Poor Richard 1744
This is the Twelfth Year that I have in this Way laboured for the Benefit -- of Whom? - of the Publick, if you'll be so good-natured as to believe it; if not, e'en take the naked Truth, 'twas for the Benefit of my own dear self; not forgetting in the mean time, our gracious Consort and Dutchess the peaceful, quiet, silent Lady Bridget. But whether my Labours have been of any Service to the Publick or not, the Publick I must acknowledge has been of Service to me; I have lived Comfortably by its Benevolent Encouragement; and I hope I shall always bear a grateful Sense of its continued Favour.
My Adversary J - n J ------ n has indeed made an Attempt to out-shine me, by pretending to penetrate a Year deeper into Futurity; and giving his Readers gratis in his Almanack for 1743 an Eclipse of the Year 1744, to be beforehand with me: His Words are, "The first Day of April next Year 1744, there will be a GREAT ECLIPSE of the Sun; it begins about an Hour before Sunset. It being in the Sign Aries, the House of Mars, and in the 7th, shows Heat, Difference and Animosities between Persons of the highest Rank and Quality," &c. I am very glad, for the Sake of these Persons of Rank and Quality, that there is no manner of Truth in this Prediction: They may, if they please, live in Love and Peace. And I caution his Readers (they are but few, indeed, and so the Matter's the less) not to give themselves any Trouble about observing this imaginary Great Eclipse; for they may stare till they're blind without seeing the least Sign of it. I might, on this Occasion, return Mr. J ------ n the Name of Baal's false Prophet he gave me some Years ago in his Wrath, on Account of my Predicting his Reconciliation with the Church of Rome, (tho' he seems now to have given up that Point) but I think such Language between old Men and Scholars unbecoming; and I leave him to settle the Affair with the Buyers of his Almanack as well as he can, who perhaps will not take it very kindly, that he has done what in him lay (by sending them out to gaze at an invisible Eclipse on the first of April) to make April Fools of them all. His old thread-bare Excuse which he repeats Year after Year about the Weather, "That no Man can be infallible therein, by Reason of the many contrary Causes happening at or near the same time, and the Unconstancy of the Summer Showers and gusts," &c. will hardly serve him in the Affair of Eclipses; and I know not where he'll get another.
I have made no Alteration in my usual Method, except adding the Rising and Setting of the Planets, and the Lunar Conjunctions. Those who are so disposed, may thereby very readily learn to know the Planets, and distinguish them from each other.
I am, dear Reader,
Thy obliged Friend,
He that drinks his Cyder alone, let him catch his Horse alone.
Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad Habits. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his Portion.
He that has not got a Wife, is not yet a compleat Man.
What you would seem to be, be really.
If you'd lose a troublesome Visitor, lend him Money.
Tart Words make no Friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than Gallon of Vinegar.
Make haste slowly.
Dine with little, sup with less:
Do better still; sleep supperless.
Industry, Perseverance, & Frugality, make Fortune yield.
I'll warrant ye, goes before Rashness; Who'd-a-tho't it? comes sneaking after.
Prayers and Provender hinder no Journey.
Hear Reason, or she'll make you feel her.
Give me yesterday's Bread, this Day's Flesh, and last Year's Cyder.
God heals, and the Doctor takes the Fees.
Sloth (like Rust) consumes faster than Labour wears: the used Key is always bright.
Light Gains heavy Purses.
Keep thou from the Opportunity, and God will keep thee from the Sin.
Where there's no Law, there's no Bread.
As Pride increases, Fortune declines.
Drive thy Business, or it will drive thee.
A full Belly is the Mother of all Evil.
The same man cannot be both Friend and Flatterer.
He who multiplies Riches multiplies Cares.
An old Man in a House is a good Sign.
Those who are fear'd, are hated.
The Things which hurt, instruct.
The Eye of a Master, will do more Work than his Hand.
A soft Tongue may strike hard.
If you'd be belov'd, make yourself amiable.
A true Friend is the best Possession.
Fear God, and your Enemies will fear you.
Epitaph on a Scolding Wife by her Husband.
Here my poor Bridgets's Corps doth lie,
she is at rest, - and so am I.