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A Handbook for Twenty-First Century Gentlemen

George Washington's Rules for Freemasons in Life and Lodge (www.macoy.com) Long before social concepts like political correctness or civility, formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech formed a normal, and indispensable, part of a gentlemanly education. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, students absorbed these lessons by, of all things, perfecting penmanship. Their copybooks, a set of blank pages with appropriate social lessons written on each page, would be copied in longhand by the students perfecting their handwriting and instilling valuable socialization at the same time. George Washington's Rules for Freemasons in Life and Lodge is based on George Washington’s own copybook and it forms an essential code of conduct for all Freemasons. Compiled and edited by America’s foremost Masonic scholar on George Washington, Mark A. Tabbert’s Rules highlight must-follow practice for every-day social encounters, as we see in Washington’s original Rule 39, followed by Tabbert’s commentary: In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place. THAT IS TO SAY: Begin all conversations, emails, letters and phone calls in a respectful fashion, until a familiarity is established or granted. Address strangers by a title such as Mr., Ms., Dr., etc., and with last name, or with Sir / Ma’am, and not by their first name or nickname. Tabbert also organizes Washington’s 110 Rules for lodge meetings and refreshment, all thoroughly modernized and adapted to twenty-first century Masonic life, like Washington’s Rule 11: Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails. THAT IS TO SAY: During lodge meeting, sit still, pay attention, respect the work of the evening and do not chew your nails, look at your electronic devices, or otherwise distract your brothers. In addition to Washington’s Rules and modern commentary, the reader will also find, for the first time, an exhaustive chronology of Washington’s Masonic activities and lists of his Masonic letters, books, and artifacts, making George Washington’s Rules for Freemasons in Life and Lodge not only a handbook for the twenty-first century gentleman, but a boon for Washington aficionados everywhere.

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