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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 77

is extracted from an American periodical publication, and was
written by the late Dr. Stuber,[6] of Philadelphia.]


The promotion of literature had been little attended to in
Pennsylvania. Most of the inhabitants were too much immersed in
business to think of scientific pursuits; and those few, whose
inclinations led them to study, found it difficult to gratify them,
from the want of libraries sufficiently large. In such circumstances,
the establishment of a public library was an important event. This
was first set on foot by Franklin, about the year 1731. Fifty persons
subscribed forty shillings each, and agreed to pay ten shillings
annually. The number increased; and in 1742, the company was
incorporated by the name of "The Library Company of Philadelphia."
Several other companies were formed in this city in imitation of
it. These were all at length united with the Library Company of
Philadelphia, which thus received a considerable accession of books
and property. It now contains about eight thousand volumes on all
subjects, a philosophical apparatus, and a well-chosen collection of
natural and artificial curiosities. For its support the company now
possesses landed property of considerable value. They have lately
built an elegant house in Fifth-street, in the front of which will be
erected a marble statue of their founder, Benjamin Franklin.

This institution was greatly encouraged by the friends of literature
in America and in Great Britain. The Penn family distinguished
themselves by their donations. Amongst the earliest friends of
this institution must be mentioned the late Peter Collinson,
the friend and correspondent of Dr. Franklin. He not only made
considerable presents himself, and obtained others from his friends,
but voluntarily undertook to manage the business of the Company
in London, recommending books, purchasing and shipping them. His
extensive knowledge, and zeal for the promotion of science, enabled
him to execute this important trust with the greatest advantage.
He continued to perform these services for more than thirty years,
and uniformly refused to accept of any compensation. During this
time, he communicated to the directors every information relative to
improvements and discoveries in the arts, agriculture, and philosophy.

The beneficial influence of this institution was soon evident. The
terms of subscription to it were so moderate that it was accessible
to every one. Its advantages were not confined to the opulent. The
citizens in the middle and lower walks of life were equally partakers
of them. Hence a degree of information was extended amongst all
classes of people. The example was soon followed. Libraries were
established in various places, and they are now become very numerous
in the United States, and particularly in Pennsylvania. It is

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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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_ _Line.
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_That they raise and pay soldiers and build forts for the defence of any of the colonies, and equip vessels of force to guard the coasts and protect the trade on the ocean, lakes[8], or great rivers; but they shall not impress men in any colony, without the consent of the legislature.
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The accounts are to be judged of by the president general and grand council, and allowed if found reasonable: this was thought necessary to encourage colonies to defend themselves, as the expence would be light when borne by the whole; and also to check.
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country between us and the enemy.
Page 63
FOOTNOTE: [16] This is the title of an octavo volume, consisting of nearly five hundred pages closely printed.
Page 72
_] I do not think, that our "blood and treasure has been expended," as he intimates, "_in the cause of the colonies_," and that we are "making conquests for _them_[33];" yet I believe this is too common an error.
Page 92
This would hold all that migrate from Barbadoes, the Leeward Islands, or Jamaica.
Page 134
Surely he that formed our constitution, must have understood it.
Page 164
Their situation at the same time gives them many opportunities of being vexatious; and they are often so, notwithstanding their dependence on the assemblies for all that part of their support, that does not arise from fees established by law, but would probably be much more so, if they were to be supported by money drawn from the people without their consent or good-will, which is the professed design of this new act.
Page 181
_ Those that feel can best judge.
Page 186
_ It is, I think, fifteen shillings, to be paid by every single freeman, upwards of twenty-one years old.
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B.
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And whenever the time shall come, that our abilities may as far exceed hers, as hers have exceeded ours, we hope we shall be reasonable enough to rest satisfied with her proportionable exertions, and not think we do too much for a part of the empire, when that part does as much as it can for the whole.
Page 248
I thank you, likewise, for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied Vattel.
Page 259
In that corrupted nation no man is ashamed of being concerned in lucrative _government jobs_, in which the public money is egregiously misapplied and squandered, the treasury pillaged, and more numerous and heavy taxes accumulated, to the great oppression of the people.
Page 264
Where her right hand had touched the ground, they found maize; where her left hand had touched it, they found kidney-beans; and where her backside had sat on it, they found tobacco.
Page 373
I owe this in a great measure to his good counsels.
Page 381
_America_, North, air of, drier than that of England and France, ii.
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_Congress_, Franklin appointed a delegate to, i.
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10.