Poor Richard 1734
Your kind and charitable Assistance last Year, in purchasing so large an Impression of my Almanacks, has made my Circumstances much more easy in the World, and requires my grateful Acknowledgment. My Wife has been enabled to get a Pot of her own, and is no longer oblig'd to borrow one from a Neighbour; nor have we ever since been without something of our own to put in it. She has also got a pair of Shoes, two new Shifts, and a new warm Petticoat; and for my part, I have bought a second-hand Coat, so good, that I am now not asham'd to go to Town or be seen there. These Things have render'd her Temper so much more pacifick than it us'd to be, that I may say, I have slept more, and more quietly within this last Year, than in the three foregoing Years put together. Accept my hearty Thanks therefor, and my sincere Wishes for your Health and Prosperity.
In the Preface to my last Almanack, I foretold the Death of my dear old Friend and Fellow-Student, the learned and ingenious Mr. Titan Leeds, which was to be on the 17th of October, 1733, 3 h. 29 m. P.M. at the very Instant of the xxx of xxx and xxx. By his own Calculation he was to survive till the 26th of the same Month, and expire in the Time of the Eclipse, near 11 a clock, A.M. At which of these Times he died, or whether he be really yet dead, I cannot at this present Writing positively assure my Readers; forasmuch as a Disorder in my own Family demanded my Presence, and would not permit me as I had intended, to be with him in his last Moments, to receive his last Embrace, to close his Eyes, and do the Duty of a Friend in performing the last Offices to the Departed. Therefore it is that I cannot positively affirm whether he be dead or not; for the Stars only show to the Skilful, what will happen in the natural and universal Chain of Causes and Effects; but 'tis well known, that the Events which would otherwise certainly happen at certain Times in the Course of Nature, are sometimes set aside or postpon'd for wise and good Reasons, by the immediate particular Dispositions of Providence; which particular Dispositions the Stars can by no Means discover or foreshow. There is however, (and I cannot speak it without Sorrow) there is the strongest Probability that my dear Friend is no more; for there appears in his Name, as I am assured, an Almanack for the Year 1734, in which I am treated in a very gross and unhandsome Manner; in which I am called a false Predicter, an Ignorant, a conceited Scribler, a Fool, and a Lyar. Mr. Leeds was too well bred to use any Man so indecently and so scurrilously, and moreover his Esteem and Affection for me was extraordinary: So that it is to be feared, that Pamphlet may be only a Contrivance of somebody or other, who hopes perhaps to sell two or three Year's Almanacks still, by the sole Force and Virtue of Mr. Leeds's Name; but certainly, to put Words into the Mouth of a Gentleman and a Man of Letters, against his Friend, which the meanest and most scandalous of the People might be asham'd to utter even in a drunken Quarrel, is an unpardonable Injury to his Memory, and an Imposition upon the Publick.
Mr. Leeds was not only profoundly skilful in the useful Science he profess'd, but he was a Man of exemplary Sobriety, a most sincere Friend, and an exact Performer of his Word. These valuable Qualifications, with many others, so much endear'd him to me, that although it should be so, that, contrary to all Probability, contrary to my Prediction and his own, he might possibly be yet alive, yet my Loss of Honour as a Prognosticator, cannot afford me so much Mortification, as his Life, Health and Safety would give me Joy and Satisfaction. I am,
Courteous and kind Reader,
Your poor Friend and Servant,
Octob. 30. 1733.
Would you live with ease,
Do what you ought, and not what you please.
Better slip with foot than tongue.
You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns,
Nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns.
Without justice, courage is weak.
Many dishes many diseases,
Many medicines few cures.
Where carcasses are, eagles will gather,
And where good laws are, much people flock thither.
Hot things, sharp things, sweet things, cold things
All rot the teeth, and make them look like old things.
Blame-all and Praise-all are two blockheads.
Be temperate in wine, in eating, girls, & sloth;
Or the Gout will seize you and plague you both.
