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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 74

nous observerons que les lords
commissaires du commerce et des colonies, nous paroissent ne s'être pas
moins trompés sur cet objet que sur le premier; car ils disent que
l'espace de terre, dont il s'agit, s'étend à plusieurs degrés de
longitude à l'ouest. La vérité est qu'il n'y a pas plus d'un degré et
demi de longitude depuis la chaîne occidentale des montagnes d'Allegany,
jusqu'à la rivière de l'Ohio.

D'après le second paragraphe du rapport des lords commissaires, il
semble qu'ils craignent que les terres situées au sud-ouest des limites
tracées sur la carte, soient réclamées par les Cherokées, comme leur
pays de chasse, ou même que ce soit là que chassent les six Nations et
leurs confédérés.

Les Cherokées n'ont aucun droit sur ce pays. C'est une opinion nouvelle,
qui ne peut être défendue, et dont on n'a entendu parler qu'en 1764,
lorsque M. Steward fut nommé inspecteur des colonies méridionales. Nous
allons le démontrer par le rapport exact des faits; et nous ferons voir,
en même-temps, que le roi a un droit incontestable à la rive méridionale
de l'Ohio, jusqu'à la rivière des Cherokées, par la cession qu'en ont
faite les six Nations, dans le congrès qui a eu lieu au fort Stanwix, en
novembre 1768. En un mot, le pays qui s'étend depuis le grand Kenhawa
jusqu'à la rivière des Cherokées, n'a jamais été habité par les
Cherokées, ni servi à leurs chasses. Il fut autrefois habité par les
Schawanesses, et il leur appartint jusqu'au moment où les six Nations en
firent la conquête.

M. Colden, qui est actuellement sous-gouverneur de New-York, et qui a
écrit l'histoire des cinq Nations[44], observe que vers l'année 1664,
les cinq Nations ayant été amplement pourvues par les Anglais, de fusils
et de munitions, se livrèrent entièrement à leur génie belliqueux. Elles
portèrent leurs armes depuis la Caroline méridionale jusqu'au nord de la
Nouvelle-Angleterre, et depuis les bords du Mississipi, jusqu'à
l'extrémité d'un pays, qui a douze cents milles de longueur du nord au
sud, et six cents milles de largeur. Elles détruisirent toutes les
peuplades qu'elles rencontrèrent, et sur lesquelles les Anglais n'ont
conservé aucun renseignement.

En 1701, les cinq Nations mirent sous la protection des Anglais, tout le
pays où elles chassoient, comme on le voit dans les annales des
colonies, et comme cela est confirmé par un acte du 4 septembre 1726.

Le gouverneur Pownal, qui, il y a déjà plusieurs années, examina avec
beaucoup de soin les droits des Indiens, et particulièrement de ceux qui
formoient la confédération septentrionale, dit dans son livre intitulé:
_de l'Administration des Colonies_,--«On peut prouver clairement que les
cinq Nations ont droit de

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 7
159 To Samuel Huntingdon, President of Congress 160 To the Bishop of St.
Page 30
of the saints in heaven; and he who does a foolish, indecent, or wicked thing, merely because it is contrary to his inclination (like some mad enthusiasts I have read of, who ran about naked, under the notion of taking up the cross), is not practising the reasonable science of virtue, but is a lunatic.
Page 46
It is, however, some comfort to reflect, that, upon the whole, the quantity of industry and prudence among mankind exceeds the quantity of idleness and folly.
Page 55
Creatures only endowed with sensation may in a low sense be reputed happy, so long as their sensations are pleasing; and if these pleasing sensations are commensurate with the time of their existence, this measure of happiness is complete.
Page 59
These employments of men and women are accounted natural and honourable.
Page 67
As the city of London, in all ages, as well as the time we are now speaking of, was remarkable for its opposition to arbitrary power, the poets levelled all their artillery against the metropolis, in order to bring the citizens into contempt: an alderman was never introduced on the theatre but under the complicated character of a sneaking, canting hypocrite, a miser, and a cuckold; while the court-wits, with impunity, libelled the most valuable part of.
Page 73
And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Page 103
You have kindly relieved me from the pain I had long been under.
Page 128
But you will give us PENSIONS; probably to be paid, too, out of your expected American revenue; and which none of us can accept without deserving, and, perhaps, obtaining a _suspension_.
Page 132
Like a field of young Indian corn,.
Page 134
And it is to be observed that _Sa ki ma_, for instance, is not three words, but one word of three syllables; and the reason that _hyphens_ are not placed between the syllables is, that the printer had not enough of them.
Page 137
, seemed as if they would refer their dispute to him: 'I know nothing of you or your affairs,' said he; 'I only perceive _that you know one another_.
Page 153
I, as a republican printer, always liked a form well _planed down_; being averse to those _overbearing_ letters that hold their heads so _high_ as to hinder their neighbours from appearing.
Page 165
But the convenience of fixed values to pieces is so great as to force the currency of some whose stamp is worn off, that should have assured their fineness, and which are evidently not of half their due weight; the case at present with the sixpences in England, which, one with another, do not weigh threepence.
Page 180
--I have heard that chymists can by their art decompose stone and wood, extracting a considerable quantity of water from the one and air from the other.
Page 182
Has the question, how came the earth by its magnetism, ever been considered? Is it likely that _iron ore_ immediately existed when this globe was at first formed; or may it not rather be supposed a gradual production of time? If the earth is at present magnetical, in virtue of the masses of iron ore contained in it, might not some ages pass before it had magnetic polarity? Since iron ore may exist without that polarity, and, by being placed in certain circumstances, may obtain it from an external cause, is it not possible that the earth received its magnetism from some such cause? In short, may not a magnetic power exist throughout our system, perhaps through all systems, so that if men could make a voyage in the starry regions, a compass might be of use? And may not such universal magnetism, with its uniform direction, be serviceable in keeping the diurnal revolution of a planet more steady to the same axis? Lastly, as the poles of magnets may be changed by the presence of stronger magnets, might not, in ancient times, the near passing of some large comet, of greater magnetic power than this globe of ours, have been a means of changing its poles, and thereby wrecking and deranging its surface, placing in different regions the effect of centrifugal force, so as to raise the waters of the sea in some, while they were depressed in others? Let me add another question or two, not relating indeed to magnetism, but, however, to the theory of the earth.
Page 194
May not this fluid, when at liberty, be capable of penetrating and entering into all bodies, organized or not, quitting easily in totality those not organized, and quitting easily in part those which are; the part assumed and fixed remaining till the body is dissolved? Is it not this fluid which keeps asunder the particles of air, permitting them to approach, or separating them more in proportion as its quantity is diminished or augmented? Is it not the greater gravity of the particles of air which forces the particles of this fluid to mount with the matters to which it is attached, as smoke or vapour? Does it not seem to have a greater affinity with water, since it will quit a solid to unite with that fluid, and go off with it in vapour, leaving the solid cold to the touch, and the degree measurable by the thermometer? The vapour rises attached to this fluid, but at a certain height they separate, and the vapour descends in rain, retaining but little of it, in snow or hail less.
Page 206
I agree with you, that, by means of a vacuum in a whirlwind, water cannot be supposed to rise in large masses to the region of the clouds; for the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere could not force it up in a continued body or column to a much greater height than thirty feet.
Page 221
to the flesh, the parts are separated too far, and pain ensues, as when they are separated by a pin or lancet.
Page 235
And as much as possible to correct any little inequalities in my counting, I repeated the experiment a number of times at each depth of water, that I might take the medium.