May 19, 2024

Hankering for History

Hanker: To have a strong, often restless desire, in this case for–you guessed it–history!

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

3 min read

I had a reader yesterday comment on an older post; he had a problem with my post. From time to time I get comments that I don’t like receiving; this started out as one of those. There was a historically inaccurate part to an otherwise perfect article. (Aren’t they all perfect?) I hadn’t misquoted Benjamin Franklin, but I did use a picture of Benjamin Franklin with a quote at the bottom which was incorrect. He politely informed me of this–keyword being politely–and I was glad to rectify the problem and rid my post of the heinous picture.

More importantly after informing me of the error, he engaged in relaying informative and relative tidbits of history in the comment section. The original quote that started all of this was the following, by Benjamin Franklin:

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.

So you don’t have to jump back to the post, I will just put his comment below for you to read. If you want to read the post after this, check out my post on beer and its history.

Despite this witty remark, Ben drank very little beer although he did open a cask of new ale for General Washington when he hosted the general at his home in Philadelphia just before the opening of the Constitutional Convention in May 1787. Ben preferred Madeira and Bordeaux wines. I don’t believe that there’s any record of anybody having seen him under the influence at all. Moderation was, after all, one of Ben’s 13 Virtues!

So if you are an avid Benjamin Franklin junkie, go check out BenjaminFranklinLive, the home of this knowledgeable, Benjamin Franklin historian/actor. But let’s get back to the post at hand! Reading his comment, I had heard of the 13 Virtues, but I wasn’t able to recall any of them. So I looked it up. The 13 Virtues still hold true today, so I figured I would pass them on. Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues.



Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.


Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifling Conversation.


Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.


Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.


Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.


Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.


Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.


Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.


Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.


Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloths, or habitation.


Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.


Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.


Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

6 thoughts on “Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

  1. If only we good adhere to the majority of these we would certainly be better for the attention to the details. I always have admired Franklin, believing he was a practical man living in some heady times as a country was formed here.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Of many worth admiring, Franklin is at the top of my list. I read something about him just last night that I thought was interesting. Franklin never patented a single one of his inventions…

      “As we benefit from the inventions of others, we should be glad to share our own…freely and gladly.” – Benjamin Franklin

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