Poor Richard’s Almanack (sometimes Almanac) was a yearly almanac published by Benjamin Franklin, who adopted the pseudonym of “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders” for this purpose. The publication appeared continually from 1732 to 1758. It was a best seller for a pamphlet published in the American colonies; print runs reached 10,000 per year.
Poor Richard’s Almanack (sometimes Almanac) was a yearly almanac published by Benjamin Franklin, who adopted the pseudonym of “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders” for this purpose. The publication appeared continually from 1732 to 1758. It was a best seller for a pamphlet published in the American colonies; print runs reached 10,000 per year.
As no temporal Concern is of more Importance to us than Health, and that depends so much on the Air we every Moment breathe, the Choice of a good wholesome Situation to fix a Dwelling in, is a very serious Affair to every Countryman about to begin the World, and well worth his Consideration, especially as not only the Comfort of Living, but even the Necessaries of Life, depend in a great Measure upon it; since a Family frequently sick can rarely if ever thrive. The following Extracts therefore from a late Medical Writer, Dr. Pringle, on that Subject, will, I hope, be acceptable and useful to some of my Readers.
I hear that some have already, to their great Advantage, put in Practice the Use of Oxen recommended in my last. ’Tis a Pleasure to me to be any way serviceable in communicating useful Hints to the Publick; and I shall be obliged to others for affording me the Opportunity of enjoying that Pleasure more frequently, by sending me from time to time such of their own Observations, as may be advantageous if published in the Almanack.
I am thy obliged Friend,
How to make a STRIKING SUNDIAL, by which not only a Man’s own Family, but all his Neighbours for ten Miles round, may know what o Clock it is, when the Sun shines, without seeing the Dial.
Choose an open Place in your Yard or Garden, on which the Sun may shine all Day without any Impediment from Trees or Buildings. On the Ground mark out your Hour Lines, as for a horizontal Dial, according to Art, taking Room enough for the Guns. On the Line for One o’ Clock, place one Gun; on the Two o’ Clock Line two Guns, and so of the rest. The Guns must all be charged with Powder, but Ball is unnecessary. Your Gnomon or Style must have twelve burning Glasses annex’d to it, and be so placed as that the Sun shining through the Glasses, one after the other, shall cause the Focus or burning Spot to fall on the Hour Line of One, for Example, at one a Clock, and there kindle a Train of Gunpowder that shall fire one Gun. At Two a Clock, a Focus shall fall on the Hour Line of Two, and kindle another Train that shall discharge two Guns successively; and so of the rest.
Note, There must be 78 Guns in all. Thirty-two Pounders will be best for this Use; but 18 Pounders may do, and will cost less, as well as use less Powder, for nine Pounds of Powder will do for one Charge of each eighteen Pounder, whereas the Thirty-two Pounders would require for each Gun 16 Pounds.
Note also, That the chief Expence will be the Powder, for the Cannon once bought, will, with Care, last 100 Years.
Note moreover, That there will be a great Saving of Powder in cloudy Days.
Kind Reader, Methinks I hear thee say, That it is indeed a good Thing to know how the Time passes, but this Kind of Dial, notwithstanding the mentioned Savings, would be very expensive; and the Cost greater than the Advantage. Thou art wise, my Friend, to be so considerate beforehand; some Fools would not have found out so much, till they had made the Dial and try’d it. Let all such learn that many a private and many a publick Project, are like this Striking Dial, great Cost for little Profit.
He that would rise at Court, must begin by Creeping.
Many a Man’s own Tongue gives Evidence against his Understanding.
Nothing dries sooner than a Tear.
Tis easier to build two Chimneys, than maintain one in Fuel.
Anger warms the Invention, but overheats the Oven.
It is Ill-Manners to silence a Fool, and Cruelty to let him go on.
Scarlet, Silk and Velvet, have put out the Kitchen Fire.
He that would catch Fish, must venture his Bait.
Men take more pains to mask than mend.
One To-day is worth two To-morrows.
Since Man is but of a very limited Power in his own Person, and consequently can effect no great Matter merely by his own personal Strength, but as he acts in Society and Conjunction with others; and since no Man can engage the active Assistance of others, without first engaging their Trust; And moreover, since Men will trust no further than they judge one, for his Sincerity, fit to be trusted; it follows, that a discovered Dissembler can atchieve nothing great or considerable. For not being able to gain Mens Trust, he cannot gain their Concurrence; and so is left alone to act singly and upon his own Bottom; and while that is the Sphere of his Activity, all that he can do must needs be contemptible.
Sincerity has such resistless Charms,
She oft the fiercest of our Foes disarms:
No Art she knows, in native Whiteness dress’d,
Her Thoughts all pure, and therefore all express’d:
She takes from Error its Deformity;
And without her all other Virtues die.
Bright Source of Goodness! to my Aid descend,
Watch o’er my Heart, and all my Words attend.
The way to be safe, is never to be secure.
Dally not with other Folks Women or Money.
Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die To-morrow.
It is generally agreed to be Folly, to hazard the Loss of a Friend, rather than lose a Jest. But few consider how easily a Friend may be thus lost. Depending on the known Regard their Friends have for them, Jesters take more Freedom with Friends than they would dare to do with others, little thinking how much deeper we are wounded by an Affront from one we love. But the strictest Intimacy can never warrant Freedoms of this Sort; and it is indeed preposterous to think they should; unless we can suppose Injuries are less Evils when they are done us by Friends, than when they come from other Hands.
Excess of Wit may oftentimes beguile:
Jests are not always pardon’d by a Smile.
Men may disguise their Malice at the Heart,
And seem at Ease tho’ pain’d with inward Smart.
Mistaken, we think all such Wounds of course
Reflection cures; alas! it makes them worse.
Like Scratches they with double Anguish seize,
Rankle in time, and fester by Degrees.
But sarcastical Jests on a Man’s Person or his Manners, tho’ hard to bear, are perhaps more easily borne than those that touch his Religion. Men are generally warm in what regards their religious Tenets, either from Tenderness of Conscience, or a high Sense of their own Judgments. People of plain Parts and honest Dispositions, look on Salvation as too serious a Thing to be jested with; and Men of speculative Religion, who profess from the Conviction rather of their Heads than Hearts, are not a bit less vehement than the real Devotees. He who says a slight or a severe Thing of their Faith, seems to them to have thereby undervalued their Understandings, and will consequently incur their Aversion, which no Man of common Sense would hazard for a lively Expression; much less a Person of good Breeding, who should make it his chief Aim to be well with all.
Like some grave Matron of a noble Line,
With awful Beauty does Religion shine.
Just Sense should teach us to revere the Dame,
Nor, by imprudent Jests, to spot her Fame.
In common Life you’ll own this Reas’ning right,
That none but Fools in gross Abuse delight:
Then use it here nor think the Caution vain;
To be polite, Men need not be profane.
Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, supped with Infamy.
Retirement does not always secure Virtue; Lot was upright in the City, wicked in the Mountain.
Idleness is the Dead Sea, that swallows all Virtues: Be active in Business, that Temptation may miss her Aim: The Bird that sits, is easily shot.
Shame and the Dry-belly-ach were Diseases of the last Age; this seems to be cured of them.
In studying Law or Physick, or any other Art or Science, by which you propose to get your Livelihood, though you find it at first hard, difficult and unpleasing, use Diligence, Patience and Perseverance; the Irksomness of your Task will thus diminish daily, and your Labour shall finally be crowned with Success. You shall go beyond all your Competitors who are careless, idle or superficial in their Acquisitions, and be at the Head of your Profession. Ability will command Business, Business Wealth; and Wealth an easy and honourable Retirement when Age shall require it.
Near to the wide extended Coasts of Spain,
Some Islands triumph o’er the raging Main;
Where dwelt of old, as tuneful Poets say,
Slingers, who bore from all the Prize away.
While Infants yet, their feeble Nerves they try’d;
Nor needful Food, till won by Art, supply’d.
Fix’d was the Mark, the Youngster oft in vain,
Whirl’d the misguided Stone with fruitless Pain:
‘Till, by long Practice, to Perfection brought,
With easy Sleight their former Task they wrought.
Swift from their Arm th’ unerring Pebble flew,
And high in Air, the flutt’ring Victim slew.
So in each Art Men rise but by Degrees,
And Months of Labour lead to Years of Ease.
Tho’ the Mastiff be gentle, yet bite him not by the Lip.
Great-Alms-giving, lessens no Man’s Living.
The royal Crown cures not the Head-ach.
Act uprightly, and despise Calumny; Dirt may stick to a Mud Wall, but not to polish’d Marble.
I. The Christians observe the first Day of the Week for their Sunday, the Jews the Seventh for their Sabbath, the Turks the sixth Day of the Week for the Time of their Worship; but there is a particular Place of the Globe, to which if a Christian, Jew, and Turk sail in one and the same Ship, they shall keep the Time for their Worship on different Days, as above, all the Time they are sailing to that particular Place; but when they arrive at that Place, and during the Time they remain at it, they shall all keep their Sabbath on one and the same Day; but when they depart from that Place, they shall all differ as before.
II. There is a certain Port, from which if three Ships depart at one and the same time, and sail on three particular different Courses, till they return to the Port they departed from; and if in one of these Ships be Christians, in the second Jews, and in the third Turks, when they return to the Port they departed from, they shall differ so with respect to real and apparent Time, that they all shall keep their Sabbath on one and the same Day of the Week, and yet each of them separately shall believe that he keeps his Sabbath on the Day of the Week his Religion requires.
The Borrower is a Slave to the Lender; the Security to both.
Singularity in the right, hath ruined many: Happy those who are convinced of the general Opinion.
Proportion your Charity to the Strength of your Estate, or God will proportion your Estate to the Weakness of your Charity.
The Tongue offends, and the Ears get the Cuffing.
Some antient Philosophers have said, that Happiness depends more on the inward Disposition of Mind than on outward Circumstances; and that he who cannot be happy in any State, can be so in no State. To be happy, they tell us we must be content. Right. But they do not teach how we may become content. Poor Richard shall give you a short good Rule for that. To be content, look backward on those who possess less than yourself, not forward on those who possess more. If this does not make you content, you don’t deserve to be happy.
Sleep without Supping, and you’ll rise without owing for it.
When other Sins grow old by Time,
Then Avarice is in its prime,
Yet feed the Poor at Christmas time.
Learning is a valuable Thing in the Affairs of this Life, but of infinitely more Importance is Godliness, as it tends not only to make us happy here but hereafter. At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked, what Proficiency we have made in Languages or Philosophy; but whether we have liv’d virtuously and piously, as Men endued with Reason, guided by the Dictates of Religion. In that Hour it will more avail us, that we have thrown a Handful of Flour or Chaff in Charity to a Nest of contemptible Pismires, than that we could muster all the Hosts of Heaven, and call every Star by its proper Name. For then the Constellations themselves shall disappear, the Sun and Moon shall give no more Light, and all the Frame of Nature shall vanish. But our good or bad Works shall remain for ever, recorded in the Archives of Eternity.
Unmov’d alone the Virtuous now appear,
And in their Looks a calm Assurance wear.
From East, from West, from North and South they come,
To take from the most righteous Judge their Doom;
Who thus, to them, with a serene Regard;
(The Books of Life before him laid,
And all the secret Records wide display’d)
“According to your Works be your Reward:
Possess immortal Kingdoms as your Due,
Prepar’d from an eternal Date for you.”
I have heard that nothing gives an Author so great Pleasure, as to find his Works respectfully quoted by other learned Authors. This Pleasure I have seldom enjoyed; for tho’ I have been, if I may say it without Vanity, an eminent Author of Almanacks annually now a full Quarter of a Century, my Brother Authors in the same Way, for what Reason I know not, have ever been very sparing in their Applauses; and no other Author has taken the least Notice of me, so that did not my Writings produce me some solid Pudding, the great Deficiency of Praise would have quite discouraged me.
I concluded at length, that the People were the best Judges of my Merit; for they buy my Works; and besides, in my Rambles, where I am not personally known, I have frequently heard one or other of my Adages repeated, with, as Poor Richard says, at the End on’t; this gave me some Satisfaction, as it showed not only that my Instructions were regarded, but discovered likewise some Respect for my Authority; and I own, that to encourage the Practice of remembering and repeating those wise Sentences, I have sometimes quoted myself with great Gravity.
Judge then how much I must have been gratified by an Incident I am going to relate to you. I stopt my Horse lately where a great Number of People were collected at a Vendue of Merchant Goods. The Hour of Sale not being come, they were conversing on the Badness of the Times, and one of the Company call’d to a plain clean old Man, with white Locks, Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the Times? Won’t these heavy Taxes quite ruin the Country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to? Father Abraham stood up, and reply’d, If you’d have my Advice, I’ll give it you in short, for a Word to the Wise is enough, and many Words won’t fill a Bushel, as Poor Richard says. They join’d in desiring him to speak his Mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows;
Friends, says he, and Neighbours, the Taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the Government were the only Ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our Idleness, three times as much by our Pride, and four times as much by our Folly, and from these Taxes the Commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an Abatement. However let us hearken to good Advice, and something may be done for us; God helps them that help themselves, as Poor Richard says, in his Almanack of 1733.
It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one tenth Part of their Time, to be employed in its Service. But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing. Sloth, by bringing on Diseases, absolutely shortens Life. Sloth, like Rust, consumes faster than Labour wears, while the used Key is always bright, as Poor Richard says. But dost thou love Life, then do not squander Time, for that’s the Stuff Life is made of, as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in Sleep! forgetting that The sleeping Fox catches no Poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the Grave, as Poor Richard says. If Time be of all Things the most precious, wasting Time must be, as Poor Richard says, the greatest Prodigality, since, as he elsewhere tells us, Lost Time is never found again; and what we call Time-enough, always proves little enough: Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the Purpose; so by Diligence shall we do more with less Perplexity. Sloth makes all Things difficult, but Industry all easy, as Poor Richard says; and He that riseth late, must trot all Day, and shall scarce overtake his Business at Night. While Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon over-takes him, as we read in Poor Richard, who adds, Drive thy Business, let not that drive thee; and Early to Bed, and early to rise, makes a Man healthy, wealthy and wise.
So what signifies wishing and hoping for better Times. We may make these Times better if we bestir ourselves. Industry need not wish, as Poor Richard says, and He that lives upon Hope will die fasting. There are no Gains, without Pains; then Help Hands, for I have no Lands, or if I have, they are smartly taxed. And, as Poor Richard likewise observes, He that hath a Trade hath an Estate, and He that hath a Calling hath an Office of Profit and Honour; but then the Trade must be worked at, and the Calling well followed, or neither the Estate, nor the Office, will enable us to pay our Taxes. If we are industrious we shall never starve; for, as Poor Richard says, At the working Man’s House Hunger looks in, but dares not enter. Nor will the Bailiff or the Constable enter, for Industry pays Debts, while Despair encreaseth them, says Poor Richard. What though you have found no Treasure, nor has any rich Relation left you a Legacy, Diligence is the Mother of Good-luck, as Poor Richard says, and God gives all Things to Industry. Then plough deep, while Sluggards sleep, and you shall have Corn to sell and to keep, says Poor Dick. Work while it is called To-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered To-morrow, which makes Poor Richard say, One To-day is worth two To-morrows; and farther, Have you somewhat to do To-morrow, do it To-day. If you were a Servant, would you not be ashamed that a good Master should catch you idle? Are you then your own Master, be ashamed to catch yourself idle, as Poor Dick says. When there is so much to be done for yourself, your Family, your Country, and your gracious King, be up by Peep of Day; Let not the Sun look down and say, Inglorious here he lies. Handle your Tools without Mittens; remember that the Cat in Gloves catches no Mice, as Poor Richard says. ‘Tis true there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak handed, but stick to it steadily, and you will see great Effects, for constant Dropping wears away Stones, and by Diligence and Patience the Mouse ate in two the Cable; and little Strokes fell great Oaks, as Poor Richard says in his Almanack, the Year I cannot just now remember.
Methinks I hear some of you say, Must a Man afford himself no Leisure? I will tell thee, my Friend, what Poor Richard says, Employ thy Time well if thou meanest to gain Leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a Minute, throw not away an Hour. Leisure, is Time for doing something useful; this Leisure the diligent Man will obtain, but the lazy Man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a Life of Leisure and a Life of Laziness are two Things. Do you imagine that Sloth will afford you more Comfort than Labour? No, for as Poor Richard says, Trouble springs from Idleness, and grievous Toil from needless Ease. Many without Labour, would live by their WITS only, but they break for want of Stock. Whereas Industry gives Comfort, and Plenty, and Respect: Fly Pleasures, and they’ll follow you. The diligent Spinner has a large Shift; and now I have a Sheep and a Cow, every Body bids me Good morrow; all which is well said by Poor Richard.
But with our Industry, we must likewise be steady, settled and careful, and oversee our own Affairs with our own Eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as Poor Richard says,
I never saw an oft removed Tree,
Nor yet an oft removed Family,
That throve so well as those that settled be.
And again, Three Removes is as bad as a Fire; and again, Keep thy Shop, and thy Shop will keep thee; and again, If you would have your Business done, go; If not, send. And again,
He that by the Plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.
