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Saturday, January 29, 2005

A Decalogue of Canons

In keeping with my inability to keep up with the times, here is an 1825 "top ten" list sent by Thomas Jefferson to a young relative who probably paid no attention at all. I found it in an antique store on a cross-stitched sampler.

  1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.
  2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  3. Never spend your money before you have it.
  4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
  5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
  9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
  10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.

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