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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 255

prevent. My consolation under that groundless and
malevolent treatment was, that I retained the friendship of many wise
and good men in that country; and among the rest, some share in the
regard of lord Howe.

The well-founded esteem, and permit me to say affection, which I
shall always have for your lordship, make it painful to me to see you
engaged in conducting a war, the great ground of which (as described
in your letter) is "the necessity of preventing the American _trade_
from passing into foreign channels." To me it seems, that neither the
obtaining or retaining any trade, how valuable soever, is an object
for which men may justly spill each other's blood; that the true
and sure means of extending and securing commerce are the goodness
and cheapness of commodities; and that the profits of no trade can
ever be equal to the expence of compelling it, and holding it by
fleets and armies. I consider this war against us, therefore, as both
unjust and unwise; and I am persuaded, that cool and dispassionate
posterity will condemn to infamy those who advised it; and that even
success will not save from some degree of dishonour, those who have
voluntarily engaged to conduct it.

I know your great motive in coming hither, was the hope of being
instrumental in a reconciliation; and I believe, when you find that
to be impossible, on any terms given you to propose, you will then
relinquish so odious a command, and return to a more honourable
private station.

With the greatest and most sincere respect, I have the honour to be,

My lord,

Your lordship's most obedient, humble servant,

B. FRANKLIN[155].

FOOTNOTES:

[154] About this time the Hessians, &c. had just arrived from Europe,
at Staten Island and New York. B. V.

[155] It occurs to me to mention that Dr. Franklin was supposed to
have been the inventor of a little _emblematical design_ at the
commencement of our disputes, representing the state of Great Britain
and her colonies, should the former persist in restraining the
latter's trade, destroying their currency, and taxing their people by
laws made by a legislature in which they were not represented.--Great
Britain was supposed to have been placed upon the globe: but the
colonies, her limbs, being severed from her, she was seen lifting
her eyes and mangled stumps to heaven; her shield, which she was
unable to wield, lay useless by her side; her lance had pierced New
England; the laurel branch was fallen from the hand of Pensylvania;
the English oak had lost its head, and stood a bare

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 1
In London he actively opposed the proposed Stamp Act, but lost the credit for this and much of his popularity through his securing for a friend the office of stamp agent in America.
Page 2
[1] After the words "agreeable to" the words "some of" were interlined and afterward effaced.
Page 12
Often I sat up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should be missed or wanted.
Page 16
For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.
Page 17
" Now, is not want of sense (where a man is so unfortunate as to want it) some apology for his want of modesty? and would not the lines stand more justly thus? "Immodest words admit but this defense, That want of modesty is want of sense.
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 55
Being answered in the affirmative, he said he was sorry for me, because it was an expensive undertaking, and the expense would be lost; for Philadelphia was a sinking place, the people already half-bankrupts, or near being so; all appearances to the contrary, such as new buildings and the rise of rents, being to his certain knowledge fallacious; for they.
Page 57
Robert Grace, a young gentleman of some fortune, generous, lively, and witty; a lover of punning and of his friends.
Page 58
I requested Webb not to mention it; but he told it to Keimer, who immediately, to be beforehand with me, published proposals for printing one himself, on which Webb was to be employ'd.
Page 65
It was lik'd and agreed to, and we fill'd one end of the room with such books as we could best spare.
Page 71
For the furtherance of human happiness, I have always maintained that it is necessary to prove that man is not even at present a vicious and detestable animal; and still more to prove that good management may greatly amend him; and it is for much the same reason, that I am anxious to see the opinion established, that there are fair characters existing among the individuals of the race; for the moment that all men, without exception, shall be conceived abandoned, good people will cease efforts deemed to be hopeless, and perhaps think of taking their share in the scramble of life, or at least of making it comfortable principally for themselves.
Page 85
What reverses may attend the remainder is in the hand of Providence; but, if they arrive, the reflection on past happiness enjoy'd ought to help his bearing them with more resignation.
Page 89
"But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.
Page 98
In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr.
Page 103
I succeeded better the next year, 1744, in proposing and establishing a Philosophical Society.
Page 110
This was the building before mentioned, erected by the hearers of Mr.
Page 111
was obtained for us in the following manner.
Page 119
I then judg'd that, if that feeble woman could sweep such a street in three hours, a strong, active man might have done it in half the time.
Page 132
The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march is from ambuscades of Indians, who, by constant practice, are dexterous in laying and executing them; and the slender line, near four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attack'd by surprise in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several pieces, which, from their distance, can not come up in time to support each other.
Page 143
Finding me not so forward to engage as he expected, the project was dropt, and he soon after left the government, being superseded by Captain Denny.