Quotes by Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 April 17, 1790) was one of the most prominent of Founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States. Considered the earliest of the Founders, Franklin was noted for his curiosity, ingenuity and diversity of interests. His wit and wisdom is proverbial to this day. More than anyone he shaped the American Revolution despite never holding national elective office. As a leader of the Enlightenment he had the attention of scientists and intellectuals all across Europe. As agent in London before the Revolution, and Minister to France during, he more than anyone defined the new nation in the minds of Europe. His success in securing French military and financial aid was decisive for American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod; he invented the notion of colonial unity; he invented the idea of America; historians hail him as the "First American". The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will mark Franklin's 300th Birthday in January 2006, with a wide array of exhibitions, and events citing Franklin's extraordinary accomplishments throughout his illustrious career. more

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Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.
Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
He that won't be counseled can't be helped.
Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.
The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.
The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
Let thy discontents be thy secrets.
All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.
Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.
Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.
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.
Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of.
He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
He's a fool that makes his doctor his heir.
The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned, but it is still nonsense.
Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.
There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means -- either may do -- the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.
Most fools think they are only ignorant.
There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.
There have been as great souls unknown to fame as any of the most famous.
The discontented man finds no easy chair.
To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.
Laws too gentle, are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs of his neighbor.
What has become clear to you since we last met?
Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He who is content. Who is that? Nobody.
If you would know the value of money try to borrow some.
The absent are never without fault. Nor the present without excuse.
If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
He that rises late must trot all day.
One good husband is worth two good wives, for the scarcer things are, the more they are valued.
Don't throw stones at your neighbors , if your own windows are glass.
If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.
He that's secure is not safe.
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.
Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.
Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.
The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose.
Drive your business, let not your business drive you.
To bear other people's afflictions, everyone has courage and enough to spare.
If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.
Never take a wife till thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in.
Tomorrow every fault is to be amended; but tomorrow never comes.
If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.
Necessity never made a good bargain.
I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, make the execution of that same plan his sole study and business.
He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.

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