Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 170

had refus'd that point
of sovereignty to the king only that they might reserve it for

[118] George Granville or Grenville (1712-1770). As
English premier from 1763 to 1765, he introduced the
direct taxation of the American Colonies and has
sometimes been called the immediate cause of the

[119] This whole passage shows how hopelessly divergent
were the English and American views on the relations
between the mother country and her colonies. Grenville
here made clear that the Americans were to have no voice
in making or amending their laws. Parliament and the
king were to have absolute power over the colonies. No
wonder Franklin was alarmed by this new doctrine. With
his keen insight into human nature and his consequent
knowledge of American character, he foresaw the
inevitable result of such an attitude on the part of
England. This conversation with Grenville makes these
last pages of the _Autobiography_ one of its most
important parts.

After some days, Dr. Fothergill having spoken to the proprietaries,
they agreed to a meeting with me at Mr. T. Penn's house in Spring
Garden. The conversation at first consisted of mutual declarations of
disposition to reasonable accommodations, but I suppose each party had
its own ideas of what should be meant by _reasonable_. We then went
into consideration of our several points of complaint, which I
enumerated. The proprietaries justify'd their conduct as well as they
could, and I the Assembly's. We now appeared very wide, and so far
from each other in our opinions as to discourage all hope of
agreement. However, it was concluded that I should give them the heads
of our complaints in writing, and they promis'd then to consider them.
I did so soon after, but they put the paper into the hands of their
solicitor, Ferdinand John Paris, who managed for them all their law
business in their great suit with the neighbouring proprietary of
Maryland, Lord Baltimore, which had subsisted 70 years, and wrote for
them all their papers and messages in their dispute with the Assembly.
He was a proud, angry man, and as I had occasionally in the answers of
the Assembly treated his papers with some severity,

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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"This manual is particularly adapted to the purposes of examination and catechetical instruction, and will be found of the utmost service in weekly grammatical enquiries.
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coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
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I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods.
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"He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour," as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes.
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Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;" whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect.
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A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost;" being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.
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"If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing," as Poor Richard says; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in again.
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" [Illustration: Published by W.
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yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny, when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him.
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Darton, Printers, Holborn-Hill, London.