Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion.
My elder brothers were all put apprentices to different trades. I was put to the grammar-school at eight years of age, my father intending to devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church.
God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: 'This is my country.'
We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information.
From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' my first collection was of John Bunyan's works in separate little volumes.
I have never entered into any controversy in defense of my philosophical opinions; I leave them to take their chance in the world. If they are right, truth and experience will support them; if wrong, they ought to be refuted and rejected. Disputes are apt to sour one's temper and disturb one's quiet.
For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.
O powerful goodness! Bountiful Father! Merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children as the only return in my power for thy continual favours to me."
Ben Franklin was a little stout later in life and it was said that in Paris a young woman, tapping him on his protruding abdomen, said,"Dr. Franklin, if this were on a woman, we'd know what to think." And Franklin replied,"Half an hour ago, Mademoiselle, it was on a woman, and now what do you think?"
If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth. Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle.
Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no persuasion move thee, to do anything which thou knowest to be evil; so shalt thou always live jollity; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.
It is a strange anomaly that men could be careful to insure their houses, their ships, their merchandise, and yet neglect to insure their lives - surely the most important of all to their families, and more subject to loss.
All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?
Courteous Reader, Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, held in high esteem of old, by the Wise and the Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight in Battle, in short, no important affair was undertaken without first consulting an Astrologer.
I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy. The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.
How do you become better tomorrow? By improving yourself, the world is made better. Be not afraid of growing too slowly. Be afraid of standing still. Forget your mistakes, but remember what they taught you. So how do you become better tomorrow? By becoming better today.
I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, make the execution of that same plan his sole study and business.
By playing at Chess then, we may learn: First: Foresight... Second: Circumspection... Third: Caution...And lastly, we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favorable chance, and that of persevering in the secrets of resources
My refusing to eat meat occasioned inconveniency, and I have been frequently chided for my singularity. But my light repast allows for greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension.
The refusal of King George to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the revolution.
Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."
Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions, and spend one penny less than thy clear gains; then shall thy pocket begin to thrive; creditors will not insult, nor want oppress, nor hungerness bite, nor nakedness freeze thee
In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection," he stated. "Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. ... Do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?
Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are in the dealings with one another; sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason.
The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.
Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands ... they produced an effect precisely the reverse to what was intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted, appeared to me much more forcibly than the refutation itself; in a word, I soon became a thorough Deist.
And where is the Prince who can afford to so cover his country with troops for its defense, as that ten thousand men descending from the clouds, might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief, before a force could be brought together to repel them?
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. When it comes to investing, nothing will pay off more than educating yourself. Do the necessary research, study and analysis before making any investment decisions.
I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil.
Since they are our right, let us be vigilant to preserve them uninfringed, and free from encroachments. If animosities arise, and we should be obliged to resort to party, let each of us range himself on the side which unfurls the ensigns of public good. Faction will then vanish, which, if not timely suppressed, may overturn the balance, the palladium of liberty, and crush us under its ruins.
Women are books, and men the readers be, Who sometimes in those books erratas see; Yet oft the reader's raptured with each line, Fair print and paper, fraught with sense divine; Tho' some, neglectful, seldom care to read, And faithful wives no more than bibles heed. Are women books? says Hodge, then would mine were An Almanack, to change her every year.
I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance [as the framing of the Constitution] ... should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being.
Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics...derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
Freedom of speech is the great bulwark of liberty; they prosper and die together: And it is the terror of traitors and oppressors, and a barrier against them. It produces excellent writers, and encourages men of fine genius.
Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least you will, by such conduct, stand the be.
It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; 'tis rather an embrio state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals?
God heals, and the doctor takes the fees. Energy and persistence conquer all things. He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! Oh, it's easier to keep Holidays than Commandments. Well done is better than well said.
We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.
If you can't pay for a thing, don't buy it. If you can't get paid for it, don't sell it. Do this, and you will have calm and drowsy nights, with all of the good business you have now and none of the bad. If you have time, don't wait for time.
I hope...that mankind will at length, as they call themselves reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats; for in my opinion there never was a good war, or a bad peace.
[T]he more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer . . . [taking] away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence of somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health for support in age and sickness.
So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality if we would make our industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a grout at last.
The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose.
Strangers are welcome because there is room enough for them all, and therefore the old Inhabitants are not jealous of them; the Laws protect them sufficiently so that they have no need of the Patronage of great Men; and every one will enjoy securely the Profits of his Industry. But if he does not bring a Fortune with him, he must work and be industrious to live.
