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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 18

que d'encourager les cruautés sans nombre qu'on exerce
continuellement pour nous le procurer!

Un célèbre moraliste français, dit que quand il considère les guerres
que nous fomentons en Afrique pour y acheter des nègres, le grand nombre
qu'il en périt dans ces guerres, les multitudes de ces infortunés qui
meurent, pendant la traversée, victimes de la maladie, de l'air
empoisonné ou de la mauvaise nourriture, et enfin tous ceux qui
succombent aux traitemens cruels qu'on leur fait souffrir dans leur état
d'esclaves, il ne peut pas voir un morceau de sucre, sans s'imaginer
qu'il est rempli de taches de sang humain. Mais s'il ajoutoit aux moyens
qui le blessent, les guerres que nous nous fesons les uns aux autres
pour prendre et reprendre les îles qui produisent cette denrée, il ne
croiroit pas le sucre simplement taché de sang; il verroit qu'il en est
entièrement trempé.

Ces guerres sont cause que les puissances maritimes de l'Europe, et les
habitans de Paris et de Londres, payent leur sucre bien plus cher que
les habitans de Vienne, encore que ceux-ci soient presqu'à trois cents
lieues de la mer. Une livre de sucre coûte aux premiers, non-seulement
le prix qu'ils donnent pour l'avoir, mais aussi les impôts nécessaires
pour soutenir les flottes et les armées destinées à protéger et à
défendre les contrées qui le produisent.

[15] Franklin n'a sans doute voulu parler que des navires marchands en
général; car dans les vaisseaux de guerre français et anglais, on
fait souvent très-bonne chère. (_Note du Traducteur._)




SUR LE LUXE, LA PARESSE, ET LE TRAVAIL.


À BENJAMIN VAUGHAN[16].

1784.

On ne peut s'empêcher d'être étonné, quand on voit combien les affaires
de ce monde sont conduites à contre-sens. Il est naturel d'imaginer que
l'intérêt d'un petit nombre d'individus devroit céder à l'intérêt
général. Mais les individus mettent à leurs affaires beaucoup plus
d'application, d'activité et d'adresse que le public n'en met aux
siennes; de sorte que l'intérêt général est très-souvent sacrifié à
l'intérêt particulier.

Nous assemblons des parlemens et des conseils, pour profiter de leur
sagesse collective: mais en même-temps, nous avons nécessairement
l'inconvénient de leurs passions réunies, de leurs préjugés et de

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 20
_That they make all purchases, from Indians for the crown, of lands not now within the bounds of particular colonies, or that shall not be within their bounds when some of them are reduced to more convenient dimensions.
Page 31
That to propose taxing them by parliament, and refuse them the liberty of choosing a representative council, to meet in the colonies, and consider and judge of the necessity of any general tax, and the quantum, shows a suspicion of their loyalty to the crown, or of their regard for their country, or of their common sense and understanding; which they have not deserved.
Page 73
That this will be the case in America soon, if our people remain confined within the mountains, and almost as soon should it be unsafe for them to live beyond, though the country be ceded to us, no man acquainted with political and commercial history can doubt.
Page 93
Had we all the Caribbees, it is true, they would in those parts be without shelter.
Page 114
B.
Page 118
Ever since the revenue of the quit-rents first, and after that, the revenue of tavern-licences, were settled irrevocably on our proprietors and governors, they have looked on those incomes as their proper estate, for which they were under no obligations to the people: and when they afterwards concurred in passing any useful laws, they considered them as so many jobs, for which they ought to be particularly paid.
Page 131
"Resolved, nemine contradicente, That this house will adjourn, in order to _consult their constituents_, whether an humble _address_ should be drawn up and transmitted to _his Majesty_; praying that he would be graciously pleased to take the people of this province under his immediate protection and government, by completing the agreement heretofore made with the first proprietary for the sale of the government to the crown, or otherwise as to his wisdom and goodness shall seem meet[66].
Page 231
II.
Page 248
This is a good country for artificers or farmers, but gentlemen of mere science in _les belles lettres_ cannot so easily subsist here, there being little demand for their assistance among an industrious people, who, as yet, have not much leisure for studies of that kind.
Page 250
Storey can also advise them.
Page 300
Few humane characters can be drawn that will not fit some body, in so large a country as this; but one would think, supposing I meant Cretico.
Page 306
We are indebted for them.
Page 317
I do not pretend to give such a sum.
Page 320
Hours of each night in which we burn candles 7 ------- Multiplication gives for the total number of hours 1,281 These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000, the number of inhabitants give 128,100,000 One hundred twenty-eight millions and one hundred thousand hours, spent at Paris by candle-light, which, at half a pound of wax and tallow per hour, gives the weight of 64,050,000 Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of pounds, which, estimating the whole at the medium price of thirty sols the pound, makes the sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres tournois 96,075,000 An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.
Page 344
certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor any subject of contention, but the perfections or imperfections of foreign music.
Page 348
promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of free Negroes, unlawfully held in Bondage[195].
Page 353
_ xviii, v.
Page 359
I think it my duty to warn you: judge for yourselves.
Page 378
Accordingly I did; but when we got into the anti-room, we found it quite filled with persons as desirous of getting admission as ourselves.
Page 406
5.