Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Comte de Sarsfield, 2 May 1778

From the Comte de Sarsfield

AL: American Philosophical Society

Saturday may the 2d 1778

Count Sarsfield’s best compliments wait upon Dr. Franklin and has the honour to inform him that he has thought fit to postpone his Going to chaillot on occasion of mrs. Macaulay’s translation as he Supposes that the arrival of the Gentleman from america may Give a good deal of Business to mr. Franklin.5 He will have the honour to wait upon him one of the next days but not to morrow as he foresees that the Doctor may go to versailles.

The count takes the liberty to desire the Dr. to let him Know What news he may think fit or have the Leisure to impart to him.6

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / A Passy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Sarsfield had waited attentively on Catherine Macaulay during her visit to Paris the previous autumn: above, XXV, 203 n. The trip was not a success, and we have found no indication that she returned. Neither is there record of any translation (the word is unmistakable) of or by her at the time; she had, however, promised in March to send Sarsfield her works by “an American gentleman.” Edward Harcourt, ed., The Harcourt Papers (12 vols., Oxford, [1880]), VIII, 113. As for the “Gentleman from America” mentioned here, he was doubtless Sir John Wentworth, the last royal governor of New Hampshire and the brother of Paul, the British agent. Sir John had arrived in England in March and then come to Paris; on May 2 he ran into Adams, once his classmate at Harvard, and the next day visited him and BF, but clearly had no business to discuss: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, IV, 85–6.

6A second note from him of the same date (APS) also asks for news, which he believes BF may have received the day before, but is principally to introduce a young unnamed architect who is intent on emigrating to America. “S’il n’y a pas de pierre, il travaillera en Brique. S’il n’y a pas de Briques, il travaillera en bois.”

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