Vie de Benjamin Franklin, écrite par lui-même - Tome II suivie de ses œuvres morales, politiques et littéraires

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 115

vie, dans des pays nouveaux, doivent, ce
me semble, être préférés.

Agréez mon estime et mon respect.


[65] L'on a déjà vu dans la vie de Franklin, qu'au mois de juillet
1754, des députés de toutes les colonies anglaises de l'Amérique
septentrionale, se rassemblèrent à Albany pour établir un plan de
défense commune. Ce plan fut désapprouvé en Angleterre, d'où on en
fit passer un autre au gouverneur Shirley. C'est à cette occasion
que Franklin, qui étoit l'un des députés, et le rédacteur du premier
plan, écrivit les trois lettres suivantes. (_Note du Traducteur._)


À bord de l'_Aigle_, le 20 juin 1776.

Je ne puis, mon digne ami, laisser partir les lettres et les autres
papiers que je vous envoie, sans y ajouter un mot au sujet des mesures
cruelles auxquelles nous ont entraînés nos malheureuses disputes. Les
dépêches officielles, que j'ai recommandé de vous faire passer avec
cette lettre, vous apprendront la nature de ma mission. Plein du désir
que j'ai toujours témoigné, de voir terminer nos différens, j'espère que
si je trouve dans les colonies les dispositions que j'y ai autrefois
vues, je pourrai seconder efficacement la sollicitude paternelle du roi,
pour le rétablissement de l'union et d'une paix durable entre les
colonies et l'Angleterre.

Mais si les préjugés de l'Amérique sont trop profondément enracinés, et
que la nécessité d'empêcher son commerce de passer dans des canaux
étrangers nous divise encore, je regretterai sincèrement, et par amour
du bien public, et par toute sorte de motifs particuliers, que ce ne
soit pas le moment où l'on puisse ramener cette paix, l'un des plus
grands objets de mon ambition. Je serai aussi très-affligé d'être encore
privé de l'occasion de vous assurer personnellement de toute l'estime
que j'ai pour vous.


À la vue de Sandy-Hook, le 12 juillet.

P. S. Je n'ai pu vous envoyer cette lettre le jour qu'elle a été écrite.
Des calmes et des vents contraires m'ont même empêché d'apprendre au
général Howe que j'ai la satisfaction

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 17
The only one before it was the _Boston News-Letter_.
Page 38
We both of us happened to know, as well as the stationer, that Riddlesden, the attorney, was a very knave; he had half ruined Miss Read's father, by persuading him to be bound for him.
Page 47
It was an odd thing to find an Oxford scholar in the situation of a bought servant; he was not more than eighteen years of age; he gave me this account of himself: that he was born in Gloucester, educated at a grammar-school, and had been distinguished among the scholars for some apparent superiority in performing his part when they exhibited plays; belonged to the.
Page 85
I was surprised to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish.
Page 102
My business was now constantly augmenting, and my circumstances growing daily easier, my newspaper having become very profitable, as being for a time almost the only one in this and the neighbouring provinces.
Page 122
" I received of the general.
Page 127
They accordingly were at the expense and trouble of going to Trenton, and there he refused to perform his promise, to their great loss and disappointment.
Page 131
This gave me occasion to observe, that when men are employed they are best contented, for on the days they worked they were good-natured and cheerful, and with the consciousness of having done a good day's work they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with the pork, the bread, &c.
Page 142
" This observation of the messenger was, it seems, well founded; for, when in England, I understood that Mr.
Page 169
"This has since been placed there by the munificence of an estimable citizen of Philadelphia.
Page 170
"As a philosopher, his labours and his discoveries are calculated to advance the interests of humanity: he might, indeed, have been justly termed the friend of man, the benefactor of the universe! "The pursuits and occupations of his early youth afford a most excellent and instructive example to the young; his middle life, to the adult; his advanced years, to the aged.
Page 175
* * * * * "During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became due to me, for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected, when, in 1757, I was sent by the Assembly to England as their agent, and by subsequent appointments continued there till 1775; when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of Congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning till 1785; and the said debts not being demanded in such a length of time, have become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless justly due.
Page 178
These aids may, therefore, be small at first; but as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample.
Page 190
_ But is not the postoffice, which they have long received, a tax as well as a regulation? _A.
Page 191
_ Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid on the produce of their lands _exported_? And would they not then object to such a duty? _A.
Page 196
_ Yes; captures of ships carrying on the British trade there with British manufactures.
Page 204
he knows; even the letters from thence are unsigned, in which any dislike is expressed of the rioters.
Page 206
The powers they defied; But Heaven is just, and by a god they died.
Page 210
"I relate this," says Captain Seagrave, "to show that some among these dark people have a strong sense of justice and honour, and that even the most brutal among them are capable of feeling the force of reason, and of being influenced by a fear of God (if the knowledge of the true God could be introduced among them), since even the fear of a false God, when their rage subsided, was not without its good effect.
Page 217
In this situation of this Assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark, to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning.