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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 30

LES LOIX CRIMINELLES, ET SUR L'USAGE D'ARMER EN COURSE.


À BENJAMIN VAUGHAN.

14 mars 1785.

MON AMI,

Parmi les pamphlets, que vous m'avez fait passer dernièrement, il y en a
un intitulé: _Pensées sur la Justice exécutive_.--Je vous envoie, en
revanche, une brochure française sur le même sujet. Elle a pour titre:
_Observations concernant l'exécution de l'article II de la Déclaration
sur le Vol_.

L'un et l'autre de ces ouvrages sont adressés aux juges, mais écrits,
comme vous le verrez, dans un esprit très-différent. L'auteur anglais
veut qu'on pende tous les voleurs. Le français prétend qu'on doit
proportionner la punition au crime.

Si nous croyons réellement, ainsi que nous fesons profession de le
croire, que la loi de Moyse étoit la loi de Dieu, et l'émanation de la
sagesse divine, infiniment supérieure à la sagesse humaine, d'après quel
principe pouvons-nous donner la mort pour punir une offense, qui,
conformément à cette loi, ne devroit être punie que par la restitution
du quadruple de l'objet enlevé?--Mettre à mort un homme, pour un crime
qui ne le mérite point, n'est-ce pas commettre un meurtre? Et, comme dit
l'auteur français, doit-on punir un délit contre la société par un crime
contre la nature?

Une propriété superflue est de l'invention de la société. Des loix
simples et douces suffisent pour conserver les propriétés purement
nécessaires. L'arc du sauvage, sa hache et son vêtement de peaux
n'exigent pas qu'une loi lui en assure la conservation. Ils sont
suffisamment gardés par la crainte de son ressentiment et de sa
vengeance. Lorsqu'en vertu des premières loix, une partie de la société
accumula des richesses et devint puissante, elle fit des loix plus
sévères, et voulut, aux dépens de l'humanité, conserver ce qu'elle
possédoit. Ce fut un abus du pouvoir, et un commencement de tyrannie.

Si, avant de faire entrer un sauvage en société, on lui avoit dit:«--Par
le moyen du pacte social, ton voisin pourra devenir propriétaire de cent
daims. Mais si ton frère, ton fils ou toi-même, vous n'avez pas de
daims, et qu'ayant faim, vous vouliez en tuer un, vous serez obligés de
subir une mort infame.»--Alors le sauvage auroit probablement préféré sa
liberté, et le droit commun de tuer des daims, à tous les avantages de
la société qu'on lui proposoit.

Il vaut

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

Page 4
116 On the theory of the earth 117 New and curious theory of light and heat 122 Queries and conjectures relating to magnetism and the theory of the earth 125 On the nature of sea coal 125 Effect of vegetation on noxious air 129 On the inflammability of the surface of certain rivers in America 130 On the different quantities of rain which fall at different heights over the same ground 133 Slowly sensible hygrometer proposed, for certain purposes 135 Curious instance of the effect of oil on water 142 Letters on the stilling of waves by means of oil .
Page 31
It is thus that a hair in a microscope evidently appears to be a pipe, the sides shewing darker than the middle.
Page 51
Being in Maryland, riding with Colonel Tasker, and some other gentlemen, to his country seat, where I and my son were entertained by that amiable and worthy man with great hospitality and kindness, we saw, in the vale below us, a small whirlwind beginning in the road, and shewing itself by the dust it raised and contained.
Page 57
A similar operation is performed by nature on the air of this globe.
Page 63
How a living animal obtains its quantity of this fluid called fire, is a curious question.
Page 70
might invite them to the surface, on which, in a calm, they might sport themselves and glow; or in storms, being forced up, make the same appearance.
Page 78
I had rather conclude abruptly with what pleases me more than any compliment can please you, that I am allowed to subscribe myself Your affectionate friend, B.
Page 85
2.
Page 87
But ought it not (if there were a vis inertiæ) to have not only the force 1 _f_, but an additional force equal to the force of vis inertiæ, that _obstinate power by which a body endeavours with_ all its might _to continue in its present state, whether of motion or rest_? I say, ought there not to be an opposing force equal to the sum of these?--The truth however is, that there is no body, how large soever, moving with any velocity, how great soever, but may be stopped by any opposing force, how small soever,.
Page 89
I wrote it to set him right in some points wherein he had mistaken my meaning.
Page 99
Finley, President of the College in that province, relating the same experiment.
Page 150
M.
Page 171
I know by experience, that it is a great comfort to a swimmer, who has a considerable distance to go, to turn himself sometimes on his back, and to vary in other respects the means of procuring a progressive motion.
Page 225
Let another person suddenly draw it out, so as to let the air of the room go up the chimney, with its usual freedom where chimneys are open, and you immediately feel the cold air rushing in strongly.
Page 238
The concave back of the niche will rest on the circular iron partition 1 A 4, figure 2, then, with a little loam, put on the box C over the grate, the open side of the box in front.
Page 242
a great part goes away in smoke which you see as it rises, but it affords you no rays of warmth.
Page 252
The price for copper, nails, and workmanship, runs at about eight pounds ten shillings per hundred weight, or two shillings and three-pence per foot, superficial, exclusive of the lappings; and about two shillings and eight-pence per foot upon the whole; which is rather above half as much more as the price of doing it well with lead.
Page 255
(_See Plate_ XII.
Page 264
Farther, when we consider by whom these ancient tunes were composed, and how they were first performed, we shall see that such harmonical successions of sounds was natural and even necessary in their construction.
Page 301
There are another set of habits, that have the direction of the members of the body, that I call therefore _mechanical habits_.