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ture, Providence and reason: happy are they! Hor. You have shown, Philoc les, that selfwho can follow such divine guides.
denial, which weak or interested men have Phil. Horatio, good night: I wish you wise rendered the most forbidding, is really the in your pleasures.
| most delightful and amiable, the most reasonHor. I wish, Philocles, I could be as wise able and pleasant thing in the world. In a in my pleasures, as you are pleasantly wise ; word, if I understand you aright, self-denial your wisdom is agreeable ; your virtue is is, in truth, self-recognizing, self-acknowledg. amiable; and your philosophy the highest ing, or self-owning. But now, my friend, luxury. Adien! thou enchanting reasoner. you are to perform another promise; and,
show me the path which leads up to that conDIALOGUE II.
stant, durable, and invariable gooc', which I Between Philocles and Horatio, concerning have heard you so beautifully describe, and
Virtue and Pleasure.-From the Pennsyl- which you seem so fully to possess. Is not vania Gazette, No. 86, July 9, 1730. this good of yours a mere chimera ? Can any
Philocles. Dear Horatio, where hast thou thing be constant in a world which is eterbeen these three or four months ? What new nally changing ! and which appears to exist adventures have you fallen upon since I met by an everlasting revolution of one thing into you in these delightful all-inspiring fields, and another, and where every thing without us, wondered how such a pleasure-hunter as you and every thing within us, is in perpetual could bear being alone?
motion. What is this constant durable good, Horatio. O Philocles ! thou best of friends, then, of yours? Prithee satisfy my soul, for because a friend to reason and virtue! I am I am all on fire, and impatient to enjoy her. very glad to see you : do not you remember, Produce this eternal blooming goddess, with I told you then, that some misfortunes in my never fading charms; and see, whether I will pleasures had sent me to philosophy for relief; not embrace her with as much eagerness and but now I do assure you, I can, without a rapture as you. sigh, leave other pleasures for those of philo- Phil. You seem enthusiastically warm, Hosophy: I can hear the word reason mentioned, ratio ; I will wait till you are cool enough to and virtue praised, without laughing. Do not attend to the sober dispassionate voice of reaI bid fair for conversion, think you ?
son. Phil. Very fair, Horatio ; for I remember Hor. You mistake me, my dear Philocles, the time when reason, virtue, and pleasure my warmth is not so great as to run away were the same thing with you : when you with my reason : it is only just raised enough counted nothing good but what pleased; nor to open my faculties, and fit them to receive any thing reasonable but what you gained by : those eternal truths, and that durable good when you made a jest of a mind, and the plea- which you so triumphantly boast of. Begin sures of reflection ; and elegantly placed your then, I am prepared. sole happiness, like the rest of the animal cre- Phil. I will, I believe; Horatio, with all ation, in the gratification of sense.
your scepticism about you, you will allow that Hor. I did so; but in our last conversation, good to be constant which is never absent from when walking upon the brow of this hill, and you, and that to be durable, which never ends looking down on that broad rapid river, and but with your being. yon widely extended, beautifully varied plain, Hor. Yes, go on. you taught me another doctrine: you showed Phil. That can never be the good of a me, that self-denial, which above all things I creature, which when present, the creature abhorred, was really the greatest good, and may be miserable, and when absent, is certhe highest self-gratification, and absolutely tainly so. necessary to produce even my own darling Hor. I think not; but pray explain what sole good, pleasure.
| you mean: for I am not much used to this Phil. True: I told you, that self-denial was abstract way of reasoning. never a duty, but when it was a natural means Phil. I mean, all the pleasures of sense. of procuring more pleasure, than we could The good of man cannot consist in the mere taste without it: that as we all strongly de- pleasures of sense ; because, when any one of sire to live, and to live only to enjoy, we those objects which you love is absent, or should take as much care about our future as cannot be come at, you are certainly miseraour present happiness; and not build one upon ble: and if the faculty be impaired, though the ruins of the other : that we should look the object be present, you cannot enjoy it. to the end, and regard consequences : and if, So that this sensual good depends upon a through want of attention, we had erred, and thousand things without and within you, and exceeded the bounds which nature had set us, all out of your power. Can this then be the we were then obliged, for our own sakes, to good of man? Say, Horatio, what think you, is refrain, or deny ourselves a present momen- not this a chequered, fleeting, fantastical good? tary pleasure, for a future, constant, and du. Can that, in any propriety of speech, be callrable good.
