Youth’s Behavior or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men by Francis Hawkins (Washington State University)George Washington wrote out a copy of the 110 Rules of Civility in his school book when he was about sixteen-years old. Vote for your favorite or comment on which Rule you think is still relevant today.

These maxims originated in the late sixteenth century in France and were popularly circulated during Washington's time. This exercise, now regarded as a formative influence in the development of his character, included guidelines for behavior in pleasant company, appropriate actions in formal situations, and general courtesies.

Rule No. 1

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

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Rule No. 2

When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered.

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Rule No. 3

Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him.

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Rule No. 4

In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.

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Rule No. 5

If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkercheif or Hand before your face and turn aside.

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Rule No. 6

Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

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Rule No. 7

Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Drest.

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Rule No. 8

At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.

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Rule No. 9

Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.

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Rule No. 10

When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.

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