Way to Wealth

Way to Wealth - Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth...

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Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth (1758). In 1732 I first published my Almanac under the name of Richard Saunders ; it was continued by me about twenty-five years, and commonly called Poor Richard's Almanac . I endeavoured to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reaped considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand. And observing that it was generally read, (scarce any neigbbourbood in the province being without it,) I considered it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought Scarcely any other books. I therefore filled all the little spaces, that occurred between the remarkable days in the Calendar, with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want to act always honestly, as (to use here one of those proverbs) It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright" Courteous Reader, I have heard, that nothing gives an author so great pleasure 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 sale not being come, they were conversing 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, I 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," said 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 ease 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. " I. It would be thought a hard government, that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears; while the used key is always bright , as Poor Richard says. But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is
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Way to Wealth - Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth...

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