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zens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle.
When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, Mistaken man, said I, you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure ; you give too much for your whistle.
If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts and ends his days in prison, Alas ! say I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.
When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, What a pity, say I, that she should pay so much for a whistle !
In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which, happily, are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely and with unalterable affection,
Necessary Hints to Those that Would
Written Anno 1736.
The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money.
For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.
He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.
He that wastes idly a groat's worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day.
He that idly loses five shillings' worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.
He that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum of money.
Again : he that sells upon credit, asks a price for what he sells equivalent to the principal and interest of his money for the time he is to be kept out of it; therefore, he that buys upon credit pays interest for what he buys, and he that pays ready money might let that money out to use : so that he that possesses anything he bought, pays interest for the use of it.
Yet, in buying goods, it is best to pay ready money, because he that sells upon credit expects to lose five per cent by bad debts; therefore he charges, on all he sells upon credit, an advance that shall make up that deficiency.
Those who pay for what they buy upon credit, pay their share of this advance.
He that pays ready money escapes, or may escape, that charge.
A penny saved is twopence clear,
Dr. Franklin's motion for Prayers in the
Convention assembled at Philadelphia, 1787, to revise the then existing Articles of Confederation.
The small progress we have made after four or five weeks' close attendance and continual reasonings with each other, our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many Noes as Ayes, is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running all about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examine the different forms of those republics which, having been originally formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist ; and we have viewed modern states all round Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable to our circumstances,
In this situation of this Assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark, to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented