Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Poor Richard’s Almanack"

Poor Richard’s Almanack


Would you live with ease,
Do what you ought, and not what you please.

Principiis obsta.
[Latin: Resist the first advances]

Better slip with foot than tongue.

You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns,
Nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns.

Without justice, courage is weak.

Many dishes many diseases,
Many medicines few cures.

Where carcasses are, eagles will gather,
And where good laws are, much people flock thither.

Hot things, sharp things, sweet things, cold things
All rot the teeth, and make them look like old things.

Blame-all and Praise-all are two blockheads.

Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, & sloth;
Or the Gout will seize you and plague you both.

No man e’er was glorious, who was not laborious.

What pains our Justice takes his faults to hide,
With half that pains sure he might cure ’em quite.

In success be moderate.

Take this remark from Richard poor and lame,
Whate’er’s begun in anger ends in shame.

What one relishes, nourishes.

Fools multiply folly.


Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.

Bad Commentators spoil the best of books,
So God sends meat (they say) the devil Cooks.

Approve not of him who commends all you say.

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

Full of courtesie, full of craft.

A little House well fill’d, a little Field well till’d, and a little Wife well will’d, are great Riches.

Old Maids lead Apes there, where the old Batchelors are turn’d to Apes.

Some are weatherwise, some are otherwise.

*** Dyrro lynn y ddoeth e fydd ddoethach. [Welsh: Who gives drink to the wise, he is wiser. Please send better translation to Rich Hall]

The poor man must walk to get meat for his stomach, the rich man to get a stomach to his meat.

He that goes far to marry, will either deceive or be deceived.

Eyes and Priests
Bear no Jests.

The Family of Fools is ancient.

Necessity never made a good bargain.

If Pride leads the Van, Beggary brings up the Rear.

There’s many witty men whose brains can’t fill their bellies.

Weighty Questions ask for deliberate Answers.

When *** and *** in *** lie,
Then, Maids, whate’er is ask’d of you, deny.

Be slow in chusing a Friend, slower in changing.

Old Hob was lately married in the Night,
What needed Day, his fair young Wife is light.

Pain wastes the Body, Pleasures the Understanding.

The cunning man steals a horse, the wise man lets him alone.

Nothing but Money,
Is sweeter than Honey.

Humility makes great men twice honourable.

A Ship under sail and a big-bellied Woman,
Are the handsomest two things that can be seen common.

Keep thy shop, & thy shop will keep thee.

The King’s cheese is half wasted in parings: But no matter, ’tis made of the peoples milk.

What’s given shines,
What’s receiv’d is rusty.

Sloth and Silence are a Fool’s Virtues.

Of learned Fools I have seen ten times ten,
Of unlearned wise men I have seen a hundred.

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

Poverty wants some things, Luxury many things, Avarice all things.

A Lie stands on 1 leg, Truth on 2.

There’s small Revenge in Words, but Words may be greatly revenged.

Great wits jump (says the Poet) and hit his Head against the Post.

A man is never so ridiculous by those Qualities that are his own as by those that he affects to have.

Deny Self for Self’s sake.

Tim moderate fare and abstinence much prizes,
In publick, but in private gormandizes.

Ever since Follies have pleas’d, Fools have been able to divert.

It is better to take many Injuries than to give one.

Opportunity is the great Bawd.

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

To be humble to Superiors is Duty, to Equals Courtesy, to Inferiors Nobleness.

Here comes the Orator! with his Flood of Words, and his Drop of Reason.

An old young man, will be a young old man.

Sal laughs at every thing you say. Why? Because she has fine Teeth.

If what most men admire, they would despise,
’Twould look as if mankind were growing wise.

The Sun never repents of the good he does, nor does he ever demand a recompence.

Are you angry that others disappoint you? remember you cannot depend upon yourself.

One Mend-fault is worth two Findfaults, but one Findfault is better than two Makefaults.

Reader, I wish thee Health, Wealth, Happiness,
And may kind Heaven thy Year’s Industry bless.


He is no clown that drives the plow, but he that doth clownish things.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the Philosophers-Stone.

The good Paymaster is Lord of another man’s Purse.

Fish & Visitors stink in 3 days.

He that has neither fools, whores nor beggars among his kindred, is the son of a thunder-gust.

Diligence is the Mother of Good-Luck.

He that lives upon Hope, dies farting.

Do not do that which you would not have known.

Never praise your Cyder, Horse, or Bedfellow.

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

Tis easy to see, hard to foresee.

In a discreet man’s mouth, a publick thing is private.

Let thy maidservant be faithful, strong, and homely.

Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming.

Bargaining has neither friends nor relations.

Admiration is the Daughter of Ignorance.

There’s more old Drunkards than old Doctors.

She that paints her Face, thinks of her Tail.

Here comes Courage! that seiz’d the lion absent, and run away from the present mouse.

He that takes a wife, takes care.

Nor Eye in a letter, nor Hand in a purse, nor Ear in the secret of another.

He that buys by the penny, maintains not only himself, but other people.

He that can have Patience, can have what he will.

Now I’ve a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good morrow.

God helps them that help themselves.

