A Bit of Wisdom from the 1738 Poor Richard’s Almanac

Philadelphia, PA…Our Favorite Founding Father is Ben Franklin. He didn’t just help found our country during the 1776 era.   For two generations before he helped sell concepts of Freedom, Self-Determination & Inalienable rights. From 1733 to 1758 Poor Richards Almanac helped create the unique American identity in a homey, common sense, aspirational way. A few Bits of Wisdom from 1738…

There are three faithful friends, an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.
Who has deceiv’d thee so oft as thy self?
Buy what thou hast no need of; and e’er long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
Read much, but not many books.
Write with the learned, pronounce with the vulgar.
Hast thou virtue? acquire also the graces & beauties of virtue.
If you wou’d not be forgotten As soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, Or do things worth the writing.
Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
Let thy vices die before thee.
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
Since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.
Since I cannot govern my own tongue, tho’ within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongues of others?
Time is an herb that cures all Diseases.
Drive thy business; let not that drive thee.
Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.

If thou hast wit & learning, add to it Wisdom and Modesty.
You may be more happy than Princes, if you will be more virtuous.
The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest.
‘Tis less discredit to abridge petty charges, than to stoop to petty Gettings.
If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.
Wish not so much to live long as to live well.
As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence.
I have never seen the Philosopher’s Stone that turns lead into Gold, but I have known the pursuit of it turn a Man’s Gold into Lead.
Reading makes a full Man, Meditation a profound Man, discourse a clear Man.
If any man flatters me, I’ll flatter him again; tho’ he were my best Friend.
Wish a miser long life, and you wish him no good.
None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, nor acknowledge himself in an error.
There is much difference between imitating a good man, and counterfeiting him.
Each year one vicious habit rooted out, In time might make the worst Man good throughout.
Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones.
Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.