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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 91

little concern. If it be, after all, thought necessary to
check the growth of our colonies, give me leave to propose a method
less cruel. It is a method of which we have an example in scripture.
The murder of husbands, of wives, of brothers, sisters and children,
whose pleasing society has been for some time enjoyed, affects deeply
the respective surviving relations; but grief for the death of a
child just born is short, and easily supported. The method I mean is
that which was dictated by the Egyptian policy, when the "infinite
increase" of the children of Israel was apprehended as dangerous to
the state[49]. Let an act of parliament then be made, enjoining the
colony midwives to stifle in the birth every third or fourth child.
By this means you may keep the colonies to their present size. And
if they were under the hard alternative of submitting to one or the
other of these schemes for checking their growth, I dare answer for
them, they would prefer the latter.

_But all this debate about the propriety or impropriety of keeping or
restoring Canada_ is possibly too early. We have taken the capital
indeed, but the country is yet far from being in our possession;
and perhaps never will be: for if our m----rs are persuaded by such
counsellors as the remarker, that the French there are "not the
worst of neighbours," and that if we had conquered Canada, we ought,
for our own sakes, to restore it, as a check to the growth of our
colonies; I am then afraid we shall never take it. For there are many
ways of avoiding the completion of the conquest, that will be less
exceptionable and less odious than the giving it up.

[7. _Canada easily peopled_, without draining Great Britain _of any
of its inhabitants_.]

_The objection I have often heard, that if we had Canada we could not
people it, without draining Britain of its inhabitants, is founded
on ignorance of the nature of population in new countries._ When we
first began to colonize in America, it was necessary to send people,
and to send seed-corn; but it is not now necessary that we should
furnish, for a new colony, either one or the other. The annual
increment alone of our present colonies, without diminishing their
numbers, or requiring a man from hence, is sufficient in ten years
to fill Canada with double the number of English that it now has of
French inhabitants[50]. Those who are protestants among the French
will probably choose to remain under the English government;

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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born 1655, died 1744, AEtat 89.
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] He had some ingenious men among his friends, who amus'd themselves by writing little pieces for this paper, which gain'd it credit and made it more in demand, and these gentlemen often visited us.
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Our acquaintance continu'd as long as he liv'd.
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Then I asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such.
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I dislik'd both; but agreed to admit them upon condition of his adopting the doctrine of using no animal food.
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Bard, came out to me and said the governor was extremely busy in writing, but would be down at Newcastle, before the ship, and there the letters would be delivered to me.
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He said all were put into the bag together and he could not then come at them; but, before we landed in England, I should have an opportunity of picking them out; so I was satisfied for the present, and we proceeded on our voyage.
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They introduc'd me to some gentlemen from the country, who went to Chelsea by water to see the College and Don Saltero's curiosities.
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acquir'd a good estate; and says he, "I foresee that you will soon work this man out of his business, and make a fortune in it at Philadelphia.
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The number was not so great as we expected; and tho' they had been of great use, yet some inconveniences occurring for want of due care of them, the collection, after about a year, was separated, and each took his books home again.
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_ What good { } business, and take the shall I do this day? { } resolution of the day; { 7} prosecute the present { } study, and breakfast.
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"That as soon as a party has gain'd its general point, each member becomes intent upon his particular interest; which, thwarting others, breaks that party into divisions, and occasions more confusion.
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procl 3 15 4 35 8 _and a cow, every_ 16 4 ff.
Page 119
My being many years in the Assembly, the majority of which were constantly Quakers, gave me frequent opportunities of seeing the embarrassment given them by their principle against war, whenever application was made to them, by order of the crown, to grant aids for military purposes.
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He did so, for he ask'd of _everybody_, and he obtain'd a much larger sum than he expected, with which he erected the capacious and very elegant meeting-house that stands in Arch-street.
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2 gallons Jamaica spirits.
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He promised me that, if the masters would come to him at Trenton, where he should be in a few days on his march to New York, he would there deliver their men to them.
Page 172
They gave me their thanks in form when I return'd.
Page 174
Franklin.
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_Cadiz, Aug.