Why does the blind man’s wife paint herself.

None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.

The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.

Gifts burst rocks.

If wind blows on you thro’ a hole, Make your will and take care of your soul.

The rotten Apple spoils his Companion.

He that sells upon trust, loses many friends, and always wants money.

Don’t throw stones at your neighbours, if your own windows are glass.

The excellency of hogs is fatness, of men virtue.

Good wives and good plantations are made by good husbands.

Pox take you, is no curse to some people.

Force s—s upon Reason’s Back.

Lovers, Travellers, and Poets, will give money to be heard.

He that speaks much, is much mistaken.

Creditors have better memories than debtors.

Forwarn’d, forearm’d, unless in the case of Cuckolds, who are often forearm’d before warn’d.

Three things are men most liable to be cheated in, a Horse, a Wig, and a Wife.

He that lives well, is learned enough.

Poverty, Poetry, and new Titles of Honour, make Men ridiculous.

He that scatters Thorns, let him not go barefoot.

There’s none deceived but he that trusts.

God heals, and the Doctor takes the Fees.

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

Mary’s mouth costs her nothing, for she never opens it but at others expence.

Receive before you write, but write before you pay.

I saw few die of Hunger, of Eating 100000.

Maids of America, who gave you bad teeth?
Answ. Hot Soupings & frozen Apples.

Marry your Daughter and eat fresh Fish betimes.

If God blesses a Man, his [Dog] brings forth Pigs.

He that would live in peace & at ease, Must not speak all he knows, nor judge all he sees.

Beauty & folly are old companions.

Hope of gain
Lessens pain.

All things are easy to Industry,
All things difficult to Sloth.

If you ride a Horse, sit close and tight,
If you ride a Man, sit easy and light.

A new truth is a truth, an old error is an error,
Tho’ Clodpate wont allow either.

Don’t think to hunt two hares with one dog.

Astrologers say,
This is a good Day,
To make Love in May.

Who pleasure gives,
Shall joy receive.

Be not sick too late, nor well too soon.

Where there’s Marriage without Love, there will be Love without Marriage.

Lawyers, Preachers, and Tomtits Eggs, there are more of them hatch’d than come to perfection.

Be neither silly, nor cunning, but wise.

Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parly.

Jack Little sow’d little, & little he’ll reap.

All things are cheap to the saving, dear to the wasteful.

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not of Reason.

Some men grow mad by studying much to know,
But who grows mad by studying good to grow.

Happy’s the Woing, that’s not long a doing.

Don’t value a man for the Quality he is of, but for the Qualities he possesses.

Bucephalus the Horse of Alexand hath as lasting fame as his Master.

Rain or Snow,
To Chili go,
You’ll find it so,
For ought we know.
Time will show.

There have been as great Souls unknown to fame as any of the most famous.

Do good to thy Friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him.

A good Man is seldom uneasy, an ill one never easie.

Teach your child to hold his tongue, he’l learn fast enough to speak.

He that cannot obey, cannot command.

An innocent Plowman is more worthy than a vicious Prince.

Sam’s Religion is like a Chedder Cheese, ’tis made of the milk of one & twenty Parishes.

Grief for a dead Wife, & a troublesome Guest,
Continues to the threshold, and there is at rest;
But I mean such wives as are none of the best.

As Charms are nonsence, Nonsence is a Charm.

An Egg to day is better than a Hen to-morrow.

Drink Water, Put the Money in your Pocket, and leave the Dry-bellyach in the Punchbowl.

He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.

If you wou’d be reveng’d of your enemy, govern your self.

A wicked Hero will turn his back to an innocent coward.

Laws like to Cobwebs catch small Flies,
Great ones break thro’ before your eyes.

Strange, that he who lives by Shifts, can seldom shift himself.

As sore places meet most rubs, proud folks meet most affronts.

The magistrate should obey the Laws, the People should obey the magistrate.

When ’tis fair be sure take your Great coat with you.

He does not possess Wealth, it possesses him.

Necessity has no Law; I know some Attorneys of the name.

Onions can make ev’n Heirs and Widows weep.

Avarice and Happiness never saw each other, how then shou’d they become acquainted.

The thrifty maxim of the wary Dutch,
Is to save all the Money they can touch.

He that waits upon Fortune, is never sure of a Dinner.

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

Marry your Son when you will, but your Daughter when you can.

By Mrs. Bridget Saunders, my Dutchess, in Answer to the December Verses of last Year.

He that for sake of Drink neglects his Trade,
And spends each Night in Taverns till ’tis late,
And rises when the Sun is four hours high,
And ne’er regards his starving Family;
God in his Mercy may do much to save him.
But, woe to the poor Wife, whose Lot it is to have him.

He that knows nothing of it, may by chance be a Prophet; while the wisest that is may happen to miss.

If you wou’d have Guests merry with your cheer,
Be so your self, or so at least appear.

Famine, Plague, War, and an unnumber’d throng
Of Guilt-avenging Ills, to Man belong;
Is’t not enough Plagues, Wars, and Famines rise
To lash our crimes, but must our Wives be wise?

