Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 172

afterward prosperous.

"And now, to conclude, Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will
learn in no other, as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for, it
is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. However,
remember this: They that will not be counseled cannot be helped; and
further that, If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your
knuckles, as Poor Richard says."

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and
approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just
as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened and they
began to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly
studied my almanacs, and digested all I had dropped on these topics
during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made
of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully
delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the
wisdom was my own which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings
that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I
resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at
first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away resolved to
wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy
profit will be as great as mine. I am, as ever, thine to serve thee,


[Footnote 208: Poor Richard's maxims in the Almanac.]


The noblest question in the world is, What good may I do in it?

The masterpiece of man is to live to the purpose.

The nearest way to come at glory is to do that for conscience which we
do for glory.

Do not do that which you would not have known.

Well done is better than well said.

Who has deceived thee so oft as thyself?

Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.

He that can have patience, can have what he will.

After crosses and losses men grow humbler and wiser.

In a discreet man's mouth a public thing is private.

Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.

No better relation than a prudent and faithful friend.

He that can compose himself is wiser than he that composes books.

He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.

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

Read much, but

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 5
You have begun to burn our towns and murder our people.
Page 21
Though a brother, he considered himself as my master and me as his apprentice, and accordingly expected the same services from me as he would from another, while I thought he demeaned[35] me too much in some he required of me, who from a brother expected more indulgence.
Page 22
At length, a fresh difference arising between my brother and me, I took upon me to assert my freedom, presuming that he would not venture to produce the new indentures.
Page 44
Ralph and I were inseparable companions.
Page 60
There are croakers in every country, always boding its ruin.
Page 64
the hands of our friends in the House, and they voted us their printers for the year ensuing.
Page 71
The institution soon manifested its utility, was imitated by other towns and in other provinces.
Page 74
It shows in this case that the February was of the year 1726 according to the old style, and 1727 according to the new calendar.
Page 93
Among the rest I became one of his constant hearers, his sermons pleasing me, as they had little of the dogmatical kind, but inculcated strongly the practice of virtue, or what in the religious style are called "good works.
Page 100
Page 106
They embraced the motion; but as it was the first fast ever thought of in the province, the secretary had no precedent from which to draw the proclamation.
Page 110
To avoid this kind of embarrassment the Quakers have of late years been gradually declining the public service in the Assembly and in the magistracy, choosing rather to quit their power than their principle.
Page 118
This for some time gave an easy access to the market, dry-shod; but, the rest of the street not being paved, whenever a carriage came out of the mud upon this pavement, it shook off and left its dirt upon it, and it was soon covered with mire, which was not removed, the city as yet having no scavengers.
Page 129
" I asked what terms were to be offered the owners of the wagons, and.
Page 131
It was proposed to send an armed force immediately into these counties, to seize as many of the best carriages and horses as should be wanted, and compel as many persons into the service as .
Page 137
Captain Orme, who was one of the general's aids-de-camp, and, being grievously wounded, was brought off with him and continued with him to his death, which happened in a few days, told me that he was totally silent all the first day, and at night only said: "Who would have thought it?" that he was silent again the following day, saying only at last: "We shall better know how to deal with them another time," and died in a few minutes after.
Page 142
It appeared that their number was not great, and it seems they saw we were too many to be attacked by them with prospect of advantage.
Page 145
Somebody wrote an account of this to the proprietor, and it gave him great offense.
Page 151
Page 152
I acquainted the House with what had passed, and, presenting them with a set of resolutions I had drawn up, declaring our rights, and that we did not relinquish our.