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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 317

or coming; and have otherwise
free liberty to trade and reside in his dominions.

As a maritime power, we presume it is not thought right, that Great
Britain should grant such freedom, except partially; as in the case
of war with France, when tobacco is allowed to be sent thither under
the sanction of passports.

[§ 8. _Exchanges in Trade may be gainful to each Party._]

In transactions of trade, it is not to be supposed, that, like
gaming, what one party _gains_ the other must necessarily _lose_. The
gain to each may be equal. If A has more corn than he can consume,
but wants cattle; and B has more cattle, but wants corn, exchange
is gain to each: hereby the common stock of comforts in life is

[§9. _Of Paper Credit._]

It is impossible for government to circumscribe, or fix the extent of
paper credit, which must of course fluctuate. Government may as well
pretend to lay down rules for the operations, or the confidence of
every individual in the course of his trade. Any seeming temporary
evil arising, must naturally work its own cure.


[85] The political fragments, which are here presented to the reader,
were gathered up from the notes, annexed to a pamphlet called The
Principles of Trade, printed for Brotherton and Sewel, London, 1774,
second edition.--The writer of this work speaks of assistance lent to
him, in the following passage in his preface: "Some very respectable
friends have indulged me with their ideas and opinions. It is with
the greatest pleasure we, in this second edition, most gratefully
acknowledge the favour; and must add, that should the public hold
this performance in any estimation, no small share belongs to those
friends." Our author is one of the respectable friends here alluded
to. B. V.

_On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor[86]._


I am one of that class of people, that feeds you all, and at present
is abused by you all;--in short, I am a _farmer_.

By your news-papers we are told, that God had sent a very short
harvest to some other countries of Europe. I thought this might be in
favour of Old England; and that now we should get a good price for
our grain, which would bring millions among us, and make us flow in
money: that to be sure is scarce enough.

But the wisdom of government forbad the exportation[87].

Well, says I, then we must be content with the market-price at home.

No, say my lords the mob, you sha'n't have that. Bring your corn to
market if

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 0
His father, Josiah Franklin, was a tallow chandler who married twice, and of his seventeen children Benjamin was the youngest son.
Page 5
They had got an English Bible, and to conceal and secure it, it was fastened open with tapes under and within the cover of a joint-stool.
Page 6
It was written in 1675, in the home-spun verse of that time and people, and addressed to those then concerned in the government there.
Page 14
With this view I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try'd to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.
Page 16
This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag'd in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure.
Page 22
He had been, I imagine, an itinerant doctor, for there was no town in England, or country in Europe, of which he could not give a very particular account.
Page 31
I received on the way Vernon's money, without which we could hardly have finish'd our journey.
Page 40
I immediately got into work at Palmer's, then a famous printing-house in Bartholomew Close, and here I continu'd near a year.
Page 44
The bien venu among the printers answers to the terms entrance and footing among mechanics; thus a journeyman, on entering a printing-house, was accustomed to pay one or more gallons of beer for the good of the chapel; this custom was falling into disuse thirty years ago; it is very properly rejected entirely in the United States.
Page 54
My arguments perverted some others, particularly Collins and Ralph; but, each of them having afterwards wrong'd me greatly without the least compunction, and recollecting Keith's conduct towards me (who was another freethinker), and my own towards Vernon and Miss Read, which at times gave me great trouble, I began to suspect that this doctrine, tho' it might be true, was not very useful.
Page 58
My friends lamented.
Page 59
Vernon, about this time, put me in mind of the debt I ow'd him, but did not press me.
Page 66
"Some time since there fell into my hands, to my great joy, about twenty-three sheets in thy own handwriting, containing an account of the parentage and life of thyself, directed to thy son, ending in the year 1730, with which there were notes, likewise in thy writing; a copy of which I inclose, in hopes it may be a means, if thou continued it up to a later period, that the first and latter part may be put together; and if it is not yet continued, I hope thee will not delay it.
Page 77
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
Page 84
"No," said the smith, "turn on, turn on; we shall have it bright by-and-by; as yet, it is only speckled.
Page 111
Several persons were named, and for that reason not agreed to.
Page 127
What those terms were will appear in the advertisement I publish'd as soon as I arriv'd at Lancaster, which being, from the great and sudden effect it produc'd, a piece of some curiosity, I shall insert it at length, as follows: "ADVERTISEMENT.
Page 144
, I thought it right he should be inform'd of our success in using it, and wrote him several letters containing accounts of our experiments.
Page 146
Wright, an English physician, when at Paris, wrote to a friend, who was of the Royal Society, an account of the high esteem my experiments were in among the learned abroad, and of their wonder that my writings had been so little noticed in England.
Page 154
One would have the sails trimm'd sharper or flatter than another, so that they seem'd to have no certain rule to govern by.