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Richard improved.' Dr. Franklin, who is said for many years to have published Poor Richards Almanack, in Pensylvania, fuse nished it with various sentences and proverbs, principally relating to the topics of industry, attention to one's own business, and frugality. The whole, or chief of these sentences and proverbs, says the Editor, he at last collected and digested in the abovementioned general preface. As he is at present our enemy, we naturally with, as British patriots, to turn his arms against himself, by applying them to our own desence. And as the present situation of our country will render more taxes, as well as more economy, necessary; and certain murmurings on that accoụnt are, at this time, growing louder than usual; we shall first select what our late countryman says on the article of industry. The preface begins thus;
• Courteous Reader,
< I have heard, that nothing gives an author so great pleafure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I stopped my horse lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants goods. The hour of the fale not being come, they were converfing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean Old Man, with white locks,“ Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you advise us to ?”- Father Abraham stood up, and replied, " If you would have my advice, ! will give it you in short; “ for a word to the wise is enough," as Poor Richard says. They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:
• Friends, fays, he, the taxes are, indeed, very heavy, and, if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them ; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot case or deliver us, by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us ; “ God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
• It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time, to be employed in its fervice : but idlenefs taxes many of us much more ; noth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. “ Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright," as Poor Richard says. “But doft thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of," as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that, “ The sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave," as Poor Richard says.
“ If time be of all things the molt precious, wasting time mud be,” as Poor Richard says, “ the greatest prodigality;" fince, as he elsewhere tells us, " Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough:” let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.
Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and, He that riseth late, mult trot all day, and shall' scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so flowly, that poverty foon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” as Poor Richard says.
• So what fignifies withing and hoping for better times? We may make these times better, if we beftir ourselves. “ Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no !ands," or, if I have, they are smartly taxed.“ He that hath a trade, hath an estate ; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour,” as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. - If we are industrious, we shall never starvę; for, “ at the working man's house hunger looks in, but dares not enter." Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for “ Industry pays debts, while Despair increaseth them.” What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy, “ Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plow deep, while sluggards neep, and you thall have corn to sell and to keep.” Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow " One to-day is worth two to-morrows,” as Poor Richard says; and farther, “ Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day.” If you were a servant, would you not be alhamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master ? be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your king. Handle your tools without mits tens, remember, that, “ The cat in gloves catches no mice,” as Poor Richard says. It is true, there is much to be done, and, perhaps, you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for “ Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks."
On the subject of frugality, Father Abraham, who strings his proverbs much more closely, and to the purpose, than Sancho, lays, among many other good things, what follows:
- If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting. The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than her incomes,'
Away then, with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families ; for
* Women and wine, game and deceit,
“ Make the wealth small, and the want great." And farther, “ What maintains one vice, would bring up two children.” You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more coftly, clothes a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter ; but remember, “ Many a little makes a mickle." Beware of little expences; “A small leak will fink a great thip,” as Poor Richard says; and again, “ Who dainties love shall beggars prove ;” and moreover, “ Fools make feasts, and wife men eat them.”
Here you are all got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks. You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they may for less than they coft; but, if you have no occalion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says, “ Buy what thou hait no need of, and ere long thou thalt sell thy necessaries." And again, “ At a great pennyworth pause a while.” He means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good. For in another place he says, “ Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths." Again, “ It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance ;" and yet this folly is practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanack. Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families; “ Silks and fattins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire,” as Poor Richard says."
We are loth to part with our instructive friend, Father Abraham, who lo excellently Spouts his Wisdom of Nations, seasoned alternately with seriousness and jocularity: but we must give a part of what this dry joker says on the subject of running in debt,
When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, “ Creditors have better meinories than debtors ; creditors are a superstitious feet, great observers of set-days and times." The day comes round 4
before you are aware, and the demand is made before
you prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders. " Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.” At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury ; but
“ For age and want save while you may,
“ No morning fun Jaits a whole day." Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but ever, while you live, expence is constant and certain; and, “ It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel," as Poor Richard says : so, “ Rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt."
“ Get what you can, and what you get hold :
“ 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.” And when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.'
Thus the Old Gentleman--says Poor Richard, for he is now the speaker-ended his harangue.-—- 'The people heard it, and approved the doctrine ; and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly.— I found the good man had thorougly studied my Almanacks, and digested all I had dropt on those topics during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious, that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I refolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at firft determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.'
RICHARD SAUNDERS. If every one of us, in our respective stations, would attend to, and immediately put in practice, the excellent advice given by poor Richard in this paper ; each individual would, we apprehend, soon find a much more sensible alleviation of the weight that he bears in the burthens imposed by the state *, than is to be expected from even the present endeavours to procure relief, by the abolition of finecures, and the reduction of exorbitant
The Reviewer is aware of an obvious objection : but the frugality of individuals can never injure the ftate, with respect to revenue, so much as it must suffer, even as a fate, by their idleness, dislipation, and the other political fins or failings, against which Father Abrabam raises his truly patriotic voice in this oration,
emoluments, emoluments, how proper soever.-Be this as it may, we are glad to circulate a part of poor Richard's plain and wholesome precepts; and to extend the knowledge of them farther, by intimating that the whole of this excellent little piece has been printed on a single sheet of paper, of a small size, fit for framing, and may be had of the publisher of the present volume, at the small price of two-pence.
In perusing the political pieces in this collection, though the Reader will frequently be reminded of Swift, when treating of the interests of Ireland; yet no two characters will be found more different in several respects. Except in those parts of his writings where he treats of what may be called General Politics, Swift exhibits every mark of a disappointed, passionate, and even caustic party man ; execrating ministers, and in short, ale most constantly venting his spleen in personalities against those who differ from him. Dr. Franklin, on the contrary, in the political writings now before us, appears almost on every oce cafion the placid and dispassionate philofopher ;-as much a philosopher, at least, as one, who is at the lame time a public man, and on very trying occasions, can be expected to be. His writa ings, before the American troubles commenced, every where breathe the spirit of peace and conciliation. They express an anxious desire to unite and blend the interests of the parent country and its colonies, in one common mass of vigour and public felicity; and to prevent every measure that thewed a tendency to alienate the two countries from each other. It is evident likewise, from some papers in this collection, that he earnestly withed to preserve the natural connection between this country and his own t; even after certain proceedings (on both fides, it must be acknowledged) had created a distinction between them. In a letter to a friend, written from Philadelphia, October 3, 1775, when he was a member of the Continental Congress, he thus expresses his sentiments on the subject :
I with as ardently as you can do for peace, and should rejoice exceedingly in co-operating with you to that end. But every ship from Britain brings some intelligence of new meafures that tend more and more to exasperate ; and it seems to me, that until you have found by dear experience the reducing us by force impracticable, you will think of nothing fair and reasonable.- We have as yet resolved only on defensive measures. If you would recall your forces and stay at home, we should meditate nothing to injure you. A little time so given for cooling, on both sides, would have excellent effects. But you
+ Dr. Franklin is an American; born at Boston, as we learn from an inscription under a bult of him, prefixed to this collection, in the year 1705.