Adams Papers

From John Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 17 December 1800

Washington Decr 17th 1800

My dear Son

I have recd this Evening yours of the 14th. My little bark has been oversett in a Squal of Thunder and Lightening and hail attended with a Strong Smell of Sulphur. Nothing remains for me, but to indulge that Vanity which I have found out lately is considered as the predominant feature in my Character, by Singing the Song of Horace

Virtus repulsæ nescia sordidæ

Intaminatis fulget honoribus

Nec sumit <nec> aut ponit Secures

Arbitrio popularis auræ.

The Soothing considerations Suggested by you my dear son, for the consolation of your Father, endear you to me more than ever. Indeed every Letter I receive from you increases my Esteem for your Character, for understanding, discretion and benevolence. Be not concerned for me. I feel my shoulders relieved from a Burthen. The Short remainder of my days will be the happiest of my Life. For my Children I consider my Retirement as a favor. They will now have fair play. They never had an equal Chance with their Comrades and never would have had, if I had continued in office. This is my Solid opinion with regard to your Brother, yourself and your Sister. I shall write you more respecting your Brother hereafter.

Pray Mr Ingersol to Suspend his determination at least untill the third of March. The System will not be changed till then. I may possibly have Some Message to Send by you to that worthy gentleman before March. The Law will be the Law under a new Administration as well as under the old, and the professors of it, while they Adhere to that will do well.

Your Mother and Louisa are gone to Mount Vernon. They went off, to day, after Dinner intending to rest this night at Alexandria. Will return the day after tomorrow.

The melancholly decease of your Brother is an affliction of a more serious nature to this Family than any other. Oh! that I had died for him if that would have relieved him from his faults as well as his disease.

I am, my dear Child your affectionate father

John Adams

MHi: Miscellaneous Photostats.

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