January 17, 1706. Died April 17, 1790.
Inventor of the lightning rod, bifocals and the
Franklin stove. Publisher of "Poor
Richard's Almanacs". Member of the
Constitutional Convention of 1787.
done is better than well said.
think that a young state, like a young virgin, should
modestly stay at home, and wait the application of
suitors for an alliance with her; and not run about
offering her amity to all the world; and hazarding
their refusal . . . . Our virgin is a jolly one; and though
at present not very rich, will in time be a great
fortune, and where she has a favorable predisposition,
it seems to me well worth cultivating.
new Constitution is now established, and has an
appearance that promises permanency; but in this world
nothing can be said to be certain, except death and
who govern, having much business on their hands, do
not generally like to take the trouble of considering
and carrying into execution new projects. The best
public measures are therefore seldom adopted from
previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion.
never was a good war or a bad peace.
vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of
living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent
in wars had been employed in works of public utility;
what an extension of agriculture even to the tops of
our mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or
joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads,
and other public works, edifices, and improvements . .
. might not have been obtained by spending those
millions in doing good, which in the last war have
been spent in doing mischief.
There is no kind of dishonesty into
which otherwise good people more easily and frequently
fall than that of defrauding the government.
In rivers and bad governments, the
lightest things swim at the top.
In this world, nothing is certain
but death and taxes.