|First President of the United States, George Washington. Click on Washington’s name for the complete 110 “Rules of Civility”|
What rules of etiquette were thought to be of sufficient importance by Washington, that he copied them in a note book? The social status of a man or woman is usually easily determined by his observance or lack of observance of prevailing rules of etiquette. That these rules vary from time to time is indicated by the following advice given to young people in the time of George Washington.
In a neatly written volume by our first President during the days of his youth, he copied down 110 rules by which his social standards were to be maintained. Among those rules were the following:
- If you soak bread in sauce let it be no more than you can put in your mouth at a time; blow not your broth at table, stay until it cools itself.
- Being set at meal, do not scratch, cough, or blow your nose except there’s necessity for it.
- Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand, neither spit forth any stones of any fruit pie upon a dish, nor cast anything under the table.
- Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth, napkin, fork or knife, but if others do it, let it be done with a toothpick.
- Kill no vermin, as fleas, lice, ticks, etc., at table in the sight of others.
- Drink not too leisurely, nor yet too hasty. Before and after drinking, wipe your lips. Breathe not then, or even with too great a noise.
- Put not another bite into your mouth till the former be swallowed; let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia