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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 65

the mob must be too feeble and
impotent, armed as the government of this country at present is, to
"overrule[21]," even in the slightest instances, the virtue "and
moderation" of a firm and steady ministry.

While the war continues, its final event is quite uncertain. The
victorious of this year may be the vanquished of the next. It may
therefore be too early to say, what advantages we ought absolutely
to insist on, and make the _sine quibus non_ of a peace. If the
necessity of our affairs should oblige us to accept of terms less
advantageous than our present successes seem to promise us; an
intelligent people, as ours is, must see that necessity, and will
acquiesce. But as a peace, when it is made, may be made hastily; and
as the unhappy continuance of the war affords us time to consider,
among several advantages gained or to be gained, which of them may
be most for our interest to retain, if some and not all may possibly
be retained; I do not blame the public disquisition of these points,
as premature or useless. Light often arises from a collision of
opinions, as fire from flint and steel; and if we can obtain the
benefit of the _light_, without danger from the _heat_ sometimes
produced by controversy, why should we discourage it?

Supposing then, that heaven may still continue to bless his majesty's
arms, and that the event of this just war may put it in our power
to retain some of our conquests at the making of a peace; let us

[1. _The security of a dominion, a justifiable and prudent ground
upon which to demand cessions from an enemy._]

_Whether we are_ to confine ourselves to those possessions only
_that were "the objects for which we began the war[22]."_ This the
remarker seems to think right, when the question relates to "_Canada,
properly so called_; it having never been mentioned as one of those
objects, in any of our memorials or declarations, or in any national
or public act whatsoever." But the gentleman himself will probably
agree, that if the cession of Canada would be a real advantage to
us; we may demand it under his second head, as an "_indemnification_
for the charges incurred" in recovering our just rights; otherwise,
according to his own principles, the demand of Guadaloupe can have no
foundation.--That "our claims before the war were large enough for
possession and for security too[23]," though it seems a clear point
with the ingenious remarker, is, I own, not so with me. I am rather
of the contrary

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

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Strengthen my resolutions to perform what that wisdom dictates.
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