Reader, farewel, all Happiness attend thee:
May each New-Year better and richer find thee.


The Use of Money is all the Advantage there is in having Money.

For 6 £. a Year, you may have the Use of 100 £. if you are a Man of known Prudence and Honesty.

He that spends a Groat a day idly, spends idly above 6 £. a year, which is the Price of using 100 £.

He that wastes idly a Groat’s worth of his Time per Day, one Day with another, wastes the Privilege of using 100 £. each Day.

He that idly loses 5 s. worth of time, loses 5 s. & might as prudently throw 5 s. in the River.

He that loses 5 s. not only loses that Sum, but all the Advantage that might be made by turning it in Dealing, which by the time that a young Man becomes old, amounts to a comfortable Bag of Mony.

Again, He that sells upon Credit, asks a Price for what he sells, equivalent to the Principal and Interest of his Money for the Time he is like to be kept out of it: therefore

He that buys upon Credit, pays Interest for what he buys.

And he that pays ready Money, might let that Money out to Use: so that

He that possesses any Thing he has bought, pays Interest for the Use of it.

Consider then, when you are tempted to buy any unnecessary Housholdstuff, or any superfluous thing, whether you will be willing to pay Interest, and Interest upon Interest for it as long as you live; and more if it grows worse by using.

Yet, in buying Goods, ’tis best to pay ready Money, because,

He that sells upon Credit, expects to lose 5 per Cent. by bad Debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon Credit, an Advance that shall make up that Deficiency.

Those who pay for what they buy upon Credit, pay their Share of this Advance.

He that pays ready Money, escapes or may escape that Charge.

A Penny sav’d is Twopence clear, A Pin a day is a Groat a Year. Save & have. Every little makes a mickle.

The greatest monarch on the proudest throne, is oblig’d to sit upon his own arse.

The Master-piece of Man, is to live to the purpose.

He that steals the old man’s supper, do’s him no wrong.

A countryman between 2 Lawyers, is like a fish between two cats.

He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.

The misers cheese is wholesomest.

Felix quem, &c.
[Latin, for 'Felix quem faciunt aliena Pericula cautum,' Fortunate the man who learns caution from the perils of others.]

Love & lordship hate companions.

The nearest way to come at glory, is to do that for conscience which we do for glory.

There is much money given to be laught at, though the purchasers don’t know it; witness A’s fine horse, & B’s fine house.

He that can compose himself, is wiser than he that composes books.

Poor Dick, eats like a well man, and drinks like a sick.

After crosses and losses men grow humbler & wiser.

Love, Cough, & a Smoke, can’t well be hid.

Well done is better than well said.

Fine linnen, girls and gold so bright,
Chuse not to take by candle-light.

He that can travel well afoot, keeps a good horse.

There are no ugly Loves, nor handsome Prisons.

No better relation than a prudent & faithful Friend.

A Traveller should have a hog’s nose, deer’s legs, and an ass’s back.

At the working man’s house hunger looks in but dares not enter.

A good Lawyer a bad Neighbour.

Certainlie these things agree,
The Priest, the Lawyer, & Death all three:
Death takes both the weak and the strong.
The lawyer takes from both right and wrong,
And the priest from living and dead has his Fee.

The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.

Don’t misinform your Doctor nor your Lawyer.

I never saw an oft-transplanted tree,
Nor yet an oft-removed family,
That throve so well as those that settled be.

Let the Letter stay for the Post, and not the Post for the Letter.

Three good meals a day is bad living.

Tis better leave for an enemy at one’s death, than beg of a friend in one’s life.

To whom thy secret thou dost tell,
To him thy freedom thou dost sell.

If you’d have a Servant that you like, serve your self.

He that pursues two Hares at once, does not catch one and lets t’other go.

If you want a neat wife, chuse her on a Saturday.

If you have time dont wait for time.

Tell a miser he’s rich, and a woman she’s old, you’ll get no money of one, nor kindness of t’other.

Don’t go to the doctor with every distemper, nor to the lawyer with every quarrel, nor to the pot for every thirst.

The Creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.

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

Nec sibi, sed toto, genitum se credere mundo.
[Latin: And not to each, but all together, he created the world to believe.]

Nothing so popular as GOODNESS.


There are three faithful friends, an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.

Great talkers should be cropt, for they’ve no need of ears.

If you’d have your shoes last, put no nails in ’em.

Who has deceiv’d thee so oft as thy self?

Is there any thing Men take more pains about than to render themselves unhappy?

Nothing brings more pain than too much pleasure; nothing more bondage than too much liberty, (or libertinism.)

Read much, but not many Books.

He that would have a short Lent, let him borrow Money to be repaid at Easter.

Write with the learned, pronounce with the vulgar.

Fly Pleasures, and they’ll follow you.

Squirrel-like she covers her back with her tail.

Caesar did not merit the triumphal Car, more than he that conquers himself.

Hast thou virtue? acquire also the graces & beauties of virtue.

Buy what thou hast no need of; and e’er long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.

If thou hast wit & learning, add to it Wisdom and Modesty.

You may be more happy than Princes, if you will be more virtuous.

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.

