Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Benjamin Franklin (17 January 1706 – 17 April 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the U.S. Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia’s fire department and a school.

We have collected and put the best Benjamin Franklin Quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Benjamin Franklin Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

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Benjamin Franklin Quotes

The key to Franklin’s success was his drive to constantly improve himself and accomplish his ambitions. In 1726, at the age of 20, Ben Franklin set his loftiest goal: the attainment of moral perfection.

I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.

In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin developed and committed himself to a personal improvement program that consisted of living 13 virtues. The 13 virtues were:

  1. “TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”

  2. “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”

  3. “ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”

  4. “RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

  5. “FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”

  6. “INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”

  7. “SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

  8. “JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”

  9. “MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”

  10. “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”

  11. “TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

  12. “CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

  13. “HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.” – Benjamin Franklin

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 and Socrates. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

A bargain is something you have to find a use for once you have bought it. – Benjamin Franklin

A benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance. – Benjamin Franklin

A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district; all studied and appreciated as they merit; are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty. – Benjamin Franklin

A Brother may not be a Friend, but a Friend will always be a Brother. – Benjamin Franklin

A change of fortune hurts a wise man no more than a change of the moon. – Benjamin Franklin

A cheerful face is nearly as good for an invalid as healthy weather. – Benjamin Franklin

A child thinks 20 shillings and 20 years can never be spent. – Benjamin Franklin

A child thinks 20 shillings and 20 years can scarce ever be spent. – Benjamin Franklin

A child thinks twenty shillings and twenty years can scarce ever be spent. – Benjamin Franklin

A country man between two lawyers, is like a fish between two cats. – Benjamin Franklin

A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats. – Benjamin Franklin

A dying man can do nothing easy. – Benjamin Franklin

A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines. – Benjamin Franklin

A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines. – Benjamin Franklin

A fat kitchen makes a lean will. – Benjamin Franklin

A fat kitchin, a lean Will. – Benjamin Franklin

A father’s a treasure; a brother’s a comfort; a friend is both. – Benjamin Franklin

A fine genius in his own country is like gold in the mine. – Benjamin Franklin

A fine genius in his own country, is like a gold in the mine. – Benjamin Franklin

A fish is a sock for a fish skeleton. – Benjamin Franklin

A flatterer never seems absurd:
The flatter’d always takes his word. – Benjamin Franklin

A friend in need is a friend indeed! – Benjamin Franklin

A full Belly brings forth every Evil. – Benjamin Franklin

A full Belly is the Mother of all Evil. – Benjamin Franklin

A full Belly makes a dull Brain: The Muses starve in a Cook’s Shop. – Benjamin Franklin

A good conscience is a continual Christmas. – Benjamin Franklin

A good example is the best sermon. – Benjamin Franklin

A good lawyer, a bad neighbour. – Benjamin Franklin

A good Wife & Health, is a Man’s best Wealth. – Benjamin Franklin

A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges. – Benjamin Franklin

A great talker may be no fool, but he is one that relies on him. – Benjamin Franklin

A greater Quantity of some things may be eaten than of others, some being of lighter Digestion than others. – Benjamin Franklin

A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang. – Benjamin Franklin

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. – Benjamin Franklin

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one. – Benjamin Franklin

A lie stands on one leg, truth on two. – Benjamin Franklin

A life of leisure, and a life of laziness, are two things. – Benjamin Franklin

A light purse is a heavy curse. – Benjamin Franklin

A lighthouse is more useful than a church. – Benjamin Franklin

A little House well fill’d, a little Field well till’d, and a little Wife well will’d, are great Riches. – Benjamin Franklin

A little neglect may breed great mischief. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of the shoe the horse was lost; for want of the horse the rider was lost–being overtaken and slain by an enemy–all for the want of care about a horse-shoe nail. – Benjamin Franklin

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; and for want of a horse the rider was lost. – Benjamin Franklin

A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost. – Benjamin Franklin

A little Religion, and a little Honesty, goes a great way in Courts. – Benjamin Franklin

A little sturdiness when superiors are much in the wrong sometimes occasions consideration. And there is truth in the old saying that if you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you. – Benjamin Franklin

A lonely man on a rainy night who cannot read. – Benjamin Franklin

A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read. – Benjamin Franklin

A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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

A man in a passion, rides a mad horse. – Benjamin Franklin

A man is never so ridiculous by those Qualities that are his own as by those that he affects to have – Benjamin Franklin

A man is not completely born until he be dead. – Benjamin Franklin

A man is not completely born until he is dead. Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society? – Benjamin Franklin

A man is sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little. – Benjamin Franklin

A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose to the grindstone. – Benjamin Franklin

A man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all the doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false. – Benjamin Franklin

A Man of Knowledge like a rich Soil, feeds If not a world of Corn, a world of Weeds. – Benjamin Franklin

A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds. – Benjamin Franklin

A man separated from his reflective belt is no man at all. – Benjamin Franklin

A Man without ceremony has need of great merit in its place. – Benjamin Franklin

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. – Benjamin Franklin

A mob’s a monster; heads enough but no brains. – Benjamin Franklin

A modern Wit is one of David’s Fools. – Benjamin Franklin

A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins. – Benjamin Franklin

A new truth is a truth, an old error is an error. – Benjamin Franklin

A nod from a lord is a breakfast for a fool. – Benjamin Franklin

A penny saved is a penny earned. – Benjamin Franklin

A penny saved is two pence clear, A pin a day’s a groat a year – Benjamin Franklin

A penny saved is two pence clear. – Benjamin Franklin

A people who chose security over liberty will receive neither nor deserve either. – Benjamin Franklin

A perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance. – Benjamin Franklin

A place for everything, everything in its place. – Benjamin Franklin

A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees. – Benjamin Franklin

A plural Legislature is as necessary to good Government as a single Executive. It is not enough that your Legislature should be numerous; it should also be divided. Numbers alone are not a sufficient Barrier against the Impulses of Passion, the Combinations of Interest, the Intrigues of Faction, the Haste of Folly, or the Spirit of Encroachment. One Division should watch over and controul the other, supply its Wants, correct its Blunders, and cross its Designs, should they be criminal or erroneous. Wisdom is the specific Quality of the Legislature, grows out of the Number of the Body, and is made up of the Portions of Sense and Knowledge which each Member brings to it. – Benjamin Franklin

A poet is the mere wastepaper of mankind. – Benjamin Franklin

A policy of life insurance is the cheapest and safest mode of making a certain provision for one’s family. – Benjamin Franklin

A quarrelsome man has no good neighbours. – Benjamin Franklin

A Republic, if you can keep it. – Benjamin Franklin

A ship under sail and a big-bellied woman, Are the handsomest two things that can be seen common. – Benjamin Franklin

A single man has not nearly the value he would have in a state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors. – Benjamin Franklin

A small leak can sink a great ship. – Benjamin Franklin

A soft tongue may strike hard. – Benjamin Franklin

A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar. – Benjamin Franklin

A temperate Diet frees from Diseases; such are seldom ill, but if they are surprised with Sickness, they bear it better, and recover sooner; for most Distempers have their Original from Repletion. – Benjamin Franklin

A traveller should have a hog’s nose, a deer’s legs, and an ass’s back. – Benjamin Franklin

A true friend is the greatest possesion. – Benjamin Franklin

A true great Man will neither trample on a Worm, nor sneak to an Emperor. – Benjamin Franklin

A virtuous and industrious people may be cheaply governed. – Benjamin Franklin

A virtuous heretic shall be saved before a wicked Christian. – Benjamin Franklin

A wicked Hero will turn his back to an innocent coward. – Benjamin Franklin

A wise man will desire no more than what he may get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contently. – Benjamin Franklin

A wolf eats sheep but now and then, ten thousands are devoured by men – Benjamin Franklin

A word to the wise is enough, and many words won’t fill a bushel. – Benjamin Franklin

Abuses of the freedom of speech ought to be repressed, but to whom are we to commit the power of doing it? – Benjamin Franklin

Acquire Riches by Industry and Frugality. – Benjamin Franklin

Admiration is the daughter of ignorance. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

After crosses and losses, men grow humbler and wiser. – Benjamin Franklin

After getting the first hundred pounds, it is more easy to get the second. – Benjamin Franklin

After three days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy. – Benjamin Franklin

Again, He that sells upon Credit, asks a Price for what he sells, equivalent to the Principal and Interest of his Money for the Time he is like to be kept out of it: therefore – Benjamin Franklin

Alas, I know if I ever became truly humble, I would be proud of it. – Benjamin Franklin

All cats are gray in the dark. – Benjamin Franklin

All cats look gray in the dark. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

All Mankind are beholden to him that is kind to the Good. – Benjamin Franklin

All the heavenly Bodies, the Stars and Planets, are regulated with the utmost Wisdom! And can we suppose less Care to be taken in the Order of the moral than in the natural System? – Benjamin Franklin

All the little money that ever came into my hands was ever laid out in books. – Benjamin Franklin

All the property that is necessary to a man for the conservation of the individual… is his natural right which none can justly deprive him of. – Benjamin Franklin

All things are cheap to the saving, dear to the wasteful – Benjamin Franklin

All things are easy to Industry,
All things difficult to Sloth.. – Benjamin Franklin

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones. When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their Differences by Arbitration? Were they to do it, even by the Cast of a Dye, it would be better than by Fighting and destroying each other.

All who think cannot but see there is a sanction like that of religion which binds us in partnership in the serious work of the world. – Benjamin Franklin

All would live long, but none would be old. – Benjamin Franklin

Always taking out of the meal – tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom – Benjamin Franklin

Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us. – Benjamin Franklin

America cultivates best what Germany brought forth. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. – Benjamin Franklin

An assembly of great men is the greatest fool upon earth. – Benjamin Franklin

An autobiography usually reveals nothing bad about its writer except his memory. – Benjamin Franklin

An education is the investment with the greatest returns. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

An Episcopalian divine once told the Pope that the only difference between their denominations was that “the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong.” – Benjamin Franklin

An honest Man will receive neither Money nor Praise that is not his due. – Benjamin Franklin

An infallible Remedy for the Tooth-ach, viz Wash the Root of an aching Tooth, in Elder Vinegar, and let it dry half an hour in the Sun; after which it will never ach more; Probatum est. – Benjamin Franklin

An innocent Plowman is more worthy than a vicious Prince. – Benjamin Franklin

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

An old man in a house is a good sign. – Benjamin Franklin

An old young man, will be a young old man. – Benjamin Franklin

An ounce of wit that is bought, Is worth a pound that is taught. – Benjamin Franklin

An undutiful Daughter will prove an unmanageable Wife. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

And he that pays ready Money, might let that Money out to Use: so that. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

And whether you’re an honest man, or whether you’re a thief, depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief. – Benjamin Franklin

Anger and folly walk cheek by sole. – Benjamin Franklin

Anger and Folly walk cheek-by-jole; Repentance treads on both their Heels. – Benjamin Franklin

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. – Benjamin Franklin

Anger warms the invention, but overheats the oven. – Benjamin Franklin 

Annual giving is the custom of making a gift-a-year to an institution in which one has faith… – Benjamin Franklin

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. – Benjamin Franklin

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. – Benjamin Franklin

Anyone can complain, and they should have the right to, but if you want to see change you must act. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t complain about things, change things. – Benjamin Franklin

Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security. – Benjamin Franklin

Anyone willing to give up liberty in exchange for security deserves neither. – Benjamin Franklin

Applause waits on success. – Benjamin Franklin

Approve not of him who commends all you say. – Benjamin Franklin

Are you angry that others disappoint you? Remember you cannot depend upon yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

Arguing is a game that two can play at. But it is a strange game in that neither opponent ever wins. – Benjamin Franklin

As charms are nonsense, nonsense is a charm. – Benjamin Franklin

As often as we do good, we sacrifice. – Benjamin Franklin

As Pride increases, Fortune declines. – Benjamin Franklin

As sore places meet most rubs, proud folks meet most affronts. – Benjamin Franklin

As to his Wife, John minds St. Paul, He’s one/ That hath a Wife, and is as if he’d none. – Benjamin Franklin

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 corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

As we benefit from the inventions of others, we should be glad to share our own … freely and gladly. – Benjamin Franklin

As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously. – Benjamin Franklin

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence. – Benjamin Franklin

As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence. – Benjamin Franklin

Astrologers say, This is a good Day, To make Love in May. – Benjamin Franklin

At 20 years of age the will reigns, at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgment. – Benjamin Franklin

At a great pennyworth pause a while. – Benjamin Franklin

At the working man’s house, hunger looks in but dares not enter. – Benjamin Franklin

At the workman’s house hunger looks in, but dares not enter – Benjamin Franklin

At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment. – Benjamin Franklin

Avarice and Happiness never saw each other, how then should they become acquainted? – Benjamin Franklin

Avoid dishonest gain: no price can recompence the pangs of vice. – Benjamin Franklin

Ay, we must all hang together, else we shall all hang separately – Benjamin Franklin

Bad gains are true losses. – Benjamin Franklin

Bargaining has neither friends nor relations. – Benjamin Franklin

Be ashamed to catch yourself idle. – Benjamin Franklin

Be cheerful — the problems that worry us most are those that never arrive. – Benjamin Franklin

Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none. – Benjamin Franklin

Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least, you will by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences. – Benjamin Franklin

Be neither silly, nor cunning, but wise – Benjamin Franklin

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. – Benjamin Franklin

Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance. – Benjamin Franklin

Be not sick too late, nor well too soon – Benjamin Franklin

Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing. – Benjamin Franklin

Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. – Benjamin Franklin

Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, & sloth; Or the Gout will seize you and plague you both. – Benjamin Franklin

Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, and sloth; Or the Gout will seize you and plague you both – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Before you consult your fancy, consult your purse. – Benjamin Franklin

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see. – Benjamin Franklin

Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see. – Benjamin Franklin

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?” – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith. – Benjamin Franklin

Better slip with foot than tongue. – Benjamin Franklin

Beware of meat twice boiled, and an old foe reconciled. – Benjamin Franklin

Beware of the little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship. – Benjamin Franklin

Beware of the young doctor and the old barber. – Benjamin Franklin

Blame-all and Praise-all are two blockheads. – Benjamin Franklin

Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. expect nothing – get nothing! but expect something – get something!! – Benjamin Franklin

Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. – Benjamin Franklin

Bright as the day and as the morning fair, Such Cloe is, & common as the air. – Benjamin Franklin

But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

But in this world nothing is sure but death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

But our great security lies, I think, in our growing strength. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Buy what thou hast no need of and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessities. – Benjamin Franklin

By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable. – Benjamin Franklin

By heaven we understand a state of happiness infinite in degree, and endless in duration. – Benjamin Franklin

By improving yourself, the world is made better. Be not afraid of growing too slowly. Be afraid only of standing still. – Benjamin Franklin

By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be growing old. – Benjamin Franklin

By playing at Chess then, we may learn… First: Foresight. Second: Circumspection. Third: Caution. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good; the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. – Benjamin Franklin

By the word simplicity, is not always meant folly or ignorance; but often, pure and upright Nature, free from artifice, craft or deceitful ornament. – Benjamin Franklin

Caesar did not merit the triumphal Car, more than he that conquers himself. – Benjamin Franklin

Came you from Court? for in your Mien, A self-important air is seen. – Benjamin Franklin

Can anything be constant in a world which is eternally changing? – Benjamin Franklin

Can grave and formal pass for wise, When Men the solemn Owl despise? – Benjamin Franklin

Carelessness does more harm than a want of knowledge. – Benjamin Franklin

Certainly 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. – Benjamin Franklin

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

Change is the only constant in life. Ones ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life. – Benjamin Franklin

Changing Countries or Beds, cures neither a bad Manager, nor a Fever. – Benjamin Franklin

Cheese and salt meat, should be sparingly eat. – Benjamin Franklin

Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played for money – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Christianity commands us to pass by injuries; policy, to let them pass by us. – Benjamin Franklin

Christians are directed to have faith in Christ, as the effectual means of obtaining the change they desire. – Benjamin Franklin

Clean your finger before you point at my spots. – Benjamin Franklin

Clearly spoken, Mr. Fogg; you explain English by Greek. – Benjamin Franklin

Cold & cunning come from the north: But cunning sans wisdom is nothing worth. – Benjamin Franklin

Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack. – Benjamin Franklin

Conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right and necessary to solicit his assistance for obtaining it. – Benjamin Franklin

Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy. – Benjamin Franklin

Constant dropping wears away stones – Benjamin Franklin

Content and Riches seldom meet together, Riches take thou, contentment I had rather. – Benjamin Franklin

Content is the philosopher’s stone, that turns all it touches into gold – Benjamin Franklin

Contentment makes a poor person rich and discontent makes a rich person poor. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Covetousness is ever attended with solicitude and anxiety. – Benjamin Franklin

Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times – Benjamin Franklin

Critics are our friends, they show us our faults. – Benjamin Franklin

Cunning proceeds from lack of capacity. – Benjamin Franklin

Cut the Wings of your Hens and Hopes, lest they lead you a weary Dance after them. – Benjamin Franklin

Dally not with other folk’s spouses or money. – Benjamin Franklin

Danger is sauce for prayers. – Benjamin Franklin

Dangerous, therefore, is it to take shelter under a tree, during a thunder-gust. It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Defer not thy well-doing; be not like St. George, who is always a horseback, and never rides on. – Benjamin Franklin

Democracy is like having two wolves and a lamb decide what is for dinner. – Benjamin Franklin

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. – Benjamin Franklin

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. – Benjamin Franklin

Despair ruins some, presumption many. – Benjamin Franklin

Dewey felt that since ideals are not perfectly attainable, they may demoralize students who try to measure up to them. The general tendency of reading good history must be to fix in the minds of youth deep impressions of the beauty and usefulness of virtue of all kinds, public spirit, fortitude, etc. – Benjamin Franklin

Did not strong connections draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I would choose to end my days in. – Benjamin Franklin

Different Sects like different clocks, may be all near the matter, ‘tho they don’t quite agree. – Benjamin Franklin

Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. – Benjamin Franklin

Disdain the chain, preserve your freedom; and maintain your independency: be industrious and free; be frugal and free. – Benjamin Franklin

Display is as false as it is costly. – Benjamin Franklin

Distrust and caution are the parents of security. – Benjamin Franklin

Do good to thy friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him. – Benjamin Franklin

Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not do that which you would not have known. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not fear mistakes. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not let fancy outrun your means. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not, however, mistake me. It is not to my good friend’s heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, ’tis his honesty that brought upon him the character of a heretic. – Benjamin Franklin

Do well by doing good. – Benjamin Franklin

Do you love truth for truth’s sake, and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others? – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Does’t thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin

Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; revenging one make you but even with him; forgiving it sets you above him. – Benjamin Franklin

Doing an Injury puts you below your Enemy; Revenging one makes you but even with him; Forgiving it sets you above him. – Benjamin Franklin

Doing your best means never stop trying. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t go to the doctor with every distemper, nor to the lawyer with every quarrel, nor to the pot for every thirst. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t halloo until you’re out of the wood. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t judge men’s wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t misinform your Doctor nor your Lawyer. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t overload Gratitude; if you do, she’ll kick. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t think so much of your own Cunning, as to forget other Men’s; a Cunning Man is overmatched by a cunning Man and a Half. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t think to hunt two hares with one dog. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t throw stones at your neighbors , if your own windows are glass. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t value a man for the Quality he is of, but for the Qualities he possesses. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t you know, that all wives are in the right? It may be you don’t, for you are yet a young husband. – Benjamin Franklin

Dr. FRANKLIN mentioned the case of the Prince of Orange William V, during the late war. An arrangement was made between France and Holland, by which their two fleets were to unite at a certain time and place. The Dutch fleet did not appear. Every body began to wonder at it. At length it was suspected that the stadtholder was at the bottom of the matter. This suspicion prevailed more and more. Yet, as he could not be impeached, and no regular examination took place, he remained in his office; and strengthening his own party, as the party opposed to him became formidable, he gave birth to the most violent animosities and contentions. Had he been impeachable, a regular and peaceful inquiry would have taken place, and he would, if guilty, have been duly punished,if innocent, restored to the confidence of the public. – Benjamin Franklin

Dr. Franklin was for retaining the clause on impeachment, as favorable to the executive. History furnishes one example only of a first magistrate being formally brought to public justice. Every body cried out against this as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this, in cases where the chief magistrate rendered himself obnoxious? Why, recourse was had to assassination, in which he was not only deprived of his life, but of the opportunity of vindicating his character. It would be the best way, therefore, to provide in the Constitution for the regular punishment of the executive, where his misconduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal, where he should be unjustly accused. – Benjamin Franklin

Drink does not drown care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster. – Benjamin Franklin

