From Jean-Baptiste Le Roy
AL: American Philosophical Society
Tuesday morning [August 31, 1779]2
I hope you wille excuse me if I do not accept of your good offer and go along with you to the Société de Médecine but I have so many thïngs to do before to morrow that I go to the academy that I have thought it best to stay here the afternoon but I hope nevertheless you will do us the honour to come and take a dish of tea with us at your return and we shall have a game or two at chess and I will endeavour if possible not to play so fast and with so little circonspection.3
Addressed: M Le Dr Franklin
2. Dated by a number of clues. The Société royale de médecine met on Tuesday, Aug. 31; see Vicq d’Azyr’s letter of Aug. 21. The Académie des sciences met bi-weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In this letter Le Roy implies that he will be making a presentation at the next day’s meeting. The presentation may have been postponed one session; the following Saturday, Sept. 4, he reported to the Académie on his dispute with the abbé Rochon over the lightning rods at the château de la Muette, in Passy, where the abbé was garde du cabinet de physique et d’optique du roi. It was decided that a committee of five, BF among them, would make an on-site inspection and settle the dispute. Procès-verbaux, XCVIII, 276. The third clue, which argues for the summer of 1779, is the word “circonspection,” a reference to “The Morals of Chess” which BF had written for his Passy friends at the end of June.
3. Another Le Roy letter, dated simply “mardy matin,” may well belong to the summer of 1779. The writer expresses his regrets for having spent so little time in Passy and having enjoyed BF’s voisinage so little this summer, but he has been kept in Paris by a variety of circumstances. He has not yet located the paper that BF requested but will keep searching through his files. He thanks BF for having returned a number (but not quite all) of his books. APS.