Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 172

was
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,

RICHARD SAUNDERS.

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




PROVERBS FROM POOR RICHARD'S 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

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