Drink Water, Put the Money in your Pocket, and leave the Dry-bellyach in the Punchbowl – Benjamin Franklin

Drive your business. Let not your business drive you. – Benjamin Franklin

Duty is not beneficial because it is commanded, but is commanded because it is beneficial. – Benjamin Franklin

Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good. – Benjamin Franklin

Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout. – Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. – Benjamin Franklin

Electrical matter differs from common matter in this, that the parts of the latter mutually attract, those of the former mutually repel each other. – Benjamin Franklin

Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure. – Benjamin Franklin

Enjoy the present hour, be mindful of the past; And neither fear nor wish the Approaches of the last. Learn of the skillful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master. – Benjamin Franklin

Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them, these are are the best guides for man. – Benjamin Franklin

Epitaph on a scolding wife by her husband: Here my poor Bridget’s corpse doth lie, she is at rest – and so am I! – Benjamin Franklin

Ere you consult your fancy, consult your purse. – Benjamin Franklin

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price. – Benjamin Franklin

Ever since Follies have pleas’d, Fools have been able to divert – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Every Body cries, a Union is absolutely necessary, but when they come to the Manner and Form of the Union, their weak Noddles are perfectly distracted. – Benjamin Franklin

Every Man has Assurance enough to boast of his honesty, few of their Understanding. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Every pot must sit on its own bottom. – Benjamin Franklin

Everybody’s human-everybody makes mistakes. If you laugh it off and keep going and try to give it your best the next time around, people respect that. – Benjamin Franklin

Evil, as evil, can never be chosen; and though evil is often the effect of our own choice, yet we never desire it but under the appearance of an imaginary good. – Benjamin Franklin

Evils come not, then our fears are vain; And if they do fear but augments the pain. – Benjamin Franklin

Excess in all other Things whatever, as well as in Meat and Drink, is also to be avoided. – Benjamin Franklin

Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other. – Benjamin Franklin

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. – Benjamin Franklin

Eyes and Priests Bear no Jests. – Benjamin Franklin

Families ought to be noisy. – Benjamin Franklin

Fart for freedom, fart for liberty—and fart proudly. – Benjamin Franklin

Fatigue is the best pillow. – Benjamin Franklin

Fear God, and your enemies will fear you. – Benjamin Franklin

Fear to do ill, and you need fear else. – Benjamin Franklin

Fear to do ill, and you need fear naught else. – Benjamin Franklin

Fiction or fable allures to instruction. – Benjamin Franklin

Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist. – Benjamin Franklin

Fish & Visitors stink in 3 days. – Benjamin Franklin

Fish and visitors smell in three days. – Benjamin Franklin

Fish and visitors stink after three days. – Benjamin Franklin

Flesh eating is unprovoked murder. – Benjamin Franklin

Flowers are the alphabet of angels, whereby they write on the hills and fields mysterious truths. – Benjamin Franklin

Follow your bliss. -Joseph Campbell Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. – Benjamin Franklin

Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse – Benjamin Franklin

Fools make feasts and wise men eat them. – Benjamin Franklin

Fools need advice most, but wise men only are the better for it. – Benjamin Franklin

For 6 l. a Year, you may have the Use of 100 l. if you are a Man of known Prudence and Honesty. – Benjamin Franklin

For Age and Want save while you may; No morning Sun lasts a whole day. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. – Benjamin Franklin

For my own Part, when I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring Favours, but as paying Debts. In my Travels, and since my Settlement, I have received much Kindness from Men, to whom I shall never have any Opportunity of making the least direct Return. And numberless Mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our Services. Those Kindnesses from Men, I can therefore only Return on their Fellow Men; and I can only shew my Gratitude for these mercies from God, by a readiness to help his other Children and my Brethren. For I do not think that Thanks and Compliments, tho’ repeated weekly, can discharge our real Obligations to each other, and much less those to our Creator.

For one poor Man there are an hundred indigent. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too. – Benjamin Franklin

For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head. – Benjamin Franklin

For the want of a nail, the shoe was lose; for the want of a shoe the horse was lose; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail. – Benjamin Franklin

For want of a nail the shoe was lost, For want of a shoe the horse was lost, For want of a horse the rider was lost, Forwant of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horse. – Benjamin Franklin

For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for want of care about a horseshoe nail. – Benjamin Franklin

Force shites upon Reason’s Back. – Benjamin Franklin

Forewarn’d, forearm’d, unless in the case of cuckolds, who are often forearm’d before warn’d. – Benjamin Franklin

Forewarn’d, forearm’d. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Friends and neighbors, the taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might 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; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing abatement. – Benjamin Franklin

Friends are the true Sceptres of Princes. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever while you live, expense is constant and certain: and it is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel. – Benjamin Franklin

Gaining money by my industry and frugality, I lived very agreeably. . . . – Benjamin Franklin

Games lubricate the body and the mind. – Benjamin Franklin

Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience. – Benjamin Franklin

Genius is the ability to hold one’s vision steady until it becomes reality – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Get what you can, and what you get hold; ’tis the Stone that will turn all your Lead into Gold. – Benjamin Franklin

Getting into debt, is getting into a tanglesome net. – Benjamin Franklin

Getting it done is my reward. – Benjamin Franklin

Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world. – Benjamin Franklin

Give me yesterday’s bread, this day’s flesh, and last year’s cider – Benjamin Franklin

Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never mended well. – Benjamin Franklin

Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily cracked, and never well mended. – Benjamin Franklin

God bless the King, and grant him long to Reign. – Benjamin Franklin

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.’ – Benjamin Franklin

God heals, and the doctor takes the fees. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

God helps them that helps themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter. – Benjamin Franklin

Good counsel failing men can give, for why? He that’s aground knows where the shoal doth lie – Benjamin Franklin

Good sense is a thing all need, few have, and none think they want. – Benjamin Franklin

Good wives and good plantations are made by good husbands – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Grace thou thy house and let not that grace thee. – Benjamin Franklin

Graft good Fruit all, or graft not at all. – Benjamin Franklin

Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really and truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all – Benjamin Franklin

Great Estates may venture more,
But little Boats should keep near Shore. – Benjamin Franklin

Great good nature without prudence is a great misfortune. – Benjamin Franklin

Great hopes make everything great possible – Benjamin Franklin

Great Modesty often hides great Merit. – Benjamin Franklin

Great spenders are bad lenders. – Benjamin Franklin

Great talkers are little doers. – Benjamin Franklin

Great talkers should be cropt, for they’ve no need of ears. – Benjamin Franklin

Great talkers, little doers. – Benjamin Franklin

Great wits jump (says the Poet) and hit his Head against the Post – Benjamin Franklin

Grief for a dead Wife, and a troublesome Guest, Continues to the threshold, and there is at rest; But I mean such wives as are none of the best – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Had I revenged wrong, I had not worn my skirts so long. – Benjamin Franklin

Half a truth is often a great lie. – Benjamin Franklin

Half wits talk much, but say little. – Benjamin Franklin

Handle your tools without mittens. – Benjamin Franklin

Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life. – Benjamin Franklin

Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom. – Benjamin Franklin

Happiness is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day. – Benjamin Franklin

Happy that nation, fortunate that age, whose history is not diverting. – Benjamin Franklin

Happy’s the Wooing, that’s not long a doing – Benjamin Franklin

Has not the famous political Fable of the Snake, with two Heads and one Body, some useful Instruction contained in it? She was going to a Brook to drink, and in her Way was to pass thro a Hedge, a Twig of which opposed her direct Course; one Head chose to go on the right side of the Twig, the other on the left, so that time was spent in the Contest, and, before the Decision was completed, the poor Snake died with thirst. – Benjamin Franklin

Hast thou virtue? acquire also the graces and beauties of virtue. – Benjamin Franklin

Haste makes waste. – Benjamin Franklin

Have you something to do to-morrow; do it to-day. – Benjamin Franklin

Having been poor is no shame, being ashamed of it is. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

He [the Rev. Mr. Whitefield] used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard. – Benjamin Franklin

He does not posses wealth that allows it to possess him. – Benjamin Franklin

He gives twice that gives soon, i.e., he will soon be called to give again. – Benjamin Franklin

He is a Governor that governs his Passions, and he a Servant that serves them. – Benjamin Franklin

He is ill clothed that is bare of virtue. – Benjamin Franklin

He is no clown that drives the plow, but he that doth clownish things. – Benjamin Franklin

He is not well bred, that cannot bear ill breeding in others – Benjamin Franklin

He makes a Foe who makes a jest. – Benjamin Franklin

He may well win the race that runs by himself – Benjamin Franklin

He that best understands the world, least likes it – Benjamin Franklin

He that blows the coals in quarrels he has nothing to do with has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face – Benjamin Franklin

He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face. – Benjamin Franklin

He that buys by the penny, maintains not only himself, but other people – Benjamin Franklin

He that buys upon Credit, pays Interest for what he buys. – Benjamin Franklin

He that by the Plough would thrive, Himself must either hold or drive. – Benjamin Franklin

He that by the Plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive. – Benjamin Franklin

He that can compose himself, is wiser than he that composes books – Benjamin Franklin

He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities. – Benjamin Franklin

He that can travel well afoot, keeps a good horse – Benjamin Franklin

He that cannot obey, cannot command. – Benjamin Franklin

He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed. – Benjamin Franklin

He that doth what he should not, shall feel what he would not. – Benjamin Franklin

He that drinks fast, pays slow. – Benjamin Franklin

He that drinks fast, pays slow. Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. There can’t be good living where there is not good drinking. – Benjamin Franklin

He that drinks his cider alone, let him catch his horse alone. – Benjamin Franklin

He that falls in love with himself, will have no rivals. – Benjamin Franklin

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing. – Benjamin Franklin

He that goes far to marry, will either deceive or be deceived – Benjamin Franklin

He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged. – Benjamin Franklin

He that has neither fools, whores nor beggars among his kindred, is the son of a thunder-gust – Benjamin Franklin

He that has not got a wife is not yet a complete man. – Benjamin Franklin

He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged – Benjamin Franklin

He that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honor. – Benjamin Franklin

He that hath a trade hath an estate; and he that hath a calling hath a place of profit and honor. A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees. – Benjamin Franklin

He that hath a trade hath an estate; he that hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor. – Benjamin Franklin

He that hath a Trade, hath an Estate. – Benjamin Franklin

He that hath no ill Fortune will be troubled with good. – Benjamin Franklin

He that idly loses 5 s. worth of time, loses 5 s. & might as prudently throw 5 s. in the River. – Benjamin Franklin

He that is conscious of a stink in his breeches is [suspicious] of every wrinkle in another’s nose. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich. – Benjamin Franklin

He that knows nothing of it, may by chance be a Prophet; while the wisest that is may happen to miss. The poor man must walk to get meat for his stomach, the rich man to get a stomach for his meat. – Benjamin Franklin

He that lieth down with Dogs, shall rise up with Fleas. – Benjamin Franklin

He that lives upon hope will die fasting. – Benjamin Franklin

He that lives well, is learned enough. – Benjamin Franklin

He that pays for work before it’s done, has but a pennyworth for two pence. – Benjamin Franklin

He that pays ready Money, escapes or may escape that Charge. – Benjamin Franklin

He that possesses any Thing he has bought, pays Interest for the Use of it. – Benjamin Franklin

He that pursues two hares at once, does not catch one and lets the other go. – Benjamin Franklin

He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too. – Benjamin Franklin

He that resolves to mend hereafter, resolves not to mend now. – Benjamin Franklin

He that rises late must trot all day. – Benjamin Franklin

He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night. – Benjamin Franklin

He that scatters thorns, let him not go barefoot. – Benjamin Franklin

He that sells upon Credit expects to lose 5 per Cent. By bad Debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon Credit, an Advance that shall make up that Deficiency. – Benjamin Franklin

He that sells upon trust, loses many friends, and always wants money – Benjamin Franklin

He that sows thorns should never go barefoot. – Benjamin Franklin

He that sows thorns, should not go barefoot. – Benjamin Franklin

He that speaks ill of the mare will buy her. – Benjamin Franklin

He that speaks ill of the Mare, will buy her. – Benjamin Franklin

He that spends a Groat a day idly, spends idly above 6 l. a year, which is the Price of using 100 l. – Benjamin Franklin

He that steals the old man’s supper does him no wrong. – Benjamin Franklin

He that takes a wife, takes care – Benjamin Franklin

He that whines for Glass without G/ Take away L and that’s he. – Benjamin Franklin

He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped. – Benjamin Franklin

He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped. He that would have a short Lent, let him borrow Money to be repaid at Easter. – Benjamin Franklin

He that would fish, must venture his bait. – Benjamin Franklin

He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. – Benjamin Franklin

He that would live in peace and at ease, Must not speak all he knows, nor judge all he sees – Benjamin Franklin

He that would travel much, should eat little. – Benjamin Franklin

He that’s content hath enough. – Benjamin Franklin

He that’s secure is not safe. – Benjamin Franklin

He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on. – Benjamin Franklin

He who buys had need have 100 Eyes, but one’s enough for him that sells the Stuff. – Benjamin Franklin

He who can have patience can have what he will. – Benjamin Franklin

He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither. – Benjamin Franklin

He who is in love with himself has no rivals. – Benjamin Franklin

He who multiplies riches, multiplies cares. – Benjamin Franklin

He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. – Benjamin Franklin

He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity, will revolutionize the world – Benjamin Franklin

He who shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of a primitive Christianity, will change the face of the world. – Benjamin Franklin

He who waits upon fortune is never sure of dinner. – Benjamin Franklin

He who will not be counseled cannot be helped. – Benjamin Franklin

He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines.

Hear not ill of a friend, nor speak any of an enemy. – Benjamin Franklin

Hear reason, or she’ll make you feel her. – Benjamin Franklin

He’ll cheat without scruple, who can without fear. – Benjamin Franklin

Here comes Courage! that seized the lion absent, and run away from the present mouse – Benjamin Franklin

Here comes Glib-tongue: who can out-flatter a Dedication; and lie, like ten Epitaphs. – Benjamin Franklin

Here comes the orator with his flood of words and his drop of reason. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped. – Benjamin Franklin

Here Skugg lies snug As a bug in a rug. – Benjamin Franklin

Here you would know, and enjoy, what prosperity will way of Washington. For a thousand leagues have nearly the same effect with a thousand years. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Here’s to our beloved George Washington, the Joshua of America, who commanded the sun and the moon to sand still–and they obeyed. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s a fool that makes his doctor his heir. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s a fool who cannot conceal his wisdom. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s gone, and forgot nothing but to say farewell to his creditors – Benjamin Franklin

He’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s the best physician who knows the worthlessness of most medicines. – Benjamin Franklin

Hide not your talents, they for use were made,
What’s a sundial in the shade? – Benjamin Franklin

Historians relate not so much what is done as what they would have believed. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

“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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Hold your Council before Dinner; the full Belly hates Thinking as well as Acting. – Benjamin Franklin

Hope and faith may be more firmly built upon charity, than charity upon faith and hope. – Benjamin Franklin

Hope is an essential constituent of human life. – Benjamin Franklin

Hope of gain lessens pain. – Benjamin Franklin

Hot things, sharp things, sweet things, cold things – Benjamin Franklin

Hot things, sharp things, sweet things, cold things All rot the teeth, and make them look like old things. – Benjamin Franklin

How can any Action be meritorious of Praise or Dispraise, Reward or Punishment, when the natural Principle of Self-Love is the only and the irresistible Motive to it? – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them. – Benjamin Franklin

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts! – Benjamin Franklin

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. – Benjamin Franklin

Human felicity is produced not as much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day. – Benjamin Franklin

Human happiness comes not from infrequent pieces of good fortune, but from the small improvements to daily life. – Benjamin Franklin

Humility makes great men twice honorable – Benjamin Franklin

Hunger is the best pickle. – Benjamin Franklin

Hunger never saw bad bread. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. – Benjamin Franklin

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 acquaintance. – Benjamin Franklin

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. – Benjamin Franklin

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the mean.

I am in the prime of senility. – Benjamin Franklin

I am lord of myself, accountable to none. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I am the laziest man in the world. I invented all those things to save myself from toil. – Benjamin Franklin

I am what I am and that’s all that I am and if I’m supposed to be somebody else, why do I look like me? – Benjamin Franklin

I believe … that the soul of man is immortal and will be treated with justice in another life, respecting its conduct in this. – Benjamin Franklin

I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe in that He ought to be whipped from pillar to post and back again for His shameful actions toward Humanity. – Benjamin Franklin

I believe long habits of virtue have a sensible effect on the countenance. – Benjamin Franklin

I believe that Man is not the most perfect Being but One, rather that as there are many Degrees of Beings his Inferiors, so there are many Degrees of Beings superior to him. – Benjamin Franklin

I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things. – Benjamin Franklin

I condole with you, we have lost a most dear and valuable relation, but 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 should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals? A new member added to their happy society? We are spirits. That bodies should be lent us, while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or doing good to our fellow creatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God — when they become unfit for these purposes and afford us pain rather than pleasure — instead of an aid, become an incumbrance and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is provided by which we may get rid of them. Death is that way. We ourselves prudently choose a partial death. In some cases a mangled painful limb, which cannot be restored, we willingly cut off — He who plucks out a tooth, parts with it freely since the pain goes with it, and he that quits the whole body, parts at once with all pains and possibilities of pains and diseases it was liable to, or capable of making him suffer. – Benjamin Franklin

I don’t believe in stereotypes. I prefer to hate people on a more personal basis. – Benjamin Franklin

I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. The menace, gentlemen, is the Jews. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I have been apt to think that there has never been, nor ever will be, any such thing as a good war, or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. – Benjamin Franklin

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies. – Benjamin Franklin

I have heard that nothing gives an Author so great Pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors. – Benjamin Franklin

I have lived a long time, sir, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

I have met the enemy, and it is the eyes of other people. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I have 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. – Benjamin Franklin

I have no private interest in the reception of my inventions by the world, having never made, nor proposed to make, the least profit by any of them. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I have sometimes almost wished it had been my destiny to be born two or three centuries hence. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I know not which lives more unnatural lives, obeying husbands, or commanding wives. – Benjamin Franklin

I looked around for God’s judgments, but saw no signs of them. – Benjamin Franklin

I made the greater progress, from that clearness of head and quicker apprehension which generally attend temperance in eating and drinking. – Benjamin Franklin

I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else. – Benjamin Franklin

I never saw an oft-removed tree, nor yet an oft-removed family, that throve so well as those that settled be. – Benjamin Franklin

I never saw an oft-transplanted tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be – Benjamin Franklin

I never turned to drink. It seemed to turn to me. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory words, “Without vanity I may say,” etc., but some vain thing immediately followed. – Benjamin Franklin

I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first. – Benjamin Franklin

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning… – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I think that humanity brings much misery on itself by the false value they put on things. – Benjamin Franklin

I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled 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. – Benjamin Franklin

I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I was surprised to find myself so much fuller of Faults than I had imagined, but I had the Satisfaction of seeing them diminish. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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! – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I wish to live without committing any fault at any time. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully,’ than, ‘He died rich.’ – Benjamin Franklin

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings. – Benjamin Franklin

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and governments. – Benjamin Franklin

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter.

