The Best 100 Maxims from Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack” (Inspirational Quotations #359)

Benjamin Franklin, American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, author, and founding father It is the 305th birthday of Benjamin Franklin, American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, author, and founding father.

At age 27, Benjamin Franklin began publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanack” under the pseudonym “Richard Saunders.”

Published annually for the next 26 years, the Almanack became widely successful. At the height of its popularity, the Almanack sold 10,000 copies a year, making it a best-seller in colonial America.

“Poor Richard’s Almanack” consisted of a hodgepodge of facts, weather forecasts, household hints, puzzles, historical tidbits, poems, and assorted amusements. However, what made the Almanack well known were the witty proverbs and maxims that Franklin included as fillers. The most famous of these maxims include, “Well done is better than well said,” “Haste makes waste,” and the oft misquoted “A penny saved is twopence dear.”

Benjamin Franklin sourced a good number of his maxims in the “Poor Richard’s Almanack” from Native American traditions, common legends and superstitions of his day, public speeches, and works of other published authors.

Maxims from Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack”

'Poor Richard's Almanack' published by Benjamin Franklin under the pseudonym Richard Saunders

Diligence overcomes Difficulties, Sloth makes them.
Benjamin Franklin

What signifies your Patience, if you can’t find it when you want it.
Benjamin Franklin

You may give a Man an Office, but you cannot give him Discretion.
Benjamin Franklin

Fish & Visitors stink in 3 days.
Benjamin Franklin

No gains without pains.
Benjamin Franklin

He that can compose himself, is wiser than he that composes books.
Benjamin Franklin

Do not do what you would not have known.
Benjamin Franklin

The Proud hate Pride – in others.
Benjamin Franklin

Time enough, always proves little enough.
Benjamin Franklin

If Man could have Half his Wishes, he would double his Troubles.
Benjamin Franklin

Anger is never without a Reason, but seldom with a good One.
Benjamin Franklin

How many observe Christ’s Birth-day! How few, his Precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.
Benjamin Franklin

Work as if you were to live 100 years, Pray as if you were to die To-morrow.
Benjamin Franklin

God helps them that help themselves.
Benjamin Franklin

Speak little, do much.
Benjamin Franklin

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not of Reason.
Benjamin Franklin

If you would keep your Secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
Benjamin Franklin

Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep; And you shall have Corn, to sell and to keep.
Benjamin Franklin

Tell a miser he’s rich, and a woman she’s old, you’ll get no money of one, nor kindness of t’other.
Benjamin Franklin

Diligence is the mother of good luck.
Benjamin Franklin

Don’t throw stones at your neighbours, if your own windows are glass.
Benjamin Franklin

An empty bag will not stand upright.
Benjamin Franklin

Hunger never saw bad bread.
Benjamin Franklin

Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones.
Benjamin Franklin

A quarrelsome Man has no good Neighbors.
Benjamin Franklin

The poor have little, beggars none, the rich too much, enough not one.
Benjamin Franklin

There are lazy Minds as well as lazy Bodies.
Benjamin Franklin

When you’re good to others, you are best to yourself.
Benjamin Franklin

Lost time is never found again.
Benjamin Franklin

Experience keeps a dear school, yet Fools will learn in no other.
Benjamin Franklin

The Sun never repents of the good he does, nor does he ever demand a recompence.
Benjamin Franklin

Fear to do ill, and you need fear naught else.
Benjamin Franklin

Proclaim not all thou knowest, all thou owest, all thou hast, nor all thou canst.
Benjamin Franklin

Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.
Benjamin Franklin

Tell me my Faults, and mend your own. Men take more pains to mask than mend.
Benjamin Franklin

Better is a little with content than much with contention.
Benjamin Franklin

Avarice and Happiness never saw each other, how then shou’d they become acquainted.
Benjamin Franklin

Love, and be loved.
Benjamin Franklin

Necessity never made a good bargain.
Benjamin Franklin

Poverty wants some things, Luxury many things, Avarice all things.
Benjamin Franklin

