tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late.
They that can give up essential liberty to
obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Whatever is begun in anger
ends in shame.
Wise men don't need advice; fools don't take it.
of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
If a man empties his
purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.
are some proverbs and aphorisms from Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack.
are no gains without pains.
At the working man’s house hunger looks in but dares not enter.
pays debts while despair increases them.
Diligence is the mother of good luck.
all things to industry.
Plough deep while sluggards sleep and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.
while it is called today for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow.
One today is worth
Have you something to do tomorrow? Do it today.
If you were a
servant would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Then if you are your own master be ashamed to catch
Trouble springs from idleness and grievous toil from needless ease.
gives comfort and plenty and respect.
Keep thy shop and thy shop will keep thee.
you would have your business done, go; if not, send.
Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge.
to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.
If you would have a faithful servant and one that you like
— serve yourself.
If you would be wealthy think of saving as well as getting:
The Indies have not made Spain rich because her outgoes are greater than her incomes.
Women and wine,
game and deceit make the wealth small and the wants great.
Many estates are spent in the getting,
Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting, And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.
one vice would bring up two children.
Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.
dainties love shall beggars prove.
You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now
and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a
little finer, and a little more entertainment now and then can be no great matter but remember what Poor Richard says “Many
a little makes a mickle; beware of little expense for a small leak will sink a great ship.”
thou has no need of and ere long thou shall sell thy necessaries.
Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets
have put out the kitchen fire.
A child and a fool imagine twenty shillings and twenty years can
never be spent.
To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.
crosses and losses Men grow humbler and wiser.
The proud hate pride — in others.
dines on Vanity, sups on Contempt.
Pride breakfasted with Plenty Dined with poverty Supped with Infamy.
and Praise-all are two blockheads.
Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other,
and scarce in that.
It is ill-manners to silence a fool and cruelty to let him go on.
wise man draws more advantage from his enemies than the fool from his friends.
A learned blockhead
is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
The learned fool writes his nonsense in better languages
than the unlearned; but still it is nonsense.
When befriended, remember it; When you befriend, forget
He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
He that has a trade has an estate.
noblest question in the world is What good may I do in it?
Sell not virtue to purchase wealth nor
liberty to purchase power.
Nothing brings more pain than too much pleasure; nothing more bondage than
too much liberty.
Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones.
one vicious habit rooted out, In time might make the worst man good throughout.
Hear no ill of
a friend, nor speak any of an enemy.
Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure when he is really
selling himself a slave to it.
Having been poor is no shame; but being ashamed of it is.
hard but glorious to be poor and honest.
Meanness is the parent of insolence.
man has few idle visitors; to the boiling pot the flies come not.
If you would reap praise you must sow
the seeds, Gentle words and useful deeds.
Anger is never without a reason but seldom with a good one.
and a trade are a child’s best portion.
Love your neighbor Yet don’t pull down your hedge.
that does what he should not shall feel what he would not.
The honest man takes pains and then enjoys
pleasures; The knave takes pleasures and then suffers pains.
What you would seem to be, be really.
never made a good bargain.
The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his
Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that have not wit enough to be honest.
does not drown care, but waters it, and makes it grow fast.
Three good meals a day is bad living.
comes the orator! With his flood of words and his drop of reason.
He that speaks much is much mistaken.
not all thou knoweth, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou canst.
Words may shew a man’s wit but actions
A great talker may be no fool but he is one that relies on him.
lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.
All things are easy to industry, All things are difficult
Take this remark from Richard poor and lame, Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
The sun never repents of the good he does, nor does he ever
If what most men admire they would despise, It would look as if mankind were
He that would live in peace and ease Must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.
of three things: Whence you came, Where you are going, And to whom you must account.
is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.
Be civil to all, serviceable to many, familiar with few,
friend to one, enemy to none.
Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.
ashamed to catch thyself idle.
Fear to do evil and you need fear nothing else.
sense and learning may esteem obtain, Humor and wit a laugh, if rightly taken; Fair virtue admiration may impart; But tis
good-nature only wins the heart.
It moulds the body to an easy grace, And brightens every feature
of the face; It smooths the unpolished tongue with eloquence, And adds persuasion to the finest sense.
strong? He that can conquer his bad habits. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.
so much to live long as to live well.
For age and want save while you may; No morning sun lasts
a whole day.
If you would not be forgotten As soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth
reading Or do things worth writing.
Youth is pert and positive, Age modest and doubting; So ears of
corn when young and bright, stand bold upright, But hang their heads when weighty, full and ripe.
have long arms, but Misfortune longer, Let none think themselves out of her reach.
