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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 297

these things, and all things of this
nature, come within my province as Censor, and I am determined not to
be negligent of the trust I have reposed in myself, but resolve to
execute my office diligently and faithfully.

And that all the world may judge with how much humanity, as well as
justice, I shall behave in this office; and that even my enemies
may be convinced I take no delight to rake into the dunghill lives
of vicious men; and to the end that certain persons may be a little
eased of their fears, and relieved from the terrible palpitations
they have lately felt and suffered, and do still suffer; I hereby
graciously pass an act of general oblivion, for all offences, crimes,
and misdemeanors of what kind soever, committed from the beginning
of the year 1681, until the day of the date of my first paper, and
promise only to concern myself with such as have been since and shall
hereafter be committed. I shall take no notice who has (heretofore)
raised a fortune by fraud and oppression, nor who by deceit and
hypocrisy; what woman has been false to her good husband's bed, nor
what man has, by barbarous usage or neglect, broke the heart of a
faithful wife, and wasted his health and substance in debauchery;
what base wretch has betrayed his friend, and sold his honesty for
gold, nor what baser wretch first corrupted him, and then bought the
bargain: all this, and much more of the same kind, I shall forget,
and pass over in silence; but then it is to be observed, that I
expect and require a sudden and general amendment.

These threatenings of mine, I hope will have a good effect, and, if
regarded, may prevent abundance of folly and wickedness in others,
and, at the same time, save me abundance of trouble: and that people
may not flatter themselves with the hopes of concealing their loose
misdemeanors from my knowledge, and in that view persist in evil
doing, I must acquaint them, that I have lately entered into an
intimacy with the extraordinary person, who some time since wrote
me the following letter; and who, having a wonderful faculty, that
enables him to discover the most secret iniquity, is capable of
giving me great assistance in my designed work of reformation.


"I rejoice, sir, at the opportunity you have given me to be
serviceable to you, and, by your means, to this province. You must
know, that such have been the circumstances of my life, and such
were the marvellous concurrences of my

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 37
Further, by means of the lakes, the Ohio, and the Mississippi, our trade might be extended through a vast country, among many numerous and distant nations, greatly to the benefit of Britain.
Page 40
I apprehend it was given to Governor Pownall, 1754, for the purpose of being inserted in his memorial; but this point of anecdote I cannot sufficiently ascertain.
Page 75
Should we be obliged at any time, to make a war for the protection of our commerce, and to secure the exportation of our manufactures, would it be fair to represent such a war, merely as blood and treasure spent in the cause of the weavers of Yorkshire, Norwich, or the West; the cutlers of Sheffield, or the button-makers of Birmingham? I hope it will appear before I end these sheets, that if ever there was a national war, this is truly such a one: a war in which the interest of the whole nation is directly and fundamentally concerned.
Page 133
Our wise first proprietor and founder was fully sensible of this; and being desirous of leaving his people happy, and preventing the mischiefs that he foresaw must in time arise from that circumstance if it was continued, he determined to take it away, if possible, during his own lifetime.
Page 138
As to the remaining valuable part of our constitution, the assembly have been equally full and strong in expressing their regard for it, and perhaps stronger and fuller; for _their_ petition, in that respect, is in the nature of a petition of right: it lays claim, though modestly and humbly, to those privileges on the foundation of royal grants, on laws confirmed by the crown, and on justice and equity, as the grants were the consideration offered to induce them to settle, and which they have in a manner purchased and paid for, by executing that settlement without putting the crown to any expence.
Page 150
But our private interests never clashed; and all their resentment against me, and mine to them, has been on the public account.
Page 187
_ But will not this increase of expence be a means of lessening the number of law-suits? _A.
Page 214
In the _case of treasons committed within the jurisdiction of the colonies and plantations_, there are courts competent to try such crimes and to give judgment thereupon, where the trials of such are regulated by laws to which the king hath given his consent: from which there lies no appeal, and wherein the king hath given power and instruction to his governor as to execution or respite of judgment.
Page 218
"We do not, however, think fit to extend this our indulgence to the article of _wool_; but meaning to encourage not only the manufacturing of woollen cloth, but also the raising of wool in our ancient dominions, and to prevent both, as much as may be, in our said island, we do hereby absolutely forbid the transportation of wool from thence even to the mother-country, Prussia: and that those islanders may be farther and more effectually restrained in making any advantage of their own wool, in the way of manufacture, we command, that none shall be carried out of one country into another; nor shall any worsted, bay, or woollen-yarn, cloth, says, bays, kerseys, serges, frizes, druggets, cloth-serges, shalloons, or any other drapery stuffs or woollen manufactures whatsoever, made up or mixed with wool in any of the said counties, be carried into any other county, or be water-borne even across the smallest river or creek, on penalty of forfeiture of the same, together, with the boats, carriages, horses, &c.
Page 233
The trouble of future complaints will be prevented, and governors and judges will be encouraged to farther acts of oppression and injustice, and thence the people may become more disaffected, and at length desperate.
Page 239
Page 262
After the principal business was settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and that if the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people.
Page 265
He had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohuck language.
Page 330
_ _Morals of Chess[185].
Page 351
FOOTNOTE: [196] We have been told, that this poem is not Franklin's, and the name of some other person was at the time mentioned to us as the author; but as we.
Page 362
If this new flourishing city, and greatly improving colony, is destroyed and ruined, it will not be for want of numbers of inhabitants able to bear arms in its defence.
Page 364
I am ashamed that it has been so long unanswered.
Page 379
_ FOOTNOTES: [205] Inserted in the number for February, 1803.
Page 384
Page 416
_Strahan_, Mr.