published in The Guardian called “Top 10 Lessons from Books of the Past” includes quite a few gems, but this one from 1538 is my favorite by far:

When you fall, pick yourself up quickly, and go back to finishing the dance energetically without complaining at all: pa-trim pa-tro-lo! And if you don’t get up, you will not be able to fall any further: there is nowhere to fall for one who is lying on the floor.

Obviously, this applies to more than just dancing. Remember, guys: You can’t fall any lower than the floor! So, if you find yourself lying on the floor (as I often do—hey, it’s comfortable!) just stay there. Or get up. Either way, you’ll be okay. Everything is always pretty okay in the end.

Another nice snippet of old timey advice on how to leave a party, from c1200:

When you are about to leave, let your horse be at the door; don’t climb on him in the hall, unless the host tells you to.

I mean, I just prefer the classic Irish goodbye (or in certain circumstances, the “Jamaican peace out”) but getting on your horse while still in someone’s living room works, too.


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