Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Benjamin Franklin
A collection of Benjamin Franklin tidbits that relate Philadelphia's revolutionary prelate to his moving around the city, the colonies, and the world.

Literary Philadelphia

Quotes from B. Franklin, Curmudgeon

Ben Franklin

~ I guess I don't so much mind being old, as being fat and old.

~ Many foxes grow Grey, but few grow good.

~ If it is the design of Providence to extirpate these savages in order to make room for the cultivation of the earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means.

~ A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.

~ Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

~ The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it, yourself.

~ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

~ The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve, nor will he ever receive, either.


Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion.

- The greatest monarch on the proudest throne is still obliged to sit on his own arse.


Originally published: Friday, June 23, 2006; most-recently modified: Monday, June 03, 2019