made a telescope with the metal called platina, which,
while it is as susceptible of as perfect a polish as
the metal heretofore used for the specula of telescopes,
is insusceptible of rust, as gold and silver are.
There is a person here, who has hit on a new method
of engraving. He gives you an ink of his composition.
Write on copper plates, any thing of which you would
wish to take several copies, and, in an hour, the
plate will be ready to strike them off; so of plans,
engravings, &c. This art will be amusing to individuals,
if he should make it known. I send you herewith,
the Nautical Almanacs for 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789,
1790, which are as late as they are published.
You ask, how you may reimburse the expense of these
trifles? I answer, by accepting them; as the
procuring you a gratification, is a higher one to
me than money. We have had nothing curious published
lately. I do not know whether you are fond of
chemical reading. There are some things in this
science worth reading. I will send them to you,
if you wish it. My daughter is well, and joins
me in respects to Mrs. Rittenhouse and the young ladies.
After asking when we are to have the Lunarium, I will
close with assurances of the sincere regard and esteem,
with which I am, Dear Sir, your most obedient,
LETTER CLIII.—TO A. STEWART, January 25, 1786
TO A. STEWART.
Paris, January 25, 1786.
I have received your favor of the 17th of October,
which, though you mention it as the third you have
written me, is the first that has come to hand.
I sincerely thank you for the communications it contains.
Nothing is so grateful to me, at this distance, as
details, both great and small, of what is passing
in my own country. Of the latter, we receive
little here, because they either escape my correspondents,
or are thought unworthy of notice. This, however,
is a very mistaken opinion, as every one may observe,
by recollecting, that when he has been long absent
from his neighborhood, the small news of that is the
most pleasing, and occupies his first attention, either
when he meets with a person from thence, or returns
thither himself. I still hope, therefore, that
the letter, in which you have been so good as to give
me the minute occurrences in the neighborhood of Monticello,
may yet come to hand, and I venture to rely on the
many proofs of friendship I have received from you
for a continuance of your favors. This will be
the more meritorious, as I have nothing to give you