And again, The Eye of a Master will do more Work than both his Hands; and again, Want of Care does us more Damage than Want of Knowledge; and again, Not to oversee Workmen, is to leave them your Purse open. Trusting too much to others Care is the Ruin of many; for, as the Almanack says, In the Affairs of this World, Men are saved, not by Faith, but by the Want of it; but a Man’s own Care is profitable; for, saith Poor Dick, Learning is to the Studious, and Riches to the Careful, as well as Power to the Bold, and Heaven to the Virtuous. And farther, If you would have a faithful Servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. And again, he adviseth to Circumspection and Care, even in the smallest Matters, because sometimes a little Neglect may breed great Mischief; adding, For want of a Nail the Shoe was lost; for want of a Shoe the Horse was lost; and for want of a Horse the Rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the Enemy, all for want of Care about a Horse-shoe Nail.
So much for Industry, my Friends, and Attention to one’s own Business; but to these we must add Frugality, if we would make our Industry more certainly successful. A Man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his Nose all his Life to the Grindstone, and die not worth a Groat at last. A fat Kitchen makes a lean Will, as Poor Richard says; and,
Many Estates are spent in the Getting,
Since Women for Tea forsook Spinning and Knitting,
And Men for Punch forsook Hewing and Splitting.
If you would be wealthy, says he, in another Almanack, think of Saving as well as of Getting: The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her Outgoes are greater than her Incomes. Away then with your expensive Follies, and you will not have so much Cause to complain of hard Times, heavy Taxes, and chargeable Families; for, as Poor Dick says,
Women and Wine, Game and Deceit,
Make the Wealth small, and the Wants great.
And farther, What maintains one Vice, would bring up two Children. You may think perhaps, That a little Tea, or a little Punch now and then, Diet a little more costly, Clothes a little finer, and a little Entertainment now and then, can be no great Matter; but remember what Poor Richard says, Many a Little makes a Mickle; and farther, Beware of little Expences; a small Leak will sink a great Ship; and again, Who Dainties love, shall Beggars prove; and moreover, Fools make Feasts, and wise Men eat them.
Here you are all got together at this Vendue of Fineries and Knicknacks. You call them Goods, but if you do not take Care, they will prove Evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may for less than they cost; but if you have no Occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says, Buy what thou hast no Need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy Necessaries. And again, At a great Pennyworth pause a while: He means, that perhaps the Cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the Bargain, by straitning thee in thy Business, may do thee more Harm than Good. For in another Place he says, Many have been ruined by buying good Pennyworths. Again, Poor Richard says, ‘Tis foolish to lay out Money in a Purchase of Repentance; and yet this Folly is practised every Day at Vendues, for want of minding the Almanack. Wise Men, as Poor Dick says, learn by others Harms, Fools scarcely by their own; but, Felix quem faciunt aliena Pericula cautum. Many a one, for the Sake of Finery on the Back, have gone with a hungry Belly, and half starved their Families; Silks and Sattins, Scarlet and Velvets, as Poor Richard says, put out the Kitchen Fire. These are not the Necessaries of Life; they can scarcely be called the Conveniencies, and yet only because they look pretty, how many want to have them. The artificial Wants of Mankind thus become more numerous than the natural; and, as Poor Dick says, For one poor Person, there are an hundred indigent. By these, and other Extravagancies, the Genteel are reduced to Poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who through Industry and Frugality have maintained their Standing; in which Case it appears plainly, that a Ploughman on his Legs is higher than a Gentleman on his Knees, as Poor Richard says. Perhaps they have had a small Estate left them, which they knew not the Getting of; they think ‘tis Day, and will never be Night; that a little to be spent out of so much, is not worth minding; (a Child and a Fool, as Poor Richard says, imagine Twenty Shillings and Twenty Years can never be spent) but, always taking out of the Meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the Bottom; then, as Poor Dick says, When the Well’s dry, they know the Worth of Water. But this they might have known before, if they had taken his Advice; If you would know the Value of Money, go and try to borrow some; for, he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing; and indeed so does he that lends to such People, when he goes to get it in again. Poor Dick farther advises, and says,
Fond Pride of Dress, is sure a very Curse;
E’er Fancy you consult, consult your Purse.
And again, Pride is as loud a Beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy. When you have bought one fine Thing you must buy ten more, that your Appearance may be all of a Piece; but Poor Dick says, ‘Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it. And ‘tis as truly Folly for the Poor to ape the Rich, as for the Frog to swell, in order to equal the Ox.
Great Estates may venture more,
But little Boats should keep near Shore.
‘Tis however a Folly soon punished; for Pride that dines on Vanity sups on Contempt, as Poor Richard says. And in another Place, Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy. And after all, of what Use is this Pride of Appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered? It cannot promote Health, or ease Pain; it makes no Increase of Merit in the Person, it creates Envy, it hastens Misfortune.
What is a Butterfly? At best
He’s but a Caterpillar drest.
The gaudy Fop’s his Picture just,
as Poor Richard says.
But what Madness must it be to run in Debt for these Superfluities! We are offered, by the Terms of this Vendue, Six Months Credit; and that perhaps has induced some of us to attend it, because we cannot spare the ready Money, and hope now to be fine without it. But, ah, think what you do when you run in Debt; You give to another Power over your Liberty. If you cannot pay at the Time, you will be ashamed to see your Creditor; you will be in Fear when you speak to him; you will make poor pitiful sneaking Excuses, and by Degrees come to lose your Veracity, and sink into base downright lying; for, as Poor Richard says, The second Vice is Lying, the first is running in Debt. And again, to the same Purpose, Lying rides upon Debt’s Back. Whereas a freeborn Englishman ought not to be ashamed or afraid to see or speak to any Man living. But Poverty often deprives a Man of all Spirit and Virtue: ‘Tis hard for an empty Bag to stand upright, as Poor Richard truly says. What would you think of that Prince, or that Government, who should issue an Edict forbidding you to dress like a Gentleman or a Gentlewoman, on Pain of Imprisonment or Servitude? Would you not say, that you are free, have a Right to dress as you please, and that such an Edict would be a Breach of your Privileges, and such a Government tyrannical? And yet you are about to put yourself under that Tyranny when you run in Debt for such Dress! Your Creditor has Authority at his Pleasure to deprive you of your Liberty, by confining you in Goal for Life, or to sell you for a Servant, if you should not be able to pay him! When you have got your Bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of Payment; but Creditors, Poor Richard tells us, have better Memories than Debtors; and in another Place says, Creditors are a superstitious Sect, great Observers of set Days and Times. The Day comes round before you are aware, and the Demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it. Or if you bear your Debt in Mind, the Term which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extreamly short. Time will seem to have added Wings to his Heels as well as Shoulders. Those have a short Lent, saith Poor Richard, who owe Money to be paid at Easter. Then since, as he says, The Borrower is a Slave to the Lender, and the Debtor to the Creditor, disdain the Chain, preserve your Freedom; and maintain your Independency: Be industrious and free; be frugal and free. At present, perhaps, you may think yourself in thriving Circumstances, and that you can bear a little Extravagance without Injury; but,
For Age and Want, save while you may;
No Morning Sun lasts a whole Day,
as Poor Richard says. Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but ever while you live, Expence is constant and certain; and ‘tis easier to build two Chimnies than to keep one in Fuel, as Poor Richard says. So rather go to Bed supperless than rise in Debt.
Get what you can, and what you get hold;
Tis the Stone that will turn all your Lead into Gold,
as Poor Richard says.
And when you have got the Philosopher’s Stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad Times, or the Difficulty of paying Taxes.
This Doctrine, my Friends, is Reason and Wisdom; but after all, do not depend too much upon your own Industry, and Frugality, and Prudence, though excellent Things, for they may all be blasted without the Blessing of Heaven; and therefore ask that Blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.
And now to conclude, Experience keeps a dear School, but Fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that; for it is true, we may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct, as Poor Richard says: However, remember this, They that won’t be counselled, can’t be helped, as Poor Richard says: And farther, That if you will not hear Reason, she’ll surely rap your Knuckles.”
Thus the old Gentleman ended his Harangue. The People heard it, and approved the Doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common Sermon; for the Vendue opened, and they began to buy extravagantly, notwithstanding all his Cautions, and their own Fear of Taxes. I found the good Man had thoroughly studied my Almanacks, and digested all I had dropt on those Topicks during the Course of Five-and-twenty Years. The frequent Mention he made of me must have tired any one else, but my Vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth Part of the Wisdom was my own which he ascribed to me, but rather the Gleanings I had made of the Sense of all Ages and Nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the Echo of it; and though I had at first determined to buy Stuff for a new Coat, I went away resolved to wear my old One a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy Profit will be as great as mine.
I am, as ever,
Thine to serve thee,
July 7, 1757.
One Nestor is worth two Ajaxes.
When you’re an Anvil, hold you still;
When you’re a Hammer, strike your Fill.
When Knaves betray each other, one can scarce be blamed, or the other pitied.
He that carries a small Crime easily, will carry it on when it comes to be an Ox.
Happy Tom Crump, ne’er sees his own Hump.
Fools need Advice most, but wise Men only are the better for it.
Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a Mark of Folly.
Great Modesty often hides great Merit.
You may delay, but Time will not.
Virtue may not always make a Face handsome, but Vice will certainly make it ugly.
Prodigality of Time, produces Poverty of Mind as well as of Estate.
Content is the Philosopher’s Stone, that turns all it touches into Gold.
He that’s content, hath enough; He that complains, has too much.
Pride gets into the Coach, and Shame mounts behind.
The first Mistake in publick Business, is the going into it.
Half the Truth is often a great Lie.
The Way to see by Faith, is to shut the Eye of Reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.
A full Belly makes a dull Brain: The Muses starve in a Cook’s Shop.
Spare and have is better than spend and crave.
Good-Will, like the Wind, floweth where it listeth.
The Honey is sweet, but the Bee has a Sting.
In a corrupt Age, the putting the World in order would breed Confusion; then e’en mind your own Business.
To serve the Publick faithfully, and at the same time please it entirely, is impracticable.
Proud Modern Learning despises the antient: School-men are now laught at by School-boys.
Men often mistake themselves, seldom forget themselves.
The idle Man is the Devil’s Hireling; whose Livery is Rags, whose Diet and Wages are Famine and Diseases.
Rob not God, nor the Poor, lest thou ruin thyself; the Eagle snatcht a Coal from the Altar, but it fired her Nest.
With bounteous Cheer,
Conclude the Year.
It is a common Saying, that One Half of the World does not know how the other Half lives. To add somewhat to your Knowledge in that Particular, I gave you in a former Almanack, an Account of the Manner of living at Hudson’s-Bay, and the Effects produced by the excessive Cold of that Climate, which seem’d so strange to some of you, that it was taken for a Romance, tho’ really authentick. In this, I shall give you some Idea of a Country under the Torrid Zone, which for the Variety of its Weather (where one would naturally expect the greatest Uniformity) is extreamly remarkable. The Account is extracted from the Journal of Monsieur Bouguer, one of the French Academicians, sent by their King to measure a Degree of Latitude under the Equinoctial, in order to settle a Dispute between the English and French Philosophers concerning the Shape of the Earth, others being at the same Time sent for the same Purpose to Lapland, under the Polar Circle. The Mountains in that Country are so lofty, that the highest we have, being compared to them, are mere Mole-hills. This Extract relates chiefly to the Country among those Mountains.
The Method of this Almanack is the same I have observed for some Years past; only in the third Column the Names of some of the principal fixed Stars are put down against those Days on which they come to the Meridian at nine a Clock in the Evening, whereby those unacquainted, may learn to know them. I am,
Your obliged Friend and Servant,
A Man without a Wife, is but half a Man.
Speak little, do much.
He that would travel much, should eat little.
When the Wine enters, out goes the Truth.
If you would be loved, love and be loveable.
Ask and have, is sometimes dear buying.
The hasty Bitch brings forth blind Puppies.
Where there is Hunger, Law is not regarded; and where Law is not regarded, there will be Hunger.
Two dry Sticks will burn a green One.
The honest Man takes Pains, and then enjoys Pleasures; the Knave takes Pleasure, and then suffers Pains.
Think of three Things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.
Necessity has no Law; Why? Because ‘tis not to be had without Money.
There was never a good Knife made of bad Steel.
The Wolf sheds his Coat once a Year, his Disposition never.
Who is wise? He that learns from every One.
Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody.
A full Belly brings forth every Evil.
The Day is short, the Work great, the Workmen lazy, the Wages high, the Master urgeth; Up, then, and be doing.
The Doors of Wisdom are never shut.
Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men.
The Master’s Eye will do more Work than both his Hands.
When you taste Honey, remember Gall.
Being ignorant is not so much a Shame, as being unwilling to learn.
God gives all Things to Industry.
An hundred Thieves cannot strip one naked Man, especially if his Skin’s off.
Diligence overcomes Difficulties, Sloth makes them.
Neglect mending a small Fault, and ‘twill soon be a great One.
Bad Gains are truly Losses.
A long Life may not be good enough, but a good Life is long enough.
Be at War with your Vices, at Peace with your Neighbours, and let every New-Year find you a better Man.
I have now serv’d you three Apprenticeships, yet, old as I am, I have no Inclination to quit your Service, but should be glad to be able to continue in it three times three Apprenticeships longer.
The first Astrologers I think, were honest Husbandmen; and so it seems are the last; for my Brethren Jerman and Moore, and myself, the only remaining Almanack-makers of this Country, are all of that Class: Tho’ in intermediate Times our Art has been cultivated in great Cities, and even in the Courts of Princes; witness History, from the Days of King NEBUCHADNEZZAR I. of Babylon, to those of Queen JAMES I. of England. But you will ask, perhaps, how I prove that the first Astrologers were Countrymen? I own this is a Matter beyond the Memory of History, for Astrology was before Letters; but I prove it from the Book of the Heavens, from the Names of the twelve Signs, which were mostly given to remark some Circumstance relative to rural Affairs, in the several successive Months of the Year, and by that Means to supply the Want of Almanacks. Thus, as the Year of the Ancients began most naturally with the Spring, Aries and Taurus, that is, the Ram and the Bull, represented the successive Addition to their Flocks of Sheep and Kine, by their Produce in that Season, Lambs and Calves. Gemini were originally the Kids, but called the Twins, as Goats more commonly bring forth two than one: These follow’d the Calves. Cancer, the Crab, came next, when that Kind of Fish were in Season. Then follow’d Leo, the Lion, and Virgo, the Wench, to mark the Summer Months, and Dog-days, when those Creatures were most mischievous. In Autumn comes first Libra, the Ballance, to point out the Time for weighing and selling the Summer’s Produce; or rather, a Time of Leisure for holding Courts of Justice in which they might plague themselves and Neighbours; I know some suppose this Sign to signify the equal Poise, at that Time, of Day and Night; but the other Signification is the truer, as plainly appears by the following Sign Scorpio, or the Scorpion, with the Sting in his Tail, which certainly denotes the Paying of Costs. Then follows Sagittary, the Archer, to show the Season of Hunting; for now the Leaves being off the Trees and Bushes, the Game might be more easily seen and struck with their Arrows. The Goat accompanies the short Days and long Nights of Winter, to shew the Season of Mirth, Feasting and Jollity; for what can Capricorn mean, but Dancing or Cutting of Capers? At length comes Aquarius, or the Water-bearer, to show the Season of Snows, Rains and Floods; and lastly Pisces, or the two Shads, to denote the approaching Return of those Fish up the Rivers: Make your Wears, hawl your Seins; Catch ‘em and pickle ‘em, my Friends; they are excellent Relishers of old Cyder. But if you can’t get Shad, Mackrell may do better.
I know, gentle Readers, that many of you always expect a Preface, and think yourselves slighted if that’s omitted. So here you have it, and much good may’t do ye. As little as it is to the Purpose, there are many less so, now-a-days. I have left out, you see, all the usual Stuff about the Importunity of Friends, and the like, or I might have made it much bigger. You think, however, that ‘tis big enough o’Conscience, for any Matter of Good that’s in it; I think so too, if it fills the Page, which is the Needful at present, from
Your loving Friend to serve,
The first Degree of Folly, is to conceit one’s self wise; the second to profess it; the third to despise Counsel.
Take heed of the Vinegar of sweet Wine, and the Anger of Good-nature.
The Bell calls others to Church, but itself never minds the Sermon.
Cut the Wings of your Hens and Hopes, lest they lead you a weary Dance after them.
In Rivers & bad Governments, the lightest Things swim at top.
The Cat in Gloves catches no Mice.
If you’d know the Value of Money, go and borrow some.
The Horse thinks one thing, and he that saddles him another.
Love your Neighbour; yet don’t pull down your Hedge.
When Prosperity was well mounted, she let go the Bridle, and soon came tumbling out of the Saddle.
Some make Conscience of wearing a Hat in the Church, who make none of robbing the Altar.
In the Affairs of this World Men are saved, not by Faith, but by the Want of it.
Friendship cannot live with Ceremony, nor without Civility.
Praise little, dispraise less.
The learned Fool writes his Nonsense in better Language than the unlearned; but still ‘tis Nonsense.
A Child thinks 20 Shillings and 20 Years can scarce ever be spent.
Don’t think so much of your own Cunning, as to forget other Mens: A cunning Man is overmatch’d by a cunning Man and a Half.
