Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Most popular Benjamin Franklin Quotes

He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)

persuasion

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not of Reason.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

persuasion

'Tis easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

habit

Time is money.
— Benjamin Franklin

time

Old habits die hard.
— Benjamin Franklin
The muses love the morning.
— Benjamin Franklin
Today is yesterday's pupil.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

history learning the past yesterday

A fat kitchen, a lean will.
— Benjamin Franklin
Remember that time is money.
— Benjamin Franklin (Advice to a Young Tradesman)

time

Man is a tool-making animal.
— Benjamin Franklin (Life of Samuel Johnson)

mankind man the animal

Success has ruined many a man.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

success

Let thy vices die before thee.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

vice

I am in the prime of senility.
— Benjamin Franklin

age

Lost time is never found again.
— Benjamin Franklin

time wasting time

Plow deep while sluggards sleep.
— Benjamin Franklin
A full belly makes a dull brain.
— Benjamin Franklin
Half truth is often a great lie.
— Benjamin Franklin
A penny saved is a penny earned.
— Benjamin Franklin

thrift

Nothing dries sooner than a tear.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

tears

Without justice, courage is weak.
— Benjamin Franklin
There are no gains without pains.
— Benjamin Franklin
You may delay, but time will not.
— Benjamin Franklin

time

The morning has gold in its mouth.
— Benjamin Franklin
Well done is better than well said.
— Benjamin Franklin

action

What begins in anger ends in shame.
— Benjamin Franklin

anger

Many foxes grow, but few grow good.
— Benjamin Franklin
No nation was ever ruined by trade.
— Benjamin Franklin
Necessity never made a good bargain.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

necessity negotiation

Beauty and folly are old companions.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man in a passion rides a mad horse.
— Benjamin Franklin
A true Friend is the best Possession.
— Benjamin Franklin

friendship

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
— Benjamin Franklin

apologies apology

Diligence is the mother of good luck.
— Benjamin Franklin
Kill no more pigeons than you can eat.
— Benjamin Franklin

environment

Some are wise, and some are otherwise.
— Benjamin Franklin
The early bird catches the early worm.
— Benjamin Franklin
Fish and visitors smell in three days.
— Benjamin Franklin

guests

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
— Benjamin Franklin

dieting

The rotten apple spoils its companions.
— Benjamin Franklin
God heals, and the doctor takes the fee.
— Benjamin Franklin

cynical doctors

One who lives on hopes will die fasting.
— Benjamin Franklin
Most fools think they are only ignorant.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

foolishness

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
— Benjamin Franklin

anger

The golden age never was the present age.
— Benjamin Franklin
The discontented man finds no easy chair.
— Benjamin Franklin

contentment

He is ill clothed that is bare of virtue.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

virtue

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

hope

Drive thy business, or it will drive thee.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

business

Happy is the country which has no history.
— Benjamin Franklin
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
— Benjamin Franklin
A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
— Benjamin Franklin

conscience

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.
— Benjamin Franklin
Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee.
— Benjamin Franklin

work

Vice knows she's ugly, so puts on her Mask.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

vice

Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries.
— Benjamin Franklin
Praise to the undeserving is severe satire.
— Benjamin Franklin
All would live long, but none would be old.
— Benjamin Franklin

old age

Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
— Benjamin Franklin (Autobiography)

drinking eating

If you would be loved, love, and be lovable.
— Benjamin Franklin

love

Creditors have better memories than debtors.
— Benjamin Franklin
He that speaks ill of the mare will buy her.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man who multiplies riches multiplies cares.
— Benjamin Franklin
An old young man will become a young old man.
— Benjamin Franklin
If passion drives, let reason hold the reins.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

passion reason

He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

wealth

Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.
— Benjamin Franklin
Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.
— Benjamin Franklin
He may well win the race that runs by himself.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

competition

Leisure is the time for doing something useful.
— Benjamin Franklin

leisure

We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

advice

The best of all medicines are rest and fasting.
— Benjamin Franklin
He that can have patience can have what he will.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

patience

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
— Benjamin Franklin

peace

Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy.
— Benjamin Franklin
Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.
— Benjamin Franklin
A place for everything, everything in its place.
— Benjamin Franklin
Clean your fingers before you point at my spots.
— Benjamin Franklin

criticism shortcomings

Love your enemies for they tell you your faults.
— Benjamin Franklin

enemies shortcomings

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man without courage is a knife without an edge.
— Benjamin Franklin
Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
— Benjamin Franklin

friendship

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
— Benjamin Franklin
Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

enemies

Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.
— Benjamin Franklin

fashion

If Jack's in love, he's no judge of Jill's beauty.
— Benjamin Franklin
Pain wastes the body; pleasures, the understanding.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

