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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 106

croyoit arriver à
la fortune et à la gloire; et l'un des plus insolens moyens, dont on se
soit servi pour se jouer des hommes, fut anéanti.

Franklin ayant rempli le principal objet de sa mission, en coopérant à
l'établissement de l'indépendance américaine, et commençant à sentir les
infirmités de l'âge, désira de revoir son pays natal. Il demanda son
rappel au congrès, et l'obtint. M. Jefferson partit pour aller le
remplacer, en 1785; et au mois de septembre de la même année, Franklin
retourna à Philadelphie. Au bout de quelque temps, il fut nommé membre
du conseil suprême exécutif de cette ville, et bientôt après, il en fut
élu président.

En 1787, on forma une convention pour reviser, corriger les articles de
la confédération, et donner plus d'énergie au gouvernement des
États-Unis. Elle se rassembla à Philadelphie. Franklin fut nommé l'un
des délégués des Pensylvaniens. Il signa la constitution, proposée pour
cimenter l'union, et y donna son approbation dans les termes les moins
équivoques.

Il s'établit alors, à Philadelphie, une société destinée à s'occuper des
recherches politiques. Elle choisit Franklin pour son président, et tint
ses séances chez lui. Deux ou trois essais, lus dans cette société, ont
été publiés: mais elle n'a pas existé long-temps.

En 1787, il se forma, à Philadelphie, deux autres sociétés, fondées sur
les principes de l'humanité la plus noble et la plus généreuse. L'une
étoit la _Société Philadelphienne, pour le soulagement des prisonniers_;
et l'autre, la _Société Pensylvanienne_, dont l'objet est de travailler
à l'abolition de l'esclavage, de secourir les nègres naturellement
libres et retenus dans la servitude, et d'améliorer la condition des
Africains.--Franklin étoit président de ces deux sociétés. Leurs travaux
ont déjà eu beaucoup de succès, et elles continuent de marcher avec une
ardeur infatigable vers le but de leur institution.

Les infirmités de Franklin augmentant, il lui devint impossible
d'assister régulièrement au conseil; et en 1788, il renonça totalement
aux affaires publiques.

Son tempérament étoit très-robuste. Il n'étoit sujet à presqu'aucune
maladie, excepté quelques accès de goutte, qui le tourmentoient de temps
en temps, et qui cessèrent en 1781, époque où il fut attaqué de la
pierre, dont il s'est ressenti le reste de sa vie. Dans les intervalles
de cette cruelle maladie, il passoit beaucoup d'heures agréables, en se
livrant à une conversation gaie et instructive. Ni son esprit, ni ses
organes ne parurent affoiblis jusques au moment de sa mort.

En qualité de président de la société pour l'abolition de l'esclavage,
il signa le mémoire, présenté le 12 mai 1789 au congrès des États-Unis
de l'Amérique, pour le prier d'employer tout son pouvoir constitutionnel
à diminuer le trafic de l'espèce humaine.

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 3
PAGE Portrait of Franklin vii Pages 1 and 4 of _The Pennsylvania Gazette_, Number XL, the first number after Franklin took control xxi First page of _The New England Courant_ of December 4-11, 1721 33 "I was employed to carry the papers thro' the streets to the customers" 36 "She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance" 48 "I took to working at press" 88 "I see him still at work when I go home from club" 120 Two pages from _Poor Richard's Almanac_ for 1736 .
Page 22
This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession.
Page 24
Then I compared my _Spectator_ with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them.
Page 39
I had been absent seven months, and my friends had heard nothing of me; for my br.
Page 44
I think his generous offers insincere? I believ'd him one of the best men in the world.
Page 60
He seem'd a little asham'd at seeing me, but pass'd without saying anything.
Page 69
Baird (whom you and I saw many years after at his native place, St.
Page 90
But, on the whole, tho' I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious.
Page 92
I purposed writing a little comment on each virtue, in which I would have shown the advantages of possessing it, and the mischiefs attending its opposite vice; and I should have called my book The Art of Virtue,[72] because it would have shown the means and manner of obtaining virtue, which would have distinguished it from the mere exhortation to be good, that does not instruct and indicate the means, but is like the apostle's man of verbal charity, who only without showing to the naked and hungry how or where they might get clothes or victuals, exhorted them to be fed and clothed.
Page 95
"I at present think that whoever attempts this aright, and is well qualified, cannot fail of pleasing God, and of meeting with success.
Page 96
X POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC AND OTHER ACTIVITIES In 1732 I first publish'd my Almanack, under the name of _Richard Saunders_; it was continu'd by me about twenty-five years, commonly call'd _Poor Richard's Almanac_.
Page 107
This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.
Page 114
Partnerships often finish in quarrels; but I was happy in this, that mine were all carried on and ended amicably, owing, I think, a good deal to the precaution of having very explicitly settled, in our articles, everything to be done by or expected from each partner, so that there was nothing to dispute, which precaution I would therefore recommend to all who enter into partnerships; for, whatever esteem partners may have for, and confidence in each other at the time of the contract,.
Page 126
The orator acknowledg'd the fault, but laid it upon the rum; and then endeavoured to excuse the rum by saying, "_The Great Spirit, who made all things, made everything for some use, and whatever use he design'd anything for, that use it should always be put to.
Page 131
I ask'd who employ'd her to sweep there; she said, "Nobody, but I am very poor and in distress, and I sweeps before gentle-folkses doors, and hopes they will give me something.
Page 133
Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.
Page 153
As these elders of the different sexes were well acquainted with the tempers and dispositions of their respective pupils, they could best judge what matches were suitable, and their judgments were generally acquiesc'd in; but if, for example, it should happen that two or three young women were found to be equally proper for the young man, the lot was then recurred to.
Page 158
I will not swell this narrative with an account of that capital experiment, nor of the infinite pleasure I receiv'd in the success of a similar one I made soon after with a kite at Philadelphia, as both are to be found in the histories of electricity.
Page 166
The above fact I give for the sake of the following observation.
Page 176
the Rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the Enemy; all for the want of Care about a Horse-shoe Nail_.