George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation
As a young man aspiring to the status of gentleman, George Washington copied out by hand 110 rules of behavior based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The first English edition of these rules was available in Francis Hawkin's Youths Behaviour, or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men, which appeared in 1640, and this is the work that Washington seems to have copied, somewhat simplifying the text. The rules, which focus on self-respect and respect for others, had a strong influence on Washington, who aimed always to live by them. This handsomely bound gift edition contains pointers on such issues as how to dress, walk, eat in public, and address one's superiors.