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George Washington's Birthday

( Originally Published 1916 )



SAID BY WASHINGTON

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness.

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.

The very idea of the power and right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

If there was the same propensity in mankind for investigating the motives, as there is for censuring the conduct, of public characters, it would be found that the censure so freely bestowed is oftentimes unmerited and uncharitable.

Where is the man to be found who wishes to remain indebted for the defense of his own person and property to the exertions, the bravery, and the blood of others, without making one generous effort to repay the debt of honor and gratitude?

There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake.

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is to have with them as little political connection as possible.

There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation.

Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice ?

The name American must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.

To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable.

Every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest should be indignantly frowned upon.

Let us impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.

Let us erect a standard to which the wise and honest may repair.

'Tis substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.

It is incumbent upon every person of every description to contribute to his country's welfare.

It would be repugnant to the vital principles of our government virtually to exclude from public trusts, talents and virtue, unless accompanied by wealth.

Give such encouragements to our own navigation as will render our commerce less dependent on foreign bottoms.

I have never made an appointment from a desire to serve a friend or relative.

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



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