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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 271

those of other
countries, nations, and ages, enjoying in the same degree the great
blessing of political liberty.

Some indeed among us are not so much grieved for the present state
of our affairs, as apprehensive for the future. The growth of luxury
alarms them, and they think we are from that alone in the high road
to ruin. They observe, that no revenue is sufficient without economy,
and that the most plentiful income of a whole people from the natural
productions of their country may be dissipated in vain and needless
expences, and poverty be introduced in the place of affluence. This
may be possible. It however rarely happens: for there seems to be in
every nation a greater proportion of industry and frugality, which
tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigality, which occasion
poverty; so that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation.
Reflect what Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the time of
the Romans, inhabited by people little richer than our savages, and
consider the wealth they at present possess, in numerous well-built
cities, improved farms, rich moveables, magazines stocked with
valuable manufactures, to say nothing of plate jewels, and coined
money; and all this, notwithstanding their bad, wasteful, plundering
governments, and their mad destructive wars; and yet luxury and
extravagant living has never suffered much restraint in those
countries. Then consider the great proportion of industrious frugal
farmers inhabiting the interior parts of these American states,
and of whom the body of our nation consists, and judge whether it
is possible, that the luxury of our sea-ports can be sufficient to
ruin such a country.--If the importation of foreign luxuries could
ruin a people, we should probably have been ruined long ago; for the
British nation claimed a right, and practised it, of importing among
us not only the superfluities of their own production, but those of
every nation under heaven; we bought and consumed them, and yet we
flourished and grew rich. At present our independent governments may
do what we could not then do, discourage by heavy duties, or prevent
by heavy prohibitions, such importations, and thereby grow richer;
if, indeed, which may admit of dispute, the desire of adorning
ourselves with fine clothes, possessing fine furniture, with elegant
houses, &c. is not, by strongly inciting to labour and industry,
the occasion of producing a greater value, than is consumed in the
gratification of that desire.

The agriculture and fisheries of the United States are the great
sources of our increasing wealth. He that puts a seed into the earth
is recompensed, perhaps, by receiving forty out of it; and he

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 22
Amidst these resolves an odd volume of the Spectator fell into my hands.
Page 33
We were then near the sign of the three Mariners.
Page 51
She informed Ralph of my conduct; and the affair occasioned a breach between us.
Page 54
Hers was so amusing to me, that I was glad to pass the evening with her as often as she desired it.
Page 71
This was, I think, in the year 1729, or thereabout.
Page 75
This affair having turned my thoughts to marriage, I looked around me, and made overtures of alliance in other quarters: but I soon found that the profession of a printer being generally looked upon as a poor trade, I could expect no money with a wife, at least, if I wished her to possess any other charm.
Page 77
His extensive knowledge, and zeal for the promotion of science, enabled him to execute this important trust with the greatest advantage.
Page 82
Admitting the identity of electricity and lightning, and knowing the power of points in repelling bodies charged with electricity, and in conducting their fire silently and imperceptibly, he suggested the idea of securing houses, ships, &c.
Page 88
attorney-general, and Dr.
Page 96
To devise a plan of union between the colonies, to regulate this and other matters, appeared a desirable object.
Page 135
Thus, the whole force of the bottle, and power of giving a shock, is in the GLASS ITSELF; the non-electrics in contact with the two surfaces, serving only to _give_ and _receive_ to and from the several parts of the glass; that is, to give on one side, and take away from the other.
Page 171
I likewise put into a phial, instead of water, a strong purgative liquid, and then charged the phial, and took repeated shocks from it, in which case every particle of the electrical fluid must, before it went through my body, have first gone through the liquid when the phial is charging, and returned through it when discharging, yet no other effect followed than if it had been charged with water.
Page 177
Yet an electric atmosphere and air do not seem to exclude each other, for we breathe freely in such an atmosphere, and dry air will blow through it without displacing or driving it away.
Page 183
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Page 243
Two large cork balls, suspended by silk strings, and both well and equally electrified, separate to a great distance.
Page 256
The ball was attracted by one face of the stone, which I call A, and then repelled.
Page 278
I rammed powder of amber into this as I had done in the other, and as the quantity of amber was greater, I increased the quantity of electric fluid, by discharging through it at once five rows of my bottles.
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The Abbé says, p.
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