From Galateo: The Rules of Polite Behavior by Giovanni Della Casa (1558), translated by Robert Peterson as Treatise of Manners and Behaviours (sixteenth century). The author warns against, well, Facebook:
And they doe asmuche amisse too, that never have other thing in their mouthe, then their children, their wife, and their nourse. “My litle boy, made mee so laughe yesterday: heare you: you never sawe a sweeter babe in your life: my wife is such a one, Cecchina told mee : of troth you would not beleeve what a wit shee hath:” There is none so idle a body, that will either intend to answer, or abide to heare suche foolishe prittle prattle. For it ircks a mans eares to harken unto it.
And he’s apparently spent some time in the business meetings of corporate America, too:
[And t]hey must not shewe them selves so afraide and fearefull to speake their mindes, when a man dothe aske their advise. For, it is a deadly paine to here them, & specialy if they be men, in ye Judgement of ye world, of good understanding and wisedome. What a fetching about is this, ere they come to ye mater? “Sir I beseche you pardon mee, if I doe not say well. I will speake like a gros man as I am: & grosly according to my pore skil. And Sir, I am sure you will but mocke me for it. But yet, to obey you…”
Quotes discovered via Charles Kightly’s wonderful book The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore (1987).