George Washington wrote a set of rules about how a man should behave in public. This is the fifth part of my posting of these rules. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!
51 Wear not your clothes foul, or ripped, or dusty, but see they be brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any uncleanness.
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 time and places.
53 Run not in the streets, neither go too slowly, nor with mouth open; go not shaking of arms, nor upon the toes, nor in a dancing [damaged manuscript].
54 Play not the peacock, looking every where about you, to see if you be well decked, if your shoes fit well, if your stockings sit neatly and clothes handsomely.
55 Eat not in the streets, nor in your house, out of season.
56 Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.
57 In walking up and down in a house, only with one in company if he be greater than yourself, at the first give him the right hand and stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him; if he be a man of great quality walk not with him cheek by jowl but somewhat behind him but yet in such a manner that he may easily speak to you.
58 Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for ’tis a sign of a tractable and commendable nature and in all causes of passion permit reason to govern.
59 Never express anything unbecoming, nor act against the rules before your inferiors.
60 Be not immodest in urging your friends to discover a secret.
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