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him, you will make poor pitiful sneaking excuses, and, by degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright lying; for, "the second vice is lying, the first is running in debt," as poor Richard says; and again, to the same purpose, “ lying rides
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. “It 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 that 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 for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not 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 de. mand 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 owe money to be paid at Easter.” At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves ja thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; bat
« For age and want save while you may,
temporary and uncertain, but ever, while you live, expence is constant and certain ; and, “it is easier to build two chimneys 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 farther, that “if you will not hear reason she will surely rap your knuckles," as poor Richard says.
' Thus the old gentleman ended his barangue. The
people people heard it and approved the doctrine; and imme diately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sérmon, 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 those topics during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must liave tired anyone 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 I 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,
Advice to a Young Tradesman*.
Written Anno 17 48.
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 labour, and goes abroad,
* This paper aud the hints that follow it are from the Repository, vul. II. p. 169 and 171, where, as they are placed under the bead of original articles, we presume they first appeared. Editor.
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 expence; 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 10 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 of expence 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 hamıner 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 expences 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 expences 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 expences excepted),