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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I had a copy of President James A. Garfield's "Rules for Living" but have been unable to locate it for several months.

It seems that one of President Garfield's friends gave him a list of rules for moral living, which Garfield carried in his wallet for the rest of his life. These rules have been published in various periodicals.

I would appreciate it if you could locate a copy of these "rules for living" and print them in your column. I'm sure that many people would benefit from reading them again, and possibly for the first time.

I'm signing my name, but if you print this, please omit my name and sign this ... A MOMENT IN HISTORY

DEAR MOMENT: I have not seen the rules for living that you mention, but I came across a profound piece of philosophy attributed to President James Garfield. It is from a book I own titled "Facts About the Presidents" by Joseph Nathan Kane:


"I do not care what others say and think about me. But there is one man's opinion which I very much value, and that is the opinion of James Garfield. Others I need not think about. I can get away from them, but I have to be with him all the time. He is with me when I rise up and when I lie down; when I eat and talk; when I go out and come in. It makes a great difference whether he thinks well of me or not."

DEAR ABBY: What is proper etiquette when video-recording in someone else's home? My mother frequently visits my brother and his wife in another city with her trusty videocamera in tow. My brother and their toddler are always shot in their best light, but somehow she always manages to catch and film my sister-in-law first thing in the morning as she makes her bleary-eyed way to the bathroom. Mom especially likes shooting the dirty dishes or piles of laundry.

I've asked Mom why she didn't put down the camera and help with the chores, or at least film the great feast that led to the dirty dishes, but it does no good.

My mother makes no secret of her dislike for my brother's wife and uses her electronic demon to exact some demented pleasure. Is there a noncombative way of saying, "Leave the damn thing at home"? -- NOT EVEN A STATE, PLEASE

DEAR NOT EVEN: The best way to deal with this is for your brother to firmly tell your mother that she is welcome to visit -- on the condition that she leave her camcorder at home.

DEAR READERS: Mark Twain was a silent participant at a dinner party in Hartford, Conn., one evening. When he was chided afterward for not saying anything, he replied that his host had talked so incessantly as to leave little opportunity for any conversation.

"It reminds me of the man who was reproached by a friend, who said, 'I think it's a shame that you have not spoken to your wife for 15 years. How do you justify it?'

"The husband replied, 'I didn't want to interrupt her.'"

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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