The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 313

Arts, and Manufactures. Vol. I, p. 350. B. V.




_Political Fragments, supposed either to be written by Dr.
Franklin, or to contain Sentiments nearly allied to his own[85]._


[§ 1. _Of the Employment of Time, and of Indolence: particularly as
respecting the State._]

All that live must be subsisted. Subsistence costs something. He,
that is industrious, produces, by his industry, something that is an
equivalent, and pays for his subsistence: he is therefore no charge
or burden to society. The indolent are an expence uncompensated.

There can be no doubt but all kinds of employment, that can be
followed without prejudice from interruptions; work, that can be
taken up, and laid down, often in a day, without damage; (such
as spinning, knitting, weaving, &c.) are highly advantageous to
a community; because in them may be collected all the produce of
those fragments of time, that occur in family-business, between the
constant and necessary parts of it, that usually occupy females;
as the time between rising and preparing for breakfast, between
breakfast and preparing for dinner, &c. &c. The amount of all these
fragments is, in the course of a year, very considerable to a single
family; to a state proportionably. Highly profitable therefore it is,
in this case also, to follow that divine direction, _gather up the
fragments that nothing be lost_. Lost time is lost subsistence; it is
therefore lost treasure.

Hereby, in several families, many yards of linen have been produced,
from the employment of those fragments only, in one year, though such
families were just the same in number as when not so employed.

It was an excellent saying of a certain Chinese emperor, _I will, if
possible, have no idleness in my dominions; for if there be one man
idle, some man must suffer cold or hunger_. We take this emperor's
meaning to be, that the labour due to the public by each individual,
not being performed by the indolent, must naturally fall to the share
of others, who must thereby suffer.


[§ 2. _Of Embargoes upon Corn, and of the Poor._]

In inland high countries, remote from the sea, and whose rivers
are small, running _from_ the country, and not _to_ it, as is the
case of Switzerland, great distress may arise from a course of
bad harvests, if public granaries are not provided, and kept well
stored. Anciently too, before navigation was so general, ships so
plenty, and commercial connections so well established, even maritime
countries might be occasionally distressed by bad crops. But such is
now the facility of communication between those countries, that an
unrestrained commerce can scarce ever

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
First Visit to London 77 VII.
Page 7
He developed journalism, established the American Philosophical Society, the public library in Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Page 12
Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.
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Reduced about one-third.
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I too was taken up and examin'd before the council; but, tho' I did not give them any satisfaction, they contented themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me, considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secrets.
Page 31
to, or knowledge of, any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket.
Page 43
The breaking into this money of Vernon's was one of the first great errata of my life; and this affair show'd that my father was not much out in his judgment when he suppos'd me too young to manage business of importance.
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"--Bigelow.
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[Illustration: "I see him still at work when I go home from club"] Our first papers made a quite different appearance from any before in the province; a better type, and better printed; but some spirited remarks of my writing, on the dispute then going on between Governor Burnet and the Massachusetts Assembly, struck the principal people, occasioned the paper and the manager of it to be much talk'd of, and in a few weeks brought them all to be our subscribers.
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Page 115
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Page 145
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Page 148
_ XVII FRANKLIN'S DEFENSE OF THE FRONTIER While the several companies in the city and country were forming, and learning their exercise, the governor prevail'd with me to take charge of our North-western frontier, which was infested by the enemy, and provide for the defense of the inhabitants by raising troops and building a line of forts.
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It was well we.
Page 153
visited me, and gave me an account of the pains he had taken to spread a general good liking to the law, and ascribed much to those endeavours.
Page 158
le Roy, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, took up my cause and refuted him; my book was translated into the Italian, German, and Latin languages; and the doctrine it contain'd was by degrees universally adopted by the philosophers of Europe, in preference to that of the abbe; so that he lived to see himself the last of his sect, except Monsieur B----, of Paris, his _eleve_ and immediate disciple.
Page 159
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Page 164
And, when at length the embargo was taken off, by neglecting to send notice of it to Charlestown, the Carolina fleet was detain'd near three months longer, whereby their bottoms were so much damaged by the worm that a great part of them foundered in their passage home.
Page 180
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