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"...your new and really harmonious harpsichord with glasses..."

Date: 1771, May 20
From: Beccaria (Turin)
To: BF (London)
PBF: 18:109–110

Beccaria, after almost twenty years, revised and expanded his well known Dell' Elettricismo artificiale... (Turin, 1753). He prefaced the new edition with the open letter printed below which was a reply to the letter describing the armonica that Franklin had sent him a decade earlier.

I thank you, most excellent Sir, for the exact description of your new and really harmonious harpsichord with glasses, which you have sent me (to you it is given to enlighten human minds with the true principles of the electric science, to reassure them by your conductors [lightning rods] against the terrors of thunder, and to sweeten their senses with a most touching and suave music); and if I were entitled to it I would thank you, in the name of Italy, for having given the appellation of armonica to your agreeable instrument, in consideration of our harmonious language. So far as I am concerned, I do not know how better to show you my gratitude for the many other marks of your kindness, than by sending to you this new product of my labor, and accompanying it with the wish that it may still be in keeping with your first opinion of it, as you were pleased to express it.

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