« ZurückWeiter »
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 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 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.
You spend yearly at least two hundred thousand pounds, it is said, in European, East-Indian, and WestIndian commodities. Supposing one half of this expense to be in things absolutely necessary, the other half may be called superfluities, or, at best, conveniences, which, however, you might live without for one little year, and not suffer exceedingly. Now, to save this half, observe these few directions.
1. When you incline to have new clothes, look first well over the old ones, and see if you cannot shift with them another year, either by scouring, mending, or even patching if necessary. Remember, a patch on your coat, and money in your pocket, is better and more creditable, than a writ on your back, and no money to take it off.
2. When you incline to buy China ware, chintzes, India silks, or any other of their flimsy, slight manufactures, I would not be so hard with you, as to insist on your absolutely resolving against it; all I advise is, to put it off (as you do your repentance) till another year; and this, in some respects, may prevent an occasion of repentance.
3. If you are now a drinker of punch, wine, or tea, twice a day, for the ensuing year drink them but once a day. If you now drink them but once a day, do it but every other day. If you do it now but once a week, reduce the practice to once a fortnight. And, you do not exceed in quantity as you lessen the times, half your expense in these articles will be saved. 4. When you incline to drink rum, fill the glass half with water.
Thus at the year's end, there will be a hundred thousand pounds more money in your country.
If paper money in ever so great a quantity could be made, no man could get any of it without giving some
thing for it. But all he saves in this way, will be his own for nothing, and his country actually so much richer. Then the merchants' old and doubtful debts may be honestly paid off, and trading become surer thereafter, if not so extensive.*
The humor and quaintness of POOR RICHARD Sometimes appeared in the advertisements, setting forth the contents of his Almanacs. The following is from The Pennsylvania Gazette, November 6th, 1755.
“Next week will be published, and sold by the printers hereof, Pook RICHARD'S ALMANAC for 1756, containing, besides the usual astronomical calculations, a variety of useful and entertaining observations; viz. How Pennsylvania may save three millions two hundred and eighty thousand pounds in seven years, of which every farmer may, if he pleases, have his share; the praises of astronomy; the praises of religion; conversation, rules to be agreeable in it; how New Jersey may clear one hundred thousand pounds in the year 1756; the advantage of temperance in promoting men to high stations; the distinguishing honors conferred by God on men industrious in their calling; rule to prevent malignant fevers or fluxes; Newton's eulogy; noble character of a general; difference between a person of honor, and a man of honor; settlement of a man's moral accounts; how to feed sixty thousand men at 2s. 8d. a day; proper victualling for long marches in the woods; excellent remedies for the cure of fluxes, dry gripes, and fevers, &c. &c. &c."
It will be recollected, that the parts relating to the feeding and marching of armies were applicable to the times. The French and Indian war was then raging on the frontiers of all the colonies. The hint respecting the "settlement of a man's moral accounts" is found at the beginning of the month of December.
“Well, my friend, thou art now just entering the last month of another year. If thou art a man of business, and of prudent care, belike thou wilt settle thy accounts, to satisfy thyself whether thou hast gained or lost in the year past, and how much of either, the better to regulate thy future industry or thy common expenses. This is commendable. But it is not all. Wilt thou not examine also thy moral accounts, and see what improvements thou hast made in the conduct of life, what vice subdued, what virtue acquired; how much better, and how much wiser, as well as how much richer, thou art grown? 'What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?' Without some care in this matter, though thou mayest come to count thy thousands, thou wilt possibly still appear poor in the eyes of the discerning, even here, and be really so for ever hereafter." — EDITOR.