There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do - the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.
To inquisitive minds like yours and mine the reflection that the quantity of human knowledge bears no proportion to the quantity of human ignorance must be in one view rather pleasing, viz., that though we are to live forever we may be continually amused and delighted with learning something new.
Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us. Its appetite grows keener by indulgence and all we can gratify it with at present serves but the more to inflame its insatiable desires.
All highly competent people continually search for ways to keep learning, growing, and improving. They do that by asking WHY. After all, the person who knows HOW will always have a job, but the person who knows WHY will always be the boss.
Use now and then a little Exercise a quarter of an Hour before Meals, as to swing a Weight, or swing your Arms about with a small Weight in each Hand; to leap, or the like, for that stirs the Muscles of the Breast.
One today is worth two tomorrows. Lost time is never found again. Time is money. Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff that life is made of. You may delay, but time will not.
A little neglect may breed great mischief. ... For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; for want of a horse, the battle was lost; for want of the battle, the war was lost.
Wisdom is in measured routine. Three naps a day will keep you fit, nine breakfasts before noon, spin until you fall on your back, and thrust your face into a nettle plant. Drink at least five cups of a mare's urine and look upon your self in a silver mirror while you hold your air in your chest.
When you incline to have new clothes, look first well over the old ones, and see if you cannot shift with them another year, either by scouring, mending, or even patching if necessary. Remember, a patch on your coat, and money in your pocket, is better and more creditable, than a writ on your back, and no money to take it off.
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes; and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity.
Among the numerous luxuries of the table...coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions...is never followed by sadness, languor or debility.
In my youth, I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III was the prime reason for the Revolutionary War.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. --written for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its Reply to the Governor of November 11, 1755.
Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no ambition corrupt thee, to do anything which thou knowest to be evil; so shalt thou always live jollily; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.
I am about courting a girl I have had but little acquaintance with. How shall I come to a knowledge of her faults, and whether she has the virtues I imagine she has? Answer. Commend her among her female acquaintances.
Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and he that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.
Notwithstanding my experiments with electricity the thunderbolt continues to fall under our noses and beards; and as for the tyrant, there are a million of us still engaged at snatching away his sceptre.
The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or at nine at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at the billiard-table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day.
It is the man and woman united that makes the complete human being. Separate she lacks his force of body and strength of reason; he her softness, sensibility and acute discernment. Together they are most likely to succeed in the world.
I would advise you to read with a pen in your hand and enter in a little book short hints of what you feel that is common or that may be useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such portcullis in your memory.
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. When you're down to nothing, God is up to something. The faithful see the invisible, believe the incredible and then receive the impossible. Where liberty dwells there is my country.
After all, wedlock is the natural state of man. A bachelor is not a complete human being. He is like the odd half of a pair of scissors, which has not yet found its fellow, and therefore is not even half so useful as they might be together.
To get the bad customs of a country changed and new ones, though better, introduced, it is necessary first to remove the prejudices of the people, enlighten their ignorance, and convince them that their interests will be promoted by the proposed changes; and this is not the work of a day.
There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.
I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel
The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked, than the supine, secure, and negligent.
That is simple. In the Colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay.
Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this.
Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. ... Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.
The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality: that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them everything.
The general policy of the past has been to drive, but the era of force must give way to that of knowledge, and the policy of the future will be to teach and to lead, to the advantage of all concerned. Henry Gantt If a man empties his purse into his head no man can take it from him. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
If time be of all things most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality, since lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing, and doing to a purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity
If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet at the same time express yourself as firmly fix'd in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error.
But the most dangerous Hypocrite in a Common-Wealth, is one who leaves the Gospel for the sake of the Law: A Man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat a whole Country with his Religion, and then destroy them under Colour of Law: And here the Clergy are in great Danger of being deceiv'd, and the People of being deceiv'd by the Clergy, until the Monster arrives to such Power and Wealth, that he is out of the reach of both, and can oppress the People without their own blind Assistance.
If you teach a poor young man to shave himself, and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas. This sum may be soon spent, the regret only remaining of having foolishly consumed it; but in the other case, he escapes the frequent vexation of waiting for barbers, and of their sometimes dirty fingers, offensive breaths, and dull razors.
Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man as far as by it he does not hurt or control the right of another; and this is the only check it ought to suffer and the only bounds it ought to know.... Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech, a thing terrible to traitors.