No man e'er was glorious, who was not laborious.
What pains our Justice takes his faults to hide,
With half that pains sure he might cure 'em quite.
In success be moderate.
Take this remark from Richard poor and lame,
Whate'er's begun in anger ends in shame.
What one relishes, nourishes.
Fools multiply folly.
Beauty & folly are old companions.
Hope of gain
All things are easy to Industry,
All things difficult to Sloth.
If you ride a Horse, sit close and tight,
If you ride a Man, sit easy and light.
A new truth is a truth, an old error is an error,
Tho' Clodpate wont allow either.
Don't think to hunt two hares with one dog.
This is a good Day,
To make Love in May.
Who pleasure gives,
Shall joy receive.
Be not sick too late, nor well too soon.
Where there's Marriage without Love, there will be Love without Marriage.
Lawyers, Preachers, and Tomtits Eggs, there are more of them hatch'd than come to perfection.
Be neither silly, nor cunning, but wise.
Neither a Fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parly.
Jack Little sow'd little, & little he'll reap.
All things are cheap to the saving, dear to the wasteful.
Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not of Reason.
Some men grow mad by studying much to know,
But who grows mad by studying good to grow.
Happy's the Woing, that's not long a doing.
Don't value a man for the Quality he is of, but for the Qualities he possesses.
Bucephalus the Horse of Alexand hath as lasting fame as his Master.
Rain or Snow,
To Chili go,
You'll find it so,
For ought we know.
Time will show.
There have been as great Souls unknown to fame as any of the most famous.
Do good to thy Friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him.
A good Man is seldom uneasy, an ill one never easie.
Teach your child to hold his tongue, he'l learn fast enough to speak.
He that cannot obey, cannot command.
An innocent Plowman is more worthy than a vicious Prince.
Sam's Religion is like a Chedder Cheese, 'tis made of the milk of one & twenty Parishes.
Grief for a dead Wife, & a troublesome Guest,
Continues to the threshold, and there is at rest;
But I mean such wives as are none of the best.
As Charms are nonsence, Nonsence is a Charm.
An Egg to day is better than a Hen to-morrow.
Drink Water, Put the Money in your Pocket, and leave the Dry-bellyach in the Punchbowl.
He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.
If you wou'd be reveng'd of your enemy, govern your self.
A wicked Hero will turn his back to an innocent coward.
Laws like to Cobwebs catch small Flies,
Great ones break thro' before your eyes.
Strange, that he who lives by Shifts, can seldom shift himself.
As sore places meet most rubs, proud folks meet most affronts.
The magistrate should obey the Laws, the People should obey the magistrate.
When 'tis fair be sure take your Great coat with you.
He does not possess Wealth, it possesses him.
Necessity has no Law; I know some Attorneys of the name.
Onions can make ev'n Heirs and Widows weep.
Avarice and Happiness never saw each other, how then shou'd they become acquainted.
The thrifty maxim of the wary Dutch,
Is to save all the Money they can touch.
He that waits upon Fortune, is never sure of a Dinner.
A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
Marry your Son when you will, but your Daughter when you can.
By Mrs. Bridget Saunders, my Dutchess, in Answer to the December Verses of last Year.
He that for sake of Drink neglects his Trade,
And spends each Night in Taverns till 'tis late,
And rises when the Sun is four hours high,
And ne'er regards his starving Family;
God in his Mercy may do much to save him.
But, woe to the poor Wife, whose Lot it is to have him.
He that knows nothing of it, may by chance be a Prophet; while the wisest that is may happen to miss.
If you wou'd have Guests merry with your cheer,
Be so your self, or so at least appear.
Famine, Plague, War, and an unnumber'd throng
Of Guilt-avenging Ills, to Man belong;
Is't not enough Plagues, Wars, and Famines rise
To lash our crimes, but must our Wives be wise?
Reader, farewel, all Happiness attend thee:
May each New-Year better and richer find thee.