The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Wealth Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
I endeavor'd to make [Poor Richard's Almanac] both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such Demand that I reap'd considerable Profit from it, vending annually near ten Thousand. (3.6)
Although Franklin's talking about another piece of writing he worked hard on, what we really get a sense of here is how that writing mattered financially. He measures the book in profits, not in critical acclaim, even though he seems to be just as interested in making the book really help people as he is in making money from it.
As he proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the Coppers. Another Stroke of his Oratory made me asham'd of that, and determin'd me to give the Silver; and he finish'd so admirably, that I emptied my Pocket wholly into the Collector's Dish, Gold and all. (3.22)
As above, here we see another connection between the power of words and money. With each line of Whitefield's sermon, Franklin is so entranced that he gives more money. The compounded effects of Whitefield's rhetoric – which Franklin doesn't tell us about specifically – are shown here through the metaphor of money. The little ideas are like copper, the bigger ideas are like silver, and by the end, the conclusion sounds so impressive that it turns into gold.
I expericenc'd too the Truth of the Observation, that after getting the first hundred Pound, it is more easy to get the second: Money itself being of a prolific Nature (3.29)
Franklin pauses here to give advice, saying that once you have some money, it's easier to get some more. It's kind of like how it's easier to get a date if you've already got one. The first step is hardest, but, after that, holding on to that first bit of good luck (whether it's money, dates, or something else) seems to bring in even more.