A man can be beautiful physically, mentally, or personality wise. True beauty, though, is in the spirit. A genuine man who understands right and wrong, with a strong sense of self is beautiful. A man who can be compassionate and caring, but firm and wise. Someone who can do the right thing no matter who's around to see it. Even if the deed is unseen and unrecognized. That is a beautiful man. One today is worth two tomorrows.
The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.
If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it, whenever our legislators shall please so to alter the law and shall chearfully consent to exchange my liberty of abusing others for the privilege of not being abused myself.
I think opinions should be judged by their influences and effects; and if a man holds none that tend to make him less virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded that he holds none that are dangerous, which I hope is the case with me.
That there is one God, who made all things. That he governs the world by his providence. That he might be worshipped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving. But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to Man. That the Soul is immortal. And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.
I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being. ... I believe He is pleased and delights in the happiness of those He has created; and since without virtue man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe He delights to see me virtuous
We must not in the course of public life expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us.
There are three sorts of people in the world: Those who are immovable, people who don't get it, or don't want to do anything about it; there are people who are movable, people who see the need for change and are prepared to listen to it; and there are people who move, people who make things happen.
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. ... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened.
My father's little library consisted chiefly of books in polemic divinity, most of which I read, and have since often regretted that, at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper books had not fallen in my way since it was now resolved I should not be a clergyman.
I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.
All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.
The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths. Almost all Governments have therefore made it a principal Object of their Attention, to establish and endow with proper Revenues, such Seminaries of Learning, as might supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Publick with Honour to themselves, and to their Country.
Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul; then shalt thou reach the point of happiness, and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.
Righteousness, or justice, is, undoubtedly of all the virtues, the surest foundation on which to create and establish a new state. But there are two nobler virtues, industry and frugality, which tend more to increase the wealth, power and grandeur of the community, than all the others without them.
When confronted with two courses of action I jot down on a piece of paper all the arguments in favor of each one, then on the opposite side I write the arguments against each one. Then by weighing the arguments pro and con and cancelling them out, one against the other, I take the course indicated by what remains.
It is the duty of mankind on all suitable occasions to acknowledge their dependence on the Divine Being... Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations... He would take this province under His protection, confound the designs and defeat the attempts of its enemies, and unite our hearts and strengthen our hands in every undertaking that may be for the public good, and for our defense and security in this time of danger.
This gave me occasion to observe, that when Men are employ'd they are best contented. For on the Days they work'd they were good-natur'd and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily; but on the idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour. (Autobiography, 1771)
In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.
god grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that anybody may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: 'This is my country!
O powerful goodness! Bountiful Father! Merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children as the only return in my power for thy continual favours to me.
In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had compleatly overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
On the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted it
Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chess board; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life - that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hoping for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.
Before Noah, men having only water to drink, could not find the truth. Accordingly...they became abominably wicked, and they were justly exterminated by the water they loved to drink. This good man, Noah, having seen that all his contemporaries had perished by this unpleasant drink, took a dislike to it; and God, to relieve his dryness, created the vine and revealed to him the art of making le vin. By the aid of this liquid he unveiled more and more truth.
Unless the Stream of their Importation could be turned... they will soon so outnumber us, that all the advantages we have, will not in my Opinion be able to preserve our Language, and even our Government will become precarious.
Gentlemen, I have lived a long time and am convinced that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? I move that prayer imploring the assistance of Heaven be held every morning before we proceed to business.
The Body of B. Franklin, Printer Like the Cover of an old Book Its Contents turn out And Stript of its Lettering & Guilding Lies here. Food for Worms For, it will as he believed appear once more In a new and more elegant Edition corrected and improved By the Author.
What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility; what an extension of agriculture even to the tops of our mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads, and other public works, edifices, and improvements might not have been obtained by spending those millions in doing good, which in the last war have been spent in doing mischief.
In going on with these Experiments, how many pretty systems do we build, which we soon find ourselves oblig'd to destroy! If there is no other Use discover'd of Electricity, this, however, is something considerable, that it may help to make a vain Man humble.
I have conceived a higher opinion of the natural capacities of the black race than I had ever before entertained. Their apprehension seems as quick, their memory as strong, and their docility in every respect equal to that of white children.
Scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets, according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself.
It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers.
I say it is impossible that so sensible a people [citizens of Paris], under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing.
The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions, for life is a kind of chess.
