Ben Franklin: History You Can Talk To


Game #1

Description of game #1.

Guess Who Said It (a Game of Quotes)

Is it a Quote of Ben Franklin or a modern synthesis?  (13 Quotes are Ben’s)

Circle the Letter to indicate your vote for a genuine Ben Quote:


A) Employ thy time well if thou meanest to get leisure.

B) I would worry if a government feared no god.

I would be frightened of a government that made other’s gods their enemy.

C) Be dependent on no one.   Be independent of all those who would do thee harm.

Be generous with true assistance, both the giving and the getting.

D) Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.


E) Choose responsibly and be responsible for what you choose.

F) Scatter seeds and some fruit may grow.  Plant seeds and harvest you will know.

G) In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

H) I may not always practice what I preach,

But I have never preached what I have never practiced.


I) Diligence is the mother of good luck

J) Trust your government as you would young children and dogs…

Ever watchful and with a short leash.  You must clean up after both.

K) Keep your eyes wide open before marriage… half shut afterwards.

L) To err is human, o repent divine, to persist - devilish


M) Energy and Persistence conquer all things.

N) Fate never forces Fools to choose foolishly.

O) Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation

Must begin by subduing the freeness of speech

P) If armies could die of speeches, send Congress to all our battles


Q) We should be more interested in Man doing Right than the Rights of Man

R) There never was a good war, or a bad peace

S) They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety

Deserve neither liberty nor safety

T) The same mistake made twice has no easy excuse.


U) Governments take up any power Citizens abandon.

V) Well done is better than well said.

W) Do good to thy Friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him.

X) It isn’t what you know that counts, it’s what you think of in time.


Game #2

Description of game #2.

Benjamin Franklin Riddles of his day

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Sponsored by Hardwick & Sons, Inc.


At night they come without being fetched, and by day they are lost without being stolen. 

 I never was, am always to be, No one ever saw me, nor ever will. And yet I am the confidence of all to live and breathe on this terrestrial ball.  

 Runs over fields and woods all day.  Under the bed at night sits not alone, With long tongue hanging out, A-waiting for a bone. 

 Alive without breath, As cold as death;  Never thirsty, ever drinking, All in mail never clinking.

 This, all things devours: Birds, beast, trees, flowers; Gnaws iron, bites steel; Grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town, And beats high mountain down.

 As light as a feather, but you can't hold it for ten minutes.

 It goes up and down the stairs with out moving.

You can see nothing else when you look in my face  I will look you in the eye and I will never lie.

 I am always hungry, I must always be fed.  The finger I lick will soon turn red.

 Three lives have I.  Gentle enough to soothe the skin, Light enough to caress the sky Hard enough to crack rocks.

 Glittering points that downward thrust.  Sparkling spears that never rust

 I went into the woods and got it.  I sat down to seek it.  I brought it home with me because I couldn't find it.

It has no weight, you can see it.  If put in a barrel, it will make the barrel lighter?

 Squeeze it and it cries tears as red as its flesh, But its heart is made of stone. 

What gets wetter the more it dries?

 All about, but cannot be seen, Can be captured, cannot be held. No throat, but can be heard.

The more there is the less you see.

They are Dark, and always on the run.  Without the sun, would be none.

I have holes on the top and bottom.  I have holes on my left and on my right. And I have holes in the middle, yet I still hold water.

 The more you take the more you leave behind.

What can run but never walks, Has a mouth but never talks, Has a head but never weeps, Has a bed but never sleeps?

 You break it even if you name it!

You feed it, it lives, you give it something to drink, and it dies.

Voiceless it cries, Wingless it flutters, Toothless bites, Mouthless mutters.

 If a man carried my burden, He would break his back. I am not rich. But leave silver in my track.

 You must keep it after giving it.

 Runs smoother than any rhyme.  Loves to fall but cannot climb!

 My life can be measured in hours.  I serve by being devoured.  Thin, I am quick.  Fat, I am slow. Wind is my foe.

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt, Cannot be heard, and cannot be smelt. It lies behind stars and under hills, and empty holes it fills. It comes first and follows after, Ends life, kills laughter.


 A box without hinges, key, or lid.  Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

I go around in circles, But always straight ahead  Never complain, No matter where I am led.

 If you break me I do not stop working. If you touch me I may be snared, If you lose me Nothing will matter.

 Two horses, swiftest traveling, Harnessed in a pair, And Grazing ever in places Distant from them.

 I pass before the sun and make no shadow.


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