The Daily News Article resumes Tuesday, February 17.
At the age of 15 George Washington copied the “110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.” These maxims were so fully lived out in George Washington’s life that historians have regarded them as important influences in forming his character. Listed below are several of the maxims followed by George Washington. How many do you follow?
- In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet. Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
- Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Publick Spectacle.
- In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.
- Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad Company.
- Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.
- 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.
- 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.
- Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.
- Make no Shew of taking great Delight in your Victuals, Feed not with Greediness; cut your Bread with a Knife, lean not on the Table neither find fault with what you Eat.
For the complete list of maxims, go to the Colonial Williamsburg website at
For more information on George Washington, go to MountVernon.org.
Feb. 12, 2009 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. How much do you know about our 16th president?
–Read “The President and War Powers: Lincoln and the Civil War” at the White House Historical Association website,
Then, take a quiz at whitehousehistory.org/04/subs/activities_03/c07.html.
–Read Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation at nps.gov/ncro/anti/emancipation.html.
–Read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address at gettysburg.com/bog/address.htm.
–For more on Lincoln, visit:
- from Teaching with Historic Places, cr.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/126libo
–For an interesting, well-researched book on Lincoln’s assassin, read
“Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer” by James L. Swanson
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