Si vous ne voulez pas qu’on vous oublie, le jour où vous serez mort et pourri, écrivez des choses qui valent la peine d’être lues ou faites des choses qui valent la peine d’être écrites.
If you wou’d not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
or do things worth the writing.
Benjamin Franklin – L’Almanach du Bonhomme Richard (1738)
If thou wouldest win Immortality of Name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading.
Thomas Fuller – Introductio ad Prudentiam (1727)
In conclusion, Benjamin Franklin did construct this saying and placed it in his 1738 almanac ; however, he apparently built it using two sayings he had encountered previously. Thus, the lineage was mixed. Thomas Fuller can be credited with the simpler statement in his 1727 compilation although he may have been recording an adage that was already in circulation.