To George Clymer August 15, 1787

To George Clymer August 15, 1787

PARIS,.

SIR:

This comes by Mr. Derby, of Massachusetts, who leaves Paris today to take shipping at L'Orient for Boston. The enclosed for Dr. Franklin is from his friend Mr. Le Roy, of the Academy of Sciences, respecting the bridge, and the causes that have delayed the completing the report. An arch of 4 or 5 hundred feet is such an unprecedented thing, and will so much attract notice in the northern part of Europe, that the Academy is cautious in what manner to express their final opinion. It is, I find, their custom to give reasons for their opinion, and this embarrasses them more than the opinion itself. That the model is strong, and that a bridge constructed on the same principles will also be strong, they appear to be well agreed in, but to what particular causes to assign the strength they are not agreed in. The committee was directed by the Academy to examine all the models and plans for iron bridges that had been proposed in France, and they unanimously gave the preference to our own, as being the simplest, strongest, and lightest. They have likewise agreed on some material points.

THOMAS PAINE.