pleasure and pain

Diligence overcomes difficulties; sloth makes them.
— Benjamin Franklin

adversity

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
— Benjamin Franklin
Love your neighbor: yet don't pull down your hedge.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man that can have patience, can have what he will.
— Benjamin Franklin
Employ thy time well if thou meanest to get leisure.
— Benjamin Franklin
Genius without Education is like Silver in the Mine.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

education genius

What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

vice

After crosses and losses men grow humbler and wiser.
— Benjamin Franklin
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.
— Benjamin Franklin
In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.
— Benjamin Franklin

taxes

If you desire many things, many things will seem few.
— Benjamin Franklin
Waste not, want not; willful waste makes woeful want.
— Benjamin Franklin
It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.
— Benjamin Franklin

habit

Let us then be up and doing, and doing to the purpose.
— Benjamin Franklin
He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner.
— Benjamin Franklin

fortune

Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
— Benjamin Franklin
He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
— Benjamin Franklin
If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.
— Benjamin Franklin

work

Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

vice & virtue

He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
— Benjamin Franklin

egotism narcissist witty

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.
— Benjamin Franklin
None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

clergy example

I saw few die of hunger — of eating, a hundred thousand.
— Benjamin Franklin
The most exquisite folly is made of wisdom spun too fine.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

folly wisdom

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
— Benjamin Franklin
Wealth is not theirs that have it, but those who enjoy it.
— Benjamin Franklin
The eye of a master will do more work than both his hands.
— Benjamin Franklin
If you would know the value of money, try and borrow some.
— Benjamin Franklin
Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Way to Wealth)

laziness poverty

Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools learn in no other.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

experience

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it.
— Benjamin Franklin
A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.
— Benjamin Franklin
Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship.
— Benjamin Franklin

small stuff

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterward.
— Benjamin Franklin
You can bear your own faults, why not the faults in your wife?
— Benjamin Franklin
The noblest question in the world is What Good may I do in it?
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

asking questions

At the workingman's house hunger looks in but dares not enter.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Way to Wealth)

work

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
— Benjamin Franklin
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
— Benjamin Franklin
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

marriage

If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.
— Benjamin Franklin

money

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

scholarship

Fools need advice most, but wise men only are the better for it.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

advice

A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
— Benjamin Franklin

lawyers

Setting too good an example is a kind of slander seldom forgiven.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

example

It's the easiest thing in the world for a man to deceive himself.
— Benjamin Franklin

self-deception

If  man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

wish

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.
— Benjamin Franklin

experience

Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.
— Benjamin Franklin
Don't throw stones at your neighbors if your own windows are glass.
— Benjamin Franklin

privacy

A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough.
— Benjamin Franklin
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
— Benjamin Franklin

action writing

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
— Benjamin Franklin

accountability excuses

If a man could have half of his wishes he would double his troubles.
— Benjamin Franklin
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
— Benjamin Franklin
If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.
— Benjamin Franklin
To be intimate with a foolish friend is like going to bed to a razor.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

foolishness

If you would keep your secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
— Benjamin Franklin
In America we believe in Life, Liberty — and the pursuit of happiness.
— Benjamin Franklin
Teach your child to hold his tongue, he'll learn fast enough to speak.
— Benjamin Franklin
Up sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

laziness

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
— Benjamin Franklin

for teachers

He's the best physician that knows the worthlessness of most medicines.
— Benjamin Franklin
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
— Benjamin Franklin

health

Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
— Benjamin Franklin
After three days men grow weary of a wench, a guest, and rainy weather.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

guests

Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
— Benjamin Franklin
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
— Benjamin Franklin

certainty death taxes

Vessels large may venture more, but little boats should keep near shore.
— Benjamin Franklin
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
— Benjamin Franklin
'Tis an old saying: That an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
— Benjamin Franklin (Life and Correspondence of Samuel Johnson, D.D.)

health

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.
— Benjamin Franklin

knowledge

A bargain is something you have to find a use for once you have bought it.
— Benjamin Franklin

thrift

Don't throw stones at your neighbor's windows if you live in a glass house.
— Benjamin Franklin
There are three faithful friends, an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.
— Benjamin Franklin

friendship

He gives twice that gives soon, i.e., he will soon be called to give again.
— Benjamin Franklin

charity

If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Way to Wealth)

self-reliance

There are three faithful friends — an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.
— Benjamin Franklin
To bear other people's afflictions, everyone has courage and enough to spare.
— Benjamin Franklin

courage

Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?
— Benjamin Franklin
Teach your children to hold their tongues; they'll learn fast enough to speak.
— Benjamin Franklin
Hide not your talents, they for use were made,
What's a sun-dial in the shade?
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

talent

Make no expense, but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.
— Benjamin Franklin
If you would reap praise you must sow the seeds,
Gentle words and useful deeds.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

praise

There are three Things extremely hard; Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self.
— Benjamin Franklin
In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it.
— Benjamin Franklin

faith

He gives twice that gives soon; i.e., he will soon be called upon to give again.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

