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. 51

Wear not your Cloths, foul, unript or Dusty but See they be Brush'd once every day at least and take heed tha[t] you approach not to any Uncleaness.

More

Rule No. 52

In your Apparel be Modest and endeavour to accomodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashio[n] of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.

More

Rule No. 53

Run not in the Streets, neither go t[oo s]lowly nor wit[h] Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms [kick not the earth with yr feet, go] not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing [fashion].

More

Rule No. 54

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.

More

Rule No. 55

Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.

More

Rule No. 56

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

More

Rule No. 57

In walking up and Down in a House, only with One in Compan[y] if he be Greater than yourself, at the first give him the Right hand and Stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him, if he be a Man of Great Quality, walk not with him Cheek by Joul but Somewhat behind him; but yet in Such a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.

More

Rule No. 58

Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for 'tis a Sig[n o]f a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion [ad]mit Reason to Govern.

More

Rule No. 59

Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act agst the Rules Mora[l] before your inferiours.

More

Rule No. 60

Be not immodest in urging your Freinds to Discover a Secret.

More
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save