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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 184

military force carry the stamp act
into execution?

_A._ I do not see how a military force can be applied to that purpose.

_Q._ Why may it not?

_A._ Suppose a military force sent into America, they will find
nobody in arms; what are they then to do? They cannot force a man
to take stamps who chooses to do without them. They will not find a
rebellion: they may indeed make one.

_Q._ If the act is not repealed, what do you think will be the

_A._ A total loss of the respect and affection the people of America
bear to this country, and of all the commerce that depends on that
respect and affection.

_Q._ How can the commerce be affected?

_A._ You will find, that if the act is not repealed, they will take
very little of your manufactures in a short time.

_Q._ Is it in their power to do without them?

_A._ I think they may very well do without them.

_Q._ Is it their interest not to take them?

_A._ The goods they take from Britain are either necessaries,
mere conveniences, or superfluities. The first, as cloth, &c.
with a little industry they can make at home; the second they can
do without, till they are able to provide them among themselves;
and the last, which are much the greatest part, they will strike
off immediately. They are mere articles of fashion, purchased and
consumed, because the fashion in a respected country; but will now be
detested and rejected. The people have already struck off, by general
agreement, the use of all goods fashionable in mournings, and many
thousand pounds worth are sent back as unsaleable.

_Q._ Is it their interest to make cloth at home?

_A._ I think they may at present get it cheaper from Britain, I mean
of the same fineness and neatness of workmanship: but when one
considers other circumstances, the restraints on their trade, and the
difficulty of making remittances, it is their interest to make every

_Q._ Suppose an act of internal regulations connected with a tax, how
would they receive it?

_A._ I think it would be objected to.

_Q._ Then no regulation with a tax would be submitted to?

_A._ Their opinion is, that when aids to the crown are wanted, they
are to be asked of the several assemblies, according to the old
established usage; who will, as they always have done, grant them
freely. And that their money ought not to be given away, without
their consent, by persons at a distance, unacquainted with their
circumstances and abilities. The granting aids to the crown is the

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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

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net) for Project Gutenberg Note: Project Gutenberg also has an HTML version of this file which includes the original illustration.
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But though it be true to a proverb that lazy folks take the most pains, does it follow that they deserve the most money? If you were to employ servants in affairs of trust, would you not bid more for one you knew was naturally honest than for one naturally roguish, but who has lately acted honestly? For currents, whose natural channel is dammed up till the new course is by time worn sufficiently deep and become natural, are apt to break their banks.
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We sell our victuals to the Islands for rum and sugar; the substantial necessaries of life for superfluities.
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How, then, is it possible, said my friend, that you can keep on your business? Indeed, sir, answered she, I must of necessity shut my doors, had I not a very great trade.
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That the world does so, is visible by the derision with which his name is treated whenever it is mentioned.
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During the reign of Henry VIII.
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I know a gentleman who was fond of accounting for everything in a philosophical way.
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He acquired a habit of idleness on the expedition, but begins, of late, to apply himself to business, and, I hope, will become an industrious man.
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_[25] [25] Jonathan Shipley took his degrees at Christ Church, and in 1743 was made prebendary of Winchester.
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"I wish continued success to the labours of the Royal Society, and that you may long adorn their chair; being, with the highest esteem, dear sir, &c.
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It is plain he took us for a species of animals very little superior to brutes.
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starting game for philosophers, let me try if I can start a little for you.
Page 186
Comparing our earthquakes, thunder, and lightning, with theirs, it is observed that there it lightens almost daily, especially in summer-time, here seldom; there thunder and lightning is of long duration, here it is soon over; there the earthquakes are frequent, long, and terrible, with many paroxysms in a day, and that for many days; here very short, a few minutes, and scarce perceptible.
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But, above all, those countries which yield great store of sulphur and nitre are by far the most injured by earthquakes; those minerals constituting in the earth a kind of natural gunpowder, which, taking fire upon this assemblage and approach of it, occasions that murmuring noise, that subterraneous thunder, which is heard rumbling in the bowels of the earth during earthquakes, and by the assistance of its explosive power renders the shock much greater, so as sometimes to make miserable havoc and destruction.
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While the houses on the one side of the street were swallowed up, on the other they were thrown in heaps; and the sand in the street rose like waves in the sea, lifting up everybody that stood on it, and immediately dropping down into pits; and at the same instant, a flood of waters breaking in, rolled them over and over; some catching hold of beams and rafters, &c.
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I think I did not get it lower than five or six degrees from where it naturally stood, which was at that time sixty.
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Between the deepest and shallowest it appears to be somewhat more than one fifth.
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