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Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733
[ Benjamin Franklin]

Courteous Reader_,
I might in this place at tempt to gain thy Favour, by declaring that I write Almanacks with no other View than that of the publick Good; but in this I should not be sincere; and Men are now a-days too wise to be deceiv'd by Pretences how specious soever. The plain Truth of the Matter is, I am excessive poor, and my Wife, good Woman, is, I tell her, excessive proud; she cannot bear, she says, to sit spinning in her Shift of Tow, while I do nothing but gaze at the Stars; and has threatned more than once to burn all my Books and Rattling-Traps (as she calls my Instruments) if I do not make some profitable Use of them for the good of my Family. The Printer has offer'd me some considerable share of the Profits, and I have thus begun to comply with my Dame's desire.

Indeed this Motive would have had Force enough to have made me publish an Almanack many Years since, had it not been overpower'd by my Regard for my good Friend and Fellow-Student, Mr. _Titan Leeds_, whose Interest I was extreamly unwilling to hurt: But this Obstacle (I am far from speaking it with Pleasure) is soon to be removed, since inexorable Death, who was never known to respect Merit, has already prepared the mortal Dart, the fatal Sister has already extended her destroying Shears, and that ingenious Man must soon be taken from us. He dies, by my Calculation made at his Request, on _Oct._ 17. 1733. 3 ho. 29 m. _P.M._ at the very instant of the xxx of xxx and xxx: By his own Calculation he will survive till the 26th of the same Month. This small difference between us we have disputed whenever we have met these 9 Years past; but at length he is inclinable to agree with my Judgment; Which of us is most exact, a little Time will now determine. As therefore these Provinces may not longer expect to see any of his Performances after this Year, I think my self free to take up the Task, and request a share of the publick Encouragement; which I am the more apt to hope for on this Account, that the Buyer of my Almanack may consider himself, not only as purchasing an useful Utensil, but as performing an Act of Charity, to his poor _Friend and Servant_


______ Never spare the Parson's wine, nor the Baker's pudding. Visits should be short, like a winters day, Lest you're too troublesom hasten away. A house without woman & Fire-light, is like a body without soul or sprite. Kings & Bears often worry their keepers. Light purse, heavy heart. He's a Fool that makes his Doctor his Heir. Ne'er take a wife till thou hast a house (& a fire) to put her in. He's gone, and forgot nothing but to say _Farewel_ -- to his creditors. Love well, whip well. Let my respected friend _J. G._ Accept this humble verse of me. _viz._ Ingenious, learned, envy'd Youth, Go on as thou'st began; Even thy enemies take pride That thou'rt their countryman. Hunger never saw bad bread. Beware of meat twice boil'd, & an old foe reconcil'd. Great Talkers, little Doers. A rich rogue, is like a fat hog, who never does good til as dead as a log. Relation without friendship, friendship without power, power without will, will witho. effect, effect without profit, & profit without vertue, are not worth a farto. Eat to live, and not live to eat. March windy, and April rainy, makes _May_ the pleasantest month of any. The favour of the Great is no inheritance. Fools make feasts and wise men eat 'em. Beware of the young Doctor & the old Barber. He has chang'd his one ey'd horse for a blind one. The poor have little, beggars none, the rich too much, _enough_ not one. After 3 days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, & weather rainy. To lengthen thy Life, lessen thy Meals. The proof of gold is fire, the proof of woman, gold; the proof of man, a woman. After feasts made, the maker scratches his head. Neither Shame nor Grace yet _Bob._ Many estates are spent in the getting, Since women for tea forsook spinning & knitting. He that lies down with Dogs, shall rise up with fleas. A fat kitchin, a lean Will. Distrust & caution are the parents of security. Tongue double, brings trouble. Take counsel in wine, but resolve afterwards in water. He that drinks fast, pays slow. Great famine when wolves eat wolves. A good Wife lost is God's gift lost. A taught horse, and a woman to teach, and teachers practising what they preach. He is ill cloth'd, who is bare of Virtue. The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart. Men & Melons are hard to know. He's the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines. Beware of meat twice boil'd, and an old Foe reconcil'd. A fine genius in his own country, is like gold in the mine. There is no little enemy. He has lost his Boots but sav'd his spurs. The old Man has given all to his Son: O fool! to undress thy self before thou art going to bed. Cheese and salt meat, should be sparingly eat. Doors and walls are fools paper. Anoint a villain and he'll stab you, stab him & he'l anoint you. Keep your mouth wet, feet dry. Where bread is wanting, all's to be sold. There is neither honour nor gain, got in dealing with a vil-lain. The fool hath made a vow, I guess, Never to let the Fire have peace. Snowy winter, a plentiful harvest. Nothing more like a Fool, than a drunken Man. God works wonders now & then; Behold! a Lawyer, an honest Man! He that lives carnally, won't live eternally. Innocence is its own Defence. Time _eateth_ all things, could old Poets say; The Times are chang'd, our times _drink_ all away. Never mind it, she'l be sober after the Holidays.

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