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Ainerican ought not to be ashamed, nor afraid to speak to any man living.
15 “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 nation, or of that government, who should issue an edict, compeiling 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 ?
-16“ And yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny when you run in debt for such a dress! Your creditor has authority to deprive you of your liberty, by confining: you in jail, if you should not 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.'
17 “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. 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 may,
No morning sun lasts a whole day.' 18 “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, .
Get what you can, and what you get hold,
'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.' And when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
19 “ This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom: but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; foi they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous,
20 “And now to conclude, 'Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for, it is true, 'We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct:' However, remember this, They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;' and farther, that If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles,' as Poor Richard says."
21 Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanacs, and digested all I had dropped on those topics during the course of twenty-five years.
22 The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious, that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though at first I had determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine. I am., as ever, thine to serve thee.
То my friend A. B. As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of service to me, and may, if observed, be so to you.
1 Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shil. lings besides.
2 Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum when a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.
3 Remember that money is of a prolific generating nature.
Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six; turned again it is seven and three pence; and so on till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces, every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.
4 Remember that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this little sum, which may be daily wasted either in time or expense, unperceived, a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant possession and use of a hundred pounds. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.
5 Remember this sayipg, the good paymaster is lord of another man's purse.” He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world, than punctuality and justice in all his dealings: therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse
for ever. 6 The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day ; demands it before he can receive it in a lump. It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful, as well as honest man, and that still increases your credit.
7 Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time, both of your expensez and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect; you will discover how wonderfully small trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future, be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
8 In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money,
but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them every thing. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary'expenses excepted) will certainly become rich; if that Being who governs the world, to whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavors, doth not, in his wise providence otherwise determine.
SECTION IV. The way to make money plenty in every man's pocket.
1 At this time, when the general complaint is that “money is scarce,” it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules, well observed, will do the business. First, Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and, Secondly, Spend one penny less than thy clear gains.
2 Then shall thy hide-bound pocket soon begin to thrive, neither will creditors insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. · The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring up in every corner of thy heart. Now, therefore, embrace these rules and be hapру. Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind, and live independent.
3 Then shalt thou be a man, and not hide thy face at the approach of the rich, nor suffer the pain of feeling little when the sons of fortune walk at thy right hand: for independency, whether with little or much, is good fortune, and placeth thee on even ground with the proudest of the golden fleece. Oh, then, be wise, and let industry walk with thee in the morning, and attend thee until thou reachest the evening hour for rest.
4 Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny, when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid ; then shalt thou reach the point of happiness, and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it, wears a ring set with diamonds.
DETACHED SELECTIONS FROM THE MORAL ESSAYS AND
LETTERS OF DR. FRANKLIN.
SECTION I. The handsome and deformed leg: showing the unhappi
ness of a fault-finding disposition. 1 There are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth in the world, and the other comforts of life, become the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events; and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
2 In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more or less pleasing; at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed: in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws: in whatever poem, or work of genius, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.
3. Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people abovementioned, fix their attention; those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the well-dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks, sour the pleasures of society; offend personally many people, and make themselves every where disagreeable.
4 If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity; I hope this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on changing a habit, which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has