It never hurts to be reacquainted with George Washington. His desire to improve himself, to be comfortable in the company of others, should be followed by all. When he was a child growing up on Ferry Farm in Virginia, he was in awe of his older brother Lawrence. When Lawrence returned from war, he was George's hero. George hung on every story. So when his older brother married and entertained social circles of Virginia, George wanted to know how to be behave as a gentleman of his time should behave.
He came across a book that taught rules of behavior, and George copied these into his book, Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior.
Present society could use these selected lessons for Gentlemanly behavior:
(some of our favorite - spelling all his)
1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
2d When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered.
3d Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him.
4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
5th If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkercheif or Hand before your face and turn aside.
6th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Drest.
19th let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.
20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.
21st: Reproach none for the Infirmaties of Nature, nor Delight to Put them that have in mind thereof.
22d Shew not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
23d When you see a Crime punished, you may be inwardly Pleased; but always shew Pity to the Suffering Offender.
24th Do not laugh too loud or too much at any Publick Spectacle.
43d Do not express Joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary Passion will aggravate his Misery.
44th When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it.
56th Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad Company.
76th 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.
77th Treat with men at fit Times about Business & Whisper not in the Company of Others.
81st Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.
82d undertake not what you cannot perform but be carefull to keep your promise.
83d when you deliver a matter do it without passion & with discretion, however mean the person be you do it too.
87th Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others Say.
89th Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.
90th Being Set at meat Scratch not neither Spit Cough or blow your Nose except there's a Necessity for it.
108th When you Speak of God or his Atributes, let it be Seriously & wt. Reverence. Honour & Obey your Natural Parents altho they be Poor.
109th Let your Recreations be Manfull not Sinfull.
110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.a complete list here