Though often attributed to George Washington, was most likely a handwriting exercise copied out by George Washington as a youngster. Of the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation, these are a choice few:
- Every action in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present.
- Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another.
- Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.
- Undertake not to teach your equal in the art himself professes.
- When a man does all he can, though it succeeds not well, blame not him that did it.
- Take all admonitions thankfully.
- Wherein you reprove another be unblamable yourself.
- Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any.
- Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
- Give not advice without being asked and when desired do it briefly.
- Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach to those that speak in private.
- Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise.
- In disputes, be not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to each one to deliver his opinion.
- Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.
- When you speak of God or His attributes, let it be seriously in reverence. Honor and obey your natural parents.
- Let your recreations be manful, not sinful.
- Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
Monumental Robert E. Lee
Lee opposed the dissolution of the Union, as much as he opposed slavery, but his loyalty was to his home, the state of Virginia.
On the Fourth of July
But corruptible absolute power ended with “When in the course of human events… .”