Willows are weak, but they bind the Faggot.
You may give a Man an Office, but you cannot give him Discretion.
He that doth what he should not, shall feel what he would not.
To be intimate with a foolish Friend, is like going to bed to a Razor.
Little Rogues easily become great Ones.
You may sometimes be much in the wrong, in owning your being in the right.
Friends are the true Sceptres of Princes.
Where Sense is wanting, every thing is wanting.
Many Princes sin with David, but few repent with him.
He that hath no ill Fortune will be troubled with good.
For Age and Want save while you may;
No Morning Sun lasts a whole Day.
Learning to the Studious; Riches to the Careful; Power to the Bold; Heaven to the Virtuous.
Now glad the Poor with Christmas Cheer;
Thank God you’re able so to end the Year.
I suppose my Almanack may be worth the Money thou hast paid for it, hadst thou no other Advantage from it, than to find the Day of the Month, the remarkable Days, the Changes of the Moon, the Sun and Moon’s Rising and Setting, and to foreknow the Tides and the Weather; these, with other Astronomical Curiosities, I have yearly and constantly prepared for thy Use and Entertainment, during now near two Revolutions of the Planet Jupiter. But I hope this is not all the Advantage thou hast reaped; for with a View to the Improvement of thy Mind and thy Estate, I have constantly interspers’d in every little Vacancy, Moral Hints, Wise Sayings, and Maxims of Thrift, tending to impress the Benefits arising from Honesty, Sobriety, Industry and Frugality; which if thou hast duly observed, it is highly probable thou art wiser and richer many fold more than the Pence my Labours have cost thee. Howbeit, I shall not therefore raise my Price because thou art better able to pay; but being thankful for past Favours, shall endeavour to make my little Book more worthy thy Regard, by adding to those Recipes which were intended for the Cure of the Mind, some valuable Ones regarding the Health of the Body. They are recommended by the Skilful, and by successful Practice. I wish a Blessing may attend the Use of them, and to thee all Happiness, being
Thy obliged Friend,
A Change of Fortune hurts a wise Man no more than a Change of the Moon.
Does Mischief, Misconduct, & Warrings displease ye;
Think there’s a Providence, ‘twill make ye easy.
Mine is better than Ours.
Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.
He that has a Trade, has an Office of Profit and Honour.
Be civil to all; serviceable to many; familiar with few; Friend to one; Enemy to none.
Vain-Glory flowereth, but beareth no Fruit.
As I spent some Weeks last Winter, in visiting my old Acquaintance in the Jerseys, great Complaints I heard for Want of Money, and that Leave to make more Paper Bills could not be obtained. Friends and Countrymen, my Advice on this Head shall cost you nothing, and if you will not be angry with me for giving it, I promise you not to be offended if you do not take it.
You spend yearly at least Two Hundred Thousand Pounds, ‘tis said, in European, East-Indian, and West-Indian Commodities: Supposing one Half of this Expence to be in Things absolutely necessary, the other Half may be call’d Superfluities, or at best, Conveniences, which however you might live without for one little Year, and not suffer exceedingly. Now to save this Half, observe these few Directions.
1. When you incline to have new Cloaths, look first well over the old Ones, and see if you cannot shift with them another Year, either by Scouring, Mending, or even Patching if necessary. Remember a Patch on your Coat, and Money in your Pocket, is better and more creditable than a Writ on your Back, and no Money to take it off.
2. When you incline to buy China Ware, Chinces, India Silks, or any other of their flimsey slight Manufactures; I would not be so hard with you, as to insist on your absolutely resolving against it; all I advise, is, to put it off (as you do your Repentance) till another Year; and this, in some Respects, may prevent an Occasion of Repentance.
3. If you are now a Drinker of Punch, Wine or Tea, twice a Day; for the ensuing Year drink them but once a Day. If you now drink them but once a Day, do it but every other Day. If you do it now but once a Week, reduce the Practice to once a Fortnight. And if you do not exceed in Quantity as you lessen the Times, half your Expence in these Articles will be saved.
4thly and lastly, When you incline to drink Rum, fill the Glass half with Water.
Thus at the Year’s End, there will be An Hundred Thousand Pounds more Money in your Country.
If Paper Money in ever so great a Quantity could be made, no Man could get any of it without giving something for it. But all he saves in this Way, will be his own for nothing; and his Country actually so much richer. Then the Merchants old and doubtful Debts may be honestly paid off, and Trading become surer thereafter, if not so extensive.
Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Trouble springs from Idleness; Toil from Ease.
Love, and be loved.
A wise Man will desire no more, than what he may get justly, use soberly, distribute chearfully, and leave contentedly.
The diligent Spinner has a large Shift.
A false Friend and a Shadow, attend only while the Sun shines.
To-morrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that To-morrow never comes.
Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep;
And you shall have Corn, to sell and to keep.
He that sows Thorns, should never go barefoot.
Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him.
Sampson with his strong Body, had a weak Head, or he would not have laid it in a Harlot’s Lap.
When a Friend deals with a Friend
Let the Bargain be clear and well penn’d,
That they may continue Friends to the End.
He that never eats too much, will never be lazy.
To be proud of Knowledge, is to be blind with Light; to be proud of Virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote.
Get what you can, and what you get, hold;
‘Tis the Stone that will turn all your Lead into Gold.
An honest Man will receive neither Money nor Praise, that is not his Due.
Well, my Friend, thou art now just entering the last Month of another Year. If thou art a Man of Business, and of prudent Care, belike thou wilt now settle thy Accounts, to satisfy thyself whether thou hast gain’d or lost in the Year past, and how much of either, the better to regulate thy future Industry or thy common Expences. This is commendable. But it is not all. Wilt thou not examine also thy moral Accompts, and see what Improvements thou hast made in the Conduct of Life, what Vice subdued, what Virtue acquired; how much better, and how much wiser, as well as how much richer thou art grown? What shall it profit a Man, if he gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Without some Care in this Matter, tho’ thou may’st come to count thy Thousands, thou wilt possibly still appear poor in the Eyes of the Discerning, even here, and be really so for ever hereafter.
Saying and Doing, have quarrel’d and parted.
Tell me my Faults, and mend your own.
This is the twentieth Time of my addressing thee in this Manner, and I have reason to flatter myself my Labours have not been unacceptable to the Publick. I am particularly pleas’d to understand that my Predictions of the Weather give such general Satisfaction; and indeed, such Care is taken in the Calculations, on which those Predictions are founded, that I could almost venture to say, there’s not a single One of them, promising Snow, Rain, Hail, Heat, Frost, Fogs, Wind, or Thunder, but what comes to pass punctually and precisely on the very Day, in some Place or other on this little diminutive Globe of ours; (and when you consider the vast Distance of the Stars from whence we take our Aim, you must allow it no small Degree of Exactness to hit any Part of it) I say on this Globe; for tho’ in other Matters I confine the Usefulness of my Ephemeris to the Northern Colonies, yet in that important Matter of the Weather, which is of such general Concern, I would have it more extensively useful, and therefore take in both Hemispheres, and all Latitudes from Hudson’s Bay to Cape Horn.
You will find this Almanack in my former Method, only conformable to the New-Stile established by the Act of Parliament, which I gave you in my last at length; the new Act since made for Amendment of that first Act, not affecting us in the least, being intended only to regulate some Corporation Matters in England, before unprovided for. I have only added a Column in the second Page of each Month, containing the Days of the Old Stile opposite to their corresponding Days in the New, which may, in many Cases, be of Use; and so conclude (believing you will excuse a short Preface, when it is to make Room for something better)
Thy Friend and Servant,
‘Tis against some Mens Principle to pay Interest, and seems against others Interest to pay the Principal.
Philosophy as well as Foppery often changes Fashion.
Setting too good an Example is a Kind of Slander seldom forgiven; ‘tis Scandalum Magnatum.
A great Talker may be no Fool, but he is one that relies on him.
When Reason preaches, if you won’t hear her she’ll box your Ears.
It is not Leisure that is not used.
The Good-will of the Governed will be starv’d, if not fed by the good Deeds of the Governors.
Paintings and Fightings are best seen at a distance.
If you would reap Praise you must sow the Seeds,
Gentle Words and useful Deeds.
Ignorance leads Men into a Party, and Shame keeps them from getting out again.
Haste makes Waste.
Many have quarrel’d about Religion, that never practis’d it.
Sudden Power is apt to be insolent, Sudden Liberty saucy; that behaves best which has grown gradually.
He that best understands the World, least likes it.
Anger is never without a Reason, but seldom with a good One.
He that is of Opinion Money will do every Thing, may well be suspected of doing every Thing for Money.
An ill Wound, but not an ill Name, may be healed.
When out of Favour, none know thee; when in, thou dost not know thyself.
A lean Award is better than a fat Judgment.
God, Parents, and Instructors, can never be requited.
He that builds before he counts the Cost, acts foolishly; and he that counts before he builds, finds he did not count wisely.
Patience in Market, is worth Pounds in a Year.
Danger is Sauce for Prayers.
If you have no Honey in your Pot, have some in your Mouth.
A Pair of good Ears will drain dry an hundred Tongues.
Serving God is Doing Good to Man, but Praying is thought an easier Service, and therefore more generally chosen.
Nothing humbler than Ambition, when it is about to climb.
The discontented Man finds no easy Chair.
Virtue and a Trade, are a Child’s best Portion.
Gifts much expected, are paid, not given.
How to secure Houses, &c. from LIGHTNING.
It has pleased God in his Goodness to Mankind, at length to discover to them the Means of securing their Habitations and other Buildings from Mischief by Thunder and Lightning. The Method is this: Provide a small Iron Rod (it may be made of the Rod-iron used by the Nailers) but of such a Length, that one End being three or four Feet in the moist Ground, the other may be six or eight Feet above the highest Part of the Building. To the upper End of the Rod fasten about a Foot of Brass Wire, the Size of a common Knitting-needle, sharpened to a fine Point; the Rod may be secured to the House by a few small Staples. If the House or Barn be long, there may be a Rod and Point at each End, and a middling Wire along the Ridge from one to the other. A House thus furnished will not be damaged by Lightning, it being attracted by the Points, and passing thro the Metal into the Ground without hurting any Thing. Vessels also, having a sharp pointed Rod fix’d on the Top of their Masts, with a Wire from the Foot of the Rod reaching down, round one of the Shrouds, to the Water, will not be hurt by Lightning.
Since the King and Parliament have thought fit to alter our Year, by taking eleven Days out of September, 1752, and directing us to begin our Account for the future on the First of January, some Account of the Changes the Year hath heretofore undergone, and the Reasons of them, may a little gratify thy Curiosity.
The Vicissitude of Seasons seems to have given Occasion to the first Institution of the Year. Man naturally curious to know the Cause of that Diversity, soon found it was the Nearness and Distance of the Sun; and upon this, gave the Name Year to the Space of Time wherein that Luminary, performing his whole Course, returned to the same Point of his Orbit.
And hence, as it was on Account of the Seasons, in a great Measure, that the Year was instituted, their chief Regard and Attention was, that the same Parts of the Year should always correspond to the same Seasons; i. e. that the Beginning of the Year should always be when the Sun was in the same Point of his Orbit; and that they should keep Pace, come round, and end together.
This, different Nations aimed to attain by different Ways; making the Year to commence from different Points of the Zodiac; and even the Time of his Progress different. So that some of their Years were much more perfect than others, but none of them quite just; i. e. none of them but whose Parts shifted with Regard to the Parts of the Sun’s Course.
It was the Egyptians, if we may credit Herodotus, that first formed the Year, making it to contain 360 Days, which they subdivided into twelve Months, of thirty Days each.
Mercury Trismegistus added five Days more to the Account. And on this Footing Thales is said to have instituted the Year among the Greeks. Tho’ that Form of the Year did not hold throughout all Greece. Add that the Jewish, Syrian, Roman, Persian, Ethiopic, Arabic, &c. Years, are all different.
In effect, considering the poor State of Astronomy in those Ages, it is no Wonder different People should disagree in the Calculus of the Sun’s Course. We are even assured by Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, and Pliny, that the Egyptian Year itself was at first very different from what it became afterwards.
According to our Account, the Solar Year, or the Interval of Time in which the Sun finishes his Course thro’ the Zodiac, and returns to the same Point thereof from which he had departed, is 365 Days, 5 Hours, 49 Minutes; tho’ some Astronomers make it a few Seconds, and some a whole Minute less; as Kepler, for Instance, who makes it 365 Days, 5 Hours, 48 Minutes, 57 Seconds, 39 Thirds. Ricciolus, 365 Days, 5 Hours, 48 Minutes. Tycho Brahe, 365 Days, 5 Hours, 48 Minutes.
The Civil Year is that Form of the Year which each Nation has contrived to compute Time by; or the Civil is the Tropical Year, considered as only consisting of a certain Number of whole Days; the odd Hours and Minutes being set aside, to render the Computation of Time in the common Occasions of Life more easy.
Hence as the Tropical Year is 365 Days, 5 Hours, 49 Minutes; the Civil Year is 365 Days. And hence also, as it is necessary to keep Pace with the Heavens, it is required that every fourth Year consist of 366 Days, which would for ever keep the Year exactly right, if the odd Hours of each Year were precisely 6.
The ancient Roman Year, as first settled by Romulus, consisted of ten Months only; viz. I. March, containing 31 Days. II. April, 30. III. May, 31. IV. June 30. V. Quintilis, 31. VI. Sextilis, 30. VII. September, 30. VIII. October, 31. IX. November, 30. X. December, 30; in all 304 Days; which came short of the Solar Year, by 61 Days.
Hence the Beginning of Romulus’s Year was vague, and unfixed to any precise Season; which Inconvenience to remove, that Prince ordered so many Days to be added yearly, as would make the State of the Heavens correspond to the first Month, without incorporating these additional Days, or calling them by the Name of any Month.
Numa Pompilius corrected this irregular Constitution of the Year, and composed two new Months, January and February, of the Days that were used to be added to the former Year. Thus, Numa’s Year consisted of twelve Months; viz. I. January, containing 29 Days. II. February, 28. III. March, 31. IV. April, 29. V. May, 31. VI. June, 29. VII. Quintilis, 31. VIII. Sextilis, 29. IX. September, 29. X. October, 31. XI. November, 29. XII. December, 29; in all 355 Days, which came short of the common Solar Year by ten Days; so that its Beginning was vague and unfixed.
Numa, however, desiring to have it fixed to the Winter Solstice, ordered 22 Days to be intercalated in February every second Year, 23 every fourth, 22 every sixth, and 23 every eighth Year.
But this Rule failing to keep Matters even, Recourse was had to a new Way of Intercalating; and instead of 23 Days every eighth Year, only 15 were added; and the Care of the whole committed to the Pontifex Maximus, or High Priest; who, neglecting the Trust, let Things run to the utmost Confusion. And thus the Roman Year stood till Julius Caesar made a Reformation.
The Julian Year, is a Solar Year, containing commonly 365 Days; tho’ every fourth Year, called Bissextile, contains 366. The Names and Order of the Months of the Julian Year, and the Number of Days in each, are well known to us, having been long in Use.
The astronomical Quantity, therefore, of the Julian Year, is 365 Days, 6 Hours, which exceeds the true Solar Year by 11 Minutes; which Excess in 131 Years amounts to a whole Day. And thus the Roman Year stood, till the Reformation made therein by Pope Gregory.
Julius Caesar, in the Contrivance of his Form of the Year, was assisted by Sosigenes, a famous Mathematician, called over from Egypt for this very Purpose; who, to supply the Defect of 67 Days which had been lost thro’ the Fault of the High Priests, and to fix the Beginning of the Year to the Winter Solstice, made that Year to consist of 15 Months, or 445 Days; which for that Reason is used to be called Annus Confusionis, the Year of Confusion.
This Form of the Year was used by all Christian Nations, till the Middle of the 16th Century; and still continues to be so by several Nations; among the Rest, by the Swedes, Danes, &c. and by the English till the second of September next, when they are to assume the Use of the Gregorian Year.
The GREGORIAN YEAR is the Julian Year corrected by this Rule; that whereas on the common Footing, every Secular or Hundredth Year, is Bissextile; on the new Footing, three of them are common Years, and only the fourth Bissextile.
The Error of eleven Minutes in the Julian Year, little as it was, yet, by being repeated over and over, at length became considerable; and from the Time when Caesar made his Correction, was grown into 13 Days, by which the Equinoxes were greatly disturbed. To remedy this Irregularity, which was still a growing, Pope Gregory the XIII. called together the chief Astronomers of his Time, and concerted this Correction; and to restore the Equinoxes to their Place threw out the ten Days that had been got from the Council of Nice, and which had shifted the fifth of October to the 15th.
In the Year 1700, the Error of ten Days was grown to eleven; upon which the Protestant States of Germany, to prevent further Confusion, accepted the Gregorian Correction. And now in 1752, the English follow their Example.
Yet is the Gregorian Year far from being perfect, for we have shewn, that, in four Centuries, the Julian Year gains three Days, one Hour, twenty Minutes: But it is only the three Days are kept out in the Gregorian Year; so that here is still an Excess of one Hour, twenty Minutes, in four Centuries; which in 72 Centuries will amount to a whole Day.