Ah simple man!
When a boy two precious jewels were given thee, Time and good advice, One thou has lost and the other thrown away.
money to an enemy and you will gain him, to a friend and you will lose him.
Beware of little expenses, a small leak
will sink a great ship.
When prosperity was well mounted, she let go the bridle, and soon came tumbling
out of the saddle.
There are three faithful friends — An old wife, an old dog, and ready
Bargaining has neither friends nor relations.
He that is of
the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced
Marry above thy match and you will get a master.
When there is
marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage,
half shut afterwards.
You can bear your own faults and why not a fault in your wife?
linen, girls and gold so bright choose not to take by candle-light.
The way to be safe is never to be secure.
not with other folk’s women or money.
Visits should be short, like a winters day, Lest you are
too troublesome hasten away.
Hunger never saw bad bread.
Beware of meat twice boiled
of an old foe reconciled.
Fish and visitors stink in three days.
better than the ant, and she says nothing.
He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes
I never saw an oft-transplanted tree, nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well
as those that settled be.
Who has deceived thee as often as thyself?
the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault or acknowledge himself in an error.
and another shall not betray thee.
Woulds’t thou confound thy enemy, be good thyself.
signifies knowing the names if you know not the natures of things?
Glass, China and Reputation are easily
cracked and never well mended.
He that best understands the world, least likes it.
people return small favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with ingratitude.
power is apt to be insolent, sudden liberty saucy, that balances best which has grown gradually.
man finds no easy chair.
Little rogues easily become great ones.
sense is wanting everything is wanting.
The wolf sheds his coat once a year, his disposition never.
flowereth but beareth no fruit.
Silence is not always a sign of wisdom but babbling is ever a
mark of folly.
How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to
An open foe may prove a curse but a pretended friend is worse.
Humility makes great men twice honourable.
Blessed is he who expects nothing for
he shall never be disappointed.
Success has ruined many a man.
taking out of the meal tub and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom.
When the well is dry — they know
the worth of water.
If you will not hear and obey reason she will surely rap your knuckles.
countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
Many a long dispute among Divines may
be thus abridged: “It is so. It is not so. It is so. It is not so.”
Ill customs and
bad advise are seldom forgotten.
No better relation than a prudent and faithful friend.
honest man will receive neither money nor praise that is not his due.
Many Foxes grow grey, but few grow good.
makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
If your head is wax, don’t walk in the sun.
beware; he’ll cheat without scruple, who can without fear.
The king’s cheese is half wasted
in parings; but no matter, ’tis made of the people’s milk.
There’s many witty men whose brains
can’t fill their bellies.
Let all men know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly; men freely
ford that see the shallows.
How many observe Christ’s birthday: How few his precepts!
’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.
is much difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him.
They who have nothing to trouble them
will be troubled at nothing.
Half wits talk much but say little.
He that buys by
the penny maintains not only himself, but other people.
Let thy maid-servant be faithful, strong,
Declaiming against pride is not always a sign of humility.
who in quarrels interpose, must often wipe a bloody nose.
There are no fools so troublesome as those
who have wit.
Quarrels never could last long, If on one side only lay the wrong.
of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart.
Visit your aunt, but not every day; and
call at your brother’s, but not every night.
Hear Reason, or she’ll make you feel her.
there is hunger, law is not regarded; and where law is not regarded, there will be hunger.
are lazy minds as well as lazy bodies.
Wish not so much to live long, as to live well.
words make no friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.
increases, fortune declines.
Life with fools consists in drinking; with the wise man, living’s thinking.
is strong? He that can conquer his bad habits.
Dine with little, sup with less: Do better still; sleep
A man in a passion rides a mad horse.
The wise man draws more advantage from
his enemies, than the fool from his friends.
Industry, perseverance, and frugality make fortune yield.
to do ill, and you need fear nought else.
Seek virtue, and of that possess, To providence resign the
Many would live by their wits, but break for want of stock.
and folly walk cheek by jowl; Repentance treads on both their heels.
Be not niggardly in what costs thee nothing,
as courtesy, counsel, and countenance.
Man’s tongue is soft, And bone doth lack; Yet a stroke
therewith May break a man’s back.
Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really
and truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all.
Tim was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages.
So ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.
You may talk too much on the best of subjects.
same man cannot be both friend and flatterer.
He who multiplies riches multiplies cares.
poor have little, Beggars none; The rich too much, Enough not one.
