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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 122

mot, je m'imagine que la plus grande partie des malheurs des
hommes, viennent de ce qu'ils ne savent pas estimer les choses ce
qu'elles valent réellement, et de ce qu'ils _payent trop cher leurs
sifflets_.




PÉTITION
DE LA MAIN GAUCHE,

À CEUX QUI SONT CHARGÉS D'ÉLEVER
DES ENFANS.


Je m'adresse à tous les amis de la jeunesse, et je les conjure de jeter
un regard de compassion sur ma malheureuse destinée, afin qu'ils
daignent écarter les préjugés dont je suis victime.

Nous sommes deux soeurs jumelles; et les deux yeux d'un homme ne se
ressemblent pas plus, ni ne sont pas plus faits pour s'accorder l'un
avec l'autre, que ma soeur et moi: cependant la partialité de nos parens
met entre nous la distinction la plus injurieuse.

Dès mon enfance on m'a appris à considérer ma soeur comme un être d'un
rang au-dessus du mien. On m'a laissé grandir sans me donner la moindre
instruction, tandis que rien n'a été épargné pour la bien élever. Elle
avoit des maîtres qui lui apprenoient à écrire, à dessiner, à jouer des
instrumens: mais si par hazard je touchois un crayon, une plume, une
aiguille, j'étois aussitôt cruellement grondée; j'ai même été battue
plus d'une fois, parce que je manquois d'adresse et de grace. Il est
vrai que quelquefois ma soeur m'associe à ses entreprises: mais elle a
toujours grand soin de prendre le devant, et de ne se servir de moi que
par nécessité, ou pour figurer auprès d'elle.

Ne croyez pas, messieurs, que mes plaintes ne soient excitées que par la
vanité. Non. Mon chagrin a un motif bien plus sérieux. D'après un usage
établi dans ma famille, nous sommes obligées, ma soeur et moi, de
pourvoir à la subsistance de nos parens. Je vous dirai, en confidence,
que ma soeur est sujette à la goutte, aux rhumatismes, à la crampe, sans
compter beaucoup d'autres accidens. Or, si elle éprouve
quelqu'indisposition, quel sera

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My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the _whistle_ gave me pleasure.
Page 179
_ _1749.
Page 180
_ Answers to the British clamor for the payment of American debts.