It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights.
That wise Men have in all Ages thought Government necessary for the Good of Mankind; and, that wise Governments have always thought Religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being of Society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage and protect the Ministers of it, paying them the highest publick Honours, that their Doctrines might thereby meet with the greater Respect among the common People.
Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter, wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are within his sphere of action: and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.
But they have two other Rights; those of sitting when they please, and as long as they please, in which methinks they have the advantage of your Parliament; for they cannot be dissolved by the Breath of a Minister, or sent packing as you were the other day, when it was your earnest desire to have remained longer together.
And as to the Cares, they are chiefly what attend the bringing up of Children; and I would ask any Man who has experienced it, if they are not the most delightful Cares in the World; and if from that Particular alone, he does not find the Bliss of a double State much greater, instead of being less than he expected.
Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general, of what profession or religion soever? Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name, or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship? Do you love truth for truth's sake; and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others.
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.
I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than riches or arms.
When religion is good, it will take care of itself. When it is not able to take care of itself, and God does not see fit to take care of it, so that it has to appeal to the civil power for support, it is evidence to my mind that its cause is a bad one.
I grew convinced that truth, sincerity and integrity in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life, and I formed written resolutions . . . to practice them ever while I lived.
Those renowned generals [Alexander and Caesar] received more faithful service, and performed greater actions by means of the love their soldiers bore them, than they could possibly have done, if instead of being beloved and respected they had been hated and feared by those they commanded.
'Tis true there is much to be done, . . . but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects, for constant dropping wears away stones . . . and little strokes fell great oaks, as Poor Richard says. . . .
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. This sentence was much used in the Revolutionary period. It occurs even so early as November, 1755, in an answer by the Assembly of Pennsylvania to the Governor, and forms the motto of Franklin's "Historical Review," 1759, appearing also in the body of the work. -Frothingham: Rise of the Republic of the United States, p. 413.
Hereafter, if you should observe an occasion to give your officers and friends a little more praise than is their due, and confess more fault than you can justly be charged with, you will only become the sooner for it, a great captain.
"We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable" in a draft of the Declaration of Independence changes it instead into an assertion of rationality. The scientific mind of Franklin drew on the scientific determinism of Isaac Newton and the analytic empiricism of David Hume and Gottfried Leibniz. In what became known as "Hume's Fork" the latters' theory distinguished between synthetic truths that describe matters of fact, and analytic truths that are self-evident by virtue of reason and definition.
When you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests and their selfish views.
If we lose our Money, it gives us some Concern. If we are cheated or robb'd of it, we are angry: But Money lost may be found; what we are robb'd of may be restored: The Treasure of Time once lost, can never be recovered; yet we squander it as tho' 'twere nothing worth, or we had no Use for it....
If we are industrious, we shall never starve; for, at the workingman's house hunger looks in, but dares not enter. Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.
Remember this saying, The good payer is lord of another man's purse. He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare.
Our friend and we were invited aboard on a party of pleasure, which is to last forever. His chair was ready first, and he has gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together; and why should you and I be grieved at this, since we are soon to follow, and know where to find him.
Private property ... is a Creature of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, whenever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing, its contributors therefore to the public Exigencies are not to be considered a Benefit on the Public, entitling the Contributors to the Distinctions of Honor and Power, but as the Return of an Obligation previously received, or as payment for a just Debt.
Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hopes will die fasting. There are no gains without pains. He that hath a trade hath an estate, and he that hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor; but then the trade must be worked at and the calling followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious, we shall never starve; for at the workingman's house hunger looks in, but dares not enter. Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for industry pays debts, while idleness and neglect increase them.
It is wonderful how preposterously the affairs of the world are managed. We assemble parliaments and councils to have the benefit of collected wisdom, but we necessarily have, at the same time, the inconvenience of their collected passions, prejudices and private interests: for regulating commerce an assembly of great men is the greatest fool on earth
You must not, when you have gained a victory, use any triumphing or insulting expressions, nor show too much of the pleasure you feel; but endeavour to console your adversary, and make him less dissatisfied with himself by every kind and civil expression that may be used with truth; such as, you understand the game better than I, but you are a little inattentive, or, you play too fast; or, you had the best of the game, but something happened to divert your thoughts, and that turned it in my favour.
Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might the more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.
