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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 181

then be for the good of
the people of the colony, as well as necessary to government, that
the parliament should tax them?

_A._ I do not think it would be necessary. If an assembly could
possibly be so absurd, as to refuse raising the supplies requisite
for the maintenance of government among them, they could not long
remain in such a situation; the disorders and confusion occasioned by
it must soon bring them to reason.

_Q._ If it should not, ought not the right to be in Great Britain of
applying a remedy?

_A._ A right, only to be used in such a case, I should have no
objection to; supposing it to be used merely for the good of the
people of the colony.

_Q._ But who is to judge of that, Britain or the colony?

_A._ Those that feel can best judge.

_Q._ You say the colonies have always submitted to external taxes,
and object to the right of parliament only in laying internal taxes;
now can you show, that there is any kind of _difference between the
two taxes_ to the colony on which they may be laid?

_A._ I think the difference is very great. An _external_ tax is a
duty laid on commodities imported; that duty is added to the first
cost and other charges on the commodity, and, when it is offered to
sale, makes a part of the price. If the people do not like it at
that price, they refuse it; they are not obliged to pay it. But an
_internal_ tax is forced from the people without their consent, if
not laid by their own representatives. The stamp act says, we shall
have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other,
neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry
nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is
intended to extort our money from us, or ruin us by the consequences
of refusing to pay it.

_Q._ But supposing the external tax or duty to be laid on the
necessaries of life imported into your colony, will not that be the
same thing in its effects as an internal tax?

_A._ I do not know a single article imported into the _northern_
colonies, but what they can either do without, or make themselves.

_Q._ Don't you think cloth from England absolutely necessary to them?

_A._ No, by no means absolutely necessary; with industry and good
management, they may very well supply themselves with all they want.

_Q._ Will it not take a long time to establish that manufacture

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

Page 0
Darton, Junr.
Page 1
DARTON_, And of most Booksellers in the United Kingdom.
Page 2
However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves," as Poor Richard says.
Page 3
There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands;" or if I have, they are smartly taxed.
Page 4
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got together to this sale of fineries and nick-nacks.
Page 7
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" Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and "It is easier to build two chimneys, than to keep one in fuel," as Poor Richard says: so, "Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt," Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.
Page 9
The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.