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Re: Aphorisms from Benjamin Franklin

Posted by TheFallen on October 14, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Aphorisms from Benjamin Franklin posted by ESC on October 14, 2003

: : Can someone explain to me these aphorisms from Benjamin Franklin please:
: : 1- Things which hurt, instruct
: : 2- There are no ugly loves nor handsome prisons.
: : 3- To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish.
: : 4- Well done is better than well said.
: : 5- Declaiming against pride is not always a sign of humility.
: : 6- Necessity never made a good bargain.
: : 7- The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.
: : 8- What you would seem to be, be really.
: : 9- What is a butterfly? A caterpillar dressed.

: My best guesses:

: 1- Things which hurt, instruct. It's the same as "no pain, no gain." We can learn from painful, unpleasant things.
: 2- There are no ugly loves nor handsome prisons. If you love someone, he or she is beautiful. A prison, no matter how luxurious, is still ugly because takes away freedom.
: 3- To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish. It may be good to repent. But don't go overboard because it's annoying. People get tired of hearing about it.
: 4- Well done is better than well said. Actions speak louder than words. It is better to act than to just talk.
: 5- Declaiming against pride is not always a sign of humility. To keep talking about how humble one is, is really boastful and proud.
: 6- Necessity never made a good bargain. It's hard to drive a hard bargain when you're desperate. Beggars can't be choosers.
: 7- The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise. The wheel that's about to fall off makes the most noise. The troublemaker in a group is often the loudest.
: 8- What you would seem to be, be really. If you want to be a good person, don't just act good. Be good.
: 9- What is a butterfly? A caterpillar dressed. Wings are the only difference between the humble caterpillar and the beautiful butterfly.

I can't in general quibble with ESC's opinions, but will add my two pence worth on a couple of the above.

3) I don't think the "persist" refers to the repenting". My take on this phrase is this: it's only hman to make mistakes, but if one then regrets those errors and asks for forgiveness, then that's truly good. However, if one continues to commit the same errors (especially if knowingly), then that's a sign of evil.

9) Don't be fooled by flashy outward appearances, or if you'd rather, don't judge a book by its cover, or even, beauty is only skindeep.