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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 327

pays, indeed_, says I, _too much for his whistle_.

If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living,
all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his
fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake
of accumulating wealth, _Poor man_, says I, _you pay too much for
your whistle_.

When I meet a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement
of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and
ruining his health in their pursuit, _Mistaken man_, says I, _you are
providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure: you give too much
for your whistle_.

If I see one fond of appearance, of fine clothes, fine houses, fine
furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he
contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, _Alas_, says I, _he
has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle_.

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl, married to an
ill-natured brute of a husband, _What a pity it is_, says I, _that
she has paid so much for a whistle_!

In short, I conceived, that great part of the miseries of mankind
were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the
value of things, and by their giving too much for their _whistles_.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I
consider, that with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there
are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples
of king John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were
put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in
the purchase, and find, that I had once more given too much for the

Adieu, my dearest friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely
and with unalterable affection,



[182] This story has generally been supposed to have been written
by Dr. Franklin for his nephew: but it seems, by the introductory
paragraphs, which we have no where seen prefixed to the story but
in a small collection of our author's works printed at Paris, to
have been addressed to some female relative. The two concluding
paragraphs, which are from the same source, are equally new to us.

_A Petition to those who have the Superintendency of

I address myself to all the friends of youth, and conjure them to
direct their compassionate regards to my unhappy fate, in order
to remove the prejudices of which I am the victim. There are twin
sisters of us: and

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

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Darton, Junr.
Page 1
DARTON_, And of most Booksellers in the United Kingdom.
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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
on diseases, absolutely shortens life.
Page 4
"--If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master? be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your king.
Page 5
A man may if he knows not how to save as he gets, "keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.
Page 6
"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.
Page 7
" 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.
Page 8
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[Illustration: FINIS.