Sort by:PopularityA - Z
I believe I shall,in some shape or other,always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine, hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.
He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.
How many observe Christ's birthday How few, his precepts O 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
Serving God is doing good to man. But praying is thought an easier service and is therefore more generally chosen.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Five thousand balloons, capable of raising two men each, could not cost more than five ships of the line; and where is the prince who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defense as that 10,000 men descending from the clouds might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?
He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.
The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
For the want of a nail, the shoe was lose; for the want of a shoe the horse was lose; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.
He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.
I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.
All mankind is divided into three classes: those who are immovable, those who are movable and those who move.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.
If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.
A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. (Misattributed)
In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? — On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependance on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.
I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.
To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it.
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.
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it; "Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith."
When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Sell not liberty to purchase power.
Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man
He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
Who is wise He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful He that governs his passions. Who is rich He who is content. Who is that Nobody.
If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.
All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.
All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face
I have been apt to think that there has never been, nor ever will be, any such thing as a good war, or a bad peace.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.
Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.
There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.
They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason she will rap you on the knuckles.
Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of his neighbor, will feel a pleasure in the reverse. And those who despair to rise in distinction by their virtues, are happy if others can be depressed to a level of themselves.
[A]s all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ...
Quotes from the news wire:
Share your thoughts on Benjamin Franklin's quotes with the community:
Would you like us to send you a FREE inspiring quote delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this author page to your bibliography:
"Benjamin Franklin Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 May 2021. <https://www.quotes.net/authors/Benjamin+Franklin+Quotes>.