"It was about this time I conceiv'd the bold and arduous Project of arriving at moral Perfection," Franklin writes. "As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other." He soon found the task "of more Difficulty than I had imagined," but decided that one's bad deeds resulted from bad habits, and that with concentration one could substitute good habits for the bad ones. He decided that 13 virtues were either necessary or desirable, arranged them so that the first acquired could help in assimilating the second, and so on:1. TEMPERANCE: Eat not to Dulness. Drink not to Elevation.2. SILENCE: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.3. ORDER: Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.
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