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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 185

means they have of recommending themselves to their sovereign;
and they think it extremely hard and unjust, that a body of men, in
which they have no representatives, should make a merit to itself of
giving and granting what is not its own, but theirs; and deprive them
of a right they esteem of the utmost value and importance, as it is
the security of all their other rights.

_Q._ But is not the post-office, which they have long received, a tax
as well as a regulation?

_A._ No; the money paid for the postage of a letter is not of the
nature of a tax; it is merely a _quantum meruit_ for a service done;
no person is compellable to pay the money, if he does not choose to
receive the service. A man may still, as before the act, send his
letter by a servant, a special messenger, or a friend, if he thinks
it cheaper and safer.

_Q._ But do they not consider the regulations of the post-office, by
the act of last year, as a tax?

_A._ By the regulations of last year the rate of postage was
generally abated near thirty per cent through all America; they
certainly cannot consider such abatement _as a tax_.

_Q._ If an excise was laid by parliament, which they might likewise
avoid paying, by not consuming the articles excised, would they then
not object to it?

_A._ They would certainly object to it, as an excise is unconnected
with any service done, and is merely an aid, which they think ought
to be asked of them, and granted by them, if they are to pay it; and
can be granted for them by no others whatsoever, whom they have not
impowered for that purpose.

_Q._ You say, they do not object to the right of parliament, in
laying duties on goods to be paid on their importation: now, is there
any kind of difference between a duty on the _importation_ of goods,
and an excise on their _consumption_?

_A._ Yes; a very material one: an excise, for the reasons I have
just mentioned, they think you can have no right to lay within their
country. But _the sea_ is yours; you maintain, by your fleets, the
safety of navigation in it, and keep it clear of pirates; you may
have therefore a natural and equitable right to some _toll_ or duty
on merchandizes carried through that part of your dominions, towards
defraying the expence you are at in ships to maintain the safety of
that carriage.

_Q._ Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 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 3
They may also deem them fit to be imitated, should any of them find themselves in similar circumstances.
Page 9
It is true, he was never employed in the latter, the numerous family he had to educate and the strictness of his circumstances keeping him close to his trade: but I remember well his being frequently visited by leading men, who consulted him for his opinion in public affairs, and those of the church he belonged to, and who showed great respect for his judgment and advice: he was also much consulted by private persons about their affairs when any difficulty occurred, and frequently chosen an arbitrator between contending parties.
Page 12
This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession.
Page 27
About the end of April, 1724, a little vessel offered for Boston.
Page 35
Many pleasant walks we have had together on Sundays in the woods on the banks of the Schuylkill, where we read to one another, and conferred on what we had read.
Page 53
The first members were Joseph Brientnal, a copier of deeds for the scriveners; a good-natured, friendly, middle-aged man, a great lover of poetry, reading all he could meet with, and writing some that.
Page 77
We kept no idle servants; our table was plain and simple, our furniture of the cheapest.
Page 103
The paper I wrote for that purpose will be found among my writings, if not lost with many others.
Page 110
" This condition carried the bill through; for the members who had opposed the grant, and now conceived they might have the credit of being charitable without the expense, agreed to its passage; and then, in soliciting subscriptions among the people, we urged the conditional promise of the law as an additional motive to give, since.
Page 119
I then suggested a method of doing the business without the governor, by orders on the trustees of the loan-office, which, by law, the Assembly had the right of drawing.
Page 123
My son, who had some experience of a camp life and of its wants, drew up a list for me, which I enclosed in my letter.
Page 126
David Hume, who was some years after secretary to Lord Hertford when minister in France, and afterward to General Conway when secretary of state, told me he had seen among the papers in that office letters from Braddock highly recommending me.
Page 131
This gave me occasion to observe, that when men are employed they are best contented, for on the days they worked they were good-natured and cheerful, and with the consciousness of having done a good day's work they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with the pork, the bread, &c.
Page 135
Peter Collinson, F.
Page 154
The philosophers were disposed to account for the phenomena rather from a difference in the quantity of electricity collected, and even Du Faye himself seems at last to have adopted this doctrine.
Page 168
"[16] The following account of his funeral, and the honours paid to his memory, is derived from an anonymous source, but.
Page 187
_ But can you name any act of Assembly, or public act of any of your governments, that made such distinction? _A.
Page 197
Page 203
But the wickedness cannot be covered; the guilt will lie on the whole land, till justice is done on the murderers.
Page 213
Their spectres will sometimes attend you, and affright even your innocent children.