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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 260

and the advantages to
be expected from the loan desired; the Americans are cultivators of
land; those engaged in fishery and commerce are few, compared with
the others. They have ever conducted their several governments with
wisdom, avoiding wars, and vain expensive projects, delighting only
in their peaceable occupations, which must, considering the extent of
their uncultivated territory, find them employment still for ages.
Whereas England, ever unquiet, ambitious, avaricious, imprudent,
and quarrelsome, is half of the time engaged in war, always at an
expence infinitely greater than the advantage to be obtained by it,
if successful. Thus they made war against Spain in 1739, for a claim
of about 95,000_l._ (scarce a groat for each individual of the nation)
and spent forty millions sterling in the war, and the lives of fifty
thousand men; and finally made peace without obtaining satisfaction
for the sum claimed. Indeed, there is scarce a nation in Europe,
against which she has not made war on some frivolous pretext or
other, and thereby imprudently accumulated a debt, that has brought
her on the verge of bankruptcy. But the most indiscreet of all her
wars, is the present against America, with whom she might, for ages,
have preserved her profitable connection only by a just and equitable
conduct. She is now acting like a mad shop-keeper, who, by beating
those that pass his doors, attempts to make them come in and be his
customers. America cannot submit to such treatment, without being
first ruined, and, being ruined, her custom will be worth nothing.
England, to effect this, is increasing her debt, and irretrievably
ruining herself. America, on the other hand, aims only to establish
her liberty, and that freedom of commerce which will be advantageous
to all Europe; and by abolishing that monopoly which she laboured
under, she will profit infinitely more than enough to repay any debt,
which she may contract to accomplish it.

7. Respecting _character in the honest payment of debts_; the
punctuality with which America has discharged her public debts was
shown under the first head. And the general good disposition of the
people to such punctuality has been manifested in their faithful
payment of _private_ debts to England, since the commencement of
this war. There were not wanting some politicians [in America] who
proposed _stopping that payment_, until peace should be restored,
alleging, that in the usual course of commerce, and of the credit
given, there was always a debt existing equal to the trade of
eighteen months: that the trade amounting to five millions sterling
per annum, the debt must be seven millions and an half; that this sum

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| | 13 | 2 46 | 8 53 | 11 | | | 14 | 3 25 | 9 46 | 12 | 3 | | 15 | 4 0 | 10 38 | 1 | 4 | | 16 | Moon | 11 29 | 2 | 5 | | 17 | rises | 12 21 | 3 | 6 | | 18 | A.
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|[Sun]ris|[Sun]set| --> +----+---+----------------------------+--------+--------+ | 1 | 4 |Lammas Day.
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East_ 7, to _Sasquehanna_ 9, to _Gunpowder Ferry_ 25, to _Petapsco Ferry_ 20, to _Annapolis_ 30, to _Queen Ann's Ferry_ 13, to _Upper Marlborough_ 9, to _Port Tobacco_ 30, to _Hoe's Ferry_ 10, to _Southern's Ferry_ 30, to _Arnold's Ferry_ 36, to _Clayborn's Ferry_ 22, to _Freneaux_ 12, to _Williamsburg_ 16, to _Hog-Island_ 7, to _Isle of Wight Court-House_ 18, to _Nansemond Court-House_ 20, to _Bennet's Creek-Bridge_ 30, to _Edenton_ 30, over the _Sound to Bell's Ferry_ 8, to _Bath-Town_, on _Pamlico-River_.
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