Idleness is the Dead Sea that swallows all virtues – Benjamin Franklin

Idleness is the Dead Sea that swallows all virtues. Be active in business, that temptation may miss her aim; the bird that sits is easily shot. – Benjamin Franklin

If a Man casually exceeds, let him fast the next Meal, and all may be well again, provided it be not too often done; as if he exceed at Dinner, let him refrain a Supper, &c. – Benjamin Franklin

If a man could half his wishes he would double his Troubles. – Benjamin Franklin

If a man could half of his wishes, he would double his troubles. – Benjamin Franklin

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. – Benjamin Franklin

If a man would reap praise, you must sow the seeds, gentle words and useful deeds. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture. – Benjamin Franklin

If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed. – Benjamin Franklin

If any form of government is capable of making a nation happy, ours I think bids fair now for producing that effect. But after all much depends upon the people who are governed. – Benjamin Franklin

If any man flatters me, I’ll flatter him again; tho’ he were my best Friend. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If better is possible, good is not enough – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking. – Benjamin Franklin

If evils come not, then our fears are vain:
And if they do, Fear but augments the pain. – Benjamin Franklin

If God blesses a Man, his Bitch brings forth Pigs. – Benjamin Franklin

If gymnastics were easy, it would be called football. 10% talent, 90% hard work. Energy and persistence conquer all things. – Benjamin Franklin

If I could see one live show before I died, I’d see Lucy Angel – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these savages in order to make room for the cultivation of the earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means. – Benjamin Franklin

If it were not for the Belly, the Back might wear Gold. – Benjamin Franklin

If Jack’s in love, he’s no judge of Jill’s beauty. – Benjamin Franklin

If man could have half his wishes he would double his troubles – Benjamin Franklin

If Men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion what would they be if without it? – Benjamin Franklin

If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? – Benjamin Franklin

If Passion drives, let Reason hold the reins. – Benjamin Franklin

If Pride leads the Van, Beggary brings up the Rear. – Benjamin Franklin

If principle is good for anything, it is worth living up to. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If this lady is pleased to spend her days with Franklin, he would be just as pleased to spend his nights with her. – Benjamin Franklin

If thou dost ill, the joy fades, not the pains; If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains. – Benjamin Franklin

If thou hast wit and learning, add to it wisdom and modesty. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

If time be of all things most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality, since lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will all hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

If we give up freedom for security, we are in danger of losing both. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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…. – Benjamin Franklin

If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both. – Benjamin Franklin

If what most men admire, they would despise, ‘Twould look as if mankind were growing wise – Benjamin Franklin

If wind blows on you thro’ a hole, Make your will and take care of your soul. – Benjamin Franklin

If you are active and prosperous, or young, or in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are wise, you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society. – Benjamin Franklin

If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a temporary victory – sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few. – Benjamin Franklin

If you desire many things, many things will seem few. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If you do tomorrow what you did today , you will get tomorrow what you got today – Benjamin Franklin

If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not. – Benjamin Franklin

If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. – Benjamin Franklin

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! – Benjamin Franklin

If you give up your freedom for safety, you don’t deserve either one – Benjamin Franklin

If you have a bald head don’t walk out in the sun because you will get burned. – Benjamin Franklin

If you have a secret and tell someone everyone will know. You can only keep a secret if you don’t tell anyone. – Benjamin Franklin

If you have no Honey in your Pot, have some in your Mouth. – Benjamin Franklin

If you have something to do tomorrow, do it today. – Benjamin Franklin

If you have time don’t wait for time. – Benjamin Franklin

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone. – Benjamin Franklin

If you ride a horse, sit close and tight, if you ride a man, sit easy and light. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want a neat wife, choose her on a Saturday. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want a thing done, go – if not, send. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want a thing done, go; if not, send. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want something done, ask a busy person. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want to be loved, love and be loveable. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want to be rich, think of the savings and get them. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want to keep a secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want to make a friend, let someone do you a favor. – Benjamin Franklin

If you watch your pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is much to be done for yourself, your family, your relations, and your country – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If you wou’d be reveng’d of your enemy, govern your self – Benjamin Franklin

If you wou’d have Guests merry with your cheer, Be so your self, or so at least appear. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would be loved, love and be lovable. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would be loved, love, and be loveable. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would be revenged of your enemy, govern yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would have guests merry with your cheer,
Be so yourself, or so at least appear. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would keep your secret from an enemy, – Benjamin Franklin

If you would keep your Secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would know the value of money try to borrow some. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a- borrowing goes a-sorrowing – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy reading,
Or do things worth the writing. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten, do things worth remembering. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect. – Benjamin Franklin

If you wouldn’t live long, live well; for folly and wickedness shorten life. – Benjamin Franklin

If you, do what you should not, you must bear what you would not. – Benjamin Franklin

If you’d be beloved, make yourself amiable. A true friend is the best possession. – Benjamin Franklin

If you’d be wealthy, think of saving, more than of getting: The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her Outgoes equal her Incomes. – Benjamin Franklin

If you’d have a Servant that you like, serve your self – Benjamin Franklin

If you’d have it done, Go: if not, Send – Benjamin Franklin

If you’d have your shoes last, put no nails in ’em. – Benjamin Franklin

If you’d lose a troublesome visitor, lend him money. – Benjamin Franklin

If your head is made of wax, don’t walk in the sun – Benjamin Franklin

If your head is wax, don’t walk in the Sun. – Benjamin Franklin

If your riches are yours, why don’t you take them with to the other world? – Benjamin Franklin

If your riches are yours, why don’t you take them with you to the other world? – Benjamin Franklin

Ill Customs & bad Advice are seldom forgotten. – Benjamin Franklin

Ill customs and bad advice are seldom forgotten. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

In 200 years will people remember us as traitors or heros? That is the question we must ask. – Benjamin Franklin

In a discreet man’s mouth, a public thing is private. – Benjamin Franklin

In America, they do not inquire of a stranger, “What is he?” but, “What can he do?” – Benjamin Franklin

In each religion there are essential things, and others which are only forms and fashions; as a loaf of sugar may perhaps be wrapped in brown or white or blue paper, and tied with a string of flax or wool, red or yellow; but the sugar is always the essential thing. – Benjamin Franklin

in eating ecology love murder vegan vegetarianism flesh eating is unprovoked murder. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people are their superiors and sovereigns. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

In humility imitate Jesus and Socrates. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

In order for three people to keep a secret, two must be dead. – Benjamin Franklin

In order to be happy you need a good dog, a good woman, and ready money. – Benjamin Franklin

In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye;
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own stronger errors blind. – Benjamin Franklin

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 nobody pities their Case. – Benjamin Franklin

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 completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility. – Benjamin Franklin

In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. – Benjamin Franklin

In rivers and bad governments the lightest things swim at top. – Benjamin Franklin

In rivers and bad governments, the lightest things swim at the top. – Benjamin Franklin

In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles. – Benjamin Franklin

In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two works, industry and frugality. – Benjamin Franklin

In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

In the dark, all cats are grey. – Benjamin Franklin

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

In Truth I found myself incorrigible with respect to Order; and now I am grown old, and my Memory bad, I feel very sensibly the want of it. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them. – Benjamin Franklin

Industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth . . . thereby [secures] virtue, it being more difficult for a man in want to act always honestly. . . . – Benjamin Franklin

Industry and patience are the surest means of plenty. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Industry pays debts, while despair increases them. – Benjamin Franklin

Industry, perseverance, and frugality make fortune yield. – Benjamin Franklin

Innocence is its own defense. – Benjamin Franklin

Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle. – Benjamin Franklin

Interest which blinds some People, enlightens others. – Benjamin Franklin

Is there any thing Men take more pains about than to render themselves unhappy? – Benjamin Franklin

It is a bad temper of mind that takes delight in opposition. – Benjamin Franklin

It is a common error in friends, when they would extol their friends, to make comparisons, and to depreciate the merits of others. – Benjamin Franklin

It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

It is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox. – Benjamin Franklin

It is better to let 100 criminals go free than to imprison 1 innocent man. – Benjamin Franklin

It is better to take many injuries than to give one. – Benjamin Franklin

It is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel. – Benjamin Franklin

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them. – Benjamin Franklin

It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it. – Benjamin Franklin

It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright. – Benjamin Franklin

It is ill-manners to silence a fool and cruelty to let him go on. – Benjamin Franklin

It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

It is observable that God has often called men to places of dignity and honor when they have been busy in the honest employment of their vocation. – Benjamin Franklin

It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth. – Benjamin Franklin

It is prodigious the quantity of good that may be done by one man if he will make a business of it. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture. – Benjamin Franklin

It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

It is the observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own – Benjamin Franklin

It is the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

It is therefore wish’d that all commerce were as free between all the nations of the world as it is between the several counties of England. – Benjamin Franklin

It is very hard to dislike someone you have helped – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

It seems to me, that if statesmen had a little more arithmetic, or were accustomed to calculation, wars would be much less frequent. – Benjamin Franklin

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only bad one to lose it. – Benjamin Franklin

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it. – Benjamin Franklin

It was  the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament which has caused in the colonies hatred of the English and . . . the Revolutionary War. – Benjamin Franklin

It was Noah who first planted the vine And mended his morals by drinking its wine. – Benjamin Franklin

It was said of him that he did not say much, but that when he did everyone stopped to listen. – Benjamin Franklin

It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part. – Benjamin Franklin

It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one tenth Part of their Time, to be employed in its Service. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s common for Men to give pretended Reasons instead of one real one. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s better to swim in the sea below Than to swing in the air and feed the crow, Says jolly Ned Teach of Bristol. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s common for Men to give 6 pretended Reasons instead of one real one. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s the easiest thing in the world for a man to deceive himself. – Benjamin Franklin

I’ve 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 the House they labor in vain who 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: 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. – Benjamin Franklin

I’ve striven my whole life for humility, but if I’d ever achieved it, I’d probably be pretty damn proud of that. – Benjamin Franklin

Joke went out, and brought home his fellow, and they two began a quarrel. – Benjamin Franklin

Joy doesn’t exist in the world, it exists in us. – Benjamin Franklin

Joy is not in things, it is in us. – Benjamin Franklin

Justice is as strictly due between neighbor nations as between neighbor citizens. – Benjamin Franklin

Kate would have Thomas, no one blame her can: Tom won’t have Kate, and who can blame the Man? – Benjamin Franklin

Keep conscience clear, then never fear. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep flax from fire, and youth from gaming. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep the eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep thou from the Opportunity, and God will keep thee from the Sin. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards. – Benjamin Franklin

Kill no more pigeons than you can eat. – Benjamin Franklin

Kings have long arms, but Misfortune longer: let none think themselves out of her reach. – Benjamin Franklin

Laws like to Cobwebs catch small Flies, Great ones break thro’ before your eyes. – Benjamin Franklin

Laws like to Cobwebs catch small Flies,
Great ones break thro’ before your eyes. – Benjamin Franklin

Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed. – Benjamin Franklin

Laws without morals are in vain. – Benjamin Franklin

Lawyers, Preachers, and Tomtits Eggs, there are more of them hatch’d than come to perfection. – Benjamin Franklin

Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him. – Benjamin Franklin

Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes it. – Benjamin Franklin

Leisure is the time for doing something useful. – Benjamin Franklin

Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never. – Benjamin Franklin

Let all Men know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly: Men freely ford that see the shallows. – Benjamin Franklin

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. – Benjamin Franklin

Let each new year find you a better person. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Let me resolve to be virtuous, that I may be happy, that I may please Him, who is delighted to see me happy. Amen. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Let our Fathers and Grandfathers be valued for their Goodness, ourselves for our own. – Benjamin Franklin

Let the experiment be made. – Benjamin Franklin

Let the Letter stay for the Post, and not the Post for the Letter – Benjamin Franklin

Let they child’s first lesson be obedience, and the second will be what thou wilt. – Benjamin Franklin

Let thy discontents be thy secrets – Benjamin Franklin

Let thy discontents be thy secrets; if the world knows them ’twill despise thee and increase them. – Benjamin Franklin

Let thy maid servant be faithful, strong, and homely. – Benjamin Franklin

Let thy vices die before thee. – Benjamin Franklin

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches. – Benjamin Franklin

Like a man travelling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, though in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them. – Benjamin Franklin

Little boats should keep near shore. – Benjamin Franklin

Little leaks sink the ship. – Benjamin Franklin

Little minds think and talk about people. Average minds think and talk about things and actions. Great minds think and talk about ideas. – Benjamin Franklin

Little rogues easily become great ones. – Benjamin Franklin

Little strokes fell great oaks. – Benjamin Franklin

Little strokes,
Fell great oaks. – Benjamin Franklin

Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind. – Benjamin Franklin

Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind. Bad Commentators spoil the best of books, So God sends meat (they say) the devil Cooks. – Benjamin Franklin

Look round the habitable world, how few Know their own good, or, knowing it, pursue! – Benjamin Franklin

Lose no time; be always employed in something useful. – Benjamin Franklin

Lost time can never be found again – Benjamin Franklin

Lost time is never found again, and what we call time enough, always proves little enough. – Benjamin Franklin

Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

Love and toothache have many cures, but none infallible, except possession and dispossession. – Benjamin Franklin

Love of country is the Mason’s deed; world citizenship is his thought. – Benjamin Franklin

Love thy neighbor — but don’t pull down your hedge. – Benjamin Franklin

Love well, whip well. – Benjamin Franklin

Love your Neighbour; yet don’t pull down your Hedge. – Benjamin Franklin

Love, Cough, & a Smoke, can’t well be hid. – Benjamin Franklin

Lovers, Travellers, and Poets, will give money to be heard – Benjamin Franklin

Lying rides upon debt’s back. – Benjamin Franklin

Mad kings and mad bulls are not to be held by treaties and packthread. – Benjamin Franklin

Make haste slowly. – Benjamin Franklin

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

Make the best use of both time and money. Add industry and frugal dealings if they pay very well and if you’re free to it. – Benjamin Franklin

Make use of your friends by being of use to them. – Benjamin Franklin

Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you. – Benjamin Franklin

Man and woman have each of them qualities and tempers in which the other is deficient, and which in union contribute to the common felicity. – Benjamin Franklin

Man is a tool-making animal – Benjamin Franklin

Mankind are dastardly when they meet with opposition. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter’d. – Benjamin Franklin

Man’s tongue is soft, and bone doth lack; yet a stroke therewith may break a man’s back. – Benjamin Franklin

Man’s tongue is soft, and bone doth lack;
Yet a stroke therewith may break a man’s back. – Benjamin Franklin

Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so. – Benjamin Franklin

Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it. – Benjamin Franklin

Many a Meal is lost for want of meat. – Benjamin Franklin

Many complain of their memory, few of their judgment. – Benjamin Franklin

Many dishes many diseases, Many medicines few cures. – Benjamin Franklin

Many dishes many diseases,
Many medicines few cures. – Benjamin Franklin

Many estates are spent in the getting, since women for tea forsake spinning and knitting, and men for punch forsake hewing and splitting. – Benjamin Franklin

Many estates are spent in the getting,
Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,
And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting. – Benjamin Franklin

Many foxes grow gray but few grow good. – Benjamin Franklin

Many have quarreled about religion that never practice it. – Benjamin Franklin

Many men die at twenty- five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five. – Benjamin Franklin

Many would live by their Wits, but break for want of Stock. – Benjamin Franklin

Marriage is the most natural state of man, and… the state in which you will find solid happiness. – Benjamin Franklin

Marry above thy match and you will get a master. – Benjamin Franklin

Marry your Daughter and eat fresh Fish betimes. – Benjamin Franklin

Marry your son when you will, but you daughter when you can. – Benjamin Franklin

Marry’d in haste, we oft repent at leisure. – Benjamin Franklin

Mary’s mouth cost her nothing for she never opens it but at others’ expense. – Benjamin Franklin

Mary’s mouth costs her nothing, for she never opens it but at others expense – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Men and Melons are hard to know. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Men differ daily about things which are subject to sense, is it likely then they should agree about things invisible. – Benjamin Franklin

Men take more pains to mask than mend. – Benjamin Franklin

Men take more pains to mask than to mend. – Benjamin Franklin

Moses lifting up his wand, and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the waters. This motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” – Benjamin Franklin

Most fools think they are only ignorant. – Benjamin Franklin

Most men die at 25, we just don’t bury them until they are 70. – Benjamin Franklin

Most men die from the neck up at age twenty-five because they stop dreaming. – Benjamin Franklin

Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75. – Benjamin Franklin

Most people die at 25 but are buried at 75. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay greater ones – with ingratitude. – Benjamin Franklin

Mr. Lincoln, I believe your grandfather was a farmer in Pennsylvania, – Benjamin Franklin

Much less is it adviseable for a Person to go thither [to America], who has no other Quality to recommend him but his Birth. In Europe it has indeed its Value; but it is a Commodity that cannot be carried to a worse Market than that of America, where people do not inquire concerning a Stranger, What is he? but, What can he do?

Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men. – Benjamin Franklin

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! – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chid for my singularity. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Nature performs the cure, the physician takes the fee. – Benjamin Franklin

Necessity is our quickest excuse. – Benjamin Franklin

Necessity knows no law; I know some attorneys of the same. – Benjamin Franklin

Necessity never made a good bargain. – Benjamin Franklin

Neglect kills injuries, revenge increases them. – Benjamin Franklin

Neglect mending a small fault and ’twill soon be a great one. – Benjamin Franklin

Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parly. – Benjamin Franklin

Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parley. – Benjamin Franklin

Never contradict anybody. – Benjamin Franklin

Never leave till tomorrow which you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin

Never praise your cider or your horse – Benjamin Franklin

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. – Benjamin Franklin

Never spare the parson’s wine nor the baker’s pudding – Benjamin Franklin

Never spare the Parson’s wine, nor Baker’s Pudding. – Benjamin Franklin

Never take a wife till thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in. – Benjamin Franklin

Never trust a government that doesn’t trust its own citizens with guns. – Benjamin Franklin

Nick’s Passions grow fat and hearty; his Understanding looks consumptive! – Benjamin Franklin

Nine men in ten are would be suicides. – Benjamin Franklin

No better relation than a prudent and faithful friend. – Benjamin Franklin

No employment can be managed without arithmetic, no mechanical invention without geometry. – Benjamin Franklin

No European who has tasted savage life can afterwards bear to live in our societies. – Benjamin Franklin

No gains without pains. – Benjamin Franklin

No longer virtuous no longer free; is a Maxim as true with regard to a private Person as a Common-wealth. – Benjamin Franklin

No man ever was glorious, who was not laborious. – Benjamin Franklin

No man ought to own more property than needed for his livelihood; the rest, by right, belonged to the state. – Benjamin Franklin

No man’s life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session. – Benjamin Franklin

No nation has ever been ruined by trade. – Benjamin Franklin

No nation was ever ruined by trade. – Benjamin Franklin

No one cares what you know until they know that you care! – Benjamin Franklin

No Resolution of Repenting hereafter, can be sincere. – Benjamin Franklin

No workman without tools,/ Nor Lawyer without Fools,/ Can live by their Rules. – Benjamin Franklin

None are deceived but they that confide. – Benjamin Franklin

None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in an error. – Benjamin Franklin

None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing. – Benjamin Franklin

Nor eye in a letter, nor hand in a purse, nor ear in the secret of another. – Benjamin Franklin

Nor is it of much Importance to us to know the Manner in which Nature executes her laws; ’tis enough to know the Laws themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing dries sooner than a tear. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing gives an author so much pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing great comes without enthusiasm. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing in the world is certain except for death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more fatal to health than an over care of it. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more important for the public wealth than to form and train youth in wisdom and virtue. Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is so tiresome to one’s self, as well as so odious to others, as disguise and affectation. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing preaches better than the act. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing’s so apt to undermine your confidence in a product as knowing that the commercial selling it has been approved by the company that makes it. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Now I’ve a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good morrow. – Benjamin Franklin

O Lazy bones! Dost thou think God would have given thee arms and legs, if he had not design’d thou should’st use them? – Benjamin Franklin

Of learned Fools I have seen ten times ten, Of unlearned wise men I have seen a hundred – Benjamin Franklin

Often I sit up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should be missed or wanted. – Benjamin Franklin

Oh the wonderful knowledge to be found in the stars. Even the smallest things are written there … if you had but skill to read. – Benjamin Franklin

Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the difference is only in the price. – Benjamin Franklin

Old Hob was lately married in the Night, What needed Day, his fair young Wife is light. – Benjamin Franklin

On being asked what condition of man he considered the most pitiable: A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read. – Benjamin Franklin

On second thought, it’s a good thing love is blind otherwise it would see too much. – Benjamin Franklin

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 – Benjamin Franklin

One day is worth a thousand tomorrows. – Benjamin Franklin

One good husband is worth two good wives, for the scarcer things are, the more they are valued. – Benjamin Franklin

One Man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than every body else. – Benjamin Franklin

One mend-fault is worth two find-faults, but one find-fault is better than two make-faults. – Benjamin Franklin

One Mend-fault is worth two Findfaults, but one Findfault is better than two Makefaults – Benjamin Franklin

One of the advantages of being a ‘reasonable creature’ is that one can find a reason for whatever one wants to do. – Benjamin Franklin

One of the greatest tragedies of life is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts. – Benjamin Franklin

One today is worth two tomorrows; never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin

Onions can make even Heirs and Widows weep. – Benjamin Franklin

Opportunity is the great bawd. – Benjamin Franklin

Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. – Benjamin Franklin

Originality is the art of concealing your sources. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Our necessities never equal our wants. – Benjamin Franklin

Our opinions are not in our own power; they are formed and governed much by circumstances that are often as inexplicable as they are irresistible. – Benjamin Franklin

Our whole life is but a greater and longer childhood. – Benjamin Franklin

Out of adversity comes opportunity. – Benjamin Franklin

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.” – Benjamin Franklin

Pain wastes the Body, Pleasures the Understanding. – Benjamin Franklin

Paintings and fightings are best seen at a distance. – Benjamin Franklin

Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good. – Benjamin Franklin

Passion governs, and she never governs wisely. – Benjamin Franklin

Patience in Market, is worth Pounds in a year. – Benjamin Franklin

Pay what you owe and you’ll know what’s your own. – Benjamin Franklin

Pen, wax and parchment govern the world. – Benjamin Franklin

People are best convinced by things they themselves discover. – Benjamin Franklin

People who are willing to give up freedom for the sake of short term security, deserve neither freedom nor security. – Benjamin Franklin

People who are wrapped up in themselves make small packages. – Benjamin Franklin

People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both. – Benjamin Franklin

Perform without fail what you resolve. – Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps I was too saucy and provoking. – Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps I’m too saucy or provoking? – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Philosophy as well as foppery often changes fashion. – Benjamin Franklin

Pity and forbearance should characterize all acts of justice. – Benjamin Franklin

Plough deep while sluggards sleep. – Benjamin Franklin

Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep;
And you shall have Corn, to sell and to keep. – Benjamin Franklin

Pollio, who values nothing that’s within, Buys books as men hunt Beavers, — for their Skin. – Benjamin Franklin

Poor Dick, eats like a well man, and drinks like a sick – Benjamin Franklin

Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle. – Benjamin Franklin

Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright. – Benjamin Franklin

Poverty, Poetry, and new Titles of Honor, make Men ridiculous – Benjamin Franklin

Pox take you, is no curse to some people. – Benjamin Franklin

Practice makes perfect. – Benjamin Franklin

Praise little, dispraise less. – Benjamin Franklin

Praise to the undeserving is severe satire. – Benjamin Franklin

Prayers and Provender hinder no Journey. – Benjamin Franklin

Presumption first blinds a man, then sets him a running. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Private property…is the creature of society and is subject to the calls of that society even to the last farthing. – Benjamin Franklin

Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou knowest, all thou hast, nor all thou cans’t. – Benjamin Franklin

Proclaim not all though knowest, or all though owest. – Benjamin Franklin

Prodigality of Time produces Poverty of Mind as well as of Estate. – Benjamin Franklin

Promises may fit the friends, but non performance will turn them into enemies. – Benjamin Franklin

Promises may get thee Friends, but Nonperformance will turn them into Enemies. – Benjamin Franklin

Punch-coal, cut-candle, and set brand on end, is neither good house wife, nor good house-wife’s friend. – Benjamin Franklin

Quacks are the greatest liars in the world except their patients. – Benjamin Franklin

Quarrels never could last long, if on one side only lay the wrong. – Benjamin Franklin

Rain or Snow, / To Chili go, / You’ll find it so,/ For ought we know./Time will show. – Benjamin Franklin

Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dulness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another’s Peace or Reputation. – Benjamin Franklin

Rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt – Benjamin Franklin

Read much, but not many books. – Benjamin Franklin

Read much, but not too many books. – Benjamin Franklin

Reader, I wish thee Health, Wealth, Happiness, And may kind Heaven thy Year’s Industry bless. – Benjamin Franklin

Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man. – Benjamin Franklin

Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself – Benjamin Franklin

Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God. – Benjamin Franklin

Receive before you write, but write before you pay. – Benjamin Franklin

Reckless haste makes poor speed. – Benjamin Franklin

Reckless youth makes rueful age. – Benjamin Franklin

Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another. – Benjamin Franklin

Remember that credit is money. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Remember, Sir, that [England] began the slave trade! – Benjamin Franklin

Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Remember, that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. – Benjamin Franklin

Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. – Benjamin Franklin

Revealed religion has no weight with me. – Benjamin Franklin

Revelation, indeed, as such had no influence on my mind – Benjamin Franklin

Rich widows are the only secondhand goods that sell at first-class prices. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Rules to find out a fit Measure of Meat and Drink. – Benjamin Franklin

Rules too soft are seldomly followed; rules too harsh are seldomly executed. – Benjamin Franklin

Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor but the highest form of flattery. – Benjamin Franklin

Savages we call them because their manners differ from ours. – Benjamin Franklin

Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs. – Benjamin Franklin

Saying and Doing, have quarrel’d and parted. – Benjamin Franklin

Scarcely have I ever heard or read the introductory phrase, “I may say without vanity,” but some striking and characteristic instance of vanity has immediately followed. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Seeing ourselves as others see us would probably confirm our worst suspicious about them. – Benjamin Franklin

Serving God is doing good to man, but praying is thought an easier service and therefore more generally chosen. – Benjamin Franklin

Setting too good an Example is a Kind of slander seldom forgiven. – Benjamin Franklin

She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth. – Benjamin Franklin

She that paints her Face, thinks of her Tail. – Benjamin Franklin

Silks and Satins, scarlets and velvets, put out the kitchen fire – Benjamin Franklin

Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is hurtful. – Benjamin Franklin

Since I cannot govern my own tongue, tho’ within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongues of others? – Benjamin Franklin

Since I cannot govern my own tongue, though within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongue of others? – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Since thou are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. – Benjamin Franklin

Singularity in the right hath ruined many; happy those who are convinced of the general opinion. – Benjamin Franklin

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 I believe, farther, 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.

Slavery is …an atrocious debasement of human nature. – Benjamin Franklin

Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. – Benjamin Franklin

Sloth like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright – Benjamin Franklin

Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all things easy. – Benjamin Franklin

Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright. – Benjamin Franklin

Snowy winter, a plentiful harvest. – Benjamin Franklin

So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do. – Benjamin Franklin

So convenient a thing to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Some are weatherwise, some are otherwise. – Benjamin Franklin

Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise. – Benjamin Franklin

Some books we read, tho’ few there are that hit the happy point where wisdom joins with wit. – Benjamin Franklin

Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination. – Benjamin Franklin

Some make Conscience of wearing a Hat in the Church, who make none of robbing the Altar. – Benjamin Franklin

Some men grow mad by studying much to know, But who grows mad by studying good to grow. – Benjamin Franklin

Some of the domestic evils of drunkenness are houses without windows, gardens without fences, fields without tillage, barns without roofs, children without clothing, principles, morals or manners. – Benjamin Franklin

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. – Benjamin Franklin

Some punishment seems preparing for a people who are ungratefully abusing the best constitution and the best King any nation was ever blessed with, intent on nothing but luxury, licentiousness, power, places, pensions, and plunder; while the ministry, divided in their counsels, with little regard for each other, worried by perpetual oppositions, in continual apprehension of changes, intent on securing popularity in case they should lose favor, have for some years past had little time or inclination to attend to our small affairs, whose remoteness makes them appear even smaller. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Spare and have is better than spend and crave. – Benjamin Franklin

Spare when young, and spend when old. – Benjamin Franklin

Speak and speed: the close mouth catches no flies. – Benjamin Franklin

Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody. – Benjamin Franklin

Speak with contempt of none, from slave to king, The meanest Bee hath, and will use, a sting. – Benjamin Franklin

Squeamish stomachs cannot eat without pickles. – Benjamin Franklin

Squirrel-like she covers her back with her tail. – Benjamin Franklin

Stand firm, don’t flutter! – Benjamin Franklin

Strange secrets are let out by Death Who blabs so oft the follies of this world. – Benjamin Franklin

Strange! that a Man who has wit enough to write a Satyr; should have folly enough to publish it. – Benjamin Franklin

Strange, that he who lives by Shifts, can seldom shift himself. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Strict punctuality is a cheap virtue. – Benjamin Franklin

Strive to be the best and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself. – Benjamin Franklin

Sudden power is apt to be insolent, sudden liberty saucy; that behaves best which has grown gradually.

Suspicion may be no fault, but showing it may be a great one. – Benjamin Franklin

Take a coin from your purse and invest it in your mind. It will come pouring out of your mind and overflow your purse. – Benjamin Franklin

Take care of the halfpence and pence, and the shillings and pounds will take care of themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

Take counsel in wine, but resolve afterwards in water. – Benjamin Franklin

Take courage, Mortal… Death cannot banish you from the Universe. – Benjamin Franklin

Take Courage, Mortal; Death can’t banish thee out of the Universe. – Benjamin Franklin

Take heed of the Vinegar of sweet Wine, and the Anger of Good-nature. – Benjamin Franklin

Take one thing with another, and the world is a pretty good sort of a world, and it is our duty to make the best of it, and be thankful. – Benjamin Franklin

Take the money in your wallet and invest it in your mind. And in return, your mind will fill up your wallet! – Benjamin Franklin

Take this remark from Richard poor and lame,
Whate’er’s begun in anger ends in shame. – Benjamin Franklin

Take time for all things. – Benjamin Franklin

Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste. – Benjamin Franklin

Tart words make no friends; a spoonful or honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar – Benjamin Franklin

Taxes are indeed very heavy – We are taxed twice as much by our Idleness. Three times as much by our Pride. And four times as much by our Folly. – Benjamin Franklin

Taxes on consumption, like those on capital or income, to be just, must be uniform. – Benjamin Franklin

Teach your child to hold his tongue, He’ll learn fast enough to speak. – Benjamin Franklin

Tell a miser he’s rich, and a woman she’s old, you’ll get no money of one, nor kindness of t’other – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved. – Benjamin Franklin

That man alone loves himself rightly who procures the greatest possible good to himself through the whole of his existence and so pursues pleasure as not to give for it more than it is worth. – Benjamin Franklin

That Quantity that is sufficient, the Stomach can perfectly concoct and digest, and it sufficeth the due Nourishment of the Body. – Benjamin Franklin

That the vegetable creation should restore the air which is spoiled by the animal part of it, looks like a rational system, and seems to be of a piece with the rest. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

That which hurts, also instructs. – Benjamin Franklin

That which resembles most living one’s life over again, seems to be to recall all the circumstances of it; and, to render this remembrance more durable, to record them in writing. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse. – Benjamin Franklin

The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest. – Benjamin Franklin

The apostle Paul very seriously advised Timothy to put some wine in his water for health’s sake, but not one of the apostles nor any of the holy fathers have ever recommended putting water in wine – Benjamin Franklin

The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing. – Benjamin Franklin

The best doctor gives the least medicines. – Benjamin Franklin

The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade. – Benjamin Franklin

The best is the cheapest. – Benjamin Franklin

The best of all medicines is resting and fasting – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The best tranquilizer is a clear conscience. – Benjamin Franklin

The best way to help the poor is to make them uncomfortable in their own poverty. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The borrower is slave to the lender and the debtor to the creditor. – Benjamin Franklin

The busy man has few idle visitors, to the boiling pot, the flies come out. – Benjamin Franklin

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! – Benjamin Franklin

The church, the state, and the poor, are 3 daughters which we should maintain, but not portion off. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The cunning man steals a horse, the wise man lets him alone. – Benjamin Franklin

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. – Benjamin Franklin

The devil wipes his breech with poor folks’ pride. – Benjamin Franklin

The Difficulty lies, in finding out an exact Measure but eat for Necessity, not Pleasure, for Lust knows not where Necessity ends. – Benjamin Franklin

The discontented man finds no easy chair. – Benjamin Franklin

The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars. – Benjamin Franklin

The early morning has gold in its mouth. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The English love an insult. It’s their only test of a man’s sincerity. – Benjamin Franklin

The exact Quantity and Quality being found out, is to be kept to constantly. – Benjamin Franklin

The excellency of hogs is fatness, of men virtue – Benjamin Franklin

The expenses required to prevent a war are much lighter than those that will, if not prevented, be absolutely necessary to maintain it. – Benjamin Franklin

The eye of a master will do more work than both his hands – Benjamin Franklin

The Faith you mention has doubtless its use in the World. I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavour to lessen it in any Man. But I wish it were more productive of good Works, than I have generally seen it: I mean real good Works, Works of Kindness, Charity, Mercy, and Publick Spirit; not Holiday-keeping, Sermon-Reading or Hearing; performing Church Ceremonies, or making long Prayers, filled with Flatteries and Compliments, despis’d even by wise Men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity. The worship of God is a Duty; the hearing and reading of Sermons may be useful; but, if Men rest in Hearing and Praying, as too many do, it is as if a Tree should Value itself on being water’d and putting forth Leaves, tho’ it never produc’d any Fruit.

The favor of the Great is no inheritance. – Benjamin Franklin

The first Degree of Folly, is to conceit one’s self wise; the second to profess it; the third to despise Counsel. – Benjamin Franklin

The first mistake in public business is going into it. – Benjamin Franklin

The first mistake in public business is the going into it. – Benjamin Franklin

The foundation of all happiness in thinking rightly. – Benjamin Franklin

The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: 1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action … 2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: – the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations; … 3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily.

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The generous Mind least regards money, and yet most feels the Want of it. – Benjamin Franklin

The Golden Age was never the present age. – Benjamin Franklin

The good or ill hap of a good or ill life, is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife. – Benjamin Franklin

The good particular men may do separately, in relieving the sick, is small, compared with what they may do collectively. – Benjamin Franklin

The good will of the governed will be starved if not fed by the good deeds of the governors. – Benjamin Franklin

The grand leap of the whale up the Fall of Niagara is esteemed, by all who have seen it, as one of the finest spectacles in nature. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The greatest inventions are those inquiries which tend to increase the power of man over matter. – Benjamin Franklin

The greatest monarch on the proudest throne is obliged to sit upon his own arse. – Benjamin Franklin

The handshake of the host affects the taste of the roast – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart. – Benjamin Franklin

The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart – Benjamin Franklin

The height of foolishness is to discard an opportunity without full investigation – Benjamin Franklin

The honest Man takes Pains, and then enjoys Pleasures; the knave takes Pleasure, and then suffers Pains. – Benjamin Franklin

The Honey is sweet, but the Bee has a Sting. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The key that unlocks a door is a key to keep if you want to go through that door again. – Benjamin Franklin

The key to a healthy marriage is to keep your eyes wide open before you wed and half-closed thereafter. – Benjamin Franklin

The king’s cheese is half wasted in parings;
but no matter, ’tis made of the people’s milk. – Benjamin Franklin

The King’s cheese is half wasted in parings: But no matter, ’tis made of the people’s milk. – Benjamin Franklin

The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned, but it is still nonsense. – Benjamin Franklin

The learned fool writes nonsense in better language that the unlearned – but it’s still nonsense. – Benjamin Franklin

The longer I live the more convinced I become that God governs in the affairs of men. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

The madness of mobs or the insolence of soldiers, or both, when too near to each other, occasion some mischief. – Benjamin Franklin

The magistrate should obey the laws, the people should obey the magistrate. – Benjamin Franklin

The man that walks wit crowd, will get no farther than the crowd. The man that walks alone, will reach places unknown. – Benjamin Franklin

The man who achieves makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing – Benjamin Franklin

The man who does things makes mistakes, but he doesn’t make the biggest mistake of all-doing nothing. – Benjamin Franklin

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. – Benjamin Franklin

The Man who with undaunted toils,/ sails unknown seas to unknown soils,/ With various wonders feasts his Sight: What stranger wonders does he write? – Benjamin Franklin

The Master-piece of Man, is to live to the purpose – Benjamin Franklin

The misers cheese is wholesomest – Benjamin Franklin

The modesty in a sect is perhaps a singular instance in the history of mankind, every other sect supposing itself in a position of all truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong; like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some dist – Benjamin Franklin

The moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted to us is the best the world has ever seen, or can see. – Benjamin Franklin

The 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. – Benjamin Franklin

The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater the need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance and enable him to plunder at pleasure. – Benjamin Franklin

The most acceptable service of God is doing good to man. – Benjamin Franklin

The most exquisite folly is made of wisdom spun too fine. – Benjamin Franklin

The most exquisite folly is made of wisdom too fine spun – Benjamin Franklin

The most trifling actions of a man, in my opinion, as well as the smallest features and lineaments of the face give a nice observer some notion of his mind. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The Muses love the Morning. – Benjamin Franklin

The nearest I can make it out, “Love your Enemies” means, “Hate your Friends” – Benjamin Franklin

The nearest way to come at glory, is to do that for conscience which we do for glory. – Benjamin Franklin

The noblest question in the world is: ‘What good may I do in it?’ – Benjamin Franklin

The one who fails to prepare is preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

The only certain things in life are death and taxes! – Benjamin Franklin

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance. – Benjamin Franklin

The only things of certainty are Death and Taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

The only time a question should be asked is when all other possibilities of finding the answer for yourself have been eliminated. – Benjamin Franklin

The only time not wasted is wasted time. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The painful Preacher, like a candle bright, Consumes himself in giving others Light. – Benjamin Franklin

The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary. – Benjamin Franklin

The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read. – Benjamin Franklin

The pleasures of this world are rather from God’s goodness than our own merit. – Benjamin Franklin

The Poor have little, Beggars none;
The Rich too much, enough not one. – Benjamin Franklin

The poor have little; beggars, none; the rich, too much; enough, not one. – Benjamin Franklin

The poor man must walk to get meat for his stomach, the rich man to get a stomach to his meat. – Benjamin Franklin

The problem with common sense is, it isn’t. – Benjamin Franklin

The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you’re finished. – Benjamin Franklin

The proof of gold is fire, the proof of woman, gold; the proof of man, a woman. – Benjamin Franklin

The proof of gold is fire… – Benjamin Franklin

The proof of gold is fire; the proof of woman, gold, the proof of man, a woman.

The proud hate pride – in others. – Benjamin Franklin

The proud hate pride in others. – Benjamin Franklin

The punishment of murder by death is contrary to reason, and to the order and happiness of society, and contrary to divine revelation. – Benjamin Franklin

The purpose of money was to purchase one’s freedom to pursue that which is useful and interesting. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The rotten apple spoils his companion. – Benjamin Franklin

The same man cannot be both Friend and Flatterer. – Benjamin Franklin

The school looks very good. The uniforms are a good thing. It will be easy for my wife. She won’t have to fight about clothes. – Benjamin Franklin

The second vice is lying, the first is running in debt. – Benjamin Franklin

The securest place is a prison cell, but there is no liberty – Benjamin Franklin

The sleeping fox catches no poultry. – Benjamin Franklin

The sleeping Fox catches no poultry. Up! up!

