« ZurückWeiter »
grees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base downright lying; for, The second vice is lying, the Jirst is running in debt, as Poor Richard says; and again, to the same purpose, Lying rides upon Debt"s back: whereas a free-born Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living. But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. is hard for an empty bag to stand upright. What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And yet you are about to put yourself under such tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol till you shall be able to pay him. When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, Creditors have better memories than debtors; 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, who awe money to be paid at Easter. At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; but
For age and want save while you may,
Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and, It is easier to build two chimnies, than to keep one in fuel, as Poor Richard says: so, rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt.
Get what you can, and what you get hold:
'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
And, when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
"IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom: but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted, without the blessing of Heaven; and, therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember, Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
"And now, to conclude, Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for, it is true, We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. However, remember this, They that will not be counselled, cannot be helped; and further, that If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles, as Poor Richard says."
Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it and approved the doctrine; and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction
opened, and they began to buy extravagantly.
I found the good man had thoroughly studied my almanacks, and digested all I had dropt on these topics during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though 1 had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine. I am, as ever, thine to serve thee,
A THOUGHT CONCERNING THE MEDALS THAT ARE TO BE STRUCK BY ORDER OF CONGRESS.
The forming dies in steel, to strike medals or money, is generally with the intention of making a great number of the same form.
The engraving of those dies in steel is, from the hardness of the substance, very difficult and expensive; but once engraved, the great number to be easily produced afterwards by stamping justifies the expense, it being but small when divided among a number.
Where only one medal of a kind is wanted, it seems an unthrifty way to form dies for it in steel, to strike the two sides of it, the whole expense of the dies resting on that medal.
It was by this means that the medal voted by congress for M. Fleury cost one hundred guineas. When an engraving of the same figures and inscriptions might have been beautifully done on a plate of silver of the same size for two guineas.
The ancients, when they ordained a medal to record the memory of any laudable action, and do honor to the performer of that action, struck a vast number, and used them as money. By this means the honor was extended through their own and neighboring nations: every man who received or paid a piece of such money was reminded of the virtuous action, the person who performed it, and the reward attending it: and the number gave such security to this kind of monuments, against perishing or being forgotten, that some of each of them exist to this day, though more than two thousand years old, and being now copied into books by the art of engraving and printing, are not only exceedingly multiplied, but likely to remain some thousands of years longer.
I therefore wish the medals of congress were ordered to be money, and so contrived as to be convenient money, by being in value aliquot parts of a dollar.
Copper coins are wanting in America for small change. We have none but those of the king of England. After one silver or gold medal is struck from the dies, for the person to be honored, they may be usefully employed in striking copper money, or in some cases small silver.
The nominal value of the pieces might be a little more than the real, to prevent their being melted down, but not so much more as to be an encouragement to counterfeiting. , B. F.
PRECAUTIONS TO BE USED BY THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO UNDERTAKE A SEA VOYAGE.
When you intend to take a long voyage, nothing is better than to keep it a secret till the moment of your departure. Without this, you will be continually interrupted and tormented by visits from