ed the good of man, which even, while he is
tasting, he may be miserable ; and which consists in acting up to their chief faculty, or when he cannot taste, he is necessarily so that faculty which distinguishes them from all Can that be our good, which costs us a great creatures of a different species. The chief deal of pains to obtain ; which cloys in pos- faculty in man is his reason; and consequentsessing; for which we must wait the return ly, his chief good; or, that which may be justly of appetite, before we can enjoy again? Or, called his good consists not merely in action, is that our good which we can come at without but in reasonable action. By reasonable acdifficulty; which is heightened by possession ; tions, we understand those actions, which are which never ends in weariness and disappoint preservative of the human kind, and naturally ment; and which, the more we enjoy, the bet- tend to produce real and unmixed happiness; ter qualified we are to enjoy on?
and these actions, by way of distinction, we Hor. The latter, I think ; but why do you call actions morally good. torment me thus ? Philocles, show me this Hor. You speak very clearly, Philocles ; good immediately.
but, that no difficulty may remain upon your Phil. I have showed you what it is not; it mind, pray tell me, what is the real difference is not sensual, but it is rational and moral between natural good and evil, and moral good good. It is doing all the good we can to and evil; for I know several people who use others, by acts of humanity, friendship, gene- the terms without ideas. rosity, and benevolence: this is that constant Phil. That may be: the difference lies only and durable good, which will, afford content in this, that natural good and evil, are pleasure ment and satisfaction always alike, without and pain : moral good and evil, are pleasure variation or diminution. I speak to your ex- or pain produced with intention and design. perience now, Horatio. Did you ever find For, it is the intention only that makes the yourself weary of relieving the miserable ? agent morally good or bad. Or of raising the distressed into life or happi- Hor. But may not a man, with a very good ness? Or rather, do not you find the pleasure intention, do an evil action? grow upon you by repetition, and that it is Phil. Yes; but then he errs in his judgment, greater in reflection that in the act itself? though his design be good: if his error is inIs there a pleasure upon earth to be compared vincible, or such as, all things considered, he with that which arises from the sense of could not help, he is inculpable; but, if it making others happy? Can this pleasure ever arose through want of diligence in forming his be absent, or ever end but with your being ? judgment about the nature of human actions, Does it not always accompany you? Doth he is immoral and culpable. not it lie down and rise with you, live as long Hor. I find, then, that in order to please as you live, give you consolation in the arti ourselves rightly, or to do good to others mocle of death, and remain with you in that rally, we should take great care of our opigloomy hour, when all other things are going nions. to forsake you, or you them?
| Phil. Nothing concerns you more ; for, as Hor. How glowingly you paint, Philocles; the happiness or real good of men consists in methinks Horatio is amongst the enthusiasts. right action; and right action cannot be proI feel the passion: I am enchantingly con- duced without right opinion; it behoves us, vinced; but I do not know why: overborn above all things in this world, to take care by something stronger than reason. Sure, that our own opinions of things be according some divinity speaks within me; but prithee, to the nature of things. The foundation of Philocles, give me coolly the cause, why this all virtue and happiness is thinking rightly. rational and moral good so infinitely excels He who sees an action is right, that is, natuthe mere natural or sensual.
rally tending to good, and does it because of Phil. I think, Horatio, that I have clearly that tendency, he only is a moral man; and he shown you the difference between merely na- alone is capable of that constant, durable, and tural or sensual good, and rational or moral | invariable good, which has been the subject good. Natural or sensual pleasure continues of this conversation. no longer than the action itself; but this di- Hor. How, my dear philosophical guide, vine or moral pleasure continues when the ac- shall be able to know, and determine certainly, tion is over, and swells and grows upon your what is right and wrong in life? hand by reflection: the one is inconstant, un- Phil. As easily as you distinguish a circle satisfying, of short duration, and attended with from a square, or light from darkness. Look, numberless ills; the other is constant, yields Horatio, into the sacred book of nature; read full satisfaction, is durable, and no evils pre- your own nature, and view the relation which ceding, accompanying, or following it. But other men stand in to you, and you to them, if you inquire farther into the cause of this and you will immediately see what constitutes difference, and would know why the moral | human happiness, and consequently, what is pleasures are greater than the sensual ; per. right. haps the reason is the same, as in all other Hor. We are just coming into town, and creatures, that their happiness or chief good can say no more at present. You are my good
genius, Philocles, you have showed me what | by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens is good; you have redeemed me from the lite. “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than slavery and inisery of folly and vice; and made labour wears, while the used key is always me a free and happy being.
