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Antique Code Of Conduct Written By A Young George Washington

Updated on January 7, 2013
Prayer at Valley Forge
Prayer at Valley Forge

Even As A child

A written code of conduct was found on the inside cover of George Washinton's childhood schoolbook. This extensive code contained 32 principles for men and women to live by. What's amazing is that this code was handwritten by the boy Washington himself!

Here are some of them!

1. Every action in company ought to done with some sign of respect for those present

Paraphrase: Keep in mind who you're with and think before you act!

2. Don’t be glad at the misfortune of others, though they be your enemy

Paraphrase: Even if you don't like a person, don't celebrate when they fall into hard times

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3. In visiting the sick, do not immediately play the physician if you be not knowing therein

Paraphrase: If you don't know what's wrong with someone who is sick, don't suggest your opinions

4. Mock not nor jest at anything of importance

Paraphrase: Don't reduce important things to a crude joke

5. Make no jests that are sharp or biting

Paraphrase: Never make a mean-spirited or cruel joke

6. Use no reproachful language against anyone, neither cursings nor revilings

Paraphrase: Never cuss someone out or rant and rave against them

The earliest known portrait of Washington
The earliest known portrait of Washington

7. Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of anyone

Paraphrase: When you hear rumors about someone you know - get your facts before you believe it

8. Associate yourselves with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for it’s better to be alone than in bad company

Paraphrase: Be careful who you hang out with. It would be better to have no friends that to have friends that drag you into trouble

9. Gaze not at the marks and blemishes of others and ask not how they came

Paraphrase: Don't concentrate on the flaws of other people, and don't ask why they have them

10. What you may speak in secret to your friend, deliver not before others

Paraphrase: if it's a secret between you and your friend, leave it that way

12. If any hesitate in his words, help him not nor prompt him without being desired. Interrupt him not nor answer him till his speech be ended

Paraphrase: Don't try to finish someone else's sentence - Even if you think you know what he's trying to say, let him say it for himself

11. Think before you speak, pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly

Paraphrase: Before you say something, think about it - take your time and be clear. Don't mumble or slur your words

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

Paraphrase: Know your limits, don't make promises you can't keep - when you do make a promise, do what you said!

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

Paraphrase: Don't reduce the Creator of the universe to the punchline to some silly joke

Historian David Barton on George Washington

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

Paraphrase: Always do what's right. If your conscience is bothering you, listen to what it's saying!


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    • FriendofTruth profile image


      6 years ago from Michigan

      I am going to have to print this one out and frame it on the wall and put it in my classroom! These are definitely words of wisdom that need to be taught to children and adults :)

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 

      6 years ago

      Hello, Mettheos,

      This hub is very beneficial. It is these kind of thoughts with which we ought to be permeating our minds, rather than the pure, holy, just, and sagacious programming we get through our TVs. Yes, I suppose I'm being a bit facetious, but when we compare George Washington to what we now see on TV . . . well, we've come a long way, and it has been all downhill toward the belly of the earth.


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