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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 48

ait lieu sans qu'il soit préparé, influencé et
réglé par cet esprit bienfaisant, tout-puissant et présent partout,
duquel émanent tous les autres esprits.

[26] Nombres, chap. 14.

[27] Nombres, chap. 14, vers. 3.--«Et ils se réunirent tous contre
Moyse et Aaron, et leur dirent: Vous prenez trop sur vous. Vous
savez que toutes les assemblées sont saintes, ainsi que chaque
membre de ces assemblées: pourquoi donc vous élevez-vous au-dessus
de l'assemblée?»

[28] Nombres, chap. 7.

[29] Exode, chap. 35, vers. 22.

[30] Nombres, chap. 3, et Exode, chap. 30.

[31] Nombres, chap. 14, vers. 13.--«Tu regardes comme peu de chose de
nous avoir ôtés d'une terre où coule le lait et le miel, et de nous
faire périr dans le désert, pourvu que tu deviennes notre prince
absolu».

[32] Nombres, chap. 3.

[33] Exode, chap. 30.

[34] Nombres, chap. 14.




SUR L'ÉTAT INTÉRIEUR DE L'AMÉRIQUE, OU TABLEAU DES VRAIS INTÉRÊTS DE CE
VASTE CONTINENT.


La tradition rapporte que les premiers Européens qui s'établirent à la
Nouvelle-Angleterre, éprouvèrent beaucoup de peines et de difficultés,
comme cela arrive ordinairement quand un peuple civilisé fonde une
colonie dans un pays sauvage. Ils étoient portés à la piété, et ils
demandoient des secours au ciel, par des prières et des jeûnes fréquens.
Cet objet de leurs méditations constantes et de leurs entretiens, tenoit
leurs esprits dans la tristesse et le mécontentement; et semblables aux
enfans d'Israël, plusieurs d'entr'eux désiroient de retourner dans cette
Égypte, que la persécution les avoit engagés à abandonner.

Un jour qu'on proposa dans une assemblée de proclamer un nouveau jeûne,
un fermier, plein de bon sens, se leva et observa:--«Que les
inconvéniens auxquels ils étoient exposés, et pour lesquels leurs
plaintes avoient si souvent fatigué le ciel, n'étoient pas si grands
qu'ils auroient pu le craindre, et qu'ils diminuoient chaque jour, à
mesure que la colonie se fortifioit; que la terre commençoit à compenser
leur travail et à fournir libéralement à leur subsistance; que la mer et
les rivières étoient remplies de poisson; que la température étoit
douce, le climat sain; qu'ils pouvoient sur-tout, jouir pleinement de la
liberté civile et religieuse; qu'il croyoit donc qu'il falloit
s'entretenir de pareils sujets, parce qu'ils étoient plus consolans,
plus propres à les rendre contens de leur situation; et qu'il convenoit
mieux à la gratitude, qu'ils devoient à l'Être-Suprême, de proclamer, au
lieu d'un jeûne, un jour d'action de graces.»

L'avis

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While we are searching far and near for some Aladdin's Lamp to give coveted fortune, there is ready at our hand if we will only reach out and take it, like the charm in Milton's _Comus_, "Unknown, and like esteemed, and the dull swain Treads on it daily with his clouted shoon;" the interesting, human, and vividly told story of one of the wisest and most useful lives in our own history, and perhaps in any history.
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The first edition of the _Autobiography_ was published in French at Paris in 1791.
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This obscure family of ours was early in the Reformation, and continued Protestants through the reign of Queen Mary, when they were sometimes in danger of trouble on account of their zeal against popery.
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III, Epist.
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Meredith persuaded me to comply, as it would give more opportunity for his improvement under my daily instructions; so I return'd, and we went on more smoothly than for some time before.
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It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.
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Grace's, set apart for that purpose, a proposition was made by me, that, since our books were often referr'd to in our disquisitions upon the queries, it might be convenient to us to have them altogether where we met, that upon occasion they might be consulted; and by thus clubbing our books to a common library, we should, while we lik'd to keep them together, have each of us the advantage of using the books of all the other members, which would be nearly as beneficial as if each owned the whole.
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To avoid the trouble of renewing now and then my little book, which, by scraping out the marks on the paper of old faults to make room for new ones in a new course, became full of holes, I transferr'd my tables and precepts to the ivory leaves of a memorandum book, on which the lines were drawn with red ink, that made a durable stain, and on those lines I mark'd my faults with a black-lead pencil, which marks I could easily wipe out with a wet sponge.
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Of these are a Socratic dialogue, tending to prove that, whatever might be his parts and abilities, a vicious man could not properly be called a man of sense; and a discourse on self-denial, showing that virtue was not secure till its practice became a habitude, and was free from the opposition of contrary inclinations.
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terms on which we stood.
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" I received of the general about eight hundred pounds, to be disbursed in advance-money to the waggon owners, etc.
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[99] [99] Other accounts of this expedition and defeat may be found in Fiske's _Washington and his Country_, or Lodge's _George Washington_, Vol.
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I inquir'd concerning the Moravian marriages, whether the report was true that they were by lot.
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Somebody wrote an account of this to the proprietor, and it gave him great offense.
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XVIII SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS Before I proceed in relating the part I had in public affairs under this new governor's administration, it may not be amiss here to give some account of the rise and progress of my philosophical reputation.
Page 173
He, however, having done it at the instance of the General, and for His Majesty's service, and having some powerful interest at court, despis'd the threats and they were never put in execution.