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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 29

une aussi intolérable
injustice, que celle qui accompagne la presse des matelots.

Pour mieux me faire entendre, je ferai d'abord deux observations. La
première, c'est qu'on pourroit avoir pour les vaisseaux de guerre des
matelots de bonne volonté, si l'on les payoit suffisamment. Ce qui le
prouve, c'est que pour servir dans ces vaisseaux et courir les mêmes
dangers, on n'a besoin de presser ni les capitaines, ni les lieutenans,
ni les gardes-marine, ni les trésoriers, ni beaucoup d'autres officiers.
Pourquoi? Parce que les profits de leurs places ou leurs émolumens, sont
d'assez puissans motifs pour les leur faire rechercher. Il ne faudroit
donc que trouver assez d'argent pour engager les matelots à servir de
bonne volonté comme leurs officiers, sans mettre pourtant de nouveaux
impôts sur le commerce.

La seconde de mes observations est que vingt-cinq schellings par mois
avec une ration de boeuf, de porc salé et de pois, étant jugés suffisans
pour faire subsister un matelot qui travaille beaucoup, ils doivent
suffire aussi à un homme de plume et à un jurisconsulte sédentaire. Je
voudrais donc qu'on établit une caisse, qui serviroit à donner des
récompenses aux marins. Pour remplir cette caisse, je proposerois de
presser un grand nombre d'officiers civils, qui ont à présent de gros
salaires, et de les obliger à remplir leurs emplois pour vingt-cinq
schellings par mois, avec une ration pareille à celle des gens de mer,
afin de verser le surplus de leurs salaires dans la caisse des matelots.

Si l'on me chargeoit de faire exécuter l'ordre d'une telle presse, le
premier que je ferois presser seroit un assesseur de Bristol, ou un juge
nommé _Foster_. J'aurois besoin de son édifiant exemple, pour montrer
comment on doit se soumettre à la presse, car il trouveroit assurément
que, quoique ce soit un _mal particulier_ d'être réduit à vingt-cinq
schellings par mois, il faut, conformément à sa maxime légale et
politique, _le supporter avec patience_, afin de prévenir une calamité

Alors, je presserois le reste des juges; et ouvrant le livre rouge, je
n'oublierois aucun des officiers civils du gouvernement, depuis ceux qui
n'ont qu'un salaire de cinquante livres sterlings par an, jusqu'à ceux
qui en ont cinquante mille. Ces messieurs n'auroient pas à se plaindre,
puisqu'ils recevroient vingt-cinq schellings par mois, avec une ration;
et encore sans être obligés de combattre. Enfin, je crois que je ferois
presser ***.

[18] Ce morceau est composé de diverses notes, que Franklin avoit
écrites avec un crayon, sur les marges d'un exemplaire de la fameuse
_Apologie de la Presse des Matelots_, par le juge Foster.


Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 9
Without an estate, or any.
Page 15
I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner of preparing some of his dishes, such as boiling potatoes or rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then proposed to my brother, that if he would give me, weekly, half the money he paid for my board, I would board myself.
Page 23
A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps thro' fear of being thought to have but little.
Page 49
Denham took a store in Water-street, where we open'd our goods; I attended the business diligently, studied accounts, and grew, in a little time, expert at selling.
Page 50
At length, receiving his quarterly allowance of fifteen guineas, instead of discharging his debts he walk'd out of town, hid his gown in a furze bush, and footed it to London, where, having no friend to advise him, he fell into bad company, soon spent his guineas, found no means of being introduc'd among the players, grew necessitous, pawn'd his cloaths, and wanted bread.
Page 60
I gave him what he demanded, and he went soon after to Carolina, from.
Page 64
Godfrey brought me afterward some more favorable accounts of their disposition, and would have drawn me on again; but I declared absolutely my resolution to have nothing more to do with that family.
Page 65
I drew up the proposals, got them put into form by our great scrivener, Brockden, and, by the help of my friends in the Junto, procured fifty subscribers of forty shillings each to begin with, and ten shillings a year for fifty years, the term our company was to continue.
Page 78
Form of the pages.
Page 94
He was fast declining in his health, and requested of me that, in case of his death, which he apprehended not far distant, I would take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring him up to the printing business.
Page 98
The utility of this institution soon appeared, and many more desiring to be admitted than we thought convenient for one company, they were advised to form another, which was accordingly done; and this went on, one new company being formed after another, till they became so numerous as to include most of the inhabitants who were men of property; and now, at the time of my writing this, tho' upward of fifty years since its establishment, that which I first formed, called the Union Fire Company, still subsists and flourishes, tho' the first members are all deceas'd but myself and one, who is older by a year than I am.
Page 101
The last time I saw Mr.
Page 109
our principles have been improving, and our errors diminishing.
Page 111
At length one mention'd me, with the observation that I was merely an honest man, and of no sect at all, which prevail'd with them to chuse me.
Page 112
When I disengaged myself, as above mentioned, from private business, I flatter'd myself that, by the sufficient tho' moderate fortune I had acquir'd, I had secured leisure during the rest of my life for philosophical studies and amusements.
Page 125
The orders were immediately printed, and I was one of the committee directed to sign and dispose of them.
Page 126
, not less than one hundred and fifty waggons being necessary.
Page 127
That the pay commence from the time of their joining the forces at Will's Creek, which must be on or before the 20th of May ensuing, and that a reasonable allowance be paid over and above for the time necessary for their travelling to Will's Creek and home again after their discharge.
Page 133
This was enough to put us out of conceit of such defenders, if we had really wanted any.
Page 140
The sermon I heard was to the latter, who came in and.