The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasonings with each other is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. – Benjamin Franklin

The States acceded to the Union. – Benjamin Franklin

The Sting of a reproach, is the Truth of it. – Benjamin Franklin

The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice. – Benjamin Franklin

The Sun never repents of the good he does, nor does he ever demand a recompense – Benjamin Franklin

The sun of liberty is set; you must light up the candle of industry and economy. – Benjamin Franklin

The things of this world take up too much of my time, of which indeed I have too little left, to undertake anything like a reformation in religion. – Benjamin Franklin

The things which hurt, instruct. – Benjamin Franklin

The thrifty maxim of the wary Dutch, Is to save all the Money they can touch – Benjamin Franklin

The Tongue is ever turning to the aching Tooth. – Benjamin Franklin

The tongue offends and the ears get the cuffing – Benjamin Franklin

The two most beautiful sights I have witnessed in my life are a full blown ship at sail and the round-bellied pregnant female. – Benjamin Franklin

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it. – Benjamin Franklin

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money. – Benjamin Franklin

The used key is always bright. – Benjamin Franklin

The way to be safe is never to be secure. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason. – Benjamin Franklin

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle. – Benjamin Franklin

The way to wealth depends on just two words, industry and frugality. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The wise and the brave dares own that he was wrong. – Benjamin Franklin

The wise man draws more advantage from his enemies than the fool from his friends – Benjamin Franklin

The wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others, than showing a great deal yourself. He who goes out of your company pleased with his own facetiousness and ingenuity, will the sooner come into it again. – Benjamin Franklin

The world is run by the people who show up. – Benjamin Franklin

The worship of God is a duty; the hearing and reading of sermons may be useful; but if men rest in hearing and praying, as too many do, it is as if a tree should value itself in being watered and putting forth leaves, tho’ it never produced any fruit. – Benjamin Franklin

The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise. – Benjamin Franklin

Then plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep. – Benjamin Franklin

There are in life real evils enough, and it is folly to afflict ourselves with imaginary ones; it is time enough when the real ones arrive. – Benjamin Franklin

There are lazy minds as well as lazy bodies. – Benjamin Franklin

There are more old drunkards than old doctors. – Benjamin Franklin

There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit. – Benjamin Franklin

There are no gains without pains. – Benjamin Franklin

There are no ugly loves nor handsome prisons. – Benjamin Franklin

There are three faithful friends – an old wife, an old dog, and ready money. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self. – Benjamin Franklin

There are two ways of being happy — we may either diminish our wants or augment our means — either will do, the result is the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

There cannot be a stronger natural right than that of a man’s making the best profit he can of the natural produce of his lands. – Benjamin Franklin

There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking. – Benjamin Franklin

There can’t be good living where there is not good drinking. – Benjamin Franklin

There have been as great souls unknown to fame as any of the most famous. – Benjamin Franklin

There is a difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him. – Benjamin Franklin

There is always room for the man of force. – Benjamin Franklin

There is much difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him. – Benjamin Franklin

There is much difference between imitating a man and counterfeiting him. – Benjamin Franklin

There is much money given to be laughed at, though the purchasers don’t know it; witness A.’s fine horse, and B.’s fine house. – Benjamin Franklin

There is much money given to be laught at, though the purchasers don’t know it; witness A’s fine horse, and B’s fine house – Benjamin Franklin

There is much truth in the Italian saying, ‘Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.’ – Benjamin Franklin

There is no gains without pain. – Benjamin Franklin

There is no good war or bad peace – Benjamin Franklin

There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government. – Benjamin Franklin

There is no little enemy – Benjamin Franklin

There is no man so bad, but he secretly respects the good. – Benjamin Franklin

There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin

There is none deceived but he that trusts. – Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing so absurd as knowledge spun too fine. – Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing wrong with retirement as long as one doesn’t allow it to interfere with one’s work. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

There never was a good knife made of bad steel. – Benjamin Franklin

There never was a good war nor a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin

There never was a good war or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin

There never was a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

There seems to be three ways for a nation to acquire wealth: the first is by war…this is robbery; the second by commerce, which is generally cheating; the third by agriculture, the only honest way. – Benjamin Franklin

there was great difference between persons and, discretion did not always accompany years nor was youth always with out it – Benjamin Franklin

There was never a bad peace or a good war. – Benjamin Franklin

There was never a good war, or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin

There will be plenty of time to sleep once you are dead – Benjamin Franklin

There will be sleeping enough in the grave. – Benjamin Franklin

There’s many witty men whose brains can’t fill their bellies. – Benjamin Franklin

There’s no gain, without pain. – Benjamin Franklin

There’s small Revenge in Words, but Words may be greatly revenged – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

They that study much, ought not to eat so much as those that work hard, their Digestion being not so good. – Benjamin Franklin

They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason she will rap you on the knuckles. – Benjamin Franklin

They who have nothing to trouble them, will be troubled at nothing. – Benjamin Franklin

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security – Benjamin Franklin

Think how great a proportion of mankind, consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great Point for its Security; – – Benjamin Franklin

Think of these things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account. – Benjamin Franklin

Think What You Do When You Run in Debt: You Give to Another Power over Your Liberty – Benjamin Franklin

Thinking aloud is a habit which is responsible for most of mankind’s misery. – Benjamin Franklin

This is sometimes of great use. – Benjamin Franklin

Tho’ the Mastiff be gentle, yet bite him not by the Lip. – Benjamin Franklin

Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them. – Benjamin Franklin

Those have a short Lent who owe money to be paid at Easter. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Those that won’t be counseled can’t be helped. – Benjamin Franklin

Those things that hurt, instruct. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who are content have enough; those that complain, have too much. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who are fear’d, are hated. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who are willing to forfeit liberty for security will have neither. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have either one. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who give up liberty for the sake of security, deserve neither liberty nor security. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who in quarrels interpose, must often wipe a bloody nose. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who laugh often never grow old. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who pay for what they buy upon Credit, pay their Share of this Advance. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who prefer security to liberty deserve neither. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who sacrifice essential liberty for temporary safety are not deserving of either liberty or safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who would give up liberty for safety deserve neither. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who would trade in their freedom for their protection deserve neither. – Benjamin Franklin

Thou can’st not joke an enemy into a friend, but thou may’st a friend into an enemy. – Benjamin Franklin

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. – Benjamin Franklin

Three good meals a day is bad living. – Benjamin Franklin

Three removes are as bad as a fire – Benjamin Franklin

Three things are men most likely to be cheated in, a horse, a wig, and a wife. – Benjamin Franklin

till we are uneasy in Rest, we can have no Desire to move, and without Desire of moving there can be no voluntary Motion. – Benjamin Franklin

Tim was so learned, that he could name a horse in nine Languages.
So ignorant, that he bought a cow to ride on. – Benjamin Franklin

Time eateth all things, could old poets say, The times are chang’d, our times drink all away. – Benjamin Franklin

Time eateth all things, could old poets say,
The times are chang’d, our times drink all away. – Benjamin Franklin

Time is an herb that cures all Diseases. – Benjamin Franklin

Time is money, be a better you. – Benjamin Franklin

Time is money. – Benjamin Franklin

Time is money’… Waste it now. Pay for it later! – Benjamin Franklin

Time is the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin

Time Like a petal in the wind Flows softly by As old lives are taken New ones begin A continual chain Which lasts throughout eternity Every life but a minute in time But each of equal importance – Benjamin Franklin

Timothy was so learned he could name a horse in 9 languages, and bought a cow to ride on. – Benjamin Franklin

Tis against some men’s principle to pay interest, and seems against others’ interest to pay the principle – Benjamin Franklin

Tis better leave for an enemy at one’s death, than beg of a friend in one’s life – Benjamin Franklin

‘Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it. – Benjamin Franklin

Tis easy to see, hard to foresee. – Benjamin Franklin

’tis his honesty that brought upon him the character of a heretic. – Benjamin Franklin

‘Tis more noble to forgive, and more manly to despise, than to revenge an Injury. – Benjamin Franklin

‘Tis not a Holiday that’s not kept holy. – Benjamin Franklin

‘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. . . . – Benjamin Franklin

To all apparent beauties blind, each blemish strikes an envious mind. – Benjamin Franklin

To be content, look backward on those who possess less than yourself, not forward on those who possess more. If this does not make you content, you don’t deserve to be happy. – Benjamin Franklin

To be proud of Knowledge, is to blind with Light; to be proud of Virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote. – Benjamin Franklin

To be proud of virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote. – Benjamin Franklin

To be thrown upon one’s own resources is to be cast into the very lap of fortune, for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible. – Benjamin Franklin

To be thrown upon one’s own resources, is to be cast in the very lap of fortune. – Benjamin Franklin

To bear other people’s afflictions, everyone has courage and enough to spare. – Benjamin Franklin

To cease to think creatively is to cease to live – Benjamin Franklin

To err is human, to repent divine; to persist devilish. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

To the discontented man no chair is easy – Benjamin Franklin

To the haranguers of the populace among the ancients, succeed among the moderns your writers of political pamphlets and news-papers, and your coffee-house talkers. – Benjamin Franklin

Today is yesterday’s pupil. – Benjamin Franklin

Tolerate no Uncleanliness in Body, Clothes, or Habitation. – Benjamin Franklin

Tomorrow every fault is to be amended; but tomorrow never comes. – Benjamin Franklin

Tomorrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes. – Benjamin Franklin

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance. – Benjamin Franklin

Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enought to be honest – Benjamin Franklin

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest. – Benjamin Franklin

Tricks and Treachery are the Practice of Fools, that have not Wit enough to be honest – Benjamin Franklin

Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away. – Benjamin Franklin

Trouble springs from idleness, and grievous toil from needless ease. – Benjamin Franklin

Trouble Springs From Idleness. – Benjamin Franklin

Trust thy self, and another shall not betray thee – Benjamin Franklin

Trusting too much to others care is the ruin of many. – Benjamin Franklin

Truth and sincerity have a certain distinguishing native lustre about them which cannot be perfectly counterfeited; they are like fire and flame, that cannot be painted. – Benjamin Franklin

Turn Turk Tim, and renounce thy Faith in Words as well as Actions: Is it worse to follow Mahomet than the Devil? – Benjamin Franklin

Two dry Sticks will burn a green One. – Benjamin Franklin

Two passions have powerful influence on the affairs of men: the love of power and the love of money. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough – Benjamin Franklin

Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly and, if you speak, speak accordingly. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Venison and venery defeated me. – Benjamin Franklin

Vessels large may venture more, but little boats should keep near shore. – Benjamin Franklin

Vice knows [its] ugly, so [it] puts on [a] mask. – Benjamin Franklin

Vice knows she is ugly, so puts on her mask. – Benjamin Franklin

Vice knows she’s ugly, so puts on her mask – Benjamin Franklin

Vice knows that she is ugly, so she puts on her mask. – Benjamin Franklin

Vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful. – Benjamin Franklin

Visit your Aunt, but not every Day; and call at your Brother’s, but not every night. – Benjamin Franklin

Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge – Benjamin Franklin

War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later. – Benjamin Franklin

Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. – Benjamin Franklin

Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything. – Benjamin Franklin

Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

We are a kind of posterity in respect to them. – Benjamin Franklin

We are all born without knowledge, but curious. With curiosity we should be able to learn as much as possible. With curiosity, it has to take a lot of work to remain ignorant. – Benjamin Franklin

We are more heavily taxed by our idleness, pride and folly than we are taxed by government. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

We are not so sensible of the greatest Health as of the least Sickness. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride and four times as much by our foolishness. – Benjamin Franklin

We assemble parliaments and councils, to have the benefit of their collected wisdom; but we necessarily have, at the same time, the inconvenience of their collected passions, prejudices, and private interests. By the help of these, artful men overpower their wisdom, and dupe its possessors; and if we may judge by the acts, arrets, and edicts, all the world over, for regulating commerce, an assembly of great men is the greatest fool upon earth. – Benjamin Franklin

We believe that there is one economic lesson which our twentieth century experience has demonstrated conclusively-that America can no more survive and grow without big business than it can survive and grow without small business…. the two are interdependent. You cannot strengthen one by weakening the other, and you cannot add to the stature of a dwarf by cutting off the legs of a giant. – Benjamin Franklin

We can defer, yet time is most certainly not. – Benjamin Franklin

We constantly change the world, even by our inaction. Therefore, let us change it responsibly. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

We have no poor houses in the Colonies, and if we had, we would have no one to put in them, as in the Colonies there is not a single unemployed man, no poor and no vagabonds. – Benjamin Franklin

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; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it. – Benjamin Franklin

We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. – Benjamin Franklin

We may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. – Benjamin Franklin

We must all hang together or assuredly we shall hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

We must all hang together, else we shall fall hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

We must hang together or assuredly we shall hang separately – Benjamin Franklin

We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. – Benjamin Franklin

We should make the poor uncomfortable and kick them out of poverty. – Benjamin Franklin

Wealth and Content are not always Bed-fellows. – Benjamin Franklin

Were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults in the first. – Benjamin Franklin

What can laws do without morals? – Benjamin Franklin

What good shall I do this day? – Benjamin Franklin

What has become clear to you since we last met? – Benjamin Franklin

What have you wrought … A Republic if you can keep it. – Benjamin Franklin

What I am to be, I am now becoming. – Benjamin Franklin

What is a butterfly? At best He’s but a caterpiller drest. The gaudy Fop’s his picture just. – Benjamin Franklin

What is best for people is what they do for themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

What is the recipe for successful achievement? Choose a career you love. Give it the best there is in you. Seize your opportunities. And be a member of the team. – Benjamin Franklin

What is the use of a new-born child ? – Benjamin Franklin

What is without us has no connection with happiness, only so far as the preservation of our lives and health depends upon it. . . . Happiness springs immediately from the mind. – Benjamin Franklin

What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people, is that they don’t want to discourage it completely. – Benjamin Franklin

What more valuable than Gold? Diamonds. Than Diamonds? Virtue. – Benjamin Franklin

What one relishes, nourishes. – Benjamin Franklin

What pains our Justice takes his faults to hide, With half that pains sure he might cure ’em quite – Benjamin Franklin

What science can there be more noble, more excellent, more useful for men, more admirably high and demonstrative, than this of mathematics? – Benjamin Franklin

What signifies knowing the Names, if you know not the Natures of things. – Benjamin Franklin

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? – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

What you seem to be, be really. – Benjamin Franklin

What you would seem to be, be really. – Benjamin Franklin

Whatever you become be good at it – Benjamin Franklin

What’s a Sun-Dial in the shade? – Benjamin Franklin

What’s proper, is becoming: See the Blacksmith with his white Silk Apron! – Benjamin Franklin

When a man and a woman die, as poets sung, His heart’s the last part moves, her last, the tongue – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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…. – Benjamin Franklin

When befriended, remember it; when you befriend, forget it. – Benjamin Franklin

When circumstances don’t fit our ideas they become our difficulties – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

When Death puts out our Flame, the Snuff will tell,
If we were Wax, or Tallow by the Smell.
At a great Pennyworth, pause a while. – Benjamin Franklin

When I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring favors, but as paying debts. I have received much kindness from men to whom I shall never have an opportunity of making the least direct returns; and numberless mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our services. Those kindnesses from men I can, therefore, only return on their fellow-men, and I can only show my gratitude for those mercies from God by a readiness to help His other children. – Benjamin Franklin

When I reflect, as I frequently do, upon the felicity I have enjoyed, I sometimes say to myself, that were the offer made me, 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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

When I was a child of seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure. This however was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Dont give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money. – Benjamin Franklin

When Knaves betray each other, one can scarce be blamed or the other pitied. – Benjamin Franklin

When knaves fall out, honest men get their goods; when priests dispute, we come at the truth – Benjamin Franklin

When Man and Woman die, as Poets sung,
His Heart’s the last part moves, her last, the tongue. – Benjamin Franklin

When men and woman die, as poets sung, his heart’s the last part moves, her last, the tongue. – Benjamin Franklin

When men are employed they are best contented. – Benjamin Franklin

When men differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public; when Truth and Error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter. – Benjamin Franklin

When nature gave us tears, She gave us leave to weep. – Benjamin Franklin

When passion rules, she never rules wisely. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic. – Benjamin Franklin

When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. – Benjamin Franklin

When the well is dry, people know the worth of water. [so appreciate what you have while you have it] – Benjamin Franklin

When the well is dry, they know the worth of water. – Benjamin Franklin

When there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, and your country, be up by peep of day! Let not the sun look down and say, ‘Inglorious here he lies!’ – Benjamin Franklin

When there’s no Law, there’s no Bread. – Benjamin Franklin

When ’tis fair be sure take your Great coat with you – Benjamin Franklin

When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration? – Benjamin Franklin

When Wine enters, out goes the Truth. – Benjamin Franklin

When women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. – Benjamin Franklin

When you are done changing, you’re done. – Benjamin Franklin

When you are good to others, you are best to yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

When you are in debt, then you are a slave. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

When you speak to a man, look on his eyes; when he speaks to you, look on his mouth. – Benjamin Franklin

When you taste honey, remember gall. – Benjamin Franklin

When you’re an Anvil, hold you still;
When you’re a Hammer, strike your Fill. – Benjamin Franklin

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. – Benjamin Franklin

When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet. – Benjamin Franklin

Whenever we attempt to mend the scheme of Providence and to interfere in the Government of the world, we had need be very circumspect lest we do more harm than good. – Benjamin Franklin

Where carcasses are, eagles will gather, And where good laws are, much people flock thither – Benjamin Franklin

Where liberty is, there is my country. – Benjamin Franklin

Where security exists, liberty and opportunity do not. – Benjamin Franklin

Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting. – Benjamin Franklin

Where there is a free government, and the people make their own laws by their representatives, I see no injustice in their obliging one another to take their own paper money. – Benjamin Franklin

Where there is hunger, law is not regarded; and where law is not regarded, there will be hunger. – Benjamin Franklin

Where there’s marriage without love, there will be love without marriage. – Benjamin Franklin

Where there’s no law, there’s no bread. – Benjamin Franklin

Where yet was ever found the Mother, Who’d change her booby for another? – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Whilst the last members were signing the Constitution, Doctor Franklin, looking towards the Presidents chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art, a rising, from a setting, sun. I have, said he, often and often, in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President, without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now at length, I have the happiness to know, that it is a rising, and not a setting sun. – Benjamin Franklin

Who had deceived thee so often as thyself? – Benjamin Franklin

Who has deceived thee as oft as thyself. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad habits. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad Habits. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his Portion. – Benjamin Franklin

Who judges best of a Man, his Enemies or himself? – Benjamin Franklin

Who knows a fool, must know his brother; For one will recommend another. – Benjamin Franklin

Who pleasure gives, Shall joy receive – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world. – Benjamin Franklin

Why does the blind man’s wife paint herself. – Benjamin Franklin

Why ruin a young girl’s life when you can make an older women SO very happy ! – Benjamin Franklin

Why should I give my Readers bad lines of my own when good ones of other People’s are so plenty? – Benjamin Franklin

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… – Benjamin Franklin

Wife from thy Spouse each blemish hide More than from all the World beside: Let DECENCY be all thy Pride. – Benjamin Franklin

Willows are weak, but they bind the Faggot. – Benjamin Franklin

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Wine is God’s way of telling us that he loves us and wants us to be happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Wine is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried with fewer tensions and more tolerance. – Benjamin Franklin

Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones. – Benjamin Franklin

Wise men learn by others’ harms, fools scarcely by their own. – Benjamin Franklin

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something. – Benjamin Franklin

Wish a miser long life, and you wish him no good. – Benjamin Franklin

Wish not so much to live long as to live well. – Benjamin Franklin

With regard to future bliss, I cannot help imagining that multitudes of the zealously orthodox of different sects, who at the last day may flock together in hopes of seeing each other damned, will be disappointed, and obliged to rest content With the – Benjamin Franklin

With the old Almanack and the old Year,
Leave thy old Vices, tho ever so dear. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Without industry and frugality, nothing will do; with them, everything. – Benjamin Franklin

Without justice, courage is weak. – Benjamin Franklin

Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely. – Benjamin Franklin

Women & Wine, Game & Deceit, Make the Wealth small and the Wants great. – Benjamin Franklin

Women and wine, game and deceit, make the wealth small, and the want great – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Women are books, and men the readers be… – Benjamin Franklin

Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning. – Benjamin Franklin

Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die Tomorrow. – Benjamin Franklin

Work as if you were to live a hundred years,
Pray as if you were to die tomorrow. – Benjamin Franklin

Would thou confound thy enemy, be good thyself. – Benjamin Franklin

Would you live with ease, Do what you ought, and not what you please. – Benjamin Franklin

Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason. – Benjamin Franklin

Wouldst 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. – Benjamin Franklin

Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble. – Benjamin Franklin

Write to Please Yourself. When You write to Please Others You end up Pleasing No one. – Benjamin Franklin

Write with the learned, pronounce with the vulgar. – Benjamin Franklin

Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble. – Benjamin Franklin

Yet, in buying Goods, ’tis best to pay ready Money, because, – Benjamin Franklin

You and I were long friends: you are now my enemy, and I am yours. – Benjamin Franklin

You can bear your own faults, and why not a fault in your wife? – Benjamin Franklin

You can do anything you set your mind to. – Benjamin Franklin

You can not pluck roses without fear of thorns, Nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns. – Benjamin Franklin

You cannot always run from a weakness. You must sometime fight it out or perish. – Benjamin Franklin

You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns
Nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns. – Benjamin Franklin

You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns, Nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns. – Benjamin Franklin

You can’t tell anyone anything. You have to teach people for them to remember. Let the person experience what you are teaching and they will learn. – Benjamin Franklin

You don’t get somebody to like you by doing them a favor. That only tends to build resentment over the fact that they are needy and you are not. No, you ask them to do you a favor. – Benjamin Franklin

You have on hand those things that you need if you have but the wit and wisdom to use them. – Benjamin Franklin

You have two choices, write about something of significance or do something someone wants to write about. – Benjamin Franklin

You made delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

You may be more happy than Princes, if you will be more virtuous. – Benjamin Franklin

You may delay, but time will not.– Benjamin Franklin

You may give give a man office, but you cannot give him discretion – Benjamin Franklin

You may sometimes be much in the Wrong, in owning your being in the Right. – Benjamin Franklin

You may talk too much on the best of subjects. – Benjamin Franklin

You must always be prepared. Make sure to look at things from all angles. If you are not prepared you will fail. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

You will be careful, if you are wise; How you touch Men’s Religion, or Credit, or Eyes. – Benjamin Franklin

You will discover 3 trustworthy mates, an aged wife, an aged canine, and ready dollars. – Benjamin Franklin

You will find the key to success under the alarm clock. – Benjamin Franklin

You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known, and exist, before it is generally received and practiced on. – Benjamin Franklin

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! – Benjamin Franklin

Your argument is sound, nothing but sound. – Benjamin Franklin

Your best investment is to pour your purse into your head, and no one can take it away from you. – Benjamin Franklin

Youth, Age, and Sick require a different Quantity. – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Inspirational

Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor. – Benjamin Franklin

Creditors have better memories than debtors. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. – Benjamin Franklin

Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin

Drive thy business or it will drive thee. – Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed, and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.– Benjamin Franklin

Employ your time well, if you mean to get leisure. – Benjamin Franklin

Energy and persistence conquer all things. – Benjamin Franklin

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is. – Benjamin Franklin

He that can have patience can have what he will. – Benjamin Franklin

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin

He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. – Benjamin Franklin

Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade? – Benjamin Franklin

If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing. – Benjamin Franklin

It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man. – Benjamin Franklin

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps the history of the errors of mankind, all things considered, is more valuable and interesting than that of their discoveries. – Benjamin Franklin

