150+ Benjamin Franklin Quotes And Sayings (Poor Richard’s Almanack)

Benjamin Franklin was an American politician, diplomat, scientist, and writer. He’s also one of the most quoted people of modern times.

Benjamin Franklin – Politician (Polymath)

Benjamin Franklin was considered to be a polymath, which means that he was knowledgeable in a wide variety of fields. This is evident in his many quotes that cover topics such as politics, science, and even humor.

Many of his most famous words and saying come from his Poor Richard’s Almanack, which he published from 1732-1758. The almanac was full of his wit and wisdom, and it’s no wonder that his quotes are still remembered and quoted today.

Others come from his time as a diplomat during the American Revolution, when he helped to negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain.

And still others come from his private life, such as his thoughts on marriage and religion.

Whatever the source, Benjamin Franklin’s quotes are always insightful and thought-provoking. Here are some of his most famous quotes:

Best Benjamin Franklin Quotes

A countryman between 2 Lawyers, is like a fish between two cats.

– Benjamin Franklin


Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.

– Benjamin Franklin


Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.

– Benjamin Franklin


There are two ways to increase your wealth. Increase your means or decrease your wants. The best is to do both at the same time.

– Benjamin Franklin


There never was a good war or a bad peace.

– Benjamin Franklin

There never was a good war or a bad peace. - Benjamin Franklin


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.

– Benjamin Franklin


We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

– Benjamin Franklin

Related: Hard Work Quotes


After all, wedlock is the natural state of man. A bachelor is not a complete human being. He is like the odd half of a pair of scissors, which has not yet found its fellow, and therefore is not even half so useful as they might be together.

– Benjamin Franklin


The way to be safe, is never to be secure.

– Benjamin Franklin


One today is worth two tomorrows.

– Benjamin Franklin

One today is worth two tomorrows. - Benjamin Franklin


Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.

– Benjamin Franklin


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

– Benjamin Franklin

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin


The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked, than the supine, secure, and negligent.

– Benjamin Franklin


The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest.

– Benjamin Franklin


Life, like a dramatic piece, should not only be conducted with regularity, but it should finish handsomely.

– Benjamin Franklin


Keep the eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards.

– Benjamin Franklin


Quotations by Benjamin Franklin

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

– Benjamin Franklin

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


The best of all medicines are rest and fasting.

– Benjamin Franklin

The best of all medicines are rest and fasting. - Benjamin Franklin


Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended.

– Benjamin Franklin


The most trifling actions of a man, in my opinion, as well as the smallest features and lineaments of the face give a nice observer some notion of his mind.

– Benjamin Franklin


Man and woman have each of them qualities and tempers in which the other is deficient, and which in union contribute to the common felicity.

– Benjamin Franklin


When there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, and your country, be up by peep of day! Let not the sun look down and say, ‘Inglorious here he lies!’

– Benjamin Franklin


A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.

– Benjamin Franklin

A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother. - Benjamin Franklin


The art of getting riches consists very much in thrift. All men are not equally qualified for getting money, but it is in the power of every one alike to practice this virtue.

– Benjamin Franklin


It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.

– Benjamin Franklin


There are two ways of being happy — we may either diminish our wants or augment our means — either will do, the result is the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means.

– Benjamin Franklin


God heals, and the Doctor takes the Fees.

– Benjamin Franklin


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

– Benjamin Franklin


Better slip with foot than tongue.

– Benjamin Franklin


To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

– Benjamin Franklin


A true Friend is the best Possession.

– Benjamin Franklin

A true Friend is the best Possession. - Benjamin Franklin


Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.

– Benjamin Franklin

Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind. - Benjamin Franklin


Ben Franklin Quotes

To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it.

– Benjamin Franklin


Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

– Benjamin Franklin


Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout.

– Benjamin Franklin


For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.

– Benjamin Franklin


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

– Benjamin Franklin


When you incline to have new clothes, look first well over the old ones, and see if you cannot shift with them another year, either by scouring, mending, or even patching if necessary. Remember, a patch on your coat, and money in your pocket, is better and more creditable, than a writ on your back, and no money to take it off.

– Benjamin Franklin


The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.

– Benjamin Franklin

The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands. - Benjamin Franklin


Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.

– Benjamin Franklin


Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.

– Benjamin Franklin

Related: Meditation Quotes


The worship of God is a duty; the hearing and reading of sermons may be useful; but if men rest in hearing and praying, as too many do, it is as if a tree should value itself in being watered and putting forth leaves, tho’ it never produced any fruit.

