Still, I was reading through his letters on this with a faint sense of disappointment, because none of his Irish correspondents seem to have the slightest awareness that this is a scientific giant they are dealing with. And then I find the following delightful letter from Boyle to Narcissus Marsh, the provost of Trinity College, Dublin, dated 1 August 1682:
I am troubled, and almost ashamed, that I must begin this letter with the acknowledgement of a disaster, that befel yours before it came to my hands: for it being brought yesterday from the post, not directly to me, but to a servant, that was then busied about the fire, to make a chemical experiment, I had ordered him to attend in my absence, he having laid it by for a while, a kindled coal unluckily lighted on the letter, and burned it quite thorough in that part, that contained (as I conjectured) some of the most important passages of it. ... I shall venture to answer what I guess to have been the main contents of it.*In the genre of epistolary excuses, that one is hard to beat. And he will have smoothed over any disappointment, since he guessed - correctly - that the letter was asking him for more money, and so he sent it anyway.
*Robert Boyle, The works of the Honourable Robert Boyle (ESTC T004460. London: for A. Millar, 1744), vol. V p. 611.