Benjamin Franklin King, Jr.

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Benjamin Franklin King, Jr. by Chas A. Gray

Benjamin Franklin King, Jr. (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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