A [desire] to abolish slavery prevails in North America, many of the Pennsylvanians have set their slaves at liberty, and [Virginia legislators] have petitioned the King for permission to make a law for preventing the importation of more [slaves] into that colony. This request, however, will probably not be granted, as their former laws of that kind have always been repealed.
In every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever; so that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one.
If anyone should doubt whether the electrical matter passes through the substance of bodies, or only over along their surfaces, a shock from an electrified large glass jar, taken through his own body, will probably convince him.
Masonic ideas are the precious jewels of Speculative Masons; the should be kept bright and sparkling for all the brethren to see and to admire. As such, they should be the special care of Masonic leaders particularly those who teach and interpret the philosophy of Freemasonry.
In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government, but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and believe further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.
Governments having failed the people, the people are entirely justified in assuming for themselves and essential role in government. Where a government takes proper measures to protect the people under its care, such a proceeding might have been thought both unnecessary and unjustifiable: But here it is quite the Reverse.
I firmly believe this ... that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
Thank God! we are in the full enjoyment of all these privileges. But can we be taught to prize them too much? or how can we prize them equal to their value, if we do not know their intrinsic worth, and that they are not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature?
I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented than cured. I think moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven.
History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.
History will also give occasion to expatiate on the advantage of civil orders and constitutions; how men and their properties are protected by joining in societies and establishing government; their industry encouraged and rewarded, arts invented, and life made more comfortable; the advantages of liberty, mischiefs of licentiousness, benefits arising from good laws and a due execution of justice. Thus may the first principles of sound politics be fixed in the minds of youth.
If the new Universal History were also read, it would give a connected idea of human affairs, so far as it goes, which should be followed by the best modern histories, particularly of our mother country; then of these colonies; which should be accompanied with observations on their rise, increase, use to Great Britain, encouragements and discouragements, the means to make them flourish, and secure their liberties.
Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of his neighbor, will feel a pleasure in the reverse. And those who despair to rise in distinction by their virtues, are happy if others can be depressed to a level of themselves.
There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharoah - get first all the people's money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever.
We are spirits. That bodies should be lent us while they afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge or in doing good to our fellow-creatures, is a kind of benevolent act of God. When they become unfit for these purposes and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid become an encumbrance and answer none of these intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is provided by which we get rid of them. Death is that way.
I think that a young state, like a young virgin, should modestly stay at home, and wait the application of suitors for an alliance with her; and not run about offering her amity to all the world; and hazarding their refusal. Our virgin is a jolly one; and tho at present not very rich, will in time be a great fortune, and where she has a favorable predisposition, it seems to me well worth cultivating.
Every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned and well placed, that, without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music. This is an advantage itinerant preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter can not well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals.
Death is a fisherman, the world we see His fish-pond is, and we the fishes be; His net some general sickness; howe'er he Is not so kind as other fishers be; For if they take one of the smaller fry, They throw him in again, he shall not die: But death is sure to kill all he can get, And all is fish with him that comes to net.
This [the U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism... when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.
Whether a Commonwealth suffers more by hypocritical pretenders to religion or by the openly profane? The most dangerous hypocrite in a Commonwealth is one who leaves the gospel for the sake of the law. A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law.
When I see nothing annihilated, and not even a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls Thus finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine; hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.
If we can sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided. If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing dreams, it is as the French say, tant gagne, so much added to the pleasure of life.
Pride is as loud a beggar as want, and a great deal more saucy. When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but it is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.
The riches of a country are to be valued by the quantity of labor its inhabitants are able to purchase, and not by the quantity of silver and gold they possess; which will purchase more or less labor, and therefore is more or less valuable, as is said before, according to its scarcity or plenty.
Perhaps the history of the errors of mankind, all things considered, is more valuable and interesting than that of their discoveries. Truth is uniform and narrow; it constantly exists, and does not seem to require so much an active energy, as a passive aptitude of the soul in order to encounter it. But error is endlessly diversified; it has no reality, but is the pure and simple creation of the mind that invents it. In this field the soul has room enough to expand herself, to display all her boundless faculties, and all her beautiful and interesting extravagancies and absurdities.
If the elbow had been placed closer to the hand, the forearm would have been too short to bring the glass to the mouth; and if it had been closer to the shoulder, the forearm would have been so long that it would have carried the glass beyond the mouth.
Wherever desirable superfluities are imported, industry is excited, and thereby plenty is produced. Were only necessaries permitted to be purchased, men would work no more than was necessary for that purpose.
