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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 164

no longer than their
government continues, and purpose to leave no family behind them,
they are apt to be regardless of the good-will of the people, and
care not what is said or thought of them after they are gone. Their
situation at the same time gives them many opportunities of being
vexatious; and they are often so, notwithstanding their dependence
on the assemblies for all that part of their support, that does not
arise from fees established by law, but would probably be much more
so, if they were to be supported by money drawn from the people
without their consent or good-will, which is the professed design of
this new act. That if by means of these forced duties, government
is to be supported in America, without the intervention of the
assemblies, their assemblies will soon be looked upon as useless; and
a governor will not call them, as having nothing to hope from their
meeting, and perhaps something to fear from their inquiries into,
and remonstrances against, his mal-administration. That thus the
people will be deprived of their most essential right. That it being
(as at present) a governor's interest to cultivate the good-will,
by promoting the welfare of the people he governs, can be attended
with no prejudice to the mother-country, since all the laws he may be
prevailed on to give his assent to are subject to revision here, and
if reported against by the board of trade, are immediately repealed
by the crown; nor dare he pass any law contrary to his instructions;
as he holds his office during the pleasure of the crown, and his
securities are liable for the penalties of their bonds, if he
contravenes those instructions. This is what they say as to governors.

As to _judges_, they alledge, that being appointed from hence, and
holding their commissions not during good behaviour, as in Britain,
but during pleasure: all the weight of interest or influence would
be thrown into one of the scales (which ought to be held even) if
the salaries are also to be paid out of duties raised upon the
people without their consent, and independent of their assemblies
approbation or disapprobation of the judges behaviour. That it is
true, judges should be free from all influence; and therefore,
whenever government here will grant commissions to able and honest
judges during good behaviour, the assemblies will settle permanent
and ample salaries on them during their commissions; but at present,
they have no other means of getting rid of an ignorant or an unjust
judge (and some of scandalous characters have, they say, been
sometimes sent them)

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
_ Sold by W.
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
Page 2
The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean, old man, with white locks, 'Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not those heavy taxes quite ruin the country! How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to?'----Father Abraham stood up, and replied, 'If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; "for a word to the wise is enough," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
--How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that, "the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave," as Poor Richard says.
Page 4
"Fly pleasures and they will follow you.
Page 5
Page 6
Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew not the getting of; they think "it is day, and will never be night:" that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding; but "Always taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom," as Poor Richard says; and then, "When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.
Page 7
" [Illustration: Published by W.
Page 8
'This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
Page 9
* * * * * Transcriber's Notes: Only the most obvious and clear punctuation errors repaired.