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thing is his adoration of saints, which he confesses to be his practice, in these words, page 4,
"When any trouble did me befall,
To my dear Mary then I would call."
Did he think the whole world were so stupid as not to take notice of this? So ignorant as not to know, that all Catholics pay the highest regard to the Virgin Mary? Ah, friend John, we must allow you to be a poet, but you are certainly no Protestant. I could heartily wish your religion were as good as your
* Some parts of this humorous Piece will be explained by the following address, contained in Poor Richard's Almanac for the year 1736.
"Your kind acceptance of my former labors has encouraged me to continue writing, though the general approbation you have been so good as to favor me with has excited the envy of some, and drawn upon me the malice of others. These ill-willers of mine, despited at the great reputation I gained by exactly predicting another man's death, have endeavoured to deprive me of it all at once in the most effectual manner, by reporting that I myself was never alive. They say in short, That there is no such man as I am; and have spread this notion so thoroughly in the country, that I have been frequently told it to my face by those that don't know me. This is not civil treatment, to endeavour to deprive me of my very being, and reduce me to a nonentity in the opinion of the public. But so long as I know myself to walk about, eat, drink, and sleep, I am satisfied that there is really such a man as I am, whatever they may say to the contrary. And the world may be satisfied likewise; for if there were no such man as I am, how is it possible I should appear publicly to hundreds of people, as I have done for several years past, in print? I need not, indeed, have taken any notice of so idle a report, if it had not been for the sake of my printer, to whom my enemies are pleased to ascribe my productions; and who, it seems, is as unwilling to father my offspring, as I am to lose the credit of it. Therefore to clear him entirely, as well as to vindicate my own honor, I make this public and serious declaration, which I desire may be believed, to wit, that what 1 have written heretofore, and do now write, neither was nor is written by any other man or men, person or persons, whatsoever. Those who are not satisfied with this, must needs be very unreasonable.
"My performance for this year follows. It submits itself, kind reader, to thy censure, but hopes for thy candor to forgive its faults It devotes
RULES OF HEALTH.
FROM POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC, 1742.
EAT and drink such an exact quantity as the constitution of thy body allows of, in reference to the services of the mind.
They that study much, ought not to eat so much as those that work hard, their digestion being not so good.
The exact quantity and quality, being found out, is to be kept to constantly.
Excess in all other things whatever, as well as in meat and drink, is also to be avoided.
Youth, age, and the sick, require a different quantity. And so do those of contrary complexions; for that which is too much for a phlegmatic man, is not sufficient for a choleric.
The measure of food ought to be (as much as possibly may be) exactly proportionable to the quality and condition of the stomach, because the stomach digests it.
That quantity that is sufficient, the stomach can perfectly concoct and digest, and it sufficeth the due nourishment of the body.
A greater quantity of some things may be eaten
itself entirely to thy service, and will serve thee faithfully. And if it has the good fortune to please its master, 't is gratification enough for the labor of Poor R. SAUNDERS."
It was by addresses of this sort, seasoned by a little humor, (not always, it is true, of the most refined quality, but suited to the general taste of the times,) that he won the attention of his readers, and prepared them to listen with approbation to the graver counsels of wisdom, and lessons of economy and virtue, which abounded in Poor Richard's Almanac, and gained for it an unprecedented circulation. - EDITOR.
than of others, some being of lighter digestion than others.
The difficulty lies in finding out an exact measure; but eat for necessity, not pleasure; for lust knows not where necessity ends.
Wouldst thou enjoy a long life, a healthy body, and a vigorous mind, and be acquainted also with the wonderful works of God, labor in the first place to bring thy appetite to reason.
ADVICE TO A YOUNG TRADESMAN.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1748.
TO MY FRIENd, A. B.
As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of service to me, and may, if observed, be so to you.
Remember, that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides.
Remember, that credit is money. If a man lets his 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 where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.
Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six, turned again it is seven and three-pence, and so on
till it becomes an hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, 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 that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.
Remember, that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this little sum (which may be daily wasted either in time or expense unperceived) a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant possession and use of an hundred pounds. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.
Remember this saying, The good paymaster is lordof 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 use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings; 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; demands it, before he can receive it, in a lump.
It shows, besides, 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, both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect; you will discover how wonderfully small, trifling expenses mount 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 chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them every thing. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted), will certainly become rich, if that Being who governs the world, to whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavours, doth not, in his wise providence, otherwise determine.
AN OLD TRADESMAN.
PLAN FOR SAVING ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS.
FROM POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC, 1756.
As I spent some weeks last winter in visiting my old acquaintance in the Jerseys, great complaints I heard for want of money, and that leave to make more paper bills could not be obtained. Friends and Countrymen; my advice on this head shall cost you nothing; and, if you will not be angry with me for giving it, I promise you not to be offended if you do not take it.