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    • Adams, John
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    • Rush, Richard
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I might perhaps agee with Mr Grattan, that Mr Burke had read more of the Brittish Poets than even Dr Johnson, who wrote their Lives, that he understood them better and tasted them with better Judgment and correct discomment; & that he had read the Latin Poets and Orators: but I can go no farther. His uncommon Reading of History, the Law of Nature and Nations of Jurisprudence in General and of...
There is an height, beyond which the proudest Wave cannot ascend: there is a depth, at least a bottom, from which no Waters are left to rise or retire. There is a tide in the Affairs of Men. It is a trite observation of Historians, that there is in human Affairs, an ultimate point of depression, from whence, Things naturally but gradually rise and return to their Level. Our american Affairs...
Your favour of the 20th has given me great pleasure; because it informs me that you are happy. Your Visit to Philadelphia must have been delightful; and the Company of your excellent Surviving Parent on your return, and her domestication with you, and the fair Enchantress must be more So. This family Intercourse cannot be less pleasing to your Mother. It will preserve her health and prolong...
The Copy inclosed in your Letter has tenderly affected the little Sensibility that remains in me. As a Memorial of the Friendship of Dr Rush I esteem it prescious. Mark my Words; it is Party Faction and Fashion that give Characters; Truth and Justice, are Studiously omitted neglected and forgotten. Jefferson is no more my Friend Who dares to Independence to pretend Which I was born to...
I thank you for your favour of the 20th and the Extracts which are very consolatory. I have Sometimes thought that the People of the U.S. of both Parties were the worst Judges in the World, of themselves, their Resources, the Character of their own Nation and even of the Geography of their Country. Mr Madisons Administration, must be recorded by Historians; not with Standing all the Errors,...
I long to See the narrative of Dr Rush’s Life. I hope it will be printed. The Anecdote relative to me, in 1774, and the Toast ascribed to me, at Mifflins Supper, is so exactly like me at that time, that I dare take my Bible Oath, that it is literally true. My toast then was, as you Say and I believe, “Cash and Powder to the Yankees.” You ask me what would be my Toast now? I assure you, it...
“Watchman! What of the Night?” To what hour of the Evening are We advanced? How many hours remain before day break? Have you a repeating Watch that can Strike the hour and the quarter of an hour in the darkest hour of Sablest night? Rochefaucaut, Condorcet, Robespiere, Brissot, Danton, Orleans Buoneparte, Pitt, Fox, Burk, Alexander, Georges, Louis’s, Charleses, Francises Fredericks are but...
My most reverend Dearling presents her compliments. She highly applauds and greatly admires a complaisant Husband. Quare! Entre nous, can you divine whether this is more a civillity to you, or a Satyrick touch at me? For my part I See nothing very wonderful, that a Lady of whose fascinating attractions I have had Such ample information from the very best authority, Should take her Lover away,...
I have received your favour of the 18th: and thank you has your “Idea”; Your reasoning upon it is that of a modest prudent philosopher & Statesman. It is more; It is classical enough for a member of the Academy of inscription and Belle letters. I who am neither Philosopher Statesman or Academician, would if I had power cause medals to be struck of every conflagration, Massacre, prison stripe,...
You have most unexpectedly procured for me a very high gratification, by making me acquainted with so many anecdotes of one of the most sentimental and accomplished families our Country can boast. I feel myself more nearly attached to Judge Tucker since I learned that he had his legal education under my friend Mr Wythe one of the most learned and amiable men I have known. I have read the...
Thanks for your favour of the 2d. The “Portion of time that you can command every day” affords me very pleasing hopes. Reading Machiavel, is like conversing with a professed Actor on the Theatre: you can never know when he is in Jest, or when in earnest: whether he lies or Says the Truth. In his Art of War he inculcates a different doctrine, from that which you quote: namely that Princes, and...
You must live to be 77 years and 9 months old, before you can know how much I am obliged to you for your favour of the 5th. Pray tell me Something of the Biography of Mr St. George Tucker of Virginia. I cannot Speak of the political morsell of his, without extravagance. I know not which to admire most, its Simplicity, its Beauty its Pathos, its Philosophy, its Morality, its Religion, or its...
Your two Letters of the 27th Ult. have been recd. with the Enclosures, for all which I thank you. You ask “Some Reflections of my own.” My dear Sir! It would require a Folio Volume, to give you the Histories, Dissertations and discussions, which you require. How can I, sans Eyes, sans hands, sans Memory, sans Clerks, sans Secretaries, sans Aids du Camp; sans Amanuensis, undertake to write...
It does not Signify, to grow old. You never can get rid of worldly Affairs. I never was more distracted with Business. It pours in upon me from all quarters. I want to write you every day, and two or three times a day. I have read your speculations with pleasure, but with Some grains of reserve. I Send you a Richelieu, upon the Fisheries, Said to be from Connecticut. That State is a rich bed...
Thanks for your favour of the 2nd. & the valuable pamphlet “America Jurisprudence” With no less pleasure than difficulty I have read it once; the difficulty arose from a distressing inflammation in my eyes. Before I venture to say another word, concerning this book, I must promise, that I am no judge of its merits, because for the last forty years, I have been a stranger to Lawyers, Judges &...
