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 18

it hastens misfortune.

"But what madness must it be to _run in debt_ for these superfluities?
We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months' credit; and that,
perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare
the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it. But ah! think what
you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your
liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your
creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor,
pitiful, sneaking excuses, and, by degrees, come to lose your veracity,
and sink into base, downright lying; for _The second vice is lying, the
first is running in debt_, as Poor Richard says; and again, to the same
purpose, _Lying rides upon Debt's back_, whereas a freeborn ought not to
be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living. But poverty
often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. _It is hard for an empty
bag to stand upright._

"What would you think of that prince or of that government who should
issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman,
on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were
free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would
be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And
yet you are about to put your self under such 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 jail till you shall 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

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 11
manner of forming and establishing this union was the next point.
Page 21
Several of the colony charters in America extend their bounds to the South Sea, which may be perhaps three or four thousand miles in length to one or two hundred miles in breadth.
Page 48
Our proprietaries, sir, have done the same; and, for the sake of the commonwealth, the province has hitherto submitted to the imposition: not indeed, without the most strenuous endeavours to lay the load equally, the fullest manifestations, and the strongest protestations against the violence put upon them.
Page 58
_ to be raised in a fortnight, and refer the lenders to the next assembly for payment.
Page 150
Nor to the new assembly were they mentioned, till the "_very moment_," the fatal moment, when the house were on the point of choosing that wicked adversary of the proprietary to be an _agent_ for the province in England.
Page 180
_ I never heard of it.
Page 195
_ What can the colonies mean then by imposition as distinct from taxes? _A.
Page 212
_The king has the command of all military force in his dominions: but in every distinct state of his dominions there should be the consent of the parliament or assembly (the representative body) to the_ raising and keeping up _such military force.
Page 223
Burke tells us (in his speech in 1774) that this preambulary tax had lost us at once the benefit of the west and of the east; had thrown open folding-doors to contraband; and would be the means of giving the profits of the colony-trade to every nation but ourselves.
Page 251
Page 259
Hence the constant increase of the national debt, and the absolute improbability of its ever being discharged.
Page 262
think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs.
Page 300
In order to examine the justice and truth of this heavy charge, let us recur to that character.
Page 302
Nay, there are some very humble politicians in.
Page 341
_--I am convinced now of the justness of poor Richard's remark, that, "Our debts and our sins are always greater than we think for.
Page 352
Capta urbe, nihil fit reliqui victis.
Page 376
Franklin; and the last day that he passed in England, having given out that he should depart the day before, we spent together, without any interruption, from morning till night.
Page 386
have a draft of air up and down, 289.
Page 390
Page 415
linen wetted with, cooling in inflammations, ii.