Benjamin Franklin Quotations

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Five thousand balloons, capable of raising two men each, could not cost more than five ships of the line; and where is the prince who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defense as that 10,000 men descending from the clouds might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?

Kill no more pigeons than you can eat.

Think of these things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account. 

The sleeping fox catches no poultry. 

Energy and persistence conquer all things. -- Benjamin Franklin

A little neglect may breed great mischief. -- Benjamin Franklin

Plough deep while sluggards sleep. -- Benjamin Franklin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine. -- Benjamin Franklin

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats. -- Ben Franklin

"There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government." --Benjamin Franklin

"Never confuse motion with action." --Ben Franklin

"I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it."
--Benjamin Franklin
[from "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion", Nov. 20, 1728]

"I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did." --Benjamin Franklin [letter to his father, 1738]

If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Roman Catholic Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both here (England) and in New England.
--Benjamin Franklin

"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity."
--Benjamin Franklin [Works, Vol. VII, p. 75]

If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of.

They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason she will rap you on the knuckles.

He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.

Read much, but not many books.

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.

Early morning hath gold in its mouth.

Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of his neighbor, will feel a pleasure in the reverse. And those who despair to rise in distinction by their virtues, are happy if others can be depressed to a level of themselves.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

To be thrown upon one's own resources, is to be cast into the very lap of fortune; for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible.

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade.

To lengthen thy Life, lessen thy meals.

Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it; "Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith."

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.

For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.

Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy.

He who multiplies riches multiplies cares.

Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting.

Well done is better than well said.

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.

To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girl friends.

If Jack's in love, he's no judge of Jill's beauty.

"Experience is a dear teacher, and only fools will learn from no other."
- Benjamin Franklin
Poor Richard's Almanac

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