When I was a little girl, my mother bought me a book. It had a brown cover with yellow writing, and I read it over and over again, fascinated by the life of the man on which the book was based. He had grey hair, round spectacles, and a jolly look on his face. He didn’t wear a red and white suit and bring presents to kids; instead, this man was brilliant, flew a kite with a key, helped create our democracy, was a writer and a printer, and said memorable, quotable things.
His name was Ben Franklin, and he’s one of my favorite historical figures.
Several years ago, my husband bought me another book. This one is small, with a sketch of Ben Franklin on the cover wearing more rectangular spectacles, but still looking rather jolly. Knowing my love for quotes, my husband’s gift was a thoughtful one. The book is filled with Franklin’s quotes—so many of them, you’ll have a tough time keeping up.
How can one man have so much talent in his bones? A thinker, philosopher, dreamer, inventor, printer, innovator, statesman, newspaper man, and writer. He paved the way for the first subscription library. He made sure streets were lighted and clean.
I have nothing but respect for this gentleman. You know when you play the game with your friends—the one where you ask the following: “If you could spend the day with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?” My historical figure would be Ben. I’d like to buy him a drink. You see, he would be very happy if I bought him a beer (see below).
At this point in the blog post, I need not go on any longer about my affinity for the genius of this man. Instead, I’d like to just post a sampling of my favorite quotes that Ben Franklin said so you can see for yourself just how witty and wise he actually was, and how his thoughts and ideals still hold true today.
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In marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
If you would keep your secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.
When you speak to a man, look on his eyes; when he speaks to thee, look on his mouth.
Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
Fish and visitors stink after three days.
Well done is better than well said.
No better relations than a prudent and faithful friend.
Silence is not always a sign of wisdom, but babbling is ever a folly.
Work as if you were to live 100 years; pray as if you were to die tomorrow.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do.
The wise and brave dares own that he was wrong.
Trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee.