D'Alembert delivers bad news from the Spanish ambassador

Alembert, Jean le Rond d', French mathematician, musician, and philosopher (1717-1783). Autograph letter signed ("d'alembert").

Paris., 30. IX. 1781.

4to. 2½ pp. on bifolium with integral address panel. In French.


To the playwright Charles-Louis de Portelance, in his castle of Thoury near the Château-Landon, where Portelance appears to be embroiled in political difficulties. Best known for his mathematical discoveries and as co-editor with Diderot of the "Encyclopédie", d'Alembert here shows his political side. He is, however, forced to deliver bad news: he was finally able to see the Spanish ambassador, but the ambassador had no place to offer "notre jeune homme", who would "ne trouverois rien à faire en Espagne". Additionally, the ambassador does not like to "mêler en vien de ce qui regarde les places militaires". Well-wishes are offered for Portelance's campaign ("Je vous souhaite à votre campagne plus de santé et de repos que vous n'en avez eu cette Eté") and the health of his eyesight.

Light creasing and foxing. With two chips missing from the second page due to breaking the wax seal (no loss to text).

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