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

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colonies in the way of a tax_;" and to the colony-agents,
"_Write to your several colonies, and tell them, if they dislike a duty
upon_ stamps, _and prefer any other method of raising the money
themselves, I shall be content, provided the_ amount _be but raised_."
"That is," observed the colonies, when commenting upon his terms, "if we
will not tax ourselves _as we may be directed_, the Parliament will tax
us." Dr. Franklin's instructions, spoken of above, related to this
gracious option. As the colonies could not choose "_another_ tax" while
they disclaimed _every_ tax, the Parliament passed the stamp-act.

This act declared that the Americans should have no commerce, make no
exchange of property with each other, neither purchase, nor grant, nor
recover debts; they shall neither marry nor make their wills, unless
they pay such and such sums in _specie_ for the stamps which must give
validity to the proceedings. The operation of such a tax, its annual
productiveness, on its introduction, was estimated by its proposer in
the House of Commons at 100,000_l. sterling_. 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.

[19] Some of the colonies had been reduced to the necessity of
bartering, from the want of a medium of traffic.

[20] Afterward expressed in the Declaratory Act.

[21] When this army was in the utmost distress from the want of wagons,
&c., our author and his son voluntarily traversed the country, in order
to collect a sufficient quantity; and effected their purpose, by
pledging himself to the amount of many thousand pounds, for payment. It
was but just before Dr. Franklin's last return from England to America
that the accounts in this transaction were passed at the British

[22] The publication of this work by Doctor Franklin was made in London
during the war that begun in 1773. The introduction is a model of vivid
style and sound wisdom. It is written as in London.

* * * * *

[Transcriber's Notes:

The transcriber made these changes to the text to correct obvious

1. p 35 obnoxions --> obnoxious
2. p. 53 expcetations --> expectations

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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

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114 To the same 115 To the same 116 To Miss Stevenson 119 To Lord Kames 120 To the same 121 To the same 128 To John Alleyne .
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Veillard .
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Unless our actions will bear the test of our sober judgments and reflections upon them, they are not the actions, and, consequently, not the happiness, of a rational being.
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He had not quite lost all the arithmetic that he had learned when he was a boy, and he set himself to compute what he had devoured since he came to the age of man.
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_ When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, _Mistaken man_, said I, _you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.
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If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step or speak a word to favour their pretensions.
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If I judge some _two_ reasons _con_ equal to some _three_ reasons _pro_, I strike out the _five_; and, thus proceeding, I find at length where the _balance_ lies; and if, after a day or two of farther consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly.
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Our troops were then pouring into the town, and she was packing up to leave it; fearing, as she had a large house, they would incommode her by quartering officers in it.
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ministers and measures, and to draw from me propositions of peace, or approbations of those you have enclosed me, which you intimate may by your means be conveyed to the king directly, without the intervention of those ministers.
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We make daily great improvements in _natural_--there is one I wish to see in _moral_ philosophy; the discovery of a plan that would induce and oblige nations to settle their disputes without first cutting one another's throats.
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And as air has been compressed by art so as to be twice as dense as water, in which case, if such air and water could be contained in a strong glass vessel, the air would be seen to take the lowest place, and the water to float above and upon it; and as we know not yet the degree of density to which air may be compressed, and M.
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The mischief it did is amazing; almost all the buildings in the countries were thrown down.
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You agree that the wind blows every way towards a whirlwind from a large space round.
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" Such effects seem to show a rising current of air.
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On the other hand, if too much of this fluid be communicated.
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Hence I imagined that if people at sea, distressed by thirst, when their fresh water is unfortunately spent, would make bathing-tubs of their empty water-casks, and, filling them with seawater, sit in them an hour or two each day, they might be greatly relieved.
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