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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 46

regret, la destruction du veau d'or. Plusieurs chefs pensoient que la
constitution nouvelle devoit nuire à leur intérêt particulier; que les
places avantageuses seraient toutes occupées par les parens et les amis
de Moyse et d'Aaron, et que d'autres qui étoient également bien nés en
seraient exclus[27].

Nous voyons dans Josephe et dans le Talmud quelques particularités, qui
ne sont pas aussi détaillées dans l'Écriture.

Voici ce que nous y apprenons.--«Coré désiroit ardemment d'être
grand-prêtre; et il fut blessé de ce que cet emploi étoit conféré à
Aaron, par la seule autorité de Moyse, disoit-il, et sans le
consentement du peuple. Il accusa Moyse d'avoir employé divers artifices
pour s'emparer du gouvernement, et priver le peuple de sa liberté; et de
conspirer avec Aaron pour perpétuer la tyrannie dans sa famille. Ainsi,
quoique le vrai motif de Coré fût de supplanter Aaron, il persuada au
peuple qu'il n'avoit en vue que le bien général; et les Juifs excités
par lui, commencèrent à crier:--Maintenons la liberté de nos diverses
tribus. Nous nous sommes, nous-mêmes, affranchis de l'esclavage où nous
tenoient les Égyptiens; souffrirons-nous donc que Moyse nous rende
encore esclaves? Si nous devons avoir un maître, il vaut mieux retourner
vers le Pharaon, par qui nous étions nourris avec du pain et des
oignons, que de servir ce nouveau tyran qui, par sa conduite, nous a
exposés à souffrir la famine.--

»Alors ils nièrent la vérité de ses entretiens avec Dieu; et ils
prétendirent que le secret de ses rendez-vous, le soin qu'il avoit eu
d'empêcher que personne écoutât ses discours, et approchât même du lieu
où il étoit, devoit donner beaucoup de doutes à cet égard. Ils
accusèrent aussi Moyse de péculat, et d'avoir gardé un grand nombre des
cuillers et des plats d'argent que les princes avoient offerts à la
dédicace de l'autel[28], ainsi que les offrandes d'or, qu'avoit faites
le peuple[29], et la plus grande partie de la capitation[30]. Ils
accusèrent Aaron d'avoir mis de côté la plupart des joyaux qui lui
avoient été fournis pour le veau d'or.

»Indépendamment du péculat qu'ils reprochoient à Moyse, ils prétendoient
qu'il étoit rempli d'ambition, et que pour satisfaire cette passion, il
avoit trompé le peuple en lui promettant une terre où couloit le lait et
le miel. Ils disoient qu'au lieu de lui donner une telle terre, il l'en
avoit arraché; et que tout ce mal lui sembloit léger, pourvu qu'il pût
se rendre un prince absolu[31]. Ils ajoutoient que pour maintenir avec
splendeur, dans sa famille, sa nouvelle dignité, il devoit faire suivre
la capitation particulière qui avoit déjà été levée et remise à
Aaron[32], par une taxe générale[33],

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

Page 1
Page 85
A maker of systematic, if inhuman, metaphysics in the _Dissertation_, the author of the _Articles_, in spite of.
Page 108
_On the Labouring Poor_ and in a letter (IX, 240-8), suggests that private vices--demands for luxuries--make public benefits, hence resembling, if not ultimately derived from, Mandeville's _Fable of the Bees_.
Page 150
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Ralph only made some Criticisms and propos'd some Amendments, but I defended my Text.
Page 245
The first step I took was to associate in the design a number of active friends, of whom the Junto furnished a good part; the next was to write and publish a.
Page 257
" So much for Female Ignorance and Folly; and now let us a little consider the Pride which my Correspondent thinks is _intolerable_.
Page 275
Some put on a gay chearful Outside, and appear to the World perfectly at Ease, tho' even then, some inward Sting, some secret Pain imbitters all their Joys, and makes the Ballance even: Others appear continually dejected and full of Sorrow; but even Grief itself is sometimes _pleasant_, and Tears are not always without their Sweetness: Besides, Some take a Satisfaction in being thought unhappy, (as others take a Pride in being thought humble,) these will paint their Misfortunes to others in the strongest Colours, and leave no Means unus'd to make you think them throughly miserable; so great a Pleasure it is to them _to be pitied_.
Page 306
and every Thing within us, is in perpetual Motion? What is this constant, durable Good, then, of yours? Prithee, satisfy my Soul, for I'm all on Fire, and impatient to enjoy her.
Page 332
Logan, of this City; undertaken partly for his own Amusement, (being then in his 60th Year, which is said to be nearly the Age of the Author when he wrote it) but principally for the Entertainment of a Neighbour then in his grand Climacteric; and the Notes were drawn up solely on that Neighbour's Account, who was not so well acquainted as himself with the Roman History and Language: Some other Friends, however, (among whom I had the Honour.
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| A.
Page 512
It has pleased God in his Goodness to Mankind, at length to discover to them the Means of securing their Habitations and other Buildings from Mischief by Thunder and Lightning.
Page 577
[I have ascribed to memory the ability of comparing the pitch of a present tone with that of one past.
Page 615
And that the said duty may more effectually be collected, we do hereby ordain, that all ships or vessels bound from Great Britain to any other part of the world, or from any other part of the world to Great Britain, shall in their respective voyages touch at our port of Koningsberg, there to be unladen, searched, and charged with the said duties.
Page 620
If withal they should be ignorant, wrong-headed, and insolent, so much the better.
Page 649
You endeavour to impress me with a bad opinion of French faith; but the instances of their friendly endeavours to serve a race of weak princes, who, by their own imprudence, defeated every attempt to promote their interest, weigh but little with me, when I consider the steady friendship of France to the Thirteen United States of Switzerland, which has now continued inviolate two hundred years.
Page 682
You formerly obliged me with that of the Father, an excellent one.
Page 712
[The future genealogists, too, of these Chevaliers, in proving the lineal descent of their honour through so many generations (even supposing honour capable in its nature of descending), will only prove the small share of this honour, which can be justly claimed by any one of them; since the above simple process in arithmetic makes it quite plain and clear that, in proportion as the antiquity of the family shall augment, the right to the honour of the ancestor will diminish; and a few generations more would reduce it to something so small as to be very near an absolute nullity.
Page 716
I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and, the latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.
Page 764
He said he could not give any more than four Shillings a Pound; 'but,' says he, 'I cannot talk on Business now; this is the Day when we meet together to learn _Good Things_, and I am going to the Meeting.