It was the cutest, thin, red book. I loved it. But I can’t find it anywhere. Doesn’t that just get you when that happens. This little gem was something truly valued. Yet, now, nowhere to be found. And just what was that special gem you ask? It was my very own personal copy of what has become known as Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.
Now, granted, he didn’t invent these. But how many 16 years-olds do you know that actually take the time to copy by hand this type of information, carry it around, and practice the advice? Sadly, I doubt there are many.
Some of you may have forgotten that these rules were actually composed by French Jesuits in 1595. And others of you may be witnessing them for the very first time. With that, let’s begin our next venture: to take a gander at all of them over the next few weeks. Here’s your first grouping. See if you can’t work on one, or two, or…
The Rules:
1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present. [Treat everyone with respect.]
2nd When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.
[Be considerate of others. Do not embarrass others.]
3rd Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
5th If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside.
6th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.
8th At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.
9th 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.
10th When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.
Come back soon. Our series continues! And who knows, we all might be a bit more civil by the time we’ve finished!
Just my thoughts.