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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 70

et quoiqu'on eût déjà rapporté que cet homme étoit mort, nous
n'en avions pas la certitude; d'ailleurs, en supposant que cela fût
vrai, il avoit laissé beaucoup de dettes, pour le paiement desquelles il
étoit à craindre que son successeur ne fût inquiété. Cependant, nous
passâmes par-dessus toutes ces difficultés; et j'épousai miss Read, le
premier septembre 1730.

Nous n'éprouvâmes aucun des inconvéniens que nous avions craint. Elle
fut pour moi une bonne et fidèle compagne, et contribua essentiellement
au succès de mon magasin. Nous prospérâmes ensemble; et notre étude
continuelle fut de nous rendre mutuellement heureux. Ainsi, je
corrigeai, autant que je le pus, le tort que j'avois eu envers miss
Read, lequel étoit, comme je l'ai dit, une des grandes erreurs de ma
jeunesse.

Notre club n'étoit point alors établi dans une taverne. Nous tenions nos
assemblées chez Robert Grace, qui avoit fait arranger une chambre
exprès. L'un des membres observa un jour que, puisque nos livres étoient
fréquemment cités dans le cours de nos discussions, il seroit convenable
de les avoir tous dans le lieu de nos assemblées, afin de les consulter
au besoin. Il ajouta qu'en formant ainsi de nos différentes
bibliothèques, une bibliothèque commune, chacun de nous auroit
l'avantage de se servir des livres de tous les autres, ce qui seroit
presque la même chose que si chacun possédoit tout. Cette idée fut
approuvée; et en conséquence, chacun de nous prit chez soi tous les
livres qu'il crut devoir fournir, et nous les plaçâmes dans le fond de
la salle du club. Cette collection ne fut pas aussi nombreuse que nous
nous y attendions; et quoique nous eussions occasion de les feuilleter
souvent, nous nous apperçûmes, au bout d'environ un an, que le défaut de
soin leur avoit un peu nui. Nous convînmes alors de séparer la
collection, et chacun remporta ses livres chez soi.

Ce fut à cette époque que j'eus la première idée d'établir, par
souscription, une bibliothèque publique. J'en fis le _Prospectus_. Les
conditions furent rédigées suivant les formes d'usage, par le procureur
Brockden; et mon projet réussit, comme on le verra par la suite...

* * * * *

Ici s'arrête ce qu'on a pu se procurer de ce que Franklin a écrit de sa
vie. On prétend que le manuscrit qu'il a laissé s'étend un peu plus
loin; et nous espérons qu'il sera

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 14
In some, both governor and council are appointed by the crown.
Page 34
The iron manufacture employs and enriches British subjects, but is it of any importance to the state, whether the manufacturer lives at Birmingham or Sheffield, or both; since they are still within its bounds, and their wealth and persons still at its command? Could the Goodwin Sands be laid dry by banks, and land equal to a large country thereby gained to England, and presently filled with English inhabitants, would it be right to deprive such inhabitants of the common privileges enjoyed by other Englishmen, the right of vending their produce in the same ports, or of making their own shoes; because a merchant or a shoemaker, living on the old land, might fancy it more for his advantage to trade or make shoes for them? Would this be right, even if the land were gained at the expence of the state? And would it not seem less right, if the charge and labour of gaining the additional territory to.
Page 44
_Fourthly_, By the laws and statutes of England, the chief rents, honours, and castles of the crown are taxed, and _pay their proportion_ to the supplies that are granted to the king for the defence of the realm and support of government: his majesty, the nobility of the realm, and all the British subjects, do now actually contribute their proportion towards the defence of America in general, and this province in particular: and it is in a more especial manner the.
Page 76
You would have the French left in Canada, to exercise your military virtue, and make you a warlike people, that you may have more confidence to embark in schemes of disobedience, and greater ability to support them! You have tasted too, the sweets of TWO OR THREE MILLIONS sterling per annum spent among you by our fleets and forces, and you are unwilling to be without a pretence for kindling up another war, and thereby occasioning a repetition of the same delightful doses! But, gentlemen, allow us to understand _our_ interest a little likewise: we shall remove the French from Canada, that you may live in peace, and we be no more drained by your quarrels.
Page 83
As to the common-place objection to the North-American settlements, that they are _in the same climate, and their produce the same as that of England_;--in the first place it is not true; it is particularly not so of the countries now likely to be added to our settlements; and of our present colonies, the products, lumber, tobacco, rice, and indigo, great articles of commerce, do not interfere with the products of England: in the next place, a man must know very little of the trade of the world, who does not know, that the greater part of it is carried on between countries whose climate differs very little.
Page 91
Let an act of parliament then be made, enjoining the colony midwives to stifle in the birth every third or fourth child.
Page 101
--------------- Increase, only £.
Page 113
The board of trade, of which lord Hilsborough was the chief, joined in this.
Page 117
But as, in that.
Page 160
From the time that the colonies were first considered as capable of _granting aids to the crown_, down to the end of the last war, it is said, that the constant mode of obtaining those aids was, by requisition made from the crown, through its governors, to the several assemblies, in circular letters from the secretary of state, in his majesty's name, setting forth the occasion, requiring them to take the matter into consideration, and expressing a reliance on their prudence, duty, and affection to his majesty's government, that they would grant such sums, or raise such numbers of men, as were suitable to their respective circumstances.
Page 240
[144]" _New-York_ is the only colony in the founding of which England can pretend to have been at any expence, and that was only the charge of a small armament.
Page 245
FRANKLIN.
Page 257
punctuality in discharging them.
Page 259
Her islands are circumscribed by the ocean; and excepting a few parks or forests, she has no new land to cultivate, and cannot therefore extend her improvements.
Page 272
There are few great proprietors of the soil, and few tenants; most people cultivate their own lands, or follow some handicraft or merchandise; very few rich enough to live idly upon their rents or incomes, or to pay.
Page 288
of large capacities) is hereby discouraged from attempting to make any figure in life: his apprehensions of being outlaughed, will force him to continue in a restless obscurity, without having an opportunity of knowing his own merit himself, or discovering it to the world, rather than venture to expose himself in a place, where a pun or a sneer shall pass for wit, noise for reason, and the strength of the argument be judged by that of the lungs.
Page 295
"When you visit a person of quality (says he) and have talked over your business, or the compliments, or whatever concern brought you thither, he makes a sign to have things served in for the entertainment, which is generally a little sweetmeat, a dish of sherbet, and another of coffee; all which are immediately brought in by the servants, and tendered to all the guests in order, with the greatest care and awfulness imaginable.
Page 311
auctions, for want of minding the almanack.
Page 347
_ FOOTNOTE: [194] Dr.
Page 362
It seems as if our greatest men, our _cives nobilissimi_[201] of both parties, had sworn the ruin of the country, and invited the French, our most inveterate enemy to destroy it.