Benjamin Franklin King Quotes

I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, make the execution of that same plan his sole study and business.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. Autobiography, ch. 7 (written 1771-1790, published 1868).
(1) (0)
Every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned and well placed, that, without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music. This is an advantage itinerant preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter can not well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. Autobiography, ch. 8 (written 1771-1790, published 1868). Said of Irish itinerant preacher the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1739.
(2) (0)
Like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, though in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. Autobiography, ch. 8 (written 1771-1790, published 1868). of the delusions of those in sects. Franklin was, however, struck by the "modesty" of the Quakers, in contrast to other sects.
(0) (1)
Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. letter, Nov. 13, 1789. Complete Works, vol. 10, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888).
(1) (1)
What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility; what an extension of agriculture even to the tops of our mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads, and other public works, edifices, and improvements ... might not have been obtained by spending those millions in doing good, which in the last war have been spent in doing mischief.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. Letter, July 27, 1783, to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, after the American War of Independence. Complete Works, vol. 8, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888).
(1) (1)
There never was a good war or a bad peace.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. Letter, July 27, 1783, to the botanist Sir Joseph Banks. Complete Works, vol. 8, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888). Franklin used the same words in a letter of Sept. 11, 1783, to New England revolutionary Josiah Quincy.
(3) (1)
Some punishment seems preparing for a people who are ungratefully abusing the best constitution and the best King any nation was ever blessed with, intent on nothing but luxury, licentiousness, power, places, pensions, and plunder; while the ministry, divided in their counsels, with little regard for each other, worried by perpetual oppositions, in continual apprehension of changes, intent on securing popularity in case they should lose favor, have for some years past had little time or inclination to attend to our small affairs, whose remoteness makes them appear even smaller.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. Letter, May 14, 1768. Complete Works, vol. 4, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888). Written while in London during the riots following the arrest of John Wilkes, when "all respect to law and government seems to be lost among the common people, who are moreover continually inflamed by seditious scribblers, to trample on authority and every thing that used to keep them in order."
(0) (1)
We are not certain, we are never certain. If we were we could reach some conclusions, and we could, at last, make others take us seriously. In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. letter, Nov. 13, 1789. Complete Works, vol. 10, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888). For a similar observation, see Charles Dickens on "truth."
(1) (0)
Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. letter, Aug. 9, 1768. Complete Works, vol. 4, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888).
(0) (1)
We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), U.S. statesman, writer. letter, Sept. 6, 1783. Complete Works, vol. 8, ed. John Bigelow (1887-1888).
(1) (0)