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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1036
AUTHOR: Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)
QUOTATION: A plural Legislature is as necessary to good Government as a single Executive. It is not enough that your Legislature should be numerous; it should also be divided. Numbers alone are not a sufficient Barrier against the Impulses of Passion, the Combinations of Interest, the Intrigues of Faction, the Haste of Folly, or the Spirit of Encroachment. One Division should watch over and controul the other, supply its Wants, correct its Blunders, and cross its Designs, should they be criminal or erroneous. Wisdom is the specific Quality of the Legislature, grows out of the Number of the Body, and is made up of the Portions of Sense and Knowledge which each Member brings to it.
ATTRIBUTION: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, “Queries and Remarks Respecting Alterations in the Constitution of Pennsylvania,” The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smith, vol. 10, pp. 55–56 (1907, reprinted 1970).

This section of his “Queries and Remarks” is a rearrangement and slight rewording of a portion of an anonymous article, “Hints for the Members of the Convention,” Federal Gazette, November 3, 1789, p. 2, which had been reprinted from the Carlisle Gazette, October 21, 1789.
SUBJECTS: Legislature