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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 117

of
Parliament laying a tax on America. My plan, with my reasons in support
of it, is to be found among my political papers that were printed. Being
the winter following in Boston, I had much conversation with Governor
Shirley upon both the plans. Part of what passed between us on this
occasion may also be seen among those papers. The different and contrary
reasons of dislike to my plan makes me suspect that it was really the
true medium, and I am still of opinion it would have been happy for both
sides if it had been adopted. The colonies, so united, would have been
sufficiently strong to defend themselves: there would then have been no
need of troops from England, of course the subsequent pretext for taxing
America; and the bloody contest it occasioned would have been avoided:
but such mistakes are not new: history is full of the errors of states
and princes.

"Look, round the habitable world, how few
Know their own good, or, knowing it, pursue!"

Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally
like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new
projects. The best public measures are, therefore, seldom _adopted from
previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion_.

The governor of Pennsylvania, in sending it down to the Assembly,
expressed his approbation of the plan "as appearing to him to be drawn
up with great clearness and strength of judgment, and therefore
recommended it as well worthy their closest and most serious attention."
The house, however, by the management of a certain member, took it up
when I happened to be absent (which I thought not very fair), and
reprobated it without paying any attention to it at all, to my no small
mortification.

In my journey to Boston this year, I met at New-York with our new
governor, Mr. Morris, just arrived there from England, with whom I had
been before intimately acquainted. He brought a commission to supersede
Mr. Hamilton, who, tired with the disputes his proprietary instructions
subjected him to, had resigned. Mr. Morris asked me if I thought he must
expect as uncomfortable an administration. I said "No; you may, on the
contrary, have a very comfortable one, if you will only take care not to
enter into any dispute with the Assembly." "My dear friend," said he,
pleasantly, "how can you advise my avoiding disputes? You know I love
disputing; it is one of my greatest pleasures; however, to show the
regard I have for your counsel, I promise you I

Last Page Next Page

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 0
] [Illustration: Benjamin Franklin I am, Yours, B Franklin New-York, Harper & Brothers.
Page 11
In consequence, he took me to walk with him, and see joiners, bricklayers, turners, braziers, &c.
Page 22
to be some runaway indentured servant, and in danger of being taken up on that suspicion.
Page 25
He could not be said to _write_ them, for his method was to _compose_ them in the types directly out of his head; there being no copy, but one pair of cases, and the elegy probably requiring all the letter, no one could help him.
Page 29
This was all I could obtain, except some small gifts, as tokens of his and my mother's love, when I embarked again for New-York, now with their approbation and their blessing.
Page 39
I was pretty diligent, but I spent with Ralph a good deal of my earnings, at plays and public amusements; we had nearly consumed all my pistoles, and now just rubbed on from hand to mouth.
Page 40
At Palmer's I was employed in composing for the second edition of Woollaston's Religion of Nature.
Page 53
Then he gave me such a detail of misfortunes now existing, or that were soon to exist, that he left me half melancholy.
Page 63
LOVING SON,--As to the original of our name there is various .
Page 84
8} 9} Work.
Page 96
I therefore did not like the opposition of this new member, who was a gentleman of fortune and education, with talents that were likely to give him, in time, great influence in the house, which, indeed, afterward happened.
Page 97
a few days.
Page 100
Returning northward, he preached up this charity and made large collections, for his eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an instance.
Page 128
In one of the last, indeed, which was for granting fifty thousand pounds, his proposed amendment was only of a single word: the bill expressed "that all estates, real and personal, were to be taxed; those of the proprietaries _not_ excepted.
Page 141
Ours was the first to be despatched, as having been there longest.
Page 159
Repeated depredations on the frontiers had exasperated the inhabitants to such a degree, that they determined on revenge upon every Indian.
Page 163
When Lord Howe came.
Page 169
Franklin is represented in a standing posture; one arm is supported by means of some books, in his right hand he holds an inverted sceptre, an emblem of anti-monarchical principles, and in his left a scroll of paper.
Page 175
* * * * * "During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became due to me, for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected, when, in 1757, I was sent by the Assembly to England as their agent, and by subsequent appointments continued there till 1775; when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of Congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning till 1785; and the said debts not being demanded in such a length of time, have become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless justly due.
Page 220
226 with with more lustre --> with more lustre 8.