Wisdom Books: Wit & Wisdom From Poor Richard’s Almanack By Benjamin Franklin

“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.

Franklin, the American inventor, statesman, and publisher, achieved success with Poor Richard’s Almanack. Almanacks were very popular books in colonial America, with people in the colonies using them for the mixture of seasonal weather forecasts, practical household hints, puzzles, and other amusements they offered.  Poor Richard’s Almanack was popular for all of these reasons, and also for its extensive use of wordplay, with many examples derived from the work surviving in the contemporary American vernacular.”

~ Wikipedia

Here are a few aphorisms from the book to tickle your fancy:


He is no clown that drives the plow, but he that doth clownish things.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the Philosophers-Stone.

The good Paymaster is Lord of another man’s Purse.

Fish & Visitors stink in 3 days.

He that has neither fools, whores nor beggars among his kindred, is the son of a thunder-gust.

Diligence is the Mother of Good-Luck.

He that lives upon Hope, dies farting.

Do not do that which you would not have known.

Never praise your Cyder, Horse, or Bedfellow.

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

Tis easy to see, hard to foresee.

In a discreet man’s mouth, a publick thing is private.

Let thy maidservant be faithful, strong, and homely.

Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming.

Bargaining has neither friends nor relations.

Admiration is the Daughter of Ignorance.

There’s more old Drunkards than old Doctors.

She that paints her Face, thinks of her Tail.

Here comes Courage! that seiz’d the lion absent, and run away from the present mouse.

He that takes a wife, takes care.

Nor Eye in a letter, nor Hand in a purse, nor Ear in the secret of another.

He that buys by the penny, maintains not only himself, but other people.

He that can have Patience, can have what he will.

Now I’ve a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good morrow.

God helps them that help themselves.

Why does the blind man’s wife paint herself.

None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.

The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.

Gifts burst rocks.

If wind blows on you thro’ a hole, Make your will and take care of your soul.

The rotten Apple spoils his Companion.

He that sells upon trust, loses many friends, and always wants money.

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

The excellency of hogs is fatness, of men virtue. […]




  1. Franklin was an amazing guy. So many talents and diverse interests. So many of his sayings have become part of our popular culture.

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi NP,

    Yes, Franklin has taught me much about self-improvement and in being industrious in everything I do.

    He has also shown me how to become very wealthy – not in terms of having a big bank account, but by just being frugal and living within one’s means, which is more than anyone should need in their lifetime.

  3. buddha's remedy says:

    i hope and im sure..Big Ben didnt write this for money wise profit..so i printed out some copies..and my job, i see many faces throughout the community..and i’ve been blessedly thanked for sharing this book..and i thank you for finding and sharing this..cuz i’ve been looking for this for a while…

  4. Jason Cooper says:

    No problem, Buddha.

    Watch out for more books to come.