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Monday, September 26, 2005

George Washington's Rules of Civility 

When I was traveling through the national parks in South Dakota recently, I stopped at Mt. Rushmore and read Rules of Civility by George Washington.

Most of them were full of common sense, with quite decent rules about how one should treat others.

Some of them were wonderfully hilarious, and these I share with you.

GEORGE WASHINGTON - RULES OF CIVILITY

Run not in the streets, neither go too slowly, nor with mouth open; go not shaking of arms, nor upon the toes, kick not the earth with your feet, go not upon the toes, nor in a dancing fashion.

In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming voice, or drum with your fingers or feet.

Spit not into 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.

Shake not the head, feet, or legs; roll not the eyes; lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no man's face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak.

Being set at meat scratch not, neither spit, cough or blow your nose except there's a necessity for it.

Do not puff up the cheeks, loll not out the tongue with the hands or beard, thrust out the lips or bite them, or keep the lips too open or too close.

Let your countenance be pleasant but in serious matters somewhat grave.

Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand; neither spit forth the stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.

Cleanse not your teeth with the tablecloth, napkin, fork or knife, but if others do it, let it be done with a pick tooth.

Play not the peacock, looking every where about you, to see if you be well decked, if your shoes fit well, if your stockings sit neatly and clothes handsomely.


posted 4:43 PM

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