Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Abbé Jarry, [c. 29 January 1782]

From the Abbé Jarry

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[c. January 29, 1782]9

à ce philosophe divin,

protée ingenieux qui Scait Et peut tout faire:

pour qui dans la Nature il n’est plus de mystere,

Et qui Suivant les pas d’un généreux Romain,

affranchit Son pays du joug de l’angleterre;

& pour tout dire en un mot: à Franklin.

L’abbé Jarrÿ
Etud. en physique au College mont-aigu.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Dated on the basis of the enclosure: eleven printed pages of verse comprising two compositions and bearing Le Noir’s permission to print dated Jan. 29. The first piece was a 17-strophe ode on the birth of the dauphin. This was followed by four and a half pages of irregularly rhymed decasyllables in praise of Marie-Antoinette. Jarry wrote, at the top of page one, “Franklino, Naturæ indagatori & libertatis vindici” (To Franklin, follower of nature and upholder of liberty). On the last page, where the anonymous poet is described as a nineteen-year-old student and author of an epitaph for Maurepas published in the Mercure de France of December, 1781, Jarry signed his name.

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