As to the Commencement of the Year, the legal Year in England used to begin on the Day of the Annunciation; i. e. on the 25th of March; tho’ the historical Year began on the Day of the Circumcision; i. e. the first of January, on which Day the Italian and German Year also begins; and on which Day ours is to begin from this Time forward, the first Day of January being now by Act of Parliament declared the first Day of the Year 1752.
At the Yearly Meeting of the People called Quakers, held in London, since the Passing of this Act, it was agreed to recommend to their Friends a Conformity thereto, both in omitting the eleven Days of September thereby directed to be omitted, and beginning the Year hereafter on the first Day of the Month called January, which is henceforth to be by them called and written, The First Month, and the rest likewise in their Order, so that September will now be the Ninth Month, December the Twelfth.
This Act of Parliament, as it contains many Matters of Importance, and extends expresly to all the British Colonies, I shall for the Satisfaction of the Publick, give at full length: Wishing withal, according to ancient Custom, that this New Year (which is indeed a New Year, such an one as we never saw before, and shall never see again) may be a happy Year to all my kind Readers.
I am, Your faithful Servant,
Observe old Vellum; he praises former Times, as if he’d a mind to sell ‘em.
Kings have long Arms, but Misfortune longer: Let none think themselves out of her Reach.
For want of a Nail the Shoe is lost; for want of a Shoe, the Horse is lost; for want of a Horse the Rider is lost.
The busy Man has few idle Visitors; to the boiling Pot the Flies come not.
Calamity and Prosperity are the Touchstones of Integrity.
The Prodigal generally does more Injustice than the Covetous.
Generous Minds are all of kin.
‘Tis more noble to forgive, and more manly to despise, than to revenge an Injury.
A Brother may not be a Friend, but a Friend will always be a Brother.
Meanness is the Parent of Insolence.
Mankind are very odd Creatures: One Half censure what they practise, the other half practise what they censure; the rest always say and do as they ought.
Severity is often Clemency; Clemency Severity.
Bis dat qui cito dat: He gives twice that gives soon; i. e. he will soon be called upon to give again.
A Temper to bear much, will have much to bear.
Pride dines upon Vanity, sups on Contempt.
Great Merit is coy, as well as great Pride.
An undutiful Daughter, will prove an unmanageable Wife.
Old Boys have their Playthings as well as young Ones; the Difference is only in the Price.
The too obliging Temper is evermore disobliging itself.
Hold your Council before Dinner; the full Belly hates Thinking as well as Acting.
The Brave and the Wise can both pity and excuse; when Cowards and Fools shew no Mercy.
Ceremony is not Civility; nor Civility Ceremony.
If Man could have Half his Wishes, he would double his Troubles.
It is ill Jesting with the Joiner’s Tools, worse with the Doctor’s.
Children and Princes will quarrel for Trifles.
Praise to the undeserving, is severe Satyr.
Success has ruin’d many a Man.
Great Pride and Meanness sure are near ally’d;
Or thin Partitions do their Bounds divide.
Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, had in high Esteem of old, by the Wise and Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight a Battle, in short, no important Affair was undertaken without first consulting an Astrologer, who examined the Aspects and Configurations of the heavenly Bodies, and mark’d the lucky Hour. Now the noble Art (more Shame to the Age we live in!) is dwindled into Contempt; the Great neglect us, Empires make Leagues, and Parliaments Laws, without advising with us; and scarce any other Use is made of our learned Labours, than to find the best Time of cutting Corns, or gelding Pigs. This Mischief we owe in a great Measure to ourselves: The Ignorant Herd of Mankind, had they not been encourag’d to it by some of us, would never have dared to depreciate our sacred Dictates; but Urania has been betray’d by her own Sons; those whom she had favour’d with the greatest Skill in her divine Art, the most eminent Astronomers among the Moderns, the Newtons, Halleys, and Whistons, have wantonly contemn’d and abus’d her, contrary to the Light of their own Consciences. Of these, only the last nam’d, Whiston, has liv’d to repent, and speak his Mind honestly. In his former Works he had treated Judiciary Astrology as a Chimera, and asserted, That not only the fixed Stars, but the Planets (Sun and Moon excepted) were at so immense a Distance, as to be incapable of any Influence on this Earth, and consequently nothing could be foretold from their Positions: but now in the Memoirs of his Life, publish’d 1749, in the 82d Year of his Age, he foretels, Page 607, the sudden Destruction of the Turkish Empire, and of the House of Austria, German Emperors, &c. and Popes of Rome; the Restoration of the Jews, and Commencement of the Millennium; all by the Year 1766; and this not only from Scripture Prophecies; but (take his own Words) ”From the remarkable astronomical Signals that are to alarm Mankind of what is coming, viz. The Northern Lights since 1715; the six Comets at the Protestant Reformation in four Years, 1530, 1531, 1533, 1534, compar’d with the seven Comets already seen in these last eleven Years 1737, 1739, 1742, 1743, 1744, 1746, and 1748. From the great Annular Eclipse of the Sun, July 14, 1748, whose Center pass’d through all the four Monarchies, from Scotland to the East-Indies. From the Occultation of the Pleiades by the Moon each periodical Month, after the Eclipse last July, for above three Years, visible to the whole Roman Empire; as there was a like Occultation of the Hyades from A. 590, to A. 595, for six Years foretold by Isaiah. From the Transit of Mercury over the Sun, April 25, 1753, which will be visible thro’ that Empire. From the Comet of A. D. 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682, which will appear again about 1757 ending, or 1758 beginning, and will also be visible thro’ that Empire. From the Transit of Venus over the Sun, May 26, 1761, which will be visible over the same Empire: And lastly, from the annular Eclipse of the Sun, March 11, 1764, which will be visible over the same Empire.” From these Astronomical Signs, he foretels those great Events, That within 16 Years from this Time, “the Millennium or 1000 Years Reign of Christ shall begin, there shall be a new Heavens, and a new Earth; there shall be no more an Infidel in Christendom, Page 398, nor a Gaming-Table at Tunbridge!” When these Predictions are accomplished, what glorious Proofs they will be of the Truth of our Art? And if they happen to fail, there is no doubt but so profound an Astronomer as Mr. Whiston, will be able to see other Signs in the Heavens, foreshowing that the Conversion of Infidels was to be postponed, and the Millennium adjourn’d. After these great Things can any Man doubt our being capable of predicting a little Rain or Sun-shine? Reader, Farewell, and make the best Use of your Years and your Almanacks, for you see, that according to Whiston, you may have at most, but sixteen more of them.
Patowmack, July 30, 1750.
Pray don’t burn my House to roast your Eggs.
Some Worth it argues, a Friend’s Worth to know;Virtue to own the Virtue of a Foe.
Prosperity discovers Vice, Adversity Virtue.
The Romans were 477 Years, without so much as a Sun-dial to show the Time of Day: The first they had was brought from Sicily, by Valerius Messala: One hundred and eighteen Years afterwards, Scipio Nasica, produced to them an Invention for measuring the Hours in cloudy Weather, it was by the Dropping of Water out of one Vessel into another, somewhat like our Sand-Glasses. Clocks and Watches, to shew the Hour, are very modern Inventions. The Sub-dividing Hours into Minutes, and Minutes into Seconds, by those curious Machines, is not older than the Days of our Fathers, but now brought to a surprising Nicety.
Since our Time is reduced to a Standard, and the Bullion of the Day minted out into Hours, the Industrious know how to employ every Piece of Time to a real Advantage in their different Professions: And he that is prodigal of his Hours, is, in Effect, a Squanderer of Money. I remember a notable Woman, who was fully sensible of the intrinsic Value of Time. Her Husband was a Shoemaker, and an excellent Craftsman, but never minded how the Minutes passed. In vain did she inculcate to him, That Time is Money. He had too much Wit to apprehend her, and it prov’d his Ruin. When at the Alehouse among his idle Companions, if one remark’d that the Clock struck Eleven, What is that, says he, among us all? If she sent him Word by the Boy, that it had struck Twelve; Tell her to be easy, it can never be more. If, that it had struck One, Bid her be comforted, for it can never be less.
If we lose our Money, it gives us some Concern. If we are cheated or robb’d of it, we are angry: But Money lost may be found; what we are robb’d of may be restored: The Treasure of Time once lost, can never be recovered; yet we squander it as tho’ ‘twere nothing worth, or we had no Use for it.
The Bell strikes One: We take no Note of Time,
But from its Loss. To give it then a Tongue
Is wise in Man. If heard aright
It is the Knell of our departed Hours;
Where are they? With the Years beyond the Flood:
It is the Signal that demands Dispatch;
How much is to be done? ———
Be wise To-day, ‘tis Madness to defer;
Next day the fatal Precedent will plead;
Thus on, till Wisdom is push’d out of Life:
Procrastination is the Thief of Time,
Year after Year it steals till all are fled,
And to the Mercies of a Moment leaves
The vast Concerns of an eternal Scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
That ‘tis so frequent, This is stranger still.
Many a Man would have been worse, if his Estate had been better.
We may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct.
He that is conscious of a Stink in his Breeches, is jealous of every Wrinkle in another’s Nose.
Love and Tooth-ach have many Cures, but none infallible, except Possession and Dispossession.
There are lazy Minds as well as lazy Bodies.
Most People return small Favours, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude.
That admirable Instrument the MICROSCOPE has opened to us of these latter Ages, a World utterly unknown to the Ancients. There are very few Substances, in which it does not shew something curious and unexpected; but for the Sake of such Readers as are unacquainted with that Instrument, I shall set down some of the most remarkably entertaining Objects, upon which actual Observations have been made.
1. The Globules of the Blood, which are computed to be almost a two thousandth Part of an Inch in Diameter, each consisting of six small Globules, each of which again probably consists of six smaller, and so on. The Circulation of the Blood is to be seen very distinctly in the Tail of a small Fish, the Web of the Foot of a Frog, &c. and the Globules to split and divide, before they can enter the smallest Vessels.
2. The Bones of all Creatures, sliced extremely thin, afford an entertaining Object for the Microscope, consisting of innumerable Perforations, and Ramifications, disposed in an endless Variety of Forms.
3. The Flesh of all Land and Sea Animals dried, and cut into very thin Slices, gives a beautiful View of the various Fibres, and their Convolutions. The Brain, the spinal Marrow, and even the Hairs of Animals, exhibit different Curiosities.
4. The human Skin, by the Help of the Microscope, is found to be covered over with an infinite Number of Scales lying over one another, as in fishes; and it is probably the same in other Animals. It has been computed that a Grain of Sand will cover two hundred of these Scales.
5. All Sorts of Feathers, especially those of the Peacock, afford a surprizing View in the Microscope. It is supposed that a single Feather contains no less than a Million of different Parts.
6. Flies are found by the Microscope to be produced from Eggs laid by the Mothers, from whence they are hatched in the Form of Maggots, or small Worms, which are afterwards transformed into Aurelias, and these into perfect Flies. This is the Process most of the winged Insects go through in their Production. They have a great Number of Eyes fixed to their Heads, so that they see on all Sides around them, without turning their Heads or Eyes. A common Fly is supposed to have eight thousand, and a great Drone Fly no less than fourteen thousand Eyes, with a distinct optic Nerve to each; and each Eye appears through the Microscope, tho’ magnified many hundred thousand Times, more exactly shaped, and more curiously polished, than human Art could finish an Object as large as the whole Cluster, containing seven thousand distinct ones. The Wings of Flies, especially of the Moth and Butterfly Kind, are found to be contrived with admirable Art, to answer their Use, and with inimitable Beauty and Ornament. The Dust, which sticks to the Fingers, when we handle them, is found to be Feathers; each of which has its Quill and vane Parts as compleat as that of a Fowl or a Goose, and are inserted in the Film of the Wing, with the utmost Regularity of Arrangement. With the Microscope, the Stings of Moths and Bees appear to be Instruments finished to the highest Perfection; their Points, and saw-like Teeth, being perfectly polished and sharp; whereas the Edge of a Razor appears like that of a Butcher’s Cleaver, and the Point of a Lancet like an iron Spike just come from the Anvil.
7. By the Help of the Microscope the innumerable and inconceivably minute Animalcules in various Fluids are discovered, of the Existence of which we have no Reason to suppose any Mortal had the least Suspicion, till last Century. In the Melt of a single Cod-fish ten Times more living Creatures are contained, than the Inhabitants of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, taking it for granted, that all Parts of the World are as well peopled as Holland, which is very far from being the Case. Of a certain Species some are discovered so extremely minute, that it has been computed, three Millions of them, or three Times the Number of the Inhabitants of London and Westminster, would not equal the Bulk of a Grain of Sand. Of Animalcules, some Species resemble Tadpoles, Serpents or Eels, others are of a roundish or oval Form, others of very curiously turned and various Shapes; but in general they are extremely vigorous and lively, and almost constantly in Motion. Animalcules are to be found (besides those in the Bodies of Animals) in the Infusions of Pepper, Senna, Pinks, Roses, Jessamin, Tea, Rasberry Stalks, Fennel, Sage, Melons, sour Grapes, Wheat, Hay, Straw, and almost all vegetable Substances; in the Water, that is in the Shells of Oysters, Cockles, and other Shell-fish, in the Foulness upon our Teeth, and those of other Animals, in our Skins when affected with certain Diseases; in Vinegar, and Paste, and so on infinitely. In each of these Substances, when exposed to the Air some Time, Multitudes of living Creatures, beyond the Reach of Numbers, are discovered, of which many Hundreds of Species are already known, as different from one another as those of the largest Animals, and very probably there are many more yet unknown. As it is certain, that in the above mentioned Fluids few or no Animalcules are to be found, when covered from the Air, but when open to the Access of the Air, their Numbers are beyond reckoning; it is hardly to be doubted, but that either the Air is replete with infinite Multitudes of living Creatures too small for Sight, which come and deposite their Eggs in Places proper for the Nutrition of the Young, or that their Eggs are floating every where in the Air, and falling promiscuously every where, only those are hatched, or come to Perfection, which fall upon Places fitted for them, and the others perish. However it is, the countless Numbers of those living Creatures, the Profusion of Life every where to be observed, is above Measure astonishing, and shews the Maker to be an infinite Being.
8. By the Help of the Microscope, we find that the Scales of almost every different Fish are different from those of others, in internal Texture; and that all of them are wrought with surprising Art and Beauty.
9. By Means of this noble Instrument we find, that the Seeds of almost all Manner of Vegetables contain in them the Stamina of the future Plant or Tree, and that their Production from the Seed, and their Growth to Maturity is only the Swelling and Enlarging of the Stamina by the Addition of nutritious Juices. It is probable the Manner of Production and Growth of Animals is analogous to this. The Fertility of some Plants is almost beyond Belief. One particularly is said by Naturalists to produce annually a Million of Seeds from one. The Farina of Flowers is found by the Help of the Microscope to be a regular organized Body, and not a meer Dust, as it appears to the naked Eye, and is reasonably supposed to be necessary to Fertility in Plants and Trees.
10. By the Microscope have been discovered many singular Properties of that most unaccountable of all Creatures the Polype, which is found at the Bottom of Ditches, and standing Waters; whose Manner of Production, Feeding and Digestion, are different from those of all other Animals. The young ones come out of the Sides of the old, like Buds and Branches from Trees, and at length drop off perfect Polypes. They do not seem to be of different Sexes. They take in Worms, and other Sustenance, by Means of a Sett of long Arms or Antennae, which surround their Mouths, and after keeping them some Time in their Stomachs, throw them out again the same Way. The Animal’s Body consists of a single Cavity, like a Tube or Gut, and what is wonderful, and almost beyond Belief, is, that it will live and feed after it is turned inside out, and even when cut into a great many Pieces, each several Piece becomes a compleat Polype. They are infested with a Kind of Vermin, as are almost all Animals from the largest down to Bees and other Insects. These Vermin sometimes in a long Time will eat up the Head and Part of the Body of a Polype, after which, if it be cleared of them, it shall have the devoured Parts grow up again, and become as compleat as ever. Some Polypes have around their Mouths a Sort of Plume, which they whirl round, and making with it an Eddy in the Water, draw in their Prey, and devour it.
11. By the Microscope it is found, that neither the Wood, the Bark, the Root, the Leaves, the Fruit, nor even the Pith of the meanest Vegetable is a Mass of crude or indigested Matter; but that every different Species is different in its internal Structure, and all curiously and delicately wrought. A Bit of Cork, cut extremely thin, a Slice of Oak or Fir, or a Bit of Elder Pith, in the Microscope, are so many curious Pieces of Mosaic Work. Even a Bit of Charcoal or burnt Wood appears with the Microscope an admirable Object.
12. By this Instrument it is found, that what we call Mouldiness upon Flesh, Leather, or other Substances, is no other than a great Number of extremely small, but perfect Plants, having Stalks and Tops like Mushrooms, and sometimes an Appearance of Leaves. The Seeds of these minute Plants must, in all Probability, be diffused universally through the Air, and falling upon Substances fit for their Growth, spring up in astonishing Profusion. There is, in short, no End of microscopic Objects. A Sprig of Moss, with the Help of that Instrument, is found to be a regular Plant, consisting of a Root, a Stock, Branches, Leaves, &c. and Naturalists tell us, there are some Hundreds of different Species of it. A Bit of Spunge before the Microscope is a curious Piece of Net-work. Every different chymical Salt has its Parts differently figured. A Leaf of a common stinging Nettle, the Beard of a wild Oat, the Surfaces of some Pebble-stones, a Flake of Snow, a few Grains of Sand, or almost any natural Thing, with this Instrument, exhibit exquisite Beauties; while, on the contrary, the most delicate Works of Art, can by no Means bear its Examination; but degenerate before it into Masses of Irregularity, and Deformity.
