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“Well done is better than well said.“
“The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.“
“If you'd have a Servant that you like, serve your self.“
“The noblest question in the world is What Good may I do in it?“
“Have you somewhat to do to-morrow; do it to-day.“
“He that sows thorns, should not go barefoot.“
“He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.“
“By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable.“
“It is better to take many Injuries than to give one.“
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.“
“Great Modesty often hides great Merit.“
“You may delay, but Time will not.“
“Half the Truth is often a great Lie.“
Franklin created the Poor Richard persona based in part on Jonathan Swift's pseudonymous character, "Isaac Bickerstaff." In a series of three letters in 1708 and 1709, known as the Bickerstaff papers, "Bickerstaff" predicted the imminent death of astrologer and almanac maker John Partridge. Franklin's Poor Richard, like Bickerstaff, claimed to be a philomath and astrologer and, like Bickerstaff, predicted the deaths of actual astrologers who wrote traditional almanacs. In the early editions of Poor Richard's Almanack, predicting and falsely reporting the deaths of these astrologers—much to their dismay—was something of a running joke. However, Franklin's endearing character of "Poor" Richard Saunders, along with his wife Bridget, was ultimately used to frame (if comically) what was intended as a serious resource that people would buy year after year. To that end, the satirical edge of Swift's character is largely absent in Poor Richard. Richard was presented as distinct from Franklin himself, occasionally referring to the latter as his printer.
In later editions, the original Richard Saunders character gradually disappeared, replaced by a Poor Richard, who largely stood in for Franklin and his own practical scientific and business perspectives. By 1758, the original character was even more distant from the practical advice and proverbs of the almanac, which Franklin presented as coming from "Father Abraham," who in turn got his sayings from Poor Richard.