It’s time for this week’s post of George Washington’s “Rules of Civility” (see here for Part 3). Enjoy reading through Rules 31-40!
31. If any one far Surpasses others, either in age, Estate, or Merit yet would give Place to a meaner than himself in his own lodging or elsewhere the one ought not to except it, So he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice.
32. To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the chief Place in your Lodging and he to who ’tis offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.
33. They that are in Dignity or in office have in all places Precedency but whilst they are Young they ought to respect those that are their equals in Birth or other Qualities, though they have no Public charge.
34. It is good Manners to prefer them to whom we Speak before ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no Sort we ought to begin.
35. Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.
36. Artificers & Persons of low Degree ought not to use many ceremonies to Lords, or Others of high Degree but Respect and highly Honor them, and those of high Degree ought to treat them with affability & Courtesy, without Arrogance.
37. In speaking to men of Quality do not lean nor Look them full in the Face, nor approach too near them at lest Keep a full Pace from them.
38. In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physician if you be not Knowing therein.
39. In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place.
40. Strive not with your Superiors in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.
*All spelling is original