My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judged it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone through the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arranged them with that view, as they stand [below].
Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid
Let all your things have their places; let each part of
your business have its time.
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without
fail what you resolve.
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself;
i.e., waste nothing.
Lose no time; be always employed in something
useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and,
if you speak, speak accordingly.
Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits
that are your duty.
Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much
as you think they deserve.
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to
dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s
peace or reputation.
Imitate Jesus and Socrates