Take it from Richard, poor and lame, what’s begun in anger ends in shame. – Benjamin Franklin

To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it. – Benjamin Franklin

Well done is better than well said. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is wise? He that learns from every one. – Benjamin Franklin

You may delay, but time will not. – Benjamin Franklin

Motivational

A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines. – Benjamin Franklin

All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. – Benjamin Franklin

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. – Benjamin Franklin

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.  – Benjamin Franklin

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t cry over spilled milk – Benjamin Franklin

Fear not death for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal. – Benjamin Franklin

For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned. – Benjamin Franklin

He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals. – Benjamin Franklin

He that speaks much, is much mistaken. – Benjamin Franklin

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes – Benjamin Franklin

Never confuse motion with action. – Benjamin Franklin

One today is worth two tomorrows. – Benjamin Franklin

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Benjamin Franklin

Speak little, do much. – Benjamin Franklin

The best way to see faith is to shut the eye of Reason. – Benjamin Franklin

Tis a great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his. – Benjamin Franklin

To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girlfriends. – Benjamin Franklin

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals. – Benjamin Franklin

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions. – Benjamin Franklin

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. – Benjamin Franklin

Well done is better than well said. – Benjamin Franklin

When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet. – Benjamin Franklin

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. – Benjamin Franklin

You only have the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

Life

Life is a kind of Chess, with struggle, competition, good and ill events. – Benjamin Franklin

Life is a kind of chess. – Benjamin Franklin

Life is rather a state of embryo, a preparation for life; a man is not completely born till he has passed through death. – Benjamin Franklin

Life with Fools consists in Drinking; with the wise Man, living’s Thinking. – Benjamin Franklin

Life with fools consists in drinking; with the wise man, thinking. – Benjamin Franklin

Life, like a dramatic piece, should not only be conducted with regularity, but it should finish handsomely. – Benjamin Franklin

Life’s Tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin

Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin

A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. – Benjamin Franklin

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Death takes no bribes. – Benjamin Franklin

Dine with little, sup with less,
Do better still – sleep supperless. – Benjamin Franklin

Do you love life? Then don’t waste time, because time is life! – Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. – Benjamin Franklin

Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others. – Benjamin Franklin

Energy and persistence conquer all things – Benjamin Franklin

He that can have patience can have what he will. – Benjamin Franklin

Honesty is the best policy. – Benjamin Franklin

I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning. – Benjamin Franklin

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. – Benjamin Franklin

If you wouldst live long, live well; for folly and wickedness shorten life – Benjamin Franklin

Life biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. – Benjamin Franklin

Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults. – Benjamin Franklin

Love, a cough, and a smoke can’t well be hidden. – Benjamin Franklin

Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five. – Benjamin Franklin

Men’s minds do not die with their bodies but are made more happy or miserable after this life according to their actions. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

The next thing most like living one’s life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing. – Benjamin Franklin

There are two ways to increase your wealth. Increase your means or decrease your wants. The best is to do both at the same time. – Benjamin Franklin

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead. – Benjamin Franklin

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. – Benjamin Franklin

We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing! – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame. – Benjamin Franklin

When you are finished changing, you’re finished. – Benjamin Franklin

When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet. – Benjamin Franklin

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. – Benjamin Franklin

On Leadership & Success

Success has ruined many a man. – Benjamin Franklin

Success is the residue of planning. – Benjamin Franklin

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. – Benjamin Franklin

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. – Benjamin Franklin

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. – Benjamin Franklin

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin

In success be moderate. – Benjamin Franklin

Let every one ascertain his special business and calling, and then stick to it if he wants to be successful. – Benjamin Franklin

Some people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until seventy five. – Benjamin Franklin

The secret of success is constancy to purpose. – Benjamin Franklin

There are many roads to success, but only one sure road to failure; and that is to try to please everyone else. – Benjamin Franklin

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions. – Benjamin Franklin

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. – Benjamin Franklin

Would you live with ease, do what you should, and not what you please. Success has ruined many a man. – Benjamin Franklin

On Health

A full belly makes a dull brain. – Benjamin Franklin

A good spouse and health is a person’s best wealth. – Benjamin Franklin

Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. – Benjamin Franklin

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 best chance for such consequences. – Benjamin Franklin

Beauty and folly are old companions. – Benjamin Franklin

Dine with little, sup with less,
Do better still – sleep supperless. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t misinform your doctor nor your lawyer. – Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise – Benjamin Franklin

Eat and drink such an exact Quantity as the Constitution of thy Body allows of, in reference to the Services of the Mind. – Benjamin Franklin

Eat few suppers, and you’ll need few medicines. – Benjamin Franklin

Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. – Benjamin Franklin

Eat to live, and not live to eat. – Benjamin Franklin

Eat to live, don’t live to eat. – Benjamin Franklin

I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up. – Benjamin Franklin

In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep your mouth wet, feet dry. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more fatal to health than an overcare of it. – Benjamin Franklin

One should eat to live, not live to eat. – Benjamin Franklin

People want to catch a buzz. That is why drugs are illegal, yet people still try to get their hands on them no matter what the consequence. Drugs make us happy, they may not be healthy. – Benjamin Franklin

Rules of Health and long Life, and to preserve from Malignant Fevers, and Sickness in general. – Benjamin Franklin

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals. – Benjamin Franklin

Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

On Knowledge, Education and Learning

An investment in education always pays the highest returns. – Benjamin Franklin

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. – Benjamin Franklin

Common sense without education, is better than education without common sense. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

Experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other. – Benjamin Franklin

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that; for it is true we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. – Benjamin Franklin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine. – Benjamin Franklin

I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. – Benjamin Franklin

I know as well as thee that I am no poet born It is a trade, I never learnt nor indeed could learn If I make verses-’tis in spite Of nature and my stars I write. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Knowledge of the investment is most profitable – Benjamin Franklin

Learn of the skillful; he that teaches himself, has a fool for his master. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance. – Benjamin Franklin

To be proud of knowledge is to be blind with light. – Benjamin Franklin

On Freedom, Liberty, Tyranny, and Rights

All the property that is necessary to a man for the conservation of the individual… is his natural right which none can justly deprive him of. – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin expressed the goal of America’s experiment in liberty when he said, 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. – Benjamin Franklin

Every man…is, of common right, and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free enjoyment of liberty. – Benjamin Franklin

Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Frequent recurrence to fundamental principles…[is] absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and keep a government free. – Benjamin Franklin

From a persuasion that equal liberty was originally the portion, it is still the birthright of all men. – Benjamin Franklin

Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. – Benjamin Franklin

I hope…that all mankind will at length…have reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats. – Benjamin Franklin

If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles. – Benjamin Franklin

It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins… – Benjamin Franklin

Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. – Benjamin Franklin

Liberality is not giving much, but giving wisely. – Benjamin Franklin

Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. – Benjamin Franklin

Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing brings more pain than too much pleasure; nothing more bondage than too much liberty. – Benjamin Franklin

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. – Benjamin Franklin

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Our cause is the cause of all mankind…we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own. – Benjamin Franklin

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes! – Benjamin Franklin

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God (proposed by Franklin for the motto of the Great Seal of the United States). – Benjamin Franklin

Security without liberty is called prison. – Benjamin Franklin

Sell not…liberty to purchase power. – Benjamin Franklin

The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater the need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance and enable him to plunder at pleasure. – Benjamin Franklin

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Tis a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own. – Benjamin Franklin

To whom thy secret thou dost tell, To him thy freedom thou dost sell – Benjamin Franklin

To whom you betray your secret you sell your liberty. – Benjamin Franklin

Well, Doctor, what have we gota Republic or a Monarchy? A Republic, if you can keep it. – Benjamin Franklin

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. – Benjamin Franklin

Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech. – Benjamin Franklin

On The Constitution

A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy – “A republic,” replied the Doctor, “if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin

Every Man who comes among us, and takes up a piece of Land, becomes a Citizen, and by our Constitution has a Voice in Elections, and a share in the Government of the Country. – Benjamin Franklin

I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. 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. – Benjamin Franklin

I consent Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes, – Benjamin Franklin

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

The United States Constitutional Convention, except for three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary. – Benjamin Franklin

The US Constitution only guarantees your rights as a citizen, it doesn’t guarantee happiness. It may take work, but if you have your rights, happiness is very possible. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

This Constitution…can only end in despotism…when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other. – Benjamin Franklin

We need a revolution every 200 years, because all governments become stale and corrupt after 200 years. – Benjamin Franklin

On Hard Work

When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water. – Benjamin Franklin

Work as if you were to live one hundred years; pray as if you were to die tomorrow. – Benjamin Franklin

Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow. One today is worth two tomorrows; never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. – Benjamin Franklin

An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow. – Benjamin Franklin

Cut off all unnecessary actions. – Benjamin Franklin

Diligence is the mother of good luck. – Benjamin Franklin

Diligence overcomes difficulties; sloth makes them. – Benjamin Franklin

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

Energy and persistence conquer all things. – Benjamin Franklin

God works wonders now and then; Behold a lawyer, an honest man. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s a fool that makes his doctor an heir. – Benjamin Franklin

I early found that when I worked for myself alone, myself alone worked for me; but when I worked for others also, others worked also for me. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Industry need not wish. – Benjamin Franklin

It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is a miserable man. – Benjamin Franklin

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. – Benjamin Franklin

Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him. – Benjamin Franklin

The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

What maintains one vice would bring up two children. – Benjamin Franklin

When men are employed, they are best contented; for on the days they worked they were good-natured and cheerful, and, with the consciousness of having done a good day’s work, they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were mutinous and quarrelsome. – Benjamin Franklin

On Money

Money & Man a mutual Friendship show: Man makes false Money, Money makes Man so. – Benjamin Franklin

Money has never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum it makes one.

Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants. – Benjamin Franklin

Money is of a prolific generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more. – Benjamin Franklin

Money makes money. And the money that makes money makes more money. – Benjamin Franklin

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

All rot the teeth and make them look like old things. – Benjamin Franklin

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one. – Benjamin Franklin

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship. – Benjamin Franklin

Beware the hobby that eats. – Benjamin Franklin

Courteous Reader, remember that time is money. – Benjamin Franklin

Creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times. – Benjamin Franklin

Creditors have better memories than debtors. – Benjamin Franklin

Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck. – Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. – Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” He planned his routine around waking up at 5 a.m. and asking himself “What good shall I do this day? – Benjamin Franklin

Employ your time well, if you mean to get leisure. – Benjamin Franklin

God heals, and the doctor takes the fee. – Benjamin Franklin

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days – Benjamin Franklin

He does not possess wealth; it possesses him. – Benjamin Franklin

He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. – Benjamin Franklin

He that lieth down with dogs will rise up with fleas. – Benjamin Franklin

He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner. – Benjamin Franklin

He that would have a short Lent, let him borrow Money to be repaid at Easter. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

If you want to become rich, never waste your time and money. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would know the value of money; go, and try to borrow some! For, he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing! and indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in again! – Benjamin Franklin

It is foolish to lay out money for the purchase of repentance. – Benjamin Franklin

Lend money to an enemy, and thou will gain him, to a friend and thou will lose him. – Benjamin Franklin

Many have been ruined by buying good Pennyworths. – Benjamin Franklin

Nothing but money is sweeter than honey. – Benjamin Franklin

One today is worth two tomorrows. – Benjamin Franklin

Poverty wants some things, luxury many things, avarice all things. – Benjamin Franklin

Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt. – Benjamin Franklin

The cat in gloves catches no mice. – Benjamin Franklin

The wolf sheds his coat once a year, his disposition never. – Benjamin Franklin

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor. – Benjamin Franklin

There are three faithful friends,
An old wife, an old dog, and ready money. – Benjamin Franklin

Three can keep a secret if two are dead. – Benjamin Franklin

Tis a well spent penny that saves a groat. – Benjamin Franklin

Tis against some mens principle to pay interest, and seems against others interest to pay the principle. – Benjamin Franklin

Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it. – Benjamin Franklin

When in doubt, don’t. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

On Wisdom

Each year one vicious habit rooted out,
In time might make the worst Man good throughout.– Benjamin Franklin

He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book. – Benjamin Franklin

He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s a fool that cannot conceal his wisdom. – Benjamin Franklin

He’s a Fool that cannot conceal his wisdom. – Benjamin Franklin

If thou hast wit & learning, add to it Wisdom and Modesty. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria. – Benjamin Franklin

Increase in me that wisdom Which discovers my truest interest, Strengthen my resolution To perform that which wisdom dictates. – Benjamin Franklin

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterward. – Benjamin Franklin

Love your neighbor, but don’t pull down your hedge. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Observe all men, thyself most. – Benjamin Franklin

Take it from Richard, poor and lame, what’s begun in anger ends in shame. – Benjamin Franklin

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

The door of wisdom are never shut. – Benjamin Franklin

The doors of wisdom are never shut. – Benjamin Franklin

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. – Benjamin Franklin

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it. – Benjamin Franklin

On Virtue

Virtue alone is sufficient to make a man great, glorious, and happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Virtue and Happiness are Mother and Daughter. – Benjamin Franklin

Virtue may not always make a Face handsome, but Vice will certainly make it ugly. – Benjamin Franklin

Virtues, of … Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. – Benjamin Franklin

Virtues, of … Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. – Benjamin Franklin

Indeed the general natural Tendency of Reading good History, must be, to fix in the Minds of Youth deep Impressions of the Beauty and Usefulness of Virtue of all Kinds, Publick Spirit, Fortitude. – Benjamin Franklin

Mine is better than ours. – Benjamin Franklin

Moderation in all things – including moderation. – Benjamin Franklin

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. – Benjamin Franklin

Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. – Benjamin Franklin

Pride gets into the Coach, and Shame mounts behind. – Benjamin Franklin

Pride is as loud a beggar as want, and a great deal more saucy – Benjamin Franklin

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. – Benjamin Franklin

Pride is said to be the last vice the good man gets clear of… – Benjamin Franklin

Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt. – Benjamin Franklin

Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices – Benjamin Franklin

Search others for virtues, thyself for thy vices. – Benjamin Franklin

Seek virtue and of that posest, to Providence resign the rest. – Benjamin Franklin

Seek Virtue, and, of that possessed, To Providence, resign the rest. – Benjamin Franklin

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power. – Benjamin Franklin

Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. – Benjamin Franklin

Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a folly. – Benjamin Franklin

Silence is not always a sign of wisdom, but babbling is ever a mark of folly. – Benjamin Franklin

Sloth and Silence are a Fool’s Virtues – Benjamin Franklin

Some, to make themselves considerable, pursue learning; others grasp at wealth; some aim at being thought witty; and others are only careful to make the most of a handsome person; but what is wit, or wealth, or form, or learning, when compared with virtue? It is true we love the handsome, we applaud the learned, and we fear the rich and powerful; but we even worship and adore the virtuous. – Benjamin Franklin

Temperance puts wood on the fire, meal in the barrel, flour in the tub, money in the purse, credit in the country, contentment in the house, clothes on the back, and vigor in the body. – Benjamin Franklin

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 every one alike to practice this virtue. – Benjamin Franklin

The end of Passion is the beginning of Repentance. – Benjamin Franklin

Thirteen virtues necessary for true success: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. – Benjamin Franklin

To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness. – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

From Wikiquote

1720s

  • Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter’d: Whatever sooths our Pride, and tends to exalt our Species above the rest of the Creation, we are pleas’d with and easily believe, when ungrateful Truths shall be with the utmost Indignation rejected. “What! bring ourselves down to an Equality with the Beasts of the Field! with the meanest part of the Creation! ‘Tis insufferable!” But, (to use a Piece of common Sense) our Geese are but Geese tho’ we may think ’em Swans; and Truth will be Truth tho’ it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.
    • “A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain” (1725).
  • 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.
    • “Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion” (1728).

1730s

  • If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
    • “Apology for Printers” (1730); later in Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiographical Writings (1945) edited by Carl Van Doren
  • Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us.
    • “On True Happiness”, Pennsylvania Gazette (20 November 1735).
  • 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 and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
    • “On Freedom of Speech and the Press”, Pennsylvania Gazette (17 November 1737).

1740s

  • 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 on
    • 25 June 1745, “Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress”
  • Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, rather thrown away, five shillings, besides.
    “Remember, that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.
    “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 three pence, 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.”
    “Remember this saying, The good paymaster 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. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings; therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend’s purse for ever.
    “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 eight at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it, before he can receive it, in a lump. ‘It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.’
    “Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect: you will discover how wonderfully small, trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
    “For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.
    “He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.
    “He that wastes idly a groat’s worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day.
    “He that idly loses five shillings’ worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.
    “He that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum of money.”
  • Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One (1748), as quoted by Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Chapter II: The Spirit of Capitalism, 1905. [1][2], [3]
  • History will also afford frequent Opportunities of showing the Necessity of a Publick Religion, from its Usefulness to the Publick; the Advantage of a Religious Character among private Persons; the Mischiefs of Superstition, &c. and the Excellency of the Christian Religion above all others antient 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 &c. Thus may the first Principles of sound Politics be fixed in the minds of youth.
    On Historical occasions, Questions of Right and Wrong, Justice and Injustice, will naturally arise, and may be put to Youth, which they may debate in Conversation and in Writing. When they ardently desire of Victory, for the Sake of the Praise attending it, they will begin to feel the want, and be sensible of the use of the Use of Logic, or the Art of Reasoning to discover Truth, and of Arguing to defend it, and convince adversaries.

    • Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania (1749), p. 22; the statement relates to the teaching of History as a subject, and the last quoted paragraph concludes with the footnote “†”: Public Disputes warm the Imagination, whet the Industry, and strengthen the natural Abilities.

1750s

  • The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: 1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action … 2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: — the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations; … 3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily…
    • “The Morals of Chess” (article) (1750).
  • why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? 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. 24. Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind.
    • 1751 Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind
  • Make a small Cross of two light Strips of Cedar, the Arms so long as to reach to the four Corners of a large thin Silk Handkerchief when extended; tie the Corners of the Handkerchief to the Extremities of the Cross, so you have the Body of a Kite; which being properly accommodated with a Tail, Loop and String, will rise in the Air, like those made of Paper; but this being of Silk is fitter to bear the Wet and Wind of a Thunder Gust without tearing. To the Top of the upright Stick of the Cross is to be fixed a very sharp pointed Wire, rising a Foot or more above the Wood. To the End of the Twine, next the Hand, is to be tied a silk Ribbon, and where the Twine and the silk join, a Key may be fastened. This Kite is to be raised when a Thunder Gust appears to be coming on, and the Person who holds the String must stand within a Door, or Window, or under some Cover, so that the Silk Ribbon may not be wet; and Care must be taken that the Twine does not touch the Frame of the Door or Window. As soon as any of the Thunder Clouds come over the Kite, the pointed Wire will draw the Electric Fire from them, and the Kite, with all the Twine, will be electrified, and the loose Filaments of the Twine will stand out every Way, and be attracted by an approaching Finger. And when the Rain has wet the Kite and Twine, so that it can conduct the Electric Fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the Key on the Approach of your Knuckle. At this Key the Phial may be charg’d; and from Electric Fire thus obtain’d, Spirits may be kindled, and all the other Electric Experiments be perform’d, which are usually done by the Help of a rubbed Glass Globe or Tube; and thereby the Sameness of the Electric Matter with that of Lightning compleatly demonstrated.
    • “Franklin’s statement”, The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 19, 1752.
  • These Thoughts, my dear Friend, are many of them crude and hasty, and if I were merely ambitious of acquiring some Reputation in Philosophy, I ought to keep them by me, ’till corrected and improved by Time and farther Experience. But since even short Hints, and imperfect Experiments in any new Branch of Science, being communicated, have oftentimes a good Effect, in exciting the attention of the Ingenious to the Subject, and so becoming the Occasion of more exact disquisitions (as I before observed) and more compleat Discoveries, you are at Liberty to communicate this Paper to whom you please; it being of more Importance that Knowledge should increase, than that your Friend should be thought an accurate Philosopher.
    • Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson, September 1753.
  • Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    • This was first used[1] by Franklin for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its “Reply to the Governor” (11 Nov. 1755)
    • This quote was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759); the book was published by Franklin; its author was Richard Jackson, but Franklin did claim responsibility for some small excerpts that were used in it.
    • In 1775 Franklin again used this phrase in his contribution to Massachusets Conference (Objections to Barclay’s Draft Articles of February 16.) – “They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
    • An earlier variant by Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack (1738): “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
    • Many paraphrased derivatives of this have often become attributed to Franklin:
      • They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
        They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
        Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.
        He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.
        He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.
        People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.
        If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both.
        Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
        He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.
        Those who would trade in their freedom for their protection deserve neither.
        Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.

