Benjamin Franklin Quotes

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

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Write with the learned, pronounce with the vulgar.

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Speak little, do much.

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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 best chance for such consequences.

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Were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults of the first.

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The things which hurt, instruct.

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Wealth is not his who has it, but his who enjoys it.

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

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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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; i.e. waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted), will certainly become rich.

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Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.

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To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

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

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You may delay, but time will not.

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

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Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

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Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

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Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

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Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

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Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

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Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

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Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

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Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

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Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

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Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

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Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

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Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

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Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

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Without industry and frugality, nothing will do; with them, everything.

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The noblest question in the world is, "What good may I do in it?"

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Doing good to men is the only service of God in our power; and to imitate his beneficence is to glorify him.

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As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence.

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Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes it.

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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.

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Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

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He that can have patience can have what he will.

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Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.

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

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Rather to go to bed supperless than rise in debt.

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In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.

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Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

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

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Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

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Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enough to be honest.

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In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.

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There are two ways of being happy — we may either diminish our wants or augment our means — either will do, the result is the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. If you are active and prosperous, or young, or in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are wise, you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.

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The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked, than the supine, secure, and negligent.

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Men are subject to various inconveniences merely through lack of a small share of courage, which is a quality very necessary in the common occurrences of life, as well as in a battle. How many impertinences do we daily suffer with great uneasiness, because we have not courage enough to discover our dislike.

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It is observable that God has often called men to places of dignity and honor when they have been busy in the honest employment of their vocation.

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Man and woman have each of them qualities and tempers in which the other is deficient, and which in union contribute to the common felicity.

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When I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring favors, but as paying debts. I have received much kindness from men to whom I shall never have an opportunity of making the least direct returns; and numberless mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our services. Those kindnesses from men I can, therefore, only return on their fellow-men, and I can only show my gratitude for those mercies from God by a readiness to help His other children.

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Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

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