Pay what you owe and you will know what
is your own.
Those who are feared are hated.
If you would keep your secret from an
enemy, tell it not to a friend.
The things which hurt, instruct.
of a master will do more work than his hand.
Eat few suppers and you’ll need few medicines.
lie stands on one leg, Truth on two.
Mankind are very odd creatures: One half censure what they
practice, The other half practice what they censure, The rest always say and do as they ought.
daughter will prove an unmanageable wife.
Love well, whip well.
live, and not live to eat.
To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
talkers, little doers.
Wise men learn by others’ harms; Fools by their own.
won’t be counselled, can’t be helped.
All things are cheap to the saving, dear to the wasteful.
you ride a horse sit close and tight, if you ride a man sit easy and light.
Would you persuade, speak of interest,
not of reason.
He that waits on fortune is never sure of a dinner.
of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.
A house without
woman and firelight is like a body without soul or spirit.
Do good to thy friend to hold him, to
thy enemy to gain him.
Teach your child to hold his tongue, he’ll learn fast enough to speak.
rivers and bad governments the lightest things swim at top.
Cut the wings of your hens and hopes,
lest they lead you a weary dance after them.
Would you live with ease, do what you ought, not what you
The horse thinks one thing, and he that saddles him another.
affairs of this world men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it.
Friendship cannot live with ceremony,
nor without civility.
Men and melons are hard to know.
The thrifty maxim
of the wary Dutch, is to save all the money they can touch.
It is better to take many injuries than
to give one.
An old young man will be a young old man.
Do not do that which you would not have
If you would live long, live well; for folly and wickedness shorten life.
works wonders now and then; Behold! a lawyer, an honest man.
He that pays for work before it’s
done has but a pennyworth for two pence.
You may be more happy than princes if you will be more virtuous.
ill wound, but not an ill name, may be healed.
Thou can’st not joke an enemy into a friend, but thou
may’st a friend into an enemy.
Many dishes, many diseases.
of a reproach is the truth of it.
A good wife and health is a man’s best wealth.
and happiness are mother and daughter.
A quarrelsome man has no good neighbors.
a man would have been worse if his estate had been better.
Don’t throw stones at your neighbors’
if your own windows are glass.
The honey is sweet, but the bee has a sting.
sells upon trust loses many friends, and always wants money.
Time is an herb that cures all diseases.
you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.
Good wives and good plantations are made
by good husbands.
He that scatters thorns, let him not go barefoot.
that worst of evils, makes some men fools, some beasts, some devils.
‘Tis easier to suppress the first
desire than to satisfy all that follow it.
Don’t judge of men’s wealth or piety by their
The Wise and Brave dares own that he was wrong.
thy secret thou dost tell, to him thy freedom thou dost sell.
He that pursues two hares at once, does
not catch one and lets the other go.
Don’t go to the doctor with every distemper, nor to
the lawyer with every quarrel, nor to the pot with every thirst.
The rotten apple spoils his companion.
saw few die of hunger; of eating — 100,000.
Friendship increases by visiting friends, but by visiting
If your riches are yours, why don’t you take them with you to t’other world?
great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults, greater to tell him his.
to prevent bad habits than to break them.
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
and let every New Year find you a better man.
Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the
difference is only in the price.
He that would travel much should eat little.
give the man an office, but you cannot give him discretion.
Willows are weak but they bind the faggot.
is a governor that governs his passions, and he is a servant that serves them.
Virtue may not
always make a face handsome, but vice will certainly make it ugly.
It’s common for men to give 6 pretended
reasons instead of one real one.
Where carcasses are, eagles will gather, And where good laws are,
much people flock thither.
Fools multiply folly.
Beauty & folly are old companions.
of gain Lessens pain.
All things are easy to Industry, All things difficult to Sloth.
a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parly.
A good Man is seldom uneasy, an ill one
An innocent Plowman is more worthy than a vicious Prince.
Water, Put the Money in your Pocket, and leave the Dry- bellyache in the Punchbowl.
He that is rich
need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.
If you would be revenged of your enemy,
As sore places meet most rubs, proud folks meet most affronts.
for sake of Drink neglects his Trade, And spends each Night in Taverns till ’tis late, And rises when the Sun is four
hours high, And ne’er regards his starving Family; God in his Mercy may do much to save him. But, woe to the poor Wife,
whose Lot it is to have him.
Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.
and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable.
Full of courtesy, full of craft.
of Fools is ancient.
If Pride leads the Van, Beggary brings up the Rear.
the Body, Pleasures the Understanding.