– Benjamin Franklin


Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.

– Benjamin Franklin


It is a common error in friends, when they would extol their friends, to make comparisons, and to depreciate the merits of others.

– Benjamin Franklin


A great talker may be no fool, but he is one that relies on him.

– Benjamin Franklin


A fat kitchen makes a lean will.

– Benjamin Franklin


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

– Benjamin Franklin


He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare.

– Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin Quotations

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

– Benjamin Franklin


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

– Benjamin Franklin


He that speaks much, is much mistaken.

– Benjamin Franklin

He that speaks much, is much mistaken. - Benjamin Franklin


Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

– Benjamin Franklin


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

– Benjamin Franklin


God helps them who help themselves.

– Benjamin Franklin


There are in life real evils enough, and it is folly to afflict ourselves with imaginary ones; it is time enough when the real ones arrive.

– Benjamin Franklin


They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

– Benjamin Franklin


A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.

– Benjamin Franklin


Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.

– Benjamin Franklin


Hope and faith may be more firmly built upon charity, than charity upon faith and hope.

– Benjamin Franklin


Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.

– Benjamin Franklin


To expect people to be good, to be just, to be temperate, etc., without showing them how they should become so, seems like the ineffectual charity mentioned by the apostle, which consisted in saying to the hungry, the cold and the naked, be ye fed, be ye warmed, be ye clothed, without showing them how they should get food, fire or clothing.

– Benjamin Franklin


A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.

– Benjamin Franklin


There are three things extremely hard – steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.

– Benjamin Franklin


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

– Benjamin Franklin


Famous Benjamin Franklin Quotes

The best way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason.

– Benjamin Franklin


A penny saved is a penny earned.

– Benjamin Franklin


The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

– Benjamin Franklin


Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

– Benjamin Franklin


If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.

– Benjamin Franklin


Don’t misinform your Doctor nor your Lawyer.

– Benjamin Franklin


I would advise you to read with a pen in hand, and enter in a little book short hints of what you find that is curious, or that may be useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such particulars in your memory.

– Benjamin Franklin


Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

– Benjamin Franklin


If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.

– Benjamin Franklin


All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.

– Benjamin Franklin


We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!

– Benjamin Franklin


To be content, look backward on those who possess less than yourself, not forward on those who possess more. If this does not make you content, you don’t deserve to be happy.

– Benjamin Franklin


The wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others, than showing a great deal yourself. He who goes out of your company pleased with his own facetiousness and ingenuity, will the sooner come into it again.

– Benjamin Franklin


When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself.

– Benjamin Franklin

Related: Finding Yourself Quotes


Wink at small faults; remember thou hast great ones.

– Benjamin Franklin


In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

– Benjamin Franklin

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. - Benjamin Franklin


Quotes by Benjamin Franklin

We shall rise refreshed in the morning.

– Benjamin Franklin

We shall rise refreshed in the morning. - Benjamin Franklin


If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.

– Benjamin Franklin


If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

– Benjamin Franklin


Where liberty is, there is my country.

– Benjamin Franklin


Creditors have better memories than debtors.

– Benjamin Franklin


I don’t believe in stereotypes. I prefer to hate people on a more personal basis.

– Benjamin Franklin


Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good.

– 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


Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.

– Benjamin Franklin

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Benjamin Franklin


An old young man will be a young old man.

– Benjamin Franklin


Eat to live, and not live to eat.

– Benjamin Franklin


Men are subject to various inconveniences merely through lack of a small share of courage, which is a quality very necessary in the common occurrences of life, as well as in a battle. How many impertinences do we daily suffer with great uneasiness, because we have not courage enough to discover our dislike.

– Benjamin Franklin


Haste makes Waste.

– Benjamin Franklin


He that can have patience can have what he will.

– Benjamin Franklin


To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girlfriends.

– Benjamin Franklin


Honesty is the best policy.

– Benjamin Franklin


Inspiring Benjamin Franklin Quotes

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.

– Benjamin Franklin


I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep.

– Benjamin Franklin


No gains without pains.

– Benjamin Franklin


By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good; the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it.

– Benjamin Franklin


When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.

– Benjamin Franklin


A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.

– Benjamin Franklin

A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds. - Benjamin Franklin


What you seem to be, be really.

– Benjamin Franklin


Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

– Benjamin Franklin


Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

– Benjamin Franklin


A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

– Benjamin Franklin


Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.

– Benjamin Franklin


There is much difference between imitating a man and counterfeiting him.

– Benjamin Franklin


This is sometimes of great use.

– Benjamin Franklin


If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.

– Benjamin Franklin

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone. - Benjamin Franklin


A right Heart exceeds all.

– Benjamin Franklin


I never saw an oft-removed tree, nor yet an oft-removed family, that throve so well as those that settled be.

– Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin Motivational Quotes

Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.

– Benjamin Franklin


It is better to take many Injuries than to give one.

– Benjamin Franklin


Energy and persistence conquer all things.

– Benjamin Franklin


He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

– Benjamin Franklin


Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

– Benjamin Franklin


The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.

– Benjamin Franklin


Employ your time well, if you mean to get leisure.

– Benjamin Franklin


What more valuable than Gold? Diamonds. Than Diamonds? Virtue.

– Benjamin Franklin


If a sound body and a sound mind, which is as much as to say health and virtue, are to be preferred before all other considerations, ought not men, in choosing a business either for themselves or children, to refuse such as are unwholesome for the body, and such as make a man too dependent, too much obliged to please others, and too much subjected to their humors in order to be recommended and get a livelihood?

– Benjamin Franklin


No nation was ever ruined by trade.

– Benjamin Franklin


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

– Benjamin Franklin


Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.

– Benjamin Franklin


While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.

– Benjamin Franklin


Security without liberty is called prison.

– Benjamin Franklin

Security without liberty is called prison. - Benjamin Franklin


Well done is better than well said.

– Benjamin Franklin


Our opinions are not in our own power; they are formed and governed much by circumstances that are often as inexplicable as they are irresistible.

– Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin Quotes and Meanings

Some, to make themselves considerable, pursue learning; others grasp at wealth; some aim at being thought witty; and others are only careful to make the most of a handsome person; but what is wit, or wealth, or form, or learning, when compared with virtue? It is true we love the handsome, we applaud the learned, and we fear the rich and powerful; but we even worship and adore the virtuous.

– Benjamin Franklin


It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.

– Benjamin Franklin


A new truth is a truth, an old error is an error.

– Benjamin Franklin


When in doubt, don’t.

– Benjamin Franklin


When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet.

– Benjamin Franklin

When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet. - Benjamin Franklin


We need a revolution every 200 years, because all governments become stale and corrupt after 200 years.

– Benjamin Franklin


Would you live with ease, do what you ought and not what you please.

– Benjamin Franklin


Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.

– Benjamin Franklin


The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.

– Benjamin Franklin


Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.

– Benjamin Franklin


It seems to me, that if statesmen had a little more arithmetic, or were accustomed to calculation, wars would be much less frequent.

– Benjamin Franklin


You may delay, but time will not. Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.

– Benjamin Franklin


When I am employed in serving others, I do not look upon myself as conferring favors, but as paying debts. I have received much kindness from men to whom I shall never have an opportunity of making the least direct returns; and numberless mercies from God, who is infinitely above being benefited by our services. Those kindnesses from men I can, therefore, only return on their fellow-men, and I can only show my gratitude for those mercies from God by a readiness to help His other children.

– Benjamin Franklin


He that lies down with Dogs, shall rise up with fleas.

– Benjamin Franklin


I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.

– Benjamin Franklin


To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.

– Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin Sayings

Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.

– Benjamin Franklin


Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning.

– Benjamin Franklin

Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning. - Benjamin Franklin


He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.

– Benjamin Franklin


Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

– Benjamin Franklin


Be not sick too late, nor well too soon.

– Benjamin Franklin


Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade?

– Benjamin Franklin


Most men die from the neck up at age twenty-five because they stop dreaming.

– Benjamin Franklin


An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

– Benjamin Franklin

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. - Benjamin Franklin


Necessity never made a good bargain.

– Benjamin Franklin


Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack.

– Benjamin Franklin

Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack. - Benjamin Franklin


Lost time is never found again.

– Benjamin Franklin


Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.

– Benjamin Franklin


If you are active and prosperous, or young, or in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are wise, you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.

– Benjamin Franklin


Never confuse motion with action.

– Benjamin Franklin


Success has ruined many a man.

– Benjamin Franklin


Speak little, do much.

– Benjamin Franklin


Quotations by Ben Franklin

I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.

– Benjamin Franklin


He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

– Benjamin Franklin


The Doors of Wisdom are never shut.

– Benjamin Franklin


Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

– Benjamin Franklin


He’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines.

– Benjamin Franklin


Eat to please yourself, but dress to please others.

– Benjamin Franklin


He that would live in peace & at ease, Must not speak all he knows or judge all he sees.

– Benjamin Franklin

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