Vie de Franklin, écrite par lui-même - Tome I Suivie de ses œuvres morales, politiques et littéraires

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 10

d'un des premiers colons, nommé
_Pierre Folger_, que Cotton Mather, dans son histoire ecclésiastique de
la province, cite honorablement comme un pieux et savant anglais, autant
que je puis me rappeler ses expressions.

J'ai ouï dire que le père de ma mère avoit composé diverses petites
pièces: mais l'on n'en a imprimé qu'une, que j'ai vue il y a plusieurs
années. Elle porte la date de 1675, et est en vers familiers, suivant le
goût du temps et du pays où elle fut écrite. L'auteur s'adressant à ceux
qui gouvernoient alors, parle pour la liberté de conscience, et en
faveur des anabaptistes, des quakers et des autres sectaires qui avoient
été exposés à la persécution. C'est à cette persécution qu'il attribue
les guerres avec les sauvages, et les autres calamités qui affligeoient
le pays, les regardant comme un effet des jugemens de Dieu, en punition
d'une offense aussi odieuse; et il exhorte le gouvernement à abolir des
lois aussi contraires à la charité. Cette pièce est écrite avec une
liberté mâle et une agréable simplicité. Je m'en rappelle les six
derniers vers, quoique j'aie oublié l'arrangement des mots des deux
premiers, dont le sens est que les censures de l'auteur sont dictées par
la bienveillance, et que conséquemment il désire d'être connu. Je hais
de tout mon coeur, ajoute-t-il, la dissimulation:

Comme cette pièce est écrite
Dans une bonne intention,
Je dis qu'à Shelburne[5] j'habite,
Et je signe ici mon vrai nom[6].


[5] Ville de l'île de Nantuket.

[6] Voici les vers anglais:

From Shelburne, where I dwell,
I therefore put my name,
Your friend, who means you well.


Mes frères furent tous placés pour apprendre différens métiers. Pour
moi, on m'envoya dans un collège à l'âge de huit ans; mon père me
destinoit à l'église et me regardoit déjà comme le chapelain de la
famille. Il avoit conçu ce dessein, à cause de la promptitude avec
laquelle j'avois appris à lire dans mon enfance, car je ne me souviens
pas d'avoir jamais été sans savoir lire, et il y étoit, en outre, excité
par les encouragemens de ses amis, qui l'assuroient que je deviendrois
certainement un homme de lettres. Mon oncle Benjamin l'approuvoit aussi,
et promettoit de me donner tous ses volumes

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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 30
That the parliament of England is at a great distance, subject to be misinformed and misled by such governors and councils, whose united interests might probably secure them against the effect of any complaint from hence.
Page 46
--But as those servants have been inlisted into his majesty's service for the general defence of America, and not of this province only, but all the colonies, and the nation in general, have and will receive equal benefit from their service; this satisfaction should be made at the expence of the nation, and not of the province only.
Page 55
The governor questions their right to have these instructions laid before them, and endeavours to put them beside their point, by magnifying the preparations of the French, &c.
Page 74
Hence, while there is land enough in America for our people, there can never be manufactures to any amount or value.
Page 75
It is therefore invidious, to represent the "blood and treasure" spent in this war, as spent in "the cause of the colonies" only; and that they are "absurd and ungrateful," if they think we have done nothing, unless we "make conquests for them," and reduce Canada to gratify their "vain ambition," &c.
Page 96
The Indian way of making war is by sudden attack upon exposed places; and as soon as they have done mischief, they retire, and either.
Page 111
_ in paper of Pensylvania, it has continued uniformly at those rates in both provinces now near forty years, without any variation upon new emissions; though, in Pensylvania, the paper-currency has at times increased from 15,000_l.
Page 141
petition proceeds to say, "that where such disturbances have happened, they have been _speedily quieted_.
Page 215
the realm, under that criminal jurisdiction to which alone by their legal resiancy and allegiance they were amenable; applying this to the case of subjects whose _legal_ resiancy is _without_ the realm, and who are by that resiancy and their allegiance amenable to a jurisdiction authorized and empowered to try and give judgment upon all capital offences whatsoever without appeal; thus applying this statute so as to take up a proceeding, for which there is no legal process either by common or statute law as now established, but in defiance of which there is a legal process established by the habeas corpus act;----would be, to disfranchise the subject in America of those rights and liberties which by statute and common law he is now entitled to.
Page 222
Hence the tea, and other India goods, which might have been sold in America, remain rotting in the company's warehouses[123]; while those of foreign ports are known to be cleared by the American demand.
Page 231
[135] See the Remembrancer for the year 1776, part 2d.
Page 254
Your nation, though, by punishing those American governors who have fomented the discord, rebuilding our burnt towns, and repairing as far as possible the mischiefs done us, she might recover a great share of our regard; and the greatest share of our growing commerce, with all the advantages of that additional strength, to be derived from a friendship with us; yet I know too well her abounding pride and deficient wisdom, to believe she will ever take such salutary measures.
Page 261
Page 297
You must know, that such have been the circumstances of my life, and such were the marvellous concurrences of my.
Page 307
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright," as poor Richard says.
Page 346
GENTLEMEN, A ship having been fitted out from England, before the commencement of this war, to make discoveries of new countries in unknown seas, under the conduct of that most celebrated navigator, Captain Cook,--an undertaking truly laudable in itself, as the increase of geographical knowledge facilitates the communication between distant nations, in the exchange of useful products and manufactures, and the extension of arts whereby the common enjoyments of human life are multiplied and augmented, and science of other kinds increased, to the benefit of mankind in general.
Page 363
FOOTNOTES: [197] For this pamphlet we are indebted to the same American correspondent, who furnished us with the papers intitled The Busy-Body: but it came too late for insertion in its proper place, which, agreeably to its date,.
Page 364
Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital, London.
Page 371
As many of the first set were averse to this, and chose to withdraw; it was necessary to settle their accounts; so all were adjusted, the profits shared that had been accumulated, and the new and old proprietors jointly began on a new and equal footing.
Page 421
_Wyndham_, sir William, applies to Franklin to teach his sons swimming, i.