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Read to a Child Old Stories of Virtue
Washington's Rules of Conduct

George Washington

The stories and pictures on this page
(and on the cover) are from Johnson's
Fourth Reader - by Miss Louis Manly.
Richmond VA, B.F. Publishing
Company, 1897, and The Beginners
American History by D.H. Montgomery.
Boston, MA., Ginn & Company, 1892.

George Washington's father died when George was only eleven years old, leaving him, with his brothers and sisters, to the care of a most excellent and sensible mother. It was that mother's influence, more than anything else, which made George the man he became.

George went to a little country school, where he learned to read, write, and cipher. By the time he was twelve, he could write a clear, bold hand. Here is Washington's signature at the age of twelve:

Geo Washington Signature

In one of his writing-books he copied many good rules and sayings. Here are some of these sayings:

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise.

Be not forward, but friendly and courteous.

Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach to those that speak in private.

Be not tedious in disclosure.

Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.

Let your recreations be manful, not sinful.

When a man does all that he can, though it succeeds not well, blame him not.

Mock not, nor jest at anything of importance; break no jests that are sharp-biting, and, if you deliver anything witty and pleasant, abstain from laughing thereat yourself.

Use no reproachable language against any one, neither curse nor revile.

Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation.

Be not immodest in urging your friend to discover a secret.

Speak not of doleful things in time of mirth, nor at the table.

Break not a jest where none takes pleasure in mirth.

Laugh not aloud, nor at all without occasion.

When you speak of God or His attributes, let it be seriously, in reverence.

Other Articles on George Washington:

 Proclamation Honoring George Washington

 The Premier American Hero — George Washington

 Whatever Happened to George Washington?

 Washington's Rules of Conduct

 George Washington's Advice

 Washington's Farewell Address

 The Papers of George Washington, University of Virginia.

Library of Congress:
George Washington Papers

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