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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 17

parce qu'étant fait de bon pain, coupé par
tranches, et remis au four, il s'imbibe tout de suite, devient mou, et
se digère facilement. Aussi est-ce une nourriture excellente, et bien
préférable au biscuit qui n'a point fermenté.

Il faut que j'observe ici que ce pain remis au four étoit autrefois le
biscuit qu'on préparoit pour les vaisseaux; car en français le mot
_biscuit_ signifie cuit deux fois. Les pois qu'on mange à bord, sont
souvent mal cuits et durs. Alors il faut mettre dans la marmite un
boulet de deux livres, et le roulis du vaisseau fait que les pois
forment une espèce de purée.

J'ai souvent vu à bord que lorsqu'on servoit la soupe dans des plats
trop peu profonds, elle étoit renversée de tous côtés par le roulis du
vaisseau; et alors je désirois que les potiers d'étain divisassent les
soupières en compartimens, dont chacun contiendroit de la soupe pour une
seule personne. Par ce moyen, on seroit sûr que dans un roulis
extraordinaire, ceux qui seroient à table ne courroient pas risque de
voir la soupe tomber sur leur poitrine et les brûler.

Maintenant que je vous ai entretenu de ces choses peu importantes,
permettez-moi de conclure ces observations, par quelques réflexions
générales sur la navigation.

Quand nous considérons la navigation comme un moyen de transporter des
denrées nécessaires, d'un pays où elles abondent dans les lieux où elles
manquent, et de prévenir la disette, qui étoit jadis si commune, nous ne
pouvons nous empêcher de la regarder comme un des arts qui contribuent
le plus au bonheur du genre-humain. Mais quand la navigation n'est
employée qu'à charier des choses inutiles, des objets d'un vain luxe, il
n'est pas certain que les avantages qui en résultent, suffisent pour
contre-balancer les malheurs qu'elle occasionne en mettant en danger la
vie de tant d'hommes, qui parcourent sans cesse le vaste Océan; et
lorsqu'elle sert à piller des vaisseaux et à transporter des esclaves,
elle est, sans contredit, un moyen funeste d'accroître les calamités qui
affligent la nature humaine.

On ne peut s'empêcher d'être étonné, quand on songe au nombre immense de
vaisseaux et d'hommes, qui s'exposent tous les jours en allant chercher
du thé à la Chine, du café en Arabie, du sucre et du tabac en Amérique;
tous objets, sans lesquels nos ancêtres vivoient fort bien. Le seul
commerce du sucre emploie mille vaisseaux, et celui du tabac
presqu'autant. Pour l'utilité du tabac, on n'en peut presque rien dire;
et quant au sucre, combien ne seroit-il pas plus glorieux de sacrifier
le plaisir momentané que nous avons à en prendre deux fois par jour dans
notre thé,

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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 3
As constant good fortune has accompanied me even to an advanced period of life, my posterity will perhaps be desirous of learning the means which I employed, and which, thanks to Providence, so well succeeded with me.
Page 11
From this instance, reader, Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling, And distrust not Providence.
Page 16
I continued this method some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced anything that might possibly be disputed, the word _certainly_, _undoubtedly_, or any other that gave the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather said, I _conceive_ or _apprehend_ a thing to be so and so; it _appears to me_, or I should not think it is so, for such and such reasons; or I _imagine it to be so_; or _it is so, if I am not mistaken_.
Page 28
The journeymen were inquisitive where I had been, what sort of a country it was, and how I liked it.
Page 33
All this seemed very reasonable.
Page 76
So few were the readers at that time in Philadelphia, and the majority of us so poor, that I was not able, with great industry, to find more than fifty persons (mostly young tradesmen) willing to pay down for this purpose forty shillings each, and ten shillings per annum; with this little fund we began.
Page 82
Page 91
prayer, and thanksgiving.
Page 96
I did not, however, aim at gaining his favour by paying any servile respect to him, but after some time took this other method.
Page 100
Returning northward, he preached up this charity and made large collections, for his eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an instance.
Page 144
" I mentioned, but without effect, a great and unexpected expense I had been put to by being detained so long at New-York, as a reason for my desiring to be presently paid; and on my observing that it was not right I should be put to any farther trouble or delay in obtaining the money I had advanced, as I charged no commission for my service, "Oh," said he, "you must not think of persuading us that you are no gainer: we understand better those matters, and know that every one concerned in supplying the army, finds means, in the doing it, to fill his own pockets.
Page 151
With this apparatus, on the appearance of a thunder-gust approaching, he went out into the commons, accompanied by his son, to whom alone he communicated his intentions, well knowing the ridicule which, too generally for the interest of science, awaits unsuccessful experiments in philosophy.
Page 156
he held a conference with the proprietaries who then resided in England, and endeavoured to prevail upon them to give up the long-contested point.
Page 159
A detachment marched down to Philadelphia for the express purpose of murdering some friendly Indians, who had been removed to the city for safety.
Page 160
He was immediately appointed provincial agent, to the great chagrin of his enemies, who made a solemn protest against this appointment: which was refused admission upon the minutes, as being unprecedented.
Page 162
If this practice had been pursued, such was the disposition of the colonies towards their mother country, that, notwithstanding the disadvantages under which they laboured, from restraints upon their trade, calculated solely for the benefit of the commercial and manufacturing interests of Great Britain, a separation of the two countries might have been a far distant event.
Page 180
If one of them accepts the money with the conditions and the other refuses, my will then is that both sums be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting, the whole to be applied to the same purpose and under the same regulations directed for the separate parts; and if both refuse, the money remains, of course, in the mass of my estate, and it is to be disposed of therewith, according to my will made the seventeenth day of July, 1788.
Page 190
_ Suppose an act of internal regulations connected with a tax, how would they receive it? _A.
Page 213
However, what was honourable in Moors may not be a rule to us; for we are Christians! They would have been safer, it seems, among popish Spaniards, even if enemies, and delivered into their hands by a tempest.
Page 214
These are all now trembling for their lives.