1760s

  • I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled 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. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.
    • On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor (29 November 1766).
  • The good particular men may do separately, in relieving the sick, is small, compared with what they may do collectively.
    • Appeal for the Hospital The Pennsylvania Gazette (8 August 1751).
  • [Referring to private hospital funding alone:] That won’t work, it will never be enough, good health care costs a lot of money, remembering ‘the distant parts of this province’ in which ‘assistance cannot be procured, but at an expense that neither [the sick-poor] nor their townships can afford.’ … ‘[This] seems essential to the true spirit of Christianity, and should be extended to all in general, whether deserving or undeserving, as far as our power reaches.’
    • In 1751, Franklin’s friend, Dr. Thomas Bond, convinced him to champion the building of a public hospital. Through his hard work and political ingenuity, Franklin brought the skeptical legislature to the table, bargaining his way to use public money to build what would become Pennsylvania Hospital. Franklin proposed an institution that would provide — ‘free of charge’ —the finest health care to everybody, ‘whether inhabitants of the province or strangers,’ even to the ‘poor diseased foreigners”‘ (referring to the immigrants of German stock that the colonials tended to disparage and discriminate). Countering the Assembly’s insistence that the hospital be built only with private donations, Franklin made the above statement. Various articles by Franklin supporting his Appeal for the Hospital in The Pennsylvania Gazette (1751) as quoted in Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan.

1770s

  • That the vegetable creation should restore the air which is spoiled by the animal part of it, looks like a rational system, and seems to be of a piece with the rest. Thus fire purifies water all the world over. It purifies it by distillation, when it raises it in vapours, and lets it fall in rain; and farther still by filtration, when keeping it fluid, it suffers that rain to percolate the earth. We knew before that putrid animal substances were converted into sweet vegetables when mixed with the earth and applied as manure; and now, it seems, that the same putrid substances, mixed with the air, have a similar effect. The strong, thriving state of your mint, in putrid air, seems to show that the air is mended by taking something from it, and not by adding to it. I hope this will give some check to the rage of destroying trees that grow near houses, which has accompanied our late improvements in gardening, from an opinion of their being unwholesome. I am certain, from long observation, that there is nothing unhealthy in the air of woods; for we Americans have everywhere our country habitations in the midst of woods, and no people on earth enjoy better health or are more prolific.
    • “Letter to Joseph Priestley” in response to Priestley’s “experiments on the restoration of air [by plants] made noxious by animals breathing it, or putrefying it…” read in Philosophical Transactions LXII 147-267 of the Royal Society (1772) and quoted in John Towill Rutt, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Priestley… Vol.1 (1831).
  • But our great security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth; … unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit …; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.
    • Letter to Thomas Cushing (1773).
  • [A] great Empire, like a great Cake, is most easily diminished at the Edges.
    • “Rules By Which A Great Empire May Be Reduced To A Small One”; The Public Advertiser (September 11, 1773).
  • He has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.
    • The Whistle (November, 1779); reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

1780s

  • They appeared all to have made considerable progress in reading for the time they had respectively been in the school, and most of them answered readily and well the questions of the catechism. They behaved very orderly, and showed a proper respect and ready obedience to the mistress, and seemed very attentive to, and a good deal affected by, a serious exhoration with which Mister Sturgeon concluded our visit. I was on the whole much pleased, and from what I then saw, 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.
    • Letter to Waring (17 December 1783), after visiting a school, as quoted in The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (March 2002), by H.W. Brands, p. 355.
  • Much less is it adviseable for a Person to go thither [to America], who has no other Quality to recommend him but his Birth. In Europe it has indeed its Value; but it is a Commodity that cannot be carried to a worse Market than that of America, where people do not inquire concerning a Stranger, What is he? but, What can he do?
    • March 1784 Information to Those Who Would Remove to America.

Decade unclear

  • Has not the famous political Fable of the Snake, with two Heads and one Body, some useful Instruction contained in it? She was going to a Brook to drink, and in her Way was to pass thro’ a Hedge, a Twig of which opposed her direct Course; one Head chose to go on the right side of the Twig, the other on the left, so that time was spent in the Contest, and, before the Decision was completed, the poor Snake died with thirst.
    • Queries and Remarks Respecting Alterations in the Constitution of Pennsylvania reported in Albert H. Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1907), vol. 10, pp. 57–58.
  • Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
    • As quoted in Dictionary of Thoughts (1908) by Tryon Edwards, p. 22.
  • The art of concluding from experience and observation consists in evaluating probabilities, in estimating if they are high or numerous enough to constitute proof. This type of calculation is more complicated and more difficult than one might think. It demands a great sagacity generally above the power of common people. The success of charlatans, sorcerors, and alchemists — and all those who abuse public credulity — is founded on errors in this type of calculation.
    • Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier, Rapport des commissaires chargés par le roi de l’examen du magnétisme animal (1784), as translated in “The Chain of Reason versus the Chain of Thumbs”, Bully for Brontosaurus (1991) by Stephen Jay Gould,. p. 195.
  • Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitious care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart… To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty… and to procure for their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted.
    • For the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (1789). As quoted in Writings (1987), p. 1154-1155.
  • 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.’
    • Letter to David Hartley (December 4, 1789); reported in Albert H. Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1907), Volume 10, p. 72; often quoted as, “Where liberty dwells, there is my country“.
  • 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 corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble.
    • As quoted in Benjamin Franklin: An Exploration of a Life of Science and Service (1938) by Carl Van Doren, p. 777.
    • Variation: “The moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted to us is the best the world has ever seen, or can see.”, as quoted in John Wallis (1856), The British Millennial Harbinger, p. 428.
  • Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
    • Benjamin Franklin proposed this as the motto on the Great Seal of the United States. It is often falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson because he endorsed the motto. It may have been inspired by a similar quote made by Simon Bradstreet after the 1688 overthrow of Edmund Andros. Bradstreet’s quote is found in two sources: Official Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the State Convention: assembled May 4th, 1853 (1853) by the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, p. 502 and A Book of New England Legends and Folk Lore (1883) by Samuel Adams Drake. p. 426.
  • Man [is a] tool-making animal.
    • Quoted by James Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson, April 7, 1778 (1791).

Poor Richard’s Almanack

Main article: Poor Richard’s Almanack
  • Distrust & caution are the parents of security.
    • Poor Richard’s Almanack (1733)
  • If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.
    • Poor Richard’s Almanack (1736), November
  • A penny saved is two pence clear.
    • “Hints For Those That Would Be Rich”, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1737)
  • Let all Men know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly: Men freely ford that see the shallows.
    • Poor Richard’s Almanack (1743)
  • Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.
    • Poor Richard’s Almanack (1756); this has also been quoted in a paraphrased form used by Bill Clinton in [1998 address to Beijing University, as “Our critics are our friends, they show us our faults”.
  • A penny saved is a penny got.
    • Preface, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)
  • The Way to ſee by Faith is to ſhut the Eye of Reaſon: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.
    • “July. VII Month.“, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758), Philadelphia: B. Frankin and D. Hall
  • It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one-tenth Part of their Time, to be employed in its Service.
    • Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758), “The Way to Wealth”

Petition from the Pennsylvania Society (1790)

“Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery” (3 February 1790)
  • [M]ankind are all formed by the same Almighty being, alike objects of his Care & equally designed for the Enjoyment of Happiness the Christian Religion teaches us to believe & the Political Creed of America fully coincides with the Position.
  • [B]lessings ought rightfully to be administered, without distinction of Colour, to all descriptions of People, so they indulge themselves in the pleasing expectation, that nothing, which can be done for the relive of the unhappy objects of their care, will be either omitted or delayed.
  • From a persuasion that equal liberty was originally the Portion, It is still the Birthright of all men.

The Autobiography (1818)

  • Indeed I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory Words, Without Vanity I may say, etc. but some vain thing immediately follow’d. 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 that are within his Sphere of Action: And therefore in many Cases it would not be quite absurd if a Man were to thank God for his Vanity among the other Comforts of Life.
    • Part I, p. 2.
  • From a Child I was fond of Reading, and all the little Money that came into my Hands was ever laid out in Books.
    • Part I, p. 9.
  • I believe I have omitted mentioning that in my first Voyage from Boston, being becalm’d off Block Island, our People set about catching Cod and haul’d up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my Resolution of not eating animal Food and on this Occasion, I consider’d with my Master Tryon, the taking every Fish as a kind of unprovok’d Murder, since none of them had or ever could do us any Injury that might justify the Slaughter. All this seem’d very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great Lover of Fish, and when this came hot out of the Frying Pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanc’d some time between Principle and Inclination: till I recollected, that when the Fish were opened, I saw smaller Fish taken out of their Stomachs: Then, thought I, if you eat one another, I don’t see why we mayn’t eat you. So I din’d upon Cod very heartily and continu’d to eat with other People, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable Diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
    • Part I, p. 28.
  • My Parents had early given me religious Impressions, and brought me through my Childhood piously in the Dissenting Way. But I was scarce 15 when, after doubting by turns of several Points as I found them disputed in the different Books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some Books against Deism fell into my Hands; they were said to be the Substance of Sermons preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an Effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them: For the Arguments of the Deists which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much Stronger than the Refutations. In short I soon became a thorough Deist.
    • Part I, p. 45.
  • This Library afforded me the Means of Improvement by constant Study, for which I set apart an Hour or two each Day; and thus repair’d in some Degree the Loss of the Learned Education my Father once intended for me. Reading was the only Amusement I allow’d myself. I spent no time in Taverns, Games, or Frolics of any kind. And my Industry in my Business continu’d as indefatigable as it was necessary.
    • Part II, p. 64.
  • These Names of Virtues with their Precepts were
    • 1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to Dulness. Drink not to Elevation.
    • 2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or your self. Avoid trifling Conversation.
    • 3. ORDER. Let all your Things have their Places. Let each part of your Business have its Time.
    • 4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
    • 5. FRUGALITY. Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. Waste nothing.
    • 6. INDUSTRY. Lose no Time. Be always employ’d in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
    • 7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful Deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
    • 8. JUSTICE. Wrong none, by doing Injuries or omitting the Benefits that are your Duty.
    • 9. MODERATION. Avoid Extremes. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.
    • 10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no Uncleanliness in Body, Clothes, or Habitation.
    • 11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at Trifles, or at Accidents common or unavoidable.
    • 12. CHASTITY. Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dulness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another’s Peace or Reputation.
    • 13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates. [Part II, pp. 67-68]
      • The last of Franklin’s chart of 13 virtues: “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; … I determined endeavouring to cure myself if I could of this Vice or Folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my List…”
    • Part II, p. 75.
  • 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 completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my Humility. [Part II, p. 76]
    • Written in Passy (1784), Ch. VI
  • In 1736 I lost one of my Sons, a fine Boy of 4 Years old, by the Smallpox 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.
    • On Immunization, Part III, p. 83.
  • Upon one of his [George Whitefield’s] Arrivals from England at Boston, he wrote to me that he should come soon to Philadelphia, but knew not where he could lodge when there …. My Answer was; You know my House, if you can make shift with its scanty Accommodations you will be most heartily welcome. He replied, that if I made that kind of Offer for Christ’s sake, I should not miss of a Reward. And I return’d, Don’t let me be mistaken; it was not for Christ’s sake, but for your sake. One of our common Acquaintance jocosely remark’d, that knowing it to be the Custom of the Saints, when they receiv’d any favor, to shift the Burden of the Obligation from off their own Shoulders, and place it in Heaven, I had contriv’d to fix it on Earth.
    • Part III, p. 89.
  • Governor Thomas was so pleas’d with the Construction of this Stove, as describ’d in it, that he offer’d to give me a Patent for the sole Vending of them for a Term of Years; but I declin’d it from a Principle which has ever weigh’d with me on such Occasions, viz. That as we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of Others, we should be glad of an Opportunity to serve others by any Invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    • Part III, p. 98.
  • Human Felicity is produc’d not so much by great Pieces of good Fortune that seldom happen, as by little Advantages that occur every Day.
    • Part III, p. 108.

The Autobiography (1916)

  • Franklin is a good type of our American manhood. Although not the wealthiest or the most powerful, he is undoubtedly, in the versatility of his genius and achievements, the greatest of our self-made men. The simple yet graphic story in the Autobiography of his steady rise from humble boyhood in a tallow-chandler shop, by industry, economy, and perseverance in self-improvement, to eminence, is the most remarkable of all the remarkable histories of our self-made men. It is in itself a wonderful illustration of the results possible to be attained in a land of unequaled opportunity by following Franklin’s maxims.
    • Written by Frank Woodworth Pine in his introduction to the 1916 publication of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Pine, F.W. (editor). Henry Holt and Company via Gutenberg Press. (1916). Introduction.

Constitutional Convention of 1787

  • I’ve 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 the House they labor in vain who 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: 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.
    • Speech to the Constitutional Convention (28 June 1787); Manuscript notes by Franklin preserved in the Library of Congress
  • The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever. . .
    • Speech to the Constitutional Convention, (June 2, 1787).
  • I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. 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.
    • Speech in the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (September 17, 1787); reported in James Madison, Journal of the Federal Convention, ed. E. H. Scott (1893), p. 741.
  • 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 I believe, farther, 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.
    • Speech to the Constitutional Convention (September 17, 1787); reported in James Madison, Journal of the Federal Convention, ed. E. H. Scott (1893), p. 742.
  • Whilst the last members were signing it Doctor Franklin looking towards the President’s Chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun. “I have,” said he, “often and often in the course of the Session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting: But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun.”
    • At the signing of the United States Constitution, Journal of the Constitutional Convention (17 September 1787).
  • A lady asked Franklin: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”. Franklin replied: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
    • From a note of uncertain date by Dr. James McHenry. In a footnote he added that “The lady here aluded to was Mrs. Powel of Philada.” Published in The American Historical Review, v. 11, p. 618. At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787

Epistles

  • I think opinions should be judged of 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.
    • Letter to his father, 13 April 1738, printed in Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia, 1834), volume 1, p. 233. Also quoted in Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) by Walter Isaacson
  • We are a kind of posterity in respect to them.
    • Letter to William Strahan (1745); reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Marriage is the proper Remedy. It is the most natural State of Man and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness… [W]hen Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good… [Y]ou should prefer old Women to young ones.
    • Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress (25 June 1745)
  • But I must own that I am much in the Dark about Light. I am not satisfy’d with the doctrine that supposes particles of matter call’d light continually driven off from the Sun’s Surface, with a Swiftness so prodigious!
    • Letter to Cadwallader Colden (23 April 1752).
  • When an Indian Child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and makes one Indian Ramble with them, there is no perswading him ever to return, and that this is not natural to them merely as Indians, but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.
    • Letter to London merchant Peter Collinson (9 May 1753); reported in Labaree: “Papers of Benjamin Franklin”, vol 4, pp 481-482.
  • For my own Part, when I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring Favours, but as paying Debts. In my Travels, and since my Settlement, I have received much Kindness from Men, to whom I shall never have any Opportunity of making the least direct Return. And numberless Mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our Services. Those Kindnesses from Men, I can therefore only Return on their Fellow Men; and I can only shew my Gratitude for these mercies from God, by a readiness to help his other Children and my Brethren. For I do not think that Thanks and Compliments, tho’ repeated weekly, can discharge our real Obligations to each other, and much less those to our Creator.
    • Letter to Joseph Huey (6 June 1753); published in Albert Henry Smyth, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, volume 3, p. 144.
  • The Faith you mention has doubtless its use in the World. I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavour to lessen it in any Man. But I wish it were more productive of good Works, than I have generally seen it: I mean real good Works, Works of Kindness, Charity, Mercy, and Publick Spirit; not Holiday-keeping, Sermon-Reading or Hearing; performing Church Ceremonies, or making long Prayers, filled with Flatteries and Compliments, despis’d even by wise Men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity. The worship of God is a Duty; the hearing and reading of Sermons may be useful; but, if Men rest in Hearing and Praying, as too many do, it is as if a Tree should Value itself on being water’d and putting forth Leaves, tho’ it never produc’d any Fruit.
    • Letter to Joseph Huey (6 June 1753); published in Albert Henry Smyth, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, volume 3, p. 145.
  • Every Body cries, a Union is absolutely necessary, but when they come to the Manner and Form of the Union, their weak Noddles are perfectly distracted.
    • Letter to Peter Collinson (29 December 1754); published in The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1905), edited by Albert Henry Smyth, Vol. III, p. 242; also misquoted using “Noodles” for “Noddles”.
  • I have read your Manuscript with some Attention. By the Arguments it contains against the Doctrine of a particular Providence, tho’ you allow a general Providence, you strike at the Foundation of all Religion: For without the Belief of a Providence that takes Cognizance of, guards and guides and may favour particular Persons, there is no Motive to Worship a Deity, to fear its Displeasure, or to pray for its Protection. I will not enter into any Discussion of your Principles, tho’ you seem to desire it; At present I shall only give you my Opinion that tho’ your Reasonings are subtle, and may prevail with some Readers, you will not succeed so as to change the general Sentiments of Mankind on that Subject, and the Consequence of printing this Piece will be a great deal of Odium drawn upon your self, Mischief to you and no Benefit to others. He that spits against the Wind, spits in his own Face. But were you to succeed, do you imagine any Good would be done by it? You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous Life without the Assistance afforded by Religion; you having a clear Perception of the Advantages of Virtue and the Disadvantages of Vice, and possessing a Strength of Resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common Temptations. But think how great a Proportion of Mankind consists of weak and ignorant Men and Women, and of inexperienc’d and inconsiderate Youth of both Sexes, who have need of the Motives of Religion to restrain them from Vice, to support their Virtue, and retain them in the Practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great Point for its Security; And perhaps you are indebted to her originally that is to your Religious Education, for the Habits of Virtue upon which you now justly value yourself. You might easily display your excellent Talents of reasoning on a less hazardous Subject, and thereby obtain Rank with our most distinguish’d Authors. For among us, it is not necessary, as among the Hottentots that a Youth to be receiv’d into the Company of Men, should prove his Manhood by beating his Mother. I would advise you therefore not to attempt unchaining the Tyger, but to burn this Piece before it is seen by any other Person, whereby you will save yourself a great deal of Mortification from the Enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of Regret and Repentance. If Men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion what would they be if without it?
    • Letter to unknown recipient (13 December 1757). The letter was published as early as 1817 (William Temple Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, volume VI, pp. 243-244). In 1833 William Wisner (“Don’t Unchain the Tiger,” American Tract Society, 1833) identified the recipient as probably Thomas Paine, which was echoed by Jared Sparks in his 1840 edition of Franklin’s works (volume x, p. 281). (Presumably it would have been directed against The Age of Reason, his deistic work which criticized orthodox Christianity.) Calvin Blanchard responded to Wisner’s tract in The Life of Thomas Paine (1860), pp. 73-74, by noting that Franklin died in 1790, while Paine did not begin writing The Age of Reason until 1793, and incorrectly concluded that the letter did not exist. Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, included it in They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), on p. 28. Moncure Daniel Conway pointed out (The Life of Thomas Paine, 1892, vol I, p. vii) that the recipient could not be Thomas Paine, in that he, unlike Paine, denied a “particular providence”. The intended recipient remains unidentified.
    • Parts of the above have also been rearranged and paraphrased:
      • I would advise you not to attempt Unchaining The Tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person.
      • If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?
      • If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be Without it? Think how many inconsiderate and inexperienced youth of both sexes there are, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual.
  • That Being, who gave me existence, and through almost threescore years has been continually showering his favors upon me, whose very chastisements have been blessings to me ; can I doubt that he loves me? And, if he loves me, can I doubt that he will go on to take care of me, not only here but hereafter? This to some may seem presumption ; to me it appears the best grounded hope ; hope of the future built on experience of the past.
    • Letter to George Whitefield (19 June 1764), published in The Works of Benjamin Franklin (1856).
  • Idleness and Pride Tax with a heavier Hand than Kings and Parliaments; If we can get rid of the former we may easily bear the Latter.
    • Letter to Charles Thomson, 11 July 1765; also quoted in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). The last sentence is sometimes misquoted as “If we can get rid of the former, we can get rid of the latter”.
  • But your Squabbles about a Bishop I wish to see speedily ended. … Each Party abuses the other, the Profane and the Infidel believe both sides, and enjoy the Fray; the Reputation of Religion in general suffers, and its enemies are ready to say, not what was said in the primitive Times, Behold how these Christians love one another, but, Mark how these Christians hate one another! Indeed when religious People quarrel about Religion, or hungry People about their Victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them.
    • Letter to Jane Mecom, 23 February 1769
  • Here Skugg lies snug
    As a bug in a rug.

