Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 168

industry we must likewise be steady and careful, and
oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to
others; for, as Poor Richard says:

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

And again, Three removes are as bad as a fire; and again, Keep thy
shop, and thy shop will keep thee; and again, If you would have your
business done, go; if not, send; and again:

He that by the plow would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.

And again, The eye of the master will do more work than both his
hands; and again, Want of care does us more damage than want of
knowledge; and again, Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your
purse open. Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many;
for, In the affairs of this world men are saved, not by faith, but by
the want of it. But a man's own care is profitable; for, If you would
have a faithful servant and one that you like, serve yourself. 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, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all
for want of a little care about a horseshoe nail.

III. "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 groat at last. A fat kitchen makes a lean will; and

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

If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting. The
Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than
her incomes.

"Away, then, with your expensive follies, and you will not then have
so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable
families; for

Pleasure and wine, game and deceit,
Make the wealth small, and

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