God bless the King, and grant him long to Reign.

Let thy vices die before thee.

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

The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest.

Since I cannot govern my own tongue, tho’ within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongues of others?

’Tis less discredit to abridge petty charges, than to stoop to petty Gettings.

Since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.

If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.

Defer not thy well-doing; be not like St. George, who is always a horseback, and never rides on.

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.

Never intreat a servant to dwell with thee.

Time is an herb that cures all Diseases.

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, or acknowledge himself in an error.

Drive thy business; let not that drive thee.

There is much difference between imitating a good man, and counterfeiting him.

Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones.

Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.

Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.

Never spare the Parson’s wine, nor Baker’s Pudding.

Each year one vicious habit rooted out,
In time might make the worst Man good throughout.


When Death puts out our Flame, the Snuff will tell,
If we were Wax, or Tallow by the Smell.

At a great Pennyworth, pause a while.

As to his Wife, John minds St. Paul, He’s one
That hath a Wife, and is as if he’d none.

Kings a be an Honour to them tho’ they are dead.

If thou wouldst live long, live well; for Folly and Wickedness shorten Life.

Prythee isn’t Miss Cloe’s a comical Case?
She lends out her Tail, and she borrows her Face.

Trust thy self, and another shall not betray thee.

He that pays for Work before it’s done, has but a pennyworth for twopence.

Historians relate, not so much what is done, as what they would have believed.

O Maltster! break that cheating Peck; ’tis plain,
When e’er you use it, you’re a Knave in Grain.

Doll learning propria quae maribus [from William Lily’s text on Latin noun gender] without book,
Like Nomen crescentis genitivo [Latin: Name of the fruitful crescent] doth look.

Grace thou thy House, and let not that grace thee.

Thou canst not joke an Enemy into a Friend; but thou may’st a Friend into an Enemy.

Eyes & Priests
Bear no Jests.

He that falls in love with himself, will have no Rivals.

Let thy Child’s first Lesson be Obedience, and the second may be what thou wilt.

Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.

Rather go to bed supperless, than run in debt for a Breakfast.

Let thy Discontents be Secrets.

An infallible Remedy for the Tooth-ach, viz Wash the Root of an aching Tooth, in Elder Vinegar, and let it dry half an hour in the Sun; after which it will never ach more; Probatum est.

A Man of Knowledge like a rich Soil, feeds
If not a world of Corn, a world of Weeds.

A modern Wit is one of David’s Fools.

No Resolution of Repenting hereafter, can be sincere.

Pollio, who values nothing that’s within,
Buys books as men hunt Beavers, — for their Skin.

Honour thy Father and Mother, i.e. Live so as to be an Honour to them tho’ they are dead.

If thou injurest Conscience, it will have its Revenge on thee.

Hear no ill of a Friend, nor speak any of an Enemy.

Pay what you owe, and you’ll know what’s your own.

Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.

Thirst after Desert, not Reward.

Beware of him that is slow to anger: He is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.

No longer virtuous no longer free; is a Maxim as true with regard to a private Person as a Common-wealth.

When Man and Woman die, as Poets sung,
His Heart’s the last part moves, her last, the tongue.

Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou canst.

Let our Fathers and Grandfathers be valued for their Goodness, ourselves for our own.

Industry need not wish.

Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden but it is forbidden because it’s hurtful. Nor is a Duty beneficial because it is commanded, but it is commanded, because it’s beneficial.

A ---- , they say, has Wit; for what?
For writing? — No; For writing not.

George came to the Crown without striking a Blow.
Ah! quoth the Pretender, would I could do so.

Love, and be lov’d.

O Lazy-Bones! Dost thou think God would have given thee Arms and Legs, if he had not design’d thou should’st use them.

A Cure for Poetry,
Seven wealthy Towns contend for Homer, dead,
Thro’ which the living Homer beg’d his Bread.

Great Beauty, great strength, & great Riches, are really & truly of no great Use; a right Heart exceeds all.


To bear other Peoples Afflictions, every one has Courage enough, and to spare.

No wonder Tom grows fat, th’ unwieldy Sinner,
Makes his whole Life but one continual Dinner.

An empty Bag cannot stand upright.

Happy that nation, fortunate that age, whose history is not diverting.

What is a butterfly? At best
He’s but a caterpiller drest.
The gaudy Fop’s his picture just.

None are deceived but they that confide.

An open Foe may prove a curse;
But a pretended friend is worse.

A wolf eats sheep but now and then,
Ten Thousands are devour’d by Men.

Man’s tongue is soft, and bone doth lack;
Yet a stroke therewith may break a man’s back.

Many a Meal is lost for want of meat.

To all apparent Beauties blind
Each Blemish strikes an envious Mind.

The Poor have little, Beggars none;
the Rich too much, enough not one.

There are lazy Minds as well as lazy Bodies.

Tricks and Treachery are the Practice of Fools, that have not Wit enough to be honest.

Who says Jack is not generous? he is always fond of giving, and cares not for receiving. — What? Why; Advice.

The Man who with undaunted toils,
sails unknown seas to unknown soils,
With various wonders feasts his Sight:
What stranger wonders does he write?

