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Authors for the middling sort passed along Chesterfield's denunciations of awkwardness in speech and his insistence on the importance of choosing and pronouncing one's words with care.
Works that addressed the middling sort specified that general topics such as literature, poetry, philosophy or history were also safe.
Both the elite and the middling sort were given a variety of counsels aimed at keeping conversation pleasant, and here too, the middling sort were given more extensive instructions.
On the whole, the extra advice for the middling sort on body carriage, facial expression, and conversation aimed at explaining exactly how they should exert self-mastery.
The middling sort were given some advice that was not addressed to the elite or the lower sort.
The most elaborate counsels are found in works that addressed the middling sort; and most of the elaborations asked the middling sort to be a little more gentle with inferiors than had been required in the past.
The new advice to the middling sort tended to be interspersed with more traditional advice regarding inferiors, advice that reminds us of the limits of revolutionary-era levelling.
The new sensibility is betrayed in some remarks to the middling sort regarding the management of time in encounters with inferiors.
Both the elite and the middling sort were encouraged to show inferiors an affable and benevolent demeanor.
But most advice about talk with inferiors referred to the master-servant relationship; and here, while both the middling and the upper sort were advised to avoid speaking familiarly with or confiding in their servants (or even speaking too unguardedly with others in their servants' presence, as the latter might spread what they learned), middle-class readers were also advised "at the same time do not be backward in occasionally speaking, with kindness and affability, respecting their wants" or talking, with affectionate interest, of their affairs.
Both the middling sort and the elite were advised not to command servants too loudly, too hastily, or with haughtiness; but softly, mildly, courteously.