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The Duties of a Good Christian and a Civilized People

(This is the oldest song we were able to find.  Written in 1848,  Andrea Cereghino teaches us the qualities we must have to become people of integrity.  This song (poem) should be shared with people everywhere!) 
The headings within the song were added by the editor.

A song of Christian education
and the duties of a good Christian,
and on the obligations that God imposes on us
that every person, of both sexes, has to fulfill
to be pleasing to God; and be saved.

God eternal and omnipotent
is present everywhere.
He knows in general
what is good and what is bad,
and He awards good actions
and punishes the bad ones.

The Lord created us
with a holy and heavenly purpose,
that we might all live righteously.
If we are faithful to God
we will all be saved and go to Heaven.

The duty of a virtuous people
is to be devoted to God.
The Italian people
have to live as a Christians,
staying away from evil
and from the deceiving world.

DUTIES OF A PRIEST
The first that have to be devoted
are the priests,
by teaching with a good example
and by practicing the heavenly virtues
that we are taught by the good Jesus.

A minister of the Lord
has to have a good heart
and not be attached to any worldly thing,
help the poor,
abhor vanity,
and practice charity.

Jesus Christ was destitute
he lived poorly in the world
and the apostles and the saints
were all poor.
They abandoned wealth and ambition.

If a priest is a good Christian,
he doesn’t have worldly thoughts
but he is always inclined
to follow Jesus Christ.
He always has the holy purpose
of helping the poor.

DUTIES OF THE GOVERNMENT
The duty of the city government
is to follow righteous principles,
governing the community
with justice and reason,
acting in truth
with justice and charity.

When the mayor is Christian
he keeps close to the code.
He keeps the scale of justice in the right hand
and doesn’t accept any bribe.
This way he gains honor
from the government and from the Lord.

The duty of a good judge
is to obtain a good name
by condemning the criminal,
by releasing the innocent
and never making the mistake
of giving the fault to the innocent.

The duty of a lawyer  is to live righteously.
He is God-fearing
and he never incites people to fight
without a reason.
He magnifies truth
and he contests falsity.

DUTIES OF A TEACHER
The duty of a good teacher
is to be wise and honest,
to be a prudent man
that teaches patience.
If the teacher is good
the student will learn.

A teacher who is well prepared
will instruct the student well.
He abhors bigotry,
impostures and Beguinage.
He teaches to do the right,
to read, write and work.

School and work
are fonts of great treasure,
while bigots and self-righteous people
are fonts of idle people
that neglect work to go preach.

But the Italian teacher
knows how to live as a good Christian.
His school produces good fruits,
he teaches how to respect everybody,
and he turns the young Italian men
into good Christians.

The student surely knows
that after school comes work,
that school is to learn
and work is to eat.
Those who don’t  want to work
shouldn’t even eat.

DUTIES OF PARENTS
The duty of the parents
is to watch carefully over their children,
keeping them away from disgraceful friends
and sending them to work,
and teaching them to behave.

Parents should raise them with a devout heart,
teaching them to fear God,
sending them in the world well behaved
to give respect to everybody
and to respect the possessions of others.

THE DUTIES OF CHILDREN
The duty of the children                                     
is to grow wise and righteous,
to obey to their parents
and not to be evil-doers,
always having in their hearts
obedience for the elders.

The one who honors his good father
and respects his mother
is a good child
that will be protected by God.
The Lord will send him
great happiness.

But the impertinent child
that will be disobedient
will be hated by the Lord.
He will then be punished
for his disobedience,
and he will suffer great chastisement.

The duty of young men
is to grow wise, become educated,
to be good citizens,
and not to be mischievous.
They should go to work
and behave well.

The duty of young girls
is to live wise and honest,
to protect their honor,
and to always have God in their heart.
They should stay away from all evil
and from deceiving young man.

DUTIES OF A DAUGHTER
The honesty of a good daughter
brings honor to her family.
Honesty is her face
and the joy of her siblings.
Honesty comforts deeply
the heart of her dear parents.

A very polite daughter
is honored by everybody
because she knows how to act well.
She will find a husband
and God will grant her
great happiness.

But, a dishonest daughter
brings with her turmoil.
She is the face of misfortune
and she is a pot of deceit.
Wherever she goes
she brings harm to society.

Make sure, oh pure daughters,
to keep your virtue
because honor is great dignity.
It is worth more than all the gold,
and the one who looses her virtue
is the Lord’s disgrace.

DUTIES OF A HUSBAND
The duty of a good husband
is to stay by his wife’s side
and not to give himself up to strange desires.
He should love his wife,
provide for her,
and not look for other women.

