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List I – Benjamin Franklin – Quotes


  1. I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. 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.

  2. I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.

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

  4. I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.

  5. I have never entered into any controversy in defense of my philosophical opinions; I leave them to take their chance in the world. If they are right, truth and experience will support them; if wrong, they ought to be refuted and rejected. Disputes are apt to sour one’s temper and disturb one’s quiet.

  6. I have no private interest in the reception of my inventions by the world, having never made, nor proposed to make, the least profit by any of them.

  7. I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.

  8. I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.

  9. I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first.

  10. 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.

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

  12. If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.

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

  14. If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

  15. If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.

  16. If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.

  17. If you desire many things, many things will seem few.

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

  19. If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.

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

  21. If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.

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

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

  24. In my youth, I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, 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.

  25. In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.

  26. In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it.

  27. In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

  28. Industry need not wish.

  29. It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

  30. It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

  31. It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow.

  32. It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.

  33. It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture.

  34. It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.

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

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