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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 177

the coast in America.

_Q._ Do you think it right that America should be protected by this
country, and pay no part of the expence?

_A._ That is not the case. The colonies raised, clothed, and paid,
during the last war, near twenty-five thousand men, and spent many
millions.

_Q._ Were you not reimbursed by parliament?

_A._ We were only reimbursed what, in your opinion, we had advanced
beyond our proportion, or beyond what might reasonably be expected
from us; and it was a very small part of what we spent. Pensylvania,
in particular, disbursed about 500,000_l._ and the reimbursements, in
the whole, did not exceed 60,000_l._

_Q._ You have said, that you pay heavy taxes in Pensylvania, what do
they amount to in the pound?

_A._ The tax on all estates, real and personal, is eighteen pence in
the pound, fully rated; and the tax on the profits of trades and
professions, with other taxes, do, I suppose, make full half-a-crown
in the pound.

_Q._ Do you know any thing of the _rate of exchange in_ Pensylvania,
and whether it has fallen lately?

_A._ It is commonly from one hundred and seventy to one hundred
and seventy-five. I have heard, that it has fallen lately from one
hundred and seventy-five to one hundred sixty-two and a half; owing,
I suppose, to their lessening their orders for goods; and when their
debts to this country are paid, I think the exchange will probably be
at par.

_Q._ Do not you think the people of America would submit to pay the
stamp duty, if it was moderated?

_A._ No, never, unless compelled by force of arms.

_Q._ Are not the taxes in Pensylvania laid on unequally, in order to
burthen the English trade; particularly the tax on professions and
business?

_A._ It is not more burthensome in proportion, than the tax on lands.
It is intended, and supposed to take an equal proportion of profits.

_Q._ How is the assembly composed? Of what kinds of people are the
members; landholders or traders?

_A._ It is composed of landholders, merchants, and artificers.

_Q._ Are not the majority landholders?

_A._ I believe they are.

_Q._ Do not they, as much as possible, shift the tax off from the
land, to ease that, and lay the burthen heavier on trade?

_A._ I have never understood it so. I never heard such a thing
suggested. And indeed an attempt of that kind could answer no
purpose. The merchant or trader is always skilled in figures, and
ready with his pen and ink. If unequal burthens are laid on his
trade, he puts an additional price on his goods; and the

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 5
6) that these volumes had been preserved, and were in possession of Mrs.
Page 6
The whole appeared to me as written with a good deal of decent plainness and manly freedom.
Page 10
He was a pious and prudent man; She, a discreet and virtuous woman.
Page 15
I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother, that if he would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would board myself.
Page 16
safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight in it, practis'd it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved.
Page 18
now that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I then esteem'd them.
Page 37
The governor was there; but when I went to his lodging, the secretary came to me from him with the civillest message in the world, that he could not then see me, being engaged in business of the utmost importance, but should send the letters to me on board, wish'd me heartily a good voyage and a speedy return, etc.
Page 46
Denham, with whom I often spent an hour when I had leisure, he dissuaded me from it, advising me to think only of returning to Pennsilvania, which he was now about to do.
Page 52
I am sensible I am no workman; if you like it, your skill in the business shall be set against the stock I furnish, and we will share the profits equally.
Page 73
in form of articles of agreement to be subscribed, by which each subscriber engag'd to pay a certain sum down for the first purchase of books, and an annual contribution for increasing them.
Page 81
Accept my kind offices to thy other children as the only return in my power for thy continual favors to me.
Page 85
But, on the whole, tho' I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writing by imitating the engraved copies, tho' they never reach the wish'd-for excellence of those copies, their hand is mended by the endeavor, and is tolerable while it continues fair and legible.
Page 87
And this mode, which I at first put on with some violence to natural inclination, became at length so easy, and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years past no one has ever heard a dogmatical expression escape me.
Page 89
my mind, as to be undertaken hereafter, when my circumstances should afford me the necessary leisure, I put down from time to time, on pieces of paper, such thoughts as occurr'd to me respecting it.
Page 103
I was call'd upon for the instrument of association, and having settled the draft of it with a few friends, I appointed a meeting of the citizens in the large building before mentioned.
Page 108
He complain'd to me that they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other persuasions, and charg'd with abominable principles and practices, to which they were utter strangers.
Page 143
Spence, who was lately arrived from Scotland, and show'd me some electric experiments.
Page 147
.
Page 150
The other two paquets he still detained, carried them with him to Halifax, where he stayed some time to exercise the men in sham attacks upon sham forts, then alter'd his mind as.
Page 162
1776 Placed on the committee to draft a Declaration of Independence; chosen president of the Constitutional Committee of Pennsylvania; sent to France as agent of the colonies.