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. 31

If any one far Surpassess others, either in age, Estate, or Merit [yet] would give Place to a meaner than hims[elf in his own lodging or elsewhere] the one ought not to except it, S[o he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer] it above once or twice.

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Rule No. 32

To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the cheif Place in your Lodging and he to who 'tis offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.

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Rule No. 33

They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places Preceedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that are their equals in Birth or other Qualitys, though they have no Publick charge.

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Rule No. 34

It is good Manners to prefer them to whom we Speak befo[re] ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no Sort we ought to begin.

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Rule No. 35

Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.

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Rule No. 36

Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and high[ly] Honour them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with affibility & Courtesie, without Arrogancy.

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Rule No. 37

In Speaking to men of Quality do not lean nor Look them full in the Face, nor approach too near them at lest Keep a full Pace from them.

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Rule No. 38

In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.

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Rule No. 39

In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.

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Rule No. 40

Strive not with your Superiers in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.

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