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Benjamin Franklin

posted Mar 1, 2010, 9:21 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 26, 2012, 12:59 PM ]
Thirteen Virtues 

Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of thirteen virtues, which he developed at age 20 (in 1726) and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. His autobiography lists his thirteen virtues as:

"TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."

"SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid
trifling conversation."

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

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

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

"INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut
off all unnecessary actions."

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

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

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

"CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation."
"TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or

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

"HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates."