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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 107

life, what but a repetition of unjust
treatment could have induced them to entertain the most distant
thought of separation! The duties on glass, paper, leather, painters'
colours, tea, &c. the disfranchisement of some of the colonies;
the obstruction to the measures of the legislature in others, by
the king's governors; the contemptuous treatment of their humble
remonstrances, stating their grievances, and praying a redress of
them, and other violent and oppressive measures, at length excited an
ardent spirit of opposition. Instead of endeavouring to allay this
by a more lenient conduct, the ministry seemed resolutely bent upon
reducing the colonies to the most slavish obedience to their decrees.
But this only tended to aggravate. Vain were all the efforts made
use of to prevail upon them to lay aside their designs, to convince
them of the impossibility of carrying them into effect, and of the
mischievous consequences which must ensue from a continuance of the
attempts. They persevered, with a degree of inflexibility scarcely
paralleled.

The advantages which Great Britain derived from her colonies were
so great, that nothing but a degree of infatuation, little short of
madness, could have produced a continuance of measures calculated to
keep up a spirit of uneasiness, which might occasion the slightest
wish for a separation. When we consider the great improvements in the
science of government, the general diffusion of the principles of
liberty amongst the people of Europe, the effects which these have
already produced in France, and the probable consequences which will
result from them elsewhere, all of which are the offspring of the
American revolution, it cannot but appear strange, that events of so
great moment to the happiness of mankind, should have been ultimately
occasioned by the wickedness or ignorance of a British ministry.

Dr. Franklin left nothing untried to prevail upon the ministry to
consent to a change of measures. In private conversations, and in
letters to persons in government, he continually expatiated upon
the impolicy and injustice of their conduct towards America; and
stated, that, notwithstanding the attachment of the colonists to
the mother-country, a repetition of ill treatment must ultimately
alienate their affections. They listened not to his advice. They
blindly persevered in their own schemes, and left to the colonists
no alternative, but opposition, or unconditional submission. The
latter accorded not with the principles of freedom, which they had
been taught to revere. To the former they were compelled, though
reluctantly, to have recourse.

Dr. Franklin, finding all efforts to restore harmony between Great
Britain and her colonies useless, returned to America in the year
1775; just after the commencement of hostilities. The day after his
return he

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

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_ Sold by W.
Page 1
half bound 1 0 Wonders of the Horse, recorded in Anecdotes, Prose and Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Tales of the Robin & other Small Birds, in Verse, by Joseph Taylor 2 6 Instructive Conversation Cards, consisting .
Page 2
of 32 Biographical Sketches of Eminent British Characters 1 6 Ditto, containing a Description of the most distinguished Places in England 1 6 *** Just published, The Mice & their Pic Nic; a good Moral Tale, price with neat coloured plates 1 0 THE WAY TO WEALTH.
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on diseases, absolutely shortens life.
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The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good-morrow.
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Octr.
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" And again, "At a great pennyworth pause a while:" he means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good.
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"--What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And.
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" Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and "It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel," as Poor Richard says: so, "Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt," Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
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--I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanacks, and digested all I had dropt on those topics during the course of twenty-five years.