24 February 2006 | Vol. 5, No. 4
Temporal Happiness from Fruits of Solitude
237. Do Good with what thou hast, or it will do thee no good.
238. Seek not to be Rich, but Happy. The one lies in Bags, the other in Content: which Wealth can never give.
239. We are apt to call things by wrong Names. We will have Prosperity to be Happiness, and Adversity to be Misery; though that is the School of Wisdom, and oftentimes the way to Eternal Happiness.
240. If thou wouldest be Happy, bring thy Mind to thy Condition, and have an Indifferency for more than what is sufficient.
241. Have but little to do, and do it thy self: And do to others as thou wouldest have them do to thee: So, thou canst not fail of Temporal Felicity.
242. The generality are the worse for their Plenty: The Voluptuous consumes it, the Miser hides it: 'Tis the good Man that uses it, and to good Purposes. But such are hardly found among the Prosperous.
243. Be rather Bountiful, than Expensive.
244. Neither make nor go to Feasts, but let the laborious Poor bless thee at Home in their Solitary Cottages.
245. Never voluntarily want what thou hast in Possession; nor so spend it as to involve thyself in want unavoidable.
246. Be not tempted to presume by Success: For many that have got largely, have lost all, by coveting to get more.
247. To hazard much to get much, has more of Avarice than Wisdom.
248. It is great Prudence both to Bound and Use Prosperity.
249. Too few know when they have Enough; and fewer know how to employ it.
250. It is equally adviseable not to part lightly with what is hardly gotten, and not to shut up closely what flows in freely.
251. Act not the Shark upon thy Neighbors; nor take Advantage of the Ignorance, Prodigality or Necessity of any one: For that is next door to Fraud, and, at best, makes but an Unblest Gain.
252. It is oftentimes the Judgment of God upon Greedy Rich Men, that he suffers them to push on their Desires of Wealth to the Excess of over-reaching, grinding or oppression, which poisons all the rest they have gotten: So that it commonly runs away as fast, and by as bad ways as it was heap'd up together.
About the author:
1644-1718. William Penn was born into a well-to-do Anglican family but became a Quaker at 22. In 1677, prominent Quakers were given the province of West New Jersey, and in 1681, after Penn's father's death, King Charles II granted Penn a large area west and south of New Jersey, which Penn called Sylvania and Charles renamed Pennsylvania. The charter of liberties Penn constructed for these two provinces contained many of the founding principles later drafted into the US Constitution. Learn more about William Penn at Wikipedia.