When specific rules for body carriage are examined, it becomes clear that many of the elaborations on elite advice found in works for the middling sort involved urging greater mastery or control over the body.
Authors who addressed the middling sort also gave instructions on standing still: one was to hold oneself erect, neither "lolling" nor leaning on another.
While this might seem elaborate enough, writers for the middling sort gave this advice and then some.
Consideration of body carriage extended to the smallest of actions, and here too, writers for the middling sort gave the most extensive advice.
The end result, for the middling sort and the great alike, was supposed to be a dignified and easy body carriage.
As was true of the advice regarding body carriage, the extra advice to the middling sort concerning facial expression urged greater mastery.
49) Writers who counseled the middling sort did give one piece of conversational advice that is not found in works for the elite alone: never interrupt.
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.