By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable.
Benjamin Franklin

The Things which hurt, instruct.
Benjamin Franklin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
Benjamin Franklin

Don’t go to the doctor with every distemper, nor to the lawyer with every quarrel, nor to the pot for every thirst.
Benjamin Franklin

Silence is not always a Sign of Wisdom, but Babbling is ever a Mark of Folly.
Benjamin Franklin

Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
Benjamin Franklin

He that’s content, hath enough; He that complains, has too much.
Benjamin Franklin

Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily crack’d, and never well mended.
Benjamin Franklin

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
Benjamin Franklin

Better slip with foot than tongue.
Benjamin Franklin

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
Benjamin Franklin

Distrust & caution are the parents of security.
Benjamin Franklin

Wish not so much to live long as to live well.
Benjamin Franklin

Humility makes great men twice honourable.
Benjamin Franklin

An ounce of wit that is bought, is worth a pound that is taught.
Benjamin Franklin

Pay what you owe, and you’ll know what’s your own.
Benjamin Franklin

Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad Habits.
Benjamin Franklin

He’s a Fool that cannot conceal his Wisdom.
Benjamin Franklin

They that won’t be counselled, can’t be helped.
Benjamin Franklin

The Sting of a Reproach, is the Truth of it.
Benjamin Franklin

Virtue may not always make a Face handsome, but Vice will certainly make it ugly.
Benjamin Franklin

When the Well’s dry, we know the Worth of Water.
Benjamin Franklin

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
Benjamin Franklin

Hunger is the best Pickle.
Benjamin Franklin

Fools make feasts and wise men eat ‘em.
Benjamin Franklin

Fools multiply folly.
Benjamin Franklin

Observe all men; thy self most.
Benjamin Franklin

He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.
Benjamin Franklin

Think of three Things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.
Benjamin Franklin

Sin is not harmful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is hurtful.
Benjamin Franklin

The noblest question in the world is, What Good may I do in it?
Benjamin Franklin

If you’d know the Value of Money, go and borrow some.
Benjamin Franklin

He that waits upon Fortune, is never sure of a Dinner.
Benjamin Franklin

They who have nothing to be troubled at, will be troubled at nothing.
Benjamin Franklin

Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.
Benjamin Franklin

Half the Truth is often a great Lie.
Benjamin Franklin

Employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure.
Benjamin Franklin

If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.
Benjamin Franklin

Be neither silly, nor cunning, but wise.
Benjamin Franklin

Be slow in chusing a Friend, slower in changing.
Benjamin Franklin

The Wolf sheds his Coat once a Year, his Disposition never.
Benjamin Franklin

To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish.
Benjamin Franklin

Want of Care does us more Damage than Want of Knowledge.
Benjamin Franklin

A great Talker may be no Fool, but he is one that relies on him.
Benjamin Franklin

The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.
Benjamin Franklin

Whate’er’s begun in anger ends in shame.
Benjamin Franklin

A Temper to bear much, will have much to bear.
Benjamin Franklin

To-morrow, every fault is to be amended; but that To-morrow never comes.
Benjamin Franklin

Who has deceiv’d thee so oft as thy self?
Benjamin Franklin

Have you somewhat to do tomorrow; do it today.
Benjamin Franklin

Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.
Benjamin Franklin

Approve not of him who commends all you say.
Benjamin Franklin

Haste makes Waste.
Benjamin Franklin

He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.
Benjamin Franklin

He that sows thorns, should not go barefoot.
Benjamin Franklin

He that lives upon Hope, dies fasting.
Benjamin Franklin

Reading makes a full Man, Meditation a profound Man, discourse a clear Man.
Benjamin Franklin

Beware of him that is slow to anger: He is angry for some thing, and will not be pleased for nothing.
Benjamin Franklin

Well done is better than well said.
Benjamin Franklin

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