Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 2

of 32 Biographical Sketches of
Eminent British Characters 1 6

Ditto, containing a Description of the
most distinguished Places in England 1 6

*** Just published, The Mice & their
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with neat coloured plates 1 0




I HAVE heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to
find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I
must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I
stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected
at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale not being
come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the
company called to a plain, clean, old man, with white locks, 'Pray,
Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not those heavy taxes
quite ruin the country! How shall we be ever able to pay them? What
would you advise us to?'----Father Abraham stood up, and replied, 'If
you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; "for a word to
the wise is enough," as Poor Richard says.' They joined in desiring him
to speak his mind, and, gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:

'Friends,' says he, '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 an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and
something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as
Poor Richard says.

I. 'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people
one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but
idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 16
4 New Jerseys 3 Pennsylvania 6 Maryland 4 Virginia 7 North Carolina 4 South Carolina 4 ---- .
Page 37
They are much too long for their breadth; the extremes at too great a distance; and therefore unfit to be continued under their present dimensions.
Page 44
Yet the proprietaries resolved to deprive the assemblies of the power and means of _supporting an agent_ in England, and of prosecuting their complaints and remonstrating their aggrievances, when injured and oppressed, to his majesty and his parliament: and to rob them of this natural right (which has been so often approved of by their gracious sovereign) have, by their said instructions, prohibited their governor from giving his assent to any laws emitting or re-emitting any paper-currency or bills of credit, or for raising money by excise or any other method; unless the governor or commander in chief for the time being, by clauses to be inserted therein, has _a negative in the disposition_ of the monies arising thereby; let the languishing circumstances of our trade be ever so great, and a further or greater medium be ever so necessary for its support.
Page 54
A reflection thereon.
Page 80
Whatever charges arise on the carriage of goods are added to the value, and all paid by the consumer.
Page 136
And though addresses are not generally the best repositories of historical truth, we must not in this instance deny their authority.
Page 155
The colony "laws for regulating Indian affairs or commerce" are the result of long experience, made by people on the spot, interested to make them good; and it would be well to consider the matter thoroughly, before they are repealed, to make way for new untried schemes.
Page 157
the value of personal property;[73] that they would think the disproportion monstrous between the liberty of a man, and a debt of a few shillings; and that it would be excessively inequitable and unjust, to take away the one for a default in payment of the other.
Page 160
The colonies, being accustomed to this method, have from time to time granted money to the crown, or raised troops for its service, in proportion to their abilities, and, during all the last war, beyond their abilities; so that considerable sums were returned them yearly by parliament, as they had exceeded their proportion.
Page 182
Page 200
Have you ever seen the barometer so low as of late? The 22d instant mine was at 28, 41, and yet the weather fine and fair.
Page 201
_ [98] In the year 1767, for the.
Page 220
Page 237
Never think of paying what it cost the country, for that would look, at least, like some regard for justice; but turn it into a citadel, to awe the inhabitants and curb their commerce.
Page 267
If they met so often to learn _good things_, they would certainly have learned some before this time.
Page 296
After I have treated with a dram, and presented a pinch of my best snuff, I expect all company will retire, and leave me to pursue my studies for the good of the public.
Page 300
which is a way of writing that is endless, and, at the same time, seldom contains any thing that is either edifying or entertaining.
Page 353
Of this we have an early example in the book of Judges (too pertinent to our case, and therefore I must beg leave a little to enlarge upon it) where we are told, _Chap.
Page 366
I bore with him, and now you are to bear with me, for I shall probably _bavarder_ in answering your letter.
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