P's and Q's, 1756...

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Apr 18 14:21:07 UTC 2009

OED 2nd ed. has 1779.

The life and memoirs of Mr. Ephraim Tristram Bates, commonly called Corporal
Bates, a broken-hearted soldier: who, from a private centinel in the guards,
was, from his merits, advanced, regularly, to be corporal serjeant, and
pay-master serjeant, and had he lived a few days longer, might have died a
commission-officer, to the great loss of his lamentable lady, whose
marriage he
had intended to declare as soon as his commission was signed, and who, to make
up for the loss of so dear an husband, and her pension, which then no Duke on
earth could have hindered, in order to put bread in the mouths of seven small
children, the youngest now at her breast, the sweet creatures being two twins,
publishes these memoirs from the original papers, sealed up with the seal of
dear Mr. Bates, and found, exactly as he mentioned in his last will and
testament, in an oven, never used, where, in his life time, he secreted many
state papers, &c. &c. &c.
London, 1756. 237 pp. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. (1759 ed. on
Page 83:
"Mind your P's and your Q's and always travel in the Autumn."

Account of a debate in Coachmaker's Hall. By Harum Skarum, Esq.
Skarum, Harum.
London, 1780. 28 pp. p.19
Now, Mr. President, had I been consulted, I would have squared their Ps and Qs
after another fashion. The moment the rebellion broke out...

The Candidate: A Farce in Two Acts, as it is Performed ...
By John Dent (The Second Edition; London, 1782) (Google Books full text,
including title page and running heads) page 5, Act I, Scene II:
Negus. Well, mind your hits, and all our turns may be served. These contested
elections are the very spirit of the Constitution, and make every thing
full of life and vigour. Now, be sure, d'ye hear? that you are, all of
you, very
civil and attentive, and don't stand upon throwing in three or four dozens of
bows extraordinary; Sir Gregory is a very rich and worthy man, tho' a little
proud, or so, but no matter for that, take care of your Ps and Qs, and this
affair may put something handsome in your pockets.

History of the royal malady [of George III]
with variety of entertaining anecdotes, to which are added strictures on the
declaration of Horne Tooke, Esq. respecting "Her Royal Highness the Princess of
Wales," commonly called (The Hon.) Mrs. Fitzherbert. With interesting remarks on
a Regency.
Philip Withers;  Page of the presence.;  John Horne Tooke
1789 [not 1783]
English Book Book 88 p. ; 24 cm.
London, The Author, [UMich hathi trust]
Great Britain - 1783
Page 19
The Difficulty is to secure a part. the other Physicians are as full of intrigue
as the Devil. Egad, every man is for himself in this world.
I muft mind my Ps and Qs with the Queen and the Chancellor. Aye, aye, my boy,
that's the mark; they will certainly be the guardians of his person.


The Foresters, an American tale - Page 72-73
by Jeremy Belknap - History - 1792 - 216 pages
About this time old Lewis had grown sick and peevish, and had severely
some [p.73] of his apprentices, because they did not make their P's and Q's
exactly to his mind.* The poor fellows, to prevent ...
*Revocation of the edict of Nantes, by Lewis XIV. 1685.

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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