Benjamin Franklin King, Jr.

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Benjamin Franklin King, Jr. by Chas A. Gray

Benjamin Franklin King, Jr. (March 17, 1857 – 1894) was an American humorist and poet whose work published under the names Ben King or the pseudonym Bow Hackley achieved notability in his lifetime and afterwards.


  • If I should die to-night
    And you should come in deepest grief and woe—
    And say:—"Here's that ten dollars that I owe,"
    I might arise in my large white cravat
    And say, "What's that?"
    • If I should die, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "If I should die to-night, / My friends would look upon my quiet face / Before they laid it in its resting-place, / And deem that death had left it almost fair", Belle E. Smith.
  • Nothing to do but work,
    Nothing to eat but food,
    Nothing to wear but clothes
    To keep one from going nude.
    • The Pessimist, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Nothing to breathe but air
        Quick as a flash 'tis gone;
    Nowhere to fall but off,
        Nowhere to stand but on.

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