The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 158

the Attorney and Solicitor-General. What it was when they did receive
it I never learnt, for they did not communicate it to me, but sent a
long message to the Assembly drawn and signed by Paris, reciting my
paper, complaining of its want of formality, as a rudeness on my part,
and giving a flimsy justification of their conduct, adding that they
should be willing to accommodate matters if the Assembly would send out
some person of candour to treat with them for that purpose, intimating
thereby that I was not such.

The want of formality or rudeness was, probably, my not having
address'd the paper to them with their assum'd titles of True and
Absolute Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, which I omitted
as not thinking it necessary in a paper, the intention of which was
only to reduce to a certainty by writing, what in conversation I had
delivered viva voce.

But during this delay, the Assembly having prevailed with Gov'r Denny
to pass an act taxing the proprietary estate in common with the estates
of the people, which was the grand point in dispute, they omitted
answering the message.

When this act however came over, the proprietaries, counselled by
Paris, determined to oppose its receiving the royal assent.
Accordingly they petition'd the king in Council, and a hearing was
appointed in which two lawyers were employ'd by them against the act,
and two by me in support of it. They alledg'd that the act was
intended to load the proprietary estate in order to spare those of the
people, and that if it were suffer'd to continue in force, and the
proprietaries who were in odium with the people, left to their mercy in
proportioning the taxes, they would inevitably be ruined. We reply'd
that the act had no such intention, and would have no such effect.
That the assessors were honest and discreet men under an oath to assess
fairly and equitably, and that any advantage each of them might expect
in lessening his own tax by augmenting that of the proprietaries was
too trifling to induce them to perjure themselves. This is the purport
of what I remember as urged by both sides, except that we insisted
strongly on the mischievous consequences that must attend a repeal, for
that the money, L100,000, being printed and given to the king's use,
expended in his service, and now spread among the people, the repeal
would strike it dead in their hands to the ruin of many, and the total
discouragement of future grants, and the selfishness of the proprietors

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 1
Franklin, as a philosopher, a politician, and a moralist, is too well known to require illustration, and his writings, from their interesting nature, and the fascinating simplicity of their style, are too highly esteemed, for any apology to be necessary for so large a collection of them, unless it should be deemed necessary by the individual to whom Dr.
Page 24
This method I continued to employ for some years; but I afterwards abandoned it by degrees, retaining only the habit of expressing myself with modest diffidence, and never making use, when I advanced any proposition which might be controverted, of the words _certainly_, _undoubtedly_, or any others that might give the appearance of being obstinately attached to my opinion.
Page 27
My apprenticeship became insupportable to me, and I continually sighed for an opportunity of shortening it, which at length unexpectedly offered.
Page 53
My lodging in Little Britain being too far from the printing-house, I took another in.
Page 65
We found a house to let near the market.
Page 74
The parents encouraged my addresses, by inviting me continually to supper, and leaving us together, till at last it was time to come to an explanation.
Page 77
Its advantages were not confined to the opulent.
Page 110
Some time in September of the same year Dr.
Page 170
Another chain was fixed to the prime conductor, and held in the hand of a person to be electrified.
Page 219
The spark also might be made to pass through air greatly condensed, which perhaps would give a still more crooked direction.
Page 221
Your explication of the crooked direction of lightning appears to me both ingenious and solid.
Page 224
Your extract confirms a correction Mr.
Page 229
When it became almost cold, I could charge it as usual.
Page 231
In the centre of the bottom part D, is a male screw, which goes into a.
Page 252
Maine's rod were elevated only (_a_) _six or seven inches above the top of the chimney_; which, considering the bulk of the chimney and the house, was too small an elevation.
Page 267
_ [85] En 1718.
Page 303
papers relating to, iii.
Page 313
Page 324
_Labour_, why it will long continue dear in America, ii.
Page 328
_Moral_ principles, state of Franklin's mind respecting, on his entering into business, i.