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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 9

Londres une collection qu'il avoit faite, de
tous les principaux pamphlets relatifs aux affaires publiques, depuis
l'année 1641 jusqu'en 1717. Il en manque plusieurs volumes, comme on le
voit par la série des numéros: mais il en reste encore huit _in-folio_
et vingt-quatre _in-quarto_ et _in-octavo_. Ce recueil étoit tombé entre
les mains d'un bouquiniste qui, me connoissant pour m'avoir vendu
quelques livres, me l'apporta. Il paroît que mon oncle le laissa en
Angleterre, quand il partit pour l'Amérique, il y a environ cinquante
ans. J'y trouvai un grand nombre de notes marginales, écrites de sa
main. Son petit-fils, Samuel Franklin, vit maintenant à Boston.

Notre humble famille avoit embrassé de bonne heure la réformation: elle
y resta fidélement attachée durant le règne de Marie, et fut même en
danger d'être persécutée à cause de son zèle contre le papisme. Elle
avoit une Bible anglaise; et pour la cacher d'une manière plus sûre,
elle s'avisa de l'attacher toute ouverte, avec des cordons qui
traversoient les feuillets, en dedans du couvercle d'une chaise percée.
Quand mon grand-père vouloit la lire à ses enfans, il renversoit sur ses
genoux le couvercle de la chaise percée, et fesoit passer les feuillets
d'un cordon sous l'autre. Un des enfans fesoit sentinelle à la porte,
afin d'avertir s'il voyoit l'appariteur, c'est-à-dire, l'huissier de la
cour ecclésiastique. Dans ce cas, on remettoit le couvercle à sa place,
et la Bible demeuroit cachée comme auparavant. C'est mon oncle Benjamin
qui m'a raconté cette anecdote.

Toute la famille demeura attachée à l'église anglicane jusque vers la
fin du règne de Charles second. Alors quelques ministres qui avoient été
destitués comme non-conformistes, tinrent des conventicules en
Northampton-Shire. Benjamin et Josias se joignirent à eux et ne se
séparèrent plus de leur croyance. Le reste de la famille resta dans
l'église épiscopale.

Josias, mon père, s'étoit marié jeune. Vers l'an 1682, il conduisit à la
Nouvelle-Angleterre, sa femme et trois enfans. Il y avoit été engagé par
quelques personnes considérables, de sa connoissance, qui, voyant les
conventicules défendus par la loi et souvent inquiétés, s'étoient
déterminées à passer en Amérique, dans l'espoir de jouir du libre
exercice de leur religion.

Mon père eut encore de sa première femme, quatre enfans nés en Amérique.
Il eut ensuite, d'une seconde femme, dix autres enfans, ce qui fait en
tout, dix-sept. Je me souviens d'en avoir vu, assis à sa table, treize,
qui tous grandirent et se marièrent. J'étois le dernier des fils, et le
plus jeune de la famille, excepté deux filles. Je naquis à Boston, dans
la Nouvelle-Angleterre. Ma mère, cette seconde femme dont je viens de
parler, étoit Abiah Folger, fille

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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 0
Page 28
--This plan, it is said, was the work of Dean Tucker; and possibly might contain many other particulars.
Page 32
the joint expence of the body of the people in such empire:--it would now be thought hard by act of parliament to oblige the Cinque ports or sea coasts of Britain, to maintain the whole navy, because they are more immediately defended by it, not allowing them at the same time a vote in choosing members of the parliament; and, as the frontiers of America bear the expence of their own defence, it seems hard to allow them no share in voting the money, judging of the necessity and sum, or advising the measures.
Page 36
They will cut us off from all commerce and alliance with the western Indians, to the great prejudice of Britain, by preventing the sale and consumption of its manufactures.
Page 63
The work is indeed anonymous, but it is so well known to have been Dr.
Page 71
Now _all the kinds_ of security we have mentioned are obtained by subduing and _retaining_ Canada.
Page 72
Yet so unfortunate have they been, that their virtue has made against them; for upon no better foundation than this have they been supposed the authors of a war, carried on for their advantage only.
Page 107
They are four distinct governments; but having much mutual intercourse of dealings, the money of each used to pass current in all: but the whole of this common currency not being under one common direction, was not so easily kept within due bounds; the prudent reserve of one colony in its emissions being rendered useless by excess in another.
Page 108
But the pay is now become so indifferent in New England, at least in some of its provinces, through the want of currency, that the trade thither is at present under great discouragement.
Page 109
the drawer is indeed a circumstance that cannot attend the colony bills; for the reasons just above-mentioned; their cash being drawn from them by the British trade; but the legal tender being substituted in its place is rather a greater advantage to the possessor; since he need not be at the trouble of going to a _particular bank_ or banker to demand the money, finding (wherever he has occasion to lay out money in the province) a person that is obliged to take the bills.
Page 112
There have been several different schemes for furnishing the colonies with paper-money, that should _not_ be a legal tender, viz.
Page 133
Unfortunately for us, this has never yet been.
Page 160
_Causes of the American Discontents before 1768[75].
Page 167
that of their own, by laws: they can make laws to discourage or prohibit the importation of French superfluities: but though those of England are as ruinous to us as the French ones are to them, if we make a law of that kind, they immediately repeal it.
Page 206
They are assured by the crown-officers in America, that manufactures are impossible there; that the discontented are few, and persons of little consequence; that almost all the people of property and importance are satisfied, and disposed to submit quietly to the taxing power of parliament; and that, if the revenue-acts are continued, and those duties only that are called anti-commercial be repealed, and others perhaps laid in their stead, the power ere long will be patiently submitted to, and the agreements not to import be broken, when they are found to produce no change of measures here.
Page 231
The science, that I, a modern, simpleton, am about to communicate, is the very reverse.
Page 254
Your nation, though, by punishing those American governors who have fomented the discord, rebuilding our burnt towns, and repairing as far as possible the mischiefs done us, she might recover a great share of our regard; and the greatest share of our growing commerce, with all the advantages of that additional strength, to be derived from a friendship with us; yet I know too well her abounding pride and deficient wisdom, to believe she will ever take such salutary measures.
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 367
Like the proud girl in my country, who wished and resolved not to marry a parson, nor a presbyterian, nor an Irishman, and at length found herself married to an Irish presbyterian parson! You see I have some reason to wish that in a future state I may not only be _as well as I was_, but a little better.
Page 405