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.