Of learned Fools I have seen ten times ten, Of unlearned
wise men I have seen a hundred.
A man is never so ridiculous by those Qualities that are his own
as by those that he affects to have.
Deny Self for Self’s sake.
Follies have pleas’d, Fools have been able to divert.
If you know how to spend less than you
get, you have the Philosophers-Stone.
Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming.
none deceived but he that trusts.
If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.
better leave for an enemy at one’s death, than beg of a friend in one’s life.
If thou hast wit & learning, add to it Wisdom and Modesty.
never seen the Philosopher’s Stone that turns lead into Gold, but I have known the pursuit of it turn a Man’s
Gold into Lead.
Reading makes a full Man, Meditation a profound Man, discourse a clear Man.
relate, not so much what is done, as what they would have believed.
He that falls in love with himself, will
have no Rivals.
Rather go to bed supperless, than run in debt for a Breakfast.
Discontents be Secrets.
A Man of Knowledge like a rich Soil, feeds If not a world of Corn, a world
No Resolution of Repenting hereafter can be sincere.
thy Father and Mother, i.e. Live so as to be an Honour to them tho’ they are dead.
injurest Conscience, it will have its Revenge on thee.
Beware of him that is slow to anger: He
is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.
No longer virtuous no longer free; is
a Maxim as true with regard to a private Person as a Common-wealth.
Let our Fathers and Grandfathers be valued
for their Goodness, ourselves for our own.
Industry need not wish.
not hurtful because it is forbidden but it is forbidden because it’s hurtful. Nor is a Duty beneficial because it is
commanded, but it is commanded, because it’s beneficial.
Love, and be lov’d.
Lazy-Bones! Dost thou think God would have given thee Arms and Legs, if he had not design’d thou should’st use
No wonder Tom grows fat, th’ unwieldy sinner, Makes his whole life but one continual
None are deceived but they that confide.
A wolf eats sheep but now and then, Ten
thousands are devour’d by men.
To all apparent beauties blind Each blemish strikes an envious
Thou hadst better eat salt with the Philosophers of Greece, than sugar with the Courtiers
He makes a Foe who makes a jest.
Who knows a fool, must know his brother;
For one will recommend another.
Avoid dishonest Gain: No price Can recompence the Pangs of Vice.
befriended, remember it: When you befriend, forget it.
Great souls with generous pity melt; Which
coward tyrants never felt.
Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.
of the skilful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master.
Best is the Tongue that feels the rein;
He that talks much, must talk in vain; We from the wordy Torrent fly: Who listens to the chattering Pye?
Monkeys warm with envious spite, Their most obliging FRIENDS will bite; And, fond to copy
human Ways, Practise new Mischiefs all their days.
Let thy discontents be thy Secrets; if the world knows them,
’twill despise thee and increase them.
E’er you remark another’s Sin, Bid your own
Conscience look within.
At 20 years of age the Will reigns; at 30 the Wit; at 40 the Judgment.
rides upon Debt’s back.
Clearly spoken, Mr. Fog! You explain English by Greek.
are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit.
Let no Pleasure tempt thee, no Profit allure thee, no Ambition
corrupt thee, no Example sway thee, no Persuasion move thee, to do any thing which thou knowest to be Evil; So shalt thou
always live jollily: for a good Conscience is a continual Christmas.
He that speaks ill of the Mare, will buy
Against Diseases here, the strongest Fence, Is the defensive Virtue, Abstinence.
thou dost ill, the joy fades, not the pains; If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains.
thou enjoy a long Life, a healthy Body, and a vigorous Mind, and be acquainted also with the wonderful Works of God? labour
in the first place to bring thy Appetite into Subjection to Reason.
In prosperous fortunes be modest and wise,
The greatest may fall, and the lowest may rise: But insolent People that fall in disgrace, Are wretched and no-body pities
Content and Riches seldom meet together, Riches take thou, contentment I had rather.
with contempt of none, from slave to king, The meanest Bee hath, and will use, a sting.
to frame a good bold resolution; but hard is the Task that concerns execution.
Make haste slowly.
thou from the Opportunity, and God will keep thee from the Sin.
If you’d be belov’d, make
A true Friend is the best Possession.
Fear God, and
your Enemies will fear you.
Wars bring scars.
A light purse is a heavy Curse.
who buys had need have 100 Eyes, but one’s enough for him that sells the Stuff.
To God we owe
fear and love; to our neighbours justice and charity; to our selves prudence and sobriety.
she’s ugly, so puts on her Mask.
