The time has come to look at Part 3 of George Washington’s “Rules of Civility” (if you missed last week’s post you can read it here). See you next Saturday!
21. Reproach none for the Infirmities of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.
22. Show not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
23. When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always show Pity to the Suffering Offender.
24. Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Public Spectacle.
25. Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.
26. In Pulling off your Hat to Persons of Distinction, as Noblemen, Justices, Churchmen &c make a Reverence, bowing more or less according to the Custom of the Better Bred, and Quality of the Person. Amongst your equals expect not always that they Should begin with you first, but to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation, in the Manner of Saluting and resaluting in words keep to the most usual Custom.
27. Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered as well as not to do it to whom it’s due Likewise he that makes too much haste to Put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to Put it on at the first, or at most the Second time of being asked; now what is herein Spoken, of Qualification in behavior in Saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of Place, and Sitting down for ceremonies without Bounds is troublesome.
28. If any one come to Speak to you while you are Sitting Stand up though he be your Inferior, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one according to his Degree.
29. When you meet with one of Greater Quality than yourself, Stop, and retire especially if it be at a Door or any Straight place to give way for him to Pass.
30. In walking the highest Place in most Countries Seems to be on the right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to Honor: but if three walk together the middest Place is the most Honorable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.
*All spelling is original