Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

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head" (as Defoe calls such a
spirit), devised much that helped life to amenity and comfort. In
politics he had the outlook of the self-reliant colonist whose
devotion to the mother institutions of England was finally alienated
by the excesses of a power which thought itself all-powerful.

In this Autobiography Franklin tells of his own life to the year 1757,
when he went to England to support the petition of the legislature
against Penn's sons. The grievance of the colonists was a very
considerable one, for the proprietaries claimed that taxes should not
be levied upon a tract greater than the whole State of Pennsylvania.

Franklin was received in England with applause. His experiments in
electricity and his inventions had made him known, and the sayings of
"Poor Richard" were already in the mouths of the people. But he
waited nearly three years before he could obtain a hearing for the
matter for which he had crossed the sea.

During the delay he visited the ancient home of his family, and made
the acquaintance of men of mark, receiving also that degree of Doctor
of Civil Law by which he came to be known as Dr. Franklin. In this
time, too, he found how prejudiced was the common English estimate of
the value of the colonies. He wrote Lord Kames in 1760, after the
defeat of the French in Canada: "No one can more sincerely rejoice
than I do on the reduction of Canada; and this is not merely as I am a
colonist, but as I am a Briton. I have long been of opinion that the
_foundations of the future grandeur and stability of the British
empire lie in America_; and though, like other foundations, they are
low and little now, they are, nevertheless, broad and strong enough to
support the greatest political structure that human wisdom ever yet
erected. I am, therefore, by no means for restoring Canada. If we keep
it all the country from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi will in
another century be filled with British people. Britain itself will
become vastly more populous by the immense increase of its commerce;
the Atlantic sea will be covered with your trading ships; and your
naval power, thence continually increasing, will extend your influence
round the whole globe and awe the world!... But I refrain, for I see
you begin to think my notions extravagant, and look upon them as the
ravings of a madman."

At last Franklin won the king's signature to a bill by the terms of
which the surveyed lands of the proprietaries should be assessed, and,
his business accomplished,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

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Franklin 244 The examination of Dr.
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And thus the quota of tax from each colony would naturally vary with its circumstances; thereby preventing all disputes and dissatisfactions about the just proportions due from each; which might otherwise produce pernicious consequences, and destroy the harmony and good agreement that ought to subsist between the several parts of the union.
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In the time of war, small vessels of force are sometimes necessary in the colonies to scour the coast of small privateers.
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_ _first cost_ for every 100 miles) it was forgotten, that the Indians, like other people, knew the difference between day and night, and that a mile of advance and another of retreat were nothing to the celerity of such an enemy.
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With the greatest respect and esteem, I have the honour to be Your Excellency's most obedient and humble Servant, B.
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Founded on authentic Documents.
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It is a known custom among farmers, to change their corn from season to season, for the.
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In proportion, therefore, as the demand increases for the manufactures of Britain, by the increase of people in her colonies, the number of her people at home will increase; and with them, the strength as well as the wealth of the nation.
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By this means you may keep the colonies to their present size.
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Our people have been foolishly fond of their superfluous modes and manufactures, to the impoverishing our own country, carrying off all our cash, and loading us with debt; they will not suffer us to restrain the luxury of our inhabitants, as they do.
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The peace now enjoyed throughout our dominions, having afforded us leisure to apply ourselves to the regulation of commerce, the improvement of our finances, and at the same time the easing our _domestic_ subjects in their taxes: for these causes, and other good considerations us thereunto moving, we hereby make known, that, after having deliberated these affairs in our council, present our dear brothers, and other great officers of the state, members of the same; we, of our certain knowledge, full power, and authority royal,.
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[119] Lord Hilsborough.
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Franklin] having delivered to lord Dartmouth, an address of that house to the king, signed by their speaker; complaining of the conduct of the governor [Hutchinson] and lieutenant governor [Andrew Oliver] of that province, in respect to certain private letters written by them to their correspondent in England, and praying that they may be removed from their posts in that government; his lordship hath presented the said address to his majesty, and his majesty having signified his pleasure, that the said address should be laid before his majesty in his privy council, I am directed by lord Dartmouth to transmit the same accordingly, together with a copy of the agent's letter to his lordship, accompanying the said address.
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It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects, for "constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.
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If we can sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided.
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observations on, 211.
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'sauction' replaced by 'sanction'.