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Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six; turned again it is seven and three pence; and so on till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces, every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.
4 Remember that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this little sum, which may be daily wasted either in time or expense, unperceived, a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant possession and use of a hundred pounds. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.
5 Remember this saying, "the good paymaster is lord of another man's purse. "He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world, than punctuality and justice in all his dealings: therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.
6 The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it before he ean receive it in a lump. It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful, as well as honest man, and that still increases your credit.
7 Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time, both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect; you will discover how wonderfully small trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future, be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
8 In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money,
but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them every thing. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted) will certainly become rich; if that Being who governs the world, to whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavors, doth not, in his wise providence otherwise determine.
The way to make money plenty in every man's pocket.
1 At this time, when the general complaint is that "money is scarce," it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching, the certain way to fill empty purses, and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules, well observed, will do the business. First, Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and, Secondly, Spend one penny less than thy clear gains.
2 Then shall thy hide-bound pocket soon begin to thrive, neither will creditors insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring up in every corner of thy heart. Now, therefore, embrace these rules and be happy. Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind, and live independent.
3 Then shalt thou be a man, and not hide thy face at the approach of the rich, nor suffer the pain of feeling little when the sons of fortune walk at thy right hand: for independency, whether with little or much, is good fortune, and placeth thee on even ground with the proudest of the golden fleece. Oh, then, be wise, and let industry walk with thee in the morning, and attend thee until thou reachest the evening hour for rest.
4 Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny, when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid; then shalt thou reach the point of happiness, and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it, wears a ring set with diamonds.
DETACHED SELECTIONS FROM THE MORAL ESSAYS AND LETTERS OF DR. FRANKLIN.
The handsome and deformed leg: showing the unhappiness of a fault-finding disposition.
1 There are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth in the world, and the other comforts of life, become the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events; and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
2 In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more or less pleasing; at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed: in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws: in whatever poem, or work of genius, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.
3 Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people abovementioned, fix their attention; those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the well-dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks, sour the pleasures of society; offend personally many people, and make themselves every where disagreeable.
4 If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity; I hope this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on changing a habit, which, though in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has
serious consequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes.
5 For, as many are offended by, and nobody loves this sort of people; no one shows them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of humor, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step, or speak a word to favor their pretensions.
6 If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious: If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them; which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.
7 An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer to show him the heat of the weather; and a barometer, to mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at the first interview, regarded his ugly more than his handsome one, he doubted him.
8 If he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him. Every body has not this twolegged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it. I therefore advise those critical, querulous, discontented, unhappy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.
The art of procuring pleasant dreams, inscribed to Miss ***, being written at her request.
1 As a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which
we have sometimes pleasing and sometimes painful dreams, it becomes of some consequence to obtain the one kind, and avoid the other; for, whether real or imaginary, pain is pain, and pleasure is pleasure. If we can sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided. If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing dreams, it is, as the French say, tant gagne, so much added to the pleasure of life.
2 To this end it is, in the first place, necessary to be careful in preserving health, by due exercise and great temperance; for, in sickness, the imagination is disturbed; and disagreeable, sometimes terrible, ideas are apt to present themselves. Exercise should precede meals, not immediately follow them; the first promotes, the latter, unless moderate, obstructs digestion. If, after exercise, we feed sparingly, the digestion will be easy and good, the body lightsome, the temper cheerful, and all the animal functions performed agreeably. Sleep, when it follows, will be natural and undisturbed.
3 While indolence, with full feeding, occasion nightmares and horrors inexpressible: we fall from precipices, are assaulted by wild beasts, murderers and demons, and experience every variety of distress. Observe, however, that the quantities of food and exercise are relative things: those who move much, may, and indeed ought to eat more; those who use little exercise, should eat little. In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eat about twice as much as nature requires.
4 Suppers are not bad, if we have not dined; but restless nights naturally follow hearty suppers, after full dinners. Indeed, as there is a difference in constitutions, some rest well after these meals; it costs them only a frightful dream, and an apoplexy, after which they sleep till doomsday. Nothing is more common in the newspapers, than instances of people, who, after eating a hearty supper, are found dead a-bed in the morning.*
5 Another means of preserving health, to be attended to, is the having a constant supply of fresh air in your bed-chamber. It has been a great mistake, the sleeping in rooms exactly closed, and in beds surrounded by curtains. No outward air, that may come unto you, is so unwholesome as the unchanged air, often breathed, of a close chamber. As boiling water does not grow hotter by longer boiling, if the parti
* The use of animal food ought to be avoided as much as possible for suppers, not only to prevent incubus, [nightmare] and laborious dreams, but also for the preservation of health.