‘The Speech Of Polly Baker’ by Benjamin Franklin

Franklin, Benjamin 1747

The Speech Of Polly Baker by Benjamin Franklin, 1747

The magic trick:

Using humor to make a political point

Benjamin Franklin invented everything – the post office, lightning bolts, and, apparently, political humor. This is pretty much the very, very, very first episode of The Daily Show. Franklin, taking the voice of a woman being charged with having her fifth “bastard child,” argues both comically and forcefully against the contradictions of restrictive government. And that’s quite a trick on Franklin’s part.

 

The selection:

If mine is a religious offense, leave it to religious punishments. You have already excluded me from the comforts of your church communion. Is not that sufficient? You believe I have offended heaven, and must suffer eternal fire: Will not that be sufficient? What need is there then of your additional fines and whipping?

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