Fear not Death; for the sooner we die, the longer shall we be immortal.

Those who in quarrels interpose,
Must often wipe a bloody nose.

Promises may get thee Friends, but Nonperformance will turn them into Enemies.

In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye;
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own stronger errors blind.

When you speak to a man, look on his eyes; when he speaks to thee, look on his mouth.

Jane, why those tears? why droops your head?
Is then your other husband dead?
Or doth a worse disgrace betide?
Hath no one since his death apply’d?

Observe all men; thy self most.

Thou hadst better eat salt with the Philosophers of Greece, than sugar with the Courtiers of Italy.

Seek Virtue, and, of that possest,
To Providence, resign the rest.

Marry above thy match, and thou’lt get a Master.

Fear to do ill, and you need fear nought else.

He makes a Foe who makes a jest.

Can grave and formal pass for wise,
When Men the solemn Owl despise?

Some are justly laught at for keeping their Money foolishly, others for spending it idly: He is the greatest fool that lays it out in a purchase of repentance.

Who knows a fool, must know his brother;
For one will recommend another.

Avoid dishonest Gain: No price;
Can recompence the Pangs of Vice.

When befriended, remember it:
When you befriend, forget it.

Great souls with gen’rous pity melt;
Which coward tyrants never felt.

Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.

A Flatterer never seems absurd:
The Flatter’d always take his Word.

Lend Money to an Enemy, and thou’lt gain him, to a Friend and thou’lt lose him.

Neither praise nor dispraise, till seven Christmasses be over.


Enjoy the present hour, be mindful of the past;
And neither fear nor wish the Approaches of the last.

Learn of the skilful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master.

Best is the Tongue that feels the rein; —
He that talks much, must talk in vain;
We from the wordy Torrent fly:
Who listens to the chattering Pye?

Think Cato sees thee.

No Wood without Bark.

Monkeys warm with envious spite,
Their most obliging FRIENDS will bite; —
And, fond to copy human Ways,
Practise new Mischiefs all their days.

Joke went out, and brought home his fellow, and they two began a quarrel.

Let thy discontents be thy Secrets; — if the world knows them, ’twill despise thee and increase them.

E’er you remark another’s Sin,
Bid your own Conscience look within.

Anger and Folly walk cheek-by-jole; Repentance treads on both their Heels.

Turn Turk Tim, and renounce thy Faith in Words as well as Actions: Is it worse to follow Mahomet than the Devil?

Don’t overload Gratitude; if you do, she’ll kick.

Be always asham’d to catch thy self idle.

Where yet was ever found the Mother,
Who’d change her booby for another?

At 20 years of age the Will reigns; at 30 the Wit; at 40 the Judgment.

Christianity commands us to pass by Injuries; Policy, to let them pass by us.

Lying rides upon Debt’s back.

They who have nothing to be troubled at, will be troubled at nothing.

Wife from thy Spouse each blemish hide
More than from all the World beside:
Let DECENCY be all thy Pride.

Nick’s Passions grow fat and hearty; his Understanding looks consumptive!

If evils come not, then our fears are vain:
And if they do, Fear but augments the pain.

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

Rob not for burnt offerings.

Bess brags she ’as Beauty, and can prove the same;
As how? why thus, Sir, ’tis her puppy’s name.

Up, Sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.

Well done, is twice done.

Clearly spoken, Mr. Fog! You explain English by Greek.

Formio bewails his Sins with the same heart,
As Friends do Friends when they’re about to part.
Believe it Formio will not entertain,
One chearful Thought till they do meet again.

Honours change Manners.

Jack eating rotten cheese, did say,
Like Sampson I my thousands slay;
I vow, quoth Roger, so you do,
And with the self-same weapon too.

There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit.

Quarrels never could last long,
If on one side only lay the wrong.

Let no Pleasure tempt thee, no Profit allure thee, no Ambition corrupt thee, no Example sway thee, no Persuasion move thee, to do any thing which thou knowest to be Evil; So shalt thou always live jollily: for a good Conscience is a continual Christmass.


Strange! that a Man who has wit enough to write a Satyr; should have folly enough to publish it.

He that hath a Trade, hath an Estate.

Have you somewhat to do to-morrow; do it to-day.

No workman without tools,
Nor Lawyer without Fools,
Can live by their Rules.

The painful Preacher, like a candle bright,
Consumes himself in giving others Light.

Speak and speed: the close mouth catches no flies.

Visit your Aunt, but not every Day; and call at your Brother’s, but not every night.

Bis dat, qui cito dat. [Latin: Twice he gives, who quickly gives.]

Money and good Manners make the Gentleman.

Late Children, early Orphans.

Ben beats his Pate, and fancys wit will come;
But he may knock, there’s no body at home.

The good Spinner hath a large Shift.

Tom, vain’s your Pains; They all will fail:
Ne’er was good Arrow made of a Sow’s Tail.

Empty Free-booters, cover’d with Scorn:
They went out for Wealth, & come ragged and torn,
As the Ram went for Wool, and was sent back shorn.

Ill Customs & bad Advice are seldom forgotten.

