Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Companion and Conversation
By George Washington
Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation is the name of a list best known as a school writing exercise of George Washington, who became the first president of the United States of America. Most of the 110 rules have been traced to a French etiquette manual written by Jesuits in 1595.
As an exercise Washington hand copied Francis Hawkins' translation which was published in England in about 1640. They include:
-1st Every action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
-2d When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.
-3d Shew Nothing to your Freind 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 Gentlemen lay with their things on the floor, not within a pile of like family members.