Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 77

_number of friends_, who had requested me to
go about and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading. In
this way my affairs went on more smoothly, and I ever after practised it
on such occasions, and from my frequent successes can heartily recommend
it. The present little sacrifice of your vanity will afterward be amply
repaid. If it remains a while uncertain to whom the merit belongs, some
one more vain than yourself will be encouraged to claim it, and then
even envy will be disposed to do you justice, by plucking those assumed
feathers and restoring them to their right owner.

This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study, for
which I set apart an hour or two each day; and thus I repaired, in some
degree, the loss of the learned education my father once intended for
me. Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself. I spent no time in
taverns, games, or frolics of any kind, and my industry in my business
continued as indefatigable as it was necessary. I was indebted for my
printing-house, I had a young family coming on to be educated, and I had
two competitors to contend with for business who were established in the
place before me. My circumstances, however, grew daily easier. My
original habits of frugality continuing, and my father having, among his
instructions to me when a boy, frequently repeated a Proverb of Solomon,
"_seest thou a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before kings,
he shall not stand before mean men_," I thence considered industry as a
means of obtaining wealth and distinction, which encouraged me; though I
did not think that I should ever literally stand before kings, which,
however, has since happened; for I have stood before five, and even had
the honour of sitting down with one (the king of Denmark) to dinner.

We have an English proverb that says,

"He that would thrive
Must ask his wife."

It was lucky for me that I had one as much disposed to industry and
frugality as myself. She assisted me cheerfully in my business, folding
and stitching pamphlets, tending shop, purchasing old linen rags for the
paper-makers, &c. We kept no idle servants; our table was plain and
simple, our furniture of the cheapest. For instance, my breakfast was,
for a long time, bread and milk (no tea), and I ate it out of a twopenny
earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon: but mark how luxury will enter
families, and make a progress

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

Page 0
58, Holborn-Hill.
Page 1
Virtue and Innocence, a Poem 1 0 The Economy of Human Life 1 0 Old Friends in a New Dress, or Selections from Esop's Fables, in Verse, 2 parts, plates 2 0 Little Jack Horner, in Verse, plain 1s.
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 Pic Nic; a good Moral Tale, price with neat coloured plates 1 0 THE WAY TO WEALTH.
Page 3
Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
It is true, there is much to be done, and, perhaps, you are weak-handed: but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for "Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.
Page 5
The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her out-goes are greater than her incomes.
Page 6
" But this they might have known before, if they had taken his advice.
Page 7
"Vessels large may venture more, But little boats should keep near shore.
Page 8
" 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.
Page 9
] W.