Let your carriage be such as becomes a man grave
September 12, 2005 2:57 AM   Subscribe

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience." George Washington's Rules of Civility.
posted by nthdegx (21 comments total)
As I recall, on an episode of The West Wing, Martin Sheen's character viciously mocked this book.

President, Reading "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation" by George Washington): 'When you sit down, keep your feet firm and even without putting one on the other or crossing them. Put not off your clothes while in the presence of others, nor go out of your chamber half-dressed.' What a tight-assed little priss he must have been.

Courtesy of this page.
posted by Clay201 at 3:12 AM on September 12, 2005

Definately tight-assed, but funny too. Here's my favorite:

92. Take no salt or cut bread with your knife greasy.

Of course! The reason is... er... obvious?
posted by newscouch at 3:18 AM on September 12, 2005

my grandfather got me this for graduation and I found it... inapplicable?
posted by trinarian at 3:32 AM on September 12, 2005

Wow. Most boring national cofounder ever. The conscience line is good, but I'm very surprised that it's in a list with 'don't use greasy knives' and 'chew with your mouth closed.'

I am trying to be a little nice, though, since I guess he's a hero or whatever.

I like Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald:
Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his alcoholism. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in parliament. One famous story is that during an election debate Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting violently on stage while his opponent was speaking. Picking himself up Macdonald told the crowd, "see, how my opponent's ideas disgust me?" -- Wikipedia
posted by blacklite at 3:59 AM on September 12, 2005

Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues.
posted by diftb at 4:13 AM on September 12, 2005

11. Shift not yourself in the sight of others . . .

Well . . . there goes baseball!
posted by johnj at 4:16 AM on September 12, 2005

MetaFilter: Use no reproachful language against any one; neither curse nor revile.
posted by bwg at 4:28 AM on September 12, 2005

It's a well known fact that "chopping down the cherry tree" was simply a childish euphamism for "shifting oneself".

Don't ask me where the hatchet comes into play.
posted by loquacious at 4:32 AM on September 12, 2005

Now it's required reading at my old stomping grounds. GW was one of the original benefactors of that school.
posted by emelenjr at 5:01 AM on September 12, 2005

2. When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body not usually discovered.

3. Show nothing to your friend that may affright him.

... because #3 would naturally follow #2.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:50 AM on September 12, 2005

Every single one of these could be a Metfailter:...

Metafilter: Play not the peacock
posted by tpl1212 at 5:55 AM on September 12, 2005

I will play the peacock, and there's nothing your or Georgie boy can do about it.
posted by OmieWise at 5:59 AM on September 12, 2005

Compare and contrast to Rumsfeld's Rules (pdf).
posted by mkultra at 7:12 AM on September 12, 2005

Metafilter: talk not with meat in your mouth.
posted by LarryC at 7:45 AM on September 12, 2005

All these [verb] [negation] constructs ('Put not,' 'shift not') that G.Dub keeps using, were those actually common usage in his time, or is that just a cute affection?

I'm thinking that that usage was pretty much dead except in wannabe poetical or classical literature. It makes me think a little bit less of Old Wood Teeth.
posted by teece at 8:36 AM on September 12, 2005

Also mentioned here.
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM on September 12, 2005

Hey now, cut GDubya the first a little slack here. He didn't write the list, he just copied it.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:37 AM on September 12, 2005

Nice - From the Rumsfeld's Rules:

If you foul up, tell the President and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.

(He sure does. Tom Delay, I mean!)
posted by the_barbarian at 10:01 AM on September 12, 2005

12. [...] bedew no man's face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak.
posted by pmbuko at 10:41 AM on September 12, 2005

George Washington compared with George W. Bush.
posted by russilwvong at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2005

George Washington was pretty good with an expense account, too.
posted by Floydd at 12:23 PM on September 12, 2005

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