Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues



Virtues of Benjamin Franklin

1. “TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
2. “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
3. “ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
4. “RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
5. “FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
6. “INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
7. “SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
8. “JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
9. “MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
10. “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
11. “TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
12. “CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
13. “HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”



3 thoughts on “Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues

  1. Sam,

    Is this the same Ben Franklin I know? He was a rake hell, practical joker, humorous to a fault, and – as far as everything I have read about him – would have laughed loudly at having this list attributed to him.

    I haven't been able to verify it, but he was reputed to have explained his enjoyment of older women by this expression:

    They don't tell,
    They don't yell,
    They don't swell,
    and they're grateful as hell.

    Nothing wrong with being virtuous, but I'd hate to think he was as goody-two-shoes as this list would make him appear.


  2. I'm with you, Reg.

    Everything I have ever read explains he was a serious Ladies Man. The list he wrote (above) is reportedly from when he was a young man of about 20…which would explain a lot.

    I almost mentioned his sense of humor and prowess with the Ladies when I posted originally, but I just grinned and posted.

    One thing is certain to me – he had enough brain power for a dozen men.



  3. Amen, brother. He and Thomas Jefferson had more brain power between the two of them than the sum total of all three branches of our current government.

    Wait! That's damning those two great men with faint praise.

    I'll go with your “dozen men”, as long as they aren't chosen from the ranks of government. Congress and the White House would lower the average I.Q. of a “special needs” class in a Kenyan madrassa that trains suicide bombers.


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