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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 37

m'en parut délicieuse.
J'hésitai quelque temps entre mes principes et mon inclination. Mais me
rappelant, enfin, que quand on avoit ouvert la morue, on avoit tiré de
son estomac plusieurs petits poissons, je dis aussitôt en moi-même:--Si
vous vous mangez les uns les autres, je ne vois pas pourquoi nous ne
vous mangerions point. En conséquence, je dînai de morue avec grand
plaisir, et je continuai depuis, à manger comme les autres, retournant
seulement par occasion au régime végétal. Ô qu'il est commode d'être un
_animal raisonnable_, qui connoît ou invente un prétexte plausible pour
tout ce qu'il a envie de faire!

Je continuai à bien vivre avec Keimer, qui ne se doutoit pas de mon
projet d'établissement. Il conservoit en partie son premier
enthousiasme. Il aimoit à argumenter, et nous disputions fréquemment
ensemble. J'étois si accoutumé à me servir, avec lui, de ma méthode
socratique, et je l'embarrassois si souvent par mes questions, qui
paroissoient d'abord très-étrangères aux points que nous discutions,
mais qui néanmoins l'y ramenoient par degrés, et le fesoient tomber dans
des difficultés et des contradictions dont il ne pouvoit plus se tirer,
qu'il en devint d'une circonspection ridicule. Il n'osoit plus répondre
aux interrogations les plus simples, les plus familières, sans me dire
auparavant:--«Que prétendez-vous inférer de là»?--Toutefois, il prit une
si haute idée de mes talens, qu'il me proposa sérieusement de devenir
son collègue dans l'établissement d'une nouvelle secte. Il devoit
propager sa doctrine en prêchant, et moi je devois réfuter tous les
opposans.

Quand il s'expliqua avec moi sur ses dogmes, j'y trouvai beaucoup
d'absurdités, que je refusai d'admettre, à moins qu'il ne voulût à son
tour adopter quelques-unes de mes opinions. Keimer portoit une longue
barbe, parce que Moïse a dit quelque part:--«Tu ne gâteras pas les coins
de ta barbe».--Il observoit aussi le jour du sabbat; et ces deux points
lui paroissoient très-essentiels.

Ils me déplaisoient l'un et l'autre. Mais je consentis à y adhérer, si
Keimer vouloit s'abstenir de manger d'aucune espèce d'animal.--«Je
crains, dit-il, que ma constitution ne puisse pas y résister».--Je
l'assurai qu'au contraire, il s'en trouveroit beaucoup mieux. Il étoit
naturellement gourmand, et je voulois m'amuser à l'affamer. Il se décida
à faire l'essai de ce régime, pourvu que je voulusse m'y astreindre avec
lui; et, en effet, nous l'observâmes pendant trois mois. Une femme du
voisinage préparoit nos alimens et nous les apportoit. Je lui donnai une
liste de quarante plats, dans la composition desquels il n'entroit ni
viande ni poisson. Cette fantaisie me devenoit d'autant plus agréable,
qu'elle étoit à fort bon compte; car notre nourriture ne nous coûtoit
pas à chacun, plus de dix-huit pences[18] par

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Text Comparison with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 9
My mother had likewise an excellent constitution: she suckled all her ten children.
Page 11
But his expectations of a fee with me displeasing my father, I was taken home again.
Page 15
But I had another advantage in it.
Page 30
" As I seem'd at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she mentioned some things she had observ'd and heard that had escap'd my notice, but now convinc'd me she was right.
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matras, a table with a crucifix and book, a stool which she gave me to sit on, and a picture over the chimney of Saint Veronica displaying her handkerchief, with the miraculous figure of Christ's bleeding face on it, which she explained to me with great seriousness.
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But so determin'd I was to continue doing a sheet a day of the folio, that one night, when, having impos'd my forms, I thought my day's work over, one of them by accident was broken, and two pages reduced to pi, I immediately distributed and compos'd it over again before I went to bed; and this industry, visible to our neighbors, began to give us character and credit; particularly, I was told, that mention being made of the new printing-office at the merchants' Every-night club, the general opinion was that it must fail, there being already two printers in the place, Keimer and Bradford; but Dr.
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Franklin), praised your frugality, diligence and temperance, which he considered as a pattern for all youth; but it is singular that he should have forgotten your modesty and your disinterestedness, without which you never could have waited for your advancement, or found your situation in the mean time comfortable; which is a strong lesson to show the poverty of glory and the importance of regulating our minds.
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| T.
Page 80
If there's a power above us (And that there is all nature cries aloud Thro' all her works), He must delight in virtue; And that which he delights in must be happy.
Page 91
In 1733 I sent one of my journeymen to Charleston, South Carolina, where a printer was wanting.
Page 93
whether a single copy of them now exists.
Page 117
I sent one of these papers to each house, and in a day or two went round to see who would subscribe an agreement to pay these sixpences; it was unanimously sign'd, and for a time well executed.
Page 118
The mention of these improvements puts me in mind of one I propos'd, when in London, to Dr.
Page 124
They get victory sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.
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2 well-cur'd hams.
Page 135
However, when the news of this disaster reached England, our friends there, whom we had taken care to furnish with all the Assembly's answers to the governor's messages, rais'd a clamor against the proprietaries for their meanness and injustice in giving their governor such instructions; some going so far as to say that, by obstructing the defense of.
Page 151
Loudoun, instead of defending the colonies with his great army, left them totally expos'd while he paraded idly at Halifax, by which means Fort George was lost, besides, he derang'd all our mercantile operations, and distress'd our trade, by a long embargo on the exportation of provisions, on pretence of keeping supplies from being obtain'd by the enemy, but in reality for beating.
Page 156
Charles had provided for me, I went to visit Dr.
Page 159
soliciting such a general catastrophe, merely from a groundless fear of their estate being taxed too highly, was insisted on in the strongest terms.
Page 161
1757 Introduces a bill in the Assembly for paving the streets of Philadelphia; publishes his famous "Way to Wealth"; goes to England to plead the cause of the Assembly against the Proprietaries; remains as agent for Pennsylvania; enjoys the friendship of the scientific and literary men of the kingdom.