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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 59

obviously necessary, could have been
considered so illiberally subversive of the government. By 1747 Franklin
had read in _Telemachus_ that kings exist for the people, not the people
for the kings; he must have read Locke's justification of the "Glorious
Revolution" and have become aware of the impetus it gave to the British
authority of consent in its subsequent constitutional history.

After his first political pamphlet, he widened his horizon from
provincial to colonial affairs. Two years before the London Board of
Trade demanded that colonial governors hold a conference with the
Iroquois, Franklin seems to have devised plans for uniting the several
colonies. He was aware of the narrow particularism shown by the
provinces; he knew also that since "Governors are often on ill Terms
with their Assemblies," no concerted military efforts could be achieved
without a military federation.[i-257] One remembers that as soon as he
could think politically he was an imperialist, a lesser William Pitt,
and in his _Increase of Mankind_ (1751) could gloat over an envisioned
thickly populated America--"What an Accession of Power to the _British_
Empire by Sea as well as Land!"[i-258] When the Board of Trade, after
British efforts to bring the colonies together had failed, demanded that
something be done, Franklin was appointed one of the commissioners to
meet at Albany in 1754. Like Franklin, Governor Glen had admitted that
the colonies were "a Rope of Sand ... loose and inconnected."[i-259]
Franklin's plan, adopted by the commissioners, called for a
Governor-General "appointed by the king" and a Grand Council made up of
members chosen by the Assembly of each of the colonies, the Governor "to
have a negation on all acts of the Grand Council, and carry into
execution whatever is agreed on by him and that Council."[i-260] Surely
not a very auspicious beginning for one who later was to favor the
legislative over the executive functions of state. The plan included the
powers of making Indian treaties of peace and war, of regulating Indian
trade and Indian purchases, of stimulating the settling of new lands, of
making laws to govern new areas, of raising soldiers, of laying general
duties, et cetera.[i-261] But Franklin did not minimize the lack of
cohesion of the colonies. We recollect that "in 1755, at a time when
their very existence was threatened by the French, Massachusetts and New
York engaged in a bitter boundary controversy leading to riot and
bloodshed."[i-262] The colonies refused to ratify the plan--"their weak
Noddles are perfectly distracted,"[i-263] wrote Franklin. He was
probably right when he observed in 1789 that had the plan been adopted
"the subsequent Separation of the Colonies from

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

Page 0
Hence it is, that Poor Richard is so often quoted, and that, in the present title, he is said to be improved.
Page 1
coloured 1 6 Portraits of Curious Characters in London, &c.
Page 2
'It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service: but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing.
Page 3
" Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for "industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.
Page 4
The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow.
Page 5
" And farther, "What maintains one vice, would bring up two children.
Page 6
"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.
Page 7
" And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.
Page 8
" However, remember this, "They that will not be counselled cannot be helped;" and farther, that "If you will not hear Reason, she will surely rap your knuckles," as Poor.
Page 9
Page 9, "grevious" changed to "grievous" (much more grievous) Page 11, "waisting" changed to "wasting" (wasting time must be) Page 12, "mak" changed to "make" (We may make).