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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 161

of requisition been continued (a method that
left the king's subjects in those remote countries the pleasure
of showing their zeal and loyalty, and of imagining that they
recommended themselves to their sovereign by the liberality of their
voluntary grants) there is no doubt, but all the money that could
reasonably be expected to be raised from them in any manner, might
have been obtained, without the least heart-burning, offence, or
breach of the harmony of affections and interests, that so long
subsisted between the two countries.

It has been thought wisdom in a government exercising sovereignty
over different kinds of people, to have _some regard to prevailing
and established opinions_ among the people to be governed, wherever
such opinions might in their effects obstruct or promote public
measures. If they tend to obstruct public service, they are to be
changed, if possible, before we attempt to act against them; and they
can only be changed by reason and persuasion. But if public business
can be carried on without thwarting those opinions, if they can be,
on the contrary, made subservient to it; they are not unnecessarily
to be thwarted, how absurd such popular opinions may be in their

This had been the wisdom of our government with respect to raising
money in the colonies. It was well known, that the colonists
universally were of opinion, that no money could be levied from
English subjects but by their own consent, given by themselves or
their chosen representatives; that therefore whatever money was to be
raised from the people in the colonies must first be granted by their
assemblies, as the money raised in Britain is first to be granted by
the house of commons; that this right of granting their own money was
essential to English liberty; and that if any man, or body of men in
which they had no representative of their choosing, could tax them
at pleasure, they could not be said to have any property, any thing
they could call their own. But as these opinions did not hinder their
granting money voluntarily and amply, whenever the crown, by its
servants, came into their assemblies (as it does into its parliaments
of Britain or Ireland) and demanded aids; therefore that method was
chosen, rather than the hateful one of arbitrary taxes.

I do not undertake here to support these opinions of the Americans;
they have been refuted by a late act of parliament, declaring its own
power; which very parliament, however, showed wisely so much tender
regard to those inveterate prejudices, as to repeal a tax that had
militated against them. And those prejudices are

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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 5
Priestley 138 To Mrs.
Page 13
_Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears; while the used key is always bright_, as Poor Richard says.
Page 20
It is of the very essence, for instance, of envy to be uneasy and disquieted.
Page 28
, is not virtuous; but that, in order to be virtuous, he must, in spite of his natural.
Page 51
Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and by their remarks sour the pleasures of society, offend personally many people, and make themselves everywhere disagreeable.
Page 69
This case is a pregnant instance of the danger that attends a law for punishing words, and of the little security the most valuable men have for their lives, in that society where a judge, by remote inferences and distant innuendoes, may construe the most innocent expressions into capital crimes.
Page 84
All princes who are disposed to become tyrants must probably approve of this opinion, and be willing to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one? since, on that principle, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and destroy not only an unoffending neighbour nation, but even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey.
Page 99
_Leave_, they say, is _light_, and it seems to me a piece of respect that was due to his aunt to ask it, and I can scarce think she would have refused him the favour.
Page 122
Now it happened that you were negligent in _all_ these points: for, first, you desired to have means procured for you of taking a voyage to America '_avec surete_,[19] which is not possible,.
Page 138
" * * .
Page 145
Page 155
You see I have some reason to wish that, in a future state, I may not only be _as well as I was_, but a little better.
Page 165
But the convenience of fixed values to pieces is so great as to force the currency of some whose stamp is worn off, that should have assured their fineness, and which are evidently not of half their due weight; the case at present with the sixpences in England, which, one with another, do not weigh threepence.
Page 180
Besides this, I can conceive, that in the first assemblage of the particles of which the earth is composed, each brought its portion of loose heat that had been connected with it, and the whole, when pressed together, produced the internal fire that still subsists.
Page 184
To conceive which, it is to be observed that the earth everywhere abounds in huge subterraneous caverns, veins, and canals, particularly about the roots of mountains; that of these cavities, veins, &c.
Page 188
That, therefore, there are scarce any countries much annoyed by earthquakes but have one of these fiery vents, which are constantly in flames when any earthquake happens, as disgorging that fire which, while underneath, was the cause of the disaster.
Page 189
And the vast sphere beyond this depth, in diameter 6,451,538 fathoms, may probably be only filled with air, which will be here greatly condensed, and much heavier than the heaviest bodies we know in nature.
Page 200
The specific gravity of matter is not altered by dividing the matter, though the superfices be increased.
Page 210
Lastly, as the lower air, and nearest the surface, is most rarefied by the heat of the sun, that air is most acted on by the pressure of the surrounding cold and heavy air, which is to take its place; consequently, its motion towards the whirl is swiftest, and so the force of the lower part of the whirl or trump strongest, and the centrifugal force of its particles greatest; and hence the vacuum round the axis of the whirl should be greatest near the earth or sea, and be gradually diminished as it approaches the region of the clouds, till it ends in a point, as at P, _Fig.
Page 246
146 virtuons --> virtuous 6.