Cheap Grace

From an undated letter from Benjamin Franklin to Anne Louise Brillon:

A Beggar asked a rich Bishop for Charity, demanding a pound. — ‘A Pound to a beggar! That would be extravagant.’ — ‘A Shilling then!’ — ‘Oh, it’s still too much!’ — ‘A twopence then or your Benediction.’ — ‘Of course, I will give you my Benediction.’ — ‘I don’t want it, for if it were worth a twopence, you wouldn’t give it me.’

Elsewhere Franklin wrote, “I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully’ than ‘He died rich.'”