« ZurückWeiter »
ess perplexity. iSloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy,' as poor Richard says; and, ihe that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him,' as we read in poor Richard; who adds, 'Drive thy business, let not that drive thee;' and,
iEarly to bed, and early to rise,
"So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We make these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry needs not wish,' as poor Richard ■ays; 'He that lives upon hope will die fasting.'
* There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands; or if I have they are smartly taxed;' and, (as poor Richard likewise observes)
• He that hath a trade hath an estate, and he that hath a calling hath an office of profit and honour;' but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious we shall never starve; for, as poor Richard says, 'At the working-man's house hunger looks in, but dares not enter.' Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter; for,' Industry pays debts, but despair increaseth them,' says poor Richard. What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left you a legacy ?' Diligence is the mother of good luck,' as poor Richard says; and 'God gives all things to industry; then plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you will have corn to sell and to keep,' says poor Dick. Work while it is called to-day; for you Know not now much you may be hindered to-morrow; which makes poor R.chard say,' One to-day is worth two to-morrows; and, farther, 'Have you somewhat to do to-morrow, do it to-day.' 'If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good mastershould catch you idle? Are you then your own master, be ashamed to catch yourself idle,' as poor Dick says. When there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, and your gracious king, be up by peep a'. dt y; • Let not the sun look down, and say, Inglorious here be lies!' Handle your tools without mittens; remember, that 'the cat in gloves catches no mice,' as poor Richard says. It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for,' con> tinual dropping wears away stones, and by diligence and patience the mouse ate into the cable ; and light strokes fell great oaks,'as poor Richard says in his Almanac, the year I cannot just now remember
"Methinks I hear some of you say, 'must a man afford himself no Icisuie ?'—I will tell thee, my friend, what poor Richard says:' Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is time for doing something useful . this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as poor Richard says, 'A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.' Do you imagine that sloth will afford you more comfort than labour? No; for, as poor Richard says, 'Troubles spring from idleness, and grievous toils from needless ease: many without labour would live by their own wits only; but they break for want of stock.' Whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. 'Fly pleasures, and they'llfollow you; the diligent spinner has a large shift; and, now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow;' all which is well said by poor Richard.
"But with our industry, we must likewise be steady, and settled, and careful, and oveisceonrown affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as poor Richard says,
• I never saw an oft-removed tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family,
That throve so well as one that settled be.'
•' And, again,' Three removes are as bad as a fire, and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;'and again, 'If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.' And again,
'He that by the plough would thrive Himself must either hold or drive.' And again, 'The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands;' and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge ;• and again, 'Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.' Trusting too much to others cars s the ruin of many: for, as the Almanac says, 'la as affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith buj, by the want of it;' but a man's own care is profitable; for, saith poor Dick, 'Learning is to the studious, and riches to the careful, as well as power to the bold, and heaven to the virtuous.' And, far ther, 'If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.' And again, he aJvisc'.h to circumspection and care, even in the smallest matters, because sometimes, 'A little neglect may breed great mischief;' adding, 'For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost;' being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for want of care about a horse-shoe naiL
"So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets 'keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.' 'A fat kitchen makes a lean will,'as poor Richard says; and,
4Wany estates are spent in the gettmg; Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting, And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.'
"iIf you would be wealthy, (says he, in another Almanac) think of saving, as well as of getting: the Indians have not made Spain rich,because her outgoes are greater than her incomes'
* Away then with your expensive follies, and you will not have much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable fauV''.es; for, as poor Dick says,
'Women and wine, game ana oeceit,
"And, farther, 'What maintains one vice, woul ring up two children.' You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; hut remember what poor Richard says, 'Many a little makes a meikle; 'and farther, 'Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship;' and again,' Who dainties love, shall heggais prove ;' and, moreover, 'Fouls make feasts, and wise men eat them.'
"Here you are all got together at this sale of fineries and nicknacks. You call them goods; but if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may for less than they C03t; but if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what poor Richard says, ' Ruy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.' And again, 'At a great pennyworth pause awhile.' I fa means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, or 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 govd pennyworths.'— Again, as poor Richard says, 'It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance;' and yet this folly is practised every day at auctions, for want of minding the Almanac.' Wise men (as poor Dick says) learn by others harms, fools scarcely by their own r but Felix (/nam Jaciunt aliena pericula cautwn.'— Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families: 'Silk and satins, scarlet and velvets, (as poor Richard says) put out the kitchen lire.' Thus*
are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences; and yet only because they look pretty, how many want to have them? The ar tilicial wants of mankind thus become more numerous than the natural; and, as poor Dick says, 'Fot one poor person there are a hundred indigent.' By these and other extravagances, thegentec' 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,' A ploughman on his legs 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 be taking out 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 in again.' Poor Dick farther advises, and says,
'Fond pride of 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 tiling, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but poor Dick (ays, 'It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.' And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.