Fond Pride of Dress is sure an empty Curse;E’re Fancy you consult, consult your Purse.
Youth is pert and positive, Age modest and doubting: So Ears of Corn when young and light, stand bolt upright, but hang their Heads when weighty, full, and ripe.
‘Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.
Don’t judge of Mens Wealth or Piety, by their Sunday Appearances.
Friendship increases by visiting Friends, but by visiting seldom.
If your Riches are yours, why don’t you take them with you to the t’other World?
What more valuable than Gold? Diamonds. Than Diamonds? Virtue.
To-day is Yesterday’s Pupil.
If worldly Goods cannot save me from Death, they ought not to hinder me of eternal Life.
‘Tis great Confidence in a Friend to tell him your Faults, greater to tell him his.
Talking against Religion is unchaining a Tyger; The Beast let loose may worry his Deliverer.
Ambition often spends foolishly what Avarice had wickedly collected.
Pillgarlic was in the Accusative Case, and bespoke a Lawyer in the Vocative, who could not understand him till he made use of the Dative.
Great Estates may venture more;
Little Boats must keep near Shore.
Nice Eaters seldom meet with a good Dinner.
Not to oversee Workmen, is to leave them your Purse open.
The Wise and Brave dares own that he was wrong.
Cunning proceeds from Want of Capacity.
It is an amusing Speculation to look back, and compute what Numbers of Men and Women among the Ancients, clubb’d their Endeavours to the Production of a single Modern. As you reckon backwards the Number encreases in the same Proportion as the Price of the Coat which was sold for a Half-penny a Button, continually doubled.
Thus, a present Nobleman (for Instance) is 1
His Father and Mother were 2
His Grandfathers and Grandmothers 4
His Great Grandfathers and Great Grandmothers, 8
And, supposing no Intermarriages among Relations, the next Predecessors will be16
The next Ditto32
The next Ditto64
The next Ditto128
The next Ditto256
The next Ditto512
The next Ditto1024
The next Ditto2048
The next Ditto4096
The next Ditto8192
The next Ditto16384
The next Ditto32768
The next Ditto65536
The next Ditto131072
The next Ditto262144
The next Ditto524288
The next Ditto1048576
Here are only computed 21 Generations, which, allowing 3 Generations to 100 Years, carry us back no farther than the Norman Conquest, at which Time each present Nobleman, to exclude all ignoble Blood from his Veins, ought to have had One Million, Forty-eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-six noble Ancestors. Carry the Reckoning back 300 Years farther, and the Number amounts to above 500 Millions; which are more than exist at any one Time upon Earth, and shews the Impossibility of preserving Blood free from such Mixtures, and that the Pretension of such Purity of Blood in ancient Families is a mere Joke. Hence we see how it happens that every Nation has a kind of general Cast of Feature, by which it may be distinguished; continual Intermarriages for a Course of Ages rendring all the People related by Blood, and, as it were, of one Family.
The Proud hate Pride in others.
Who judges best of a Man, his Enemies or himself?
Drunkenness, that worst of Evils, makes some Men Fools, some Beasts, some Devils.
‘Tis not a Holiday that’s not kept holy.
To the READER.
The Hope of acquiring lasting FAME, is, with many Authors, a most powerful Motive to Writing. Some, tho’ few, have succeeded; and others, tho’ perhaps fewer, may succeed hereafter, and be as well known to Posterity by their Works, as the Antients are to us. We Philomaths, as ambitious of Fame as any other Writers whatever, after all our painful Watchings and laborious Calculations, have the constant Mortification to see our Works thrown by at the End of the Year, and treated as mere waste Paper. Our only Consolation is, that short-lived as they are, they out-live those of most of our Cotemporaries.
Yet, condemned to renew the Sisyphean Toil, we every Year heave another heavy Mass up the Muses Hill, which never can the Summit reach, and soon comes tumbling down again.
This, kind Reader, is my seventeenth Labour of the Kind. Thro’ thy continued Good-will, they have procur’d me, if no Bays, at least Pence; and the latter is perhaps the better of the two; since ‘tis not improbable that a Man may receive more solid Satisfaction from Pudding, while he is living, than from Praise, after he is dead.
In my last, a few Faults escap’d; some belong to the Author, but most to the Printer: Let each take his Share of the Blame, confess, and amend for the future. In the second Page of August, I mention’d 120 as the next perfect Number to 28; it was wrong, 120 being no perfect Number; the next to 28 I find to be 496. The first is 6; let the curious Reader, fond of mathematical Questions, find the fourth. In the 2d Page of March, in some Copies, the Earth’s Circumference was said to be nigh 4000, instead of 24000 Miles, the Figure 2 being omitted at the Beginning. This was Mr. Printer’s Fault; who being also somewhat niggardly of his Vowels, as well as profuse of his Consonants, put in one Place, among the Poetry, mad, instead of made, and in another wrapp’d, instead of warp’d; to the utter demolishing of all Sense in those Lines, leaving nothing standing but the Rhime. These, and some others, of the like kind, let the Readers forgive, or rebuke him for, as to their Wisdom and Goodness shall seem meet: For in such Cases the Loss and Damage is chiefly to the Reader, who, if he does not take my Sense at first Reading, ‘tis odds he never gets it; for ten to one he does not read my Works a second Time.
Printers indeed should be very careful how they omit a Figure or a Letter: For by such Means sometimes a terrible Alteration is made in the Sense. I have heard, that once, in a new Edition of the Common Prayer, the following Sentence, We shall all be changed in a Moment, in the Twinkling of an Eye; by the Omission of a single Letter, became, We shall all be hanged in a Moment, &c. to the no small Surprize of the first Congregation it was read to.
May this Year prove a happy One to Thee and Thine, is the hearty Wish of, Kind Reader,
Thy obliged Friend,
There are three Things extreamly hard, Steel, a Diamond and to know one’s self.
Hunger is the best Pickle.
He is a Governor that governs his Passions, and he a Servant that serves them.
A Cypher and Humility make the other Figures & Virtues of ten-fold Value.
If it were not for the Belly, the Back might wear Gold.
Wouldst thou confound thine Enemy, be good thy self.
Pride is as loud a Beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.
Pay what you owe, and what you’re worth you’ll know.
Sorrow is good for nothing but Sin.
Many a Man thinks he is buying Pleasure, when he is really selling himself a Slave to it.
Graft good Fruit all,
Or graft not at all.
Tis hard (but glorious) to be poor and honest: An empty Sack can hardly stand upright; but if it does, ‘tis a stout one!
He that can bear a Reproof, and mend by it, if he is not wise, is in a fair way of being so.
Beatus esse sine Virtute, nemo potest.
Sound, & sound Doctrine, may pass through a Ram’s Horn, and a Preacher, without straitening the one, or amending the other.
Clean your Finger, before you point at my Spots.
He that spills the Rum, loses that only; He that drinks it, often loses both that and himself.
That Ignorance makes devout, if right the Notion,
‘Troth, Rufus, thou’rt a Man of great Devotion
What an admirable Invention is Writing, by which a Man may communicate his Mind without opening his Mouth, and at 1000 Leagues Distance, and even to future Ages, only by the Help of 22 Letters, which may be joined 5852616738497664000 Ways, and will express all Things in a very narrow Compass. ‘Tis a Pity this excellent Art has not preserved the Name and Memory of its Inventor.
Those that have much Business must have much Pardon.
Discontented Minds, and Fevers of the Body are not to be cured by changing Beds or Businesses.
Fell great Oaks.
You may be too cunning for One, but not for All.
Genius without Education is like Silver in the Mine.
Many would live by their Wits, but break for want of Stock.
Poor Plain dealing! dead without Issue!
You can bear your own Faults, and why not a Fault in your Wife.
Tho’ Modesty is a Virtue, Bashfulness is a Vice.
Hide not your Talents, they for Use were made,
What’s a Sun-Dial in the Shade!
What signifies knowing the Names, if you know not the Natures of Things.
Tim was so learned, that he could name a Horse in nine Languages; So ignorant, that he bought a Cow to ride on.
The Golden Age never was the present Age.
‘Tis a Shame that your Family is an Honour to you! You ought to be an Honour to your Family.
Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily crack’d, and never well mended.
Wealth and Content are not always Bed-fellows.
Wise Men learn by others harms; Fools by their own.
On the 7th of this month 1692 died Robert Boyle, Esq; one of the greatest philosophers the last age produced. He first brought the machine called an Airpump, into use; by which many of the surprizing properties of that wonderful element were discovered and demonstrated. His knowledge of natural history, and skill in chymistry, were very great and extensive; and his piety inferior to neither.
BOYLE, whose pious search
Amid the dark recesses of his works
The great CREATOR sought:
is therefore an instance, that tho’ Ignorance may in some be the Mother of Devotion, yet true learning and exalted piety are by no means inconsistent.
When we read in antient history of the speeches made by generals to very numerous armies, we sometimes wonder how they could be well heard; but supposing the men got together so close, that each took up no more ground than two foot in breadth, and one in depth, 45000 might stand in a space that was but 100 yards square, and 21780 on a single acre of ground. There are many voices that may be heard at 100 yards distance.
The end of Passion is the beginning of Repentance.
Words may shew a man’s Wit, but Actions his Meaning.
On the 18th of this month, anno 1546 died that famous reformer, LUTHER: who struck the great blow to papal tyranny in Europe. He was remarkably temperate in meat and drink, sometimes fasting four days together; and at other times, for many days eating only a little bread and a herring. Cicero says, There was never any great man who was not an industrious man; to which may, perhaps, be added, There was never any industrious man who was not a temperate man: For intemperance in diet, abates the vigour and dulls the action both of mind and body.
Mr. Flamstead, Dr. Halley and Mr. Derham, agree that sound moves 1142 feet in a second, which is one English mile in 4 seconds and 5 8ths; that it moves in the same time in every different state of the atmosphere; that winds hardly make any difference in its velocity; that a languid or loud sound moves with the same velocity; and that different kinds of sounds, as of bells, guns, &c. have the same velocity, and are equally swift in the beginning as end of their motion.
‘Tis a well spent penny that saves a groat.
Many Foxes grow grey, but few grow good.
Presumption first blinds a Man, then sets him a running.
The nose of a lady here, is not delighted with perfumes that she understands are in Arabia. Fine musick in China gives no pleasure to the nicest ear in Pennsilvania. Nor does the most exquisite dish serv’d up in Japan, regale a luxurious palate in any other country. But the benevolent mind of a virtuous man, is pleas’d, when it is inform’d of good and generous actions, in what part of the world soever they are done.
A cold April,
The Barn will fill.
Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich Men poor.
Too much plenty makes Mouth dainty.
On the 7th of this month, 1626, died that great little man, Sir FRANCIS BACON; great in his prodigious genius, parts and learning; and little, in his servile compliances with a little court, and submissive flattery of a little prince. Pope characterises him thus, in one strong line;
If Parts allure thee, think how BACON shin’d,The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind.
He is justly esteem’d the father of the modern experimental philosophy. And another poet treats him more favourably, ascribing his blemishes to a wrong unfortunate choice of his way of Life;
——— BACON, hapless in his choice,
Unfit to stand the civil storm of state,
And thro’ the smooth barbarity of courts,
With firm, but pliant virtue, forward still
To urge his course. Him for the studious shade
Kind nature form’d, deep, comprehensive, clear,
Exact, and elegant; in one rich soul,
PLATO, the STAGYRITE, and TULLY join’d.
The great deliverer he! who from the gloom
Of cloister’d monks, and jargon-teaching schools,
Led forth the true Philosophy, there long
Held in the magic chain of words and forms,
And definitions void: He led her forth,
Daughter of HEAV’N! that slow ascending still,
Investigating sure the chain of things,
With radiant finger points to HEAV’N again.
If Passion drives, let Reason hold the Reins.
Neither trust, nor contend, nor lay wagers, nor lend;And you’ll have peace to your Lives end.
Drink does not drown Care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster.
Who dainties love, shall Beggars prove.
On the 27th anno 1564, died at Geneva that famous reformer, Mr. John Calvin, A man of equal temperance and sobriety with Luther, and perhaps yet greater industry. His lectures were yearly 186, his sermons yearly 286; he published besides every year some great volume in folio; to which add his constant employments, in governing the church, answering letters from all parts of the reformed world, from pastors, concerning doubts, or asking counsel, &c. &c. He ate little meat, and slept but very little; and as his whole time was filled up with useful action, he may be said to have lived long, tho’ he died at 55 years of age; since sleep and sloth can hardly be called living.
A Man has no more Goods than he gets Good by.
Welcome, Mischief, if thou comest alone.
Different Sects like different clocks, may be all near the matter, ‘tho they don’t quite agree.
On the 15th of this month, anno 1215, was Magna Charta sign’d by King John, for declaring and establishing English Liberty.
It was wise counsel given to a young man, Pitch upon that course of life which is most excellent, and CUSTOM will make it the most delightful. But many pitch on no course of life at all, nor form any scheme of living, by which to attain any valuable end; but wander perpetually from one thing to another.
Hast thou not yet propos’d some certain end,
To which thy life, thy every act may tend?
Hast thou no mark at which to bend thy bow?
Or like a boy pursu’st the carrion crow
With pellets and with stones, from tree to tree,
A fruitless toil, and liv’st extempore?
Watch the disease in time: For when, within
The dropsy rages, and extends the skin,
In vain for helebore the patient cries,
And sees the doctor, but too late is wise:
Too late for cure, he proffers half his wealth;
Ten thousand doctors cannot give him health.
Learn, wretches, learn the motions of the mind,
Why you were mad, for what you were design’d,
And the great moral end of human kind.
Study thy self; what rank or what degree,
The wise creator has ordain’d for thee:
And all the offices of that estate,
Perform, and with thy prudence guide thy fate.
If your head is wax, don’t walk in the Sun.
Pretty & Witty,
will wound if they hit ye.
Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
Tis a laudable Ambition, that aims at being better than his Neighbours.
The wise Man draws more Advantage from his Enemies, than the Fool from his Friends.
PRIDE is said to be the last vice the good man gets clear of. ‘Tis a meer Proteus, and disguises itself under all manner of appearances, putting on sometimes even the mask of humility. If some are proud of neatness and propriety of dress; others are equally so of despising it, and acting the perpetual sloven.
All would live long, but none would be old.
Declaiming against Pride, is not always a Sign of Humility.
Neglect kills Injuries, Revenge increases them.
9 Men in 10 are suicides.
Doing an Injury puts you below your Enemy; Revenging one makes you but even with him; Forgiving it sets you above him.
Most of the Learning in use, is of no great Use.
Great Good-nature, without Prudence, is a great Misfortune.
Keep Conscience clear,
Then never fear
A Man in a Passion rides a mad Horse.
Reader farewel, all Happiness attend thee;
May each New-Year, better and richer find thee.
On the 25th of this month, anno 1642, was born the great Sir ISAAC NEWTON, prince of the modern astronomers and philosophers. But what is all our little boasted knowledge, compar’d with that of the angels? If they see our actions, and are acquainted with our affairs, our whole body of science must appear to them as little better than ignorance; and the common herd of our learned men, scarce worth their notice. Now and then one of our very great philosophers, an Aristotle, or a Newton, may, perhaps, by his most refined speculations, afford them a little entertainment, as it seems a mimicking of their own sublime amusements. Hence Pope says of the latter,
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal man unfold all nature’s law,
Admir’d such wisdom in a human shape,
And shew’d a Newton, as we shew an ape.
How to get RICHES.
The Art of getting Riches consists very much in THRIFT. All Men are not equally qualified for getting Money, but it is in the Power of every one alike to practise this Virtue.
He that would be beforehand in the World, must be beforehand with his Business: It is not only ill Management, but discovers a slothful Disposition, to do that in the Afternoon, which should have been done in the Morning.
Useful Attainments in your Minority will procure Riches in Maturity, of which Writing and Accounts are not the meanest.
Learning, whether Speculative or Practical, is, in Popular or Mixt Governments, the Natural Source of Wealth and Honour.
In Things of moment, on thy self depend,
Nor trust too far thy Servant or thy Friend:
With private Views, thy Friend may promise fair,
And Servants very seldom prove sincere.
What can be done, with Care perform to Day,
Dangers unthought-of will attend Delay;
Your distant Prospects all precarious are,
And Fortune is as fickle as she’s fair.
Nor trivial Loss, nor trivial Gain despise;
Molehills, if often heap’d, to Mountains rise:
Weigh every small Expence, and nothing waste,
Farthings long sav’d, amount to Pounds at last.
