Many men have looked to Franklin's virtues as a great code, or set of rules, for a man to live by. In Frank Miniter's book The Ultimate Man's Survival Guide, which I have already mentioned I am reading, he lists Franklin's thirteen as one of "Man's Greatest Moral Codes." Moreover, Brett and Kate McKay also have a great article on Franklin's thirteen virtues on Art of Manliness which can be found right here: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/06/01/the-virtuous-life-wrap-up/. They also add a paragraph of their own insight for each of the thirteen virtues as well.
Below are Franklin's thirteen virtues, as he wrote them himself, at the young age of 20.
1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace, or reputation.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Till next time -