He that sows thorns, should not go barefoot.

Reniego de grillos, aunque sean d’oro. [Spanish: I refuse to worship crickets, though they be of gold.]

Men meet, mountains never.

When Knaves fall out, honest Men get their goods: When Priests dispute, we come at the Truth.

Kate would have Thomas, no one blame her can:
Tom won’t have Kate, and who can blame the Man?

A large train makes a light Purse.

Death takes no bribes.

One good Husband is worth two good Wives; for the scarcer things are the more they’re valued.

He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.

He that speaks ill of the Mare, will buy her.

You may drive a gift without a gimblet.

Eat few Suppers, and you’ll need few Medicines.

You will be careful, if you are wise;
How you touch Men’s Religion, or Credit, or Eyes.

After Fish,
Milk do not wish.

Heb Dduw heb ddim, a Duw a digon. [Welsh: Without God, without anything; with God, with enough.]

They who have nothing to trouble them, will be troubled at nothing.

Against Diseases here, the strongest Fence,
Is the defensive Virtue, Abstinence.

Fient de chien, & marc d’argent,
Seront tout un au jour du jugement.
[French: Trust of dog, and grounds of silver,
will all be one on Judgment Day]

If thou dost ill, the joy fades, not the pains;
If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains.

To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish.

Money & Man a mutual Friendship show:
Man makes false Money, Money makes Man so.

Industry pays Debts, Despair increases them.

Bright as the day and as the morning fair,
Such Cloe is, & common as the air.

Here comes Glib-tongue: who can out-flatter a Dedication; and lie, like ten Epitaphs.

Hope and a Red-Rag, are Baits for Men and Mackrel.

With the old Almanack and the old Year,
Leave thy old Vices, tho’ ever so dear.

Rules of Health and long Life, and to preserve from Malignant Fevers, and Sickness in general. [Next 10 days]
Eat and drink such an exact Quantity as the Constitution of thy Body allows of, in reference to the Services of the Mind.

They that study much, ought not to eat so much as those that work hard, their Digestion being not so good.

[Of Eat and Drink:] The exact Quantity and Quality being found out, is to be kept to constantly.

Excess in all other Things whatever, as well as in Meat and Drink, is also to be avoided.

Youth, Age, and Sick require a different Quantity [of Eat and Drink].

And so do those of contrary Complexions; for that which is too much [of Eat and Drink] for a flegmatick Man, is not sufficient for a Cholerick.

The Measure of Food ought to be (as much as possibly may be) exactly proportionable to the Quality and Condition of the Stomach, because the Stomach digests it.

That Quantity that is sufficient, the Stomach can perfectly concoct and digest, and it sufficeth the due Nourishment of the Body.

A greater Quantity of some things may be eaten than of others, some being of lighter Digestion than others.

The Difficulty lies, in finding out an exact Measure; but eat for Necessity, not Pleasure, for Lust knows not where Necessity ends.

Wouldst thou enjoy a long Life, a healthy Body, and a vigorous Mind, and be acquainted also with the wonderful Works of God? labour in the first place to bring thy Appetite into Subjection to Reason.

Rules to find out a fit Measure of Meat and Drink. [Next 10 days]
If thou eatest so much as makes thee unfit for Study, or other Business, thou exceedest the due Measure.

If thou art dull and heavy after Meat, it’s a sign thou hast exceeded the due Measure; for Meat and Drink ought to refresh the Body, and make it chearful, and not to dull and oppress it.

If thou findest these ill Symptoms, consider whether too much Meat, or too much Drink occasions it, or both, and abate by little and little, till thou findest the Inconveniency removed.

Keep out of the Sight of Feasts and Banquets as much as may be; for ’tis more difficult to refrain good Cheer, when it’s present, than from the Desire of it when it is away; the like you may observe in the Objects of all the other Senses.

If a Man casually exceeds, let him fast the next Meal, and all may be well again, provided it be not too often done; as if he exceed at Dinner, let him refrain a Supper, &c.

A temperate Diet frees from Diseases; such are seldom ill, but if they are surprised with Sickness, they bear it better, and recover sooner; for most Distempers have their Original from Repletion.

Use now and then a little Exercise a quarter of an Hour before Meals, as to swing a Weight, or swing your Arms about with a small Weight in each Hand; to leap, or the like, for that stirs the Muscles of the Breast.

A temperate Diet arms the Body against all external Accidents; so that they are not so easily hurt by Heat, Cold or Labour; if they at any time should be prejudiced, they are more easily cured, either of Wounds, Dislocations or Bruises.
But when malignant Fevers are rife in the Country or City where thou dwelst, ’tis adviseable to eat and drink more freely, by Way of Prevention; for those are Diseases that are not caused by Repletion, and seldom attack Full-feeders.

A sober Diet makes a Man die without Pain; it maintains the Senses in Vigour; it mitigates the Violence of Passions and Affections.
It preserves the Memory, it helps the Understanding, it allays the Heat of Lust; it brings a Man to a Consideration of his latter End; it makes the Body a fit Tabernacle for the Lord to dwell in; which makes us happy in this World, and eternally happy in the World to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.


How few there are who have courage enough to own their Faults, or resolution enough to mend them!

Men differ daily, about things which are subject to Sense, is it likely then they should agree about things invisible.

Mark with what insolence and pride,
Blown Bufo takes his haughty stride;
As if no toad was toad beside.

Ill Company is like a dog who dirts those most, that he loves best.

In prosperous fortunes be modest and wise,
The greatest may fall, and the lowest may rise:
But insolent People that fall in disgrace,
Are wretched and no-body pities their Case.

*** Le sage entend a demi mot.
[French: The wise one listens to half the word.]

Sorrow is dry.

The World is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet every one has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the Affairs of his neighbour.

Beware, beware! he’ll cheat ’ithout scruple, who can without fear.

The D—l wipes his B—ch with poor Folks Pride.

Content and Riches seldom meet together,
Riches take thou, contentment I had rather.

Speak with contempt of none, from slave to king,
The meanest Bee hath, and will use, a sting.

The church the state, and the poor, are 3 daughters which we should maintain, but not portion off.

*** A achwyno heb achos; gwneler achos iddo.
[Welsh: He who complains without reason may be without reason. Please send better translation to Rich Hall.]

A little well-gotten will do us more good,
Than lordships and scepters by Rapine and Blood.

Borgen macht sorgen.
[German: Neither a borrower nor a lender be.]

Let all Men know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly: Men freely ford that see the shallows.

Tis easy to frame a good bold resolution;
but hard is the Task that concerns execution.

Cold & cunning come from the north:
But cunning sans wisdom is nothing worth.

Tis vain to repine,
Tho’ a learned Divine
Will die this day at nine.

*** A noddo duw, ry noddir. [Welsh: He who protects God, receives protection.]

Ah simple Man! when a boy two precious jewels were given thee, Time, and good Advice; one thou hast lost, and the other thrown away.

*** Na funno i hun.
Na wnaid i un.
[Welsh: Please send translation to Rich Hall]

Dick told his spouse, he durst be bold to swear,
Whate’er she pray’d for, Heav’n would thwart her pray’r:
Indeed! says Nell, ’tis what I’m pleas’d to hear;
For now I’ll pray for your long life, my dear.

The sleeping Fox catches no poultry. Up! up!

If you’d be wealthy, think of saving, more than of getting: The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her Outgoes equal her Incomes.

Tugend bestehet wen alles vergehet.[German: Virtue is the requirement whom all offend.]

Came you from Court? for in your Mien,
A self-important air is seen.

Hear what Jack Spaniard says,
Con todo el Mundo Guerra,
Y Paz con Ingalatierra.
[Spanish: However the World is at War,
be at Peace with Foreigners.]

If you’d have it done, Go: If not, send.

Many a long dispute among Divines may be thus abridg’d, It is so: It is not so. It is so; It is not so.

Experience keeps a dear school, yet Fools will learn in no other.

Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.
[Latin: Blessed is he who learns caution from the perils of others.]

How many observe Christ’s Birth-day! How few, his Precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.


He that drinks his Cyder alone, let him catch his Horse alone.

Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad Habits. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his Portion.

He that has not got a Wife, is not yet a compleat Man.

What you would seem to be, be really.

If you’d lose a troublesome Visitor, lend him Money.

Tart Words make no Friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than Gallon of Vinegar.

Make haste slowly.

Dine with little, sup with less:
Do better still; sleep supperless.

Industry, Perseverance, & Frugality, make Fortune yield.

I’ll warrant ye, goes before Rashness; Who’d-a-tho’t it? comes sneaking after.

Prayers and Provender hinder no Journey.

Hear Reason, or she’ll make you feel her.

Give me yesterday’s Bread, this Day’s Flesh, and last Year’s Cyder.

God heals, and the Doctor takes the Fees.

Sloth (like Rust) consumes faster than Labour wears: the used Key is always bright.

Light Gains heavy Purses.

Keep thou from the Opportunity, and God will keep thee from the Sin.

Where there’s no Law, there’s no Bread.

As Pride increases, Fortune declines.

Drive thy Business, or it will drive thee.

A full Belly is the Mother of all Evil.

The same man cannot be both Friend and Flatterer.

He who multiplies Riches multiplies Cares.

An old Man in a House is a good Sign.

Those who are fear’d, are hated.

The Things which hurt, instruct.

The Eye of a Master, will do more Work than his Hand.

A soft Tongue may strike hard.

If you’d be belov’d, make yourself amiable.

A true Friend is the best Possession.

Fear God, and your Enemies will fear you.

Epitaph on a Scolding Wife by her Husband.
Here my poor Bridgets’s Corps doth lie,
she is at rest, — and so am I.


Beware of little Expences, a small Leak will sink a great Ship.

Wars bring scars.

A light purse is a heavy Curse.

As often as we do good, we sacrifice.

Help, Hands;
For I have no Lands.

It’s common for Men to give 6 pretended Reasons instead of one real one.

Vanity backbites more than Malice.

He’s a Fool that cannot conceal his Wisdom.

Great spenders are bad lenders.

All blood is alike ancient.