A good married man
has to live with moderation,
by working
and not getting drunk,
by fulfilling his duties,
and by doing his job.

A good family father
feels his duty
to follow the righteous way,
and not go to the tavern,
to eat the fruits of his sweat
and not offend the Lord.

He should spend
the profit of his work properly,
and eat the fruits of his sweat happily,
in the company of his wife.
He will then truly enjoy
great happiness.

DUTIES OF A WIFE
The wife similarly 
has to live devoutly,
loving her husband
and serving him with delight.
She should avoid to be friendly
with a new or an old (male) friend.

The duty of a good bride
is to live virtuously,
keep her house
always clean and welcoming,
and to truly love
her husband and the Lord.

A married woman
has to be devoted.
She has to love her husband,
she shouldn’t  irritate him,
and she has to be ready to obey
and to forgive.

DUTIES OF SERVANTS
The duty of servants
is to serve their masters well,
taking good care
of their master’s belongings.
They should work with an honest heart
and not be a transgressor.

A good servant
gains great honor.
He is well thought of by people
because he lives righteously,
and because he takes good care
of the possessions of the master.

DUTIES OF MASTERS & LABORERS
The duty of the masters
is to love the servants,
to give them affection and trust
and a good recompense.
They should teach them to serve well
and to be able to forgive them.

The duty of a day laborer
is to fulfill his obligations
and not to give into laziness.
He should work guilelessly,
and do things in good faith
as he would like them done for himself.

The duty of a good master
is to be compassionate
and to let the laborer rest
when it’s dinner time.
He should not disturb him
when it’s time to eat.

DUTIES OF A TRADESMAN
The duty of the tradesman
is not to be a scoundrel,
to be honest when negotiating,
and to be careful not to deceive.
The one who deceives his brother
won’t enter into heaven.

Here we have to consider
that those who deceive
should think about their actions.
They are deceiving themselves,
and when the time to die will come,
they will have to repent.

Jesus Christ has said,
stealing is a grave sin,
and the thief and the scoundrel
are a bad prophecy.
Those who don’t return what they have stolen
can’t be saved.

DUTIES OF A STOREKEEPER
The duty of the storekeeper
is to not be too greedy,
and to follow the righteous way,
He should never lie
about the deals that he makes,
and should always follow the truth.

The storekeeper has the duty
to be honest in his job.
If the merchandise is inferior,
it has to be sold at a lower price.
If the merchandise is good,
it has to sold for what it is worth.

But, there are some storekeepers
that are truly greedy.
They sell inferior merchandise
as if it was the best.
As long as they make money,
they don’t mind being misleading.

But, the money they make
is not made by being a good Christian,
because God is present
when they deceive people.
Those who deceive their brother
won’t go to Heaven.

But, there are some storekeepers
that are righteous and trustworthy.
Their heart is honest and devout,
they fear God,
and the trade that they do
is that of a Christian.

DUTIES OF A MILLER
The duty of a miller
is to not be too greedy.
He should give fairly to everybody,
and not deceive anybody,
because a thieving miller
won’t enter in Heaven.

There are millers
that are too greedy.
During the night they commit robbery.
They mix the flour,
and they wet it
to make it weight more.

A miller who is a good Christian
doesn’t do these things.
They do their grinding
without deceit.
They acquire great respect
and great reward from the Lord.

DUTIES OF A BAKER
The duty of the baker
is to be honest in his job.
He should make the bread
and bake it completely.
Uncooked bread weights too much
and brings dishonor to the merchant,
and causes inconvenience to the customer.

DUTIES OF AN INNKEEPER
The duty that concerns the innkeeper
is to do things honestly.
He should sell pure, undiluted wine,
wine that has not been mixed with anything.
He should charge what it is worth,
not deceiving society.

There are some innkeepers
that are too crafty.
They charge for inferior wine
as if it was of better quality.
They don’t mind deceiving people,
as long as they make money

Some innkeepers use a scheme,
that they give little to eat.
The portions are so little
that the plates look barely used,
but when it’s time to charge for it,
they know very well how to prepare the bill.

But, there are some good innkeepers
that are honest and sincere.
They give you good wine,
and big portions of food.
They acquire a good name,
and great reward from the Lord.

DUTIES OF A PASTA MAKER
The duty of the pasta maker
is to not be too greedy,
but to act as a good Christian.
They should make pasta with good wheat,
and  make it dry
in order to sell it for the correct weight.

