The Best of Poor Richard’s Almanack | Quotes & Sayings

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Today’s reading has been edited and adapted from Poor Richard’s Almanack, a yearly publication produced by Benjamin Franklin from 1732 to 1758.

If you could have Half your Wishes, you would double your Troubles.

Anger is never without a Reason, but seldom with a good One.

Tomorrow, every fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes.

A Fool is one who cannot conceal their Wisdom.

Think of three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.

Pride dines on Vanity, sips on Contempt. The Proud hate Pride – in others, that is.

Well done is better than well said.

Necessity never made a good bargain.

The Sun never repents of the good it does, nor does it ever demand compensation.

Fear to do ill, and you need fear nothing else.

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.

Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.

Glass, China, and a Reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended.

Fish & House Guests stink in 3 days.

Wink at small faults; remember that you have great ones.

Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

The soul that lives upon Hope, dies fasting.

Want of Care does us more Damage than Want of Knowledge.

Half the Truth is often a great Lie.

If you would keep your Secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.

An empty bag will not stand upright.

When there is marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.

They that won’t be counseled, can’t be helped.

Distrust & caution are the parents of security.

The contented person has enough; the one who complains has too much.

Work as if you were to live 100 years, Pray as if you were to die Tomorrow.

Wealth is not in the having but the enjoyment of it.

Hunger never saw bad bread.

Reading makes a full Mind, Meditation a profound Mind, discourse a clear Mind.

If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.

Time enough, always proves little enough.

Praise to the undeserving is severe satire.

Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a Mark of Folly.

Be slow in choosing a Friend, slower in changing one.

Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.

Wish not so much to live long as to live well.

By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable.

Keep thy shop and thy shop will keep thee.

Hear no ill words about a friend, nor speak any of an enemy.

The person who can compose themselves is wiser than the one who composes books.

Love your Enemies, for they will tell you your Faults.

God helps them who help themselves.

The noblest question in the world is, “What Good may I do in it?”

When you’re good to others, you are best to yourself.

If you would like to persuade someone, speak of Interest, not of Reason.

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

Whatever begins in anger ends in shame.

Who is strong? The person who can conquer their bad Habits.

The most exquisite Folly is made of Wisdom spun too fine.

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.

There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking.

Contentment makes the poor one rich; discontent makes the rich one poor.

Today is Yesterday’s Pupil. One today is worth two tomorrows.

If you would reap praise you must sow the seeds: Gentle words and useful deeds.

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.

In rivers and bad governments the lightest things swim near the top.

What you would seem to be, be really.

We may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct.

Most people return small favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with ingratitude.

Industry pays debts while despair increases them. God gives all things to industry.

When you are befriended, remember it; When you befriend someone, forget it.

Love your neighbor. But don’t pull down your hedge.

Nothing brings more pain than too much pleasure; nothing more bondage than too much liberty.

The person who speaks much is much mistaken.

Who has deceived you as often as yourself?

Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.

Despair ruins some people, Presumption many more.

Neglect mending a small fault, and it will soon be a great one.

The way to be safe is never to be secure. The person who is secure is not safe.

The Thirteen Virtues in Life:

  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness. Drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time
  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
  11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity: Rarely use sex but for health and offspring — never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Let no pleasure tempt you, no profit allure you, no ambition corrupt you, no example sway you, no persuasion move you to do anything which you know to be evil; so then you shall always live joyfully; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.

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