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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 108

in sparse settlements.

[i-232] _Writings_, II, 313 (July 16, 1747). See also _Note Respecting
Trade and Manufactures_, London, July 7, 1767 (Sparks, II, 366):

"Suppose a country, X, with three manufactures, as _cloth_, _silk_,
_iron_, supplying three other countries. A, B, C, but is desirous of
increasing the vent, and raising the price of cloth in favor of her
own clothiers.

In order to do this, she forbids the importation of foreign cloth from

A, in return, forbids silks from X.

Then the silk-workers complain of a decay of trade.

And X, to content them, forbids silks from B.

B, in return, forbids iron ware from X.

Then the iron-workers complain of decay.

And X forbids the importation of iron from C.

C, in return, forbids cloth from X.

What is got by all these prohibitions?

_Answer._--All four find their common stock of the enjoyments and
conveniences of life diminished."

[i-233] _Writings_, IV, 469-70.

[i-234] _Ibid._, V, 155.

[i-235] Passy, May 27, 1779 (_Writings_, VII, 332).

[i-236] _Ibid._, IV, 242-5 (April 30, 1764). As Mr. Carey notes.
Franklin in several places. _On the Labouring Poor_ and in a letter
(IX, 240-8), suggests that private vices--demands for luxuries--make
public benefits, hence resembling, if not ultimately derived from,
Mandeville's _Fable of the Bees_. Franklin's sanction of free trade
is, however, antithetical to Mandeville's 'dog eat dog' basis. (See
Kaye's Intro. to _The Fable of the Bees_, xcviii ff.) Franklin in no
uncertain terms looks upon trade restrictions definitely as the result
of "the abominable selfishness" of men (VII, 332). As long as
selfishness is the rule, mercantilism, not economic laissez faire,
will be king. It is theoretically probable also that belief in man's
innate altruism could furnish emotional if not logical sanction for
laissez faire--but this abstraction is in Franklin's case futile,
since like Swift he was not blind to man's malevolence!

[i-237] _Writings_, IV, 245; see also _ibid._, VIII, 107-8, 261, 19.

[i-238] _Ibid._, IX, 41; also 63, 578, 588.

[i-239] Cited in Carey, _op. cit._, 160-1.

[i-240] See Gide and Rist, _op. cit._, 7 note.

[i-241] _Ibid._, 7 note.

[i-242] _Ibid._

[i-243] Mercier de la Riviere, cited in _ibid._, 8 note.

[i-244] _Ibid._, 9-10.

[i-245] "Economics and the Idea of Natural Law," _Quarterly Journal of
Economics_, XLIV, 16 (1929). See also O. H. Taylor's valuable
dissertation, "The Idea of a 'Natural Order' in Early Modern Economic
Thought," summarized in Harvard University _Summaries of Theses_,
1928, 102-6, and available in manuscript at the Harvard University

[i-246] Taylor, "Economics and the Idea of Natural Law," _loc. cit._,

[i-247] Even this fragmentary view of the more obvious economic
principles held by Franklin offers convincing evidence that had he
been less incidentally an economist he

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 7
I was born in Boston, in New-England.
Page 15
But I had another advantage in it.
Page 26
I wrote an answer to his letter, thanking him for his advice, but stated my reasons for quitting Boston so fully, and in such a light, as to convince him that I was not so much in the wrong as he had apprehended.
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My old.
Page 40
This was another of the great _errata_ of my life which I could wish to correct if I were to live it over again In fact, by our expenses I was constantly kept unable to pay my passage.
Page 63
In all employments, generous, just he proved, Renown'd for courtesy, by all beloved.
Page 87
But, on the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writing by imitating the engraved copies, though they may never reach the wished-for excellence of those copies, their hand is mended by the endeavour, and is tolerable while it continues fair and legible.
Page 89
The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.
Page 107
When I was disengaged myself, as above mentioned, from private business, I flattered myself that, by the sufficient though moderate fortune I had acquired, I had found leisure during the rest of my life for philosophical studies and amusements.
Page 113
But these holes being made for another purpose, viz.
Page 125
Shirley, was killed by his side; and out of eighty-six officers, sixty-three were killed or wounded, and seven hundred and fourteen men killed out of eleven hundred.
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I undertook this military business, though I did not conceive myself well qualified for it.
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Page 152
Germain, by M.
Page 159
This bloody deed excited much indignation in the well-disposed part of the community.
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Franklin was decidedly in favour of the measure proposed, and had great influence in bringing others over to his sentiments.
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It did not long continue.
Page 182
" _Q.
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With the Scriptures in their hands and mouths, they can set at naught that express command, _Thou shalt do no murder_; and justify their wickedness by the command given Joshua to destroy the heathen.
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The colonies being already reduced to the necessity of having _paper_ money, by sending to Britain the specie they collected in foreign trade, in order to make up for the deficiency of their other returns for Britain's manufactures; there were doubts whether there could remain _specie_ sufficient to answer the tax.