Adams Papers

From William Smith Shaw to Abigail Smith Adams, 30 January 1799

Philadelphia Jan 30th

My dear Aunt

Mr Adams left us yesterday morning for New York. He expects his business will detain him till monday, when he will set out for Quincy. I shall miss his company very much.

I have read Mr. Gerry’s communications to Congress over and over again. The <directory> French government, in these last dispatches, displays in the most captivating manner, the charming pictures of candor, frankness and sincerity, while at the same time she is rioting in rapine and insolence. I hope and believe that my countrymen will never forget, that the hyena charms but to deceivelulls but to destroy—and that they will not be insulted and fooled out of their existence or understanding. I pray God that they may never listen to any of the delusive overtures for peace of the French directory and that they will not suffer themselves to be sucked into the rattle snake embraces of those anarchists, but that they will attend to the voice of wisdom and experience which loudly speak to us of France as Queen Margaret said of the duke of Gloucester to Buckingham

“O Buckingham, beware of yonder dog.

Look, when he fawns, he bites, and when he bites,

His venom tooth will rankle to the death.”

In your letter of Jan 6th to me you promised to send the addresses &c—they never have been received but the president bought one of Porcupine—The dedication of them to the French directory shows considerable abilities.

With love to all I am my dear Aunt / your affectionate nephew

Wm. S S—

Please to write to me, considering nearly six months study was spent upon a certain report, your opinion respecting it.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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