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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 95

dans les limites, qu'on traça cette année,
d'accord avec les Indiens, restât un désert inutile, ou fût établi par
les sujets de l'Angleterre?--Le rapport, que les lords actuels disent
contenir tous les argumens contre cet établissement, nous fournit
lui-même une ample et satisfaisante réponse à cette question.

En 1768, les lords commissaires après avoir énoncé leur opinion contre
les trois nouveaux gouvernemens proposés, s'expriment en ces
termes:--«Nous sommes contraires à ces gouvernemens, parce qu'il faut
encourager l'établissement d'une immense étendue de côtes, jusqu'à
présent inoccupée. Comme les habitans des colonies du centre auront,
d'après les nouvelles limites, la liberté de s'étendre graduellement
dans l'intérieur du pays, ces côtes rempliront le but d'augmenter la
population et la consommation, bien plus efficacement et plus
avantageusement que l'établissement des gouvernemens nouveaux.
L'extension graduelle des établissemens sur le même territoire étant
proportionnée à la population, entretient les rapports d'un commerce
avantageux entre la Grande-Bretagne et ses possessions les plus
éloignées; rapports qui ne peuvent exister dans des colonies séparées
par des déserts immenses.»

Peut-il y avoir une opinion plus claire, plus concluante, en faveur de
la proposition que nous avons humblement soumise au conseil de sa
majesté?--Les lords commissaires de 1768, ne disent-ils pas positivement
que les habitans des colonies du centre auront la liberté de s'étendre
graduellement dans l'intérieur du pays?--N'est-il donc pas bien
extraordinaire qu'après deux ans de délibération, les lords commissaires
actuels présentent aux lords du conseil privé un rapport, dans lequel se
référant à celui de 1768, ils disent: _Que tous les argumens à ce sujet
y ont été rassemblés avec beaucoup de force et de précision_; et qu'ils
ajoutent dans le même paragraphe qu'_ils doivent combattre cette opinion
et conseiller au roi d'arrêter les progrès des établissemens dans
l'intérieur du pays_?--Ils disent encore, «Qu'on doit empêcher, autant
qu'il est possible, ces établissemens éloignés; et qu'il faut qu'une
proclamation nouvelle annonce la résolution où est sa majesté, de ne
point permettre à présent qu'on fasse de nouveaux établissemens au-delà
des limites; c'est-à-dire, au-delà des montagnes d'Allegany.»

Combien tout cela est étrange et contradictoire! Mais nous nous
dispenserons de l'examiner plus strictement, et nous terminerons nos
observations sur cet article, en citant l'opinion qu'ont eue, à
différentes époques, les lords commissaires du commerce et des colonies.

En 1748, les lords commissaires exprimèrent le plus vif désir
d'encourager les établissemens sur les montagnes et sur les bords de

En 1768, ils déclarèrent, relativement aux nouvelles limites pour
lesquelles on négocioit alors, que les habitans des colonies du centre,
auroient la liberté de s'étendre graduellement dans l'intérieur du pays.

En 1770, le comte d'Hillsborough[61], recommanda l'acquisition d'un
territoire sur les montagnes, suffisant pour établir une nouvelle
colonie, et il

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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 2
by B.
Page 7
--Modesty in disputation 317 Covering houses with copper 318 On the same subject 320 Paper referred to in the preceding letter 322 Magical square of squares 324 Magical circle 328 New musical instrument composed of glasses 330 Best mediums for conveying sound 335 On the.
Page 68
I am persuaded, from several instances happening within my knowledge, that they do not bear cold weather so well as the whites; they will perish when exposed to a less degree of it, and are more apt to have their limbs frostbitten; and may not this be from the same cause? Would not the earth grow much hotter under the summer-sun, if a constant evaporation from its surface, greater as the sun shines stronger, did not, by tending to cool it; balance, in some degree, the warmer effects of the sun's rays? Is it not owing to the constant evaporation from the surface of every leaf, that trees, though shone on by the sun, are always, even the leaves themselves, cool to our sense? at least much cooler than they would otherwise be? May it not be owing to this, that fanning ourselves when warm, does really cool us, though the air is itself warm that we drive with the fan upon our faces; for the atmosphere round, and next to our bodies, having imbibed as much of the perspired vapour as it can well contain, receives no more, and the evaporation is therefore checked and retarded, till we drive away that atmosphere, and bring drier air in its place, that will receive the vapour, and thereby facilitate and increase the evaporation? Certain it is, that mere blowing of air on a dry body does not cool it, as any one may satisfy himself, by blowing with a bellows on the dry ball of a thermometer; the mercury will not fall; if it moves at all, it rather rises, as being.
Page 76
So if you throw a stone into a pond of water when the surface is still and smooth, you will see a circular wave proceed from the stone as its centre, quite to the sides of the pond; but the water does not proceed with the wave, it only rises and falls to form it in the different parts of its course; and the waves that follow.
Page 93
May not this fluid, when at liberty, be capable of penetrating and entering into all bodies, organised or not, quitting easily in totality those not organised, 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.
Page 95
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 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,.
Page 97
I visited last summer a large coal-mine at Whitehaven, in Cumberland; and in following the vein and descending by degrees towards the sea, I penetrated below the ocean, where the level of its surface was more than eight hundred fathom above my head, and the miners assured me, that their works extended some miles beyond the place where I then was, continually and gradually descending under the sea.
Page 113
But perhaps something may be done on particular occasions, to moderate the violence of the waves when we are in the midst of them, and prevent their breaking where that would be inconvenient.
Page 120
So that supposing large canals and boats and depths of water to bear the same proportions, and that four men or horses would draw a boat in deep water four leagues in four hours, it would require five to draw the same boat in the same time as far in shallow water; or four would require five hours.
Page 132
They see our manner, and we theirs, but neither are disposed to learn of or copy the other.
Page 200
Franklin's invention, made what they call_ Pensylvanian Fire-places, with improvements; _the principal of which pretended improvements is, a contraction of the passages in the air-box, originally designed for admitting a quantity of fresh air, and warming it as it entered the room.
Page 247
It may with a touch be turned more or less from any one of the company that desires to have less of its heat, or presented full to one just come out of the cold.
Page 274
We have another error of the same kind in printing plays, where something often occurs, that is marked as spoken _aside_.
Page 281
b { Then to those, formed yet more forward p { by the upper and under lip opening {.
Page 290
Let all their bad habits of speaking, all offences against good grammar, all corrupt or foreign accents, and all improper phrases, be pointed out to them.
Page 298
Therefore luxury should never be suffered to become common.
Page 316
_Of Prohibitions, with Respect to the Exportation of Gold and Silver.
Page 346
Must we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or suffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage? for men, accustomed to slavery, will not work for a livelihood, when not compelled.
Page 355
_ improvement of Mr.
Page 381
_Poor_, remarks on the management of, ii.