We are not certain, we are never certain. If we were we could reach some conclusions, and we could, at last, make others take us seriously. In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
In New England they once thought blackbirds useless, and mischievous to the corn. They made efforts to destroy them. The consequence was, the blackbirds were diminished; but a kind of worm, which devoured their grass, and which the blackbirds used to feed on, increased prodigiously; then, finding their loss in grass much greater than their saving in corn, they wished again for their blackbirds.
The electrical matter consists of particles extremely subtile, since it can permeate common matter, even the densest metals, with such ease and freedom as not to receive any perceptible resistance. If anyone should doubt whether the electrical matter passes through the substance of bodies, or only over along their surfaces, a shock from an electrified large glass jar, taken through his own body, will probably convince him. Electrical matter differs from common matter in this, that the parts of the latter mutually attract, those of the former mutually repel each other.
What signifies Philosophy that does not apply to some Use? May we not learn from hence, that black Clothes are not so fit to wear in a hot Sunny Climate or Season, as white ones; because in such Cloaths the Body is more heated by the Sun when we walk abroad, and are at the same time heated by the Exercise, which double Heat is apt to bring on putrid dangerous Fevers? The Soldiers and Seamen, who must march and labour in the Sun, should in the East or West Indies have an Uniform of white?
...Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion...
I imagine it great vanity in me to suppose that the Supremely Perfect does in the least regard such an inconsiderable nothing as man. More especially, since it is impossible for me to have any positive, clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible, I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.
We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it' I firmly believe this; by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by word down to future ages.
While the path to wealth is clearly marked, few are willing to adapt themselves to the modest discipline that the journey requires. Instead, most choose the shinier track of debt-driven consumption, which they find further along is covered in vines and thorns.
an enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the rights, and destructive of the common happiness of mankind, and, therefore, every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the possession of such property.
I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of embalming drowned persons in such a manner that they may be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine with a few friends till that time, to be then recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country!
The rapid progress of the sciences makes me sorry, at times, that I was born so soon. Imagine the power that man will have over matter, a few hundred years from now. We may learn how to remove gravity from large masses, and float them over great distances. Agriculture will double its produce with less labor. All diseases will surely be cured... even old age. If only the moral sciences could be improved as well. Perhaps men would cease to be wolves to one another... and human beings could learn to be human.
1) Temperance... drink not to elevation. (2) Silence... avoid trifling conversations. (3) Order: Let all your things have their places... (4) Resolution... perform without fail what you resolve. (5) Frugality... i.e. waste nothing. (6) Industry: Lose no time; be always employ'd... (7) Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently... (8) Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries... (9) Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting... (10) Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body... (11) Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles... (12) Chastity (13) Humility : Imitate Jesus....
You will see in this my notion of good works, that I am far from expecting to merit heaven by them. By heaven we understand a state of happiness, infinite in degree, and eternal in duration. I can do nothing to deserve such rewards... Even the mixed imperfect pleasures we enjoy in this world, are rather from God's goodness than our merit, how much more such happiness of heaven!
In whatever country Jews have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded, by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within the state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.
For over 1,700 years, the Jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race.
If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.
Grievances cannot be redressed until they are known; and they cannot be known but through complaints and petitions. If these are deemed affronts, and the messengers punished as offenders, who will henceforth send petitions? And who will deliver them? Wise governments encouraged the airing of grievances, even those that were lightly founded Foolish governments did the opposite - to their peril. Where complaining is a crime, hope becomes despair.
The importation of foreigners into a country that has as many inhabitants as the present employments and provisions for subsistence will bear, will be in the end no increase of people, unless the new comers have more industry and frugality than the natives, and then they will provide more subsistence, and increase in the country; but they will gradually eat the natives out. Nor is it necessary to bring in foreigners to fill up any occasional vacancy in a country for such vacancy will soon be filled by natural generation.
My dear friend, do not imagine that I am vain enough to ascribe our success [Revolution] to any superiority . . . If it had not been for the justice of our cause, and the consequent interposition of Providence, in which we had faith, we must have been ruined. If I had ever before been an atheist, I should now have been convinced of the being and government of a Deity!
Let every fart count as a peal of thunder for liberty. Let every fart remind the nation of how much it has let pass out of its control. It is a small gesture, but one that can be very effective - especially in a large crowd. So fart, and if you must, fart often. But always fart without apology. Fart for freedom, fart for liberty - and fart proudly.
