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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 37

eut une preuve,
lors du traité conclu à Lancastre, en Pensylvanie, en 1744, entre le
gouvernement de Virginie et les six Nations.

Quand on fut convenu des principaux articles, les commissaires de la
Virginie informèrent les Sauvages, qu'il y avoit au collége de
Williamsbourg des fonds destinés à l'éducation de jeunes Indiens, et que
si les chefs des six Nations vouloient y envoyer une demi-douzaine de
leurs enfans, le gouvernement en prendroit soin et les feroit instruire
dans toutes les sciences des blancs. Une des règles de la politesse de
ces peuples est de ne jamais répondre à une proposition publique, le
même jour qu'elle leur a été faite. Ils pensent que ce seroit la traiter
avec trop de légèreté, et qu'ils montrent plus de respect en prenant du
temps pour la considérer comme une chose importante. Ils différèrent
donc de répondre aux Virginiens; et le lendemain après que l'orateur eût
témoigné combien ils étoient sensibles à l'offre qu'on leur avoit faite,
il ajouta:--«Nous savons que vous estimez beaucoup l'espèce de science
qu'on enseigne dans ces colléges, et que tandis que nos jeunes gens
seroient chez vous, leur entretien vous coûteroit beaucoup. Nous sommes
donc convaincus que dans ce que vous nous proposez, votre intention est
de nous faire du bien; et nous vous en remercions de bon coeur. Mais
vous, qui êtes sages, vous devez savoir que les différentes nations
voient les choses d'une manière différente; et vous ne devez pas être
offensés, si nos idées sur l'éducation d'un collége ne sont pas les
mêmes que les vôtres. Nous en avons déjà fait l'expérience. Plusieurs de
nos jeunes gens ont été élevés dans les colléges des provinces
septentrionales. Ils ont été instruits dans toutes vos sciences. Mais
quand ils sont revenus parmi nous, à peine savoient-ils courir. Ignorant
entièrement la manière de vivre dans les bois, incapables de supporter
le froid et la faim, ils ne savoient ni bâtir une cabane, ni prendre un
daim, ni tuer un ennemi: ils parloient imparfaitement notre langue; et
par conséquent ils n'étoient propres ni à la chasse, ni à la guerre, ni
aux conseils. Enfin, nous ne pouvions en rien faire.--Nous n'acceptons
pas votre offre: mais nous n'en sommes pas moins reconnoissans; et pour
vous le prouver, si les habitans de la Virginie veulent nous envoyer une
demi-douzaine de leurs enfans, nous aurons le plus grand soin de leur
éducation, nous leur apprendrons ce que nous savons; et nous en ferons
des _hommes_.»

Les Sauvages ayant de fréquentes occasions de tenir des conseils
publics, ils se sont accoutumés à maintenir beaucoup d'ordre et de
décence dans ces assemblées. Les vieillards sont

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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 22
LAWS TO GOVERN THEM.
Page 31
That compelling the colonies to pay money without their consent, would be rather like raising contributions in an enemy's country, than taxing of Englishmen for their own public benefit.
Page 53
The answer of the proprietaries to the representation of the assembly concerning the expence of Indian affairs.
Page 132
To be sure they were not of the proprietary officers, dependents, or expectants; and those are chiefly the people of high rank among us; but they were otherwise generally men of the best estates in the province, and men of reputation.
Page 202
The Americans it seems, thought otherwise.
Page 215
_ I see with pleasure that we think pretty much alike on the subjects of English America.
Page 228
The assembly of the province were so much exasperated, that they returned home attested copies of the letters, accompanied with a petition and remonstrance, for the removal of governor Hutchinson, and lieutenant-governor Andrew Oliver, from their posts.
Page 243
_] sterling per annum for the term of one hundred years, which, duly, faithfully, and inviolably applied to that purpose, is demonstrably more than sufficient to extinguish _all her present national_ debt, since it will in that time amount, at legal British interest, to more than 230,000,000_l.
Page 244
[144] "Veneris, 10 March, 1642.
Page 266
I then spoke to several other dealers, but they all sung the same song, three and sixpence, three and sixpence.
Page 268
At length, when it was proposed in the assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose, and remarked, that the inconveniences they suffered, and concerning which they had so often wearied heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthened; that the earth began to reward their labour, and to furnish liberally for their subsistence; that the seas and rivers were found full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy; and, above all, that they were there in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious: he therefore thought, that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable, as tending more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they owed to the Divine Being, if, instead of a fast, they should proclaim a thanksgiving.
Page 285
--With more concern have I continually observed the growing vices and follies of my country folk: and though reformation is properly the concern of every man, that is, every one ought to mend one; yet it is too true in this case, that what is every body's business is no body's business, and the business is done accordingly.
Page 306
But how absurd is it to neglect a certain profit for such a ridiculous whimsey: to spend whole days at the George, in company with an idle pretender to astrology, contriving schemes to discover what was never hidden, and forgetful how carelessly business is managed at home in their absence: to leave their wives and a warm bed at midnight (no matter if it rain, hail, snow, or blow a hurricane, provided that be the critical hour) and fatigue themselves with the violent exercise of digging for what they shall never find, and perhaps getting a cold that may cost their lives, or at least disordering themselves so as to be fit for no business beside for some days after.
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 328
She had masters to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accomplishments; but if by chance I touched a pencil, a pen, or a needle, I was bitterly rebuked: and more than once I have been beaten for being aukward, and wanting a graceful manner.
Page 351
Will any paper match him? Yes, throughout, He's a true _sinking-paper_, past all doubt.
Page 359
But most unhappily circumstanced indeed are we, the middling people, the tradesmen, shopkeepers, and farmers of this province and city! We cannot all fly with our families; and if we could, how shall we subsist? No; we and they, and what little we have gained by hard labour and industry, must bear the brunt: the weight of contributions, extorted by the enemy (as it is of taxes among ourselves) must be surely borne by us.
Page 362
What numbers have we likewise of _those brave people_, whose fathers in the last age made so glorious a stand for our religion and liberties, when invaded by a powerful French army, joined by Irish Catholics, under a bigotted popish king! Let the memorable siege of Londonderry, and the signal actions of the Iniskillingers, by which the heart of that prince's schemes was broken, be perpetual testimonies of the courage and conduct of those noble warriors! Nor are there wanting amongst us, thousands of _that warlike_ nation, whose sons have ever since the time of Cæsar maintained the character he.
Page 367
And I hope it: for I too, with your poet, _trust in God_.
Page 399
54, 88.