From Brother George Washington

Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company & Conversation

by George Washington

The first president of the United States, George Washington, was indeed a great American patriot, despite how some on the radical left today try to smear him. Washington had other lesser known qualities, like his ability to pen his thoughts on behavior. He wrote a short book entitled “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation” which contains 110 gems of his wisdom. Below are a small sampling of Washington’s thoughts on human behavior.

The original punctuation and spelling from his writings have been preserved.
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1. Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.

5. If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside.

7. Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.

10. When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.

17. Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them.

25. Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected.

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.

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.

44. When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it.

48. Wherein you reprove Another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than Precepts.

51. Wear not your Cloths, foul, ripped or Dusty but See they be Brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any Uncleaness.

52. In your Apparel be Modest and endeavor to accommodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.

56. Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for ‘is better to be alone than in bad Company.

60. Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret.

70. Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiors.

72. Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.

76. While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.

79. Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always a Secret Discover not.

82. Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Careful to keep your Promise.

83. When you deliver a matter do it without Passion & with Discretion, however mean the Person be you do it too.

85. In Company of these of Higher Quality than yourself Speak not til you are asked a Question then Stand upright put of your Hat & Answer in few words.

97. Put not another bit into your mouth till the former be swallowed. Let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.

108. When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.

110. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Installation of The Celestial Lodge

Even though it was late fall, there was a warm breeze blowing and the sun was setting behind the Lodge Hall.  Gathered in the parking lot filled with their works were Bros Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, Walter Chrysler, John Willys and Andre Citroen The only vehicle missing was Bro Hart Massey’s tractor.

 Greeting members in the entrance hall was Bro Cliff Arquette of Charley Weaver fame and Bro Ed Wynn. In the boardroom, a group of senior DeMolays were gathered including Bros Walter Disney, Chet Huntley, Wendell Corey, Van Johnson, Robert Cummings, John Steinbeck, Fred McMurray and John Cameron Swayze.

 King Gillette, razor in hand, passed the lodge caretaker who was having a minor problem with his vacuum cleaner, which was quickly cleared up with the help of its inventor, Bro Frank Hoover, while at the other end of the hallway Bros Emmett Kelly, Clyde Beatty and all seven of the Ringling Bros were discussing the Shrine Circus.

Taking a quick look into the Banquet Hall, Bros John Molson, Frederick Pabst and Joseph Schlitz were busy rolling in some kegs of beer for Bros Sam Bronfman, late President of Seagrams Distillers, who was setting up the bar for the Festive Board to follow the Ceremony. Bro Colonel Harland Sanders was cooking up a storm in the kitchen and it was an easy guess as to what the evening meal would consist of.

The orchestra members for the dance to follow the Banquet were tuning. Members of this All-Star group included leader WC Hardy, Irving Berlin, George M Cohan, Cyril Stapleton, and Al Jolson. Tonight’s performance would be M.C.ed by Bros Arthur Godfrey and Danny Thomas.

 Magical Bros Harry Houdini and Harry Blackstone were setting up their props while Bros WC Fields, Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott, Harpo Marx, and Foster Brooks were fine tuning their comedy routines for tonight’s show which was being produced by Bro’s Cecil B DeMille, Flo Ziegfeld, Louis B Mayer, Hall Wallis and DW Griffiths.

 A number of sports celebrities were gathering together, including Bros Abe Saperstein, creator of the Harlem Globetrotters, who was explaining his version of the game to Bro James Naismith, the inventor of the game. They were joined by baseballers Bros Charles Ebbetts, Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey and Cy Young, the first pitcher to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

 A little further along the hall was an array of masons dressed in knee
breeches, lace cuffs and powdered wigs, others in tuxedos, including Bros Kit Carson, Davey Crockett and Buffalo Bill Cody, clad in their familiar buckskins, Chiefs Crazy Bull, Tecumseh and Joseph Brant in their native attire. Most colourful are the military uniforms of Lord Nelson, Lord Cornwallis, Captain James Cook, the Duke of Wellington and John Paul Jones.

 I was gazing in awe at these members of Celestial Lodge, when the Grand Master, MW Bro Harry Truman, appeared from the preparation room accompanied by Bros John Jacob Astor, Luther Burbank, JC Penney, Adlai Stevenson and Jennings Bryan.

 Bro John Diefenbaker had just signed the Tyler’s Register with one of Bro John Shaeffer’s pens. He was accompanied by Bros Robert Borden and RB Bennett. fellow Canadian Prime Ministers, and by Bro Joe Smllwood of Newfoundland.

 At this time, the Tyler, Bro J Edgar Hoover, informed the brethren that the meeting was about to come to order.

 On entering the lodge room the brethren were greeted by the Inner Guard, Bro Paul Revere. Seated already were polar explorers, Robert F Scott of England and Bro Richard E Bird of the United States, together with Matthew G Perky and Canada’s Henry Larsen. Bro Charles Lindbergh could be seen in deep conversation with Bros Hap Arnold, Gus Grissom, Eddie Rickenbaker and Charles Kingsford-smith.

 From the Junior Warden’s station came a burst of laughter. Bro Will Rogers had brought broad smiles to the faces of the Royal personages gathered around him, including George 1, Frederick the Great, Gustav V of Sweden and George VI. To the right of the Junior Warden’s chair, architect Sir Christopher Wren was joined by Statue of Liberty sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi.

 Bros Norman Vincent Peale and Peter Marshall, who would assume the Chaplain’s duties this evening, were in conversation with the DuPonts, Peter and Victor, and the Rothschilds, James and Nathan.

 Gathered around the Secretary’s desk, Bro Rudyard Kipling was discussing the evening’s proceedings with Bro Robert Burns, who was to give one of the Charges assisted by Bro Mark Twain. Also taking part were Bros Conan Doyle, Walter Scott, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope and Robert Service.

 The Grand Organist, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was discussing last minute changes with Bros Gilbert and Sullivan.

 Bros Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Wallace Beery, Douglas Fairbanks and Brian Donleavy were discussing boxing with champions Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson and Sugar Ray Robinson. Another small group, in the persons of Bros John Wayne, Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix, were listening to Bro William Thaddeus Phillips, also known as Butch Cassidy.

The founding members, Bros George Washington, Sir John A MacDonald, Guiseppe Garibaldi, Benito Jaurez, John Hancock and Ben Franklin were seated in the East. They have been joined by Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore.

The Generals, Omar Bradley, Jimmy Doolittle, George C Marshall, John Pershing and Douglas McArthur, take their seats next to Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

The Lodge Treasurer, Bro Henry Knox was busy collecting dues from Bros Thomas E Dewey and William McKinley. The Master, MW Bro HRH The Duke of Connaught, has rapped the gavel to call the Lodge to order and it is now time for us to depart.

With one last look at this brilliant assembly, one wonders what the public’s perception of Freemasonry might be if they were able to visit such a lodge .