bright," as poor Richard says. “But dost thou Phil. Then am I the happiest man in the love life, then do not squander time, for that world; be you steady, Horatio, never depart is the stuff life is made of," as poor Richard from reason and virtue.
says. How much more than is necessary do Hor. Sooner will I lose my existence. we spend in sleep! forgetting, that “the Good night, Philocles.
sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there Phil. Adieu, dear Horatio.
will be sleeping enough in the grave," as poor Richard says.
«« If time be of all things the most precious, POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC.
wasting time must be," as poor Richard says, The Way to Wealth, as clearly shown in the " the greatest prodigality ;" since, as he else
Preface of an old Pennsylvania Almanac, where tells us, “lost time is never found intiiled, Poor Richard Improved.* again; and what we call time enough always Courteous READER,—I have heard, that
proves little enough :" let us then up and be nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as
doing, and doing to the purpose; so by dili
gence shall we do more with less perplexity. to find his works respectfully quoted by
* Sloth makes all things difficult, but indusothers. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to
i try all easy; and he that riseth late, must trot
to all day, and shall scarce overtake his business relate to you. I stopped my horse lately, where a great number of people were col
lat night; while laziness travels so slowly, lected, at an auction of merchant's goods.
that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy
18 business, let not that drive thee; and early The hour of the sale not being come, they
ey to bed, and early to rise, makes a man were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain clean
healthy, wealthy, and wise," as poor Richard
says. old man, with white locks, “ Pray, Father
So what signifies, wishing and hoping for Abraham, what think you of the times? Will
better times? We may make these times betnot these heavy taxes quite ruin the country?
ter, if we bestir ourselves. “ Industry need How shall we ever be able to pay them?
not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die What would you advise us to do?"-Father Abraham stood up, and replied, If you would
fasting. There are no gains without pains;
then help hands, for I have no lands," or, if have my advice, I will give it to you in short,
I have, they are smartly taxed. “He, that " for a word to the wise is enough," as Poor
hath a trade, hath an estate; and, he that hath Richard says.' They joined in desiring him to
'\ a calling, hath an office of profit and honour," speak his mind, and gathering round him, he.
as poor Richard says; but then the trade proceeded as follows: • Friends,' says he, the taxes are, indeed,
must be worked at, and the calling well fol.
a. lowed, or neither the estate nor the office very heavy, and, if those laid on by the go.
The go will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are vernment were the only ones we had to pay, industrious. we shall never starve; for, “at we might more easily discharge them ; but
the working man's house, hunger looks in, we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice
but dares not enter." Nor will the bailiff
or the constable enter, for “industry pays as much by our idleness, three times as much
uch debts, while despair increaseth them.”by our pride, and four times as much by our What thoush you have found no treasure, nor folly ; and from these taxes the commission has any rich relation left you a legacy, “diers cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an
ligence is the mother of good luck, and God
inte abatement. However, let us hearken to good gives all things to industry. Then plow deep, advice, and something may be done for us;
while sluggards sleep, and you shall have “God helps them that help themselves," as
as corn to sell and to keep." Work while it is poor Richard says.
called to-day, for you know not how much you •1. It would be thought a hard government
may be hindered to-morrow. “One to-day is that should tax its people one tenth part of
worth two to-morrows," as poor Richard says; their time, to be employed in its service: but
on and farther, “never leave that till to-morrow, idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth,
l, which you can do to-day.” If you were a * Dr. Franklin for many years published the Penn. !
