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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 142

passed and presented to him a militia bill, which he
refused, unless powers were thereby given him over the lives and
properties of the inhabitants, which the public good did not require;
and which their duty to their constituents would not permit them to
trust in the hands of any proprietary governor? You know the points,
gentlemen: they have been made public. Would you have had your
representatives give up those points? Do _you_ intend to give them
up, when at the next election _you_ are made assemblymen? If so, tell
it us honestly beforehand, that we may know what we are to expect
when we are about to choose you?

I come now to the last clause of your petition, where, with the
same wonderful sagacity with which you in another case discovered
the excellency of a speech you never heard, you undertake to
_characterise a petition_ [_from the_ assembly] _you own you never
saw_; and venture to assure his majesty, that it is "exceeding
grievous in its nature, that it by no means contains a proper
representation of the state of this province, and is repugnant to
the general sense of his numerous and loyal subjects in it." Are
then his majesty's "numerous and loyal subjects" in this province
all as great wizards as yourselves, and capable of knowing, without
seeing it, that a petition is repugnant to their general sense? But
the inconsistence of your petition, gentlemen, is not so much to be
wondered at; the _prayer_ of it is _still more_ extraordinary, "We
therefore most humbly pray, that your majesty would be graciously
pleased _wholly to disregard_ the said petition of the assembly."
What! without enquiry! without examination! without a hearing of
what the assembly might say in support of it! "wholly disregard" the
petition of your representatives in assembly, accompanied by other
petitions, signed by thousands of your fellow-subjects as loyal, if
not as wise and as good, as yourselves! Would you wish to see your
great and amiable prince act a part that could not become a dey
of Algiers? Do you, who are Americans, pray for a _precedent_ of
such contempt in the treatment of an American assembly! such "total
disregard" of their humble applications to the throne? Surely your
wisdoms here have overshot yourselves.--But as wisdom shows itself
not only in doing what is right, but in confessing and _amending_
what is wrong, I recommend the latter particularly to your present
attention; being persuaded of this consequence, that though you have
been mad enough to sign such a petition, you never will be fools
enough to present it.

There is one thing

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 3
Abiah Franklin 107 To Miss Jane Franklin 108 To the same 109 To Mr.
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_ _If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting.
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When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, _It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it_.
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While there is a conflict between the two principles of passion and reason, we must be miserable in proportion to the struggle; and when the victory is gained, and reason so far subdued as seldom to trouble us with its remonstrances, the happiness we have then is not the happiness of our rational nature, but the happiness only of the inferior and sensual part of us, and, consequently, a very low and imperfect happiness to what the other would have afforded us.
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Eschines told the same people, that truth was a virtue without which force was enfeebled, justice corrupted; humility became dissimulation, patience intolerable, chastity a dissembler, liberty lost, and pity superfluous.
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incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious.
Page 85
thieves they have taught by their own example.
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They always treated me with friendly and affectionate regard; you have done the same.
Page 129
We make daily great improvements in _natural_--there is one I wish to see in _moral_ philosophy; the discovery of a plan that would induce and oblige nations to settle their disputes without first cutting one another's throats.
Page 130
Oh! that moral science were in as fair a way of improvement; that men would cease to be wolves to one another; and that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call humanity! "I am glad that my little paper on the Aurora Borealis pleased.
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Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and conveniences of life.
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All property, indeed, except the savages' temporary cabin, his bow, his matchuat, and other little acquisitions absolutely necessary for his subsistence, seems.
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"I have much regretted our having so little opportunity for conversation when we last met.
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"Our friend and we were invited abroad on a party of pleasure which is to last for ever.
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My friends here are numerous, and I enjoy as much of their conversation as I can reasonably wish; and I have as much health and cheerfulness as can well be expected at my age, now eighty-two.
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Thus the pointed rod either prevents the stroke from the cloud, or, if a stroke is made, conducts it to the earth with safety to the building.
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* * * A particle of air loaded with adhering water or any other matter, is heavier than before, and would descend.
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FRANKLIN.
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not pass so regularly and constantly backward and forward in the same track, I began to apprehend there might be something in it, and attempted to account for it from this consideration, that the boat, in proceeding along the canal, must in every boat's length of her course move out of her way a body of water equal in bulk to the room her bottom took up in the water; that the water so moved must pass on each side of her and under her bottom to get behind her; that if the passage under her bottom was straitened by the shallows, more of that water must pass by her sides, and with a swifter motion, which would retard her, as moving the contrary way; or, that the water becoming lower behind the boat than before, she was pressed back by the weight of its difference in height, and her motion retarded by having that weight constantly to overcome.
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FRANKLIN.