Giving

To be thrown upon one's own resources is to be cast into the very lap of fortune.
— Benjamin Franklin
The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.
— Benjamin Franklin
Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parley.
— Benjamin Franklin

negotiation

The praise you take, altho' it be your due,
Will be suspected if it come from you.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

praise

Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age, but they die young.
— Benjamin Franklin
Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou can'st.
— Benjamin Franklin
Each year, one vicious habit rooted out, in time ought to make the worst man good.
— Benjamin Franklin
Let all your things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.
— Benjamin Franklin
Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.
— Benjamin Franklin
There never was yet a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.
— Benjamin Franklin
'Tis great Confidence in a Friend to tell him your Faults, greater to tell him his.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

friendship

At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; at forty, the judgment.
— Benjamin Franklin
We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
— Benjamin Franklin

cooperation

Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.
— Benjamin Franklin
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
— Benjamin Franklin
Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us.
— Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania Gazette)

ambition

Dost thou love Life?  Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

life time

At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.
— Benjamin Franklin

age 20 age 30 age 40

Lose no time; be always employed in something useful. Keep out of all unnecessary action.
— Benjamin Franklin
A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.
— Benjamin Franklin
There are two ways of being happy; we may either diminish our wants or augment our means.
— Benjamin Franklin
Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the difference is only in the price.
— Benjamin Franklin

old age

In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.
— Benjamin Franklin
Arguing is a game two can play at. But it is a strange game in that neither opponent ever wins.
— Benjamin Franklin

arguments

If a little does not go, much cash will not come." — "He who restrains his appetite avoids debt.
— Benjamin Franklin
Most people return small favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with ingratitude.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

ingratitude

When men are employed, they are best contented; for on idle days they are mutinous and quarrelsome.
— Benjamin Franklin
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterward. Keep your eyes open before marriage.
— Benjamin Franklin

marriage

Let man ascertain his special business or calling, and then stick to it, if he would be successful.
— Benjamin Franklin
To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
— Benjamin Franklin
How many observe Christ's birthday! How few his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
— Benjamin Franklin

Jesus

He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.
— Benjamin Franklin
Tim was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages: so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.
— Benjamin Franklin

knowledge

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
— Benjamin Franklin

freedom safety

Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely.
— Benjamin Franklin
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
— Benjamin Franklin

freedom

For want of a nail the shoe is lost, for want of a shoe the horse is lost, for want of a horse the rider is lost.
— Benjamin Franklin (Wanting)
Serving God is doing good to man. But praying is thought an easier service and is therefore more generally chosen.
— Benjamin Franklin

helping others prayer

Strive to be the greatest Man in your Country, and you may be disappointed; strive to be the best, and you may succeed.
— Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

doing your best

'What is the use of this new invention?' someone once asked me. And my reply was, 'What is the use of a new-born child?'
— Benjamin Franklin
You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known and exist, before it is generally received and practiced on.
— Benjamin Franklin
Human felicity is produced not as much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day.
— Benjamin Franklin

fortune

Human felicity is produc'd not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)

reason

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
— Benjamin Franklin

life

Who is wise? He that learns from every One. Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
— Benjamin Franklin

wisdom

Human felicity or happiness is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.
— Benjamin Franklin
The eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture.
— Benjamin Franklin
He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.
— Benjamin Franklin

parenting

If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent's good will.
— Benjamin Franklin

arguments

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then, he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.
— Benjamin Franklin
A man who hath a trade, hath an estate; and a man who hath a calling hath a place of profit and honor. A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.
— Benjamin Franklin
Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.
— Benjamin Franklin

fortune happiness

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one.
— Benjamin Franklin
... names of virtues, with their precepts, were:1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. 2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
Wherever desirable superfluities are imported, industry is excited, and thereby plenty is produced. Were only necessaries permitted to be purchased, men would work no more than was necessary for that purpose.
— Benjamin Franklin

economics luxury wealth

Temperance puts wood on the fire, meal in the barrel, flour in the tub, money in the purse, credit in the country, contentment in the house, clothes on the children, vigor in the body, intelligence in the brain, and spirit in the whole constitution.
— Benjamin Franklin
Friends and neighbours complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might the more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.
— Benjamin Franklin

folly laziness pride

In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had compleatly overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
— Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)

pride