servant, would you not be ashamed that a sylvania Almanac, called "Poor Richard (Saunders,) and good master should catch you idle ? Are you furnished it with various sentences and proverbs, which had principle rela!ion to the topics of "industry, attention to one's own business, and irugality." These sentences and proverbs he collected and digested in the above preface, which were read with much avidity, and and vour king. Handle your tools without perhaps tended more to the formation of national character in America, than any other cause.
mittens; remember, that, " the cat in gloves
catches no mice," as poor Richard says. It ! "Many estates are spent in the getting,
Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting, is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps
And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting." you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects, for “con
“ If you would be wealthy, think of saving, stant dropping wears away stones ; and by
as well as of getting. The Indies have not diligence and patience the mouse ate in two
ate in two mnade Spain rich, because her outgoes are the cable: and little strokes fell creat oaks" greater than her incomes." Methinks I hear some of you say, “must
*Away then, with your expensive follies, a man afford himself no leisure?" I will tell and you will not then have so much cause to thee, my friend. what poor Richard savs : complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and 6 employ thy time well, if thou meanest to chargeable families ; for gain leisure ; and since thou art not sure of " Women and wine, game and deceit, a minute, throw not away an hour.” Leisure Make the wealth small, and the want great." is time for doing something useful; this leisure And farther, “what maintains one vice, would the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man bring up two children." You may think, pernever; for “a life of leisure and a life of la- haps, that a little tea, or a little punch now ziness are two things. Many, without labour, and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a would live by their wits only, but they break little finer, and a little entertainment now and for want of stock;" whereas industry gives then, can be no great matter ; but remember, comfort, and plenty, and respect. “Fly“ many a little makes a mickle.” Beware of pleasures, and they will follow you. The di- little expences; "a small leak will sink a ligent spinner has a large shift; and now I great ship,” as poor Richard says; and again, have a sheep and a cow, every one bids me whodainties love, shall beggars prove;" and good-morrow."
moreover, “fools make feasts, and wise men • II. But with our industry we must like- eat them." wise be steady, settled. and careful, and over. “Here you are all got together to this sale see our own affairs with our own eyes, and of fineries and nick-nacks. You call them not trust too much to others; for, as poor goods, but if you do not take care, they will Richard says,
prove evils to some of you. You expect they "I never saw an oft removed tree,
will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may, for Nor yet an ofl removed family,
less than they cost; but, if you have no occaThat throve so well as those ihat settled be."
sion for them, they must be dear to you. ReAnd again, “ three removes is as bad as a member what poor Richard says, “buy what fire;" and again“ keep thy shop, and thy I thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt shop will keep thee;" and again, "if you sell thy necessaries." And again, " at a would have your business done, go, if not,
great pennyworth pause a while." He send.” And again,
means that perhaps the cheapness is apparent “ He that by the plough would thrive,
only, and not real; or the bargain, by straitHimself must either hold or drive."
ening thee in thy business, may do thee more And again, “ the eye of a master will do harm than good. For in another place he more work than both his hands;" and again, says, “many have been ruined by buying “ want of care does us more damage than good pennyworths.” Again, “it is foolish to want of knowledge;" and again, “not to lay out money in a purchase of repentance;" oversee workmen, is to leave them your purse and yet this folly is practised every day at open." Trusting too much to other's care is auctions, fir want of minding the almanac. the ruin of many ; for, “ in the affairs of this Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the have gone with a hungry belly, and half want of it;" but a man's own care is profita- starved their families; "silks and satins, ble; for, “ if you would have a faithful ser- scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire," vant, and one that you like, serve yourself. I as poor Richard says. These are not the neA little neglect may breed great mischief; for Icessaries of life, they can scarcely be called want of a nail the shoe was lost, and for want of the conveniencies; and yet, only because they a shoe the horse was lost, and for want of a look pretty, how many want to have them! horse the rider was lost," being overtaken and By these and other extravagancies, the genslain by the enemy; all for want of a little teel are reduced to poverty, and forced to borcare about a horse-shoe nail.
