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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 17

sommaires du sens de chaque
période, et je les mis de côté pendant quelques jours. Au bout de ce
temps-là, j'essayai, sans regarder le livre, de rendre aux discours leur
première forme, et d'exprimer chaque pensée comme elle étoit dans
l'ouvrage même, employant les mots les plus convenables, qui s'offroient
à mon esprit. Je comparai ensuite mon _Spectateur_ avec l'original.
J'aperçus quelques fautes, que je corrigeai: mais je trouvai qu'il me
manquoit un fonds de mots, si je peux m'exprimer ainsi, et cette
facilité à me les rappeler et à les employer, qu'il me sembloit que
j'aurois déjà acquise, si j'avois continué à faire des vers. Le besoin
continuel d'expressions, qui eussent la même signification, mais dont la
longueur et le son fussent différens à cause de la mesure et de la rime,
m'auroit forcé à chercher les divers synonymes et me les eût rendus
familiers. Plein de cette idée, je mis en vers quelques-uns des contes,
qu'on trouve dans le _Spectateur_; et après les avoir suffisamment
oubliés, je les remis en prose.

Quelquefois je mêlois tous mes sommaires; et au bout de quelques
semaines, je tâchois de les ranger dans le meilleur ordre, avant de
commencer à former les périodes et à compléter les discours. Je fesois
cela pour acquérir de la méthode dans l'arrangement de mes pensées. En
comparant ensuite mon ouvrage avec l'original, je découvrois beaucoup de
fautes, et je les corrigeois: mais j'avois par fois le plaisir de
m'imaginer que dans certains passages de peu de conséquence, j'avois été
assez heureux pour mettre plus d'ordre dans les idées et employer des
expressions plus élégantes; et cela me faisoit espérer que, par la
suite, je parviendrois à bien écrire la langue anglaise, ce qui étoit un
des grands objets de mon ambition.

Le temps que je consacrois à ces exercices et à la lecture, étoit le
soir après le travail de la journée, le matin avant qu'il commençât, et
le dimanche quand je pouvois m'empêcher d'assister au service divin.
Tant que mon père m'avoit eu dans sa maison, il avoit exigé que
j'allasse régulièrement à l'église. Je le regardois même encore comme un
devoir, mais un devoir que je ne croyois pas avoir le temps de
pratiquer.

J'avois environ seize ans, lorsque je lus par hasard un ouvrage de
Tryon, dans lequel il recommande le régime végétal. Je résolus de
l'observer. Mon frère étant célibataire n'avoit point d'ordinaire chez
lui. Il s'étoit mis en pension avec ses apprentis chez des personnes de
son voisinage. Le parti que j'avois pris de m'abstenir de viande devint
gênant pour ces personnes, et j'étois souvent grondé pour ma
singularité. Je me

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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Franklin used to style him.
Page 16
For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.
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Knowing I had that money of Vernon's, he was continually borrowing of me, still promising repayment as soon as he should be in business.
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Circulating libraries were not then in use; but we agreed that, on certain reasonable terms, which I have now forgotten, I might take, read, and.
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Another thing demonstrated will be the propriety of everyman's waiting for his time for appearing upon the stage of the world.
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"That fewer still, in public affairs, act with a view to the good of mankind.
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: "That there is one God, who made all things.
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I mention this affair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch of education for our young females, as likely to be of more use to them and their children, in case of widowhood, than either music or dancing, by preserving them from losses by imposition of crafty men, and enabling them to continue, perhaps, a profitable mercantile house, with establish'd correspondence, till a son is grown up fit to undertake and go on with it, to the lasting advantage and enriching of the family.
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He was fast declining in his health, and requested of me that, in case of his death, which he apprehended not far distant, I would take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring him up to the printing business.
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I was, however, chosen, which was the more agreeable to me, as, besides the pay for the immediate service as clerk, the place gave me a better opportunity of keeping up an interest among the members, which secur'd to me the business of printing the votes, laws, paper money, and other occasional jobbs for the public, that, on the whole, were very profitable.
Page 102
His writing and printing from time to time gave great advantage to his enemies; unguarded expressions, and even erroneous opinions, delivered in preaching, might have been afterwards explain'd or qualifi'd by supposing others that might have accompani'd them, or they might have been deny'd; but litera scripta monet.
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Lawrence, a fine person, and man of influence, who was accordingly appointed.
Page 111
Being now a member of both sets of trustees, that for the building and that for the Academy, I had a good opportunity of negotiating with both, and brought them finally to an agreement, by which the trustees for the building were to cede it to those of the academy, the latter undertaking to discharge the debt, to keep for ever open in the building a large hall for occasional preachers, according to the original intention, and maintain a free school for the instruction of poor children.
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At length he came to me with the compliment that he found there was no such thing as carrying a public-spirited project through without my being concern'd in it.
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" I have since had doubts of the practicability of the latter part of this proposal, on account of the narrowness of some streets, and the difficulty of placing the draining-sleds so as not to encumber too much the passage; but I am still of opinion that the former, requiring the dust to be swept up and carry'd away before the shops are open, is very practicable in the summer, when the days are long; for, in walking thro' the Strand and Fleet-street one morning at seven o'clock, I observ'd there was not one shop open, tho' it had been daylight and the sun up above three hours; the inhabitants of London chusing voluntarily to live much by candle-light, and sleep by sunshine, and yet often complain, a little absurdly, of the duty on candles and the high price of tallow.
Page 129
"The service will be light and easy, for the army will scarce march above twelve miles per day, and the waggons and baggage-horses, as they carry those things that are absolutely necessary to the welfare of the army, must march with the army, and no faster; and are, for the army's sake, always placed where they can be most secure, whether in a march or in a camp.
Page 137
a stockade; they had purchased a quantity of arms and ammunition from New York, and had even plac'd quantities of small paving stones between the windows of their high stone houses, for their women to throw down upon the heads of any Indians that should attempt to force into them.
Page 142
And my new honour proved not much less brittle; for all our commissions were soon after broken by a repeal of the law in England.
Page 151
I saw also in London one of Bonnell's passengers, who was so enrag'd against his lordship for deceiving and detaining him so long at New York, and then carrying him to Halifax and back again, that he swore he would sue for damages.
Page 159
"Then," says he, "you can have little objection to enter into an engagement to assure that point.