It’s the easiest Thing in the World for a Man to deceive
Good Sense is a Thing all need, few have, and none think they lack.
is ever turning to the aching Tooth.
Want of Care does us more Damage than Want of Knowledge.
Courage, Mortal; Death can’t banish thee out of the Universe.
Tis a strange Forest that has no rotten
Wood in it. And a strange Kindred that all are good in it.
Courage would fight, but Discretion won’t
Pride and the Gout, are seldom cur’d throughout.
ruins some, Presumption many.
A quiet Conscience sleeps in Thunder, but Rest and Guilt live far asunder.
Injuries in Dust, Benefits in Marble.
What is Serving God? ‘Tis doing Good to Man.
have been ruin’d by buying good pennyworths.
The Devil sweetens Poison with Honey.
& Nettles are akin; stroak ‘em kindly, yet they’ll sting.
Suspicion may be no Fault, but shewing
it may be a great one.
He that’s secure is not safe.
in love, he’s no judge of Jill’s Beauty.
The end of Passion is the beginning of Repentance.
trust, nor contend, nor lay wagers, nor lend; And you’ll have peace to your Lives end.
wise counsel given to a young man: Pitch upon that course of life which is most excellent, and CUSTOM will make it the most
delightful. But many pitch on no course of life at all, nor form any scheme of living, by which to attain any valuable end;
but wander perpetually from one thing to another.
HOW TO GET RICHES. The Art of getting Riches consists very
much in THRIFT. All Men are not equally qualified for getting Money, but it is in the Power of everyone alike to practise
this Virtue. He that would be beforehand in the World, must be beforehand with his Business: It is not only ill Management,
but discovers a slothful Disposition, to do that in the Afternoon, which should have been done in the Morning.
Attainments in your Minority will procure Riches in Maturity, of which Writing and Accounts are not the meanest. Learning,
whether Speculative or Practical, is, in Popular or Mixt Governments, the Natural Source of Wealth and Honour. PRECEPT I.
In Things of moment, on thy self depend, Nor trust too far thy Servant or thy Friend: With private Views, thy Friend may promise
fair, And Servants very seldom prove sincere. PRECEPT II. What can be done, with Care perform today, Dangers unthought-of
will attend delay; Your distant Prospects all precarious are, And Fortune is as fickle as she’s fair. PRECEPT III. Nor
trivial Loss, nor trivial Gain despise; Molehills, if often heap’d, to Mountains rise: Weigh every small Expence, and
nothing waste, Farthings long sav’d, amount to Pounds at last.
He that spills the Rum, loses that only;
He that drinks it, often loses both that and himself.
Genius without Education is like Silver in the Mine.
Pride of Dress is sure an empty Curse; E’re Fancy you consult, consult your Purse.
obliging temper is evermore disobliging itself.
Hold your council before dinner; the full belly hates Thinking
as well as Acting.
The Brave and the Wise can both pity and excuse when Cowards and Fools shew
Children and princes will quarrel for trifles.
some mens Principle to pay Interest, and seems against others Interest to pay the Principal.
as well as foppery often changes fashion.
A Pair of good ears will drain dry an hundred tongues.
you’d know the value of money, go and borrow some.
Learning to the Studious; Riches to the
Careful; Power to the Bold; Heaven to the Virtuous.
Speak little, do much.
would be loved, love and be loveable.
Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful?
He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
difficulties, Sloth makes them.
Neglect mending a small fault, and ’twill soon be a great
He that has a trade, has an Office of Profit and Honour.
gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Tomorrow, every fault is to be amended;
but that tomorrow never comes.
When a friend deals with a friend Let the bargain be clear and
well penn’d, That they may continue friends to the end.
Many a man’s own tongue gives evidence
against his Understanding.
Tis easier to build two chimneys, than maintain one in fuel.
that would catch fish, must venture his bait.
Men take more pains to mask than mend.
Law or Physick, or any other Art or Science, by which you propose to get your Livelihood, though you find it at first hard,
difficult and unpleasing, use Diligence, Patience and Perseverance; the Irksomness of your Task will thus diminish daily,
and your Labour shall finally be crowned with Success. You shall go beyond all your Competitors who are careless, idle or
superficial in their Acquisitions, and be at the Head of your Profession. Ability will command Business, Business Wealth;
and Wealth an easy and honourable Retirement when Age shall require it.
Great modesty often hides great merit.
is the philosopher’s stone, that turns all it touches into gold.
Half the truth is often a great lie.