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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


by Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Wealth Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Paragraph)

Quote #1

[I] propos'd to my Brother, that if he would give me Weekly half the Money he paid for my Board, I would board myself. He instantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save half what he paid me. This was an additional Fund for buying Books (1.21)

Franklin's frugal from minute one. This concern with budgeting for himself is really brought on by a case of vegetarianism – Franklin can't eat what everyone else is eating – but it turns into an experiment on frugality and saving. He turns half of his food funds into money for books, feeding his brain instead of his belly, and it's his careful use of money that makes that possible.

Quote #2

This was another of the great Errata of my Life, which I should wish to correct if I were to live it over again. In fact, by our Expenses, I was constantly unable to pay my Passage. (1.64)

The error Franklin's talking about here isn't just financial – he's saying he regrets not being in better touch with Deborah when he goes to England in Part 1, which he blames in part on not being able to save money while he's gone. His inability to save money combines with his lack of faithfulness, resulting in a larger, compounded "erratum."

Quote #3

He reminded me that Keimer was in debt for all he possess'd, that his Creditors began to be uneasy, that he kept his Shop miserably […] That he must therefore fail; which would make a Vacancy I might profit of. I objected my Want of Money. […] he was sure [his father] would advance Money to set us up, if I would enter into Partnership with him. (1.86)

Meredith is coaxing Franklin into profiting from someone else's bad luck. Since their former boss is sinking into debt, that makes an opportunity for their business to replace his. The profit here is both metaphorical and actual: their new business will benefit from Keimer's folding, just as they will make more money working for themselves than they did for him.

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