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4. Have you lately heard of any citizen's thriving well, and by what means ? . 5. Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere, got his estate 2 6. Do you know of a fellow-citizen who has lately done a worthy action, deserving praise and imitation: or who has lately committed an error, proper for us to be warned against and avoid 2 7. What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately observed or heard 2 of imprudence 2 of passion ? or of any other vice or folly 8. What happy effects of temperance 2 of prudence? of moderation ? or of any other virtue 2
Were the finest young princess, with millions in purse,
I could not get a better, but might get a worse,
The following song was probably written by Franklin during his second visit to England : THE MOTHER COUNTRY.
We have an old mother that peevish is grown;
If we don’t obey orders, whatever the case,
She frowns, and she chides, and she loses all pati
Ence, and sometimes she hits us a slap in the face;
Her orders so odd are, we often suspect
That age has impaired her sound intellect ;
But still an old mother should have due respect;
Let’s bear with her humors as well as we can ;
But why should we bear the abuse of her man"
When servants make mischief, they earn the rattan ;
Know, too, ye bad neighbors, who aim to divide
The sons from the mother, that still she's our pride ;
And if ye attack her, we’re all of her side ;
We'll join in her law-suits, to baffle all those
9. Have you, or any of your acquaintance, been lately sick or wounded ? If so, what remedies were used, and what were their effects 2 10. Who do you know that are shortly going voyages or journeys, if one should have occasion to send by them? 11. Do you think of anything at present in which the Junto may be serviceable to mankind, to their country, to their friends, or to themselves 2 12. Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that you heard of ? and what have you heard or observed of his character or merits 2 and whether, think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to oblige him, or encourage him as he deserves 2 13. Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage 2 14. Have you lately observed any defect in the laws of your country, of which it would be proper to move the legislature for an amendment? or do you know of any beneficial law that is wanting ? 15. Have you lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of the people : 16. Hath anybody attacked your reputation lately 3 and what can the Junto do towards securing it 3 17. Is there any man whose friendship you want, and which the Junto, or any of them, can procure for you ? 18. Have you lately heard any member's character attacked, and how have you defended it 2 19. Hath any man injured you, from whom it is in the power of the Junto to procure redress 2 20. In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist you in any of your honorable designs ? 21. Have you any weighty affair in hand, in which you think the advice of the Junto may be of service? 22. What benefits have you lately received from any man not present 2 23. Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice, and injustice, which you would gladly have discussed at this time ! 24. Do you see anything amiss in the present customs or proceedings of the Junto, which might be amended ? Any person to be qualified, to stand up, and lay his hand on his breast, and be asked these questions, namely:
1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members ?
Answer. I have not.
2. Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general, of what profession or religion soever ?
Answer. I do.
3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship 2
4. Do you love truth for truth's sake; and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others ?
Questions discussed by the Club.
Is sound an entity or body ? How may the phenomena of vapors be explained ? Is self-interest the rudder that steers mankind, the universal monarch to whom all are tributaries 2 Which is the best form of government, and what was that form which first prevailed among mankind 2 Can any one particular form of government suit all mankind 2 What is the reason that the tides rise higher in the Bay of Fundy than the Bay of Delaware : Is the emission of paper money safe 2 What is the reason that men of the greatest knowledge are not the most happy? How may the possessions of the lakes be improved to our advantage 2 Why are tumultuous, uneasy sensations united with our desires 2 Whether it ought to be the aim of philosophy to eradicate the passions. How may smoky chimneys be best cured ? Why does the flame of a candle tend upwards in a spire? Which is least criminal, a bad action joined with a good intention, or a good action with a bad intention ? Is it inconsistent with the principles of liberty, in a free government, to punish a man as a libeller when he speaks the truth 2
THE INTERNAL STATE OF AMERICA.
BEING A TRUE DESCRIPTION OF THE INTEREST AND POLICY OF THAT WAST CONTINENT.
THERE is a tradition that, in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when a civilized people attempt establishing themselves in a wilderness country. Being piously disposed, they sought relief from Heaven, by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented; and, like the children of Israel, there were many disposed to return to that Egypt which persecution had induced them to abandon. At length, when it was proposed in the assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remarked, that the inconveniences they suffered, and concerning which they had so often wearied Heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthened; that the earth began to reward their labor, and to furnish liberally for their subsistence; that the seas and rivers were found full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy; and, above all, that they were there in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious. He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable, as tending more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they owed to the Divine Being, if, instead of a fast, they should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice was taken; and, from that day to this, they have, in every year, observed circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a thanksgiving day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.
I see in the public newspapers of different states frequent complaints of hard times, deadness of trade, scarcity of money, &c. It is not my intention to assert or maintain that these complaints are entirely without foundation. There can be no country or nation existing in which there will not be some people so circumstanced as to find it hard to gain a livelihood: people who are not in the way of any profitable trade, and with whom money is scarce, because they have nothing to give in exchange for it; and it is always in the power of a small number to make a great clamor. But, let us take a cool view of the general state of our affairs, and perhaps the prospect will appear less gloomy than has been imagined.
The great business of the continent is agriculture. For one artisan, or merchant, I suppose we have at least one hundred farmers, by far the greatest part cultivators of their own fertile lands, from whence many of them draw not only the food necessary for their subsistence, but the materials of their clothing, so as to need very few foreign supplies; while they have a surplus of productions to dispose of, whereby wealth is gradually accumulated. Such has been the goodness of Divine Providence to these regions, and so favorable the climate, that, since the three or four years of hardship in the first settlement of our fathers here, a famine or scarcity has never been heard of amongst us; on the contrary, though some years may have been more and others less plentiful, there has always been provision enough for ourselves, and a quantity to spare for exportation. And, although the crops of last year were generally good, never was the farmer better paid for the part he can spare commerce, as the published price-currents abundantly testify. The lands he possesses are also continually rising in value with the increase of population; and, on the whole, he is enabled to give such good wages to those who work for him, that all who are acquainted with the Old World must agree, that in no part of it are the laboring poor so generally well fed, well clothed, well lodged, and well paid, as in the United States of America. If we enter the cities, we find that, since the Revolution, the owners of houses and lots of ground have had their interest vastly augmented in value; rents have risen to an astonishing height, and thence encouragement to increase building, which gives employment to an abundance of workmen, as does also the increased luxury and splendor of living of the inhabitants, thus made richer. These workmen all demand and obtain much higher wages than any other part of the world would afford them, and are paid in ready money. This class of people therefore do not, or ought not, to complain of hard times; and they make a very considerable part of the city inhabitants. At the distance I live from our American fisheries, I cannot speak of them with any degree of certainty; but I have not heard that the labor of the valuable race of men employed in them is worse paid, or that they meet with less success, than before the Revolution. The whalemen, indeed, have been deprived of one market for their oil; but another, I hear, is opening for them, which it is hoped may be equally advantageous; and the demand is constantly increasing for their spermaceti candles, which therefore bear a much higher price than formerly. There remain the merchants and shop-keepers. Of these,