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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 118

preface, a number of aspersions were thrown on
our assemblies, and their proceedings grossly misrepresented, it
was thought necessary to wipe those aspersions off by some proper
animadversions, and by a true state of facts, to rectify those

The preface begins with saying, "That governor Denny (whose
administration will never be mentioned but with disgrace in the
annals of this province) was induced, by considerations to which the
world is now no stranger, to pass sundry acts," &c. thus insinuating,
that by some unusual base bargain, secretly made, but afterwards
discovered, he was induced to pass them.

It is fit therefore, without undertaking to justify all that
governor's administration, to show _what_ those considerations
were. Ever since the revenue of the quit-rents first, and after
that, the revenue of tavern-licences, were settled irrevocably on
our proprietors and governors, they have looked on those incomes as
their proper estate, for which they were under no obligations to the
people: and when they afterwards concurred in passing any useful
laws, they considered them as so many jobs, for which they ought to
be particularly paid. Hence arose the custom of _presents_ twice a
year to the governors, at the close of each session in which laws
were passed, given at the time of passing: they usually amounted to
a thousand pounds per annum. But when the governors and assemblies
disagreed, so that laws were not passed, the presents were withheld.
When a disposition to agree ensued, there sometimes still remained
some _diffidence_. The governors would not pass the laws that were
wanted, without being sure of the money, even all that they called
their arrears; nor the assemblies give the money, without being
sure of the laws. Thence the necessity of some private conference,
in which mutual assurances of good faith might be received and
given, that the transactions should go hand in hand. What name
the impartial reader will give to this kind of commerce, I cannot
say: to me it appears an extortion of more money from the people,
for that to which they had before an undoubted right, both by the
constitution and by purchase; but there was no other shop they could
go to for the commodity they wanted, and they were obliged to comply.
Time established the custom, and made it seem honest; so that our
governors, even those of the most undoubted honour, have practised
it. Governor Thomas, after a long misunderstanding with the assembly,
went more openly to work with them in managing this commerce, and
they with him. The fact is curious, as it stands recorded in the
votes of 1742-3. Sundry bills, sent

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 12
He was ingenious, could draw prettily, was skilled a little in music, and had a clear, pleasing voice, so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sung withal, as he sometimes did in an evening after the business of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear.
Page 26
It rained very hard all the day.
Page 31
Sir William Keith, governor of the province, was then at Newcastle; and Captain Holmes, happening to be in company with him when my letter came to hand, spoke to him of me and showed him the letter.
Page 32
The governor gave me an ample letter, saying many flattering things of me to my father, and strongly recommending the project of my setting up at Philadelphia as a thing that must make my fortune.
Page 35
So, though we had escaped a sunken rock, which we scraped upon in the passage, I thought this escape of rather more importance to me.
Page 37
" I agreed that this might be advantageous.
Page 53
He now had a coffeehouse at Chelsea.
Page 61
From hence the long continuance of the club, which I shall.
Page 63
He began his paper, however, and, after carrying it on three quarters of a year, with at most only ninety subscribers, he offered it to me for a trifle; and I, having been ready some time to go on with it, took it in hand directly, and it proved in a few years extremely profitable to me.
Page 65
You may find friends to assist you.
Page 71
So few were the readers at that time in Philadelphia, and the majority of us so poor, that I was not able, with great industry, to find more than fifty persons, mostly young tradesmen, willing to pay down for this purpose forty shillings each and ten shillings per annum.
Page 72
to go about and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading.
Page 97
] [Footnote 118: See p.
Page 104
To promote this I first wrote and published a pamphlet entitled "Plain Truth," in which.
Page 109
Some of the council, desirous of giving the House still further embarrassment, advised the governor not to accept provision, as not being the thing he had demanded; but he replied: "I shall take the money, for I understand very well their meaning; 'other grain' is gunpowder," which he accordingly bought, and they never objected to it.
Page 116
The country members did not at first relish the project.
Page 117
Unwilling to make myself disagreeable to my fellow-citizens by too frequently soliciting their contributions, I absolutely refused.
Page 149
de Lor, who had an apparatus for experimental philosophy, and lectured in that branch of science, undertook to repeat what he called the "Philadelphia experiments," and, after they were performed before the king and court, all the curious of Paris flocked to see them.
Page 166
Page 170
And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell in order to equal the ox.