Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 171

they being really
weak in point of argument and haughty in expression, he had conceived a
mortal enmity to me, which discovering itself whenever we met, I
declin'd the proprietary's proposal that he and I should discuss the
heads of complaint between our two selves, and refus'd treating with
anyone but them. They then by his advice put the paper into the hands
of the Attorney and Solicitor-General for their opinion and counsel
upon it, where it lay unanswered a year wanting eight days, during
which time I made frequent demands of an answer from the
proprietaries, but without obtaining any other than that they had not
yet received the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor-General. What
it was when they did receive it I never learnt, for they did not
communicate it to me, but sent a long message to the Assembly drawn
and signed by Paris, reciting my paper, complaining of its want of
formality, as a rudeness on my part, and giving a flimsy justification
of their conduct, adding that they should be willing to accommodate
matters if the Assembly would send out _some person of candour_ to
treat with them for that purpose, intimating thereby that I was not

[Illustration: "We now appeared very wide, and so far from each other
in our opinions as to discourage all hope of agreement"]

The want of formality or rudeness was, probably, my not having
address'd the paper to them with their assum'd titles of True and
Absolute Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, which I
omitted as not thinking it necessary in a paper, the intention of
which was only to reduce to a certainty by writing, what in
conversation I had delivered _viva voce_.

But during this delay, the Assembly having prevailed with Gov'r Denny
to pass an act taxing the proprietary estate in common with the
estates of the people, which was the grand point in dispute, they
omitted answering the message.

When this act however came over, the proprietaries, counselled by
Paris, determined to oppose its receiving the royal assent.
Accordingly they petitioned the king in Council, and a hearing was
appointed in which two lawyers were employ'd by them against the act,
and two by me in support of it. They alledg'd that the act was
intended to load the proprietary estate in order to spare those of the
people, and that if it were suffer'd to continue in force, and the
proprietaries, who were in odium with the people, left to their mercy
in proportioning the taxes, they would inevitably be ruined. We
reply'd that the act had no such intention, and

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 16
434 Supplement to the Boston _Independent Chronicle_ (1782), 434 To John Thornton (May 8, 1782), 443 To Joseph Priestley (June 7, 1782), 443 To Jonathan Shipley (June 10, 1782), 445 To James Hutton (July 7, 1782), 447 To Sir Joseph Banks (September 9, 1782), 448 Information to Those Who Would Remove to America (1782?), 449 Apologue (1783?), 458 To Sir Joseph Banks (July 27, 1783), 459 To Mrs.
Page 89
Sir John Pringle,[i-483] one of his warmest friends, in a Royal Society lecture in honor of Maskelyne, might well have been describing Franklin's place in eighteenth-century science when he said: "As much then remains to be explored in the celestial regions, you [Maskelyne] are encouraged, Sir, by what has been already attained, to persevere in these hallowed labours, from which have been derived the greatest improvements in the most useful arts, and the loudest declarations of the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Supreme Architect in the Spacious and beautiful fabric of the world.
Page 92
Becker, _The Declaration of Independence_, especially chap.
Page 111
[i-282] Although Franklin denied having written it (_Writings_, IV, 82), Mr.
Page 118
From Xenophon he learned that "self-restraint" is "the very corner-stone of virtue.
Page 137
_ American Men of Letters series.
Page 147
_Portraits of the Eighteenth Century.
Page 181
The latter I gave the People of the Boat for my Passage, who at first refus'd it on Acc^t of my Rowing; but I insisted on their taking it, a Man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little Money than when he has plenty, perhaps thro' Fear of being thought to have but little.
Page 253
I then enquir'd of him, what could be the Reason why they continued vail'd, in this Place especially: He pointed to the Foot of the Throne, where I saw _Idleness_, attended with _Ignorance_, and these (he informed me) were they, who first vail'd them, and still kept them so.
Page 272
This may appear odd at first View, but a little Consideration will make it evident; for 'tis impossible to assign any other Cause for the voluntary Motion of an Animal than its _uneasiness_ in Rest.
Page 293
When wilt thou be esteem'd, regarded, and belov'd like Cato? When wilt thou, among thy Creatures, meet with that unfeign'd respect and warm Good-will, that all Men have for him? Wilt thou never understand, that the cringing, mean, submissive Deportment of thy Dependents, is (like the worship paid by Indians to the Devil) rather thro' Fear of the Harm thou may'st do to them, than out of Gratitude for the Favours they have receiv'd of thee? Thou art not wholly void of Virtue; there are many good Things in thee, and many good Actions reported of thee.
Page 317
] Wretched, miserable, and unhappy Mug! I pity thy luckless Lot, I commiserate thy Misfortunes, thy Griefs fill me with Compassion, and because of thee are Tears made frequently to burst from my Eyes.
Page 326
That Philadelphia, being the city nearest the centre of the .
Page 486
| 7 9 | 4 51 | | 19 | 2 | _but follow'd_| 7 10 | 4 50 | | 20 | 3 |Day 9 38 long.
Page 591
Every Night, Sundays not excepted here are Plays or Operas; and tho' the Weather has been hot, and the Houses full, one is not incommoded by the Heat so much as with us in Winter.
Page 594
, &c.
Page 622
Then let there be a formal declaration of both Houses, that opposition to your edicts is _treason_, and that any person suspected of treason in the provinces may, according to some obsolete law, be seized and sent to the metropolis of the empire for trial; and pass an act, that those there charged with certain other offences, shall be sent away in chains from their friends and country to be tried in the same manner for felony.
Page 629
Such a work as this must then be much better executed.
Page 704
Some indeed have met with Success, and are carried on to Advantage; but they are generally such as require only a few Hands, or wherein great Part of the Work is performed by Machines.
Page 748
guarding against an evil that old States are most liable to, _excess of power_ in the rulers; but our present danger seems to be _defect of obedience_ in the subjects.