Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Doerner, [17 December 1777]

From Doerner9

AL: Dartmouth College Library

[December 17, 17771]

Mr. John James Doerner who sets off for Bordeaux to Morrow in Company of Mr. Märck to establish a House of Commerce at Charles-town North-America.2

If Doctor Francklin is so obliging and favour Messrs. Doerner and Marck with Letters of introduction for the honorable Congress and Gentlemen at Charles-Town, for some places in the Province of Virginia &ca.; Doerner shall esteem it an especial favour to send them to his Brothers House Messieurs Lavabre Doerner & Co. Banquiers Rue du Maille à Paris, and also any orders the Doctor may think proper to honour Doerner and Marck with for America.3

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9See his letter above, Oct. 8.

1In his note below of Dec. 18 he says that he is leaving that morning for Bordeaux, here that he is leaving tomorrow.

2On Dec. 10 Lavabre, Doerner & Cie. had formed a syndicate with Jean-Werner Marck and the mercantile firm of Guillaume Sabatier & Pierre Desprez to establish a commercial house, according to Lüthy, in Petersburg, Va.; it was to be run by John James Doerner and Ulrich Marck, Jean-Werner’s nephew: Banque Protestante, II, 445–6.

3On the back of the sheet BF has written the following:

  3   1  1  2   1

“Belinda, see, from yonder Flowers,

 1 1 1   2  1 1 1

The Bee flies loaded to his Cell:

 1 1   2   1  1  2

Can you perceive what he devours?

 1 1  2   1  1  1 1

Are they impair’d in shew or smell?

So tho’ I robb’d you of a Kiss

Sweeter than their ambrosial Dew;

Why are you angry at my Bliss?

Has it at all impov’rish’d you?

‘Tis by this Cunning I contrive,

In spite of your unkind Reserve,

To keep my famish’d Love alive,

Which you inhumanly would starve.”

We have been unable to locate the poem, which he doubtless copied; the prosody is much too good to be his own, as witness his song above, XXII, 274–7. He intended to use the verse, we suspect, in his flirtation with Mme. Brillon, but why did he count syllables in the first stanza?

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