Your kind Letter of the 6th has interested me more than any one I have received Since my last from your Father both by the important information, in it and especially by exciting the tender recollection of that great and good Man, and reviving all my Sensibility of his loss. I miss him every day and almost every hour. It is even a consolation to me that I cannot miss him long. But I must...
If I may judge of others by myself, Mr Hay had no cause of Apprehension that he Should be tedious: for when I had read the first page I could not lay aside the book till I had read the last. I know not when I have Seen a discussion of any legal or political question pursued with So dispassionate a temper, or written with more perspicuity, Accuracy or luminous Arrangement. The Author is Master...
“When I had an army to create, I would have called for the list of Revolutionary officers and would have nominated every Survivor according to the rank he held at the conclusion of the war—Yates, Schuyler, Lincoln, Knox, Clintons, Pinckneys, Sumters, Muhlenbergs; who you will. But not one of my Ministers, not one Senator, not one Representative, and what was more than all, Washington who was...
I have recd. a Letter from Dr Maese, requesting of me, Letters of your Father for Publication. I have collected a few, ancienct and modern: But if you consider that I have recd Letters from him in Philadelphia, New York, Braintree, Quincy, France Holland and England; You must percieve the difficulty of Searching Old Trunks for a Chain of Correspondence for forty years I have already found...
The first Thing that Struck me when I recd your favour of the 15th. was the Seal. I will not tell you, at present how many reflections this excited before I opened the Letter. I determined at once to answer it by my Seal. You will See it on the Outside of this. An Ellipsis Surrounded by 13 Starrs, protecting a Pine Tree, with a Codfish and a Buck. A very bright Starr at the Top of the Pine....
“Alexander a Republican”! Was not Napoleon a Republican? A Republican Signifies, “any thing, every Thing and nothing.” The Romans were Republicans. Obscuro loco natus” was a Plebeian, i.e. nothing. The Virginia Gentlemen are all Republicans pro moro romano. Not one of their Posterity is to be “obscuro loco natus.” Mr John Taylor lives in “ Hazelwood, ” Mr Madison lives in Montpelier , Mr...
I know not whether I am in your debt, or you in mine, but I can no longer refrain from writing The death of mr Dexter has awakened my most latent feelings; I am personally so deeply interested in this event, that I dare not trust myself to write, or even think, on the importance of it. Poor, short sighted mortals as we are! I consider my own reputation, & the true character of my...
Thanks for yours of Dec. 24. I Still entertain hopes that New England will not be forever alienated from the Southern and the middle States, and therefore take with pleasure, the Liberty of introducing Some of our most promising Young Gentlemen. Mr Gray is on his Travels and Mr George Ticknor. I believe I did not give the latter a Line to you. He has a most amiable Character. He is Said to...
I know not, whether Perry’s Victory is not the greatest Action in naval History. His Age, the horrible Slaughter, and total Disability of his own Ship, his presence of mind, his cool and prompt transition to another Vessel, his masterly and daring Attack on the Center of the Enemies Line, his Modesty, his humanity are traits of a great Commander, who God willing, will wear well. The...
Hendrick William Gordon Esquire I understand has been recommended to be Collector of direct taxes for the County of Middlesex. My acquaintance with this gentleman, commenced with the departure of my Son for St. Petersburg. He has been invariably obliging to me and my family in transmitting our letters and all intelligence to and from that mission. These personal and family obligations alone...
Your favour of June 29th has given me feelings, like those I always enjoyed when writing to your Father The distinction between a War and a peace party, is a Sophism. There is a Sense in which all Parties and all Men, wish for peace, except perhaps a few military Geniuses, who like Luxembourg have an aversion to planting Cabbages. It is a doubt whether there ever was a popular War. Some of the...
While I am reading a Letter from you, I almost forget that I have lost my delightfull Corrispondent of forty Years—I thank you for information, upon many points. On the subject of J. Q. A, I cannot write, or Speak. My heart is too full. I see his Destiny. He is to be depressed and oppressed by an immense load of Jealousy, Envy, Malice and Revenge, as your Father and his Father have been before...
In the middle of a Letter to Petersbourg this Morning Mrs Adams came in and invited me to take a ride, in the beautiful Sleighing We have at this moment, to last perhaps two days like two Such Opportunities as We have had before this Winter and then be melted away; We took the Post office in our Course, and there I found your beautiful Letter of the 4th of this month, on my return I continued...
Your Letter of the 29th of September has not been answered by me as it ought to have been. Your Excursion Horseback gave me high hopes; and excited vain Recollections. Dean Swift bragged; and why Should not I.? Swift crowed over Pope Arbuthnot &c and boasted that he could ride 500 miles upon a trotting Horse. In 1777 I rode on Horseback from Penn’s Hill in this Town to Baltimore, more than 500...
If G. B. did not mean to acceed to the Russian mediation G. B. has acted the part of a Jocky, or a Gypsy, or a Jilt: for She must have received the proposition from the Russian Ambassador long before, our President received it from Mr Dashkoff, and She ought to have made her refusal known, instead of giving Passports to Mr Gallatin and Mr Bayard. I am not apprehensive of a disgraceful peace,...