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shift; and, now I have a sheep and 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 oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as poor Richard says, '
"I never saw an oft-removed tree,
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,
And again, “ The eye of the master will do more work tban 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' care is the ruin of many : for, as the Almanac says, in the affairs of the world, “ men are saved not by faith, but 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, farther, “ If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself." And again, he adviseth 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,
« Many estates are spent in the getting;
“ If you would be wealthy, (says he, in another Almanac) think of saving as well as getting: the Indies 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 families; for, as poor Dick says,
« Women and wine, game and deceit
And, farther, “What maintains one vice would bring 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 ; but remember what poor Richard says, “ Many a little makes a meikle ;” and, farther, " Beware of little expense; a small leak will sink a great ship;" and again, “ Who dainties love shall beggars prove;" and moreover, "Fools 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 cost; but if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what poor Richard says, “ Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.” And again, “ At a great pennyworth, pause awhile.” He 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 good 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 other's harms, fools scarcely by their own; but Feliz quem factunt aliena pericula cautum. Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families : “Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, (as poor Richard says) put out the kitchen fire." These 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 artificial wants of mankind thus become more numerous than the natural; and, as poor Dick says, “ For one poor person there are a hundred indigent.” By these and other extravagances, the genteel 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 is 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 again.” Poor Dick farther advises, and says,
much ever the dead as
“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 thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece ; but poor Dick says, “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.
« Vessels large may venture more,
But little boats should keep near shore." 'Tis, however, a folly soon punished; for, “Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt,' as poor Richard says. And, in another place, “ Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy." And, after all, of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered ? It cannot promote health, or ease pain ; it makes no increase of merit in the person: it creates envy ; it hast. ens misfortune.
« What is a butterfly ? at best,
The gaudy fop's his picture just,” as poor Richard says.
« But what madness must it be to run in debt for these superfluities: we are offered by the terms of this sale six months credit, and that perhaps has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready money, and hope now to be fine without it. But ah ! think what you do when you run in debt. You give to an other power over your liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor: you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and by degrees come to lose your veracity, and sink into base downright lying; for, as poor Richard says, " The second vice is lying; the first is running in debt.” And again, to the same purpose, “ Lying rides upon debt's back;" whereas a freeborn Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to 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," as poor Richard truly says. What would you think of that prince, or that government, who would issue an edict, forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentiewoman, 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 hy 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 “ Creditors (poor Richard tells us have better memories than debtors ;" and in another place he says, “Creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times." The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand 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 at his shoulders. « Those have a short Lent (saith poor Richard) who owe money to be paid at Easter." Then since, as he says, " The borrower is a slave to the lender, and the debtor to the creditor ;" disdain the chain, preserve your freedom, and maintain your independency: be industrious and free; be frugal and free. At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury ; but
debt in, as it
« For age and want save while you may,
as poor Richard says. Gain may be temporary and uncertain ; but ever, while you live, expense 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,
as poor Richard says. And when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.
" 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 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, and scarce in that ; for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct," as poor Richard says. However, remember this, “ They that will not be counselled, cannot be helped," as poor Richard says; and, further, that “ If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles.”
Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly, notwithstanding all his cautions, and their own fear of taxes. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanacs, and digested all I had dropped on these topics, during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must have tired every one 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 first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little