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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 8

yet you are
about to put yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such
dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you
of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you
for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him. When you have got
your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor
Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors
are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times." The
day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before
you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind,
the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear
extremely short: "Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as
well as his shoulders. Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be
paid at Easter." At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in
thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance
without injury; but

"For age and want save while you may,
No morning sun lasts a whole day."

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," as Poor Richard says: so, "Rather go to bed
supper-less, than rise in debt,"

Get what you can, and what you get hold,
'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.

And when you have got the Philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer
complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.

IV. 'This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all,
do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and
prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without
the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be
not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort
and help them. Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards 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 counselled cannot be helped;"
and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap
your knuckles," as Poor

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 5
Osborne, bound from London to Philadelphia, in April and May, 1775 199 Observations of the warmth of the sea-water, &c.
Page 57
Page 129
The islanders in the great Pacific ocean, though they have no large ships, are the most expert boat-sailors in the world, navigating that sea safely with their proas, which they prevent oversetting by various means.
Page 143
Page 163
| | | | | | | |Needle| | | | | | | | | | | | |Miles.
Page 171
It is certain that much swimming is the means of stopping a diarrhœa, and even of producing a constipation.
Page 180
Air is rarefied by _heat_, and condensed by _cold_, _i.
Page 185
It is composed of five iron plates screwed together, and fixed so as that you may put the fuel into it from another room, or from the outside of the house.
Page 196
Farther to confirm this assertion, we instance the Swedes, the Danes, and the Russians: these nations are said to live in rooms, compared to ours, as hot as ovens[49]; yet where are the hardy soldiers, though bred in their boasted cool houses, that can, like these people, bear the fatigues of a winter campaign in so severe a climate, march whole days to the neck in snow, and at night entrench in ice as they do? The mentioning of those northern nations, puts me in mind of a considerable _public advantage_ that may arise from the general use of these fire-places.
Page 200
People are at first apt to make their rooms too warm, not imagining how little a fire will be sufficient.
Page 209
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And there are some, I know, so bigotted to the fancy of a large noble opening, that rather than change it, they would submit to have damaged furniture, sore eyes, and skins almost smoked to bacon.
Page 214
_ I know of but one, which is to raise such funnel higher than the roof, supporting it, if necessary by iron bars.
Page 240
And to avoid the inconvenience of dust from the ashes, let the ash-drawer be taken out of the room to be emptied; and when you rake the passages, do it when the draft of the air is strong inwards, and put the ashes carefully into the ash-box, that remaining in its place.
Page 301
The causes, that advance or obstruct any one of these three objects, are external or internal.
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_" B.
Page 346
They are not liable to be impressed for soldiers, and forced to cut one another's christian throats, as in the wars of their own countries.
Page 354
_Armonica_, musical instrument so called, described, ii.
Page 359
American, preferable to the West Indies, _ibid.
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in other bodies, 185.