Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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 17

half starved their families. _Silks and satins,
scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire_, as Poor Richard says.

"These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the
conveniences; and yet, only because they look pretty, how many want to
have them! By these and other extravagances, the genteel are reduced to
poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but
who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing; in
which case it appears plainly that _A ploughman on his legs is higher
than a gentleman on his knees_, as Poor Richard says. Perhaps they have
had a small estate left them, which they knew not the getting of; they
think _It is day, and will never be night_; that a little to be spent
out of so much is not worth minding; but _Always taking out of the
mealtub and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom_, as Poor Richard
says; and then, _When the well is dry, they know the worth of water_.
But this they might have known before if they had taken his advice. _If
you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he
that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing_, as Poor Richard says; and
indeed so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in
again. Poor Dick farther advises, and says,

_Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse;
Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse._

And again, _Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more
saucy_. When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that
your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, _It is
easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it_.
And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog
to swell in order to equal the ox.

_Vessels large may venture more,
But little boats should keep near shore._

It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as Poor Richard says, _Pride
that dines on vanity, sups on contempt. Pride breakfasted with Plenty,
dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy_. And, after all, of what use
is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is
suffered? It cannot promote health nor ease pain; it makes no increase
of merit in the person; it creates envy;

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 31
"[i-81] Mather in his _Essays to do Good_ proposed: That a proper number of persons in a neighborhood, whose hearts God hath touched with a zeal to do good, should form themselves into a society, to meet when and where they shall agree, and to consider--"what are the disorders that we may observe rising among us; and what may be done, either by ourselves immediately, or by others through our advice, to suppress those disorders?"[i-82] Since Franklin's father was a member of one of Mather's "Associated Families" and since Franklin as a boy read Mather's _Essays_ with rapt attention,[i-83] and since his _Rules for a Club Established for Mutual Improvement_ are amazingly congruent with Mather's rules proposed for his neighborly societies, it is not improbable that Franklin in part copied the plans of this older club.
Page 41
"[i-148] A.
Page 121
[i-441] _Writings_, I, 278.
Page 162
-- And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all Humility to acknowledge, that I owe the mention'd Happiness of my past Life to his kind Providence, which led me to the Means I us'd and gave them Success.
Page 178
--Philadelphia was 100 Miles farther.
Page 179
-- In the Evening I found myself very feverish, and went in to Bed.
Page 186
I went to see him at his Printing-House: I was better dress'd than ever while in his Service, having a genteel new Suit from Head to foot, a Watch, and my Pockets lin'd with near Five Pounds Sterling in Silver.
Page 315
"A certain well-meaning Man and his Son, were travelling towards a Market Town, with an Ass which they had to sell.
Page 329
Benjamin Franklin, the writer of this Proposal, offers himself to serve the Society as their secretary, till they shall be provided with one more capable.
Page 402
26 at noon.
Page 431
| | 19 | 3 | _with wind_ | 4 35 | 7 25 | | 20 | 4 | _and_ | 4 35 | 7 25 | | 21 | 5 |Corp Christ.
Page 480
--> First Q.
Page 527
It gives me great pleasure to hear, that you got home safe and well that day.
Page 550
I have wrote you at least two, and I think a third before this, and what was next to waiting on you in person, sent you my picture.
Page 573
Spectator of Pimlico, give me leave to instance the various numberless Accounts the Newswriters have.
Page 610
By your newspapers we are told, that God had sent a very short harvest to some other countries of Europe.
Page 693
"One is provoked by enormous wickedness: but one is ashamed and humiliated at the view of human baseness.
Page 715
I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o'clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that.
Page 731
the Revolution; and the few remaining Friends of the old Government among us take pains to magnify every little Inconvenience a Change in the Course of Commerce may have occasion'd.
Page 781
In addition, article in New York _Times_, Dec.