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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 273

the high prices given in Europe
for painting, statues, architecture, and the other works of art,
that are more curious than useful. Hence the natural geniuses, that
have arisen in America with such talents, have uniformly quitted
that country for Europe, where they can be more suitably rewarded.
It is true, that letters and mathematical knowledge are in esteem
there, but they are at the same time more common than is apprehended;
there being already existing nine colleges or universities, viz.
four in New England, and one in each of the provinces of New York,
New Jersey, Pensylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, all furnished with
learned professors; besides a number of smaller academies: these
educate many of their youth in the languages, and those sciences
that qualify men for the professions of divinity, law, or physic.
Strangers indeed are by no means excluded from exercising those
professions; and the quick increase of inhabitants every where gives
them a chance of employ, which they have in common with the natives.
Of civil offices, or employments, there are few; no superfluous ones,
as in Europe; and it is a rule established in some of the states,
that no office should be so profitable as to make it desirable.
The thirty-sixth article of the constitution of Pensylvania runs
expressly in these words: "As every freeman, to preserve his
independence (if he has not a sufficient estate) ought to have some
profession, calling, trade, or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist,
there can be no necessity for, nor use in, establishing offices of
profit; the usual effects of which are dependence and servility,
unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants; faction,
contention, corruption, and disorder among the people. Wherefore,
whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so
profitable, as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to
be lessened by the legislature."

These ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States, it
cannot be worth any man's while, who has a means of living at home,
to expatriate himself, in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil
office in America; and as to military offices, they are at an end
with the war, the armies being disbanded. Much less is it adviseable
for a person to go thither, who has no other quality to recommend
him but his birth. In Europe it has indeed its value; but it is a
commodity that cannot be carried to a worse market than to that of
America, where people do not enquire concerning a stranger, _What is
he?_ but _What can he do?_ If he has any useful art, he

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

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Page 1
DARTON_, And of most Booksellers in the United Kingdom.
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' They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and, gathering round him, he proceeded as follows: 'Friends,' says he, 'the taxes are indeed very heavy; and, if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.
Page 3
] "Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright," as Poor Richard says.
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" 'And again, "The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands:" and again, "Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge;" and again, "Not to oversee workmen, is to leave them your purse open.
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" You may think perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember, "Many a little makes a mickle.
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Poor Dick farther advises, and says, "Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you.
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1, 1805.
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'This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
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Page 9, "grevious" changed to "grievous" (much more grievous) Page 11, "waisting" changed to "wasting" (wasting time must be) Page 12, "mak" changed to "make" (We may make).