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AN OLD ONE.
BY DR. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
REMEMBER that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but six-pence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expence; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides.
Remember that credit is money. If a man lets money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum, if a man has a good and large credit, and makes a good use of it.
Remember that money is of a prolific, generating nature. Money can beget, money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on; 5s. turned is six; turned again it is 7s. 6d. and so on, till it becomes £100. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turn. ing; so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all it might bave produced, even scores of pounds.
Remember that six pounds a year are but a groat a day. For this little sum, which may daily be wasted in time or expence, unperceived, a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant use and possession of £100. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.
Remember this saying, That 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 was therefore, never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.
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. Finer clothes than he or his wife wears, or greater expence in any particular than he affords himself, shocks his pride, and he duns you to humble you. Cre. ditors are a kind of people that have the sharpest eyes and ears, as well as the best memories, of any in the world.
Good-natured creditors (and such one would always chuse to deal with if one could) feel pain when they are obliged to ask for money. Spare them that pain, and they will love you
When you receive a sun of money, divide it among them according to your debts. Do not be ashamed of paying a small sum, because you owe a greater. Money, more or less, is always welcome, and your creditor would rather be at the trouble of receiving ten pounds, voluntarily brought him, though at different times or payments, than he obliged to go ten different times to demand it, before he can receive it in a lump. It shows that you are mindful of what you owe, it makes you appear a careful, as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.
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, of both your expenses and incomes. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect, you will discover how wonderfully small trifling expences amount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may, for the future be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends on two words, industry and frugality; i. e. waste neither your time tor money, but make the best use of both. He that gets all he can, and saves all he gets, (necessary expences excepted,) will certainly become rich; if that Being, who governs the world, in whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavours, doth not in his wise providence otherwise determine.
A NEW WAY
Paying Old Debts.
The following Letter was received by the Editor of
tne LEEDS MERCURY, from a Tradesman in Hud. dersfield.
- Why should excuse be born, or ere begot ?"
MR. EDITOR, • A Correspondent of yours, in the Mercury of
last week, has taken some pains to instruct your readers in their CHRISTMAS RELIGIOUS DU. TIES; permit me to make the same experiment upon the CHRISMAS MORAL DUTIES, not of your readers only, for my philantropy is more extensive; and, on the ground of Punctuality, I wish to be the reformer of the world.
There is no talent, Sir, in the application of which some gentlemen more excel, than that of excusing ; and, when I tell you that I am a tradesman, obliged, from the nature of my business, to give credit, I hope you will not doubt that experience has qualified me to speak upon this subject, and to speak feelingly.
There are two kinds of debtors those who cannot pay, and those who will not pay. The Girst have excuses ready made the latter are
obliged to make excuses. The first may be sometimes dishonest-the latter are never very honest. The first destroy hope at one blowthe latter protract its torments till it expires from weakness. The first is an acute distem. per, that kills in a few hours--the latter is a chronic distemper, worse than death. In a word, Sir, inability is tolerable, because, they cannot cure it-unwillingness is painful, because I cannot shorten it.
In forming excuses, according to the common practice, the following rules are observed :
Ist. That the same excuse shall be as seldom repeated as possible.
2nd. That the excuses be as various and plausible as possible.
3rd. By way of maxim-every kind and degree of excuse deserves to be tried, because there is much less inconvenience in postponing a debt than in paying it; and the advantages of giving words and parting with money, are on the side of the former.
To exemplify these rules, Mr. Editor, permit me to state the case of a bill which I sent to one of my customers, (for last new year, to be candid, the approach of that season has tempted me to trouble you on the present occasion.) Now mark the excuses in succession.
Jan. 1. O! this is Mr. L 's bill. Call again any day next week.
Jan. 9. “ Not at home.”—“. When will he be at home ?"_" Any time to-morrow."
Jan. 10. “Has a gentleman with bim," waits an hour-"Oh! ah! this is the bill ay-hum ? look in on Tuesday.”
Tuesday. " Not at home-gone to the Cloth-Hall."