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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

was, "That all lands, _not granted_ by
the proprietaries _within boroughs and towns_, be deemed located
uncultivated lands, and rated accordingly; and not as lots." The
clause in the act that this relates to is, "And whereas many valuable
lots of ground within the city of Philadelphia, and the several
boroughs and towns within this province, remain unimproved; Be it
enacted, &c. That _all_ such unimproved lots of ground within the
city and boroughs aforesaid, shall be rated and assessed according to
their situation and value for, and towards raising the money hereby
granted." The reader will observe, that the word is, _all_ unimproved
lots; and that _all_ comprehends the lots belonging to the people,
as well as those of the proprietary. There were many of the former;
and a number belonging even to members of the then assembly; and
considering the value, the tax must be proportionably as grievous to
them, as the proprietary's to him. Is there among us a single man,
even a proprietary relation, officer, or dependant, so insensible of
the differences of right and wrong, and so confused in his notions of
just and unjust, as to think and say, that the act in this particular
was fundamentally wrong and unjust? I believe not one. What then
could their lordships mean by the proposed amendment? Their meaning
is easily explained. The proprietaries have considerable tracts of
land within the bounds of boroughs and towns, that have not yet been
divided into lots: they pretended to believe, that by virtue of this
clause an imaginary division would be made of _those_ lands into
lots, and an extravagant value set on such imaginary lots, greatly
to their prejudice. It was answered, that no such thing was intended
by the act: and that by lots was meant only such ground as _had_
been surveyed and divided into lots, and not the open undivided
lands. If this only is intended, say their lordships, then let the
act be amended, so as _clearly_ to express what is intended. This is
the full amount of the third particular. How the act was understood
here, is well known by the execution of it before the dispute came
on in England, and therefore before their lordships' opinion on the
point could be given, of which full proof shall presently be made.
In the mean time it appears, that the act was not on _this_ account
fundamentally wrong and unjust.

The _fourth_ particular is, "That the _governor's consent_ and
approbation be made necessary to every issue and application of the
money, to be raised by virtue of such act." The assembly intended

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

Page 13
From this instance, reader, Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling, And distrust not Providence.
Page 26
In the evening I found myself very feverish, and went in to bed; but, having read somewhere that cold water, drunk plentifully, was good for a fever, I followed the prescription, sweat plentifully most of the night, my fever left me, and in the morning, crossing the ferry, I proceeded on my journey on foot, having fifty miles to Burlington,[40] where I was told I should find boats that would carry me the rest of the way to Philadelphia.
Page 27
Then one of the company knew the place to be Cooper's Creek, a little above Philadelphia, which we saw as soon as we got out of the creek, and arrived there about eight or nine o'clock on the Sunday morning, and landed at the Market Street wharf.
Page 29
" He brought me to the Crooked Billet, in Water Street.
Page 37
"I will do it myself.
Page 47
On occasion, I carried up and down stairs a large form of types in each hand, when others carried but one in both hands.
Page 67
In order to secure my credit and character as a tradesman, I took care not only to be in reality industrious and frugal, but to avoid all appearances to the contrary.
Page 69
It was liked and agreed to, and we filled one end of the room with such books as we could best spare.
Page 73
Though I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of its propriety and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia.
Page 108
Being thus secure of a majority, I went up, and after a little seeming hesitation agreed to a delay of another hour.
Page 110
From time to time He has been pleased to afford us further light, and our principles have been improving and our errors diminishing.
Page 113
The care and trouble of agreeing with the workmen, purchasing materials, and superintending the work, fell upon me; and I went through it the more cheerfully as it did not then interfere with my private business, having the year before taken a very able, industrious, and honest partner, Mr.
Page 114
The office of justice of the peace I tried a little by attending a few courts and sitting on the bench to hear causes; but finding that more knowledge of the common law than I possessed was necessary to act in that station with credit, I gradually withdrew from it, excusing myself by my being obliged to attend the higher duties of a.
Page 122
to be swept up and carried away before the shops are open, is very practicable in summer, when the days are long; for, in walking through the Strand and Fleet Street one morning at seven o'clock, I observed there was not one shop open, though it had been daylight and the sun up above three hours, the inhabitants of London choosing voluntarily to live much by candlelight and sleep by sunshine; and yet they often complain, a little absurdly, of the duty on candles and the high price of tallow.
Page 133
If this method of obtaining the wagons and horses is not likely to succeed, I am obliged to send word to the general in fourteen days; and I suppose Sir John St.
Page 141
Our axes, of which we had seventy, were immediately set to work to cut down trees, and, our men being dexterous in the use of them, great dispatch was made.
Page 145
During this short time of my colonelship, being about to set out on a journey to Virginia, the officers of my regiment took it into their heads that it would be proper for them to escort me out of town, as far as the Lower Ferry.
Page 148
Mitchel, an acquaintance of mine, and one of the members also of that society, who wrote me word that it had been read, but was laughed at by the connoisseurs.
Page 167
Page 169
Beware of little expenses; A small leak will sink a great ship, as Poor Richard says; and again, Who dainties love shall beggars prove; and moreover, Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.