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Benjamin Franklin
Born 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.

  • Well done is better than well said.

  • I 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.

  • Our 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 taxes.

  • Those 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.

  • There never was a good war or a bad peace.

  • What 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.