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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 332

you force that, methinks you should excuse the other.

But it may be said, to give the king's seamen merchant's wages would
cost the nation too much, and call for more taxes. The question then
will amount to this: whether it be just in a community, that the
richer part should compel the poorer to fight in defence of them
and their properties, for such wages as they think fit to allow,
and punish them if they refuse? Our author tells us that it is
"_legal_." I have not law enough to dispute his authorities, but I
cannot persuade myself that it is equitable. I will, however, own
for the present, that it may be lawful when necessary; but then I
contend, that it may be used so as to produce the same good effects,
_the public security_, without doing so much intolerable injustice
as attends the impressing common seamen.--In order to be better
understood I would premise two things: first, that voluntary seamen
may be had for the service, if they were sufficiently paid. The proof
is, that to serve in the same ship, and incur the same dangers,
you have no occasion to impress captains, lieutenants, second
lieutenants, midshipmen, pursers, nor many other officers. Why, but
that the profits of their places, or the emoluments expected, are
sufficient inducements? The business then is, to find money, by
impressing, sufficient to make the sailors all volunteers, as well as
their officers, and this without any fresh burthen upon trade.--The
second of my premises is, that twenty-five shillings a month, with
his share of the salt beef, pork, and peas-pudding, being found
sufficient for the subsistence of a hard-working seaman, it will
certainly be so for a sedentary scholar or gentleman. I would then
propose to form a treasury, out of which encouragements to seamen
should be paid. To fill this treasury, I would impress a number of
civil officers, who at present have great salaries, oblige them to
serve in their respective offices for twenty-five shillings a month,
with their shares of mess provisions, and throw the rest of their
salaries into the seamen's treasury. If such a press-warrant were
given me to execute, the first I would press should be a recorder
of Bristol, or a Mr. Justice Foster, because I might have need of
his edifying example, to show how much impressing ought to be borne
with; for he would certainly find, that though to be reduced to
twenty-five shillings a month might be a "_private mischief_," yet
that, agreeably to his maxim of law and good policy, it "_ought to
be borne with patience_,"

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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]

Page 5
Remarks concerning the savages of North America 383 The internal state of America; being a true description of the interest and policy of that vast continent .
Page 12
And as Canada is chiefly supported by that trade, if it could be drawn into the hands of the English (as it might be if the Indians were supplied on moderate terms, and by honest traders appointed by and acting for the public) that alone would contribute greatly to the weakening of our enemies.
Page 43
Nevertheless we unfortunately find, that the proprietaries of this province, regardless of this sacred fundamental of our rights and liberties, have so abridged and restricted their late and present _governor's_ discretion in matters of legislation, by their illegal, impracticable, and unconstitutional instructions and prohibitions; that no bill for granting aids and supplies to our most gracious sovereign (be it ever so reasonable, expedient, and necessary for the defence of this his majesty's colony, and safety of his people) unless it be agreeable thereto, can meet with his approbation: by means whereof the many considerable sums of money which have been offered for those purposes, by the assemblies of this province (ever anxious to maintain his honour and rights,) have been rejected; to the great encouragement of his majesty's enemies, and the imminent danger of the loss of this colony.
Page 56
Refused by the governor, on the old pretence of a contrary instruction.
Page 80
But when we consider, that the inland parts of America are penetrated by great navigable rivers; that there are a number of great lakes, communicating with each other, with those rivers, and with the sea, very small portages here and there excepted[41]; that the sea-coasts (if one may be allowed the expression) of those lakes only amount at least to two thousand seven hundred miles, exclusive of the rivers running into them (many of which are navigable to a great extent for boats and canoes, through vast tracts of country); how little likely is it that the expence on the carriage of our goods into those countries should prevent the use of them.
Page 145
Political arithmeticians reckon generally but five souls to a house, one house with another; and therefore, allowing for houses since built, there are not probably more than an hundred and ten thousand souls in the province; that of these, scarce twenty two thousand could with any propriety be petitioners.
Page 147
done, that they should think unfavourably of me? It cannot be my constantly and uniformly promoting the measures of the crown, ever since I had any influence in the province.
Page 204
They have been refused or rebuked in angry letters.
Page 217
"And whereas there hath been from time to time discovered in the said island of Great Britain, by our colonists there, many mines or beds of _iron_-stone; and sundry subjects of our ancient dominion, skilful in converting the said stone into metal, have in time past transported themselves thither, carrying with them and communicating that art; and the inhabitants of the said island, presuming that they had a natural right to make the best use they could of the natural productions of their country, for their own benefit, have not only built furnaces for smelting the said stone into iron, but have.
Page 237
One admirable effect of these operations will be, to discourage every other colony from erecting such defences, and so their and your enemies may more easily invade them, to the great disgrace of your government, and of course the furtherance of your project.
Page 245
You and I were long friends; you are at present my enemy, and I am yours.
Page 250
Storey, can more fully inform you: and whoever brings in those articles, is allowed to carry off the value in provisions, to our West Indies, where they will probably fetch a very high price, the general exportation from North America being stopped.
Page 267
Being piously disposed, they sought relief from Heaven, by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord, in frequent set days of fasting and.
Page 270
It is true, that in some of the states there are parties and discords; but let us look back, and ask if we were ever without them? Such will exist wherever there is liberty; and perhaps they help to preserve it.
Page 280
Andrew's; and the advice was, not to blister, according to the old practice and the opinion of the learned Dr.
Page 340
_--How can you so cruelly sport with my torments? _Gout.
Page 362
If this new flourishing city, and greatly improving colony, is destroyed and ruined, it will not be for want of numbers of inhabitants able to bear arms in its defence.
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_Collins_, John, an early friend of Franklin's, i.
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