Benjamin Franklin Quotes


Fools need advice most, but wise men only are the better for it. Benjamin Franklin Source: Be civil to all; serviceable to many: familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1976


Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us. Its appetite grows keener by indulgence and all we can gratify it with at present serves but the more to inflame its insatiable desires. Benjamin Franklin Source:


Nothing gives an author so much pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors. Benjamin Franklin Source:Pennsylvania Almanack


Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Benjamin Franklin Source:


Drive thy business; let it not drive thee. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanck


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. Benjamin Franklin Source:


The bell calls others to Church, but itself never minds the sermon. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1754


Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin Source:Letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy [Nov. 13, 1789]

Declaration of Independence

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. Ben Franklin Source:At the signing of the Declaration of Independence


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" Benjamin Franklin Source:


He's a fool that makes his doctor his heir. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1733


"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." Benjamin Franklin Source:


He that lieth down with Dogs, shall rise up with Fleas. Benjamin Franklin Source:


He that drinks fast, pays slow. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1733

Easy and Hard

All things are easy to industry, all things difficult to solth. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1756


None but the well-bred man know how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in an error. Benjamin Fraklin Source:


A change of fortune hurts a wise man no more than a change of the moon. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1756


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


No gain without pain Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


God helps them that help themselves. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack

Governing & Governed

"... as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ..." Benjamin Franklin Source: before the Constitutional Convention, June 2, 1787.


Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days. Benjamin Franklin Source:

Hard Headed

He that won't be counseled can't be helped. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack

Hard To Do

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, diamond, and to know one's self," Bejamin Franklin Source: fileid=20050815.L01&irec=0


A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin Source:


"He that lives upon hope will die fasting." Benjamin Franklin


"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes; and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity." Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father _Franklin_to_Ezra_Stiles_1.html Source: letter to President of Yale, Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790, in response to Stiles request for his opinion of Jesus of Nazareth How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. Benjamin Franklin Source:

Late To Rise

He that riseth late must trot all day. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too servere, seldom executed. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats. Benjamin Franklin Source:


A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. Ben Franklin Source:


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin Source: "Where liberty dwells, there is my country." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father "The sun of liberty is set; you must light up the candle of industry and economy." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father

Life's Tragedy

"Life's tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late." Benjamin Franklin Source:

Little Things

"Little strokes fell great oaks." Benjamin Franklin


To be intimate with a foolish friend, is like going to bed with a razor. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1754


A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. Ben Franklin Source: All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. Ben Franklin Source:


When there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage. Benjamin Fraklin Source: Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. Benjamin Fraklin Source:


"The man who does things makes mistakes, but he doesn't make the biggest mistake of all—doing nothing." Benjamin Franklin Source: spacedesc=Final%20Word


Moderation in all things -- including moderation." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father


He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. Ben Franklin Source: If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some. Benjamin Franklin Source:The Way to Wealth


A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost. Benjamin Franklin Source:

New Laws

Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion. Benjamin Franklin Source:Autobiography


The learned fool writes his nonsense in better lanuage than the unleared, but sill 'tis nonsense. Benjamin Franklin Source:The Toastmaster's Treasure Chest

Not Safe

"No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father


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. Ben Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


I guess I don't so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old. Ben Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


Mine is better than Ours. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack 1756


A man in a passion rides a wild horse. Benjamin Franklin Source:A Right To Die by Rex Stout p5


Would you persuade, speek of interest, not of reason. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


Even peace may be purchased at too high a price. Ben Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. Ben Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html

Power and Money

Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects. Benjamin Franklin Source:"Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy," 1787


When you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our states are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Benjamin Franklin Source: 20050919KnippenbergBaghdad.html

Question Authority

"It is the fist responsibility of every citizen to question authority." Benjamin Franklin


Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man. Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack


"Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so." Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack, 1743 "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758 "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." Benjamin Franklin "He [the Rev. Mr. Whitefield] used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard." Benjamin Franklin Source:from Franklin's Autobiography


If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing. Benjamin Fraklin Source:


An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Ben Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. Benjamin Fraklin Source:


"Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin Source:


As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence. Ben Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Benjamin Fraklin Source:


"It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part." Benjamin Franklin Source: Benjamin.Franklin.Quote.3FE0


Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. Benjamin Franklin Source: a/bls_benjamin_fr.htm


Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. Benjamin Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


Half a truth is often a great lie. Benjamin Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed. Benjamin Franklin Source: /quautfranklinbenjaminx001.htm

Virtue, Morality, and Civil Liberty

"A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district - all studied and appreciated as they merit - are the principle support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father in a letter dated March 1778 to the Ministry of France "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." -- Benjamin Franklin Source: Benjamin Franklin, in the Poor Richard's Almanack of 1738


If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles. Benjamin Franklin Source: b/benjamin_franklin.html


There was never a good war or a bad peace. Benjamin Franklin Source:Letter to Josiah Quincy [September 11, 1783]


"Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. ... Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them." Benjamin Franklin Source:Liberty Quotes


Plough deep while sluggards sleep Benjamin Franklin Source:Poor Richard's Almanack

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