The favourable Reception my annual Labours have met with from the Publick these 15 Years past, has engaged me in Gratitude to endeavour some Improvement of my Almanack. And since my Friend Taylor is no more, whose Ephemerides so long and so agreeably serv’d and entertain’d these Provinces, I have taken the Liberty to imitate his well-known Method, and give two Pages for each Month; which affords me Room for several valuable Additions, as will best appear on Inspection and Comparison with former Almanacks. Yet I have not so far follow’d his Method, as not to continue my own where I thought it preferable; and thus my Book is increas’d to a Size beyond his, and contains much more Matter.
Hail Night serene! thro’ Thee where’er we turn
Our wond’ring Eyes, Heav’n’s Lamps profusely burn;
And Stars unnumber’d all the Sky adorn.
But lo! what’s that I see appear?
It seems far off a pointed flame;
From Earthwards too the shining Meteor came:
How swift it climbs th’ etherial Space!
And now it traverses each Sphere,
And seems some knowing Mind, familiar to the Place.
Dame, hand my Glass, the longest, strait prepare;
‘Tis He ’tis TAYLOR’s Soul, that travels there.
O stay! thou happy Spirit, stay,
And lead me on thro’ all th’ unbeaten Wilds of Day;
Where Planets in pure Streams of Ether driven,
Swim thro’ the blue Expanse of Heav’n.
There let me, thy Companion, stray
From Orb to Orb, and now behold
Unnumber’d Suns, all Seas of molten Gold,
And trace each Comet’s wandring Way.
Souse down into Prose again, my Muse; for Poetry’s no more thy Element, than Air is that of the Flying-Fish; whose Flights, like thine, are therefore always short and heavy.
We complain sometimes of hard Winters in this Country; but our Winters will appear as Summers, when compar’d with those that some of our Countrymen undergo in the most Northern British Colony on this Continent, which is that upon Churchill River, in Hudson’s Bay, Lat. 58d. 56m. Long. from London 94d. 50m. West. Captain Middleton, a Member of the Royal Society, who had made many Voyages thither, and winter’d there 1741-2, when he was in Search of the North-West Passage to the South-Sea, gives an Account of it to that Society, from which I have extracted these Particulars, viz.
The Hares, Rabbits, Foxes, and Partridges, in September and the Beginning of October, change their Colour to a snowy White, and continue white till the following Spring.
The Lakes and standing Waters, which are not above 10 or 12 Feet deep, are frozen to the Ground in Winter, and the Fishes therein all perish. Yet in Rivers near the Sea, and Lakes of a greater Depth than 10 or 12 Feet, Fishes are caught all the Winter, by cutting Holes thro’ the Ice, and therein putting Lines and Hooks. As soon as the Fish are brought into the open Air, they instantly freeze stiff.
Beef, Pork, Mutton, and Venison, kill’d in the Beginning of the Winter, are preserved by the Frost for 6 or 7 Months, entirely free from Putrefaction. Likewise Geese, Partridges, and other Fowls, kill’d at the same Time, and kept with their Feathers on and Guts in, are preserv’d by the Frost, and prove good Eating. All Kinds of Fish are preserv’d in the same Manner.
In large Lakes and Rivers, the Ice is sometimes broken by imprison’d Vapours; and the Rocks, Trees, Joists, and Rafters of our Buildings, are burst with a Noise not less terrible than the firing of many Guns together. The Rocks which are split by the Frost, are heaved up in great Heaps, leaving large Cavities behind. If Beer or Water be left even in Copper Pots by the Bed-side, the Pots will be split before Morning. Bottles of strong Beer, Brandy, strong Brine, Spirits of Wine, set out in the open Air for 3 or 4 Hours, freeze to solid Ice. The Frost is never out of the Ground, how deep is not certain; but on digging 10 or 12 Feet down in the two Summer Months, it has been found hard frozen.
All the Water they use for Cooking, Brewing, &c. is melted Snow and Ice; no Spring is yet found free from freezing, tho’ dug ever so deep down. All Waters inland, are frozen fast by the Beginning of October, and continue so to the Middle of May.
The Walls of the Houses are of Stone, two Feet thick; the Windows very small, with thick wooden Shutters, which are close shut 18 Hours every Day in Winter. In the Cellars they put their Wines, Brandies, &c. Four large Fires are made every Day, in great Stoves to warm the Rooms: As soon as the Wood is burnt down to a Coal, the Tops of the Chimnies are close stopped, with an Iron Cover; this keeps the Heat in, but almost stifles the People. And notwithstanding this, in 4 or 5 Hours after the Fire is out, the Inside of the Walls and Bed-places will be 2 or 3 Inches thick with Ice, which is every Morning cut away with a Hatchet. Three or four Times a Day, Iron Shot, of 24 Pounds Weight, are made red hot, and hung up in the Windows of their Apartments, to moderate the Air that comes in at Crevices; yet this, with a Fire kept burning the greatest Part of 24 Hours, will not prevent Beer, Wine, Ink, &c. from Freezing.
For their Winter Dress, a Man makes use of three Pair of Socks, of coarse Blanketting, or Duffeld, for the Feet, with a Pair of Deerskin Shoes over them; two Pair of thick English Stockings, and a Pair of Cloth Stockings upon them; Breeches lined with Flannel; two or three English Jackets, and a Fur, or Leather Gown over them; a large Beaver Cap, double, to come over the Face and Shoulders, and a Cloth of Blanketting under the Chin; with Yarn Gloves, and a large Pair of Beaver Mittins, hanging down from the Shoulders before, to put the Hands in, reaching up as high as the Elbows. Yet notwithstanding this warm Clothing, those that stir Abroad when any Wind blows from the Northward, are sometimes dreadfully frozen; some have their Hands, Arms, and Face blistered and froze in a terrible Manner, the Skin coming off soon after they enter a warm House, and some lose their Toes. And keeping House, or lying-in for the Cure of these Disorders, brings on the Scurvy, which many die of, and few are free from; nothing preventing it but Exercise and stirring Abroad.
The Fogs and Mists, brought by northerly Winds in Winter, appear visible to the naked Eye to be Icicles innumerable, as small as fine Hairs, and pointed as sharp as Needles. These Icicles lodge in their Clothes, and if their Faces and Hands are uncover’d, presently raise Blisters as white as a Linnen Cloth, and as hard as Horn. Yet if they immediately turn their Back to the Weather, and can bear a Hand out of the Mitten, and with it rub the blister’d Part for a small Time, they sometimes bring the Skin to its former State; if not, they make the best of their Way to a Fire, bathe the Part in hot Water, and thereby dissipate the Humours raised by the frozen Air; otherwise the Skin wou’d be off in a short Time, with much hot, serous, watry Matter, coming from under along with the Skin; and this happens to some almost every Time they go Abroad, for 5 or 6 Months in the Winter, so extreme cold is the Air, when the Wind blows any Thing strong. Thus far Captain Middleton. And now, my tender Reader, thou that shudderest when the Wind blows a little at N-West, and criest, ‘Tis extrrrrrream cohohold! ‘Tis terrrrrrible cohold! what dost thou think of removing to that delightful Country? Or dost thou not rather chuse to stay in Pennsylvania, thanking God that He has caused thy Lines to fall in pleasant Places.
Thy Friend to serve thee,
Robbers must exalted be,
Small ones on the Gallow-Tree,
While greater ones ascend to Thrones,
But what is that to thee or me?
Lost Time is never found again.
On the 19th of this Month, Anno 1493, was born the famous Astronomer Copernicus, to whom we owe the Invention, or rather the Revival (it being taught by Pythagoras near 2000 Years before) of that now generally receiv’d System of the World which bears his Name, and supposes the Sun in the Center, this Earth a Planet revolving round it in 365 Days, 6 Hours, &c. and that Day and Night are caused by the Turning of the Earth on its own Axis once round in 24 h. &c. The Ptolomean System, which prevail’d before Copernicus, suppos’d the Earth to be fix’d, and that the Sun went round it daily. Mr. Whiston, a modern Astronomer, says, the Sun is 230,000 times bigger than the Earth, and 81 Millions of Miles distant from it: That vast Body must then have mov’d more than 480 Millions of Miles in 24 h. A prodigious Journey round this little Spot! How much more natural is Copernicus’s Scheme! Ptolomy is compar’d to a whimsical Cook, who, instead of Turning his Meat in Roasting, should fix That, and contrive to have his whole Fire, Kitchen and all, whirling continually round it.
To lead a virtuous Life, my Friends, and get to Heaven in Season,
You’ve just so much more Need of Faith, as you have less of Reason.
To avoid Pleurisies, &c. in cool Weather; Fevers, Fluxes, &c. in hot; beware of Over-Eating and Over-Heating.
The Heathens when they dy’d, went to Bed without a Candle.
Knaves & Nettles are akin;
stroak ‘em kindly, yet they’ll sting.
On the 20th of this month, 1727, died the prince of astronomers and philosophers, sir Isaac Newton, aged 85 years: Who, as Thomson expresses it, Trac’d the boundless works of God, from laws sublimely simple.
What were his raptures then! how pure! how strong!
And what the triumphs of old Greece and Rome,
By his diminish’d, but the pride of boys
In some small fray victorious! when instead
Of shatter’d parcels of this earth usurp’d
By violence unmanly, and sore deeds
Of cruelty and blood; Nature herself
Stood all-subdu’d by him, and open laid
Her every latent glory to his view.
Mr. Pope’s epitaph on sir Isaac Newton, is justly admired for its conciseness, strength, boldness, and sublimity:
Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
God said, Let NEWTON be, and all was light.
Life with Fools consists in Drinking;
With the wise Man Living’s Thinking.
Eilen thut selten gut.
On the 25th of this month, Anno 1599, was OLIVER CROMWELL born, the son of a private gentleman, but became the conqueror and protector (some say the tyrant) of three great kingdoms. His son Richard succeeded him, but being of an easy peaceable disposition, he soon descended from that lofty station, and became a private man, living, unmolested, to a good old age; for he died not till about the latter end of queen Anne’s reign, at his lodgings in Lombard-street, where he had lived many years unknown, and seen great changes in government, and violent struggles for that, which, by experience, he knew could afford no solid happiness.
Oliver was once about to remove to New-England, his goods being on shipboard; but somewhat alter’d his mind. There he would doubtless have risen to be a Select Man, perhaps a Governor; and then might have had 100 bushels of Indian corn per Annum, the salary of a governor of that then small colony in those days.
Sell-cheap kept Shop on Goodwin Sands, and yet had Store of Custom.
Liberality is not giving much but giving wisely.
Finikin Dick, curs’d with nice Taste,
Ne’er meets with good dinner, half starv’d at a feast.
Alas! that Heroes ever were made!
The Plague, and the Hero, are both of a Trade!
Yet the Plague spares our Goods which the Heroe does not;
So a Plague take such Heroes and let their Fames rot.
Q. P. D.
The 19th of this month, 1719, died the celebrated Joseph Addison, Esq; aged 47, whose writings have contributed more to the improvement of the minds of the British nation, and polishing their manners, than those of any other English pen whatever.
To Friend, Lawyer, Doctor, tell plain your whole Case;
Nor think on bad Matters to put a good Face:
How can they advise, if they see but a Part?
‘Tis very ill driving black Hogs in the dark.
Suspicion may be no Fault, but shewing it may be a great one.
He that’s secure is not safe.
The second Vice is Lying; the first is Running in Debt.
The Muses love the Morning.
Muschitoes, or Musketoes, a little venomous fly, so light, that perhaps 50 of them, before they’ve fill’d their bellies, scarce weigh a grain, yet each has all the parts necessary to life, motion, digestion, generation, &c. as veins, arteries, muscles, &c. each has in his little body room for the five senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting: How inconceivably small must their organs be! How inexpressibly fine the workmanship! And yet there are little animals discovered by the microscope, to whom a Musketo is an Elephant! In a scarce summer any citizen may provide Musketoes sufficient for his own family, by leaving tubs of rain-water uncover’d in his yard; for in such water they lay their eggs, which when hatch’d, become first little fish, afterwards put forth legs and wings, leave the water, and fly into your windows. Probatum est.
Two Faults of one a Fool will make;
He half repairs, that owns & does forsake.
has a Mouth for every Matter.
When you’re good to others, you are best to yourself.
Half Wits talk much but say little.
If Jack’s in love, he’s no judge of Jill’s Beauty.
Most Fools think they are only ignorant.
On the 14th of this month, Anno 1644, was born WILLIAM PENN, the great founder of this Province; who prudently and benevolently sought success to himself by no other means, than securing the liberty, and endeavouring the happiness of his people. Let no envious mind grudge his posterity those advantages which arise to them from the wisdom and goodness of their ancestor; and to which their own merit, as well as the laws, give them an additional title.
On the 28th, Anno 1704, died the famous John Locke, Esq; the Newton of the Microcosm: For, as Thomson says,
He made the whole internal world his own.
His book on the Human Understanding, shows it. Microcosm, honest reader, is a hard word, and, they say, signifies the little world, man being so called, as containing within himself the four elements of the greater, &c. &c. I here explain Greek to thee by English, which, I think, is rather a more intelligible way, than explaining English by Greek, as a certain writer does, who gravely tells us, Man is rightly called a little world, because he is a Microcosm.
On the 29th, Anno 1618, was the famous sir Walter Rawleigh beheaded; to the eternal shame of the attorney-general, who first prosecuted him, and of the king, who ratify’d the sentence.
How happy is he, who can satisfy his hunger with any food, quench his thirst with any drink, please his ear with any musick, delight his eye with any painting, any sculpture, any architecture, and divert his mind with any book or any company! How many mortifications must he suffer, that cannot bear any thing but beauty, order, elegance & perfection! Your man of taste, is nothing but a man of distaste.
Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good.
He is not well-bred, that cannot bear Ill-Breeding in others.
In Christmas feasting pray take care;
Let not your table be a Snare;
but with the Poor God’s Bounty share.
This is the 15th Time I have entertain’d thee with my annual Productions; I hope to thy Profit as well as mine. For besides the astronomical Calculations, and other Things usually contain’d in Almanacks, which have their daily Use indeed while the Year continues, but then become of no Value, I have constantly interspers’d moral Sentences, prudent Maxims, and wise Sayings, many of them containing much good Sense in very few Words, and therefore apt to leave strong and lasting Impressions on the Memory of young Persons, whereby they may receive Benefit as long as they live, when both Almanack and Almanack-maker have been long thrown by and forgotten. If I now and then insert a Joke or two, that seem to have little in them, my Apology is, that such may have their Use, since perhaps for their Sake light airy Minds peruse the rest, and so are struck by somewhat of more Weight and Moment. The Verses on the Heads of the Months are also generally design’d to have the same Tendency. I need not tell thee that not many of them are of my own Making. If thou hast any Judgment in Poetry, thou wilt easily discern the Workman from the Bungler. I know as well as thee, that I am no Poet born; and it is a Trade I never learnt, nor indeed could learn. If I make Verses, ‘tis in Spight Of Nature and my Stars, I write. Why then should I give my Readers bad Lines of my own, when good Ones of other People’s are so plenty? ‘Tis methinks a poor Excuse for the bad Entertainment of Guests, that the Food we set before them, tho’ coarse and ordinary, is of one’s own Raising, off one’s own Plantation, &c. when there is Plenty of what is ten times better, to be had in the Market. On the contrary, I assure ye, my Friends, that I have procur’d the best I could for ye, and much Good may’t do ye.
I cannot omit this Opportunity of making honourable Mention of the late deceased Ornament and Head of our Profession, Mr. JACOB TAYLOR, who for upwards of 40 Years (with some few Intermissions only) supply’d the good People of this and the neighbouring Colonies, with the most compleat Ephemeris and most accurate Calculations that have hitherto appear’d in America. He was an ingenious Mathematician, as well as an expert and skilful Astronomer; and moreover, no mean Philosopher, but what is more than all, He was a PIOUS and an HONEST Man. Requiescat in pace.
I am thy poor Friend, to serve thee,
Strive to be the greatest Man in your Country, and you may be disappointed; Strive to be the best, and you may succeed: He may well win the race that runs by himself.
Tis a strange Forest that has no rotten Wood in’t.
And a strange Kindred that all are good in’t.
None know the unfortunate, and the fortunate do not know themselves.
There’s a time to wink as well as to see.
Honest Tom! you may trust him with a house-full of untold Milstones.
There is no Man so bad, but he secretly respects the Good.
When there’s more Malice shown than Matter:
On the Writer falls the satyr.
Courage would fight, but Discretion won’t let him.
Delicate Dick! whisper’d the Proclamation.
Cornelius ought to be Tacitus.
Pride and the Gout,
are seldom cur’d throughout.
We are not so sensible of the greatest Health as of the least Sickness.
A good Example is the best sermon.
A Father’s a Treasure; a Brother’s a Comfort; a Friend is both.
Despair ruins some, Presumption many.
A quiet Conscience sleeps in Thunder,
but Rest and Guilt live far asunder.
He that won’t be counsell’d, can’t be help’d.
Craft must be at charge for clothes, but Truth can go naked.
Write Injuries in Dust, Benefits in Marble.
What is Serving God? ‘Tis doing Good to Man.
What maintains one Vice would bring up two Children.
Many have been ruin’d by buying good pennyworths.
Better is a little with content than much with contention.
A Slip of the Foot you may soon recover:
But a Slip of the Tongue you may never get over.
What signifies your Patience, if you can’t find it when you want it.
d. wise, l. foolish.
