Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”

“Fear not death for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal.”

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

“You may delay, but time will not.”

“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

“Well done is better than well said.”

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

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

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.”

“Tis a great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his.”

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

“There was never a bad peace or a good war.”

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.”

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

“Never confuse motion with action.”

“A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.”

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”

“Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away”

“When you are finished changing, you’re finished.”

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”

“Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.”

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

“The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.”

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.”

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

“When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet.”

“Energy and persistence conquers all things”

“Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

“If Jack’s in love, he’s no judge of Jill’s beauty.”

“Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.”

“Lost time is never found again”

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.”

“Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”

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

“Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

“To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girlfriends.”

“While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.”

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

“Contentment makes poor men rich, discontent makes rich men poor.”

“Life biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late”

“If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.”

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”

“Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.”

“Work as if you were to live a thousand years, play as if you were to die tomorrow.”

“Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.”

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. ”

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”

“Flesh eating is unprovoked murder.”

“Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.”

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

“A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.”

“I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel”

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.”

“All the little money that ever came into my hands was ever laid out in books.”

“To be humble to superiors is a duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.”

“Fish and visitors smell in three days.”

“The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when your finished.”

“He that lieth down with Dogs, shall rise up with Fleas.”

“Those things that hurt, instruct.”

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing
the freeness of speech.”

“Words may show a man’s wit, actions his meaning.”

“Security without liberty is called prison.”

“A good example is the best sermon.”

“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.”

“No one cares what you know until they know that you care!”

“Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

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

“Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”

“To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.”

“Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.”

“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

“Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.”

“Fear God, and your enemies will fear you.”

“To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”

“Women are books, and men the readers be…”

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

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”

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

“Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.”

“Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.”

“He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped.”

“The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.”

“A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.”

“The best way to see Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.”

“It is with great sincerity I join you in acknowledging and admiring the dispensations of Providence in our favor. America has only to be thankful and to persevere. God will finish his work and establish their freedom…. If it had not been for the justice of our cause, and the consequent interposition of Providence,in which we had faith, we must have been ruined. If had ever before been an atheist, I should now have been convinced of the being and government of a Deity! It is He who abases the proud and favors the humble. May we never forget His goodnes to us, and may our future conduct manifest our gratitude….I believe in one God, Creator of the universe. That He governs it by his providence. That He ought to be worshiped.”

“Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.”

“Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”

“Glass, china, and reputation, are easily cracked, and never well mended.”

“For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.”

“He who can have patience can have what he will.”

“If Passion drives, let Reason hold the Reins.”

“One today is worth two tomorrows.”

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

“The way to wealth 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 everything.”
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

“You only have the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself.”

“Fart for freedom, fart for liberty—and fart proudly.”

“So convenient a thing to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do.”

“You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.”

“Write to please yourself. When you write to please others you end up pleasing no one.”

“All would live long, but none would be old.”

“When in doubt… don’t.”

“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that anybody may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: ‘This is my country!”

“Where there’s marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.”

“Haste makes waste.”

“Joy is not in things, it is in us.”

“Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.”

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

“He that speaks much, is much mistaken.”

“If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.”

“Without Freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom;and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.”

“Critics are our friends, they show us our faults.”

“Whatever you become, be good at it.”

“Thinking aloud is a habit which is responsible for most of mankind’s misery.”

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

“He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.”

“Perhaps I’m too saucy or provoking?”

“He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.”

“He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.”

“All highly competent people continually search for ways to keep learning, growing, and improving. They do that by asking why. After all, the person who knows how will always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be the boss.”

“To be proud of virtue, is to poison yourself with the antidote.”

“God helps them that help themselves.”

“Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least you will, by such conduct, stand the be.”

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

“Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

“If you have a bald head don’t walk out in the sun because you will get burned.”

“A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.”

“The purpose of money was to purchase one’s freedom to pursue that which is useful and interesting.”

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”

“You can do anything you set your mind to.”

“To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly”

“Serving God is doing good to man, but praying is thought an easier service and therefore more generally chosen.”

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”

“Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.”

“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and he that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.”

“God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.”

“I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.”

“Would you live with ease, do what you ought, and not what you please.”

“If you will not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, then write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”

“Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs. ”

“He that is the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.”

“Half-wits talk much, but say little.”

“Liberality is not giving much, but giving wisely.”

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”

“The discontented man finds no easy chair. ”

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

“If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.”

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

“Never take a wife till thou hast a house(and a fire) to put her in.”

“When nature gave us tears, She gave us leave to weep.”

“I am in the prime of senility.”

“Do not fear mistakes.”

“Money has never made man happy, nor will it; there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has, the more one wants.”

“He that lives upon hope will die fasting.”

“A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.””

“That which hurts, also instructs.”

“A place for everything, everything in its place.”

“Most fools think they are only ignorant.”

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”

“Tis easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.”

“Look round the habitable world, how few know their own good, or, knowing it, pursue!”

“If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.”

“Read much, but not many books.”

“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”

“After three days houseguests and food begins to stink!”

“There never was a good knife made of bad steel.”

“A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

“Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

“Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that don’t have brains enough to be honest.”

“There are two ways to increase your wealth. Increase your means or decrease your wants. The best is to do both at the same time.”

“Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.”

“There will be plenty of time to sleep once you are dead.”

“Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist.”

“The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”

“Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.”

“It is ill-manners to silence a fool and cruelty to let him go on.”

“Little strokes fell great oaks.”

“O powerful goodness! Bountiful Father! Merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children as the only return in my power for thy continual favours to me. ”

“Love your enemies, for they tell you your Faults.”

“Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.”

“Only two things in life are certain, death and taxes.”

“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”

“You tell me, and I forget. You teach me, and I remember. You involve me, and I learn.”

“Lighthouses are more useful than churches.”

“Time is money.”

“After three days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy.”

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

“The securest place is a prison cell, but there is no liberty.”

“I know not which lives more unnatural lives, obeying husbands, or commanding wives.”

“Some books against Deism fell into my hands … it happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.”

“Nothing is more fatal to health than an over care of it.”

“The doors of wisdom are never shut.”

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

“Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really and truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all.”

“I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody.”

“Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself.”

“The wise man draws more advantage from his enemies than the fool from his friends.”

“A truly great man will neither trample on a worm nor sneak to an emperor.”

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

“To err is human, to repent divine; to persist devilish.”

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”

“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals is courtesy, to inferiors is nobility.”

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

“He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.”

“Then plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.”

“Let thy discontents be thy secrets.”

“The trouble with doing nothing is not knowing when you’re finished.”

“Games lubricate the body and mind.”

“Ignorance leads men into a party, and shame keeps them from getting out again.”

“A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.”

“What condition of man most deserves pity?” – Franklin offered: “A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read.”

“Drive thy business or it will drive thee.”

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