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less than they cost; but if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what poor Richard says, 'Buy what thou hast no need of, and before long thou shall sell thy necessaries.' And again, 'At a great penny-worth pause awhile:' he means, that the cheapness is apparent only, and not real: or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good. For in another place he says, 'Many have been ruined by buying good penny-worths.* Again, poor Richard says, ''Tis foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance; and yet this folly is practised every day at sales, for want of minding the almanac.' 'Wise men,' as poor Dick says, 'learn by other's harm, fools scarcely by their own.' Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry bully and half starved their families;' 'Silks and satins, scarlets and velvets, as poor Richard says, 'put out the kitchen fire.' These are no necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences, and yet only because they look pretty, how many want to have them. The artificial wants of mankind thus become more numerous than the natural; and, as poor Dick says, 'For one poor person, there are an hundred indigent.' By these, and other extravagancies, the genteel are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing; in which case it appears plainly, that 'A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees,' as poor Richard says. Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew not the getting of; 'They think it is day, and will never be night; that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding. 'A child and a fool,' as poor Richard says, 'imagine twenty shillings and twenty years can never be spent; but, always takingout of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom; then, as poor Dick says, 'When the Well is dry, they know the worth of water.' But this they might have known before, if they had taken his advice: if you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; ' For he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing;' and indeed so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it again. Poor Dick farther advises, and says,
t Fond pride in dress is sure a very curse;
"And again, 'Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.' When you have bought one fine thing, you musi buy ten more that your appearance may be all of a piece; but poor Dick says, 'It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it. And that it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as the frog to swell in order to equal the ox.
* Great estates may venture more,
'But little boats should keep near shore.'
"It is, however, a folly soon punished: 'For pride that dines on vanity sups on contempt/ as poor Richard says. And in another place,' Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with infamy.' And after all, of what use is the pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered? It cannot promote health, or ease pain; it makes no increase of merit in the person, it creates envy, it hastens misfortunes
« What is a butterfly? at best
"But what madness must it be to run in debt for these superfluities! We are offered, by the terms of this sale, six months, credit; and that perhaps has induced some of us to attend it because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to he fine without it. But ah! think what you do when you run in deht; you give to another power over your liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and hy degrees come to lose your veracity, and sink into base downright lying; for, as poor Richard says, ' The second vice is lying, the the first is running into debt.' And again, to the same purpose, ' Lying rides upon Debt's back.' Whereas, a free-born Englishman ought not to be ashamed or afraid to see or speak to any man living. But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue;' It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright,' as poor Richard says. What would you think of that prince, orthat government, who would issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of impri
sonment or servitude? Would you not say, that you are free, and have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a govprnr ment tyrannical? and yet you are about to put yourselves under that tyranny, when you run into debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority at his pleasure to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in a jail for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him. When you have got your bargain you may, perhaps, think little of payment: but 'Creditors/ as poor Dick tells us, 'have better memories than debtors, ' and, in another place he says, ' Creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.' The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it. Or if you bear your debt in mind, the term which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short. Time will seem to have added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders. 'Those have a short Lent, ' says poor Richard, 'who owe money to be paid at Easter/ 'Then since, ' as he says, ' the borrower is a slave to the lender, and the debtor to the creditor, ' disdain the chain: preserve your freedom, and maintain your independency; be industrious and free, be frugal and free. At present, perhaps, you may think yourself in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; but,