Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 98

few days. He sent it immediately, and I
returned it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my
sense of the favor. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me
(which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever
after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we
became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death. This
is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which
says: "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do
you another than he whom you yourself have obliged." And it shows how
much more profitable it is prudently to remove, than to resent,
return, and continue, inimical proceedings.

In 1737, Colonel Spotswood, late governor of Virginia, and then
postmaster-general, being dissatisfied with the conduct of his deputy
at Philadelphia respecting some negligence in rendering and
inexactitude of his accounts, took from him the commission and offered
it to me. I accepted it readily, and found it of great advantage; for,
though the salary was small, it facilitated the correspondence that
improved my newspaper and increased the number demanded, as well as
the advertisements to be inserted, so that it came to afford me a
considerable income. My old competitor's newspaper declined
proportionably, and I was satisfied without retaliating his refusal,
while postmaster, to permit my papers being carried by the riders.
Thus he suffered greatly from his neglect in due accounting; and I
mention it as a lesson to those young men who may be employed in
managing affairs for others, that they should always render accounts
and make remittances with great clearness and punctuality. The
character of observing such a conduct is the most powerful of all
recommendations to new employments and increase of business.

I began now to turn my thoughts a little to public affairs, beginning,
however, with small matters. The city watch was one of the first
things that I conceived to want regulation. It was managed by the
constables of the respective wards in turn. The constable warned a
number of housekeepers to attend him for the night. Those who chose
never to attend, paid him six shillings a year to be excused, which
was supposed to be for hiring substitutes, but was, in reality, much
more than was necessary for that purpose, and made the constableship a
place of profit; and the constable, for a little drink, often got such
ragamuffins about him as a watch that respectable housekeepers did not
choose to mix with them.[n] Walking the rounds, too,

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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]

Page 1
22, 1757 50 An historical review of the constitution and government of Pensylvania, from its origin; so far as regards the several points of controversy which have, from time to time, arisen between the several .
Page 16
4 New Jerseys 3 Pennsylvania 6 Maryland 4 Virginia 7 North Carolina 4 South Carolina 4 ---- .
Page 53
The assembly's message sent to the governor, together with the currency-bill.
Page 61
would expire also, they would prepare a proper bill for continuing the embargo, &c.
Page 99
[44] The writer has [since] obtained accounts of the exports to North America, and the West India Islands; by which it appears, that there has been some increase of trade to those islands as well as to North America, though in a much less degree.
Page 123
These, their subsequent governors have unmercifully dinned in the ears of the assembly on all occasions ever since; for they make a part of near a dozen of their messages.
Page 138
Really! Can this be from proprietary partizans? That constitution, which they were for ever censuring as defective in a legislative council, defective in government powers, too popular in many of its modes, is it now become so excellent? Perhaps, as they have been tinkering it these twenty years, till they have stripped it of some of its most valuable privileges, and almost spoiled it, they now begin to like it.
Page 144
[66] These words, "by completing the agreement," &c.
Page 154
"The house taking the foregoing report of the committee of accounts into consideration, and having spent some time therein, "RESOLVED, "That the sum of _five hundred pounds_ sterling _per annum_ be allowed and given to Benjamin Franklin, Esq.
Page 170
The very sensible and benevolent author of that paper, seems not to have known, that such a constitutional custom subsists, and has always hitherto been practised in America; or he would not have expressed himself in this manner: "It is evident beyond a doubt, to the intelligent and impartial, that after the very extraordinary efforts, which were effectually made by Great Britain in the late war to save the colonists from destruction, and attended of necessity with an enormous load of debts in consequence, that the same colonists, now firmly secured from foreign enemies, should be somehow induced to contribute some proportion towards the exigencies of state in future.
Page 171
While then these burthens continue: while Britain restrains the colonies in every branch of commerce and manufactures that she thinks interferes with her own; while she drains the colonies, by her trade with them, of all the cash they can procure by every art and industry in any part of the world, and thus keeps them always in her debt: (for they can make no law to discourage the importation of your to _them_ ruinous superfluities, as _you_ do the superfluities of France; since such a law would immediately be reported against by your board of trade, and repealed by the crown:) I say while these circumstances continue, and while there subsists the established method of royal requisitions, for raising money on them by their own assemblies on every proper occasion; can it be necessary or prudent to distress and vex them by taxes laid here, in a parliament wherein they have no representative, and in a manner which they look upon to be unconstitutional and subversive of their most valuable rights; and are they to be thought unreasonable and ungrateful if they oppose such taxes? Wherewith, they say, shall we show our loyalty to our gracious king,.
Page 179
_ I never heard any objection to the right of laying duties to regulate commerce, but a right to lay internal taxes was never supposed to be in parliament, as we are not represented there.
Page 190
[93] It is true Carthagena is in America, but as remote from the northern colonies, as if it had been in Europe.
Page 213
_" (_See the Speech.
Page 237
One admirable effect of these operations will be, to discourage every other colony from erecting such defences, and so their and your enemies may more easily invade them, to the great disgrace of your government, and of course the furtherance of your project.
Page 278
necessarily charged by the merchant.
Page 285
On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish, that every member of the convention, who may still have objections, would with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.
Page 337
well for some time afterwards.
Page 351
The retail politician's anxious thought Deems _this_ side always right, and _that_ stark nought; He foams with censure; with applause he raves-- A dupe to rumours, and a tool of knaves; He'll want no type his weakness to proclaim, While such a thing as _fools-cap_ has a name.
Page 385
acquaintance of Franklin's, i.