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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- 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?

  • 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.
  • Keep your nails clean and short, also your hands and teeth clean yet without showing any great concern for them.
  • Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
  • Turn not your back to others especially in speaking, jog not the table or desk on which another reads or writes, lean not upon anyone.
  • Read no letters, books, or papers in company but when there is a necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave.
  • Let your countenance be pleasant but in serious matters somewhat grave.
  • Shew not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
  • Let your recreations be manfull not sinfull.
  • When you speak of God, or His attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence.  Honor and obey your natural parents although they be poor.
  • Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

For the complete list of maxims, click here.

For more information on George Washington, go to MountVernon.org.


For websites on Abraham Lincoln, go to the following :

–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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