George Washington’s Rules of Civility

October 19, 2010 - 11:34 am 58 Comments
Excerpts from Rules of Civility
 

1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.

2d When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.
 
3d Shew Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs rowl not the Eys lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.
43d Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.

50th Be not hasty to beleive flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.

89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.

51st Wear not your Cloths, foul, unript or Dusty but See they be Brush’d once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any Uncleaness.

54th Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Deck’t, if your Shoes fit well if your Stokings sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.

56th Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad Company.

76th While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.

80th Be not Tedious in Discourse or in reading unless you find the Company pleased therewith.

90th Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your Nose except there’s a Necessity for it.

100th Cleanse not your teeth with the Table Cloth Napkin Fork or Knife but if Others do it let it be done wt. a Pick Tooth.

105th Be not Angry at Table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, Shew it not but on a Chearfull Countenance especially if there be Strangers for Good Humour makes one Dish of Meat a Feast.

110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.


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