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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 199

collect a sufficient quantity; and they had zeal
and address enough to effect their purpose, upon pledging themselves,
to the amount of many thousand pounds, for payment. It was but just
before Dr. Franklin's last return to America, that the accounts in
this transaction were passed at home. B. V.

[95] I take the following to be the history of this transaction.

Until 1763, and the years following, whenever Great Britain wanted
supplies directly from the colonies, the secretary of state, in his
majesty's name, sent them a letter of requisition, in which the
occasion for the supplies was expressed; and the colonies returned
a _free gift_, the mode of levying which _they_ wholly prescribed.
At this period, a chancellor of the exchequer (Mr. George Grenville)
steps forth and says to the house of commons: _We must call for money
from the colonies in the way of a tax_;--and to the colony-agents,
_write to your several colonies, and tell them, if they dislike a
duty upon stamps, and prefer any other method of raising the money
themselves, I shall be content, provided the_ amount _be but raised_.
"That is," observed the colonies, when commenting upon his terms, "if
we will not tax ourselves, _as we may be directed_, the parliament
will tax us," Dr. Franklin's instructions, spoken of above, related
to this gracious option. As the colonies could not choose "_another_
tax," while they disclaimed _every_ tax; the parliament passed the
stamp-act.

It seems that the only part of the offer which bore a show of favour,
was the grant of the _mode of levying_--and this was the only
circumstance which was _not new_.

See Mr. Mauduit's account of Mr. Grenville's conference with the
agents, confirmed by the agents for Georgia and Virginia, and Mr.
Burke's speech, in 1774, p. 55. B. V.




_Attempts of Dr. Franklin for Conciliation of Great Britain with
the Colonies[96]._


_London, Nov. 28, 1768._

DEAR SIR,

I received your obliging favour of the 12th instant. Your sentiments
of the importance of the present dispute between Great Britain and
the colonies, appear to me extremely just. There is nothing I wish
for more than to see it amicably and equitably settled.

But Providence will bring about its own ends by its own means; and if
it intends the downfal of a nation, that nation will be so blinded by
its pride, and other passions, as not to see its danger, or how its
fall may be prevented.

Being born and bred in one of the countries, and having lived long
and made many agreeable connexions of friendship in the other,

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

Page 0
Octr.
Page 1
Virtue and Innocence, a Poem 1 0 The Economy of Human Life 1 0 Old Friends in a New Dress, or Selections from Esop's Fables, in Verse, 2 parts, plates 2 0 Little Jack Horner, in Verse, plain 1s.
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of 32 Biographical Sketches of Eminent British Characters 1 6 Ditto, containing a Description of the most distinguished Places in England 1 6 *** Just published, The Mice & their Pic Nic; a good Moral Tale, price with neat coloured plates 1 0 THE WAY TO WEALTH.
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Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," as Poor Richard says.
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Handle your tools without mittens: remember, that "The cat in gloves catches no mice," as Poor Richard says.
Page 5
" Here you are all.
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Poor Dick farther advises, and says, "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you.
Page 7
" And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell, in order to equal the ox.
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When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
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Darton, Printers, Holborn-Hill, London.