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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.” Il 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. The 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 par-
tisans 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 our-
selves, 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
turn 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 stili
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 instru-
Inent.
[The motion was then made for adding the last for-
mula, viz. – -
“Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent,”
&c. which was agreed to, and added accordingly.]

CONTENTS.

-00- - Page. Life of Dr. Franklin, as written by himself - - - 5 Continuation of his Life, by Dr. Stuber - - - - 69 Extracts from his Will - - - - - - - - - 106 ESSAYS. - On Early Marriages - - - - - - - - - - - 113 On the Death of his Brother, Mr. John Franklin - 114 To the late Dr. Mather of Boston - - - - - - 115 The Whistle: a true Story, written to his Nephew 117-A Petition of the Left Hand - - - - - - - - 118 The Handsome and Deformed Leg - - - - - - 119 – Conversation of a Company of Ephemera ; with the Soliloquy of one advanced in Age - - - - 121 Morals of Chess - . - - - - - - - - - - 122 The Art of procuring Pleasant Dreams - - - - 126* *Advice to a Young Tradesman - - - - - - - - 130 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich - - 131 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man’s Pocket - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 132 An Economical Project - - - - - - - - - - 133 - Sketch of an English School - - - - - - - - 137 On modern Innovations in the English Language and in Printing - - - - - - - - - - - - 142 An account of the highest Court of Judicature in Pennsylvania, viz. the Court of the Press - - -2147 Paper: a Poem - - - - - - - - - - - - 150 On the Art of Swimming - - - - - - - - - 152 New Mode of Bathing. - - - - - - - - - - - 154 Observations on the generally prevailing Doctrines of Life and Death - - - - - - - - - - 155 Precautions to be used by those who are about to undertake a Sea Voyage - - - - - - - - 156 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry - - - - - - 160 On the Slave Trade - - - - - - - - - - - 164 Observations on War - - - - - - - - - - 167 On the Impress of Seamen - - - - - - - - 168 On the Criminal Laws, and the Practice of Privateering - - - - - - - - - - - 171

Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 177 To Mr. Dubourg, concerning the Dissentions bel tween Englaud and America - - - - - - - 189

A comparison of the conduct of the Ancient Jews,
and of the Antifederalists in the United States of

America - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 183
Nautical Affairs - - - - - - - - - - - - 186
Positions to be examined - - - - - - - - - 190

Preliminary Address to the Pennsylvania Almanac,
entitled “Poor Richard’s Almanac, for the year
1758” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 192

The Internal State of America; being a true Descrip-
tion of the Interest and Policy of that vast Conti-
nent - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Information to those who would remove to America 204

American White-Washing - - - - - - - - 212
Answer to the above - - - - - - - - - - 217
Final Speech of Dr. Franklin in the late Federal

Convention - - - - - - - - - - - - 220

END.

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