|To read all of the 110 Rules of Civility copied by George Washington in school, click here|
By-Paths of History
What strange rules regarding table manners were used in the training of young people in Washington’s time? When George Washington was a youth he copied down the prevailing rules of etiquette, and, as he grew older, he was guided by them. Among the hundred and ten “Rules of Civility,” as they were called, were the following:
- Being set at meat, do not scratch, cough, or blow your nose, except there’s necessity for it.
- Take no salt or cut your bread with a greasy knife.
- If you soak bread in the 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.
- Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand, neither spit forth any stones of any fruit pye upon a dish, nor cast anything under the table.
- Put not another bite into your mouth till the former be swallowed; let not your morsels be too big for the gowls.
- Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth, napkin, fork or knife, but if others do it, let it be done with a tooth pick.
- Kill no vermin as fleas, ticks, lice, etc., at table in sight of others.
- Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hasty. Before and after drinking wipe your lips, breathe not then or ever with too great a noise.
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia