« ForrigeFortsett »
up two children.' Beware of little expenses. "Many a little makes a mickle”; “A small leak will sink a great ship.' Here you are all got together at this sale of fineries and knickknacks. You
call them goods, but if you do not take care, they will prove 5 evils to some of you.
"You expect they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may be, for less than cost; but if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says: ‘Buy
what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy 10 necessaries. “Silks, satins, scarlet, and velvets put out the
kitchen fire.' These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences; and yet, only because they look pretty, how many want to have them!
"By these and other extravagances, the greatest are reduced 15 to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly
despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing. 'If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes
a-sorrowing'; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, 20 when he goes to get it again.
"It is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich as for the frog to swell in order to equal the ox. After all, this pride of appearance cannot promote health, nor ease pain; it makes no
increase of merit in the person; it creates envy; it hastens mis25 fortunes.
"But what madness it must be to run in debt for superfluities! Think what you do when you run in debt: you give to another power over your liberty. If you cannot pay at the time, you
will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when 30 you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses,
and by degrees come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright lying; for 'The second vice is lying, the first is running in debt,' as Poor Richard says; and again, 'Lying rides upon debt's back.'
“This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but indus
try, and frugality, and prudence may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven. Therefore ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.”
The old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly. I found the good
man had thoroughly studied my almanac and digested all I had 10 dropped on these topics during the course of twenty-five years.
The frequent mention he made of me must have tired anyone else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own
which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings that I had 15 made of the sense of all ages and nations.
However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, although I had at first determined to buy the stuff for a new coat, I went away resolved to wear my old one a little longer.
Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as 20 mine.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS Biography. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston, the youngest son of a large family. At the age of ten he began to work for his father, a tallow-chandler and soap-boiler. Two years later he was apprenticed to his brother James, who was a printer. Although Benjamin Franklin received very little education in school, he was constantly reading and studying. When he was seventeen years old he went to Philadelphia, and soon was established as a successful printer and proprietor of a newspaper.
In 1736 he entered political life and from that time held many positions of public trust. He went as envoy to England and to France, in which latter place he was exceedingly popular. It is said that Benjamin Franklin was the only man whose name was attached to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Treaty of Peace with England, and the Treaty of Alliance with France. Probably no native of this country ever ranked higher in the estimation of European thinkers and statesmen. In 1732 Franklin began the publication of Poor Richard's Almanac under the name Richard Saunders. This proved extremely popular, and in 1758, when the last edition was issued, Franklin gathered together, in “Father Abraham's Speech," the best of the maxims which had appeared in the Almanac. These maxims had been thought out by Franklin during his own years of thrift and hard work.
Discussion. 1. What question led to this speech by Father Abraham? 2. What taxes besides government taxes does he say we pay? 3. How much does idleness tax people? 4. What is better than wishing for better times? 5. Against what practices do these maxims warn us? 6. What habits or virtues do they advise us to acquire? 7. Can you explain how Benjamin Franklin helped his country by publishing these maxims? 8. With which of the maxims are you familiar? What ones will you learn today? Which one will help you most? 9. What was done to encourage thrift during the World War? 10. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: abatement; sloth; diligence; ape; superfluities; veracity; doctrine; harangue; ascribed; gleanings.
Library Reading. Autobiography, Franklin.
Suggestions for Theme Topics. 1. What I know about thrift stamps. 2. Other thrift measures in use during the World War.
A MESSAGE TO GARCTI*
In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain and the United States it was very necessary
to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. 5 Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba-no
one knew where. No mail or telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his coöperation, and quickly.
What to do!
Someone said to the president, “There's a fellow by the name 10 of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How “the fellow by the name of Rowan” took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open
*See Silent and Oral Reading, page 11.
boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out 5 on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile coun
try on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia-are things I have no special desire to tell in detail now. The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered
to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is 10 he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be
cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college in the land! It is not book learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae
that will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, 15 concentrate their energies: do the thing—"Carry a message to Garcia."
General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.
No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise wherein many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh ap20 palled at times by the imbecility of the average man—the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.
Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds un
less, by hook or crook or threat, he forces or bribes other men 25 to assist him; or mayhap, God in his goodness performs a
miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office—six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make
this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief 30 memorandum of Correggio."
Will the clerk quietly say, “Yes, sir,” and go to the task?
On your life he will not! He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:
Who was he?
Where is the encyclopedia?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered 10 the questions, and explained how to find the information, and
why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia-and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.
Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant” that Correggio is indexed under the C's, not in the K's, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.
The dread of "getting the bounce" Saturday night holds many 20 a worker to his place. Advertise for a stenographer, and nine
out of ten who apply can neither spell nor punctuate and do not think it necessary to.
Can such a one write a letter to Garcia ?
"You see that bookkeeper?" said a foreman to me in a large 25 factory.
"Yes; what about him?"
“Well, he's a fine accountant, but if I'd send him uptown on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the
other hand, might stop on the way, and when he got to Main 30 Street would forget what he had been sent for.”
Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?
We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizens of the sweatshop" and the
“homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," and with 35 it all often go many hard words for the men in power.