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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 96

New-York, April 19, 1757.


"I wrote a few lines to you yesterday, but omitted to answer yours
relating to sister Dowse. _As having their own way_ is one of the
greatest comforts of life to old people, I think their friends should
endeavour to accommodate them in that as well as anything else. When
they have long lived in a house, it becomes natural to them; they are
almost as closely connected with it as the tortoise with his shell: they
die if you tear them out of it. Old folks and old trees, if you remove
them, 'tis ten to one that you kill them, so let our good old sister be
no more importuned on that head: we are growing old fast ourselves, and
shall expect the same kind of indulgences; if we give them, we shall
have a right to receive them in our turn.

"And as to her few fine things, I think she is in the right not to sell
them, and for the reason she gives, that they will fetch but little,
when that little is spent, they would be of no farther use to her; but
perhaps the expectation of possessing them at her death may make that
person tender and careful of her, and helpful to her to the amount of
ten times their value. If so, they are put to the best use they possibly
can be.

"I hope you visit sister as often as your affairs will permit, and
afford her what assistance and comfort you can in her present situation.
_Old age_, _infirmities_, and _poverty_ joined, are afflictions enough.
The _neglect_ and _slights_ of friends and near relations should never
be added; people in her circumstances are apt to suspect this sometimes
without cause, _appearances_ should therefore be attended to in our
conduct towards them as well as _relatives_. I write by this post to
cousin William, to continue his care which I doubt not he will do.

"We expect to sail in about a week, so that I can hardly hear from you
again on this side the water; but let me have a line from you now and
then while I am in London; I expect to stay there at least a
twelvemonth. Direct your letters to be left for me at the Pennsylvania
Coffee-house, in Birchin Lane, London.

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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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Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.
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Franklin) to "The votes and proceedings of the freeholders, and other inhabitants of the town of Boston, in town-meeting assembled according to law (published by order of the town), &c.
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The people of this nation are indeed respectable, not for their numbers only, but for their understanding and their public spirit: they manifest the first, by their universal approbation of the late prudent and vigorous measures, and the confidence they so justly repose in a wise and good prince, and an honest and able administration; the latter they have demonstrated by the immense supplies granted in parliament unanimously, and paid through the whole kingdom with chearfulness.
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--_Here_ we are separated by the best and clearest of boundaries, the ocean, and we have people in or near every part of our territory.
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the officers keep their corps full, and mind their duty.
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You would have the French left in Canada, to exercise your military virtue, and make you a warlike people, that you may have more confidence to embark in schemes of disobedience, and greater ability to support them! You have tasted too, the sweets of TWO OR THREE MILLIONS sterling per annum spent among you by our fleets and forces, and you are unwilling to be without a pretence for kindling up another war, and thereby occasioning a repetition of the same delightful doses! But, gentlemen, allow us to understand _our_ interest a little likewise: we shall remove the French from Canada, that you may live in peace, and we be no more drained by your quarrels.
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The debt indeed to Britain has increased, because their numbers, and of course their trade, have increased; for all trade having always a proportion of debt outstanding, which is paid in its turn, while fresh debt is contracted, the proportion of debt naturally increases as the trade increases; but the improvement and increase of estates in the colonies have been in a greater proportion than their debt.
Page 196
Afterwards, when tobacco bore a better price, they returned to the use of British manufactures.
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An example we hope no provocation will induce us to imitate.
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I am often as agreeably entertained with them, as by the scenery of an opera.
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think their constitution the best in the world, and affect to despise ours.
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such a one, to distinguish them from their sons now men grown, and in business; so that by living twelve years beyond _David's_ period, I seem to have intruded myself into the company of posterity, when I ought to have been a-bed and asleep.
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acquaintance of Franklin's, i.
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Fire, not destroyed by water, but dispersed, i.
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_Oak_ best for flooring and stair-cases, ii.