Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, [early November 1772]

To Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg

ALS (draft; incomplete): American Philosophical Society

[Early November, 17721]

[First part missing] in this Foggy Climate and smoaky City without too much Hazard, I will do my utmost when she comes to promote her Interest.2

It is true that many English People go to Paris, but I do not often know of their going, and therefore must sometimes make use of the Post, or wait long for an Opportunity of Writing to you.3

About two Weeks since when I was in the Country a Letter from you was left at my House, which by its Date might have come round by the Way of China, for it is of May 27, 1771. There were left with it another Letter for Dr. Rush, and two Parcels of the Ephemerides, one for him the other for me, containing nine Books each. The Person who left them said he would call again to explain to me the Reason of their being so long detain’d; but he has not since called; and I have no Conception where they can possibly have been all this time. My Set is now compleat except Tom. XII. for the Year 1771. my last is Tom. III of the Sixth Year.

Salute Mad. Dubourg most affectionately in my Behalf, with Madelle. Biheron, and our other Friends. My best Wishes attend you all. I promise myself the Happiness of seeing them and you once more; for I think of returning home (when I do return) thro’ France and Italy, taking my Passage at Leghorn in some of our Ships that go thither with Corn, or Fish. I am ever, my dear Friend, with the sincerest Esteem, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

The Code is now printed as far as Chap. LXXXVI, Intérêts generaux. I inclose a Leaf, as a Specimen of the Type.4

1The letter is in answer to one of Oct. 28 from Dubourg, and another received about a fortnight earlier during BF’s absence in the country, which ended about Oct. 24: BF to WF below, Nov. 3. In a sentence deleted from this draft BF promised Dubourg another letter soon, which was doubtless the one from which an extract is printed below under Nov. 12.

2He is answering Dubourg’s letter above of Oct. 28, which referred to Mlle. Biheron’s impending trip to London.

3Here and in what follows BF is touching on subjects raised in Dubourg’s letter (above, XVIII, 110–13) that “might have come round by Way of China.”

4For BF’s printing of the Petit code see Dubourg’s letter to him below, Nov. 28.

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