Monday, September 17, 2007

The World According to Ben.

I came across a Peter Pauper Press copy of Poor Richard's Almanack in the gift shop in Old Deerfield a few weeks ago. Being always on the lookout for the next metaphor or pearl of wisdom, I knew I wasn't leaving the store without my own copy.

If you haven't seen it or been forced to read it in some high school English class, it's basically a collection of 'observations' on life, as recorded by a guy you may have heard of, Benjamin Franklin. There's a disclaimer on the first page that clearly states that 'Ben Franklin did not orginate all the sayings in Poor Richard's'. Ben himself calls the collection 'Wisdom of many ages and Nations.' It' s quite a collection.

Some are a bit dated, 'A penny saved is two pence clear. A pin a-day is a groat a year. Save and have.' Others show Ben to be a bit of a pessimist. 'Love your neighbor; yet don't pull down your hedge.' Many read like fortune cookies- 'The cat in gloves catches no mice'. But there are some good nuggets in there. Let me give you a few sample spoons. Perhaps I'll drop in a few more when the mood strikes me or I can't think of anything else. Let me start it off with a few that jumped out at me on my first pass...

"Fish and Visitors stink after 3 days."

"There are no ugly loves, nor handsome prisons."

"Necessity never made a good bargain."

"The discontented man finds no easy chair."

"Wealth and content are not always bedfellows."

"Think of three things - whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account."

Indeed.

1 comment:

April said...

"Fish and Visitors stink after 3 days."
Yup, this is an axiom well researched and noted in our family for generations.