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. 71

Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of Others and ask not how they came. What you may Speak in Secret to your Friend deliver not before others.

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Rule No. 72

Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.

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Rule No. 73

Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring ou[t] your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.

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Rule No. 74

When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speec[h] be ended.

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Rule No. 75

In the midst of Discourse ask [not of what one treateth] but if you Perceive any Stop because of [your coming you may well intreat him gently] to Proceed: If a Person of Quality comes in while your Conversing it's handsome to Repeat what was said before.

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Rule No. 76

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.

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Rule No. 77

Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the Company of Others.

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Rule No. 78

Make no Comparisons and if any of the Company be Commended for any brave act of Vertue, commend not another for the Same.

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Rule No. 79

Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A [Se]cret Discover not.

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Rule No. 80

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

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