It might be judged an affront to your understanding should I go about to prove this first principle; the existence of a Diety and that He is the Creator of the universe, for that would suppose you ignorant of what all mankind in all ages have agreed in.
The cause of the South was the cause of constitutional government, the cause of government regulated by law, and the cause of honesty and fidelity in public servants. No nobler cause did man ever fight for!
When about 16 Years of Age, I happened to meet with a Book written by one Tryon, recommending a Vegetable Diet. I determined to go into it.... My refusing to eat Flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity....
The happy State of Matrimony is, undoubtedly, the surest and most lasting Foundation of Comfort and Love . . . the Cause of all good Order in the World, and what alone preserves it from the utmost Confusion.
Were the offer made true, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the same career of life. All I would ask should be the privilege of an author, to correct, in a second edition, certain errors of the first.
Every other sect supposes itself in possession of the truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong. Like a man traveling in foggy weather they see those at a distance before them wrapped up in a fog, as well as those behind them, and also people in the fields on each side; but near them, all appears clear, though in truth they are as much in the fog as any of them.
I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity.
If we look back in history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find a few that have not in their turns been persecutors and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practised it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both there (England) and New England.
There remain a few people in NASA who are there to accomplish great things; but most of NASA now consists of the people who accomplished the extraordinary feat of making mankind's greatest achievements look dull, then making it impossible to repeat them.Yet what man has done man can aspire to. About light I am in the dark.
An iron rod being placed on the outside of a building from the highest part continued down into the moist earth, in any direction strait or crooked, following the form of the roof or other parts of the building, will receive the lightning at its upper end, attracting it so as to prevent it's striking any other part; and, affording it a good conveyance into the earth, will prevent its damaging any part of the building.
If a sound body and a sound mind, which is as much as to say health and virtue, are to be preferred before all other considerations, ought not men, in choosing a business either for themselves or children, to refuse such as are unwholesome for the body, and such as make a man too dependent, too much obliged to please others, and too much subjected to their humors in order to be recommended and get a livelihood?
To expect people to be good, to be just, to be temperate, etc., without showing them how they should become so, seems like the ineffectual charity mentioned by the apostle, which consisted in saying to the hungry, the cold and the naked, be ye fed, be ye warmed, be ye clothed, without showing them how they should get food, fire or clothing.
Men are subject to various inconveniences merely through lack of a small share of courage, which is a quality very necessary in the common occurrences of life, as well as in a battle. How many impertinences do we daily suffer with great uneasiness, because we have not courage enough to discover our dislike.
And we daily in our experiments electrise bodies plus or minus, as we think proper. [These terms we may use till your Philosophers give us better.] To electrise plus or minus, no more needs to be known than this, that the parts of the Tube or Sphere, that are rubb'd, do, in the Instant of Friction, attract the Electrical Fire, and therefore take it from the Thin rubbing; the same parts immediately, as the Friction upon them ceases, are disposed to give the fire they have received, to any Body that has less.
Furnished as all Europe now is with Academies of Science, with nice instruments and the spirit of experiment, the progress of human knowledge will be rapid and discoveries made of which we have at present no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born so soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known a hundred years hence.
My rule, in which I have always found satisfaction, is, never to turn aside in public affairs through views of private interest; but to go straight forward in doing what appears to me right at the time, leaving the consequences with Providence.
Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it; Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith.
Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six, turned again it is seven and threepence, and so on, till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.
As to the kindness you mention, I wish I could have been of more service to you than I have been, but if I had, the only thanks that I should desire are that you would always be ready to serve any other person that may need your assistance, and so let good offices go around, for humankind are all of a family. As for my own part, when I am employed in serving others I do not look upon myself as conferring favors but paying debts.
Certainlie these things agree, The Priest, the Lawyer, & Death all three: Death takes both the weak and the strong. The lawyer takes from both right and wrong, And the priest from living and dead has his Fee.
Keep out of the Sight of Feasts and Banquets as much as may be; for 'tis more difficult to refrain good Cheer, when it's present, than from the Desire of it when it is away; the like you may observe in the Objects of all the other Senses.
My List of Virtues contain'd at first but twelve: But a Quaker Friend having kindly inform'd me that I was generally thought proud; that my Pride show'd itself frequently in Conversation; that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any Point, but was overbearing & rather insolent; of which he convinc'd me by mentioning several Instances; - I determined endeavouring to cure myself ..., and I added Humility to my List, giving an extensive Meaning to the Word.