DUTIES OF A TINSMITH
The duty of the tinsmith
is to tin the plate with fine tin.
He should never use deceit
to sell iron as if it was good tin.
He should do his job
without deceiving anybody.

DUTIES OF A BLACKSMITH
The blacksmith has the duty
to do his job honestly.
He should not give iron as if it was steel,
but instead work as he should,
without deceiving society.

DUTIES OF A DRESSMAKER
The duty of a good dressmaker
is to gain respect.
He should sew Giponetti (traditional vests) well,
with short and tight points.
He should sew things with good intent,
as he wants them done to himself.

DUTIES OF AN UMBRELLA MAKER
The umbrella maker has a duty
to be honest in his job.
He should make umbrellas of good quality,
with thick, strong fabric.
If the umbrella is sturdy
he will charge for what it is worth.

DUTIES OF A SHOEMAKER
The duty of the shoemaker
is to not be too greedy,
to make good and strong shoes
and not to do like some do
that charge you for leather
but they use cardboard.

DUTIES OF A BUTCHER
The duty of the butcher
is to be a good worker.
He should not do the big mistake
of selling more bones than meat,
but to act with reason,
and to fairly distribute the bones.

DUTIES OF A PHARMACIST
The duty of the pharmacist
is to be a good professional.
He should make sure that
he is preparing good medicines.
He should sell them at the fair price,
making them as a good Christian.

DUTIES OF A MILKMAN
The duty of the milkman
is to be honest in his job.
He should do things honestly and correctly,
not selling water as good milk.
He should sell pure, good milk,
without deceiving anybody.

THE STORY OF A MILKMAN
Now I will share with you
the story of a milkman.
He went to America
and mixed water with milk,
and he made a chest full
of money.

He bought a monkey,
and then embarked for Italy.
While on the ship he was very happy.
He opened the chest
and looked at the money.

While he was sailing,
the monkey watched him.
The milkman had put in his chest,
some fresh fruit
that had started to rot
since the chest was always closed.

The milkman had fun
throwing away the rotten fruit.
He would throw it in the sea,
and the monkey would watch him.
Later, the monkey started
imitating his owner.

Then the owner left
and went cheerfully below deck,
leaving the monkey
with the open chest.
The monkey took the money
and carelessly threw it all in the sea.

The owner appropriately thought
that God had punished him.
He thought the money he had gained
was just like the water he sold in his milk.
He had accumulated money
by stealing from the poor.

“From water I earned it
and in the water it returned.
Now I am left here to languish
 with sin as a companion,
and God has punished me
for my dishonest actions”

DUTIES OF A MUSICIAN
The duty of the musicians
is to be careful
not to play at unchaste parties.
He should not do dishonest things,
and should not play
if evil is about to be done.

Players and musicians
should make sure,
to play with harmony,
to bring gaiety to the people,
and to amuse society
with Christian honesty.

DUTIES OF THE PEASANT
The duty of the peasant
is to wake up early in the morning
always keeping in mind
that God is by his side.
He should pray to Him with his heart
and ask Him to bless his work.

And, while he is working,
he has to be careful not to sin
by giving himself up to laziness.
He has to work without malice
and God will send him
great happiness.

IN CONCLUSION
In conclusion, God entrusts
to people of all sexes and professions,
to act righteously,
and to never deceive people.
He who betrays his brother
won’t enter into Heaven.

Lies and deception
bring man to ruin.
They lead him to hell
where he will stay eternally,
suffering the consequences of his mistakes
in the Lord’s disfavor.

But, the one who acts honestly
will avoid the eternal punishments.
He will go to heaven
to enjoy with happiness and smiles,
the celestial inheritance
that will never end.

Courage brethren!
This world is only a passage.
We have to make sure
that we’ll keep doing good to all
and do evil to no one.

We shouldn’t do the wrong unto others,
that we don’t want for ourselves.
We should clearly remember that
God is always present,
and that He will judge us
according to our actions.

When we are about to bargain
let’s not deceive others.
We have to be grateful
for an honest profit,
because the greedy earnings
are surely a theft.

But the negotiating Christian
will never be a scoundrel.
He will always say in his conscience:
“I don’t make any distinction,
I do unto you
what I would like done unto me”.

By doing this, and with great care,
we will all go to heaven
to enjoy with holy love,
the beauty of the Lord.
We will enjoy, in heaven,
 happiness for all eternity.

THE END

Written in San Vincenzo Favale
in 1848 - The poet Andrea Cereghino    

This is the oldest of any of the songs that have been located.

Translated by:
Stefania Dolce, a native Italian that was
attending Brigham Young University
in Provo, Utah.  She has now returned to Italy.