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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 66

éteint. Les habitant riches, prévenus contre tout
papier de ce genre, parce qu'ils craignoient sa dépréciation, comme on
en avoit eu l'exemple dans la province de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, au
préjudice de tous les créanciers, s'opposoient fortement à ce qu'on en
créât davantage.

Nous avions discuté cette affaire dans notre club, où je m'étois
prononcé en faveur de la nouvelle émission. J'étois convaincu que la
première petite somme, fabriquée en 1723, avoit fait beaucoup de bien
dans la province, en favorisant le commerce, l'industrie et la
population; car depuis, toutes les maisons étoient habitées, et
plusieurs autres s'élevoient; tandis que je me souvenois que la première
fois que j'avois rodé dans les rues de Philadelphie, en mangeant mon
pain, la plupart des maisons de Walnut-Street, Second-Street,
Fourth-Street et même plusieurs de celles de Chesnut-Street et ailleurs,
portoient des écriteaux qui annonçoient qu'elles étoient à louer; ce qui
m'avoit fait penser que les habitans de cette ville l'abandonnoient l'un
après l'autre.

Nos débats me mirent si bien au fait de ce sujet, que j'écrivis et
publiai un pamphlet anonyme intitulé: _Recherches sur la nature et la
nécessité d'un papier-monnoie_.--Il fut accueilli par les gens de la
classe inférieure: mais il déplut aux riches, parce qu'il augmenta les
clameurs en faveur de la nouvelle émission. Cependant, comme il n'y
avoit dans leur parti aucun écrivain capable de répondre à mon pamphlet,
leur opposition devint moins forte; et la majorité de l'assemblée étant
pour le projet, il passa.

Les amis que j'avois acquis dans cette assemblée, persuadés qu'en cette
occasion j'avois rendu un service essentiel au pays, crurent devoir me
récompenser en me donnant l'impression des nouveaux billets. L'ouvrage
étoit lucratif, et il vint très à propos pour moi. Ce fut un autre
avantage que je dus à mon talent pour écrire.

Le temps et l'expérience démontrèrent si pleinement l'utilité du
papier-monnoie, que par la suite, il n'éprouva jamais une grande
contradiction; de sorte qu'il monta bientôt jusqu'à cinquante-cinq mille
livres sterlings, et en l'année 1739, à quatre-vingt mille livres
sterlings. Il s'est élevé, durant la dernière guerre, à trois cents
cinquante mille livres sterlings, et pendant ce temps-là, le commerce,
le nombre des maisons, la population se sont continuellement accrus.
Mais je suis maintenant convaincu qu'il est des bornes au-delà
desquelles le papier-monnoie peut être préjudiciable.

Bientôt j'obtins, à la recommandation de mon ami Hamilton, l'impression
du papier-monnoie de Newcastle, autre ouvrage avantageux, d'après la
manière dont je voyois alors; car de petites choses paroissent
importantes aux personnes d'une médiocre fortune; et en effet, elles
furent importantes pour moi, parce qu'elles devinrent de grands motifs
d'encouragement. M. Hamilton me procura aussi l'impression des loix et
des opinions du

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 11
I used to write more methodically.
Page 15
By comparing my work with the original, I discovered many faults and corrected them; but I sometimes had the pleasure to fancy that, in particulars of small consequence, I had been fortunate enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think that I might in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious.
Page 44
I must record one trait of this good man's character: he had formerly been in business at Bristol, but failed in debt to a number of people, compounded and went to America; there, by a close application to business as a merchant, he acquired a plentiful fortune in a few years.
Page 53
The first members were Joseph Brientnal, a copier of deeds for the scriveners; a good-natured, friendly, middle-aged man, a great lover of poetry, reading all he could meet with, and writing some that.
Page 54
It was a folio, _pro patria_ size, in pica, with long-primer notes.
Page 57
I see this is a business I am not fit for.
Page 61
She brought me word they had no such sum to spare: I said they might mortgage their house in the loan office.
Page 80
9.
Page 91
In 1732 I first published my Almanac under the name of _Richard Saunders_; it was continued by me about twenty-five years, and commonly called _Poor Richard's Almanac_.
Page 93
On his decease the business was continued by his widow, who, being born and bred in Holland, where (as I have been informed) the knowledge of accounts makes a part of female education, she not only sent me as clear a statement as she could find of the transactions past, but continued to account with the greatest regularity and exactness every quarter afterward; and managed the business with such success, that she not only reputably brought up a family of children, but, at the expiration of the term, was able to purchase of me the printing-house and establish her son in it.
Page 118
Our answers, as well as his messages, were often tart, and sometimes indecently abusive; and as he knew I wrote for the Assembly, one might have imagined that, when we met, we could hardly avoid cutting throats.
Page 151
The effect of these, he concluded, would be either to prevent a stroke by repelling the cloud beyond the striking distance, or by drawing off the electrical fire which it contained; or, if they could not effect this, they would at least conduct the electric matter to the earth, without injury to the building.
Page 157
Franklin about this time published his Canada pamphlet, in which he, in a very forcible manner, pointed out the advantages which would result from the conquest of this province.
Page 163
They blindly persevered in their own schemes, and left to the colonists no alternative but opposition or unconditional submission.
Page 176
"It has been.
Page 178
These aids may, therefore, be small at first; but as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample.
Page 180
as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government of Massachusetts.
Page 184
_ What number of white inhabitants do you think there are in Pennsylvania? _A.
Page 192
_Q.
Page 220
p.