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[432] Franklin, ‘the money paid for the postage of letters
chap. XXIII.} 1766. Feb.
is merely a remuneration for a service done.’

‘But if the legislature should think fit to ascertain its right to lay taxes, by any act laying a small tax, contrary to their opinion, would they submit to pay the tax?’ ‘An internal tax, how small soever, laid by the legislature here, on the people there, will never be submitted to. They will oppose it to the last.’ ‘The people,’ he answered again to the same question under many forms, ‘the people will pay no internal tax by parliament.’

‘Is there any kind of difference,’ continued Grenville's ministry, ‘between external and internal taxes to the colony on which they may be laid?’ ‘The people,’ argued Franklin, ‘may refuse commodities, of which the duty makes a part of the price; but an internal tax is forced from them without their consent. The Stamp Act says, we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase, nor grant, nor recover debts; nor marry, nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums; and thus it is intended to extort our money from us, or ruin us by the consequences of refusing to pay it.’ ‘But suppose the external duty to be laid on the necessaries of life?’ continued Grenville's ministry. And Franklin amazed them by his true answer: ‘I do not know a single article imported into the Northern colonies, but what they can either do without, or make themselves. The people will spin and work for themselves, in their own houses. In three years there may be wool and manufactures enough.’

‘Does the distinction between internal and external taxes exist in the charter of Pennsylvania?’

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