row of those whom they formerly despised, III. So much for industry, my friends, and but who, through industry and frugality, have attention to one's own business, but to these maintained their standing; in which case it we must add frugality, if we would make our appears plainly, that "a ploughman on his industry more certainly successful. A man legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees," may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, as poor Richard says. Perhaps they have had “ keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, a small estate left them, which they knew not and die not worth a groat at last. A fat kitch- the getting of; they think “it is day, and it en makes a lean will;" and
will never be night;" that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding; but "al. that such an edict would be a breach of your ways taking out of the meal-tub, and never privileges, and such a government tyranniputting in soon comes to the bottom," as poor cal? And yet you are about to put yourself Richard says; and then, “ when the well is under that tyranny, when you run in debt for dry, they know the worth of water.” But such dress! your creditor has authority, at this they might have known before, if they : his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by had taken his advice: “ if you would know confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you the value of money go and try to borrow some; for a servant, if you should not be able to pay for he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrow- him. When you have got your bargain, you ing," as poor Richard says; and indeed so may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, does he that lends to such people, when he as poor Richard says, “creditors have better goes to get it again. Poor Dick farther ad- memories than debtors; creditors are a suvises, and says,
perstitious sect, great observers of set-days Fond pride of dress is sure a curse,
and times.” The day comes round before you Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse." are aware, and the demand is made before And again,“ pride is as loud a beggar as you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear want, and a great deal more saucy." When your debt in mind, the term, which at first you have bought one fine thing, you must seemed so long, will as it lessens, appear exbuy ten more, that your appearance may be tremely short; time will seem to have added all of a piece; but poor Dick says, " it is ea- wings to his heels as well as his shoulders. sier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy “ Those have a short lent, who owe money to all that follow it:" and it is as truly folly for be paid at Easter.” At present, perhaps, you the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to may think yourselves in thriving circumswell in order to equal the ox.
stances, and that you can bear a little extra“ Vessels large may venture more,
vagance without injury; but But little boats should keep near shore."
“For age and want save while you may, It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as No morning sun lasts a whole day." poor Richard says, “pride that dines on va. Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but nity, sups on contempt; pride breakfasted ever, while you live, expense is constant and with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped certain; and, “it is easier to build two chimwith infamy.” And, after all, of what use is neys than to keep one in fuel," as poor Richthis pride of appearance, for which so much is ard says : so, “rather go to bed supperless risked, so much is suffered ? It cannot pro- i han rise in debt." mote health, nor ease pain; it makes no in "Get what you can, and what you get hold, crease of merit in the person; it creates "Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold." envy, it hastens misfortune.
And when you have got the philosopher's • But what madness must it be to run in stone, sure you will no longer complain of debt for these superfluities! We are offered bad tiines, or the difficulty of paying taxes. by the terms of this sale six months credit; IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and that perhaps has induced some of us to and wisdom : but, after all, do not depend too attend it, because we cannot spare the ready much upon your own industry, and frugality, money, and hope now to be fine without it. and prudence, though excellent things; for But ah! think what you do when you run in they may all be blasted, without the blessing (lebt; you give to another power over your of Heaven; and therefore ask that blessing liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that will be ashamed to see your creditor, you at present seem to want it, but comfort and will be in fear when you speak to him, when help them. Remember Job suffered, and was you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, | afterwards prosperous. and by degrees come to loose your veracity, •And now, to conclude, “experience keeps and sink into base, downright lying; for, a dear school, but fools will learn in no other," “the second vice is lying ; the first is run- as poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for, ning debt," as poor Richard says; and again it is true, " we may give advice, but we canto the same purpose, “lying rides upon debt's not give conduct:" however, remember this, back;" whereas a free-born Englishman “ they that will not be counselled cannot be ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or helped ;" and farther, that "if you will not hear speak to any man living. But poverty often reason she will surely rap your knuckles," as deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. “It poor Richard says. is hard for an empty bag to stand upright. Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. What would you think of that prince, or of The people heard it, and approved the docthat government, who should issue an edict trine; and immediately practised the contraforbidding you to dress like a gentleman or ry, just as if it had been a common sermon, gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or ser- for the auction opened, and they began to buy vitude ? Would you not say, that you were extravagantly. I found the good man had free, have a right to dress as you please, and thoroughly studied my almanacs, and digested