You may talk too much on the best of subjects.

A Man without ceremony has need of great merit in its place.

No gains without pains.

Had I revenged wrong, I had not worn my skirts so long.

Graft good Fruit all, or graft not at all.

Idleness is the greatest Prodigality.

Old young and old long.

Punch-coal, cut-candle, and set brand on end,
is neither good house wife, nor good house-wife’s friend.

He who buys had need have 100 Eyes,
but one’s enough for him that sells the Stuff.

There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit.

Many complain of their Memory, few of their Judgment.

One Man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than every body else.

To God we owe fear and love; to our neighbours justice and charity; to our selves prudence and sobriety.

Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.

Light-heel’d mothers make leaden-heel’d daughters.

The good or ill hap of a good or ill life,
is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife.

Tis easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

Every Man has Assurance enough to boast of his honesty, few of their Understanding.

Interest which blinds some People, enlightens others.

An ounce of wit that is bought,
Is worth a pound that is taught.

He that resolves to mend hereafter, resolves not to mend now.


Observe the Mean, the Motive and the End;
Mending our selves, or striving still to mend.
Our Souls sincere, our Purpose fair and free,
Without Vain Glory or Hypocrisy:
Thankful if well; if ill, we kiss the Rod;
Resign with Hope, and put our Trust in GOD.

When the Well’s dry, we know the Worth of Water.

He that whines for Glass without G
Take away L and that’s he.

A good Wife & Health,
is a Man’s best Wealth.

A quarrelsome Man has no good Neighbours.

Wide will wear,
but Narrow will tear.

Silks and Sattins put out the Kitchen Fire.

Vice knows she’s ugly, so puts on her Mask.

It’s the easiest Thing in the World for a Man to deceive himself.

Women & Wine, Game & Deceit,
Make the Wealth small and the Wants great.

All Mankind are beholden to him that is kind to the Good.

A Plowman on his Legs is higher than a Gentleman on his Knees.

Virtue and Happiness are Mother and Daughter.

The generous Mind least regards money, and yet most feels the Want of it.

For one poor Man there are an hundred indigent.

Dost thou love Life? then do not squander Time; for that’s the Stuff Life is made of.

Good Sense is a Thing all need, few have, and none think they want.

What’s proper, is becoming: See the Blacksmith with his white Silk Apron!

The Tongue is ever turning to the aching Tooth.

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

Take Courage, Mortal; Death can’t banish thee out of the Universe.

The Sting of a Reproach, is the Truth of it.

Do me the Favour to deny me at once.

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

A life of leisure, and a life of laziness, are two things.

Mad Kings and mad Bulls, are not to be held by treaties & packthread.

Changing Countries or Beds, cures neither a bad Manager, nor a Fever.

A true great Man will neither trample on a Worm, nor sneak to an Emperor.

*** Ni ffyddra llaw dyn, er gwneithr da idd ei hun. [Welsh: We have frozen a hand tightly, but without God's help, it can do no good for itself. Please send a better translation to Rich Hall.]

Tim and his Handsaw are good in their Place,
Tho’ not fit for preaching or shaving a face.

Half-Hospitality opens his Doors and shuts up his Countenance.


Strive to be the greatest Man in your Country, and you may be disappointed; Strive to be the best, and you may succeed: He may well win the race that runs by himself. [In Franklin’s writings, to be greatest is to be most powerful, while to be best is to be most righteous.]

Tis a strange Forest that has no rotten Wood in’t.

And a strange Kindred that all are good in’t.

None know the unfortunate, and the fortunate do not know themselves.

There’s a time to wink as well as to see.

Honest Tom! you may trust him with a house-full of untold Milstones.

There is no Man so bad, but he secretly respects the Good.

When there’s more Malice shown than Matter:
On the Writer falls the satyr.

Courage would fight, but Discretion won’t let him.

Delicate Dick! whisper’d the Proclamation.

Cornelius ought to be Tacitus.

Pride and the Gout,
are seldom cur’d throughout.

We are not so sensible of the greatest Health as of the least Sickness.

A good Example is the best sermon.

A Father’s a Treasure; a Brother’s a Comfort; a Friend is both.

Despair ruins some, Presumption many.

A quiet Conscience sleeps in Thunder,
but Rest and Guilt live far asunder.

He that won’t be counsell’d, can’t be help’d.

Craft must be at charge for clothes, but Truth can go naked.

Write Injuries in Dust, Benefits in Marble.

What is Serving God? ’Tis doing Good to Man.

What maintains one Vice would bring up two Children.

Many have been ruin’d by buying good pennyworths.

Better is a little with content than much with contention.

A Slip of the Foot you may soon recover:
But a Slip of the Tongue you may never get over.

What signifies your Patience, if you can’t find it when you want it.

¢. wise, £. foolish.

Time enough, always proves little enough.

It is wise not to seek a Secret, and Honest not to reveal it.

A Mob’s a Monster; Heads enough, but no Brains.

The Devil sweetens Poison with Honey.

He that cannot bear with other People’s Passions, cannot govern his own.

He that by the Plow would thrive,
himself must either hold or drive.