    • Letter to Miss Georgiana Shipley (September, 1772); reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • In 200 years will people remember us as traitors or heros? That is the question we must ask.
    • Letter to Thomas Jefferson (March 16th, 1775).
  • You and I were long friends: you are now my enemy, and I am yours.
    • Letter to William Strahan (5 July 1775); reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • 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; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.
    • Letter to Abbé Morellet (1779).
  • Here you would know and enjoy what posterity will say of Washington. For a thousand leagues have nearly the same effect with a thousand years.
    • Letter to Washington (5 March 1780); reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones. When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their Differences by Arbitration? Were they to do it, even by the Cast of a Dye, it would be better than by Fighting and destroying each other.
    • Letter to Mary Hewson (27 January 1783).
  • There never was a good war or a bad peace.
    • Letter to Josiah Quincy (11 September 1783).
  • All Property indeed, except the Savage’s temporary Cabin, his Bow, his Matchcoat, and other little Acquisitions absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the Creature of publick Convention. Hence the Public has the Right of Regulating Descents & all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the Quantity & the Uses of it. All the Property that is necessary to a Man for the Conservation of the Individual & the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property of the Publick, who by their Laws have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire & live among Savages. — He can have no right to the Benefits of Society who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
    • Letter to Robert Morris (25 December 1783).
  • 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.
    • letter to Sarah Bache (26 January 1784).
  • Let me add, that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
    • letter to the Abbés Chalut and Arnaud (17 April 1787).
  • Remember me affectionately to good Dr. Price and to the honest heretic Dr. Priestly. I do not call him honest by way of distinction; for I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men. They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however, mistake me. It is not to my good friend’s heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, ’tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic.
    • Letter to Benjamin Vaughan (24 October 1788).
  • That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a maxim that has been long and generally approved; never, that I know of, controverted.
    • Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, on Blackstone’s Ratio (14 March 1785).
  • Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes!
    • Letter to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy (13 November 1789)
    • First published in The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin (1817)p.266
      • The Yale Book of Quotations quotes “‘Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes,” from Christopher Bullock, The Cobler of Preston (1716). The YBQ also quotes “Death and Taxes, they are certain,” from Edward Ward, The Dancing Devils (1724).

Attributed

  • We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
    • Statement at the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776-07-04), quoted as an anecdote in The Works of Benjamin Franklin by Jared Sparks (1840). However, this had earlier been attributed to Richard Penn in Memoirs of a Life, Chiefly Passed in Pennsylvania, Within the Last Sixty Years (1811, p. 116). In 1801, “If we don’t hang together, by Heavens we shall hang separately” appears in the English play Life by Frederick Reynolds (Life, Frederick Reynolds, in a collection by Mrs Inchbald, 1811, Google Books first published in 1801 [4]), and the remark was later attributed to ‘An American General’ by Reynolds in his 1826 memoir p.358. A comparable pun on “hang alone … hang together” appears in Dryden’s 1717 The Spanish Fryar Google Books. The pun also appears in an April 14, 1776 letter from Carter Braxton to Landon Carter,Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Vol.1 (1921), p.421, as “a true saying of a Wit — We must hang together or separately.”
  • What is the good of a newborn baby?
    • Widely attributed response to a questioner doubting the usefulness of hot air balloons. See Seymor L. Chapin, “A Legendary Bon Mot?: Franklin’s ‘What is the Good of a Newborn Baby?'”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society129:3 (September 1985), pp. 278–290. Chapin argues (pp. 286–287) that the “evidence overwhelmingly suggests that he said something rather different” and that the attributed quotation is “a probably much older adage”.
  • Every man of the commonalty (excepting infants, insane persons, and criminals) is, of common right, and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free enjoyment of liberty. …liberty or freedom consists in having an actual share in the appointment of those who are to frame the laws and who are to be the guardians of every man’s life, property, and peace. For the all of one man is as dear to him as the all of another; and the poor man has an equal right, but more need to have representatives in the Legislature than the rich one. …they who have no voice or vote in the electing of representatives, do not enjoy liberty, but are absolutely enslaved to those who have votes and their representatives; for to be enslaved is to have governors whom other men have set over us, and to be subject to laws made by the representatives of others, without having had representatives of our own to give consent in our behalf.
    • “Some Good Whig Principles. Declaration of those Rights of the Community of Great Britain, without which they cannot be Free,” as quoted in Memoirs of the Llife and Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818) by Benjamin Franklin and William Temple Franklin
  • Fish and visitors stink in three days.
    • Adapted 16th century writer John Lyly’s line found in Euphues – the Anatomy of Wit: Fish and guests in three days are stale.

Misattributed

  • “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” There is no evidence that Franklin said this. Scholars believe the saying comes from the Xunzi.
    • Additional information may be read at the following websites:
      • http://dakinburdick.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/tell-me-and-i-forget/
      • http://www.quora.com/History/Where-and-when-did-Benjamin-Franklin-say-Tell-me-and-I-forget-teach-me-and-I-may-remember-involve-me-and-I-learn
      • http://gazettextra.com/weblogs/word-badger/2013/mar/24/whose-quote-really/
  • When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
    • There is no evidence that Franklin ever actually said or wrote this, but it’s remarkably similar a quote often attributed, without proper sourcing, to Alexis de Tocqueville and Alexander Fraser Tytler:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
  • Libraries … will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved. It is in the regions of ignorance that tyranny reigns.
    • Written by Henry Stuber as part of a biographical sketch of Franklin appended to a 1793 edition of Franklin’s autobiography and sometimes reprinted with it in the 19th century. It is frequently misattributed to Franklin himself.
  • Treason is a charge invented by winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.
    • This is actually from the musical play 1776 (1969) by Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone, in which Franklin is portrayed as saying this.
  • [Freedom is] not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
    • This is actually from an essay “On Government No. I” that appeared in Franklin’s paper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, on 1 April 1736. The author was John Webbe. He wrote about the privileges enjoyed under British rule,
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?
  • Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
    • Widely attributed to Franklin on the Internet, sometimes without the second sentence. It is not found in any of his known writings, and the word “lunch” is not known to have appeared anywhere in English literature until the 1820s, decades after his death. The phrasing itself has a very modern tone and the second sentence especially might not even be as old as the internet. Some of these observations are made in response to a query at Google Answers. [5]
      The earliest known similar statements are:

      • A democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
        • Gary Strand, Usenet group sci.environment, 23 April 1990. [6]
      • Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.
        • Marvin Simkin, “Individual Rights”, Los Angeles Times, 12 January 1992. [7]
      • Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
        • James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), ISBN 0312123337, p. 333.
        • Also cited as by Bovard in the Sacramento Bee (1994)
  • Lighthouses are more useful than churches.
    • Also quoted as “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches” or “A lighthouse is more useful than a church.” Although not by Franklin in this form, it may be intended as a paraphrase of something he wrote to his wife on 17 July 1757, given in a footnote on page 133 of Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818). After describing a narrow escape from shipwreck he added:
      • The bell ringing for church, we went thither immediately, and with hearts full of gratitude, returned sincere thanks to God for the mercies we had received: were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a light-house.
  • God made beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy.
    • The quote, and its many variants, has been widely attributed to Franklin; however, there has never been an authoritative source for the quote, and research indicates that it is very likely a misquotation of Franklin’s words regarding wine: “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” (see sourced section above for a more extensive quotation of this passage from a letter to André Morellet), written in 1779.
  • 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 colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George the III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the Revolutionary War.
    • Widely quoted statement on the reasons for the American War of Independence sometimes cited as being from Franklin’s autobiography, but this statement was never in any edition.
    • Variant: The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England and the Rothschild’s Bank took away from the colonies their money which created unemployment, dissatisfaction and debt.
    • Variants from various small publications from the 1940s:
      • 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.
      • The refusal of King George to allow the Colonies to operate on an honest Colonial system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution.
      • The refusal of King George to allow the colonies to operate on an honest, colonial money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution.
    • Some of the statement might be derived from those made during his examination by the British Parliament in February 1766, published in “The Examination of Benjamin Franklin” in The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803‎ (1813); when questioned why Parliament had lost respect among the people of the Colonies, he answered: “To a concurrence of causes: the restraints lately laid on their trade, by which the bringing of foreign gold and silver into the Colonies was prevented; the prohibition of making paper money among themselves, and then demanding a new and heavy tax by stamps; taking away, at the same time, trials by juries, and refusing to receive and hear their humble petitions”.
  • 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 no one.
    • Quoted in Money and Men by Robert McCann Rice (1941) but no prior source is extant.
  • A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
    • This seems to have been first attributed to Franklin in The New Age Magazine Vol. 66 (1958), and the earliest appearance of it yet located is in Coronet magazine, Vol. 34 (1953), p. 27, where it was attributed to a Louise Stein; it thus seems likely to have been derived from an earlier statement of Harry Emerson Fosdick, On Being a Real Person (1943) : “At very best, a person wrapped up in himself makes a small package”.
  • The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
    • Misattributed to various people, including Albert Einstein and Mark Twain. An early occurrence was used as a teaching reference at University of California, Irvine in social science lectures in the later 1960s. Also found in a 1981 text from Narcotics Anonymous.
  • An earlier version from 1975, spoken during a public talk by Osho:
  • “The mind is always asking you to do something over again, something you have already done so many times before. And every time you see that by doing it nothing is achieved. What else can madness be?”
  • And later in the same talk:
  • “To be mad is to keep repeating something that has already been seen as useless, as worthless”.
  • Osho, The Great Secret, Chapter #10
  • 1975.
  • Each man has two countries, I think: His own, and France.
    • Henri de Bornier, La Fille de Roland, act III, scene ii, p. 65 (1875): “Tout homme a deux pays, le sien et puis la France!”
    • Also misattributed to Thomas Jefferson in 1880 [8]
  • Your argument is sound, nothing but sound.
    • Anonymous quip quoted in an essay in Logic, an Introduction (1950) by Lionel Ruby. A Benjamin Franklin quote immediately follows, so this statement was misattributed to Franklin.
  • To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girl friends.
    • This has been widely attributed to Franklin since the 1940s, but is not found in any of his works. The language is not Franklin’s, nor that of his time. It does paraphrase a portion of something he wrote in 1732 under the name Alice Addertongue:
      • If I have never heard Ill of some Person, I always impute it to defective Intelligence; for there are none without their Faults, no, not one.If she be a Woman, I take the first Opportunity to let all her Acquaintance know I have heard that one of the handsomest or best Men in Town has said something in Praise either of her Beauty, her Wit, her Virtue, or her good Management. If you know any thing of Humane Nature, you perceive that this naturally introduces a Conversation turning upon all her Failings, past, present, and to come.
  • We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.
    • This is an anonymous modern quip which is a variant of a statement by G. Stanley Hall, in Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education (1904):
Men grow old because they stop playing, and not conversely.
  • I fully agreed with Gen. Washington that we must safeguard this young nation, as yet in its swaddling clothes, from the insidious influence and impenetration of the Roman Catholic Church which pauperizes and degrades all countries and people over whom it holds sway.
    • Claimed by American Fascist William Dudley Pelley in Liberation (February 3, 1934) to have appeared in notes taken at the Constitutional Convention by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney; reported as debunked in Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), p. 28, noting that historian Charles A. Beard conducted a thorough investigation of the attribution and found it to be false.
  • There is a great danger for the United States of America. This great danger is the Jew. Gentlemen, 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, have built up a state within a state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially.
    If you do not exclude them from the United States in the Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land, and change our form of government.
    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 the Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves. Jews, gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will or how many generations they are away from Asia, they will never be otherwise.

    • Claimed by American Fascist William Dudley Pelley in Liberation (February 3, 1934) to have appeared in notes taken at the Constitutional Convention by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney; reported as debunked in Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), p. 26-27, noting that historian Charles A. Beard conducted a thorough investigation of the attribution and found it to be false. The quote appears in no source prior to Pelley’s publication, contains anachronisms, and contradicts Franklin’s own financial support of the construction of a synagogue in Philadelphia. Many variations of the above have been made, including adding to “the Christian religion” the phrase “upon which this nation was founded, by objecting to its restrictions”; adding to “strangle that country to death financially” the phrase “as in the case of Spain and Portugal”. See Michael Feldberg, “The Myth of Ben Franklin’s Anti-Semitism, in Blessings of Freedom: Chapters in American Jewish History (2003), p. 134.
  • Our limited perspective, our hopes and fears become our measure of life, and when circumstances don’t fit our ideas, they become our difficulties.
    • Attributed in Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart (1993) and popularized in Richard Carlson’s bestselling Don’t sweat the Small Stuff (1997). The phrasing is anachronistic and no earlier connection to Franklin is known.
  • Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do.
    • Attributed in various post-2000 works, but actually Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People p.14, published in 1936. (N.B. Carnegie is quoting Franklin immediately prior to writing this, so attribution could be due to a printing error in some edition).
  • He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.
    • Franklin himself calls this an “old maxim” when he repeats it at page 48 of his autobiography.
    • Franklin’s recognition of this effect caused it to be named after him. Wikipedia, Ben Franklin Effect.
  • Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
    • According to a Snopes message board, the earliest known reference dates to the late 1990s.
  • If we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail.
    • Fail to prepare; prepare to fail.
    • By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
      • Attributed to Franklin in Julita Agustin-Israel, Lakas ng Loob, 1996, p. 53; there is no evidence that he coined any forms of this quote.
  • Politics is the art of the possible.
    • Franklin says this line in the HBO miniseries John Adams, but it is actually a quote of Otto von Bismarck.

Quotes about Franklin

  • Eripuit Coelo fulmen, mox Sceptra Tyrannis.
    • He seized the lightning from Heaven and the scepter from the Tyrants.
      • Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune, as quoted in The Monthly Anthology, and Boston Review (November 1803 – April 1804; 1811), p.167. This has also been quoted in several other variants of Latin or French expression, and been translated into English in various ways. Though it has probably incorrectly been cited as a remark of 1775, the earliest published reference to it appears to have occurred in April 1778.
    • Variants:
    • Eripuit fulmen coelo, mox sceptra tyrannis.
    • Eripuit coelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis.
    • He snatched lightning from the sky and scepters from tyrants.
  • Francklin repéta plus d’une fois à ses éleves de Paris, que celui qui transporterait dans l’état politique les principes du christianismê primitif, changerait la face de la société. Egalité absolue des conditions, communauté des biens, République de pauvres et de frères, association sans Gouvernement, enthousiasme pour les dogmes et soumission à des chefs électifs, choisis entre des Pairs; voilà sans doute à quoi le presbytérien de Philadelphie réduisait la religion chrétienne…
    • Franklin often told his disciples in Paris, that whoever would introduce the principles of primitive Christianity, into the political state, would change the whole order of society. An absolute equality of condition; a community of goods; a Republic of the poor and of brethren; associations without a Government; enthusiasm for dogmas, and submission to chiefs to be elected from their equals,—this is the state to which the Presbyterian of Philadelphia reduced the Christian Religion.
      • Jacques François Mallet du Pan (born 1749) in Considérations sur la nature de la Révolution de France’,’ 1793 edition, p.22 at Google Books.
      • French historian Henri Martin first turned part of this into a direct quotation of Franklin’s, at the same time changing “la face de la société” (the face of society) into “la face du monde” (the face of the world) in Histoire de France depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’en 1789, volume 16 (1862), p. 489. A contemporary English translation of the passage reads, “A royalist publicist, Mallet-Dupan, has preserved for us a great saying, which Franklin, he says, repeated more than once to his pupils at Paris: ‘He who shall carry into politics the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.’” George Bancroft (History of the United States, 1866) translated the saying as Henri Martin gave it in the form “He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world,” likewise attributing it to Franklin. In this wording it has often been quoted as Franklin’s since. The date of March 1778 sometimes given with it appears to have been taken from Bancroft’s margin.
  • The prime exponent of paper money in those years was Benjamin Franklin. He thought it a good and useful thing, and his advocacy had an intensely practical touch. He printed money for the colonial governments on his own printing press.
    • John Kenneth Galbraith, The Age of Uncertainty, Chapter 6, p. 180.
  • America has sent us many good things, gold, silver, sugar, tobacco; but you are the first philosopher for whom we are beholden to her. It is our own fault that we have not kept him; whence it appears that we do not agree with Solomon, that wisdom is above gold; for we take good care never to send back an ounce of the latter, which we once lay our fingers upon.
    • David Hume, as quoted in The Eve of the Revolution by Carl L. Becker (1918).
  • Franklin was the first scientist to propose that the identity of lightning and electricity could be proved experimentally, but he was not the first to suggest that identity, nor even the first to perform the experiment.
    • Joseph Priestley; The Kite ExperimentThe Pennsylvania Gazette, October 19, 1752; also copy: The Royal Society. II. Printed in Joseph Priestley, The History and Present State of Electricity, with Original Experiments (London, 1767), pp. 179–81
  • To demonstrate, in the completest manner possible, the sameness of the electric fluid with the matter of lightning, Dr. Franklin, astonishing as it must have appeared, contrived actually to bring lightning from the heavens, by means of an electrical kite, which he raised when a storm of thunder was perceived to be coming on.
  • Using the Leyden jar, Franklin “collected electric fire very copiously,” Priestley recounted. That “electric fire”—or electricity—could then be discharged at a later time.
    • Joseph Priestley; The Kite ExperimentThe Pennsylvania Gazette, October 19, 1752; also copy: The Royal Society. II. Printed in Joseph Priestley, The History and Present State of Electricity, with Original Experiments (London, 1767), pp. 179–81; as qtd. in “Benjamin Franklin and the Kite Experiment”, Franklin Institute.
  • Benjamin Franklin did a great many notable things for his country, and made her young name to be honored in many lands as the mother of such a son. It is not the idea of this memoir to ignore that or cover it up. No; the simple idea of it is to snub those pretentious maxims of his, which he worked up with a great show of originality out of truisms that had become wearisome platitudes as early as the dispersion from Babel.
    • Mark Twain, “The Late Benjamin Franklin”, The Galaxy, July 1870, as reprinted in Essays and Sketches of Mark Twain (1995), ed. Stuart Miller, ISBN 1566198798
  • Scientists have long suspected that volcanoes can affect the global climate. The first to make the connection between a major eruption and the weather was… Benjamin Franklin. Franklin’s efforts to negotiate a peace treaty to end the Revolutionary War took him to Europe during the year 1783. …he was among many to notice the peculiar blue haze or “dry fog” that cloaked the land that summer and fall. The following winter turned out to be unusually harsh. Soon afterwards Franklin published an article that attributed these events to the eruption of Iceland’s Laki Fissure.
    • Shawna Vogel, Naked Earth: the New Geophysics (1995).
  • In fact, the summum bonum of his ethic, the earning of more and more money, combined with the strict avoidance of all spontaneous enjoyment of life, is above all completely devoid of any eudaemonistic, not to say hedonistic, admixture. It is thought of so purely as an end in itself, that from the point of view of the happiness of, or utility to, the single individual, it appears entirely transcendental and absolutely irrational. Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs. This reversal of what we should call the natural relationship, so irrational from a naive point of view, is evidently as definitely a leading principle of capitalism as it is foreign to all peoples not under capitalistic influence. At the same time it expresses a type of feeling which is closely connected with certain religious ideas. If we thus ask, why should “money be made out of men,” Benjamin Franklin himself, although he was a colorless deist, answers in his autobiography with a quotation from the Bible, which his strict Calvinistic father drummed into him again and again in his youth: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings” (Prov. xxii. 29). The earning of money within the modern economic order is, so long as it is done legally, the result and the expression of virtue and proficiency in a calling; and this virtue and proficiency are, as it is now not difficult to see, the real Alpha and Omega of Franklin’s ethic, as expressed in the passages we have quoted, as well as in all his works without exception.
    • Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Chapter II: The Spirit of Capitalism, 1905.
  • People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first. – David H. Comins

  • My ideal man is Benjamin Franklin—the figure in American history most worthy of emulation. Franklin is my ideal of a whole man. Where are the life-size—or even pint-size—Benjamin Franklins of today? – Isidor Isaac Rabi

  • When Franklin drew the lightning from the clouds, he little dreamed that in the evolution of science his discovery would illuminate the torch of Liberty for France and America. The rays from this beacon, lighting this gateway to the continent, will welcome the poor and the persecuted with the hope and promise of homes and citizenship. – Chauncey Depew

  • As an answer to those who are in the habit of saying to every new fact, What is its use? Dr. Franklin says to such, What is the use of an infant? The answer of the experimentalist would be, Endeavour to make it useful. – Michael Faraday

  • Whilst I am writing to a Philosopher and a Friend, I can scarcely forget that I am also writing to the greatest Statesman of the present, or perhaps of any century, who spread the happy contagion of Liberty among his countrymen. – Erasmus Darwin, Letter to Benjamin Franklin

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