Time enough, always proves little enough.
It is wise not to seek a Secret, and Honest not to reveal it.
A Mob’s a Monster; Heads enough, but no Brains.
The Devil sweetens Poison with Honey.
He that cannot bear with other People’s Passions, cannot govern his own.
He that by the Plow would thrive,
himself must either hold or drive.
Who is Poor Richard? People oft enquire,
Where lives? What is he? — never yet the nigher.
Somewhat to ease your Curiositie,
Take these slight Sketches of my Dame and me.
Thanks to kind Readers and a careful Wife,
With Plenty bless’d, I lead an easy Life;
My Business Writing; hers to drain the Mead,
Or crown the barren Hill with useful Shade;
In the smooth Glebe to see the Plowshare worn,
And fill the Granary with needful Corn.
Press nectarous Cyder from my loaded Trees,
Print the sweet Butter, turn the drying Cheese.
Some Books we read, tho’ few there are that hit
The happy Point where Wisdom joins with Wit;
That set fair Virtue naked to our View,
And teach us what is decent, what is true.
The Friend sincere, and honest Man, with Joy
Treating or treated oft our Time employ.
Our Table neat, Meals temperate; and our Door
Op’ning spontaneous to the bashful Poor.
Free from the bitter Rage of Party Zeal,
All those we love who seek the publick Weal.
Nor blindly follow Superstition’s Lore,
Which cheats deluded Mankind o’er and o’er.
Not over righteous, quite beyond the Rule,
Conscience perplext by every canting Tool.
Nor yet when Folly hides the dubious Line,
Where Good and Bad their blended Colours join;
Rush indiscreetly down the dangerous Steep,
And plunge uncertain in the darksome Deep.
Cautious, if right; if wrong resolv’d to part
The Inmate Snake that folds about the Heart.
Observe the Mean, the Motive and the End;
Mending our selves, or striving still to mend.
Our Souls sincere, our Purpose fair and free,
Without Vain Glory or Hypocrisy:
Thankful if well; if ill, we kiss the Rod;
Resign with Hope, and put our Trust in GOD.
When the Well’s dry, we know the Worth of Water.
He that whines for Glass without G
Take away L and that’s he.
A good Wife & Health,
is a Man’s best Wealth.
A quarrelsome Man has no good Neighbours.
Wide will wear,
but Narrow will tear.
Silks and Sattins put out the Kitchen Fire.
Vice knows she’s ugly, so puts on her Mask.
It’s the easiest Thing in the World for a Man to deceive himself.
Women & Wine, Game & Deceit,
Make the Wealth small and the Wants great.
All Mankind are beholden to him that is kind to the Good.
A Plowman on his Legs is higher than a Gentleman on his Knees.
Virtue and Happiness are Mother and Daughter.
The generous Mind least regards money, and yet most feels the Want of it.
For one poor Man there are an hundred indigent.
Dost thou love Life? then do not squander Time; for that’s the Stuff Life is made of.
Good Sense is a Thing all need, few have, and none think they want.
What’s proper, is becoming: See the Blacksmith with his white Silk Apron!
The Tongue is ever turning to the aching Tooth.
Want of Care does us more Damage than Want of Knowledge.
Take Courage, Mortal; Death can’t banish thee out of the Universe.
The Sting of a Reproach, is the Truth of it.
Do me the Favour to deny me at once.
The most exquisite Folly is made of Wisdom spun too fine.
A life of leisure, and a life of laziness, are two things.
Mad Kings and mad Bulls, are not to be held by treaties & packthread.
Changing Countries or Beds, cures neither a bad Manager, nor a Fever.
A true great Man will neither trample on a Worm, nor sneak to an Emperor.
Ni ffyddra llaw dyn, er gwneithr da idd ei hun.
Tim and his Handsaw are good in their Place,
Tho’ not fit for preaching or shaving a face.
Half-Hospitality opens his Doors and shuts up his Countenance.
For the Benefit of the Publick, and my own Profit, I have performed this my thirteenth annual Labour, which I hope will be as acceptable as the former.
The rising and setting of the Planets, and their Conjunctions with the Moon, I have continued; whereby those who are unacquainted with those heavenly Bodies, may soon learn to distinguish them from the fixed Stars, by observing the following Directions.
All those glittering Stars (except five) which we see in the Firmament of Heaven, are called fixed Stars, because they keep the same Distance from one another, and from the Ecliptic; they rise and set on the same Points of the Horizon, and appear like so many lucid Points fixed to the celestial Firmament. The other five have a particular and different Motion, for which Reason they have not always the same Distance form one another; and therefore they have been called wandering Stars or Planets, viz. Saturn xxx, Jupiter xxx, Mars xxx, Venus xxx, and Mercury xxx, and these may be distinguished from the fixed Stars by their not twinkling. The brightest of the five is Venus, which appears the biggest; and when this glorious Star appears, and goes before the Sun, it is called Phosphorus, or the Morning-Star, and Hesperus, or the Evening-Star, when it follows the Sun. Jupiter appears almost as big as Venus, but not so bright. Mars may be easily known from the rest of the Planets, because it appears red like a hot Iron or burning Coal, and twinkles a little. Saturn, in Appearance, is less than Mars, and of a pale Colour, Mercury is so near the Sun, that it is seldom seen.
Against the 6th Day of January you may see xxx rise 10 35, which signifies the Planet Mars rises 35 Minutes after 10 o’ Clock at Night, when that Planet may be seen to appear in the East. Also against the 10th Day of January you will find xxx sets 7 13, which shows Venus sets 13 Minutes after 7 o’Clock at Night. If you look towards the West that Evening, you may see that beautiful Star till the Time of its setting. Again, on the 18th Day of the same Month, you will find xxx rise 9 18, which shews that Saturn rises 18 Minutes after 9 at Night.
Or the Planets may be known by observing them at the Time of their Conjunctions with the Moon, viz. against the 14 Day of January are inserted these Characters, xxx, which shews there will be a Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn on that Day. If you look out about 5 o’ Clock in the Morning, you will see Saturn very near the Moon. The like is to be observed at any other time by the rising and setting of the Planets, and their Conjunctions with the Moon; by which Method they may be distinctly known from the fixed Stars.
I have nothing further to add at present, but my hearty Wishes for your Welfare, both temporal and spiritual, and Thanks for all your past Favours, being,
Thy obliged Friend,
Beware of little Expences, a small Leak will sink a great Ship.
Wars bring scars.
A light purse is a heavy Curse.
As often as we do good, we sacrifice.
For I have no Lands.
It’s common for Men to give 6 pretended Reasons instead of one real one.
Vanity backbites more than Malice.
He’s a Fool that cannot conceal his Wisdom.
Great spenders are bad lenders.
All blood is alike ancient.
You may talk too much on the best of subjects.
A Man without ceremony has need of great merit in its place.
No gains without pains.
Had I revenged wrong, I had not worn my skirts so long.
Graft good Fruit all, or graft not at all.
Idleness is the greatest Prodigality.
Old young and old long.
Punch-coal, cut-candle, and set brand on end,
is neither good house wife, nor good house-wife’s friend.
He who buys had need have 100 Eyes,
but one’s enough for him that sells the Stuff.
There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit.
Many complain of their Memory, few of their Judgment.
One Man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than every body else.
To God we owe fear and love; to our neighbours justice and charity; to our selves prudence and sobriety.
Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.
Light-heel’d mothers make leaden-heel’d daughters.
The good or ill hap of a good or ill life,
is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife.
Tis easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.
Every Man has Assurance enough to boast of his honesty, few of their Understanding.
Interest which blinds some People, enlightens others.
An ounce of wit that is bought,
Is worth a pound that is taught.
He that resolves to mend hereafter, resolves not to mend now.
This is the Twelfth Year that I have in this Way laboured for the Benefit — of Whom? of the Publick, if you’ll be so good-natured as to believe it; if not, e’en take the naked Truth, ‘twas for the Benefit of my own dear self; not forgetting in the mean time, our gracious Consort and Dutchess the peaceful, quiet, silent Lady Bridget. But whether my Labours have been of any Service to the Publick or not, the Publick I must acknowledge has been of Service to me; I have lived Comfortably by its Benevolent Encouragement; and I hope I shall always bear a grateful Sense of its continued Favour.
My Adversary J n J ——— n has indeed made an Attempt to out-shine me, by pretending to penetrate a Year deeper into Futurity; and giving his Readers gratis in his Almanack for 1743 an Eclipse of the Year 1744, to be beforehand with me: His Words are, “The first Day of April next Year 1744, there will be a GREAT ECLIPSE of the Sun; it begins about an Hour before Sunset. It being in the Sign Aries, the House of Mars, and in the 7th, shows Heat, Difference and Animosities between Persons of the highest Rank and Quality,” &c. I am very glad, for the Sake of these Persons of Rank and Quality, that there is no manner of Truth in this Prediction: They may, if they please, live in Love and Peace. And I caution his Readers (they are but few, indeed, and so the Matter’s the less) not to give themselves any Trouble about observing this imaginary Great Eclipse; for they may stare till they’re blind without seeing the least Sign of it. I might, on this Occasion, return Mr. J ——— n the Name of Baal’s false Prophet he gave me some Years ago in his Wrath, on Account of my Predicting his Reconciliation with the Church of Rome, (tho’ he seems now to have given up that Point) but I think such Language between old Men and Scholars unbecoming; and I leave him to settle the Affair with the Buyers of his Almanack as well as he can, who perhaps will not take it very kindly, that he has done what in him lay (by sending them out to gaze at an invisible Eclipse on the first of April) to make April Fools of them all. His old thread-bare Excuse which he repeats Year after Year about the Weather, “That no Man can be infallible therein, by Reason of the many contrary Causes happening at or near the same time, and the Unconstancy of the Summer Showers and gusts,” &c. will hardly serve him in the Affair of Eclipses; and I know not where he’ll get another.
I have made no Alteration in my usual Method, except adding the Rising and Setting of the Planets, and the Lunar Conjunctions. Those who are so disposed, may thereby very readily learn to know the Planets, and distinguish them from each other.
I am, dear Reader,
Thy obliged Friend,
He that drinks his Cyder alone, let him catch his Horse alone.
Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad Habits. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his Portion.
He that has not got a Wife, is not yet a compleat Man.
What you would seem to be, be really.
If you’d lose a troublesome Visitor, lend him Money.
Tart Words make no Friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than Gallon of Vinegar.
Make haste slowly.
Dine with little, sup with less:
Do better still; sleep supperless.
Industry, Perseverance, & Frugality, make Fortune yield.
I’ll warrant ye, goes before Rashness; Who’d-a-tho’t it? comes sneaking after.
Prayers and Provender hinder no Journey.
Hear Reason, or she’ll make you feel her.
Give me yesterday’s Bread, this Day’s Flesh, and last Year’s Cyder.
God heals, and the Doctor takes the Fees.
Sloth (like Rust) consumes faster than Labour wears: the used Key is always bright.
Light Gains heavy Purses.
Keep thou from the Opportunity, and God will keep thee from the Sin.
Where there’s no Law, there’s no Bread.
As Pride increases, Fortune declines.
Drive thy Business, or it will drive thee.
A full Belly is the Mother of all Evil.
The same man cannot be both Friend and Flatterer.
He who multiplies Riches multiplies Cares.
An old Man in a House is a good Sign.
Those who are fear’d, are hated.
The Things which hurt, instruct.
The Eye of a Master, will do more Work than his Hand.
A soft Tongue may strike hard.
If you’d be belov’d, make yourself amiable.
A true Friend is the best Possession.
Fear God, and your Enemies will fear you.
Epitaph on a Scolding Wife by her Husband.
Here my poor Bridgets’s Corps doth lie,
she is at rest, and so am I.
Because I would have every Man make Advantage of the Blessings of Providence, and few are acquainted with the Method of making Wine of the Grapes which grow wild in our Woods, I do here present them with a few easy Directions, drawn from some Years Experience, which, if they will follow, they may furnish themselves with a wholesome sprightly Claret, which will keep for several Years, and is not inferior to that which passeth for French Claret.
Begin to gather Grapes from the 10th of September (the ripest first) to the last of October, and having clear’d them of Spider webs, and dead Leaves, put them into a large Molosses- or Rum-Hogshead; after having washed it well, and knock’d one Head out, fix it upon the other Head, on a Stand, or Blocks in the Cellar, if you have any, if not, in the warmest Part of the House, about 2 Feet from the Ground; as the Grapes sink, put up more, for 3 or 4 Days; after which, get into the Hogshead bare-leg’d, and tread them down until the Juice works up about your Legs, which will be in less than half an Hour; then get out, and turn the Bottom ones up, and tread them again, a Quarter of an Hour; this will be sufficient to get out the good Juice; more pressing wou’d burst the unripe Fruit, and give it an ill Taste: This done, cover the Hogshead close with a thick Blanket, and if you have no Cellar, and the Weather proves Cold, with two.
In this Manner you must let it take its first Ferment, for 4 or 5 Days it will work furiously; when the Ferment abates, which you will know by its making less Noise, make a Spile-hole within six Inches of the Bottom, and twice a Day draw some in a Glass. When it looks as clear as Rock-water, draw it off into a clean, rather than new Cask, proportioning it to the Contents of the Hogshead or Wine (*1) Vat; that is, if the Hogshead holds twenty Bushels of Grapes, Stems and all, the Cask must at least, hold 20 Gallons, for they will yield a Gallon per Bushel. Your Juice or (*2) Must thus drawn from the Vat, proceed to the second Ferment. (*1) Vat or Fatt, a Name for the Vessel, in which you tread the Grapes, and in which the Must takes its first Ferment. (*2) Must is a Name for the Juice of the Vine before it is fermented, afterwards ‘tis called Wine.
You must reserve in Jugs or Bottles, 1 Gallon or 5 Quarts of the Must to every 20 Gallons you have to work; which you will use according to the following Directions.
Place your Cask, which must be chock full, with the Bung up, and open twice every Day, Morning and Night; feed your Cask with the reserved Must; two Spoonfuls at a time will suffice, clearing the Bung after you feed it, with your Finger or a Spoon, of the Grape-Stones and other Filth which the Ferment will throw up; you must continue feeding it thus until Christmas, when you may bung it up, and it will be fit for Use or to be rack’d into clean Casks or Bottles, by February.
N. B. Gather the Grapes after the Dew is off, and in all dry Seasons. Let not the Children come at the Must, it will scour them severely. If you make Wine for Sale, or to go beyond Sea, one quarter Part must be distill’d, and the Brandy put into the three Quarters remaining. One Bushel of Grapes, heap Measure, as you gather them from the Vine, will make at least a Gallon of Wine, if good, five Quarts.
These Directions are not design’d for those who are skill’d in making Wine, but for those who have hitherto had no Acquaintance with that Art.
How few there are who have courage enough to own their Faults, or resolution enough to mend them!
Men differ daily, about things which are subject to Sense, is it likely then they should agree about things invisible.
Mark with what insolence and pride,
Blown Bufo takes his haughty stride;
As if no toad was toad beside.
Ill Company is like a dog who dirts those most, that he loves best.
In prosperous fortunes be modest and wise,
The greatest may fall, and the lowest may rise:
But insolent People that fall in disgrace,
Are wretched and no-body pities their Case.
Le sage entend a demi mot.
Sorrow is dry.
The World is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet every one has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the Affairs of his neighbour.
Beware, beware! he’ll cheat ‘ithout scruple, who can without fear.
The D — l wipes his B — ch with poor Folks Pride.
Content and Riches seldom meet together,
Riches take thou, contentment I had rather.
Speak with contempt of none, from slave to king,
The meanest Bee hath, and will use, a sting.
The church the state, and the poor, are 3 daughters which we should maintain, but not portion off.
A achwyno heb achos; gwneler achos iddo.
A little well-gotten will do us more good,
Than lordships and scepters by Rapine and Blood.
Borgen macht sorgen.
Let all Men know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly: Men freely ford that see the shallows.
Tis easy to frame a good bold resolution;
but hard is the Task that concerns execution.
Cold & cunning come from the north:
But cunning sans wisdom is nothing worth.
Tis vain to repine,
Tho’ a learned Divine,
Will die this day at nine.
A noddo duw, ry noddir.
Ah simple Man! when a boy two precious jewels were given thee, Time, and good Advice; one thou hast lost, and the other thrown away.
Na funno i hun.
Na wnaid i un.
Dick told his spouse, he durst be bold to swear,
Whate’er she pray’d for, Heav’n would thwart her pray’r:
Indeed! says Nell, ‘tis what I’m pleas’d to hear;
For now I’ll pray for your long life, my dear.
The sleeping Fox catches no poultry. Up! up!
If you’d be wealthy, think of saving, more than of getting: The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her Outgoes equal her Incomes.
Tugend bestehet wen alles vergehet.
Came you from Court? for in your Mien,A self-important air is seen.
Hear what Jack Spaniard says,
Con todo el Mundo Guerra,
Y Paz con Ingalatierra.
If you’d have it done, Go: If not, send.
Many a long dispute among Divines may be thus abridg’d, It is so: It is not so. It is so; It is not so.
Experience keeps a dear school, yet Fools will learn in no other.
Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.
How many observe Christ’s Birth-day! How few, his Precepts! O! ‘tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.
