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losophic folly. The operation was scarce over, when in came my experimental philosopher, and told me, with all the indifference in the world, that he had in vited six gentlemen to dine with him at three o'clock. It was then past one. I complained of the short notice, “ Poh! poh!" said he, 6 you can get a leg of mutton, and a loin of veal, and a few potatoes, which will do well enough.” Heaven! what a chaos must the head of a philosopher be! a leg of mutton, a loin of veal, and potatoes ! I was at a loss whether I should laugh or be angry; but there was no time for deter-mining: I had but an hour and a half to do a world of business in. My carpet, which had suffered in the cause of experimental philosophy in the morning, was destined to be most shamefully dishonoured in the afternoon by a deluge of nasty tobacco juice. Gentlemen smokers love segars better than carpets. Think, Sir, what a woman must endure under such circumstances; and then, after all, to be reproached with her cleanliness, and to have her white-washings, her scourings, and scrubbings, made the subject of ridicule ; it is more than patience can put up with. What I have now exhibited is but a small specimen of the injuries we sustain from the boasted superiority of men. But we will not be laughed out of our cleanliness. Awoman would rather be called any thing than a slut, as a man would rather be thought a knave than a fool. I had a great deal more to say, but am called away; we are just preparing to white-wash, and of course I have a deal of business on my hands. The white-wash buckets are paraded, the brushes are ready, my husband is gone off-so much the better; when we are upon a thorough cleaning, the first dirty thing to be removed is one's husband. I am called for again. Adieu.
FINAL SPEECH OF DR. FRANKLIN IN THE LATE
Mr. President :
I CONFEss that I do not entirely approve of this constitution at present; but, Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it ; for having lived lony, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better in
* Our reasons for ascribing this speech to Dr. Franklin, are its internal evidence, and its having appeared with his name, during his lifetime, uncontradicted, in an American periodical publication.
formation, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is, therefore, that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that whenever others differ from them, it is so far error. Steele, a Prostestant, in a dedication, tells the Pope, that, the only difference between our two churches, in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Romish church is infallible, and the church of England never in the wrong." But, though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute with her sister, said, “I don't know how it happens, sister, but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right.” I n'y a que moi qui a toujours raison. In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this constitution, with all its faults, if they are such ; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other. I doubt, too, whether any other convention we can obtain may be able to make a better constitution : for when you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected ? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence, to hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of Babel, and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting each other's throats.
Thus I consent, Sir, to this constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that this is not the best. T'he opinions I have had of its errors i sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us, in returning to our constituents, were to report the
objections he has had to it, and endeavour to gain partisans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects and great advantages resulting naturally in our favour among foreign nations, as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength and efficiency of any government, in pro-, curing and securing happiness to the people, depends on opinion; on the general opinion of the goodness of that government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its governors.
I hope, therefore, that for our own sakes, as a part of the people, and for the sake of our posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this constitution, wherever our influence may extend, and tum our future thoughts and endeavours to the means of having it well administered.
On the whole, Sir, I cannot help expressing a wish, that every member of the Convention, who may still have objections, would with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.
[The motion was then made for adding the last formula, viz.
"Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent," &c. which was agreed to, and added accordingly.]
- - 69
the Soliloquy of one advanced in Age - - - - 121
Pocket - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 32
and in Printing - - - - - - - - - - 142
Pennsylvania, viz. the Court of the Press - - , 147
of Life and Death - - - - - - - - 155
undertake a Sea Voyage - - - - - - - - 156
teering - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 171
tween England and America - - - - - - 182
Preliminary Address to the Pennsylvania Almanac,
entitled “Poor Richard's Almanac, for the year
1758" - . . . - - - - - - - 1 - - - 192