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Who said it: Lincoln or Washington? February 15, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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It’s me, Richard Saunders of Poor Richard’s Almanac fame, here today to help you celebrate Presidents’ Day by testing your knowledge with a little quiz. When most of us recall sayings of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, we probably think of the Gettysburg Address or “I cannot tell a lie!” (Which is apocryphal, by the way; we don’t know if George Washington ever told a lie, but he certainly never said he couldn’t, that quote was made up by one of his biographers.) But these great men actually had a great deal more wisdom to share.

Here are some quotes by either Washington or Lincoln; can you guess who said what? Of course, I can’t resist slipping in one quote by our hero and blog mentor, the immortal Benjamin Franklin; can you pick it out? As always, I’ll give you the right answers at the end. But no cheating, now!

1. “I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

2. “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

3. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

4. “A house divided aginst itself cannot stand.”

5. “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

6. “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

7. “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”

8. “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

9. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”

10. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”

11. “Avoid popularity if you would have peace.”

12. “It is¬†better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

13. “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

14. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

15. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

16.¬†“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

17. “Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”

18. “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.”

19. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

20. “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

And the answers: George Washington, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 12, 16; Abraham Lincoln, 1, 4, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20; and Ben Franklin, 6. How did you do?

Happy Presidents’ Day to all from all of us here at Poor Richard’s Almanac!