This is the ninth Year of my Endeavours to serve thee in the Capacity of a Calendar-Writer. The Encouragement I have met with must be ascrib’d, in a great Measure, to your Charity, excited by the open honest Declaration I made of my Poverty at my first Appearance. This my Brother Philomaths could, without being Conjurers, discover; and Poor Richard’s Success, has produced ye a Poor Will, and a Poor Robin; and no doubt Poor John, &c. will follow, and we shall all be in Name what some Folks say we are already in Fact, A Parcel of poor Almanack Makers. During the Course of these nine Years, what Buffetings have I not sustained! The Fraternity have been all in Arms. Honest Titan, deceas’d, was rais’d, and made to abuse his old Friend. Both Authors and Printers were angry. Hard Names, and many, were bestow’d on me. They deny’d me to be the Author of my own Works; declar’d there never was any such Person; asserted that I was dead 60 Years ago; prognosticated my Death to happen within a Twelvemonth: with many other malicious Inconsistences, the Effects of blind Passion, Envy at my Success; and a vain Hope of depriving me (dear Reader) of thy wonted Countenance and Favour. — Who knows him? they cry: Where does he live? — But what is that to them? If I delight in a private Life, have they any Right to drag me out of my Retirement? I have good Reasons for concealing the Place of my Abode. ‘Tis time for an old Man, as I am, to think of preparing for his great Remove. The perpetual Teasing of both Neighbours and Strangers, to calculate Nativities, give Judgments on Schemes, erect Figures, discover Thieves, detect Horse-Stealers, describe the Route of Run-aways and stray’d Cattle; The Croud of Visitors with a 1000 trifling Questions; Will my Ship return safe? Will my Mare win the Race? Will her next Colt be a Pacer? When will my Wife die? Who shall be my Husband, and HOW LONG first? When is the best time to cut Hair, trim Cocks, or sow Sallad? These and the like Impertinences I have now neither Taste nor Leisure for. I have had enough of ‘em. All that these angry Folks can say, will never provoke me to tell them where I live. I would eat my Nails first.
My last Adversary is J. J ——— n, Philomat. who declares and protests (in his Preface, 1741) that the false Prophecy put in my Almanack, concerning him, the Year before, is altogether false and untrue: and that I am one of Baal’s false Prophets. This false, false Prophecy he speaks of, related to his Reconciliation with the Church of Rome; which, notwithstanding his Declaring and Protesting, is, I fear, too true. Two Things in his elegiac Verses confirm me in this Suspicion. He calls the First of November by the Name of All Hallows Day. Reader; does not this smell of Popery? Does it in the least savour of the pure Language of Friends? But the plainest Thing is; his Adoration of Saints, which he confesses to be his Practice, in these Words, page 4.
When any Trouble did me befal,
To my dear Mary then I would call:
Did he think the whole World were so stupid as not to take Notice of this? So ignorant as not to know, that all Catholicks pay the highest Regard to the Virgin-Mary? Ah! Friend John, We must allow you to be a Poet, but you are certainly no Protestant. I could heartily wish your Religion were as good as your Verses.
Strange! that a Man who has wit enough to write a Satyr; should have folly enough to publish it.
He that hath a Trade, hath an Estate.
Have you somewhat to do to-morrow; do it to-day.
No workman without tools,
Nor Lawyer without Fools,
Can live by their Rules.
The painful Preacher, like a candle bright,
Consumes himself in giving others Light.
Speak and speed: the close mouth catches no flies.
Visit your Aunt, but not every Day; and call at your Brother’s, but not every night.
Bis dat, qui cito dat.
Money and good Manners make the Gentleman.
Late Children, early Orphans.
Ben beats his Pate, and fancys wit will come;
But he may knock, there’s no body at home.
The good Spinner hath a large Shift.
Tom, vain’s your Pains; They all will fail:
Ne’er was good Arrow made of a Sow’s Tail.
Empty Free-booters, cover’d with Scorn:
They went out for Wealth, & come ragged and torn,
As the Ram went for Wool, and was sent back shorn.
Ill Customs & bad Advice are seldom forgotten.
He that sows thorns, should not go barefoot.
Reniego de grillos, aunque sean d’oro.
Men meet, mountains never.
When Knaves fall out, honest Men get their goods: When Priests dispute, we come at the Truth.
Kate would have Thomas, no one blame her can:
Tom won’t have Kate, and who can blame the Man?
A large train makes a light Purse.
Death takes no bribes.
One good Husband is worth two good Wives; for the scarcer things are the more they’re valued.
He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.
He that speaks ill of the Mare, will buy her.
You may drive a gift without a gimblet.
Eat few Suppers, and you’ll need few Medicines.
You will be careful, if you are wise;
How you touch Men’s Religion, or Credit, or Eyes.
Milk do not wish.
Heb Dduw heb ddim, a Duw a digon.
They who have nothing to trouble them, will be troubled at nothing.
Against Diseases here, the strongest Fence,
Is the defensive Virtue, Abstinence.
Fient de chien, & marc d’argent,
Seront tout un au jour du jugement.
If thou dost ill, the joy fades, not the pains;
If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains.
To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish.
Money & Man a mutual Friendship show:
Man makes false Money, Money makes Man so.
Industry pays Debts, Despair encreases them.
Bright as the day and as the morning fair,
Such Cloe is, & common as the air.
Here comes Glib-tongue: who can out-flatter a Dedication; and lie, like ten Epitaphs.
Hope and a Red-Rag, are Baits for Men and Mackrel.
With the old Almanack and the old Year,
Leave thy old Vices, tho’ ever so dear.
Rules of Health and long Life, and to preserve from Malignant Fevers, and Sickness in general.
Eat and drink such an exact Quantity as the Constitution of thy Body allows of, in reference to the Services of the Mind.
They that study much, ought not to eat so much as those that work hard, their Digestion being not so good.
The exact Quantity and Quality being found out, is to be kept to constantly.
Excess in all other Things whatever, as well as in Meat and Drink, is also to be avoided.
Youth, Age, and Sick require a different Quantity.
And so do those of contrary Complexions; for that which is too much for a flegmatick Man, is not sufficient for a Cholerick.
The Measure of Food ought to be (as much as possibly may be) exactly proportionable to the Quality and Condition of the Stomach, because the Stomach digests it.
That Quantity that is sufficient, the Stomach can perfectly concoct and digest, and it sufficeth the due Nourishment of the Body.
A greater Quantity of some things may be eaten than of others, some being of lighter Digestion than others.
The Difficulty lies, in finding out an exact Measure; but eat for Necessity, not Pleasure, for Lust knows not where Necessity ends.
Wouldst thou enjoy a long Life, a healthy Body, and a vigorous Mind, and be acquainted also with the wonderful Works of God? labour in the first place to bring thy Appetite into Subjection to Reason.
Rules to find out a fit Measure of Meat and Drink.
If thou eatest so much as makes thee unfit for Study, or other Business, thou exceedest the due Measure.
If thou art dull and heavy after Meat, it’s a sign thou hast exceeded the due Measure; for Meat and Drink ought to refresh the Body, and make it chearful, and not to dull and oppress it.
If thou findest these ill Symptoms, consider whether too much Meat, or too much Drink occasions it, or both, and abate by little and little, till thou findest the Inconveniency removed.
Keep out of the Sight of Feasts and Banquets as much as may be; for ‘tis more difficult to refrain good Cheer, when it’s present, than from the Desire of it when it is away; the like you may observe in the Objects of all the other Senses.
If a Man casually exceeds, let him fast the next Meal, and all may be well again, provided it be not too often done; as if he exceed at Dinner, let him refrain a Supper, &c.
A temperate Diet frees from Diseases; such are seldom ill, but if they are surprised with Sickness, they bear it better, and recover sooner; for most Distempers have their Original from Repletion.
Use now and then a little Exercise a quarter of an Hour before Meals, as to swing a Weight, or swing your Arms about with a small Weight in each Hand; to leap, or the like, for that stirs the Muscles of the Breast.
A temperate Diet arms the Body against all external Accidents; so that they are not so easily hurt by Heat, Cold or Labour; if they at any time should be prejudiced, they are more easily cured, either of Wounds, Dislocations or Bruises.
But when malignant Fevers are rife in the Country or City where thou dwelst, ‘tis adviseable to eat and drink more freely, by Way of Prevention; for those are Diseases that are not caused by Repletion, and seldom attack Full-feeders.
A sober Diet makes a Man die without Pain; it maintains the Senses in Vigour; it mitigates the Violence of Passions and Affections.
It preserves the Memory, it helps the Understanding, it allays the Heat of Lust; it brings a Man to a Consideration of his latter End; it makes the Body a fit Tabernacle for the Lord to dwell in; which makes us happy in this World, and eternally happy in the World to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Enjoy the present hour, be mindful of the past;
And neither fear nor wish the Approaches of the last.
Learn of the skilful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master.
Best is the Tongue that feels the rein; —
He that talks much, must talk in vain;
We from the wordy Torrent fly:
Who listens to the chattering Pye?
Think Cato sees thee.
No Wood without Bark.
Monkeys warm with envious spite,
Their most obliging FRIENDS will bite; —
And, fond to copy human Ways,
Practise new Mischiefs all their days.
Joke went out, and brought home his fellow, and they two began a quarrel.
Let thy discontents be thy Secrets; if the world knows them, ‘twill despise thee and increase them.
E’er you remark another’s Sin,
Bid your own Conscience look within.
Anger and Folly walk cheek-by-jole; Repentance treads on both their Heels.
Turn Turk Tim, and renounce thy Faith in Words as well as Actions: Is it worse to follow Mahomet than the Devil?
Don’t overload Gratitude; if you do, she’ll kick.
Be always asham’d to catch thy self idle.
Where yet was ever found the Mother,
Who’d change her booby for another?
At 20 years of age the Will reigns; at 30 the Wit; at 40 the Judgment.
Christianity commands us to pass by Injuries; Policy, to let them pass by us.
Lying rides upon Debt’s back.
They who have nothing to be troubled at, will be troubled at nothing.
Wife from thy Spouse each blemish hide
More than from all the World beside:
Let DECENCY be all thy Pride.
Nick’s Passions grow fat and hearty; his Understanding looks consumptive!
If evils come not, then our fears are vain:
And if they do, Fear but augments the pain.
If you would keep your Secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
Rob not for burnt offerings.
Bess brags she ‘as Beauty, and can prove the same;
As how? why thus, Sir, ‘tis her puppy’s name.
Up, Sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
Well done, is twice done.
Clearly spoken, Mr. Fog! You explain English by Greek.
Formio bewails his Sins with the same heart,
As Friends do Friends when they’re about to part.
Believe it Formio will not entertain,
One chearful Thought till they do meet again.
Honours change Manners.
Jack eating rotten cheese, did say,
Like Sampson I my thousands slay;
I vow, quoth Roger, so you do,
And with the self-same weapon too.
There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit.
Quarrels never could last long,
If on one side only lay the wrong.
Let no Pleasure tempt thee, no Profit allure thee, no Ambition corrupt thee, no Example sway thee, no Persuasion move thee, to do any thing which thou knowest to be Evil; So shalt thou always live jollily: for a good Conscience is a continual Christmass.
Courteous Reader, OCTOBER 7. 1739.
You may remember that in my first Almanack, published for the Year 1733, I predicted the Death of my dear Friend Titan Leeds, Philomat. to happen that Year on the 17th Day of October, 3 h. 29 m. P.M. The good Man, it seems, died accordingly: But W.B. and A.B. have continued to publish Almanacks in his Name ever since; asserting for some Years that he was still living; At length when the Truth could no longer be conceal’d from the World, they confess his Death in their Almanack for 1739, but pretend that he died not till last Year, and that before his Departure he had furnished them with Calculations for 7 Years to come. Ah, My Friends, these are poor Shifts and thin Disguises; of which indeed I should have taken little or no Notice, if you had not at the same time accus’d me as a false Predictor; an Aspersion that the more affects me, as my whole Livelyhood depends on a contrary Character.
But to put this Matter beyond Dispute, I shall acquaint the World with a Fact, as strange and surprizing as it is true; being as follows, viz.
On the 4th Instant, towards midnight, as I sat in my little Study writing this Preface, I fell fast asleep; and continued in that Condition for some time, without dreaming any thing, to my Knowledge. On awaking, I found lying before me the following Letter, viz.
Dear Friend SAUNDERS,
My Respect for you continues even in this separate State, and I am griev’d to see the Aspersions thrown on you by the Malevolence of avaricious Publishers of Almanacks, who envy your Success. They say your Prediction of my Death in 1733 was false, and they pretend that I remained alive many Years after. But I do hereby certify, that I did actually die at that time, precisely at the Hour you mention’d, with a Variation only of 5 min. 53 sec. which must be allow’d to be no great matter in such Cases. And I do farther declare that I furnish’d them with no Calculations of the Planets Motions, &c. seven Years after my Death, as they are pleased to give out: so that the Stuff they publish as an Almanack in my Name is no more mine than ‘tis yours.
You will wonder perhaps, how this Paper comes written on your Table. You must know that no separate Spirits are under any Confinement till after the final Settlement of all Accounts. In the mean time we wander where we please, visit our old Friends, observe their Actions, enter sometimes into their Imaginations, and give them Hints waking or sleeping that may be of Advantage to them. Finding you asleep, I entred your left Nostril, ascended into your Brain, found out where the Ends of those Nerves were fastned that move your right Hand and Fingers, by the Help of which I am now writing unknown to you; but when you open your Eyes, you will see that the Hand written is mine, tho’ wrote with yours.
The People of this Infidel Age, perhaps, will hardly believe this Story. But you may give them these three Signs by which they shall be convinc’d of the Truth of it. About the middle of June next, J. J ——— n, Philomat, shall be openly reconciled to the Church of Rome, and give all his Goods and Chattles to the Chappel, being perverted by a certain Country School-master. On the 7th of September following my old Friend W. B ——— t shall be sober 9 Hours, to the Astonishment of all his Neighbours: And about the same time W.B. and A.B. will publish another Almanack in my Name, in spight of Truth and Common-Sense.
As I can see much clearer into Futurity, since I got free from the dark Prison of Flesh, in which I was continually molested and almost blinded with Fogs arising from Tiff, and the Smoke of burnt Drams; I shall in kindness to you, frequently give you Informations of things to come, for the Improvement of your Almanack: Being Dear Dick,
Your affectionate Friend, T. Leeds.
For my own part I am convinc’d that the above Letter is genuine. If the Reader doubts of it, let him carefully observe the three Signs; and if they do not actually come to pass, believe as he pleases.
I am his humble Friend,
To bear other Peoples Afflictions, every one has Courage enough, and to spare.
No wonder Tom grows fat, th’ unwieldy Sinner,
Makes his whole Life but one continual Dinner.
An empty Bag cannot stand upright.
Happy that nation, fortunate that age, whose history is not diverting.
What is a butterfly? At best
He’s but a caterpiller drest.
The gaudy Fop’s his picture just.
None are deceived but they that confide.
An open Foe may prove a curse;
But a pretended friend is worse.
A wolf eats sheep but now and then,
Ten Thousands are devour’d by Men.
Man’s tongue is soft, and bone doth lack;
Yet a stroke therewith may break a man’s back.
Many a Meal is lost for want of meat.
To all apparent Beauties blind
Each Blemish strikes an envious Mind.
The Poor have little, Beggars none;
the Rich too much, enough not one.
There are lazy Minds as well as lazy Bodies.
Tricks and Treachery are the Practice of Fools, that have not Wit enough to be honest.
Who says Jack is not generous? he is always fond of giving, and cares not for receiving. What? Why; Advice.
The Man who with undaunted toils,
sails unknown seas to unknown soils,
With various wonders feasts his Sight:
What stranger wonders does he write?
Fear not Death; for the sooner we die, the longer shall we be immortal.
Those who in quarrels interpose,
Must often wipe a bloody nose.
Promises may get thee Friends, but Nonperformance will turn them into Enemies.
In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye;
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own stronger errors blind.
When you speak to a man, look on his eyes; when he speaks to thee, look on his mouth.
Jane, why those tears? why droops your head?
Is then your other husband dead?
Or doth a worse disgrace betide?
Hath no one since his death apply’d?
Observe all men; thy self most.
Thou hadst better eat salt with the Philosophers of Greece, than sugar with the Courtiers of Italy.
Seek Virtue, and, of that possest,
To Providence, resign the rest.
Marry above thy match, and thou’lt get a Master.
Fear to do ill, and you need fear nought else.
He makes a Foe who makes a jest.
Can grave and formal pass for wise,
When Men the solemn Owl despise?
Some are justly laught at for keeping their Money foolishly, others for spending it idly: He is the greatest fool that lays it out in a purchase of repentance.
Who knows a fool, must know his brother;
For one will recommend another.
Avoid dishonest Gain: No price;
Can recompence the Pangs of Vice.
When befriended, remember it:
When you befriend, forget it.
Great souls with gen’rous pity melt;
Which coward tyrants never felt.
Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.
A Flatterer never seems absurd:
The Flatter’d always take his Word.
Lend Money to an Enemy, and thou’lt gain him, to a Friend and thou’lt lose him.
Neither praise nor dispraise, till seven Christmasses be over.