Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790) was one of the founding fathers of the United States and in many ways was "the First American". A world-renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among others. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A false friend and a shadow attend only when the sun shines.
A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
A good example is the best sermon.
A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.
A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost.
A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law.
A Traveler should have a hog's nose, deer's legs, and an ass's back.
An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow.
An empty bag cannot stand upright.
Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
Beauty and folly are old companions.
Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he will never be disappointed.
Creditors have better memories than debtors.
Distrust and caution are the parents of security.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
Don't judge a man's wealth- or his piety- by his appearance on Sunday.
Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.
Fatigue is the best pillow.
Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily crack'd, and never well mended.
God heals, the doctor takes the fee.
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
Half a truth is often a great lie.
He is a fool that cannot conceal his wisdom.
He that cannot obey, cannot command.
He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
He that speaks ill of the mare will buy her.
He who waits upon Fortune is never sure of Dinner.
He's a fool that makes his doctor his heir.
Hunger never saw bad bread.
I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment of knowledge always pays the best interest.
If Jack's in love, he's no judge of Jill's beauty.
If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it?
If you can't pay for a thing, don't buy it. If you can't get paid for it, don't sell it.
If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.
In rivers and bad governments, the lightest things swim at the top.
Industry need not wish, as Poor Richard says, and He that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no Gains, without Pains.
It is the eyes of other people that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture.
Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.
Many foxes grow gray, but few grow good.
Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.
Many men die at twenty-five and aren't buried until they are seventy-five.
Most fools think they are only ignorant.
Necessity knows no law; I know some attorneys of the same.
Necessity never made a good bargin.
One good husband is worth two good wives; for the scarcer things are, the more they are valued.
One Today is worth two Tomorrows.
Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes.
Praise to the undeserving is severe satire.
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.
The absent are never without fault. Nor the present without excuse.
The best is the cheapest.
The cat in gloves catches no mice.
The greatest monarch on the proudest throne, is oblig'd to sit upon his own arse.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.
There are no ugly loves, nor handsome prisons.
There are three great friends: an old wife, an old dog and ready money.
There is much difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him.
There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.
There is nothing so absurd as knowledge spun too fine.
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.
Think about these things: Whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
To be proud of knowledge is to be blind with light.
Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying, too zealously, to make it easy for them.
Well done is better than well said.
What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
When the well's dry, we know the worth of water.
Where liberty is, there is my country.
Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
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.
Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.
Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble.
You cannot strengthen one by weakening another; and you cannot add to the stature of a dwarf by cutting off the leg of a giant.
You may delay, but Time will not.